Celtic Mythology

King Arthur

What is the story of King Arthur’s birth?

Uther Pendragon, King of Britain, was busy fighting the Saxons with his able general, the Duke of Cornwall, when he fell in love with the duke’s wife, Igraine. To keep his wife away from the king, the duke took her away to his castle at Tintagel on the Cornish coast. This did not stop Uther, who enlisted the help of the magician, Merlin. While the duke was away fighting the Saxons, Merlin used his magic to make Uther look like Igraine’s husband. In this disguise, the king was able to enter both the castle and Igraine’s bed. That very night the Duke of Cornwall was killed in battle, and Uther and Igraine married before the queen gave birth to Arthur, the product of their first night together. When Uther, to test Igraine, asked her who the child’s father was, Igraine confessed that she had slept with a stranger who looked exactly like her husband. Uther revealed that he was that stranger. Merlin predicted that Arthur was so special a child that he must be protected by being placed in a household other than the king’s. It was for this reason that Arthur spent his childhood in the castle of Sir Ector.


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