Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
At the gates of Tintagel Castle, the infant Arthur
is secretly given to Merlin for fostering.
(Art taken from John Matthews' The Arthurian Tradition.
Element Books, Inc., 1994:7.
Unfortunately, Element neglects to name the artist.)
This CAMELOT PROJECT, based at the University of Rochester, is extraordinary, even though large portions are still under construction. Its "Main Menu" (accessible from this home page) doesn't initially look like much -- it's just an alphabetical list of names, themes, and places from Arthurian romances, some clickable, many not. But when you select a clickable item, you'll be taken to a basic introduction; complete and relevant texts from medieval times; other texts from 19th-20th century literature; a large collection of 19th-early 20th century images (the collections make no claim to be exhaustive); and a selected bibliography (also, not exhaustive, but useful). The amount of translated medieval literature here is immense and can save you many a trip to the library.
Others menus allow you to focus either on authors or artists; there are large numbers of general bibliographies (e.g., on Arthurian music, animated Arthuriana, etc), also links to other relevant Arthurian sites.
Flaws: There are no categories for several important women (e.g., Kundrie); the search engine seems useless (I typed in "Camelot" and came up with an "error" message; the same thing happened when I typed in "King Arthur"); the color of already visited "hot" links is so similar to the text's color that it's very difficult to spot if you wish to revisit these pages later. Regardless, this is a marvelous site.
FYI: Links to the Camelot Project are widely found on the web but one of the URL's, found even at very reliable sites, is the work of some prankster who includes the word "rodent" in the URL. So be careful what you bookmark.
"Arthuriana," begun in 1995, is a quarterly scholarly journal (available by subscription online as well as by mail) from the International Arthurian Society-North American Branch. It covers all aspects of the Arthurian motif, including its appearances in current film, TV, and fantasy fiction. You'll need a password (available through subscription only) to read entire papers on-line, but a large index of abstracts is available (back issues can be ordered) as well as numerous other services of great interest, many of them done as joint ventures with the Camelot Project (see above).
One such venture, for example, is "Arthurnet" (you can click on it at this site), a moderated discussion list whose members include scholars, writers, artists, media people, and students of all ages -- at 10-15 messages/day, the list won't overwhelm you. Arthurnet includes a search engine: I looked under Kundrie, then Sigune, and found a handful of references for both -- but even more, once I started reading the e-mails, I was intrigued enough to read backwards and forwards throughout the file. The overall quality was generally so good that I joined Arthurnet myself. It's now my favorite list.
This site, "Arthurian Resources on the Internet," is a fine list of links compiled by John J. Doherty, a librarian at North Arizona University in Flagstaff as well as one of the editors on the Camelot Project. He divides his listings into primary text resources, critical sites, general sites, bibliographies, and other links. A few of these links are already on my own website, but many more are not.
This site on King Arthur is run by the Britannia Internet Magazine. It offers several articles by Geoffrey Ashe, a popular Arthurian writer, as well as an interview with him. If you click on "Site Map," you'll get access to translations of early texts and documents pertaining to Arthur. There's a great deal here, including an excellent collection of links to other Arthurian sites -- some are entry level, others are scholarly (a few of these also appear on my site but many do not, so enjoy browsing).
Flaws: I found the navigational tools inadequate and awkward -- Britannia has some 2000 pages of content covering such things as British history, government, arts, sports, travel, shopping -- yet I spent about an hour at this site and never even came across a way to get to its home page! Further, a section called "Celtic World," which is certainly relevant to the Athurian material, cannot be accessed from the Arthur home page. I stumbled across it by chance (I'm listing it below as well as in my "Celtic" section). This huge site does have a search engine but it kept taking me to amazon.com for books I didn't want. Still, despite the flaws, this is a useful site. You could spend productive time here.
Also from Britannia Internet Magazine, this site is written by Peter. N. Williams, Ph.D and includes great data, especially on Wales (literature, linguistics, pronunciation guide, etc). Williams also has two fine papers on the World of the Celts and the Traditions of North Celts (with excellent data on Avalon ["Apple Isle"], holy wells, traditions of the Outer Hebrides, and fascinating lore on festivals from Christmas to Samhain). As noted above, this URL is double-listed under "Celtic."
Flaw: the site has a tendency to disable your Back button so that you get "stuck" on a page. Thus, be prepared to shuttle back and forth from the above URL.
This is a solid, well done, scholarly site on "Arthurian Resources" with a series of expertly referenced essays by Thomas Green of Exeter College in Oxford. Essays are on the historicity of Arthur (this one includes a brief critique of Ashe's views); medieval literature containing references to Arthur; claims of various sites associated with Arthur; and the historicity of Myrddin (Merlin). There is also an alphabetized guide to the characters in Arthurian romance as well as a page with excellent Arthurian links and Green's own annotated bibliography.
This site belongs to the "Ring of the Red Dragon," which means you can access a "ring" of other Arthurian sites through it. If the calibre of the rest of the ring approaches that of Green's, it will be a valuable resource.
This is a brilliant paper on Merlin written by medievalists, C. Scott Littleton and Linda A. Malcor (a regular on the Arthurnet list, by the way). They look not only at Merlin's Celtic and Christian origins, but also at his Alano-Sarmatian roots. The paper is a good preview of what Littleton and Malcor do with Arthurian/Grail material as a whole in their engrossing From Scythia to Camelot: A Radical Reassessment of the Legends of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, and the Holy Grail (New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1994 -- see directly below).......http://DRAGONLORDS.dragonfire.net/bkmalcor.htm
Note to my students: this is a direct link to Linda A. Malcor's own publications available through her online "Bookstore" (via Amazon.com). From Scythia to Camelot, the book she co-authored with C. Scott Littleton (see directly above), is still available but remaining copies are few (as of 2/99). This important work on the role of the steppe nomads (Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans, and others) in the Arthur/Grail tradition remains controversial. Powerful forces in academia and elsewhere favor the Celtic-only origin of this material. Thus, they are creating a "political" climate quite hostile to recently emerging data on the steppe nomads, data which suggests that the Celtic material, while an important overlay, is not as significant as Loomis and others have been arguing since the late 1920's. The issues are cutting-edge and I highly recommend this work.......http://DRAGONLORDS.dragonfire.net/bkarthur4.htm
This is another direct link from Dr. Malcor's bookstore, this time to general Arthurian and Grail resources in print, including a sizable number of books for those wishing to teach themselves Welsh. Also see below.......http://DRAGONLORDS.dragonfire.net/bkarthur.htm
This is the overall Arthurian link to books on medieval Arthurian texts; post-medieval Arthurian poetry; modern Arthurian fiction (novels, audio cassettes & videos); reference works (see direct link above for this one); scholarly texts; comics, etc.; and Arthurian music. (Note: you can reach the main Dragonlords' Bookstore at the bottom of any of these direct links. Here you'll find a wide range of books on many subjects, both popular and scholarly; included are modern fantasy, sci fi, children's literature, folklore, and improving your speeches and writing skills.)
This is a witty, refreshing, and sensible little essay written in 1994 by Elspeth Edwards. Entitled "The Sublime and the Ridiculous," Edwards looks at claims made by scholars and others about sites in Somerset and Dorset alleged to be genuinely "Arthurian."
http://www.collver.pagemakers.net/AThesis.htmThis is patriarchy at its most haunted and rigid. Guinevere was a queen wrongly shamed because she exercised what was once a respected right of Celtic women: the freedom to extend "the friendship of the thighs" to whomsoever they pleased. And Arthur -- a man of vision, tutored by Merlin, aided by women of magic, nevertheless turned his back on the Old Ways and wrote laws making a queen's body the possession of her husband: he, not she, thereby sealed their doom.
"The Changing Role of Women in the Arthurian Legend" is a 1996 graduation thesis (with 3 illustrations) done by Terra L. Collver. Although Collver's style could be richer, the data seems sound and I found much of interest in her thorough treatment. She tells us that Sir Thomas Malory, for example, wrote his work on Arthur while he was in prison -- Malory was, among other things, a convicted rapist and his negative attitude towards women influenced his writing.
That a site like this exists is one of the glories of the Internet. Run by Princeton's Professor Karl D. Uitti, this "Charrette Project" is a jewel. From Uitti's introduction:
"The Old French narrative romance, Le Chevalier de la Charrette (Lancelot), composed by Chrétien de Troyes around 1180, tells the tale of Lancelot and his love for King Arthur's wife Guenevere. This seminal text was recast into the Old French Prose Lancelot in the 13th century, the primary source for Mallory's Morte d'Arthur, which in turn has been the source of modern retellings of the Arthurian legend (in English), including Tennyson's Idyls of the King, White's Once and Future King, and Renault's popular novels. Modern edited versions of the romance contain approximately 7100 verses. These editions are prepared from as many as eight manuscripts dating from the 13th century...."The actual heart of the work, in an Old French version as well as modern French, will be beyond the reach of those who do not know French, but Uitti's three opening essays are in English and well worth the time. Highly technical, yet engrossing, the first gives an overall introduction; the second looks at the history and rationale of the project (in the section called "Present and Future Possibilities," Uitti touches on important issues of orality and writing and argues that at the time in question these should not be seen as being in opposition); and the third one, "Chretien's Romance," looks at Chretien's views as well as the story itself.
This is the site for the International Marie de France Society, based in Richmond, Virginia. Data on joining the Society is provided, also information on their e-mail discussion list. Then follow excellent links (some in French only) to the lais (story-poems) of the 12th century Marie, the first woman poet of France. Some of her lais concern Arthur's court and are filled with magical doings. There are links for actual texts; secondary sources (excellent is "A Note on 'Guigemar' and 'Lanval'" by Rob Barrett of the University of Pennsylvania's English department); and general historical, philosophical, etc background.
"The Quest": a site run by students at the University of Idaho. It's pleasant enough and does show future promise; currently [11/98], however, I found it uneven, somewhat thin on content, much remains under construction, and the navigational menu is awkward (don't click on anything claiming to be "updated"!). I almost didn't include this site except for the fact that an essay on Celtic women under "Celtic" is rather nice, and if you go to the Arthurian Art Galley and have the patience to click on every single alaphabetical letter, you'll unearth some art from mostly unknown but interesting artists (if you're looking for Rackham or Burne-Jones, as I was, you'll have to go elsewhere).
This is Gawain's page from the renowned Camelot Project. It too is wonderful, like the above, and includes lengthy introductory essays to the medieval texts, evocative modern texts, plus images and a bibliography. The amount of data here is immense.
This site is named "Luminarium" and is an exquisitely tasteful labor of love done by Anniina Jokinen. The above URL is a direct link to "Gawain and the Green Knight," a subsection of Jokinen's larger "Anthology of Middle English Literature (1350-1485)." If your browser has music-capability, the moment you click on this URL, you'll hear a lovely version of "Sumer is icumen in," a 13th century English round. Then you'll find links to texts, images, other relevant links, and an interesting series of essays, some done by professionals, others by gifted students. It's a huge site. (Note: the larger site is double-listed under my "Medieval Life & Times.")
Up to Europe's Opening Page
Pre-historic Period: Paleolithic to Bronze Age Europe/ Old Europe /
Ancient Greece / Ancient Rome /
Celtic Traditions / Icelandic, Nordic, & Teutonic Traditions /
Medieval Life & Times / Arthurian Themes / Grail Lore /
Crones & Sages /
Alchemy, Gnosticism, Hermetics / Fairy Tales & Folk Lore /
Down to Indigenous Peoples
If you have comments or suggestions,
please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Copyright 1998, 1999 by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
Updated: 20-21 February 1999