13 Facts About Avalon


Avalon is a mythical island featured in the Arthurian legend that first appeared in Geoffrey of Monmouth's influential 1136 Historia Regum Britanniae as a place of magic where King Arthur's sword Excalibur was made and later where Arthur was taken to recover from being gravely wounded at the Battle of Camlann.

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Avalon was associated from an early date with mystical practices and magical figures such as King Arthur's often-sister Morgan, cast as the island's ruler by Geoffrey and some of the later authors inspired by him.

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Certain Briton traditions maintain that Arthur is an eternal king who had never truly died but would return, and the particular motif of his rest in Morgan's care in Avalon has become especially popular and can be found in various versions in many French and other medieval Arthurian works written in the wake of Geoffrey.

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Avalon has been often identified as the former island of Glastonbury Tor, an early and long-standing belief that notably involved the purported discovery of Arthur's remains and their later grand reburial in accordance with the medieval English tradition in which Arthur did not survive.

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Besides Glastonbury, several other alternative locations of Avalon have been claimed or proposed as well, and medieval sources occasionally described it as a valley.

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Avalon is first mentioned by Geoffrey as the place where Arthur's sword Excalibur was forged.

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In Lope Garcia de Salazar's Spanish version of the Post-Vulgate Roman du Graal, Avalon is conflated with the mythological Island of Brasil, said to be located west of Ireland and afterwards hidden in mist by Morgan's enchantment.

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Avalon is sometimes described as a valley, first time appearing as such in the mentions of the "vale of Avaron" in Robert de Boron's Arthurian prequel Joseph d'Arimathie.

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In Layamon's Brut, Arthur is taken to Avalon to be healed there through means of magic water by a distinctively Anglo-Saxon version of Morgan: an elf queen of Avalon named Argante.

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Morgan features as an immortal ruler of a fantastic Avalon, sometimes alongside the still-alive Arthur, in some subsequent and otherwise non-Arthurian chivalric romances such as Tirant lo Blanch, as well as the tales of Huon of Bordeaux, where the faery king Oberon is a son of either Morgan by name or "the Lady of the Secret Isle", and the legend of Ogier the Dane, where Avalon can be described as an enchanted castle, as it is in Floriant et Florete.

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Avalon's transcript reads: "Here lies buried the famous Arthurus with Wenneveria his second wife in the isle of Avalon" .

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Avalon wrote that inside the coffin were two bodies, whom Giraldus refers to as Arthur and "his queen"; the bones of the male body were described as being gigantic.

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In more recent times, writers such as Dion Fortune, John Michell, Nicholas Mann and Geoffrey Ashe have formed theories based on perceived links between Glastonbury and Celtic legends of the Otherworld in attempts to link the location firmly with Avalon, drawing on the various legends based on Glastonbury Tor as well as drawing on ideas like Earth mysteries, ley lines and even the myth of Atlantis.

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