Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 23 June |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Ioan Suciu
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Ancient Christian inscription provides evidence that King Arthur may have existed


Kerry Garratt|Wikipedia|CC BY-SA 2.0

Zelda Caldwell - published on 06/19/18

The discovery of Latin words and Christian symbols on a 1,300-year-old windowsill in Cornwall lends credence to the stuff of legend

The site of Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, England, has been associated with the legend of King Arthur, ever since the 12th century when Geoffrey of Monmouth helped popularize the myth of the king and his court in his Historia Regnum Britanniae.

For years archaeologists and historians have sought to find proof of the existence of King Arthur, who was said to have defended the Britons against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. Today, the discovery of a stone windowsill inscribed with Latin words and Christian symbols is, at the very least, proof that a medieval royal court on the coast of Britain may have actually existed.

According to the Telegraph, the two-foot long slab of stone is inscribed with Latin and Greek words and contains Christian symbols “similar to those found in illuminated Gospel manuscripts of the time.”

The Telegraph reported that English Heritage, which manages Tintagel, said the discovery “lends further weight to the theory that Tintagel was a royal site with a literate Christian culture.”

Of the inscription, the Telegraph reported that:

The writing is believed to have been the work of someone practicing their handwriting, perhaps carving words into the stone while gazing out to sea. It includes the Roman and Celtic names “Tito” and “Budic”, and the Latin words “fili”, or son, and “viri duo”, meaning “two men”. The Greek letter delta also appears.

Tintagel is the site of both an original medieval settlement, which legend tells us was the seat of King Arthur, and a later 13th century castle built by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, who selected the site to connect his regime to the Arthurian legend.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Zelda Caldwell
Catholic priest’s chapel is finalist in “Shed of the Year&#...
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Zoe Romanowsky
Animated film shows the power of fatherhood in just one minute
Philip Kosloski
Can Catholics use the Enneagram personality system?
Theresa Civantos Barber
5 Thoughtful ways to honor a priest this Father’s Day
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.