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The Arthurian legend was largely developed in France through the middle ages (when England and France were significant rivals). Why did the English embrace a largely French creation? Were there any misgivings? What about from the French side?(r/AskHistorians)
There are several candidates for the “real” Arthur (if not many – depending on how widely one is willing to accept the theories on the fringes). There may have been one or more players whose personae coalesced over time to put wind in the sail of the legendary Arthur, but as the esteemed /u/Stormtemplar indicates, whoever that person(s) was, he’d have almost no resemblance to the Arthur we know today.
Following is an answer I developed several years ago and then later incorporated into my Introduction to Folklore, which I used when I taught folklore:
>When I see the posts like this asking about whether there were real people or events behind legends, myths, and/or the ancient gods, I respond with several observations. First, the idea that the gods and heroes of legend are based on real people had an early proponent in the Greek, late-fourth-century BCE writer, Euhemerus, giving his name to this approach to myth and legend: Euhemerism. Folklorists generally regard the idea that there was an actual basis for most oral tradition as barking up the wrong tree, because the original “real” event behind a story is usually elusive and searching for that core is a…