of Slack's Arthurian
David Nash Ford
S L A C K
small town in modern West Yorkshire, seems an unlikely
candidate for King Arthur's capital, yet it too was
once called Camulodunum.
settlement at Slack, near Huddersfield, may have its
origins in the impressive Iron Age hillfort of
Almondbury, only five miles away. Like modern
Colchester, the Romans established a small military
fort there and named it Camulodunum after the ancient
Celtic War-God, Camulos. However, it never grew
to be a place of much importance and appears to have
been abandoned in by the middle of the second century.
It now lies partly buried beneath the M62.
Conclusions: It seems
probable that Camelot, Chrétien
De Troyes' name for Arthur's Court, is derived
directly from Camelod-unum. Though modern Colchester,
which also bore this name, may seem a more likely
candidate, there are strong arguments for locating
King Arthur in the North
of Britain. Saklatvala suggests that Arthur
was the last of the Roman Duces Brittanniarum
and that, as such, he would have maintained a
campaigning headquarters in the North. Camulodunum
(Slack) would therefore have been an ideal candidate,
though perhaps Eboracum (York) would be more likely.
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