In the middle of a joust, King Arthur receives a severe blow to the head and is somehow transported in time and space to Connecticut in 1889. After some initial confusion and his capture by the local sheriff, Arthur realizes that he is actually in the future.

Given that Arthur wants to be helpful, and can speak modern English, in what way could he help the historians? How much impact would a contemporary person such as King Arthur have in the knowledge about the middle ages?

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    $\begingroup$ Your story, your plot. Or are you asking us to write it for you? $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jul 10, 2018 at 8:27
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch I was afraid that this question would be too story based (maybe I should have try tha sandbox), but is thit that more story based that this question? $\endgroup$
    – Kepotx
    Jul 10, 2018 at 8:30
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    $\begingroup$ Could you include at least a statement that tells us how the answer isn't: he won't be able to understand people. There will be a cultural barrier. Most likely he will get aggressive. If he's lucky he will end up in some psychiatric institution $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Jul 10, 2018 at 8:36
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    $\begingroup$ I think you'll need to give a little more detail about which version of the Arthur legend you're working with. He could predate jousting by 500years, at the very least we know all the kings of England after jousting was invented so if this chap isn't a fraud it was an anachronistic joust. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Jul 10, 2018 at 9:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Separatrix: he probably means the Mark Twain edition, which was a mix of various romantic tropes set in the 6th cent. CE. $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Jul 10, 2018 at 11:42

1 Answer 1


He is a living, breathing primary source!

This is a gold mine for historians.

He can answer questions like:

  • How did people fight? Historic European Martial Arts were mostly forgotten, and most schools that exist today are reconstructed from manuals.
  • What was the interplay between pagan and Christian beliefs in society? How did this work out in everyday life?
  • What was the life of a peasant/knight/maid/king/queen like? (We actually only guess from various sources, we don't actually know.)
  • What science and history does he know? This would tell us a lot about how dark the "dark ages" really were- which modern historians actually think it wasn't so dark, just not a lot of advanced literacy.

... and the list goes on and on.

He can also organize and fund expeditions to the British isles for archaeological digs. Yes, archaeology happens in the British Isles, too! He would advance British Archaeology by leaps and bounds.

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    $\begingroup$ 1. He's a king, meaning he has absolutely no idea how the commons lived. 2. Arthur, specifically, is also The Once and Future King, meaning that once confirmed, he would have a greater claim on the British throne than a bunch of upstart Germans, especially, since he'd already been crowned. $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Jul 10, 2018 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ @nzaman Arthur is kind of brits (celtic) who actually fought the saxons (germanic) and eventually lost. So he has a claim on a throne that is no longer. $\endgroup$
    – alamar
    Jul 10, 2018 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ @alamar: Hengist and Horsa lost to the Danes, if I recall correctly. The Saxons came after. Arthur, if he ever existed, was earlier. $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Jul 10, 2018 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Alamar But a secret society of Welshmen plotting to overthrow the 1889 UK government and recreate the Romano-British society and government of Arthur's era would consider Arthur their natural monarch. $\endgroup$ Jul 10, 2018 at 18:46
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    $\begingroup$ @Pipper Chip - Explain the Bayoux Tapestry? What! The Historia Brittonum (c. 832) puts Arthur sometime between about 450 and 550. The Annales Cambriae (c. 975) puts Arthur's death at Camlann in 537/538/539. The Historia Regnum Biritanniae puts camlann in 542. the Norman Conquest was in 1066, and the Bayoux Tapestry was made sometime in the period of 1066-1100, about 5 or 6 centuries AFTER Arthur's era. $\endgroup$ Jul 10, 2018 at 19:00

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