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Legend of Merlin

MERLIN – Fact or Fiction

Myths and legends surrounding Merlin abound and some of his names include Merlin the Wizard, Merlin the Magician and Merlin the Sorcerer.

Legends about King Arthur were based on the books written by the clerics and poets of the Medieval era or the Middle Ages and Merlin was, in fact, invested by Welsh cleric Geoffrey of Monmouth who in 1136 wrote a book called Historia Regum Brittaniae – the History of the Kings of Britain.

Credence was given to stories about Merlin by the Black Book of Carmarthen written in Welsh in 1250 and containing stories and poems relating to the heroes of Britain in the Dark Ages, including those connected with the legend of King Arthur and Merlin the Wizard.

Merlin, who was enchanted by the Lady of the Lake, became the guardian of the young King Arthur and he appeared as an old, wise man, giving his wisdom to four successive British kings. Legend has it that Merlin was born on the site of Carmarthen’s old town, hence the present-day annual Merlin Festival celebrations.

Merlin was reputed to be a mystical Druid, who possessed knowledge and secrets of the ancients and he became the mystical advisor to King Arthur at Camelot. The populous came to believe the old legends and Merlin was revered as a great prophet.

Merlin became closely linked with King Arthur and many medieval writers and poets used Merlin as a character in their works including those about the Knights of the Round Table.

Kings of England encouraged the belief in King Arthur and Merlin to meet their own ends and the myths about Merlin were fostered. Even in the present day people are often confused about whether Merlin the Wizard existed as a real person.