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The historical basis for the King Arthur legend has long been debated

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Re: The historical basis for the King Arthur legend has long been debated  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Sep 2018, 16:39

Official Explanation for extra question



Answer: (D)

(A) is tempting, but the passage never mentions that the Annals Cambriae are of questionable validity. The passage only says that the work had a complex history.

(B) is wrong because the passage never compares the two annals.

(C) is not supported by the passage. (C) is tricky because it sounds like a reasonable thing someone would say in response to an ancient text.

(D) is not directly stated in the passage but is implied by, “they were more likely added…annals.”

(E) is too general for such a specific question. Anyhow, the author of the passage probably would not agree with (E).
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Re: The historical basis for the King Arthur legend has long been debated  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Sep 2018, 16:41

Official Explanation for Q2



Answer: (A)

The last line of the passage, “In the absence of…unlikely” the author takes a position. He/she has spent the entire passage analyzing the scholarly/historical debate to the question of Arthur’s existence.

(B) is wrong because the author of the passage does not disagree with both sides. Indeed, he takes a side, i.e., definitively answering whether Arthur existed is unlikely.

(C) is wrong because the author accepts the evidence arguing against a historical. In other words, the author weighs the evidence arguing that Arthur most likely never existed, and believes the evidence supports this idea.

(D) is wrong because it is too general. The passage only focuses on Arthur.

(E) is also too general. The passage may draw a link between Arthur and some other mythical figures but revealing that link is not the purpose of the passage.
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Re: The historical basis for the King Arthur legend has long been debated  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Sep 2018, 16:42

Official Explanation for Q3



While a case can be made for (A)—it’s a bit of a stretch. The Annales Cambriae did have a complex history, which made it likely that Arthur was a fictional person who, over time, became treated as an actual person. But the passage really only says that the complex textual history makes it difficult to determine if Arthur was a real person. (E) is a much more direct answer, because it provides examples of written works in which legendary figures were treated as actual living persons.

(A) See above.

(B) Charles-Edwards says that Arthur may have been a historical figure. This doesn’t relate to whether Arthur was a mythical figure who was treated as an actual figure.

(C) is incorrect. Though Arthur is absent from Bede’s text that doesn’t relate to why he would be accorded human like status in other writings.

(D) is incorrect. Though the passage says that “historical documents…are scarce”, this doesn’t necessarily parallel the fact that Arthur had been historicized.

(E) The answer.
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Re: The historical basis for the King Arthur legend has long been debated  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2018, 04:37
Passage summary:
1) The historical basis of the KA is debatable. Some believe that
he existed sometime in 5-6th century. Others - 10th century. The later date is supported
by Annales Cambriae.
2) This questionable nature of his existance is the reasona why recent historians don't
accept his being in post-Roman Britain. JM tried to account the existance but found little
to say. As a result, some even disbeliefe his existance at all (NM). The evidence to bolster
this is Bede's EHEP.
3) Hence, he might as well was a mythological creature who was later historicized. This is
back by a similar account in Bede's EHEP.
4) The author provides his or her opinion on the issue: wihtout more materials, the KA's
existance is unlikely to be determined.
Overall - everything seems to point that the KA did not exist, at least not as early as some historians would expect.


1. According to the passage, Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People contains information that Relevant text: He is absent from Bede's early-8th-century Ecclesiastical History of the English People, another major early source for post-Roman history.
A. provides context that would argue against an historical Arthur the most suitable choice
B. undermines the notion of a historical Arthur by furnishing evidence that refutes that King Arthur ever existed he is absent from the accounts
C. suggests that Bede’s work did not fully account for events between 400 and 820 not given
D. indirectly supports the existence of an historical Arthur contrary to the idea in the passage
E. diverges from most narratives popular during the 12th century 8th vs 12th century writings

2. The primary purpose of the passage is to
A. evaluate a historical debate and then take a position discusses two potential periods when the KA could possibly have lived and sides with the skeptics
B. discuss two positions on an issue, while disagreeing with both
C. discount evidence arguing against the existence of a historical person
D. suggest that the verification of many historical figures is beyond our ability
E. draw a link between mythical and historical figures if anything, just a small detail in the 3rd para

3. The contention that Arthur was a mythological figure who had been historicized by being included in accounts of real events is most consistent with which of the following? Relevant text: Some scholars argue that Arthur was originally a fictional hero of folklore — or even a half-forgotten Celtic deity — who became credited with real deeds in the distant past. They cite parallels with figures such as the Kentish totemic horse-gods Hengest and Horsa, who later became historicized. Bede ascribed to these legendary figures a historical role in the 5th-century Anglo-Saxon conquest of eastern Britain.
A. The complex textual history of the Annales Cambriae provides evidence that he existed sometime in the 10th c.
B. Thomas Charles-Edwards explanation of the existence of Arthur CE claims that there's no info about the KA, and he has no say about the KA in the context of mythology
C. The fact that Arthur figures nowhere in any of Bede’s works covering the post-Roman period
D. The lack of historical documents from the post-Roman period
E. Bede’s inclusion of totemic horse gods in the history of the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain fits the example given by the source

4. According to the author of the passage, John Morris, while expressing little to no skepticism towards the historical Arthur, lends little support to the case of a historical Arthur because he Relevant text: Historian John Morris made the putative reign of Arthur the organizing principle of his history of post-Roman Britain and Ireland. Even so, he found little to say about a historical Arthur.
A. assumes that Arthur was most likely a mythological figure this is not mentioned until 3rd para
B. only focuses on events from the early part of Arthur’s life not given
C. provides a dearth of information pertaining to the life of Arthur correct - gotta remember this word "dearth"
D. has glaring historical inconsistencies in much of his writing not given
E. unquestioningly accepts that Arthur played a small role in the history of Britain not given
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Re: The historical basis for the King Arthur legend has long been debated &nbs [#permalink] 23 Oct 2018, 04:37

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