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Name Arthur: origin, history, etymology and meaning


First name of legend, Arthur was immortalized in the Middle Ages thanks to the famous knights of the round table of Chrétien de Troyes. Its origin would be Celtic and it would mean "bear". Celebration on November 15.

Origin and etymology of the first name Arthur

The first name Arthur would be the modern French form of a Breton name, Arzhur, of uncertain etymology, derived from the word of Celtic origin arzh {arth in old Breton), which means “bear”. The bear was considered by the Celts as the king of animals and was for a long time a royal emblem among the Celts. Latinized in Artorius, Arzhur has been declined in Artus, Arthur and feminine in Arthurine.

King Arthur of the Knights of the Round Table could be inspired by a 5th-century Britto-Roman officer who would have animated the resistance of the Celts of Great Britain against Saxon invaders.

Saint Arthur, monk of Glastonbury (England) in the 16th century, refused to recognize Henry VIII as spiritual head of the Church and was executed by order of the king.

Use and popularity of the first name Arthur

Carried in the Middle Ages by several kings and dukes of Brittany, the first name Arthur became common from the 12th century, after which it suffered from the discredit in which the medieval period was held. Rediscovered by the romantics, it was often used to name fictional characters. Abandoned after the mid-twentieth century, it has been appreciated again since the 1980s, as has its modern version, Artus. This first name was worn by many personalities of the arts and letters: the authors Arthur Rimbaud Arthur Conan Doyle and Arthur Miller, the Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini and the composer Arthur Honegger ...


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