Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Battle of Mons Badonicus

Battle of Badon Hill
Bellum Badonis

The Battle of Mons Badonicus, commonly referred to as the Battle of Badon Hill, is one of the most famous and debated battles in early British history. It took place in the late fifth century or early sixth century.

The exact location of Mons Badonicus remains a subject of historical debate and uncertainty. Mons Badonicus is traditionally associated with a significant British victory against the Anglo-Saxons, and some medieval texts links it to King Arthur.

  • De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae | Gildas
    Written in the late sixth century, Gildas mentions a major victory of the Britons against the Anglo-Saxons without specifying the location.
  • Historia Brittonum | Attributed to Nennius
    The early Welsh compilation provides a list of twelve battles fought by King Arthur, including Mons Badonicus. However, the work does not identify the battle’s location.
  • Annales Cambriae
    The Annales Cambriae, is a medieval chronicle dating to the tenth century, briefly records the battle as “Bellum Badonis” without providing further details.

The lack of specific geographical details in the historical sources has led to various theories about the location of Mons Badonicus. Some historians and archaeologists have proposed potential locations in different parts of Britain, including southwest England, the West Midlands, and the Welsh Marches.

The association of Mons Badonicus with King Arthur’s legendary figure further complicates the matter, as the Arthurian cycle contains elements of folklore, mythology, and history. As a result, the location of Mons Badonicus continues to be a subject of scholarly discussion and remains uncertain.

While the actual location of Mons Badonicus may never be definitively established, the battle’s historical significance as a turning point in the resistance against the Anglo-Saxons and its role in the development of the Arthurian legends continue to be topics of academic interest and cultural fascination.