NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia


Galafort, Gue de Bois, Gue des Bos, Lo Gue des Boes, Ocxenefort, Oscenefort, Osinefort, Osseneford, Oxenaforda, Oxenefort, Oxenford, Oxenfort, Oxeniort, Rhydychen, Sanefort, Senefort

Oxford is a historic city located in Oxfordshire, England.

In the plain outside Oxford, King Arthur had fortuitously arranged a four-day tournament just in time – though he could not have known it – for the debut in Britain of his Greek great-nephew Cligés. We may perhaps assume that Oxford was another of Arthur’s court cities.

It is said Petronius founded Oxford University, and there wrote down Merlin’s prophecies. In reality the traditional foundation date of the University of Oxford is often cited as 1167. Petronius, on the other hand, was a Roman courtier and author during the reign of emperor Nero in the first century AD. There is no historical evidence linking Petronius to the founding of the university.

Oxford | 0 to 800 AD

Roman Period | 43 – 410 AD
The Roman presence in Britain began in 43 AD, and Oxford would have been within the territory of the Dobunni tribe. While there isn’t direct evidence of a significant Roman settlement in the area that is now Oxford, the Romans had a notable impact on the region’s infrastructure, including roads.

Anglo-Saxon Period | 410 – 800 AD
With the decline of the Roman rule and with Roman withdrawal from Britain around 410 AD, the Anglo-Saxon period began. During this time, various Germanic tribes migrated to and settled in different parts of Britain. Oxford, like many other areas, saw the establishment of Anglo-Saxon settlements and communities. The specifics of these early settlements are not well-documented, and the historical records are limited.

The name “Oxenaforda” appears in historical records around the tenth century, suggesting a ford (shallow crossing point) for oxen near a settlement. This could indicate that Oxford had become a place of some local importance by that time.

Oxford was likely part of the Kingdom of Mercia during the Anglo-Saxon period. Mercia was one of the major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms that emerged in central England.

The establishment of a monastic community, including a church, is mentioned in historical records during the late Anglo-Saxon period. Saint Frideswide, an Anglo-Saxon princess, is associated with the foundation of a religious community in Oxford.

See also
Earl of Oxford | The Legend of King Arthur
Roman Empire | The Legend of King Arthur

Historia Regum Britanniae | Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1138
Roman de Brut | Wace, c. 1155
Cligés | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century
Vulgate Lancelot | 1215-1230