So here’s an interesting logic problem.
The Roman Empire expanded through much of Europe, parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Ancient Rome was multicultural and racially mixing did occur. Just thinking about the fact that the way we prescribe race is a fairly recent social construct, there’s no way that Ancient Romans classified people the way modern societies do.
Now, Romans ruled a large part of Great Britain from 43 to 410 AD (so, basically, they still had control of areas of Britain up until the early 5th century).
The Ivory Bangle Lady was a mixed-race, high-status, wealthy woman with origins from Africa. She lived in Roman York (meaning she was both British and Roman) during the late 4th century.
One of the richest inhabitants of fourth century Roman York, buried in a stone sarcophagus with luxury imports including jewellery made of elephant ivory, a mirror and a blue glass perfume jar, was a woman of black African ancestry, a re-examination of her skeleton has shown.
Now, 16 centuries after her death, her skeleton is helping prove the startling diversity of the society in which she lived.
“We’re looking at a population mix which is much closer to contemporary Britain than previous historians had suspected,” Hella Eckhardt, senior lecturer at the department of archaeology at Reading University, said. “In the case of York, the Roman population may have had more diverse origins than the city has now.”
So obviously we know at this point that there were people of colour in the Roman Empire, they did live in Roman-controlled Britain, and some were actually quite wealthy. We can surmise that they existed in Britain in the 5th century because the Romans still controlled part of Britain.
King Arthur is British legendary figure (meaning there’s no telling whether or not he actually existed) from the late 5th and 6th centuries. This was not long after the Roman Empire fell, so King Arthur existed after people of colour had already been in Britain.
African products could still be found in European cities up until the 7th century, which means trade was taking place between Europe and Africa, so King Arthur existed during trade between Africa and Europe.
The first recorded mention of King Arthur is in 830 (9th century), so King Arthur’s story was penned in the 9th century, after people of colour had been in Britain and African products had been in Europe.
African Moors ruled parts of the Iberian peninsula for 700 years (from the 8th century until the 15th century—
go Moors, way to beat the Romans in terms of controlling your territory). So King Arthur’s story was penned during the period where there was a significant North African Arab presence in at least one European country.
If people of colour existed in Roman Europe (up until the early 5th century) before King Arthur (late 5th century/early 6th century), and their presence could still be found in Europe during the time he apparently existed (up until the 7th century), and his story was recorded during a period wherein people of colour had a significant territorial hold in Europe (8th-15th century)… why is it that so-called purists believe that people of colour can’t exist in a legendary tale with no real historical basis… when real history says that they existed in Europe, before, during and after King Arthur’s time?
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