The Myth of the Mountain King

Nick Louras

KingMountain1

The king in the mountain is one of the great archetypal myths: a king who presided over a past golden age is said to have retreated with his warriors into a mountain cave where he waits, sleeping but not dead, one day to return. It is often associated with King Arthur, Charlemagne, Frederick Barbarossa, or Frederick II.

Juleigh Howard-Hobson provides a chronology of its various appearances and iterations in an essay at Counter-Currents:

The idea of a king, or hero, sleeping in a cave or hollow mountain is an old one in Northern Europe and the British Isles. So old, in fact, that the sleeping king motif is “one of the few myths of the British Celts to be put on record by a classical author.”

The classical author was Plutarch. Plutarch’s work “The Silence of Oracles” quotes a certain government agent, Demetrius, who in 82 CE wrote down…

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