Journey to Avalon by Chris Barber and David Pykitt (1997).

   Barber and Pykitt attempt to identify Arthur with Arthwys ap Meurig, a king of Gwent and Glamorgan in 7th Century Wales. This identification is questionable as the late date is inconsistent with the historical Arthur of the Battle of Badon Hill which is normally dated between 493CE and 518CE. Drawing upon an extensive and detailed knowledge of early Welsh lore, the authors gloss over this issue with claims that King Arthwys lived much earlier and that he was able to exert his influence well beyond his borders. They also conjecture that Arthwys is also St Armel (Arthmael), revered in Brittany, our retired king. One could understand this reasoning if we consider that most of the earlier references to Arthur is as a Dux Bellorum, a military commander placed in charge of a combined force defending the British. I can also see the possible correlation with a powerful king of early southern Wales influencing later legend so that the authors of the Mort Artu and later Malory place one of Arthur's principal capitals at Caerleon (even that Camelot is Caerwent). So the real issue becomes, can they prove that this 'Arthur' lived at the time of the historical Arthur or that this man's career can be shown to have directly influenced the legend.
   My general disagreement with the authors is not to dispel or stop the exploration of these ideas. The book provides a number of insights into early Welsh development and some of the few available historical documents, but is generally unable to deliver on a coherent theory with hard traceable facts. They have focused too much on the crux of their argument and ignored all else. As with most similar books, any part of the base legend that can not be identified or explained is unimportant.

Journey to Avalon: The Final Discovery of King Arthur, Chris Barber and David Pykitt, Paperback, Nov 1997 Hardcover

See also Arthwys