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Island to which Britain's legendary King Arthur was taken after he was mortally wounded in his last battle. First described by Geoffrey of Monmouth, it was said to be ruled by Morgan le Fay and her eight sisters, all of whom were skilled in the healing arts. Legend held that when Arthur was healed he would return to rule Britain. The tale may have originated in Celtic myths of an elysium for fallen heros. Avalon has sometimes been identified with Glastonbury in Somerset.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Avalon, visit Britannica.com.