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Wizards, magicians, enchanters, and prophets are to be found among all folklores and traditions. Most recently, Tolkien made famous his great wizard of Middle Earth, Gandalf the Grey, and his nemesis, Saruman.

Perhaps the most famous wizard of European lore was Merlin, aid and counselor to King Arthur in the Artherian tales. His name, "Merlinus," is a latinized adaptation of the Welsh "Myrddin" - the name of a late sixth century northern bard reported to have the gift of sight. As a young prophet he is brought to Vortigern to be sacrificed to a dragon, but saves himself by displaying feats of magic greater than those of the King's sorcerers. He casts the spell that allows Uther to wed Ygraine, and assists Arthur in obtaining the magical sword, Excalibur.

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