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Old December 2nd, 2016, 10:55 AM   #561
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The earldom of Richmond was not a monolithic block of territory, confined to a particular area. The estates of the earldom were scattered, some in county Durham, others in Yorkshire, and some in East Anglia. Like most English dukes and earls, the title was just that and not confined to a locale.

Distribution of Count Alan's estates in 1086:
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Old December 2nd, 2016, 11:08 AM   #562
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One of those red dots in Hampshire is Great Funtley, a settlement with 22 households that was divided with Ranulf Flambard and Robert fitz Gerald.

Alan's and Ranulf's two properties in Great Funtley were jointly held by "Earl Godwin" in 1066 (presumably Harold Godwinson's brother Godwin whose raid from Ireland was defeated in 1069 by Alan's brother Brian), whereas Robert's had belonged to King Edward.


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Old December 2nd, 2016, 11:20 AM   #563
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Street map:
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Old December 2nd, 2016, 11:21 AM   #564

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Originally Posted by zoetropo View Post
One of those red dots in Hampshire is Great Funtley, a settlement with 22 households that was divided with Ranulf Flambard and Robert fitz Gerald.

Alan's and Ranulf's two properties in Great Funtley were jointly held by "Earl Godwin" in 1066 (presumably Harold Godwinson's brother Godwin whose raid from Ireland was defeated in 1069 by Alan's brother Brian), whereas Robert's had belonged to King Edward.


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Thank you for the information. The dukes of Brittany held the honour of Richmond until the Hundred Years War. I`m not sure, though, when the earldom was confiscated. Any idea?
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Old December 2nd, 2016, 11:46 AM   #565
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Why no more King Arthurs???


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Thank you for the information. The dukes of Brittany held the honour of Richmond until the Hundred Years War. I`m not sure, though, when the earldom was confiscated. Any idea?

It was confiscated periodically, then returned, as the king had need. Bretons were good at making money, and kings were well-practised in spending it. Similar to the relationship between Jews and the Crown.

In the latter part of the HYW, the Honour of Richmond was held by the Duke of Bedford by right of his wife Jacquetta of Luxembourg who was descended from the Dukes of Brittany.

Arthur, brother of Duke John of that time, claimed Richmond as his by right, which caused a recurrent tiff with his step-brother Henry V of England.

When Arthur obtained effective control of the French government and reformed its finances and military along efficient Breton lines, the result was not good for Bedford or for Henry VI.

Toward the end of the consequent War of the Roses, the Earldom of Richmond was granted to Henry Tudor.

The Battle of Bosworth, on one level, was between the lords of Richmond and Middleham, both founded by Alan Rufus. In Breton, Alan's name is Alan ar-Rouz, pronounced "Rose", ironically enough.

When the French king used his new-found wealth to produce massed cannon and invaded Brittany, Henry VII wasn't free to intervene, but one of Jacquetta's sons, Edward, Lord Scales, died defending the duchy.

Jacquetta's second son, Anthony, 2nd Earl Rivers, was a patron and editor of the Caxton Press, and authored one of the early books it printed. He was executed by Richard III on 25 June 1483.

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Old December 2nd, 2016, 12:03 PM   #566
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Alan's men such as Hardwin of Scales, and many other Bretons, also held land along Ermine Street.

Hardwin's estates:
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Old January 10th, 2017, 07:24 AM   #567
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You mentioned yourself that there appear to have been three people called Athrwys (or Arthrwys). You know as well as I do that most of our surviving corpus of early medieval British names were only recorded as ever being held by one person.
...do I?

Honestly, I had never heard of that as being a thing.

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There is a relatively small group of names held by more than one person. That group includes (inter alia) Dunaut, Cadwallon, Cerdic, Maglocunus/Conmail, Owain and Athrwys.
Is that so? From just a brief consideration of the Harleian 3859, I don't get that impression at all.

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Actually making it quite early when compared to the date of most of our extant texts.....
Yes, but my point is that in an absolute sense it is not early at all. It's removed by several hundred years of transmission.

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You are much, much better than that. What you actually have is, at best, a technically conceivable hypothesis. Take a step back and look at what you are doing here. You are proposing a double emendation (Arthur becomes Arthwys due to confusion on the part of scribes attempting to translate an Irish rendition of a Welsh name. Then the *arth element gets misspelled *athr). You then propose that this accidental double emendation happens on three occasions.
Well both of the emendations, albeit on their own, are things which we know could happen. They are not just random emendations I've invented to support a theory. Additionally, to be fair, two of the three occurrences are in the same document, therefore written by the same hand.

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Although you state that all occurrences of the name occur in Irish areas, we know that can't be true. The Coeling Athrwys may well have nothing to do with the Pennines, but there is no evidence to put him in an Irish influenced area either. So at least one of the names occurs outside the areas where your proposed Irish agency would lead to the first emendation.
The Irish (or Scots) were extremely active in what is now Scotland, were they not (hence why it is now called that)? I would have thought that a significant amount of Irish influence would be expected in the area in which Arthwys ap Mar lived.

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But your biggest problem is that you have absolutely no evidence to support your rather convoluted hypothesis. What you are basically doing is saying 'so long as I can conceive of an explanation as to how this might have happened, it is legitimate to argue that it did happen or, at least, it is equally as likely to have happened as not'. This is the pseudo-historian's trick and it is no more than special pleading.
If we simply had those names in isolation, then this would be a valid criticism. But that is not the case. We have information about Athrwys and his life and family which we can compare with Arthur and his (legendary) life and family. If they match very well, then it doesn't matter that one would not, in isolation, link the two names.

For example, take the Triad which mentions Maxen Wledig leaving Britain for Llychlyn and never returning. Now, Llychlyn is Scandinavia (though it's also used for Scotland at times). Yet Rachel Bromwich argues that the original intent of the Triad was 'Llydaw'. Given those two names in isolation, you could very easily argue that this is nonsense. 'Llychlyn' and 'Llydaw' are both bona fide words in their own right, and there is no reason to equate the two. Even if it is possible that 'Llydaw' could have become corrupted into 'Llychlyn', there is no reason to actively think that this happened.

But wait, there is. The context in which it is used strongly indicates that the origin text of the Triad said 'Llydaw', because we know who Maxen Wledig is - he's Magnus Maximus - and we know what he did and where he went. It seems that he probably did go up to Scotland at one point, but the statement that he went away and never returned is clearly a reference to his attack and conquest of Gaul. And Llydaw is where he likely would have landed. Therefore, it is generally agreed that 'Llychlyn' is a mistake for 'Llydaw' in this instance.

Is this unreasonable? No, not at all. Even if it is unreasonable on its own, it is not unreasonable if the context indicates that such a mistake happened. Similarly, even if you feel like 'Arthur' becoming 'Athrwys' is unreasonable, which it may well be on its own, it cannot be dismissed if the context (i.e. the extra-nominal information about the two men) indicates that they were the same.

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But this very rapidly becomes a circular argument. You are using hypothesis 1 (that Geoffrey's account is historically broadly accurate) to support hypothesis 2 (that Athrwys must therefore be Arthur). You have to demonstrate that hypothesis 1 is correct before it can be used to lend any evidential weight to hypothesis 2. And you haven't done that. What I believe you have actually done (and I know you disagree) is to draw together an interesting, well-researched and well-argued case for the status of the Arthurian legend by the time of Geoffrey. But that says nothing about the Arthurian reality (if there even was one). Your evidential sources are all either entirely literary in character or can be shown to be the subject of deliberate manipulation and shaping.
How accurate you feel a source (like Geoffrey's) is likely to be does nothing to change the fact that if the account matches with a known reality then it is self-evidently historical. For example, I'm sure we have no real reason to believe that Geoffrey's account of the first Roman invasion of Britain is accurate in any way. I mean, it was written well over 1000 years after it happened. But lo and behold, it is more or less historical.

But consider a more extreme example. The story of Jack the Giant Killer was first written down during the 1700s. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that it could contain genuine information about the dark ages. But despite how unlikely that seems, what we actually see (at least, what is generally accepted) is that it contains a memory of the tyrannical Count Conomor. But even more than that, it includes some accurate details, like the fact that a council of wise men and leaders was held to figure out how to deal with him (the Giant Comoran) which led to one young man going and killing him. This is really what happened with Conomor.

So my 'hypothesis 1' is not a hypothesis, it is merely a case of looking to see if what Geoffrey wrote matches up with any historical dynasty. And it does. But it's more than just Geoffrey. In my comment to which you replied, I was actually referring to every bit of evidence right up to and including Geoffrey of Monmouth. His sphere of influence as indicated in Cullwch and Olwen, for example, matches up extremely well with Athrwys and his family. Even the families which Arthur's family intermarried with are the same (i.e. the family of Budic in Brittany and the family of Cynfarch in the North). I consider it to be very significant that these more general pieces of information, like sphere of influence and familial connections, fit with Athrwys's dynasty as well as the specific pieces of information, like the activities of Tewdrig's life and the name of Athrwys's sister.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 01:02 AM   #568
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How accurate you feel a source (like Geoffrey's) is likely to be does nothing to change the fact that if the account matches with a known reality then it is self-evidently historical.
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So my 'hypothesis 1' is not a hypothesis, it is merely a case of looking to see if what Geoffrey wrote matches up with any historical dynasty.
That is fair enough so far as it goes, but the problem is that despite how it may appear, you are not dealing with either known realities or historical dynasties. You need to remember that all of the material which you are using for your synthesis is literary in character and all of it belongs to the mid to later Medieval period. We know that there was enormous Welsh interest in the Arthur legend which steadily grew and evolved from the ninth-century onwards. We also know that there was enormous Welsh literary interest in the 'Old North'. All of the sources which you use - genealogies, Triads, hagiographies, poems et al - belong to this flowering corpus of work which was designed to service this interest or at least was able to draw on it. That doesn't mean that none of it is true (or partially true), but it does mean that we have to consider this material within the context of what we actually know about the fifth and sixth-century from contemporaneous evidence.

The problem we have there is an obvious one. No key part of your theory (so far as I can tell) is supported by demonstrably contemporaneous evidence. So how do you persuade your audience that later, literary material reflects genuine historical events? You only really have three options:-

1. The plea to oral tradition. The later written sources preserve genuine historical nuggets passed down over the generations more or less intact. That's a plausible hypothesis, but to make it any more than a hypothesis you have to be able to demonstrate a persuasive line of transmission and you have to be able to discount what historians delicately term 'manipulation' (a.k.a taking liberties or just making stuff up). Your problem is that you can't do that.

2. The plea to lost written sources. There is a loose consensus that Old Welsh (or it's predecessor Brittonic languages) was not written down until well after the sixth-century. So, there could be no lost contemporaneous written Brittonic sources. So you would have to rely on lost Latin sources. Leaving aside the fact that this means you have to argue against your own man (as Geoffrey specifically states that his 'lost book' was in Welsh), everything we know about early medieval Latin sources tells us that expecting to find a book containing a detailed and accurate British secular historic narrative of the sixth-century is totally unrealistic. It's somewhat misleading to use Geoffrey's account of the Roman invasion of Britain as an example, as we know that there were written Roman-era texts which talked about this - and in some detail. It is no surprise that a literate cleric would have access to Latin sources which we still have today.

3. The plea to archaeology. There is, of course, much to be gleaned from a multi-disciplinary approach. We do have early medieval archeology and we can reasonably expect to get more and more of it. We have, for example, over 200 stones with names, titles and all sorts of other useful bits of information. But alas, none of this material can currently be used to shore up the reliability of the later raft of medieval fantasy on which you are dependent on to make your case.

This is why I say that what you have achieved with your admittedly extremely clever analyses is to aid us in our understanding of how the ninth-century and later Welsh (and then Breton) literary canon fitted together and borrowed from itself. That is no mean feat and you should congratulate yourself. But what you cannot do is to pull that work out of its unashamedly literary context and seek to present it as narrative history.

Regards,

Peter

Last edited by Peter Graham; January 11th, 2017 at 01:10 AM.
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