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Old October 24th, 2016, 06:35 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by MAGolding View Post
Some people would claim that since the modern British monarchy is sort of a successor to the kingdom of England founded by uniting the Anglo Saxon kingdoms that ere founded by invading Angles, and Saxons, and Jutes - oh my - the modern British monarchy has no right to name an heir Arthur and thus suggest that the wars between Britons and Saxons should be forgotten and forgiven.
Anyone who did suggest that would have to have an extremely tenuous grasp of history and an even more tenuous grasp of what constitutes a 'right'. The emergence of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and related processes of state formation are not at all well understood, irrespective of what the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says. Equally, the notion of monolithic ethnic conflict between defending Britons and invading Anglo-Saxons is not something which has much support in academic circles nowadays, although I accept it remains the dominant narrative on t'intenet. Britons and Anglo-Saxons appear to have fought amongst themselves just as happily as they fought one another.

And, of course, British history is one long litany of bloodthirsty usurpations and violent punch-ups. 'Rights', insofar as dynasties are concerned, tended to be appropriated rather than earned. And it is difficult to see how a right to use a name could be obtained. Who owns the name to give that right?

Interestingly, we still have a royal Arthur. Check out Prince Charles' full name......
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Old October 25th, 2016, 11:34 AM   #72

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The emergence of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and related processes of state formation are not at all well understood, irrespective of what the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says. Equally, the notion of monolithic ethnic conflict between defending Britons and invading Anglo-Saxons is not something which has much support in academic circles nowadays, although I accept it remains the dominant narrative on t'intenet. Britons and Anglo-Saxons appear to have fought amongst themselves just as happily as they fought one another.
This is true to an extent. Anglo-Saxons and Celts did indeed fight amongst themselves and against each other. In fact, there were occasionally alliances between British and Anglo-Saxon kings, no doubt driven by the exigencies of the moment. However there were some racial tension and a sense of difference between the two races, and it seems to have been strongest on the Saxon side.

This is what Bryan Ward-Perkins had to say:

"This strong sense of difference, combined, on both sides of the English-Celtic divide, with a striking reluctance to acknowledge any reciprocal debts, seems to have been present from early Anglo-Saxon times. The Germanic invaders absorbed very little of the native culture of Britain; and, by an act of supreme arrogance, they even termed the Britons "wealas," or "foreigners", in their own island.
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Old October 25th, 2016, 12:09 PM   #73

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The answer to the OP is simple: since no British King [or Queen] has deserved to be considered equal to the myth of Arthur [we cannot say to the historical Arthur: we don't know if he existed for real].
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Old October 25th, 2016, 03:00 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Aelfwine View Post
This is true to an extent. Anglo-Saxons and Celts did indeed fight amongst themselves and against each other. In fact, there were occasionally alliances between British and Anglo-Saxon kings, no doubt driven by the exigencies of the moment. However there were some racial tension and a sense of difference between the two races, and it seems to have been strongest on the Saxon side.



This is what Bryan Ward-Perkins had to say:



"This strong sense of difference, combined, on both sides of the English-Celtic divide, with a striking reluctance to acknowledge any reciprocal debts, seems to have been present from early Anglo-Saxon times. The Germanic invaders absorbed very little of the native culture of Britain; and, by an act of supreme arrogance, they even termed the Britons "wealas," or "foreigners", in their own island.

The Normans were the same way to the natives of their region of Gaul. But when you examine their pedigree, their ancestors were much more often Gallic or Breton than Norse.

They constructed this national myth of Normannitas to distinguish themselves from and above their neighbours.

I suspect the same may be true of the Anglo-Saxons. It's hard to overlook that Asser was Welsh; that Alfred welcomed Bretons into Wessex; that before Alfred was king, Brittany had Alfreds serving in its local governments; that after Alfred, Wessex sheltered the Breton court, allying with them against the Vikings; and that Cerdic, like many other early Anglo-Saxon leaders, has a British name.

Wal, in Brythonic, means valour. In their own language, the Welsh were given, by the Saxons, the name "valiant".

Welshness didn't disappear in Anglo-Saxon England. Witness the 11th century Cumbrian earls of Northumbria and the combined Welsh-West Midlands rebellion narrowly defeated at Stafford in 1069.

The many towns with "wal" in their name, as far east as Norfolk, and the Saxon accounts of the Gwyre and other peoples, reflect a persistent Britishness in diverse locales in England.

My own Tweed ancestors from 15th century Essex, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, who are still there, identify culturally with the Welsh. Their recurrent marriage patterns suggest the same for many of their neighbours such as the Dere and Wisby families.

The Dere are recorded in monastic charters from Sibton in Suffolk in the early 1200s as "nativi", native serfs. Henry V had these specific charters copied into his royal records a few years before Agincourt.


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Old October 25th, 2016, 08:40 PM   #75

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The answer to the OP is simple: since no British King [or Queen] has deserved to be considered equal to the myth of Arthur [we cannot say to the historical Arthur: we don't know if he existed for real].
Come now Alpin, we both know there is one king deserving to be considered equal to the myth. But we also both know he's not British.
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Old October 25th, 2016, 10:48 PM   #76

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It's hard to overlook that Asser was Welsh; that Alfred welcomed Bretons into Wessex;
I am not attempting to overlook the fact that Asser was Welsh and that Alfred held him in high regard, rewarding him with the bishopric of Sherbourne. I believe you will find that it was ∆thelstan, Alfred`s grandson, who gave sanctuary to the Breton court when Brittany was overrun by the Vikings.

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Cerdic, like many other early Anglo-Saxon leaders, has a British name.
Indeed, Cerdic does seem to be a British name, but the character is legendary and we have no means of knowing if he actually existed. The stories told about him in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles must be regarded as possibly fiction, distorted oral history, and legendary accretion. However, there is nothing wrong in the idea that Cerdic may have been a renegade Briton leading a mixed bag of British and Saxon pirates. It is speculation, though, and we have no way of proving it or, indeed, disproving it.

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Wal, in Brythonic, means valour.
Does it indeed? Wealas in Old English means "foreigners" and later it meant "slaves" or "serfs".

Anyway, all of this does not detract from the fact that the Anglo-Saxons generally regarded the Britons as inferior and different.
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Old October 26th, 2016, 03:04 AM   #77
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This is true to an extent. Anglo-Saxons and Celts did indeed fight amongst themselves and against each other. In fact, there were occasionally alliances between British and Anglo-Saxon kings, no doubt driven by the exigencies of the moment. However there were some racial tension and a sense of difference between the two races, and it seems to have been strongest on the Saxon side.

This is what Bryan Ward-Perkins had to say:

"This strong sense of difference, combined, on both sides of the English-Celtic divide, with a striking reluctance to acknowledge any reciprocal debts, seems to have been present from early Anglo-Saxon times. The Germanic invaders absorbed very little of the native culture of Britain; and, by an act of supreme arrogance, they even termed the Britons "wealas," or "foreigners", in their own island.
The idea that the Saxons considered the British to be foreigners simply through arrogance is untenable in my view. The reality is that in the fifth century, there was a considerable Irish presence in west and south west Britain. Look at the descriptions employed by Gildas when he castigates the five kings of the early sixth century. There are primary and secondary images at work here. The primary imagery is drawn from Daniel Book 7. Here Daniel describes four beasts in an apocalyptic account with some additions such as added wings, extra legs, horns etc. But essentially he gives us a lion, a bear, a leopard and a horned beast. Gildas in turn uses all these images to describe his kings. Constantine and Aurelius Caninus are lions. Uortipor is a leopard but with added lion imagery. Cuneglas is a bear and Maglocune a dragon and a killer of young lions.

In Daniel, all of the beasts represent kingdoms which emerge from the sea. All five kings in DEB to greater or lesser degrees were almost certainly of Irish descent and should be recognised as Hiberno-British. Cuneglas was probably the most recent arrival, perhaps even first generation Irish and so earned the bear moniker. Constantine, Aurelius Caninus and Uortipor were probable descendants of the Ui Liathain and so were associated with lions. Maelgwyn if indeed he was Maglocune the dragon, would also have been Hiberno-British.

Nennius 830 mentions the `fili Lethan` ruling south west Wales. Sanas Cormaic 900 describes how most of western Britain was controlled by Irish chieftains and specifically mentions Criomthann mac Fidach and the sons of Lethain. Cormac uses the Welsh `Dind map Lethain` to decribe an Ui Liathain stronghold in the south west suggesting he relied on a British source. The ogham stones in Britain are also often inscribed with a Gaelic form of latin. There are few if any examples of a Brythonic form of latin appearing on a British ogham stone.

The conclusion to be drawn from all of this is that the ruling class in west and south west Britain were significantly different from remaining Romano-Britons who found themselves increasingly squeezed between east, west and indeed north in the fifth century. The Hiberno-British in the west would have spoken primitive Gaelic for a number of generations and were probably still doing so in Gildas`s lifetime. When the Saxons encountered them, they would have considered them to be foreigners and it`s no coincidence that the AS Chronicle for a period in the later fifth and early sixth centuries describes the enemy as `Wealas` a term which later evolved to mean `Welsh`.
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Old October 26th, 2016, 03:12 AM   #78

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Come now Alpin, we both know there is one king deserving to be considered equal to the myth. But we also both know he's not British.
Welcome back.

Yes we know. And as we discussed months ago, the point is that the myth is British. I'm not aware of a similar myth in Northern Italy, even if the Lombardic Dukes and Kings are part of the historical memory of these lands [as I have mentioned several times while we were discussing].

We could also remind that a medievalist I contacted didn't dismiss the hypothesis that the work by Paulus Diaconus arrived in the British isles influencing the construction of the Arthurian myth.
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Old October 26th, 2016, 05:34 AM   #79
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Why no more King Arthurs???


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Originally Posted by Aelfwine View Post




I am not attempting to overlook the fact that Asser was Welsh and that Alfred held him in high regard, rewarding him with the bishopric of Sherbourne. I believe you will find that it was ∆thelstan, Alfred`s grandson, who gave sanctuary to the Breton court when Brittany was overrun by the Vikings.







Indeed, Cerdic does seem to be a British name, but the character is legendary and we have no means of knowing if he actually existed. The stories told about him in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles must be regarded as possibly fiction, distorted oral history, and legendary accretion. However, there is nothing wrong in the idea that Cerdic may have been a renegade Briton leading a mixed bag of British and Saxon pirates. It is speculation, though, and we have no way of proving it or, indeed, disproving it.







Does it indeed? Wealas in Old English means "foreigners" and later it meant "slaves" or "serfs".



Anyway, all of this does not detract from the fact that the Anglo-Saxons generally regarded the Britons as inferior and different.

Alfred issued an edict welcoming Bretons. Although the Chronicle of Nantes names Athelstan, the date of the Loire Viking rebellion (circa 917) indicates that it was to Alfred's son Edward the Elder that the Breton court fled. Certainly it was Athelstan who supported Alan II's recovery of Brittany.

Yes, "wal" does mean "valour" in Breton, the Saxon derogatory pun aside. For that matter, in Brythonic, "Saxon" is synonymous with backstabber.

Cerdic may or may not have been a legendary creation, perhaps by Asser to fill in a forgotten pedigree for Alfred, but almost certainly his "ancestors" back to Woden are mythical.

However, the form of Cerdic's name is similar to that of British contemporaries of that period such as Budic of Brittany. Bretons in subsequent centuries landed in the estuary near Southampton as Cerdic allegedly did, so perhaps the Channel tides and currents favour this. Alan Rufus, leader of the Bretons in post-conquest England, held property near the port of Southampton and escorted the Bishop of Durham there to take ship for exile in Normandy.

Here's an article on the Channel currents: http://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00099/21068/18693.pdf. Next is a page on how to kayak the Channel, including a map of currents from UK Hydrography: http://www.kayarchy.com/html/03thesea/006currents.htm. Obviously the strong tidal patterns affect this greatly, so non-powered crossings have to be carefully timed.

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Last edited by zoetropo; October 26th, 2016 at 05:36 AM.
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Old October 26th, 2016, 05:46 AM   #80
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However there were some racial tension and a sense of difference between the two races, and it seems to have been strongest on the Saxon side.
I'd agree that there was a defined sense of tension from at least about the seventh-century onwards, but telescoping that back to the mid fifth-century may not be entirely wise. What we have to bear in mind is that observable tensions which you describe as 'racial' might more properly be described as 'cultural'. Culturally Anglo-Saxon groups clashed with culturally British groups, but those cultural identities need not - and probably were not - on all fours with racial identity. Even the most ardent advocates of military explanations for fifth-century migration (such as Heinrich Harke) allow for a majority British population which, by the time the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms emerge into the light of history, does not appear to be there any more as a large, distinct group. If we discount the discredited old models of enslavement, mass slaughter and expulsion, the only possible explanation is that late sixth-century 'Anglo-Saxons' must have included very large numbers of people whose ancestors were British.

This brings us on to:-

Quote:
This is what Bryan Ward-Perkins had to say:

"This strong sense of difference, combined, on both sides of the English-Celtic divide, with a striking reluctance to acknowledge any reciprocal debts, seems to have been present from early Anglo-Saxon times. The Germanic invaders absorbed very little of the native culture of Britain; and, by an act of supreme arrogance, they even termed the Britons "wealas," or "foreigners", in their own island.
You'll correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this quote comes from an article that goes back to 2000. In that article, BWP seeks to extrapolate the later evidence of texts and genealogies back to the fifth-century and concludes that there was little or no cultural cross-pollination between Saxon and Briton. At the time, that was all perfectly valid. However, there is a very recent - but growing - realisation that the cultures of the 'Germanic invaders' and the 'natives' were not as diametrically opposed as was previously assumed. As you will know from reading Guy Halsall, some practices or artefacts that were (until about five years ago) regarded as diagnostically Anglo-Saxon, including furnished inhumation and sunken-floored buildings, are no such thing. Close examination of certain post-Roman artefactual assemblages, building styles, inscriptions and tastes in goods obtained from overseas via trade also suggests the emergence of new hybridised identities across all of Britain (British/Germanic, British/Irish or whatever) in the fifth-century and it is these new, shared identities, on which later identities were built.
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