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Old January 5th, 2018, 11:04 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
Yes, this observation is valid, actually there is the spelling "L'Ancelot" not "Lancelot" in some of the manuscripts with Chretien's work.

Since "L'" is the contraction of the French article "le" [simply "the"], the title appears to be "Ancelot". The Ancelot ... the servant. That's not a name. It's like to say "the guard", "the knight", "the baker" ... it's more a kind of nickname.

[I have checked this with a work by Flint F. Johnson and now I'm going to check his sources about ancient French].

P.S. if this is the correct path, L'Ancelot was "du Lac", that is to say "of the lake". So he was "the Servant of the Lake".
I've wondered for quite some time (with the thought of Maelgwn being Lancelot) if Lancelot being 'of the Lake' could be related to Maelgwn's association with Anglesey, a large island just off the coast of North Wales.
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Old January 6th, 2018, 05:38 PM   #12
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I'm thinking about writing a post about this on my blog (the one in my signature, not on Historum), but I wanted to throw the theory out here first to get some outside viewpoints first, to see if there are any significant flaws or potential criticisms that I may have missed.

I don't claim credit for the essence of this theory, but I am presenting it here in the form that I personally find most convincing, so, much of the evidence that I present for it may be unique to me.

Anyway, the idea is that Lancelot was actually Maelgwn Gwynedd. Maelgwn, as I'm sure many of you will already know, was the king of Gwynedd in Arthur's time and a little after. Why do I think he was Lancelot? Quite a few reasons, and here is a summary:

He was extremely powerful. Lancelot was supposed to have been one of the greatest knights of the Round Table, so if he was based on a real contemporary of Arthur, said historical figure must have been very powerful. All the knights of the Round Table that can be identified as real or at least semi-legendary individuals from earlier records can be identified as kings or at least princes (as per Historia Brittonum; Arthur led 'the kings of Britain' against the Saxons). So it stands to reason that the real Lancelot would have been a very powerful king.

He was allied to Arthur. Of course, we would now be using the later Medieval information about Maelgwn, which is questionable, but it's all we've got. So, I'm just following the sources as they are and seeing where they lead me. In the Welsh Triad concerning Arthur's courts, it says that Maelgwn was the 'chief elder' at one of them. So, he was in Arthur's service. Supporting this is the Dream of Rhonabwy, which makes one of Maelgwn's sons a companion of Arthur.

So thus far, Maelgwn fits the very basic profile of Lancelot. He was a very powerful king, and he was one of Arthur's allies. Furthermore, he was serving Arthur away from his own land. Maelgwn was not from Arthur's own kingdom in the south east of Wales (where Caerleon is located). This matches Lancelot in as much as he, too, was supposed to have come to Arthur's court from outside, as opposed to being from a family already in that area.

Then consider Geoffrey of Monmouth's description of him:

"After him succeeded Malgo, one of the handsomest of men in Britain, a great scourge of tyrants, and a man of great strength, extraordinary munificence, and matchless valour."

That certainly sounds like Lancelot to me!

So, definitely in broad terms, I would say that Maelgwn matches Lancelot very well. But now onto the more specific details:

As mentioned earlier, one of Maelgwn's sons is said to have been one of Arthur's knights in the Dream of Rhonabwy. This son is named Rhun, and he is mentioned in a Triad as 'one of the three fair princes of the Island of Britain'. To my mind, he corresponds to Lancelot's son Galahad, supposedly the 'perfect knight'. And like Galahad, Rhun was illegitimate. His mother, Maelgwn's mistress, was Gwallwen daughter of Afallach. Given the tendency for initial 'g's to be dropped from names in Welsh (as in 'Withur' and 'Gwythyr'), I think it's not too improbable that 'Gwallwen' would have been recorded as 'Wallwen' and then this was changed into 'Ellen', or 'Elaine' - a name much more familiar to the Romance writers. Elaine was the name of Galahad's mother, Lancelot's mistress, in the Romances. Also, she was the daughter of Pellinore, and I would argue that he and Afallach and one and the same. I will leave that for another post, but if true, it would significantly heighten the case for Maelgwn and Lancelot being the same person - they both had illegitimate relations with similarly named daughters of the same man.

To get back to Maelgwn himself, he was said to have spent some time in a monastery and he supposedly ended up dying in a church. Whether these two events were separated by a returning to the throne or whether his religious life was uninterrupted until his death, I cannot say for sure. But given that he was said to have become high king after Arthur's death, the fact that he did end up in a church and died there ties in with the concept that Lancelot was the mighty warrior who helped to restore order to Britain after Arthur's death, before becoming a monk and living out the rest of his life like that.

Furthermore, Maelgwn is explicitly described as attacking south east Wales on more than one occasion. Given that this is the location where Arthur's main court was said to have been (Caerleon and also Camelot in its earliest mention), as well as where he is regularly placed as being active in the sources, it seems reasonable to suppose that at least one of the records concerning Maelgwn waging war on south east Wales could relate to the stories of the war between Lancelot and Arthur. In fact, in one of these records, Maelgwn is specifically said to have taken the wife of the king of that area. I'm pretty sure the 'king' in question is meant to be a minor king, subordinate to Arthur, rather than Arthur himself. But even so, it's an interesting similarity. There is also a late version of Taliesin's condemnatory poem against Maelgwn that refers to how he 'betrayed the race of Arthur', which, again, sounds oddly like Lancelot.

And then finally, the name of his kingdom. Lancelot's father was supposed to have been the king of a place called 'Benwick' or something like that. I'm not certain about this point, so I would appreciate more information, but I am under the impression that 'Benwick' is generally held to be a reference to Vannes in France. That being the case, it's very significant that the Breton name for Vannes is 'Gwened'. This is identical to the Old Welsh name for Gwynedd. So, it makes perfect sense that a France writer could have seen a reference to 'Gwened' (i.e. Gwynedd, Maelgwn's kingdom) and logically but incorrectly assumed that it was talking about Vannes. Hence, 'Lancelot' (Maelgwn) was transported over to France.

So that's the theory. What do you guys think?
There are many theories about Maelgwn and his possible relation with Arthur.

In The Academy 1884, Volume 26, page 139, Professor Archibald Sayce put two and two together and speculated that Maglocunnus the Island Dragon, a giant said to have usurped his first throne as a boy, and Mordred, both alleged to have overthrown their maternal uncles, were the same person.

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?...ew=1up;seq=191

And many later writers have also supposed that Maelgwn was the original Mordred.

Professor Sayce also says that Melwas, depicted in the second life of St. Gildasas a king in Somerset who abducted Arthur's wife, was Maelgwn.

Maleagant, son of king Bagdemagus of Gorre, kidnaps Guinevere in Cretien de Troyes's Lancelot, The Knight of the Cart, the first appearance of Lancelot in an Arthurian story. Maleagant appears in many later romances where he also kidnaps Guinevere, and is based on Melwas, who Sayce claims is Maelgwn. Note that the many versions of Maleagant's name include Meliagrance, a name with some similarities to Leodegrance.

So it is possible that both Mordred and Melwas/Malaegant were based on Maelgwn, and both tried to take Guinevere from Arthur - like Lancelot tries in many versions. And if your theory that Lancelot is based on Maelgwn is correct, then two characters based on Maelgwn fight each other the stories about Malaegant's abduction of Guinevere!

And that's not all. Another Arthurian character "The King of the Hundred Knights" is also alleged to be based on Maelgwn.

EBK Arthurian Literature: The King of the Hundred Knights

Fabio P. Barbieri in History of Britain 407-597 suggests that the post Roman Britons may have been ruled by monarchs claiming to be Roman Emperors as successors of Constantine III. He suggests that the Emperor Leo mentioned in Geoffrey's account of the Roman War was not Leo I (r. 457-474) but an emperor in Britain claiming to be a successor of Constantine III that Arthur revolted against generations after the reign of Leo I.

HISTORY OF BRITAIN, 407-597, by Fabio P. Barbieri

The Welsh name of Maelgwn is derived from the ancient British name Maglocunnos. Maelgwn and Maglocunnos mean "Hound Prince" or "Princely Hound" or "Great Hound". It seems to me that "Princely Hound' or "Great Hound" could be a poetic phrase for a carnivore that was much larger than a hound, such as a wolf, or a bear, or a lion.

Thus it seems possible that a British royal boy could have been named Maglocunnos, meaning " really, really great hound" or "lion", for his British name, and Leo, meaning "lion", for his Roman name. And so it is possible that Maelgwn Gwynedd was the Emperor Leo mentioned by Geoffrey of Monmouth.

In Arthurian romances Guinevere's father and Arthur's father-in-law is Leodegrance. And I have noticed that his name could be broken down to "Leo of Grance" or "Leo of Great Ce" (whatever Ce would be). And of course anyone named Leo could have been the Emperor Leo of the Roman War story. Note that the many versions of Maleagant's name include Meliagrance, a name with some similarities to Leodegrance.

To sum it up, there is are possibilities that Maelgwn Gwynedd might be identical with:

1) Medraut/Mordred and/or

2) Melwas/Malaegant, and/or

3) The King of the Hundred Knights, and/or

4) Emperor Leo, and/or

5) Leodegrance, and/or

6) Lancelot - according to your suggestion

Some medieval genealogies make Arthur and Maelgwn second cousins, being grandsons of two different daughters of Amlawdd Wledig.

Maelgwn is known in Welsh as Maelgwn Gwynedd "of Gwynedd", Malegwn Hir "The Tall", and Maelgwn Mawr "The Great".

It should be noted that the different mentions of a Maglocunnos or Maelgwn in different sources might not all refer to the same person. It might be wise to think of them as various mentions of persons who may or may not be identical:

1) Maelgwn Inscriptionis, a Maglocunnus mentioned on an inscribed stone in Wales.

2) Maelgwn Maglos - The Magistrate of Gwynedd. A tombstone describes the deceased person as a citizen of Gwynedd and a cousin of Maglos the Magistrate.

3) Maelgwn Gildas - Maglocunnus the Island Dragon denounced for his misdeed by Gildas.

4) Maelgwn Historia - described in the Histoia Brittonum.

5) Maelgwn AC - mentioned in the Annales Cambriae.

6) Maelgwn Hagiographius - mentioned in Welsh saints' lives.

7) Maelgwn Genealogius - included in various medieval genealogies, often as Maelgwn Gwynedd, Malegwn Hir, or Maelgwn Mawr, showing that the genealogy makers did not associate the different nicknames with different persons, even though they might have originally been given to different Maelgwns.

It seems to me that there are very many possible combinations of those mentioned Maelgwns with various Arthurian characters.

Last edited by MAGolding; January 6th, 2018 at 05:57 PM.
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Old January 6th, 2018, 07:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calebxy View Post
I'm thinking about writing a post about this on my blog (the one in my signature, not on Historum), but I wanted to throw the theory out here first to get some outside viewpoints first, to see if there are any significant flaws or potential criticisms that I may have missed.

I don't claim credit for the essence of this theory, but I am presenting it here in the form that I personally find most convincing, so, much of the evidence that I present for it may be unique to me.

Anyway, the idea is that Lancelot was actually Maelgwn Gwynedd. Maelgwn, as I'm sure many of you will already know, was the king of Gwynedd in Arthur's time and a little after. Why do I think he was Lancelot? Quite a few reasons, and here is a summary:

He was extremely powerful. Lancelot was supposed to have been one of the greatest knights of the Round Table, so if he was based on a real contemporary of Arthur, said historical figure must have been very powerful. All the knights of the Round Table that can be identified as real or at least semi-legendary individuals from earlier records can be identified as kings or at least princes (as per Historia Brittonum; Arthur led 'the kings of Britain' against the Saxons). So it stands to reason that the real Lancelot would have been a very powerful king.

He was allied to Arthur. Of course, we would now be using the later Medieval information about Maelgwn, which is questionable, but it's all we've got. So, I'm just following the sources as they are and seeing where they lead me. In the Welsh Triad concerning Arthur's courts, it says that Maelgwn was the 'chief elder' at one of them. So, he was in Arthur's service. Supporting this is the Dream of Rhonabwy, which makes one of Maelgwn's sons a companion of Arthur.

So thus far, Maelgwn fits the very basic profile of Lancelot. He was a very powerful king, and he was one of Arthur's allies. Furthermore, he was serving Arthur away from his own land. Maelgwn was not from Arthur's own kingdom in the south east of Wales (where Caerleon is located). This matches Lancelot in as much as he, too, was supposed to have come to Arthur's court from outside, as opposed to being from a family already in that area.

Then consider Geoffrey of Monmouth's description of him:

"After him succeeded Malgo, one of the handsomest of men in Britain, a great scourge of tyrants, and a man of great strength, extraordinary munificence, and matchless valour."

That certainly sounds like Lancelot to me!

So, definitely in broad terms, I would say that Maelgwn matches Lancelot very well. But now onto the more specific details:

As mentioned earlier, one of Maelgwn's sons is said to have been one of Arthur's knights in the Dream of Rhonabwy. This son is named Rhun, and he is mentioned in a Triad as 'one of the three fair princes of the Island of Britain'. To my mind, he corresponds to Lancelot's son Galahad, supposedly the 'perfect knight'. And like Galahad, Rhun was illegitimate. His mother, Maelgwn's mistress, was Gwallwen daughter of Afallach. Given the tendency for initial 'g's to be dropped from names in Welsh (as in 'Withur' and 'Gwythyr'), I think it's not too improbable that 'Gwallwen' would have been recorded as 'Wallwen' and then this was changed into 'Ellen', or 'Elaine' - a name much more familiar to the Romance writers. Elaine was the name of Galahad's mother, Lancelot's mistress, in the Romances. Also, she was the daughter of Pellinore, and I would argue that he and Afallach and one and the same. I will leave that for another post, but if true, it would significantly heighten the case for Maelgwn and Lancelot being the same person - they both had illegitimate relations with similarly named daughters of the same man.

To get back to Maelgwn himself, he was said to have spent some time in a monastery and he supposedly ended up dying in a church. Whether these two events were separated by a returning to the throne or whether his religious life was uninterrupted until his death, I cannot say for sure. But given that he was said to have become high king after Arthur's death, the fact that he did end up in a church and died there ties in with the concept that Lancelot was the mighty warrior who helped to restore order to Britain after Arthur's death, before becoming a monk and living out the rest of his life like that.

Furthermore, Maelgwn is explicitly described as attacking south east Wales on more than one occasion. Given that this is the location where Arthur's main court was said to have been (Caerleon and also Camelot in its earliest mention), as well as where he is regularly placed as being active in the sources, it seems reasonable to suppose that at least one of the records concerning Maelgwn waging war on south east Wales could relate to the stories of the war between Lancelot and Arthur. In fact, in one of these records, Maelgwn is specifically said to have taken the wife of the king of that area. I'm pretty sure the 'king' in question is meant to be a minor king, subordinate to Arthur, rather than Arthur himself. But even so, it's an interesting similarity. There is also a late version of Taliesin's condemnatory poem against Maelgwn that refers to how he 'betrayed the race of Arthur', which, again, sounds oddly like Lancelot.

And then finally, the name of his kingdom. Lancelot's father was supposed to have been the king of a place called 'Benwick' or something like that. I'm not certain about this point, so I would appreciate more information, but I am under the impression that 'Benwick' is generally held to be a reference to Vannes in France. That being the case, it's very significant that the Breton name for Vannes is 'Gwened'. This is identical to the Old Welsh name for Gwynedd. So, it makes perfect sense that a France writer could have seen a reference to 'Gwened' (i.e. Gwynedd, Maelgwn's kingdom) and logically but incorrectly assumed that it was talking about Vannes. Hence, 'Lancelot' (Maelgwn) was transported over to France.

So that's the theory. What do you guys think?
There's a lot to discuss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calebxy View Post
As mentioned earlier, one of Maelgwn's sons is said to have been one of Arthur's knights in the Dream of Rhonabwy. This son is named Rhun, and he is mentioned in a Triad as 'one of the three fair princes of the Island of Britain'. To my mind, he corresponds to Lancelot's son Galahad, supposedly the 'perfect knight'. And like Galahad, Rhun was illegitimate. His mother, Maelgwn's mistress, was Gwallwen daughter of Afallach. Given the tendency for initial 'g's to be dropped from names in Welsh (as in 'Withur' and 'Gwythyr'), I think it's not too improbable that 'Gwallwen' would have been recorded as 'Wallwen' and then this was changed into 'Ellen', or 'Elaine' - a name much more familiar to the Romance writers. Elaine was the name of Galahad's mother, Lancelot's mistress, in the Romances. Also, she was the daughter of Pellinore, and I would argue that he and Afallach and one and the same. I will leave that for another post, but if true, it would significantly heighten the case for Maelgwn and Lancelot being the same person - they both had illegitimate relations with similarly named daughters of the same man.
It is not certain that Rhun was illegitimate. Illegitimacy was so common in medieval Wales that the genealogies lists the "mothers" of king's sons instead of the "wives" of those kings. Gwallwen is not described as either the wife or mistress of Maelgwn, merely as the mother of Rhun.

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Originally Posted by Calebxy View Post
To get back to Maelgwn himself, he was said to have spent some time in a monastery and he supposedly ended up dying in a church. Whether these two events were separated by a returning to the throne or whether his religious life was uninterrupted until his death, I cannot say for sure. But given that he was said to have become high king after Arthur's death, the fact that he did end up in a church and died there ties in with the concept that Lancelot was the mighty warrior who helped to restore order to Britain after Arthur's death, before becoming a monk and living out the rest of his life like that.
According to Gildas, Maglocunnus the Island Dragon usurped his first throne in earliest adolescence and an unspecified time later renounced the world and entered a monastery. After an unspecified time as a monk Maglocunnus returned to secular life and resumed rule of his kingdom. He killed his first wife (divorce Maelgwn style) and killed his nephew and married the nephew's widow. And Gildas doesn't mention whatever Maglocunnus did after Gildas wrote, possibly becoming a monk again, for example.

One version of the Annales Cambriae says Maelgwn died in the Church at Rhos. And a later story says he took refuge from the Yellow Plague in that church, implying that he was a secular ruler at the time.

If Maelgwn was Lancelot he might have overthrown Arthur and some time later repented and become a monk for months, years, or decades and then lived as a secular ruler for months, years, or decades after that. And maybe he might possibly have become a monk again sometime after Gildas wrote.

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Originally Posted by Calebxy View Post
Furthermore, Maelgwn is explicitly described as attacking south east Wales on more than one occasion. Given that this is the location where Arthur's main court was said to have been (Caerleon and also Camelot in its earliest mention), as well as where he is regularly placed as being active in the sources, it seems reasonable to suppose that at least one of the records concerning Maelgwn waging war on south east Wales could relate to the stories of the war between Lancelot and Arthur. In fact, in one of these records, Maelgwn is specifically said to have taken the wife of the king of that area. I'm pretty sure the 'king' in question is meant to be a minor king, subordinate to Arthur, rather than Arthur himself. But even so, it's an interesting similarity. There is also a late version of Taliesin's condemnatory poem against Maelgwn that refers to how he 'betrayed the race of Arthur', which, again, sounds oddly like Lancelot.
One should not make too much of the surviving sources putting Arthur's activities in the west of Britain. Those were the places ruled by Britons the longest, so Arthur's deeds were likely to become falsely localized there. In my opinion a leader needed to be both a king or leader in lowland Britain - southern England - as a source of wealth and resources - and also in a tribal society in Cornwall, or Wales, or North Britain between the walls - as a source of loyal tribal fighting men - in order to be a candidate to become king or emperor of all the Britons.

Thus I believe that Maelgwn himself ruled some rich kingdom or two in what is now southern England, as well as lands in the Goddodin kingdom in the North, and the Kingdom of Gwynedd in Wales (and possibly extending into northen England, making Maelgwn's alleged stronghold Deganwy at the center instead of the border of Gwynedd), as his multiple power bases.

Maelgwn's mother is named as Meddyff, daughter of Maeldeff, son of Dylan Daws of Nan Conwy in Gwynedd. So the maternal uncle that Maglocunnus/Maelgwn overthrew would be a brother of Meddyff and son of Maeldeff. And possibly also King Arthur. Nan Conwy would seem to be an insufficient power base, so Arthur would probably have also ruled a kingdom of barbarian warriors in south east Wales, or Cornwall, or between the walls, and one or more relatively rich kingdoms in what is now southern England. And Maelgwn may have taken over all of them and added them to his power base.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calebxy View Post
And then finally, the name of his kingdom. Lancelot's father was supposed to have been the king of a place called 'Benwick' or something like that. I'm not certain about this point, so I would appreciate more information, but I am under the impression that 'Benwick' is generally held to be a reference to Vannes in France. That being the case, it's very significant that the Breton name for Vannes is 'Gwened'. This is identical to the Old Welsh name for Gwynedd. So, it makes perfect sense that a France writer could have seen a reference to 'Gwened' (i.e. Gwynedd, Maelgwn's kingdom) and logically but incorrectly assumed that it was talking about Vannes. Hence, 'Lancelot' (Maelgwn) was transported over to France.
Well, if Vannes can become Benwick, I could hardly doubt that Gwened might possibly become Vannes. And Gwynedd and Gwened aren't very different.

If Maelgwn was Lancelot, it is possible that he ruled both in Wales and in Brittany. There are several examples of trans-marine realms in the dark ages, or of kings ruling separate kingdoms separated by the sea. Thus there were monarchs claimed to have ruled both in Ireland and in Scotland, in Scotland and in Wales, in Ireland and in Wales, in Wales and in Cornwall/Devon, and in Cornwall/Devon and in Brittany. I believe that if all the theories about King Mark were correct, he would have ruled 4 diferent kingdoms, in southern Scotland, in Wales, in Cornwall, and in Brittany.

And as I said above, I doubt that ruling merely one kingdom would be enough for someone to become overlord of all the Britons, therefore every overlord of all the Britons - like Vortigern, Aurelius Ambrosius, Arthur, and Maelgwn - probably was the king of several different kingdoms. So adding Vannes to the list of Maelgwn's kingdoms would be no big deal.

If Maelgwn ruled both in North Wales and in Vannes, among other places, it might be no coincidence that Bretons call Vannes Gwened. Gwened might mean Gwynedd-in-Brittany instead of Gwynedd-in-Wales (and maybe also Gwynedd-in-what-is-now-southern-Scotland, Gwynedd-in-what-is-now-southern-England, etc.) .

Last edited by MAGolding; January 6th, 2018 at 08:07 PM.
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Old January 6th, 2018, 11:39 PM   #14

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I've wondered for quite some time (with the thought of Maelgwn being Lancelot) if Lancelot being 'of the Lake' could be related to Maelgwn's association with Anglesey, a large island just off the coast of North Wales.
Oh well, at Anglesey there are a lot of "Llan...". I find it curious that there is a Llangwillog [reading it in a Latin way ...], South of lake Llyn Alaw [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llangwyllog]. If I'm not wrong Llyn Cefni is artificial, like Llyn Alaw [created in 1966].

Was there a natural lake in Anglesey?
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Old January 7th, 2018, 01:51 AM   #15
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I've wondered for quite some time (with the thought of Maelgwn being Lancelot) if Lancelot being 'of the Lake' could be related to Maelgwn's association with Anglesey, a large island just off the coast of North Wales.
Are you suggesting that Anglesey is Avalon or that there is a lake on Anglesey that you`d associate with Lancelot/Maelgwyn?
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Old January 8th, 2018, 10:59 AM   #16
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Oh well, at Anglesey there are a lot of "Llan...". I find it curious that there is a Llangwillog [reading it in a Latin way ...], South of lake Llyn Alaw [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llangwyllog]. If I'm not wrong Llyn Cefni is artificial, like Llyn Alaw [created in 1966].

Was there a natural lake in Anglesey?
According to Google Maps there are many lakes and ponds in Anglesey. I don't know which, if any, were natural and around During the Dark Ages.

But some persons sometimes call arms of the sea "lakes". At it's narrowest the straight between Angelsey and Holy Island is only a few hundred feet wide. It has wider, lake-like, sections and is fed by streams from Angelsey and Holy Island. Thus I am willing to suppose that some lake-like extensions of the sea in Angelsey might have been called lakes.

And of course there were centuries of years, hundreds of miles, and translations between languages separating any connection Maelgwn may have had with bodies of water in or near Angelsey and the first European stories of Lancelot of the Lake.
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Old January 8th, 2018, 11:49 AM   #17
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Was Maelgwn involved with any king's wife that could have inspired the story of the love triangle of Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot?
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Old January 9th, 2018, 05:17 AM   #18
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Was Maelgwn involved with any king's wife that could have inspired the story of the love triangle of Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot?
Well in the Life of St Cadog, there is an account of Maelgwn raiding southern Wales. His men are described as doing the following:

"These, coming to the house of blessed Cadog’s officer, seizing forcibly a most beautiful daughter of the same, took her away with them."

And then the rest of this brief war between Maelgwn and the inhabitants of south Wales is described. So, this war involved the capture of a particular woman who was important enough to have been specifically and uniquely mentioned in the account of said war. Bear in mind that I place Arthur as the king of south Wales, specifically ruling over the area that features in this account (Gwynllwg) as well as the surrounding areas.* If I am correct about this, then this war between Maelgwn and south Wales, involving the capture of an important woman, was a war between Maelgwn and Arthur. To my mind, this may well correspond to the war between Lancelot and Arthur.

Even more explicitly, there is the account of Melwas taking Arthur's wife Guinevere. As MAGolding noted, there are many who postulate that Melwas is identical with Maelgwn. If so, then this is a direct account of Maelgwn seizing Arthur's wife Guinevere and having a subsequent war over her. Of course, it is true that Melwas (as 'Meligant') is, in the later Romances, portrayed as being fought against during this incident by Lancelot, which would seem to disprove their identicalness. However, it should be noted that Lancelot does not appear as the rescuer of Guinevere in the original account of Melwas, indicating that this may well have been a fictional accomplishment given to Lancelot.

*One reason is that Caerleon, in south east Wales, is given as Arthur's main court in HRB and the Mabinogion. Also in the Mabinogion and elsewhere, such as the Triads, one of his main courts was said to have been at Gelliwig in Cerniw, which fits with the Gelliwig in the area of Cernyw in Gwent. Additionally, Arthur appears in the Lives of Gildas, Cadog, and Illtud, all of whom were active in south east Wales. Arthur was also said to have been crowned king by Dubricius, who was also a prominent religious figure in south east Wales. And in The Chronicles of England by William Caxton, Arthur is specifically said to have been crowned king of Glamorgan.
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Old January 9th, 2018, 08:40 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Knapf View Post
Was Maelgwn involved with any king's wife that could have inspired the story of the love triangle of Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot?
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Originally Posted by Calebxy View Post
Well in the Life of St Cadog, there is an account of Maelgwn raiding southern Wales. His men are described as doing the following:

"These, coming to the house of blessed Cadog’s officer, seizing forcibly a most beautiful daughter of the same, took her away with them."

And then the rest of this brief war between Maelgwn and the inhabitants of south Wales is described. So, this war involved the capture of a particular woman who was important enough to have been specifically and uniquely mentioned in the account of said war. Bear in mind that I place Arthur as the king of south Wales, specifically ruling over the area that features in this account (Gwynllwg) as well as the surrounding areas.* If I am correct about this, then this war between Maelgwn and south Wales, involving the capture of an important woman, was a war between Maelgwn and Arthur. To my mind, this may well correspond to the war between Lancelot and Arthur.

Even more explicitly, there is the account of Melwas taking Arthur's wife Guinevere. As MAGolding noted, there are many who postulate that Melwas is identical with Maelgwn. If so, then this is a direct account of Maelgwn seizing Arthur's wife Guinevere and having a subsequent war over her. Of course, it is true that Melwas (as 'Meligant') is, in the later Romances, portrayed as being fought against during this incident by Lancelot, which would seem to disprove their identicalness. However, it should be noted that Lancelot does not appear as the rescuer of Guinevere in the original account of Melwas, indicating that this may well have been a fictional accomplishment given to Lancelot.

*One reason is that Caerleon, in south east Wales, is given as Arthur's main court in HRB and the Mabinogion. Also in the Mabinogion and elsewhere, such as the Triads, one of his main courts was said to have been at Gelliwig in Cerniw, which fits with the Gelliwig in the area of Cernyw in Gwent. Additionally, Arthur appears in the Lives of Gildas, Cadog, and Illtud, all of whom were active in south east Wales. Arthur was also said to have been crowned king by Dubricius, who was also a prominent religious figure in south east Wales. And in The Chronicles of England by William Caxton, Arthur is specifically said to have been crowned king of Glamorgan.
I may add that according to Gildas, Maglocunnus the Island Dragon is said to have murdered his nephew (name unspecified) and married his nephew's widow (name unspecified). It is perfectly possible that the unnamed nephew was king of Maglocunnus's kingdom(s) while Maglocunnus was a monk and wanted to keep the kingdom(s) after Maglocunnus left the monastery, or was the king of some kingdom that Maglocunnus wanted to annex. And as the nephew of Maglocunnus the nephew was of high status and a member of royalty.

Last edited by MAGolding; January 9th, 2018 at 08:48 AM.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 01:44 AM   #20

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Not too sure about these Barbarian people in Cornwall. Every time a Roman villa is uncovered I sort of feel like the poor Roman family must have been living under siege - which is clearly nonsense. Also the ports of Cornwall were clearly used for import-export from even pre-Roman times.

I have also come across reports of a settlement near Ferrol in North-west Spain (Entre Fenecios y Visigodos) which was formed by Britons fleeing the Saxons - either their potential advances or their unpleasant presence.

The free movement of at least some people to Visigothic Spain suggests not only some measure of trade and pseudo-diplomatic contact but also abilities beyond those of Hollywood blue-painted swamp-dwellers

I just think that we sometimes get carried away with the alleged decline of post-roman Britain (especially in the south-west) - at one end you have the peace of Roman life - at the other is Alfred the Great studying in Rome for a year.

And in between - Raving Barbarians. Really?

Last edited by johnincornwall; January 10th, 2018 at 01:46 AM.
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