I might be a descendent of King Arthur?

Peter Graham

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,694
Westmorland
Looks like I am going to have to give the outline of the life of Gildas again... Sigh...
Hmm. This comment suggests that you think that no-one else here knows anything about Gildas, so you will have to spoon feed us the relevant information. I'm pleased to say that this won't be necessary.

Mother.
Probably Pictich concubine? Or Irish concubine. No data available on his mother - so I must guess.
'Probably'? Hardly. There is absolutely no evidence as to who his mother was. You are, I suspect, trawling details from much later hagiographies. Even by early medieval standards, hagiographies are unreliable. They usually serve to aggrandise a particular agenda or (as is more often the case) the claims of a particular ecclesiastical house. Think of the stupidest lies that a politician says and amplify that tenfold. I joke to make the point, but that's about how useful the average hagiography is when writing hstory.

Father.
Caw. Caw was a minor warlord that controlled an area between modern day Scotland and England along the Irish coast. It is likely he came in conflict with all of them. During one of these conflicts Caw was deposed / exiled / replaced. In his deposing (sometimes by Arthur - depending on account) Caw went off into becoming a monk and a saint.
There is no evidence for this and it is, in any event, inherently unlikely. Gildas had received a classic Roman education and was quite clear as to the differences between the Britons and the barbarians from beyond the old limes. He belonged to the former group. To learn more about who Gildas was and the context in which he wrote, might I suggest that you chuck out the pseudo-histories and read the 1984 volume of essays edited by Michael Lapidge and David Dumville entitled "Gildas: New Approaches"?


Siblings.
Numerous - 22 by my last count. I suspect that a good deal of them were not actually blood-related but adoptive or invented to fill out a list of people (for example Mabsaint ap Caw - taken from the archaic Celtic / Welsh "Mab" meaning "son", "saint" from the obvious - saint, so literally "son of a saint.")
Unlikely in the extreme. The manipulation of genealogies is well attested in early medieval Britain. The steady increase of siblings and children is a long-recognised tactic which allowed a genealogist to graft a lineage onto what already existed for the desired ancestor. Cunedda got the same treatment. You might check out the work of David Thornton, who has made the study of medieval genealogy his life's work. Basically, genealogies are every bit as suspect as hagiographies.

Gildas was born at the time of the FIRST battle of Badon.
OK.

(There are TWO battles of Badon, but history has combined them into one - Arthur might have been at the first one as well as a minor cavalryman or Arthur's father might have been the one victorious at this battle. The date of 538 is the SECOND battle of Badon - where Arthur was the general)
No - you have misread the Annales, as Calebxy has pointed out.

After Caw was deposed (let us say for convenience for denying Arthur's rule and victory at the SECOND battle of Badon) and replaced with one of Arthur's sycophants - Gildas was placed into a monastery, Cywyllog in a nunnery, and Huiel turned to banditry. Huiel was defeated by Arthur, but since it was Easter at the time, pardon was given - "do not speak of this again."
There is no half-decent evidence for any of this.

Sometime later Cywyllog eloped / married / abducted / raped (depending on your point of view) with Mordred. *
If she did, there is absolutely no evidence for it. In historical terms, Mordred exists as a name only. Anything else is guesswork or synthesis from wholly unreliable and much later sources, such as Gildas' Life or middle Welsh genealogies.

Arthur's cousin decides to get married. Boar hunting turns into a terrible disaster - one or two of the random ones from the list of siblings dies in the process of hunting the boar.
Not at all likely. Check out what Caitlin Green has to see about the boar hunting motif in the Arthurian canon in her heavyweight Concepts of Arthur.

As abbot, Gildas was tapped for another problem brought to his doorstep by Arthur - Arthur's second wife was abducted / eloped / kidnapped by a certain person (whether this is the origins of the Lancelot x Guinevere thing, I will leave that up to you) who decided to use the rite of sanctuary at Gildas's church.
Negotiations came down to - "fine, I will pardon them - but I want a divorce."
Gildas bulked at first. (Gildas might have felt bitter of being passed over for one of Arthur's cronies and bitter of how his father was turned into nothing more than a monk and advisory).
"Grant me a divorce, or I will kill them and cut your balls off."
Divorce was given.
All literary confection - not one piece of this theory has any grounding in historical fact.

Arthur dies, Mordred dies, and Mordred's children are killed in a church. Gildas is now in exile in Brittany. He writes his sermon. Sometime between the death of Huiel and the sermon, Gildas burns every copy and record he could find of King Arthur's life - even his own records.
Ditto. This is like arguing that you can genuinely get a train from Kings Cross to Hogwarts from Platform 9 and three quarters.

, and even the monks of a certain monastery saying they found his body might have been trying to kill off Arthur or a potential "I am Arthur returned rebel".
The 'certain monastery' being Glastonbury, yes? No-one aside from those on the fringes of the crystal fondling-fraternity doubts that this was just a medieval money-making wheeze. Not unlike me sticking a sign in my garden saying 'Robin Hood once lived in this ash tree' and charging tourists a quid to take photos of it.

Look, you seem like an intelligent fellow. Why not start researching this stuff seriously, or at least accept that the study of Arthuriana as a literary corpus, whilst both interesting and important, is not the same as the historical study of the sixth century?
 

Peter Graham

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,694
Westmorland
Absolutely, 665 CE. The second battle at Badon, according to the mentioned Annals is a bit too far from the first one ...
It's also nearly 150 years before anyone sat down to compile the Annales. We have no detail as to what the battle was about and I think I am right in saying that it isn't mentioned anywhere else. We don't even know if the Morgan who is said to have died in 665 died at Badon or whether he just happened to die in the same year.

A second Badon was clearly known about in St David's circa 800, but precisely what was known about it and how accurate that information was is totally lost to us.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,613
Italy, Lago Maggiore
It's also nearly 150 years before anyone sat down to compile the Annales. We have no detail as to what the battle was about and I think I am right in saying that it isn't mentioned anywhere else. We don't even know if the Morgan who is said to have died in 665 died at Badon or whether he just happened to die in the same year.

A second Badon was clearly known about in St David's circa 800, but precisely what was known about it and how accurate that information was is totally lost to us.
As usual, I've taken a look at the versions available of ...

A222 "Anus Primum pasca apud saxones celebratur. Bellum badonis secundo. morcant moritur."
B693 "Anus Primum pascha apud saxones celebratur" [no mention of morcant's death]

First year of celebration of Easter among the Saxons. Second battle of Badon. Morcant dies.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,613
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Among other things, I'm wondering if that reference could make us think to the Synod of Whitby, in 664 ... in this case the Annales could have added a year. But I have to ponder this.
 

Peter Graham

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,694
Westmorland
Among other things, I'm wondering if that reference could make us think to the Synod of Whitby, in 664 ... in this case the Annales could have added a year. But I have to ponder this.
You make a good point. If the decision to follow the Roman methodology for dating Easter was made in 664, then 665 would be the date of the first recognition of the Roman Easter, notwithstanding that it is clear from Bede that the decision at Whitby still hadn't been accepted by everyone in his day.

Until then, it's likely that the Northumbrian church - led by bishops who had come from Iona and overseen by the Northumbrian king, Oswiu, who had been brought up at Iona - followed the Columban method for dating Easter. We get very wrapped up in battles and fighting when we discuss this period, but Oswiu's decision shows quite how important Christianity was to early medieval kings. That Oswiu not only presided personally over a theological debate but found against those in whose tradition he had been brought up suggests to me that what appear to us to be weird doctrinal points weren't just of interest to churchmen.
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
8,008
Cornwall
Great period for Synods. Bishops seemed to spend all their time in dangerous travelling and hardly any on 'Bishoping' - which in Hispania normally involved administering your estate and the slaves thereon.

To make things worse, it seems in England they were made to go to Whitby :lol: