I might be a descendent of King Arthur?

Peter Graham

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,694
Westmorland
A pony express rider did it as well 100 miles in a day - overland and in some of the worst country-side possible in the rain. I already said that "Caw was rich enough to own more than one horse" - so if you place a horse at the half-way point, you could average 50 miles on horse #1 and then next 50 miles horse #2, and arrive in a single day.
So now we are suggesting that the kings of Alt Clut had a pony express system in place? I don't believe they did.

The standard horse in these parts is the fell pony. Tough, small mounts that were used by the Border reivers until the 17th century. I doubt that early medieval northern kings had thoroughbred chargers.

Incidentally, where are you arriving to?

As for the coinage that exist in the vaults of the British museum - the existent coins - they were not exactly "struck" or "minted" as we would call it. Coroctius took a Roman coin and struck his own name on top of it.
Can you give me a proper reference please? I've tried, but can't find anything and, if you are right I'd really like to know about it for my own research.

Many of the coins of the post Roman period of the local kings are re-strikes, it was far cheaper than striking and minting new. Only powerful kings or emperors would go for the cost of minting new.
The only problem being that there is no archaeological evidence (so far as I am aware) for any issues of any post-Roman coinage in Britain before the seventh century. Strangely, there are reasons to think that coinage was still in use but I'd still like to know your source for these assertions.

Answer given later in former post:
No - you said some Dark Age ceramics had been found (which I assume means B Ware or ARS some sort). You asserted there was a British monastery there by the sixth or seventh century but gave no other evidence for that. Ine's actions are only evidence of the eighth century.

"the Lives (both of them - which counts as a source) is not totally historically accurate, but it is the only sources we have - some of them have some grains of truth. Such as Gildas built a hermitage near the river at Glastonbury."
You can't just keep making unevidenced assertions. How do we know what the grains of truth are?

A hermitage can be considered an abbey
An abbey is a religious institution presided over by a abbot or abbess.

So do you now say Gildas was a hermit?

- in the terms of the spiritual retreats of the Desert Fathers of 300 AD. It was the shared hermitage that evolved into the first monastic communities -> which become abbeys.
They could also be endowed as de novo establishments. If you want to assert that Glastonbury was a religious community before Ine, you have to produce some contemporaneous documentary evidence for that, or some archaeological evidence. I don't think you can do that.

It is easy to forget that "The Illiad" dates to 7th to 8th Century BC - yet it refers to events and locations 11th to 12th Century BC. That is like 300 years after the collapse of Troy VII, found by a treasure hunter in the 19th Century using "The Illiad" as a treasure map. No, there was no Trojan horse. No there was no Judgement of Paris and all the other mythical things. However, the city was sacked by "someone" - there is 50% to 80% chance that the city was sacked by the Mycenaean Greeks and 99% chance that the Greeks wrote down the oral traditions of its sacking in "The Illiad".
But even if that is right, what you appear to be saying here is that all the stories of individual deeds might be rubbish, but there was a city which was sacked. Yet it is the equivalent detail about individuals in the Life of Gildas which you are happy to accept as true?

I will use example - - Saint so-and-so in his saint's life had a silver chalice stolen from him by a bandit, the saint stopped the bandit with a miracle from god (not that I believe in such nonsense), and converted him to Christianity effecting its return.
Can you not see what you are doing here? You are accepting anything which is technically plausible as solid fact but anything which isn't technically plausible as fantasy. That isn't a logical position.

I'll give you an example too.

I am 170 years old and I was born in Manchester.

So what do you think:-

1. That I am talking rubbish?

2. That I am telling the truth?

3. That I must be talking rubbish about my age but must be telling the truth about being born in Manchester?
 
Nov 2008
1,437
England
No - you said some Dark Age ceramics had been found (which I assume means B Ware or ARS some sort). You asserted there was a British monastery there by the sixth or seventh century but gave no other evidence for that. Ine's actions are only evidence of the eighth century.
You are correct, Peter. The ceramics found were B Ware, and the site was probably a fairly high status in the post-Roman era. However, there is no evidence for an early British monastery.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,604
Australia
He might not be a descendant of King Arthur ...... but his thread lives on ! 13 pages ! o_O
 

kazeuma

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
2,423
After the fuzzi-wazies killed his family, a 10 year old Edwardian boy walked south across the spine of Africa (north to south across some of the worse lands possible) in order to live with his widowed aunt covering over 1'000 miles - the boy did it ALONE armed with only a pocket-knife and a compass. When the Times of London interviewed him saying it was "impossible," the boy replied, "Nothing is impossible for crazy Englishman."

Yet somehow some blue-painted Pict warriors in post-Roman Britannia cannot walk a mere 100 miles across some Scottish hills?

No pony-express existed. I am just saying it is humanly possible to call Alt Clut quote - "mere stone's throw from the wall".

-----

I did give reference to the coins. They are currently in the basement of the British Museum - I forget the lot numbers, but they are there, all you have to do is either make an official request to view them.

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/moonmoth/holed_pics/licinius_i_003bf.jpg

is an example of 4th Century defaced (Restrike) coin.


is an example of a defaced (re-strike) Saxon Era - the metal is likely Roman era

For more information on post-Roman coinage in Britannia:

Grierson, Philip (1986). Medieval European Coinage: With a Catalogue of the Coins in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 1: Earlier Middle Ages (400-900). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 4. ISBN 0521260094.

Gannon, Anna (2003). The Iconography of Early Anglo-Saxon Coinage, Sixth to Eighth Centuries. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 10. ISBN 0199254656.

---------------------------

I did give evidence for the "Gildas built a hermitage near the river at Glastonbury" - his is in his own freaking Saint's Life!

But there is other evidence such as his own writings - where he wrote a hymn called "The Lorica", a proverb " "Gildas mab y Gaw in the Englynion y Clyweid" in Llanstephan MS. 27, and in fragments of letters he wrote reveals that he composed a "Rule" for a monastic life which was less austere than Saint David (lived 462/512? to 589/601?)'s Rule.

(Gildas' Rule which would be a near contemporary to Saint David's "Rule". Rhigyfarch's "Life of Saint David" counts Glastonbury Abbey among the churches David founded. However, William of Malmesbury believed the Abbey was much older than Saint David and the Saint rededicated the Abbey. So splitting the difference between them - you can conclude that Glastonbury was a contemporaneous abbey or at least a community where holy hermits lived).

Let us say he is only a mere hermit - why would Gilldas need hymns, proverbs, and a "Rule" for a monastery? Only an abbot or a very high churchman would need such things - unless it was "I am a holy hermit and I don't these other peoples grouping around me saying they are hermits too, so I will drive them all away so I can be a real hermit by myself".


===========

"Saint so-and-so in his saint's life had a silver chalice stolen from him by a bandit, the saint stopped the bandit with a miracle from god (not that I believe in such nonsense), and converted him to Christianity effecting its return."

Quote - Can you not see what you are doing here? You are accepting anything which is technically plausible as solid fact but anything which isn't technically plausible as fantasy. That isn't a logical position. - Unquote.

Someone forgot the next sentences:

"Meanwhile a different Saint's life makes an off-hand remark that Saint so-and-so lost a silver chalice but nothing about the theft and recovery."

This is an example of cross-checking between Saint's Lives - comparing one contemporaneous life to another.

Now for the next sentences, which were also ignored and dismissed:

"So, we can can conclude from the words both saint's lives that Saint so-and-so at one time owned a chalice, the chalice might have been made of silver, and saint so-and-so might have lost ownership of it."

I will discount the theft or the miracle as mere superstitious religious additions - just that there was a circumstance where saint so-and-so lost a chalice.

===================================================================================================================================

Now for Gildas' life can be compared to the sentences within the other saint's lives - discounting miracles. If you cross-check against the other saint's lives: where in the other contemporaneous saints lives gives Gildas title of "Abbot", he lived by Glastonbury river, there was a Monastic community near Glastonbury as early as the lifetime of Saint David, Gildas left that place for Brittany, and that he built a church in Brittany.

-----
As for your Manchester argument - you forgot the cross-checked sentences, one saint's life can be crossed checked against that of another's. You must have other people who say "so-and-so lived in Manchester".


----================================

Now, let us have some real fun... what do you think of my own theories on the subject of Cywyllog x Mordred. I have yet to come to a conclusion on it, I am rather stuck on them. They came down to:

1. marriage of convenience.
Cywyllog was a minor Pictish princess, Morderd was a high placed royal with ambitions (or an ambitious mother)

2. Mordred rescues Cywyllog in some unrecorded story.

Something like some evil dark elves kidnap her out her nunnery in order to feed her to a fire-breathing unicorn, Morderd saves her, on the way back to the nunnery one thing leads to another -> they elope and become husband and wife

3. Mordred kidnaps her, she marries her rapist. Then when he is dead, she spends the rest of her life in a nunnery praying for his soul and the souls of her dead children where her monastery has a contemporaneous altar which may have her corpse.

4. Some girls like bad boys. In the stories of the Knights of the Round Table, who is the biggest baddest bad-boy ever? Answer - Mordred.

5. all of the above

I would love someone to put their own spin / arguments on these statements.
 
Nov 2008
1,437
England
I did give evidence for the "Gildas built a hermitage near the river at Glastonbury" - his is in his own freaking Saint's Life!
The story of the supposed hermitage is taken from Caradoc of Llancarfan`s Life of Gildas, written in the 12th century, and is considered to be little more than a work of fiction. Historians do not take the work seriously.
 

kazeuma

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
2,423
It was not only Caradoc's Life (not all of it is forgery - only the latter books were forgeries), but contemporaneous saint lives as well.

=================================================================

Marriage of Convenience argument expanded:

0. Arthur arranged it.

Arthur had some trouble with the Picts, bandits, and / or Huiel making raids on villages. It might be a case of - "You have a conveniently single Half-Pictish Princess, I have a nephew (son) who is also conveniently single." So as a way to clear his flank from northern attacks, he arranged the marriage to focus on the Saxons and Imperial ambitions (sic - invading Gaul to make his way to Rome - in some of the other accounts).


1. Cywyllog's family arranged it

Cywyllog's father was a deposed half-Roman / half-Pictish sub-king. A marriage to a relative to Arthur could be a power-play by her own family to restore his family's fortunes.

2. Mordred's mother arranged it.

Mordred was handsome (depending on account), rich (depending on account), owned a castle (depending on account), and related to royalty. If the nephew of Queen Elizabeth suddenly became single, I could easily line up a hundred girls that might want to have that fairy-tale royal wedding.

In every account, Morrighan was an ambitious women - you think she will let her precious boy be stolen by some ladder-climber having romantic dreams about a royal wedding? A simple threat of "back off or you are going to find arsenic in your pint of beer" will get rid of most love-struck girls.

Even in 2019 - an intelligent woman with ambition and / or power behind her back has been at least one time been called a "witch". It is easy to assume that Mordred's mother may have had this label added to her name due to this same practice. But let us say magic does exist - a simple glance at a crystal ball would determine that some random girl has stolen the heart of her son and / or her son has stolen the heart of some random girl. Dealing with it could lead into "an unrecorded adventure" type of story - where some random hero has to break the witch's curse on the poor upstart girl.

So logically, we can assume that she had ambitions to use her son as a political pawn (see Mordred arranged it).

3. Mordred arranged it.

Within the lists of those participating at the Battle of Camalann (depending on account) - there is a name of a minor Pictish sub-king. We could theorize that the marriage may have resulted in a military alliance - along the lines of "I will give you these 500 crack archers, if you marry my conveniently single cousin".

(Dissenting opinion - the lists of participants are highly edited, some are fictional, "place my great-great-great grandfather in the battle even though in real history he was 200 miles away at the time and only 6 years old at the time" kind of thing, and speculative - so it is very unlikely that the Picts participated at Camalann).

A marriage to one of Arthur's enemies could bring them all under a single banner instead of letting them fight among themselves.

4. Cywyllog arranged it.

In her Saint's life and the other saint's lives which were contemporaneous to her - Cywyllog was seen as a passive figure, the only time she showed any agency was when she "cured" some sub-king's toothache (by hitting him in the face with her crucifix - removing said offending tooth) and blackmailed him to give him a land-grant for her nunnery. It would be rather out-of-character for her to jump into marriage - but sometimes the mouse will attack the cat before being eaten. She was once a "princess" (I am using the term loosely) - so she might know how to play the game of - "I am only the mouse because I want to survive", but at the same time willingly arrange herself into Mordred's bed.

Decanting opinion - arranged marriage:

Lie back and think of England? But birth control methods do exist for the period ranging from the rhythm method to plant based abortifacients (surviving Greek and Roman authors give several methods).

Why would Mordered or Cywyllog agree to it?

Unless through the course of the marriage, the good Catholic girl fell in love which resulted in two sons.

Unrecorded adventure expanded.

There is within the story of "Jack and the Giant Killer" where Jack helps Arthur's son in saving a maiden from the clutches of Lucifer himself, the son marries the maiden, Jack gets a knighthood out of it, and Jack goes on to do some more giant killing until he marries above his station. The problem with Jack the Giant-killer as the unrecorded adventure is is dating and the story itself.

My usual cut off for Arthurian literature is the 1485 edition of "Le Morte d'Arthur", after that time a good deal of it I consider as fan-fiction with little to no basis in oral traditions.

Then the story itself -

The name "Jack" is a placeholder name which could be filled with anything from some unknown trickster hero like Hermes (Renyard the Fox, Monkey King, etal), Thor the Thunder God (as per Joseph Grimm - who argues that every single giant-slayer in Europe is an archetype taken from the legends of Thor), or a modern day (the 1711 - "The History of Jack and the Giants" Chapbook) version of Culhwch (or otherwise unknown Knight of the Round Table).

The giants there in could be mythical (as per Joseph Grimm's Thor theory), very tall people (I am about 6-foot-2-inches, standing next to my 4-foot-11-inch tall girlfriend in the right light I could be considered a giant), or bandits given extraordinary powers at some later date.

Jack helping the son of Arthur. Arthur depending on sources has many children - are we to assume that Jack helped Mordred? Let us imagine he did for 20 minutes - Jack (or Culhwch or some other knight) and Mordred fought Lucifer himself and defeated him? That seems very, very unlikely.

Let us say the maiden woman in question is in fact Cywyllog - perhaps a powerful bandit kidnapped her from the nunnery with aims to have her face a fate worse than death (or a ransom).

Alternate version of Lucifer - a druid that wants to have a virgin girl as a human sacrifice.

The grateful Cywyllog marries Mordred. Marriage results in children.
 

Peter Graham

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,694
Westmorland
I am just saying it is humanly possible to call Alt Clut quote - "mere stone's throw from the wall".
I think that you didn't actually know how far it was before I pointed it out and are trying to square the circle, but let's just agree to disagree.

I did give reference to the coins. They are currently in the basement of the British Museum - I forget the lot numbers, but they are there, all you have to do is either make an official request to view them.
I'm looking for a specific reference to the coin of Corocticus that you claimed existed. You haven't given that. Are you able to do so?

I did give evidence for the "Gildas built a hermitage near the river at Glastonbury" - his is in his own freaking Saint's Life!
But that isn't historical evidence any more than the Harry Potter books are evidence for the proposition that there is a wizarding school called Hogwarts somewhere in the Scottish Highlands. I'm looking for proper evidence and that means one or more of the following:-

1. Contemporaneous documentary evidence
2. Archaeological evidence
3. Later evidence (such as place named or documentary evidence) with a clear line of transmission back to the sixth century.

A medieval hagiography written hundreds of years after the event with no line of transmission back to the time of Gildas is all but worthless. I know you don't agree, but there it is.

Gildas' Rule which would be a near contemporary to Saint David's "Rule". Rhigyfarch's "Life of Saint David" counts Glastonbury Abbey among the churches David founded. However, William of Malmesbury believed the Abbey was much older than Saint David and the Saint rededicated the Abbey. So splitting the difference between them - you can conclude that Glastonbury was a contemporaneous abbey or at least a community where holy hermits lived).
This is just special pleading.

"Meanwhile a different Saint's life makes an off-hand remark that Saint so-and-so lost a silver chalice but nothing about the theft and recovery."

This is an example of cross-checking between Saint's Lives - comparing one contemporaneous life to another.
This might be valid if the texts really were contemporaneous (or even near-contemporaneous) with their honorands. But they aren't, are they? Being contemporaneous with one another only tells us that at the time of composition, certain stories were in circulation. Whether those stories are true or not is an entirely different question.

As for your Manchester argument - you forgot the cross-checked sentences, one saint's life can be crossed checked against that of another's. You must have other people who say "so-and-so lived in Manchester".
But this only works if the sources are independent of one another. If they belong to the same manuscript tradition, they aren't separate witnesses. So, for example:-

1. Bede's account of fifth century British history does not corroborate Gildas' account, as Bede simply copied Gildas.
2. The Harleian genealogies were most likely compiled with a single purpose in mind. Accordingly, the individual genealogies are not corroborative of one another.
3. Many of the early entries in the Annales Cambriae were cribbed from the Chronicle of Ireland and so are not a separate witness to the events described.

You see where this is going? It isn't enough to trawl through medieval texts, spot links and decide that you have therefore found some historical nuggets. That's just far too superficial a methodology. The whole problem with the welter of Arthur pseudo-history is that its proponents rarely appear to understand (or accept) the very basics of textual criticism and close reading that are so important in modern historiography.

Now, let us have some real fun... what do you think of my own theories on the subject of Cywyllog x Mordred. I have yet to come to a conclusion on it, I am rather stuck on them. They came down to:

1. marriage of convenience.
Cywyllog was a minor Pictish princess, Morderd was a high placed royal with ambitions (or an ambitious mother)

2. Mordred rescues Cywyllog in some unrecorded story.

Something like some evil dark elves kidnap her out her nunnery in order to feed her to a fire-breathing unicorn, Morderd saves her, on the way back to the nunnery one thing leads to another -> they elope and become husband and wife

3. Mordred kidnaps her, she marries her rapist. Then when he is dead, she spends the rest of her life in a nunnery praying for his soul and the souls of her dead children where her monastery has a contemporaneous altar which may have her corpse.

4. Some girls like bad boys. In the stories of the Knights of the Round Table, who is the biggest baddest bad-boy ever? Answer - Mordred.

5. all of the above
I'd go with the evil dark elves. It's far more exciting than the other options and no less likely to be historically accurate. But you could perhaps drop the fire breathing unicorn and replace with a proper early medieval monster such as Palug's Cat or the wild dog-heads who used to live around Edinburgh before it became gentrified?
 
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kazeuma

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
2,423
I think that you didn't actually know how far it was before I pointed it out and are trying to square the circle, but let's just agree to disagree.



I'm looking for a specific reference to the coin of Corocticus that you claimed existed. You haven't given that. Are you able to do so?
It is not that hard all you have to do is walk into the British Museum, produce documentation that you are part of a university or a professor working on a paper. Then fill out the forms. Pay a little processing fee. (as well as pay the processing guy's bar tab in my case -meaning I paid twice) Then they will let you go into the basement of the British Museum under guard and let you see anything not currently on display - within reason (there are some objects that are too rare, fragile, or suspect providence - sic - stolen). Then you can see the coins themselves - I do not remember the right lot numbers for the coin. There it is.