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“dux erat bellorum”

02 Jan

MAJOR UPDATE: 31.5.12

This was originally from a post – with some additions – I made on Arthurnet about why Nennius (or whoever) used the term “dux”. The update, below, is taken from the up-coming ebook.

Dux erat bellorum/Dux belli

The discussion about what ‘Nennius’ (or whoever the compiler(s) and/or translators where) meant by “dux erat bellorum” (or ”dux belli” in the Vatican recension) in the Arthurian section of the H.B. has gone on for decades. Some have used it as an argument to say he was given the old Roman command of dux Britanniarum (‘Duke of  the Britains’) in command of the northern troops, but others point out that if he’d been given the title then why didn’t the H.B. call him such?

In actuality, there may have only been two position he could have been in to be a battle leader or commander-in-chief and they are some kind of general or an Over King. This I’ll look at later as it’s not what I want to explore here.

I think there are actually two question: 1) WHY was dux used, and  2)  WHAT words in Primitive or Old Welsh were they translated from … if they were?  An Arthur of Badon couldn’t have been the first or last to be called a ‘leader/lord of battle’. Perhaps it’s just a case of finding it. To try and answer this, I wanted to look at a nearer contemporary source (at least in John Koch’s view) and see if it could help: the British collection of poems, ‘Y Gododdin’.

The why?

First why was dux used? Was it simply because in Latin it meant ‘leader’ or ‘lord’? Very possibly. But, as mentioned before, Higham argues that a mythical Arthur was used as a Biblical ‘Joshua-figure’ in answer to St. Patrick’s ‘Moses-figure’ in the H.B., and that he was given this title because Joshua was called a dux belli.[1] It is a valid point and I would have agreed with Higham’s conclusions once upon a time, but even if Arthur was used in this way in the H.B., and given this title after Joshua, it does not mean that he was invented to be this, but was, rather, perfect for the Biblical comparison, just as St. Patrick was for his. Had someone else been used we might all be writing about them.

We should also keep in mind that, if the H.B. was in reply to Bede’s earlier work, the English called the Gaul, St. Germanus a ‘dux belli’ and the title could have been used because of this.

But there is the point that the Harleian H.B. says “dux erat bellorum”. If it had wanted to make him Joshua, why not just call him, as the Vatican recension does, “dux belli”. Did the Vatican editor make him Joshua, or did he just clarify the comparison? However, it cannot be ruled out that a possible historic Arthur wasn’t called a “dux bellorum” in any poetry and Nennius used this term because of the Biblical, or St Germanus, comparison he was trying to make.

There’s also another point to bring up here and it is another one made by Higham, but this time in his book ‘English Conquest – Gildas and Britain in the Fifth Century‘ (1994). Higham is adamant that Gildas’s use of duces (plural of dux) is meant as “military leaders”, but this could apply to a king or a civil position. How long between the 5th and 9th centuries this was used by Britons, we’ll never known, (see below) but it is at least a possibility “dux erat bellorum” meant ‘military leader of battles’  for clarification as dux had other meanings.  (See THIS blog for further discussion on this).

Whilst dux does mean ‘leader’ or ‘lord’ in Latin, this may not have been the only way those of 9th century Britain would have read it, besides the possibilities mentioned above. Let’s look at it another way: what was a dux or duke in the 9th century?

As far as I’m aware, the Welsh never used the term dux as a specific title but across the border in England and over the Channel in Brittany, they certainly did. In England it meant a ‘supreme landlord’, only second to the king, and there were quite a lot of them. They could very often be princeps and dux of a county or shire and, like the dukes across the English Channel, by the 10th century they gained even more power.[2] So choosing dux the H.B.’s Latin literate 9th century audience are possibly going to imply something very different to us. The English would interpret it their way, Bretons, Welsh etc., theirs. (Like Higham, I think the H.B. was aimed as much at the English, and specifically the Mercians, as the Britons).

Christopher Gidlow in his book The Reign of Arthur points out something else about the Historia Brittonum and its use of dux, and that is in every instance before its connection with Arthur when using this term it either means a ‘general’ or a ‘governor subordinate to the Emperor’.[3] This is very similar to an English duke, who was subordinate only to the king. So, did the translator or compiler use dux knowing the English would read it as more than just ‘leader’? Of course, the answer comes back as to why he didn’t just say he was simply a dux if they’d know what a dux was? But, if it had more than one meaning, adding “of battles” would be for clarification. Did he/they use the term specifically for the ‘English’? It could be argued that he did, as the H.B. (as argued by Higham) was aimed just as much at them.

This leads on to what might have been translated, if it didn’t come from Nennius and it had come from an ancient poem or poems …

The what?

Y Gododdin

In the Arthurian battle list of the H.B. there seems evidence from the rhyming of some of the names that this originally came from a battle poem or poems. If the poem(s) or Triads that came down to 9th century were in Primitive or Old Welsh, what might this be and what other evidence is there for such a title or description as ‘leader of battle’ (if dux erat bellorum hadn’t been added later)? One would think it should come down as pen llu (leader of the hosts/legion/army), pen kat (leader of battle), pen budinor (leader of armies) or penteulu (leader of household troop); or, to really big him up, guledig; but he’s never called these, or no evidence has survived, and only the latter title once in the poem Kadeir Teyrnon. He is called penn kadoed Kernyw (‘Leader of the battalions of Cernyw’) in the poem ‘Ymddiddan Arthur a’r Eryr’ – ‘Arthur and the Eagle’ (dated to around 1150 AD), but that could just be the influence of Geoffrey of Monmouth. However, none of these titles, except guledig, are mentioned in Y Gododdin. (You find pen llu, and even penn draig/penn dragon/pendragon (‘head/leader warrior’) in the poetry of the Medieval Welsh poets and these could have, perhaps, been used by those further south in earlier times. Pen llu would be the closest).

I did find other possibilities in Y Gododdin: *cintrenn/cyntran, *(ri/si) chatvarchawc, and *aer dwyw/ry(ri)dywys.

Starting with *cintrenn/cyntran (‘centurion’ according to Koch), here’s a position that the H.B. translator might have known, judging by the fact that three of the four mentions of it in Y Gododdin are from the later A text, dated to the 8th/9th centuries.  This is, indeed, a ‘battle leader’ of sorts, whether you take Koch’s interpretation as a ‘centurion’ or not.  Jarman does not translate this as a leader of a hundred men, just as ‘warrior’ or ‘leader’.  Koch’s reasonings are thus:

 

 “[BI.13] 253 *ar-tege can(t)=uur ‘he used to lead a hundred men’ is evidence for the persistence of Roman office of centurion, a heroic ideal and poetic convention if nothing else.”

(‘The Gododdin of Aneirin’, Koch, Notes, p.168)

“[A.5] 48 … A further possibility is that the original had the t- pret. of the verb (*cintrann (…) rac-uant rac bodinor ‘a centurion (who) counterthrusted against armies’).

(‘The Gododdin of Aneirin’, Koch, Notes. p.180)

“[A.18] 196 *cintren’n‘ [MS kynrien] ‘battle leaders, centurions’.  We expect a third personal name here, but this word is frequent in the diction of the Cynfierdd as a common noun.   Furthermore the preceding two names *Conrig and *Conuon have Celt. *kuno – ‘hound’ as the first element, whereas *cintren’n’ has *kintu – ‘foremost’, so the alliteration would weaken.  The general sense of kynran is ‘first in its part’, thus more specifically in Hengerdd ‘commander, captain, (under-)chieftain.  The transparent preform would therefore be Brit. *cintu-rannos.  This form probably rose as a popular etymology applied to the Lat. centurio, centurionis during the Roman Period.  In favour of this interpretation one may further adduce CA A.24.287 diua oeda gynrein gan-wyr ‘his centurion’s centuries (hundred-man units) perished’.) It is probable therefore that the name of the third hero has dropped out or been transformed in transmission into the common noun.”

(‘The Gododdin of Aneirin’, Koch, Notes, p.194)

“[A.24] 287 *diba oid i-cintrenn cant-guir ‘his centurion’s hundred-man units perished’.

(‘The Gododdin of Aneirin’, Koch, Notes, p.199)

 

The information in of itself is fascinating – if Koch is right – and shows that even those north of the Wall were fighting in a legionary way. (Even though a Roman centurion was actually in charge of eighty men).

There is another instance when ths was used, this time in a ‘Llywarch Hen’ poem about Marwnad Cynddylan (‘Elergy for Cynddylan’), an 9th century poem about a 7th century occurrence:

 

Mawredd gyminedd! Mor fu da[f]fawd

a gafas Cynddylan, cynran cyffrawd;

saith gant rhiallu’n ei <yspeidawd>,

pan fynnwys mab pyd, mor fu barawd!

Grandeur in battle! So good was the destiny

that Cynddylan, the battle leader, got

seven hundred chosen soldiers in his retinue,

When the son of Pyd requested, he was so ready![4]

 

However, it may be wondered why the H.B. translator wouldn’t call Arthur a centurionis in Latin if this is what he was; unless they wanted to make him something more than this?

But there may be other clues in Y Gododdin, as mentioned above. For example: the leader of an Irish or Hiberno-British fianna (warband) would be a ri fianna > ‘leader (lord) of the warband’. I found in Koch’s translation a reference to the *tri ri chatmarchoc, ‘the three directors of the cavalry brigades’. If you look in Jarman’s book the ri isn’t there at all and it’s translated as ‘Three battle-horsemen’. In yet another version it has *Tri si chatvarchawc, which gets translated as ‘Three hundred knights of battle’. We don’t know which one’s right, but if it’s Koch’s then here’s an example of Britons using ri (modern Welsh rhi = ‘king’ or ‘lord’) as a leader, this time of cavalry units. (If he was called a ri (Brittonic *rigos) at anytime and not meaning ‘king’ but ‘leader’, this itself could have caused confusion over his status). But Arthur seems to be even more than these. He’s made out to be more of an overall leader; a commander or general if you will. The only reference in Y Gododdin I could see is:

 

*Aer dywys, rydywys ryfel > ‘Battle leader, he led to war …’

(LXXIII, A 72, 690. ‘Aneirin – Y Gododdin’. Jarman)

*Air=tiuis > ri- tiuis > ribel_> ‘A battle leader can lead in war’

(A.72, 904 ‘The Gododdin of Aneirin’, Koch, Notes,113).

 

Here seems to be a point on which the two eminent scholars agree. Once again there is that ri usage by the Britons, which here is translated as ‘led/lead’. (Later Welsh might interpret ri-dywys as ‘king/lord of war’).  In fact, if you change the hero of this and the previous verse in Y Gododdin that these appears in, from “Ywain” (the only  possible Guledig mentioned in the piece) to “Arthur”, it would fit perfectly:

 

Battle leader, he led to war,

The land’s multitude loved the mighty reaper. [Arthur was called the Red Revenger]

On the green earth there was fresh blood around the green grave,

He wore armour over his crimson garment.

A trampler of armour, an armour’s trampler, [Arthur was called the trampler of nine]

Like under death weariness falls.

Spears were shattered at the commencement of battle,

A path to a clearing was the aim of the spearthrust. (Jarman)

 

A battle leader can lead in war.

A sovereign’s host loved the powerful reaper.

The mighty Forth is blood around a new grave.

It was armour that he had over his red [garments].

An armoured trampler used to trample on armour.

The appearance of death fell on the exhausted.

Spear-shafts in shields at the outset of battle —–

a path towards the light was the purpose of the spear thrust. (Koch)

 

These ‘titles’ would seem to me the strongest contenders for what could have been translate to “dux erat bellorum”.  Here the translator gets the chance to call him a dux, as in ‘leader’, as well as letting any Breton or English reader translate it as a ‘duke’ with military command but second to a king.

Why any of the above would also account for Arthur being called a pen teyrned (teyrnedd) > (‘chief/leader of kings/lords/rulers’) in Culhwch ac Olwen and the Triads, I’m unsure. Unless this was just some Welsh bard’s interpretation of the leader of kings (in battle). Pen tyrned could be interpreted as meaning the ‘Head of Kings’: a ‘High King’, but there is no indication of this in the H.B. and if he was commonly thought to be a king, of whatever class, one would think the H.B. would have made political use of it … had they known.

As mentioned before, Stephen Knight argues that in the 9th/10th century Arthur of their stories may have simply been fashioned into a Welsh over-king of the times, in the mold of Rhodri Mawr and Hwyel Dda.[5]  Many later Medieval Welsh kings were styled this by the Gogynfeirdd (‘The Less Early Poets’).

It should be ask here why Nennius, if making the whole thing up, didn’t just call Arthur a High King, or even a king? Why call him a battle leader for kings? Was it because this is what he was (or was thought to have been) or was it because the English had no knowledge of a ‘King Arthur’ so ‘Nennius’ had to give him another title? Or was that it was such commonly known fact that he was a High King that it didn’t need to be stated? But then why did the Vatican recension tell us there were those more nobler than him?

Dux Britannium

There is always the possibility that because the translator was working form an Old Welsh copy of a poem, it may have used the equivalent of the Old Welsh translation of “Dux Britannium”.  We mustn’t forget that this was at the end of a transmission of the story, which may even have gone form Latin to Primitive Welsh to Old Welsh to Latin.  Even if it didn’t start as Latin, it still came down as language and military knowledge had changed.  Did it come down as something like “aer dywys, pen tyrned prydein” > “Leader of battle, chief of the rulers (kings) of Britain”?

A digression

Just to digress for a moment, I think Keith (Fitzpatrick-Matthews) in his recent paper on the H.B. (The Arthurian Battles of the Historia Britonnum July 2010 – available on Scribd) makes an interesting point about battle poems.  It appears (from the limited evidence we have) that they lie between 580 and 635 AD. (Urien Rheged   (Ardwyre   reget,   Williams  1960,  7),  Cynan  Garwyn  (Trawsganu  kynan  garwin,  Williams  1960,  1)  and  Cadwallon   ap   Cadfan   (*Marwnad   cadwallon   ap   cadfan*,   Gruffydd   1978,   34 ) [6]. They could have, of course, been in use before this and it is just a case that none have survived.  But if they do belong to a narrow window of time, and did not begin until after Arthur’s death then even the first poems about him may not have surfaced until after the event(s) and so they themselves would be based a folk memory, unless there were bards present at Arthur’s battles at the time to transmit the information, or as wondered by the likes of Christopher Gidlow (2004), some of the transmission was originally in Latin.  Even these may not necessarily have been in an accurate, historical way; that’s not what the bards were there to do.  As Keith points out, the chances are, all these poems may have been written after the fact, and this too is the opinion of Dumville. [7]

There is the question of whose bards might have been praising Arthur, if he was neither king or prince? (Not that he couldn’t have been a prince).  The bards were there to praise their patron.  As in 9th century Wales, there may have been two bards: the itinerant ‘chief of song’ (pencerdd) and the ‘poet of the warband/household’ (bard teulu); the former praising whomever he might be visiting as well as others and the latter his king and his warband and whoever might have been fighting with them.  Aneirin seems to fall into the former category.  He sings of the exploits of the various warriors, some from other kingdoms, fighting together.  If Arthur did command kings in battle, as Ywain in Y Gododdin may have done, then Arthur could have been praised by several bards over several campaigns … unless he employed is own.  If there was indeed a battle poem then it could have been the condensing of several other’s lyrical works.

What we may never know is what was written in Latin, if anything.  The royal courts seem to have had a priest in their employ. Whether any of these put quill to parchment and wrote down any of Arthur’s deeds, we’ll never know. But, just perhaps ‘silua  celidonis’ was a case in point? – (see THIS blog for further discussion).

Back to the point

In the Vatican recension of the H.B. Arthur’s position is clarified as being a miles, interpreted today as “soldier”.  On this point there’s an interesting thought from Dane Prestano in a post from Arthurnet in November 2007:

 

This `miles’ issue has bothered me for a while.  In `The Ideals and Practice of Medieval Knighthood’ By Christopher Harper-Bill, Ruth E. Harvey, Stephen Church, which can be found on Google books it is stated that by the 9th/10th C `miles’ had become synonymous with a Knight, not a soldier and by the 12th C this was evident in medieval manuscripts. It could be argued that the later additions of ‘miles’ where because someone interpreted the same was as later generation are doing.  He’s a leader of battle. So this throw away term in the H.B. might be a clear indication that Arthur was a mounted knight, lending a much more Romance slant to the H.B. Arthur material than thought before.

 

I may not agree with Dane that this shows Arthur was a cavalryman, but it may prove that is how he was perceived at the time, making him into a contemporary horse-backed duke.

Thanks for reading and be sure to take a look at the comments below,

Mak

 

NOTES:

[1] Green, Concepts Of Arthur, 2007; p.151

[2] Michael Lapidge, John Blair, Simon Keynes, 2001, p.152

[3] Gidlow, Reign of Arthur, 2004, p.44

[4] From Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews’ website: http://www.kmatthews.org.uk/history/marwnad_cynddylan/index.html

[5] Knight, 1983, p.32-34

[6]  -List from Fitzpatrick-Matthews, 2010, p.19)

[7] Dumville, 1977, p.188


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21 responses to ““dux erat bellorum”

  1. badonicus

    January 3, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    To leave a comment look for the small ‘Leave a comment’ text at the end of the blue tags.

     
  2. Dane Pestano

    January 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Mak
    Interesting article and I think that the term dux bellorum was probably just a Latin translation probably common in Welsh poetry as I have found a reference to the very term in a Welsh poem called ” Elegy for Iorwerth Goch ap Maredudd” , from CMCS issue 52, 2006, article by Rhian M Andrews and David Stephenson, entitled Draig Argoed: Iorworth Goch ap Maredudd c.1110-71.
    Here are a few lines involving the immortal battle leader term and some others :

    He was a lion, he was a leader of battle
    Eff oedd lew, oedd lyw trydar

    Iorworth, aid in battle, splendid support of troops

    A generous man of brave fury in battle, lion of an army

    The one raised the battle host was the enemy of the Bernicians

    A wolf causing a rout in battle

    ..the dragon of Argoed..

    ..the pillar of battle..

    the stay of battle, one who intended battle.

    he was a battle rider..

    a leader of hawks in battle

    a proud battle hawk.

    There are more but these are the ones that include the `battle’ link. It seems these terms were poetic and supports the idea that the ‘dux bellorum’ term was borrowed from a Welsh original battle poem concerning Arthur’s battles.

     
  3. badonicus

    January 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Very interesting Dane and many thanks for posting. Do you know whose translation that is?

     
  4. Dane Pestano

    January 3, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Hi Mak,

    As to the translation, the notes state that:
    This edited text in modernised orthography is based on the full edition by Nerys Ann Jones in Gwaith Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr, i,Poem 12,pp 143-53. The best earliest source is the Hendregaredd Manuscript (aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, MS NLW 6680B, fol 64 (c 1300)

    Old welsh `oedd lyw trydar’ as `leader of battle’ does appear to translate correctly, modern Welsh Brwydr/brwydro meaning battle. Lyw can mean leader, lord etc.

    Dane

     
  5. badonicus

    January 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Thanks Dane,

    `oedd lyw trydar’ is somewhat different to ‘Y Gododdin’s’ ‘aer dywys’. I wonder how they relate?

    There is another point here, which I know we’ve touch on at Arthurnet, and that is all these ‘leaders of battle’ are kings or ‘Gwledig’. Ywain in ‘Y Gododdin’ is called a Gwledig, but if the remnants of any poem didn’t mention this, as your example above, then one could assume him not to be a king, or prince, simply because it doesn’t say so, especially if no other source confirms it. Arthur could very well not have been a king, but Nennius may have just being going on what was before him and what was ‘known’ or ‘believed’ at the time. However, one has to wonder why the later Vatican recension of the H.B. had to qualify he was a ‘miles’ and there were those “more nobler than himself”. Did they have information Nennius didn’t, or were they just clarifying the ‘leader of battle’ as they saw it. We’ll never known!

     
  6. Dane Pestano

    January 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Mak,

    Concerning Y Gododin’s:
    Aer dywys, rydywys ryfel
    `Battle leader, he led to war’,
    as given by Koch. Perhaps you are mixing up the reading. Aer dywys may be the part that means he ‘led to war’, dywys meaning `to lead or guide’, ‘aer’ being ‘war’. Its the other part `rydywys ryfel’ that he may translate as `battle leader’ from `ryd’ – battle, shout tumult and ryfel – war warfare. Rhydywys appears to be a conjugation of rhyd and tywys – battle + ‘lead to war’, which could be translated as `battle leader’ I expect. This is typical play on words common in Welsh poetry and is also evident in the Elegy of Iorworth Goch.

    By the way, you would love the Elegy of Iorworth Goch as it would give you some good ideas as to how Arthur’s battle list may have been constructed. I think there would probably have been four lines per battle, the first line being neutral and the next three lines per verse rhyming, according to the original Welsh system. The Elegy could be used as a sort of template to create a viable Arthur version.

     
  7. Dane Pestano

    January 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Hi Mak,

    I think the general feeling is that Arthur was of some lesser status to others. Possibly an exiled person of some sort whose ties with his tribal group were broken in some way leaving his status quite low and possibly he formed a group of warriors similar to an Irish Fenni or Fennian. He would then be able to fight on behalf of the kings of Britain with his warrior band. Whether he later became a king from such a status is questionable but not objectionable as shown in Irish pseudo history and myth where such things were allowed to happen. This does beg the question. If the eastern Britons could employ Saxon mercenaries could not the western Britons employ Irish or Northern British mercenaries or a mix of both.

     
    • badonicus

      January 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      This is roughly what I feel too Dane, and I’ll be posting something on this theme soon. I was just making the point that the poem could possibly be leading us astray … but possibly not!

       
  8. badonicus

    January 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks Dane,

    As I said in the article, I wondered which way around it should be.

    I’ll buy the copy of ‘Draig Argoed’ when I have the money.

    I’m not so sure if it would have taken the four line format, as per ‘Trawsganu Kynon’ (The Satire of Cynan Garwyn) as the battles are not what are doing the rhyming, unless I’m mistaken:

    Kynan kat diffret
    kanyt geu gofyget.
    kant gorwyd kyfret
    Cant llen ehoec
    Cant armell ym arffret.
    Cledyf gwein karrec
    cant kynan kaffat.
    katellig ystret.
    kat ar wy kyrchet.
    Gwenhwys a ladet.
    kat ymon mawr tec.
    Tra menei mynet
    kat yg cruc dymet.
    Nac ny rywelet.
    Mab brochuael brolet.
    kernyw kyfarchet.
    Dystwc aghyffret
    Myg kynnelw o gynan.
    Aeleu fflam lydan.
    kat ygwlat brachan.
    Tegyrned truan
    lluryc yn ymwan.
    kyngen kymangan.
    kigleu ymdidan.
    kylch byt gwochuan. am arllofeis ket.

    I’d still like to have a go at the format though and see what I could come up with. My version was based more on Taliesin’s other poem for Urien:

    kat yn ryt alclut kat ymynuer.
    kat gellawr brewyn. kat hir eurur.
    kat ymprysc. katleu kat yn aber
    ioed ydygyfranc adur breuer
    mawr kat glutuein gweith pencoet
    llwyth llithyawc cun ar ormant gwaet.
    Atueilaw gwyn gouchyr kyt
    mynan eigyl edyl gwrthryt.

    A battle in the ford of Alclud, a battle at the Inver.
    The battle of Cellawr Brewyn. The battle of Hireurur.
    A battle in the underwood of Cadleu, a battle in Aberioed.
    He interposes with the steel loud (and) great.
    The battle of Cludvein, the affair of the head of the wood.
    A tribe attracted of dogs to a plentitude of blood.
    To destroy supreme felicity is the aim
    Of the Angles, a hostile crew.

    Here we have two battles per line. I realised I couldn’t do this so ended up as one line per battle.

    To paraphrase what someone once said (but I can’t remember who): two battle poems do not two genres make.

    Mak

     
  9. Dane Pestano

    January 4, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Mak,

    I think your one liner battle poem is fantastic anyway and superbly put together and as you say it has precedent.

    Regards
    Dane

     
  10. Makhno

    May 31, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Arthur’s epithet in the Marwnat Gereint, “llywiaudir llawr”, though conventionally rendered as something like “director of our labour”, I have seen translated as “ruler of battle”.

    There’s also Cadwaladr. He’s associated with Arthur: he’s the last of the line in Geoffrey, the final King of the Britons at the end of the decline which began with Arthur’s death, and both are predicted to return: and his name means “battle leader”.

     
  11. badonicus

    June 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Of course, in Marwnat Gereint (The Elegy of Geraint) Arthur is also called an “ameraudur”, sometimes translated as “emperor” but could just mean “commander”. This comes just before the words you describe. I’ve seen the line translated as “emperor/commander/general, leader of toil”.

    There’s a slight problem knowing how old this poem is. It seems to be dated to anywhere between the 9th and 11th centuries. If it’s the earlier date it’s around the same time as the HB. We’ll never know how long it was in circulation orally before that.

    Can you expand on what you mean by “There’s also Cadwaladr. He’s associated with Arthur”. In what sense do you mean he’s associated with Arthur?

    Thanks for the post.

     
  12. badonicus

    January 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Reblogged this on badonicus and commented:

    Putting out a slightly reworked and updated version of the first blog I ever did.

     
  13. Ruth Nestvold

    May 31, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Since I decided to go with the title of *Dux* for Arthur in my novel Yseult, I found this post very encouraging! During the writing, I did a lot of my research on Arthurnet and the sources mentioned there, and I spent a lot of time puzzling together possible historical connections. But luckily, since it’s fiction, I don’t have to justify the choices I made. :)

    Thanks for all the work you’re sharing here! This is a great resource.

     
    • badonicus

      June 1, 2012 at 8:06 am

      Thanks for the lovely comment Ruth and glad you found it of interest. Have you read the ‘King Arthur – A Provincial Dux, Comes or Tribunus?’ blog yet? that may be of interest to you too. ( https://badonicus.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/king-arthur-a-provincial-dux-comes-or-tribunus-part-one/ )

      I’ve been meaning to leave a message at your blog site congratulating you on your 1000th book sale! So, congratulations!!

       
      • Ruth Nestvold

        June 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm

        Thanks! And no, I haven’t gotten around to reading your other Dux post yet. It’s bookmarked — I need to work my way through all your blog posts! *g*

         
  14. Rosalind

    November 15, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing such a nice idea, article is
    pleasant, thats why i have read it fully

     
  15. badonicus

    November 16, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Many thanks Rosalind.

     

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