GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2002-04 > 1017721034
From: (Stewart Baldwin)
Subject: Re: My descent from King Arthur
Date: Tue, 02 Apr 2002 04:17:14 GMT
References: <3CA87698.A575D79A@earthlink.net>, <3CA88123.firstname.lastname@example.org>
On Mon, 01 Apr 2002 08:47:47 -0700, "Todd A. Farmerie"
>Two comments - first the descent of the Kings of Dyfed is
>traditional, and, to be kind, of uncertain trustworthyness.
True, but the documentation in this particular case, while far from
ideal, is still reasonably good. The genealogy in Harleian MS 3859
comes from a manuscript of ca. 1100, but it copies a genealogy that
was almost certainly composed in the middle of the tenth century.
Various individuals in this Dyfed genealogy are documented in
contemporary Welsh annals from that point back to the late eighth
century when the contemporary recording of the annals begins. This is
then further backed up by an independent Irish source ("The Expulsion
of the Disi") written probably in the middle of the eighth century,
which also has a genealogy of the kings of Dyfed (given there as a
branch of one dynasty of the Irish Disi), agreeing with the Welsh
genealogy in each generation (except for some corrupt spellings) back
to the grandfather of Vortipore, who is one of the five princes
denounced by his contemporary Gildas (and who appears in a
chronologically appropriate part of the pedigree). Vortipore is also
commemorated by a contemporary bilingual monumental inscription, in
Latin and in Irish Ogham (the latter further confirming the Irish
origin of the dynasty). In addition to the fact that the Irish and
Welsh sources give a mutually confirming genealogy, it shows that the
Irish Disi were still in contact with their Welsh cousins in the
eighth century, and apparently keeping track of the genealogy of that
branch. (The Welsh branch removed the Irish origin from their
genealogy in the earliest generations, and concocted a fake descent
from the fourth century usurper Magnus Maximus.)
>Second, the King Arthur who appears in that descent is not THE
>King Arthur, just a king named Arthur. I forget the precise
>details, but I think this man is placed in the 9th century, about
>4 centuries too late to be the man of legend.
The chronology is obviously vague, due partly to the fact that the
chronology of Gildas is itself somewhat uncertain, but the Arthur of
the Dyfed genealogy would probably be in the seventh century, a
century or more later than "the" king Arthur is alleged to have lived.
Of course, that hasn't stopped some from trying to identify Arthur of
Dyfed with "the" king Arthur.
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