'Ardrey delivers a bombshell... fascinating stuff'
- Los Angeles Times

'A brilliant piece of detective work... enthralling'
- Scots Magazine

24th April 2018

New royal baby

Just read the favourite in the new royal baby name stakes is Arthur.

My god, the publicity people at my publishers are good.

D McG see 071217 below

BH see 021117 below

IB see 010118 below

Now...AG

For AG 

New Arthur Book.

AG. If you want to use these pages to put your case - let me know - that will not be a problem.

I try to read all new Arthur books, but, I almost made an exception in the case of Arthur:Legend. This was because the writer said he was the first to approach the matter of Arthur without preconceptions, whatever that means.

Whatever it means, it is non-sense.

I had not thought about Arthur / Merlin for years, when, researching my family name, I found evidence that led to another and so on, until the whole world of Arthur fell into place.

I have ordered this latest book.

Before it arrvies I will set down the tests.

The main litmus test tends to be the battle of Badon. How good is this identification?

I don't actually agree the Badon test should get primacy, I think, the first thing that is needed is an 'Arthur'.

Anyway, here are my tests.

The Twelve Nennius battles - How many can be ID'd? Do their IDs fit together chronologically, geographically, historically? 

What about peripheral figures - Merlin and Gawain and Guinevere &c. - can any of them be set in the frame?

Avalon? Just a fiction or does it have a place in geography / history?

And...

We will see.

PS Of course, I can answer all of the above and more - Sword in Stone? No problem (and no magic).

 

 


For IB

The Four Horsemen of Arthuriana

1st January 2018

The four earliest sources relevant to Arthur are:

One

Gododdin – A poem written in Edinburgh, circa 600 CE.

In Y Gododdin, the poet Aneirin praises a warrior called Gwawrddur, who, according to Aneirin, did this heroic thing and that heroic thing, before Aneirin adds, a devastating line – But he was no Arthur.

Clearly, people were expected to know who Arthur was.

Of course they did, because, Arthur Mac Aedan, the Scottish Arthur, died at Camlann-Camelon, Falkirk, 28 miles west of Edinburgh, four years before Aneirin wrote Y Gododdin.

Mere coincidence?

As for the English / Welsh historical Arthur – there isn’t one.

Two

De Excidio Britanniae, The Ruin of Britain, written by Gildas, a Christian fanatic.

DEB contains only an indirect reference to Arthur. Gildas does not mention Arthur by name, but writes only of the legendary Arthur’s most famous victory, at Badon Hill.

In 574CE Arthur Mac Aedan, the Scottish Arthur, took a sword from a stone on the summit of the hillfort, Dunadd. (This is easily explained, without magic. See infra.)

Contiguous with the hillfort Dunadd, to the south, are the lands of Badon. This is shown on modern maps (Ordnance Survey, Google Maps &c.) as Badden. (The lands of Badon/Badden were named after Arthur Mac Aedan’s relative Baodan.)

Pure coincidence?

Contiguous with the lands of Badon/Badden, to the south, is the hillfort Dunardry. Dunardry is Badon Hill.

The man called Merlin pops-up in the historical record for the first time at the battle of Arderydd, 573CE. Dunardry is also almost synonymous with Arderydd.

Simple coincidence?

573 CE; the year before Arthur Mac Aedan took a sword from a stone.

Just a coincidence?

England / Wales have no historical Arthur and no place called Badon and, therefore, no connection between the two.

Scotland has the lot.

Three

Historia Brittonum, History of Britain, written in the early 9th c. by Nennius.

Nennius lists twelve Arthur-battles. 

All twelve can be identified and placed in sensible historical and geographical settings with reference to Arthur Mac Aedan.

Plus – They can all be seen to have been fought in the order they come in the list. 

Plus – There is internal corroboration. For example, battles seven and eight and nine and ten were fought along a straight line, and more, a straight line that runs from Arthur Mac Aedan’s HQ at Stirling to his Angle-enemies’ HQ at Berwick.

Plus – There is external corroboration. For example, Ben Arthur, the great rock that looms over Edinburgh. Duh!

No one has been able to connect an English/Welsh historical Arthur with any one of these twelve battles, far less all twelve.

I can identify and connect all twelve.

Four

The Annales Cambriae, The Welsh Annals, c. 10th century.

The Annales Cambriae refer to the Arthur-battles; Badon and Camlann. I say these were fought by Arthur Mac Aedan at Badden, Argyll, and Camelon, Falkirk.

You may think, Welsh Annals, suggest Wales.

Wrong.

They refer to annals of Britons; which included the people of the south of Scotland.

The 573 CE entry tells of Merlin and the battle of Arderydd, fought on, what is now, the border between Scotland and England.

The entries for the first 150 years (which cover any possible Age of Arthur) mention 27 individuals. These include dead saints, such as Patrick of Scotland and Brigid of Ireland; a pope, specifically, Leo; and three bishops (one of whom is said to have lived to 350 years of age).

Only one person's grandfather (Gabhran Mac Domangart) and father (Aedan Mac Gabhran) are mentioned, and that is Arthur Mac Aedan.

This smacks of editing. The AC have clearly been tampered with, but not enough to remove yet another Arthur, Arthur Mac Aedan, connection.

As for he rest of the AC: there is reference to a Ciaran and a Brendon, both Irish/Scottish names; to Columba of Iona, Scotland; Gildas of Cambuslang, Scotland; Gwenddolau of Scotland (‘Merlin’s’ cousin); Gwrgi and Peredur sons of Elifer, of north England / south Scotland; Dunod (Dunadd, Scotland); Mungo Kentigern, Glasgow, Scotland). 

In other words, the first part of the AC, the part that is accepted as referring to the Arthur, is Scotland-centred. (Only the last 2/3 of the AC relate predominently to what is now Wales.)

Following these Four Horsmen of History relevant to Arthur, the sources become more vague as more and more of the supernatural is inserted. This is because steps were being taken to plonk a northern hero, Arthur mac Aedan, in the south; because, in the south, they did not have an equivalent hero.  

 

7th December 2017

For D McG

It does not have to be this way. It has not always been this way.

The late, great Christopher Hitchens once said - Things would be better if we stopped stopping women having power.

End = making things better. Means = women-power.

Pre-Christianity women had more power. 

End = women in power. Means = marginalise Christianity.

So far, so good with your book.

I agree with some of the things you write and disagree with others. 

However, more than any other book I have read in a long, long time, a lot of the things you write made me think - I don't know & I will have to think about that.

I have not yet finished your book.

I look forward to finding out the means you have identified that will lead to the ends that, I believe, we both want. 

AA

 

1st December 2017

Nennius Battle Number Eleven - Breguion

Search on-line for 'Arthur Breguion' (one of twelve Arthur-battles on Nennius' battle-list). You will only find duff stuff. I am not going to waste space with such stuff here.

I say Breguion was fought at Benderloch, that is, Beregonium, by Arthur Mac Aedan in 588CE.

Why?

Unlike everyone else, I have an historcal Arthur. I have names that fit better than any other names fit, Breguion/Beregonium. The next Arthur-battle was fought forty miles to the south Badon/Baodan.

No one else can make even two battles work together, with or without an Arthur (I can do all 12).

A few miles to the west of Breguion/Beregonium is Iona, that is, Avalon, which I will deal with later.

For BH

2nd November 2017

The Grave

Ignore the history stuff that follows, what follows is about me.

In the late 1830s workmen found a grave while quarrying “a very beautiful hill” at Dunipace. They called upon the local minister, John Bonar, and the local schoolteacher, Robert Watson, to come and see this grave.

Bonar and Watson later wrote about what they saw.

“On the top of this hill, and about three feet below the surface, was found a coffin or tomb, composed of five large unwrought stones, in which were the bones of a human body, scull [sic] and teeth not much decayed. Along with these was a vase of coarse unglazed earthenware, containing a small quantity of material resembling the lining of a wasp’s nest, probably decayed paper, or parchment, which in the lapse of ages had assumed that appearance. No conjecture could be formed about the individual here interred; tradition being entirely silent on the subject; but this circumstance corroborates the opinion of some writers, that the hills of Dunipace might have been used as burying-places for ancient chiefs.

Merlin is said to have been assassinated and buried at a place called Drumelzier, commonly said to be near Stobo, in the Scottish Borders.

But there is another Drumelzier, the real Drumelzier, one that makes sense of the evidence in the oldest sources; Drumelzier, near Dunipace: and I found it.

The grave Bonar and Watson wrote about was found at Drumelzier-Dunipace.

The beautiful hill on which the grave had been found had been quarried away; but what happened to the bones, vase &c.? No minister of the Church of Scotland would simply have thrown away human remains.

I searched the local church records and newspapers of the time to see if I could find anything, but no luck. I walked the local graveyards to see if I could find anything, but no luck.

On one of these expeditions, I went to a nearby hillfort to eat my sandwich-lunch and fell into conversation with a man who lived near the fort. I noticed the lintel above the doorway of his house had the date 1564 cut into it and asked him about it and we got to talking.

He told me, when he bought the house it had come with an old chest of documents, which, he said, he did not think I would be interested in them, because some of them were in Latin. He also said the old chest contained newspapers, placed there by earlier owners of the house: one of which listed the dead of the battle of Waterloo.

I thought, if someone had put a newspaper in that old chest in 1815, then, perhaps, someone in the late 1830s had done the same thing: especially if the newspaper recorded the finding of an ancient grave on a local hill.

I was invited into the house, given a cup of tea, shown the old chest, and allowed to go through its contents. Within half an hour, the lady of the house and I were making our way up to the fort to see what she called ‘The Grave.’

‘The Grave’ is large flat flagstone some two feet, by four feet, by nine inches. The lady of the house said it had always been called ‘The Grave.’ (See the image in the Gallery of this website.)

She also told that that some forty years ago, when she and her husband had bought the house, an old lady who had lived there since she was a girl at the turn of the 19th c., said that this stone had been always been known as ‘The Grave’ for as long as she could remember.

This meant ‘The Grave’ stone had been there since at least the late 1800s. Of course, it could have been there for hundreds of years but, equally, it could have been placed there in the late 1830s to cover the bones found in the grave on the ‘very beautiful hill’.

It made sense to me to suppose that Bonar the minister and Watson the schoolteacher decided to bury the bones, of someone they thought was an ancient chief, on the ancient fort; smack-bang next to where the bones had been dug up. If so, this was the spot.

Of course, I cannot say there is anything in ‘The Grave’; there may be nothing beneath the stone but grass; far less can I say, ‘The Grave’ contains the bones found in the grave on the ‘very beautiful hill’ they may have been lost; far less can I say that these bones were the bones of the man called Merlin, but they might be.

I am simply curious about what lies beneath the stone. If there is nothing there, I will remain curious as to what happened to the bones and the parchment found in the grave on the ‘very beautiful hill’.

My point is this. I could have claimed I had found Merlin’s Grave and got some publicity (my publishers were for this tack) but I thought, if I do this, someone might destroy the evidence before it could be properly excavated. (That was ten years ago. Not one of the professional archaeologists I have approached has shown any interest.)

I put history before publicity. That's me.

AA

 

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