Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lothian


Much has been written about King Arthur. Part legend, some truth, too, they say. Indeed that is the way of much of ancient history; if the chronicler [chronic Lur] didn't think the stand-alone history was interesting enough, he felt free to add his own stories to spice it up. Some might say history-writing is still that way today.

Anyway, there are tales of real history here and there, and tales of non-history mixed in. Is Arthur the part that was added in? Hard to say what is real and what is fantasy now, after so many years.

Most of the legends, the older writings, were pieced together to make one story, more or less, in Malory's  "Le Morte d'Arthur." This, too, contained much "original material" by the author. "Le Morte..." was first published in the late fifteenth century. Earlier bits and pieces were written by various authors, notably the work of Geoffrey of Monmouth in the twelfth century. Even he was not the first. Supposedly Arthur's name is mentioned in the ancient "Y Gododdin." Those of you who are fluent in ancient Welsh, please let me know what it says.

"Le Morte d'Arthur" is the more or less official version and was relied upon (stolen from) by more recent Arthur authors, such as T.H. White (The Once and Future King") and Tennyson's "The Idylls of the King." And myself, of course. Like you care.

Anyway, returning to the above map, Lothian is a real area along the Firth of Forth, including the areas of West- Mid- and East-Lothian, as well as Edinburgh city.

King Lot was its king. Some spell it King Loth (though I am loath to do so myself.) King lot was the father of Sir Gawain. Except that Sir Gawain was (sadly) the product of Malory's fertile imagination and was one of many things he added to the history. Or not. Who knows? I prefer to believe there WAS a Sir Gawain and a round table and a magical sword named Excalibre. I just don't believe in Scotland.

King Arthur was supposed to have lived in the late fifth and early sixth centuries, a great British leader who defeated the Saxons and established a vast empire over Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Norway and Gaul. Dunno. The story is so complex, and the characters so numerous and interesting that it is hard not to get sucked into the story. Hard for me at any rate. After Arthur, Lothian became a part of the Kingdom of Northumbria for a time. Then it was Pict back again from the pesky Angles. You had to be there to appreciate it.

Here I must stop, though, lest I be accused of being long-winded yet again. Or pause, at least. I have discovered if I break up a long story into several posts, some of you will think it is not just one long story.

Before I go, I know most of you would be disappointed if I didn't work in the word "incubus" into this post somewhere. Let me think.

Merlin was a cambion. A cambion is a being born of a human mother and an incubus. Did you know that a cambion doesn't have a pulse or doesn't have breath, until he is seven years old? Of course you did.

A cambion is not simply a person from Cambia, then.


7 comments:

  1. You mist the rain, it rains a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Neither was Camelot. Not by a long shot.

    I had forgotten what this post was about. Thank you for reminding me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Camelot was not in Lothian, it was in south west England, Tennyson went looking for it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Please slow down and concentrate. Reread the above comment. Pay special attention to the words,"Neither was Camelot. Not by a long shot."

    This is important. It is going to get harder soon. There will be a test.

    Your blog tells me you are overworked and trying to do too many things at once. You must give the Great War a rest and take one of those trains of yours down to Cornwall for few day's rest. Please. :)

    ReplyDelete

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