Tuesday, September 20, 2016

DAMEMS CONFIRMED AS THE SITE OF UTHER'S MOUNT DAMEN BATTLE



Since discussing Huddersfield as a possible location for the Mount Damen battle of Uther, I’ve had reason to reconsider my identification.  The reason?  As always, new information has come to my attention.  The following is from Mike Ashley’s THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF KING ARTHUR:


The problem arises with the identification of the monk's fix for the site with that of a place in Northumberland.  As it happens, he is precisely locating Damen at Damems.  How?

We need only look at the map:


Madoc’s ‘Wingates’ is Whins Wood directly across the river from Damems.  Doubtless the ‘gates’ came about because wood in Welsh was coet.  As an example we can cite Bathgate in West Lothian, which stands for “Baedd-coed” or Boar Wood.  Chochem is not for the Coquet River, but for the Keigh- of Keighley, found as Chichelai in the Domesday Book, with early forms of Kikeleia, Kikhele, Kye Leya, Kyghele.  This is for a Cyhha’s Leah.  As in Welsh /-y-/ could stand for o, ‘Chochem’ is readily explained as an attempt at this OE personal name. 

So at least as far as Madoc was concerned, Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Damen = Damems.

The Welsh translation of Geoffrey has here instead ‘Mynydd Danned’, the Mountain of Teeth (or Toothed Mountain).  This is a descriptive name based on Geoffrey’s claim that Damen’s summit was composed in part of jagged rocks.  As such, it could fit any tooth-like rock outcrop and cannot now be identified.

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