Saturday, November 18, 2017
My Decision Regarding Arthur's Parentage
As my readers surely know by now, I've been somewhat obsessed (for quite a few years now!) with finding a verifiable, traceable family link for the legendary Arthur. To date, I've not been satisfied with my efforts. The only thing I did know for certain was that the pedigree foisted onto the hero by Geoffrey of Monmouth was patently false. No progress could be made as long as we remained bound to that in any way. Geoffrey's work is manifestly fiction - splendid fiction, to be sure - but if we continue to base our researches on his material we are doomed to produce nothing save regurgitations of spurious tradition.
In my last blog post (http://mistshadows.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-sarmatian-dragon-rearing-his.html), I put forward an old idea made new by recently discovered information. I've continued to amend and revise that article since it was posted. Several very notable scholars have come on board with my idea and I've pasted their valuable comments into the piece.
I'm awaiting only one last message from Dr. Simon Rodway before I make my decision to go forward with this theory. He has promised to send me (on Monday or Tuesday of next week) the passage from John Lloyd-Jones' magisterial Geirfa Barddoniaeth Gynnar Gymraeg that discusses the author's decision to emend the 'Marwnat Vthyr Pen' poem's kawyl to sawyl. If I feel confident in Lloyd-Jones' rationale and am thus satisfied with the emendation, I will commit to establishing the only known historically viable pedigree for Arthur.
What this means is that Sawyl Benisel/Benuchel of Ribchester or 'Uther Pendragon' will be inserted into my earlier book THE ARTHUR OF HISTORY: A REINTERPRETATION OF THE EVIDENCE. Short of the faulty identification of Uther as (very tentatively!) Ceidio son of Arthwys, that book remains wholly sound. THE BEAR KING, in which I attempted to identify Arthur with Cerdic of Wessex, will be revised and offered merely as a treatment of Cerdic as Ceredig son of Cunedda.
I feel this is a very exciting time. If I'm right about Arthur belonging to Sawyl's family, our quest to find a place to put him has finally been achieved. No more wandering aimlessly about the Waste Forest looking for Adventure as elusive as the Questing Beast or the Holy Grail.
In my opinion, should this lineage trace to the Men of the North prove to be valid, we can safely say that at some point in the development of Arthurian legend the hero's descent from Sawyl was forgotten. Folklore combined with the fanciful history of Geoffrey of Monmouth at first obscured and then, ultimately, obliterated the truth. We were left with only a few strands of poetry that provided vague, arcane clues as to his actual ancestral heritage.
Clues which remained unnoticed and undeciphered - until now.