Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Camelot And Armorica

The back cover blurb for Poul and Karen Anderson's The Dog And The Wolf (Grafton Books, London, 1989) says:


This is almost literally true:

in the early fifth century, Grallon, the last King of Ys, becomes Duke of Armorica;

he gives a messenger "'...letters to several leading men who look like good prospects..." in Britannia (Chapter XXIV, section 2);

they might organize joint sea patrols and expeditions against pirates;

"...there is mention...of joint action against the Germans in Gaul..." (p. 525);

Grallon's successor, Salomon, reigns as King Salaun, 421-435 (p. 528);

temporary British victories mid-century are "...the seed from which the Arthurian legend sprang." (ibid.)

So Arturus might have been one of those leading men contacted by Grallon.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    More likely, however, for one of these leading Romano-Britons being the father or grandfather of "King Arthur." Both Gildas and Bede the Venerable seem to date the decisive invasion of Britannia by the Angles and Saxons to the joint reign of Valentinian III and Marcian during 450-455. With "King Arthur" continuing to lead the Romano/Britons in an eventually losing struggle against the invaders in the second half of the fifth century.


    1. Sean,
      You are right. I anticipated such a comment!

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Oops! I'm sure I sometimes come across as a tedious, nit picking pedant! (Smiles)

      But, what the Andersons had Gratillonius doing does make sense! Simply recall the Hoxne Hoard, for instance. Analysis of the coins found in that hoard quite conclusively dates it to be being buried in 408. That is, not long after Constantine the Usurper's disastrous transfer of the legions in Britannia to Gaul. The Hoxne hoard would not have been buried if the owners had not felt compelled to do so--most likely because of barbarians already starting to raid Roman Britain.

      The Hoxne Hoard had an interesting effect on UK treasure trove law. It led to the law being revised to state both the discoverers of treasure and the owners of the land treasure was found on had to split half and half whatever price was paid for buying the treasure.


    3. Sean,
      Your point about a generational gap between Grallon and Arthur is valid. I thought of it and should have articulated it.