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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare Through the Ages > The Medieval Era

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The Medieval Era Discussions on Knights and Crusaders, and all things medieval!

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  #1141  
Old 05 Apr 16, 20:47
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King Arthur, like Robin Hood, is a bit like an historical Rorschach Test - you can see whatever or whoever you want in it.

Arthur a Welsh freedom fighter, proto-British imperialist, English hero, knight in shining armour, Dark Age warlord, the last of the Romans, a Welshman, Scot? Sure, why not?
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  #1142  
Old 06 Apr 16, 03:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Éire_Ascendant View Post
King Arthur, like Robin Hood, is a bit like an historical Rorschach Test - you can see whatever or whoever you want in it.

Arthur a Welsh freedom fighter, proto-British imperialist, English hero, knight in shining armour, Dark Age warlord, the last of the Romans, a Welshman, Scot? Sure, why not?
Yes indeed, myths:- we all need them.

That said, it's very likely that Arthur existed -"Artos-The Bear " (Sutcliffe), while Robin Hood appears to be a composite character consisting of three separate individuals.
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Last edited by BELGRAVE; 06 Apr 16 at 03:54..
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  #1143  
Old 06 Apr 16, 03:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Éire_Ascendant View Post
King Arthur, like Robin Hood, is a bit like an historical Rorschach Test - you can see whatever or whoever you want in it.

Arthur a Welsh freedom fighter, proto-British imperialist, English hero, knight in shining armour, Dark Age warlord, the last of the Romans, a Welshman, Scot? Sure, why not?
Indeed, many of these legends/myths/fables have a basis in real live(s) that have become 'romanticised' by hpes, dreams, wishes and fantasy. The guys who have a real problem are the historians and those who find such names cropping up in their ancestry research. It is nigh on impossible to seperate any real narrative from the rather taller tales. Alfred and even Beowulf [both supposed to be ancestors of mine] have a bit more historic 'meat' to nibble on. Zeus and Odin [hmmn, they also crop up in the old family tree], appear to have existed [real family and all the god and goddess stuff appear to have been prised apart by some historians], but have like Robin of 'Loxley', got assumed and consumed by legend - become much more than a mere sum of the parts.

My personal take on 'Arthur?' is that he was a 'Dark Ages' war lord who got involved in some of the battles and struggles in and around the Offa's Dyke area. That he may have had as one of his hill top strongholds, Cadbury Camp, that there may have even been some itinerant 'druid', but I doubt very much that his name was Merlin.

ps. Cadbury hill fort even after the erosion of centuries is still an awesome ediface to attempt to run at/attack, and that is without carrying swords, spears and shields, or having all sorts of crap fired and slung down on you.

As for Eire, well I am supposed to be able to trace ancestry even to the halls of Tara itself which was probably some sort of hill fort as well.
One ancestor is supposed to have been a leader of the Viking forces fighting with the North Leinstermen against 'King' Brian Boru at the Battle of Clontarf - that he killed Brian Boru early in the fraca and was himself killed later on in the day.

Last edited by Wooden Wonder; 06 Apr 16 at 05:55..
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  #1144  
Old 06 Apr 16, 09:41
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Originally Posted by Wooden Wonder View Post
One ancestor is supposed to have been a leader of the Viking forces fighting with the North Leinstermen against 'King' Brian Boru at the Battle of Clontarf - that he killed Brian Boru early in the fraca and was himself killed later on in the day.
Brodir of Man?

Then I guess you got a bit of Manx in you as well! (do you have a tailless cat?
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  #1145  
Old 06 Apr 16, 11:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wooden Wonder View Post
My personal take on 'Arthur?' is that he was a 'Dark Ages' war lord who got involved in some of the battles and struggles in and around the Offa's Dyke area. That he may have had as one of his hill top strongholds, Cadbury Camp, that there may have even been some itinerant 'druid', but I doubt very much that his name was Merlin.
The simplest, and thus most plausible, explanation but where's the fun in that? Someone throw in the Holy Grail and Templars, with some Freemasons while we're at it.
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  #1146  
Old 06 Apr 16, 11:44
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Originally Posted by Éire_Ascendant View Post
Brodir of Man?

Then I guess you got a bit of Manx in you as well! (do you have a tailless cat?
My more direct attachment to one of the other Vikings there, the then King of IoM is more a half sibling or uncle link.

According to 13th century Njal's saga, Gormflaith prompted her son Sigtrygg 'Silkbeard' into getting my direct ancestor Sigurd to fight against her former husband Brian Boru. "She sent him to Earl Sigurd to ask for support .... Sigtrygg sailed back to Ireland and told his mother that the Jarl/Earl [I have numbers of the Jarls of Orkney in the branches of the tree] had joined him. The 12th century Irish source, the Cogadh Gaedhil/Gallaibh, records the Battle. 'The foreigners and Leinstermen were led by Brodir 'of the Isle of Man' and Sigurd, the battle lasted all day. Though Brian was killed in the battle, the Irishmen ultimately drove back the enemies to the sea, and Sigurd himself was killed.Sigurd left four sons, Brusi, Sumarlidi, Einar and Thorfinn, each of whom would bear, somewhat diluted title of 'Earl of Orkney.

That particular branch of my tree goes to Brusi, who then leads to the Dukes and Earls of Normandy, the beginnings of the Scottish medieval line [de Brus/the Bruce], also to William 'The Bastard'/'The Conqueror' {a half sibling] - several relatives at the Battle of Hastings, including a couple on Harald's side. From William I am then linked through one of his daughters to the likes of Henry I and II. Half of the royal burial mounds at Uppsala in Sweden contain remains of ancestors. I'm also related to Roman Emperors, including one who was killed near Eboracum/Yorvic/York, his body is supposed to have had [several centuries later] a church built over him which stands today, and which was named after his wife 'St Helena of The True Cross', she is interred in the Vatican.

My ancestoral seed was spread far and wide. The legate of one of the three legions around Jerusalem and Judea after the Crucifixion of Jesus ended up being in charge of all three when his brother who had been in overall command was recalled back to Rome to become Emperor. The Jewish Revolt in 68AD was countered by the legions now under his overall command, and he went on to have Jerusalem and the Great Temple trashed {a prophesy of Jesus] in 70AD. He later went on to briefly become Emperor himself, before being, it is suspected, poisioned by another brother who went on to wipe out much of the family in order to set himself up as Emperor.

ps. I do have ancestors who were Crusader knights, several either dying or being killed on campaign. About three or four were Knights Templar, and indeed one was a Grand Master of the English Templars.

I have ancestors who were on both sides [father and eldest son on the English side and younger son on the Scottish side] in the first big set to between the Scottish and the English - The Battle of the Standard. Hell, I have learned so much over the last year or two family sleuthing.

It is a pity that most of my Irish DNA comes from peasant stock - my maternal side - since I can only go back between 6 to 8 generations, mostly in and around Dublin, and over here in the UK.

Last edited by Wooden Wonder; 06 Apr 16 at 12:03..
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  #1147  
Old 11 Aug 17, 20:19
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One element concerning Arthur should be stated, whether you believe in him or not.

A certain priest called Gildas wrote De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, a 6th century work that does NOT mention King Arthur. It does mention a certain Ambrosius Aurelianus, who wore the Purple. This was the person who Gildas considers turning the tide against the Saxon invaders for a short time.

Two elements of Gildas's work should be noted. The first is that he was writing a sermon, not an actual history. When writing about Ambrosius Aurelianus wearing The Purple, he is talking about a Governor, not a general.

However, in WW2 terms, he is talking about a Roosevelt rather than an Eisenhower.
I'm surprised that this issue has not been mentioned before. Roman Britain was divided into provinces. A civilian Governor lead that province, and a military general or Dux was his second. Arthur was always a Dux in the initial tales. This means while an Ambrosius Aurelianus wore the political/royal Purple, his military/warrior Arthur/General would wear the Red. In WW2 terms, he is talking about a Roosevelt rather than an Eisenhower.

While a King Arthur is nonsense, Gildas does not rule out an Arthur.
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  #1148  
Old 11 Aug 17, 20:30
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Originally Posted by Éire_Ascendant View Post
Brodir of Man?

Then I guess you got a bit of Manx in you as well! (do you have a tailless cat?
My Mothers paternal side is from Man (Teer). The name is still there although is now spelled Tear. The Manx are usually considered Irish because the Norse took the land and imported Irish wives and Iris Slaves. Almost all the gene markers on Man are now Irish. All the Irish had to do to swamp the Norse Genes is outbreed the Norse.

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  #1149  
Old 12 Aug 17, 18:27
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Originally Posted by Wooden Wonder View Post
I can only go back between 6 to 8 generations, mostly in and around Dublin, and over here in the UK.
Most people are lucky to trace back further than the early 18th or perhaps late 17th. I wonder that you are able to reach back into proto-history. That is a family tree I should be fascinated to see.
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  #1150  
Old 12 Aug 17, 20:53
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I trace mine back into the 1700's on several lines, but some of the lines come to a screeching halt with my Great Grandparents. My Grandpaw Erwin married a Fitzgerald lass in Arkansas and we have nothing on the Fitzgeralds. It seems Mr Fitzgerald did not approve the wedding. He kept her cow for several years.

I am blessed to find out (I am or my daughters) eligible for membership in the Daughters of the Colonial Belles, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the Confederacy. The funny thing is my Great Great Great Grandmother married a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (Yankee veteran!).

Another of my Great Grandmothers was from Oklahoma and that is all I know. It is all in fun, just be prepared to find a Horse Thief or two.

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