Historical Basis of King Arthur

Ok, everybody is out watching the new Star Wars movie, so this post is probably pointless!

Ralph Ellis emailed me recently to let me know about his new book on King Arthur and the Grail. So, that got me thinking about this topic again.

Schematically, I think it should be quite obvious that King Arthur, Guinevere, Sir Galahad and Lancelot were based on leading royal figures in the run up to the Fall of Rome in the 5th Century.

King Arthur associates very well with King Arcadius, as their names are closely related. Arca and Arthur both have the meaning of "Bear".

Guinevere is based on the contemporary royal heiress Aelia Galla Placidia daughter of the Roman Emperor Theodosius. The names of Placidia and Guinevere are closely synonymous.

Arcadius besieged Rome (under his Gothic alias of Alaric) and extracted Placida from her "fortress/tower" (ala Joshua had Rahab and Alexander had Roxane).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galla_Plac...

However, the Grail story provides an explanation for why Arcadius did not succeed, as expected, to propagate the royal line through Placidia. At the very least it explains why Arcadius did not propagate the royal line by default. Other royal males had to be given the opportunity to produce royal children. That was the royal culture.

Placidia had a scandalous affair with her half-brother Honorius. The royal family increasingly attempted to disguise such relationships, but in this case they failed to do so, or just failed to exercise discretion.

The name of Placidia's mother had been Galla. (Galerian and Gallus were the names of former Roman Emperors.) The Grail character name of Galahad must have derived from this royal Roman historical name. If Gallus was not a name applied to Honorius, then there was also a prince named Constantius Gallus during this time period.

The name Lancelot links to the other major contemporary "knight" of the Era, namely Stilicho. Stilicho can be parsed as "(Man) of Steel" or "Little (Man) of Steel". Stilicho is also similar in form to the modern day fashion weapon, the Stiletto ("Little Steel").

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stilicho

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/-ic
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/-ico#Latin
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/2061101204...

Does it need to be more complicated than this???

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Johannes Angelos's picture
Member since:
24 April 2009
Last activity:
11 weeks 1 day

The family line you are referring to was not royal (whatever the hell that is anyway). Theodosians did claim to descend from the gens Julia, but that makes the point even clearer. Julias were never royal. Comes Theodosius, the father of Emperor Theodosius I, was a military officer serving in the Western Roman Empire. There is no “royal line” here.

Let’s make this cast of characters a little more clearer and address them with their proper names:

“King Arcadius” = Flavius Arcadius Augustus. The eldest son of Theodosius I and the Byzantine Emperor from 395 to 408 (the year he died). I don’t think that King Arthur “associates” with one of the weakest Byzantine Emperors who died at the tender age of 31. Moreover, HE WAS NOT “ALARIC” AND HE DID NOT BESIEGE ROME OR EXTRACT ANY DAMSEL IN DISTRESS.

“Alaric” = Alaric I (Gothic: Alareiks - "supreme chief”) was the first King of the Visigoths from 395 to 410. Invaded Italy twice and sieged Rome thrice, and actually succeeded on the third time.

“Honorius” = Flavius Honorius Augustus. The youngest son of Theodosius I and the brother of Flavius Arcadius Augustus. Western Roman Emperor from 393 to 423. Possibly the worst and weakest Emperor in (Western) Roman history.

Aelia Galla Placidia was indeed the daughter of Theodosius I. Regent for Emperor Valentinian III, consort to Ataulf King of the Goths, and briefly Empress consort to Constantius III. She spent much of her childhood at Flavius Stilicho’s household. According to "De Consulatu Stilichonis" by Claudian, Placidia was betrothed to Eucherius, only known son of Stilicho and Serena. Her scheduled marriage is mentioned in the text as the third union between Stilicho's family and the Theodosian dynasty, following those of Stilicho to Serena and Maria, their daughter, to Honorius. Placidia was captured by Alaric I prior to the fall of Rome. Her captivity was recorded by both Jordan’s and Marcellinus Comes. She followed the Visigoths in their move from the Italian Peninsula to Gaul in 412. Their ruler Ataulf succeeded Alaric I and entered an alliance with Honorius, Placidia’s half brother. The relations between Ataulf and Honorius were cemented by Placidia marrying Ataulf.

There is no historical record or any kind proof, nor any hint or allegation of any kind for Placidia fucking his half-brother Honorius. None. Period. Guinevere comes from the Norman French form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar (Gwen = white, fair and hwyfar = smooth) while Placidia comes from Latin meaning “calm” or “untroubled”. The names are not closely synonymous in any way.

Flavius Stilicho (sometimes styled as Stilico) was magister militum in the Roman army. He was the only known person to hold the rank of "magister militum in praesenti" from 394 to 408 and he was also titled "magister equitum et peditum”. His wife Serena was a first cousin of Arcadius, Honorius and Placidia. He was the regent for the underage Honorius.

The name Stilicho cannot be parsed as “man of steel” or any BS like that. Latin word for steel is either ”chalybs", which follows from the Greek word χάλυψ khálups, or “adamas”, also from Greek meaning invincible or “hard as steel”. Stiletto comes from the Latin “Stilus” (modernised as Stylus), which was a thin pointed instrument used to engrave letters to a (clay or wax) tablet. The stiletto dates from the late 15th century and it is not similar to Stilicho.

It is the cardinal rule of linguistics and etymology that one does not derive word meanings from either roots, synonyms, nor any superficial phonetic likeness.

If this is creation, I feel misplaced.

Charles Pope's picture
Member since:
23 October 2009
Last activity:
6 hours 35 min

The man's name was Stil-icho not Chalybs-icho!

Words have denotations and connotations. When you describe a lake as "placid" it is because the surface is both smooth and calm. The names Guinevere and Placida (as well as Serena) are very similar in meaning to all but the most literalistic of thinkers!

The time of Arcadius and Honorius was significant in that the Roman Empire split between Eastern and Western kingdoms during their tenure, and Rome fell a short time later. It is the stuff of legends.

When you study history on an esoteric level you often find that persons not considered important in the archaeological record were considered crucial in the cultural record. For example, there is almost no archaeological record of Abraham, but he was one of the most influential persons of all times in terms of cultural impact. Abraham was the cuckolded "Arthur" character of his own times. He and Sarah (the contemporary Guinevere) were a barren couple, so he nobly assisted her in finding other eligible partners!

Likewise, Placidia was passed from Arcadius/Alaric to Ataulf to Constantius III. Shortly after Constantius died (or otherwise left the stage), we have this account: "Honorius, who had always been very affectionate toward his (half-) sister began making advances towards his Galla Placidia, caressing her and embracing her in public. Not merely did this cause public outrage but it alienated her from him and she fled to Constantinople in AD 423, taking the two sons of Constantius III with her. In the same year, AD 423, Honorius fell ill and died." (Recall that biblical Abraham also caused a stir by his public affection with his half-sister Sarah!)

http://www.roman-empire.net/collapse/hon...
(Gibbon, Edward, "chapter 33.2", History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire)

Literalistic thinkers also take the so-called historical accounts at face value and believe such statements as the Emperors Valentinian and Valens were the sons of a Hungarian Rope Maker named Gratian. Sorry, but only the most naïve would not vigorously challenge this before accepting. A better explanation is that anti-kingship sentiment was very strong at times, and caused the royal family to disguise their royalty and exact family relationships in order to perpetuate dynasties.

It is also quite gullible to think that massive groups of people were migrating on their own during the Royal Age. The royal family would not have allowed large groups to form and then run amok. Again, a better explanation is that the royal family controlled all large groups of people, either directly or by assuming ethnic identities. Rome did not fall because of barbarian pressure, but because the royal family wanted it to fall. And when the Western/Roman Empire fell, it did not even then leave the sphere of royal influence. Charlemagne was of sufficient royalty to attract the interest of Empress Irene in marriage!

http://www.domainofman.com/cgi-bin/bbs62...

See previous posts related to the subject:

http://www.domainofman.com/cgi-bin/bbs62...
http://www.domainofman.com/cgi-bin/bbs62...
http://www.domainofman.com/cgi-bin/bbs62...

http://www.domainofman.com/cgi-bin/bbs62...
http://www.domainofman.com/cgi-bin/bbs62...
http://www.domainofman.com/cgi-bin/bbs62...
http://www.domainofman.com/cgi-bin/bbs62...

Johannes Angelos's picture
Member since:
24 April 2009
Last activity:
11 weeks 1 day

"The man's name was Stil-icho not Chalybs-icho!"

Well, yeah, that is what I was trying to say. "Stil" is not steel in Latin like you propose (unless this is some "esoteric" Latin I have never heard of).

Flavius Arcadius Augustus and Alaric I are not the same person, not historically, nor on any imaginary "esoteric" level.

If you know your Latin, you should be aware that serenus, serene, serenum, also figuratively means cheerful, joyous and glad. The first mention of "Guinevere" is from around 1136, which is 700 years after discussed events, and moreover, in a fictional form. "Placidia's" full name was Aelia Galla Placidia (Augusta). I do not understand why you do not refer to these characters with their proper names. You claimed that these names are, and I quote, "closely synonymous". They are not without serious shoe-horning and a vivid imagination. You, of course, know that words have different connotation and that the literal meaning of Gwenhwyfar in Welsh is "white-cheeked" (etymology as I explained in previous post). The figurative variant is "White Sorceress/Enchantress" which is said to stem from (Proto-Celtic) Uindo- "white, fair, holy" and seibara "magical being" (cognate with Old Irish síabair "a spectre, phantom, supernatural being). The other variants of the name (in the Arthurian context) are Guenevere, Ginevra, Gwendoloena, Gaynor, Guanhumara, Guennivar, Ganore, Guenever, Waynor. I simply do not see the connection between Aelia Galla and the three queens all named Gwenhwyfar in Welsh triads.

What do you make of her first name Aelia? That is the feminine version of Aelius, which with great probability comes from Greek "Helios". Is there a tie-up to Egypt here? Or perhaps Ancient Aliens? UFOs? I am sure we can find something. Perhaps Velikovsky wrote some drivel about it.

On February 8th 421 Honorius Augustus elevated (not royal) Constantius, Aelia Galla's husband, to the imperial distinction. When they were married Constantius was not Constantius III, but a magister militia. Shortly after that Honorius and Constantius (then distinguished as Constantius III as a co-regent) then together made Aelia Galla (an) Augusta. Her elevation would reinforce a decision to settle the succession in the West on the issue of Aelia Galla's marriage, the child Flavius Placidus Valentianus, born July 2nd 419. This would not have been necessary if the family had actually been "royal".

By the way, it was Flavius Honorius Augustus himself who shortly before his death had driven Aelia Galla into exile in Constantinople.

About the supposed incest: like I stated before, there is no evidence of Aelia Galla fucking her half-brother. This is what Gibbon actually has to say about it:

"Galla herself, the former Augusta, was however forced from the Western Empire. Whatever the politics or motivations, the public issue was increasingly scandalous public sexual caresses from her own brother Honorius. This at least was the interpretation given by Olympiodorus of Thebes, a historian used as a source by Zosimus, Sozomen and probably Philostorgius, as J.F. Matthews has demonstrated. Gibbon had a different opinion. ´The power of Placidia; and the indecent familiarity of her brother, which might be no more than the symptoms of a childish affection, were universally attributed to incestuous love.´ Gibbon compares the public caresses to those of Muhammad to his daughter Fatimah, as a "sensual indulgence" without actual incest involved."

Again, there is no "royal family" during the discussed period of time. In my alternative revisionist history I am proposing that banjo playing was invented in Egypt because of the "family fun" in the so-called "royal" families.

I am off to holidays now for a few weeks. A very Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year, Charles!

If this is creation, I feel misplaced.

Charles Pope's picture
Member since:
23 October 2009
Last activity:
6 hours 35 min

So, now you agree that there is evidence of an affair between Placidia and Honorius, but disrespectfully disagree that it actually could have happened! Princes and kings had been mating with their half-sisters from time immemorial, but in this special case not so much, haha!

The point I was making about Stilicho is that the name associates with Lancelot by means of the Latin stilus being a knife/dagger (i.e., a lance, duh!). But you are getting all hung up as to whether it had the connotation of "steel, hardened metal, whatever" during that time period. I'm sure the swashbuckling Stilicho was packing the state-of-the-art weaponry of his day! Certainly it does have the connotation of steel in today's Italian (as in the word stiletto, "little steel"), and perhaps did (or didn't) in older Latin, at least to non-aristocrats. We are however dealing with multi-lingual speakers that went back and forth between Latin Rome and Greek Constantinople (and many other places with many other languages). Regardless of whether the name Stilicho signified "Man of Steel" or "Man with Dagger/Lance" or both, the basis for an association with Lancelot has been made. There is no need to be legalistic about it at this point. I'm just tossing ideas around, not currently preparing a scholarly manuscript. Sheesh!

Now that I've thought about it a little more, maybe Stilicho was something of a Roman joke name, and signified "Little Dagger" (i.e, Little Pecker), or poked fun at a man who was in reality more of a pencil (stylus) pusher than a blade runner. Was this Lancelot more of a lover than a fighter? It's the kind of humor the royal family enjoyed.

Most likely the name Stilicho had a flattering meaning to the Vandals/Germans (although I don't see any attempts to define it), but for the Romans the name may have been a bit pejorative, if only due to the -icho suffix. The royal family always delighted in subtle word plays that were only recognizable by those who could speak multiple languages. And life always revolved around the royal family!

You obviously aren't aware of their bag of tricks and stock themes they repeated throughout history and each dynasty. Although I don't claim to be an expert on the 4th/5th Century AD, I have traced the royal family over a thousand years into Roman times, and assure you that the royal family was very much in tact on the eve of the Dark Ages and did not tolerate kingly pretentions by any true commoners. They did however assume commoner identities to fool the public (and obviously you too).

The so-called Merovingian (Grail-King) Dynasty formed at this very time. Therefore, it is also a significant transition period in terms of understanding the Grail legends for that reason, and deserves the kind of "lancing about" that I've started to do.