For my latest post I thought I’d plug the second edition of The Chisper Effect, which you can read & buy here. I’ve basically streamlined the investigations into a story of sorts, started with the Indian Jesus & travelling through the world of King Arthur in the mystery of the Holy Grail. It was during the assembly of this second edition that I uncovered some really interesting truth-tallies that increase our knowledge of Uther Pendragon, King Arthur’s legendary father. At this point we can place him bothamong the Picts AND in the West Country.
1: Uther is Duke Gorlois
Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, was there, with his wife Igerne, that in beauty did surpass all the other dames of the whole of Britain. And when the King espied her amidst the others, he did suddenly wax so fain of her love that, paying no heed unto none of the others, he turned all his attention only upon her… At last, committing the siege into charge of his familiars, he did entrust himself unto the arts and medicaments of Merlin, and was transformed into the semblance of Gorlois… They then went their way toward Tintagel, and at dusk hour arrived at the castle. The porter, weening that the Duke had arrived, swiftly unmade the doors, and the three were admitted. For what other than Gorlois could it be, seeing that in all things it seemed as if Gorlois himself were there? So the King lay that night with Igerne. (Big Geoff)
When Geoffrey of Monmouth created the Arthurian Birth Certificate, he got round the confusion that both Uther & Duke Gorlois were the father of Arthur by having one magically transformed into the other. The name Gorlois transchispers into Gorlasser of the ancient Welsh poem, the Death-Song of Uther Pendragon.
2: Uther is Gorlassar
Am I not with hosts making a din?
I would not cease, between two hosts, without gore.
Am I not he that is called Gorlassar?
Have I not been accustomed to blood about the wrathful,
A sword-stroke daring against the sons of Cawrnur?
I shared my shelter,
a ninth share in Arthur’s valour.
I broke a hundred forts.
I slew a hundred stewards.
I bestowed a hundred mantles.
I cut off a hundred heads.
I gave to an old chief
very great swords of protection.
Is it not I that performed the rights of purification,
When Hayarndor went to the top of the mountain?
To my deprivation, to my sorrow, sinew was brave.
The world would not be if not for my offspring.
I am a bard to be praised.
I am a bard, and I am a harper,
I am a piper, and I am a crowder.
Of seven score musicians the very great enchanter.
There was of the enamelled honor the privilege.
Hu of the expanded wings.
Thy son, thy barded proclamation,
Thy steward, of a gifted father.
My tongue to recite my death-song.
If of stone-work the opposing wall of the world.
May the countenance of Prydain be bright for my guidance.
Sovereign of heaven, let my messages not be rejected
In the Death-Song, Uther is given a northern background if we connect Cawrnur with King Caw of Strathclyde.We also have the mention of ‘Prydain,’ the archaic term for Pictavia. The northern element of the Uther canvas allows us to chisper ‘Gorlasser’ into the ‘Gleissiar of the North’ as found in the triads.
3: Uther is Gleissiar
Three Brave Men of the Island of Britain: Gruddnei, and Henben, and Edenawg. They would not return from battle except on their biers. And those were three sons of Gleissiar of the North, by Haearnwedd the Wily their mother. (Triads)
Examining the first element of the name of Gleissiar’s wife, ‘Haearnwedd,’ we gain credible link to Big Geoff’s Igerne, as in ‘Ig-Hearn.’ At thi spoint lets just make a little graph-thinky to show how its all fitting together so far.
Big Geoff Death-Song Triads
Gorlois Gorlassar Gleissiar
Tintagel Attacks Cawrnur ‘of the North‘
UTHER THE DRUID
In the Death-Soong, Uther declares himself as ‘the very great enchanter,’ & ‘a bard to be praised.’ According to Julius Ceasar, becoming a bard was the first step on a twenty year learning curve that ended up being a master druid. ‘Report says,’ writes Ceasar, ‘that in the schools of the Druids they learn by heart a great number of verses, and therefore some persons remain twenty years in training.‘ That he is cgiven the epithet, Pendragon, ie ‘Chief Dragon,’ is reflected in the poem’s ‘Hu of the expanded wings.’ George Oliver writes, ‘the Druids had a high veneration for the Serpent. Their great god, Hu, was typified by that reptile; and he is represented by the Bards as ‘the wonderful chief Dragon, the sovereign of heaven,’ Hu was a Sumerian-Egyptian god, the personification of Divine Utterance, the voice of the poets.’
The notion of a leading druid goes back to at least Ceasar, who recorded, ‘of all these Druids one is chief, who has the highest authority among them. At his death, either any other that is prominent in position succeeds, or if there be several of equal standing, they strive for the primacy by the vote of the Druids.’ The Life of Saint Patrick mentions a chief druid, naming him a Primus Magus, reflecting his magical powers. The name given him by in Manx was Kion-Druaight or Ard-Druaight. Translating Kion & Ard into Welsh, we are given Pen, & the Druaight is extremely close to Draig, Welsh for Dragon, as in;
In The Death-Song Uther sings, ‘am I not with hosts making a din / I would not cease, between two hosts, without gore.’ This reflects the position the druids took up between two armies, ringing bells & chanting to the gods, as stated by Diodorus Siculus (44BC); Frequently, during hostilities, when armies are approaching each other with swords drawn and lances extended, these men rushing between them put an end to their contention, taming them as they would tame wild beasts.’
UTHER THE PICT
519: Two Drests – Drest son of Girom, Drest son of Uudrost
529: Garthnach son of Girom Pictish King List
Arthur, Dux Pictorum, ruling realms of the interior of Britain, resolute in his strength, a very fierce warrior, seeing that England was being assaulted from all sides, and that property was being stolen away, and many people taken hostage and redeemed, and expelled from their inherited lands, attacks the Saxons in a ferocious onslaught along with the kings of Britain, and rushing upon them, fought valiantly, coming forward as leader in twelve battles. Lambert of Saint-Omer
The identity of the two Drests who ruled between 519 & 529 are otherwise unknown, but the fact that they ruled together & that their parents were Girom & Uudrost is highly significant. Uudrost would be Uther Pendragon, while Girom appears as Gigurnus, or Gygurn, in alternate versions of the genealogy. Following the Drests is Garthnach son of Gygurn, & dropping the guttural ‘g’ from the names gives us Arthnach son of Ygurn, who should be the same man as Arthur son of Igerne. It comes as no surprise to see how the Triads’, ‘Gruddnei… son of Gleissiar… by Haearnwedd,’ philochisps into Gartnait, a common alternate name for Garthnach as given in the lists. This suggests that Gleissiar’s other sons, Henben & Edenawg, are the two Pictish Drests who ruled before Garthnach/Arthur. All this allows us to expand our ID chart.
Big Geoff Death-Song Triads King-List
Gorlois Gorlassar Gleissiar Uudrost
Igerne Haearnwedd Gygurn
Tintagel Attacks Cawrnur ‘of the North’ Fathers a Pictish King
Arthur Arthur Gruddnei Gathnait/Garthnach
ARTHUR & RHYNIE
Three Tribal Thrones of the Island of Prydain: Arthur the Chief Lord at Menevia, and David the chief bishop, and Maelgwyn Gwyned the chief elder. Arthur the chief lord at Kelliwic in Cornwall, and Bishop Betwini the chief bishop, and Caradawg Vreichvras the chief elder. Arthur the chief lord in Penrhionyd in the north, and Cyndeyrn Garthwys the chief bishop, and Gurthmwl Guledic the chief elder Triads
There is in Britain, in the land of the Picts, a palace of the warrior Arthur, built with marvelous art and variety, in which the history of all his exploits and wars is to be seen in sculpture. Lambert of St Omer
- The name ‘Penrhionyd in the north,’ easily transchispers into Rhynie, deep in the pretty Cairngorms near Aberdeen. In the Welsh language, ‘Pen’ means ‘summit or peak,’ which renders Penrhionyd as meaning ‘Peak of Rhionyd.’ Above Rhynie towers the far-seen Tap o’ Noth, Scotland’s second highest hillfort, complete with impressive triple-ringed defense-works. It is well worth a trip to Rhynie, a remarkably compact & pretty village whose residents go about their business quite unaware they are breathing the same pure & mountain air as Arthur did during his seven-year stint as King of the Picts.
- A definite Arthurian connection to Rhynie comes through Tintagelware, which had fanned out throughout Britain to a series of high-status sites such as South Cadbury in Somerst & also Longbury Bank in the Dyfed parish of Penally, situated within another of Arthur’s ‘Tribal Thrones.’ Just as Cadbury was home to a grand timber feasting hall; & just as at the ‘high-status’ Longbury Bank in Dyfed, Ewan Campbell & Alan Lane suggest ‘there is tenuous evidence for at least one large timber building;’ so have archeologists uncovered the post-holes & plank slots of a timber feasting hall at Rhynie.
- More support for a Pictish Arthur begins with a glance at the King List, where we encounter a certain ‘Drest Gurthinmoch’ as ruling the Picts between 477 & 507. We can now identify the Triad’s ‘Gurthmwl’ with Gurthinmoc, for it makes perfect sense that when Arthur – the chief lord – became the King in 529, Gurthmwl/Gurthinmoc would have been described as a ‘chief elder.
BUDROST & PEDR
We have already seen how Uther Pendragon was based in the West Country. If we look again at the genaology of the kings of Dyfed we see, ‘Cincar – Pedr – Arthur.’ The spelling Pedr is echoed in the Pictish King List, where in the the Scalacronica version held at Corpus Christi College we see a certain Budrost, whose name is given in place of Uudrost in alternate version of the King List. The Pedr-Arthur / Budrost-Garthnach / Uther-Arthur successions indicate that the Paterni Coliavi of the Artognou stone is Arthur’s father.
UTHER IS PETER COLIAVI
In 1983, A lovely piece of epigraphical evidence turned up at Tintagel itself, when a massive grass-fire raged across its promontory. Once the fire had scorched its business, the foundations of several dark-age buildings were uncovered on the promontory, one of which yielded in 1998 an extremely interesting piece of broken slate known now as the Artognou Stone. Upon it was found scribbled a sample of sub-roman ‘graffiti’ that shall prove to be the key to unlocking the mysteries of King Arthur.
PATERNI COLIAVI FICIT ARTOGNOU
Peter Coliavi made this Artognou
‘When I saw the letters A-R-T,’ declared the archeologist who found the slate, ‘I thought, uh-oh.’ One can imagine the excitement that rippled out from Tintagel that summer, the discovery sending historians & linguists scrambling to identify what the word Artognou meant, with the ‘gnou’ element getting everybody all confused. A few possibilities were mentioned, but no-one got anywhere really – the connection to Arthur was deemed unproven & the whole thing slowly forgotten. The thing is, the slate is broken off at just the place where ‘Artognou’ ends, meaning the word could well have contained more letters. It is all a case of thinking outside the box, or in this case outside the dark-age slate. So I started chucking some of our 26 noble glyphs at the inscription & found that by adding a single letter ‘s,’ we gain the word ARTOGNOUS,’ or ‘Artogenous,’ a Latin word meaning ‘of the gens/family of Arto.’ The slate’s inscription should then be rendered as;
Paterni Coliavi made this, of the family of Arto
- A solid candidate for Paterni turns up in the 7th century Life of Saint Turian. This vita was thought lost until 1912, when it was unearthed by Tabbe Duin in the Public Library of Clermont, France, whose archaic nomenclature suggests a very early date of composition, c.700AD. In chapter five of the vita, a virgin named Meldoch speaks to King Graddalon about his seat in heaven being;
A place destined from him in the kingdom of god, close to Constantine, a king beyond the sea, the son of Peterni, of Cornwall
- The 16th century Aberdeen Breviary confirms that (Saint) Constantine’s father was ‘Paterni Regis Cornubie,’ i.e. Paterni, the king of Cornwall, a perfect match to the ‘Paterni’ of the Artognou Stone. According to Big Geoff, Constantine was Arthur’s ‘kinsman,’ supporting the Artognou Stone’s Peterni as being, ‘of the family of Arto.
- The Jesus College genealogies show a certain ‘Peder’ listed among the sons of ‘Glois.’ Ewein vab keredic. Pedroc sant. Kynvarch. Edelic. Luip. Clesoeph. Sant. Perun. Saul. Peder. Katwaladyr. Meirchyawn. Margam Amroeth. Gwher. Cornuill. Catwall. Cetweli. Gwrrai. Mur (JC20)
- We can connect the ‘Coliavi’ of the Artognou Stone to Gorlois thro’ the following babel-chain.
Coliavi – Gleve – Glevesing – Glywysyg – Glywys – Glois – Gorlois
This places the Gorlois clan in South Wales, as confirmed positively in the 11th century Life of Saint Cadog by Lifris of Llancarfan.
There reigned formerly on the borders of Britain, called Dimetia, a certain regulus, named Glywys, from whom all the country of that district, in all the days of his life, was called Glywysyg
From the evidence garnered thus far, it seems that Cyngar, the king of Dyfed who ruled before Pedr, would also be Glywys, the king of Dyfed (ie Demetia) whose son was called Peter. Congar Glywys/Coliavi! If the succession was via a bloodline, then we can hypothesize on King Arthur’s paternal grandfather being Saint Congar. That he founded a monastery at Cadbury leads naturally to the Arthurian connections, both legendary & archeologically, to South Cadbury hillfort.
QUINTUS & CYNGAR
According to Big Geoff, Uther Pendragon & Ambrosius Aurelianus were brothers. Where the Jesus College that has‘Peder’ among the sons of ‘Glois,’ we also find Margam Amroeth, which seems to translate as Margam Ambrosius. The village of Margam is in ‘Glywysing,’ South Wales, which leads us to a contemporary of Ambrosius – Saint Paul Aurelian. His vita, written by Wrmonoc, tells us; ‘Saint Paul, surnamed Aurelian, the son of a certain count named Perphirius, who held a position of high rank in the world, came from a province which is in the language of the British race, because a section of it is regarded as an island, is called Penychen.’Penychen was one of the cantrefs of Glywysing, placing another nobly-born Aurelian in the very area where the young Ambrosius grew up. With these matching home regions & surnames, & the fact that the name ‘Perphirius’ means ‘clad-in-purple,’ it is highly likely that they were related.
In my Arthurian studies I disovered that the father of Ambrosius was a certain Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, a member of the Symmachi branch of the Aureli gens, & the consul for the Western Empire in 446 AD. We can now make a simple babel-chain between our two fathers of Uther Pendragon.
Of course this is pure speculation, and at first it may seem incongruous to identify a high-ranking Roman with a religious Welsh Saint. Cyngar’s vita, however, was composed seven centuries after he lived and consists of a patchwork of other saints’ lives, reducing its credibility as biography. It is possible that only the genealogical record is useful, along with perhaps one or two true anecdotes. In Cyngar’s case, we learn he hailed from a ‘royal’ family, with his birthplace being Llanungar near St. Davids. I shall be exploring Cyngar & Quintus again in the future, but for now let us at least acknowledge that the Sub-Roman site at Cadbury/Congresbury was definitely a high status as a cultural centre, patronizing craft-workers, and having access to glass and ceramics from the Anglo-Saxon areas to the east, and from the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and possibly France or Spain – possible reliques of consular activity! A Roman villa has been discovered in the area, while also of relevance may be last year’s discovery at Yatton, next to Congresbury, of 300 Roman graves!
Uther Pendragon was the father of Arthur, as attested via several obscure philochisps. It seems he as from the clan of ‘Glywys,’ based in South Wales, but was also strongly connected to the north. Ygerne’s presence in the matrinlineal Pictish King List suggests she was Pictish & thus Uther would have married into the Pictish royal family. This naturally leads to Arthur being both a West Country warrior AND a Pictish King. The presence of a Pictish name – Drust – on a sub-roman stone in Cornwall reinforces the connection.