Arthurian Name Dictionary

Caball [Cafall, Caval(l)]

Arthur’s hunting dog, found in Nennius and Welsh tales. Nennius claims that while Arthur and Cabal were hunting the boar Troynt in the country of Buelt, Cabal left his footprint on a stone. Arthur later built a heap of stones on the location, calling the monument Cairn Cabal. Nennius describes this monument as one of the wonders of Britain, saying that men often take the stone from the monument, but it always reappears there within a day.
   In Welsh legend, Cabal accompanied Arthur on the hunts for the boars Ysgithyrwyn and Twrch Trwyth (which is possibly the same boar as Troynt), and killed Ysgithyrwyn himself. He was also instrumental during the hunt for a stag in the Forest of Dean. The dog’s name comes from caballus, the Latin word for “horse.” In Culhwch and Olwen, Cabal is also described as belonging to Arthur’s warrior Syfwlch. [Nennius, Culhwch, Geraint, TennIK]

Cabarentin [Cararentis, Esbarantin]

The good King of Cornwall in the Vulgate Lancelot; a vassal of Arthur. He assisted Arthur in the campaign against King Claudas of Gaul, and he led a division against Mordred at the battle of Salisbury. Presumably, he was slain there. [VulgLanc, VulgMort]


A king and father of Arthur’s knight Batewain. [HartmannE]


The lady of Cabrion was a cousin of Arthur. While traveling to Arthur’s court, she witnessed Gawain being kidnapped by Caradoc of the Dolorous Tower. She ordered her knights to attack, but they were defeated, and one of Caradoc’s knights came after her. Fleeing into the forest, she encountered Duke Galescalain of Clarence, who successfully defended her against her pursuer. [VulgLanc]


Half brother of Hygwydd and one of Arthur’s warriors. He had an odd talent and desire for destroying barns that is not quite clear. He participated in the hunt for Twrch Trwyth and helped to trap him in the Severn river, but was dragged to the bottom by two millstones. He apparently survived, because he later went with Arthur’s party to the cave of the Black Hag in the Valley of Distress. Cacamwri and Hygwydd were sent in first, and were both mauled, stripped, and thrown out of the cave screaming by the Black Hag. [Culhwch]


One of Arthur’s nobles, listed in Biket’s Lai du Cor. He helped stop Arthur from killing Guinevere when a magical horn betrayed a trivial infidelity. Cadain’s wife was also found to be untrue by the horn. [Biket]

Cadant [Chadians]

A vassal of King Claudas, whom he served in a war against Arthur. His brothers were Canart, Alibel, and Brumand. [VulgLanc]

Cadarn (“Strong”)

Father of Arthur’s warrior Nerth. [Culhwch, Dream]


In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, writers began to associate Camelot with a Roman hill fort near Cadbury, Somerset, possibly because of a local river called the Camel. John Leland was the first known author to do so. Michael Drayton tells us that “By south Cadbury is that Camelot; a hill of a mile compasse at the top, foure trenches circling it, and twixt every of them an earthen wall; the context of it, within, about 20 acres, full of ruines and reliques of old buildings.” Folklore relates that Arthur sleeps in a cave beneath the hill, protected by golden gates which stand open only one night of the year. Another tale says that the ghosts of Arthur and his warriors ride down from the top of the hill on certain nights of the year.
   Twentieth-century archaeology has demonstrated the existance of a British hill-fort on top of the hill in the late fifth century. It may have been the headquarters of a British king campaigning against the Saxons, though identifying this hypothetical person with Arthur relies, as Richard Barber pointed out (King, 24), on the somewhat questionable theory that Arthur was the only British military figure of note in this area in this time period.
   William Camden also identified Cadbury with Cath-Bregion, the site of one of Arthur’s battles against the Saxons in Nennius’s account. [Camden, Drayton]

Cadellin Silver Brow

Father of one of Arthur’s Gweirs. The same Gweir is later named as the son of Llwch Windy Hand. [Culhwch]


A Welsh warrior whose death at the hands of Maelgwn is mourned by Merlin in an early Welsh poem contained in the Black Book of Carmarthen. [Myrddin]

Cadgyffro (“Battle Tumult”)

Father of Arthur’s warrior Gilbert. [Dream]

Cadiolant [Cadoalant, Cadoalens]

A king of Ireland who served Arthur, present at Arthur’s court in Cardigan. He fought at one of the Castle of Maidens tournaments and opposed King Ris in another tournament. [ChretienE, Contin1]


A Welsh “saint,” whose life contains an Arthurian episode: Cadoc’s father, Gwynnlyw, was harbored by Arthur when he kidnapped the lady Gwladys from her husband. Years later, Cadoc, the Abbot of Llancarfan, harbored a fugitive named Ligessauc who had killed three of Arthur’s knights. After seven years, Cadoc was finally able to make Arthur accept a payment of 100 cows for the lives of the three knights. Arthur agreed, but demanded that every cow had to be half-red and half-white. Cadoc, through holy means, transformed the cows into such colors, but the cows later turned into ferns. Arthur, humbled through the experience, named the location Ferntown. [SaintsCad]


A knight from Carlisle or Tabriol saved by Erec. Cadoc was kidnapped and tortured by a couple of giants. Erec, on his adventures with Enide, heard Cadoc’s lady screaming, and rode to the rescue. Erec defeated the giants, and returned Cadoc to his paramour. Cadoc traveled to Arthur’s court and related the episode to Arthur’s company. He is called Kalviel in the Norse Erex Saga. [ChretienE]


A king who fought in a Castle of Maidens tournament, where he was defeated by Gawain’s son Guinglain. [Renaut]


One of the three “Just Knights” in Arthur’s court. He endeavored to enforce the law of the church. [Triads]

Cador1 [Cadwr]

Ruler of Cornwall and father of Constantine. Geoffrey of Monmouth tells us that Cador was of Roman stock but does not name is father. A Welsh translation of Geoffry makes him the son of Gorlois, Igerne’s first husband, and in Geraint, his father is called Gwryon. He married a sister or half-sister of Arthur. According to Geoffrey, Guinevere was raised in his household (from which Thomas Hughes seems to assume that he was Guinevere’s father). The chronicler John Hardyng makes him the son of Igerne, and therefore Arthur’s half-brother.
   Cador assisted Arthur in the battles against the Saxons, and killed the Saxon leader Cheldric at the Isle of Thanet. He assisted in the battle against the Scots at Lake Lomond, and later helped Arthur in the campaigns against Gaul and Rome. After the first battle of the war, Cador escorted the prisoners captured to the prison in Paris. The Emperor’s men lay in ambush to capture the prisoners, but Cador and Lancelot, with their knights, slew them all. As the commander of the rear guard at the battle of Soissons, Cador helped Arthur to finally defeat Lucius. He was killed fighting Mordred’s army at Camlann, and his son inherited Arthur’s throne. [GeoffHR, Layamon, Dream, Geraint, Allit, Malory, HughesT]


Brother of Guignier, the maiden who married Arthur’s Sir Caradoc. He was wounded when a knight named Alardin abducted his sister, and became friends with Caradoc when he rescued her. He accompanied Caradoc to Arthur’s court and married Ydain, one of the ladies there. [Contin1]


A ruler of Northumberland, who organized a tournament at Banborc to find a husband for his daughter, Andrivete. When he died, his brother, Ayglin, tried to marry the maiden to a commoner, but Kay saved and wed her. [Girart]


An Arthurian knight. [Merveil]


Son of King Aguiflet of Scotland, brother of Cuoi, and a powerful knight. He was present at the wedding of Erec and Enide. He is mentioned in Chrétien’s Erec, and his counterpart in Hartmann’s Erec is Goasilroet. [ChretienE]


A knight of Arthur’s court. [Contin1]

Cadrieth1 (“Fair Speech”) [Caydryeith]

Son of Seidi and one of Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. He was the brother of Alun of Dyfed and Cas. Although a young man, he was one of Arthur’s most trusted advisors because of his keen intellect. A Welsh Triad tells us that he was one of the three “most courteous to guests and strangers.” [Triads, Dream]


Son of Gandwy and one of Arthur’s squires. He held the position of chamberlain and guarded the king’s bed. [Geraint]

Cadwain of Carmurain [Cadowain of Caermurzin, Karadoains]

A knight freed from the prison of Sir Brandin of the Isles by Lancelot. He later joined Gawain on a quest to locate Lancelot. He may be identical to Cardroain of the verse romances. [LancLac, VulgLanc]

Cadwal [Cadual]

In Reginald Heber’s Morte D’Arthur, Guinevere pines over her first love—a forest boy named Cadwal she met during her youth in Derwent. It eventually is revealed that Cadwal was actually Lancelot in disguise. [HeberMD]

Cadwallo Longhand [Cadwallo Lewirh, Cadwell, Cadwathlan, Cadual]

A king who Geoffrey of Monmouth names as the ruler of the Venedotians (North Welsh) under Arthur. According to historian John Morris (Age, 125), an historical Catwallaun Longhand drove the Irish out of Anglesey in 500. His son was named Maelgwn. [GeoffHR]

Cadwy [Cado, Cadway, Cato]

Son of Geraint, father of Berth, and one of Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. In the Life of St. Carannog, he is Arthur’s contemporary and perhaps his superior, ruling the castle of Dunster. He may be identical to Cador. [Culhwch, SaintsCar, Dream]

Cae Hir

Named in a Welsh Tristan fragment as a man who loved Golwg Hafddydd, Isolde’s handmaid. He may be a Welsh version of Kahedins who, in some versions of the Tristan legend, loves Brangain, Isolde’s servant. [TrisFrag]

Cæ the Courteous

A vassal of Queen Flúrant of Ireland, Isolde’s mother in the Icelandic Saga af Tristram ok Ísodd. He tried to claim credit from a dragon that Tristan slew on Sukstía mountain, which would have``````` allowed him to marry Isolde. Queen Flúrant wanted to hang him for the lie, but Tristan convinced her to simply banish him from Ireland. His character appears in Gottfried’s Tristan as an unnamed steward. [SagaTI]

Caelenc [Canlang]

A Saxon king who, under Rions, invaded Carmelide in the early days of Arthur’s reign. He was slain by Arthur at the battle of Carhaix. [VulgMer, Arthour]


Mother of the Fairy Knight by Tom a’ Lincoln, Arthur’s son. She was called the Fairy Queen. [Johnson]


A city in the lands ruled by Galehaut, Arthur’s enemy-turned-ally. The castle walls collapsed, foreshadowing Galehaut’s coming death. [LanDoLac]

Caen [Caiam, Came]

The name that King Arthur bestowed upon the former city of Chinon to honor Kay, who had died in the Roman war and was buried there. The city is real, and lies in northwest France. [Layamon, Allit]

Caer Brythwch

A city, probably in Wales, but lost to modern geographers. The only Arthurian association with the city comes in Culhwch and Olwen, where Arthur’s chief gatekeeper, Glewlwyd, says that he was in Caer Brythwch, and possibly implies some Arthurian involvement. The larger legend to which this remark likely refers is lost to history. [Culhwch]

Caer Dathal

Home of Arthur’s warriors Teregud, Caradawg, Sulyen, Bradwen, Moren, and Siawn—all sons of Iaen. [Culhwch]

Caer Fanddwy

An alternate name for Annwn, the Celtic otherworld. The meaning of fanddwy is unknown. [Spoils]

Caer Feddwid (“Fortress of Carousal”)

A nickname for Annwn, the Celtic otherworld. [Spoils]

Caer Goludd

An alternate name for Annwn, the Welsh otherworld. K. Jackson (Loomis, Romance, 16) suggests “Inward City” as a translation. [Spoils]

Caer Greu

In Welsh oral tradition, Peredur and Gwrgi were killed fighting Eda Great-Knee at Caer Greu, after their warriors abandoned them. The name may be a variation of Caer Creu, meaning “city of blood.” [Triads]

Caer Nefenhyr Nine-Teeth

A city, probably in Wales, but lost to modern geographers. The only Arthurian association with the city comes in “Culhwch and Olwen,” where Arthur’s chief gatekeeper, Glewlwyd, says that he was in Caer Nefenhyr, and possibly implies some Arthurian involvement. The larger legend to which this remark likely refers is lost to history. [Culhwch]

Caer Ochren

An alternate name for Annwn, the Celtic otherworld. [Spoils]

Caer Oeth

A city probably in Wales. Welsh oral tradition had it that Arthur was imprisoned in Caer Oeth for three days by Gwen Pendragon before he was transferred to another prison. [Triads]

Caer Pedryfran

A nickname for Annwn, the Celtic otherworld. It may signify a four-cornered fortress. [Spoils]

Caer Rigor

Another name for Annwn, the Celtic otherworld. [Spoils]

Caer Se

A British city, once inhabited or visited by Arthur’s chief gatekeeper Glewlwyd. [Culhwch]

Caer Seint

The Welsh name for the Roman fort of Segontium.

Caer Siddi (“Fairy Fortress”)

A nickname for Annwn, the Celtic otherworld, as told by the Welsh poem The Spoils of Annwn and a non-Arthurian poem in the Book of Taliesin. [Spoils]

Caer Wydr (“Fortress of Glass”)

An alternate name for Annwn, the Welsh otherworld. [Spoils]


A location on the river Dee in Merioneth, Wales, where Kay was said to have lived (Ashe, Quest, 192).

Caerleon [Caer Llion, Ca(e)rlion, Carlioun, Ca(y)rlyon, Karlion, Karliun, Kerlioun]

A town on the River Usk in south Wales. In the chronicles, it is one of the key cities of Arthur’s realm. The remains of a Roman fortress and ampitheater at the site demonstrates some importance in Roman and post-Roman times. Locals call the ampitheater the “Round Table.” According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Arthur was crowned king in Caerleon by the Archbishop Dubricius. Geoffrey, who sometimes calls it the “City of Legions,” suggests that it was the greatest city in Arthur’s realm. In the Vulgate Merlin, Arthur’s coronation at Caerleon is interrupted by a rebellion, and a battle is subsequently fought and won by Arthur outside the city. A number of other texts, including several Welsh stories, name Caerleon as Arthur’s main court, at least until the founding of Camelot.
   The Arcbishopric of Caerleon passed from Tremonus, during the reign of Ambrosius, to Dubricius, and then to David. It was also the home of Arthur’s fool, Sir Dagonet. [Culhwch, GeoffHR, VulgMer, Owain, Peredur, Malory]

Caerliudcoit [Lindocolinum]

A city in the country of Lincoln in northern Britain, where Arthur fought a battle against the Saxons under Colgrim. The name is a derivate of Lincoln. [GeoffHR]


A city and bay in Gwynedd, North Wales. It lies near Snowdon, and was the site of the Roman fort Segontium.


A section of Arthur’s kingdom ruled by Baron Maurice. [GeoffHR]

Cahot the Red

Brother of the Red Knight that Perceval killed as a youth. In revenge for his brother’s death, Cahot joined the Lord of the Fens in waging a war against Perceval’s mother, Yglais, and her castle of Kamaalot. By coincidence, Perceval wandered into Cahot’s castle, the Key of Wales, looking for a night’s lodging. Cahot recognized him, and Perceval ended up slaying him in battle. [Perlesvaus]


Son Yvain the Bastard and one of Arthur’s squires in Perlesvaus. Arthur announced that he was going to take Cahus on a pilgrimage to the chapel of St. Augustine in the White Forest. On the night before the scheduled journey, Cahus had a dream that he visited a shrine near the chapel, took a golden candle, and was stabbed in the side by a Black Knight. He awoke in Arthur’s castle and found to his astonishment that he was holding a golden candle, and had a dagger stuck in his side. He perished of the wound after presenting the candle to his king. A similar story is related about an unnamed attendant of Arthur’s in John of Glastonbury’s chronicle. [Perlesvaus, JohnG]

Caiaphas [Caiphas, C(h)aÿphas, Chaifas, Chayphas]

In the Book of Matthew, the high priest of Jerusalem who tried and condemned Jesus, and handed him over to Pilate. In the Grail histories, Caiaphas imprisons Joseph of Arimathea after Joseph entombs the body of Christ. He stuck Joseph in the bottom of a dark well and ordered that he be given nothing to eat or drink. He was therefore astonished when, 42 years later, the Roman Emperor Vespasian delivered Joseph from the prison looking as youthful as the day he was put in (Joseph had been sustained by the Grail). Vespasian tried Caiaphas for his crime, and then set him adrift at sea in a rowboat, with no food or water. God kept him alive, in ravenous hunger and thirst, and he was later met by Galahad, Bors, and Perceval during the Grail Quest. Two sixteenth-century versions of Joseph’s life give Caiaphas a confederate named Annas. [RobertBorJ, VulgEst, PostQuest, HereJoA]

Caichester [Kaicester]

A British city ruled in Arthur’s time by Cursalem. [GeoffHR]


In Malory, this Egyptian city is allied to Lucius, Arthur’s enemy in the Roman War. [Malory]

Calabria [Kalabrois]

In the romance of Yder, Calabria is named as one of Arthur’s courts. Malory gives it as a country allied to Lucius the Roman. The latter reference probably indicates a region of southern Italy. [Yder, Malory]

Calafes [Kalafes]

King of the Strange Land (including the city of Malta) in the time of Joseph of Arimathea. He suffered from leprosy, but was cured by the Holy Grail, brought to his kingdom by Alan the Large and his brother Joshua. He converted to Christianity and took the name Alphasan. He gave his daughter and lands to Joshua, and he helped Alan and Joshua build the Grail Castle of Corbenic. He was wounded by a holy lance after impiously sleeping in the palace which contained the Grail. He died the next day. [VulgEst]

Calamine Valley [Galamine]

A lush Middle-Eastern valley near the castle Hemelian. It was abundant with nard, cinnamon, and balsam. Flegetine traveled through it while seeking her husband, Nascien. [VulgEst]

Calcas [Kallas]

Son of Caw, one of twenty brothers, and a one of Arthur’s knights. He appears in the Welsh tale of Culhwch and the Vulgate Lancelot. He performed well in a tournament thrown by King Brandegorre of Estrangorre, and he swore fealty to Brandegorre’s daughter. [Culhwch, VulgLanc]

Calcydon [Calcidoine]

A Mediterranean kingdom. Its lords were ancestors of King Rions of Ireland, an enemy of Arthur. One of its princes, Tydeus, owned a sword which had belonged to Hercules and was later passed on to Rions. [VulgMer]


Arthur’s sword in Welsh legend, analogous to Excalibur, with which it shares the same root. Scholars have identified it with Caladbolg (“hard lightning”), the enchanted sword belonging to Cuchulainn in Irish mythology. [Culhwch]

Caledon [Aledon, Caledonia, Calidoine, Calydon, Celidon, Celyddon, Cylyddon]

A forest covering northern England and southern Scotland, around the area of Dumfries, Carlisle, and the river Tweed. In Nennius, it is the site of Arthur’s seventh victorious battle against the Saxons (see Arthur’s Battles). This seems rather far north for a fight against the Saxons, and some scholars have conjectured that, if the battle really took place, Arthur was fighting Picts allied to the Saxons rather than the Saxons themselves. Geoffrey retains the battle but changes the Saxon leader to Colgrim. Welsh legend has the region ruled by Cilydd. Merlin (and Lailoken) was said to have roamed through Caledon like a wild man after he had gone mad at the battle of Arfderydd. In the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal, we learn that it was the haunt of the fearsome Papagustes serpent. Inglewood, which plays a large role in several Middle English poems, was one of the forests in the Caledonian region. [Nennius, Culhwch, GeoffHR, TennIK]

Calendin the Younger

A Knight of the Round Table who embarked on the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]

Caleph [Kaleph]

A castle in Wales belonging to Duke Ganor, the first British ruler converted to Christianity by Joseph of Arimathea’s followers. It was the site of a battle between Ganor and his former overlord, the King of Northumberland. [VulgEst]

Caleque [Kalec]

A castle in Britain ruled by Count Dangis. Fleeing Arthur’s court for Joyous Guard, Lancelot and Guinevere lodged at Caleque for one night. Count Dangis, a friend of Lancelot, promised to support Lancelot in his struggle against Arthur, and he placed Caleque at Lancelot’s disposal. [VulgMort, PostMort]


A Saxon knight killed by Meleagant after Calfaudin issued a challenge to any Briton knight. Calfaudin had hoped to prove his honor in order to marry the daughter of the king of Saxony. [Prophecies]


A town on the coast of Wales, to which Perceval’s mother fled after the death of her husband, Bliocadran. After organizing her affairs, she left Calfle for the forest, where she raised Perceval in seclusion. [Bliocadran]


The original form of Excalibur, given by Geoffrey of Monmouth. [GeoffHR]


Champion of courtesy, assigned by Gloriana, the Fairy Queen, to capture the Blatant Beast. After a number of adventures, he became fascinated with the life of shepherds and digressed fom his quest to become one of them. He fell in love with the shepherdess Pastorella. When she was abducted by pirates, Calidore rescued her, and discovered along the way that she was a princess. He eventually returned to his quest and captured the Blatant Beast after a struggle. [Spenser]


A Roman soldier who fought in the war against Arthur. Mentioned in the Vulgate Merlin, he occurs in the same location as “Catellus Vulteius” in Wace’s version. [VulgMer]

Caligante the Poor

A Knight of the Round Table who died during the Grail Quest. His brothers, Delimaz the Poor and Asalim the Poor, were also of the Round Table. [PostQuest]


Pagan queen of the realm of Femminoro, seat of all lechery. Five of her descendants—Medeas, Lavina, Agnena, Bresenda, Pulizena—inhabited the castle Crudele and clashed with Tristan. [Tavola]


A hermit who lived in the White Forest, near the chapel of St. Augustine. A murderer and robber most of his life, Calixtes repented at the end and spent his last five years as a holy man. Upon his death, Arthur witnessed a battle in which angels triumphed over devils for the man’s soul. [Perlesvaus]

Call (“Wise”)

The dog belonging to Arthur’s warrior Bwlch. [Culhwch]

Calles [Kallés]

A wealthy duke whose six sons led a revolt against him because they feared that Calles intended to disinherit them. Calles’ nephews allied with their uncle, as did Gaheris, Gareth, and Agravain. With their help, Calles almost prevailed, but Lancelot and Lionel, who had been deceived by the Maiden of Many Years and Calles’ sons, allied with the sons. Calles was slain by Lancelot. [VulgLanc]


Archbishop of Everwic. Arthur summoned him to marry Sir Yder to Queen Guenloie. [Yder]


A knight in the service of Lucius the Roman in Malory. He was known as one of the strongest men in Pavia. During the first battle of the Roman War, Callyburne slew many of Arthur’s men but was killed by Sir Bors. In the Alliterative Morte Arthure, Malory’s source, Callyburne appears as an unnamed “paynim of Perse.” [Malory]


Cousin of Perceval and son of Calobrutus. He was captured by Gohart of the Castle of the Whale, chained to a rock, and left to starve. He was sustained by the daughter of the Sick King until Perceval found him and freed him. After Perceval captured Gohart, Calobrus chained his former captive to the same rock and likewise left him to die. [Perlesvaus]


One of Perceval’s eleven paternal uncles in Perlesvaus. He was the seventh son of Gais the Large, the brother of Alain, and the father of Calobrus. [Perlesvaus]

Calogrenant [Calogreuand, Colgreva(u)nce, Kalebrant, Kalocreant, Kalogrenant, Kalogreuant, Kalogrian]

A Knight of the Round Table from Gorre, introduced by Chrétien de Troyes. In two versions of the Yvain story, Calogrenant’s tale of an enchanted fountain in Broceliande prompts Yvain to seek the adventure. His counterpart in Welsh legend, in this respect, is Cynon. In Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, Calogrenant is present at the Grail Castle when Gawain concludes the Grail Quest, but an enchantment puts him to sleep before he can witness the marvels of the Grail.
   According to the Vulgate romances, he joined Arthur’s company in the early days of the king’s reign, fighting against the Saxons at Carhaix and Aneblayse, and against the rebellious kings at the battle of Bedegraine. He appears as a stock character in other places.
   During the Grail Quest, he came to a chapel and found Lionel about to murder Bors. In defense of Bors, Calogrenant dueled with Lionel (Bors was praying and refused to fight) and was eventually killed. He prayed just before Lionel struck the killing blow and achieved holy absolution. When Lionel decapitated him, his blood flowed milky white, spilled on the ground, and caused enchanted flowers to grow perennially in that spot. A hermitage at the location was later named after him.
   Malory also recounts his death at the hands of Lionel but later, confusingly, reports that Calogrenant was present at the healing of Sir Urry. Malory gives him a second death outside the chamber of Queen Guinevere, where he was slain by Lancelot after joining Mordred’s plan to expose Guinevere’s infidelity.
   R. S. Loomis (Tradition, 273) thought that he was a duplicate of Kay, his name deriving from Kai lo Grenant (“Kay the Grumbler”). [ChretienY, ChretienL, Heinrich, VulgLanc, VulgQuest, VulgMer, Contin3, PostQuest, Ywain, Malory]


A forest near Corbenic through which Galahad and Perceval’s sister rode during the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]


The King of Sicily in Claris et Laris. He joined Emperor Thereus of Rome’s war against Arthur and was killed in battle against Arthur’s knights. [Claris]


A Saxon king who joined King Rions’ war against Arthur. He fought at the battle of Aneblayse, where King Ban of Benoic slew him. [VulgMer, Arthour]


A name meaning “crooked,” borne by a number of rivers in Britain, including one near Cadbury Castle in Somerset. This Cam has been suggested as the site of Camlann, Arthur’s final battle. Excavation has revealed signs of a battle at the site. [Topography]

Camalis [Camaalis]

King of Camelot in the time of Joseph of Arimathea, according to the Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal. He battled the Christians (led by Mordrain and Nascien) when they arrived in his kingdom and, defeating them, imprisoned them in the Giant’s Tower. He then offered to settle the dispute in single combat with Nascien, who had been wounded in the first battle. Nascien was magically healed before the duel, however, and was able to defeat Camalis. Camalis and his kingdom then converted to Christianity. In the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal, Argestes is the king of Camelot. [PostQuest, ProsTris]


A king of North Wales who served Arthur. [Contin1]

Cambenic [Ambenic, Cambernic, Canbernic, Candebenet]

A duchy in northern Britain, described in the thirteenth-century Lancelot as bordering on the kingdoms of North Wales and Estregor, although its location is nonetheless mysterious. It contained the city of Clarence. There is perhaps a confusion with Cambria, the medieval name for Wales, or Cumbria, a kingdom bordering on Wales and Scotland. Ruled by Duke Escant during the early days of Arthur’s reign, Cambenic was one of the countries in rebellion against Arthur. It was soon invaded by Saxons, and was the site of an epic battle in which Gawain and his father and brothers showed extraordinary prowess. The Saxons were eventually repelled, and Cambenic made peace with Arthur. Later, Cambenic went to war with North Wales. It may be the origin of the country Kanadic in German literature. [LanDoLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, Arthour, Malory]


Son of Brutus, first king of Britain, and brother of Albanact and Locrine. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, he gave his name to Cambria, or Wales. [GeoffHR, Wace, Palamedes]


A medieval name for Wales. Geoffrey of Monmouth traces its etymology to the fictional Camber, son of King Brutus. [GeoffHR]


An English duke who fought in the tournament at Sorelois. It is probably Malory’s mistake for the duke of Cambenic. [Malory]


A river in Cornwall. It begins in Bodmin Moor and empties into the sea near the town of Padstow. It is given by Geoffrey of Monmouth as the actual location of Camlann, where Arthur fought his final battle against Mordred. Constantine and Arthur were the only survivors. Constantine became king of Britain while Arthur was taken to Avalon by Morgan le Fay. Near its source is a town named Camelford, which Layamon specifies as the location of the final battle. Local legend places the battle at Slaughter Bridge, about one mile from Camelford. John Leland says that Arthur and Mordred clashed on the bridge and killed each other. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]


A knight from Northumberland. He loved Princess Hermondine of Scotland, but she was hesitant to marry him because of his disconcerting sleepwalking habit. He was eventually slain by Arthur’s Sir Meliador, one of Hermondine’s other suitors. [Froissart]


A town on the river Camel in Cornwall, named by Layamon as the site of Arthur’s final battle against Mordred. This event is called Camlann in early Welsh tradition. Layamon erroneously thought that the town was on the River Tamar. It has been suggested as the site of Camelot. [Layamon]


A location near Falkirk in central Scotland, offered as the site of Camlann by proponents of Arthur as a northern hero.

Camelot1 [Camalahot, Camalat, Camallate, Camalot, Camelotto, Camilot, Damolot, Kama(h)alot, Schamilot]

The famous court and capital of King Arthur, common in the vernacular due to the Lerner and Lowe play bearing its name, appears first (but only once) in Chrétien de Troyes. In most Arthurian tales, it competes with Caerleon, Carlisle, Cardueil, and Logres for the position of Arthur’s chief city.
   From the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal, we learn that an evil pagan king named Agrestes ruled the city in the time of Joseph of Arimathea. He slaughtered many of Joseph’s followers at the Black Cross before God drove him mad. The Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal provides us with different biblical era king named Camalis, after whom Camelot was named. Following these examples, Tennyson agrees that the city was ancient and was not established by Arthur, in contrast to popular tradition.
   In Arthur’s time, Camelot served as the location for many tournaments, one of Gawain’s battles against the Saxons, and many other adventures. It’s main church, St. Stephen’s, held the remains of Arthur’s greatest warriors. According to the Post-Vulgate Mort Artu, King Mark of Cornwall besieged Camelot during the Grail Quest and, after Arthur’s death, returned to destroy it completely. In La Tavola Ritonda, it falls to ruin after Arthur’s death.
   Camelot may be a variation of Camulodunum, the Roman name for Colchester. The castle also may have taken its name from any number of rivers with the root cam, meaning “crooked,” which was probably the source of Camlann. Descriptions of its location vary. Palamedes places it on the Humber River, and Malory identifies it with Winchester, while writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries began to associate Camelot with an old Roman hill fort south of Cadbury. Camelford in Cornwall and Camelon in Scotland have also been suggested. In recent years, archaeological investigations into the Cadbury fort have shown that it was occupied by Britons in the late fifth century. Given that Camelot is a place of romance and fantasy, however, any investigation into the location of the “real” Camelot is probably futile. [ChretienL, Wolfram, Perlesvaus, VulgQuest, VulgLanc, VulgEst, PostMer, PostQuest, PostMort, Tavola, Malory, Camden, Drayton, TennIK]

Camelot2 [Kamaalot]

A valley and castle ruled by Perceval’s father, Alain le Gros, in Perlesvaus. The author of Perlesvaus clearly makes a distinction between Perceval’s Camelot and Arthur’s Camelot. After Alain’s death, the castle fell to his widow, Yglais. It was attacked by Cahot the Red and the Lord of the Fens, but these knights were eventually slain by Perceval. [Perlesvaus]

Camengues [Camugnes]

A castle or country in or near Britain. It’s lord fought against the Saxon invasion in the early days of Arthur’s reign. [VulgMer]


Malory’s variation of Carmelide, Leodegan’s kingdom. [Malory]


The daughter of the pagan British King Orcant of Orkney. She found Peter, a follower of Joseph of Arimathea, wounded near her father’s castle. Taking pity on him, she arranged for a Christian in her father’s prison to be released long enough to heal Peter. Peter later championed her father against King Luce; his victory secured Orcant and Camille’s conversion to Christianity. Camille and Peter married and had a son named Herlan. Gawain was one of their descendants. [VulgEst]


A Saxon sorceress. See Gamille.


One of Isolde’s maidservants. [ProsTris]

Camille4 with the White Throat

In Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, a lady at Arthur’s court who failed a chastity test. [Heinrich]

Camlann [Cambala, Camball, Camblan, Cambul(a), Camel, Camelford, Camlan, Kamblan, Kemelen]

The site of the final battle between Arthur and Mordred, where Mordred was killed and Arthur mortally wounded. The romances tell us that Arthur was carried from the battlefield to be healed at Avalon.
   The name Camlann comes from Welsh tradition, where its extensive proliferation indicates an actual battle was probably fought at some place with that name. These bardic tales, annotated in the Triads, portray a different conception of Camlann than what we have come to accept through Geoffrey of Monmouth and Malory. One Triad mentions the warrior Alan Fyrgan, who was apparently killed there after his warriors deserted him. Another tells us that it was started when Guinevere’s sister, Gwenhwyfach, struck Guinevere. A third suggests that Arthur’s defeat could be attributed to the method by which he divided his battalions. Some of these Triads probably developed after the Annales Cambriae, in which Camlann is listed in the year 537 as the battle where “Arthur and Medraut fell.” The Annales, contrary to later tradition, do not indicate whether Arthur and Medraut (Mordred) were fighting on opposite sides.
   Some of the Welsh Mabinogion tales discuss Camlann in more detail. Culhwch and Olwen tells us that nine warlords planned the battle, including Gwynn Hyfar—Arthur’s seneschal of Devon and Cornwall—and that there were only three survivors: Sanddef (he was so beautiful that the warriors mistook him for an angel and refused to attack him), Morfran (he was so ugly that the warriors thought he was a devil and refused to attack him), and Cynwyl. The Dream of Rhonabwy informs us that the battle was caused when Arthur’s messenger Iddawg delivered a peace offer from Arthur to Mordred in rude and insulting tones. This is the first mention in Welsh literature of Mordred as Arthur’s opponent at Camlann, and it must have been influenced by Geoffrey of Monmouth’s account. Nennius failed to pick up the story of the battle, and Geoffrey of Monmouth was consequently the first chronicler to mention it. Wace and Layamon followed this tradition, and the battle of Camlann was soon firmly rooted in Arthurian lore. According to the chronicles, Arthur returned from the Roman War to deal with Mordred’s insurrection. During their final battle at Camlann, their armies obliterated each other, Arthur slew Mordred, and Mordred mortally wounded Arthur. Morgan le Fay, Arthur’s sister, bore his body away to Avalon in a barge.
   The location of the battle has been subject to many interpretations. Geoffrey gave the site of the final battle as the river Camel in Cornwall; Layamon specifies the town of Camelford. A majority of scholars seems to accept this identification. Another suggestion involves the river Cam near Cadbury. Since cam is the Celtic word for “crooked,” it is a root of a number of rivers. A possible source for the name is Camboglanna, meaning “crooked bank.” Camboglanna belongs to a town in Rheged and has been proposed as the site of Camlann by proponents of Arthur as a northern hero. Camelon in Scotland is another possibility.
   The Vulgate Mort Artu substitutes Salisbury for the location of the final battle, which Malory follows. Counterpart locations in other sources include Trent, Urbano, the Humber, Ireland, and Lyonesse.
   Clearly there are many mysteries surrounding “Arthur’s final battle.” What does seem clear is that the battle of Camlann was a strife between two warring British factions—not between the British and the invading Anglo-Saxons. As Leslie Alcock points out (363), “[Camlann] must hae greatly facilitated the Anglo-Saxon advance. Whatever political history lies concealed here, the result must have been the fragmentation of a Britannia united under the sovereignty of a superbus tyrannus into a number of small British kingdoms. Most of these disappeared in the course of the next century without leaving the least trace….” [Culhwch, Triads, GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, Tavola, Allit, Malory, Camden, HughesT, Boece, Drayton]


A knight in Arthur’s service. [Girart]


A castle ruled by Belchis, an enemy of Arthur’s warrior Meraguis of Portlesguez. [Raoul]


The King of Baradigan—possibly an ally or vassal of Arthur—who fought in a tournament at the Castle of Maidens. [Renaut]

Canaan2 [C(h)anaam, Chanaan]

One of fourteen brothers who followed Joseph of Arimathea to Britain. Canaan and his brother Simeon were shown to lack faith when they were not served, like the other followers, by the Grail. Jealous, he murdered all of his brothers except for Simeon in the middle of the night. In punishment, the Christians decided to bury him alive. Canaan repented at the last minute, and was granted his request to have his dead brothers buried around him. Later, Canaan’s tomb burst into flames, and he suffered inside it for hundreds of years, until he was delivered by Lancelot. [VulgEst]

Canagues [Tanagues]

A knight and nephew of Sir Seguarades. He saw Gawain defeat his uncle in combat. Soon after, he attacked Gawain, but Gawain beat him senseless with his own helmet and made him surrender to the Lady of Roestoc. [VulgLanc]


A dwarf who served Felinete, a benefactress of Gawain. [Girart]


Erec’s grandfather. Descended from Greek peasants, Canan struggled to build a kingdom through his prowess. Eventually, he was crowned king of Saloliqui and had two children: Lac (Erec’s father) and Dirac. He was poisoned by his own aides, and his young sons were carried to Britain by their tutor. [VulgQuest]

Canart [Chanard]

A powerful knight who served King Claudas. His brothers were Cadant, Alibel, and Brumand, the last of whom died in the Round Table’s Perilous Seat. He fought furiously at the battle of Tower Castle, during Claudas’s war with Arthur. [VulgLanc]

Candaces [Gandaries, Kandiges]

Tristan’s great-great-grandfather. He was the son of King Appollo of Lyoness and Gloriande. His father was murdered by the son of the king of Cornwall, who took Candaces in and raised him as his own. When he came of age, he married the king’s daughter, Cressille, and became heir to Cornwall and Lyoness. He had twelve sons, including Crissidés and Baralis, who became the kings of Cornwall and Lyoness, respectively. [ProsTris, Tavola, Povest]

Candenart [Deriard]

A Saxon warrior who served Kings Sornegrieu and Sapharin. He fought in the battle of Carhaix against Arthur, where he was slain by Kay. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Canedam the Thin

A Knight of the Round Table who embarked with the others on the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]

Canedor of the Beautiful Lover

A Knight of the Round Table who participated in the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]

Canelengres [Kalegras, Kanelangres]

The surname of Tristan’s father, Rivalin, in Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan, from Rivalin’s capital city of Canoel. In the Norse Tristan sagas, the name is the only one given to Tristan’s father. The Icelandic Saga af Tristram ok Ísodd says that he was the son of Patrocles and that he served King Hlöòvir of Spain. According to this latter tale, he fell in love with Blenzibly, the sister of King Mark of England, with whom he had Tristan. He returned to Spain to defend it against two invading kings named Seran and Desixtus. He won the war, but received a mortal wound. [Gottfried, TrisSaga]

Canet1 of Blay

An Arthurian knight who participated in a quest to learn the fate of Merlin. [VulgMer]

Canet2 of Occire

A knight who served Uther Pendragon. [VulgLanc]

Canguin Rock [*Roche de Canguin, Sanguin]

A castle in Galloway, constructed by Igerne after the death of Uther Pendragon. While Arthur and the rest of Britain thought that Igerne was dead, she was living in the castle with her daughter and granddaughter, Clarissant. Gawain visited the palace and braved the Perilous Bed adventure found within. The comparable castle in the First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval and in Wolfram’s Parzival is known as the Castle of Marvels. Heinrich von dem Türlin calls it Salie. [ChretienP]

Canhastyr (“Hundred Holds”) Hundred Hands

One of King Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend who owned a special dog collar. As one of his tasks, the warrior Culhwch had to obtain this collar to hold the hound Drudwyn while hunting the boar Twrch Trwyth. [Culhwch]


Father of Brions, a Knight of the Round Table. [ChretienE]


A knight who served Arthur or King Leodegan of Carmelide. He fought against the Saxons at the battle of Carhaix. [VulgMer, Arthour]


The capital city of Parmenie, homeland of Tristan. It was a port town, situated on the English Channel. Tristan’s father, King Rivalin of Parmenie, took his surname (Canelengres) from it. [Gottfried]


A vassal of the King of a Hundred Knights. He participated in King Mark’s tournament in Lancien. [Contin4]

Canor2 [Thanor]

A heathen king of Cornwall who appears in the tale of Tristan’s ancestry. He married Chelinde, whose husband, Sador, was believed to be dead. Canor and Chelinde had a son named Cichoriades. Canor went to war with King Pelias of Lyonesse, who loved Canor’s wife. Canor was eventually killed by Apollo, the son of Chelinde and Sador. [ProsTris]


A city in Kent, in near England’s southeast coast. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, it was founded by King Hudibras in the tenth century BC.
   Formerly called Dorobernia, Canterbury served as Vortigern’s capital and as the Christian seat during Arthur’s reign (the Welsh Triads list it as one of the three archbishoprics). According to Geoffrey, Canterbury was managed by Duke Kimmarc in Arthur’s time.
   In the Vulgate and Post-Vulgate Cycles, and in Malory, the Archbishop of Canterbury is perhaps the chief Christian leader in Britain. The cycles tell us that the archbishop, who was related to Guinevere, threatened to excommunicate all of Logres if Arthur did not restore Guinevere as queen, following the exposé of her affair with Lancelot. Retiring to a hermitage after Arthur’s death, he was joined by several former Knights of the Round Table.
   The Post-Vulgate Mort Artu places him on the field after the battle of Salisbury, where he helped Sir Bleoberis build the Tower of the Dead. The story further relates that King Mark of Cornwall murdered him, and that he was avenged by Sir Paulas.
   The Stanzaic Morte Arthur says that when Mordred seized the throne of Britain and besieged Queen Guinevere in the Tower of London, the archbishop met him and rebuked him for lying about Arthur’s death and tormenting the poor Queen. He threatened to “curse [Mordred] with book, bell, and candle” if he did not abandon his attempts. In response, Mordred tried to kill him, and the archbishop fled to a hermitage in Glastonbury, where he received Arthur’s body from Morgan, and had it buried in the churchyard. As in the Vulgate and Post-Vulgate, he was joined by several of Arthur’s knights in his retirement.
   In Malory, the Archbishop of Canterbury takes on a number of roles given to the Archbishop of Brice in the Vulgate version, including summoning Britain’s nobles to the sword-in-the-stone tournament, supporting Arthur’s claim to the throne, and blessing the Round Table. In contrast to the archbishop’s murder in the Post-Vulgate, Malory says that King Constantine, who ruled Britain after Arthur, restored the Archbishop of Canterbury to his archbishopric. [Triads, GeoffHR, VulgLanc, VulgMort, VulgMer, PostQuest, PostMort, Stanz, Malory]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the second century BC. He succeeded King Bledud and was succeeded by King Owen. [GeoffHR]


A wasteland near Camelot. [Tavola]


A city in ancient Palestine, on the sea of Galilee. In the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal, a knight from Capernaum told Emperor Titus of Rome that Titus’s son, Vespasian, could be cured of his leprosy with any artifact that had been touched by Christ. Vespasian was cured, and later freed Joseph of Arimathea from prison. [VulgEst]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the second century BC. He succeeded King Pir and was succeeded by his son, King Cligueill. [GeoffHR]

Cappadocia [Capados]

An ancient kingdom, later a Roman province, in East Asia Minor. In the Alliterative Morte Arthure, it is subject to Lucius, Arthur’s enemy in the Roman War. [Allit, Malory]


The capital city of the sorcerer Clinschor, an antagonist of Gawain. [Wolfram]


A Knight of the Round Table, brother of the knights Damas and Damcab, who participated in the Grail Quest. He resented Lancelot and his kin for their fame and abilities. [PostQuest]

Caradawg1 [Caradawc, Cradawg]

Son of Iaen, brother of Sulyen, Bradwen, Moren, Siawn, and Teregud. One of King Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend, from Caer Dathal, he was related to Arthur through Uther. The name seems to be the source of the French Caradocs. [Culhwch]

Caradawg2 Strong-Arm

Son of Llyr of the Sea, father of Cawrdaf, and Arthur’s chief advisor in Welsh legend. He rode a horse named Host-Splitter. Caradawg is said to be Arthur’s first cousin, but Llyr is never said to be related to Eigyr (Igerne) or Uther. He was adapted by French writers as Caradoc Shortarm. [Triads, Dream, Geraint]

Caradigas [Caradigain]

A knight of Arthur’s service who participated in one of Gawain’s quests to locate Lancelot. [LancLac, VulgLanc]

Caradoc1 [Carados, Carahues, Carodac, Carodas, Carodoc, Carrado, Crad(d)oc(k)(e), Kar(a)dos, Karaduz, Karodas]

The giant, evil lord of the Dolorous Tower, where he lived with his mother. Testifying as to his popularity as one of the earliest Arthurian villains, Caradoc appears in a sculpture on an archivolt of a cathedral in Modena, Italy, constructed in the early twelfth century. On the sculpture, he seems to serve a Lord Mardoc of the Dolorous Tower, and is involved in a kidnapping of Arthur’s Queen Winlogee (Guinevere). He is apparently slain by Gawain during the queen’s rescue.
   In French romance, he is the son of Aupatris or Mitrides and the father of Karakadin. He is variously called “the Cruel,” “the Great,” and “the Huge.” In contrast to the scene on the Modena relief, Caradoc is an autonomous lord. He imprisons dozens of good knights, including Gawain and Yvain, which prompts Arthur to declare war. Caradoc’s forces held Arthur at the Wicked Pass, but Lancelot pressed through and engaged Caradoc in single combat. A lady named Floree, who Caradoc had imprisoned, handed Lancelot a magic sword during the fight, and Caradoc was slain. His brother, Tericam the Impenetrable, gave Arthur and Lancelot similar trouble. Malory tells a subdued version of Caradoc’s story, naming him as a knight who Lancelot defeated after catching him in the process of kidnapping Gawain.
   The name “Caradoc” enjoyed extensive proliferation throughout French Arthurian romances. The name is Welsh in origin and is represented in Welsh Arthurian literature as Caradawg. A number of other giants or tyrants, including Caradoc the Thirteenth and Karedos recall the character of Carados of the Dolorous Tower. [Modena, VulgLanc, Malory]


The King of Cambria, or Wales. He conquered Ireland and married the king’s daughter, by whom he had two children: Meriadoc and Orwen. As he grew old and infirm, he gradually relinquished control of his kingdom to his brother, Griffin, retaining only the ceremonial title for himself. Griffin, however, grew covetous of the throne and had Caradoc assassinated during a hunt. Meriadoc escaped to Arthur’s court and later brought justice to Griffin. [Historia]


Son of Catel and one of Arthur’s warriors. [Layamon]


The King of Nantes and husband of Ysave. His wife engaged in an adulterous affair with a sorcerer named Elïavrés, and gave birth to a son, accepted by Caradoc as his legitimiate heir and also named Caradoc. To hide the affair, Elïavres used magic to make Caradoc believe he was making love to his wife when, in fact, he was copulating with various animals. When the younger Caradoc, having become one of Arthur’s knights, exposed the affair, King Caradoc imprisoned his wife and forced Elïavres into bestiality with the same animals with which Caradoc had been tricked into sleeping. [Contin1]


A knight defeated in combat by Branor the Brown after he kidnapped a maiden. [Palamedes]


King of Little Britain and vassal of Lancelot in Jean D’Outremeuse’s Ly Myreur des Histors. He joins Lancelot in an invasion of Britain after Arthur’s death. They execute Guinevere and defeat Mordred. [Jean]

Caradoc7 Shortarm [Carados, Garedas, Karadin, Karadues]

An Arthurian knight who first appears in Robert Biket’s Lai du Cor, but who is known best through the Livre de Caradoc, an interpolation in the First Continuation of Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval.
   Caradoc relates that Caradoc was the heir to King Caradoc of Nantes, but was actually the son of Caradoc’s wife Ysave and a sorcerer named Elïavrés, with whom Ysave had an affair. He was awarded knighthood at Arthur’s court and accepted a challenge from a mysterious stranger to engage in a Beheading Game: each would take a swipe at the other’s head, and the one left standing would win. Caradoc went first, and chopped of his opponent’s head, but the stranger carefully picked up his severed head and secured it upon his neck again. When the stranger’s turn came, he refrained from decapitating Caradoc, revealing himself to be Elïavrés, Caradoc’s true father.
   Caradoc established a reputation as the best of Arthur’s knights through a series of quests, including the rescue of the maiden Guignier from the knight Alardin. He made it a personal duty to punish his adulterous parents, locking his mother in a tower and publicly humiliating Elïavrés. In response, Elïavrés cast a spell upon Caradoc which attached a deadly snake to his arm. Guignier and her brother Cador helped him avoid death, by luring the serpent away from Caradoc to Guinger, and then killing it as it went from one host to the other (a remedy prescribed by Elïavrés after Caradoc and Cador shamed it out of him). Caradoc married Guinger, who became his faithful wife as proven by a chastity test at Arthur’s court. This test forms the subject matter of Biket’s romance and several later chastity test tales. Biket contends that Arthur granted Caradoc the earldom of Cirencester as a reward for his wife’s fidelity.
   Caradic explains that his surname, briefbras (“shortarm”), derived from the fact that his arm was left shortened by the serpent that for a time was attached to it. Likely, however, the writer of the story simply mistranslated breichbras (“strongarm”), the surname of the Welsh character Caradawg. Another Caradoc Shortarm appears in the Vulgate Cycle as the king of Estrangorre. Other than the similarity in names, however, the characters have nothing in common. [Biket, ChretienE, Contin1, Mottuls, MantelM, Heinrich, Boy]

Caradoc8 Shortarm [Karadan]

The King of Estrangorre, Scotland, or Galencie who appears first in the non-cyclical Lancelot, and whose story is expanded by the Vulgate Cycle and by Malory. He was the father of King Aguisant of Scotland. The Vulgate Merlin says that he married one of Arthur’s half-sisters, although in another source, he is named as Arthur’s nephew and is married to Queen Catanance of Ireland. He was a Knight of the Round Table during Uther’s reign, but he revolted against Arthur when the young king first came to power. After Caradoc (with the other rebellious leaders) was defeated by Arthur at Caerleon and Bedegraine, his land was invaded by Saxons, and he had to swear fealty to Arthur in order to expel them. Later, as a Knight of the Round Table again, he fought in Arthur’s wars against Rome, King Claudas, King Mark of Cornwall, Lancelot, and Mordred. At the battle of Salisbury, he joined in combat with Mordred’s King Heliades, and each was mortally wounded.
   Though he bears the same name (and, likely, the same etymology) as Caradoc Shortarm of the Livre de Caradoc, his character shows no other similarities. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMort, VulgMer, Arthour, Malory, TennIK]

Caradoc9 the Thirteenth [Carados]

A giant knight from Uther Pendragon’s Old Table. He ruled the Torre Vittoriosa and hated the knights of the New Table. He defeated Lancelot, Palamedes, Galehaut, and many others, and hung their shields on his tower. Tristan, hearing of his prowess, visited his tower and conquered him after a day’s combat. Caradoc gave him the Torre Vittoriosa and retired to a hermitage in Andernantes. His character was probably suggested by Caradoc of the Dolorous Tower. [Tavola]


A castle which served as the site of a tournament, which Lancelot won by defeating knights from Sorelois and the Wasteland. [PostMort]

Caraés [Careheuls]

One of Arthur’s knights. He fought in a tournament at the Castle of Maidens. [Renaut]


A British wasteland where Lamorat and Drian were slain by Gawain and his brothers. [Tavola]

Caranges [Co(u)ranges, Corente(s)]

A wealthy Scottish city which was King Angusel’s capital. It was besieged by Saxons in the early days of Arthur’s reign, but Angusel repelled them with the help of Kings Urien and Bagdemagus. [VulgMer, Arthour]


One of the several Welsh “saints,” connected to Arthur in his Life. A missionary from Cardigan, he set his holy altar adrift in the Severn river, expecting it to wash up where he was most needed. It floated to Arthur’s realm in Dindraithof (the Welsh name for Dunster). Arthur seized it, promising to return it to Carannog if Carannog could drive away a serpent that was terrorizing Arthur’s land in Carrum. Through spiritual means, Carannog fulfilled the promise. In the meantime, Arthur had tried to use the altar as a table, but anything he placed on top of it was thrown off. Arthur returned the altar to Carannog, at the same time awarding Carrum to the saint. Carannog then resumed his journeys and founded the town of Carrof. [SaintsCar]


A noble who served Arthur. Like the other lords at Arthur’s court, his wife was found to be at least somewhat unfaithful by a magical horn in Biket’s Lai du Cor. [Biket]


A king of Britain several centuries before Arthur. Nennius says that he was the fourth Roman emepror to come from Rome to Britain, and that he immediately succeeded the dead Severus.
   While Bassianus held the throne in Britain, according to Geoffrey’s account, Carausius convinced the Roman senate to put many ships and soldiers under his control for the purpose of defending Britain’s coast. Carausius used the soldiers, however, to overthrow Bassianus and take the throne of the island for himself. Carausius’s rule was tyrranical but brief: upon hearing of his betrayal, the Roman senate sent the war leader Allectus to rectify the situation. Allectus killed Carausius and assumed the kingship.
   Both Nennius and Geoffrey are thinking of a late third-century Roman admiral who planned to usurp the Roman emperor Diocletian. Allectus, who murdered him, was his finance minister (Lindsay, 10). [Nennius, GeoffHR]

Carcelois1 [Carteloyse, Cartolius, Chartelos]

A castle on the borderlands of Scotland. Its lord, Count Ernol, was imprisoned by his sons, who wanted to rape their sister and perform similar sinful acts. Galahad, Perceval, and Bors liberated Carcelois the Grail Quest and freed the count from prison. Ernol lived long enough to meet Galahad and die in his arms. [VulgQuest, ProsTris, Tavola, Malory]

Carcelois2 [Catheloys]

A Grail King and ancestor of Pelles, Elaine, and Galahad. He was the third king of Corbenic Castle, the son of Aminadap, and the father of Manuel. [VulgEst]


A city in Britain, near lake Plimozœl, where Perceval’s uncle Trevrizent adventured. The Burgrave of the city was generous to both Trevrizent and to Perceval’s half-brother Feirefiz. [Wolfram]

Cardiff [Cardef, Caerdyv, Kardyval]

A city in southern Wales, near Caerleon-on-Usk, named in some romances as one of Arthur’s several courts. The Alliterative Morte Arthure and Malory mention one of Arthur’s knights called the “Captain of Cardiff,” who fought in the war against Rome. [Allit, Carle, SyrGaw, Malory]

Cardigan [Caradigan, Kardigan, Karidagan]

A city on the coast of Dyfed in Wales. In Chrétien de Troyes’s romances, and in several other tales, Arthur held his court here. In the tale of Meriadeuc, the queen of Cardigan is named Lore. Her city was besieged and captured by King Ris of Outre-Ombre, but she eventually forced him to leave. In the Livre d’Artus, it is ruled by Lisanor and is besieged by Saxons during the Saxon invasion at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. [ChretienE, UlrichZ, Livre, Meriadeuc]


A knight from Lanvale; one of three who fought against Lancelot in the False Guinevere episode. Cardoas and his companions were champions of the False Guinevere, while Lancelot fought to prove the queen’s innocence. Lancelot was victorious. [VulgLanc]

Cardoilen of London

A good Knight of the Round Table who participated in the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]

Cardroain the Red [Cadeain, Cadro(v)ain, Co(r)drovain]

A knight killed in a sparrowhawk tournament at Landoc by Arthur’s Sir Durmart. Cardroain had been championing the lady Idain of Landoc at the tournament. His brother was Sir Brun of Morois. [Durmart, Atre]

Cardueil [Cardeuyle, Cardo(e)(i)l(e), Carduel, Caridoel, Kardeuyle, Karduel, Karedol, Karido(e)l]

One of the locations frequently named as Arthur’s capital, particularly in continental literature. It is almost certainly a variation of Carlisle in Cumberland, although Cardueil’s location is often given as Wales or Brittany. It was the home of Do (Sir Girflet’s father, whom Malory confusingly calls “Cardol”), Arthur’s niece Lore, and Arthur’s knights Asgares the Sad and Briamont. Under Arthur, Meliant administered the city. In Arthour and Merlin, it is the site of the first battle between Arthur and the rebelling kings—a skirmish which the Vulgate Merlin places at Caerleon. In the prior Livre d’Artus, King Urien torches the city during the rebellion. Arthur rebuilds it, only to have the Saxon King Arrant burn the city again. According to the romance of Yder, it was the birthplace of Sir Yder and was outside Arthur’s kingdom. [VulgLanc, VulgMer, Livre, PleierG, Arthour]


Hero of the Italian Cantari di Carduino, a Fair Unknown story. After the jealous knight Aguerisse (Gareth or Gaheris) murdered Carduino’s noble father, Dondinello (Dodinel), his mother raised him in a remote forest and tied to keep him from becoming a knight. Enticed by the sight of a group of knights, however, Carduino left home for Arthur’s court. In subsequent adventures, he avenged his father’s murder and freed a city from a sorcerer’s hold. He married Beatrice, the lady of the city. The account of Carduino’s youth hints of Perceval’s childhood, while his later adventures bear a resemblance to the story of  Guinglain. [CantariC]


A castle, possibly Cardigan, where Aglovale and Perceval lodged on their quest to find Lancelot. [Malory]


A Knight of the Round Table who participated in the Grail Quest. [ProsTris]


One of Arthur’s knights. [Renaut]


A knight who joined his father, Margon, in a war against the Sore Pucelle, a lady who was eventually championed by Gawain. He was capturred by the Sore Pucelle’s warriors. The Sore Pucelle agreed to exchange him for a knight Margon had captured, but Margon betrayed the agreement by murdering the Sore Pucelle’s knight. Enraged, the Sore Pucelle launched Cargrilo to his death with a catapault. [Contin3]

Carhaix [Camaheu, Carahaix, Carahan, Carahes, Caraheu, Caro(h)aise, Karahes]

A city in Brittany that appears often in continental Arthurian literature. In Eilhart von Oberge’s Tristrant, Carhaix is the city ruled by King Havelin, father of Kahedins and Isolde of the White Hands. It was besieged by Count Riole of Nantes when Havelin refused to give Isolde to Riole, but was saved by the arrival of Tristan.
   In the Vulgate Merlin, Carhaix is a wealthy city in Carmelide (some geographic confusion here; Carmelide is supposed to be in Britain), ruled by King Leodegan (Guinevere’s father). Cleodalis was Leodegan’s steward of the city. It was besieged by Saxons led by King Rions of Ireland in the early days of Arthur’s reign. Arthur, Merlin, King Ban of Benoic, and King Bors of Gannes joined Leodegan’s forces there. A combination of the kings’ prowess and Merlin’s magic helped repel the Saxons. Some time later, Rions returned with greater numbers but was still unable to take the city. The second siege ended when Arthur fought Rions in single combat, and Rions was slain. Arthour and Merlin describes action at Carhaix which in the Vulgate Merlin takes place at Aneblayse. In other texts, Carhaix is named as the homeland of Gaheris, or as one of Arthur’s many courts. [Eilhart, Gliglois, LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, Arthour]


Steward of King Mark of Cornwall. He falsely accused Kahedins, Tristan’s brother-in-law, of cowardice and was killed by Kahedins. See Mariadoc. [Thomas]

Caridés of Escavalon [Aridés of Escabalon]

A malevolent lord who attacked the city of Beaurepaire and besieged the lady Blacheflour, Perceval’s sweetheart, within. Perceval, who had previously saved Beaurepaire from Clamadeu and Anguigerron, returned, defeated Caridés, and sent him to Arthur. Caridés eventually became a Knight of the Round Table. [Contin3]


A Knight of the Round Table who was defeated in a tournament between the Round Table and the Queen’s Knights. [VulgMer]

Carl of Carlisle

A giant, churlish (carl means “churl”) nobleman from Carlisle, famed for his poor hospitality. He kept a bull, a boar, a bear, and a lion as pets. Gawain, Kay, and Baldwin lodged with him after becoming lost during a hunt. The Carl beat Baldwin and Kay after they insulted him. He put Gawain through several tests (including, in one version, a Beheading Game) and was ultimately impressed with his courtliness and his willingness to obey his host. He explained to Gawain that as a youth he had made a vow to test all those who lodged with him, and to kill those who failed. Gawain’s nobility freed him from the vow. In reward, he gave Gawain his lovely daughter in marriage. Arthur made him the lord of Carlisle and gave him a seat at the Round Table. The Carl founded an abbey in honor of the many knights he had slain. [SyrGaw, Carle]

Carlisle [Carl(e)(i)le, Carlill]

A city in northwest England. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, it was named after King Leil, who ruled in the tenth century BC. Several authors suggest Carlisle as Arthur’s capital, or as one of his courts. The city’s original name, Luguvallum, may derive from the Celtic god Lug. In the sixth century, it was the capital of the kingdom of Rheged. Geoffrey of Monmouth names Lot, Gawain’s father, as the earl of Carlisle. Continental authors probably intend Carlisle when they mention Arthur’s Cardueil court. The Carl of Carlisle features in two English romances. Malory locates two pivotal events at the city: the healing of Urry and the rescue of Guinevere from the stake. In Sir Walter Scott’s The Bridal of Triermain, Arthur offers the city to the knight who will marry his daughter, Gyneth. [GeoffHR, Allit, Malory, Scott]

Carmadan [Karmadan]

A kind and noble knight who lodged Lancelot after the latter drank from a poisoned spring and fell deathly ill. Carmadan’s sister, Amable, healed Lancelot and fell in love with him. [VulgLanc]

Carmadol the Black [Carmaduc]

One of Arthur’s knights who participated in a quest to learn the fate of Merlin. [VulgMer]


A city in Dyfed in Wales, on the river Tywi. It is linked to Myrddin, the prototype of Merlin in Welsh tradition, as the Welsh incarnation of the town’s name was Caer Myrddin. It is unclear which name came first—the character or the town—but the link between the two reached Geoffrey of Monmouth, who made Carmarthen the site of the young Merlin’s encounter with King Vortigern’s soldiers, on a quest to find a “fatherless” child. Geoffrey also names Eli as the town provost under the king. Nennius had formerly placed the same events in Elledi. In Layamon, we are told that Uther Pendragon’s smith, Griffin, had his forge in Carmarthen. [Nennius, GeoffHR, Layamon]

Carmelide [Cameliard, Camelide, Camilyard, Carmalide, Carmeli(k)e, Ta(r)meli(r)de]

The country ruled by King Leodegan (Guinevere’s father). It may be a variation of Camel or Camelford in Cornwall (Ashe, 74). Cleodalis was its seneschal. Carmelide was the home of Sir Guyanor, one of Morgan le Fay’s lovers, and of Arthur’s knights Puredes and Landens. Its capital was Zelegrebre. The country was invaded by Saxons led by King Rions in the early days of Arthur’s reign, and its two principle cities, Aneblayse and Carhaix, were besieged. Arthur, Merlin, King Ban of Benoic, and King Bors of Gannes traveled to Carmelide and twice helped Leodegan rout the invaders; Arthur himself slew Rions. Tennyson replaces Rions’ invasion with one by King Urien. [VulgLanc, VulgMer, Livre, Arthour, Malory, TennIK]

Carmoisim the Great

A Knight of the Round Table killed during the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]

Carn Gwylathyr

An English mountain that contained the “five peaks” region, or Pumlumon, where Arthur’s warriors Cei and Bedwyr slew Dillus the Bearded. [Culhwch]

Carnant [Karnant]

The capital and chief castle of Destrigales, from which King Lac and, later, his son Erec, ruled. It is either Carwent in South Wales (R. S. Loomis’s proposal) or a conflation of Caer Nantes (“city of Nantes”), as Nantes takes the place of Destrigales in other Erec romances. In Parzival, Wolfram refers to the land itself as Carnant, and says that Duke Orilus defeated Erec in a tournament there. The nearby Well of Lac was capable of repairing the Grail Sword. [Erec, Wolfram]


An Arthurian warrior who was the son of Gofynyon the Old. [Culhwch]

Carnisy [Carnisin]

A castle to which maidens bore the body of a unnamed king slain by Lancelot during a forest encounter. [VulgLanc]


Arthur’s dagger, which he used to kill the Black Hag. [Culhwch]


A lesser king under Arthur, present at the coronation of Erec and Enide as King and Queen of Nantes. [ChretienE]


A powerful Saxon king who, with others, invaded northern Britain in the early days of Arthur’s reign. He led a division at the battle of Estrangort. [VulgMer]

Carone the Great of Granchole

According to La Tavola Ritonda, the first giant to come to Britain from the faraway islands. His son, Federiel, was the first ruler of Dolorous Guard, the castle conquered by Lancelot. [Tavola]


Brother of King Claudas of the Land Laid Waste in the Second Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval. He invaded Britain and, in turn, had his own kingdom of Recesse invaded by Arthur. He managed to arrange a reconciliation with Arthur through Gawain. [Contin2]


A region of southwest Scotland. It originally belonged to Sir Galleron, but Arthur annexed it and gave it to Gawain. Galleron arrived at a feast and challenged Gawain for ownership of the land. The fight ended in a draw, but Gawain graciously returned the country to Galleron anyway. [Awntyrs]


A province in Arthur’s realm. It was terrorized by a dragon, but was saved through the assistance of Saint Carannog, to whom Arthur gave the country as a reward. [SaintsCar]

Cart Castle [Charyot]

A castle on the border of Gorre, in which Lancelot was imprisoned by several queens, headed by Morgan le Fay. (In the Vulgate Lancelot, her co-conspirators are Queen Sedile and the Queen of Sorestan; in Malory, they are the Queen of North Wales, the Queen of Eastland, and the Queen of the Out Isles.) They tried to make him choose a lover from among them, but he refused and was eventually freed by one of their maidservants, who elicited from him a promise to fight for her father, King Bagdemagus, in an upcoming tournament. The castle’s name commemorated Lancelot’s ride in the cart during his rescue of Guinevere, as he had passed by the castle on the way. (In Malory, however, his rescue of Guinevere occurs long after his imprisonment by Morgan.) Later, Lancelot returned to Cart Castle to save his deliverer from marriage to an evil knight. Malory says that Morgan owned the castle. [VulgLanc, Malory]

Carvain [Karvain]

The home of Queen Guenloie, the lady loved and married by Arthur’s Sir Yder. [Yder]


Son of Seidi, brother of Alun and Cadrieth, and one of Arthur’s warriors. [Culhwch]


One of Arthur’s dukes in the Norse Erex Saga. He was present at the wedding of Erec and Enide. [Erex]


A castle five miles from Corbenic where Galahad was conceived by Lancelot and Elaine. Lancelot was drugged and led to the castle by Elaine’s maidservant, who told him that Guinevere was waiting for him. [VulgLanc, Malory]

Casibilant [Cassibilans]

The nephew of Duke Calles and brother of Alibel, Dyonis, and Dion. His six cousins revolted against Calles, their father. Casibilant and his brothers assisted Calles in the war, in which they were joined by Agravain, Gaheris, and Gareth. [VulgLanc]


A Welsh ruler who was the father of Arthur’s warrior Llara. [Dream]

Cassibelaunus1 [Cassibolon]

One of Arthur’s warriors, killed while fighting Mordred’s army at the battle of Camel. [GeoffHR, Wace]


In the chronicles, the King of Britain during Julius Caesar’s invasion in the first century BC. He ascended to the throne of Britain after the death of his brother, King Lud, whose sons were too young to receive the crown. Cassibelaunus was a magnanimous ruler; though he retained the throne when his nephews came of age, he invested them with lands and cities. Julius Caesar demanded Cassibelaunus’s fealty and invaded when Cassibelaunus refused. Cassibelaunus enjoyed several victories against Caesar before his nephew, Duke Androgeus of London and Kent, rebelled against him and joined Caesar’s forces. Caesar conquered Britain but was persuaded to leave Cassibelaunus on the throne provided the latter pay an annual tribute to Rome. Cassibelaunus ruled for seven more years, died, and was succeeded by his other nephew, Duke Tenuantius of Cornwall.
   In the Short Metrical Chronicle, the chronology of which is confused, Cassibelaunus is succeeded by Uther Pendragon. [GeoffHR, Wace, Short]

Castel of the Hevy Sorow

In Ywain and Gawain, the name for the castle that Chrétien de Troyes calls the Castle of Most Ill Adventure. [Ywain]

Castell Syberw (“Proud Castle”)

A castle owned by one of Peredur Long Spear’s cousins. It held five hundred and sixty-six knights. [Peredur]


According to Der Pleier, in Tandareis and Flordibel, this kingdom in Spain was allied to Arthur. [PleierT]


The King of Wales and North Wales in the days of Uther Pendragon. He married Herzeloyde (later Perceval’s mother) from the Grail Family. He died before their marriage was consummated, and Herzeloyde inherited his throne and lands. [Wolfram]

Castle Joyous

A fortress visited by the warrior maiden Britomart. There, she found the Red Cross Knight attacked by six knights. She assisted him, and the two of them defeated the attackers. The lady of the castle, Malecasta, had wanted the Red Cross Knight as her lover. When the Red Cross Knight and Britomart lodged at the castle, Malecasta turned her affections to Britomart, not realizing that Britomart was a woman. This misunderstanding led to another brawl, and Britomart and the Red Cross Knight had to flee the castle. [Spenser]

Castle of Boys

An island castle belonging to King Orians of Amalvi. When Arthur set hundreds of children adrift at sea in a vain effort to destroy his incestuous son, Mordred, the boat washed ashore at Amalvi. King Orians took pity on the children and had them raised secretly in the Castle of Boys. [VulgMer]

Castle of Death

A castle where Gaheris fought and killed the evil Kaols the Cruel. Gaheris gave the castle to one of Kaols’s prisoners. [Livre]

Castle of Enchantments

A castle in the Scottish borderlands, built by Orpheus the Enchanter, who had once debated with Joseph of Arimathea. This was related to Sir Bors in a song that he heard in Corbenic Castle. [VulgLanc]

Castle of Joy

One of the various names given to the Grail Castle in Perlesvaus. [Perlesvaus]

Castle of Ladies1

A fortress on the opposite site of the Oscure River from the Castle of Maidens. Lancelot participated in a tournament fought between the two. The Castle of Ladies was the home of Arthur’s Sir Flaundreus. Scholars often refer to Canguin Rock in Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval as the Castle of Ladies, but the text does not use this name. [VulgLanc, Malory]

Castle of Ladies2

Sagremor killed an evil knight named Greomar and siezed his castle, which Arthur named the Castle of Ladies. Sagremor gave the castle to Sir Laudon and his lady, Helyap. The Formidable Knight, Greomar’s brother, later besieged the castle and was defeated by Gawain. [Livre]

Castle of Maidens [*Castellum Puellarum, Chastel des Puceles]

A ubiquitous but mysterious location in Arthurian romances, featured earliest by Geoffrey of Monmouth, who says that the fortress of Mount Agned was also called the Castle of Maidens. By Agned, Geoffrey seems to mean Edinburgh in Scotland, which was known as castellum puellarum in the Middle Ages. It was built by King Ebraucus, who ruled in the time of David in Israel. Geoffrey does not account for the name of the castle, but in French romance it is explained by its large number of maiden inhabitants, either—depending on the tale—willing residents or prisoners.
   In the Second Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, the Castle of Maidens is inhabited by a lady and 100 maidens who test the worthiness of visiting knights. Perceval stops by during his quest for the Grail and is richly received. When he awakens the next morning, he is asleep in the forest and the castle has disappeared. In the Third Continuation, it is besieged by Tallidés of the Marsh, who wants to marry one of its maidens against the will of the castle’s mistress. Arthur’s Sir Sagremor champions the castle and defeats Tallidés, who is eventually allowed to marry his paramour. In the Fourth Continuation, it is ruled by Lady Ysabel, a relative of Perceval. The castle serves as the site of tournaments in Renaut’s Le Bel Inconnu, the Vulgate Lancelot—in which it is said to lie opposite a river from the Castle of Ladies—and Malory.
   Its most important appearance arrives in the Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal, which tells us that it was once ruled by a duke named Lynors until seven brothers, lodging at the castle, became lustful for his daughter. They killed the duke and his son, and then made it their custom to capture every maiden that passed by the castle and add her to their harem. Galahad ended this wicked custom during the Grail Quest, when he came upon the castle and liberated it. Gawain, Gareth, and Yvain arrived soon after and killed the seven brothers. Rule of the castle was given to Duke Lynors’ surviving daughter.
   In the Vulgate Merlin it is said to be ruled by a lord named Belias the Amorous. In the romance of Yder, it is besieged by a Black Knight. (When Arthur refuses to assist the castle, Yder leaves his court in disgust.) In De Ortu Waluuanii, it is besieged by a pagan lord, and Arthur saves it with the assistance of a young Gawain. The Livre d’Artus gives its ruler as the Queen of Denmark. In Palamedes, it is ruled by a maiden cousin of Guiron the Courteous who is besieged by Sir Golistant but is rescued by Guiron. Following this, the maiden converts the castle to a nunnery. In the Prose Tristan, it is the site of a great tournament, and its location is given as a dozen leagues from London. Malory, who repeats the story found in the Vulgate Queste, also names it as the home of Arthur’s Sir Moryans. There may be more than one castle intended in these varied appearances. [Renaut, Contin2, Yder, VulgLanc, VulgQuest, VulgMer, Livre, Contin3, Contin4, Palamedes, ProsTris, Historia, Malory]

Castle of Marvels [*Chastel de la Mervoille, Schastel Marveile]

A castle in Galloway, first found in the First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval. It is identical to Chrétien’s Canguin Rock and Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Salie. It was inhabited by several ladies related to Arthur and Gawain, including Arthur’s mother (Igerne or Arnive), Arthur’s sister and Gawain’s mother (Morgause or Sangive), and Arthur’s nieces and Gawain’s sisters (Clarissant, Itonje, and Cundrie). Wolfram says that the castle was built by Clinschor the sorcerer. It contained several adventures, including the Perilous Bed. Gawain journeyed to the castle in the companionship of the Lady Orgeluse, braved the Perilous Bed, and broke the castle’s enchantments. Gawain became the castle’s lord. The Livre d’Artus says that Merlin brought Igerne to live there, and that Pellinore also retired there. [Contin1, Wolfram, Livre]

Castle of Souls

One of the various names given to the Grail Castle in Perlesvaus. It was so nicknamed because anyone who died within it automatically went to heaven. [Perlesvaus]

Castle of Tears [Castello del Proro, *Chastel des Pleurs, Doleful City, Pleure]

A castle on the Giant’s Isle ruled by Brunor, Galehaut’s father. It had been built by the pagan giant Dialetes in the time of Joseph of Arimathea as a stronghold against Christianity, and a custom was established by which knights and ladies who were less valiant or less beautiful, respectively, than the lord and lady of the castle, were slain by the castle’s lord. Tristan and Isolde stumbled upon the island on their way from Cornwall to Ireland; in a subsequent battle, Tristan killed both Brunor and his wife, the Beautiful Giantess. Tristan became lord of the castle and lived there for a while with Isolde. In the Italian I Due Tristani, they had two children, also called Tristan and Isolde, during their sojourn at the castle. Once Tristan abandoned it, it was destroyed, at Galehaut’s behest, by the King with a Hundred Knights. [ProsTris, Conti, Tavola, DueTris, Malory]

Castle of Ten Knights [*Castel aux Dix Chevaliers]

A strong castle in Britain. Its custom was that if a challenger could defeat ten knights and the castle’s lord, the castle would be liberated; if the knight could only defeat the first ten, however, he would have to take the position of lord of the castle and remain there. The second scenario befell Erec, who relieved Hector of the responsibility. Gawain later defeated the ten knights, but not Erec, leaving himself to guard the castle for six years. Finally, Lamorat defeated all ten knights plus Gawain, ending the customs for good. Lamorat then voluntarily became lord of the castle and married its lady. [PostMer]

Castle of Ten Maidens [*Chastel as Dis Puceles]

A fortress inhabited by ten maidens and their lovers. Its lord was Geogenant, a friend of Arthur’s Sir Durmart. The Lady of the castle was called Dyonise. [Durmart]

Castle of the Ball [*Chastel de la Pelote]

A manor near Cambenic in which Gawain lodged upon returning from his quest for the Grail Sword. Its knights were in the habit of protecting local travelers. [Perlesvaus, Livre]

Castle of the Beards

A fortress whose knights would require the beard of any passers-by as a toll; with the beards, they made hair shirts for the local hermits. Lancelot ended the custom by slaying the participating knights. The lady of the Castle of the Beards wished Lancelot as a husband, but he left and did not return. [Perlesvaus]

Castle of the Borderlands

The Livre d’Artus refers to an episode in which Gawain fought Guinganbresil at the Castle of the Borderlands. Guinganbresil’s sister had given birth to a son begotten by Gawain. She was distressed that her brother and lover were fighting, so she kept placing herself and her child between them. In the First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, Gawain fights an identical duel against Brandelis, rather than Guinganbresil, at the Castle of Lis. [Livre]

Castle of the Door [*Castel du Port]

A castle visited by Gawain, who learned that the castle’s residents were under attack by Gernemant of Northumberland. Gernemant had asked the castle’s lord for the hand of his daughter. When the castellan refused, Gernemant said that if the castellan did not provide a champion in a year, he would take the maiden by force and give her to his vilest stable boys. Gawain arrived just before the year was out, championed the castellan, and slew Gernemant. Gawain fell in love with the maiden, but she would not believe him when he revealed his identity. After Gawain left the castle, the maiden went to Arthur’s court, and upon receiving confirmation that her savior was truly Gawain, remained there to wait for him. They were joyously reunited at the end of Gawain’s adventures and became lovers. [Meriadeuc]

Castle of the Enchantress1

A castle in Sorelois, the kingdom ruled by Galehaut. [ProsTris]

Castle of the Enchantress2

A castle in Ireland ruled by King Anguish. Anguish called a tournament at the castle, on the fields of Fregolo, which Tristan won. [Tavola]

Castle of the Fens

A castle ruled by King Agravadain the Black, who assisted Arthur in the Saxon Wars. It was visited by Merlin and Ban, the latter of whom, because of an enchantment cast by Merlin, slept with Agravadain’s daughter, begetting Hector. During Hector’s adventures, he was imprisoned at the Castle of the Fens after he slew Mataliz, the lord’s son, which means either that the castle had a change of ownership, or that it occurred at a different castle of the same name. Hector won his freedom by championing the lord’s niece, Elaine the Peerless, against her husband. [VulgMer, VulgLanc]

Castle of the Four Stones [*Chastel des Quatre Pierres]

A castle visited by Sir Balan, where he heard news of his brother Balin. It was in Bagdemagus’s kingdom. Meleagant’s body was borne there after he was slain by Lancelot. [VulgLanc, PostMort, Malory]

Castle of the Galleys

A seaside castle in Wales, ruled by the Queen of the Maidens. Perceval saved the castle from an attack by his own uncle, the King of the Castle Mortal. [Perlesvaus]

Castle of the Giants

A fortress on the Island of the Elephants, belonging to Perceval’s foe, the Knight of the Burning Dragon. [Perlesvaus]

Castle of the Griffins

A fortress visited by Lancelot. Any knight who entered had to propose marriage to the castellan’s daughter and then try to pull a spear out of a pillar. All knights failed, and were beheaded by the castle’s lord. Lancelot alone succeeded, which enraged the castellan so much that he threw Lancelot into his prison. The daughter helped Lancelot escape past the fierce griffin guards. [Perlesvaus]

Castle of the Guard [*Chastel de la Garde]

A castle constructed by Arthur and presented to Sir Tor in the First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval. In Durmart le Gallois, a castle of the same name is ruled by Felon of the Guard, a knight defeated by Durmart. [Contin1, Durmart]

Castle of the Horn1 [*Castel del Cor]

The fortress ruled by the Lord of the Horn. The name of the castle reflected a horn hanging outside which, when blown, summond the Lord to fight. Perceval blew the horn and defeated the Lord in combat. [Contin2]

Castle of the Horn2

A castle in Gaul captured by Arthur during his war with Claudas. Arthur gave it to Bors who, in turn, bestowed it on the (unnamed) husband of the Lady of the Lake. [VulgLanc]

Castle of the Lake [*Castello del Lago]

The Lady of the Lake’s castle in La Tavola Ritonda. [Tavola]

Castle of the Mills [*Chastel des Mollins]

A group of mills in Ireland fortified into a stronghold. It was commanded by Sir Procidas, a servant of Queen Fenise of Ireland. [Durmart]

Castle of the Moors [*Chastel des Landes]

An Irish castle which belonged to King Anguish, Isolde’s father, and was governed by the Maiden of the Moors. It was the site of a tournament, the winner of which was to become the Maiden’s husband. Palamedes won the tournament but declined to marry the Maiden. [ProsTris, Malory]

Castle of the Most Ill Adventure [*Chastel de Pesme Aventure]

A castle visited by Yvain in Chrétien’s Yvain and its adaptations. Finding its inhabitants in tears, Yvain inquired and discovered that the maidens of the castle were doomed to be delivered to a pair of fiends. The castle’s custom was that any knight who stopped there had to joust with the fiends, facing death or imprisonment if he lost. One clever king—known in Chrétien as the King of the Island of Maidens and in the Norse Ivens Saga as King Reinion—avoided this fate by promising to send 30 of his most beautiful maidens to the monsters each year. Yvain freed the castle of this contract by defeating the fiends. The king of the Castle wanted Yvain to marry his daughter, but Yvain refused and departed. In the Middle-English Ywain and Gawain, the castle is called the Castel of the Hevy Sorow, while Ivens Saga calls it the Encounter with Adventure. [ChretienY, Ivens, Ywain]

Castle of the Mount

A castle belonging to Sir Dalam, an enemy of Dinadan. [ProsTris]

Castle of the Pass

A castle in Cornwall. [ProsTris]

Castle of the Plain

A fortress where Lamorat won a tournament. [ProsTris]

Castle of the Rock [*Castel de la Roce]

In the Third Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, a castle ruled by Silimac of the Rock, a knight killed while traveling with Gawain. In the Prose Tristan, a castle by this name is on the border between Lyonesse and Cornwall. [Contin3, ProsTris]

Castle of the Thorn

A castle in northern Britain where two young warriors—Dodinel and Kay of Estral—met and decided to oppose their families by taking service with Arthur. It is also named as the castle ruled by Tericam, the tyrant slain by Lancelot. [VulgMer, Livre]

Castle of the Two Sisters

A castle where Guiron the Courteous and Danain the Red defeated King Meliadus of Lyonesse and King Lac. [Palamedes]

Castle of the Whale

An island castle ruled by the malicious lord Gohart. Perceval defeated Gohart in battle, took control of the castle,  and awarded it to his cousin, Sir Calobrus. [Perlesvaus]

Castle of Three Maidens

A castle besieged by the evil Harpin the Red. Hector of the Fens and the King with a Hundred Knights rescued the castle. [Palamedes]

Castle Perilous

A castle, near the Isle of Avalon, in which Sir Ironside, the Red Knight of the Red Lands, besieged the damsel Lyones and held her prisoner until he was defeated by Sir Gareth. Afterwards, a friendly tournament was held at the castle between King Arthur and a collection of opposing knights. [Malory, TennIK]

Castle without a Name [*Castiel sans Non]

A castle on the Island that Floats, ruled by the enchantress Lingrenote. Guengasoain, Gawain’s opponente in La Vengeance Raguidel, lodged at the castle and received magical arms from the sorceress. [Vengeance]


Nephew of King Pelles of Corbenic. When Lancelot had recovered from a period of insanity and was staying at Corbenic incognito, Castor suspected his true identity and pressed Lancelot about it, until Lancelot rebuked him for un-knightly behavior and shamed Castor into promising to keep Lancelot’s secret. [Malory]


A region in northeast Spain, on the Mediterranean. It was allied to Lucius the Roman and consequently joined Lucius’s war against Arthur. [Malory]


A queen of Ireland who married King Caradoc Shortarm, one of Arthur’s vassals. [PostQuest]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the third or second century BC. He was the son of King Gerontius and the father of King Coill. [GeoffHR]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Cathleus in Geoffrey of Monmouth, and of Caradoc in Layamon. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]


In Layamon, a Roman senator who joined Lucius’s war against Arthur. Layamon split Wace’s Lucius Catellus into two characters: Catellus and Lucas. [Layamon]


A duchy ruled by Duke Marmadus, the son of the Red Knight. G. D. West suggested that it was Caithness in Scotland. [Contin4]

Cath Palug [Capalu]

A fearsome monster fought, and perhaps slain, by Cei on the Isle of Anglesey, according to an early Welsh poem known as Pa Gur yv y Portaur. Cei visited the island specifically to “destroy lions.” Palug means “clawing,” but it seems to have been interpreted as a personal name: “Palug’s Cat” rather than “Clawing Cat.”
   According to a late Welsh Triad, Cath Palug was born to the enchanted pig Hen Wen. Coll, the pig’s keeper, cast it into the sea at Menai Strait, from which it apparenlty found its way to Anglesey and was raised by the sons of Palug, on whom the monster turned.
   The story of the Cath Palug was apparently carried to France, where it was called “Chapalu.” The author of the Vulgate Merlin recalls the tale of Chapalu when he tells of Arthur’s battle with a hellish feline on the Hill of the Cat. In one version of the French Chapalu tale (Romanz des Franceis), Arthur was said to have been slain by the creature, which then took the crown of England for itself. Finally, in the French romance La Bataille de Loquifer, the hero Renoart slays a “Chapalu” in Arthur’s kingdom of Avalon. [WelshPG, Triads, VulgMer, Bataille]


One of Arthur’s warriors. He wa the son of Catel. [GeoffHR]

Catigern [Categren, Cateyrn, Katiger(n), Katigis]

In Nennius and Geoffrey, the son of Vortigern who was killed in battle against Hengist’s Saxon armies while fighting alongside his brother, Vortimer, at Episford. He slew, and was slain by, Hengist’s brother Horsa. Layamon says that Horsa and Catigern wounded each other, but indicates later that Catigern did not die at that battle. Wace calls the same character Vortiger. [Nennius, GeoffHR, Layamon]


King of Libya who served Emperor Filimenis of Constantinople, Floriant’s father. [Floriant]


A mountain range in the south of Russia. Wolfram, who seemed to think that they lay in India (which he calls Tribalibot), says that the city of Thabronit, ruled by Perceval’s half-brother Feirefiz, lay at their base. [Wolfram]

Caulas1 [Maulas]

A Saxon chieftain who, with others, invaded Carmelide in the early days of Arthur’s reign. At the battle of Aneblayse, his forces were routed by Arthur, Leodegan, Ban, and Bors. Caulas was slain by Arthur. [VulgMer, Livre, Arthour]

Caulas2 the Red

One of Arthur’s knights. He fought against the rebellious kings at the battle of Bedegraine, and he participated in a quest to learn the fate of Merlin. [VulgMer, Malory]


These large pots, used in various rituals by the Celts, become enchanted objects in several episodes in Welsh legend. The nature of the cauldrons and the warriors’ quests for them have been seen by some as precursors of the Grail and the Grail Quest. The earliest Arthurian poem, called The Spoils of Annwn, describes Arthur’s expedition to the Welsh otherworld, where he obtains a magic cauldron (“gently warmed by the breath of nine maidens,” the maidens here preceding the Grail maidens of later legend) that would not “boil a coward’s food.” Arthur similarly obtains such a cauldron in Culhwch and Olwen, after he invades Ireland and kills Diwrnach the Irishman. Diwrnach’s cauldron is mentioned among the “Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain”: as suggested by Annwn, it would only boil food intended for a brave man (this ability to separate the brave from the cowardly mirrors the Grail’s ability to divide the pure from the perfidious). An invasion of Ireland similar to the one in Culhwch occurs in the non-Arthurian tale of Branwen. Here, the British king is Bran the Blessed. The cauldron he obtains as part of his plunder had the power to resurrect the dead (healing is another property assigned to the Grail). The episodes in Annwn, Culhwch, and Branwen are similar, with Ireland suggesting the otherworld in the latter two. In another legend, the bard Taliesin was said to have been born from a cauldron. Irish legend has its share of cauldrons as well, with the mythological god Dagda owning a cauldron of plenty (similar to the Grail in the First Continuation). [Spoils, Culhwch, Triads]


A castle where a tournament was held annually for possession of an enchanted parrot. The prize was supposed to go to the knight with the most beautiful lady. A knight called the Merciless Lion generally won the tournament through brute force, though his lady was ugly. Arthur won the tournament in the name of the Lady Without Pride. The tournament is indebted to the Sparrowhawk tournament of the Erec romances. [ChevPap]

Cauterous of Solaz

An Arthurian knight. [Heinrich]


A shorter form of Escavalon.

Cave Legend

The belief that King Arthur is asleep in an enchanted cave, to be awakened at his country’s time of need. The Cave Legend is found primarily in oral folklore; chronicles and romances have Arthur living not in a cave, but on the island of Avalon. Italian literature places Arthur in Mt. Etna on Sicily, which is identified with Avalon. Caves in which Arthur is said to be sleeping are pointed out by rural dwellers and small town residents all over Britain. Generally, the entrance is said to be hidden or sealed, only revealing itself or opening on certain nights of the year or under certain circumstances. These caves include two Arthur’s Caves in Wales and Anglesey, Cadbury hill in Somerset, an underworld in Glamorgan, a hill in Cheshire, a grotto in Yorkshire, and a cavern in Eildon Hills in Melrose. Accompanying the legend are tales of locals discovering the entrances, wandering into the caves, and finding the sleeping Arthur, along with his knights, his Round Table, or a fabulous treasure. The hapless adventurer generally makes some mistake and is driven from the cave. He is unable to find it when he returns. The Cave Legend is merged somewhat uncomfortably with the Wild Hunt in a number of tales. Though Arthur’s body is alive in the cave, his spirit emerges and rides through the woods in a supernatural hunt, which, like the entrance to the cave, can be seen on certain nights of the year. [Topography]

Cave of Lovers

An enchanted grotto, built into a Cornish mountain by privacy-seeking, amorous giants in times long before Arthur. It was marked by a bronze door, a spacious interior, and a crystal bed. Tristan and Isolde inhabited it during a banishment from Mark’s court. [Gottfried]

Caveron of Roberdic [Gaveros]

A Knight of the Round Table. He may be identical to Governal of Roberdic. [ChretienE]


King of Scotland, and father of Arthur’s warriors Dirmyg, Iustig, Edmyg, Angawdd, Gofan, Celyn, Conyn, Mabsant, Gwyngad, Llwybyr, Coch, Meilyg, Cynwal, Ardwyad, Ergyryad, Neb, Gildas, Calcas, Hueil, Gwarthegydd, and Gwenabwy. As one of Culhwch’s tasks in Culhwch and Olwen, he had to obtain the tusk of the Chief Boar Ysgithyrwyn for the giant Ysbaddaden to trim his beard. Ysbaddaden would allow no one to bring him the tusk except Caw. Culhwch thus faced the additional task of convincing Caw to leave his kingdom and travel to Ysbaddaden’s fortress. At the behest of Arthur, Caw accompanied the warriors on the hunt for Ysgithyrwyn, took the tusk, and shaved Ysbaddaden with it personally. He also accompanied Arthur on the search for the Black Hag and, after Arthur had killed her, collected her blood. In the Life of St. Gildas, Arthur kills Caw’s son Hueil. Caw is said to be a giant. [Culhwch, Caradoc, Dream]


One of Arthur’s warriors and advisors. His father was Caradawg Strong Arm. A Welsh Triad considers Cawrdaf one of the “Three Chief Officers of the Island of Britain.” [Triads, Dream]


One of Arthur’s earls. He fought in the Roman War and was killed at the battle of Soissons. Wace inserted his character in the same textual location as Riddomarcus in Geoffrey of Monmouth. [Wace]


A Welsh warrior whose death at the hands of Maelgwn is mourned by Merlin in an early Welsh poem. [Myrddin]


The Welsh hero who became the source of the romantic Kay.

Ceido [Ceidiaw]

The father of Gwenddolau, Merlin’s lord in several Welsh sources. [Annales]


A lake in Britain. Beside it stood a monastery, where Sir Lionel (Lancelot’s cousin) was healed after having been wounded during the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]


Daughter of Cei (Kay). [Culhwch]


A pagan queen who inhabited the Mad Castle and who loved Perceval. For his sake, she converted to Christianity. For this action, she was persecuted by the heathen Knight of the Galleys, but was saved by Sir Meliot of Logres. [Perlesvaus]


King of Apulia who was allied to Emperor Thereus of Rome. During Thereus’s war with Arthur, Celias was killed by Sir Claris. [Claris]

Celibe [Caleise, Collybe]

A forest near the Corbenic, the Grail Castle, that extended to the sea. Galahad traversed it during the Grail Quest and united with Perceval and Bors at the ocean. Found in the Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal, the name is given to the sea itself by Malory. [VulgQuest, ProsTris, Malory]


A damsel of the Lady of the Lake. She is called Saraiade in other parts of the same story. [LancLac]

Celice2 [Celise, Colice]

A river in the forest of Darnantes in Britain. Joseph of Arimathea came to it with his followers, but could not find a way to cross. He prayed, and God provided him with a bridge. One follower, Canaan, was still unable to cross, betraying his lack of faith and later sin. The castle of Celis lay on its shores. [VulgQuest, VulgEst]

Celices of the Dolorous Tower [Sel(e)yses]

Nephew of the King with a Hundred Knights and a Knight of the Round Table. He won honor at a tournament at Camelot and fought at the Leverzep tournament. He was infatuated with Isolde. When Lancelot and Guinevere were accused of treason, Celices pledged his support to Lancelot and helped him to rescue Guinevere from the stake. He fought alongside Lancelot when Arthur laid siege to Joyous Guard and, later, Benoic. In return for his support, Lancelot made him the earl of Marsan. [Palamedes, ProsTris, Malory]

Celidoine1 [Cilodormes, Colidoines]

Son of Nascien and Flegetine, and ancestor of Lancelot and Galahad. When Joseph of Arimathea visited Sarras and surrounding regions, Celidoine converted to Christianity with his father and became a devout believer. After King Mordrains of Sarras disappeared, Nascien and Celidoine, still a boy, were imprisoned by an infidel named Galafre. God lifted Nascien from the prison, for which Galafre tried to kill Celidoine by hurling him from a tower, but the arms of God broke Celidoine’s descent and carried him away. He had a number of adventures at sea which served to test his piety. He converted King Label of Persia, and later married Label’s daughter. Celidoine preceded his father to Britain, where he performed the first conversion of a Briton ruler: Duke Ganor of Galafort. He was crowned King of North Wales. He learned to interpret messages in the stars, and by doing so managed to save his kingdom from a famine. His son, Narpus, inherited his lands and title. Celidoine was buried at Camelot.
   Celidoine’s name seems to be some variation of Celidon, or the Caledonian forest in northern England and Scotland. R. S. Loomis (Grail, 246) points out that Celidoine’s powers of prophecy seem reminiscent of Merlin’s, and that Merlin is called “Merlinus Celidonius” by Giraldus Cambrensis. [VulgEst, Arthour]


Arthur’s Sir Floriant freed the inhabitants of Celidoine by killing two giants who terrorized them. G. D. West thought that Celidoine was Calchedon in Bithynia. [Floriant]


King of Greece in Claris et Laris. He was allied to Emperor Thereus of Rome and was slain during Thereus’s war with Arthur. [Claris]

Celinant [Belinan, Selyvaunt]

The brother of Sir Bliant. He lived in the White Castle. He helped his brother take in and care for Lancelot, when the latter was insane and roaming the forests as a wild man. He may be identical to King Belinant. [VulgLanc, PostMer, Malory]


A Saxon king and cousin of King Rions. He joined Rions’ invasion of Carmelide and fought against Arthur’s forces at the battle of Aneblayse. [VulgMer]

Celis [Celys]

A castle on the Celice river, from which the castle took its name. It was ruled by King Lac, Erec’s father, until he was slain by his nephews. During the Grail Quest, Erec returned to the castle and killed his cousins. The castle’s residents swore fealty to Erec, their rightful lord. [PostQuest]


A city through which Perceval’s uncle Trevrizent journeyed during his adventures. [Wolfram]


One of Arthur’s warriors. [Culhwch]

Celliwig [Celliwic]

Arthur’s Cornish capital in Welsh legend. Scholars have suggested numerous corresponding locations, including Gweek Wood on the Helford River, Kelly Rounds, and Calliwith near Bodmin (Chambers, 91). Celli means “forest.” A Welsh Triad tells that Mordred once came to Celliwig, consumed all of Arthur’s food and drink, then hauled Guinevere from her throne, belted her, and left. Arthur repaid this insult by performing similar deeds at Mordred’s court. The story is unique in suggesting that Mordred and Arthur were equals. [Triads, Culhwch]


A number of mainland Europe tribes that invaded the British Isles between 1000 and 500 B.C. The Celts settled throughout the Isles and eventually became the races known as Britons, Welsh, Scots, Irish, and Cornish. Control of the British Isles was taken from the Celtic tribes when the Romans invaded in the first century. The Celts known as the Britons, who inhabited the southern half of the island, became “Romanized” and were thus left as the ruling race after the Romans withdrew. Arthur is often represented as a member of this race.

Celyn (“Holly”)

Son of Caw, one of twenty brothers, and one of Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. [Culhwch]


A stream in Sorelois, the kingdom ruled by Arthur’s Sir Galehaut. It flowed past the magnificent fortress Oreguellouse and into the straight of Aussurne. [VulgLanc]


A Saxon warrior who followed or allied with Hengist. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Cerdic came to Britain with Octa, Ebissa, and thousands of other warriors when King Vortigern was friendly to the Saxons. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle places his arrival in 495, with his son Cynric. They enjoyed victories over the Britons in 508, at which Natanleod, “King of the Britons,” was killed; in 519, at Chartford on the river Avene; and in 530 on the Isle of Wight. He died in 534, after giving the Isle of Wight to his cousins Stuf and Wihtgar. His father was named Elesa. There has been much debate and speculation over this character because his name is Celtic, not Germanic. [Anglo, GeoffHR]


A location in Britain through which Arthur’s warriors pursued a piglet named Grugyn during the epic hunt of the boar Twrch Trwyth. [Culhwch]

Cerenhyr (“King of Kinsmen”) [Cyrenhyr]

Son of Gereinyawn and father of Arthur’s warrior Berwyn. A Welsh triad lists him as one of the three “who could not be expelled from Arthur’s court.” [Triads, Culhwch]

Ceretic [Keredic, Redic]

Hengist’s interpreter who, at a feast with Vortigern, related Hengist’s proposal that Vortigern marry Hengist’s daughter, Rowena. [Nennius, Wace]


Mother of Taliesin in non-Arthurian Welsh legend.


A giant whose six sons, including Plenorius, were defeated by Lancelot and Brunor the Black in the Straits of Sorelois. Ceron lived in the castle at the Straits during his life and engaged in hostilities with Lord Galehaut of Sorelois. He eventually imprisoned Galehaut, but was attacked and killed by Nestor. [ProsTris]

Cesar1 [Cesaire]

Father of Vespasian, Joseph of Arimathea’s liberator, in Robert de Boron’s Joseph d’Arimathie. He is replaced by Titus in the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal. [RobertBorJ]


An bowman encountered by Arthur’s Sir Durmart during his adventures in Ireland. Cesar led Durmart to the city of Limerick, where Durmart’s paramour was under siege. [Durmart]

Cethtrwm the Priest

A member of Arthur’s court. [Culhwch]

Ceudawg Half-Wit

One of Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. [Culhwch]


A pleasant, bustling town situated along the river Humber, near the castle Dolorous Guard. Arthur and his company lodged here after Lancelot liberated Dolorous Guard. [LancLac, VulgLanc]

Chains Castle

The fortress in which Arthur was imprisoned by the False Guinevere. She charmed him there and would not free him until he swore to recognize her as queen. [VulgLanc]


The Duke of Clarence and Knight of the Round Table. He fought in the tournament at Sorelois and appears later at the healing of Sir Urry. [Malory]


A knight who served the Maiden of the Narrow Wood, a damsel who loved Gawain. [Vengeance]


The region of west central France (Chalon-on-Sâone) ruled by the daughter of King Gloier. Gloier was conquered by Galehaut. [Livre]


A historical region of northeast France which, according to Der Pleier, was allied to Arthur. Arthour and Merlin tells us that Uther Pendragon acquired Champagne from Harinan, Igerne’s first husband. [Arthour, PleierT]

Charity of Our Lady

A religious house where Galehaut was healed after he was wounded while trying to find Lancelot. [VulgLanc]

Charlemagne [Carlo Magno]

The Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal notes that Charlemagne, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (800–814), when he conquered England, rebuilt the Castle of Treachery (which had been destroyed during the Grail Quest) and created a magnificent statue of Galahad before it. He also apparently razed Corbenic, the Grail Castle. His coming was foretold to Arthur by a mysterious voice.
   According to La Tavola Ritonda, Charlemagne visited the castle of Leverzep, where he found statues of Tristan, Palamedes, Amoroldo, Lancelot, and Galahad. Charlemagne and his noblemen took the swords of the knights, which were hung around the statues’ necks. [PostQuest, PostMort, Tavola]


A renowned British knight. His son, Rim, gave hospitality to Arthur’s Sir Yder. Charmes’s grandson, Luguain, became Yder’s squire. [Yder]


A castle in Benoic, on the border of the forest of Briosque. It was near the home of the Lady of the Lake. [VulgLanc]

Charquedon [Calcedor]

One of the noble Byzantine warriors that Alexander brought to Britain from Constantinople. He fought for Arthur in the battle against the traitor Angres of Windsor and was slain. Chrétien notes that he came from the “African regions.” [ChretienC]

Charroie [Charrot]

A castle which Uther Pendragon wrestled from King Amant. Uther bestowed it on King Bors of Gannes, and Bors gave it either to his brother Guinebal or to the Lord of the Castle of the Fens. When Arthur first came to power and was struggling against the Saxons, Amant tried to recapture Charroie, but he was slain by King Bors. [VulgMer, Livre]


A castle in France which belonged to Patrice, the uncle of King Claudas. King Ban of Benoic apparently captured it, because he awarded it to the daughter of Agravadain the Black. [VulgLanc, Livre]


A city of north central France, which Geoffrey says was ruled under Arthur by Guerin. [GeoffHR]

Chastelain [Chestelayne]

A young ward of Gawain, killed in the battle against the Duke of Lorraine during the Roman War. Gawain was so enraged by his death that he killed dozens of Roman soldiers. [Allit, Malory]


The name of Arthur’s sword in Le Chevalier du Papegau. [ChevPap]

Chastity Tests

This ubiquitous theme is represented first in Arthurian literature in Robert Biket’s Lai du Cor and the anonymous La Mantel mautaillié, two late twelfth-century French lays. In Biket’s romance, the object that tests chastity is a drinking horn, while in Mantel is a mantle or cloak. These two objects are the most frequently used in later texts, though a crown and a glove also appear. In the Welsh Triads, a chastity mantle is owned by Tegau, a lady at Arthur’s court, and it is counted among the “Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain.” Tegau is also given a horn which may have the same properties as the mantle.
   In Biket, a messenger from King Mangon of Moraine brings an enchanted horn, made by a fairy, to a feast at Arthur’s Caerleon court, where most of Arthur’s nobles are present. A note on the horn says that only a man whose wife is completely faithful in both mind and body can drink from the horn, and that a man with an unfaithful wife will have the contents of the horn spilled upon him. Arthur confidently fills the horn and raises it to his lips, but soon finds himself doused with wine. Furious, he whips out his dagger and lunges for Guinevere, but is held back by Owain, Gawain, and Cadain—who protest that no woman is utterly faithful in both mind and body—while Guinevere explains that the horn has unfairly faulted her for, many years ago, giving a ring to a young knight who had killed a giant. Arthur calms down, forgives his wife, and passes the horn around to the other nobles so that he might not be alone in his embarrassment. Sure enough, the other knights are thoroughly drenched by the horn—except for Sir Caradoc, who manages to drink from the vessel without spilling any liquid, showing that his wife is, apparently, completely faithful. In recognition of his triumph, Arthur appoints Caradoc earl of Cirencester. A version of this same chastity test is inserted in the First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, with Caradoc again the hero.
   Contemporary to Biket, an anonymous French author wrote Le Mantel Mautaillié, which follows the same structure as Biket’s romance, but the object that tests the women’s chastity is a mantle rather than a horn. While in Biket, the men drink from the horn, in Mantel, it is the women who must try on the mantle. Again, it is Caradoc’s wife alone who is proven faithful. The third late twelfth century chastity test tale occurs in Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet. It also involves a mantle, and Lancelot’s lady, Iblis, is the winner. Ulrich’s mantle has not only the power to determine chastity, but can also determine the manner in which the woman is unfaithful. The wife of King Guivret, for instance, is embarrassed by his dwarfishness, and the wife of Sir Kailet resented the way he dragged her around on his adventures.
   Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône includes two chastity tests, one involving a goblet, and the other a glove, which are obvious replacements for the horn and mantle. The goblet is given to both women and men, and spilling the contents reveals the drinker’s own falseness rather than his or her paramour’s. Only Arthur is able to drink from it without failure. Even Gawain, the hero of the romance, fails. Kay makes great sport of all who fail, which leads to his embarrassment when his own lady, Galaida, can’t even touch the tankard. Guinevere spills only a little wine in her attempt. The glove, delivered to Arthur’s court in a later episode, showed worthiness by turning its wearer invisible. Any part of the body that remained visible bespoke a fault—infidelity or otherwise. Only Arthur and Gawain were able to wear it honorably, though no one was shown to be completely guileless.
   Chastity tests appear in dozens of other romances, including the Dutch Wrake von Raguisel (a mantle proves Guinevere’s infidelity; Lancelot therefore develops an irrational rage against all mantles and people who wear them, nearly killing his friend Yder when he sees Yder’s lady wearing a mantle); the German Der Mantel; the Norse Mottuls Saga (only Sir Karadin’s lady is faithful); the Shrovetide play Ain hupsches vasnachtspill und sagt von künig Arthus, wie er siben fursten mit iren weyben zuo seinem hoff geladen het und wie si durch ain horn geschendet worden gar hupsch zuo hören (the Queen of Zipper sends the horn to Arthur’s court and all are embarrassed); the German “Lanethen Mantel” (Arthur’s niece Laneth sends a mantle to Arthur’s court as part of a rivalry with Guinevere); the English Romance of Sir Corneus; the German Dis ist frauw Tristerat horn von Saphoien (Tristerat of Savoy sends the horn to Arthur’s court, and only the wife of the King of Spain is faithful); the Shrovetide play Der Luneten Mantel (a lady named Lunet sends the mantle to Arthur’s court; again, only the King of Spain has a faithful wife); another Shrovetide play called Das Vasnachtspil mit der kron (a chastity crown sent to Arthur’s court by the King of Abian tests the men by having horns grow out of their heads if they are unfaithful to their wives; the crown is ultimately returned to its sender); and the English ballad “The Boy and the Mantle” (Caradoc, again, is the hero).
   In the Prose Tristan, Morgan le Fay sends a chastity horn to Arthur’s court to reveal the adultery of Guinevere, Morgan’s enemy. Sir Lamorat intercepts the horn en route and re-directs it to King Mark of Cornwall. (Lamorat previously had a fight with Tristan and wanted to embarrass Isolde.) When Isolde failed the test, Mark forced her into a second type of chastity test involving a hot iron. If anyone holding the iron told a lie, the iron would burn the person’s hand. Isolde was able to use a trick of language to avoid telling a lie while leaving the impression that she was chaste. This type of test occurs previously in Béroul’s Tristan. Morgan also sends the horn to Arthur’s court in La Tavola Ritonda and Malory’s Le Morte Darthur.
nbsp;  In Hans Sachs’s Die Ehbrecherbuck, Arthur builds a magic chastity bridge that does not allow adulterers to cross. Though the other ladies at his court fall off the bridge, his wife, Guinevere, is able to pass. Finally, the German ballad Die Ausgleichung describes how the women at Arthur’s court are tested with a mantle, the men with a horn. All fail except the old knight and fairy who brought the items in the first place.
   Without fail, each chastity test occurs in a public setting—generally a court gathering—and each knight’s or lady’s failure results in humiliation. Many of the romances that include chastity tests display an implicit or explicit critique of Arthurian chivalry. [Biket, MantelM, UlrichZ, Contin1, Wrake, Heinrich, MantelD, Mottuls, ProsTris, Tavola, Hupsches, Lanethen, DisIst, Luneten, Vasnachtspil, Malory, Boy, Sachs, Ausgleichung]


Son of Chater and one of Arthur’s knights. [Wace]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Chatellus. [Wace]

Cheldric1 [Childric, Cordryk]

A Saxon war leader who came from Germany to help his fellow Saxons—Colgrim and Baldulph—conquer Britain. Geoffrey of Monmouth is the first to mention him. Layamon calls him “emperor” and seems to place him above the other Saxons. Cheldric arrived just in time to save Colgrim from Arthur’s siege at York. Arthur defeated him at Lincoln and at Caledon forest, after which Cheldric agreed to leave Britain. Cheldric and the others betrayed Arthur, however, and landed again at Totnes. He conquered Somerset, Devonshire, Dorset, and Wiltshire before Arthur arrived and defeated him at Bath, where Colgrim and Baldulph were killed. Seeing the others fall, Cheldric fled into Scotland, but was pursued by Cador of Cornwall, who killed Cheldric at either the Isle of Thanet or at the river Teign. In an alternate version provided by John Hardyng, Arthur bestowed Cheldric with the country of Wessex after defeating him at Bath. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, Hardyng]

Cheldric2 [Cheldrich(us), Cheldrik, Childrik]

A Saxon duke who allied with Mordred and brought thousands of Saxons into Britain to oppose King Arthur. Mordred promised him all lands north of the Humber river, and Kent, in return for his support. Arthur killed him at the battle of Camel. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, Allit, HughesT]


An ancestress of Tristan. She was the daughter of the King of Babylonia. Shipwrecked on the coast of Britain, she was rescued by Sador, the son of Bron, whom she married. Sador’s brother Naburzadan tried to rape her, but Sador killed him. Fleeing from Naburzadan’s kin, Chelinde became separated from her husband and believed him to be dead. She re-married King Canor of Cornwall but gave birth to Apollo, Sador’s son, whom Canor abandoned in a forest. She had another son by Canor named Cichoriades. She was re-united with Sador, but Apollo—ignorant of his true parentage—killed both Sador and Canor, and then married Chelinde himself. St. Augustine, who converted Lyonesse and Cornwall, revealed the incest between Chelinde and Apollo; Chelinde tried to kill the saint and was struck dead by a lightning bolt. [ProsTris]

Cheneus [Ceilus, Kineus]

Son of Coil and one of Arthur’s warriors. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]


A tribe of barbarians who fought against Arthur’s forces at the battle of Rigomer. [Merveil]


A Saxon warrior who came to Britain, at the behest of Hengist, when King Vortigern of Britain was friendly to the Saxons. [GeoffHR]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the third or second century BC. Cherin succeeded King Porrex and was succeeded by his sons, Fulgentius, Eldad, and Andragius. [GeoffHR]

Cherin2 of Linello

A knight present at Uther Pendragon’s Urbano tournament. [Tavola]

Chessboard Castle

A fortress visited by Perceval in the Second Continuation and the Didot-Perceval. Inside, he found a magic chessboard, against which he played three games and lost each time. He became so angry that he was on the verge of hurling the board out the window, but a maiden came along and dissuaded him. Perceval became infatuated with the maiden and agreed to hunt down a white stag for her. He got distracted with other adventures and had to plead for forgiveness when he returned. The maiden wanted to make him lord of the castle, but Perceval had sworn to pursue the Grail Quest and was forced to depart. The chessboard itself was given to the lady by Morgan le Fay. A similar sequence of events takes place at the Fortress of Marvels in the Welsh story of Peredur. Magic chessboards make frequent appearances in Arthurian legends. Gawain plays with one in Perlesvaus. See also Floating Chessboard, Guinebal, Gwyddbwyll, and Thirteen Treasures. [Contin2, Didot]

Chester [Caistor, Chestre]

A city in northwest England, ruled in Arthur’s time, according to Layamon, by Earl Cursalem. It is probably identical with the City of the Legion, the site of one of Arthur’s battles against the Saxons, though there might be some confusion with Caerleon. The author of the Middle English Ywain and Gawain contended that Arthur held his court in Chester. In the Elizabethan play The Birth of Merlin, its lord under Ambrosius is Eldol. Launfal defeats an “Earl of Chester” in Chestre’s Sir Launfal. [Annales, Layamon, ChestreLvl, Ywain, Birth]

Chestnut Long-Neck

Cei’s horse, a “lively steed,” according to a Triad. [Triads]

Chevalier Malfait (“Wicked Knight”)

The alias adopted by Lancelot after he recovered from a period of insanity and lived alone on the Joyous Island. After ten years, he was coaxed back to Arthur’s court by Hector and Perceval. [VulgLanc, PostMer, Malory]

Chinon [Kinon]

A city and castle built by Kay, which, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, served as his final resting place after he was killed in the Roman war. Layamon says that the name of the city was changed to Caen in honor of the warrior. Perlesvaus, in contrast to Geoffrey, tells us that Kay fled to the castle after he defected from Arthur’s court. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, Perlesvaus]


A town in Italy where Floriant and Florete once lodged during their adventures. [Floriant]

Christopher of the Gray Rock [Cristofer, Cristofles]

A knight in the service of either Arthur or King Leodegan of Carmelide. He fought against the Saxon invasion at the battle of Carhaix, and in the north of Britain. [VulgMer, Arthour]


A virgin who inhabited Fairy Land. While basking in the sun one day, she was impregnanted by a sun god. She gave birth to twin daughters—Belphoebe and Amoret—who were taken and raised by the goddesses Diana and Venus. [Spenser]

Church of the Deaths

A church erected in Lyonesse to commemorate the deaths of all the knights killed in the war between Arthur and King Meliadus of Lyonesse. [Palamedes]

Chycoradés of Laventin

A knight in Arthur’s service. [Girart]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Drych. [Culhwch]

Cicaverne [Ticaverne]

A castle where Gawain defended Sir Manassel against a murder charge brought by Duke Escant of Cambenic, who mistakenly thought that Manassel had murdered his son. [VulgLanc]


A king in the story of Cornwall. He was the son of King Canor of Cornwall and Chelinde and the half-brother of Apollo. He became king of Cornwall after his father. St. Augustine converted him to Christianity. His wife, Joene, was unfaithful to him. Cichoriades locked her in a tower. When her lover presented himself at the base of the tower, Cichoriades started climbing down on a rope. Joene cut the rope from the top, and Cichoriades fell to his death. [ProsTris]


The Duke of Logres in Wolfram’s Parzival. He married the lady Orgeluse (later Gawain’s wife) and made her his duchess. He was killed by King Gramoflanz, prompting Orgeluse to devote her life seeking revenge on her husband’s killer. [Wolfram]


A castle where a tournament was held during the Grail Quest. Lionel encountered his brother Bors at Cidela and quarreled with him over a past episode. Sir Calogrenant and a defenseless hermit were both slain in the scuffle. [PostQuest]

Cil Coed

Father of Arthur’s warrior Llwyd in Culhwch and Olwen. There is a forest in the parish of Pembroke named Cil Coed (Gantz, 95). [Culhwch[


In Culhwch and Olwen, the Ousel (thrush) of Cilgwri is a mystic animal whose wisdom Arthur sought during his quest to find the imprisoned warrior Mabon. The Ousel directed Arthur to the Stag of Rhedenfire. [Culhwch]


Ruler of Caledon, son of Cyleddon, and father of Culhwch. Cilydd married Goleuddyd, sister of Igerne. His wife was mortally wounded giving birth to Culhwch, and on her deathbed she made Cilydd promise not to remarry until he saw a two-headed thorn growing on her grave. He did not see such a thorn until seven years later, at which time he sought another wife. He found a suitable woman in the wife of King Doged. Cilydd killed Doged and brought Doged’s wife back to his court. [Culhwch]

Cilydd2 Hundred Holds

One of King Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend who owned a special chain. As one of his tasks, the warrior Culhwch had to obtain this chain to hold the hound Drudwyn while hunting Twrch Trwyth. [Culhwch]


One of Arthur’s knights in Béroul’s Tristan, present at Isolde’s chastity trial. [Beroul]

Circle of Gold

In Perlesvaus, the thorn of crowns worn by Christ was set in gold and bejeweled by the maiden Elyza. This crown was bestowed upon Perceval in reward for his defeat of the Knight of the Burning Dragon. Perceval left the Circle in Elyza’s stewardship. It was later stolen by Nabigan of the Rock but recovered by Gawain. For a time, Perceval was known as the Knight of the Circle of Gold. Interestingly, the author of the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal, describing the adventure that provided him with the Estoire, relates how he came across a messenger who said, “My lord, my lady greets you, she who was rescued by the Knight of the Circle of Gold on the day that the person you know saw the great marvel.” These allusions are not otherwise explained.

      A Vallet of the Circle of Gold and a Maiden of the Circle of Gold appear in French verse romance, though their names are not explained. The Maiden, appearing in the Fourth Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, is besieged by a Knight of the Dragon whose appearance and activities mirror the Knight of the Burning Dragon. Part of the narrative of Jacob van Maerlant’s Torec involves the recovery of a magical golden circlet stolen from its owners, and both Pelleas and Morholt are awarded circlets of gold as a tournament prize in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur. [Perlesvaus, VulgHis, Contin4, Marelant, Malory]

Circular Valley

A valley in which rested a castle, guarded by a lion, and ruled by a heathen lord who never let any Christian man leave the valley alive. Peredur came upon the valley during his adventures, killed the lion, and defeated the lord’s warriors in combat, killing two of the heathen lord’s sons. The lord eventually surrendered to Peredur, and Peredur sent him to Arthur for penance. [Peredur]


The location where Constantine, Arthur’s grandfather, held his first council of lords when he arrived from Brittany to save Britain from the barbarian hordes. In Biket’s Lai du Cor Arthur gives the earldom of Cirencester to Caradoc after Caradoc—through a magical horn—proves himself the only knight at Arthur’s court with a completely faithful wife (who was born in Cirencester). Biket claimed that the horn was on display in Cirencester at the time of his writing (1150–1200). [Wace, Biket]

Cis of Arragus

An Arthurian knight. [Heinrich]


According to Heinrich von dem Türlin, one of several lands conquered by Uther Pendragon. [Heinrich]


A Saxon warrior who arrived in Britain in 477 with his father, Ælle, and his two brothers, Cymen and Wlencing. Upon landing in Cymensora, they defeated the Britons and, in 492, fought and won another battle against the Britons at Andredsceaster. The Chronicle does not link him to Arthurian tradition, but, assuming that Ambrosius and Arthur existed, Cissa would have been their contemporary (and opponent). [Anglo]

City of the Legion

In Nennius, a city in Britain that was site of Arthur’s ninth battle against the Saxons (see Arthur’s Battles). As in all of the twelve battles, Arthur was victorious. Geoffrey refers to it several times, but means it to be Caerleon. Nennius’s City of the Legion may also have been Caerleon, but was more probably Chester, known by the Romans as Urbs Legionis. Another possibility of Castleford, which was known as Legiolium in Roman times. [Nennius]

City Without a Name [Citié sanz Non]

An enchanted city near the Island without a Name. It seneschal was named Sir Meliadus. The city was visited by Arthur’s knight Meraugis during the Grail Quest and by Gawain during his adventures. [Raoul, VulgMer, Livre]


A knight from Listenois who fought in Arthur’s army against the Saxons. [VulgMer]

Cladain the Green

Called the Green Knight, Cladain visited Arthur’s court at Glastonbury and dueled with Sir Durmart. The fight went badly for Cladain, and Arthur called a halt to it at the request of Cladain’s paramour. Cladain joined Arthur’s service. [Durmart]


Constable of Lady Halaés, Gawain’s lover. [Livre]

Claellans [Claellus]

Seneschal of King Pelles of Listenois. He joined Arthur’s forces during the Saxon wars. [Livre]


Claellus of Great Northumberland

An Arthurian knight who fought against the Saxons at the battle of Clarence. [Livre]


In the Fourth Continuation of Perceval, a maiden known as the Damsel of the Cart, because she carried the body of her slain lover around in a cart. Her lover had been killed by the Knight of the Dragon. Claire wore her clothing inside-out in mourning. Perceval met her, learned her story, and avenged her lover’s death by killing the Knight of the Dragon. Claire then interred her paramour and retired to a hermitage in Claradeure. Her counterpart in Perlesvaus is the unnamed lover of Alain. [Contin4]


A vassal of the King with a Hundred Knights. He was present at King Mark’s tournament at Lancien. [Contin4]

Clamadeu of the Isles [Clamadam, Clamadeus(s), Camedyus, Clamide]

An important character in Chrétien’s Perceval and Wolfram’s Parzival. His story was expanded to include pre-Perceval events in the Prose Lancelot. His land is variously called the Distant Isles, Iserterre, and Brandigan. He fought against the Saxons in the early days of Arthur’s reign, but he became Arthur’s enemy after Galehaut conquered him.

      Clamadeu’s most important role comes in the Grail stories. He sent his seneschal, Anguiguerron or Kingrun (who, in one source, is also his brother), to attack the town of Beaurepaire because he desired the lady of the town, Blancheflor or Condwiramurs. Anguiguerron captured most of the knights of the town and put them in Clamadeu’s prison. Blancheflor was on the verge of defeat when Perceval arrived and agreed to become her champion. Perceval defeated both Anguiguerron and Clamadeu in combat and sent them to Arthur’s court. He was eventually designated a Knight of the Round Table and participated in the Grail Quest. In Wolfram’s version, he falls in love with Cunneware and marries her. In the Middle-English Sir Perceval of Galles, his character is called Golotherame. [ChretienP, Contin2, Wolfram, LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, Livre, PostQuest, PleierT]


A king whose daughter, Byanne, loved Evadem, Arthur’s Dwarf Knight. He is perhaps to be identified with Clamadeu. [VulgMer]

Clamadoz of the Shadows

A young man knighted by Arthur. His father, the Red Knight of the Forest of Shadows, and his uncle, Cahot the Red, were both killed by Perceval. For this, Clamadoz sought revenge. Encountering Perceval at the Queen of the Pavilions’ tournament, Clamadoz challenged him to a duel. Before this fight could take place, however, Meliot of Logres arrived, furious because Clamadoz had slain his pet lion in the Field of the Lion. Clamadoz was mortally wounded in the battle against Meliot, and never was able to seek his revenge. [Perlesvaus]


A lady at Arthur’s court. Clameroi, her sister Branie, and many other ladies at the court failed a chastity test involving a mantle. [Heinrich]


Brother of Lady Helaés, Gawain’s lover. [Livre]


Cousin of King Clarion of Northumberland. He joined Arthur’s battles against the Saxons. [Livre]


A town containing a hermitage built by the hermit Heracle. It was the final residence of Claire, a woman whose lover’s death was avenged by Perceval. [Contin4]


A knight who fought for King Mark of Cornwall in a tournament between Mark and the King with a Hundred Knights at the city of Lancien. [Contin4]


A Saxon king present at the battle of Clarence. Sir Pharien of Gannes, fighting in Arthur’s army, killed him. [Livre]


A city or duchy in northern Britain. The early prose Lancelot tells us that it belonged to King Tahalais, Arthur’s great-grandfather. Because of its ancestral significance, “Clarence” became the battle-cry of Uther and Arthur. The continental texts place it on the border of North Wales or South Wales, suggesting that it may be identified with St. Clare (Clears) in Carmarthenshire.

      It was besieged by Saxons in the early days of Arthur’s reign, and was the site of two decisive battles. In the first, the Saxon kings, led by Hargadabran, were encountered by the forces of ten British kings and a duke: the King with a Hundred Knights, Lot, Escant, Clarion, Nentres, Caradoc, Brandegorre, Yder, Belinant, Tradelmant, Aguisant, and Urien. After a fierce and bloody battle, the Saxons were victorious.

      In the second battle, the principle combatants were the same, with one notable exception: the above kings had allied with Arthur, and the latter brought his forces. The Saxons were destroyed, and the few survivors fled Britain. In this respect, Clarence is reminiscent of the Badon of earlier chronicles.

      In the Vulgate romances, the duke of Clarence is named Galescalain, while Malory calls him Chaulance. An independent Duke of Clarence appears in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as one of Gawain’s friends. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, Livre, Arthour, SirGawain, Malory]


In the Alliterative Morte Arthure, a magnificent sword kept by Arthur in a vault at Wallingford. Other than Arthur, only Guinevere knew of its location; therefore, when Arthur saw Mordred wielding it in battle, he knew that Guinevere had betrayed him. Mordred carried it throughout the war with Arthur, and perhaps killed Arthur with it. [Allit]


A Saxon king who joined King Hargadabran in the invasion of Britain in the early days of Arthur’s reign. Arthur’s Sir Gaswain killed him at the battle of Clarence. [Livre]


Maidservant of Beauté, daughter of the King of the Isles. Clarete carried the sword Honoree. Anyone who drew the sword would be allowed to marry Beauté. Beaudous, Gawain’s son, accomplished this task and accompanied Clarete back to Beauté’s lands. [RobertBlo]


The beloved of the Knight of the Sleeve, who won her hand during a tournament at Arthur’s court. [Riddere]


One of Arthur’s knights who fought in the Roman War. [Allit]

Clarie [Claire]

The sister of Sir Sagremor in Renaut de Bâgé’s Le Bel Inconnu. She was abducted from her father’s castle by two evil giants who intended to rape her. Before they got a chance, however, Gawain’s son, Guinglain, killed the giants and rescued Clarie. Guinglain later defeated and captured a knight from Saie, and made him promise to escort Clarie safely to her home. She is known as Vyolette in Thomas Chestre’s Lybeaus Desconnus. [Renaut]

Clariel [Clarel]

A Saxon king who, at the beginning of Arthur’s reign, joined a number of others, led by Rions, in an invasion of Carmelide. Arthur slew him at the battle of Aneblayse. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Clariet [Claries]

A knight from Gaul who served either Arthur or King Leodegan of Carmelide. He fought against the Saxons at Carhaix. [VulgMer, Arthour]


Lancelot’s mother, according to Ulrich von Zatzikhoven. She was the wife of Pant (Ban) of Genewis. When the barons of Genewis overthrew and killed Pant, Clarine ran off, carrying the infant Lancelot, but a water fairy appeared and snatched the child away. She returned to Genewis, where she enjoyed the protection of the noble Duke Aspyol until Lancelot returned many years later and claimed his ancestral property. Clarine is probably a variation of Elaine, who is usually given as Lancelot’s mother. [UlrichZ]


A knight defeated in combat by Gawain at the Clear Fountain of Love. [Contin1]

Clarion1 [Clariance, Clarions, Claryaunce]

The King of Northumberland in the Vulgate Merlin and its adaptations. He joined roughly a dozen fellow kings in a revolt against Arthur at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. Arthur defeated them at the battle of Bedegraine. They were unable to continue the rebellion because Saxons invaded their lands. Clarion returned home and fortified his castle, Belande. As the Saxons plundered Northumberland, Clarion received aid from Duke Escant of Cambenic. Eventually, he was able to repel the Saxons, but he and his companions were later defeated at the battle of Clarence. He allied with Arthur, fought in the final battles against the Saxons, and accompanied Arthur’s campaign to Rome. Both Clarion and his son, Espinogrés, became Knights of the Round Table. In Tennyson’s Idylls, he is named as Urien’s ally in the war against King Leodegan of Carmelide. [VulgMer, Livre, Arthour, Malory, TennIK]


A Saxon king who, under King Rions, invaded Britain in the early days of Arthur’s reign. He owned a magnificent horse named Gringolet. Gawain took the horse from him in combat, and kept it for himself. King Ban of Benoic slew him at the battle of Carhaix. [VulgMer, Arthour]


Protagonist of Claris et Laris. The son of Duke Edaris, he joined the Round Table with his friend and constant companion, Laris. His numerous adventures included saving Laris from the affections of a fairy named Madoine, and helping Arthur to save King Urien from a siege by King Tallas of Denmark. Claris fell in love with Lidoine, the wife of the king of Gascony and the sister of Laris. After the king died, Claris saved Lidoine from an attack by Savari the Spaniard and married her, becoming the King of Gascony and Spain. [Claris]

Clarischanze of Tenebroc

A Grail Maiden in Wolfram’s Parzival. She lived at the castle of Munsalvæsche and served King Anfortas. Wolfram would have taken her name from Clarissant, Gawain’s sister. [Wolfram]

Clarissant [Klarisanz]

A beautiful, fair-spoken maiden who was loved by Sir Guiromelant, and was Gawain’s servant when he stayed at the castle called Canguin Rock (Chrétien de Troyes) or Salie Castle (Heinrich von dem Türlin). Gawain later learned that Clarissant was his sister (the daughter of King Lot and Morchades, and the niece of Arthur), which caused him some distress since he was Guiromelant’s enemy. With Arthur’s help, she ended the hostilities between Gawain and Guiromelant, and the two lovers were allowed to marry. They had a daughter named Guignier. Wolfram von Eschenbach calls her Itonje. [ChretienP, Contin1, Heinrich]


A knight who was cuckolded by Sir Alaris. He tracked Alaris down and engaged him in combat, but Claristant’s amie turned on him and joined Alaris’s assault. Claristant was saved by the timely arrival of Kay and Gaswain. [ProsTris]

Clarot of the Spur

One of Arthur’s knights. He participated in a quest to learn the fate of Merlin. [VulgMer]

Claryus of Clermont

A Knight of the Round Table who joined Lancelot’s defection from Arthur’s court and helped Lancelot rescue Guinevere from the stake. In return for his support, Lancelot made him the duke of Normandy. After Arthur’s death, Claryus joined Lancelot in an abbey at Glastonbury and lived there as a hermit until Lancelot’s death. He assisted in Lancelot’s funeral and then returned to his own lands. [Malory]

Claryvaus of the Forest Savage

An Arthurian knights who fought at the Battle of Bedegraine. [Malory]


Father of Arthur’s knight Regan. [GeoffHR]

Claudas1 [Claudius]

A French king who was the sworn enemy of Lancelot’s father, King Ban of Benoic, and of Ban’s brother, King Bors of Gannes. He first appears in Perlesvaus and the Second Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval. Perlesvaus first describes him as Lancelot’s enemy, and relates how he joined with Brian of the Isles, Arthur’s treacherous seneschal, in an invasion of Scotland, which Arthur repelled. In the Second Continuation, his brother, Carras, also invades Britain but is likewise unsuccessful.

      Claudas plays a major role in the Vulgate Lancelot and the Vulgate Merlin, from which Malory adapts his version of the character. The stories portray him as a noble but rather Machiavellian king. J. D. Bruce (418) is correct in calling him “the most complex character in [the Vulgate Lancelot]—a leader of men, astute, avaricious, jealous of power, and full of ruthless energy in the prosecution of his evil ambitions, yet capable of a deep paternal tenderness and acts of generosity towards the youthful foes whom he has wronged.”

      In the time of Uther Pendragon, he broke faith with his overlord, King Aramont (or Hoel) of Brittany, from whom Claudas held the lands of Bourges and Berry. He transferred his allegiance to the King of Gaul and, by extension, to Rome. In response, Aramont and Uther invaded and laid waste to Claudas’s land, which became known as the Land Laid Waste. Claudas fled and remained in exile until the deaths of Uther and Aramont, when he returned to his kingdom and began making incursions into the lands of Benoic and Gannes.

      Kings Ban and Bors allied with Arthur. In return for their assistance against the rebellious kings and the Saxons invading Britain, Arthur agreed to help them repel Claudas’s invasion. After the Saxon wars, Arthur, Ban, and Bors defeated Claudas, who had allied with Duke Frollo of Germany and the Roman Pontius Anthony, at the battle of Trebe. When Claudas attacked again, however, Arthur was preoccupied with a war in Britain and could not help the brother kings. Claudas managed to conquer both Benoic and Gannes, and Ban and Bors both perished. Claudas considered invading Arthur’s lands, but a clandestine visit to Arthur’s court convinced him to abandon the plot. Meanwhile, Claudas endured a partially successful rebellion in Gannes. The Lady of the Lake managed to rescue Lionel and Bors, the young heirs of King Bors, from Claudas’s prison. The princes killed Claudas’s boorish son, Dorin, in the process. Many years later, Arthur renewed the war against Claudas when Claudas imprisoned a messenger sent by Guinevere to the Lady of the Lake. In the second war, Count Alan of Flanders and Lord Serses of Pagon joined Claudas, as did his son, Claudin. Arthur defeated Claudas, and his former lands fell under the control of Lancelot. Claudas himself fled to Rome, and no one heard from him again. His son Claudin became a Knight of the Round Table and participated in the Grail Quest. [Perlesvaus, Contin2, LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgQuest, PostMer, PostQuest, Arthour, Malory]

Claudas2 [Ca(u)das, Clewdas, Gludas]

A knight who visited Arthur’s court and related the feats of Guinglain, Gawain’s son, after he fought in a sparrowhawk tournament against Gyffroun. [ChestreLyb]

Claudas3 of Zelande

A friend of Escanor the Handsome, Gawain’s opponent. [Girart]


In Tennyson, an ally of King Urien against King Leodegan of Carmelide. Leodegan defeated them with Arthur’s assistance. Tennyson probably took the character from Claudas. [TennIK]


A maiden saved by Arthur’s Sir Tandareis when she was kidnapped by a disgruntled suitor named Count Kalubin. She came from the Beautiful Forest, and was the daughter of Angnie and Moralde. Another lord named Kandalion later tried to rape her, but Tandareis allowed himself to be taken prisoner to save her. She wanted to marry Tandareis, and petitioned Arthur to do so, but lost the right to Flordibel, Tandareis’s long-time love. Through Tandareis’s mediation, she married Kalubin. [PleierT]

Claudin2 the Younger [Claudino, Claudyne]

The son of King Claudas, Arthur’s French enemy. He assisted his father in the war against Arthur, killing many of Arthur’s soldiers. An excellent and noble knight, he was spared his father’s wicked disposition, and he recognized his Claudas’s injustice towards Lancelot’s family. When Arthur won the war and Claudas fled to Rome, Claudin stayed in Gannes and surrendered it to Arthur personally. When he learned of the Grail Quest in Britain, he traveled there and was eventually made a Knight of the Round Table. He guarded a bridge at the castle Beauregard, but was defeated by Galahad. He was present at Corbenic when Galahad completed the quest, and attended the mass held by Joseph of Arimathea. [VulgLanc, VulgQuest, PostQuest, ProsTris]

Claudins of Clustres

A friend and relative of Escanor the Handsom, Gawain’s opponent. [Girart]


The child daughter of Burgrave Scherules of Bearosche, and friend to Obilot, the daughter of Duke Lyppaut. [Wolfram]


An infidel queen who loved Perceval’s half-brother Feirefiz. He forsook her for the Grail Maiden, Repanse de Schoye. [Wolfram]


The grandfather of Arthur’s Sir Floriant was called the King of Clauvegris. [Floriant]

Clear Fountain of Love [*Clere Fonteine d’Amors]

A fountain where Gawain defeated Sir Clarinon. [Contin1]

Cledauc [Cledauke]

Father of Arthur’s warrior Eddelein. [GeoffHR, Layamon]

Cleddyf Cyfwlch (“Sword Completed”)

Son of Cleddyf Difwlch, and father of Arthur’s warriors Bwlch, Cyfwlch, and Syfwlch. [Culhwch]

Cleddyf Difwlch (“Sword Continuous”)

Father of Cleddyf Cyfwlch and grandfather of Arthur’s warriors Bwlch, Cyfwlch, and Syfwlch. [Culhwch]

Cleges [Clegis]

A Knight of the Round Table in the Alliterative Morte Arthure and Malory, perhaps influenced by Chrétien’s Cliges. He participated in the Roman War. He joined Lancelot’s defection from Arthur’s court, helping him rescue Guinevere from the stake and fighting in the battles against Arthur at Joyous Guard and Benoic. In return for his support, Lancelot made him the earl of Angen. A knight of the same name appears in the non-Arthurian story Sir Cleges. [Allit, Malory]


In Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, the Queen of Clei, a lady at Arthur’s court, is one of many to fail a chastity test. [Heinrich]


One of Arthur’s dukes in the Norse Erex Saga. He was present at the wedding of Erec and Enide. [Erex]

Cleir of Voie

A knight present at the tournament of Sorgarda, which was won by Gawain. [Heinrich]


Father of Rathtyen, a lady at Arthur’s court. [Culhwch]


A prince of Cornwall and father of Arthur’s warrior Pedrog Splintered-Spear. [Triads]


An Arthurian knight who fought in the Roman War. [Allit]


The seneschal of King Leodegan of Carmelide. He was married to a beautiful woman who Leodegan coveted for his own. One night, Leodegan raped Cleodalis’s wife, begetting a daughter later known as the False Guinevere. Leodegan then locked Cleodalis’s wife in a tower and kept her as a concubine for several years. Cleodalis, however, never stopped serving the king faithfully. He assisted Leodegan, and Arthur, in battles against the Saxons at Carhaix and Aneblayse, and he led a battalion in Arthur’s war against Rome. [VulgMer, Livre, Arthour]


In the Vulgate Merlin, the proper name of the First Conquered King. He joined Arthur’s war against the Saxons and had a hand in their crushing defeat at the second battle of Clarence. [VulgMer]


A count who joined Nogant in a war aganst King Fenise of Ireland. Cleor was defeated in combat by Fenise’s lover, Sir Durmart. [Durmart]


In Henry Fielding’s The Tragedy of Tragedies, a maid in the service of Arthur’s Queen, Dollallolla. She loved Noodle, one of Arthur’s courtiers. At the chaotic end of the play, she slays either Noodle or Dollallolla, and is slain in return by either the maid Mustacha, or by princess Huncamunca. [Fielding]


A knight of Arthur’s who fought in the Roman War under Cador of Cornwall. He was killed in the war against Mordred. [Allit, Malory]


A knight of Arthur’s who fought in the Roman War. [Allit]

Cliacles the Orphan [Cleades]

One of Arthur’s knights. He fought against the Saxons at the beginning of Arthur’s reign, and later participated in a quest to learn the fate of Merlin. [VulgMer, Arthour]


A Greek knight at Arthur’s court who attempted the adventure at the Castle of Marvels (which Gawain eventually completed) but was defeated by Florant of Itolac. Found in Wolfram’s Parzival, he is probably identical to Chrétien’s Cliges. [Wolfram]


A servant of the False Guinevere. She brought a message to Arthur’s court falsely accusing Arthur of holding the wrong Guinevere as his queen. [VulgLanc]

Clidra the Fair

In Ulrich’s Lanzalet, a beautiful woman from the enchanted island of Thyle. She committed some breach of courtly etiquette and was sentenced to take the form of a dragon until kissed by the best knight in the world. She hunkered in a British forest until Arthur’s knight Roidurant came along. Clidra begged him to kiss her, but he instead fled. Later, he related the story to Lancelot, who came to the forest, kissed the dragon, and restored her to her original form. An analog to this story is found in the Fearsome Kiss adventure of Le Bel Inconnu. [UlrichZ]


Hero of a romance written by Chrétien de Troyes. With only threadbare connections to Arthur, Chrétien seems to have written his Cliges as a sort of anti-Tristan. The son of a Greek warrior named Alexander and Gawain’s sister Soredamor, Cliges was born in Britain during his father’s years at Arthur’s court. His father and uncle, Alis, ruled the kingdoms of Greece and Constantinople under an agreement by which Alis was to remain single and beget no children, and the throne was to fall to Cliges upon the deaths of the brothers. Alexander died first, however, and Alis broke their pact by marrying Fenice, the daughter of the Emperor of Germany.

      Cliges accompanied Alis’s entourage to Germany for his uncle’s marriage. Cliges and Fenice fell in love with each other at first sight, and Fenice managed to preserve her virginity by serving Alis a potion that made him believe his dreams of passionate nights with Fenice were the real thing. During their return to Greece, they were ambushed by the Duke of Saxony, whom Cliges defeated in single combat.

      Tormented by his unrequited love, Cliges left the kingdom for Britain, as his father had urged, to test his prowess at Arthur’s court. He entered a tournament in Oxford, defeated Sagremor, Lancelot, and Perceval, and fought Gawain to a draw. After a brief sojourn with Arthur and Gawain, he returned to Greece.

      The lovers developed a plan by which Fenice would feign death, escape from her tomb, and live with Cliges in a secluded tower. Cliges’s servant, John, constructed a tomb from which the lady could get free. The plot worked as planned, and Cliges and Fenice enjoyed a time of bliss before their ruse was discovered by a knight named Bertrand. Forced to flee, the lovers lived abroad until Alis’s death, when they returned to claim their crowns.

      The adventures of an Arthurian knight named Cliges are recounted in later French romances, but these may refer to a different character. [ChretienC, Clies]

Cliges2 [Clicés, Clies, Clygés]

Another knight or knights of Arthur’s court who bears little resemblance, except in name, to Chrétien de Troyes’s Cliges. In the First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, his father is named as King Lac. In the romance of Yder, he serves Queen Guenloie of Carvain, but is expelled from her court after he openly criticizes her obvious affection for Sir Yder. He later encounters Yder, who promises to reconcile him with his mistress. In Les Merveilles de Rigomer, he participates in the quest to conquer Rigomer Castle and, on the way, ends the evil customs of the Accursed Cemetery. Rigomer, perhaps linking him tenuously to Chrétien’s character, says that he was from Greece.  In Claris et Laris, he carries Arthur’s standard in battle. [Contin1, Yder, Merveil, Claris]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the second century BC. He succeeded his father Capoir and was succeeded by his son Hely. His reign was characterized by peace and justice. [GeoffHR]

Climachides [Clamacidés]

The baptismal name of a knight who served the first King Nascien. His hand was sliced off in a battle against King Tholomer of Babylonia, but it grew back when he touched the stump to a cross on King Mordrains’ shield. Witnessing this miracle, Climachides, Nascien, and Mordrains immediately converted to Christianity. Climachides followed Joseph of Arimathea towards Britain, but was unable to cross the Channel because of some unspoken sin. Nascien later brought him across in a boat. [VulgEst]


A Saxon king who, under King Hargadabran, fought aganst Arthur’s forces at Clarence. Leonce of Paierne killed him. [Livre]

Clinschor [Klingsor]

A powerful sorcerer in Wolfram’s Parzival, formerly the Duke of Terre de Labur, nephew of Vergil of Naples (author of the Aeneid). While a duke, he fell in love with Iblis, the wife of King Ibert of Sicily. When Ibert discovered that his wife and Clinschor were having an affair, he had Clinschor castrated. Clinschor fled to Britain to heal and study the magical arts. His talents made him a startling necromancer, and he used his magic to create the enchanted Schastel Marveile (Castel of Marvels) in Terre Marveile (Land of Marvels). Inside, he placed Lit Marveile (Bed of Marvels or Perilous Bed)—an extremely perilous adventure. He imprisoned Gawain’s mother Sangive, Gawain’s sisters Itonje and Cundrie, and Arthur’s mother Arnive in the castle, where they remained until Gawain braved the Perilous Bed and won. An analogous character appears in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône as Gansguoter. Clinschor also appears in the German compilation Wartburgkrieg, where he engages in a poetic competition with Wolfram von Eschenbach himself. [Wolfram]


A Knight of the Round Table who appears at the healing of Sir Urry. [Malory]


King of nothern Germany who, in one French chronicle, became Arthur’s ally in the Roman War. [Liber]

Clodoveus [Clodvis, Codo]

First king of Cornwall in the Prose Tristan, apparently based on Clovis, the first Christian king of the Franks. Tristan makes him the ancestor of Tristan. He had a son named Anzilere and a daughter named Cressille. His son killed King Appollo of Lyoness, for which Clodoveus executed him. King Clodoveus adopted King Apollo’s orphaned son, Candaces. When Candaces came of age, Clodoveus married him to his daughter and made him heir to Cornwall. [ProsTris, Tavola]

Clofaut [Clefaut]

One of Arthur’s warriors. [GeoffHR]


A tyrant who, in Blackmore’s King Arthur, ruled France with an iron fist. Responding to please for justice from Clotar’s vassals, Arthur traveled to France and killed the king. A certain King Clothair ruled the Franks in the middle of the sixth century. [BlackmoreK]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the third or second century BC. Cloten succeeded King Eliduc and was succeeded by King Gurgintius. [GeoffHR]


A knight in Arthur’s service who fought in the Roman War. [Allit]


Merlin’s uncle in the Elizabethan play The Birth of Merlin. He tried to assist his sister, Joan Go-too’t, in identifying Merlin’s father. He became a companion of Merlin after his birth. [Birth]


A land in Galehaut’s kingdom. The Duke of Cloyes recommended King Bagdemagus of Gorre when Galehaut needed a temporary ruler for Sorelois. [VulgLanc]


A mountain near the city of Bearosche which was one of the sites of the battle of Bearosche, in which many of Arthur’s knights were captured by King Poydiconjunz. [Wolfram]


A land in Der Stricker’s Daniel, conquered by Daniel of the Blossoming Valley and King Arthur. Its lord, Matur, demanded Arthur’s fealty, using two invulnerable giants as his primary threat. Daniel vanquished the giants, and Arthur slew Matur. After they defeated Cluse’s seven armies, Daniel married Danise, Matur’s widow, becoming king of the land, subject to Arthur. Arthur appointed Beladigant as Cluse’s duke. Reminiscent of the enchanted otherworlds of Welsh legend, it was completely encircled by mountains (like Syria in Wirnt’s Wigalois) and could only be entered through a narrow passageway. It was blessed with bold knights, beautiful maidens, constant revelry, and exotic beasts, including elephants and the Babian bird. For Cluse’s name, Der Stricker could have used Wolfram’s Cluse, the Latin clausus, meaning “closed,” or any of several locations called “Kluse” in the German Alps. [Stricker]

Clust (“Ear”)

Son of Clustfeinydd and one of Arthur’s warriors. He shared the responsibility of Arthur’s gatekeeper with seven to nine other warriors, commanded by the chief gatekeeper Glewlwyd Strong Grip. [Culhwch, Geraint]

Clustfeinydd (“Hearer”) [Clustfeinad]

Father of Arthur’s warrior Clust. [Culhwch, Geraint]

Clydno (“Famous”)

A warrior from Edinburgh who fathered Arthur’s warriors Eurneid and Cynon. A historical Clydno was a leader of northern Britain in the sixth century (Gantz, 148n). [Culhwch, Owain]


An Arthurian warrior who was the son of Nes. He is borrowed from an non-Arthurian Irish hero named Conchobar son of Ness. [Culhwch]

Coch (“Red”)

Son of Caw, one of twenty brothers, and one of Arthur’s warriors. [Culhwch]


In Wace, a Roman senator who joined Lucius’s war against Arthur. Geoffrey of Monmouth mentions a Gaius Metellus Cotta, who Wace seems to have broken into three separate people. [Wace, Layamon]


A race of men who were part of the defense of Rigomer Castle. They were overcome by Arthur’s knights. [Merveil]

Codias Longhand

A Knight of the Round Table who participated in the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]


The duke of Colchester who, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, took the throne of Britain from King Asclepiodotus in the early fourth century. He acquiesced to the power of Rome on the condition that he be allowed to keep the crown. However, he died soon afterwards. His daughter Helena married the Roman warrior Constantine, who became king in Coel’s place. He is often seen as Arthur’s ancestor. His historicity is uncertain. King Coel, oddly, is remembered best in the children’s rhyme “Old King Cole.” [Henry, GeoffHR, Wace]

Coguillant of Mautirec

A knight who participated in a tournament, won by Lancelot, at Noauz. [ChretienL]

Coil [Coitt]

Father of Arthur’s warrior Cheneus. [GeoffHR, Wace]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the third or second century BC. He was the son of King Catell and the father of King Porrex. [GeoffHR]



A first or second century king of Britain in Geoffrey’s chronicle. The son of King Marius, Coill was raised in Rome and he dutifully recognized Rome’s sovereignty over Britain. He was succeeded by his son, Lucius the Glorious. [GeoffHR]

Colchester [Doleceste]

A city in southeast England, in Essex. The Romans called it Kaercolun or Camulodunum. The latter name has been suggested as the source of Camelot. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Colchester was ruled in the fourth century by Coel and was probably named after him. According to Chrétien, Count Branles was the ruler of Colchester in Arthur’s time. [GeoffHR, ChretienE]

Coledawg (“Cultivation”)

In one of the Welsh Triads, Coledawg, son of Gwynn, is annotated as one of the “three who could not be expelled from Arthur’s court.” The larger legend to which this remark refers is lost to modern literature. [Triads]

Colgrim [Colgrin, Colgrym]

A Saxon duke, brother of Baldulph, who assumed leadership of the Saxons after the deaths of Hengist, Octa, and Eosa. Colgrim invaded Britain in the early days of Arthur’s reign. Arthur defeated him at the river Douglas and pushed him back to York, where he was saved by the arrival, from Germany, of Duke Cheldric and another brigade of warriors. Arthur returned to defeat Colgrim’s army in the forest of Caledon, and the Saxons agreed to return to Germany. They broke the treaty, however, and sailed south to conquer Totnes. They marched north, ravaging the land, and besieged Bath. Arthur arrived in Bath and killed Colgrim and Baldulph. [GeoffHR, Wace]

Colivre the Proud

Brother of Brun (Breus) the Pitiless. He was killed in combat by Kay. [Girart]


An enchanter in Welsh legend who studied under Gwythelyn the Dwarf. He was said to have tended the magical pig Henwen, which gave him the designation of one of the “powerful swineherds of Britain.” His name is attached to Arthur’s in a revised Welsh Triad, in which Arthur tries to hunt down and kill Henwen. He is otherwise non-Arthurian, but his name was used by some Middle-English romance writers, including Chaucer. [Triads]

Colleval of Leterbe

A lord defeated by Perceval. [Wolfram]

Collocaulas [Ancalus, Colocaulnus]

A Saxon chieftain who participated in the siege of Aneblayse (in Leodegan’s kingdom) in the early days of Arthur’s reign. Arthur’s forces routed the Saxons, and Sir Nascien killed Collocaulas. [VulgMer, Arthour]


In La Tavola Ritonda, a castle visited by Tristan and Lancelot during the Grail Quest. Count Sebio of Cologia threw a tournament, offering his daughter to any knight who could defeat him and a hundred of his soldiers. Tristan and Lancelot won the tournament and gave Sebio’s daughter to Richevie Ventura, the son of the vavasor who had lodged them. Lancelot and Tristan then had the town baptized. [Tavola]

Cologne [Coloine]

A city on the Rhine River in Germany. In Chrétien de Troyes’s Cliges, it is the site of Emperor Alis’s marriage to Fenice. In the Vulgate Lancelot, Cologne is named as the home of the scribe Arodian and the sage Agnatices. Claris et Laris puts it in the realm of Emperor Henry of Germany, Claris’s father-in-law. Malory tells us that Lucius the Roman besieged and won a castle in Cologne during his campaign against Arthur. [ChretienC, VulgLanc, Malory]


The paramour of Sir Launceor in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur. After Launceor was killed by Balin, Colombe, overcome with grief, threw herself on his sword. King Mark of Cornwall arrived, buried Launceor and Colombe, and erected a tomb on which he wrote their story and the circumstances of their deaths. The Post-Vulgate calls the same woman Lione. [Malory]


“Heroine” of Aaron Hill’s 1760 play Merlin in Love, or: Youth Against Magic. Stolen from her lover, Harlequin, by Merlin’s enchantments, an offended Columbine takes Merlin’s wand, turns him into a donkey, and returns to her paramour. [HillA]


Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône contains an allusion to Gawain having picked Lady Fortune’s flowers on the field of Colurment, and presenting them to a lady named Leigomon. This was considered a brave act. [Heinrich]

Combe [Escombes]

A British forest where Gawain encountered Girflet while on a quest to find Lancelot. The two knights dueled, but stopped when they realized each other’s identities. They then met two lovely maidens who guided them to further adventures. [VulgLanc]


One of Lancelot’s French lands. He made Sir Hebes earl of Comminges in return for Hebes’ support in the conflict against Arthur. [Malory]

Compostela [Composterne]

A Spanish land conquered and converted to Christianity by King Flualis, as predicted by Merlin. [VulgMer]

Conais the White

A Knight of the Round Table who embarked with the others on the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]


A non-Arthurian Celtic hero who becomes one of Arthur’s warriors in Richard Hole’s Arthur, or the Northern Enchantment in Seven Books (1789). [Hole]


The name bestowed by Layamon upon the King of South Wales who, in Geoffrey of Monmouth, was Merlin’s maternal grandfather. [Layamon]


Nephew of King Constantine, Arthur’s successor to the throne of Britain, in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia. Conan murdered his uncle and poisoned all of Constantine’s sons so that he could take the throne. After several years of tyrannical rule, he fell off a horse and died. In his sixth-century diatribe, Gildas reproaches a certain Conan of Powys, accusing him of falsehood, fornication, adultery, and murder. This is probably the historical prototype for Geoffrey’s character. [Gildas, GeoffHR]


A nobleman who urged Mordred, after he usurped the throne of Britain, to reconcile with Arthur. Mordred ignored his advice. [HughesT]

Conan4 Meriadoc

A nobleman in Roman Briton who desired to succeed his uncle, Octavius, to the British throne. When Octavius chose Maximus, a Roman senator, Conan became enraged and declared war. Faced with little support from the other noblemen, however, he eventually made peace. In return, Maximus gave him the kingdom of Brittany and the lady Ursula, the daughter of King Dionotus of Cornwall. One of Conan’s descendants, Constantine, was Arthur’s grandfather. [GeoffHR, Wace]

Conan5 the Bold

One of Arthur’s knights. He participated in one of Gawain’s quests to find Lancelot. [LancLac, VulgLanc]


An Irish country traversed by Lancelot on his way to Rigomer Castle, probably the land of Connaught. [Merveil]


In Wolfram’s Parzival, Perceval’s wife, the daughter of King Tampenteire, and the niece of Gornemant. Perceval came to her rescue when her land of Brobarz was invaded and her city of Belrepeire was besieged by Clamide and Kingrun. The two were defeated by Perceval. Afterwards, Perceval and Condwiramurs were married, but it wasn’t long before Perceval set off in search of further adventures. Condwiramurs was constantly on his mind, but he wasn’t able to return to her for five years, at which time he found that she had bore him two sons: Kardeiz and Loherangrin. Perceval brought her to Munsalvæsche to become his Grail Queen. Her counterpart is Blancheflur in Chrétien’s Perceval and Lufamour in Sir Perceval of Galles. [Wolfram]

Conisbrough [Cunungeberg]

A British castle—formerly called Kaerconan—controlled by the Saxon leader Hengist. It was the site of Hengist’s last stand against Ambrosius Aurelius. Eldol, Earl of Gloucester, personally captured Hengist at the battle. It was apparently named after Conan Meriadoc. [GeoffHR]


A knight in Arthur’s service. [Girart]

Conon1 [Kahenin]

A duke. He gave a castle to two giants who had rescued him from prison. The castle was later conquered by Lancelot. [VulgLanc]


In Dryden’s King Arthur, the duke of Cornwall under Arthur. His daughter, Emmeline, became Arthur’s wife. [Dryden]


A Roman bishop who accused Merlin of heresy. Merlin met him in Rome before Pope Gregorio and exposed Conrad’s own sins, exonerating himself. [VitaMer]


Wife of Yonet, a servant of the Lady Andrivete, Kay’s bride. [Girart]

Constans [Constance, Constant(ine)]

Son of the British King Constantine and brother of Ambrosius Aurelius and Uther (and thus, Arthur’s uncle). Constans was raised in the church of Amphibalus and became a monk in Winchester, but was pushed by Vortigern, Earl of Gwent, to become King of Britain after his father’s death (both of Constantine’s other children were too young to assume the throne). Dizzy with the power, Constans accepted and fled the monastery, and Vortigern forced the abbot to unconsecrate him. It was Vortigern himself who laid the crown upon Constans head; he was made king without approval of the bishops. Constans became a puppet king, controlled by Vortigern. At Vortigern’s request, Constans invited a number of Picts to stay at his court, to serve as ambassadors from the Pictish tribes in Gaul. Vortigern craftily caused the Picts (led by Gille Callaet) to despise Constans, and they eventually cut off his head while he was sleeping. Vortigern then assumed the throne.

      Called Maine by the Vulgate Merlin, Constans is based on a historical figure—the son of “Constantine III” of Britain. He did, in fact, leave a monastery when his father launched a war against Rome. After helping his father conquer Gaul and Spain, Constans was killed by Roman forces. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]


In the Elizabethan play The Birth of Merlin, the daughter of Lord Donobert and a maiden at Aurelius Ambrosius’s court. She was betrothed to Cador of Cornwall until her sister, Modestia, convinced Constantia to join her in a nunnery. [Birth]

Constantine1 [Constantin(s), Constantius, Custenhin]

Arthur’s grandfather, found earliest in Geoffrey of Monmouth. Constantine was the brother of Aldroen—ruler of Brittany—and the father of Constans, Ambrosius Aurelius, and Uther Pendragon (or Maine, Pendragon, and Uther, as Robert de Boron and the Vulgate Merlin have it). His father may have been named Tahalais, though Baudin Butor makes him the son of Londres. Butor is the only writer to name Constantine’s wife: Ivoire, sister of King Ban.

      When Guethelin, Archbishop of London, came to Brittany to seek help in driving the Picts and Huns from Britain, Constantine agreed to accomplish the tasks. He traveled to Britain and destroyed the barbarians. Then, since their was no other suitable candidate, he was crowned king at Silchester. In the original accounts, Constantine ruled for ten years before he was assassinated by one of his servants—a Pict named Cadal (or, in some texts, by Vortigern himself); but the Vulgate Merlin purports that he died of old age. After his death, Vortigern, the Earl of Gwent, foisted Constans to the throne.

      Constantine is based on a historical Roman army soldier who served in Britain. His story is given by Bede. In 407, his troops elected him “Emperor Constantine III” of Rome—despite the existence of a legitimate Roman emperor named Honorius—and he embarked for the continent on a war of acquisition. After conquering Gaul and Spain, he surrendered to the legitimate Roman army and was soon murdered. Like the fictional Constantine, he apparently had a son named Constans who left a monastery, but who was already dead at the time of Constantine’s murder. The historical character survives in the accounts of Nennius and William of Malmesbury, and in a second Constantine mentioned by Geoffrey of Monmouth, but with legendary embellishments. Nennius thought that he was the King of Britain before Vortigern, though he gives a fairy accurate account of his continental exploits and his death. Geoffrey’s second King Constantine, who preceded Arthur’s grandfather, actually managed to conquer Rome from the Emperor Maxentius, but found his British throne usurped by Octavius. [GeoffHR, Wace, LancLac, VulgMer, Butor, Pierre]

Constantine2 [Constantyn, Co(n)staunce, Costauns]

The king of Britain who succeeded Arthur. A son of Cador of Cornwall, he was a Knight of the Round Table and Arthur’s cousin or nephew. Arthur left him as regent of Britain when he left to fight the Roman War, and Constantine was therefore in position for the crown when Arthur died without an heir. Geoffrey of Monmouth says that Arthur gave him the crown after the battle of Camlann, of which Arthur and Constantine were the only survivors. In Jean D’Outremeuse’s Ly Myreur des Histors, it is Lancelot who places Constantine on the throne. Malory reports that he was a good king, restored the Archbishop of Canterbury to his diocese, and restored order to the realm. Geoffrey says that he faced problems with the Saxons and with the two sons of Mordred, but was able to overcome them. When Mordred’s sons took refuge in churches, Constantine pursued them and killed them before the altars. “Smitten by God’s judgment” for this sacrilege, Constantine was killed by his nephew Conan, who succeeded him.

      Constantine is based on a historical king of Devon and Cornwall who Gildas upbraided for tyranny in De Excidio Britanniae. [Gildas, GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, Boccaccio, Allit, Malory]

Constantine3 [*Custenhin, Custennin]

Son of Mynwyedig and father of Goreu in Culhwch and Olwen. Constantine was the shepherd of Ysbaddaden, the giant father of Olwen, and he gave lodging to Culhwch and his party during their visit to Ysbaddaden’s realm. He was apparently married to one of Culhwch’s aunts. Ysbaddaden had slain twenty-three of his sons, so he kept the last, Goreu, hidden in a chest. The Triads call him Arthur’s cousin. This identification plus his residence in Cornwall suggests that he is a Welsh prototype of Constantine2. [Culhwch, Triads, Dream]

Constantine4 [*Custenhin]

Farther of Erbin and grandfather of Geraint. [Geraint]

Constantinople [Constantinenoble, Costentineoble]

A seaport in northwest Turkey founded in 600 BC as the capital of the Roman Empire in the east (Byzantium), which continued to flourish for nearly 1000 years after the fall of Rome. Its original name was Byzantium, changed to Constantinople in AD 330. after the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. The present name of the city is Istanbul.

      From AD 457 to 474, Constantinople was ruled by Emperor Leo I. From 474 to 491, it was ruled by Emperor Zeno, who sent the Ostrogoths under Theodoric I into Italy to drive out the Germans. Zeno was followed by Anastsius (491–518) and Justin I (519–527). Between 527 and 565, which would encompass the Arthurian period as given by the early chronicles and the Annales Cambriae, the empire was governed by Justinian the Great, who restored a great many of the territories lost to the German tribes, including Italy itself.

      Saving the appearance of Leo in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s chronicle as Arthur’s enemy during the Roman War, none of the Arthurian tales that include Constantinople reflect its actual history during the Arthurian period. An “Empress of Constantinople” makes an appearance in the Welsh tale of Peredur. While visiting Britain, she chanced to see the noble Peredur in a tournament. Peredur fell in love with the Empress at first sight, and he sent all of the men he defeated in the tournament to do honor to her. Later the two met, and the Empress revealed herself to be the same woman who had earlier given Peredur an enchanted stone, which had enabled him to defeat the monster that plagued the King of Suffering and his sons. In gratitude and love, Peredur accompanied the Empress to Constantinople and ruled for fourteen years before returning to Britain.

      In Chrétien de Troyes’s Cliges, the empire of Constantinople and Greece is ruled in succession by Emperor Alexander, Emperors Alis and Alexander, and Emperor Cliges. In the Vulgate Merlin, it is the birthplace of Sir Sagremor; Emperor Hadrian is his grandfather or uncle. The Vulgate Lancelot tells us that Helain the White—the son of Sir Bors—eventually became its emperor. Floriant and Florete gives the empire to Emperor Filimenis, who went to war with Arthur. Sir Floriant married Florete, Filimenis’s daughter, and inherited the empire. [ChretienC, Peredur, VulgLanc, VulgMer, PostMer, Floriant]

Conyn (“Stalk”)

Son of Caw, one of twenty brothers, and one of Arthur’s warriors. [Culhwch]

Copper Tower

A monolith in the Trial Castle. It was inhabited by demons and was worshipped by the castle’s populace. Perceval destroyed the tower and expunged paganism from the castle. [Perlesvaus]


The lady of Corbalain was Sir Galescalain’s aunt. Her daughter encountered Galescalain during his adventures and steered him toward the adventure of the Dolorous Tower. [VulgLanc]


La Tavola Ritonda tells us that Lancelot’s unnamed daughter lived in the forest of Corbania, doing penance for an unspecified sin. [Tavola]

Corbenic [Carbonek, Corlenot, Corbenich(e), Corbierc, Corbyn, Orberique]

The Grail Castle in the Vulgate, Post-Vulgate, and Malory. It was constructed in Listenois, or the Strange Land, by Alan and Joshua, followers of Joseph of Arimathea, and by King Calafes, who the brothers had converted to Christianity. The Grail was kept in the Palace of Adventures inside the castle. Joshua was the first king of Corbenic, followed by Aminadap, Carcelois, Manuel, Lambor, Pellehan, and Pelles, who was king during Arthur’s reign. Pelles lived in Corbenic with his daughter, Elaine (the mother of Galahad) and his son, Eliezier. Other residents included Sir Ulphyne and the Maimed King.

      Some time during its history, Tanabos the Enchanter ensorcelled Corbenic in such a way that no one could find it, except by chance—no matter how many times he had been there. Its infrequent visitors would often dine with Pelles, and would witness the Grail Procession. Over the years, it was visited by knights such as Lancelot, Gawain, Lamorat, Hector, Gaheris, and Palamedes. Although the importance of the Grail Procession and the Grail Question are somewhat dubious in these romances, the visiting knights generally failed to recognize the Grail for what it was. Lancelot, during his several visits, rescued Elaine from a boiling tub, killed a serpent, and recovered from a period of insanity. Gawain (the first knight to visit Corbenic in Arthur’s time) was expelled in humiliation after his lustful eyes were drawn away from the Grail and to the beautiful maiden carrying it.

      Galahad, Perceval, and Bors completed the Grail Quest at Corbenic, and attended a holy mass held there by Joseph of Arimathea (or his son, Josephus). Helain the White, Arthur the Less, Meraugis, Claudin, Lambeguez, Pinable, and Persides were allowed to look on. After the Grail was taken to Sarras by Galahad, the Grail Castle lost its enchantments, but remained standing until the time of Charlemagne, who razed it when he invaded England.

      The third continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, which is part of an earlier Grail tradition but which was written after the Vulgate Cycle, shows the influence of the Vulgate romances by naming Corbenic as the Fisher King’s kingdom. It fell to Perceval after the Fisher King’s death. When Perceval retired to a hermitage, he bestowed it upon the King of Maronne.

      The Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal claims that Corbenic means “holy vessel” in Chaldean. The French author hardly needed to visit the Chaldean language for a source, as cors benoit is French for “blessed body.” R. S. Loomis (Grail, 242–4) thought that the authors had confused cor benoit (“blessed horn”) for cors benoit, and he proposed that the name ultimately went back to the magical horn owned by Bran the Blessed in Welsh literature (see Thirteen Treasures). J. D. Bruce, however, noted the existence of a town named Corbeni in Picardy, not far from the monestery where he believed the author of the Vulgate Queste lived (Bruce, 394n). [VulgLanc, VulgQuest, VulgEst, Contin3, PostQuest, Malory, TennIK]


Corbon [Corbans]

In the French romance La Bataille de Loquifer, the illegitimate son of the hero Renoart and Morgan le Fay. [Bataille]


A blind woman who lived with her mute daughter, Abessa. The lady Una lodged with them after she was abandoned by the Red Cross Knight. [Spenser]


A Saxon warrior who, under King Rions, opposed Arthur and King Leodegan of Carmelide at the battle of Carhaix. Arthur’s Sir Brithael slew him there. [VulgMer, Arthour]


Daughter of King Lear and sister of Regan and Goneril. When asked by her father to quantify her love, Cordelia answered honestly that she loved him just as any daugher loved a father. Her sisters lied and cajoled Lear. Lear divided Britain between Regan, Goneril, and their husbands, and exiled Cordelia to France, where she married King Aginappus. Eventually, after he had been dispossessed and humiliated, Lear came to realize his mistake. He traveled to France, reconciled with Cordelia, and amassed an army to retake Britain from his daughters and sons-in-law. The expedition was successful. When Lear died, Cordelia succeeded him to the throne. She ruled five years before her nephews, Margan and Cunedag, rebelled against her and imprisoned her. She took her own life in prison. [GeoffHR]

Cordova [Cordewa]

A city in Spain that was allied, according to the Alliterative Morte Arthure, with the Roman Procurator Lucius. The “Captain of Cordova” was captured by Arthur’s Sir Clegis during the Roman War. [Allit]

Coreuseus (“Fury”) [Courechouse, Couroucese]

The sword used by Ban, Lancelot’s father. [VulgMer]

Corfil Berfach

One of King Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. He is taken from the Irish character Conall Cernach. [Culhwch]


One of Arthur’s knights in Béroul’s Tristan, present at Isolde’s chastity trial. [Beroul]

Cork [Corque]

A country on the southern coast of Ireland. A man named Garras is given as the King of Cork by Chrétien de Troyes, while in Les Merveilles de Rigomer, Cork’s king is named as Frion, whose daughter was saved by Lancelot. [ChretienE, Merveil]


A Saxon king who, under King Hargadabran, fought aganst Arthur’s forces at Clarence. Agravain killed him. [Livre]


The horse belonging to Arthur’s warrior Peredur. [Triads]


A castle in Cornwall where Tristan recuperated after he was wounded with a poisoned arrow. [Tavola]

Corneto [Cornette]

A city or land allied to Lucius the Roman. During the Roman War, the “Captain of Corneto” was captured by Arthur’s forces. [Allit]


A duke who was the father of Arthur’s Sir Lucan the Butler. [Malory]


King of Turkey in Floriant et Florete. He was allied to Emperor Filimenis of Constantinople. Floriant killed him during Floriant’s war with Filimenis. [Floriant]


One of the many Saxon kings to invade northern Britain in the early days of Arthur’s reign. Arthur defeated his forces at the battle of Clarence, and Cornicans fled. [VulgMer, Livre]


One of the noble Byzantine warriors that Alexander brought to Britain from Constantinople. He fought for Arthur in the battle against the traitorous Angres of Windsor. [ChretienC]


A race of men who were part of the defenses at Rigomer Castle. They were overcome by Arthur’s knights. [Merveil]

Cornwall [Cornewaile, Cornewall(e), Corn(e)well, Cornoaille, Cornouaille, Cornovaglia, Cornwaile, Kornoval]

A region of Britain, at the southwest tip, including all areas west of the Tamar River. Geoffrey attributes the land’s name to Corineus, a warrior of King Brute’s. In Arthurian times, Cornwall was united with Devon to form the kindgom of Dumnonia. In French romance, Cornwall is sometimes confused with Cornouaille in Brittany.

      Cornwall’s chief castle in many legends is Tintagel. The Duke of Cornwall—in most stories named Gorlois—made war against Uther and was slain by him. Gorlois’s widow, Igerne, married King Uther and became the mother of King Arthur. In the Tristan and Vulgate romances, Mark is the king or duke of the land. According to La Tavola Ritonda, it was divided among Lancelot, Amoroldo, Mordred, and Governal after Mark’s death. In other legends, rulers of Cornwall are variously given as Yder, Cador, Cabarentin, and Clement. Welsh legend makes Gwynn Hyfar steward of Cornwall and Devon for Arthur. It was one of the lands that Arthur offered to Mordred in a peace that was never reached. Arthur’s final battle at Camlann may have been fought within its borders.

      In the English ballad “King Arthur and King Cornwall,” the King of Cornwall is a sorcerer and the richest king in the world. He had once lived in Arthur’s kingdom (in Brittany) and had fathered a daughter on Guinevere. Guinevere needled Arthur with tales of Cornwall’s splendor until Arthur embarked on a quest to find the land. Arthur and his knights managed to tame a fiend called the Burlow-Beanie, which Cornwall owned, and they used it to gain possession of Cornwall’s magical items. Arthur used an enchanted sword to behead the king. [Culhwch, Thomas, VulgLanc, VulgMer, ProsTris, Stanz, Malory, KingA&C]

Corrant [Conrat, Garaunt]

A knight of Carmelide, and a cousin of Queen Guinevere. He was sent by Morgan le Fay with three others to kill the young Alexander the Orphan, but Alexander defeated them. [ProsTris, Prophecies, Malory]

Cors Hundred Claws

One of Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. Cors owned an special leash. As one of his tasks, the warrior Culhwch had to obtain this leash to hold the hound Drudwyn when hunting Twrch Trwyth. Arthur himself retrieved the leash on the behalf of Culhwch. [Culhwch]


A Saracen knight who loved the daughter of King Baudac. The lady did not return Sir Corsabrin’s love, so Corsabrin began telling people that she was insane. Baudac’s daughter convinced Palamedes to fight Corsabrin, hoping to get rid of him. The combat was held during the tournament at Sorelois. Palamedes defeated Corsabrin. In the Prose Tristan, Corsabrin commits suicide rather than surrender, and a devil takes away his soul. In Malory, Palamedes cuts off Corsabrin’s head, and a horrible stench emits from his body as his soul leaves, for Corsabrin had not been christened. The knights and lords at attendance took this as a sign, and begged Palamedes to be christened, but Palamedes said he would not until he had completed “seven true battles for Jesus’s sake.” Corsabrin was the son of Aristot and the brother of Rechaux. [ProsTris, Malory]


King of Turkey in Claris et Laris, alled to Emperor Thereus of Rome. During Thereus’s war against Arthur, Corsabrin was slain by Yvain. [Claris]


A vavasor in the service of Nascien and Flegetine. He left with Flegetine and his son Elicanor for Britain, where he joined with Joseph of Arimathea’s followers. [VulgEst]


A Knight of the Round Table who participated in the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]

Cortaine (“Shortened”) [Cortana]

The name Charlemagne gave to Tristan’s sword when he found it hanging around the statue of Tristan in front of Leverzep. Charlemagne found the sword too heavy, so he had it shortened. [ProsTris, Tavola]

Cortois of Humberland

A knight slain by Orguelleus the Fay and Sir Gomeret because they believed him to be Gawain, their enemy. When they realized their mistake, Orguelleus, a sorcerer, resurrected him. [Atre]


Father of Brangain, Isolde’s handmaid. [SagaTI]


A castle awarded by Arthur to a squire after the squire brought him some good news. [Tavola]

Cotatre [Cotovatre]

The town of the smith Trabuchet in Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval. Perceval had to travel there to repair the Grail Sword. It becomes a castle in the Fourth Continuation of Perceval and a kingdom in Girart d’Amiens’s Escanor. R. S. Loomis (Tradition, 408) identified it with “Scottewatre,” indicating the Firth of Forth. [ChretienP, Contin4, Girart]

Couars (“Coward”) [Forcoars]

A Saxon king who opposed Arthur and King Leodegan of Carmelide at the siege of Aneblayse. Arthur killed him in battle. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Counselor Knights

A triad of warriors in Arthur’s court: Cynon, Aron, and Llywarch. They counseled Arthur on political matters. [Triads]

Count of the Broches

A knight who opposed King Narboac in a tournament. Gawain fought on the count’s side but was defeated by Sir Hector, battling for Narboac. [VulgLanc]

Count of the Pass [Earl de Pase]

An count who owned the castle Fair Guard. Queen Morgan le Fay occupied the castle and kept Sir Alexander the Orphan prisoner there. When the Count discovered this, he had the castle burned to the ground so that Morgan could no longer use it for her evil activities. [ProsTris, Malory]

Count of the Plains [Earl de Playns]

A nobleman who held a tournament against King Hervyn or the lady of the castle Tubele during the Grail Quest. Bors arrived at the tournament and met his brother Lionel, whom Bors had believed dead. [VulgQuest, Malory]

Count of the Plank [Earl de la Planche]

An count who made war on King Esclabor, father of Palamedes and Safir. Safir challenged him in combat before King Arthur and killed him. [ProsTris, Malory]

Count of the Valley [Earl de Vale]

A nobleman who invaded the lands of a young knight named Agaran. Agaran and his uncle, a holy man, defeated the Count, but the Count’s nephews later killed Agaran’s uncle in his cloister. The story was related to Lancelot during the Grail Quest. [VulgQuest, Malory]

Countess of the Feats

A duchess of a small castle, so named because she had three hundred knights who would tell of their adventures nightly. Any knight who overcame all of the Countess’s knights would be allowed to sit with the Countess at dinner. Peredur—on his way to defeat the Black Serpent of the Barrow—accomplished this task. During the dinner conversation, the Countess confessed her love for the knight Edlym Red Sword, and Peredur delighted her by informing her that Edlym was in fact his traveling companion. The Countess and Edlym were united and eventually married. [Peredur]


A knight in Arthur’s service. [Contin1]

Coward Knight

A cowardly knight in the service of the Maiden of the Cart. He carried arms and armor only because he dreaded the thought of being attacked unprotected, and he refused to fight anyone. Every time he encountered a knight, he inquired nervously from a distance if the knight intended him any harm, and he fled at the first sign of danger. When Gawain met him, he had his armor on wrong and rode backwards; Gawain later learned that the Coward Knight symbolized the backwardness of religion prior to Christianity. The Coward Knight eventually met Perceval, who was so disgusted with the him that he forced the Coward Knight to accompany him in search of adventure. They came upon a Robber Knight attacking two maidens, and Perceval forced the Coward Knight into battle. At first, the Coward Knight sat still, shaking, but after the Robber Knight wounded him, he became sufficiently annoyed to fight back, and he astonished himself by winning. Realizing the joy and honor that accompanies victory, the Coward Knight cast off his cowardice and was re-dubbed the Bold Knight. He was later killed fighting Aristor of Amorave. [Perlesvaus, Contin3]

Craddoc [Craddok]

One of Arthur’s warriors in Arthour and Merlin; he participated in the battles against the Saxons at Carhaix. His name resulted from a corruption of Gornain Cadrus in the Vulgate Merlin, which the author of Arthour split in to two characters, although it may have been influenced by Caradoc. The Alliterative Morte Arthure includes Craddoc as the knight who, at the conclusion of the Roman War, brought news of Mordred’s treachery to Arthur. [Arthour, Allit]


A Knight of the Round Table who departed with the others on the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]

Crasine [Clarysyn]

In the Alliterative Morte Arthure, a city in Lorraine, captured by Arthur during the Roman War. After defeating the Duke of Lorraine in combat, Arthur prepared to conquer the city by assault, but the Countess of Crasine convinced him to take it peacefully. Malory gives the name to the countess herself. [Allit, Malory]


A knight slain by Tristan in La Tavola Ritonda. Crausen and Lamorat visited King Mark’s court, made fun of the Cornish knights, and defeated them all in combat. To avenge Cornwall’s shame, Tristan armed himself and jousted with the two knights, killing Crausen. In the Prose Tristan, Crausen’s place is occupied by Driant. [Tavola]


A location in Kent where, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Saxon invader Hengist and his son Æsc won a battle against the Britons in 456, killing 4,000 men. We may assume from a previous entry that Hengist and his son were fighting Vortigern or his men. [Anglo]

Creiddylad [Creiddylat]

A lady at Arthur’s court. She was the daughter of Lludd Silver Hand. Creiddylad was considered the most beautiful girl in the British Isles, and she was loved by Gwythyr and Gwynn. The warriors fought terrible battles over her, but Arthur intervened and the war came to a draw. Creiddylad remained unmarried, and both of her would-be paramours were forced to fight every May Day for her love, until Judgment Day. [Culhwch]


A castle whose lord, Grandalis, was the father of one of Arthur’s Yvains. [VulgMer]


A knight from Sorelois who joined Arthur’s battles against the Saxons at Clarence and Vambieres. [Livre]


A Saxon king who joined the invasion of Britain at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. He was slain by Arthur’s Sir Galescalain at the battle of Diana Bridge. [Livre, Arthour]

Cressia of Irone

One of several Arthurian ladies to fail a chastity test in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône. [Heinrich]

Cressile [Trasfilas]

The daughter of King Clodoveus of Cornwall, an ancestor of Mark and Tristan. Cressile married Candaces, the son of the murdered King of Lyonesse. She had twelve sons, including Crissidés, who inherited Cornwall. [ProsTris, Tavola]

Crissidés [Zersides]

Son of King Candaces of Cornwall and Cresille. He became king of the country when his father died. He was an ancestor of King Mark of Cornwall. [ProsTris, Tavola]


An island in the Mediterranean Sea, ruled in Arthur’s time by Hippolytus, an ally of the Roman Procurator Lucius. [GeoffHR, Allit]

Crimson Heath

The home of Perceval’s uncle Fortimes, and the location of a tournament attended by Perceval and Gawain. The victor of the tournament was given the task of avenging the death of the knight Alain against the Knight of the Burning Dragon. Perceval was the chosen victor. [Perlesvaus]

Crinides the Black

A Knight of the Round Table, related in some way to Lancelot. He participated in the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]

Crisea [Ocise]

The wife of King Lac and mother of Erec. She was a skilled sorceress, and she enchanted Erec in such a way that he could never be affected by magic. [PostMer]

Criseuz the Beautiful Goose

The maiden of Sir Garsallas, a knight defeated by Perceval. [Contin2]


A Saxon king who, under King Hargadabran, fought aganst Arthur’s forces at Clarence. Arthur killed him. [Livre]


One of the many Saxon kings to invade Britain when Arthur was struggling to establish power. [Livre]

Crop-Eared Dog

In an Irish tale, Alexander, the son of the King of India was enchanted in the form of a dog with no ears and no tail. Alexander’s brothers were in a similar form. This had been done by Alexander’s step-mother, Queen Libearn, who wanted her own son, called the Knight of the Lantern, to inherit the realm of India. The Crop-Eared Dog went to Arthur’s court and received assistance from Bhalbhuaidh (the Irish version of Gawain) in defeating the Knight of the Lantern, who was forced to return Alexander to his true form. Alexander duly inherited his father’s kingdom. [IrishD]


A castle where Gawain was taken after his death. [PostMort]


A hermitage in the forest of Breckham. Sir Hector (Lancelot’s brother) lodged there during an adventure. [VulgLanc]

Cross of the Fountain

A landmark where Palamedes ran into Yvain and Gaheris. [ProsTris]


A Knight of the Round Table who appears at the healing of Sir Urry. [Malory]


Yet another hermitage in the Breckham forest. [VulgLanc]


A heath in the forest of Breckham. It was known as a place of adventures, and was visited by Hector and Gawain. [VulgLanc]

Crowned Lion of Libya

A mysterious lion with a crown growing from its head that Sir Lionel was fated to destroy. Lionel, Lancelot’s cousin, was born with a birthmark in the shape of a lion. It was said that after he had slain the Crowned Lion of Libya, the birthmark would disappear. Upon achieving knighthood, Lionel went to Arthur’s court, where a lady appeared leading the Crowned Lion. Lionel fought it, killed it, and presented its skin to Sir Yvain, who was thereafter known as the Knight with the Lion. As foretold, Lionel’s birthmark disappeared. [LancLac]

Crudel (“Cruel”) [Coudel]

The pagan king of North Wales in the time of Joseph of Arimathea. He imprisoned Joseph and his followers because they were Christians. King Mordrains, in Sarras, was shown a vision of his friends in Crudel’s prison. Mordrains traveled to Britain, raised an army, and encountered Crudel’s forces near Longtown. Crudel was slain by Duke Ganor, and his army was destroyed. Mordrains freed the Christians and gave North Wales to Celidoine, Nascien’s son. [VulgEst]


A castle on the island of Perfida, visited by Tristan and a maiden named Tessina during Tristan’s adventures in Logres. Tristan was imprisoned and forced to fight the castle’s champion, Lamorat. Lamorat had assumed the position after slaying the previous champion. By custom of the castle, one of the two knights would have to die in the combat, but Tristan feigned death and they were both able to escape later. Tessina was beheaded because her beauty did not match that of Medeas, the castle’s pagan queen. [Tavola]


Son of King Hector of the Savage Realm. He married the daughter of the king of Gaul and inherited the kingdom. He had a son named Febus. [Palamedes]

Crystal Isle

The realm of Arthur’s vassal Lord Moloas, according to Hartmann von Aue. Chrétien de Troyes calls it the Island of Glass. [HartmannE]

Cuall (“Foolish”)

The dog belonging to Arthur’s warrior Cyfwlch. [Culhwch]


Son of Daere and one of Arthur’s warriors in Culhwch and Olwen, borrowed from the Irish folk character Cú Roí, son of Daere. [Culhwch]


A hero of Irish mythology who may be a prototype of Gawain. He was the son of the god Lug, who some scholars have seen as the orign of Lot, and of the lady Dechtire. Like Gawain, his strength reached its peak at noon. In origin, he may have been a solar deity. He possessed a sword called Caladbolg, which—transferred through the Welsh Caledfwlch—might be the origin of Excalibur. In the Irish tale of Bricriu’s Feast, he undergoes a Beheading Game that Gawain inherits in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.


The kingdom of Ither of Gaheviez, Arthur’s cousin. [Wolfram]


A knight defeated by Lancelot and Tristan in the Savage Valley during the Grail Quest. His father was named Estorm de Rivello. [Tavola]


One of Arthur’s warriors. [Culhwch]

Cuer de Pierre (“Heart of Stone”)

A malevolent knight who ruled a castle called the Rock. He imprisoned Arthur and some Knights of the Round Table, but King Meliadus of Lyonesse slew him. [Palamedes]

Culfanawyd (“Slender Awl”)

An Arthurian warrior who was the son of Gwryon. [Culhwch]

Culhwch [Cilhwch]

Hero of Culhwch and Olwen, a Welsh tale from the eleventh century or earlier. Culhwch was the son of Cilydd and Goleuddydd, Arthur’s aunt. His mother died while giving birth to him in the middle of a herd of pigs, and Culhwch’s name—“pig pen”—reflects the circumstances of this birth. His father remarried, and his stepmother commanded that Culhwch marry Olwen, daughter of the giant Ysbaddaden. Culhwch fell in love with her at the mere mention of her name.

      Culhwch traveled to Arthur’s court at the height of its glory, and demanded his cousin’s assistance in finding Olwen. Arthur assigned Cei, Bedwyr, Cynddylig the Guide, Gwrhyr Interpreter of Languages, Gwalchmei, and Menw—the greatest of his warriors—to go with Culhwch to the fortress of Ysbaddaden. Upon arriving, the companions learned that Ysbaddaden was fated to die upon his daughter’s marriage, and that Olwen would not marry without her father’s permission.

      Ysbaddaden tried to slay the party but was injured, so he consented to allow Olwen to marry Culhwch—if Culhwch would perform a list of forty tasks. The tasks involved obtaining magic artifacts from a plethora of fearsome monsters, obtaining the assistance of certain renowned warriors, tending to vast parcels of Ysbaddaden’s land in a short period of time, and a number of other impossible deeds. About half of them involved retrieving a set of shears and a comb from between the ears of Twrch Trwyth, an enchanted boar. Ysbaddaden placed numerous conditions on the hunt for Twrch Trwyth: certain warriors had to accompany the party, certain hounds had to be employed, certain leashes were needed to hold the hounds, certain warriors were needed to hold the leashes, and so on.

      Culhwch agreed to accomplish all the tasks. He returned to Arthur’s court, invoked Arthur’s promise to help him, and sat back while Arthur and his men scrambled to meet all of Ysbaddaden’s requirements. Among the more interesting of the subsequent adventures are Arthur’s trip to Ireland to obtain a cauldron from Diwrnach, the slaying of the boar Ysgithyrwyn, the assault on the cave of the Black Hag, and the epic hunt for Twrch Trwyth.

      Though the story only notes the completion of half of the tasks, Culhwch apparently satisfied all the requirements, because he returned to Ysbaddaden and demanded his prize. Ysbaddaden handed over Olwen, remarking bitterly that Culhwch would not have been able to complete even one of the tasks without the assistance of Arthur. Culhwch and Olwen lived together for the rest of their days. [Culhwch]


A region of Britain on the Irish Sea, just south of Scotland, that includes the cities of Penrith and Carlisle. In the generation after Arthur, it was ruled by Rhydderch the Generous. [GeoffVM]


A region of southwest Scotland. It originally belonged to Sir Galleron, but Arthur annexed it and gave it to Gawain. Galleron arrived at a feast and challenged Gawain for ownership of the land. The fight ended in a draw, but Gawain graciously returned the country to Galleron anyway. [Awntyrs]


A sorceress who served as messenger for the Grail family in Wolfram’s Parzival. She spoke all languages and had mastered the sciences. She came from a race of men with boar-like features that lived in an area near the River Ganges in the kingdom of Tribalibot. Cundrie and her brother, Malcreatiure, were sent by Queen Secundille of Tribalibot to Anfortas, the Grail King, as servants. Cundrie went to Arthur’s court and berated Perceval for failing to ask the Grail Question during his first visit to the Grail Castle. After Perceval proved himself worthy of a second chance, Cundrie led him back to the Grail Castle for the completion of the quest. [Wolfram]

Cundrie2 [Gundrie]

Daughter of Lot and Sangive and sister of Gawain, Beacurs, Soredamor, and Itonje. She was trapped with her mother and Itonje in the Castle of Marvels until released by Gawain. She then married Duke Lischois Gwelljus of Gowerzin. [Wolfram, PleierM]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, king of Britain in the eighth century BC. With his cousin Margan, he rebelled against Queen Cordelia, his aunt, imprisoned her, and took her throne. Cunedag and Margan divided the island between them, but Margan eventually attacked Cunedag and was slain. Cunedag became king of all Britain and ruled for 33 years. He was succeeded by his son Rivallo. [GeoffHR]


A northern British chieftan (ruler of the Votadini) who, according to Nennius, drove the Irish out of Wales in the fourth century. Cunedda’s sons were part of the expedition. Cunedda appears in other sources, and may have been a real person, though Nennius’s dating seems too early; Cunedda would have fought the Irish in the early to mid-fifth century, possibly in the service of Vortigern. He may have descended from Roman nobility. In Welsh texts, a number of saints trace their pedigrees back to Cunedda, and one Welsh history makes him the maternal great-grandfather of Arthur. [Nennius]

Cunneware of Lalander

Sister of Orilus of Lalander and Lähelin in Wolfram’s Parzival. A duchess, she served at Arthur’s court. It was said that she would never laugh until she beheld the best knight in the world. When Perceval came to court, she broke out into joyous laughter. Her laughter offended the arrogant Kay, who beat her and also abused a dwarf who came to her rescue. Perceval promised to punish Kay for this assault, and later broke his arm in a joust. Clamide, a knight defeated by Perceval, fell in love with Cunneware, married her, and made her the queen of Iserterre and Brandigan. Her character appears unnamed in Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval and as the Mute Maiden in the Post-Vulgate version. [Wolfram]


A region of southwest Scotland. It originally belonged to Sir Galleron, but Arthur annexed it and gave it to Gawain. Galleron arrived at a feast and challenged Gawain for ownership of the land. The fight ended in a draw, but Gawain graciously returned the country to Galleron anyway. [Awntyrs]

Cunomorus [Welsh: Cynfawr]

A historical sixth-century king of Cornwall who is named on a Cornish tombstone as the father of “Drustanus,” a version of “Tristan.” In Wrmonoc’s Life of St. Paul Aurelian, Cunomorus is identified with King Mark of the Tristan legends. [TrisStone]

Cunyn Cof [Cimin Cof]

Son of Alun of Dyfed and father of Arthur’s warrior Dalldaf. [Culhwch]


The son of King Aguiflet of Scotland, and the brother of Cadret or Goasilroet. He was present at the wedding of Erec and Enide. [ChretienE]


A fountain near the castle of Joyous Guard where Tristan spied the Questing Beast. [Tavola]


In Irish mythology, a giant warrior slain by Cuchulainn, Gawain’s Irish counterpart. Curoi had abducted a maiden named Blathnat. The Arthurian figures Melwas and Meleagant inherited some of his characteristics.

Cursalem [Curfalain, Cursa(l)(e)(n), Curselin, Gursal]

The Earl of Caichester or Chester. He served Arthur. He was also known as the Warden of the Marches of Wales. He fought for Arthur in the war against Rome. He led half a legion of troops at the battle of Soissons and was killed there. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]


A Knight of the Round Table who joined Mordred and Agravain in their plan to expose the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere. Twelve knights cornered Lancelot in the queen’s chamber. Cursesalyne was slain by Lancelot in the subsequent duel. [Malory]


The unwilling seneschal of King Godonas of Terrandes, a tyrant. He befriended Meleranz, Arthur’s nephew, and was pleased when Meleranz slew Godonas. Meleranz appointed Cursin steward of Terrandes. [PleierM]


The wife of Liburn of Kesarija. She was desired by both Lancelot and Tristan, and her husband had to defeat both of these knights to save her honor. [Povest]

Cwm Cawlwyd

A glen where lived the magical Owl of Cwm Cawlwyd. Arthur visited the owl to consult his wisdom during his quest to find the missing warrior Mabon in Culhwch and Olwen. The Owl of Cwm Cawlwyd directed Arthur to the Eagle of Gwernabwy. A Welsh Triad lists the Owl as one of the “three Elders of the World.” [Culhwch, Triads]

Cwm Cerwyn

A valley or glen, probably in western England, where the boar Twrch Trwyth made a stand against Arthur’s warriors during the epic hunt, and killed Gwarthegydd, Tarawg, Rhun, Ysgonan, Gwydre, Garselid, Glew, and Ysgawyn. [Culhwch]


Father of Urien of Rheged, and of Arthur’s knights Llew and Aron. [Triads, Culhwch]

Cyfwlch (“Complete”)

Son of Cleddyf Cyfwlch, brother of Bwlch and Syfwlch, and one of Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. Cyfwlch had a sword named Glessig, a dog named Cuall, a horse named Drwgddyddwg, a wife named Garym, a grandchild named Neued, two daughters named Gwaeth and Eheubryd, and a maid named Gorasgwrn. As required by Culhwch’s tasks, Cyfwlch helped in the hunts for the boars Ysgithyrwyn and Twrch Trwyth. [Culhwch]


Father of Cilydd and grandfather of Culhwch. He ruled Caledon, from which his name is likely derived. [Culhwch]

Cyledyr the Wild

An Arthurian warrior who was the son of Nwython. Cyledyr was loyal to the warrior Gwythyr, and joined Gwythyr’s army during a war against Gwynn son of Nudd. He and his father Nwython were taken prisoner by Gwynn. Gwynn killed Nwython and forced Cyledyr to eat his father’s heart, which drove Cyledyr mad. He was freed when Arthur intervened and liberated the fortress. Cyledyr was present during the hunting of Twrch Trwyth, and it was he who seized the shears from between the boar’s ears at the river Severn. [Culhwch]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, the king of Britain in the time of Christ. He succeeded his father, King Tenuantius, and was succeeded by his son, Guiderius. [GeoffHR]


Brother of Pyrochles and lover of the sorceress Acrasia. Upon hearing of his brother’s “death,” he sought to avenge him against Sir Guyon, but he was “captured” on the way by the enchantress Phaedria. He eventually freed himself and was reunited with his still-living brother. Guided by the evil magician Archimago, the brothers found Guyon half-conscious and decided to steal his armor. Prince Arthur arrived, challenged the brothers, and killed them both. [Spenser]


The Welsh name for the Britons who descended from the men of Troy. The Cymry were said to have the divine rights to the island. Arthur was among the members of this race. [Triads]

Cyn Was Cwryfagyl

One of King Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. He owned a number of cattle that were killed by the boar Twrch Trwyth while the boar was hunted by Arthur and his warriors. [Culhwch]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Cynlan. [Culhwch]

Cynan Garrwyn

Father Selyf, a warrior in the service of Owain. His surname may mean “white shank” or “white chariot.” He is based on a historical figure from the early seventh century. [Dream]

Cynddylig the Guide

One of Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. As a guide, he accompanied Culhwch and other knights of Arthur on Culhwch’s adventure to the fortress of the giant Ysbadadden. [Culhwch]

Cyndeyrn Garthwys

The chief bishop of Arthur’s northern kingdoms, according to a Welsh Triad. [Triads]


Son of Ermid, brother of Gwynn, and one of Arthur’s warriors. [Culhwch]


A Welsh warrior who was apparently killed in a battle against Maelgwn. His death is mourned by Taliesin and Merlin in an early Welsh poem. [Myrddin]

Cynedyr the Wild

One of Arthur’s warriors. He was the son of Hetwn Silver Brow. As one of his tasks, Culhwch had to obtain Cynedyr’s help in hunting the boar Twrch Trwyth. Cynedyr was needed to manage the hounds Aned and Aethlem. [Culhwch]


Father of Gwaeddan, a lady at Arthur’s court. An early Welsh poem suggests that he took part in the battle of Arfderydd. [Culhwch, Myrddin]


Perhaps a variation of Cynfarch, Owain’s grandfather. Owain somehow came in possession of three hundred swords that had belonged to Cynferchin. [Owain]


One of Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. He was the son of Cynan. He was killed at the battle of Aber Tywi by the boar Twrch Trwyth. [Culhwch]


One of Arthur’s three “Counselor Knights,” found in the Welsh Triads and other Welsh texts. He was the son of Clydno. While young, arrogant, and in search of adventure, Cynon entered a strange earldom and was directed to an enchanted fountain. Performing a certain ritual at the fountain caused a hailstorm so strong it could kill anyone caught outside, and brought the lord of the region to the fountain to do battle with the brash warrior who had dared to cause the storm. Cynon performed the ritual, and was defeated by the ruler in combat. When he returned to Arthur’s court, his tale, inspired Owain to set out in search of the same adventure. (This role is taken by Calogrenant in other versions.) The early Scottish poem Y Gododdin places Cynon at the Battle of Catraeth around 600 and lists him as one of the few survivors. A Triad says he fell in love with Urien’s daughter Morfudd. A Welsh poem puts his grave at Llanbadarn. [Gododdin, Triads, WelshSG, Owain]

Cynric [Cenric]

A Saxon warrior and ruler. The son of the Saxon warrior Cerdic, he arrived with his father in Britain in 495. They won a battle against the Britons in that year, at Cerdicesora; in 508, at which a British king named Natanleod was killed; in 519 at Charford on the river Avene; in 527 at Cerdicesleag; in 530 at the Isle of Wight; and in 552 at the town of Salisbury. Cyrnic had a son named Ceawlin. He would have been a contemporary (and adversary) of Ambrosius, Uther, or Arthur. [Anglo]

Cynwal Hundred Hogs

Son of Caw, father of Gwenn Alarch, one of twenty brothers, and one of Arthur’s warriors. Cynwal son of Caw and Cynwal Hundred Hogs may actually be two separate characters. [Culhwch]


One of Arthur’s warriors, titled “Saint,” in Welsh legend. He fought at the battle of Camlann, where he was the last to leave Arthur. He rode a horse named Hen Groen. [Culhwch]

Cynyr Fair Beard

One of Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legends. He is named as the father of Cei, a status transferred to Antor in French romance. When he found that his wife was pregnant, he made a number of predictions about the marvelous powers Cei would possess. His predictions proved to be accurate. [Culhwch]

Cyprus [Cypirs, Cyprese, Syprus]

According to the Alliterative Morte Arthure, the Mediterranean nation was allied to Lucius the Roman, and warriors from Cyprus participated in Lucius’s war against Arthur. In the Middle English Sir Degrevant, Cyprus is named as the home of Sir Sere, Degrevant’s enemy. [Allit, SirDeg, Malory]

Cyrions of Cuitenïac

A knight in Arthur’s service. [Contin1]


A ruler or knight from Gwent. He fathered one of the three Guineveres that were married to Arthur in a Welsh Triad. [Triads]


A companion of Arthur who is named as the son of Bannon. His name is a variation of the Latin Constantine. [WelshPG]


Copyright Christopher Bruce. All Rights Reserved. Provided here by his kind permission. Layout of book modified to fit the Celtic Twilight format.