Arthurian Name Dictionary


Part of Salisbury plain in England, near Amesbury. It was the site of a battle between Vortigern’s Britons and Hengists’s Saxons. [Layamon]


The Queen of Eastland was a friend of Morgan le Fay. She was one of the four queens who kidnapped Lancelot and brought him to Cart Castle. The queens tried to make Lancelot choose one of them as his lover, but Lancelot escaped. [Malory]


An ancestor of Palamedes in the Italian I Due Tristani. A pagan king who secretly became a Christian, he was overthrown an imprisoned, but was kept alive in prison through the miracle of God. His character, as well as his name, seems to be a combination of Evalach in the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal and Esclabor, Palamedes’ father (Gardner, 297). [DueTris]

Ebel [Hebal]

Servant of the late King Armant of the Red City. Ebel met Palamedes when Palamedes was on his way to avenge Armant’s death. Ebel told Palamedes the entire story and directed him to the two traitors who had killed Armant. [ProsTris, Malory]


A king of Britain in the eleventh century BC, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth. He ascended to the throne after his father, Mempricius, was killed by wolves. During his reign, he plundered Gaul and founded the city of York, which was named after him, Dumbarton, and Mount Agned. Ebraucus had 20 sons. One of them, Brute Greenshield, became king after him. [GeoffHR]


A lord who was defeated by Arthur and was forced to free his prisoners. [Palamedes]


King of Gomeroit. He served Arthur. [Contin1]

Echel Pierced Thigh

One of Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend, killed by the boar Twrch Trwyth at Llwch Ewin during the epic hunt. Echel’s father was named Gobrwy. [Culhwch, Dream]

Echion [Ession, Ethion]

The ruler of Boeotia who was subservient to the Roman Procurator Lucius, and was called upon to join Lucius in the war against Arthur. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]


A Welsh triad holds that Arthur was imprisoned for three nights in a magical prison under the Stone of Echymeint by Gwen Pendragon. He was rescued by the warrior Goreu. [Triads]

Ector [Hector]

Arthur’s foster-father in the Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation and in Malory. In Robert de Boron’s Merlin and the Vulgate Merlin, he is called Antor. He was also the father of Arthur’s seneschal, Kay. Merlin, who considered him a good and honorable man, gave him the infant Arthur, and told Ector to raise him as his own son. Uther gave Ector great wealth for this favor. When Arthur was sixteen, Ector took him and Kay to the Sword-in-the-Stone tournament, where Arthur accidentally removed the sword, proving his true heritage. Kay tried to take credit for the deed, but Ector compelled Kay to reveal the truth. He asked Arthur to make Kay his seneschal, and Arthur complied. Ector assisted Arthur in the battle of Bedegraine against the rebelling kings, and in the war against the Saxons. [PostMer, Malory]

Eda Great Knee

A Welsh Triad tells us that the warriors Peredur and Gwrgi—elsewhere given as Arthur’s warriors—were killed fighting Eda Great-Knee at Caer Greu. This defeat was attributed to the desertion of Peredur’s and Gwrgi’s warriors just prior to the battle. Eda’s character is likely based on an actual eighth-century Northumbrian king. [Triads]


Father of Arthur’s Sir Claris. Edaris was a duke. [Claris]

Eddelein [Aedlin]

Son of Cledauc and one of Arthur’s champions. [GeoffHR, Wace]


The son of the Lord of Escalot in the Hebrew Melekh Artus. His brother was named Karavoç. Edelpert befriended Lancelot during a tournament at Escalot. [Melekh]


Attendant to Rowena, wife of Vortigern, in Thelwall’s The Fairy of the Lake. [Thelwall]


Another name for the Grail Castle, as related in Perlesvaus. [Perlesvaus]


An Arthurian warrior in Welsh legend who was the son of Nudd. He was the leader of Arthur’s Danish warriors and was Geraint’s opponent in the Knight of the Kestrel tournament. Edern appears in French literature as Yder. [Culhwch, Geraint]


A city in the Lothian region of Scotland, now the capital. In Roman times, it was called Castellum Puellarum, leading to an identification with the Castle of Maidens. John Major, the Scottish chronicler, thought that Edinburgh was Arthur’s capital. The city appears in French romance as Tenebroc. It may be indicated by Agned in Nennius. [Major]

Edisson of Lanzesardin

An infidel count and vassal of Feirefiz, Perceval’s half-brother. [Wolfram]


In Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, Gawain mentions an episode in which a knight named Editons betrayed and deserted Sagremor, leaving him in the hands of a wild woman. Gawain apparently defeated Editons in combat. This scene is not found in existing legend. [Heinrich]

Edlym Red Sword

An earl from an unnamed eastern land who developed a kind of hero-worship for Peredur Long Spear. Edlym caught up with Peredur during Peredur’s adventures and asked to become his loyal compatriot. Peredur agreed and Edlym accompanied him to the Mournful Mound where Peredur killed the Black Serpent of the Barrow. After the battle, Peredur gave the Serpent’s magical stone to Edlym and sent Edlym to be with his lover, the Countess of the Feats. [Peredur]


A knight of Lord Golagros in the Middle Scots poem of Golagros and Gawain. In the war between Golagros and Arthur, Edmond was killed by Yvain. [Golagros]

Edmyg (“Fame”)

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


A knight who, in the German romance bearing his name, rescued Gawain by slaying a giant, protected a besieged town, and won a sparrowhawk tournament at Arthur’s court. [Edolanz]

Edward1 of Carnavron

A Knight of the Round Table—brother of Sir Hectymere and Sir Pryamus—who appeared at the healing of Sir Urry. His home is a town in Wales. [Malory]

Edward2 of Orkney [Adoart]

Cousin of Gawain and brother of Sadoc who fought for Arthur at the Leverzep tournament. He was later made a Knight of the Round Table and was present at the healing of Sir Urry. [Palamedes, ProsTris, Malory]

Edward3 of the Red Castle

A knight who, with his brother Sir Hugh, stole lands from the Lady of the Rock. Yvain, championing the lady, called for a duel against one of the brothers, but the brothers insisted that Yvain fight them both at the same time. Yvain won the battle, killing Edward and wounding Hugh. [Malory]


In the Elizabethan play The Birth of Merlin, the son of the Earl of Gloucester. He was a member Aurelius Ambrosius’s court. He wanted to marry Modestia, the daughter of Lord Donobert, but she decided to enter a nunnery. [Birth]


A island country ruled by King Flois. It contained the castle of Alverne, which was besieged by two giants named Galaas and Assiles. Flois sent for assistance from Arthur’s court, and Gawain arrived to slay the giants and save the kingdom. [Heinrich]


A Breton saint who, through spiritual means, drove a dragon out of Brittany after Arthur failed to do so through military means.

Efrddyl [Erfddf]

Twin sister of King Urien of Rheged, daughter of Cynfarch and Brychan, and aunt of Owain. [Triads]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Gwrddywal. [Culhwch]


A knight present at the Sorgarda tournament, which was won by Gawain. His brother was named Melde. [Heinrich]

Egbricht [Egbert, Egbright]

A Saxon warrior who fought for Mordred against King Arthur and was killed at the battle of Camel. [GeoffHR, Wace]


A Mediterranean king. When Egesarius’s brother, the barbarian king Milocrates, was invaded by Roman warriors, including a young Gawain, he sent a message to Egesarius asking for help. Egesarius left immediately, but was held up by storms and arrived too late, meeting the victorious Roman fleet as it was leaving the island. Through the heroics of Gawain, Egesarius was killed and his ships were sunk by Greek Fire or captured. Elsewhere in the story, the same character seems to be called Buzafarnan. [DeOrtu]


The wife of King Brandegorre of Estrangorre. Eglatine was the daughter of King Machen of the Lost Island, and the half-sister of King Nentres of Garlot. Sir Dodinel, one of Arthur’s knights, was raised as her “son,” even though Dodinel had actually been born to Brandegorre and Brandegorre’s niece. [VulgMer]


An unknown location associated with Arthur in “Culhwch and Olwen.” Arthur’s chief gatekeeper remarks that he was in Egrop with Arthur. [Culhwch]

Egypt [Egyte]

The Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal says that King Evalach (later Mordrains) of Sarras was able to defeat the Egyptians, led by King Tholomer the Fugitive, with the help of Joseph of Arimathea, who brought the power of Christianity. As a result, Evalach converted. In Arthur’s time, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Egypt was allied with Rome, and King Pandrasus of Egypt joined the Roman Emperor’s war against Arthur. Malory says that this king, who was also king of Ethiopia, was slain at the battle of Soissons. In Claris et Laris, Egypt is ruled by King Eleazar, an ally of Emperor Thereus of Rome. Egypt is one of the many lands that Arthur conquers in Jean D’Outremeuse’s Ly Myreur des Histors. [GeoffHR, VulgEst, Claris, Jean, Allit, Malory]

Egyptian Maid

Subject of a poem by Wordsworth in which Merlin, his jealous ire provoked by its splendor, blasts a glorious ship called the Water Lily out of the sky. The ship had come from Egypt, and was bearing the Egyptian Maid, a princess sent by her father, the King of Egypt, to marry one of Arthur’s knights. At the command of Nina, the Lady of the Lake, Merlin brought her body to Arthur’s court, where a succession of knights tried to resurrect her but failed. Finally, the pure Galahad touched her hand and restored her life. The two married. [Wordsworth]

Ehangwen (“Wide and Spacious”)

Arthur’s hall in Welsh tales, built by Gwlyddyn. [Culhwch]


Daughter of Cyfwlch and maid of Bwlch. [Culhwch]


A count who was the brother of Mahaute and brother-in-law of Gurzgri. He killed Kingrisin of Ascalun by running him through with a lance—a deed that, for a time, was attributed unjustly to Gawain. [Wolfram]

Eiddilig the Dwarf

One of the three “Enchanter Knights” in Arthur’s court. He apparently had the ability to shape-shift. [Triads]

Eiddoel [Eidoel]

Son of Ner. One of Arthur’s warriors Welsh legend. As one of his tasks, the warrior Culhwch had to obtain Eiddoel’s help in finding the huntsman Mabon, who happened to be Eiddoel’s cousin. Arthur and his warriors, assisting Culhwch, found Eiddoel held captive in Glini’s fortress. Glini surrendered his prisoner to avoid having his fortress destroyed. Eiddoel then accompanied Arthur’s warriors on the (successful) mission to find Mabon. [Culhwch]

Eiddon the Magnanimous

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

Eiddyl the Tall

One of Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. Eiddyl accompanied Arthur to the cave of the Black Hag in the Valley of Distress, in order to obtain the Black Hag’s blood for Culhwch. Eiddyl and Amren the Tall were the second pair of warriors to enter the cave; both were beaten within an inch of their lives. [Culhwch]


A Welsh poem notes that Arthur’s warriors fought against Dog-heads on the mount of Eidyn. Eidyn may be Edinburgh. [WelshPG]


The fortress home of Galaas the Mighty, a tyrannical giant defeated by Gawain. Eigrun housed many prisoners, whom Gawain liberated. [Heinrich]


The Welsh form of Igerne.


A warrior in Arthur’s court who was the son of Penn Llarcan. [Culhwch]


In the Post-Vulgate Mort Artu, a knight who hated Lancelot, and who participated in Agravain’s plot to expose Lancelot’s affair with Guinevere. He was in the group of knights that surprised Lancelot in Guinevere’s chamber, and was the first to fall under Lancelot’s blade. In Malory, this knight is Calogrenant. [PostMort]

Eiryawn Penlloran

One of Arthur’s warriors, killed at Pelunyawg by the boar Twrch Trwyth. [Culhwch]

Eiryn the Splendid

A servant of Arthur who was the son of Peibyn. Eiryn, an ugly, red-haired man, owned a magical mantle named Gwenn. Anyone who wore the mantle was rendered invisible. [Dream]

Eissywed (“Need”)

Grandchild of Arthur’s warrior Syfwlch. [Culhwch]


The Saracen Queen of Janfuse. She loved Perceval’s brother Feirefiz, who rejected her in favor of Queen Secundille of Tribalibot and the Grail Maiden Repanse de Schoye. [Wolfram]


In Der Pleier’s Garel, the King of Kanadic who went to war with Arthur because Uther Pendragon had slain Ekunaver’s father. He sent his giant Karabin to deliver a message of his hostile intentions, and he promised to invade Arthur’s lands after a year. During the year, Garel, one of Arthur’s knights, raised his own army and defeated Ekunaver in Kanadic. Arthur was surprised to find that the war had been won without his participation. Arthur forgave Ekunaver and gave him a seat at the Round Table. Ekuanver received his land from his wife, Queen Kloudite. His capital was Belamunt. His allies included kings Angenis of Iserterre, Salatrias of Kalde, Helpherion of Nasseran, Rubert of Gandin, and Ardan of Rivelanze. His name is reminiscent of Escant of Cambenic in the Vulgate Cycle. [PleierG]


A Knight of the Round Table who participated in the Grail Quest. His brother, Hecuba, was also of the Round Table. [PostQuest]

Elaf [Elafius, Elays]

A Saxon warrior who fought for Mordred against Arthur and was killed at the battle of Camel. [GeoffHR, Wace]


Lord of the Red Castle. When he died, his maiden daughter inherited his castle. She was besieged by Yvain the Black but was rescued by Guiron the Courteous. [Palamedes]

Elaine1 [Helaine]

Lancelot’s mother; the wife of King Ban of Benoic. Her name has several variations, including Ulrich’s Clarine. She is known as Gostanza in La Tavola Ritonda. Ulrich considers her the sister of King Arthur, but the later romances, although professing that Arthur had a sister named Elaine, do not equate Arthur’s sister with this Elaine. She was descended from David and Solomon of Israel. Her father was named Galegantin, and her sister, Evaine, married Ban’s brother, King Bors of Gannes.
   King Claudas besieged her castle of Trebe when Lancelot was still a baby. Taking Elaine and Lancelot, Ban fled Trebe to seek help from Arthur. When they were some distance away, they saw Trebe burning, and Ban’s heart burst, killing him. As Elaine grieved over her husband, a water-sprite sprang from a nearby lake (the Lake of Diana) and snatched away her child.
   Calling herself the “Queen of Great Sorrows,” Elaine sadly committed herself to the Royal Minster nunnery while King Claudas captured her husband’s former land. She was soon joined by her sister Evaine, who had also lost her children and husband. Evaine, before her death, had a vision of her sons and Elaine’s son growing up together in a fairy land under the guidance of the Lady of the Lake. She related this to Elaine, bringing joy to her heart at last. During the Grail Quest, she appeared to Lancelot in a dream and warned him to repent for his affair with Guinevere.
   A French variation of Helen, the name ultimately derives from Greek mythology (e.g., Helen of Troy). [UlrichZ, LancLac, VulgLanc, PostQuest, Malory]


In the Didot-Perceval, either Gawain’s sister and the daughter of Lot, or Gawain’s cousin and the daughter of King Viautre of Galerot. She became infatuated with Perceval when he first arrived at Arthur’s court. She is mentioned in the Prose Tristan. [Didot, ProsTris]

Elaine3 [Elayne]

Galahad’s mother, by Lancelot, in the Post-Vulgate and Malory. She is called Amite in the Vulgate Lancelot. She was the daughter of King Pelles of Corbenic, the Grail King. As a young woman, she was placed in a boiling bath by Morgan le Fay, and she suffered in agony there until Lancelot freed her. She fell in love with Lancelot and, knowing that their child would be the Grail Hero, she conspired to lure him to her bed. Her father and her servant, Dame Brisen, befuddled Lancelot with a potion, and told him that Guinevere was waiting for him at Case Castle. Lancelot stumbled to the castle, slept with the woman he found there, and awoke to find that it was Elaine. Lancelot barely spared her life for her treachery.
   She was loved by other men, such as Sir Brinol of the Hedged Manor, but she denied them her affections because she truly loved Lancelot. When Galahad was born, she brought him to Camelot. She showed Galahad to Lancelot but Lancelot, ashamed, would barely speak to her. Relations between Elaine and Guinevere were understandably tense. Brisen tricked Lancelot into Elaine’s bed again. This time, Guinevere discovered the tryst and banished Lancelot, driving him mad. A few years later, when Lancelot, insane and naked, came into Corbenic, Elaine recognized him and had her father heal him with the Grail. She nursed him back to health and cared for him until he left. During the Grail Quest, Elaine died in an unknown manner. [PostQuest, Malory]

Elaine4 [Elayne]

A daughter of Duke Gorlois and Igerne and a sister of Morgause and Morgan le Fay in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur. Elaine was married to King Nentres of Garlot. In origin, she may have been the same Elaine that appears as Lancelot’s mother. The Vulgate Merlin calls her Blasine. [Malory]

Elaine5 [Elayne]

Known as “Fair Maiden of Astolat” in Malory and the “Lily Maid” in Tennyson. She appears nameless in the Vulgate Mort Artu and the Stanzaic Le Morte Arthure. The daughter of Sir Bernard of Escalot and sister of Sir Tirre and Sir Lavaine, she was considered one of the most beautiful maidens in England. She fell desperately in love with Lancelot when he stayed at her home before the tournament at Camelot. At her request—mostly because he wanted a disguise—Lancelot wore her red sleeve in the tournament. He was badly wounded, and Elaine came to care for him at the house of Sir Baldwin of Brittany.
   When Lancelot was well, and prepared to leave for Camelot, Elaine asked him if he would marry her. Lancelot replied that he would never marry. Elaine then asked if he would be her lover, and Lancelot again refused, saying it would be ignoble. She pleaded with him, saying she would die for his love, but Lancelot departed.
   Afterwards, she fell sick. Dying, she dictated a letter to Lancelot, which her father wrote down. Then, at her request, she was placed in a rich bed in a barge, and floated down the river Thames to Camelot, where Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot found her body and the letter, which asked Lancelot to pray for her soul. They buried her at Camelot. [Malory, TennIK]

Elaine6 the Peerless [Heleine]

The lady of the castle Gazevilte, considered one of the most beautiful women in Arthur’s realm. Her husband, Persides, locked her in Gazevilte when she claimed that she was more beautiful than he was valiant. Persides told her he would let her out when either a more beautiful woman or a more valiant knight happened along. Elaine’s sister brought Sir Hector (Lancelot’s brother) to the castle, and by defeating Persides, Hector decided the dispute in Elaine’s favor. She was freed from her captivity. [LancLac, VulgLanc]

Elam [Elamet, Elmaye]

An ancient kingdom in southwest Asia, at the head of the Persian Gulf. According to the Alliterative Morte Arthure, it was subject to Rome, and warriors from the land joined Lucius’s war against Arthur. [Allit, Malory]


In Wirnt von Grafenberg’s Wigalois, a Queen of Tyre who entered a kind of “sparrowhawk” tournament and won, for she was the most beautiful. As she was receiving her prizes—a splendid horse and a parrot—Count Hojir of Mannesvelt appeared, stole the awards, and gave them to his own, undeserving, lady. No knight would stand up to Hojir until Elamie encountered Wigalois (Gawain’s son), who defeated Hojir and gave the prizes to their rightful owner. After Wigalois became the king of Korntin, Elamie rewarded him by introducing him to a band of female warriors, who accompanied Wigalois in his campaign against King Lion of Namur. Roughly the same character is introduced in Renaut de Bâgé’s Le Bel Inconnu as Margerie. [Wirnt]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Kegein. [Layamon]


Father of the Biblical Samuel. Elcan ruled the city of Arimathea—home of Joseph of Arimathea—at the time of Christ’s death. [VulgEst]


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

Eldad2 [Aldadus, Eldaldus]

The Bishop of Gloucester and the brother of Eldol, Earl of Gloucester. A moral and pious man, Eldad buried the British warriors who died at the battle of Ambrius’s Monastery. He advocated the execution of Hengist (which was carried out by Eldol), and the granting of mercy to Octa and Eosa. He advised Ambrosius Aurelius to give the barren Scotland to the Saxons as a peace offering. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]


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

Eldol2 [Aldolf, Edof, Eldoll]

The Earl of Gloucester or Chester, and the brother of Eldad. He first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth. He led a contingent of warriors under Vortigern. He fought bravely with rocks and tree limbs against the Saxon betrayers at Ambrius’s monastery in Salisbury. The Britons were defeated, and Eldol swore to exact his vengeance on Hengist the Saxon for the betrayal. When Ambrosius Aurelius invaded Britain, Eldol—disgusted at Vortigern’s policy toward the Saxons—joined Ambrosius’s army and helped Ambrosius defeat Vortigern at Ganarew. Eldol again fought heroically at the battle of Conisbrough. Here, he finally found his chance to defeat Hengist, and the two fought a tremendous battle before Eldol finally grabbed Hengist by his helmet and dragged him into the Britons’ ranks, thus capturing him. Later, Eldol personally beheaded Hengist before Ambrosius, ending—for the time being—the Saxon threat. He appears as Ambrosius’s general in the Elizabethan play The Birth of Merlin. Geoffrey’s complimentary portrayal was almost certainly meant to please Robert, the earl of Gloucester in Geoffrey’s time (Loomis, Romance, 86). [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, Birth]


King of Egypt in Claris et Laris. He joined his ally, Emperor Thereus of Rome, in a war against Arthur, and he was killed in battle by Arthur himself. [Claris]


An Arthurian knight. [Merveil]


A priest who Arthur appointed Archbishop of Dumbarton. [GeoffHR]

Elemmie of Holmtaror

A king who conquered Spain with his brother Soran, slaying King Hlöòver. Elemmie was slain by Patrocles, Tristan’s grandfather. Soran and Elemmie’s other brother, Desixtus, later invaded Spain again. [SagaTI]


A companion of Arthur’s named in the Welsh poem Pa Gur yv y Portaur. [WelshPG]


The cousin of Enide, Erec’s wife, and the daughter of Earl Tracon of Acusborg in the Norse Erex Saga. She was the sweetheart of Mabonagrain, with whom she lived in the castle of Brandigan. To test his love, she elicited a promise from Mabonagrain to slay any knight that passed by their residence. The adventure became known as the Joy of the Court, and persisted until Erec defeated Mabonagrain. Chrétien de Troyes’s Erec includes her character but does not name her. [Erex]


A sorceress who entraps Arthur in La Tavola Ritonda. She was the daughter of Lady Escorducarla of Avalon. Her mother created the palace of Grande Disio for her. She found Arthur in the forest of Darnantes and slipped an enchanted ring on his finger, which caused him to lose his memory. One of the Lady of the Lake’s servants summoned help from Tristan, who went to Grande Disio and slew Elergia’s four brothers. Arthur himself beheaded the sorceress. Escorducarla plotted revenge on Arthur but failed. Malory calls her Aunowre. [Tavola]


According to the Norse saga of Tristan, the origin of Petitcrieu, a dog given to Isolde by Tristan. [TrisSaga]


A Welsh warrior, connected in genealogies with the country of Dyfed, who was apparently slain in a battle against Maelgwn. His passing is lamented by Myrddin and Taliesin in an early Welsh poem. [Myrddin]


One of Arthur’s chief huntsmen. Eli participated in the hunt for Twrch Trwyth, where he helped to manage the hound Drudwyn. The name is listed twice and may signify two different warriors. [Culhwch]


The provost of Carmarthen during the reign of King Vortigern. At the demand of Vortigern’s envoys, Eli brought Merlin and his mother before the king at Snowdon. [Layamon]


A knight defeated in combat by Laris. Claris and Laris were helping Sir Caradoc protect his paramour from King Ladas, Sir Eliadas’s liege. [Claris]

Elîadus1 [Eliadeus]

A castellan who lodged Perceval and the Fair Unknown during their adventures. His father was named Elideus. [Contin2]


King of Sicily and father of Floriant, an Arthurian knight. He was murdered during a hunt by his treacherous seneschal, Maragoz, who desired Eliadus’s wife. Floriant avenged Eliadus’s death many years later. [Floriant]

Elian of Montforz

A nobleman in Arthur’s service. [Heinrich]

Elians [Eliant, Elianz]

A Knight of the Round Table from Ireland. He occupied Lancelot’s vacant seat at the Round Table after Lancelot and Guinevere fled Arthur’s court for Benoic. [VulgMort, PostMort]


A duke—perhaps a vassal or ally of Arthur—who fought in a Castle of Maidens tournament. [Renaut]

Elias2 [Helyas]

The leader of a Saxon force that invaded the lands of King Mark of Cornwall. Mark was forced to send for Tristan to assist in repelling the invasion. After Tristan led a battle against Sir Elias and destroyed much of Elias’s force, Elias offered to fight any knight Mark could offer, one-on-one, to decide the conflict. Whichever side lost would have to pay an annual tribute to the other side. Tristan met Elias in the challenge. Elias proved to be an excellent knight, as good as Tristan, and it was only thoughts of Isolde that caused Tristan to win the battle and to mortally wound Elias. Elias’s men fled Cornwall, and his Saxon tribe paid an annual tribute to Cornwall thereafter. [ProsTris, Malory]


A knight and sorcerer who engaged in an adulterous affair with Ysave, the wife of King Caradoc of Nantes. He substituted animals, in the form of women, in King Caradoc’s bed, while he took his pleasure with Caradoc’s wife. Their affair produced a son named Caradoc Shortarm. After his son became one of Arthur’s knights, Elïavrés visited Arthur’s court and challenged Caradoc to a deadly Beheading Game, but stopped short of killing him. Upon discovering his true parentage, Caradoc Shortarm informed King Caradoc, who locked his wife in a tower and forced Elïavres to copulate with a bitch, a sow, and a mare, by which Elïavres fathered, respectively, Guinalot, Tortain, and Lorigal. The adulterers conspired to kill their son with a serpent, but were unsuccessful. [Contin1]

Elibel [Elyzabel]

A cousin, servant, and messenger of Guinevere. While delivering a message to the Lady of the Lake, she was captured by King Claudas. Claudas’s failure to release her led to a war between him and Arthur. [VulgLanc]


The son of Corsapin. Corsapin was a vavasor in the service of Nascien and Flegetine. Elicanor accompanied his father to Britain, where they joined with Joseph of Arimathea’s fellowship. [VulgEst]


Father of Eliadus, one of Perceval’s hosts. [Contin2]

Elidir Stout and Fair

The father of Arthur’s warrior Llywarch the Old. [Triads]


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


A son of King Morvid of Britain who, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, succeeded his brother Arthgallo to the throne. He ruled with justice, but he was deposed by his two younger brothers, Iugenius and Peredur, and thrown in prison. After his brothers’ deaths, Elidur was released and given the throne again. He was succeeded by his nephew Regin. Elidur’s son, Gerontius, eventually became king. [GeoffHR]

Elidus [Helidus]

King of Ireland. He served Arthur. Coming across two knights fighting, he asked the cause of their quarrel. The dueling knights stopped fighting each other and attacked Elidus instead. The skilled Elidus defeated both of them, learned that they had been fighting over a woman, visited the lady’s castle, and avenged himself on the knights by spending the night with the lady. [Claris]

Elidyr the Guide

One of Arthur’s warriors. [Culhwch]


A maidservant of Leander, son of the Red Knight. After Perceval dueled, then reconciled with Leander, Elie tended to Perceval’s battle wounds. [Contin4]

Eliedus [Eliteus]

One of the heathen kings who, under King Oriel, ravaged northern Britain in the early days of Arthur’s reign. [Arthour]


A lord who was a member of Arthur’s court. [Contin1]

Elies2 of Landuz

An Arthurian knight. [Heinrich]

Eliezier1 [Eliezer, Elyazar, Elyezer]

The son of King Pelles of Corbenic, brother of Elaine, and maternal uncle of Galahad. As a youth, Eliezier left his homeland, Listenois, for Logres, to help in King Arthur’s struggle against the invading Saxons. He joined a party of youths led by Gawain. Eliezier served as Gawain’s squire and was eventually knighted by Gawain. Eliezier fought in several battles against the Saxons, including their defeat at Clarence. Later, he carried the broken pieces of the Grail Sword. During the Grail Quest, Eliezier held a tournament against a lord named Argustus. Lancelot came upon the tournament in progress, and joined Argustus’s side, as they were losing. Argustus’s knights were sinful, however, and Lancelot was defeated. Eliezier was at Corbenic when Galahad completed the Grail Quest. Later, he supported Lancelot in the wars against Arthur. [VulgLanc, VulgQuest, VulgMort, VulgMer, Livre, PostMer, PostQuest, Malory]


A pagan king in Britain, converted to Christianity by Joseph of Arimathea. He left his kingdom in the Scottish borderlands to wander the country, dedicating himself to holy deeds. After thirty years of this asceticism, God appeared to him in a dream and told him to return to his kingdom and live a life of splendor. Joining his son, Lanvalet, he returned. An abbey in his lands, called the Small Charity, where he had received help, was later visited by Lancelot. [VulgLanc]

Eliezier3 the Strong

A mighty knight who earned fame as a member of Uther Pendragon’s court. [Palamedes]

Eliffer [Efrawg, Efrog, Eladur, Elidur, Elifert, Evrawg]

The father of Peredur, Perceval’s counterpart in Welsh legend. He had several other sons, one of whom was named Gwrgi. A Welsh Triad calls him “Eliffer of the Great Retinue.” We are told in the Annales Cambriae that his sons fought against Gwenddolau in the battle of Arfderydd in 573, and were victorious. Layamon names him as one of Arthur’s earls. In the Welsh story of Peredur we learn that Eliffer and most of his sons were slain in battle, prompting his wife to raise Peredur bereft of teachings about knights and battles. [Annales, GeoffHR, Triads, Layamon]

Elifri Rich in Arts

Arthur’s head groom in Welsh legend. He became a loyal companion of the warrior Geraint. [Geraint]


The father of Ligessauc, who murdered three of Arthur’s knights. [SaintsCad]


A Duke of Argentin, slain by the giant Purdan. His son, Klaris, was captured by the giant and was rescued by Sir Garel. His wife, Klarine, died of sorrow. [PleierG]


A count from Averre who served Arthur’s Sir Garel. He bore Averre’s standard in the war against King Ekunaver of Kanadic. [PleierG]


A cleric from Radole in Hungary in the service of Arthur. He accompanied Master Elias to Galehaut’s court, and helped Galehaut interpret a disturbing dream. [VulgLanc]


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

Elin the Fair of Graie [(H)el(u)in(s)]

The lord of Graie and vassal of the knight Bleoberis. When Bleoberis was defeated in combat by Gawain’s son Guinglain, he ordered Elin and two other knights—the knight of Saie and William of Salebrant—to track down Guinglain and defeat him. Guinglain made short work of these knights, and Elin’s arm was broken in the combat. [Renaut]

Elinadas [Climades]

A knight in the service of King Leodegan of Carmelide. He led an echelon of soldiers against King Rions the Saxon at the battle of Aneblayse. His aunt was the Wise Lady of the Forest of No Return. [VulgMer, Livre, Arthour]

Elinan of the Isles [Belinans]

A knight whom Gawain had to defeat before he could enter Sorelois, Galehaut’s land. Gawain sent him to Arthur’s court, where Elinan took service. [VulgLanc]


One of Perceval’s eleven paternal uncles in Perlesvaus. He was the sixth son of Gais the Large and the brother of Alain. He ruled Escavalon, had a son named Alain, and died at an early age. [Perlesvaus]

Elis of Climon

One of Arthur’s knights. [Heinrich]


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

Eliwlod [Eliwlad]

One of Arthur’s three “Golden-Tongued Knights,” according to Welsh tradition. His father was named Madog, and his grandfather was, oddly, Uther. This would make him Arthur’s nephew, although only here is Arthur given a brother. In a Welsh poem called the Dialogue of Arthur and the Eagle, Arthur encounters the spirit of Eliwlod in the body of an eagle. [Triads]

Ellain the Brown

Father of Hector the Brown, Branor the Brown, and Bruhault the Brown; brother of Hector the Brown. [Palamedes]

Elledi [Ælecti, Electi, Elleti, Gledi]

A town in the region of Glevesing. Here, King Vortigern’s men first became alerted to the child Emrys, when they heard another boy taunt him about having no father. This interested the soldiers, for they had been sent by Vortigern to search for a boy with no father, in order to sprinkle his blood on the foundation of Snowdon. [Nennius]

Ellit [E(s)lis]

A knight of Arthur’s court. He was defeated in combat by Sir Meriadeuc. [Contin2, Meriadeuc]


A lady at Arthur’s court who was the daughter of Neol Hang Cock. She lived for three generations. [Culhwch]


A British kingdom in the Pennine hill area of modern Yorkshire, roughly corresponding to modern West Riding. Britons continued to rule this area after the Saxon invasion in the sixth century (Ashe, Quest, 234).

Eloides [Clochides]

A strong and cruel knight who roamed the borderlands of Scotland in the days of Uther Pendragon. He wed the daughter of Esclamor of the Red City, even though her father forbade it. Retreating with his wife to the Forbidden Hill, he protected her by killing any knight who dared approach. He was slain by Bors, but not before he extracted an oath from Bors to continue the traditions of the Forbidden Hill. Bors was eventually defeated by Lancelot, and Eloides’s prisoners were liberated. [VulgLanc]


Son of Gwyddno. One of Arthur’s warriors, he was known as a “perverse and over-anxious” young man. [Dream]

Elsam [Elsie, Islie]

The Duchess of Brabant who married Loherangrin, Perceval’s son, after he saved her from a forced marriage to her steward, Friedrich of Dundramunt. Loherangrin made her promise never to ask his name or lineage, but she was coerced to do so by the Countess of Kleve. In response, Loherangrin left her and returned to his own kingdom, though Elsam had borne him two children. (In the German Lorengel, Loherangrin does not leave and they live happily ever after). [Lohengrin, Lorengel]


Sprites found in Germanic mythology. They appear only rarely in Arthurian legends. Layamon says that elves blessed Arthur after he was born, and that Argante, the enchantress who brought Arthur to Avalon, was a “radiant elf.” Layamon also says that Witege, the smith who made Arthur’s armor, was also an elf. In Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, elves formed the original ruling class of Fairy Land. [Layamon, Spenser]

Elyab [Elyap]

The wife of Joseph of Arimathea, and mother of Josephus and Galahad. After Joseph was imprisoned, she refused to re-marry and remained faithful. After 42 years passed, Joseph was freed. Elyab traveled with him to Sarras and then to Britain, where she died. [VulgEst]

Elyabel [Eliabel(la), Eliobela, Elizabeth]

Tristan’s mother in the Prose Tristan and its adaptations. She replaces Blancheflor from earlier romances. Tristan makes her the daughter of Felix and the sister of King Mark of Cornwall and Pernehan, but in the Italian La Tavola Ritonda, she is the daughter of King Andremo and Felice, and is only Mark’s sister-in-law. She married King Meliadus of Cornwall, who was imprisoned by an enchantress during Elyabel’s pregnancy. Setting out in the wilderness to look for him, she went into labor and delivered her child in a forest. She was mortally wounded during childbirth, and perished after naming her son “Tristan,” signifying the sadness of the situation. [ProsTris, Tavola, Malory, Povest]


A king who imprisoned Sir Hector of the Fens. Gawain defeated him and released Hector. [VulgLanc]

Elyas Anaïs

The proper name of the Hermit King, Perceval’s uncle, in the Fourth Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval. [Contin4]


A king who fought for King Mark of Cornwall in the tournament at Lancien. [Contin4]


Lot’s father and Gawain’s grandfather in the Prose Brut. [ProsBrut]

Elynard the Redoubted

A knight in the famous “Brown” lineage. [Palamedes]


The baptismal name of a maiden who awarded Perceval the Circle of Gold after Perceval slew her enemy, the Knight of the Burning Dragon. Perceval left the crown in her stewardship, from which it was stolen by Nabigan of the Rock. Gawain recovered the artifact and returned it to her. [Perlesvaus]


Guinevere’s cousin. While bearing a message from Guinevere to the Lady of the Lake, she was captured and imprisoned by King Claudas, sparking Arthur’s second and final war against Claudas. [VulgLanc]


The ladylove of Lohenis, a malicious knight who stole Gawain’s horse. She was the son of a king named Emil. [Heinrich]


A son of Albanact, first king of Scotland. Embrunt’s brothers were Dombart and Arbrun. [Palamedes]


The daughter of an Irish shepherd named Heudins, with whom Lancelot lodged on his way to Rigomer Castle. Her father’s godson, Herbert, was her lover. [Merveil]


The father of Flois, one of Arthur’s noblemen. [Heinrich]


A knight who fought for King Arthur at the Battle of Bedegraine. His name is probably a variation of the French “Amiraut,” or “Emir.” [Malory]


A knight present at the Sorgarda tournament, which was won by Gawain. He was a vassal of the Duke of Aram. [Heinrich]

Emhyr [Emyr]

Father of Howel (Hoel) of Brittany in the Welsh Dream of Rhonabwy. Geoffrey claims, however that Hoel’s father was Budicius. “Emhyr” seems to have been a generic name, signifying “emperor,” which the Welsh applied to several characters. [Dream, Geraint]


A king who fathered the lady Emblie. [Heinrich]


The blind daughter of Duke Conon of Cornwall. Oswald, the Saxon king of Kent, loved her, but she preferred Arthur. This caused a war between Arthur and Oswald. During the war, Emmeline wandered into a forest and was kidnapped by Oswald, whose sorcerer, Osmond, made an attempt to seduce her. Merlin and his spirit Philildel visited her in prison and cured her sight with a magic elixir. Arthur eventually rescued and married her. [Dryden]


A land ruled by Duke Kandalion under King Bagdemagus of Gorre. [PleierT]


The Welsh form of Ambrosius, as he appears in Nennius. An early Welsh poem notes that “before the lords of Emrys, Cei did great deeds”—a statement which is rather unclear. [Nennius, WelshPG]


A king in Arthur’s service. [Renaut]

Enchanted Isle1

A fictional location invented by Morgan le Fay in an attempt to kill Arthur. A servant arrived at Arthur’s court with a mantle, saying that the Lady of the Enchanted Isle had sent it to Arthur. Arthur, who had been forewarned by the Lady of the Lake, made the servant don the mantle, and she burned to ashes. [PostMer]

Enchanted Isle2

The location of Arthur’s afterlife according to Guillem Torroella’s La Faula, which scholars have identified with Sicily. Arthur lived on the island, analogous to Avalon, with his sister Morgan. The Grail sustained them. [Torroella]

Enchanter Knights

A trio of Arthur’s knights—Menw, Tristan, and Eiddilig the Dwarf—mentioned in Welsh legend, who were capable of shape-shifting. [Triads]


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

Endelit of Lundis

One of Arthur’s various kings. [Heinrich]


Daughter of Bedwyr. She was a lady at Arthur’s court. [Culhwch]

Enfael Adrann

Father of Arthur’s warrior Greidyawl Enemy-Subduer. [Triads]


In Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, Arthur’s aunt, a goddess, and the queen of Avalon. Uther was her brother. [Heinrich]


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

England [Eng(e)lond(e), Engleterre, Ingl(e)and(e), Inghiltarre, Inglaterra, Inglond(e), Yngland(es)]

Although Arthur is often thought of as the King of England, the designation “England” (signifying “Angle-Land”) for the country below Scotland and east of Wales was not used until after the Anglo-Saxon conquest in the sixth and seventh centuries. Prior to this, the area now thought of as “England” was called Logres. (In the Prose Brut, the name is derived from “Engist,” the Saxon leader.) Since “England” was in general usage when a good part of the Arthurian romances were written, however, the name appears quite often, indicating all or some portion of Britain. Malory, for instance, uses “England” without reservation. Usually, it is named as Arthur’s kingdom, although there are some notable exceptions. In Wirnt von Grafenberg’s Wigalois, for instance, the King of England wages war on Arthur, whose kingdom is in Brittany. In the Middle-English Sir Tristrem and the Norse and Icelandic Tristan sagas, it is Mark’s kingdom. [Wirnt, TrisSaga, ProsBrut, SirTris, SagaTI, Malory]


King of Ireland and brother of Isolde in the Icelandic Saga af Tristram ok Ísodd. Though his name is similar to the Anguish of other Tristan stories, part of his character seems to be based on the traditional Morholt. His mother was Queen Flúrent. Engres was a pirate who often raided King Mark’s England. Tristan slew him in battle, but not before Engres left a piece of his sword stuck in Tristan’s head, which later identified Tristan to Engres’s mother and sister. [SagaTI]


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

Enide1 [Enid, Enite, Evida, Nida]

The beautiful daughter of an impoverished nobleman who figures into Chrétien’s Erec, the Welsh Geraint, and their adaptations. She is the wife of the hero. In Chrétien’s romance, her father’s name is Licorant and her mother’s name is Tarsenesyde. In Welsh legend, her father is the Earl Niwl. Hartmann calls her father Koralus and her mother Karsinefite.
   Her future husband (either Erec or Geraint, but referred to throughout the rest of this entry, for convenience, as Erec) met her when he came to her father’s humble home (in Lut, Laluth, or Tulmein) during a sparrowhawk tournament. Erec was intent on entering the tournament to exact revenge on Yder, who had insulted Queen Guinevere. As all knights entering the tournament had to be accompanied by a lady, Erec received Enide’s father’s permission to use Enide for this purpose, and he won the tournament. During these events, Erec fell in love with Enide. They returned to Arthur’s court together, married, and retired to Erec’s homeland.
   In time, Erec grew so domesticated, preferring to spend all his time with Enide, that his people grew discontented. One night, while she thought Erec was asleep, Enide lamented that he had lost his valor. In some versions, her words also cause Erec to believe her unfaithful. Angered, Erec forced Enide to accompany him on a series of dangerous adventures, culminating in a combat with three giants that left him unconscious. A local nobleman (variously called Oringle, Limwris, or Doorm) found them and brought them to his castle, but began to make advances on Enide. When she refused him, he abused her. Erec awoke at her screams and killed the nobleman. Realizing the folly of his actions, Erec apologized to Enide, and the two returned to Erec’s kingdom to live out their days.
   The Prose Tristan tells a variant version of Erec and Enide. Enide is the daughter of the duke of Huiscam, who has been killed by Sir Senehar. Senehar is besieging Enide when Erec arrives with Galahad, Bleoberis, and Hector. Arthur’s knights defeat Senehar and Erec marries Enide. [ChretienE, HartmannE, Erex, Wolfram, Geraint, ProsTris, TennIK]


Gawain’s girlfriend in Ulrich’s Lanzalet. [UlrichZ]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the third or second century BC. He was the son of King Arthgallo. He succeeded his brother, King Margan. He ruled tyrannically, was deposed by his own nobles, and was succeeded by his cousin Idwallo. [GeoffHR]


Count of Dublin in Durmart le Gallois. He fought in a tournament. [Durmart]


A castle on the edge of the Fisher King’s lands, inhabited by priests. Pious knights customarily stopped at Enquiry to make a confession before approaching the Grail Castle. [Perlesvaus]


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

Enrydreg [Enrhydreg]

A lady at Arthur’s court who was the daughter of Tuduathar. [Culhwch]


A knight who held a tournament against Arthur, in which Erec excelled. [HartmannE]

Enygeus [En(n)igeus, Enyseus, Haningnes, Havingues]

The sister of Joseph of Arimathea, the wife of Bron, and the mother of Alain, Joshua, Nascien, Sador, Naburzadan, and several other sons. Enygeus and Bron accompanied Joseph on his journey from Judea to western lands, eventually arriving in Britain. Her descendants were the Grail Kings. In a brief interpolated ending to one manuscript of the First Continuation of Perceval, she is named as the wife—rather than the mother—of Alain, and as the mother of Perceval. [RobertBorJ, Didot, VulgMer, Arthour]

Eopa [Appas]

A Saxon who learned the language and manners of the British, as well as the art of medicine. While King Gilloman of Ireland and Pascentius, son of Vortigern, fought at Saint David’s to defeat Uther Pendragon and conquer the kingdom, Eopa (one of Pascentius’s men) offered to go to Winchester, pose as a Christian doctor, and poison King Ambrosius Aurelius. Pascentius promised Eopa fortune and fame if he were to accomplish this, and Eopa did succeed in assassinating Ambrosius. Pascentius, however, was killed at Saint David’s by Uther, and the Irish-Saxon alliance was smashed. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]

Eosa [Cosa, Ebissa, Eisc, Os(s)a, Oysa, Tosa]

A cousin or son of the Saxon leader Hengist. Hengist brought him to England with Octa and other Saxon warriors when Vortigern, King of Britain, was friendly to the Saxons. The Saxons eventually went to war with the British, and Eosa and Octa became their leaders. King Ambrosius defeated Eosa at the battle of York and—as a peace offering—gave him a section of Scotland. Eosa and Octa returned, however, to fight Uther after Ambrosius’s death. Uther captured them at the battle of Mount Damen and imprisoned them, but they escaped to Germany, raised an army, and returned again. The two Saxons were finally killed at the battle of Saint Albans (or Verulam). Eosa is probably identical to the son of Hengist mentioned by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Æsc. Wace gives two versions of his name—Ebissa and Osa—which Layamon understood as two separate characters. [Nennius, GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]

Episford [Aylesford, Epsford]

The Saxon name for the location known by the Britons as Rhyd yr afael, a ford where King Vortigern’s son, Vortimer, defeated Hengist’s Saxon armies in his second such battle. Hengist’s brother, Horsa, died in the battle, as did Vortigern’s son Catigern. This battle is analogous to the one that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle claims was fought at Ægelsthrep in 455. [Nennius, GeoffHR, Wace]

Epistrophus [Epistrod, Epistrophius]

The King of Greece who was subservient to the Roman Procurator Lucius, and was called upon to join Lucius in the war against Arthur. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]


One of Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table who was the son of Haterel. [HartmannE]


Son of Constantine and father of Arthur’s warriors Geraint, Ermid, and Dywel. Erbin ruled a Cornish kingdom, which he had to turn over to his son Geraint when he became ill. Geraint returned rule of the land briefly to Erbin when Geraint left for a series of adventures, but he eventually came back and took the crown from his aging and grateful father. His counterpart in the French romances, as Erec’s father, is Lac. [Culhwch, Geraint]


A region of Britain where Arthur was said to have slain his son, Amr. [Nennius]


Brother of Isolde of the White Hands in the Serbo-Russian Povest’ o Tryshchane, slain by Tristan at a tournament in Baroh. Tristan was badly wounded during the fight and may or may not have recovered at the hands of Isolde, Mark’s wife. His name bears a resemblance to Kahedin, Isolde of the White Hands’ brother in other sources. [Povest]


Daughter of Tryffin, sister of Drudwas, and a lady at Arthur’s court. [Culhwch]

Erec [Arecco, Arech, Arrake, Arrok, Erech, Erés, Errak(e), Erex, Eric, Heret]

A Knight of the Round Table who is the hero of Chrétien de Troyes’s Erec and its adaptations. The first legends in which he appears recount his marriage to Enide and their subsequent adventures. Later, the Prose Erec (part of the Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation) describes an entirely different set of adventures in which Enide is absent. In Welsh legend (and in Tennyson), he is called Geraint.
   The son of a king named Lac, Erec’s homeland is variously noted as Nantes, Destregales, or Carnant. The source of his name may be Guerec or Weroc, a Breton name which belonged to a tenth-century count of Nantes. Guerec, in turn, may have a relation with Gweir of Welsh legend whose father, Llwch, like Lac, means “lake.” Wolfram von Eschenbach gives him a sister named Jeschute, while in the Post-Vulgate his sister is unnamed. We learn from the latter source that his mother, Crisea, had taken precautions to protect Erec against all forms of enchantment.
   Chrétien relates Erec’s story as follows: Erec came to Arthur’s court as a youth and proved himself a superior knight, perhaps second only to Gawain. During Arthur’s ceremonial hunt for the white stag, Erec embarked on a quest to revenge an insult done to Guinevere and himself. His quest took him to the town of Laluth, where he caught up with the insulting knight—Yder, son of Nut. Erec found lodging at the humble home of an impoverished nobleman named Licorant. There, he fell in love with Licorant’s daughter Enide. Erec learned from Licorant that Yder was in the town for an annual sparrowhawk tournament. Entering the tournament with Enide, Erec defeated Yder and forced him to surrender to Arthur. Erec returned to Arthur’s court where he was honored for his victory, and was given Enide’s hand in marriage.
   Erec soon brought Enide back to his own kingdom of Nantes, but he was so in love with her that he lost his interest in arms and combat. He spent all of his time with his wife, and his reputation began to suffer as a result. Hearing grumbling from Erec’s subjects and comrades, Enide became disconsolate. She eventually confronted Erec with the situation. Angered and embarrassed, Erec decided to embark on more adventures—with his unfortunate wife in tow, but with no other warriors. Erec badly treated Enide, who was forced to watch as bands of rogues attacked her husband. During this series of adventures, Erec defeated a nobleman who fell in love with Enide, defeated and befriended King Guivret the Small, and overcame Sir Kay. Erec was eventually wounded to unconsciousness by a pair giants, whom he killed in order to save Sir Cadoc of Carlisle. The evil Count Oringle, who ruled the nearby town of Limors, found Erec and Enide, and brought them back to his court. Mistaking Erec’s unconscious state for death, Count Oringle tried to force himself on Enide. When she screamed, Erec awoke, slew the count, and made up with his wife.
   On the way back to Arthur’s court, the party came across the beautiful town of Brandigan, ruled by Evrain, where Erec engaged in a dangerous adventure, known as the Joy of the Court, and won, defeating the giant Mabonagrain. His story is capped by a triumphant return to Arthur’s court and by Erec’s investiture with the throne of his father’s kingdom.
   The Prose Tristan describes a variant version of Erec’s meeting with Enide in which Erec, aided by Galahad, Hector, and Bleoberis, saves Enide from an oppressor named Senehar.
   The version of Erec’s story found in the Post-Vulgate is also entirely different. Knighted just prior to the Grail Quest, Erec proved his prowess by conquering the Castle of the Ten Knights, and by rescuing Bors from the castle of Nabon the Enchanter. Arthur awarded him a Round Table seat, following which Erec embarked on the Grail Quest. He adventured with Meraugis and Hector, who helped him to free his sister and to conquer the Castle Celis, where Lac had been murdered. Soon afterwards, however, Erec slew his sister in order to keep a promise he had rashly made to a lady. In further adventures, he killed Yvain of the White Hands and incurred the enmity of Gawain and his brothers. Gawain killed him, and he was buried at Camelot by Meraugis and Hector. The Alliterative Morte Arthure describes his death during Arthur’s final battle with Mordred. [ChretienE, HartmannE, Erex, Wolfram, PostMer, PostQuest, ProsTris, Allit]

Ergyryad (“Attacker”)

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


Father of Arthur’s warrior Greid. [Culhwch]


One of Arthur’s knights. [Renaut]


Father of Arthur’s warriors Uchdryd, Eus, Hen Was, Hen Beddestyr, and Sgilti Light Foot. His sons were bestowed with special gifts of speed. [Culhwch]


Gawain’s cousin. He is called the son of the king of Orkney. The daughter of the king of Montabor promised him her love if he could defeat twenty knights in a row. After conquering 19, he faced Beaudous, Gawain’s son, and was defeated. Beaudous sent him to Arthur’s court as a prisoner. [RobertBlo]


Son of Erbin, brother of Geraint and Dywel, father of Gwynn and Cyndrwyn, and one of King Arthur’s warriors. [Culhwch]

Ermyngall [Herygall, Heryndale]

One of Arthur’s knights who, according to the Alliterative Morte Arthure, was killed during the Roman War. Malory seems to place him on the side of the Emperor Lucius. [Allit, Malory]


A knight who was taken prisoner, with his paramour Amelide, by the giant Trudet. They were freed when Guiron the Courteous killed Trudet. [Palamedes]

Ernol [Arnauld, Arnault, Erveus, Herno(u)l, Hernox]

A count and vassal of Arthur who ruled the castle Carcelois on the Scottish borderlands. His three sons raped and murdered his daughter, then threw him in prison when he tried to punish them. The castle gained a reputation for murder and lechery. It was visited by Galahad, Perceval, and Bors during the Grail Quest; they slew the sons and liberated Ernol from prison. Ernol, who had been granted a vision of the liberation, died in Galahad’s arms after bidding a hermit to warn Arthur of Lancelot and Guinevere’s treason. [VulgQuest, PostQuest, ProsTris, Tavola, Malory]

Errant’s Hermitage

A British hermitage where Yvain lodged during an adventure. From the hermit, he learned of the evil wrought by Malduit the Giant, and set out to slay the giant. [VulgLanc]


A Welsh warrior who was apparently killed fighting King Maelgwn of Gwynned. His death is lamented by Myrddin and Taliesin in an early Welsh poem. Another warrior killed, Gwrrith, may have been a brother or comrade. [Myrddin]


Half-woman, half-dragon monster slain by the Red Cross Knight in his first adventure. [Spenser]

Erw (“Acre”)

Father of Arthur’s warrior Llawr. [Culhwch]

Erwm the Tall

One of Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. He had an enormous appetite, and could eat all the food from three cantrevs (counties) in one sitting. His companion was Atrwm the Tall, who had a similar appetite. [Culhwch]

Eryri [(H)erir(i), Heremi, Heremus, Reir]

A mountain in the Snowdon range where Vortigern sought to build a fortress. It is also called Dinas Emrys. It may be related to the mountain Aravius, where Arthur slew the giant Ritho. According to Tennyson, it was rumored that the infant Arthur had been found by a forester on the mountain. [Nennius, Layamon, TennIK]


Cousin of Escanor the Handsome, an opponent of Gawain. He led Escanor’s soldiers at the tournament of Banborc after Escanor was injured. [Girart]


A seaside city in Sorelois. [Palamedes]

Escalon the Dark

A British castle that was shrouded in an evil enchantment after its lord raped a maiden (or a knight raped the daughter of the lord) in the castle’s church. It was said that only the best knight alive in the world could open the church door, and thus free Escalon from the spell; the same knight, it was said, would also liberate the Dolorous Tower. After Galescalain and Yvain both attempted the adventure and failed, Lancelot succeeded, returning light to the castle and church. [VulgLanc, Livre]


A land within Arthur’s domain. [VulgLanc]


King of Wales and ally of Escanor the Handsome, an opponent of Gawain. [Girart]

Escalot [Ascolot, Askalot, Astolat, Scalliotto, Scalot, Shallot]

A town near Camelot which was the home of Bernard, Tirre or Torre, and Lavaine. The Maiden of Astolat, called Elaine by Malory, fell in love with Lancelot when he visited her father’s town in preparation for a tournament. When Lancelot did not return her love, the maiden committed suicide after arranging for her body to be floated down the river to Camelot in a rich barge. Malory identifies the town with Guildford. Its name may derive from Alclud, a ford on the river Clyde. Tennyson’s famous “Shallot” is a variation. [VulgMort, Stanz, Malory, TennLS, TennIK]

Escanor1 the Handsome

King of the White Mountain and nephew of Escanor the Large. Gawain defeated him in combat after Escanor tried to abduct Sir Girflet. Consequent of this defeat, Gawain obtained Escanor’s horse, Gringolet, which had been given to Escanor by his lover, the fairy queen Esclarmonde. Later, Escanor wrongly accused Gawain of his cousin’s murder. Gawain at first refused to fight him, so Sir Galantivet, Gawain’s squire, ambushed and defeated Escanor. When Escanor and Gawain finally met in combat, Gawain had the upper hand and would have killed his opponent, but a fairy named Felinete, who had once helped Gawain, interceded and convinced Gawain to spare Escanor’s life. The two knights reconciled and became friends. Escanor retired to a hermitage after his wife died. [Girart]

Escanor3 the Large

Son of a giant and a witch, brother of Alienor, and uncle of Escanor the Handsome, with whom Escanor the Large is sometimes confused. Escanor the Large was born at the same time as Gawain, and he shared Gawain’s power by which his strength waxed and waned with the sun. He held an enduring hatred for Gawain, who had once defeated him. He kidnapped Arthur’s female cupbearer while she was under Gawain’s protection. Gawain tracked him down and killed him in combat, rescuing the maiden. [Atre, Girart]

Escant [Escan, E(u)stas]

The Duke or Earl of Cambenic in the early days of Arthur’s reign. With a number of other kings, he revolted against Arthur, and suffered a defeat at the battle of Bedegraine. The rebellion was eventually curtailed by the Saxon invasions. Escant fought alongside King Clarion of Northumberland and had a few successes, but a crushing defeat at the battle of Clarence led him to ally with Arthur so that the kings could expel the Saxons for good. Escant had a hand in their defeat at the second battle of Clarence. During the Roman War, Escant led a battalion of Arthur’s soldiers at the battle of Soissons. He may have influenced King Ekunaver of Kanadic in German romance. [VulgMer, Arthour, Malory]

Escarant the Poor

A valiant, excellent knight who fought bravely for Galehaut in the latter’s war against Arthur. When Arthur and Galehaut made peace, Escarant joined Arthur’s court. [LancLac]

Escavalon [Acabalon, Cabalon, Cavalon, Cavillon, Escabalon, Escarvalon, Escavellon, Eschavalon, Kavillon, Quevalon]

A land mentioned in several romances; there is an obvious connection with Avalon. Wolfram von Eschenbach calls it Ascalun. In Chrétien’s Perceval and its First Continuation, Gawain has to fight a duel at Escavalon against Sir Guigambresil. A bit of confusion caused the king of Escavalon to postpone the duel between Gawain and Guigambresil for a year, provided that Gawain spend that year looking for the Bleeding Lance. In the Second Continuation of Perceval, Escavalon seems to be one of Arthur’s courts, located in Wales. In Perlesvaus, it is ruled by Perceval’s paternal uncle Elinant, and then by Elinant’s son Alain. In Raoul de Houdenc’s La Vengeance Raguidel, the King of Escavalon’s daughter, Lidoine, is loved by two knights: Meraugis and Gorvain Cadrut. In the Vulgate Lancelot, King Arguel is mentioned as the ruler. Escavalon was the birthplace of Galescalain, the duke of Clarence. [ChretienP, Contin1, Contin2, Perlesvaus, Raoul, VulgLanc]

Esclabor the Unknown [Astlabor, Escalibore, Esclabort, Scalbrino, Scalabrone]

A pagan king from Babylon or Galilee who journeyed to Rome as a tribute from his homeland. While in Rome, he saved the life of the emperor. He eventually traveled to Britain, where he also saved the life of King Pellinore. He entered Arthur’s service and fathered Palamedes, Safir, Seguarades, nine to eleven other sons (including, possibly, Sir Suziano), and the maiden Florine. He had a brother named Aphasar. Arthur gave him his epithet after he discovered that Esclabor was a heathen (Arthur had assumed that he was Christian). Esclabor was eventually baptized. All of his sons, except those named above, were slain by the fearsome Questing Beast. He had an enemy called the Count of the Plank, but the Count was killed by Safir. During the Grail Quest, he adventured with Palamedes and Galahad, helping to repel King Mark’s first invasion of Logres. He committed suicide after Palamedes was slain by Gawain. [PostQuest, Palamedes, ProsTris, Tavola, Malory]


A vassal of the King with a Hundred Knights. He fought at King Mark’s tournament at Lancien. His daughter was called the Maiden of the Circle of Gold. [Contin4]

Esclados the Red [Ascalun, Salados, Sodal]

A lord who guarded an enchanted fountain in the forest of Broceliande in Chrétien’s Yvain and its various adaptations. Yvain heard of his fountain when Calogrenant related how Esclados had defeated him. His interest piqued, Yvain journeyed to Broceliande and slew Esclados in combat, then married his widow, Laudine. [ChretienE, HartmannI, Ivens, Ywain]


A giant knight, related distantly to Lancelot, who was raised by King Claudas of the Land Laid Waste. He fought in Claudas’s second war against Arthur, and performed great military feats. He participated in the Grail Quest. [VulgLanc, ProsTris]


The ruler of the Red City. He forbade a knight named Sir Eloides from marrying his daughter. Eloides did so anyway and, to protect her from Esclamor, he established the Forbidden Hill, which was eventually conquered by Lancelot. [VulgLanc]

Esclanor the Black

Father of the Good Knight Without Fear and grandfather of Dinadan. [Palamedes]

Esclarmonde [Esclarmondine]

A fairy sorceress, taught by Virgil, who ruled Inglecele. She became the mistress of Escanor the Handsome and Briant of the Isles. She gave the steed Gringolet, later Gawain’s horse, to the former. [Girart]


The northeast section of Scotland, above the Firth of Forth, but often used in Arthurian romance to indicate all of Scotland.

Escorant [Escorante, Escoras, Estorause]

The pagan king of Sarras who, at the conclusion of the Grail Quest, threw Galahad, Perceval, and Bors into prison. There, they were sustained by the Grail, and Escorant, who became deathly ill, released them after a year. He died after receiving their forgiveness. Galahad succeeded him as king of Sarras. [VulgQuest, PostQuest, Tavola, Malory]


A sorceress who loved Merlin. She created the palace of Grande Disio in the forest of Darnantes, intending to live with Merlin there, but he banished her to the island of Avalon, and the palace fell to her daughter, Elergia. Her daughter Elergia tried to ensnare Arthur, leading to the deaths of Elergia and of Escorducarla’s four sons at the hands of Arthur and Tristan. Escorducarla tried to exact revenge on Arthur by sending her brother, Lascanis, to Camelot with magic weapons and armor. Her plan was that Lascanis would defeat all of the Knights of the Round Table, imprison them, and burn the prison. Tristan defeated Lascanis and foiled the plan. Escorducarla was the original owner of Petitcrieu, the lap dog that Tristan eventually presented to Isolde. [Tavola]

Escose [Escolte]

A city in Northumberland, where the King of Northumberland rallied his armies in preparation for war against Duke Ganor, the first Briton ruler converted to Christianity by Joseph of Arimathea. There seems to be a confusion with Escoce. [VulgEst]

Esealt the Tall

A nimble, polite giant that served King Arthur. With his help, Lancelot and his men were able to enter the stronghold of the wizard Malduc, and rescue Erec and Gawain, who were imprisoned there. [UlrichZ]

Eskilabon the Wild

Duke of Belamunt and the Beautiful Forest. For the love of the lady Klaretschanze of Portugal—and because of the treachery of Prince Frians of Ponterteis—he was forced to guard a flower garden, and to imprison any knight who picked the flowers or who wanted to marry his sister, Flordiane. He was eventually defeated by Arthur’s Sir Garel, who freed his prisoners and made Eskilabon swear fealty. Eskilabon then fought alongside Garel in Arthur’s war against King Ekunaver of Kanadic, for which Arthur gave him a seat at the Round Table. [PleierG]

Esmeree the Blonde

Daughter of King Guingras, from whom she inherited the kingdom of Wales. The sorcerers Mabon and Evrain entered her kingdom, laid waste to her city of Snowdon (thereafter called Desolate City), and turned her into a serpent until either she agreed to marry Mabon or a knight rescued her by defeating the sorcerers and enduring a kiss from her in serpentine form—called the Fearsome Kiss. Esmeree’s servant, Helie, traveled to Arthur’s court to find a knight to rescue her, and Helie came back with Gawain’s son, Guinglain. Guinglain defeated the two wizards and reluctantly allowed the snake to kiss him, thus ending the curse. Esmeree wanted to marry Guinglain, but Guinglain, having fallen in love with the Maiden with the White Hands during the journey, made an excuse to leave, promising to rendezvous with Esmeree at Arthur’s court. When she reached Arthur’s court and failed to find Guinglain, Arthur—who approved of the marriage—called a tournament at the Castle of Maidens, knowing that Guinglain, who never missed a chance to win honor, would show. Guinglain’s participation made him lose the love of the Maiden with the White Hands, and he was thus free to marry Esmeree. The two were wed in Wales, and Guinglain became King of Wales. [Renaut]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Gwynn. [Culhwch]


The head nun in a convent where Yder recovered after Kay tried to murder him. [Yder]


One of Arthur’s knights. [Contin2]

Espinogrés [Epynogrys, (E)(s)pi(n)(g)nogre(s), Spinagrus, Spynagrose]

A knight, sometimes a Knight of the Round Table, who shows up in a number of romances, mostly French, beginning with Raoul de Houdenc’s Meraugis de Portlesguez. In Meraugis, he is the son of Belchis. His father kidnaps the lady Lidoine, hoping to force her into marrying Espinogres, but Lidoine’s lover, Meraugis, forces Belchis to release her. In the Third Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, he is a king who slays his mother, Brangemore of Cornwall, in the chapel of the Black Hand. He has a nephew named Partinal who is an enemy of the Grail family. In L’Atre Périlleux, Gawain forces him to return to a paramour he deserted. He shows up in the Prose Tristan, La Tavola Ritonda, and Malory’s Le Morte Darthur as a companion of Tristan and Dinadan. He was the son of King Clarion of Northumberland and the nephew of Bagdemagus of Gorre. He ruled the fortress of Prougno. Tristan convinced him to have his daughter attempt to vamp the pragmatic Dinadan as a practical joke. Later, Espignogrés fell in love with the daughter of the King of Wales, and became an outstanding fighter by virtue of his love. Sir Helyor le Preuse abducted his paramour, but Palamedes helped Espignogrés retrieve her. In the Scottish tale of Golagros and Gawain, he provides information on Lord Golagros, whose castle Arthur passed on the way to Rome. [Raoul, Palamedes, Contin3, ProsTris, Atre, Tavola, Malory, Golagros]

Espinoie (“Thicket”)

A forest in Cornwall where King Mark was wont to hunt. [ProsTris]

Esquyris [Esqwyris]

A poor but noble knight who served first Galehaut and then Arthur. [LancLaik]

Esscol [Escol]

Son of Alcus, King of Iceland. Alcus voluntarily subjugated himself to Arthur in return for Arthur’s promise to make Esscol a knight. [Layamon]

Esselyt Slender Neck

A lady at Arthur’s court listed in Culhwch and Olwen. She may be related to Isolde of the Tristan legends. [Culhwch]

Esselyt White Neck

A lady at Arthur’s court. [Culhwch]

Essex [Eastsex]

A region of eastern England. Nennius says that it was given to the Saxons as a ransom for the life of King Vortigern, whom they had kidnapped. Malory says that the province allied with Mordred during his rebellion against Arthur. [Nennius, Malory]


The site of a battle between 30 of Arthur’s knights and an army of Saxons and Irish. Arthur’s knights triumphed, driving their opponents to the river Vargonche, where Sagremor slew the Saxon king Brandegue. [VulgLanc]

Estorel the Poor

A bold knight who served Galehaut in the war against Arthur, but who later became one of Arthur’s companions. [VulgLanc]


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

Estorm of Rivello

Father of Cudinello, a knight defeated by Tristan and Lancelot during the Grail Quest. [Tavola]

Estorri of Sobolis

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

Estout the Proud [Estu(l)t]

An evil knight from the Castle Fer in France. He kidnapped the wife of Tristan the Dwarf and held her in his castle. Tristan the Dwarf enlisted the help of the knight Tristan, and both Tristans faced Estout and his brothers in combat. Estout and his brothers were vanquished, but Tristan the Dwarf was killed, and Tristan received a poisoned, fatal wound. [Thomas]


A region in France, owned by Sir Lancelot. Lancelot made Sir Urry the earl of Estrake in return for Urry’s support in the battles against King Arthur. [Malory]

Estral [(D)estraus]

A castle and land owned by Arthur’s Sir Kay (not the seneschal). It was also inhabited by Sir Galeres. [ChretienE, Heinrich, VulgLanc]


A duchess in The Knight of the Parrot. Hearing of Arthur’s exploits in the guise of the Knight of the Parrot, she declared her love for him. One of her suitors, the Knight-Giant, grew angry at this and promised to bring her Arthur’s right hand. The Knight-Giant was slain in the battle, and his brother, the Redoubtable Giant of the Sure Keep, took revenge on Estrales by cutting of the hand of one of her ladies, the countess Bliandois. [ChevPap]


A king who ruled the city of Pelle and served Arthur in Meriadeuc. Estrangaré sounds like the name of a place, while Pelle is a person’s name. Some author evidently reversed the two. [Meriadeuc]

Estrangorre [(E)strangore, (E)strango(r)t, Estregor]

One of the several kingdoms in rebellion against Arthur in the early days of his reign. It bordered on North Wales and Cambenic. The Vulgate Merlin gives two separate rulers of the city-state: Caradoc Shortarm and Brandegorre; and the Vulgate Lancelot calls the King with a Hundred Knights its lord. This confusion may be resolved by making Estrangorre a country and Estrangort a city, but the names are not used this way consistently. Arthur became overlord by treaty. It was also the home of the knight Gaswain. [ChretienE, LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, Arthour, Malory]


One of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. [HartmannE]


Castle ruled by Raolais, an enemy of Arthur. It is the surname of Sir Belias. Both Raolais and Belias are called the Red Knight of Estremores. [VulgMer, Livre]


One of Arthur’s castles in Les Merveilles de Rigomer. [Merveil]


One of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. [HartmannE]


Daughter of Octa the Saxon who married Arthur as a token of peace between the Britons and the Saxons. She died tragically at a young age. [BlackmoreP, BlackmoreK]


A earl and leader of a battalion of soldiers in the Duke of Lorraine’s brigade, fighting for the Roman army. Earl Ethelwold led his soldiers into a trap set by Sir Gawain and Sir Florence in north Italy. The soldiers were killed and Ethelwold fled the field. Named in Malory’s version of the Roman War, he seems to correspond to Earl Antele of the Alliterative Morte Arthure. [Malory]

Ethiopia [Ethyope]

An ancient kingdom in Africa on the Red Sea, corresponding to the current locations of Ethiopia and Sudan. According to Heinrich von dem Türlin, the King of Ethiopia, Noir, was one of Arthur’s knights, but in Malory, its king, who is also the king of Egypt, is allied to Lucius the Roman, and is killed at the battle of Soissons by Arthur’s knights. [Heinrich, Malory]


A heathen city along the Tigris River, known for its fine fabrics. A warrior from Ethnise wounded King Anfortas (Wolfram’s Fisher or Grail King) in the scrotum during a joust, but was himself killed. [Wolfram]


Italian folklore has Arthur reclining upon a royal couch on Mount Etna ever since his final battle with Mordred. See Sicily.

Ettard [Ettarre]

The beautiful but evil maiden loved by Pelleas in Malory and Tennyson. She appears in the Post-Vulgate Cycle as Arcade. Pelleas awarded her the crown at a tournament in which he defeated sixty knights. Because he was of low birth, however, she rebuked him, called him “Sir Baby,” and forbade him from entering her land, known as the Plain of Adventures or Arroy. Pelleas disobeyed her command repeatedly. On each occasion, she sent ten knights against him. Each time, he defeated all the knights, but let them capture him anyway, so that he might catch a glimpse of Ettard on the way to her prison. Pelleas would be released the following day, only to repeat the cycle.
   Gawain learned of Pelleas’s plight and suggested that he could assist Pelleas by taking his armor to Ettard’s court, claiming to have slain him in combat. The plan went off as expected, with Ettard joyously receiving the news that Pelleas was dead. Gawain, however, found himself unexpectedly enamored with Ettard, and she similarly fell in love with Gawain. They swiftly consummated their relationship—both of them losing their virginity in the process—and became lovers. An impatient Pelleas eventually came looking for them and found them sleeping together. Rather than kill them, he laid his sword across their throats. When Ettard awoke and saw Pelleas’s sword, she realized that Gawain had lied.
   The enchantress Nimue, who had taken pity on Pelleas, cast a spell on Ettard to make her love the knight. The disillusioned Pelleas, however, rejected his former beloved, and she lived out the rest of her life in heartbreak. Tennyson says that her treachery drove Pelleas mad. [Malory, TennIK]


One of four miscreant brother knights killed by Gawain in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône. His brothers were Gameranz, Bandarab, and Belianz. [Heinrich]


According to the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal, the Euphrates river was the only home of the magical Cartenans fish, whose rib formed half the hilt of the Sword with the Strange Hangings. [VulgEst]


A knight who guarded a bridge in the forest of Darnantes. He was wounded by Kay. [Tavola]


A lady at Arthur’s court who was the daughter of Clydno of Edinburgh. [Culhwch]


A lady at Arthur’s court who was the daughter of Gwydolwyn the Dwarf. [Culhwch]

Europe the Large

A kingdom allied to Lucius, Arthur’s enemy in the Roman War. [Allit, Malory]


Son of Erim, one of five brothers, and one of Arthur’s warriors. [Culhwch]


Malory’s spelling for Duke Escant of Cambenic.


A British king whose seneschal, Flamus, fought in Arthur’s war against the Saxons. [VulgMer]


The son of King Brandegorre of Estrangorre. He was named after the British King Evadeam. A young sorceress turned him into an ugly, misshapen dwarf after Evadeam would not reciprocate her love. He later fell in love with Byanne, whom he served. Byanne brought him to Arthur’s court and asked Arthur to knight him. Arthur did so, amidst his knights’ jives and guffaws, and Evadeam was called the Dwarf Knight. He surprised his companions with his prowess. When he turned 22 years old, the spell wore off (having been temporarily transferred to Gawain) and he took back his normal, handsome countenance. [VulgMer]


A British king after whom Evadeam was named. He had a son named Tradelment. [VulgMer]

Evaine [Anayne, Evainne]

Daughter of King Galegantin, wife of King Bors of Gannes, and mother of Lionel and Bors (Lancelot’s cousins). She joined her sister Elaine in the Royal Minster nunnery after Bors died of an illness and King Claudas seized Gannes. She gave her sons to the noble Pharien to look after. Her health declined in the nunnery, where she constantly worried about her sons. She died after being blessed with a vision of Lionel and Bors, along with Lancelot, in the safe care of the Lady of the Lake. [LancLac, VulgLanc, PostQuest]

Evalach [Evalac, Evelak(e)]

The King of Sarras, who was converted to Christianity by Joseph of Arimathea. Upon his conversion, he took the name Mordrains and joined Joseph’s companions in Britain. His name may be a variation of Affalach, a Celtic god connected with Avalon. [VulgEst, Malory]

Evalachin [Alongines, Valacin]

King Evalach’s strongest castle, well-situated and virtually impregnable. It was besieged by King Tholomer of Babylonia. Evalach encountered him there but was defeated in battle, and was forced to retreat to La Choine. [VulgEst, Joseph]


An emperor of Rome who, according to Perlesvaus, mounted a sacred stone in the pommel of the Grail Sword. [Perlesvaus]

Evander1 [Ewander]

King of Syria. He owed his allegiance to Rome, and he therefore joined Emperor Lucius’s war against Arthur. Evander, with three others, was assigned by Lucius to liberate the Roman prisoners being taken by Arthur’s warriors to a prison in Paris. The Britons won the battle thanks to the timely arrival of Duke Guitard, but Evander killed Earl Borel of Maine. Evander himself was captured or killed when the Romans began to flee (the Vulgate Merlin says he was killed by Yder). The Alliterative Morte Arthure names Evander and the King of Syria as two separate characters; Evander becomes simply an earl of the Orient. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, VulgMer, Allit]


Son of the Red Knight and brother of Leander, Marmadus, and Meliadas. Perceval killed Evander’s father, but Evander and his brothers eventually forgave Perceval. [Contin4]

Evening Star

In Tennyson, one of four brothers defeated by Gareth in his quest to free the lady Lyonors. His brothers were the Morning Star, the Noonday Star, and Death. His armor was bright red, though he corresponds with the Green Knight in Malory. [TennIK]


In the romance of Yder, Arthur summons Archbishop Callic of Everwic to marry Yder and Queen Guenloie. Warwick, the most plausible location, has never had an archbishop. The author may have intended York. [Yder]

Evieran of Ganaor

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

Evrain1 [Effuen, Evrains]

The King of Brandigan who gave hospitality to Erec at the end of Erec’s adventures with Enide. Brandigan was the site of an extremely perilous adventure called the Joy of the Court, supervised by Evrain’s nephew Mabonagrain, and Evrain tried to dissuade Erec from assuming the adventure. Erec, however, took on the quest and proved victorious. Afterwards, Evrain threw a celebration in his honor. His name may be a variation of Yvain or Urien. [ChretienE, Erex]

Evrain2 the Cruel [Jrayn]

A sorcerer who, with his brother Mabon, entered Wales and laid waste to the city of Snowdon, ruled by Queen Esmeree the Blonde, whom they turned into a snake. He was defeated in combat and was put to flight by Gawain’s son Guinglain. [Renaut, ChestreLyb]


A knight of Lord Golagros in the Middle Scots poem of Golagros and Gawain. During the war between Golagros and Arthur, Ewmond defeated and captured Arthur’s Sir Owales. [Golagros]

Excalibur [Caliborne, *Caliburn, Esc(a)labor, Esc(h)alibor(c), Estalibore, Excalibar, Excalibor]

King Arthur’s sword, called Caliburn in earliest accounts and Caledfwlch in Welsh legend. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, it was “best of swords,” and “was forged within the Isle of Avalon.” Other tales add that no armor could withstand it, that it blazed with fire when drawn, and that it instantly killed anyone it touched. Robert de Boron and the Vulgate romances name Excalibur as the same sword that Arthur drew from the stone, proving his right to rule Britain. In French romance, Gawain is often seen with Excalibur, and the Vulgate Merlin clears this discrepancy by saying that Arthur used the sword for a while, but bestowed it upon Gawain after Arthur won a better sword: Marmiadoise, the sword of King Rions, which had first belonged to Hercules. Gawain lent Excalibur to Lancelot once, and in another episode, Arthur let Meliadus borrow it.
   In the Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation and in Malory, Arthur receives Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake. (The Sword-in-the-Stone is a separate weapon. Malory varies, saying in one location that Arthur drew Excalibur from the stone, and in another that the Lady of the Lake gave it to him.) Merlin showed Arthur Excalibur held by a hand, protruding from the waters of a lake. Arthur rowed out and took the sword, but had to promise to grant the Lady of the Lake a favor in the future. Arthur also received the sword’s scabbard, which was more valuable than the sword itself, for no knight could lose any blood while wearing it. Tennyson says that the Lady bestwoed the sword upon Arthur so that he could drive the heathen out of Britain.
   In one episode from the Post-Vulgate and Malory, Arthur entrusts the sword to Morgan le Fay. She made a counterfeit and gave the real one to her lover, Accalon, while returning the copy to Arthur. Wishing Arthur dead, she arranged a fight between Accalon and her brother, but the Lady of the Lake arrived in time to stop Arthur’s demise. In the aftermath, Morgan stole the scabbard and threw it into a deep lake. A note in the Post-Vulgate says that a fairy named Marsique recovered the scabbard and gave it to Gawain, for use in a battle against Mabon the Enchanter.
   The Vulgate Merlin says that its name meant “cuts through iron and steel and wood,” while Malory gives the simpler translation “cut steel.” Certainly, as Norris Lacy argues, its root seems to be the Latin chalybs, meaning “steel.” Tennyson claims that on one side of the sword was written, in the oldest tongue, “take me,” while the other side read, in modern language “cast me away.”
   After the final battle with Mordred, Arthur, mortally wounded, commanded one of his knights (Girflet in the Vulgate and Post-Vulgate, Bedivere in the Stanzaic Morte Arthur and Malory, Gawain in the Middle English Parlement of the Thre Ages, Lucan in the English ballad “King Arthur’s Death,” and a nameless squire in La Tavola Ritonda) to throw Excalibur into a nearby lake. The knight balked at the idea of disposing of such a fine sword but, after twice hiding the sword and lying about having thrown it in to the lake, he complied. As Excalibur sailed to the water, a hand thrust itself up through the surface and caught the sword. The hand waved the sword three times, and then pulled it under the water. Over half a dozen lakes and ponds in Britain—most of them in the southeast—claim to be the location of this event.
   In 1191, King Richard the Lionheart supposedly presented “Caliburnus” to his ally, Tancred of Sicily. We may assume that a sword was “discovered” some time during the reported discovery of Arthur’s body at Glastonbury. [Culhwch, GeoffHR, Wace, ChretienP, Didot, VulgMer, PostMer, PostMort, Palamedes, Tavola, Stanz, Parlement, Hardyng, Malory, KingAD, TennIK]


Son of Helianor, a famous knight of Uther’s court. His brother was Finoés. [Palamedes]

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