Arthurian Name Dictionary


An enchanter and hero from Welsh legend derived from the Celtic god Maponos. He was the son of Mellt and Modron (herself taken from the goddess Matrona). He is named as a servant of Uther Pendragon in an early Welsh poem. In Culhwch and Olwen, Culhwch needs his assistance in the hunt for the boar Twrch Trwyth. Mabon, unfortunately, had been abducted from his mother when he was three years old, and no one knew where to find him. In a related task, the warrior Eiddoel, Mabon’s cousin, was needed to locate Mabon. Arthur’s warriors consulted with several wise animals, including the Eagle of Gwenabwy and the Salmon of Llyn Llew before they located Mabon in a prison in Gloucester, which they besieged and destroyed. Mabon assisted in the hunts of Ysgithyrwyn and Twrch Trwyth while mounted on a horse named Gwynn Dun Mane. During the battle at the Severn river, Mabon seized a razor from between the boar’s ears. Mabon is also listed among Arthur’s warriors in The Dream of Rhonabwy. The First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval names “Mabon the Enchanter” among the knights in Arthur’s service. The Anglo-Norman version of his name, Mabuz, is given to a cowardly knight in Ulrich’s Lanzelet. The other two Mabons are likely derivations of his character. Chrétien’s Mabonagrain also suggests Mabon’s influence. [WelshPG, Culhwch, Contin1, Dream]

Mabon2 [Maboun(nys)]

A wizard who, with his brother Evrain, plagued Esmeree the Blonde, Queen of Wales. Pretending to be minstrels, they entered the city of Snowdon and cast spells which made the populace go insane. They laid waste to the city of Snowdon, turning it into the Desolate City. Mabon turned Esmeree the Blonde into a snake, saying that she would remain that way until she agreed to marry him, or until a knight rescued her. Esmeree the Blonde’s lady, Helie, traveled to Arthur’s court and secured the services of Gawain’s son, Guinglain. Guinglain traveled to the Desolate City, defeated Evrain in combat, and killed Mabon. [Renaut, ChestreLyb]

Mabon3 the Black

An enchanter in the Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation and the Prose Tristan who learned sorcery from Merlin. There is no reason to doubt that he is derived from the Welsh Mabon.
   Mabon captured and imprisoned Bors. Fearful of Erec, who by his mother’s enchantment was immune to magic, Mabon sent Bors to kill him. Erec defeated Bors and freed him from Mabon’s service. In another episode, Gawain apparently fought against Mabon over a fairy named Marisque. Gawain, equipped with the scabbard of Excalibur, was victorious.
   Mabon began a rivalry with his friend, Mennonas, for the love of the lady Grysinde. He sent an enchanted ship, called the Ship of Joy, to find Tristan, intending that Tristan should fight Mennonas as Mabon’s champion Tristan arrived on the ship, engaged Mennonas in combat, and killed him. [PostMer, PostQuest, ProsTris]

Mabon4 Rock

A castle ruled by King Agrippes and besieged by King Vadalon. Agrippes’ daughter ended the siege by poisoning the attacking army’s water supply. When Vadalon discovered this, he had the maiden imprisoned in iron bands, from which she was eventually freed by Sir Bors. [VulgLanc]

Mabonagrain [Mabanaring, Mabo(n)agrin]

A large knight in Chrétien’s Erec, probably a conflation of the Welsh Mabon and some other character (Evrain has been suggested). He was the nephew of King Evrain of Brandigan. As a youth, he foolishly promised a lady he loved (called Elena in the Norse Erex Saga) to grant her every desire. She then bound him by his rash promise to take up residence in a forest in the town of Brandigan, and to kill every knight who came that way. Soon, the city of Brandigan became renowned for this perilous adventure, which was called the Joy of the Court. Mabonagrain was forced to kill many good knights—including Gornemant’s son Gurzgri—because of his promise, but he was finally freed from his obligation when Erec undertook the adventure and defeated Mabonagrain. [ChretienE, Wolfram, Erex]

Mabsant (“Patron Saint”)

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


The cowardly lord of the Schatel le Mort encountered by Lancelot. His origin is likely Mabon, an enchanter knight in Welsh legend. Mabuz was the son of the water fairy (the queen of Maidenland) who had raised Lancelot. Within Mabuz’s domain was a beautiful forest called, appropriately, Beautiful Wood or Beforet, but he could not enjoy it because his neighbor, the undefeatable Iweret, had annexed it. For this reason, his mother (the fairy) charged Lancelot to defeat Iweret in combat.
   Mabuz so loathed courageous knights that he had his castle enchanted in such a way that any knight who entered uninvited would turn into a complete coward. He imprisoned these bewitched warriors and killed them on occasion, whenever he was in a bad temper. Lancelot happened upon the castle during his adventures and succumbed to the spell. Mabuz beat him and threw him in prison with his other knights.
   When Iweret became intolerable, however, and began burning Mabuz’s lands, Mabuz went to his prison to look for the most cowardly knight there, knowing that, with the enchantment lifted, that knight would be the bravest. He picked out Lancelot, who agreed to fight Iweret provided that Mabuz refrain from killing any of his prisoners for a year. Mabuz agreed and freed Lancelot, who ended Mabuz’s troubles by slaying Iweret. [UlrichZ]

Macarot of Pantelion

A knight killed by Gawain after he stole an ivory horn from the Maiden of the Ivory Horn, whom Gawain was accompanying. For his service, the Maiden gave Gawain a ring that quintupled his strength. [Contin1]


In La Tavola Ritonda, Tristan assists his future father-in-law, Gilierchino, in quashing a rebellion led by Gilierchino’s nephew, Albroino. Maccabruno was another uncle of Albroino, whom he joined in the war. He commanded the city of Gippa, which he surrendered to Tristan and Gilierchino after Albroino’s death. [Tavola]


In the Dutch Ferguut, a knight slain by Arthur’s Sir Fergus. He takes the place of Arthofilaus in Guillaume le Clerc’s Fergus. [Ferguut]


In Godfrey of Viterbo’s Pantheon, the Saxons who invade Britain during the reign of Vortigern and Uther are identified implausibly with Macedonians. Macedonia also appears in Malory as a land allied with Lucius, Arthur’s enemy in the Roman War. [Godfrey, Malory]


A warrior who served Alexander of Constantinople. With Alexander, he joined Arthur’s service for a brief time, and he was killed during Arthur’s war against the traitor Angres of Windsor. [ChretienC]


A Saxon king who, under King Hargadabran, fought Arthur’s army at Clarence. [Livre]


King of the Lost Island. His daughter, Eglantine, married King Belinant of South Wales. [VulgMer]


A Knight of the Round Table. [HartmannE]


A Scottish lord who joined King Tollo of Scotland and King Octa the Saxon in a war against Arthur. [BlackmoreP]

Macliclisier [Maclisier]

A dwarf who served Yder in Hartmann von Aue’s Erec. While traveling with Yder, he insulted and abused Guinevere’s servant and the knight Erec, prompting Erec to track Yder down and force an apology. The dwarf appears previously in Chrétien’s Erec unnamed. [HartmannE]


A Saxon king who, under King Hargadabran, fought Arthur’s army at Clarence. [Livre]

Macob of Icrac

A fearsome Irish knight. He stripped his aunt of the land she had inherited from her late husband. Lancelot, on his way to find adventure at Rigomer Castle, heard of this situation and championed the lady. He defeated Macob after a long combat and sent him off to Arthur’s court. [Merveil]


The Welsh name for Maximus.

Mad Castle

A heathen castle populated by knights bent on murdering Christians. Perceval visited the castle, and his holy presence caused the knights to hack each other to pieces. The lady of the castle, Celestre, converted to Christianity. [Perlesvaus]


The pagan king of Oriande in Perlesvaus. He was related somehow to Guinevere, and he challenged Arthur for possession of the Round Table after Guinevere’s death. He tried to convince Arthur to marry his sister, Jundree, but Arthur refused to marry a heathen. Madaglan invaded Scotland, but Arthur’s soldiers, led by Lancelot, repelled them. Madaglan invaded a second time, and Arthur’s warriors, under Brien of the Isles, were unable to defeat him. A second campaign by Lancelot resulted in Madaglan’s death, and Oriande was converted to Christianity. Madaglan’s tale, particularly his demand that Arthur relinquish the Round Table, echoes the False Guinevere episode in the Vulgate Lancelot, in which Madaglan’s counterpart would be Bertelay. [Perlesvaus]


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


In Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, the land ruled by Gansguoter, Igraine’s second husband. It contained the castle of Salie, where Gawain encountered his grandmother, mother, and sisters. In Chrétien’s Perceval, these events occur in Galloway. [Heinrich]

Madawg1 [Madog]

Son of Teithyon, and one of Arthur’s warriors. He was killed at Pelunyawg by the boar Twrch Trwyth. [Culhwch]


The father of Arthur’s knight Eliwlod. He is said to be a son of Uther, which would make him Arthur’s brother. [Triads]


The twelfth-century ruler of Powys whom Rhonabwy served. [Dream]


Arthur’s forester from the Forest of Dean. He was the son of Twrgadarn. His tale of a magnificent white stag prompted Arthur to organize an epic hunt. [Geraint]


Son of King Locrine and Queen Gwendolen of Britain. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, he succeeded his mother to the British throne in the twelfth century BC. He ruled for 40 years. His sons, Mempricius and Malim, contended each other for the throne after his death. [GeoffHR]


A knight in Arthur’s service. [Contin1]


One of Arthur’s earls in Layamon, likely adopted from the Welsh Madawg. [Layamon]


The King of Madoc was a knight in Arthur’s service. The location of “Madoc” is unknown. [Contin1]


A fairy companion of Morgan le Fay. When Arthur’s knights Claris and Laris were Morgan’s prisoners, Madoine fell in love with Laris. Laris and Madoine had a child together, but Laris eventually fell in love with Princess Marine. Madoine stalked Laris through some of his adventures and eventually abducted him, but he was rescued by Claris. [Claris]


A knight who tried to force the lady Beauté to marry him against her will. Beaudous, Gawain’s son, defeated Madoines and rescued her. In the battle, Madoines’s nephew, Morans, was slain. [RobertBlo]

Madok of the Mountain

A knight of North Wales who jousted with Lancelot prior to the tournament at the Castle of Maidens. Madok lost. Like Madoc, he probably originates with the Welsh Madawg. [Malory]


A Saxon ally and kinsman of Kion Rions, Arthur’s enemy. Madolas was slain by Arthur’s forces at the battle of Aneblayse. [VulgMer]


King of Bulgaria and one of the allys of Emperor Thereus of Rome. Madon joined Thereus in a war against Arthur, and he was killed in battle by Arthur’s Sir Laris. [Claris]

Mador1 of the Gate [Amador(e)]

A Knight of the Round Table who appears usually in tournament lists, although his name suggests that he might have been Arthur’s gatekeeper in an earlier legend. He was exceptionally tall. His brother is called Gaheris the White in the Vulgate Mort Artu, Giafredi in the Tristano Panciaticchiano, and Patrise in Malory. This brother was poisoned by Avarlan or Pionel, but circumstances implicated Guinevere, whom Mador challenged as a murderess. He fought Lancelot in judicial combat and lost; later, when he learned the truth of his brother’s death, he apologized to Guinevere and received her forgiveness. He was one of the twelve knights that joined Agravain and Modred in an attempt to catch Lancelot and Guinevere in flagrante and thus prove them guilty of treason, but he was killed in his attempt by Lancelot. [VulgMort, Floriant, TristanoP, Stanz, Malory]

Mador2 the Black

Brother of Adragain the Dark and resident of the Black Isle. He was a comrade of King Urien. [VulgLanc]


A tower in Cornwall belonging to a knight named Guirlandot. Isolde hid in the tower after she ran away from Palamedes, who had abducted her. [Tavola]


A squire knighted by Arthur during the war against King Tallas of Denmark. [Claris]

Maduc the Black

An Arthurian knight in La Vengeance Raguidel and the Livre d’Artus. Maduc broke faith with Arthur after Arthur fought a successful war against Raolais, Maduc’s brother. Leaving his home in Estremores, Maduc constructed a fortress in the Narrow Wood and used it as a base of operations for a succession of raids against Arthur and his knights. Maduc fell in love with the maiden of the Narrow Wood, but she loved Gawain instead. Maduc besieged her and, after Gawain rejected her, Maduc was able to marry her. [Vengeance, Livre, Wrake]


Wife of Nicoraut. Nicoraut and Madule found and raised the infant Apollo (an ancestor of Tristan) after King Canor, the child’s stepfather, abandoned him in the forest. When Canor discovered that the child had been saved, he killed Madule and her husband. [ProsTris]


A knight in the service of Leriador. He was wounded in combat with Lord Agravadain of the Castle of the Fens. [VulgMer]


One of Arthur’s warriors who was the son of Roycol. [Culhwch]


A Welsh warrior who, while hunting in the mountains of Arwystli, went insane from eating poisoned apples that had been intended for Merlin. He and Merlin (who had gone insane for other reasons) were both cured at a fountain in the forest of Caledon. Maeldinus then chose to live in Caledon with Merlin, Taliesin, and Ganieda. [GeoffVM]


A historical sixth-century king of Gwynned mentioned in several Welsh texts. The Latin version of his name is Maglocunus (“Hound Prince”), and a certain “Maglocune” is berated by Gildas in his De Excidio Britanniae. The Annales Cambriae says that he died in 547 from the plague. In the Welsh Triads, he appears as one of Arthur’s chief elders. He has two sons named Rhun and Alser. In another Welsh poem, Taliesin and Myrddin mourn the deaths of many warriors who died in a battle against Maelgwn. [Gildas, Annales, Myrddin, Triads]

Maesbeli [Maisbeli]

A British field in which the Saxon Hengist sought to set an ambush for Ambrosius Aurelius. Ambrosius heard of the ambush beforehand, and arrived prepared. Ambrosius won the subsequent battle, and pushed Hengist on to Conisbrough. [GeoffHR]


A Saxon king who was one of many to invade Britain at the beginning of Arthur’s reign, joining his brothers Aminaduc and Bramangue and his son Arrant. Sagremor killed him at the battle of Vambieres. [VulgMer]

Magance [Magouns]

A castle in Sussex that, according to Malory, was later called Arundel. When Prince Bodwyne was killed by King Mark of Cornwall, Bodwyne’s wife, Angledis, fled to the castle with her young son, Alexander the Orphan. Berengier, a vassal of Agledis’s father, Ranner, watched over the lady and her son. Alexander was raised here until he became a knight. Traitorous knights within the castle told Mark of Alexander’s existence, however, and later helped Mark in his plots to murder Tristan. [ProsTris, Prophecies, Malory]


A kinsman of Tristan who helped murder Meliadus, Tristan’s father. He inhabited the castle of Brioda, where he and his brothers were later slain by Tristan. [Tavola]

Magic Dance

An enchantment in the Forest of No Return, created by Guinebal (Lancelot’s uncle) in the Vulgate Cycle. Guinebal fell in love with the Lady of the Forest of No Return. Seeing that she enjoyed watching some locals engaged in dancing, Guinebal bewitched the area so that the people danced eternally. Passers-by were snared into the festivities. The enchantment was ended by Lancelot. A similar episode occurs in Raoul de Houdenc’s Meraugis de Portlesguez, and Meraugis is caught in the enchantment. [VulgLanc, VulgMer, Raoul]


One of several Saxon kings who joined the Saxon invasion of Britain during Arthur’s reign. He was the brother of Mahaglant and Ammaduc and the father of Soriondes. [VulgMer]


One of King Arthur’s knights. He participated in one of Gawain’s quests to locate Lancelot. [LancLac, VulgMer]

Maglory [Manginoires]

One of the many Saxon kings to invade Britain at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. Maglory and his seneschal, Dyoglis, were killed at the battle of Clarence. [VulgMer, Arthour]


A counterpart of King Mark in the Danish ballad of Tistram og Isold. He confronts his wife one morning after she has spent the night in the forest with Tristan, but her handmaid manages to convince him that they have been with a woman in childbirth. [Tistram]


A giant who ruled the Castle of Tears on the Giant’s Isle before he was killed by Brunoro the Brown, Galehaut’s father. Mago was the nephew of a great pagan giant named Dialantes. [Tavola]


A Saxon king who, under King Hargadabran, fought Arthur’s army at Clarence. He was killed by Galescalain. [Livre]


In Povest’ o Tryshchane, a servant of the wife of Sir Seguarades, who arranged a tryst between Tristan and his lady, but was forced to confess the event to a jealous King Mark. He appears only as a nameless dwarf in the Prose Tristan. [Povest]

Mahaglant [Maaglan(t)]

A giant Saxon king of Ireland, and a brother of Ammaduc and Maglahant. He was one of many Saxon kings to invade northern Britain in the early days of Arthur’s reign. [VulgMer]


The dead brother of a maiden championed by Gawain. Mahardi was scheduled to fight a warrior named Reimambram of Zadas in order to save his sister, Behalmi, from his clutches. Mahardi perished before the combat could take place, and Gawain, who arrived at their castle of Sempharap just in time, agreed to fight in Mahardi’s stead. Gawain was victorious. [Heinrich]


Wife of Gornemant’s son Gurzgri, mother of Gandiluz and Schionatulander, and sister of Count Ehkunat. Her husband was killed at the Joy of the Court tournament in Brandigan, destroying her happiness. [Wolfram]


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

Maiden of Many Years

An old woman who led Lancelot on several adventures, ending with Lancelot’s unfortunate slaying of Duke Calles. [VulgLanc]

Maiden of the Cart

The name of three damsels who served the Fisher King. Their names reflected the cart in which they traveled, which contained some 150 heads in sealed boxes. They included the heads of Adam and Eve. The Maiden of the Cart most often mentioned had gone bald when Perceval failed at the Grail Castle. Afterwards, the Maiden traveled to Britain and tried to rectify the situation by guiding Perceval, Gawain, and Lancelot towards holy quests. Her tasks were completed when Perceval killed the Black Hermit. [Perlesvaus]

Maiden of the Circle of Gold [*Pucele au Cercle d’Or]

A damsel whose castle, Montesclaire, was besieged by the Knight of the Dragon. Perceval rescued her and killed the knight. The Maiden was the daughter of King Esclador. [Contin4]

Maiden of the Ivory Horn [*Pucelle au Cor d’Ivoire]

A maiden met by Gawain. She owned a magical horn that provided food and drink in unlimited quantities (much like the horn of Bran in Welsh legend). While she was traveling with Gawain, the horn was stolen by Sir Macarot of Pantelion. Gawain tracked down the thief, killed him, and retrived the artifact. In reward, the Maiden gave Gawain a magic ring tha quintupled his strength. [Contin1]

Maiden of the Moors [*Demoisele des Landes, Lady of the Lands]

A cousin of King Anguish of Ireland. The king threw a tournament at the Castle of the Moors, her stronghold, to find her a husband. Palamedes and Tristan were the best knights in the tournament, but neither of them married the Maiden. [ProsTris, Malory]

Maiden of the Narrow Wood [*Pucele del Gaut Destroit]

A damsel who appears in French romance. She is given the proper name Lore of Branlant in the Livre d’Artus. Her castle was besieged by Waldin of the Fearsome Vales, a jilted suitor, and she sent a messenger to Arthur’s court for assistance. Gawain, under the alias “Daguenet,” delivered her from Waldin and departed. Later learning Gawain’s identity, she fell in love with him. She built a trap in her castle designed to behead Gawain on his next visit, either (depending on the text) because he spurned her love or because she wanted to be entombed with him forever. In one text, Gawain visits her castle but manages to escape unrecognized with the help of her servant, Marot. The Maiden’s plan never came to fruition, and she eventually married Maduc the Black. A similar character is called Orguelleuse of Logres in Perlesvaus. [Vengeance, Livre, Hunbaut]

Maiden of the White Hands [*Pucele aux Blanche Mains]

A fairy who ruled the Golden Isle. She had several suitors, so she declared that she would marry anyone who could defend the Golden Isle against all visitors over a period of seven years. Malgier the Gray, a loathsome knight, was only two years away from winning the challenge when he was killed by Arthur’s knight Guinglain (Gawain’s son). The Maiden was so pleased by Malgier’s death that she abolished the custom and agreed to marry Guinglain immediately. Guinglain was in the middle of a quest to remove a curse from Queen Esmeree the Blonde of Wales, however, and—fearful that the Maiden would try to detain him—he sneaked away from the Golden Isle in the middle of the night. Tortured with love for the Maiden, Guinglain returned as soon as he could. The Maiden had followed his progress on the quest. She scorned him upon his return and befuddled him with enchantments of revenge. Eventually, she accepted him back into her heart, but he lost her love for good when he decided to leave her so he could participate in a tournament at the Castle of Maidens. [Renaut]

Maidenland [Maydenland]

The enchanted land of fairies where, in Ulrich’s Lanzelet, Lancelot was raised. It had no men, but Lancelot was able to learn skill with arms from visiting mermen. It is comparable to the island or valley in later legends ruled by the Lady of the Lake. In the Middle English Sir Perceval of Galles, Maidenland is the fairy land ruled by the Lady Lufamour. It was attacked by the Saracen Sultan Golrotherame, who wanted to wed Lufamour. Perceval saved Maidenland and married the queen. In this role, its counterpart in earlier Perceval romances is Beaurepaire. Another “Maidenland” appears in Ywain and Gawain, taking the place of the Island of Maidens in Chrétien’s Yvain. [UlrichZ, SirPerc, Ywain]

Maimed King [*Roi Mahaignié, Wounded King]

In the Grail romances, a king with a mysterious wound that would not heal. Though not called the “Maimed King” until later, a character of this nature appears in Chrétien’s Perceval. Named as the father of the Fisher King, he lies infirm in a chamber in the Grail Castle and is sustained by a single mass wafer served to him from the Grail. His son, the Fisher King, also has a wound, and confusion between the two characters probably led later authors to identify them as the same person. Presumably, the Maimed King would have been healed along with the Fisher King had Perceval asked the Grail Question.
   The character called the “Maimed King” comes from the Vulgate romances, and his true name is variously given as Pellehan, Pelles, Pellinore, or Alan. He was either the father or brother of the Fisher King. He was once a Grail King himself, but he received a supernatural wound which left him physically and spiritually feeble. The wounding occurred during a war in Rome, or when Balin struck him with the Bleeding Lance, or when he doubted the holiness of the Holy Grail, or in punishment for drawing the Sword with the Strange Hangings. He lay ill in the Grail Castle for many years until, during the Grail Quest, Galahad cured him with blood from the Bleeding Lance. He spent the rest of his life in a hermitage.
   In the French Perlesvaus, there is a suggestion of Arthur himself as a Maimed King: his lapse into inactivity and dishonor occurs congruent with Perceval’s failure at the Grail Quest. Arthur is renewed by a visit to the chapel of St. Augustine in the White Forest. Perlesvaus also mentions a Sick King that may have influenced the Vulgate Maimed King. [ChretienP, Perlesvaus, VulgLanc, VulgQuest, VulgEst, VulgMer, Livre, PostQuest, Malory]


A region of northwest France, south of Normandy. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, it was part of Arthur’s domain, and was ruled under Arthur by Borel. [GeoffHR]


A river in Scotland, bordering the lands of the King of the Land Beyond the Borders of Galone. Arthur and the King fought a battle near the river. [LancLac]

Maine3 [Moine, Moyne]

In the Vulgate Merlin, Arthur’s great uncle, who preceded Vortigern as King of Britain. He is called Constans in the chronicles. The son of Constantine and Ivoire, and brother of Uther and Pendragon, Maine was foisted to the throne by Vortigern after his father’s death. He was an impotent king, and Vortigern eventually had him assassinated. This alternate name for Constans undoubtedly comes from his title in the chronicles: le Moine, or “the Monk.” [VulgMer, Butor, Arthour]

Mal Ostagier

An evil Irish knight who ruled the castle of Mal Ostoir. He owned four lions and a horrible bird that had an appetite for knights’ heads. Gaheris, Gawain’s brother, heard about his evil customs and challenged him to combat, killing him. [Merveil]

Mal Ostoir

The castle ruled by Mal Ostagier, an evil knight killed by Gaheris. [Merveil]

Mal Pas

A particularly muddy stretch of road through a swamp in Cornwall that served an important purpose in Béroul’s Tristan. Isolde, being taken to a public trial in which she would be forced to deny any affair with Tristan, had to pass through Mal Pas. She arranged for Tristan, disguised as a leprous beggar, to be sitting by the side of the road there. When she arrived with her entourage, she fretted about crossing the swamp and ruining the hem of her skirt. She summoned the “leper” to piggy-back her over the pass. Then, at her trial, she was able to swear before God that no one except Mark and the “leper” had ever been “between her legs.” Beroul injects a good deal of humor in the story by having the “leper” direct Mark’s advisors—and Tristan’s enemies—into the deepest, muddiest parts of the swamp. Mal Pas has been idenfied by scholars with the bog Malpas on the River Truro in Cornwall. [Beroul]

Malador [Maladors]

Co-leader, with Gamor, of an army of Saracens who fought Ambrosius and Uther Pendragon at Bristol. [Arthour]

Malagrin the Felon [Malegryne]

A knight slain by Alexander the Orphan at the behest of a maiden whom Malagrin had harassed. [ProsTris, Prophecies, Malory]

Malaguin [Alguigines, Angvigenes, Maleginis]

The proper name given to the King with a Hundred Knights in the early prose Lancelot tales. The King is given other names in other sources, and in Lancelot of the Laik, Malaguin and the King with a Hundred Knights are separate characters, although both are kings in Galehaut’s service. Margon, the King’s name in the Third Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, may originate with Malaguin. [LancLac, VulgLanc, Arthour, Laik]

Malaguine [Malaguinne]

A Saxon castle in Scotland, from which the Saxons launched an invasion of Britain during Arthur’s reign. They were defeated, mostly through the prowess of Lancelot. [LancLac, VulgLanc]

Malakin the Castellan

One of the many Saxon kings who invaded Britain in the early days of Arthur’s reign. He led a battalion in the battle of Clarence. [VulgMer]


A heathen king killed by Gawain at the battle of Diana Bridge. [Arthour]


A Welsh Knight of the Round Table who won honor in a tournament at Estrangorre. He swore fealty to King Brandegorre’s daughter. Later, he participated in the Grail Quest. [VulgLanc, ProsTris]


In the Vulgate Lancelot, Arthur’s king of Scotland. He may be the same character as Malaguin, the King with a Hundred Knights. [VulgLanc]


A duke of Manaheim and one of four brothers saved by Erec from seven robbers. His brothers were named Juben, Perant, and Joachim. [Erex]


A dwarf with animal features from the land of Tribalibot (India). He was the brother of Cundrie la Surziere. Queen Secundille of Tribalibot sent Malcreatiure and Cundrie to King Anfortas (Wolfram’s Fisher King) as a gift, and Anfortas gave him to Duchess Orgeluse of Logres as a squire. Gawain was forced to ride Malcreatiure’s nag for a while after his own horse was stolen. [Wolfram]

Maldalet [Maudalet, Maudelec]

One of the many Saxon kings to invade and ravage northern Britain at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. [VulgMer, Arthour]


A supreme wizard who lived on the Misty Lake in Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet. He was a sworn enemy of Arthur, since Erec had killed his father, Gawain had killed his brother, and Arthur had driven him out of Britain. Even so, when Arthur needed help rescuing Guinevere from the clutches of King Valerins of the Tangled Wood, he called on Malduc. Malduc agreed to lift the enchantment prohibiting their entry into Valerins’ castle provided that Arthur turn over Erec and Gawain to him. Arthur reluctantly agreed—knowing that Erec and Gawain would give themselves gladly for the queen—and Malduc caused the knot of brambles and branches that surrounded Valerins’ fortress to unwind.
   Once he had his hands on Erec and Gawain, he locked them in cages and delighted in torturing them daily. Finally, when word of their torment had sickened Arthur’s court long enough, Lancelot led an expedition to rescue the two knights. With the help of the giant Esealt the Tall, Lancelot and his men got into Malduc’s sanctuary on the Misty Lake, killed him and his household, and freed their comrades. He had a single unnamed daughter who was allowed to live. [UlrichZ]


A cruel giant, prone to engage in plunder, rape, and murder. He murdered his own parents and became lord of the Hill Castle. After falling in love with a maiden, he promised to cease his wicked activities, but he soon regretted his vow. Yvain was tricked into battering his shield, hanging outside of the Hill Castle, giving Malduit an excuse to begin another rampage. Yvain tried to fight him in single combat, but was imprisoned in the Castle Penning by people furious that he had released the giant in the first place. Eventually, Bors arrived, slew Malduit, and freed Yvain. [VulgLanc, Palamedes]

Male Gaudine

A forest traversed by Arthur and his company on their way to Quintefuelle. The forest was inhabited by many dangerous creatures including legions of monkeys, poisonous toads, lions, and tigers. Its most fearsome beast was an evil panther which Lancelot slew after an exhausting combat. [Merveil]

Malec [Malard]

A Saxon warrior in the service of King Rions. He was slain by Arthur’s Sir Lucan at the battle of Carhaix. [VulgMer, Arthour]


Sovereigness of the Castle Joyous, a palace of sexual indulgence. She tried to force the Red Cross Knight to become her lover, but he defeated her knights with the help of Britomart, the warrior maiden. Britomart and the Red Cross Knight lodged at the Castle Joyous. Malecasta turned her affections to Britomart, not realizing that Britomart was a woman. Entering Britomart’s chambers at night, Malecasta discovered her mistake and roused her castle. Britomart and the Red Cross Knight were forced to flee. [Spenser]


A wretch who led a band of riff-raff in an attack on the castle of the lady Alma. Prince Arthur, defending Alma, encountered Maleger in single combat. Earth was Maleger’s mother, and every time Arthur knocked him down to the earth, Maleger arose stronger. Arthur finally picked him bodily off the ground, crushed him lifeless, and threw him into a lake. [Spenser]

Malehaut [Malaot, Malehot, Maloalto, Maloant, Maloaut, Malohaut, Malohier, Melyhalt, Mimalto]

A city in Arthur’s Britain. It was part of the realm of the King with a Hundred Knights. The Lady of Malehaut, who was the king’s sister, was considered a great beauty in her day. (She is only once given a proper name: Bloie.) She was married to a knight named Danain the Red, but she fell in love with Guiron the Courteous. Only Guiron’s purity dissuaded them from having an affair. She was the mother of Dodinel and an unnamed son who was killed by Lancelot. The Lady exacted revenge on Lancelot by imprisoning him, but she eventually freed him. In another episode, she was kidnapped by a knight named Gorgari, but was rescued by her brother.
   The Lady of Malehaut became a good friend of Guinevere, and Lancelot and Guinevere orchestrated a match between the Lady of Malehaut and Lord Galehaut of Sorelois (Danain apparently being dead). When she learned that Galehaut had died, she died of grief. [Didot, LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, Contin3, Palamedes, Arthour, Tavola]

Malés the Brown [Malot]

A Knight of the Round Table. He served as a standard-bearer in the battle of Carhaix, where Arthur fought against the vassals of King Rions. [VulgMer, Arthour]


A heathen king slain by Gawain at the battle of Diana Bridge. [Arthour]

Malgier the Gray [Malgiers, Maugys, Mauugeys]

A powerful knight who lusted after a fairy called the Maiden of the White Hands or the Dame d’Amour. The Maiden had decreed that any knight who could defend her island, called the Golden Isle, for seven years, against any knight who passed that way, could marry her. Malgier set his sights on accomplishing the goal, although he was so loathsome that the Maiden would have found some way to get out of the marriage anyway. After five years, he had killed 140 knights and seemed undefeatable, but he was finally killed by Gawain’s son Guinglain. [Renaut, ChestreLyb]


A heathen king who served King Rions. He was slain by Arthur at the battle of Aneblayse. [Arthour]

Malifer of the Black Valley

Champion of the Saxons. When the Saxons invaded Gaul, Malifer fought Guiron the Courteous, Gaul’s champion, in single combat to decide the war. Malifer was defeated. [Palamedes]


A knight slain by Galehaut the Brown. Malingre was the brother of Mitridés. His nephews, Caradoc and Tericam, plagued the Round Table. [Palamedes]


A Knight of the Round Table from Katelange. [HartmannE]

Mallias of the Thorn [Melior]

A peer of Sir Bors who won honor in a tournament held in the kingdom of Estrangorre. With his companions, he swore fealty to the daughter of King Brandegorre of Estrangorre. [VulgLanc]


King of Aleste and Ibaritun. He was the uncle of Tydomie, a maiden who married Arthur’s nephew Meleranz. Before the marriage, Malloas wanted Tydomie to wed King Libers of Lorgan. When she refused in favor of Meleranz, Malloas led an army to invade Tydomie’s lands, but he relented when he learned of Meleranz’s noble pedigree. [PleierM]


In the Pleier’s Tandareis and Flordibel, a castle near Poitou, ruled by an evil giant named Karedoz. It loosely corresponds to the Dolorous Tower of the French Prose Lancelot. Tandareis, one of Arthur’s knights, had to defeat four giants—Ulian, Margun, Darkion, and Karedoz—to conquer it, thereby freeing its prisoners and ending its wicked customs. Tandareis became lord of the castle (and its neighbor, Mermin) and later awarded it to Dulcemar, his father. [PleierT]

Malmort Tower

A fortress in Emperuse, ruled by Duke Kandalion. It served as the prison of Sir Tandareis, Arthur’s nephew, when he was captured by Kandalion. [PleierT]


A Saxon warrior in the service of King Rions, slain by Arthur at the battle of Carhaix. [VulgMer, Arthour]


In the Norse Erex Saga, the knight defeated by Erec at the Sparrowhawk tournament. This occurred after Malpirant’s dwarf insulted Guinevere. The same knight is called Yder in the other versions of Erec’s legend. [Erex]


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

Malruc of the Rock [Marec, Ma(u)ruc]

A duke in the service of King Arthur. He fought against the rebellious kings at the battle of Bedegraine, and he participated in the defeat of the Saxons at the battle of Carhaix. [VulgMer, Arthour]


A giant who served King Ekunaver of Kanadic. His companions were Karabin, Zirijon, and Zirdos. He planned to join Ekunaver’s war against Arthur, but he was defeated by Arthur’s Sir Garel, and the giants were forced to remain neutral. [PleierG]


A city in the Strange Land, or the Grail Kingdom. It was ruled by King Calafés in Joseph of Arimathea’s time. [VulgEst]

Malvasius [Malverus, Malinus]

The King of Iceland in Arthur’s time. Arthur conquered him and subjugated the island. His name may come from the Welsh Melwas. [GeoffHR, Wace]

Malvern [Malverne]

The forest residence of two giants slain by Yder. Following this combat, Yder was poisoned by Kay and left for dead, but was discovered and healed by King Alfred of Ireland. [Yder]


King of the House of Riches. He tried to tempt the knight Guyon away from his quest with great wealth and his daughter, Philotime, but Guyon resisted the temptations and continued his quest. [Spenser]


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


An island in the middle of the Irish Sea, between England and Ireland. According to Layamon, Arthur conquered and pacified it during the early days of his reign. The island serves as the setting for much of The Turke and Gowin. Sir Gromer, enchanted in the form of a turk or churl, brought Gawain to the Isle of Man to contend with its pagan king. With the Turk’s help, Gawain killed the king and his giants. Gromer suggested that Gawain become the new king, but Gawain declined and gave the throne to Gromer. [Layamon, Turke]


A duchy ruled jointly by three brothers: Perant, Joachim, and Malcheus, all of whom were saved by Erec from a pack of robbers. [Erex]

Manassel [Manassés, Manessel]

A knight in the service of the Duke of Cambenic. The Duke’s seneschal—a powerful knight—accused Manassel of betraying the Duke’s son. Manassel had difficulty finding a champion, but Manassel’s wife convinced Gawain to fight the combat. Gawain won, proving Manessel innocent. [LancLac, VulgLanc]

Manasses [Manassen]

One of Arthur’s knights. A friend accused Manasses of sleeping with his wife, bound him, and nearly threw him in a well to drown. Manasses was saved by Morgan le Fay, who rescued him because her dead lover, Accalon of Gaul, was Manasses’s cousin. After drowning his former friend, Manasses delivered a threatening message from Morgan to Arthur. [PostMer, Malory]

Manathes [Manachés]

A follower of Joseph of Arimathea who, in Sarras, was once charged with guarding an ark containing the Holy Grail. His companions were Anascor and Lucan. [VulgEst]

Manatur [Manartur]

Brother of King Tholomer of Babylonia, whom Manatur served in a war against King Evalach (Mordrains) of Sarras. Manatur was slain at the battle of Orcaut by Seraphe (Nascien). [VulgEst]


Son of Llyr who serves King Arthur in Culhwch and Olwen and in an early Welsh poem. Most of the appearances of this character are in non-Arthurian legend. In the Welsh Branwen, he is the brother of King Bran the Blessed and one of only seven warriors to survive Bran’s conquest of Ireland. He has his own Mabinogi tale called Manawydan son of Llyr in which he marries Rhiannon, widow of King Pwyll of Dyfed, and contends with a sorcerer named Llywd. In origin, he is an Irish sea god called Mananán mac Lir. [Culhwch]


A malicious maiden who tried to cause Gawain’s death by luring him into a battle against the mighty Sir Guiromelant. The ruse failed, and Mancipicelle later apologized. [Heinrich]

Mandin the Wise

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


The King of the Blossoming Valley and father of Daniel, an Arthurian knight. [Stricker]


A Knight of the Round Table. [HartmannE]

Mangon of Moraine

A king who, in Robert Biket’s Lai du Cor, sends a magic drinking horn to Arthur’s court. The horn spilled its contents on men with “unchaste” wives, which turned out to include every man at Arthur’s court (including Arthur) except Sir Caradoc. [Biket]


A resident of Corbenic, the Grail Castle, who did not believe in the Grail. During the Grail Quest, Galahad removed two serpents which had been placed around Manibel’s neck as punishment for his blasphemy. Manibel died soon afterwards. [ProsTris]


The paternal uncle of Condwiramurs, Perceval’s wife. He was the brother of Kyot and Tampenteire. [Wolfram]


See Chastity Tests and the Thirteen Treasures.

Manuel1 [Manaal, Manael]

A Grail King who was the son of Carcelois and the father of Lambor. First mentioned in the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal, he was a descendant of Bron and an ancestor of Pelles, Elaine, and Galahad. John of Glastonbury makes him an ancestor of Arthur through Igerne. [VulgEst, JohnG]


A Greek knight who married Amande, daughter of the King of Spain, at Arthur’s Cardueil court. [Manuel]


A Celtic deity who, euhmerized, appears as Arthur’s warrior Mabon. He was the son of Matrona, who appears as Modron.


Son of King Vagor of the Strange Island. He challenged and imprisoned Sir Lionel for murdering Marabron’s brother. Lancelot championed Lionel against the charge, defeated Marabron, and generously let him live. [VulgLanc]


A knight in Arthur’s service. [Contin2]


A generous knight who once lodged a wounded Sir Bors. [VulgLanc]


A cousin of Lancelot in La Tavola Ritonda. With other knights of his family, he attended a tournament in Ireland sponsored by King Anguish. He was poisoned or otherwise slain during the tournament in a mysterious manner, and his kinsmen blamed Anguish. The king was challenged to judicial combat by Brunoro. Anguish enlisted Tristan to fight as his champion and was exonerated. Maragins’ story appears in both the Prose Tristan and Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, but his character is unnamed. [Tavola]


Brother of the Knight of the Dragon, who was slain by Perceval. [Contin4]

Maragond [Margondés, Margondre]

One of the many Saxon kings to invade Britain during the beginning of Arthur’s reign. He was a cousin of Hengist. He was involved in the siege at Vambieres and in a skirmish with King Nentres of Garlot. He was killed by Arthur’s forces at the second battle of Clarence. [VulgMer]

Marahant [Marehan(t)]

The King of Ireland in the time of Joseph of Arimathea. His son was murdered, and circumstances led Marahant to accuse King Orcant, the first king of Orkney. Peter, a relative of Joseph’s, defended Orcant before King Lucius of Britain. Marahant was slain in the combat. [VulgEst]


A castle where a group of knights seeking a missing Lancelot, including Bors and Lionel, agreed to meet on St. John’s Day to share their news. [VulgLanc]

Marangliez of Brevigariez

A duke who was the brother of Duke Lyppaut of Bearosche. He joined his brother when Lyppaut was attacked by King Meliant of Lis. He was defeated and captured by Perceval, fighting for Meliant. [Wolfram]


The seneschal of King Eliadus of Sicily. Marangoz fell in love with Eliadus’s wife and murdered Eliadus during a hunt. He proposed to the queen, but she fled from him and secured herself in the castle of Monreal, which Marangoz besieged for almost 20 years. Eventually, Eliadus’s son, Floriant, arrived in Sicily with King Arthur and an army to lift the siege. Marangoz received assistance from Emperor Filimenis of Constantinople. After several battles, the opponents agreed to decide the war in single combat between Floriant and Marangoz. After losing his nose, an ear, and a hand in the fight, Marangoz surrendered and was executed. [Floriant]


The son of the King with a Hundred Knights. Near Penning, Maranz and his sister, Landoine, were saved from a pack of ruffians by Sir Bors. [VulgLanc]

Marat of the Tower

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


King of Galilee and one of the allies of Emperor Thereus of Rome. Marbrin joined Thereus in a war against Arthur, and he was slain in battle against Claris and Laris. [Claris]


Grandson of Tristan and son of Ysaie the Sad and Martha. Tutored by the dwarf Tronc (Oberon), he fought to bring order and righteousness to an anarchic post-Arthurian Britain. He married Orimonde, a princess from Persia. [Ysaie]

Marcellus Mucius [Marcel(lus), Marcelle Mutu, Marchel]

A Roman warrior who was present at the peace talks between Arthur’s and Lucius’s men. He was enraged when Gawain killed his friend Gaius Quintillianus, and tried to exact revenge for the deed, but he was also killed by Gawain. Thomas of Castelford says he was Lucius’s nephew. The Alliterative Morte Arthure calls him Feltemour. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, VulgMer, Bek]

March [Marche]

A castle ruled by Count Bedoin. During the Grail Quest, Galahad besieged March Castle to stop Bedoin from disinheriting his sister. Bedoin was eventually defeated. [PostQuest]


Lancelot’s paternal grandmother. Lancelot visited her tomb and buried his grandfather, King Lancelot, alongside her. [VulgLanc]


A horse ridden by Guiron the Courteous. It was given to him by King Faramon of France. The steed was slain during Guiron’s combat with Malifer. [Palamedes]

Marcoisa [Marcoise, Mortayse]

A river running through the Waste Forest, dividing it in half. Gareth slew Sir Gerard and Sir Arnold near the river during his adventures. During the Grail Quest, Lancelot visited the river, was defeated by a black knight, and found a magic barge that gave him news of Galahad’s adventures. [VulgQuest, PostQuest, Malory]


A Roman senate supervisor who joined the army of Lucius Hiberius to oppose King Arthur. The name is found in Layamon and probably resulted from a corruption of Geoffrey’s Marius Lepidus. [Layamon


A lord who appears to mastermind the kidnapping of Guinevere on the Modena Archivolt. Caradoc, who served him, abducted the queen, and both Carados and a churl named Burmalt guarded his castle. It appears that Arthur’s warriors, led by Gawain, managed to penetrate the defenses and rescue the queen. Some scholars have suggested that he represents Mordred. [Modena]


The son of a monk named Alier. Sir Seguarades stole his lands, but Gawain restored them. [VulgLanc]


The King of Roestoc in the early days of Arthur’s reign. He fought against the Saxons at Margot Rock. [VulgMer]


A knight encountered by Lancelot on his way to adventures at Rigomer Castle. Marescos was in charge of protecting all of the Irish and Scottish—but not British—knights traveling there. [Merveil]

Margalant [Margalaunt, Morgalant, Murgalant]

An evil Saxon or Saracen king. With a number of other kings, he invaded Britain shortly after Arthur assumed the throne. His forces countered with Gawain and his young companions at the battle of Diana Bridge, and Gawain killed him there. [VulgMer, Arthour]


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 cousin King Regin, ruled in tranquillity, and was succeeded by his brother Enniaun. [GeoffHR]


A Saxon king of Ireland, slain by Arthur’s Sir Sagremor at the battle of Esterbury. [VulgLanc]

Marganant [Marganan]

A Saxon warrior slain by King Bors of Gannes at the battle of Carhaix. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Marganor1 [Morganor]

The seneschal of the King with a Hundred Knights. With his lord, he joined the kings in rebellion against Arthur, fighting Arthur at the battle of Bedegraine. Later, he invaded the lands of the Lord of the Narrow Borderland and captured the lord’s defenders, Yvain and Sagremor. Marganor was eventually defeated by Sir Hector. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, Arthour]


A knight who joined Arthur’s battle against the Saxons at Vambieres. [Livre]

Margarit [Margaris]

One of the several Saxon kings to invade northern Britain while all the northern kings were campaigning against Arthur at Bedegraine. His companions were Brandegorre and Hargadabran. [VulgMer]


The sister of King Agloant of Escoce. Her lover was killed by Lord Girflet during a sparrowhawk tournament in the city of Becleus. Margerie fled from the city and ran into Guinglain (Gawain’s son), who listened to her story and promised to help her. Together, they returned to Becleus, where Guinglain defeated Girflet and properly awarded the sparrowhawk to Margerie. Margerie returned to Escoce under the protection of a knight Girflet provided. [Renaut]


A Saxon king who was a cousin of Hengist. He joined King Aminaduc in an attack on Arthur at Vambieres. [Livre]


One of Arthur’s knights. [Wace]


The wine steward of the Saxon King Pignoras. He fought against Arthur’s forces at the second battle of Clarence, and was killed there. [VulgMer]


The King with a Hundred Knights in the Third Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval. Before he was known by this name, he led an siege on the castle of the Sore Pucelle in an attempt to force the lady to marry his son. His son, Cargrilo, was taken prisoner by the Sore Pucelle, and was catapulted to his death when Margon killed the Sore Pucelle’s lover. Margon was eventually defeated by Gawain, the Sore Pucelle’s champion, and sent to Arthur’s court. During the journey, he rescued his sister, the Lady of Malehaut, from Gorgari, an abductor. Arriving at Arthur’s court with a hundred knights in tow, he was given his more common designation. Arthur appointed him to the Round Table. His name may reflect Malaguin, the King with a Hundred Knights in the Vulgate Lancelot. [Contin3]


A wicked giant whose brothers were Ulian and Durkion. The brothers served Lord Karedoz of Malmontan, and all of them were slain by Arthur’s Sir Tandareis. [PleierT]


A knight who fought in Arthur’s army against the Saxons at Clarence. He is first called the King of Sorelois, a position later given to Galehaut. Later, he is named as the seneschal of that country. [VulgMer]

Margondre [Margondes]

A knight from the Black Castle. In the forest of Sapinoie, Margondre encountered Lancelot and told him that Guinevere was an adulteress. Lancelot took exception to this insult, defeated Margondre in combat, and made him to go Camelot to apologize to Guinevere for slandering her name. Later, Margondre participated in the Grail Quest. [VulgLanc, ProsTris]


A Saxon king, allied to King Rions, killed by King Ban of Benoic at the battle of Aneblayse. [VulgMer]

Margot1 [Margaras]

A Saxon vassal of King Rions. He fought against Arthur at the battle of Aneblayse. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Margot2 Rock

A location on the river Severn that was the site of a battle between Saxons, led by King Oriel, and Christians, led by King Clarion of Northumberland and Duke Escant of Cambenic, in the early days of Arthur’s reign. The Christians were victorious. [VulgMer]

Margraves Lacbuz

A knight in the service of Queen Tydomie of Karmerie, who married Arthur’s nephew Meleranz. [PleierM]


An Irish king at Arthur’s court. [Contin1]


In Malory, the King of Ireland and father of Sir Marhaus. Malory’s chronology is a bit confusing here: we are told that Marhaus is the son of an Irish King, but Marhalt does not ascend the throne of Ireland until after the death of Marhaus. Like his son Marhaus, Malory probably took his character from Morholt. [Malory]


Malory’s name for Morholt, the Irish knight slain by Tristan. [Malory]


Daughter of King Juan of Castille whom Tristan the Younger, Tristan’s son, saved from the Moors and then married. [DueTris]

Mariadoc [*Cariado, Mariadoco, Maríadokk, Marjodoc, Meriadok]

King Mark’s steward of Cornwall. He began as a friend of Tristan, but became jealous and angry upon learning that Tristan and Mark’s wife Isolde—both of whom he held in high regard—were having an affair. He began a campaign to expose the lovers to Mark, allying himself with the evil dwarf Melot, which was somewhat successful. In the traditional legend, he falsely accuses Kahedins, Tristan’s brother-in-law, of cowardice, for which Kahedins slays him. In La Tavola Ritonda, Mark, discovering he is lonely without his wife and best knight, kills Mariadoc for suggesting their exile. [Thomas, FolieO, Gottfried, SirTris, TrisSaga, Tavola]

Mariale [Marialle]

The son of Duke Galenin. He challenged a lady for ownership of Galway Castle, but was defeated in judicial combat by Sir Bors. [VulgLanc]

Mariel Bridge [Maruel]

A location where Lancelot, disguised in Kay’s armor, defeated four attacking knights. [VulgLanc]


A French nobleman in the service of King Claudas. He led a battalion in Claudas’s war against Arthur, and he was wounded by Arthur’s Sir Patrides. [VulgLanc]

Marigart the Red

The evil, murderous lord of Raguidel Castle. He imprisoned the lady Angale, and developed a custom by which he raped maidens and condemned them as concubines. Marigart was slain, and his castle liberated, by Sir Hector. [VulgLanc]

Marin1 [Herminde]

Brother of King Armant of the Red City. His brother was slain by treacherous vassals. When Palamedes came to the Red City to avenge Armant’s death, Marin traveled ahead and heralded Palamedes’s arrival. After Palamedes killed the traitors, he gave the Red City to Marin. Marin became a Knight of the Round Table. He was killed fighting Lancelot and his men when Lancelot rescued Guinevere from the stake. [ProsTris, Malory]

Marin2 the Jealous

Lord of the castle of Gomoret. Gawain lodged in his manor one night during Marin’s absence. Upon his return, Marin accused his wife of adultery and murdered her. His son, Meliot, left him in disgust and became a liegeman of Gawain. Marin began a personal vendetta against Gawain, declaring war on anyone who aided him. He was eventually slain by Nabigan of the Rock. [Perlesvaus]


Merlin’s mother in Paolino Pieri’s La Storia di Merlino. She became pregnant with Merlin after her body was violated by an Incubus demon. She faced condemnation before a judged named Matteo, but was saved when Merlin revealed the judge’s own flawed paternity. [Pieri]


In Wirnt von Grafenberg’s Wigalois, a lady from Alarie. She became a knight—one of the only female knights in Arthurian romance—after her grandfather, Count Adan of Alarie, was captured by King Roaz of Glois at a battle in Damascus. Marine collected a troop of female warriors and entered into the service of Queen Elamie. She joined Gawain’s son Wigalois (who had rescued her grandfather) in his campaign against Prince Lion of Namur, and she was tragically killed in battle by Duke Galopear of Greece. Adan avenged her death by slaying Galopear. [Wirnt]


Daughter of King Urien and sister of Yvain in Claris et Laris. King Tallas of Denmark besieged her father in an attempt to marry Marine by force. Sir Laris and Arthur’s knights lifted the siege, and Marine married Laris. [Claris]


Son of a sea nymph. He guarded a beach. He was fated to be defeated and wounded by a virgin. Because of this, he rejected the love of all women, and specifically of the maiden Florimell, who loved him. Marinell challenged the warrior maiden Britomart when she came to his beach, and she defeated and badly injured him. Marinell’s mother spirited him to her undersea kingdom and healed him. There, Marinell discovered that Florimell had been imprisoned by the sea god Proteus. He fell in love with her, freed her, and was joyously united with her. [Spenser]


A mute madman at Arthur’s court. When Gaheris (Gawain’s brother) and Agravain first came to court, Marins suddenly recovered the power of speech, told Arthur to knight Gaheris before Agravain, prophesied greatness and tragedy for Gaheris (he had received this prophecy from Merlin), and then died. Arthur had him buried at the church of St. Stephen’s in Camelot. [PostMer]


A beautiful maiden who owned a magical golden circlet. She married King Briant of the Red Island. When her circlet was stolen by her brother-in-law, Bruant, she became impoverished and her husband died. In despair, she threw her infant daughter Tristouse into the ocean. Tristouse, who survived, had a son named Torec, who defeated Arthur’s knights. [Maerlant]


A first-century king of Britain in Geoffrey’s chronicle. He succeeded his father, King Arviragus. During his reign, he fought the Picts in Scotland. He was succeeded by his son, Coill. [GeoffHR]

Marius2 Lepidus

One of the Roman senators who became a war leader in Lucius Hiberus’s campaign against Arthur. He led a force of soldiers at the battle of Soissons and was killed there. [GeoffHR]

Mark [Marc, March, Marco, Marcus, Markæs, Marke(s), Markis, Marko(s), Mars, Mórodd]

King of Cornwall in the Tristan legends. He was Tristan’s uncle and Isolde’s husband, thus playing the inconvenient third part of the Tristan-Isolde-Mark love triangle. Prior to his marriage to Isolde, he took his young nephew into his court and was greatly impressed by his prowess, particularly when Tristan defeated Morholt of Ireland, thus freeing Cornwall from a tribute. Mark appointed Tristan his steward or chamberlain, and his heir-apparent. He later assigned Tristan the task of bringing Isolde, his betrothed, from Ireland, and on their return trip, Tristan and Isolde accidentally drank a love potion and began their notorious affair, which destroyed the relationship between uncle and nephew. Over the course of years, Mark sometimes banished, sometimes sentenced the lovers, but usually relented—either through their pleas or through pressure from his peers. In the tragic finale of some of the romances, he slays Tristan.
   Mark’s character varies greatly from one legend to the next. Far from the evil King Mark portrayed in the romances of Malory and Tennyson, Mark’s early appearances generally present him as a sympathetic or even noble king who acts fairly towards his wife and nephew, against whom he has a legitimate grievance. Unaware of the love potion, he gives Tristan and Isolde every benefit of the doubt until circumstances compel him to act against them. In some versions, when he later hears of the source of their love, he laments and professes that he would have relinquished his wife had he known.
   His character begins to degrade in the Prose Tristan, but even here he is a complex figure who, although motivated by lust and pride and insecurity, finds himself tortured over his treatment of Tristan and Isolde. After sentencing them on one occasion, he runs sobbing to his chambers, calling himself “the most worthless king to ever have worn a crown.” Meanwhile, the Post-Vulgate introduces an episode in which Mark destroys Arthur’s kingdom, securing his fate in later literature as a certain villain. Malory and Tennyson both present him as an utter tyrant.
   In Welsh, where he appears as March, he is the son of Meirchyawn, a cousin of Arthur, and leader of the Norwegian warriors commanded by Arthur. March means “horse,” and Béroul tells us that he had horse’s ears. The origin of his name is probably the Roman “Marcus.” There is evidence for his actual existence. A historical king named Kynvawr ruled Cornwall in the early sixth century. The name, which in Latin form is “Cunomorus,” appears on a sixth-century tombstone in Cornwall marking the grave of “Drustanus…son of Cunomorus.” Drustanus is often accepted as the origin of Tristan. Mark is connected with Cunomorous in the Life of Saint Paul Aurelian, whose author says that Mark’s full Latin name was Marcus Cunomorous. If these facts are true, then the historical Mark was Tristan’s father, not his uncle. Interestingly, a Welsh Triad does list “March”as the father of “Drystan,” but seems to be the only source to do so.
   In the Prose Tristan, Mark’s father’s name is Felix, and he is given a brother named Pernehan, whom he murders. Malory similarly tells us that he slew his brother Bodwyne and, later, Bodwyne’s son Alexander. While in the early romances and the Prose Tristan, Tristan is the son of Mark’s sister (Blancheflour or Elyabel),Italian romance contends that Meliadus, Tristan’s father, was Mark’s brother. According to the Post-Vulgate, Mark raped his niece and had a son named Meraugis, who became a Knight of the Round Table.
   The Prose Tristan and Malory relay that Mark’s rift with Tristan began not over Isolde, but over the wife of Sir Seguarades, some time before Isolde and Mark were married. Mark is a cowardly knight who always avoids combat or attacks by surprise. His tolerance of Tristan—when he does tolerate him—is spurred not out of magnanimity, but out of fear of Tristan and his friends at Arthur’s court, and out of fear that his own knights—most of whom are friends with Tristan—will revolt. Nonetheless, the reports by certain traitorous knights (most notably his nephew Andred) lead him to imprison Tristan three times, to banish him twice, and to try to execute him once. In several of these instances, Arthur and his knights intervene, forcing Mark to relent. Mark develops a hatred for Arthur and at various times plots to murder Yvain, Kay, and Gaheris.
   There are numerous accounts of Mark’s end. The earliest legends do not describe his death. Tristan and Isolde perish in Brittany, and Mark simply disappears from the story.
   The Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal and Mort Artu tell us that he invaded Logres and besieged Camelot during the Grail Quest. Arthur’s knights defeated him, but he returned after Arthur’s death, laid waste to Arthur’s kingdom, destroyed Camelot, and desecrated the tombs of Lancelot and Galehaut. He tracked down Arthur’s remaining knights at a hermitage, murdered the Archbishop of Canterbury, and was himself killed by Arthur’s Sir Paulas.
   One version of the Prose Tristan has Mark slay Tristan with a poisoned lance provided by Morgan le Fay, while another version recounts a more traditional tale of Tristan’s death at the hands of a lord named Bedalis. After Tristan’s death, Mark is exiled to the Redoubted Island, but he eventually escapes and reclaims his throne. In still another manuscript, Mark is taken prisoner by the sons of Dinas (his former seneschal) is tied to a tree, and is eaten by a bear.
   According to the Italian La Tavola Ritonda, Arthur, King Amoroldo of Ireland, and King Governal of Lyonesse invaded Cornwall after Tristan’s death, and besieged Mark in the castle of Tintagel. Mark was eventually captured and was locked in a tower overlooking Tristan’s grave. His captors fed him fattening food and drink until Mark died of gluttony after 32 months.
   Malory tells us that he was killed by Bellangere, his great-nephew, who was avenging the deaths of Bodwyne and Alexander the Orphan. In the Italian La vendetta che fe messer Lanzelloto de la morte di miser Tristano, he is slain by Lancelot in revenge for Tristan’s death. Finally, in the Icelandic Saga af Tristram ok Ísodd, he gives England (his kingdom) to Kalegras, Tristan’s son, and lives out his days in a hermitage in Jerusalem. Jean D’Outremeuse gives Mark a son named Galopes who avenges Mark’s death at the hands of Arthur by inciting the Roman Emperor to invade Britain. [Triads, Thomas, Beroul, Eilhart, TrisSaga, Dream, ProsTris, PostQuest, PostMort, TristanoR, Tavola, SagaTI, Vendetta, Malory, TennIK]


A knight who imprisoned Calogrenant. Sir Sagremor battled him for Calogrenant’s release, and in the midst of the battle, another knight kidnapped Marlagan’s lady. Marlagan promised to free Calogrenant if Sagremor would rescue the lady, and Sagremor did so. [VulgLanc]

Marlan [Merlan]

The King of the Scottish Borderlands, called “the Simple” or “the Accursed” because of his evil ways. He hanged his own father, imprisoned a number of maidens, and impoverished his own people. He was eventually slain in joust by Lancelot, much to the joy of his subjects. [VulgLanc]


One of Arthur’s knights in the English Arthour and Merlin. He distinguished himself at a London tournament. He supplants Median from the Vulgate Merlin. [Arthour]


Son of Morgan le Fay and Ogier the Dane. [Ogier]


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

Marmans of Cop

An Arthurian knight who joined Gawain’s quest to conquer Rigomer Castle in Ireland. [Merveil]

Marmiadoise [Marandois(e), Marundois]

A magnificent sword, forged by the Roman god Vulcan, and originally owned by Hercules. The sword was passed from heir to heir—Adrastus, Tydeus, Eteocles, Polynices, and others—until it came to King Rions, Arthur’s enemy. Arthur captured the sword after defeating Rions at the battle of Aneblayse. Since it was better than Excalibur, Arthur loaned the latter sword to Gawain. [VulgMer, Arthour]


A non-Arthurian Celtic hero who becomes one of Arthur’s warriors in Richard Hole’s Arthur. [Hole]

Maronel [Maronex]

The King of Gaul some time before Arthur’s reign. His daughter married Jonah, an ancestor of Lancelot, and since Maronel had no male heir, Jonas inherited the kingdom, thus establishing Lancelot’s roots in France. [VulgQuest, VulgEst, Malory]


In the Third Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, the King of Maronne marries the Fisher King’s daughter. [Contin3]


Maidservant of the homicidal Maiden of the Narrow Wood. The Maiden sought to kill Gawain, whom she had never seen. When Gawain visited the Maiden’s castle, Marot helped him to keep his identity a secret so that he could escape unharmed. [Vengeance]


An Arthurian knight. [KingA&C]


A devil-spawned centaur with the head of a dog. It served the evil King Roaz of Glois, and it attacked Sir Wigalois (Gawain’s son) when he came to Glois to kill Roaz. Marrien carried a kettle full of magical fire, which could not be quenched, and which he hurled at Wigalois. Wigalois’ surcoat and horse were burned away, but he found that the fire could not burn through his magical armor. He advanced, gravely wounded Marrien, and used Marrien’s blood to put out the fire. Marrien, meanwhile, fled into a swamp full of poisonous fog and died. [Wirnt]


A sister of Morgan le Fay. [Bataille]


A heathen king who attacked a queen named Ysope. He was defeated by Arthur and Sir Wigamur. [Wigamur]

Marrok [Marrocke, Merrak, Mewreke]

A Knight of the Round Table who participated in the Roman War and also fought in the war against Mordred’s insurrection. Malory tells us that his wife betrayed him, turning him into a werewolf for seven years. Mordred killed him in battle. [Allit, SyreGaw, Carle, Malory]


One of the ancient gods worshipped by the people of Sarras, before Joseph of Arimathea converted them to Christianity. A devil inhabited a statue of Mars in King Evalach’s palace, but it was exorcised by Joseph’s son, Josephus. In early mythology, Mars was the Roman god of War. [VulgEst]


A forest near the Humber river where an army of five kings planned to ambush Arthur. The ruse worked, but Arthur’s forces got the upper hand and defeated the five kings at the battle of the Humber. [PostMer]


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

Marsion [Marrion]

In the La Bataille de Loquifer, a sister of Morgan le Fay. She helped her sister bring the hero Renoart to the Isle of Avalon. [Bataille]


A beautiful fairy, over whom Gawain fought Mabon the Enchanter. Marsique equipped Gawain with Excalibur’s scabbard, ensuring Gawain’s victory. [PostMer]

Marsille [Marsyl]

The good king of the island of Ponmecainne, who received his island as a gift from Sir Galehaut. He fought against Arthur’s warriors at the Sorelois tournament. [ProsTris, Malory]

Martel of the Large Shield

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


A castle in Britain, visited by Perceval during the Grail Quest. It lay close to the Rock of Maidens. [PostQuest]


The daughter of King Frion of Dessemoume. She was kidnapped by a pack of thieves but was rescued by Lancelot. Frion wanted to marry her to Lancelot, but he refused and departed. Martha later bore Lancelot’s son. [Merveil]


Daughter of King Irion. She married Ysaie, son of Tristan, and had a son named Marc. [Ysaie]


A blind youth whose sight was restored by Orguelleus the Fairy. [Atre]

Maruc the Red [Malruc]

A knight defeated by Arthur’s Sir Dodinel in defense of a maiden. He was later killed by the evil Sir Griffon. [VulgLanc]

Marvelous Ball

A hill in Britain. It had a brass ball on top that appeared—depending on the distance from which it was viewed—as a horse, a mule, a hound, a fox, or just a ball. Lancelot used the Marvelous Ball as the launching point for his expedition to recapture his homeland Genewis. [UlrichZ]

Marvelous Stone

The enchanted stone on which Yvain poured water, summoning the lord of the fountain and beginning the events related in the various versions of Owain or Yvain. Wolfram von Eschenbach gives this name to the stone but does not tell the story. [Wolfram]


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

Mataban the White [Matham]

A famous knight of Uther Pendragon’s day. [Palamedes]

Matagran [Mategrant]

Brother of lord Argon of the Rock. The brothers, who lived in Britain, were converted to Christianity by Joseph of Arimathea. [VulgLanc, VulgEst]

Matailliés (“Misshapen”)

A Saxon king in the service of King Rions. He was slain at the battle of Aneblayse by King Bors of Gannes. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Matain the Cruel [Maten]

The lord of the White Castle, where Knights of the Round Table were reviled. Lancelot, Bors, Gaheris, and Bagdemagus visited the castle, and found its knights mistreating Mordred. After a long battle against scores of knights, Lancelot killed Matain. [VulgLanc]

Mataliz [Mat(h)aaliz]

A knight who was the brother of Sir Ladomas and was the enemy of Synados of Windsor. A British knight; the brother of Ladomas and enemy of Synados of Windsor. He attacked Synados’s company of three knights with seventeen of his own, but Arthur’s Sir Hector—summoned by Synados’s wife—arrived and killed Mataliz. Hector later came upon Mataliz’s funeral and was attacked by several knights, but Ladomas called off the attackers and let Hector go. [LancLac, VulgLanc]

Mataly [Matalie]

An early Knight of the Round Table, injured in a tournament against the Queen’s Knights. [VulgMer]


Brother of Brangain (Isolde’s maidservant) and Sir Perynin. Brangain presented her two brothers to Tristan as servants. [ProsTris]


The lord of a tower near the Fairies’ Fountain. He hated Arthur. While adventuring in the forest with Guinevere, Dodinel and Sagremor embarked on a quest to procure some rations from Mathamas. Dodinel was diverted along the way, but Sagremor entered Mathamas’s hall and boldly demanded food. Mathamas responded by ordering his knights to attack Sagremor, and after a exhausting battle, Sagremor was imprisoned. Mathamas’s daughter kept Sagremor from starving until Gawain showed up, defeated Mathamas, and forced him to release Sagremor. [VulgLanc]

Mathamas2 of Recet

A knight who joined Arthur’s forces against the Saxons at Vambieres. [Livre]


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

Mathan2 the Brown [Matto]

A giant, noble Cornish knight. Gaheris, Gawain’s brother, defeated him over a lady, driving Mathan insane. He roamed wild through the forest of Morrois. When Tristan similarly went insane, he was at first mistaken for Mathan. [ProsTris, Malory]

Mathans [Mathamas]

One of the many Saxon kings to invade northern Britain at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. He fought in the first battle at Clarence. [VulgMer]

Mathem [Matan]

Duke of Soane in Germany. His ancestral land was stolen by Duke Frollo, and Mathem was forced to flee to Montpellier. His daughter, Avenable, journeyed to Julius Caesar’s Roman court to seek redress. On Merlin’s advice, Caesar married Avenable and restored Mathem to his duchy. [VulgMer, ProsMer2]


A knight whose castle, the Lost Rock, was situated in the forest of Broceliande. Matiadas required any knight seeking lodging to fight five of his knights. Claris and Laris defeated Matiadas’s five warriors and were allowed to spend the night at the Lost Rock. [Claris]


Attendant to Emmeline, Arthur’s future wife in Dryden’s King Arthur. [Dryden]


A Roman knight in the service of Emperor Lucius, assigned to liberate a prisoner train during the war against Arthur. The attack failed. [VulgMer]


During a speech in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, Gawain tells how he “wrestled with the fierce Matleide at Igangsol.” [Heinrich]


A Celtic goddess who may be the origin of Morgan le Fay through Modron. She is the mother of the God Maponos, who appears as Mabon.


In Paolino Pieri’s La Storia di Merlino, the magistrate who judged Merlin’s mother, Marinaia, after she gave birth to the son of a devil. He nearly sentenced her to execution, but relented when Merlin revealed that the judge’s own paternity was in question. [Pieri]


An island off the coast of Cornwall. The famous Red Stone, at which King Mark tested Isolde’s chastity, was located on the island. [Tavola]


The proud King of the land of Cluse in Der Stricker’s Daniel von dem blühenden Tal. With two invincible giants as his henchmen, he demanded Arthur’s subjugation. Arthur pretended to acquiesce, but only long enough to get his army inside Cluse. Arthur killed Matur in single combat and, with Daniel’s considerable help, proceeded to conquer Cluse. Matur’s widow, Danise, married Daniel. G. Rosenhagen suggests that his name was meant to mirror Artûs (Middle High German “Arthur”), while S. Singer proposes a derivation from the Latin Maturus. [Stricker]


A great plain crossed by Tristan and Dinadan. It held the castle of Fregulla Vittorioisa, where Tristan slew a knight. [Tavola]

Maudins li Gardingniers

A knight with whom Lancelot lodged one his way to Rigomer Castle. Though Maudins originally received Lancelot genially, he became enraged when he discovered that Lancelot had killed three of his friends. They fought, but Maudins yielded when he learned Lancelot’s name. [Merveil]

Maudit the Wise [Maldis, Malduz, Maldwiz]

One of Arthur’s best Knights of the Round Table, first mentioned by Chrétien de Troyes. A magical mantle brought to Arthur’s court revealed that his wife talked too much. [ChretienE, UlrichZ]


A priest who Arthur appointed as Archbishop of Silchester. [GeoffHR]

Maugantius [Malgantius, Ma(y)gan]

One of King Vortigern’s advisors. He was in attendance when Merlin and his mother were brought before Vortigern, who had been seeking a child without a father so he could sprinkle his blood on the base of Snowdon. Merlin’s mother explained that she had been impregnated by a demon. Maugantius confirmed the validity of her story, saying that such demons were known as incubus. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]


A Knight of the Round Table. [HartmannE]


A heathen duke slain by Arthur’s Sir Craddok at the battle of Carhaix. [Arthour]

Maurice [Mauricius, Mawrene, Morys]

The Baron of Cahors under King Arthur who fought for Arthur in the war against Rome. Maurice was part of the escort taking Roman prisoners to Paris. The prisoner train was attacked by the Romans, and Maurice was killed. Malory also places him among Arthur’s forces at the battle of Bedegraine. [GeoffHR, Allit, Malory]

Mauricius Silvanus

A Roman senator who became a war leader in Lucius Hiberius’s campaign against Arthur. He led a force of soldiers at the battle of Soissons. [GeoffHR]

Maurin1 [Marran, Mauron]

A kinsman of Arthur who was serving as a soldier of Baldulph, the Saxon. Apparently deciding that blood was thicker than water, Mauron betrayed his commander and warned Arthur of Baldulph’s plan to ambush him. Arthur was able to send Cador to slaughter Baldulph’s forces. Arthur later appointed him the Earl of Worcester or Winchester. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]

Maurin2 of the Handsome Thighs

Queen Guinevere’s chief Marshal in Wolfram’s Parzival. The office had been held by his father Isajes before him. [Wolfram]

Maurin3 of the Nimble Shanks

A knight taken prisoner by Lancelot during the tournament at Dyoflê in Ulrich’s Lanzelet. Ulrich attests to his uncommon speed. Lancelot did not particularly want to take prisoners, but decided to take Maurin to let everyone know that he could have taken more if he had wished. [UlrichZ]

Mawrelle of Mawnces [Maurel]

A knight in Arthur’s service who was killed during Arthur’s war against Rome. [Allit, Malory]


The name that Geoffrey of Monmouth erroneously gives to Maximus. [GeoffHR]

Maximus [Macsen, Maxen, Maximian, Maximien]

A Spanish-born Roman general who, in the late fourth century, served the Roman empire as Dux Britanniarum, or commander of the Roman army in Britain. He may have led a campaign against the Picts around 370. Maximus’s soldiers apparently elevated him as their emperor, and in 383, they convinced him that he had a right to the Roman Empire itself. Maximus crossed the channel into Gaul to begin an invasion. He conquered parts of Europe, and his allies murdered Gratian, the western Roman emperor. Though he had effectively conquered Rome, he did not yet occupy the capital. In 388, while he was camped in Aquileia, he was attacked, captured, and executed by Count Theodosius.
   The chronicles style Maximus as a king of Britain. Gildas and Nennius describe his rule as tyrannical, but Geoffrey of Monmouth (who erroneously calls him Maximian) gives him certain credit for holding back the barbarian invasions. Welsh tradition, too, heroifies Maximus in the character of Macsen. The chroniclers seem to agree, however, that Maximus’s hubris led—at least partially—to the downfall of Britain. By siphoning all of Britain’s warriors to wars in Gaul, and by then establishing them there, Maximus effectively depopulated the island of its defense, leaving it open to invasions by Picts and continental barbarians.
   In the Welsh story called The Dream of Macsen, Maximus, who is already the Emperor of Rome, dreams of a glorious island far to the west (Britain) and of a beautiful woman to be found there. Upon awakening, he sets out on a search for the land of his dreams, eventually coming to Segontium in Wales and meeting the woman, Elen of the Hosts. Maximus marries Elen and, as he has conquered Britain in the process of finding her, he bestows the land upon her father, Eudaf. Macsen remains in Britain for seven years, after which the Roman citizens elect a new emperor. Upon hearing of this, Macsen raises an army of Britons—led by Elen’s brothers, Cynan and Afaon—travels back to Rome, and, unlike the Maximus of the chronicles, re-captures the empire.
   Maximus is credited with various sons, including Victor, St. Peblic, Owain, and Constantine. His daughter, Sevira, married King Vortigern. [Gildas, Nennius, GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, Triads]

Mazadan [Mazedan]

An ancestor of both Perceval and Arthur—through his sons Lazaliez and Brickus, respectively. He and his wife, Terdelaschoye, were both fairies. [Wolfram]


One of the eight sisters of Morgan le Fay, who ruled with her on the island of Avalon. [GeoffVM]

Meaux [Meau(l)s]

A city in France, just east of Paris. The Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal calls it the birthplace of King Mordrains. At the time of Mordrains’ birth, it was ruled by Count Sevain, who was ordered to send a certain number of male youths to Rome. Mordrains (then called Evalach) was one of these children. According to the Vulgate Mort Artu,Arthur once stayed in the city during his war with Lancelot. [VulgMort, VulgEst]


The son of Meleranz (Arthur’s nephew) and Queen Tydomie of Karmerie. He had a brother named Lazaliez and a sister named Olimpia. [PleierM]


A land ruled by King Schaffilan, who was killed by Gawain’s son Wigalois. The three princes of Medarie were Darel, Gamer, and Ariun. [Wirnt]


The lecherous sovereigness of Crudele castle, where Tristan was imprisoned and his companion, Tessina, was beheaded. Medeas’s sisters were named Lavina, Agnena, Bresenda, and Pulizena. All were descendants of a pagan queen named Calistra. The name comes from the wife of Jason in classical mythology. [Tavola]

Medelant [Medalan, Med(e)lan(e)]

One of the many Saxon kings to invade northern Britain in the early days of Arthur’s reign. He was killed by Gawain in a skirmish near the city of Vambieres. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Media [Mede(a)]

An ancient kingdom in the part of southwest Asia that is now northwest Iran. In Arthur’s time, it was ruled by King Boccus or King Politetes, who was subject to the Procurator Lucius. The King of Media fought in the Roman wars against Arthur. [GeoffHR, VulgMer]

Median the Curly-Haired [Medians]

One of Arthur’s knights in the Vulgate Merlin, present at a tournament between Arthur’s knights and the knights of Kings Ban and Bors. Arthour and Merlin replaces his character with Marliaus. [VulgMer]


A desert in Lyonesse. Meliadus, Tristan’s father, got lost while hunting there. He came across the Fountain of the Dragon, where he met a sorceress who imprisoned him for a time. [Tavola]


A lady who lived with her two sisters, Elissa and Perissa. Her temperance stood in contrast to the asceticism of Elissa and the hedonism of Perissa. [Spenser]


The Welsh version of Mordred.

Medyr (“Aim”)

Son of Medryeddyd. One of Arthur’s warriors, Medyr had outstanding aim. When in Cornwall, he could reportedly hit a wren in Ireland. [Culhwch]

Medyredydd (“Aimer”)

Father of Arthur’s warrior Medyr. [Culhwch]


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

Meiones of Atropfagente

An infidel duke who served Feirefiz, Perceval’s half-brother. [Wolfram]

Meirchyawn [Meirchion]

Father of King Mark in Welsh legend. He may have been a brother of Eigyr (Igraine) or Uther. [Dream, TrisFrag]

Melaldon [Aladanc, Meleaudon]

A knight from Blois who fought for Arthur in the battles against King Rions. [VulgMer, Arthour]


In the Norse Erex Saga, Enide’s uncle, called Imain by Hartmann von Aue. [Erex]


A knight who fought in the Sorgarda tournament. Melde’s brother, Effroi, was also present. [Heinrich]


A king of Dunmeller in Scotland. He enjoyed hearing from the “mad prophet” Lailoken (identified usually with Merlin), but was somewhat unamused when Lailoken divined that Meldred’s wife was an adulteress.

Meleagant [Meleag(r)aunce, Meliakanz, Meljacanz, Meljaganz, Meljahkanz, Miljanz, Milienc]

Guinevere’s abductor in Chrétien de Troyes’s Lancelot and the Vulgate Lancelot. He probably originates with Melwas, the king who kidnaps Guinevere in Welsh legend.
   Meleagant was the son of King Bagdemagus of Gorre. Gorre had a custom by which any knight or lady that entered became a prisoner. Since Gorre could only be entered by crossing two dangerous bridges—one a sword, and the other underwater—it was not difficult to enforce this custom. Eventually, Meleagant captured Queen Guinevere, sending several of Arthur’s knights after him. Some of the would-be rescuers were defeated, Kay was captured, Gawain got lost, and Lancelot became the one who eventually succeeded in the quest and rescued the queen.
   Meleagant’s father disapproved of his son’s actions, and prevented him from harming the Guinevere during the abduction. When Lancelot survived the perilous journey to Bagdemagus’s castle, Bagdemagus urged Meleagant to turn over the queen. Meleagant, however, opted to fight and was defeated by Lancelot. He yielded on the condition that they meet again to battle in one year. Meanwhile, however, Lancelot slept with Guinevere in Bagdemagus’s castle. He had been injured, and left blood on Guinevere’s sheets. Meleagant assumed the blood was from the wounded Kay, and accused Guinevere of treason. Lancelot agreed to champion her at their scheduled fight, but Meleagant had Lancelot captured and imprisoned in a special tower called the Tower of the Fens. At the appointed time, Meleagant went to Arthur’s court to fight the battle, expecting to either win by default or to be assigned a lesser knight to fight. Lancelot, however, had been freed from his prison by Meleagant’s sister, and arrived just in time. He killed Meleagant in the subsequent duel.
   Malory adapted this story for a chapter in Le Morte D’Arthur, with a number of differences: first, Meleagant’s motivation for capturing the Queen, according to Malory, was not pride, but love. He thought her the most beautiful woman in the world, and nearly fought Lamorat to the death to prove his claim. The second difference is Meleagant’s general incompetence as a knight: it had occurred to him to kidnap Guinevere, but he delayed acting on this for many years because he was greatly afraid of Lancelot, and he realized that any attempt to take the queen would be swiftly avenged by her champion. At tournaments, he was generally defeated. Third, Meleagant does not reside in his own land, but is a Knight of the Round Table, and simply holds a castle near Camelot, in Lambeth.
   In Wolfram’s Parzival, Meleagant also abducts a lady named Imane of Beafontane, who is rescued by Karnahkarnanz of Ultertec. Later, he fights in a war declared by King Meliant of Lis on Duke Lyppaut of Bearosche. In Wolfram’s mind, Meleagant must have survived the duel with Lancelot because his chronology places the war at Bearosche after Lancelot’s rescue of Guinevere. [ChretienL, VulgLanc, PostQuest, Malory]

Meleagar the Red

Uncle of the Lady Helaés of Limos and the knight Clapor. He advised Lord Oriol, who conquered Helaés’s lands and fell in love with her, to defeat Gawain in order to win Helaés’s love. Oriol was unable to prevail against Gawain, and Meleagar’s plan failed. [Livre]

Melehan [Melian]

Mordred’s eldest son in the Vulgate Mort Artu. He vied for control of Britain after Arthur’s and Mordred’s deaths. Lancelot and his kin met Melehan in battle at Winchester. Melehan was slain by Bors, but not before he killed Lionel. A son of Mordred named Melou appears in Layamon’s Brut. [VulgMort, PostMort]


Father of Arthur’s Sir Garel. He married Queen Lammire and became king of Styria. [PleierG]


Arthur’s nephew and hero of Der Pleier’s Meleranz. He was the son of Olimpia, Arthur’s sister, and King Linefles of France. As an adolescent, he ran away to Arthur’s court. On the way, he met a maiden named Tydomie, Queen of Kamerie, bathing under a tree, and the two fell in love. He was knighted by Arthur and had several adventures, culminating in his return to Karmerie to save Tydomie, who was being forced by her uncle to marry King Libers of Lorgan. Meleranz and Tydomie married and ruled Terrandes, which Meleranz had liberated from the giant Godonas. They had a daughter named Olimpia and two sons named Lazaliez and Medanz. [PleierM]

Meles the Tall

A Knight of the Round Table who participated in the Grail Quest. He was the brother of Sir Dinas. [PostQuest]


King of the Picts. Three generations before Arthur, he allied with King Guanius of the Huns and King Gillomaur of Ireland to invade Britain. He plagued Kings Maximus and Gratian before he was driven away for good when Constantine, Arthur’s grandfather, arrived from Brittany to assume Britain’s throne. [GeoffHR, Wace]


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

Meliadoc [Meljadoc]

A knight in Arthur’s Britain, who fought at the tournament at Tenebroc. [ChretienE]


The son of the Duke of Cornwall. He was one of Arthur’s knights. He heard that Hermondine, the daughter of the King of Scotland, would marry the knight who was the victor in a series of tournaments. Meliador traveled to Scotland and killed Camel, one of Hermondine’s suitors. He was victorious in a tournament at Roxburgh against over fifteen hundred knights, and he was able to marry the princess. He had a sister named Phenonee. [Froissart]

Meliadus1 [Maliaduc]

A Saxon king who joined the Saxon invasion of northern Britain in the early days of Arthur’s reign. He participated in the siege of Vambieres and the second battle of Clarence. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Meliadus2 [Meliodas, Melyodas]

Tristan’s father in the Prose Tristan and its adaptations. As such, he replaces Rivalin from earlier legends. The King of Lyonesse, Meliadus was considered one of the best knights in the world in his time. He is a central character in the French Palamedes, in which he abducts the beautiful queen of Scotland and has a son with her named Meliadus the Younger. As a result of this abduction, he went to war with Scotland and its allies, including Arthur. He lost and was imprisoned by Arthur at Camelot until Arthur needed his services to help against a Saxon invasion, led by Aliohan, whom Meliadus defeated in single combat. In La Tavola Ritonda, Meliadus refuses to submit to Arthur’s rule and goes to war with the king, but surrenders when his ally, Lord Galehaut, yields.
   Meliadus married Elyabel, Mark’s sister (although in Italian romance, Meliadus is Mark’s brother, the son of Felix). He was imprisoned in the Rock of the Cornishwoman by an enchantress at the same time that his wife gave birth to Tristan and died. He was rescued by Merlin. He eventually re-married the daughter of King Hoel of Brittany (called Agia in La Tavola Ritonda), who tried to murder Tristan but ended up poisoning her own child by Meliadus. Meliadus spared her life at Tristan’s request, but forever resented her. Meliadus was murdered by vassals of the count of Norholt, or by his own kinsmen. Tristan fled Lyonesse to serve at King Faramon of Frances’s court, but he later returned and avenged Meliadus’s death. In Malory’s version, Meliadus is still alive some time after Tristan’s return from Gaul. [ProsTris, Palamedes, TristanoR, Tavola, VitaMer, Povest, Malory]


A knight who served as the seneschal of the City Without a Name. [Raoul]

Meliadus4 the Black [Melyadus]

The lord of the Hedged Manor. Meliadus hated Guinevere’s knights. He battled Sir Sagremor on the Dry Island. After badly wounding Sir Dodinel, he was defeated by Lancelot, who forced Meliadus to go to Guinevere and apologize. Arthur took Meliadus into his service, and Meliadus became a good friend to Lancelot. He participated in the Grail Quest. When the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere was exposed, Meliadus helped Lancelot rescue Guinevere from the stake; in the process, however, Meliadus was slain by Gaheris. [VulgLanc, VulgMort, PostMort, ProsTris]

Meliadus5 the Pale [Meliadus, Meliard]

A knight in the service of King Ban of Benoic. He fought for Arthur against the rebellious kings at Bedegraine. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Meliadus6 the White

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

Meliadus7 the Younger

Tristan’s half-brother in the Prophecies de Merlin. Born to King Meliadus of Lyonesse and the queen of Scotland, whom Meliadus had abducted, he was raised by the Lady of the Lake with Lancelot, Bors, and Lionel. When he grew up, he became the Lady of the Lake’s lover. He convinced the Lady to bring him to Merlin’s tomb, where he wrote down the prophecies spoken by Merlin’s ghost. [Prophecies, VitaMer]


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

Melian2 the Blond

Nephew of King Meliadus of Lyonesse. During the war between Arthur and Scotland, Melian and a Scottish knight named Tarsan killed each other. [Palamedes]

Melian3 the Gay

A knight from the Gay Castle; brother of Drian the Gay and son of Trahan the Gay. One of Lancelot’s first quests was to avenge wounds given to Melian by the son of the Lady of Malehaut or by Caradoc of the Dolorous Tower. (There is some manuscript confusion as to whether Lancelot avenges Melian or his father Trahan.) Later, Melian pointed Lancelot to the adventures at the Dolorous Tower and, after Lancelot conquered it, Melian married a lady who had been imprisoned there. [VulgLanc, Livre]


A nephew of King Faramon of France in the Prose Tristan. He was accused of theft at the same time that Faramon’s daughter, Belide, falsely accused Tristan of rape. Faramon offered Belide a choice of saving either Meliant or Tristan; when she chose Tristan, he knew she was lying about the crime. The same character is named Brano in La Tavola Ritonda. [ProsTris]

Meliant2 [Melianus]

An ancestor of Gawain, descended from Peter. Meliant inherited the kingdom of Orkney from is father, Herlan, and passed it to his son, Argistes. [VulgEst]


Arthur’s lord of Cardueil who led a battalion in the second war against Claudas. [VulgLanc]

Meliant4 of Dianarca [Meleagant, Meliagante, Melyan(t), Melyas]

A young knight from Dianarca, Lyle, or Denmark. He was knighted by Galahad at the beginning of the Grail Quest. He was soon badly wounded because he did not make a full confession before embarking on the Quest, because he proudly took a dangerous road, and because he covetously stole a crown. He recovered, and was present at Corbenic when Galahad completed the Quest. Arthur appointed him to the Round Table, but Meliant pledged his support to Lancelot when the latter’s affair with Guinevere was exposed. He helped rescue the queen from the stake, and fought against Arthur at the battles of Joyous Guard and Benoic. In return for his support, Lancelot made him the earl of Tursan. [VulgQuest, PostQuest, ProsTris, Malory]

Meliant5 of Lis [Melian(s), Mel(l)ianz, Meljanz of Liz, Miljanz]

The King of Lis and one of Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table, according to Chrétien de Troyes and Wolfram von Eschenbach. He was raised by a lord named Tiebaut or Lyppaut, and he fell in love with his foster-father’s daughter, Obie. When Obie rejected his love, Meliant became enraged and declared war on Lyppaut, summoning many knights—including his uncle Bagdemagus and his cousin Meleagant—to his aid. Gawain joined Lyppaut’s defense. Gawain captured Meliant in the battle and made him the prisoner of Obie’s sister Obilot. Obilot, in turn, gave him to her sister. Meliant and Obie reconciled, and the war was ended. Later, as an ally of Arthur, Meliant was captured in a battle at the castle of Logres.
   In Perlesvaus, we learn that Meliant’s father, the lord of the Waste Manor, was killed by Lancelot. Here, Meliant is presented as an antagonist to Arthur who harbors hate for all of Arthur’s court. He joined forces with Brien of the Isles and Kay, who were at war with Arthur. Meliant was mortally wounded by Lancelot at the battle of Pennevoiseuse.
   The Prose Lancelot credits him with being one of only five men to ever cross the perilous North Wales Bridge into Sorelois. In the Livre d’Artus, he marries Florée, daughter of King Alain of Escavalon.
   Meliant of Lis could easily be the origin of any of the other Meliants. A character similar to Wolfram’s Meliant appears in Heinrich von dem Türlin as Fiers of Arramis. [ChretienE, ChretienP, Perlesvaus, Wolfram, LancLac, VulgLanc]

Meliant6 of Meliadel

A knight whose sister, Melie, was assisted by Arthur’s Sir Meriadeuc. [Meriadeuc]


A knight whose lands were protected from Nabor by the Good Knight Without Fear. [Palamedes]


One of Perceval’s eleven paternal uncles in Perlesvaus; the tenth son of Gais le Gros and the brother of Alain. He lived in Scotland and died in combat. [Perlesvaus]

Melidan the Merry [Meldons]

A peer of Sir Bors who distinguished himself at a tournament in Estrangorre. He swore fealty to the daughter of King Brandegorre of Estrangorre. [VulgLanc]

Melidor [Melydor, Mildor(e), Mylder]

The daughter of Earl Sere, a nobleman who went to war with Arthur’s Sir Degrevant. She fell in love with Degrevant, and the two enjoyed a year-long affair before the earl discovered it. Melidor and her mother pressured the earl to make peace with Degrevant, and he finally acquiesced. Melidor and Degrevant married. [SirDeg]


A lady whose sweetheart, Menelais, was slain by the evil Brian de la Gastine. Before he died, he asked Melie to bear his body to the perilous Waste Chapel—a feat that Melie was unable to accomplish alone. Meriadeuc found her in the forest and assisted her in interring her lover. Meriadeuc later discovered that she was his cousin. [Meriadeuc]


A knight in the service of Lord Golagros, Arthur’s opponent in the Middle Scots tale of Golagros and Gawain. [Golagros]


A British knight who possessed an enchanted ring which allowed him to change between human and werewolf form. His wife stole the ring while he was in his werewolf state, trapping him there until her treason was detected. The knight’s name is probably a variation of Meliant. [Melion]


An alias used by Merlin. [Butor]


A castle near the location where Balin began a quest that eventually led to the Dolorous Stroke. [PostMer]

Meliot2 of Logres [Melyot]

A Knight of the Round Table, sometimes called Meliot of the Rock. He appears in Perlesvaus and in Malory. In the former, his father, Marin the Jealous, murders his mother. Meliot fled from his father to a hermitage owned by his uncle. He was later knighted, and he inhabited a property called the Field of the Lion. He killed Clamadoz of the Shadows in revenge for the death of his pet lion. Meliot’s father was killed by Nabigan of the Rock, who then tried to deprive Meliot of his lands. Gawain championed him against Nabigan and succeeded. Meliot repaid this service by rescuing Gawain and Arthur when they were besieged by Anurez the Bastard. He was wounded in the battle (or, in Malory, after fighting Gylbert the Bastard), and could not be healed until Lancelot traveled to the Perilous Chapel and brought back a holy sword or cloth. Meliot later killed the pagan Knight of the Galley and rescued Gawain from execution by heathens. Perlesvaus relates that he was murdered by Sir Brudan, but in Malory he is killed—with ten other knights—by Lancelot when they trapped Lancelot in Guinevere’s chamber. He may be identical with Mellot of Logres, also found in Malory. [Perlesvaus, Malory]


A knight in Arthur’s Britain who fought at the tournament at Tenebroc. [ChretienE]


Merlin’s maternal grandfather in Baudin Butor’s romance. His daughter was named Optima. Optima at first wanted to name Merlin Melius. [Butor]

Mellic of the Hill [Melyon de la Mountaine]

A knight from Tartare encountered by Bors, Hector, and Lionel during their quest to find Lancelot. Bors asked Mellic to bear news of the quest to Camelot. Mellic became one of Arthur’s knights, and he joined Mordred and Agravain in their plot to catch Lancelot and Guinevere in flagrante. Lancelot killed him. [VulgLanc, Malory]

Mellot of Logres

A knight who was the brother of Sir Brian of the Isles and the cousin of Nimue in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur. Mellot and Brian tried to free Nimue when she was abducted by Hontzlake of Wendland, but they could not defeat him. Their battle, however, delayed Hontzlake long enough to allow Pellinore to catch up to him and slay the abductor. He may be identical to Meliot of Logres. [Malory]


Father of the huntsman Mabon by Modron. [Culhwch]


Pellinore’s eldest son, according to a reference in the Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin, which says that he was slain by Gawain. Melodiam does not appear again, and his character seems to have been transferred to Lamorat. [PostMer]


An evil little dwarf from Acquitain who plotted—with Mark’s steward Mariadoc—to expose the affair between Tristan and Isolde. He was somewhat successful. He appears in Béroul as Frocin. Eilhart calls him Acquitain, which suggests that they both had a common source but that Eilhart confused Melot’s homeland with his name. [Gottfried]


One of the two sons of Mordred in Layamon’s Brut (the other is unnamed) who opposed King Constantine after the deaths of Mordred and Arthur. Constantine defeated Mordred’s sons, and cut off Melou’s head at the church of Saint Amphiball in Winchester. Melou may be related to Melehan, a son of Mordred in the Vulgate Mort Artu. [VulgMort]

Melwas [Maelwys]

The King of the Summer Region or the Island of Glass. He was Guinevere’s abductor in one of her earliest kidnapping tales. He is thus probably the origin of Meleagant. He is represented in Chrétien de Troyes’s Erec as Moloas. His name has been translated as “prince of death,” “young prince,” and “noble pig.” He is named as one of Arthur’s warriors in Culhwch and Olwen, where he is the son of Baeddan. The story of his abduction of Guinevere is told in Caradoc of Llancarfan’s Vita Gildae and in a Welsh poem called “The Dialogue of Arthur and Gwenhwyfar.” Following Melwas’s kidnapping of the queen, Arthur and his knights hunted Melwas to Glastonbury. Arthur was unable to secure her release. St. Gildas and the abbot of Glasontbury intervened and convinced Melwas to free his prisoner. [Caradoc, Dialogue]


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

Memory of Blood [*Memoire de Sanc, Mover of Blood]

The scabbard which held Galahad’s Sword with the Strange Hangings. It was made of wood from the Tree of Life in Eden, and looking at it reminded one of Abel’s murder under that tree. It had been fashioned by King Solomon of Israel, and was covered with the skin of a serpent. Only the best knight in the world (Galahad) could draw the sword from the scabbard and escape injury. [VulgQuest, Malory]


A king of Britain in the twelfth century BC. When Mepricius’s father, King Maddan, died, Mempricius killed his brother Malim to secure the throne for himself. He ruled in tyranny and lechery until he was killed by a pack of wolves while hunting. His son, Ebraucus, succeeded him. [GeoffHR]

Menables of the Table

A knight defeated in combat by Perceval. He went to Arthur’s court as a prisoner and became a Knight of the Round Table. [Contin3]


A king who served Arthur. [Contin1]


A Saxon who, under King Aminaduc, fought Arthur and his knights at Vambieres. [Livre]

Menagormon of Eglimon [Margon of Glufion, Margue Gormon]

A lord in the service of King Arthur. He was present at the wedding of Erec and Enide. [ChretienE, HartmannE, Heinrich]


King of Africa and one of the allies of Emperor Thereus of Rome. Menalus joined Thereus in a war against Arthur, and he was slain in battle against Claris and Laris. [Claris]

Menandre of the Loge

An inhabitant of the country of Lindesores and a vassal of Sartuz of the Loge. He tried to collect a “toll” from Perceval when he landed in Lindesores, but Perceval defeated him and sent him to Arthur’s court. He eventually became a Knight of the Round Table. [Contin3]


Son of Salandres and brother of Dinisordres, Nastor, Aristes, and Gogonne. Menastide, his father, and his four brothers were defeated by Perceval and sent to Arthur’s court. [Contin3]

Mendamp [Menadap]

A Saxon warrior in the service of King Rions. He was slain by Arthur’s Sir Girflet at the battle of Carhaix. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Menealfe of the Mountain

A knight who, in the Middle English Avowing of King Arthour, kidnapped a maiden. Kay challenged him and was defeated; Gawain succeeded in rescuing the maiden and avenging Kay. His character may have been inspired by Meleagant, though his name is likely a fusion of “man” and “elf” (Hahn, 156). [Avowing]

Meneduke of Mentoche [Menaduke]

A Knight of the Round Table related to Lancelot. Malory says that he joined Lancelot’s defection from Arthur’s court and participated in the battles against Arthur at Joyous Guard and Benoic. In return for his support, Lancelot made him earl of Rouerge. The Alliterative Morte Arthure says that he was slain during the war against Mordred. [Allit, Malory]


Lord of the Perilous Castle. He served Lord Brian of the Gastine, but his sweetheart, Melie, was the niece of Bleheri, Brien’s enemy. Menelais sneaked away with his lover, but Brian tracked him down and killed him in his sleep. Menelais’s last request to Melie was that she inter him in the Waste Chapel, which she did with the help of Arthur’s Sir Meriadeuc. [Meriadeuc]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Gwyddawg. [Culhwch]


An early name of the city of Saint David’s.

Mennon the Small [Mecio, Nanowne le Petite]

A Knight of the Round Table imprisoned and murdered by the giant Nabon the Black on the Island of Servage. He was a cousin of Perceval and Lamorat. Hearing of his death, Tristan and Lamorat journeyed to Nabon’s fortress and killed Nabon in revenge. [ProsTris, Palamedes, Malory]


A knight who rivaled his friend, the sorcerer Mabon the Black, for the love of the lady Grysinde. Mabon sent for Tristan to help him in the situation. Tristan arrived with Isolde, and when Mennonas saw that Grysinde was not as beautiful as Isolde, he killed her. Tristan then fought Mennonas in single combat and beheaded him. [ProsTris]


Son of Teirwaedd and father of Anynnawg. In Welsh legend, Menw was one of Arthur’s sorcerers and advisors. In Culhwch and Olwen, Arthur sends him to accompany Culhwch and other warriors on Culhwch’s quest for Olwen, in case Menw’s magical abilities (particularly his skill for invisibility) are needed. During the hunt for the boar Twrch Trwyth, Menw changed himself into a bird and flew at the boar, trying to seize the razor, shears, or comb between its ears. He missed, and was struck by the boar, wounding him. The wound left him weak for the rest of his life.
   An odd Welsh Triad says that Uther Pendragon taught Menw one of the three “Great Enchantments” of Britain. Another Welsh source calls him one of Arthur’s three “Enchanter Knights,” who had the ability to shape-shift. Some have seen him as a prototype for Merlin. [Culhwch, Triads, Dream]

Meochide [Meotide]

An Arabian or African kingdom, visited by Flegetine in her search for her husband Nascien. [VulgEst]


The Emperor of Spain in Layamon’s chronicle. He was a vassal of Rome and he joined the Roman Lucius’s war against Arthur. Geoffrey of Monmouth gives the title of king of Spain to Alifatima. [Layamon]


Guinevere’s page. [Mottuls]


One of Perceval’s eleven paternal uncles in Perlesvaus; the eighth son of Gais le Gros and the brother of Alain. [Perlesvaus]


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

Meraugis of Portlesguez [Maraghise, Mera(u)gys, Meralgis]

A Knight of the Round Table who is the hero of Raoul de Houdenc’s Meraugis de Portlesguez. He vied with his friend Gorvain Cadrut for the love of the lady Lidoine, whom they both met at the torament of Lindesores. A court of maidens chaired by Guinevere ruled that Meraugis, who loved Lidoine for her courtesy, was more deserving than Gorvain Cadrut, who loved her for her beauty. At Lidoine’s behest, Meraugis embarked on a series of adventures designed to make himself worthy of her. During the adventures, Meraugis became separated from Lidoine, and rumors circulated of his death. He reunited with Lidoine in time to prevent her forced marriage to Sir Espinogres. Meraugis eventually reconciled with Gorvain.
   The Vulgate Merlin lists him among Arthur’s companions who fought against King Rions and the Saxons. In the Post-Vulgate, we learn that Meraugis is the son of King Mark of Cornwall and Ladiana, Mark’s niece. Mark slew Ladiana after she gave birth, and he left the infant Meraugis hanging in the woods. A forester found and raised him, baptizing him with the name “Meraugis of Portlesguez” after a local knight. Meraugis joined Arthur’s service and, during the Grail Quest, he helped Erec to avenge Erec’s father’s death by conquering the castle of Celis. He buried Erec’s body in Camelot when Erec was slain by Gawain. At Camelot, he took Erec’s seat at the Round Table and learned of his true lineage. He embarked on more adventures with Galahad and Hector, with whom he conquered the Castle of Treachery. After Arthur’s death at Salisbury, he joined the Archbishop of Canterbury in a monastery. He was eventually slain by Sir Licanor the Great, who served King Mark. [Raoul, Vengeance, VulgMer, PostQuest, PostMort, Arthour]


An Irish king who was a member of Arthur’s court. [Contin1]

Merciless Lion

Owner of the Castle Causuel, known as the Maulvais Garcon (“Bad Boy”) as a child. He ran a crooked tournament out of his castle, in which a parrot was the prize. The lord of the most beautiful lady at the tournament was supposed to win. The Merciless Lion always presented an ugly woman, but he used force to win anyway. He robbed and imprisoned many knights, before Arthur, fighting on behalf of the Lady Without Pride, cut off his arm and defeated him. At Arthur’s command, he freed his prisoners and made restitution to his victims. [ChevPap]


Hero of Meriadeuc, or Le Chevalier aux deux épées, a thirteenth-century French Arthurian romance. He was the son of Bleheri, a knight slain unwittingly by Gawain in the service of Brien de la Gastine. When he came of age, he went to Arthur’s court and became Gawain’s squire. Ignorant of his real name, he was called “Handsome Young Man.” When Lady Lore of Cardigan came to court wearing a sword (that had belonged to Bleheri) that no knight could unbuckle, Meriadeuc asked Arthur to make him a knight, attempted the test himself, and succeeded. Fastening Lore’s sword over the one bestowed by Arthur, he earned the name the Knight with the Two Swords. He departed immediately to seek adventure, despite the pleas of Lore, whom Arthur had promised to wed to the knight who could pass the test. Meriadeuc soon proved his prowess by defeating King Ris, one of Arthur’s enemies. He traveled with Gawain for a time, but upon learning that Gawain had killed his father, he shunned Gawain’s company. Arriving at his family’s home at the Lake of Twins, he learned the true story of his father’s death. He avenged his father by slaying Brien de la Gastine. His mother brought about a reconciliation between Meriadeuc and Gawain. He healed a knight named Gaus at the Fountain of Marvels by striking him with a magic sword, and found his true name written on the sword. After defeating the Red Knight of the Perilous Valley, another enemy of Arthur, Meriadeuc returned to Arthur’s court, where he married Lore. He became the King of Cardigan and had two children with his wife. [Meriadeuc]


The King of Cambria (Wales) in the anonymous romance bearing his name. His father, King Caradoc of Wales, was murdered by Griffin, Caradoc’s brother, who then assumed the throne for himself. Griffin plotted to kill Meriadoc and Orwen, Meriadoc’s sister, but the children were taken to safety by their foster-father Ivor. From Ivor, Meriadoc was kidnapped by Kay, who took him to Arthur’s court. Under Kay’s tutelage, Meriadoc grew into a powerful warrior, and he championed Arthur against the Black, Red, and White Knights. Arthur rewarded him by giving justice to Griffin, which allowed Meriadoc to claim the throne of Wales. He turned Wales over to the stewardship of King Urien, his brother-in-law, and left Britain for Europe. There, he joined the forces of the Emperor of the Alemanni against King Gundebald of the Land From Which No One Returns, who had kidnapped the Emperor’s daughter. He braved a number of supernatural adventures and finally slew Gundebald. He rescued the Emperor’s daughter, fell in love with her, and returned with her to the Emperor. The Emperor, however, wanted to betroth his daughter to the King of Gaul, so he betrayed and imprisoned Meriadoc. With his lover’s assistance, Meriadoc escaped and slew the Emperor. Meriadoc was awarded lands by the King of Gaul and ruled them nobly for the remainder of his life, with the Emperor’s daughter as his queen. [Historia]


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


Perceval married his cousin, the daughter of Goondesert, to Lord Merïen. [Contin3]


Father of Gleis, an opponent of Arthur. [Culhwch]


A castle ruled by King Tjofabier. It was besieged by Gerhart of Riviers, who wanted to marry Sabie, Tjofabier’s daughter. The war was ended by Arthur’s Sir Garel, who defeated Gerhart in combat. In reward, Tjofabier pledged support to Arthur’s war against King Ekunaver of Kanadic. [PleierG]

Merlin [Marlyn, Mellin(s), Merdhin, Merlino, Merlins, Merlion, Merlun, Merlyn(g)]

Wizard and adviser to four kings of Britain: Vortigern, Ambrosius, Uther and Arthur. A number of legends endow him with the ability to shape-shift, which is fitting, for his figure changes greatly throughout the Arthurian saga. In the best-known version of the Arthurian cycle, he disguises Uther Pendragon so that Uther can spend a night with Igerne, wife of the Duke of Cornwall, begetting Arthur; he supports Arthur’s claim to the throne of Britain and advises him through the wars against the rebellious kings and the Saxons; and he falls in love with the Lady of the Lake, who uses his own magic to seal him in a forest tomb or cave.
   Geoffrey of Monmouth, the first writer to mention Merlin, adapted him from Myrddin, a warrior and “mad prophet” in Welsh legend. Geoffrey probably modified the name to avoid an unpleasant association with the French merde, meaning “excrement.”
   In Historia Regum Britanniae, Geoffrey assigns to Merlin the role given to Emrys, or Ambrosius, in Nennius’s Historia. Merlin’s mother was the daughter of the King of South Wales (who Layamon calls Conan). She was impregnated by an incubus demon, who appeared to her in the guise of a man, and who was the source of Merlin’s supernatural powers. Warriors of King Vortigern of Britain, seeking a fatherless child whose blood was needed to slake the foundations of Snowdon, his new fortress, found Merlin in Carmarthen, where they heard another youth named Dinabutius taunt Merlin for having no father. They hauled Merlin and his mother before Vortigern, where the story of his birth was related. Merlin saved himself from execution by offering to show Vortigern the true reason that the tower walls on Snowdon kept collapsing. Leading them to a cave inside the mountain, Merlin pointed out a lake that he advised Vortigern to drain. Within the lake, the company discovered a white dragon and a red dragon. The two serpents battled, and the white dragon was victorious. Merlin then recited a long series of prophecies (which actually formed Geoffrey’s Prophetiae Merlini, written prior to Historia) that foretold Vortigern’s death at the hands of Ambrosius, the coming of Arthur, the conquest of Britain by the Saxons, and the conquest of the Saxons by the Normans. Merlin’s words caused Vortigern to flee Snowdon for Ganarew, where Ambrosius destroyed him. (In Thomas Heywood’s version, alternately, Merlin stays at Vortigern’s court for a considerable time, entertaining the king with his tricks and talents.)
   When King Ambrosius Aurelius wished to create a monument in Amesbury to the British warriors who died against the Saxons, the bishop Tremorinus advised him to seek out “Vortigern’s Prophet” to construct it. Finding him at the fountain of Galabes in Gwent, Ambrosius summoned Merlin to his side. Merlin agreed to travel to Ireland, with Uther and a contingent of soldiers, to bring the Giants’ Dance back to Salisbury. Through magic and skill, he constructed a contraption to lift the heavy stones, and—after some resistance from the Irish—the quest was accomplished. Merlin set up the stones in a circle, and the site became known as Stonehenge. On the way back to Britain, Merlin foresaw the poisoning death of Ambrosius, and said that Uther would be king in his place.
   Some years later, Uther—like his predecessors—had occasion to call on Merlin for assistance. Uther was in love with the Igerne, the wife of Gorlois, duke of Cornwall. At the advice of Sir Ulfin, Uther asked Merlin to help him break into the castle of Tintagel in Cornwall, so he could sleep with Igerne. Merlin was able to sneak him into the castle of Tintagel by magically disguising him as Gorlois, while Merlin himself took on the guise of either Jordan or Brithael, both knights of the duke. The next morning, Merlin came and fetched Uther away.
   After Geoffrey wrote his Historia, he apparently learned new information about the Welsh Myrddin, which he then incorporated into his Vita Merlini. The action of the Vita takes place after Arthur’s death. Merlin and Taliesin apparently helped bring Arthur’s body to the Island of Apples (Avalon). Later driven mad by a vision in the sky at the battle of Arthuret, Merlin fled into the Caledonian forest and spouted mysterious prophecies to all who saw him. He told his wife, Guendolena, to re-marry, but then killed her prospective husband. A magical fountain eventually allowed him to regain his senses, but he remained in the forest, living with his sister Ganieda and with Taliesin. The differing accounts of Merlin found in Geoffrey’s books and in Welsh texts apparently confused some later writers. Giraldus Cambrensis recognized two Merlins: Merlin Ambrosius, who prophesied at Vortigern’s court, and Merlin Celidonius or Merlin Silvester, who lived in Arthur’s time and went mad at the battle of Arthuret.
   Geoffrey does not make Merlin a figure at Arthur’s court, since his last acts occur during the reign of Uther Pendragon. Consequently, Chrétien de Troyes does not mention Merlin at all. We owe our conception of Merlin as Arthur’s magician to Robert de Boron, who wrote a verse Merlin of which only a small portion survives. Robert’s romance was adapted by other French writers into a Prose Merlin, a Vulgate Merlin, and a Post-Vulgate Merlin, which together form the basis of Malory’s story of Merlin and thus provided the modern portrayal of the character.
   Robert elaborated on the circumstances of Merlin’s birth. Satan had apparently intended him as a kind of Anti-Christ, but a holy man named Blaise, who later raised and tutored the child, divined the plot and foiled it by baptizing Merlin moments after his birth. Although the evil was purged, Merlin still inherited supernatural powers from his demon father.
   When Arthur was born, Merlin spirited him away from his parents, baptized him, and gave him to a lord named Antor or Ector for rearing. He continued to serve Uther, advising the king to establish the Round Table. After Uther’s death and the following anarchy, Merlin persuaded the Archbishop of Brice or Canterbury to summon the lords and knights of Britain to the Sword-in-the-Stone tournament. Arthur succeeded in drawing the sword, and Merlin supported his claim to the throne. Though a number of kings rebelled against the young Arthur, Arthur defeated them with the assistance of Merlin (portrayed here as a competent warrior and tactician as well as a magician), who advised the king to ally with Kings Ban of Benoic and Bors of Gannes.
   In subsequent episodes, Merlin accompanied Arthur in his battles with King Pellinore, in his retrieval of Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake, in his wars against Lot and Rions, and during his foundation of the Round Table at Camelot. Merlin’s prophecies told of the Grail Quest, of Arthur’s downfall and death, and of his own imprisonment by the Lady of the Lake.
   Merlin’s imprisonment and death in the Vulgate romances ignore Geoffrey’s Vita Merlini. Melin fell in love with the Lady of the Lake (called Ninniane, Vivien, or Nimue) and doted upon her. When she had learned all or most of his magic, she became bored with him and lured him into a cave, tomb, tower, or tree, and sealed him inside with his own spells. Presumably he suffocates or dies of starvation, but in some versions, the Lady of the Lake vists him frequently and they continue to share their love; she has only put him in a prison, not a tomb.
   A notable variation occurs contemporary to the Vulgate Cycle in the Didot-Perceval, in which Merlin builds an esplumoir (“bird cage”?) near the Grail Castle, enters, and is never seen again, though he is fated to remain alive until the end of the world. Late Welsh legend has Merlin surviving in an invisible fortress of glass, guarding the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain. The notion of Merlin as the young Arthur’s tutor is relatively new—perhaps stemming from T. H. White’s The Sword in the Stone—but is found in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.
   A note on the nature of Merlin’s magic is appropriate. In Geoffrey of Monmouth’s chronicle, Merlin performs three great feats of enchantment: his prophecies, his movement of the Giant’s Dance from Ireland, and his transformation of Uther (through drugs) into the likeness of Gorlois. Throughout these episodes, Geoffrey calls him “Merlin the Prophet.” Though he seems to have some power with alchemy, and knowledge of engineering (he lifts the great stones from Ireland not by magic, but by “assembling his own machinery”), he is by no means the wizard or sorcerer that later legend was to make him.
   In the French prose cycles, we learn the source of his magic: his devil father. The nature of his enchantments are more diverse. He continues to demonstrate prophecy, as well as mystic insight into events occurring before him (e.g., he knows when the king’s envoys are seeking him). He can change his own form, appearing as a giant churl or as a small child, and he has the power to control the lusts and loves of men (e.g., King Ban and the daughter of Agravadain of the Fens). He can enchant objects and locations with a variety of spells. Thus, he is several times called “magician” or “wizard” by his associates.
   Not, however, until the seventeenth century does Melrin become a sorcerer in full mythological glory. Dryden (1691) has him descending from the heavens, surrounded by spirits, in a chariot drawn by dragons. The History of Tomb Thumb (1621) describes him as “a diuell or spirit, cunning in all Arts and Professions, all sciences, secrets, and discoueries, a coniurer, an inchanter, a charmer, hee consorts with Elues and Fayries, a Commander of Goblins, and a worked of Night-wonders….” Though the tendency of subsequent legend was to scale back Merlin’s powers, it is the portrayal of the supernatural Merlin, who consorts with fairies and spirits and devils, that found its way into fantasy and folklore. [GeoffHR, GeoffVM, Giraldus, RobertBorM, ProsMer1, VulgLanc, VulgMer, PostMer, Malory, Spenser, Dryden, Heywood, TennIK]
Relations: Merlin’s family, wives, and kinsmen are named below. More information can be found under their respective entries.
   Mother: Joan Go-too’t, Marinaia, Optima, unnamed daughter of the King of South Wales
   Wives and Lovers: Columbine, Escorducarla, Guendoloena, Gwendolen, Lady of the Lake, Morgan le Fay, Viviane
   Daughters: unnamed maiden of the Dolorous Mount, Inogen
   Sister: Ganieda
See Also: Arfderydd, Avalon, Balin, Blaise, Gregorio, Guinebaut, Gwenddolau, Gyneth, Lailoken, Meliadus, Merlin’s Stones, Morgan le Fay, Myrddin, Phildabel, Round Table, Silence, Sword in the Stone, Taliessin, Uther, Viviane, Vortigern

Merlin’s Bed

A marvel encountered by Gawain at the Island of Marvels. Laying on the bed made a man temporarily lose “mind and memory.” [VulgLanc]

Merlin’s Castle

A castle where Yvain brought an injured Mordred after a tournament at Penning. Its connection with Merlin is uncertain. [VulgLanc]

Merlin’s Cave

A cavern in Cornwall supposedly haunted by Merlin. It lies under the promontory atop which Tintagel Castle rests. [Topography]

Merlin’s Hill

A hill near Carmarthen in Dyfed (southwest Wales) said to be Merlin’s birthplace. Local legend places the cave of his imprisonment at the base of Merlin’s Hill, and it is said that a careful listener can hear him groaning within. [Topography]

Merlin’s Island

The island where Balin and Balan killed each other. Merlin created many marvels on the island, including the second Sword-in-the-Stone, which floated up to Camelot before the Grail Quest. The island was also known as the Island of Marvels. [PostMer]

Merlin’s Rock

A rock where Merlin killed two enchanters. It is named only in the Vulgate Lancelot, although the episode itself occurs in the Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin. [VulgLanc]

Merlin’s Stone

The stone from which Arthur drew the Sword in the Stone. [ProsTris]

Merlin’s Stones

Six stones erected by Merlin across Britain. Each had a series of prophecies written on it. The first was in Lyonesse; the second in Cornwall, where Tristan and Lancelot battled; the third in Logres, in which the sword drawn by Galahad at the beginning of the Grail Quest was fixed; the fourth in the Perilous Valley; the fifth in the Dark Valley, where Tristan and Lancelot fought again; and the sixth in North Wales, where Lancelot and Tristan had a third combat. One of these latter stones appears in an Italian cantare as the Rock of Merlin. [ProsTris Tavola]

Merlin’s Tower1

An enchanted tower between the White Castle and the town of Gasan. It was prophesied that only Lancelot would end the enchantments. [VulgLanc]

Merlin’s Tower2

A tower on the Turning Isle once inhabited by Merlin. [Livre]

Merlin’s Wilderness

According to La Tavola Ritonda, the original name of the Forest of Darnantes, an enchanted wood where Arthur’s knights could find numerous adventures. [Tavola]


A plain in the kingdom of Affraudis, crossed by Tristan and Dinadan. [Tavola]


A land ruled—and terrorized—by the giant Karedoz of Malmontan, until he was defeated by Arthur’s Sir Tandareis. Tandareis assumed the throne and ruled from Karmil, although he made his father Dulcemar the symbolic overlord. [PleierT]


The name of the Fisher King in Perlesvaus, probably a reference to the biblical Messiah. This particular Fisher King was Perceval’s maternal uncle, the brother of Yglais, Pelles, and the King of the Castle Mortal. [Perlesvaus]

Messur y Peir (“Measure of the Cauldron”)

The name bestowed upon the harbor formerly called Porth Cerddin after Arthur and his warriors, returning from their invasion of Ireland bearing an enchanted cauldron, landed there. [Culhwch]


One of the Roman senate leaders who joined Lucius’s war against Arthur in Wace’s Brut. The name probably resulted from a confusion in Geoffrey’s list of senators: he mentions a Gaius Metellus Cotta, which Wace seems to have broken into three separate names. [Wace, Layamon]


A city where Lancelot knighted Sir Turinoro, brother of the Pope. [Tavola]

Metz [Meyes, Moyses]

A city in Lorraine, where Arthur’s forces battled the Duke of Lorraine after the Roman War. Sir Priamus, a knight in Arthur’s service, killed the Marquis of Metz in the battle. [Allit, Malory]


A priest in the land of Karahes. He was a vassal of King Havelin. Michel welcomed Tristan upon his arrival in Karahes, and explained to Tristan the war between Havelin and Count Riole of Nantes. [Eilhart]

Micipsa [Maeptisas, Misappa]

The king of Babylon who was subject to Rome, and was called upon to join Lucius in the war against Arthur. He fought at the battle of Soissons and was killed there by Earl Leir (Leodegar) of Boulogne. Wace says that Leir and Micipsa mortally wounded each other, while Layamon claims that Micipsa’s son Gecron killed Leir in revenge. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]


A district of southeast Britain, near London. King Vortigern yielded Middlesex and other districts to the Saxons under Hengist in exchange for his life after Hengist captured him. [Nennius]

Midomidas [Midolas]

The son of King Lot of Galway. Midomidas arrived at Arthur’s court after the conquest of Rigomer Castle. He immediately requested the right of combat against Miraudiaus, a knight against whom Arthur was pledged to send a champion. Arthur granted his request, but Midomidas relinquished the right to Lancelot when the latter arrived. [Contin4, Merveil]


King of Lanval. He married Perceval’s cousin, the daughter of Goondesert. [Contin3]


A knight captured by Gaheris in a tournament at Carhaix. [VulgMer]

Mil the Black

Son of Dugum. He was conquered by Arthur. [Culhwch]

Milan [Meloine]

The Alliterative Morte Arthure says that this Italian city surrendered and sent tribute to Arthur after Arthur conquered Rome. [Allit, Malory]


The homeland of King Mark’s knight Galiag. [Eilhart]

Mill Castle

The site of a sparrowhawk tournament sponsored by King Narbaoc. Hector and Gawain participated. [VulgLanc]


One of the many knights who chased after Meleagant when Meleagant kidnapped Guinevere. He was defeated by Meleagant. [HartmannI]


A barbarian island king who abducted the wife of the King of Illyricum. Gawain and a fleet of Romans blew ashore on their way to Jerusalem and immediately came into conflict with Milocates when Gawain killed one of his stags. Milocates sent for help from his brother, named either Egesarius or Buzafarnan. Milocates was killed in the ensuing war, his island was occupied by Romans, and the Queen of Illyricum was returned to her home. [DeOrtu]

Milon of Nomadjentisin

An infidel king who served Feirefiz, Perceval’s half-brother. [Wolfram]


A variation of Malehaut found in La Tavola Ritonda.


A Saxon king and vassal of King Rions in the Vulgate Merlin. He was slain fighting Arthur’s forces at the battle of Aneblayse. Triomadac, his name in Arthour and Merlin is a corruption of “Roi Minadap.” [VulgMer]


Duke and seneschal of King Pallas. He joined Arthur’s battle against the Saxons at Clarence. [Livre]


Another knight who joined Arthur in the battle against the Saxons at Clarence. [Livre]


Seneschal of the First Conquered King. He joined Arthur’s battle against the Saxons at Clarence. [Livre]

Minadoras4 of the Lost Island

A knight present among Arthur’s forces at the battle at Vambieres. [Livre]

Minados [Sinargos]

A Saxon king in the service of King Rions. He was slain by Arthur’s forces at Aneblayse. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Minap [Minape]

A Saxon king who served King Rions. He was slain in the battle of Aneblayse, against Arthur’s army, by King Ban of Benoic. [VulgMer, Arthour]


A heathen warrior slain by Yvain at the battle of Diana Bridge. [Arthour]


An island where Arthur killed Hueil, the brother of St. Gildas. [Caradoc]


A knight who defeated Merlin, and was defeated by Gawain, in a tournament at Carhaix. [VulgMer]


The seneschal of King Lac of Great India. Lac sent him to Britain to assist Arthur in the Saxon Wars. [VulgMer]


A Knight of the Round Table who participated in Arthur’s war against the Saxons. [Livre]

Minoras3 the Forester

The castellan of New Castle under King Clarion of Northumberland. He sheltered Lot and Gawain for a night during the Saxon Wars. [VulgMer]

Minoras4 the Wicked

A Knight of the Round Table who engaged in a silly rivalry with the Queen’s Knights. He was badly wounded when he attacked Sir Galescalain. [VulgMer]


A heathen king slain by Duke Escant of Cambenic at the battle of Rockingham. [Arthour]

Mirabel2 of Avendroyn

A king. He was the brother of King Schirniel of Lirivoyn. He was defeated in a battle at Bearosche by Perceval. [Wolfram]


A British nobleman convinced by Satan to revolt against Arthur when Arthur was in France. Arthur quelled the rebellion and granted amnesty to Miraldo and his allies. [BlackmoreK]


A baron in the service of King Dulcemar of Tandernas. He led a battalion of soldiers in Dulcemar’s battle against Arthur. [PleierT]


The most beautiful maiden in the world. She agreed to marry Sir Torec if he would defeat all the Knights of the Round Table, which he did. [Maerlant]


A knight who tried to force a lady to marry him against her will. She requested, and received, a champion from Arthur’s court. Miraudiaus fell ill because he was terrified of Gawain, whom he assumed Arthur would appoint. Gawain, ignorant of the circumstances, showed up at Miraudiaus’s castle looking for lodging. Miraudiaus imprisoned him. He then headed to Arthur’s court for the duel. When he discovered that his opponent was to be Lancelot, he immediately surrendered and freed Gawain. Arthur appointed him to the Round Table. [Merveil]


The true name of the Knight of the Sleeve, hero of a Dutch romance. [Riddere]


A land ruled by King Garel until Garel was killed by King Roaz of Glois. The land was reclaimed by Gawain’s son Wigalois when he slew Roaz. [Wirnt]

Miroet [Miroez]

A Knight of the Round Table and son of King Alfred of Ireland. Miroet, his father, and his brother Kamelin discovered Yder left for dead in a forest after he had been poisoned by Kay. The three knights managed to return Yder to health. [Yder]

Misty Lake

The enchanted home of the wizard Malduc. It was surrounded by the perilous Shrieking Marsh and the Steaming Path. Malduc kept Gawain and Erec prisoner at the Misty Lake, torturing them daily, until Lancelot led an expedition to rescue them. Lancelot’s men were able to cross the lake and enter the fortress with the help of the giant Esealt the Tall. [UlrichZ]

Mitarz of Ansgewe

A knight present at the Sorgarda tournament, which Gawain won. His homeland is probably a variation of Anjou. [Heinrich]


King of the Dolorous Tower. He was the father of Caradoc and Tericam, two giants who plagued Arthur, in Palamedes. His brother was named Malingre. He is called Aupatris in the Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin. [PostMer]


A knight who fought on the side of King Mark of Cornwall during Mark’s tournament at Lancien. [Contin4]


A Saxon “emir” who, under King Aminaduc, fought Arthur’s forces at the battle of Vambieres. Sagremor wounded him. [Livre]


In the play The Birth of Merlin, the daughter of Lord Donobert and a maiden at Ambrosius’s court. Her father wanted to wed her to Sir Edwin, but she was resolved to dedicate her life to religion. She eventually convinced her sister, Constantia, to join her in a convent. [Birth]


In Welsh legend, the mother of Mabon the Enchanter. She is in origin the Celtic goddess Matrona. She was said to be the daughter of Affalach and the mother of another son named Owain and a daughter named Morfudd. Several scholars point to her as the origin of Morgan le Fay, Owain’s mother in later romance. She may also be the origin of the Lady of the Lake. [Culhwch, Dream]

Mohammed [Mahom(m)et, Mahommé]

In the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal, Mohammed is one of four gods worshipped by the pagans in Britain, before they are converted to Christianity by Joseph of Arimathea. The other three gods were Jupiter, Apollo, and Tervagant. [VulgLanc, VulgEst]


A Saxon king who, under King Hargadabran, fought Arthur’s forces at the battle of Clarence. [Livre]


A Saxon king who was the uncle of King Rion and King Aminaduc. He opposed Arthur’s forces at the battle of Vambieres. [Livre]


A giant from Brittany who was defeated by Tristan near Mont St. Michel. Tristan took his castle and built his Hall of Statues nearby. [Thomas, TrisSaga]


Tristan’s granddaughter. She was the daughter of King Kalegras of England and Queen Lilja. [SagaTI]

Moloas [Maheloas, Maloans]

One of Arthur’s barons in Chrétien’s Erec, from the Welsh Melwas. He was the lord of the Glass Isle or the Black Isle. Heinrich von dem Türlin conflates him with Chrétien’s Count of Treverain, calling him Maloans of Treverain. [ChretienE, Heinrich]


The Welsh name for Anglesey.

Mon Merouac

The King of Mon Merouac was an ally of Rigomer Castle, and was therefore an opponent of Arthur. [Merveil]


One of many Saxon kings who invaded Britain at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. He was slain by Gawain in a skirmish on the plains of Roestoc. [VulgMer]


A Saxon king slain by Gawain at the battle of Roestoc. [VulgMer]


A forest in which Perceval fought the Fair Unknown. [Contin2]


A Knight of the Round Table who took a friendly rivalry between the Round Table and the Queen’s Knights too far. He was badly wounded when he attacked Sir Galescalain, a Queen’s Knight. [VulgMer]


The city in Spain in which the Lady Lidoine was held captive by King Savari until rescued by Claris. [Claris]


A mountain range on the border of Burgundy, through which Arthur and his army traveled on their way to the Roman War. [VulgMer]


An Irish land whose king was allied to Rigomer Castle, which Gawain conquered. The king held his lands from a lady named Qrainglaie. [Merveil]


A castle in Sicily, near Palermo, where Sir Floriant’s mother was besieged by Maragoz until Arthur intervened and lifted the siege. Its seneschal was named Omer. [Floriant]

Mont St. Michel

A hill in Brittany that served as the lair of a Spanish giant who kidnapped Helen, the daughter, niece, or wife of Hoel of Brittany. Wace names the giant Dinabuc. Arthur and his knights, on their way to fight the Roman War, heard of the abduction and rode to rescue the lady. Arthur, Kay, and Bedivere arrived to find the lady dead (either killed by the giant or by herself to avoid rape). They crept to the giant’s lair and found him roasting children (or, in Geoffrey, piglets) on a spit. Arthur challenged and killed him. Arthur later ordered a church built at this site. In the Norse Saga of Tristram and Ísönd, Tristan builds his famous Hall of Statues in the giant’s former cave. According to the Middle English Parlement of the Thre Ages, Arthur fought a dragon, rather than a giant, on Mont St. Michel. The Prose Brut calls the location Saint Bernard’s Mount. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, VulgMer, TrisSaga, Allit, Parlement, Malory]


A city and land in which Arthur sometimes held court. The Duke of Montagu was one of Arthur’s allies. [RobertBlo, Claris]

Monte Albrano

In La Tavola Ritonda, a castle where Tristan and Isolde lived during one of their several banishments from King Mark’s court. This episode occurs at the same point as their banishment to the forest of Morrois in the Prose Tristan. [Tavola]

Montegibel [Mongibel]

The home of Morgan le Fay in Floriant et Florete and Le Chevalier du Papegau. In the former, it is said to be in Sicily. Floriant retires at Montegibel with his wife Florete at the end of their lives. Folklore identifies it with Mt. Etna. [Floriant, ChevPap]


A castle at Orkney where Arthur’s knights participated in a tournament. [Heinrich]

Montenart of the Hidden island

An arrogant knight who stole the Castle of the High Rock from Arthur. Sagremor challenged Montenart for the castle but, before the duel could be fought, Montenart was slain by Erec in revenge for an unrelated past wrong. [PostMer]

Monterevel [Montrevel]

A castle in King Lac’s kingdom of Destregales. It was given to Enide’s father to rule when Lac’s son Erec married Enide. [ChretienE, HartmannE]

Montesclaire [Montescler]

A mountain or village somewhere in Britain. A beautiful maiden was besieged inside, and it was said that whoever rescued her could possess the enchanted Sword with the Strange Hangings. The quest was assumed by Gawain in the First Continuation of Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval. Gawain saved the maiden and received the sword. In the Third Continuation, however, it is Perceval who saves the maiden, called the Maiden of the Circle of Gold, from the Knight of the Dragon, though there is no mention here of the Sword with the Strange Hangings. A Red-Haired Knight of Montesclaire is named as a knight who appears at the Castle of Maidens tournament. [ChretienP, Contin1, Contin3]

Montesoave (“Sweet Mountain”)

A castle in Ireland where the King with a Hundred Knights and the King of Scotland held a tournament. Tristan was in Ireland recovering from poison and participated. Palamedes the Saracen won. [Tavola]

Montignet [Montiguet]

A castle near Camelot, visited on various occasions by Lancelot and Bors of Gannes. [Vulglanc]


A castle in the land of Emperuse, ruled by Duke Kandalion under King Bagdemagus of Gorre. Featured in the Pleier’s Tandareis and Flordibel, it was probably inspired by Der Stricker’s Kluse. [PleierT]


A castle in the kingdom of Gannes. It was the court of King Bors (Lancelot’s uncle). Sir Placidas was its steward. It was the last castle to fall during the invasion of King Claudas. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer]


A city in King Pellinore’s lands. [PostMer]


A wealthy city in Provence, where Duke Mathem of Soane took refuge after his land was stolen by Duke Frollo. (On Merlin’s advice, Julius Caesar restored Mathem to his duchy.) [VulgMer, ProsMer2]


The bard who served King Hoel of Brittany. [BlackmoreP]


A tyrannical knight who captured and imprisoned many of Arthur’s knights before he was conquered by Sir Floriant and sent as a prisoner to Arthur. [Floriant]


Count of Joraphas, husband of Countess Beleare, and brother of Bejolare of Leodarz. He was attacked and carried away by a dragon named Pfetan, but was rescued by Wigalois (Gawain’s son). He later joined Wigalois in a campaign against Prince Lion of Namur. [Wirnt]


The lord of the Beautiful Forest. He was married to lady Angnie. His daughter, Claudin, was kidnapped by a count but saved by Arthur’s Sir Tandareis. [PleierT]


A knight killed by Beaudous, Gawain’s son, when Beaudous rescued the lady Beauté from Madoines, Morans’s nephew. [RobertBlo]

Morat [Moras]

A Saxon warrior who served King Rions in the war against Arthur. He was slain by King Ban of Benoic at the battle of Carhaix. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Moray [Mureif, Murray, Murreve]

A region of northeast Scotland where Arthur defeated a collection of Picts and Scots at the beginning of his reign. From here, he pushed the barbarian hordes on to the lake called Loch Lomond. Arthur later restored the rule of Moray to King Urien. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]

Morcades [Orcades]

The first version of Morgause, mother of Gawain, Agravain, Gaheris, Gareth, Mordred, Clarissant, and Soredamor. She is found in the First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, in Les Enfances Gawain,and in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône. Her name was probably, originally, a place name, Orcades being the Latin designation of Orkney, the land traditionally ruled by Gawain’s parents. The name became Morcades and then Morgause under the influence of Morgan le Fay.
   Morcades had an affair with Lot, her page, and gave birth to Gawain, whom, in order to avoid a scandal, she gave up to a knight named Gawain the Brown. After Gawain had grown, he found his mother, grandmother (Igerne), and sisters living in Canguin Rock or Salie. Gawain freed them from the castle’s sorcery. Her counterpart in Wolfram’s Parzival  is Sangive. Heinrich von dem Türlin calls her husband Jascaphin rather than Lot. [Contin1, Enfances, Heinrich]


A knight who was seduced by the sorceress Acrasia in the Bower of Bliss. He abandoned his wife, Amavia, and his infant son, Ruddymane. Amavia managed to free him from the Bower, but Acrasia had given him a poison that acted after his release and killed him. His death was avenged, and the Bower destroyed, by Sir Guyon. [Spenser]

Mordrain [Mondrames, Mordrains, Mordrayns, Mordrayous]

The baptismal name of Evalach, the King of Sarras converted by Joseph of Arimathea in the Vulgate Cycle. Born in the French city of Meaux, Mordrain, as a youth, took service with Emperor Augustus Caesar of Rome, who put him in the charge of Count Felix of Syria. He killed one of Felix’s sons during a quarrel and fled to King Tholomer of Babylonia, with whom he remained until he became King of Sarras. He married Queen Sarrassinte. His lands bordered on Tholomer’s, and tensions between the two eventually escalated into war. Joseph of Arimathea and his party arrived during the hostilities, and Mordrain’s conversion to Christianity allowed him to win the conflict. Joseph also reconciled him with Seraphe, Mordrain’s estranged brother-in-law, who upon conversion became known as Nascien. After Mordrain’s conversion, God tested him by placing him on the Rock of the Perilous Port for several days, but Mordrain’s faith did not waver. Joseph and his followers departed for Britain, and some time later, Mordrain had a vision in which he saw Joseph imprisoned there by the pagan King Crudel. Leaving Sarras, he journeyed to Britain with his soldiers and freed Joseph. According to a Middle English romance, he married Labell, the daughter of Crudel. During a mass, he approached the Holy Grail and was struck blind. He asked God to keep him alive until he could meet Galahad. God granted his wish, and Mordrain retired to a hermitage in Britain. (He seems to be a duplicate, in this sense, of the Maimed King, and the Livre d’Artus specifically calls him by this title.) A few hundred years later, Galahad visited him during the Grail Quest, healed his wounds, and allowed him to die. J. D. Bruce notes that the only other appearance of the name Mordrain is as the name of an abbot who presided over the Benedictine monastery of Corbie in Picardy in the late eighth century, leading him, among other things, to conclude that the author of the Vulgate Queste was a monk in Corbie. [VulgQuest, VulgEst, Livre, PostQuest, Malory, HereJOA]


In the romance of Yder, the gatekeeper of Taulas of Rougemont, a vassal of Arthur who rebelled. [Yder]

Mordred1 [*Medraut, Medrawd, Medrod, Mo(r)d(d)red(e), Mo(r)dret, Mordarette, Mordered, Mordrech, Mordrés]

The knight who rebelled against Arthur and caused Arthur’s final downfall. In the earliest legends, he is Arthur’s nephew, but starting with the Vulgate Cycle, he also becomes Arthur’s son, adding an element of incest and sin to the tragic tale.
   The first appearance of his name occurs in the Annales Cambriae, which say that both Arthur and “Medraut” died at the battle of Camlann in 537. This is the only information provided about Mordred in the Annales, and the text does not even say that Mordred and Arthur were on opposite sides. In the Welsh Triads, where he is the son of Llew (Lot, Arthur’s brother-in-law), he is one of Arthur’s “Royal Knights,” described as handsome, wise, and skilled at arms.
   In another Triad, we hear how Mordred showed up at Arthur’s court in Celli Wig in Cornwall, ate all of Arthur’s food, drank all of his wine, and dragged Guinevere off her throne and beat her. Arthur repaid Mordred’s insult by visiting his court and similarly taking all the food and mead. This is the first portrayal of Mordred in Welsh as Arthur’s enemy. Though we must consider the influence of Geoffrey of Monmouth as a possibility, it seems unlikely since, other than the fact that Arthur and Mordred are antagonists, the accounts found in Geoffrey’s Historia and the Welsh Triads have no common elements. A third Welsh text, The Dream of Rhonabwy, makes Arthur and Mordred opponents at the battle of Camlann, though it was written well after Geoffrey.
   It is in Geoffrey of Monmouth, then, that we first find a complete account of Mordred’s life and rebellion. He was the son of Lot and Anna, Arthur’s sister. Gawain was his brother. (One line in Wace, almost certainly an interpolation, makes Mordred Guinevere’s brother.) He became a warrior in Arthur’s court, elevating himself to a position of power by capitalizing on the reputation established by his brother Gawain. When Arthur left Britain to fight the Roman War, he left Mordred as regent. Mordred declared that Arthur was dead, married Arthur’s wife Guinevere (who seems to have been a willing complicitor in the rebellion), and made alliances with the Saxons, Picts and Scots. When Arthur returned from the continent, Mordred’s army met him at Richborough, where Gawain was killed. Mordred and Arthur’s armies battled all the way into Cornwall, where Mordred and Arthur perished at the battle of Camel (Geoffrey’s version of Camlann). Mordred had two sons who plagued King Constantine, Arthur’s successor, and Layamon calls one of them Melou.
   The story outlined by Geoffrey of Monmouth is followed fairly faithfully throughout the chronicles and the prose romances (including Malory), with only slight alterations. His character is ignored in Chrétien de Troyes’s romances (but is echoed in the traitorous Angres of Windsor). He is introduced in the Vulgate Lancelot as the youngest and most evil of Gawain’s brothers, and his first adventure involves sleeping with a married woman and defeating the woman’s husband when he discovers them together. Later, while traveling with Lancelot, he murders an old man who says Mordred is not the son of Lot—the first hint of his true paternity. Now and then there are prophecies and hints of the fate to befall Arthur and Mordred.
   Mordred’s biography in the Vulgate Cycle, the Post-Vulgate Cycle, and Malory can be outlined as follows: Mordred is conceived when Arthur and his half-sister (Morgause or Belisent) sleep together about the time of Arthur’s coronation. Arthur does not know his parentage, and therefore does not know that he is committing incest. He finds out later from Merlin. As for the lady’s part, in the Vulgate Merlin, she believes she is sleeping with her husband Lot, while in the Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin and in Malory, she has uncertain motives for sleeping with Arthur. Afraid of Merlin’s predictions for the future, and seeking to destroy his incestuous child, Arthur orders all children born on the day of Mordred’s birth to be loaded into a boat and sent out to sea. Though the boat sank, Mordred survived, washed up on an island, was found by a fisherman, and was raised by Lord Nabur the Unruly. He eventually joined Arthur’s court and was re-united with his true family. Generally a poor knight, Mordred conspired with his brothers to murder Lamorat, Drian, and Dinadan. He raped and murdered maidens. The circumstances of his rebellion are similar to Geoffrey’s account, though it is preceded by an episode in which Mordred and Agravain expose the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere by catching the lovers in flagrante in Guinevere’s chambers. This leads to a war between Arthur and Lancelot, and it is while Arthur is in France fighting Lancelot that Mordred fakes Arthur’s death, usurps the throne, and falls in love with Guinevere. In contrast to the chronicles, Guinevere does not join Mordred, and she flees when he tries to force her into marriage. As in the chronicles, Arthur eventually returns, fights Mordred in a number of battles (Barham Down and Dover) before they clash for the final time at Salisbury (replacing Camlann), where they mortally wound each other in combat. Mordred’s son, Melehan, continues the war but is slain by Lancelot.
   There are numerous variations found in a number of texts. In Giovanni Boccaccio’s De Casibus Virorum Illustrium, Mordred is the son of Arthur and a concubine, while in Pierre de Langtoft’s chronicle, he is only Arthur’s cousin. In La Tavola Ritonda, he survives the final battle with Arthur only to be killed by Lancelot at the castle of Urbano. In Jean D’Outremeuse’s Ly Myreur des histors, Lancelot entombs Mordred, alive, with the body of Guinevere. To survive, Mordred consumes the flesh of the dead queen but eventually starves to death. Tennyson ignores the influence of Malory and returns him to his traditional role as Arthur’s nephew, but not his son.
   The most interesting variations to Mordred’s character occur in Scottish chronicle, most notable the Chronica Gentis Scotorum of John of Fordum and the Scotorum Historia of Hector Boece. In these chronicles, Mordred is the rightful heir to Britain, being the son of Arthur’s sister and King Lot of the Picts. Arthur, presented as a lecherous, treacherous king, refuses to honor his pledge to leave his throne to Mordred. Mordred’s rebellion is a righteous attempt to correct this injustice.
   Even in the romances in which Mordred is a traitor, he is not always portrayed as vile and corrupt. The Alliterative Morte Arthure, among others, endow him with a certain ruthless dignity, much like King Claudas or the early portrayals of Mark. [Annales, Triads, GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, VulgLanc, VulgMort, VulgMer, PostMer, PostQuest, PostMort, Pierre, Stanz, Tavola, Mannyng, Jean, Boccaccio, JohnF, Allit, Malory, Boece, TennIK]


One of Arthur’s knights in Renaut de Bâgé’s Le Bel Inconnu who fights in the Castle of Maiden’s tournament and is defeated by Guinglain (Gawain’s son). This does not appear to be the same character as Arthur’s nephew, because he is named as a king, because he is given a brother named Segures, and because no mention is made of the relationship between Mordred and Guinglain. On the other hand, Segures is similar to Seguarades, who is Mordred’s foster-brother in the Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation. [Renaut]


The castle ruled by Galgandreiz. It was inherited by Galagandreiz’s daughter after he died fighting Lancelot. The knights of the castle, and the daughter, recognized Lancelot as their new lord, but Lancelot left after a short time. Moreiz may be a variant of Moray or the forest of Morrois in Scotland. [UlrichZ]


The horse that the Greek knight Cliges rode in the tournament at Oxford in Chrétien’s Cliges. In Durmart le Gallois, Sir Sagremor owns a horse of the same name. [ChretienC, Durmart]


An Arthurian warrior from Caer Dathal who was the son of Iaen. His brothers were Sulyen, Bradwen, Teregud, Siawn, and Caradawg. [Culhwch]

Moren2 Mynawg

One of Arthur’s warriors who was the son of Bradwen. His last name signifies “the Noble.” [Culhwch, Dream]


A group of islands inhabited by Gladoain and the Knight of the Green Shield, allies of Lancelot. [Perlesvaus]

Mores2 of Lyonesse

A knight who was briefly a companion of Tristan during his adventures. [ProsTris]

Moret1 of the Way

A knight in the service of King Ban of Benoic and King Bors of Gannes. He fought to protect Arthur’s lands at the battle of Bedegraine. [VulgMer]

Moret2 the Negress

In Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, one of the many ladies at Arthur’s court to fail a chastity test involving a goblet. [Heinrich]

Morfran (“Great Raven”) [Morfryn]

Father of Myrddin, the Welsh prototype of Merlin. He was the son of Tegid and was one of Arthur’s warriors. He had another son named Rahawd. He fought at the battle of Camlann, but no one struck him because he was so ugly and hairy that the other warriors thought he was a devil. This ugliness earned him the title of one of Arthur’s three “Offensive Knights.” [Culhwch, Triads, Dream]


Owain’s sister in Welsh tradition. She was the daughter of King Urien of Rheged and Modron. She was loved by the warrior Cynon. [Culhwch, Triads]


The Duke of Brittany in the Thomas of England branch of the Tristan legend. He went to war with Tristan’s father, Rivalin or Rouland, who was Morgan’s vassal (the stories differ as to who started the war). The initial war was destructive and a truce was called for a year. At the end of the year, the war resumed and Morgan killed Rivalin. Tristan, born soon afterwards, was hidden from the vengeful Morgan by Rual or Rohand, his father’s steward; later, Tristan returned to claim his ancestral land of Parmenie, and he killed Morgan when Morgan refused. Sir Tristrem gives him three brothers, all killed by Tristan: Morholt, Urgan, and Beliagog. [Gottfried, TrisSaga, SirTris]

Morgan2 le Fay [Feimurgan, Marguel, Morgaine, Morgana, Morgein, Morghain, Morghana, Morgn, Morg(u)e(n)]

An enchantress or fairy, probably derived from the Welsh Modron and, ultimately, from the Celtic goddess Matrona, and she may have been influenced by an enchantress in Irish mythology called Morrigan. She is generally named as Arthur’s half-sister, but she is sometimes his full sister or his niece. Her most important role is to bear Arthur’s body to the Island of Avalon after he receives a mortal wound at the battle of Camlann. Incongruously, though, she is often portrayed as Arthur’s enemy during his reign. Thus, her character is remarkably inconsistent throughout the Arthurian saga, sometimes described as evil, sometimes as benevolent; somtimes ugly, sometimes beautiful. When she is not a character in a story, she is sometimes mentioned as a metaphorical or mythical figure.
   She first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Vita Merlini as the queen of the Island of Apples (Avalon), to which Arthur’s body is borne after Camlann. Described as beautiful, she is said to have shape-shifting and healing abilities. She has nine sisters including Moronoe, Mazoe, Gliten, Glitonea, Gliton, Tyronoe, and Thitis. Geoffrey, however, does not name her as Arthur’s sister.
   Morgan does not appear in Geoffrey’s Historia, nor in Wace’s Roman de Brut. Layamon includes a variation of her name, Argante, as the elven queen who takes Arthur’s body to Avalon. As it is unlikely that Layamon was influenced by Geoffrey’s Vita, both of these stories can be taken as examples of a widely-held Welsh or Breton oral tradition. Either Chrétien de Troyes or Etienne de Rouen is the first to name her as Arthur’s sister. In Chrétien’s Erec, she is, as in Geoffrey, the ruler of Avalon, and she has a lover named Guinguemar. Her magical healing ointment heals Erec and Yvain in their respective romances. Chrétien does not demonstrate a dependence on the earlier texts, suggesting, again, a wide profusion of her character in oral legend.
   In between these early accounts and the Vulgate Cycle are a smattering of contradictory appearances in various French romances, few of which contribute anything meaningful to the evolution of her character. Wolfram von Eschenbach (who, through a reversal of her traditional name, calls her Terdelaschoye of Feimurgan) has her as the wife of Mazadan and an ancestor of Arthur. Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet features a water fairy who raises Lancelot from infancy. Though not named as “Morgan,” the fairy is said to be the mother of Mabuz, probably identical to Mabon son of Modron in Welsh legend. Morgan may have therefore once been the same character as the Lady of the Lake, a role which she is given in Arthour and Merlin. She is first mentioned as the mother of Yvain in a minor French romance called Tyolet, and she does not assume the role again until the Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin. However, her counterpart, Modron, is named as Owain’s mother in Welsh legend.
   As with a great many of characters, the Vulgate Cycle is the first group of texts to give Morgan le Fay a complete story, starting with her birth as the daughter of Igerne. Her father is not named. He was most likely Gorlois, Igerne’s first husband, but at one point Morgan is called a bastard. Nentres of Garlot took her into his care when her father died, and he assigned her to a nunnery, where she learned to read, write, heal, and interpret the stars. During Arthur’s Saxon wars, she met Merlin and increased her knowledge of the magical arts through his teaching. Eventually, she became the lover of Guinevere’s cousin, Guiomar. Guinevere ended their affair when she learned of it, causing Morgan’s subsequent hatred for Arthur and his knights. Her hate was intensified by her own love or lust for Lancelot, who would have nothing to do with her. She created the Valley of No Return, which entrapped a number of Arthur’s warriors; imprisoned Lancelot on three separate occasions and tried to trick Arthur’s court into thinking he was dead; and sent hints of Lancelot’s affair with Guinevere to Arthur. In the end, however, she dutifully takes Arthur’s body from the battlefield of Salisbury without any explanation for her change of heart.
   The Suite du Merlin, the other Post-Vulgate romances, and the Prose Tristan add and change the following facts: She married King Urien, and she had a son by him named Yvain. She later tried to murder Urien but was stopped by her son. Merlin fell in love with her. After she learned Merlin’s magic, however, she scorned him and threatened him with death if ever came near her again. In addition to her other plots against Arthur, she made a counterfeit of Excalibur and its scabbard, giving the original to her lover, Sir Accalon of Gaul, while returning the fake one to Arthur. She then arranged for Arthur and Accalon to meet in combat, and it was only through the intervention of Nimue (the Lady of the Lake) that Arthur survived. Afterwards, Morgan managed to throw Excalibur’s scabbard into a lake. She sent a mantle to Arthur that would have burned him to cinders had he put it on, but Arthur made her unfortunate servant don it instead. She also sent a magical chastity horn to Arthur hoping to reveal Guinevere’s adultery. It was from Morgan that Mordred learned of the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere. She kidnapped Tristan and made him carry an insulting shield depicting Guinevere’s infidelity at one of Arthur’s tournaments. Later, she sent a poisoned lance to Mark, which Mark used to kill Tristan. She also plotted with Mark to destroy Alexander the Orphan, who for a time become Morgan’s prisoner. She had a number of lovers, including Helians, Kaz, Gui, and Corrant. Despite her evil deeds, she again bears her brother’s body away from the last battlefield for healing.
   Malory’s tales are derived primarily from the Vulgate, and he adds only the confirmation of her parentage by Igerne and Gorlois, giving her two sisters named Morgause and Elaine. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight it is revealed that the Green Knight’s visit to Arthur’s court is yet another of Morgan’s plots to distress Arthur. In the French tale of Huon de Bordeaux, she has a son with Julius Caesar named Huon, and in La Bataille de Loquifer, she has a son with the hero Renoart named Corbon. In Italian romance, she has a daughter named Pulzella Gaia, the Lady of the Lake is presented as her sister, and Uther Pendragon is her father. Some texts have her living on Sicily, in a castle called Montegibel.
   Consequent of the growth of her fame, Morgan appears in a number of non-Arthurian or quasi-Arthurian texts as the mother, sister, or benefactress of various characters. [GeoffVM, ChretienE, Contin2, Wolfram, Tyolet, VulgLanc, VulgMort, VulgMer, Bataille, ProsTris, PostMer, PostQuest, PostMort, Arthour, Huon, Malory]

Morgan3 the Black

One of Arthur’s sons in Rauf de Boun’s Petit Brut. He was Arthur’s favorite. His brothers were Adeluf III and Patrick the Red. [ProsBrut]

Morgan4 the Wise [Morgue]

A wizard who created a jar of magical ointment that was used by the Lady of Norison to heal the insane Sir Yvain in Chrétien’s Yvain, the Norse Ivens Saga, and the medieval tale of Ywain and Gawain. Chrétien and Ivens call Morgan a female, but the Ywain mentions Morgan as a male. Chrétien, the originator of the character, probably had Morgan le Fay in mind. [ChretienY, Ivens, Ywain]

Morgan5 Tudd

Arthur’s chief physician in the Welsh Geraint. He treated Arthur’s warriors, including Edern (Yder) and Geraint. The author may have simply confused the gender of Morgan le Fay. [Geraint]


In Arthour and Merlin, an illegitimate son of King Urien. He was the heir to his father’s land of Gorre. Yvain was his brother. [Arthour]


A king killed by King Ban of Benoic at the battle of Bedegraine. [Malory]


Knight of the Round Table who was defeated outside Camelot by Tristan. [Malory]


An ally of King Urien of Gorre. He joined Urien in an invasion of King Leodegan’s Carmelide, but was repelled by Arthur. [TennIK]

Morgan’s Chapel

A chapel, named after Morgan le Fay, on the path to the Valley of No Return. [VulgLanc]


An Arthurian warrior in Welsh legend. He was the father of Rhyawdd. A Morgant (Morcant) is listed in Nennius as a late sixth century northern king who battled the Saxons with Urien. He is given the title “the Wealthy” or “the Generous.” A Welsh Triad calls him one of the three “red ravishers” of Britain; a separate Welsh source tells us that his chariot had the magical ability of immediate transportation. [Culhwch, Triads, Dream]

Morgause [Morgawse]

Arthur’s half-sister with whom, in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, Arthur engages in a brief affair, producing Mordred. As Arthur’s sister, and as the mother of Gawain, Gaheris, Aggravain, Gareth, and Mordred, she replaces Anna, found in Geoffrey of Monmouth, and Belisent, in Arthour and Merlin. Her character is not named in the Vulgate and Post-Vulgate Cycles. The earliest occurrence of her name, Orcades or Morcades, is found in the First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, and is a variation of Orkney, of which Morgause is generally given as queen.
   Her parents are usually named as Gorlois and Igerne. When her widowed mother re-married Uther Pendragon, Morgause married King Lot of Lothian and had several children including Gawain. Her sisters were Morgan le Fay and Elaine. Morgause’s husband went to war with Arthur at the beginning of Arthur’s reign, but was defeated. Shortly after this defeat, Morgause visited Arthur in his bedchamber and conceived Mordred. (Arthur had been ignorant of Morgause’s identity, and of the fact that she was his half-sister.) Eventually, her husband was slain and all her children departed to take service at Arthur’s court. She began an affair with Lamorat, the son of King Pellinore, who was a family enemy. When her sons found her in bed with Lamorat, Gaheris killed her. [Malory]


One of Arthur’s castles, situated near the city of Cardigan. [Contin4]


A maiden who served Morgan le Fay. [Prophecies]

Morholt1 [Amurat, Amoroldo, Marhaus, Moraunt, Morold, Morolt]

An Irish giant or knight who appears in the Tristan legends. He was the uncle or brother of Isolde. His father is called Dilianfer in La Tavola Ritonda and Marhalt in Malory. He demanded a tribute from Cornwall—either of money or children—prompting King Mark of Cornwall to summon a young Tristan to fight in Cornwall’s defense. In the Prose Tristan, he champions his brother-in-law, King Anguish of Ireland, for the tribute, while in other texts he seems to be acting on his own behalf. Mark, unable to find another champion, knighted and sent the untried Sir Tristan to battle on the Isle of Saint Samson. Tristan and Morholt fought for a day, before Tristan’s sword finally stuck in Morholt’s head and a piece broke off, mortally wounding him. Later, Morholt’s sister, the queen of Ireland (called Isolde or Lotta), matched the broken piece with Sir “Tantrist’s” sword and swore vengeance against Tristan, but was dissuaded by her family. Tristan tells us that Tristan later took Sir Morholt’s vacant seat at the Round Table. In French romance, Morholt has a son named Golistant; Italian romance re-names the same son Amoroldo.
   The Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin and Malory’s Le Morte Darthur give Morholt an entire series of adventures prior to his battle with Tristan, claiming that Morholt was a Knight of the Round Table. Morholt joined Gawain and Yvain during their temporary banishment from Camelot, and enjoyed a number of adventures in the Forest of Arroy. He defeated the Duke of the South Marches, who hated Arthur, killed an evil giant named Taulas, rescued a lady in the wood of Plessis, and was imprisoned at the Rock of Maidens until rescued by Gaheris. [ChretienE, Beroul, Eilhart, Wolfram, Gottfried, Palamedes, ProsTris, PostMer, Malory]


Grandson of the above Morholt. He became the king of Ireland. [Palamedes, ProsTris]

Morien [Moriaen]

The title character of a thirteenth-century Dutch romance. In his original inception, Morien seems to have been the son of Perceval, but the author of the existing text—apparently in light of Perceval’s advertised virginity in the Vulgate romances—makes him the son of Aglovale, Perceval’s brother. A huge Moor, Morien was born when his father visited his mother, a Moorish princess, in an Arabian kingdom. Aglovale promised to return to her but did not. When Morien came of age, he embarked on a search for his father. His quest led him into contact with Lancelot and Gawain, who at Arthur’s behest were searching for Perceval. After saving Gawain’s life, Morien reunited his parents and saw his father crowned king of his homeland. Aspects of Morien’s story recall Feirefiz from Wolfram’s Parzival. [Morien]


A giant who invaded the Savage Realm and was killed by Hector, a famous knight of the “Brown” lineage. [Palamedes]


A castle in the valley of Servage ruled by the giant Nabon the Black. Nabon imprisoned many good knights there. They were eventually liberated by Tristan. [Palamedes]

Morning Star

The first knight defeated by Gareth in his quest to liberate the lady Lyones. Found in Tennyson, he corresponds to the Blue Knight in Malory. [TennIK]

Moro Battle Leader

A Welsh warrior who owned a great horse named Du. This horse was needed by Culhwch for the hunting of Twrch Trwyth. [Culhwch]


In Wolfram’s Parzival, it is said that Perceval’s father Gahmuret had adventures and won honor in this African kingdom. [Wolfram]


A version of Mark found in the Icelandic Saga af Tristram ok Ísodd. He was the son of King Philippus and Queen Philippia of England. When he became king after his parents’ deaths, his sister Blenzibly (Later Tristan’s mother) revolted against him. The short rebellion ended in a truce. Like the early King Mark, he was a noble king, and gave his nephew and wife every benefit of the doubt (and even offered Isolde to Tristan) before he banished them to a cave. He later gave his kingdom to Kalegras, Tristan’s son, and lived out the rest of his life at a hermitage near Jerusalem. Kalegras and his queen, Lilja, named their second son after him. [SagaTI]


One of Morgan le Fay’s sisters in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Vita Merlini. [GeoffVM]


Arthur’s Duke of Cornwall in the story of Meriadoc. [Historia]


An Irish warrior goddess who had the ability to shape-shift. Her character seems to have been combined with the Welsh Modron to create Morgan le Fay.

Morrois [Morois, Morris, Morroiz]

A lush forest in Cornwall which serves as the location of several adventures in the Tristan stories. Tristan and Isolde lived there for a time, at the Wise Damsel’s Rock, after an escape from execution at Mark’s court. Isolde eventually went back to Mark, through the hermit Orgin’s mediation (in Beroul) or Mark’s kidnapping (in the Prose Tristan). Tristan roamed the forest of Morrois during his period of madness. In another adventure, King Mark sent Kay and Gaheris into the forest for an “adventure”—in truth, Mark intended to kill them by the Perilous Lake, but he was unsuccessful. Morrois has been identified with locations in Cornwall and Scotland. [Beroul, ProsTris, Malory]

Mortal [Marte]

An evil castle. Its king was Perceval’s maternal uncle, but the king’s family disavowed him because of his evil ways. The king attacked the Castle of the Galleys and the Grail Castle. The latter belonged to his own brother, the Fisher King. The king fled from Perceval at the Castle of the Galleys. He seized the Grail Castle upon the Fisher King’s death, but Perceval re-conquered it. Beholding his own defeat, the King of the Castle Mortal threw himself off the Grail Castle’s battlements to his death. [Perlesvaus]

Mortal Lay

A lay composed by Tristan after he discovered Kahedin’s love for Isolde. Tristan soon went insane. [ProsTris]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the third century BC. He was the son of King Danius and Tangustela, a concubine. “He would have been of highest renown for his prowess had he not given way to exceeding great cruelty, for no man would he spare his wrath, but would slay him on the spot had he any weapon at hand.” During his reign, Britain was invaded by Flemmings. Morvid defeated them and brutally executed them. He died fighting a ferocious sea monster who had attacked the island. Morvid had five sons named Gorbonian, Arthgallo, Elidur, Iugenius, and Peredur. Gorbonian succeeded him. [GeoffHR]

Morvid2 [Mordup, Moreoint, Morice, Morud, Morvith]

The earl of Gloucester under Arthur. He led a battalion of soldiers in the war against Rome. As commander of the reserve forces at the battle of Soissons, he brought his troops in at a key time, allowing Arthur’s forces to finish Lucius’s army for good. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]


Wife of Ivor and foster-mother of Meriadoc (later the King of Wales) and Orwen. With her husband, she brought the children into hiding when their evil uncle targeted them for assassination. The children were kidnapped from her care, but she was later reunited with them. [Historia]

Moryans of the Castle of Maidens

A knight Arthur’s court who fought at the Battle of Bedegraine. [Malory]

Moses [Moy(s)(s)és, *Moÿs]

A son of Simeon and relative of Joseph of Arimathea. Following Joseph to Britain, Moses put on a pious facade, but was in truth guilty of lechery and fornication. He was exposed when Joseph’s followers were divided (either at the Grail Table, or at the English Channel). Later, he brashly decided to sit at the Grail Table’s Perilous Seat and was either swallowed by the earth (in Robert de Boron) or carried away by hands of fire (in the Vulgate version). In the latter version, he was placed in the Perilous Palace in the forest of Darnantes, where he was destined to burn until freed by Galahad during the Grail Quest. [RobertBorJ, VulgLanc, VulgEst, PostQuest]

Mote of Mark

A sixth-century hill fort on the southern coast of Scotland with an uncertain connection to King Mark of the Tristan legend. [Topography]

Motley Knight

An ally of the evil King Marin the Jealous. He attacked Gawain on Marin’s behalf, but was defeated. [Perlesvaus]

Mournful Mound

The hill inhabited by the Black Serpent of the Barrow. Peredur traveled there and killed the beast. [Peredur]

Mouree, The

A land from which Emperors Filimenis of Constantinople and Thereus of Rome summoned allies during their respective wars against Arthur. Thereus’s ally was called King Salatre of the Mouree. The Mouree was the medieval name for Peloponnesus. [Floriant, Claris]


One of many Saxon kings to invade northern Britain in the early days of Arthur’s reign. Gawain killed him at the battle of Cambenic. [VulgMer]

Muirchetach Mac Erca

A king who, according to historian John Morris, ruled in southern Ireland from 482 to 532. Morris thought him a contemporary of Arthur, and the dates do seem to fit.

Mule without a Bridle

Title figure in a late twelfh-century comic French verse romance by Paien de Maisières. The bridal that the mule was missing was magic, and whoever held it held the rights to a kingdom. One sister had seized the bridle from another, and the disinherited sister brought the bridle-less mule to Arthur’s court, seeking redress. Kay set out on the quest but failed; Gawain was successful in retrieving the object. Heinrich von dem Türlin adapted the story in Diu Crône, giving the sisters the names Sgoidamur and Amurfina. [Paien]

Munsalvæsche (“Wild Mountain”)

The Grail Castle in Wolfram’s Parzival, inhabited by Anfortas (Wolfram’s Fisher King) and the Grail Family. It was located in the land known as Terre de Salvæsche, or “wild land.” It was known for producing excellent horses, which were ridden by the Templars, the castle’s guardians. One of these horses, Gringolet, was eventually owned by Gawain. Besides the Templars, Munsalvæsche was defended by the simple fact that it was almost impossible to find. Perceval journeyed to Munsalvæsche twice. He completed the quest the second time and became the new Grail King. In German, the castle would be called “Wildenberg,” and internal evidence suggests that Wolfram wrote in a German castle called Wildenberg, in the Odenwald. [Wolfram]


A land in an unknown location where Perceval’s uncle Galoes was killed in the service of his lady. [Wolfram]


The capital of the land of Averre, ruled by King Garel, one of Arthur’s knights, and Queen Laudamie. [PleierG]

Murgalant of Trebeham

One of the few Saxon kings to survive the battle of Clarence, where they were crushed by Arthur. [VulgMer]


In Fielding’s The Tragedy of Tragedies, a maiden at Arthur’s court who loved Doodle, one of Arthur’s courtiers. She killed either Doodle or her fellow maidservant, Cleora, and was in turn slain by Arthur. [Fielding]

Mustensar [Mustansar, Ofustesar]

The King of Africa who was subject to Emperor Lucius, and was called upon to join Lucius in the war against Arthur. He was killed at the battle of Soissons by Arthur’s noble Sir Guitard. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]

Mute Knight

The name given to Peredur after he swore not to speak to any Christian man until the lady Angharad Golden Hand professed her love for him. She eventually did so, and he was able to speak to his comrades again. [Peredur]

Mute Maiden

In the Post-Vulgate, a maiden of Guinevere’s service who led the newly-knighted Perceval from his seat at the Table of Less-Valued Knights to the seat adjoining the Round Table’s Perilous Seat., proclaiming it his own. She had been mute before this episode, and died (at her own request) soon afterwards. The same sort of maiden appears unnamed in Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval, as Cunneware in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival, and as Lede in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône. The scene is repeated in Malory, but the maiden is again unnamed. In some tales of Lancelot, a similar “mute” maiden first speaks to Lancelot upon his arrival to Arthur’s court, foretelling his greatness. [PostMer, Tavola]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Blathaon. [Dream]


An ancient city in the southern part of Greece. Alexander’s warrior Nebunal came from this city. [ChretienC]


A knight in the service of Lord Golagros, Arthur’s opponent in the Middle Scots tale of Golagros and Gawain. [Golagros]

Myles of the Laundis

A knight who was engaged to Alyne, Pellinore’s daughter. He was mortally wounded by Sir Lorayne the Savage. Alyne screamed for help, but King Pellinore, passing by, was intent in a quest and would not stop. Later, Pellinore found Myles and Alyne dead. [Malory]


A knight slain by King Pellinore at Pellinore’s forest pavilion. Mylis’s squire, Girflet, brought his body to King Arthur’s court at Caerleon and pleaded with the king to bury Mylis and to make Girflet a knight so that he might avenge his master’s death. [Malory]


A mountain in the Alpine Range where Arthur fought a decisive battle against the Romans, killing Lucius. After this battle, he received word of Mordred’s treachery and had to return to Britain. Mentioned in Welsh texts, Mynneu takes the place of Soissons in the chronicles. [Triads]


Father of Constantine the Cornishman. [Culhwch]

Mynydd Amanw

An British mountain that was the site of a battle between Arthur’s warriors and the boar Twrch Trwyth and his piglets. Two of the piglets—Twrch Llawin and Gwys—were killed before Twrch Trwyth continued his flight to Dyffryn Amanw. [Culhwch]

Mynydd Bannawg (“Horned Mount”)

A mountain in Britain on which two oxen lived: Nynnyaw and Peibyaw. As one of his tasks, the warrior Culhwch had to travel to Mynydd Baannawg and capture the oxen. [Culhwch]


The Welsh name for Menevia, later known as Saint David’s.


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


The Welsh bard and enchanter who was the probable source of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Merlin. He is identified also with Lailoken. There are actually two characters in Welsh legend who bear this name. One was a mad prophet, and the other was the son of Morfran and a bard at Arthur’s court.
   Myrddin’s story is related through a series of early Welsh verses, collectively called the Myrddin Poems. He served a king named Gwenddoleu in a war against King Rhydderch of Cumbria. At the battle of Arfderydd, he went insane after he accidentally slew the son of his sister, Gwenddydd. Thereafter, he roamed a northern forest, spouting mysterious prophecies of Britain’s future and of his own death.
   As to his name, one theory argues that it began with the Roman stronghold of Maridunum in Wales, which means “sea fortress.” In time, Maridunum was altered and corrupted into “Merddin” or “Myrddin.” With it’s original name lost, a Caer (“city”) was placed in front of the name. Since Caer Myrddin would have signified “City of Myrddin,” people assumed that “Myrddin” was a personal name, and the Welsh began telling stories of a certain prophetic bard named Myrddin who roamed the forests of northern England and southern Scotland. [Myrddin, Annales, Triads]

Myrddin’s Precinct

According to Welsh legend, the first name of the island of Britain. It was conquered, and became known as the Island of Honey. Ostensibly, the name would seem to refer to Myrddin or Merlin, but one would assume that the earliest name of the island would necessarily precede the sixth-century Myrddin. This suggests that, in origin, Myrddin may have been something more than a warrior or mad prophet. [Triads]


An Arthurian knight. [Golagros]

Mysenes [Micenés]

One of the many Saxon kings to invade northern Britain at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. [VulgMer]

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