Arthurian Name Dictionary

Padarn [Paternus]

One of the several Welsh “saints,” whose Life contains an encounter with Arthur. Arthur is presented as a tyrant in the story. He wanders into Padarn’s cloister at Llanbadarn Fawr and demands Padarn’s tunic. Padarn calmly causes a crevasse to open in the earth and swallow Arthur. Arthur is not released until he begs forgiveness. This tunic is mentioned among the “Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain” in Welsh lore. We may surmise that it was red, since Padarn bears the epithet “Red Coat.” [SaintsP, Triads]


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


A castle in Gaul. Arthur conquered it from Serses, an ally of King Claudas. [VulgLanc]

Palace of Adventures

An enchanted section of the castle Corbenic where the Grail was kept. Full of marvels and enchantments, it was considered a sign of bravery to have spent the night there. Both Bors and Lancelot did so—the latter to cure his madness (the presence of the Grail drove a demon out of him). The Palace was constructed by Alan and Joshua in the time of Joseph of Arimathea. King Calafes, the lord of the Strange Land, died after impiously sleeping in the palace. According to the Third Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, Perceval and the Fisher King were buried in the palace. [VulgLanc, Contin3, Malory]

Palace of the Garden [*Palagio del Giardino]

A palace in Cornwall, near Tintagel, where Isolde threw a celebratory feast after she and Tristan were welcomed back to Mark’s court. Mark changed his mind and sent his seneschal Underigo and other knights to seize them. Lancelot and Tristan killed all of Mark’s knights in the palace. [Tavola]


A king who served King Rions, Arthur’s enemy. [VulgMer]


An original owner of the Dolorous Guard, the castle conquered by Lancelot. Imprisoned by giants, he ransomed his life by promising to deliver twelve children to them annually. [Palamedes]


A lover of Morgan le Fay slain by Arthur, causing a rift between Arthur and Morgan. [HeberM]


The finest city in Hoselice, or Wales, in the time of Joseph of Arimathea. Galahad, Joseph of Arimathea’s son, was crowned in Palagre. [VulgEst]


In La Tavola Ritonda, the Cornish wilderness where Isolde sent her squires and her maidservant Brangain. Isolde had instructed the squires to slay Brangain because she thought that Brangain might tell Mark of her affair with Tristan. The squires took pity on the woman and spared her. She and Isolde were later reconciled. This episode appears in numerous Tristan romances, but the forest is generally not named. [Tavola]

Palamedes [Palamides, Palamidez, Palamidesso, Palomides, Palomydes]

A Saracen knight whose character was born in thirteenth-century French romance. His first appearances are in Palamedes, the Post-Vulgate Cycle, and the Prose Tristan. He was commonly known as the “Knight of the Questing Beast,” the Questing Beast being demon that Palamedes pursued throughout his career. Palamedes’s nobility and prowess were almost unsurpassed.
   His father was King Esclabor, and his many brothers included Safir and (in Malory) Seguarades. His sister was named Florine.
   Like Tristan, Palamedes loved Isolde, which led to a number of tense situations between the two knights, who otherwise respected and admired each other. Among other offenses, Palamedes kidnapped Isolde after returning Brangain, Isolde’s maidservant, whom he had found in a forest (this abduction replaces one by Gandin in Gottfried’s version). On this occasion, as in others, Tristan and Palamedes clashed in battle over Isolde’s love. After these battles, the two knights generally reconciled but remained bitter.
   In various adventures, Palamedes championed a lady against the evil Sir Gonereys, won the love of the King of Baghdad’s daughter by killing a malicious knight named Corsabrin, avenged the murder of King Armant of the Red City, defeated Sir Atamas at the Spring of Healing, freed the Giant’s Tower, and helped repel King Mark’s invasion of Logres. In the culmination of a life-long quest, he slew the Questing Beast at the Lake of the Beast.
   He continually refused baptism until Galahad defeated him and forced him to become a Christian as a condition of his surrender. (In Malory, however, his baptism follows a final battle and reconciliation with Tristan.). He was present at Corbenic for the completion of the Grail Quest.
   Accounts of his fate vary. The Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal tells us that, shortly after the Grail Quest, he was slain by Gawain, causing his father to commit suicide. In Malory, he helps Lancelot rescue Guinevere from the stake, for which Lancelot makes him the duke of Provence. In the Serbo-Russian Povest’ o Tryshchane, he receives a mortal wound from Tristan at the castle of the Foul Heathen. In the Italian I Due Tristani, he tries to abduct Isolde, the daughter of Tristan and Isolde, and is slain in the attempt by Palante, Tristan’s cousin. [ProsTris, Palamedes, PostQuest, TristanoR, Malory, DueTris, Povest]


Tristan’s cousin. He raised an army in Lyonesse and invaded Cornwall after Tristan’s death. Joined by Kahedins, he slew Andred, Mark’s treacherous seneschal, and captured Mark. He later killed Palamedes when the pagan knight tried to abduct Isolde, Tristan and Isolde’s daughter. He married the duchess of Milan. [DueTris]

Palaus [Paulas, Pela Orso, Pellaus]

Morgan le Fay’s castle in Italian romance. Morgan imprisoned her daughter, Pulzella Gaia, in the castle’s dungeon, after Pulzella Gaia had an affair with Gawain. Gawain rescued her from the prison, and placed Morgan le Fay there in her stead. [Tavola, Pulzella]


The king of Lendrie who became the father of Wigamur. Wigamur was abducted from Paldriot as an infant and later became an Arthurian knight. Wigamur re-discovered his father when the two nearly fought in single combat years later. [Wigamur]

Pale White Lively Black

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


Capital of Sicily. It was the location of a battle between Arthur and Emperor Filimenis of Constantinople. At the conclusion of the war, Sir Floriant became king of Sicily and made Palermo his seat. [Floriant]

Palet of Trebe

A knight in the service of King Ban of Benoic and King Bors of Gannes. He joined Arthur’s forces at the battle of Bedegraine. [VulgMer]


A king whose seneschal, Minadoras, fought alongside Arthur in the Saxon wars. [Livre]


Companion of the knight Guyon in his quest to destroy the evil Bower of Bliss. [Spenser]


A vassal of King Meliadus of Lyonesse, Tristan’s father. When Meliadus died, Tristan appointed Palmoano regent of Lyonesse while Tristan went to serve King Faramon of France. [Tavola]


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


An island in the Orkneys where Arthur was driven ashore by a storm raised by Satan. Satan met him there and led him through several challenges, making him fight a number of fearsome monsters. Arthur survived the trials with the assistance of the angel Gabriel. [BlackmoreK]

Pamphilia [Pamphile, Pamphylia]

An ancient region in south Asia Minor, on the Mediterranean Sea. According to the Alliterative Morte Arthure, it was allied to Lucius the Roman, Arthur’s enemy. [Allit, Malory]


A woman in the ancestry of the famous Brown lineage. She was the wife of Brun and the mother of Yrlande and Gialle. [Palamedes]

Panawr Battle Leader

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


A castle that Arthur presented to either Gawain or Girflet. [Contin1]

Pandrasus [Pandras]

The king of Egypt who was subject to the Roman Emperor Lucius. He was called upon to join Lucius in the war against Arthur. He led a force of soldiers at the battle of Soissons. In Malory’s account, the “King of Egypt and Ethiopia” is killed at Soissons, but it is unclear if this is the same character. [GeoffHR, Wace, Malory]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Ysgawyn. [Culhwch]


The fairy husband of Beaflurs. His son Liahturteltart was a page to Queen Ampflise of France in the time of Uther. [Wolfram]


An Asian lord. His brother was Zaradech. His sister Japhite died from heartbreak when Wigalois, Gawain’s son, killed King Roaz of Glois, Japhite’s husband. Panschavar and Zaradech came to Glois to retrieve Japhite’s body. Both brothers later joined Wigalois’s war against Prince Lion of Namur. [Wirnt]


The tyrannical king of Genewis, named in Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet as Lancelot’s father. He was overthrown and killed by his own nobles. Pant is manifestly a corruption of Ban, the name traditionally given to Lancelot’s father. [UlrichZ]

Panthelius [Pantelion]

A bold Roman consul who led an echelon of Roman Soldiers in Claudas’s second war against Arthur. [VulgLanc]


A fearsome Scottish serpent, the ribs of which conferred upon their holder immunity for heat. One of these ribs formed half of the hilt of Galahad’s Sword with the Strange Hangings. [VulgEst]

Papiris of Trogodjente

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

Papo [Apies, Po]

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


An alias of Perceval in Perlesvaus. Given to him by King Pelles, it signified a self-made knight. [Perlesvaus]


A region of France owned by Lancelot. Lancelot made Sir Neroneus the earl of Pardiac in return for Neroneus’s support in his war against King Arthur. [Malory]

Parent [Pharien]

A follower of Joseph of Arimathea and companion of Peter. He founded a chapel in Britain, in the land of Count Baalan, who Parent converted to Christianity. [VulgEst]

Parfoyas of Lampregun

A count who was once defeated in combat by Perceval. [Wolfram]


The “King of France” in Welsh legend, who gave his name to the country’s capital. Paris was one of Arthur’s warriors. Interestingly, the title “King of France” is given to two other warriors—Iona and Gwilenhin—in the same story. In Jean D’Outremeuse’s Ly Myreur des Histors, one of Arthur’s warriors named Paris of France is given the daughter and lands of the King of Saynes, whom Arthur conquers. [Culhwch, Jean]

Paris2 [Parigi, Paryse, Paryss]

In the chronicles, Arthur fights and kills Frollo in Paris, thus conquering Gaul. While he was pacifying Gaul and beginning the administration of laws, he made Paris his capital. During Arthur’s battles with Emperor Lucius of Rome, he sent the prisoners captured to a prison in Paris. In La Tavola Ritonda, Paris is King Faramon of France’s capital. [GeoffHR, VulgMer, Tavola, Malory]


The Count of Park inhabited a castle near the lair of the giant Tericam of the Impenetrable Forest. Lancelot freed the Count of Park’s brother from Tericam’s prison, for which the count rewarded Lancelot with horses. [VulgLanc]

Parmenie [*Armenie, Ermenia, (H)ermonie]

Tristan’s ancestral land, ruled by his father King Rivalin and then bequeathed to Tristan. Tristan never ruled the kingdom, but instead commended it to the stewardship of his foster-father, Rual. Upon Rual’s death, it was ruled by Rual’s sons. Its capital was the city of Canoel. Later writers give Tristan’s homeland as Lyonesse. Thomas of England’s original version, “Armenie,” might be a derivation of “Armorica,” an early name for Brittany. Gottfried von Strassburg would have changed it to “Parmenie” to avoid confusion with Armenia. [Thomas, Gottfried, TrisSaga, SirTris]


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


See Knight of the Parrot.


A knight defeated by Perceval, who ended Parsamant’s custom of beating and robbing his prisoners. [Contin4]


An ancient country in southwest Asia, southeast of the Caspian Sea. It was ruled by King Hirtacius in Arthur’s time, who was subject to the Emperor Lucius of Rome. [GeoffHR]


One of the many ladies at Arthur’s court to fail a chastity test involving a goblet. [Heinrich]


A knight whose death is the object of Perceval’s quest in the Third Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval. The nephew of Sir Espignogres, Partinal besieged Goondesert, Perceval’s uncle, in the castle of Quingragan. The siege was lifted, but Partinal disguised himself as one of Goondesert’s knights, sneaked into the castle, and slew Goondesert with the Grail Sword. Perceval learned of the murder from the Fisher King. He tracked Partinal to the Red Tower, Partinal’s castle, and killed him after a day-long duel. Perceval then took his head to the Grail Castle. Partinal’s role is filled by the Hags of Gloucester in the Welsh Peredur. [Contin3]

Pascentius [Pascent, Passent]

Son of Vortigern and brother of Vortimer, Catigern, and Faustus. Nennius mentions that after his father’s death, he was granted the rule of Buelt and Gwerthrynion by the new king, Ambrosius. Geoffrey, however, contends that Pascentius fled to Germany, raised an army, and returned to Britain to attack Ambrosius. After one defeat, he allied with King Gilloman of Ireland and tried again. He sent a Saxon assassin named Eopa to kill Ambrosius, and the Saxon succeeded. Uther and his army met Pascentius and Gilloman near St. David’s (or at Menevia) and killed them. Wace says that Pascentius hated his father because of his father’s dealings with the Saxons. Thomas Heywood erroneously makes him a Saxon. [Nennius, GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, Heywood]


A son of Urien and brother of Owain. The Welsh Triads call him “arrogant,” and say that he rode a horse named Huge Yellow. [Triads]


In La Tavola Ritonda, a traitorous knight who killed King Arduano (Arnant) of the Red City. Palamedes, who swore to avenge the king, slew Passauver in the city of Saraziana. Passauver’s counterpart in the Prose Tristan is Helain. [Tavola]

Passbruel [Passabrunello, Passe-Brewel]

Tristan’s horse. It enabled Tristan’s friends to recognize him when he was otherwise in disguise. In La Tavola Ritonda, it is killed during Tristan’s battle with a giant named Urgan the Hairy. [ProsTris, Tavola, Malory]


King Arthur’s horse in Béroul’s Tristan. [Beroul]


A castle where Yvain was imprisoned after he accidentally freed a fearsome giant named Malduit, and thus infuriated the castle’s residents. He was rescued by Bors, who slew the giant. [VulgLanc]


A city in the African or Middle-Eastern kingdom of Zazamanc. It was ruled by Queen Belacane and served as Gahmuret’s port of arrival when he came to the kingdom. [Wolfram]


One of Arthur’s knights in a Norse legend. His wife was proven unchaste during a chastity test involving a mantle. [Mottuls]

Path of No Return

The road leading to the enchanted Forest of No Return, where Guinebal created the Magic Dance. [VulgLanc]


A Knight of the Round Table defeated in a tournament against the Queen’s Knights. [VulgMer]

Patrice [Patriche]

A vassal of King Claudas. He ruled the castles Charrot and Dun. His son, Issout, inherited the latter. [VulgLanc]


A nobleman from Scotland. While Arthur was besieging the Saxons Colgrim and Baldulph at York, Patrick learned that another Saxon—Cheldric—had landed nearby with a force of soldiers. He rode to York and warned Arthur to break off the siege or be destroyed by Cheldric’s onslaught. [Layamon]


The son of Duke Mathem of Soane and brother of Avenable, Julius Caesar’s wife. At Merlin’s advice, Patrick married Caesar’s daughter. [VulgMer, ProsMer2]

Patrick3 the Red

One of Arthur’s sons in Rauf de Boun’s Petit Brut. His brothers were Adeluf III and Morgan the Black. [ProsBrut]

Patricius of the Mound

The father of Ade, one of Lancelot’s wives in Ulrich’s Lanzelet. He was a renowned huntsman and tracker. His daughter was raised by his brother Linier, who was eventually killed by Lancelot in combat. Ade introduced Lancelot to him and he approved of the match. [UlrichZ]


A nephew of King Bagdemagus of Gorre, sometimes called Patrides of the Golden Circle. He served as steward of Gorre when Bagdemagus left to seek adventure at Arthur’s court. Later, he fought alongside his uncle in Arthur’s war against King Claudas and won himself great honor. He became a Knight of the Round Table. In another adventure, Perceval rescued him from an imprisonment at the castle Galanton. Patrides had tried to elope with the castle’s lady, for which Galanton’s residents chained him to a rock to starve. During the Grail Quest, Gawain killed Patrides while Patrides was trying to avenge Yvain of Cenel’s murder. Malory calls him the son of Pellownus. [VulgLanc, PostQuest, Palamedes, Girart, Malory]


The king and warriors from Patrigalt participated in a tournament at the Welsh city of Kanvoleis, thrown by Perceval’s mother, Queen Herzeloyde, in Wolfram’s Parzival. One of the Grail Templars at Munsalvæsche came from the country. In Der Pleier’s Tandareis and Flordibel, Patrigalt is a land allied to Arthur. [Wolfram, PleierT]

Patris of the Mountain

A knight sent to Arthur’s court as a prisoner after Agravain defeated him in combat. [Contin4]


An Irish knight in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur. He was the cousin of Sir Mador of the Gate. At a dinner party thrown by Queen Guinevere, Sir Patrise ate a poisoned apple meant for Sir Gawain. The apple had been poisoned by Sir Pionel, in revenge for the death of Sir Lamorat. Patrise had convulsions and died. Mador accused Guinevere of treason, but the truth of the matter was later discovered. His character is called Gaheris in the Vulgate Mort Artu. [Malory]

Patriz of the Mountain

One of five knights who tried to kill Agravain and were defeated by him. [Contin3]


Tristan’s grandfather in the Icelandic Saga af Tristram ok Ísodd. He was the father of Kalegras and the vassal of King Hlöòvir of Spain. He became the leader of the Spanish after his lord was slain in a battle against an invader named Elemmie. He slew Elemmie, but soon died of wounds received in the battle. His brief rulership helped establish his son and grandson as Spain’s heirs. [SagaTI]


Tristan’s grandson. He was the son of King Kalegras and Queen Lilja of England. [SagaTI]


A knight related to Lancelot. After Arthur’s death, he retired to a hermitage run by the Archbishop of Canterbury. King Mark of Cornwall came to the hermitage to destroy the last of Arthur’s knights. After Mark killed the archbishop, Paulas killed Mark. [PostMort, ProsTris]

Pavengay [Pavongais]

An Irish castle in the land of Demedy. Lancelot visited the region on his way to adventures at Rigomer Castle, and he rescued the viscount of Pavengay’s daughter, Flor Desiree, from a brutish neighbor named Savari. [Merveil]

Pavia [Pavy]

A town in northwest Italy, on the Ticino River, that was the home of Sir Callyburne. When Arthur captured Rome, Pavia was one of the many lands to surrender to him and pay tribute. [Allit, Malory]


A city in Lombardy, acquired by Arthur after the Roman War. [Allit]

Payerne [Pa(i)erne, Payarne]

The home of Leonce, one of King Ban’s knights. Its lord, perhaps identical to Leonce, fought against the Saxons in the early days of Arthur’s reign. [VulgLanc, VulgMer, Arthour, Malory]


Home of Isolde of the White Hands in the Serbo-Russian Povest’ o Tryshchane. The story concludes with a tournament at the castle of Baroh in Pazareia. [Povest]

Pedrawd [Bedrawc]

Father of Arthur’s warrior Bedwyr. [Geraint]

Pedrog Splintered-Spear

One of the three “Just Knights” in Arthur’s court. Pedrog meted justice through the law of arms, in contrast to his fellows, who upheld the law of the earth or the law of the church. [Triads]

Pedyvere of the Strait Marches

A knight who ran afoul of Lancelot. Pedyvere was chasing his wife with a sword, trying to cut off her head, because she had committed adultery. Lancelot stopped him, and the woman begged Lancelot for protection. However, Pedyvere distracted Lancelot by pointing to some imaginary horsemen behind him. When Lancelot was looking in the other direction, Pedyvere cut off his wife’s head. He then immediately yielded to Lancelot and would not fight. Lancelot sent Pedyvere to Guinevere, who in turn made him take his wife’s body to the pope in Rome to receive penance. After that, Malory tells us, Sir Pedyvere “fell into great goodness and was a holy man and a hermit.” Despite the similarity of his name, he is probably not identical to Bedivere. [Malory]


A Knight of the Round Table. [HartmannE]


An ox that lived on the near side of Mynydd Bannawg. Peibyaw had once been human, but was turned into an ox because of his sins. As one of his tasks, the warrior Culhwch had to capture the ox and yoke it together with another ox from Mynydd Bannawg called Nynnyaw. [Culhwch]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Eiryn the Splendid. [Dream]

Peissawg the Tall

King of Brittany and one of Arthur’s warriors. He was killed at Ystrad Yw by the piglet Llwydawg the Killer during the great hunt of Twrch Trwyth. [Culhwch]


In Guillaume le Clerc’s Fergus, the homeland of Arthur’s knight Fergus, where he was raised by his father, Soumillet. Guillaume identifies Pelande with Galloway. [Guillaume]


An early heathen king of Lyonesse. He fell in love with Chelinde, the wife of King Canor of Cornwall, and imprisoned Canor in his castle Lusin. Sador, Chelinde’s first husband, defeated Pelias in combat and forced him to release Canor. Later, Canor and Pelias went to war, and Pelias was killed. His son Luce succeeded him. [ProsTris]

Peliaz the Strong

A Knight of the Round Table from Logres, killed by Gawain during the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]


Brother of Playne de Amours, Playne de Fors, Plenorius, Pillounes, and Pellogris, all of whom guarded the fortress of Sorelois. By defeating all six brothers, Breunor and Lancelot liberated the fortress and its prisoners. Afterwards, Pellandris joined Arthur’s service. [Malory]


A city ruled by King Estrangaré, who served Arthur. [Meriadeuc]

Pelleas [Pellias]

A knight of extraordinary skill and courage, and lord of many islands, who loved the lady named Arcade or Ettard. He awarded her the crown at a tournament in which he defeated sixty knights, but Arcade continually rebuked and scorned him. He followed her to the country of Arroy, where he kept vying for her love. Every day, she sent ten knights against him, and every day he defeated them all but let them capture him anyway so that he might get a glance of Arcade on the way to her prison. Then, Arcade’s men would humiliate him and release him in the forest.
   Gawain learned of Pelleas’s plight and offered to help him by visiting Arcade. Bringing Pelleas’s armor with him, he told Arcade that he had killed Pelleas. Whatever his plan had been, Gawain abandoned it when he saw Arcade’s beauty. He slept with her, betraying Pelleas. Pelleas found them together in an outdoor pavilion. After considering killing them, he finally decided to lay his sword across their throats and depart. When Arcade awoke, she realized that Pelleas had been there and that he was still alive.
   In the Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation, Pelleas prepares to die of grief, but a repentant Gawain brings Arcade to him. Apologies are made, and Pelleas and Arcade marry, producing a son named Guivret the Younger. In Malory’s version, however, Nimue, the Lady of the Lake, bewitches Ettard so that she pines for Pelleas for the rest of her life, but Nimue marries Pelleas herself. He becomes a Knight of the Round Table.
   Tennyson allows neither of these happy endings for poor Pelleas. Pelleas, discovering that Ettare and Gawain are both false, falls into despair and runs away from the hateful scene. He later encounters Perceval, who tactlessly informs him that Guinevere and Lancelot are also untrue. Having lost all faith in the nobility of Arthur’s court and the Round Table, Pelleas goes mad, becomes the “Red Knight,” maims innocents, and rapes maidens. He sends a message to Arthur’s court telling the king that Pelleas’s castle is full of cowards and whores, but that they are more noble than Arthur’s court because they do not hide their true nature. Arthur eventually has to lead a phalanx of knights against him. [PostMer, Malory, TennIK]

Pellehan [Parlan, Pellam]

A Grail King of Listenois in the Vulgate romances. The first appearance of his name in the Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal suggests that he was Perceval’s father, which would make him the origin of Pellinore (and also, probably, of Pelles). The Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal, however, calls him the son of King Lambor and the father of Pelles and Pellinore, making him Perceval’s grandfather and Galahad’s great-grandfather. Like all Grail Kings, he inherited the title of Fisher King from Bron, the first of his lineage. Later, however, he fell ill with a festering wound and became known as the Maimed King. The circumstances behind this wound vary: the Vulgate Estoire tells us that he received it in a battle in Rome; in the Vulgate Queste, we learn that he was struck through the thighs by a holy spear when he tried to draw the Sword with the Strange Hangings, meant only for Galahad.
   The Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation provides a much longer story. Here, he has a brother named Garlon, an invisible knight who commits murder and is pursued by Balin. Balin eventually slew Garlon during a feast in Pellehan’s Perilous Castle, for which Pellehan attacked Balin, shattering the latter’s sword. Pellehan pursued Balin throughout his castle as Balin ran from room to room looking for a weapon. Eventually, he found the Bleeding Lance—the spear that killed Christ—and struck Pellehan through the thighs with it. This blow was called the Dolorous Stroke, and it caused the castle to crumble and turn Listenois into a Waste Land. (In another version, however, the Dolorous Stroke occurs in an episode with Pellehan’s father, Lambor.)
   Pellehan’s wound refused to heal, and he lay ill for many years. At the end of the Grail Quest, Galahad cured him with some blood from the Bleeding Lance, and Pellehan retired to a hermitage.
   Tennyson alone names Pellehan as one of the kings who joined Lot’s rebellion against King Arthur at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. [VulgQuest, VulgEst, PostMer, Malory]

Pelles [Peles, Pellas, Pelleur]

The Vulgate Grail King. He was the father of Elaine (or Amite) and grandfather of Galahad. His origin may lie with the Welsh characters Pwyll, lord of Dyfed, or Beli, king of Britain. Another possible source for his name is the Cornish peller, meaning “enchanter” (Loomis, Romance, 267).
   Pelles was the son of Pellehan (usually the Maimed King) and the brother of Pellinore, although all three were probably once the same character. According to Perlesvaus, in which Pelles makes his first appearance, he was Perceval’s maternal uncle. His siblings included Yglais (Perceval’s mother, also called the Widowed Lady), Messois the Fisher King, and the evil King of the Castle Mortal. Perlesvaus calls him the “Hermit King,” for he retired to a hermitage after his son, Joseus, killed his wife.
   In the Vulgate romances, Pelles is himself the Fisher King—the king of the land of Listenois (a.k.a the Strange Land) and the Grail Castle, Corbenic. (The Vulgate Merlin, however, names Alain as the Fisher King and Pelles as his brother.) He was descended from Bron, the first Fisher King. His son, Eliezer, was one of Arthur’s knights. According to the Post-Vulgate Cycle, his two sisters married Lac and Dirac, the father and uncle of Sir Erec.
   Pelles was aware of various prophecies that Galahad, the yet-conceived son of Lancelot and Elaine, would complete the Grail Quest and restore the land of Listenois. Thus, he conspired with Brisen, Elaine’s maidservant, to get Lancelot into Elaine’s bed. When Lancelot was visiting Corbenic, Pelles drugged his wine and told him that Guinevere was waiting for him at Case Castle. Lancelot rode there, climbed into Elaine’s bed and, believing he was with Guinevere, fathered Galahad. Some years later, Lancelot went insane and eventually found his way to Corbenic. Pelles took him to the Palace of Adventures, where the Grail was kept, and cured him. At the culmination of the Grail Quest, Pelles received Galahad, Perceval, and Bors in his castle, presented them with the Grail, and led Galahad to heal the Maimed King.
   Malory confuses matters by attaching to Pelles a story given in the Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal to Pellehan: As a youth, Pelles came across a ship that had been built by King Solomon of Israel. Aboard the ship, he tried to draw the Sword with the Strange Hangings, which was meant only for Galahad, and he received a holy wound through his thighs, rendering him infirm. Thus, in Malory, Pelles also may be identified with the Maimed King.
   Neither the Vulgate stories nor Malory describe Pelles’s death. In Perlesvaus, he is slain by Aristor of Amorave, an evil knight who is later killed by Perceval. [Perlesvaus, LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgQuest, PostMer, PostQuest, Malory]

Pellinore [Pellanor, Pelleore, Pellinor(o)]

A king of Listenois, Wales, or “the Isles” first mentioned in the Vulgate Merlin and the Livre d’Artus as the Maimed King, who was wounded by a holy lance after he doubted the wonders of the Grail, and who would only be healed at the conclusion of the Grail Quest. He was the son of Pellehan and the brother of Pelles (the Fisher King), although all three kings were probably originally the same character. R. S. Loomis thought that the origin of his name was “Beli Mawr” (Beli the Great), a character in Welsh mythology.
   The Vulgate Merlin says that Pellinore had twelve sons and a second brother named Alain. The Post-Vulgate romances expand and change his role. Pellinore’s father, Pellehan, becomes the Maimed King, and Pellinore is given a number of adventures at Arthur’s court. He is also named in the Post-Vulgate as the father of Perceval, Lamorat (who is his brother in Palamedes), Drian, Aglovale, and Tor—five noted Knights of the Round Table. In Palamedes, he has a sister called the Lady of the Island of Fairies. Malory says that he married the Queen of Flanders. Malory reproduces his adventures from the Post-Vulgate, but removes his association with the Grail family.
   The Livre d’Artus, in an apparent attempt to reconcile conflicting traditions, actually includes two characters named Pellinore. The are cousins. The first is the father of Perceval and 16 other sons. He was wounded in the manner described above and can only find sport in fishing. He is thus both the Maimed King and the Fisher King. Fourteen of his sons were killed when King Agrippe invaded the Waste Land, causing Pellinore to retire to the Castle of Marvels and to await his healing. The second Pellinore is the king of Listenois (the Waste Land) and Corbenic (the Grail Castle). He has twelve sons. Like his cousin, he has been wounded, by the Bleeding Lance, and must await healing from Galahad. The two Pellinores are destined to be healed on the same day. No source beyond the Livre d’Artus includes this duplication.
   According to the Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation, Pellinore pursued the horrid and elusive Questing Beast, giving him the nickname “Knight with the Strange Beast.” In his first appearance, Arthur challenges him for the right to pursue the Questing Beast (and for the injury of the young Sir Girflet). Pellinore wins the combat, but Merlin stops him from slaying Arthur. He later enters Arthur’s service. At the battle of Tarabel, he kills King Lot of Lothian, sparking a feud between his sons and the sons of Lot (Gawain, Aggravain, Gaheris, and Mordred). Arthur promoted Pellinore to the Round Table. In another adventure, Pellinore, intent on rescuing one maiden from Sir Hontzlake of Wentland, declined to help another, who later turned out to be Alyne, his own daughter by the Lady of the Rule. She killed herself when she realized that Pellinore would not help her avenge her slain lover. According to the French Palamedes, Pellinore conquered Wales and helped Arthur quash a Saxon invasion.
   In the traditional legend, Pellinore is slain by Gawain and his brothers in revenge for Lot’s death. In the Italian Chantari di Lancelotto, however, he is alive at the end of Arthur’s reign, and he helps Lancelot defend Joyous Guard against Arthur. [VulgMer, Livre, ProsTris, Palamedes, PostMer, PostQuest, Palamedes, Chantari, Malory]


Brother of Playne de Amours, Playne de Fors, Plenorius, Pillounes, and Pellandris, all of whom guarded the fortress of Sorelois. By defeating all six brothers, Brunor the Black and Lancelot liberated the fortress and its prisoners. Afterwards, Pellogris became a knight Arthur’s court. [Malory]


An ancient knight who lodged Tristan when Tristan was on his way to the Castle of Maidens tournament. Pellownus had a son named Persides. [Malory]


A castle in northeast England. A party of knights was taking Palamedes to Pelownes to be executed when Lancelot rescued him. [Malory]


A locality in England where the boar Twrch Trwyth made his second stand against Arthur’s warriors. Madawg, Gwynn son of Tringad, and Eiryawn Penlloran were all killed. The boar then fled to Aber Tywi. [Culhwch]


A city on the coast of Wales, in Dyfed. Gawain’s grave was fabled to have been found in Pembroke. [WilliamM]

Pen Palach (“Cudgel-Head”)

A monster slain by Arthur in the halls of Dissethach. [WelshPG]

Pen Rhionydd [Penrhyn Rhionydd]

Arthur’s northern capital, according to Welsh legend. It may have been in Scotland. Its name suggests that it is a cape, or the tip of a peninsula. [Triads]


The daughter of Culfanawyd. She married Owain, but was unfaithful. Because of her infidelity, Owain abandoned her before she could bear him children. [Triads]

Pendragon1 [Pandragon, Pendragoun]

The surname of Kings Arthur and Uther, meaning “head dragon” or “dragon’s head.” As first told by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Uther adopted the symbol of the dragon because of the comet with the dragon’s head that Merlin had seen in Wales, heralding the death of King Ambrosius Aurelius, Uther’s brother. In Welsh legend, it is also the surname of one “Gwen Pendragon,” who once kept Arthur prisoner.
   In the Prose and Vulgate Merlins, the name Pendragon is given to the character elsewhere called Ambrosius Aurelianus: the son of Constantine and Ivoire, the uncle of Arthur, and the king of Britain between Vortigern and Uther, Pendragon’s brother. Pendragon allied with Merlin, defeated Vortigern and Hengist, died fighting the Saxons, and was buried at Stonehenge. Uther is said to have adopted his brother’s name as a surname in memory of the slain king. [GeoffHR, Triads, ProsMer1, VulgMer]

Pendragon2 Castle

A castle ruled by Sir Brian of the Isles in which Sir Brunor the Black was taken prisoner. Lancelot rescued Brunor, kicked Brian out of the castle, gave the castle to Brunor, and gave the land surrounding it to Sir Neroneus of the Isle. [Malory]


A rich island castle in King Guivret’s Ireland, according to Hartmann von Aue. It corresponds with Pointurie, found in Chrétien de Troyes. Erec enjoyed a hospitable stay in Penefrec, which was characterized by abundant surrounding lakes, a well-stocked game preserve, and the best hunting dogs. Guivret’s sisters, Filledamor and Guenteflur, were able to enjoy an idyllic existence there. [HartmannE]


The nickname or last name of Yvain in Ulrich’s Lanzelet. The word appears only in Ulrich, and the origins and meaning of it are unknown. [UlrichZ]


A port in Brittany. When Tristan was mortally wounded, he waited for the ship carrying Isolde to arrive at Penmarc. [ProsTris]


A warrior in Arthur’s service who was the son of Nethawg. Penn was loyal to the warrior Gwythyr, and he joined Gwythyr’s army against Gwynn son of Nudd. He was taken prisoner by Gwynn and was not released until Arthur intervened. [Culhwch]

Penn2 Llarcan

Father of Arthur’s warrior Eiladar. [Culhwch]


One of Arthur’s courts in Perlesvaus, on the Welsh coast. It was targeted by Brien of the Isles in his war against Arthur, but Arthur won the battle. E. K. Chambers (165) identifies it with Penzance in Cornwall. [Perlesvaus]

Penning [Peningue]

The location of a tournament during Arthur’s reign, hosted by Duke Galehodin, the castle’s ruler. Lancelot won the tournament. [VulgLanc]


One of the several kings conquered by Galehaut. [VulgLanc]


A gatekeeper at King Arthur’s court who, according to Welsh legend, “travels on his head to save his feet.” He served the warrior Glewlwyd Strong Grip and was killed by the boar Twrch Trwyth during the epic hunt. [Culhwch, Geraint]


A city in Cumbria, just southeast of Carlisle. In The Bridal of Triermain, Sir Walter Scott names it as one of Arthur’s courts. [Scott]

Pensive Knight [*Pensif Chevalier]

A knight met by Gawain in the Second Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval. He lived in a forest near the Black Chapel. The knight was “pensive” over his lady, who had been abducted by Sir Brun of the Heath. Gawain rescued the woman from Brun and returned her to the Pensive Knight. [Contin2]


A duke of Manaheim who was one of four brothers saved by Erec from a pack of robbers. Perant’s brothers were named Joachim, Malcheus, and Juben. [Erex]


Known as the “Black Knight of the Black Lands.” Perard was the brother of Pertylope, Perymones, and Persaunt. He was the third knight to stand in the way of Sir Gareth on his way to defeat Sir Ironside, the Red Knight of the Red Lands. After a two-hour joust and duel, Gareth killed Sir Perard and continued his adventure. [Malory]

Perceval1 [Parcefal, Parceval, Parcifal, Parcival, Parsifal, Partzefal, Parzival, Percevalle, Percevas, Percevelle, Perchevael, Perciuales, Percival, Percyvell, Perlesvaus, Persevall, Prenzival, Pressivalle, Prezzivale]

The original Grail Hero, who cured the Fisher King and succeeded him as Grail King. He first appears in Chrétien de Troyes’s unfinished Perceval (c. 1190). Chrétien may have invented his name, although he has a counterpart and possible origin in Welsh texts called Peredur. Another progenitor in Welsh may be Pryderi.
   Perceval, which introduced the Grail to the Arthurian saga, inspired four continuations, two prologues (Bliocadran and the Elucidation), and three adaptations (Perlesvaus, Wolfram’s Parzival, and Robert de Boron’s Perceval, the last of which has been lost but is represented in prose by the Didot-Perceval) within the next half century. All these texts (with the possible exception of the first continuation) retain Perceval as the Grail Hero. His status changed with the Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal: Perceval became a secondary hero to the more pure Galahad. Following the influence of the Vulgate Cycle, only the Middle English Sir Perceval of Galles (which eliminates the Grail theme) featured Perceval as the central hero.
   Perceval’s adventures in the earliest romances, beginning with Chrétien de Troyes, can be summarized as follows: His father (variously called Alain, Bliocadran, Gahmuret, Greloguevaus, Gales, and Perceval) and brothers were slain in various combats, leading his mother (Herzeloyde or Yglais) to raise him in a secluded forest (sometimes called the Waste Forest), ignorant of chivalry and its perils. He learned to hunt and became adept with the spear. One day, he sees a group of knights in shining armor in his forest and believes them to be angels. When he learns that they are knights, and that King Arthur “makes knights,” he resolves to go to Arthur’s court and become a knight himself. His heartbroken mother hastily gives him some advice: to honor and serve ladies, to require only a kiss or a ring for his service, to learn the names of his companions, to travel only with honorable knights, and to pray at churches. As Perceval leaves his mother, he glances behind him and sees her collapsed on the ground, but he continues on his way.
   His first adventure brings him to a tent occupied by a married lady (called Jeschute in Wolfram). Bungling his mother’s advice, he eats the woman’s food, kisses her, steals one of her rings, and leaves. When her husband, Orguelleus, comes home and finds that Perceval has been there, he accuses his wife of adultery. Perceval later has to combat Orguelleuse to exonerate himself and the woman of any wrongdoing.
   Arriving at Arthur’s court, he is struck by the beauty of the vermilion armor worn by the Red Knight, who has offended Arthur and is waiting outside the castle to be challenged by one of Arthur’s knights. Perceval enters Arthur’s court and promptly but innocently makes a fool of himself. A somber maiden (called Cunneware or the Mute Maiden) laughs when she sees him. As it has been prophesied that she would only laugh when she beheld the greatest of knights, Kay becomes jealous and beats her. A dwarf or fool (Antanor) who comes to her defense is kicked into a fire by Kay. Perceval later avenges Kay’s abuse by breaking his arm in a joust.
   Arthur knights the youth at his request, and Perceval immediately asks for the armor worn by the Red Knight. Kay malevolently tells Perceval to go ahead and take it, assuming that the Red Knight will kill him. Perceval leaves the castle and throws one of his spears through the Red Knight’s visor, killing him instantly. A squire named Yvonet happens along and shows Perceval how to remove and wear the red armor.
   Perceval wanders away and comes to the castle of Gornemant of Gohort, a noble lord who lodges Perceval and shows him how to properly use a sword and a lance. Noticing a tendency towards loquacity in Perceval, Gornemant advises him not to talk too much, so as to avoid offending his companions. Perceval departs and comes to the city of Beaurepaire, where the castle’s lady (Blancheflur or Condwiramurs) is besieged by the evil King Clamadeu of the Isles. Perceval defeats Clamadeu and his seneschal, Anguigerron. He falls in love with the lady of Beaurepaire and promises to return to her (in Wolfram, he marries her).
   In the most important scene of the story, Perceval then comes to the castle of the enigmatic Fisher King (who, he later learns, is his uncle), who has a wound that has left him infirm. The Fisher King gives him the Grail Sword. Dining in the castle, Perceval witnesses a procession of squires and maidens bearing, among other things, a Bleeding Lance and the Grail. He is curious about these objects, but, mindful of Gornemant’s advice, he refrains from asking about them. He determines to inquire about them the next morning, but when he awakens, the castle is empty. Perceval rides into the forest where he finds a woman (named Sigune in Wolfram) weeping over the body of her dead lover. She turns out to be Perceval’s cousin, and she admonishes him for failing to ask about the lance and the Grail, saying that if he had asked, the Fisher King would have been cured. After some more adventures, he returns to Arthur’s court where he receives the same rebuke from an ugly maiden (named Cundrie in Wolfram). Determined to rectify his mistake, he sets out to find the Fisher King’s castle again. He finds his uncle (Trevrizent in Wolfram, the Hermit King in other stories) in a hermitage, and learns more information about the Grail and the Fisher King.
   At this point, Chrétien de Troyes’s romance turns to the adventures of Gawain and eventually ends without returning to Perceval. Each of Chrétien’s continuators finishes the romance in varying ways. The first continuation, itself incomplete, virtually ignores Perceval in favor of Gawain. The second describes Perceval’s various adventures as he attempts to return to the Grail Castle. Eventually finding it again, Perceval tries to repair the broken Grail Sword, but it retains a hairline fracture, symbolizing Perceval’s failure to achieve perfection. The second continuation, too, ends without a conclusion. In the third, Perceval finally heals the Fisher King and is crowned Grail King. He rules for seven years, retires to a hermitage, and is succeeded by the King of Valoune, who has married the Fisher King’s daughter. The fourth continuation recounts a similar success as Perceval returns to the Grail Castle and completely mends the Grail Sword.
   Wolfram’s Parzival follows a similar route. After Perceval’s battle with his half-brother, Feirefiz, Cundrie appears and leads him back to the Grail Castle. Perceval asks the Grail Question and heals the Fisher King. He becomes Grail King and rules with his wife, Condwiramurs. Other than the Grail Castle, his kingdoms include Anjou and Wales. Perceval and his wife have two sons named Loherangrin and Kardeiz.
   Shortly after Chrétien’s Perceval, Robert de Boron wrote his cycle of romances, which transformed the Grail into the Holy Grail but still showed intention of retaining Perceval as the Grail Hero. Robert may have written a verse Perceval which was adapted by the author of the prose Didot-Perceval, in which Perceval himself causes the Fisher King’s wound by arrogantly sitting in the Round Table’s Perilous Seat. He eventually heals the Fisher King by asking the Grail Question and remains in the Fisher King’s court. Robert exerted a less direct influence on the author of Perlesvaus, which recounts a multitude of Perceval’s adventures as he destroys paganism and advances Christianity in Britain. His adventures include the rescue of his family castle, Kamaalot (inhabited by his mother Yglais and his sister Dandrane), from the Lord of the Fens and Cahot the Red; the rescue of the Grail Castle from the King of the Castle Mortal; the obtaining of the Circle of Gold; and the battles against the fearsome Knight of the Burning Dragon and the evil Black Hermit. In the culmination of his adventures, Perceval assumes the kingship of the otherworldly Island of Plenty and retires from the world.
   With the Vulgate Cycle, however, Perceval becomes a hero secondary to the noble Galahad, and never again in Medieval literature does he regain his former status. Briefly summarized, the Vulgate romances give Perceval as the son of Pellehan or Pellinore and the youngest brother of Aglovale, Drian, Lamorat, and Tor. Again raised by his mother in seclusion, he eventually leaves with his brother Aglovale and becomes his squire. Knighted at Arthur’s court, he is seated at the Table of Less-Valued Knights until the Mute Maiden takes him by the hand, speaks for the first time, and leads him to his proper seat at the Round Table. He embarks on the Grail Quest when it is announced, and he is allowed to succeed with Galahad and Bors after he resists temptation from various fiends and remains a virgin. With the other Grail Knights, he attends a mass at Corbenic and then journeys to Sarras, where he perishes after a year. In these romances, Perceval is simply a less significant version of Galahad, not very necessary to the plot, but probably retained because of his prior status as the original Grail hero. [ChretienP, Contin1, Contin2, Bliocadran, Wolfram, Perlesvaus, VulgLanc, VulgQuest, Contin3, Contin4, ProsTris, PostMer, PostQuest, SirPerc, Malory, Perchevael, TennIk]


A knight who served King Pellinore. Pellinore named his son Perceval after him. [Palamedes]


Father of Perceval in the Middle English Sir Perceval of Galles. He married Acheflour, Arthur’s sister. He was killed in battle by the Red Knight, prompting Acheflour to raise Perceval ignorant of knighthood and its dangers. He replaces Alain, Pellinore, and other characters in earlier Perceval stories. [SirPerc]


A character in both Arthurian and non-Arthurian Welsh legend. He is the Welsh counterpart, and perhaps the origin, of Perceval. Peredur himself may have origins in the Welsh hero Pryderi, though multiple references probably point to a historical figure of that name. His father was called Elidur or Efrawg and he had a brother named Gwrgi. In Welsh, he is often given the surname “Long Spear,” and his name phonetically (peri dûr) could be taken to mean “hard spear.” Another theory holds that Peredur mab Efrawg is a corruption of Praetor ab Eburaco, a Roman title signifying “an official from York.”
   Peredur appears in the Annales Cambriae, which says that he and Gwrgi defeated Gwenddolau at the battle of Arfderydd in 573. Peredur and his brother were slain in 580 against Eda Great-Knee at the battle of Caer Greu, apparently after their own warriors deserted them. He left a son named Gwgon Gwron. As Arthur’s death in the Annales occurs in 539, it seems that Peredur was originally a post-Arthurian hero (and possible a historical figure) later drawn, like Urien and Owain, into the Arthurian saga. A Peredur also appears in Y Gododdin as one of the British warriors slain by the Angles at the battle of Catraeth (c. 600), though this may be a late interpolation.
   Peredur appears briefly in the Welsh Triads and in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae. In Geoffrey’s Vita Merlini, he becomes the king of North Wales after Arthur’s death and, as in the Annales, goes to war with King Gwenddoleu of Scotland.
   His romance, called Peredur, dates from the thirteenth century. It parallels the adventures of Perceval in Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval, and it is unclear how much of his story was adapted directly from Chrétien and how much is part of an earlier Celtic or French tradition. The youngest of seven boys who, with their father, were all killed in war and combat, Peredur was raised by his mother ignorant of chivalry and its perils. One day, he saw some knights near his home and decided to accompany them to Arthur’s court, causing his mother to die of grief. Arriving at Arthur’s hall, he was proclaimed the “flower of knights” by two dwarves, who Cei beat for their insolence to the rest of Arthur’s knights. Peredur later avenged Cei’s abuse by breaking Cei’s arm. In his first combat, he defeated a knight who had offended Gwenhwyfar, Arthur’s queen.
   Peredur visited the home of his uncle (analogous to the Fisher King in Chrétien), where he saw the head of another uncle floating in a dish. His various adventures led him to slay robbers, reclaim kingdoms, and win tournaments. He had a brief affair with Angharad Golden Hand, conquered the heathens of the Circular Valley, slew the Black Serpent of the Barrow, and killed the Black Oppressor. He won the favor of the Empress of Constantinople, with whom he shared a throne for fourteen years. He then returned to his adventures, and was prompted by his cousin—in disguise—to slay the Hags of Gloucester, who had murdered the uncle whose head was in the dish. This revenge them parallels Perceval’s slaying of Partinal in the third continuation of Perceval in order to avenge the death of Goon Desert. [Gododdin, Annales, GeoffHR, GeoffVM, Triads, Peredur, Geraint]


In Geoffrey of Monmouth’s chronicle, a son of King Morvid of Britain. He joined his brother Iugenius in a revolt against their elder brother, King Elidur. Elidur was thrown in prison. Peredur and Iugenius divided the island, and Peredur became king of all Britain when Iugenius died. Upon Peredur’s death, Elidur was again given the throne. Peredur’s son, Runno, eventually became king. These events occurred in the third or second century BC. [GeoffHR]


Daughter of King Pelles of Corbenic and mother of Galahad in La Tavola Ritonda. She is known as Amite or Elaine in French romance. [Tavola]

Perfida (“Wicked”)

An island in Britain that held Crudele Castle, where Tristan was imprisoned for a time. [Tavola]


A castle ruled by Duke Retan, an ally of Arthur’s Sir Garel. [PleierG]

Peries of Organia

A king present at Uther Pendragon’s Urbano tournament, where he was defeated by King Ban of Benoic. [Tavola]


An area in France ruled by Lancelot. Lancelot made Sir Galyhud the earl of Périgord in return for Galyhud’s support in the battles against King Arthur. [Malory]

Perilous Bed [Bed of Marvels]

An enchanted bed encountered by Gawain in Chrétien’s Lancelot, Chrétien’s Perceval, Wolfram’s Parzival, Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, and the Vulgate Lancelot. The heart of the adventure was that any knight who lay on the bed would swiftly find himself assaulted by arrows or flaming lances, and that only by covering himself adequately with armor would he survive. Generally, the missile assault is then followed with an attack by lions, leopards, dragons, or other fiends.
   Chrétien places the bed in Canguin Rock in Galloway; Wolfram’s Perilous Bed is in the Castle of Marvels in the Terre Marveile; Heinrich names the castle as Salie; and the Vulgate version places it in the Grail Castle. The first three stories also include the additional peril of a fierce lion, which Gawain slays, and his success lifts the enchantments from the castle. The Vulgate version says that Sir Bors also braved the bed, and was wounded by a fiery lance that came out of nowhere. Wolfram tells us that the bed was enchanted by the sorcerer Clinschor. R. S. Loomis (Tradition, 42) thought that the Perilous Bed was originally associated with the Turning Castle motif, and that it originated ultimately in Irish legend. [ChretienP, Wolfram, VulgLanc, Heinrich]

Perilous Bridge1

Another name for the Sword Bridge leading to the land of Gorre. Lancelot crossed it in his quest to rescue Guinevere. [VulgLanc]

Perilous Bridge2 [*Pont Perileus]

A half-finished bridge on the way to the Castle Orguelleus. Perceval had to cross it. When he reached the end, it detached itself from one side of the chasm, turned 180 degrees, and allowed Perceval to keep riding to the other side. This was only to happen when the best of knights rode upon it. [Contin2, Elucid]

Perilous Castle1

A manor where Sir Meliot of Logres lay sick until he was cured by Lancelot. [Perlesvaus]

Perlious Castle2

A castle Arthur had to conquer in order to free the Kingdom of Damsels from the grip of a tyrant. [ChevPap]

Perlious Castle3 [*Chastel Paorous]

A castle ruled by Lord Menelais. It was said that no one passed the castle without seeing or hearing something that would terrify him. [Meriadeuc]

Perilous Castle4

A castle whose enchantments were destroyed by Arthur’s knights Claris and Laris. Its ruler was Orgueillox the Proud. [Claris]

Perilous Cemetery1

A haunted graveyard in Perlesvaus. Its chapel, the Perilous Chapel, held the shroud that covered Christ, which Perceval needed to defeat the Lord of the Fens. Perceval’s sister, Dandrane, braved the horrors of the cemetery to retrieve a piece of the shroud. Lancelot had to perform similarly on a quest to heal Meliot of Logres. A variation of Dandrane’s adventure is given to Lore of Cardigan at the Waste Chapel in Meriadeuc. [Perlesvaus]

Perilous Cemetery2 [*Atre Périlleux]

A cemetery visited by Gawain during his quest to rescue Arthur’s female cupbearer from Sir Escanor. Gawain spent the night there and learned of a maiden trapped in a tomb by a fiend. He beheaded the devil and freed the damsel. [Atre]

Perilous Chapel1

The chapel in the Perilous Cemetery, found in Perlesvaus and Malory’s Le Morte Darthur. In the former, Perceval had to brave the horrors of the haunted cemetery and chapel to retrieve the shroud which had covered Jesus Christ. Perceval’s sister, Dandrane, also had to journey to the Perilous Chapel to retrieve a piece of the shroud. Finally, Lancelot was required to face the Perilous Chapel to obtain a sword and cloth in order to heal Meliot of Logres.
   It is the latter knight’s adventure that Malory embellishes. In Le Morte Darthur, the Perilous Chapel is guarded by 30 knights twice the size of any man, and is ruled by Hellawes the Sorceress, lady of the Castle Nygramous. When Sir Meliot de Logres killed Sir Gylbert the Bastard, Gylbert’s lover, a witch, cast a spell on Sir Meliot so that his wounds would never be healed unless some knight braved the Perilous Chapel and retrieved a bloody sword within. Lancelot came upon the sickly Meliot and promised to help him. He traveled to the chapel, held his shield before him, and pushed through the ranks of knights into the chapel without incident. Inside, he found the sword on an altar. On his way out, the 30 knights, in unison, told him to replace the sword or perish, and Lancelot bravely chose to risk it and press forward. Again, the knights did not attack. It turned out that the entire Chapel was an elaborate charade created by Hellawes the Sorceress, and Lancelot was the first person to call her bluff. Hellawes appeared before Lancelot and asked him for a kiss in exchange for the sword, but Lancelot refused her. Hellawes then told him that if he had kissed her, he would have fallen down dead. She professed her love for Lancelot, and said that she would have rather had him dead than not have him at all. Lancelot hurried away, and Hellawes died within a fortnight from sorrow. [Perlesvaus, Malory]

Perilous Chapel2

A chapel visited by Gawain and Hector during the Grail Quest. Both knights saw visions portending the completion of the quest by Galahad, Perceval, and Bors. The visions signified the unworthiness of both Gawain and Hector. [PostQuest]

Perilous Chest

A chest in the castle Dolorous Guard containing the demons that enchanted the castle. Lancelot, upon conquering the stronghold, found the key to open the chest and release the demons, thus ending the enchantments. [VulgLanc]

Perilous Ford1 [*Gué Perellos]

A treacherous ford in the land of Galloway that no knight dared to cross. Gawain reached it during his travels and tried to jump his horse across it, but his horse jumped badly and dumped him into the river. [ChretienP]

Perilous Ford2

A ford defended by the knight Bleoberis. Gawain’s son Guinglain defeated Bleoberis at the Perilous Ford and sent him to King Arthur. [Renaut]

Perilous Ford3

A ford where Perceval defeated a knight named Urbain. Urbain, to honor his fairy lover, jousted with all knights who passed the ford. [Didot]

Perilous Forest

A name given to several woods in Arthurian romance; it is impossible to differentiate one from the other. Perlesvaus names it as a forest near the Grail Castle; the Post-Vulgate locates it between Logres and Gorre; Malory places it in Wales. The Vulgate Lancelot says that the lord of Bellegarde Castle (or the White Fortress) murdered King Lancelot, Lancelot’s grandfather, by a spring in the Perilous Forest. Lancelot visited his tomb there. Other locations in the Perilous Forest included the Small Charity Abbey, the Spring of the Two Sycamores, and the Forbidden Hill. In the Vulgate Merlin, it is the former name of the Forest of No Return, which was enchanted by Guinebal, Lancelot’s uncle. The Post-Vulgate names it as the forest of Merlin’s imprisonment by the Lady of the Lake. Knights who experienced adventures in the Perilous Forest include Galahad, Lancelot, Lamorat, Tristan, Meleagant, Gaheris, and Perceval. [Perlesvaus, VulgLanc, VulgEst, VulgMer, Malory]

Perilous Lake

A lake in the Forest of Morrois in Cornwall. King Mark of Cornwall sent Sir Kay on an “adventure” to the Perilous Lake. Mark intended to ambush and kill him. Kay, unbeknownst to Mark, joined with Sir Gaheris on the way. Mark and his nephew Andred defeated Kay, but Gaheris defeated them both. Rather than kill King Mark, Gaheris forced him to revoke Tristan’s exile from Cornwall. [ProsTris, Malory]

Perilous Mount

A treacherous mountain that Arthur’s Sir Kahedins vowed to climb until he reached the top. [ChretienP]

Perilous Palace

In the Post-Vulgate, a castle in the forest of Darnantes where Simeon, a sinful follower of Joseph of Arimathea, was forced to burn until Galahad came and freed him of his torment. Elsewhere, the Perilous Palace is named as the castle of Pellehan, the Grail King, which is usually called the Palace of Adventures. [PostMer, PostQuest]

Perilous Pass [*Passage Perilleux]

A location with a castle guarded by Lord Febus and a band of twenty knights. Galehaut the Brown established the adventure. Guiron the Courteous defeated Febus and all the knights, completing the adventure. Guiron made Seguarades lord of the castle of the Perilous Pass. [Palamedes]

Perilous Port [Perilous Rock]

A rock in the middle of the sea, once used as a harbor for a band of pirates. After King Mordrain converted to Christianity, God transported him to the Rock of the Perilous Port to test his faith. Although tempted by a fiend and threatened by storms (which broke the Rock in two), Mordrain resisted his desire to leave the Rock, and thus passed the test. The geography given by the Estoire del Saint Graal suggests an identification with the Rock of Gibraltar, although the latter is not in the middle of the ocean. [VulgQuest, VulgEst, Malory]

Perilous Seat [Seggio Periglioso, *Siege Perilous]

The forbidden seat at the Grail Table and Round Table, meant only for the most pure. It was said to commemorate the seat occupied by Christ at the table of the Last Supper, or the one vacated by Judas at the same table. Robert de Boron was the first writer to mention it. According to the Didot-Perceval, it was the thirteenth seat the Round Table, and Merlin had ordained that only the best knight could sit in it. A newly-knighted Perceval jumped into the seat without thought, and it split under him. The seat had been intended for him, but he had sat in it prematurely. As a result, the Fisher King could not be cured and part of Britain became a Waste Land.
   The Vulgate romances relate that at the Grail Table, Josephus, the son of Joseph of Arimathea, sat in the Perilous Seat. The Round Table’s Perilous Seat was reserved for Galahad. (It was empty for many years until Galahad came to court at the beginning of the Grail Quest.) Any other man who sat in the Perilous Seat was swiftly incinerated, swallowed by the earth, or carried off in flames. This horrid fate befell Moses at the Grail Table, and Brumand and Riger at the Round Table. The seats next to the Perilous Seat were likewise reserved for the best of knights: at the Round Table, they were filled by Perceval and Bors.
   Analogs to the Perilous Seat appear in other romances. In Durmart le Gallois, Durmart sits in one upon is arrival at Arthur’s court. In Wirnt von Grafenberg’s Wigalois, Wigalois sits on a rock when he arrives at Arthur’s court, which astonishes the other knights because it was said that only a pure knight could even approach it. [RobertBorJ, Didot, Wirnt, Durmart, VulgLanc, VulgQuest, VulgEst, PostMer, PostQuest, Palamedes, Malory]

Perilous Vale

The residence of Morgan le Fay in Chrétien de Troyes’s Erec. [ChretienE]

Perilous Valley1 [*Val Perilleus]

A land ruled by the Red Knight, an enemy of Arthur. Situated on the Sea of Norway, it was ringed by high mountains and could only be entered via a narrow passage. The Red Knight imprisoned many of Arthur’s knights in the Perilous Valley until they were freed by Gawain and Meriadeuc. [Meriadeuc]

Perilous Valley2

A dangerous vale from which no knight ever returned alive. Lancelot and Tristan entered the valley during the Grail Quest and slew two savage giants at the castle of Sidravalle. [Tavola]

Perinis [Paranis]

Isolde’s chamberlain. He acted as a go-between for Tristan and Isolde when they had to be apart. He killed a malicious forester who planned to betray the lovers, and he summoned King Arthur from Scotland to come to Isolde’s trial. [Beroul, FolieB, Eilhart]

Periron [Peritum]

A location in Arthur’s kingdom that was governed by Baron Hirelglas. [GeoffHR, Wace]

Perlesvaus [Pellesvaus]

A variation of Perceval, used in the thirteenth-century French Perlesvaus. The author relates that the name signifies “he who has lost the vales,” because his father’s land, the vale and castle of Camelot, was invaded and conquered by the Lord of the Fens. This alternate form of Perceval’s name confused some later authors, and both Perceval and “Pellesvaus” consequently appear in the romance of Escanor. [Perlesvaus, Girart]

Pernehan [Perna, Pernam, Perlo]

The younger brother of King Mark of Cornwall in the Prose Tristan. He was the smallest and ugliest son of King Felix. He condemned Mark for cowardice in surrendering a tribute to Ireland. In revenge for the insult, Mark slew Pernehan at the Fountain of the Lion while the two were hunting in the desert of Liantes. There is a similar character in Malory named Bodwyne. [ProsTris, TristanoR, Tavola, Povest]

Persaunt of Inde

A knight known as the “Blue Knight.” He was the brother of Sir Perard, Sir Pertylope, and Sir Perymones. Gareth, on his quest to defeat the Red Knight of the Red Lands, encountered Persaunt at a tournament. Gareth had previously defeated Sir Persaunt’s three brothers, and he soon overcame Persaunt himself. Following the battle, Persaunt lodged Gareth. He offered his maiden daughter to Gareth for the night, but Gareth balked at the thought of defiling a virgin. At the next Pentecost feast, Persaunt went to Camelot and gave himself to King Arthur’s service. Arthur eventually appointed him to the Round Table. [Malory]


Paramour of Sir Hector of the Fens. She was the daughter of the Lord of the Narrow Borderland. Her father promised her to Lord Zelotés, but Perse resisted the match because of her love for Hector. Zelotés abducted her. Hector rescued her, killing Zelotés in the process. [VulgLanc]


A Knight of the Round Table in Hartmann’s Erec. The name is likely a variation of Perceval, but Perceval appears in Hartmann as a separate character. [HartmannE]

Persia [Perse]

An ancient empire in southwest Asia, including the area from the Indus River to the west borders of Asia Minor and Egypt. In the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal, Persia is ruled by King Label in Joseph of Arimathea’s time. Wolfram says that magic was invented in the city of Persida in Persia, and that Perceval’s father Gahmuret had adventures in the region. De Ortu Waluuanii describes a war between Persia and the Roman empire over the city of Jerusalem, in which a young Gawain, in the service of the Roman Emperor, defeated a Persian champion named Gormundus and settled the dispute. The daughter of the King of Persia appears at a “sparrowhawk” tournament in Wirnt von Grafenberg’s Wigalois. In the Alliterative Morte Arthure and Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, the area seems to be under the command of the Roman Emperor, Lucius; Persian warriors joined Lucius’s campaign against Arthur. [Wolfram, Wirnt, VulgEst, DeOrtu, Allit, Malory]


A fabled Persian city in which magic was first invented, according to Wolfram. The sorcerer Clinschor healed himself here after his castration and was introduced to the magical arts. [Wolfram]

Persides the Blonde1

A knight who was cuckolded by Tristan. [ProsTris]

Persides the Red2

The lord of the castle Gazewilté. He married the wondrously beautiful Helen the Peerless against the wishes of his family and hers. His uncle chastised him and told him he had abandoned his knighthood because of Helen and had humiliated himself. Helen said that she, too, had given up the admiration of others for the sake of Persides—and that her shame was greater because she was more beautiful than Persides was valiant. Persides, angry, locked Helen in a tower and told her she would stay there until a more beautiful lady or a more valiant knight showed up, settling the matter. In time, Arthur’s knight Hector came along and defeated Persides, ending the dispute. [LancLac, VulgLanc]


A Knight of the Round Table from Calaz, present at Corbenic when Galahad completed the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]

Pertylope [Pertilope]

The knight known as the Green Knight in Malory. He was the brother of Perard, Perymones, and Persaunt. Gareth defeated him as part of a quest to conquer Sir Ironside, the Red Knight of the Red Lands. Pertylope pledged himself to the service of Gareth and Arthur, and Arthur made him a Knight of the Round Table. He was killed fighting Lancelot and his men when Lancelot rescued Guinevere from the stake. His name is similar to Bertilak, the name of the Green Knight in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. [Malory]


The resting place of Arthur’s warrior Gwalchmei. [WelshSG]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Twrch. [Culhwch]


Known as the Red Knight, the brother of Perard, Pertylope, and Persaunt. He was the fifth knight defeated by Gareth on a quest to conquer Sir Ironside, the Red Knight of the Red Lands. Perymones pledged himself to the service of Gareth and Arthur, and Arthur made him a Knight of the Round Table. He was killed fighting Lancelot and his men when Lancelot rescued Guinevere from the stake. [Malory]

Peryn1 of Montbeliard

A knight who joined company with Sir Balin the Savage but was soon slain by the invisible Sir Garlon. Balin had him interred, and a message appeared on his tomb predicting the death of King Pellinore at the hand of Gawain. [Malory]

Peryn2 of the Mountain

A knight defeated by Sir Alexander the Orphan at the castle Fair Guard. [Malory]


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

Perys of the Forest Savage

A knight with a reputation for murdering maidens. Lancelot learned of his deeds from a lady and killed him. Found in Malory, he is based on an unnamed villain in the Vulgate Lancelot. [Malory]

Persives of Langaulos

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

Peter1 [Peron, Petr(e)us]

A follower of Joseph of Arimathea, mentioned by Robert de Boron and the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal. Robert tells us that he was assigned the task of traveling to the Vale of Avaron (Avalon?) in Britain and to await the coming of the third Grail Keeper (unnamed, but probably Perceval).
   In the Estoire , Peter is an ancestor of Lot and Gawain. His cousin, Simeon, tried to murder him, but succeeded only in giving him a poisoned wound. As it festered and caused great pain, Peter was sent out to sea to find his fate. He washed up at Orkney, where King Orcant’s daughter found a Christian doctor to heal him. In gratitude, Peter championed King Orcant against King Marahant of Ireland. Peter slew Marahant, winning the respect and friendship of Orcant and King Lucius of Britain, both of whom subsequently converted to Christianity. He married Camille, Orcant’s daughter, and inherited the kingdom of Orkney, which he passed on to his son, Herland. [RobertBorJ, VulgEst]

Peter2 of the Rocks

Bishop of Winchester in the early thirteenth century. According to the Chronicon de Lanercost, he dined with Arthur in 1216. Before disappearing, Arthur gave Bishop Peter the power to produce a butterfly in his hand at will, so that he could prove having met the legendary king. Peter subsequently became known as the “Bishop of the Butterfly.” [ChroniconL]

Petersand [Petersaint]

One of many Italian cities to surrender and send tribute to King Arthur after he had captured the city of Rome. [Allit, Malory]

Petipace of Winchelsea [Petipas, Pettypas]

A knight defeated by Sir Tor during his quest to retrieve a white brachet stolen from Arthur’s court. Tor sent him to Arthur, who eventually appointed him to the Round Table. He later joined Mordred and Agravain in their plot to trap Lancelot and Guinevere in flagrante. He was slain by Lancelot outside Guinevere’s chambers. [SyreGaw, Malory]

Petitcreiu [Pencru, Peticrewe, Peticru, Petit Creü, Petitcriur, Petitto Araviuto]

A little lap dog, given to Duke Gilan of Wales by a goddess from Avalon. It was the offspring of a brachet and a leopard. Tristan saw the dog when he was staying with Gilan, and thought that it would cheer up Isolde during their separation. Tristan performed a service for Gilan by slaying the troublesome giant Urgan, and asked for Petitcreiu as a gift. Gilan assented, and Tristan sent it on to Isolde. The dog had a little bell around its neck. The ringing of the bell caused happiness in all who were near. When Isolde realized its magical properties, she ripped it off the dog, so that she would not be happy when her lover was sad. In the Middle-English Sir Tristrem, Petitcreiu’s original owner is named Triamour. [FolieO, Gottfried, PleierG, SirTris]

Petreius Cotta [Peredur, Peter, Petrinus, Petrion]

A Roman senator who became a general in the war between Arthur and Lucius Hiberius. He was present at the first battle, which began after Gawain cut off a Roman warrior’s head during peace negotiations. Gawain and his companions—fearful at how Arthur might react to their actions—concentrated on capturing Petreius Cotta to soothe Arthur’s anger when they returned to him; Boso managed to accomplish this arrest. Without their leader, the Roman brigade fell apart. Arthur was indeed pleased with his prisoner, he and threw him into a Paris jail. An attempt by the Romans to rescue him failed. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, VulgMer, Allit]

Petronius [Petrone]

A scribe who served Merlin. According to Medieval tradition, he founded Oxford University. In the Vulgate Lancelot, he helps Galehaut interpret a disturbing dream. [VulgLanc, Prophecies]


A mountain near Paulas, Morgan le Fay’s castle, where Tristan killed Huneson the Bald, Morgan’s lover. [Tavola]


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


A great black dragon who lived in Korntin and plagued its people. The spirit of the slain King Lar of Korntin enlisted Gawain’s son, Wigalois, to slay Pfetan, and he gave him a special lance to accomplish this deed. Lar also presented Wigalois with a sweet blossom, for the dragon’s breath was so foul that it could kill a man. On his way to fight the dragon, Wigalois came across Countess Beleare of Joraphas, whose husband, Count Moral, had been carried off by the creature. Arriving at the dragon’s lair, Wigalois immediately lanced it through the heart, killing it, but he suffered a terrible injury in the process and fell down half-dead by a lake. Countess Beleare, joyfully reunited with her husband, found him there and brought him back to her castle for healing. [Wirnt]


A water fairy who inhabited a the Lake of Idleness. Knights who wanted passage across the lake boarded Phaedria’s ferry, but they were seduced and taken to her magical island. Sir Guyon refused to succumb to her temptations and escaped her. [Spenser]


Guardian of the Fountain of Marvels on the Island of the Fountain. He was killed by Tristan. Pharant’s wife took Pharant’s body to Arthur’s court, demanding vengeance. Arthur personally challenged Tristan to combat, unaware of Tristan’s identity, and was defeated. [ProsTris]

Pharaoh [Pharaen]

A vassal of King Rions slain by Gawain at the second battle of Carhaix. [VulgMer]

Pharien [Farien, Phariaunce]

A knight from Trebe in the service of kings Ban (Lancelot’s father) and Bors. He accompanied his lieges to Britain to assist in Arthur’s wars against the rebellious kings and the Saxons. He fought in the battle of Bedegraine. King Bors banished Pharien after Pharien killed another knight to avenge his uncle’s death. Pharien took service with King Claudas, the enemy of Ban and Bors, but still retained his loyalty to Bors and his family.
   After Ban and Bors died during Claudas’s invasion of their lands, Pharien guided Bors’s widow to a monastery and then looked after her children, Bors and Lionel, whom he hid from Claudas. Claudas had an affair with Pharien’s wife and found out about the princes from her. Claudas agreed to take care of them and made Pharien heir to their lands until they were grown. In time, however, the people of Gannes (Bors’s former land) revolted and Pharien found himself in the uneasy situation of protecting King Claudas against his former allies and friends. This led to a temporary rift between Pharien and his nephew, Lambegue. Pharien lived long enough to see Bors and Lionel placed in the care of the Lady of the Lake. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, Arthour, Malory]


A squire whose “best friend” falsely accused Phedon’s fiancée of falsehood. Phedon’s “friend” arranged for Phedon to find his fiancées maid, disguised as Phedon’s fiancée, in the embraces of another man. Thus deceived, Phedon killed his fiancée. When he learned the truth, Phedon killed his friend and went chasing after the evil maid. He was attacked in the forest by a madman named Furor, but was saved by Sir Guyon. [Spenser]

Phelot of Langueduk

A knight who served the King of North Wales. He designed a malicious plot to murder Lancelot. Lancelot came upon Phelot’s wife, shrieking that she had lost her hawk in a tree and that her husband would kill her if he found out. She coaxed Lancelot into removing his armor and climbing the tree to retrieve the hawk. While Lancelot was climbing, Phelot rode out of a brush and bellowed, “Oh, knight Lancelot, now I have found thee as I wished!” Refusing to allow Lancelot to don his armor or pick up his sword, Phelot challenged him to combat. Lancelot disarmed Phelot with a branch, took his sword, and killed him. [Malory]


Sister of Arthur’s Sir Meliador. She married Agamanor of Normandy. [Froissart]


An air spirit in Dryden’s King Arthur. Philidel became a fugitive from hell when she refused to obey the evil commands of Osmond, a Saxon sorcerer. Merlin brought her into his service, and she saved Arthur from the malevolent schemes of Osmond and Grimbald, an enemy earth spirit. [Dryden]


King Mark’s mother in the Icelandic Saga af Tristram ok Ísodd. She was married to King Philippus of England, and her daughter, Blenzibly, became Tristan’s mother. [SagaTI]


King of England and father of King Mark in the Icelandic Saga af Tristram ok Ísodd. He was married to Queen Philippía, and his daughter, Blenzibly, became Tristan’s mother. [SagaTI]


One of Christ’s apostles. The Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal tells us that he baptized Joseph of Arimathea and that Peter, one of Joseph’s followers, founded a church in Orkney in honor of Phillip. In an English version of Joseph’s life, Phillip travels with Joseph from Israel to France, and bids him to go to Britain with the Grail. [VulgEst, HereJOA]


Wife of Gales the Bald and mother of Perceval in the Fourth Continuation of Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval. A follower of Joseph of Arimathea, she was a member of the party that brought the Grail to Britain. [Contin4]


A bird of fabled beauty in Egyptian mythology. It was said to live in the desert for five or six centuries, then consume itself in flames only to be reborn out of its own ashes, beginning the cycle again. According to Wolfram von Eschenbach, this was accomplished through the virtue of the Grail. [Wolfram]


An ancient country in west central Asia Minor, ruled in Arthur’s time by King Teucer, an ally of the Roman Procurator Lucius Hiberius. [GeoffHR]


The kingdom ruled by the King with a Hundred Knights in the Italian I Due Tristani. It is the name of a city in Lombardy. [DueTris]


A white war-horse given to Tristan by Duke Bramante after his previous horse, Passe-Bruell, was slain by a giant named Urgan. [Tavola]

Piblesun of Lorneparz

A king once defeated in combat by Perceval. [Wolfram]


An alias taken by Tristan when he visited Mark’s court after his banishment. Tristan was disguised as a madman so he could get close to Isolde. G. D. West (Verse, 133) notes J. M. Telfer’s suggestion of a connection with a fool named Picol at the court of King John. [FolieB]


One of the earliest tribes from mainland Europe to invade the British Isles (3000-1000 B.C.). They settled throughout the islands, but were eventually driven into Ireland, Wales, and Scotland by the invading Celtic tribes, with whom they eventually merged. During Roman times, the term “Pict” was used to describe all of the barbarian tribes living in Scotland who were never conquered by the Roman empire. During the Roman occupation of Britain, the Picts were a frequent headache, leading raids over Hadrian’s wall and into what is now northern England. When the Romans withdrew from Britain in the early fifth century, leaving a depleted British military, the problem intensified. It appears that in the late 420s or so, a British ruler named Vortigern employed Saxon mercenaries to swell the British ranks and hold back the Pictish invasions. Vortigern’s scheme backfired, and the Saxons, perhaps allied with the Picts they were hired to oppose, became the new enemy. In the late fifth century, a new wave of British resistance, begun by Aurelianus Ambrosius and probably continued by Arthur, held back both races. In the meantime, the Scots arrived from Ireland and established their own kingdoms in Picitish lands, and in the sixth century, St. Columba converted the former “barbarians.” After several hundred years of hostilities between the Picts and Scots, the two races joined politically in the ninth century, and the Picts, as such, ceased to exist.
   Turning to the Picitsh role in Arthurian legend: According to Geoffrey of Monmouth (who says that they arrived from Scythia during the reign of Marius in Britain), Arthur subjugated the Picts in the early days of his reign, after the battles at Moray and Lomond. Contradicting previous chronicles, Hector Boece says that the Picts were Arthur’s allies against the Saxons and that Lot was their king. In Richard Blackmore’s Prince Arthur, Mordred is represented as their king. [Bede, GeoffHR, Boece, BlackmoreP]

Pignarés the WIcked

A count who was a companion of Lord Formis on the Turning Isle. King Nentres defeated him when Arthur and his knights fought Formis’s knights. [Livre]

Pignoras [Pin(n)ogras, Pongerrens]

One of the many Saxon kings to invade northern Britain at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. Pignoras had a hand in the siege of Vambieres, and he opposed Nentres in a battle at Broceliande. After several other battles, Gawain killed him on the plains of Roestoc. In another version, he is slain by Eliezer at Garlot. His wine steward, Margon, continued the struggle. [VulgMer, Livre, Arthour]


A knight who fought in the tournament at Noauz. He carried a shield made in Limoges. [ChretienC]


A page in the court of King Mark of Cornwall. Isolde employed him to take a message of love and forgiveness to Tristan, after she erroneously accused him of an act of dishonor. On his way back to Cornwall, bearing Tristan’s acceptance, he stopped in the city of Saint Michelsstein and enjoyed a fair. [Eilhart]


Brother of Playne de Amours, Playne de Fors, Plenorius, Pellogris, and Pellandris, all of whom guarded the fortress of Sorelois. By defeating all six brothers, Brunor the Black and Lancelot liberated the fortress of its prisoners. Afterwards, Sir Pillounes became a knight of Arthur’s court. [Malory]


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


A Knight of the Round Table present at Corbenic when Galahad completed the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]

Pinabel3 [Pinabello]

A knight in who fell in love with a maiden named Tessina. Tessina’s mother, on condition of marriage, made Pinabel kill Uriées, his own brother, who had slain Tessina’s uncle Garionne. Pinabel did so, sparking a war between him and his other brothers. They eventually slew him in the valley of Zetro. Tristan had to save Tessina from the family. [ProsTris, Tavola]


An early Knight of the Round Table defeated by Gawain in a tournament against the Queen’s Knights. [VulgMer]

Pinadrians of Anguefore

A knight in Arthur’s service. [Girart]


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

Pincenar [Pinc(h)enar(s)]

A Saxon king killed at the battle of Roestoc by King Ban of Benoic. [VulgMer, Arthour]


A Knight of the Round Table badly wounded by Gawain in a tournament against the Queen’s Knights. [VulgMer]

Pine Castle

A castle where Tristan was imprisoned for four years by King Mark of Cornwall. Perceval defeated Mark and forced him to release Tristan. [ProsTris]


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


A castle conquered by Galescalain, Arthur’s duke of Clarence. Galescalain defeated four knights, thus liberating the castle of its evil customs. [VulgLanc]


A maiden encountered by Arthur’s Sir Wigamur. She was betrothed to the King of Nordien, and Wigamur, although two nights in her presence, did not take advantage of her. Wigamur later re-united her with her fiancée. [Wigamur]

Pionel [Pyonel]

In Malory, a knight in Arthur’s service who was the cousin of Lamorat. When Lamorat was slain by Gawain and his brothers, Pionel devised a plot to kill Gawain. Guinevere hosted a party, and Pionel poisoned some fruit intended for Gawain. An unlucky knight named Patrise ate the fruit instead of Gawain and died. Sir Mador, Patrise’s cousin, accused Guinevere of murder, but Nimue eventually arrived at court and explained the truth. By this time, Pionel had fled the court. The Vulgate Mort Artu calls the same character Avarlan. [Malory]


A Saxon warrior who, under King Aminaduc, fought Arthur’s forces at the battle of Vambieres. [Livre]


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

Pisa [Pis(e)]

According to the Alliterative Morte Arthure, this Italian city was acquired by Arthur after the Roman War. [Allit]


A Knight of the Round Table who participated in the battles against the Saxons at Vambieres and Clarence. He may be identical to Blaaris. [Livre]

Placides1 [Placidan]

A Saxon warrior slain by Arthur’s Sir Galescalain in a battle at Camelot. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Placides2 the Merry

A knight in the service of King Ban of Benoic and King Bors of Gaul. He helped defend his masters’ lands against King Claudas while they were assisting Arthur in Britain. Later, he was involved in a quest to learn the fate of Merlin. [VulgMer, Arthour, Malory]


In the Norse Erex Saga, an evil Earl who tried to force Enide into marriage. Erec, whom the earl had thought was dead, awoke from unconsciousness while Placidus was trying to force himself on Enide. Erec slew him. He appears in Chrétien’s Erec as Oringle. [Erex]

Plaissant of the Isle

Alias assumed by Florete while she accompanied her husband, Floriant, on a series of European adventures. [Floriant]


A Saxon king slain by Arthur at the battle of Clarence. [Livre]


The steed ridden by Arthur during the battle against the Saxons at Vambieres. [Livre]


Nephew of Lord Raolais of Estremors. He joined his uncle’s war against Arthur and was killed in the fighting by Galescalain. [Livre]


A king of Ireland in the service of King Rions, Arthur’s enemy. He helped Rions invade Carmelide, and he was defeated by Arthur’s forces at Carhaix. [VulgMer]

Plato of Margdeiborg

A duke who was Gawain’s nephew. He was carried away by a dragon but was saved by Erec. In return, Plato tried to give Erec his dukedom, but Erec declined. [Erex]

Playne1 de Amours

A knight who guarded a fortress in the land of Sorelois. He was the brother of Playne de Fors, Plenorius, Pillounes, Pellogris, and Pellandris. Sir Brunor the Black defeated the Playnes on his way to liberate their fortress. [Malory]

Playne2 de Fors

A knight who guarded a fortress in Sorelois. His brothers were Playne de Amours, Plenorius, Pillounes, Pellogris, and Pellandris. He eventually became a Knight of the Round Table. [Malory]

Pleasance [Plesaunce]

One of many Italian cities to surrender to Arthur after he conquered Rome. [Allit, Malory]


The greatest knight of King Philippus of England, Mark’s father. When his lord died, he joined Blenzibly, Philippus’s daughter, in her short revolt against King Mark. He was later slain in joust by Kalegras, Tristan’s father. [SagaTI]


A knight and vassal of King Mark of Cornwall. During one of Tristan’s exiles, he chased some squires through the forest and mistakenly thought one of them was Tristan. He caused a scandal by reporting that Tristan had fled from him. [Eilhart]


Son of Ceron and brother of Playne de Amours, Playne de Fors, Pillounes, Pellogris, and Pellandris. He ruled a fortress in the Straits of Sorelois in which many knights were imprisoned. Lancelot and Brunor the Black liberated the fortress by defeating Plenorius and his brothers. They let Plenorius keep the fortress provided he pledge allegiance to Arthur. Plenorius later became a Knight of the Round Table. When Lancelot and Guinevere were accused of treason, Plenorius pledged his support to Lancelot and helped him rescue Guinevere from the stake. In return for his support, Lancelot made him the earl of Foix. [ProsTris, Malory]

Plessis Wood (“Deceitful Wood”)

A forest where Arthur’s Sir Morholt rescued a queen and her dwarf from being burned (the queen’s husband had been tricked into thinking that she was committing adultery with the dwarf). Later, he encountered an adventure at the Stone of the Stag. [PostMer]


A grim Arthurian knight with a macabre sense of humor. He helped Erec and Gauriel rescue the Count of Asterian’s daughter from a kidnapper. [Konrad]


A river in Britain near which Arthur often camped and held court. It flowed into a lake in Carcobra and into the sea at Barbigœl. [Wolfram]

Plineschanz of Zambron

A count once defeated in combat by Perceval. [Wolfram]


A knight and ferryman on a river near the Castle of Marvels. Plippalinot had worked out an arrangement by which he received the horse of any knight defeated in combat by Lischois Gwelljus, who guarded the river. Plippalinot and his daughter Bene befriended and lodged Gawain when he came to the area and, after some reluctance, filled him in on the adventures to be had at the Castle of Marvels. [Wolfram]


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


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


A town in Cumberland, about fourteen miles south of Carlisle, where Sir Gawain and Sir Galleron dueled over a group of Scottish lands annexed by Arthur. [Awntyrs]


A castle visited by Lancelot in Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet. Like the castle Pleure from Tristan romance, it suggests a “weeping castle.” It was ruled by a beautiful woman, who established a tradition by which each visiting knight was given a chance to joust with a hundred knights in a row. Whoever defeated them all would be awarded the lady and her lands. Lancelot defeated the knights and found himself in an awkward position because he was already married to Lady Iblis. He agreed to remain with the Queen of Pluris for a short time, and she disarmed him and surrounded him at all times with forty knights to prevent his escape. Eventually, she allowed him to enter a tournament on the promise that he would return after striking down the first knight. Fortunately, his opponents turned out to be Gareth, Tristan, and Gawain, his comrades. Learning of his promise, they evaded his blows and fled Pluris. Lancelot, who had not struck a blow, pursued them all the way to Arthur’s court, where he remained. [UlrichZ]

Poch [Roch]

Father of Arthur’s warrior Fercos in Culhwch and Olwen, adopted from the Irish character named Róech. [Culhwch]


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


In Chrétien’s Erec, a castle owned by Guivret, the “Little King,” where Erec was received and healed after receiving an injury. Hartmann von Aue calls the same castle Penefrec. [ChretienE]

Poitiers [Paito]

A city in west central France that was the capital of Poitou. In Arthour and Merlin, we learn that Uther Pendragon acquired it from Harinan, Igerne’s first husband. The Alliterative Morte Arthure names it as part of Arthur’s empire. Malory says that Lancelot owned it, and that he made Bleoberis the duke of Poitiers in return for Bleoberis’s support in the battles against King Arthur. [Arthour, Allit, Malory]


A Gaulish duchy ruled by Duke Guitard. It was conquered by Hoel of Brittany—for Arthur—but Guitard was allowed to keep the land as long as he swore allegiance to Arthur. Wolfram says that Schiolarz was the ruler of Poitou during the reign of Uther in Britain; Der Pleier calls its ruler Prince Teschelarz. Its capital was once Poitiers. [GeoffHR, Wace, Wolfram, PleierT]


According to the Norse Tristrams Saga, Tristan, during one of his banishments from Mark’s court, served the Duke of Poland. [TrisSaga]


Nephew of King Yder of Cornwall. He fought in Arthur’s war against the Saxons and helped repel King Agrippe’s invasion of the Waste Land. [Livre]

Politetes [Polipliters, Polydetes, Polydeuces]

The duke of Bithynia or Mede who was subservient to the Roman Procurator Lucius, and was called upon to join Lucius in the war against Arthur. He led a force of soldiers at the battle of Soissons, where he was killed by Arthur himself. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, VulgMer]

Pollidamas [Domas, Polidamas]

The nephew of King Tradelmant of North Wales. With his uncle, he fought the Saxons at the battles of Arundel and Clarence. [VulgMer, Arthour]


The page of Blenzibly, Tristan’s mother in the Icelandic Saga af Tristram ok Ísodd. [SagaTI]

Pomelegoi [Pomeglai]

The location of a tournament entered and won by Lancelot in the Vulgate Lancelot. During the tournament, Guinevere tested his love by telling to perform dishonorably, and Lancelot demonstrated his faithfulness by acting like a coward. The Lady of Pomelegoi sponsored the tournament with the Lady of Noauz. Chrétien places the tournament at Noauz. [ChretienL, VulgLanc]


A ruler from Babylon and brother of Ipomidon in Wolfram’s Parzival. The brothers’ ancestral city of Niniveh was seized by the Baruc of Baghdad. In response, Pompeius and Ipomidon invaded the Baruc’s country, where they had to contend with Gahmuret, Perceval’s father, who was serving the Baruc. Wolfram says that Pompeius’s maternal uncle was King Nebuchadnezzar. [Wolfram]

Ponmecainne [Pomytayn]

An island owned by Sir Galehaut. Galehaut gave the island to King Marsyl. [ProsTris, Malory]


A castle conquered by Tristan during the Grail Quest. Tristan left a knight named Inamante as viceroy. [Tavola]

Pontefract [Ponfret]

A city in Yorkshire that is named as one of Arthur’s castles in Yder. [Yder]


A Gaulish duchy ruled by King Arthur. [GeoffHR]

Pontier del Monte

A castle given to Isolde by Mark after she passed a chastity test at the Red Stone. [Tavola]

Pontius1 Anthony [Pontius Antonius, Poince]

A Roman senator sent to France, by Julius Caesar, to help King Claudas conquer lands belonging to King Ban of Benoic (Lancelot’s father) and King Bors of Gannes. Duke Frollo of Germany, Pontius’s cousin, was also part of the mission. Arthur and Merlin brought an army to counter the invasion, and defeated Pontius Anthony at the battle of Briosque. He returned to Rome, raised a new army, and invaded Benoic again. Although the attack was successful, Pontius Anthony was slain in battle by King Ban. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer]

Pontius2 Pilate

The biblical Roman procurator of Judea, Samaria, and Idumaea who condemned Jesus Christ to be crucified. According to the Grail legends, Joseph of Arimathea was one of Pilate’s knights, before Joseph’s conversion to Christianity. Pilate gave Christ’s body to Joseph, expecting that Joseph intended to defile it. Joseph, however, placed the body in a holy sepulcher. [RobertBorJ, VulgEst]

Pontremoli [Port Tremble, Pount Tremble]

A city in Lombardy, Italy that surrendered to Arthur after the Roman War. [Allit, Malory]

Poor Knight

An impoverished nobleman who gave lodging and friendship to Gawain and Lancelot. In reward, the two knights sent horses and treasures recovered from thieves to the Poor Knight. His manor was called the Waste Castle. Perceval and the Coward Knight saved the Poor Knight’s two maiden daughters from a Robber Knight. He finally reclaimed his wealth and position after Lancelot braved a Beheading Game in the Waste City. [Perlesvaus]


History records the following popes during the traditional Arthurian period: St. Leo I (440–461), St. Hilary (461–468), St. Simplicius (468–483), St. Felix III (483–492), St. Gelasius I (492–496), Anastasius II (496–498), St. Symmachus (498), Lawrence (an anti-Pope, c. 498–505), St. Hormisdas (514–523), St. John I (523–526), St. Felix IV (526–530).
   Popes named during the Arthurian period in legend include Sulpicius (probably Simplicius), who Gawain served; Romanus, who sent bishops to Britain during the reign of Vortimer; Leo, who served during Arthur’s war with Rome; Dionido, whose brother, Trionoro, killed Gawain; and Gregorio, who tried Merlin for heresy.
   In the Vulgate Mort Artu and its adaptations, the pope (unnamed), through the Bishop of Rochester, forces Arthur to restore Guinevere as queen after she runs away with Lancelot, threatening to place Arthur’s lands under interdiction if he does not. Arthur complies.
   In Malory, the pope crowns Arthur emperor of Rome after the Roman War. In the same story, Pedyvere, who murdered his wife, was sent to the pope after Lancelot defeated him. [GeoffHR, Layamon, VulgMort, Tavola, VitaMer, Malory]


A race of men who fought with honed weapons and defended Rigomer Castle. They were defeated by Arthur’s knights. [Merveil]


According to Geoffrey, a prince of Britain in the sixth or fifth century BC. He was the son of King Gorbodug and Queen Iudon. He contested his brother Ferrx for the British throne after Gorbodug’s death. Ferrex received aid from the Franks, but was slain by Porrex. Iudon, who had favored Ferrex, became enraged and killed Porrex. Afterwards, the kingdom of Britain became fragmented until Dunwallo Molmutius reunited it. [GeoffHR]


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


Duke of Athens who served Emperor Filimenis of Constantinople. He joined Filimenis in a brief war against Arthur. [Floriant]

Port la Roine (“Queen’s Port”)

A Scottish seaport through which Arthur’s Sir Fergus traveled during his adventures. The location is probably identical to Queensferry. [Guillaume]

Porth Cleis

A seaport in west Dyfed where the boar Twrch Trwyth and his piglets landed while on the run from Arthur and his warriors. [Culhwch]

Porth Cerddin

A harbor in Dyfed that was home of Arthur’s warrior Llwyd. Arthur and his soldiers landed here upon returning from their invasion of Ireland. They bore the enchanted cauldron of Diwrnach, and the port was renamed Messur y Peir (“measure of the cauldron”) in honor of the event. [Culhwch]

Portlesguez [Portleguez]

A Welsh castle where, according to the Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal, Merlin’s mother died. It was the surname of Arthur’s knight Meraugis, who apparently had no association with the castle, but instead took the name from another knight. [Raoul, Livre, PostQuest]

Portsmouth [Portesmouthe]

A city on the English Channel where King Ban of Benoic and King Bors of Gannes landed on their way to join Arthur in Britain. [Arthour]


According to Wolfram, warriors from Portugal participated in a tournament at the Welsh city of Kanvoleis, thrown by Perceval’s mother Queen Herzeloyde. In Der Pleier’s Tandareis and Flordibel, Portugal is allied to Arthur, but in Malory, Portugal is allied to Lucius of Rome. [Wolfram, PleierT, Malory]

Possizonjus of Thiler

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

Postefar of Laudundrehte

A lord once defeated in combat by Perceval. [Wolfram]


A region in central Wales. It was a kingdom during the Arthurian period, though it is rarely mentioned in Arthurian legend. The bard Taliesin is connected to its court.


Wolfram von Eschenbach’s variation of Bagdemagus. [Wolfram]


A river abutting or inside the realm of King Gramoflanz. It paralleled the Sabins river and flowed into the nearby sea. The town of Roche Sabins lay between the two rivers. [Wolfram]

Poytwin of Prienlascors

A knight defeated at the tournament of Kanvoleis by Perceval’s father Gahmuret. [Wolfram]


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


A Knight of the Round Table. [HartmannE]


A city or land in Britain, through which Arthur and his warriors chased the boar Twrch Trwyth. [Culhwch]

Prester John [Preter John]

A legendary Asian or African ruler, bastion of Christianity in Heathendom, given by Wolfram von Eschenbach as the son of Perceval’s half-brother Feirefiz and the Grail lady Repanse de Schoye. In Richard Johnson’s Tom a Lincolne, his daughter, Anglitora, marries Tom a’ Lincoln and has a son named the Black Knight. His legend was so strong in the Middle Ages that successions of popes attempted to communicate with him for centuries. [Johnson]

Priadan the Black [Prydam]

The champion of an evil woman who tried to steal her younger sister’s land. Bors, on the Grail Quest, championed the younger sister and defeated Priadan in combat. He spared Priadan’s life, however, and thus passed a spiritual test. [VulgQuest, Malory]


In Greek legend, the last king of the fabled city of Troy. The Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal tells us that his nephew, Galamanasor, built the Castle of Treachery, which was conquered by Galahad during the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]

Priamus1 [Pryamus]

An Italian knight who joined Arthur’s service during the Roman War. Gawain met him while foraging for supplies in northern Italy. They fought in single combat, and developed such a respect for each other’s prowess that they became fast friends. Priamus provided Gawain with information about the Duke of Lorraine, and he helped Gawain defeat the duke’s brigade of Roman soldiers. In reward, Arthur had Priamus baptized, gave him a seat at the Round Table, and appointed him the new duke of Lorraine. Much later, Lancelot killed him while rescuing Guinevere from the stake. He had two brothers named Edward and Hectymere. [Allit, Malory]

Priamus2 [Pryamus, Pryan]

A chaplain who Arthur appointed Archbishop of York after the city was reclaimed from the Saxons. [GeoffHR]


A knight in Arthur’s service. [Stricker]

Pride of the Clearing

A pavilion that Peredur visited on his way to Arthur’s court in Peredur. Peredur’s mother had told him to take any riches he found and give them to the poor, take food when it was offered, and to romance ladies. In the pavilion, Peredur found a beautiful lady and an assortment of food. Attempting to comply with his mother’s advice, Peredur ate the food, took the lady’s ring, kissed her, and left. When the lady’s husband returned, he was furious at the thought of another knight in his pavilion, and he chased Peredur. They eventually met in combat and Peredur was victorious. In Chrétien’s Perceval, an identical episode occurs in the forest of Broceliande. [Peredur]

Pridwen [Priwen, Prydwen(ne)]

In Welsh tradition, Arthur’s ship, in which he voyaged to the Annwn, the Welsh otherworld. Geoffrey of Monmouth makes it Arthur’s shield. It had an image of the Virgin Mary painted on the inside, and Arthur carried it against the Saxons at Bath. [Spoils, Culhwch, GeoffHR, Wace, Gesta]

Pro of Jemestir

The name used by Tristan on his first visit to Ireland. He was ill from poison, and had washed up on the Irish shore. Knowing that Ireland was at war with Cornwall, he concealed his identity and represented himself as Pro of Jemestir. “Pro” was cured of his poison by the medicines of Isolde, and he was appointed by the King of Ireland to travel to Britain and obtain food to ameliorate a famine. On his second visit, he used the name Tantrist. [Eilhart]


The castellan of Limerick who served Queen Fenice of Ireland. He bore Ireland’s standard in battle. [Durmart]


A prince under Queen Belacane of Zazamanc (the first wife of Perceval’s father Gahmuret). He fought against Isenhart, one of Belacane’s suitors, and both warriors were killed in the duel. Gahmuret later gave Prothizilas’s duchy to Sir Lahfilirost. [Wolfram]

Proud Castle

See Orguelleus.

Proud Fortress

A strong castle belonging to Lancelot’s friend Galehaut. It crumbled to the ground—along with all of Galehaut’s other castles—portending Galehaut’s death. [LancLac, VulgLanc]

Proud Knight

See Orguelleus.


A knight that Palamedes left in charge of Tuscia after he had conquered it. [Tavola]

Provence [Provance]

A region in southeast France, on the Mediterranean Sea. Der Pleier, in Tandareis and Flordibel, contends that it was allied to Arthur, as does the Alliterative Morte Arthure. Malory says that Lancelot owned it, and that Lancelot made Palamedes the duke of Provence in return for Palamedes’ support in the war against Arthur. [PleierT, Allit, Malory]


In the Elizabethan play The Birth of Merlin, a Saxon magician who served King Vortigern. On Joram’s advice, Vortigern sought a young Merlin in order to slake the foundation of a castle with the child’s blood. Layamon calls this character Joram. [Birth]


Hartmann von Aue tells us that a tournament was held between the cities of Prurin and Tarebron, in which Erec excelled. Wolfram says that Erec defeated his brother-in-law, Duke Orguelleus, at the tourney. [HartmannE, Wolfram]

Prussia [Prussland, Spruysland]

According to the Alliterative Morte Arthure, heathens from Prussia fought against Arthur’s forces in the Roman War. [Allit]


The modern name “Britain” grew out of “Prydein”—the old Welsh term for the island, which sounds like “Britain” when pronounced. According to Welsh legend, the island was called Myrddin’s Precinct until it was settled, after which it became known as the Island of Honey. When the Island of Honey was conquered by Prydein, son of Aedd the Great, it was renamed in his honor. [Triads]


A warrior, the son of Pwyll and ruler of Dyfed, who makes an appearance in all of the branches of the Mabinogi. Pryderi is not a part of Arthurian literature, but he may have been the origin of Peredur, Perceval, or other Arthurian heroes. The Spoils of Annwn refers to him and his story. His name may be a variation of Prydein, the Welsh word for Britain. [Spoils]

Puerinero Turpin

A knight captain in Mark’s service. He led Cornish knights against Arthur’s men when Arthur besieged Tintagel following Tristan’s death. Puerinero was slain in the battle. [Tavola]

Puhulin Castle

A fortress belonging to Queen Tydomie of Karmerie, wife of Arthur’s nephew Meleranz. [PleierM]


A giant who reluctantly served the evil Godonas of Terrandes. He was pleased when Godonas was slain by Meleranz, Arthur’s nephew. [PleierM]


A castle ruled by Earl Milan, who tried to abduct Enide from Erec. [Erex]


The sister of Medea, the lecherous female ruler of Crudele castle. Her other sisters included Lavina, Bresenda, and Agnena. [Tavola]

Pulzella Gaia (“Merry Maiden”) [Gaia Donzella, Gaia Pulcella]

The daughter of Morgan le Fay and a knight named Huneson the Bald. Pulzella Gaia possessed some of her mother’s magic. In La Tavola Ritonda, Morgan wants to marry her to Tristan, but he refuses. Lancelot later rescues her from a knight named Burletta, who has kidnapped and is trying to rape her. In La Pulzella Gaia, Gawain fights against her when she assumes the form of a serpent. She defeats him and becomes his lover, but warns him not to reveal their love. When he does so to spite a jealous Guinevere, she refuses to return to him until Arthur nearly executes him for making false boasts about his beautiful paramour. Pulzella Gaia’s mother threw her into a dungeon in the castle of Palaus. Gawain rescued her, and the two lovers were reconciled. (This tale is a variation of the story of Lanval in which Pulzella’s character is called Triamour.) [Tavola, Pulzella]

Pumlumon (“Five Peaks”)

A region of the mountain Carn Gwylathyr in west central Wales. The warriors Cei and Bedwyr found Dillus the Bearded here and killed him. [Culhwch]


A town in King Brandelidelin’s Punturteis. It was surrounded by water. [Wolfram]

Punturteis [Ponterteis]

A land ruled in Arthur’s time by King Brandelidelin, a friend of Arthur. The capital was Punt. Gabenis, Urjans, and Frians are all named as princes of Punturteis. [Wolfram, PleierG]

Purple Knight

A knight of Arthur’s court defeated by the Great Fool. [IrishF]


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


A wicked giant who, with his wife Fidegart, terrorized his lands, killed noble knights, and imprisoned maidens. His victims included Princess Duzabel, Dukes Elimar and Klaris, and the dwarf King Albewin. His reign of terror was ended by Arthur’s Sir Garel, who slew the two giants. [PleierG]


The ruler of Dyfed in the Welsh tale that bears his name. He was the father of Pryderi. He became, for a time, the ruler of Annwn, having exchanged kingdoms with Arrawn. He is non-Arthurian, though some scholars view him as the origin of Pelles. The Spoils of Annwn makes reference to his story. [Spoils]


A race of men who fought with honed weapons and defended Rigomer Castle. They were defeated by Arthur’s knights. [Merveil]


A brash knight who attacked Sir Guyon after he found that Guyon had captured Occasion and Furor, Pyrochles quarry. After defeating Pyrochles, Guyon allowed him to release and fight Furor, but Furor got the upper hand and beat Pyrochles unconscious. Pyrochles was eventually healed by the evil magician Archimago and was re-united with his brother, Cymochles. Guided by Archimago, the two brothers found Guyon unconscious and decided to steal his armor. Prince Arthur arrived during their theft, challenged them, and killed them both. [Spenser]

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