Arthurian Name Dictionary


A magnificent, well-fortified city in the Kingdom of the Isles. It was surrounded by lush lands and rivers. Gawain defeated an enemy, Sir Brian of the Isles, in Rades. [Meriadeuc]


A Queen of the Amazons. She hated knights and imprisoned and humiliated them at every opportunity. Sir Artegall learned of this injustice and set out to slay her. He challenged her to single combat and defeated her, but when he wrenched off her helmet to behead her, he was overcome by her beauty. Radigund regained herself, and she captured and imprisoned Artegall. Artegall’s paramour, the warrior maiden Britomart, heard of his plight, went to the Amazons’ kingdom, killed Radigund, and freed Artegall. [Spenser]


A city in Hungary that was the birthplace of Master Elimas, one of Arthur’s clerics. [VulgLanc]

Radurants [Raidurains]

A good knight present at Arthur’s tournament at the Castle of Maidens in Renaut de Bâgé’s Le Bel Inconnu. He may be identical to Roidurant, a knight found in Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet. [Renaut]


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

Ragnelle [Ragnelle]

The loathly lady who becomes Gawain’s wife in the medieval poem The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle. Arthur was captured in the forest of Inglewood by Ragnelle’s brother, Gromer Somer Jour. Gromer agreed to release Arthur, but only on the condition that Arthur return in one year and either tell Gromer what women desire most or be killed.
   Arthur and Gawain searched in vain for the answer. As the appointed date neared, Arthur met the hideously ugly Ragnelle in Inglewood, she agreed to tell Arthur the answer—that women desire sovereignty over themselves and their men—on the condition that Arthur wed Ragnelle to Sir Gawain.
   Arthur returned to Camelot and told Gawain of his adventure, and Gawain agreed to the marriage so that he could save Arthur’s life. Guinevere and the court, shocked at the prospect of the fair Gawain marrying the repulsive Ragnelle, tried to convince Ragnelle to have a quiet wedding in the early morning, but Ragnelle insisted on a large, boisterous wedding at mid-day, with everyone in attendance. At the wedding feast, she disgusted the court by eating an unconscionable amount of food and otherwise exhibiting repellent table manners.
   At night, Gawain and Ragnelle went to bed, and Ragnelle demanded the conjugal rights of a married woman. Gawain rolled over to face her and found himself looking at a beautiful young woman. Ragnelle then explained that Gawain could have her beautiful at night and ugly during the day or ugly at night but beautiful during the day. Gawain gave the choice to her, and in doing so bestowed upon her the sovereignty that women most desire. Gawain’s reply broke a curse that had been placed upon Ragnelle. In reward, Ragnelle became beautiful all the time. She and Gawain had a son named Guinglain. She died after she had been married to Gawain for five years. There is evidence that her name was taken from a pagan God known to Middle English writers (Hahn, 76). Both Arthur and Gawain refer to her repeatedly as a fiend or devil. [Wedding]

Raguidel1 [Ragisel]

A noble knight who was murdered by the knight Guengasoain. His body floated up to Arthur’s court in a boat, accompanied by a letter asking some knight to avenge him. On the boat, Raguidel’s body lay in a cart, and he was therefore also known as the Knight of the Cart. By drawing a lance from Raguidel’s body, Gawain assumed the task and, with the help of Yder, succeeded. [Vengeance, Wrake, Atre]


A castle where Hector, Lancelot’s brother, ended a number of evil customs by defeating Lord Marigart the Red and by rescuing lady Angale from a pair of lions. [VulgLanc]

Raimel of Loventel

A knight in Arthur’s service. [Heinrich]

Raindurant [Boidurant, Randurz]

A nobleman’s son from Tergalo who fought at the tournament of Tenebroc. He was unhorsed by Erec. [ChretienE, HartmannE]


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


Middle-Eastern land, beyond the River Jordan, which contained the city of Arimathea, Joseph’s birthplace. It was ruled in Joseph’s time by Elcan, father of the biblical Samuel. It’s name seems to be a variation of Arimathea. [VulgEst]


A wilderness near the castle of the Hard Rock. Tristan defeated Arthur and Yvain in a joust there. [Tavola]


A skilled knight slain by Karyet (Gareth) in Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet. He could be identified with Wace’s Romarec or Wolfram’s Gahmuret. [UlrichZ]

Rancier the Pilgrim [Ansirus]

Father of Alice the Belle Pilgrim. He was a duke, related to Lancelot, who made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem every three years. [ProsTris, Prophecies, Malory]

Randol [Ralidol]

Saxon who joined King Rions’ invasion of Carmelide in the Vulgate Merlin. Later, he became the seneschal of the king of Gaul, and joined Claudas’s war against Arthur. He fled the battle of Trebe after he was badly wounded by Gawain. Arthour and Merlin says that King Ban of Benoic killed him at the battle of Carhaix, which occurs before the war in Gaul. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Rannald [Raunald]

An Arthurian knight in the Middle Scots tale of Golagros and Gawain. During the war between Golagros and Arthur, Rannald was slain by Golagros’s Sir Rigal. [Golagros]


King of Miranceis, father of Angledis, and grandfather of Alexander the Orphan. His grandson was raised by his constable, Berengier, in the castle Magance. [ProsTris, Prophecies]


Lord of Estremors, brother of Maduc, and uncle of Plarés. He was called the Green Knight. Raolais was an enemy of Arthur and, consequently, Arthur invaded his lands. Plarés was killed in the fighting. The war was eventually decided in a single combat between Raolais and Gawain. Gawain was victorious, and Raolais became a Knight of the Round Table, joining Arthur’s war against the Saxons. Maduc, disgusted with Raolais’s fealty to Arthur, became hostile to his brother. [Livre]


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

Raoul of Chaux

A very old knight in King Arthur’s service. Sir Dodinel offered him, jokingly, as an opponent for Sir Bertelay, the elderly knight who championed the False Guinevere. [VulgLanc]


A heathen king who helped King Oriel plunder northern Britain at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. [Arthour]


An angel who guided Arthur through his conquest of the Saxons. [BlackmoreP]


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


A city in Germany where the Emperor of Germany held a court. [ChretienC]


An Arthurian knight who participated in the Roman War. He was the brother of Richer and the son of Rowlaunde. [Allit]


Knight of the Round Table who attacked Lancelot, who was disguised in Kay’s armor. Raynold and his companions, Gyllymer and Gautere, who had thought that the inferior Kay was their opponent, received the surprise of their lives. Raynold was later killed fighting Lancelot and his soldiers when Lancelot rescued Guinevere from the stake. [Malory]


A mighty Saracen lord from Azagouc. He ruled a large number of Moors. With allies, he invaded the neighboring country of Zazamanc but was defeated by Perceval’s father, Gahmuret. [Wolfram]


An Arthurian knight in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône. His name seems to be a variation of Roberdic, the name of a place in Chrétien’s Erec. [Heinrich]

Rechaux the Strong

Brother of Corsabrin (a knight killed by Palamedes) and son of Aristot. He married a princess from Iquanz. [ProsTris]

Red Castle1

A castle conquered from Lord Serses by Sir Bors, who established a monastery on the site. [VulgLanc]

Red Castle2

When a lord named Elain died, he left the Red Castle to his maiden daughter. Yvain the Black wanted to marry the maiden, and he besieged the castle when she refused. Guiron the Courteous came to the maiden’s aid, defeated Yvain, and lifted the siege. [Palamedes]

Red Castle3

The home of the knights Hugh and Edward. [Malory]

Red City1

King of the Red City was defeated by Erec at the Tenebroc tournament in Chrétien’s Erec. He may have inspired Hartmann’s Roiderodes. [ChretienE]

Red City2 [Rouge Citié]

The castle ruled by Sir Partinal, an enemy of Perceval’s family. Perceval killed him there. [Contin3]

Red City2 [Vermiglia]

A city on the Delectable Isle, off the east coast of Britain, ruled by King Armant. When two of Armant’s protégés killed Armant and seized the city, Sir Palamedes avenged the deed, became lord of the Red City, and gave the city to Marin, Armant’s brother. [ProsTris, Tavola, Malory]

Red City3

“King of the Red City” appears in Les Merveilles de Rigomer as an ally of Rigomer castle. Gawain defeated him during his battle to conquer the castle. [Merveil]

Red Cross1 [*Croix Roge]

A landmark outside King Mark’s court at Lancien. Mark left a message to Tristan and Isolde, who were living in exile in the forest of Morois, on the cross. [Beroul]

Red Cross2

A landmark visited by Hector, Lionel, Erec, and the Ugly Hero during their adventures. [PostMer]

Red Cross Knight

Representative of holiness in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene. He carried a shield with a bloody red cross on it. He was commissioned by Gloriana, the Fairy Queen, to accompany Una to the kingdom of her parents and deliver them from a dragon that was scourging their land. On the way, he was tricked by the evil sorcerer Archimago into believing Una a wanton, and he abandoned her. He became infatuated with Duessa, a witch in the guise of a beautiful maiden named Fidessa. He drank from a magic fountain which made him weak, allowing the giant Orgoglio to throw him in a dungeon. Una sought and obtained the help of Prince Arthur, who killed Orgoglio, exposed Duessa, and freed the Red Cross Knight. Eventually, they reached Una’s land and the Red Cross Knight slew the dragon in a three-day battle. The Red Cross Knight and Una were betrothed. In a later adventure, the Red Cross Knight joined the warrior maiden Britomart at the Castle Joyous. It is revealed late in Spenser’s poem that the Red Cross Knight is St. George, the patron saint of England. [Spenser]

Red Forest

A wood inhabited by the Red Knight. Arthur challenged the Red Knight for proper ownership of the Red Forest. Arthur’s Sir Meriadoc decided the issue in Arthur’s favor, but persuaded Arthur to relinquish his claim. [Historia]

Red Giant

A giant who killed Aliban of the Waste City, Perceval’s uncle. Alain, Perceval’s father, avenged Aliban by slaying the Red Giant, but he received a mortal wound in the process. [Perlesvaus]

Red Knight1 [Knight of the Red Shield]

A knight from the forest of Quinqueroi who offended Arthur and was killed by Perceval. Wolfram von Eschenbach calls him Ither. Chrétien de Troyes relates how Perceval noticed his bright red mail suit on his way to Arthur’s court. After Arthur had knighted Perceval, Perceval asked for the armor. Kay—seeking to cause trouble—told Perceval that he could go ahead and take it. Perceval rode out to meet the Red Knight and demanded the armor. When the Red Knight—expectedly—refused, Perceval threw a well-aimed spear into the Knight’s eye, killing him instantly. With the help of the servant Yonet, he donned the red armor and rode away. Perceval himself was then called the Red Knight for a time.
   Presented lightly in Chrétien’s version, this episode takes on a tragic air in later stories. In Perlesvaus, Perceval slays the Red Knight accidentally while the latter is fighting the White Knight. Perceval had believed that knights in armor were invincible, and he was therefore shocked and saddened when his javelin pierced the Red Knight’s visor. The Red Knight, who was the Lord of the Forest of Shadows, had a brother named Cahot the Red and a son named Clamadoz of the Shadows. Both tried to avenge the Red Knight’s death but failed. In Wolfram’s Parzival, Perceval similarly comes to regret the killing.
   In the Fourth Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, the Red Knight has four sons: Evander, Marmadus, Leander, and Meliadas. Following their pardon to Perceval for their father’s death, the Red Knight’s body was buried by St. Brendan.
   According to the Middle English Sir Perceval of Galles, Perceval killed the Red Knight in revenge for the murder of Perceval’s father at the Red Knight’s hands. His red armor gave him supernatural powers. [ChretienP, Wolfram, Perlesvaus, Contin4, SirPerc]

Red Knight2

A king from Montescler who participated in Arthur’s tournament at the Castle of Maidens, and was defeated in joust by Tristan. [Renaut]

Red Knight3

The nickname of Count Hojir of Mannesvelt, because of his crimson hair and beard. [Wirnt]

Red Knight4

An alias of Lord Raolais, an enemy of Arthur. [Livre]

Red Knight5

An alias of Sir Perymones, a knight defeated by Gareth. [Malory]

Red Knight6

The name adopted by Sir Pelleas, after Gawain’s treachery and news of Guinevere’s infidelity drove him insane and turned him into a marauder. He sent an insulting message to Arthur, and Arthur was forced to rally forces against him. [TennIK]

Red Knight7

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

Red Knight8 of the Cliff [Rous de la Faloise]

A knight who was slain by Gawain while attempting to kidnap the Maiden of the Harp. [Livre]

Red Knight9 of the Deep Forest

A knight who killed Perceval’s cousin and was slain by Perceval in return. The Red Knight’s comrade was a pet lion whom Perceval also killed. [Perlesvaus]

Red Knight10 of the Perilous Valley [*Roux de Val Perilleus]

A traitorous relative of Arthur who, hearing that Arthur was away on adventures, invaded the land of Cardigan and captured Arthur’s castle at Disnadaron. Arthur eventually rallied his forces and marched on the city, and the Red Knight fled, intending to fortify himself in his impregnable castle in the Perilous Valley. He was intercepted along the way by Gawain and Meriadeuc. Meriadeuc defeated him and forced him to surrender to Arthur. [Meriadeuc]

Red Knight11 of the Red Forest

British knight who was challenged by Arthur for ownership of the Red Forest. Sir Meriadoc defeated the Red Knight in combat and decided the issue in Arthur’s favor, but convinced Arthur to return the Red Forest to the Red Knight. [Historia]

Red Knight12 of the Red Lands

The alias of Sir Ironside, a knight defeated in combat by Gareth. Like Gawain, his strength waxed and waned with the sun. [Malory]

Red Mountain

During a quest to find Lancelot, Gawain visited the Hermit of the Red Mountain, who directed him to the North Wales Causeway, a bridge to Sorelois. [VulgLanc]

Red Olive Tree

The location of a hermitage visited by Lancelot and Perceval during the Grail Quest. Lancelot had some disturbing dreams, signifying the sin of his affair with Guinevere, in which he was wounded in the thigh. Perceval was able to cure the wound. Lancelot made a full confession of his sins to Perceval and the hermit. [PostQuest]

Red Rose Knight

The alias adopted by Tom a’ Lincoln, Arthur’s illegitimate son, during his years as an outlaw. [Johnson]

Red Stone [*Petrone Vermiglio]

A holy site on the island of Matufer off the coast of Cornwall. Anyone who touched the stone could only tell the truth. Mark brought Isolde there to discover the truth about her affair with Tristan. Tristan, disguised as a pilgrim and a madman, grabbed Isolde and kissed her in front of everyone. Then, Isolde was able to swear that no one had used her body basely except Mark, the “pilgrim,” and the “madman.” [Tavola]

Red Tower1

A pagan stronghold. The Lord of the Red Tower captured Gawain and tried to make him fight a lion, unarmed, but Gawain was rescued by Meliot of Logres. [Perlesvaus]

Red Tower2

The stronghold of Partinal, Perceval’s uncle. [Contin3]

Red Tower Bridge

A bridge built by Argan in rage after having been twice cuckolded, by Uther Pendragon and Sir Hector. It was built near the castle known as Uther’s Shame. Any knight who defeated its guardian had to assume the position himself; these unlucky victors included Tor and Hoel. Finally, Hoel, Kay, and Kehedin defeated the fours sons of Argan and ended the custom. [ProsTris]

Red Wolf-Tread

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


A city in King Hoel’s Brittany. [ProsTris]


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

Redoubted Giant of the Sure Keep

Brother of the Knight-Giant, a knight killed by Arthur in The Knight of the Parrot. He attacked Arthur in a forest to avenge his brother’s death. Arthur defeated him. As his brother had died trying to prove his valor to the Duchess of Estrales, the Redoubted Giant took vengeance on this woman by cutting off the arm of one of her ladies, the Countess Bliandois. [ChevPap]

Redoubted Island

An island inhabited by a giant. During inclement weather, the giant lit fires on the island to attract passing ships in need of a port. When the ships arrived, the giant would kill everyone aboard. The giant was eventually killed by Uther Pendragon. Much later, King Mark of Cornwall, after Tristan’s death, was deposed and exiled to the Redoubted Island. However, he eventually escaped and reclaimed his kingdom. [ProsTris]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the third or second century BC. He was the son of King Gorbonian. He succeeded his uncle, King Elidur, ruled in justice and mercy, and was succeeded by his cousin Margan. [GeoffHR]

Regin2 [Regian, Regeym]

An Arthurian knight, appearing in Geoffrey of Monmouth, who was the son of Abudar or Claud. Welsh mythological genealogies mention a Regin who had a grandfather named Cloten (Fletcher, 77. [GeoffHR, Wace]

Reimambram of Zadas

A terrible giant who tried to kidnap lady Behalim of Semphrap but was stopped by her brother, Mahardi. Mahardi and Reimambram scheduled a duel to decide the matter, but Mahardi died before it could be fought. Gawain took his place, defeated Reimambram, and forced him to swear fealty to Behalim. [Heinrich]

Reinion of Hungary

A king who ruled the Castle of Most Ill Adventure in the Norse Ivens Saga. To save his own life, he pledged thirty maidens per year to a giant named Fjallsharfir. Yvain slew the giant and saved him from the pledge. The character appears unnamed in Chrétien’s Yvain. [Ivens]


A city in northwest France that was conquered by Maximus in the fifth century. [GeoffHR]


The hero of the French La Bataille de Loquifer, who also appears in the Chanson de Guillaume and Aliscans. The texts are part of the non-Arthurian William of Orange Cycle, written in France in the thirteenth century. Loquifer contains a scene in which Renoart, is transported by Morgan le Fay to the Island of Avalon, of which Arthur is king. He has a tryst with Morgan which produces a son named Corbon. [Bataille]

Repanse de Schoye

The Grail bearer in Wolfram’s Parzival. She was the daughter of Frimutel, the sister of Anfortas, Trevrizent, Schoysiane, and Herzeloyde, and the aunt of Perceval. As a maiden, Repanse had charge of the Grail and carried it in the Grail Procession. After Perceval became the Grail King, Repanse fell in love with Feirefiz, Perceval’s pie-bald half brother. Repanse and Feirefiz married and moved to India, where they became the parents of Prester John. [Wolfram]

Rescraddeck [Rhicaradoch]

The home of Ulfin, a knight who served both Uther Pendragon and King Arthur. [GeoffHR, Drayton]


In the Vulgate Merlin, a stronghold near Garlot, to which Queen Blasine of Garlot tried to flee after the Saxons besieged her city. She was captured by Saxons along the way, but later was rescued by Gawain. The fortification supposedly took its name because Vortigern was rescued there from an attack by Hengist, who was slain. This account of Hengist’s death conflicts with earlier tales, including one in the same text. [VulgMer]

Restful Hermitage

An isolated hermitage in Breckham Forest. [VulgLanc]


The duke of Pergalt. Arthur’s Sir Garel saved his sons, Alexander and Floris, from Duke Eskilabon’s prison. In return, Retan joined Arthur’s war against King Ekunaver of Kanadic and was appointed to the Round Table. [PleierG]


A castle near the border of Orkney, where Gaheris found his mother, the queen of Orkney, in flagrante with Lamorat, a family enemy. Gaheris killed his mother and his brothers later slew Lamorat. [PostMer, ProsTris]


The Count of Reveline was defeated in a tournament by Yvain. [Claris]


One of Arthur’s noblemen in the Norse Erex Saga. His brothers were Bilis, the dwarf king, and Brattur. [Erex]


An Arthurian knight who was the son of Colys. [Arthur]


The Stag of Rhedenfre was the second “wise animal” that Arthur’s warriors encountered on their quest to find the imprisoned warrior Mabon. The Stag sent them to the Owl of Cwm Cawlwyd. [Culhwch]

Rheghed [Reged]

A kingdom in northern Britain, ruled by King Urien and his son Owain (Yvain) in legend and, probably, in history. The kingdom no longer exists, and its former borders are uncertain, but it seems to have been situated in northern England or southern Scotland. Sir Walter Scott, in The Bridal of Triermain, says that Arthur promised it to whichever of his knights married Gyneth, his daughter. [Nennius, Culhwch, Scott]

Rheidwn Arwy [Rheiddwn]

An Arthurian warrior who was the son of Beli. “Arwy” may signify “the Rough.” [Culhwch]

Rheu Rhwydd Dyrys

One of Arthur’s warriors and chief huntsmen. His surnames indicate “easy and difficult.” [Culhwch]


As one of his tasks, Culhwch had to capture the two Birds of Rhiannon. It was said that they could “wake the dead and lull the living.” In several non-Arthurian Mabinogion tales, an otherworldly woman named Rhiannon marries Pwyll, ruler of Dyfed, has a son named Pryderi, and marries Manawydan after Pwyll’s death. [Culhwch]


An Arthurian warrior who was the son of the King of Ireland. [Dream]


A son of Urien who fought against the Saxons and enjoyed a number of victories. [Triads]


Greek island that joined Lucius the Roman’s war against Arthur. [Allit]


One of the soldiers of Madawg, ruler of the country of Powys (Wales) in the twelfth century. While on a mission to capture Iorwerth, Madawg’s renegade brother, Rhonabwy and his companions came to the town of Didylstwn in Rhychdir Powys. There, they asked for lodging at the house of Heilyn the Red. After receiving a cold welcome in the dilapidated residence, Rhonabwy went to sleep on a yellow ox skin and had a marvelous dream that he and his companions were in the Britain of Arthur, some seven hundred years before his time. They met the warrior Iddawg, who escorted them to Arthur’s camp on the River Severn. There, Rhonabwy and his companions heard of the Battle of Camlann, witnessed a gwyddbwyll game between Arthur and Owain, and saw Arthur make peace with Osla before the battle of Badon. When Rhonabwy awoke, he found he had been sleeping for three days and thee nights. [Dream]

Rhongomynyad (“Cutting Spear”) [Rhongomiant, Rhongomyniad]

Arthur’s spear in Culhwch and Olwen. Geoffrey of Monmouth shortens the name to Ron. [Culhwch, GeoffHR]

Rhuddvyw Rhys

An Arthurian warrior killed at Garth Grugyn by Grugyn Silver Bristle, a piglet pursued by Arthur and his warriors. [Culhwch]

Rhufawn the Radiant

An Arthurian warrior who was the son of Deorthach or Gwyddno. He is called one of the three “fair princes” and one of the three “golden corpses” of the Island of Britain. [Culhwch, Triads, Dream]


An Arthurian warrior killed at Cwm Cerwyn by the boar Twrch Trwyth. He was the son of Beli Adver. A Triad calls him one of the “three red ravishers” of Britain. [Culhwch, Triads]

Rhun2 [Run, Ron]

An Arthurian warrior who was the son of Nwython and the brother of Gwystyl, Llwydeu, and Kinlith. [Culhwch, GeoffHR]


An Arthurian warrior who was the son of Maelgwn of Gwynedd. His experience and wisdom were such that everyone always turned to him for advice. [Dream]


A son of Urien of Rheged and brother of Owain. He became the archbishop of York and assumed the name Paulinus. According to one manuscript, a compilation of history put together by Rhun was one of Nennius’s sources. [Nennius]

Rhun5 Red Adler

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

Rhyawdd [Rahawd]

One of Arthur’s warriors and advisors. He was the son of Morgant. The Welsh Triads call him one of the three “frivolous bards” of Britain. He rode a horse named Spotted Dun. [Triads, Dream]

Rhych Seferi

An Arthurian warrior in Welsh tradition, known to entertain his comrades with song. He was skilled with a club, and he used his boots as throwing weapons. [Culhwch]


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

Rhydderch2 the Generous [Rodarchus]

King of Cumbria in Myrddin legend, probably based on a historical sixth-century ruler of Strathclyde. Nennius names him as one of the kings who fought alongside King Urien against the Saxons in the sixth century. According to the Myrddin poems, Rhydderch was one of the leaders at the battle of Arfderydd, where he fought alongside King Peredur of North Wales, and opposed King Gwenddolau of Scotland. Rhydderch was victorious. Merlin, who had fought on Gwenddolau’s side in Welsh legend, and on Rhydderch’s side in Geoffrey’s Vita Merlini, went insane at the battle and fled to the forest of Caledon. Rhydderch’s wife, Ganieda, was Merlin’s sister. In his moments of insanity, Merlin told Rhydderch that Ganieda was adulterous, but Ganieda managed to convince her husband that Merlin could not be trusted because of his madness. Rhydderch died during Merlin’s life, and his widow went to live with her brother in the forest. A Welsh poem places his grave at Abererch. A Welsh text called the “Thirteen Treasures of the Isle of Britain” names one of the treasures as a dysgl, or dish, owned by Rhydderch. It was said to provide food and drink to Rhydderch’s company and has been seen by some scholars as the origin of the Grail. [Myrddin, Nennius, GeoffVM]


An early name of Oxford.


Arthur’s master of hounds in Welsh legend. [Geraint]


A cleric whose crock and dish are counted among the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain. The dish produced any food desired by its owner, leading some scholars to connect it to the Grail.


A magic female dog in Welsh legend. Rhymhi lived in Aber Deu Cleddyf and had two pups that were sought by Arthur and his warriors, on the behalf of Culhwch, for the hunting of the boar Twrch Trwyth. Curiously, the giant Ysbaddaden, who assigned the tasks to Culhwch, did not request these hounds, and it is unclear why Arthur and his soldiers decided that they had to obtain them. Two of Rhymhi’s sons—Gwydden and Gwyddrud—were also said to be Arthur’s warriors. [Culhwch]

Rhynnon Stiff Beard

The owner of a set of magical bottles in which no liquid ever soured. As one of his tasks, Culhwch had to obtain these bottles for use at Olwen’s wedding feast. [Culhwch]

Rhys One-Tooth

Welsh warrior who apparently died in a battle against King Maelgwn of Gwynned. In an early Welsh poem, Myrddin and Taliesin lament his passing. [Myrddin]


King of Jeraphin. His land was seized by King Roaz of Glois, but was returned to him by Wigalois (Gawain’s son). In return, he assisted Wigalois in a war against Prince Lion of Namur. [Wirnt]


A count and kinsman of Gerhart of Riviers who participated in Gerhart’s attack on the castle Merkanie. Defeated by Arthur’s’ Sir Garel, he was forced to cease hostilities. [PleierG]


A great palace in Cornwall where Tristan lay ill after his battle with Morholt. [Tavola]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Gormant. Welsh legend calls him the “chief elder of Cornwall,” and first husband of Eigyr (Igraine), which would make him a counterpart of Gorlois. [Culhwch]


A brief companion of Agravain in Les Merveilles de Rigomer. As a vassal of an Irish nobleman named Robert, Ricart and other knights accompanied Agravain on a quest to find Robert’s kidnapped wife. [Merveil]


Galehaut’s sister in the Italian romance I Due Tristani. She married the King with a Hundred Knights. In La Tavola Ritonda, she is called Delice. [DueTris]

Rich Fisher

See Fisher King.

Richard1 [Riciers]

A count in Arthur’s service. [Renaut]


Arthur’s cousin in the Prose Brut. Arthur bestowed several Gaulish lands upon him. [ProsBrut]


An Irish count who directed two of Vortigern’s messengers, Ruggieri and Labegues, to Northumberland, where Merlin had been born. [Pieri]


Son of the king of Jerusalem in Arthur’s time.The king of Baghdad invaded his lands. Richard sent to Arthur for aid, and Henry the Couretous arrived with British troops to drive the pagans away. Later, Richard attacked Sarras but was unable to overcome Alchendic, its king. [Prophecies]


British port where King Arthur landed upon his return from the Roman campaign. Mordred, who had usurped the throne, met him there with an army. Many men fell—including Angusel and Gawain—and Mordred’s army was pushed back to the river Camel. Wace places this battle at Romney. [GeoffHR]

Riche Soudier

Lord of the Castle Orguellous, where Girflet was imprisoned. Arthur besieged the castle to free Girflet. Gawain fought the Riche Soudier in single combat and won. Arthur captured the castle. [Contin1]

Richer [Richier]

An earl in Arthur’s service who fought in the Roman War in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia. His father was named Rowlaunde and his brother was Raynald. Pierre de Langtoft erroneously places him in Lucius’s army. [GeoffHR, Wace, VulgMer, Pierre, Allit]

Richevie Ventura

A young man baptized and knighted by Lancelot and Tristan. He married the daughter of Count Sebio of Cologia. [Tavola]


A brief companion of Agravain in Les Merveilles de Rigomer. As a vassal of an Irish nobleman named Robert, Richier and other knights accompanied Agravain on a quest to find Robert’s kidnapped wife. [Merveil]


A duke from Wales who, at the tournament of Winchester, fought Mador of the Gate. [Prophecies]

Richier3 of the Valley

A squire of Guiron the Courteous. [Palamedes]

Richomarch [Rimar(c)]

One of Arthur’s barons, who fought and died against the Romans at the battle of Soissons. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]

Riculf [Ridulph, Rycolf]

A king who stole the country of Norway from Lot after the death of Sichelm, Lot’s grandfather. After pacifying Britain, Arthur sailed to Norway, killed Riculf, and gave the kingdom back to Lot. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]


In Arthour and Merlin, a heathen king slain by King Ban of Benoic at the battle of Aneblayse. The character appears unnamed in the Vulgate Merlin. [Arthour]


A nephew of Bedivere in Layamon. He avenged his uncle’s death at the Battle of Soissons by killing Boccus, the Roman warrior who had killed Bedivere. Geoffrey of Monmouth and Wace call him Hirelglas. [Layamon]


The daughter of King Amlawdd, husband of Bicanus, and mother of St. Illtud, who was Arthur’s cousin. [Saints]

Rielei of Wrowele

An Irish Knight of the Round Table who was the father of Sir Patrick. During a banquet, he became enraged when a servant brought him the wrong food and drink, and he killed the servant. [HartmannI]


British river, along which Faustus, son of Vortigern, built a great monastery. [Nennius]

Rigal of Rone

One of Lord Golagros’s knights in the Middle Scots tale of Gologras and Gawain. During the war between Arthur and Golagros, Rigal slew, and was slain by, Arthur’s Sir Rannald. [Golagros]

Riger the Brown

A knight, possibly of the “Brown” lineage, who sat in the Perilous Seat. The earth opened beneath him and swallowed him. This occurred during Uther Pendragon’s reign. [Prophecies]


A knight from Nantes and enemy of Duke Jovelin of Arundel. With other knights, he besieged Jovelin’s chief city of Karke, but was defeated by Tristan. He probably has the same origins as Eilhart’s similarly-named Riole of Nantes. [Gottfried]


An enchanted Irish castle that serves as the focus of the thirteenth century French tale of Les Merveilles de Rigomer (“the Marvels of Rigomer”). Its name reflects that it was situated on a rigort de mer, or “bay of the sea” (Loomis, Romance, 385). It was guarded by fearsome beasts, scores of soldiers, and numerous enchantments. Its queen, Dionise—who seems to have been half-ruler, half-prisoner—could only marry the knight who could conquer the castle, a feat deemed impossible. Arthur’s knights first learned of its existence when a messenger sent by Dionise came to Arthur’s court.
   The castle had been created by a fairy. It lay on an island off the coast of Ireland, atop a high cliff, with only a single bridge connecting it to the mainland. The bridge was guarded by a horrendous dragon. The heath approaching the bridge, called Vrikevreue, was guarded by three knights called the Unarmed Knight, the White Knight, and the Knight of Triple Arms. Traveling to Rigomer involved a long journey through Ireland, described in the story as a wild and savage land. If a knight did happen to make it past the defenses, he would succumb to the castle’s magic, which would steal his wits and scramble his mind.
   Lancelot was the first of Arthur’s knights to embark on the journey. He completed a number of perilous adventures in Ireland before arriving at the castle. He passed all the defenses, including the dragon, but once inside the fortress, he was tricked into putting on a magic ring, which turned him into a fool. He was thrown into the Kibouene Pits, Rigomer’s unholy prison.
   When word of Lancelot’s imprisonment reached Britain, Gawain raised a battalion of Arthur’s knights to conquer Rigomer. Gawain was imprisoned along the way, and the other knights reached it first. The best of them—including Gaheris, Gaudin, Cliges, Bleoberis, and Sagremor—went ahead of the main party. They were all defeated and imprisoned. The rest of the knights challenged Rigomer’s armies. They performed valiantly, but were overwhelmed by waves and waves of supernatural forces.
   Gawain finally freed himself, arrived at the castle, passed the defenses, and refused to accept the ring. He took the rings off the fingers of his friends, freeing them from Rigomer’s magic. Having thus conquered the castle, Gawain declined to marry Dionise, promising to find another worthy husband for her. [Merveil]

Rim [Rens, Rins]

A knight who gave hospitality to Arthur’s Sir Yder. Yder rewarded him by sending him the bounty of his victories. Rim’s son, Luguain, became Yder’s squire. Rim’s father was named Charmes. [Yder]


A maiden rescued by Tristan from a serpent. [Tavola]


A land ruled by Uther Pendragon. [Heinrich]


A count who served King Dulcemar of Tandernas. He tried and failed to arrange a truce when Arthur went to war with Dulcemar over an offense committed by Dulcemar’s son. [PleierT]


A city in Syria. Queen Florie—the wife of Gawain and the mother of Wigalois—was buried here. [Wirnt]


The Count of Nantes in Eilhart’s Tristrant. Riole loved Isolde of the White Hands, daughter of King Havelin of Karahes (and later Tristan’s wife). When Havelin refused an offer of marriage, Riole attacked him. He besieged Karahes and probably would have won the war, but Tristan arrived and, championing Havelin, defeated Riole. When Havelin died, Riole resumed the war against Kahedins, Havelin’s son, but was again defeated by Tristan. His counterpart in Gottfried’s Tristan is Rigolin. [Eilhart]

Rions [Retho, Rhines, Rictor, Rience, Rion(es), Riouns, *Ritho, Riton, Riun, Rostrik, Roy(e)ns, Roystone, Ruiston, Rusten, Ryence, Ryens, Ryon(s), Ryton]

A giant slain by Arthur. He is variously described as the king of Africa, Denmark, the Land of Grasslands and Giants, the Grazing Grounds, Ireland, the Isles, North Wales, and South Wales. His character undergoes a considerable evolution between Geoffrey of Monmouth and Malory. Geoffrey probably based him on a Welsh giant who was said to inhabit the Mountain of Snowdon. E. K. Chambers thought that his name might preserve some memory of Riothamus, a historical British ruler. In Thomas Chestre’s Sir Launfal, he is named as Guinevere’s father, and in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, he is the father of the warrior maiden Britomart. A variation of Rions is found in Meriadeuc as King Ris.
   Geoffrey places the battle between Arthur and Rions at Mount Aravius (in Welsh, Eryri, or Snowdon). Rions had fashioned a cloak from the beards of all the kings he had killed, but he needed one more. He sent a message to Arthur demanding that Arthur send his own beard to Rions in penance, or to face Rions’ wrath. Arthur challenged Rions to a fight, defeated him, and took the cloak for himself. Many other authors allude to this battle, giving variations of Rions’ name and the battle site.
   In the Vulgate Merlin, Rions becomes a Saxon king who invades Carmelide, Leodegan’s kingdom, early in Arthur’s reign. With fifteen allied kings, he besieged the castle of Carhaix. Arthur, fresh from his defeat of the rebellious kings at Bedegraine, journeyed to Carhaix with Merlin, King Ban of Benoic, and King Bors of Gannes, and the combined forces of the kings led to Rions’ defeat. Rions suffered a second defeat at Aneblayse, another of Leodegan’s cities, in which Arthur captured Rions’s sword—a magnificent blade called Marmiadoise that had been owned by Hercules. Rions returned to Carhaix again, demanded Arthur’s beard as in Geoffrey of Monmouth, and Arthur finally killed him in single combat.
   The Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation and Malory’s Le Morte Darthur modify the story: After his defeat at Carmelide, Rions helped the kings in rebellion against Arthur to repel a Saracen invasion. In time, however, he turned on these kings, conquered their lands, and made his famous request for Arthur’s beard. With his brother King Nero and King Lot of Lothian, he met Arthur’s forces at the castle of Tarabel in Cornwall. Before the battle, however Balin and Balan intercepted and abducted Rions, delivering him to Arthur as a prisoner. Consequently, Arthur was able to defeat the other kings. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, ChretienP, VulgMer, PostMer, ChestreLvl, Malory, KingR, Spenser]

Riothamus [Rigatamos, Riothimir]

British king mentioned in early continental chronicles who in 468, at the request of Emperor Anthemius of Rome (ruled 467–472), brought an army of twelve thousand Britons “by way of the ocean” to Gaul to destroy the Euric the Visigoth. Euric was amassing power and he threatened the crumbling empire’s western territories. Arvandus, Rome’s traitorous prefect in Gaul, warned Euric of Riothamus’s advance, and Euric was able to lay an ambush in Burgundy that decimated the British army. Riothamus reportedly escaped, but it is not known what became of him. The kingdom over which Riothamus ruled is also not known. Some scholars have suggested that he came from Brittany rather than Britain.
   Geoffrey Ashe and other scholars have identified Riothamus with Arthur. Riothamus seems to be a variation of the Celtic rigatamos, a title meaning “great king,” rather than a personal name. Riothamus and a historical Arthur would have lived in the same time frame, and Riothamus’s campaign in Gaul is mirrored in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia by Arthur’s conquest of France. The area of Burgundy in which Riothamus was last reported contains a valley known as Avallon, which may be a historical origin for Arthur’s final resting place. Other scholars have tried to connect Riothamus with Ambrosius or even Uther. A less controversial theory suggests simply that Geoffrey of Monmouth was inspired by Riothamus’s story when he wrote of Arthur’s expedition to Gaul. E. K. Chambers thought that a derivation of his name might be found in Ritho (Rions), a giant slain by Arthur in the chronicles.


An island in the Uziano Sea ruled by Lasancis, an enemy of Arthur. [Tavola]


British king who opposed Cadioalant in a tournament at Caerleon. [Contin1]


King of Outre-Ombre (“outer shadows”) who defeated nine kings and made a mantle for his paramour, the Queen of Iceland, out of their beards. He sent a message to Arthur’s court demanding Arthur’s beard. When Arthur refused, he besieged and captured the city of Cardigan. He offered to grant any favor to a knight who would brave the fearsome Waste Chapel. When none of his knights rose to the task, Lady Lore of Cardigan—over Ris’s objections—completed the adventure and forced Ris to return her city. Later, Arthur’s Sir Meriadeuc defeated Ris and his best knights in combat, forcing them to surrender to Arthur. Ris reconciled with Arthur and became one of the king’s knights. Found in the tale of Meriadeuc, his character and name were evidently suggested by Rions. [Meriadeuc]


Perceval’s great-aunt. She was the daughter of Titurel and the sister of Frimutel. She married Kaylet of Hoskurast, the King of Spain and Castille. [Wolfram]


A lady who stole a hound from Pereval. Her lover, Garsallas, stole a white stag’s head from Perceval. Their thefts delayed Perceval’s return to the Grail Castle. [Contin2]


The name in Geoffrey of Monmouth of a giant killed at Mount Snowdon. He is generally known as Rions in other tales. [GeoffHR]


The Count of Tumane who participated in the Dyoflê tournament in Ulrich’s Lanzelet. He opposed Lot, and fared poorly in the tournament—twenty of his knights were captured—until Lancelot agreed to fight for his side. Ulrich notes that Ritschart had 100 knights in total; he may thus be identical to the King with a Hundred Knights found in later texts. [UlrichZ]

Ritschart2 of Navers

A count who was an ally or vassal of Duchess Orgeluse of Logres. He joined a battle against Arthur in Logres, and was defeated by Arthur himself. [Wolfram]

Rivalin1 [Riwalin]

A king. Rivalin and his wife, Anzansnuse, cared for Gawain after he had been badly injured in a battle against four “toll collectors.” [Heinrich]

Rivalin2 Canelengres [Riwalin]

Tristan’s father in the early German legends. He is variously given as the king of Lyonesse (or Lohenis), or the lord of Parmenie. Rash and bold, he declared war on his overlord, Duke Morgan, and fought a destructive conflict. During a truce, he traveled to Cornwall to assist King Mark against Mark’s Irish enemies. There, he met Mark’s sister Blancheflor and fell in love with her. He received a deep wound in battle, but Blancheflor’s presence revived him. They married, and Blancheflor died giving birth to Tristan. Gottfried says that Rivalin died soon afterwards, in the renewed war against Morgan, but not before commending Tristan to the care of his steward, Rual. Eilhart says that he lived to raise his son. Upon Rivalin’s death, Tristan inherited his kingdom but never ruled it. The Norse Saga of Tristram and Ísönd calls him simply Canelengres, and the Middle-English Sir Tristrem refers to him as Rouland. His character was supplanted by Meliadus. [Eilhart, Wolfram, Gottfried]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, king of Britain in the eighth century BC. He was the son of King Cunedag and the father of King Gurgustius. During his reign, a plague befell Britain. [GeoffHR]


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


A castle in the country of Nantes that Erec gave to Licorant (or Koralus) when he married Licorant’s daughter Enide. This gift brought Licorant out of poverty. R. S. Loomis (Tradition, 76) identifies it with Castle Rudlan in North Wales. [ChretienE]


The pagan king of Glois who sold his soul to the devil and was thus able to use sorcery to take over many lands, including the neighboring kingdom of Korntin. He killed King Lar of Korntin and drove Queen Amena to the border. After holding Korntin for ten years, he was killed in single combat by Wigalois (Gawain’s son), who had arrived as Amena’s champion. Roaz’s wife, Japhite, died from sorrow. [Wirnt]

Robber Knight

A thief and murderer who kidnapped two maidens from the Waste Castle. Perceval and the Coward Knight caught him in the act, and Perceval forced the Coward Knight to intervene. The Coward Knight killed the Robber Knight, turning himself into the Bold Knight. [Perlesvaus]


The home of Sir Caveron and Sir Governal, who may be the same character. [ChretienE, ChretienL]


The squire of Guinglain, Gawain’s son. [Renaut]


The lord of castle Sotain Herbert. Agravain met him during Agravain’s adventures in Ireland. Robert’s lovely wife had been carried off by a violent storm. The lady found her way to the castle of an evil, lustful nobleman, who imprisoned her and forced her to marry him against her will. Agravain and some of Robert’s knights managed to rescue her and return her to her rightful husband. [Merveil]


The court fool of King Faramon of France. He foretold Morholt’s death at the hands of Tristan. [Tavola]


In Guillaume le Clerc’s Fergus, a castle in Lothian, where Lady Galiene of Lothian was besieged by a malicious king. She was rescued by Arthur’s Sir Fergus. Guillaume was probably referring to the actual Scottish castle of Roxburgh. [Guillaume]


The daughter of the Duke of Rocedon helped Lancelot escape from Cart Castle when he was imprisoned there by Morgan le Fay and the Queen of Sorestan. In return, Lancelot helped her regain lands which had been stolen by Sorestan. [VulgLanc]

Roche Florie

The home of Lorie, Gawain’s fairy girlfriend. [Merveil]


Knight of the Round Table. [Scott]


A city in Kent. The Bishop of Rochester, on orders from the pope, brought about a reconciliation between Arthur and Guinevere after the queen’s affair with Lancelot was exposed. [VulgMort, Stanz, Malory]

Rock Castle

A castle converted to Christianity by Joseph of Arimathea. It was ruled by Lord Matagran. [VulgEst]

Rock of Blood [*Roche de Sanc]

A cliff near the city of La Choine, where King Evalach of Sarras fought a battle against King Tholomer of Babylonia. Evalach was nearly defeated, but a holy White Knight appeared and routed Tholomer’s forces. The enormous bloodshed at the battle stained the cliff red, giving it its name. [VulgEst]

Rock of Hermits [*Roche aux Ermites]

A small island where King Mark of Cornwall, in one of his many attempts to rid himself of Tristan, abandoned his nephew. A knight named Assar, who lived on the nearby Island of Two Brothers, befriended and rescued Tristan. [ProsTris]

Rock of Merlin

Merlin’s tomb, where Tristan and Lancelot fought a great battle in the Italian Quando Tristano e Lancielotto Combattettero al Petrone di Merlino. Merlin had predicted that the two greatest knights in the world would do battle there. Tristan thought he was fighting Palamedes, who had agreed to meet him there but was delayed by injury. Lancelot, for his part, expected to stop a fight between Tristan and his son Galahad. The two knights revealed themselves and ended the fight before they injured each other too severely. This episode appears, in varied forms, in many different romances. In La Tavola Ritonda, a number of stones of this nature are collectively called Merlin’s Stones. [Quando]

Rock of the Cornishwoman

A castle where a Cornish enchantress bewitched and imprisoned Meliadus, Tristan’s father, on the eve of his son’s birth. [ProsTris]

Rock of the Maidens [*Roche aux Pucelles]

A high rock on which Merlin imprisoned a lady and her many sisters, after the lady tried to kill Merlin by sorcery. The maidens on the Rock possessed the power of prophecy and correctly predicted the deaths of Arthur, Gawain, Morholt, and Gaheris. Gawain and Morholt were trapped on the Rock after they decided to enjoy the maidens’ company. Yvain tried to rescue them, but found that they had no memory of their former lives. They were eventually freed by Gaheris, who defeated the maidens’ brother in combat. [PostMer, PostQuest]

Rockingham [Rok(e)ingham]

In the English Arthour and Merlin, the site of the decisive battle between Arthur and the kings who rebelled against him. The Vulgate Merlin places this fight at the forest of Bedegraine. The similarity of Rockingham and “Brekenham,” a variation of Bedegraine, may have contributed to the confusion. Arthour also places a battle between King Clarion and the Saxons in the forest of Rockingham. [Arthour]

Rocky Crag

In the Vulgate Merlin, the Duke of the Rocky Crag allied with Arthur and pledged support to Arthur’s war against the Saxons. [VulgMer]


A duke in Arthur’s service. [Erex]

Rodric [Sodric]

A king of Picts who, during the reign of Marius in Britain, brought a fleet from Scythia and invaded Scotland. Marius conquered him but gave Caithness to the Pictish people. [GeoffHR]


A castle in Arthur’s kingdom. According to the Vulgate Merlin, its castellan joined the British kings’ war against the Saxons. Roestoc plain was the site of a battle between the Saxons and a group of youths led by Gawain. In the Vulgate Lancelot, the Lady of Roestoc is attacked by Sir Seguarades, who desires to marry her. She sent one of her vassals—a dwarf named Groadain—to find a champion from Arthur’s court to fight Seguarades. Groadain returned with Hector and Gawain, the latter of whom was traveling incognito. Hector’s lady refused to let him fight, so the combat was left to the “unknown” knight. After a long battle, Gawain was victorious against Seguarades, and he freed the Lady’s lands. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer]


British castle owned by the uncle of Sir Kahedins or by Arthur. [VulgLanc]

Rogedal of Mirnetalle

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

Roger [Ugier]

A presumptuous knight who came to Uther’s court to have Merlin predict the fate of his son. He arrogantly sat in the Round Table’s Perilous Seat and was killed. [VitaMer]


A prince enchanted by his stepmother in the form of a fox. He joined Gawain during Gawain’s quest for the Floating Chessboard. Roges could only return to human form if he saw King Wonder, his son, Gawain, and the maiden Ysabele all together in the same place. At the conclusion of the adventure, Gawain returned to Wonder’s court, the condition was met, and Roges became a man again. [Penninc]


A dukedom conquered by Galehaut from Duke Helias. [Livre]


A castle ruled by Griffon, an enemy of Arthur. [VulgLanc]


A maiden whose lover, Arguissiaus of Carhaix, was badly wounded by Sir Dragonel the Cruel. Dragonel intended to force Rohais into marrying him, but Perceval arrived, defeated him in combat, and saved Rohais. [Contin4]

Rohand [Rohant]

Steward of Rouland, Tristan’s father. When Rouland was slain by Duke Morgan, Rohand raised Tristan, calling him “Tantrist,” and pretending that the boy was his own son. He is known as Rual in Gottfried’s version. [SirTris]


A mountain in the land of Styria—presently called the Rohitscher Berg—where Perceval’s uncle Trevrizent had some adventures, fighting battles against the Slovenes, before settling down into a hermitage. [Wolfram]


A castle where Gawain found lodging prior to the tournament at Sorgarda castle. The mistress of Rohur was named Levenet. [Heinrich]


A knight defeated by Erec in a tournament in Hartmann von Aue’s Erec. He may be identical with either Randuraz or the King of the Red City in Chrétien’s Erec. [HartmannE]


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


One of Arthur’s knights. He encountered a dragon in the forest, who begged him to kiss her. Roidurant fled instead, but related the story to Lancelot, who assumed the adventure and kissed the dragon, turning it into the beautiful Clidra the Fair. [UlrichZ]

Roimunt (“King’s Mountain”)

A castle at the edge of the kingdom of Korntin. A strong fortress, it was the only place of refuge for Queen Amena of Korntin after her land was seized by King Roaz of Glois. Amena lived at Roimunt for ten years until Roaz was killed by Wigalois (Gawain’s son). [Wirnt]

Roland de Vaux

The hero of part of Sir Walter Scott’s The Bridal of Triermain. On a quest to find a Sleeping Beauty, he located a castle in the Valley of St. John, which contained Gyneth, Arthur’s daughter. Merlin had enchanted her into a deep slumber, but Roland woke her with a kiss. [Scott]


A twelfth-century pseudo-historical count of Brittany found in Etienne de Rouen’s Draco Normannicus. Henry II of England was conquering Rollandus’s kingdom, so Rollandus sent to Arthur, who was living in a southern paradise, for assistance. Arthur, in turn, sent a message to Henry warning him to leave Brittany alone and to prepare for Arthur’s return. Henry ignored the message and Arthur never appeared. [Etienne]


Fictional pope during the reign of King Vortimer (Vortigern’s son). At Vortimer’s request, Romanus sent two bishops—Germanus and Louis—to help restore Christianity in Britain, which had faltered under Vortigern’s rule. [Layamon]

Romarec [Rumarek, Rumaret(h)]

The King of Finland or Wendland in the time of Arthur. He voluntarily subjugated himself to Arthur to avoid being conquered. He sent his son to Arthur’s court as a kind of hostage. His son later helped put a stop to a brawl in Arthur’s hall. Romarec assisted Arthur in the conquest of France. [Wace, Layamon]

Rome [Romme, Roume]

Historically, it is known that Roman legions conquered Britain in 43 A.D. The histories proposed by Gildas, Nennius, and Geoffrey follow the same pattern: an initial invasion followed by hundreds of years of uncertain, absentee domination and constant usurpation by British natives or expatriated Romans, an eventual withdrawal, a return—at the pleading of the Britons—to drive away the Picts and Scots, a second departure, and a refusal to return again to help the Britons against the barbarians. The departure takes place in early fifth century. It leaves Britain in anarchy and paves the way for the assumption of the throne by Constantine, Arthur’s grandfather. The histories also suggest that Arthur descended from Roman stock (some histories call Ambrosius, Arthur’s uncle, a Roman senator). See Britain for a fuller history.
   Beginning with Geoffrey of Monmouth, almost all the chronicles include a war between Arthur and Rome that begins when Rome demands Arthur’s submission. Geoffrey names the Roman emperor as Leo, but the procurator, who takes charge of the campaign against Arthur, is named Lucius. Following the Romans’ demand, Arthur raised an army and met the Romans in Gaul. Both sides convened to discuss a treaty, but during the talks, Gawain became enraged at the insults of a Roman warrior and cut off his head, inciting a battle. Several skirmishes followed, culminating in the final battle at Soissons, in which Lucius was killed and Arthur was victorious. Arthur prepared to march on Rome itself, but he was recalled to Britain to deal with Mordred’s insurrection.
   Geoffrey and his immediate successors thus locate the Roman War at the end of Arthur’s reign. The Vulgate Cycle changes this chronology, placing the Roman War just after Arthur’s victories against the Saxons and the rebellious British kings at the beginning of his reign. The Vulgate Merlin, in fact, names the Roman Emperor in Arthur’s time as none other than Julius Caesar! Caesar sent Roman warriors, under the command of the senator Pontius Anthony, to assist King Claudas of the Waste Land in his war against Arthur, Ban of Benoic, and Bors of Gannes. Claudas was eventually victorious, but Pontius Anthony was killed. Later, Merlin follows Geoffrey by naming Lucius as the Roman leader, but Merlin (following a tradition begun by the chronicler Wace) eliminates Leo and calls Lucius himself the Emperor of Rome. As in Geoffrey, Arthur kills him at the battle of Soissons and returns home. In the Vulgate Mort Artu, the Romans invade Burgundy at the end of Arthur’s reign, as Arthur is fighting Lancelot in France. Arthur again slays the Roman Emperor and, as in Geoffrey, returns to Britain to deal with Mordred.
   The Alliterative Morte Arthure follows Geoffrey’s chronology by placing the war against Lucius just before Mordred’s insurrection. The text adds, however, a description of Arthur’s conquest of the city of Rome itself (an idea found earlier in John Hardyng’s chronicle). Malory includes Arthur’s occupation of Rome, but reverts to the Vulgate Cycle’s chronology, and excludes the Roman invasion of Burgundy.
   It is interesting to note that the western Roman Empire fell in AD 476 (see Constantinople for information on the eastern empire), but the Arthurian legends, which take place in the late fifth or early sixth century, refer to Rome as if it still possessed all its glory in Arthur’s time. The author of Floriant et Florete seems to have at least some knowledge of Rome’s problems with the barbarian tribes: in the story, it is besieged by Saracens but saved by the timely arrival of the hero Floriant. [Gildas, Nennius, GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, Hardyng, VulgMort, VulgMer, Floriant, Allit, Malory]

Romney [Ramsey, Romsey]

In Wace, the seaport in Britain where Mordred’s army met Arthur’s on their return from the Roman War. A great battle was fought, and Gawain and Angusel were killed. This parallels Geoffrey’s account of the battle of Richborough and Malory’s description of Dover. [Wace, Layamon, Awntyrs]


Arthur’s lance according to Geoffrey of Monmouth. It was one of the finest weapons ever made. Arthur carried it at the battle of Bath against the Saxons. In Culhwch and Olwen, Arthur’s spear is called Rhongomynyad, of which Ron seems to be an abbreviation. [GeoffHR, Wace]

Rondoles Hall [Rondallsete, Rondol(f)sett(e)]

A castle in the vicinity of Inglewood Forest where Arthur, Guinevere, and Arthur’s knights retired to dinner after an adventure at lake Wadling. Galleron appeared and challenged any of Arthur’s knights to a duel to reclaim lands that Arthur had annexed. Rondoles Hall was probably based on a real location; there are records of manors named Randalholme, Randasset, and Randerside in the area of Lake Wadling (Hahn, 213). [Awntyrs]

Roolant [Roulyons]

A vassal of King Rions, Arthur’s Saxon enemy. Roolant joined Rions’ invasion of Carmelide. [VulgMer, Arthour]


A region of Wales where Gawain’s tomb was supposedly discovered during the reign of William I in 1087. [WilliamM]

Rosche Sabins [Rogisabens, Roisawenz]

The capital city of the land ruled by King Gramoflanz, Gawain’s enemy. It had previously been owned by Gramoflanz’s father, King Irot. The town was well-guarded with numerous moats and towers. It stood near the sea, between the Sabins and Poynzaclins rivers. [Wolfram, PleierG]

Rose Espanie

The unattractive ladylove of Girflet, lord of Becleus. Girflet continually entered her in a sparrowhawk tournament, even though she was not beautiful, which was supposed to be a requisite for winning the sparrowhawk. Girflet’s own skill as a knight made him the victor. He was finally given his just deserts by Gawain’s son, Guinglain, who entered the tournament with Margerie, a truly attractive woman. [Renaut]

Roseamonde of the Noble Vales

Paramour of Sir Semiramin, a knight saved by Perceval. [Contin4]

Rosete la Bloie [Rozain]

A loathly lady loved by the Handsome Coward. Perceval encountered them in the forest and laughed at her ugliness. The Handsome Coward attacked Perceval for this insult but lost. Both went to Arthur’s court, where Rosete was again teased by Kay. She later became beautiful. [Contin2, Didot]


In the Norse Erex Saga, the location of the Sparrowhawk tournament where Erec met Enide. Chrétien de Troyes calls the castle Laluth. [Erex]


Arthur’s king of Ireland in one manuscript of Pierre de Langtoft’s chronicle; very likely a corruption of “the rich king of Ireland” (ly ryche rois de Irland). [Pierre]


A city in Normandy. Wolfram says it was Duke Gaschier’s capital. In the Alliterative Morte Arthure, the Duke of Rouen joins Arthur’s war against Rome. [Wolfram, Allit]


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

Rougemont [Rogemont]

A castle ruled by Lord Taulas in the romance of Yder. Taulas rejected Arthur’s authority, and Arthur besieged the castle in response. [Yder]


Tristan’s father in the Middle-English Sir Tristrem, analogous to Rivalin in the romance of Gottfried von Strassburg. After fathering Tristan on Blancheflor, the sister of King Mark, Rouland was slain in a war against Duke Morgan. His steward, Rohand, raised Tristan, and the latter avenged his death. His counterpart in the Prose Tristan is Meliadus. [SirTris]


One of Arthur’s towns. [Vengeance, Durmart]

Round Pine

A tree in Orkney where, in the time of Joseph of Arimathea, King Orcant tested knights who wanted to champion him against a murder charge brought by King Marahant of Ireland. By defeating King Orcant himself, Peter, a follower of Joseph of Arimathea, won the right to fight the combat. [VulgEst]

Round Table [Tavola Ritonda]

A term applied both to Arthur’s fellowship of knights and the actual table at which the fellowship convened. It is first mentioned by Wace in Roman de Brut, who says that Arthur seated his knights at a round table to avoid disputes about precedence; since there is no “head” at a round table, no knight can claim superiority over the others by his position at the table. As The Grene Knight tells it: “[Arthur] made the Round Table for their behove, that none of them shold sitt above, but all shold sitt as one.” In Layamon, the table is constructed by a carpenter who comes to Arthur’s court in the days of peace following Arthur’s conquest of almost all lands west of the Alps. The carpenter suggested the idea of the Round Table to Arthur after a brawl broke out in Arthur’s court over who would get to sit at the head of the (then) rectangular table.
   The number of knights who could sit at the table varies from legend to legend, ranging from 13 (Didot-Perceval) to 50 (Robert de Boron) to 60 (Jean d’Outremeuse) to 130 (“The Legend of King Arthur”) to 140 (Hartmann von Aue) to 150 (Vulgate Lancelot) to 250 (Vulgate Merlin) to 1600 (Layamon). Layamon’s Round Table, with the incredible 1600 seats, was also portable! Béroul mentions that the Round Table “rotate[d] like the Earth,” but it is unclear what purpose this would serve. Any table seating more than a dozen knights would be so large in diameter as to be unwieldy, but some artists and late authors depict it as a ring rather than a solid table, with space in the middle for servants and entertainers.
   In contrast to Wace, who makes Arthur the founder of the Round Table, Robert de Boron and the Vulgate Cycle assert that Uther established it, after hearing Merlin’s tales of the Grail Table in the time of Joseph of Arimathea. Uther apparently gave it to King Leodegan of Carmelide who, in turn, gave it to Arthur as a wedding present when Arthur married Guinevere, Leodegan’s daughter. The claim that Leodegan once owned the Round Table is first found in Perlesvaus, and in both Perlesvaus and the Vulgate Lancelot, a demand is made upon Arthur to relinquish the Round Table to a relative of Leodegan (Jandree in Perlesvaus and Guinevere the False in the Vulgate Lancelot).
   When Arthur re-established the Round Table in his own court, Merlin designated one of the seats the Perilous Seat, which was destined to be filled by Galahad. Merlin wrote the names of the knights who sat in each seat in magical golden letters, which changed as the occupancy of the seats changed. In the Vulgate, the Round Table is presented as the greatest of Arthur’s orders, ahead of the Queen’s Knights, the Knights of the Watch, the Table of Errant Companions, and the Table of Less-Valued Knights. Members of the Round Table were bound by a code of honor and service. Malory outlines this code as:
· To never do outrage nor murder
· Always to flee treason
· To by no means be cruel but to give mercy unto him who asks for mercy
· To always do ladies, gentlewomen, and widows succor
· To never force ladies, gentlewomen, and widows
· Not to take up battles in wrongful quarrels for love or worldly goods
   See Twelve Rules of the Round Table for another list.
   Italian romance distinguishes between the Round Tables of Uther Pendragon (called the Tavola Vecchio, or “Old Table”) and Arthur (the Tavola Nuovo, or “New Table”). La Tavola names four types of seats at Arthur’s Round Table: the Perilous Seat, the Royal Seat (reserved for Arthur), the Adventurous Seats (occupied by the majority of knights) and seats for infirm knights.
   Welsh warriors traditionally ate and met in circles, which may be an origin of the Round Table theme. Fights over placement and other favors at feasts are common in Irish tales. Romance writers were probably also enticed to develop the Round Table after the tradition that Christ and the apostles sat at a round table at the last supper. In Luke 22:24-6, God chastises his apostles for bickering over precedence, which is echoed in Wace’s story of the Round Table’s origins. Pilgrims returning from Jerusalem in the eleventh and twelfth centuries reported to have seen the marble round table of the Last Supper. These reports may have influenced the account of Robert de Boron, for whom the Round Table was the third of its kind, following the table of the Last Supper and the Grail Table.
   The fate of the Round Table is rarely discussed, but in the Post-Vulgate Mort Artu, Mark destroys Camelot and the Round Table with it.
   A round table made from oak is kept in Winchester Castle, and it was thought by Caxton, Malory’s publisher, to be the authentic Arthurian Round Table. However, it was probably constructed in the thirteenth or fourteenth century for one of the various Arthurian festivals held in the Middle Ages. The Wichester table is 18 feet in diameter, and since 1522 it has displayed the names of 25 knights taken from Malory’s Le Morte Darthur. [Wace, ChretienE, RobertBorM, Didot, Wolfram, Perlesvaus, Stricker, VulgLanc, VulgQuest, VulgMort, PostMer, PostQuest, PostMort, Tavola, Jean, Boccaccio, Malory, Grene, Legend]

Rowena [R(h)on(e)wen, Ronix, Rowan, Rowen(ne), Roxiena]

The daughter of the Saxon leader Hengist, given in marriage to King Vortigern of Britain by Hengist in exchange for the country of Kent. She is first found in Nennius. Vortigern’s marriage to Rowena horrified many of Vortigern’s subjects—as well as the British clergy—because Rowena was a heathen and Vortigern was a Christian, and also because the union cemented an uncomfortable alliance between the British and the Saxons. When Vortigern’s son, Vortimer, took the throne from his father and defeated the Saxons, Rowena pretended that she wished to convert to Christianity. She was able to get close to Vortimer, and she then poisoned and killed him, allowing Vortigern to reclaim the throne and the Saxons to return. Her character is found in Godfrey of Viterbo’s Pantheon as Angria and in Baudin Butor’s romance as Sardoine.
   Rowena appears as the main character in Thelwall’s The Fairy of the Lake. A heathen sorceress, she falls in love with Arthur (here presented as the contemporary of Vortigern and Ambrosius) and embarks on an elaborate scheme to seduce him by magic, calling upon her supernatural allies such as Queen Hela of the Infernal Regions and the demon Incubus. Thwarted by the Lady of the Lake, Arthur’s guardian, she murders her husband Vortigern and offers Arthur the crown along with herself. Arthur, horrified at her crime, burns Rowena and her castle to the ground. [Nennius, GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, Thelwall]


The father of Arthur’s knights Raynald and Richer. [Allit]


Scottish castle where Arthur’s Sir Meliador defeated 1,566 knights for the love of Hermondine, princess of Scotland. [Froissart]

Royal Knights

A trio of Arthur’s knights—Nascien, Mordred, and Llew—in Welsh legend, who were handsome, wise, and skilled in arms. The inclusion of Mordred in this list is interesting, and this description of him is unique to Welsh legend. [Triads]

Royal Lay

A story about Tristan written by Arthur. [ProsTris]

Royal Minster

A nunnery in Gaul to which Elaine (Lancelot’s mother) fled after her husband died and her land was conquered by King Claudas. She was soon joined by her sister-in-law, Evaine (King Bors’s widow) when Claudas conquered Gannes. Evaine died at the Royal Minster after receiving a vision in which she saw her sons, Lionel and Bors, and Elaine’s son, Lancelot, in the safe care of the Lady of the Lake. [LancLac, VulgLanc]

Royal Seat [*Seggio Reale]

Arthur’s seat at the Round Table. [Tavola]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Mael. [Culhwch]

Rual li Foitenant [Róaldur]

Tristan’s noble foster-father in Gottfried’s Tristan. Rual was the husband of Floraete and the steward of Tristan’s father, Rivalin Canelengres. His epithet signifies “one who maintains faith.” Rivalin commended Tristan to Rual’s care on his death bed. Rual and Floraete raised Tristan as their own son to shield him from Rivalin’s former enemies—most notably Duke Morgan of Brittany. Rual embarked on a search for Tristan when Tristan was abducted by some merchants, and he was relieved when he found that Tristan had made his way to his uncle Mark’s court. After Tristan re-conquered his ancestral land of Parmenie from Duke Morgan, he gave the throne of the land to Rual, and to Rual’s sons after him. Rual and Floraete died from unknown circumstances during Tristan’s life. He is called Rohand in the Middle-English Sir Tristrem. [Gottfried, TrisSaga]

Rubert of Gandin

A king who joined King Ekunaver of Kanadic’s war against Arthur. [PleierG]


A castle in Lyonesse owned by King Meliadus, Tristan’s father. [Tavola]


The infant son of Amavia and Mordaunt. Sir Guyon carried Ruddymane to safety after his parents’ deaths. [Spenser]


A vicious, hideous hag who inhabited the woods of Glois. Her husband, Feroz, was murdered, which drove her to seek revenge on any knight she saw. One such knight was Wigalois (Gawain’s son), who came to Glois on an adventure. Ruel charged him, and he didn’t defend himself immediately because she was a woman. Surprising him with her might, she bound him and carried him off like a sack. As she was about to cleave off his head, his horse whinnied. Hearing the noise, Ruel thought that Pfetan, the local dragon, was coming, and she fled, allowing Wigalois to escape. [Wirnt]


In Paolino Pieri’s La Storia di Merlino, one of two messengers sent by King Vortigern to find a boy without a father. Ruggieri and Labegues, his companion, found Merlin in Northumberland. [Pieri]

Rugier of Doleise

An enemy of Duke Jovelin of Arundel. He besieged Jovelin in the castle of Karke, but Tristan (Jovelin’s son-in-law) arrived and defeated Rugier. [Gottfried]

Ruiste Valee

An Irish mountain castle owned by Lord Savari, a knight slain by Lancelot. [Merveil]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the third or second century BC. He was the son of King Peredur. He succeeded his cousin, King Idwallo, and was succeeded another cousin, King Gerontius. [GeoffHR]


In Layamon’s Brut, the daughter of Russia’s king marries King Alcus of Iceland, a vassal of Arthur. Its kings in Claris et Laris are Solifas, who joins Emperor Thereus of Rome’s war against Arthur, and Baratron, who joins King Tallas of Denmark in a war against Urien. [Layamon, Claris]


In one manuscript of the Prose Tristan, the brother of Kahedins and Isolde of the White Hands. He loved a lady named Gargeolain, and Tristan helped him arrange a tryst with the woman. Later, Gargeolain’s husband, Bedalis, tracked down Tristan and Ruvalen and mortally wounded them both with a poisoned lance [ProsTris]


A king and Knight of the Round Table who participated in the Grail Quest. There is probably no relationship to Rions, the giant killed by Arthur. [ProsTris]

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