Arthurian Name Dictionary


The name Malory once gives to the father of Tor. Tor’s father is usually called Ares. [Malory]

Vadaans the Black

A large, bold, brutal knight, promoted to the Round Table to replace Hector, who defected to join Lancelot’s company. [PostMort]


The brother of the king of North Wales. He besieged Mabon Rock, ruled by King Agrippe, but his army was destroyed when Agrippe’s daughter poisoned its water supply. In revenge, Vadalon imprisoned the girl in a set of iron bands, which caused her extreme pain until she was freed by Sir Bors. [VulgLanc]

Vagan [Vagon]

The elderly lord of a castle near Camelot. Vagan gave lodging to the Knights of the Round Table, who were spending their last night together before each departed on a different path on the Grail Quest. [VulgQuest, PostQuest, Malory]


A lady who married Arbrun, a descendant of Brutus, and had two sons named Brun and Silhaut. Her sons were ancestors of the famous “Brown” clan. [Palamedes]


King of the Strange Island. Vagor’s son, Marabron, accused Arthur’s Sir Lionel of murder, and Vagor imprisoned Lionel until the judicial combat could be fought. Lancelot defended Lionel and was victorious. [VulgLanc]

Valcolor (“Colorful Valley”)

A vale where Gawain’s son Guinglain—the Fair Unknown—defeated the knights William of Salebrant, Elin of Graie, and the lord of Saie. They had attacked him there to revenge the defeat of their lord, Bleoberis, at Guinglain’s hand. [Renaut]

Valdoan [Vadoan, Valydone, Walydeyne]

The King of Valdoan was conquered by Lord Galehaut of Sorelois, and he participated in Galehaut’s wars against King Arthur. See also Avadoan. [LancLac, VulgLanc, Laik]

Valdone Pass

A mountain pass near the Waste Forest, in the land owned by Perceval’s mother. R. S. Loomis (Tradition, 345) read it as Snowdon, but other scholars have disagreed. [ChretienP, Contin4]


A city in southern France named in the Alliterative Morte Arthure as part of Arthur’s empire. [Allit]


A Knight of the Round Table. Vivien, attempting to impugn the purity of the Round Table, recounted to Merlin a rumor which said that Valence had fathered a child on the wife of one of his own kinsmen. Merlin denied the rumor and defended the honor of the Round Table. [Idylls]

Valendon [Valenton]

A city near the Castle of Maidens. [Renaut]


A giant from Lombardy who learned of the fame of Arthur’s Sir Lanval and sought to duel with him. He issued a challenge to Lanval, and Lanval traveled to the city of Atalye in Lombardy to accept. During the battle, Valentyne kept knocking Lanval’s armor to the ground, but Lanval’s servant kept retrieving his master’s dropped equipment, allowing Lanval to eventually kill Valentyne. Valentyne’s knights sought to kill Lanval in revenge, but Lanval slaughtered them all. [ChestreLvl]


King of the Tangled Wood and abductor of Guinevere in Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet. After Arthur married Guinevere, Valerin challenged Arthur for the queen, saying that she had been betrothed to him first. Lancelot, newly arrived at Arthur’s court, championed Arthur in judicial combat against Valerin and was victorious.
   Valerin rescinded his promise to relinquish his claim to Guinevere, and he abducted her while Arthur was hunting. Valerin brought the queen to the Tangled Wood, where he placed an enchantment upon her that caused her to fall into a slumber. Arthur besieged the Tangled Wood but could not penetrate its enchantments. Finally, an intervention by the wizard Malduc destroyed Valerin’s defenses. Arthur’s army swarmed into Valerin’s castle, and Valerin was killed. There are echoes of Meleagant’s abduction of Guinevere in Valerin’s story. See also Gazosein. [UlrichZ]


The duke of Valfort was vassal of the Lady of the Blonde Hair, Arthur’s paramour. [ChevPap]


In the Alliterative Morte Arthure, the king of Wales who served Arthur. [Allit]


The Count of Valigues was the father of a lady championed by Gaheris against Guidan. [VulgLanc]


A castle in the Brown Valley where members of the Brown Family resided. [Palamedes]

Vallet of the Circle of Gold [*Vallet au Cercle d’Or, Youth of the Golden Circle]

An Arthurian knight mentioned in lists from at least half a dozen romances. His name is never explained, though it may show some association with the Circle of Gold in Perlesvaus. In Claris et Laris, he is called a king. [ChretienE, Contin2, Claris]

Valley of Distress

A valley in the Highlands of Hell, where the Black Hag lived in a cave. As one of his tasks, the warrior Culhwch had to travel here and obtain the Black Hag’s blood. [Culhwch]

Valley of No Return

An enchanted vale, also called the Valley of False Lovers, created by Morgan le Fay to punish an unfaithful lover. The valley magically entrapped any knight who had ever been unfaithful to his lady. The valley’s surrounding forest was called the Forest of Misadventures, and the road leading to it was known as the Devil’s Road. Ladies could enter and depart at will. It held some two hudnred and fifty captives—including Galescalain, Kehedin, Gaheris of Carahew, and Yvain—before Lancelot, who had never been unfaithful to Guinevere, entered and broke the spell. In retaliation, Morgan kidnapped and imprisoned Lancelot for a spell. [VulgLanc, Livre, Prophecies]


A vassal of Kalegras, Tristan’s father. He brought Blenzibly, Kalegras’s wife, from England to the mortally wounded Kalegras’s bedside. [SagaTI]


The King of Valoune, which apparently encompassed the country of Wales, married the daughter of the Fisher King and succeeded Perceval as the Grail King in the Third Continuation of Perceval. [Contin3]

Vals of Sorelois

A knight who participated in the Sorelois tournament. Rather than a proper name, this was probably originally a surname for another knight. [ProsTris]

Valsin [Valfin]

The Count of Valsin was the father of Beauty Without Villany, a messenger to Arthur’s court. [ChevPap]

Vambieres [Nambire(s), Vandeberes, Wandlesbiri, Wandesborow]

A city besieged by the Saxons or Saracens in the beginning of Arthur’s reign. Vambieres was well-defended and was surrounded by moats. The Saxons burned the city and starved its residents but it was never captured. The siege forced the kings in rebellion against Arthur to abandon their revolt and return home. Arthur and his knights were involved in several skirmishes against the Saxons outside the gates. The Saxons finally abandoned the siege to channel their forces to the battle of Clarence, where they were destroyed. Arthur gave the city to Yvain. [VulgMer, Livre, Arthour, Malory]


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


A castle in Cornwall besieged by Saxons in the early days of Arthur’s reign. [VulgMer]


A Saxon warrior slain by Gawain in a skirmish at Roestoc. [VulgMer]


One of the barbarian Germanic tribes who attacked Rome in the fifth century, sacking the city in 455. They also ravaged Spain and North Africa, conquering the latter and ruling it from 439 to 534, when they were conquered by the Byzantine Empire. The Vandals flourished in a time contemporary to Arthur, and Jean D’Outremeuse says that Arthur subjugated them. [Jean]


A young knight in Sir Walter Scott’s The Bridal of Triermain. He was killed in a tournament, hoping to win the hand of Gyneth, Arthur’s daughter. His death prompted Merlin to end the tournament and to imprison Gyneth in a centuries long slumber. [Scott]


A heathen duke who, under King Oriel, fought Kings Urien and Angusel at the battle of Coranges. [Arthour]


A river near the city of Esterbury where, at the end of a battle, Sir Sagremor killed the Saxon King Brandague and the Irish King Margan. [VulgLanc]

Variens of Sasiaborg

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

Varlan [Hurlaine]

A king of Wales, some time before Arthur, who went to war with the Lambor, the Grail King. During one fierce battle, Lambor forced Varlan to flee. The latter came across the Ship of Solomon and found the Sword with the Strange Hangings inside it. The sword was meant for Galahad, but Varlan drew it and used it to slay Lambor. The blow was called the Dolorous Stroke, and it turned Wales and Listenois into the Waste Land. When Varlan returned the sword to its sheath, he was struck dead in punishment for having drawn it. [VulgQuest, VulgEst, Malory]


A Syrian knight present at the tournament of Sorgarda, which Gawain won. Found in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, his name may be a variation of the Baruch, found in Wolfram. [Heinrich]


Son of a famous knight named Guiron the Courteous. Vaspariano guarded the castle of Crudele, at which he was slain in combat by Sir Lamorat, who had to assume his post. [Tavola]

Vaux [Vance, Vaux]

In the Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation and in Malory, King Rions, Arthur’s enemy, took the wife of the Duke of the Vaux (“vales”) as his lover. While riding to visit her one night, Rions was intercepted and abducted by the brothers Balin and Balan, who brought him to Arthur. [PostMer, Malory]


A lady who threw a tournament in the forest of Arroy. Sir Marhaus, a Knight of the Round Table, won the tournament and was awarded a circlet of gold. [Malory]


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


The Latin name for North Wales. Geoffrey of Monmouth names Cadwallo Lewirh, a vassal of Arthur, as the king of the Venedotians. [GeoffHR]


Gawain’s lover. She failed a chastity test involving a magic mantel. [MantelM]


A young Tristan, arriving in Cornwall for the first time, was directed to Mark’s court by two pilgrim’s from Venensarborg. [TrisSaga]


An island paradise ruled by Arthur’s Earl Masade. [Erex]


In Norse mythology, one of the three Fatal Sisters—the others were Urd and Schulda—who presided over the past, present, and future. In Thelwall’s The Fairy of the Lake, Rowena, wife of Vortigern, seeks their foresight during her quest to seduce Arthur. [Thelwall]


The heathen king of Sorboreste, who treacherously slew King Gediens of Karedonas and waged war on Dulceflur, Gediens’ daughter. Meleranz, Arthur’s nephew, championed Dulceflur and killed Verangoz. [PleierM]


The lady of the castle Aspetta Ventura in La Tavola Ritonda. She suffered from leprosy and could only be cured by the blood of a royal virgin. In the quest to heal her, her knights bled hundreds of virgins, most of whom perished. She was finally cured by the blood of Agresizia, Perceval’s sister, who subsequently died. She appears in the Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal but is unnamed. [Tavola]


A famed Roman poet from the first century BC. His most famous work is the epic Aeneid, which relates the story of Aeneas as he sails from Greece and founds Rome. The early chroniclers used material from Aeneid to form their story of Aeneas and his son, Brutus, the founder of Britain.
   Wolfram von Eschenbach, who uses metaphors from Aeneid heavily, says that Vergil “of Naples” was the maternal uncle of the sorcerer Clinschor, whose enchantments challenge Gawain Parzival. Vergil was the subject of numerous legends in the Middle Ages—most of them false—which are reflected in Wolfram’s Clinschor character. Wolfram’s assertion that Vergil was from Naples is only marginally accurate: he probably studied in Naples, and may have written part of his Georgics there. [Wolfram]

Vergulaht [Fergulaht, Vergolaht]

King of Ascalun. He was the son of Kingrisin and his wife Flurdamurs. Vergulaht’s cousin, Kingrimursel, accused Gawain of murdering Kingrisin and challenged him to combat in Vergulaht’s capital of Schanpfanzun. Vergulaht promised Gawain safe passage until the battle, but became enraged when he found his sister, Antikonie, and Gawain flirting with each other. Vergulaht summoned his guard and attacked Gawain. Gawain fought bravely but would have been defeated if not for the arrival of Kingrimursel, who was furious that Vergulaht had broken his word to leave Gawain unmolested until the combat. Kingrimursel’s presence forced Vergulaht to end his attack.
   While traveling in the forest of Læhtamris, Vergulaht had been defeated in combat by the Grail-seeking Perceval. As a condition of his surrender, Perceval ordered Vergulaht to join the Grail quest. Vergulaht, as a condition of freeing Gawain, ordered Gawain to relieve him from this obligation by assuming the quest himself. Vergulaht and Kingrimursel rescheduled the combat for a year later at Barbigoel, but before it could take place, Gawain was vindicated in Kingrisin’s death. [Wolfram, PleierT]


The wife of King Amoroldo of Ireland, a friend of Tristan. She died before her husband. [Tavola]

Vermillion Knight

A common translation of the Chevalier Vermeil, the Red Knight in Chrétien’s Perceval. [ChretienP]

Veronica [Verrine]

A woman from Jerusalem who lent a cloth to Jesus Christ to wipe his face. Later, the cloth was able to cure Vespasian’s leprosy. When Vespasian came to Jerusalem, Veronica told him of all those involved in Christ’s death so that Vespasian could execute them. This is Saint Veronica from the Bible. [RobertBorJ, VulgEst]


Foster-mother of Elyabel, Tristan’s mother. Her husband was named Ferragunze. [Tavola]


A forest along the Thames River in which Gawain was abducted by Lord Caradoc of the Dolorous Tower. [VulgLanc]

Vespasian [Vaspasien(s), Vaspasyanus, Vaspasyen(s)]

In the Grail histories, the Emperor of Rome forty years after Christ. He is called the son of Emperor Titus, but the historical emperor Vespasian reigned before Titus, between AD 69 and 79. The Christian apocrypha relates how Vespasian went to Jerusalem to avenge the death of Christ, a tale upon which Robert de Boron and the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal built: While his father, Titus, was still Emperor, Vespasian suffered from a horrible leprosy and promised riches to anyone who could cure it. Finally, a knight from Capernaum delivered word that an object touched by Jesus Christ might heal him; after searching for such an artifact, Vespasian was cured by a cloth from Veronica. In gratitude, Vespasian planned to avenge the death of Christ in Jerusalem. He traveled to Jerusalem and executed all people who were involved in Christ’s death. He learned of Joseph of Arimathea’s imprisonment and freed him. Joseph had him baptized, and he returned to Rome. The Third Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval says that Vespasian brought Joseph with him to Rome. Later, Vespasian besieged Jerusalem when it was ruled by Agrippe.
   Prior to the Grail histories, Vespasian appears in the chronicles as a Roman general who, under Emperor Claudius I, quelled the revolt of King Arviragus of Britain. [GeoffHR, RobertBorJ, VulgQuest, VulgEst, PostQuest]


Gawain’s foster-father. He was a poor but nobly-born fisherman living near the city of Narbonne in Gaul. Gawain’s mother had given Gawain, as a baby, to some merchants, who docked their ship and left it unattended near Viamundus’s home. Viamundus came across the ship, found the infant and a pile of unguarded wealth within, and helped himself to both. Finding no way to spend his ill-gotten gains without arousing suspicion, Viamundus eventually journeyed to Rome with the spoils, representing himself as a noble Roman warlord from Gaul. The ruse worked, and the Roman Emperor awarded Viamundus a manor with in the city, where he lived out his days in relative luxury, raising Gawain to be an honorable and skillful knight. On his deathbed, he repented to the Emperor and to Pope Sulpicius, confessing his crime and deception. The Emperor, who had been his friend, forgave him and buried him in a tomb among the other Roman nobles. [DeOrtu]


A counselor to Arthur. During Arthur’s war with King Meliadus of Lyonesse, Viano advised Arthur to have the court ladies watch over the battle, so that the knights would fight more valiantly. [Tavola]

Viautre of Galerot

Arthur’s brother-in-law in the Didot-Perceval. His daughter, Elaine, is named as Gawain’s niece or cousin. The Vulgate Merlin mentions a certain Neutres (Nentres) of Garlot, who may be identical to Viautre. Neutres’s wife is named Elaine in later texts. [Didot]

Victorious Tower

The stronghold of Caradoc the Thirteenth, a knight defeated by Tristan. Caradoc had hung the shields of all the knights he had conquered from the tower’s walls. After his defeat, he gave the tower to Tristan, who in turn gave it to a knight named Arpinello. [Tavola]

Videburgh [Huiteborc]

A castle in the lands of Lord Galehaut of Sorelois. It bordered the Distant Isles. [VulgLanc]


A city named as part of Arthur’s empire in the Alliterative Morte Arthure. [Allit]


A city in Ireland that served as King Amoroldo’s capital. [Tavola]

Violet the Bold

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

Virgin Knights

Three of Arthur’s warriors mentioned in Welsh legend (adapted from French romances) who drew their power from their purity. These were Bwrt, Peredur, and Galath, who correspond to Bors, Perceval, and Galahad of the Grail romances. [Triads]

Virgù of Logres

A knight-captain in Arthur’s service who led Arthur’s soldiers at the siege of Tintagel against King Mark of Cornwall. [Tavola]


Tristan’s sword in La Tavola Ritonda, called the best sword in the world. [Tavola]


An Italian city that was one of many to surrender and send tribute to King Arthur after he had captured the city of Rome. [Allit, Malory]

Viviane [Viviana, Vivien]

The proper name of the Lady of the Lake in the Vulgate Merlin. It is a variation of Ninniane, her name in the other Vulgate romances. Merlin met the girl in France, fell in love with her, and taught her his magic. Viviane used the arts learned from Merlin to entrap him in a fortress in the forest of Broceliande, where she visited him frequently.
   While love and perhaps jealousy motivate Viviane in Merlin, in Tennyson’s Idylls, she is an evil, pagan witch. Tennyson makes the Lady of the Lake a separate character. Embittered by her father’s death at Arthur’s hands, she predicts with glee the death of Arthur and the Round Table. She encourages Balin and Balan to kill each other. Once the lover of King Mark of Cornwall, she sets her sights on Merlin after a failed attempt to vamp Arthur. Merlin sees through her wiles but, as he is old and starved for affection, wearily allows her to seduce him. As in Merlin, he teaches her a spell that imprisons, and she traps him in a tree. Later, she informs Mordred of the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere, prompting Mordred’s accusation and the eventual downfall of Arthur’s kingdom. [VulgMer, TennIK]

Vlask [Blaske, Blasque]

The King of Vlask and Hungary was Sir Sagremor’s father. After his death, the King’s wife (the daughter of Emperor Hadrian of Constantinople) re-married King Brandegorre of Estrangorre. Vlask may refer to the Backa, a territory in present day Serbia, on the border of Hungary. [VulgMer, Arthour]


The bishop of London who reproved King Vortigern for his marriage to the Saxon princess Rowena. Hengist, father of Rowena and leader of the Saxons, killed Vodinus for this insult. [Boece]


A son of King Vortigern, mentioned by Wace. He split with his father over his father’s relationship with the Saxons. Vortiger and the Saxon warrior Horsa killed each other at the battle of Aylesford. He is probably identical to Catigern, mentioned in other chronicles but not in Wace. [Wace]

Vortigern1 [*Gurthrigern, Gwrtheyrn, Fortager(e)(s), Fortiger(s), Vertaggiere, Vertigier, Vitiglier, Vortiger]

A British king who ruled several generations before Arthur, famed for bringing misery to Britain by welcoming the Saxons. Bede is the first to mention Vortigern by name, but the figure first appears in Gildas’s De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae as the superbus tyrannus (generally translated as “proud tyrant,” but likely indicating the less pejorative “supreme sovereign”) who employed the Saxons against the barbarian Picts and nearly lost the island as a result.
   Vortigern is almost certainly a historical figure, though his name seems to be a title, meaning “high king,” rather than a personal name. Unfortunately, the earliest source to recount his story in any detail—Nennius’s Historia Brittonum—is so tainted with legend as to be void of most historical value. A compilation of references from less questionable sources suggests an anti-Roman ruler who came to power in the second quarter of the fifth century, during the chaos that befell Britain after the Roman withdrawal. He seems to have been married to Sevira, the daughter of Magnus Maximus. During his reign, he conflicted with St. Germanus (whose first journey to Britain seems to have been in 429) and with Ambrosius Aurelianus, an apparently pro-Roman general. This period of British history is characterized by a weak British army facing increasing Pictish raids, and Vortigern evidently decided to bolster his military strength by hiring Saxon mercenaries. His plan backfired when the Saxons grew in numbers and power, and began eyeing Britain for themselves. Vortigern’s enemy, Ambrosius, began the resistance against the Saxons, and it may have been members of Ambrosius’s faction who deposed and killed Vortigern, probably around 450. (This summary is indebted to Jack Lindsay’s Arthur and His Times.)
   We find the following legendary account of Vortigern’s life in the chronicles of Nennius, Geoffrey of Monmouth, and their successors:
   The son of a man named Fernvail, Vortigern became the earl of Gwent and had sons named Vortimer, Catigern, Pascentius, and Faustas. Upon the death of King Constantine of Britain, Vortigern urged the appointment of Constans, Constantine’s eldest son, as king, even though Constans was a monk and was ill-suited to the position. After forcing the abbot of Constans’s monastery to release him, Vortigern elevated Constans to the throne. Constans became a puppet king under Vortigern’s hand. In time, Vortigern became weary of ruling Britain by proxy, and he crafted to have some Saxons (led by Gille Callaet) assassinate Constans. Vortigern then put the British crown on his own head and established his court in Canterbury. Constantine’s other sons, Ambrosius and Uther, both infants, fled Britain for Brittany.
   Vortigern was under constant strain for fear of barbarian (Pict and Irish) incursions, a second Roman attack, or an invasion by the sons of Constantine, who were rumored to be building an army in Brittany. To beef up his armies, he welcomed the Saxons, led by Horsa and Hengist, to Britain and employed their services in exchange for land. He married Rowena, Hengist’s daughter (in one source called Sardoine), and made Hengist the ruler of Kent. Nennius states that he also took his own daughter as a second wife, and had two children with her, leading the British clergy (and St. Germanus) to condemn him.
   Hengist continued ferrying more and more warriors from Saxony to Britain, and by the time Vortigern realized that the Saxons were planning to usurp him, the British had become disgusted with his policies and had replaced him with Vortimer, his son, who began a war against the Saxons. Within a brief time, however, Rowena poisoned Vortimer and Vortigern reclaimed the crown. The Saxons called for a peace treaty to be signed on the plain of Ealing, but they betrayed the Britons, slaughtered Vortigern’s army, and took Vortigern captive, ransoming his life for more territories.
   Upon acquiring his freedom, Vortigern fled to Wales and laid plans to built a great fortress on Mount Snowdon to defend himself against his numerous enemies. The construction of the fortress hit a snag: each night, all work completed during the previous day disappeared. Vortigern’s advisor, Joram, suggested that he find a fatherless child, kill him, and sprinkle his blood over the foundation of the castle. The king’s envoys found such a child—Ambrosius (in Nennius) or Merlin (in Geoffrey)—in South Wales. The child scoffed at Joram’s suggestion and showed Vortigern the true reason for his fortress’s failure: a lake hidden beneath the foundation. Within the lake, the child revealed a pair of dragons, one white and one red. The dragons fought, and the white overcame the red, which, the child prophesied, indicated Vortigern’s imminent destruction. Vortigern abandoned Snowdon and fled to his fortress, also called Vortigern. Vortigern and his fortress were either destroyed by a holy pillar of fire (in Nennius) or by the Greek fire of Ambrosius, who had invaded Britain (in Geoffrey).
   The only significant variations to his character are in the Short Metrical Chronicle and in Thelwall’s The Fairy of the Lake. In the former, he rules in Britain after Uther Pendragon and he ravages his own land. Arthur, a prince of Wales, drives Vortigern out of Britain and becomes king himself. In Thelwall, he is the father of Guinevere. As in Nennius, he had an incestuous lust for his daughter, but his designs were thwarted by the Lady of the Lake. He was eventually murdered by his own wife, Rowena, who loved Arthur. [Bede, Nennius, GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, ProsMer1, Arthour, Short, Thelwall]

Vortigern2 [*Guorthegrin, Gwrtheyrnion]

A fortress built by King Vortigern. Nennius says that it is in North Wales, but he later places it in Dyfed, in South Wales. Geoffrey of Monmouth calls it Ganarew. [Nennius, Thelwall]

Vortigern’s Prophet

The name given to Merlin after his famous series of prophecies before Merlin and his assembly at Mount Snowdon. [GeoffHR]


The eldest son of King Vortigern and brother of Catigern, Faustas, and Pascentius. When the lesser kings of Britain became disgusted with Vortigern’s open-door policy towards the Saxons, they placed Vortimer on the throne in his father’s place. Vortimer proved a much nobler king than his father. He led Briton armies against Hengist and the Saxons, and fought four battles against them, variously given by different authors at Darenth or Derwent, at Episford or Aylesford, by the Inscribed Stone, along the seashore in Kent, and at other unnamed locations. He pushed the Saxons to the isle of Thanet, after which they surrendered and returned to Germany. Nennius claims that Vortimer died from wounds received at the fourth battle; however, Geoffrey says that Vortimer was poisoned by his stepmother Rowena. Layamon says that during his reign, and at his request, two bishops—Germanus and Louis—were sent to Britain to restore Christianity. He was buried in either Lincoln or London. On his death bed, he had requested a monument be erected in his honor, but his barons failed to carry out the request. His father Vortigern was restored to the throne and, hearing of Vortimer’s death, the Saxons returned in force. [Nennius, GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, Pierre]

Vortipore [Vortiporous]

The third King of Britain after Arthur, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth. Vortipore succeeded to the throne after the previous wicked king, Conan, fell off a horse and broke his neck. Vortipore successfully battled off a wave of Saxon invaders and reigned for seven years. Vortipore is a historical figure, though the position attributed to him by Geoffrey is invented. Gildas mentions him as a tyrannical king of Dyfed (Demetia), which he apparently inherited from his father, Agricola. Vortipore had a great-grandson named Arthur of Dyfed. (Chambers, 170). [Gildas, GeoffHR, Wace]


King of Scotland during Uther’s reign in Wolfram’s Parzival. An ally and cousin of the infidel lord Isenhart, Vridebrant invaded the African kingdom of Zazamanc when Isenhart died for the Queen of Zazamanc’s love. While in Africa, his own lands were invaded by the kinsmen of Hernant, whom Vridebrant had slain for the love of Herlinde. He had to return to defend Scotland before the invasion of Zazamanc was complete, but he left his lords—Duke Hiuteger, Gaschier of Normandy, and Kaylet of Hoskurast—behind to finish the invasion. These men were defeated by Perceval’s father, Gahmuret. Vridebrant was also supported by warriors from Greenland and by Morholt of Ireland. Some time after the war, Vridebrant reconciled with the queen of Zazamanc. His father-in-law was named Schiltunc. [Wolfram]

Vrikevreue [Urikeure]

The name of the land around Rigomer castle in Ireland. It was guarded by three knights—the Unarmed Knight, the White Knight, and the Knight of Triple Arms, all of whom were defeated by Lancelot. [Merveil]


According to the Vulgate Merlin, this Roman god of the forge fashioned Marmiadoise, a sword owned by Hercules, Rions, and Arthur. [VulgMer]


A hideous half-man, half-horse sea demon that terrorized the land of Averre. He carried a Gorgon’s head that turned people to stone. Queen Laudamie of Averre enlisted Arthur’s Sir Garel to slay the creature, and he was able to do so after his friend, the dwarf king Albewin, stole the Gorgon’s head. After Garel killed Vulganus, Albewin stripped its skin and used it to fashion an impenetrable suit of armor. See also Ugly Appearance. [PleierG]

Vulteius Catellus [Catellus Vulteius, Catelos, Catenois, Wylters]

A Roman senator who became a war leader in the campaign against King Arthur. Vulteius, with three others, was assigned by Lucius to liberate the Roman prisoners being taken by Arthur’s warriors to a prison in Paris. The Britons won the battle. The Romans took to flight, and Vulteius Catellus was killed. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, VulgMer]

Vyllyers the Valiant

A Knight of the Round Table related to Lancelot. When Lancelot and Guinevere were accused of treason, Vyllyers pledged his support to Lancelot and helped him to rescue Guinevere from the stake. In return for his support, Lancelot made him the earl of Béearn. After Arthur’s death, Vyllyers joined Lancelot in an abbey at Glastonbury, where he lived as a hermit until Lancelot’s death. After participating at Lancelot’s interment at Joyous Guard, Vyllyers returned to his own lands. [Malory]


A maiden rescued from two giants by Guinglain, Gawain’s son, in Thomas Chestre’s Lybeaus Desconus. She is called Clarie in Renaut de Bâgé’s Le Bel Inconnu. [ChestreLyb]

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