The Alano-Sarmatian Hypothesis
The core of Alano-Sarmatian Hypothesis
of Littleton and Malcor is that Sarmatian soldiers who fought under
Lucius Artorius Castus (LAC) in Britain before the year 200 remained there with
their families, intermarried, and eventually became part of British
society; and that these soldiers kept alive part of their heritage in
their traditional stories based in their mythology and in their stories of
their life in Britain, making LAC the hero, intermingling the analogues of
sacred swords and chalices, inhabited lakes, and war games with their own.
The fact that some of the Sarmatian elements, such as swords in
lakes and magic vessels, had Celtic analogues would have reinforced these
elements and helped them survive.
These northern stories and legends about Arthur (LAC) would have mixed and mingled with
similar stories which had been developing in France under Alan influence
in the period following the Norman conquest. Thus Geoffrey of Monmouth,
writing around 1136, provides a justification for the Norman kingship by
creating a British king, molded from the legends of Arthur - LAC the
ancient Roman war leader and the great British king(s) of the 5th and
early 6th century that held back the darkness after the Roman departure
with those of Riothamus the British king with continental ambitions. The
continental campaigns and defeats of Maxen Wledig and 'Riothamus' along
with the upheavals of the time created a Lesser Britain. Thus, we can
imagine the Norman kings as the return of Arthur from his long sleep.
Geoffrey would probably have
known the stories about Arthur and Excalibur and Avalon, but it would take
Chrétien and his continental stories of Lancelot, Yvain, and the Grail to
begin the emergence of the Arthur of legend with his sword Excalibur (which
has two different origin stories) and the knights of the Round Table.
Whether the stories of LAC aka Arthur were the core of the legend upon
which all other accreted or only one aspect of the story will continue to
be a subject of debate.
As Dr Malcor herself points
out: "When you look for the historical catalyst for a cycle of
legend, you look for the 'earliest' figure whose biography (1) parallels a
significant number of details in the legends, (2) who lived at a time when
the folklore with which the history combines to produce the legend is
present and, preferably, popular, and (3) who did something significant at
the right place at the right time to cause the storytellers to combine the
history with the folklore. After that point, other figures can contribute
to the tale, other stories can be attracted to the corpus, but anyone who
lives later cannot be the original. If such a complex existed prior to the
date of the figure you are considering, you need to prove that the prior
figure did not generate the cycle. I have not seen you (any supporters of
later Arthurian prototypes) do that with Lucius Artorius Castus. In
addition to the correct name, troops, dragon-standard, battle pattern,
rank (dux), double Continental invasion pattern, Civil War, involvement
with people known to carry the pre-Arthurian Sword in the Stone story and
the pre-Arthurian Grail tradition and the pre-Arthurian Queen of the
Sea/Lady of the Lake, and several other parallels that I've pointed out,
Castus also has the chronological advantage on (Cerdic or fill in the
blank) by several centuries." I do believe that supporters of later
prototypes have not sufficiently dealt with her statement here. It is
insufficient to claim that he was not the original prototype, even if he
wasn't the most prominent event wise, merely by claiming he was too early.
Nart Saga Parallels to Arthur
The death of Batraz includes his
warrior-companions being told to throw his sword into the Black Sea three
times, failing to do it twice while telling their leader that they had
carried out his wishes, and finally complying with the leader's wishes,
whereupon a prodigious event occurs and the leader is allowed to die.
From Scythia to Camelot: A Radical Reassessment of the Legends of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round
Table, and the Holy Grail, C. Scott Littleton, Linda A.
Malcor, Garland Pub, April 1994, ISBN: 0815314965
From Scythia to