Arthur, Cerdic, and the Formation of Wessex
By: John C. Rudmin, 864 Chicago Av, Harrisonburg, VA, 22801
Joseph W. Rudmin, Physics Dept., James Madison Univ., Harrisonburg, VA, 22807
(First submitted for publication in Oct 1993)
VII. A Detailed Comparison of the Career of Cerdic with Geoffrey's Arthur
We now compare the life of Arthur, as described by Geoffrey of Monmouth, with that of
Cerdic as suggested by various sources.
|Arthur means Strength of Arm
||Vreichvras means Strongarm
||Harper Dict. & Morris
|Illegitimate son of Uther and Igerna, the
wife of Gorlois (Gorlois = Guor Elessa?)
||Illegitimate son of Isaive. Father is
Eliavres or Elessa
||Legends & Genealogies
|Involved with wizard Merlin
||Father a wizard--Llyr Merini
|Campaigns against Saxons in Yorkshire,
and drives Saxons into the Caledonian Wood. Then traps the Saxons in the forest, and
blockades them by felling trees to make a fence.
||Campaigns in northern Britain with Octha
||Extends the campaign to the Orkneys and
all around Pictland
|Geoffrey's victor at Bath. Nennius's
victor at Badon Hill. Gildas says Badon Hill ca. 500. Most scholars believe Badon in
||Cerdic dominated Southwest Britain ca.
500 as evidenced by the pedigrees of the kings of Glamorgan, Gwent, and
||legends and genealogies of Vreichvras
|Returns to Dunbarton and starts to
exterminate the Picts and Scots, but abandons this in the face of entreaties by the
||There is an emphasis here on Dunbarton.
This may have been due to a confusion of Cerdic with Ceredig of Dunbarton.
|Goes to York, marries Guenevere, raised
in the household of Cador Duke of Cornwall.
||Marries Guignier, sister of Cador, prince
||Legend of Caradoc Vreichvras
|Conquers Ireland and Iceland.
||Someone named Ceredig gathered a fleet
and ravaged the coast of Ireland around the year 450. This is about the date of the last
Irish raids on Britain.
||St. Patrick's Letter to the Soldiers of
|Spent nine years subduing Gaul and held
court in Paris. Reigned at Nantes in some stories.
||Spent 25? years in Gaul and ruled at
Nantes and Vannes.
||Legends of Cardoc Vreichvras
|Reigned for five years in Glamorgan.
||Dynastic founder of the kings of
|Defeated and slew the emperor of Rome
||[No Roman Emperor was slain by a Briton
after Magnus Maximus in 383.]
|Died fighting his nephew Modred, who
married Guenevere and rebelled.
||Medrot was Cerdic's grandson. Guenevere
would have been much too old to marry him.
|Traditionally associated with Winchester
||Ruled at Winchester.
Little commentary is needed on the above comparison chart. Nearly every element in the
story of Arthur, which COULD be historical, was also an element of Cerdic's career.
Personal names and relationships from the legends match well. Differences generally appear
to be due to Geoffrey's purposes, such as Arthur's royal parentage. It is reasonable to
conclude that Arthur is Cerdic.