The TWO King Arthurs – Israelite Kings of Britain – Part 2
Here part 2 of another podcast I did with Sven Longshanks and Patriart. You can find the podcast here: https://www.radioalbion.com/2022/10/patriotic-history-king-arthur-ii-ph.html
When his father died, the Saxons amassed to take Britain from the Britons, leaving their homelands empty until the time of Bede. After 12 huge battles, Arthur defeated them at the battle of Badon, causing a 30 year gap in the Anglo-Saxon chronicle. The Britons saw this as a Christian crusade against heathen forces and when they won, they stuck rigidly to Christian law and morals. Arthur then took his army to Europe, where after taking Gaul and Scandinavia, he headed for Milan to free Rome from the Goths.
The British church during this era continued to extend itself on every side. It held full communion with the primitive Gallic church. St. Germanus (Gannon) and St. Lupus (Bleiddan) the suppressors of the Pelagian heresy were Armoricans of the royal family of Conan, Constantine, and Arthur. St. Patrick, the apostle of Ireland, was born at Rhos, in Pembroke shire. His first name was Maelwyn. He was baptized Patricius or Patrick, ordained priest a.d. 425, by St. Germanus, and afterwards bishop to the Scots (Irish), by Amandus, archbishop of Bourdeaux. In the course of sixty years he converted all Ireland to the faith. He died in his 121st year, and was buried by St. David at Glastonbury. His father was Calpurnius, his mother Consuessa, sister of St. Martin, archbishop of Tours and apostle of southern Gaul. Another sister of St. Martin married Gorthol, prince of the Strathclyde Britons, to whom she bore St. Ninian, the apostle of the southern Picts. He founded the cathedral of Whithem (Candida Casa) a.d. 440.
The Roman emperor Anthemius requesting aid from Uthyr against Euric, king of the Visigoths, Uthyr landed at Havre, at the head of 12,000 men, (a.d. 470.) An engagement took place, but the Roman proconsul failing to effect a junction, Uthyr was obliged to yield the field and retire into Burgundy. Advantage was taken of his absence by Octa and Ebusa, to raise the standard of rebellion. On his return Uthyr was discomfited by them at York, but afterwards defeated and took them prisoners at Dumbarton castle. Confined in the Tower of London, they escaped by bribing the guards, to Germany, collected fresh forces from the confederation, disembarked at Yarmouth, and marching to Verulam, were there routed and slain by the Pendragon. Uthyr Posthumus, Pendragon, died at London, in his 90th year, a.d. 500.
He was succeeded by his son Arthur, then in his twentieth year. The life and career of this monarch, the most popular and widely-renowned of all the heroes of ancient and modern times, belongs rather to the history of chivalry and civilization than to any one land or race. As the founder of European chivalry and the champion of Christendom against the pagan hordes of the North, he created a new era, new characters, and a new code in the military annals of mankind. His exploits and those of his marshals, more or less exaggerated, form part of the literature of almost every language in Europe and Asia. Around him and his court revolved from the sixth to the sixteenth century innumerable cycles of epics, martial lyrics, lays, traditionary narratives, and brilliant romanzas, such as have never graced any other theme with the sole exception of that of the ancestral city of his race—” the fall of Troy divine.” “Arthur is known, writes an author of the middle ages, in Asia as in Britain; our pilgrims returning from the East and West talk of him ; Egypt and the Bosphorus are not silent ; Rome, the mistress of cities, sings his actions; Antioch, Armenia, Palestine, celebrate his deeds. Not only our own countries but the Spaniards, Italians, Gauls, and Swedes beyond the Baltic record to this day in their books the illustrious actions of this most noble king.”
Arthur’s Christian Crusade against the heathen
Our space will only permit us to epitomize the principal events of his reign, a.d. 500—542. Arthur was born at Tintagel castle, Cornwall. His mother was Eigra, of the Cuneddine dynasty of Venedotia. He was educated by St. David at Caerleon, crowned by St. Dubricius, and within a month afterwards took the field against a fresh league of the Teutonic tribes which had been formed on the news of Uthyr’s demise. The war which ensued and which was terminated by the decisive battle of Mont Badon, (a.d. 522), was conducted on both the Christian and pagan sides with extraordinary vigor and determination. The Angles, Jutes, and Saxons, the leading tribes, appear to have literally drawn their last man from the Continent—for Bede declares that their old countries were in his time (A..D. 700) and had long been deserts without a single human inhabitant.
The possession of Odin’s blood was, we have observed, with the Anglo-Saxon and other Gothic tribes, the indispensible condition of kingship —the greater part of the Odin lineage threw itself into this pagan crusade against Britain, carrying with them the whole physical and fanatical force of the warlike nations over whom they swayed a species of divine sceptre. The Odin pedigree of these chiefs was regarded by their followers as the guarantee for success and a certain pass to every Saxon who fell under their banner to the future joys of Valhalla.
The order of Christian Chivalry
To meet this formidable heathen fraternity, Arthur organized the Order of Christian Chivalry, commonly known as that of the Round Table. Its companions were selected from all Christians without distinction of race, climate, or language—they bound themselves to oppose the progress of paganism, to be loyal to the British throne, to protect the defenceless, to shew mercy to the fallen, to honor womanhood, and never to turn their backs upon a foe in the battle field.
The Odin chiefs of greatest eminence were Colgrin, Baldulph, Cheldric, Cerdic, Osca, Otho, Urcwin, Oslac, Elesa, Egbricht, Aired—all these fell in the war. The twelve celebrated victories of the young Pendragon were as follows. 1st, at Gloster ; 2nd, at Wigan (the Combats), 10 miles from the Mersey. The battle lasted through the night. In a.d. 1780, on cutting through the tumuli, three cart loads of horse-shoes were found and removed. 3rd, at Blackrode. 4th, at Penrith, between the Loder and Eimot, on the spot still called King Arthur’s castle. 5th, on the Douglas, in Douglas vale. 6th, at Lincoln. 7th, on the edge of the Forest of Celidon, (Ettrick Forest) at Melrose. 8th, at Caer Gwynion. 9th, between Edinburg and Leith. 10th, at Dumbarton. 11th, at Brixham, Torbay. 12th, at Mont Badon, above Bath.
This last defeat, a.d. 520, was so crushing that it destroyed the Saxon confederation itself, nor did any foreigner attempt to set hostile foot on the Island again till Ida landed a.d. 550, in Northumbria, eight years after Arthur’s death. From a.d. 520, to this latter date, such of the Saxons as were not expelled or exterminated remained in peaceful allegiance to the British throne, many of them serving in and contributing to its foreign conquests.
Battle of Badon – Wiki
The earliest mention of the Battle of Badon is Gildas’ De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae (On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain), written in the early to mid-6th century. In it, the Anglo-Saxons are said to have “dipped [their] red and savage tongue in the western ocean” before Ambrosius Aurelianus organized a British resistance with the survivors of the initial Saxon onslaught. Gildas describes the period that followed Ambrosius’ initial success:
From that time, the citizens were sometimes victorious, sometimes the enemy, in order that the Lord, according to His wont, might try in this nation the Israel of today, whether it loves Him or not. This continued up to the year of the siege of Badon Hill (obsessionis Badonici montis), and of almost the last great slaughter inflicted upon the rascally crew. And this commences, a fact I know, as the forty-fourth year, with one month now elapsed; it is also the year of my birth.
De Excidio Britanniae describes the battle as such an “unexpected recovery of the [island]” that it caused kings, nobles, priests, and commoners to “live orderly according to their several vocations.” Afterwards, the long peace degenerated into civil wars and the iniquity of Maelgwn Gwynedd.
That Arthur had gone unmentioned in the source closest to his own time, Gildas, was noticed at least as early as the 12th-century hagiography which claims that Gildas had praised Arthur extensively but then excised him completely after Arthur killed the saint’s brother, Hueil mab Caw. Modern writers have suggested the details of the battle were so well known that Gildas could have expected his audience to be familiar with them.
The battle is next mentioned in an 8th-century text of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum). It describes the “siege of Mount Badon, when they made no small slaughter of those invaders,” as occurring 44 years after the first Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain. Since Bede places that arrival just before, during or just after the joint reign of Marcian and Valentinian III in 449–456, he must have considered Badon to have taken place between 493 and 500. Bede then puts off discussion of the battle – “But more of this hereafter” – only to seemingly never return to it.
Bede does later include an extended account of Saint Germanus of Auxerre’s victory over the Saxons and Picts in a mountain valley (traditionally placed at Mold in Flintshire in northeast Wales), which he credits with curbing the threat of invasion for a generation. However, as the victory is described as having been accomplished bloodlessly, it was presumably a different occasion from Badon. Accepted at face value, St. Germanus’ involvement would also place the battle around 430, although Bede’s chronology shows no knowledge of this.
Nennius and the Welsh Annals
The earliest surviving text mentioning Arthur at the battle is the early 9th-century Historia Brittonum (The History of the Britons), attributed to Nennius, in which the soldier (Latin mīles) Arthur is identified as the leader of the victorious British force at Badon:
The twelfth battle was on Mount Badon in which there fell in one day 960 men from one charge by Arthur; and no one struck them down except Arthur himself
The Battle of Badon is next mentioned in the Annales Cambriae (Annals of Wales), assumed to have been written during the mid- to late-10th century. The entry states:
The Battle of Badon, in which Arthur carried the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ for three days and three nights upon his shoulders [or shield] and the Britons were the victors
Geoffrey of Monmouth
Geoffrey of Monmouth’s c. 1136 Historia Regum Britanniae (The History of the Kings of Britain) was massively popular and survives in many copies from soon after its composition. Going into much greater detail, Geoffrey closely identifies Badon with Bath, including having Merlin foretell that Badon’s baths would lose their hot water and turn poisonous. He also mixes in aspects of other accounts: the battle begins as a Saxon siege and then becomes a normal engagement once Arthur’s men arrive; Arthur bears the image of the Virgin both on his shield and shoulder. Arthur charges and kills 470, ten more than the number of Britons ambushed by Hengist near Salisbury.
Elements of the Welsh legends are added: in addition to the shield Pridwen, Arthur gains his sword, Caliburnus, and his spear, Ron. Geoffrey also makes the defence of the city from the Saxon sneak attack a holy cause, having Dubricius offer absolution of all sins for those who fall in battle
Arthur rules over Europe
The only portion of France unsubdued by Clovis and his Franks was Bretagne, now ruled over by Hoel, the cousin and subject of Arthur. Reviving, as the Henries and Edwards were wont to do in later ages, the claims of his predecessors to the Gallic dominions, Arthur in five years (a.d. 521—6) achieved the conquest of Gaul—Chlodomir, the successor of Clovis, falling in the great battle on the plain of Langres. Arthur was crowned at Paris the same year that Justinian succeeded to the Eastern empire. The conquests of the mother-countries of the pagan nations themselves followed from a.d. 527—35,—Old Saxony, Denmark, Frisia, North Germany, and the whole of Scandinavia as far as Lapland, being subdued in succession.
Johannes Magnus, archbishop of Upsala, the historian of ancient Denmark, charges Arthur with having ruled these Northern conquests (lib. viii. c. 31,) with excessive rigor. From a.d. 535 to 541, the Arthurian empire extending from Russia to the Pyrenees, enjoyed undisturbed repose.
Milan two years before had been taken by the Goths, and three hundred thousand citizens—every male adult, put to the sword by the brutal captors. In order to liberate Italy and add it to the Christian empire of Britain, Arthur conducted his forces again to the Continent, leaving his insular dominions under the regency of Modred, the eldest son of his sister Anna or Morgana, and Llew Cynvarch (Lotho), king of Scotland. The name of Modred stands out in unenviable prominence as that of the “third arch-traitor of the Isle of Britain.”