Print

Print


On Monday, September 20, 2004, at 02:44 , Paul Bennett wrote:

> On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 07:43:52 +0100, Ray Brown <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
[snip]
>> No. There is no evidence that there was ever a historic 'King Arthur' of
>> anywhere. If the Arthur of legend has any basis in reality, then 'Arthur'
>> was probably a Romano-British leader (presumably called Arctorius)
>> holding
>> out against Saxon encroachment after the legions had withdrawn from
>> Britain.
>
> I understand that while Arthur is a composite, there was a Romano-Britsh
> leader (originally a Cavalry commander), with a bear as his standard.

Excellent - that would support my Arcto:rius   :-)

[snip]
> refered to in), but it has been a while since I saw the documentary. The
> name "Arth Ur" was posited during that documentary as plausibly combining
> the Celtic and Latin words for "bear",

Was it? But _arth_ is modern Welsh, not Old British (Brittonic). And why
should Latin _ursus_ just finish up as _ur_? What has happened to that
first /s/?

Nor am I aware of any other examples of names which are Brittono-Latin
hybrids. If indeed the name was such a hybrid it would have been *artursus
or, with a Brittonic case ending, *artursos. Unfortnately, I don't have
the data to hand, but would a medial /t/ have become /T/?
===========================================================

On Tuesday, September 21, 2004, at 12:32 , John Cowan wrote:

> Wesley Parish scripsit:
>
>> Future generations of historians will say there was an Anglo-German
>> Queen with the Corgi as her standard,

_Anglo_? On her dad's side she was of the family Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (fairly
Germanic sounding!). The family name was changed to 'Windsor' in 1917 in
deference to the anti-German feeling rife in Britain at the time. But her
mum, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, was daughter of the 14th Earl of Strathmore, i.
e. she was _Scots_.

A Scoto-German Queen with a Welsh dog ( in Welsh _corgi_ = 'dwarf-dog')...
..

>> and they will go slowly mad trying to connect her and the corgis -

...or is the plural really 'corgwn'  ;)

>> the sacred animal of the British Isles,
>> apparently - with the English Lion and the Welsh Dragon.

And don't forget that Sottish Lyon!

>> Perhaps some
>> of them will connect the British Throne with the creature known in
>> its Australian Commonwealth as the Drongo, and argue that "Dragon"
>> is a misspelling.  :-)

You mean it isn't!!

[snip]
>> (I don't propose to precede them into madness. ;)

Nor I.

> "To many, perhaps to most people outside the small company of the
> great scholars, past and present, 'Celtic' of any sort is, nonetheless,
> a magic bag, into which anything may be put, and out of which almost
> anything may come.

[Most of excellent quote snipped]

> into Avernus.  Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
> which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason."
> 	--JRRT, "English and Welsh"
>

Amen!

I still find it noteworthy that no ancient author ever referred to the
inhabitants of Britain or Ireland as Celts, yet they knew Celts on the
continent. The name was not applied to the pre-Germanic inhabitants of
these islands until the 18th  century, when it was seized upon by the
Romantics.

Far too many assumptions are made IMHO about early Britain. The Welsh for
Britain is _Prydain_ (<-- *Pritani); the Welsh _Prydyn_ (= Picts) and the
Old Irish _Cruithin/ Cruithni_ (=Picts) must derive from *k_writeni. Among
Ancient Greek writers we also come across _Prettanoi_ (note the geminate
/tt/), but the most common form used among the Greeks was _Brettanoi_. The
Romans hadn't much to say about these islands until Gaius J. Caesar paid
it a couple of visits. He referred to the inhabitants as _Britanni_ (no
geminate /t/, but this time geminate /nn/) which remained the standard
Latin form. But we also come across _Brittones_ (sing. _Britto_); and from
_brittonica_ [fem. adj.] comes the modern Welsh word _Brythoneg_ (= (Old)
British [language]), the Breton _Brezhonek_ (= (modern) Breton [language])
and our own Brithenig  ;)

But it seems blithely assumed that the *Pritani, *K_writeni, Britanni &
Brittones are all one and the same, despite linguistic difficulties and,
of course, that they were all 'Celts' despite the lack of any ancient
literary evidence or any archaeological evidence of the famous 'Celtic
invasion'. Indeed, Tacitus' description of Britain that he gave in the
"Agricola" (nothing to do with farming; it's a biography of his
father-in-law Agricola who was one-time governor of Roman Britain)
suggests strongly that the inhabitant were quite diverse.

Ray
===============================================
http://home.freeuk.com/ray.brown
[log in to unmask]
===============================================
"They are evidently confusing science with technology."
UMBERTO ECO				September, 2004