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Queen of the Amazons, slain by Britomart. # 156 - 614
He was a king of Connacut to whom it was prophesied that he would die at his daughter's hands. He ordered his wife to cast her into a bag and gave her to a swineherd to destroy. However, she was left at the door of a woman who raised her to become her own father's concubine. # 454
A loathsome-looking lady, the sister of Gromer Somer Joure, who enchanted her into that shape. She helped Gawain find the answer to the riddle which Gromer set Arthur: 'What is it women desire most?' on the understanding that if the answer was correct, she would marry Gawain. They were married and on the wedding night Gawain discovered the true answer for, on kissing her, she became a beautiful woman. She said he could have her fair by night and ugly during the day, or ugly at night and fair by day. He could not decide and bade her choose, thus realizing the answer to the question: 'women desire to have sovereignty or their own way.' The story also occur as the wife of Bath's tale in CANTERBURY TALES. The story is perhaps related to Celtic tales in which the hag stands for sovereignty. Thus Niall of the Nine Hostages, King of Tara, kissed an old crone who became beautiful and turned out to be the Sovereignty of Ireland. # 148 - 156 - 401 - 454 - 507
A knight slain by Guengasoain. Raguidel's dead body appeared near Arthur's court on an apparently unmanned ship. With him was a letter asking that he be avenged and stating that he who did so would be the only one able to draw rings from the fingers of the corpse. Gawain was the only one able to do this. # 30 - 156
Contrary to its Egyptian and Indo-English symbolism the ram appears as chthonic in Celtic tradition. It accompanies Horned Gods but has both fertilizing and death associations; it is also an attribute of war gods. There are ram-headed serpents and geese, and rams with human heads. Supernatural rams and sheep are found in Celtic lore and later in the stories of Christian saints. Rams were connected with the sacred hearth, the entrance to the underworld, and among Celtic remains there were found near the hearth andirons of clay decorated with a ram's head. Fire-dogs were also made in ram effigy, rams were depicted on Gaulish tombs, and heads of rams appeared on monuments to Gallic gods of the underworld. The Great God of the Gauls was Belin, the ram, and his material and earthly manifestation was Bélisama, his consort, wife and sister. The ram was a Celtic and Gaulish sacrificial animal. # 161 - 787
There was an Irish belief that rats could be killed by reciting rhyming spells. # 161
(raa or raath) A fortified place surrounded by a wall or ditch or by both. # 166
See: CRUACHAN AI.
King Cormac and Finn feasted at Rath Grania. # 562
Lia keeps the Treasure Bag at Rath Luachar. # 562
Maeve's (Medb) palace in Roscommon. # 562
Mother of the Otherworldly woman, Ailleann, she was therefore, for a time, Arthur's mother-in-law. # 156
# 701: Among the Celts, ravens were sacred to the Otherworld Birdgoddess Rhiannon, and also incarnations of the death-dealing Morrigan. Ravens brought omens of death. It was often said that ravens could foretell outbreaks of the plague. Because of their association with the Otherworld, ravens were viewed as oracles and teachers of magic. Ravens gave magical instructions to the Celtic god Lugh and to his Norse counterpart Odin.
# 161: In Celtic lore the raven is associated with deities of war and features as a helper and protector of warriors and heroes. It is an important Celtic figure but is ambivalent as helper on the one hand and connected with death and the Raven-Crow goddess, 'The Blessed Raven', had a three-fold function as war, procreator and prophecy.
The raven is also associated with the wren in prophecy and divination, appears with the swan in solar symbolism, and is connected with the dove-cote as a house-symbol, this probably being pre-Celtic. The Raven of Battle, the Goddess Badb, symbolizes war, bloodshed, and malevolence. Morrigan as a raven goddess watched over battles. Bran has a raven, and Lugh or Lugos, who had two magic ravens, is an all-purpose and wise raven-god like the Teutonic/Scandinavian Woden/Odin. The Welsh hero Owain had an army of ravens which had magic powers and while he and King Arthur are playing a game of gwyddbwyll, a boardgame similar to the Irish brandubh (black-raven), they defeats Arthur's men, as Owain defeats Arthur in the game until the tables are turned. # 156: After his death Arthur's soul went into a raven's body in Cornish folklore. The raven is one of the primal totems of the British Isles. If they saw a flock where all black ravens were malefic, with a white feather it became to be beneficient. # 454: In Ireland, it is the bird in whose shape Morrigan appears over battle-fields with her sisters, Badb and Nemainn. Throughout Celtic and Arthurian literature, raven-women appear, performing much the same function as the Goddess. In one story, the DIDOT PERCEVAL, Morgan herself appears as a raven. In Britain the raven is primarily the bird of Bran the Blessed, for 'bran' means raven. In that story he asks for his head to be cut off and buried at the White Mount, (modern Tower of London), to act as a palladium against invasion. This was done, but when Arthur became king, he dug up the head, not wishing any other to defend Britain but himself. This act of hubris is perhaps represented in the tradition about the Tower's ravens who are supposed to similarly keep Britain free of invasion, and it is said that if they leave the Tower, Britain is doomed. It is for this reason that their wings are always kept well clipped.
# 725: The Raven, Corvus or Corax, takes its name from the sound of its gutteral throat, because its voice croaks. It is said to be a bird which refuses to feed its children properly until it recognizes in them the appearance of the real black colour in the wings. But after it sees them to be sable feathered, it feeds those which it recognizes, generously.
When eating corpses, the bird goes for the eye first. # 52 - 156 - 161 - 389 - 438 - 454 - 701 p 408 - # 717 - 725
RAWHEAD AND BLOODY BONES
This was the full name, but it is sometimes shortened to 'Bloody Bones' or 'Old Bloody Bones', and sometimes to 'Tommy Rawhead'. Samuel Johnson in his dictionary defines it as 'the name of a spectre, mentioned to fright children', and quotes instances from Dryden and Locke. In Lancashire and Yorkshire, 'Tommy Rawhead' or 'Rawhead and Bloody Bones' is a water demon haunting old marl-pits or deep ponds to drag children down into their depths, like the other Nursery Bogies, Peg Powler and Nelly Longarms. Mrs Wright, in RUSTIC SPEECH AND FOLK LORE, quotes a typical warning: 'Keep away from the marl-pit or rawhead and bloody bones will have you.' #100-752
A Knight, the son of Sir Ironside. # 2 - 156
The kingdom ruled by Carras, brother of King Claudas. # 156
Order of chivalry which had its seat in Emain Macha. Heroes of the Red Branch and CuChulain strive for the Championship of Ireland. With CuChulain and Conor passes away the glory of the Red Branch. The Craeb Ruad (crâv' roo'ah), the great assembly hall at Emain Macha; now Creevroe, a townland near the River Callan not far from Navan, the ancient site of Emain Macha. # 166 - 562
Ulster prince, father of Macha, brother of Dithorba and Kimbay. # 562
1. A knight who stole a cup from Arthur's court. He was pursued and killed by Perceval. 2. A knight named Sir Perimones, defeated by Gareth. 3. The Red Knight of the Red Lands, called Sir Ironside, who besieged Lyonesse until he was defeated by Gareth. 4. A title which was given to Gawain in PERLESVAUS. 5. A knight defeated by the Great Fool. # 112-153-156-418
Conary's journey with the Red Riders, who were from the fairyworld and became one of several of Conary's geise which seized him in one night. # 562
RED ROSE KNIGHT
See: TOM A' LINCOLN.
REGAMNA, THE CATTLE RAID OF
or 'CuChulain and the Morrigu' is one of a number of early Irish romances called REMSCÊLA, or foretales, designed to explain the central epic. It also belongs to a group of sagas called 'cattleraids' (tânâ bô), of which the most important is THE CATTLE RAID OF COOLEY. But in the present instance the title has little appropriateness, as only one cow instead of a herd is stolen and no person called Regamna (or, perhaps, Regaman) appears in the story. Besides THE CATTLE RAID OF REGAMNA there are several other ancient Irish episodic narratives dealing with one or both of the two famous bulls that figure in THE CATTLE RAID OF COOLEY - the Donn of Cooley and the White-Horned of Connacht. According to one account the two animals were originally fairy swine-herds who were at enmity with each other and who assumed a series of transformations until they finally appeared as the two bulls. See also: THE ADVENTURES OF NERA. # 166
RELIGION OF THE ANCIENT CELTS
The records of the ancient Celtic religion are scanty: from the Irish Celts there is some written material found mainly in the eleventh and twelfth centuries; from Wales there is the classic document MABINOGION. Valuable hints are supplied by early classical documents but more important are the existing folk customs which preserve so much of the old cults. Celtic burial mounds yield their testimony to ancient beliefs and customs: the cult of the dead; river and well worship; tree and plant worship; Druidic rites of rebirth and transmigration. How far the Celts cultivated religion in our sense of the term or had a vision of monotheism must remain unknown. But a people whose spiritual influence has been so great must have glimpses of these things. But even how scanty, from these fragments we see the Celt as the seeker after God, linking himself by strong ties to the unseen, and eager to conquer the unknown by religious rite or magic art. For the things of the spirit have never appealed in vain to the Celtic soul, and long ago classical observers were struck with the religiosity of the Celts. # 776
The religion of the Britons, like that of other heathens, grew up in the dark... In the first place, it may be inferred from the tone of the evidence already produced that the primitive religion of the Cymry (long before the age of the oldest bard who is now extant) was a kind of apostasy from the patriarchal religion, or a mere corruption of it... and that the Cerridwen of the Druids was as much the genius of the Ark, as the Ceres and Isis of our great mythologist. # 455 p 57 ff
He was a warrior in the Guillaume d'Orange cycle. In the romance BATAILLE LOQUIFER (see CORBON), he was brought to Avalon by Morgan and other fays. Here he met Arthur. He became the lover of Morgan, but soon left. Morgan persuaded Kapalu to sink Renoart's ship, but he was rescued by sirens. He and Morgan had a son named Corbon. # 156
RESTOR DE TRISTRAM
The name given to a hero of a lost romance by a disgruntled fairy. The name signifies 'New Tristram' and the fairy intended that he should undergo a sorrowful life like his namesake. He went to Morgan's castle, but we do not know what befell him there. # 156
A kingdom in the Cumbria region, ruled by Urien later than the traditional Arthurian period. T. Clare, County Archaeologist of Cumbria, however, maintains that Urien and Arthur were identical; in this case Rheged would have been Arthur's kingdom. Certainly, Arthur is associated with Carlisle in Rheged. # 156 - 484
The twisting and deformities which follow on rheumatism used to be suspect as a sign that the sufferer was a witch, especially if it came on suddenly. Severe lumbago was a dangerous affliction to have in the 16th and 17th centuries, for a witch was often supposed to be bent like a hoop; but it was also, in more minor forms, as a result of having displeased the fairies in some way, and particularly when it took the form of lameness, as of the lazy dairymaid who refused to get up and put out water for the fairies and was afflicted with a seven-years' lameness. An account of this is to be found in Mrs Bray's THE BORDER OF THE TAMAR AND THE TAVY. See also: BLIGHTS AND ILLNESSES ATTRIBUTED TO THE FAIRIES. # 92 - 100
(hree-AH-non) Daughter of Hefaidd Hen, Lord of the Underworld. Pwyll saw her riding on a white mare and attempted to follow her, but she rode so fast that he was unable to catch her. He went to Hefaidd's hall to beg her hand in marriage and was tricked into giving her away to her former suitor, Gwawl. Rhiannon showed Pwyll how to outwit Gwawl and they were married. Their only son, Pryderi, was snatched from the cradle by otherworld forces. While Rhiannon slept, the nurses and midwives killed some puppies and smeared her face with the blood, making believe she had killed and eaten her son, lest the blame should fall on them. Rhiannon was set a penance: to stand at the mounting block and offer to take all visitors to the court upon her back, telling them her story of shame. She was relieved from this necessity on Pryderi's return. On Pwyll's death, she married Manawyddan. She followed Pryderi into an otherworldly castle where he stuck to a golden bowl. She likewise became stuck and suffered a long sojourn in the Otherworld with her son. She was released by the guile of Manawyddan.
The Birds of Rhiannon were said to be harbingers of otherworldly bliss: Bran and his company listened to them after his beheading, so that they were unaware of the passing of time. Rhiannon's attributes can be taced from the Celtic goddess Epona and the Greek goddess Despoina, daughter of Demeter Erynnes, but she is most closely modelled on the archetype of Modron, whose mythos she embodies. # 104 - 272 - 439 - 454
RHITTA, RICCA, RITH
(HRON-ahv-wy) He fell asleep and dreamed he was brought before Arthur. The story of his dream forms a piece of Arthuriana in the MABINOGION. #156-346
Sent from King Arthur's court to Elphin's wife. # 562
A historical king of Strathclyde called Hael (generous). He may be identical with Rhydderch ap Tudwal, who was king of Dumbarton in the sixth century. One of the kings involved at Arthuret, Welsh tradition claims he was on the side opposed to Merlin but, in the VITA MERLINI, Geoffrey has Merlin on his side and Rhydderch married to Merlin's sister, Ganieda. He defeats Merlin's Lord, Gwenddolau at the Battle of Arfderydd. See: LAILOKEN, and THIRTEEN TREASURES. # 156 - 242 - 454 - 632
The crock of Rhygenydd was one of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain. # 104 - 156
RHYS AP TEWDWR
South Welsh prince; brought knowledge of the Round Table to Wales. # 562
Arthur's master of hounds. # 156 - 346
(re'an gôv'ar) An Ulsterman whose sons Iubar, Loeg, Sedland, and Id, were the charioteers of Conchobar, CuChulain, Loegaire, and Conall, respectively. # 166
See: FISHER KING.
In the PROPHÉCIES DE MERLIN, the son of the King of Jerusalem; he was sent by the Pope on a diplomatic mission to Arthur's court to obtain aid for Jerusalem which was menaced by the King of Baudec. A force under Henry the Courtly was sent to help Jerusalem. When Richard became King of Jerusalem himself, he attacked Sarras but, as no Crusader was able to defeat its gigantic ruler, a truce ensued. # 156
On the death of King Sichelm of Norway, the people chose Riculf as king although Sichelm had willed his domains to Lot. Arthur enforced Lot's claim by invading Norway and Riculf was killed. # 156 - 243
RIDGE OF THE DEAD WOMAN
Vivionn buried at the Ridge of the Dead Woman. # 562
In Welsh lore, the mother of Saint Illtyd. She was Arthur's aunt, the sister of his mother, Igraine. # 156
A king which is variously made the ruler of Northgalis, Ireland, Denmark and the Land of Pastures and Giants. At the time of Arthur's war with the eleven rebel rulers at the outset of his reign, Rience was at war with Leodegrance. He had a cloak made from the beards of eleven kings and sent to Arthur demanding his for the twelfth. War ensued, and Balin and Balan captured Rience and brought him captive to Arthur. Modern Welsh tradition describes Rience as a robber whom Arthur slew and buried in the vicinity of Llannwchllyn. He is presumably identical with Rhitta, Ricca or Ritho, a giant associated in Welsh folklore with Snowdonia. The LIVRE D'ARTUS describes him as a Saxon. Spencer made him the father of Britomart. See: ARAVIUS, and MARMYADOSE. # 156 - 243 - 418
Great Queen - a title not a personal name. It is properly applied to Rhiannon, whose name may derive from this Celtic epithet. # 454 - 563
(re'doon a) Kingship. # 166
Queen of Benn Edair - an otherworldly place. She was the mother of Segda Saerlabraid whom Conn Cetchathach sought to slay. She appeared just as her son was about to be killed at Tara in the guise of a wailing woman with a lowing cow. She is a clear form of Sovereignty. She warned Conn to put away Becuma or else Ireland would remain a wasteland. # 188 - 454
Rings were traditional symbols of the bond between chieftains and their warriors in Anglo-Saxon Britain. Overlords in the BEOWULF are referred to as "givers of rings". Among the Celts, a ring given by a woman to a man represented her sexual availability; putting the finger through the ring was a sign of sexual intercourse. # 701 p 12
A British king who brought a large army by ship to the Continent to assist the Emperor Anthemius (ruled AD 467-72) against Euric the Visigoth (AD 466-84). He was defeated and disappeared in Burgundy. Geoffrey Ashe argued that Riothamus is the original of Arthur, claiming that it is a title meaning 'great king'. That eccentric R. Morgan (HISTORY OF BRITAIN) seems to identify Riothamus with Uther. See: CERDIC. # 31 - 156
1. In Gottfried, the father of Tristan, ruler of Parmenie. He married Blanchefleur, sister of King Mark of Cornwall. His name may be taken from Rivalen, lord of Vitré, who flourished in the eleventh century. 2. A ruler of Nantes who attacked Hoel but was defeated in monomachy (single combat) by Tristan. # 156 - 256
A son of Urien of Rheged. # 156
ROARING BULL OF BAGBURY, THE
An example of a ghost who has taken over the character and functions of a Bogie, or even of a devil. His story is told in Burne and Jackson's SHROPSHIRE FOLK LORE. He had been a very wicked man who lived at Bagbury Farm. He had only done two good deeds in his life, given a waistcoat to an old man and a piece of bread and cheese to a poor boy, but those deeds were not enough to save his soul, and after he died he came back in the shape of a monstrous bull which haunted the farm and the outbuildings, roaring and bellowing so loud that tiles and shutters would fly off. At last the people could stand it no longer, so they called together twelve parsons to lay him. They got him under, but they could not lay him, so they drove him before them to Hyssington Church. All the twelve of them had lighted candles, and eleven held them in their hands, but one old blind parson knew the bull's tricks, and when they got him into church he tucked his candle into his top-boot. Sure enough, the bull made a great rush, and he blew out all the eleven candles. But the old parson said, 'Light all your candles from mine.' They did so, and the bull raged round till he cracked one wall of the church. But they conjured him down, smaller and smaller, till they got him into a snuff-box, and he asked to be laid under Bagbury Bridge, so that every mare that passed over should lose her foal, and every woman her child. They would not consent to that, but sent him off to the Red Sea for thousand years. For all that, the people of Hyssington crossed Bagbury Bridge very cautiously for a good few years to come. Here the procedure of laying is the same as that used in laying a demon or devil. The method is even more clearly shown in the story of the Great Giant of Henllys. These are undoubtedly ghost stories, but here we see the balance trembling towards those fairy stories in which the fairies are regarded as the dead.
# 100 - 119
ROBERT THE BRUCE
(1274 - 1329) Although he first swore fealty to Edward I of England, the Bruce soon followed in the footsteps of William Wallace in his defence of Scottish independence. After Wallace's execution, he was crowned Robert I at Scone. He was then temporarily defeated, and while exiled in Ireland he is said to have had his encounter with the spider, where he watched it try six times to fix its web to a beam. It was successful on the seventh attempt. The Bruce had also attempted to so secure his position six times and took heart. He finally won the treaty of independence as Scotland's sovereign in 1327, but died of leprosy two years later. # 454
The nursery rhyme says 'Cock Robin' was slain by arrows, a common mode of sacrificial death for pagan heroes such as CuChulain, for example. Robin Hood's death scene also featured an arrow. The rebirth of Robin - or return of the robin to the greenwood - was and still is the classic harbinger of spring. # 701 p 409
The best known and most often referred to of all the Hobgoblins of England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The son of Oberon and an earthly woman. Indeed, in a sense he seemed to swallow all others and their names were made nick-names of his. Even in Shakespeare, Robin Goodfellow and Puck are identified. In the very informative conversation between Puck and the wandering fairy in a MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, she begins by calling him 'Robin Goodfellow', but seems to consider that he prefers the name of 'Puck':
Those that Hob-goblin call you and sweet Puck, You do their work, and they shall have good luck. # 100
The legend began about 1261-62. The man, if he existed at all, lived even earlier. He has survived as a hero in ballad, book poem and play ever since. - He cannot be identified. There is a quiverful of possible Robin Hoods. Even the likeliest is little better than a shot in the gloaming. To substantiate an identity, the earliest tales of Robin's doings have to be matched with information from other sources. This is scanty, and even in the earliest stories there is no sure way of sifting fact from fiction. Hence who he might have been is inseparable from what he was thought to have been: any search for a man involves an analysis of the legend. - What the original story was really like, how the plant took root and grew and in what sort of soil, are matters for patient reconstruction, but still the fancy saturate the tales of Robin Hood. It made heroes of outlaws. It confused violence and crime with justice and charity. In this it achieved an enduring confidence trick, which we now all can enjoy.
The school of witchcraft theory initiated by Dr Margaret Murray puts forward the proposition that the medieval witches and their successors were a Stone Age fertility cult with a dying god who was bled to death on May Day to give new life to the land and who from the Middle Ages onward was Robin Hood. Later Dr Murray explored the theory of a rather more long-lived god, the actual king of the realm or his substitute, and suggested William Rufus, Thomas à Becket, Joan of Arc and Gilles de Rais as victims. Presumably, if that was so, Robin Hood would merely become part of the May Day celebrations. It has also been suggested that the outlaw Robin Hood took the name of a woodland spirit. Recent investigations, however, seem to point to a solid historical foundation for the legends, and to an aristocratic rather than a popular cult. # 100 - 319
Angus' steward; his son crushed to death by Donn; then changed into a boar and charged to bring Dermot to death at length. # 562
In addition to standing stones, stone circles and cromlechs, which have all without question been erected by man, there are many interesting boulders and rocks in Wales (as well as in the rest of Britain and Ireland) whose existence is either attributed to the Druids, the Devil, King Arthur, local giants, witches, fairies or merely freaks of nature. One can come across heaps of stones that have mysteriously been carried there by a witch or a giantess in her apron. Sometimes the apron strings broke and the stones fell out, or they dropped into her shoe and in anger she tossed them out to land several miles distant. The legendary figures who carried and threw stones appear continually in Welsh folklore. Arthur was the greatest of them all but others were Huw Gadarn, Cadwaladr, Rhitta Gawr, Brutus and Idris who were all members of a mythical race of giants whose pebbles and stones are scattered all over Wales. However, the champion pebble-tosser of Wales seems to have been the Giant of Trichrug (a fairy haunt in Dyfed). He invited neighbouring giants to try their strength with him in throwing stones and won the contest by hurling a huge rock across the sea to Ireland. # 49
In the Middle Dutch romance WALAWEIN, a prince who was turned into a fox by sorcery. He aided Gawain in one of his adventures and was eventually turned back into his normal shape. # 156
# 232: At the end of april in AD 43 the conquest of Britain was begun with the invasion of more than 40.000 men in the Roman legions, led by general Aulus Plautius under the Roman Emperor Claudius, and it came to an end in AD 476. The civilisation of Roman Britain was a synthesis of things Roman and Celtic. Though it owed an incalculable debt to introductions from abroad and its preponderating element was imported from the civilisation of the Mediterranean, this civilisation took root in a Celtic land and enjoyed a native contribution: 'Romano-British' is a term not wholly synonymous with 'Roman'. Britain formed part of the Roman Empire for close on 400 years, a not inconsiderable slice of her total recorded history; and during this time there was ample opportunity for interaction and development; there were the powerful influences of geographical environment, as well as previous regional differences in the inheritance of the inhabitants to modify and colour the history of the province. Romano-British culture arose from the impact of the civilisation of Rome upon the Celtic people of Britain; the result, however, was not a replacement of cultures, but rather what can broadly be described as a synthesis. A convinient illustration of this is provided at the small town of Brough on Humber (Petuaria), which may have been the caput of the civitas of the Parisi. By the middle of the second century military occupation of the area had ceased, and a civilian town was arising over the site of the fort. It possessed a theatre whose stage-building was presented by a Roman citizen, M. Ulpius Ianuaris, aedile of the vicus of Petuaria, who set up a tablet in honour of the Domus Divina of Antoninus Pius and the deified emperors. It would be hard to find a more Roman scene. But about the same time as this dedication was made there was buried in the cemetery just outside the town a local priest. The burial rite was inhumation accompanied by a native iron-bound wooden bucket and two sceptres. This was a native burial-rite; and as if to emphasise the non-Roamn character of the ritual the two sceptres had been intentionally bent and broken to devitalise them for the journey to the Otherworld. Nothing could illustrate better the dual character of Romano-Brtish civilisation. Outwardly it was Roman, inwardly it remained Celtic; yet it would be wrong to suppose an inner conflict between the two aspects. The result was a synthesis, intended by Rome, and welcomed by the British people as they came to realise the advantages of peace and wealth conferred by membership of the empire.
At any one time, indeed, there was a wide range of variability within the synthesis, owing to the social stratification of Romano-British society on the one hand, and, on the other, to the widely varying conditions of life and opportunity existing in different regions of the province. At one end of the spectrum lay considerable approximation to the classical way of life and at the other a substantial survival of native characteristics. Moreover, the culture of Roman Britain should not be treated as if it were a static historical phenomenon. Through the four centuries of its existence it had its periods of development and decline, of maturity and decay, despite the comparative slowness of such processes of change in the ancient world when compared with our own. It should be studied, therefore, as far as the evidence allows, against the background not only of historical growth but also of varied social achievement. In this quotation from Sheppard Frere's latest edition (1986) of his work BRITANNIA, the author adds, We can measure the Romanisation of Britain only with imprecision, for we have to depend so largely upon the much more revealing evidence of contemporary testimony. Not that the evidence of material things is of little account. Haverfield long ago made the point that when the provincial adopted the use of Roman things he could be declared civilised enough to realise their value and, further, could be seen to have abandoned any inherited hostility towards them. Nevertheless, the evidence of the written word is invaluable in such an enquiry, and Romano-British writings are denied us until the fifth century. The Romanising agents responsible for the new culture were the soldiers of the occupying army, service by Britons themselves in the Roman forces, the colonies of Roman citizens, the merchants from the Continent and, at a higher level, the policy of governors like Agricola or of client kings like Cogidubnus. The civilisation thus introduced was not really the metropolitan culture of Rome or even of Italy: it was the provincial version of this, diluted but none the less real, and sufficiently vigorous to unify an empire whose boundaries touched Scotland, the Black Sea, the Euphrates and the Sahara. # 32 - 293 - 294
We here quote from Gordon Home's splendid work ROMAN LONDON (1926), where he opens with:' Those who would write the history of London from its beginnings are confronted with the greatest difficulties imaginable, owing to the fact that the whole of the original site has been built upon from an early date, and that since then successive ages have rebuilt with ever deepening foundations so that the ancient deposits have been removed or so much disturbed that the archaeologist of to-day is too often unable to obtain any reliable information from builders' excavations, which so frequently appear to offer chances of elucidating the problem. It is also a melancholy task to record the fact that, as a rule, the digging operations of the building contractor are seldom closely watched, and very few sectional drawings of the deposits revealed have been made'.
The fact that London is a Celtic name, and the references of early historians to its consequence as a port long before the Claudian conquest in AD 43, is it very satisfying that there was a thriving settlement on the spot before Britain became a Roman province. From the sack of London by Boudicca to about the year 286 there are no direct references to London. Evidently history was not being made at the prosperous capital of Britannia. We can take this period as being one of uninterrupted growth during which the place grew into a city of great importance in the second rank of the cities of the Empire. Considering such evidence, historical and archaeological, which exists and, witout prejudices in any direction, one may come to the conclusion that Roman London had continuous existence through the period of the English or Anglo-Saxon invasions. # 321
RONAN SLEW HIS SON, HOW
This tale is older than the twelfth-century manuscript in which it first appears; yet it is clearly not as ancient as the historical period in which the scene is laid. The Ronan of this story is evidently identical with Ronan mac Colmain, king of Leinster, who, according to the annals, died about AD 610. According to the same authority, Eochaid king of Dunseverick, who figures in the story as the father-in-law of Ronan, did not die until half a century later. The suspicion that we are dealing here with romantic fiction rather than with historical facts is confirmed by the obvious similarity between our story and the Greek myth of Phaedra and Hyppolitus. Both the Irish tale and the Greek myth not only contain the theme of the young step-mother's love for her handsome step-son and the father's jealousy and revenge, but also correspond in matters of detail; Mael Fothartaig resembles Hyppolitus in being a mighty hunter who roams the forest and regards his hounds as his most precious possessions. It is by no means improbable that the Greek story found its way into Ireland and became attached to the royal family of Leinster. # 166
Her name means 'Good Purveyor'. She is a native goddess who was adopted into the Romano-British cult of Mercury, where she appears as his consort, adopting his caduceus and purse as well as retaining her own basket of fruit or cauldron/bucket of plenty. # 264 - 454 - 563
ROSS THE RED
King of Ulster, husband of Maga, a daughter of Angus Og. The name of his second wife was Roy. Ross was the originator of the Red Branch. # 562
The castle belonging to Talac. # 156
# 156: The table at which Arthur seated his knights to avoid wrangling over precedence. It had originally been Uther's then it became the property of King Leodegrance of Cameliard and, when Leodegrance's daughter married Arthur, it fell to him. The table is variously represented as a disc, a ring, a semicircle or a broken ring with an opening for servants. Arthur would have sat at a separate table from the knights. The Round Table is first mentioned by Wace who claimed the knights sat inside the circle which it formed. Robert de Boron has it seating fifty knights, the VULGATE VERSION 250 and Layamon 1600. Round Tables were not the sole property of the Arthurian saga. Aurelius Cassiodorus says Theodoric the Ostrogoth had one and, in the SAGA OF DIETRICH, one belongs to Czar Cartäus. The Round Table at Winchester, which survives to this day, was thought by Caxton, when he wrote his preface to Malory's MORTE D'ARTHUR, to be the original table, but such an opinion cannot be sustained, (it has been scientifically dated to the reign of Edward III, about 1344). In the Middle Ages, round tables were sometimes made in imitation of Arthur's. Roger de Mortimer had one at Kenilworth and Edward III had one at Windsor, 200 feet in diameter.
# 454: The Round Table esoterically symbolizes the coming together of peers, human and otherworldly, to watch over the fortunes of humanity. It is an encapsulation of the ancient concept of Clas Myrddyn. # 26 - 98 - 156 - 418 - 524 - 697
# 701: Also called quickbeam or mountain ash, the rowan tree represented the second letter of the druidic tree alphabet, Luis (L). The tree stood for magic and was sacred to the Goddess Brigit.
In Irish legends, 'the rowan tree in the north' bore the berries of immortality. The tree was guarded by a Fomorian giant with one fiery eye in the middle of his forehead.
# 100: The tree which above all others offered the best protection against fairy enchantments and witchcraft. It will be noticed that all rowan are reddish, and the red berries of the rowan-tree make it specially effective. A staff of rowan, a cross made of rowan, a bunch of rowan berries, all these were effective, and it was customary in the Highlands to plant a rowan-tree outside every house. Where rowans were scarce, ash-trees took their place. An ashen gad was supposed to be protective of cattle. See also: PROTECTION AGAINST FAIRIES.
# 489: Along with other trees, Rowan played a central role in Druid ceremonies. Even in more recent times, these beliefs have been upheld in practices from different parts of Britain. In the North, for example, sprays of Rowan were fixed to cattle sheds to protect the animals from harm, and in Strathspey farmers drove their goats through hoops framed from branches of Rowan. Sprigs were placed over the main door of the house and also worn on the person to ward off false enchantment - the 'evil eye'. In Wales, or Cymru, Rowans used to be planted in churchyards to watch over the spirits of the dead, as Yew is elsewhere. # 100 - 489 - 701 p 470
In Geoffrey, the name of the daughter of Hengist who married Vortigern. The name does not occur before Geoffrey and is probably Welsh rather than Anglo-Saxon. In Thelwall's melodrama THE FAIRY OF THE LAKE (1801), Rowena was in love with Arthur, even though married to Vortigern. #156 - 243 - 697
A son of Arthur according to a Scottish ballad. When his sister, Ellen, disappeared, Merlin claimed the fairies had taken her. The eldest of her brothers went to search for her, but he vanished for he had not followed Merlin's instructions. The same happened to the next brother. Rowland, however, did all that Merlin had bidden him which entailed the slaughter of each person he met after he entered the fairy realm. He then went inside a hill where there was a hall in which he found Ellen together with his two entranced brothers. Rowland defeated the King of Elfland and secured the release of the prisoners. In the ballad CHILDE ROWLAND, Rowland is called childe, signifying an upper-class young man. A quotation from a ballad about Rowland occurs in KING LEAR. # 156
1. Tara cursed by Saint Ruadan of Lorrha due to the arrest by the High King of a murderer which this clergy had found a hiding-place.
2. The son of Bres and Brigit. He fought on Fomorian side in the second Battle of Mag Tuired and was sent to spy on the dispositions of the Tuatha de Danaan, particularly on their provision of arms and the nature of the healing well Slane with which Diancecht healed their men. He managed to wound Goibniu but the smith pierced him with the spear which he had been making. The similarities between this story and the accidental slaying of Dylan by Gofannon are striking. # 188 - 454 - 562
Son of Hoel of Brittany and brother to Iseult of the White Hands # 156
This, particularly southward-running water, is holy, and cannot be passed by evil spirits. See also: PROTECTION AGAINST FAIRIES. # 100