The Lancelot-Grail known as the Vulgate Cycle or the Pseudo-Map Cycle, is a major source of Arthurian legend written in French. It is a series of prose volumes that tell the story of the quest for the Holy Grail and the romance of Lancelot and Guinevere; the major parts are early 13th century, but scholarship has few definitive answers as to the authorship. An attribution to Walter Map is discounted; the Vulgate Cycle perpetuates Christian themes in the King Arthur tradition by expanding on tales of the Holy Grail and recounting the quests of the Grail knights. During this period, material takes on more historical and religious overtones with tales that include the deaths of both Arthur and Merlin, it combines elements of the Old Testament with the story Merlin and Arthur as told by Robert de Boron. The Vulgate Cycle was subject to a 13th-century revision and much added; the resulting text, referred to as the "Post-Vulgate Cycle", was an attempt to create greater unity in the material, to de-emphasise the secular love affair between Lancelot and Guinevere.
It omits all of the Vulgate's Lancelot Proper section, but includes characters and scenes from the Prose Tristan. This version of the cycle was one of the most important sources of Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur; the work is traditionally divided into three main sections. The last was the first to be written, starting in the 1210s; the first two came around the 1230s. The Vulgate Estoire del Saint Grail, about Joseph of Arimathea and his son Josephus bringing the Holy Grail to Britain. Written in French prose c. 1220–1235. The Vulgate Merlin or Estoire de Merlin, about Merlin and the early life of Arthur, it is a redaction of the Prose Merlin. Written in French prose c. 1220-1235, can be divided into: The Vulgate Merlin propre from Robert de Boron's poem Merlin. The Vulgate Suite du Merlin, adding more of Arthur's and Gawain's early adventures, it is four times longer than the first part. The Prose Lancelot, the longest section, making up half of the entire cycle, it concerns the adventures of Lancelot and the other Knights of the Round Table, written in French prose c.
1215–1230. It can be divided into: The Vulgate Lancelot propre about the life of Lancelot and his affair with Guinevere; the Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal about the Grail Quest and its completion by Galahad. The Vulgate Mort Artu, about the king's death at the hands of Mordred and the collapse of the kingdom; some categorizations have either the Mort or both the Queste and the Mort regarded as separate sections independent of the Lancelot. The entire work was soon followed by the Post-Vulgate Cycle, a work based on the Vulgate Cycle but differing from it in many respects; the Lancelot-Graal Project website lists close to 150 manuscripts in French, some fragmentary, such as British Library Additional MS 10292-4, containing the entire cycle. The earliest copies are of French origin and date from 1220–1230, soon after the estimated date of composition of the work. Numerous copies were produced in French throughout the remainder of the 13th, 14th and well into the 15th centuries in France and Italy, as well as translations into other European languages.
Some of the manuscripts are beautifully illuminated: British Library Royal MS 14 E III, produced in Northern France in the early 14th century contains over 100 miniatures with gilding throughout and decorated borders at the beginning of each section. It was once owned by King Charles V of France. Other manuscripts were made for less wealthy owners and contain little or no decoration, for example British Library MS Royal 19 B VII, produced in England in the early 14th century, with initials in red and blue marking sections in the text and larger decorated initials at chapter-breaks. Few copies of the entire Lancelot-Grail Cycle survive; because it was so vast, copies were made of parts of the legend which may have suited the tastes of certain patrons. For instance, British Library Royal 14 E III contains the sections which deal with the Grail and religious themes, omitting the middle section, which relates Lancelot's chivalric exploits. Penguin Classics published a translation into English by Pauline Matarasso of the Queste in 1969, followed in 1971 with a translation by James Cable of the Mort Artu.
H. Oskar Sommer published the entire Vulgate Cycle in seven volumes in the years 1908-1916; the base text used was the British Library Additional mss. 10292-10294. It is however not a critical edition, but a composite text, where variant readings from alternate manuscripts are unreliably demarcated using square brackets. Sommer's has been the only complete cycle published. Sommer, Heinrich Oskar. Lestoire del Saint Graal; the Vulgate Version of the Arthurian Romances. 1. Sommer. Lestoire de Merlin. Ib. 2. Sommer. Le livre de Lancelot del Lac. ib. 3. Sommer. Le livre de Lancelot del Lac. ib. 4. Sommer. Le livre de Lancelot del Lac. ib. 5. Sommer. Les aventures ou la queste del Saint Graal. La mort le roi Artus. Ib. 6. Sommer. Supplement: Le livre d'Artus, with glossary. Ib. 7. Sommer. Index of names and places to volumes I-VII. Ib. 8. The first full English translations of the Vulgate and Post-Vulgate cycles were overseen by Norris J. Lacy. Volumes 1–4 contain the Vulgate Cycle proper. Lacy, Norris J.. Lancelot–Grail: The Old French Ar
Tristan known as Tristram or Tristain, is a knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend and the hero of the Tristan and Iseult story. Tristan made his first recorded appearance in the 12th century in British mythology circulating in the north of France and the Kingdom of Brittany, which had close ancestral and cultural links with the English counties of Cornwall and Devon by way of the ancient British kingdom of Dumnonia, as made clear in the story itself, the related Cornish and Breton languages. Although the oldest stories concerning Tristan are lost, some of the derivatives still exist. Most early versions fall into one of two branches: the "courtly" branch represented in the retellings of the English poet Thomas of Britain and his German successor Gottfried von Strassburg, in the Folie Tristan d'Oxford; the name Tristan is known as "Trischin" in the Maltese culture. Arthurian romancier Chrétien de Troyes mentioned in his poem Cligès that he composed his own account of the story. In the 13th century, during the great period of prose romances, Tristan en prose or Prose Tristan appeared and was one of the most popular romances of its time.
This long and lyrical work follows Tristan from the traditional legend into the realm of King Arthur where Tristan participates in the Quest for the Holy Grail. In the 15th century, Sir Thomas Malory shortened this French version into his own English-language The Book of Sir Tristram de Lyones, a part of Le Morte d'Arthur. In the story of Tristan and Iseult, Tristan is the son of Blancheflor and Rivalen, the nephew of King Mark of Cornwall, sent to fetch Iseult back from Ireland to wed the king. However, he and Iseult accidentally consume a love potion while en route and fall helplessly in love. In Malory's telling, Sir Tristram had fallen in love with Isolde earlier, his uncle, King Mark, jealous of Tristan and seeking to undermine him, appears to seek marriage to Isolde for just such a hateful purpose, going so far as to ask Tristram to go and seek her hand on his behalf. Of all the knights, Tristram most resembles Sir Lancelot as he too loves a queen, the wife of another. Tristan is considered to be as strong and able a knight as Lancelot, although they become beloved friends.
Because of King Mark's treacherous behavior, Tristram takes Isolde from him and lives with her for some time, but he returns Isolde to him. Nonetheless, Mark kills Tristram while he is "harping". There are obscure aspects to Tristan. Tristan could derive from the legendary Pictish Chronicle Drest or Drust which appears as the name of several ancient Pictish kings in modern Scotland far to the northwest, it may have originated from an ancient legend regarding a Pictish king who slew a giant in the distant past, which had spread throughout the isles, or the name may come from a 6th-century Pictish saint who bore another form of the name – or it may have migrated upwards from the southwest due to the fame of the legends of Arthur. In addition, there was a Tristan who bore witness to a legal document at the Swabian Abbey of Saint Gall in 807. Another strange aspect is his kingdom, for whose existence there is no evidence. However, there were two places called Leonais: one in Brittany, the other the Old French transcription of Lothian.
However, the Isles of Scilly have been proposed to be this place, since they were one island until Roman times and several islands are interconnected at low tide. Regardless, Tristan being a prince of Lothian would make his name more sensible, Lothian being on the borderlands of the Pictish High-Kingship. There are records of a Turstan Crectune, whose name gave the Lothian village of Crichton its name, he was granted lands in 1128 by King David I of Scotland. One other suggestion is that he could have been adopted into the family of Mark of Cornwall, a historical practice attested in Roman law. Researcher Sigmund Eisner came to the conclusion that the name Tristan comes from Drust, son of Talorc, but that the legend of Tristan as we know it, was gathered together by an Irish monk living in North Britain around the early 8th century. Eisner explains that Irish monks of this time would have been familiar with the Greek and Roman narratives that the legend borrows from such as Pyramus and Thisbe.
Eisner concludes that "the author of the Tristan story used the names and some of the local traditions of his own recent past. To these figures he attached adventures, handed down from Roman and Greek mythology, he lived in the north of Britain, was associated with a monastery, started the first rendition of the Tristan story on its travels to wherever it has been found." Possible evidence for his roots in South West England is the 6th-century inscribed granite pill
Philip I, Count of Flanders
Philip of Alsace was count of Flanders from 1168 to 1191. He succeeded his father Thierry of Alsace, his reign began in 1157, while he acted as regent and co-count for his father, away on crusade. He stopped the piracy. Floris was captured in Bruges and remained in prison until 1167, at which point he was being ransomed in exchange for recognition of Flemish suzerainty over Zeeland. By inheritance, Philip recovered for Flanders the territories of Waasland and Quatre-Métiers. In 1159, Philip married Elisabeth of Vermandois known as Isabelle, elder daughter of count Raoul I of Vermandois and Petronilla of Aquitaine; when his brother-in-law died, his wife inherited the county of Vermandois. This pushed Flemish authority further south, to its greatest extent thus far, threatened to alter the balance of power in northern France. Philip governed wisely with the aid of Robert d'Aire, whose role was that of a prime minister, they established Philip's foreign relations were excellent. He mediated in disputes between Louis VII of France and Henry II of England, between Henry II and Thomas Becket, arranged the marriage of his sister Margaret with Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut.
Philip and Elisabeth were childless. In 1175, Philip discovered that Elisabeth was committing adultery and had her lover, Walter de Fontaines, beaten to death. Philip obtained complete control of her lands in Vermandois from King Louis VII of France. Philip's brothers Matthew and Peter of Alsace died, so in 1177, before going on crusade, he designated Margaret and Baldwin as his heirs. In the Holy Land, Philip hoped to take part in a planned invasion of Egypt, for which purpose the crusaders had allied with the Byzantine Empire. A Byzantine fleet of 150 galleys was waiting at Acre. Philip had other plans, however, he and King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem were first cousins, sharing a grandfather, King Fulk, whose daughter from his first marriage, Sibylla of Anjou, was Philip's mother. Baldwin IV was a leper and childless, offered Philip the regency of the Kingdom of Jerusalem as his closest male relative present there. Philip refused both this and the command of the army of the kingdom, saying he was there only as a pilgrim.
Instead Baldwin appointed Raynald of Châtillon, to. As William of Tyre says, "this being the situation, the count at last revealed the secret thought of his mind and did not try to conceal to what end all his plans were." He had come to have his own vassals married to his cousins, Baldwin's sister Sibylla and half-sister Isabella. Sibylla's husband William of Montferrat had just died, leaving her pregnant with the future Baldwin V. William of Tyre, the chief negotiator in this dispute, told the count it would be improper to marry her off again so soon. According to the chronicle of Ernoul, Philip was rebuffed by Raymond III of Tripoli, who claimed the regency, as well as by Raymond's supporters from the Ibelins, who hoped to marry the princesses into their own family. Baldwin of Ibelin insulted the count in public. Philip left Jerusalem in October to campaign in the north for the Principality of Antioch, participating in an unsuccessful siege of Harim before returning home. Meanwhile, the Byzantine alliance against Egypt was abandoned.
In November, Baldwin IV and Raynald defeated Saladin at the Battle of Montgisard. Philip returned from Palestine in 1179, at which point Louis VII, now sick, named him guardian of his young son Philip II. One year Philip of Alsace had his protégé married to his niece, Isabelle of Hainaut, offering the County of Artois and other Flemish territories as dowry, much to the dismay of Baldwin V; when Louis VII died, Philip II began to assert his independence. War broke out in 1180. Picardy and Île-de-France were devastated. King Philip gained the upper hand. Baldwin V, at first allied with his brother-in-law, intervened in 1184 on behalf of his son-in-law, King Philip, in support of his daughter's interests; the dispute between Count Philip and Baldwin was encouraged by King Philip, who went so far as to name Baldwin his representative in negotiations with the Count. Count Philip's wife, died in 1183, prompting King Philip II to seize the province of Vermandois on behalf of Elisabeth's sister, Eleonore.
Philip remarried, to Matilda, daughter of Afonso I, the first King of Portugal. Philip gave Matilda a dower that included a number of major Flemish towns, in an apparent slight to Baldwin V. Fearing that he would be surrounded by the royal domain of France and the County of Hainaut, Count Philip signed a peace treaty with King Philip II and Count Baldwin V on 10 March 1186, recognizing the cession of Vermandois to the king, although he was allowed to retain the title Count of Vermandois for the remainder of his life. In 1190, Philip took the cross for a second time and joined the Flemish contingents which had gone to Palestine. After arriving at the Siege of Acre, he was stricken by the epidemic passing through the crusader camp, died on 1 August 1191, his body was brought back to Flanders by his wife. Philip was buried in Clairvaux Abbey. Since he was unsuccessful in producing an heir with Countess Matilda, he was succeeded by his sister Margaret and his brother-in-law, who thereupon ruled as Baldwin VII of Flanders.
Philip seems to represent the end of one kind of feudal world and the beginning of a new type of sovereignty, put into practice by King Philip: for the first time, a king of France ruled over a count of Flanders. Despite a costly war, the economic expansion of Flanders did not stop, as witn
As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a type of prose and verse narrative, popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures of a chivalric knight-errant portrayed as having heroic qualities, who goes on a quest, it developed further from the epics. Romances reworked legends, fairy tales, history to suit the readers' and hearers' tastes, but by c. 1600 they were out of fashion, Miguel de Cervantes famously burlesqued them in his novel Don Quixote. Still, the modern image of "medieval" is more influenced by the romance than by any other medieval genre, the word medieval evokes knights, distressed damsels and other romantic tropes. Romance literature was written in Old French, Anglo-Norman and Provençal, in Portuguese, English and German. During the early 13th century, romances were written as prose. In romances those of French origin, there is a marked tendency to emphasize themes of courtly love, such as faithfulness in adversity.
Unlike the form of the novel and like the chansons de geste, the genre of romance dealt with traditional themes. These were distinguished from earlier epics by heavy use of marvelous events, the elements of love, the frequent use of a web of interwoven stories, rather than a simple plot unfolding about a main character; the earliest forms were invariably in verse, but the 15th century saw many in prose retelling the old, rhymed versions. The romantic form pursued the wish-fulfillment dream where the heroes and heroines were considered representations of the ideals of the age while the villains embodied the threat to their ascendancy. There is a persistent archetype, which involved a hero's quest; this quest or journey served as the structure. With regards to the structure, scholars recognize the similarity of the romance to folk tales. Vladimir Propp identified a basic form for this genre and it involved an order that began with initial situation followed by departure, first move, second move, resolution.
This structure is applicable to romance narratives. Overwhelmingly, these were linked in some way only in an opening frame story, with three thematic cycles of tales: these were assembled in imagination at a late date as the "Matter of Rome", the "Matter of France" and the "Matter of Britain". In reality, a number of "non-cyclical" romances were written without any such connection. Indeed, some tales are found so that scholars group them together as the "Constance cycle" or the "Crescentia cycle"—referring not to a continuity of character and setting, but to the recognizable plot. Many influences are clear in the forms of chivalric romance; the medieval romance developed out of the medieval epic, in particular the Matter of France developing out of such tales as the Chanson de Geste, with intermediate forms where the feudal bonds of loyalty had giants, or a magical horn, added to the plot. The epics of Charlemagne, unlike such ones as Beowulf had feudalism rather than the tribal loyalties; the romance form is distinguished from the earlier epics of the Middle Ages by the changes of the 12th century, which introduced courtly and chivalrous themes into the works.
This occurred regardless of congruity to the source material. Chivalry was treated as continuous from Roman times; this extended to such details as clothing. When Priam sends Paris to Greece in a 14th-century work, Priam is dressed in the mold of Charlemagne, Paris is dressed demurely, but in Greece, he adopts the flashier style, with multicolored clothing and fashionable shoes, cut in lattice-work—signs of a seducer in the era. Historical figures reappeared, reworked, in romance; the entire Matter of France derived from known figures, suffered somewhat because their descendants had an interest in the tales that were told of their ancestors, unlike the Matter of Britain. Richard Coeur de Lion reappeared in romance, endowed with a fairy mother who arrived in a ship with silk sails and departed when forced to behold the sacrament, bare-handed combat with a lion, magical rings, prophetic dreams. Hereward the Wake's early life appeared in chronicles as the embellished, romantic adventures of an exile, complete with rescuing princess and wrestling with bears.
Fulk Fitzwarin, an outlaw in King John's day, has his historical background a minor thread in the episodic stream of romantic adventures. The earliest medieval romances dealt with themes from folklore, which diminished over time, though remaining a presence. Many early tales had the knight
Provence is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River to the west to the Italian border to the east, is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It corresponds with the modern administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, includes the départements of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and parts of Alpes-Maritimes and Vaucluse; the largest city of the region is Marseille. The Romans made the region the first Roman province beyond the Alps and called it Provincia Romana, which evolved into the present name; until 1481 it was ruled by the Counts of Provence from their capital in Aix-en-Provence became a province of the Kings of France. While it has been part of France for more than five hundred years, it still retains a distinct cultural and linguistic identity in the interior of the region; the coast of Provence has some of the earliest known sites of human habitation in Europe. Primitive stone tools dating back 1 to 1.05 million years BC have been found in the Grotte du Vallonnet near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, between Monaco and Menton.
More sophisticated tools, worked on both sides of the stone and dating to 600,000 BC, were found in the Cave of Escale at Saint Estėve-Janson, tools from 400,000 BC and some of the first fireplaces in Europe were found at Terra Amata in Nice. Tools dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic were discovered in the Observatory Cave, in the Jardin Exotique of Monaco; the Paleolithic period in Provence saw great changes in the climate. Two ice ages came and went, the sea level changed dramatically. At the beginning of the Paleolithic, the sea level in western Provence was 150 meters higher than today. By the end of the Paleolithic, it had dropped to 100 to 150 metres below the sea level today; the cave dwellings of the early inhabitants of Provence were flooded by the rising sea or left far from the sea and swept away by erosion. The changes in the sea level led to one of the most remarkable discoveries of signs of early man in Provence. In 1985, a diver named Henri Cosquer discovered the mouth of a submarine cave 37 metres below the surface of the Calanque de Morgiou near Marseille.
The entrance led to a cave above sea level. Inside, the walls of the Cosquer Cave are decorated with drawings of bison, auks and outlines of human hands, dating to between 27,000 and 19,000 BC; the end of the Paleolithic and beginning of the Neolithic period saw the sea settle at its present level, a warming of the climate and the retreat of the forests. The disappearance of the forests and the deer and other hunted game meant that the inhabitants of Provence had to survive on rabbits and wild sheep. In about 6000 BC, the Castelnovian people, living around Châteauneuf-les-Martigues, were among the first people in Europe to domesticate wild sheep, to cease moving from place to place. Once they settled in one place they were able to develop new industries. Inspired by pottery from the eastern Mediterranean, in about 6000 BC they created the first pottery made in France. Around 6000 BC, a wave of new settlers from the east, the Chasséens, arrived in Provence, they were farmers and warriors, displaced the earlier pastoral people from their lands.
They were followed about 2500 BC by another wave of people farmers, known as the Courronniens, who arrived by sea and settled along the coast of what is now the Bouches-du-Rhône. Traces of these early civilisations can be found in many parts of Provence. A Neolithic site dating to about 6,000 BC was discovered in Marseille near the Saint-Charles railway station, and a dolmen from the Bronze Age can be found near Draguignan. Between the 10th and 4th century BC, the Ligures were found in Provence from Massilia as far as modern Liguria, they were of uncertain origin. Strabo distinctly states they were not of a different race from the Gauls, they did not have their own alphabet, but their language remains in place names in Provence ending in the suffixes -asc, -osc. -inc, -ates, -auni. The ancient geographer Posidonios wrote of them: "Their country is dry; the soil is so rocky. The men compensate for the lack of wheat by hunting... They climb the mountains like goats." They were warlike. Traces of the Ligures remain today in the dolmens and other megaliths found in eastern Provence, in the primitive stone shelters called'Bories' found in the Luberon and Comtat, in the rock carvings in the Valley of Marvels near Mont Bégo in the Alpes-Maritimes, at an altitude of 2,000 meters.
Between the 8th and 5th centuries BC, tribes of Celtic peoples coming from Central Europe began moving into Provence. They had weapons made of iron, which allowed them to defeat the local tribes, who were still armed with bronze weapons. One tribe, called the Segobriga, settled near modern-day Marseille; the Caturiges and Cavares settled to the west of the Durance river. Celts and Ligurians spread throughout the area and the Celto-Ligures shared the territory of Provence, each tribe in its own alpine valley or settlement along a river, each with its own king and dynasty, they built hilltop forts and settlements given the Latin name oppida. Today the traces 165 oppida are found in the Var, as many as 285 in the Alp
The Mabinogion are the earliest prose stories of the literature of Britain. The stories were compiled in Middle Welsh in the 12th–13th centuries from earlier oral traditions; the two main source manuscripts were created c. 1350–1410, as well as a few earlier fragments. These stories offer drama, romance, tragedy and humour, were created by various narrators over time; the title covers a collection of eleven prose stories of different types. There is a classic hero quest, "Culhwch and Olwen"; the sophisticated complexity of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi defies categorisation. The stories are so diverse that it has been argued that they are not a true collection. Scholars from the 18th century to the 1970s predominantly viewed the tales as fragmentary pre-Christian Celtic mythology, or in terms of international folklore. There are traces of mythology, folklore components, but since the 1970s an understanding of the integrity of the tales has developed, with investigation of their plot structures and language styles.
They are now seen as a sophisticated narrative tradition, both oral and written, with ancestral construction from oral storytelling, overlay from Anglo-French influences. The first modern publications were English translations by William Owen Pughe of several tales in journals in 1795, 1821, 1829; however it was Lady Charlotte Guest in 1838–45 who first published the full collection, bilingually in Welsh and English. She is assumed to be responsible for the name "Mabinogion", but this was in standard use since the 18th century. Indeed, as early as 1632 the lexicographer John Davies quotes a sentence from Math fab Mathonwy with the notation "Mabin." in his Antiquae linguae Britannicae... dictionarium duplex, article "Hob". The Guest translation of 1877 in one volume has been influential and remains read today; the most recent translation is a compact version by Sioned Davies. John Bollard has published a series of volumes with his own translation, with copious photography of the sites in the stories.
The tales continue to inspire new fiction, dramatic retellings, visual artwork, research. The name first appears in 1795 in William Owen Pughe's translation of Pwyll in the journal Cambrian Register under the title "The Mabinogion, or Juvenile Amusements, being Ancient Welsh Romances." The name appears to have been current among Welsh scholars of the London-Welsh Societies and the regional eisteddfodau in Wales. It was inherited as the title by the first publisher of the complete collection, Lady Charlotte Guest; the form mabynnogyon occurs once at the end of the first of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi in one manuscript. It is now agreed that this one instance was a mediaeval scribal error which assumed'mabinogion' was the plural of'mabinogi,', a Welsh plural occurring at the end of the remaining three branches; the word mabinogi itself is something of a puzzle, although derived from the Welsh mab, which means "son, young person". Eric P. Hamp of the earlier school traditions in mythology, found a suggestive connection with Maponos "the Divine Son", a Gaulish deity.
Mabinogi properly applies only to the Four Branches, a organised quartet likely by one author, where the other seven are so diverse. Each of these four tales ends with the colophon "thus ends this branch of the Mabinogi", hence the name. Lady Charlotte Guest's work was helped by the earlier research and translation work of William Owen Pughe; the first part of Charlotte Guest's translation of the Mabinogion appeared in 1838, it was completed in seven parts in 1845. A three-volume edition followed in 1846, a revised edition in 1877, her version of the Mabinogion remained standard until the 1948 translation by Gwyn Jones and Thomas Jones, praised for its combination of literal accuracy and elegant literary style. Several more, listed below, have since appeared. Dates for the tales in the Mabinogion have been much debated, a range from 1050 to 1225 being proposed, with the consensus being that they are to be dated to the late 11th and 12th centuries; the stories of the Mabinogion appear in either or both of two medieval Welsh manuscripts, the White Book of Rhydderch or Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch, written circa 1350, the Red Book of Hergest or Llyfr Goch Hergest, written about 1382–1410, though texts or fragments of some of the tales have been preserved in earlier 13th century and manuscripts.
Scholars agree that the tales are older than the existing manuscripts, but disagree over just how much older. It is clear, thus the tale of Culhwch ac Olwen, with its primitive warlord Arthur and his court based at Celliwig, is accepted to precede the Arthurian romances which show the influence of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae and the romances of Chrétien de Troyes.. Those following R. S. Loomis would date it before 1100, see it as providing important evidence for the development of Arthurian legend, with links to Nennius and early Welsh poetry.. By contrast, The Dream of Rhonabwy is set in the reign of the historical Madog ap Maredudd, must therefore either be contemporary with or postdate his reign, being early 13thC. Much debate has been focused on the dating of the Four Bran
In the Matter of Britain, Igraine is the mother of King Arthur. She is known in Latin as Igerna, in Welsh as Eigr, in French as Ygraine, in Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur as Ygrayne— modernized as Igraine or Igreine—and in Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival as Arnive, she becomes the wife of Uther Pendragon. In Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, Igerna enters the story as the wife of Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall. King Uther Pendragon falls in love with her and attempts to force his attentions on her at his court, she informs her husband. This sudden departure gives Uther Pendragon an excuse to make war on Gorlois. Gorlois conducts the war from the castle of Dimilioc but places his wife in safety in Tintagel Castle. Disguised as Gorlois by Merlin, Uther Pendragon is able to enter Tintagel to satisfy his lust, he manages to rape Igraine by deceit - she believes that she is lying with her husband and becomes pregnant with Arthur. Her husband Gorlois dies in battle that same night. Geoffrey does not say, accounts disagree, as to whether Gorlois died before or after Arthur was begotten.
Uther Pendragon marries Igraine. According to Geoffrey, Igraine bore a daughter Anna to Uther Pendragon, this Anna becoming the mother of Gawain and Mordred, yet Geoffrey refers to King Hoel of Brittany as Arthur's nephew and presents a prophecy that to Uther's daughter will be born a line of seven kings, something true if Hoel is Anna's son, but not true if only Gawain or Mordred are Anna's sons. There is confusion here as Welsh genealogies name an Anna as Hoel's mother, but one not connected to Uther Pendragon. In medieval Welsh literature and genealogical tracts Eigr is one of several children of Amlawdd Wledig, her siblings include Gwyar, the mother of Gwalchmai, mentioned in Culhwch and Olwen. The same source mentions Gormant son of Rica, half-brother to Arthur on his Mother's side, his father the chief elder of Cornwall. In Robert de Boron's poem Merlin, Igraine's previous husband is an unnamed Duke of Tintagel and it is by him that she becomes the mother of two unnamed daughters. One marries King Lot and by him becomes the mother of Gawain, Mordred and Guerrehet.
A second daughter unnamed in some variants but in some named Morgaine, is married to King Nentres of Garlot, identified with Budic II of Brittany. According to Robert de Boron, Igraine died before her second husband. A third illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Tintagel is sent to a school and there learns so much she becomes the great sorceress Morgan. In the Lancelot-Grail Vulgate Merlin, Igraine is provided with two earlier husbands, one named Hoel, the father of two daughters: Gawain's mother and a daughter named Blasine who marries King Nentres of Garlot. After Hoel's death Ygraine marries the Duke of Tintagel and by him becomes mother of three more daughters: a third daughter who marries a King Briadas and becomes mother of King Angusel of Scotland, a fourth daughter named Hermesent who marries King Urien of Rheged and becomes mother of Ywain the Great and a fifth daughter, Morgan. In the Post-Vulgate Cycle and Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, it is Morgan le Fay who becomes the wife of King Urien and mother of Ywain.
In other accounts Ywain is not Arthur's nephew, although sometimes is Gawain's cousin when their respective fathers are presented as brothers. In the Brut Tysilio, Duke Cador of Cornwall is the son of Gorlois, one would guess by Igraine; the same appears in Richard Hardyng's Chronicle where Cador is called Arthur's brother "of his mother's syde." Opposing views appear in Layamon's Brut where Cador appears first as a leader who takes charge of Uther's host when they are attacked by Gorlois while Uther is secretly lying beside Igraine in Tintagel. In the English Alliterative Morte Arthure Cador is continually called Arthur's "cousin". Le Morte d'Arthur names the second Elayne and the third Morgan. Lancelot is the son of Arthur's sister Clarine in Ulrich von Zatzikhoven's Lanzelet, Caradoc is Arthur's sister's son in the Prose Lancelot, Percival is son of Arthur's sister Acheflour in the English romance Syr Percyvelle. Arthurian tales are not consistent with one another and sisters of Arthur seem to have been created at desire by any teller who wished to make a hero into Arthur's nephew.
The Lancelot-Grail relates that when Igraine became Uther's wife she left behind in the dukedom of Tintagel a son of the Duke of Tintagel by a previous marriage. Some romances show her alive after Uther's death. In Chrétien de Troyes's Perceval, the Story of the Grail she and her daughter Gawain's mother are discovered by Gawain in an enchanted castle named the Castle of Marvels. Gawain had thought both his grandmother to be long dead; this same account appears in Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival and in Heinrich von dem Türlin's Diu Crône. In both of these it is explained that Igraine was abducted (and it is hinted that she was willingly abduct