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Mordred or Modred is a character, variously portrayed in the Arthurian legend. The earliest known mention of a historical Medraut is in the Welsh chronicle Annales Cambriae, wherein he and Arthur are ambiguously associated with the Battle of Camlann in a brief entry for the year 537, his figure seemed to have been regarded positively in the Welsh tradition and may have been related to that of Arthur's son. As Modredus, Mordred was depicted as Arthur's traitorous nephew and a legitimate son of King Lot in Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudo-historical work Historia Regum Britanniae which served as the basis for the following evolution of the legend since the 12th century. Variants most characterized him as Arthur's villainous bastard son, born of an incestuous relationship with his half-sister named either Anna, Orcades or Morgause; the accounts presented in the Historia and most other versions include Mordred's death at Camlann in a final duel during which he manages to mortally wound his slayer Arthur.
Mordred is a brother or half-brother to Gawain, however his other family relations as well as his relationships with Arthur's wife Guinevere vary greatly. In a popular telling originating from the French chivalric romances of the 13th century and made prominent today through its inclusion in Le Morte d'Arthur, Mordred is knighted by Arthur and joins the fellowship of the Round Table. In this narrative, he becomes the main actor in Arthur's downfall as he helps his half-brother Agravain to expose Guinevere's and Lancelot's affair and takes advantage of the resulting war to make himself the king of Britain; the name Mordred, found as the Latinised Modredus in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, comes from Old Welsh Medraut. It is derived from Latin Moderātus, meaning "within bounds, observing moderation, moderate"; the earliest surviving mention of Mordred occurs in an entry for the year 537 in the chronicle Annales Cambriae, which references his name in an association with the Battle of Camlann.
Gueith Camlann in qua Arthur et Medraut corruerunt."The strife of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell." This brief entry gives no information as to whether Mordred killed or was killed by Arthur, or if he was fighting against him. As noted by Leslie Alcock, the reader assumes this in the light of tradition; the Annales themselves were completed between 960 and 970, meaning that although their authors drew from older material they cannot be considered as a contemporary source having been compiled 400 years after the events they describe. Meilyr Brydydd, writing at the same time as Geoffrey of Monmouth, mentions Mordred in his lament for the death of Gruffudd ap Cynan, he describes Gruffudd as having eissor Medrawd. Gwalchmai ap Meilyr praised Madog ap Maredudd, king of Powys as having Arthur gerdernyd, menwyd Medrawd; this would support the idea that early perceptions of Mordred were positive. However, Mordred's characterization as the king's villainous son has a precedent in the figure of Amr or Amhar, a son of Arthur's known from only two references.
The more important of these, found in an appendix to the 9th-century chronicle Historia Brittonum, describes his marvelous grave beside the Herefordshire spring where he had been slain by his own father in some unchronicled tragedy. What connection exists between the stories of Amr and Mordred, if there is one, has never been satisfactorily explained. Mordred is found in Geoffrey's influential Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. Here, he is portrayed as traitor to Arthur; the unhistorical account presented by Geoffrey describes Arthur leaving Mordred in charge of his throne as he crossed the English Channel to wage war on Lucius Tiberius of Rome. During Arthur's absence, Mordred crowns himself king and lives in an adulterous union with Arthur's wife, Guinevere. Geoffrey does not make it clear how complicit Guinevere is with Mordred's actions stating that the Queen had "broken her vows" and "about this matter... prefers to say nothing." This forces Arthur to return to Britain to fight at the Battle of Camlann, where Mordred is slain.
Arthur, having been gravely wounded in battle, is sent to be healed in Avalon. A number of Welsh sources refer to Medraut in relation to Camlann. One triad, based on Geoffrey's Historia, provides an account of his betrayal of Arthur; the Old French chivalric romance prose literature of the 13th century expand on the history of Mordred prior to the war with Arthur. In the Vulgate Merlin part of Vulgate Cycle, his elder half-brother Gawain saves the infant Mordred and their mother Morgause from the Saxon king Taurus. In the Old French prose narrative's revision known as the Post-Vulgate Cycle, in Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Arthur is told prophecy by Merlin about a just-born child, to be his undoing, so he tries to avert the fate by ordering the killing of all the May Day newborns; this episode, reminiscent of the Biblical Massacre of the Innocents and sometimes dubbed the "May Day massacre", leads to a war between the husband of Mordred's mother and
Sir Lancelot du Lac, alternatively written as Launcelot and other spellings, is one of the Knights of the Round Table in the Arthurian legend. He features as King Arthur's greatest companion, the lord of Joyous Gard and the greatest swordsman and jouster of the age – until his adulterous affair with Queen Guinevere is discovered, causing a civil war, exploited by Mordred and brings about the end of Arthur's kingdom, his first appearance as a main character is in Chrétien de Troyes' poem Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, written in the 12th century. His exploits were expanded upon in the Prose Lancelot, further expanded upon for the vast Lancelot-Grail cycle. There and Lady Elaine's son, becomes an more perfect knight. Roger Sherman Loomis suggested that Lancelot is related to either the character Llenlleog the Irishman from Culhwch and Olwen or the Welsh hero Llwch Llawwynnauc via a now-forgotten epithet like "Lamhcalad". Traditional scholars thought that they are the same figure due to the fact that their names are similar and that they both wield a sword and fight for a cauldron in Preiddeu Annwn and in Culhwch.
Modern scholars are less certain, as the name may have been just an invention by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes. Another theory is. Lancelot may be a variant of the name Lancelin. Lancelot or Lancelin may instead have been the hero of an independent folk tale which had contact with and was absorbed into the Arthurian tradition; the theft of an infant by a water fairy, the appearance of the hero at a tournament on three consecutive days in three different disguises, the rescue of a queen or princess from an Otherworld prison are all features of a well-known and widespread tale, variants of which are found in numerous examples collected by Theodore Hersart de la Villemarqué in his Barzaz Breiz, by Emmanuel Cosquin in his Contes Lorrains, by John Francis Campbell in his Tales of the West Highlands. In Chrétien de Troyes's earliest known work and Enide, the name Lancelot appears as third on a list of knights at King Arthur's court; the fact that Lancelot's name follows Gawain and Erec indicates the presumed importance of the knight at court though he did not figure prominently in Chrétien's tale.
Lancelot reappears in Chrétien's Cligès, in which he takes a more important role as one of the knights that Cligès must overcome in his quest. It is not until Chrétien's poem Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, that Lancelot becomes the protagonist, it is Chrétien who first gives Lancelot the name Lancelot du Lac, picked up by the French authors of the Lancelot-Grail and by Thomas Malory. He is presented as the most formidable and the bravest knight at King Arthur's court, one whom everyone is forced to describe as uniquely perfect: his deeds are recounted for their uniqueness, not only among living knights but of all men who have lived. However, this supposed saint-like perfection stands at stark contrast with his adulterous relationship with King Arthur's wife Queen Guinevere, which motif too has been introduced in this text, their affair can be seen as parallel to that of Tristram and Iseult, with him identified with the tragedy of chance and human failing, responsible for the downfall of the Round Table.
The theme of Lancelot's adulterous passion for Guinevere is absent from another early work, Lanzelet, a Middle High German epic poem by Ulrich von Zatzikhoven dating from the end of the 12th century. Ulrich asserts that his poem is a translation from an earlier French work, the provenance of, given and which must have differed markedly in several points from Chretien's Le Chevalier de la Charrette. In Lanzelet, the abductor of Ginover is named as King Valerin, whose name does not appear to derive from the Welsh Melwas. Furthermore, her rescuer is not Lancelot, instead, ends by finding happiness in marriage with the fairy princess Iblis, it has been suggested that Lancelot was the hero of a story independent of the adulterous love triangle and very similar to Ulrich's version. If this is true the adultery motif might either have been invented by Chrétien for his Chevalier de la Charrette or been present in the source provided him by his patroness, Marie de Champagne, a lady well known for her keen interest in matters relating to courtly love.
Lancelot is tied to the Christian motifs associated with Arthurian legend. Lancelot's quest for Guinevere in Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart is similar to Christ's quest for the human soul; this becomes intensified. His adventure among the tombs is described in terms that suggest Christ's "harrowing of Hell" and resurrection: he effortlessly lifts the lid off the sarcophagus, which bears an inscription foretelling his freeing of the captives. Lancelot was associated with the Grail Quest, but Chrétien does not include him at all in his final romance Perceval, le Conte du Graal; this story introduces the Holy Grail motif in medieval literature, Perceval is the sole seeker of the Grail in Chrétien's treatment. Lancelot's involvement in the Grail legend is first recorded in the romance Perlesvaus written between 1200 and 1210. Lancelot's character is most developed during the 13th century in the Old French Vulgate Cycle, where he a
King Arthur was a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. The details of Arthur's story are composed of folklore and literary invention, his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians; the sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various sources, including the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, the writings of Gildas. Arthur's name occurs in early poetic sources such as Y Gododdin. Arthur is a central figure in the legends making up the Matter of Britain; the legendary Arthur developed as a figure of international interest through the popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth's fanciful and imaginative 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae. In some Welsh and Breton tales and poems that date from before this work, Arthur appears either as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies or as a magical figure of folklore, sometimes associated with the Welsh otherworld Annwn.
How much of Geoffrey's Historia was adapted from such earlier sources, rather than invented by Geoffrey himself, is unknown. Although the themes and characters of the Arthurian legend varied from text to text, there is no one canonical version, Geoffrey's version of events served as the starting point for stories. Geoffrey depicted Arthur as a king of Britain who established a vast empire. Many elements and incidents that are now an integral part of the Arthurian story appear in Geoffrey's Historia, including Arthur's father Uther Pendragon, the magician Merlin, Arthur's wife Guinevere, the sword Excalibur, Arthur's conception at Tintagel, his final battle against Mordred at Camlann, final rest in Avalon; the 12th-century French writer Chrétien de Troyes, who added Lancelot and the Holy Grail to the story, began the genre of Arthurian romance that became a significant strand of medieval literature. In these French stories, the narrative focus shifts from King Arthur himself to other characters, such as various Knights of the Round Table.
Arthurian literature thrived during the Middle Ages but waned in the centuries that followed until it experienced a major resurgence in the 19th century. In the 21st century, the legend lives on, not only in literature but in adaptations for theatre, television and other media; the historical basis for King Arthur has long been debated by scholars. One school of thought, citing entries in the Historia Brittonum and Annales Cambriae, sees Arthur as a genuine historical figure, a Romano-British leader who fought against the invading Anglo-Saxons some time in the late 5th to early 6th century; the Historia Brittonum, a 9th-century Latin historical compilation attributed in some late manuscripts to a Welsh cleric called Nennius, contains the first datable mention of King Arthur, listing twelve battles that Arthur fought. These culminate in the Battle of Badon. Recent studies, question the reliability of the Historia Brittonum; the other text that seems to support the case for Arthur's historical existence is the 10th-century Annales Cambriae, which link Arthur with the Battle of Badon.
The Annales date this battle to 516–518, mention the Battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut were both killed, dated to 537–539. These details have been used to bolster confidence in the Historia's account and to confirm that Arthur did fight at Badon. Problems have been identified, with using this source to support the Historia Brittonum's account; the latest research shows that the Annales Cambriae was based on a chronicle begun in the late 8th century in Wales. Additionally, the complex textual history of the Annales Cambriae precludes any certainty that the Arthurian annals were added to it that early, they were more added at some point in the 10th century and may never have existed in any earlier set of annals. The Badon entry derived from the Historia Brittonum; this lack of convincing early evidence is the reason many recent historians exclude Arthur from their accounts of sub-Roman Britain. In the view of historian Thomas Charles-Edwards, "at this stage of the enquiry, one can only say that there may well have been an historical Arthur the historian can as yet say nothing of value about him".
These modern admissions of ignorance are a recent trend. The historian John Morris made the putative reign of Arthur the organising principle of his history of sub-Roman Britain and Ireland, The Age of Arthur. So, he found little to say about a historical Arthur. In reaction to such theories, another school of thought emerged which argued that Arthur had no historical existence at all. Morris's Age of Arthur prompted the archaeologist Nowell Myres to observe that "no figure on the borderline of history and mythology has wasted more of the historian's time". Gildas' 6th-century polemic De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, written within living memory of Badon, mentions the battle but does not mention Arthur. Arthur is not mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle or named in any surviving manuscript written between 400 and 820, he is absent from Bede's early-8th-century Ecclesiastical History of the English People, another major early source for post-Roman history that mentions Badon. The historian David Dumville wrote: "I think.
He owes his place in our history books to a'no smoke without fire' school of thought... The f