thanks for the summary. A few short comments:
> From: James Mathieson
> I don't agree with the Sarmartian theory,
Fine by me. I will not hold you responsible for it...
> - The name "Arthur" is derived from the Roman Lucius Artorius
> Castus, a 2nd C. commander of Sarmartian cavalry troops in Northern
Well, or anyone else from the Roman gens Artorius, as far as I`m informed,
and it even might be that it is not derived from a Roman gentilium at all.
> - Many of the Sarmartian's own legends (such as a sword stuck in a
> stone/ground/anvil), dragon banner, method of fighting, etc.
> became the basics for the Arhturian "corpus" of heavily armed
> knights running about fighting;
Which Arthurian corpus? Definitly not the early Welsh one, where there are
no heavily armed knights running about fighting. The Arthurian corpus of the
French and German High Medieval Arthurian legends, yes, but not in the early
Welsh - or as a matter of fact, the early christian historian`s - writings,
all of which seem to clearly and considerably predate the French and German
Arthurian literature. In fact, the heavily armed knights appear in the
Arthurian legends when the heavily armed knights became standrad - that is,
in the 12th and 13th century AD. The sword stuck in a stone equally is a
late motive, as is the method of fighting as described in the texts the
pro-Skythian camp seems to draw upon. The dragon banner might be something
different, but I can hardly see an argument for a Skythian connection in it.
> - The story of Arthur invading the continent and/or Rome are
> based on Castus' own troop going to Gaul to fight;
Oh, is it? How do we know? And whom did Castus go to fight in Gaul in the
2nd century AD?
> - Much of the Continental Arthurian material is derived from the
> Alans who settled in Western Europe.
What is "continental Arthurian material"? How is Alan material distinguished
from other early dark age material in western Europe? Ethnic interpretation
and material culture work out badly in any period, there is little reason to
assume that the same ain`t true in the dark ages. Even more, last time I
woke up in my early dark ages classes back in the early 90ties in grad
school, the Alans were Germanic, not Skythian. Any changes in that, since?
> There's more, and Chris will undoubtably be able to add to that,
> or perhaps correct anything I'm vague on, as he's at the head of the
> debate (although it was quite interesting to read Mark Hall's comments
> the other day, in view of his archaeological work on the steppes). But
> that, I believe, is at least the basic premise of the matter.
Well, thank`s for the summary. Most interesting, but with this, it doesn`t
sound any more wellfounded than it did when I first heard of it...
All the best,
Raimund Karl <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Research Fellow (European Archaeology)
Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies
National Library of Wales
Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Cymru, UK
Phone: (+44 1970) 626717 18
Fax: (+44 1970) 627066