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CELTIC-L  February 1996

CELTIC-L February 1996

Subject:

Re: Lancelot and Lug Lamfada (fwd)

From:

Dan Hunt <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.

Date:

Mon, 26 Feb 1996 16:38:24 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (86 lines)

Mark Handley said:
 
>
>        Lancelot du Lac = Lug Lamhcalad
>
>OK, well first of all I can't see how the name Lug becomes of the lake,
>different spot in the name, one at the end the other at the beginning, if
>Lug were the name they were trying to modernise then it would seem
>reasonable to expect this in the name at least rather than in the
>epithet.
 
Lug becomes "lake" is this fashion: In _Culhwch and Olwen_ you will find a
character by the name of Llwch Llawwynnawg, Llwch "of the
Windy/Stormy/Striking  hand" (depending on the translator).  This is most
certainly Lug Lamhfhada.  Llwch is a Welsh attempt at the Irish Lug(h) and
also happens to be a Welsh word for "lake" (cf. loch).  Similar characters
are found in Welsh tradition, including Llenlleawg the Irishman, who in
_Culhwch and Olwen_ siezes Arthur's sword Caledvwlch.  This first component
of this sword-name is, of course, the disputed calad (see below).  Llen- is
here a Welsh attempt at Irish lamh, a word properly llaw in Welsh, as in
Lleu Llawgyffes.  (Llen)lleawg the Irishman is, in all likelihood, Geoffrey
of Monmouth's Lucius Hiber(n)us.  In the _Spoils of Annwm_, we have Lug yet
again as Llwch Lleawg, where his lightning-sword is said to be left in the
hands of Lleminawg.  The Llem- here is once again Irish lamh, "hand/arm".
>
>
>With the lamh = lan thing, well unfortunately the letters 'mh' in Irish
>correspond to the English letter 'v' as far as sound is concerned, so the
>apparent similarity with 'Lan' is not in fact real, they come from
>completely different sources. Lav does not equal lan.
 
True, but you have to make allowances for different kinds of transmission.
What we have with Chretien de Troyes is a Frenchman who was in many cases
adapting Welsh materials, which themselves may in some instances have come
from Irish tales.  We are talking about cases in which a name like Lug goes
from Irish to Welsh to French.  Do you really expect all the
sounds/spellings to remain the same when this occurs?
>
>Celot = calad? No it doesn't. Of the five sounds represented by Calad
>four of them do
>not appear in 'celot'. The hard 'c' of calad is not found in Lancelot,
>making those sounds not correspond. Calad had originally come from the
>word 'caleti', so the 'a' has always been an 'a' and not an 'e'. The 'l'
>is admittedly the same in both words. The 'e' of caleti had changed
>through affection to an 'a' - perfectly normal - but it was never an 'o'
>as it would have to be for it to bear any resemblance to 'celot'. The 't'
>of caleti has been lenited, or softened to a 'd' in calad, it does not
>then harden again to be a 't' as it would have to.
 
Ditto.  You're being, well, "nick-picky".  A hard 'c' in one language may
become a soft 'c' in another and vowel pronunctiations may certainly
change.  The fact of the matter is that the word components themselves are
so remarkably similar - no, not identical, but similar - that I cannot
imagine that they are not derivative.
 
>
>Lancelot is not therefore a later version of this figure, and he does not
>belong in any repetoire of Celtic figures, he was an invention of the
>12th century frenchman Chretien de Troyes.
 
I think very little in Chretien is pure "invention". Rather he started with
stories and/or characters already extant in various native British forms
and very creatively amplified them to come up with his wonderful romances.
But there is no argument that can make me believe that a character of the
prominence of Lancelot of the Lake was dreamed up by one man.
 
 
>As far as Lucius and Lug is concerned, well one is a perfectly normal
>Latin name, and another is a name of a Celtic God/myth figure, I'm not
>sure that just because you think they sound similiar that anything
>should be made of this. The origins of these two names are completely
>seperate.
 
True again, but there are instances of theonyms from Lug, e.g.
Lugius/Lugios.  In addition, Geoffrey of Monmouth was writing in Latin, so
it would have been natural for him to have "Latinized" Lug into Luc-ius.
Again, we are talking about the transmission problem here, whether it be
oral or by other written sources or a combination of both.
>
>This having been said, at least you're not talking about Pat Buchannan
>or mead.
 
I will never talk about Pat Buchannan; the guy's a jerk.
 
-Dan Hunt

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