Strathclyde region in Scotland meaning “valley of the River Clyde”

A new paper by Dr Andrew Breeze of the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain claims that King Arthur was Scotish. His claim is based on historical data of place names of battles that took place while the local warlords defended the area of Strathclyde from invaders.

“he could have been a Glaswegian, possibly from Govan” –  Dr Andrew Breeze

As to be expected, research regarding king Arthur’s legend origin was met with certain doubt from the scientific community. Professor Thomas Owen Clancy, Ollamh na Ceiltis (Professor of Celtic) at Glasgow University, responded to his claim saying:

“Dr Breeze’s approach to associating the battle sites with Scottish place names is very unscientific, and I hope that in any presentation or article on this he tightens up his workings.”

It is not the first time that the idea of King Arthur being Scotish is brought to the table. Edinburgh’s Arthur’s seat was considered to be a location associated with Arthur and Stirling’s “King’s Knot” was assumed to be the place of Arthur’s round table.

Arthur's Seat overlooking Edinburgh

Arthur’s Seat overlooking Edinburgh


King’s Knot underneath Stirling Castle

Dr. Andrew Breeze will present his thesis in Glasgow in July. You can find parts of his claim below.

“The battle of the Caledonian Forest will be in the Southern Uplands, near Beattock Summit, while the conflict on the River Douglas will be on Douglas Water, near Lanark. The difficult ones were fights on a river called Bassas, a riverbank called Tryfrwyd, and at a hill called Agned. But if you go to books on early Scottish place names, they mention Tarras Water in Eskdale, Dreva in Upper Tweeddale, and Pennango in Teviotdale.

“I think that Bassas is a scribe’s miswriting of Tarras, while Dreva will be the riverbank Tryfrwyd, and Pennango, which means ‘Death Hill’, will be a lost toponym southwest of Hawick.”

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Regardless of where King Arthur is from, his subject and heroism described in Le Morte d’Arthur (originally spelled Le Morte Darthur) by Sir Thomas Malory still fascinate all role players and fantasy writers around the world and excite the imagination of players and readers. If you haven’t read the books you really should – they are an amazing read. 

In addition to that, we cannot say for sure if Scotland is the motherland of the most legendary king of all time but it’s definitely an amazing place to visit for everyone who loves medieval history. A countryside filled with castles, sites of battles and amazing history.

About Dimitris Romeo Havlidis

My name is Dimitris Romeo. I am a dyslexic one-eyed, web architect, developer and designer with a passion for photography, User Experience and telling stories.I spend my free time taking photos, watching tv series, cooking and watering my plants.I love lemon tarts, audiobooks, top hats, fantasy and science fiction in all its forms.

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