So, I got a new book on Arthurian legend for Christmas that I just started reading, and have to say it’s fantastic. It is so amazingly full of information I’m not sure my brain can hold it all. However, there are a few things I’ve learned that are only marginally related to the study of the Arthurian mythos.

For example, I have decided on the exact order with which I hate the languages spoken in Britain and its surrounding areas during the fourth to seventh centuries. That list is below.

Saxon
Angle
Brythonic
Pictish
Welsh
Gaelic
Latin

That may change a bit, but the only language coming out of the British isles and surrounding areas that I really like (as opposed to tolerate for the purpose of my passion) is English, which didn’t really come out of the British isles.

I have also learned that the Monty Python people were even more learned than I suspected. Since I’ve been studying the historical roots of the Arthur legend, I’ve found so many references hidden in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. For example, it is mentioned that Sir Robin “personally wet himself at the Battle of Badon Hill.” That particular battle is often associated with the Arthur stories. At it, a great leader of some sort lead several of the then divergent and antagonistic British kingdoms in a fight against the Saxon invaders that defeated them such that there was 25 years of relative peace in which they were unable to mount another offensive. According to the Welsh Annals, this event happened in 518 and that leader was a man named Arthur who “[carried] the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ for three days and three nights on his shoulders and the Britons were the victors.” There’s no mention of this event in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, but that’s not surprising since the Saxons didn’t like to record their defeats. The problem, of course, is that it is difficult to corroborate this event with other sources, and are actually contradicted by even more sources.

There are other, similar references throughout the film.

I won’t go into the actual stuff I’ve learned here, since there’s a ton and I haven’t finished the first 100 pages, but those are my thoughts at current.

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