Friday, 23 May 2008


Having now introduced you to the centre piece of John woods 'Georgian' Bath we will now go back a very long time indeed to the period when the original Celtic settlement was founded.

(Geoffrey of Monmouth)

This is a tangled tale that weaves through many countries and their individual specific legends and mythologies. With such a rich history it is a challenge to know where to begin - so we will pick up the narrative with the Breton-(Brittany) born 'Historian' and part time novelist Geoffrey of Monmoth who not surprisingly lived ... in monmouth on the border between england and wales.

I begin with Geoffrey because quite frankly he is the worst source of all the various pools of knowledge on the subject of the founding and ancient history of bath when compared with his Celtic and even roman contemporaies. His story starts in-between the years of 863 BC and perhaps 500 BC. ( The accounts are sketchy to say the least. ) Monmouth (circa 1100 to 1155) was a benedictine Prior who wrote about baths mythological founder king 'Bladud' in his 'Historia Regum Britanniae' ( The History of t he Kings of Britain). Written in 1136 this history was wildly in-accurate by today's historical standards as many of the figures mentioned cannot be found elsewhere in the field and the chronology is somewhat lacking uniformity (and that's being kind). He wrote that he had learnt of this genealogy from manuscripts of the 'old tongue' that he had obtained from his friend the Archdeacon of Oxford - many people dispute this and did at the time . But in spite of it's faults his work is still considered to be a central part of the 'Matter of Britain'.


Unfortunately there are not that many other english historians or storytellers that speak of Bladud at length and so apart from Monmouth the references to him are very few and are usually strongly connected to his work anyway. A victorian example 700 years later..

''Bladud built the city of Bath, and dedicated the medicinal waters to Minerva. He was a man of great invention, and practised the arts of magic, till, having made him wings to fly, he fell down upon the temple of Apollo, in Trinovant, and so died, after twenty years’ reign.''
(T.Bulfinch) 1853

-Bulfinch Mythology-
The Age of Chivalry,

And the Legends of King Arthur

by Thomas Bulfinch

This rather short and abrupt account shows the kind of detail that has been gone into surrounding 'Bladud' - post Geoffrey of Monmouth, for whilst he changed vast swathes of the narratives of the original tales and made-up other sections that he needed for his own work , there now lies a rather thin veil through which we can see a bristling Celtic mythology aching to be revealed and re-told.


Now, when we overlay the myths of Ireland, Scotland and Wales with Geoffrey's stories a rather intriguing and alluring pattern starts to take shape. These kings of the Britons that he wrote of were all CELTS and their true identities can be found - this can be done by pulling together the various myths and legends of the original Celtic peoples.


We will start on this task in the next post..

Daniel J.Tatman


andymonk said...

Hi Daniel;I thought these might interest you.All the best,AndyM:)x .. ..

Roland said...

Hello Daniel,
I was struck by the photo of what we in the Netherlands call 'Hunebedden', what translates as "Bed's of the Hun's".
There must have been contact between England and the Netherlands, because I'm convinced that those things have been build by the same group of people.
Could it be those things were build when you could walk to England? Lets say 12.500 years ago?

I have learned that they were build by primitive people a few 1000 years before Christ.

But in my mind that makes no sence.

Best of luck with your site.