Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Lud , Bladud , Lludd And LUGH

La morte d'arthur- Aubery Beardsley- 1872 1898
(click to view)

Having examined Geoffrey's Saxon Warrior King Lud and Bladud (the welsh B'laddud) known as the Earlier Welsh Lludd (or sometimes Nudd) we can see that far from being a completely sound historical scholar he was a gifted storyteller.

It is known that if it had not been for his ' History of the kings of britain ' there would have been none of the famous work of Tennyson for while He turned to Thomas Malory rather than to Monmouth without Him there may have been no ' Morte d' Arthur ' or ' idylls of the king '.


Here i would like to show the work of Gustave Dor'e who's incredible artwork illuminates and expands on the imagery depicted by Malory re-told by Lord Alfred Tennyson and thus - some of the original scenes written about by Geoffrey of Monmouth.

an illustration for
Idylls of the king - Gusatve Dor
'e - 1832 1883

Idylls of the king - Dor'e

Gustave's work was so intricate and full of flair and detail that his work was highly coveted and respected not least by John Milton , he was one of the most sought after illustrators,engravers and sculptors in his contemporary artistic circle.

illustration for
Paradise lost - Dor'e


The primary reason i bring Dor'e into the fold of the tale is that again it shows the point that Monmouth's early work was to go on through a large number of the other greats of the following literary and historical periods.

Indeed one little known fact is that the main body of the Myths and stories surrounding Merlin (the fabled Druid) actually came from the popularity of Monmouth's ' Prophecies of Merlin '. While the well known and standard image of Merlin comes directly from Geoffrey he took Merlin from the Welsh sources. In parts of Wales he was known as ' Myrddin Wyllt' or The mad man of the forest.


While the stories of Merlin apparently come from 400 to 600 ad - Is it not rather obvious that this was the EXACT point that the majority of the Saxon Christian priests were RE-WRITING the entirety of the indigenous folklore of the British isles..

(Merlin advising King Arthur) in Gustave Doré's illustration


This image was not congruous with the new christian ideals of the time and so Myrddin wyllt became 'Merlin' a new and almost christian idealised Druid . Gone were the original stories of the madness of Myr a man driven into the wilderness in disarray after seeing a battle claim the lives of all that he loved. These stories were scattered to the wind and the stories of Aurelius Ambrosius were then tied to this Druid , he then became the wizened , old and bearded man that we see up to the current day --

-- it is fair to say that we have a direct connection from Monmouth's Merlin straight to J.R.R Tolkiens 'Gandalf'.

As we have seen Monmouth was a writer who was very adept at taking important figures from disparate chronologies and mythologies of all that came before him. In alot of ways he was a modern writer- but not very much of a historian - .. on many levels.

The Stories of Bladud and their overlapping details with Lud and Lludd are so obvious that many people have picked up on certain connections between the three however for some strange reason no-one has taken this to it's completion ...

As we have noted the language and Mythology of wales which Geoffrey was writting about came from Ireland and when we add the Irish root to the equation we get a rather jaw dropping result. I say that -but the only reason it is surprising- is how simple and resonant it is of all later versions and also because it has never been noticed. The Irish Mythology however is much more in depth and carries more detail than all of the others - and as we focused on earlier this is a tell- tale fact which often shows the true oldest source or origin.

Ladies and gentlemen please may i introduce to you the solar hero of Irish Mythology and Leader of the Tuatha De Danaan -LUGH-.

As we said there is actually more information on Lugh than there is on Bladud which -(if we are to except that he was meant to of come from thousands of years later) is ridiculous.

This story however is just beginning....

(The last man - Clinton Mansell)

More to come ......soon.

Daniel J.Tatman