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From Scythia to Camelot:

Lecture Notes for a Slide Show by Linda A. Malcor



These are notes for two versions of a slide show for college students and adults about the Scythian influence on Arthurian legend. Version 1 has links to some of the pictures which are also available on the World Wide Web. For more information on the Scythians, the Alans, and their Arthurian connection, see From Scythia to Camelot, by Scott Littleton and Linda A. Malcor, on which this slide show is based.

VERSION #1



I. Introduction:

A. Where was Scythia? - slide

B. Who lived there? - slide - wealth in gold; Greeks

C. What did they look like? - slide

D. What stories did they tell?

1. Death of Batraz and the Morte D'arthur - slide 1 and slide 2

2. Sword in the tree and Sword in the Stone - slide

3. Satana and the Lady of the Lake - slide 1 and slide 2

4. The Magic cup - slide

II. The Traditional View - Britain - slide

A. Round Table - hoax - slide

B. Glastonbury - hoax - 3 slides (2 online)

C. Tintagel - 3 slides (1 online) - uninhabited at time of Arthur

D. Cadbury - 4 slides (4 online) -Ashe and Riothamus

E. Camboglana - Scottish theory - slide

F. The Eastern Origin Hypothesis

1. What was it?

2. Why did it die?

3. Return to Scottish theory

a. Soldier, not warrior; Roman, not Celt; Hadrian's Wall Mile Forts - 5 slides

b. Who was really there?

III. Iazyges

A. Lucius Artorius Castus - Slide

B. Ribchester - 3 slides - slide 1; slide 2; slide 3 of 3

C. Appearance and artifacts - settlement active until time of historic King Arthur - slide 1; slide 2; slide 3

IV. Stories

A. Arthur and Lancelot

1. Shared Kingdom

2. Shared warband

3. Shared wife/antagonist - Morgan

4. Shared sword/Lady of the Lake - slide 1; slide 2

5. Conclusion: Arthur and Lancelot are reflections of the same heroic figure, but the legends of Arthur are skewed by the presence of the historical Riothamus.

B. Lancelot more parallels without Celtic Origin

1. Association with Death - Batraz - slide

2. Sword in the stone - slide

3. Galahad - slide

4. Grail - "Lai du Cor" - "be brave" - slide

V. Alans - History in Arthurian stories - slide

A. Goar's invasions - Lancelot

B. Athaulf's invasion - Grail

1. King Alain - slide

2. Galahad - invention by Cistercians - slide

3. Perceval - real hero in folktales - slide

4. Cortège and Nartamongae - slide

VI. Evidence outside Arthur

A. Archaeology - sites of legends

B. Military tactics, dogs, horse, armor, etc.

C. Ecclesia - slide

VII. Conclusion

Evidence suggests that the tales of Arthur, Lancelot and other Knights were brought into Europe by various groups of invading Sarmatians and Alans. People sensed that the stories somehow belonged together, so they combined them. Variations reflect each invading group's history and traditions.

VIII. Questions?


VERSION #2



I. Introduction: The Eastern Origin Hypothesis

II. Scythians

A. Who were they?

B. What did they look like?

C. What stories did they tell?

1. Sword in the tree and Sword in the Stone.

2. Death of Batraz and the Morte D'arthur.

3. Satana and the Lady of the Lake.

4. The Magic cup.

a. Joseph and the Chalice at the Cross - distribution by clerics and missionaries

b. Moves of own accord; banquets

c. Biket's "Lai du Cor" - B103-109; 355-356; Esparlot and Espor

d. Chrétien's Conte del Graal - Jewish elements--treasure story; Mangon

e. The Fisher King/Maimed King - slide; King Alain.

III. Sarmatians on Hadrian's wall.

IV. Alans in Gaul

V. Similarities Between Lancelot and Arthur

A. Shared Kingdom

B. Shared warband

C. Shared wife/antagonist - Morgan

D. Shared sword/Lady of the Lake

E. Conclusion: Arthur and Lancelot are reflections of the same heroic figure, but the legends of Arthur are skewed by the presence of the historical Riothamus.

VI. Conclusion: The Lancelot and Grail material seem to be derived from the same source as the sagas of the Narts, and the agent of transmission was most likely the Alans of Gaul.


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