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Where were Arthurís Twelve

Victories against the Saxons?

 

 

This is a modern translation of Nenniusís account of Arthurís twelve successful battles against the Saxons;

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"Then it was, that the magnanimous Arthur, with all the kings and military force of Britain, fought against the Saxons. And though there were many

more noble than himself, yet he was twelve times chosen their commander, and was as often conqueror.

 

The first battle was in the mouth of the river

which is called Glein.

 

The second and third and fourth and fifth on another river which is called Dubglas and is in the region Linnuis.

 

The sixth battle on the river which is called Bassas.

 

The seventh battle was in the forest of Celidon, that is Cat Coit Celidon.

 

The eighth battle was near the fort Guinnion, where Arthur bore the image of the Holy Virgin,

mother of God, upon his shoulders, and through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the holy Mary, put the Saxons to flight, and pursued them

whole day with great slaughter.

 

The ninth battle was fought in the city of the Legion.

 

He fought the tenth battle on the shore of the river called Tribruit.

 

The eleventh battle was fought on the hill called Agned.

 

The twelfth was a most severe contest, when Arthur penetrated to the hill of Badon. In this engagement, nine hundred and forty fell by his hand alone, no one but the Lord affording him assistance. In all these engagements the Britons were successful."

 

 

Here are the possible sites;†††††††

 

The River Glein is thought to be the River Glen, of which Britain has two today--one in Lincolnshire and one in Northumberland.

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The Dubglas River and Linnuis are more problematic. Dubglas can be translated as "black water," a common name in those days and today. A

branch of the Medway River, the Kent, was called "Le Black" for hundreds of years and may have been called that in Arthur's time.

 

Linnuis conceivably provides better clues, as it is an extension of the Roman Lindum, which is now Lincoln. If Lindum can be Lincoln, then Linnius can be Lindsey. Geoffrey of Monmouth identifies Arthur as fighting two battles very soon after assuming the kingship: one on the River Douglas and one at Lincoln.

 

The River Bassas is very problematic for

historians, although it is thought by some to be near Baschurch in Shropshire.

 

The Celidon Forest is generally believed to be the

Caledonian Forest, in what is now Scotland. Geoffrey of Monmouth places this battle in a wood north of Lincoln.

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The fort Guinnion is thought to be either Caer-Gwent in Gwent, South Wales or Winchester in Hampshire, the former being an obvious derivation and the latter being based on the Romano-British equivalent of Win-Chester: Caer Guinn.

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The City of the Legions is identified by Geoffrey of Monmouth as Caerleon. However, modern research tends to focus on Chester, which was

identifed in the Annales Cambriae as Urbs Legionis.

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Tribruit can be thought of as Tryfrwyd, a battle mentioned in a tale from the Black Book of Carmarthen that mentions Arthur as well. This

battle was pegged as being near the Firth of Forth.

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Agned is identified by Geoffrey of Monmouth as Edinburgh. Modern historians agree.

 

Badon, site of Arthur's greatest victory over the

Saxons and historians' greatest debate over the true location of that victory. Interpretations abound: Badbury Rings, Banbury, Little Solway

Hill, Little Solsbury Hill are a few suggested. Geoffrey of Monmouth places the battle near Bath. Indeed, Badon may be a derivation of Bath-on.

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