The Arthuriad of Catumandus (none)

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Fa Attacking Burgundy f. Fa Attacking Gaul f.

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Fi Absent Hollick —7 H. Fi Attacking Gaul f. Fa Defending Armorica f. Fi Attacking Scot. Isles f. SFi Attacking Gaul f. Euric G? Theuderic EGN M Table 1: The body of 29 works of Arthurian fiction considered in this paper, plus a 30th italicized , which is authored by me and was unpublished at the time of the conference in Shading indicates an author who was presumably influenced by Ashe. Bold font is used for those works including a TAMA that is an actual military expedition.

Publication dates given as a range indicate a series of books.

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The abbreviations used under Genre are: H. The next three columns refer to the most prominent TAMA in the work. The Narr.


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From Table 1, three trends can be discerned. The most obvious is that TAMA has increased in prominence over time. Some authors e. Of the earlier half up to , only three contain overseas military expeditions, and two of these are merely raids.


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Of the more recent half, all but two include a substantial expedition see also Secs. The third trend, for which Ashe is partly responsible, is the appearance, as an intradiegetic motivation, of loyalty L to the ideal of Empire see Sec. But before moving to these more detailed analyses of Table 1, I will make two general observations on untabulated data relating to the theme of this volume, with illustrations. First, there is, disappointingly, little emphasis on martial drama at sea, or even with ships on shore, and no obvious change in this emphasis occurs over time.

At the other end of the scale, some authors imply Arthur has a permanent fleet of ships capable of carrying thousands of men. The growing prominence of transmarine Arthurian military activity As stated, Table 1 appears to show a clear trend for the growing prominence of TAMA over time, but I think it is worthwhile to quantify this, using statistical methods. The answer to this question is commonly called a p- value The question actually needs to be made more precise: do we mean how likely is it that the trend of growing prominence could have arisen by chance, or how likely that a comparable trend of either growing or shrinking prominence could have arisen by chance?

This makes all the tests more stringent. To calculate a p-value rigorously, first we must try to remove any confounding trends. This alone makes it more likely that later works would include an overseas expedition by Arthur. This still leaves 20 works, shown in Table 2, and we can immediately see that the TAMA trend is now less obvious. The next step is to quantify the prominence of TAMA in a work.

The simplest quantification would be a binary one whether there is or is not a TAMA , but a more powerful test, which I now detail, uses a graduated measure of the most prominent TAMA. TAMA Pub. Once again, the final work here number 21, italicized is presented for comparison only.

As in Table 1, shading indicates influence by Ashe, and bold font indicates a TAMA that is an actual military expedition i. The publication dates used for ordering are, for series, those of the first book published. The text explains how the scores for I, M, R, and B were obtained.

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In Table 2 I have quantified TAMA Prominence by summing three scores, each of which ranges from 0 to 6, and then multiplying by a fourth score which takes the values 0. The score for Reach is not based on a calculation, but is reasonably objective: 1 for the coasts of Armorica or the Isle of Man; 2 for the interior of Armorica or the Scottish Isles; 3 for Gaul beyond Armorica; 4 for Burgundia; 5 for Italy hypothetically ; and 6 for beyond Italy.

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Finally, the multiplying factor is Bellicosity, defined as 2 if the TAMA is to campaign overseas, 1 if it is to bring reinforcements to Britain, and 0. The resultant measure of Prominence has a maximum theoretical value of 36, but the largest value in my sample is Finally, we must choose a statistical test for the correlation between the two variables: the publication year, and the TAMA Prominence plotted in Fig.

A convenient test for this situation is based on the Spearman rank-order correlation coefficient r As the name implies, this entails rank-ordering the sample first by one variable and then by the other, and then comparing how close the two ranked lists are. The coefficient r measures the strength of correlation, which is 1 if the ranked lists are the same, and close to 0 if there is no relation between the two lists. The strength of a correlation should not be confused with its significance, measured by the p-value.

The latter depends upon n, the size of the sample here 20 , as well as r24, because even a weak correlation persisting over a large enough sample would be significant. The correlation is quite strong, and, with p less than 1 in , is extremely significant Thus we can be extremely confident that there is a genuine trend relating to the prominence of transmarine military activity in Arthurian historical fiction. The answer is no. In fact, the trend is the exact reverse — it is the more recent authors who have chosen to give greater prominence to TAMA.

Why is this? I have no definite answers, but I can offer some hypotheses and observations. Perhaps the loss of life and the fatal weakening of the British Empire through the two World Wars left a negative impact on those generations. Catherine Christian published The Pendragon in , around the middle of my full sample of 29 works, but she was born in That was what they were hoping for after Badon.

Perhaps, for the generations schooled during the heyday of the British Empire, the idea of Britain aloof from Europe made sense. The Island of Britain is all that still stands of Rome-in-the-West and therefore it is enough that we in Britain know that the light still burns The characters act out a storyline which itselfis conventional, with the unfolding ofArthur's political and personal careers to his death at Camlann providingabackdrop for the activities of Catumandus during his British sojourn.

The potential for originality in theArthuriadlies in its portrayal ofa hypothetical interaction between the cultures of sub-Roman Britain and the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, whence Catumandus has been despatched as an envoy of the Emperor Anastasius. Catumandus is by blood a Briton, no less than an illegitimate son ofArthur. Raised in Gaul, he eventually travels across Continental Europewhere, through his eyes, we have briefencounters with some ofthe erstwhile great cities ofLateAntiquity: Lyons, Rome, Alexandria and Constantinople.

The author's descriptions ofthe cities seem rather truncated, prompting a suspicion that his background research did not encompass the relevant archaeological literature on these places. Thus, by the time Catumandus reaches Britain, his characterization as a visitor from an exotic culture appears somewhat underdeveloped.

On the other hand, Lees does not paint a hackneyed portrait of the sub-Roman Britons as untutored barbarians listening awestruckto tales ofimperial grandeur in the East. Such a portrayal must have seemed tempting, but instead Lees gives us the cameo ofGwenhwyvar pretending earnestly to question Catumandus concerning Alexandria and Constantinople. Myrddin is throughout the book depicted in typical NewAge guise as a druidical relic and prophet. Catumandus himself is an effective narrator and has a well-drawn personality, his characterization perhaps benefitting from not being burdened with the pseudohistorical baggagewhich attaches to the more familiar players.

Ofthe otherprincipals, I found Gwenhwyvar to be the most developed character, but Arthur considerably less so. The Arthuriad emerges as a conventional Historical Arthur novel and, as such, it makes for an entertaining read. Religion Graham Richards Books items Shop. Philosophy Graham Richards Books items Shop. Poetry Graham Richards Books 86 items Shop. Brain Graham Richards Books 99 items Shop. Poetry sellers , items Shop. Art sellers , items Shop. Fiction sellers , items Shop.

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