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A NEW VIEW OF THE ARTHURIAN LEGENDS 3

2011.09.23

Legends

The oldest collection of Welsh mythological material, The Four Branches of Mabinogi dates to the 11th century A.D. As we follow the players of this drama and the stories surrounding them, we find many unexpected similarities between the British and Magyar mythologies.


The white horse is an integral part of the Royal Welsh mythology, along with a deer hunt in which Annwfyn’s gleaming white dogs with red ears try to capture a stag. Both the stag and the dog are symbolic animals of the Magyar peoples. The conical head of a dog is present in an architectural motif of the roof-structure of an early Stone-Age house at Röszke — Lúdvár in Hungary.[1] The stag — the Miracle Stag, Stag of Light — is central to Magyar mythology as the symbol of the sky and as God’s messenger. In the Annwfyn legend the Lord of the Otherworld is Arawn, a name which echoes the Magyar word arany, meaning gold in present usage, although its original meaning was shine.

According to legend, only seven soldiers (Britons) escaped alive in a battle between the Irish and the Welsh people. This same symbolic number is part and parcel of several Magyar legends. One legend, which talks about a time of such severe cold that the seven regős (bards) lost their ears and noses to the frost, probably dates back to the Ice Age. Later, the story of the loss of ears and noses was attached to some battles. One of the latest such battles was the Battle of Augsburg in 955 A.D. and there exists even a Christian legend of the seven bards who visited Jesus and are now buried in the tiny town of Hetény, Hungary. The first syllable in the name Hetény is also a derivative of the word hét, meaning seven and the second syllable signifies a place, i.e. ‘a place of the seven’. Recent excavations in Hetény found several sanctuaries that gave some credence to this story. The use of the number seven, a Magyar holy number of universality, unerringly points to the legend’s antiquity.

The Cornish descent from the giant Gogmagog, who came forth from the Princess Albina’s union with demons and her subsequent giving birth to giants, is also part of the stories of the Scythian-Magyar origin. Ipolyi believes the Magyar legend of origins from Góg and Magóg is an authentic pre Christian Magyar tradition[2]. He refers to Anonymus who related an ancient tradition, which – although having become somewhat clouded in the course of centuries – nevertheless preserved knowledge of the Scythians and the neighboring peoples.

The Tristan and Isolde stories originated in the Pictish legend of Drust. Isolde’s name was variably Essylt, Iseult, Isolt, Yseut according to tradition. Tristan’s name belongs to the same T-R word-group as Arthur’s. The Es-Is-Ys- syllable shows Jász (Iasy) influence and a connection with waters. In this respect, the Tristan story is an almost forgotten fragment of an ancient solar myth concerning fertility and creation. There is mention of a Tristan stone in Cornwall near Castle Dore. A Latin inscription states the following: “Drustanus lies here, the son of Cunomorus.” The latter name is spelled Kynovawr. The “cuno” syllable brings the Hun, Kun group to mind and the Várkun name of the Avars, meaning “the Kuns of the castle.”

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Figure 9. The relocated Cunomorus memorial.

Land’s End is the name of a territory near the ocean and, beyond it, lies the sunken Lyonesse. Its cliffs rise high, only to end abruptly, as its sheer walls drop vertically to the ocean: it is truly the end of the land here. Land’s End is an oft-invoked geographical locality in Magyar legends. The ancient Magyar stories clearly indicate knowledge of the roundness of the Earth, which indicates the knowledge that the Earth has no end. Later stories about the end of the dry lands suggest connection with this region. In these stories, young Magyar men wander off to the end of the earth and dangle their feet into the abyss. This scenery is consistent with the huge, sea-side cliffs at Land’s End. There is knowledge of the fact that Magyars did frequent the Irish sulfur caves and their surrounding religious communities, to seek spiritual enlightenment during the days of early monasticism, the custom quite possibly having begun in ancient pagan days. Their connection with the British Isles continued throughout the centuries. It is no accident that the Magna Carta and the Golden Bull of Hungary were written within seven years of each other. Oxford’s first student was a Magyar fellow. According to the records here, his name was Nicola de Hungaria. His education was provided for, between 1193-96, by Richard the Lionhearted who was the brother-in-law of queen Margaret.[3]

The Scots, who originated from the Scythians, call their kingdom in Argyll Dalriada. Memory of the Hungarian Prince Árgyélus has been preserved in both in early and later Hungarian literature and his figure takes us back to the time of the Fairies. Dalriada’s hero, Colum, was famous, not only for his literacy but also, his mighty voice, which carried for miles. With this voice, he could “call people to battle easily”, the legend states. Considering that his life centered around the church of St. Finnian and the name Finnian carries pagan memories, Colum’s role must have been connected with ancient memories and he may even have been the name-giver of Dalriada which has a Magyar meaning of “battlesong”, a song of alarm. The first syllable of Dalriada belongs again into the T-R word-group. The word dal means song and the song as creative force belongs with the T-R word-group’s mythology. Colum’s name has rich connections in Magyar mythology, as a solar deity named Kallós of the K-R based ethnic group. It has connections with the Finnish Kalevala and its creation stories too.

Just how old these legends are is astonishing. Some legends from the Carpathian Basin preserved the memory of an epoch from before some of the lands came to exist, as in the Csallóköz[4] region, at a time when the Carpathian inland sea receded and current place-names invoke the past existence of the Pannon Sea. The preservation of these memories to this day indicates a continuity in the linguistic and cultural presence of the very same people that developed these memories in the first place.

We find the same to be true among the people of the British Isles. The legend of the birth of Loch-Ness talks in a very detailed manner of the topography of the land, prior to the birth of this lake. When, due to certain events of nature, the ground waters were given free way and the lake ensued, the people called out: “Ta loch nis ann!” (There is a lake now!), thus explaining the lake’s present name. This legend contains two important aspects: One, the people remembered that a long time ago there was no lake. The second important aspect is the description of the ancient pre-lake topography. At the time when this legend was born, the people did not know that, at the end of the 20th century, American scientists looking for “Nessie”, found something far more important: three stone circles, similar to that of Stonehenge, on the bottom of the lake. These stone circles must have been built by men, prior to the sinking of this land. According to science, the separation of the North American continent and Europe gave birth to this lake. Curiously, archaeologists — as far as I know — have not given as much attention to these structures, as they fully deserve. The legend itself is also connected with the ancient times of the fairies. The word loch is related to the Magyar words lok, lék, luk, meaning a “hole”.

In Fingal and Ossian’s legend, the word Finn means a blond, fair-haired person. Its Magyar equivalent is fény (light). He was renowned for his otherworldly knowledge. He also could change his figure into the form of a dog or a stag, depending on the slant of his cap. These shifting shapes and his name connect him to the Age of the Fairies. The stag and the dog are symbolic animals of the Magyar and Kun people; the former wore a rounded sun-cap, the latter a conical cap, representing the rays of the sun. The historical Finn died in 230 A.D. The same role was assigned in Ireland to Finn, in Scotland to Fingal and in Wales to Arthur. According to legend, Finn was born of Nuadu, whose name is akin to the Magyar nedű (liquid), which represents the female element of creation.

Gwynn, of the Welsh legend, is the son of Nudd and is believed to mean white. His son is Oisin, meaning “little fawn”. The first syllable of this name and its meaning is identical with the Magyar “őz, which means “deer”. Further linguistic connections are ős, ősz (ancestor, white haired), key words of Magyar mythology. The legend may have affinities with the Magyar legend of The Boy Who Became A Deer[5]. The legend may lead us even closer to our beginnings and the Radiant Stag, who was the personification of the starry sky, his antlers being the Tree of Life and, in the midst of his antlers, rests our Sun, the Son of Heaven. The Radiant Stag was God’s messenger bringing with him the song of Creation.

Oisin was one of the poets who moved to Tir-na-nog for a long time. As we know it, the Magyar Radiant Stag was the starry sky, and so the “Little Fawn’s” departure to the world of the stars is understandable since, symbolically, he was the son of the Radiant Stag, the Son of Heaven.

Mythology

The subject we call mythology today is but a little understood and often belittled fragment of the immense scientific knowledge of the ancients, which we can grasp only to the limits of our own understanding. This knowledge was preserved by a dedicated priestly class and the oral traditions of the people. During the severe persecutions of the old religion, by the newly emerging power structure of Roman Catholicism, the preservation of oral traditions became imperative.

On the British Isles, the Rheged kingdom was the protector of national poetry. The four great poets of the British Isles are connected with Rheged. The name Rheged[6] may be connected with the Magyar reg, meaning morning and so it encompasses the concept of light, shine. The regős, were the poets, sages, historians, preservers of ancient religion through music and song, and the rege (a saga), is an oral transmission and preservation of these ancient memories. The Magyar regős had lands allotted to them, even in King István’s time when the persecution of “pagan” memories had already begun at the hands of the priests of the new religion. Further persecutions reduced them to homeless wanderers who went on teaching each new generation. One of their important roles was performed during the celebration of the ancient Karácsony, the winter solstice, which was maintained religiously under the cloak of the Christian celebration of Christmas. It was at this time that the arrival of the Radiant Stag and the Turka-járás, was also celebrated in some towns within this author’s personal, living memory. (In Magyar the word Karácsony preserved its pre-Christian origin and essence.) The Hungarian town of Regöly in County Tolna preserves the memory of the regős. The county name Tolna contains the name of the Táltos priestly class. Another town is Regőc which is located in the ancient district of Sátorhegy where Prince Ferenc Rákóczi II. spent his childhood with his mother Ilona Zrinyi[7]. Both are the personifications of love of the country.

Taliesin was among the four great poets of Rheged. His name is translated as “Radiant Brow." He preserved the memory of an ancient home among the summer stars. The first syllable of his name (Tal) is connected with the Magyar words for shine, splendor (dél, deli), song (dal) and also the name of the Magyar Táltos priestly class; its members taught people through song. Arthur’s name belongs in the same word-group (T-R, T-L). The last syllable of Taliesin’s name (sin) is identical with the Magyar word szem, szen meaning eye, seeds (which are eye-shaped, like the grains of wheat). The Magyar meaning of Taliesin ‘s name is Shiny Eye. His home “among the morning stars” may also be connected with Arctoúros and the rotation of the sky, of which the celestial drama is the original source of the Arthurian legends. As a matter of fact the Shiny Eye may carry the meaning star too. The Magyar tale of the Starry- Eyed Shepherd preserved this image for us. The image of “starry-eyed” individuals was quite common and was part of folk and representational arts.

The ancient memories were preserved by the poets of Rheged on the British Isles and the regős in Hungary. Their voices were drowned out in blood. The great Hungarian poet, János Arany’s poem, The Bards of Wales mourned both.

ARTHUR, HIS KNIGHTS, THE ROUND TABLE AND THE GRAIL.

The rich material of the Arthurian legends point to their great antiquity. As in any ancient excavation site, several cultural layers are packed upon one another. Each of these layers contains distinct artifacts which carry important information about the life, surroundings, beliefs of the people who created a particular culture. Some of the objects of the very first layer are kept by the later generations for some reason: their usefulness, meaning, or beauty. The same is true with legends. At the base of their layers we find a well-developed value system: the Universe, the Galaxies connected with our lives, the birth of Light, Life and Sun. Different ethnic groups may have given different names to these but the underlying concept was the same. The most ancient stories fixed stellar events into a form of calendar, later — due to loss of clear memories — reduced to earthly events. Names of the Sun were also given to the founders of dynasties due to the mirroring concept of the ancients, that life on Earth mirrors the heavens.

Arthur’s figure arises from this background and we have to look at the original Arthur from this point of view. The different ages and layers of these legends are the following:

1. The legends concerned with Arthur

2. Legends concerning Arthur’s sword. These were written down the first time by Thomas Malory in the 15th century.[8] According to professor Littleton these legends are of Sarmatian origin.

3. Legends of the Round Table. The first mention of these is in Wace of Jersey’s Roman de Brut, from 1155 A.D.[9]

4. Legends of the Holy Grail. Its first mention is in Robert de Boron’s work from the year 1200 A.D.

At first Arthur’s figure lights up with the rising, life-giving Sun. He is Tur-kán, Tűz kán: the fiery Turka (bull) of our galaxy.

The earthly Arthur’s first appearance and birth by sea and fire is miraculous. Maybe a Magyar folk song describes this and similar miraculous births the best: “A mother did not bear me, I grew on a rose tree, I was born at the dawn of the red Whitsuntide (Pünkösd)”, which is a celebration of the life-giving Sun. Magyar folk-tradition has called Whitsuntide “red” to symbolize the rising sun and during these holidays a “Whitsuntide-rose” i.e. a red peony was attached to the beam above the door. This sun-symbol, affixed above the door, consecrated the household with light. It must be noted that, in Magyar, the words virág (flower) and világ (light) are the same. The desert-dwelling, later societies, where flowers were unavailable, substituted blood for flowers, signifying “redness” without the awareness of the symbolism of light. (Interestingly the word peony is part of the same P-N word-group as Pünkösd.) The consonants of the first syllable in pünkösd (P-N), when read reversed, clearly indicate an affiliation with the Magyar words for sun and shine (nap = sun and its reciprocal form fény=light), thus connecting the concept of miraculous births with the ancient solar religions (e.g. Arthur was born out of fire). It is interesting to note that the Magyar word for a day is also nap signaling a sun-centered calendar system.

One of the legends designatesCornwall as Arthur’s birthplace. Cornwall’s name alone has many linguistic and symbolic affinities within the Magyar culture-sphere. Professor Ashe cited Tennyson’s Idylls in which Arthur is the descendant of the ancient peoples of light. His miraculous sword, which was forged by fairies, came into his possession under miraculous circumstances. The legend describing his taking possession of the sword greatly resembles the sword legend of Atilla. Arthur’s sword was embedded in a stone, Atilla’s in the earth of a meadow, where it was found by a shepherd boy. These two different scenes mirror the different environments where the same legend was preserved.

According to another legend, Arthur is the son of Uther and Ygerna. Uther’s other name is Pendragon, meaning Dragonhead, or Head dragon, where the latter may designate a military title and brings to mind the Sarmatian dragon symbol. Here I have to mention the Ancient Hungarian Order of the Dragon, which in Christian times was expected to “kill all the snakes” in the country. The Order’s banner contained a dragon, or snake, supposedly to advertise their victory over them. But research reaches deeper than the slaying of snakes. One has to realize here the similarity to the legend of St. Patrick and the snakes. Both legends talk about the new religion, which is trying to fight the old religion and ancient memory of the people.

The legend of the fire-breathing dragon, with its deadly breath of brimstone and smoke that brings darkness and destruction to the Earth, also elevates this dragon into celestial realms. It also seems to have preserved the memory of a great devastation on this Earth involving fire and darkness. An ancient Hungarian legend calls the dragon-slayer hero Bence, a name that belongs to the Pannon solar vocabulary as the personification of the sun. The same legend calls the dragon with some hesitation fiery dragon, winged snake and later a lion. Both the dragon and the lion appear to have a proclivity for seizing princesses or girls. The female principle here might denote Earth or matter in general. Several geographic locations carry the name of the dragon (sárkány) and the lion (oroszlán). There are several Bő-Sárkány locations in county Sopron, Sárkányfalu in Fehér, and Esztergom counties and Szili-Sárkány in Zemplén county. The name of this last brings us to the cultic vocabulary of the Sarmatians that we demonstrated earlier. According to the Báthory family’s history, their ancestry went so far back that they were involved in slaying the dragons of the Ecsed moor. In Erdély (Transylvania) the remains of the first European dinosaur were excavated at the turn of the 20th century by baron Nopcsa.[10]

A similar memory may be hiding behind the Pendragon cognomen. The Welsh name “pen” means head, “” in Magyar and both are related to the Magyar “nap” (sun) and its reverse “fény" (light). This leads us to the religious vocabulary of our Pannon-Magyar people, who — as we have shown earlier — are the indigenous inhabitants of Pannonia(Transdanubia) in Hungary. Their symbolic colors were gold and red. According to Sir Thomas Malory, Pendragon ordered two red and gold flags with a dragon on it. The first syllable of the Greek word “drákon” may also be connected with another Magyar word for light, and shine. (The Magyar word dél = noon, and deli = someone strong, youthful and outstanding, and the name for the Greek island of Delos, where Apollo’s sanctuary stood are contextually and harmonically related. They are also connected with the T-R group of words denoting circular motion (Magyar tár = to open on a hinge, tér = turn, return, also an enclosed territory). The second syllables of both the Greek/English drakon/dragon respectively and the Magyar sárkány are connected with the Magyar kun, kan, meaning maleness or any protruding object; the Latin cuneus belongs in this category. Considering these, the name Pendragon may be understood as the Returning Sun-Man, Radiant Man, Son of the Sun. It is also worth realizing that Draco is a northern circumpolar constellation between Ursa Major and Cephaeus while Arcturus is a bright, first magnitude star that is also connected with Ursa Major, its name meaning guardian of the Great Bear, according to the definition of the American College Dictionary. Our starry skies revolve around a northern axis and this rotation is well expressed in the T-R word-group in the Magyar and English languages. Arcturus may have been the first Arthur of the legend that was subsequently transposed to our Sun while his Knights of the Round Table may have their equivalents among the planets under its influence. According to a Magyar legend, Fairy Ilona’s bed is suspended from Arcturus. As we know, Ilona’s name means Mother of Life and her bed was our Earth.

The greater part of Arthur’s life is connected with the Glastonbury Tor. Both names belong to the same T-R word-group. Almost every stone of Glastonbury carries memories of a bygone Fairy Age. According to the legends of the British Isles, the fairies spoke the language of the Trojans. The Tor itself is a hill, spiraling upwards with a building on top. This construction reminds us of the ancient spiraling towers (tűrt torony) so frequent in Mesopotamia. The spiraling, maze-like turf designs at different parts of the Isles carry a similar message. The Welsh name Caerdroia for Troy connects us with another Magyar group’s religious vocabulary utilizing the K-R sounds. The seven walls of the maze, its affiliation with Troy, the Aegeans and some of the American Indian structures place the concept of these buildings into great antiquity. According to legends, the church of Glastonbury has stood since times immemorial and its floor design holds a message that has not yet been understood. Some of the floor plans of the ancient Magyar castles in Erdély (Transylvania) also convey a meaning, which I discussed in another paper in detail. (13)

Between Glastonbury Tor and Chalice Hill we find a place called Chalice Well, and this too is connected to the Arthurian legends.

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Figure 10. Chalice well.

Today’s hills around Glastonbury once formed a peninsula with a very narrow land bridge which is now a wetland. Because of the surrounding waters, some believe it to be Avalon. In prehistoric times the Tor was the original home of a Mother Goddess, called Matrona. This name is known to us from Latin, but its Magyar affiliations cannot be easily dismissed. The already mentioned Magyar names mét and mező, the Sarmatian mata, the Sumerian matu mean meadow and land and accordingly, Matrona may have been the name of Earth Mother, in a more universal term, the Mother of Matter. Morgan was Avalon’s owner and Arthur was taken to her by Barinthus, who knew these waters well, in the hope that he might recover from his illness. In later legends Barinthus became St. Brendan, the traveling Irish saint. Barinthus’ name is akin to the Magyar B-R word-group, with such cultic words as vár, barlang, bárka, barangol meaning castle, cave, barque, and wandering that are all integral parts of their creation stories. The name of the Earth Goddess of the Avars, Baranya, belongs here too and it is preserved in the name of County Baranya in Hungary.

The local folklore holds that the inside of the Tor is hollow. The legends concerning this cave are varied and many. The surrounding earth formations are called Arthur’s chair, oven and Round Table, to mention only a few.

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Figure 11. Arthur’s chair.

One of the stones bears the footprints of Arthur’s dog named Cabal. The etymology of this name is not known. It has been brought into association with the Latin caballus, thus interweaving it with Arthur’s horse too. Nevertheless the legends of Arthur’s dog represent a more ancient layer of folklore. The word Cabal may be a derivative of the Magyar hab meaning water, the foaming crest of a wave. The dog would be a logical personification of water in this region and would merit some further study. (As a demonstrative parallel to the name — giving fancy to folk legends – it may be mentioned that the ancient pastoral society living around the Lake Balaton region in Hungary called the white-topped waves of the Balaton “goats” and the fossilized congeria shells of this lake are called “goat hooves”, which were left behind when the goats followed their shepherd, who plunged into the lake as he followed an enticing nymph.)

According to the legend, Arthur lives in a cave (barlang) as does Plutarch’s Cronos; both of them are believed to return for the sole purpose of bringing back the Golden Age. Cronos’ name and mythology was derived from a pre-Greek source and is connected with the Magyar word “kor” meaning age as in aetas. This word also contains the word “kör” meaning circle, a line returning onto itself suggesting cyclic activity. Arthur’s name contains the tur, tár, tér element. Both the kör and the tér are associated with the circle and the concept of return. They are expressed in the religious vocabulary (K-R and T-R) of two separate dialectal groups.

Legend holds that, after death (halál), Arthur changed into a raven (holló) and awaits the time of his return in this form. The word holló is also a softened form of the kör (circle), it is also the bird of sorrow and mourning. It is interesting to note that according to legends it was the raven — a bird, which likes to pilfer shiny objects and whose color is scorched, black — who stole the fire from the heavens and brought it down to Earth. The universal consciousness of mankind assigned the raven to various roles. The American Indians elevated it to the post of divine culture hero and trickster. Modern astronomy assigned the raven to the southern constellation Corvus. In the northern hemisphere, the Sun seems to sink (hal in Magyar) below the edge of the horizon in the evening[11]. It was the role of the raven to lift the sun by morning above the horizon. Its once white plumage became black and scorched while performing this task. Considering that Arthur’s role is to bring back the Golden Age, the origins of this legend lead us back into the very ancient times of the fairies and the Golden Age.

The circles of ancient earthworks with flat tops are mentioned as Arthur’s table. This again brings to mind the Magyar legends of the miraculous little table that gives instant sustenance to anyone who is asking. This is similar in role to that of the Holy Grail. This miraculous table was the symbol of the Earth, a feminine concept. The castles, earthworks, material strength, cities are all part of this concept. Troy’s old name — Ilion — bears the name of the Magyar Matrona Ilona, whose name means Mother of Life. The castles of Mayburgh, Avebury and Stirling castle in Scotland are the better known such structures in the British Isles. The English word “burgh” is related to the Magyar word vár, which again belongs to the B-R culture sphere.

In the towns near the Tor, La Tène artifacts were found. The Tor was excavated by Ratz in 1960 and, according to him, its origins lead back to Neolithic times, when it must have been the center of a religion predating Christianity. The November/December 1997 issue of Archaeology reported the finds of 400.000 year- old human habitations in England, France, Hungary and China, where hearths were used to more efficiently utilize the fires. To our knowledge, these are the first such societies in the world. The development of this culture in the Carpathian Basin is uninterrupted as archaeological evidence and my attached chart shows.[12]

As we can see, even from this short overview, Arthur’s legends go back much further than the fifth century A.D, back to the Golden Age. His role has changed according to whose traditions we are looking at. He is mentioned as a King in Britannia. The Welsh consider him a hero. As the Tor points to a greater antiquity, so does Arthur’s name, which leads us back to the name of a solar divinity. It is significant to note that the Arthurian legends survived the longest in Celtic territories, within the Celtic culture just as the Magyar legends survived the longest on those lands where the old religion was able to survive the longest.[13]

The Legend of Arthur’s Sword

One Arthurian legend holds that Arthur’s sword was embedded in a huge stone and only a very deserving person, destined to be King, could extract it. This legend was preserved by Sir Thomas Malory in the 15th century A.D[14]. Figuratively speaking, the sword in the stone might be connected with the knowledge of extracting iron from ore. In this case however, the sword was embedded in a “stone” and had to be extracted from it, in a very literal sense. This technology seemed like a miracle to people not familiar with the industrial achievements of the day. The ancient Magyar method of changing iron into steel was the following: the swords were stuck blade up into a mound exposing them to lightning. When lightning hit these swords their molecular structure changed and made their material far better than it was before. They were also “touched by God” in the most literal sense, since the Magyar expression for lightning is “The arrow of God” (Isten nyila). A rock painting in Pisannya Gora depicts a standing figure whose arm is a lightning-bolt.[15] The well-known story of Atilla’s sword, which became known as God’s Sword (Isten kardja), originated in such a method of sword craftsmanship. According to this story, a shepherd boy found a piece of iron sticking out of the ground in a meadow, wounding the foot of one of the cows of his herd. He tried to lift the sword out of the ground, but the sword burst into flame and jumped out of the earth on its own. As it cooled down the boy took the sword to Atilla realizing that such a sword was fit only for the king. The episode of the flaming sword brings the lightning struck swords to mind. Other famous swords of antiquity owed their existence to the iron ore found in meteors. In this case the sword came literally from heaven. In pre-Bible days oaths were sworn while touching these uncontaminated “stones from heaven”. One huge meteor containing iron ore can be found in Sárospatak, Hungary. The first iron foundries of Europe were in Hámor, Bors county of Hungary, where Sarmatians resided and the names and traditions point toward the Arthurian legends. It is also significant that the injured animal of the legend was a cow, the female counterpart of the Turka (bull) which is the symbolic animal of the T-R word- and ethnic group, of which Arthur’s name is a part. Much later, during the time of Prince Árpád in the ninth century, iron was also extracted from the iron ore found free in the meadows and each center of the Seven Dukes had such foundries.[16] In 1999, in one of these foundries in Somogy County, a clay-blowing pipe, engraved with Magyar rovás (runic) characters was discovered. The clear lettering and text facilitate an easy reading. This find reconfirms the Magyar presence, craftsmanship and literacy in this region in the 10th century. The latest research projects of western scholars show that metallurgy began in the Carpathian Basin. I refer here to John Dayton’s [17] work and its excellent summary by Zoltán Bárczy entitled “Minerals, Metals, Glazing and Man”. [18]Mr. Bárczy is a metallurgical engineer.

According to a second version, Arthur’s sword was made by fairies and an arm emerged from the waters and handed it to him. The sword’s return to the original owner at the end of Arthur’s life followed the same pattern. This sword was called Excalibur. British scholarship originates this word from the Latin chalybs, meaning steel. This etymology is believed to be uncertain. This uncertainty shows that the story and the names did not originat within the English culture sphere, even though they are very much a part of the mind set of the English people today. Irish tradition calls the sword Caladbold. This is the oldest version of the sword legends.

The Magyar words kar (arm) and kard (sword) are interconnected: the word kard (sword) suggests it to be an extension, as if an integral part of the kar (arm). The numerous sword-holding arms, depicted in the heraldry of the Middle Ages, express this concept but it is in the Magyar language that this connection became part of the language structure. They are related to the syllable cal, but also to the word hal which means to sink and to die. An arm lifting the sword out of the water and then this arm sinking into the waters with the sword is expressed the following way in the Magyar language: “Kar (arm) emeli ki a (lifts the) kardot (sword) a vízből (from the water), s a kar (and the arm) a karddal (with the sword) a vízbe hal (sinks into the water.).” If we consider the Magyar translation of Excalibur and equate the syllable cal with sinking, the bur syllable with castle we obtain the meaning: “from the sunken castle”. This translation becomes even more plausible when we realize that the Magyar name of the Holy Grail’s original owner is Halász Király (Fisher King) who lived in a perpetual state of near-death (halál). The linguistic connection to this legend is easily understood, based on the Magyar language. According to Magyar symbology, the sword with its sheath was a symbol of life, as was the water. A great word cluster relates to this idea. In Denmark a great many swords were found buried in a watery grave.

Fairies of the Arthurian Legends.

The Arthur legends are closely associated with the legends of fairies, and the early history of the British Isles really is the Age of the Fairies. If we consider Arthur’s name and role as one of the names of the ancient solar religions of the Golden Age, the presence of fairies is inevitable. In the Magyar language the original meaning of gold (arany) was shine, of light, based upon the complete balance of force (erő) and matter (anyag). This word also meant energy (erőny), the one and only energy of the Universe, which is light. The first inhabitants in this mythology were beings of light, who appeared and disappeared, or changed shapes at will. The word fairy or fay means an ”apparition” (tündér), and applies to an entity that could appear and disappear at will. The same is the case in the legends of the British Isles. The presence of the fairies points to the most ancient memories of the people. These memories gave birth to several legends clustered around objects and places. From the Magyar perspective it is important to note that these fairies, according to tradition spoke the language of Troy, an aspect mentioned earlier.

According to one legend, the fairies remained in Craig-y-Ddinas and Glamorgen the longest and from here they moved on to their heavenly home. The same thing is remembered in Magyar legends, where the fairies fled their home in Csallóköz, their Island of Shine located in the Danube near the historical Magyar coronation city of Pozsony. Later they fled from the gold-hungry intruders and went first to Erdély (Magyar name of Transylvania) and later moved back to their home in the Cygnus constellation. The Magyar fairy-folk was the personification of eternal goodness and youth. The representatives of the new faith (Christianity) began to paint the fairies evil to discourage people from talking about them, but these efforts never really took root. The sometimes playful or sinister fairy stories of the British Isles probably underwent such transformation also.

It is important to note that, in Britain, all pre-Christian places of worship and the fairies themselves are connected in legend with the art of healing. This is the case in Magyar tradition also. A Magyar folksong relates that the avocation of Magyars is to heal all the wounds that others inflict with “whistles, drums and violins made of reed.” The fairy traditions of both the British Isles and the Magyars held that the fairies lived in a matriarchal society. The British tradition remembers that the fairies had luminous white dogs with red ears, which remind me of the symbolic animal of the Huns.

There was also a fairy King, by the name of Ap-Nudd. The king of the waters was called Nodon, who was also the king of dogs, fishermen and hunters. He participated in healing and he is the finder of lost objects. In Christian times, this role was passed on to St. Anthony. During the transformation from a pagan deity to a Christian saint, we often find not only similar spheres of influence, but their names also have the same linguistic roots. In the case of Nodon and Anthony, the T-N consonantal root is obvious. According to legend, Nodon’s home was at the Glastonbury Tor. Considering, that he was the god of fishermen also, the Grail legend’s Fisher King must have come down from this ancient age. Around the Tor there was once an extensive wetland. The Tor itself was surrounded by a trench and moat, which reminds us of the Avar and ancient Magyar castles. The pre-Árpád city of Vetvár, meaning Vízvár (Water Castle) bears testimony to this.

The Tuatha de Danann people of Ireland revered a Goddess named Danann, whom they believed to be the mother of the Gods. Her place of worship was in Conacht. The king of Tuatha-De-Danann, Nuadu is identical with the deities, Nudd and Noden. Professor Geoffrey Ashe mentions the name Danann in conjunction with the river names Don and Duna and the Sanskrit danu, meaning water. The Magyar word nedű meaning liquid and the name of the giant Tana, one of the ancestors of the Magyars is in close linguistic connection with these ancient names. The figure of the Long Man of Wilmington, as he walks toward the river, seems to be the summary of the two.

Avalon’s inhabitants were maidens and their Fairy Queen was Argante-Morgan. The Welsh name is Ynys Avallach, where Arthur’s sword was forged. This name is tentatively translated as “Apple Island." Morgan’s other homes are islands: Ile de Seins beyond the borders of Britannia and a place in Sicily. The founding of Sicily is attributed to the Sicul people who are related to the Siculs of the Carpathian. They originated in the Göcsej region of Hungary. In this way we have to count among the Sicul fairy castles not only the ones in Erdély (Transylvania) but in Sicily as well. According to legend Morgan was able to fly. At the time this legend was born, people did not know that, in the city of Addura in Sicily, there is a cave drawing depicting human figures in an apparently gravity free environment, flying without wings. This art came to light during World War II., when an explosion opened up the cave and brought this drawing into the open.

Morgan is the daughter of Ygerna and Morgause. She is possibly the same as the Welsh Modron who is believed to be the goddess of waters. The name Ygerna is related to the Magyar Ég (sky) and the Yggdrasil tree which reaches the sky of the Scandinavian myth. Avalon’s name reminds us of Vilona, the Palóc Mother Earth. Her symbol was the forked trunk of a tree (villa=fork). The English words valley, well belong into the same cultic vocabulary, meaning a hole, a depression, a fork, and the words life, love. The Sun-god, Béla, arose daily in this frame, symbolizing the unity of energy and matter, which is Life itself. The name Ile de Sein brings into focus the aforementioned connection with the Magyar Mother of Life Ilona; the Sein part of the name is identical with the Magyar word sajgó (shiny), and sajó (flowing). This word in fact has become the name of several rivers in Europe. The word sajgó denotes shine, where the English and Magyar words are identical. In summary the name of Avalon can be connected with the concept of a place of light and the Magyar home of Ilona, the island in the Csallóköz, means the same.

Ogygia, the land of “short nights” beyond the ocean means the abode of the Sun, the sky (Ég); the “ia” ending is the abbreviation of jó, jav and denotes an affiliation and belonging to a place. Óg in Magyar also means the highest point of a dome, through which light comes in and also zenith.

Irish mythology calls Avalon Tir-na-nOg meaning the land of the young. Another name is Mag-Mon with unexplained etymology. This latter I recognize as the Magyar names of Mag and Mén, names for God. The word mag means a seed, a round kernel — it was also the name of the Sun, and in the form of Magor (Man of the Seed) it is the name of his reflection, who is the progenitor of the Magyars, son of the Sun. The mén word literally means stallion. The red stallion was symbol of the Sun, the black stallion that of dawn, and the white stallion was the symbol of the Moon in Magyar mythology. This M-N word category is connected with materiality and also motion. It is natural that the symbol of the ever-wandering moon became the stallion (mén), especially within the white-Hun-Magyar group. The moon’s phases of 28 days are connected with the fertility cycles of women, thus both male (motion) and female principles were expressed within this M-N category of words. Mona, the name of Anglesey, an island in northwest Wales carries Mén’s name, as does the name of the Island of Man. In the Magyar language the following words form this word group:

mén.................................... to go
mén.................................... stallion
manó.................................. man, elf, imp
manyó................................ woman, usually an older one
menyecske.......................... young woman
mony.................................. egg
monno................................ one
menny................................ heaven

At this point I also would like re-emphasize that the names Hun, Avar, Pannon in this paper denote a pre-nation ethnicity, with distinct dialects, within the Magyar mother culture and they were preserved as such to our days.

The early mythology of the British Isles reminds us of the Elysium of the Greeks, which is Kronos’ abode that was believed to be beyond the western seas. Linguistically Kronos’ name belongs to the K-R word-group connected with a circle, return and eternity (Magyar: kör, köröz, etc.). Earlier we pointed out the similarities between the Kronos and Arthur legends. In Greek makar means happiness and Magor, Makar, God of the Magyar mythology, is the Magyar proverb’s Happy God, who helps the plans of the poor. Considering that the island’s name is Mag-Mon we are faced again with ancient Magyar mythology. I have to stress that, just as in Avalon, in the Csallóköz, only fairy-girls assembled to await the arrival of young men for their spring festivals. Avalon was also visited by heroes, and it was frequently called “the Island of Happiness”, “Island of Girls”. As the name Avalon cradles the name of the Palóc Mother Earth, Vilona, the Island of Happiness carries the name of the Palóc Sungod, Béla, who was their happy god (Boldog Isten), as was Magor of another ethnic group in the Magyar language. Both Vilona and Béla belong to the B-L cultic vocabulary of the Palóc people. When these heroes embarked for their otherworldly journeys and then finally returned from such a visit, they realized that they had spent not days there but a great many years and the people of our Earth talked of them as of long-gone ancestors. The possibility of traveling to the distant land of the Fairies and the implication of relativity is present in the Irish legends, just as much as it is part of the Magyar legends. In a Magyar story, a young man climbed the tree, reaching the heavens. Upon his return, he realized that the cities and the people he knew were gone, that he was a stranger now in his former home and he died brokenhearted. The implications of this Magyar story are numerous. To facilitate understanding, I have to mention that the tree that reaches the heavens in Magyar mythology is the starry sky[19] and its “branches” are our galaxy. The Magyar story’s space traveler is a swineherd, kanász in Magyar. This name ties him to a particular group’s cultic memory, namely to the K-N based language group which is connected with a forging ahead, of maleness. Their representative planet was the moon, their colors were interestingly --- not the silver and blue of the moon visible from Earth, but --- the moonscape’s colors of brown and deep, black shadows only a visitor to the Moon would know. There is also a memory of moon travel among these ancient stories. Taliesin’s poem calls Avalon the island of the lucky. He also talks about our other home: “My original country is the region of the summer stars...”

Camelot’s geographical location is unknown. Tennyson mentions that it was built by fairy kings, appearing and disappearing readily, emanating magic music, a place where statues came to life. He represents it as the epitome of a full life and beauty. As for the Fairy Kings:

...they are building still, seeing the city is built
to music, therefore never built at all,
and therefore built for ever.”

Here the Táltos tradition of Magyar mythology reverberates as it was preserved in the Magyar creation sagas:

Ocean of the Universe is in boundless motion
Whispering tales of God’s creation
Beautiful tales ever changing
Always old songs everlasting...

Tennyson’s poem cannot be explained in any other way than by genetic memory of mankind’s most sacred memories of a truly existing Golden Age. Magyar tradition cradles such memories and wonderfully embeds them into the very fabric of the language. The name of Ilona — who was the Magyar Mother of Earth, Air and Life — contains the word él (life), illó (fleeting, disappearing, evanescent). She lives in a disappearing castle (Ilona illó várban él). The name of one castle preserved this memory: Illavára (the disappearing castle). The connection of song and the process of creation is part of the Magyar Táltos traditions that have preserved the memory that our Creator created with song and that creation is a song. Today’s science is just now catching up with this ancient knowledge. Many believe that Cadbury is the true place of Camelot.

The concept of sunken bells is an integral part of both the Magyar and the Welsh mythology. There is mention of such near Goodwin Sands in Ker. The most famous places of sunken bells in Hungary are at the Csallóköz, Bodrogköz, Karcsa and Lake Fertő, along with their specific legends of fairies.

The Coranieids are fairy-like also. It is emphasized that they can hear at great distances and listen in on conversations. Their holiday is the first of May. Prof. Ashe believes that they are imported from another culture. According to Welsh tradition they came from Arabia. In Breton they are called Korriganeds. Their ability to hear over great distances reminds me of Atilla’s advisors who were able to participate invisibly at the enemy’s war councils and listen in, thus preparing themselves well for the upcoming confrontations.


[1] Susan Tomory Kezdeteink

[2] Arnold Ipolyi Magyar mythologia vol.I:203-204

73 The Hungarian Genius

[4] Arnold Ipolyi op.cit.

[5] A szarvassá vált fiú. The composer Béla Bartók based one of his works upon this legend.

[6] Refer to the Appendix

[7] The name Zrinyi is a later Slavic adaptation of the original Magyar Szerényi. This name is mentioned in a German historical document as late as 1566 AD. See Adorján Magyar’s Az Õsmûveltség page 945

[8] Encyclopaedia Britannica Vol.4:626

[9] ibid. Vol.10:208

[10] Asztalos, A Történeti Erdély

[11] In Magyar the words esni (to fall) and este (evening) are identical too.

[12] See the Appendix V and Susan Tomory’s Kezdeteink (Our Beginnings), published by the Miskolci Bölcsész Egyesület, 2000

[13] Zsuzsanna Erdélyi op.cit. dealing with the land of Koppány.

[14] Encyclopaedia Britannica Vol.4:626

[15] O.J. Maenchen Helfen The World of the Huns

[16] Imre Stamler op.cit.

[17] John Dayton’s works on metallurgy, London 1978. George G. Harrap & Co. LTD, illustration no. 393, with 32 color plates and 31 maps. Included are a great number laboratory data concerning ore, metal and enamel research.

[18] Mr. Bárczy’s work was published in the Bányászati és Kohászati lapok, Kohászat (Metallurgy) # 117. issue 3., page 121-125. Hungarian edition.

[19] The Magyar word for sky is Ég; note the relationship between this word and the name Nordic mythology’s Yggdrasil tree.

Source: magtudin.org