Arthurian Name Dictionary

La Choine

A castle in Sarras ruled by King Evalach. It was the site of a battle between Evalach and King Tholomer of Babylonia. With Joseph of Arimathea’s help, Evalach won. Great feats of arms were performed by Seraphe (Nascien) and a mysterious, God-sent, White Knight. [VulgEst]

La Rochelle

A French city on the English Channel, where Arthur landed on his way to battle Claudas. [VulgMer]

Laamez of Babylon

A knight present at the Sorgarda tournament, which Gawain won. [Heinrich]


A terrible knight who inhabited the castle of Janfrüege in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône. His castle was enchanted to render any knight who entered powerless. A malicious goddess named Giramphiel sent Gawain to the castle, hoping to destroy him, but Lady Fortune warned Gawain of the danger. As a result, Gawain refused to enter Janfrüege, but insisted that Laamorz meet him outside. Gawain won the combat and secured Laamorz’s fealty. Laamorz recalls Mabuz in Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzalet. [Heinrich]


In Paolino Pieri’s La Storia di Merlino, one of two messengers from Vortigern who, seeking a boy without a father, found Merlin in Northumberland. His companion was called Ruggieri. [Pieri]


A pagan King of Persia, converted to Christianity by Celidoine, the son of Nascien. Label, who had been knighted by King Evalach of Sarras, was traveling to a war against King Fanoyel of Syria when he encountered Celidoine. He died soon after his baptism, and his men, who had refused to convert, put Celidoine out to sea in a small boat with a hungry lion. Celidoine survived and later married Sarrasinte, Label’s daughter, who became a follower of Joseph of Arimathea. A variation of the name, Labell, is given to a king’s daughter in two English versions of Joseph of Arimathea’s story. [VulgEst]


Probably from a confusion of Label, a maiden who appears in the English Here Begynneth the Lyfe of Joseph of Armathia as the daughter of the Welsh king who imprisoned Joseph of Arimathea and his followers when they first arrived in Britain. The king was besieged by Mordrain, to whom he offered Labell as a peace offering. Labell and Mordrain married. She appears in the Lyfe of Joseph of Armathy as Celidoine’s wife. [HereJOA, LyfeJOA]


A knight in Arthur’s service. [Heinrich]


A British earl who was killed fighting the Romans at the battle of Soissons. [Layamon]


Guinevere’s first cousin. He gave the queen advice on how to protect herself during Mordred’s uprising. [VulgMort]

Lac1 [Ilax, Lake]

Erec’s father, who, like his son, first appears in Chrétien de Troyes’s Erec. He is variously called the king of Nantes, Destregales, Celis, Seland, Carnant, or the Black Isles. In Wolfram’s Parzival, he has a daughter named Jeschute, the Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal credits him with another unnamed daughter, and in Palamedes, he has a second son named Brandelis. He bestowed the cities of Motrevel and Roadan on Enide’s father when she married Erec. In the early Erec tales, he dies peacefully, and his son inherits his throne.
   The Post-Vulgate Queste gives a tale of Lac (and Erec) at odds with previous stories. Here, Lac is the son of King Canan of Salolliqui in Greece. His father was assassinated, forcing Lac and his brother Dirac, both still children, to flee Greece for Britain. There, they were found, raised, and knighted by a young Arthur, and both became kings. Lac married King Pelles’s sister, Crisea. Dirac’s sons eventually became jealous of Lac’s greater fame and killed him, seizing his castle. Erec avenged the murder.
   Lac’s name means “lake” in French. In origin, he may be the Welsh Llwch, which also means “lake.” According to Wolfram, he took his name from a spring near Karnant. [ChretienE, Erex, Wolfram, Heinrich, PostQuest, Palamedes]


Father of Sir Cliges, a knight at Arthur’s court. [Contin1]


A spring near Karnant from which King Lac received his name. According to Wolfram, the water of the spring could mend the Grail Sword if it was shattered. After Perceval broke the sword in a duel, the spring was able to repair it. [Wolfram]


A king of Great India in Arthur’s time, according to the Vulgate Merlin. He sent his seneschal, Minoras, to help Arthur in the Saxon Wars. [VulgMer]


King of Greater Orkney. Galehaut conquered him. [Livre]


The son of Erec and Enide, named after King Lac. Both Lac and his brother Odus became kings. [Erex]


Yvain’s brother, Tristan’s friend, and Arthur’s knight. [Tavola]

Lacen [Lacene]

A British forest where Gawain, Agravain, and Mordred killed Drian and Lamorat, the sons of Pellinore, in a blood quarrel. In Malory, this event occurs near Sorelois. [PostMer]


In the Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation, a king appointed by Arthur to the Round Table after the battle of the Humber. This is perhaps the same person as King Lac, Erec’s father. Malory calls this character the King of the Lake, as his name means “lake” in French. [PostMer]


A king who fell in love with Sir Caradoc Shortarm’s ladylove. He tricked Caradoc into agreeing to fight against eight of Ladas’s knights with only two other knight’s fighting on Caradoc’s side. Caradoc chose Claris and Laris as his companions, and the three knights were victorious. Ladas was killed. [Claris]

Ladiana [Labiane]

The niece of King Mark of Cornwall. Her brother, Aldret (Andred), was Mark’s adviser. Mark raped her, begetting Meraugis, who later became a Knight of the Round Table. Mark locked Ladiana in a tower when he discovered that she was pregnant. After she gave birth to Meraugis, Mark slew her and left her body to be eaten by wild beasts. [PostQuest]


A knight from Benoic who accompanied his master, King Ban, to Britain, when Ban allied with Arthur. Ladinas fought in the battle of Bedegraine, against the kings in rebellion against Arthur, and at the battle of Carhaix, against King Rions’s Saxons. [VulgMer, Arthour, Malory]


A young knight from North Wales who fought alongside Gawain in some early Saxon skirmishes. [VulgMer]


A knight defeated and captured when Meleagant kidnapped Guinevere. [Malory]


An early companion of Gawain who fought in the Saxon Wars. [VulgMer]


King of Lombardie who joined his ally, Emperor Thereus of Rome, in a war against Arthur. [Claris]


A British knight. Ladomas accidentally laid down in the same bed as his cousin’s lady. His cousin, Guinas of Blakestan, found him there and wounded him badly in an ensuing skirmish. Arthur’s Sir Hector defeated Guinas and made him reconcile with Ladomas. Hector had unknowingly killed Ladomas’s brother Mataliz while defending Mataliz’s enemy. When Ladomas discovered this, he let Hector go to repay him for his service with Guinas, but warned him that they would fight if they met again. [LancLac, VulgLanc]


King of Gascony who married Lidoine, the sister of Arthur’s Sir Laris. He was past his prime when the marriage took place and he soon died, allowing Lidoine to marry Sir Claris, her true love. [Claris]

Lady of the Blonde Hair

Arthur’s paramour in Le Chevalier du Papegau. The Lady was the fairy sovereigness of the Amorous City, and she was plagued by a horrible creature known as the Fish-Knight. Arthur slew the monster after the Lady’s servant, Beauty Without Villany, came to Arthur’s court looking for assistance. The Lady of the Blonde Hair fell in love with Arthur, but angered him by making him promise to act as “the worst knight in the world” during a tournament at her castle. Arthur was so furious at this humiliation that he beat the Lady. Later, the two made up and became lovers. [ChevPap]

Lady of the Fountain

Wife of the Lord of the Fountain. When Owain killed her husband she married Owain, but renounced him when he spent a year away from her at Arthur’s court. After a number of grueling adventures, Owain was able to return to her graces. She is known as the Lady, or Countess, of the Fountain in the Welsh Owain, and as Laudine in other tales. [Owain]

Lady of the isles

Queen of the Kingdom of the Isles. She swore to only marry the best knight in Britain, whom she perceived as Gawain. One of her vassals, Brian of the Isles, set out to defeat Gawain, thereby proving himself the best knight and earning the right to marry the Lady. Brian returned to the Kingdom claiming that he had slain Gawain, and the Lady prepared to marry him, but Gawain showed up on their wedding day and ended the marriage. The Lady’s sister was the Queen of Iceland. [Meriadeuc]

Lady of the Lake

An enigmatic fairy credited with imprisoning Merlin, raising Lancelot, giving Excalibur to Arthur, and bearing Arthur’s body to Avalon. Some of these roles are given to Morgan le Fay in some versions, and it is likely that the two characters emerged from the same Celtic goddess, called Modron. The Italian La Tavola Ritonda says that Morgan was her sister. Some texts, such as the Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin or Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, have more than one character bearing this title. Her proper names include Ninianne, Viviane, Nina, and Nimue, all seemingly scribal variants of each other.
   Her first role seems to have been Lancelot’s foster-mother; in Chrétien de Troyes’s Lancelot, we learn that Lancelot has a magical ring given to him by his foster-mother, and that “this lady was a fairy…who had cared for him in infancy.” In Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet, we see Lancelot’s upbringing by the Queen of Maidenland. The Queen also has a son named Mabuz, who probably owes his character to the Welsh Mabon, son of Modron.
   Neither of these romances call Lancelot’s guardian the “Lady of the Lake,” though the character is roughly identical to the Lady specifically named in the Vulgate Lancelot, which continues the tradition. Here, her home was an invisible island in the Lake of Diana in Brittany. Both Ulrich and Lancelot tell how the Lady, or one of her servants, took the infant Lancelot from his mother after his father’s kingdom fell to an invasion or revolt. In Ulrich, her nurturing of Lancelot was part of a larger plan to revenge herself on Iweret, a powerful lord who wronged her son Mabuz. She raised Lancelot until he was old enough to depart for Arthur’s court. According to Lancelot, she accompanied him to Arthur, who knighted the boy at her request. She left him after bestowing upon him the magic ring mentioned by Chrétien. Lancelot says that she also raised Lionel and Bors, Lancelot’s cousins. She assisted Lancelot throughout his adventures, providing magic weapons and armor when needed, and curing him of insanity after he went mad in a Saxon prison. In similar ways, she also provided assistance to Lionel and Bors.
   It is also in the Vulgate Lancelot that we first find the assertion that she imprisoned Merlin, which apparently occurred before Lancelot’s birth. The Lady used Merlin’s love to learn his craft, then—after she had learned enough—she sealed him in a pit in the forest of Darnantes, where he remained forever. The Lady’s treatment of Merlin in Lancelot is difficult to reconcile with her more noble behavior towards Lancelot. The Vulgate Merlin (and its English translation, called the Prose Merlin) handles this conflict by giving Merlin a more romantic end. Merlin also provides additional details about the Lady: The daughter of a nobleman named Dyonas, her birth was blessed by Diana, the goddess of the woods. Merlin met her in the forest of Briosque and fell in love with her at first sight. He courted her by dazzling her with enchantment. After learning his magic, she imprisoned him in a tower in the forest of Broceliande, where she visited him often, but never allowed him to leave.
   In the Suite du Merlin and in Malory, the Lady (called Ninniane or Nimue) first arrives at Arthur’s court in pursuit of a white stag. In short time, she and her hound were abducted by Sir Hontzlake of Wentland and Sir Abelleus. Arthur sent Gawain after the stag, assigned Tor to retrieve the hound, and dispatched Pellinore to rescue the Lady. The latter two knights were successful and, in gratitude, the Lady agreed to stay at Arthur’s court, where Merlin fell in love with her. According to the Suite, the Lady secretly hated Merlin. Again, after learning his spells, she sealed him in a cavern tomb. Malory has her imprison him by placing a stone over the mouth of his cave. She then took Merlin’s place as Arthur’s advisor. She saved Arthur from his own sword in a battle against Accalon, from a poisoned cloak sent to him by Morgan le Fay, and from a sorceress named Aunowre or Elergia. She also vindicated Guinevere in the murder of Gaheris or Patrise. Malory adds that she married the noble Sir Pelleas. In her final service to Arthur, according to Malory, she was one of the four queens who bore his body from the plain of Salisbury to the Isle of Avalon.
   In the Suite and Malory, however, the title of the Lady of the Lake also belongs to a woman who gives Excalibur to Arthur in return for a future gift. She later arrived at Arthur’s court to claim the gift: the head of Sir Balin, who had killed her brother. Arthur was in the process of refusing the request when Balin showed up and beheaded her, saying that she had killed his mother. In these stories, Ninianne (or Nimue) is presented as the Lady of the Lake’s servant; after the Lady’s death, Ninianne earns the title herself.
   She appears as the title character in Thelwall’s The Fairy of the Lake, in which she saves Arthur from the Saxon Queen Rowena’s seduction, and saves Guinevere from the incestuous plans of her father, King Vortigern. In the Prophecies de Merlin, in addition to Lancelot and his cousins, she also raises Tristan’s half-brother, Meliadus the Younger, who becomes her lover. [ChretienL, UlrichZ, LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, PostMer, ProsTris, Prophecies, Tavola, ProsMer2, Malory, VitaMer, Thelwall]

Lady of the Lands

See Maiden of the Moors.

Lady of the Rock

A lady whose lands were stolen by Sir Edward of the Red Castle and Sir Hugh of the Red Castle. When she lodged Sir Yvain during his adventures, he heard her tale and became furious at the injustice. He called for a meeting with the two knights and challenged them to a duel for the lady’s lands. He defeated them both at once, killing Edward. Hugh gave the lands back to the Lady. [Malory]

Lady of the Rule

Mother of Alyne by King Pellinore. [Malory]

Lady Without Pride

A sister of Morgan le Fay rescued by Arthur from an attacker called the Knight of the Wasteland. Arthur won a tournament at the Castle Causuel in her honor, winning a parrot. [ChevPap]


A forest where Perceval defeated King Vergulaht of Ascalun and ordered Vergulaht—as a term of his surrender—to assume a quest for the Grail. Vergulaht later transferred this duty to Gawain. [Wolfram]

Laheduman of Muntane

A vassal of King Poydiconjunz (Bagdemagus). He fought for King Meliant of Lis in the battle of Bearosche and was defeated by Gawain. [Wolfram]


A king who conquered Wales and North Wales from Queen Herzeloyde, Perceval’s mother, in Wolfram’s Parzival. His brother was Duke Orilus of Lalander and his sister was Cunneware of Lalant. He stole a strong horse named Gringolet from the Grail Knight Lybbeals, and the horse eventually was owned by Gawain. His name may be a variation of the Welsh Llewellyn (Bruce, 333n). [Wolfram]


The Burgrave of the city of Patelamunt in Queen Belacane’s land of Zazamanc. Lahfilirost welcomed Perceval’s father Gahmuret when he arrived and supported him in repelling the invasion of Zazamanc. For his assistance, Gahmuret bestowed upon Lahfilirost the duchy of the slain Duke Prothizilas. [Wolfram]


A mad prophet from Scottish legend who supposedly lived in the late sixth century, and who many writers identify with Myrddin or Merlin. In a Welsh Myrddin poem known as “The Prophecy of Myrddin and Gwenddydd,” Gwenddydd, Myrddin’s sister, says, “I ask my Llallogan Myrddin, a wise man, a prophet….” Llallogan is general translated as “twin brother.”
   Lailoken’s legend is very similar to Myrddin’s: Lailoken was said to have participated in a battle between the towns of Lidel and Carwannock. His side suffered enormous losses, and an apparition in the sky blamed Lailoken for the deaths. This episode parallels Myrddin’s experience at Arfderydd. Lailoken went insane and ran off to live in the forest like a wildman, where he spewed random prophecies of his own “triple” death and of the downfall of Britain. King Meldred hauled him into his court for amusement, but was decidedly unamused when Lailoken divined the adultery of Meldred’s wife. Lailoken was befriended by Saint Kentigern, who gave Lailoken his Last Rites at Lailoken’s request, even though Lailoken’s prophecy of his own death seemed impossible: he claimed he would die from a beating of sticks and stones, then from being impaled through the heart with a stake, and then from falling into water. Later, as Lailoken was wandering through a field near Dunmeller, Meldred’s shepherds spied him and stoned him. As he began to perish from the beating, he fell off a cliff into the river Tweed—and was impaled through the heart by a protruding stick (Goodrich, 3–11).

Lake of Idleness

The enchanted residence of the fairy Phaedria, who lured knights to her island with sensual temptations. [Spenser]

Lake of Twins [Lac as Jumeles]

The homeland of Meriadeuc, a knight of Arthur’s court. Meriadeuc inherited the land from his father, Bleheri. Meriadeuc’s mother was known as the Lady of the Lake of Twins. [Meriadeuc]

Laluth [Lalut]

The city that Erec entered during his pursuit of Yder in Chrétien’s Erec. In Laluth, Erec stayed with the noble Licorant, met his future wife Enide, and defeated Yder in the sparrowhawk tournament. Hartmann von Aue places these events at Tulmein, while the Norse Erex Saga changes the name to Roson. [ChretienE]


The birthplace of Frollo, the ruler of Gaul slain by Arthur. [PostQuest]

Lambale [Lamba(y)l(e), Lambel(l)e]

A land ruled by King Amant, an enemy of Arthur. When Amant was slain by King Bors, Lambale fell to Gosengos, Amant’s son. It was the home of Arthur’s knight Guivret. A “Count of Lambale” appears at the Sorelois tournament in Palamedes, but in the Prose Tristan, the count himself is named Lambale. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, Palamedes, ProsTris, Arthour]

Lambegue [Lambeguen, Lambegues, Lambeguez, Lanbeguet]

A Gaulish knight who originally served King Bors of Gannes as a tutor for Bors and Lionel, King Bors’ sons. When Gannes was conquered by Claudas, Lambegue unwillingly entered his service. Later, he broke faith, started a revolt, and tried to murder Claudas, but was foiled by the noble Pharien, his own uncle. He eventually reconciled with Pharien. Content that Bors and Lionel were being cared for by the Lady of the Lake, Lambegue left Gannes for Britain, joined Arthur’s wars against the Saxons, and became a Knight of the Round Table. Bors saved him from execution in the forest of Roevent. He became a companion of Tristan, and once tried to rescue Isolde from an abduction by Palamedes. He joined the Grail Quest and was present at Corbenic when Galahad completed it. He was killed fighting Lancelot and his men when Lancelot rescued Queen Guinevere from the stake. [LancLac, VulgLanc, Livre, PostQuest, ProsTris, Malory]


Duke of Brabant and Hainault in the time of Uther. He married Alize, the sister of King Hardiz of Gascony, and thus became Hardiz’s loyal ally. He participated in a tournament at the Welsh city of Kanvoleis, thrown by Perceval’s mother, Queen Herzeloyde. [Wolfram]


In the Italian Tristano Riccardiano and La Tavola Ritonda, the husband of the Hebrew Damsel of Thornbush Ford. He found out that his wife and Tristan were having an affair. When he challenged Tristan to combat, he lost. He was also cuckolded by a knight named Blanor or Brunoro, but Tristan returned the woman to Lambergus. In the Prose Tristan, the same character is called Seguarades. The author of Tavola may have confused him with Lambegue, a friend of Tristan in Tristan. [Tavola]

Lambeth [Lambehythe]

A town in England, across the Thames River from London. Malory names it as the location of Sir Meleagant’s castle, which in other legends is in Gorre. [Malory]

Lambor [Lambord]

A Grail King descended from Bron. He ruled Corbenic and the Strange Land. He inherited the post from his father, King Manuel, and passed it on to his son, King Pellehan. He was a man of great Christian faith. His descendants included Pelles, Elaine, and Galahad. Lambor was slain by King Varlan of Wales, who split his head with the forbidden Sword with the Strange Hangings. This was the first Dolorous Stroke, and it created a Waste Land of Wales and the Strange Land. John of Glastonbury’s genealogy makes Lambor an ancestor of Arthur through Igerne. [VulgQuest, VulgEst, PostMer, JohnG, Malory]

Lamborc [Lambor]

A castle between Camelot and Joyous Guard where Arthur and his knights lodged on their way to wage war against Lancelot. [VulgMort, PostMort]


The Queen of Karmerie who died of sorrow after the untimely passing of her husband, King Garsidis. Her daughter, Tydomie, later married Arthur’s nephew, Sir Meleranz. [PleierM]

Lambrion [Lambrions]

A castle in Gaul. Its lord was a wise vassal of King Claudas. He stopped an unfortunate duel between Pharien and Lambegue, two worthy knights and relatives who were fighting over Lambegue’s plot to kill Claudas. [VulgLanc]


One of the many Saxon kings who, under the Saxon King Hargadabran, fought against Arthur at the battle of Clarence. [Livre]


A Knight of the Round Table. [HartmannE]


An Arabian warlord. He invaded and plundered Libya in order to locate a magical suit of armor. His brother Brien later killed him for this armor, which eventually wound up in the possession of Gawain’s son Wigalois. [Wirnt]

Lamet [Lamer]

The baptismal name of Orcant, an ancestor of Gawain. [VulgEst]


One of Isolde’s maidservants. She accompanied Isolde’s from Ireland to Cornwall, and later to Tristan and Isolde’s exile in the Forest of Morrois. [ProsTris]


In Wolfram’s Parzival, Perceval’s paternal aunt, the daughter of Gandin of Anjou, and the sister of Flurdamurs, Gahmuret and Galoes. She was appointed by her father as Queen of Styria. She became the wife or mistress of Ither, the “Red Knight” slain by Perceval. In Der Pleier’s Garel, she is the mother of Garel of the Blooming Valley, having apparently married King Meleranz after her affair with Ither. [Wolfram, PleierG]

Lamorat1 [Amorotto, Lamerok, Lamorak, Lamorant]

A Knight of the Round Table named after his uncle. He was the son of King Pellinore and the brother of Aglovale, Perceval, Alain, Drian, Tor, and Meliodan. His story is related by the Prose Tristan, the Post-Vulgate Cycle, and Malory. Among his more noteworthy adventures are the liberation of the Castle of the Ten Knights, his victory at the Sorelois tournament, and the conquest of the Isle of Servage. In this last adventure, he teamed with Tristan. (Tristan and Lamorat had previously been enemies: Tristan once refused to joust with Lamorat, so Lamorat arranged for a magical horn that proved infidelity to be sent to Isolde.) Malory considered Lamorat the third greatest knight in Britain, behind Lancelot and Tristan. La Tavola Ritonda says he had a son named Sodoc.
   Lamorat’s father had slain King Lot, Gawain’s father. In revenge, Gawain had slain Pellinore. Lamorat exacerbated this family enmity by having an affair with Morgause, Gawain’s mother. Gaheris murdered Morgause when he found them in bed together, and Lamorat was eventually slain by Gawain and his brothers in an unfair fight, just after they killed his brother Drian. Sir Pionel, Lamorat’s cousin, tried to avenge Lamorat’s murder by poisoning Gawain, but the plan went awry. [PostMer, PostQuest, Palamedes, ProsTris, Tavola, Malory]

Lamorat2 of Listenois

Brother of Pellinore and uncle of Lamorat1. He was a famous knight of Uther Pendragon’s day until he was accidentally killed by the Good Knight Without Fear, his companion, while wearing the armor of one of his enemies. [Palamedes]

Lampades of the Flatland

A knight who served Arthur in the war against King Rions. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Lampart [Lambard, Lanpar(t), Lupars]

The lord of Galigan and seneschal of Esmeree the Blonde, Queen of Wales. He instituted a custom in his castle whereby any knight coming to seek lodging for the night would have to joust with him. If the knight knocked down Lampart, he would have the best of lodging, but if Lampart defeated the knight, the knight would be covered with filth and run out of town by the villagers. Gawain’s son Guinglain—traveling as the “Fair Unknown”—defeated Lampart and won the right to a good night’s lodging. Lampart then accompanied Guinglain to his adventure at the Desolate City. [Renaut, ChestreLyb]

Lamyel of Cardiff

A Knight of the Round Table present at the healing of Sir Urry. He was apparently a “great lover.” [Malory]


A region of southwest Scotland. It originally belonged to Sir Galleron, but Arthur annexed it and gave it to Gawain. Galleron arrived at a feast and challenged Gawain for ownership of the land. The fight ended in a draw, but Gawain graciously returned the country to Galleron anyway. [Awntyrs]


A Knight of the Round Table who participated in the Grail Quest. [ProsTris]

Lancaster [Lincestre]

A city on the west coast of northern England. In the Vulgate Merlin, the kings in rebellion against Arthur met there to devise a plan for opposing the Saxon invasions. [VulgMer]

Lance of Longinus

See Bleeding Lance.

Lancelot1 [Ancalot, Lanç(arote), Lanceloet, Lancelott, Lancelus, Lanchelot, Lancil(l)otto, Lançolot, Lanseloit, Lanselos, Lanselot(os), Lanslate, Lanslod, Lansselos, Lantsloot, Lanzelet, Lanzelot, Lanzilet, Lanziloto, Launcelot, Launselake, Lawnslot]

The most famous of Arthur’s knights. Raised by the Lady of the Lake (and thus called “Lancelot of the Lake”), he joined the court at Camelot and became Arthur’s best and bravest—until his tragic affair with Guinevere, Arthur’s wife, precipitated the collapse of Arthur’s kingdom. Lancelot’s son, Galahad, completed the Grail Quest.
   Though an important and certainly famous character, Lancelot’s story is not subject to the same discrepancies and inconsistencies that plague Gawain or Yvain. Essentially, there is only one version of his estoire, found in the Vulgate Cycle (c. 1215–30). Most later versions, including Malory’s, are based upon it, and the earliest Lancelot romance, by Chrétien de Troyes, fits neatly within it. The only particularly significant exception is Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet, which is summarized momentarily.
   Chrétien de Troyes wrote the earliest romances still in existence to mention Lancelot, but Ulrich’s Lanzelet, written shortly after Chrétien and without Chrétien’s influence, suggests that Chrétien did not invent the character. Ulrich claimed to have a French source, and this archetypal Lancelot was probably the source of Chrétien’s Lancelot and the Prose Lancelot. This hypothetical ur-Lancelot would have been written about 1150. Lancelot’s character cannot definitively be traced earlier than that. R. S. Loomis argued that Lancelot originated with the Welsh warrior Llwch Llenlleawg, who himself is a derivation of an Irish god named Lug. “Llwch” is the Welsh word for “lake,” and would have provided Lancelot with his sobriquet, “of the Lake.” “Llenlleawg,” meanwhile, according to this theory, was altered to “Lancelot,” perhaps under the influence of the common name “Lancelin.” The Welsh Triads mention an Arthurian knight named Lawnslot, but this is more likely a Welsh adaptation of the French Lancelot than an original Welsh character.
   Lancelot appeared briefly in Chrétien’s Erec and Cliges before Chrétien featured him in his own romance, Lancelot, or The Knight of the Cart (c. 1175). Lancelot does not provide a biography of Lancelot, but rather features a piece of Lancelot’s career: his rescue of Guinevere from Meleagant and his subsequent affair with the queen. This story is summarized as follows:
   Meleagant of Gorre arrives at Arthur’s court and challenges Arthur to send Guinevere into the forest escorted by only one knight. Kay coerces the right to act as this escort. Kay is defeated, and both Kay and Guinevere are kidnapped by Meleagant and taken to Gorre.
   Gawain immediately sets out to rescue Guinevere, accompanied by an unnamed knight who we learn only much later to be Lancelot. It is clear that Lancelot loves the queen desperately. Lancelot rides ahead of Gawain but his horse dies from exhaustion. A dwarf driving a cart tells Lancelot to get in the cart if he wants to find Guinevere. Lancelot hesitates for two steps before diving into the cart. Riding in a cart is a form of humiliation reserved for criminals, and Lancelot is immediately branded the “Knight of the Cart” and is subject to public scorn.
   Lancelot and Gawain learn that Guinevere has been taken to Gorre, which is only accessible by two bridges: the Sword Bridge and the Water Bridge. Lancelot heads for the first, while Gawain decides to try the latter. Gawain fails, nearly drowns, and is removed from the action. Lancelot manages to cross the Sword Bridge but is badly cut by the blade.
   Lancelot has a few other adventures on the way to Meleagant’s castle. We learn that he was raised by a water fairy who gave him a ring that protects him from spells.
   Lancelot arrives at Meleagant’s castle and is greeted by Bagdemagus, Meleagant’s noble father. Bagdemagus cures Lancelot’s wounds. Lancelot and Meleagant meet in battle. Lancelot gains the upper hand, and Bagdemagus calls a truce, arranging for Guinevere to be freed. Guinevere is angry at Lancelot for hesitating before entering the cart—he put his honor above his love for her—but she eventually forgives him.
   Lancelot comes to the barred window of Guinevere’s chamber at night. She tells him he can enter and spend the night with him. He bends the bars and climbs through, but cuts his hand in the process. He leaves in the morning after a night of passion, and Meleagant discovers drops of blood in Guinevere’s bed. He accuses her of sleeping with the wounded Kay, whose bed is in the next room. Lancelot duels Meleagant to prove the queen’s innocence, but Bagdemagus again calls a halt, and another fight is planned at Arthur’s court.
   Lancelot enters the tournament at Noauz. To test his love, Guinevere, orders him to fight as badly as possible, and Lancelot obiediently acts like a coward. On the next day, Guinevere tells him to fight his best, and Lancelot wins the tournament.
   Meleagant imprisons Lancelot in a tower, but Meleagant’s sister releases him. Lancelot shows up at Arthur’s court and finds that Gawain is about to fight Meleagant in Lancelot’s stead. Lancelot dons his armor, fights Meleagant, and kills him, thus acquitting the queen.
   Chrétien claimed to have been given his source material by his patroness, Countess Marie of Champagne, who might have suggested the romance between Lancelot and Guinevere. There is no hint here of the tragedy, caused by the affair, to befall Lancelot, Arthur, and Guinevere as in the Vulgate Mort Artu.
   Chrétien’s source may be similar to the one used by Ulrich von Zatzikhoven to write Lanzelet (c. 1200), which is summarized below. Ulrich provides a much more extensive biography of Lancelot but omits the affair with Guinevere.
   Lancelot, the son of King Pant of Genewis and Queen Clarine (Arthur’s sister) is spirited away from his mother by a water fairy after his tyrannical father is overthrown and slain by his own nobles. Lancelot is raised in an otherworldly land called Maiden Land, where he learns courtesy and chivalry from the ladies and deeds of arms from visiting mermen. Thus armed, he ventures into the world of men. He is ignorant of his parentage and name, having been told he will learn these once he has slain Iweret—a powerful knight who has wronged the son of the queen of Maiden Land.
   Lancelot’s first two adventures involve the winning of a maiden, through combat, from her tyrranical father or uncle. The first maiden, the unnamed daughter of Galagandreiz, he eventually abandons because she chose him last out of three knights; the second maiden, Ade, daughter of Linier, abandons him when he falls under a spell that makes him cowardly. During this time, he wins two castles and proves himself noble at a tournament, and word of his fame reaches Arthur. Arthur dispatches Gawain to retrieve Lancelot, but Lancelot declines to venture to Arthur’s court.
   Eventually, Lancelot finds Iweret and falls in love with his daughter, Iblis. In a long battle, Iweret is killed and his castle (Dodone) and lands fall into Lancelot’s possession. As promised, a messenger arrives and tells Lancelot his name and ancestry. Lancelot and Iblis are married. Lancelot then decides to go to Arthur’s court and discovers, on his arrival, that Arthur is being challenged by King Valerin of the Tangled Wood for Guinevere. Lancelot requests permission to fight the combat, and Arthur allows it; Valerin is defeated.
   Searching for more adventure, Lancelot travels to the castle of Pluris, where he wins a contest, but is then entrapped by the lady there. She holds him as her concubine for a time, but he manages to cleverly escape with the help of several Knights of the Round Table.
   Returning to Arthur’s court, Lancelot finds that Guinevere has been abducted by Valerin and Valerin’s defenses prove too strong for Arthur’s men to breach. At the behest of Arthur, Lancelot travels to the fortress of the wizard Malduc to ask for help. Malduc agrees to destroy Valerin’s defenses, but in return, Arthur must deliver to him his old enemies: Gawain and Erec. The exchange is made and Guinevere is rescued. In time, Lancelot leads a rescue expedition to Malduc’s palace, rescues his fellows, and kills the necromancer.
   Finally, Lancelot’s thoughts return to his ancestral lands, and he travels to Genewis. The nobles there gladly turn over the kingdom to Lancelot’s rule, and he and Iblis are crowned king and queen in two separate ceremonies: one at Genewis, and one at Dodone.
   Ulrich’s Lanzelet failed to spark any later traditions, but we see in the story analogues to Chrétien’s Lancelot and the Prose Lancelot that suggest a common source or sources. Lancelot’s father, Pant of Genewis, is identical to King Ban of Benoic. The Queen of Maidenland is later called the Lady of the Lake. Other analogues are more tenuous: Valerin for Meleagant, Malduc for Merlin, and the queen of Pluris for Morgan le Fay.
   Perhaps the earliest Arthurian prose romance is the French Perlesvaus. Lancelot is the third knight, after Perceval and Gawain, to venture to the Grail Castle. Unlike his predecessors, however, Lancelot is not allowed a vision of the Grail because of his affair with Guinevere, which he refuses to recognize as a sin, and for which he refuses to repent. Lancelot has a number of other adventures in the story, including a version of the Beheading Game in the Waste City. His exploits help Perceval to finally achieve the Grail.
   In the early thirteenth century, Lancelot’s story was recast into prose, in the non-cyclical Lancelot do Lac and shortly thereafter in the vast prose corpus known as the Vulgate Cycle. Lancelot is so prominently featured in all three branches of the original cycle—the Lancelot, the Queste del Saint Graal, and the Mort Artu—that the work is often known as the Lancelot-Grail Cycle. The Vulgate romances contain themes found in both Chrétien and Ulrich, though its real origin was probably the lost Lancelot that preceded these two authors.
   Among the Vulgate Lancelot, Queste del Saint Graal, and Mort Artu, we find the model Lancelot story, destined to last into modern times via Malory’s Le Morte Darthur:
   Lancelot is born to King Ban of Benoic and Queen Elaine. He is descended from Nascien, a follower of Joseph of Arimathea. He has an older, illegitimate brother named Hector. King Claudas, Ban’s neighbor, attacks Ban’s castle at Trebe. Ban flees with his wife and son but he soon falls dead. The Lady of the Lake appears, takes Lancelot from Elaine, and brings him to her enchanted, otherworldly homeland.
   Lancelot grows up to be a great hunter and warrior. He is full of courtesy. He is raised with his younger cousins Lionel and Bors. When he reaches the age of eighteen, the Lady of the Lake instructs him on knighthood and chivalry. She brings him to Arthur’s court so that he may become a knight. Lancelot is knighted, and he falls in love with Guinevere at first glance. He soon succeeds in his first quest: the deliverance of the lady of Nohaut from an oppressor.
   With the help of enchanted arms from the Lady of the Lake, Lancelot accomplish a near-impossible feat: the liberation of the enchanted castle known as Dolorous Guard. He has several other adventures that win him honor and fame. (In Malory’s version, the foundation for Lancelot’s fame is formed by his extraordinary feats of arms during the Roman War—which occurs before Lancelot’s birth in the Vulgate Merlin.)
   Arthur is attacked by Galehaut of Sorelois. Lancelot has been imprisoned by the Lady of Malehaut, but he is allowed to leave to join Arthur’s army. His deeds impress Galehaut. During the second part of the war, Galehaut is so amazed by Lancelot’s prowess that he agrees to surrender to Arthur if Lancelot will become his companion. Lancelot agrees, the war ends, and the two knights become fast friends. After several adventures together, they are both appointed to the Round Table. Galehaut arranges a meeting between Lancelot and Guinevere, and Lancelot confesses his love. Guinevere reciprocates.
   Saxons invade Scotland. Lancelot joins Arthur’s army there and spends his first night in Guinevere’s chambers. While trying to free Arthur from a Saxon prison, Lancelot is captured. He goes mad but is cured by the Lady of the Lake, who approves of his romance with Guinevere. With Lancelot’s help, Arthur drives away the Saxons.
   Lancelot breaks with Arthur when Arthur recognizes Guinevere the False as the true queen. Eventually, they are reconciled. Lancelot liberates the prisoners of Morgan le Fay’s Valley of No Return. He is imprisoned by Morgan le Fay but is allowed to leave on furlough. He kills Caradoc and liberates the Dolorous Tower. Lancelot returns to Morgan’s prison but is eventually released. When he arrives at Arthur’s court, he finds that Galehaut, believing him dead, has died of sorrow. Lancelot has him buried in Joyous Guard (the re-named Dolorous Guard).
   Meleagant abducts Guinevere and Lancelot rescues her in the manner described by Chrétien de Troyes.
   Lancelot visits Corbenic, the Grail Castle, and rescues Amite, King Pelles’s daughter, from an enchanted boiling bath. Pelles, knowing that Lancelot will father Galahad, gets him drunk and convinces him that Guinevere is waiting for him at Case Castle. Lancelot goes to the castle and sleeps with Amite, believing her to be Guinevere. Galahad is conceived.
   Lancelot enjoys many further adventures with his cousin Lionel as his squire. He helps Arthur expel King Claudas from Gaul. At Camelot, he is again tricked into bed with Amite. Guinevere discovers the tryst and banishes Lancelot from her sight. Lancelot goes mad and runs into the forest. He lives like a wild man, attacking everyone he comes across. He is taken in by King Bliant of the White Castle and stays with him for two years. Eventually, he wanders to Corbenic, and King Pelles heals him with the Grail. Lancelot returns to Camelot and is reunited and reconciled with Guinevere.
   The Grail Quest begins. Galahad arrives at court and is knigthed by Lancelot. During the adventure, Galahad overthrows his father. Lancelot confesses his sins to a hermit and promises to end his affair with Guinevere and to preform acts of penance. Despite his virtue, Lancelot is unable to succeed in the quest because of his sin with Guinevere and because he is unable to renounce his chivalric values in favor of spiritual ones. However, he is allowed a vision of Galahad, Perceval, and Bors completing the quest. When he tries to approach the Grail, he is knocked unconscious. When he awakens twenty-four days later, the quest is over.
   Lancelot forgets or ignores his promise and begins his affair with Guinevere anew. They quarrel briefly when Guinevere believes that that Lancelot loves the lady of Escalot. Lancelot defends Guinevere against a murder charge brought by Mador of the Gate and is victorious. The lovers conduct themselves indiscreetly, and Arthur suspects their infidelity. While Arthur is hunting, Agravain and Mordred rouse a band of knights and catch Lancelot and Guinevere in flagrante. Lancelot fights his way free and promises to return if Guinevere is sentenced to execution. Many of Arthur’s knights, most of them Lancelot’s kin, defect along with Lancelot.
   Arthur sentences Guinevere to be burned at the stake. Lancelot shows up with his knights and rescues her. Many of Arthur’s knights fall, including Gaheris and Gareth, Gawain’s brothers. Lancelot takes Guinevere to Joyous Guard, and Arthur, egged on by a vengeful Gawain, pursues them. The pope intervenes and forces Arthur to take Guinevere back. Lancelot returns her and departs for the continent. Gawain urges Arthur to war, and Arthur crosses to France and besieges Lancelot in Benoic. Lancelot offers to go into exile for ten years if he can rejoin Arthur’s court when he returns. Gawain rejects the proposal and demands single combat against Lancelot. The two knights meet, and Gawain receives a serious wound.
   The Romans invade Gaul, and Arthur abandons Benoic to fight them. Then Mordred usurps the British throne. Arthur’s forces return to Britain. Gawain dies from his head wound after forgiving Lancelot on his death bed. Mordred and Arthur meet in battle and both are killed. Guinevere enters a convent and dies.
   Lancelot returns to Britain to deal with Mordred’s sons. He kills them in battle, then joins the Archbishop of Canterbury, his cousin Bleoberis, and his brother Hector in a hermitage. Lancelot dies after several years and is buried in Joyous Guard next to Galehaut. According to Malory, Lancelot died in the Odor of Sanctity. The Post-Vulgate Mort Artu says that King Mark of Cornwall disinterred Lancelot’s body and destroyed it.
   Lancelot was a French hero, and as the heyday of French Arthurian romance began to wane, so did the character. The Post-Vulgate Cycle (c. 1235) eliminates the Vulgate’s Lancelot and reduces Lancelot’s importance in the Grail legend. French romances throughout the remainder of the thirteenth century returned their focus to Gawain and a spattering of new Arthurian knights. (Les Merveilles de Rigomer, one romance that does include Lancelot in some detail, has him fail in his quest to conquer Rigomer Castle; Gawain succeeds.) Italian authors wrote about him through the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in La Tavola Ritonda and a number of cantares, but their influence did not reach France or England. Other than the Italian texts, between the Post-Vulgate Cycle and Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, the only significant text to feature Lancelot was the Stanzaic Le Morte Arthur (c. 1400), which recounts the downfall of Arthur’s kingdom and Lancelot’s involvement as in the Vulgate Mort Artu. Middle English romance almost excludes Lancelot completely, focusing on Gawain as the embodiment of chivalry, courtliness, and valor.
   Malory’s Le Morte Darthur was responsible for Lancelot’s revival. By bringing the love triangle to the forefront, by making Lancelot Arthur’s best friend as well as his greatest knight, and by humanizing the character, Malory guaranteed Lancelot’s enduring fame. [ChretienE, ChretienC, ChretienL, UlrichZ, Perlesvaus, LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgQuest, VulgMort, ProsTris, PostMer, PostQuest, PostMort, Merveil, Stanz, Tavola, Chantari, Allit, Malory, LancLaik, Povest, TennIK]
Relations:  Lancelot’s family, wives, and kinsmen are named below. More information can be found under their respective entries.
   Father: Ban of Benoic, Domorot of Lokva, Haud of Schuwake, Pant of Genewis
   Mother: Clarine, Elaine, Gostanza
   Wives and Lovers: Ade, Amite, Elaine, Guinevere, Iblis, Janphie, Martha, queen of Pluris
   Children: unnamed maiden of Corbania, Galahad, Galec, unnamed son of Martha
   Brother: Hector of the Fens
See Also: Ban, Benoic, Claudus, Dolorous Guard, Elaine, Escalot, Galahad, Galehaut, Guinevere, Joyous Guard, Lady of the Lake, Lionel, Meleagant, Melehan


The grandfather of Lancelot of the Lake. Descended from Nascien, he was the son of Jonah and the father of Kings Ban (Lancelot of the Lake’s father), Bors, and Guinebaus. Born the heir to Gaul, he doubled his kingdom by marrying the daughter of the King of Ireland. While drinking from a chapel fountain one day, his cousin, the Duke of the White Fortress, who was also the husband of King Lancelot’s mistress, sneaked up behind him and beheaded him, sending his head into the fountain. The fountain boiled, burning the Duke, and continued to boil until the Grail Quest, when Galahad put his hand into the fountain. Lancelot of the Lake found his grandfather’s body and buried it next to his grandmother’s. [VulgLanc, VulgQuest, VulgEst, Malory]


One of Arthur’s knight. [Tavola]

Lancien [Lantayn, Lencien]

A city in Cornwall where King Mark often held court in Béroul’s Tristan. It was the home of the leper Ivain. In the Fourth Continuation of Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval, Mark holds a tournament in Lancien against the King with a Hundred Knights. In this day, the name belongs to a forest and a farm in Cornwall, near the River Fowey. [Beroul, Contin4]

Land Beyond the Borders of Galone

A northern land in rebellion against Arthur in the early days of his reign. The King of the Land Beyond the Borders of Galone was joined in his rebellion by King Aguissant of Scotland and King Yon of Little Ireland. Arthur defeated all of them. The King later joined forces with the King with a Hundred Knights and resumed the war; again, he was defeated. He became the vassal of the lord Galehaut and joined Galehaut in his war against Arthur, but was defeated a third time when Galehaut—through the design of Lancelot—yielded to Arthur. [LancLac, VulgLanc]

Land From Which No One Returns

The kingdom ruled by King Gundebald in Meriadoc. It was a lake of tar with an island of solid ground in the center. Unwary visitors often sank into the pit, giving the land its name. King Meriadoc of Wales journeyed to the Land From Which No One Returns and defeated Gundebald there. [Historia]

Land of Giants

A country on the border of Gorre. The Castle Passing marked the border. [VulgLanc]

Land of Maidens

During an episode in Diu Crône, Gawain lodges at the castle of Rohur in the Land of Maidens. [Heinrich]

Land of the Horn [*Landes del Cor]

The area ruled by the Lord of the Horn, who was defeated by Perceval. It contained the Castle of the Horn. [Contin2]

Land that Tristan Freed

A name for the valley or island of Servage, after Tristan killed Nabon the Black, the evil giant who ruled it. Its lord was Sir Sagremor. [ProsTris]


A Saxon warrior who participated in the Saxon invasion of Britain at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. He commanded three galleys upon which a handful of Saxons escaped Arthur’s Saxon slaughter at Clarence. [VulgMer]

Landemore [Landesmores, Landemeure]

A Scottish castle and land found in several French romances. In Guillaume le Clerc’s Fergus, Perceval hunts a white stag in the region. In Gliglois, it us the home castle of Beauté, a maiden loved by both Gawain and his squire, Gliglois. At Beauté’s request, Gliglois was knighted at Landemore, and he became lord of the castle upon marrying her. Both Meraugis de Portlesguez and La Vengeance Raguidel mention a Lady of Landemore, present at several tournaments. All texts may refer to a series of foothills south of the Firth of Forth known as the Lammermoor Hills. [Raoul, Vengeance, Guillaume, Gliglois]

Landens of Carmelie [Laudons]

A Knight of the Round Table wounded fighting the Saxons at the battle of Clarence. [VulgMer, Livre]


A knight defeated by Erec in a tournament. [HartmannE]


An Irish city where Sir Durmat won a sparrowhawk tournament for Queen Fenise of Ireland. The expected victor, Lord Cadroain, loved Lady Idain of Landoc. [Durmart]


The daughter of the King with a Hundred Knights. Near Penning, Landoine and her brother, Maranz, were saved from a pack of ruffians by Sir Bors. [VulgEst]


A nobleman in the service of King Argestes, who ruled Camelot in the time of Joseph of Arimathea. An evil man, Landoine helped Argestes force the Christians in Camelot to revert to paganism. [VulgEst]


A Saxon warrior killed by King Bors at the battle of Carhaix. [VulgMer]


A forest through which Sir Bors traveled on his way to an adventure at Hungerford Castle. [VulgLanc]

Landreas [Landon, Laudon]

A knight from Carmelide who served Arthur in the war against King Rions. He led an echelon of soldiers at the battle of Aneblayse. Landreas was the nephew of the seneschal of Leodegan of Carmelide. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Landres of Lyonesse

One of Tristan’s uncles, killed while helping Tristan and Lancelot defend Joyous Guard against Arthur. [Tavola]

Landrie [Siandre]

In Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, Galaida, Kay’s beloved, is called the sister of Duchess Leimas and the Duke of Landrie. [Heinrich]


A knight who brought word to Arthur that King Mark of Cornwall had been overthrown and that the land was without a ruler. Elsewhere, he is said to be king of the Red City. [Palamedes, ProsTris]


A Knight of the Round Table, related to Lancelot, who participated in the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]


A location in southwest Scotland, probably in the country of Galloway. After Sir Galleron and Sir Gawain fought each other to a draw, Gawain, in admiration, gave all the lands “from Laner to Layre” to Galleron. The lands had originally belonged to Galleron but were annexed by Arthur and given to Gawain. [Awntyrs]


A niece of Arthur’s who, to revenge an infidelity accusation made by Guinevere, sent a magical chastity mantel to Arthur’s court. The mantle proved Guinevere adulterous. [Lanethen]


A knight slain by Arthur’s Sir Suziano of the Valiant Heart while guarding a bridge. Lanfate’s fiancee, Losanna, convinced Suziano to assume the post for a year. [Tavola]


A duke in Arthur’s service, present at the wedding of Erec and Enide. [Erex]


A castle whose lord imprisoned Sir Dodinel after finding him lying by a river, half-drowned. Sir Hector eventually killed the lord and freed Dodinel. [VulgLanc]


A city near the vale of Soissons, in which Arthur fought his epic final battle against Lucius’s Romans. [GeoffHR, VulgMer]

Languedoc [Langueduk]

A region in south France owned by Lancelot. Lancelot made Sir Safir the earl of Languedoc in return for Safir’s support in the battles against King Arthur. It was also the home of Sir Phelot. [Malory]

Laniure of Serre

A lord once defeated in combat by Gawain in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône. When he died, his daughters, Amurfina and Sgoidamur, vied for a magic bridle which gave the owner the rights to Serre. Gawain eventually settled the matter in Sgoidamur’s favor, though he married Amurfina. H. Sparnaay notes that the corresponding character in Chrétien de Troyes’s Yvain is called “li sire de la Noire Espine,” or the Lord of the Black Thorn (Loomis, Romance, 441). [Heinrich]


Son of Febus and Florine, and brother of Argons, Niatar, Altan, and Siraouc. [Palamedes]

Lanois of Ziebe

A king in Arthur’s service. [Heinrich]


A Saxon duke of Batingues who, with many other Saxon rulers, invaded northern Britain at the beginning at Arthur’s reign. He led a battalion at the battle of Clarence, was defeated by Arthur’s forces, and fled to the sea. [VulgMer]


An abbey in Logres where the King with a Hundred Knights had the heads of Bagotta and Brunoro (Galehaut’s parents) buried after they were slain by Tristan. [Tavola]


In Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, the queen of Lanphuht is one of several ladies at Arthur’s court to fail a chastity test involving a goblet. [Heinrich]


Tristan’s squire, whose name was changed from Alcardo when Tristan knighted him. He was Isolde’s cousin. He accompanied Tristan on his adventures in Logres. He was slain when King Mark of Cornwall besieged the castle of Joyous Guard to reclaim Isolde from Tristan. [Tavola]

Lanval1 [Lam(be)well, Landevale, Landevall, Lanfal, Launfal(le), Lenval, Linval]

The hero of several poems and lays, beginning with Marie de France’s Lanval (late twelfth century). Curiously, he does not appear in any of the chronicles or cycles, save one mention in the Vulgate Merlin as a knight who fights in a tournament at Carhaix. Marie’s Lanval, or its source, was adapted in the early fourteenth century as Sir Landeval, by Thomas Chestre in the late fourteenth century as Sir Launfal, and in the sixteenth century as Sir Lambewell and Sir Lamwell.
   Lanval was a gracious and generous knight who was appointed as “steward” of Arthur’s other knights. Lanval disliked Queen Guinevere for her numerous infidelities, and she overtly returned the disdain. He made an excuse to leave Arthur’s court and went to Caerleon, where he lived for a year but fell into debt. Eventually, he became so poor and depraved that everyone in Caerleon made fun of him, and he left Caerleon to seek adventures. He came upon a pavilion in a forest where he met a beautiful and mysterious maiden named Triamour, and he immediately fell in love with her. Triamour gave him a horse, a servant, a banner, an unlimited amount of gold, a suit of armor, and an enchantment which insured that Lanval would not be harmed in joust or duel. In return, Lanval had to love Triamour exclusively, and had to agree not to tell anyone about their relationship. When Lanval returned to Caerleon rich and powerful, he suddenly found himself with a lot of friends. A tournament was held in his honor, which he won. A knight in Lombardy named Valentyne heard of Lanval’s prowess and offered a joust; Lanval traveled to the city of Atalye in Lombardy and killed Valentyne. Throughout all of these adventures, Lanval continued his relationship with Triamour, whom he had to meet in secret.
   Eventually, Arthur heard of his knight’s adventures and asked him to come back to court. Lanval complied and returned to merriment at Arthur’s court in Cardiff. While he was there, Queen Guinevere tried to seduce him. Lanval rebuked her advances and said that he loved a fairy woman whose ugliest servant was more beautiful than Guinevere. Guinevere, furious, went to Arthur, told of Lanval’s boast, and said that Lanval had made advances on her. Arthur swore to kill Lanval. Meanwhile, all of the items and enchantments that Lanval had received from Triamour disappeared, as he had broken his promise by telling Guinevere of his love for the enchantress. Arthur captured Lanval and set up a royal court to judge the knight, but the court decided that Guinevere was probably at fault. They said that Lanval simply had to bring his lover to the court and prove her existence; otherwise, he would have to be hanged. They gave him a year and two weeks to find Triamour and bring her back to Cardiff.
   Lanval was unable to find Triamour in the given time. When he returned to Cardiff, Arthur demanded that he be hanged, but members of his court argued instead that Lanval should be sent into exile. As they debated, Triamour arrived at court with her servants, and their radiant beauty proved that Lanval’s claim had been a true one. Lanval and Triamour left together for Triamour’s land, where they lived happily ever after.
   Lanval’s story was grafted onto another knight in the non-Arthurian Breton lay of Graelent, and to Gawain in the Italian La Pulzella Gaia. Echoes of the tale appear in Der Pleier’s Meleranz. [MarieL, VulgMer, Stricker, ChestreLvl, SirLand, SirLamb]


In the Hebrew Melekh Artus, the lord of Astolat, father of Edelpert, Karavoç, and presumably—though she is not named in the text—Elaine. This character appears unnamed in the Vulgate Mort Artu and as Bernard in Malory. The author may have adopted the name from the popular French hero. [Melekh]


A city near the Roevent forest, where Sir Bors rescued his former tutor, Lambegue, from an unjust execution. [VulgLanc]

Lanvernis [Lanerv]

A city in Scotland, near Caranges, ruled by King Aguisant and plundered by Saxons in the early days of Arthur’s reign. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Lanverunz [Lanveranz]

In Wolfram’s Parzival, a land ruled in Arthur’s time by Duke Astor. The name is given to the duke himself in one instance, probably a mistake. [Wolfram]


A knight from Greenland who served as a page to Ampflise, the Queen of France. He was sent to Wales by Ampflise—along with Liadarz and Liahturteltart—to woo Gahmuret (Perceval’s father) back to France. Gahmuret, however, married Herzeloyde, the Queen of Wales. [Wolfram]

Lapsit Exillis

A Latin-sounding name given to the Grail in Wolfram’s Parzival. Its meaning is uncertain, though “valueless stone” and “small stone” have been suggested. There is probably some connection with lapis exilir, the philosopher’s stone. [Wolfram]

Laquis of Lampagrés

A knight who was defeated and maimed by the Formidable Knight. In response, Meraugis of Portlesguez, Laquis’s companion, killed the Formidable Knight and brought his severed hand to Laquis. [Raoul]


King of Korntin, husband of Queen Amire, and father of Lamire. He was killed by King Roaz of Glois, who seized his land and drove his family into exile. Lar’s ghost, sometimes in the form of a beast, wandered Korntin for ten years, until Wigalois (Gawain’s son) arrived to destroy Roaz. Lar guided Wigalois through Korntin and told him of a horrible dragon named Pfetan that needed to be vanquished. Lar provided Wigalois with a magic lance to accomplish this feat. Lar also revealed that Gawain was Wigalois’s father. Wigalois eventually avenged Lar’s death and allowed his spirit to rest. Lar’s brother, Garez, was a king of Libya. [Wirnt]


A knight who fought for the rebellious kings at the Battle of Bedegraine. [Malory]


The unchaste mother of Suziano, one of Arthur’s knights. By seducing two kings, Esclabor and Amorotto, she came to possess the rich cities of Tarsena and Latinale. [Tavola]


In Wirnt von Grafenberg’s Wigalois, the daughter of King Lar and Queen Amire of Korntin. Her father was killed by King Roaz of Glois, who drove Larie and her mother to the border of their own kingdom. She was raised in the castle of Roimunt and was promised to any knight who could vanquish Roaz. Wigalois (Gawain’s son), answering the challenge, fell in love with Larie at first sight. After Wigalois killed Roaz, he and Larie were married. They happily and justly ruled Korntin for the rest of their days, and had a valiant son named Gawanides. Larie’s counterpart in Renaut de Bâgé’s The Fair Unknown is Esmeree the Blonde. [Wirnt]

Laris [Lairis, Larris, Larys, Layris]

One of the heroes of Claris et Laris. An Arthurian knight, he was the son of Emperor Henry of Germany and the best friend of Claris. He fell in love with Marine, sister of Yvain and daughter of King Urien. This enraged his previous paramour, the fairy Madoine, with whom Laris already had a child. Madoine imprisoned Laris, but Claris rescued him. With Claris and Arthur, Laris saved Urien from a siege by King Tallas of Denmark, another of Marine’s suitors, but Laris was captured and imprisoned by Tallas. Merlin guided Arthur’s Sir Brandaliz to Laris’s prison, and Brandaliz freed him. Laris married Marine and became the king of Denmark, which Arthur had stripped from Tallas. Laris’s sister, Lidoine, married Claris. [Claris]

Lasancis [Lansansissa]

Brother of Escorducarla, a sorceress whose daughter was slain by Arthur. To revenge herself on the king, Escorducarla gave Lascancis enchanted weapons and armor, and told him to go to Arthur’s court. Lasancis planned to defeat each knight, including Arthur, place them in a prison, and burn the prison. Tristan, the last knight to face Lasancis, managed to steal his magic lance and to overcome his magic armor with a heavy mace. Lasancis surrendered and was imprisoned for the rest of his life. [Tavola, Cantare]


The second son of Gornemant, Perceval’s tutor. He was a count. Lascoyt was killed by Yder in a sparrowhawk tournament. [Wolfram]

Last Supper

According to later Grail tradition, beginning with the texts of Robert de Boron, the Grail was the chalice or dish used by Christ at the Last Supper (and later used by Joseph of Arimathea to catch Christ’s blood on the Cross). Biblical tradition holds that Christ and his disciples used a round table for the Last Supper, which inspired Joseph’s Grail Table and Arthur’s Round Table. [RobertBorJ, VulgQuest, VulgEst]


A rich city given to Largina by King Amorotto, her lover. [Tavola]


Queen of Averre, which she inherited from King Avenis and Queen Anfole. She had a sister named Anfole. Her land and castle, Muntrogin, were terrorized by a horrible demon called Vulganus. She was saved by Arthur’s Sir Garel, whom she married. [PleierG]


A lake on the border of Ordohorht, where Gawain visited Lady Fortune. [Heinrich]

Laudine [Analida, Alundyne]

The Lady of the Fountain who became Yvain’s wife after Yvain killed her husband, Esclados. She is first mentioned in Chrétien de Troyes’s Yvain. She was the daughter of Laudunet. She married her husband’s killer to ensure that her lands would be protected. When Yvain stayed away from her for over a year, she renounced him. After a series of adventures, Yvain was able to return to her favor. According to Heinrich von dem Türlin, she later failed a chastity test at Arthur’s court. [ChretienY, HartmannI, Heinrich, Ywain]

Laudon of Ronnes

A knight to whom Sagremor gave a castle that he had conquered from Sir Greomar. Arthur called the castle the Castle of Laides. Laudon’s lover was named Helyap. [Livre]

Laudunal of Pleyedunze

A lord defeated in combat by Perceval. [Wolfram]

Laudunet [Landuit]

Father of Laudine, Yvain’s wife, in Chrétien’s Yvain. The Middle-English Ywain and Gawain, he is called the Duke of Landuit. Chrétien’s version may refer to Lothian in Scotland. [ChretienY, Ivens, Ywain]

Launceor [Lanceor]

A knight from Ireland who served Arthur. He left Arthur’s court to avenge the death of the Lady of the Lake on Sir Balin, who had beheaded her. Balin killed him in the joust, leading Launceor’s lover, Lione or Colombe, to kill herself in sorrow. King Mark of Cornwall had the lovers entombed, and erected a monument to their tragic tale. Tristan and Lancelot later fought a fierce duel at Launceor’s tomb. [PostMer, Malory]


A region of France owned by Lancelot. Lancelot made Sir Bellangere the earl of the Laundes in return for Bellangere’s support in the battles against King Arthur. [Malory]


Agravain’s wife. She married Agravain at the same time her aunts, Lyones and Lynet, married Gareth and Gaheris. [Malory]


A lake in Switzerland where Arthur slew a devil cat, at the Hill of the Cat. [VulgMer]

Lavaine [Lavayne]

Son of the Bernard of Escalot and brother of Sir Tirre and the lady Elaine. He became a companion of Lancelot during the tournaments at Camelot and followed the knight faithfully, even after his sister died for Lancelot’s love. Lavaine married Felelolye, the sister of Urry. Arthur assigned him to the Round Table, but he defected from Arthur’s court when Lancelot rescued Guinevere from the stake. In return for his support, Lancelot made him earl of Armagnac. [Malory, TennIK]


The duke of Laval was slain by Sir Morholt. The duke’s son, in revenge, later nearly killed Morholt. [PostMer]


The sister of Medea, the lecherous queen of Crudele castle. Her other sisters included Agnena, Bresenda, and Pulizena. [Tavola]


A British castle, said to be about sixty-five miles from Camelot. Lancelot and the Lady of the Lake lodged there on their way to Arthur’s court, where Lancelot was to be knighted. [LancLac, VulgLanc]


A Welsh variation of Lancelot.

Lay of Joy

A song composed by the ladies of Brandigan, telling of the victory of Erec at the Joy of the Court adventure. [ChretienE]

Lay of Tears1 [*Lai de Plors]

A story of Joseph of Arimathea’s encounter with Orpheus the Enchanter, played to Sir Bors on his first visit to Corbenic. [VulgLanc]

Lay of Tears2 [*Lai de Plors]

A story written by Tristan after he was poisoned during his fight with Morholt. [ProsTris]

Lay of the Love Potion

A story written by Tristan about the potion taken by Tristan and Isolde. [ProsTris]


A location in southwest Scotland, probably in the country of Galloway. After Sir Galleron and Sir Gawain fought each other to a draw, Gawain, in admiration, gave all the lands “from Laner to Layre” to Galleron. The lands had originally belonged to Galleron and were annexed by Arthur and given to Gawain. [Awntyrs]

Lazaliez1 [Lazeliez]

Great-great-grandfather of Perceval, father of Addanz, and uncle of Uther Pendragon. His brother was named Brickus. His parents, Mazadan and Terdelaschoye, were both fairies. [Wolfram]


The son of Meleranz (Arthur’s nephew) and Queen Tydomie of Karmerie. He had a brother named Medanz and a sister named Olimpia. [PleierM]


A Knight of the Round Table. [HartmannE]

Le Mans

A city in west central France. Arthur gave it to his knight Borel to rule. [Wace]


Son of the Red Knight, brother of Evander, Meliadas, and Marmadus, and husband of Ysmaine. Leander’s father was killed by Perceval. Leander fought with Perceval twice to avenge his father’s death. Pereceval defeated him, and Leander and his brothers forgave Perceval. [Wace]


The tragic king made famous by Shakespeare first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae. He succeeded his father, King Bladud, to the throne of Britain in the ninth century BC. He fathered three daughters: Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. In trying to determine how to divide his kingdom among them, he asked each of them how much they loved him. Only Cordelia gave an honest answer, which Lear interpreted as insulting. Lear married Cordelia without a dowry to King Aganippus of Gaul. and divided Britain between his other daughters, marrying them to regional noblemen. Goneril, Regan, and their husbands dispossessed, ill-treated, and humiliated Lear, making him realize how foolish he had been to exile Cordelia. Eventually, he traveled to France and reconciled with his faithful daughter. Lear, Cordelia, and Aganippus roused soldiers from Gaul, led them into Britain, and reclaimed the island from the evil sisters. Lear died after three years, leaving the island to Cordelia. [GeoffHR]


The name given by Heinrich von dem Türlin to a maiden at Arthur’s court who could not laugh until she beheld the best of knights. When Perceval arrived at court, she broke into gales of laughter, foretelling Perceval’s successes. Wolfram von Eschenbach calls her Cunneware, the Post-Vulgate names her the Mute Maiden, and she appears in Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval unnamed. [Heinrich]


A Roman general who served Emperor Lucius. [GeoffVM]

Leicester [Leyccer]

A city in central England, governed by Earl Jugein under King Arthur. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]

Leidebron of Redunzehte

A duke once defeated in combat by Perceval. [Wolfram]


Count of Sorgarda. He threw a tournament at his castle to decide who would marry his daughter, Flursensephin. Gawain won the tournament but declined to wed the maiden. At his suggestion, Flursensephin was awarded to Sir Quoikos, a friend of Gawain. Analogs to Leigamar appear in Chrétien’s Perceval as Tiebaut and in Wolfram’s Parzival as Lyppaut. [Heinrich]


A maiden for whom Gawain endured great peril by plucking Lady Fortune’s flowers on the plain of Colurment. Gawain relates this episode during a speech in in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, but the adventure is not found in existing texts. [Heinrich]


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the tenth century BC. He was the son of King Brute Greenshield and the father of King Hudibras. The city of Carlisle (Caer Leil) was named after him. [GeoffHR]

Leimas of Liandre

The sister of Galaida, Kay’s beloved. [Heinrich]

Lelas of Ruvho

A Knight of the Round Table, related to Lancelot, who embarked with the others on the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]

Lellius of Hostia

A Roman warrior who led a force of soldiers under against Arthur at the Battle of Soissons. [GeoffHR]


The homeland of Arthur’s Sir Wigamur, ruled by Wigamur’s father, King Paldriot. [Wigamur]


A region of southwest Scotland. It originally belonged to Sir Galleron, but Arthur annexed it and gave it to Gawain. Galleron arrived at a feast and challenged Gawain for ownership of the land. The fight ended in a draw, but Gawain graciously returned the country to Galleron anyway. [Awntyrs]

Lenomie of Alexandria

Guinevere’s sister in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône. She was a queen. She had another sister named Flori. [Heinrich]

Leo [Leomye]

The Emperor of Rome during Arthur’s reign, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth. Leo had appointed Frollo the ruler of Gaul. Leo commissioned Lucius Hiberius to lead the war against Arthur. After Arthur defeated and killed Lucius, he planned to march on Leo in Rome, but he was recalled to Britain to deal with Mordred’s rebellion. A historical Emperor Leo I ruled the eastern empire (Constantinople) between 457 and 473. Another Leo ruled in 474. Pierre de Langtoft calls him Pope rather than Emperor, referring to St. Leo I, who held the papacy from 440 to 461. Most chronicles drop Leo and make Lucius the emperor of Rome. In the Alliterative Morte Arthure, Leo becomes Lucius’s soldier rather than his superior. [GeoffHR, Pierre, Allit]


One of the many Saxon kings who invaded Britain in the early days of Arthur’s reign. [VulgMer, Arthour]

Leodegan [Ladugan, Leodegan(e)s, Leodegar, Leodegon, Leodegran(ce), Lodegreance]

Guinevere’s father. He was the king of Carmelide. His earliest existing mention is in the Prose Lancelot, though he may be identical to Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Leodegar. At the beginning of Arthur’s reign, Leodegan was attacked by the forces of King Rions, a Saxon giant. Arthur, Merlin, King Ban of Benoic, and King Bors of Gannes journeyed to Carmelide and, incognito, offered their assistance to Leodegan. The combined forces of the kings led to the defeat of Rions at Carhaix and Aneblayse, two of Leodegan’s cities. Arthur revealed his identity to Leodegan, who offered him Guinevere. Leodegan had also fathered the False Guinevere on the wife of his seneschal, Cleodalis, and he had a son who was killed in combat. Leodegan’s enemies tried to replace Guinevere with the False Guinevere on Arthur’s wedding night, but Arthur’s knights thwarted the plot. As a wedding present, Leodegan gave Arthur the Round Table and one hundred knights, which he had acquired from Uther Pendragon. He died soon after his daughter’s marriage. In Tennyson, he is named as the brother of Urien, who besieges his kingdom in place Rions. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, PostMer, Palamedes, Arthour, Malory, TennIK]

Leodegar [Laeyer, Leger, Lier, Ligier]

Earl of Boulogne or Burgundy, or both, under Arthur. He assisted Arthur in the war against Rome. At the battle of Soissons, he killed the Babylonian king Micipsa, and was killed either by Micipsa or by Micipsa’s son, Gecron. Arthur had him buried in Boulogne. He may be identical with Leodegan, Guinevere’s father in French romance. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]

Leolin [Leonin, Joelin]

Father of Maximus the Great, the British king who became the Roman Emperor. Leolin helped Constantine the Great conquer Rome and shared the duties as co-emperor. [GeoffHR, Wace]

Leonce [Leonche, Lyonses]

A nobleman from Paierne in the service of King Ban of Benoic and King Bors of Gannes. Leonce was awarded the stewardship of Benoic when Ban and Bors left to join Arthur’s war against the rebellious kings. Leonce visited Britain briefly to join Arthur’s forces in the Bedegraine battle, and he later returned to help fight the Saxons. When Benoic and Gannes were seized by Claudas, Leonce entered into an uncomfortable service with his masters’ enemy. He brought comfort to the people of Gannes by reporting that its princes, Bors and Lionel, were safe in the care of the Lady of the Lake. [LancLac, VulgLanc, Livre, Arthour, Malory]

Leonelle [Leonele]

The worthy wife of Blair, a vavasor in Carmelide. The couple lodged Arthur and Merlin during one of their visits to Leodegan’s kingdom. [VulgMer, Arthour]


An Arthurian knight who joined Gawain’s quest to conquer Rigomer Castle. [Merveil]


A field near the Welsh city of Kanvoleis. Gahmuret, Perceval’s father, set up his pavilion on Leoplane before a tournament thrown by Queen Herzeloyde. [Wolfram]


A castle on the Plain of Bucifalaso. Dispute over ownership of the castle sparked a war between King Amoroldo of Ireland and King Alois of North Wales. A battle between Tristan and Lancelot was supposed to decide the outcome, but Arthur intervened and the battle never took place. [Tavola]

Lermebion of Jarbes

A Knight of the Round Table. [HartmannE]


A Knight of the Round Table who was the son of Gain. [HartmannE]


A cave woman who abducted the infant Wigamur (later an Arthurian knight) from his father, King Paldriot. She reared Wigamur until he was stolen from her by a sea monster. [Wigamur]


A castle where, during the Grail Quest, a rally was held against the Knights of the Round Table. Tristan unwittingly arrived in the middle of it, killed the king’s brother, and was set upon by 100 knights. Palamedes and Galahad arrived, rescued him, and humbled the king. [PostQuest]


A bold Knight of the Round Table. [HartmannE]


The lady of the castle of Rohur in the Land of Maidens. She lodged Gawain before the great tournament at Sorgarda. [Heinrich]

Leverzep [Leverzerp, Lonazep, Lonezep, Lovezeph, Lovezerp, Verzeppe]

A castle in the forest of Breckham, along the Humber River. In the Prose Lancelot, it is the site of a battle between the duke of Cambenic and the king of North Wales. Gawain participated, fighting for Cambenic, and decided the battle. Arthur later gave the castle to a maiden who brought him news of Lancelot. The Prose Tristan and Malory relate a tournament held by Arthur at the castle, which was won by Tristan and Lancelot, with Palamedes earning distinction. Events at the tournament led to a rift between Tristan and Palamedes. La Tavola Ritonda says that hundreds of knights were slain at the tournament, keeping it from becoming the greatest tournament in history. Afterwards, Arthur vowed not to allow swords at further tournaments. Statues of Palamedes, Tristan, Lancelot, Amoroldo, and Galahad were erected in front of the castle. Hundreds of years later, the location was visited by Charlemagne. [LancLac, VulgLanc, ProsTris, Tavola, Malory]


An Arthurian knight slain during the Roman War by the King of Lybia. [Allit]

Li Gweiz Prelljus

In Wolfram’s Parzival, a ford on the river Sabins in the land of King Gramoflanz. At the behest of Duchess Orgeluse of Logres, whom he loved, Gawain went to Li Gweiz Prelljus and took a garland from one of Gramoflanz’s trees, sparking a feud between the two knights. The name of the ford is a corruption of le Gué Perellous, or the Perilous Ford, found in Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval. [Wolfram]


A page to Queen Ampflise of France. He was the son of Count Schiolarz. He was sent to Wales by Ampflise—along with Lanzidant and Liahturteltart—to woo Perceval’s father Gahmuret back to France; Gahmuret, however, married Herzeloyde, the Queen of Wales. [Wolfram]


A page to Queen Ampflise of France. He was the son two fairies named Beaflurs and Pansamurs. He was sent to Wales by Ampflise—along with Lanzidant and Liadarz—to woo Perceval’s father Gahmuret back to France; Gahmuret, however, married Herzeloyde, the Queen of Wales. [Wolfram]


The Queen of Libya, the wife of King Amire, and the daughter of King Garez. She was coveted by a neighboring lord, Prince Lion of Namur. Lion killed Amire and tried to court Liamere. Liamere, however, soon perished in sorrow for her dead husband. The deaths of Amire and Liamere were avenged by Wigalois (Gawain’s son), who killed Lion. [Wirnt]


A Knight of the Round Table and former subject of Erec, who left Destregales to become the Count of Karneis. He was imprisoned by Duke Eskilabon of Belamunt and freed by Arthur’s Sir Garel. [PleierG]


A desert in Cornwall which contained the Fountain of the Lion. King Mark of Cornwall killed his brother Pernehan at the fountain. [ProsTris, Tavola]


A handsome count from Cornwall and a page to Gawain. His father’s name was Tinas. [Wolfram]


The daughter of Perceval’s tutor Gornemant, and the sister of Schenteflurs, Lascoyt, and Gurzgri. Gornemant wanted Perceval to marry her, but Perceval declined. After leaving, Perceval’s mind dwelt on her for a time, but he promptly forgot her upon meeting Condwiramurs, his future wife. [Wolfram]


Daughter of King Ban of Benoic and Sade, and sister of Lancelot. Pendragon, Arthur’s uncle, visited her with the aid of a devil and fathered two chilren upon her. [Butor]


Step-mother of Prince Alexander of India. She turned Alexander into the Crop-Eared Dog so that her son, the Knight of the Lantern, would inherit the kingdom. The Crop-Eared Dog received the assistance of Gawain and managed to undo the spell. [IrishD]


Count of Traverain and a vassal of Arthur. He is first mentioned by Chrétien de Troyes, but not named until Hartmann von Aue’s Erec. He came to the wedding of Erec and Enide. [HartmannE]


The King of Lorgan. He wanted to marry Queen Tydomie of Karmerie—a match which was sponsored by Tydomie’s uncle (and Libers’ brother-in-law), Malloas. When she refused, because of her love for Arthur’s nephew Meleranz, Libers invaded her lands. He was defeated by Meleranz, who arranged a marriage between Libers and Queen Dulceflur, Tydomie’s cousin. [PleierM]


A king who battled and killed an unnamed uncle of Perceval, forcing Perceval’s aunt into seclusion. [VulgQuest]


A famed knight from the city of Kesarija in the Serbo-Russian Povest’ o Tryshchane. His famous brothers were Igurn and Marko. He hadn’t lifted a lance in forty years when Lancelot and Tristan visited his city and demanded to sleep with his wife, Cvitazija, but he dutifully saddled up, swiftly defeated both knights at the same time, and let them go after slapping them each across the face. [Povest]

Libya [Lybia, Lyby]

The North African kingdom features in several Arthurian texts: Geoffrey of Monmouth says that Arthur killed King Sertorious of Libya, an ally of Lucius the Roman, during the Roman War. The Alliterative Morte Arthure says that this king was slain by Cador of Cornwall. In Wirnt von Grafenberg’s Wigalois, King Amire of Libya is murdered, but his death is avenged by Gawain’s son Wigalois. Finally, the Prose Lancelot features a mysterious beast called the “Crowned Lion of Libya” that was killed by Lionel. [GeoffHR, Wirnt, LancLac, VulgLanc, Allit, Malory]

Licanor the Great

A good knight born to a man and woman united by Bors during the Grail Quest. After Arthur’s death, Licanor slew Sir Meraugis. [PostQuest]

Licat Amr [Licat Anir]

The tomb to Amr, son of Arthur, near a fountain in Ercing. According to Nennius, Arthur buried Amr here after killing him. Every time someone measures the burial mound, Nennius claims, he measures a different length—“sometimes six, sometimes nine, sometimes twelve, sometimes fifteen feet.” [Nennius]

Licorant [Linconaus, Leconuials]

Husband of Tarsenesyde and father of Enid who had fallen into poverty in the town of Laluth. Licorant gave lodging and armor to Erec when Erec entered the town in search of the insolent warrior Yder. Erec fell in love with Enide and married her. In consideration of the marriage, Erec bestowed two castles upon Licorant—Roadan and Montrevel. Later, Licorant was overjoyed to see his daughter crowned Queen of Nantes. This version of his name is supplied by Chrétien de Troyes. The Welsh Owain calls him Niwl and Hartmann von Aue names him Koralus. I. L. Foster suggests that the name may be a corruption of li cons uials (“the old earl”) found in Chrétien’s lost source (Loomis, Romance, 193). [ChretienE]


A knight from whom Gawain saved the Lady Idain. In revenge, Licordion told the homicidal Maiden of the Narrow Wood where to locate Gawain. [Vengeance]


A knight killed in combat by Laris. Claris and Laris were helping Sir Caradoc protect his paramour from King Ladas, Sir Lidas’s liege. [Claris]


A duke and vassal of King Vergulaht of Ascalun. When Gawain committed an offense against Vergulaht, Liddamus argued for Gawain’s execution; when Vergulaht refused, Liddamus suggested transferring the obligation to search for the Grail (which had been laid upon Vergulaht by Perceval) from Vergulaht to Gawain, which Vergulaht did. [Wolfram]

Liddamus2 of Agrippe

An infidel count who served Feirefiz, Perceval’s half-brother in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival. [Wolfram]


A Scottish town and castle. In Welsh legend, the prophet Lailoken (identified with Merlin) supposedly went mad at a battle fought between Lidel and Carwannock. In Guillaume le Clerc’s Fergus, Arthur’s knight Fergus met Lady Galiene of Lothian, his future wife, while lodging at Lidel. There is an actual castle in Roxburghshire called Liddel. [Guillaume]


The beautiful daughter of the king of Escavalon, loved by two of Arthur’s knights: Meraugis of Portlesguez and Gorvain Cadrut. The former loved her for her personality, and the latter for her beauty. At the tournament of Lindesores, Guinevere ruled that Meraugis had the better claim to her. At Lidoine’s command, Meraugis then embarked on a series of adventures, accompanied by Lidoine, to prove himself worthy of her. They eventually became separated, and Meraugis was believed to have been killed. Lord Belchis tried to force her into marriage with Espinogres, his son, but Meraugis showed up in time to prevent the marriage and to claim Lidoine as his own. [Raoul]


Daughter of Emperor Henry of Germany, sister of Sir Laris, and cousin of Arthur. She married King Ladon of Gascony, but she was loved by Claris, Laris’s friend. When Ladon died, King Savari of Spain tried to force her into marriage by invading her lands and capturing her, but Claris rescued her, and Claris and Lidoine were wed. [Claris]


The squire of Eliezer, King Pelles’ son. He assisted his master in some early skirmishes against the Saxons. [VulgMer]


The castle ruled by Johfrit in Ulrich’s Lanzelet. It is probably related to Lis, a location often found in French texts. [UlrichZ]

Ligessauc [Ligessac]

A knight, the son of Eliman, who murdered three of Arthur’s knights. Arthur chased him down, but Ligessauc sought refuge in a church, where he was harbored by the beneficent Saint Cadoc for seven years. Eventually, Saints Cadoc, David, and Telio mediated with Arthur, who agreed to accept one hundred cows in payment for the deaths of his knights. Ligessauc appears in the Triads as one of the “Tree Seafarers of the Island of Britain.” [SaintsCad, Triads]


The chamberlain of Arthur’s Sir Yder. [Yder]


Daughter of Emperor Donísus of Saxony. She married Kalegras, Tristan’s son, and became Queen of England. She had two sons, Patrocles and Mórodd, and a daughter named Mollina. [SagaTI]

Limangin [Limados]

A duke from Camelot who, in Arthur’s service, led a battalion of soldiers in the second war against Claudas. [VulgLanc]

Limerick [Limeri]

The capital of Ireland in the French Durmart le Gallois. It was besieged by the evil Nogant, but saved by the knight Durmart. [Durmart]


A city in west central France, known for its fine porcelain. The knight Pilades carried a shield made in the city. [ChretienL]


A city whose bishop was the brother of Sir Sagremor. The Bishop of Limor’s other brother was the Bishop of Lumeri. [Contin4]

Limors1 (“Death”) [Limwris]

An English town that Erec and Enide entered during their journey. Erec had been injured during the trip, and fell unconscious. The ruler of the town, Count Oringle, thought that Erec was dead, and he began making advances on Enide. When Enide proved difficult, Oringle abused her. Enide’s screams awoke Erec, who jumped up and killed Oringle. “Liimors,” probably indicating, “death,” was corrupted by Welsh storytellers to “Limwris” and given to the count himself. [ChretienE, Geraint]


The castle belonging to lord Linier in Ulrich’s Lanzelet. It had a custom that every occupant would attack any knight that approached it without presenting an olive branch. Lancelot was ignorant of this custom, and he was assailed as he rode up to the castle. He fought his way inside, where he was given harbor by Linier’s niece (and foster daughter) Ade. Eventually, Linier and Lancelot fought in single combat, and Linier was killed. [UlrichZ]


The Countess of Limos was loved by Sir Oriles, but she loved Gawain. She told Oriles that he could have her if he defeated Gawain in combat. Oriles tried and failed, and the countess gave her love to Gawain instead. [Livre]


In Tennyson, a knight who had been suitor of Enide when her family was wealthy. Geraint and Enide ended up lodging with Limours during their journey. Limours tried to convince Enide to abandon Geraint. Enide pretended to agree and advised Limours to take her by force in the morning. Returning to Geraint, Enide told her husband what had transpired, and the two fled Limours’s house. Limours chased after them but he was knocked unconscious in a fight with Geraint. This figure appears in the Welsh Geraint as the Brown Earl. An individual named Limors appears later in Geraint. Tennyson seems to have taken the character from the former and the name from the latter. [TennIK]


A region of west central France, in the province of Guienne. It was owned by Lancelot, who bestowed it on Sir Blanor of Gannes in return for Blanor’s support in the battles against King Arthur. [Malory]


A shire on the eastern coast of England, south of the Humber River. The city of Kaerliudcoit stood here and was the site of one of Arthur’s battles against Colgrim’s and Cheldric’s Saxons. It contains the region known as Lindsey, which may be the actual site of Linnus, the location of Arthur’s battles against the Saxons mentioned by Nennius. [GeoffHR, Wace]


A castle in the forest of Broceliande, ruled by King Belinant of South Wales in the Vulgate Merlin. During the Saxon invasions, the various northern kings rallied their forces at Lindesores. In the Third Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, Perceval arrives at Lindesores in a magical boat and fights the castle’s lord, Mendandre de la Loge, who tries to make him pay a toll. In Raoul de Houdenc’s Meraugis de Portlesguez, it is the site of a sparrowhawk tournament in which Meraugis of Portlesguez and Gorvain Cadrut both fall in love with the Lady Lidoine. [Raoul, VulgMer, Contin3]


The northenmost province of Lincolnshire. In Renaut de Bâgé’s Le Bel Inconnu, one of the Yvains is noted as the King of Lindsey. Pierre de Langtoft gives it as Lot’s kingdom, which is usually Lothian. Nennius may mean Lindsey when he places four of Arthur’s battles against the Saxons in Linnuis. [Renaut, Pierre]


The King of France, who married Arthur’s sister, Olimpia, and had a son named Meleranz. [PleierM]


A sorceress who was the benefactress of Guengasoain, Gawain’s opponent in La Vengeance Raguidel. She ruled the Castle Without a Name on the Island that Floats. She provided Guengasoian with magic arms. [Vengeance]


Lord of the castle Limors. He was the brother of Patricius von den Bigen. Linier’s niece, Ade, was also his foster-daughter. When he discovered that Ade had given harbor to Lancelot, Linier flew into a rage and demanded that Lancelot accept a challenge involving a giant, two lions, and, eventually, combat with Linier himself. Lancelot agreed, survived the challenge, killed Linier, and made Ade his paramour. [UlrichZ]

Linligwan [Llyn Lliwan]

A marvelous lake along the river Severn in Wales, which filled and emptied according to the tides. [GeoffHR]


A region of Britain that contained the river Dubglas where, according to Nennius, Arthur won four battles against the Saxons (see Arthur’s Battles). It may be identical to Lindsey in Lincolnshire, though no river called Dubglas is known here. Other possibilities are Lothian, which has a river Dunglas, and Lindum in Scotland, which has a river Douglas, though these would be too far north for a fifth-century campaign against the Saxons. Nennius may be preserving some memory of a battle against the Picts instead. [Nennius]


A heathen warrior slain by Sir Sagremor at the battle of Diana Bridge. [Arthour]


Son of Prince Teschelarz of Poitou. He was saved from a pack of robbers by Arthur’s Sir Tandareis. He became Tandareis’s loyal companion and served as his steward of Malmontan. [PleierT]


The African Prince of Namur. He killed his neighbor, King Amire of Libya, because he coveted Amire’s wife, Lamire. Lamire died of heartbreak, however, leaving Lion in misery. Meanwhile, word of his deed reached King Wigalois of Korntin, the son of Gawain and relative (through his wife) of Lamire. Wigalois raised an army and met Lion in battle. Lion was killed by Gawain. [Wirnt]


In the Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin, the lover of Launceor, a knight slain by Balin. When Lione found her lover dead, she stabbed herself with his sword. King Mark of Cornwall erected a monument to the lovers’ tragic story. Malory calls the maiden Colombe. [PostMer]

Lionel1 [Lionello]

A Knight of the Round Table and cousin of Lancelot. He was named after a lion-shaped birthmark, which was fated to disappear once Lionel had slain the Crowned Lion of Libya, a feat he accomplished shortly after achieving knighthood. His brother was Sir Bors, one of the Grail Knights. His father, King Bors of Gannes, died when King Claudas invaded his lands, and his mother, Queen Evaine, fled to a nunnery. Sir Pharien, one of his father’s servants, raised the young princes until Claudas discovered their existence. Lionel and Bors spent a short time in Claudas’s care before they were rescued by Sariade, a servant of the Lady of the Lake. The Lady raised them with their cousin Lancelot. When Lionel came of age, the Lady sent him to Britain to become Lancelot’s squire. Arthur eventually knighted him and promoted him to the Round Table. He had numerous adventures with his brother and cousin, includng his fight against the Crowned Lion.
   During the Grail Quest, two knights captured him and beat him with thorns. His brother Bors found him in this state, but chose to rescue an abducted damsel instead. A furious Lionel later tried to kill Bors for this choice, but Bors refused to fight. Lionel, trying to get to Bors, killed a hermit and another knight named Calogrenant before God came between the brothers in a pillar of fire or lightning. Lionel forgave Bors, who departed to find the Grail.
   When Lancelot and Guinevere were accused of treason, Lionel pledged his support to Lancelot and helped him to rescue Guinevere from the stake. In return for his support, Lancelot made him the king of Gannes or France. In the Vulgate Mort Artu, he is slain during Lancelot’s war with Mordred’s sons; the Post-Vulgate says that Melehan, Mordred’s son, slew him; the Stanzaic Le Morte Arthur says that he was killed during Lancelot’s war against Arthur; and Malory says that Lionel was slain by disillusioned citizens of Logres after Arthur’s death. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgQuest, VulgMort, Contin3, PostMer, PostQuest, PostMort, Stanz, Allit, Malory]

Lionel2 [Lioniaus]

Gawain’s son in the First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval. His mother was Guilorete of Lis. He was to receive a magnificent shield at the King of Ambervale’s wedding. [Contin1]

Lionel3 of Nanteuil

In the Vulgate Merlin, Helen, the lady slain by the Giant of St. Michael’s Mount, is called the niece of “Lionel of Nanteuil.” In most sources, Helen is the niece, wife, or daughter of Hoel of Brittany. [VulgMer]


A waste land ruled by Lucano, a giant slain by Tristan. [Tavola]


These creatures make frequent appearances in Arthurian texts. Generally, like dragons, they are monsters to be slain. They are often pets of malevolent lords.
   In an early Welsh poem, Arthur recounts how Cei (Kay) went to the island of Anglesey to destroy lions. Cei contends here with the fearsome Cath Palug, which appears in other Arthurian texts and seems to be a demonic form of lion. In Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval and related texts, a lion is one of the perils faced by the knight (generally Gawain) who braves the adventure of the Perilous Bed in the Castle of Marvels. In Ulrich von Zatzikhoven’s Lanzelet, Lancelot must kill two lions at the house of Lord Linier. In the Second Continuation of Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval, Perceval slays two ferocious lions belonging to a knight named Abrioris. In Perlesvaus, Melot of Logres has a pet lion that inhabits the Field of the Lion. This lion is killed by Sir Clamadoz of the Shadows, prompting Melot to take vengeance against Clamadoz. In the same romance, Perceval kills the pet lion of the Red Knight of the Deep Forest. The romance of Tyolet has Tyolet fighting lions and receiving injury at their claws. According to Lancelot do Lac, Sir Lionel, the cousin of Lancelot of the Lake, was born with a lion-shaped birthmark. This mark disappeared when Lionel fought and killed the Crowned Lion of Libya at Arthur’s court, presenting its skin to Yvain. In the Vulgate Lancelot, Sir Hector of the Fens rescues Angale from a pair of lions owned by Lord Marigart in the castle of Raguidel. In the Welsh story of Peredur, Peredur slays a lion that guards the Circular Valley. In Les Merveilles de Rigomer, the evil Mal Ostagier owns four lions, and the creatures also inhabit the dangerous Male Gaudine. Lancelot slays a panther in this forest. In the Prose Tristan, Brunor the Black (the Knight of the Ill-Fitting Coat) kills a lion that has escaped from Arthur’s menagerie and is menacing Guinevere. In Sir Gawain and the Carl of Carlisle, the Carl has several pet lions.
   On the other side, some of the most significant appareances of lions in Arthurian literature feature them as protectors or loyal companions of knights. This is the case in Chrétien de Troyes’s Yvain. Yvain, travelng through a forest, finds “a lion, and a serpent which held him by the tail, burning his hind-quarters with flames of fire.” Deciding the serpent the evil of the two creatures, Yvain kills it and thus saves the lion. The grateful lion becomes Yvain’s constant companion and fierce protector throughout the rest of his adventures, earning Yvain the nickname “The Knight with the Lion.”
   We find a similar story in the Vulgate Quest del Saint Graal: During the Grail Quest, Perceval finds himself on an island populated by wild beasts. He witnesses a serpent carrying away a lion cub. The cub’s mother arrives in swift pursuit and engages the serpent in combat. Perceval, regarding the lion “as being the more natural animal and of a nobler order than the serpent,” kills the snake. The thankful lion stays with Perceval for the rest of the day.
   Finally, in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, a lion becomes the protector of the maiden Una after she is abandoned by the Red Cross Knight.
   Lions often represent kings or royalty in classical mythology (cf. the Crowned Lion of Libya), but the examples of the lion as a “protector” suggest a symbolism for Christ, who is called “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” in Revelations 5:5. These appearances also echo Aulus Gellius’s first-century tale of Androcles, a Roman slave who assisted a lion by drawing a thorn from its paw. [WelshPG, ChretienY, ChretienP, Contin2, Perlesvaus, Tyolet, LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgQuest, Peredur, ProsTris, Merveil, SyreGaw, Spenser]


A castle given to Isolde by Mark after she passed a chastity test at the enchanted Red Stone. [Tavola]

Lippidins of Agremuntin

An infidel duke who served Feirefiz, Perceval’s half-brother. [Wolfram]

Lis [Liz]

A castle mentioned by Chrétien de Troyes and his continuators as the home of Meliant and Bran. In the First Continuation of Perceval, the damsel of Lis, Guilorete, bears Gawain a son. Wolfram called its capital Barbigœl. It probably comes from the Welsh llys (“castle”), though other possibilities include the French lis (“lily”) and a corruption of iles (“isles”). [ChretienE, Contin1, Wolfram]

Lisanor [Lionors, Lyonors]

In the Vulgate Cycle, a young lady with whom Arthur, prior to marrying Guinevere, had a brief fling. Their union produced Loholt (or, in Malory, Borre), who became a Knight of the Round Table. Lisanor was the daughter of Earl Sevain and was born at Quimper-Corentin castle. The Livre d’Artus makes her the Lady of Cardigan. In earlier sources, Loholt’s mother is Guinevere. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, Livre, Arthour, Malory]

Lisavander [Lysavander]

The burgrave of the city of Beauvais under King Meliant of Lis. He was defeated in a battle at Bearosche by Gawain. [Wolfram]


The son of Tinas. Tutored in the martial arts by Gawain, he eventually came to rule a land bordering on Cornwall. [PleierT]

Lischois Gwelljus of Gowerzin

A duke who served Duchess Orgeluse of Logres. Lischois frequented a river in Terre Marveile near the Castle of Marvels. Orgeluse, seeking a prospective husband and knight servitor would lead any suitors to the location and have them fight Lischois. Lischois was invariably victorious until he encountered Gawain (at the time, he was in possession of Gawain’s stolen horse, Gringolet). Gawain defeated Lischois in combat twice; both times, Lischois refused to surrender, preferring death. Gawain refused to kill him and finally turned him over to Plippalinot the Ferryman as a prisoner. Lischois’s companion, Florant of Itolac, similarly failed against Gawain. Lischois later married Gawain’s sister Cundrie. [Wolfram]

Listenois [Lestenois, Listenoise, Listinois, Listonei(s), Lystenoys(e)]

Another name for the Grail Kingdom, as introduced in the Vulgate Merlin and Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin. Its relationship with the Strange Land (the Grail Kingdom in the other Vulgate stories) is uncertain. Possibly, they are the same land, or one is a smaller dominion within the other. Listenois became the Waste Land after the Dolorous Stroke. The country was ruled by the line of Grail Kings or Fisher Kings, including Pellehan and Pelles. In several instances, Alan and Pellinore are called kings of Listenois, but as they are Pelles’ brothers, the statements can be reconciled. The country’s main feature was Corbenic, the Grail Castle. Listenois was the home of the knights Eliezer, Claalant, Felot, and Bryan. An unnamed King of Listenois, in Malory, opposes Arthur at the tournament at Leverzep. [LancLac, VulgMer, PostMer, ProsTris, Malory]


The castle inhabited by Dinas, King Mark of Cornwall’s seneschal, in Eilhart’s Tristrant Other writers call it Dinan. [Eilhart]

Little Britain

A common alternate name for Brittany and, sometimes, Normandy.

Little Ireland

A country ruled by King Yon, who went to war with Arthur at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. It may be the Isle of Man. [LancLac, VulgLanc]

Little King

Nickname of Guivret the Small. [Geraint]

Little Knight [*Petit Chevalier]

A dwarfish knight slain by Gareth in the First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval. Gareth was avenging the death of another knight named Brangemuer, as well as his own previous humiliation at the Little Knight’s hands. In the Second Continuation, the Little Knight’s sister, Tanrée, becomes Gawain’s lover. The Little Knight himself attended a tournament in the White Land. He had a magic shield that could only be carried successfully by a knight who was truly loved by his lady. [Contin1, Contin2]


Son of Arthur in Welsh legend. He was one of his father’s warriors and advisors. He appears in Chrétien de Troyes as Loholt. The Welsh storytellers considered him powerful and fearless. An early Welsh poem known as Mi a Wum contains the passge: “I have been where Llacheu was slain, son of Arthur, marvelous in songs, when ravens croaked over blood.” [Triads, Dream]


A gatekeeper at King Arthur’s court, and a servant of the warrior Glewlwyd Strong Grip. Apparently, he was not a very good servant: when Glewlwyd’s other servants were killed, Glewlwyd despaired because Llaesgymyn was the only one he had left, and Llaesgymyn was “of no use to anyone.” [Culhwch, Geraint]


Arthur’s mare, which he lent to Caw of Scotland for the hunting of the boar Ysgithyrwyn. It was a powerful beast that could carry four men at one time. [Culhwch]


The resting place of Arthur’s warrior Cynon, according to a Welsh poem. [WelshSG]


A town in Wales, of which St. Cadoc was the abbott in Arthur’s time. [SaintsC]


The priest Teliau served here before he was promoted to Archbishop of Dol. [GeoffHR]


The site of Yvain’s grave in an early Welsh poem. [WelshSG]

Llara (“Meek”)

An Arthurian warrior who was the son of Casnar. [Culhwch, Dream]

Llawr (“Earth”)

One of King Arthur’s warriors who was the son of Erw. [Culhwch]

Llawfrodedd the Bearded

One of King Arthur’s warriors and advisors. [Culhwch, Dream]

Llawgad Trwm Bargod Eidyn (“Heavy Battle-Hand of the Border of Eidyn”) [Llongad Grwrm Fargod Eidyn]

The warrior who killed Afaon, son of Taliessin, according to a Welsh Triad entitled “Three Unfortunate Assassinations of the Island of Britain.” Another Triad notes that Afaon avenged his death from the grave, so Llawgad may have been killed. [Triads]


King of France, son of Beli, and brother of Lludd, King of Britain, in the non-Arthurian Welsh tale, Lludd and Llefelys. At the request of his brother, Llefelys helped to rid three plagues from the island of Britain—one of which was a pair of dragons that his brother buried under the mountain Dinas Emrys and were, presumably, the same dragons that were later uncovered by Merlin.


A Welsh warrior, mentioned in the Triads as both an “unrestricted guest” and a “wanderer” of Arthur’s court, and as one of the three “violent ones” of Britain. He may be identical to Lleminawg of The Spoils of Annwn. [Triads]


One of Arthur’s warriors who, in The Spoils of Annwn, helps Arthur take the enchanted cauldron from the Welsh otherworld. He may be identical to Llenlleawg from Culhwch and Olwen who has a similar role in a comparable expedition. Either he or his comrade Lluch Lleawg may be the origin of Lancelot. He may be identical to Llemenig of the Triads. [Spoils]


Father of Arthur’s warrior Gwallawg. [Geraint]


One of Arthur’s warriors, from the headlands of Gamon in Ireland. He is called “the exalted one.” Llenlleawg accompanied Arthur to Ireland the quest to obtain the cauldron of Diwrnach. Upon Diwrnach’s refusal to hand it over, Llenlleawg grabbed Arthur’s sword Caledfwlch and killed Diwrnach. He may be identified with either Lluch Lleawg or Lleminawg from “The Spoils of Annwn,” and may be a prototype of Lancelot. [Culhwch]


The Emperor of Rome who opposed Arthur in Welsh legend. His counterpart in non-Welsh sources is either Lucius or Leo. [Triads]


Son of Cynfarch and one of Arthur’s “Golden-Tongued Knights.” He apparently had a particular skill with speech. He was the brother of Urien, the father of Mordred, and thus the Welsh counterpart of Lot. In the Welsh translation of Geoffrey’s Historia, he is also named as the husband of Anna (Arthur’s sister) and father of Gwalchmei (the Welsh counterpart of Gawain). He may be identical to Lluch. [Triads]


An old Welsh name for the region of Britain now called “England.” It was transformed into the more common Logres.

Llofan Severing Hand

The slayer of King Urien, according to Welsh tradition. [Triads]


The site of an epic battle in early Welsh legend. Geraint, king of Devon, is the hero of the battle, and he may have died there. One line alludes to Arthur, though it is unclear whether it is indicating that Arthur himself was at the battle, or whether only “Arthur’s men” were there. Llongborth may be identified with Langport in Somerset or Portchester on the coast of Hampshire. Portchester was the site of a battle between the Saxons and the Britons in 501, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. [WelshGer]

Lluber Beuthach

One of King Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. His name comes from the Irish character “Lóegaire Búadach.” [Culhwch]

Lluched (“Plague”)

Grandchild of Arthur’s warrior Bwlch. [Culhwch]

Lluch (“Lake”) Lleawg

One of Arthur’s warriors, described in the ninth-century Welsh poem The Spoils of Annwn. He assisted Arthur in obtaining a magical cauldron from Annwn. He may be related to Llenlleawg from Culhwch and Olwen who has a similar role in a comparable expedition. Either Lluch Lleawg or his comrade Lleminawg may be the origin of Lancelot, having descended from the Celtic God Lug. [Spoils]


The king of Britain in a non-Arthurian Welsh tale, Lludd and Llefelys. The son of Beli, Lludd inherited the kingdom after his father’s death. Three plagues fell upon his island, and Lludd sent for his brother Llefelys, King of France, to help eradicate them. With his brother’s help, he rid himself of the plague—one of which was a pair of dragons that he buried under the mountain Dinas Emrys and were, presumably, the same dragons that were later uncovered by Merlin.

Lludd2 Silver Hand

Father of Arthur’s warrior Creiddylad. [Culhwch]

Lludd3 of the Breastplate

One of Arthur’s three battle horsemen. [Triads]

Llwch1 Ewin

An English lake where the boar Twrch Trwyth made a stand against Arthur and his warriors during the grand hunt. Twrch Trwyth killed many men—including Echel Pierced Thigh and Garwyli—before he fled on to Llwch Tawy. Llwch is Welsh for “lake.” [Culhwch]

Llwch2 Tawy

An English lake to which the boar Twrch Trwyth fled while pursued by Arthur’s warriors. At the lake, Twrch Trwyth and his piglets split up. From here, the boar went on to the Havren River. [Culhwch]

Llwch3 Llawwynnawg

One of King Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. He is perhaps taken from the Irish folk character Lug (he is mentioned as being from “across the sea”). According to the legend, he fathered a number of sons who became Arthur’s warriors, including, probably, Llenlleawg. Several of his sons were named Gweir. His first name means “lake,” while his second seems to mean “striking hand.” His relationship with Lluch Lleawg and Lleminawg is uncertain, but he may be identical to either of these characters. He may be the origin of Lancelot and Lot. [Culhwch]


One of Arthur’s warriors in Welsh legend. [Culhwch]

Llwybar (“Path”)

Son of Caw, one of twenty brothers, and one of Arthur’s warriors. [Culhwch]

Llwyd [Llwydeu]

An Arthurian warrior who was the son of Cil Coed. Llwyd lived in Porth Cerddin in Dyfed and lodged Arthur and his warriors on their return from the invasion of Ireland. [Culhwch]

LLwydawg the Killer

One of the piglets of the boar Twrch Trwyth. Llwydawg fought alongside Twrch Trwyth during the epic hunt, and killed many of Arthur’s warriors at Dyffryn Llwchwr. Llwydawg himself was finally killed at Ystrad Yw, but not before the warriors Peissawg the Tall, Llygadrudd Emys, and Gwrfoddw fell to his tusks. [Culhwch]


An Arthurian warrior. He was the son of Nwython, the brother of Rhun and Gwystyl, and the father of Gwydre and Gwenabwy. [Culhwch]


A county or city in the kingdom of Rheged, ruled by Yvain, according to a sixth-century elegy in The Book of Taliesin.


Son of Llwyryon. He owned a magic cup which always held the best drink. As one of his tasks, Culhwch had to obtain the cup for the giant Ysbaddaden. [Culhwch]


The horse belonging to Arthur’s warrior Syfwlch. [Culhwch]


The father of Llwyr, a warrior who owned a magic cup. [Culhwch]


The Welsh word for Scandinavia. In Culhwch and Olwen, Glewlwyd, Arthur’s gatekeeper, says that “in the contest between the two Ynyrs…twelve hostages were brought from Llynchlyn.” A Welsh Triad names the earl of Llychlyn as the father of Arthur’s warrior Blaes. [Culhwch, Triads]

Llygadrudd Emys (“Red Eye Stallion”)

Brother of Eigyr (Igraine), uncle of King Arthur, and one of Arthur’s warriors. He was killed at Ystrad Yw fighting the piglet Llwydawg the Killer during the great hunt of the boar Twrch Trwyth. [Culhwch]

Llyn Llyw

A British lake that was the home of the Salmon of Llyn Llyw, a magical creature that guided Arthur’s warriors on their quest to find Mabon, a knight kept prisoner in Gloucester. [Culhwch]


A euhemerized Celtic sea deity who was the father of Bran, Manawydan, Branwen, Caradawg Strong Arm, Granwen, and others. According to Welsh legend, Llyr was the King of Britain before his son Bran. In one legend, Llyr’s son Caradawg is Arthur’s first cousin, making Llyr the brother of either Eigyr (Igraine) or Uther, although this relationship is not substantiated in any texts. He is sometimes called “Llyr of the Sea.” His counterpart in Irish legend is the sea god Lir. [Culhwch, Dream]

Llywarch the Old

One of Arthur’s three “Counselor Knights,” according to the Welsh Triads. He was so named because he gave precious advice to Arthur. In the Triads, he is also listed as one of the three “unrestricted guests” and “wanderers” of Arthur’s court. Llywarch has a larger role in non-Arthurian legend and history, where he is said to be the cousin and contemporary of Urien, a bard, and the father of twenty-four sons. [Triads]

Llyn Barfog

A lake in Merioneth, Wales. According to local tradition, Arthur killed a monster (possibly an afanc) on the shores of the lake. Arthur’s horse left a hoofprint in a rock there (Ashe, Quest, 192).

Loathly Lady

A term used to describe the ugly woman married by an unnamed Arthurian knight in Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath’s Tale, and by Gawain in “The Marriage of Sir Gawain” and The Wedding of Sir Gawain. In Wedding and “Marriage,” Arthur is taken prisoner by Sir Gromer and must return in a year to either tell Gromer the one thing that women desire most or be killed. Arthur enlists Gawain to find the answer, and Gawain finds an ugly hag (named Ragnell in Wedding) who promises to provide the answer as long as Gawain marries her. To serve his king, Gawain agrees, and finds that what women desire most is the power to govern themselves and to make their own decisions. On his wedding night, Gawain crawls into bed with his repulsive spouse, and finds that she has become a beautiful woman. She tells him that she can be beautiful for during the day and ugly at night, or fair at night and hideous during the day. Gawain gives the choice to her, effectively granting woman’s greatest desire, and she rewards him by becoming constantly beautiful. In Chaucer’s tale, the unnamed protagonist has raped a maiden, and it is Guinevere who assigns him the task, in lieu of his execution, of learning what women desire most. Again, he finds the answer from a hag and is forced to marry her. On his wedding night, his choice is whether to have her fair and adulterous or ugly and faithful. By giving the choice to her, he is rewarded with a wife who is both fair and faithful.
   A version of the Loathly Lady story is found in Reginald Heber’s The Masque of Gwendolen (1816). Gwendolen is a former lover of Merlin who Merlin turned her into a hag after she rebuked him for his demonic powers. Gawain later married her and, when he kissed her, she returned to her beautiful form.
   Prior to any of these romances, a precursor to the Loathly Lady is loved by the Handsome Coward in the Second Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval and in the Didot-Perceval. She is named Rosete. Perceval and Kay tease her for her ugliness, and the Handsome Coward defends her honor. We are told that she later became beautiful at Arthur’s court, though the stories do not relate the circumstances of her transformation. The theme may ultimately come from Celtic legend; it is found in the Irish tale of the Adventures of the Sons of Eochaid Mugmedon. [Contin2, Didot, Chaucer, Marriage, Wedding, HeberM]

Loc the Little

A Knight of the Round Table killed during the Grail Quest. [PostQuest]


A son of Brutus and brother of Albanact and Camber. When Brutus died, the three brothers divided Britain among themselves. The region ruled by Locrine was named “Logres” in his honor.. Locrine drove invading Huns out of Britain and married Gwendolen, the daughter of Corineus of Cornwall, though he did not love her. He kept the German princess Estrildis as a mistress. When Coineus died, Locrine cast Gwendolen away and made Estrildis his queen. Gwendolen went back to Cornwall, raised an army, and attacked Locrine. Locrine was killed. Gwendolen deposed Estrildis and became queen of Britain. [GeoffHR]


In the romance of Tyolet, a knight of Arthur’s court who failed in the adventure that Tyolet ultimately completed. His name may be a corruption of Bedoer or Bedivere (Loomis, Romance, 121). [Tyolet]


An early name for Lothian.

Logres [Logereis, Logris, Logroys, Londres, Longres, Lugereis]

Arthur’s kingdom in a large number of texts. Roughly corresponding to the geographic area that we now call “England,” the name derives from Lloegr, the early Welsh name for England, through the Latin form gria. (The name “England,” or “Angle-Land,” was a product of the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain, after the Arthurian period.) Geoffrey of Monmouth, using his typical creative eponomy, says that the kingdom was named after Locrine, son of King Brutus.
   “King Arthur of Logres” is a fairly common designation in French and German legends, though the texts are often ambiguous as to whether Logres is a territory or a city. In the Vulgate romances, it is both, with the latter named as Arthur’s capital and identified with London. The site of several Saxon battles at the beginning of Arthur’s reign, Logres was invested with its own bishop. According to the Post-Vulgate Mort Artu, King Mark of Cornwall invaded and destroyed it after Arthur’s death.
   In German romance, Logres is often noted as Gawain’s kingdom, since Wolfram von Eschenbach tells us that Gawain married Duchess Orgeluse of Logres (who, in turn, had inherited it from her late husband, Duke Cidegast). Though Malory refers to Arthur’s realm as “England,” he gives the surname “de Logres” to several knights. [GeoffHR, ChretienP, Wolfram, PleierG, VulgLanc, VulgMer, PostQuest, PostMort, Malory]


A giant who plagued Arthur. He was killed by Arthur’s son, Loholt, but Kay murdered Loholt and took credit for Logrin’s demise. [Perlesvaus]

Lohencis of Ouein

One of Arthur’s knights in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône. It is a reversal of Yvain of Leonel. [Heinrich]

Lohenis of Rahaz

An evil knight in Diu Crône. He raped a noblewoman, for which he was arrested by Gawain, tried at Arthur’s court, imprisoned, and exiled in disgrace. As a result, he harbored a hatred for Gawain and later, through trickery, managed to steal Gawain’s horse. The same character appears in Wolfram’s Parzival as Urjans. [Heinrich]

Loherangrin [Lohengrin, Lorengel]

Son of Perceval and Condwiramurs, twin brother of Kardeiz, and heir to the Grail kingship. Loherangrin’s story is told by Wolfram von Eschenbach (in Parzival) and the unknown author of the later Lohengrin. After his ascension to his father’s position, the Grail appointed Loherangrin as a champion to Duchess Elsam of Brabant, and a swan guided him to the country. He later married Elsam and became duke of the Brabant. He was forced to leave and return to the Grail Castle—after fathering several children—when the princess asked his identity, a question that he had forbidden. In the German Lorengel, the taboo does not exist and Loherangrin therefore does not leave Elsam. Wolfram may have adopted his name from Loherenc Garin, or “Garin of Lorraine,” a popular character in a French chanson de geste. [Wolfram, Lohengrin, Lorengel]

Loholt1 [Loez, Loholt, Lohoz, Lohut, Loüt]

King Arthur’s son. He was a Knight of the Round Table. The Vulgate Cycle tells us that his mother was the lady Lisanor, but in Ulrich’s Lanzelet and in Perlesvaus, he is the proper son of Guinevere. He is probably derived from the Welsh Llacheu; Malory calls him Borre. Ulrich tells us that he was handsome, noble, skilled and a great asset to his father. He helped Arthur and his knights rescue Guinevere from her abductor, Valerin. In Perlesvaus, he kills a giant named Logrin in the Perilous Forest, and then goes to sleep on top of the giant’s body, as is his custom. Kay found him in this state and murdered him, claiming the credit for the giant’s death himself. The murder was later exposed, and Guinevere died from sorrow.
   The prose Lancelot tales tell us that he died from a disease he contracted in the Dolorous Prison, and Ulrich contends that he accompanied Arthur to an otherworld location (Avalon, in other texts) from which they both will return. Loholot is probably identical to Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Ilinot. [ChretienE, UlrichZ, Perlesvaus, LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer]


The lord of Sorelois. He fortified his land by ensuring that it could only be entered by two well-guarded causeways: the Irish Bridge and the North Wales Bridge. He left Sorelois to his son Gloier, from whom it was conquered by Galehaut. [LancLac, VulgLanc]


An Arthurian knight. A magical mantle brought to Arthur’s court showed his wife to be somewhat stingy when it came to marriage-oriented favors. [UlrichZ]


The prose Lancelot tells us that the French river formed one of the borders of King Ban’s Benoic. [LancLac, VulgLanc]

Lombardo [Limbordo, Liombardo, Lionbordo]

A count who hated Knights of the Round Table. He was encountered and defeated by a newly-knighted Lancelot, and was forced to surrender to Guinevere. He became one of Arthur’s knights, but retained his hate for Lancelot. When Lancelot rescued Guinevere from the stake and took her to Joyous Guard, Lombardo joined Arthur in the siege. [Tavola, Pulzella]

Lombardy [Lombardie]

A region of northern Italy, surrounding Milan, from which great warriors were said to come. An early duke of Lombardy was Gradie, an ally of the Roman Emperor Valentinian. Emperor Lucius of Rome brought many Lombard warriors with him when he made war against King Arthur. Arthur later marched through Lombardy on his way to capture Rome. In Chestre’s Launval, Lombardy is the home of the giant knight Valentyne. [Layamon, ChestreLvl, Allit, Malory]


The daughter of the King of Lomblanda died in the Castle of Treachery, after predicting that Galahad would liberate the castle. [PostQuest]

Lomond [Lumine, Lumond]

A loch in west central Scotland, notable for its many islands and rivers, where Arthur—with the help of Cador and Hoel—defeated an army of Picts and Scots. The barbarians fortified themselves on the lake’s sixty islands, but Arthur simply surrounded the lake, denied them food, and starved them to defeat. King Gillomaur of Ireland attempted to save the Picts and Scots, but he was also defeated by Arthur. After this battle, the northern barbarians acquiesced to Arthur’s power and became his vassals. [GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon]

London [Londen, Londres, Lounde, Lunden]

In Arthurian legends, London sometimes depicted as Arthur’s capital—or at least as one of the cities where Arthur kept a castle, court, and garrison. In several texts, London is equated with Logres. Malory says that it was on Christmas in London that Arthur pulled the sword from the stone and thus proved himself the true King of Britain. After his coronation, and before the founding of Camelot, London and Caerleon served as Arthur’s capitals. Guinevere fled there when Mordred seized Arthur’s throne. Mordred besieged her in the Tower of London until he was called away by Arthur’s arrival. [Arthour, Stanz, Malory]

London Bridge

In one version of Tristrams Kvædi, an Icelandic ballad, Tristan receives his mortal wound while battling a “heathen dog” on London Bridge. [TrisKv]


A king after whom London was named. Londres was the father of Constantine, Arthur’s grandfather. [Butor]


In La Tavola Ritonda, the capital of King Anguish of Ireland, Isolde’s father. In other sources, it is a variation of London. [Tavola]

Loneley Forest

A wood near Perceval’s home of Kamaalot. [Perlesvaus]

Longfiez of Turtelunz

A knight once defeated in combat by Perceval. [Wolfram]

Longinus [Longis]

Named first in the First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval and in the Didot-Perceval as the Roman soldier who stuck Christ in the side with a spear. This lance, called the Bleeding Lance or Avenging Lance, found its way to Britain and became one of the objects in the Grail Procession. It constantly dripped blood from its tip. His name reflects the Greek word for “spear” (Bruce, 257). [Contin1, Didot, HereJOA]


A British city that was the site of battle between King Crudel’s pagans and King Mordrain’s Christians in the time Joseph of Arimathea. [VulgEst]


A city near Lancelot’s castle, Joyous Guard. [PostMort]

Lonvego [Longue]

A forest near Hungerford Castle, where Bors once traveled. [VulgLanc]

Lorayne the Savage

A “false knight and a coward” who mortally wounded Sir Myles of the Laundis, causing his death and the suicide of Myles’s lover, Alyne. [Malory]

Lord of the Black Thorn [*Sire de la Noire Espine]

A nobleman who owned a piece of land in Arthur’s realm. When he died, his eldest daughter disinherited his youngest daughter and expelled her from the land. The younger daughter traveled to King Arthur’s court to appeal the case. Yvain agreed to champion her cause, and Gawain was assigned as the eldest daughter’s champion. After fighting for many hours, the two knights revealed their identities to each other, and both stopped fighting immediately. They both appealed to Arthur to award the judgment to the other. Arthur, recognizing that their self-sacrifice was a sign of love for each other, made an independent judgment in the case, awarding half the land to the wronged younger daughter. [ChretienY]

Lord of the Fens1

A malicious knight who waged war on Alain and Yglais, Perceval’s parents. He continued the war after Alain’s death, joining forces with Cahot the Red. Gawain defeated him and won Yglais a year’s peace, after which the Lord of the Fens was defeated again by Perceval. Perceval drowned him in a pool of his own knights’ blood. [Perlesvaus]

Lord of the Fens2

The ruler of the Castle of the Fens in the Vulgate Merlin. His daughter was the mother of Sir Hector of the Fens. He is properly called Agravadain the Black. [VulgMer]

Lord of the Horn [*Sires del Cor]

Presented as the King of Ireland and Norois in the Second Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval. He ruled the Castle of the Horn in the Land of the Horn. The “horn” to which his name refers hung outside his castle. Perceval blew it and summoned the Lord to battle. After defeating him in combat, Perceval sent the Lord of the Horn to Arthur’s court as a prisoner. [Contin2]

Lord of the Rock

An evil knight who siezed the castle of Gladoain after the latter’s death. Gladoain’s brother, the Knight of the Green Shield, sought help from Lancelot, who had been Gladoain’s friend. Lancelot killed the Lord of the Rock. [Perlesvaus]


A lady from Carlisle or Branlant in the service of Guinevere. In the First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, she is the daughter of Brun of Branlant, but the Prose Lancelot makes her Arthur’s niece; the daughter of King Clarion of Northumberland and Arthur’s unnamed sister. She served as Arthur’s wine steward and as Kay’s mistress. [ChretienP, Contin1, LancLac]


The Lady of Cardigan and a vassal of Arthur. She was besieged by King Ris of Outre-Ombre, and her city was captured. Lore saw a chance to reclaim her city when none of Ris’s knights would venture to the fearsome Waste Chapel. Ris had promised to grant any favor to the knight who accepted the quest. Lore offered to complete the quest. Braving a forest of brambles and beasts, she arrived at the Waste Chapel. She witnessed the burial of a knight named Bleheri, and she took Bleheri’s sword. Girding it about her waist, she found that she could not undo the straps. She returned to Cardigan, where Ris was forced to abide by his promise and restore the Lady’s city. She went to Arthur’s court to find a knight who could undo the sword. After hundreds of knights attempted the feat but failed, a newly-knighted youth called simply Handsome Young Man (he was Bleheri’s son, Meriadeuc) undid the sword and girded it over his own, earning himself the title the Knight with the Two Swords. Arthur had promised to marry her to the knight who undid the sword, but Meriadeuc immediately left court to seek adventure. Lore remained at Arthur’s court, and Meriadeuc eventually returned. He and Lore were married in great splendor and retired to Cardigan to rule. They had two children. [Meriadeuc]


A woman in the ancestry of the “Brown” family. She was the daughter of Brun and Lye and the sister of Brun, Hector, Galehaut, and Ysille. [Palamedes]

Lore4 of Branlant

A lady who takes her name, but not her character from the first Lore. Known as the Maiden of the Narrow Wood, she fell in love with Gawain, who had saved her from Waldin of the Fearsome Vales. Lore plots to kill Gawain in order to possess him forever. Brun of Branlant was her steward. [Livre]


Sister of Girflet and daughter of Do. She lived her her father’s home in Cardueil, which was burned during the Saxon invasion. [Livre]

Lorete2 of the Fair Hair

A lady at Arthur’s court, famed for her beauty. [Raoul]

Lorez of Jassaida

A knight present at the Sorgarda tournament, which Gawain won. [Heinrich]


The land ruled by King Libers and Queen Dulceflur, who were married at the urging of Meleranz, Arthur’s nephew. [PleierM]


Gawain’s fairy girlfriend in Les Merveilles de Rigomer. She ruled a land called Roche Florie. In Rigomer, she helps to rescue Gawain from the prison of an evil knight named Gaudinoés. Her name recalls Florie, Gawain’s lover in Wirnt von Grafenberg’s Wigalois and in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône. [Merveil]


Son of the sorcerer Eliavres. Lorigal’s mother was a mare. Eliavres had been forced to copulate with the mare after King Caradoc of Nantes found Eliavres sleeping with Caradoc’s wife. Rachel Bromwich (Grout, 43) suggested Lluagor (“Host-Splitter”), Caradoc’s horse in the Triads, as an origin. [Contin1]

Lorraine [Loreyn]

A region of northeast France. According to Wace, it was part of Arthur’s empire. During the Roman War (in the Alliterative Morte Arthure and Malory), Arthur’s forces marched through Lorraine on their way to Rome. The fought the army of the Duke of Lorraine, who had rejected Arthur’s sovereignty. Gawain and Sir Florence, leading only a few hundred warriors, defeated the duke’s army of thousands at the battle of Metz. Arthur imprisoned the duke in Dover and appointed Priamus to rule the land. [Wace, Allit, Malory]


The evil sovereigness of the Ancient Tower in La Tavola Ritonda. She was the daughter of Trincardo the Mad and the sister of Pinabel and Uriées. Pinabel had slain Uriées so he could marry a maiden named Tessina. Losanna’s family swore to avenge the murder, killed Pinabel, and brought Tessina to the Ancient Tower for execution. Tristan saved the lady. Sir Dinadan fell in love with Losanna and tried to reclaim Tessina from Tristan, but failed. [Tavola]


A knight in the service of Queen Tydomie of Karmerie, who married Arthur’s nephew Meleranz. [PleierM]

Lost Bridge

An alternate name for the Underwater Bridge leading to the land of Gorre. [VulgLanc]

Lost City [*Citié Perdue]

A city ruled by Bruant, one of Arthur’s kings. [Meriadeuc]

Lost Island [*Isle Perdu]

A small island in the straight of Assurne, so named because of its remoteness. It was part of lord Galehaut’s lands, off the coast of Sorelois, and was visited by Lancelot. Before Galehaut, it was apparently ruled by a King Machen. It is named as the home of Sir Minadoras and of Galeguinant, its constable [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgMer, Livre]

Lost Rock [*Roche Perdue]

The castle in the forest of Broceliande ruled by Matiadas, a knight defeated by Claris and Laris. [Claris]

Lot1 [(A)loth, Los(t), Lote, Lott(o)]

Gawain’s father. He married Arthur’s sister—Anna, Sangive, Seife, Belisent, or Morgause, depending on the source. R. S. Loomis thought that Lot’s origin was the Celtic god Lug, transferred through the Welsh character named Llwch, but Geoffrey of Monmouth may have simply invented his name to explain Lothian, Lot’s kingdom. Another possible origin is a certain Leudonus, who was said to have ruled Lothian in the fifth century. Lot’s counterpart in Welsh legend (as the father of Gawain’s counterpart, Gwalchmei) is Gwyar.
   First found in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae as the dispossessed heir to Norway, King Lot is also described in various texts as the ruler of Lothian, Orkney, Carlisle, Pictland, and the Out Isles. According to the Vulgate romances, he was the son of King Hedor of Lothian. Other than Gawain, Lot’s children, in various sources, include Gaheris, Agravain, Gareth, Mordred, Beacurs, Cundrie, Itonje, Soredamor, Elaine, and Thametes. Geoffrey says that Lot, Urien, and Angusel were all brothers, but in later legends they are unrelated except by marriage.
   The circumstances surrounding Lot’s marriage to Arthur’s sister are related in Les Enfances Gauvain and De Ortu Waluuanii Nepotis Arturi: sent to live in the court of King Uther Pendragon as a hostage after Uther conquered Norway, Lot fell in love with Uther’s daughter (whom he served as a page) and engaged in a clandestine relationship, of which Gawain was the illegitimate product.
   Geoffrey and other chroniclers give Lot the role of Arthur’s supporter and ally. Lot fought against the Saxons during the reigns of Uther and Arthur. In reward, Arthur returned Lothian to him when it had been reclaimed from the Saxons, and later appointed Lot the King of Norway—Lot’s hereditary right as the grandson of Sichelm—when it had been conquered from Riculf. Lot later fought for Arthur in the campaigns against Gaul and Rome, and he led a battalion of soldiers at the battle of Soissons. According to the Alliterative Morte Arthure, which follows Geoffrey’s account, Lot was slain in the war against Mordred. The Didot-Perceval gives a similar account of his death.
   The Vulgate Merlin is the first to name Lot as Arthur’s enemy—one of the rebellious kings whom Arthur defeated at Caerleon and Bedegraine. His rebellion was cut short when the Saxons invaded Britain, and Lot had to return to Lothian to defend it. His sons defected to join Arthur’s service. Gawain later defeated Lot in combat and forced him to surrender to Arthur. Lot then advocated a truce between Arthur and the other rebellious kings, for the purpose of expelling the Saxons.
   In the Post-Vulgate Merlin continuation and in Malory’s account, Lot never allies with Arthur. After repelling an invasion of Saracens, he joins forces with King Rions and King Nero to invade Arthur’s land and to lay siege to the Castle Tarabel. Merlin, realizing that the combined armies will defeat Arthur, goes to Lot’s chambers and distracts him by weaving a fascinating tale of prophecy while Nero’s army is being destroyed. When Lot learns of the trickery, he leads his army against Arthur’s but is killed in battle by King Pellinore, sparking a deadly feud between his descendants and Pellinore’s. Arthur has him buried at St. Stephen’s in Camelot. [GeoffHR, Wace, ChretienE, Didot, Layamon, Enfances, Wolfram, VulgLanc, VulgMer, PostMer, Arthour, DeOrtu, Allit, Malory, Boece]


A Knight of the Round Table who participated in the Grail Quest. [ProsTris]


The King of Galway in Les Merveilles de Rigomer. Lot and his son Midomidas were Arthur’s allies. [Merveil]


One of the prisoners of the giant Nabon the Black freed by Tristan. [Palamedes]

Lothian [Leon(e)is, Lodien(t), Loh(e)n(o)is, Lonneys, Loonois, Lothaine, Lyoneis]

A kingdom in southeast Scotland. In most Arthurian texts, it is ruled by King Lot. Geoffrey says that Arthur restored Lot to the throne of Lothian after reclaiming the country from the Saxons. The connection between Lot and Lothian probably comes from Geoffrey’s tendency toward conjectural eponymy. Chrétien de Troyes marks Loenel (likely Loeneis, or Lothian) as the homeland of one of the three Yvains; Wolfram gives the rule of the land, in Uther’s time, to King Riwalin; and in Guillaume le Clerc’s Fergus, Lady Galiene rules Lothian from her castle Roucebourc. Fergus becomes lord when he marries her. The Vulgate Merlin tells us that it was invaded and plundered by Saxons at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. Lyonesse, the land of Tristan, may be identical. [GeoffHR, Wace, ChretienE, Wolfram, VulgMer, Malory]


A British city, once inhabited or visited by Arthur’s chief gatekeeper Glewlwyd. [Culhwch]


Isolde’s mother in La Tavola Ritonda; the wife of King Anguish of Ireland. She was an experienced healer, and she tried to heal her brother Morholt after his battle with Tristan, but she could not save him. When Tristan was in Ireland incognito, Lotta discovered Tristan’s identity by matching the broken sword piece found in her brother’s head to Tristan’s sword. Later, Lotta created the love potion for Mark and Isolde that was consumed by Tristan and Isolde. Lotta’s character is unnamed or called Isolde in other romances. [Tavola]

Loudun Hill

A region of southwest Scotland. It originally belonged to Sir Galleron, but Arthur annexed it and gave it to Gawain. Galleron arrived at a feast and challenged Gawain for ownership of the land. The fight ended in a draw, but Gawain graciously returned the country to Galleron anyway. [Awntyrs]

Louis [Lupus]

The Bishop of Troyes. Pope Romanus sent Louis and Saint Germanus to Britain, at the request of King Vortimer, to repair the Christianity had been damaged by King Vortigern. [Wace, Layamon]

Loumedon the Large

An Arthurian knight. [Heinrich]

Louys the Loyal [Lowes]

One of Lord Golagros’s knights in the Middle Scots tale of Golagros and Gawain. During the war between Gologras and Arthur, Louys defeated and captured Arthur’s Sir Lionel. [Golagros]


A plain where Arthur’s army camped before encountering Mordred in the final battle at Salisbury. [VulgMort]

Lovell [Lovel]

A Knight of the Round Table who was the son of Gawain by the sister of Sir Brandelis. He joined the plot of Mordred and Agravain to expose the affair between Lancelot and Guinevere. With a dozen knights, they trapped Lancelot in Guinevere’s chambers. Lovell was slain by Lancelot in the subsequent battle. [Malory]


One of Arthur’s kingdoms in German romance, containing the city of Bems-on-Korcha, and the forest of Briziljan (Broceliande). Its capital was Dinazarun. [Wolfram, PleierG]

Low Spring

A fountain visited by Yvain during his quest to slay Malduit the Giant. [VulgLanc]

Lower Islands

Galehaut’s kingdom in the Serbo-Russian Povest’ o Tryshchane, called the Distant Islands in the Prose Tristan. [Povest]


One of Arthur’s knights slain during the war with Mordred. [Allit]

Lucan1 [Lacan(u)s, Lukyn]

Arthur’s butler, cupbearer, or wine steward, sometimes called “Lucan the Good,” who first appears in the First Continuation of Chrétien’s Perceval, though not significantly until the Vulgate Lancelot. Malory makes him Bedivere’s brother, naming his father as Duke Corneus. In Arthur’s service, he fought against the rebellious kings at the battle of Bedegraine, and against the Saxons at the battles of Carhaix and Aneblayse. He appears in several tournaments and events throughout Arthur’s reign. He fought in Arthur’s wars against Lancelot and Mordred. Lucan was one of the few survivors of the final battle at Salisbury. With his cousin Girflet (or, in Malory, his brother Bedivere), he carried the wounded Arthur to the Ancient Chapel. Lucan died there, either because Arthur accidentally crushed him, or because his intestines spilled out of a previous unnoticed wound. In the English ballad of “King Arthur’s Death,” Lucan’s brother Bedivere dies in the above manner, and Lucan (named as the duke of Gloucester) survives to throw Excalibur, Arthur’s sword, into a lake. [Contin1, VulgLanc, VulgMort, VulgMer, PostQuest, PostMort, Arthour, Stanz, Malory, KingAD]

Lucan2 [Leucan]

A nephew of Joseph of Arimathea, charged with guarding the ark that contained the Holy Grail. He accompanied his uncle to Britain, died, and was buried there. Lancelot visited his tomb on the way to a duel at Nohaut. [LancLac, VulgLanc, VulgEst]

Lucan3 the Philosopher

A master of pagan faith who served Duke Ganor, a British ruler, in the time of Joseph of Arimathea. He championed paganism in a debate against Josephus, Joseph’s son, for which God immediately struck him dead. [VulgEst]

Lucanor the Great

An insane giant who ruled the fortress of Dianfer in the waste land of Lionferfo. The offspring of a giantess and a lion, his brothers included Urgan the Hairy and the two giants of the Perilous Valley. Tristan slew Lucano, all of his brothers, and his nephew Burletta. [ProsTris, Tavola]


Son of the castellan of Gitedrano. Lucanoro was slain by Tristan during the Grail Quest. Lucanoro’s father tried to execute Tristan but was slain in the process by Palamedes. [Tavola]

Lucas [Luzes]

A Knight of the Round Table from Camelot killed during the Grail Quest. He was the brother of Alma and Tanadal. [PostQuest]


A giant whose brother, Menedron, was slain by Guiron the Courteous. Luce imprisoned Guiron in his castle in Sorelois for seven years to avenge the death. [Palamedes]


A knight in the service of King Mark of Cornwall. He led a battalion of Mark’s warriors agains the invading Saxons, led by Helyas. [ProsTris]


A city in Italy, visited by Arthur after the Roman War. [Allit]


A devil trapped by Merlin under a rock. When Perceval happened by, Luciabiaus tried to trick him into freeing him, but was unsuccessful. [Contin4]


One of many Saxon kings who invaded Britain as Arthur’s was struggling to establish power. Under King Hargadabran, he participated in the battle of Clarence and was killed by King Bors. [Livre]


Lucifer appears in Blackmore’s Prince Arthur. He supports the Saxon King Octa against Arthur, but is countered by God’s own favor for Arthur. He seems to be the Black Hermit in Perlesvaus. There are, of course, numerous metaphorical references to Lucifer throughout the Arthurian romances. [Perlesvaus, BlackmoreP]


Queen of the House of Pride. Her counselors were the seven deadly sins. The Red Cross Knight visited her palace while under the spell of the evil witch Duessa. [Spenser]

Lucius1 [Luc(i)es, Lucidar, Lucyus]

The Roman official who began a war with Arthur. Geoffrey of Monmouth gives him the title of procurator or deputy under the Emperor Leo (the emperor is Honorius in another source), but Wace and later sources call him the Emperor of Rome. He is often given the surname “Tiberius” or “Hiberius.” Wace tells us that he was born in Spain and was between 30 and 40 years old at the time he went to war with Arthur. The Norse Saga of Tristam calls him Írón. R. S. Loomis (Literature, 85) suggests a derivation from the Welsh Llenlleawc Hibernus (Llenlleawc the Irishman), corrupted to Lucius Hiberus. Other scholars have suggested that Geoffrey of Monmouth took the character from a “Lucerius,” named in the chronicle of Sigebert of Gembloux as a western Roman emperor  between 469 and 470.
   In the early chronicles, Arthur’s war with Lucius immediately precedes Mordred’s uprising, but beginning in the Vulgate Merlin, the war is placed at the beginning of Arthur’s reign. It began when Lucius sent envoys to Arthur’s court, demanding a tribute. Arthur responded that no tribute was due (or that it was Arthur who was owed a tribute from Rome), and Lucius organized his armies, bringing rulers from Europe, Africa, Arabia, and Asia. Arthur’s forces met Lucius’s in Gaul, where any hope of peace was destroyed when Gawain killed Lucius’s diplomatic envoy. After a number of skirmishes in Gaul and other parts of Europe, Arthur and Lucius met at the valley of Soissons. In an epic battle, Lucius’s army was destroyed. Most sources say that Arthur himself killed Lucius, sending his body back to the Roman senate as the “tribute” he had been ordered to pay. Sometimes Gawain is given as Lucius’s slayer. In one source, it is Lancelot. In the Alliterative Morte Arthure and in Malory’s version, Arthur then conquers Rome itself, but in the earlier chronicles, he is summoned back to Britain by Mordred’s treachery before the conquest of Rome can be completed. [GeoffHR, Liber, Wace, Layamon, VulgMer, Pierre, Mannyng, Allit, Malory]


A companion of Arthur. [BlackmoreP]

Lucius3 Catellus [Lucas]

In Geoffrey of Monmouth, one of the Roman senators who became a war leader in Lucius’s campaign against Arthur. He led a force of soldiers at the Battle of Soissons. Layamon split him into two characters: Lucas and Catellus. [GeoffHR, Wace]

Lucius4 the Glorious

A King of Roman Britain who ruled roughly three and a half centuries before Arthur. He was the son of King Coill. He is highly praised by the chroniclers for converting the island to Christianity—a feat which, according to the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal, was prompted by Peter, a relative of Joseph of Arimathea, who arrived in Britain during Lucius’s reign. Peter befriended Lucius and became his vassal after the latter’s conversion. Lucius asked Pope Eleutherius to send Christian bishops to Britain. Under his reign, parishes and dioceses were set up in London, York, and Caerleon, and the old heathen temples were demolished. Those who refused to convert were destroyed. When he died, however, he left no heir, and the Britons and Romans fought over who should be crowned in Lucius’s place. The fighting lasted for several generations and resulted in a series of impotent kings before the kingdom was settled briefly under Asclepiodotus. According to Nennius, Lucius received his Baptism in 167, but Geoffrey says that he died in 156, and Layamon places his death in 160. Interestingly, the confused fourteenth-century Short Metrical Chronicle places his reign after Arthur’s. [Nennius, GeoffHR, Wace, Layamon, VulgEst, Short]


In Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône, the son of Lady Fortune. Gawain visited their castle at Ordohorht and saw Luck sitting with his mother on a golden wheel. [Heinrich]


An Irish sun-god whom some scholars have seen as the origin—through the Welsh Llwch—of Lot and Lancelot. He was the father of Cuchulainn, the Irish counterpart of Gawain. He owned a magic spear called the Luin of Celtchar that may precede the Bleeding Lance of the Grail legend.


According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, a king of Britain in the first century BC. He was the eldest son of King Hely. His brothers were Cassibelaunus and Nennius. During his reign, Lud built cities and palaces all over Britain. One city, London, was named after him. Lud had two sons, Androgeus and Tenuantius, but when he died, they were too young to inherit the throne. Cassibelaunus succeeded him. [GeoffHR]


A good knight from North Wales, imprisoned by the giant Nabon the Black. The Good Knight Without Fear set out to free him but was also imprisoned. Tristan eventually rescued them both. [Palamedes]


A knight present at the Sorgarda tournament, which Gawain won. [Heinrich]


Perceval’s wife in the Middle English Sir Perceval of Galles, named in other Perceval romances as Blancheflour. He married her after he saved her land, called Maidenland, from an invasion by the evil Sultan Golrotherame. She seems to have been a fairy. [SirPerc]

Luguain [Lug(u)ain(s), Lugein]

In the romance of Yder, Sir Yder’s squire. He joined with Yder after Yder lodged with his father, Rim. After a period of service, he was knighted. [Yder]

Luin of Celtchar

An enchanted spear owned by the god Lug in Irish mythology. In battle, the weapon tore through the enemy ranks like lightning. After battle, it had to be quenched in a cauldron full of blood to render it safe to handle. When the hero Celtchar hefted it, blood dripped from its tip, landed on his body, and killed him. Proponents of a Celtic origin for the Grail legend have identified the Luin of Celtchar with the Bleeding Lance, which also bled from its tip. In addition, the Luin is associated with a cauldron, which some advocates see as the origin of the Grail.

Lunete [(E)luned, Lunet(a)]

Servant of the Lady Laudine in Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval and its adaptations. Laudine’s husband was killed by Yvain after a battle at an enchanted fountain. Lunete fell in love with Yvain, but she had to face the fact that Yvain loved Laudine. She convinced Laudine to marry Yvain. When Yvain apparently abandoned Laudine, Laudine’s chamberlains rebuked Lunete for suggesting the match in the first place. Lunete was imprisoned but was eventually rescued by Yvain. Her ring, which had the ability to turn the wearer invisible, is counted in Welsh legend among the “Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain.”
   An episode in the Livre d’Artus has Lunete (or another character of the same name) establishing the adventure of the magic fountain in the first place. She was a cousin of Niniane, the Lady of the Lake, who taught her some of the magic she had gleaned from Merlin. Lunete used this magic to create the fountain in the forest of Broceliande, which was first defended by her lover. [ChretienY, Livre, Ivens, Owain, Ywain]


The maidservant of Lady Galiene of Lothian in the Dutch romance of Ferguut. She is known as Arondele in Guillaume le Clerc’s Fergus. [Ferguut]

Luogo Franco (“French Room”)

Tristan’s palace in the castle of Tintagel in Cornwall. [Tavola]


A castle in Lyonesse ruled by King Pelias. [ProsTris]


A town which, according to Hartmann von Aue, was the birthplace of Erec’s wife Enide. It is probably a variation of Laluth, which is Enide’s home and birthplace in Chrétien’s Erec. [HartmannE]


A plain in Logres Crossed by Tristan on his way to Joyous Guard. [Tavola]

Luxembourg [Lusheburgh]

According to the Alliterative Morte Arthure, Arthur rested his forces in Luxembourg at the conclusion of the Roman War. [Allit]


A talkative maiden at Arthur’s court, obsessed with the sight of her own reflection in a mirror. [Heinrich]


An ancestor of Urien and Yvain. He inherited the kingdom of Wales from his father, Galahad (son of Joseph of Arimathea). His mother was the daughter of the King of the Distant Isles. [VulgEst]

Lyanor2 of the Mountain [Helianor]

A mighty knight from Uther Pendragon’s day. He helped King Faramon of France battle the Saxons. He was still fighting when he was 80 years old. He accidentally killed his son, Finoés of the Mountain, when the two fought each other incognito. Eventually, he died at Camelot. [Palamedes]

Lyas the Large [Lyons]

A knight who went to war with his neighbor, Helyom. Lyas and Helyom mortally wounded each other. Lyas had fifteen daughters who continued the struggle against Helyom’s clan. One of the daughters, Albe, became the lover of Danain the Red. [Palamedes]

Lybeus Desconnus

See Fair Unknown.


A Grail Knight (Templar) from Prienlascors, killed by King Lähelin. He was the first owner of Gringolet, the noble horse from Munsalvæsche that eventually became Gawain’s steed. [Wolfram]


A knight from Roconita whose lady, Sarine, sent him to Arthur’s court to win honor. He jousted with Meleranz, Arthur’s nephew. His parents were Kardeuz and Deselmiur. [PleierM]


Woman in the famous “Brown” family. She was the wife of Brun and the mother of Hector the Brown, Galehaut the Brown, Brun, Lore, and Ysille. [Palamedes]


Name of the home of several knights in Malory, always a simple mis-interpretation of the French l’île (“the isle”). [Malory]


A lady of Avalon, named by Malory. She sent a servant to Camelot with a magic sword, saying that only a pure knight could draw it. This feat was accomplished by Balin, who kept the sword despite the servant’s warnings, and later slew his brother Balan with it. The visit turned out to be part of an elaborate revenge scheme exposed by Merlin. Her name is Malory’s corruption of the French l’île (“the isle”), as in dame de l’île d’Avalon (“Lady of the Isle of Avalon”), which is the lady’s title in the Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin. [Malory]

Lynet [Lynette]

A maiden known as the Damsel Savage. Appearing in Malory, she is the sister of Lady Lyones and Sir Guinguemar. When her sister was besieged by Sir Ironside, the Red Knight of the Red Lands, Lynet traveled to Arthur’s court to find a champion. Arthur assigned Gareth—who called himself “Beaumains”—to the quest, which enraged Lynet, for Gareth had only recently been knighted. On the way to Lyones’s castle, Lynet continually insulted and rebuked Gareth, but she finally relented after Gareth overcame a number of knights. Following Gareth’s defeat of Ironside, Lynet introduced him to Lyones and attended their marriage. Lynet married Gaheris, Gareth’s brother. Tennyson claims that she fell in love with Gareth during their travels. [Malory, TennIK]

Lynors [Lianour, Lyanoure]

The original duke of the Castle of Maidens. He was slain by seven visiting brothers who wanted to rape his daughter. After his death, the Castle began its evil customs which were not ended until the Grail Quest. [VulgQuest, ProsTris, Malory]


A castle in King Mark’s Cornwall. [Malory]

Lyones [Lyonesse, Lyonors]

The sovereigness of the Castle Perilous. She was the sister of Lady Lynet and Sir Guinguemar. She was besieged by Sir Ironside, the Red Knight of the Red Lands, but was saved by Gareth, whom she then married at the castle of Kynke Kenadonne. [Malory, TennIK]

Lyonesse [Elionois, *Leonois, Liones, Lyoness]

The ancestral land of Tristan, ruled by his father Rivalin or Meliadus. The Prose Tristan describes its history, including Kings Pelias, Lucius, Apollo, and Candaces. It was thought to lie between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and to have sank into the sea. It is perhaps identical to Marie de France’s Leon. Despite its given location, the name is probably a variation of Lothian. In some versions of the Tristan legend, Tristan makes his tutor, Governal, king of the land. In Tennyson, it seems to be Arthur’s kingdom, and it is the site of Arthur’s final battle with Mordred. [Eilhart, ProsTris, Tavola, Malory, TennIK]


A city in east central France, at the juncture of the Rhone and Saône rivers. The knight Taulas of the Desert carried a shield made in Lyons. [ChretienL]


A knight who, after suffering defeat at the hands of Arthur’s Sir Wigamur, abducted Wigamur’s wife, Dulceflur. Wigamur fought and defeated him again, saving the lady. [Wigamur]


In Wolfra’s Parzival, the duke of Bearosche and vassal of King Meliant of Lis, whom he raised. His daughters were Obie and Obilot, his brother was Duke Marangliez of Brevigariez. King Meliant fell in love with Lyppaut’s daughter Obie. When Obie rejected him, Meliant declared war on Lyppaut. Gawain happened upon Bearosche and agreed to give Lyppaut his aid. In battle, Gawain captured Meliant and delivered him to the girl Obilot. Obilot transferred him to her sister, the two reconciled, and the war ended. Lyppaut’s counterparts are Tiebaut in Chrétien’s Perceval and Leigemar in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône. [Wolfram]

Lysander of Ipopotiycon

An infidel count who served Feirefiz, Perceval’s half-brother. [Wolfram]

Copyright Christopher Bruce. All Rights Reserved. Provided here by his kind permission. Layout of book modified to fit the Celtic Twilight format.