Women in the Arthurian Romances ~Guinevere

Arthurian Romances

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According to earlier legend, Arthur met Guinevere or Guenevere (she was called Guanhumara (Guenhuuara) by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the Historia regnum Britanniae) in the court of Duke Cador of Cornwall. Guinevere was the ward of Cador. Guinevere came from a noble Roman family; according to both Wace and Layamon, it was on her mother’s side that she was Roman.

Later legends say that Guinevere (Guenevere) was the daughter of Leodegan (Leodegraunce), king of Camelide (Camelerd). After Arthur helped Leodegan, Arthur became betrothed to Guinevere. One of Guinevere’s companion, after she married Arthur, was her cousin and lady-in-waiting, Elibel. They married but had no children (except in the Perlesvaus, where their son was named Lohot (Loholt)).

In the Welsh Mabinogion called Culhwch and Olwen (before 1100), Guinevere was called Gwenhwyfar (Gwenhwyvar), which possibly means the “White Phantom”. This was Guinevere’s (Gwenhwyfar) first appearance. Gwenhwyfar was the daughter of Gogrfan (Gogrvan…

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