[tied] Re: personal names

From: richardwordingham
Message: 14661
Date: 2002-08-28

--- In cybalist@..., guto rhys <gutorhys@...> wrote:
> The West Saxon kings having Brythonic names is interesting - what
references can we draw from that? I cannot however explain the loss
of '-n' in Caedwallla if from an earlier form of Cadwallawn. Is it
from Cadwal? The '-a' comes from A-Saxon?

The names suggest friendship with at least some Britons.

I have seen suggestions that Cædwalla was half-British - his brother
was Mul, who is remembered for being burnt by the men of Kent (see
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 685 AD and 687 AD), and I've seen it suggested
that 'Mul' simply meant half-breed!

'Cædwalla' is a weak noun - in the oblique cases it is 'Cædwallan',
which makes is the natural borrowing of 'Cadwallon', which is the
form in which I remember the Welsh name. I'm now a bit uncertain of
the OE spelling - I've just dived into the AS Chronicle and found
many instances of 'Ceadwala' and 'Ceadwalla', but only one
of 'Cædwalla', which may or may not be original.

There is a theory that Cerdic, traditional founder of the kingdom of
Wessex, was also half-British. The volume in the Oxford History of
England (I hope I've remember the name right) about Roman Britain
discusses the Anglo-Saxon invasion in great depth - in greater depth
than the volume on Anglo-Saxon England! It makes the serious
suggestion that the original settlement of Wessex was generally
peaceful, despite Port's doings, as though Cerdic were invited in (as
more than hired help, unlike Hengist and Horsa.)

I've seen a reference to Alfred the Great having British thegns.
Were they of long standing in the kingdom of Wessex? To me it is
conceivable that they could have been acquired when his grandfather
(or was it _his_ father?) made significant conquests of British
lands, or even that they were Cornish. I know nothing of these
thegns. I do remember reading that Alfred the Great expelled the
British inhabitants of Exeter after a rebellion, so it was not all
sweetness and light.