From all my research/study/investigation of King Arthur of the last number of years I have now tentatively narrowed down where the person/name of “(King) Arthur” came from.
From the list of heaps of candidates at the end/bottom of this post I have picked 4 candidates who are the most likely to be the origin of the person Arthur who also have a candidate match for the origin of the name Arthur:
Garthwys Hir / Gorthyn Hir?
(These 4 persons’ names are similar to the name Arthur (except for the Gw/V at the front of three of them) and they have similar natures, eg Vortimer’s battles are similar to Arthur’s (and the two also have numerous other similarities including similar father’s names Uther & Vortigern), and Vortipore as corresponded with the leopard (Alexander) of Daniel (in Bible) by Gildas could also be similar to Arthur as victorious battles leader.
Arthur could also match Garthwys Hir / Gorthyn Hir in the Y Gododdin who also might match Vortimer. (Note Garthwys Hir similar to Arthur, and Gorthyn Hir similar to Vortimer.)
I’m not sure if Vortimer might further also match with either Aurelius-Ambrosius and/or Aethelbert, one or both of which persons names are maybe similar to Vortimer’s (Vor/Vort/Vorti & Aurelius, imer/mer/fyr & Amr & Ambrosius/Embres/Emrys/Merlin, Vor/Vort/Vorti & Aethel, imer/mer/fyr & bert, though linguists might accuse me of wrongly dividing the names). Or Vortipore’s name and some details are maybe similar to Aethelbert’s.)
If the above 4 candidates fail then the next best candidates for Arthur including the origin of the name are:
Art(h)ur/Arthwyr (m)ap Petr(oc)?
Arthur/Artu(i)r/Art?r mac Aeda(i)n/Aeden/Aidan?
Arth(r)wys/Arthuis ap Mar/Mor?
Aldroen(us) / Alator(ius)?
Ambrosius-Aurelius / Aureli(an)us / Aurelius-Ambrosius?
Athrwys/Ath-rhwys/Atroys ap Meurig/Myrig/Mouric?
Attila / Atilla the Hun / Atli hun / Etzel / Aetlan Hunne / Aetla Huna?
(Unless of course only the meaning of the names match and the name don’t match themselves.
Aurelius means “golden, fune, excellent” which might match some saying that Arthur means “noble one” or similar. Or Arthur “noble one” could match Aethlbert “noble bright”.)
In any case, my chief 4 candidates for the historical “(King) Arthur” are Vortimer, Vortipore, Ambrosius, Aethelbert. But if & which one or more of those 4 is/are right (if any of them) I can’t be sure yet. In many ways Aethelbert makes the most sense but there are certain doubts.
In the near future I will hopefully try to re-post my details matches evidences reasons for the above 4 best candidates, and maybe some of the above 12 second best candidates.
To end this post for now, below is a massive list of all the other possible Arthur candidates I had collated/collected in the last number of years from which we selected the above 4 + 12 best candidates with regards to possible name origin match.
Ares/Mars (Classical, Mintz)?
Ambrosius-Aurelius / Aureli(an)us / Aurelius-Ambrosius, Roman, Catgwalloph, Dumnonia (DEB, HB, HRB/DGB, EH)?
Aurelius Ursicin(i)us (Hoxne, me)?
Arvira(r)gus king of Siluria bro of Caratacus the Pendragon & Genuissa (HRB, me)?
Arthur/Artu(i)r/Art?r/Art(h)an mac Coaning/Cona(i)ng/Conall / Arthur mac Aeda(i)n/Aeden/Aidan mac Gab(h)ra(i)n grandson of Fergus Mor, king of Dalriada, 570 (Ardrey)?
Arthur of Bradley & Winifred (Suffolk ballad, me)?
Artur grandfather of Feradach ca 697?
Art(h)ur/Arthwyr (m)ap Petr(oc)/Pedr/Pierre ap Cincar/Cyngar, the tyrant/king of Dyfed/Demetia / Deisi Arthur (Harleian, Kam G)?
Art(h)ur of Manaan?
Arthur ic Uibar, Clan Campbell?
Arthur/Artu(i)r mac/ap/filio/filius Bico(i)r/Bicair Britone/Pritene/Pretene ca 620/625?
Artur mac Bruide?
Artuir maic Retheoir?
Arthur Penuchel late 6th century?
Arthur’s Seat / Ard-na-said, Edinburgh?
Arthur father of Geoffrey of Monmouth (HRB)?
Arthuret/Arfderydd/Arddrydd 573 (AC/WA, Triads, me)?
Ardaburius, Goth, 471 (me)?
Artharus rig Cruthni?
Arthari, Spain (P Diaconus)?
Ard-righ “high king” (Irish)?
Artir/Ardir “upon the land/ground/territory of”?
Artbodgu map Bodgu, Ceredigion?
Artook Khan (Turkish, me)?
Arthgal(lo) / Art(h)egal / Artgal consul of C/W (HRB, Spenser, me)?
Art(h)gal map Dumnagual, Strathclyde?
Arthlwys/Artgloys map Artbodgu, Ceredigion (HG)?
Artognou desc of Patern(us) Colus/Col(i) (Avi) Ficit, Cornwall (Tintagel)?
Arthgen map Seissil, Ceredigion?
Arthen of Ceredigion (AC, me)?
Artan filii Grippi(ud), Powys (HG)?
Artabanus king of Media?
Arddunion “fortress height” (Taliesin)?
Artmail map Guriat/Ris, Gwent?
Arthfael ap Einydd?
Art-ha “power & success, riches, abundance” (Indian, Campbell, me)?
Art/Airt (Irish, Walker)?
Arrdhu “very black”?
Arteios/Artaois (Median, me)?
Ardys/Ardus of Lydia (Lydian)?
Arthus 631-650 (Swedish king list, me, Beorna)?
Arthwys of Elmet?
Arthuis/Arthwys ap Masgwid/Mascuid Gloff?
Arth(r)wys/Arthuis ap Mar/Mor, k of the Pennines, Old north (Hen Ogledd, Keegan)?
Athrwys/Ath-rhwys/Atroys ap Meurig/Myrig/Mouric ap Tewdrig / Rex Artorius Fili Mavricius, Glywysing/Gwent (HG, Howells)?
Atroys map Ferinmail, Glywysing?
Authari (Lombard, me)?
Aetius, Auxerre (DEB, HRB)?
Adam (Bible, me)?
Aedan/Aethan/Aidan mac Gabhran 603-607 (AC, ASC, me)?
Aethelhere, East Anglia?
Aethelbert/Ethelbert king of Kent, pre-Augustine, 552/568/588 (ASC, AC, HB, HRB/DGB, KRL, PH, Ethelwerd, me)?
Attila / Atilla the Hun / Atli “bear” hun “bear cub” / Etzel / Aetlan Hunne / Aetla Huna Cyningae (ASCe, me)?
Aldroen(us) / Alator(ius) (HRB, Gwin, me)?
Alan Rufus of Brittany (Breton, Zoetropo)?
Alexander III the Great (me)?
Aelle the Tyrant (ASC, Gregory, me)?
Anthun ap Maxim, Manaw island, -hun “bear cub” (HG)?
Andred, Anderida, Andredes-weald (ASC, me)?
Andragat(h)ius/Andragasius, Gaul/France (Howells)?
Asshur / Nimrod, Assyria/A(r)thura (Bible, me)?
Agartha/Agarthi, king in center of world (me)?
Arcturus/Arktos-ouros, leader of other stars in Bootes (Wiki, Hitching)?
‘A’ at Buncarrick not far from Wexford (Wamsley)?
‘A’ at Govan (hidden Glascow website)?
Bear in Daniel (Bible, Gildas)?
Bere, Reculver & Portchester (Hunt)?
Britu/Faust (HB, Eliseg, me)?
Cadwallon I Lawhir (me)?
Cadwaladr 633 (me)?
Cerdic (Karen Han)?
Cormac mac A(i)rt (Irish)?
Clogwyn Du’r Arddu “high/height”, Snowdon?
Count Paul (me)?
Count Theodosius the brown bear, Saxon Shore?
Constantine III the lion (DEB, HRB, me)?
Cunedda, Manau Gododdin/Gustodin & Gwynedd (me)?
Cuneglas(us) (the charioteer of) the bear (DEB)?
Deoartavo(i)s (Cruithne/Pictish king list, Hoeh, me)?
Dungart, Scotland (AC)?
Dutigern/Outigern (HB) (me)?
Eithir map Arthat (me)?
Eleutherius/Eliffer/Elifert (AC, me)?
Ethelric, co-Bretwalda, Northumbria?
Ethelings 617 (ASC)?
En(n)iaun Girt / Einion Yrth / Einiawn Yrth / Urth / Yrth(y)r (HG)?
Eliseg (Pillar of Eliseg, me)?
Fingal &/or Finn mac Coul/Cool (some Arthurians)?
Fred the skeleton found in St Martin le Grand, Dover (me)?
Famed Arthur of Gwerthrynion / Guartherniaun/Gwarth Ennian/Guarenniaun/Gurthrenion “a calumny justly retorted”, Vortigern’s castle/city/synod/land (HB)?
Glewlwyd/Gleuliud Gavael-vawr the (chief) Porter / Pa Gur Y Porthaur (PG, me)?
Gualo, founder/leader/king of Welsh/Wales (HRB, me)?
Gwallawg (Eliseg, Taliesin, HB, me)?
Gwarthur/Gwawrddur / “he was no Arthur”, din Eidyn (YG)?
Garthwys Hir / Gorthyn Hir (Y Gododdin, me)?
Gartnait((h)boc) / Arthnach (Pictish/Cruithne king list, Bullen)?
Great Britain / British bears / Ursi Caledonii / Caledonian bears (me)?
Geraint/Wuthgirete/Grant of Dumnonia/Devon (ASC, Ethelwerd)?
Gildas Auctor/Sapiens (DEB, HRB, me)?
Herr Thor (Edda, Waddell)?
King Arthur’s grave, Glastonbury?
K Batradz & Narts, Sarmatian/Alan (Malcor/Littleton, Brynjulfson)?
King Izates of Edessa?
King Tuduvallus (me)?
Loyngarth/Llwynarth “grove of the bear” (HB/WB)?
Lucius Artorius Castus, York vicinity & Armorica (Malcor)?
Lucius Urseius/Matusius/Ursinianus “(the) bear”, Abalava?
Luthor/Liber son of A(i)rt (me)?
Leib-olmai “alder man / bear man / bear god” (Lappish)?
Muircertach Mac Erca/Earc (Pestano)?
Mercury Artaios / Artaius Mercury (me)?
Maelgwn Gwynedd the dragon (DEB, HB, HRB, me)?
Maelgwn’s uncle (DEB, me)?
May have functioned as/like Count of the SS (Ed Dawson, me)?
Mysterious Body of the Levitating Altar (Wonders, HB, me, Wilson/Blacket, Hassel, Howells)?
Natanleod pendragon (ASC, me)?
Niall of the 9 Hostages (Irish, me)?
Ninurta (Sumerian, me)?
Owain Ddantgwyn/Dantwyn/Danwyn “Arth/Arthur” k of Rhos, f of Cuneglas, “bears fort”?
Pabo Post Prydain (Hen Ogledd, me)?
Pope Adeodatus/Deusdedit (me)?
Pope 60/63 Pelagius (me)?
Pope 74 Martin (me)?
Progeny of Ambrosius (DEB) (me)?
Pan-Brittonic (folkloric/mythological) hero/figure (Padel/Green)?
Rhuvawn Pebr (me)?
Robin son of Art?
Ri(g)othamus/Riutimus/Rhiotavwys, Gaul/Britons, 460/470 (Sidonius, HF, Ashe)?
Rhydderch Hen (Hen Ogledd, me)?
Rhodri Mawr (me)?
Rothari (Lombard) (me)?
Rudra (Indian, me)?
Rustem (Persian, me)?
St Andrew (me)?
St Arthmael/Arthmail/Arthfael/Armel the king of Brittany (Breton/French, CJ Adrien, BTG)?
St Benedict (ASC) (me)?
St David/Dewi (HRB, me)?
St Germanus/Garmon of Auxerre 429 (HB, HRB)?
St Kentigern/Cyndeyrn Garthwys (me)?
St Leonard, Deal &/or St Leonard’s Forest (me)?
St Martin (me, Mintz)?
St Ninian’s christian king father (me)?
St Pol Aurelian(us) de Leon (Breton, me)?
St Patrick/Maun / “Moses” (HB, me)?
St Padarn/Paternus (Vita Patern, Kamlesh G, us)?
St Ursula dtr of Dianotus?
Sutton Hoo Man (SH, me, Wood)?
Tewdrig 584/630 (AC, WB/HB, me)?
Taliesin (Book of Taliesin, Hanes Taliesin, me)?
Uther Pendragon (HB, HRB, Bryjulfson, me)?
Urien(s) of Rheged, Brewyn (HB, DMN, HRB/DGB, Taliesin, Grey’s Bard, me)?
Ursinus, antipope, 366?
Ursus “bear”, killed Petronius Maximus, 422?
Ursus 776 bc, Belgian/Celt king (Belgian king list)?
Ursa major/minor (Hitching, Toija)?
Ursus / White Bear / house of the bear, Northumbria?
Victor son of Maximus (me)?
Vortigern/Vurthern/Wyrtgeorne/Wurtgern/Gurthrigern/Gwrtheyrn /Guarthi(gern) the proud tyrant, the Brettisc Cyning, Demetia (DEB, HB, HRB, ASC, Eliseg, me)? *
Vortimer/Gw(e)rthefyr/Guorthemir (HB, HRB/DGB, me)?
Vortipore/Wortiporius/Uortipori / Gwerthefyr/Gwrthevyr/Guortepir/Gwrdeber/Gwrdebyr/Gartbuir the pardo/leopard, the tyrant / Voteporix (DEB, HRB/DGB, me)?
Wreathed Bacchic figure in Dover Painted House (me)?
Xartus (potis) / Rta/Arta/Urta “righteousness” (Indo-Aryan, proto-Indo-European)?
(There are a few others I haven’t added but they are not majorly important.) Some of these are candidates of other researchers/scholars/historians, some are candidates of our own. We had reasons for all of them, but some are more or less major or minor candidates than others.
Just an additional not on the name matches of our chief few candidates.
Some people have suggested that Arthur linguistically can not possibly be from a name like Gwrthefyr/Vortimer or some other candidates, and they said I’d have to supply alot of linguistics evidence. So I am going to show some evidences for the possible names matches of my chief few candidates. (We won’t deal with all the other details matches here.)
Gw(e)rthefyr/Vortimer & Arthur/Artuir (first candidate) :
These two names are very similar having all the consonants -r-th-r in common except for the Gw- and the -fy- in the first name.
The -efy- can easily match or interchange with -u(i)- in Welsh/British. (Also compare the -ui- in Gwerthefyr/Gwrthevyr/Gartbuir/Vortipore. Some of the suggested etymologies of Arthur like art(h) + w(y)r or art(h) + vawr/fawr/mawr are also similar to the -fyr/-mer.)
The Gw(e)r- or Vo- could easily become A-. In the cases of Vortigern/Guarthi(gern) and Vortipore/Gartbuir and Gwarthlev there is an -art-/-arth- right after the Gw/Gu/G, and/or the y/a/e after the Gw/W in Gwerthefyr & Wyrtgeorne/Wyrtgeorne can easily match the A- in Arthur (& compare Girt/Yrth & Arthuret/Erderit?)
The Gw-/W-/V- could easily be dropped/omitted/lost/abraided. There are a number of examples of Gwarth or Garth- and Arth names being either variously spelt/said either way or being identically similar with each other except for the Gw-, eg:
Gwarthur/Gwawrddur & Arthur.
Garthwys (Hir) & Arthwys (ap Mar).
Gwarthan & Arthan/Artan.
Gwarth (Ennian) & “Wart” or (Brude) Gart & Art/Arth.
Loyngarth & Llwynarth.
Girt & Yrth.
(In addition Artorius is also maybe similar to Wortiporius except for the W(o)- & -ip-?)
Perhaps even compare that Uther’s/Uter’s name might similarly come from Wurtgern/Vortiger(n)/Vurthern/Urtigernus or from Gwythur/Guythur or Gwythyr or Victor, though the U- is slightly different to the A-.
One modern writer even calls the young Arthur by the name Wart.
The two names might also possibly be linked by that the name Arthur is very similar to the name Garthwys Hir which latter name is also read Gorthyn Hir which is very similar to Vortimer. (Perhaps compare Garthwys Hir with the suggested arth + w(y)r etymology of Arthur.)
“Famed Arthur of Gwerthrynion” of one source might also imply a link of the two names.
(On another line there is maybe a faint possibilty that Vortimer might match either Aurelius-Ambrosius or Aethelbert because the Vor/Vort/Vorti- & Aurelius- or Aethel- may be similar in name or meaning, and the -imer/mer & -Ambrosius/Emrys (& Amr) or -bert may be similar, though linguists might say I divide the name wrong. Both persons names are similarish to Arthur, both starting with A- etc.)
No one has found any person with the exact name Arthur in any early sources like the Gallic chronicle(s), Gildas, ASC, Bede, etc, so Arthur’s name may well have been from a slightly different similar name. The earliest definite mention of Arthur is in the HB. The earlier Northern Memorandum is only an unproven theoretical source. The mention in the Y Gododdin might only be a later addition since it is not in all versions, and even if it is not the date of the composition and/or updating has been questioned, and even if might date to early 600s or late 500s it doesn’t prove Arthur can’t match Gwrthefyr (or vice-versa) because the near contemporaries could have created either name then. Though there is Arthur mac Aedan of the early 600s, but he may not be related and he is decades or more after Arthur. So the HB is the earliest definite source. Vortimer/Gwrthefyr is one of the only few names very like Arthur in the early sources.
There are also many other details similarities between Vortimer and Arthur too.
Aethelbert & Arthur (2nd candidate after Vortimer) :
Both are similarish names. Both start with A-. In Germanic Ae- or Ea- is also A- or E-. The -th-l-r & -r-th-r are similar with a r/l interchange and transposition of the th & r/l. (Or A(e) could easily be made Ar (compare ar & ah), and the -l can be dropped/lost. Or th is alternatively d, and in some names the -l is dropped like in Adolf, and d sometimes interchanges with r in/between some languages.) The second -e- can easily be dropped. The -be- could interchange with or become or be made -u- (perhaps compare Sigurd & Sigibert). The final -t could easily be omitted/droped/abraided (perhaps compare Arthuret, or Eliffer/Elifert/Eleutherius).
Or alternatively Aethel-bert could match Vortimer/Gwrthefyr (Vor/Vort/Vorti matching Aethel in name or meaning, + efyr/imer/mer/fyr matching bert) or Vortipore/Gwrdeber/Gwrdebyr. Or Aethelbert could match Arth-w(y)r via a link with Attila/Atilla/Aetlan/Aetla/Atli since Atli & Arth both mean “bear”, and Etzel/Aetlan/Aetla/Atli/Atilla is similar to Aethel. Or Arth-w(y)r “noble one” could match Aethel-bert “noble (and) bright/brilliant/illustrious/shining/glorious (one), nobly famous”.
Aethelbert is one of the only couple/few name & nature candidates for Arthur in the ASC, and one of the only Arthur candidates with any much of an actual historical record.
Vortipore/Gwerthefyr/Gartbuir & Arthur/Artuir (3rd candidate) :
We can use much the same arguments that we have already posted for Vortimer, because Gwerthfyr/Vortipore & Gwrthefyr/Vortimer are very similar. The only difference is the -po-/-bu(i)- in Vortipore/Gartbuir is maybe abit less likely to match the -u(i)- in Arthur.
Garthwys Hir & Arthur/Artuir/Arthw(y)r (5th candidate):
The name Garthwys Hir is very similar to Arthur/Artuir, except for the G- which we have already addressed in the Vortimer part above. The -wys_hir is quite able to match the -u(i)r/w(y)r by dropping the -s (which is quite possible) (and the h). Furthermore Garthwys Hir is also called Gorthyn Hir which is very similar to Vortimer whose proper name Gwrthefyr is also very similar to Arthur as we have already shown.
Atilla the Hun & Arthur (12th candidate) :
The name Attila/Atilla the Hun / Aetlan Hunne / Aetla Huna Cyningae (ASCe) and the name (King) Arthur are similarish A- names, with a n/r interchange for the -hun & -hur. The t-l and the r-t could match in the ways we have already mentioned in the Aethelbert part above. The secondary vowels e &/or i &/or a can easily be dropped or conflated. So contrary to some saying the only similarity is they both start with A-, they both possibly have A, r-t/t-l, h, u, n/r (and King/Cyningae) in similarity.
Furthermore Atli means “bear” and hun means “bear cub” in Germanic, which could match arth means “bear” in Welsh.
But Atilla is not among the chief few candidates, he is about 12th place in my ranking of chief candidates.
Further further info on some candidates details matches evidences reasons see these posts:
A more detailed comparison of similarity of Gwarth/Garth/Arth names proving they are closely linked is here:
A full comparison of Vortimer and Arthur striking similarities is here:
And I cover some similarities of some of the other candidates in my paper here:
https://www.academia.edu/44454010/Who_is_Arthur (34 candidates including Gwallawg)
and these blog posts
Addenda. From this list below people can see why I say Arthur’s maximum dates in tradition sources are 421-584, and 630-650.
Arthur’s maximum dates range in early traditional sources:
Arthur or Gildas 421 (CMSM &/or other source)? Arthur/Badon contemporary of Gildas 421-512/572 (Sts Lives, DEB), Arthur/Grail 450/454 (Malory), Arthur not mentioned 452 (Gallic), 459-475 (Albericus), during pope Hilarius 461 (Salzbury Annals, Polonius, Preis), during Aegidius 461-464 (Guise), Arthur during Supplicius 468-483 (HRB), Arthur/Badon 470 (HRB/DGB)? Badon “493” (Bede)? Arthur contemp of Cerdic 494/495-516/534 (HRB),
Arthur not mentioned 511 (Gallic), Arthur/Badon 516/518 (AC), “KA subdues Ireland” 519? Arthur/Camlan 537/539 (AC), Great victory of Arthur 540 (Shakespeare & the Welsh)? Arthur/Camlan 542 (HRB/DGB, Stow & Warner), Arthur/Badon 546 (AC version), Arthur before/until Ida 547/560/584 (HB), Arthur/Badon 554 (Hergest), Arthur/Camlan 576 (AC),
Arthus 631-650 (Swedish k list), Great victory of Arthur 640 (Shakespeare and the Welsh), Arthur 650 (Wace).
Arthur’s dates range in later modern sources:
Ursus 776 bc (me),
Arviragus ca 17-46/47, Deoartavois 47-67 (me),
LAC 121-161-166 / 180 / 2nd cent / 215/232 / 3rd cent (Malcor/Littleton, Malone, Infopedia),
322? 350 (Morris)? 383 (W&B)?
Badon identified with Halleluyah Victory 429/430 (Bede, Wiki)? Badon 430-440 (Higham), Badon 430-520 (Wiki), Arthur as Riothamus 460/470, Badon 482 (McCarthy & O Croinin), Badon 485 (Snyder), Badon 485-520 (Wood), Arthur/Glein 486 (Wiki), Grail 487 ad or 454 yrs, Arthur/Linnuis 490 (Wiki), Badon 490s (Wood), Arthur/Bassas 492 (Wiki), Badon 492/493 (EH, Jackson, Evans, Cooper/Brewers), Arthur/Guinnion 493 (Breeze, Wiki), Badon 494-497 (Morris), Arthur/Legionis 495 (Wiki), Badon 496/497 (Wiki), Badon 499-511/518 (Brynjulfson),
Badon “500/501” (DEB, Jackson, Evans, Dumville, Wiki), Llongborth 501, Badon 516 (AC, , Jackson, Evans, Cooper/Brewers), No gains gap 519-552 (Brynjulfson), Arthur II 562 (Wilson), Badon as Baodan/Baetan/Baitan 566/567, Arthur/Arthuret 573 (AC, Ardrey), “abdicated in 574 ad or 541 yrs after the crucifiction”, Badon as Bath 577, 580 (Simon Stirling), 582/586/588 (Ardrey), Badon as queen Badda/Baddo 589/587/586,
Badon 634 (ACb)? Arthur 650 (Morris)? Badon 661 (AC/ASC, Hunt), Badon 665 (AC), Badon as Bedwin 675,
Geraint/Llongborth 710, Arthur 700 (Infopedia), Golden Dragon Bereford 760,
Arthgen of Ceredigion 807 (me),
Badon as Brunandune 937/939 (me), Badon 940/960 (HB, me),
Arthur as Alan III 1040 or Alan Rufus 1061/1071-1093 (Zoetropo),
Lancelot as William Marshall 1189-1219 or 1217-1231.
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