Talk:Cerdic of Wessex

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Can anyone clarify if the name "Cerdic" is Germanic in origin, and if so, give its meaning?

It's actually believed to be British rather than Germanic, which is a bit odd and has been puzzled over a bit. I'm glad you pointed it out, I'll add something about it. Everyking 19:49, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I think it probarly comes from , Cedric , and is thus Germanic. The name Ceretic or Caradog (in Latin Caratacus)is sought to far in my opinion.I don't get it how people search so far for an answer while there can be a much more obvious one.
Cedric was a mis-spelling of the name Cerdic made by Sir Walter Scott in his novel Ivanhoe of 1819, it became a popular name in Britain in the 19th century much in the same way as the invented name Wendy (from Peter Pan) did a little later. It doesn't have a deep Germanic etymology at all.Urselius (talk) 10:47, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Origins of Cerdic[edit]

I just wanted to know the citation for Dumville's later dating of Cerdic in the mid-sixth century; I believe that is the scholarly consensus, since the early entries of the ASC are notoriously unreliable regards dates, but since you mention him by name, I would like something other than a hyperlink to his Wikipedia entry/curriculum vitae. Thanks.

Feel free to do the spadework yourself. ~ Urselius (talk)

I removed the line about Cerdic being "patriach of the House of Saxony" because we have no sources to back this up. Also, I'm going to make a few more revisions concerning his background and possible origins. Let me know what you think. Fergananim 20:55, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Cerdic is quite definitely a British name and related to Ceretic, Caradoc and, ultimately, Caratacus. Welsh sources name a British king called Caradoc Strongarm who ruled in what is now southern England.

The West Saxon royal family has a number of British or at least Celtic-related name connections. Cynric, Cerdic's successor appears to have a perfectly understandable Anglo-Saxon name, meaning "Kin-ruler." However, it is a plausible anglicisation of yet another native name Cunorix, which would mean "Hound-king," There were a number of near-contemporary British "hound" named rulers, the most celebrated being Maglocunus "Great-hound" otherwise known in Early Welsh as Maelgwn.

The most famous hound king, Cunomorus (Hound of the Sea) was a spurious Duke of the Dumnonii, who held land in Briitain and Britanny. Linked with King Mark of Cornwall - he is a good candidate to have been Cynric, I feel. John D. Croft (talk) 09:22, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Ceawlin, Cynric's apparent successor also seems to bear a non-A-S name, probably related to Colin, a Celtic name. There was a near contemporary British (Welsh) saint named Kollen. Anglo-Saxon etymologies for Creoda and Esla are also lacking.

A later West Saxon king was named Caedwalla, seemingly after the mighty British ruler Cadwallon, King of Gwynnedd, who killed Edwin of Northumbria.

Urselius 22:26, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

The Historia Britonnium of Nennius says there was a certain Ceretic who was the Saxon Translator of Vortigern. I wonder if this could not be the same as Cerdic. John D. Croft (talk) 09:20, 9 August 2011 (UTC)


Can someone provide a source for Cerdic's date of birth as 467? Is it given in the Chronicle? Cerdic 03:53, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

It's not in the Chronicle. Richard Fletcher, in his "Who's Who in Roman Britain and Anglo-Saxon England", just gives Cerdic's dates as "fl. c. 490-530?" which seems less misleading to me. Without a source I'd think we can remove the birthdate. Mike Christie (talk) 05:02, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
I looked through "The Anglo-Saxons" (ed. James Campbell) and "The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England" (ed. Lapidge, Blair, Keynes and Scragg) and it's not given in either of those sources either. As far as I know, neither Bede, Gildas or Nennius mentions it. One of the external links points to a website that has 467 (presumably the source for the date in this article) but its main page warns us not to regard it as authoritative, so I chose to heed their advice and deleted the birthdate. Also, you may want to fix the links to your references  ;) Cerdic 08:20, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
OK, thanks for the heads-up. I'm about to get on a plane and will be travelling for about twenty hours or so, so I'll have to do it later. Thanks. Mike Christie (talk) 08:33, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
No problem. I didn't do it right away because I wasn't sure how at the time but I figured it out. Cerdic 09:00, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Appearances in Literature[edit]

Is there enough to create an additional section for this? I looked this guy up due to an appearence in Steve White's 'Debt of Ages' as a major character in an England where the Western Romans beat the invading Goths in the 500s and eventually unified the Empire - and the story has him as King Arthur's son (a bastard by-blow resulted from raiding onto the Continent). I don't know how much of the story is based in fact, but it was my first encounter with this historical figure. I wonder what else he might have appeared in - and there is a basis for modern appearences in fiction and literature by historical figures: Joan of Arc. Bengaley 19:41, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

How is the name pronounced?[edit]

How is the name pronounced? Is it "SUR-dik" or "KAYR-dik" or what? SpectrumDT 20:30, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

I believe that in Old English it's be pronounced something like 'chair' followed by 'ditch'. These days most people say it with an S, though, I suspect. (talk) 11:58, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Wrong Charford link[edit]

The link in the article goes to that about a place of the same name in Worcestershire, rather that to the correct location in Hampshire, which is split over two stub entries, North Charford and South Charford. (talk) 13:23, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

85+ year gap[edit]

"J.N.L. Myres noted that when Cerdic and Cynric first appear in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 495 they are described as ealdormen, which at that point in time was a fairly junior rank. Myres remarks that, .....It looks very much as if a hint is being conveyed that Cerdic and his people owed their standing to having been already concerned with administrative affairs under Roman authority on this part of the Saxon Shore."

If the Romans left in 410, wouldnt the 85 year gap make this impossible? (talk) 16:12, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

A fair comment, except that Roman administration in Britain didn't cease in practice when the imperial legions left, any more than it stopped in Rome the moment the last western emperor Romulus August was deposed. Riothamus, High King of the Britons, is addressed in a letter by Sidonius Apollinaris dated in the latter 400s, and is mentioned as being ambushed by the Goths in central France around the year 470. The Romans didn't clearly distinguish between Britons in Great Britain and those across the Channel in Armorica, perhaps because there was no such clear distinction, as people from both areas frequently crossed the Channel for trade, settlement and war since ancient times (as Caesar witnessed) and continued to do so well into the 15th century. The Bretons maintained the form of Roman administration without a break into the High Middle Ages, as did the Franks, despite the presence of multitudes of aggressive Goths. In Britain, a few incursions by the Picts and the Irish wouldn't have put an end to the law courts. Zoetropo (talk) 01:00, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Cerdic's father and/or grandfather?[edit]

I'm trying to trace the ancestry of Elizabeth II and came to Alfred the Great, and then came to this page (Cerdic of Wessex). Does anyone know who his father is? ( (talk) 2:39, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Legendary ancestors of Cerdic of Wessex merge to[edit]

This above linked article appears to be extensive OR concerning Cerdic ancestry which ought to be merged into the main article. Sadads (talk) 02:41, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

If your only reason for merging is that it appears to be OR, it is not - none of it. I will go back and add in-line citations. Agricolae (talk) 13:41, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
The combination of length (its longer than the main Cerdic article), poor sourcing (only a couple sources) and no in-line citations led to that suggestion. If you can fix it please do. I just happened to come across it in our tagging effort for WP:WPASK. Sadads (talk) 16:00, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
In-line sources have been added. To compare its length to that of the Cerdic page is meaningless, as this is not just a minor sub-issue regarding Cerdic - it is the royal pedigree myth of the English kingdom, with Cerdic just being the jumping-off point. If you think it needs a different name to clarify this, then suggest something. Should such a page exist? That is a different question, but in the deletion discussion for the Esla page, it was though such a page would be useful, whatever it was called. Agricolae (talk) 16:37, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Now I understand, the in-line work is good. Thank you, sorry about that, article is in good shape for now I suppose. By the way, are you interested in WP:WikiProject Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms? We could really use some more experienced editors.16:45, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Where did he land from?[edit]

If we know he "landed," presumably we know where he came from. I realize that the early life of Cerdic is unknown, but this means we ought not to have a section called "early life." Wherever he is introduced, we should be clear about what historians think. If he landed someplace it is natural to think he wasn't born there. If he wasn't born there, or did not miraculously appear, where did he come from? Can someone add this to the article or revise it accordinly? Slrubenstein | Talk 20:10, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

I think this is covered in the article, albeit not in the first part. The AS chronicle says 'he landed,' no departure point is mentioned though Angeln or Old Saxony in Northern Germany would be inferred. However, it has been shown that Cerdic's ancestry was fabricated and that he had a native Celtic name. Both of these would suggest that his landing in Britain was just invented and that he was a native noble who attracted the services of a partly Germanic war-band. The idea that "nationality" was important to people in this period is undoubtedly greatly exaggerated, personal relationships were far more important, warriors would follow any leader who was successful and could reward them. The Roman Aetius had loyal Burgundian and Hunnic warrior-retainers.
In short, the only source saying that he landed does not say where he landed from, and most probably he was a native Briton who gained the support of an Anglo-Saxon war-band and was successful enough to retain their loyalty.Urselius (talk) 21:55, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Well, we can't have original research - are there any secondary sources that argue that he departed from Northern Germany, or secondary sources that argue that he was a native Briton? If o, these viws should be made explicitly with proper citation. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:44, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

I've added an inline reference for Myres, which was a rather glaring omission, but I think "the landing" is referenced to the AS Chronicle in the text, and the AS Chronicle is linked as an external link; also the theories of a British or partly British origin for Cerdic are covered by a number of inline citations. Urselius (talk) 11:17, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Slrubenstein | Talk 19:19, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Quite right, we cannot have original research, but it surprises me that no scholar has observed that Cerdic's name is similar in form to those found, near-contemporaneously, across the Channel, e.g. King Budic of Brittany. Or noticed that the White Dragon emblem of Wessex is just the Red Dragon of Wales recoloured. Or connected the story of Cerdic's landing with the fact that, in subsequent centuries, Bretons landed in Hampshire. Indeed Count Alan Rufus (c. 1040-1093), leader of the Bretons in the early Norman era, owned properties in Hampshire and was active in Southampton. I think it reasonable therefore to hypothesise that Cerdic had come from Domnonea, the dominant state in northern Brittany, which had been founded from Dumnonia (which included modern Devon and surrounding areas) in southern Britain. Vortigern was the elected President of the British Senate in London, so the story of Vortigern's castle collapsing because it was built over two dragons perpetually fighting sounds much like a metaphor for Vortigern failing to reconcile two conflicting British factions, perhaps one from Wales and another from Dumnonia. The claim that the red dragon would eventually win seems suspiciously like a retrofit, because the historical victors in this conflict were the House of Gwened (Vannes), founded from Wales, of which Alan Rufus ("the Red") was the representative in England. Alan's red-haired father Count Eudon (c. 999-1079) was granted Penteur, which corresponds geographically quite closely to Domnonea, another instance of the bearers of the red emblem conquering those of the white. Zoetropo (talk) 00:52, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
The Golden Wyvern of Wessex is shown as a standard flying over the English troops on the Bayeux Tapestry, immediately next to the inscription "King Harold is killed". However, your theory is predicated on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle statement concerning the landing of Cerdic in Britain being factual, which is doubted by many scholars. The name Cerdic is essentially identical to the names of two native British rulers: Ceretic of Elmet and Ceretic Guletic of Strathclyde, so looking for a Breton parallel is unnecessary. Urselius (talk) 08:50, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Cerdic's historicity is currently irresolvable, but several points arise from Urselius's objections to the Breton origin hypothesis. (1) Any number of scholars are entitled to doubt Cerdic's existence, but it's not valid to argue that the origin theory held by the ruling house of Wessex itself can be dismissed out of hand, no matter how much a scholar dislikes it. (2) The existence of two, distinct, native British rulers named Ceretic from regions unrelated to Wessex implies not confusion but popularity of the name, so should come as no surprise to find a third Ceretic or Cerdic. (3) One should never overlook the extent of Britain's cultural and trading connections with the Continent: in the Late Roman perios, Britons settled as far afield as Galicia in north-west Spain, founding there a colony named Britonia which maintained a separate Bishop who was recognised at the First Council of Lugo in 569 continuing until the Fourth Council of Toledo in 633. Antique and early medieval Britain and Brittany should certainly not be seen in isolation from each other: these two nations had close relations and frequent interaction from pre-Roman times (as Caesar's "Gallic Wars" attests) until Brittany was finally conquered by France in 1488. (4) Are we supposed to accept, without demur, that the Franks, Saxons, Angles and Jutes migrated across the North Sea, but that crossing the Channel was too difficult a task for one of the many ambitious Breton warlords? This despite Breton nautical proficiency and the historical record of several such crossings undertaken for military purposes? (Examples: Mathuedoi in 914, Alan II in 936, numerous occasions during the reigns of the Norman kings.) (5) It's therefore unreasonable to argue somehow that a Cerdic (or any other Briton) either didn't exist, or to draw a line through the English Channel and claim it unlikely that he came from a few miles across the Narrow Sea. (6) Harold Godwinson's use of the Wyvern to represent Wessex does beg the question, why use the same "mascot" as the Welsh? Zoetropo (talk) 00:51, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

You mistake my reasoning. I think that Cerdic's British name, set as it is at the head of an "Anglo-Saxon" dynasty, makes his historicity more likely than if his name had been Germanic. At the time that Cerdic is supposed to have existed the distinction between Briton and Breton was essentially meaningless, the same people lived on both sides of the English channel and some of their kings ruled on both sides simultaneously. This, and the doubt placed by many scholars on the A-S Chronicle's statement about Cerdic 'landing in Britain', is why I think your Breton origin theory is not particularly useful. Personally, I think the Wessex dynasty was native British in origin and rose to power by employing Germanic warriors and thereby became Anglo-Saxonised. Given that the last king of the dynasty to bear a British name died in the 680s, it was a long process. Urselius (talk) 08:49, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Cerdic, Son of King Arthur[edit]

The book "The British Chronicles" by David Hughes (2007) cites noted historian Geoffrey Ashe as a source that states that Cerdic of Wessex was the son of King Arthur. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:558:6002:6:144C:53AD:D286:640F (talk) 04:07, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Geoffrey Ashe is more of a populist, rather than strictly academic, historian. I'm sure that he didn't 'state' that such a relationship existed, but merely hypothesise the possibility. Urselius (talk) 09:17, 4 August 2012 (UTC)


Hello ,

The following sources claim a Brythonic origin for the name Cerdic: Jackson, Kenneth (1953), Language and History in Early Britain. Edinburgh. pp. 554, 557, 613 and 680. Parsons, D. (1997) British *Caraticos, Old English Cerdic, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, 33, pp, 1–8. Koch, J.T., (2006) Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, ISBN 1-85109-440-7, pp. 394–395. Hoops, J. (2002) Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde, Volume 20, Walter de Gruyter, Germanic Antiquities, pp. 560–561. Yorke, B. (1995) Wessex in the Early Middle Ages, A&C Black, p. 190.

The only, and there seem to be very few, sources I have ever seen that claim a different origin for the name are very old and/or use the highly dubious, "Cerdic was an Anglo-Saxon ruler, therefore his name must be Anglo-Saxon", argument. I would be very surprised if you could come up with a single reliable source for a Germanic orign for the name. If you cannot, or if the overwhelming weight of scholarship is against a Germanic and for a Celtic origin, then I think the argument goes by default. Urselius (talk) 09:49, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

We need a survey of linguists specializing in Germanic and Celtic, not historians; Barbara Yorke is Professor of Early Medieval History, not a linguist, so her opinion doesn't count. Johannes Hoops was the editor of the journal RdGA in the early 19th century - the citation is clearly wrong (missing the author and article name)! I think you are referring to John Insley's article on Natanleaga from that volume. Insley is a linguist and can count here (as, of course, can Jackson and Koch). Note that Jackson (LHEB, p. 613-614) considers the A.S. name Cerdic to be suspect and notes linguistic difficulties with deriving it from Brittonic *Caraticos; he suggests it is a spurious name, invented from the A.S. place name Cerdicesford (Charford). Koch suggests the name is Brittonic, but also mentions the possibility of the ASC authors re-writing history and using local Brittonic place names as the kernel for a AS foundation legend (which is also suggested by Insley). So, we have the opinions of a whopping three linguists; does that allow us to say "most scholars" in this article? Cagwinn (talk) 16:55, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, I missed the Parsons citation - that makes a grand total of four opinions. Cagwinn (talk) 16:56, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
And none for an alternative source language. I imagine the retrofit to geographical names idea is an extension of the supposed Port and Whitgar (from Latin portus and Vectis) origins. However, there are no suggestions that the "cerdic..." constructs come from a Latin placename, so the parallel is unsound. The placenames are in the genitive form 'cerdices...', which would itself suggest the existence of a person called cerdic to which they referred. Also, it is just kicking the can down the road, because the "cerdic..." element of the placenames would then have no etymology of its own. I do not admit your assertion that only linguists can have valid opinions on this matter, many historians are trained in languages and of course they can all read. Urselius (talk) 12:12, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Alfred Anscombe, "The name of Cerdic" in: Y Cymmrodor Vol. 29, (1919), p. 151-202, connects the name with Anglo-Saxon caert/ceart/cert "rough [i.e., overgrown] common [land]", which survives as the modern English dialectal word "chart" (and also found in numerous place names). I don't care if you refuse to admit it, linguists' opinions are the only ones that really matter in questions of etymology. Cagwinn (talk) 17:25, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, whatever. I would class the 1919 source as both old and dubious, not to say desperate. Please yourself, I really cannot be bothered. Urselius (talk) 15:42, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it is clear that you can't be bothered to do proper research. I see no problem with connecting the words from a linguistic point of view; the name is spelled Certic or Ceartic in several manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (and note regarding the alternate form with -d-, Cerdic/Ceardic, that the dialectal word "chart" that I mentioned above, is also found as "chard" in some areas of England; cf. Anglo-Saxon *cearda in the name Cerden-hlaew/Caerdan-hlaew). Cagwinn (talk) 17:56, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
If you think that a Migration Period Germanic leader would be named after "scrubby-ground" you are supporting a patently ridiculous hypothesis. Anscombe presents no supporting evidence for the use of this term as a personal name element, or any terms describing types of 'ground-condition' as personal name elements in Migration Era Germanic. Anscombe uses at least half of his paper pointing out that essentially all other scholars in the field at the time supported the Celtic origin of the name Cerdic. Finally, Anscombe's main thesis relies on very many dubious sound-shifts and some distinctly odd (and subsequently unsupported) ideas of relations between Germanic dialects, such as his startling "Suevic-Mercian". In short Anscombe is virtually alone amongst his contemporaries in his ideas, has subsequently received not an iota of support from later generations of scholars and his ideas amount to a fringe hypothesis. Urselius (talk) 13:20, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
"If you think that a Migration Period Germanic leader would be named after "scrubby-ground" you are supporting a patently ridiculous hypothesis"... LOL - You don't know what you are talking about at all! There are many similar names attested throughout the Germanic world (for example, personal names derived from Proto-Germanic haiþī "heath", hagjō "hedge", stainaz "stone", et al.). If Cerdic is Anglo-Saxon, it is most likely a hypocoristic name and is, thus, a shortening of a name with *cerd-/*cert- as it's first or second element. The meaning of the root is *cerd-/*cert- is "knot, braid, something twisted and hard" (from Proto-Indo-European *ger-d-, according to Pokorny); a perfectly suitable Germanic name element (compare the name Cnut [Old Norse Knútr, German Knud/Knut] "Knot").Cagwinn (talk) 18:55, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
You forgot the '*' in '*stainaz', BTW. Proto-Indo-European also covers Celtic, and Ossetian for that matter. Stone, as in Dunstan, that wonderful Celto-Germanic name, and 'fortress', and 'wood', name elements incorporate desirable qualities such as 'strength' and 'endurance', or for '-wudu' possible references to heathen 'sacred groves'; 'scrubby land' suggests no such qualities. There is no evidence of 'chard' being used as a personal name element, anywhere. Whilst two indisputably Celtic kings called by the cognate name 'Ceretic' exist, and within Britain, there are no contemporary or near-contemporary uses of 'chard-' names in a definite Germanic milieu, whatsoever. You are basing an opposition to a well-supported Celtic etymology for the name Cerdic on one fringe publication and your own POV. This is not of sufficient weight to affect the wording of the article. Urselius (talk) 19:29, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
"You forgot the '*' in '*stainaz'", LOL, so what?? Doesn't negate my point. "Proto-Indo-European also covers Celtic, and Ossetian for that matter." Yeah, no sh*t; I have been studying PIE linguistics for about 30 years now. Dunstan may also be purely Germanic. "There is no evidence of 'chard' being used as a personal name element, anywhere."...Certic would be the evidence. It would hadly be the first instance of a hapax name. As I already mentioned, the root of chart means "knot, braid, something twisted and hard"; there are plenty of examples of Germanic names that fall within this semantic range (including Cnut, which I cited above). If you don't have any reasonable, properly researched arguments to offer here, you should probably consider moving on to some other topic. Cagwinn (talk) 20:52, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
The problem here is not my or your knowledge or relative obtuseness. The problem is that you only have one obscure and rather old published source to support your proposition. There are at least four, and more could be found, sources that support the alternative view. As I'm sure you know, Wikipedia articles need to reflect the available scholarship, especially though secondary sources. The majority of sources support a Celtic origin for the name Cerdic and this should be reflected in the wording of the article. This is how Wikipedia works, if you have a problem with this I would suggest you display your knowledge and erudition elsewhere. Urselius (talk) 21:12, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
"The majority of sources support a Celtic origin for the name Cerdic". PROVE IT! Cagwinn (talk) 21:41, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
Simple arithmetic does this - I could add another half-dozen citations, and you have one. Urselius (talk) 11:51, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Put up, or shut up - and make sure you are citing reputable LINGUISTS. Cagwinn (talk) 18:36, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Your grasp of the situation is faulty. It is you who want to make changes, you must provide sufficient evidence to support them. Also, it is not up to you to decide what references are admissible, there are Wikipedia guidelines for this. This is both a historical and linguistic issue. Arguably the name of one man in the 6th century is of no linguistic importance, but the ethnic and cultural identity of the same man is of infinitely greater historical significance. Urselius (talk) 07:54, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
By the way, one of the major reasons for doubting that Cerdic is a Brittonic name is that, assuming he was a real person and born sometime between the late 5th through early 6th century, his floruit predates Brittonic syncope and internal i-affection (i.e., when he lived, Brittonic *Caraticos or *Coroticos had not yet become Neo-Brittonic Certic; a form that could not even exist until the 7th century [which marks the beginning of internal i-affection, according to Jackson]).
Yes, I have come across this argument and its origin. The author of this view missed out a vital ingredient - Caedwalla, a king of Wessex with an undoubtedly Welsh name, died in the last quarter of the 7th century. This is suggestive of a knowledge of spoken Welsh in Wessex, at least in its royal family, at this period. Caedwalla does not seem to have been absorbed into English speech its earlier form of Catuvellaunos. Urselius (talk) 11:51, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
You can't even address, no less disprove, these important phonological issues which act as barriers to Certic being a genuine 5th century borrowing of a British name. Get back to me when you have done some actual research on this topic. Cagwinn (talk) 18:36, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm impressed by your unswerving belief in your own rectitude, when you are espousing such a minority opinion. The repeated use of British personal names in the early Wessex genealogies argues for some continuing influence of British/Welsh language in this family. If Cerdic were to be a purely Germanic name this would make the later occurrences of undoubted British names among his putative descendants far more puzzling. As such, the null hypothesis must be that his name was Celtic in origin, it is therefore necessary for a Germanic origin to be proven beyond any doubt, before any credence can be given to this proposition. This is all irrelevant, however, as Wikipedia articles must be representative of available scholarship. In order for "most scholars" to be legitimately replaced by "some scholars", you will need to provide references to a number of scholars and their works supporting a Germanic origin that are roughly equal to the number espousing a Celtic origin. Otherwise it is merely you pushing your personal viewpoint and indulging in 'own research', both of which are anathema on Wikipedia. Urselius (talk) 07:49, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Richard Coates, one of Britain's foremost linguists specializing in this period, comments that "the Brittonic, as has long been known", in his article "On some controversy surrounding Gewissae / Gewissei, Cerdic and Ceawlin" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:35, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

Richard Coates is absolutely NOT one of "Britain's foremost linguists specializing in this period" - that's a patently ridiculous statement! Cagwinn (talk) 18:06, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

User:Cagwinn in order to support a change from "most scholars" to "some scholars" in the text of the article, YOU MUST FIRST PRODUCE AN EQUAL OR GREATER NUMBER OF SOURCES that support your thesis than have already been furnished within the article that run contrary to it. This is a definite and ineluctable requirement. Urselius (talk) 19:39, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Ceawlin is not Celtic/Brittonic[edit]

There is no attested Brittonic cognate if this name (it would have to have been something like *Kawolīn[n]os), nor any attested Neo-Brittonic cognate. It is likely a derivative of Anglo-Saxon Ceawa "Chewer, Eater", with double-diminutive suffix -lin. See: Ström, Hilmer, Old English Personal Names in Bede's History: An Etymological-phonological Investigation, Issue 8, C. W. K. Gleerup, 1939, p. 67; Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary, Genealogical Publishing Com, 1969 p. 78; Pollington, Stephen, Anglo-Saxon Burial Mounds: Princely Burial in the 6th & 7th Centuries, Anglo-Saxon Books, 2008, p. 243; Kristensson, Gillis. 1984. “Old English *Cēo ‘a Clearing’.” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 85, pp. 59–60; Arngart, Olof Sigfrid , Old English material in the Leningrad manuscript of Bede's Ecclesiastical history, Volumes 31-33, C. W. K. Gleerup, 1941, p. 92. Cagwinn (talk) 20:51, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

Unfortunately, there are many published reputable sources that state that the name Ceawlin is of British origin. To remove this assertion from the text of the article is in breach of Wikipedia policy that articles must reflect current scholarly opinion. If there are two contending theses in current scholarship then both must be represented, your personal opinion is irrelevant and constitutes OR. Urselius (talk) 21:02, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
No, there are not "many published reputable sources that state that the name Ceawlin is of British origin"; at least not written by reputable linguists. Cagwinn (talk) 21:05, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
Yet again your stricture on excluding the work of reputable historians is unsupportable. The sources are there, they fulfil all Wikipedia requirements as reputable. Your attitude is intransigent - revert once again and I will take you to arbitration. Urselius (talk) 21:12, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
I am citing sources. You are doing nothing other than complain. Cagwinn (talk) 21:13, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
By the way (and this shouldn't even need to be stated!!) the etymology of the name is an issue for LINGUISTS, not HISTORIANS, LOL!! Cagwinn (talk) 21:17, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
The interpretation of linguistic evidence from two dead languages is of historical importance with widespread cultural relevance - the linguistics in and of itself is of minimal importance to any but linguists working on dead languages. I have offered to compromise, insert your thesis with supporting references, but do not remove the majority scholarly view. Your intransigence is manifestly visible, my willingness to compromise is equally obvious. I do not think that any arbitration would support your position or actions. I am happy to take this dispute to any forum or process in Wikipedia. Urselius (talk) 21:28, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
Spare me the ridiculous and uninformed bluster; you clearly don't know what you're talking about re: linguistics. It is people such as yourself that make Wikipedia an unreliable source for information. Cagwinn (talk) 21:35, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
You are verging on, or have passed the line into, ad hominem attack; this does your case no favours. Do you want to take this to arbitration? Urselius (talk) 21:42, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
You're blustery bullying does not scare me. Cagwinn (talk) 22:21, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
What bullying? I am willing to compromise on a point of contention, you seemingly are not. You wish to remove an assertion that is supported by a number of relevant and eminently respectable scholarly references, whereas I am content for you to put a contradictory view in the article (providing it has suitable scholarly support). If you have faith in the rectitude of your view - within the framework of Wikipedia's rules and guidelines - then take the matter to an arbitration forum. I am quite happy to defend my viewpoint in arbitration. Urselius (talk) 07:15, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
So, let me get this straight - you know nothing about linguistics, but still feel entitled to engage in edit wars with those who do? Additionally, when you can't present a compelling counter-argument on the LINGUISTIC ISSUE, you make repeated threats of arbitration? Editors such as yourself are why people hate Wikipedia. Cagwinn (talk) 17:05, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
My arguments have been entirely cogent. You, however have been disingenuous - I have no doubt that you are aware of the large overlap in expertise between historians who study Medieval and earlier periods and linguists. Medieval and Classical historians are always conversant with the languages relevant to their period. Also, there are linguists who produce works of direct historical relevance, and who undertake historical research. Scholars do not work in a vacuum; historians will have colleagues and collaborators who are linguists and vice-versa. Historians and linguists do talk to each other, and they do read each other's publications. Your strictures on linguists being the sole arbiters of historical linguistic matters is an extremist viewpoint, and is meaningless in reality. Your opinion of me is of no relevance, it is not germane to the basic argument - this being: 'should one editor be allowed to censor material that has reputable scholarly support merely because his personal opinion differs (this is also known as 'own research' and 'point of view peddling')? Urselius (talk) 20:08, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

what is 's.a. 495'? and 's.a. 519'?[edit]

The 495 and 519 obviously seem to be the year, CE, but, what does 's.a.' mean? DlronW (talk) 02:25, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

I can guess what it means. These are the annal years given in the chronicle, but there is general agreement that there have been a number of chronological displacements as the information was compiled, transmitted and copied, such that these chronicle years don't necessarily correspond to actual calendar years. You are right, though, that this should be clarified. Agricolae (talk) 03:01, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
It does not appear in the original Myers book, which merely gives the dates as numbers, as such the "s.a." can be deleted as irrelevant. Urselius (talk) 12:25, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
Except if it means what I think it means, it can't just be deleted as irrelevant, because the distinction is not irrelevant - annal years are not precisely the same as calendar years. Agricolae (talk) 13:57, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
The whole section is referring to the Myers book, the book uses bald numerical years, therefore the addition of 's.a.' is essentially own research by whomever wrote the section. Urselius (talk) 15:00, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
I don't have access to Myers, but if Myers says something like 'the Chronicle's entry for 495 says' it is not 'own research' to indicate this even if Myers doesn't use the same exact style - that would be perfectly valid paraphrasing. However, there is probably a better way of phrasing this that avoids the problem. Agricolae (talk) 16:13, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
This change was made here: [1] with the edit summary "of course we are aware that these entries do not actually date to the nominal year, I hope", by editor @Dbachmann:, who is still active and might want to weigh in. Agricolae (talk) 16:22, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

Birth of Cerdic[edit]

Wasn’t Cerdic born in 467 AD in Saxony, Germany? Jimmyy68 (talk) 17:49, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

No. Agricolae (talk) 18:31, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

In Geni (I’m not sure if it’s a reliable source) says he was born in 467 in what is now Saxony, Germany Jimmyy68 (talk) 20:07, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Geni is not a reliable source. 'Since he was ruler of the West Saxons he must have been from Saxony' doesn't cut it, since there were progressive waves of settlement over centuries before the recorded founding of the kingdom, and Cerdic has a British name. As to the birth year this is based on guesses as to how old someone would have been to be active with an adult son when Cerdic is reported as active, but there are problems with this speculation as well, and it in no way would allow a precise year to be deduced. Agricolae (talk) 20:22, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

*Coroticos > Cerdic[edit]

Hey Urselius We discuss this link and the same additions a year ago and you stated that you "had no objection" to it's inclusion, you have now removed these additions giving the reason: " caratacus and *coroticos are unrelated I have read." Looking at this Talk page, you are having numerous discussions semi-regularly, this is indicative of your position being at least debatable and that simply deleting that which you disagree with is against wiki protocol.

Can you direct us to what you have read? I would like to include it as a refuting source. My objection is not to the disagreement, but to the wholesale removal of these links within the article.

As ever, happy to discuss further. --Cymrogogoch (talk) 09:45, 21 May 2020 (UTC)

Parsons, D. (1997) British *Caraticos, Old English Cerdic, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, 33, pp, 1–8, is the most in depth treatment. I am not a linguist, and I once supported a connection between Cerdic and Caratacus myself, but a linguist convinced me that deriving Cerdic and Ceretic from Caratacus was impossible from the point of view of vowel shift rules. I then looked at all the thoroughly academic sources, and found that no scholar with a philology background had ever made a connexion between Cerdic or Ceretic and Caratacus, a pretty attractive derivation if it were true. St, Patrick mentions a British king he called Coroticus (called Coirthech by the Irish) later known as Ceretic Guletic in Old Welsh, so the back projection of Ceretic to *Coroticos has a good deal of evidence. We then come to the well attested morphing of Caratacus into Old Welsh forms Caradoc and Caradawg. So we have two parallel derivations into Old Welsh, Caradoc from Caratacus and Ceretic from *Coroticos. There is no cross-over between the Brittonic and the Old Welsh forms, the names are independent of one another. It is notable that kings called Caradoc and kings called Ceretic existed more or less contemporaneously in the 6th and 7th centuries, which would be odd if the names had the same origins. On a different but related topic - Anglo-Saxon use of pre-Roman British names - it is astounding that no linguists have ever looked at the name of St. Chad's brother Cynibil, mentioned by Bede. To me there is a fairly obvious derivation from the name of Caratacus's father, Cunobelinus. Urselius (talk) 10:30, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for coming back so quickly on this, and for the detailed reply. I still think it is worth including this etymology as unresolved or using your source to defend the "no obvious link" argument.
Can I ask which 6th-7th century kings are named Caradoc? To my mind Caradog/Caradawg (it is the same sound change we are concerned with) can only be accepted as a middle Welsh construct. It only appears in this form in written Welsh sources (So that's 11th & 12th century) pertaining to mythological and pseudo-historical figures (e.g. Caradog ap Bran), but contemporary British kings names Ceredic or Ceretic are found in Gildas, Bede and, more pertinently the ASC.
Modern Welsh gained most of it's phonology from Middle Welsh, and Old Welsh/Common Brythonic is notoriously colloquial, even in the areas where it would survive to have a quantifiable linguistic impact (Cornish, Cumbric, Breton and Welsh dialects in the Marches). I don't wish to sound blasé, but I am genuinely at a loss to understand the dismissal of evidence for sound change from *Coroticos in one commonly attested contemporary name (Ceredic), while using Norman era writings as supportive of another (Caradog).
I guess what I'm saying is absence of evidence is not evidence of absence . I will look into Parsons though, I must admit that my historical linguistics background is better with English sound changes than Celtic ones, and vowel assonance is always a guessing game at best!
On Patrick's writings, I did stray into that when researching Ceredig Wledig, I get the impression that Patrick's writings are never simple to understand, even for Irish experts, you may mind the following interesting if you haven't already found your way to it:
Early Christian Ireland By T. M. Charles-Edwards
On St Chad, yes I agree, similar to Cerdic of Wessex and Penda of Mercia it's not just the occurrence of a British name either, but British names throughout the immediate family. There has been some work on this, but I don't have the sources to hand. John T Koch has written a great deal on that part of England. It would be nice to flesh out those other articles too, I will see what sources I can find.
Again, thank you for taking the time to reply, If you want to resolve this quickly, it might be better if you were to word something relating to the possible link, let me know.

Cymrogogoch (talk) 23:31, 21 May 2020 (UTC)

I have definitely read the Parsons paper, but cannot seem to find where it was that I found it on the internet. I think that the silence in so many scholarly articles of any connection between the names Cerdic and Caratacus is very significant, as connecting the founding figure of the future English monarchy with a pre-Roman British hero would be far too good to resist. As I said I am not a linguist, but I believe that the linguistic objection against Cerdic/Ceretic/Ceredig being derived from Caratacus hinges on the long -I- before the -C in *Caraticos/*Coroticos. In Caratacus the short -A- could not transmute into a long -I- sound. Urselius (talk) 09:05, 22 May 2020 (UTC)

Cerdic succeeded by Creoda[edit]

I looked and I only found two sources that suggested Creoda actually may have succeeded to the Wessex throne, one an article in The Army Quarterly and Defence Journal which is not exactly a go-to source for issues regarding Anglo-Saxon royal succession, and the other a book on 'the real king Arthur' by an 'independent scholar', and we know what that means. On the other hand, some of the basic scholarly sources I am seeing mention the possibility that Cynric was grandson of Cerdic by way of Creoda - a genealogical claim - but they say nothing of Creoda possibly succeeding Cerdic in the rule of the Kingdom. So, are there enough sources, of high enough quality, that represent Creoda's actual succession (rather than simply as a generation in the genealogy) so as to make its inclusion something other than WP:UNDUE weight? Agricolae (talk) 18:32, 27 July 2020 (UTC)

It is in Sir Frank Stenton's Anglo-Saxon England - the ne plus ultra of Anglo-Saxon histories pp. 21-22, in the 3rd edition. Stenton remarks that Bede repeatedly says that Cynric was the son of Cerdic, but the traditional genealogy of the Wessex kings (presumably of West Saxon origin itself) says that Cynric was the son of Creoda, son of Cerdic. The ambiguity goes right back to the primary sources. As such it has to stand, I will revert accordingly. The Gewissae of the period of Cerdic, Creoda and Cynric was at best a proto-kingdom, if not just a proto-tribe, the niceties of succession are irrelevant as what constituted a 'king', if anyone, is moot. Urselius (talk) 14:39, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
(e/c)This is just completely missing the point. In your own words, Stenton says that the in some of the genealogies Cynric is son of Creoda, son of Cerdic - a statement of parentage, not of succession, which are different things else George III of England succeeded king Frederick. The ambiguity in the pedigree does indeed go "right back to the primary source". This Creoda appears twice. Once is in the 956 entry of the two Abington Chronicles (ASC B & C) and the Worcester Chronicle (ASC D), which say, with some spelling variation, "Cyrnic Creoding Creoda Cerdicing" - nothing about succession, just that Cynric was son of Creoda, Creoda was son of Cerdic. The ambiguity arises because this differs from multiple other genealogical annals in the same chronicles, with the Anglian collection genealogies, with Asser, with Æthelweard, etc. The name Creoda also appears in some versions of the West Saxon Genealogical Regnal List that has a convoluted history, once being a stand-alone document, then added to a very early version of the ASC as a preface and copied along with it into most of the surviving version, but later in most cases being separated again from the corresponding ASC manuscripts, with stand-alone, preface, and re-separated versions all surviving. Some versions say "Cirnic Creoding Creoda Cerdicing", while some omit the generation of Creoda, which again is ambiguity over genealogical relationship only. There is no such ambiguity is the primary accounts of succession, such as annal 534 "Her Cerdic se forma Westsexanna cyng forðferde. Cynric his sunu feng to rice." ("in this year Cerdic, the first king of the West Saxons, died, and Cynric his son succeeded to the kingdom", a statement explicitly addressing succession, not just genealogy. Creoda appears in no primary source that is not solely genealogical, with no claim to succession. If you want to make a claim about succession, we need sources about succession, and not take sources like Stenton that are about parentage and just pretend they are instead about succession. Agricolae (talk) 16:24, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
Addressing the point you just added - which is it? Is the succession so critically important that it "has to stand" even if it misrepresents the sources, or are "the niceties of succession ... irrelevant"? Agricolae (talk) 16:24, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
Just what I said - plain as a pikestaff. The Wessex genealogy states that Creoda is the son of Cerdic and the father of Cynric. Therefore, Creoda must get a mention, not a shadow of doubt about that. The fact that we don't know if any of these people were kings, considered themselves as independent rulers, were Britons or Saxons, were partly British or Saxon, arrived from the Continent or were natives, were real or imaginary makes the nicety of ideas of succession irrelevant. The format of Wikipedia does not lend itself to accommodating real uncertainty, because there was an entity called the Kingdom of Wessex and there is an infobox that insists on a line of rulers and succession we are placed in a false position. The early members of many ruling dynasties are in the realms of myth, or have been extensively remodelled by later generations, but the rigidity of Wikipedia does not allow for this. Urselius (talk) 18:29, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
No, not just what you said!. You said that the Stenton source saying that Cerdic was father of Creoda is somehow the same as saying he was succeeded by Creoda. Being born is simply not the same as holding a title or status. We don't get to just throw our hands up in the air, say 'nothing is certain', and then start making things up that are not in the sources. I am not saying to not mention Creoda - we already do mention him, farther down, where we explain that some versions of the pedigree include him as a son and father, not as a successor and predecessor. I don't even have a problem with setting up the direct contrast that the 534 annal saying that Cerdic was succeeded by his son Cynric is consistent with the majority of the genealogies, but not with the variant genealogy in the 956 annal and WSGRL that says Cynric was son of Creoda son of Cerdic, as long as we don't go beyond these sources and pretend that they describe succession rather than genealogy, as you seem intent on doing. Agricolae (talk) 19:37, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
Treating this period as if it were the succession to a settled kingdom of the High Middle Ages or later is anachronistic. This is highlighted by a number of facts: the kingdom of Wessex was not in existence at the time, just the tribal group called the Gewissae, the A-S Chron. makes it clear that the kingship of Cerdic was dual, Cerdic and Cynric were ruling at the same time (how is a formal succession relevant here?), later history shows that the Gewissae/Wessex dynasty had many branches, some of which seem to have been ruled by sub-kings, so more than one king could vie for the over-kingship at any one time and partition of the kingdom was relatively common. Niceties of later ideas of regulated formal succession are just meaningless here. Urselius (talk) 07:08, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
Your arguments are beside the point. You are saying that Creoda may have been a king, but this is not stated by any reliable source. Dudley Miles (talk) 09:51, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
An argument for succession nihilism might be a reason to not portray any succession at all (not a good reason, given the ASC is absolutely explicit, but a reason nonetheless). It provides no justification to say that since succession is anachronistic we get to make up succession schemes not found in any source. Agricolae (talk) 13:07, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
In the opinion of JNL Myres (The English Settlements, p. 153), the improbably long time, of 65 years, that the A-S Chron. implies that Cynric was an active figure suggests that he may not have existed, being merely an invented 'placeman', inserted in the king lists to fill in the gap of 26 years between the death of Cerdic and the accession of Ceawlin. The same author suggests that the Wiltshire place-name recorded as Creodanhyll may commemorate Creoda. This somewhat explodes the nicety of succession this discussion has centred on. This eloquently exposes the fallacy of 'succession' in infoboxes etc., being back-projected to an age of myth and illiteracy, that is more-or-less devoid of contemporary annals. We also know for certain that the traditional genealogy of the Cerdicings was at least partly fictitious, with sections being borrowed from other A-S dynastic genealogies. Urselius (talk) 14:05, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
If all succession is groundless, that is all the more reason to not groundlessly claim that Creoda might have succeeded, not a defense for the article doing so. Agricolae (talk) 14:43, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
A better response would be an acknowledgement that Wikipedia usages - such as infoboxes and concepts of succession - do not lend themselves to reflecting real uncertainty. All too often debatable elements in history are presented as if they were facts. All debatable assertions in this article should be flagged, including the concept of a regular succession and the uncertain historicity of persons. Urselius (talk) 16:51, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
It is getting progressively harder to follow your argument. First it was that some sources say Creoda was son of Cerdic so we 'have to' report he was his possible successor even though no source says so. Then it was that the whole concept of succession is anachronistic so we 'have to' report Creoda as a possible successor to Cerdic even though no source says so. Now it is that infoboxes are bad so we 'have to' report that Creoda was Cerdic's possible successor even though no sources say so. I personally despise infoboxes: I think they encourage intellectual laziness, oversimplify, mask all nuance and uncertainty, plus they create a psychological drive for editors to fill in fields that are not known. Accepting all that as a given, it is still no justification for saying that Creoda was possible successor of Cerdic even though no source says so. Agricolae (talk) 17:39, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
My point is: being very particular about Cynric succeeding Cerdic, and not Creoda is an exercise in futility when the existence of some or all of these people is debatable. Wessex did not exist at the time, the genealogy of the kings of Wessex is a patchwork of unreliable late-period reworking, and all the people mentioned in the article may or may not have existed. In the midst of so much uncertainty, deeming that adding a caveat that Creoda may, may, have succeeded Cerdic (rather than Cynric) is inadmissible is just unbelievably obtuse. Urselius (talk) 18:51, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
And my point is that none of the anachronistic uncertainty about succession justifies violating WP:V. Wikipedia editors aren't allowed to spin their own hypotheses, no matter how sound they think they are. We are supposed to follow the body of reliable sources, even if we think the version we have thought up is better. Agricolae (talk) 19:31, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
There are no reliable sources - that is my point. There is just the interpretation of oral tradition by later generations with the desire - and this demonstrably true - to distort and fabricate the past into a narrative that best fit their political and prestige needs. When an interlocutor resorts to "WP:..." my heart sinks, it means that they have run out of meaningful things to back up any argument and seek to beat me over the head with Wikilegalism. Can you not do better? Urselius (talk) 06:50, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
Quite the irony there, decrying fabrication as a defense for your fabrication. 13:28, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
Creoda is either baldly stated to have been a king or it is unambiguously implied that he was in: Kirby, D.P. (1965) Problems of Early West Saxon History, The English Historical Review , Jan., 1965, Vol. 80, No. 314 , Oxford University Press, pp. 10-29. Stevenson, W.H. (1899) The Beginnings of Wessex, The English Historical Review , Jan., 1899, Vol. 14, No. 53, Oxford University Press, pp. 32-46. Walker, H.E. (1956) Bede and the Gewissae: The Political Evolution of the Heptarchy and Its Nomenclature, The Cambridge Historical Journal , 1956, Vol. 12, No. 2 , Cambridge University Press, pp. 174-186