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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Merlin the Wizard



Merlin the Wizard

The Merlin the Wizard
Their is no historical evidence that Merlin the Wizard existed. The Arthurian legends were based on the books written by the clerics and poets of the Medieval era or the Middles Ages. These legends and myths about "the one, true King of the Britons" - King Arthur - and the mystical magical and prophetic world of Merlin were used by Kings of England to authenticate their claims to the both the Welsh and English thrones!
The Legend begins - How Merlin the Wizard got his name!
Merlin the Wizard, Merlin the Sorcerer, Merlin the Magician are just some of the titles given to the prophet in the Legend of Merlin. The the ninth-century chronicler Nennius wrote the Historia Brittonum in which a character called Ambrosius was featured.

Arthurian Legend

Castles Index


This character was combined with a 6th Century Welsh fictional bard called Myrddin ( who was mentioned in many Welsh poems ). The man who invented Merlin the Wizard was a Welsh cleric called Geoffrey of Monmouth. In 1136 Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote a book called Historia Regum Britanniae - the History of the King's of Britain. The Latin form of the name Myrddin was Merdinus.

Geoffrey of Monmouth 'Latinised' the legendary character's name to Merlinus ( because the word 'merde' was viewed as vulgar and obscene). Further credence was given to the stories about Merlin the Wizard by the '
 Geoffrey of Monmouth.' (Welsh: Llyfr du Caerfyrddin). This book was written, in Welsh, in 1250 and contained stories and poems relating to the heroes of Britain in the Dark Ages including those connected with the legend of King Arthur and Merlin the Wizard.

Merlin the Wizard
Merlin the Sorcerer
Merlin the Magician
The legend and myths about Merlin
The prophecies of Merlin and their influence on the history of England and Wales
Who was Merlin the Wizard?
There are many magical legends which surround Merlin the magician and wizard. Merlin was enchanted by the Lady of the Lake, became the guardian of the young Arthur. He appeared as an old, wise man, giving his wisdom to four successive British kings. He was known as the Wild Man of the Woods during which time he learned to talk to the animals. Merlin was reputed to be a mystical Druid, a Celtic priest, Merlin the Wizard, Merlin the Sorcerer, Merlin the Magician a man who possessed the knowledge and secrets of the ancients. 


The mystical advisor to King Arthur at Camelot. The population knew, and believed, the old legends and myths about Merlin and he was especially revered as a great prophet. Enter the Medieval 'Spin Doctors' of the English Kings!
The Prophecies of Merlin!



Merlin the Wizard was credited with making many prophecies. The Medieval 'Spin Doctors' of the English Kings, especially King Edward I and the Tudors used these prophecies to substantiate their claims to both the English and Welsh thrones. King Edward I went to the tremendous trouble and expense to build Caernarvon castle in such a way that it fulfilled a prophecy of Merlin the Wizard see Caernarvon Castle Welsh Mythology


The Druid Wizard, Merlin, and several prophecies, were strongly associated with Caernarvon! Merlin was believed to have been born in a cave outside Caernarvon. The name Caernarvon is believed to be derived from 'Caer Myrddin' meaning Merlin's town or fortress. Merlin the Wizard was closely linked with King Arthur and was even linked with the transportation of the great Stonehenge stones! It was in the political interests of the Medieval 'Spin Doctors' and the English Kings to be seen to "fulfill" these ancient prophecies of Merlin the Wizard!


The Prophecies of Merlin - Fiction turns into Fact!
The stories, legends and myths about Merlin the Wizard, Merlin the Sorcerer, Merlin the Magician and Merlin the Prophet play an important role in the History of the Britons. The character of Merlin the Wizard was invented by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Other Medieval writers, poets and Chroniclers used the character of Merlin the Wizard in their works and the stories of the Knights of the Round Table appeared. The Kings of England encouraged the belief in King Arthur and Merlin to meet their own ends. The legends and myths about Merlin continued to grow. Of course the stories were true - the King said so! The King has fulfilled the ancient prophecies of Merlin! Even up to the present day people are confused as to whether Merlin the Wizard was an actual person - which might be the reason you are reading this text! The legend of Merlin is a perfect example of Fiction being turned into Fact!


Merlin the Wizard and the Medieval 'Spin Doctors'
The Medieval 'Spin Doctors' of the old English Kings elevated Merlin the Wizard, Merlin the Sorcerer, Merlin the Magician and Merlin Prophet to a position of high, unassailable prominence. Merlin was surrounded with magic and mystery. People did not question his existence - until now...



Caernarvon Castle & Welsh Mythology


Caernavon Castle
The Mystical Medieval World of Legends and Myths!
King Edward wanted to be seen by history as not just a conqueror - but as the rightful King of all of the Britons. The King who was meant to rule the whole of the country - England, Wales and Scotland. He needed to enter the mystical medieval world of the Middle Ages. The mystical, magical world of Celtic legends and myths. The people believed in old prophecies. King Edward knew that if he could be seen to fulfil an old Celtic prophecy that his invasion and triumph over the Welsh would be given the credibility that he craved.

Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Historia Regum Britanniae
The stories of many Welsh Celtic legends and Myths, and their authenticity, had been raised by a Welsh cleric called Geoffrey of Monmouth. In 1136 Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote a book called Historia Regum Britanniae - the History of the King's of Britain. This book detailed the old Kings and history dating from the Roman era and climaxing with the reign of King Arthur. Now there was a King to emulate! King Arthur's story was also based on a prophecy - it was fortold that Arthur would become the 'one, true King' of the Britons. King Arthur was believed to have united all the people of Britannia under his leadership. His story still lives on in myth and legend. And what a story! The elements of the story included Magic, Prophecy, Druids, Merlin, Gallant Knights, Fair ladies, the Age of Chivalry, Camelot and even the search for the Holy Grail. And this story had been written in the book by Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Historia Regum Britanniae - the History of the King's of Britain. The information detailed in the book was believed to have been an accurate record - Fact not Fiction!


Further credence was given to the stories about King Arthur by the 'Black Book of Caernarvon' (Welsh: Llyfr du Caerfyrddin). This book was written, in Welsh, in 1250 and contained stories and poems relating to the heroes of Britain in the Dark Ages including those connected with the legend of Arthur and Merlin.

Arthurian Legend King Arthur Merlin the Wizard The Legends of Camelot The Knights of the Round Table

King Edward I and the Historia Regum Britanniae
King Edward and the population would have been totally conversant with these fabulous stories. The Historia Regum Britanniae book by Geoffrey of Monmouth had been written less than one hundred years previously. It would have been very much in King Edward's interest to draw comparisons between himself and King Arthur - and any other ancient Kings who were revered by the Britons. The Medieval 'Spin Doctors' would have been determined to provide 'proof' that King Edward had been destined to unite the people of Brittania! King Edward had already proved himself a strong, Christian King. He had travelled to the Holy Land on a Crusade. God was already on his side! Geoffrey of Monmouth was also revered as a good Christian - his titles included Archdeacon of Monmouth and the Bishop of St Asaph! The attention of the Medieval 'Spin Doctors' would have next turned to the Prophecies which had been detailed in Geoffrey of Monmouth's book...

Caernarvon Castle & the Historia Regum Britanniae!
Caernarvon was a key position for one of the Medieval Welsh Castles of King Edward. Caernarvon was a very ancient Welsh town. The Druid Wizard, Merlin, and several prophecies, were strongly associated with Caernarvon! Merlin was believed to have been born in a cave outside Caernarvon. The name Caernarvon is believed to be derived from 'Caer Myrddin' meaning Merlin's town or fortress. Merlin was closely linked with King Arthur and was also linked with the transportation of the great Stonehenge stones! The connection between Caernarvon, King Arthur, Merlin, Prophecies and even great stones had been made. Caernarfon was also strongly associated with the might of imperial Rome. The building of the new Castle at Caernarvon could be used to to emphasise these connections in a highly visual fashion!

The Prophecy of Merlin!
The Prophecy of Merlin was detailed in the Historia Regum Britanniae. Prophecies, by nature, are ambiguous and can be interpreted in many ways. The Prophecy of Merlin indicated that a a descendant of Cadwallader would rise to power and begin the "slaughter of foreigners". Cadwallader was a legendary Welsh king and a leader of the Celtic resistance against the Anglo-Saxons. Welsh myths and traditions say he was the last Welsh king to wear the crown of Britain. 

Cadwallader has been identified as King Arthur. The Welsh Royal house of Gwynedd claimed to be the direct descendants of Cadwallader. It was therefore imperative that King Edward eradicated all the members of the Royal House of Gwynedd - of which his Welsh adversary, Llywelyn ap Gruffyd, was the leader. And it would also be very helpful if Edward's Royal House of Plantegenet could somehow step into the shoes of the Welsh Royal House! This idea stayed firm in the mind of King Edward. The great castle at Caernarvon was built. Edward's son was born at Caernarvon Castle ( which was only half built at this time). Edward's son, who became King Edward II, was given the title of the ' Prince of Wales'. King Edward I had produced a Welsh born Prince of Wales. Another prophecy of Merlin contains the story that the red dragon symbolises Britain and the white dragon symbolises the Saxons. Merlin also predicted, that in time, the white dragon (the Saxons) would overcome the red dragon. Merlin also foretold that six descendants of King Arthur would rule after the great king before Saxons would return and conquer Britain.

Caernarvon Castle & more Welsh Myths and Legends!
The Prophecies of Merlin helped with King Edward I credibility. This was enhanced still further by the interpretation of additional legends - also described in the Historia Regum Britanniae by Geoffrey of Monmouth. This story surrounded Magnus Maximus, Prince Macsen, the Macsen Wledig of Welsh legend who was one of the greatest figures in Britain towards the end of the Roman Empire. General Magnus Clemens Maximus was a Celt. He was the uncle of the Welsh King, Coel Godhebog "the Magnificent" (Old King Cole of the Nursery Rhyme) by marriage. Coel Godhebog's daughter married Emperor Constantius Chlorus. The capital of the Roman Empire transferred from Rome to Constantinople in 330AD. We now have a connection between the Imperial Roman Emperors, the great city of Constantine and the Welsh Royal family. The base of Magnus Maximus, the Macsen Wledig of Welsh legend was Carmarthen. In the Historia Regum Britanniae by Geoffrey of Monmouth the legend surrounding a dream of Magnus Maximus is described. In this dream saw "a great city with towers of many colours and eagles fashioned out of gold". Enter the Medieval 'Spin Doctors' again!

The Caernarvon Castle & Welsh Mythology
It is no coincidence that Caernarvon Castle was built differently to the other Welsh castles! The master builder and architect Master James of St George would have been very aware of these myths and legends and prophecies of Merlin. And he designed Caernarvon Castle accordingly!

The walls of the Caernarvon Castle were given a striking patterning with bands of different coloured stone - an allusion to the "towers of many colours". The towers were of an angular design as opposed to the round towers of other castles reflecting the architecture of Constantinople. The turrets of Caernarvon Castle are surmounted by eagles "eagles fashioned out of gold". One of the towers of Caernarvon Castle is named the 'Eagle Tower'. The 120 feet high Eagle Tower, which contained the Royal Suite, was surmounted with three turrets , each turret was adorned by an eagle.

























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