Talk:Hen Ogledd

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Hen comes first in Welsh; this should be Yr Hen Ogledd.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

But perhaps not in Brythonic? ..dave souza, talk

The term is in Welsh and Welsh is a Brythonic Language. Changing- see —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:10, 20 June 2006

Not a reliable source and unconvincing to a non welsh speaker, but google backs it up, so moved. ..dave souza, talk 09:49, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Not to split hairs, but yr hen Ogledd is not Old Welsh. It's what Modern Welsh speakers call the region that was called gogled in Old Welsh (one d), at least in this transcription of the Gododin poem. You meant proto-Brythonic, I take it, dave souza?
I couldn't swear to this, but I thought that if hen followed the noun it meant 'ancient', whereas if it preceded the noun it just meant 'old'. Still, the only people on the web saying Gogledd hen are Wikipedia mirrors, so hen Ogledd seems better. QuartierLatin1968 El bien mas preciado es la libertad 20:47, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
The map in Skene's Four Ancient Books of Wales just says Y Gogledd. Rather more recently McQuarrie ("The Kings of Strathclyde" in Grant & Stringer, Medieval Scotland, 1993) and Koch ("The Place of Y Gododdin in the History of Scotland", Celtic Connections: Proceedings of the tenth ICCS, 1999) use only Gwŷr y Gogledd, for which there are lots of gbooks hits of varying degrees of reliability. Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:14, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it used to just be called 'the North' (y Gogledd), and you can still say this if the historical context is clear. But the reason for calling it the old North is that North Wales would otherwise come to people's minds... (or just the generic North as a cardinal point). QuartierLatin1968 El bien mas preciado es la libertad 00:00, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Shouldn't it be "Y Hen Gogledd", since "H" is a consonant?--MacRusgail 19:37, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

No, "h" counts as a vowel for purposes of article selection; likewise "yr haf" (the summer), "yr haul" (the sun) etc. Edricson 09:33, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

I noticed the welsh wikipedia has more on the Old North, and I was wondering if anyone can translate it. -G.T.N —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:18, 18 February 2008 (UTC)


This article lists "realms" of the Old North. I was thinking that we might be more specific by having a list of kingdoms (such as Rheged and Gododdin) and a list of known major cities (Such as Dumbarton, Chalchvynyd, and Din Eitin). By the way, could we be more specific on the exact extent of the Old North? I've seen it referred to as the are between the Walls, but also as the entire area once ruled by Coel Hen. ---G.T.N. (talk) 17:23, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

My additions[edit]

The realms I added were culled mostly from "Y Gododdin", though some came from other Brythonic and early Welsh poems. Also, Manau (aka Manaw) was a separate kingdom. I changed the order of which kingdom absorbed the other because Oengus I of the Picts, aka Oengus mac Fergus (of the Eoghanachta Magh Geirghinn), the King of the Picts who ruled Fortriu, was the first ruler to unify the north. The Eoghanachta were an Irish dynasty based in Munster of Ireland, and they had branches in southwest Britain as well as this one in Scotland (the Mag Geirghinn branch). As a matter of fact, Kenneth MacAlpin and his first four successors used the title "King of Picts". Constantine I was the first king to use the title "King of Alba". Natty4bumpo 0406 EDT, 22 July 2008, (UTC)

It's not a question of you "not caring if I've heard of Novant or not" - you are quite wrong to say that it is "listed" (there is no "list") in Y Gododdin. Which edition do you get that from? Would it be W. F. Skene's 19th century edition with all its many faults or some website? I have Ifor Williams's standard edition of the text, Canu Aneirin before me now; "nouant" (="nofant") is there, but is not a place name; it means "(they) stain" and refers to the staining of spears in blood. The reading of it as a place name stems from W. F. Skene and has long been disproved. Enaidmawr (talk) 22:39, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Check out the map which accompanies this article. Natty4bumpo 1844 EDT, 24 Juyl 2008 (UTC)

Uh, so what is the point of flooding the page (you've bumped it from about 5 to 43 kb and some people's browsers may not cope with that) with all the above just to try and prove your point? And you're still wrong. The text you quote is presumably Skene's 19th century translation (you don't give a source...) and the map of Yr Hen Ogledd is just as antiquated and unreliable. Sorry, but you are wrong. You should use reliable modern sources (and QUOTE them). Enaidmawr (talk) 22:53, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Ok, so you removed the text. Good. Enaidmawr (talk) 22:55, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

If the map in "antiquated and unreliable", why have it? Why is this article named "Hen Ogledd", which is modern Welsh, rather than Hen Gogledd, or Y Hen Gogledd? What are the sources for Arfderydd and Calchfynydd? From the context, its obvious Arderydd is a northern place-name, but there's not suggestion that it is a kingdom; as for Calchfynydd, no one seems to agree about where that is, and in any case, the individual who bears it as a surname is from Wales, not the Old North. Re: you browser probelms--update your browser. Natty4bumpo 1915 EDT, 24 July 2008, (UTC)

Suggest you learn Welsh before lecturing a Welsh speaker and student of Middle Welsh on the correct spelling of "Yr Hen Ogledd" (ever heard of the soft mutation?). And I was not talking of my browser, merely thinking of other users, some of them on dial-up. Do you have to be so uncourteous? Enaidmawr (talk) 23:27, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
John Koch's "The Place of 'Y Gododdin' in the History of Scotland" (Celtic Connections, vol 1: 200–210) has a map on p. 200, "North Britain 547–685" showing where Koch thinks the kingdoms may have been. Nouant is shown, so too, proceeding clockwise, are Aeron, Arecluta, Lleudinyawn, Guotodin, Berneich, Deur, Elmet, ?Breint (Koch's question mark), Erechwyd, Lleuenyd and Reget. There's a similar, if less detailed, map in his Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia's "Gododdin" article. For more information on the Old North, Lowe's Angels, Fools and Tyrants and Smyth's Warlords and Holy Men could be useful, and there's a modern edition of Y Gododdin edited by Koch which might be useful. Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:21, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Koch is a fine scholar, but not everyone accepts his interpretations of the evidence in this and other cases; I'm sure he'd be the first to accept that. In the case of Novant I'd say he was in a minority of one (unless somebody else has followed him on that). Some of his place-names given above are rather "unconventional" too. You'll see the problem with the barely-attested amongst these place-mames (I don't mean Gododdin itself, Rheged, and others). Take "?Breint" - could just as easily be read breint=braint, a legal term related to privilege and status (too complicated to go into in detail here). Thanks for this though. Enaidmawr (talk) 23:34, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

You started the discourtesy; if you don't want to receive it, don't dish it out. You never answered my questions above about Arfderydd and Calchfynydd. And if Koch listed "Nouant" he's not a "minroity of one" since Skene also lists it. Natty4bumpo 1955, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

"You never answered my questions above about Arfderydd and Calchfynydd". Irrevelant to what I actually said and the fact you fail to give a reference for your Gododdin quote, but you might like to now that I moved "Kingdom of Calchfynyd" (sic) to Calchfynydd and have tried to make the ambiguity of the place's status clear in the article (not started by me). As for the truly antiquated and unreliable map (see also the section below), you should have a good look at it: Calchfynydd (spelling's slightly different) is shown on it as a town or settlement! That's how unreliable this unsourced map is. (Re: Arfderydd. It's the site of a battle; did I claim it was a kingdom or even mention it?). As for Koch, he is entitled to his opinion but his claim hangs on the reading of one word in a single line of text and his his resuscitation of Skene's claim is controversial (Koch would readily accept that was the case). This list of Hen Ogledd place-names should be divided into - 1.) Attested kingdoms and sub-kingdoms (e.g. Rheged, Gododdin), whose existence is widely accepted; 2.) Possible kingdoms and subkingdoms, whose existence/status is uncertain (e.g. "Novant", "Calchfynydd"); 3.) Places mentioned in the texts which are almost certainly geographical features/areas/towns or forts etc rather than kingdoms (e.g. Arfderydd). That seems to me to be a sensible way forward. Enaidmawr (talk) 16:59, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the map, fact-wise, is shoddy (though it does look nice), especially considering its source (de Situ Albanie). I think that's a very good idea about dividing up the places named into staggered categories. That way we can throw in things like Camlann, which many writers have posited is in the North, and some of the larger towns, such as Din Paladur (Traprain Law), Din Guardi (Bamburgh), and Caer Ligualid (Carlisle). We could also mention the theory that the North between the Walls was the rarely mentioned province of Valentia in the last days of Roman imperial presence. Natty4bumpo, 1402 EDT, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Erasing request for reference[edit]

I've replaced the {{reference needed}} tag for Dunoting: a request for reference is legitimate, and the proper thing to do is to provide a reference that others can verify. It seems high-handed and arbitrary to simply erase it, though that probably wasn't the intent. Best is to use an in-line citation, so that it becomes part of the article (assuming that it isn't successfully challenged). If you have a reference but aren't sure how to fit it in, enter the info on this talk page, and one of us can help you.

As for the map, it looks like someone's old addition. According to its description, it was copied from this sacred texts webpage, and the uploader claims it is out of copyright. The map is indeed there, but I don't yet have reason to believe that it is free of Wikipedia's restrictions, and someone may properly ask that it be deleted. I expect that will happen unless someone provides a legitimate provenance in a big hurry. The same applies to the genealogy image, which claims free-of-copyright but does not cite the source or provide reason to believe it can be used.

As for the accuracy of the map: maps are as much subject to validity and verification criteria as article texts, and do not have validity just because they are images. As for this one, it looks like an interesting old map, but lacks credibility until someone provides it. By the way, if you believe the map, then you believe that Reged is in the Scottish Highlands (because that's where the map places it).

I also think that the list is suspect, but that will surely work itself out in the fullness of time. Here's hoping for a profitable and educational development of the topic. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 02:28, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

You should take a better look at the map; there's no Scottish Highlands there, in fact there's not much north of the Firths. As for Dunoting: : Mentions that the name Dent was derived from :Dunoting (Mention of Dunoting at c. 520) (Natty4bumpo) 2300 EDT, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Thank you, Natty4bumpo. I'll insert 3 of your references in the article as citations (they are still subject to challenge, but that's for another time), and pull the citation challenge. I have some real-life matters to deal with, so likely tomorrow, but it will happen by then, please be a little patient. When I get them in, have a look at the source code. The 2 wikipedia articles can't be used (can't use wikipedia as a reference in wikipedia, either English-language or otherwise). However, you can look up their references and citations, and you can use them.

The article map shows "Reged or Murfife" immediately east of Loch Lomond, on both sides of the River Endrick, with the upper River Forth and Loch Ard in their territory, eastward past the River Teith, and north of Allan Water. This is the southernmost Highlands. It may be interesting to note that this is precisely where a 1757 forgery placed a people of Brythonic origin. The forgery (De Situ Britanniae) was virtually the only source of information on ancient Scotland and was used as a reference by many historians, infecting their work with fictional peoples and places. But that, too, is for another time. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 03:48, 26 July 2008 (UTC)


Second request: I see that you again erased the citation request from the article, without providing a reference and with no explanation in the edit summary. Whatever was your intent, it looks bad, and it is frowned upon. Again, please do not do it. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 04:33, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Argyll in the upper right corner is considered the Highlands; the area you mention is not. The Highlands begin north and west of the Mounth (Grampian Mountains), not at the Firths. The east shore of Loch Lomond, what used to be Dumbartonshire, is at the foot of the Highlands but is not part of it.
" frowned upon" whom?
Articles in an encyclopedia should not have inserts like that nor are footnotes like those in a typical college or academic paper, at least not in any encyclopedia I've ever seen, certainly not in Britannica, for example. It looks sloppy. I can live with footnotes like the ones you have in now, but inserting "needs reference" into the actual text is, again, sloppy, cumbersome, and detracts from the overall flow. Yes, I've seen the same thing in other Wiki articles, but it looks sloppy and more like a passive-aggressive rhetorical tactic than an attempt to request a clarification If a point in an article calls for clarification, doing it like a footnote would look more professional.
I know Wikipedia can't reference Wikipedia, which is why I made the ref's here instead of in the article. My point in making them here, however, was consistency.
I agree about the unreliability of the de Situ Albanie; that is the source for the erroneous "seven kindgoms" notion.
Indentation in discussions on talk pages should be the same for each person every time they speak, not an ever-increasing indentation so that eventually every line consists of no more than a single word. (Natty4bumpo) 0955 EDT, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

What does this mean?[edit]

"Mae enw'r ddinas yn dod o'r Frythoneg Din Eidyn, sef Caer Eidyn." (Natty4bumpo) 1413 EDT, 26 July 2008 —Preceding undated comment was added at 18:13, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

I think it says 'The name of the city comes from the brythonic "Din Eidyn", being "Castle Eidyn"' EdwardLane (talk) 12:17, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Additions about northern dynasties[edit]

I figured since someone else had already made a reference to Morris, his information about the partiarch of the northern dynasties "between the Walls" should be included also, especially since the Kings of Gwynedd, and later native Princes of Wales, descend from Cunedda, grandson of Paternus son of Tacitus. Regarding the intermarriage of the dynasty of Catellius Decimus which came to rule Alt Clut with the Dal Riata and the Picts of Fortriu, the first of the Gaels to rule Fortriu, though not Dal Riata itself, was Bridei mac Dargart of the Cenel Comgaill, grandson of Bili ap Nechtan of Alt Clut, who succeeded to the throne in Inverness in 696 CE.

The idea of the northern Britons was kept alive even after the merging of Strathclyde with Alba and Lothian & Dunbar into the new "Scotland" thru the title of the monarch, "King of the Scots and Britons", which the sovereign used even in the days of Alexander III, as the seal of that king attests.

P.S.: I just found out about signing with tildes; Hawkeye = Natty4bumpo, in case anyone is wondering. Hawkeye (talk) 17:59, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

John Morris[edit]

No article should cite John Morris without caveat. This article needs a lot of work, and that will include downplaying the assertions of Morris and including citations to reliable sources.--Cúchullain t/c 22:37, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

And now, after four months with no improvement, I went ahead weeding Morris out.--Cúchullain t/c 20:35, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
It appears that much of this material was re-added, and some of the cited material I added was removed in the process. I reiterate that Morris's work The Age of Arthur is not a reliable source for the history of this period, and was rejected at the time by scholars such as David Dumville. Morris' theories should not be included without caveat.--Cúchullain t/c 14:37, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I support what Cúchullain says above and his edits. We have far too many examples of material added from unreliable and/or controversial sources to articles in the sub-Roman Britain and Celtic history categories. Enaidmawr (talk) 20:07, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
While we're on the subject of reliable sources, I see that the three references for Dent/Dunoding are self-published websites whose reliability is known to be doubtful (they don't usually give sources, for instance, and often mix legend and history), viz EBK, Britannia and the History Files. The consensus reached at Wikipedia talk:Wikiproject European History/Sub-Roman Britain Taskforce was that these are not acceptable sources for references and I'd go as far as to say that even as external links they are best avoided or given a clear caveat. Enaidmawr (talk) 20:19, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Today I created a stub for Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd (which was now more of an exercise in fiddling with a template than a proper attempt at writing an article), as Cuchullain was quick to notice. It isn't quite the reliable primary source one might hope for, but I'm afraid that it has been taken uncritically on some of the websites mentioned above, and worst of all, in the articles for some of the rulers listed in the text (eg. Pabo below), which rely on websites like EBK. (Just so you know there's never a shortage of work on wikipedia.) Cavila (talk) 14:17, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Good start on Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd, by the way. Odd that such a thing has had such a long shelf-life, I suppose by being propagated on certain websites.--Cúchullain t/c 14:46, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree with many of your comments about Morris, but in addition to his flights of fancy in his book (like his outrageous notion that Arthur was a Romanesque emperor of Britain), The Age of Arthur includes much to recommend it, such as his information about the archeology of the region concerned. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 20:09, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
That comment was over a year old, but the point still stands. Whatever value Morris' book may have, it is too controversial to include it without caveat, and additionally, there are so many better sources that it isn't needed anyway.--Cúchullain t/c 16:54, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Very interested[edit]

Perhaps this article is considered a fraud or hoax, but I see nothing wrong, only good work here. So, keep up with it please. A Merry Old Soul (talk) 16:28, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

The article itself is not a fraud or hoax, Catraeth, it's just that some of the material that gets added from time to time is unreliable or just plain wrong, culled from self-published websites etc. Enaidmawr (talk) 20:24, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Of course the article is not considered a fraud or a hoax, and the subject surely is worthy of inclusion. However, we cannot rely on material taken from John Morris' widely criticized book The Age of Arthur, or from later works that draw their conclusions from it. We shouldn't say that King Cole was "possibly the last local dux of Britannia Inferior based at Eboracum" who is "regarded in sources as King of Northern Britain", as this is a suggestion that originates with Morris. Other material seems to come from the unreliable websites that Enaid has pointed out above, and will have to be removed. Fortunately there are plenty of readily available reliable sources.--Cúchullain t/c 01:37, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
We are supposed to mention different points of view from different sources. If there are more sources saying one thing, then the minor point of view would simply not be stressed, only made note of. A Merry Old Soul (talk) 01:59, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Morris' book is rejected to the point of being FRINGE. It nearly destroyed his reputation. I'm not saying we can't mention his ideas at all, but the material needs to be sourced to a source that is reliable (ie, not Morris' book itself) and it needs a caveat such as "According to historian John Morris' in his widely-criticized book The Age of Arthur..." It won't be hard finding other secondary sources that mention Morris' ideas and put them in the proper skeptical context.--Cúchullain t/c 02:41, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Just thought you should know that "A Merry Old Soul" has now been banned from editing. Enaidmawr (talk) 20:12, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Works which I would actually consider "fringe" are those by Geoffrey Ashe or (especially) Norma Goodrich. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 20:12, 27 November 2010 (UTC)


Yorkshirian left a comment on my talk page regarding the image responding to my complaints with the new image (namely, that there was no "kingdom of the Pennines" and that there's no telling if Bryneich was a British kingdom before the establishment of Angle Bernicia. He provided this source] for the kingdom of the Pennines, which refers to Pabo Post Prydain as king of the Pennines. However, the source includes the caveat "According to genealogies in Welsh, which were largely produced to prove a monarch's royal pedigree..." Meaning, it doesn't take it as a fact that there was a real kingdom of the Pennines, and doesn't give which genealogies mention Pabo. Moreover, the same source's entry for Pennines indicates that "The name is believed to be derived from the Celtic penno, meaning hill, although no reference to the name is known to date before the 18th century". In fact the name "Pennines" is thought to originate in the forgery called De Situ Britanniae, which we have quite a nice article on. We also have an article on Pabo Post Prydain, but it is sourced only to the unreliable Early British Kingdoms site mentioned by Enaidmawr above. Yorkshirian also provided this book as an example of a source that regards Bryneich as a pre-Anglo-Saxon British kingdom, but that source is not reliable. This reliable source discusses the connection but make it clear that only circumstantial evidence points to a British kingdom of "Brynaich". Even still, if there were a British Brynaich, this would have existed well before Rheged's presumed greatest extent under Urien, which would have been long after the Angles had established Bernicia, though the map doesn't make this distinction in dating. As such it is too flawed to be useful.--Cúchullain t/c 14:01, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

I was unaware of the De Situ Britanniae situation regarding the Pennines. You presented your point well on that. But I'm still skeptical in regards to Bryneich stuff. Why isn't that book reliable? Bryneich even features in near contemporary writings of people like Nennius. - Yorkshirian (talk) 15:47, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
The Hughes "book" (self-published) was previously discussed here. I think it can pretty much be discounted as a reliable source. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:13, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
In a word, "yikes". If there's anything lower than a romantic genealogist it's an amateur romantic genealogist. Thanks for that. Ghmyrtle.--Cúchullain t/c 18:25, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I note that Cuchullain is here cast in the role of having to demonstrate the falsity of the image's information, prior to any justification that the image is accurate based on reliable sources. Isn't that putting the cart before the horse?
Images are subject to the same requirements as text, and File:Map of The Old North (Y Hen Ogledd).png is a picture that visualises someone's personal speculations. It is labelled as such ("self-created", without any basis in a reliable source), a self-description of Original Research. It also contains information known to be fictional, such as the Kingdom of the Pennines, which is a named "kingdom" of a place that was never named before the 18th century forgery created the name "Pennines". That is not its only error. If used, it should be made clear that it is a speculation based on Original Research, and contains inaccuracies and/or false information.
File:Y Gogledd.jpg is no different and has the same failings. It was originally published in an old book and it is someone's personal speculations. It is unsupported by reliable sources. It also contains known inaccuracies and if used, it should be similarly described as speculative OR and that contains inaccuracies and/or false information. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 16:14, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Thank you Notuncurious. Yorkshirian, re Brynaich, I think it had better be asked why "The British Chronicles" is reliable. The author claims no credentials as a historian, and as the book claims to contain "genealogies that trace the royal line from the earliest kings of British Mythology", it hardly sounds like a serious work of history. Additionally, the Historia Brittonum you mention was written around 800, several hundred years after the establishment of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Bernicia. It does refer to Berneich, but only as the Brythonic name for the kingdom established by the Angle Ida. Most other references in Welsh sources are in this vein. Again, while it is quite possible that there was a British kingdom of Bryneich at an earlier date, Bernicia was certainly in the hands of the Angles at the time of Rheged's height, though the map shows them as contemporaries. This is one more reason why the map is innapropriate.
Notuncurious has a good point about the old map as well - its reliability is also unclear. I think perhaps we should create a new map, which superimposes names of kingdoms described in reliable sources - no borders - over a map of northern Britain, and gives an approximate timeframe. That way the reader can see approximately where and when these kingdoms are thought to have been, without being deceived into thinking that we can do anything but approximate.--Cúchullain t/c 17:55, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I removed the map and placed a map request tag.--Cúchullain t/c 19:48, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
There's a decent map accompanying the Hen Ogledd article in Celtic Culture, ed. Koch. It basically shows the Roman road network and walls, with some unobtrusive landscape features (rivers and mountain ranges), on top of which you have the names for the kingdoms (Ystrad Clud, Gododdin, Cumbria, Elfed, ?Rheged, with question mark), without borders, and principal cities/forts (Eburacum, Cataractonium, Deva). More hesitantly, it gives the names of Dewr (Deira) and Brynaich (Bernicia). I'm only beginning to learn how to create and customise maps, but I'll see what I can do. Cavila (talk) 19:57, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I've only just noticed this but agree with removing the map. In addition to the points noted above, particularly regarding the supposed "Kingdom of the Pennines", I was surprised to see Rhedeg shown as extending as far south as the current north-east Wales border. Part of the answer would be to avoid showing definitive boundaries and merely indicate the location of these realms; in this respect Koch's map sounds useful and it would be great if that could be adapted for use here. Enaidmawr (talk) 20:06, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I have a map almost ready-to-go, with most of the information already collected. There's little left to do but add the names of the peoples. However, I've held off putting up such a map because the article topic has been contentious, and because there is a dearth of good information on this age. The last thing I want to do is contribute to speculation and mis-information.
I've seen the map Cavila speaks of, in Koch's Celtic Culture. I can put up an accurate map with this information in reasonably short order (attributing the placements of peoples to Koch). If that's desired, then does the map show only and exactly what Koch shows, or should it add or omit anything? Opinions? Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 20:53, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, that would save me the trouble plus your maps always look wonderful. Koch sometimes floats ideas about the Gododdin period which fail to hit the mainstream of scholarship, but this particular map looks alright and at any rate, it is less speculative than the one Angus noticed last year (above, "Nouant is shown, so too, proceeding clockwise, are Aeron, Arecluta, Lleudinyawn, Guotodin, Berneich, Deur, Elmet, ?Breint (Koch's question mark), Erechwyd, Lleuenyd and Reget"), which sounds similar to the one in Koch's edition of the Gododdin. As for additional detail, I'm not sure. As Enaid pointed out a while ago, you may consider indicating the possible locations of Calchfynydd, Novant and Aeron in a style which is distinct from that used for the attested kingdoms. Etin/Din Eidyn should prolly be included. I'll set up a table. Cavila (talk) 06:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Map Discussion[edit]

No table, but here's an overview which can be used to accommodate further comments. Feel free to comment, add what is missing, etc.

  • Major kingdoms
Ystrad Clud
example: comment here
Rheged, with question mark
Elfed (or Elmet)
  • Kingdoms/provinces (usually of less certain location or existence) (I've collapsed a few categories here)
Minor kingdoms
Aeron, ~ modern Ayrshire, southwest Scotland
Manaw and Lleuddiniawn (~ Lothian), "probably both once subdistricts of northern Gododdin" (Koch)
Regio Dunutinga (from the Vita Sancti Wilfrithi)
Uncertain (not in the Celtic Culture map)
Nouant, Novant - better left out, per Enaid's comments above. Same goes for Breint.
? Erechwyd (cf. Urien of Erechwyd) and Lleuenyd, in Gododdin, ed. Koch
  • Forts and other sites
Cataractonium (fort)
Eburacum (fort)
Deva (fort)
Din Eidyn
Medcaut (Lindisfarne)
(Caer Gwenddoleu, Caer Wenddoleu ?)
  • Contextual information
Dál Riata
Brynaich and Dewr
  • walls
Roman walls: Antonine Wall, Hadrian's Wall
Offa's Dyke? (cf. Celtic Culture, in which it is mentioned only to distinguish Gwynedd from the Old North)
  • Roman roads
  • natural features (rivers, mountains)

Cavila (talk) 08:15, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback (and more is welcome). Roads, walls, and natural features seem uncontentious for all points of view.
For the peoples, I wonder if a minimalist effort might work best for now, following Koch's map and temporarily forgoing other additions? And label the map "c. 550 – c. 650", along with "as portrayed in Koch's Celtic Culture". And perhaps omit Offa's Dyke (Koch's map looks like it shows Wat's Dyke, labelled as Offa's Dyke).
The map can be updated later to rectify any omissions that "simply must be there", or another map might cover AD 650 – 750. That leaves out Aeron, Erechwyd, Din Eidyn, and a few others; but I think we don't suffer much for that now, considering that the immediate problem seems to be the lack of a map with a reliable historical basis.
But if you think that some of the others should be there, then we'll go that way; the comments above are only my contribution to the discussion. More comments and criteria welcome. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 20:11, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
You're quite right. There are more pressing concerns right now than to have a thoroughly researched map, which would absorb an amount of time better spent on writing the article first anyway. A minimalist approach is probably to be recommended, so we would be talking details. But since you asked, you know. Cavila (talk) 20:39, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Added the map. Feedback welcome, note of any errors requested. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 21:27, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Inconsistencies between the map and the article text will need to be resolved. Ghmyrtle (talk) 22:01, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Namely: Rheged with a 'h'; 'Dewr' (Is that Koch's spelling? Wherever he got it from, it maens 'Brave' in Welsh!) > Deifr; (arguably) Elfed > Elmet (indeed sometimes called 'Elfed' as that would be the form in modern Welsh orthography, but more usually spelt with the somewhat misleading archaic orthography). Otherwise it's a major improvement (one could argue details but the uncertainty about Rheged's exact location/extent is noted, for instance). Agree that the minimalist approach is best for now: easier to add than subtract?! Enaidmawr (talk) 22:36, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, it's going to get updated, because all I can see is a lot of empty space in the title box, which could have been filled with a larger text. The missing 'h' in Rheged is my ugly twin's mistake, but I'll take care of that, too. Koch does indeed spell the names as 'Dewr' and 'Elfed'. Now is the time to load up on modifications, because all I can see is a lot of empty space in the title box; so how do we want the names spelled? I think that it does not detract from the quality either way, so someone with a preference please advise.
I'm willing to create other maps for the topic, so maybe keep the minimalist approach in the existing one. It's not required that I support the view that the maps express, speculative promotions and 'popular history' like EBK, Morris, etc. excepted. And if something else occurs to someone regarding this minimalist map, bring it up ... revisions always follow, it's a part of the process.
Replaced the old, inaccurate map in the articles that used it, but am not sure what to do with Bernicia; the claim that it is Celtic meaning 'land of mountain passes' is refuted by topography. Replacing the existing map seems unuseful. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 23:27, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
It looks a little better now. Further feedback and suggestions welcome. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 01:11, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Looking good! No further comments really. Cavila (talk) 13:16, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, wonderful work with the map. If only the article were so well done.--Cúchullain t/c 17:07, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Article revised and expanded[edit]

No one seemed satisfied with the previous article incarnation or its direction, including me, so I took a shot at a replacement. This is on somewhat of a different tack than the previous article, perhaps a step in the right direction, but perhaps not.

The article might now be most useful as a basis for "history of" articles, providing a definition of the Old North and a context of the times, but not going into any narrow set of particulars. Surely copyediting would improve it, and review by someone regarding specific Welsh matters that are mentioned in the article is definitely needed.

  • the article is now useful for broadening the original Welsh meaning of the 'Old North' into something more usable for general histories of the region, of which the original Welsh meaning is a significant (but not the only) part.
  • I left out all the references to specific 'kingdoms', 'regions', 'cities', and 'forts', most of which have too many uncertainties to be concisely addressed in this article (eg, we aren't sure where Rheged was located; we don't know if the pre-Anglian Bernicia was a kingdom or a region of Gododdin or something else; we don't know if York was a 'kingdom'; there are many kingdom/subkingdom candidates, not all of them widely accepted; etc, etc, etc).
  • maps are fertile ground for contention, and while they are useful, they lend undue authority to the text; I tried to stay within acceptable bounds and use reliable sources, but mistakes and misperceptions happen ... if revisions or changes are needed, I'm sympathetic; leave comments here. Notice of any errors is requested.

Comments welcome. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 21:15, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Much of this is a great improvement. I've made a few minor corrections in the sources sections (e.g. Iolo Morganwg - one 'n' although two is correct for Morgannwg itself...). I can't agree with your decision to omit all the references to places and kingdoms, however, despite the uncertainties. We may not know what the exact location of Rheged was, for instance, but few if any scholars would argue that it is purely legendary. The list of places needed attention: perhaps this will give us a chance to consider what goes in and how it gets presented. Anyway, uncertainty is the nature of the beast here and if we were to follow the same policy for everything related to sub-Roman British history neither we nor the historians would have much left to play with - let's not put all the toys back in the cupboard! A "step in the right direction" in many respects, and thanks for the work you've put into this, but I do feel that too much has been taken out. I think it is quite wrong to describe all of the 'Matter of Britain' as "fantasy" as well: even Geoffrey, that Great Romantic Novelist, drew on some materials with a genuine place in prior tradition, and tradition is not "fantasy" even if it can not be accepted as subjective and verifiable history. Hopefully all this and more can be discussed later when we've had a few more reactions? Enaidmawr (talk) 23:46, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Hello Enaid, thanks for the kind words. I agree with you regarding the reference to Geoffrey, and your corrections to my poor efforts at written Welsh are always appreciated. I don't have a strong opinion on omitting the kingdoms/etc, so let's see what others say, and if there is no great opposition to it, I'll put them back in. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 00:16, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Just a quick reaction based on cursory glances (I'm skipping tea for this). Thanks for the hard work, Notuncurious! I'm inclined to agree with Enaid here. As I may have written in a previous version, the term yr hen Ogledd is ambiguous in that covers both the historical period and the 'heroic' past as memorised in Welsh traditions extending up to Geoffrey's time. The great challenge for historians and literary scholars has been to extricate the two (and they aren't always successful - Stephen Evans' Lords of Battle is probably one example where the warband image has been taken for granted too much). Social and political geography is an important issue, no matter how thorny, with place-names studies occupying an important niche. Also, the societal context section - on kinship organisation and itinerant rulership - needs to be updated to reflect current views. Next time, I'll try to be more coherent. Cavila (talk) 11:26, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Cavila. Will wait for your return for more comments (and hope that the in-line notes are also examined ... I thought the info relevant but distracting from the main body, and so used notes; the notes also have sources cited in-line).
There was no intent to diminish the importance of etymology, genealogy, and literary sources. I emphatically agree with you and Enaidmawr on their importance, and certainly they belong, but perhaps the majority of this text is better placed in the separate articles that they cover, rather than in an article that attempts to give an overview of the entire Old North. I thought that I'd made a sufficient note of their importance to the topic without going into the detailed specifics, but perhaps not. Wouldn't the etymology and history of Bernicia, for example, be better placed in that article, with a one-line description of the kingdom meeting the necessary and sufficient conditions for this article?
You're right to say of course that certain particularities should be dealt with in separate articles, but we also need a centralised discussion where at least the main points are covered, with all the relevant links. That is not as easy as it may sound in theory (especially when we don't have many of those articles). I feel that a section on the sources should come first to help the reader get a sense of the difficulties of the field and familiarise her/him with the refs used in the discussion. You have a section on political organisation and legal systems, but some of those themes are exceedingly difficult to tackle (even in passing), especially such a murky concept as "Celtic law", and probably belong to a later stage in the discussion. I'd prefer to see here the drier nuggets of political history and 'geography' in terms of the identities of rulers & dynasties, poltical configurations, major conflicts, etc. Next perhaps what the archaeological record can tell us (Ken Dark's book Civitas to Kingdom looks important here). Cavila (talk) 21:05, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Unsure what is meant regarding warbands, kinship organisation, and itinerant rulership; will wait for your elaboration on these. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 17:25, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
That's where the sources aren't really forthcoming. See my point above. Cavila (talk) 21:05, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Moving the "sources" section to be first sounds good; or how about right after the "Welsh interests" section, since that explains the origin of the term 'The Old North', but either way sounds good to me.
I was intending not to tackle Celtic law at all in this article (I didn't think that its mention opened up a murky area) ... the idea was that context, societal and historical, is important, and so it was mentioned as supportive of the existence of tribal society, not intended to be more than that. But perhaps the point could be made better than I managed to do here?
We seem agreed that some mention of kingdoms/places will return, with level of detail to be determined, perhaps evolutionarily. Still not sure what is meant by warbands that are neither mentioned nor implied; and perhaps "itinerant rulership" is not a fair characterisation of kings and their use of courts, both anciently and more recently; but perhaps that also could have been better phrased, so as not to invoke the characterisation?
Just changed the order as suggested, hopefully without doing any serious damage to the text as a whole. Sorry if my comments come out of the oven only half-baked - I'm writing them in between stuff. By warband organisation I was basically referring to the social 'structure' and values of a warrior society as portrayed in Welsh poetry (esp. Gododdin with such literary topoi as earning one's mead in battle), not too dissimilar from what we find in Old English heroic poetry. Precisely how these literary constructs reflect social and political reality, and indeed which reality, has been fertile ground for speculation. As for itinerancy, that's just a very general sort of term used for (most early medieavl) rulers with no single fixed centre/capital, touring round the kingdom for a plurality of purposes. Cavila (talk) 09:08, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
If one of you wants to take a pass at these things, please do; or I will, until we iterate to the place where we're supposed to be.
Parenthetically, I think that Dark's theories regarding civitates and such is a conjectural stretch (at best) with regards to Wales and the Old North. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 02:44, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
From what very little I know, and that's only second-hand, he's got some unorthodox views uder his belt indeed. Some contentious areas don't have much priority, I guess. Cavila (talk) 09:08, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
The changes all look fine. I'll take a pass at returning the kingdoms/etc in the not-too-distant future, and we then might have the beginnings of a stable article. Thanks for the explanations, I'm now clear on what you meant. So, let's see how it goes. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 17:49, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

I had intended to have the kingdoms/etc section in-place by now, but was distracted temporarily. My apologies, and please continue to be patient. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 19:21, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

I've added the kingdoms and regions, keeping the listing rather spartan in following with my "minimalist" approach; it may (or not) be to the general liking, but if not, we can use it as a starting point and iterate from there (be bold!). Certainly the articles on the kingdoms and regions referred to could use some fleshing out, which might follow in the fullness of time. In the meantime, some may prefer to add more information to this article. I've intentionally omitted candidates without a good historical provenance, such as those that are given in old, inaccurate maps, or are the result of theories and hypotheses. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 22:43, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

November 2010[edit]

These edits are problematic for a few reasons. The edits to the introduction are incorrect; the Old North was not the "area between the walls" or the "territory of the Dux Britanniarum". That it was located in roughly the same part of Britain as those two things doesn't need to be in the lede; we might as well say "it was located in the area that was formerly known as the territory of the Votadini and Brigantes." Additionally, it is not a certain fact that Coel Hen was the last Dux Britanniarum; that was speculation in the discredited work of John Morris.
The changes to the list of kingdoms is also problematic. Some of them are demonstrably not real, as discussed some time ago at this talk page here. There was certainly never a kingdom known as the Pennines in the Early Middle Ages or later; the name originates in an 18th century forgery. And while there may well have been a British kingdom of Bryneich, this is not certain. The same goes for Ebrauc and Deifr.--Cúchullain t/c 13:19, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

  • "Kingdoms in the Old North that are mentioned as kingdoms in the literary and historical sources..."; every 'kingdom' added most certainly fits that description. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 19:13, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Chuck, it is highly inappropriate to reinsert challenged material without discussion. The burden of evidence is on you to defend the contentious material. I just explained why it's not appropriate. As I said, those kingdoms are not actually mentioned in the literary and historical sources. "Pennines" is a name that is first attested in an 18th century forgery; there was no kingdom of that name mentioned in any medieval source. Bryneich, Ebrauc, and Deifr are names that are mentioned in literary and historical sources. However, in each case, they are British names for Anglo-Saxon establishments. There may have been pre-Saxon British settlements of those names, but it isn't known. I also note that while you are insistent that your material stay in, you've provided no reliable sources backing any of it up.--Cúchullain t/c 19:20, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Cúchullain. Without reliable sources to verify the recent additions, they should be removed. Daicaregos (talk) 20:00, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, Hound of Cullan, on what basis do you declare John Morris discredited? Chuck Hamilton (talk) 20:35, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
There is a good, and relatively charitable, summary of the affair here. The Age of Arthur was ripped apart by critics, most notably David Dumville, and almost ruined Morris' reputation. Our own article John Morris (historian) discusses some of the responses to the book.
But again, the burden of evidence is on you to explain why the book is credible, not on us to determine that it's not. It is also your responsibility to back up your statements with reliable sources, rather than repeatedly inserting unverified text that has been challenged by other editors. It would be preferable if you stopped making unverified edits to the article while the discussion is progressing.--Cúchullain t/c 20:53, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
There are a number of fallacies in your argument. First, it is based entirely on the proposition that Dumville is strictly an objective scholar interested only in the truth, which he is most certainly not, nor are all his ideas universally accepted any more than are Morris'. In fact, the article you reference places him at the opposite extreme of Morris in Arthurian academic scholarship, which signifies somewhat less than perfect objectivity. Second, regardless of the credibility of Morris' ideas about Arthur being the last of the Roman Britons (a description which Gildas applies to Ambrosius Aurelianus/Aurelius Ambrosius), that does not mean his description of Coelistius, aka Coel Hen, as the last Dux Britanniarum is neither credible nor accurate. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 21:08, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but it's your prerogative to defend your use of Morris. Your opinions of Dumville are meaningless here. The real point is, Morris is a historian whose book The Age of Arthur was roundly criticized by his fellow historians. I've given you several examples of the lashing it received from across the spectrum, Dumville was simply the most notable critic. Feel free to bring up the book at the reliable sources noticeboard if you want further input.--Cúchullain t/c 21:26, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
If most of the critics have taken their cue and their arguments from Dumville, that still means a single source not matter how many pile on. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 21:31, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Again, that's your opinion, which is irrelevant to Wikipedia. All that matters are the opinions of scholars. In this case, the scholars have been roundly critical of this book.--Cúchullain t/c 21:43, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Some scholars, whose comments are riddled with logical fallacies, yes. Morris does stretch several of his hypotheses rather thin, but much of his book is ground-breaking nonetheless. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 21:59, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
You have yet to defend Morris with anything but your own opinions about how "groundbreaking" Morris is and how "riddled with logical fallacies" his various critics are. This conversation is going nowhere. The material is going to have to be removed.--Cúchullain t/c 22:04, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
I should have mentioned specifically logical fallacies in their arguments. And no, it is not going to have to be removed, especially since it's been qualified. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 22:13, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
By fallacies, I mean Ad Hominem fallacy, Appeal to Authority fallacy, Appeal to Popularity, Appeal to Ridicule, Bandwagon, Genetic, Personal Attack, Misleading Vividness, Red Herring, and Straw Man, possibly others. In this case, it refers to the words they use to argue, their actual rhetoric, especially in the case of the archaeologist. The link you supplied as "proof" against Morris is anything but reliable. And, by the way, your constant accusations that I rely solely on Morris are another logical fallacy, especially since I have indicated that I myself have problems with several of his suppositions. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 22:25, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

All very interesting. However, all the edits made since yesterday have been accompanied by a single reference. If the changes are not all referenced I will restore the article to the version before the unreferenced edits began. Every edit may well be fine (and I have no reason to believe otherwise). However, should a reader wish to confirm the content is not OR they must have to opportunity to do so. Simply arguing the pros and cons on a Talkpage is not enough. Please read verify. Best, Daicaregos (talk) 22:37, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree with the points raised by Cuchullain and Daicaregos, and the article should be restored pending resolution. And didn't we go through this exact same process over these exact same issues last year? What's changed? And Chuck, please provide references from reliable sources to support your edits. They need to be present whether or not their merits are contested. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 00:45, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Totally agree. What should have happened here, according to WP:BRD, is that when the new material was reverted the first time, we should have come straight to the talk page to discuss. Instead Chuck has continued adding unreferenced material despite the fact that several editors now have objected to them. That is not how a collaborative project like Wikipedia works.--Cúchullain t/c 01:53, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
After the article is reverted, I would suggest creating an addition "kingdoms" section containing areas that might have been British kingdoms or units, but are not known to have been. This section would include Bryneich, Ebrauc, Deifr, etc. And this section, as well as the current "Attested kingdoms" section, will require reliable, secondary sources in inline citations for each entry.--Cúchullain t/c 13:23, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
That is a lie. I have added nothing, merely rearranged what I had added before in response to some of the objections here, even deleting some material. Well, yes, I did add parentheticals to four of the kingdoms noting that they are mentioned in Y Gododdin, because, well, they are. Also, I found a much more objective source on the whole Dark Age Britain debate than the one you offered: [1]. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 18:03, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Speaking of unilateral editting, I see above that you have done some of that yourself. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 18:05, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I've moved the questionable kingdoms to a separate section already, "Suggested kingdoms of the Old North for which there is little evidence", sources to follow. I really do want to be cooperative; I would have preferred that the original reversion had been more selective rather than wholesale. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 23:36, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

I also agree with the points raised by Cuchullain and Daicaregos, especially on the lack of new references, the need for changes to be verifiable. More material has been removed than added, and this appears to be happening on a subjective basis. I support the article being restored. Moonraker2 (talk) 04:00, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Since none of the kingdoms have in-line citations, why don't we just eliminate them all? Chuck Hamilton (talk) 06:53, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Okay, as we have a clear consensus on the talk page, I restored the previous version of the article. This removed Chuck's challenged edits such as the business about Coel Hen and the two walls. However, I retained some of his uncontroversial changes to the structure and to the "kingdoms" section. I made a few changes to the "kingdoms" section, based on sources, and a few more tweaks here and there.--Cúchullain t/c 16:03, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Cool, but since in the geneaologies claim desecnt from either Coel Hen or from figures such as Cunneda's grandfather, isn't it reasonable to include something about that? Geneaologies are, after all, one of the sources listed s at least somewhat reliable, though speaking from experience with the mess various dynasties in Scotland and Ireland, for example (such as the fact that if true, I am and others of my family are descended from the Irish god of thunder), made with fact, supporting evidence couldn't hurt. The supposed interrelated dynasties were one of the distinguishing features of the Gwyr y Gogledd, and the relationships to the dynasty of Gwynedd are a major source of info. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 16:18, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Coel Hen is probably worth a mention, but in the text rather than the intro. And we especially can't say that he was the last Dux Britanniarum, especially without saying that this is just a theory in a heavily criticized book. I don't know about Cunneda's grandfather Padarn Beisrudd. In the Harleian genealogies and the Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd the other major ancestor figure beside Coel is Dyfnwal Hen.--Cúchullain t/c 16:54, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

A few suggestions[edit]

(1) Geneaologies are one of the sources listed s at least somewhat reliable, with the supposed interrelated dynasties being one of the distinguishing features of the Gwyr y Gogledd as well as the relationships to the dynasty of Gwynedd. Given this, it is not unreasonable to include references to Coel Hen, Macsen Wledwig, Cunedda, Padarn, etc., especially since most people have little idea of what the Gwyr y Gogledd are. (2) The sources section should be at the end of the article, which is the standard location for such things. The current structure places more importance on the sources and de-emphasizes the information which is actually the subject of the article, almost treating it as if it were a footnote. (3) Doing #2 would also lift the sections on actual kingdoms toward the top of the article which is more the kind of information someone searching Wikipedia would be looking for, at least at first, before getting into further details about ancient poems, annals, etc. We could include a brief description of the location, and perhaps estimated period of existence (in the case of Strathclyde, I imagine people who never heard of it would be impressed it lasted from the 400's to 1124). Those kingdoms are, after all, what the Old North actually is. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 19:35, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

As I alluded to above, the genealogies probably deserve more treatment than they get. I think Coel Hen and Dyfnwal Hen are worth a mention, but the others you name are more minor. I also doubt that there are terribly many people who know the likes of Cunedda, Padarn, etc. who don't know there were British kingdoms in the north.
I disagree that the sources ection should be moved. The section isn't a list of works cited, but a discussion of what sources there are for the kingdoms of the Old North.
I don't believe that most people coming to this article are really looking for a bald list of kingdoms, they are looking for an encyclopedic discussion of the Hen Ogledd. I have no problem with expanding the information given in the list, however.--Cúchullain t/c 16:54, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't have a strong opinion on where the section discussing sources should be, but I do believe it would be clarifying if it had a more specific name, so as to avoid the misunderstanding that this is about the sources used for this article. How about "Nature of the written sources" or just "Nature of the sources"? I take it that since this article, as defined in the introduction, deals with a term and not an area, archaeological sources etc may not be that relevant. Finn Rindahl (talk) 23:33, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a source in and of itself. Most folks who come here are looking for information in order to find more secure sources or to get a general idea about a subject. Moving the kingdoms section further up would give such people a more concrete idea of the geopraphical area being discussed AND encourage them to read further without having to sort through abstractions first. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 01:57, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I changed the title of the "sources" section per Finnrind's suggestion. However, the article is not just on a name, it's on the area. Perhaps the introductory sentence needs to be rewritten to make that more clear. This section is not abstraction, and it's not a standard Wikipedia sources section, which is normally a bibliography. It's a fairly in-depth discussion of the sources there are for the post-Roman British "North". The problem with moving the "Kingdoms" section up is that it would be sticking the reader with a bulleted list of kingdoms and areas associated with the Old North before we've properly explained what the Old North is.--Cúchullain t/c 13:21, 30 November 2010 (UTC)


Several historians, with little basis, have attempted to locate Aeron in Ayrshire, because of the slight, very slight, similarity of names. I argue that there is a much better probability, one adjoining the region where those so far identified were located. Strathearn, the area between Manaw and Earra a Ghaidheal (Argyll), derives from Strath Eireann, or valley of the Irish, Eireann having the same pronounciation as Aeron. Strath Eireann in Welsh or Brythonic would be Ystrad Aeron, and indeed there is just such a place in southwest Wales, in Ceredigion that was once part of the kingdom of the Irish Deisi before Cunedda conquered the area and gave it to one of his sons. Thus, I argue that Aeron of the ballads, elegies, poems, stories of the Old North is Strathearn. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 19:35, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

That's interesting, but obviously if that interpretation doesn't appear in any sources it can't be mentioned in the article.--Cúchullain t/c 16:54, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
So, despite the fact that there is an Ystrad Aeron in Ceredigion, meaning Valley of the Irish, the exact same meaning and nearly exact same pronounciation as Strath Eireann, that means nothing? Just saying nothing would be better than the rather weak identification of Aeron with Ayrshire because of the very slight similarity of the name. I suggest that whoever came up with that crap idea clearly does not know the derivation of Strathearn and probably still thinks Fortriu can be placed there. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 13:11, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
The threshold for inclusion on Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. Unless there is a reliable source explaining the theory, it can't be included. If you have some, by all means bring it up.--Cúchullain t/c 13:21, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, for God's sake, at least remove the Ayrshire reference. That idea has almost zero credibility, even if Koch mentioned the idea. You yourself, or someone else on this page, said that Koch was sometimes not reliable. If being published is all that counts, I can always start flooding the page with references to Morris. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 13:38, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I suggest that the utter failure of any historian to recognize the identification of Aeron with Eireann is because of the formerly widely held belief, and debunked since 2005, idea that Strathearn and Fortriu were one and the same. Thus we get desparate attempts to make the identification of Aeron with Ayr. Much better to leave it simply unidentified. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 13:42, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Koch isn't infallible (no one is), but he's hardly the only one suggesting a connection between Aeron and Ayrshire or the Ayr. A quick Google Books search returns a number of hits, which go into varying degrees of detail, including this (Ifor Williams), this (A. O. H. Jarman), this (another work by Koch), this (Rachel Bromwich), and this (The Welsh Academy Encyclopedia of Wales). I can find no relevant hits connecting Aeron with Strathearn. Please not that no one is saying that Aeron was certainly located at Ayrshire, as it isn't known for sure.--Cúchullain t/c 14:38, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
It does not matter how many people propagate an idea with as little basis as the idea that Aeron of the Old North equals some as yet undiscovered entity in Ayrshire, solely because "A-y-r" is slightly similar to "A-e-r-o-n". The truth is that the origin of the name has never been traced. Several people, myself included, have propagated Morris's idea about Coel being the last Dux Britanniarum, but that does not make it true. Nor did the fact that most historians repeated the now-proven-wrong idea that Fortriu was the same as Strathearn; no doubt that erroneous idea blinded them all to the fact that Ystrad Aeron is Welsh for the Gaelic Strath Eireann, the root of "Strathearn". There are a few people who still cling to the idea that Fortriu=Strathearn and I have no wish to allow such a claim to stand than I do the idea that Aeron=Ayr. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 20:56, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not arguing for my theory to be put up instead, just that the erroneous information be removed. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 21:24, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Do you have any sources challenging the connection between Aeron and Ayrshire?--Cúchullain t/c 21:29, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
There are some but I haven't seen them in a couple of years. Do you know on what basis the claim that Ayr=Aeron is made? Chuck Hamilton (talk) 21:33, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Koch's comment that Aeron is a "kingdom or subkingdom, probably in south-west Scotland" or that Aeron was "probably in Ayrshire in Scotland" does not offer a whole lot of ground to stand on, and I doubt the other source is much much. Morris' statement about Coel has equal validity since neither are backed by any attempt at evidentiary support. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 21:44, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
After looking at all your links above, I note that not a single one of them offers anything to back up their statements. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 21:46, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
As I said, it was a brief Google Books search. But all the same, for my part I will try to find a source better explaining the rational for the suggestion that Aeron may be connected to the Ayr, and ask other users to do the same. In the meantime, the fact that so many authorities in the field have felt compelled to mention the suggestion in their works is enough for us to mention it as well. After all, Wikipedia is meant to be a summary of what the best available sources have to say. (The difference between this and John Morris is that Bromwich, Jarman, etc. are among the top experts in the field, while Morris' book was heavily criticized in the field, as I've shown.) For your part, do you have any sources that challenge the connection, or suggest another one?--Cúchullain t/c 14:25, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Until 2005, virtually all sources on Pictish history indentified Fortriu with Strathearn, with little evidence, just because some authority had once said, "It must be here". The same is the case with all those who say Aeron is Ayrshire; no one offers a reason for it. I'm not saying I have proof of a negative, I'm saying that none of them who make that claim have ever offered any evidence to back it up, none, zero, nada, zilch, squat. It's an embarassment to them, and it's an embarassment to have it in this article. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 16:38, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Or are you utterly incapable of using your own judgement? Chuck Hamilton (talk) 16:41, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I judge that the interpretations of the experts in a field tend to be more frequently accurate than those of passing folks on the internet who consistently refuse to back up their claims with sources. You say "none of them who make the claim have ever offered any evidence to back it up..." That's a big assertion, and I sincerely doubt it's the case. However, I'm continuing to search, and have asked a few knowledgeable editors if they have any additional input. Hopefully we can resolve this soon.--Cúchullain t/c 18:02, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
The "experts", Hound of Cullen, have never offered a single shred of proof for the assertion that Aeron = Ayr, merely suggested that may have been the case because of the slight similarity of the names. Before 2005, the "experts" universally identified Fortriu with Strathearn, reported that the unification of the north of Scotland took first place under Kenneth mac Alpin, that the unification was preceded by a massacre of the Pictish nobility, and the Fergus mac Erc was the ancestor of all Scottish kings through Kenneth mac Alpin. One of the chief reasons Ayr was first suggested as a location for Aeron is that the "experts" had a blind spot preventing them from considering another alternative because of the misidentification of Fortriu as Strathearn (Strath Eiareann); with Fortriu having been a major power at the time and Fortriu=Strathearn according to the opinion widely-held by the "experts", some other location in the local region had to be found. One of the chief reasons Fortriu was held to be in Strathearn was that too many "experts" bought into the afore-mentioned propaganda about Kenneth mac Alpin, whose base was clearly in the south and east of Scotland above the Firths. FYI, in case you don't follow Scottish history like you do that of the Old North, Alex Woolf of St. Andrews Univ. published a paper in 2005 that blew the widely-held-by-the-experts assumption about Fortriu's identity out of the water; in fact, he showed rather conclusively that Fortriu and the early medieval Moray were one and the same. In doing so, he destroyed the basis upon which the hypothesis about Aeron's identification with Ayr came about; with their mistaken assumptions about Fortriu, the sheep-like "experts" proved unable to see Strath Eireann, which is Ystrad Aeron in Welsh. If you check your map, you will find that Strathearn and Clackmannan, the modern name for the area where Manau Goddodin was located, are immediately adjacent to each other. Has there been anything published about this? Not as far as I know, but I do know that all these are facts, just as I know that no "expert" has offered any evidence for the identification of Aeron of the Old North with Ayr. If that is not enough to include identification of Aeron with Strathearn in the article, it is enough to warrant the exclusion of the identification as Ayr. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 18:33, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Hound of Cullan, I have to study for an exam on the Georgia constitution tomorrow, and reading it first will probably help. In the meantime, this weekend I will be writing Professor Woolf about this matter and how it may connect to his 2005 paper. If other ediotrs have a comment, they are welcome to do so here, in this page, else their opinions count for nothing. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 19:43, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Multiple editors have expressed concern that you are making substantial changes without providing reliable references. Editors need not participate in every talk page entry. Content aside, Chuck, I really wish you would include citations with you edits. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 21:02, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Okay, here's what I've found so far. Page 157 of Bromwich, Foster, and Jones' Astudiaethau ar yr Hengerdd contains the following about Aeron, in Welsh:

It would be nice to have a true Welsh speaker translate these lines. I took a shot at it with the aid of a Welsh-English dictionary and Google Translate: if I'm at all correct, it says roughly:

The works cited in footnote 18 are W. J. Watson's Celtic Place-Names of Scotland, pp. 342–343; Sir John Morris-Jones Y Cymmrodor 28, p. 77; Ifor Williams' edition of Canu Taliesin, pp. xxiv-xxxi; and Kenneth Jackson's edition of OSPG (the Gododdin), p. 6. Morris-Jones' paper[2] identifies Aeron with Ayr on the grounds that it is closely associated with Alt Clud in the poetry, and must have been located nearby Urien Rheged, who was celebrated for defending it. Williams examines the evidence more fully, noting that it is necessarily ambiguous, as the same names occur across both the North and Wales. However, he ultimately concludes that "...the references in the Gododdin to Aeron, and the place of importance given to Cynddylig Aeron, would seem to favour the identification of Aeron with Ayr." (p. xlvii of the English version).
So it is clear that, despite what you seem to think, experts have indeed considered the evidence, and do not all speak with one voice on how to interpret it. However, an identification with Ayrshire seems to be far and away the most common suggestion, as Bromwich et al point out. We now have more than enough sources to justify including it. Your little theory that the scholars had ignored Strathearn as a possible location due to a misidentification may or may not be true; the minute it appears in a reliable, published source we can include it in Wikipedia. However, we can't ignore other scholarship without justification beyond the personal interpretations of one Wikipedia editor.--Cúchullain t/c 20:12, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

And yet, the only "evidence" any of them, who still labor under the blind spot produced by the above-misidentification of Fortriu, is that the very slight similarity of names AND its proxmity to Alt Clut suggests it. Meanwhile, another entity with the exact same name in Welsh--Strath Eireann/Ystrad Aeron--exists within the same region and is immediately adjacent to the entity in question, and they completely ignore it due to their knee-jerk reaction deriving largely from their mistaken assumptions about Fortriu. Nothing any of the "experts" have said constitutes anything resembling evidence, regardless of how many degrees they have. No one even knows when the name Ayr came to be used for that section of the country. For example, Alt Clut was based largely on the Damnonii who occupied the entire northwest region of the area between the Walls, so whence "Ayr"? the name Ayr derives from the river flowing through the area and qauired its first geographical use in 1205 with the founding of the royal burgh of Ayr. Ayrshire was named for the burgh. Now, Strathearn/Strath Eireann/Ystrad Aeron? It is one of the earliest Mormaerdoms of the kingdom of the Picts and its name goes back to the earliest years of the Middle Ages, probably about the same time Circinn became Oengus, Atholl became Atholl (from Ath Fodhla, or New Ireland), and fortriu first began to be called Muireabh. It's a cute suggestion, but with absolutely zero evidence, that is all it amounts to, no matter how many repeat it. For example, Morris may have been the first to suggest that Coel was the last Dux Britanniarum, but others certainly repeated it after him, some stating it as fact. Nonuncurious: given the lack of evidence, the attack is called for, regardless of who makes that claim. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 21:27, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Again, at the point your theory appears in a published, reliable source, we can include it. Until then, it is still your own personal interpretation.--Cúchullain t/c 21:33, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I mainly came here to repeat what Cúchullain has been saying - at wikipedia we can only include information from reliable sources. Chucks suggestions may or may not offer a better interpretation - but no matter if other editors agree or disagree him it can't be included without external sources - so this discussion isn't going anywhere. I propose tweaking the relevant sentence however: "but it has been suggested by several scholars that it was probably in the Ayrshire region of southwest Scotland". That is verifiable, regardless of whether what this scholars suggests is the Truth. Finn Rindahl (talk) 21:51, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I have never said my ideas about Aeron should be included, and they can't really since as far as I know that has never been published, just that given the lack of actual evidence upon which the suggestion of Ayr=Aeron is base that we not include that as a probable. The problem with your last sentence is that it is also verifiable that Coel was the last Dux Britanniarum and that Fortiu is identifical to Strathearn. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 21:55, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Which of these is more likely, that a region with no trace of the name Ayr until the 13th century except for the river running through it is the location of the much-mentioned Aeron, or is it more likely that location is the region named Aeron (Eireann) since the Dark Ages? Why do we have to perpetuate such an obviously baseless suggestion? Chuck Hamilton (talk) 21:59, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
It's only obvious to you, as it's based on your own personal interpretation of the evidence. The rest of us are content to follow Wikipedia's standard practice of summarizing what the best available sources are saying. If you have a problem with the sources, take it up with them. This conversation has long ceased being productive; it's time to move on.--Cúchullain t/c 22:06, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Cuchullain, I like the new wording, it's very exact. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 22:16, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
It's not merely my opinion that the evidence is weak, it's merely self-evident. The idea that Ayr=Aeron has been batted around for years with no basis for the claim other than that it sounds kinda neat. Verifiable doesn't mean reliable, else I have a good claim for using Morris as a "credible" source; that was your argument against Morris, Hound of Cullan, that Morris isn't credible...where was your "verifiable" then???. Not one claim of Aeron=Ayr has given any sort of grounds other than the flimsiest. One person suggested that could be the case, others picked it up and said yes, that's it. One source I found even mentions a tiny River Earn tributary to the River Ayr that doesn't not even show up on Google Maps; a much longer and bigger River Earn runs through Strathearn immediately to the north of Clackmannanan, "-manannan" as in Manu, as in Manaw. Though the proposition that Strathearn is Fortriu has been thoroughly debunked since 2005, under Wikipedia rules that is still a verifiable and therefore admissible claim, as are many other popular historical myths about Scotland. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 01:52, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
The preceding isn't intended as a continuation of the argument as I've conceded that the article is okay the way it is, just making a inal statement. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 03:19, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
There's really nothing more to say here. Once again, at the point that you (or anyone) present reliable sources challenging this view or proposing another one, we can talk about how to include it. However we can't ignore sources based only on your original research.--Cúchullain t/c 14:37, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
"Reliable", what's that? Wikipedia, as you said before, doesn't know anything about "reliable", just verifiable. An idea based on the fact that it sounds kind of neat with no other basis for it to rest upon is most definitely not "reliable", no matter how many "experts" mindlessly echo it to make it "verifiable". Chuck Hamilton (talk) 18:55, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
??? Have you not actually read the verifiability policy? Or reliable sources? From WP:V: "All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation" (emphasis mine).--Cúchullain t/c 19:11, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
A published source which gives no basis for a statement about a subject, such as those made by so many about Aeron, is not exactly "reliable". Group-think like that has been responsible for a lot of fictional history being taken as gospel, i.e., Strathearn as Fortriu. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 21:36, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, you are entitled to your opinion. I'm not going to repeat myself any more. Good day.--Cúchullain t/c 22:03, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I do like the changes you have made to the article. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 17:30, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

On the antiquity of the name Din Eidyn[edit]

I think Dumville's evidence for identifying the Caer Eidyn of Bede with the Carriden of the modern district of Falkirk is enough to suggest that the name Eidyn is of greater antiquity than the advent of the Angles. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 17:46, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Not enough to justify removing all mention of the hypothesis that the name's origin is English. The Blackie text was intended to source the statement that the "Eidyn" may be a borrowing from English; please be more careful when making changes to cited material. And I don't remember the name "Eidyn" appearing in Bede; can you supply the relevant quote from Dumville?--Cúchullain t/c 19:20, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Here's a .pdf of the article online: Chuck Hamilton (talk) 19:35, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Okay, Dumville is not saying that Bede used the name Caer Eidyn, or that it can be taken as proven that Eidyn is Brythonic. I'll update the text.--Cúchullain t/c 20:46, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Not with the exact spelling "Caer Eidyn", no, but Dumville does quote Bede using "Kair Eden". Chuck Hamilton (talk) 21:21, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Read it again. Dumville is quoting a 13th century manuscript, not from Bede. The instances of "Kair Eden" are from additions to Gildas; there passages taken from Bede, but "Kair Eden" is not included in those.--Cúchullain t/c 21:49, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, yes, I checked again and you are right. Good job with the additions, btw. Chuck Hamilton (talk) 23:23, 29 November 2010 (UTC)