In his internet article, Arthur and Camlann,
the author August Hunt argued plausibly for the case for identifying
Arthur as Cadwaladr, ruler of Meirionydd and contemporary of Owain
Cadwaladr, we are told, could have been known as
dux bellorum, a Latin title that was used to describe Arthur,
since by analysing Cadwaladr's name we arrive at a similar title. In
answer to those who would contest the use of Latin military titles
being used by Nennius, the article in question goes on to illustrate
its support with several precedents:
Cuneglasus = lanio fulve ('tawny
butcher' - a military title?). Actually, it means nothing of the
sort, it translates as 'grey hound'.
Vortigern = superbus tyrannus
Voteporix = protictoris ('protector')
[uotep = votep + rix (king) - as the article puts it, 'a sort of
onomastic explicatory gloss'].
The article also demonstrates the explanatory
etymological leap between the Dumnonian king, Mark [Marcus Conomari],
and his alternative names, Cunomorus or Cynfawr ('hound-great'). By
linking together the Germanic components, 'cuno' / 'cyn', with the Old
English 'cyne' - and similarly - 'morus' / '-fawr' equals OE 'mearh'
(meaning horse), we arrive at Old Norse 'marr', meaning 'horse, steed'.
By means of these methods the article demonstrates that with such
precedents it is quite feasible for Cadwaladr to be synonymous with
the dux bellorum (from 'cad-', meaning 'battle', and 'gwaladr',
meaning 'lord, prince, leader, chieftain', for a meaning for
However, in the case of Cunomorus, an equally logical
link could be drawn with the Votadini chieftain, Cunedda, as can be
seen with the Viroconium inscription 'Cunorix' (see the Owain
Ddantgwyn feature for more details, in the 'recent links', right).
Likewise, if such linguistic gymnastics can be applied
to provide, in my opinion, these most fragile and tenuous links, then
surely the connections between Owain Ddantgwyn and his father, Enniaun
Yrth (with 'Yrthr' being equal to the far better-known 'Uther'), and
the description of Cuneglasus as 'the charioteer of the Bear's
stronghold' (Din Arth) are no less shaky and unconvincing?
When all is said and done we can do no more in this
case than to theorise and say that Maelgwn [of Gwynedd] killed his
uncle. Therefore the legendary tale of Medraut (Mordred) killing his
uncle - Arthur - would seem to be based on the actions of the king
The article in question says that Cadwaladr has
the right name at the right place and the right time, and the author
knows of no other candidate that fits all three conditions. I can
only concur with reference to the place. However, the name is
arrived at on very thin evidence and this author has never seen a
direct reference to Cadwaladr as 'Dux Bellorum'.
The article's hypothesised date also should be
disputed. The more likely date of 519 or 520 is preferred for
Arthur's final conflict [although the earlier date of 511 is
generally preferred for use across the site as this seems to fit
in better with the general perception of Arthur as a fifth century
warrior - Ed]. There are too many other contemporary dates that fit
in with this one for Cadwaladr to be considered as a possible candidate.
It should be added, however, that a conflict with a Medraut at a
place called Camlann does make this an attractive theory, date
Another theory, developed by Mark DeVere Davis,
has Cuneglasus himself identified as Arthur. This is a well-argued
and fascinating hypothesis, which deserves the full attention of
any serious scholar (see Arthur and Cuneglasus, by Mark DeVere
Davis at the author's website).