Cador


Cador

Cador ("Latin": Cadorius) was a legendary Duke of Cornwall, known chiefly through Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudo-historical "History of the Kings of Britain" and previous manuscript sources such as Vita Sanctus Carantoci circa 1100 from Cotton Vespasian xiv. Cador is said to be King Arthur's relative from the earliest sources, though the details of their kinship is usually left unspecified.

Historical ruler

Cado was the historical son of a Dumnonian king named Gerren, and succeeded him as monarch. Traditionally he was a good friend of Arthur; they even ruled together in such documents as the "Vita Sanctus Carantoci" (Life of St. Carantoc). He also seemed to share a good relationship with King Caradoc of Gwent. His capital was likely Cadbury, and it is quite possible he gave his name to the hill fort ("Cado's fort"). [ [http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/bios/cadodm.html EBK Cado] ]

Legend

In Geoffrey's "History" and elsewhere, Arthur's future queen Guinevere was raised as Cador's ward. Cador is also said to be of Roman stock. His son Constantine was given the kingship of Britain by Arthur as the latter lay ailing on the field of Camlann. In the "Brut Tysilio" the translator adds the information that Cador was son of Gorlois, presumably by Igraine. This would make him Arthur's maternal half-brother. The same appears in Richard Hardyng's "Chronicle" where Cador is called Arthur's brother "of his mother's syde." Different views appear in Layamon's "Brut" where Cador appears first as a leader who takes charge of Uther's host when they are attacked by Gorlois while Uther is secretly lying beside Igraine in Tintagel. Furthermore, because he becomes duke of Cornwall after Gorlois' death, this may imply the two were brothers, meaning Cador was not a blood relative of the king. Most works, such as the English "Alliterative Morte Arthure" and Sir Thomas Malory's "Le Morte d'Arthur", however, are content to call Cador Arthur's "cousin".

Cador appears in "The Dream of Rhonabwy", a medieval romance associated with the "Mabinogion". In it, he hands Arthur's sword Caledfwlch (Excalibur) to the king, and when the story's protagonist Rhonabwy asks who he is, his guide Iddawg replies that he is "Cadwr Earl of Cornwall, the man whose task it is to arm the king on the day of battle and conflict." [ Jeffrey Gantz (translator), "The Dream of Rhonabwy", from "The Mabinogion", Penguin, November 18, 1976. ISBN 0-14-044322-3 ]

References


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