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Spoiler Maps! Based on the GPC and Others

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I didn't articulate myself clearly. I think there's no dispute that the Roman Empire ended in the late 5th century in the west. Further, I don't think there is any meaningful dispute that people of the 6th through most of the 7th century would have considered the Byzantine Empire as the Romans. Though if I remember correctly, Justin, the emperor before Justinian was supposedly the last native Latin speaker.

What I was trying to say is that in the medieval times period in which the majority of the Matter of Britain comes from there was a certain skepticism about Byzantine claims as to the Emperor of the Romans by Western Europeans. While there was recognition of their Roman heritage and frequent recognition of them as Romania, their was a, a well documented I believe, push back against them especially amongst their detractors that they were Greeks who did not control Rome. I don't believe that they would have said when questioned that the Byzantines were not the remnants of the Roman Empire, but I believe that they were viewed as just that, remnants which had lost much of their "Roman" characteristics and become Greek. For example, even one of our most prominent authors on the subject of Arthur, Chretien de Troyes, refers to Cliges and Alexander as Greek, not Roman. That's why I believe the Romans in these stories are, more or less, what we think of as the Roman Empire, the empire that controlled Europe.

As to why Malory chooses for Arthur to defeat the Romans, I believe it mostly has to do with tradition. The Romans are a traditional Arthurian foe. Gildas in his history of the Britons has Arthur defeat the Romans but turn back before becoming the emperor. This is the earliest reference I know of, there may be others. Also, I'm not sure if the Alliterative Le Morte de Arthur is before Malory, but in that the Romans were also the enemy. That is not to say that the lose of Constantinople did not effect Malory's writing, but I do not believe it was the main reason. Malory, in my opinion, seems to be an impressive fusion and consolidation of the various materials and sources into one narrative more than a brilliant piece of writing on it's own.

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The story of Arthur defeating the Romans (rather than turning back) first appears in Harding's Chronicle (first edition in 1457), which is a work of English nationalism that is meant (originally) to glorify Henry V, beside whom Harding fought at Agincourt.

Malory probably knew this text.

The Alliterative Morte is pre-Malorian and pre Harding, and reflects the tradition before Henry V's day: that Arthur did not defeat the Romans because of Mordred's treachery.

1 hour ago, Username said:

As to why Malory chooses for Arthur to defeat the Romans, I believe it mostly has to do with tradition. The Romans are a traditional Arthurian foe. Gildas in his history of the Britons has Arthur defeat the Romans but turn back before becoming the emperor. This is the earliest reference I know of, there may be others. Also, I'm not sure if the Alliterative Le Morte de Arthur is before Malory, but in that the Romans were also the enemy. That is not to say that the lose of Constantinople did not effect Malory's writing, but I do not believe it was the main reason. Malory, in my opinion, seems to be an impressive fusion and consolidation of the various materials and sources into one narrative more than a brilliant piece of writing on it's own.

Edit: Note that in the Chronicle tradition, Arthur fought the Romans only in the last year of his reign. The Romans (and French/Claudas' people) appear in the Vulgate as part of a conflict over Benoic/Benwick, and also in the Estoire de Merlin shortly after Arthur becomes king, so by the time that the whole Vulgate and Post-Vulgate is done (c.1250) Arthur fights the Romans three times: in (KAP dating) c.510 in alliance with Ban and Bors, in c.536 in alliance with Lancelot, and in 564 before Mordred's treachery. In KAP the first is moved to 527 because Malory adapted the Alliterative Morte, which had Lancelot present (it being part of a tradition where Lancelot doesn't have anything to do with the Downfall).

Edited by jeffjerwin
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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

when he got backstabbed by Ricimer.

We are deep into the what-if, but if Majorian had completed a successful invasion of Africa and defeated the Vandals, Ricimer might not have had the backing to launch a coup against Majorian. Indeed, Majorian might have decided to do some pre-emptive shortening of Ricimer's career, instead.

Who knows? All I am saying is that Majorian was leading a successful (until Valencia) reconquest and unification of Western Roman Empire. Had he been successful in adding Africa, only Britain would have remained outside the traditional WRE. The elimination of the Vandal Kingdom of Africa would have been HUGE. Vandal piracy and the unsuccessful attempts at invading Africa drained both WRE and ERE of funds and manpower they badly needed. Even if we assume that Majorian still gets murdered by Ricimer on return, it is likely that Africa would have slipped easily to ERE's hold, making ERE more wealthy (no failed invasion in 468) and having a ripple effect on making Justinian's efforts to reconquer the WRE easier.

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2 hours ago, Username said:

Gildas in his history of the Britons

You mean Nennius, although I think you are mistaken there as well. Nennius has the 12 Battles of Arthur, but not War against Rome. That crops up in HRB by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Jeff is correct that whilst Arthur slays Emperor Lucius, he doesn't get to Rome to be crowned as Emperor in HRB: "But at the beginning of the following summer, as he wason his march towards Rome and was beginning to pass the Alps, he hadnews brought him that his nephew Modred, to whose care he hadentrusted Britain, had by tyrannical and treasonable practices set thecrown upon his own head; and that queen Guanhumara, in violation ofher first marriage, had wickedly married him."

Gildas, born on the year of the Battle of Badon, famously doesn't mention Arthur at all. Nor any war against Rome.

Edited by Morien

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4 minutes ago, Morien said:

You mean Nennius, although I think you are mistaken there as well. Nennius has the 12 Battles of Arthur, but not War against Rome. That crops up in HRB by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Jeff is correct that whilst Arthur slays Emperor Lucius, he doesn't get to Rome to be crowned as Emperor in HRB: "But at the beginning of the following summer, as he wason his march towards Rome and was beginning to pass the Alps, he hadnews brought him that his nephew Modred, to whose care he hadentrusted Britain, had by tyrannical and treasonable practices set thecrown upon his own head; and that queen Guanhumara, in violation ofher first marriage, had wickedly married him."

Gildas, born on the year of the Battle of Badon, famously doesn't mention Arthur at all. Nor any war against Rome.

Yes, it is better put here: Arthur never becomes Emperor, though he certainly kills the Emperor and routs the Roman army. He becomes Emperor in Harding and Malory alone (and, well, in Welsh poetry, where he is 'amheraudr" - the Welsh also considered Magnus Maximus an emperor).

Edited by jeffjerwin

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6 hours ago, Username said:

Is there any information does anyone have any suggestions for forest placement on a county level? The map in the back of Pendragon 5.2 looks good at scale, but looks awful when scaled down to the county level as you can tell from my county maps. It's too much forest in too big of blocks. It's entirely unrealistic and I read recently that in the 11th century the forest cover in England would have been comparable to what it is now ~15%. Obviously Pendragon needs more, but I'd say, roughly speaking we're looking at nearly ~50% being forest cover now.

Just because it is forested, it doesn't mean it is uninhabited nor that it doesn't have fields (or other uses). Not every scrap of treeless soil is a field, or even a pasture. A lot of Cornwall is moors. I admit that I could stand seeing Cameliard as a bit of a break between Arden, Arroy, Bedegraine and Sauvage Forests, though.

Chalk it up to the Enchantment of Britain? :)

EDIT: Royal Forestry Society: https://www.rfs.org.uk/media/441738/7-a-brief-history-of-british-woodlands.pdf

Bronze Age: About 50%, Iron Age: clearing (didn't say, maybe 25%???), Romans: clearing even more (didn't say, to 10-15%???), Subroman & Anglo-Saxon: increasing to about 25% again, Normans: 15%, Mid-14th: 7%, Early Modern: some recovery (maybe 15%???), 19th century: Intense clearing so that at the start of 20th century only 5%.

EDIT 2: So if I were to start barbering some forests off, Cameliard as said in above, and then at least around the Royal Road in Hertford, Huntingdon, Lonazep and Lincoln. The area around Dorchester and Wareham, and then the forest between Hantonne and Portchester, and Isle of Wight. Probably the northern spurt of Perdue Forest, around Windsor. I might also get rid of the Campactorentin Forest, between Cirencester and Wandborough. In the north, I'd probably reduce the wood cover around Catterick, Carduel and Nohaut in general. Interestingly enough, while the Salisbury map shows plenty of forests all around the county, forests like Chute, Harewood, Colingwood and Savernak are omitted in the big map... :P

Edited by Morien
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@Morien You're right Gildas is the wrong person. I did not mean Nennius however. I was thinking of Geoffrey of Monmouth as well. I was so certain it was Gildas too haha. 

I would say, I wasn't claiming that earlier works made Arthur Emperor, actually I said the opposite though I used the wrong author name, just that Malory used the Romans as a foil because of their frequent appearances as enemies who Arthur defeats, I should specify here and say in battle and doesn't rule over. 

52 minutes ago, Morien said:

EDIT 2: So if I were to start barbering some forests off, Cameliard as said in above, and then at least around the Royal Road in Hertford, Huntingdon, Lonazep and Lincoln. The area around Dorchester and Wareham, and then the forest between Hantonne and Portchester, and Isle of Wight. Probably the northern spurt of Perdue Forest, around Windsor. I might also get rid of the Campactorentin Forest, between Cirencester and Wandborough. In the north, I'd probably reduce the wood cover around Catterick, Carduel and Nohaut in general. Interestingly enough, while the Salisbury map shows plenty of forests all around the county, forests like Chute, Harewood, Colingwood and Savernak are omitted in the big

This is useful, thanks! The block at scale are so huge that we have huge swathes of forest which isn't normal land use patterns for a heavily managed forest nor does the total amount of forest cover make sense for the heavy use. It looks fine at a British Island scale for generalizations (though I'm still learning to there being too much, but currently unsure). At a county scale, the issue become very apparent. However, there's so much though and I'm unfamiliar with where the cuts 😉 could happen that I figured I'd ask for advice. My goal would be 33% or so. Scotland on the maps, (mostly based on a map from Beyond the Wall, I think and from the GPC) is actually a good example, I think.

I was think about using the Domesday Book open map forest professions (found here https://opendomesday.org/map/ ) to use as a potential source of fragmentation and cutting, but as you can tell, woodlands we're everywhere, but I imagine there were little to no vast unbroken wildernesses. 

I'm not content with the watercolor style either, so I was thinking about doing the county maps inspired by a series of 1805 English county maps. Here's my current draft if you're interested in it for Salisbury. It's pretty hideous at the moment and will likely be very different when done, but it gives a different aesthetic.

 

Edit: @jeffjerwin Thanks for responding by the way, i didn't know that about Harding Chronicle and have never read it. I just assumed Arthur's crowning as Roman Emperor was Malory's invention.

Salisbury County Map 1805 County Map Style.pdf

Edited by Username

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The forest cover in KAP is based on maps made in the 1930s of forest cover in the 'Dark Ages' that have since been discarded. Here: FWz0eAYGeP_GoQqvpJqVg59Zei7TQuI2vEo4795A

You will notice that the boundaries of the forests have a bit more detail than in the KAP maps.

I use the following website for my game: http://info.sjc.ox.ac.uk/forests/. Note, however, that Forests and Chases are not necessarily woodland, just areas with abundant game, such as open fields, light woodlands, and marshes.

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14 hours ago, Username said:

Here's my current draft if you're interested in it for Salisbury.

Do my eyes deceive me, or are you bringing the Modron Forest much farther east (engulfing Vagon and reaching the outskirts of Wilton) and Camelot Forest much farther north (covering Broad and Ebble) than I recall them being?

salisbury_manor_krijger1.jpg

Edited by Morien

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@jeffjerwin Thanks! I'll definitely use those. I think they'll be good.

@Morien They are. The Salisbury map you posted has the forests to different extents then the large scale maps. I'm actually working from a larger map of the whole of the British Isles to make the county maps. That way the changes I make stylistically can be easily extended to the whole country. I was thinking about using the Salisbury map for Salisbury, but since the scope is so limited I was hesitant since it seemed that the work would just have to change if I found a better source. I did plot the larger villages (Upavon and Warminster) from there and the castles. I'm also considering doing another version of the manors, but I like that map so much that it seems redundant. I actually use that Salisbury map instead of anyone of the ones I have.

Edit: To anyone who'd know, would the mountains/hills of Wales/Cumbria been forested in the 6th century? My familiarity with English geography is Google Earth. And I notice that much of it seems to be marginal land either pasture or what looks to be scrubland. I'm considering about seeding the mountains with trees to represent that.

Edited by Username

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2 hours ago, Username said:

 

Edit: To anyone who'd know, would the mountains/hills of Wales/Cumbria been forested in the 6th century? My familiarity with English geography is Google Earth. And I notice that much of it seems to be marginal land either pasture or what looks to be scrubland. I'm considering about seeding the mountains with trees to represent that.

No, only the valleys, which are heavily forested.

But Snowdon is still called a 'forest' - it being wild country - but the uplands are pasture for sheep and cattle; open brush. The forest where Perceval grows up is in the deep valleys below Snowdon, where there are tangled woodlands.

Edited by jeffjerwin

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Hello, back again! The county map style update is completed, I think. I finished it at lunch today. Anyways, I'm uploading it here for people to take look at and when I'm sure I'm satisfied with it, I'll add it to my first post. The inspiration for this one was a series of 1805 county maps I found for counties in England. They were really interesting and labelled the hundreds of every county, not something I wanted to do personally, but really interesting nonetheless. I did use a fantastic heraldry with a little touch-up in Photoshop for the county crest in the corner. I can't remember who shared that, but thank you! I remember getting it from a Google Drive Link. If you want me to take it off, just let me know and I'll replace it on the map with a new one. Finally, the file is kind of large for a map file of it's scale. I haven't compressed it yet, so you may have to wait a second for the imagery to fully load.

As an aside, I really thought about doing a legend for this one like the Salisbury county map, but it's not really a thing in these old maps and I was having some difficulty deciding on the design. I also spent entirely too long trying to place the county names in the counties themselves and they never looked good/didn't obscure something essential. So, I tossed it and stuck a pretty cool name card in the corner of I do say so myself. 

Salisbury County Map 1805 County Map Style.pdf

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Salisbury County Map 1805 style Manors .pdfSo, I ran into a problem printing my previous image, my printer didn't recognize the text. So, I converted it to a jpg and exported it again. While I was at it, I also plotted the starting manors on there. The quality has dropped, but here's one with Roderick and Robert as Lord and two with the manors plotted. One of them has a reddish tint the other fits to the color scheme better. I'll add Roderick's map and the red Manor map to the first post as well. I think I'm going to lay off the county maps for a while unless there's one someone would like. Meanwhile, I think I'm going to work on a Cambria map. I'm thinking something very Celtic in style and truly ancient looking. And/or maybe a campaign/military map for the campaign from Savage Mountains. Let me know if there's anything that comes to mind. I'm interested in feedback. This is pretty fun for me so I'm interested in a challenge. 

Edit: Tried to fix the weird link placement and failed...

Salisbury County Map 1805 style Manors Red.pdf Salisbury 1805 Style Compressed (Roderick).pdf Salisbury 1805 Style Compressed (Robert).pdf

Edited by Username
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