Acabalon, Ascalun, Cabalon, Catonais, Catonois, Cavalon, Cavillon, Escabalon, Escalon, Escarvalon, Escavellon, Eschavalon, Esquavalon, Kaerlyon, Karlyon, Kavillon, Quevalon, Scatanon, Ycastanon
A land mentioned in several romances; there is an obvious connection with Avalon. Wolfram von Eschenbach calls it Ascalun. According to Sommer, this subkingdom is called Kaerlyon, Scatanon, Catonois, or Ycastanon in various manuscripts of the Vulgate. Based on this statement, and on the Roman name for Caerleon being Isca Legionis, in Phyllis Ann Karr's first edition of the Companions around King Arthur she suggested identifying Escavalon, as a city, with Caerleon and, as a country, with Monmouthshire.
Escavalon and its royal family feature rather prominently in Chrétien's last romance. Gawaine leaves Arthur's court at Caerleon and reaches Tintagil, where Tibaut offers to give him an escort and provisions for the very poor country he must pass through on his further way to Escavalon. All this makes Karr's earlier identifications unviable. Of course, the geography of the British Isles might not have been Chrétien's strongest point (although his placement of Bath in Gore is certainly clear and unambiguous); neither was her earlier sumise based on too much in the way of hard evidence, if one hypothesizes that "Kaerlyon", where it occurs for "Escavalon", was a scribal error or idiosyncracy.
Of Escavalon, Chrétien tells us that its fortress was very strong and overlooked an arm of the sea, its town was so prosperous that one might have thought it enjoyed a continuous fair, and its population was good-looking (probably meaning it was 'healthy and well-fed'). The very poor country that Tibaut warned Gawaine about encountering between Tintagil and Escavalon seems to have been forgotten.Sir Guigambresil. A bit of confusion caused the king of Escavalon to postpone the duel between Gawaine and Guigambresil for a year, provided that Gawaine spend that year looking for the Bleeding Lance. In the Second Continuation of Perceval, Escavalon seems to be one of Arthur’s courts, located in Wales.
In Perlesvaus, it is ruled by Perceval’s paternal uncle Elinant, and then by Elinant’s son Alain. In Raoul de Houdenc’s La Vengeance Raguidel, the King of Escavalon’s daughter, Lidoine, is loved by two knights: Meraugis and Gorvain Cadrut. In the Vulgate Lancelot, King Arguel is mentioned as the ruler. Escavalon was the birthplace of Galescalain (Galeshin), the duke of Clarence.
According to Sommer, Arthur held court here when Meleagant (Meleagaunce) wanted to fight Lancelot whom he had treacherously imprisoned. Lancelot, when delivered by Meleagant's sister, killed this knight.
Ascalun | The Legend of King Arthur
Escavalon, King of
Near the outset of Chrétien's Grail romance, Percivale's mother tells him that his oldest brother served and was knighted by the King of Escavalon. Apparently this king died in circumstances that allowed Guigambresil to accuse Gawaine of his murder, challenging Arthur's knight to trial by combat before the young and elegant King of Escavalon, the old king's son, "handsomer than Absalon".
When Gawaine arrives at Escavalon, he seems not to realize that he has reached his destination. He meets the young king, who is out hunting, but neither recognizes the other, and the king greets him hospitably, sending him to the castle with a messenger to bid his sister entertain this new guest well. She does, until a vavasour comes in who happens to know Gawaine.
The vavasour rouses the entire town, which hates Gawaine for its old king's murder, and when Guigambresil arrives, he finds Gawaine and the King's sister defending themselves against a mob. Guigambresil locates the king, who, finally learning his guest's identity, rules that the royal promise of hispitality remains sacred but, on the advice of another(?) vavasour, postpones the trial by combat for one year on condition that Gawaine use that year to search for the Bleeding Lance.
Escavalon, Mayor and Magistrates, Alderman of
Chrétien describes these worthies as so sleek and paunchy they could certainly not have been taking any purgatives. Their immediate mobilization and willingness not only to summon the townsfolk but to lead the mob attack on Gawaine as soon as a vavasour calls his presence to their attention strikes me as less stereotypical than their appearance.
Escavalon, Sister of the King of
This lively damsel obeyed her brother's command to welcome their unknown guest with great spirit if not quite to the letter - her brother's instructions were "do as much for him as you would for me", but she soon entered into a flirtation with Gawaine that must have been anything but sisterly. On learning who he was - allegedly her father's murderer - she fell into a long swoon but, upon recovering, immediately set about arming him and otherwise preparing their joint defense against the mob she shrewdly guessed would come.When it came, she helped fight it off by hurling their huge chessmen - ten times larger than ordinary ones - down upon the rabble, meanwhile shouting that in making the man welcome she had simply obeyed her kingly brother. Anyone who might still imagine the maids of medieval romance to be pallid and timit creatures chiefly useful at waiting to be rescued ought to consider this one's fighting spirit, fired by a rage that continued to burn within her after her brother had come home and dispelled the mob; she trembled and whitened on his entrance, but I suspect that Chrétien, like us, could recognize that as a natural physical reaction after stress.
Escavalon, Vavasour(s) of the King of
Two of them appear to play a part in the Escavalon episode of Chrétien's Perceval.
The first discovers the king's sister enjoying an obviously hot flirtation with Gawaine and, though Gawaine is universally hated in Escavalon for allegedly murdering its previous ruler, this vavasour is the first to recognize him and raise the alarm, summoning the mayor and magistrates to lead the mob.
I do not think he is the same wise vavasour, a native of that town and advisor to the country round, whom the young king finds in the square after dismissing the mob, and who advises him to postpone Gawaine's trial by combat with Guigambresil for a year and meanwhile send Gawaine in quest of the Bleeding Lance.