Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Cabal, Caball, Cafall, Cauall, Cavall

Arthur’s favorite hunting dog, found in Nennius and Welsh tales.

Nennius claims that while Arthur and Cabal were hunting the boar Troynt in the country of Buelt, Cabal left his footprint on a stone. Arthur later built a heap of stones on the location, calling the monument Cairn Cabal. Nennius describes this monument as one of the wonders of Britain, saying that men often take the stone from the monument, but it always reappears there within a day.

In Welsh legend, Cabal accompanied Arthur on the hunts for the boars Ysgithyrwyn and Twrch Trwyth (which is possibly the same boar as Troynt), and killed Ysgithyrwyn himself. He was also instrumental during the hunt for a stag in the Forest of Dean.

The dog’s name comes from caballus, the Latin word for ‘horse’. In Culhwch and Olwen, Cavall is also described as belonging to Arthur’s warrior Syfwlch.

In Gereint Son of Erbin Cavall was Arthur’s “favourite dog” and he was the last dog to be let loose to chase after the game during stag hunts.

See also
Call | The Legend of King Arthur
Carn Cabal | The Legend of King Arthur
Cuall | The Legend of King Arthur

Historia Brittonum | Probably Nennius, early 9th century
Culhwch and Olwen | Late 11th century
Geraint and Enid | 13th century
Idylls of the King | Lord Alfred Tennyson, 1859-1886