Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Lac of Outre-Gales

Ilax, Lake

King of Outre-Gales (Estre-Gales or Further Wales) and ruler of the Black Isles, Knight of the Round Table, son of Canan and brother to Dirac. He was the father of Erec, Brandiles (Brandelis) and Jeschuté. He first appears in Chrétien de Troyes’s Erec.

He is variously called the king of Nantes, Destregales, Celis, Seland, Carnant, or the Black Isles. In Wolfram’s Parzival, he has a daughter named Jeschute, the Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal credits him with another unnamed daughter, and in Palamedes, he has a second son named Brandelis.

He bestowed the cities of Montrevel and Roadan on Enide’s father when she married Erec. In the early Erec tales, he dies peacefully, and his son inherits the throne.

The Post-Vulgate Queste gives a tale of Lac (and Erec) at odds with previous stories. Here, Lac is the son of King Canan of Salolliqui in Greece. His father was assassinated, forcing Lac and his brother Dirac, both still children, to flee Greece for Britain. There, they were found, raised, and knighted by a young Arthur, and both became kings. Lac married King Pelles’ sister, Crisea. Dirac’s sons eventually became jealous of Lac’s greater fame and killed him, seizing his castle. Erec avenged the murder.

Lac’s name means “lake” in French. In origin, he may be the Welsh Llwch, which also means “lake”. According to Wolfram, he took his name from a spring near Karnant.

Erec | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century
Erex Saga | 13th century
Parzival | Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1200–1210
Diu Crône | Heinrich von dem Türlin, c. 1230
Post-Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal | 1230-1240
Palamedes | c. 1240