Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Arondel. Arondell, Arundell, Arundels, Randol, Randoll

Arundel is a historic market town in the county of West Sussex, England.

In Gottfried’s Tristan, Arundel is a duchy ruled by Tristan’s father-in-law Jovelin (Havelin), father of Isolde of the White Hands. Its capital was Karke. Other writers make Isolde’s homeland Brittany, but Gottfried apparently changed it to Arundel since he had already given Morgan as the Duke of Brittany. Nevertheless, he erroneously places Arundel next to Brittany and Parmenie, across the English Channel from Britain. The actual Arundel lies along the Arun River in southern West SussexEngland.

The Vulgate Merlin, which seems to place Arundel in Wales, says that it was the site of a crucial battle between the kings in rebellion against Arthur– led by King Tradelmant of North Wales – and the Saxons. The Saxons were routed and fled to Saxon Rock.

A second battle at Arundel involving King Yder, Yvain (Ywaine), and Gawain against the Saxons resulted in a defeat. Merlin, however, warned Gawain to withdraw his forces from the field in time, and Gawain managed to save the castle and fortify it with a garrison.

The story of Arthour and Merlin, which equates Arundel with Cambenic, places it in Cornwall and gives its ruler as Duke Escant. In Durmart le Gallois, it is ruled by Count Briains.

Arundel | 0 to the 9th century AD

Roman Period | 1st – 5th centuries
The Roman occupation of Britain, which began in the first century AD, influenced the region that would later become Arundel. Roman roads and settlements in the area likely played a role in shaping the local landscape. However, specific information about Arundel during this time is not well-documented.

Post-Roman Period | 5th – 9th centuries
Following the decline of Roman influence in the early fifth century, Britain entered a period of transition often referred to as the Sub-Roman or Early Medieval period. During this time, Anglo-Saxon and possibly other Germanic tribes migrated to and settled in various parts of Britain.

Anglo-Saxon and Early Medieval Period
The establishment and development of settlements during the Anglo-Saxon period likely contributed to the formation of what would later become Arundel. The River Arun, which flows through the area, would have been a significant natural feature influencing settlement patterns and trade.

Viking Incursions | 8th – 9th centuries
The late eighth and early ninth centuries saw Viking raids and incursions in many parts of Britain. Coastal areas, including those along the River Arun, could have been vulnerable to Viking attacks. However, specific historical records of such events in the Arundel area are not available.

Tristan | Gottfried von Strassburg, early 13th century
Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235
Durmart le Gallois | Early 13th century
Arthour and Merlin | Late 13th century