Caradigan, Cardican, Ceredigion, Karadigan, Kardigan, Karidagan
According to Chrétien de Troyes, the stronghold of Cardigan was one of Arthur’s places to hold court. Malory mentions Cardican in passing, as a castle where Sirs Percivale and Aglovale lodged for a brief time while searching for Lancelot.
In the tale of Meriadeuc, the queen of Cardigan is named Lore. Her city was besieged and captured by King Ris of Outre-Ombre, but she eventually forced him to leave. In the Livre d’Artus, it is ruled by Lisanor (Lyzianor) and is besieged by Saxons during the Saxon invasion at the beginning of Arthur’s reign.
From the name alone, one can assume Malory’s Cardican Castle to be Cardigan city, and would identify it with Chrétien’s Cardigan.
Cardigan | 400-600 AD
The Cardigan area was inhabited by the Celtic Britons, specifically the Demetae tribe. They were part of the Iron Age culture in Britain. The region likely experencied some degree of Roman influence during the Roman occupation of Britain. Roman forces had a presence in the southern parts of Wales, but the extent of their influence on Cardigan specifically during this period is not well-documented.
After the Roman Empire’s withdrawal from Britain in the early fifth century, the region went through a period of transition and political changes. During this time, the Celtic Britons faced incursions and invasions by various Germanic and Irish groups. It is likely that the Demetae maintained some level of settlement and occupation in the Cardigan area during this period, although specific details are limited.
Erec | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century
Lanzelet | Ulrich von Zatzikhoven, c. 1200
Le Livre d’Artus | Early 13th century
Meriadeuc or Le Chevalier aux Deux Épées | c. 1225-1250