Camaheu, Carahais, Carahaix, Carahan, Carahes, Caraheu, Carais, Caroaise, Carohaise, Karahais, Karahrs, Karahes, Karaheu(?), Karalei
A city in Brittany that appears often in continental Arthurian literature. In Eilhart von Oberge’s Tristrant, Carhaix is the city ruled by King Havelin, father of Kahedins and Isolde of the White Hands (Iseult). It was besieged by Count Riole of Nantes when Havelin refused to give Isolde to Riole, but was saved by the arrival of Tristan.
In the Vulgate Merlin, Carhaix is a wealthy city in Carmelide (Cameliard) (some geographic confusion here; Carmelide is supposed to be in Britain), ruled by King Leodegan (Leodegrance), Guenevere’s father. Here a tournament was held between the Queen’s Knights and the Knights of the Round Table.
Cleodalis was Leodegan’s steward of the city. It was besieged by Saxons led by King Rions of Ireland (Ryons) in the early days of Arthur’s reign. Arthur, Merlin, King Ban of Benoic, and King Bors of Gannes joined Leodegan’s forces there. A combination of the kings’ prowess and Merlin’s magic helped repel the Saxons.
Some time later, Rions returned with greater numbers but was still unable to take the city. The second siege ended when Arthur fought Rions in single combat, and Rions was slain. Arthour and Merlin describes action at Carhaix which in the Vulgate Merlin takes place at Aneblayse.
In other texts, Carhaix is named as the homeland of Gaheris de Kareheu, or as one of Arthur’s many courts.
Carhaix | 400-600 AD
During the fourth and fifth centuries AD, the Roman Empire was undergoing significant changes, including the gradual decline and withdrawal of Roman forces from certain regions. Carhaix, as an important Roman town, likely experienced the influence of these changes. The Roman presence and infrastructure in the town might have continued to shape its governance, economy, and culture to some extent.
The period from 400-600 AD saw significant shifts in power and cultural dynamics throughout Europe, including the emergence of various Germanic and Celtic groups. Carhaix, located in the region of Brittany, was part of the Kingdom of Brittany during this time. The Britons, who migrated from Britain, established their own political entities in the region, including Brittany. Carhaix likely played a role in the political and cultural affairs of Brittany during this era. It might have served as a center for local administration, trade, and cultural exchange within the Kingdom of Brittany.
The fifth and sixth centuries witnessed the emergence of various Breton kings and dynasties in the region, including rulers such as Riothamus, Macliau, and Waroch. Carhaix may have been a significant location for the ruling elites and their courts, potentially hosting important gatherings, legal assemblies, or religious ceremonies. Christianity had begun to spread in the region during this period, and the conversion of the Bretons to Christianity played a significant role in shaping their society and culture.
Tristrant | Eilhart von Oberge, 1170–1190
Gliglois | Early 13th century
Lancelot do Lac | 1215-1220
Vulgate Lancelot | 1215-1230
Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235
Arthour and Merlin | Late 13th century