Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Latin: Gallaecia
Galice, Galise, Galys

A historical kingdom, today an autonomous community located in the northwest corner of Spain.

Wolfram says that Perceval’s uncle Trevrizent held fortresses there.

In Claris et Laris, it is ruled by King Jonas, who is defeated by Claris and Laris.

In Pedrafita do Cebreiro, according to Galician tradition, the Grail showed itself to Sir Galahad. The Holy Grail has been the Kingdom of Galicia’s national symbol for almost a millenium. An English armorial dated the thirteenth century gives the earliest notice of the Holy Grail appearing as the coat of arms of the kings of Galicia. The earliest depection was a single golden chalice over a blue field.

Galicia | 0 to the 9th century AD

Roman Period | 1st – 5th centuries
In the early centuries AD, the region corresponding to Galicia was part of the Roman Empire. It was included in the larger Roman province of Gallaecia, which also covered parts of northern Portugal and Asturias in Spain. The Gallaecians, the local Celtic people, were gradually Romanized during this period.

Germanic Invasions
In the fifth century, the Iberian Peninsula, including Gallaecia, experienced the influx of Germanic tribes – such as the Vandals, Suebi, and Alans – as the Western Roman Empire faced internal and external pressures.

The Suebi, a Germanic tribe, established a kingdom in northwest Iberia, including Gallaecia around 410 AD, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The Suebic Kingdom of Galicia maintained a degree of autonomy under Roman suzerainty. During this time, the region experienced a blend of Germanic and Roman influences, including in governance, culture, and religion.

Suebic Kingdom | 410-585
The Suebic Kingdom, with its capital at Braga, had a significant presence in Gallaecia. However, it faced internal conflicts and external pressure from the Visigoths.

Visigothic Rule | 585-711
The Visigoths, another Germanic tribe, conquered the Suebic Kingdom in 585, incorporating Gallaecia into the Visigothic realm. The Visigothic Kingdom faced internal strife and external threats from the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate.

The Visigoths were Arian Christians initially, but over time, they converted to Nicene Christianity (the form of Christianity endorsed by the Roman Empire). The conversion of the Visigoths to the Nicene Christianity led to changes in the religious practices in Galicia. Christianity gained prominence, and Galicia became more closely integrated into the religious and cultural networks of the broader Christian world.

Islamic Period and the Battle of Covadonga | 711-722
In 711, the Umayyad Caliphate, a Muslim empire, invaded the Iberian Peninsula from North Africa, quickly advancing northward. Gallaecia, however, remained largely outside the initial scope of Muslim control due to its remote location in the northwest. The northern regions of the peninsula, including Gallaecia, became areas of resistance against Muslim expansion.

The Asturian nobleman Pelayo led a successful resistance att he Battle of Covadonga in 722. This battle is often considered the starting point of the Christian Reconquista, a long process of reclaiming Iberian territories from Islamic rule.

Asturian Kingdom | 8th century
Following the Battle of Covadonga, the Asturian Kingdom emerged in the mountainous region of Asturias, which included parts of Gallaecia. It served as a Christian stronghold against Islamic expansion. The Asturian Kingdom laid the foundation for the later Kingdom of León.

See also
Galacia | The Legend of King Arthur

External links
Coats of arms of Galicia |
The Holy Grail |

Parzival | Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1200–1210
Claris et Laris | 1268