Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

South Wales

Sorgales, Sugales, Surgenale, Sutgales

South Wales is a region in the southern part of Wales. Dyfed, Morgannwg, Gwent, and Brycheiniog, are examples of kingdoms located in South Wales.

In the chronicles, Merlin’s maternal grandfather (called Conan by Layamon) is the king of South Wales. In the Vulgate Merlin, the country is ruled by Belinant, and Marie de France names it as Tristan’s birthplace. Spenser names it as the kingdom ruled by Rions (Ryons).

South Wales | 0 to 9th century AD

Pre-Roman and Roman Period | 1st century BC – 5th century AD
Before the Roman conquest, the area that would become South Wales was inhabited by Celtic tribes. The Silures were one of the prominent Celtic tribes in this region.

The Romans began their conquest of Britain in the first century BC, and by the end of the first century AD, the area corresponding to Sout Wales was under Roman control. Roman towns, roads, and infrastructure were established, contributing to the Romanization of the local population. Notable Roman sites include Caerwent and Caerleon.

End of Roman Rule and Celtic Resurgence | 5th century
As the Roman Empire faced internal and external challenges, Roman influence in Britain declined. In the fifth century, with the withdrawal of Roman legions, Celtic cultures reasserted themselves. This period is often associated with the legendary figures of King Arthur and the resistance against Anglo-Saxon invasions.

Early Welsh Kingdoms | 6th – 9th centuries
During the early medieval period, various Welsh kingdoms and principalities emerged. Gwent, Glywysing, Gower, and the kingdom of Morgannwg (later Glamorgan) were among the entities in South Wales. The Welsh rulers sought to resist Anglo-Saxon expansion and maintain their independence.

Anglo-Saxon and Viking Invasions | 8th – 9th centuries
South Wales, like much of Britain, experienced raids and invasions by Anglo-Saxons and Vikings during the eighth and ninth centuries. The Battle of Dyrham in 577, although not in South Wales, is an example of conflicts between Anglo-Saxons and Welsh forces.

Deheubarth and the Rise of Rhodri the Great | 9th century
By the late ninth century, the kingdom of Deheubarth had emerged in South Wales. Rhodri the Great, a ruler from the House of Dinefwr, played a key role in consolidating power in this region.

Historia Regum Britanniae | Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1138
Roman de Brut | Wace, c. 1155
Chevrefueil | Marie de France, mid to late 12th century
Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235
The Faerie Queene | Edmund Spenser, 1570-1599