a novelty choking hazard

Caer Caradoc

Electrum Cross, bearing the inscription, Pro Anima ArtoriusAccording to a story that’s bubbled up all over the place in the last day or two, the ancient walled city of Caradoc, king of the Ancient Britons, has been found exactly where the historical record, such as it is, said it was supposed to be, all along.

Historical references to Caer Caradoc are many and include statements in the Brut Tyssilio (684 AD) and the later Gruffyd ap Arthur (1135 AD) where Merddyn Emrys (Martin Ambrosius) and his mother are said to have met with the Ambassadors of Vortigern at St. Peter’s Super-Montem Church at Caer Caradoc, where they lived. (more)

The cross here was unearthed, it is claimed, at the site of St. Peter’s Super-Montem in the course of an archaelological dig in 1990. The inscription reads, Pro Anima Artorius: For the Soul of Arthur.

According to self-styled “dissident historians” Alan Wilson and Baram Blackett, the owners of the site and the leaders of the research project, academic historians are ignoring this (and a great many other!!!) finds supporting their claims, which are certainly colourful.

There’s something not quite right about this story — the web presence backing this story up is kind of thin: the blog which announces the story is composed of precisely one post, and a link to a podcast which basically reads that blog post aloud. They urge us to buy a book called The King Arthur Conspiracy by one Grant Berkley, whose blog consists of, let me see now, two posts, four days apart, two years ago. The two other pages under the dragon2/dissident heirarchy which Berkley calls home (“Welcome” he says, modestly, “to the most important page on the internet”) are considerably less than inspiring and point to a non-existent Real History site, although I did pick up the Electrum Cross image from here.
(There seems to be no background information on Berkley anywhere; apart from the book already mentioned, he is the author of Moses In The Hieroglyphs, published in January this year and co-authored, according to Wilson’s Wikipedia entry, with Wilson and Blackett again – but no reviews, nor even a sales rank – how does that happen?)
There’s a site devoted to a guy called Adrian Gilbert, another New Age author, who points to another address, http://www.kingarthur-online.co.uk/ for Wilson and Blackett’s findings. Nothing there, either.
Now, I don’t have any problem with the idea that early British history isn’t quite what Academia insists that it was — but this story is so insubstantial, it barely exists; I think I could have planted all the material out there in less time than it’s taken me to write this post. If these people have been working on the subject for thirty years, why is there so little evidence in evidence, only defensive bluster about the “academic establishment” ignoring them? Much as we might like these “dissident historians” to be really on to something, they aren’t doing their credibility any favours with what’s currently out there.
(via Warren Ellis)

Posted in history | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

6 Responses to Caer Caradoc

  1. Well, I think Grant Berkley is an alias, a fictional writer. He is, most probably, just Alan Wilson.

    He and Baram Blackett got a lot of flak when they teamed up with Adrian Gilbert and wrote ‘The Holy Kingdom: The Quest for the Real King Artur’.

  2. pilgrim says:

    Fred, I suspected as much – I had noticed, in the course of my searches that the “Grant” and “Berkley” imprints were fairly conspicuous as publishers of books in this general area…

  3. No sales rank is explainable because the books are available only by ‘printing on demand’. You order it and then Trafford Publishing will print one single copy.

    But on the other hand: I’ve read the first book (The King Arthur Conspiracy) and while it was horrendously edited (with lots of typos and syntax faults) it was truly fascinating stuff to read.

    I’m now saving a bit to acquire the second book but want to wait a bit in order to get an autographed copy of it… Therefore, Mr. Berkley, would you please contact me?

  4. Fred says:

    Right. I’ve done it. I’ve ordered “Moses In The Hieroglyphs” via amazon.com.

    Call me stupid but I really like these sort of books. Where outsiders hack their own path through the jungle of knowledge.

  5. Gav says:

    The ancient British Historical Society had a great website last year producing some very entertaining and fascinating podcasts. They were hit be numerous hacking attempts (backing up the claims in the KA Conspiracy) and now the website has done. A similar thing happened to the webste they used to have (www.kingarthur-online.co.uk – as mentioned above), this website disappeared a few years ago.

    I’ve done some searching on the web and I’ve found links to some of their podcasts. You can hear them at
    or http://media.libsyn.com/imageshack-bounceback.php?str=img671/7158/6834/SHOW2.mp3


    Shows 1 to 11 plus 14 & 15 are available

  6. Ifan says:

    Like Gav says the sites they had put up have been hacked and taken down. Listen to the podcasts 1-15, and try to read the books mentioned in the podcasts. Everything Alan Wilson mentions can be seen and touched. Only then will you see for yourself what has been done to Welsh/Britih history.

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