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Mazadân is the most remote common ancestor of King Arthur and Perceval as set forth in a letter by Perceval’s future father near the end of Book I of Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival. Except for Uther Pendragon, the names in Arthur’s lineage as given by Wolfram are otherwise unknown.

The Parzival TextsEdit

Gahmuret, son of King Gandîn of Anjou, writes a letter of farewell to his pagan wife Belâcane who is pregnant with his child. Gahmuret relates what he wishes his son to know about his ancestry. Gahmuret begins by speaking of the Angvin ancestry of himself and his future son:

erst erborn von Anschouwe.
diu minne wirt sîn frouwe:
sô wirt aber er an strîte ein schûr,
den vînden herter nâchgebûr.
wizzen sol der sun mîn,
sîn ane der hiez Gandîn,
der lac an ritterschefte tôt.
des vater leit die selben nôt,
der was geheizen Addanz:
sîn schilt beleip vil selten ganz.
der was von arte ein Bertûn:
er und Utepandragûn
wæren zweier gebruoder kint,
die beide alhie geschriben sint.
daz was einer, Lazaliez:
Brickus der ander hiez.
der zweier vater hiez Mazadân.
den vuorte ein feie in Feimurgân,
diu hiez Terdelaschoie:
er was ir herzen boye.
von in zwein kom daz geslehte mîn,
daz immer mêr gît liehten schîn.
ieslîcher sider krône truoc
und heten werdekeit genuoc.
He is born out of Anjou.
Love will be his lady:
in battle he will be a hailstorm,
To foes a harsh neighbor.
My son should know that his grandfather
was named Gandîn,
and that he died from knightly deeds.
His father suffered the same fate,
and he was named Addanz:
seldom did his shield remain whole.
He was by kindred a Briton,
he and Uther Pendragon
being children of two brothers
who are both written of here.
One was Lazaliez:
and the other was named Brickus.
The father of these two was called Mazadân.
He was taken by a fay into Fay-morgain;
and she was called Terre-de-la-Joie:
he was her heart’s fetter.
From these two descends my line,
which ever more will be a shining light.
Each of them afterward wore a crown
and had sufficient honor.

Also, from near the beginning of book VIII, Wolfram describes Vergulaht, who is Gahmuret’s sister’s son:

ein râvît von Spâne hôch
reit der künec Vergulaht.
sîn blic was tac wol bî der naht
sîn geslāhte sante Mazadân
für den berc ze Fâmorgân:
sîn art was von der feien.
in dûhte er sæhe den meien
in rehter zît von blumen gar
swer nam des küneges varwe war.
On a high Arabian horse from Spain
rode King Vergulaht.
And his glory was like day against night.
His family came forth from Mazadân
out of the mountain in Fay-Morgain:
his kindred was of the fairy folk.
You would think you were seeing the Maytime
adorned at proper season with flowers,
to see this king’s beauty.

CommentaryEdit

Mazadân took a fay as his ladylove.

The name given here for the fay is Terdelaschoie, which resolves to French Terre-de-la-Joie, ‘Land of Joy’. This seems to be in origin the name of the fay’s country, not the name of the fay herself. Since the name of the country, Feimurgân or Fâmorgân, looks like a transformation of French Morgain la Fée, it may be that the name of the fay and the name of her country have been reversed by Wolfram or by someone in whatever line of sources Wolfram might have. That is, in this tradition, Morgain was not Arthur’s sister, but his great-grandmother.

It might also be that both these names refer to the country of the fay: the story told of an anonymous fay who carries Mazadân off to the Land of Joy, to Morgain the Fay’s country.

The land where this fay lives is under the mountain.

Mazadân has two sons by his fay, Lazaliez and Brickus.

Lazaliez wears a crown, and dies in the performance of knightly deeds. The same is true of Lazaliez’s son Addanz. Addanz’s son is Gandîn, the King of Anjou, who was Gahmuret’s father, and who also dies in an untold knightly combat.

Brickus, Lazliez’s brother, is the father of King Uther Pendragon. As such, Brickus might be equated with Geoffrey of Monmouth’s King Constantine, who in Geoffrey and all other extant accounts is Uther’s father. Mazadân might be equated with King Thailais who in the Prose Lancelot is Uther Pendragon’s grandfather.

                                    ♂Mazadân = ♀Fay of the Land of Joy
                      ┌──────────────────────┴─────────────────────┐
                 ♂LazaliezBrickus
                      │                                            │
                  ♂Addanz                                    ♂Utepandragûn = Arnîve
                      │                                                    │
                  ♂Gandîn = ♀Schoette                                   ♂Artûs   
   ┌──────────────────────┼─────────────────────────┐                      │
♂Gâlôes  ♂Kingrisin = ♀Flûrdâmûrs  ♀Belacâne = ♂Gahmuret = ♀Herzeloyde  ♂Ilinôt    
             ┌──────┴─────┐           ┌──────┘           └──────┐         
        ♂Vergulacht  ♀Antikonîe  ♂Feirefîz = ♀Joy’s Answer  ♂Parzivâl = ♀Cundwîr
                                           │                    ┌─────┴─────┐
                                    ♂Prester Jôhan          ♂Kardeiz  ♂Loherangrîn

Presumably, when Arthur’s line fails, the lineage of Lazaliez, the House of Anjou, might have a good claim to the Kingdom of Britain. This story might be seen as a legendary justification of Angevin rule in Britain.

In the Prose Lancelot, Lancelot’s homeland of Benwick is clearly identified with eastern Anjou-Touraine, but there is no attempt to claim that Lancelot’s kin are rightful Kings of Britain, unless the unfinished Roman des fils du roi Constant by Bauduins Butors would have been such an attempt.

For alternate versions of Uther Pendragon’s ancestry see Constantine (King of Britain) and Thailais.

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