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Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100—1155) bishop of St Asaph and historian

Giraldus Cambrensis (c. 1146—1223)


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[W gwên, white, fair; (g)wyf, smooth, yielding (?)].

Welsh counterpart and possible antecedent of Guinevere, wife of King Arthur. Geoffrey of Monmouth (12th cent.) reported that she was of noble Roman stock and had been brought up in a Cornish court. Giraldus Cambrensis claimed to have seen Arthur and Gwenhwyfar's bodies exhumed in 1192 with the notation that she was a second wife. Like Guinevere, she is an adulteress, but with Medrod, the counterpart of Mo(r)dred, after which she becomes a nun. Several commentators have suggested that the name Gwenhwyfar is philologically related to the Irish Finnabair.

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