Lot or Loth is king of
Lothian, Orkney, and sometimes Norwayin the Arthurian legend. He is King Arthur's brother-in-law and early enemy. The character is possibly derived from a historical personage.
Lot appears in all cyclical Arthurian literature from
Geoffrey of Monmouth's " Historia Regum Britanniae" on, and his story is remarkably consistent. After Uther Pendragonmarries Igraine, he weds her eldest daughter Morgause(also called Anna) to Lot. Their marriage produces a number of sons, namely Gawain, Agravain, Gaheris, Gareth, and in earlier literature, Mordredas well. Early in Arthur's reign Lot and other kings oppose him, though his sons object. After initial battles Arthur defeats the rebels decisively and incorporates their lands.
Vulgate Cycleand Geoffrey of Monmouth, Lot and the young king are reconciled after the final battle and Lot enthusiastically joins his brother-in-law's service. Indeed, Lot appears in many romances as Arthur's staunch ally. In the Post-Vulgateand Thomas Malory's " Le Morte d'Arthur" however, Lot is killed during the last battle by King Pellinore, sparking a blood feud between Lot's kin and Pellinore's.
The Welsh know Lot by a variety of names. Sometimes he is called Lot Luwddoc (Lot of the Host), elsewhere he is Llew ap Cynfarch. In "
Culhwch and Olwen" Gwalchmai (Gawain) is son of Gwyar, who may be either his mother or his father. In Geoffrey Lot is said to be brother of Urien Rhegedand Auguselus of Scotland. His name is probably derived from his kingdom (Lothian), like Corinof Cornwalland other characters from Geoffrey of Monmouth. Thorfinn Skull-Splitter, a Norse king of Orkneyin the 10th century, had a son named Ljot, which may have led to the connection of a Lothian king to Orkney and Norway. According to the local tradition of Caithness, across the Pentland Firthfrom the Orkney islands, a standing stonecalled the Stone Ludwas erected to mark the grave of Ljot, son of Thofinn Skull-Splitter, after he died from the wounds of a battle in Caithness.
Lot was said to descend from
Catuvellaunichief Caractacusof Iron Age Britain. As some suggest it is possible Lot was a late incarnation of the British god/hero Lludd Llaw Eraint, though there is little remaining similarity between the characters beyond the names.
In Scottish folklore the semi-legendary King Lot (Leudonus) was a ruler of the
Gododdin, based at Traprain Law. In the "Life" of Saint Mungo(Kentigern), the legendary founder of Glasgow, Lot is the father of Mungo's mother Theneva.
List of Arthurian characters
* [http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/bios/lot.html Early British Kingdoms entry on Lot of Lothian]
* [http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/bios/lotgn.html Early British Kingdoms entry on Lot Luwddoc]
*"Celtic Myths and Legends", Charles Squire (1912) ISBN 0-7525-2676-6
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