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May 27, 2008

Lyonesse has been also used as a setting for many modern fantasy stories. J. R. R. Tolkien drew some of his inspiration for the lost kingdom of Numenor from the legends of Lyonesse; one of the kingdom's many names in his myths is called Westernesse. While doing my research for web analytics company, I found something else.

There is evidence that in Roman times the Isles of Scilly were one large island. According to legend, Lyonesse stretched from Scilly to Land's End at the westernmost tip of Cornwall, and once had some 140 churches. Its capital was the City of Lions, located on what is now the treacherous Seven Stones reef. The names of the traditional kings of Lyonesse are derived from Welsh and Arthurian myth. It is often suggested that the tale of Lyonesse represents an extraordinary survival of folk memory of the flooding of the Isles of Scilly. Cornish people still believe strongly in a sunken forest in Mount's Bay. And there is archaeological evidence of the forest. The remains of it is evident at very low tides, where petrified tree stumps become visible.

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Posted: May 27, 2008 1:52pm
May 27, 2008

I had to gather bits and pieces of information about the myth of the lost kingdom of Lyonesse in archives of web analytics company. There just was not much to write about. The legend of a sunken kingdom Lyonesse appears in both Cornish and Breton mythology. In Christian times it even came to be viewed as a sort of Cornish Sodom and Gomorrah story. Lyonesse is identified as a sunken land lying off the Isles of Scilly, to the south-west of Cornwall. Lyonesse is a fictional country in Arthurian legend, birthplace of the knight Tristan. In the medieval story, after Battle of Camlann, that took place supposedly in 537, King Arthur's men fled west across Lyonesse. They were pursued by Mordred and his men. Arthur's men survived by reaching what are now the Isles of Scilly, but Mordred's men perished in the inundation.

Other versions of the medieval story mention that Lyonesse is the home of Guinevere, a small land situated between Camelot and Malagant's territory. This kingdom was ruled by Guinevere's father until his death, after his death Guinevere received the title of the Lady of Lyonesse.

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Posted: May 27, 2008 1:47pm
Feb 25, 2008
I found an interesting story about another lost land while doing my web analytics research. This legend surfaced in Canada during French colonization in the the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. French colonists in North America learned from Algonquin Indians that somewhere in the north, there was a mythical kingdom which is inhabited by blond men rich with gold and furs. Algonquin Indians even had a name for this land - Kingdom of Saguenay. One of the Indian Chiefs named Donnacona also told a lot of stories about this kingdom while being imprisoned in France in the 30s of the sixteenth century. Donnaconna claimed that blond inhabitants of the kingdom also have in their posession great mines of silver and gold.

French colonists tried hard to find kingdom of Saguenay, but all their attempts ended in vain. Up until now, specialists speculate about the source of this legend. Some even say that it was an ancient pre-Colombian settlement of Europeans. They believe that Indian oral tradition refered to Viking settlements in America, although this has not been definitely proven.

Nevertheless the name Saguenay exists in many modern canadian placenames. One of the regions in Quebec even refers to itself as Kingdom of Saguenay trying to attract tourists and for other marketing purposes.

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Posted: Feb 25, 2008 9:01pm

 

 
 
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Ekaterina G.
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Delray Beach, FL, USA
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