Letan Luyddoc's Ancestry

Letan Luyddoc (of the Host) is well-known from Arthurian stories as Lot, either the King of Orkney or of Lothian. The latter was Letan's actual kingdom and was named after him. It was originally called Gododdin, a name taken from the tribe of the Votadini who lived in the area.

Letan was portrayed by Geoffrey of Monmouth as Llew ap Cynfarch, a brother of King Urien Rheged of North Rheged (Cumbria), but it is unlikely that the Rheged dynasty extended their influence as far as the Forth. In his Chronica Gentis Scotorum, John of Fortrun claims that Lot was descended from Fulgentius, an early mythical King of Britain mentioned by Geoffrey; whilst John of Glastonbury gives an implausible descent from one Petrus, a supposed follower of St. Joseph of Arimathea:


It is, however, much more probable that Lot's ancestry is recorded in the otherwise unidentified 'Pedigree 16' in the Harleian MS 3859:

Constantini Constantius, Roman Emperor
Constantini Magni Constantine the Great, Roman Emperor
Constantis Constantine II, Emperor of the West
Teuhant Tasciovanus, Chief of the Catuvellauni
Cinbelin Cunobelinus, Chief of the Catuvellauni
Caratauc Caratacus, Chief of the Catuvellauni
Guid Gen Gwyddien alias Gwydion
Louhen Lleu Hen (the Old) alias Lleu Llaw Gyffes
Cinis Scaplaut Corrupt
Decion Roman Office of Decurion
Catel Cadell
Catleu Cadlew, mentioned briefly by Geoffrey of Monmouth
Letan Lleuddun Luyddog (of the Host) alias Lot

Lot's ancestry is therefore quite muddled. However, his great grandfather's name, Decion or Decurion, may indicate descent from men given Roman military positions in the borderland buffer zone north of Hadrian's Wall. The appearance of Lleu and Gwydion would seem to show the commonly claimed descent from Celtic Gods, though their positioning is a little strange. The latter was associated with Arfon in North Wales and their presence has led to a suggestion that this line represents that of an unknown group of lords from this area. Gwydion may also represent Guiderius, Geoffrey's name for Togodumnus, Chief of the Catuvellauni tribe (from Hertfordshire) and brother of Caratacus, shown in the previous generation. Caratacus, Cunobelinus and Tasciovanus are historical pre-Roman figures recorded by Dio Cassius and Tacitus. The Roman Emperors are obviously completely misplaced and actually extend back through a long list of their twenty-nine predecessors in the Imperial office, represented as a single family. Lot's descent continues thus:

Letan Lleuddun Luyddog (of the Host) alias Lot
Serguan Serwan, probably the origin of the form Sir Gawain. Also known as Gwalchmai
Caurtam Cawrdaf
Caten Cathen
Neithon Neithon
Run Rhun

According to various traditions, largely Arthurian, Lot married Anna Morgause daughter of Gorlois of Tintagel and maternal half-sister of King Arthur. Together, they had a number of children:


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