Re: CHAT Lloegr
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, December 15, 2004, 7:02|
On Tuesday, December 14, 2004, at 09:26 , Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
> Ray Brown wrote:
>> _Llŷr_ is the Welsh form of Lear, the King that Shakespeare wrote about
>> his venture into the 'fabulous Celtic twilight'. The name is spelled
>> _Leir_ by Geoffrey of Monmouth. I find the Old English for Leicester was
>> _Ligeraceaster_; I suspect the Ligera- has more to do with Llŷr/Lear/Leir
>> (remembering that Old British medial -g- became silent in Welsh & the
>> other Brittonic langs) than it has to do with Lloegr.
> Also note that the combination _ige_ would be pronounced [ije] in
> Old English. Whatever the Old English graphy _ie_ was it probably
> was *not* [ie], so _ige_ may have been a way of spelling [ie].
> Cf. the Old Norse/Danish name Sveinn spelled in OE as _Swegen_!
Thanks - good point.
Anyway, I am sure _Ligera-_ has to do with Llŷr/Lear/Leir and nothing to
do with Lloegr. I haven't had time to do check this year, but I strongly
suspect Leircester will be found, among others, as an earlier spelling of
Leicester. Why the old Roman town of Ratae should have become associated
with Lear, I do not know; but Geoffrey of Monmouth in his "Historia
Britonum" states that Leir was the founder of Leicester. It seems that
Shakespeare got the story of Lear from Geoffrey via Holinshed.
All very interesting, but gets us no nearer to the origin of Lloegr, of
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]