Lucius Artorius Castus inscriptions

The original reading of the inscriptions’s left-hand fragment by Carrara in De’ Scavi di Salona is below on the left and that of Higham’s, from King Arthur: The Making of the Legend, on the right. The final letter in Carrara’s line 7, E, is no longer visible as that portion of the fragment was lost after that original reading was made. It has been questioned whether the letter had really been there.

The errors in the original reading are:
Line 1: Missing R and U as well as inverting O and R in ARTORIUS
Line 2: Missing E in GALLICAE
Line 4: Missing a ligatured T in ITEM
Line 6: Misinterpreting a C for a G
Line 8: Ligaturing the O with the P rather than the R in PROVINCIAE
Line 8: Missing L in LI
So, Carrara never seems to have made the error of adding something that was not there. Moreover, the misinterpretation such as occurred line 6 is unlikely to have occurred with the letter following ARM since not many letters are readily mistaken to be an E. Consequently, the missing word was probably ARMENIOS. It may well be that the start of the top horizontal bar of a ligatured E at the top right corner of the M is still visible:

LAC inscription detail

In a private email, Prof. Higham communicated the following:

“… this may help to authenticate the 19th C reading (it is certainly consistent with that), but I doubt if a modern epigraphist would consider it sufficient to demonstrate the presence of an E on its own. ”

If it were to be determined that a remnant of a letter survived it would limit the possibilities to the consonants B, D, F, P and R. The only possible vowel would be the letter E. This negates the possibility that the inscription has the word ARMORICOS as asserted by Dr. Malcor. It also rules out her more recent suggestion of ARMATOS.

There was a smaller inscription of Castus, shown below.
L ARTORIUS
CASTUS PP
LEG V MA[…] PR
AEFEC[…]VS LE
VI VICTRICI […]

Arthur and Batraz

From Scythia to Camelot draws attention to the similarity between the disposal into water of Arthur’s sword, Excalibur, by Bedivere for the mortally wounded hero in Le Morte Darthur and that of the Ossetian Batraz, as discovered by Joël Grisward.[1]
C. Scott Littleton postulated that the legend was transmitted to the west on the basis of a comment in the Roman History by Dio Cassius that 5,500 Iazyges, a Sarmatian people, were sent to Britain.[2]

J. Colarusso states that the protoform for Batraz was */pat‛(e)raʒ/.[3]  The name is likely to be a derivative from Paternus, the other name by which Arthur was known, as indicated on the Tintagel slate.Bedivere or Bedwyr itself is another derivative, and a doublet of Arthur. He had a son called Amren just as Arthur had a son named Amr.

Colarusso explains that the Nart epic took shape from ancient times up to the 14th C. However, since Paternus is a historically attested figure whereas Batraz is a mythical one, the transmission of the legend must have gone in the opposite direction, namely from west to east, probably as a result of the Crusades

It would thus indicate that the link between the names Paternus and Arthur survived into the 11th C. The Tintagel slate tells us Arthur’s name was originally ‘Artor’ with the epithet ‘gnou’. Whether this indicates that Arthur was named after Lucius Artorius Castus, as claimed by Linda A. Malcor, is a seperate question.

[1] Grisward, J. H., 1969.
[2] Cary, E., 1955, 37.
[3] May, W., 2016, Colarusso, J., Salbiev, T. (eds.), LXV.