Lot Luwddoc (of the Host) is the famous king of legend who
the half-sister of the great King
Arthur, and became father of Gawain.
The Brut y Brenhinedd - the Welsh translation of Geoffrey
of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain - confuses him with Llew ap Cynfarch, brother of
another powerful king in Northern Britain. Lot, however, had a
more obscure ancestry descending ultimately from
pre-Roman King of the Catuvellauni tribe, who was taken as a captive
to Rome in AD 43.
In Welsh tradition, the father of Gawain
is called Gwyar, a confused
name sometimes, mistakenly, thought to refer to Lot's wife.
It seems to have been some kind of heroic title meaning 'Blood'.
Lot ruled Gododdin,
in Northern Britain, from his
capital at Trapain Law, near Haddington (Lothian), where a
post-Roman booty, possibly from his treasury, has been
uncovered; but he was also said to have held court at Din Eityn (the Castle Rock
in Edinburgh). His kingdom eventually
became known as Lothian in his honour. Geoffrey of Monmouth
also makes him disputed heir of Norway, presumably through his mother.
early years, at least, Lot was a pagan and hagiographic tradition does not
portray him in a very positive light. It is said he was so incensed by the
shame, brought about by his unmarried
pregnancy, that he had her thrown off a cliff!
Arthurian Romance also treats
him poorly. When King
Uther fell ill, Lot was entrusted with the command of the British armies
in their struggle against the Saxons. Upon Uther's death, however, Arthur was
revealed as his heir, and Lot initially rebelled against this new King. He was
defeated at the Battle of Bedegraine. Later, having discovered Arthur's affair
with his wife, Lot joined a second insurrection in which he was killed by King
Pellinore of Listinoire during the Battle of Terrabil. He is traditionally said
to have been buried at Dunpender Law in East Lothian.