Argante, the Silver Queen, appears only once in surviving Arthurian sources, where she is identified as the Queen of the Isle of Avalon. Her name derives from an Old Celtic word for “silver,” Arganto. She appears in the first English vernacular version of the Arthurian saga, the Brut of Layamon, written near the end of the twelfth century. Layamon, an English parish priest, lived near the Welsh border by the Severn River. He wrote for a popular audience rather than an exclusively scholarly or noble one.
In the Brut, Arthur’s last words express his plan to go to Avalon to see Argante, the queen, whom he describes as the fairest of maidens, the comeliest of fays. She will heal him so that he can return to his British kingdom. Some now believe Argante to be a title or other name for Morgan le Fay. Others perceive her as Avalon’s co-queen or perhaps its sole ruler, completely independent from Morgan.
See also: Fairy; Morgan le Fay
From the Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.
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