The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

The Tristan Longstone

Standing Stone / Menhir


In Wm Borlase's Antiquities of the County of Cornwall, pub. 1769, the inscription is read thus:


The reading of the first name as DRVSTANVS seems to be generally accepted at present, with the initial letter(s) construed as a 'D' written back-to-front. I have never yet been able to find the evidence upon which such a reading is based: for example, other inscriptions from (around) the same period in which a 'D' is written back-to front. Do such examples exist? If so, where?
Posted by TonySnell
6th September 2005ce

Comments (1)

In fact the "Drustanus" reading is a modern one, proposed by a small group of scholars that included the archaeologist Raleigh Radford and the Arthurian romance specialist André de Mandach. They saw the stone as a crucial proof of the historicity of the legend of Tristan and Isolde. No earlier visitor read the inscription as a "d", even when it was much easier to read than it is today. The earlier consensus was that it read CIRVIVS.

More in the afterword to this:
Posted by allkindsofhistory
28th December 2015ce
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