Rhita Gawr

The Arthurian connection of Ricca (or Ritta) may have originated from the HRB. Iolo Morganwg mentions a story of Rhita Gawr and he gave the source as a o Lyfr Iaco ap Dewi. Rhita settled a dispute between kings Nynnio and Peibio by conquering them and cutting off their beards. He did the same with all the other 28 kings that challenged him and made a mantle from the beards.

That this may not have been an invention of Iolo is the fact that Ricca may well have been of one generation earlier than Arthur since JC 9 and JC 10 indicate that to be the case for the brothers Nynnio and Peibio. This generational placement is in line with Culhwch ac Olwen which indicates that Eigr was married to a Ricca, chief elder of Cornwall.

One possible speculation, if Iolo’s story has any historical basis, is that if Eigr’s husband was indeed the paramount British ruler it would suggest his conflict with him was not over a damsel but rather over which ruler would have supremacy over the British kingdoms.

Nynnio and Peibio ruled in S. Wales and the Liber Landavensis locates a Tref Rita there.

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Tintagel and the Alfred coin

A coin dating from Alfred’s reign (871-99) was found on Tintagel island at the ‘chambers south of chapel’ site, probably by a visitor. The discovery may not have been made as part of an excavation. Its caption was given as ‘Tintagel 4/1/35 64a’. Number 64 indicates it was a pre-1938 discovery and 4/1/35 points to 1935.

“The coin is of a two-line type (BMC xiv), moneyer Beornmær, issued c 880-99, but its circulation outwith Wessex may suggest a depositon c 880-910.”[1]

The following is an item on it from the British Numismatic Society:

British Numismatic Society, 1988, 137

British Numismatic Society, 1988, 137

The excavations between 1990 and 1999 text, Excavations at Tintagel Castle, Cornwall, has the following account:

Barrowman, R.C., Batey, C.E., Morris, C.D., 2007, 321

Barrowman, R.C., Batey, C.E., Morris, C.D., 2007, 321

The original chapel may well have been dedicated to Coliavus, see Coliavus, a name with Arthurian associations. One could speculate the coin was not an accidental loss but rather placed near the chapel if Tintagel had already been identified with Arthur in the 9th C and, perhaps, Alfred saw himself as the new Arthur.

[1] Barrowman, R.C., Batey, C.E., Morris, C.D., 2007, 17.

The two Teilos

The Vita Teliaui mentions the following kings as Teilo’s contemporaries:

“Teudiric filio teithpall. Idon filio ynyr guent. Gurcant maur. Mailcun. Aircol lauhir. Catgucaun tredicil. Rein.”[1]

The dating for each of the seven kings listed will be considered.

1. Tewdrig ap Teithfall was of gen. -3. However, that name was at times incorrectly ascribed to Tewdrig ap Llywarch of gen. 1. see Tewdrig.

2. The Buchedd Beuno states Iddon ab Ynyr Gwent had dealings with Cadwallon ap Cafan who belonged to gen. 3, see list 1a in Harleian Genealogies. This dating for Iddon is confirmed by the Liber Landavensis which tells us:

“In the time of the aforesaid King Iddon, the Saxons came into his country to plunder, and he with his army pursued them, and in his way came to St. Teilo …”[2]

Bartrum claims the chronology indicated by the LL is imposssible as Teilo was a contemporary of Dewi. However, the Dewi concerned could have been the later individual, see The two bishop Davids.

3. Gwrgan Fawr was the father of Onbrawst who was married to Meurig ap Tewdrig.[3] Meurig was of gen. 2 as shown in list 9a of Jesus College ms. 20.

4. Maelgwn Gwynedd was of gen. 0, see list 1b in Harleian Genealogies.

5. Aergol Lawhir was of gen. -2, see list 2b in Harleian Genealogies.

6. Cadwgon ap Cathen of gen. 4 has a cognomen that takes the form Trydelic in ABT 18 G and Tredylic in ABT 18 H2. As Bartrum noted, his giving land to Teilo is probably a reference to the church of Teilo.[4]

7. It is unclear which Rhain is being spoken of.

There appears to have been two Teilos. The earlier one was a contemporary of Tewdrig, Maelgwn and Aergol. A possible candidate for the earlier Teilo is Eiludd ap Stater of gen. -1 whose name appears in list 2c of Harleian Genealogies. The Vita explains the evolution of his name thus:

“After he grew up in age, virtue, and wisdom, he was called by intelligent persons by the suitable name of Elios; and Elios, in Greek, is interpreted in Latin by Sol, [the Sun;] for his learning shone as the sun, by illustrating the doctrine of the faithful. But illiterate men corruptly pronouncing the termination of the word, it came to pass, in course of time, that he was called not Elios, but Eliud.”[5]

As noted by Wade-Evans:

“Teilo is not said to be of the stock of Cunedda in B.L.D., nor is his name in P.K. This throws doubt on his Cuneddan origin.”[6]

The later Teilo, who was descended from Cunedda, was the son of Ensych, see list 5 in Bonedd y Saint, and belonged to gen. 1, as did Dubricius, see list 10a of Jesus College ms. 20, who he succeeded as bishop of Llandaff. He could have been a contemporary of Iddon and Gwrgan. He was not of the same period as Aergol Lawhir and as noted by Bartrum:

“In the Book of Llandaf persons named Aircot, Aircol appear as witnesses to two charters in the times of bishops Aeddan and Elwystl. But the properties concerned are in the Dore Valley and a different person is probably indicated.”[7]

[1] Evans, J. G, Rhys, J., 1893, 118.
[2] Rees, W. J., 1840, 361.
[3] Evans, J. G, Rhys, J., 1893, 140.
[4] Bartrum, P.C., 2009, 95.
[5] Rees, W. J., 1840, 333.
[6] Arch. Camb. 86, 163, n. 3.
[7] Bartrum, P.C., 2009, 5.

Elidir Mwynfawr

Elidir the Wealthy was killed in Arfon, according to the Chirk Codex, and a failed attempt to avenge his death was made by Rhydderch Hael, Mordaf Hael, Nudd Hael and Clydno Eidyn. Their pedigrees are shown below.

Gen. BGG 8 BGG 9 BGG 12 ByA 17 seg.
ByS 18 seg.
HG 7
2 St. Lleuddad
1 Dingad
0 Rhydderch Hael Mordaf Hael Elidir Mwynfawr Elidir Mwynfawr Nudd Hael
-1 Tudwal Tudclyd Serwan Gwrwst Briodor Gwrwst Briodor Senyllt Clinog Eitin
-2 Cedig Cedig [Gwidol] Gwidol Cedig Cynfelyn
-3 Dyfnwal Hen Dyfnwal Hen Dyfnwal Hen Dyfnwal Hen Dyfnwal Hen Dyfnwal Hen
-4 Ednyfed Ednyfed
-5 Macsen Wledig Macsen Wledig

The Adventus Saxonum and the consuls Gratian and Equitius

At the end of HB 31 we have the following:

“When Gratian ruled for the second time with Equitius, the Saxons were received by Vortigern, 347 years after the Passion of Christ.”

The consulships of Gratian were:

Year Consul prior Consul posterior
366 Flavius Gratianus Dagalaifus
371 Flavius Gratianus Augustus II Sextus Claudius Petronius Probus
374 Flavius Gratianus Augustus III Flavius Equitius

How did this incorrect dating for the Advenrtus come about. It has already been shown how the error of Vortigern’s reign starting in the year 390 AD came to occur, see Vortigern to Badon in the Red Book of Hergest. This would have implied an Adventus in 393 AD, that is 366 AP. If it was later assumed that 366 was in anno domini dating, then the notion would have occurred it was during the consulship of Gratian.

The inclusion of Equitius was an error as can be seen by the HB claiming it was Gratian”s second consulship, rather than his third. As it turns out, the reference was to Gratian’s first period as consul.

Vortigern to Badon in the Red Book of Hergest

The Red Book of Hergest claims there were 128 years from the start of Vortigern’s reign to the battle of Badon. As Vortigern’s reign started in the year 425 and Badon was in 518, this is clearly incorrect. The question is how was the figure of 128 arrived at. It is likely to have been as a result of the following:

1. The Incarnation and Passion was generally taken to be separated by 28 years. However, the source of the RBH, took 35 years as the time gap on the basis of HB 4, which states “From the Passion of Christ 796 years have passed; from the Incarnation 831 years.”.
2. The start of Vortigern’s reign was 425 AD. However, in the earlier dating method it would have been 390 AP (anno passionis) using the 35 year interval.
3. By the time of the RBH, the figure 390 had been interpreted by the later dating method as 390 AD (anno domini).
4. The RBH statement “From the age of Vortigern to the Battle of Badon, which Arthur and his nobles fought with the Saxons, when Arthur and his nobles were victorious, 128 years.” used the fallacious calculation 518 – 390 = 128.

Jocelin’s Life of Kentigern

In his Life of Kentigern, Jocelin combined the lives of the northern Cyndeyrn Garthwys, that is Kentigern, with the southern Cyndeyrn ap Cyngar. As a result the story appears to state anachronisms. However, in reality, Kentigern of gen. 2 would have been a contemporary of Moken if he was Morgan Fwlch, one of Barturm’s candidates for the name. However, when the story shifts to the south with with Dewi in Menevia, Cadwallon Lawhir and Maelgwn Gwynedd the saint was Cyngar, not Kentigern. Finally, the Vita returns to the north with Kentigern and Rhydderch Hen.

Gen. ByS 6b ByS 13 seg. ByS 14 HG 1b seg. HG 6 HG 10 seg.
3 Morgan
2 Cyndeyrn Garthwys Rhydderch Hen Coleddog
1 Cyndeyrn Owain Denw Rhun Tudwal Morgan Fwlch
0 Cyngar Asaph Urien Lleuddun Luyddog Maelgwn Gwynedd Clinoch Cyngar
-1 Garthog Sawyl (Benuchel) [Benisel] Cadwallon Lawhir Dyfnwal Hen
-2 Ceredig Pabo (Post Prydyn)
-3 Cunedda Wledig

Jocelin did not give the name of Kentigern’s father, perhaps, because of having to avoid choosing between Owain ab Urien and Cyngar ap Garthog. Cyndeyrn was probably the saint of Llangyndeyrn. Nothing is known about him as his story was absorbed into that of Kentigern.