Gwyddno Garanhir

Maes Gwyddno (The plain of Gwyddno) was a lowland area protected by a number of dykes which were managed by a individual named Seithennin, possibly its king. However, one night he failed in his duty through being too drunk and the land was drowned. This area, also known as Cantre’r Gwaelod, is said to be in Cardigan Bay near Aberdyfi.[1]

The region was named after Gwyddno Garanhir (Gwyddno Long-shank). Although Bartrum maintained that he was a legendary character, I believe we can identify him as a historical figure. The following table is a composite one.

Gen. BGG 10, 11
1 Elffin
0 Gwyddno
-1 Cawrdaf
-2 Garmonion
-3 Dyfnwal Hen
-4 Ednyfed
-5 Macsen Wledig

Gen. 1 to -3 are from BGG 10, gen. -4 to -5 are from a fragment of BGG 11. Gwyddno Garanhir appears in gen. 0 and his supposedly legendary son, Elffin, in gen. 1. As explained by Wolcott the Dyfnwal Hen in this pedigree was a different individual to that in the pedigree of the kings of Strathclyde.[2]

The prose Hanes Taliesin describes how Elffin discovered the child Taliesin. Elffin and Maelgwn, the king of Gwynedd, are contemporaries in this story and this is consistent with the fact that former belonged to gen. 1 and the latter to gen. 0. Maelgwn’s son, Rhun, plays a role in the tale which suggests he and Elffin belonged to the same generation, and this is in line with the above chronology.

When the bard Taliesin was 13 years of age he visited Maelgwn Gwynedd, who we are told was Elffin’s uncle, and correctly predicted Maelgwn’s imminent death. The AC tells us Maelgwn died of the plague in 547 and so we may conclude Taliesin was born c. 534.

[1] Rhys, J., 1901, 382
[2] Ancient Wales Studies > Anwn Dynod ap Maxen Wledig

The king list of Ceredigion

H3859 26, JC20 21 and JC20 42 together provide us with the pedigree of the royals of Ceredigion when Artgloys in the first manuscript is lined up with Argloes in the second one. In the columns two to four the medieval forms of the names are given whereas in the column headed Combined the modern forms are used.

Gen. H3859 26 JC20 21 JC20 42 Combined
10 [G]uocaun Angharat Agharat Gwgon and Angharad
 9 Mouric veuric veuruc  Meurig
 8 Dumnguallaun dyga6l dyfynwal Dyfnwallon
 7 Arthgen Arthen Arden  Arthen
 6 Seissil Seissill Seissyll Seisyll
 5 Clitauc Clyda6c Cleta6c Clydog
 4 Aruodeu Aruodeu Aruodeu
 3 Artgloys Argloes Argloes Arthlwys
 2 Artbodgu Arthfoddow
 1 Bodgu Pode6 Pode6 Boddw
 0 Serguil Seruuel Seruul Serwyl
-1 Iusay Vsai Vsai Usai
-2 Ceretic Keredic Karedic Ceredig
-3 Cuneda Kuneda wledic Kuneda wledic Cunedda

Gwgon and Angharad, in generation 10, were siblings. JC20 42 adds the incorrect comment that Angharad was the mother of Rhodri Mawr, whereas it is generally agreed that she was his wife. This is confirmed by the fact that he belongs to generation 10 in other pedigree lists.