Rhun ab Alun Dyfed

Following on from the Myrddin stanza 17 in Pen. 98, see Myrddin Emrys, we have:
“Vch law rhyd y garw faen ryde
y mae bedd Rhun ap Alun Dyv[ed]”

In the version of made from the manuscript in Widow Wynn’s possession this takes the form:
“ychlaw rhŷd garwvayn ryde
y may bêdh Hun ap Alim Dyfe.”[1]

“Above the ford of the rough stone
is the grave of Rhun son of Alun Dyfed.”[2]

Pen. 177 has the following lines concerning Rhun’s death:
“Rhun ab Alun Dyfed who was buried on the edge of the Hard (or Difficult) Ford in the Gwynfynydd in Penllyn. And there he was killed when he retreated from Ciltalgarth.”[3]

The Ymddiddan Myrddin a Thaliesin mentions both poets lamenting the death of warriors in a battle which occurred in Dyfed against Maelgwn. It would seem that Rhun perished in this conflict. The location of Gwyn Mynydd is near Ganllwyd in Gwynedd.

Gwyn Mynydd has possibly the same meaning as Ben Nevis. Gaelic ‘Beinn’ means ‘mountain’ and ‘Niamh’ (pronounced ˈniːəv) could signify ‘bright’. It, therefore, appears that the two verses of stanza 18, which are quoted above, are a continuation of the previous stanza.

The ‘Fourth Branch of the Mabinogion’ mentions the combat between the Demetian Pryderi and the Venedotian Gwydion in which the former was killed. This story places the event at Y Felenrhyd and may be a reference to the same conflict.

BBC Englynion y Beddau stanza 24 refers to the same ford (W. rhyd):
“Piev y bet in Rid Vaen Ked
ae pen gan yr anvaered?
Bet Run mab Alun Diwed.”

“Whose is the grave at Rhyd Faen-ced
With its head downhill?
The grave of Rhun son of Alun Dyfed.”[4]

Dyfyr, another son of Alun Dyfed, is mentioned in Geraint ac Enid as having accompanied Geraint from Arthur’s court to Erbin in Cornwall and Breuddwyd Rhonabwy tells us he was one of Arthur’s counsellors. Culhwch ac Olwen mentions that a son of Alun Dyfed was needed for tht hunt for Twrch Trwyth for unleashing the dogs. The BBC Englynion y Beddau stanza 25 mentions Alun Dyfed’s father, Meigen, whose father’s name is given in stanzas 17 to 19. Meigen’s other sons, Eiddew and Eidal, are mentioned in stanzas 46 and 47.

[1] Arch. Camb. Parochialia  (Part 1), 155.
[2] Jones, T., 1967, 136, 137.
[3] Bartrum, P.C., 2009, 642.
[4] Jones, T., 1967, 122, 123.

The ancestry of Marchell ferch Tewdrig

Marchell was the mother of Brychan by Anlach, a king ruling in Ireland.

Gen. CB 10 seg.
DSB 10 JC 1 seg.
-7 Annun nigri Annhun Annwn du
-6 Tathal Teudfal Thathal
-5 Teithrin Teuder Teidtheryn
-4 Teithphal Teudfall Teidfallt
-3 Teudric Teuderic Tewdric
-2 Marchel Marchel Marchell
-1 Brichan Brachan Vrachan
0 sancti Kynauc

Morris points that Marchell’s father, Tewdrig, bears a Germanic name, that is Theodoric as does her grandfather, Teithfallt which derives from Theudebald.[1] He also suggests her grandfather’s name, Teidhrin, may have evolved from Theodhere.[2] It may well also be that Marchell’s name, rather than being a variant of L. Marcella,[3] is related to the Germanic Marshall. If this family is truely Germanic in origin, the question arises who was the founder, Annun Ddu. Bartrum points out that HG 16, which is a list of Roman emperors, places an “Antun du & Cleopatre” in between the earlier Valerian and the later Aurelian.[4] The former emperor’s rule ended in 260 and the latter’s started in 270. Chronology thus indicates identifying Annun with Mark Antony is wrong. The intervening decade was during the Gallic empire which included Britain and was a rift that occurred within the Roman empire.

The Gallic Empire under Tetricus I by 271.

It may well be that an Antonius Niger was one of the usurpers during this period. That Annun Ddu was of gen. -7 lends support to this identification.

[1] Morris, J., 1995, Vol. 1, 49.
[2] Morris, J., 1995, Vol. 3, 167.
[3] Koch, J.T., 2006, 301.
[4] Bartrum, P.C., 2009, 21.

St. Stephen’s church

Le Morte D’Arthur III 5 states:
“Then was the high feast made ready, and the king was wedded at Camelot unto Dame Guenever in the church of Saint Stephen’s, with great solemnity.”

Malory mistakenly identified Camelot with Winchester, probably because it supposedly housed the arthurian round table in the Great Hall. No religious building has ever been dedicated to St. Stephen at Winchester. As indicated Camelot was Celliwig, that is Castle Canyke in Bodmin, see Celliwig. Just over 3 miles away from Celliwig is the church of Saint Stephen’s, by the river Camel and about 350 yards away from the Roman fort at Nanstallon.

Church of St Stephen’s. Photo © Derek Harper (cc-by-sa2.0)

Of course, the current church would have been built over the Arthurian predecessor.