The battle of Crug Dyved

In the Book of Taliesin we have the poem entitled Trawsganu Kynan Garwyn mab Brochvael. which has the following line:

kat yg cruc dymet. aercol ar gerdet.
A battle in Crug Dyfed, Aergol flying.

This poses a problem of chronology as Aergol Lawhir was of gen. -2, see Why Bartrum’s dating of the Demetian Arthur is wrong, whereas Cynan Garwyn was of gen. 1, see HG 22 below.

Gen. HG 22
2 Selyf Sarffgadau
1 Cynan Garwyn
0 Brochwel Ysgithrog
-1 Cyngen Mawgan Pasgen Cateyrn
-2 Cadell Ddyrnllug

The chronology indicated by the above table looks sound for the following reasons. The Annales Cambriae tells us that Selyf died at the battle of Chester in the year 613:

Gueith Cairlegion, et ibi cecidit Selim filii Cinan.

The Annals of Tigernach, refers to the same incident under the 611:

Cath Caire Legion ubí sancti occissi sunt, et cecidit Solon mac Conaín rex Bretanorum et Cetula rex cecidit. Etalfraidh uictor erat, qui post statim obít.

This statement provides the added information that another death at Chester was that of Cadwal Crysban, the king of Rhos, who would have been younger than Selyf. The victor was Aethelfrith. Triad 25 describes Selyf as one of the Three Battle-Rulers of the Island of Britain.

Cynan’s daughter, Tandreg Ddu, was the wife of Cadfan and the mother of Cadwallon. Brochwel was married to Arddun ferch Pabo Post Prydyn and was the son of Cyngen by Tudglid ferch Brychan.

However, if we now look at HG 27 we can see that Cynan and Cyngen have been interchanged, see The Powysian lineage. This is likely to be a corruption. Is it possible that a similar thing happened with the poem and a battle fought by Cyngen, who was of the same generation as Aergol, was wrongly attributed to Cynan?

Sanan ferch Elise


HG 15 states:

“[G]ripiud . Teudos
caten . Tres sunt
filíí nougoy .
et sanant elized .
filia illorum . mater erat
regis pouis”

Bartrum originally interpreted this slighlty corrupted text correctly thus:

… tres sunt filii nougoy regis pouis, et sanant filia elized illorum mater erat.[1]

This is shown in the table below where the generation numbers have been allocated:

Gen. HG 15
10 Gruffudd Tewdws Cathen
9 Nowy Sanan
8 Elise

JC 8 has:

“Gruffud. a thewdos. a cathen. Meibyon y vrenhin powys. o sanant verch elisse y mam. Elisse. verch neuue hen mab tewdwr.”

The full pedigree list in JC 8 is:

Gen. JC 8
14 Tewdwr
13 Griffri
12 Elise
11 Tewdwr
10 Gruffudd Tewdws Cathen
9 Vrenhin Powys Sanan
8 Elise
7 Nowy Hen
6 Tewdwr
5 Rhain
4 Cadwgon
3 Cathen
2 Ceindrech
1 Rhiwallon
0 Idwallon
-1 Llywarch
-2 Rhigeneu
-3 Rhain Dremrudd
-4 Brychan [I]

Comparing the two tables above, the ruler of Powys, “vrenhin powys”, in gen. 9 is clearly a reference to a Nowy, Sanan’s husband. Bartrum incorrectly conflated Nowy Hen, the father of Elise with Nowy, the husband of Sanan. The other Elise in the table, the son of Tewdwr of gen. 12, appears in Asser’s Life of Alfred, §80 as the king of Brycheiniog who was under attack by the sons of Rhodri Mawr.

Y Cymmrodor XLIII, 57

Bartrum correctly proposed the idea that Nowy, the husband of Sanan, was the son of Madog using the lineage that appears in JC 16:

Gen.  JC 16b seg.
15 Lleucu
14 Adwent
13 Eliffer
12 Gronwy
11 Cynhaethwy
10 Ceno
9 Nowy
8 Madog
7 Sandde
6 Tudwal
5 Merin
4 Madog
3 Rhun
2 Cenelaph Dremrudd
1 Cynan
0 Casanauth Wledig Thewer
-1 Brydw
-2 Cadell Ddyrnllug

Note, Madog ap Rhun appears in triad 60 as one of the “Three Gate-Keepers at the Contest of Bangor Orchard”. This has been identified as the battle of Chester in the Brut Cleopatra. The AC dates it to the year 613. Nowy ap Madog occupies gen. 9 as does Nowy in the first table and Bartrum’s proposal was sound. Unfortunately, however, he abandoned this idea, as can be seen by his crossing out in this chart:

Cadair Early Series (Aberystwyth University)

He tentatively adopted Dumville’s incorrect proposal that Elise, not Nowy, was the king of Powys and that his father was Gwylog who appears in HG 27 and on the Pillar of Eliseg.[2] In this scheme Nowy, the husband of Sanan, is made the son of Tewdwr ap Rhain, see the pedigree chart below:

Britons and Anglo-Saxons in the Early Middle Ages 51

Dumville’s chronology does not work. Also, there are a number of errors on the chart:
1. It shows Elise ap Cyngen as having died in 814. Actually, that date in the AC refers to when Elise killed his brother, Gruffudd.
2. He suggests Tewdwr ap Griffri was a signatory of a land charter dated 934. In fact the Liber Landavensis states this individual was Tewdwr ab Elise.

Sanan ferch Elise

[1] Cy XLIII 55.
[2] Dumville, D.N., 1993.