Aeddan Fradog

DSB 12(12) tells us Lluan ferch Brychan was the mother of Aeddan Fradog:

Gen. DSB 12(12) PB 3i CB 15(12)
BGG G11
2 Gafran
1 Aeddan Fradog Aeddan Fradog Aidan Fradog Aeddan Fradog
0 Lluan  Lluan Gafran Fradog Lluan Gafran Fradog Dyfnwal
-1 Brychan II Brychan II Cynfelyn
-2 Garmonion
-3 Dyfnwal Hen
-4 Ednyfed
-5 Macsen Wledig

The PB 3i gives the same information with the added detail that Lluan’s husband was Gafran. CB 15(12) reads:

lluan mat Aidan Grutauc mat gafran vradavc[1]

The second “mat” (mater) should probably have been “filius”. This indicates Gafran had the same epithet as his son.

Triad 29 mentions the War-Band of Gafran ab Aeddan as being one of the Three Faithful War-Bands. and BGG G11 provides his ancestry back to Macsen Wledig. Note, this Gafran is not Gafran Fradog, the husband of Lluan.

Some versions of triad 54 speak of a costly ravaging by Aeddan Fradog at the court of Rhydderch Hael of gen. 0. The reference to this incident occurring at Alcud suggests a confusion with Rhydderch Hen. The poem Peiryan Vaban (Commanding Youth) refers to antagonism between these two kings:

o gyfrang ryderch ac aedan clotleu
From the encounter of Rhydderch and renowned Aeddan

[1] Cy 19, 30
[2] Ancient Wales Studies > Lluan ferch Brychan

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The two Macsen Wledigs

The name Macsen Wledig has been applied to two distinct persons. The first individual appears in gen. -8 of HG 2 as Maxim gulecic, see Why Bartrum’s dating … . I believe this individual can be identified with the Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus as explained in the above link.

The opening lines of The Dream of Macsen Wledig from Pen. 4.

The opening lines of The Dream of Macsen Wledig from Pen. 4. (The National Library of Wales)

The Pen. 16 version of The Dream of Maxen Wledig only describes the story up to his stay in Britain. The version in Pen. 4 of the White Book of Rhydderch speaks about his return to Rome, but this continuation is actually referring to the second Macsen.

This is the Western Roman emperor Magnus Maximus born c. 335. He appears in gen. -5 as in the follwing fragment from JC 13.

Gen. JC 13
1 Cyndwr Fendigaid
0 Owain
-1 Cyngar m. Protec
-2 Owain
-3 Miser
-4 Custennin
-5 Macsen Wledig
-6 Maximianus
-7 Constantinus Mawr
-8 Constantius Elen

Cyndwr Fendigaid is St. Kentigern who was the son of Owain ap Cyngar and not Owain ab Urien Rheged. The table is in accord with Constantine the Great’s birth in 272 or 273 and the birth of Helena, a wife of Constantius Chlorus, birth between 248 and 250.[1]

[1] Harbus, A., 2002, 13.

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