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

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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.

The Powysian lineage

Understanding the descent of the kings of Powys poses considerable problems. These can be resolved when it is realised that the sons attributed to Vortigern (Gwrtheyrn Gwrtheneu) are the offsprings of Cadell Ddyrnllug. The reason behind this intentionally incorrect attribution is given in HB 32-35. It tells how the royals of Powys were descendants of Cadell whose origins were humble. HB 34 tells us Cadell had nine sons. The Harleian manuscript gives the names of five of them, although they are incorrectly listed not as siblings but as sons of each other:

Gen. HG 22
2 Selyf Sarffgadau
1 Cynan Garwyn
0 Brochwel Ysgithrog
-1 Cyngen Mawgan Pasgen Cateyrn
-2 Cadell Ddyrnllug
Gen. HG 23
5 [H?]esselis
4 Gwrhaearn
3 Elfoddw
2 Cynin
1 Millo
0 Camuir
-1 Brydw Cateyrn
-2 Cadell Ddyrnllug
Gen. HG 27    
9 Cyngen
8 Cadell
7 Brochwel
6 Elise
5 Gwylog
4 Beli
3 Eiludd
2 Selyf Sarffgadau
1 Cynan Garwyn
0 Brochwel Ysgithrog
-1 Cyngen Glodrydd Mawgan Pasgen Cateyrn
-2 Cadell Ddyrnllug
-3 Selevan

The Pillar of Eliseg mentions four of the sons:

CONCE[NN]  PASCEN[T]  MAU[N]  ANNAN [+]  BRITU

The third and fourth elements of this part of the inscription is a reference to a single name, i.e. Mawgan. The PE states they were the sons of Gwrtheyrn. It follows that the name Vortigern was used as an alias for Cadell. Following the above text the inscription reads:

A[ ]T[ ]M FILIUS GUARTHI[ ] QUE(m) BENED[ ] GERMANUS

HB 48 tells us that Gwrtheyrn’s son, Faustus, by his incestuous relation with his daughter, was brought up by Germanus. So, the first word in the above text may be a reference to Faustus. This interpretation is supported by the use of the singular form ‘filius’.

ABT 6k makes no sense as it stands since it suggests Cadell was the son of Pasgen. However, if viewed as two lists, ABT 6k1 and 6k2 as shown below, it illustrates the equivalence of the names Cadell and Vortigern.

Gen. ABT 6k1
ABT 6k2
10 Rhodri Mawr
9 Merfyn Frych  Nest
8 Cadell
7 Brochwel
6 Elise
5 Gwylog
4 Beli
3 Eiludd
2 Selyf Sarffgadau
1 Cynan Garwyn
0 Brochwel Ysgithrog
-1 Cyngen Glodrydd Pasgen Brydw Rhuddfedel Frych Cyndeyrn
-2 Cadell Ddyrnllug Gwrtheyrn Gwrtheneu

Although the manuscript states Nest was the mother of Merfyn Frych the above table shows her as his wife. This is indicated as being the case in JC 18.

As noted by Phillimore the name Cateyrn has been ‘tortured’ into the form Cyndeyrn by later genealogies.[1] Vermaat explains the presence in the list of Rhuddfedel as a reference to the battle at Rithergabail where Cateyrn died.[2]

[1] Cy IX, 179 n. 5
[2] Vortigern Studies > Vortigern > The Family of Vortigern > Catigern, son of Vortigern