Illtud

St. Samson was a generation younger than Illtud and was ordained by him at the abbey of Llanwit Major (Llanilltud Fawr).

Plate: Nash-Williams, V. E., 1950, The Early Christian Monuments of Wales

There is an inscribed stone at the church there which states it was prepared for the souls of Samson the abbot and others, one of which is a king called Iuthahelo, that is Ithel (Barturm incorrectly thought the stone bore the name Iltutus). This is likely to be Ithel Hael of Llydaw, thus indicating Llydaw was not only the name for Brittany but also of a region of Glamorgan.

Illtud’s father was Bicanus, prince of Llydaw. He may have preceded Erb, king of Gwent and Ergyng, and been conflated with Erbic, a later king. This would suggest Bicanus was of gen. -2 and Illtud of gen. -1. His mother was Rieingulid, daughter of Anblawd, wrongly identified as Amlawdd Wledig.

V. Samsonis states that Illtud was a disciple of St. Germanus but chronology indicates this could not have been the bishop of Auxerre. The V. Ninnochae states:

“Sanctus Germanus episcopus ex Hibernensium regione transmissus a Sancto Patricio archiepiscopo, venit ad Brochanum regem Britanniæ.”[1]

This individual, who was alive during the reign of Brychan of gen. -1, is likely to have been the Germanus who ordained Illtud. He was St. Garmon who, as indicated by Bartrum, was the Germanus of the Historia Brittonum. HB 39 suggests he was probably of the same generation as Vortigern’s daughter, that is gen -2.

[1] Baring-Gould, S., Fisher, J., 1911, 68.
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Paganism in the Arthurian age

It is unlikely that paganism had disappeared by the 6th and maybe 7th C. O.J. Padel refers to a probably early 10th C text in the Vatican library listing between twenty-four and thirty-two names of saints revered in Cornwall.[1] Another text lists the twenty-four saintly children of Brychan Brycheiniog, the Cornish version of which is in The V. Nectani. Both lists are in the vernacular and the names are partly geographically arranged. Padel states that these lists demonstrate the existence in Cornwall of local dedications, many of which are unique to particular parish churches. The explanations he gives for the dedications is usually in terms of the conversion of the area by the local saint. The Vatican list dedications includes a number of 6th C saints, such as St. Levan, St. Just and St. Gerrans.

The AC records for the year 589 AD ‘The conversion of Constantine to the Lord’. This event is also recorded in the AT and AU. He may well have been Constantine, the king of Damnonia, the one rebuked by Gildas.

There is a description of communal worshiping in the V. Samsonis where the saint comes across in Tricurium (The Cornish Hundred of Trigg) a group worshipping an idol with music and dance.

St. Collen banishing the court of Gwyn ap Nudd may be a reference to him abolishing pagan belief in the Glastonbury area, see St. Collen.

[1] Thacker, A., Sharpe, R., 2002, 316-319