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The Mabinogi Index

ABOUT Characters, their society, landscape, mythology, magic, laws, and morality. Also includes relevant entries on other Welsh tales, Welsh words and their meanings, Triads, poetry, motifs, and the most important Mabinogi scholars and theories.
INDEXES: Main Index A-Z * Mabinogi Arts * Scholars & Theories * Quotes. See also Indexes Help for more about each Index, and the Mabinogi Bibliography.

Aber Henfelen[2] Forbidden door looks out over it, Seven Survivors in Gwales hall. Ifor Williams suggests the sea between Wales and Cornwall.
AberffrawBranwen's wedding. Residence of the princes of Gwynedd from 843 [Roderick the Great] – 1282 [Llewelyn the Last]. (Guest, p. 293, Endn. to p. 369)
AbermenaiEstuary of the Menai, separating Môn (Anglesey) from mainland Gwynedd.
Abode of the DeadTheory re Annwfn, or Otherworld. Edward Davies Celtic Researches (1804) Elizabeth Lloyd (1911) disagrees. WJG (1912) agrees. Ellis (1929) agrees 'Hades'. Ifor Williams review Ellis critiques.
Abode of the GodsEarly view of Annwfn, or Otherworld, later changed to Abode of the Dead. Ellis (1929)
Adar RhiannonBirds. [2] Enchanters at trancelike feast, Harlech. Seven Survvors after Irish War, cf. Culhwch numbered three.
adawafNo initial 'g' in adawaf. The sense is not ‘promise’ but ‘allow, permit.’ Ref. Rhiannon’s ownership of the feast. (Ellis p.25, n.66)
Adventure of the Mare and the BoyThe teyrnon/ Gwent episode as a separate and mirror tale [1], Ford, 1977. See Cyfranc Caseg a’r Mab
aillt[3]N. Welsh. – serf, taeog S. Welsh. The Welsh as hunters felt contempt for town dwellers so called them serfs. (Ellis p. 81, n..9) cf. Pryderi's contempt for the craftsmen.
AlbanScotland, one of the three realms of Ynys Prydain, the Isles of Britain together with Cymru/ Cymry (Wales), and Lloegres (England). See Britain.
Amaethon mab DonBrother of Gwydion, farmer, in Culhwch & Triad; in Cad Goddeu poem as Amathaon ap Dôn who stole a roebuck from Arawn and fought him.
amod[4] Contract made without sureties. (Ellis p. 103, n. 12) Gwydion & Pryderi; cf. cyfnewid exchange, sale. (Ellis p.104, n.14)
anasawd WB. gosked RB. Identical. Ref. shapeshift Arawn. (Ellis p. 8, n. 18)
anawybotIgnorance. Regarded as serious discourtesy in mediaeval Wales, (Ellis p.6. n.12) i.e. not knowing how to conduct oneself in a given situation. (C.J.)]
Aneurin6thC attr. Y Gododdin poem. Older parts prob. from a lost Old Welsh MS., c. 9thC, poss. oral transmission from Aneirin himself 6thC. In ‘MS. Llyfr Aneirin’, c. 1250, Cardiff Public Library. (Bartrum pp. 17-18; Williams’ Canu, and Jackson trans. 1969.)
AnimalsBirds Starling [2], Adar Rhiannon [2], Eagle [4], Hawks [1] Owl [4]. Deer Stag [1] Hunt Man. & Pryderi, Man. alone [3] Stag & Hind shapeshift, son [4]. Dogs Cwn Annwfn, Pwyll's hounds, staghound bitch and puppies, [1] Pryderi's hounds [3], Gwydion's fake hounds [4]. Goat billy [4]. Fish Manawydan [3]. Horses Rhiannon's courtship chases [1], Teyrnon's mare, foal/ Lady gift colt/ Pryderi's love [1], Matholwch's horses [2], Gwydion's fake horses [4]. Mice Llwyd's shapeshifted mice, Mouse Lady [3]. Ox, donkey asses' collar [3]. Pigs Boar to tower [3], Gift pigs from Annwfn [4], Boar & Sow shapeshift, son, Sow Gwydion to Lleu [4]. Wolf, she wolf shapeshift, son [4]. Lloyd considers ‘animals are regarded as men's friends' (p. 234) but it seems a mixed situation.
Anwyl, Edward1897-1912 First exclusively Mabinogi analysis (1897-1901) Myth., Lit. 3 Cycles. See his protegee E.J.Lloyd in Quotes
AnnunFemale. Saint, Pughe, Biog. p.10. Handmaid of St.Madrun. See Madrun ferch Gwrthefyr. (Bartrum p. 20, with several male Annun from genealogies, following)
Annwfnalso Annwn. [1, 4] Otherworld, other land, wealthy & idealised, assoc. enchantment. Arawn & Hafgan named kings. Pwyll prince of Dyfed stays there for a year of adventure, winning the title Penn Annwfn, Chief /Head of Annwfn. Rich gifts exchanged to demonstrate alliance, horses, hounds, hawks, treasues. Annwfn gifted pigs lead to the death of Pryderi. Annwfn location uncertain or mutiple: poss. land near, or within/ under Dyfed; poss. Iwerddun /Ireland; poss. an island; poss. Wessex. Etym. dwfn 'deep' thus Underworld.
Annwfn accessPoss. for mortals to access occasionally cf. Pwyll. Annwfn people also come here, cf. Arawn. Lloyd (1911) p. 243. Ford similar, (1977) p. 35.
AnnwfnEtym. dwfn 'deep' thus Underworld.
ArawnMale. [1] King of Annwfn, enchanter, shapeshifts identity with Pwyll, who kills the rival Annwfn king Hafgan. Pwyll is acclaimed Penn Annwfn, Head/ Chief of Annwfn. Arawn becomes allied friend of Dyfed, exchanging rich gifts: horses, hounds, hawks, treasure. Special pigs gifted lead to the death of Pryderi, Pwyll's son.
Arberth[1,3] Main location of Rhiannon's tales, with two husbands. Priflys, a 'chief court' of Dyfed. Two poss. locations identified: SE Dyfed where main trade routes cross, modern Narberth; NW Dyfed boundary nr. Cardigan. Two poss. locations: S. modern Narberth, N. Nant Arberth stream nr. Cardigan. See Gorsedd Arberth.
Arianrhod ferch DônFemale. [4] aka Aranrhod. Gwynedd. Dishonored by brother Gwydion & uncle Math, she rejects her two children. In conflict with Gwydion she lays 3 fateful bans on her son Lleu, his fosterling: no name, no arms, no human wife. Gwydion tricks her on the first two, but his constructed 'wife' causes Lleu's death.
ArthurMale. Not in the Mabinogi, one ground for its dating as Arthur became dominant in lit. after Geoffrey of Monmouth 1138. He does appear in Culhwch, and later Romances of The Mabinogion but not as the noble character English trad. makes him.
Asses' Collars[3] Rhiannon made to wear asses collars on her neck as punishment when a prisoner with Pryderi. Episode known as 'The Mabinogi of Mynweir and Mynordd', this meaning has not survived.
Assembly of the Head[2] A semi-independent tale (episode) explicitly titled at the close of the Second Branch. Bendigeidfran prophesies the Seven Survivors of the Irish War will take his decapitated, living head, providing them good company, to Llundain, London. They will bury it to become a guardian of Britain. On the way they will stop twice for long feasting retreats (7 yrs & 80 yrs) at Harlech, then Gwales. (aka Assembly of Brân)
AttendantsMale. Boys & two horsemen help Pwyll dress at Annwfn court. See also Maids (4 groups).
Avallon AvalonArthurian Romance name for an Otherworld or Elysium, cf. Annwfn. Geoffrey of Monmouth: ‘Insula Auallonis’ thus an island. Also Roman authors, 12thC Glastonvury tourism.
Avenging of the Blow to Branwen[2] Trad. name for episode, semi-independent tale, of Second Branch. Branwen, high princess of Britain is abused by her husband Matholwch the king of Ireland. Her brother Bendigeidfran wages war to avenge her in which both armies are massacred.
Badger-in-the-Bag[1] Violent game played by Pwyll's men on Gwawl, trapped in Rhiannon's power bag. Gwawl is given a blow with foot or stick; cf. Gorsedd Arberth prophecy. He is thus coerced to surrender rights to Rhiannon, vengeance, and pay for the second wedding feast.
Bag[1] Rhiannon's ironic 'small bag' which can hold all the food & drink of Dyfed. She gives it to Pwyll, with her plan for saving them both from her other unwanted suitor Gwawl. The bag becomes a trap for Gwawl.
Baptism[1,4] Most babies are baptised 'in the way it was done then' (Gwri, Blodeuedd), implying by pre-Christian custom. It appears to be a naming ceremony. Gwri/ Pryderi is baptised. Gwern son of Branwen is not (not explicitly) just 'named'. The children of Llassar & Cymidei are not. The three sons of Gwydion are, but not his foster son Lleu, presumably due to his mother's mandate against him. Blodeuedd is, perhaps to make her more humanoid.
BardsPwyll prompted by Rhiannon gives largesse to minstrels the morning of his wedding. [1] See Storytellers.
Bendigeidfran fab LlŷrMale. [2] King of all Britain, avenges sister Branwen via Irish War. After death becomes guardian of Britain. Nephew Gweir killed by Efnysien. Son Caradawc killed by Caswallon.
Birds[2,4] Adar Rhiannon [2]. Hawks; Starling; Wren; Eagle [4].
BishopMale. [3] Dyfed. Llwyd's third, last disguise as Bishop to negotiate his Mouse Lady's freedom from Manawydan.
BleiddwnMale. [4] Gwynedd. Son of Gwydion & Gilfaethwy as wolves, adopted by Mâth, baptised.
BlodeueddFemale. [4] Gwynedd. Non-human (enchanted) wife of Lleu, constructed of meadow flowers; unfaithful, plots his death. Gwydion's vengeance transforms her to an owl.
BlowPwyll can only vanquish Hafgan with a single blow. [1] Pwyll is willing to risk blows to sit Gorsedd Arberth, to see a marvel. [1] Gwawl then receives blows in the bag. [1] Branwen receives blows which lead to genocidal war, noted Triad 53. [2] Efnysien deals killing blows to Irishmen trapped in bags. [2]
BoarPig. [3,4] Pryderi & Manawydan, hunting, lured to tower trap by white boar. Math shapeshifts Gwydion & Gilfaethwy as boar & sow, bear son Hychdin Hir. See Pigs of Annwfn; Sow.
Bollard, John K.1974- Intricate unified literature paradigm, structural analysis, 3 themes (S)
BrânSee Bendigeidfran
Branwen ferch LlŷrFemale. [2] High ranking princess of Britain, abused queen of Ireland, husband Matholwch. Brother Bendigeidfran avenges her in the Irish War. She is peacemaker, dies of grief and guilt.
Breeze, Andrew1997- Woman author theory, political analysis. Medieval Welsh Literature
BritainYnys Prydain, the Isles of Britain, are three realms: Cymru/ Cymry (Wales), Lloegres (England), and Alban (Scotland). In the Mabinogi this is a political unity. It is however a legend, not historically recorded other than a slight poss. traceable to Stonehenge. Bendigeidfran son of Llyr is king of Britain, usurped by Caswallawn. Pryderi does homage to him for Dyfed.
CaerTower, fort.
Bromwich, Rachel1954-2006 Trioedd, 'Triads' 1969 Exc. Mabinogi data Pughe Guest biog (S)
Caer Arianrhod[4] Residence of Arianrhod, assoc. Circle of the Silver Wheel, constellation Corona Borealis. (Pughe, Biog. 1803) Taliesin claimed he was three times in the prison of Arainrhod. Humphrey Llwyd identified the site as a shoal about half a mile from the coast of Arfon in the parish of Clynnog.
Caer Seint[2] One of Bendigeidfan's assembly sites, opposite Môn, Anglesey.
Caer Sidi Caer fort, tower. Enchanted tower, prob. in Annwfn. Pwyll, Pryderi linked in Taliesin poem but how is unclear.
Caradawc fab BendigeifranMale. [2] Britain. Son of Bendigeifran, chief of the seven stewards left to guard the land of Britain during the Irish War. He died of grief due to Caswallon's violence in murdering the other six.
casegmare (GPC)
CaswallonMale. [2,3] No clear genealogy. Usurper of Britain during Irish War, violent murderer. Crowned king at London. Pryderi diplomatically paid him homage. When the Dyfed family emigrate to Lloegr, England, they express fear of Caswallawn knowing they are there.
Cauldron[2] Large cooking or serving pot, which revives the dead, who lose voice/ speech. First known in Iwerddun, Ireland, recounted by king Matholwch. Guardians: Llassar & Cymidei, their sons are full warriors at six weeks. Their violence leads to a murderous plot (Iron House). Llassar & Cymidei flee to Britain and settle well. Bendigeidfran gifts the Cauldron to Matholwch who then uses its massive power in the Irish War.
Ceredigion[4] Historically one of the most frequently fought Welsh/ English territories. Pryderi holds court there in his final story, when Gwydion visits to manipulate him.
Charles-Edwards, Thomas1970- Dating 1050-1100 (Sullivan) Crit S. Lewis Welsh King and his Court
Cigfa ferch Gwyn GohoywFemale. [1,3] Genealogy of Gloyw, Gloucester. Chaste wife of Pryderi, attempts to prevent Manawydan from humilating himself. Not present in Pryderi's final tale.
Commmote[1] Small district or region, subdivision of cantref.
Counsellors to Rhiannon[1] Accused of infantcide Rhiannon holds counsel with her advisers to decide what to do.
Courtier at ArberthMale. [1] A Dyfed courtier advises Pwyll of the nature of the Arberth prophecy before he meets Rhiannon.
Cŵn AnnwfnDogs. [2] Enchanted hunting hounds of Arawn, red eyes & ears, hunt Stag, meet Pwyll.
cyfranc, gyfranc affair, concern, incident, adventure; story (of battle, &c.), tale, narrative; conversation, discussion. (GPC)
Cyfranc Caseg a’r Mab1977 ‘The Adventure of the Mare and the Boy,’ Detailed example of lore. (Ford (1977), pp. 3-14) Separate tale, Gwent mirrors Arberth, Rhiannon - mare. Theories
Cyfranc Hywel DdaLaws of Hywel Dda. Organised on principles of compensation galanas, life-value; and sarhaed injury value.
CylchCircuit journeys for the lord to attend to govt. affairs. Ellis (1929) p.39, n.89
Cymedei CymeinfollFemale. Giantess from Iwerddun, Ireland, whose sons are full grown warriors six weeks after birth. Their violence brings murderous Irish vengeance. Cymidei escapes with craftsman husband Llassar, emigrates to Britain where the couple flourishes.
Cymruor Cymry, Wales; one of the three realms of the Isles of Britain; with Lloegres (England), and Alban (Scotland). See Britain.
Date of composition1100 c. Based on 1) its language, Middle Welsh; 2) only three 'loan words' from French, (cordwal, pali, swmer); 3) lack of Arthurian references. See Rodway, 2013 summary pp. 5-13. Compiled from earlier oral tradition material.
Davies, Rhiannon1993 'Moral Structure' PhD
Davies, Sioned 1986- Many works. Oral performance, formulaic units. Trans. 2007/ 2008
DeerFemale. Male. [1,4] Pwyll takes stag belonging to Arawn, opening a compensation dialogue. Gwydion & Gilfaethwy are shapeshifted to deer; bear young. Son Byddwn adopted by Math.
Dogs[1,2,4] Cŵn Annwfn; Hounds (Pwyll, Pryderi); Puppies; Staghound bitch.
DônFemale. [4] Gwynedd. Mother of Arianrhod, Gwydion, and Gofannon; sister of Math of Gwynedd. Linked to Irish Danu, also ancestral goddess.
dwfn[1] 'Deep', forms part of Annwfn, the Otherworld or Deepworld. See Annwfn
Dyfed[1,3,4] SW Wales, modern Pembrokeshire, much of Carmarthenshire. Pwyll rules Dyfed first alone then jointly with Rhiannon; their son Pryderi inherits. Dyfed's fertile abundance noted (Rhiannon's bag; Devastation of Dyfed). Government is by princely ruler/s supported by nobles in council (see Preselis). Pryderi enlarged its territories, then gifted the benefit of Dyfed to his landless friend Manawydan. 'often called Guild yr Hud, or the Country of Enchantment.’ Pughe (1804)
Dylan Eil TonMale. [4] Gwynedd. Rejected eldest child of Arianwhod, aquatic, takes to the sea. Killed by Gofannon, uncle.
EagleBird. [2] Enchanted shapeshift, Lleu after death by Gronw. Reclaimed by Gwydion tracking a Sow.
Earl, AnnwfnMale. [1] Cryptic noble at the feast Pwyll joins, seated beside Queen of Annwfn.
Efnysien fab EuroswyddMale. [2] Britain, Ireland. Bitterly resentful half brother of Bendigeidran, Branwen & Manawydan; full bro. Nisien. Villain of Second Branch, killer, plotter. Dies heroically destroying Cauldron.
Ellis, Thomas Peter1926-29 Legal. Trans. The Mabinogion 1929
EnglandSee Lloegr
Englyn[4] Poetic form with exceptionally strict structure in three or four lines. Each line has a set rhyme scheme, a fixed number of syllables, and a repeating number of consonants and accent (cynghanedd). Gwydion uses several englynion to sing Lleu back to life in stages from near-death, shapeshifted as a rotting eagle. The cynfeirdd earliest bards, crafted englynion. The form classically expresses moments of profound feeling, heroism, or meditation.
Episode Semi-independent part of a Branch, making a tale in its own right. Examples named at close of Second Branch: Branwen's Slap. [2] Assembly of Bran (the hosting of 154 districts for the Irish War. [2] Assembly of the Head [2] The feasting at Harlech. [2] The Singing of the Birds of Rhiannon [2]. Ford adds Cyfranc Caseg a’r Mab, ‘The Adventure of the Mare and the Boy’[1]. The Devastation of Dyfed is also self contained. [3]
Evans, John Gwenogvryn1887-1907 Llyfr Coch Hergest (1887)Reports on MSS( 1899-05) Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch (1907)
Foot-holder[4] Gwynedd. Math lord of Gwynnedd must have a maiden (virgin), his feet in her lap, except during war. Gwydion creates war to make Math leave the beautiful Goewin unprotected so Gilfaethwy can rape her. The office is listed in Welsh law, but as a male valet who provides massage.
Ford, Patrick1977- Trans. The Mabinogi and Other Native tales. Myth. Lit. (S)
Fulton, Helen1988- Political context, education of princes.
Gantz, Jeffrey 1976- Trans. The Mabinogion Thematic structure (S)
Gate Hammers[3] Pryderi made to wear gate hammers on his neck, as punishment when a prisoner with Rhiannon. Episode known as 'The Mabinogi of Mynweir and Mynordd', this meaning has not survived.
GilfaethwyMale. [4] Gwynedd. His brother Gwydion arranges a war so that Gilfaethwy can rape the virgin Goewin, footholder to Math.
Glifieu Eil TaranMale.[2] One of the Seven Survivors of the Irish War; also Manawydan, Pryderi, Taliesin, Ynawg, Gruddyeu ap Muriel, Heilyn ap Gwyn Hen.
Glyn Cuch [1] Large river valley running north-south Dyfed where Pwyll chose to hunt, & met Arawn.
Goewin ferch PebinFemale. [4] Gwynedd. High status virgin footholder to Math, raped by Gilfaethwy. She reports her violation to Math who marries her in compensation.
Gofannon ap DônMale. [4] Gwynedd. Smith god. Brother of Gwydion, Gilfaethwy, Arianrhod. Uncle of Dylan who he kills.
Green, Miranda 1991- Myths, goddesses.
GroomMale. [1] Dyfed. Pwyll tells his groom to saddle his horse so as to pursue Rhiannon.
Gronw PebyrMale. [4] Gwynedd. Lord of Penllyn, lover of Blodeuedd, a noble, plots with her to murder her husband Lleu. Succeeds, but Gwydion rescues Lleu who kills Gronw.
Gruddyeu ap MurielMale.[2] One of the Seven Survivors or the Irish War; also Manawydan, Pryderi, Glifieu Eil Taran, Taliesin, Ynawg, Heilyn ap Gwyn Hen.
Gruffydd, William John1912-55 Mythological reconstr. Rhiannon 1953 Irish dominance, Pryderi hero (WJG)
Guest, Charlotte 1838-1877 First complete publ. orig. bilingual. Arthurian romance inspired.
Gwales[3] Dyfed island, Grassholm. The Seven Survivors, incl. Pryderi & Manawydan, have a second retreat there after the Irish War; after Harlech. They stay, feasting with Bendigeidfran's post-mortem Head, time suspended for 80 years, until Helyn ap Gwyn opens the forbidden door. See Assembly of the Head.
Gwawl ap CludMale. [1] Dyfed. Princely noble, suitor to Rhiannon, rival to Pwyll, unsuccessful. Badger-in-the-Bag game coerced him to surrender his right to Rhiannon, his vengeance, and make him pay for the 2nd wedding.
Gwawl's companyMale. Female. [1] Dyfed. Pwyll greets Gwawl's company of men and women present at the second wedding feast.
Gwern ap MatholwchMale. [2] Ireland. Infant son of Branwen & Matholwch, becomes heir to Britain & Ireland as peace agreement. Efnysien his uncle murders him by throwing him in the fire.
Gŵri Gwallt EurynMale. [1] Gwent. 'Gwri Golden hair'. Childhood name of Pryderi, son of Rhiannon & Pwyll, adopted by Teyrnon & Lady of Gwent as a foundling. He fatefully loved horses. See Cyfranc Caseg a’r Mab, ‘The Adventure of the Mare and the Boy,’ Ford (1977) pp.3-14
Gwydion ap Dônm. [4] Gwynedd. Brother of Arianrhod, enchanter, foster father of Lleu. Villain of Fourth Branch, contests with Arianrhod, wins twice loses third. Constructs Blodeuedd. Rescues Lleu.
Gwynfryn[2] 'White Mount' in Llundein, London where the Seven Survivors buried the Head of Bendigeidfran to protect Ynys Prydain, Britain against invasion.
gwyrdaA prince was not an arbitrary ruler. The gwyrda were the guardians of custom, and the stories often mention taking counsel. Ellis (1929) p.31.n. 79
HadesGreek myth, shadowy afterlife, name of ruler god. Earlier scholars comparisons with Annwfn, Otherworld, but disagreement.
HafganMale. [1] Rival king of Annwfn, enemy of Arawn. Pwyll replacing Arawn, vanquishes him in political duel. Haf = Summer. Pughe trans. Hafgan as 'Summershine' (1804)
Hamp, Eric 1972-99 Dating Archaism
Harlech Pivotal to Second Branch cf. Arberth, First Branch. Bendigeidfran's kingship is sited here, as the tale opens with Branwen's marriage to Matholwch king of Ireland. The Seven Survivors of the Irish War, journey to Harlech after Branwen dies. They stay seven years, soothed by Adar Rhiannon, the Birds of Rhiannon.
HawksBirds. [1] Noted as valuable gifts between Annwfn & Dyfed to cement their alliance,
Heilyn ap Gwyn HenMale.[2] One of the Seven Survivors of the Irish War. he ended the 80 year feast at Gwales by opening the forbidden door. Also Manawydan, Pryderi, Glifieu Eil Taran, Taliesin, Ynawg, Gruddyeu ap Muriel.
Hemming, Jessica 1993- First Branch, Ami Amile, Rhiannon, colours Otherworld, aka Hooker
Henffordd[3] Hereford in Lloegres, England. The first town where the Dyfed royals emigrated to escape the Devastation of Dyfed. They run a successful business making saddles.
HeraldMale. [1] A herald announces the purpose and terms of a duel 1) Pwyll- Hafgan in Annwfn. 2) Pryderi- Gwydion.
HorseHorse 1) Large, pale horse ridden by Arawn the enchanter king, Dyfed. 2) Horses noted as valuable gifts of alliance Annwfn-Dyfed. 3) Enchanted, large, noble steed which Rhiannon rides to court Pwyll (Dyfed). Anomalous speed, cannot be reached by 3 fast horses, incl. Pwyll's. 4) Teyrnon's mare foals but they are abducted (Gwent) see Cyfranc a'r Caseg Mab. [1] 5) Efnysien mutilates Matholwch's horses as dishonour to cause strife, Bendigeidfran replaces them. (Gwynedd) [2]
HoundDog. See Cwn Annwfn; Hounds (Pwyll, Annwfn gifts, Pryderi); Puppies; Staghound bitch.
HoundsDogs. Pwyll takes his hunting hounds to Glyn Cuch to hunt, meets Arawn. Hounds are valuable gifts in the Annwfn-Dyfed alliance.[1] Pryderi ensures family survival in the Devastation of Dyfed via hounds; pursues hounds into tower of captivity, following Boar. [3]
Hughes, Ian 1992- Many works all Branches, context, language. Tripartite structure
Hychdin HirMale. [4] Gwynedd. Son of Gwydion & Gilfaethwy as boar & sow, adopted by Mâth
ByddwnMale. [4] Gwynedd. Son of Gwydion & Gilfaethwy as stag & hind, adopted by Mâth
Hyfaidd HenMale. [1] Father of Rhiannon, presides at her wedding feasts, with her, gives legal advice.
Hyfaidd's CourtMale. Female. [1] Explicitly mentioned at the final stage of Rhiannon and Pwyll's wedding feast.
Byfaidd HirMale. [2] Britain. Messenger of Bendigeidfran, one of the Seven Survivors of the Irish War.
Ireland[2] Iwerddun.
Irish War[2] The great war between Ynys Prydain, Britain and Iwerddun, Ireland, a genocide with seven British male survivors and Branwen; and five pregnant Irish women. The Cauldron is employed as a weapon of mass revival & destruction. Branwen dies of despair and guilt. In spite of acting as peaceweaver, she assumes victim guilt: recognising it was her call for aid which brought Bendigeidfran's revenge. Bendigaidfran, & his son Caradawc, are usurped by Caswallawn. Manawydan becomes landless, dependant on Pryderi's generosity. The name 'Irish War' is not used in the text; it is a convenience used here.
Irish WarriorsMale. [2] Irish warriors hide in flour bags to ambush the British. Efnysien kills them by crushing their heads.
Iwerddun[2] Ireland.
Jackson, Kenneth1951-74 International Popular Tale 1963 applied Aarne Thompson tale analysis
Jones, Gwyn 1946-93 Trans. (+Thomas Jones) 1948 First popular since Guest. Many works.
Jones, R. M. 1981- Structural analysis (S)
Jones, Thomas 1946-82 Trans. (+Gwyn Jones) 1948 First popular since Guest. Many works
Kapphahn, Kris 2010- Social context, gender, warriors
Koch, John T. 1985- Many works. Iron Age, myth, social context. Encyclopedia 5 vols. many articles 2006 Contents Much available googlebooks
Lady of GwentFemale. [1] Gwent. Unnamed wife of Teyrnon, advises him in all matters, adopts Gwri/ Pryderi.
LawSee Cyfranc Hywel Dda, Laws of Hywel Dda.
Lewis, Saunders 1923-75 Dating 12thC crit Charles-Edwards. Playwright. Political activist.
Loomis, Roger Sherman 1928-53 Arthurian, Grail, Irish influence
Loth, Joseph Marie 1889-1929 Trans. Guest text to French, first trans into 3rd language.
Luft, Diana 2010- Welsh Renaissance, esp. 18thC
Llassar Llaes GyfnewidMale. [2,3] Ireland, Britain. Husband of Cymidei, guardian of Cauldron, emigrates to Britain. Craftsman in leather, esp. blue dye.
Lleu Llaw GyffesMale. [4] 'Lleu of the Skilled Hand'. Rejected son of Arianrhod, adopted by Gwydion his uncle. Marries Blodeuedd, murdered by his wife and her lover. Survives as a rotting eagle, rescued by Gwydion who tracks a sow to find him. Avenges himself on the lover.
Lloegres[2, 3]England, one of the three realms of Ynys Prydain, the Isles of Britain, besides Cymru/ Cymry (Wales) & Alban (Scotland). See Britain.
Lloyd, Elizabeth 1911 Mabinogion as Literature, mentored by Anwyl
Lloyd-Morgan, Ceridwen 1981- Triadic structure. gender, violence
Llyfr Coch Hergestc. 1400 Manuscript containing the Mabinogi (The Mabinogion) and other material. Since 1715 Bodleian Library, for Jesus College, Oxford, MS 111. See Llyfr Gwyn; Peniarth 6
Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderchc. 1350 Manuscript (Peniarth MS 4) containing the Mabinogi (The Mabinogion) and other material. NLW (National Library of Wales) since 1906. See Llyfr Gwyn; Peniarth 6
Llwyd fab CilcoedMale. [3] Enchanter friend of Gwawl, attempts to avenge him. Creates Devastation of Dyfed, traps Pryderi & Rhiannon. Manawydan captures his wife, the Mouse Lady, uses her to negotiate restitution. Llwyd disguises as student, priest, and bishop to bargain with him.
LlŷrMale. [2] Father of Branwen, Bendigeidfran, Manawydan
LlysCourt. Priflys, a 'chief court' (prif 'first, chief'). Political, economic, legal centres. Rulers moved around them, or sent trusted princely agent, esp. to collect supplies.
MabonMale. Not in the Mabinogi. In Culhwch he is son of Modron, like Pryderi stolen as a baby and becomes a prisoner as adult.
Mac Cana, Proinsias 1955-99 The Mabinogi but re Mabinogion. Many works. Myth reconstruction
macwyapprox. 'squire' 14-21 yrs, owed direct allegiance to his arglwydd and no other. Ellis (1929) p.9-10, n. 24
Maids of ArianrhodFemale. [4]Gwydion & Lleu visit disguised as bards. Under fake attack her two maids arm Gwydion; she arms Lleu, breaking her second ban.
Maids of BlodeueddFemale. [4]Support their lady in her actions, flee in terror from Gwydion's vengeance, fall to deaths in lake.
Maids of GwentFemale.[1]The Lady of Gwent refers to her Maids as completely loyal if she constructs deceit that she gives birth to foundling Gŵri/Pryderi.
Maids of RhiannonFemale.[1]Six women. To hide their failure to guard Rhiannon, they plot, smearing her with puppies' blood to look like infanticide.
Manawydan fab LlŷrMale. [2,3] Brother of Bendigeidfran king of Britain, and Branwen queen of Ireland. Trusted diplomat, cautious about enchantment, friend of Pryderi who gifts him rulership. Marries Rhiannon. Craftsman, farmer. Captures Mouse Lady, uses her to negotiate restitution of Dyfed.
MareFemale. Horse. Teyrnon's prize mare foals at May Eve but the newborn always disappears. Gwent. See Cyfranc a'r Caseg Mab
Math ap MathonwyMale. [4] Lord of Gwynedd, enchanter, needs footholder unless at war. Marries the raped Goewin as restitution. Constructs non-human Blodeuedd as wife for Lleu and gifts him territory.
MatholwchMale. [2] King of Ireland, seeks marriage with Branwen of Britain, father of Gwern. Follows bad advice, abuses Branwen, acts treacherously to Bendigeidfran.
MathonwyFemale or male. [4]Parent of Math, sometimes described female, sometimes male.
McKenna, Catherine 1980- Crit. Sovereignty (S) Many works kingship lordship poets
Morgain, Shan 2012- 'Mabinogi Bibliog' & this site. Rhiannon, Welsh Renaissance, politics, online education
Men of DyfedMale.[4]Pryderi leads his men to war with Gwynedd. He is killed by Gwydion, they bear his body away, grieving.
MiceMale. Female. Vermin. [3] Llwyd shapeshifts wife and courtiers as mice to raze Manawydan's crops. See Mouse Lady.
Mouse LadyFemale. [3] Anonymous wife of Llwyd, enchanter. Playfully shapeshifts to Mouse, captured by Manawydan, used as hostage.
Mynweir and Mynordd[3] 'The Mabinogi of Mynweir and Mynordd' is a trad. name mentioned at the end of the Third Branch, supposedly explaining the asses collar & gate hammer punishment of Rhiannon & Pryderi as prisoners. The meaning has not survived.
Mystic realismAnne Marie Ferguson's description of 'organic reality, seen on occasion through an imaginative, poetic lens.' Artist of the Llewelyn Tarot inspired by Welsh sources (2006). Quote
Nobles of DyfedMale. Female.[1,4]Pwyll has companions when he hunts in Glyn Cuch, probably nobles. He reassures his nobles on returning from Annwfn. His nobles are with him on Gorsedd Arberth during Rhiannon's rides. He takes 99 with him to the 2nd wedding feast. They (men & women) receive her gifts as a bride. They later urge him to divorce Rhiannon, twice. In Pryderi's time they advise accepting Gwydion's costly gifts, then to go to war. See Men of Dyfed.
Nysien fab LlŷrMale. [2] Brother and opposite character of Efnysien, peaceful person.
OwlFemale. Bird. [4] Gwydion avenges Lleu's betrayal by condemning Blodeuedd to live as an owl.
PebinMale. [4] Gwynedd. Father of Goewin.
Parker, Will 2002- Pioneer online resources: history bibliog trans. Four Branches native myth.
PenarddunFemale. [2] Mother of Bendigeidfran, Manawydan, Branwen by Llýr; and by Euroswydd, of Efnysien & Nisien. The different status of her two consorts lead to the conflict and war of the Second Branch.
PendaranMale. [1] High status noble of Dyfed who transacts matters as equal with Pwyll & Rhiannon; foster father of Pryderi. Also named in Second Branch.
Peniarth 61225-1250 c. Manuscript fragments, incl. two Mabinogi pages: Bendigeidfran's 'bridge' comment; Pryderi & Manawydan hunt boar, Rhiannon rebukes Manawydan. At NLW since 1906.
Penn Annwfn'Chief /Head of Annwfn'. Pwyll prince of Dyfed stays in Annwfn for a year of adventure, winning this title.
Pigs of AnnwfnPigs [4] Gwynedd. Enchanted much prized pigs, gifts of Annwfn to Pendaran, Pryderi, cause of war Dyfed, Gwynedd.
PigsBoar [3, 4] Pigs of Annwfn [4]; Sow [4]
Preiddu Annwfn'A Raid on Annwfn'. Cryptic poem, 60 lines by Taliesin, 9th-12thC. Sea raid by Arthur, Taliesin and others; mentions Pwyll & his son, Pryderi, captive Gwair in Caer Sidi, other fortresses, a cauldron, a speckled ox.
PriestMale. [3] Dyfed. Llwyd's second disguise as Priest to negotiate his Mouse Lady's freedom from Manawydan. See Scholar; Bishop.
Pryderi ap PwyllMale. [1,2,3,4] Dyfed, Ireland, Ceredigion. Son of Rhiannon & Pwyll, abducted, foster son of Teyrnon (as Gŵri) & Pendaran. Successful war leader. Marries Cigfa. Generous friend to Manawydan. Imprisoned by Llwyd. Befriends Gwydion who betrays him to foment war, kills him in duel.
PriflysChief Court. (prif 'first, chief'; llys, 'court'). Political, economic, legal centres. Rulers moved around them, or sent trusted princely agent, esp. to collect supplies.
Pughe, William Owen 1792-1833 First publ. Mabinogi text. Many works. Unpubl. Mabinogion incl. art
PuppiesDogs. [1] Maids of Rhiannon plot to hide their failure as guardians; kill puppies, smear Rhiannon with blood.
PwyllMale. [1] Prince of Dyfed, becomes Penn Annwfn hero, ally of Arawn. Chosen by Rhiannon, plots with her to overcome rival Gwawl. Loyal to Rhiannon during loss of their son, penance. Lives long life, dies peacefully.
Queen brenhines. 'Queen of Annwfn' (unnamed). Queen of Iwerddun, 'Ireland' (Branwen).
Queen of AnnwfnFemale. [1] Unnamed wife of Arawn, idealised queen, endures chaste bed with shapechanged Pwyll, later dialogue about it with husband.
ReligionAlmost entirely a secular work. Marriage = feast, witnesses. Baptism = naming, specifying as it was done in the past. People swear by God but no specific god. Manawydan meets a supposed priest & bishop: poss. generic hierarchy titles. Spear forged in Mass time on Sundays. Branwen exclaims 'Alas, Son of God' as she dies. No explcit ref. to pagan religions.
RhiannonFemale. [1,2,3] Elite noblewoman, horsewoman, enchanter, goddess. Chooses Pwyll as consort, plots with him to extricate herself from Gwawl marriage. Son Gŵri/ Pryderi abducted. She is accused of infanticide, does penance. Child restored by Teyrnon. Widowed. Remarries, Manawydan. Journeys in Lloegres (England). Captive of Llwyd, rescued by Manawydan.
Roberts, Brynley F. 1964- Performance oral trad. Characters. Legends
Rodway, Simon 1998- Manuscripts, dating, crit. Celtic. Dating Medieval Welsh Literature 2013
Rhys, John1887-1901 First Prof. Celtic Oxford, Hibbert Lect. Myth, solar hero, bardic apprentice.
SaddlersMale.[3]Manawydan & family's first business at henffordd, Hereford, succeeds so well at saddlemaking they make fatal enemies of English saddlers. See Shieldmakers, Shoemakers.
ScholarMale. [3] Dyfed. Llwyd's first disguise as Scholar to negotiate his Mouse Lady's freedom from Manawydan. See Priest; Bishop.
ServantsMale. Female. Servants attampt to fill the bag with food at the second wedding feast.[1]
Seven SurvivorsMale.[2]The survivors of the Irish War are Manawydan, Pryderi, Glifieu Eil Taran, Taliesin, Ynawg, Gruddyeu ap Muriel, Heilyn ap Gwyn Hen.
ShieldmakersMale.[3]Manawydan & family's second business succeeds so well they make fatal enemies of English shieldmakers. See Saddlemakers, Shoemakers.
ShoemakersMale. Female?[3,4]Manawydan & family's third business succeeds so well they make fatal enemies of English shoemakers. He returns a fourth time, again making shoes. See Saddlemakers, Shieldmakers. Gwydion disguises as a shoemaker to deceive Arianrhod.
Sims-Williams, Patrick 1977-2011 Irish Influence 2011
Singing of the Birds of Rhiannon[2] Trad. name for episode, semi-independent tale, of Second Branch. The Birds (Adar) visit the Seven Survivors of war (incl. Pryderi, Manawydan) at Harlech. The song is sweeter than any ever heard.
SowFemale. Pig. [4] Math shapeshifts Gwydion & Gilfaethwy to boar & sow: son Hychdin Hir adopted by Math. A sow leads Gwydion to post-death Lleu, as an Eagle ina tree.
Sullivan, William III 1989- ed. The Mabinogi. A Book of Essays (S) Myth & fantasy
SwineSee Pig; Sow.
Stable boysMale.[1]As a boy Gŵri (later Pryderi) adores horses, persuades stable boys to let him water them. See also Groom.
StagSee Deer.
Staghound bitchFemale. Dog. [1] Maids of Rhiannon plot to hide their failure as guardians; kill her puppies, smear Rhiannon with blood.
StarlingBird [2] Branwen in Ireland trains starling to fly to brother Bendigeidfran in Britain with message of her abuse by husband Matholwch.
StorytellersMale.[4]Ceredigion. Gwydion in disguise, takes a band of people to entertain Pryderi and win his trust.
TaliesinMale.[2] One of the Seven Survivors or the Irish War; also Manawydan, Pryderi, Glifieu Eil Taran, Ynawg, Gruddyeu ap Muriel, Heilyn ap Gwyn Hen.
Teyrnon Twryf LiantMale. [1] Honorable lord, horse breeder, guards his mare and rescues abducted Gŵri/Pryderi. Respects Lady of Gwent's advice, restores Gŵri/Pryderi to Dyfed.
Thomas, Gwyn 1983-09 Many versions Welsh, Eng. incl. children
Thomas, Peter Wynne, et al2007-13 'Welsh Prose 1300 -1425' Online transcription Llyfr Gwyn, Llyfr Coch
TravellersMale. Female.[1] Rhiannon's penance involves meeting travellers at the Arberth gates, to tell them her story of crime, and offer to carry them.
Trioedd 'Triads'Independent sets of three items usually persons or events, linked by a theme. 14 relate to Mabinogi characters, plus one implicit in Mabinogi text ('rieni' [2]). Info. in them typically brief, as if for memory aid. Classic study: Rachel Bromwich, Trioedd Ynys Prydain: The Welsh Triads (1961, many reprints, 2006 new ed.) Some Triad info. conflicts with Mabinogi. Characters: Arianrhod (35, 78), Bendigeidfran (37), Branwen (Implicit, 53, 95), Caradawc (13), Casallawn (35, 38), Goronwy (30), Gwydion (28), Lleu (67), (Mabon, 52), Manawydan (8, 67), Math (27, 28), Pendaran (26), Pryderi (26), Pwyll (26).
Valente, Roberta 1986- Merched y Mabinogi: Women 1986. Crit. myth. (S)
Welsh, Andrew 1988- Structural analysis, tripartite. Esp. Manawydan (S)
Williams, Ifor 1929-47 Pedeir Keinc y Mabinogi (PKM) Classic modernised Welsh. Dating, social
Winward, Fiona1997- Women, gender
Wolf[4]Gwydion & Gilfaethwy shapeshifted to wolf pair: son Bleiddwn adopted by Math.
Wood, Juliette1975- Calumniated Wife motif, folklore (Sullivan) Folklore, Goddesses
Wren[4]Lleu as a boy shoots a wren, Arianrhod exclaims he is skilful. By speaking to him she breaks her first ban, directly recognising he exists, givins him his name: 'skliful hand'.
Ynawg Male.[2] One of the Seven Survivors or the Irish War; also Manawydan, Pryderi, Glifieu Eil Taran, Taliesin, Gruddyeu ap Muriel, Heilyn ap Gwyn Hen.
Ynys PrydainThe Isles of Britain are three realms: Cymru/ Cymry (Wales), Lloegres (England), and Alban (Scotland). In the Mabinogi this is a political unity. It is however a legend, not historically recorded other than a slight poss. traceable to Stonehenge. Bendigeidfran son of Llyr is king of Britain, usurped by Caswallawn. Pryderi does homage to him for Dyfed.
a-z.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/14 13:09 by admin