Pedair Cainc Mabinogi means the Four Branches of the Mabinogi.
Pedair = Four.
Cainc = Branch. Strictly the plural of ‘cainc’ is ‘ceinciau.’
Originally written in Wales in Middle Welsh, but widely available in translations, the Mabinogi is generally agreed to be a single work in four parts, or “Branches.” The interrelated tales can be read as mythology, political themes, romances, or magical fantasies. Their wide range of appeal includes the most sophisticated adult readers across to young children. The tales are popular today in book format, as storytelling or theatre performances; they appear in recordings and on film, and continue to inspire many reinterpretations in artwork and modern fiction.
First Branch: Pwyll Pendeuig Dyfed, Pwyll Prince of Dyfed.
Second Branch: Branwen ferch Llyr, Branwen Daughter of Llyr.
Third Branch: Manwaydan fab Llyr, Manawydan Son of Llyr.
Fourth Branch: Math fab Mathonwy, Math Son of Mathonwy.
Pedair Cainc Mabinogi, or The Four Branches of the Mabinogi, became an established name for the Mabinogi after Ifor Williams published his classic Welsh text in 1930, since reprinted several times.
Williams, Ifor. 1930. Pedeir Keinc y Mabinogi, Allan o Lyfr Gwyn Rhydderch. CUP. Available online: http://titus.uni-frankfurt.de/texte/etcs/celt/mcymr/pkm/pkm.htm
Pron. PED – eye-are kank.
(First published 28/12/2014: Shan Morgain)