Cilydd son of Celiddon Wledig1 wanted a wife as well-born as he. The wife he wished for was Goleuddydd daughter of Anlawd Wledig.2 After he was coupled with her,3 the country went into prayer so that they might get an heir. And a boy was begotten to them through the prayers of the country. From the hour she fell pregnant she went mad, shunning habitation.4 When her time came, her senses came back to her completely. She found herself at a place5 where a swineherd kept a herd of pigs. And through fear of the pigs, the queen was delivered [of her child].6 And the swineherd took the boy until he came to court.7 And the boy was given a baptism, and the name 'Culhwch' put upon him, because he had been found in a pig-run.8 However, the boy was of noble birth, a cousin of Arthur was he.
And the boy was given into fosterage.9 And after that the mother of the boy, Goleuddydd daughter of Anlawd Wledig, fell ill.
She called her lover to her [side], and spoke10 to him [thus]: "I will [soon] be dead from this sickness, and you will want another wife. Wives are gift-givers now. You would do wrong, however, to injure your boy.11 So I ask you this: [that] you do not wish for a wife until you see a two-headed briar on my grave."
He made that promise to her. She called her confessor12 and she asked him to strip the grave bare every year so that nothing would grow on it. [Then] the queen died. The king, for his part, would send a boy every morning to see whether anything had grown up on the grave.
After seven years, the confessor neglected that which13 he had promised the queen. One day [while] the king [was] out hunting, he made for the graveyard. He wished to see the grave whereby14 he might take a wife. He saw the briar, and [as soon] as he saw it he went into council [to determine] where he might get a wife.
Spoke one of the councilmen: "I knew of a woman who would have suited you well, that is the wife of King Doged."15
Their council was to get her. And [so] they killed the king, and took his wife home with them, [along] with the one daughter that she had, and they subdued the land of the king.
One day the lady went outside for a stroll. She came to the house of an old hag from the township without a single tooth in her head.
Spoke the hag: "He has no children."
Spoke the queen: "Woe is me that I have come to a childless [man]."
Spoke the hag: "There is no need for that. It is prophesied that he should get an heir. He will get it from you since he has not got one from any other [woman]. Don't be sad either, he has a boy."18
The lady went home joyfully.
Spoke she to her lover: "Why are you hiding your child from me?"19
Spoke the king: "I will not hide him [any longer]."20
The boy was sent for and he came to court.
His step-mother said to him: "It would be good for you to seek a wife, boy. I have a daughter who would suit any nobleman in the world."
Spoke the boy: "I am not yet of an age to seek21 a wife."
The boy blushed, and love for the maiden came into all of his limbs, although he had never seen her.
Spoke his father to him "O boy, why do you blush? Why are you ill-at-ease?"25
"My stepmother has placed a destiny on me that I will not get a wife until I get Olwen daughter of Yspaddaden Bencawr."
"It will be easy to get that, boy" said his father to him. "Arthur is your cousin. Go to Arthur, for the cutting of your hair, and ask him that as a boon to you."26
[Off] went the boy on a light-grey headed steed: four winters [strong] with a well-knit fork; shell-hooved with a golden tubular bridle-bit in its mouth.27 A saddle of precious gold beneath him and two spears of sharpened silver in his hand. A glaive28 in his hand, the length of a man's fore-arm from ridge to edge. Blood from the wind it could draw - it was as quick as the first dewdrop [running down] from the stalk to the ground, during the heaviest dew in the month of June. A gold-hilted sword on his thigh had he, with a gold blade upon it, and a gold-chased shield the colour of heaven's lightning, with an ivory boss in [its midst]. Two brindled, white-breasted greyhounds before him, with a torc of red-gold around the neck of each of them, from the nub of the shoulder to the ear. The one on the right would appear on the left, and the one on the left would appear on the right,29 like two sea-swallows sporting around him. Four clods would the hooves of his horse cut [from the turf], like four swallows in the air above his head: sometimes above him, sometimes below. A four-cornered purple cloak beneath him with an apple of red-gold at each corner, each apple the value of a hundred cows.30 The value of three hundred cows was there in the value of his boots and his stirrup-straps, from the top of his thigh to the tip of his toes. The tips of his hair would not stir: so light [was] the canter of the steed beneath him as he made for the door at the court of Arthur.31
"There is, and as for you, may your head not be your own for asking!32 I am Arthur's porter on the kalends of January, but my deputies [serve] for the [rest of] the year after that, [these are] none other than: Huandaw,33 Gogigwr,34 Llaesgymyn35 and Penpingion36 - who goes about on his head to spare his feet, not in the air but [rather] on the ground, like a stone rolling about on the floor of the court."
"Open the door!"
"I will not."
"Why will you not open it?"37
"Knife has gone into food, drink into horn and a throng [in]to the hall of Arthur. Except for the son of a rightful king of the land, or a craftsman who would bring his craft, no-one is allowed inside [now]. [There will be] feed for your dogs, corn for your horse and hot peppered-chops for yourself and wine overflowing, and delightful songs before you. Food for ten and two-score men will be brought to you in the guest-house. Travellers from afar eat there, and the sons of other countries who do not proffer a craft in the court of Arthur. It will be no worse for you there than for Arthur in the court. A woman to sleep with you, and delightful songs on your lap.38 Tomorrow, before the third hour, when the door is opened for the host who have come today,39 the door will be opened in front of you first, and you will sit down at the place you chose in the hall of Arthur, from the upper end to the lower."
The boy said: "I will not do any of that. If you open the door, it will be good. If you do not, I will bring infamy to your lord and ill-repute to yourself. I will give three yells in front of this door that would be no less loud40 in Pengwaed Head in Cornwall than at the bottom of Dinsol in the North, or Oerfel Ridge in Ireland. 41 If there any pregnant women in this court,42 their womb-loads will fail; those who are not pregnant among them their wombs will weigh down upon them so that they will never become pregnant from this day forth."43
Spoke Glewlwyd Gafaelfawr:44 "However much you yell about the laws of Arthur's court, you cannot come in until I have been to talk to Arthur first."
And [so] Glewlwyd came to the hall.
Spoke Arthur to him: "What news do you have from the gate?"
"Two thirds of my life have come [and gone], and two thirds of your own. I was there45 in Caer Se and Asse, in Sach and Salach, in Lotor and Fotor, I was there in Greater India and Lesser India, I was there in the battle of the Two Ynyrs when twelve hostages were led from Llychlyn,46 I was there in Europe and in Africa and the islands of Corsica. And [in] the Caer of Brythwch and Brytach and Nerthach, I was there when you killed the host of Gleis son of Merin [and] when you killed Mil Du47 son of Dugum. I was there when you conquered Greece as far as the East, I was there in the Caer Oeth and Anoeth48 and the Caer of Nevenhir49 Nawdant.50 Fair princely men have I seen there, [but] never have I seen the like of this [one] who is before the gate now."
Spoke Arthur: "If it was by walking that you came in, go [back] out running.51 Whoever looks upon the light, opens his eye and closes it - an injunction upon him. Someone serve him with a golden drinking horn, someone else with hot peppered chops, so that he has all he wants of food and drink!52 It is a shameful thing to leave a man like the one you speak of under the wind and rain."
Spoke Cai: "By the hand of my friend,53 if it is to be done, my council would be that the laws of the court should not be broken for his sake."
Glewlwyd went to the gate, and opened the gate before him. And rather than do what everyone [else] did then, alighting in front of the gate on the mounting block, he came inside on horseback.56
Spoke Culhwch: "May you prosper,57 Penn Teyrned58 of this island. May it be no worse for the lower end of the house than for the upper end of the house. Might this greeting be as good to your nobles [as it is] with your retinue and your host-leader. May none of them be without a share of it. May the blessing I give be as full as your grace and your faith and your praise within this Island."
"Let it be, chieftain, by the truth of God. May you also prosper. Sit between two of the warriors, with a delightful song before you, and the privileges of the crown-prince59 upon you as long as you are here. And when I apportion my goods to guests and travellers from afar, it will be from your hand I will begin in this court."
Spoke the boy: "I have not come here to wheedle food and drink. If I get my boon from it, I will repay it and offer praise.60 If I do not get it, I will carry [off] your honour61 to wherever your fame was in the furthest four corners of the world."
Spoke Arthur: "Though you may not remain here, chieftain, you will get whatever [boon] might be named by your head and your tongue: as far as the wind dries and the rain soaks, as far as the sun reaches, as far as the sea stretches, as far as there is land, [anything] apart from my boat, my cloak, Caledfwlch62 my sword, Rhongomyniad63 my spear, Wyneb Gwrthucher64 my shield, Carnwennan65 my knife or Gwenhwyfar66 my wife."
"God's truth upon that?"67
"You shall get it, gladly, name what you would name." 68
"I will name [it]. The trimming of my hair is what I wish."
"You will get that."
Arthur took a gold comb, and [a pair] of shears with silver loops upon it, and he combed his hair. He asked who he was.
Spoke Arthur: "My heart is growing fond towards you. I know you are sprung from my blood. Tell [me] who you are."
"I will tell [you]. Culhwch son of Cilydd son of Celiddon Wledig, from Goleuddydd daughter of Anlawd, my mother."
Spoke Arthur: "That [must be] true. You are a kinsman of mine. Name what you would name [for a boon], whatever might be named by your head and your tongue."
"Can I have God's truth upon that, and the truth of your kingdom?"
"You will get it, gladly."
"[The boon] I name is for you to get me Olwen daughter of Yspaddaden Bencawr, and I invoke69 it [in the name of] your warriors."
[Thus] he invoked his boon [in the name of]70 Cai and Bedwyr71 and Greidol Gallddofyd72 and Gwythyr son of Greidol73 and Graid son of Eri74 and Cynddylig Gyfarwydd75 and Tathal Twyll Golau76 and Maelwys son of Baeddan77 and Cnychwr son of Nes and Cubert son of Daere and Ffercos map Poch and Lluber Beuthach and Corfill Berfach.78
And Gwyn son of Esni and Gwyn son of Nwyfre and Gwyn son of Nudd,79 and Edern son of Nudd80 and [C]adwy son of Geraint81 and Fflewdwr Fflam Wledig82 and Rhuawn Bebyr son of Dorath83 and Bradwen son of Moren Mynog and Moren Mynog himself84 and Dalldaf Eil Comin Cof85 and the son of Alun Dyfed86 and the son of Saidi87 and the son Gwryon88 and Uchdryd Ardwyad Cad89 and Cynwas Cwrfagl90 and Gwrhyr Gwarthegfras91 and Isberyr Ewingath92 and Gallgoid Gofyniad93 and Duach and Bratach and Nerthach sons of Gwawrdur Cyrfach - from the uplands of Hell were those men sprung.94
And Cilydd Canhastyr95 and Canhastyr Can Llaw96 and Cors Cant Ewin97 Esgair Gulhwch Gofyncawn98 and Drustwrn Hayarn99 and Glewlwydd Gafalfawr100 and Lloch Llaw Wynniog101 and Anwas Edeiniog102 and Sinnoch son of Seithfed and Wadu son of Seithfed and Naw son of Seithfed and Gwenwynwyn son of Naw son of Seithfed and Bedyw son of Seithfed103 and Gobrwy son of Echel Forddwyd Twll ac Echel Forddwyd Twll himself104 and Mael son of Roycal and Dadwair Dallben105 and Garwyli Eil Gwythog Gwyr and Gwythog Gwyr himself106 and Gormant son of Ricca107 and Menw son of Teirgwaedd108 and Digon son of Alar109 and Selif son of Sinoid110 and Gusg son of Achen111 and Nerth son of Cadarn112 and Drutwas son of Tryffin113 and Twrch son of Perif and Twrch son of Anwas114 and Iona King of France115 and Sel son of Selgi116 and Teregud son of Iaen and Sulien son of Iaen and Bradwen son of Iaen and Moren son of Iaen and Siawn son of Iaen and Caradog son of Iaen - men of Caer Tathyl were they, Arthur's kindred on his father's side. 117
Dirmyg son of Caw and Iustig son of Caw and Edmyg son of Caw and Angawdd son of Caw and [G]ofan son of Caw and Celyn son of Caw and Conyn son of Caw and Mabsant son of Caw and Gywngad son of Caw and Llywybyr son of Caw and Coch son of Caw and Meilyg son of Caw and Cynwal son of Caw and Ardwyad son of Caw and Ergyriad son of Caw and Neb son of Caw and Gildas son of Caw and Calcas son of Caw and Huail son of Caw - he never submitted to the hand of a lord.118
Samson Finsych119 and Taliesin Ben Beirdd120 and Manawydan son of Llŷr121 and Llary son of Casnar Wledig122 and Sberin son of Fflergant King of Brittany123 and Saranhon son of Glythfyr124 and Llawr Eil Erw125 and Anynnog son of Menw Teirgwaedd126 and Gwyn son of Nwyfre and Fflam son of Nwyfre127 and Geraint son of Erbin128 and Ermid son of Erbin and Dywel son of Erbin and Gwyn son of Ermid and Cyndrwyn son of Ermid129 and Hyfaidd Unllen130 and Eiddon Fawrfrydig131 and Rheiddwn Arwy132 and Gormant son of Ricca - Arthur's [half-]brother on his mother's side, the chief elder of Cornwall was his father.133 And Llawfrodded Farfog134 and Nodawl Farch Twrch135 and Berth son of Cado136 and Rheiddwn son of Beli137 and Isgofan Hael138 and Ysgawyn son of Banon139 and Morfran Eil Tegid140 - no man laid a weapon upon him at Camlan, because of his ugliness everyone thought he was a demon fighting alongside them,141 the hair that was on him was like the hair of a stag. And Sandde Pryd Angel142 - no man laid a spear upon him at Camlan, because of his beauty everyone thought he was an angel fighting alongside them.143 And Saint Cynwyl,144 one of the three men who escaped from Camlan, he was the last to be parted from Arthur on Hengroen his horse.
And Uchdryd son of Erim, and Eus son of Erim and Henwas Edeiniog145 son of Erim, and Henbeddestyr146 son of Erim, and Sgilti Sgafndroed147 son of Erim.148 There were three peculiarities about these [last] three men: [in the case of] Henbedestyr, he never found any man who could keep pace with him on horse-back or on foot; [for] Henwas Edeiniog, no four-legged animal could ever keep up with him over the length of an acre (let alone for any longer than that);149 [as for] Sgilti Sgafndroed, when the desire came upon him to walk out150 on a mission for his lord, he never sought a road around where he knew he had to go; instead, wherever there was forest,151 he walk out along the branches of the forest, and wherever there was mountain, he would walk out on the tips of the reeds, and throughout his life no reed ever bent beneath his foot (let alone break) so light was he.152
Teithi Hen son of Gwynnan, whose country was overwelmed by the sea, and he himself only just escaped and came to Arthur.153 There was a peculiarity about his knife: since he had come here no haft would ever stay upon it, and because of that a sickness developed within him and there was a languor for the rest of his life, and from that he died.154 And Carnedyr son of Gofynion Hen,155 and [Gwenwynwyn son of Naf]156 Arthur's foremost champion was he, and Llygadrudd Emys157 and Gwrfoddw Hen158 - they were Arthur's uncles, brothers of his mother.159
Culfanawyd son of Goryion,160 and Llenleog Wyddel from Pentir Gamon,161 and Dyfnwal Moel,162 and Dunarth163 king[s] of the North [they were]164. Teyrnon Twrf Lliant,165 and Tegfan Gloff,166 and Tegyr Talgellog167 and Gwrddywal son of Efrei,168 and Morgant Hael,169 and Gwystl son of [Nwython],170 and Rhun son of Nwython, and Llwydeu son of Nwython, and Gwydre son of Llwydeu, of Gwenabwy daughter of Caw his mother171 - Huail his uncle stabbed him, and because of that there was hatred between Arthur and Huail, about the injury.172
Drem son of Dremidydd,173 who could see all the way from Celli Wig in Cornwall when a fly ascended in the morning with the sun in Penn Blathaon in Pictland.174 And Eidoel son of Ner and Glwyddyn Saer who made Ehangwen, Arthur's hall.175 And Cynyr Keinfarchog176 - Cai was said to be his son. He said to his wife 'If there is any part of me in your son, maiden, his heart will always be cold, and there will be no heat in his hands. He will have another peculiarity: if he is a son of mine, he will be tenacious. He will have another peculiarity: whenever he carries a burden, whether great or small, no-one will ever be able to see it, either in front of him or behind him. He will have another peculiarity: no-one suffers water or fire better than him.177 He will have another peculiarity: there will not be another retainer or steward like him.'
Henwas and Hen Wyneb and Hengydymaith;178 and Gallgoig179 [was] another - [any] township he would come into, even if there were three hundred houses in it, there would be no rest for any man as long as he was there.180 Berwyn son of Cyrenyr,181 and Peris King of France - after whom Caer Paris is named. Osla Gyllellfawr,182 who would carry Bronllafn Ferllydan;183 when Arthur would come with his hosts to the brink of a torrent,184 a narrow place over the water would be sought, and the knife would be sheathed and laid down across the torrent185 - it would be a [wide] enough bridge for the three realms of Britain and their adjacent islands,186 and their booty. Gwyddog son of Menestyr, who killed Cai, and Arthur killed him and his brothers to avenge Cai.187 Garanwyn son of Cai and Amren son of Bedwyr;188 and Eli, and Myr and Rheu Rhwyddrys, and Rhun Rhuddwern, and Eli and Trachmyr, Arthur's chief huntsmen.189 And Llwydeu son of Cilcoed,190 and Huabwy son of Gwryon,191 and Gwyn Godyfron,192 and Gwair Dathar Weinidog193 and Gwair son of Cadellin Tal Aryant194 and Gwair son of Gwrhyd Enwir195 and Gwair Gwyn Paladyr196 - uncles of Arthur, brothers of his mother,197 and the sons of Llwch Llawwynniog198 from beyond the Tyrrenhian Sea.199
Llenlleog Wyddel,200 and Arddyrchog Prydein,201 Cas son of Saidi,202 Gwrfan Gwallt Afwyn,203 Gwilenhin king of France,204 Gwitard son of Aedd king of Iwerdon,205 Garselyd Wyddel,206 Panawr Penbagad,207 Atlefdor son of Naf,208 Gwyn Hyfar,209 steward of Cornwall and Devon, one of the nine who plotted the Battle of Camlan. Celli and Cuel,210 and Gilla Goeshydd211 - he could leap three hundred acres in one leap, chief leaper of Ireland [was he].
Sol and Gwadn Ossol and Gwadn Oddaith212 - Sol, who was able to stand for one [whole] day on one foot; Gwadn Ossol, if he was to stand on top of the biggest mountain in the world, it would become a flat plain under his foot; Gwadn Oddaith, as bright as hot metal dragged from the forge were the flames under his feet when he encountered strife;213 he would clear the road for Arthur on the warpath.214 Hir Erwm and Hir Atrwm,215 the day they would come to the feast, they would seize three cantrefs216 for their needs, feasting and boozing from noon until night. When they came to sleep, they would eat the heads of insects in hunger, as if they not eaten any food before. When they came to a feast they left neither fat nor lean, hot nor cold, bitter nor sweet, cooked nor raw.
Huarwar son of Halwn, who named his fill as a boon from Arthur - filling him up [caused] one the Three Great Plagues of Cornwall and Devon;217 one would never get a glimmer of a smile from him until he was full.218 Gwarae Gwallt Eurin,219 [the] two whelps of the bitch Rhymi220 Gwyddrud and Gwydden Astrus,221 Sugn son of Sugnedydd222 who could suck up a stretch of sea223 that could support three-hundred boats224 until there was [nothing but] dry beach - there was red-breast fever within him. Cacamwri,225 Arthur's servant: show him a barn, and though there might be the course of thirty ploughs inside it, he could beat it with an iron flail until its boards, cross-beams, side-beams were in no better [state] than the ground-up oats on the floor of the barn.226 Llwyng227 and Dygflwyng228 and Anoeth Feiddog229 and Hir Eiddyl and Hir Amren230 - two servants of Arthur were they.231 Uchdrydd Farf Draws232 who could throw the bristling red beard he had over the two hundred and ten rafters which were in Arthur's hall. Elidir Gyuarwydd,233 Ysgyrdaf and Ysgududd234 - two servants of Gwenhwyfar were they; as swift on their errand[s] were their feet as their minds.
Brys son of Brysethach235 from the front of the Black Fernbrakes of Prydein,236 and Gruddlwyn Gorr;237 Bwlch and Cyfwlch and Syfwlch sons of Cledyf Cyfwlch.238 Three gleaming glimmers were their three shields, three stabbing strikes their three spears, three keen carvers their three swords;239 Glas, Gleisig and Gleisiad240 their three hounds; Call, Cuall, Cafall241 their three horses; Hwyr Ddyddwg and Drwg Dddyddwg and Llwyr Ddyddwg242 their three wives; Och and Garym and Diasbad243 their three grandchildren; Lluched and Neued and Eisiwed244 their three daughters; Drwg and Gwaeth and Gwaethaf their three maids.245
Eheubryd son of Cyfwlch,246 Gorasgwrn son of Nerth,247 Gwaeddan son of Cynfelyn Ceudog,248 Pwyll Hanner Dyn,249 Dwn Diesig Unben,250 Eiladar son of Pen Llarcan,251 Cynedyr Wyllt son of Hetwn Tal Arian,252 Sawyl Pen Uchel,253 Gwalchmai son of Gwyar,254 Gwalhafed son of Gwyar,255 Gwrhyr Gwalstawd Ieithoedd256 - he knew all languages - and Cethdrwm Offeirad.257 Clust son of Clusfeiniad258 - if he was buried seven fathoms under the earth, he would be able to hear an ant rising up from its bed in the morning fifty miles away. Medyr son of Methredydd,259 who could take aim from Celli Wig and [hit] the legs of a starling in Esgair Oervel in Ireland. Gwion Llygad Cath260 - who could cut the corner of a gnat's eye without harming the eye [itself]. Ôl son of Olwydd261 - seven years before he was born, his father's pigs were taken, and when he grew to be a man he tracked the pigs and brought them home with him in seven herds.262 Bedwini Esgob263 - who would bless the food and drink.
The gentle gold-torqued maidens of this island264 - beside Gwenhwyfar,265 chief lady of this Island, and Gwenhwyfach,266 her sister and Rathtien, daughter of Unig Clememyl,267 Celemon daughter of Cai,268 and Tangwen daughter of Gwair Dathar Weinidog,269 Gwen Alarch daughter of Cynwal Canhwch,270 Eurneid daughter of Clydno Eidin,271 Eneuog daughter of Bedwyr,272 Enrhydreg daughter of Tuduathar,273 Gwenwledyr daughter of Gwaredur Cyrfach,274 Eurdudfyl daughter of Triffyn,275 Eurolwyn daughter [of Gwddolwyn Gorr],276 Teleri daughter of Peul,277 Indeg daughter of Garwy Hir,278 Morfudd daughter of Urien Rheged,279 Gwenllian Deg,280 the magnanimous maiden, Creiddylad daughter of Llud Llaw Eraint,281 [the] maiden of greatest majesty [that] there was in the Three Realms of Britain and their Adjacent Islands282 - and over her Gwythyr son of Greidol and Gwyn son of Nudd fight each May Day, forever unto the Day of Judgement. Ellylw daughter of Neol Cyn Crog283 - and she was alive for three lifetimes;284 Esyllt Fynwen and Esyllt Fyngul.285 In the name of all those did Culhwch son of Cilydd invoke his boon.286
Arthur said "O Chieftain, I have never heard about the maiden of whom you speak, nor her parents. I will send out messengers to search for her gladly."
From that night until the end of the next year, Arthur's messengers were searching. By the end of the year, the Arthur's messengers had not got anything.
Said the chieftain "Everyone has had his boon but I am still lacking. I will go, and I will take your honour with me."
Then Cai arises. Cai had a power: as long as nine nights and nine days could he be without sleep. A sword-wound from Cai no physician could heal. Triumphant was Cai. He could become as tall as the highest tree in a forest if he wanted. He had another peculiarity: even in the heaviest rain, a handbreadth above him and a hand-bredth below him would be dry, and whatever there was in his hand, so fierce was his power;289 even if his companions were suffering the greatest cold, it could kindle a fire for them.290
[Then] Arthur called upon Bedwyr, one who would never shrink from291 a mission which Cai was going on. What Bedwyr had was this: there was none as handsome as he in this Island except Arthur and Drych eil Cibdar.292 And this as well - all though he was one-handed, three armed men in a field with him could not draw blood [as quick]293 as he. He had another power: one wound there would be from his spear and nine counter-thrusts.
Cynddelig Gyfarwydd was called by Arthur: "Go on this mission with chieftain." He was no worse a guide in a country he had never seen before than in his own country.
Gwrhyr Gwalstawd Ieithoedd was called: all languages did he know.294
Gwalchmai son of Gwyar295 was called, for he had never come home without [succeeding] in the mission in which he had gone out to seek. The best walker was he, and the best rider. Arthur's nephew was he, son of his sister, and his kinsman.
Menw son of Teirgwaedd was called by Arthur, for if they should come into a pagan land he could cast a spell296 so that no one could see them, but they could see everyone.
They went until they got to297 a great plain and there, all of sudden, they could see a caer,298 the greatest of [all] caers in the world. [All] that day they kept walking [towards it].299 When they thought they should have been near to the caer,300 they were no nearer than before.301 Nevertheless, as they approached its vicinity302 there, all of sudden, they could see a great flock of sheep303 without limit or end, and a shepherd guarding the sheep on top of a mound with a jerkin of skin around him and shaggy mastif at his side that was bigger than a stallion of nine winters. It was his practice never to lose a single one of his lambs,304 let alone a fully-grown animal. No company had ever come [by] without his doing harm or deadly injury to it. Whatever dead trees or bushes might be on the plain, his breath would burn them down to the very ground.305
Spoke Cai "Gwrhyr Gwalstawd Ieithoedd, go and converse with [that] man yonder."
"Cai, I have not promised to go [anywhere] except where you yourself would go."
"Let us go there together."
They came to the place where the shepherd was.
Spoke they "Fine you are, shepherd."
"May it not be more fine that you might be than me."308
"By God, since you are chief."
"There is no injury afflicting me other than my wife."
"Who owns the sheep that you guard, and who owns the caer?"309
"[Fools of men!]310 Throught the world it is known that it is Ysbadadden Bencawr who owns that caer."
"And you? Who are you?"
"I am Custennin, son of Mynwyedig,311 and because of my wife Ysbaddaden Bencawr has despoiled me. And you, who are you?"
"Messengers of Arthur, here to ask for Olwen."
"Urgh, men, God's protection upon you. For the world's sake, do not do that. No-one who has come to ask for that312 has gone [away] with their life."
The shepherd got up. As he got up, Culhwch gave him a gold ring. He kept trying to put the ring on313 but it would not go on him, [so] he put it in the finger of a glove, and went home and gave the glove to his wife. She took the ring from the glove.
"Whence, man, [came]314 this ring to you? It is not often that you get treasure."
"I went to the sea to seek sea-food. Lo! A corpse I saw coming in it upon the breaking of the tide.315 I never saw a corpse as handsome as that, and [from] around his finger I got this ring."
"Och, man, since the sea will not allow a jewel of the dead within it, show me this corpse."
"O woman, he who owns this corpse you will be able to see here this very night."316
"Who is that?" said the woman.
"Culhwch son of Cilydd son of Celiddon Wledic, from Goleuddydd daughter of Anlawd Wledic his mother, and he comes to ask for Olwen."
She had two feelings: she had joy [at] the coming to her of her nephew, her sister's son; and sadness because she had never seen anyone go with his soul [still] with him who had come asking for that entreaty.317
They made for the gate of the court of Custennin the Shepherd. She heard the sound of them coming and came running in joy to meet them. Cai grabbed a log from the wood pile, and she came to meet them, arms outstretched.318 Cai placed a stake between her arms. She squeezed the stake until it was a twisted withy.319 Spoke Cai "O woman, if you had squeezed me thus, no-one would ever have had to make love to me again.320 An evil love, that."
They came to the house and were served. After a while, when all were at ease in their throng,321 the woman opened a coffer at the end of the hearth, and out came a youth with curly yellow hair.
Spoke Gwrhyr "It was a shame to hide a youth such as this. I know it is not his own wrong that is being avenged upon him."
Spoke the woman "This one is all that's left of the twenty-three sons of mine, killed by Ysbaddaden Bencawr. I have no more hope for this one than for any of the others.
Spoke Cai "Let him keep companionship with me, and we will not be killed unless [we are killed] together."
They carried on eating.
Spoke the woman "What entreaty are you bringing here?" 322
"We bring a request for Olwen."
"By God, since no-one from the caer has seen you yet, turn back."
"God knows we will not turn back until we have seen the maiden. Does she come to a place where she can be seen?"
"She comes here every Saturday to wash her hair,323 and in the vessel in which she washes she leaves all her rings. Neither she not her messengers ever come back for them."
"Will she come here if she is sent for?"324
"God knows, I will not damn my soul. I will not deceive anyone who holds faith with me. But if you give me your faith325 [that] you will not do harm to her, I will send for her."
"We will give it."
She was sent for. And she came: a robe of flame-red about her, with a collar of red-gold around the neck of the maiden, with precious pearls and red gems upon it. Yellower was her hair than the flowers of the broom. Whiter was her flesh than the foam of the wave. Whiter her palms and fingers than the glistening catkins among the fine gravel of a welling spring. Neither the eye of a mewed hawk nor the eye of a thrice-mewed falcon was fairer than hers.326 Whiter than the breast of a swan were her breasts. Redder were her cheeks than the foxglove. Whoever would see her would love her completely. Four white trefoils would grow in her wake wherever she would go - and because of that she was called Olwen.327
She came into the house, and sat between Culhwch and the high-seat. And as soon as he saw her he recognised her.
Culhwch said to her "O maiden, [it is you] I have loved. Will you come with me then?"
"Lest you and I be charged with sin, I am not allowed [to do] any of that. A pledge my father asked of me was that I would not go with his council, since his lifetime will only endure until I go with a man.328 This is the advice I give to you, however, if you would take it. Come and ask my father for me: and however much he asks of you, promise to get it and you will get me; but if you argue about anything, you will not get me and you'd be lucky to escape with your life."329
"I will promise [to get] all of it, and I will get it."
She went off to her chamber. Meanwhile, they went up into the caer after her, killing [the] nine porters who were at the nine gates without a [single] man crying out, and nine mastifs without a [single] one squealing. And they walked up to the hall.
Spoke they "May you prosper,330 Ysbaddaden Bencawr, from God and from man."
"And you, what brings you here?"331
"We have come here to ask for Olwen, your daughter, to [give to] Culhwch son of Cilydd.
That was done.
"Come here tomorrow. I will give you some kind of answer."334
They got up, and Ysbaddaden Bencawr seized one of the three poisoned stone spears335 that were at his side and hurled it after them. Bedwyr caught it and hurled it back,336 and pierced Ysbaddaden Bencawr right through the middle of the knee-cap.337
Spoke he "Cursed savage son-in-law! It will be worse now when I make my way on upward slopes.338 Like the sting of a gadfly did the poisoned iron hurt me!339 Cursed be the smith who has made it and the anvil on which it was made, so painful it is!"
They slept that night at the house of Custennin. And the next day, with grandeur and smart combs set in [their] hair, they came to the hall.
They said "Ysbadadden Bencawr, give us your daughter in return for her dowry and her maiden fee, [which will be give] to you and her two kinswomen. And unless you give [her to us], you will get your death because of her."
"She has four great-grandmothers and four great grandfathers who are still alive - I will need to consult with them."
As they arose, he took [the] second stone spear which at his side and hurled it after them. Menw son of Teirgwaedd342 caught it and hurled it and pierced him through the middle of the chest,343 until it poked out of the small of his back.
"Cursed savage son-in-law! Like the bite of a big-headed leach did the hard iron hurt me! Cursed be the forge in which it was smelted! When I go up hill344 there will be a tightness in my chest, and stomach ache and frequent sickness."
They went off to get their food.
And on the third day they came to the court.
Spoke they "Ysbaddaden Bencawr, do not shoot at us any more. Do not seek345 harm and hurt and death upon yourself."
"[Where] are my servants?346 My eyelids have fallen over my eyeballs. Raise up the forks so I can get a look at what my son-in-law is made of!"
They got up, and as they got up he took the third poison stone spear and hurled it after them. And Culhwch caught it and threw it back as he had been wanting [to do], and it pierced straight through the eye-ball until it came out of the nape of the neck [on the other side].
"Cursed savage son-in-law! As long as I live now347 worse will be the sight of my eye. When I go into the wind it will water, I will get a headache348 and giddiness because of it every new moon. Cursed be the forge in which it was smelted! Like the bite of a mad dog it felt like to me, when I was pierced by that poisoned iron!"
They went to their food.
The next day that came to the court.
Spoke they "Do not shoot at us. Do not seek harm and hurt and martyrdom as what is to be upon you, and more than that if you wish. Give us your daughter."
"[Where] is the one who's being talked about, asking for my daughter?"
"I ask for her, Culhwch son of Cilydd."
"Come here where I can see you."
A chair was placed beneath him, face to face with him.
Ysbaddaden Bencawr said "Is is you who asks for my daughter?"
"I want a pledge from you, that you will do no worse than is right for me."
"You will get it."
"When I have got that which I name for you, you will get my daughter."
"Name that which you would name."
"I will name it. Do you see the great thicket over there?"
"I see it."
"I want it uprooted from the earth and burnt to the surface of the land so that its cinders and ashes might be manure, [then for it to be] tilled and sowed so that it is ripe by the first dewless morning, that it might be made into food and drink for the wedding guests of you and [my] daughter. And I want all of that done in one day."
"Easy it is for me to get that, although you reckon it might not be easy."349
"Easy it is for me to get that, although you reckon it might not be easy."
"Though you may get that, there is that which you will not get. Gofannon man Dôn352 to come to the head of the land and set the irons. He will not do the work willingly except for a rightful king, not can you force him."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] The two oxen of Gwlwlydd Winau,353 yoked together to till the rough land smooth over there. He will not give them willingly, nor can you force him."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that[...] I want Melyn Gwanhwyan and the Ych Brych354 both yoked together."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] The two oxen of the Bannog,355 one who is on the that side of the Bannog mountain, the other on this side, and their bringing together under a single yoke. Those are the ones, Nynniaw and Pebiaw,356 whom God turned into oxen for their sins."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] See that red tilled [patch] over there?"
"When I first met the mother of that maiden, nine hestors of flax seed were sown in it it. Neither black nor white has come out from it yet, and I still have that measure. I want to get [the flax] from the new land over there, so that it might be a veil to go around the head of my daughter on your wedding feast."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] Honey that will be nine times sweeter than the honey of the first swarm, without drones or bees, to make the braggart357 for the feast."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] The cup of Llwyr son Llwyrion,358 which has the best drink inside it, since there is no vessel in the world other than that which can hold359 [such] a strong drink. You will not get it from him willingly, nor can you force him."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] The hamper of Gwyddno Garanhir:360 the world could come around it, thrice-nine men at a time, whatever food each might want, according to his desire, he will find it in there. I want a tribute of food from that the night my daughter sleeps with you.361 He will not give it freely to anyone, nor can you force him."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] The horn of Gwlgawd Gododdin362 to pour out to us that night. He will not give it freely, nor can you force him."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] The harp of Teirtu to entertain me that night. Should anyone desire it, it will play by itself;363 when desired, it will become silent. He will not give it freely, nor can you force him."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] The Birds of Rhiannon:364 the ones which can wake the dead and put the living to sleep I want to entertain me that night."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] I will need to wash my hair and shave my beard. I want the tusk of Ysgithyrwyn Pen Baedd368 to shave with. I shall not be any the better for it unless he is alive it is pulled off his head."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] There is no-one in the world who can pull it off his head except Odgar son of Aedd, King of Ireland."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] I will not trust anyone to keep the tusk apart from Caw of Prydyn.369 Three score cantrefs of Prydyn are under him. He will not come freely from his kingdom, nor can you force him."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] I will need to soften370 my stubble before my shave. It will never soften unless you can get371 the blood of the Very Black Witch, daughter of the Very White Witch, from the Valley of Desolation in the Uplands of Hell."372
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] The blood will not be effective unless is it is put on373 hot. There is no vessel in the world that can keep the heat of the liquid inside it expect the bottles of Gwyddolwyn Gorr,374 which keep the heat of the liquid inside them, all the way from the East to the West.375 He will not give it freely, nor can you force him."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] Some will want milk; there is no way of getting milk to everybody without getting the bottles of Rhynnon Ryn Barfog.376 No liquid in them ever goes sour. He will not give it freely, nor can he be compelled."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] There is no comb and shears in the world with which my beard can be trimmed, because of its stiffness, except the comb and shears that are between the ears of Twrch Trwyth son of Tared Wledig.377
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] There is no leash in the world that can hold him, except the leash of Cors Cant Ewin."379
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] There is no collar in the world that can hold the leash apart from the collar of Canhastyr Canllaw."380
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] The chain of Cilydd Cahastyr to hold the collar and the leash."381
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] There is no hunter in the world who can handle that dog382 except Mabon son of Modron,383 who was taken from his mother when he was three nights old.384 No-one knows where he is, or what he is: whether he is alive or dead."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] Gwyn Myngddwn, horse of Gweddw - he is swift as a wave is he - for Mabon to ride385 to the hunting of Twrch Trwyth. He will not give it freely, et cetera."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] No-one can ever find Mabon, no-one will know where he is, until Eiddoel his kinsmen, the son of Aer, is found, since he will be be tireless in seeking him. He is his cousin."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...]. Garselyd Wyddel,386 chief huntsman of Ireland. Twrch Trwyth cannot ever be hunted without him."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] A leash [made] from the beard of Dillus Farchog,387 as there is not [anything] which can hold the two whelps other than this.388 And no-one can [get any] use from it unless he is alive when it is pulled from his beard, and it being plucked with wooden tweezers. No-one has come [away] with his life [after] doing that to him. It won't be of any use dead because it will become brittle."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] There is no hunter in the world who can hold these two whelps except Cynedyr Wyllt son of Hettwn Glafyriog.389 Nine times wilder is he than the wildest beast on the mountain. You will never get him, nor will you get my daughter."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] Twrch Trwyth will not be hunted until you get390 Gwyn son of Nudd,391 in whom God put the fury of the demons of Annwfn, lest the world be destroyed.392 He cannot be spared from that."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] There is no horse that would work for Gwyn in hunting Twrch Trwyth except The Black One, horse of Moro Oerfeddog."393
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] Until Gwilhenin king of France394 comes, Twrch Trwyth will never be hunted without him. It is unseemly for him to leave his kingdom, and he will never come here."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] Twrch Trwyth will never be hunted until you get Aned and Aethlem.396 As fast as gust of wind are they; never were they unleashed on an animal they did not kill."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] Arthur and his hunters to hunt Twrch Trwyth. He is a man of means and he will not come to you, and this is why: he is under my control."397
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] Twrch Trwyth will never be hunted until you get Bwlch and Cyfwlch and Syfwlch sons of Cilyd Cyfwlch, grandsons of Cleddyf Difwlch.398 Three gleaming glimmers were their three shields, three stabbing strikes their three spears, three keen carvers their three swords; Glas, Gleisig and Gleisiad their three hounds; Call, Cuall, Cafall their three horses; Hwyr Ddyddwg and Drwg Dddyddwg and Llwyr Ddyddwg their three wives; Och and Garym and Diasbad their three crones; Lluched and Neued and Eisiwed their three daughters; Drwg and Gwaeth and Gwaethaf their three maids. The three men will sound their horns, and the all the others will come to shriek, so that no-one would care if the sky should fall on the earth."
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Easy it is for me [...]"
"Though you may get that [...] Wakefulness you will get, without sleep at night, in seeking those; and you will not get [them] and you will not get my daughter."
"Horses I will get and horsemen. And my lord-kinsman Arthur will get all that for me. And I will get your daughter and you will lose your life."
"Go forth now. Neither the food nor the clothing of my daughter will be won by you. Seek those, and when they have been found, you will get my daughter."
They kept walking that day until evening. All of a sudden, a caer of mortared stone could be seen,401 the biggest of [all] the caers in the world. And lo! A dark man, bigger than three men of this world, they could be seen coming from the caer.
Spoke they "From where do you, man?"
"From the caer you can see over there."
"Who owns the caer?"
"Fools of men you are. There is no-one in the world who doesn't know who owns the caer. It belongs to Wrnach Gawr"
"What is the protocol for guests from afar arriving in this caer?"
"O chieftain, God protect you. No guest has ever came [away] from it with his life. No-one is allowed in there except those who bring their craft."
They made for the gate.
Spoke Gwrhyr Gwalstawd Ieithoedd "Is there a porter?"
"There is. And as for you, may your head not be your own that you ask."402
"Open the door!"
"I will not."
"Why will you not open it?"
"Knife has gone into food and drink into horn, and a throng in[to] the hall of Wrnach. Except for a craftsman who brings his craft, it will not be opened."
Spoke Cai "Gatekeeper, I have a craft."
"What craft do you have?"
"The best furbisher of swords in the world am I."
"I will go and tell that to Wrnach Gawr, and bring you an answer."
Wrnach Gawr said "Do you have news from the gate?"
"I have. There is a company outside the gate and they want to come in."
"Have you asked if they have a craft?"
"I have. And one of them said he can furbish swords."
"I have been needing that. For a while I have been looking for someone who could polish my sword, and I have not found [anyone]. Let that one inside, since he has a craft."
[Up] came the gate-keeper and opened the gate, and in came Cei, alone.403 He greeted Wrnach Gawr. A seat was placed beneath him.
Wrnach said "O man, is it true what is said about you, that you are able to furbish swords?"
"I can do it."
A sword was brought to him. Cai took a streak of whetstone from under his arm.
"Which would you prefer, white or dark bladed?"404
"Do it the way you would want it, if it were yours."405
He polished half of one side of its blade and he put it in his hand.
"Does that please you?"
"It would please me more than anything in my land if it could be like this all [over]. What a shame a man as good as you is without a companion!"
"Och, good man, I have a companion, though he would not be able to do this craft."
"Who is that?"
"Let the porter go outside, and I will tell [you] about his tokens. The head of a spear will come away from its shaft, which will draw blood from the wind and return again to its shaft."406
The gate was opened, and Bedwyr came inside.
Cai said "Skillful407 is Bedwyr, but he cannot do this craft."
And a great debate there was among the men outside. In came Cai and Bedwyr, and in came the young lad with them - the only son of Custennin the Shepherd. What he did, [along] with his companions who had stuck by him, was to go over the three baileys until they were inside the caer, as if it was nothing to them.408
Spoke his companions to the son of Custennnin "The best of men you are!"
From then on he was known as Gorau409 son of Custennin. They dispersed to their (allotted) lodgings so they might bring about the deaths of those who lodged there, without the knowledge of the giant. [Meanwhile], the trimming of the sword had been completed, and Cai put it into the hand of Wrnach Gawr, as though to [let him] look to see if the work pleased him.
The giant said "The work is good, I am pleased with it."
And he takes the scabbard, and the sword in the other hand. He stood over the giant,412 as if he was putting the sword in the scabbard. He thrust it into the head of the giant, and struck his head off him with a blow, laying waste to the caer and carrying off whatever jewels they desired. After a year from that day they came [*]the court of Arthur, and the sword of Wrnach Gawr with them. They told Arthur what had happened to them.
Arthur said "Which of those wonders is it best to seek next?"413
"It is best," said they "to seek Mabon son of Modron, and he will not be got until Eiddoel son of Aer, his kinsmen, is got first."
Gliui stood on the top of the caer, and he said: "Arthur, what claim do you have on me, that you will not leave me in this crag? I have nothing good in here, no pleasure, nor any wheat or oats, without you too seeking to do me harm!"
Arthur said "We have not come here to do you any harm, but only to seek the prisoner that you have."
"I will give the prisoner to you, though I had not been prepared to give him to anyone. Together with that you will get my strength and my support."
The men said to Arthur "Lord, come home. You cannot go with your host to seek things as petty as these."415
Arthur said "Gwrhyr Gwalstawd Ieithoed, it is right for you to go on this mission. You have all languages, and are conversant with some birds and animals. Eiddoel, it is right for you to go to seek him, he is your first cousin, together with my men, Cai and Bedwyr. I am hopeful that you will succeed in the mission on which you are about to go.416 Go for me on this mission."
They went on their way over to the Blackbird of Cilgwri.417
Gwyhyr asked her "By God, do you know anything about Mabon son of Modron, who was taken on the third night from between his mother and the wall?"
The Blackbird said "When I first came here there was a smith's anvil here, and I myself was a young bird. During that time, the only work done on it was with my beak every evening.418 Today, there is not as much as nut of it [left] which has not been worn away. God's vengeance upon me if I have heard anything about the man of whom you ask. However, whatever is right and proper to be done for Arthur's messengers, I will do it. A kind of beast there is which God formed before me. I will go there as a guide before you."
They came to the place where the Stag of Rhedynfre419 was.
"Stag of Rhedynfre, we have come to you here, Arthur's messengers, since we do not know [any] animal older than you. Tell us, do you know anything about Mabon son of Modron, who was taken on the third night from his mother?"
The Stag said "When I first came here, there was nothing but one tine on either side of my head, and there was nothing of this forest but one oak sapling, and that grew into a an oak of a hundred branches, and today there is nothing of it [left] but a red stump. From then until today, I have been here. I have heard nothing of the one of whom you ask. However, I myself will be your guide, since you are messengers of Arthur, to where there is an animal whom God formed before me."
"Owl of Cwm Colwyd, here are Arthur's messengers. Do you know anything about Mabon son of Modron who was taken on the third night from his mother?"
"If I knew it, I would tell it. When I came here first, the great valley you see before you was a wooded glen, a race of men came to it and it was destroyed, and there grew another wood in it. And this [here] is the third wood. And as for me, the roots of my wings are like stumps. From that day to this, I have heard nothing of the man of whom you ask. However, I will be a guide to Arthur's messengers, until you come to the place where there is the oldest animal in the world, he that has been around the most - the Eagle of Gwernabwy."422
Gwrhyr said "Eagle of Gwernabwy, we - messengers of Arthur - have come to you to ask if you know anything about Mabon son of Modron, who was taken on the third night from his mother?"
The Eagle said "I came here a long time past, and when I first came here I had a stone, and from its top I would peck the stars every evening. Now it is not a handbreadth in height. From that day to this, I have been here, and I have not heard anything of the man of whom you ask. But one time I was going [about] seeking my food, over at Llyn Lliw,423 and when I came there I struck my claws into a salmon, thinking he could be my food for a long time, but he pulled me into the depths, so that it was [only] with difficulty that I was able to escape from him. What I did, me and and my kindred, was launch an attack on him, seeking to destroy him. He, for his part, sent messengers to make peace with me, and he came to me himself, to have ten and forty tridents removed from his back. Unless he knows something of the one whom you seek, I know of no-one who might know. I, however, will be a guide to you, over to the place where he is."
They came to the place where he was.
The eagle said "Salmon of Llyn Lliw, I have come to you with Arthur's messengers to ask if you know anything about Mabon son of Modron, who was taken on the third night from his mother?"
"As much as I know I will tell. With every flood-tide I go up the river until I come to the bend in the wall of Caer Lloyw,424 and there I found as much grief as I have ever found [before]. And so that you believe it, one of you come here on my shoulders."
The ones who went on the shoulders of the salmon were Cai and Gwrhyr Gwalstawd Ieithoedd. And they went on until they came to other side of the wall from prison, where there was a weeping and wailing which they could hear from the other side of the wall from them.
Gwrhyr said "What man weeps from within this stone chamber?"
"Och, man - one who has cause to weep is the one who is in here. Mabon son of Modron it is imprisoned in here. And never has anyone been as imprisoned in an imprisonment as mournful as mine:425 neither the imprisonment of Llud Llaw Ereint, nor the imprisonment of Graid son of Eri."426
"Is there [any] hope for you to get your freedom through gold or silver or worldly possesions, or by force of arms?"427
"What is left of me to take,428 can [only] be got by force."
Returning from there, they came to where Arthur was. They said where Mabon son of Modron was in prison. Arthur summoned the warriors of this island and went over to Caer Loyw, where Mabon was in prison. Cai and Bedwyr went on the shoulders of the fish. While Arthur's warriors were attacking the caer, Cai broke through the wall and took the prisoner on his back, [and then went back to] fighting with the men as before. Arthur came home with the freed Mabon.
Arthur said "Which of the wonders [is it] best for us to look for next?"
"Does anyone know" said Arthur "whereabouts she is?"
"She is" said one "in Aber Dau Gleddyf."430
Arthur went over to the house of Tringad in Aber Cledyf, and asked him about it.
"Have you heard about her here? What form is she [in]?"
"In the form of a she-wolf," he replied "and she goes about with her two whelps. She [has] frequently killed my livestock, and she is [to be found] in a cave underneath Aber Cledyf."
What Arthur did was sail in Prydwen by sea to hunt the bitch, and the others [went] by land. And she and her two whelps were thus encircled. And their original form was restored by God for Arthur. [Then] Arthur's host dispersed, one by one and two by two.
And so it was that Gwythyr son of Greidol431 was going over a mountain one day [when] he heard grievous wailing and groaning, which was a dreadful noise to hear. He rushed forward towards it, unsheathing his sword as he came, and he struck an ant-hill down to the ground, and thus saved [the ants] from a fire.
They, in turn, said to him "Take the blessing of God and of ourselves with you, and that which no man could ever recover, we will recover for you." After that, they came with the hestors of flax in full measure which Ysbaddaden Bencawr had requested432 of Culhwch, with nothing missing apart from a single seed of flax, and a lame ant came with that before nightfall.
[Once] when Cai and Bedwyr were sitting on top of Pumlumon on Carn Gwylathyr,433 in the strongest wind in the world, they looked around them and could see a great smoke over to the south, far away from them [which was] not being blown at all by the wind.434
And then Cai said "By the hand of my friend, look over there at the warrior's fire."
They rushed over to the smoke, and moved towards that direction, watching from a distance and there, all of a sudden, was Dillus Farfog,435 roasting436 a wild boar. He, moreover, was the mightiest of those who had ever rejected Arthur.437
Bedwyr said "Do you know him?"
"I do," said Cai "that is Dillus Farchog. There is no leash in the world that can hold Drudwen the whelp of Graid son of Eri except a leash made from the beard of that man over there. And it will not be of any use either unless he is alive when it is pulled from his beard with wooden tweezers,438 since it will become brittle in death."
"What is our counsel regarding that?" said Bedwyr.
"Leave him," said Cai "to eat his fill of the meat, and after that he will fall asleep."
While he was doing this, they went about making wooden tweezers. When Cai knew for certain that he was asleep, he dug a pit under his feet, the biggest in the world, and struck him with an immense blow beyond all measure, and squeezed him into the pit until they had completely finished plucking out his beard with the wooden tweezers.439 And after that he was killed outright.
And from there they came, the two of them, over to Celli Wig in Cornwall, and the leash from Dillus Farfog with them, and Cai gave it into the hand of Arthur. And then Arthur sang this englyn:
A leash was cobbled together by Cai
From the beard of Dillus, the son of Efrei440
Had he been healthy, you would he would slay!441
And because of that Cai became angry, to the point where it was [only] with difficulty that the warriors of this island made peace between Cai and Arthur. And, thereafter, Cai would not concern himself with Arthur if he was in need: whether he suffered misfortune or had men killed.
And then Arthur said "Which of the wonders is it best to seek now?"
A little while before that, Creiddylad daughter of Llud Llaw Ereint442 had gone with Gwythyr son of Greidol,443 but before he had slept with her Gwyn son of Nudd444 had come and taken her by force. Gwythyr son of Greidol gathered a host and came to fight with Gwyn son of Nudd. And Gwyn prevailed and captured Graid son of Eri,445 Glinneu son of Taran446 and Gwrgwst Ledlwm447 and Dyfnarth his son.448 And he captured Pen son Nethog,449 and Nwython,450 and Cyledyr Wyllt451 his son. And he killed Nwython and took out his heart, and compelled Cyledyr to eat his father's heart, and because of that he went mad. Arthur heard about that, and came up to the North, and summoned452 Gwyn son of Nudd to him and set free the noblemen of his that were in his captivity, and made peace between Gwyn son of Nudd and Gwythyr son of Greidol. This was the peace that was made: leaving the maiden at her father's house untouched by either side, and [that] every May Day until the Day of Judgement from that day hense [there should be] a fight between Gwyn and Gwythyr. Whichever one of them was victorious453 on the Day of Judgement, let him take the maiden.
And after reconciling those noblemen thus, Arthur got Mwngddwn,454 the horse of Gwedu, and the leash of Cors Cant Ewin.
After that, Arthur went over to Brittany with Mabon son of Mellt455 and Gware Gwallt Euryn to seek the two dogs of Glythfyr Ledewig.456 After getting them, Arthur went over to the West of Ireland to look for Gwrgi Seferi457 and Odgar son of Aedd King of Ireland458 along with him. From there Arthur went to the North459 and caught Cyledyr Wyllt460 and went to seek Ysgithrwyn Pen Baedd.461 And Mabon son of Mellt went with the two dogs of Glythfyr Ledewig in his hand, and Drudwyn the whelp of Graid son of Eri. And Arthur himself went to the hunt with the dog Cafall462 in his hand. And Caw of Pryden463 mounted Lamrei, Arthur's mare, rushing forward at the sound of the barking. And there Caw of Pryden picked up a hatchet464 and came at the boar with fierce brilliance, and split his head in two halves. And Caw took the tusk. It was not the dogs which Ysbaddaden had named which killed the boar, but Cafall the dog of Arthur instead.
And after the killing of Ysgithrwyn Pen Baedd, Arthur came with his host over to Celli Wig in Cornwall. And from there he sent Menw son of Teirgwaedd to see if there were treasures between the ears of Twrch Trwyth, as it would have been so demeaning465 to go and get into a fight with him if he did not have the treasures. It was certain, though, that he was there: a third of Ireland had been destroyed by him. Menw went to seek them466 out. It was in Oerfel Ridge467 that he saw them in Ireland. And Menw transformed into the form of a bird, and landed over his lair, and tried to snatch on of the treasures from him. And he got nothing, however, apart from one of his bristles. This made him spring up468 in full fury, shaking himself so that some of his poison splashed onto469 him. From that Menw never fully recovered.
After that, Arthur sent a messenger to Odgar son of Aed king of Ireland to ask for the cauldron of Diwrnach Wyddel, his steward.470 He was asked by Odgar to give it.
Diwrnach said "God knows, [even] if he would prosper by seeing a single glimpse of it, he would not get that."
[So] the messenger came with a no from Ireland. Arthur set out with a light retinue and went in Prydwen his ship. They came to Ireland and made straight for the house of Diwrnach Wyddel. The retinue of Odgar saw took note of their strength.471 And after they had eaten and drunk their fill, Arthur asked for the cauldron. [Diwrnach] said that if he were to give it to anyone, he would have given it at the word of Odgar king of Ireland. After they were told no, Bedwyr got up and seized the cauldron, putting it on the back of Hygwydd, Arthur's servant (he was a half-brother on his mother's side to Cacamwri, Arthur's servant). It was his job to carry around Arthur's cauldron and light the fire beneath it.472 Caledfwlch was seized by Llenlleog Wyddel who swung it in a circle, killing Diwrnach Wyddel and his retinue entirely. The hosts of Ireland come and fight with them. And after all the hosts had fled, Arthur and his hosts went on board their ship right in front of them, and the cauldron full of the wealth of Ireland with them. And they land at the house of Llwydeu son of Cel Coed473 in Dyfed, and Mesur-Y-Pair is there.474
And then Arthur gathered all the armed men475 that there were in the three regions of Britain and its adjacent islands,476 and what there was in France and Brittany and Normany and the Summer Country,477 and what there was of prize dogs and famous horses. And he went with all those hosts over to Ireland, and there was great fear and trembling before him in Ireland. And after Arthur had landed in the country, the saints of Ireland came to him to ask his protection. And he gave them protection, and they gave him their blessings in return. The men of Ireland came over to Arthur and gave him food-tribute. [Then] Arthur came over to Oerfel Ridge in Ireland, to the place where Twrch Trwyth was, and his seven young pigs with him. Dogs were set loose on him from every side. That day until the evening the Irish fought with him, but still he laid waste to a fifth of Ireland.478 The next day the host of Arthur fought with him: they only got harm from him, and nothing good. On the third day Arthur himself fought with him for nine days and nine nights. He did not kill [any] of the pigs apart from one pigling. [Then] the men asked Arthur what was the origin of that swine.
He said "He was a king, and because of his sins God turned him into a swine."
Arthur sent Gwrhyr Gwalstawd Ieithoedd to parley479 with him. Gwrhyr went in the form of a bird, landing over the lair of him and his seven young pigs.
And Gwrhyr Gwalstawd Ieithoedd asked him "For the sake of the one who made you into this shape, if you can speak, I ask one of you to come to speak with Arthur."
Grugyn Gwrych Eraint480 - like wings of silver were all his bristles, the path he would follow through the wood and the meadow could be seen by the glitter of his bristles.
This was the answer which Grugyn gave: "By Him who made us in this shape, we will not do or say anything for Arthur. It was greivous enough what God has done to us, without you coming to fight with us."
"I tell you, Arthur [is only] fighting for the comb and the razor and the shears that are between the ears of the Twrch Trwyth."
Grugyn said "Until his life is taken, those treasures will not be taken. And tomorrow morning we will get up from here and go to Arthur's country, and we will make as much evil as we can there."
They set out on the sea towards Wales, and Arthur went with his hosts and his horses and his dogs in Prydwen, and caught a brief glimpse of them.481 Twrch Trwyth landed at Porth Clais in Dyfed.482 Arthur came over to Mynyw483 that night. The next day Arthur was told they had gone past, and he caught up with him killing the cattle of Cynwas Cwrfagyl,484 and after killing the people and animals that were in Dau Gleddyf485 before Arthur's arrival.486
When Arthur came, the Twrch Trwyth veered towards the Preseli Hills.487 Arthur came over there with the hosts of the world. Arthur sent his men to hunt: Eli and Trachmyr,488 and Drudwyn the whelp of Graid son of Eri in his own hand, with Gwarthegydd son of Caw489 [at] the other wing with the two dogs of Glythfyr Ledewig in his hand, and Bedwyr with Cafall in his hand. And the warriors ranged along both banks of the Nyfer.490 [Then] the three sons of Cledyf Difwlch arrived, men who had got great fame from killing Ysgithrwyn Pen Baedd. And then [the Twrch Trwyth] set out from Glyn Nyfer and came to Cwm Cerwyn, and there he stood at bay. And then he killed four of Arthur's warriors - Gwarthegydd son of Caw, Tarog Allt Clwyd,491 and Rheiddwn son of Eli Adfer and Isgofan Hael.492 And after killing those men he stood at bay before them, holding his ground,493 and he killed Gwydre son of Arthur494 and Garselyd Wyddel495 and Glew son of Ysgawd496 and Isgawyn son of Panon.497 And [the Twrch Twyth] himself was wounded there.
And the next day, as dawn was breaking,498 some of the men caught up with him. And then he killed Huandaw, Gogigwr and Penpingion, the three servants of Glewlwyd Gafaelfawr499 so that, God knows, there was not a servant in the world in his possession except Llaesgymyn himself,500 a man who was no use to anyone.501 And along with those he killed many of the men of the country and Gwylddyn Saer,502 Arthur's chief builder. And then Arthur caught up with him at Peuliniog,503 and then [the Twrch Trwyth] killed Madog son of Teithion,504 and Gwyn son of Tringad son of Neued, and Eiriawn Penlloran.505 And from there he went to Aber Tywi. And there he stood at bay before them, and then he killed Cynlas son of Cynan506 and Gwilhenin king of France. From there he went to Glyn Ystu[n],507 and then the men and dogs lost [track] of him.
Arthur summoned508 Gwyn son of Nudd to him, and asked him if he knew anything about Twrch Trwyth. He replied that he did not know [anything]. All the huntsmen went to hunt the pigs then, as far as Dyffryn Llychwr.509 And Grugyn Gwallt Eraint and Lwydog Gofyniad510 charged at them, and killed all the huntsmen so that not one of them escaped alive except one man. What Arthur did was come with his hosts over to where Grugyn and Llwydog were, and release all of the dogs that had been selected onto them. And because of the clamour and the barking that arose then, Twrch Trwyth came to defend them. From the time when they had come across the Irish Sea, he had not set eyes on them until now. He was set about by men and dogs, and he did his best to get away511 over to Mynydd Amanw,512 and then a pigling was killed from his pigs. And then it became a life-or-death struggle for him,513 and at that point514 Twrch Llawin515 died. And then another of his pigs was killed: Gwys516 was his name. From there he went to Dyffryn Amanw,517 and there Banw and Bennwic518 were killed. None of his pigs went from there with him alive except Grugyn Gwallt Eraint and Llwydog Gofynniad.
From that place they went over to Llwch Ewin,519 and Arthur caught up with him there. Then he stood at bay, and then he killed Echel Forddwyt Twll,520 and Arwyli Eil Gwyddog Gwyr,521 and many men and dogs besides. And they went from there to Llwch Tawy.522 Then Grugyn Gwrych Eraint separated from them and went from there to Din Tywi.523 And from there he went over to Ceredigion, along with Eli and Trachmyr and a multitude together with them. And he came to Garth Grugyn,524 and there Grugyn was killed in their midst, and he slew Rhuddfyw Rhys525 and many others along with him. And then Llwydog over to Ystrad Yw,526 and there the men of Llydaw527 met with him, and there he killed Hir Peissog,528 king of Llydaw, and Llygadrudd Emys and Gwrfoddw529 - uncles of Arthur, brothers of his mother. And there [Llywdog] himself was killed.
Then Twrch Trwyth went between the Tawy and Ewias.530 The men of Cornwall and Devon were summoned to meet Arthur at the mouth of the Severn.
Before the warriors of this island, Arthur said "Twrch Trwyth has killed many of my men. By the might of men, he will not go into Cornwall while I live. I will not chase any further, but rather meet him here for a fight to the death.531 You do what you will."
The decision of their council was to send out a band532 of horsemen, [the] dogs of the Island with them, over to Ewias. And coming back from there to the Severn, [Twrch Trwyth] was then waylaid by the veteran warriors of this island, and he was driven by sheer force533 into the Severn. And Mabon son of Modron went with him on Gwyn Myngddwn, Gweddw's horse, into the Severn, with Gorau son of Custennin and Menw son of Teirgwaed, between Llyn Lliwan and Aber Gwy.534 And Arthur closed in on him, along with the warriors of Britain. Osla Gyllellfawr approached, with Manawydan son of Llŷy and Cacamwri, Arthur's servant, and Gwyngelli, and closed in on him. And first they seized hold of him by his feet, and [then] duck him in the Severn, until it was washing over him. Mabon son of Modron spurred his steed from one side and got the razor from him; Cyledyr the Wild, on another steed, went for him from the other side of the Severn and took the shears from him. Before the comb could be taken from him,535 he got onto [dry] land with his feet,536 and as soon as he made landfall537 neither dog, nor man nor horse could keep up with him until he went into Cornwall. However much trouble had been got while trying to get those treasures, worse [still] was the trouble that was got trying to save two [of the] men from drowning. Cacamwri, as he was being pulled up, two millstones were pulling him [back] down into the depths. While Osla Gyllellfawr was running after the boar, his knife fell from its sheath and he lost it; and after that the sheath538 itself filled up with water. As he was being pulled up, it was pulling him [back] down into the depths.
Thereupon, Arthur went with his host until they caught up with him in Cornwall. The trouble that had been got before was child's play539 compared to the trouble that was got then while trying to get the comb. [But] from one trouble to another, the comb was [finally] got from him. And thereupon he was routed from Cornwall and driven right in to the sea. From then on, no-one ever knew where he went from there, along with Anet and Aethelm. And Arthur went thence to Celli Wig in Cornwall to bathe himself and cast off his weariness.
Arthur said "Are the any of the wonders that we still haven't got?"540
One of the men said "There is, the blood of the Very Black Witch, daughter of the Very White Witch, from the Valley of Desolation in the Uplands of Hell."
Arthur set out towards the North, and came to the place where the cave of the hag was. And the advice of Gwyn son of the Nud and Gwythyr son of Greiddol was to send Cacamwri and Hygwyd his brother to fight with hag. And as they came inside the cave, they were seized by the hag, and she laid hold of Hygwyd by the hair of his head and threw him to the floor. And [then] Cacamwri laid hold of her by the hair of her head, and threw her to the floor, and she turned back on Cacamwri and dressed them both down541 and disarmed them, and drove them out of the cave squealing and squalling. Arthur was angry to see his two servants at the point of death, and sought to seize the cave.
But then Gwyn and Gwythyr said to him "It is not right and proper542 for us to see you grappling with a hag. Send Hir Amren and Hir Eidol543 into the cave." And [in] they went. And whatever grievous trouble there had been for the two before, worse was the trouble for those two - so that God [himself] would not have known whether [any] one of those four would be able to get out of that place,544 except by putting all four of them on Llamrei, Arthur's mare.545 And then Arthur seized the entrance of the cave, and from that entrance lunged at hag with Carnwennan, his knife, and struck her across the middle until she became like two buckets. And Caw of Prydein took the blood of the witch and kept it with him.
And then Culhwch set out, along with Gorau son of Custennin and all of those who wished ill on Ysbaddaden Bencawr, over to the court with the wonders with them. And Caw son of Prydein came and shaved his beard, flesh and skin down to the bone, taking off his ears completely.
And Culhwch asked: "Have you had a shave, man?"
"[I have] been shaved," he replied.
"And is your daughter my own now?"
"[She is] yours," he replied "and you don't have to thank me for that, thank Arthur instead: the man who made it possible. If it had been up to me,546 you would never have her. And [as for] my life, it is high time to take it away."
And then Gorau son of Custennin laid hold of him by the hair of his head, and dragged him behind him to the mound and cut his head off and placed it on the stake of the rampart. And he overcame his caer and his territory.
And that night Culhwch slept with Olwen. And she was his only wife as long as he lived. And Arthur's hosts dispersed, each to his [own] country. And so it was that Culhwch got Olwen daughter of Ysbaddaden Bencawr.
1 Kilydd (lit. 'fellow, companion') is an uncommon personal name, but is attested as a patronymic at various points in the Gododdin (see CO p.43). It would have been better known through its prenominal designation "the other, another", in constructions such as nyt kynt un no'e gilyd "no-one is earlier than the other" (GMW p.96-97). (Our hero's patronymic might therefore serve to emphasise his 'everyman' quality, as suggested on p.### above.) Celiddon, of course, recalls Coed Celiddon, the vaguely-defined forested hinterlands of the far north to which Myrddin retreated in his madness. Wledig was a term meaning 'lord' or 'king' which seems to have been specifically associated with rulers in the sub-Roman period (e.g. Mascen, Emrys, Ceredic of Strathclyde and Cunedda).
2 Anblaud Regis Brittaniae is identified as the maternal grandfather of the hero-saint in Vita Illtudi (c.1140). The same text identifies Arthur as Illtud's cousin (VS p.197). Later genealogists identified Anlawd (sometimes Amlaud) as the father of Arthur's mother, Eigr or Igerne. Anblaud's precise regional affiliations are not defined here or anywhere else in the Welsh tradition, but the cult of Illtud was an essentially South Walian phenomenon, and it is reasonable to situate Anblaud and his daughters within this same general context.
3 Gwedy y west genti lit. 'After he stayed/feasted/slept with her'. See p.### below, where I have suggested this may indicate a situation of uxorilocal residence. As Bromwich and Evans have noted (CO p.45), the more usual periphrasis for the sexual act would have been kysgu gan 'slept with' so this usage may have been something of an archaism even for its contemporary audience. Gwest is associated with ideas of lodging and hospitality in the modern language, but its older sense is preserved in forms such as cywestach 'sexual intercourse; lover, wedded partner'. Like its Irish cognate feiss, the term gwest in this context emphasises the public/ritual aspect of the union.
4 Hen dygredu anhed lit. 'without visiting an abode'
5 Sef y dyuu myn lit. 'this was where she happened [to be], a place [where]...
6 A rac ouyn y moch enghi a oruc a urenhines lit. 'And before fear of the pigs paturation did the princess'. Again the language might be construed as archaic: enghi 'to give birth, paturate' is only found elsewhere in the Law tracts (CO p.xvii). For the use of [g]oruc as an auxillary verb, see GMW p.160.
7 It is not clear from this passage whether the swineherd fosters the child for the duration of his infancy or whether he is taken straight to the court. If the former, this could be seen as one of a number of pieces of evidence for a porcine royal myth similar to that relating to the kings of Cashel. See p.###-### for more on the prehistoric pig-cult and the traces of its structures in Culhwch ac Olwen.
8 Dy urth y gaffel yn retkyr hwch 'Because of his getting in a swine run'. This explanation of Culhwch's name seems to be based on the etymology cul 'a burrow' + hwch 'sow, swine'. However, this may not have been the actual origin of Culhwch's name which probably better interpreted as a parallel formation to the Irish Caelchéis (lit. 'slim swine'), who appears as one of a group of humanoid pigs to appear the Irish Dindsenchas (MD vol.3 pp.386-395, 404-407, 552; see also Ní Cathaín, 1979/80, p.202). Alternatively, the name may have derived from a gloss on the North European substrate form form *keulV- (c.f. Lithuanean kiaule 'pig' etc.), as suggested by E P Hamp ('Culhwch, the Swine' Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 41 (1986) pp. 257-258).
9 A common practice in the medieval Celtic world - see p.### above.
10 Amkawd 'said' is used frequenly throughout the W text of Culhwch ac Olwen, but is otherwise unattested in the Middle Welsh corpus (apart from one isolated usage in the Book of Taliesin). It may or may not have been commonplace in the everyday speech of the primary audience, but was clearly becoming less so from at least as early as the thirteenth century. I have rendered it with the syntactical archaism “spoke x…”
11 Drwc yw iti hagen llygyru dy uab lit. 'Evil is to you however injuring your boy'. The full semantic range of Drwc (1)'evil, bad' (2) 'disease, difficulty, suffering' is represented within Culhwch ac Olwen. It is therefore variously translated according to context as 'evil', 'trouble', 'grief' etc.
12 Athro lit. 'teacher, master, professor'. The sense here is probably of a 'guru' or personal spiritual advisor.
13 Y ryn emended to yr hyn 'that which'
14 Trw yt The first element appears to be a truncated variant of the preposition trwy 'through, by means of'. Yt is the preverbal affirmative particle often used to introduce subordinate clauses.
15 Doget Vrenhin Bromwich and Evans (CO p.49) note that this same name is added into the family tree of Cunedda and his sons by Thomas Wiliems of Trefriw, a sixteenth-century antiquarian from the Llanrwst area of Denbighshire. In the same area is the church of Llandoged, near to which is Ffynon Ddoged (Doged's Fountain). Little more is known about this figure, who appears to have been a local warlord who may also have been memorialised as a saint after his death.
16 A dywedy di imi y peth a ouynnaf it lit. 'Tell me the thing I ask you'.
17 A'm rydyallas yg gordwy The language here is legalistic, echoing some of the technical formulae found in the law codes (CO p.50)
18 The hag seems to contradict herself here, and it would be tempting to regard this as a textual corruption were it not the fact that the exchange is repeated - almost verbatim - in another medieval Welsh text, the Welsh adaptation of The Seven Sages of Rome found in the Red Book of Hergest and several other later manuscripts (###refs###). The words spoken by a different hag to a different queen, but the circumstances are otherwise identical. The apparent non-sequitur is, on one level, entirely characteristic of the 'dark' speech-patterns of the monstrous/pagan antagonists represented in this text (see p.###-### below). But beneath the appearance of muddle and contradiction is the hint of a strategy to marginalise the king's son to the point of eliding his existence altogether. This would have touched on a familiar set of social anxieties within the medieval court community, where the relative status of the various siblings and collaterals within the royal kindred was a critical factor in their life outcomes, and (not infrequently) their very survival (see p.### above).
19 Pwy ystyr yw gennyt ti kelu dy blant ragof it lit. "What is the meaning of you hiding your child from me?"
20 A minheu nys kelaf lit. 'I (for my part) am not hiding him'. The Red Book text adds wneithon 'now', i.e. 'any more'.
21This rite-of-passage was expressed in medieval Welsh with the term gwreicca 'to court, to seek a wife'
22 Tyghaf Tynget lit. 'I destine a destiny'. A similar formula occurs in the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi, when Aranrhod uses it to deprives her son, successively, of a name, weapons or the chance to marry (PKM p.###). See Parker (2005, p.##) for a discussion of this episode and its psychoanalytic significance. While these two instances suggest that the ty[n]get may have been thought of as a specifically feminine (or even maternal) form of magic, its cognate form in Ireland tongu, appears to have a more general usage, and occurs a proto-legalistic context for swearing oaths etc. See John Koch 'Further to Tongu Do Dia Toinges Mo Thuath, &c.' Études Celtique 29 (1992) pp. 249-261
23 Olwen lit. 'White Track'. For more on Olwen see p.### below.
24 Ysbaddaden lit. 'Hawthorn'. The significance of this name is not entirely clear, but the hawthorn has strong (and sometimes sinister) supernatural associations in the folklore of western British Isles (see p.###). Ysbaddaden is represented in Culhwch ac Olwen as the Pencawr 'Chief Giant' - the leading figure among the monstrous/pagan elements of the island of Britain. He is thus the structural opposite the Pen Teyrnedd Arthur, the leader a loose federation of the nominally human/Christian court communities. See p.### for a full discussion of the demographics and geopolitics of Ynys Prydein in this text.
25 Py drwc yssyd arnat ti lit. 'Why is there evil upon you?'
26 The cutting of hair seems to have been a social ritual in the early medieval Brythonic world, a rite de passage in which a younger kinsmen is formally accepted into the court community, under the patronage of a sponsor or adoptive father-figure who undertakes the hair-cutting. The same institution is recalled in HB 39, in the story involving Vortigern and Faustus, the offspring of his incestuous relationship with his daughter. As we will see (p.###) hair-cutting and grooming form an important thematic complex throughout Culhwch ac Olwen.
27 Yn y penn lit. 'in its head'.
28 Gleif Penntirec. The first element appears to derive from the Old French glaive, a halberd-like weapon similar to the Japanese naginata. As such it is a unique instance of a French loan-word in the otherwise entirely native lexicon of Culhwch ac Olwen. The second element, Penntirec, is unattested elsewhere, and has been explained by Thomas Jones as a corruption of a P - ennillec, where P was a sign in the manuscript denoting a scribal gloss, and ennillec a native word meaning a hatchet or a battle-axe.
29 Yr hwn a vei o'r parth asseu a uydei o'r parth deheu, a'r hwnn a vei o'r parth deheu a uydei o'r parth asseu lit. 'The one that was on the right hand side would be on the left hand side, and the one that was on the left hand side would be on the right'
30 As in many pastoral societies, cattle were the standard unit of wealth in early medieval Wales.
31 This is one of a number of passages in Culhwch ac Olwen which resemble the 'runs' of traditional Irish storytelling or, no less, of the rhetorical flourishes in formal Welsh speaking that are known as areithiau. This particular sequence is closely paralleled by the description of the heroine Olwen (see text here). For more on the literary artistry of the text, see p.### above.
32 Pyr y kyfverehy lit. 'that you are able to ask.'
33 Huandaw < hy (affirmative particle, conveying aptness or capability) + andaw 'hearing', i.e. 'Sharp-Ears' Bromwich and Evans (CO, p.55) have suggested 'Good Hearer'. This is the first in a number of these substantive 'generic' names, signalling the entry into the cartoonish world of Arthur's court. See p.### above for the function and significance of these prodigies and grotesques.
34 Gogigwr < go (particle, carrying the meaning 'sub-' or 'under') + cigwr 'butcher, executioner, meat-eater'. It might be translated idiomatically as 'Butcher Boy'. There may have also been a phono-semantic echo of the form cogigwr 'cogger, card-sharp, cheat'.
35 Llaeskemyn < llaes 'loose, trailing, long' + cemyn, possibly a diminutive of cam 'step', i.e. 'Lolloper'. Later on, after the other three assistant porters have been killed during the hunting of the Twrch Trwyth, it is noted that Glewlwydd Gafaelfawr is left with Llaeskemyn alone, 'who was no use to anyone' (see text here).
36 Penpingon < pen 'head' + pignon. The semantic content of this last element is uncertain, but the term pincio, recorded in the dialect of the Arfon area, refers to a collision of balls in a game of marbles (GPC p.2807). Given the description that follows, 'Marblehead' might be an appropriate rendition.
37 Pwy ystyr nas agory ti lit. 'What is meaning of you not opening it?'
38 Rac dy deulin lit. 'between your two knees'
39 A dothyw hediw yma lit. 'he who has come today'
40 Anghleuach lit. 'unhearable'
41 Pengwaedd...Dinsol...Oeruel This seems to be a formula for expressing the furthest extremes of the Insular World, a formulaic geographical sense of the parameters of the British island as a whole that we can see emerging in the other Welsh sources from this period, most obviously the Triads (e.g. p.### above). Pengwaedd corresponds to Penwith Head, i.e. Landsend in the far west of Cornwall. The author seems to have thought Dinsol was located in the far North, even though name most likely also derives from a Cornish location (either the parish of Denzell near Padstow or St Michael's mount - CO p.57). Its occurrence in this position may have been the result of the corruption of two different geographical triads of this kind (the more usual Welsh definition for the northernmost extremity of the island is Penryn Blaethon or Pentir Gafran, the latter corresponding to the Mull of Kintyre). The Eskeir Oervel 'The Ridge of the Cold Mouth' has been identified with a variety of distinctive features on the mountainous horizon of the east coast of Ireland, including Sescenn Uairbeoil in Leinster (CO p. 57). It will be noted that none of these, apart from Pengwaedd, represent obvious extremities of either Britain or Ireland. The geographic sense of Culhwch ac Olwen, as with many medieval texts, remained distinctly vague beyond the horizon of the local.
42 Yssyd o wreic ueichawc yn y llys hon lit. 'whatever there is of pregnant woman in this court'
43 As Patrick Ford (1975, p.147) and others have pointed out, what Culhwch appears to be invoking here is a magico-legal threat known in medieval Wales as the Diaspad uwch Annwfn 'the scream over Annwfn': a particular type of ritual utterance characteristically issued by a dispossessed member of the kindred or cenedl. The implication seems to be that the powers of underworld (Annwfn) are responsive to a person in this liminal position, and that various forms of misfortune will be incurred if appropriate recompense to the individual is not forthcoming. The coercive psycho-social power of this ritualised outburst was taken sufficiently seriously to be subject to some specific legal controls in the medieval law codes: see The Law of Hywel Dda (ed. and trans. Dafydd Jenkins, Llandysul : Gomer Press, 1990) p.104 and Parker (2005) p.153-154
44 Glewlwyt Gafaeluawr lit. 'Bold Grey Mighty-Grasp'. Glewlwyt Mighty-Grasp appears as the truculent doorman in the opening lines Pa Gur (see p.### above), as well as in the the rhamantau of Geraint and Owain (discussed in Volume II) and in the late medieval triadic court list Pedwar Marchog ar Hugain Llys Arthur ('Twenty Four Knights of Arthur's Court') found in MS Peniarth 127 (TYP p.252-253), where Glewlwyd is listed as one of the Three Offensive Knights of Arthur's court. By the later period, then, Glewlwyd had become an established part of the traditional Arthurian retinue, though whether this was always his role has been questioned by Bromwich (TYP p.362) who, pointing out his apparently adversarial role in Pa Gur, suggested that he might have originally been the porter at the court of the giant Wrnach Gawr.
45 Mi a wum gynt lit. "I have been [formerly]". The repeated use of this formula is paralleled elsewhere (see note 50 below)
46 Llychlyn, probably a borrowing from the Irish Lochlann, which is used to designate the Scandinavian homeland of the Norse, but sometimes also associated with supernatural races such as the Fomoiri. The location would have almost certainly been vague and mysterious to medieval Welsh audiences, and is probably better left untranslated.
47 Mil Du lit. "Black Animal". Bromwich and Evans note that in the early life of St Malo, a giant named Mil Du is resuscitated by the saint from his burial in a cairn (CO p.61).
48 Caer Oeth ac Caer Anoeth are referenced in poems of the legendry Taliesin and triads, as we have seen (p.###)
49 Nefenhir (without the epithet) occurs in the poem Cad Godeu. His caer or fortress may have been an established place of otherworld adventure.
50 This rhetorical sequence has close parallels both with the englyn series beginning Mi a wm (found in the Black Book of Carmarthen p. 34 ln.43-63) and a number of the Taliesinic sequences discussed above (e.g. p.###). Bromwich and Evans (CO p.59) have suggested that some of these topographic and legendary references seem to be traditional (e.g. Caer Oeth and Anoeth), others may have been indirect recollections from learned manuals such as Isidore's Imago Mundi, others still (e.g. Caer Se ac Asse) may have been pure invention, included for effect.
51 Or bu ar dy gam dyuuost y mwyn, dos ar dy redec allan lit. 'If it was on your step that you came inside, go on your run outside'
52 Hyt pan uo gorhanned bwyt a llyn idaw lit. 'Until there might be ample supply of food and drink to him'
53 Sioned Davies (MAB-D p.261) notes that this particular oath is unique to Cai, and suggests it may refer to the hand lost by his companion Bedwyr. Cai is a consistently fractious presence in the Romances, and this may represent an early example of this characterisation.
54 Hyt tra yn dygycher lit. 'As long as our seeking out.'
55 Yd ytvo mwyhaf y kyvarws a rothom, mwyuwy uyd yn gwrdaaeth ninheu lit. 'If it might be greatest the gift which we give, the greater will be our nobility'
56 ar y gorwyd y doeth y mywn lit. 'on the steed he came inside'. This horse-borne entry into Arthur's court - described by Bromwich and Evans as 'audacious and disrespectful' is echoed (or perhaps parodied) in Chrétien's Parcival and its derivatives (including the Welsh Peredur). However, as has been noted elsewhere, there are more general parallels elsewhere in the Celtic tradition, including the aggressive 'door-stepping' by Lugh in the Middle Irish tale Cath Maige Tuired and the entrance of Cú Chulainn into the court of Conchubur (###refs####). Therefore, this kind of forced entry into the court community might be regarded as a set-piece in the heroic biography of the Insular Celtic world.
57 Henpych gwell lit. 'may you become better'
58 Penn Teyrned lit. 'Chief of Lords'. Tëyrn (< Clt. Tigernos) was a non-derogatory term meaning 'prince' or warlord' closely related to the Latin tyrannus 'tyrant, usurper'. Arthur's title, which also occurs in the early Triadic series, implies an island-wide overlordship, probably of a similarly loosely-defined character as the pan-Brythonic kingship of figures such as Cadwallon or Gryffydd ap Llywelyn. See p.### below.
59 Ethling gwrthychyad teyrnas. Ethling was a term borrowed from Anglo-Saxon court terminology, indicating the designated heir of a living king. It was a relatively recent introduction into the Welsh system of royal inheritance, and one which the legal theoreticians of the Central Middle Ages were still in the process of clarifying (LHD p.6-7, see also Parker (2005) p.##). The second part of this forumulation: gwrthychad teyrnas '[one] who looks forward to the kingdom' may have been a gloss, perhaps reflecting the older (native) nomenclature (c.f. Ir. tánaise ríg). The privileges of the Ethling are defined in the law tracts as including unstinting food and drink for himself and his animals, direct access to the king's coffers, a fueller to stoke his fire and open doors before him.
60Y dalu a'e voli wnaf lit. 'Its repaying and praising I will do'
61 Dy wyned lit. 'your face'. Face was a synonym of personal reputation and dignity in medieval Celtic cultures. A similar idiom is to be found in the modern English "losing face".
62 Caleduwlch < caled (adj.) 'hard' or (n.) 'battle' + bwlch 'breach,gap, notch', i.e. 'Battle Breach(er)', or 'Hard Notch.' Comparisons have been drawn with the Irish form Caladbolg, which occurs in the Book of Leinster recension of the Tain Bó Cualigne as the name of the sword inherited by Fergus mac Róig. Despite recent objections (discussed on CO pp.64-65), it is difficult not to see a relationship between these two sword names. Caledfwlch, of course, was the ultimate source of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Caliburnus, which became Escalibor in Old French sources which was borrowed back into Middle English as the familiar Excalibur.
63 Rongomynyat < rhōn, rhawn 'spear' + gomyniad 'sinker, slayer'
64 Wyned Gwrchucher < wyneb 'face' + gwrthucher 'evening'. Was this a garbled recollection of the original traditio of a shield bearing the face the Virgin Mary?
65 Carnwenhan < carn 'haft, handle' + (g)wen 'white, pale' + -an (diminuative suffix), i.e. 'Little White Haft'.
66 See p.### n.### above for more on the origins of this name, and its relationship with the Irish Findabair.
67 Gwir Dyw ar hynny I have followed Bromwich and Evans (C0 p.6) and Sionedd Davies (Mab. p.183) in treating this as an interrogative, i.e. "Do you swear on that?"
68 Not a nottych 'name what you would name'. From the verb nodi 'name, note', which is often used in legal formulations such as oaths and promises. The secondary meaning 'stipulate, demand' would be equally applicable here.
69 A'e hasswynaw lit. 'And its invoking'. The verbal noun is the aspirated form of asswynaw, borrowing from the late Latin assegno (assigno) 'assign, notarise, allocate', with its meaning apparently influenced by the native swyn 'charm, spell'. GPC (p.223) lists its two meanings as 'entreat, beseech, implore' and 'charm, conjure, produce by magic.' The particular magico-legal force being brought to bear here, as suggested by Bromwich and Evans (CO p.67) is the nomination of Arthur's warriors as witnesses or sureties, to bind the king to his word and to ensure the fulfilment of his promise.
70 Asswynaw y gyuarws ohonaw ar... lit. 'The invoking of his boon from him upon...'
71 The inseparable companions of Arthur, apparently from a relatively early stage in the tradition (see p.###). They are to be found alongside Arthur in Pa Gur (LDC pp.66-68), the Vita Cadoci (VS pp.24-141) and the early Triadic series (TYP pp.1-121).
72 Greidawl 'Passionate, Hot-blooded' (< greid 'battle, passion' + -awl, an adjectival suffix). Gall[d]ofydd < gall 'enemy' + [g]ofyd 'subduer' or d[d]ofyd 'Lord' i.e. 'Enemy Lord, Enemy Subduer'. Greidawl is also mentioned in Triad 19, as one of the Three Enemy Subduers (galouyd). Little else is known about him. Like his fellow galovyd Drystan, he may have been a former enemy of the Arthurian court enfranchised into its service following his defeat or redemption by Arthur. He was the father of Gwythyr (see below), a rather more significant figure in Culhwch ac Olwen.
73 Gwythyr (> Lat. Victor). This individual occurs significantly in the episode featuring an annual dual with Gwyn ap Nudd for the hand of Creiddylad daughter of Llud Llaw Ereint (see text here). As we will discuss on p.### below, this episode has the characteristics of a seasonal myth, which has perhaps been adopted into the medieval vernacular narrative culture, perhaps via an early hagiographical tradition. Gwythyr's appearance in the Beddau stanzas and elsewhere in the Medieval Welsh tradition (e.g. Triad 56) add some weight to the suggestion that he was an established character in his own right, rather than merely being a late addition to the parade of Arthurian grotesques, like many of the figures later on in this court list. Gwythyr also plays a central role in the Rescuing of the Ants episode (see text here).
74 Greit map Eri. Another figure who may have had an independent existence in the narrative tradition before his inclusion in this court list. His dog is later required for the hunting of the Twrch Trwyth within the anoethau stipulated by Ysbaddaden, and also plays a role in the hunting of the first boar, Ysgithrwyn Penn Baedd. He is also listed as one of the three famous prisoners in the triad cited by the imprisoned Mabon, which may be an allusion to his captivity by Gwyn ap Nudd in the episode involving the love-triangle with Creidyladd and Gwythyr.
75 C[h]yndelic Kyuarwyd. The second element cyfarwydd, means 'guide' or 'expert' in the most basic sense, and is often used to describe local historians, story-tellers and other custodians of the oral tradition in medieval Wales (see p.### above). He is one of the six companions, or helpers, chosen to accompany Culhwch on his quest (see p.### below).
76 Tathal Twyll Goleu The otherwise unknown form Tathal has been compared with the Irish Tuathal (Foster 'Irish Influence' p.34), as well as Tathyl/Dathyl in the Fourth Branch (Caer Dathyl). The significance of the epithet Twyll 'deceit' + Goleu 'light, clarity' is also unknown.
77 Maelwys mab Baedan The suggestion that this name may be derived from the name of the warlord of the Northern Uí Neill Máelumai mac Baitán (CO p.69) is particularly interesting given the proposed 'North Channel' background of the earliest stratum of Arthurian legend. Máelumai is described as a rígfennid in the Annals of Tigernach, where he is named as the individual responsible for the killing of the brother of the Northumbrian king Aethelfrith. It would appear that there was a saga tradition surrounding him, the now-lost Echtrai Maeluma maic Baitáin which is mentioned in the tenth-century Tale Lists, alongside the echtrai of Aedán mac Fiachnae and Mongain mac Febail (both also lost). Thus it is not unlikely that Máelumai a 'Fínn-type hero' like Mongain and indeed Arthur himself, whose legends were all formed in the same seventh/eighth-century North Channel milieu. His inclusion here, along with a number of other similar figures from this general background, reinforces the notion of a North Channel background, mediated into Wales via the Irish Sea connections of Gwynedd and Dyfed.
78 A Chnychwr mab Nes a Chubert m. Daere a Fercos m. Poch a Lluber Beutach a Chonul Bernach This string of names are all clearly derived from the Irish tradition, probably through a mixture of oral and manuscript transmission. Cnychwr mab Nes is clearly identical with the Irish Conchobur, the Ulster king in the Táin Bó Cúaligne and its surrounding narrative complex. Fercos m. Poch, C[h]oruil Beruach and Lluber Beutach would seem to equate to Fergus mac Róich, Conal Cernach and Laegaire Buadach from this Ulster cycle. Sims-Williams ('The Significance of the Irish Personal Names in Culhwch and Olwen' Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies (1982) p.607-610) has argued that the corruptions in these names all suggest a copying from manuscript sources by a scribe unfamiliar with the source traditions. Cubert mac Daere seems to relate to Curoi mac Daire, whose legend was evidently known in some Welsh circles, judging from the poem in the BT 66-67, apparently written in response to something like the Irish tale of Aided Conroi mac Daire. None of these figures are mentioned again in the tale.
79 Gwyn m. Esni, Gvynn m. Nwywre, a Gwynn m. Nud. Triplication of this kind was a feature of the Celtic pre-Christian imagination, as noted by Bromwich and Evans (p.xxxviii) and others, who regard all of these three as 'emanations of the legendry Gwyn ap Nudd'. We might also note the Gwyn Goddyffrion who occurs later on in the list, as well as in line 16 of Pa Gur. Gwyn ap Nudd's appearance later on the in the text strongly hints at an archaic, pre-Christian background for this figure, who also appears in more recent folkloric records as a kind of wild-huntsman figure. Gwyn map Nwyfre 'G son of Sky' is comparable to Mabon mab Mellt ('M. son of Lightning') who appears later on in Culhwch ac Olwen (see n.### below) and on line 15 of Pa Gur. Gwyn son of Nwyfre is otherwise unknown, but a certain Lliaws uab Nwyfre ('Multitude son of Sky') is mentioned in Triad 35, as the father of Gwenwynwyn and Gwanar who are said to accompanied Casswallon son of Beli on his Continental invasion (see TYP p.76, 423). Gwyn son of Esni is otherwise unknown.
80 Edern mab Nud < Aeternus son of Nodens. On Nodens, a Romano-British diety (also the father of Gwyn) see p.### below. Edern occurs in Continental Romance as Yder fils Nut, notably as the sinister armour-plated knight encountered by Erec in the Forest of Dean at the beginning of Erec et Enid. He also features as the main protagonist in the 13th century Romance bearing his name. He was known to Geoffrey, and appears in HRB as Hiderus filius Nut. His role in Erec (and its Welsh version Geraint) is strongly suggestive of an original role as a pagan adversary integrated into the Arthurian community following his defeat/redemption, a pattern which may also explain the presence of figures such as Mabon and Manawyt in the Arthurian retinue from a relatively early stage. See p.### below for more on this dynamic.
81 Adwy m. Geraint This is usually emended to Cadwy (the C having attached itself to the preceding ac 'and'). Cadwy/Cado mab Geraint is a fairly well-established figure in the genealogy and hagiography of the South West, generally located in the Somerset area around the time of Arthur. He appears in the Lives of St Carantog and the Breton Winwaloeus, Latinisd as Cato or Catovius. His father Geraint also had an important position in the Welsh tradition, replacing (or being replaced by) Erec in Chrétien's Romance of that name, and appearing as a protagonist in the englyn poem Geraint ap Erbin (see p.### above and p.### n.### below).
82 Fflewdwr Flam Wledig The same individual is mentioned in Triad 9, as one of the Three Chieftains (unben) of the Court of Arthur. He is otherwise unknown. The name is reminiscent of the form Flamdwyn 'Flame Bearer' which occurs in the poems of the historical Taliesin, apparently denoting Aethelfrith or one of the other Iding warlords of late sixth-century Bernicia (see pp.### above). Bromwich and Evans have suggested that the wledig that has attached itself to Flewdwr Flam here more properly belongs with Dewrarth/Dorath, the patronymic of Ruawn Pebyr whose name is next in the list.
83 Ruawn Pebyr m. Dorath. Rhuawn (< Lat. Romanus OW Rumaun) is the name of one of Cunedda's sons, after whom the sub-kingdom (later cantref) of Rhufoniog was named. Rhuawn Pebyr (apparently a different individual) is named as one of the Three Fair Lords (Gwyndeyrn) of the Island of Britain in Triad 3. The patronymic in the Triad text is given as Dewrarth Wledig (< dewr- 'hard' + arth 'bear'). The epithet Pebyr ('shining, bright') was also born by Gronw Bebyr, Blodeuwedd's seducer in the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi.
84 Bratwen m Moren Mynawc a Moren Mynawc e hun. Bradwen 'Cunning, Wily' and Mor(y)en 'Sea Born' are both found in the Gododdin and the Graves Stanzas. Moren's epithet Mynog ('noble, courteous') is also prominent in the Gododdin (####).
85 Dalldaf eil Kimin Cof. Dalldaf (< dall 'blind'). The form eil (
86 Mab Alun Dyfed The name of this son of Alun Dyfed, like the names of the next two figures that follow, is not given. Later on the in the text this unnamed son of Alun Dyfed is referenced again, as one of the 'unleashers' required to hunt the Twrch Trwyth. A certain Dyuyr mab Alun Dyfed is known from later (and derivative) court lists in Breudwydd Ronabwy and Geraint ac Enid and a certain Run map Alun Dyfed is referenced in the Black Book Graves Stanzas (LLDC 18.24). We do not which, if either, of these sons was being referred to here. Of Alun Dyfed himself, nothing is known. He may have been a local folk hero or blason populaire for certain populations within the Dyfed region. Like Arthur himself, he is noticeably absent from any of the court genealogies.
87 Mab Saidi. The name of this individual seems to have been omitted from the exemplar of R and W. The same patronymic appears later on in this list, and in the White Book version of Triad 9, ap Seidi is given as the patronymic of Kadyrieith ('Fine Speech') as one of the Three Chieftains of the Court of Arthur.
88 Mab Gwyryon. Otherwise unknown. A certain Hu[n]abwy mab Gwryon appears later on in the list.
89 Uchdryt Ardwyat Kat. Uchdryd was a fairly common personal name in medieval Wales which occurs several times throughout the Court List. This particular Uchdryd, with the epithet Ardwyat Kat ('Battle Protector' or 'Host Sustainer') is otherwise unknown. This begins a series of names without patronymics, before the chthonic sons of Gwawrdur are invoked.
90 Cynwas Curuagyl The epithet is composed of the elements cwr 'corner, edge, point' + bagl 'staff'. This character's pastoral associations are emphasised when he reappears during the hunting of Twrch Trwyth. The fact that his cattle are killed by the Twrch in the Daugledyf in what is now the uplands South Pembrokeshire suggests he may have originally been associated with this area.
91 Gwarthecuras < gwartheg 'cattle' + bras 'stout, strong, fat'
92 Ewingath ='Cat Claw'
93 Gallcoit Gouynynat The first name is not a recognised Welsh personal name, and seems to be formed of the elements Gall- 'enemy' and coit 'wood'. The epithet gouynynat looks like a scribal error for gouynnyat i.e. gofyniad 'suitor, suppliant'. Jones and Jones interpreted it as gomyniad 'hewer' (MAB-J p.100).
94 Sims-Williams (1982) has suggested that the suffix -ach might be regarded as a 'phonoaestheme' suggestive of various shades of uncouthness, brute vigour and primitive heroism'. The names listed here seem to be formations based on the addition of this expressive suffix to the words for 'black' (Duach), 'stab' (Brathach) and 'strength' (Nerthach). This seems a fitting way of evoking these alien figures who had 'sprung from the Uplands of Hell' [o uwch Uffern]. This latter formulation occurs at various points throughout Culhwch ac Olwen and, we have suggested on p.###, looks like a Christianisation of the native insular concept of the Indigenous Underworld. c.f. Diabal Arda, the home of Senoll Uathach the Hideous in the Ulidian Court List in TBC XII p.220 (discussed on p. ### above).
95 Cilyd Cannhastyr. For the personal name Cilydd, see note 1 above The epithet cannhastyr seems to imply that its bearer is a thief or at least a distributer of stolen goods, as Bromwich and Evans have noted (CO p.73).
96 Cannhastyr Canllaw So literally 'Hundred Holds Hundred Hands'. Legal terminology is once again being invoked here. The Laws of Hywel Dda (LHD p.160) refer to 'the hundredth hand' as the extent to which liability for possession of stolen goods applies.
97 Cwrs Cant Ewin. Cwrs "Bog, Swamp, Marsh", thus "Swamp Hundred Claws." The overall impression created by these last three names is of outlawry, lycanthropy, wilderness, theft and complicity: an interesting reminder of the less 'respectable' aspect of the Arthurian complex, with its roots in North British Fenian legend. They appear later on, when various items of equipment belonging to them are required for leashing of the hounds used to hunt the Twrch Trwyth.
98 Eskeir Gulhwch Gonyn Cawn. As Bromwich and Evans note (CO p.74) this name 'defies interpretation'. Eskeir (Mod W. Esgair) can mean either a leg or a ridge, while Conyn Cawn may simply mean 'Reed-Stalk', but possibly echoes the Dyfed idiom Conyn 'grumbler'. So literally 'Ridge/Leg of Culhwch Reed-Stalk/Grumbler'. The possible significance of the name of the hero in this formulation, and that of his father in the name of Cilydd Cannhastyr, has been considered on pp.### below.
99 Drustwrn Hayarn possibly should be emended to Drust Twrn Hayarn lit. 'Drust Iron Fist'. Drust and its diminutive Drosten appear in the Pictish king lists (see p.### above), and the latter is cognate with the Welsh Drystan. As Bromwich and Evans note (CO p.74) the more famous Drystan son of Tallwch (the Welsh prototype of the Romance hero Trystan, see p.### above), was included in two of the three later Court Lists, and it may be under the influence of this form that the name and epithet Drwst Twrnhayarn may have been miscompiled as Drustwrn Hayarn.
100 See n.44 above.
101 Lloch Llawwynnyawc lit. 'Lloch of the Striking Hand'. Probably a long-standing member of the Arthurian retinue, this figure appears as Lluch Llauynnauc in l.14 of Pa Gur, whose may have been an avatar of the pre-Christian divinity Lugh/Lleu, as suggested by Idris Foster (ALMA p.34). His name appears again as a patronymic later on in the court list, where (by implication) he is represented as Arthur's 'step grandfather' on his mother's side (see n.### p.### below)
102 Anwas Edeinawc lit. 'Anwas the Winged One'. An older version of this name Anguas Edeinawc appears on line 14 of Pa Gur, alongside Llwch Llaunnyauc, suggesting that as with the latter, Anwas may have formed part of Arthur's retinue from its earliest North British conception. The name Anwas itself literally means 'restless, turbulant' from an earlier meaning 'itinerant' (< an 'not/without' + gwas 'dwelling, home'; but a connection of the Gaelic Oengus/Aoingus might also be suspected, see p.### above (Aongus Og appears regularly in Fenian legend as one of Fínn's divine helpers) . Edeiniawc is more usually spelt adeniog or adeiniog (< adain, aden 'winged' + [i]og), and the possibility that it is a corruption of a misunderstood form Eidiniog, e.g. an inhabitant of Edinburgh, should not be ruled out.
103 Of the five sons of Seithfed (lit. 'seventh') listed here, nothing more is known. However, the grandson Gwenwyn mab Naw mab Seithued may have been a more substantial figure in his own right. Triad 14 lists him as one of the Tri Llyghessawc 'Three Seafarers' of the Island of Britain. He is probably a duplicate of the Gwenwynwyn mab Naf who appears elsewhere in the Court List. See also n. 79 above.
104 Gobrwy mab Echel Uordvyt Twll a Echel Uordvyt Twll e hun. A son of Echel Morddwyd Twll (variously named as Govrowy, Goronwy, Gobrvy, Goronw or Gronw in different manuscript traditions) is listed as one of the Three Chieftains of Arthur's Court (alongside Cadrieith son of Porthawr Gadw and Fleudur Fflam - both of whom also appear in the Culhwch ac Olwen Court List and the list of counsellors at the end of Breuddwyd Ronabwy). Echel Morddwyd Twll himself may also have had an independent existence - Echel is occasionally invoked as a point of comparison in the heroic allusions of the Gogynfeirdd poets, although it is not certain that it is Echel Morddwyd Twll as opposed to the Greek Hercules, the Welsh version of whose name was Echel. The significance of his epithet, Morddwyd Twll 'Broken Thigh', but it might be compared with the equally mysterious Morddwyd Tyllion that occurs in the Second Branch. Echel Morddwyd Twll is named as one of a number of casualties that occurred during the rampaging of Twrch Trwyth.
105 Mael mab Roycol a Datweir Dallpenn. Mael son of Roycol is merely a name in this list: he is not mentioned again either in this text nor anywhere else in the Welsh tradition. Datweir Dallpenn may well be identical with the Dallwyr Dallpen who is described as the owner of the mythical sow Henwen in Triad 26, whose significance we have already touched upon on p.### above. The significance of his epithet (dall + pen = 'blindhead') is uncertain, but may be related to the traditional Celtic association between blindness and mantic power.
106 Garwyli eil Gwythawc Gwyr a Gwythawc Gwyr e hun Neither father nor his son/heir Garwyli (see n.85 on the semantics of eil) are known elsewhere in the wider Welsh tradition. Garwyli is almost certainly identical with Arwyli eil Gwythawc whose death is mentioned alongside that of Echel Morddwyd Twll (see n.104 above) during the encounter with the Twrch Trwyth at Llwch Ewin in the Carmarthenshire uplands. Both were perhaps drawn from the local narrative traditions of this region.
107 Gormant mab Ricca This name, occurs again later on in the list, where it is suggested that he was Arthur's half-brother
108 Menw mab Teirgwaed. One of the more significant figures in the Court List, who appears at several points during the subsequent episodes. Triad 27 describes Menw fab Teirgwaed as learning one of the Three Great Enchantments of the Island of Britain from Uthyr. This may have been the source of the shape-shifting power which Menw exhibits later on in Culhwch ac Olwen (for example, prior to the hunting of the Twrch).
109 Digon mab Alar lit. 'Enough son of Surfeit'. The first of a number of these 'substantive' names, the significance of which has been discussed on p.### above.
110 Selyf mab Sinoit. Nothing more is known of this figure. The name Selyf (< Solomon) was particularly popular amongst the Powysian elite.
111 Gusg mab Achen. Again, nothing more is known about this figure who does not appear again in Culhwch ac Olwen or anywhere else in the Welsh tradition. The patronynmic Achen resembles the diminuitive form of ach 'lineage, kindred' which occasionally appears in Welsh sources. The semantic content of Gusg is more opaque, though there have been an echo of the adjective cwsg 'asleep, numb'.
112 Nerth mab Kadarn lit. 'Might son of Strength'. Some kind of prodigious 'strong-man' features in most versions of the 'Six Go Through the World' tale-type, and this is one of several variants of the type that occur in the Arthurian court list.
113 Drutwas mab Tryffin. This individual is not mentioned again in Culhwch ac Olwen itself, but makes an occasional appearance in certain later sources (CO p.76). The patronymic Tryffin is a characteristically Dyfed name.
114 Twrch mab Perif a Thwrch mab Anwas. Twrch 'boar' is a significant name in Culhwch ac Olwen, with the hunting of the Twrch Trwyth being the culmination of the anoethau the Arthurian court community have to complete in order to achieve Ysbaddaden's compliance. That we should find two 'boars' in Arthur's court list is unsurprising, and not incongruous with the frequently monstrous character of many of its constituents. See p.### below for more discussion on the fluid boundaries between the human, Christian world of the Arthurian court community against which it nominally counterposed bestial/pagan world beyond it. Bromwich and Evans suggest Peryf = 'Lord, Creator'. Anwas, the patronymic of the second Twrch, is most likely identical to that of the previously discussed Anwas Edein[i]awg.
115 Iona Urenhin Freinc. In contast to Gwilenen Urenhin Freinc, there is no obvious historical correlate for this figure.
116 Sel mab Selgi. Bromwich and Evans suggest the meaning 'Watch son of Watchdog', presumably derived from the root of the verbal forms selio, selu 'watch, ambush, spy (on)' (GPC p.3218). The -gi suffix would derive from ci 'dog'. A sharp-eyed/sharp-eared prodigy is another characteristic figure in the Six Go Through the World tale-type, and again several variants of this type occur throughout the Court List.
117 T[h]eregut mab Iaen, a Sulyen mab Iaen, a Bratwen mab Iaen, a Moren mab Iaen, a Siawn mab Iaen, a Charadawc mab Iaen - gwyr Kaer Tathal oedynt, kenetyl y Arthur o pleint y tat. These sons of Iaen (= 'ice') are mentioned in the Central Medieval genealogical tract, Bonedd yr Arwyr ('The Descent of the Heroes') EWGT p.85. Here, a daughter Eleirch is also mentioned, said to have been the mother of one of Arthur's children, suggesting that these were Arthur's in-laws rather than his paternal kinsmen (CO p.77). Caer Tathyl is usually identified with the Caer Dathyl which is represented as an important royal centre in the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi. Sulyen (< Sul + gen i.e. 'Born on Sunday') is an unusual name, the best known bearer of which was the 11th century scholar-cleric (p.### above).
118 Dirmyc mab Kaw, a Iustic mab Kaw, ac Etmic mab Kaw, ac Angawd mab Kaw, ac Ouan mab Kaw, ac Chelin mab Kaw, a Chonnyn mab Kaw a Mabsant mab Kaw, a Gwyngat mab Kaw, a Llwybyr mab Kaw, a Choch mab Kaw, a Meilic mab Kaw, a Chynwawl mab Kaw,ac Ardwyat mab Kaw, ac Ergyryat mab Kaw, a Neb mab Kaw, a Gildas mab Kaw, Chalcas mab Kaw a Hueil mab Kaw - nyd asswynwys eiroet yn llaw arglwyd. The sons of Caw were originally known through the hagiography of Gildas Sapiens (see p. ### above), where they are associated with the North British territory of Arecluta (Alt Clud, i.e. Strathclyde). Caw himself also makes an appearance, in the form of a resurrected giant, in the Vita Cadocii, within a territory described rather less specifically as 'beyond the Bannog mountain', a Welsh designation for the Highlands of Scotland. As Bromwich and Evans have pointed out, the core of this list corresponds with names found in the hagiographic tradition (Gildas, Huail, Meilyg and Ergryriad) but many of the others are probably farcical accretions, and have the generic semantic content that we find elsewhere in the Arthurian Court list e.g. Dirmyg 'Slanderer', Etmic 'fame' Connyn 'Stalk'. None of this prevented these names being included in subsequent genealogies (e.g. EWGT p.85).
119 Samson Uinsych lit. 'Samson Dry-Lip' This could be the Gwent-born saint Samson of Dôl, with the epithet referring to his abstemious habits (VS XV, XXXVI etc.)
120 T[h]eliessin Pen Beird. 'Taliesin Head of [the] Bards'. Taliesin, the legendary poet, also appears as a protagonist in Second Branch of the Mabinogi (PKM 44.26), as well as the later Hanes Taliesin (see p.### above). Such accounts must have helped substantiate Taliesin's credibility as a witness to the events portrayed in the 'mythological' poems, but his inclusion among the Arthurian Court list also emphasises the status of the latter as comprehensive roll-call of Brythonic excellence.
121 Manawedan mab Llyr. Manawydan, a leading protagonist of the Second and Third Branches of the Mabinogi also appears in l.19 of Pa Gur, and is clearly cognate with the Irish Manannán mac Lir, an important figure in the Irish literary tradition of the North Channel region in the eighth century, possibly derived from a pre-Christian cult divinity invoked by the maritime community of Irish Sea region (see pp.###-### above, and Parker (2005) p.311 ff). He was almost certainly one of the core members of the Arthurian retinue, along with Mabon, Anwas the Winged, Gwyn ap Nudd and Llwch Windy-Hand, many of whom would also appear to be derived from pre-Christian cult figures.
122 Llary mab Casnar Wledic. Casnar Wledic is named in the First Branch of the Mabinogi as father of Gloyw Wallt, grandfather of Pryderi's wife Cigfa (PKM ###). The First Branch text refers this dynasty as the dyledogion 'The Entitled Ones of the Island'. Gloyw Wallt may be identical with Gloiu or Gliui, the eponymous founder of the city of Gloucester, who in turn was one of the ancestors of Vortigern. (Gliui himself appears briefly later on in the text, in the episode in which Eiddoel son of Aer was freed. The title (g)wledig, as we have seen (see note 1) is suggestive of a Romano-British or sub-Roman background. The name Casnar itself is a noun meaning 'hero, lord', but it also has the adjectival meaning 'fierce, wrathful, fierce' and its corresponding substantives 'anger, pain, grief'. Llary (< Lat. Largus) has almost the opposite meaning 'generous, liberal, meek, mild, gentle'. Thus these two names, whatever concrete historical significance they may have held, nonetheless edge towards the same semantic space as the 'substantive' pairings found within this list (e.g. Drem son of Dremidiydd, Sugn son of Sugnedydd etc.)
123 Sberin mab Fflergant brenhin Llydaw. The patronymic Flergant has long been identified with the Breton magnate Alan Fyrgan or Alan IV (d.1119), an enemy-turned-ally of William the Conqueror (CO p.79). He is known elsewhere in the Welsh tradition, and appears in Triad 30 as leader of one of the faithless warbands, anachronously associated with the Battle of Camlann. (On the 'timelessness' of this Arthurian Court List, see p.### below).
124 Saranhon mab Glythwyr. An otherwise unknown figure. The patronymic is probably identical with the Old Welsh form glithuir which appears in the religious poetry of the Black Book of Carmarthen meaning 'hell, abyss' (CO p.80).
125 Llawr eil Erw. Bromwich and Evans (p.80) point out that as a substantive noun Llawr ('Single, Pre-eminent') denotes a warror who fought alone in front of the army. For eil 'son, heir' see n.### above; Erw means 'acre'. The formation as a whole 'Champion Heir of Acre' is comparable to the onomastics of the Fourth Branch hero Dylan Eil Ton 'Tide Heir of Wave'.
126 Anynnawc mab Menw Teirgwaed. For Menw Teirgwaedd see n.108 above. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.80) suggest a derivation from anyan 'nature, instinct' for Anynnawc (RB annyannawc). This would be a further example of the kind 'semantic translucence' discussed on p.### below.
127 Gwynn mab Nwywre a Fflam mab Nwyfre. The first of these is a duplicate of a name found earlier in the list. Fflam mab Nwyfre ('Flame son of Sky') is otherwise unknown, but apiece with the other radient/celestial associations of this group of figures. Whether these evocative names originate from pre-Christian magico-religious thinking or playful medieval onomastics is uncertain, but the reference to Lliaws mab Nwyfre 'Multitude son of Sky' in Triad 35 suggests that the 'family' of Nwyfre at some stage become associated with the mythology of the sons of Beli Mawr (see n.79and Parker (2005) pp.272 ff.
128Geraint son of Erbin. A well-known West Country figure and the eponymous hero of Geraint ac Enid, one of the thirteenth century rhamantau that we will be examining in more detail in Volume II. Geraint ap Erbin was also the subject of an early poem in the englyn meter in which Arthur is also mentioned (see p.### above). The name Geraint also appears in the Gododdin (l.###), where he is also associated with Deheu 'the South'. Despite his doubtlessly well-established status as a member of the Arthurian retinue he is not mentioned in Pa Gur nor at any other point in Culhwch ac Olwen. See also Cadwy mab Geraint.
129Ermit map Erbin a Dyuel mab Erbin a Gwynn mab Ermit a Chyndrwyn mab Ermit. These other members of Erbin's dynasty are largely unknown to other Welsh sources, although the distinctive Cyndrwyn has been identified with the Powysian dynast of that name (see p.### above). The basis for this identification is the suggestive resemblances to a sequence in a Powysian genealogical tract which mentions a certain Ermic map Ecrin, apparently the grandfather of the Caranfael mentioned as a kinsmen of Cynddylan in the engyln saga Canu Heledd. Given that Cyndrwyn was the name of Cynddylan (and Heledd's) father, it is tempting to see some trace of a genuine tradition associating this Powysian dynasty (discussed on pp.### ff. above) with the West Country Sons of Erbin (EWSP p.126). However, it must be acknowledged that these connections here highly tenuous given the series of emendations required to complete the correspondence.
130 Hyueid Unllen lit. 'Hyfaidd One-Cloak'. This figure is otherwise unknown. Others bearing the name Hyfaidd include Rhiannon's father Hyfaidd Hen in the First Branch of the Mabinogi, who may have been a typological echo of the native Demetian king Himeyt ap Tancostl (Hyfaidd ap Tangwstyl) named in HG II as the grandfather of Elen daughter of Llywarch, who married Hywel Dda around the year AD 900 (Tangwystl was his mother's name - an interesting detail, which suggests he may have emerged as a dynastic outsider). This Hyfaidd was also described by Asser as seeking the protection of King Alfred from the Sons of Rhodri Mawr, and is probably identical to Hyfaidd son of Bleiddig described in Triad 68 as one of the Three Kings who were (sprung) from Villeins (TYP p.179-181) We do not know if there is any relationship with this figure and the Hyfaidd Unllen described here, but the latter's epithet would not be inconsistent with his humble origins alluded to in the Triad.
131 Eidon Uawrrurydic. The epithet is derived from mawr 'great' + [p]ryd 'mind, spirit' + ig (adjectival suffix), i.e. 'Eiddon the Magnanimous'. This individual is otherwise unknown.
132 Reidwn Arwy. The meaning of this epithet is unknown, being possibly related to the word arwydd 'sign., portent' or arwr 'hero, warrior'. Rheiddwn Arwyr is not known elsewhere, and may or may not be a duplicate of Rheiddwn son of Beli who is mentioned shortly after.
133 Gormant mab Ricca - brawt y Arthur o barth y uam, Pennhynef Kernyw y tat. This seems to be a duplicate of a name that occurs earlier on in the list. Bromwich and Evans note the similarity of the Gor- element in his name with the first name element of Gorlois, the Cornish Duke (according to Geoffrey of Monmouth) to whom Arthur's mother was originally married. It was not unusual, in Late Antiquity and the Early Medieval Europe, for members of the same dynasty to share a praenominal prefix of this kind (e.g. the Os- element in the Bernician dynasty in the seventh century: Oswald, Oswiu, Osric etc.). The name of Gormant's father may be preserved in a tenth-century Cornish inscription memorialising REGIS RICATI 'King Ricatus'. His title, Pennhynef 'Chief Elder' also occurs in Triad 1 (see p.### above). As Bromwich and Evans also note, Ricca occurs as a variant of Rita Gawr (Geoffrey's Ritho), the name of the Snowdonian giant (and antagonist of Arthur) known in Welsh folklore (CO p.82).
134 Llawurodet Uarawc 'Llawfrodedd the Bearded'. This figure, sometimes known as Llawfrodedd the Horseman, is not unknown elsewhere in the Welsh tradition. He appears in Triad 46 as the owner of Cornillo, one of the Prif Uuch 'Chief Cows' of the Island of Britain, and a magical knife in Tri Thlws ar Deg Ynys Prydain ('Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain') and in the genealogical tracts.
135 Nodawl Uaryf Twrch lit. 'Nodawl Boar-Beard'. Bromwich and Evans support the standard emmedenation to Uaryf Trwch 'Cut-Beard', by analogy with the epithet found in HG 18 for Guurgint Barmb Truch. If this is a scribal error, it is significant one - in line with the central thematic concerns of the text. See Sarah Sheehan 'Giants, Boar-hunts, and Barbering: Masculinity in "Culhwch ac Olwen"' Arthuriana Vol.15 No.3 (Fall 20005) pp.3-25
136 Berth mab Kado. The patronymic is a variant of Cadwy, the name of a well-known West Country king (and client of Arthur's). Berth himself is otherwise unknown.
137Reidwn mab Beli. This figure is presumable identical with the Rheiddwn son of Eli who makes a brief appearance during the hunting of the Troit boar. The patronymic Beli is a regularly occurring royal name in the genealogies of Gwynedd and Strathclyde, the prototype of whom was undoubtedly Beli Mawr, the ancestor-diety from whom a number of northern lineages claimed their descent. For more on Beli Mawr see p.### ff. above and Parker (2005) p.272 ff.
138 Iscouan Hael 'Isgofan the Generous'. Also mentioned later on in the text as one of the casualties during the hunting of the Troit Boar.
139 Yscawin mab Panon. A certain Kysceint mab Banon is name-checked in line 8 of Pa Gur (see p.### above), which may be a corrupted version of this form. Sims-Williams (1992, p.64 n.31) suggests that this name (Ysgawin), if it is the correct form, may have arisen as an eponym from Porth Ysgewin in Gwent.
140 Morfran eil Tegid. This character is best known as the misshapen child of Tegid Foel and Ceridwen, as told in the 16th century Hanes Taliesin (a version of which was almost certainly also known in the Central Middle Ages, see p.### above). He was evidently a fairly well-known figure in his own right - being named as one of the 'Three Slaughter Blocks' (Ysgymyd Aeruaeu) of the Island of Britain (Triad 24) and the owner of one of the 'Three Lovers' Horses' (Gorderchvarch) (Triad 41).
141 Yn gythreul canhorthwy. Patrick Ford (1977, p.127) and Sionedd Davies (MAB-D p.185) both translate this as 'attendant demon'. Canhorthwy is often used in medieval sources to imply feudal service, or obligation between allies. We have already noted (see p.###) that this image of a demon (or angel) fighting among a human army echoes the primitive idea of ancestral spirits joining the tribal host (often in the form of monstrous zoomorphic figures). It is possible we have a recollection of this idea in the notion of pagan figures such as Mabon and Manawydan in the ranks of Arthur's retinue, which we can see was an established notion in the archaic Pa Gur poem.
142 Sande Pryt Angel 'Sandde Angel-Aspect'. This figure is otherwise unknown.
143 See n.141 above.
144 A minor saint from the Carmarthernshire region where two parishes - Cynwyl Gaeo (in the Upper Cothi Valley) and Cynwyl Elfed (a few miles north of Carmarthern) - still bear his name. In the folklore of more recent times he was represented as having the stature of a giant (CO pp. 85-86).
145 Henwas Edeiniawc lit. 'Old Servant the Winged'. On the epithet Edeiniog, see n.### above.
146 Henbedestyr lit. 'Old Walker'
147 Scilti Scawntroet. The name Sgilti is thought to be identical to the Irish Caoilte, a rare example of direct evidence for the knowledge of Fenian lore in Wales. (Y)sgafntroed ('Light Footed') looks like an idiomatic translation of Caoilte's epithet cos-luath 'swift-footed'.
148 The five sons of Erim are otherwise unknown in the Welsh tradition. The last three appear like variants of the 'fast runner' type - one of the characteristic helpers in the Six Go Through the World tale type. The patronym may be derived from the Irish Erimm 'course, career'.
149 anoethach a uei bellach no hynny lit. 'more difficult would be longer than that'. The length of an acre in medieval Wales was defined as thirty rods, that is 480 feet (LHD p.121).
150 pan a uei wyn hwyl kerdet yndaw lit. 'whenever there might be a bright spirit in him to go'. The unusual idiom gwyn hwyl seems to imply a heightened state of consciousness, which would be entirely appropriate for this Suibne-like figure. C.f. pp.### above.
151 Namyn tra uei coet lit. 'but as long as there might be a forest'. Note the repeated use of the 3rd pers. subjunctive uei throughout this passage
152 rac y yskafned lit. 'on account of his lightness'
153 This legend of the sunken kingdom is a perennial topos in the Welsh tradition. The flooded kingdom is usually located in the Irish Sea, as in variant alluded to in the Second Branch of the Mabinogi (PKM 39,12; Parker, 2005, p.303) or the Cantref y Gwaelod in the more recent folk tradition. However, it is noteworthy that in a number of these traditions the inundated territory is known as Maes Gwydneu and is associated with semi-legendry northern figure Gwyddno Garanhir. See p.### and n.### below for the significance of this name in relation to the dynastic politics of the Central Belt region in the sixth/seventh centuries. Teithi himself is named as the king of the sunken land in a gloss found in the Chronica Wallia, which he was said to have escaped alone with his horse (CO p.87)
154 No explanation is ever given for Teithi's strangely intense reaction to a broken knife, though it could be said to underline the importance of masculine signifiers in this text, of which Arthur's knife is Carnwennan is one (Sheehan, pp.15-16). Teithi's malaise might well have been understood to have been connected with the loss of his kingdom and consequently his masculinity, as expressed by this defective weapon, with its wobbly haft (carn). In the Chronica Wallia gloss noted above, Teithi is said to have spent the rest of his days infirmus..pro timore 'sick through fear'.
155 Nothing more is known about this individual.
156 Gwenwynwyn mab Naf. Omitted from the Red Book text. Probably a duplicate of Gwenwynwyn mab Naw who appears earlier on in this list.
157 Llygatrud Emys lit. 'Red-Eye Stallion'
158 Gwrbothu Hen. This bears the trace of Old Welsh orthography: -b- for [-v-]. As noted by Bromwich and Evans, this could be a reference to Gurvodius rex Ercy[n]g whose name appears in the Llandaff charters (LL 161, 162), through which he can be imputed to have held territory in the Monmouthshire area during the early decades of the seventh century. This Gwrfoddw does not appear to have been a member of the main dynasty of Peibyaw, whose members enjoyed a rather less favourable reputation in this text (judging from their association with the Bannog oxen referenced in the anoethau, but is usually thought to have been to one of the many semi-autonomous chieftains or kinglets of this region (see pp.### above). The epithet Hen 'The Old, The Elder', is sometimes used to denote an ancestor or dynastic forebear.
159 These two uncles of Arthur would therefore have been the sons of Am[b]laud Wledig. Both are later killed during the hunt for the Twrch Twyth.
160 Kuluanawyt mab Goryon. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.88) suggest a derivation of this name from the elements Cul- 'slender' (c.f. n.8 above) + manawyt, a variant form of Manawydan. They note that manawyt is also a common noun meaning an awl, a tool for scratching and boring holes in wood. It was also sometimes a designation for someone from Manaw, i.e. the Isle of Man, or perhaps Manaw Gododdin in the Falkirk area of present-day West Lothian. Kulvanawyd occurs as a personal name in the poetry of Cynddelw in the late twelfth-century, and also Triad 80, where a certain Kulvanawyt Prydein is named as the father of Essyllt Fyngwen, one of the Three Faithless Wives of the Island of Britain (here identified with the Essyllt of the Trystan legend). Essyllt Fyngwen herself appears further on in the Arthurian court-list (p.### n.### below).
161 Llenleawc Vydel 'Llenlleaog the Irishman'. This character appears later on in the text, during the seizure of Diwrnach's cauldron. His role in this episode is strongly reminiscent of the reference in Preiddeu Annwfn to the cledyf lwch lleawc 'the flashing sword of Llëog' which is brandished significantly during the snatching of the cauldron of the Pen Annwn (see p.### above). There are grounds for suspecting that the Culhwch ac Olwen episode was derived from the imagery of Preiddeu Annwfn rather than vice versa, and that Llenlleaog is a corruption of llwch Lleawc, perhaps under the influence of the personal name Lleminog. Bentir Gamon, the Headland of Gamon, was a peninsula on the southeast tip of Ireland, near Loch Garmon in Co. Wexford.
162 Dyuynwal Moel 'Dyfynwal the Bald'. This individual is named in the HG 10 as one of the grandsons Coel Hen. He was also the father of the Brân Hen and great-grandfather of Morcant Bulc, a plausible candidate for the treacherous Morcant of HB 63, as we have suggested above. This is one of the more obscure Coeling lineages, and there grounds for suspecting it may originally been an independent dynasty of mixed British and Gaelic origins, perhaps even with links to the Gododdin or the 'Pictish' branch of the Stratclyde dynasty (see p.### above, where I floated the possibility of an indentification between Dynfwal Moel and Dyfnwal Hen)
163 Dunart brenhin y Gogled. Bromwich and Evans point out that Dunart[h] is the Brythonic equivalent of the Gaelic Domangart, the name of Aedán mac Gabrain's paternal grandfather (thus the great-grandfather of Artúr mac Aedán himself). As with Dyfnwal Moel, and the sons of Nwython listed below, these names appear to derive from a Central Belt context, and might even represent part of the core of the retinue of the original Northern Arthur.
164 Oedynt 'they were' is omitted from the Red Book version
165 Teyrnon Twr Bliant (R: Teirnon Twryf Bliant) 'Teyrnon Roaring Water'. This mythological figure appears in both the First Branch and the Book of Taliesin (see p.### above). He may have originally been associated with the Severn Bore, and appears to have had local connections with Southeast Wales (Nant Teyrnon is the name of a valley a few miles north of Caerwent). His name derives from the Old Celtic form *Tigernonos 'The Great Lord', and he has sometimes been seen as the original consort of Rhiannon (< *Rigantona 'The Great Lady'). Both these names incorporate the Gallo-Brittonic -onos/-ona suffix, which is habitually attached to the names of divinities (e.g. Epona).
166 Thecuan Glof 'Tegfan the Lame'.
167 Thegyr Talgellawc 'Tegyr the Provider'. Both Tegfan and Tegyr play no further role in Culhwch ac Olwen and are otherwise unknown in the extant Welsh tradition.
168 Gwrdial mab Ebrei. The patronymic may be related to Ebrew 'Hebrew', but as Bromwich and Evans point out (CO p.90) this is a late loan-word, not recorded elsewhere before the 13th century. This figure is otherwise unknown.
169 Morgant Hael 'Morgant the Generous'. The precise identity of this individual is uncertain. Morgant/Morcant is a common Welsh personal name, and a number of figures from the medieval tradition have the epithet Hael 'Generous', this being one of the archetypal attributes of the successful Heroic Age warlord. A trio of Haelion are listed in Triad 2, all apparently deriving from the North British background. One of these, Morddaf Hael may have been the inspiration for this figure. Bromwich and Evans suggest a probable identity with Morgan ap Arthwys, a seventh century king of Morgannwg (perhaps even its eponymous founder), who was sometimes accorded the epithet Mwynfawr 'Great Wealth'. Along with Arthur, this individual was named as one the 'Red Ravagers' in Triad 20.
170 R: omitted
171 Gwystyl mab Nwython a Run mab Nwython a Lluydeu mab Nwython, a Gwydre mab Lluydeu o Wenabwy merch Kaw y uam. This dynasty of Nwython ( = Pictish Nechtan), reprented here as intermarried with the dynasty of Caw (see p.### n.### above), may well be a allusion to the Cambro-Pictish offshoot of the royal line of Alt Clud, who we have seen represent a highly significant element within the Lothian/Stirlingshire background to the early legend of the Northern Arthur (see p.###) as well as the early Gododdin tradition. The Strathclyde king Owain ap Beli is named as 'the grandson of Nwython' in the opening stanza of the Gododdin B-text in which he is described as the victor at the battle of Strathcarron (AD 642). A number of sons of Nwython are named elsewhere in the Gododdin: Nai son of Nwython in the B-text and Guid son of Nwython in the A-text. The later may be identical with the Uuid from the Pictish king-lists. A certain Neithon (a variant spelling of the same name) is named in HG IV, which traces one branch of the paternal ancestry of Myrfyn Frych (see p.### n.###). This group of names, then, might be said to bear the trace of the Gwynedd connection - the transmission of Arthurian (bardic) lore from the Lothian/Stirlingshire region into Northwest Wales via Strathclyde and the Isle of Man (see p.### above).
172 This echoes or confirms a tradition that we find in the later hagiography of Gildas (see p.###). The connection with Nwython adds some weight to the suggestion that this may have been a genuine feature of the early Arthurian tradition in its original northern context.
173 Drem mab Dremidyd 'Sight son of Seer'. A sharp-eyed prodigy is a regular feature of the Six Go Through the World itinerary.
174 Celliwig in Cornwall, as we have seen (p.###), was a well-established Arthurian locale in the twelfth century tradition, and may have been identified (here at least) with Penn Pengwaedd, i.e. the Landsend peninsula. Pen Blathaon, often taken for the furthest extreme of North Britain in medieval Welsh insular geography, perhaps corresponding to John O'Groats or Dunnet Head in Caithness.
175 The identity of these hall-builders is otherwise unknown. There is a marked resemblance between the name of Eiddoel mab Ner and the Eiddoel mab Aer, one of the prisoners whose release represents one of the first adventures undertaken by Arthur's men in completion of the anoethau set by Ysbadadden Pencawr (see p.### n.### below etc.). Alternatively, as Bromwich and Evans suggest, the patronymic may be identical with Ynyr Gwent (Ynyr < Lat. Honorious), a patronymic that appears in the Llandaff charters (40,174 etc.), sometimes in the form Ner. This Ynyr, if he had been genuine historical ruler of Gwent, would have flourished in the mid to late sixth century. Glyuden Saer 'Glwydyn the Craftsman'. Ehangwen 'Fair and Spacious'.
176 Kynyr Keinuarwawc 'Cynyr Fairbeard'. Cai's father is also named in Triad 21, but is otherwise unknown in the Welsh tradition. Kynyr < Clt. Cunorix 'Hound King', a name that is found on the famous Wroxeter inscription (see p.### above).
177 As Bromwich and Evans point out (CO p.93) the ability to endure fire and water is another one of the gifts of the helpers in the Six Go Through the World tale type (see p.### above).
178 Henwas a Hen Vyneb a Hengedymdeith lit. 'Old Servant and Old Face and Old Companion'.
179 This looks like a duplicate of Gallgoid Gofynniad.
180 Ny adei ef hun uyth ar legat dyn tra uei yndi lit. 'He would not allow sleep ever upon the eye of man ever while he was in there'
181 Berwynn mab Kyrenyr. Nothing more is known about this individual. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.94) note an older (genitive) form of this name - BARRIVENDI - which occurs in an inscription at Llandawke in Carmarthenshire (ECMW 150). The name is also preserved in the Berwyn mountain range in northeast Wales.
182 Osla Gyllelluawr 'Osla Big-Knife'. The name of this character has a Northumbrian ring, with its distinctive Os- praenominal element. He plays an important role in the hunting of Twrch Trwyth later on in Culhwch ac Olwen. In the later medieval Breudwydd Ronabwy, Osla reappears as the Saxon enemy at Badon. Such ambiguity of allegiance - the inclusion of former or future enemies within this court list - is discussed in more detail on pp.### ff. below.
183 Bronllauyn Uerllydan 'Breast Blade Short Broad', the name of magical sword.
184 y uron llifdwr lit. 'the breast of a torrent', note the homophonous reduplication of the [b]ron element.
185 y dodit y gyllell yn y gwein ar draws y llifdwr lit. 'the knife would be put in its sheath and across the torrent'
186 Teir ynys Prydein a'e Their Rac Ynys. It has been pointed out that ynys can mean both 'island' and 'realm' in a more general sense (CO pp.94-95). I have followed Davies and Jones and Jones in translating it as 'The Three Realms of Britain and their Three Adjacent Islands', a translation that Jackson also supported. The formulation, which also occurs on p.### below, is found elsewhere in Welsh sources. The tradition of the 'Three Islands of Britain' themselves (sometimes, as in HB 19, identified as Isles of Wight, Man and Angelsey) is fairly well established, but the sense of a tripartite division of Britain seems to have been especially characteristic of the later part of our period, and the twelfth century in particular (see p.### above).
187 An example of the many curious anachronisms of the Arthurian court list invocation, which seems to include figures (e.g. William the Conqueror) from quite different eras, as well as showing fore-knowledge of future betrayals, such as that alluded to here. See pp.### below for more discussion on this and other aspects Court List sequence.
188 Garanwyn mab Kei ac Amren mab Bedwyr. Neither of these sons of Arthur's most famous retainers are known elsewhere, although Amren son of Bedwyr may be identical with the Hir Amren who is mentioned later on in the list, and who plays a part in the Cave of the Very Black Witch incident.
189 Ely a Myr a Reu Rwyddyrys, a Run Rudwern ac Eli a Thrachmyr. There is a faint recollection here of the 'vultures of Elei' mentioned in Pa Gur. The epithets have some semantic content: Rhyddwyrs 'Easy-Difficult' Rhuddwern 'Red Alder'.
190 Lluydeu mab Kelcoet lit. 'The Grey One son of Forest Cell'. Almost certainly identical with the Llwyd mab Cil Coet who appears in the Third Branch, revealed as the supernatural enemy responsible for the depopulation of Dyfed and the captivity of Pryderi and Rhiannon (in revenge for their humiliation of Gwawl mab Clud in the First Branch). Later on in Culhwch ac Olwen, this same Llwydeu accommodates the Arthurian host on their return from Ireland, after they have seized the Cauldron of Diwrnach (see p.###, n.###). He was almost certainly a fairly significant mythological figure in his own right, with specific local associations in the Pembrokeshire area, perhaps deriving from an Irish tribal context (see p.### above).
191 Huabwy mab Gwryon (R: Hunabwy). Bromwich and Evans (CO p.96) note the similarity to the Cadwry mab Gwryon who appears in the court list in Geraint ac Enid.
192 Gwynn Gotyuron. The archaic form Guin Godybrion occurs in Pa Gur l.8. Sims-Williams (1991, p.40), suggests the epithet may contain the Old Welsh dubr 'water', and compares it with the Irish fordoboradae 'underwater, aquatic'.
193 Gweir Dathar Wenidawc. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.97) suggest emending this epithet to Adar Weinidog 'Servant of the Birds' i.e. one who feeds the birds with the corpses on the field of war, a form that is attested elsewhere. However, the form appears again later on in the list as a patronymic (p.### n.### below).
194 Gweir mab Kadellin Tal Aryant 'Gwair son of Cadellyn Silver Brow'. Otherwise unknown.
195 Gweir Gwrhyd Enwir 'Gwair False Valour'. Triad 19 lists the antonymous Gwair Gwrhydfawr 'Gwair of Great Valour', as one of the Tri Galouyd 'Three Enemy-Subduers'.
196 Gweir Gwyn Paladyr 'Gwair Bright Spear'.
197 c.f. the three Gwyns above. The triplication (or in this case, quadruplication) of divine figures was commonplace in the early poetry and art of the Celtic-speaking world. Gwair is named as a kind of supernatural prisoner in the first verse of Preiddeu Annwfn (see p.### above), and has been seen as a local variant of the 'Mabon' figure and as such, a doublet of Pryderi (see Parker, 2005, p.383-385 etc.) The supposed uterine relationship with Arthur here is fanciful, but consistent with the supernatural affiliations found elsewhere in the portrayal of the pre-Norman Arthur.
198 Llwch Llawwynnyawc. Probably a duplicate of Lloch Llaw Wynniog who appears earlier on in the list. Apparently part of the original core of the Arthurian retinue.
199 Uor Terwyn. This would appear to be one of the more outlying reference points in the mental geography of Culhwch ac Olwen, effectively indistinguishable from the exotic 'otherworlds' listed by Glewlwyd in his preamble to Arthur above. The Tyrrehnian Sea would have crossed on the trade route which brought Phocaean red slipware to the British Isles in the decades around the early sixth century, a route which one might expect would have also carried pilgrims from the Insular West to Rome and the Eastern Mediterranean.
200 Llenlleawc Vydel. Duplicate of a name found earlier in the list.
201 Ardyrchawc Prydein. Ardyrcheog 'exalted, famous' is also common adjective, but I have followed Sioned Davies (MAB-D. p.185) in interpreting this as a personal name, rather than epithet attached to Llenlleog or some other now-lost name. Prydein 'Britain' would thus be understood as the epithet here, i.e. 'Famous of Britain'. No more is known about this figure if indeed this is the correct interpretation.
202 Cas mab Saidi. An unnamed 'son of Saidi' appears earlier on in the list - either a duplicate of this individual (Cas 'hatred, passion') or one his siblings.
203 Gwruan Gwallt Auwyn 'Gwrfan Afwyn-Hair'. Afwyn 'bridle-reign' makes little sense within this context, and is probably best emended to Addwyn 'fair' or Eurin 'golden'.
204 Gwilenhin (R: Gwilenhen) brenhin Freinc. Almost certainly a reference to William the Conqueror, who had visited Wales in 1081 AD, on what was euphemistically described as a 'pilgrimage' to St Davids. Another example of the 'anachronistic' aspect of this Court List (see p.### below).
205 Gwittart mab Aed brenhin Iwerdon. Sims-Williams (1982, p.606) has suggested that Gwitard here is derived from the Old French Withard, this does not correspond to any known Irish figure. There were several historical Irish kings, on the other hand, who bore the name Aed. Later in the text, of course, we have Odger son of Aed, another son of the Irish king with a curiously foreign-sounding name. These names seem to represent a composite of Hiberno-Norse, Anglo-Norman and Flemish onomastics.
206 Garselit Vydel 'Garselyd the Irishman'. Later on in the text he is described as 'the chief huntsman of Ireland', and killed during an engagement with the Twrch Trwyth.
207 Panawr Penbagat 'Penawr Host-Head'. Nothing more is known about this individual.
208 Atleudor (R: a Fflendor) mab Naf. The name here appears to be corrupt in both versions. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.99) cite Idris Fosters's proposed emendation to Ffleudwr (c.f. Fleudwr Flam Wledig above). Sioned Davies (MAB-D. p.187) emends to Alendor. The mab Naf patronymic is shared with the aforementioned Gwenwynnwyn mab Naf.
209 Gwyn Hyuar 'Gwyn the Irascible'. The phonetic resemblance to Gwenhyfar, who was also held responsible for the Battle of Camlann in some traditions, is noteworthy.
210 Kelli a Chuel. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.99) draw attention to the close similarity between these names and lines 33-34 of Pa Gur: Pan colled Kelli/Caffad cuelli 'When Kelli was lost/Fury was gained' - Kelli in this instance being taken to refer to the Arthurian court of Kelli Wig and cuelli to denote the rare substantive noun 'fury'. Here, in Culhwch ac Olwen, Kelli and Cuel[i] seem to have been interpreted as personal names. This offers a fascinating, if inconclusive, insight into the relationship between these two texts, and the fertile hetereoglossia that was occasionally responsible to new formations at the outer edges of the Arthurian complex.
211 Gilla Goeshyd 'Gilla Stag-Leg'. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.99) draw attention to a similar figure mentioned in the Historia Gruffydd fab Cynan, who may have been the partial inspiration for this character: Mathgauyn (Ir. Mathgammain > Mahony) who is described as llemhidyd anryved 'a wonderful leaper' who is unequalled among the Irish.
212 Sol a Gwadyn Ossol a Gwadyn Odeith lit. 'Heel and Sole Heel and Sole Bonfire'. The remainder of the Arthurian court list contains an increasing number of bizarrely-named figures of this kind.
213 Kymeint a'r uas twym pan dynhet o'r eueil oed tan llachar y wadneu pan gyuarfei galet ac ef lit. 'as much as hot metal when dragged from the forge was the fire bright on his feet when he encountered hardship with him'.
214 Arthur yn lluydd lit. 'Arthur in hosting'.
215 Hir Etrwm a Hir Atrwm 'Big Etrwm and Big Atrwm' (Hir 'Tall, Long')
216 A cantref (lit. 'hundred homesteads') was a unit of administration and taxation in medieval Wales, equivalent to the Anglo-Saxon hundred. The cantref would be divided into smaller units, commotes, and each commote would have a defined quantity of food-render (and armed service) it was obliged to provide for its various overlords and royal officials (these are defined with some precision in the medieval Welsh lawbooks, LHD p.121-122)
217 Trydet gordibla Kernyw a Dyfneint pan gahad idaw y wala lit. 'One of the Three Great Plagues of Cornwall and Devon when was got to him his fill'. The implication here is that satisfying this man's appetite caused a famine of historic proportions throughout the West Country peninsula.
218 The prodigious eater was another one of the classic helpers in the Six Go Through the World scenario.
219 Gwarae [R:Gware] Gwallt Eurin. This individual is named as The Three Famous Prisoners later on in the text, and is usually seen as a variant on the Gwair ap Geirioedd named in the equivilant series in Triad 52. The epithet also suggests a connection with Gwri Wallt Eur (i.e. Pryderi) from the Mabinogi. See p.### above.
220 These canines are not referenced elsewhere in the extant medieval tradition to my knowledge, but they are mentioned later on in the text, and their capture was one of the tasks successfully performed by Arthur's men. Once again, it is interesting to note that this does not preclude them from being included in the Court List (c.f. n.114 above). For the name Rhymhi, see n.429 below.
221 Gwydrut a Gwyden Astrus 'Gwyddrud and Gwydden the Cunning' astrus < Lat. abstrusus. In Welsh, the word seems to have developed the secondary meanings 'difficult, cunning, evil'.
222 Sucgyn mab Sucnedut 'Suck son of Sucker'
223 Morawl lit. 'marine'
224 y bei trychanllong arnaw lit. 'which there might be three hundred boats upon it'
225 Cacamwri. This evocative name has phonetic correspondences both to cacamwci 'burdock', but also caca/cacu 'defecate'. Cacamwri plays a prominent, if not especially dignified, role in the hunting of the Twrch Trwyth and in the cave of the Very Black Witch.
226 Hyt na bei well y'r rethri a'r trosteu a'r tulatheu noc y'r man geirch ygwaelawt yr ysubawr lit. 'until not was better to the boards, cross-beams, side-beams that the small oats at the bottom of the barn'. R. adds yn y ueiscawn 'in a heap of corn-sheaves'.
227 Llwyng lit. 'gullet'.
228 Dygyflywng. Bromwich and Evans relate this to cyflwng 'swallowing' combined with the negative prefix dy-
229 Anoeth Ueidawc. Anoeth 'difficulty, wonder' or Annoeth 'foolish'. Beidd[i]og 'daring, bold, presumptuous'.
230 Hir Eidyl a Hir Amren 'Big Eiddyl and Big Amren'. Amren is possibly identical with the son of Bedwyr mentioned earlier on in the list. Eidyl = Eiddyl 'weak'. Both reappear later on the Cave of the Very Black Witch episode.
231 R: adds the following: a Gweul mab Gwastat - y dyd y bei drist y gellynghei y lleill weuyl idaw y waeret hyt y uogel a'r llall y uydei yn bennguch a'r y benn 'and Gwefl son of Gwastad [= 'Lip son of Constant'], on day[s] when he was sad, he would let his lower lip droop to his belly-button while the other would be a hood over his head.' As Joan Radner said of this lachrymose prodigy '[his] extraordinary skill was his ability to pout' (Radner, 1988 p.46). This may have been a subversive addition by the scribe of R, if so we have a visible instance of the way in the Arthruian court list may have accumulated and mutated, and perhaps been subject to a variety of readings over the centuries of its transmission (see pp.### above).
232 Vchdryt Uaryf Draws 'Uchdrydd Cross Beard'
233 Elidir Gyuarwyd 'Elidir the Guide/Expert'. Elidir is the second cyfarwydd to be noted in the Arthurian Court list (see also Cyndelig Gyfarwydd above). While Cyndelig is represented in the text as a guide in the sense of a tracker or explorer, the word can also mean an expert in socio-historical matters e.g. genealogy, property ownership etc. See p.### ff. above.
234 Yskyrdaf ac Yscudyd. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.101) relate these to ysgryd 'shiver' and ysgud 'swift' respectively.
235 Brys uab Bryssach. See also p.### n.### below. This name appears to correspond with Brusc son of Briscethach, who is named in the Vita Cadocii as the great-great grandfather of the saint's mother Gwladus. There are, as we have noted (p.### etc.) a number of connections between this text and Culhwch ac Olwen, and both seem to draw on the same pool of hagiographic and secular genealogy and legend. The epithet Brosc also occurs in one of the Irish pedigrees of the Deisi tribe whose connections with the old house of Dyfed we have also noted. A name of this kind is precisely the kind of cultural cargo we might expect from the 'Dyfed Connection' described on pp.###-### above.
236 O dal y Rydynawc Du o Brydein. As we have noted, Prdyein/Prydyn can denote either the whole of Britain or specifically the far north of the island, i.e. Pictland. The situation of Brysc fab Brysethach (see n.### above) within this context is interesting, and almost looks like a semi-conscious back-streaming of this Irish-derived material from the Dyfed connection to the Dal Riadan source of the Northern Arthur himself.
237 Grudlwyn Gorr 'Gruddlwyn the Dwarf'. This figure probably identical with the [G]wdolwyn Gorr named as the father of Eurolwyn, in the roll-call of mwyn merchedd at the end of the Court List (see n.### below). A certain Guidolwyn Gorr is named as the owner of one of the magical vessels required by Ysbadadden in the Anoethau list, in this case to insulate the blood of the Very Black Witch. He is probably identical with the Gwythelyn Gorr implicated as the author of one of the Three Great Enchantments of the Island of the Britain (TYP p.403 etc.).
238 Bwlch a Chyfwlch a Seuwlch meibon Kledyf Kyfwlch, vyron Cledyf Diuwlch. This trio of names, along with their patronymics, represent a kind of figura etymologica consisting of formations spuriously derived from the element bwlch/fwlch, i.e. 'gap, notch, breach'. An approximate rendering might be "Defect, Perfect and Obfect sons of Perfect Blade, grandsons of Undefect Blade." C.f. n.62 above on Caledfwlch.
239 The lines that follow build on the triplication established by these three names. This kind of stylised iteration represents a characteristic form that is found in a number other archaic vernacular Celtic contexts, e.g. the series of monstrous assailants in the Togail Bruidne Da Derga (see Early Irish Myths pp.81 ff). Sionedd Davies (MAB-D. p.266) draws attention to the poetic qualities of these lines: 'here, the acoustic dimension has taken over altogether, as names are fabricated solely for the purpose of rhythm and sound.' This is indeed one of the passages in Culhwch ac Olwen where the discourse slides towards the Old Irish rosc style, or the fully-blown areithau of more recent Welsh rhetoric.
240 Glas, Glesic, Gleissat. Glas 'pale, blue-grey'; Gleisiad 'Smolt, Young Salmon'. The precise semantic content of Glesig is unclear, but it may have been an adjectival form derived from gleisio 'to bruise'. As with the other triplications in this series, there is a poetic implication of an etymological relationship between these names.
241 Call, Kuall, Cafall. Call 'sharp, cunning' Kuall 'hasty, quick' Cafall 'horse' (< Lat. caballus).
242 Hwyr Dydwc a Drwc Dydwc a Llwyr Dydwc lit. 'Late Bearer and Evil Bearer and Full Bearer'.
243 Och a Garym a Diasbad lit. 'Alas, Scream and Yell'.
244 Lluchet a Neuet a Eissywed lit. 'Lightning-flash and Desire and Need'
245 Drawc a Gwaeth a Gwaethaf lit. 'Bad and Worse and Worst'
246 Eheubryt merch Kyuwlch. As with the series of names that follow, Bromwich and Evans offer a plausible case for emending merch to mab (CO pp.101-102). Eheubryd is thus a son of one of the trio whose characteristics and affiliations were enumerated in the sequence above. Beyond that, he is entirely unknown.
247 Gorascwrn merch Nerth. 'Great Bone son of Strength'. Otherwise unknown. See n.246 above for the emendation from merch to mab.
248 Gwaeddan merch Kynuelyn Keudawc. Gwaedan 'Shouter' appears as a personal name elsewhere in the Welsh tradition, notably as the name of regulus or petty king in the Life of St Teilo, who vioilates one of Teilo's shrines and goes mad thereafter. Of Cynfelyn Ceudog, nothing more is known. The meaning of the epithet is obscure, and R.'s reading Keudawt 'thought, mind, heart' is perhaps to be preferred. See n.246 above for the emendation from merch to mab.
249 Pwyll Hanner Dyn lit. 'Wisdom Half Man', possibly an unflattering reference to the hero of the First Branch, Pwyll Pendevic Dyfed/Pwyll Pen Annwfn; but this could be an extension to the epithet of Gwaeddan's patronymic (see n.248 above).
250 Dwnn Diessic Unben. 'Dwnn Vigourous Chieftain'. Otherwise unknown.
251 Eiladar mab Pen Llarcan 'Eiladar son of [the] Head [of] Llarcan.' Otherwise unknown.
252 Kynedyr Wyllt mab Hettwn Tal Aryant 'Cynedyr the Wild son of Hetwn Silver-Brow'. [G]wyllt is cognate with the Irish Geillt, both of which are used to describe a very specific form of trance-state associated both with prophetic inspiration and post-traumatic stress. Those afflicted with this condition are represented as avoiding human contact and seeking refuge in the wilderness in a semi-feral state. See ###-### above, and Parker (2005) pp. 516-520. There are a number of figures in this list who display aspects of this condition (e.g. Sgilti Sgafndroet), and there are some reasons to suspect it may have been an aspect of the fénnidacht associated with the Northern Arthur and his followers (c.f. p.###-### above).
253 Sawyl Penn Uchel 'Sawyl High Head' or 'Sawyl High Chief'. Bromwich and Evans (CO p. 104) list a number of similarly named figures from elsewhere in the Welsh tradition. Among the more certain identifications is Sawyl Pennuchel who appears in the 16th chapter of Vita Sancti Cadoci (VSBG p.58) as a disrespectful secular warlord who ends up being swallowed by the earth in Divine retribution for defying the hero-saint. In this anecdote, it is said he lived near the monastery of Cadog, which probably refers to Llancarfan in the Vale of Glamorgan. Sawyl Ben Uchel is listed in Triad 23 as one of the three Trahauc 'Arrogant Ones' of the Island of Britain.
254 Gwalchmai mab Gwyar. This hero, whose name derives from the Clt. *Ualcos Magesos 'Hawk of the Plain', is named in Triad 4 as one of the three Deifnyawc 'well-endowed/wealthy ones' of the Island of Britain. He is also named in the Beddau stanzas and the Triads of the Horses in the Black Book of Carmarthen. From at least as early as the thirteenth century he was identified with the Galfredian Gualguainus (Gawain of Continental Romance), though there is no obvious etymological correspondence between these two names. Gwyar is usually given as the name of Gwalchmai's mother (CO pp. 104-105), so this would be a rare example in the court list of a hero being designated by their matronymic in place of the usual patronymic or epithet.
255 Gwalahauet mab Gwyar. This brother of Gwalchmai is referenced briefly in a line of thirteenth-century praise poetry (CO p.104), but is otherwise unknown.
256 Gwrhyr Gwalstawd Ieithoed 'Gwrhyr Language-Interpreter'. Gwalstawd derives from OE wealhstod 'translator, interpreter'. Gwrhyr plays a significant role at various points later on in the text, interceding not only with other human groups but also with animals and birds.
257 Kethtrwm Offeirad 'Cethdrwm the Priest'. Otherwise unknown. Like Bedwin the Bishop (see below), this cleric plays no further part in the adventure.
258 Clust mab Clustueinat 'Ear son of Hearer'. First of a number of such 'substantive' figures that occur in this section of the listing. He plays no further part in Culhwch ac Olwen, but is entirely characteristic of the instrumental Helper-Prodigies that feature in the Six Go Through the World tale type. As Bromwich and Evans note, there is a reference to Clust fab Clustfeiydd as well as Drem fab Dremhidydd (see n.173) in a late fourteenth-century poem by Gruffydd Llwyd, mocking the alert senses of a jealous husband. These allusions were almost certainly derived, directly or otherwise, from Culhwch ac Olwen itself. It is highly unlikely these characters had an independent existence in the Welsh tradition prior to the composition of this text.
259 Medyr mab Methredyd 'Aim son of Aimer'. A sharp-eyed marksman is one of the classic helpers in the Six Go Through the World scenario, although this figure plays no further role in Culhwch ac Olwen.
260 Gwiawn Llygat Cath 'Gwion Cat's Eye'.
261 Ol mab Olwyd 'Track son of Tracker'.
262 I have discussed the parallels between this figure and the description of Pryderi in Triad 26 elsewhere (Parker, 2005, p.169). Here I suggested that a pre-existing tradition of Pryderi as a protector of the herds of Dyfed may have been the inspiration for this anecdote relating to Ôl and his father's pigs. However, there is also a case for seeing Pryderi fab Pwyll ('Care son of Wisdom') as the secondary phenomenon. There is very little evidence for the prior existence of Pryderi or his father Pwyll in the Welsh tradition before his appearance in the twelfth-century sources discussed on pp.### above.
263 Betwini Escop 'Bedwini the Bishop'. This figure appears in the anomalous Triad 1, and in certain other later texts which show signs of the influence of Culhwch ac Olwen. It is unclear whether he had any pedigree in the earlier Arthurian tradition. As we will discuss on pp.###-### below, Christianity and its clerical representatives have a surprisingly marginal role in Culhwch ac Olwen.
264 Not many of the females named in this final section of the Court List are known in other sources. They tend to be identified as the daughters of male figures who (if they are known elsewhere at all) are either traditional members of the Arthurian retinue (e.g. Cai, Bedwyr) or neighbouring royal dynasties from the Central Belt and Old North regions (e.g. Clydno Eidno, Urien Rheged).
265 Gwenhwyfar. See p.### n.### above.
266 Gwenhwyfach. Triads 53 and 84 allude to a tradition that the Battle of Camlann arose as a result of a feud between these two sisters. The age and provenance of this tradition are not known.
267 Merch Unig Clememyl. Unig 'Singular, Alone' (> Lat. unicus) occurs as a personal name elsewhere in the Welsh tradition (e.g. Unig Glew Ysgwydd, Bendigeidfran's messenger in the Second Branch). However, it could be interpreted as a qualifying adjective of merch, i.e. Clememyl's only daughter. The patronymic Clememyl is otherwise unknown, but looks like a possible derivation of the Late Roman Clemens (c.f. Cluim p.###).
268 Kelemon merch Kei. Otherwise unknown.
269 Thangwen m. Weir Dathar Wenidawc. For Gwair Dathar Weinidog see p.### n.### above. Nothing else is known of Tangwen herself.
270 Gwen Alarch m. Kynwal Canhwch lit. 'White Swan dau. of Kynwal Hundred-Hog'. I am not aware of any other references to either father or daughter elsewhere in the Welsh tradition.
271 Eurneit merch Clydno Eidin. This Eurneid would be the sister of the Cynon fab Clydno Eidin who is sometimes depicted as the last survivor of the massacre at Catraeth (###ref###). This Clydno Eidin is usually identified with the Clinog Eidin named in HG VII.
272 Eneuawc merch Uedwyr. No more is known about this daughter of Bedwyr.
273 Enrydrec merch Tutuathar. Neither daughter or father are known elsewhere in the Welsh tradition.
274 Gwenwledyr merch Waredur Kyrfach. The patronymic is presumably identical to the Gwawredur Cyrfach, whose monstrous sons are described as coming from 'the uplands of Hell' (see n.94. This would imply an otherworld origin for Gwenwledyr herself.
275 Erduduyl merch Tryfffin. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.108) note that the name Erdudyl as a varient of the name Efrddyl (Urien's sister) in one version of Triad 70. The name Tryffin is best known from the 'native' genealogy of Dyfed, where he appears as the father of the celebrated Aircol Llawhir (see p.### above).
276 Eurolvyn merch [Wdolwyn Gorr]. The patronymic is ommitted by W. Wdolwyn Gorr may be a varient of Grudlwyn Gorr (see n.237). The form here is closer to the Guidolwyn Corr mentioned in the Anaoethau.
277 Teleri merch Peul. Otherwise unknown.
278Indec merch Arwy Hir. Identified as one of Arthur's mistresses in the late Triad 57. There may have been some narrative material associated with this relationship, although possibly only as a fairly late accretition to the complex. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.109) draw attention to the fact that Indeg was frequently alluded to as a paragon of beauty by the court poets and their late medieval successors (see TYP p.357, 412). From these allusions we can gather that her father Garwy Hir was a substantial figure in his own right, possibly associated with the Hen Gogledd regional complex.
279 Moruyd merch Uryen Reget. Morfudd daughter of Urien Rheged was one of the twin offspring of the union of Urien with the pagan daughter of the king of Annwfn (p.###), the other being Owain Rheged.
280 Gwenlliant Teg 'Gwenlliawn the Fair'. Otherwise unknown.
281 Creidylat merch Llud Llaw Eraint 'Creiddylad daughter of Llud Silver Hand'. The eternal conflict between Creiddyladd's rival lovers, with its strongly pagan subtext, appears later on in the text. It has been plausibly suggest by Bromwich and Evans (CO p.145) among others, that the original form of the patronymic was Nudd Llaw Eraint, cognate with the Irish Nuadu Airgetlám, whose prosthetic silver arm is the result of an injury sustained while fighting the Fir Bolg, as alluded to in the Middle Irish Cath Maige Tuired. This Nuadu is equivilant to the Romano-British Nodens, whose temple at Lydney seems to have been a significant centre in the Forest of Dean area during the fourth century AD.
282 See n.186 above
283 Ellylw merch Neol Kyn Croc 'Ellylw daughter of Neol Hang-Cock'. Neither father nor daughter are specifically referenced anywhere else in the Welsh tradition, although Ellylw is a common name in the medieval Welsh genealogies (CO p.109).
284 a honno a uu teir oes gvyr yn uyw lit. 'and that one [for the] lives of three men alive'.
285 Essyllt Vynwen ac Essyllt Uyngul 'Esyllt White Neck and Esyllt Slender-Neck'. One of these, probably the former, is likely to have been identical with the Iseult/Isolde of Continental Romance (the lover of Trystan). This may have been a subsequent addition to the list, as suggested by Bromwich and Evans (CO p.110). It is possible that these two Esyllts were understood to be the second and third 'lives' of Ellylw. It is perhaps significant that some Continental Romances represent three Esyllts - Esyllt's mother (wife of the Irish king) was said to have borne the same name, as did Esyllt daughter of King Heol of Brittany whom Trystan eventually married following his exile by King Mark of Cornwall.
286 Arnadunt oll y hasswynwys Kulhwch mab Kilid y gyuarws. The Court List closes with the same phraseology with which it opens.
287 Dygyrch ti genhym ni lit "Search with us" Both Davies (MAB-D p.189) and Jones and Jones translate this as "Come with us". Dygyrchu (dy + cyrchu 'make for, seek') has the sense of hunting, seeking or attacking; but also frequenting or haunting.
288 Hyd pan dywettych ti nat oes hi yn y bit lit. 'Until you could say that she does not exist in the world'
289 rac meint y angerd lit. 'against the greatness of his power'. Angerd also means 'heat' 'steam' 'smoke', but with an older meaning similar to the French esprit 'spirit, vital force'.
290 Dyskymon uydei hynny utunt y gynneu tan lit. 'kindling could be that to them to light a fire'
291 arswydwys lit. 'dreaded/feared greatly'. I have followed Jones's and Jones's translation here.
292 Drych eil Cibdar. This individual is identified as one of the Three Enchanters of the Island of Britain (Triad 27) in one of the earliest Triadic listings. Drych 'image, reflection, dream, vision'. The patronymic, Cidbar or Kibdar is otherwise unknown and does not appear to be native to the Welsh lexicon. For eil ('hier, second') n.85 above.
293 R: yn gynt lit. 'before'. The White Book omits this adverb
294 See n.256 above.
295 See n.254 above.
296 [g]yrru lletrith lit.'drive an enchantment'
297 deuuant lit. 'they come'. The dramatic present, often used in Middle Welsh texts.
298 hynny vyd kaer a welynt lit. 'it is a caer which they could see'. Here, hynny is being used with the dramatic present (once again) to emphasise the sense of wonder and surprise.
299 Kerdet ohonu y dyt hwnnw lit. 'The walking from them that day'.
300 Pen debygynt vy eu bot yn gyuagos y'r gaer lit. 'When they supposed their being near to the caer'
301 R stretches out this apparent distortion of time and space over two more days: Ar eildyd ar trydyd dyd y kerdessant ac o vreid y doethant hyt yno 'Over a second and a third day they walked, and with difficulty did they get there'.
302 ar un maes ar hi lit. 'on one field with it'
303 Han ny uyd dauates uawr a welynt lit. 'it is a great flock of sheep which they could see' (c.f. n.298 above).
304 Deuawt oet arnaw ny chollet oen eiroet ganthaw lit. 'He had a custom that there was never lost from him a lamb'
305 There are parallels between this monstrous shepherd and the humble foster-parents in exile/return narratives (see p.### and also the 'lord of the beasts' at the beginning of Owain and its related tales.
306 Na uid amgeled genwch mynet yno lit. 'May there be no care for you to go there.'
307 Yrraf lledrith lit. 'I will drive an enchantment', c.f. n.296 above.
308 "Berth yd ytwyt, Heusawr." "Ny bo berthach byth y boch chwi no minheu." This curious exchange looks like a mangled version of the introductory greetings exchanged by Culhwch and Arthur above. Has something been lost in Gwrhyr Gwalstawd Ieith's translation, or is it simply a further example of the 'dark speech' of the pagan community? (p.### above). The slightly puzzled response that follows tends to underscore this ambiguity.
309 "Pieu y deueit a getwy di, neu pieu y gaer?" lit. "Who owns are the sheep you guard, or who owns the caer". The conjunction neu, which usually means "or" is used in this way throughout the dialogue that follows.
310 Meredic a wyr. This phrase is omitted by W.
311 W: Custenhin Amhynwyedic R: Custennin yn gelwir uab Dyfnedic. The apparent epithet in the W version seems to be corrupt. Bromwich and Evans suggest emmending to Hwyedic 'Prolonged, Distended', a rare adjective that also occurs on line 78a in Canu Heledd, with apparent reference to the heroine's destitute condition.I have followed Davies and Jones and Jones reading this as a patronymic, i.e. ap Mynwyedig, although no individual of this name is known anywhere else in the medieval Welsh lexicon. The name Custennin (< Constantinius) was popular with a number of British and Gaelic warlords, including Constantine of Dumnonia (fl. AD 530) and one of the early kings of Scotland Constantín son of Cinaed (d.876). Various saints also bore this name. Which (if any) of these figures was being recalled here is impossible to say. Both the Emperor Constantius (d. AD 306) and his son Constantine the Great (d. AD 337) were themselves emblematic figures in post-Roman and Early Medieval Britain, and there may have been a typological echo here of the latter, around whom there was a rich body of medieval legend.
312 Ny dodyw neb erchi yr arch honno lit. 'No-one who has come to ask that ask.'
313 Keissaw gwiscaw y uodrwy ohonawlit. 'The seeking to put on the ring from him'
314 doeth. Omitted in W.
315 Etrei (> er + trei 'ebb'). Bromwich and Evans suggest this refers to 'the breaking or surging of the waves, the first ebb after high water' (CO p.115)
316 ochwinsa (> o + chwinsa 'evening, nightfall, late, lately, shortly, now'). Sionedd Davies, Jones and Jones and Patrick Ford all translate as 'presently, soon', the meaning also offered by Bromwich and Evans.
317 neges (> Lat. necesse) "errand, mission, business, request". In a medieval context, this often denote a journey made to the court of a patron or ally, in order to convey information or obtain some kind of favour (as in this case); although elsewhere in this text (e.g. here) we find it used in a more general sense, where 'mission' (or 'quest') might be the more fitting equivilant term.
318 y geissaw mynet dwyglaw mynwgyl udunt lit. 'seeking to go two hands neck to them'. As Bromwich and Evans note, mynet dwyglaw mynwgyl is a common idiomatic formation in Middle Welsh, denoting an embrace.
319 As Professor Jackson has noted (The International Popular Tales and Early Welsh Tradition, Cardiff:University Press, 1961, p.75-76) that this incident corresponds to a common international motif known as The Oldest on the Farm (AT.726).
320 ny oruydei ar arall uyth rodi serch im lit. 'it would not overcome another to give love to me'
321 pan at pawb eu damsathyr lit. 'when everyone is allowed in their throng'.([g]at < gadu 'let, allow'). Damsathyr is not attested elsewhere, but resembles the word amsathyr ('trampling, outpouring, thronging') which used elsewhere in this text (e.g. p.###) to denote the convivial atmosphere of the feast.
322 Pa neges y dodych yma chwi lit. "What errand to you put here?". For neges "errand, mission, entreaty" see n.317 above.
323 Y olchi y fenn lit. "to wash her head".
324 W: A daw hi yma o chenneteir R: A daw hi yma ony chennetteir. The R version makes more sense, and the aspirated form chenneteir suggests ony rather o was present in the source text.
325 The language here has religious overtones, with the reference to the soul eneit, and the use of the verb credu (Lat. > credo). See p.### for a discussion of the ambivilant status of Custennin's family as 'crypto-Christians' in the pagan/monstrous community.
326 Nyd oed olwg tegach no'r eidi lit. 'was not an eye fairer than the one which was to her.'
327 Olwen < ôl + (g)wen lit. 'White Track'
328 Kanyt oes hoedyl itaw namyn hynny elwyf gan vr lit. 'since he will not have life except until I go with a man.'
329 a da yw ti o dihengy a'th byw genhyt lit. 'good it will be for you if you escape with your life with you.'
330 henpych gwell lit. 'may you be well'.
331 Neu chwitheu, kwt ymdewch lit. "You for your part, where do you travel?" Neu here seems to be an affirmative particle, rather than a conjunction. The conjunctive form of the pronoun (chwitheu) has the implied meaning "and you, for your part". Ymdewch < ymdeith literally means 'travel, go', but refers here as much to the intentional purpose of the journey to Ysbaddaden's court as to the destination itself. The same verb is used in the reply that follows, where it is translated in a similar way.
332 Mae uy gweisson drwg a'm direidyeit lit. "Are my wicked servants and idle ones here?"
333 Defnyt uyn daw "the substance/future shape of my son-in-law". The motif of an ogre whose drooping eylids have to lifted up with forks is a unique and direct parallel with the Irish Balor, as we have noted on p.### above.
334 Mi a dywedaf peth atteb iwch. Peth is used adjectivally here (GMW p.96).
335 Llechwayw 'stone spear'. There is some doubt as to whether this form has been correctly interpreted (CO p.119 and n.### below). Jackson ( A Celtic Miscellany p.316) preferred lluchwayw 'flashing/lightning spears', and it could be that a form of this kind was present in an earlier exemplar.
336 A'e odif ynteu lit. 'and it's hurling he (did), for his part'.
337 aval garr lit. 'shank apple'.
338 Hanbyd gwaeth yd ymdaaf gan anwaeret. A slightly different turn of phrase (but with much the same meaning) is used further on in the same exchange.,
339 As Stephen Knight has pointed out, the spear seems to be stone when thrown by Ysbadadden, but made of iron when thrown back by Bedwyr or one of the other Arthurian heroes. This may be the result of a misinterpretation of an earlier form (see n.355 above), or it could be a comment on the relative cultural status of the two parties, with the use of stone (or stone-tipped) spears being a function of the primative 'pre-cultural' representation of Ysbaddaden and the monstrous/pre-Christian demographic, as opposed to the groomed, shaved and iron-using Christian court of Arthur (see p.### ff. below). Another alternative is that 'iron' is being used generically here by Ysbaddaden to denote any kind of wounding weapon.
340 Dypi iti hynny lit. "that will be coming to you".
341 Awn y'n bwyt lit. "we will go to our food".
342 Menw mab Teirgveth. This preserves an Old Welsh spelling of Menw's patronymic.
343 yn alavon y dwyuronn lit. 'in the middle of the two breasts'
344 Pan elwyf yn erbyn allt. c.f. n.338 above.
345 Na myn lit. "Do not desire" (2nd person impf. < mynnu)
346 Mae uyg gweisson lit. "Are my servants [here]?"
347 Hyt tra y'm gatter yn byw lit. "As long as there is to me left of life"
348 Atuyd gal penn lit. 'a headache will happen'
349 Hawd yw genhyf gaffel hynny, kyd typychkych no bo hawd. This phrase is repeated by Culhwch at the end of each task, as a kind of refrain, answered by Ysbaddaden's kyt keffych, yssit ny cheffych. As Sionedd Davies has suggested, such formula represent the hallmarks of a particaptory oral performance, in which the audience would have joined in with the chanting of the refrain (the same principle as the pantomime "Oh yes he is / oh no he isn't"). The valence of this experience, in psycho-dramatic terms, is discussed on p.###, where we suggest that this represents a release of the 'accumulated power' built up by the recitation of the Court List. The White Book text presents an abbreviated varient hawd yw genyf... / kyt keffych... for most of this list, although one might suspect that the full version (as given in R) would have been recited during oral performances.
350 Amaethon mab Don. The name Amaethon derives from the root amaeth (< Gaulish ambactus) 'ploughman' + -onus/-ona suffix, often used in divine names in the pre-Christian Gallo-Brittonic world (c.f. Epona, Maponus, Matrona etc.) Amaethon could therefore be rendered as 'The Great Ploughman' or 'The Plough God'. His patronymic mab Dôn is probably a matronymic, Dôn being cognate with the Irish Danu, who is usually referred to as goddess. Two other sons of Dôn, Gwydion and Gilfaethwy, play a central role in the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi, where they are strongly associated with magic, craft and trickery. There can be little doubt that this supernatural dynasty were pre-Christian divinities of some sort, although exactly what their significance might have been in (for example) Late Iron Age Britain remains a matter of inference rather than knowledge (e.g. Parker, 2005, pp.460-476). Amaethon himself does not appear in the Fourth Branch, and is referenced twice elsewhere in the Welsh tradition: in an elergy found in the Book of Taliesin, and in a late prose sequence found in MS P 98 B, in which Amaethoan (sic.) is represented in conflict with the forces of Annwfn (led, significantly, by Brân son of Llŷr), in the run up to the Cad Achren or Battle of the Trees.
351 o'e uod lit. 'from his will'
352 Gouannon mab Don lit. 'The Great Smith son of Dôn'. Another member of the dynasty of Dôn, who (like his brother Amaethon) seems to have been akind of 'culture hero', associated with a particular craft or skill. He receives a brief mention in the Fourth Branch, where he is held to be responsible for the death of his nephew Dylan.
353 Gwlwlyd. A similar form, Gwylwylyd appears in Triad 45 as the name of the owner of a pair of oxen, Melyn Gwanhwyn and Gvineu Ych (See n.354 below).
354 The name of the first of these oxen is probably to be identified with the Melyn Gwanhwyn 'Yellow Pale White' of Triad 45. Ych Brych also appears in Triad 45 (not identified as one of Gwylwylyd's animals). This is probably the same ych brych ('Speckled Ox') that appears in line 39 of Preiddeu Annwfyn (LPBT p.437, 447 etc.). The challenge of these anoethau appears to be in yoking the animals together as much as their acquisition.
355 Bannawc lit. 'The Horned'. The name of this ridge or mountain appears in a number of medieval Welsh sources, marking the border with Prydyn (i.e. the Pictish territories of North Britain). Thompson and Bromwich cite K H Jackson's opinion Bannog (CO p.123) was the old British name for the range of mountains running along the northern border of the Central Belt area. It survives in the name of the battle of Bannock Burn, which is thought to have taken place in the Stirling area of the Upper Forth valley.
356 Nynhyaw a Pheibiaw. These appears to have been genuine historical figures, sons of Erb, a (possibly epoymous) dynast from Ergyng or Arcenfield from the early sixth century (see p.### above). Pebiaw appears in the Life of St Dubricius, where he is represented as suffering from a debilitating disease which the saint was able to cure. The hostile view of these native kinglets from the Southeast is noteworthy (see p.###), but the significance of the bovine transformation itself or the relocation these figures to the Pictish border is otherwise unclear.
357 Y uragodi 'to make braggart'. MW bragawd = a drink made from fermented honey and ale.
358 Llwyr mab Llwyrion lit. 'Complete (sg.) son of Complete (pl.)', one of the 'substantive' names similar to those found in the latter part of the Court List.
359 dalho lit. 'which might capture'
360 The hamper of Gwyddno Garanhir appears in the Tri Thlws ar Dec Ynys Brydain ('The Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain', TYP pp.240-249). The name Gwyddno is reminisicent of the Guipno found in the HG 5 whom, as we have already suggested, appears to have represented the ousted branch of the Strathclyde dynasty which took refuge in a Pictish court community, where Gwyddno's son Neithon/Nechtan seems to have been born. The temporary exile of this branch may have something to do with the legend of the indundated kingdom associated with the name of Gwyddno in the medieval Welsh tradition, where this lost territory seems to have been relocated to Ceredigion (see n.153 above).
361 y nos y kysco genhyt lit. 'the night that she might sleep with you'. The use of the subjunctive suggests this outcome was not a forgone conclusion in Ysbaddaden's mind.
362 Gwlgawt Gododin. This name appears at two points in the text of Y Gododdin (###refs###), strengthening the suggestion of the influence of the 'Gwynedd connection' on this body of Arthurian lore (see also n.##168## above). John Koch (1997, p. xlvii ff.) has recently suggested that this figure may have been the hereditary ruler of the Gododdin celebrated in the poem, rather than the Mynyddog Mwynfawr usually assigned to that role.
363 Pan uo da gan dyn, canu a wna e hunan lit. 'When it might be good with a man, the playing it would do by itself'
364 Adar Rianhon. This Rhiannon is presumably the same as the Rhiannon who plays such a significant role in the Four Branches of the Mabinogi. Her name (< *Rigantona) is suggestive of divine origins (c.f. n.350 above), and she may (as W J Gruffydd and others have suggested) have originally been the consort of Tigernonos(> Teyrnon), the Divine Lord (see n.165 above), and perhaps a reflex of the Gallo-Brittonic horse goddess Epona (see Parker, 2005, p.191-192, 647-648). This aura of divinity is suggested in various ways throughout the text: by Rhiannon's defiance of the laws of space and time when she is initially seen riding 'at a leisurely pace' by Pwyll Pen Annwfn from the mound of Arberth (pp.198-201); by her possession of a magical bag which is able to contain the entire wedding feast of Gwawl (ibid. pp.205-207) and perhaps most of all by her extraordinary 'equine penance' following the disappearance of her son (p.223). The birds of Rhiannon seem to be identical with the birds that sing at the Assembly of Brân (ibid. p.333), and are named as such in the list of themes associated with this episode (p.335).
365 Peir Diwrnach Wydel lit. 'the Cauldron of Diwrnach the Irishman'. The Tri Thlws ar Dec (TYP pp.240-249) mentions Pair Dyrnwch Gawr 'the Cauldron of Dyrnwch the Giant', which almost certainly corresponds to the cauldron described here. There is clearly a relationship with the Peir Pen Annwfn described in PA, as discussed on p.### above. Like the cauldron of the Head of Annwfn, the cauldron of Dyrnach the Giant 'will not boil the food of a coward'. Sims-Williams (1982, p.604) suggests that the version of this story found in Culhwch ac Olwen may reflect a "euphemerised version of a mythological expedition to the other world". However, the reverse is equally possible - if not more likely - with the original tale of a raid on Ireland being 'mythologised' into the story of an otherworld expedition which we find alluded to in Preiddeu Annwfn.
366 Maer (< Lat. maior). The word maer was used in medieval Wales to denote a variety of court officials and royal appointees. As Sims-Williams suggests (1982, p.604), the term 'steward' might be an appropriate translation in this case. As a court official, the steward would have been responsible not only for the provision of food and drink for the royal household, but (related to this) organising the collection of produce and food-rents from the royal estates would have been a central aspect of the role. Diwrnach's cauldron, therefore, was a metonym for the agricultural wealth of Ireland as a whole.
367 Sims-Williams has suggested a Frankish derivation for this name (Og(i)er < Audagari), as with the Gwittard map Aed Brenhin Iwerdon found in the court list. As suggested above (n.205), these names seem to reflect a composite of Hiberno-Norse, Anglo-Norman and Flemish onomastics.
368 Yskithyr Yskithyrwyn Penn Beid lit. 'the tusk of White-Tusk Chief of Boars'. There is a structural parallelism here between Arthur as Penn Teyrned, Ysbaddaden as Pencawr and Yskithyrwyn as Penn Beid. As noted (p.###), Torc Triath (the Twrch Trwyth's Irish cognate) was described as 'King of Boars' in the Lebor Gabála , so the two boars may well be considered - in some senses - doublets of one another. Such duplication is to be regarded as emphatic in function (rather than accidental or superfluous) in traditional literatures (see p.### below).
369 Prydein. In this text, Prydein or Prydyn usually refers specifically to the Pictish territories of the far north of Britain, rather than Britain as a whole.
370 estynnu lit. "dress, stretch, lengthen"
371 c[h]effir < impers. present caffael, i.e. "is got" "one gets"
372 The Very Black Witch is otherwise unknown, but she bears some resemblance to some of the ogrish figures that appear in the Three Romances (e.g. Du Traws 'Black Oppressor' in Owain). Likewise, the 'Valley of Desolation' shares the same formulaic quality as some of the generic, allegorical settings in Peredur, e.g. 'The Mound of Mourning'. On the Uplands of Hell, as a Christianisation of the Indigenous Underworld, see n.94.
373 Keffir lit. 'obtained, got' (impers.)
374 Guidolwyn Gorr 'Gwyddolwyn the Dwarf'. See n.237
375 A gatwant gures yndunt pan dotter yn dwyrein yndunt llyn hyt pan dyffer y'r go[r]llewin lit "which keep heat in them when is put in the East into them liquid until one might come to the West."
376 Rinnon Rin Barfog 'Rhynnon Stiff-Beard'
377 Twrch Trwyth mab Tared Wledig. For a full discussion of this monstrous boar see pp.### above. Here, he belongs to that uncertain territory between the human and the bestial which characterises the monstrous/pagan demographics in Culhwch ac Olwen. An allusion to this mythical beast may be present in the Gwarthan Cynvelyn found in the Book of Aneirin, although the passage in question is highly obscure. His origins, so far as we can discern them, seem to be in Irish pre-Christian tradition (for an alternative view, see Sims Williams (2011, pp.39-44). Later on in Culhwch ac Olwen, we are told that he was a king transformed into a boar because of his sins, a fate that was apparently shared by a number of other giant animals in this text, including the bitches of Rhymhi and perhaps also giant bovines Nynniaw and Pebiaw (see n.356). Tared Wledig, his father, is otherwise unknown. A suggestive resemblance to Ptolemy's Tarvedum Promontium in the far north of Scotland hints at a possible Pictish origin (this peninsula was also known - significantly - as the Orcas peninsula, evidently deriving from an early Celtic form orc- 'young pig'. Taruedum itself looks as though it derive from the Celtic tarṵos 'bull'. This alternation of the zoomorphic names for the promotory may have been the result of tribal geopolitical shifts in the region during the early Roman Age. It is noteworthy that the title [G]wledig is also borne by Culhwch's father and maternal grandfather (see n.1 and n.2 above). Culhwch and Twrch Triath are thus situated in precisely the same social stratum - one of a number of parallels between them (see p.### below).
378 Drutwyn ceneu Greit mab Eri. Drudwyn lit. 'Fierce/Brave White'. For Greit mab Eri see n.74 above.
379 On Cors Cant Ewin 'Swamp Hundred Claws' see n.97 above.
380 On Cahastyr Canllaw lit. 'Hundred Holds Hundred Hands' see n.96 above.
381 On Cilyd Cahastyr see n.95 above.
382 a digonho kynydyaeth ar y ki hwnnw lit. "who can do huntmanship on that dog"
383 Mabon mab Modron. The medieval Welsh derivation of the Romano-British god Maponus 'The Divine Son', whose mother Matrona 'The Divine Mother' was also evoked as a diety in her own right. Their cults are known throughout Britain and the Gallo-Roman world, with one particularly important centre in the western area of Hadrian's Wall region, where a number of dedications have been found suggesting a cult that drew a following from the higher-ranking military officials in the frontier garrison, who seem to have addressed him as Apollo Maponus, equating the British diety with the Roman sun god through a process of interpreta romana. It is surely significant, as suggested above (p.###), that the name Mabon continued to have a resonance in the Rheged region. A particularly close association was implied, by mythology and prophetic verse, between Mabon and Owain Rheged. Mabon also features in the early Arthurian poem Pa Gur, and is probably identical with the Mabonograin who appears in Chrétien Erec et Enide in the 'Joy to the Court' scene. His appearance, in bright-red armour, is typical of the representation of 'pagan' figures in Arthurian romance; and his deliverance from the Tower of Air is entirely characteristic of the process by which such figures were integrated into the Arthurian Christian milieu (see p.### below).
384 This motif of maternal separation, exile and return is highly characteristic of gods and heroes of all kinds. I have noted some of the more relevant correspondances elsewhere (Parker, 2005, p.213 ff.)
385 dan vabon y hela lit. 'beneath Mabon to the hunting'
386 Garselit Wydel 'Garselyd the Irishman', appears in the Court List.
387 Dillus Varchawc 'Dillus the Horseman'. Later on in the text, when Dillus's de-bearding takes place he is referred to as Dillus Uaruawg 'Dillus the Bearded', and also as Dillus mab Eurei in Arthur's satirical englynnion. In the latter form, Dillus is alluded to in the marwnad or death song addressed by the poet Cynddelw to Owain Gwynedd (d.1170) which may well have been roughly contemporary with Culhwch ac Olwen, or shortly after it. While we cannot be certain how much of an independent existance Dillus himself might have had in the Welsh tradition, the motif of giants and beard-chopping seems to have been well-established within the Arthurian complex, as can be seen by the cognate adventure described by Geoffrey of Monmouth in HRB X:165, in which Arthur defeats (and de-beards) the giant Ritho.
388 'The two whelps' would appear to be a reference to the two whelps of the bitch of Rhymhi, whose capture (evidently as one of the anoethau) is described below. It is not clear why this task has not been included in Ysbaddaden's list in either version of Culhwch ac Olwen, but it looks like there may have been some confusion with a different hunting dog, that of Greid son of Eri. As noted on p.### above, the seizure or theft of a hunting dog seems to have been one of Arthur's tradition exploits, perhaps rooted in his Northern background as a 'Finn-type' hero.
389 Kynedyr Wyllt mab Hettwn Caluyryawc 'Cynedyr the Wild son of Hettwn the Leprous'. These figures, and the complex saga within which they were represented as embroiled (see p.###), may well have existed independently before their incorporation in Culhwch ac Olwen. See p.### below.
390 nes kaffel lit. 'until the getting'
391 We have already explored the possiblity that this Gwyn ap Nudd (see nn.444, 79 etc.), a well-known figure in Welsh literature and folklore, may have been a primitive cognate of the Irish Finn and perhaps the early focal figure of a cycle of stories similar to those which were subsequently associated with Arthur (p.###).
392 In Culhwch ac Olwen, as in the Welsh tradition more generally, Gwyn seems to represent the faery otherworld in its more sinister, pagan aspect. His status as a receptacle of the spirits of Annwfn reflects this, as does his portrayal later on in the text.
393 Horses were of considerable interest in Celtic cultures, and often remembered and celebrated in a similar way to the recollection of the human heroes. This particular horse seems to be known elsewhere in the Welsh tradition, although with some variations in its name and ownership. Triad 44 mentions a certain Du Moro 'Black Moro', who bore one of the infamous horse-burdens (Marchllwyth), and who was represented as the property of Elidir Mwynfawr, a semi-legendary Coeling warlord of the Hen Gogledd who was supposed to have made a bid for the kingship of Gwynedd in the late sixth century (see p.### above). The Red Book and some of the other manuscripts use the form Du Y Moroed 'The Black one of the Oceans', which is similar to the form found in the Troiedd Y Meirch ('Triads of the Horses' found on BT 48 ll.3-18, text and translation TYP p. c-cii) Du Moroedd, who is described as belonging to Brwyn Bro[n] Bradawc 'Brwyn Wily-Breast'. The name Moro Oeruedawc 'Moro of the ?Cold Grave' is evocative but otherwise unknown, and has the appearance of a ghost-character derived from a corrupted form of Du Moroedd.
394 Guilhenin brenhin Freinc. This is usually thought to refer to William the Conqueror, who also appears in the Court List (see n.204 above).
395 mab Alun Dyfed. This unnamed son of Alun Dyfed appears in the Court List. See n.86 above.
396 These are evidently both hunting hounds, but are not otherwise known to the Welsh tradition. Their names, particularly that of Aethlem, suggest an Anglo-Saxon derivation. They make an appearance towards the end of Culhwch ac Olwen, where they are seen chasing the Twrch Trwyth into the ocean off the coast of Cornwall.
397 dan uy llaw i y mae ef lit. 'under my hand is he'. The significance of this claim is uncertain (see p.### below)
398 This stylised passage is an almost verbatim repetition of a similar passage that occurs at the end of the Court List. See nn.238-248 for commentary and explanation. Some of the minor differences between the two passages include the name Cilyd in place of the earlier Cledyf, and the fact that Och, Garym and Diasbad are described as three crones (gureichon) instead of grandchildren (vyryon).
399 Wrnach Kawr 'Wrnach the Giant' - otherwise unknown in the Welsh tradition.
400 nac ar werth nac yn rat lit. 'neither for sale or in grace'.
401 hyny uyd kaer uaen gymrwt a welasit. See n.298 for the use of hyny uyd and the dramatic present in the almost identical sequence which preceeds the arrival at Ysbaddaden's caer.
402 A titheu, ny bo teu dy penn pyr y kuerchy dy. This is almost identical to the exchange with the porter at Arthur's court (p.### above)
403 Dyuot y porthawr ac agorti y porth, a dyuot kei y mwyn e hun. The verbal nouns dyuot (coming) and agori (opening) are used here without a finite auxilliary verb (GMW p.161). This creates a sense of immediacy, similar to the use of the dramatic present.
404 Ae guynseit ae grwmseit? lit. "white-blade or dark-blue blade". Gwrwm in the Welsh colour spectrum denotes a dark blue-black colour, sometimes used to demote dark polished metallic textures. Sioned Davies, quoting Dafydd Jenkins, has suggested "the blue-bladed sword had acquired its colour in the process of tempering, whereas the white-bladed one had been polished and burnished after tempering." Cai's words and actions in this passage represent a convincing simulation of professional competence.
405 Yr hwnn a uo da genhyt it, maplei teu vei, gwnda arnaw lit. "The one which would be good to you, if it were yours, do upon it."
406 Penn y wayw a daw y ar baladyr, ac yssef a dygrych y guaet y ar guynt, ac a diskyn ar y baladyr lit. "[the] head of a spear comes from its shaft, and it is that which draws blood from the wind and alights upon the shaft." The precise significance of these cryptic words is unclear, but a veiled threat of some kind seems to be implied - either relating to Bedwyr's noted prowess as a spearman (see p.### above) and/or the violence that Cai, Bedwyr and Goreu were about to commit in Wrnach's court. Cei is engaging in the kind of "dark speech" which typifies the pagan/monstrous protagonists in this text.
407 budugawl lit. 'victorious'
408 mal nat oed vwy no dim ganthunt lit 'like it was no greater than nothing to them'.
409 Goreu 'Best'
410 Kellelprennu lit. 'knife-tree'. GPC gives the following meanings: "wooden tweezers, wooden side-pieces of a sheath, wooden knife for spreading ointment." It is perhaps significant that same word is used to designate the wooden tweezers required to pluck out the beard of Dillus (see p.### above).
411 a chaffwyf inheu gwneuthur rei newyd idaw lit. 'so that I might get (permission) to make new ones for it'.
412 Dyuot ohonaw vch pen y kawr lit. 'the coming of him above the giant'.
*The White Book text (W) breaks off at this point. The CO edition on which this translation is based hereafter follows the Red Book text (R).
413 yn gyntaf lit. 'first'
414 Gliui is the gentive form of the Roman name of Gloucester Glevum, itself derived from the native British *Glevon. Later in the Old Welsh period this eponymous mythical king of Gloucester became known as Gloiu or Gloyw, in which form he appears in the genealogy of the ruling dynasty of Buellt and Gwrtheyrnion given in HB 49 (see p.### above). This family was of course connected with Gwrtheyrnon (Vortigern) and it is possible that the unflattering portrayal of Gliui - who cuts a rather pathetic, self-pitying figure in this episode - owes something to the traditional characterisation of Vortigern.
415 Here, perhaps, we have are witnessing the early stages in Arthur's evolution into the roi fainéant 'the do nothing king', as he became in the later Romance tradition - an aging, sedentary figure who delegates an increasing proportion of his active responsibilities to younger and more virile members of his court community. We have already seen that he played no part in the acquisition of Wrnarch Gawr's sword. Although he plays an active role in some of the later adventures (notably the hunting of the Twrch Troit and the killing of the Very Black Witch) there is a sense in which his role in these episodes is something of an anachronism (see n.### below).
416 Gobeith yw gennyf y neges yd eloch ymdanei y chaffel lit. "Hope is to me the mission which you might go about it its getting"
417 Cilgwri = 'the cell of Gwri'. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.142-143) note that Camden's Britannia (1542) gives Killgury as a name for the Wirral peninsula. Another Cilgwri, apparently in the Corwen area of North East Wales, is also mentioned by the medieval poets. Elsewhere, in a late triad (Triad 92) this same ancient blackbird is described as residing in Celli Gardarn.
418 Ny wnaethpwyt gweith arnei, namyn tra uu uyg geluin arnei bob ucher lit. 'Not was done work upon it, except while there was my beak on it every evening.'
419 Rhedynfre 'Fern Hill'. A number places in and around Wales have this name, or a form that can be plausibly related to it. Bromwich and Roberts (CO p.143) draw attention to two possible identifications: the farm of Dynfra in the parish of Aberdaron at the far end of the Llŷn peninsula, and Farndon (OE fearn-dun) in Cheshire.
420 Cuan. This rare word for owl is unique to surviving medieval Welsh sources, but not unknown elsewhere. Bromwich and Roberts (CO p. 143) draw attention to an Old Breton cognate (couann). A mid-fifth century Gaulish source (Eucherius Bishop of Lyon) references a Gallo-Latin word for screech-owl, cauannus, for which a Celtic root is usually proposed. GPC (p.626) lists two eighteenth-century Welsh citations.
421 Cwm Cawlywt 'Valley of Caw the Grey'. A certain Llyn Colwlyd is the name of a small lake between Llanrwst and Capel Curig. However, as Bromwich and Roberts point out (p.143) there are other possible identifications.
422 Gwern Abwy lit. 'Alder Carcass', perhaps 'Alder Swamp' or 'Alder Carr'.
423 Llyn Llyw. Bromwich and Roberts (CO p.144) identify this with the Llyn Lliwan, located around the Gwent coastland of the Severn Estuary, mentioned later on in the text at the climax of the hunting of the Twrch Trwyth.
424 Caer Lloyw = Gloucester (see n.122.
425 Ny chacharwyt neb kyn dostet yn llwrw carchar a mi lit. 'Not was imprisoned anyone as painful a type of imprisonment as me'
426 This appears to be an allusion to a variant of Triad 52, The Three Exalted Prisoners, in which the prisoners named included Llŷy Llediaith and Gweir ap Geirioed (see p.### above). The differences in the version of the Triad cited by Mabon are entirely characteristic of the distortions that occur in a primarily oral milieu.
427 ae yr catwent ac ymlad lit. 'or by battle and fighting'
428 Y gymeint ohonof i a gaffer lit. 'as much of me to which can be got'
429 This she-wolf (or female dog) and her cubs have already been alluded to in the Court List above. Their capture is not stipulated in the anoethau, but it seems likely it was either lost at some stage in the text's transmission or conflated with the requirement to secure Drudywn the whelp of Greid son of Eri. The provenance of the name Rhymi is unclear, but there could be a distant recollection of the Roman foundation legend of Romulus and Rhemus (twins reared by a she-wolf) underlying the motif of this human-canine trio. As suggested on p.###, the acquisition of a hunting hound (by theft or violence) may well have been one of the tradition exploits of the Northern Arthur.
430 The confluence of the Cleddau rivers, near Millford Haven in Carmarthenshire. Tringad of Aber Cleddyf, the local figure who hosts Arthur at this point, is otherwise unknown. The name is known elsewhere in the Carmarthernshire region from a bi-lingual inscription found at Llanybyddyr: bearing the name TRENCATUS FILIUS MAGLANI (TRENACATULUS in ogham on the reverse).
431 See n.72 above.
432 nodes lit. 3rd pers.pret. < nodi See n.68 above.
433 Pumlumon lit. 'Five Peaks' is the highest point of the Cambrian mountains in mid-Wales, from which the rivers Severn, Wye and Rheidol all rise. It is located in present day North Cardiganshire. The name Garn Gwylathyr is otherwise unknown. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.148) suggest a possible identification with the cairn on the top of Drum Peithnant.
434 heb drossi dim am y gwynt lit.'without turning at all in the wind'
435 Dillus Varr[f]awc lit. 'Dillus the Bearded', previous described as Dillus Farchog 'D. the Horseman'. See n.387 above. The significance of beard-pulling and barbaring in Culhwch ac Olwen has been variously discussed by Knight (1963) Radner (1988), Sheehan (2005) and Nagy (2005). We will discuss some of these findings on p.### below.
436 yn deivan lit. 'singeing, scorching'
437 Llyna, hagen, mwyaf o ochelawd Arthur lit. "Lo there, however, the greatest of those who had avoided Arthur". Arthur's contested authority over the Island of Britain is discussed on pp.###-### below.
438 onyt yn byw t tynnir a chyllellprenneu o'e uaryf lit. 'unless in life one pulls with wooden tweezers from his beard'.
439 a'e wascu yn pwll hyt pan darvoed udunt y gnithiaw yn llwyr a'r kyllellbrennueu y varyf lit. "and he pressing into the pit until was happened to them its plucking in full with the wooden tweezers [of] his beard"
440 Eurei. This father of Dillus is otherwise unknown, but there is a suggestive resemblance to the name Yfrei/Ufrei which occurs at very points in Y Goddodin (see Koch, 1997, pp.xlvii-l) for a discussion of the significance of this name.)
441 Kynnllyuan a oruc Kei/O Uaryf Dillus uab Eurei/Pei Iach dy angheu vydei lit. 'A leash made Kei/From the beard of Dillus son of Efrei/If he had been heathly, your death he would be'. Arthur is apparently implying that Cai would not have beaten Dillus in a fair fight. It seems a remarkably graceless response from a gratified patron, and Cai's subsequent irritation is quite understandable. Nagy (2005) has put forward the ingenious (if perhaps rather tenuous) suggestion that an elaborate allegory of the relationship between the oral and literary tradition lies behind this englyn and the motif of Dillus's beard.
442 Creidylat uerch Lud Law Ereint. Creiddylad, and the perennial love-triangle in which she is suspended, has been was alluded to in the Court List above. She may well have been a mythological figure in origin. Her father, Llud Llaw Ereint 'Llud Silver Hand' is probably identical with the Llud son of Beli, a mythological king of Britain, about a whom a short triadic tale survives in the White and Red Books (a variant of which was also known to Geoffrey of Monmouth). Llud's epithet, 'Silver Hand' is cognate with the Irish form Argat Lamh, which is assigned to the mythological Nuadu, king of the Tuatha Dé Danann prior to the accession of Lug Lámhfhada. Nuadu himself, of course, is cognate with Nudd, the father of Gwyn himself - throwing up some fairly murky suggestions about the nature of this side of the love-triangle, of which the medieval cyfarwyddyd may have been dimly aware. See p.### for a full discussion of this important episode, and pp.### ff for what it tells us about the cultural demographics and 'deep-historical' processes enfolded in the text of Culhwch ac Olwen.
443 See n.73 for Gwythyr son of Greidol. His role here seems to be as the representative of summer/eros in the seasonal myth represented by love triange surrounding Creiddylad (with Gwyn representing winter/thanatos). Cf. pp.### above
444 Gwyn ap Nudd, whose name appears in triadic form in the Court List is generally regarded as the Brythonic cognate of Fínn ac Cumhail (see p.### above), preserving some of the more archaic and supernatural characteristics of the Common Celtic divinity (*Windos) from whom both are presumed to be descended. Later Welsh folklore depicts Gwyn as the leader of a spectral 'wild hunt', a common staple European legend from the medieval period onwards. In both hagiography and folklore, Gwyn ap Nudd is associated with the faery otherworld, an association that is rationalised in this text by the assertion that God placed "the demons of Annwfn" within Gwyn "lest they destroy the world."
445 Greid's appearance here may be explained by his fame as one of the 'Exalted Prisoners'.
446 Glineu eil Taran is probably identical with the Gliueu eil Taran listed at the end of the Second Branch of the Mabinogi, as one of the Seven Survivors from the war in Ireland (PKM p.44, Parker (2005) p.309). Like Gwrgwst (see n.447 below), the name Taran appears to derive from a Pictish context
447 Gwrgwst Letlwm lit. 'Gwrgwst Half-Naked'. Gwrgwst appears in the twelfth-century genealogy Bonedd y Gwyr y Gogledd as the grandson of Coel Hen and the ancestor of a number of the leading Coeling dynasties. A certain Gurgust appears in HG 8, this time as the son of Coel Hen (and great-grandfather of Urien). Jackson (1982) following Nora Chadwick, has related the name Gwrgwst to the Pictish form Urguist, cognate with the Old Irish Forcos. The epithet, Letlum appears in HG 12, once again as the grandson of Coel Hen (and son of Keneu) and grandfather of Gwrgi and Peredur (see p.### etc.). (This branch of the Coeling are given a slightly different descent, through Keneu's son Mar in BGG). While all of these genealogical traditions show signs of corruption, it is reasonable to suppose Gwrgwst Ledlwm had been known as an ancestral figure by some dynasties in the Border region during the early period, perhaps recalling the period of Pictish ascendency that seems to have prevailed in the eastern areas of the Border region during the early sixth century (see p.### etc.). His association with the Coeling may or may not be retrospective. The epithet 'Half Naked' presents a rather primitive aspect, perhaps reflecting the habit (alluded to by Gildas, DEB 19.2) of Pictish and Irish warriors going into battle naked as a sign of bravery, which may itself be linked with the 'lycanthropic' magico-religious practices of the fiana and other secret societies of the heroic age (see pp.### ff. above)
448 Dyfnarth y uab. No Dyfnarth son of Gwrgwst is known to the genealogies, but the name Dyfnarth is thought to be cognate with the Irish Domamgart, the name of Aedán mac Gabrain's grandfather, and may also be identical with the form Dunarth brenhin Gogledd that occurs in the Court List (see n.163 above).
449 Penn vab Nethawc. Otherwise unknown. As Bromwich and Roberts suggest (CO p.151) Pen[n] lit. 'Chief, Head' is an unlikely personal name, suggesting that some element may have been lost in transmission.
450 Nwython. See n.171 above for the significance of this name, which appears in the 'Cambro-Pictish' branch of the Strathclyde genealogy, as well as a patronymic in the Y Gododdin and a frequently-occuring 'royal name' in the Pictish king-lists.
451 Bromwich and Roberts (CO p.151-152) point out that the name CVLIDORI (genitval form of *Culidorix) occurs on a fifth-century inscribed stone from the Llangefni area of Anglesey. For the epithet gwyllt see pp.### ff. above.
452 dyvynnu 'summoning'. It is possibly significant that this verb is only used twice in the entire text of Culhwch ac Olwen, and in both cases in relation to Gwyn ap Nudd.
453 [g]orffo lit. 'would conquer, would prevail' 3rd pres/fut. subjunctive < gorbot
454 Mwyngddwn. The acquisition of this horse seems to have one of the anoethau, as is the leash of Cors Cant Ewin. See p.### and ### above.
455 Mabon uab Mellt This form also occurs in the early MW poem Pa Gur (see p.### above). He may be identical with Mabon uab Modron (see n.383 etc.), with Mellt (lit. 'Lightning') being the name of his father. This possibility is strengthened by his appearance here alongside the other 'exalted prisoner' Gware Gwallt Euryn
456 Neither these dogs nor their owner were mentioned in the Anoethau , and this looks like another duplication of the keneu of Greit uab Eri (c.f. n.378 etc.). Once again, we must remember that reduplication is used emphatically in primitive narratives, and should not necessarily be regarded as sign of corruption. Through this reiteration, these dog-acquistions was being raised from the plane of the incidental to the plane of the symbolic. See p.### for the possible significance of this traditional Arthurian feat within Culhwch ac Olwen.
457 Gwrgi Severi. This evocatively-named figure is otherwise unknown. Gwrgi literally - and perhaps significantly - means 'man-dog' (Gwr + Ci) - and is found fairly frequently elsewhere in Welsh nomenclature. Gwrgi Garlwyt 'Gwrgi Rough-Grey' is the name of a monstrous cannibal alluded to in Triad 32, with echoes in Pa Gur and elsewhere (TYP p.391) A notable mid-sixth century Coeling warlord seems to have born this name (see p.### above), as did an individual who was monumentalised on an early medieval inscription from Llangors in Brycheiniog. The epithet here, Severi, evokes the third century emperor (see p.### below), thus reinforcing the North British association.
458 See n.367 above.
459 Gogled. Presumably North Britain.
460 See n.451 above
461 See n.368 above
462 See pp.### ff. above
463 See n.118 above
464 kymerth Kaw o Brydein nerth bwyellic lit. 'took up Caw of Pictland the help of a hatchet'
465 salwen emended to salwet, the equative form of salw 'mean, ugly'
466 i.e. Twrch Trwyth and his offspring
467 See n.41 for Esgair Oervel
468 Kyvodi a oruc ynteu lit. 'he, for his part, arose'
469 Ymordiwedawd lit. 'overtook, caught up with'
470 Peir Diwrnach Wydel, maer idaw. See n.366
471 Gwelsant niuer Otgar eu meint lit. "Saw the host of Odgar their amount". I have followed Sioned Davies and Jones and Jones in interpreting this as an assessment by Odgar's host of the size/strength of Arthur's 'light retinue'. It is presumably on this basis that they were given hospitality, rather than met with force in the first instance.
472 Sef oed y swyd ef yn wastat ymdwyn peir Arthur a dodi tan y danaw lit."It was his office to constantly carry the cauldron of Arthur and put fire beneath it"
473 Llwydeu mab Kel Coed see n.190 above
474 Messur Y Peir lit. 'Measure of the Cauldron'. Neither the place-name itself (presumably the focus of an onomastic legend) nor the nearby Porth Cerddin survive, but the identification of a Cil Coed in the parish of Ludchurch near Narbeth suggests that location on the South Pembrokeshire coast seems the most likely. Charlotte Guest's suggestion of Pwll Crochan near Pembroke is not implausible. Jackson (1982 p.22-23) draws attention to the placename Messur Pritguen mentioned in the Book of Llandaf (LL 207.19) in a Monmouthshire context.
475 Cynifiwr lit. 'trooper,warrior'
476 Teir Ynys Prydein a'e Their Rac Ynys. See n.186 above for the significance of this phrase.
477 Gwlad Y Haf 'Land of Summer'. This is clearly an imaginative translation of the Old English Somerseattna (Somerset). As we have seen from the hagiography of Gildas (p.###) this translation encouraged at euhemeristic identification with mythology of island otherworld. Glastonbury in Somerset was consequently identified as Insula Avallonis.
478 Pymhet Ran Iwerdon lit. 'a fifth part of Ireland'. This refers to the traditional division of Ireland into Fifths (Coiceda), i.e. Ulster, Leinster, Munster, Connaught and Meath.
479 Geissaw ymadrawd lit. 'to seek a saying'
480 Grugyn Gwrych Eraint 'G. Silver Bristle'. As Bromwich and Evans (CO p. 158) point out, the name Grugyn (< Grug 'Heather' + dim. suffix) also occurs in Y Gododdin. They also draw attention to an Irish cognate of this name, Fráechán, which occurs in one of the Dindshencha tales. This Fráechán is one of a group of men who was turned into a pig, as was the case for Grugyn. Another one of these was Caelcheis, a near-cognate of Culhwch. That both of these accounts may derive from pre-Christian tradition is considered in more detail on p.### above.
481 A tharaw lygat ymwelet ac wynt lit. "with a strike of the eye the seeing with (i.e. of) them" Jones and Jones (MAB-J. p.132) translate "in the twinkling of the eye they saw them". Here I have followed Sioned Davies in translating the idiom taraw [l]lgyat as 'glimpse'.
482 The harbour at the mouth of the River Alun, five miles south of St Davids. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.159) point out that this harbour was landing place of Gruffydd ap Cynan (see p.### above) on his return from exile in Ireland, shortly before the battle of Mynydd Carn in 1081. This would suggest that a typological link was being imputed between Gruffydd and Twrch Trwyth. However, I can find little support for this in CO or elsewhere. Here, we will be interpreting the hunting of the Troit boar along the lines first proposed by John Rhŷs (1891, pp.509-537), i.e. in terms of an extended dindshenchas narrative inspired by a fairly arbitrary string of pig-related placenames across the landscape of South Wales. It may be significant, however, that the path taken by the Twrch Trwyth is approximately co-terminous with the limits of Rhŷs ap Gruffydd's geopolitical sphere, as we will consider on p.### below.
483 Mynyw i.e. St Davids
484 Kynnwas Kwrryfagyl. This individual is named in the Court List, see p.### above.
485 Deu Gleddyf see n.430 above.
486 kynn dyuot Arthur lit. 'before the coming of Arthur'.
487 O'r pan deuth Arthur y kychwynnwys Twrch Trwyth odyno hyt ym Presseleu lit. 'From when came Arthur set out Twrch Trwyth from there over to Preseli'. The implication is that the Twrch Trwyth was heading to the higher ground to avoid Arthur and his men.
488 See n.189
489 Gwarthegt mab Kaw. Gwarthegyd = 'cattle raid'. This son of Caw is not mentioned in the Court List or in any other source.
490 Niuer i.e. the River Nevern in North Pembrokeshire.
491 T[h]arawc Allt Clud. 'T. Allt Clud'. Allt Clud or the Rock of Clyde is the traditional name of the Brythonic territory more usually (if anachronistically) known as Strathclyde (see p.### etc.). The eponynmous Rock is the elevated spur overlooking the Clyde on which the fortress of Dumarton was built. Tarog himself is otherwise unknown.
492 Reidwn vab Eli Atfer ac Iscouan Hael Both of these name occurs in the court-list, see nn.137-138 above.
493 yn y lle 'in his place'
494 Gwydre uab Arthur. This son of Arthur is otherwise unknown.
495 Garselit Wydel. One of Arthur's huntsmen, mentioned in the Court List. See n.206 above.
496 Glew uab Ysgawt. Otherwise unknown, but possibly related to the patronymic of Unig Glaw Ysgawd 'Unig Strong Shoulder', whose named appears at various points in the Second Branch of the Mabinogi.
497 Iscawyn uab Panon. Otherwise unknown.
498 ym bronn y dydd lit. 'at the breast of the day'
499 tri gweis Glewlwyt Gavaelvawr. The three servants of Glewlwyd Gafaelfawr, Arthur's chief porter, as previously introduced.
500 Llaesgemyn. See n.35 above.
501 gwr ny hanoed well neb ohanaw lit. 'a man from whom no-one fared the better'
502 Gwylydyn Saer 'Gwylddwn the Builder'. This individual is named in the Court List alongside Eiddoel son of Ner, as one of Arthur's chief builders.
503 Pelunyawc. The name of a commote in Cantref Gwarthaf, between Narberth and Camarthern.
504 Madawc mab Teithyon. Otherwise unknown.
505 A Gwyn am Tringat mab Neuet ac Eiryawn Pennlloran. These names are more or less obscure, although Gwyn ap Tringad does reappear in the court-list in Geraint. The name Tringad itself is known from an inscription in the Carmarthenshire area, as we have seen (see n.430). Eiriawn Penlloran is completely unknown to any other source.
506 Kynlas mab Kynan. Otherwise unknown. Both the name and the patronymic are common throughout the Brythonic world, but especially characteristic of Powysian nomenclature. It is possible that a regional stererotype was being invoked.
507 Glyn Ystu. Both Jones and Jones (MAB-J, p.133) and Davies (MAB-D, p.210) emend to Glyn Ystun, evidently a wooded area in the Carnwyllion commote in southern Carmarthernshire.
508 See n.452 above.
509 Bromwich and Evans identify this with "the valley of the River Llychwr from present-day Ammanford down to Pontarddulai mark[ing] the boundary between the commotes of Carnwyllion and Gŵyr uwch Coed."
510 Llwydawc Gouynnyat 'L. the Hewer'. For Grugyn Gwallt Eraint, see n.480 above.
511 Ymrodi y gerdet onhaw ynteu. Bromwich and Evans suggest 'he endeavoured to proceed' as a literal translation (CO p.164). Ymroi means 'try one's best' in Modern Welsh and this seems to be the sense that best fits this context.
512 Mynynd Amanw. 'Amanw Mountain' Often identified with the Black Mountain uplands at the western edge of the Brecon Beacons. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.164) suggest that the association of these incidents with this area may have arisen from a local toponymic legend to explain the name of Brynaman village, associated by folk-etymology with the form banw 'pigling' which is used in the text at this stage. Rhŷs (1891, p.523) suggests Gaelic dialectical influence behind this form and its association with the Amanw toponymic.
513 yd aethpwyt eneit dros eneit ac ef lit. "it went to life over life with him"
514 yna lit. 'then'
515 Twrch Llawin. Apparently one of the Twrch Trwyth's offspring. Bromwich and Evans (CO p.164) suggested the name or epithet Llawin contains the adjective llaw 'small'. As we have seen Twrch is one of a number of words in the Insular Celtic lexicon meaning 'boar'. It is noteworthy that a River Twrch is also to be found not far from here, strengthening the probability that an onomastic legend has resulted in the association of this narrative complex onto this particular area of the Brecknockshire landscape.
516 Gwys lit. 'piglet', usually (though apparently not in this case) refers to a young sow. Also the name of one of the tributaries of the River Twrch (see n.515 above).
517 Dyffryn Anamw 'Amanw Valley', see n.512
518 Bennwic 'little pigling', the diminuitive form of Banw.
519 Llwch Ewin 'Lake Claw'. The exact location of this evocatively named lake is uncertain, however Scott Lloyd (Arthurian Place Names of Wales, Cardiff : University of Wales Press, p.181) points out that Llangadog Castle was occasionally known as castellum Lluchewin in medieval sources. This would fit the geographical context of the Hunt, which appears to be proceeding up the Towy valley at this point.
520 Echel Uordwyt Twll. This individual appears (along with his son) in the Court List. See n.104 above.
521 Arwyli Eil Gwydawc Gwyr. Presumably identical with the Gawrwyli Eil Gwythog Gwyr mentioned in the Court List.
522 Llwch Tawy. This is the older name for the Llyn Y Fan Fawr, where the River Tawe rises.
523 Din Tywi. Location unknown, but the context would not preclude the source of the Towy, in the mountainous forests between Powys and Ceredigion.
524 Garth Grugyn. This has been identified (CO p.166) with Castle Hill, near Llanilar (known as Kastell Garth Grugyn in some medieval sources).
525 Ruduyn Rys. Otherwise unknown
526 Ystrad Yw. The name of a commote in the southeast of the Brecon cantref Talgarth.
527 Llydaw, i.e. Brittany. The significance of this Breton connection is discussed on p.### below.
528 Hir Peissawc. Otherwise unknown. The name could be translated as "The Tall Tunic'ed One".
529 Llygatrud Emys a Gwrfoddw. Both are mentioned in the court list.
530 Rwng Tawe ac Evyas. 'Between the Tawe and Ewias' could be anywhere from the western Brecon Beacons to the border with England. It is implied that Arthur and his men lost track of the boar somewhere within this expanse, before encountering him again near the mouth of the Wye.
531 Myney eneit dros eneit ac ef wnaf lit. "coming life over life with him I will do". Eneit dros eneit is a Welsh idiom which can be translated variously 'life for life', 'life-or-death' or 'a fight to the death'.
532 Cad lit. 'battle' 'army' 'host'. In this case, it seems to denote a detachment sent with the specific aim of rounding up the Twrch Trwyth, and driving him down to the Severn.
533 anghen yn anghen lit. 'need for need'
534 y rwyng Llynn Lliwan ac Aber Gwy 'between Llynn Lliwan and Aber Gwy'. Llynn Lliwan may be identical with the Llyn Llyw, home of the salmon in the Oldest Animals episode (see n.423 above). Bromwich and Evans draw attention to the Linn Liuann mentioned among the Mirablia (HB 69), which seems to refer to the Severn Bore. Aber Gwy is the mouth of Wye, located at present-day Newport. This critical episode is therefore to be located near the mouth of the River Severn, and may be connected with the legendry complex surrounding the Severn Bore (see p.### above)
535 Kynn kaffel diot y grib lit. 'before the getting of the taking of the comb'
536 Kaffel dayar ohonaw ynteu a'e draet lit. 'the getting ground from him for his part, and his feet'. This passage make regular use of the construction [verbal noun] + o 'for, from' + infixed pronoun, which we have tended to translate in the dramatic present in passages of this kind (see n.### above).
537 o'r pan gauas y tir lit. 'from when the getting of land'. The slightly stylised register in this passage may preserve the trace of a codified 'hunting language', such as we know was the preserved in Germanic aristocratic circles during the Middle Ages (see p.### below).
538 gwein 'sheath'. The same word is also used to denote female genitalia. For a discussion of the 'broad' humour at play here see Sheehan (2005) and pp.### below.
539 gware lit. 'play, sport'
540 A oes dim weithon o'r anoethau heb gaffel? lit. "Is there anything now from the wonders without getting?"
541 Dygaboli < dy (intensive prefix) + caboli 'perfect, finish, smooth down' i.e. 'beat soundly, dress down'
542 nyt dec ac ny digrif lit. 'it is not seemly and not pleasant'
543 See n.230 above.
544 hyt nas gwypei duw y un ohonunt ell pedwar allu mynet o'r lle lit. 'so that God would not know the one of all four of them being able to go from the place'
545 There is a visual echo here of the equally-unflattering escape of the Coeling warlords from the battlefields of Arfderydd (see p.### above).
546 O'm bod i lit. 'from my will'
For abbreviations and publications referred to in these notes see the bibliography