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A common name for a court fool. Both Henry VII and Henry VIII had fools called 'Pach'. In the LIFE OF ROBIN GOODFELLOW, Pach seems to perform the function of a censor of housewifery and care of the stock rather than Court Jester. # 100
The coat of Padarn Redcoat was one of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain. # 104 - 156
(sixth century) The founder of Lanbadarn Fawr (Dyfed) where he was Abbot. When Arthur tried to steal the saint's tunic, according to legend, Padern caused the earth to swallow the king up to the neck. He was released only when he apologized. Padern's feast-day is 15 April. # 378 - 454
According to Leland, Henry VIII's librarian, this Cornish town was the birthplace of Arthur. # 156
A palace, containing the Grail, in the Castle of Carbonek. # 156
# 156: A Frenchman, a friend of Arthur in LE MYREUR DES HISTOIRES. Arthur conquered the kingdom of Saynes and bestowed it and the king's daughter on Paris. He may be identical with the French King Paris mentioned in CULHWCH AND OLWEN. # 730: It is generally thought that the city of Paris itself was founded after Homer's time by the Parigii, a Celtic tribe who were still living there at the time of the Romans (who called the town Lutetia). According to some scholars, the name Paris is connected with sun worship, as dolmens have been found with images of a sun ship strikingly similar to the Egyptian sun ships. It seems that there were indeed certain links between the Druidic cult and that of the Egyptian goddess Isis. The sun ship, which is still found in the Paris coats of arms, gave name to the city, via Barisis ('Barque d'Isis', or boat of Isis'). There can indeed be little doubt that Paris owes its name to Isis, as we also have written evidence that this goddess - usually associated only with the Egypt of the pharaohs- was venerated in northern Europe. # 156 - 221 - 482 - 662 - 730
Richard Wagner's Parsifal is the knight to whom it succeeded to render the Christian feast of Easter its proper power and significance, after the feast is pined away and had become stereotyped in the hands of its priest hitherto, the old and sick king Amfortas. With the holy lance Parsifal heal the king's gaping wound, and thus justify himself as not only the rightfully keeper of the Grail - the holy cauldron which contains the blood of Christ but also the new and duly by right administrator of the political power in the kingdom. Such is the tale of Parsifal in Wolfram von Eschenbach's medieval High German drama PARZIVAL from about 1205, and from where Wagner was inspired to compose the opera. But Wagner goes thoroughly into different features of the myth in a way as Wolfram never have dreamt of, according to B. Bojesen. As for instance does Wagner emphasize the incident with the beautiful witch, Kundry, and that there in Parsifal's relation to her is hiding a decisive perspective in the opera. In the middle of the second act she sings: 'The only reason why I was lingering here, was as for you to find me'. But this reply acted with a double entendre. In short, he, Parsifal, has to understand that she is a spiritual function, which he should integrate. And the only way to do this is to reject the physical sexual union with her. The result of this is pictured in the last scene of the opera. After Parsifal has raised the Grail from its shrine, Kundry sinks, with her eyes at him, slowly to the ground in front of Parsifal, inanimated. She no longer exists as a concrete being - exactly because Parsifal has integrated her as spiritual function. Parsifal is now 'whole', and has in one stroke achieved his authority. See also: PERCEVAL. # 78
The Celts believed themselves to be descended from the God of the Underworld. Partholon is said to have come into Ireland from the West, where beyond the vast, unsailed Atlantic Ocean, the Irish Faeryland, the Land of the Living, the Land of the Happy Dead, was placed. Partholon's father was Sera (the West?). He came with his queen Dealgnaid and a number of companions of both sexes. Partholon was the leader of the first invasion of Ireland. He was the chief of every craft: he cleared the plains for husbandry. His people were overcome by plague. He is the reaper of the last sheaf in modern Irish folklore. Partholan fought the Fomorians for the lordship of Ireland, and drove them out to the northern seas, whence they occasionally harried the country under its later rulers. # 418 - 454 - 562
(c.391-461) Patron of Ireland. He was British by birth and was enslaved by Irish pirates who raided his home. He eventually escaped, having spent his captivity consolidating his spiritual life while tending his master's herds. He trained rather sketchily for priesthood and was determined to return to Ireland and evangelize its people. His success was doubtless based on preparatory work undertaken by anonymous monks already settled in Ireland, in addition to his assimilation of existing druidic and religious patterns, upon which he built. He put down the worship of Crom Cruach, is reputed to have expelled serpents from Ireland, and to have explained the Trinity theologically by means of the shamrock. His breastplate - or lorica prayer - in which the warrior through his prayer invokes Christ as his armour, is very typical of existing Celtic invocations. His feast-day is 17 March. # 454 - 562
An Irish knight who was accidentally poisoned by Sir Pinel when he was trying to poison Gawain. At first Guinevere was accused of his murder, but Nimue found out the truth. # 156 - 418
PECHS PEHTS PICTS
Pechs and Pehts are Scottish Lowland names for fairies and are confused in tradition with the Picts, the mysterious people of Scotland who built the Pictish Brughs and possibly also the Fingalian Brochs, the round stone towers, of which the most perfect examples are the Round Towers of Brechin and Abernethy. At the end of the nineteenth century, David Mac Ritchie made out a good case for his THEORY OF FAIRY ORIGINS that the Feens or Fians of the Highlands and Ireland were substantially identical with the Pechs of the Lowlands and the Trows of Shetland. # 100 - 409
A knight who murdered his wife. He was sent by Lancelot with her dead body to Guinevere and eventually became a holy hermit. # 156 - 418
In Welsh tradition, the father of Bedivere. # 156
An astonished-looking monster-headed prow of a Viking ship looks towards the new hovercraft terminal at Pegwell Bay, no doubt as surprised by what goes on today as when the infamous marauders Hengist and Horsa landed here in the fifth century. The longship was sailed from Denmark to Pegwell in 1949, to commemorate the arrival of the Saxons who so moulded the history and mythology of Britain. The Saxons brought with them their pagan gods, which were later introduced into a sort of genial English demonology and a complex tanglewood of mythological tales, of which the story of Beowulf, the slayer of Grendel and other monsters, has survived. Hengist was traditionally the founder of Kent, and many of the name-places of old Saxon stomping grounds (their earliest thefts) of Kent, Sussex and Wessex are derived from their method of naming the localities they took over from those who had previously (or currently) owned them. Hastings was from the followers of Haesta ('the violent one'), reminding us of our schoolboy Latin, 'hasta, a spear', while the followers of Raeda ('the red one') gave us Reading. More difficult to grasp (though well recorded) is the derivation of the name Nottingham from its founders, the family Snotr, 'the Wise ones'. Perhaps the only query one may raise of the monstrous Viking longship is, why Pegwell? The earliest historian of the subject, the Reverend Bede, tells us that Hengist and Horsa came to Kent in AD 449 at the request of Vortigern, and landed at Ebbsfleet. What is this Ebbsfleet now? All that remains of Ebbsfleet, above Pegwell Bay, is a copy of a Saxon cross, some 18 feet high, covered with crumbling reliefs. Tradition has it that the cross marked the place where Hengist and Horsa arrived, and where, over a century later, Augustine was received by King Ethelbert of Kent under the 'Ebbsfleet oak'. It is said that the monks truly believed themselves to be the first Christians in Britain, yet when they arrived at Canterbury they found there an old Roman church dedicated to Saint Martin, perhaps the first of the stone churches built in England. The monks should have known better - had not the legends told of the coming of Joseph of Arimathea to Glastonbury, and was not the Queen who stood at the side of Ethelbert already a Christian before they arrived? # 702
An early King of Liones. # 156
There seem to be some confusion about these names. According to Malory, Pellam was King of Listinoise. Balin had killed his brother, the invisible knight Sir Garlon, so Pellam fought with him. In the fray Balin's sword was broken and he was chased by Pellam around the palace until he came to the Lance of Longinus with which he stabbed his pursuer. This stabbing was called the Dolorous stroke. Pelles (Pellam) was the Wounded King of the Grail Castle; the stabbing was called the Dolorous Blow, since it caused not only the king to be wounded, but the land to be laid waste. His daughter, Elaine of Corbenic became the mother of Galahad by Lancelot. Galahad later healed his wounds with blood from the Grail. Pelles is one of several characters with similar names: Pellam, Pellean and Pellinore. These may indeed have once been the same person, the root of the name derives probably from the Cornish 'Peller' or wise man. Other scholars have identified him with Pwyll in the MABINOGION and if true, this may well make him of otherworld origin. In later versions he became the father of Pellam and brother of Pellinore. See also: FISHER KING. # 156 - 418 - 434 - 451 - 461 - 562
The Maimed King in French romance. See: PELLEHAN, and PELLAM PELLES, and MAIMED KING, and WOUNDED KING. # 156 - 604
A Knight of the Round Table, who was enamoured of Ettard, who sadly did not reciprocate his sentiments. Gawain said he would intercede for him, but betrayed him, bedding Ettard himself. Nimue made Pelleas fall in love with her by magic and made Ettard fall in love with Pelleas by the same means. Ettard, finding her passion unrequited, died. # 156 - 418
The Maimed King who, in the QUESTE, received his wound by drawing the Sword of Strange Renges. Elsewhere it is stated that he received his wound when Balin struck him with a lance. He is much the same character as Pellam. See: MAIMED KING, and PELLAM PELLES, and WOUNDED KING. # 156 - 668
A prosperous and respected family living at the foot of Snowdon who were supposed to have fairy blood in them. They had fair complexions and Golden Hair like the Tylwyth Teg, and were said to be the children of a fairy wife, Penelope, one of the Gwragedd Annwn whose story was much like that of the Lady of Fan y Fach. The imputation of fairy blood seems to have resented by most Welshmen, but it was respected in the Pellings, as in the Physicians of Mydfai. # 100
He was King of the Isles, one of Arthur's vassals, who is variously described as sovereign of Listinoise, Northumberland or the Gaste Forest. His brother was said to be Pelles, the Wounded King of the Grail legends.In some versions his son was Perceval. In the LIVRE D'ARTUS he is called the Rich Fisher King. He was wounded in the thighs for doubting the Holy Grail and this suggests he was originally identical with Pellam. He pursued the Questing Beast. During the rebellion of the kings in the beginning of Arthur's reign, he killed Lot of Orkney, which caused a feud between the clans. In Malory, he was the father of Aglovale, Perceval, Dornar, Driant, Lamorak, Alan, Melodiam and Elaine. He slew King Lot and was killed by Lot's son, Gawain. It is possible to discern in Pellinore, through the similarity of sound, the Celtic ancestor god, Beli the Great (Beli Mawr), and this deity may also lie behind similarly named Fisher or Maimed Kings.
# 156 - 418 - 454
Daughter of Don, wife of Llyr, and also of Eurosswyd, and sister of Math; mother of Bran, Nissyen and Efnissien, and consequently, an ancestor of Arthur. # 156 - 562
Owain's wife. According to the TRIADS, she was unfaithful to him. # 104-156
A farm in Clwyd. In his book, SUPERNATURAL CLWYD (1989), R. Holland, suggests that a menhir and nearby standing stones on the farm might be Arthur's burial place as, in the vicinity, Moel Arthur was, according to folklore, the site of Arthur's palace. # 156
A title taken by Uther and later Arthur. Old Welsh Dragwn (dragon) was used to mean a leader and Brythonic Pen signifies a head, so the title means a chief leader. See: BREUNOR. # 156
The pentacle was sacred to the Celtic death-goddess Morgan and was carried in her honor on a blood-red shield, according to the tale of GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT. It is still the sign of the earth element in the Tarot suit of pentacles, which evolved into the modern suit of diamonds. With one point downward, the pentacle was supposed to represent the head of the Horned God. # 701
PEOPLE OF PEACE, THE - OR DAOINE SIDHE
These, of the Highlands, are very much the same as the Daoine Sidh of Ireland, except that they have - with the exception of the Feens, who exactly reproduce the stories of Finn of the Fianna - no monarchial government. They are Trooping Fairies who live under the green hills and ride on the Middle Earth, hunting and dancing like other fairies. As individuals, they visit mortals as lovers. The earliest study of them was made by Kirk in THE SECRET COMMONWEALTH. There are ample accounts of them in the writings of J. G. Campbell and J. F. Campbell, of J. G. Mackay, Donald Mackenzie and others. In the Lowlands, the Elves or Good Neighbours have a king and a queen Nicnevin or the Gyre-Carling - and in later days were suspected of having a good deal of intercourse with witches and of paying a tribute to the Devil. # 100 - 130 - 131 - 370 - 415 - 464
PEOPLE OF THE HILLS, THE
A widespread euphemism for the fairies who live under the green mounds, or tumuli, all over England. It is the name chosen by Rudyard Kipling to be used in PUCK OF POOK'S HILL and REWARDS AND FAIRIES. # 100 - 368 - 369
PEOPLE OF THE SIDHE, THE
(shee) Danaans dwindle into fairies or People of the Sidhe. # 562
The name of the Black Knight, killed by Gareth. # 156 - 418
In the romance of the same name, when Alexander the Great conquered England, he made Betis king. Betis was accepted by the people, for the line of Brutus had become extinct, and Betis' brother Gaddifer was made King of Scotland. When Betis had killed the magician Damart, he was given the new name of Perceforest. He founded the Knights of the Franc Palais and built a temple to the Supreme God. His son Bethides made an unfortunate marriage to Circe, who brought the Romans into Britain. They wiped out the Franc Palais, and Perceforest and Gaddifer went to the Isle of Life. After the coming to Britain of Alan, the Grail keeper, Gallafer, grandson of Gaddifer, accepted Christianity and went to preach to his ancestors who still lived on the Isle of Life. They were baptized, left the island and came to a place where there were five monuments waiting for them. There they died. # 156 - 198 - 238
The name by which the hero called Peredur by the Welsh is known in non-Welsh sources. This name was apparently invented by Chrétien. According to Chrétien, Perceval was raised in the woods by his mother who wanted him to know nothing of knighthood; but, having seen some knights, he determined to go to Arthur's court and become one. His mother told him to demand either a kiss or a jewel from ladies so, when he came on a girl asleep in a tent, he kissed her and purloined her ring. On arrival at Arthur's court he discovered the Red Knight had taken a cup so he pursued and killed him. He stayed with an old knight, Gornemant de Goort, who taught him chivalry and knighted him. He came to the castle belonging to Blanchefleur, being besieged by King Clamadeus. He became Blanchefleur's lover and defeated Clamadeus in monomachy (single combat). On the way to see his mother, a fisherman directed him to his own castle where he beheld an old man on a couch and was given a sword. The Grail Procession occurred, but Perceval did not ask what the Grail was or whom it served. Next morning, when he awoke, the castle was deserted and Perceval only just escaped from it. The sword had fragmented. He encountered his cousin who informed him that he should have asked the question and told him to take the sword to Trebuchet. Perceval overcame the husband of the girl whom he had kissed earlier in the tent, who had not understood that Perceval had acted innocently.
Perceval forgot about God for five years, but his hermit uncle absolved him. Chrétien's work is unfinished, but Manessier (see CONTINUATIONS) told how Perceval returned to the castle and asked the questions. He discovered that the Fisher King was wounded by fragments of a sword which had killed his brother Goon Desert; this wound would not heal until the murderer was killed. Perceval killed the murderer and the king recovered. Perceval was identified as the nephew of the Grail King who had been sustained by the Grail during his period of ill health. When the king died, Perceval succeeded him. In the English SIR PERCEVAL OF GALLES, Perceval's beloved is called Lufamour and he eventually met his death on Crusade. In the DIDOT PERCEVAL, the Rich Fisher told Perceval the secret words that Jesus had told Joseph of Arimathea. In PEREDUR the procession in the castle features a salver with a man's head surrounded by blood. It later transpired the head was his cousin's and that Peredur/Perceval had to avenge him. In this tale we are told the hero had to fight the afanc. In the QUESTE and Malory, Perceval is to some exrent supplanted by Galahad. In Malory, Perceval's father is Pellinore; in Wolfram, Gahmuret. Wolfram calls his mother Herzeloyde, his sister Dindrane and his sons Kardeiz and Lohengrin. SIR PERCEVAL OF GALLES says his mother was Acheflour, the sister of Arthur, and his father, Perceval, had been killed years previously by the Red Knight. According to PERLESVAUS his father was Julain and his mother Yglais, while Gerbert contends his mother was Philosophine and his father Gales li Caus. His father is identified as Efrawg in PEREDUR and as Bliocadran in the work of the same name, and his sister as Agrestizia in the TAVOLA RITONDA. Perceval was said to have survived Galahad by over a year Descent of Perceval (Wolfram): Mazadan - Laziliez - Addanz - Gandin Gahmuret - Perceval. As Mazadan is also listed as Arthur's great-grandfather, this makes Arthur Perceval's second cousin twice removed. See: TWENTY-FOUR KNIGHTS, and WHITE STAG. # 112 - 153 - 156 - 185 - 346 - 418 - 434 - 740 - 748
Peredur was a chieftain from the North of Britain, York to be exact. But like many other Northern heroes he became localized in Wales and was the subject of a number of tales, telling of his feats and wanderings.
The tale of PEREDUR, as we have it, belongs to the thirteenth century. We know this because the earliest manuscripts date from the end of that century and that they post-date parallel versions in French by Chrétien de Troyes. They could be earlier, but unlikely. Chrétien's corresponding tale LE CONTE DU GRAAL dates from 1181. The 'book' to which he refers given to him by his patron Philippe of Champagne, was a version of the tale regarded as the common source of both PEREDUR and LE CONTE DU GRAAL and was in French. Of course, the differences probably outweigh the similarities between the two versions. The Welsh tale is as straight-forward as the French is convoluting; Welsh concision contrasts with French prolixity. The story is more readily available in the Welsh, whereas the French explores psychological and social avenues in a manner which paved the way for the great Western narrative tradition. But then the stuff of the narrative was given to the French by the Welsh and Breton story-tellers who sold their wondrous wares all over the continent. The Celts have always known to tell a good story. See also: PERCEVAL. # 778
A niece of Arthur in Welsh lore, the mother of Saint Beuno. See: BUGI. # 55 - 156
Periglour(Welsh), Anmchara(Irish), means 'soul friend'. He was a person who acted as spiritual guide and counsellor to young monks and to new converts (to early Christianity). He took the part of confessor, but would offer only wisdom, advice and encouragement to his juniors, refraining from taking on the power to grant absolution for any sins. In that the Celtic Church followed the practice of the Celtic druids, who communed with the gods without themselves adopting divine authority. # 676
The strange resting-place encountered by various of the GRAIL seekers. It appears as an ordinary bed, but anyone lying down on it is assaulted by invisible opponents who fling spears and by fierce beasts who attack the sleeper. Gawain successfully defeated the devices of the bed. # 454
According to PERLESVAUS this led to the Grail Castle. # 156
The Siege Perilous, so called because it swallowed up or cracked underneath whoever wrongfully sat in it. It was the place reserved at the Round Table for the Grail Knight. It was claimed by Perceval in the earlier versions of the story: he sat in it and it cracked apart while a disembodied voice warned him of his misdeed. He later caused the stone to reunite when he became a successful Grail Knight. In later versions, it is Galahad's place. It is said to represent the place of Christ at the table in the cenacle. #185-454
See: RED KNIGHT.
The Suffolk name for the Aurora Borealis. See also: FIR CHLIS. # 100
See: GREEN KNIGHT.
PETER DES ROCHES
A historical bishop of Winchester, whose episcopate lasted 1204-38. According to the LANERCOST CHRONICLE, he came upon a house in which Arthur was still alive and banqueted with him. In order that people would know he told the truth when he spoke of this, Arthur gave the bishop the power of closing his hand and, upon opening it, producing a butterfly. This power led to his being called the Bishop of the Butterfly. # 156
A fairy dog which came from Avalon. It was wonderfully coloured, tiny and had a sweet-sounding bell about his neck. It was the property of Gilan, Duke of Swales, who gave it to Tristan. # 156
# 156: According to the poet Dafydd Nanmor, he was one of the seven survivors of the Battle of Camlann. R. Bromwich argues that the poet used a local Cardiganshire tradition. # 454: (sixth century) He came from South Wales and founded a monastery at Wethinoc (Padstow) in Cornwall. He eventually became a hermit and is credited with having a great affinity for wild animals, especially a stag which he hid from huntsmen. His feast-day is 4 June. # 104 - 156 - 454
According to John of Glastonbury, one of the associates of Joseph of Arimathea; he travelled to the kingdom of Orkney and converted its ruler, Orcant. He married Orcant's daughter, Camille, and was an ancestor of Lot. # 30 - 156
Decorative bosses for horses' harness. # 730
A legendary Frankish king, possibly a historical ruler of the fifth century. In Arthurian romance he was a freedman (a slave who had been set free) who seized the French throne. He came in disguise to Arthur's court, for Arthur was an enemy, but his disguise was penetrated. His daughter, Belide, was enamoured of Tristan, who did not requite her passion, thereby causing her to die of a broken heart. Pharamond provided a refuge for Tristan and Gorvenal after the death of Meliodas. Ariosto tells us that Tristan defeated Pharamond's son, Clodion, in combat. According to a non-Arthurian romance of the seventeenth century, Pharamond was enamoured of Rosemonde, daughter of the King of the Cimbri. # 21 - 156 - 198 - 712
A knight who came with Ban and Bors to aid Arthur, and who took part in the battle of Bedegraine. He was eventually exiled by the elder Bors for murder and became a follower of Claudas. See also: PHARIEN. # 156 - 604
This character is probably identical with Phariance. His wife was the lover of King Claudas. After Bors' death, Bors' sons fell into his hands, but they were soon passed on to Claudas. # 156
A knight who wished to kill Lancelot. He persuaded his wife to ask Lancelot to climb a tree in order to retrieve her falcon. He removed his armour and weapons to do this and Phelot then attacked him. However, Lancelot walloped his assailant on the side of the head with a tree branch, thus knocking him unconscious. He then beheaded Phelot with his own sword. # 156 - 418
(pooka) The Irish word 'Phouka' is sometimes used, as 'Pouk', or Puck, was in Middle English, for the Devil. More usually he is a kind of Bogy or Bogey-Beast, something like the Picktree Brag of the North of England, who takes various forms, most usually a horse, but also an eagle or a bat, and is responsible for people falling as well. Many a wild ride has been suffered on the Phouka's back. It is he who spoils the blackberries after Michaelmas. This is Crofton Croker's view of him. According to Lady Wilde, however, he was nearer to the Brownie or Hobgoblin. There is a charming story, 'Fairy Help', in her ANCIENT LEGENDS OF IRELAND in which a young boy, a miller's son, makes friends with Phouka and throws his coat over it as it rushes like a mad bull towards him. Afterwards he sees the Phouka directing six younger ones to thrash his father's corn while the miller's men are asleep. In this form the Phouka is like an old withered man dressed in rags. The boy tells his father and together they watch the phoukas at work through the crack of the door. After this the miller dismisses his men, and all the work of the mill is done by the phoukas. The mill became very prosperous. The boy Phadrig became very fond of the Phouka and night after night he watched him through the keyhole of an empty chest. He became more and more sorry for the Phouka, so old and frail and ragged, and working so hard to keep the idle little phoukas up to their work. At length, out of pure love and gratitude, he bought stuff and had a beautiful coat and breeches made for the Phouka, and laid them out for him to find. The Phouka was delighted with them, but decided that he was too fine to work any more. When he left all the little phoukas ran away, but the mill kept its prosperity, and when Phadrig married a beautiful bride he found a gold cup full of wine on the bridal table. He was sure it came from the Phouka and drank it without fear, and made his bride drink too. A better-known story is that of 'The Phouka of Kildare', in which the brownie-like spirit keeps its animal form of an ass, but describes itself as the ghost of an idle kitchen boy. It too is laid by a gift of clothing, but in this case because it has at length earned a reward by its labours. These stories show the Phoka very near to Robin Goodfellow, or Puck, tricksy, mischievous, practical-joking, but helpful and well-disposed to the human race. # 100 - 165 - 728
# 455: The name Picti is of Latin origin, based on the reported custom of dyeing the skin. In Latin writings of the time of Roman Britain, Picti has no specific ethnic application, but is said indiscriminately of all inhabitant of Britain to the north of the Roman frontier. See also: Pretani, and Britain.
# 156: It was the people who lived in Northern Britain in Roman times and in the traditional Arthurian period. They were raiding in Britain about the time of the Roman withdrawal and Vortigern is thought to have invited the Saxons to oppose them. According to Geoffrey, they opposed Arthur who might have wiped them out had not their clergy interceded. Boece avers that Guinevere died as their captive. As to the racial identity of the Picts, they were possibly Celtic and called Pretani in their own language, hence the name of Britain. The Irish called them Cruthin and applied this name also to people of the same race in Ireland. Picti (painted folk), was the name given them by the Romans. Although they probably preceded the Britons in Britain, the Venerable Bede says they arrived after them and came from Scythia. Geoffrey asserts that this migration took place under King Sodric who suffered defeat at the hands of the British king, Marius, who bestowed Caithness on them. Mael Mura of Othain, a medieval Irish poet, maintains they came from Thrace. Whatever their origins, the kings of the principal Northern Pict kingdom in Arthur's time were said to have been Galem I (AD 495), Drust III and Drust IV (AD 510-25, after which Drust III ruled alone), Gartnait III (AD 530) and Cailtram (AD 537); however this list should be treated with caution. The Southern Picts were divided into four states - Atholl, Circinn, Fife and Fortrenn. See also: PECHS. # 156 - 187 - 455 p 127 ff - # 508
The pig has a formidable reputation in Celtic lore. Whether it be the great boar, Twrch Trwyth or Orc Triath, or the pigs which Pwyll receives as a gift from the Underworld of Annwn by Arawn. Their appearance in the first and fourth branches of the MABINOGION, indicates an imbalance between the worlds and sure enough they cause war in Britain and their theft by Gwydion, is responsible for the slaying of Pwyll's son Pryderi. There is a similar story in which Arthur and his men go to steal the pigs of Mark. The hero, Culhwch, whose name means pig-sty, was actually born in one because his insane mother was startled by pigs in the forest. It is he who is responsible for the slaying of Twrch Trwyth, the Great Boar himself. See also: SWINE, and BOAR. # 104 - 226 - 439 - 454
A cousin of Lamorak who sought to avenge the latter's death by poisoning Gawain. Sir Patrise of Ireland consumed the poison and Pinel had to flee once his part in the affair had been discovered. # 156 - 418
(pish-ogue) An Irish fairy spell, by which a man's senses are bemused, so that he sees things entirely different from what they are in actuality. The Fir Darrig is a master at pishogues, and the tale of the Fir Darrig in Donegal is a good example, but pishogues are thickly scattered through the Fenian legends. In English it is called Glamour, and examples of it are to be found in Malory and in many English folk-tales. # 100
PIXIES PIGSIES PISKIES
These are West Country Fairies, belonging to Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. # 100
One of the most common traits of the fairies was their habit of leading humans astray. Pouk-ledden was the Midlands term for it, the stories of the Stray Sod give us the Irish version, and Robin Goodfellow, or Puck, was often credited with it by the early poets. Many of the fairies are credited with a kind of trickery, among them the Gwyllion of Wales, but in modern times the West Country Pixies or the Cornish Piskies are the most usual practitioners of the art. To avoid being Pixy-led it is necessary to know the correct methods of 'Protection against Fairies'. # 100
PLACE NAME STORIES
The strong tendency toward antiquarianism among the early Irish is nowhere better illustrated than in the collection of place-names stories known as Dinnsenchas. In their present form brought in this encyclopaedia it is hardly safe to assign the Dinnsenchas as a whole to any considerable antiquity. On the other hand, there are certain individual instances in which the stories seem to preserve, embedded in the explanation of place-names, fragments of the most ancient narrative material. The habit of telling stories to explain placenames is by no means limited to the early Irish; it must be granted, however, that Irish antiquarians brought to the task an astounding virtuosity and enthusiasm. Nowhere else in European literature of the Middle Ages are legends of place-names so abundantly recorded.
1. INBER AILBINE.
Ruad son of Rigdonn son of the king of Fir Murig mustered the crews of three ships to go over sea to have speech with his foster-brother the son of the king of Lochlann. When they had got halfway across they were unable to voyage in any direction, just as if an anchor was holding them. So then Ruad went out over the ship's side that he might know what it was that was stopping them, and he swam under the vessel. Then he saw nine women, the loveliest of the world's women, detaining them, three under each ship. So they carried Ruad off with them and he slept for nine nights, one night with each of the women on beds of bronze. And one of them became with child by him, and he promised that he would come again to them if he should perform his journey. Then Ruad went to his foster-brother's house and stayed with him for seven years, after which he returned and did not keep his tryst truly, but fared on to Mag Murig. So the nine women took the son that had been born among them, and set out singing, in a boat of bronze, to overtake Ruad, but they did not succeed. So the mother then killed her own son and Ruad's only son, and she hurled the child's head after him; and then said every one as if with one mouth, 'It is an awful crime (ailbine)! It is an awful crime!' Hence 'Inber Ailbine.'
Broccaid mac Brice of the Galeoin of Labraid the Exile had a son, Fafne the poet, and a daughter Aige. His mother was Liber daughter of Lot. Folk were envious of them; so they loosed elves at them who transformed Aige into a fawn and sent her on a circuit all round Ireland, and the warriors of meilge son of Cobthach king of Ireland, killed her, and of her nought was found save a bag of water, and this he threw into the river, so that from her the 'Aige' is named. Thereafter Fafne her brother, in order to avenge her, went to blemish the king of Ireland, and upon him three blotches were raised by Fafne's satire. Then the poet was arrested by Meilge, for he, Meilge was guiltless of Aige's death. And Fafne was killed on Fafainn, for satirizing the king of Tara, and therein he was buried; and while they were killing him he entreated that his name might be for ever on that mound, to wit 'Duma Faifni.' Liber succumbed to her woe and drowned herself in the river Liber, so that from her it is so called. Broccaid died of disease in Rath maic Bricc.
Boann (Boyne) wife of Nechtan son of Labraid went to the secret well which was in the green of the fairy-mound of Nechtan. No one who went to it could come away from it without his two eyes bursting, except Nechtan himself and his three cup-bearers, whose names were Flesc and and Luam. Once upon a time Boann went through pride to test the well's power, and declared that it had no secret force which could shatter her form, and thrice she walked from right to left round the well. Whereupon three waves from the well broke over her and deprived her of a thigh and one of her hands and one of her eyes. Then she, fleeing her shame, turned seaward, with the water behind her as far as Boynemouth, where she was drowned. Now she was the mother of Angus son of the Dagda. Or thus: 'Bo' the name of the stream [of the fairy-mound of Nechtan] and 'Finn' the river of Sliab Guairi, and from their confluence is the name 'Boann' (= BÓ + (F)INN). Dabilla was the name of her lapdog, whence 'Cnoc Dabilla' ('Dabilla's Hill'), today called 'Sliab in Cotaig' ('the Mountain of the Covenant').
Dub daughter of Rodub son of Cass son of Glas Gamna was wife to Enna son of Nos, an elf out of Forcartan. Enna had another wife, namely Aide daughter of Ochenn son of Cnucha, and when Dub discovered this, for she was a druid and a poetess, she grew jealous of Aide, and she went beside the sea as far as opposite Ochenn's house. There she chanted a sea-spell so that Aide was drowned in that house with all her family. Mairgine, Ochenn's servant, saw Dub, and turned against her, and made a skillful cast from his sling at her, so that he struck her off her path, and shattered her, and she fell into the pool (LINN). Whence 'DUB-LINN' is said.
5. ATH CLIATH CUALANN (DUBLIN)
Hurdles of wattling the Leinstermen made in the reign of Mesgegra under the feet of the sheep of Athirne the Importunate when delivering them to Dun Etair at the place in which Allainn Etair was taken from Ulster's warriors, where also Mesdedad son of Amergin fell by the hand of Mesgegra king of Leinster. So from those hurdles 'Ath Cliath' ('the Ford of Hurdles') was named. Or thus: 'Ath Cliath': When the men of Erin broke the limbs of the Matae, the monster that was slain on the Liacc Benn in the Brug of Mac Oc, they threw it limb by limb into the Boyne, and its shinbone (Colptha) got to Inber Colptha ('the estuary of the Boyne'), whence 'Inber Colptha' is said, and the hurdle (Cliath) of its frame (i.e. its breast) went along the sea following the coast of Ireland until it reached yon ford (áth); whence 'Ath Cliath' is said.
6. TONN CLIDNA
Clidna daughter of Genann son of Tren went out of Tulach Da Roth ('Hill of Two Wheels'), out of the Pleasant Plain of the Land of Promise, with Iuchna Curly-locks to get to the Mac Oc. Iuchna practised guile upon her. He played music to her in the boat of bronze wherein she lay, so that she slept thereat, and then he turned her course back, so that she rounded Ireland southwards till she came to Clidna. This is the time at which the illimitable seaburst arose and spread throughout the regions of the present world. Because there were at that season Erin's three great floods, namely, Clidna's flood and Ladru's and Baile's; but not in the same hour did they arise: Ladru's flood was the middle one. The flood pressed on aloft and divided throughout the land of Erin till it caught the boat and the damsel asleep in it on the beach. So there she was drowned, Clidna the Shapely, Genann's daughter, from whom 'Tonn Clidna' ('Clidna's Wave') is named.
7. LOCH DERGDEIRC
Ferchertne son of Athlo, chief-poet of Ulster, was the cruellest man that ever lived in Erin. 'Twas he that would slay the woman in childbed, and would demand his weapon from one foe and his only eye from another. 'Twas he, moreover, that went to Eochaid son of Luchta son of Lugar son of Lugaid White-Hand, King of Munster, to peg his only eye in payment for Boirshe's hen which the poets had brought from the west; and Eochaid, to save his honor, gave him his only eye. Then Eochaid went to wash the blood off his face, and searched the rushry and found no water: so he tore a tuft of rushes from its roots, and water trickled forth. With this he washed his empty eyesocket, and as he dipped his head thrice under the water all the well became red. Then because of the miracle of generosity which Eochaid had performed the King regained both his eyes, and as he looked on the well he said: 'A red (derg) hollow (derc) is this hollow, and this will be every one's name it.' Whence 'Loch Dergdeirc' is said. # 166
PLANT ANNWN, THE
(plant anoon) The Welsh fairies of the underworld, whose entrance to the human world is by the lakes. Their king is Gwyn ap Nud, and they are chiefly known to men through their maidens, the Gwragen Annwn, by their white or speckled cattle, the Gwartheg y LLyn, and by their swift white hounds, the Cwn Annwn, who were sometimes seen with their fairy mistresses, but more often heard on summer nights in full cry after the souls of men who had died unassoiled and impenitent. The Lake Maidens made loving and docile wives until the taboo attached to them was violated; the Lake Cattle brought wealth and prosperity to any farmer who was lucky enough to keep one; but the hounds of the underworld betray the nature of these underwater people: they were the company of the dead, like the subjects of Fin Bheara in Ireland. In a story told by Pugh of Aberdovey and preserved by John Rhys, Gwyn ap Nud is called King of Annwn, but elsewhere Rhys calls Arawn, the friend of Pwyll of Dyfed, the undoubted king of the underworld. # 100 - 554
PLANT RHYS DWFEN
(plant hrees thoovn) This, meaning the family of Rhys the Deep, is the name given to a tribe of fairy people who inhabited a small land which was invisible because of a certain herb that grew on it. They were handsome people, rather below the average in height, and it was their custom to attend the market in Cardigan and pay such high prices for the goods there that the ordinary buyer could not compete with them. They were honest and resolute in their dealings, and grateful to people who treated them fairly. One man called Gruffid always treated them so well that they took a great liking to him and invited him to their country, which was enriched with treasures from all over the world. They loaded him with gifts and conducted him back to their boundary. Just before he took leave of them he asked how they guarded all their wealth. Might not even one of their own people betray them into the hands of strangers? 'Oh no,' said his guide. 'No snakes can live in Ireland and no treachery can live here. Rhys, the father of our race, bade us, even to the most distant descendant, honour our parents and ancestors; love our own wives without looking at those of our neighbours; and do our best for our children and grandchildren. And he said that if we did so, no one of us would ever prove unfaithful to another, or become what you call a traitor.' He said that a traitor was an imaginary character with them, shown in a symbolic drawing with the feet of an ass, the head of the devil and a bossom full of snakes, holding a knife in his hand, with which he had killed his family. With that he said goodbye, and Gruffid found himself near his own home, and could no longer see the Country of Plant Rhys. After this time he prospered in everything and his friendship with the Plant Rhys continued. After his death, however, the farmers became so covetous that the Plant Rhys no longer frequented Cardigan Market, and were said to have gone to Fishguard. John Rhys in CELTIC FOLK-LORE quotes this account from the BRYTHON VOL. I. # 100 - 554
(plentin newid) Wirt Sikes in BRITISH GOBLINS gives a full account of a plentyn-newid, or Welsh changeling, left by the Tylwyth Teg in exchange for the beautiful human child which they coveted. The Welsh changelings differed very little from those elsewhere, and received the same harsh treatment. # 100 - 596
In Wales as in Ireland, there were grades within the learned class. In the pre-Christian society the highest was doubtless that of the druids, but even in the earliest Welsh records the druids are hardly mentioned. The 'chief-poet' (Pencerdd), 'a poet who has won in a contest for a chair', was at least equal in honour to the highest court officers. He seems to correspond to the Irish Ollam or chief Fili. Beneath him was the poet of the household or house-troop (bardd teulu), who was one of the twenty-four court officers. When the bardd teulu took office he received from the king a harp, with which he was never to part. He sang for the troop when it went on a raid, and before it set out for battle he sang 'The Monarchy of Britain'. The term Cerddorion seems to cover yet another class of minstrels who recognized the pencerdd as their lord, and there are references in the laws to the lowly Croesaniaid. In medieval tracts on the art of poetry, slightly different terms seem to refer to the same classes: prydydd 'poet', teuluwr 'poet of the household or house-troop', and clerwr, 'minstrel'. Three duties are assigned to the teuluwr: to gladden the company, to be generous (literally 'to promote generosity'), and to make courteous supplication - terms which recall the festive music of Buchet's House in Leinster. The teuluwr, who also composed love poems, was the disciple of a prydydd, but the prydydd should shun the chaotic art of the clewr for 'their arts are opposed to one another'. With the eclipse of the superior functions of the master-poets, their art became for the most part confined to the composition of praise-poems. When the law and the prophets belong to the past, the psalms remain.
In Ireland in the early seventeenth century, the traditional precedence of the North was challenged by a southern poet, and this led to a sustained and wide-ranging poetic disputation concerning the relative claims of Leth Cuinn and Leth Moga. Towards the end of the following century a similar case for the greater importance of the southern contribution to the Welsh literary tradition was elaborated, not without fabrication, by Iolo Morganwg. In the context of the fourfold structure, Iolo's claim for Glamorgan as the seat of bardism may well be correct, provided the 'bard' is duly assigned to the third place in the learned hierarchy. And it is fair to add that Iolo particularly claimed for his native province a wealth of pleasant 'household poetry' (canu teuluaidd) - the poetry of the teuluwr or bard. It is said that throughout Welsh history the South has been the region of innovation and enterprise and that what the South has created the North has elaborated and perfected (W. J. Gruffydd, OWEN MORGAN EDWARDS, I, Aberrystwyth, 1937). Thirty of the court poets of the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, authors of the most abstruse poems in the language, have been tentatively assigned to the various provinces: more than half of them were from Gwynedd, eight from Powys, and only one from the South. On the other hand, metres which later appear as accentual song-metres seem to have found readier acceptance in South Wales. In what is believed to be the first eisteddfod upon record two prizes were offered, one for poets and one for instrumentalists. The former was won by a poet from the North, the latter by a harpist from the South. In medieval Ireland, the filid looked back to three early poets of Connacht as their great exemplars, and most learned families either traced their origin to Connacht or Meath or were associated with patrons from those parts. With the emergence of the accentual metres, 'which belonged essentially to the people', Munster poets came into far greater prominence.
The dichotomy manifested in the division into North and South appeared too in the division of the Welsh royal hall. One of the terms used for the partition that separated the two parts of the hall was corf, a word which is also used of 'a wood on the steep brink of a stream', such a wood as often formed the boundary between the upper and lower halves of territorial units. The king and his heir, his judge, his chief poet, and other dignitaries, sat in the upper part of the hall; the captain of the house-troop and his men, and the household bard, sat in the lower part. When the king wished to hear a song, the chief poet sang two songs in the upper hall, one of God and the other of kings, and then the household bard sang a third song in the lower hall. It was also the household bard who, with a quiet voice, sang for the queen in her room. The two songs - of God and of kings - in the upper hall and the bard's one song in the lower hall hardly call for further comment, and the same is true of the association of the bard with the queen and with the troop. One officer connected with the court, the Maer Biswail ('dung officer'), was responsible for the king's mensal land. There the villeins came under his jurisdiction and he ordered their ploughing, sowing, and other activities. He had charge, under the steward, of the maintenance and supplies of the court, but he belonged to the villein class; scant respect was shown to him in the precincts of the king's hall. # 548 - 736
The pooka of Irish legend was a magic spirit-animal, usually a horse; but a pooka could appear in humanlike form also. To see a pooka was an omen of death. Therefore the horse form probably descended from the spirit-horses of Celtic religion whose function was to carry dead heroes to paradise. The pooka was a cognate of Old English Puca, a fairy creature, which also produced spook and Puck, Such ancestral fairy beliefs are still preserved in a number of Irish place names, such as Puckstown, Puck Fair, and Pooka's Ford. The pooka is still sighted occasionally, in remote and lonely places, particularly swamps and bogs. In Scotland, the creature was usually called a kelpie. This was a water spirit embodied sometimes in a seal, sometimes in a white horse whose mane was like the foaming crests of the waves. # 701
The Pope is mentioned from time to time in Arthurian romance. The fictional Pope Sulpicius made Gawain a knight; this may be another name for Pope Simplicius (AD 468-83). The Pope crowned Arthur Emperor of Rome and sent the bishop of Rochester to mediate between Arthur and Lancelot in the war over Guinevere. The Salzburg Annals and Jean de Preis (1338-1400) claim Arthur was contemporary with Pope Hilary (AD 461-68). Other popes in the traditional Arthurian period were Felix III, Gelasius I, Anastasius II, Symmachus, Hormisdas, John I, Felix IV, Boniface II, John II, Agapitus I, Siverius and Vigilius. # 156
A witch's poppet was not the sort of puppet or doll that a child might play with. It was meant to represent a real person, so it was very much a magical symbol. Anything done to the poppet was supposed to happen to the person also. Poppets also served as surrogate sacrifices. English and Welsh harvest festivals sometimes involved the 'killing' of the cornbaby or Kernababy, a poppet made from the sheaves of the previous harvest. As in all sacrifices, the idea was to give back to the Mother part of her gift of nourishment. The poppet was burned or 'drowned' at the Kern Supper (Harvest Feast). # 701 p 149 ff
He found a secret tunnel running under Richmond Castle and discovered King Arthur and his knights asleep. A horn and sword stood by, but as he went to pick up the horn the knights began to stir. Terrified, he ran away hearing:
'Potter Thompson, Potter Thompson If thou hadst drawn the sword or blow the horn, Thou hadst been the luckiest man e'er born.'
Another story about the castle has a drummer boy sent down an underground passage to discover where it ran. He never emerged but his drumming is still heard. A similar story about finding King Arthur is found at Sewingshields. # 282 - 454
The Midland equivalent of Pixy-led. It will be remembered that among the mischievous tricks of Shakespeare's Puck is 'to mislead nightwanderers, laughing at their harm'. In medieval times, 'Pouk' was a name for the Devil. Langland speaks of Pouk's Pinfold, meaning Hell. By the sixteenth century, however, Pouk had become a harmless trickster, and only the Puritans bore him a grudge. # 100
POWER OVER FAIRIES
Country people and learned Magicians both desired power over fairies and chose it rather than the double-edged weapon of submission to Satan. They generally pursued their end by rather different methods. The most brutal and straightforward was by direct capture. Fairy wives were caught in this way, as in the story of Wild Edric and many tales of the Roane or Seal Maidens. But other captured fairies were caught from covetousness, like Skilly-widden, the fairy boy. The fairies which were most eagerly seized were the Lepracauns, or fairy shoemakers, of the same type as the Cluricaune, but there is no example of their being retained by their captors. A typical tale about them can be read in Thomas Keightley's FAIRY MYTHOLOGY. #100-362
An early Welsh kingdom. In the Arthurian period it is said to have been ruled by legendary kings such as Cadell I, Cyngen I, and Brochmael I. # 156
Naturally, prayers are a chief form of protection in any supernatural peril, and particularly the Lord's Prayer. Against the Devil it used to be supposed that this was much more efficacious if said aloud, because the Devil could not read man's thoughts, and could only judge the state of his soul by his words and actions, and therefore he was fatally discouraged by hearing people praying aloud. The same no doubt would apply to evil fairies when seeking adequate protection against fairies. # 100
PREHISTORIC BRITAIN, THE RIDDLE OF
See: BRITAIN, THE RIDDLE OF PREHISTORIC.
A legendary monarch whose realm was thought to have been in Asia or Africa. He is first mentioned by the chronicler Otto of Freising who says he attacked Ecbatana and defeated the Medes and Persians, whose capital it was. A spurious letter of Prester John, describing the wonders of his kingdom, appeared in Europe (perhaps in 1185) and became vastly popular. Marco Polo identified him with an Asiatic ruler, but Jordanus de Sévérac (fourteenth century) placed him in Ethiopia. He is mentioned in a number of Arthurian tales. In Wolfram, he was the son of Feirefiz and Repanse and therefore a nephew of Perceval and a cousin of Arthur. In the Dutch LANCELOT he is apparently the son of Perceval. In TOM A' LINCOLN he was the father of Anglitora, with whom Arthur's illegitimate son, Tom a' Lincoln eloped. # 156-668
- As late as the time of Julius Caesar, and probably much later, the main native population of Britain and Ireland was known to the Celts of Gaul by the name Pretani. From the Gallic Celts, Greek writers learned to call Britain and Ireland the Pretanic Islands. The name Pretani is represented in the earliest Irish documents by Cruithin, which is translated by the Latin Picti, and is the specific designation of the ethnic group now called the Picts.
- For Pretani, Caesar substituted Brittani or Britanni, which was probably the name of a subdivision of the Belgae in Gaul, perhaps also in Britain. For Albio or Albion, the older name of Britain, Caesar substituted Brittania (Britannia), and thenceforward in Latin writings Brittani became the name of the people of the island in general. From Brittani the by-form Brittones also came into use.
- Where Caesar ascribes to the Brittani the distinctive customs of dyeing the skin and of forming polyandrous unions, he relates what came to him by report and with exaggeration from the Gallic Celts regarding the Pretani, whom they looked upon as an alien race of inferior civilization.
- The name Picti is of Latin origin, based on the reported custom of dyeing the skin. In Latin writings of the time of Roman Britain, Picti has no specific ethnic application, but is said indiscriminately of all the inhabitants of Britain to the north of the Roman frontier.
- The earliest Irish traditions and historical records justify the ancient description of Ireland as a Pretanic island. The negative position of later writings is deceptive.
# 455 p 127 ff
See: MERLIN'S TREE.
The King of the Sea, whose scaly envoy (according to DIU CRôNE) brought a cup to Arthur's court to see if the men and women were false. Arthur was the only one shown not to be so. # 156
Procides was the castellan of Limerick and gonfalonier of Ireland according to DURMART. # 156
PROTECTION AGAINST FAIRIES
People walking alone by night, especially through fairy-haunted places, had many ways of protecting themselves. The first might be by sacred symbols, by making the sign of a cross or by carrying a cross, particularly one made of iron; by prayers or the chanting of hymns, by holy water, sprinkled or carried, and by carrying and strewing churchyard mould in their path. Bread and salt were also effective, and both were regarded as sacred symbols, one of life and the other of eternity. As Herrick says:
For that holy piece of bread
Charmes the danger and the dread.
Bells were protective; church bells, the bells worn by morris dancers and the bell round the necks of sheep and oxen. So was whistling and the snapping of clappers. A man who was pixy-led, wandering around and unable to find his way out of the field, would generally turn his coat. This act of turning clothes may have been thought to act as a change of identity, for gamblers often turned their coat to break a run of bad luck. Certain plants and herbs were also protective counter-charms. The strongest was a four-leafed clover, which broke fairy glamour, as well as the fairy ointment, which was indeed said by Hunt to be made of four-leafed clovers. St. John's wort, the herb of Midsummer, was potent against spells and the power of fairies, evil spirits and the Devil. Red verbena was almost equally potent, partly perhaps because of its pure and brilliant colour. Daisies, particularly the little field daisies, were protective plants, and a child wearing daisy chains was supposed to be safe from fairy kidnapping. Red-berried trees were also protective, above them all rowan or mountain ash. A staff made of rowan wood or a rowan cross or a bunch of ripe berries were all sure protections, and where rowan did not grow ash was a good substitute. - If chased by evil fairies, one could generally leap to safety across running water, particularly a southward-flowing stream, though there were evil water-spirits such as the kelpie who haunted fresh-water streams A newly-christened child was safe against being carried off by the fairies, but before christening 'the little pagan' was kept safe by his father's trousers laid over the cradle, or an open pair of scissors hung above it. This last had a double potency as being made of steel and as hanging in the form of a cross, on the same principle that the child's garments were secured by pins stuck in cross-wise. The house and stock were protected by iron horseshoes above the house and staple doors, and horses were protected from being elf-ridden by self-bored stones hung above the manger. With so many methods of protection, it was surprising that such number of babies were stolen and replaced by changelings and so many travellers were pixy-led. # 100 - 306
PROVINCE OF THE SPEARMEN
(Irish, LAIGHIN - 'LY-IN'). See: CONNACHT.
# 455: (prid-EER-ree) Pryderi, called also Gwynvardd Dyved, was the son of Pwyll, Lord of Dyved, the son of Meirig, the son of Arcol, with the long hand, the son of Pyr, or Pur of the East, the son of Llion the ancient. A fascinating pedigree, but it would be absurd to connect their history with any known chronological period. It is purely mythological, as appears from the very import of their names. Pryderi is deep thought, or mature consideration; and the general subject of this thought may be collected from his other title Gwynvardd Dyved -Druid of Demetia. (According to Rolleston, Pryderi means: trouble). Pwyll, his father, is reason, discretion, prudence, or patience. That both the father and the son were characters wholly mystical or personifications of abstract ideas is shown in Taliesin's SPOILS OF THE DEEP, where we are told that the Diluvian patriarch first entered the Ark by the counsel of Pwyll and Pryderi.
# 454: Pryderi was snatched from his cot by a monstrous claw, causing his mother, Rhiannon's ignominious servitude at the horse-block. Although not stated, the context of the story suggests an otherworldly foe, possibly the family of Gwawl, abducted him. He was found in a stable on May-Eve by Teirnyon Turf Liant who was guarding his mare which was in foal. The monstrous claw attempted to snatch her foal but was driven back by Teirnyon. Pryderi was called by his rescuer Gwri and brought up as Teirnyon's own son. However, on recognizing the likeness between the boy and Pwyll, Teirnyon returned the boy to his parents and so released Rhiannon from her bondage. Pryderi later married Cigfa and succeeded to the Lordship of Dyfed. When the enchantments fell on his land, Pryderi and Manawyddan, his step-father, went hunting, and he was stuck to a golden bowl and trapped in the Otherworld. Manawyddan rescued him. In MATH, SON OF MATHONWY', Pryderi was robbed of his Pigs by Gwydion, whom he followed and challenged to single combat. Gwydion exerted magic force and so Pryderi died. There are elements within this story which suggests that Pryderi is a form of Mabon, or that Mabon's lost mythos has been transmitted within the story of Pryderi. See also: PWYLL. # 104 - 272 - 439 - 454 - 455 p 58 ff - # 562
In Welsh tradition, the name of Arthur's ship in which he made the expedition to Annwfn, although Geoffrey calls it his shield. This confusion arose due to the similarity between shield and ship in the original Latin. # 156 - 243 - 260 - 439
In one version of the story of Merlin, Pubidius was the wizard's maternal grandfather. He was the ruler of Mathtraval (Wales). # 156
PUCELLE AUX BLANCHE MAINS
A fairy who became the lover of Guinglain. She lived on the Golden Island. Her name means the Maiden with the White Hands. # 156
Shakespeare in his MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM has given Puck an individual character, and it no longer seems natural to talk, as Robert Burton does in THE ANATOMIE OF MELANCHOLY, of A puck instead of 'Puck', nor, like Langland, equate Puck with the Devil and call Hell 'Pouk's Pinfold'. Shakespeare's Puck is the epitome of the Hobgoblin, with the by-name of Robin Goodfellow. In folk tradition emphasis is perhaps most laid on Puck as a misleader, and 'Poukledden' is a commoner phrase than 'Hobberdy's Lantern'. Shakespeare's Puck plays all the pranks described in the 'Life of Robin Goodfellow'. His self-descriptive speech to Titania's fairy could not be bettered as the description of a hobgoblin. Human follies are his perpetual entertainment, but, like all hobgoblins, he has his softer moments, his indignation is always raised against scornful lovers and he feels real compassion for Hermia , scorned and deserted by the man with whom she had fled.
Puck in Drayton's account of diminutive fairies in NIMPHIDIA shows many of the same characteristics. For the rest, we shall find that Puck's traits correspond with those to be found in the Celtic parts of these islands, in the Pwca, Phouka and Pixies. Like all hobgoblins, he is a shape-shifter, but he also performs Brownie labours for humans, and like a Brownie he is laid by a gift of clothing. Shakespeare's Puck differs in one thing from ordinary pucks of tradition: he belongs to the fairy court and cannot be called a solitary fairy. # 100 - 120 - 193 - 593
After Arthur's death, he was reincarnated as Puffin, according to Cornish lore. See: RAVEN. # 156
In the Middle Dutch romance WALAWEIN, this region was visited by Gawain, who saw it as a boiling river. Souls went into it as black birds, but came out white. # 156
(pooka) Welsh form of Puck. Many versions of Pwca appear in British tradition, spelt variously as Pooka, Puck, Bwca, etc. His character are so like those of Shakespeare's Puck that some Welsh people have claimed that Shakespeare borrowed him from stories told him by his friend Richard Price of Brecon who lived near Cwm Pwca, one of the Pwca's favourite haunts. Sikes in BRITISH GOBLINS reproduces a rather pleasing drawing of the Pwca, done with a piece of coal by a Welsh peasant. The Pwca in this picture has a head rather like a fledgeling bird's and a figure not unlike a tadpole's. No arms are shown, but the figure is in silhouette. One story about the Pwca shows that a tribute of milk was left for him. This may possibly have been in payment for his services as a cowherd, though that is not expressly mentioned. A milkmaid at Trwyn Farm near Abergwyddon used to leave a bowl of milk and a piece of white bread for Pwca in a lonely place on the pastures every day. One day, out of mischief, she drank the milk herself and ate most of the bread, so that Pwca only got cold water and a crust that day. Next day, as she went near the place, she was suddenly seized by very sharp but invisible hands and given a sound whipping, while the Pwca warned her that if she did that again she would get worse treatment. Pwca is best known, however, as a Will o' the Wisp. He will lead a benighted wanderer up a narrow path to the edge of a ravine, then leap over it, laughing loudly, blow out his candle, and leave the poor traveller to grope his way back as best he can. In this behaviour he is like the Scottish 'Shellycoat' as well as the English Puck. # 100 - 596
# 455: (poo-ellh) Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed (from the MABINOGION). This tale manifestly alludes to Arkite theology, and to the rejection of Sabian idolatry, or solar worship, and even some foreign abuses, or innovations, which were intermixing with the doctrines and rites of the natives. # 454: When out hunting, he encounted Arawn, Lord of Annwn and, in payment for an unintentional insult, offered to exchange places with him and fight his enemy, Hafgan. He spent a year in Arawn's shape and so won his friendship by good manners and successfully overcoming Hafgan, that he was given the title 'Lord of Annwn'. He won Rhiannon as his wife, but only after defeating her former suitor, Gwawl. They lived happily until the loss of Pryderi. See also: PRYDERI. # 104 - 272 - 368 - 454 - 455 p 58 ff - # 565