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A recent term in English, first introduced into the language by Captain Cook in his VOYAGE TO THE PACIFIC (1777). It is to be found in various forms and spellings through the South Sea Islands, but always as an adjective, with the meaning of 'sacred' or forbidden. The verbal use of 'under a taboo' was introduced by Tylor in his EARLY HISTORY OF MAN. In that sense it is virtually the same as the Irish Geasa, a mysterious prohibition which was magically laid upon an individual, and once laid was irremovable. Some unfortunate people had conflicting geasas laid upon them, like CuChulain, who might refuse no invitation to meat and might not eat the flesh of a dog. Other taboos that are not called geasas are like those laid on the men wedding fairy brides who might not reproach them with their inhuman origin or might not give them causeless blows. Some fairies impose a taboo that they may not be thanked, and a taboo of secrecy is imposed by many, The UTTER NOT WE YOU IMPLORE of the fairies by Ben Jonson. # 100 - 349


Foster-mother of Lugh. She was the daughter of the King of Spain who married Eochaid of the Tuatha de Danaan. She cleared a plain on the site of Coill Chuan, and that place was named Tailtiu after her. She was remembered ever after by mourning the games which were performed by Lugh and other kings after him. They were held for a month and became known as the Assembly of Lugh or Lughnasadh - after which the month of August is now called in Ireland. # 454 - 548


(thawn-bo-coo-alg'ny - or - tahn bo cooley) See also: CUALGNE, THE CATTLERAID OF. An ancient piece of Aryan mythology is embedded in it. The Brown Bull is the counterpart of the Hindu sky-deity, Indra, represented in Hindu myth as a mighty bull, whose roaring is the thunder and who lets loose the rains 'like cows streaming forth to pasture.' The two animals in the Celtic legend probably typify the sky in different aspects. They are described with a pomp and circumstance which shows that they are no common beasts. The Brown Bull is described as having a back broad enough for fifty children to play on; when he is angry with his keeper he stamps the man thirty feet into the ground; he is likened to a sea wave, to a bear, to a dragon. We are therefore concerned with no ordinary cattle-raid, but with a myth, the features of which are discernible under the dressing given it by the fervid imagination of the unknown Celtic bard who composed the TAIN although the exact meaning of every detail may be difficult to ascertain. # 166 - 562


It was through a taithchwant, a wanderlust intense and strong that Beli the Great King of the Otherworld, created or added the dark into his realm of pure light and happiness. To obey the taithchwant he had to choose which of his two sons Llud and Nudd, who were equal in goodness, should be king and ruler over his realm during his travel. It was indeed a very difficult decision, but at last he chose Llud, which finally turned Nudd into his opponent and savage enemy. # 383 p 266 ff


(tal-YESS-in) The figure of the bard was among the most important at the court of the Celtic princes. Their task was to remember the songs and stories which told of every man's ancestors. Thus the Celts buried their dead in unmarked graves since they knew that while the bards survived so would the memory of the mighty dead. Undoubtedly the most famous of these men was Taliesin, an actual historic personage who lived towards the middle of the sixth century and left a substantial body of material behind, though in a form much muddled and misunderstood. His fame as a semi-mythical character in the HANES TALIESIN (Story of Taliesin) wrought a curious circumstance whereby a vast amount of mythical and mystical teaching constellated around the figure of the historical bard. An entire system of Celtic magical teaching lies buried within the poems and stories about Taliesin and many attempts have been made to decipher it. Among the first to attempt a serious and reasonably accurate translation was the nineteenth-century scholar W. F. Skene, who published the text and translation of THE FOUR ANCIENT BOOKS OF WALES (including 'The Book of Taliesin') in 1868. His work was shortly followed by a lengthy commentary with further translations by D. W. Nash, whose vituperative attack on his predecessors is often, in retrospect, amusing. The extract, gives the best of his commentary, which is exhaustive and lively. His book remains the most reliable until now on the subject. Taliesin was the greatest poet of the Island of Britain: he saw and foretold many of the events of Arthur's reign and the ages to follow. According to a seventeenth-century text (of admittedly earlier provenance) attached to the MABINOGION collection, he was once named Gwion Bach and was set to watch over the cauldron of Ceridwen in which was brewed a drink of knowledge and inspiration intended for her son, Morfran or Afagddu. Some drops splashed out onto his fingers which he then thrust into his mouth, in order to cool them. So did he have access to all knowledge. He subsequently underwent a series of transformations (analogous to his poetic initiation) and was finally reborn of Ceridwen as Taliesin (Radiant Brow). - She set the baby poet in a coracle and he was found on May-Eve at the Salmon Weir by Elphin who became his patron. Taliesin subsequently rescued his master from prison and silenced the bards of Maelgwn.

He sailed with Arthur on Prydwen when the king led the raid on Annwn in order to recover the Hallows of Britain. He has been identified with a sixthcentury poet of the same name and is associated with both Merlin and Aneurin. A similar gaining of knowledge scenario is told of Fionn. In Taliesin, the mantic and magical powers of the ancient poet-kind are revealed. His famous 'I have beens' boast, in which he lists the places and people he has been and met throughout time reveal the nature of his poetic initiation in which all knowledge is recapitulated.

His pursuit by Ceridwen in her hag-aspect is a remnant of a once widespread myth in which the Cailleach Bheare/Bheur pursues her son, the God of Youth or Mabon, through countless transformations until he is possessed of all knowledge. Taliesin became famed for his poetry. He is said to have adressed Urien of Rheged poetically, but he may have been a visitor to Urien's realm rather than a resident and have been of south Welsh provenance. Taliesin was regarded as both poet and prophet. In both Welsh tradition and the VITA MERLINI he is represented as discoursing with Merlin. The verse ascribed to him is difficult to understand. Tolstoy contends that it may originally have been regarded as the work of Merlin and only later attributed to Taliesin.


Bedd Taliesin, north-east of Talybont, on the slopes of Moel y Garn, Dyfed. From Talybont a lane leads N. E. climbing on to moor and in 2 miles on a lonely hillside reaching Bedd Taliesin. The barrow is reputed to contain the remains of of the sixth-century bard Taliesin, once the chief bard of Britain. His birth was suppose to be quite miraculous. He was found as a baby in a coracle caught in a fish weir near Borth, by Elphin, a local prince. Years later Taliesin returned the favour by managing to rescue Prince Elphin from the dungeon of Deganwy Castle. Many of the legends associated with this ancient poet are to be found in the MABINOGION. The barrow consists of a large stone slab and a cairn. The other stones have been removed over the years, probably by farmers looking for suitable stones for erecting gate-posts, and in 1991 there were but fragments left from what we can see in the photo taken by Chris Barber and to be found in his book from 1982 MYSTERIOUS WALES. In the nineteenth century an attempt was made to discover the bones of Taliesin and remove them to a more holy place. But while the wellmeaning persons were digging, they were suddenly startled by a terrible thunderstorm. Lightning flashed and struck the ground with a loud crack. The men fled for their lives, leaving their tools behind, and they never returned to try again. # 49


Means Adze-head. Name given to Saint Patrick by the Irish. # 562


The King of Denmark in CLARIS ET LARIS. He made Laris a prisoner but Claris rescued him. # 156


Daugther of the King of the 'Great Plain' (The Land of the Dead), wedded by Eochy mac Erc. # 562


The guardian of Carterhaugh Wood who exacted the maidenhead of any maiden who went there. His true love, Janet, rescued him from his bondage to the Queen of Fairy. At Hallowe'en Janet dragged him off his horse and held on to him resolutely while he shape-shifted in her arms into various wild beasts. At last he was his own self and free of the Queen's spell. Here we have the summoning of a spirit by breaking the branch of a tree sacred to him, the Fairy Rade with its jingling bells at Hallowe'en, the time most sacred to the fairies, the Fairy Knowe, the Teind to Hell - so characteristic of Scottish Fairyland - the rescue from Fairyland by holding fast, the shape-shifting of the captive, and the essential illwill of the Fairy Queen. Tamlin, Tamlane, Tam Lin, Tam-a-Lin were names often given to a fairy, sometimes a page and sometimes to a knight. # 100 - 150 - 454 - 762


A wizard who lived before Uther, second in sorcery only to Merlin. He laid a spell on Carbonek so that this castle could be found only by certain knights whom chance would lead to it. # 30 - 156


# 562: Seat of the High Kings of Ireland. The Stone of Scone sent from Tara to Scotland. It was at Tara that Lugh accused the sons of Tuirenn, of the murder of his father, Cian. Bull feast at Tara to decide by divination who should be king in Eterskel's stead. CuChulain's head and hand buried at Tara.

# 548: In discussing the feminine nature of kingship, we observed that the kings of Ireland were men who showed favour to, or were accepted by, the lady who personified the realm. Installation was a 'king-marriage'. In the ritual of Tara, on the other hand, the king must be acknowledged by an embodiment of the masculine principle. Ireland, in addition to bearing the names of various goddesses, is called the 'Plain of Fál', or the 'Island of Fál', the Irish are 'the men of Fál', the king 'the ruler of Fál'. Fál is the name of a stone on the Hill of Tara. It is characterized as 'the stone penis', and in later tradition as 'the member of Fergus'. This is the 'Stone of Knowledge' which cries out under the destined king. One story speaks of a more elaborate ritual in which the cry of Fál is preceded by a symbolical rebirth. There were two flagstones at Tara, called Blocc and Bluigne, which stood so close together that one's hand could only pass sideways between them. When they accepted a man, they would open before him until his chariot went through. 'And Fál was there, the "stone penis" at the head of the chariot-course (?); when a man should have the kingship, it screeched against his chariot axle, so that all might hear.' The court of Tara, the centre of the Plain of Fál, was the quintessence of the state. A medieval source tells how King Domnall son of Aed established his seat at Dún na nGéd, on the banks of Boyne, because Tara had been cursed by all the saints of Ireland. 'And he drew seven great ramparts about that fort after the manner of Tara of the kings, and he designed even the houses of the fort after the manner of the houses of Tara: namely, the great Central Hall, where the king himself used to abide with kings and queens and ollams and all that were best in every art; and the Hall of Munster and the Hall of Leinster and the Banquet-Hall of Connacht and the Assembly-Hall of Ulster.' In addition to the Central Hall and the Halls of the four Great Provinces there were 'the Prison of the Hostages and the Star of the Poets and the Palace (Grianan) of the Single Pillar (which Cormach son of Art first made for his daughter) and all the other houses. It seems likely that the four provincial halls at Tara were arranged around the Central Hall, and the plan of the whole state was further reproduced within the Central Hall itself. 'And he (Domnall) summoned the men of Ireland to this feast at Tara. A couch was prepared for Domnall in the midst of the royal palace at Tara and afterwards the host were seated. The men of Munster in the southern quarter of the house. The men of Connaught in the western part of the house. The men of Ulster in the northern. The men of Leinster in the eastern side of it.' And in the middle of the hall sat the five kings. 'The CENTRE OF IRELAND around Domnall in that house. Thus was the court made. The king of Leinster on the couch opposite in the east, the king of Munster on his right hand, the king of Connacht at his back, the king of Ulster on his left hand.

It is noted in A NEW VERSION OF THE BATTLE OF MAG RATH, ed. and transl. by C. Marstrander in ERIU, V, that if the high-king had been of the Southern Ui Néill the arrangement would have been slightly different. In THE BANQUET OF DUN NA NGED' this diffrence seems to be greater: 'The custom was that when a king of the Southern Ui Néill was High King the king of Connacht should be at his right hand, and when a king of the Northern Ui Néill was High King, the king of Ulster on his right and the king of Connacht on his left.' One wonders whether a high-king of the Southern Ui Néill faced southwards and a high-king of the Northern Ui Néill faced northwards. With the alternation of the kings of Connacht and Ulster as the high-king's right hand, cf. 'There was a covenant between Lugaid and Ailill Aulum and between their offspring after them that whenever Aulum's offspring held the kingship, Lugaid's offspring should hold the judgeship, but when Lugaid's offspring held the kingship, Aulum's sons were to hold the judgeship. Lugaid and Ailill made this arrangement in the presence of Connall of the Hundred Victories over one half of Ireland. Thus the men of Leinster and Munster held kingship and judgeship. And thus the orientation of the group accords with the dual meaning of the usual Gaelic terms for the four directions, north, south, east, and west, meaning also left, right, before, and behind, respectively. These kings may not have had the political power of a Louis XIV, but in the realm of symbolism they could legitimately proclaim: l'état cést nous. The division of a city, a land, or the world, into four quarters with a central fifth is anything but unique. We can find resemblance of this in both ancient China and India. And again, the Grail Castle as pictured in SONE DE NAUSSAY is a complete cosmic symbol. It is built on an island, with four towers (elsewhere given as a square), which 'is the palace'. Evidence of this kind which could be quoted from many other parts of the world leaves us in no doubt as to the cosmological significance of the four and central fifth in Ireland. The view of the diversion of Tara's Banqueting Hall, allegorical speaking, is deeply expounded in A. Rees, and B. Rees: Celtic Heritage, chapter seven. # 70 - 106 - 273 - 312 - 467 - 548 - 562 - 605 - 764


The Dark Tongue. A request or prayer for help to slay an enemy to the Taran Tafod may sound like this: 'CWMWL DYFOD! GWYNT DYRNOD!' and 'DYRNOD! DYFOD! TYMESTL RHUO! - TERFESGU!' where the chief-bards outcry for help brought a terrible thunderstorm with heavy rain and hail to fall exclusively over the enemy. # 384 p 81


The Lord of Thunder. Taranis, god of the wheel. One of the powerful Father Gods, associated with forces of change. The Romans associated him with their Jupiter, and with the shadowy Dis Pater, the primal god of the Underworld. His connection to the oak tree and to thunder, both of which were important symbols and entities in Druidism, suggests that he may have been a specifically Druidic father god. # 628 p 70


In the north-east of Scotland the spirits of babies who have died without baptism are called 'Tarans'. McPherson, in PRIMITIVE BELIEFS IN THE NORTH EAST OF SCOTLAND, quotes from Pennant's TOUR OF SCOTLAND, the Banff section: The little spectres, called Tarans, or the souls of unbaptized infants, were often seen flitting among the woods and secret places, bewailing in soft voices their hard fate. In the Lowlands and in Somerset these would be called Spunkies. Little Short Hoggers of Whittinghame was one of the Spunkies. # 100 - 465






See: ENID.


A villain who came to Arthur's court and slew a knight in front of the queen, promising to return each year to do the same. He was eventually defeated by Jaufré. # 30 - 156


The wife of Caradoc Briefbras in Welsh tradition. She had three treasures: a mantle, a cup and a carving knife. See: THIRTEEN TREASURES. # 156


Husband of Ceridwen. A man of Penllyn, his home is said to have been in Lake Tegid. He appears in many Welsh genealogies. # 272 - 454 - 562


The old Lowland term for the tithe. It was the tribute due to be paid by the fairies to the Devil every seven years. The mention of it is to be found in the ballad of 'True Thomas and the Queen of Elfland'. # 100


(tair-NON turv-LEE-ant) A man of Gwent ys Coed, who finds and restore Pryderi. # 562


Palace at Telltown (Teltin) of Telta, Eochy mac Erc's wife. There was a great battle at Teltin between Danaans and Milesians. After Conary's death, Conall of the Victories makes his way to Teltin. # 562


In Wolfram, the knights who guarded the Grail. # 156 - 748


A country ruled by King Kalafes who was converted to Christianity by Alan. Alan's brother, Joshua, succeeded Kalafes. La Terre Foraine was possibly identical with Listenois and was said to have been under the rule of King Pellehan in Arthurian times. Perceval's aunt was once its queen and it may have been identical with the Waste Land. # 153 - 156


In the Middle Ages, it was conjectured that the Garden of Eden was still in existence and its whereabouts could be discovered. In LE CHANSON d'ESCLARMONDE (an obscure medieval work), the heroine Esclarmonde was taken by Morgan to the Terrestrial Paradise where she bathed in the Fountain of Youth. # 156


A demon who by strange test decides the Championship of Ireland. # 562


His epithet means 'Lord of the raging Wave', but is generally believed to be drawn from the Celtic form 'Tigernonos' or Great Lord. He was the rescuer and foster-father of Pryderi. His part within the story of Rhiannon may once have been greater if the Celtic derivation of his name is any clue. Rhiannon marries Manawyddan who is closely associated with the sea and who might well share Teyrnon's title. Rhiannon is derived from the Celtic form, 'Rigantona' or Great Queen a suitable title for the wife of Tigernonos. The father of Pryderi is also uncertain, since Rhiannon was probably the wife of Arawn or a Lord of Annwn prior to Pwyll. # 272 - 439 - 454


The mother of Saint Kentigern in the LIFE of that Saint. She is described as the daughter of Lot. # 156


Tristan had to fight Marhaus over the tribute which Cornwall paid to Ireland, this having been instituted at the time of King Thanor of Cornwall as payment for Irish help against King Pellas of Leonois. # 156


Considering the awe in which the fairies were held, is it surprising how many attempts, some of them successful, were made to take gold and silver plate out of their mounds. Gervase of Tilbury tells a story of a fairy cup-bearer who appeared from a mound near Gloucester and offered drink to any huntsman who asked for it. One was so ungrateful as to carry off the cup and present it to the Earl of Gloucester, who, however, executed him as a robber and gave the cup to Henry I. In his SUPERSTITIONS OF THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS OF SCOTLAND several versions of 'Luran' stories is given. In one version the fairies steal from Luran and he tries to make up his losses by stealing from the fairies. He is not finally successful. A feature of the story is the friendly adviser among the fairies. He is generally called 'The Red-headed Man' and is supposed to be a captured human who retains his sympathy with his fellow men. # 100 - 131 - 246


or They, or Them that's in it. Manx euphemistic names for the fairies, 'fairy' being generally considered an unlucky word to use. It is sometimes said that 'Themselves' are the souls of those drowned in Noah's Flood.# 100


The people who believe in the existence of fairies has different notions about their origin. Folklorists are more concerned in the origin of fairy beliefs; what is important to them is not so much whether the fairies really exist as whether their existence is actually believed in by the people who tell about them. When that has been discovered, the folklorist's next object is to find out the grounds on which the belief was founded. Various suggestions have been put forward, either as full or partial solutions of the problem. One of the most well-supported is that which equates the fairies with the dead. Lewis Spence in BRITISH FAIRY ORIGINS makes a very plausible case for this theory. He can bring forward plenty of evidence from tradition, as, for instance, Lady Wilde's accounts of Finvarra's court, and Botrell's story 'The Fairy Dwelling on Selena Moor'. According to Kirk, the fairy Knowes by the churchyard were supposed to be places were the souls of the dead lodged, waiting to rejoin their bodies on the Day of Judgement.

The small size of the fairies might be plausibly accounted for by the primitive idea of the soul as a miniature replica of the man himself, which emerged from the owner's mouth in sleep or unconsciousness. If its return was prevented, the man died. David Mac Ritchie in THE TESTIMONY OF TRADITION and other writings was the chief exponent of the theory that the fairy beliefs were founded on the memory of a more primitive race driven into hiding by the invaders, lurking in caves or fens, some of them halfdomesticated and doing chores about the houses like the shaggy and unkempt Brownie. Such tales as 'The Isle of Sanntraigh' give verisimilitude to the theory, but it does not cover all forms of fairy belief. A third suggestion which attempts to cover only part of the ground is that the fairies are dwindled gods or nature spirits. This was undoubtedly true of the Daoine Sidh and possibly of the Tylwyth Teg, and of a few of the more primitive spirits such as the Cailleach Bheur, the Hag of Winter, Black Annis and so on. Tree and water spirits might also be traced to this source. The psychological foundation of folk-tales, explored at some depth by C. G. Jung, may afford some valuable hints to folklorists probing into the foundation of fairy beliefs, and their curious plausibility as if the mind leapt to receive them. On the whole we may say that it is unwise to commit oneself blindfold to any solitary theory of the origins of fairy belief, but that it is most probable that these are all strands in a tightly twisted cord. # 100 - 409 - 611




Sometimes two more tresures were added to the originally number of thirteen: the mantle of Tegau Eurvron, and the stone and ring of Eluned. But from the following list (a late medieval version) we can still discern their earlier prototypes, which is the sovereigntybestowing objects, similar to the Hallows, which Arthur is said to have journeyed to Annwn in his ship Prydwen to fetch.

  1. Dyrnwyn, sword of Rhydderch Hael (the Generous): in the hands of a nobleman it would burst into flame from hilt to tip. (Arthur's sword Caledfwlch or Excalibur has the same ability in THE DREAM OF RHONABWY.)
  2. The Hamper of Gwyddno Garanhir: food for one man could be put into it and food for a hundred would be found when next opened. (This resembles the hamper which is stolen from the court of Lludd.)
  3. The Horn of Bran: this dispensed whatever drink one wanted. (Bran the Blessed became known as a Grail guardian because of his cauldron of rebirth. This horn is clearly similar in function to the Grail which serves whatever food one likes best.)
  4. The Chariot of Morgan the Wealthy: transported its owner wherever he wished to go quickly.
  5. The Halter of Clyno Eiddyn which was attached to the owner's bedfoot by a staple: whatever horse one wished for would be found in the halter. (Such a dream-horse would be much desired by the horseloving Celts.)
  6. The Knife of Llawfronedd the Horseman: this would carve for twentyfour men at a meal.
  7. The Cauldron of Diwrnach the Giant: would not boil a coward's food but only that of a brave man. (This is the one treasure mentioned in CULHWCH AND OLWEN which Arthur successfully fetches.)
  8. The Whetstone of Tudwal Tudglyd: if a brave man sharpened his sword upon it it would draw out the life of any man it wounded, though a coward's sword would be unchanged.
  9. The Coat of Padarn Red-Coat: it would only fit a nobleman, not a churl. (This resembles the Mantle of Faithful Wives which will cover the nakedness of a faithful woman but not an adulteress, in Arthurian legend.)
  10. The Crock of Rhygenydd: in which would be found the food one liked best.
  11. The Dish of Rhygenydd: in which would be found the food one liked best.
  12. The Gwyddbwll board of Gwenddolau: the pieces were of silver, the board of gold and they played by themselves when it was set up. (This Chessboard appears in PEREDUR where Peredur plays and, when his side loses, he casts the whole board into a lake). In that story it is termed 'the Chessboard of the Empress' where it clearly indicates the Land of Sovereignty.
  13. The Mantle of Arthur: whoever wore it was invisible. (This cloak is also that worn by Caswallawn when he enchants Britain; it is probably also that of Curoi mac Daire who is specifically termed 'the grey man in the mantle'.) All thirteen treasures reveal a preoccupation with worthiness of the person finding or using them: they will not work for the unworthy. This is a clear indication of their funtion in the king's relationship with Sovereignty: they cannot be found or wielded by any save the rightful king or champion of the king. - Merlin was supposed to have procured these from their owners and taken them to his abode of glass on Bardsey Island.

# 104 - 272 - 438 - 439 - 454


The King of Babylon who first gave land to Evelake but, when the latter became King of Sarras, the two were drawn into a war against each other. Helped by Joseph of Arimathea, Evelake defeated Tholomer. # 156


(1118-70) Archbishop and Chancellor of England under Henry II. His close friendship with the King did not survive his appointing Thomas Archbishop, for Thomas refused to prejudice the position of the Church by bringing its malefactors under secular law as Henry wished. He was exiled in France for six years but later returned to an uneasy peace. When the King had his son, Prince Henry, crowned as his successor by bishops who had no right to this prerogative of Canterbury's, Thomas excommunicated the erring clerics. Henry then, enraged asked his men to 'rid him of this turbulent priest'. For barons readily despatched themselves for Canterbury, where they slew Thomas in his own cathedral. Henry did extravagant penance and Thomas became the centre of a great pilgrimage cult. Thomas was not particular saintly, though his defence of the Church's rights was impressive; as usual the success of his cult was dependent on his popularity with the people who like to ally themselves with a sinner turned saint against a choleric king. Canterbury was one of the richest pilgrim-centres in Europe until the Reformation. His feast-day is 29 December. # 454


Thomas of Ercledoune lived in the thirteenth century. He met with the Queen of Elfland and visited that country in her company. He begins his Journey under a hawthorn, the Eildon Tree of physical manifestation, but leading to the Otherworld. He encounters the tree a second time within the UnderWorld, as the Tree of Initiation. At first it is the Forbidden Tree, and the Queen of Elfland warns him that its fruit 'bears all the plagues of Hell'. Yet this same tree described as a golden or silver apple tree, or of mixed fruits and nuts in Celtic lore, is the very source of the gift 'the tongue that cannot lie' the Gift of Prophesy, (these prophesies were passed down and many were proven true. That Gift is only transformed or purified through the meditation of the female power: the Queen of Elfland. When Thomas left the mortal world for the last time, he was led back to the Otherworld by a hind and a doe. He had been seen from time to time by those who have made visits to Fairyland. # 100 - 150 - 454 - 633 - 76


The name of a potter in an English legend who happened on Arthur and his men sleeping beneath Richmond Castle (Yorkshire). On a table lay a horn and a sword. He started to draw the latter, but grew frightened and dropped it when the knights began to stir. See: POTTER THOMPSON. # 156


In FOLK LORE OF THE NORTHERN COUNTIES, William Henderson cites the authority of the Wilkie manuscript for an instrument of fate called 'the thrumpin' who attented on every man like a dark guardian angel with the power to take away his life. This belief is found on the Scottish Border. # 100 - 302


Emperor of Rome, who supressed Druids, prophets and medicine-men. # 562


(Teer'na) Abbot of Clonmacnois, eleventh-century historian. # 562


(teern'mas) He was an ancient, legendary king, the fifth Irish king who succeeded Eremon and instituted the worship of Cromm Cruach, which used human sacrifice in its rites. Tigernmas means 'Lord of Death'. He is credited with the introduction of gold-mining, silversmithing and the weaving of tartans. # 208 - 454 - 562


A Celtic title meaning 'Great King or Lord'. It is the male equivalent title to Rigantona, a title ascribed to Rhiannon. # 454


The early fairy specialists had a vivid sense of the relativity of time, founded, perhaps, on experiences of dream or trance, when a dream that covers several years may be experienced between rolling out of bed and landing on the floor. Occasionally the dimension is in this direction. Hartland, in his exhaustive study of 'The Supernatural Lapse of Time in Fairyland', contained in THE SCIENCE OF FAIRY TALES, is given a Pembrokeshire example of a visit to Fairyland. A young shepherd joined a fairy dance and found himself in a glittering palace surrounded by most beautiful gardens, where he passed many years in happiness among the fairy people. There was only one prohibition: in the middle of the garden there was a fountain, filled with gold and silver fish, and he was told he must on no account drink out of it. He desired increasingly to do so, and at last he plunged his hands into the pool. At once the whole place vanished, and he found himself on the cold hillside among his sheep. Only minutes had passed since he joined the fairy dance. More often this trance-like experience is told in a more theological setting, the journey of Mahomet to Paradise, for instance, or the experience of Brahmins or hermits. As a rule, however, time moves in the other direction, both in visits to Fairyland and to other supernatural worlds. A dance of a few minutes takes a year and a day of common time, as in the tale of 'Rhys and Llewellyn', a few days of feasting and merriment have consumed 200 years in the mortal world (see KING HERLA).

This is not always so, for nothing in folk tradition can be contained in an exact and logical system. Elidurus could go backwards and forwards between Fairyland and his home with no alteration of time, human midwives to the fairies can visit fairy homes and return the same night, the man who borrowed Fairy Oinment from the fairy hill was taken into it with impunity, and Isobel Gowdie visited the fairy hills in the same way to obtain Elf-Shot. Yet, on the whole, it may be said that the man who visits Fairyland does so at a grave risk of not returning until long after his span of mortal life has been consumed. Sometimes, as in the Rip Van Winkle tale, a broken taboo, the partaking of fairy food or drink in Fairyland, is followed by an enchanted sleep during which time passes at a supernatural rate, but it is not always so. Certainly King Herla and his companions feasted in Fairyland, but there seems no suggestion that the passage of time was caused by this communion. The effect of the visit was disastrous, but the intention does not seem to have been unfriendly. The Ossian story, in which the hero goes to live with a fairy bride and returns after some hundreds of years, is widespread and is even to be found among the best-known of the Japanese fairy-tales, 'Urashima Taro'. Here, as in many other versions, his bride is a seamaiden. Fairyland is often under or across the sea, and Mermaids are amorous of mortals. When Urashima tries to return home, his bride gives him a casket in which his years are locked, and old age and death come on him when he opens it.

Hartland in THE SCIENCE OF FAIRY TALES noted an interesting Italian variant of the Ossian tale. In this, which begins as a Swan Maiden tale, the hero's bride is Fortune, and after once losing her, he follows her to the Isle of Happiness, where he stays, as he thinks, for two months, but it is really 200 years. When he insists on returning to visit his mother, Fortune gives him a magnificent black horse to carry him over the sea, and warns him not to dismount from it, but she is more prudent than Niam of the Golden Locks, for she goes with him. They ride over the sea together, and find a changed country. As they go towards his mother's house they meet an old hag with a carriage-load of old shoes behind her, which she has worn out looking for him. She slips and falls to the ground, and he is bending down to lift her when Fortune calls out: 'Beware! That is Death!' So they ride on. Next they meet a great lord on a leg-weary horse, which founders at their side, but before the hero can come to his aid, Fortune cries out again: 'Be careful! That is the Devil!' And they ride on. But when the hero finds that his mother is dead and long since forgotten, he turns back with his bride to the Isle of Happiness, and has lived there with her ever since. This is one of the few stories of fairy brides and visits to Fairyland which ends happily. One of the same motifs occurs in a Tyrolean story, also told by Hartland. A peasant followed his herd under a stone and into a cave, where a lady met him, gave him food and offered him a post as a gardener. He worked in the country for some weeks, and then began to be homesick. They let him go home, but when he got back everything was strange, and no one recognized him except one old crone, who came up to him and said, 'Where have you been? I have been looking for you for 200 years.' She took him by the hand, and he fell dead, for she was the Death.

When people return in this way after long absence they often fall to dust as soon as they eat human food. This is especially so in the Welsh stories. In a Highland version two men who had returned from Fairyland on a Sunday went to church, and as soon as the scriptures were read they crumbled into dust. The suggestion behind all these stories is that Fairyland is a world of the dead, and that those who entered it had long been dead, and carried back with them an illusory body which crumbled into dust when they met reality. In Ruth Tongue's moving story 'The Noontide Ghost' in FORGOTTEN FOLKTALES OF THE ENGLISH COUNTIES, this transformation has already occurred. The old man who long ago met the 'queer sort of chap' who delayed him with wagering-games and old merriment, returned as a ghost to look for his long-dead wife, and was called by her up to Heaven after he had told his story to a mortal listener. As in this tale, the fairy condition, or indeed the entry into eternity, often needs no entry into a geographical fairyland, underground or underwater. A fairy ring, the encounter with a Fairy Rade, the singing of a supernatural bird, is enough to surround the mortal with the supernatural condition, so that he stands invisible and rapt away from the mortal world which continues all around him until the mysterious time-pattern ceases to have potency. For it is to be noticed that, whatever the differences in pace, human time and fairy time somehow interlock. The dancer in the fairy circle is nearly always to be rescued after a year and a day, sometimes after an exact year; two months equal 200 years; an hour may be a day and a night; there is some relationship. And if times are somehow interconnected, seasons are even more important. May Day, Midsummer Eve, Hallowe'en are all times when the doors open between the worlds. James Stephen's IN THE LAND OF YOUTH, a translation of one of the early Irish fairy legends, is a good example of this. Certain times of day are important too. The four hinges of the day, noontide, dusk, midnight and early dawn, are cardinal to the fairies. Certain days of the week are also important, days of danger and days of escape. In fact, however free and wild the course of fairy time appears to be, we find here as elsewhere traces of the dependence of fairies upon mortals. # 100 - 288 - 619 - 674


43-47 Britain is conquered by Emperor Claudius and becomes an island province of the Roman Empire.

78 Western command of Britain is transferred to the city of Chester and Viroconium becomes a thriving civilian town.

122 Emperor Hadrian orders the building of Hadrian's Wall between Newcastle and the Solway Firth.

200 The Antonine Wall is abandoned and Hadrian's Wall become the empire's northern frontier.

380 Pelagius leaves Britain for Rome and comes into conflict with the Church.

383 Magnus Maximus is proclaimed emperor by the British legions, invades Gaul and Italy and is defeated by Theodosius I.

401 Alaric, king of the Visigoths, invades northern Italy.

407 Constantine III is proclaimed emperor by the British legions and inva des Gaul.

408 Alaric lays siege to Rome and Emperor Honorius is forced to withdraw troops rom Britain.

409 Picts and Irish tribes invade North-East Britain and West Wales.

410 Alaric sacks Rome. Honorius is unable to respond to the British plea for rein forcements. The last of the Roman legions leave Britain.

411 Constantine III is defeated at Arles and is later executed by Honorius.

412 Honorius sends the COMES BRITANNIARUM to Britain, together with an auxiliary legion.

416 The Roman Church proclaims that the teachings of Pelagius constitute a here sy.

418 The COMES BRITANNIARUM is withdrawn from Britain, together with any military precence that remains.

420 The kingdom of Powys is founded. A major rebuilding of Viroconium takes place.

425 Vortigern ('overlord') assumes control of central and southern Britain.

429 Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, visits Britain as an envoy of the Catholic Church.

445 A plague epidemic reaches Britain, severely weakening Vortigern's control.

446 Pictish raids recommence in northern Britain. Further Irish invasions of West Wales take place.

447 Germanus visits Britain for a second time. Vortigern dies and is succeeded by his son, Vortigern II (probably Britu).

448 The British make an unsuccessful request for military aid to the Roman consul, Aetius, in Gaul.

449 Vortigern II invites Anglo-Saxon mercenaries into Britain to fight the Picts and Irish.

451 Attila the Hun is defeated at Châlons-sur-Marne.

455 A Saxon revolt led by Hengist and Horsa. The Battle of Egelesprep (Aylesford) takes place, in which Horsa and Cateyrn die. Hengist establishes the kingdom of Kent. British forces are defeated.

455-60 The Anglo-Saxons take control of eastern Britain. Vortigern II is deposed.

459 The battle of Guoloph is fought, at which Ambrosius fights Vitalinus (probably for controls of Powys).

460 Ambrosius becomes leader of the British forces. British defences are reorga nised. Cunedda and the Votadini are invited into North Wales to expel the Irish. There is an Imperialist revival in Britain.

470 A British contingent fights for Emperor Anthemius in northern France.

476 Odovacer defeats Emperor Romulus Augustulus and proclaims himself king of Italy. The final collapse of the Western Roman Empire occurs.

477 The Saxon leader Aelle lands in Sussex.

480 There is a military stalemate between the Britons and the Saxons in the South of England. The Angles suffer defeat in the North. Cunorix is buried in Viroconium.

485 Aelle defeats the British at Mearcredesburna.

485-88 Arthur fights for Ambrosius against the Angles.

488 Hengist dies and is succeeded by Ochta. Arthur succeeds Ambrosius.

488-93 The Arthurian campaigns.

491 Aelle besieges the fort at Anderida (Pevensey) and establishes the kingdom of Sussex.

493 Arthur defeats Aelle and Ochta at the battle of Badon. The Anglo-Saxons retreat into South-East England.

495 Cerdic lands in Hampshire, possibly as a mercenary.

508 Cerdic achieves victory over a British king named Natanleod, and establishes control over an area roughly the size of modern Hampshire. An alliance is made between Cerdic and Cunomorus.

512 Oisc is king of Kent.

519 The battle of Certicesford. The battle of Camlan. THE DEATH OF ARTHUR. Maglocunus becomes king of Gwynedd. Cuneglasus becomes king of Powys.

520 Viroconium is abandoned.

522 Oisc dies.

530 The Byzantine emperor, Justinian I, fails to recapture the Western Empire.

534 Cynric becomes king of Wessex.


549 Maglocunus dies.

550 The Drustanus stone is erected.

552 Cynric defeats the Britons at Old Sarum.

555 Buckinghamshire is overwhelmed by the Saxons.

556 The battle of Beranburh (near Swindon).

560 The death of Cynric.

571 Cuthwulf routs the Midland British in Bedfordshire.

575 The battle of Arfderydd, after which Myrddin (Merlin) goes insane (according to the Annales Cambriae).

577 The British are defeated at the battle of Dyrham; Bath, Cirencester and Glou cester are lost to the Saxons.

598 The Angle kings Aethelfrid and Aelle defeat the British at Catraeth (Catterick in Yorkshire).

603 The Irish king Aedan is defeated by Aethelfrid in northern England.

604 Aethelfrid moves against Aelle, occupies York and founds the kingdom of Nort humbria.

610 The poem GODODDIN is composed.

613 Aethelfrid defeats a joint Gwynedd/Powys army at Chester, where the Powys king is killed.

614 Wessex Saxons move into Devon.

617 The death of Aethelfrid. Edwin becomes king of Northumbria.

626 Penda breaks with Northumbria and founds the kingdom of Mercia in the East Midlands.

629 Cadwallon of Gwynedd is besieged by Edwin in North Wales.

633 Edwin is defeated by Cadwallon and Penda.

634 The IRISH ANNALES record the burning of Bangor.

635 Cadwallon is defeated by Oswald of Northumbria.

638 Gododdin is overrun by the Angles.

644 Penda of Mercia, in alliance with Cynddylan of Powys, defeats Oswald of Nort humbria at the battle of Maes Cogwy (Oswestry).

645 The 'hammering of Dyfed' (perhaps by the Irish) took place, according to the ANNALES CAMBRIAE.

649 The 'slaughter of Gwent' (perhaps by the Saxons) takes place according to the ANNALES CAMBRIAE.

655 Penda, together with Aethelhere of East Anglia, is defeated by Oswy. Peada is king of Mercia. Anna is king of East Anglia. Mercia and East Anglia become subservient to Northumbria.

656 In this year Penda was killed, and Wulfhere, son of Penda new ruler of Mercia. Cynddylan defeats the Mercians at Luitcoet.

658 Oswy sacks Powys. The death of Cynddylan. The British lose Staffordshire and Shropshire. Mercians occupy western Powys.

661 The 'Tribal Hidage' is compiled.

682 The Wessex Saxons consolidate their hold on the entire South-West peninsular, apart from Cornwall.


800 The Pope crowns Charlemagne of the Franks as Holy Roman Emperor.

830 Nennius writes the Historia Brittonum.

850 The GODODDIN is committed to writing. CANU LLYWARCH HEN and CANU HELEDD are composed. Cyngen, king of Powys, erects the Pillar of Eliseg.

854 Cyngen dies while on a pilgrimage to Rome. Rhodri Mawr of Gwynedd becomes king of Powys.

871-99 The ANGLO-SAXON CHRONICLE is compiled from early monastic records under the supervision of Alfred the Great.

926 Cornwall is conceded to the English.

927 Athelstan effectively unites the Anglo-Saxon people and becomes first king of all England.

955 The ANNALES CAMBRIAE are compiled.

990 CULHWCH AND OLWEN is composed.

1100 Lifris writes the LIFE OF ST CADOC, in which Arthur is briefly mentioned. 1110 The CHRONICLE OF MONT SAINT MICHEL is compiled, in which Arthur is mentioned as king of Britain.

1120 A surviving manuscript containing the HISTORIA BRITTONUM and the ANNALES CAMBRIAE is compiled.

1125 William of Malmesbury writes the GESTA REGUM ANGLORUM, in which he refers to King Arthur.

1120-40 The Modena Archivolt, on the north portal of Modena Cathedral, is decorated with an Arthurian scene.


1130 Geoffrey of Monmouth composes the PROPHETIAE MERLINI while working on the HISTORIA.

1135 The HISTORIA REGUM BRITANNIAE is completed by Geoffrey of Monmouth.

1135 Henry of Huntingdon writes the HISTORIA ANGLORUM, in which he includes Nennius' list of Arthur's battles.

1130-40 Hermann of Tournai records the visit of the Laon Cathedral officials to England, when they were told of Arthurian legends in Cornwall.

1140 Caradoc of Llancarfan, in his LIFE OF GILDAS, includes Arthur in the life of the monk.

1150 Geoffrey of Monmouth's VITA MERLINI is composed.

1155 Wace completes his poem, ROMAN DE BRUT, based on Geoffrey's work, and introduces the Round Table to the Arthurian story.

1160 The DREAM OF RHONABWY is composed.

1160-80 Chrétien de Troyes writes his five Arthurian poems, which are chiefly responsible for establishing King Arthur as a fashionable subject of Romantic literature. He introduces many of Arthur's knights and the name Camelot.

1190 The monks of Glastonbury Abbey claim to have discovered the grave of King Arthur and Guinevere.

1195-1200 Robert de Boron composes a trilogy of Arthurian verses. He introduces the notion of the Holy Grail as the vessel used at the Last Supper by Christ, along with the sword and stone motif.

1200 The English priest Layamon is the first to relate the Arthurian saga in native English. His work, BRUT, is an adaptation of Wace's ROMAN DE BRUT.

1200 The Arthurian story enters Germany in the form of two poems, EREC and IWEIN, by the poet Hartmann von Aue.

1205 Wolfram von Eschenbach writes his epic Arthurian story PARZIVAL, in which he depicts the Grail as a magical stone.

1215-35 A large number of rambling Arthurian stories, known collectively as the VULGA TE CYCLE, are compiled. Anonymously composed, this Cycle is chiefly responsi ble for many of the story's embellishments.

1247 Glastonbury Abbey produces a revised edition of William of Malmesbury's DE ANTIQUITATE GLASTONIENSIS ECCLASIAE.

1250 The BLACK BOOK OF CARMARTHEN, the oldest surviving manuscript to contain Welsh poems that include Arthur, is compiled.

1265 The BOOK OF ANEIRIN, containing the surviving copy of the GODODDIN, is compiled.

1275 The BOOK OF TALIESIN, containing the SPOILS OF ANNWN, is compiled.

1325 The WHITE BOOK OF RHYDDERCH, containing the earliest section from CULHWCH AND OLWEN, is compiled.

1400 SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT is composed by an anonymous writer from the North-West Midlands.

1400 The RED BOOK OF HERGEST is compiled. It contains the DREAM OF RHONABWY, the tale of CULHWCH AND OLWEN, and the surviving copy of CANU HELEDD and the CANU LLYWARCH HEN.

1470 Sir Thomas Malory completes LE MORTE DARTHUR, the most famous of all Arthurian Romances. # 239 - 262 - 524


In Spenser's FAERIE QUEENE, Arthur's squire; he probably represents Sir Walter Raleigh. # 156 - 614


The site of the castle in Cornwall where Arthur was conceived. The present castle, a Norman structure, does not date back to the Arthurian period, but the site of a Celtic monastery lies adjacent on an island connected by a causeway to the mainland. This may well have been extant in Arthur's time. In earlier sources it is the castle of Gorlois of Cornwall, but later legends associate it with King Mark of Cornwall, although his real residence was probably Castle Dore. See: BRASTIAS. # 156 - 418 - 454 - 717


The Land of Women. The place of beautiful otherworld women, who welcome pilgrims and voyagers on the great voyages (immrama). Ruled over by its queen, the island provided a consort for every man, the best of entertainment, food and music. Both Bran mac Febal and Maelduin visited it. Time stood still, but both men found its timeless beauty too much for mortals and, though warned about its gifts of immortality, chose to sail away home. # 416 - 454


Land of the Living q.v. The place of everlasting life. # 166


(Teer nahn Ock).


(teer na nogue) (The Land of The Young). This, which lay west across the sea, was one of the lands into which the Tuatha De Danann retreated when they had been conquered by the Milesians. They had other habitations, under the Sidh, the green mounds or tumuli of prehistoric Ireland, or the Land under the Waves, Tirfo Thuinn, but Tir Nan Og was the earthly paradise where time, like time in Fairyland, was no longer reckoned by mortal measures, a land of beauty, where the grass was always green and fruit and flowers could be picked together, where feasting, music, love, hunting and joyous fighting went on all day and death made no entry, for if in the fights men were wounded and killed one day they came to life again none the worse the next. Occasionally mortal men were invited to Tir Nan Og, as Oisin was, and if they wanted to revisit earth they were put under a gease (taboo). When this was violated the weight of their mortal years came upon them and they were unable to return. In Wales a comparable story is that of King Herla. If Tir Nan Og was the Celtic heaven, there are glimpses of a Celtic hell. In Ireland it was Scathach, visited by CuChulain, the hero of the Ulster Cycle, and in Wales Ysbaddaden, the Land of the Giants visited by Culhwch in the MABINOGION. # 100


Corresponds to the goddesses Diana and Mab. The latter was a name not commonly used for the Fairy Queen, though in one of the magical manuscripts in the British Museum (Sloane 1727) 'Tyton, Florella and Mabb' are mentioned as 'the treasures of the earth'. # 100


(1892-1973) The whole area of fairy fiction arose to new heights and dimensions, when Tolkien supplied our literature with his works THE HOBBIT and its sequels THE LORD OF THE RINGS. These books were felt at once by a surprising number of people to have something significant to say about our modern problems and to hold an implicit message for young people all over the English-speaking world (at present time, 1993, his works are translated into many more than just the main languages and read throughout the world; in 1977, Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark, supplied the trilogy LORD OF THE RINGS with her magnificent illustrations). People used the elven script and learnt the elven tongue. One got the feeling that the whole of life was embraced in this archaic-seeming tale. It was about danger and endurance against heavy odds, about championship and simple pleasures of food and song, about landscape, about the dreadful weight of a corrupting responsibility, the dangers of science and the terrible pressure of an evil will. There was no explicit preaching, but the will was braced by reading. The whole was not decorated but deepened by the use of traditional folklore which gave it that sense of being rooted in the earth which is the gift of folklore to literature. The folklore used was in the main Scandinavian in tone. The Dragons, the Gnomes, the Goblins, the Elves fit into the world of Scandinavian mythology. It was not of supreme importance what type of folklore was used so long as it was authentic and came like native air to the mind of the writer. # 100 - 670 - 671


The ruler of Sarras, who was defeated by Evelake; he had accepted Christianity from Joseph of Arimathea. J. W. Taylor in his book THE COMING OF THE SAINTS (1906), is of the opinion that the Saracens Tolleme ruled may have been a race of Jewish descent living in Cornwall. According to Gerbert, Tolleme was King of Syria. # 153 - 156


The illegitimate son of Arthur, known as the Red Rose Knight. His mother was called Angelica. He was raised by a shepherd and Arthur made him a commander in the army, in which capacity he defeated the Portuguese. He had a natural son (called the Faerie Knight) by Caelia, the Fairy Queen. Tom went to the realm of Prester John and eloped with Anglitora, the daughter of that monarch, and they had a son called the Black Knight. When Anglitora discovered Tom was illegitimate, she left him and became the mistress of the lord of a castle and, when Tom arrived, she murdered him. His ghost told the Black Knight all and the latter killed Anglitora. He met the Faerie Knight and they travelled together, eventually coming to England. The romance of TOM a' LINCOLN was written by Richard Johnston (born 1573; date of death uncertain). # 156 - 668


He was the son of Thomas of the Mountain who sent his wife to consult Merlin in order to find out why she had no children. Merlin said she would have a child no bigger than her husband's thumb. This was Tom, who became a man in four minutes, but never grew any bigger than he had been at first. He was often present with King Arthur and the Round Table. Tom's godmother was the Queen of the Fairies, who gave him a hat of knowledge, a ring of invisibility, a girdle of transformation and shoes which would carry him easily over long distances. Tom was said to have been killed fighting an adder. In the foreword of the earliest surviving version of 'Tom Thumb', written by a pamphleteer, Richard Johnson, and printed in 1621, the author claims that it is an ancient tale, and there is little reason to doubt his word, for the name was already proverbial. This pamphlet is reproduced in its entirety in Iona and Peter Opie's THE CLASSIC FAIRY TALES without the modifications which the gentility of subsequent ages imposed on it. The story is left incomplete, with Tom happily returned to the court of King Arthur after his adventures with the pigmy king Twaddle. A metrical version which appeared in 1630 carried the story on to the death of Tom Thumb, but as mentioned above, in later versions he was killed in a fight with either a spider or a snake. # 100 - 156 - 511




(thown cleena) Otherwise 'Wave of Cleena'. One of the most notable landmarks of Ireland was the Tonn Cliodhna on the seashore at Glandore Bay, in Co. Cork. The story about Cleena exists in several versions, which do not agree with each other exept in so far as she seems to have been a Danaan maiden once living in Mananan's country, the Land of Youth beyond the sea.

Escaping thence with a mortal lover, as one of the versions tells, she landed on the southern coast of Ireland, and her lover, Keevan of the Curling Locks, went off to hunt in the woods. Cleena, who remained on the beach, was lulled to sleep by fairy music played by a minstrel of Mananan, when a great wave of the sea swept up and carried her back to Fairyland, leaving her lover desolate. Hence the place was called the Strand of Cleena's Wave. # 562


Celtic Christianity retained many of its pagan features, including druidic methods of tonsure. This involved shaving the head from ear to ear, thus leaving the forehead bare of hair. # 437 p 9 ff


The son of Pellinore or maybe of Aries the cowherd. He slew Abelleus and later became a Knight of the Round Table - a rare enough desire in the breast of any humble born man in Arthur's time. He had many adventures but was eventually killed in the battle to free Guinevere from the stake. # 156 - 418 - 454 - 712 - 713


Precipitous headland in Tory Island. Ethlinn imprisoned by Balor in tower built on Tor Mor. # 562




The son of King Ydor. When he grew up, he tried to retrieve his grandmother's circlet from Miraude who said she would marry Torec if he could overcome all the Knights of the Round Table. Gawain arranged with the Knights to allow Torec to do so and he was therefore able to marry Miraude. # 156


Celtic collar. The torc was one of the most important ornaments worn by the Celts. It was a neck ring made of a rod of metal (sometimes twisted), of bronze or gold according to the wealth and status of the wearer. The two ends of the torc almost met, but the metal was pliant, for it had to open sufficiently to let it on or off. The torc of the Gallic chief slain by Titus Manlius was rich and attractive enough for him to take as the only trophy of the combat, and thus he gained the name Torquatus. Torcs formed part of the booty paraded in triumphs by Roman generals. They are listed along with the military standards taken, and they must have been considered a very precious and important object, because the Gauls gave one to Augustus, 'a golden necklet a hundred pounds in weight'. # 556


Early Celtic art portrayed the cock and tortoise together, as an attribute of the Celtic Mercury. # 161


Stronghold of Fomorian power, which was invaded by Nemedians. # 562


Keelta praise the Well of Trabadan. # 562


The traditional Irish Tales which appears in medieval manuscripts comprise four groups or cycles, usually referred to as:

  1. The Mythological Cycle
  2. The Ulster Cycle
  3. The Fenian Cycle
  4. The Historical Cycle

In the so-called Mythological Cycle, the chief characters belong to Tuatha De Danann, 'The Peoples of the Goddess Danann' (or Danu), who are said to have occupied Ireland before the coming of the Sons of Mil, the ancestors of the present inhabitants. The stories of the Ulster Cycle are mainly about the warriors of King Conchobar of Ulster, and especially about the exploits of the foremost among them, CuChulain. The Fenian stories are about Finn mac Cumaill and his roving warbands (Fiana). This cycle is sometimes described as the Ossianic Cycle because most of the poems which belong to it are attributed to Finn's son Oisin, or Ossian as he is known through the work of Macpherson. The so-called Historical Cycle is a more miscellaneous group of stories centred on various high-kings of Ireland and on a number of provincial or lesser kings. Each of these four cycles contains material which appears to belong to a common Indo-European heritage and which presumably was part of the tradition of the Celtic peoples before they ever came to these islands. But in the works of early Irish historians, the personages about whom the tales are told are arranged in a chronological sequence extending from the time of the Deluge to the time of the Viking raids in Ireland. The events of the Mythological Cycle of traditions are synchronized with the main events in ancient world history; King Conchobar is said to have reigned in Ulster at the beginning of the Christian era; Finn and his Fiana served Cormac mac Art who is believed to have been King of Ireland in the third century AD, while the tales of the Historical Cycle are centred on kings who are ascribed dates ranging from the third century BC to the eight century AD. A certain amount of supplementary information concerning the characters and events in these four groups of stories is supplied by various learned works compiled in the early Middle Ages, in particular LEBOR GABALA ERENN (The Book of the Taking of Ireland), a 'history' of the Irish and of the peoples who occupied Ireland before them, with its accompanying List of Kings, the Glossary attributed to Cormac mac Cuilennain, the king bishop of Cashel who was killed in the year 908, the DINDSENCHAS, lore associated with hills and other features in the Irish landscape, COIR ANMANN (The Fitness of Names), which gives brief stories in explanation of the origin of the names of traditional personages, and finally poems, triads, and genealogies, which record famous names.

Early Welsh traditions are found in the 'Four Branches of the Mabinogi' ('story of youth' or 'story'), comparable in some ways with the Irish Mythological Cycle, in the poems and stories of the Arthurian Cycle, which is also represented by extensive texts in many other languages, in some miscellaneous stories, and in poems which probably once formed parts of sagas. Most of the latter poems are attributed to Llywarch Hen, Taliesin, and Myrddin, poets who are said to have been associated with kings of those regions of north Britain which, in the sixth century, were still Welsh. Wales too has her genealogies, triads, and stanzas of the graves of heroes, compilations that bear witness to traditions which perhaps were never embodied in extensive narratives and to these may again be added two important Latin texts, both of them landmarks in the history of the Arthurian tradition: the HISTORIA BRITTONUM of Nennius (early ninth century) and the more elaborate and presumably more fictional HISTORIA REGUM BRITANNIAE of Geoffrey of Monmouth. In Wales and in Ireland, the lives of native saints, written either in Latin or in the vernacular, may perhaps be regarded as an extra cycle of stories. Like the saints lives of other countries, they have many motifs in common with the 'secular' tales and they are by no means irrelevant to a study of the pre-Christian tradition. # 136 - 548 - 651 - 766 - 783


Among the Puritans in Britain, by whom the fairies were generally thought of as minor devils, intercourse with the fairies was looked on with the gravest suspicion, though the country people looked on it more leniently and the Irish regarded a certain amount of homage paid to the fairies as a very justifiable piece of protection payment, though some of them at least took a darker view of the transaction. It was widely said that the witches, the fairies and the dead danced together on Hallowe'en. In the North of England, people accused of witchcraft sometimes claimed to work through the fairies rather than the Devil. Durant Hotham and Webster described how a man brought into court as a witch offered to lead the judge to see the fairy hill from which he received the medicine he used. The judge treated his plea harshly, but the jury refused to convict him. Durant Hotham in the introduction to his LIFE OF JACOB BEHMEN is the first to mention the case in 1654:

There was (as I have heard the story credibly reputed in this Country) a man apprehended of suspicion of Witchcraft, he was of that sort we call white-witches, which are such as do Cures beyond the Ordinary reasons and deducing of our usual Practitioners, and are supposed (and most part of them truly) to do the same by the ministrations of Spirits (from whence, under their noble favour, most Sciences first grew) and therefore are upon good reason provided against by our Civil Laws as being waies full of danger and deceit, and scarce ever otherwise obtain'd than by a devilish Compact of the Exchange of ones Soul to that assistant Spirit for the honour of its Mountebanjery. What this man did was with a white powder, which he said, he receiv'd from the Fayries, and that going to a hill he knockned three times, and the hill opened, and he had access to, and converse with, a visible people; and offer'd, that if any Gentleman present would either go himself in person, or send his servant, he would conduct them thither, and show them the place and persons from whence he had his skill. Twenty-three years later Webster published DISPLAYING OF SUPPOSED WITCHCRAFT, perhaps the most influential book of its time in removing the practice of witchcraft from the Criminal Statute Book. Webster comments on Hotham's mention of the case, and brings fuller knowledge to bear on it, for he was himself present at the examination of the man: To this I shall only add thus much, that the man was accused for invoking and calling upon evil spirits, and was a very simple and illiterate person to any mans judgement, and had been formerly very poor, but had gotten some pretty little meanes to maintain himself, his Wife and diverse small children, by his cures done with this white powder, of which there were sufficient proofs, and the Judge asking him how he came by the powder, he told a story to this effect.

'That one night before the day was gone, as he was going home from his labour, being very sad and full of heavy thoughts, not knowing how to get meat and drink for his Wife and Children, he met a fair Woman in fine cloaths, who asked him why he was so sad, and he told her that it was by reason of his poverty, to which she said, that if he would follow her counsel she would help him to that which would serve to get him a good living; to which he said he would consent with all his heart, so it were not by unlawful ways: she told him that it should not be by any such ways, but by doing of good and curing of sick people; and so warning him strictly to meet her there the next night at the same time, she departed from him, and he went home. And the next night at the time appointed he duly waited, and she (according to promise) came and told him that it was well he came so duly, otherwise he had missed of that benefit, that she intended to do unto him, and so bade him follow her and not be afraid.

Thereupon she led him to a little Hill and she knocked three times, and the Hill opened, and they went in, and came to a fair hall, wherein was a Queen sitting in great state, and many people about her, and the Gentlewoman that brought him, presented him to the Queen, and she said he was welcom, and bid the Gentlewoman give him some of the white powder, and teach him how to use it; which she did, and gave him a little wood box full of the white powder, and bad him give 2 or 3 grains of it to any that were sick, and it would heal them, and so she brought him forth of the Hill, and so they parted. And being asked by the Judge whether the place within the Hill, which he called a Hall, were light or dark, he said indifferent, as it is with us in the twilight; and being asked how he got more powder, he said when he wanted he went to that Hill, and knocked three times, and said every time I am coming, I am coming, whereupon it opened, and he going in was conducted by the aforesaid Woman to the Queen, and so had more powder given him.' This was the plain and simple story (however it may be judged of) that he told before the Judge, the whole Court and the Jury, and there being no proof, but what cures he had done to very many, the Jury did acquit him: and I remember the Judge said, when all the evidence was heard, that if he were to assign his punishment, he should be whipped thence to Fairyhall, and did seem to judge it to be a delusion or Imposture. # 100


Allegation that Celtic idea of immortality embodied Oriental conception of the doctrine of transmigration, but evidence shows that the doctrine of transmigration was not held by Celts in same way as by Pythagoras and the Orientals. Welsh Taliesin who became an eagle also points to the same doctrine. See: TUAN MAC CARELL. # 562


There are numerous Welsh legends relating to hidden treasures, buried under cromlechs or tumuli or concealed in caves. Sometimes the legends stress that whoever goes seeking for the treasure will be frightened away by torrents of rain, blinding lightning or deafening thunder. Sometimes the treasure is said to be in a cavern guarded by a dragon waiting to belch forth fire onto the intruder. About one hundred years ago there was a hollow in the road near Caerau in old Cardiganshire which 'rang when any wheeled vehicle went over it'. Two local men were told by a gypsy that there was a treasure hidden there so one day they decided to dig for it. After a few hours of steady digging they came to the oak frame of an underground doorway. They took a break at this point and went home for lunch. No sooner had they gone than a terrible storm arose; the rain fell in torrents, the thunder crashed and the lightning flashed. When they went back to their work, the hole they had been digging was covered over and they both agreed that supernatural powers must surely be working against them. # 49


In the Grail story, he fashioned the Grail Sword and later made it whole. A connection has been suggested with Turbe, father of the Irish smith god, Gobniu. # 153 - 156


Like the runic alphabet, the alphabet of the trees was used by European pagans for divination and for transmitting secret messages that would have been incomprehensible to anyone who did not know the system. Each letter was named for a tree or shrub, so messages could be spelled out by stringing the right sorts of leaves in the right order on a cord or a wand, with 'blank' leaves not included in the alphabet to divide one word from the next. It has been suggested that nonletter leaves were sometimes inserted at random just to render the message more cryptic. It has been claimed that the following version of the tree alphabet is 'a genuine relic of Druidism orally transmitted down the centuries.'

The Vowels:

A: Silver Fir (Ailm)

O: Furze (Onn)

U: Heather (Ur)

E: White Poplar (Eahha)

I: Yew (Idho)

The Consonants:

The consonantal letters have also been related

B: Birch (Beth) to the lunar calendar, the pagan feast days and

L: Rowan (Luis) agricultural seasons, and various tutelary

N: Ash (Nion) deities. Robert Graves points out that the

F: Alder (Fearn) letters of the modern Irish alphabet are

S: Willow (Saille) similarly named after trees.

H: Hawthorn (Uath)

D: Oak (Duir)

T: Holly (Tinne)

C: Hazel (Coll)

M: Vine (Muin)

G: Ivy (Gort)

P: Dwarf Elder (Pethboc)

R: Elder (Ruis)

As a supplement from Colin Murray's The Celtic Tree Oracle:

Q: Apple (Quert)

Ng: Reed (NgEtal)

Ss: Blackthorn (Straif)

CH: Grove (Koad)

TH: Spindle (Oir)

PE: Honeysuckle (Uilleand)

PH: Beech (Phagos)

XI: The Sea (Mór)

which complete the Ogham alphabet. # 489 - 701 p 471


Nearly all trees have some sacred association from very early times, but some are more sacred than others.

There is the magical trilogy of Oak and Ash and Thorn. There are the fruit-bearing trees, especially Apple and Hazel; there are Rowan, Holly and Willow, Elder and Alder. Some trees seem to be regarded as having a personality of their own, and some are more specifically a haunt of fairies or spirits. Most people would probably think first of an oak as a sacred tree, worshipped by the Druids, and it is strong enough certainly to stand in its own right, though everyone knows the couplet,"Fairy folks Are in old oaks,

and many oak coppices are said to be haunted by the sinister Oakmen. Hawthorn has certain qualities of its own, but it is primarily thought of as a sacred to or haunted by the fairies. This is especially so of solitary thorns growing near fairy hills, or of a ring of three or more hawthorns. White may in blossom was supposed to bring death into the house, and although it was brought round on May Morning it was hung up outside. Ruth Tongue collected a folk-song in Somerset whose chorus illustrates the popular belief about three very different trees: Ellum do grieve, Oak he do hate,

Willow do walk If you travels late.

Possibly because of the vulnerability of elms to disease, it was thought that if one elm was cut down a neighbouring elm would pine and die in sympathy. Oaks, however, as fitted their ancient, god-like status, bitterly resented being cut, and an oak coppice which sprang from the roots of a felled oakwood was malevolent and dangerous to travel through by night, more especially if it was a blue-bell wood.

Willows were even more sinister, for they had a habit of uprooting themselves on a dark night and following a solitary traveller, muttering. Tolkien is faithful to folk tradition in the ogreish behaviour of Old Man Willow. Wood-Martin, in his TRACES OF THE ELDER FAITHS OF IRELAND, devotes some attention to tree beliefs. For instance, speaking of the sacred ash, he mentions one in the parish of Clenor in County Cork, whose branches were never cut, though firewood was scarce all round, and another in Borrisokane, the old Bell Tree, sacred to May Day rites, of which it was believed that if any man burnt even a chip of it on his hearth his whole house would be burned down. A similar fate was brought down on himself by a cottager who tried to cut a branch from a sacred elder overhanging a saint's well. He tried three times; twice he stopped because his house seemed to be on fire, but found it a false alarm. The third time he determined not to be put off by appearances and carried the branch home, only to find his cottage burnt to the ground. He had had his warning. There are two views of the elder. It has been a sacred tree, as we may see from Hans Christian Andersen's ELDERFLOWER MOTHER. In Lincolnshire, too, it used to be thought neccessary to ask the tree's permission before cutting a branch. The formula was 'Owd Gal, give me of thy wood, an Oi will give some of moine, when I graws inter a tree'. The flowers and fruit were much esteemed for wine, the tree was a shelter against flies, and it was said also that the good fairies found protection under it from witches and evil spirits. On the other hand, in Oxfordshire and the Midlands, many elders were strongly suspected of being transformed witches, and they were supposed to bleed if they were cut. The witch of the Rollright Stones took the form of an elder tree according to the popular legend. D. A. Mac Manus in THE MIDDLE KINGDOM, an explanation of comparatively modern fairy beliefs in Ireland, devotes a chapter to fairy trees, and gives many examples of the judgements falling on people who have destroyed sacred thorn trees. He believes some trees to be haunted by fairies and others by demons, and gives one example of a close group of three trees, two thorns and an elder, which was haunted by three evil spirits. He says that when an oak and ash and thorn grew close together, a twig taken from each, bound with red thread, was thought to be a protection against spirits of the night. In England, ash was a protection against mischievous spirits, but in Scotland the mountain ash, rowan, was even more potent, probably because of its red berries: Rowan, lammer (amber) and red threid - Pits witches to their speed, as the old saying went. Red was always a vital and conquering colour. A berried holly was potent for good. On the other hand, a barren one that is, one that bore only male flowers - was thought to be malevolent and dangerous. Two fruit-bearing trees, apple and hazel, had specially magical qualities. Hazel-nuts were the source of wisdom and also of fertility, and apples of power and youth. There was some danger attached to each of them. An 'ymp-tree' - that is, a grafted apple - was under fairy influence, and a man who slept under it was liable, as Sir Lancelot found, to be carried away by fairy ladies. A somewhat similar fate befell Queen Meroudys in the medieval poem of KING ORFEO. The fertility powers of nut-trees could be overdone, and the Devil was said to be abroad in the woods at the time of nutgathering; 'so many cratches, so many cradles', goes the Somerset saying quoted by Ruth Tongue in COUNTY FOLKLORE, VOL.VIII. On the other hand, the hazel-nuts eaten by trout or salmon gave their flesh a power of imparting wisdom at the first taste of it. It was to this that Finn owed his tooth of wisdom. And finally, through all our sources, the beech is by any means a holy tree. # 100 - 276 - 407 - 670 - 671 - 674 - 751


In many parts of Wales one can come across some very interesting legends associated with trees. Sometimes they are reputed to have supernatural powers or it is claimed that some famous person once hid from his enemies among the foliage. The best-known tree story in Wales concerns the stump of Merlin's Oak in Carmarthen - the removal of which was supposed to bring about the downfall of the town. Early in 1978 the Local Authority after many years of soul-searching finally broke with tradition and removed the stump which had become a traffic obstruction in a middle of a junction. By this time it consisted mainly of concrete and iron supports but the event was important enough to be mentioned on the national Welsh news. There is good reason to believe that trees were planted in ancient times as sighting points. Clumps of trees on top of hills really stand out on the landscape and it is thought by some writers, including the late Alfred Watkins who wrote THE OLD STRAIGHT TRACK, that these trees were once part of the ancient ley system. Generally the trees at such points are Scots firs which much have reseeded naturally and today they stand out in certain prominent locations as the only trees of that type for miles around. Watkins referred to them as 'mark trees'. The planting of yew trees in churchyards is a custom as old as the churchyards themselves. It is probable that originally the trees were intended to act as a windbreak for the churches by virtue of their thick foliage, as well as providing shelter for the congregation assembling before the church door was opened. The first churches were only wooden structures and needed such screening much more than the sturdy stone buildings that exist today. It has been suggested that the yews were planted to provide ready materials for constructing bows, as these were at one time the national weapons of defence. The churchyards were the places where they were most likely to be preserved and perhaps the English word 'yeoman' was derived from 'yewman', that is, the man who used the yew bow. Throughout Wales in medieval times the yew bow was very common and skill in archery was an important part of a young man's education. In the memorable Battle of Crécy 3500 Welsh archers followed the Black Prince in the attack on France during the year 1346 and it was said that the success of this war was largely due to the skill of the Welsh archers. At the end of the battle the Prince adopted the motto 'Ich Dien' which has been the motto of the Prince of Wales ever since.

Possibly a large number of yew trees were planted in churchyards as symbols of immortality - the tree being so lasting and always green. In churchyards throughout Wales there are some fine specimens of these trees and some of them are hundreds if not thousands of years old. In former times the yew was consecrated and held sacred. During funeral processions its branches were carried over the dead by mourners and thrown under the coffin in the grave. The branches were also used for church decorations. In Wales, the yew was the most valuable of all trees, and the consecrated yew of the priests had risen in value over the reputed sacred mistletoe of the Druids. The Bleeding Yew Tree, Nevern Church, Dyfed: In the churchyard at Nevern is an avenue of yew trees. The second on the right is the mysterious 'bleeding tree'. Examine it and you will find a blood-red resin dripping continuously from a place where a branch was once removed.

The tree is estimated to be seven hundred years old and apparently it will continue to bleed until the castle on the hill is occupied by a Welshman again. He will have to be a man of wealth, for all that remain of Nevern Castle is a very overgrown mound just north of the church. - The Newcastle Oak, Newcastle, Gwent. - A huge oak tree used to stand near the old post office at this village. It was known locally as Glyndwr's Oak and it was reputed to have been planted by Owain himself. The villagers claimed that it was possessed by an evil spirit which affected all who dared to harm the tree. Over the centuries the great oak gradually decayed and when the last branches finally fell off one night in a furious gale, the villagers who took the wood home all mysteriously set fire to their cottages! - The Demon Oak, Nannau Park, Dolgellau, Gwynedd: A hollow oak tree known as the Ceubren yr Elbyl once stood at Nannau Park. It is said that Owain Glyndwr once killed his cousin Hywel and concealed the body inside the trunk of this tree. Hywel was sought in vain by his family and friends throughout the estate and the forest nearby. His wife shut herself up in her gloomy castle and the fate of Hywel remained unknown to anyone except Glyndwr and his companion Madog. However, in later years Glyndwr relented and instructed Madog to go to Hywel's widow and tell her the truth. And so Madog led the family to the oak tree which was hastly split open to reveal a white skeleton. - Even though the burial rites were read and many masses said for the dead man, his spirit did not rest. For many years afterwards local people feared to pass the shattered oak tree at night and called the spot 'the hollow of the demons'. It was said that frightening sounds came out of the tree and fire hovered above it. Eventually the oak fell to the ground and was destroyed on 13 July 1813. # 49 - 82 - 705 - 706


An ancient being who predated creation. He appeared to the assembly of Tara to tell it the history of Ireland. He was of gigantic height and he controlled the rising and setting of the sun. He carried a stone tablet in one hand and a branch on which grew fruit, flowers and nuts concurrently. He inaugurated the office of historian for the first time. He was master of all wisdom. See: TUAN MAC CARILL. # 454 - 548


In Welsh tradition, it was the site of Arthur's final battle. Arthur was victorious and pursued his enemies but was killed with arrows at Bwlch y Saethu in Snowdonia. See: CAMLANN. # 156 - 554


Conor's servant who spies on Deirdre, and was blinded in one eye by Naisi. He declares Deirdre's beauty to Conor. # 562


(tray'on) Father of Vivionn. # 562


Daughter of Warok, chief of the Venetii, and a wife of Cunomorus, she was murdered by her husband but restored to life by Gildas. After her restoration, she carried her severed head about with her. See: MARK. # 156


The following 96 TRIADS are quoted from THE WELSH TRIADS second edition, edited and translated by Rachel Bromwich, where the reader will find her appropiate notes inserted.

The abbreviations used here is:

C: Cardiff.

PEN: National Library of Wales, Peniarth MS.

R: The version of Trioedd Ynys Prydein contained in the LLYFR COCH HERGEST is dated CIRCA 1400.

W: The version of Trioedd Ynys Prydein contained in the LLYFR GWYN RHYDDERCH is dated CIRCA 1325.

WR: The version of Trioedd Ynys Prydein contained in the LLYFR GWYN and the LLYFR COCH.


Three Tribal Thrones of the island of Britain:
Arthur as Chief Prince in Mynyw (= St David's), and Dewi as Chief Bishop, and Maelgwn Gwynedd as Chief Elder;
Arthur as Chief Prince in Celliwig in Cornwall, and Bishop Bytwini as Chief Bishop, and Caradawg Strong-Arm as Chief Elder;
Arthur as Chief Prince in Pen Rhionydd in the North, and Gerthmwl Wledig as Chief Elder, and Cyndeyrn Garthwys as Chief Bishop.


Three Generous men of the Island of Britain:
Nudd the Generous, son of Senyllt,
Mordaf the Generous, son of Serwan,
Rhydderch the Generous, son of Tudwal Tudglyd.
(And Arthur himself was more generous than the three.)


Three Fair Princes of the Island of Britain:
>Owain son of Urien,
>Rhun son of Maelgwn,
Rhufawn the Radiant son of Dewrarth Wledig.


Three Well-Endowed Men of the Island of Britain:
Gwalchmai son of Gwyar,
and Llachau son of Arthur,
and Rhiwallawn Broom-Hair.


Three Pillars of Battle of the Island of Britain:
Dunawd son of Pabo Pillar of Britain,
and Gwallawg son of Lleenawg,
and Cynfelyn the Leprous (?).


Three Bull-Protectors (?) of the Island of Britain:
Cynfawr Host-Protector, son of Cynwyd Cynwydion,
and Gwenddolau son of Ceidiaw,
and Urien son of Cynfarch.


Three Bull-Chieftains of the Island of Britain:
Elinwy son of Cadegr,
and Cynhafal son of Argad,
and Afaon son of Taliesin.

The three of them were sons of bards.


Three Prostrate Chieftains of the Island of Britain:
Llywarch the Old son of Elidir Llydanwyn,
and Manawydan son of Llyr Half-Speech,
and Gwgon Gwron son of Peredur son of Eliffer of the Great Retinue.
(And this is why those were called 'Prostrate Chieftains': because they would not seek a dominion, which nobody could deny to them.)


Three Chieftains of Arthur's Court:
Gobrwy son of Echel Mighty-Thigh,
Cadr(i)eith ('Fine-Speech') son of Porthawr Gadw,
and Fleudur Fflam ('Flame').


Three Chieftains of Deira and Bernicia:
Gall son of Disgyfdawd,
and Ysgafnell son of Disgyfdawd,
and Diffydell son of Disgyfdawd.
The three of them were sons of bards.


Three Red-Speared Bards of the Island of Britain:
Tristfardd, bard of Urien,
and Dygynnelw, bard of Owain son of Urien,
and Afan Ferddig, bard of Cadwallawn son of Cadfan.


Three Frivolous Bards of the Island of Britain:
and Cadwallawn son of Cadfan,
and Rahawd son of Morgant.


Three Chief Officers of the Island of Britain:
Caradawg son of Brân,
and Cawrdaf son of Caradawg,
and Owain son of Maxen Wledig.


Three Seafarers of the Island of Britain:
Geraint son of Erbin,
and Gwenwynwyn son of Naf,
and March son of Meirchiawn.


Three Roving Fleets of the Island of Britain:
The Fleet of Llawr son of Eiryf,
and the Fleet of Divwng son of Alan,
and the Fleet of Solor son of Murthach.


Three Powerful Shepherds of the Island of Britain:
Riueri son of Tangwn.
and D(u)nawd the Shepherd,
and Pryder (= Care) son of Dolor (= Grief) of Deira and Bernicia.


Three Fettered Men of the Island of Britain:
Cadwaladr the Blessed,
and Rhun son of Maelgwn,>
and Rhiwallawn Broom-Hair.
(And this is why those men were called Fettered: because horses could not be obtained that were suited to them, owing to their size; so they put fetters of gold around the small of their legs, on the cruppers of their horses, behind their backs; and two golden plates under their knees, and because of this the knee is called 'knee-pan'.)


Three Battle-Horsemen of the Island of Britain:
Caradawg Strong-Arm,
and Me(n)waedd of Arllechwedd,
and Llyr of the Hosts.


Three Favourites of Arthur's Court, and Three Battle-Horsemen: they would never endure a PENTEULU over them. And Arthur sang an ENGLYN:
These are my Three Battle-Horsemen:
and Lludd of the Breastplate,
and the Pillar of the Cymry, Caradawg.


Three Enemy-Subduers of the Island of Britain:
Greidiawl Enemy-Subduer son of E(n)vael Adrann,
and Gweir of Great Valour,
and Drystan son of Tallwch.


Three Red Ravagers of the Island of Britain:
and Rhun son of Beli,
and Morgant the Wealthy.


Three Red Ravagers of the Island of Britain:
Rhun son of Beli,
and Lle(u) Skilful Hand,
and Morgan(t) the Wealthy.
But there was one who was a Red Ravager greater than all three: Arthur was his name. For a year neither grass nor plants used to spring up where one of the three would walk; but where Arthur went, not for seven years.


Three Battle-Diademed Men of the Island of Britain:
Drystan son of Tallwch,
and Hueil son of Caw,
and Cai son of Cenyr of the Fine Beard.
And one was diademed above the three of them: that was Bedwyr son of Bedrawc.


Three Brave Men of the Island of Britain, three sons of Haearnwedd the Wily:
and Henben,
>and Edenawg.


Three Brave Men of the Island of Britain:
and Henben,
and Edenawg.
They would not return from battle except on their biers. And those were three sons of Gleissiar of the North, by Haearnwedd the Wily their mother.


Three Arrogant Men of the Island of Britain:
Sawyl High-Head,
and Pasgen son of Urien,
and Rhun son of Einiawn.


Three Slaughter-Blocks of the Island of Britain:
Gilbert son of Cadgyffro,
and Morfran son of Tegid,
and Gwgawn Red-Sword.


Three Battle-Leaders of the Island of Britain:
Selyf son of Cynan Garrwyn,
and Urien son of Cynfarch,
and Afaon son of Taliesin.
(This is why they were called AERUEDOGEON: because they avenged their wrongs from their graves.)


Drystan son of Tallwch, who guarded the swine of March son of Meirchiawn, while the swineherd went to ask Essyllt to come to a meeting with him. And Arthur was seeking (to obtain) one pig from among them, either by deceit or by force, but he did not get it;
And Pryderi son of Pwyll, Lord of Annwfn, who guarded the swine of Pendaran Dyfed in Glyn Cuch in Emlyn;
And Coll son of Collfrewy, who guarded Henwen, the sow of Dallwyr Dallben, who went (when) about to bring forth (?), to Penrhyn Awstin in Cornwall, (and there she went into the sea). And at Aber Tarogi in Gwent Is Coed she came to land. And Coll son of Collfrewy with his hand on her bristles wherever she went, whether by sea or by land. And in the Wheat Field in Gwent she brought forth a grain of wheat and a bee; and therefore that place is the best for wheat and bees. And from there she went to Llonion in Pembroke, and there she brought forth a grain of barley and a bee. From thence she made for the Hill of Cyferthwch in Eryri; there she brought forth a wolf-cub and a young eagle. And Coll son of Collfrewy gave the eagle to Bre(R)nnach the Irishman of the North, and the wolf he gave to Me(n)waedd son of ... of Arllechwedd; and these were (the Wolf of) Me(n)waedd and the Eagle of Brennach. And from thence she went to the Black Stone in Llanfair in Arfon, and there she brought forth a kitten; and Coll son of Collfrewy threw that kitten into the Menai. And she was afterwards Palug's Cat.


Three Powerful Swineherds of the Island of Britain:
Pryderi son of Pwyll, Lord of Annwfn, tending the swine of Penndaran Dyfed his foster-father. These swine were the seven animals which Pwyll Lord of Annwfn brought, and gave them to Penndaran Dyfed his foster-father. And the place where he used to keep them was in Glyn Cuch in Emlyn. And this is why he was called a Powerful Swineherd: because no one was able either to deceive or to force him;
And the second, Drystan son of Tallwch, tending the swine of March son of Meirchyawn, while the swineherd went with a message to Essyllt. Arthur and March and Cai and Bedwyr were (there) all four, but they did not succeed in getting so much as one pigling - neither by force, nor by deception, nor by stealth;
And the third, Coll son of C(o)llfrewy, tending the swine of Dallwyr Dallben in Glyn Dallwyr in Cornwall. And one of the swine was pregnant, Henwen was her name. And it was prophecied that the Island of Britain would be the worse for the womb-burden. Then Arthur assembled the army of the Island of Britain, and set out to seek to destroy her. And then she set off, about to bring forth (?), and at Penrhyn Awstin in Cornwall she entered the sea, and the Powerful Swineherd after her. And in the Wheat Field in Gwent she brought forth a grain of wheat and a bee. And therefore from that day to this the Wheat Field in Gwent is the best place for wheat and for bees. And at Llonion in Pembroke she brought forth a grain of barley and a grain of wheat. Therefore, the barley of Llonion is proverbial. At the Hill of Cyferthwch in Arfon she brought forth a (wolf-cub) and a young eagle. The wolf was given to (M)ergaed and the eagle to Breat, a prince of the North: and they were both the worse for them. And at Llanfair in Arfon under the Black Rock she brought forth a kitten, and the Powerful Swineherd threw it from the Rock into the sea. And the sons of Palug fostered it in Môn, to their own harm: and that was Palug's Cat, and it was one of the Three Great Oppressions of Môn, nurtured therein. The second was Daronwy, and the third was Edwin, king of Lloegr.


Three Enchanters of the Island of Britain:
Coll son of Collfrewy,
and Menw son of Teirgwaedd,
and Drych son of Kibddar.


Three Great Enchantments of the Island of Britain:
The Enchantment of Math son of Mathonwy (which he taught to Gw(y)dion son of Dôn),
and the Enchantment of Uthyr Pendragon (which he taught to Menw son of Teirgwaedd),
and the Enchantment of Gwythelyn the Dwarf (WR: Rudlwm the Dwarf) (which he taught to Coll son of Collfrewy his nephew).


Three Faithful War-Bands of the Island of Britain:
The War-Band of Cadwallawn son of Cadfan, who were with him seven years in Ireland; and in all that time they did not ask him for anything, lest they should be compelled to leave him;
And the second, the War-Band of Gafran son of Aeddan, who went to sea for their lord;
And the third, the War-Band of Gwenddolau son of Ceid(i)aw at Ar(f)derydd, who continued the battle for a fortnight and a month after their lord was slain.

The number of the War-Band of each of those men was twenty-one hundred men.


Three Faithful War-Bands of the Island of Britain:
The War-Band of Cadwallawn, when they were fettered;
and the War-Band of Gafran son of Aeddan, at the time of his complete disappearance;
and the War-Band of Gwenddolau son of Ceidiaw at Ar(f)derydd, who continued the battle for a fortnight and a month after their lord was slain;
The number of each one of the War-Bands was twenty-one hundred men.


Three Faithless War-Bands of the Islands of Britain:
The War-Band of Goronwy the Radiant of (Penllyn), who refused to receive the poisoned spear from Lleu Skilful-Hand on behalf of their lord, at the Stone of Goronwy at the head of the Cynfal;
and the War-Band of Gwrgi and Peredur, who abandoned their lord at Caer Greu, when they had an appointment to fight the next day with Eda Great-Knee; and there they were both slain;
And the War-Band of Alan Fyrgan, who turned away from him by night, and let him go with his servants to Camlan. And there he was slain.

(W: The number of each of the War-Bands was twenty-one hundred men.)


Three Noble(?) Retinues of the Island of Britain:
The Retinue of Mynyddawg of Eiddyn,
and the Retinue of Melyn son of Cynfelyn,
and the Retinue of Dryon son of Nudd.


Three Noble Retinues of the Island of Britain:
The Retinue of Mynyddawg at Catraeth,
and the Retinue of Dreon the Brave at the Dyke of Ar(f)dery(dd),
and the third, the Retinue of Belyn of Llyn (in) Erethlyn in Rhos.


Three Men who performed the Three Fortunate Assassinations:
Gall son of Dysgyfdawd who slew the Two Birds of Gwenddolau. And they had a yoke of gold on them. Two corpses of the Cymry they ate for their dinner, and two for their supper;
And Ysgafnell son of Dysgyfdawd, who slew Edelfled king of Lloegr;
And Diffydell son of Dysgyfdawd who slew Gwrgi Garwlwyd ('Rough Grey'). That Gwrgi used to make a corpse of one of the Cymry every day, and two on each Saturday so as not to slay on Sunday.


Three Unfortunate Assassinations of the Island of Britain:
Heidyn son of Enygan, who slew Aneirin of Flowing Verse, Prince of Poets;
and Llawgad Trwm Bargod Eidyn ('Heavy Battle-Hand of the Border of Eidyn') who slew Afaon son of Taliesin,
and Llofan Llaw Ddifo ('Ll. Severing Hand') who slew Urien son of Cynfarch.


Three Savage Men of the Island of Britain, who performed the Three Unfortunate Assassinations:
Llofan Llaw Ddifro ('Ll. Exiled Hand') who slew Urien son of Cynfarch,
Llongad Grwm Fargod Eidyn ('Ll. the Bent of the Border of Eidyn') who slew Afaon son of Taliesin,
and Heiden son of Efengad who slew Aneirin of Flowing Verse, daughter of Teyrnbeirdd - the man who used to give a hundred kine every Saturday in a bath-tub to Talhaearn. And he struck her with a woodhatchet on the head.
And that was one of the Three Hatchet-Blows.
The second (was) a woodcutter of Aberffraw who struck Golydan with a hatchet, on the head. And the third, one of his own men struck upon Iago, son of Beli, with a hatchet, on the head.


Three Unfortunate Hatchet-Blows of the Island of Britain:
The Blow of Eidyn on the Head of Aneirin,
and the Blow on the Head of Golydan the Poet,
and the Blow on the Head of Iago son of Beli.


Three Levies that departed from this Island, and not one of them came back:
The first went with Elen of the Hosts and Cynan her brother,
The second went with Yrp of the Hosts, who came here to ask for assistance in the time of Cadial son of Eryn. And all he asked of each Chief Fortress was twice as many (men) as would come with him to it; and to the first Fortress there came only himself and his servant. (And it proved grievous to have given him that.) Nevertheless that was the most complete levy that ever went from this Island, and no (man) of them ever came back. The place where those men remained was on two islands close to the Greek sea: those islands are Gals and Avena.
The third levy went with Caswallawn son of Beli, and Gwenwynwyn and Gwanar, sons of Lliaws son of Nwyfre, and Arianrhod daughter of Beli their mother. And those men came from Arllechwedd. They went with Caswallawn their uncle across the sea in pursuit of the men of Caesar. The place where those men are is in Gascony. And the number that went in each of those Hosts was twenty-one thousand men. And those were the Three Silver Hosts: they were so called because the gold and silver of the Island went with them. And they were picked men.

TRIAD 35 R When a Host went to Llychlyn.

An army (of assistance) went with Yrp of the Hosts to Llychlyn. And that man came here in the time of Cadyal of the Blows(?) to ask for a levy from this Island. And nobody came with him but Mathuthavar his servant. This is what he asked from the ten-and-twenty Chief Fortresses that there are in this Island: that twice as many men as went with him to each of them should come away with him (from it). And to the first Fortress there came only himself and his servant. (And that proved grievous to the men of this Island.) And they granted it to him. And that was the most complete levy that ever departed from this Island. And with those men he conquered the way he went. Those men remained in the two islands close to the Greek sea: namely, Clas and Avena.
And the second (army) went with Elen of the Hosts and Maxen Wledig to Llychlyn: and they never returned to this Island.
And the third (army) went with Caswallawn son of Beli, and Gwennwynwyn and Gwanar, sons of Lliaw son of Nwyfre, and Arianrhod daughter of Beli their mother. And (it was) from Erch and Heledd that those men came. And they went with Caswallawn their uncle in pursuit of the men of Caesar from this Island. The place where those men are is in Gascony.
The number that went with each of (those armies) was twenty-one thousand men. And those were the Three Silver Hosts of the Island of Britain.


Three oppressions that came to this Island, and not one of them went back:
One of them (was) the people of the Coraniaid, who came here in the time of Caswallawn (= Lludd?) son of Beli: and not one of them went back. And they came from Arabia.
The second Oppression: the Gwyddyl Ffichti. And not one of them went back.
The third Oppression: the Saxons, with Horsa and Hengist as their leaders.


Three Concealments and Three Disclosures of the Island of Britain:
The Head of Bran the Blessed, son of Llyr, which was buried in the White Hill in London. And as long as the Head was there in that position, no Oppression would ever come to this Island;
The second: the Bones of Gwerthefyr the Blessed, which were buried in the Chief Ports of this Island;
The third: the Dragons which Lludd son of Beli buried in Dinas Emrys in Eryri.


Three Fortunate Concealments of the Island of Britain:

The Head of Bran the Blessed, son of Llyr, which was concealed in the White Hill in London, with its face towards France. And as long as it was in the position in which it was put there, no Saxon Oppression would ever come to this Island;
The second Fortunate Concealment: the Dragons in Dinas Emrys, which Lludd son of Beli concealed;
And the third: the Bones of Gwerthefyr the Blessed, in the Chief Ports of this Island. And as long as they remained in that concealment, no Saxon Oppression would ever come to this Island.

And they were the Three Unfortunate Disclosures when these were disclosed. And Gwrtheyrn the Thin disclosed the bones of Gwerthefyr the Blessed for the love of a woman: that was Ronnwen the pagan woman; And it was he who disclosed the Dragons;
b And Arthur disclosed the Head of Bran the Blessed from the White Hill, because it did not seem right to him that this Island should be defended by the strength of anyone, but by his own.

(On this section, triads 38 -46, see TRIOEDD YNYS PRYDEIN introduction, pp. xcviii-cvii)

TRIAD 38 (These are the Triads of the Horses:)

Three Bestowed Horses of the Island of Britain:
Slender Grey, horse of Caswallawn son of Beli,
Pale Yellow of the Stud, horse of Lleu Skilful-Hand,
and Host-Splitter, horse of Caradawg Strong-Arm.


Three Chief Steeds of the Island of Britain:
Tall Black-Tinted, horse of Cynan Garrwyn,
and Eager Long Fore-Legs, horse of Cyhored son of Cynan,
and Red... Wolf-Tread, horse of Gilbert son of Cadgyffro.


Three Plundered Horses of the Island of Britain:
Cloven-Hoof, horse of Owain son of Urien,
and Long Tongue, horse of Cadwallawn son of Cadfan,
and Bucheslom, horse of Gwgawn of the Red Sword.


Three Lovers' Horses of the Island of Britain:
Grey Fetlock, horse of Dalldaf son of Cunin Cof,
and Spotted Dun, horse of Rahawd son of Morgant,
and Pale White Lively-Back, horse of Morfran son of Tegid.


Three Lively Steeds of the Island of Britain:
Grey, horse of Alser son of Maelgwn,
and Chestnut Long-Neck, horse of Cai,
and Roan Cloven-Hoof, horse of Iddon son of Ynyr Gwent.


Three Pack-Horses of the Island of Britain:
Black, horse of Brwyn son of Cunedda,
and Huge Yellow, horse of Pasgen son of Urien,
and Dun-Grey, horse of Rhydderch Hael.


Three Horses who carried the Three Horse-Burdens:
Black Moro, horse of Elidir Mwynfawr, who carried on his back seven and a half people from Penllech in the North to Penllech in Môn. These were the seven people: Elidir Mwynfawr, and Eurgain his wife, daughter of Maelgwn Gwynedd, and Gwyn Good Companion, and Gwyn Good Distributor, and Mynach Naomon his counsellor, and Prydelaw the Cupbearer, his butler, and Silver Staff his servant, and Gelbeinevin his cook, who swam with his two hands to the horse's crupper - and that was the half-person.
Corvan, horse of the sons of Eliffer, bore the second Horse-Burden: he carried on his back Gwrgi and Peredur and Dunawd the Stout and Cynfelyn the Leprous(?), to look upon the battle-fog of (the host of) Gwenddolau (in) Ar(f)derydd. (And no one overtook him but Dinogad son of Cynan Garwyn, (riding) upon Swift Roan, and he won censure (?) and dishonour from then till this day.)
Heith, horse of the sons of Gwerthmwl Wledig, bore the third Horse-Burden: he carried Gweir and Gleis and Archanad up the hill of Maelawr in Ceredigion to avenge their father.


Three Prominent Oxen of the Island of Britain:
Yellow Pale-White,
and Chestnut, Ox of Gwylwylyd,
and the Speckled Ox.


Three Prominent Cows of the Island of Britain:
Speckled, cow of Maelgwn Gwynedd,
and Grey-Skin, cow of the sons of Eliffer of the Great Warband,
and Cornillo, cow of Llawfrodedd the Bearded.

TRIAD 46 a

Three Bestowed Horses of the Island of Britain:
Slender-Hard, horse of Gwalchmai,
and Thick-Mane, horse of Gweddw,
... horse of Drudwas son of Tryffin,
and Chestnut Long-Neck, horse of Cai.

TRIAD 46 b

Three Coursing Horses of the Island of Britain:
Broad-Belly and Coal, the two horses of Collawn son of Teichi,
and Swift-Roan, horse of Dinoga(d) son of Cynan (Garwyn).

TRIAD 46 c

Three Steeds of the Island of Britain:
Gwirian Groddros, horse of Ga(rw)y the Tall,
Gwegar, horse of Elinwy,
... horse of Ellwyd,
... horse of the son of Matheu.


Three Men who received the Might of Adam:
Hercules the Strong,
and Hector the Strong,
and Samson the Strong.
They were, all three, as strong as Adam himself.

TRIAD 47 b (Pen. 216)

Here are the names of the nine bravest and most noble warriors of the whole world; of whom there are Three Pagans, Three Jews, and Three Christians:
The Three Pagans: Ector of Troy, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar.
The Three Jews: David the Prophet, Judas Maccabeus, Duke Joshua.
The Three Christians: Arthur, Charles (Charlemagne), Godfrey of Boulogne.


Three Men who received the Beauty of Adam:
Absalom son of David,
and Jason son of Aeson,
and Paris son of Priam.

They were, all three, as comely as Adam himself.


Three Men who received the Wisdom of Adam:
Cato the Old,
and Bede,
and Sibli the Wise.
They were, all three, as wise as Adam himself.


Three Women who received the Beauty of Eve in three third-shares:

Diadema (= Dido?), mistress of Aenas White-Shield,

and Elen the Magnificent, the woman on whose account was the destruction of Troy,

and Polixena, daughter of Priam the Old, king of Troy.

(Eve was as fair as all of the three.)


Three Dishonoured Men who were in the Island of Britain:
One of them: Afarwy son of Lludd son of Beli. He first summoned Julius Caesar and the men of Rome to this Island, and he caused the paymant of three thousand pounds in money as tribute from this Island every year, because of a quarrel with Caswallawn his uncle.
And the second id Gwrtheyrn the Thin, who first gave land to the Saxons in this Island, and was the first to enter into an alliance with them. He caused the death of Custennin the Younger, son of Custennin the Blessed, by his treachery, and exiled the two brothers Emrys Wledig and Uthur Penndragon from this Island to Armorica, and deceitfully took the crown and the kingdom into his own possession. And in the end Uthur and Emrys burned Gwrtheyrn in Castell Gwerthrynyawn beside the Wye, in a single conflagration to avenge their brother.
The third and worst was Medrawd, when Arthur left with him the government of the Island of Britain, at the same time when he himself went across the sea to oppose Lles, emperor of Rome, who had dispatched messengers to Arthur in Caerleon to demand (payment of) tribute to him and to the men of Rome, from this Island, in the measure that it had been paid (from the time of) Caswallawn son of Beli until the time of Custennin the Blessed, Arthur's grandfather. This is the answer that Arthur gave to the emperor's messengers: that the men of Rome had no greater claim to tribute from the men of this Island, than the men of the Island of Britain had from them. For Bran son of Dyfnwal and Custennin son of Elen had been emperors in Rome, and they were two men of this Island. And they Arthur mustered the most select warriors of his kingdom (and led them) across the sea against the emperor. And they met beyond the mountain of Mynneu (= the Alps), and an untold number was slain on each side that day. And in the end Arthur encountered the emperor, and Arthur slew him. And Arthur's best men were slain there. When Medrawd heard that Arthur's host was dispersed, he turned against Arthur, and the Saxons and the Picts and the Scots united with him to hold this Island against Arthur. And when Arthur heard that, he turned back with all that had survived of his army, and succeeded by violence in landing on this Island in opposition to Medrawd. And then there took place the Battle of Camlan between Arthur and Medrawd, and was himself wounded to death. And from that (wound) he died, and was buried in a hall on the Island of Afallach.


Three Exalted Prisoners of the Island of Britain:
Llyr Half-Speech, who was imprisoned by Euroswydd,
and the second, Mabon son of Modron,
and third, Gwair son of Geirioedd.
And one (Prisoner), who was more exalted than the three of them, was three nights in prison in Caer Oeth and Anoeth, and three nights imprisoned by Gwen Pendragon, and three nights in an enchanted prison under the Stone of Echymeint. This Exalted Prisoner was Arthur. And it was the same lad who released him from each of these three prisons- Goreu, son of Custennin, his cousin.


Three Harmful Blows of the Island of Britain:
The first of them Matholwch the Irishman struck upon Branwen daughter of Llyr;
The second Gwenhwyfach struck upon Gwenhwyfar: and for that cause there took place afterwards the Action of the Battle of Camlan;
And the third Golydan the Poet struck upon Cadwaladr the Blessed.


Three Unrestrained Ravagings of the Island of Britain:

The first of them (occurred) when Medrawd came to Arthur's Court at Celliwig in Cornwall; he left neither food nor drink in the court that he did not consume. And he dragged Gwenhwyfar from her royal chair, and then he struck a blow upon her;

The second Unrestrained Ravaging (occurred) when Arthur came to Medrawd's court. He left neither food nor drink in the court;

(And the third Unrestrained Ravaging (occurred) when Aeddan the Wily came to the court of Rhydderch the Generous at Alclud (= Dumbarton); he left neither food nor drink nor beast alive.)


Three Quests that were obtained from Powys:
The first of them is the fetching of Myngan from Meigen to Llansilin, by nine the next morning, to receive privileges from Cadwallawn the Blessed, after the slaying of Ieuaf and Griffri;
The second is the fetching of Griffri to Bryn Griffri before the following morning, to attack Edwin;
The third is the fetching of Hywel son of Ieuaf to Ceredigiawn from the Rock of Gwynedd to fight with (= on the side of?) Ieuaf and Iago in that battle.


Arthur's Three Great Queens:
Gwennhwyfar daughter of (Cywryd) Gwent,
and Gwenhwyfar daughter of (Gwythyr) son of Greidiawl,
>and Gwenhwyfar daughter of (G)ogfran the Giant.


And the Three Mistresses were these:
Indeg daughter of Garwy the Tall,
and Garwen ('Fair Leg') daughter of Henin the Old,
and Gwyl ('Modest') daughter of Gendawd ('Big Chin'?).


Three Amazons of the Island of Britain:
The first of them, Llewei daughter of Seitwed,
and Rore(i) daughter of Usber,
and Mederei Badellfawr ('Big Knee'?).


Three Unfortunate Counsels of the Island of Britain:
To give place for their horses' fore-feet on the land to Julius Caesar and the men of Rome, in requital for Meinlas;
and the second: to allow Horsa and Hengist and Rhonwen into this Island;
and the third: the three-fold dividing by Arthur of his men with Medrawd at Camlan.


Three Gate-Keepers at the Action of Bangor Orchard:
Gwgon Red Sword,
and Madawg son of Rhun,
and Gwiawn son of Cyndrwyn.

And three others on the side of Lloegr:
Hawystyl the Arrogant,
and Gwaetcym Herwuden,
and Gwiner.


Three Golden Corpses of the Island of Britain:
Madawg son of Brwyn,
and Cengan Peilliawg,
and Rhu(f)awn the Radiant son of Gwyddno.


Three Fettered War-Bands of the Islands of Britain:
The War-Band of Cadwallawn Long-Arm, who each one put the fetters of their horses on their (own) feet, when fighting with Serygei the Irishman at the Irishmens' Rocks in Môn;
And the second, the War-Band of Rhiwallawn son of Urien when fighting with the Saxons;
And the third, the War-Band of Belyn of Llyn when fighting with Edwin at Bryn Edwin in Rhos.


Three Bull-Spectres of the Island of Britain:
Three Spectre of Gwidawl,
and the Spectre of Llyr Marini,
and the Spectre of Gyrthmwl Wledig.


Three Wild Spectres of the Island of Britain:
The Spectre of Banawg,
and the Spectre of Ednyfedawg the Sprightly,
and the Spectre of Melen.


Three Unrestricted Guests of Arthur's Court, and Three Wanderers:
Llywarch the Old,
and Llemenig,
and Heledd.


Three Faithful (Women) of the Island of Britain:
Ardd(u)n wife of Cadgor son of Gorolwyn,
and Efeilian wife of Gwydyr the Heavy,
and Emerchred wife of Mabon son of Dewengan.

TRIAD 66 Pen. 47

Three Faithful Wives of the Island of Britain:
Treul the Blameless daughter of Llynghessawc Generous Hand,
and Gwenfedon daughter of Tud(w)al Tudglud, and Tegau Gold-Breast.
And one more faithful than the three: Hemythryd daughter of Mabon son of Dyfynwyn.


Three Golden Shoemakers of the Island of Britain:
Caswallawn son of Beli, when he went to Rome to seek Fflur;
and Manawydan son of Llyr, when the Enchantment was on Dyfed;
and Lleu Skilful-Hand, when he and Gwydion were seeking a name and arms from his mother Ar(i)anrhod.


Three Kings who were (sprung) from Villeins:
Gwriad son of Gwrian in the North,
and Cadafel son of Cynfeddw in Gwynedd,
and Hyfaidd son of Bleiddig in Deheubarth.


Three Defilements of the Severn:
Cadwallawn when he went to the Action of Digoll, and the forces of Cymry with him; and Edwin on the other side, and the forces of Lloegr with him. And then the Severn was defiled from its source to its mouth;
The second, the gift of Golydan from Einiawn son of Bedd, king of Cornwall;
And the third, Calam the horse of Iddon son of Ner from Maelgwn(?).


Three Fair Womb-Burdens of the Island of Britain:
Urien son of Cynfarch and Arawn son of Cynfarch and Lleu son of Cynfarch, by Nefyn daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog their mother;
The second, Owain and Morfudd daughter of Urien and Anarun archbishop of Llydaw, by Modron daughter of Afallach their mother;
The third was Gwrgi and Peredur sons of (E)liffer of the Great Warband, and Arddun their sister, and ... (by Efrddyl?), and Cornan their horse and Grey-Skin their cow.

TRIAD 70 PEN. 50.

Three Fair Womb-Burdens of the Island of Britain:B Urien and Efrddyl, children of Cynfarch the Old, who were carried together in the womb of Nefyn daughter of Brychan their mother;
The second, Owain son of Urien and Mor(fudd) his sister who were carried together in the womb of Modron daughter of Afallach;
The third, Gwrgi and Peredur and Ceindrech Pen Asgell ('Wing Head'), children of Eliffer and the Great Warband, who were carried together in the womb of Efrddyl daughter of Cynfarch their mother.


Three Lovers of the Island of Britain:
Cynon son of Clydno (for Morfudd daughter of Urien);
and Caswallawn son of Beli (for Fflur daughter of Ugnach(?) the Dwarf);
and Drystan (son of Tallwch, for Essyllt, the wife of his uncle March).

TRIAD 71 PEN. 267:

Three Surpassing Bonds of Enduring Love which Three Men formerly in the time of Arthur cast upon the Three Fairest, most Lovable, and most Talked-of Maidens who were in the Island of Britain at that time;
that is (the bond) which Tristan son of Tallwch cast upon Essyllt daughter of (Culfanawyd) Pillar of Britain;
and (the bond) which Cynon son of Clydno Eiddyn cast upon Morfudd daughter of Urien Rheged;
and (the bond) which Caradawg Strong-Arm son of Llyr M(a)rini cast upon Tegau Gold-Breast daughter of Nudd Generous-Hand, king of the North.
And those were the Three Fairest, most Lovable, and most Talked-of Maidens who were in the Island of Britain at that time.


Three Stubborn Men:
E(i)ddilig the Dwarf,
and Gwair of Great Valour,
and Drystan.


Three Peers of Arthur's Court:
R(a)hawd son of Morgant,
and Dalldaf son of Cunyn Cof,
and Drystan son of March.


Three who could not be expelled(?) from Arthur's Court:B Uchei son of Gwryon,
and Coledawg son of (Gwynn),
and (C)erenhyr son of Gereinyawn the Old.


Three Men of the Island of Britain who were most courteous to Guests and Strangers:
Gwalchmai son of Gwyar,
and Cadwy son of Gereint,
and Cadrieith (Fine Speech) (son of) Saidi.


Three Violent(?) Ones of the Island of Britain:
and Llywarch,
and Llemenig.


Three Wanderers of Arthur's Court:
and LLywarch,
and Llemenig.


Three Fair Maidens of the Island of Britain:
Creirwy, daughter of Ceridwen,
and Ar(i)anrhod daughter of Don,
and Gwen daughter of Cywryd son of Crydon.


Three Lively Maidens of the Island of Britain:
Angharat Tawny Wave (?), daughter of Rhydderch Hael,
and Afan, daughter of Maig Thick-Hair,
and Perwyr, daughter of Rhun of Great Wealth.


Three Faithless Wives of the Island of Britain. Three daughters of Culfanawyd of Britain:b Essyllt Fair-Hair (Trystan's mistress),
and Penarwan (wife of Owain son of Urien),
and Bun, wife of Fflamddwyn.

And one was more faithless than those three: Gwenhwyfar, Arthur's wife, since she shamed a better man than any (of the others).


Three Saintly Lineages of the Island of Britain:
The Lineage of Joseph of Ar(i)mathea,
and the Lineage of Cunedda Wledig,
and the Lineage of Brychan Brycheiniog.

TRIAD 81 C 18.

Three Kindreds of Saints of the Island of Britain, by a Welsh mother:
The Offspring of Brychan Brycheiniog,
and the Offspring of Cunedda Wledig,
and the Offspring of Caw of Pictland.


Three Blessed Visitors of the Island of Britain:
and Padarn,
and Teilo.


Three Bodies which God created for Teilo:
The first is at Llandaff in Morgannwg,
the second at Llandeilo Fawr,
and the third at Penalun in Dyfed, as the History tells us.


Three Futile Battles of the Island of Britain:
One of them was the Battle of Goddeu: it was brought about by the cause of the bitch, together with the roebuck and the plover;
The second was the Action of Ar(f)derydd, which was brought by the cause of the lark's nest;
And the third was the worst: that was Camlan, which was brought about because of a quarrel between Gwenhwyfar and Gwennhwy(f)ach.
This is why those (Battles) were called Futile: because they were brought about by such a barren cause as that.


Arthur's Three Principal Courts:
Caerleon-on-Usk in Wales,
and Celliwig in Cornwall,
and Penrhyn Rhionydd in the North.

Three Principal Festivals at the Three Principal Courts:
Easter, and Christmas, and Whitsun.


Three Knights of Arthur's Court who won the Graal, and it brought them to Heaven:
Galaad son of Lawnslot of the Lake,
and Peredur son of Earl Efrawg,
and Bort son of King Bort.
And the two first were virgin of body. And the third was chaste, for only once had he committed bodily sin; and that, through temptation, at the time when he won ... daughter of King Brangor, who was Empress in Constantinople, and from whom was descended the greatest race in the world. All three were sprung of the race of Joseph of Arimathea, and of the lineage of the Prophet David, as the History of the Graal testifies.


Three Skilful Bards were at Arthur's Court:
Myrddin son of Morfryn,
Myrddin Emrys,
and Taliesin.


Three Splendid Maidens of Arthur's Court:
Dyfyr Golden-Hair,
Enid daughter of Earl (Y)niwl,
and Tegau Gold-Breast.


Three Things which conquered Lloegr:
Receiving Strangers,
Freeing Prisoners,
and the Gift of the Bald Man.


Three Perpetual Harmonies of the Island of Britain:
One was at the Island of Afallach,
and the second at Caer Garadawg,
and the third at Bangor.

In each of these three places there were 2,400 religious men; and of these 100 in turn continued each hour of the twenty-four hours of the day and night in prayer and service to God, ceaselessly and without rest for ever.


Three Fearless Men of the Island of Britain:
The first was Gwalchmai son of Gwyar,
the second was Llachau son of Arthur,
and the third was (Peredur) son of Earl Efrog.


Three Elders of the World:
The Owl of Cwm Cowlwyd,
the Eagle of Gwernabwy,
and the Blackbird of Celli Gadarn.


Three Men who specified their sufficiency from Arthur as their Gift:
Culhwch son of Cilydd son of Celyddon Wledig,
and Huarwor son of Aflawn,
and Gordibla of Cornwall.


Three Immense Feasts that were in the Island of Britain:
One of them was the Feast which Caswallawn son of Beli made in London, where twenty thousand cattle were slain, and a hundred thousand sheep, and fifty thousand geese and capons, and of wild and domesticated birds more than anyone might number. (G. Owain).

Was Arthur's Feast in Caerleon-on-Usk the second, and what Feast was the third?


Three People who broke their hearts from Bewilderment:
Branwen daughter of Llyr,
and Caradog son of Bran,
and Ffaraon Dandde.


Three Wives whom Brychan Brycheiniog had. Their names were:
and Rybrawst,
and Peresgri.

And his Offspring are one of the Three Kindreds of Saints of the Island of Britain. The second is the Offspring of Cunedda Wledig, and the third is the Offspring of Caw of Pictland. # 104


An unidentified river, site of one of Arthur's battles. # 156 - 494


Kingmaking by fire. A new king is chosen by the authority of the Tán n'Righ, which means that the selected person must be approved by holding burning branches in his hands, and while the branches are being consumed, the fire would not touch the flesh. # 384 p 28


The second edition of TRIOEDD YNYS PRYDEIN is based upon a full collation of the manuscripts. The text reproduced is in the first instance that of Peniarth MS. 16, which represents the oldest version of TYP that has come down to us, with the exception of a fragment of four TRIOEDD Y MEIRCH preserved in the BLACK BOOK OF CARMARTHEN. This Rachel Bromwich call the 'Early Version'. The text of Pen. 16 ends with triad 46, so that this manuscript includes less than half of the total of ninety-six triads contained in this volume. The remaining triads are those not found in Pen. 16, but which appear in the later collections, as follows: Triads 47-69 are from the White Book, LLYFR GWYN RHYDDERCH; and where the fragmentary text of TYP contained in this manuscript is defective, from the complete version of the same series preserved in the Red Book, LLYFR COCH HERGEST. This version is designated WR. Triads 70-80 are from Pen. 47, and triads 81-6 from Pen. 50, while triads 87-96 consist of miscellaneous additions to TRIOEDD YNYS PRYDEIN which appear for the first time in one or other of the late manuscript collections. Rachel Bromwich has given precedence to preserving the order of the triads as these appear in Pen. 16, although to do so has involved subordinating to this order, the order in which the triads are given in the much more extensive collection of WR. The reason for this choice is that she believe Pen. 16 to preserve a much older arrangement and grouping of TRIOEDD YNYS PRYDEIN. The construction of a satisfactory STEMMA of TYP is not possible because of the nature of the material: all manuscripts omit triads which are represented in other manuscripts, and numerous intermediary texts have undoubtedly been lost. But the distinction

between the two main versions, the Early Version and that of WR, remains a valid one for the texts of TYP as a whole; in following the grouping of one or other version the later manuscripts also present a text whose affinities are with this version. But Rachel Bromwich had the hope that to show in the second edition each of the manuscripts employed for the basic texts of triads 1-86 draws on written sources other than those that have come down to us, some of which are of at least equal antiquity with those which have survived.

There is evidence that some at least of the triads which are represented in both of the main versions go back ultimately to a common WRITTEN source. Triads 1-90 include all the triads contained in the first and second series of TRIOEDD YNYS PRYDAIN in the MYVYRIAN ARCHAIOLOGY OF WALES. The first series represents the collection of TRIOEDD YNYS PRYDAIN made by Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt (1592-1666) from older manuscript sources. An account of the formation of the Myvyrian text will be found in this edition. The Myvyrian second series reproduces the triads from the RED BOOK OF HERGEST. The third series is the work of Iolo Morganwg, who in the late eighteenth century rewrote many of the older triads in an expanded form, with the introduction of some fresh material. The investigation of these triads belongs properly to the study of Iolo's sources and methods; and as such, it falls outside the scope of Rachel Bromwich's second edition of TRIOEDD YNYS PRYDEIN. See all the 96 triads in the english translation, (without any notes) as: TRIADS, THE WELSH.


Celtic goddesses frequently are shown or described in triple form. The Celts used a triple cycle for the seasons and for many magical patterns within religion. The Triple Goddess, and The Fourfold Cycle:



III=Crone and

1. East/Spring/Air/Dawn/Beginning

2. South/Summer/Fire/Noon Increasing

3. West/Autumn/Water/Evening/Maturing

4. North/ Winter/Earth/Night/Destroying.

The Triad of the Goddess rotates around the Fourfold Cycle. # 628 p 60 ff


A contemporary of Arthur and a Knight of the Round Table, nephew and champion of Mark, King of Cornwall. In one story he was the son of King Meliodas and Queen Elizabeth of Lyonesse. He was called Tristan (Sorrow) because of the grief caused at his birth, since it killed his mother. After Lyonesse sank beneath the sea, he became attached first to the court of King Mark, where one of his first tasks was to kill the giant Marhalt. Cornwall refused to pay its customary tribute to Ireland, so the Irish sent over their champion, Marhalt (Marhaus), (one may wonder if names such as Marhalt and Marhaus might preserve some genuine memory of the fifth-century King of Tara, Muircheartach I), the queen's brother, whom Tristan slew. Tristan was wounded and had to seek a cure in Ireland whither he went under the false name of Pro of Iernsetir or Tantris. Later, a marriage was arranged between Mark and Iseult, daughter of King Anguish of Ireland. Tristan went to Ireland to fetch his uncle's bride and when there he killed a dragon, though a rascally senechal (steward) tried to seize credit for the act. On the way back, he and Iseult unwittingly partook of a love potion which made them enamoured of each other and they became lovers. On the night of Iseult's marriage to Mark, her maid Brangien stood in for her under cover of darkness. There followed an affair between Tristan and Iseult and on one occasion, Tristan's blood was spilled in Iseult's bed, giving rise to suspicion. To quell this, Iseult said she would swear on hot iron that she was no adulteress. When it came to this, Iseult fell into the arms of Tristan who was disguised as a beggar; she was thus able to swear that none but the king and the beggar had held her.

Tristan, seeing that his love for the queen was hopeless, hied himself to Brittany where he married Iseult of the Fair Hands, the daughter of Hoel, the ruler. (Tristan's father-in-law is called Havelin by Eilhart, Jovelin by Gottfried and Gilierchins in the TAVOLA RITONDA). Tristan did not sleep with his wife.. He became fast friends with her brother, Kahedrin. He received a poisoned wound and believed Iseult of Ireland could heal him so he sent her a message, entreating her to come. The captain of the ship which was to transport her agreed to use white sails if she were aboard, but black if not. When the ship approached, Iseult of the White Hands lied to him, saying the sails were black, and Tristan died. Hearing of this, Iseult of Ireland died of a broken heart and Mark had them buried side by side. From the grave of Tristan grew a vine, from that of Iseult a rose. They met and became inseparably entwined. In another version (Malory), Tristan was playing his harp for Iseult of Ireland when Mark slew him by driving a sword or lance into his back. The story seems to be Pictish in origin. Tristan's name is Pictish and, in Welsh tradition, his father is called Tallwch, perhaps a form of the Pictish name Talorc. It is interesting to note that the Pictish King Talorc III (perhaps legendary) was succeeded by Drust V (c. AD 550-51); were these protagonists of the original story? Another version, perhaps derived from it, appears in the Irish CuChulain story, THE WOOING OF EMER. The tragic tale of DIARMUID AND GRáINNE also may have contributed to the tale. Welsh tradition transported the story from Pictland to Cornwall and the final version seems to be Breton. The development of the story is thought to have been as follows: Irish tale DIARMUID AND GRAINNE and the Pictish tale DRUST SON OF TALORCAN derivate the Irish episode in WOOING OF EMER which combined led to the Pictish combination DRUST SAGA, followed by the Breton folktale THE DRAGON and the Welsh version localized in Cornwall, and the Breton folktale MAN WITH TWO WIVES, which formed the Breton final version. The medieval romance of Tristan underwent the following developments:

  1. Eilhart (twelfth century)
  2. Beroul (twelfth century)
  3. Thomas (twelfth century) and
  4. Gottfried (thirteenth century).

The Fowey Stone in Cornwall is thought to bear an inscription about a Tristan, son of Cunomorus (see MARK), to whom the tale may have been transferred. Eilhart said Tristan was the first person to train dogs. Malory calls him Tristram. According to Italian romance, he and Iseult had two children, bearing their names, while French romance gave them a son, Ysaie, and a grandson, Marc. In the Icelandic TRISTRAMS SAGA Tristan had a son by Iseult of the White Hands named Kalegras. See: PETICRIEU, SEGWARIDES, TWENTY-FOUR KNIGHTS. # 156 - 204 - 217 - 418 - 454 - 658


The form of Tristan used by Malory. Tristram was the usual English form of Tristan, instances of it having been noted in England from the twelfth century. # 156


As his name indicates, he was of Trojan origin. He was the King of Thessaly and his son, Troiano, figured in an unpublished Italian romance of the Old Table. # 156 - 238


The son of King Troas of Thessaly and a descendant of Hector. An unpublished romance of the Old Table tells how he, King Remus of Rome and Uther Pendragon combined to make the Trojan race once again the rulers of Troy. # 156 - 238


Just as there are Celtic myths, so there is a kind of protomythology which deals with the distant origins of the Celtic peoples themselves. Archaeology has taught us to believe in the Indo-European culture which spread from the Indus valley across most of present-day Europe, seeding various tribal groups which remained behind to found the La Tène and Hallstatt cultures which provided a foundation for the Celtic peoples as we know them today.

# 455 p 101 ff




In Europe the trout is a symbol of health and fertility. The Celts celebrated the return of the sun after the winter months with fertility-rite dancing of 'the springing of the trout': the dancers imitated the rising of the fish, associating it with the rising of the sun. # 161


# 454: The enslaved inhabitants of Troy were rescued and led by Brutus, great-grandson of Aeneas, to Britain. Troy's legendary status as the origin of the British people has always figured importantly in the island's history. Apollo, one of the protectors of Troy, is found, in native form, in the guise of Maponus/Mabon. Taliesin may be considered to be a prophet of Troy's descendants since his poetic works tell of their likely fate in his inspired utterances before Maelgwn.

# 730: Iman Wilkens' fascination with the Iliad and the Odyssey goes back to his schooldays, and research into Homer has been an obsessive hobby of his ever since. Like generations of scholars, he was intrigued by the origins of Homer's great epic poems about the Trojan War and the adventures of Odysseus - and now believes that he has finally tracked down their source. Arguing, convincingly, that the poems do not fit the topography, geology, climate and oceanic disturbances of the eastern Mediterranean, Wilkens relocates the Homeric scene in western Europe and the north Atlantic, revealing the precise site of Troy itself (little east of Cambridge) and the plain on which the Trojan War was fought. By examining the texts in detail, Wilkens has identified over 400 place names in western Europe and concludes that the original oral version was composed by Homer several hundred years before they were written down.

He reveals that the Trojan War was fought on a far larger scale than previously thought, by Celts from regions as far apart as Scandinavia and Spain, and that the Odyssey describes routes and places in the Channel and the Atlantic Ocean, and provided an oral map for illiterate Celtic seafarers. His book WHERE TROY ONCE STOOD identifies Homer's external world and uncovers the epics' inner meanings. The symbolic importance of Troy and its association with the spiral labyrinth and the mysteries of the Gnostic religion is described, and the esoteric meaning of the Odyssey brought out. The result is an extraordinary and enlightening journey into prehistory that is exciting as the voyages of Odyssey itself. One may conclude that Wilkens' patient detective work, many of the most puzzling aspects of Homer's epic poems now fall into place, enabling the reader - perhaps for the first time - to understand fully the meaning and significance of Europe's oldest literary masterpieces. There is not only a symbolic relationship between the spiral labyrinths called Troy towns and the city of Troy, but also a linguistic one. The origin of the name Troy is found, according to K. Kerényi, in the root of the word Truare which means 'a circular movement around a stable centre'. In the figurative sense, turning around a problem, while finding more answers to our questions leads to solving the mystery. While the word Troy means a circular hillfort in the concrete sense, it designates a spiral labyrinth in the figurative sense. It appears that the symbolism of the circular labyrinth is much older than Homer's time as it goes back as early as the Stone Age. Western Europe is rich in rock engravings of that era which show a close resemblance between the circular labyrinth and the womb, symbol of return to the origin and (re-)birth, whence the presence of umbilical cords is equated with Ariadne's threads. # 243 - 272 - 365 - 418 - 454 - 462 - 730




The 'Ballad of True Thomas', which Child included in his collections as No. 37A, tells part of the story of Thomas Rymour of Erceldoune, most commonly called Thomas The Rhymer. Whether or not such a character as Merlin ever existed as a real man, it is certain that Thomas Rymour of Erceldoune was an historic personage living in the thirteenth century. But much more important than his existence is his reputation as a prophet, which endured until the nineteenth century. The ballad, which tells of his meeting with the Queen of Elfland and his visit to that country, is founded on a fourteenth-century romance which can be read in Carew Hazlitt's FAIRY TALES LEGENDS AND ROMANCES ILLUSTRATING SHAKESPEARE. See also: THOMAS THE RHYMER. # 100 - 150 - 298


(toon mac CAR-il) The sole survivor of Partholon's party. He turned successively into a deer, a boar, an eagle and a salmon, in which form he was eaten by the wife of King Carill. He recalled the whole history of Ireland when the elders of Tara were attempting to chronicle its lands. He brought Trefuilngid Tre-Eochair to verify his story. See: FINTAN. # 454 - 469


(thoo'a-haw day DAH-nawn') The people of Dana. They ruled Ireland after Nemed, according to the Book of Invasions, and were descended from one of his great-grandsons. They were supposed to come from the northern isles of Greece where they had learned all the arts of magic. They brought four treasures with them from these parts: the Stone of Fal from Falias, which screamed under the foot of every rightful king; the Spear of Lugh, which came from Gorias; the Sword of Nuada, from Findias; and the Cauldron of the Dagda from Murias. (See HALLOWS.) They fought long against the Fomorians and the Firbolgs, but were eventually vanguished by the Milesians, after which they retired to the Otherworld, Tir na n'og or the Sidhe or the Hollow Hills, as they are variously called. Perhaps they were originally Earth-gods. The dominating peoples of Ireland's remotest past are traditionally represented as the Partholonians, the Nemedians, the Fir Bolg, The Tuatha De Danann, and the Milesians. The accounts of their doings, although ostensibly depicting the very earliest periods of the Irish history, were composed, for the most part, later than the oldest sagas of the Ulster group. The Tuatha De Danann (Peoples of the Goddess Anu, or Danu) are said to have come to Ireland from the north of Europe, where they had spent many years in learning arts and magic. They are represented as large, strong, and beautiful beings who mingled with mortals and yet remained superior to them. Their principal residences were Brug na Boinne, a district along the river Boyne near Stackallen Bridge in Leinster, and the fairy-mound (sidhe = shee) of Femin in Tipperary. Certain personages in this group, without being definitely labelled as gods, have characteristics that elevate them above the rank of ordinary mortals. # 166 - 454 - 469 - 548 - 562


The wetstone of Tudwal Tudglyd was one of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain. # 104 - 156


Muirne's sister, Fionn's aunt. She married Iollan, one of the Fianna but he had a mistress in the Sidhe. Jealous of Tuiren, the woman turned her into a hound. While in this shape she bore twin cubs, Bran and Sceolan who became the hounds of Fionn; since they had human natures they could divine things which other dogs could not. She was changed back into a woman after Iollan promised the sidhe woman that he would love her alone. # 267 - 454


(TEER-enn) Father of Brian, Iuchar and Iuacharba who slew Cian, father of Lugh. He went to ask mercy for his sons and heal their wounds, but Lugh had hardened his heart, and according to Lady Gregory, Tuirenn fell dead upon their bodies and they were buried together. # 267 - 454


The oil of the pig belonging to Tuis was sought by Melora, Arthur's warrior daughter. After imprisonment by the King of Asia, she escaped with the oil. Tuis himself was a King of Greece in Irish legend. The sons of Tuirenn went to Greece to obtain his pig's skin which had healing properties. # 156 - 157 - 406


A Gaelic name for the house inside a fairy knowe. It seems to be a single dwelling. J. F. Campbell in POPULAR TALES OF THE WEST HIGHLANDS VOL. II gives a brief anecdote of a tulman which illustrates the use of good manners in dealing with the fairies, and shows them in a benevolent light. # 100 - 130




In Irish mythology, the father of Gobniu, the smith god. He is possibly the original of Trebuchet, the smith who fashioned the Grail Sword. See: TREBUCHET. # 156


A paternal ancestor of Arthur in a number of Welsh pedigrees. # 156


An island on which the first Nascien was placed after his rescue by a miracle from prison; from this island he saw the ship of Solomon. # 156


A knight who overcame and captured Ector de Maris. Lancelot fought him and killed him, occasioning the release of Ector and other prisoners. He was the brother of Sir Carados of the Dolorous Tower and greatly hated Lancelot. # 156 - 418


The King of the Pygmies, a race of individuals only two feet tall; he provided his chief physician to attend Tom Thumb during the latter's sickness. Tom Thumb overcame King Twaddell in jousting. # 156 - 511


A zodiacal circle, formed by 12 knights, saints, hermits or missionaries, is a recurrent image in old British legends. Like the Grail, it is associated with periods of regeneration and sacred order, when the countryside is prosperous and life is experienced on a high level of spiritual intensity. At such a time King Arthur set up his Round Table, a model of the divine cosmos, as the central symbol in his court of 12 knights, each representing a zodiacal constellation. This event belongs to no single age or locality, for relics of an Arthurian myth cycle occur in local traditions and place names in Celtic landscapes from Scotland to Brittany. Many different towns and hill-tops have claims to have been Camelot, Arthur's citadel, and no doubt many of these claims are justified, for the 12part story of Arthur and his companions appears to have been established and celebrated throughout the year by the various Celtic tribes or tribal unions within their own territories. Medieval chroniclers told of the enchantments of Britain, and behind their tales of adventurous or culture-bearing heroes can be detected a theme of revival through missionary groups, often twelve in number, who aspired to re-create that former state of enchantment, when initiated bards by their musical arts held earthly life in tune with the harmony of the heavens. One of Glastonbury's legends tells of a foundation by 12 holy men. During the second century, in the reign of King Lucius, a missionary party, led by two priests, Deruvian and Phagan, came to Britain from Rome and found at Glastonbury the remains of St Joseph of Arimathea's original settlement. They also found a written account of its history. This caused them to restore the ancient church and to appoint twelve of their number as its ministers. The twelve lived as hermits in secluded places around Glastonbury, and whenever one of them died a new hermit was elected in his place, so the number was always maintained. This went on until 433, the traditional date of St Patrick's arrival in Glastonbury. The names of the 12 hermits at that time are given in the thirteenth-century St Patrick's Charter as:

Brumban, Hyregaan, Brenwal, Wencreth, Bantommeweng, Adelwalred, Lothor, Wellias, Breden, Swelwes, Hinloernus and Hin.

These strangely named individuals were organized into a religious community by St Patrick, who thus became the first abbot at Glastonbury. After his death in 472, his relics attracted many Irish pilgrims to Glastonbury. Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Gaul were also evangelized during the sixth century by groups of 12 holy men. St Columba had 12 companions when he left Ireland to found the monastery at Iona at the start of his Scottish mission. His near-namesake and fellow Irishman, St Columban, brought Celtic Christianity to Gaul with the assistance of 12 monks. They settled as hermits in the Vosges mountains and were responsible for the renewal of culture and prosperity which followed. St Gall, Columban's successor, led 12 disciples to a new settlement in Switzerland. The most important group of 12 Celtic saints were the Twelve Apostles of Ireland who, early in the sixth century, formed a college for the administration of religious affairs under the great St Finnian of Clonard in Meath. Following the missionary work of St Patrick and his contemporaries, St Finnian reorganized the Church in Ireland on more formal lines. He founded or reformed the monastery at Clonard to be a centre of education and law. Each of the followers were heads of similar establishments in different parts of the country, and together they made up an authoritative body which in some ways corresponded to the amphictyonic council of Delphi some thousand years earlier. In both cases the main responsibility of the twelve was to manage and protect the priestly estates and to uphold the rights of sanctuary. The names of the Apostles and their principal foundations were:

The pattern of the sacred geography of Ireland and its government by 12 tribal rulers under a high king was perpetuated by the early Church. It was customary, when a local king converted to Christianity, for the missionary saint to build a church and monastery on the site of the main tribal sanctuary, where formerly the Druid priests had officiated. From the people of the tribe came the first monks and priests, many of whom were evidently former Druids or pupils from their colleges. It seems therefore that Christianity brought little change to the social order, and even the forms of religion were not radically altered. So much of the native tradition was preserved and incorporated by the early Church that one may reasonably view the Twelve Apostles of Ireland as ecclesiastical representatives of Ireland's traditional 12 tribes. St Finnian in that case would have taken on the authority of a former Chief Druid of Ireland, attached to the court of the high king and guiding the 12 chief priests of the provinces.

There is another hint of a circle of 12 sacred places in the life of St David, who is credited with having founded 12 monasteries across southern England and Wales. The list of these places includes Glastonbury where Chrisianity was established before David's time. There and probably elsewhere he reformed and enlarged an existing sanctuary. This implies that the legend of his 12 foundations has a symbolic meaning, its underlying reference being the traditional 12spoked wheel of sanctity, the ancient model for a heavenly order on earth. - This 12-fold pattern is deeply rooted in Celtic mythology and the Grail legend. King Arthur fought 12 battles, conquered 12 kingdoms and slew the 12 kings of Orkney, whom Merlin then commemorated by a monument with 12 effigies. In the Grail romances, Sir Galahad is said to have founded the order of the Holy Grail, appointing 12 knights as guardians of the Round Table which St Joseph first established in Britain. St Joseph's sister bore 12 children to the Celtic hero, Bran, and another group of 12 saints, including St David's mother St Non, were the offspring of Brychan, a fifth-century king of Brecon. In the HIGH HISTORY OF THE HOLY GRAIL are named 12 brother knights, one of whom, Alain, was Percival's ancestor. They possessed 12 castles corresponding to the zodiacal signs. Read more about the fascinating number of twelve in: TWELVE-TRIBE NATIONS by John Michell and Christine Rhone (1991). # 471


A list of knights found in the Welsh work PEDWAR MARCHOG AR HUGAIN LLYS ARTHUR, which dates from about the fifteenth century or earlier. The knights figuring in the list were: Gwalchmai (Gawain), - Drudwas, Eliwlod, - Bors, - Perceval, - Galahad, - Lancelot, - Owain, - Menw, - Tristan, - Eiddilig, - Nasiens, - Mordred, - Hoel, - Blaes, - Cadog,- Petroc, - Morfran, - Sanddef, - Glewlwyd, - Cyon, - Aron, - and Llywarch. # 104 - 156


(tuurkh TROO'ith) This was a fierce boar, a king who was enchanted into a boar for his wickedness. He corresponds to Torc Triath, the king of the boars in Irish mythology. He was originally almost certainly some kind of boar deity. The boar was a cult animal amongst the Celts. One of the tasks set Culhwch was to obtain the comb and shears from between the ears of Twrch Trwyth. The boar had slain many of Arthur's men and, when Arthur's band caught up with it, Mabon obtained the razor and Cyledyr the Wild the shears. These items were ciphers for the more important quest for the hallows of Britain, on which Arthur was engaged. However, the boar escaped, but Arthur and his followers came upon it once more and procured the comb. It was then forced into the sea and swam off, no man knew whither. # 156 - 346 - 454 - 562


Literally, a glass house. The dwelling of Merlin was thought to be one and it was said to be on the Isle of Bardsey (Gwyned). # 156


These stones in Dyfed are also called Cerrig Meibion Arthur, 'Stones of Arthur's Sons'. Traditionally the stones are a monument to Arthur's sons who were killed whilst hunting. # 156 - 717


(terlooeth teig) The Fair Family. The most usual name for the Welsh fairies, though they are sometimes called Bendith y Mamau, the Mother's Blessing, in an attempt to avert their kidnapping activities by invoking a euphemistic name for the fairies. # 100


In French romances, a knight who had grown up in the woods and spoke the language of the animals. He obtained the white foot of a stag by killing the lions which guarded it. By so doing he earned the hand in marriage of a lady who had come to Arthur's court and offered herself, together with her kingdom, to whomsoever could bring her the foot. But, as Tyolet was greatly fatigued, he gave the foot to another knight. The other knight, thinking Tyolet dead, pretended that he had accomplished the quest himself, but he was later exposed. See: DAUGHTER OF THE KING OF LOGRES. # 30 - 156 - 713