Questions tagged [welsh]

For questions on the folklore and myths of Wales.

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The structure of the Fae courts

I'm looking for the structure of the Fairy (Fae) courts which are defined by Seelie or Unseelie alignments. There is a lot of fiction written but the problem is that they twist it to their own ...
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5 votes
2 answers
734 views

Is this a real myth? Pembroke Welsh Corgis as mounts for fairies

I've seen this myth floating around the internet for a while now and decided to write about it for a project. The only issue was: I couldn't actually find a reputable source for the claim. Wikipedia's ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Did Bedwyr (Bedivere) ever have dark magic?

A while back I found a small note (which seems to have been removed because of a lack of proper citation) on the Wikipedia article for Bedivere, speaking of his “role in Welsh tradition” and first ...
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7 votes
1 answer
358 views

What are some references to Mathonwy in Welsh legends?

Mathonwy is the father of Math fab Mathony and a mother godess Dôn in Welsh legend, who is believed to be analogous to Danu from Irish and Vedic legends. Are there any surviving sources, either ...
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2 votes
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What connects the Welsh and English Gogmagog with the Hebrew Gog and Magog?

The guardian statues outside London's Guildhall, the building that houses the administration of the Corporation of the City of London, are known as Gog and Magog. Originally they were understood to be ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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Are all Celtic Gods (Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and British) considered part of the same pantheon?

The term 'Celtic' means mythology from the British Isles, so are the gods from Irish, Welsh, and Scottish mythology all considered part of the same pantheon? For example, did people who believe in the ...
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5 votes
2 answers
554 views

Revenants in mythology of the British Isles?

In his series, "Song of Ice and Fire", George R.R. Martin re-imagines a War of the Roses era-Britain where the British Isle is greatly enlarged and the continent compressed. He creates a history that ...
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6 votes
1 answer
112 views

What does Elis Gruffydd mean by "the tenor of his songs"? What does this mean about Myrddin's father?

I was reading The Story of Myrddin Wyllt (which appears to be another name for Merlin and the Five Dreams of Gwenddydd), written by Elis Gruffydd. It concerns Myrddin Wyllt, who is identified with ...
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6 votes
0 answers
170 views

When did each of the Three Fortunate Concealments and the Three Unfortunate Disclosures happen?

The Welsh Triads lists the Three Fortunate Concealments and the Three Unfortunate Disclosures (see also Bendigeidfran's head was one of the Three Fortunate concealments; what are the other two?): ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Is there any connection between the Three Humbled Chieftains?

In the third branch of the Mabinogion, Pryderi tells Manawydan Your cousin is king of Island of the Mighty and although he may do you wrong' he continued 'you have never been a claimant for land or ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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Why does the Lady of the Lake only accept half baked bread from Gwyn?

(Note: this "Lady of the Lake" is different from the arthurian "Lady of the Lake.") In the welsh story associated with the lake Llyn y Fan Fach, Gwyn attempts to woo the "Lady ...
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7 votes
1 answer
237 views

Were those who comitted the Three Unfortunate Disclosures aware of what they were doing?

And there were the Three Unfortunate Disclosures when these were disclosed. And Gwrtheyrn the Thin disclosed the bones of Gwerthefyr the Blessed form the love of a woman: that was Ronnwen the pagan ...
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9 votes
0 answers
186 views

What is the significance of Peradur asking about (or not asking about) the bloodied spear?

In the story Peradur in the Mabinogion, Peradur is told by his Uncle not to ask questions if he sees anything strange, unless someone explains the strange thing to him. Leave, then, the habits and ...
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11 votes
1 answer
185 views

In Vita Merlini, what did Merlin attribute his power of prophecy to?

In Vita Merlini, Merlin goes quite mad for a while, speaking of Britain in the past and remarking on nature and religion. He makes grand prophecies of what will happen in the future - he is, after all,...
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14 votes
1 answer
1k views

How long did King Arthur's empire last?

In Geoffrey of Monmouth's Vita Merlini, Merlin discussed past (and future) British history. He goes on at great length about the time of Arthur, describing some of his later exploits after defeating &...
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9 votes
2 answers
164 views

Why did King Kilydd conceal his son from his wife?

In Culhwch and Olwen, King Kilydd's wife, Goleuddydd, dies in childbirth, leaving behind the king's only son. She tells him to go forth and remarry once two briar blossoms bloom on her grave, and he ...
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15 votes
1 answer
337 views

Does Roman folklore feature an account of The Dream of Macsen Wledig?

The Dream of Macsen Wledig is a Welsh tale that may be loosely based on Emperor Magnus Maximus, of Rome. The story tracks his search for a fair maiden he sees in a dream, eventually bringing him to ...
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13 votes
1 answer
172 views

Bendigeidfran's head was one of the Three Fortunate concealments; what are the other two?

Bendigeidfran's head was one of the Three Fortunate concealments (emphasis mine): 'Shame on my beard,' said he 'if I don't open the door and find out whether it is true what is said about it. [So] he ...
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8 votes
1 answer
110 views

How does the "mighty man of magic" atone for his plague?

In Lludd and Lleuelys, three plagues fall upon Britain. The first consists of a fierce race, the Coranians; the second consists of a terrible noise which renders the Britons terrified, and the third ...
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14 votes
2 answers
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Why could Lleu Llaw Gyffes only be killed in a certain way?

In the fourth branch of the Mabinogion, Lleu Llaw Gyffes revealed to Blodeuedd that he can only be killed in a certain way. 'Will you, for God's sake and mine, tell me by what means you might be ...
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10 votes
1 answer
192 views

What were the original names of Mochdref, Mochtref, Mochnant and Mochtref?

In the fourth branch of the Mabinogion, Gwydion and company move through the areas surrounding the court of Dryfed after receiving pigs from Pryderi: That night they made it as far as the uplands ...
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11 votes
1 answer
108 views

How did Manawydan know that the bishop (Llwyd Cil Coed) was responsible for the imprisonment of Pryderi and Rhiannon?

In the third branch of the Mabiogion, Manawydan and his companions, Pryderi, Rhiannon and Cifga come across a deserted caer. First Pryderi and then Rhiannon go to investigate. They are forced immobile ...
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11 votes
1 answer
255 views

Why was Bendigeidfran's head buried facing France and not Ireland?

In the second branch of the Mabinogion, the forces of the Isle of the Mighty (Britain) defeat the Irish, though only seven survive. The dying Welsh king, Bendigeidfran, orders his men to cut off his ...
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10 votes
1 answer
346 views

Why is there a long list of names in the story "Culhwch and Olwen"?

In the story Culhwch (sometimes spelled Kilhwch) and Olwen, the story is interrupted by a seemingly endless list of character's names: I seek it from Kai, and Bedwyr, and Greidawl Galldonyd, and ...
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13 votes
1 answer
217 views

Why did the Lli and Archen rivers flood, separating Ireland and Britain?

In the second branch of the Mabinogion, King Bendigeidfran and his men travel from Britain ("the Island of the Mighty", or Ynys Y Kedeirn), intent on avenging the punishment of his sister, Branwen, at ...
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11 votes
1 answer
619 views

Why did Arawn choose Pwyll to fight Hafgan, king of Annwfn?

I've been reading the first branch of the Mabinogion, which details the journeys of Pwyll, lord of Dyfed. While hunting, he meets Arawn, king of Annwfn, who strikes a deal with him: The two will ...
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18 votes
1 answer
1k views

Who was Arthur's sword, Excalibur, returned to?

Most versions of the Arthurian legend relates that, after the Battle of Camlann, a dying King Arthur ordered a surviving knight - usually Sir Griflet or Sir Bedivere - to dispose of Excalibur in a ...
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23 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do Welsh fairies marry human women?

The Welsh Tylwyth Teg, or fairies, is said to take human mates. This website mentions how: There are many tales of intermarriage between faeries and humans, and advice on how to make sure you ...
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15 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the meaning of the half burning tree in the Mabinogion?

In the story Peredur the Son of Evrawc (part of the Mabinogion), Peredur encounters: And he saw a tall tree by the side of the river, one half of which was in flames from the root to the top, and ...
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