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11

The dragons trapped by Lludd. In The Adventure of Lludd and Llefelys, there are three plagues which fall upon Britain. The second is a horrible screech that renders the inhabitants scared. King Lludd, on the advice of his brother, Llefelys, builds a pit in the center of Britain, at Oxford. He traps the dragons responsible for the screeches by getting them ...


11

Excalibur was returned to the lake from whence it came. Most accounts have it that Sir Bedivere took it there from Camlan. Malory is the only source that I know of that mentions an arm taking the sword. According to the monks of Glastonbury Abbey, it was returned at what is now Pomparles Bridge over the River Brue. Just to the southwest of the Isle of ...


10

I haven't been able to find any reference for fairy men marrying human women, or the existence of full-sized fairy men at all. Note that the Tylwyth Teg only ever kidnapped human boys, not girls. This seems to support this (emphasis mine): Mr. John Jones speaks very little English, and Mr. John Rees, of the Council School, acted as our interpreter. This is ...


10

Celtic refers to any of the peoples who spoke Celtic languages, and this includes France, parts of Germany and Austria, and northern Italy. The peoples of Ireland and Britain are called Insular Celts, because they live on islands off the European coastline. And no, they did not believe in the same gods, although you can often find similar types of gods and ...


9

I'm not aware of a story that could possibly be a basis for the white walkers, but it could be argued that a zombie story exists in the second branch of the Mabinogi, the tale of Branwen ferch Llŷr. A key element of the tale is the Pair Dadeni, a magical cauldron able to revive the dead: "And I will enhance the atonement," said Bendigeid Vran, &...


9

According to most versions of the myth, the reign has not ended. No version explicitly states how long the physical reign of Arthur lasted. That is almost certainly deliberate, in order to maintain some mysticism. There are no texts that give an age for Arthur or any of the other protagonists at Camlan or after. Malory is the best known source that ...


6

Does this story appear in Roman folklore? No. Firstly, we should verify that the Magnus Maximus in the story is, in fact, the same Magnus Maximus as we see in recorded history. This excerpt is from De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, a historical document from the 6th century AD (emphasis mine): The tyranni. At length also, as thickets of tyrants were ...


6

Abhartach (Ireland) Irish folklore speaks of Abhartach, a dwarf who rose from the dead multiple times after being slain. In The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places (c. 1871), Patrick Weston Joyce relates the myth: This dwarf was a magician, and a dreadful tyrant, and after having perpetrated great cruelties on the people he was at last vanquished ...


6

The head was placed facing France to protect Britain from Saxon invasion. Ireland, was no longer a concern (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 opened the door, and looked out to Cornwall and over Aber Henvelen. And when he looked, suddenly everything they had ...


4

Insofar as the earliest native British traditions go, at least, it doesn't seem so. Looking through some early Welsh texts (Culhwch ac Olwen, Pa Gur, the Trioedd Ynys Prydein, the Beddau stanzas, a couple mentions in poetry), I can't find anything that suggests Bedwyr possessed magical abilities. The closest thing of relevance I saw was in CaO, when Cai ...


3

Sadly, I've never been able to find any direct references to Mathonwy anywhere. Bromwich (pg. 439) mentions that the name Mathonwy itself could be a doublet for the name Math, like so many names in Culhwch ac Olwen are. If so, Mathonwy may never have represented a specific character. One final thing worth mentioning is that it's unclear whether Mathonwy ...


2

"...which he could not be according to the tenor of his songs" The name "Merlin" is derived from the Welsh "Myrddin", the name of the bard Myrddin Wyllt, one of the chief sources for the later legendary figure. The word Tenor is not referring to the pitch of a male singer's voice, it's more of another definition "a settled or prevailing or habitual course ...


2

Onomastic tales like this one are common in literature and histories, be it the Middle Ages or Ancient Greece (there are several others in The Mabinogion, as well). Such place-name explanations can involve real or fictitious locales, and often provide rather fanciful rationalizations. In this particular instance, the author (or, perhaps originally, poet) ...


1

The Holy Spirit seems the most likely answer. Geoffrey of Monmouth would have been familiar with the story of Penetecost, in which the Holy Spirit gives the apostles the ability to speak in different languages. St. Peter then preached to the various nationalities assembled in Jerusalem, saying: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I ...


1

It is interesting to note that these rivers, as well as other sunken places, are mentioned in Patrick Sims-Williams's Irish Influence on Medieval Welsh Literature, p192ff. (Findable at Google Books.) The chapter mentions other places that seem to have been known dry land locations that had flooded within historical or literary memory (one got uncovered ...


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