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Welsh mythological prose finds its most enchanting
breath in the Mabinogion, a collection of stories about the gods and
goddesses of the Celtic Britons. More formally the work is known as
the Four Branches of the Mabinogi. Although the full set of tales
cannot be told here, an introduction of the Briton deities will be
made within the specific branch they play a role in.
- Branch One of the Mabinogi--Pwyll, the Prince of Dyfed in southern
Wales, works a bargain with Arawn, ruler of the Underworld, whereby
Pwyll governs there for a period and eventually becomes the Pen Annwn
(or Head of the Underworld). Pwyll then woos for his wife Rhiannon,
the daughter of Heveydd the Ancient. To win her, Pwyll outwits the
suitor Gwawl with the help of a magic bag. Pwyll and Rhiannon marry
and have a son named Pryderi, who plays major roles in other
- Branch Two of the Mabinogi--Brân the Blessed and his sister
Branwen the Fair Bosomed are principals in a both tragic and comic
tale where the forces of Wales are pitted against their Celtic
counterparts in Ireland. Branwen marries the king of Ireland and they
have a son named Gwern. Upon the treacherous death of her son,
Branwen dies of a broken heart. The Welsh seek vengeance and battle
furiously against the Irish. Brân is struck down, but continues to
bring good humor among his band of warriors. More on Brân is
- Branch Three of the Mabinogi--Pryderi gives the realm of Dyfed to
Manawyddan, the sole surviving child of Llyr. By this time Pwyll has
somehow disappeared from the mythic scene, and Pryderi offers his
mother Rhiannon as a wife to Manawyddan, thus further calming the
latter's sorrows. Manawyddan and Rhiannon, and Pryderi and his wife
Kieva all become close companions in the adventures ahead. But the
dilemma is that someone is casting enormous spells on Dyfed, turning
it from a rich territory to a wasteland. And castles appear out of
nowhere, then vanish with loved ones trapped inside. Vengeance is
the source of the riddle, though Manawyddan, Pryderi, and their wives
end the tale with happy sentiments.
- Branch Four of the Mabinogi--Gwydion and Arianrod, being children
of the goddess Dôn, were high in the Briton pantheon. Gwydion was
a sort of druid of the Welsh gods, a "master of illusion and phantasy." He
was a friend and helper of mankind, and a constant fighter against the
powers of the underworld, the realm of Annwn. Arianrod, called the
"Silver Circle," bore two sons--Dylan and Lleu. Dylan had a great affinity
for the sea, and swam as well as the best fish in the ocean. It is said
that the waves of Britain wept for Dylan at his death. Arianrod had poor
bonds with her other son Lleu, and his care was left largely to Gwydion.
Mâth, the brother of the goddess Dôn, was a master of magic and Gwydion's
teacher of spells.
Suggested Pdf Resources
- The Mabinogion - AODA
- Mabinogion and the Romance of the Continent; but as I advanced, I became better acquainted with the closeness and extent of that connexion, its history, and ...
- Analytic Combinatorics of the Mabinogion Urn - Inria
- The Mabinogion urn is a simple model of the spread of influences amongst ... the evolution of the Mabinogion urn, based on a time-reversal transformation ...
- The Mabinogi: Legend and Landscape of Wales by John K ... - JStor
- Companion Tales to the Mabinogi: Legend and Landscape of Wales. Translation by John. K.
- Download as a PDF - CiteSeerX
- The Mabinogion, as it is popularly known, is a collection of eleven medieval Welsh ... 2 S. Davies, The Four Branches of the Mabinogi, p.
- Christian Influences on The Mabinogi - Scholar Commons
- Jan 1, 2012 Pittman, Josh (2013) "Christian Influences on The Mabinogi," The Oswald Review: An International Journal of Undergraduate Research.
Suggested News Resources
- The Mabinogion: Wales' monsters and mythical beasts
- "I know where you are going," a woman tells heroic Peredur as he journeys through mythical Wales, "you are going to fight the (lake) monster.
- What's the real story behind the success of the Irish short story?
- And while we have a “founding” legend in The Táin, composed as it is of tragedies, histories and heroic tales, again, so too do other cultures (The Mabinogion, Beowulf, The Bhagavad-Gita etc).
- What To Do: Get your love on for Valentine's
- “I am a Celtic history buff — and a Celtic mythology buff — so this is a great role for me,” Ancient roots appeal to me. I have read Mabinogion, the Welsh legend cycle which mentions King Arthur. And, I have Irish roots.
- The Mabinogion: mythology? Heroic tales? Romance? Mess?
- The last of the “folk literature” I've completed for this year's reading list isn't an epic at all. The Mabinogion is a collection of Welsh tales that offer insights into Celtic mythology, Welsh national legend, and Arthurian romance.
- Cerys Matthews explores the Welsh folk tales of the Mabinogion
- Cerys Matthews is sharing her passion for the Welsh tales which make up the Mabinogion. The stories, which date back centuries, include one of the earliest-known references to King Arthur, tell of Blodeuwedd, a woman made entirely of flowers and The ...
Suggested Web Resources
- Mabinogion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- The Mabinogion are the earliest prose literature of Britain. The stories were compiled in the 12th–13th century from earlier oral traditions by medieval Welsh ...
- The Mabinogion Index
- This is Lady Guests' translation of the Mabinogion. The Mabinogion is a cycle of Welsh legends collected in the Red Book of Hergest, a manuscript which is in ...
- The Mabinogion texts are concerned with the heroic age or mythological past of the British Isles. They were not original compositions, drawing as they did on ...
- Amazon.com: The Mabinogion (Oxford World's Classics ...
- Buy The Mabinogion (Oxford World's Classics) on Amazon.com ✓ FREE SHIPPING on qualified orders.
- Mabinogion - Timeless Myths
- Mabinogion was a collection of twelve tales from the Welsh myths.
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