Thursday, March 9, 2017

UPDATE on Aerfen, goddess of the River Dee

In an earlier post (, I suggested that St. Aaron of the City of the Legion was a Christian substitute for the goddess Aerfen/Aeruen of the River Dee.

I've since had confirmation back from the National Library of Wales regarding false claims made concerning this goddess by neopagan writers:

Thus while she is mentioned in early Welsh sources, it is patently untrue that a shrine to her was known of, and that sacrifices were regularly offered to her.  These are stories made up by modern authors which have infiltrated some other more respectable sources and are, therefore, all too often interpreted as facts.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Family of the Real Arthur (Ceredig son of Cunedda)


According to the early Welsh genealogies, the mother of Ceredig son of Cunedda (in a later source called the mother of Cunedda) was named Gwawl.  She was supposedly a daughter of Coel Hen of the North, a common progenitor of early princely lines.  Although some have disagreed, Coel himself is likely a eponym created for the Kyle region of South Ayrshire in southern Scotland.

Gwawl is though to mean (GPC) 'light, brightness, radiance, splendour; bright'.  This would be a very pretty name for a woman, and an especially apt one for a queen.  Unfortunately, there is a another word in Welsh spelled exactly the same which leads us to a different conclusion regarding Ceredig's mother.  Here is a page from P.C. Bartram's A CLASSICAL WELSH DICTIONARY:

Gwawl is 'wall' in Welsh.  For Gwawl son of Clud (Clud being an eponym for the Clyde), it designates the Antonine Wall.  As Cunedda was wrongly said to have come from Manau Gododdin, a region which stretched to both sides of the same Roman defensive barrier, it seems pretty obvious to me that Gwawl was chosen as the name of Ceredig's mother for exactly this reason, i.e he and his father were said to have originated or were "born" from the eastern end of the Antonine Wall.


According to Dr. Simon Rodway of the University of Wales, Meleri is a hypocoristic form of Eleri.  'My', which means the same as our word my, is affixed to the front of the name as a term of endearment, viz. 'My Eleri.'  Eleri itself is a Welsh form of the Latin name Hilarius, from hilaris, 'cheerful, merry.'

Meleri is one of the many daughters of Brychan, the eponymous IRISH founder of the kingdom of Brycheiniog. which lay to the southeast of Ceredigion.


Of the progeny of Ceredig, we can do nothing better than cite Bartram once again:

To me the most interesting person here is the daughter Gwawr, mother of Gwynllyw.  In a previous post (, I discussed the Coedkernyw in Gwynllwg, a petty kingdom named for Gwynllyw, as well as the Celliwig located in the same vicinity.  Arthur in Welsh tradition is always strongly associated with a Kernyw and also with a Celliwig.  Gwynllwg was near Caerleon, the site of the City of the Legion where Arthur fought a battle according to the Historia Brittonum, and not far from the trajectus or Tribruit across the Severn where he fought another.

The son Carannog also plays into the story of Arthur, albeit more directly.  He is the saint of that name from the Vita:

Monday, February 27, 2017

Scholars no. 3, 4 and 5 weigh in on my identification of Iusay son of Ceredig with the Gewissae/Gewissei

From Professor Doctor P.C.H. Schrijver, Department of Languages, Literature and Communication, Celtic, Institute for Cultural Inquiry, University of Utrecht -

"Linguistically, the first thing that comes to mind regarding the initial alternation Usai /Iusay is the pair OW iud, MW udd 'lord' < *iüdd. So OW word-initial j- disappears in front of ü (= MW u). As to your assumption that Iusay may be connected to Gewissae if there is a rule that states that medial -i- is lost, I can tell you that there is indeed such a rule: *wi > ü in non-final syllables (as in *wikanti: > MW ugeint, see my Studies in British Celtic Historical Phonology 159-60). This generates the ü that we need in order to later get rid of the initial j. The only remaining problem is connecting OE Ge- /je/ with OW j-. Barring that, I would say, yes, what you suggest is possible. That still leaves the origin and etymology of the name in the dark (the reconstruction leads to something like *iwissai- or *g/jewissai-), but first things first."

From Professor Doctor Stefan Zimmer, Department of Celtic, University of Bonn -

"Spontaneaously, your idea of interpreting "Iusay" as a W form of OE Gewisse seems quite attractive. One must, of course, check meticulously the palaeographic details. As I am, alas, not a palaeograher myself, I cannot say more. I see no "LINGUISTIC" problems."

From Professor Patrick Sims-Williams, Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies, The University of Wales, Aberystwyth -

"I suppose Ius- is the older form and became Us- like Iustic in Culhwch which becomes Usic. Forms of Gewissae are noted by Williams/Bromwich Armes Prydein pp. xv-xvi. One Welsh form is Iwys, which rhymes as I-wys, and as the diphthong wy can become w, you could get I-ws- which could be written Ius- in Old Welsh and then add  -ae from Latin which almost gets you to Iusay."

Sunday, February 26, 2017

FUTURE BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT - "The Bear King: Arthur and the Irish in Wales and Southern England"

The Meigle "Caledonian Bear"

It may take me awhile to get to it (and to finish it!), but I plan a new book on "King" Arthur.  This one will bring together my various posts on a Hiberno-British Arthur whom I've identified with Ceredig son of Cunedda/Cerdic of Wessex.  

My old book, THE ARTHUR OF HISTORY, will remain available here and at Amazon (paper and ebook formats).  It might seem wise to remove this one from sale or from a free blog site, but as it still contains what I feel to be much valuable information, I will suffer its continued existence - even though the new book offers an entirely new and different historical Arthur candidate.   My decision regarding THE ARTHUR OF HISTORY is also partly a matter of intellectual honesty. Over the years I've never been afraid to change my mind when evidence or compelling argument forced me to do so. I do not plan to change that approach now.  If some readers consider me "wishy-washy" as a result, I can live with that.  There is nothing worse than stubbornly sticking with an invalid theory for no other reason than the desire to protect one's ego or scholarly reputation.  

Once again, the production of this next book will be anything but quick.  But if fortune favors me, I will eventually get it done. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Brief update on the hill-fort at Llandewi Aberarth

I've finally heard back from Lynne Moore, Enquiries and Library Officer with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales regarding the hill-fort at Llandewi Aberarth, which I've tentatively suggested might have been the main fortress of Ceredig son of Cunedda:

"As suggested by Dyfed Archaeological Trust, the hilltop enclosure (a possible Iron Age hillfort) was noted by ourselves (RCAHMW) during a flight to take aerial photographs of the area. Please note that the RAF APs, and the earlier RCAHMW APs, exist only in hard-copy form."

Saturday, February 18, 2017

More and more positive feedback coming concerning my identification of Iusay son of Ceredig with the Gewissae/Gewissei

In my blog article at, I've started adding supportive comments by top Celtic linguists to my case that Iusay son of Ceredig = the Gewissae/Gewissei.

Most of the scholars providing positive feedback are not privy to my various arguments seeking to prove that Cunedda and his sons were of Irish (or Hiberno-British) origin.  They have been queried only on the linguistic aspect of the problem involving an etymology for Iusay.

I will continue to add more material from the scholars as I receive it.