# Celtic Heathendom/Lecture III

Lecture III.

THE CULTURE HERO.

The great difficulty in studying the religion and mythology of the ancient Celts, is to bridge over the gulf of ages dividing the literature of the Celtic nations of the present day from the narrative of the writers of antiquity and the testimony of the stones. But that a few slender lines of connection can be thrown across, has been shown in the case of Nodens; and I now propose to make a similar attempt in that of a very different figure in the Celtic pantheon. It is but sparingly that the literature of the Goidel speaks of a god or goddess as such, and this applies still more emphatically to that of the Brython. That is, however, but an accident of the medium, so to say, through which our information about Celtic paganism has reached us: the gods have, in the course of the transmission of the legends about them through Christian channels, been reduced to the status of men playing parts, more or less heroic, in a mythic history. So it is only by careful comparison that one is enabled to find that such and such a hero of our stories was, in the pagan period, such and such a god. Let me call your attention to one of the kind, who, in the Mabinogion, bears the name

Gwydion Son of Dôn.

handmaid helped Gwydion to put on his arms, Arianrhod herself put arms on the younger man. When she had done, Gwydion asked if his friend had been completely equipped; she answered that he had, whereupon she was told that there would be no further need of the arms, since the hostile fleet and forces had disappeared. Her anger then was greater than the other time; and she laid the boy under another destiny, to the effect that he should have no wife of the race then inhabiting the earth. Gwydion went away somewhat disconcerted at this, and journeyed to his uncle, the master magician Mâth, complaining bitterly of Arianrhod. They resolved to fashion a woman out of flowers to be Llew's wife: they called her Blodeueᵭ,[4] a name which meant flowers in a collective sense. She was the fairest of the women of her time; nor was she less faithless than the most notorious of those utilized by poets to point a moral or adorn an epic. She fell in love with another prince, who advised her to ascertain from Llew in what way he could be killed. She found out at length that it could only be done if a bath were made for him beneath a thatched roof in the open air, and if he stood with one foot on the side of the bath and the other on the back of a he-goat: if he were wounded in that position, it would be his death. By simulating innocent curiosity and concern for his safety, she succeeded in persuading him to go to the bath and place himself in the perilous position, when her paramour, lying in wait, cast a spear at him, the head of which remained in his body, whereupon Llew uttered an unearthly cry and flew off in the form of an eagle. When Gwydion heard of it, his grief was inconsolable, and he wandered all over the country for many a weary day in search of his son. At length he came to a place near the Lakes of Nantỻe, where he saw in the branches of an oak a wretched eagle, whose flesh kept falling from him to the ground. He guessed that it was Llew, and sang an englyn to him, whereupon the eagle descended to a lower branch: he sang a second englyn, and a third, with the result that the bird alighted at last on his lap. He touched Llew with his wand, when he assumed his former shape, excepting that there was nothing of him left but skin and bones. When Llew recovered, Gwydion and he proceeded to avenge his wrongs: his murderer had to place himself in the position in which Llew was when he was killed; and so Goronwy Pevr, for that was the name of Blodeueᵭ's paramour, died by Llew's unerring spear, while she herself was subjected to a terrible punishment by Gwydion, who overtook her as she was making for the recesses of a dark lake. It is known, however, that there once existed another and older version of the story, which placed the scene in the skies, and connected the stars in the Milky Way with Gwydion's hurried pursuit of the erring wife.[5] The more common account, given in the Mabinogi, explains that the punishment which he inflicted on her was to strike her with his wand into an owl, whence it is, we are told, that all other birds hate the owl and permit her to come out only at night. Popular superstition, it may be added on the other hand, gives expression to the feeling of Blodeueᵭ in her changed condition: she takes delight in spiting the fair sex of which she was once the fairest, by beginning early in the evening to proclaim from the churchyard yew to the villagers of Glamorgan the tripping in their midst of some unwary maid.[6] With the fate of Blodeueᵭ, doomed by the touch of Gwydion's wand to sleep her days away as an owl, may be compared the Norse account of Sigrdrifa, sometimes identified with Brynhild, punished by Woden for bringing about the death of a hero favourably regarded by him: Woden, we are told, touched the helmed maid with his wand of sleep and she forthwith fell into a slumber, the pale spells of which she had no power of her own to cast off.[7]

The Culture Hero acquiring certain Animals for Man.

Now Gwydion's obtaining some of the swine of the Head of Hades is alluded to in the Book of Taliessin,[10] a manuscript of the thirteenth century, in a manner implying that it was considered a great achievement on his part; and the story must have formed part of a tradition pretending to trace some or all of the domestic animals to Hades, whence they were brought by fraud or force by the benefactor of the human race. But the story of the swine does not stand alone: in the great collection of Welsh manuscripts published by Owen Jones (Myvyr) and his friends, under the title of the Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales, on the first day of this century, a few verses occur, i. 167, which are attributed to Gwydion, and they are prefaced in words to the following effect: "These are the englyns sung on the occasion of the battle of Goᵭeu, which others call the battle of Achren. It was fought on account of a white roebuck and a puppy, which were of Hades—Amathaon son of Dôn had caught them. Therefore Amathaon son of Dôn fought with Arawn king of Hades, and there was in the engagement [on the side of Hades] a man who could not be vanquished unless his name could be discovered; while there was a woman on the other side, called Achren, whose name was to be found out before her side could be vanquished. Gwydion son of Dôn guessed the man's name and sang the two following englyns." They are the verses alluded to, and they embody Gwydion's guess as to the man's name, which he discovered to be Brân; and as Brân, which means 'a crow,' is one of the appellations of the terrene god, he may be supposed to have been a principal in the conflict, that is to say, he was probably the king of Hades himself. So the woman called Achren is either to be altogether discarded, or else to be ranged, as appears more probable, on Brân's side; for Gwydion's first verse, in spite of the obscurity of its language, seems to give the woman's name as Olgen, which, if correct, proves that she was among his adversaries, and that the author of the note in the Myvyrian misunderstood the text, a thing by no means to be wondered at.[11] The struggle is called in the Triads[12] one of the Three Frivolous Battles, as it is said to have been fought on account of a bitch, a roe and a lapwing, at the expense of 71,000 lives. Dogs and deer are animals useful to man in different degrees and different ways, but the introduction of the lapwing is remarkable. But to call the battle a frivolous one shows, as regarded from my point of view, that the original account of it had been forgotten; and the lapwing may have been thrown in by way of emphasizing the frivolity alluded to. Possibly one should take a different view, and regard the lapwing, called in Welsh cornicyll, from corn 'a horn,' as sacred to, or in some way associated with, the terrene god, whom the Gauls represented with the antlers of a stag; and the same may have been the cause, partly or wholly, of introducing here an animal of the deer kind. But that does not touch the statement in the Mabinogi of Mâth, that before Pryderi had swine sent him from Hades, none had ever been heard of here before.

It is worth while noticing that the pig is believed to have been one of the first animals to be domesticated, the first of all being probably the dog; and the story of the latter is to be found at length in Irish literature, with the important substitution of Albion for Hades and lapdog for dog: thus in Cormac's Glossary[13] we read that in the time of Cairbre Musc "no lapdog had come into the land of Erinn, and the Britons commanded that no lapdog should be given to the Gael on solicitation or by free will, for gratitude or friendship. Now at this time the law among the Britons was, Every criminal for his crime such as breaks the law. There was a beautiful lapdog in the possession of a friend of Cairbre Musc in Britain, and Cairbre got it from him [thus]. Once as Cairbre (went) to his house, he was made welcome to everything save the Lapdog. Cairbre Musc had a wonderful skene, around the haft whereof was adornment of silver and gold. It was a precious jewel. Cairbre put much grease about it and rubbed fat meat to its haft, and afterwards left it before the lapdog. The lapdog began and continued to gnaw the haft till morning, and hurt the knife, so that it was not beautiful. On the morrow Cairbre made great complaint of this, and was sorry for it, and demanded justice for it of his friend. 'That is fair, indeed: I will pay for the trespass,' said he. 'I will not take aught,' says Cairbre, 'save what is in the law of Britain, namely, every animal for his crime.' The lapdog was therefore given to Cairbre, and the name, i.e. Mug-éime [slave of a haft] clung to it, from mug 'a slave' [and éim 'a haft'], because it was given on account of the skene. The lapdog (being a bitch) was then with young. Ailill Flann the Little was then king over Munster, and Cormac, grandson of Conn, at Tara; and the three took to wrangling, and to demand and contend for the lapdog; and the way in which the matter was settled between the three of them was this, that the dog should abide for a certain time in the house of each. The dog afterwards littered, and each of them took a pup of her litter, and in this wise descends every lapdog in Ireland still." The Irish substitution, for such I take it to be, of lapdog for dog, and Britain for the Síd or Fairy-land, in this tale, go both to show that the original signification of the story had been forgotten; but other traces of the Goidel's indebtedness to the terrene powers are to be found in the story of Eehaid Airem, or Eochy the Ploughman, which cannot, however, be gone into at this point.

To return to the battle of Goᵭen; it is one frequently mentioned in Welsh poetry, especially in the Book of Taliessin. The poet pretends to have been present at all the great events which have taken place from the beginning of the world, and he says in Poem xiv.[14] that he was with Llew and Gwydion in the battle in question; but in another poem, usually known by the title of the Harryings of Hades,[15] the poet speaks of himself accompanying Arthur on board his ship Prydwen to a variety of places—more correctly speaking, perhaps, to one and the same mythical region spoken of under a variety of names. Here we have the exploits of Gwydion and Arthur overlapping: thus one of the expeditions was to Caer Wydyr, or Glass Fortress, and to a Caer Ochren, or Castle of Ochren, in which we have a name to be identified probably with the Achren already mentioned (p. 245): in fact, the allusion seems to be to the same battle in which Gwydion is said to have guessed Brân's name. The poem opens with the usual tribute to Christianity, which not unfrequently begins and ends the Welsh poems most replete with heathen lore, and then it plunges into what proves to be a reference to Gwydion and Arthur. The first stanza is to the following effect:

<poem>'The Lord, I adore him, princely sovereign, Whose sway is over earth's strand extended. Stout was the prison of Gweir in Caer Sidi, Through the messenger of Pwyll and Pryderi: Before him no one entered thereinto. The heavy dark chain held the faithful youth, And while Hell was spoiled, he grievously sang, And thenceforth till doom he remains a bard. Thrice Prydwen's freight went we to Caer Sidi, Thence but seven did we regain our country.'</poem>

The same couplet, slightly modified to suit the rhyme, closes the remaining six stanzas of the poem, with the exception of the last, which ends with a short prayer; and we know from another poem[16] in the same manuscript that Caer Sidi was in a mythical country beneath the waves of the sea. Pryderi and his father Pwyll Head of Hades have already been mentioned, though it is not evident who was meant by their apostle or messenger; but it may be guessed that it was the porter of Hades. His masters, however, could not be expected to have treated Gweir with tenderness in case he should prove to have been Gwydion; and here it may be asked why Gweir should be supposed to have been Gwydion. Now Gweir son of Gweiryoeᵭ occurs in one of the Triads, where he is called one of the Three Paramount Prisoners of the Isle of Britain, the other two being Llûᵭ[17] and Mabon (p. 28), both gods of the pagan Celts; and we seem to be warranted in assuming Gweir to have been of similar rank. But it is right to mention, as an instance of Arthur's intrusion, that, in spite of the triadic arrangement, his name is here added as that of a fourth and greater prisoner than the other three. The triad referred to is found in one of the collections in the Red Book of Hergest, a Jesus College manuscript of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries; but it occurs in a brief and presumably old form in an earlier group in the same manuscript, where,[18] instead of Gweir son of Gweiryoed, we read Geir son of Geiryoed,[19] and the probable identity of Geir with Gwydion will appear when the etymology of the latter name comes to be discussed later.

Poetry associated in its Origin with the Culture Hero.

One of the most remarkable things in the Taliessin poem just cited, is the statement that, in consequence of what he went through in his captivity, Geir should for ever continue a bard or poet; but traces of a somewhat similar notion meet one in the once prevalent belief, that if a man spent a night on the Merioneth mountain, where the giant Idrys was thought to have his cader or seat, one would descend in the morning a bard or a madman; while on Snowdon the place to pass the night with a view to the same result was the hollow underneath the huge block called the Black Stone of the Arᵭu, near the Black Tarn of the Arᵭu. It is sometimes assumed that the exposure chiefly constituted the ordeal, but that view is untenable in the case of the latter sheltered position; while the dismal tarn of the Arᵭu was formerly believed to be haunted by a race of fairies,[20] and the word Arᵭu,'[21] 'black,' found elsewhere applied to the terrene god, suggests that the hardship consisted in passing a night in the society of him and his fairies. These last, regarded from the popular point of view, may be said to delight chiefly in music and dancing, while instances are also mentioned of their expressing themselves in verse and of their joining to sing stanzas of poetry in a sort of chorus.[22] But in Irish literature, poetry is even more explicitly associated with them, as, for example, in a curious story published by O'Curry,[23] to the following effect: "Finn observed a favourite warrior of his company, named Gael O'Neamhain, coming towards him, and when he had come to Finn's presence, he asked him where he had come from. Cael answered that he had come from Brugh in the north (that is the fairy mansion of Brugh, on the Boyne). What was your business there? said Finn. To speak to my nurse, Muirn, the daughter of Derg, said Cael. About what? said Finn. Concerning Credé, the daughter of Cairbré, king of Kerry [Ciaraighe Luachra], said Cael. Do you know, said Finn, that she is the greatest deceiver [flirt, coquette] among all the women of Erinn; that there is scarcely a precious gem in all Erinn that she has not obtained as a token of love; and that she has not yet accepted the hand of any of her admirers? I know it, said Cael; but do you know the conditions on which she would accept a husband? I do, said Finn: whoever is so gifted in the art of poetry as to write a poem descriptive of her mansion and its rich furniture, will receive her hand. Good, said Cael; I have with the aid of my nurse composed such a poem; and if you will accompany me, I will now repair to her court and present it to her." They went there, and the sequel relates that Crede was so charmed with Cael's genius that she gave him her hand and left off her life of flirtation.

O'Curry also gives the substance of a story which may be regarded as the Irish parallel to Gweir's captivity, of which Welsh literature tells us so little: it even relates what happened to the captive; or, to be more accurate, the meaning of the original incident having been clean forgotten, no captive or prisoner figures in O'Curry's version, but only a poet who failed to meet with due hospitality. It will be remembered that Nuada of the Silver Hand had lost his hand and arm in a conflict with the mythic race of the Fir Bolg or the Bagmen, and that on account of that blemish he had to give up his throne, when it was taken possession of by Bres (pp. 120, 122). Now this Bres[24] belonged by race to the terrene or submarine folk called the Fomori, more or less closely associated with the Fir Bolg, though Irish legend usually tries to distinguish them. We are told that while Bres was in power, "a certain poet and satirist named Cairbré, the son of the poetess Etan, visited the king's court; but in place of being received with the accustomed respect, the poet was sent, it appears, to a small dark chamber, without fire, furniture, or bed, where he was served with three small cakes of dry bread only, on a very small and mean table. This treatment," O'Curry goes on to say, "was in gross violation of public law, and could not fail to excite the strongest feeling. The poet accordingly arose on the next morning, full of discontent and bitterness, and left the court not only without the usual professional compliments, but even pronouncing a bitter and withering satire on his host. This was the first satire ever, it is said, written in Erinn; and although such an insult to a poet, and the public expression of his indignation in consequence, would fall very far short of penetrating the quick feelings of the nobility or royalty of these times (so different are the customs of ancient and modern honour),[25] still it was sufficient in those early days to excite the sympathy of the whole body of the Tuatha Dé Danann, chiefs and people."[26] The result was that Bres had to escape and seek the aid of his kinsmen the Fomori: the Tuatha Dé Danaan came and fought a great battle with them, in which the Fomori were defeated and their great captains killed. So goes the story as related by O'Curry, and no one knew Irish literature better than he, but one can no longer follow him in treating this as history. Without the aid, however, of the meagre allusions in Welsh poetry and prose, we should have been groping about in vain for the meaning of such a myth. Gwydion, as Gweir, let us say, goes to Caer Sidi beneath the waves of the sea, and Cairbre visits the court of the Fomorian king Bres, of submarine origin. The Welsh hero becomes a bard—originally the story made him probably the first bard of Welsh legend—as the result of the treatment dealt out to him there; while Cairbre gives utterance to the first satire composed in Erinn, which comes to the same thing, as the first effort of the Celtic muse was presumably of the nature of a magic spell, which, according to Irish belief, was irresistible, and productive, among other effects, of immediate blotches on the face of him against whom it was pronounced: in this instance it was the means of hurriedly driving from his throne the Fomorian, whose treatment of Cairbre is to be ascribed to jealousy rather than contempt for the poet's art; for Bres is doubtless to be identified with the personage of that name said to be the son of Brigit goddess of poetry (p. 75), and of Elathan king of the Fomori.[27] In both versions the individual efforts of the man of poetry was followed by the coming of his friends, to harry Hades, according to the Welsh account, and to overthrow the Fomori, according to the Irish one. With Cairbre, poet and satirist, is doubtless to be identified a Cairbre known as the possessor of a wonderful crowd or Celtic banjo, in which there was a so-called chord of science, which, tuned by Cairbre's hand, left him in ignorance of no secret from the rising of the sun that day to to the setting thereof: his crowd told him everything.[28] One may further venture to identify with Cairbre, poet and musician, Cairbre, the father of the poetic lady Crede, to whom allusion has just been made. As Gwydion was king of a part of Wales, so this Cairbre was king of Kerry; and above all is he probably to be identified with Cairbre Muse, who figures in the story of the Dog and the Skene, in which we found a parallel to Gwydion cheating Pryderi son of Pwyll Head of Hades, in the matter of his swine. That this Cairbre corresponds to Gwydion and may even be equated with him, will appear still more probable when we come to compare their families with one another. Suffice it for the present to say, that many Minister houses traced their descent back to Cairbre Muse, and that many districts in the south-west of Ireland are called after his name or some one of his various surnames[29] to this day. Nor, lastly, is the Cairbre who was mentioned in the story of Lomna's Head (p. 98) to be overlooked; for his relations with the Luignian wife of Finn seem beyond doubt to form part of an older and more complete account of the culture hero.

To return to the Welsh poem on the harrying of Hades, among the things which the spoilers found there was the cauldron of the Head of Hades; and we are told of it that it had a ridge of pearls round its brim, that voices issued from it, that it was kept boiling by the breath of nine maidens, and that it was a discriminating vessel, which would not cook food for a coward, a peculiarity to be compared with the knack of refusing to cook during the narration of an untrue story, which was supposed to characterize the food in the fairy palace of Manannán mac Lir.[30] The invaders left the cauldron in the hands of one of their number, for it was in all probability the chief object of their incursion into the realm of Hades. All this would have been very puzzling had not Welsh literature preserved other references to the mysterious vessel. The Mabinogi of Branwen speaks[31] of a cauldron which a giant called Llassar had brought up out of a lake in Ireland and given to Brân son of Llyr: one of its properties was, that a dead warrior thrown into it would be alive and well by the next morning, but unable to speak. This was a use it was put to in the war which Brân waged later in Ireland, and on account of this property which it was supposed to have, it is occasionally referred to as Pair Dadeni,[32] or the Cauldron of Regeneration. Now the names both of Brân and Llassar connect the cauldron with Hades, and on Irish ground we meet with its like as the cauldron of the Dagda, which was one of the treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danaan: it was called the Undry,[33] as it was never empty, and it was so discreet that each one had out of it what was in proportion to his merit. No company ever rose from it unsatisfied, and the legend concerning it is that the Tuatha Dé Danaan had brought it from a mythical place called Murias,[34] in which we have a reference doubtless to some locality beneath the sea (in Irish muir), like Caer Sidi in Taliessin's poems: it was probably one of the objects of their seven years' sojourn in the country called Dobar and Iardobar,[35] or 'Water' and 'Behind Water.'

The Welsh poem already cited is not the only one in the Book of Taliessin which refers to the harrying of Hades by Gwydion: I would now refer to another, in which Gwydion is mentioned by that name. The poem is entitled Kat Godeu, or the Battle of Goᵭeu, which, interpreted, appears to mean the Battle of Trees; and accordingly various trees and shrubs are described as taking part in the fighting; and the whole idea challenges comparison with that of the Battle of the Birds in the popular tales of the West Highlands.[36] Taliessin pretends, after his wont, to have been present in the fray, and to have taken no mean part in it: he boasts to the following effect:[37]

"I am not a man not to sing:
I have sung since I was little;
I sang in the battle of Goᵭeu of the foliage,
In front of Britain's gwledig.
I pierced in their midst the chargers
Of the fleets of . . . .
I pierced the beast of the great gem,
And a formidable batallion
Under the root of its tongue.
Another batallion there is
In the back of its head.
There is with a hundred claws.
A crested snake of many colours—
A hundred souls by reason of sin
Are tormented in its flesh.
I have been in the fort of Nevenhyr
Where hurried grass and trees;
There men of arts made music,
There men of battle made haste.
A resurrection for the Brythons
On Christ from . . . .
To the end He might rescue them,
To them the Lord responded
Both in words and in the elements:
'Fashion kingly trees
And frustrate Peblic
Of the ignoble fight hand to hand.' "

The reference to a person called Peblic is obscure to me; but besides the expedient of converting a forest, with its various kinds of trees, shrubs aud grasses, into an army by enchantment, we have a reference, probably in the resurrection effected for the Brythons by Gwydion, to his having secured the Head of Hades' Cauldron of Regeneration, and to its use by Gwydion to resuscitate his fallen friends. Before the poet makes the trees begin to fight, with the alder foremost in the fray, he indulges in some score of lines which are too obscure for me to offer you a translation: this is the more unfortunate as he introduces a woman into his narrative, and her intervention, as I learn from other sources, was probably of the essence of the story. But a more transparent reference to her will be found in the Irish poem which is now to be introduced for comparison with the Welsh one. St. Patrick, trying to convert Loegaire mac Néill, king of Ireland, was told by the latter that he would not believe unless he called up Cúchulainn from the dead: this was done, but the unwilling convert cherished doubts as to his identity, and said that he must speak to him; so Cúchulainn was called up again, and he improved the opportunity to bid the king believe in God and St. Patrick; but, said that curious king, if it be Cúchulainn, let him discourse of his great deeds. I should premise that Cúchulainn was the most celebrated of the heroes known to Irish story, but that he does not correspond exactly to Gwydion, as he combines, roughly speaking, the rôle in Irish story which should answer to that both of Gwydion and of his son Llew in Welsh. But more of this elsewhere: for the present let it suffice to say that Cúchulainn complied with the king's wish, and the poem put into his mouth describes, among other things, his expedition to tho stronghold of Scáth, in the land of Scáth: the term Scáth means shadow or shade, and is of the same origin as the English word. His story runs thus:[38]

```    When I went to the land of Scath;
```

There was the fort of Scath with its lock of iron—

```    I laid hands upon it.
```

Seven walls there were around this city;

```    Hateful was its stronghold:
```

An iron palisade there was on each wall,

```    On which seven heads were biding;
```

Doors of iron there were on every side;

```    No serious defences against women.
```

I struck them with my foot,

```    So that they fell into fragments.
```

A pit there was in the fort,

```    That belonged to the king, as they say;
```

Ten serpents burst forth

```    Over its brim[39]—it was a deed!
```

Thereupon I ran at them,

```    Though the throng was huge,
```

And reduced them to bits

```    Between my two fists.
```

There was a house full of toads,

```    That were let loose upon us,
```

Sharp and beaked beasts

```    That clave to my snout.
```

Ugly dragon-like monsters

```    Were sent against us; ​Strong were their witcheries,
Though they . . . .
```

After this I ran at them,

```    When . . . .
```

I ground them in small pieces

```    Between my two palms.
```

There was a cauldron in that fort:

```    It was the calf of the three cows,
```

Thirty joints of meat in its gullet

```    Were not its charge.
```
*****

Much gold and silver was there in it,

```    Splendid was the find:
```

That cauldron was given [to us]

```    By the daughter of the king.
```

The three cows we took them away,

```    They swam the sea:
```

There was of gold a load for two men,

```    To each of them on her neck.
```

When we went on the ocean

```    That was vast by the north,
```

The crew of my coracle was drowned

```    By the cruel tempest.
```

After this I brought,

```    Though it was a sharp danger,
```

Nine men on each of my hands

```    And thirty on my head;
```

Eight on my two sides

```    Clung to my body.
```

It is thus I swam the sea

```    Until I was in haven."</poem>
```

This curious poem tells us why so few of those who invaded Hades returned: they were overwhelmed by a cruel squall on the vast sea in the north. The previous Welsh poem reduces the survivors to seven, but Cúchulainn makes them sixty-four, while the sundry attempts of Irish history to give what appeared a more rational form to the story has reduced them to exactly thirty—the crew, as they would say, of one boat that escaped. According to Keating,[40] who wrote his History of Ireland out of materials such as were accessible in that country in his time, certain of the Fomori called Morc and Conaing[41] held Ireland under a grievous tribute: they had built themselves a stronghold called Tor Conaing, 'Conaing's Tower,' in Torinis, or Tower Island, now better known as Tory Island, off the coast of Donegal; and that spot served them as a rendezvous for their predatory fleets. At length the children of Nemed, who were then the inhabitants of Ireland, mustered 30,000 armed men by sea, with as many by land, and succeeded in demolishing Conaing's Tower and slaying its owner; but Morc arriving with reinforcements, another battle ensued, in which the combatants, busied in the fray, allowed the sea to overwhelm them so completely that on the Fomorian side only Morc and a few followers escaped, while the surviving children of Nemed consisted of only thirty strong men, the crew of a single boat. One of the chief men of the thirty is mentioned as bearing the name Iobath son of Beothach, who should be the counterpart of Cúchulainn, or more likely of Gwydion; but nothing is known further about him, except that he is represented as being grandson of a faith or vates called Iarbhoinel.[42] The Four Masters undertook in their Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland to date the event they call the Demolition of Conann's Tower, and to fix on the year 3066 A.M. But the most curious account of this mythic event occurs in the stories associated with the name of Nennius. The whole paragraph in point is worth citing, as it enumerates briefly the legendary colonizations of Erinn, beginning with the customary Bartholomew, whose name in this connection has always elicited more questions than answers. After him comes Nemed and his race, and then the three sons of the Miles Hispaniae, whence the so-called Milesian Irish; and it is by this race, and not by the children of Nemed that Conaing's Tower was destroyed, according to Nennius. His words are to the following effect:

"Latest of all came the Scotti from the coasts of Spain to Erinn; but the first to come was Partholomaeus, with a thousand followers, both men and women, and they increased to four thousand souls; and a mortality came upon them in which they all perished in one week, so that not even a single one of them remained. The second to come to Erinn was Nimeth, son of a certain Agnomen, who is said to have been on sea for a year and a half, and to have at last made land in Erinn, when his ships had been wrecked: he remained there for many years, but taking again to the sea with his men, he returned to Spain. Afterwards came the three sons of a certain soldier from Spain, having with them thirty keels and their thirty consorts in each keel, and they abode there for the space of one year. Afterwards they beheld a glass tower in the middle of the sea, and they used to see men on the tower, to whom they sought to speak, but they never used to be answered; so with one accord they hastened to attack the tower, with all their keels and all their women, except one keel which suffered from shipwreck, and in which there were thirty men and as many women. Now the other vessels sailed to the attack on the tower, and whilst all were stepping on the shore around the tower, the sea overwhelmed them, so that they were drowned. Not one of them escaped; and it is from the family in the keel left behind on account of its having been wrecked, the whole of Erinn has been filled with people to this day."[43]

The more a tale of this kind is touched up by historians, the less it appears what is called 'a cock-and-bull story,' and there can be no doubt that, on the whole, the Cúchulainn verses come much nearer the original than the prose versions mentioned. Still that associated with the name of Nennius supplies two most important omissions in the former: it calls the stronghold a glass tower, which was doubtless the glass fort to which Taliessin extends Arthur's fame; and in the next place it states that the guardians of the glass tower would not answer the Milesians, which has also its counterpart in Taliessin's words, when he says:[44]

'Beyond the Glass Fort, Arthur's valour they had not seen;
Three score hundreds stood on the wall:
It was hard to converse with their watchman.'

So much for the Maori story; but the jealousy of the powers below is sometimes got over, as in the case of a mortal who has been of service to a fairy, and has as a recompence some of his treasure given to him; and there are, as we need scarcely say, some important myths, Welsh and Irish, which represent the heroes of them conferring a benefit on one of the powers of Hades, and coming away with goodwill from that country, and in possession of some of its treasure and wealth. But they must be passed by, as I have not yet done with the cauldron stories, especially those which give it a spiritual or intellectual aspect. Welsh literature has preserved some references in point, such as one in a Taliessin poem[46] to the effect that three muses had emerged from Giant Ogyrven's cauldron. But Ogyrven seems to be one of the names of the terrene god, so that Ogyrven's cauldron should be no other probably than that which we have found ascribed to the Head of Hades. Further, by another kind of treatment, the elements of poetry and knowledge came to be themselves called ogyrvens, which applied, among other things, to the letters of the alphabet, as will be seen from the following extract from a manuscript supposed to date from the end of the fifteenth century: "The three elements of a letter are ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\diagup \ \mid \ \diagdown }}$, since it is of the presence of one or other of the three a letter consists; they are three beams of light, and it is of them are formed the sixteen ogyrvens, that is, the sixteen letters. There belong also to another art seven [score] and seven ogyrvens, which are no other than the symbols of the rank of the seven score and seven words in the parentage of the Welsh language, and it is from them all other words are derived."[47] As to the ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\diagup \ \mid \ \diagdown }}$, they form the component parts of such letters as those of the Ogam, the Welsh bardic letters, and the Runic alphabets, which were made up of straight lines fitted for cutting on slips of wood; but more obscurity surrounds the seven score and seven ogyrvens alluded to; they were probably not very definitely fixed in point of number, and they are doubtless to be identified with the exactly seven score ogyrvens said to be in awen, 'poesy or muse.' This statement, in a context connecting the ogyrvens with Hades, occurs in another Taliessin poem,[48] which, while obscure throughout and relating in part probably to alchemy, bears the curious title of Angar Kyfyndawt, or Steam of Combination, and contains a reference to cauldrons made to boil without the aid of fire. Treated as a personality, Ogyrven appears as the father of poetry: thus Kynᵭelw, a poet of the twelfth century, calls himself 'a bard of the bards of Ogyrven;'[49] and Cuhelyn, another Welsh poet, begins two of his poems, as they appear in a manuscript of the twelfth century called the Black Book of Carmarthen, with a formula which makes Kerridwen, the goddess still supposed to be invoked by Welsh bards in the undertakings of their art, to be the offspring of Ogyrven.[50] But it is not easy precisely to see how the name of Ogyrven came to mean any element of poetry, art or science; it is remarkable, however, that another Taliessin poem[51] makes the terrene god, under the name Uthr Ben, or Wonderful Head, say of himself, not only that he was bard, harper, piper and crowder, but 'seven score professionals' all in one, which is doubtless another account of the seven score ogyrvens. The difficulty of this mystery was disposed of by the euhemerist of the Mabinogi of Branwen by simply making Brân, whose marvellous head was the subject of some remarks in the first lecture (pp. 78, 97), carry on his own shoulders the musicians[52] of his court, when he waded through the waters to Ireland. Ogyrven has Kerridwen associated with him, not only by Cuhelyn, but also by Kynᵭelw, in a poem already mentioned; she is, however, best known in connection with her Cauldron of Sciences, from which, together with its owner herself, the wisdom and knowledge of Taliessin were supposed to be derived.

Gwydion and other Names of the Culture Hero.

Even Taliessin, the most extravagant in his pretensions of all Celtic bards, acknowledged one who took precedence over him, and that was Gweir, whom we have found called also Geir, and whom Taliessin is made to describe as the first to go into Caer Sidi, where he underwent captivity which resulted in his being a bard for ever afterwards. The name Geir has been provisionally claimed as one of Gwydion's, and he is now to be considered under another and a third name. A line occurs in a Taliessin poem[53] where Gwydion is called Gwydion Seon tewdor, where Seon tewdor is probably to be taken as standing in grammatical apposition to Gwydion. To dispose of tewdor, suffice it to say that in the Welsh orthography of the present day it would be written tewddor, meaning literally thick-door, but used poetically here in the sense of stout defence or strong protection: that is to say, the poet regarded Seon as a strong protection or one that gave it, and the word is applied in another of these poems[54] to the gwledig Cuneᵭa. But our interest centres in the vocable Seon; it occurs also in another poem,[55] where mention is made of the planets in the following verses:

 'Seith seren yssyd. O seithnawn dofyd. Seon sywedyd. A wyr eu defnyd.' 'Seven stars are there Of the seven gifts of the Lord; Seon the philosopher, He knows their nature.'

Here Seon is seen in the character of a philosopher or man of science, who knows the nature or substance, literally the timbering or material, of the planets. The next reference to be mentioned is to a Taliessin poem called the Ale Song,[56] where we have the following couplet:

 'Ef kyrch kerdoryon. Se syberw Seon.' 'It they seek, the artists Of Se Seon the Stately.'

The bards have suffered enormously from thirst for ages unnumbered, and the pronoun here probably stands for the cwrw or ale they desired; but the passage is interesting as promiscuously describing poets and musicians of all descriptions as the artists of Se Seon, and as recording the simpler form of the name Seon: compare Nav Neivion, March Meirchion and the like, not forgetting an instance in the case of the very god in question, namely, that of Gwyd Gwydion,[57] to be mentioned presently.

There was a place in North Wales called Caer Seon or Seion, that is to say, Seon's Town or Fortress, and it was probably no other than that which the Romans called Segontium, the site of which is now occupied by the town of Carnarvon. This appears from a poem printed in the Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales, i. 476, and supposed to date from the thirteenth century or the earlier part of the succeeding one. It alludes to Maelgwn and his court coming from 'Tir Mab Dôn Dueᵭ,' or the side of the Son of Dôn's Land, whereby Mona was meant, to Caer Seion; and the story goes that Maelgwn, who took a delight in fomenting the natural rivalry existing between the poets and the musicians of his court, ordered them all to swim across, which they did, with the result of rendering the strings on which the latter depended for the effect of their art useless to them, to the great satisfaction of the poets, who could sing as well as ever when once they got on land. No other part of the Menai would suit the story so well as that near Carnarvon. Further, a dialogue[58] is given in the Black Book between Taliessin and the lord of the Dinas or stronghold, the remains of which give its name to a railway-station between Carnarvon and Dinas Dinỻe, or the Fortress of Llew and Gwydion. Taliessin is asked the whence and whither of his journey; to which he is made to reply, as it stands in this manuscript of the twelfth century, that he was coming from Caer Seon from fighting with Jews, and that he was going to Llew and Gwydion's Town. The reference to the Jews is probably the result of somebody's mistaking Caer Seon for Sion or Jerusalem: the poem in its original form had probably no reference to the Jews, and Caer Seon doubtless meant Segontium. Se, Seon or Seion, point back to stems Seg- and Segon-, and there is little room for doubt that the name Segontium[59] itself is formed from that of the god. Further, not only was there a people in the south of this island called Segontiaci, who were of those who sent ambassadors to Caesar;[60] but an inscription which has been taken to connect them with Silchester has been found there and discovered to have been a dedication Deo· Her[culi·] Saegon . . . . It is not certain what the dative of the god's name was in full; but probably Saegono, or Saegoni, possibly a participial Saegonti. The stone is no longer to be found; but the way in which it has been described by those who saw it, makes it difficult to read Segontiaco or Segontiacorum, as though the god derived his name from that of the people called Segontiaci. This leaves the conjecture that would connect the Segontiaci of Caesar with the town of Silchester much as it was before, since it is natural to suppose, that the god in question would occupy a place of honour in the pantheon of a people calling itself or its chief city after him. The weakness of the assumption lies in the probable fact, that more than one town, more than one people, took its name from the god; and the more popular and general his cult is found to have been, the more clearly that weakness is seen. But it is a question of no immediate interest here, as the fact not to be lost sight of is rather the identification of Saegon-, or Seon, with Hercules.

Now there was a remarkable Gaulish god, and a thoroughly Celtic one, whom we have distinct evidence for

identifying with Hercules, that is to say, so far as one may speak of identification at all in such a case. He was, you will remember, called Ogmios, and, according to Lucian's account of him, he was the personification of speech and all that conduced to make speech a powerful agency; but we found reasons for identifying him also with Hermes and Mercury, and moreover with the deo, qui vias et semitas commentus est. His counterpart in Irish was pointed out in that of Ogma (p. 17), the inventor of a kind of learned jargon and of a kind of writing, both of which were indifferently called ogam. On the other hand, the Welsh word corresponding etymologically to Ogmios and Ogma, is ovyᵭ, which has remained an appellative, meaning a leader or teacher (p. 17); and the Welsh and Irish accounts of the origin of writing are accordingly not the same. They may, however, be regarded as supplementing one another. Thus the term ogyrven for a letter of the alphabet connects writing with the terrene god, but without telling us through whose instrumentality the knowledge of the art of writing was first brought from him to man. The Irish legend, on the other hand, makes the divine ovyᵭ or Ogma the inventor of writing; but it does not let us into the secret of the origin of his knowledge, except indirectly by making him the son of Elatha king of the Fomori, or dwellers of the world beneath the sea; and to this placing of Gwydion over against Ogma as substantially the same person, the mythic pedigrees oppose no serious obstacle. For Gwydion is called son of Dôn, and her husband is inferred to have been Beli the Great, the god of death and darkness (pp. 90-1); so that here Beli fills the place ascribed in Irish to Elatha, and Dôn that ascribed to Brigit, mother of Bres and goddess of poetry (p. 74), all things being supposed to derive their origin from the powers of the nether world, the arts and sciences included. The story about Elatha introducing himself to her who was to be Bres's mother is, that he came out of the sea, whither he returned, having left her a ring which he had on his hand; and Bres their son, when driven from his throne by Nuada on his return to power with a silver hand (p. 120), was provided with the ring, and enabled by means of it to make his way to the fairy land inhabited by the Fomori, where, he found his father and his people holding a great assembly on Mag Mór, or the Great Plain, one of the names commonly associated with the geography of the nether world. Bres's business was to enlist the Fomori on his side against the Tuatha Dé Danann. This story[61] has been reduced to sober history by Prof. O'Curry and others; but I wish to point out before proceeding further, that as Ogyrven's name came in Welsh to mean a letter of the alphabet and other elements, so that of Elatha is found used as an appellative in the sense of science, art or artistic work, especially literary compositions.[62] Nor did this stand alone in Irish; for one finds that a certain kind of poetic composition was called etan, which is homophonous with the name of the poetess Etan, to be identified, probably, with Brigit, goddess of poetry: Cairbre, the first satirist in Erinn, is distinguished as son of Etan. The name Elatha or Elathan, for both forms occur, may possibly have referred to eloquence and wisdom; and in that case the personage so called may be compared with the king of Hades under his Welsh name of Arawn, which likewise referred to speech and wisdom. The Welsh Arawn is styled one of the Three counselling Knights of Arthur's Court,[63] and is possibly to be recognized under the slightly different name Alawn, given to one of the three originators of bardism.[64]

Gwydion's name must next be considered: it can only be derived from a root of the form vit, vot or vet; and of these the only one found to satisfy all the conditions is vet, which in old Welsh must become [g]wet, liable to be reduced in the later stages of the language to [g]wed,[65] as in gwedyd, 'to say.' A modification of the same stem gives us the gwyd in Gwydion, and a third form is

exemplified by gwawd, a Welsh term for poetry, but now restricted to satire and sarcasm. Among the cognate words may be mentioned the Irish fáith, 'a prophet or poet,' Latin vâtes, Old Norse óᵭr, 'mind, soul, song;' also Óᵭenn or Óᵭinn, English Woden, and wood, 'mad,' German wuth, 'rage.'

The appearance in close connection of words relating to poetry and prophecy on the one hand, and to madness and possession on the other, is just what would be expected by the student of anthropology familiar with

the habits of nations who are wont to regard idiots and maniacs as inspired persons, a view which can also be studied now and then in our own country. In the case of the Celts we see this idea in the superstition as to the hardship which a man should undergo on Cader Idris or Snowdon in order to be inspired as a bard; but he might become a madman, that is to say, the inspiration might prove different from that of the bard. Perhaps the distinction is not old enough to be considered; at any rate, we have an instance of the idiot of the family playing the part of a prophet in the Irish story concerning the formation of Lough Neagh.[66] Moreover, the idea of inspired raving is familiar to the reader of the classics: take, for example, the Sibyl whom Vergil in the Æneid calls a sanctissima vates, and of whom he gives an unlovely picture, vi. 46—51:

'Cui talia fanti
Anto fores subito non vultus, non color unus,
Non comtae mansere comae; sed pectus anhelum,
Et rabie fera corda tument; majorque videri,
Nec mortale sonans; afllata est numine quando
Jam propiore dei.'

And a little later, vi. 77—80:

'At Phoebi nondum patiens, immanis in antro
Bacchatur vates, magnum si pectore possit
Excussisse deum; tanto magis ille fatigat
Os rabidum, fera corda domans, fingitque premendo.'

To return to the words which I have begun to discuss, the idea underlying them all was that of saying or uttering, and secondarily perhaps of singing, chanting or muttering, whether as a poet or as a raving madman. So Gwyd Gwydion might be rendered Say of Saying, or Say son of Saying, with which his name, Geir son of Geiryoeᵭ, (p. 250) is palpably identical, as it means Word son of Words; but if a name relating to his power of utterance and eloquence, and amounting to calling him vates or prophet, became Gwydion, it could surprise nobody if the same kind of name were found given to one of them who were reckoned pre-eminent in this respect, namely, the mythic beings of the nether world. Such a name we seem to have, in fact, in that of the king of the Fomori, called Elathan, which, according to the surmises already made, conveyed probably some such an idea as that of speaking, vaticinating or soothsaying, and might be compared to a certain extent with that of the much-saying connoted by the Greek name Πολύφημος. In fact, the Cyclops, so-called, may be regarded as a being here in point, since Gwydion and Woden bear a striking resemblance to Odysseus; and though the view here suggested of the character of Polyphemus had probably ceased to be familiar to the Greek mind before the Odyssey was composed, still that most charming of epics says enough about him and his country to leave one in no doubt that in Polyphemus we have, at least in point of origin, one of the potentates of the nether world. All about his wisdom and knowledge had been forgotten, and the only reminiscence of that aspect of his character is to be found in the retention of the name Polyphemus or the Much-saying. It is hardly necessary to remark that to a people in a low stage of culture such a name would mean very much more than it would to us; they would not be inclined quite so much to contrast words with things as to regard them as being themselves things; and the antithesis, so trite and sterile in such authors of antiquity as Thucydides, between λόγος and ἒργον, word and deed, is one of the growths of an age beginning to devote itself to philosophy and conceited moralizings over the hollowness of human nature. Formulæ of words have always been the backbone of magic as well as the means, in most religious systems, of moving the gods to accede to the worshipper's prayer: in ancient Erinn the words of the satirist were believed to raise hideous blotches on the face of him who happened to be the object of them, and the Gaulish euhemerist who undertook to enlighten Lucian was content to believe Ogmios to have performed the labours of Heracles, without the grosser club and bow, by the irresistible force of his charms of speech.

The two names Gwydion and Geir point, as we have seen, distinctly to the character of their bearer as a personification of speech or eloquence, while it would appear that his other name of Se or Seon (for Segon-) must have referred directly and originally to him in respect of his strength or power, and recalled labours like those of Heracles. For these forms are doubtless of the same origin as the name of the war-god Segomo; but in the face of the German word sieg, 'victory,' and its cognates, we should perhaps treat them as meaning more exactly a god of victory, in a word the Mercurius Victor of an inscription in Gaul. The remarkable thing, however, is that under the name of Se or Seon here in question, Gwydion is only referred to as a philosopher or astronomer and patron of artists and professional men, which looks as though force and victory, in his case, were chiefly to be explained somewhat in the way the native guide of Lucian represented to him, that the labours of Heracles were performed by the charm of speech rather than by the force of arms. But we seem to be again led back to the latter by the name Gweir which we found alternating with Geir; for it probably meant manly: at any rate, that is the natural inference from the fact that it is a derivative from an earlier form of gwr, the Welsh equivalent in sense and etymology of the old Irish fer and the Latin vir. Another of his names of this origin is probably to be detected in Gwron, which means a great man or hero, and is given as the name of the third of the three originators of bardism.[67]

Gwydion compared with Woden and Indra.

If it were asked why the foregoing names should be assumed to have referred to one and the same person or character, it might be answered that there is no a priori objection to construing them in the contrary sense, since, on the one hand, a mythical personage may under favourable circumstances attract tales originally said of another, while, on the other, the acquisition by him of several names would tend to split him up into as many individuals. Some reasons have already been given for looking at the Welsh names referred to from the latter point of view rather than from the former; but there is a more comprehensive one, and that is the argument to be derived from a comparison with the mythology of other branches of the Aryan family, that Gwydion, or whatever name you choose to give him, was a complete and complex character familiar to our remote ancestors, before they could as yet be called Celts, or before those of the English could be called Teutons, that is to say, at a time when the Aryans had not passed out of their pro-ethnic period. For our immediate purposes the question reduces itself to that of the identification of Gwydion with the Woden of Teutonic peoples. The name Woden is referred[68] to the same origin as the Latin word vates by Fick, Vigfusson and others; further, it is impossible to sever the Irish fáith, 'a prophet or poet,' from vates on the one hand, and from the Welsh gwawd, 'poetry, poem, satire,' on the other; and with all three the name of the Welsh Gwydion is probably closely connected. It remains, then, to be seen how far the legends about Gwydion and Woden coincide on particular points, such as the following:[69]

i. Their family relations.

1. Gwydion's mother was Dôn, of whom very little is known, and his father is inferred to have been Beli, of whom nearly as little can be said to be known.

Woden was the son of Bestla and Bor, still less known as to their origin.

2. Gwydion had a mistress called Arianrhod, whose name meant Silver-wheel: she dwelt in her castle in the sea. She remained a maiden and wished to pass for a virgin, whence her indignation at finding her son living.

Woden (as Gylfe) had a leman called Gefjon, a word which occurs as a name for the sea, and she had associated with her a 'diúp röᵭul,'[70] to be interpreted altus rotulus or deep-sinking wheel: she led a maiden's life like Arianrhod, and she changed into oxen the sons she bore Woden.

3. Gwydion had a son Llew, whose death was no less peculiar than that of Woden's son Balder; and the grief of Gwydion was very great, like Woden's: both fathers wandered far and wide until they discovered each his son, who was afterwards to be recalled to this life.

ij. Their character as warriors.

Gwydion was a successful general; he was Heracles, and he was Seon or Segon-, 'the victorious:' he fought a single combat with fatal effect to his adversary, who was, however, said to have been overcome by Gwydion's magic.

Woden was called sire or lord of hosts, lord of spears, father of victory or battle, and he was the wielder of the magic spear Gungnir.

iij. Their creative power.

Gwydion, with the aid of his uncle Mâth, made a beautiful woman out of flowers.

Woden and his fellow-gods made, among other creations, a man and a woman out of trees, and called them Ash and Embla respectively.

iv. Their wisdom.

1. Gwydion was the cleverest person ever heard of by Taliessin, who reckoned himself no poor judge in such a matter; and, as described by Lucian under the name of Ogmios, he was the god of eloquence and the wisdom thereto appertaining.

Woden is hymned in early Norse poems as the sage of the powers and the charmer of the gods.

2. Gwydion's Gaulish name Ogmios referred possibly to his association with ways and paths: he was probably the divinity attested by a monument in this country as the god qui vias et semitas commentus est, while in Gaul he as the Celtic Mercury was held to have been, according to Caesar, viarum atque itinerum dux.

Woden is called Way-wont or Traveller, and the like names.

3. Gwydion was a consummate magician, and he is found among those who consult the sorcerers of Arianrhod.[71]

Woden was taunted with acquiring his wisdom by magic, with sitting under waterfalls and conversing with the dead.

4. Gwydion (as Gweir) acquired his gifts of poetry and music from the nether world: he visited the submarine city of Caer Sidi, where he underwent vile treatment at the hands of the Head of Hades; but thenceforth he was for ever a bard, and poets and musicians are the artists of Gwydion under the name Seon.

Woden submitted himself to a course of prolonged privation and pain, of long fastings and strange penances, in order to get his wisdom: according to another account, he pledged one of his eyes to Sokk-mimi, the Giant of the Abyss, for a draught of the deep well of wisdom: poetry is 'the billows of Woden's breast' and 'the stream of the lip-beard of Woden.'

5. Gwydion eats and drinks with Arianrhod, and they converse of stories and histories in her castle, now ridden over by the billows of the Irish Sea.

Woden and Sága the seeress drink joyously out of golden cups at her abode of Sunk-bench, over which the cold waves ever murmur.[72]

6. Gwydion's favourite disguise was to take the form of a bard, for which he was fitted as being the best historian or story-teller in the world.

Woden figures in story as a cowled, one-eyed, long-bearded old sage, who tells king Olaf tales of days long gone by.

v. Their Promethean rôle.

1. Gwydion, with his brother Amaethon the farmer, procures from the powers terrene the animals useful to man, such as the dog, the pig, and others.

No corresponding myth about Woden seems to be extant.

2. Gwydion and his friends harry Hades in order to secure its king's cauldron, which was one of the mystic vessels out of which voices issued and the inspiration of wisdom and poetry.

One of Woden's most striking adventures was his journey in quest of the holy draught from giant Suptung's daughter: the draught was otherwise called the Dwarfs' Cup, the Dwarfs' Ship, and other curious names symbolic of thought, wisdom, and especially the inspiration of poetry.

3. Gwydion obtained the boons which he conferred on man mostly by force or by craft from the powers terrene, with whom he dealt in an utterly unscrupulous fashion.

Woden procured the precious draught which was to be a gift and joy for men by wiliness, Ulysses-like patience, and even perjury, as when he became the guileful lover of Gundfled, daughter of Suptung the giant, who owned the holy drink, in order to steal the latter, which he did successfully.[73]

From these and similar items of agreement between their stories, together with the close kinship of their names, one seems to be fully warranted in regarding Gwydion and Woden respectively as Celtic and Teutonic representatives of one and the same hero, belonging to a time anterior to the separation of the Celts and the Teutons. It has already been hinted how Gwydion as Ogmios was both Heracles and Hermes when translated into a classical form; while Vigfusson and Powell have suggested comparisons between Woden and both Ulysses and Prometheus,[74] and they are undoubtedly well warranted in so doing. Prometheus, on the one hand, gets fire for the comfort of man; while, on the other, Gwydion procures certain breeds of animals for his use, as well as the gift of poetry and wisdom for the benefit of his mind; and Woden undergoes indescribable danger and hardship in order to secure a draught of the precious drink. Nor does the parallel end there, or with the fact that in all three cases the benefactor of man had to undergo dire punishment for what he had done. It extends to details; for Prometheus, like Woden and Gwydion, created human beings, and it was only with the friendly aid of Athene that he got access to heaven to steal the fire he conferred on them. And in spite of the highly respectable character usually ascribed to the grey-eyed goddess, the scandal found its way into Greek literature, that Prometheus' relations with her were somewhat like those of Woden with Gundfled, and that it was for his amours with the divine spinster that he was so terribly punished by her father Zeus.[75] Here, however, the similarity is somewhat more concentrated than between Gwydion, Woden and Ulysses, where it is found to extend to the general character of the chief figures in the stories and to some of the incidents associated with them, as, for example, the tale of Ulysses visiting the island of Polyphemus and his journey to the nether world. But in all probability the parallel appeared still more striking to the pagans of Italy and Greece in the first and second centuries; this, at any rate, is the inference I should draw from a passage in the third chapter of the Germania of Tacitus, in which he states that the Germans had traditions about a Hercules of their own, whom they hymned above all other mighty men of valour in the songs which they used to sing when about to engage in battle, and that it was the notion of some, that Ulysses, borne, in the course of the wanderings ascribed to him in story, to the sea that washed the shores of Germany, visited that country. They went on to specify that Asciburgium,[76] a town on the banks of the Rhine, which existed in the historian's time, had been established and named by Ulysses.

The evidence offered to Tacitus for these beliefs was, that an altar had formerly been found at Asciburgium consecrated to Ulysses, to whose name was added that of his father Laertes; and that monuments and tombs were still extant in Greek characters on the confines of Germany and of Raetia. Now Asciburgium should mean Ash-burgh or Ash-town; and the natural conclusion from the name is that the native legend represented Woden, here called Ulysses, placing the man Ash whom he created at Ash-burgh, and giving it that name. When Romans, acquainted with the religion and mythology of their own country and those of Greece, began to inquire about the gods of the Germans, it may be supposed that they found much the same difficulty with regard to Woden as they did in the case of Ogmios. The accounts they heard of him made some equate him with Hercules, while they reminded others of Ulysses beyond all question. In other words, the Hercules and Ulysses of the Germania represented one and the same Teutonic god or hero, who was no other than Woden. According to this interpretation of the historian's words, the ancient Germans had poems about him which constituted at once the story of the labours of the Teutonic Hercules and a rude sort of Odyssey: what a vista of lost literature this discloses to the gaze of the student of the early history of a great race! With regard to the altar bearing the names of Ulysses and his father Laertes, which gives the story the air of the exactness that proves too much, it is to be observed that the words of Tacitus do not compel us to suppose that his informant mentioned the name Laertes or had ever heard it: this may be of the writer's own supplying. But even granting that Tacitus's informant asserted that he had with his own eyes read the names of both Ulysses and Laertes on an altar in the Rhine-land, such a statement would not in the least surprise any one who is familiar with the startling results obtained by untrained or careless readers from ancient but intelligible inscriptions of the most commonplace kind; and it would still be evidence to the occurrence there of altars dedicated to a god who resembled Ulysses. It is considerably more difficult to understand the mention of Greek inscriptions on the confines of Germany and Raetia, as it can hardly be supposed to refer to an occasional tombstone raised over a Greek serving in the legions of Rome; while epigraphy has nothing more nearly in point to show than the inscriptions in southern Gaul composed in the Gaulish language but written in Greek letters. So it would seem as though Tacitus or his informant had to a certain extent confounded Gaulish and Greek. With regard to Woden and his Celtic counterpart, it would probably have been somewhat hard to draw a sharp line between them, as they may have been worshipped under practically identical names in the districts where Germany and Gaul were conterminous: thus the Gaulish name prevailing there may have been the one corresponding to Welsh Se or Seon, the Silchester Saegon-, to which the Teutonic languages would answer with a name beginning with Seg-, as in those of Arminius' family, such as Segimundus, Segestis and the like, his own name being possibly an early form of that which is now written in German Siegfried. In such a case the Segi- nomenclature of the ruling Cherusci may, perhaps, have had reference not so much to sieg or victory in the abstract, as to a god bearing a name derived from his attributes as a victor.[77]

It is needless to say that Heracles, Odysseus and Prometheus, by no means exhaust the list of Greek equivalents, so to say, to Gwydion-Woden; we have another in Orpheus, with his marvellous music—his visit to Hades and his all but successful attempt to recover his Eurydice are well known. Still more striking is the likeness between Jason and Woden, as any one may perceive who will take the trouble to study together the story of Jason with Medea, and that of Woden with Gundfled; also the way he disposed of the iron warriors that sprang from the ground in a formidable crop, as compared with the expedient adopted by Woden to get rid of the nine hay-mowing slaves of the giant Suptung, when he was plotting to get a draught of the precious mead of which the latter was the owner. Jason, at the bidding of Medea, threw a stone among the armed sons of the dragon's teeth, and they fought for it—nobody tells us why—until they all fell by one another's hands; while in the case of Woden the stone was a marvellous hone, with which he had sharpened the scythes of Suptung's men with such satisfactory results that each of them was anxious to possess such a treasure, and Woden, consenting to part with it, threw it up into the air, whereupon a scramble followed in which each of the mowers swung his scythe about his fellow's neck.[78] The Jason myth and those which mythologists are wont to connect with it bring us face to face with a most fascinating and difficult question of origin;[79] but we may pass it by for the present and proceed to inquire whether the religion and mythology of any other Aryan people afford any kind of parallel to Gwydion and Woden. Without much trouble we come across what we want in Sanskrit literature. The god to whom I wish to direct your special attention is Indra: it is needless here to trouble you with extracts from the Rig-Veda, speaking of him as a supreme divinity of the Indian pantheon; it is nevertheless noteworthy that Indra was not supposed to be one of the uncreated gods, but one who had been born, one who had obtained his position by sacrifice and prayer. Vedic scholars are wont to take for granted that Indra was, like most of the ancient gods of the Vedas, a personification of something in nature; they are, however, obliged to admit that in his case the personification is more thorough, and that, while the other anthropomorphic divinities were ever and anon liable to be confounded with the elements of which they were personifications, Indra was subject to nothing analogous, his personality being, as they would say, far more fixed, far more profoundly modified and transformed by the anthropomorphism to which they assume it to have been subjected: in other words, Indra was far more human than the elemental gods, and, in fact, so much so that no one has been able to say with any great probability what he was originally a personification of. In a word, the evidence, such as I have been able to find adduced, leaves the personification resting on no solid foundation, it being, to say the least of it, just as probable that, in point of origin and history, Indra should be regarded as a deified man.

The following things concerning him are worth noticing by way of comparison with Gwydion and Woden:

1. As the Norsemen of the Wicking period fixed their gaze on the warlike side of Woden's character, so, according to one of the most recent expounders of Vedic religion, Indra was above all things the warrior-god of the Aryans of India.[80] His spoils are for men, and it is on their behalf that he fights.[81] He is metaphorically a wall of defence, and he is a castle,[82] just as Gwydion was a thick door of protection.

2. With regard to wisdom and poetry he is the most sagacious of the wise[83] and the most skilled in song;[84] he is called an old friend of the poets,[85] and he is not unfrequently associated with an ancient race of singers known by the name of Angiras;[86] he has assumed the inspiration of prophets,[87] and he can take all forms through his magic power;[88] lastly, he gives his friends faithful guidance,[89] like Ogmios or Mercury.

3. Daylight and rain are among the chief boons conferred on man by Indra; so he is described as recovering from the dark powers the dawns and the rains,[90] which in Sanskrit phraseology are called the cows:[91] in other terms, he is said to split open the sides of the mountain in order to bring forth the cows from their stone prison, to overthrow the mountain or to dissolve it for the same purpose.[92] It is right, however, to call attention to the fact that India is not said to rain in the sense in which Parjanya, or Zeus and Jupiter, were said to rain;[93] and the etymology which was supposed to prove his name to have made him a pluvial divinity has been superseded by a better one which has nothing to do with rain.[94] But to return to Indra's gifts, it is not to be supposed that the cows he acquired for his worshippers were always of the nature here suggested; for he is celebrated in some of the hymns as the giver of cows, horses and women.[95] One of the chief differences between Indra and Gwydion-Woden is that Indra's other boons have to be constantly conquered afresh from the powers of darkness, who as often carry them away. In the case of light, for example, the conflict repeats itself every day, as it is Indra who brings the dawn back and makes the sun rise.[96] This necessary intervention of Indra to make the sun rise recalls the habit, which Europeans ascribe to the Pueblo Indians, of sending their sun-priest to salute the morning-star and the dawn, and to get the sun up, an event not expected to happen in case he be not duly invoked.[97] And it is a well-known fact that the Aztecs thought that the rising of the sun at the end of the cycle which they called the Sheaf of Years was an open question; so they proceeded by means of human sacrifice to persuade him to do so as before.[98] Indra's principal weapon in all his conflicts with the dark powers is his thunderbolt,[99] but he is also very materially aided by his worshippers' prayers,[100] and in some of his most difficult undertakings he has associated with him Brahmaṇaspati, the lord of prayer,[101] and likewise the Angiras.[102] He breaks open the enemies' gates by the spell of song;[103] and the importance of the worshipper's prayers to the Hindu god in his conflicts with the dark powers is the Hindu equivalent to the λόγος, eloquence and wisdom, which enable the Gaulish Ogmios to accomplish the labours of Heracles.

4. Another of the things which Indra acquires by conquest from the dark powers is the soma,[104] the drink of the gods, which in Sanskrit literature holds a place similar to nectar and ambrosia in Greek mythology. It is a sort of water of life, which, among many other wonderful qualities belonging to it, makes the sick well and gives the blind his sight; it prolongs life[105] and is a means of rejuvenescence generally, which calls to mind the

Welsh Cauldron of Regeneration. The rishis or the sages of Sanskrit tradition carry it in their hearts,[106] while India makes rishis, wise men or poets, of those who have drunk of it; and it is said to untie the poet's tongue.[107] The Hindu divinities in the highest heaven quaff soma with Yama, the god of the dead, under a tree with large leaves.[108] The soma is theirs, and they made it for themselves,[109] but it was brought to this world by an eagle,[110] which reminds one of Woden, after (banking the giant Suptung's mead, flying away as an eagle, whence poetry was called by the Norsemen the billows of Woden's breast and other names of the like nature; on the other hand, the soma from the sacrifices is said to be carried aloft to Indra by an eagle.[111] More usually the one of the dark powers, who conceals the soma coveted by Indra is Tvashṭar, a sort of Dis and Vulcan in one. Indra overpowers him in his own house and drinks his soma,[112] though Tvashṭar was sometimes reckoned Indra's own father:[113] this has a kind of parallel in Gwydion's conduct towards his uncle Mâth and his virgin footholder, in that the latter is outraged by one of Gwydion's brothers with Gwydion's active intervention.[114] Another account makes Indra's mother give him the soma to drink,[115] wherein one may perhaps see a faint correspondence between the story of Woden and Gundfled at the mead-giant's house. But a far closer parallel is to be detected in a story[116] in the Ramayana, relating how Indra assumed the garb of his tutor and seduced the latter's wife, for which he cursed Indra to undergo, not the agonies of Prometheus, but a nameless punishment to be compared rather with that inflicted on Gwydion by Mâth. It is right to say that the poet of the Ramayana simply makes Indra revoltingly lewd, and knows of no palliation for his crime such as that suggested by the motive of Woden in his conduct towards Gundfled; but, apart from this story, one may be said to find in all three cases of Gwydion, Woden and Indra, the same remarkable unscrupulousness with regard to the other powers, who are treated as the avaricious and jealous owners of boons which they wish to keep to themselves. In Norse poetry the stealing of the precious mead is spiritualized into a story of the origin of poetry and wisdom, and the Welsh tradition makes the cauldron of the Head of Hades a vessel whence the muses and their inspiration ascend; while Vedic literature clings rather to the more original idea of an intoxicating drink, in that it loves to dwell on Indra's excessive fondness of soma, and on its power to stimulate and strengthen him to fight the powers of darkness. He is accordingly entreated with prayerful vehemence to make himself tipsy on soma,[117] and, with the taste characteristic of the hymning sages of the Rig-Veda, he is even termed a cask of soma.[118]

5. Indra is the giver of women,[119] and he provides an aged friend of his with a young wife.[120] Moreover, he rejuvenates old maids,[121] and rescues from death the child of the maiden who had from shame done away with it, and which the ants were gnawing,[122] a curious parallel to Gwydion's providing his son Llew with a wife, and especially to his saving his life at his birth and rearing him to the intense disgust of his maiden mother, Arianrhod.

6. Indra is sometimes said to be the father of both the Sun and the Dawn,[123] while the Sun is also treated as the husband and lover of the Dawn.[124] But Indra is more than once described making war on the Dawn, who is then called a' wicked woman; he chases her, and with his thunderbolt smashes her chariot, which remains wrecked near one of the rivers of Heaven, and she herself rushes headlong from the height of that realm.[125] The meaning of all this is not considered very clear, but a reference to the slowness of the Dawn[126] is supposed to supply the key to it: in other words, the Dawn was dallying too long with one of the powers of night, an interpretation which is favoured by the fact that the verses preceding one of the passages in question mention Indra taking the Sun from them in order that he might be seen of men.[127] If this view be approximately correct, we have in it a remarkable parallel to the story of Blodeueᵭ: Llew the sun-god was Gwydion's son, and Gwydion had created Blodeueᵭ:, a personification of the Dawn and the Gloaming, to be his son's wife; but one day when Llew was away, his wife was visited in the evening by a stranger, who made love to her and with whom she compassed her husband's death. This was followed, as you will remember, by Gwydion bringing Llew back to this life to avenge his sufferings. The wicked woman fled in terror before Gwydion, until her maidens fell into a lake and she herself was converted by the touch of Gwydion's wand into an owl; but according to another story,[128] the one here in point, it was across the heavens that Gwydion chased her, when he left the landmarks of the Milky Way to indicate the course of his march when he was engaged in the pursuit.

Such are some of the points of similarity between Indra and Gwydion-Woden; and some of the differences between their stories have also been indicated: the recurrence of Indra's help to man is, as already suggested, not emphasized in the case of his European counterpart; and the prayers of his worshippers stand in his case in the place of the λόγος of Ogmios. It is probable, however, that he owes certain of his attributes to his having assumed some of those of an ancient storm-god Trita,[129] or perhaps of Dyaus; and among them may be reckoned the thunderbolt. Above all, one has to bear in mind the distortion which the Hindu side of the picture has undergone in consequence of the removal of the abode of the dead from the nether world to the most distant heaven. But when it is considered what a far cry it is from the shores of the Baltic to the land of the Five Rivers, how long it must have taken our kindred to reach it, and how largely their blood had by that time been mixed with that of other races, it is a matter of surprise that Sanskrit literature yields so many points of contact between Indra and Gwydion-Woden. Some of them are brought into prominence in the following verses[130] from the Rig-Veda, with which these remarks may be closed (i. 53. 2, 5, 6):

 'Thou art the giver of horses, Indra, thou art the giver of cows, the giver of corn, the strong lord of wealth: the old guide of man, disappointing no desires, a friend to friends. . . .' 'Du, Indra, schenkest Rosse, schenkest Rinder auch, du Bchenkest Korn und bist des Gutes starker Heir, Beschenkst die Männer, schmälerst ihre Wünsche nie, ein Freund den Freunden. . . .' 'Let us rejoice, Indra, in treasure and food, in wealth of manifold delight and splendour. Let us rejoice in the blessing of the gods, which gives us the strength of offspring, gives us cows first and horses.' 'Lass Reichthum, Indra, lass erlangen Labung uns, sehr glanzende Genusse, himmelstrebende, Und Huld der Götter, die den Männern Kraft verleiht und reich zuerst an Rindern und an Rossen ist.' 'These draughts inspired thee, O lord of the brave! these were vigour, these libations, in battles, when for the sake of the poet, the sacrificer, thou struckest down irresistibly ten thousands of enemies.' 'Dich haben diese Tränke, diese Kräftiger, die Soma's dich berauscht, o Fürst, im Vritrakampf, Als du dem Sänger, der die Streu bereitete, zehntausend Feinde schlugest ohne Widerstand.'

The inference to be drawn from the foregoing comparisons is, that the Aryan nations before their separation cherished a belief in a hero or god to whom they owed all their comforts in life: it was he that made the Sun shine and the Dawn keep her time; and it was to him they looked for the weather they wanted. The first breeds of animals useful to man, whether domestic or wild, were believed to have been obtained by him through craft or violence from the jealous powers who wished to keep them from the human race. They traced probably to the same origin the fire that served to cook their food, and the intoxicating drink which they knew as a stimulant and a source of inspiration. But their benefactor was believed to have undergone unspeakable hardship in his quest of the boons he conferred on their kin, and that for a time the jealous powers were able to wreak their wrath on him for his goodwill to man. It was probably this goodwill that constituted the gravamen of his crime, and not the crafty and unscrupulous way in which he had gone to work; for that was calculated in certain stages of civilization to call forth admiration rather than the contrary, while the habit of imagining both gods and demons to be jealous of the human race is familiar to all in the literatures of various ancient nations. Among others, that of the Greeks has already been alluded to in this connection more than once; but nowhere, perhaps, is the criminality of human progress more ostentatiously recognized than in the Latin classics. Witness the quaint conservatism ascribed by Horace to the gods, Odes, i. 3, where it is hinted that he who first entrusted his frail bark to the waves committed a sin against their majesty, that they had meant the sea to keep men apart and not to be a highway of intercourse:

'Nequicquam deus abscidit
Prudens Oceano dissociabili
Terras, si taraen impiae

But I may be charged with forgetting the most remarkable parallel of all, to wit, that in the Hebrew Scriptures, where, instead of the intoxicating soma, or the draught from the deep well of wisdom, or the cauldron of science and regeneration, we are told of a tree with a knowledge-giving crop of forbidden fruit, whereof it was a crime for man to taste, while he who induced him to commit it, is represented as a reptile, as a serpent to have his head bruised. This would, however, involve the discussion of Semitic questions, the settling of which is neither within my competence nor in any way essential to the understanding of the history of Aryan religion. Let it suffice that the course of that history is intelligible in itself; that it is, on the whole, a history of progress; and that, so far as we have been able to study it in these lectures, it may briefly be summed up thus: some of the Celts of antiquity, as also of the Teutons and the Hindus, avenged themselves in their own time on the narrowness of the divine creatures of their ancestors' imagination by thrusting thorn aside to make room at the head of their respective pantheons for Ogmios and Gwydion, for Woden and Indra, as divinities more adequately representative of man and the aspirations of his being.

### Notes

1. It is the country looking towards the sea between the Conwy and the Eivl Mountains, or the Rivals, as they are sometimes called by Englishmen; but the coast from the Conwy to Bangor or thereabouts used to be called Arỻechweᵭ, and not included in Arvon.
2. R. B. Mab. pp. 70—81; Guest, iij. 233-51.
3. This is a guess at the meaning required by the context; but the real signification of the adjective gyffes or (in its dictionary form) cyffes has not been ascertained: it must be analysed cyf-hes, otherwise one cannot account for the ff, and in that case the syllable hes may possibly be a word of the same origin as hyd, 'length,' and the whole word cyffes might be conjectured to have had the meaning of 'long.' We should then interpret Llaw-gyffes to mean Longi-manus, as in the case of Llew's Goidelic counterpart, Lug Lám-fada. It is scarcely necessary to add that ỻew, 'lion,' is entirely out of place here, as the older form of the name was Lleu, the etymological equivalent of Lug and the Gaulish Lugus, Lugoves: it probably meant light, and referred to the sun-god.
4. Another account of her origin is given by the poet D. ab Gwilym, who makes her daughter of March ab Meirchion; see poem clxxxiii. p. 365 of the (London) edition of 1789. She is more commonly called Blodeuweᵭ, which may he explained as Antho-cides or Flower-like: this, as the more generally intelligible, is probably the later of the two. The name translated is that of Fflûr, Caswallawn's leman (p. 153); but whether Fflûr, directly represents flôs, flôris, 'flower, blossom,' or Flôra, the name of an Italian goddess of no better morals than Blodeueᵭ, is not easy to decide, as fflûr occurs in the sense of bloom.
5. See Lewis Morris' Celtic Remains, p. 231, s. v. Gwydion.
6. For this I am indebted to a prize essay on the Folk-lore of Glamorgan at the Aberdare Eisteᵭvod in 1885: Mr. Thomas Evans, the author, writes as follows: "When an owl was heard hooting early in the night from the yew-tree in our village churchyards, it was looked upon as a sure sign that some unmarried girl of the village had forsaken the path of chastity. There are even now in some places persons who maintain the trustworthiness of this sign (p. 166 of the MS., which, I believe, has not yet been published).
7. Corpus Poet. Bor. i. 158.
8. This will, however, scarcely be treated as irrefragable evidence of antiquity by any one who has thought of the number of the stories which historians still allow to count as history. More than one instance has been noticed in these lectures.
9. R. B. Mab. p. 64, where the MS. has Tyuawc instead of Tyryawc, so printed in Guest's Mab. iij. 196.
10. Skene, ij. 158.
11. The anonymous note in tho Myvyrian is couched in language which is inaccurate, not to say illiterate; but it is doubtless to be regarded as the echo of an ancient myth, though it must be accepted with caution: thus the words relating to the woman called Achren cannot pass unchallenged. They appear to come as we have them from somebody who thought the symmetry of the quarrel required them; but nothing could be more mistaken; for it was a peculiarity of the terrene beings, from their king down to the tiniest of Welsh fairies, to conceal their names.
12. i. 47 = iij. 50.
13. Stokes-O'Donovan, pp. 111-12, s.v. Mug-eime.
14. Skene, i. 154.
15. Poem xxx.: see Skene, ij. 181.
16. No. xiv.: see Skene, ij. 155, i. 276.
17. ij. 49: see also R. B. Mab. p. 131; the other versions have Lhyr, Triads, i. 50, iij. 61.
18. Triads, ij. 7; R. B. Mab. p. 300.
19. The difference is of importance, and the reading Geir is supported by the other versions (Triads, i. 50, iij. 61) in which the name is mentioned. The genuineness of the latter has in its favour the fact that they say nothing about Arthur, while they describe the personage here in question as Geir son of Geiryon, lord of Geirionyᵭ, a locality whose name survives in connection with the Lake of Geirionyᵭ, whose waters fall from Gwydion's country into the Conwy a little below Llanrwst. Thus the earlier Triad in the Red Book and all the other published versions of the Triads read Geir, while the later Triad in the Red Book and the verse in the Taliessin poem, which may be regarded as of about the same age, probably, as the portion of the Red Book in which the Triads occur, give us Gweir: which then is to be regarded as having the prior claim? The probability is decidedly in favour of Geir, which, as meaning 'word,' and otherwise unknown as a proper name, may readily be supposed to have been replaced by the better known personal name Gweir; I should, however, not discard the latter, but rather regard both Geir and Gweir as referring to the same. Geiryoed was pronounced, as in modern Welsh, Geirioeᵭ; similarly the Gweiryoed of the Triads was Gweirioeᵭ. Add to this that the old forms Gweir and Geir become later Gwair and Gair.
20. Rhys in the Cymmrodor, iv. 180.
21. Book of Taliessin, poem xlviij. (Skene, ij. 203).
22. Rhys in the Cymmrodor, v. 127.
23. MS. Mat. pp. 308-9: the poem referred to is translated at pp. 309-11, and the Irish text and the rest of the story, from the Book of Lismore, foL 206. b. a, is given at pp. 594-7.
24. The later spelling is Breas, and some have attempted to base a distinction of persons on that unstable foundation.
25. O'Curry's Lectures were published in 1860.
26. MS. Mat. pp. 248-9.
27. Bk. of Leinster, 187 c.
28. O'Curry's Manners, &c. iij. 250-1.
29. O'Donovan, Book of Rights, pp. 42, 45, 48, 83; Four Masters, A.D. 165, 186. The name Cairbre, Cairpre, Coirpri and Corpri, for it is found spelled in these and other ways, was not an uncommon one; but its etymology is obscure, nor is it evident whether it was in use before it was given to the counterpart of Gwydion. In Welsh it was Corbre, which occurs in the Black Book: see Skene, ij. 29.
30. Ossianic Soc. Trans. iij. 221-9.
31. R. B. Mab. pp. 31-2, 39, 40; Guest, iij. 110-1, 123-4.
32. D. ab Gwilym, poem cxxxviij. (London, 1789, p. 276).
33. Irish Caire Ainsic, 'the Undry Cauldron:' see the Stokes-O'Donovan ed. of Cormac, p. 45; also O'Donovan's Battle of Magh Rath (Dublin, 1842), pp. 50-3, where, besides the Dagda's, other cauldrons are mentioned of similar virtues.
34. Keating's History of Ireland (Dublin, 1880), p. 117.
35. Ibid. p. 112; O'Flaherty's Ogygia, i. 12.
36. Campbell, i. 25, et seq.
37. Skene, ij. 138, and i. 277-8.
38. The text occupies folios 113—115 in the Book of the Dun, and it has been published, with a translation and notes, by Mr. O'Beirne Crow, in the Journal of the Kilkenny Arch. Society for 1870-1, pp. 371—448. Important corrections will be found in Stokes' Remarks on the Celtic Additions to Curtius' Greek Etymology, &c. (Calcutta, 1875), pp. 55-7.
39. Somewhat similar adventures are related of Connall Cernach in the story called Táin Bó Fráich: see the Bk. of Leinster, 252a, and the whole story as published with a translation by O'Beirne Crow in the R. Ir. Academy's Irish MS. Series, i. 136—171.
40. Pp. 87—91.
41. He is also called Conann or Conand, as in the Bk. of Leinster, 127a.
42. Also called (in the genitive) Iardonel, namely, in the Bk. of the Dun, fol. 16b, where, however, the name of Iobath is not mentioned.
43. For the original, see San-Marte's Nennius et Gildas, § 13 (pp. 34-6).
44. For the text, see Skene, ij. 182.
45. In his Primitive Culture, ij. 50-2, from the seconded, of Shortland's Traditions of New Zealand]], p. 150.
46. Skene, ij. 156, i. 260.
47. Ibid. ij. 324 (note by Mr. Silvan Evans); Rhys, Lectures on Welsh Phil. pp. 302—305.
48. Skene, ij. 132.
49. Myv. Archaiology, i. 230.
50. Skene, ij. 5, 6.
51. Ib. ij. 203-4.
52. R. B. Mab. p. 35: the original reads, Ac yna ykerdỽys ef ac aoed ogerd arỽest ar y geuyn ehun. This was too much for the translator in the Guest edition, who has extracted from it the statement, "Then he proceeded with what provisions he had on his own back:" See Guest's Mab. iij. 117.
53. Skein, ij. 199.
54. Ib. ij. 201.
55. Ib. ij. 162.
56. Skene, ij. 167.
57. Compound forms also occur, namely, in Cynwyd Cynwydion.
58. Skene, ij. 57.
59. Besides the Welsh name Caer Seon, and the other which we know only in its Latin form of Segontium, this last was naturalized in Welsh, probably at an early date, as Segeint, whence Cair Segeint in the British Museum MS. Harl. 3859, fol. 195a; it is also mentioned by Nennius. Segeint is regularly formed from Segontium, and is also regularly reduced in later Welsh into Seint and Sein, which occurs as the name of the river washing the base of Edward's Castle at Carnarvon, its mouth being termed Aber Sein, and the town Kaer Aber Sein, in Maxen's Dream (R. B. Mab. pp. 87-8). In fact, this vocable in one of its forms is indispensable to the explanation of the name Carnarvon itself, which is in Welsh Caer yn Arfon, meaning literally, 'a castle in Arvon,' not even the castle in Arvon; but the key is not far to seek: the full name occurs in the Mabinogi of Branwen (R. B. Mab. p. 34) as Kaer Seint yn Arvon, or 'the Castle of Seint in Arvon.' Seint in modern Welsh becomes Saint, so that the river is now Afon Saint, while a late Kymricizing of the Latin Segontium has yielded a much less correct Welsh form Seiont, which, as far as I know, is only to be found in books or in the modern names of houses in the town.
60. Caesar, v. 21.
61. Given at length in the British Museum MS. Harl. 5280, fol. 53b; for O'Curry's version of it, see the passages in his MS. Mat. pp. 248-9, already referred to at p. 253.
62. For references, see Windisch's Irische Texte, p. 521, s.v. elatha; Stoke's Calendar of Oengus, p. cclvi; also d'A. de Jubainville's Cycle Myth. p. 306. The word seems to have been declined in two ways, Elatha, gen. Elathan, and Elathan, gen. Elathain.
63. Triads, i. 86 = iij. 116.
64. Triads, iij. 58; Iolo MSS. pp. 48, 428. The other name, Arawn, is derived from the same source as the Welsh term araith, 'an oration or speech,' a word represented in Irish by airecht or oirecht, which bears the secondary signification of an assembly: Irish public meetings appear to have never lacked oratory and declamation. See, for instance, O'Curry's Manners, &c. ij. 20, 53, and MS. Mat. pp. 383-4, where references are made to a suit pleaded before the king of Ulster in such eloquent and unintelligible language that he deprived the poets of their right to be the expounders of the laws of the realm, as they had been till then.
65. In a ninth century manuscript (Skene, ij. 2) we meet with a word of this origin written guetid, pronounced gwetiᵭ, which meant either 'a say' or 'a sayer,' and in South Wales a verb gwe'yd (for gwedyd), 'to say,' is much used: take, for instance, gwed, 'dic;' gwedwch, 'dicite;' gwedais, 'dixi.' But in North Wales and generally in Welsh literature the preference is given to the same verb with the prefix dy, for an older do, the Celtic equivalent of the English to. Thus dywedyd (reduced also to dywe'yd, d'we'yd, and even d'e'yd) means 'to say, saying;' dywed, 'dic;' dywedaf, 'dicam;' dyfyd (North Welsh for dywyd), 'dicet;' dywawd, also dywod and (now in North Wales) dywad, 'dixit.' The umlaut y in dyfyd (dywyd) is caused by the semi-vowel which once followed, as in Gwyd (Skene, ij. 135) or still follows as in Gwydion (with the i pronounced like English y in yes). The effects of the semi-vowel are perceptible in other words, especially verbs, such as gwyl, 'videbit,' from gwel-ed, 'to see,' or saif, 'stabit,' from sef-yll, 'to stand:' for some remarks on this subject see my Lectures, pp. 116-18. With regard to Gwyd, it is right to notice that Welsh has another word gwyd, 'vice,' which is, in fact, the Latin word vitium naturalized; but the line, 'Aches gvyd gwydion,' in the Taliessin line referred to, could only mean 'the land of Gwydion's vice,' which would be utterly at variance with Taliessin's usual tone with regard to Gwydion; so I have no doubt that it should be rendered 'the land of Gwyd Gwydion.' Unless the form Gwyd was called into existence to accompany the other, they may be treated as standing for an ancient nominative Vetjo and genitive Vetjonos respectively. In dywawt or dywawd, 'dixit,' we have an ablaut or by-vowel in the diphthong aw, representing an early ā which remains written á in Irish words. Similarly from Welsh rhed, 'run,' we have gwa-red, ' suc-currere,' Irish fo-reth- of the same meaning; but the old perfect was gwa-rawt, Irish fo-ráith for *vo-rāt-e. This recourse to a different vowel in the perfect was formerly fully recognized in Celtic grammar, but it probably never had the importance which is attached to it in the economy of the Teutonic verb, as, for example, in the English, give, gave, ride, rode, bear, bore, and see, saw. Celtic verbs of the class in question had two stems, one with ě and the other with ā; and I wish to call attention to the fact that there were also nouns cognate with both the one and the other. Thus in the case of the Welsh rhed-, 'run,' we have not only rhedeg, 'the act of running,' but also rhawd, 'a course, path or orbit:' similarly from the other verb we have, beside guetid already instanced, a word gwawt, now gwawd, 'a poem or song,' and in modern Welsh more usually 'a satire or a sarcastic remark.' The Irish equivalent was faath or fáth, 'a learning or study of the poet's art' (Cormac, s.v. faath), whence fáitsine, 'prophecy,' and probably Fáthach, the name of the of the Fir Bolg. But Irish had besides this a related word fáith, 'a prophet or poet,' to which the Welsh has no etymological equivalent, since it would have sounded gwawt, gwawd, like the word meaning 'a satire;' but it existed in Gaulish and was probably wātis or vātis, as Strabo, iv. 4, 4, has placed on record the nominative plural in the form of οὐάτεις. Now Latin, though not possessing exact parallels in such verbal forms as vĕnio, vēni, or ăgo, ēgi, matches fáith and wātis exactly in vowel and declension with its noun vātes, 'a poet and prophet.' The following classification will render intelligible at a glance what I mean—the hypothetical forms have an asterisk prefixed to them: 1. Stems with ĕ, of the consonantal declension: Irish, *Fethiu, *Fethenn; Welsh, Gwyd, Gwydion; Latin, *Vetio, *Vetionis. 2. Stems with ā: (1) of the O declension: Ir. fáth, 'learning;' Welsh, gwawd, 'poem, satire;' Lat. *vātum (= vaticinum); the German is wuth, 'rage,' together with the adjective, which was in Gothic vód-s, 'δαιμονιζόμενος, δαιμονισθείς.' Add to these the O. Norse óᵭ-r, 'mad, frantic;' A.-Saxon wód, 'mad;' Mod. English wood; Broad Scotch wud or wuth, 'mad, distracted.' (2) Of the I declension: Ir. fáith, 'poet;' Gaulish wātis, 'poet;' Lat. vātes, 'poet;' O. Norse óᵭ-r, genitive óᵭar, 'mind, wit, soul, sense, spirit, song, poetry.' (3) Derivatives of the O declension: Ir. Elathan (a form of the name of the Fomorian king, husband of the goddess of poetry), in case it be for El-fáthan (with el of the same origin as eol in eolus, 'knowledge,' the vowel variation being produced by the accent, as in beothu, 'life,' genitive bethad); Welsh *Gwodan; Lat. *vātanus; O. Norse, Óᵭen-n, genitive Óᵭen-s; A.-Sax. Wóden, gen. Woden-es, perpetuated in Wednes-day. The relation between Gwydion and Woden did not escape Grimm: see his Deutsche Myth.4 pp. xxiij, 124, 296, 342.
66. Book of the Dun, 39b; Joyce's Old Celtic Romances, pp. 100-1.
67. See the Triads, iij. 58. Welsh gwr stands for an earlier gwer, which, with the Irish fer, points to an early nominative vĕros, genitive veri, represented in Irish Ogmic inscriptions by viri, later Irish fir. In Gaulish an adjective verjos was formed from ver-, but the semi-vowel caused it to assume the form virios, as in Voretu-virius, i.e. son of Voretoveros ( = Welsh Gwaredwr, 'Salvator'): compare Vintjos (Welsh gwynt, 'wind') from ventos. Welsh could, however, have other forms, and verjos might either become veirjos, which would be our Gweir, or virjos, which would now be Gwyr; in one instance both forms happen to occur; I refer to a mythic personage mentioned in the Triads (i. 30 = ij. 56 = iij. 101) as Daỻwyr Daỻben and Daỻweir Daỻben, not to mention a third derivative Daỻwaran also applied to him: the former two names would in their early forms be Dalloverjos Dallopennos, which would seem to mean Blind-bead (son) of Blind-man.
68. By Fick in his Vergleichendes Wörterbuch der indogermanischen Sprachen3, iij. 308, and by Vigfusson in the Corpus Poet. Boreale, i. civ; see also the Academy for Jan. 1885, p. 46.
69. Excursus i. § 2, in the Corpus Poet. Boreale, i. civ, ij. 458-63: the references are, where not specified, to that excursus.
70. Corpus Poet. Bor. ij. 8.
71. Bk. of Taliessin, Skene, ij. 159.
72. Vigfusson and Powell, Corpus Poet. Boreale, i. 70.
73. Corpus Poet. Boreale, i. 23.
74. Ib. i. civ, ij. 460.
75. See the Scholiast on Apollonius' Arg. ij. 1249; Servius, Com. in Vergil. Ecl. vi. 42.
76. It is supposed to be represented by Asburg, or else to have stood near Essenberg.
77. Solinus mentions Caledonia or the north of this island as a distant coast visited by the wandering figure of Ulysses. Prima facie there is nothing improbable in the notion implied, that Romans who had visited the north of Britain had found worshipped there a hero or god who reminded them of Ulysses; hut the words of Solinus lose most of their weight from the fact that he regarded Ulysses' visit as demonstrated by the occurrence there of an altar dedicated to him in Greek writing. The passage Looks like an inaccurate and confused reproduction of the words in the Germania; but, be that as it may, there is hardly room to doubt that strangers from the Mediterranean found in vogue in Celtic and Teutonic lands the cult of a god, in whom they sometimes recognized Hercules or Heracles, and sometimes Ulysses or Odysseus.
78. Vigfusson and Powell, i. 465.
79. See Lang's chapter on A far-travelled Tale in his Custom and Myth, pp. 87 & seq.
80. I refer to M. Bergaigne and his work entitled La Religion Védique d'après les Hymnes du Rig-Veda (Bibliothèque de l'Ecole des Hautes Études: Paris, 1878, 1883), i. p. xvi.
81. Ibid. ij. 172, 178 (Rig-Veda, i. 55, 5, vij. 32, 14, vij. 32, 17, viij. 43, 13, viij. 45, 40-1, x. 120, 4).
82. See Rig-Veda, viij. 69, 7; also p. 188 of the Journal of the American Oriental Society for 1882-5, in which a long and elaborate paper has been published on Indra in the Rig-Veda, by Dr. E. D. Perry.
83. Perry, p. 196 (Rig-Veda, x. 112, 9).
84. Ib. (Rig-Veda, i. 100, 4).
85. Ib. p. 188 (Rig-Veda, vi. 18, 5, The Rig Veda/Mandala 6/Hymn 21|vi. 21. 5, 8]]).
86. Bergaigne, i. 150 (Rig-Veda, x. 108, 8), ij. 175, 183; Perry, pp. 140-1 (Rig-Veda, i. 62, 3, i. 83, 4, iv. 16, 8).
87. Perry, p. 196 (Rig-Veda, iij. 36, 5).
88. Ib. (Rig-Veda, iij. 53, 8, The Rig Veda/Mandala 6/Hymn 47|vi. 47, 18]]).
89. Ib. p. 189 (Rig-Veda, v. 31, 8).
90. Bergaigne, i. pp. xvi, xviii.
91. Ib. ij. 179.
92. Ib. ij. 180 (Rig-Veda, v. 30, 4, vi. 17, 5, vi. 43, 3, viij. 45, 30, x. 112, 8).
93. Bergaigne, ij. 184-5.
94. See Bezzenberger in his Beitræge, i. 342, where he points out the correspondence between Sanskrit indra, Zend añdra (iñdra), and the Teutonic stem (antra-) from which he derives O. H. Ger. antrisc, entrisc, 'antiquus, vetustus;' M. H. Ger. entrisch, 'old;' Upper Ger. Dialects enterisch, enzerisch, 'ungeheuer, seltsam.' He would trace the stem suggested to a simpler one postulated by the A.-Saxon word ent, 'a giant,' and the O. H. Ger. adjective entisc, andisc, of the same meaning as antrisc.
95. Bergaigne, ij. 177-9 (Rig-Veda, iv. 17, 16 & saepe).
96. Ib. i. p. xvi, ij. 187-8.
97. Dr. E. B. Tylor tells me that he has witnessed this ceremony at Zuñi; but be adds that until one has got an exact translation of the prayer formulæ, it would be unsafe to say that the proceeding is exactly what strangers have supposed it to be.
98. Bancroft's Native Races of the Pacific States (London, 1875), iij. 393-6.
99. Perry, p. 138 (Rig-Veda, v. 31, 4, &c).
100. Bergaigne, ij. 235.
101. Perry, pp. 165-6 (Rig-Veda, viij. 85, 15).
102. Ib. pp. 141, 143 (Rig-Veda, iv. 16, 8).
103. Bergaigne, ij. 312 (Rig-Veda, vi. 35, 5).
104. Ib. ij. 195 (Rig-Veda, i. 32, 12, iij. 36, 8, iij. 44, 5, vi. 44, 23).
105. Ib. i. 152 (Rig-Veda, viij. 61, 17, viij. 68, 2).
106. Bergaigne, i. 149 (Rig-Veda, x. 32, 9).
107. Ib. i. 150 (Rig-Veda, i. 87, 5, iij. 43, 5).
108. Ib. i. 86, 90 (Rig-Veda, x. 135. 1, 7).
109. Ib. i. 149 (Rig-Veda, ix. 18, 3, ix. 78, 4, ix. 85, 2, ix. 109, 15).
110. Ib. i. 199 (Rig-Veda, iv. 26, 6), i. 173 (Rig-Veda, viii. 84, 3, ix. 86, 24, ix. 87, 6, ix. 89, 2).
111. Perry, p. 165 (Rig-Veda, i. 80, 2, i. 93, 6, iv. 26, 5, vi. 20, 6): the Sanskrit word is çyena, which Dr. Perry renders by 'falcon' and M. Bergaigne by 'aigle,' while the definition in the Petersburg Dictionary is 'der grösste und stärkste Raubvogel; Adler; auch Falke oder Habicht.'
112. Bergaigne, i. 158 (Rig-Veda, i. 84, 15), iij. 58, 59 (Rig-Veda, iij. 48, 4, iv. 18, 3; see also iv. 18, 11); Perry, pp. 148, 149, 177.
113. Ib. iij. 58-9 (Rig-Veda, ij. 17, 6, iij. 48, 4.
114. R. B. Mab. pp. 63-5; Guest, iij. 224-7.
115. Bergaigne, ij. 165, iij. 58 (Rig-Veda, iij. 48, 2), 104.
116. Ramayana, ed. A. von Schlegel (Bonn, 1829, 1838), Book i. chap, xlviij.
117. Perry, p. 165.
118. Ib. p. 173 (Rig- Veda, vi. 69, 2).
119. Ib. p. 187 (Rig-Veda, iv. 17, 16).
120. Ib. p. 189 (Rig-Veda, i. 51, 13).
121. Ib. p. 190 (Rig-Veda, iv. 19, 7).
122. Ib. (Rig-Veda, ij. 15, 7, iv. 19, 9).
123. Bergaigne, ij. 188, 191 (Rig-Veda, iij. 31, 15, iij. 32, 8).
124. Ib. ij. 2 (Rig-Veda, i. 92, 11, i. 115, 2, vij. 76, 3), 14.
125. Ib. ij. 192, 193 (Rig-Veda, iv. 30, 8—11; also ij. 15, 6, x. 73, 6, x. 138, 5).
126. Bergaigne, ij. 193 (Rig-Veda, ij. 15, 6, v. 79, 9).
127. Ib. ij. 192 (Rig-Veda, iv. 30, 3—6).
128. Morris' Celtic Remains, p. 231, s.v. Gwydion.
129. Perry, pp. 142-6.
130. The English translation is from Max Müller's Chips, i. 31-2, and the German one from Grassmann's Rig-Veda Uebersetzt, ij. pp. 57-8.