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Llywelyn
Llywelyn
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doubt has been cast on the genuineness of the poetry ascribed to Llywarch, on the ground that there is no evidence that he ever was a poet, beyond the fact that the above mentioned poems are put into his mouth by Welsh tradition, poems in which he figures as a spokesman. Their phraseology and vocabulary appear less archaic than those of the 'Gododin' of Aneurin, but Llywarch's favourite metres bear the semblance of antiquity: one of these is a kind of triplet known as 'triban milwr,' each line of which has seven syllables; the other is a quatrain or an early form of the 'englyn,' in which the fourth line contains an assonance with the last syllable of the third line. The presence of rhyme in them tells, however, against their antiquity. Though these metres are common after the ninth century, they are generally associated with Llywarch's name, with the result that, according to one modern critic (e.g. Egerton Phillimore, in Y Cymmrodor, xi. 135-6), 'it has become the fashion to ascribe to Llywarch Hen all old or oldish Welsh poetry, similar in metre, apparent age, and style to the poetry which really has some claim to be connected with his name' (cf. Owen Edwards in Welsh Pictures, p. 132). Among those who have supported the authenticity of these poems are Sharon Turner in his 'Vindication of the Genuineness of the Ancient British Poems of Aneurin, Taliesin, Llywarch Hen, and Myrddin,' 8vo, 1803, and Thomas Stephens in his 'Literature of the Kymry.' The controversy has, however, raged most fiercely round the elegy on Cynddylan's death, which is probably the finest and best-known specimen of the whole collection. Dr. Edwin Guest has translated it in his 'Origines Celticæ' (1883); its authenticity was attacked by Thomas Wright, who regarded it as a forgery of the time of Owen Glyndwr (Arch. Cambr. 3rd ser. ix. 249); he was answered by Thomas Stephens in the same journal. A further controversy between Wright and others appeared in the 'Powysland Club Collections,' vols. i-iii., and Wright's views were reproduced in his 'Uriconium,' pp. 70-3, and Appendix i., Shrewsbury, 1872, 8vo.

Though treating of war and of warriors, the poems, especially that on Cynddylan, are chiefly characterised by their pathetic lamentation, rather than by their epic or heroic character.

[Authorities quoted above; Llywarch's Works, edited by Dr. Owen Pughe; Skene's Four Ancient Books; Stephens's Literature of the Kymry.]

D. Ll. T.

LLYWELYN. [See also Llewelyn and Lluelyn.]

LLYWELYN ab SEISYLL or SEISYLLT (d. 1023?), king of Gwynedd, was a Welsh chieftain, not of the royal line, who married, if the tradition of a later time can be trusted, Angharad, daughter of Maredudd. son of Owain, son of Howel Dda [q. v.] (Gwentian Brut, s.a. 994),and thus became associated with the greatest house in South Wales. Llywelyn lived in a time of exceptional confusion. In North Wales the stock of the royal house of Gwynedd had been replaced. on the throne by a vigorous usurper, Aeddan ab Blegywryd. The inroads of the Danes and the advances of the English power were fatal to settled rule in North and South Wales alike. Llywelyn managed, however, to slay Aeddan and his four sons. This event probably happened in 1017, or possibly 1018, the year after the accession of Cnut in England (Brut y Tywysogion, p. 35; Annales Cambriæ,p. 22). Llywelyn now took possession of the throne of North Wales, thus bringing in the family of Howel Dda in the person of his descendants, and representing some sort of triumph of South Welsh over North Welsh. Llywelyn'a brief reign was one of exceptional prosperity. He is styled 'supreme king of Gwynedd, and the chief and most renowned king of all the Britons' (Brut y Tywysogion, p. 37). 'In his time,' wrote the Welsh chronicler (ib. p. 37), 'it was usual of the elders of the kingdom to say that his dominion was, from one sea to the other, complete in abundance of wealth and inhabitants, so that it was supposed that there was neither poor nor destitute in all his territories, nor an empty hamlet, nor any deficiency.' This indicates that under Llywelyn that restoration of the North Welsh power began which attained its highest point in the reign of his more famous son Gruffydd ab Llywelyn (d. 1063) [q. v.] But in 1020 or 1022 Llywelyn had to face a formidable enemy. An Irish impostor named Rein claimed to be the son of Maredudd ab Owain, Llywelyn's father-in-law, formerly king of South Wales. Rein was so successful as to obtain general recognition throughout Deheubarth (South Wales). Llywelyn was still sufficiently connected with southern affairs to fear the growth of his power. He accordingly marched with an army into South Wales. Rein, 'after the manner of the Irish,' 'proudly and ostentatiously' exhorted his men to fight, with many boasts of victory. After a sharp struggle the men of Gwynedd prevailed, and Rein fled 'shamefully, like a fox.' The battle was fought at Abergwili, near Carmarthen. Rein was heard of no more, and perhaps perished in the battle (Annales Cambriæ, p. 23). Llywelyn, by cruelly devastating the south, vindicated his position