Open main menu

Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/47

This page needs to be proofread.

The European Sky -God. 37

Nudos Liberalis, king of the Northern Dumnonii. Pro- fessor Rhys^ shows that Nudos Liberalis is nothing but a late Latin translation of Niidd Had, ' Nudd the Generous/ and points out that Dyvnwal, one of the ancestors of Nudd Hael,^ represents an earlier * Dumno- val and so squares with the remaining name Dunino- genus. He very justly infers that Hael or Liberalis was a standing epithet or surname in Nudd's family, and argues that Nudd's generosity is doubtless to be added to the attributes of the god whose name he bore. I would further remark that in a religious or quasi-religious poem entitled * The Pleasant Things of Taliessin ' we read :

' Pleasant is Nud, the superior wolf-lord ; Also pleasant the Generous one of the feast oi Golystaf.'^

The juxtaposition of ' Nud ' and ' Generous ' can hardly be accidental ; and the couplet assures us that the generosity of the god was especially manifested at some festival or other.

For our purpose the material fact is that Welsh kings of Northern extraction bore the name and shared the attributes of the god Nudd. They are thus strictly analogous to the Irish kings that were named after the god Nuada. To complete the parallel, it should be shown that Nudd, like Nuada, was at once a sky-god connected with the sun and a water-god connected with a river. Fortunately on this point too there is evidence available.

To M. Gaidoz* belongs the credit of first identifying

^ Rhj's in The Academy 1891 pt. 2 p. 180 f., Celtic Folklore ii. 447 f., Hibbert Lectures p. 128. Dr. Whitley Stokes in Holder Alt-celtischer Sprachschatz, s.v. ' Nudus,' accepts the equation Nudus - Nudd.

^ Skene Fottr Anciert Books i. 169.

^ Skene ib. i. 550 translates the second line 'Also pleasant, a generous one at Candlemas tide.' But Prof. Rhys informs me that the name of the feast is obscure to him, and would render ' Also pleasant a [or the) generous one of the feast of .'

^See D'Arbois Cycle mythologique p. 155 n. 2.