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which is in Welsh JLan y Gors, anglicized ILangorse,
1 the Church of the Marsh or Bog/ and that is exactly
the meaning of the name given it in the Taxatio of Pope
Nicholas, which is that of Ecclesia de Mara. In other
terms, we have in the qualified Latium of the inscription
the Latium or Letha which came to be called in Welsh
JLydaiv. It is, in my opinion, from that settlement as
their head quarters, that the Men of ILydaw sallied
forth to take part in the hunt in Ystrad Yw, where the
boar ILwydog was killed.

The idea that the story of Twrch Trwyth was more
or less topographical is not a new one. Lady Charlotte
Guest, in her Mabinogion, ii. 363-5, traces the hunt
through several places called after Arthur, such as
Bitarth Arthur, 'Arthur's Cattle-pen/ and Bwrct Arthur,
' Arthur's Table,' besides others more miscellaneously
named, such as Twyn y Modi, 'the Swine's Hill,' near
the source of the Amman, and ILwyn y Modi, ' the
Swine's Grove,' near the foot of the same eminence.
But one of the most remarkable statements in her note
is the following: 'Another singular coincidence maybe
traced between the name of a brook in this neighbour-
hood, called Echel, and the Echel Fordwyttwft who is
recorded in the tale as having been slain at this period
of the chase.' I have been unable to discover any clue
to a brook called Echel, but one called Egel occurs in
the right place ; so I take it that Lady Charlotte Guest's
informants tacitly identified the name with that of Echel.
Substantially they were probably correct, as the Egel
called Ecel in the dialect of the district, flows into the
upper Clydach, which in its turn falls into the Tawe
near Pont ar Dawe. As the next pool mentioned is
rawe, I presume it was some water or other
cb drained into the Tawe in this same neighbour-



ix] PLACE-NAME STORIES 537

hood. The relative positions of ILwch Ewin, the Egel,
and ILwch Tawe as indicated above offer no apparent
difficulty. The Goidelic name underlying that of Echel
was probably some such a one as Eccel or Ecell ; and
Ecell occurs, for instance, in the Book of the Dun Cow,
fo. 8o b , as the name of a noble or prince. In rendering
this name into Welsh as Echel, due regard was had for
the etymological equivalence of Goidelic cc or c to Welsh
ch, but the unbroken oral tradition of a people changing
its language by degrees from Goidelic to Welsh was
subject to no such influence, especially in the matter of
local names ; so the one here in question passed into
Welsh as Eccel, liable only to be modified into Egel.
In any case, one may assume that the death of the hero
Echel was introduced to account for the name of the
brook Egel. Indications of something similar in the
linguistic sense occur in the part of the narrative re-
lating the death of Grugyn, at Garth Grugyn. This
boar is pursued by two huntsmen called Eli and Trach-
myr, the name of the former of whom reminds one of
Garth Eli, in the parish of ILancTewi Brefi. Possibly
the original story located at Garth Eli the death of Eli, or
some other incident in which Grugyn was concerned ;
but the difficulty here is that the exact position of Garth
Grugyn is still uncertain.

Lastly, our information as to the hunting of Twrch
Trwyth is not exclusively derived from the Kulhwch,
for besides an extremely obscure poem about the Twrch
in the Book of Aneurin, a manuscript of the thirteenth
century, we have one item given in the Mirdbilia asso-
ciated with the Historia Brittonum of Nennius, 73, and
this carries us back to the eighth century. It reads as
follows :-

Est aliud mirabile in rcgione quce dicitur Buclt. Est
ibi cumulus lapidutn, et units lapis superpositus super



538 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

congestitm, cum vestigio cam's in eo. Quando venatus est
porcum Troit, impressit Cabal, qui erat cam's Arthuri
militis, vestigium in lapide, et Arthur postca congregavit
congcstum lapidum sub lapide in quo erat vestigium cants
siii, et vocatur Cam Cabal. Et veniunt homines et tollunt
lapidem in manibus suis per spacium diet et nocfis, et in
crastino die invenitur super congcstum suum.

'Another wonder there is in the district called Buattt:
there is there a heap of stones, and one stone is placed
on the top of the pile with the footmark of a dog in it.
Cafatt, the dog of the warrior Arthur, when chasing the
pig Trwyd printed the mark of his foot on it, and
Arthur afterwards collected a heap of stones underneath
the stone in which was the footmark of his dog, and it
is called Cafatt's Cairn. And men come and take the
stone away in their hands for the space of a day and
a night, and on the following day the stone is found on
the top of its heap V

Lady Charlotte Guest, in a note to the Kulhwch
story in her Mabinogion, ii. 360, appears to have been
astonished to find that Cam Cavaff, as she writes it, was
no fabulous mound but an actual ' mountain in the dis-
trict of Builth, to the south of Rhayader Gwy, and
within sight of that town.' She went so far as to per-
suade one of her friends to visit the summit, and he
begins his account of it to her with the words : ' Cam
Cavalt, or as it is generally pronounced Corn Cavatl, is
a lofty and rugged mountain.' On one of the cairns on
the mountain he discovered what may have been the
very stone to which the Mirabilia story refers ; but the
sketch with which he accompanied his communication
cannot be said to be convincing, and he must have been
drawing on his imagination when he spoke of this some-

1 This will give the reader some idea of the pre-Norman orthography of
Welsh, with /for the sound of tt and b for that of v.



ix] PLACE-NAME STORIES



539



what high hill as a lofty mountain. Moreover his
account of its name only goes just far enough to be
misleading : the name as pronounced in the neighbour-
hood of Rhayader is Corn Gafattt by Welsh-speaking
people, and Corn Gavalt by monoglot Englishmen. So
it is probable that at one time the pronunciation was
Cam Gavaff\ But to return to the incident recorded
by Nennius, one has to remark that it does not occur in
the Kulhwch ; nor, seeing the position of the hill, can
it have been visited by Arthur or his dog in the course
of the Twrch Trwyth hunt as described by the redactor
of the story in its present form. This suggests the
reflection not only that the Twrch story is very old, but
that it was put together by selecting certain incidents
out of an indefinite number, which, taken all together,
would probably have formed a network covering the
whole of South Wales as far north as the boundary of the
portion of Mid- Wales occupied by the Brythons before
the Roman occupation. In other words, the Goidels of
this country had stories current among them to explain
the names of the places with which they were familiar ;
and it is known that was the case with the Goidels of
Ireland. Witness the place-name legends known in
Medieval Irish as Dindsenchas, with which the old

1 The softening of Cafatl to Gafatt could not take place after the masculine
corn, 'a horn' ; but it was just right after the feminine earn, 'a cairn.' So
here corn is doubtless a colloquial corruption ; and so is probably the / at
the end, for as tl't has frequently been reduced to H, as in cyfaitt, a friend,'
from the older cyfaitlt, in Medieval Irish contalta, ' a foster brother or sister,'
the language has sometimes reversed the process, as when one hears ln>Ht
for hott, 'all,' or reads fferytit, 'alchemist, chemist,' for ffcryti from /V/.v/'/ms.
The Nennian orthography does not much trouble itself to distinguish
between /and ff, and even when Cam Cabal \vas written the pronunciation
was probably Cam Gavatt, the mutation being ignored in the spelling, which
frequently happens in the case even of Welsh people who never fail to
mutate their consonants in speaking. Lastly, though it was a dog that
was called Cafati, it is remarkable that the word has exactly the form taken
by cabal/us in Welsh : for cafaff, as meaning some sort of a horse, sec
Silvan Evans' Geiriadur,



54 o CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

literature of Ireland abounds. On what principle the
narrator of the Kulhwch made his selection from the
repertoire I cannot say; but one cannot help seeing
that he takes little interest in the details, and that he
shows still less insight into the etymological motif of
the incidents which he mentions. However, this should
be laid mainly to the charge, perhaps, of the early
medieval redactor.

Among the reasons which have been suggested for
the latter overlooking and effacing the play on the place-
names, I have hinted that he did not always understand
them, as they sometimes involved a language which
may not have been his. This raises the question of
translation : if the story was originally in Goidelic,
what was the process by which it passed into Brythonic?
Two answers suggest themselves, and the first comes to
this : if the story was in writing, we may suppose a
literal man to have sat down to translate it word for
word from Goidelic to Brythonic, or else to adapt it in
a looser fashion. In either case, one should suppose him
a master of both languages, and capable of doing justice
to the play on the place-names. But it is readily con-
ceivable that the fact of his understanding both languages
might lead him to miscalculate what was exactly neces-
sary to enable a monoglot Brython to grasp his meaning
clearly. Moreover, if the translator had ideas of his
own as to style, he might object on principle to anything
like an explanation of words being interpolated in the
narrative. In short, one could see several loopholes
through which a little confusion might force itself in,
and prevent the monoglot reader or hearer of the trans-
lation from correctly grasping the story at all points as
it was in the original. The other view, and the more
natural one, as I think, is that we should postulate the
interference of no special translator, but suppose the



ix] PLACE-NAME STORIES 541

story, or rather a congeries of stories, to have been
current among the natives of a certain part of South
Wales, say the Loughor Valley, at a time when their
language was still Goidelic, and that, as they gradually
gave up Goidelic and adopted Brythonic, they retained
their stories and translated the narrative, while they did
not always translate the place-names occurring in that
narrative. Thus, for instance, would arise the dis-
crepancy between banw and Amanw, the latter of
which to be Welsh should have been rendered jy Banw,
' the Boar.' If this is approximately what took place, it
is easy to conceive the possibility of many points of
nicety being completely effaced in the course of such
a rough process of transformation. In one or two small
matters it happens that we can contrast the community
as translator with the literary individual at work : I
allude to the word Trwyth. That vocable was not
translated, not metaphoned, if I may so term it, at all at
the time : it passed, when it was still Treth-i, from
Goidelic into Brythonic, and continued in use without
a break ; for the changes whereby Treth-i has become
Trwyth have been such as other words have undergone
in the course of ages, as already stated. On the other
hand, the literary man who knew something of the two
languages seems to have reasoned, that where a Goidelic
th occurred between vowels, the correct etymological
equivalent in Brythonic was /, subject to be mutated
to d. So when he took the name over he metaphoned
Treth-i into Tret-t, whence we have the Porcus Troit of
Nennius, and Twrch Trwyd 1 in Welsh poetry: these
Troit and Trwyd were the literary forms as contrasted
with the popular Trwyth. Now, if my surmises as to
Eckel and Egel are near the truth, their history must be

1 An instance or two of Tnvyd will be found in a note by Silvan Evans in
Skene's Four Ancient Books of Wales, ii. 393.



54 2 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

similar ; that is to say, Eckel would be the literary form
and Ecel, Egel the popular one respectively of the
Goidelic Ecell. A third parallel offers itself in the case of
the personal name Arwyli, borne by one of Echel's com-
panions : the Arwyl of that name has its etymological
equivalent in the Arwystl- of Arwystli } the name of
a district comprising the eastern slopes of Plinlimmon,
and represented now by the Deanery of Arwystli. So
Arwystli challenges comparison with the Irish Airgialla
or Airgeill, anglicized Oriel, which denotes, roughly
speaking, the modern counties of Armagh, Louth, and
Monaghan. For here we have the same prefix ar
placed in front of one and the same vocable, which in
Welsh is gwystl, ' a hostage,' and in Irish giall, of the
same meaning and origin. The reader will at once
think of the same word in German asgeisel, ' a hostage,'
Old High German gtsal. But the divergence of sound
between Arwystl-i and Arwyl-i arises out of the differ-
ence of treatment of si in Welsh and Irish. In the
Brythonic district of Mid- Wales we have Arwystli with
si treated in the Brythonic way, while in Arwyli we
have the combination treated in the Goidelic way, the
result being left standing when the speakers of Goidelic
in South Wales learnt Brythonic \

Careful observation may be expected to add to the
number of these instructive instances. It is, however,
not to be supposed that all double forms of the names
in these stories are to be explained in exactly the same
way. Thus, for instance, corresponding to Lug, geni-
tive Loga, we have the two forms ILeu and ILew, of
which the former alone matches the Irish. But it is to
be observed that ILeu remains in some verses 2 in the

* Fo ; more ^out these names and kindred ones, see a note of mine in the
Arch. Lambrensis, 1898, pp. 61-3.

* See my Hibbert Lectures, pp. 398-401.



ix] PLACE-NAME STORIES 543

story of Math, whereas in the prose he appears to be
called ILew. It is not improbable that the editing which
introduced ILew dates comparatively late, and that it
was done by a man who was not familiar with the
Venedotian place-names of which ILeu formed part,
namely, Dinfteu and Nanttfen, now Dinffe and Nanttte.
Similarly the two brothers, Gofannon and Amaethon,
as they are called in the Mabinogi of Math and in the
Kulhwch story, are found also called Gofynyon and
Amathaon. The former agrees with the Irish form
Goibniu, genitive Goibnenn, whereas Gofannon does
not. As to Amaethon or Amathaon the Irish counter-
part has, unfortunately, not been identified. Gofannon
and Amaethon have the appearance of being etymologi-
cally transparent in Welsh, and they have probably
been remodelled by the hand of a literary redactor.
There were also two forms of the name of Manawydan
in Welsh ; for by the side of that there was another,
namely, Manawydan, liable to be shortened to Manawyd :
both occur in old Welsh poetry 1 . But manawyd or
mynawyd is the Welsh word for an awl, which is signifi-
cant here, as the Mabinogi called after Manawydan
makes him become a shoemaker on two occasions,
whence the Triads style him one of the Three golden
Shoemakers of the Isle of Prydain : see the Oxford
Mabinogion, p. 308.

What has happened in the way of linguistic change
in one of our stories, the Kulhwch, may have happened
in others, say in the four branches of the Mabinogi^
namely, Pwyft, prince of Dyved ; Branwen, daughter of
ILyr; Math, son of Mathonwy ; and Manawydan, son
of ILyr. Some time ago I endeavoured to show that

1 See the Black Book of Carmarthen in Evans' facsimile, p. 47'' ; Thomas
Stephens' Gododin, p. 146; Dent's Malory, preface, p. xxvi ; and Skene's
Four Ancient Books of Wales, ii. 51, 63, 155.



544 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

the principal characters in the Mabinogi of Math,
namely, the sons and daughters of Don, are to be
identified as a group with the Tuatha De Danann,
' Tribes of the Goddess Danu or Donu,' of Irish legend.
I called attention to the identity of our Welsh Don with
the Irish Donu, genitive Donann, Gofynion or Gofannon
with Goibniu, genitive Goibnenn, and of ILeu or ILew
with Lug. Since then Professor Zimmer has gone
further, and suggested that the Mabinogion are of Irish
origin ; but that I cannot quite admit. They are of
Goidelic origin, but they do not come from the Irish or
the Goidels of Ireland : they come rather, as I think,
from this country's Goidels, who never migrated to the
sister island, but remained here eventually to adopt
Brythonic speech. There is no objection, however,
so far as this argument is concerned, to their being
regarded as this country's Goidels descended either
from native Goidels or from early Goidelic invaders
from Ireland, or else partly from the one origin
and partly from the other. This last is perhaps the
safest view to accept as a working hypothesis.
Now Professor Zimmer fixes on that of Mathonwy,
among other names, as probably the Welsh adap-
tation of some such an Irish name as the genitive
Matkgamnai 1 , now anglicized Mahony. This I am
also prepared to accept in the sense that the Welsh
form is a loan from a Goidelic one current some
time or other in this country, and represented in Irish
by Mathgamnai. The preservation of Goidelic th in
Mathonwy stamps it as ranking with Trwyth, Egel, and
Arwyli, as contrasted with a form etymologically more
correct, of which we seem to have an echo in the
Breton names Madganoe and Madgone*.

See the Gbttingische gelehrte Anseigen for 1890, p. 512.
2 See De Courson's Cartulaire de I'abbaye de Redon, pp. 163, 186.



ix] PLACE-NAME STORIES 545

Another name which I am inclined to regard as
brought in from Goidelic is that of Gilvaethwy, son of
Don : it would seem to involve some such a word as
the Irish gilla, ' a youth, an attendant or servant/ and
some form of the Goidelic name Maughteus or Mochta,
so that the name Gilla-mochtai meant the attendant of
Mochta. This last vocable appears in Irish as the name
of several saints, but previously it was probably that of
some pagan god of the Goidels, and its meaning was
most likely the same as that of the Irish participial
mochta, which Stokes explains as 'magnified, glorified':
see his Calendar of Oengus, p. ccxiv, and compare the
name Mael-mochta. Adamnan, in his Vita S. Columbce,
writes the name Maucteus in the following passage,
pref. ii. p. 6 :

Nam quidatn. proselytus Brito, homo sanctits, sancti
Patricii episcopi discipulus, Maucfeus nomine, ita de nostro
prophetizamt Patrono, sicnti nobis ab antiquis traditinn
expertis compertum habetur.

This saint, who is said to have prophesied of St.
Columba and died in the year 534, is described in his
Life (Aug. 19) as ortus ex Britannia T , which, coupled
with Adamnan's Brito, probably refers him to Wales ;
but it is remarkable that nevertheless he bore the very
un-Brythonic name of Mochta or Mauchta 2 .

1 See Reeves' note to the passage just cited in his edition of Adamnan's
Vita, pp.6, 7.

2 Here possibly one might mention likewise Gilmin Troetu or Trocdttti,
1 Gilmin of the Black Foot,' the legendary ancestor (p. 444) of the Wynns of
Glyn ILifon, in Carnarvonshire. So the name might be a shortening of some
such a combination as Gilla-min, 'the attendant of Min or A/cn,' a name %vc
have also in Mocu-Min, ' Min's Kin,' a family or sept so called more than
once by Adamnan. Perhaps one would also be right in regarding as of
similar origin the name of Gilberd or Gilbert, son of Cadgyffro, who is men-
tioned in the Kulhwch, and in the Bhick Book, fo. 14'' : at any rate I am not
convinced that the name is to be identified with the Gillebert of the Normans,
unless that was itself derived from Celtic. But there is a discrepancy
between Gilmin, Gilbert, with unmutated ni and b, and &;'/,-Yi(Y/;.vv with us
mutation consonant v. In all three, however, Gil, had it been Welsh, would

RHYS N n



54 6 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

To return to the Mabinogion : I have long been
inclined to identify ILwyd, son of Kilcoed, with the
Irish Liath, son of Celtchar, of Cualu in the present
county of Wicklow. Liath, whose name means ' grey/
is described as the comeliest youth of noble rank among
the fairies of Erin ; and the only time the Welsh ILwyd,
whose name also means ' grey/ appears in the Mabino-
gion he is ascribed, not the comeliest figure, it is true,
or the greatest personal beauty, but the most imposing
disguise of a bishop attended by his suite : he was
a great magician. The name of his father, Kil-coet,
seems to me merely an inexact popular rendering of
Celtchar, the name of Liath's father: at any rate one
fails here to detect the touch of the skilled translator or
literary redactor But the Mabinogi of Manawydan,
in which ILwyd figures, is also the one in which Pryderi
king of Dyfed's wife is called Kicua or Cigfa, a name
which has no claim to be regarded as Brythonic. It
occurs early, however, in the legendary history of
Ireland : the Four Masters, under the year A.M. 2520,
mention a Ciocbha as wife of a son of Parthalon ; and

probably have appeared as Gilt, as indicated by the name Gitl'a in the
Kulhwch (Oxford Mabinogion, p. no), in which we seem to have the later
form of the old name Gildas. Compare such Irish instances as Fiachna
and Cera, which seem to imply stems originally ending in -asa-s (masculine)
and -asa (feminine) ; and see the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries
of Ireland, 1899, p. 402.

1 An article in the Rennes Dindsenchas is devoted to Liath : see the Rev.
Celtique, xvi. 78-9. As to Celtchar, genitive Celtchair, the name would seem
to have meant ' him who is fond of concealment.' The Mabinogi form of
the Welsh name is ILwyt uab kil coet, which literally meant ' IL. son of (him
of) the Retreat of the Wood.' But in the Twrch Trwyth story, under a
slightly different form of designation, we appear to have the same person as
ILwydeu mab kelcoet and TLwydeu mab kel coet, which would seem to mean
' II.. son of (him of) the Hidden Wood.' It looks as if the bilingual story-
teller of the language transition had not been able to give up the eel of Celt-
char at the same time that he rendered celt by coet, ' wood or trees,' as if
identifying it with cailt : witness the Medieval Irish caill, ' a wood or forest,'
dative plural cailt ib, derivative adjective caillteamhuil, ' Silvester ' ; and see
Windisch's Irische Texte, p. 410, s. v. caill.



ix] PLACE-NAME STORIES



547



the name seems to be related to that of a man called
Cioccal, A.M. 2530. Lastly, Manawyctan, from whom
the Mabinogi takes its name, is called mab ILyr, ' son
of ILyr,' in Welsh, and Mananndn mac Lir in Irish.
Similarly with his brother Bran, and his sister Branwen,
except that she has not been identified in Irish story.
But in Irish literature the genitive Lir, as in mac Lir,
' son of Ler,' is so common, and the nominative so rare,
that Lir came to be treated in late Irish as the nomina-
tive too ; but a genitive of the form Lir suggests a
nominative-accusative Ler, and as a matter of fact it
occurs, for instance, in the couplet :

Fer co n-ilur gnim dar let-
Labi-aid Luath Lam. ar Claideb l .

A man of many feats beyond sea,
Labraid swift of Hand on Sword is he.

So it seems probable that the Welsh ILyr 2 is no
other word than the Goidelic genitive Lir, retained in
use with its pronunciation modified according to the
habits of the Welsh language ; and in that case 3 it
forms comprehensive evidence, that the stories about

1 Windisch's Irische Texte, p. 217, and the Book of flic Dun Cow, fo. 47 b .

3 There has been a good deal of confusion as to the name ILyr : thus for
instance, the Welsh translations of Geoffrey of Monmouth make the Leir of
his Latin into ILyr, and the personage intended is represented as the father
of three daughters named Gonerilla, Regan, and Cordeilla or Cordelia. But
Cordelia is probably the Creurdilad of the Black Book, p. 49'', and the Crei-
dylat of the Kulhwch story (the Oxford Mabinogion, pp. 113, 134), and her
father was ILud ILawereint ( = Irish Nuada Airgetlam) and not ILyr. Then
as to the Leir of Geoffrey's Latin, that name looks as if given its form
on the strength of the legr- of Legraceaster, the Anglo-Saxon name of
the town now called Leicester, of which William of Malmesbury (Gesta
Pontificwn, 176) says, Legrecestra est civitas antiqud in Meditemmeis Anglis,
a Legraflitvio praterfluente sic vocata. Mr. Stevenson regards Lcgm as an
old name of the Soar, and as surviving in that of the village of Leire, spelled
Legre in Domesday. It seems to point back to a Lcgere or Ligere, which
recalls Liger, ' the Loire.'

3 I say in that case, as this is not quite conclusive; for Welsh has an
appellative tl'yr, ' mare, aequor,' which may be a generalizing of ILyr ; or else



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