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Mabinogiof Math. These words have been studied by M. Gaidoz in Meyer
and Stern's Zeitschrift fur Celtische Philologie, i. 29-34, where he equates
Annwfn with the Breton anauon, which is a plural used collectively for the
souls of the departed, the other world. His view, however, of these
interesting words has since been mentioned in the same Zeitschrift, iii. 184-5,
and opposed in the Annales de Bretagne, xi. 488.



] PLACE-NAME STORIES 501

flatly contradicts this part of the Triad, namely to the
effect that Gwydion, nephew of Math king of Gwyned
and a great magician, came to Pryderi's court at Rhudlan,
near Dolau Bach or Highmead on the Teifi in what is
now the county of Cardigan, and obtained some of the
swine by deceiving the king. But, to pass by that for
the present, I may say that Dyfed seems to have been
famous for rearing swine ; and at the present day one
affects to believe in the neighbouring districts that the
chief industry in Dyfed, more especially in South Car-
diganshire, consists in the rearing of parsons, carpenters,
and pigs. Perhaps it is also worth mentioning that the
people of the southern portion of Dyfed are nicknamed
by the men of Glamorgan to this day Moch Sir Benfro,
' the Pigs of Pembrokeshire.'

But why so much importance attached to pigs?
I cannot well give a better answer than the reader can
himself supply if he will only consider what role the pig
plays in the domestic economy of modern Ireland.
But, to judge from old Irish literature, it was even more
so in ancient times, as pigs' meat was so highly ap-
preciated, that under some one or other of its various
names it usually takes its place at the head of all flesh
meats in Irish stories. This seems the case, for instance,
in the medieval story called the Vision of MacCon-
glinne l ; and, to go further back, to the Feast of Bricriu
for instance, one finds it decidedly the case with the
Champion's Portion 2 at that stormy banquet. Then
one may mention the story of the fatal feast on Mac-
Datho's great swine 3 , where that beast would have
apparently sufficed for the braves both of Connaught

1 Edited by Professor Kuno Meyer (London, 1892) : see for instance
pp. 76-8.

2 See Windisch's Irische Texte, p. 256, and now the Irish Text Society's
Fled Bricrend, edited with a translation by George Henderson, pp. 8, 9.

3 Windisch, ibid. pp. 99-105.



502 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

and Ulster had Conall Cernach carved fair, and not
given more than their share to his own Ultonian friends
in order to insult the Connaught men by leaving them
nothing but the fore-legs. It is right, however, to point
out that most of the stories go to show, that the gour-
mands of ancient Erin laid great stress on the pig being
properly fed, chiefly on milk and the best kind of meal.
It cannot have been very different in ancient Wales ; for
we read in the story of Peredur that, when he sets out
from his mother's home full of his mother's counsel, he
comes by-and-by to a pavilion, in front of which he sees
food, some of which he proceeds to take according to
his mother's advice, though the gorgeously dressed lady
sitting near it has not the politeness to anticipate his
wish. It consisted, we are told, of two bottles of wine,
two loaves of white bread, and collops of a milk-fed pig's
flesh T . The home of the fairies was imagined to be
a land of luxury and happiness with which nothing could
compare in this world. In this certain Welsh and Irish
stories agree ; and in one of the latter, where the king of
the fairies is trying to persuade the queen of Ireland to
elope with him, we find that among the many induce-
ments offered her are fresh pig, sweet milk, and ale 2 .
Conversely, as the fairies were considered to be always
living and to be a very old-fashioned and ancient people,

t

1 See the Oxford Mabinogion, p. 196, and Guest's trans., i. 302, where the
Welsh words a gol6ython o gic melnoch are rendered ' and collops of the
flesh of the wild boar,' which can hardly be correct ; for the melin mel-uoch,
or niel-foch in the modern spelling, is the equivalent of the Irish melg,
1 milk.' So the word must refer either to a pig that had been fed on cows'
milk or else a sucking pig. The former is the more probable meaning, but
one is not helped to decide by the fact, that the word is still sometimes used
in books by writers who imagine that they have here the word met, ' honey,'
and that the compound means pigs whose flesh is as sweet as honey : see
Dr. Pughe's Dictionary, where melfoch is rendered < honey swine,' whatever
that may mean.

Windisch's Irische Texts, p. 133, where laith lemnacht = Welsh ttaeth
tte/rit/i, ' sweet milk.'



ix] PLACE-NAME STORIES 503

it was but natural to suppose that they had the animals
which man found useful, such as horses, cattle, and sheep,
except that they were held to be of superior breeds, as
they are represented, for instance, in our lake legends.
Similarly, it is natural enough that other stories should
ascribe to them also the possession of herds of swine ;
and all this prior to man's having any. The next step
in the reasoning would be that man had obtained his
from the fairies. It is some tradition of this kind that
possibly suggested the line taken by the Pwytt stony
in the matter of the derivation of the pig from Annwn :
see the last chapter.

The next story in the Triad is, if possible, wilder still :
it runs as follows :

i. 30 : Cott son of Cottfrewi 1 who guarded Henwen 2 ,
Dattweir Datlben's sow, which went burrowing as far
as the Headland of Awstin in Kernyw and then took to
the sea. It was at Aber Torogi in Gwent Is-coed that
she came to land, with Cott keeping his grip on her
bristles whatever way she went by sea or by land. Now
in Maes Gwenith, ' Wheat Field,' in Gwent she dropped
a grain of wheat and a bee, and thenceforth that has
been the best place for wheat. Then she went as far
as ILonwen in Penfro and there dropped a grain of
barley and a bee, and thenceforth ILonwen has been the
best place for barley. Then she proceeded to Rhiw
Gyferthwch in Eryri and dropped a wolf-cub and an
eagle-chick. These Cott gave away, the eagle to the

1 Collfrewi was probably, like Gwenfrewi, a woman's name : this is a point
of some importance when taken in connexion with what was said at p. 326
above as to Gwydion and Coil's magic.

2 This reminds one of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Henvimts, whom he makes
into dux Cornnbice and father of Cunedagins or CuncJa : see ii. 12, 15. Pro-
bably Geoffrey's connecting such names as those of Cuneda and Dyfmvnl
Moelmud (ii. 17) with Cornwall is due to the fact, that the name of the
Dumnonia of the North had been forgotten long before that of the Dumnonia
to be identified with Devon and Cornwall.



504 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

Goidel Brynach from the North, and the wolf to Men-
waed of Arttechwed, and they came to be known as
Menwaed's Wolf and Brynach's Eagle. Then the sow
went as far as the Maen Du at ILanfair in Arfon, and
there she dropped a kitten, and that kitten Colt cast
into the Menai : that came later to be known as Cath
Paluc, ' Palug's Cat.'

ii. 56: The third was Cott son of Kattureuy with

the swine of Dattwyr Daftben in Dattwyr's Glen in

Kernyw. Now one of the swine was with young and

Henwen was her name; and it was foretold that the

Isle of Prydain would be the worse for her litter ; and

Arthur collected the host of Prydain and went about to

destroy it. Then one sow went burrowing, and at the

Headland of Hawstin in Kernyw she took to the sea

with the swineherd following her. And in Maes

Gwenith in Gwent she dropped a grain of wheat and

a bee, and ever since Maes Gwenith is the best place for

wheat and bees. And at ILonyon in Penfro she dropped

a grain of barley and another of wheat : therefore the

barley of ILonyon has passed into a proverb. And on

Rhiw Gyferthwch in Arfon she dropped a wolf-cub and

an eagle-chick. The wolf was given to Mergaed and the

eagle to Breat a prince from the North, and they were

the worse for having them. And at ILanfair in Arfon,

to wit below the Maen Du, she dropped a kitten, and

from the Maen Du the swineherd cast it into the sea,

but the sons of Paluc reared it to their detriment.

It grew to be Cath Paluc, ' Palug's Cat,' and proved

one of the three chief molestations of Mona reared in

the island : the second was Daronwy and the third was

Edwin king of England.

iii. ioi b : The second was Cott son of Cottfrewi who
guarded Dattwaran Dattben's sow, that came burrowing
as far as the Headland of Penwedic in Kernyw and



ix] PLACE-NAME STORIES 505

then took to the sea; and she came to land at Aber
Tarogi in Gwent Is-coed with Cott keeping his hold of
her bristles whithersoever she went on sea or land. At
Maes Gwenith in Gwent she dropped three grains of
wheat and three bees, and ever since Gwent has the
best wheat and bees. From Gwent she proceeded to
Dyfed and dropped a grain of barley and a porker, and
ever since Dyfed has the best barley and pigs : it was
in ILonnio ILonnwen these were dropped. Afterwards
she proceeded to Arfon (sic] and in ILeyn she dropped
the grain of rye, and ever since ILeyn and Eifionyd
have the best rye. And on the side of Rhiw Gyferthwch
she dropped a wolf-cub and an eagle-chick. Cott gave
the eagle to Brynach the Goidel of Dinas Affaraon, and
the wolf to Menwaed lord of Arttechwect, and one often
hears of Brynach's Wolf and Menwaed's Eagle [the
writer was careless : he has made the owners exchange
pests]. Then she went as far as the Maen Du in Arfon,
where she dropped a kitten and Cott cast it into the
Menai. That was the Cath Balwg (sic), ' Palug's Cat ' :
it proved a molestation to the Isle of Mona subse-
quently.

Such are the versions we have of this story, and
a few notes on the names seem necessary before pro-
ceeding further. Cott is called Cott son of Cotturewy
in i. 30, and Cott son of Kattureuy in ii. 56 : all that is
known of him comes from other Triads, i. 32-3, ii. 20,
and iii. 90. The first two tell us that he was one of
the Three chief Enchanters of the Isle of Prydain, and
that he was taught his magic by Rhudlwm the Giant ;
while ii. 20 calls the latter a dwarf and adds that Cott
was nephew to him. The matter is differently put in
iii. 90, to the effect that Rhudlwm the Giant learnt his
magic from EicT[il]ig the Dwarf and from Cott son of
Cottfrewi. Nothing is known of Dattwyr's Glen in



5 o6 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

Kernyw, or of the person after whom it was named.
Kernyw is the Welsh for Cornwall, but if Penryn
Awstin or Hawstin is to be identified with Aust Cliff
on the Severn Sea in Gloucestershire, the story would
seem to indicate a time when Cornwall extended north-
eastwards as far as that point. The later Triad, iii. 101,
avoids Penryn Awstin and substitutes Penwectic, which
recalls some such a name as Pengwaed l or Penwith in
Cornwall : elsewhere Penwedic 2 is only given as the
name of the most northern hundred of Keredigion.
Gwent Is-coed means Gwent below the Wood or
Forest, and Aber Torogi or Tarogi omitted, probably
by accident, in ii. 56 is now Caldicot Pill, where the
small river Tarogi, now called Troggy, discharges itself
not very far from Portskewet. Maes Gwenith in the
same neighbourhood is still known by that name. The
correct spelling of the name of the place in Penfro was
probably ILonyon, but it is variously given as ILonwen,
ILonyon, and ILonion, not to mention the ILonnio
ILonnwen of the later form of the Triad : should this
last prove to be based on any authority one might
suggest ILonyon Henwen, so called after the sow, as
the original. The modern Welsh spelling of ILonyon
would be ILonion, and it is identified by Mr. Egerton
Phillimore with Lanion near Pembroke 3 . Rhiw Gyfer-
thwch is guessed to have been one of the slopes of
Snowdon on the Bectgelert side; but I have failed to
discover anybody who has ever heard the name used
in that neighbourhood.

Arftechwed was, roughly speaking, that part of Car-
See the Oxford Mabinogion, p. 104, and the Oxford Bruts, p. 292.
See the Oxford Bn,ts, pp. 299, 317, 345 _ 6 , 34 8, 384. ' I learn from
Prof. Anwyl that Castett Penwedig is still remembered at ILanfihangel
Genau'r Glyn as the old name of Castett Gwattter in that parish.

See his note in Owen's Pembrokeshire, p. 237, where he also notices
Aber Tarogi, and the editor's notes to p. 55.



ix] PLACE-NAME STORIES 507

narvonshire which drains into the sea between Conway
and Bangor. Brynach and Menwaed or Mengwaed l
seem to be the names underlying the misreadings in
ii. 56 ; but it is quite possible that Brynach, probably
for an Irish Bronach, has here superseded an earlier
Urnach or Eurnach also a Goidel, to whom I shall
have to return in another chapter. Dinas Affaraon 2 is
the place called Dinas Ffaraon Dande in the story of
ILud and ILevelys, where we are told that after ILud had
had the two dragons buried there, which had been dug
up at the centre of his realm, to wit at Oxford, Ffaraon,
after whom the place was called, died of grief. Later it
came to be called Dinas Emrys from Myrdin Emrys,
4 Merlinus Ambrosius,' who induced Vortigern to go
away from there in quest of another place to build his
castle 3 . So the reader will see that the mention of this
Dinas brings us back to a weird spot with which he has
been familiarized in the previous chapter : see pp. 469,
495 above. ILanfair in Arfon is ILanfair Is-gaer near
Port Dinorwic on the Menai Straits, and the Maen Du
should be a black rock or black stone on the southern
side of those straits. Daronwy and Cath Paluc are
both personages on whom light is still wanted. Lastly,
by Edwin king of England is to be understood Edwin

1 Mergaed for Mengivaed hardly requires any explanation ; and as to
Breat or rather Vreat, as it occurs in mutation, we have only to suppose the
original carelessly written Vreac for Vreach, and we have the usual error of
neglecting the stroke indicating the ;/, and the very common one of confound-
ing c with t. This first-mentioned name should possibly be analysed into
Mengw-aedor Menw-aed for an Irish Menb-aed, with the utaib, ' little,' noticed
at p. 510 below ; in that case one might compare such compounds of Aed
as Beo-aed and Lng-aed in the Martyrology of Gonnan. Should this prove
well founded the Mod. Welsh transcription of Menwaed should be Meiiwaect.
I have had the use of other versions of the Triads from MSS. in the Peniarth
collection ; but they contribute nothing of any great importance as regards
the proper names in the passages here in question.

2 See the Oxford Mabinogiov, pp. 41, 98, and Guest's trans., iii. 313.

3 See Geoffrey's Historia Rcgtim Britannia, vi. 19, viii. 1,2; also Giraldus,
Itincmriuin Kanibrice, ii. 8 (p. 133).



5 o8 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

king of the Angles of Deira and Bernicia, whom Welsh
tradition represents as having found refuge for a time
in Anglesey.

Now this story as a whole looks like a sort of device
for stringing together explanations of the origin of
certain place-names and of certain local characteristics.
Leaving entirely out of the reckoning the whole of Mid-
Wales, that is to say, the more Brythonic portion of the
country, it is remarkable as giving to South Wales credit
for certain resources, but to North Wales for pests alone
and scourges, except that the writer of the late version
bethought himself of ILeyn and Eifionydas having good
land for growing rye ; but he was very hazy as to the
geography of North Wales both he and the redactors
of the other Triads equally belonged doubtless to South
Wales. Among the place-names, Maes Gwenith, ' the
Wheat Field/ is clear; but hardly less so is the case
of Aber Torogi, ' Mouth of the Troggy/ where torogi
is ' the pregnancy of animals/ from torrog, ' being with
young.' So with Rhiw Gyferthwch, ' the Hillside or
Ascent of Cyferthwchj where cyferthwch means ' pant-
ings, pangs, labour.' The name Maen Du, ' Black
Rock/ is left to explain itself; and I am not sure that
the original story was not so put as also to explain
JLom'on, to wit, as a sort of plural of tfawn, ' full/ in
reference, let us say, to the full ears of the barley grown
there. But the reference to the place-names seems to
have partly escaped the later tellers of the story or to
have failed to impress them as worth emphasizing.
They appear to have thought more of explaining the
origin of Menwaed's Wolf and Brynach's Eagle.
Whether this means in the former case that the district
of Arttechwed: was more infested by wolves than any
other part of Wales, or that Menwaed, lord of Arltech-
wed, had a wolf as his symbol, it is impossible to say.



ix] PLACE-NAME STORIES 509

In another Triad, however, i. 23 = ii. 57, he is reckoned
one of the Three Battle-knights who were favourites
at Arthur's court, the others being Caradog Freichfras
and ILyr ILiiydog or ILud" ILurugog, while in iii. 29
Menwaed's place is taken by a son of his called Mael
Hir. Similarly with regard to Brynach's Eagle one
has nothing to say, except that common parlance some
time or other would seem to have associated the eagle
in some way with Brynach the Goidel. The former
prevalence of the eagle in the Snowdon district seems
to be the explanation of its Welsh name of Eryri as
already suggested, p. 479 above and the association of
the bird with the Goidelic chieftain who had his strong-
hold under the shadow of Snowdon seems to follow
naturally enough. But the details are conspicuous
by their scarcity in Welsh literature, though Brynach's
Eagle is probably to be identified with the Aquila Fabu-
losa of Eryri, of which Giraldus makes a curious men-
tion 1 . Perhaps the final disuse of Goidelic speech in
the district is to be, to some extent, regarded as ac-
counting for our dearth of data. A change of language
involved in all probability the shipwreck of many a
familiar mode of thought ; and many a homely ex-
pression must have been lost in the transition before
an equivalent acceptable to the Goidel was discovered
by him in his adopted idiom.

This question of linguistic change will be found
further illustrated by the story to which I wish now to
pass, namely that of the hunting of Twrch Trwyth. It
is one of those incorporated in the larger tale known as
that of Kulhwch and Olwen, the hero and heroine con-
cerned : see the Oxford Mabinogion, pp. 135-41, and
Guest's translation, iii. 306-16. Twrch Trwyth is pic-
tured as a formidable boar at the head of his offspring,

1 ItinerariutH Kambrioe, ii. 9 (p. 136).



510 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

consisting of seven swine, and the Twrch himself is
represented as carrying between his ears a comb, a
razor, and a pair of shears. The plot of the Kulhwch
renders it necessary that these precious articles should
be procured ; so Kulhwch prevails on his cousin Arthur
to undertake the hunt. Arthur began by sending
one of his men, to wit, Menw ] son of Teirgwaect, to
see whether the three precious things mentioned were
really where they were said to be, namely, between
Twrch Trwyth's ears. Menw was a great magician
who usually formed one of any party of Arthur's men
about to visit a pagan country ; for it was his business
to subject the inhabitants to magic and enchantment, so
that they should not see Arthur's men, while the latter
saw them. Menw found Twrch Trwyth and his offspring
at a place in Ireland called Esgeir Oervel 2 , and in order
to approach them he alighted in the form of a bird near
where they were. He tried to snatch one of the three
precious articles from Twrch Trwyth, but he only
succeeded in securing one of his bristles, whereupon
the Twrch stood up and shook himself so vigorously
that a drop of venom from his bristles fell on Menw,
who never enjoyed a day's health afterwards as long as
he lived. Menw now returned and assured Arthur
that the treasures were really about the Twrch's head
as it was reported. Arthur then crossed to Ireland
with a host and did not stop until he found Twrch

1 Menw's name is to be equated with the Irish word ntenb, ' little, small,'
and connected with the Welsh derivative di-fenw-i, 'belittling or reviling' :
i will be seen that he takes the form of a bird, and his designation Menw
/ai Tcirgwacct might perhaps be rendered ' Little, son of Three-Cries.'

Identified by Professor Kuno Meyer in the Transactions of the Cymmro-

<on Society, ,895-6, p. 73, with a place in Leinster called Sescenn

rbco,l, 'the Marsh of Uairbhel,' where Uairbhel may possibly be a man's

name, but more likely that of a pass or gap described as Cold-mouth :

compare the Slack or Sloe in the Isle of Man, called in Manx 'the big

Mouth of the Wind/ The Irish name comes near in part to the Welsh Esgei?

crvel or Oerfel, which means ' the mountain Spur of cold Weather '



ix] PLACE-NAME STORIES 511

Trwyth and his swine at Esgeir Oervel. The hunt
began and was continued for several days, but it did
not prevent the Twrch from laying waste a fifth part of
Ireland, that is in Medieval Irish cdiced, a province
of the island. Arthur's men, however, succeeded in
killing one of the Twrch's offspring, and they asked
Arthur the history x of that swine. Arthur replied that
it had been a king before being transformed by God
into a swine on account of his sins. Here I should
remark by the way, that the narrator of the story forgets
the death of this young boar, and continues to reckon
the Twrch's herd as seven.

Arthur's next move was to send one of his men,
Gwrhyr, interpreter of tongues 2 , to parley with the
boars. Gwrhyr, in the form of a bird, alighted above
where Twrch Trwyth and his swine lay, and ad-
dressed them as follows : ' For the sake of Him
who fashioned you in this shape, if you can speak,
I ask one of you to come to converse with Arthur.'
Answer was made by one of the boars, called Grugyn
Gwrych Ereint, that is, Grugyn Silver-bristle ; for like
feathers of silver, we are told, were his bristles
wherever he went, and whether in woods or on plains,
one saw the gleam of his bristles. The following, then,
was Grugyn's answer : ' By Him who fashioned us in

1 The word used in the text is ysfyr, which now means ' meaning or
signification' ; but it is there used in the sense of 'history,' or of the Latin
' historia,' from which it is probably borrowed.

2 In the original his designation is Gwrhyr Gwalstawt Icif/ioccf, and the
man so called is in the Kulhwch credited with the mastery of all languages,
including those of certain birds and quadrupeds. Gwalstawt, found written
also gwalstot, is the Anglo-Saxon word wealhstdd, ' an interpreter,' borrowed.
The name Gwrhyr is possibly identical with that of Ferghoir, borne by the
Stentor of Fionn mac Cumhaill's following. Ferghoir's every shout is said
to have been audible over three cantreds. Naturally one who was to
parley with a savage host had good reason to cultivate a far-reaching voice,
if he wished to be certain of returning to his friends. For more about it sec
the footnote at p. 489 of my Hibbcrt Lectures.



5I2 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

this shape, we shall not do so, and we shall not con-
verse with Arthur. Enough evil has God done to us
when He fashioned us in this shape, without your
coming to fight with us.' Gwrhyr replied : ' I tell you
that Arthur will fight for the comb, the razor, and the
shears that are between the ears of Twrch Trwyth.'
' Until his life has first been taken,' said Grugyn, ' those
trinkets shall not be taken, and to-morrow morning we
set out hence for Arthur's own country, and all the harm
we can, shall we do there.'

The boars accordingly set out for Wales, while Arthur
with his host, his horses, and his hounds, on board his
ship Prydwen, kept within sight of them. Twrch
Trwyth came to land at Forth Clais, a small creek south
of St. David's, but Arthur went that night to Mynyw,
which seems to have been Menevia or St. David's.
The next day Arthur was told that the boars had gone
past, and he overtook them killing the herds of Kynnwas
Cwrvagyl, after they had destroyed all they could find
in Deugledyf, whether man or beast. Then the Twrch
went as far as Presseleu, a name which survives in that
of Preselly or Precelly, as in Preselly Top and Preselly
Mountains in North Pembrokeshire. Arthur and his
men began the hunt again, while his warriors were
ranged on both sides of the Nyfcr or the river Nevern.
The Twrch then left the Glen of the Nevern and made
his way to Cwm Kerwyn, the name of which survives
in that of Moel Cwm Kerwyn, one of the Preselly
heights. In the course of the hunt in that district the
Twrch killed Arthur's four champions and many of the



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