Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Gwythr ap Greidawl

Gwythr ap Greidawl

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Gwythr ap Greidawl'
Start a new discussion about 'Gwythr ap Greidawl'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
In Welsh mythology
Welsh mythology
Welsh mythology, the remnants of the mythology of the pre-Christian Britons, has come down to us in much altered form in medieval Welsh manuscripts such as the Red Book of Hergest, the White Book of Rhydderch, the Book of Aneirin and the Book of Taliesin....

, Gwythyr ap Greidawl was a rival of Gwyn ap Nudd
Gwyn ap Nudd
Gwyn ap Nudd is a Welsh mythological figure, the king of the Tylwyth Teg or "fair folk" and ruler of the Welsh Otherworld, Annwn. Described as a great warrior with a "blackened face", Gwyn is intimately associated with the otherworld in medieval Welsh literature, and is associated with the...

, a deity
God (male deity)
A god, as a male deity, contrasts with female deities, or "goddesses". While the term 'goddess' specifically refers to a female deity, the plural 'gods' can be applied to all gods collectively, regardless of gender....

 connected with the otherworld
Annwn
Annwn or Annwfn was the Otherworld in Welsh mythology. Ruled by Arawn, or much later by Gwyn ap Nudd, it was essentially a world of delights and eternal youth where disease is absent and food is ever-abundant. It later became Christianised and identified with the land of souls that had departed...

. In the Middle Welsh prose tale Culhwch ac Olwen, he is named as a member of Arthur's
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

 retinue and takes part in the quest to win the hand of Olwen
Olwen
In Welsh mythology, Olwen is the daughter of the giant Ysbaddaden and cousin of Goreu. She is the heroine of the story Culhwch and Olwen in the Mabinogion....

 for Arthur's cousin, Culhwch
Culhwch
Culhwch , in Welsh mythology, is the son of Cilydd son of Celyddon and Goleuddydd, a cousin of Arthur and the protagonist of the story Culhwch and Olwen...

. Gwthyr would join Arthur on a journey to Pennant Gofid in Hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

 to retrieve the blood of the witch Orddu. His father is Greidawl Galldonyd, a fellow knight of Arthur's court. In Bonedd yr Arwyr, his genealogy is given as Gwythyr son of Greidawl the son of Enfael the son of Deigyr the son of Dyfnwal the son of Ednyfed the son of Maxen the son of Llywelyn. The Welsh Triads
Welsh Triads
The Welsh Triads are a group of related texts in medieval manuscripts which preserve fragments of Welsh folklore, mythology and traditional history in groups of three. The triad is a rhetorical form whereby objects are grouped together in threes, with a heading indicating the point of likeness...

 name him as the father of Arthur's
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

 second wife, also named Gwenhwyfar
Guinevere
Guinevere was the legendary queen consort of King Arthur. In tales and folklore, she was said to have had a love affair with Arthur's chief knight Sir Lancelot...

.

Sometime before the main events of Culhwch and Olwen, Gwythyr was engaged to marry Creiddylad, daughter of Lludd
Creiddylad
Creiddylad is a figure from Welsh mythology known from the early medieval Welsh Arthurian tale of Culhwch ac Olwen, one of the tales of the Mabinogion. She is the daughter of Lludd Llaw Eraint...

, who was stolen from him by her brother, Gwyn ap Nudd
Gwyn ap Nudd
Gwyn ap Nudd is a Welsh mythological figure, the king of the Tylwyth Teg or "fair folk" and ruler of the Welsh Otherworld, Annwn. Described as a great warrior with a "blackened face", Gwyn is intimately associated with the otherworld in medieval Welsh literature, and is associated with the...

. In a violent battle, Gwyn defeated his rival, kept Creiddylad and took a number of Gwythyr's chieftains prisoner. When Arthur heard of this, he forced Gwyn to release the noblemen and made peace between the two adversaries.

Every Calan Mai
Calan Mai
In Wales, May 1 is a holiday known as Calan Mai or Calan Haf, which means the first day of summer. Celebrations start on the evening before, known as May Eve, with bonfires; as with Calan Gaeaf, the night before is an Ysbrydnos, or "spirit night," when spirits are out and about and divination is...

, the two would fight over Creiddylad
Creiddylad
Creiddylad is a figure from Welsh mythology known from the early medieval Welsh Arthurian tale of Culhwch ac Olwen, one of the tales of the Mabinogion. She is the daughter of Lludd Llaw Eraint...

, until a battle on Judgement Day, in which the victor would keep her forever. Their rivalry has been taken to represent the contest between summer and winter and is a variant of the Holly King myth.