Celtic mythology is the mythology of Celtic polytheism, the religion of the Iron Age Celts. Like other Iron Age Europeans, the early Celts maintained a polytheistic mythology and religious structure. For Celts in close contact with Ancient Rome, such as the Gauls and Celtiberians, their mythology did not survive the Roman Empire, their subsequent conversion to Christianity and the loss of their Celtic languages, it is through contemporary Roman and Christian sources that their mythology has been preserved. The Celtic peoples who maintained either political or linguistic identities left vestigial remnants of their ancestral mythologies that were put into written form during the Middle Ages. Although the Celtic world at its height covered much of western and central Europe, it was not politically unified nor was there any substantial central source of cultural influence or homogeneity. Inscriptions of more than three hundred deities equated with their Roman counterparts, have survived, but of these most appear to have been genii locorum, local or tribal gods, few were worshiped.
However, from what has survived of Celtic mythology, it is possible to discern commonalities which hint at a more unified pantheon than is given credit. The nature and functions of these ancient gods can be deduced from their names, the location of their inscriptions, their iconography, the Roman gods they are equated with, similar figures from bodies of Celtic mythology. Celtic mythology is found in a number of distinct, if related, subgroups corresponding to the branches of the Celtic languages: Ancient Celtic religion mythology in Goidelic languages, represented chiefly by Irish mythology Mythological Cycle Ulster Cycle Fenian Cycle Cycles of the Kings mythology in Brittonic languages Welsh mythology Cornish mythology Breton mythology As a result of the scarcity of surviving materials bearing written Gaulish, it is surmised that the most of the Celtic writings were destroyed by the Romans, although a written form of Gaulish using Greek and North Italic alphabets was used. Julius Caesar attests to the literacy of the Gauls, but wrote that their priests, the druids, were forbidden to use writing to record certain verses of religious significance while noting that the Helvetii had a written census.
Rome introduced a more widespread habit of public inscriptions, broke the power of the druids in the areas it conquered. Although early Gaels in Ireland and parts of modern Wales used the Ogham script to record short inscriptions, more sophisticated literacy was not introduced to Celtic areas that had not been conquered by Rome until the advent of Christianity. Indeed, many Gaelic myths were first recorded by Christian monks, albeit without most of their original religious meanings; the oldest body of myths stemming from the Heroic Age is found only from the early medieval period of Ireland. As Christianity began to take over, the gods and goddesses were eliminated as such from the culture. What has survived includes material dealing with the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Fomorians, which forms the basis for the text Cath Maige Tuired "The Battle of Mag Tuireadh", as well as portions of the history-focused Lebor Gabála Érenn; the Tuatha Dé represent the functions of human society such as kingship and war, while the Fomorians represent chaos and wild nature.
The leader of the gods for the Irish pantheon appears to have been the Dagda. The Dagda was the figure on which male humans and other gods were based because he embodied ideal Irish traits. Celtic gods were considered to be a clan due to their lack of specialization and unknown origins; the particular character of the Dagda was as a figure of burlesque lampoonery in Irish mythology, some authors conclude that he was trusted to be benevolent enough to tolerate jokes at his own expense. Irish tales depict the Dagda as a figure of power, armed with a club. In Dorset there is a famous outline of an ithyphallic giant known as the Cerne Abbas Giant with a club cut into the chalky soil. While this was produced in modern times, it was long thought to be a representation of the Dagda; this has been called into question by recent studies which show that there may have been a representation of what looks like a large drapery hanging from the horizontal arm of the figure, leading to suspicion that this figure represents Hercules, with the skin of the Nemean lion over his arm and carrying the club he used to kill it.
In Gaul, it is speculated that the Dagda is associated with Sucellus, the striker, equipped with a hammer and cup. The Morrígan was a tripartite battle goddess of the Celts of Ancient Ireland, she was known as the Morrígan, but the different sections she was divided into were referred to as Nemain and Badb, with each representing different aspects of combat. She is most known for her involvement in the Táin Bó Cúailnge
Math fab Mathonwy (branch)
Math fab Mathonwy, "Math, the son of Mathonwy" is a legendary tale from medieval Welsh literature and the final of the four branches of the Mabinogi. It tells of a vicious war between the north and the south, of the birth of Lleu Llaw Gyffes and Dylan ail Don, of the tyngedau of Arianrhod, of the creation of Blodeuwedd, a woman made of flowers; the chief characters of the tale are Math, king of Gwynedd, his nephew Gwydion, a magician and trickster, Gwydion's own nephew, cursed by his mother Arianrhod. Along with the other branches, the tale can be found the medieval Red Book of Hergest and White Book of Rhydderch. Allusions to the tale can be found in two old triads retained in the Trioedd Ynys Prydain Gilfaethwy, nephew to the Venedotian king, Math fab Mathonwy, falls in love with his uncle's virgin foot-holder, Goewin, his brother Gwydion conspires to start a war between the north and the south, so as give the brothers the opportunity to rape Goewin while Math is distracted. To this end, Gwydion employs his magic powers to steal a number of otherworldy pigs from the Demetian king, who retaliates by marching on Gwynedd.
Meanwhile and Gilfaethwy attack and rape Goewin. Pryderi and his men march north and fight a battle between Maenor Bennardd and Maenor Coed Alun, but are forced to retreat, he is pursued to Nant Call, where more of his men are slaughtered, to Dol Benmaen, where he suffers a third defeat. To avoid further bloodshed, it is agreed that the outcome of the battle should be decided by single combat between Gwydion and Pryderi; the two contenders meet at a place called Y Velen Rhyd in Ardudwy, "because of strength and valour and magic and enchantment", Gwydion triumphs and Pryderi is killed. The men of Dyfed retreat back to their own land; when Math hears of the assault on Goewin, he turns his nephews into a series of mated pairs of animals: Gwydion becomes a stag for a year a sow and a wolf. Gilfaethwy becomes a hind deer, a boar and a she-wolf; each year they produce an offspring, sent to Math: Hyddwn and Bleiddwn. After three years, Math releases his nephews from their punishment and begins the search for a new foot-holder.
Gwydion suggests his sister Arianrhod, magically tested for virginity by Math. During the test, she gives birth to a "sturdy boy with thick yellow hair" whom Math names Dylan and who takes on the nature of the seas until his death at his uncle Gofannon's hands. Ashamed, Arianrhod runs to the door, but on her way out something small drops from her, which Gwydion wraps up and places in a chest at the foot of his bed; some time he hears screams from within the chest, opens it to discover a baby boy. Some scholars have suggested that in an earlier form of the Fourth Branch, Gwydion was the father of Arianrhod's sons; some years Gwydion accompanies the boy to Caer Arianrhod, presents him to his mother. The furious Arianrhod, shamed by this reminder of her loss of virginity, places a tynged on the boy: that only she could give him a name. Gwydion however tricks his sister by disguising himself and the boy as cobblers and luring Arianrhod into going to them in person in order to have some shoes made for her.
The boy throws a stone and strikes a wren "between the tendon and the bone of its leg", causing Arianrhod to make the remark "it is with a skillful hand that the fair-haired one has hit it ". At that Gwydion reveals himself, saying Lleu Llaw Gyffes. Furious at this trickery, Arianrhod places another tynged on Lleu: he shall receive arms from no one but Arianrhod herself. Gwydion tricks his sister once again, she unwittingly arms Lleu herself, leading to her placing a third tynged on him: that he shall never have a human wife. So as to counteract Arianrhod's curse and Gwydion: While Lleu is away on business, Blodeuwedd has an affair with Gronw Pebr, the lord of Penllyn, the two conspire to murder Lleu. Blodeuwedd tricks Lleu into revealing how he may be killed, since he can not be killed during the day or night, nor indoors or outdoors, neither riding nor walking, not clothed and not naked, nor by any weapon lawfully made, he reveals to her that he can only be killed at dusk, wrapped in a net with one foot on a cauldron and one on a goat and with a spear forged for a year during the hours when everyone is at mass.
With this information she arranges his death. Struck by the spear thrown by Gronw's hand, Lleu flies away. Gwydion finds him perched high on an oak tree. Through the singing of an englyn he lures him down from the oak tree and switches him back to his human form. Gwydion and Math nurse Lleu back to health before mustering Gwynedd and reclaiming his lands from Gronw and Blodeuwedd. Gwydion overtakes a fleeing Blodeuwedd and turns her into an owl, the creature hated by all other birds, proclaiming: The narrative adds: Meanwhile, Gronw escapes to Penllyn and sends emissaries to Lleu to beg of his forgiveness. Lleu refuses, demanding that Gronw must stand on the bank of the River Cynfael and receive a blow from his spear. Gronw asks if anyone from his warband will take the spear in his place, but his men refuse his plea. Gronw agrees to receive the blow on the condition that he may place a large stone between himself and Lleu, who allows him to do so before throwing the spear with such strength that it pierces the stone, killing his rival.
A holed stone in Ardudwy is still known as Llech Ronw. The tale ends with Lleu ascending to the throne of Gwynedd
King Arthur was a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. The details of Arthur's story are composed of folklore and literary invention, his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians; the sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various sources, including the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, the writings of Gildas. Arthur's name occurs in early poetic sources such as Y Gododdin. Arthur is a central figure in the legends making up the Matter of Britain; the legendary Arthur developed as a figure of international interest through the popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth's fanciful and imaginative 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae. In some Welsh and Breton tales and poems that date from before this work, Arthur appears either as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies or as a magical figure of folklore, sometimes associated with the Welsh otherworld Annwn.
How much of Geoffrey's Historia was adapted from such earlier sources, rather than invented by Geoffrey himself, is unknown. Although the themes and characters of the Arthurian legend varied from text to text, there is no one canonical version, Geoffrey's version of events served as the starting point for stories. Geoffrey depicted Arthur as a king of Britain who established a vast empire. Many elements and incidents that are now an integral part of the Arthurian story appear in Geoffrey's Historia, including Arthur's father Uther Pendragon, the magician Merlin, Arthur's wife Guinevere, the sword Excalibur, Arthur's conception at Tintagel, his final battle against Mordred at Camlann, final rest in Avalon; the 12th-century French writer Chrétien de Troyes, who added Lancelot and the Holy Grail to the story, began the genre of Arthurian romance that became a significant strand of medieval literature. In these French stories, the narrative focus shifts from King Arthur himself to other characters, such as various Knights of the Round Table.
Arthurian literature thrived during the Middle Ages but waned in the centuries that followed until it experienced a major resurgence in the 19th century. In the 21st century, the legend lives on, not only in literature but in adaptations for theatre, television and other media; the historical basis for King Arthur has long been debated by scholars. One school of thought, citing entries in the Historia Brittonum and Annales Cambriae, sees Arthur as a genuine historical figure, a Romano-British leader who fought against the invading Anglo-Saxons some time in the late 5th to early 6th century; the Historia Brittonum, a 9th-century Latin historical compilation attributed in some late manuscripts to a Welsh cleric called Nennius, contains the first datable mention of King Arthur, listing twelve battles that Arthur fought. These culminate in the Battle of Badon. Recent studies, question the reliability of the Historia Brittonum; the other text that seems to support the case for Arthur's historical existence is the 10th-century Annales Cambriae, which link Arthur with the Battle of Badon.
The Annales date this battle to 516–518, mention the Battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut were both killed, dated to 537–539. These details have been used to bolster confidence in the Historia's account and to confirm that Arthur did fight at Badon. Problems have been identified, with using this source to support the Historia Brittonum's account; the latest research shows that the Annales Cambriae was based on a chronicle begun in the late 8th century in Wales. Additionally, the complex textual history of the Annales Cambriae precludes any certainty that the Arthurian annals were added to it that early, they were more added at some point in the 10th century and may never have existed in any earlier set of annals. The Badon entry derived from the Historia Brittonum; this lack of convincing early evidence is the reason many recent historians exclude Arthur from their accounts of sub-Roman Britain. In the view of historian Thomas Charles-Edwards, "at this stage of the enquiry, one can only say that there may well have been an historical Arthur the historian can as yet say nothing of value about him".
These modern admissions of ignorance are a recent trend. The historian John Morris made the putative reign of Arthur the organising principle of his history of sub-Roman Britain and Ireland, The Age of Arthur. So, he found little to say about a historical Arthur. In reaction to such theories, another school of thought emerged which argued that Arthur had no historical existence at all. Morris's Age of Arthur prompted the archaeologist Nowell Myres to observe that "no figure on the borderline of history and mythology has wasted more of the historian's time". Gildas' 6th-century polemic De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, written within living memory of Badon, mentions the battle but does not mention Arthur. Arthur is not mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle or named in any surviving manuscript written between 400 and 820, he is absent from Bede's early-8th-century Ecclesiastical History of the English People, another major early source for post-Roman history that mentions Badon. The historian David Dumville wrote: "I think.
He owes his place in our history books to a'no smoke without fire' school of thought... The f
Annwn, Annwfn, or Annwfyn is the Otherworld in Welsh mythology. Ruled by Arawn, it was a world of delights and eternal youth where disease was absent and food was ever-abundant, it became identified with the Christian afterlife in paradise. Middle Welsh sources suggest; the appearance of a form antumnos on an ancient Gaulish curse tablet which means an tumnos, suggests that the original term may have been *ande-dubnos, a common Gallo-Brittonic word that meant "underworld". The pronunciation of Modern Welsh Annwn is. In both Welsh and Irish mythologies, the Otherworld was believed to be located either on an island or underneath the earth. In the First Branch of the Mabinogi, it is implied that Annwn is a land within Dyfed, while the context of the Arthurian poem Preiddeu Annwfn suggests an island location. Two other otherworldly feasts that occur in the Second Branch of the Mabinogi are located in Harlech in northwest Wales and on Ynys Gwales in southwest Pembrokeshire. Annwn plays a reasonably prominent role in the Four Branches of the Mabinogi, a set of four interlinked mythological tales dating from the early medieval period.
In the First Branch of the Mabinogi, entitled Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed, the eponymous prince offends Arawn, ruler of Annwn, by baiting his hunting hounds on a stag that Arawn's dogs had brought down. In recompense he exchanges places with Arawn for a year and defeats Arawn's enemy Hafgan, while Arawn rules in his stead in Dyfed. During this year, Pwyll abstains from sleeping with Arawn's wife, earning himself gratitude and eternal friendship from Arawn. On his return, Pwyll becomes known by the title Penn Annwn, "Head of Annwn." In the Fourth Branch, Arawn does not appear. The mythological epic poem Cad Goddeu describes a battle between Gwynedd and the forces of Annwn, led again by Arawn, it is revealed that Amaethon, nephew to Math, king of Gwynedd, stole a bitch, a lapwing and a roebuck from the Otherworld, leading to a war between the two peoples. The denizens of Annwn are depicted as hellish creatures. Gwydion, the Venedotian hero and magician defeats Arawn's army, first by enchanting the trees to rise up and fight and by guessing the name of the enemy hero Bran, thus winning the battle.
Preiddeu Annwfn, an early medieval poem found in the Book of Taliesin, describes a voyage led by King Arthur to the numerous otherworldy kingdoms within Annwn, either to rescue the prisoner Gweir or to retrieve the cauldron of the Head of Annwn. The narrator of the poem is intended to be Taliesin himself. One line can be interpreted as implying that he received his gift of poetry or speech from a magic cauldron, as Taliesin does in other texts, Taliesin's name is connected to a similar story in another work; the speaker relates how he journeyed with Arthur and three boatloads of men into Annwfn, but only seven returned. Annwfn is referred to by several names, including "Mound Fortress," "Four-Peaked Fortress," and "Glass Fortress", though it is possible the poet intended these to be distinct places. Within the Mound Fort's walls Gweir, one of the "Three Exalted Prisoners of Britain" known from the Welsh Triads, is imprisoned in chains; the narrator describes the cauldron of the Chief of Annwn: it is finished with pearl and will not boil a coward's food.
Whatever tragedy killed all but seven of them is not explained. The poem continues with an excoriation of "little men" and monks, who lack various forms of knowledge possessed by the poet. Over time, the role of king of Annwn was transferred to Gwyn ap Nudd, a hunter and psychopomp, who may have been the Welsh personification of winter; the Christian Vita Collen tells of Saint Collen vanquishing Gwyn and his otherworldly court from Glastonbury Tor with the use of holy water. In Culhwch and Olwen, an early Welsh Arthurian tale, it is said that God gave Gwyn ap Nudd control over the demons lest "this world be destroyed." Tradition revolves around Gwyn leading his spectral hunts, the Cŵn Annwn, on his hunt for mortal souls. The Dark, a 2005 film directed by John Fawcett and based on the novel Sheep by Simon Maginn, involves the legend, though set in contemporary times. Annwn is the name of a German pagan folk duo from North Rhine-Westphalia; the name was previously used by an unrelated Celtic Rock trio in Berkeley, from 1991 until the death of lead singer Leigh Ann Hussey on 16 May 2006.
British author Niel Bushnell's novels Sorrowline and Timesmith feature an island called Annwn in the realm of Otherworld. The Anglo-Welsh author, poet and playwright, David Jones Annwn adopted the name Annwn in 1975 in the same spirit that his great-uncle, the Welsh bard Henry Lloyd, had adopted the name Ap Hefin; the Gaulish term Antumnos and the otherworld features in Swiss folk metal band Eluveitie's 2014 release Origins, Specifically their song "King". Using the variant spelling Annwyn, it is an otherworldly location in the MMORPG Vindictus. Vindictus is loosely based on Celtic mythology, known as Mabinogi: Heroes in Asia. Annwyn, Beneath the Wa
Kingdom of Dyfed
The Kingdom of Dyfed is one of several Welsh petty kingdoms that emerged in 5th-century sub-Roman Britain in southwest Wales based on the former territory of the Demetae. Following the Norman invasion of Wales between 1067–1100, the region was conquered by the Normans and by 1138 incorporated into a new shire called Pembrokeshire after the Norman castle built in the Cantref of Penfro and under the rule of the Marcher Earl of Pembroke. In the year 360, a sudden series of coordinated raids by the Irish, Anglo-Saxons and Picts began; these continued as the Irish colonised the Isle of Man and resulted in a short period lasting until the 5th century during which Old Irish was spoken in the region: twenty stones dated to this period have ogham inscriptions. One bilingual Latin-Irish stone in Castelldwyran, near Narberth, has the name Votecorigas written on it. Dyfed may have occupied the area that bordered the rivers Teifi and Tywi, included contemporary Pembrokeshire, the western part of contemporary Carmarthenshire, with the town of Carmarthen.
Dyfed comprised at least seven cantrefi: Cemais, Emlyn, Cantref Gwarthaf, Pebidiog and Rhos, with an approximate area of about 2,284 square kilometres. During times of strength, the kingdom expanded to additionally cover the Ystrad Tywi, including Cydweli and Gwyr, bordered Brycheiniog. Dyfed lost the Ystrad Tywi region to another petty kingdom, in the late 7th century. During the "Age of the Saints", Dyfed may have had as many as seven bishops, called in Latin sacerdotes one for each cantref. However, by the High Middle Ages the Diocese of St David's emerged as one of only three episcopal dioceses in Wales, with St. David's covering all of West Wales and part of Mid Wales. Dyfed was subject to extensive raids during the Viking Age between the 8th and 11th centuries, causing social and political instability, with the Vikings establishing settlements in southern Dyfed. By the latter part of the 9th century, the rulers of Dyfed had grown cautious of the influence of the sons of Rhodri the Great, sought out an alliance and the patronage of Alfred the Great of England.
The precise nature of the relationship between King Alfred and the rulers in Wales remains unclear, whether a transitory alliance or a formal mediatisation of the Welsh rulers to the king of England. Historical attempts have been made to cast the relationship as one as a confederation of Christian unity on the isle of Britain, under the leadership of Alfred, against the heathen Danes. However, there evolved a significant degree of coercion according to Davies. "The recognition by Welsh rulers that the king of England had claims upon them would be a central fact in the subsequent political history of Wales," according to Davies. In about 904, Dyfed's ruler, Llywarch ap Hyfaidd, leaving his daughter Elen ferch Lywarch as his heiress. Elen was married to Hywel Dda, ruler of neighbouring Seisyllwg and grandson of Rhodri the Great through his second son, Cadell ap Rhodri. Through his marriage to Elen, Hywel incorporated Dyfed into an enlarged realm to be known as Deheubarth, meaning the "south part", went on to conquer Powys and Gwynedd.
However, both Powys and Gwynedd returned to their native dynasties on Hywel's death in 950. Hwyel's grandson Maredudd ab Owain recreated the kingdom of his grandfather, but his rule was beset with increasing Viking raids during the latter part of the 10th century, it is during this period that Viking settlements increased in the area in the cantref of Penfro, with other Viking settlements and trading station at Haverfordwest and Caldey Island in Dyfed. Viking raids upon the Welsh were "relentless", according to Davies, Maredudd was compelled to raise taxes to pay the ransoms for Welsh hostages in 993, in 999 a Viking raiding party attacked St. David's and killed Morganau, the bishop. Dyfed remained an integral province within Deheubarth until the Norman invasions of Wales between 1068-1100. In the Dyfed region, the cantrefi of Penfro, Rhos and Pebidiog became occupied by Norman overlords; the Normans influenced the election of the Bishops of St. David's, from 1115 onwards; the Princes of Deheubarth, Llywelyn the Great as the Prince of a virtual Principality of Wales from 1216, fought to recover the region until the Conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1284 settled the matter.
The 1284 Statute of Rhuddlan established the English counties of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire out of the region formally known as Dyfed. Archaeological evidence and theories from this period are dealt with in depth by Dyfed Archaeological Trust. In 1974 an administrative area was established in south west Wales called Dyfed, incorporating Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. Déisi Charles-Edwards, Thomas. Wales and the Britons, 350-1064. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-821731-2; the Irish settlements in Wales, Myles Dillon, Celtica 12, 1977, p. 1-11
Joseph Jacobs was an Australian folklorist, literary critic, social scientist and writer of English literature who became a notable collector and publisher of English folklore. Jacobs was born in Sydney to a Jewish family, his work went on to popularize some of the world's best known versions of English fairy tales including "Jack and the Beanstalk", "Goldilocks and the three bears", "The Three Little Pigs", "Jack the Giant Killer" and "The History of Tom Thumb". He published his English fairy tale collections: English Fairy Tales in 1890 and More English Fairy Tales in 1893 but went on after and in between both books to publish fairy tales collected from continental Europe as well as Jewish and Indian fairytales which made him one of the most popular writers of fairytales for the English language. Jacobs was an editor for journals and books on the subject of folklore which included editing the Fables of Bidpai and the Fables of Aesop, as well as articles on the migration of Jewish folklore.
He edited editions of The Thousand and One Nights. He went on to join The Folklore Society in England and became an editor of the society journal Folklore. Joseph Jacobs contributed to The Jewish Encyclopedia. During his lifetime, Jacobs came to be regarded as one of the foremost experts on English folklore. Jacobs was born in Sydney, Australia on 29 August 1854, he was the sixth surviving son of John Jacobs, a publican who had emigrated from London around 1837, his wife Sarah, née Myers. Jacobs was educated at Sydney Grammar School and at the University of Sydney, where he won a scholarship for classics and chemistry, he did not complete his studies in Sydney, but left for England at the age of 18. He moved to England to study at St. John's College at the University of Cambridge, where he gained a BA in 1876. At university, he demonstrated a particular interest in mathematics, literature and anthropology. While in Britain, Jacobs became aware of widespread anti-Semitism. In 1877 he moved to Berlin to study Jewish literature and bibliography under Moritz Steinschneider and Jewish philosophy and ethnology under Moritz Lazarus.
Jacobs returned to England. At this point, he began to further develop his interest in folklore. From 1878 to 1884 he served as secretary of the Society of Hebrew Literature, he was concerned by the anti-Semitic pogroms in the Russian Empire and in January 1882 wrote letters on the subject to the London Times. This helped raise public attention to the issue, resulting in the formation of the Mansion House Fund and Committee, of which he was secretary from 1882 to 1900, he was the honorary secretary of the literature and art committee of the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition—held in London's Royal Albert Hall in 1887—and with Lucien Wolf compiled the exhibit's catalogue. In 1888, Jacobs visited Spain to examine old Jewish manuscripts there. In 1891, he returned to the theme of Russian anti-Semitism for a short book, "The Persecution of the Jews in Russia", published first in London and republished in the United States by the Jewish Publication Society of America. In 1896, Jacobs began publication of the annual Jewish Year Book, continuing the series until 1899, after which it was continued by others.
In Britain, he was President of the Jewish Historical Society. In 1896, Jacobs visited the United States to deliver his lectures on "The Philosophy of Jewish History" to Gratz College in Philadelphia and to groups of the Council of Jewish Women at New York and Chicago. In 1900, he was invited to serve as revising editor for the Jewish Encyclopedia, which included entries from 600 contributors, he moved to the United States to take on this task. There he involved himself in the American Jewish Historical Society, he became a working member of the Jewish Publication Society's publication committee. In the U. S. Jacobs taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Jacobs fathered two sons and a daughter. In 1900, when he became revising editor of the Jewish Encyclopedia, based in New York, he settled permanently in the United States, he died on 30 January 1916 at his home in Yonkers, New York, aged 62. He was a student of anthropology at the Statistical Laboratory at University College London in the 1880s under Francis Galton.
His Studies in Jewish Statistics: Social and Anthropometric made his reputation as the first proponent of Jewish race science. In 1908, he was appointed a member of the board of seven, which made a new English translation of the Bible for the Jewish Publication Society of America. In 1913, he resigned his positions at the seminary to become editor of the American Hebrew. In 1920, Book I of his Jewish Contributions to Civilization, finished at the time of his death, was published at Philadelphia. In addition to the books mentioned, Jacobs edited The Fables of Aesop as First Printed by Caxton, Painter's Palace of Pleasure, Baltaser Gracian's Art of Worldly Wisdom, Howell's Letters and Josaphat, The Thousand and One Nights, others. Jacobs was a contributor to the Encyclopædia Britannica, James Hastings' Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics. Jacobs edited the journal Folklore from 1899 to 1900 and from 1890 to 1916 he edited multiple collections of fairy tales that were published with illustrations by John Dickson Batten: English Fairy Tales, Celtic Fairy Tales, Indian Fairy Tales, More English Fa
Branwen is the name of a character in some versions of Tristan and Iseult. Branwen, Daughter of Llŷr is a major character in the Second Branch of the Mabinogi, sometimes called the "Mabinogi of Branwen" after her. Branwen is a daughter of Penarddun, she is married to the King of Ireland. The story opens with Branwen's brother, Brân the Blessed and King of Britain, sitting on a rock by the sea at Harlech and seeing the vessels of Matholwch, king of Ireland, approaching. Matholwch has come to ask for the hand of Branwen in marriage. Brân agrees to this, a feast is held to celebrate the betrothal. While the feast is going on, Efnysien, a half-brother of Branwen and Brân, arrives and asks why there are celebrations. On being told, he is furious that his half sister has been given in marriage without his consent, vents his spleen by mutilating Matholwch's horses. Matholwch is offended, but conciliated by Brân, who gives him a magical cauldron which can bring the dead to life; when Matholwch returns to Ireland with his new bride, he consults with his nobles about the occurrences in the Isle of the Mighty.
They are outraged and believe that Matholwch was not compensated enough for the mutilation of his horses. In order to redeem his honor, Matholwch banishes Branwen to work in the kitchens. Branwen is treated cruelly by her husband Matholwch as punishment for Efnysien's mutilation of the horses, though not before she gives birth to an heir, Gwern, she tames a starling and sends it across the Irish Sea with a message to her brother and Brân brings a force from Wales to Ireland to rescue her. Some swineherds see the giant Brân wading the sea and report this to Matholwch, who retreats beyond a river and destroys the bridges. However, Brân lays himself down over the river to serve as a bridge for his men, he said. Matholwch, fearing war, tries to reconcile with Brân by building a house big enough for him to fit into in order to do him honour. Matholwch agrees to pacify Brân; the Irish lords do not like the idea, many hide themselves in flour bags tied to the pillars of the huge, newly-built house to attack the Welsh.
Efnysien, checking out the house prior to the arrival of Brân and his men, guesses what is happening and kills the hidden men by squeezing their heads. At the subsequent feast to celebrate Gwern's investiture as King of Ireland, Efnysien, in an unprovoked moment of rage, throws his nephew Gwern into the fire; this causes chaos between the two countries, they start fighting each other. Ireland keep throwing the dead soldiers into the magical cauldron, so that they have an infinite supply of warriors. However, Efnisien sees what he has done, regrets it, he jumps into the magical cauldron, pushes against its walls so that it explodes. The war is still bloody, leaves no survivors except for Branwen and seven Welsh soldiers, they sail home to Wales. Upon reaching Wales, they realize that Bran has been hit with a poisoned arrow on his leg, he dies. Branwen, overwhelmed with grief for everyone she has lost, dies of a broken heart. In the ensuing war, all the Irish are killed save for five pregnant women who lived in Wales who repopulate the island, while only seven of the Welsh survive to return home with Branwen, taking with them the severed head of Bendigeidfran.
On landing in Wales at Aber Alaw in Anglesey, Branwen dies of grief that so much destruction had been caused on her account, crying, Oi, a fab Duw! Gwae fi o'm genedigaeth. Da o ddwy ynys a ddiffeithwyd o'm hachos i!, "Oh Son of God, woe to me that I was born! Two fair islands have been laid waste because of me!" She was buried beside the Afon Alaw. Brân had commanded his men to cut off his head and to "bear it unto the White Mount, in London, bury it there, with the face towards France." And so for seven years, his men spent feasting in Harlech, accompanied by three singing birds and Brân's head. After the seven years they go to Gwales in Penfro, they go to London and bury the head of Brân in the White Mount. Legend said. At Llanddeusant, Anglesey on the banks of the Alaw can be found the cairn called Bedd Branwen, her supposed grave. Now in ruins, it still has one standing stone, it was dug up in 1800, again in the 1960s by Frances Lynch, who found several urns with human ashes. It is believed that if the story of Branwen is based on real events, these must have taken place during the Bedd Branwen Period of Bronze Age British history.
Mabinogion The Children of Llyr Medieval Welsh literature Christopher Williams painted three paintings from the Mabinogion. Brânwen can be viewed at Swansea. Branwen Ferch Lyr. Ed. Derick S. Thomson. Medieval and Modern Welsh Series Vol. II. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1976. ISBN 1-85500-059-8 Ford, Patrick K. "Branwen: A Study of the Celtic Affinities," Studia Celtica 22/23: 29-35. In 1994 a feature film was released called Branwen. Branwen Uerch Lŷr: The Second Branch Of The Mabinogi Translated by Lady Charlotte Guest Branwen uerch Lyr The original Welsh text Goddess Branwen Who was Branwen