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Nynniaw and Peibaw

  1. Oct 15, 2005 #1

    Evo

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    The story of Pebiau Claforawg, or Pebiau the Dribbler, known for constantly foaming at the mouth. The tale below is one of shear barbery. :biggrin: :tongue:

    Nynniaw and Peibaw
    translated by Lady Charlotte Guest
    from The Mabinogion endnotes

    On turning to the ancient records, we meet with kings bearing the names of those who were turned into oxen for their crimes.

    Nynniaw was a prince of Glamorgan, and his descendants appear to have profited by the lesson which his disastrous fate afforded; for we find that Marchell, his great grand-daughter, was the mother of the celebrated and canonized Brychan Brycheiniog,’ who had himself the happiness of being father to no less than forty-eight saints, twenty-three of whom were sons, and five-and-twenty daughters.

    According to the Liber Landavensis, King Pebiaw, who was the son of Erb, was equally fortunate in the character of his descendants, one of whom was Saint Dubricius himself, the particulars of whose miraculous birth are there given in the following words.

    "There was a certain king of the region of Ergyng (Arehenfield) of the name of Pebiau, called, in the British language, Claforawg, and in Latin, Spumosus, who undertook an expedition against his enemies, and returning from thence he ordered his daughter Eurddil to wash his head." The legend then goes on to state that circumstances led him to suspect that Eurddil was pregnant, and that "the King, therefore, being angry, ordered her to be put into a sack, and cast headlong into the river, that she might suffer whatever ntight befall; which, however, happened contrary to what was expected, for as often as she was placed in the river, so often was she, through the guidance of God, impelled to the bank. Her father, then, being indignant because he could not drown her in the river, resolved to destroy her with fire. A funeral pile was therefore prepared, into which his daughter was thrown alive. In the following morning, the messengers who had been sent by her father to ascertain whether any of the bones of his daughter remained, found her holding her son in her lap, at a spot where a stone is placed in testimony of the wonderful nativity of the boy; and the place is called Madle, because therein was born the holy man. The father, hearing this, ordered his daughter wiih her son to be brought to him; and when they came he embraced the infant with paternal affection, as is usual, and kissing him, from the restlessness of infancy, he touched with his hands the face and mouth of his grandfather, and that not without divine appointment; for by the contact of the hands of the infant, he was healed of the incurable disease wherewith he was afflicted, for he incessantly emitted foam from his mouth which two persons who constantly attended hint could scarcely wipe off with handkerchiefs.

    "Who, when he knew that he had been healed by the touch of the infant, rejoiced greatly, like one who had come to a harbour after having suffered shipwreck. And he, who at first was as a roaring lion, was now turned to a lamb, and he began to love the infant above all his sons and grandsons; and of that place, Madle (that is, Mac4 good, lie, place, and whence Maclie, a good place), he made him heir, and also of the whole island, which took its name from his mother Eurddii, that is, Ynys Eurdclyl, which by others is called Maes Mail Lecheu."

    Whether these events took place before or after King Pebiaw’s distressing transformation does not appear. All the further information concerning him, in the Liber Landavensis, consists of the due recital of sundry grants of land which he made to the Church, "being penitent, with an humble heart, and mindful of his evil deeds."

    Lewis, in his "History of Great Britain," printed in 1729, mentions Pebiaw as King of Erchenfieid, and states that in a parish church in Hercfordshire is a picture of a king, with a man on each side of him, wiping his face with napkins, "which king the country people call King Dravellor."

    The insane arrogance of these wicked kings is recorded in a curious Welsh legend, a translation of which is printed by Mr. Taliesin Williams, in the notes to his poem of Coiyn Dolphyn. It is as follows:

    "There were two kings, formerly in Britain, named Nynniaw and Peibiaw. As these two ranged the fields one starlight night, ‘See,’ said Nynniaw, ‘what a beautiful and extensive field I possess!' ‘Where is it?’ said Peibiaw; ‘the whole Firmament,’ said Nynniaw, ‘far as vision can extend.’ ‘And do thou see ‘said Peibiaw, ‘what countless herds and flocks of cattle and sheep I have depasturing thy field?’ ‘Where are they?’ said Nynniaw ; ‘why the whole host of stars which thou seest,’ said Peibiaw, ‘and each of golden effulgence, with the Moon for their shepherdess, to superintend their wanderings.’ ‘They shall not graze in MY pasture,’ said Nynniaw; ‘They shall,’ said Peibiaw; ‘They shall not,’ said one ‘They shall’ said the other, repeatedly, in bandied contradiction, until at last it arose to wild contention between them, and from contention it came to furious war; until the armies and subjects of both were nearly annihilated in the desolation.

    RHITTA, the Giant, King of Wales, hearing of the carnage committed by these two maniac kings, determined on hostility against them and, having previously consulted the laws and his people, he arose and marched against them because they had, as stated, followed the courses of depopulation and devastation, under the suggestions of phrenzy. He vanquished them, and then cut off their beards. But, when the other Sovereigns included in the twenty-eight kings of the island of Britain, heard these things, they combined all their legions to revenge the degradation committed on the two disbearded kings, and made a fierce onslaught on Rhitta the Giant, and his forces; and furiously bold fought the engagement. But Rhitta the Giant won the day. ‘This is my extensive field,’ said he, then, and immediately disbearded the other kings.

    When the kings of the surrounding countries heard of the disgrace inflicted on all these disbearded kings, they armed themselves against Rhitta the Giant and his men; and tremendous was the conflict; but Rhitta the Giant achieved a most decisive victory, and then exclaimed: ‘This is MY immense field!’ and at once the kings were disbearded by him and his men. Then pointing to the irrational monarchs, ‘These,’ said he, ‘are the animals that grazed my field, but I have driven them out; they shall no longer depasture there.’ After that he took up all the beards, and made out of them a mantle for himself that extended from head to heel; and Rhitta was twice as large as any other person ever seen."

    This Rhitta Gawr is none other than King Ryons of North Wales, who appears to have been almost as presumptuous as the unfortunate monarchs whom he so deservedly chastised. The Morte d’Arthur represents him as sending to demand the beard of Arthur himself, which it need hardly be added that he failed to obtain.


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    From Lady Guest’s translation of the Mabinogion. Nyniaw and Peibaw are brothers, and are the sons of Don, making them brothers of Gwydion, Arianrhod, Caswallan, Amaethon, Lludd, Llefelys, etc.

    http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/celtic/ctexts/nynniaw.html
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2005 #2

    wolram

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    A lovely story :approve:
     
  4. Oct 15, 2005 #3

    marcus

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    A lovely story indeed :approve:
     
  5. Oct 15, 2005 #4
    Certainly two of the weirdest damn stories I've ever heard. I have no idea how to pronounce any of the character's names. I wonder if Shakespeare ever read these stories when he was looking for material for his history plays. They might have inspired him to beat Monty Python to the punch by 500 years.
     
  6. Oct 16, 2005 #5

    marcus

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    Monty Python is all true.
     
  7. Oct 16, 2005 #6

    wolram

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    I hope you guys do not wear beards. :smile:
     
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