Irish Myths


 
Early Milesian Period
Ulaid Period
Fenian Period


Breton Myths






Early Milesian Period

 
Goídel Glas
Breogan      
Íth
Bile
Míl Espáine
Eber Donn


Genealogy: Milesians




Goídel Glas
 

Ancestor of the Milesians. Goídel Glas was the son of Niúl son of Fénius Farsaid and Scota, daughter of the Egyptian pharaoh. (See genealogy of the Pre-Milesians.)

The account about the ancestors of Míl as told in Lebor Gabála (or Book of Invasions), is mixed with the bible on the Genesis and the Exodus. His paternal grandfather Fénius Farsaid was the son of Japheth and the grandson of Noah. Fénius lived through the separation of languages, during the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). Fénius migrated to the Russian Steppes, in the region of the Scythia, where he became king. They also made Fénius contemporary of Moses (which would make him ridiculously older than anyone in Bible!)

Fénius' son migrated to Egypt, where he married the pharaoh's daughter, Scota (not to be confused with another Scota who married Míl). They became parents of Goídel.

When Goídel was still an infant, he almost died from poison of the snakebite. It was Moses who saved and cured Goídel, by touching the baby with his staff. It was Moses who gave Goídel's epithet Glas, meaning "green", because the poisonous bite had left a green mark on the baby. Moses also foretold that Goídel's descendants would one day live in the land where there are no serpents (obviously a reference to Ireland).

From the instruction of his grandfather, Goídel was responsible of the creating the Goidelic languages, which is Gaelic (including Irish, Scottish and Manx).

 
Related Information
Name
Goídel, Goidel, Gael.

Goídel Glas.

Eponym
Goídel – Gaels.

Related Articles
Míl Espáine.

Milesian Invasion.

Genealogy: Pre-Milesians.



Breogan
 

Breogan was the father of Íth, Bile, Fuad and Breaga. Breogan was also the grandfather of Míl Espáine.

When Míl brought his family to Spain, Breogan joined the Milesians where they settled at Brigantia (modern Coruna), Galicia, North-west Spain. It was Breogan who built a tall tower that his son Íth would one day see a distant green island. When Íth went to investigate this island (Ireland), the three Danann kings would murder him. This would inevitably lead to the invasion of Ireland, by the sons of Míl.

 
Related Information
Name
Breogan, Bregon, Bregan.

Related Articles
Íth, Bile, Míl Espáine, Goídel Glas.

Milesian Invasion.

Genealogy: House of Mil.



Íth
 

Íth was the son of Breogan and brother of Bile, Fuad and Breaga. Íth was also the uncle of Míl Espáine, eponym of the Milesian people.

Íth was the father of Lugaid, who was married to Fial, daughter of Míl.

When Íth climbed the tower that his father had built in Brigantia, he could see a green island across the sea. Íth became obsessed that he wanted to visit this green isle (Ireland). Íth went to Ireland and investigate the land with his followers.

There, he encountered the three kings who were all brothers; each one was married to daughter of Ernmas. The brothers were the sons of Cermait, while the three sisters were the Sovereignty of Ireland. The three Danann kings were suspicious that Íth was conspiring to invade their land, particularly when Íth attempt to advise them. The three kings murdered Íth and some of Íth's followers. The survivors brought Íth's body back to Spain.

It is Íth's death that would lead to the Milesian invasion upon Ireland. The sons of Míl vowed to avenge their great-uncle's death.

 
Related Information
Name
Íth, Ith.

Related Articles
Breogan, Bile, Míl Espáine.

Milesian Invasion.

Genealogy: House of Mil.



Bile
 

Bile was the son of Breogan and brother of Íth. Bile was also the father of Míl, eponym of the Milesians.

Bile followed his son to Spain, where they settled around Brigantia, most likely in modern Portugal. When Íth was killed in Ireland by the three Danann kings, he followed his grandsons to Ireland, to avenge his brother's death. But during the journey, he drowned when the Danann druids sent a storm against them.

 
Related Information
Name
Bile.

Related Articles
Breogan, Íth, Míl Espáine.

Milesian Invasion.

Genealogy: House of Mil.



Míl Espáine
 

Leader and eponym of the Milesians. Míl was also known as Míl Espáine or Míl of Spain. Míl was the son of Bile and grandson of Breogan.

Míl was something of an adventurer and war leader, serving the king of Scythia, where he married the king's daughter, Seang. Seang became the mother of Eber Donn and Erech Febria. When Seang died, Míl discovered that Seang's father was plotting against him. Míl struck first, killing his father-in-law before he fled to Egypt.

Míl then married Scota, daughter of the pharaoh Nectanebus. There are actually two pharaohs with this name, Nectanebo I and Nectanebo II, belonging the 30th dynasty, in the 4th century BC. This dynasty was just before Alexander III (the Great) of Macedon had invaded the Persian Empire.

Míl had another two sons, Eber Finn and Amairgin, by his new wife, during his stay in Egypt. Listening to the advise of his druid, Caicer, Míl decided to head back to Ireland, his ancestral home (because he was descendant of Nemed). Míl had another son named Ir in Thrace, and another on an island, named Colptha. There were also a number of other sons, including Eremon.

Míl only managed to reach Spain, where he won many battles. It is uncertain what had caused his death. It was left to his sons to invade and settle in Ireland.

 
Related Information
Name
Míl, Mil, Milid, Mile, Miled.

Míl Espáine (Míl of Spain).

Eponym
Mil – Milesians.

Related Articles
Bile, Amairgin, Eremon, Eber Finn, Eber Donn, Íth, Breogan, Goídel Glas.

Milesian Invasion.

Genealogy: House of Mil.



Eber Donn
 

Milesian leader. Donn or Eber Donn was the eldest son of Míl Espáine. His mother was Seang, daughter of the King of Scythia, and his brother was Erech Febria. Donn was also the half-brother of Eber Finn, Eremon, Amairgin, Ir, Colptha and Erannán.

As the eldest son, Donn was the leader of the expedition into Ireland, but his arrogance made him unpopular with his brothers. Donn had jealously cursed his younger brother, Ir, because his ship was rowing ahead of the rest of the fleet towards Ireland. Immediately, Ir's oar broke, and the young man fell into the sea and drowned. The other brothers were sorrowful over Ir's death that they hoped Donn would not reach and share Ireland, because of his envy.

This came true, later. After meeting with the Danann, they agreed to a nine-day truce between them, which Donn was unhappy with. Any attempt to land the ships before the nine days ended, a magical storm would the Danann ships further away from Ireland.

Donn's malevolent temper got the best of him at this delay. Eber Donn recklessly declared that if he had his way he would put every Danann men, women and child to death. The Danann druids and kings, hearing this sentiment, send a sudden, violent storm, which destroyed his ship. Two-dozen Milesian warriors and twelve women drowned with Eber Donn.

 
Related Information
Name
Eber Donn.
Donn.

Related Articles
Míl Espáine, Bile, Amairgin, Eremon, Eber Finn, Íth.

Milesian Invasion.

Genealogy: House of Mil.






Ulaid Period

Below is a list of some notable characters in the Ulster Cycle.


 
Emer
Laeg      



Emer
 

Emer was the daughter of Fogall (Forgall) Manach, an Ulster chieftain. Cu Chulainn came to woo her one day, but she refused to accept him until he has been trained as a warrior and performed some heroic feat. Cu Chulainn went to Scathach for training, and upon his return to Ireland, single-handedly killed all the sons of Nechtan, who has a dun at the border of Connacht.

Her father Fogall, hearing of Cu Chulainn, did not want the youth as son-in-law. Fogall died trying to escaped Cu Chulainn, before the hero carry off Emer to Emain Macha for marriage.

Emer, we are told, has the six gifts of womanhood; she has the gift of beauty, voice, sweet speech, needlework wisdom and chastity.

Emer was aware of Cu Chulainn' countless infidelities, but was never jealous until Cu Chulainn met Fand, a Danann and wife of Manannán Mac Lir. Emer was determined to have her kill, when Cu Chulainn came to Fand's defence. There they talked, until Emer decided to leave the hero with Fand. Fand also decided to leave her lover with his wife. It was decided when Fand returned to her own husband. Manannan used his magic cloak to make the lovers forget one another.

Cu Chulainn stayed with his wife with no memories of ever meeting Fand.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Cu Chulainn, Manannán Mac Lir.

Genealogy: House of the Red Branch.



Laeg
 

Laeg Mac Riangabra was the faithful friend and charioteer of Cu Chulainn. The chariot of Cu Chulainn actually belonged to King Conchobar, because no other chariots were strong enough for the hero. As Cu Chulainn's driver, Laeg cared for the hero's horses – Liath Macha (Grey of Macha) and Dubh Sainglenn (Saingliu).

Not much is known about Laeg's family, except that he has two brothers who also served as charioteers to two other Ulster's champions. Sedlang Mac Riangabra was charioteer of Laegaire Buadach, while Id Mac Riangabra was a charioteer of Conall Cernach.

Laeg was usually present at most of Cu Chulainn's adventures, but his role is so small that we sometimes don't notice his presence. When we do notice Laeg, he usually provide wise advice to the young hero.

Laeg drove his master's chariot when Cu Chulainn confronted Medb's army alone in the epic Táin Bó Cuailnge. When Cu Chulainn faced a difficult and deadly opponent, Laeg would try to exhort the hero to greater effort. When exhaustion, wounds and grief overcame Cu Chulainn by Fer Díad's death, Laeg attended to his master's wounds.

Laeg met his death, when Cu Chulainn again confronted Medb's army and her new allies. Lugaid, the son of Cú Roi, hurled his spear at the hero, but missed at killed Laeg instead.

 
Related Information
Name
Laeg, Láeg, Loeg, Lóeg.
Laeg Mac Riangabra.

Related Articles
Cu Chulainn.






Fenian Period

Below are the list of notable characters in the Fenian Cycle.


 
Muirenn
Bran and Sceolang
Connla
Gráinne
Ailill Aulomm
Lugaid Lága
St Patrick



Muirenn (Muirne)
 

Muirenn, or Muirne as she known in English narratives, was the Danann daughter of Tadg and granddaughter of Nuada of the Silver Hand. She was often called "Muirne of the White Neck".

Frequently, it was mentioned that Muirenn had two sisters – the druidess Bodhmall and Uirne (or Tuirne), who was the mother of twin hounds, Bran and Sceolang.

Because her father was serving as adviser to Conn Cétchathach, high king of Ireland, Muirenn met and fell in love with Cumhaill. Cumhaill was a young Fianna captain and chieftain of Clan Baiscne. Despite her father's objection, Muirenn refused to return to the Sidhe (Otherworld), and married Cumhaill.

Muirenn fell pregnant, shortly before Cumhaill became embroiled in a clan war against Clan Morna, led by Goll Mac Morna. Cumhaill was killed in battle and Clan Baiscne was defeated. Goll became the captain of the Fianna.

Instead of returning to her father, Muirenn and her two aged nurses, fled from her home to Sleive Bloom, where she later gave birth to Demna (Finn Mac Cumhaill). For her son's safety, she left her son with the two nurses, while she tried to lead her enemies away from her son.

Muirenn found safety in Munster, where she married the king of Munster. Due to this marriage, the king of Munster was always a strong supporter of the Clan Baiscne. When the war erupted between the Clan Baiscne against the high king Cairbre Lifechair, Munster was the only province to support the Clan Baiscne.

 
Related Information
Name
Muirenn Mucháem – "Muirne of the White Neck".

Muirenn, Muirne, Murna, Hurna.
Fuinche, Torba (in other texts).

Related Articles
Tadg, Uirne, Bran and Sceolang, Cumhaill, Finn Mac Cumhaill, Goll Mac Morna, Nuada. Bran and Sceolang.



Bran and Sceolang
 

Bran and Sceolang were the two faithful hunting hounds of Finn Mac Cumhaill. According to Irish myth, they were also Finn's cousins (or nephews in some versions).

Bran and Sceolang were the twin sons of Uirne or Tuirn (Tuireann, Tuiren), the sister of Muirenn (Muirne) and aunt of Finn. So Uirne was the daughter of Tadg and granddaughter of Nuada. In some versions, Uirne was Finn's sister. Depending on which text you are reading, different name were given to Uirne's husband, which related how she gave birth to two puppies.

The earliest version, her husband was named Imchad, the prince of Dál nAraide. However, she was the second wife. Jealous of Uirne, the first wife transformed her into a hound while she was still pregnant. After she gave birth to two puppies, Uirne regained her natural form, but her sons remained in the form of the hounds.

In another version, it say that her husband, had transformed Uirne into a she-dog while she was pregnant. And like the first version she regained her human form after the birth of Bran and Sceolang.

In the third version, her husband was Iollan (or Iollann Eachtach), but she was called Tuirn. Here, it was Iollan's jealous mistress, named Uchtdealb, who had turned Uirne into a dog, because Iollan abandoned her. Same thing happened with the other two tales, where she regained her human form after the birth of Bran and Sceolang. However, she left her husband, and married Lugaid Lága.

They were the swiftest hounds in Ireland. But it was their intelligence that most writers tends to emphasise. They had the intelligence of both their heritages as a hound and as a human/Danann. Finn often hunt with Bran and Sceolang. In some tale, he had a third hound, probably named Lomair.

Bran and Sceolang were responsible for finding Sadb when they were hunting deer with Finn. Sadb was a Danann woman who was transformed into a deer by Fer Doirich (Dark Druid). Instead of attack the deer (Sadb), they actually protect her from the other hounds. Sadb married Finn when the power was broken when she entered fort on the Hill of Allen.

 
Related Information
Name
Uirne, Tuirn, Tuireann, Tuiren (mother).

Bran.

Sceolang, Sceolaing, Sceolan, Sceolám, Skeolan.

Related Articles
Tadg, Muirenn, Finn Mac Cumhaill.



Connla
 

Connla was the younger son of Conn Cétchathach and brother of Art. Connla was described as having fair hair that he was called Connla of the Golden Hair.

The only story I could find on Connla was in a tale called Echtrae Conli or "The Adventure of Connla", which can be found in the 15th century manuscript, known as the Book of Fermoy.

One day, while walking around the royal hill of Uisnech, they encountered a beautiful fairy or Danann woman, who had come from the Land of Living (Tir na mBéo). She enticed and urged Connla to come with her, and live in the land where there always joy, no sorrow and no conflict, where everyone doesn't age.

Though Conn heard Connla speak to the woman, he could not see the woman. The Aes-shee, as she called herself (and her kind) reply to the king's enquiry that she would like to take his son to Mag Mell or the Pleasant Plain, where his son could rule her immortal people.

Conn did not wanted to lose his son to the witch woman; he ordered his druid to banish the banshee. The fairy was forced to flee, when the druid cast his spell, where she lost her voice. But before she left, she gave a golden apple to the beautiful prince.

That night, Connla ate the magic apple that he refused all other food and drink. In the morning the apple was miraculously whole again. So day after day, Connla continued to eat the apple. Day by day, Connla also longed for the beautiful woman he had seen, even though he doesn't want to leave his family, friends and home.

A month later, the fairy woman returned and had recovered her face. Once again, the beautiful woman asked Connla to leave his family and home and join her in Mag Mell.

This time Conn could see as well as hear the strangely beautiful woman. The king angrily summoned his druid again. But this time, she was ready, because she had already cast a spell on the druid, so that the druid could neither speak nor cast his spell.

The woman then sung a long song of the beauty of her world, how nothing would ever grow old in the land, including her people. She invited Connla to rule this land with her as her husband.

Moved by her voice and beauty, Connla left Ireland on a crystal coracle, where he was never seen again by his people.

 
Related Information
Name
Connla.
Connla of the Golden Hair.

Sources
Echtrae Conli (The Adventure of Connla) was found in the Book of Dun Cow.

Related Articles
Conn Cétchathach, Art.



Gráinne
 

Wife of Diarmait. Gráinne was the daughter of Cormac Mac Airt, the high king of Ireland.

Gráinne only appeared in the Irish romance, titled Tóraigheacht Dhiarmada agus Ghráinne (The Pursuit of Diarmait and Gráinne). The tale of love triangle between Gráinne, Diarmait and Finn had influenced other medieval romances, such as that of Tristan, Isolde and Mark, or Lancelot, Guinevere and Arthur. Some scholars do identified her with Isolde, while Diarmait was like Tristan and Finn like King Mark.

Though, Gráinne was betrothed to Finn Mac Cumhaill, the aging Fian captain, she had fallen in love with Finn's younger companion, Diarmait. Through a geis that she had imposed upon the young hero, Gráinne had forced Diarmait to betray his leader, causing a feud between the two friends that would eventually causes Diarmait's death. Diarmait had no choice but not to break his geis, and eloped with Grainne.

Gráinne and Diarmait fled from Tara, and lived in the mountains and wild forests, undergoing various adventures, evading the pursuit of Finn and the Fianna. Though, the eventually peace was settled between Finn and Diarmait, neither Gráinne trust Finn to harm her husband, nor did Finn had ever forgiven Diarmait for the betrayal. Though, it was a boar that had mortally wounded Diarmait, Finn wouldn't heal the young hero. Diarmait died of his wound.

The tale I have read had ended with Diarmait's death, but some other versions say that Gráinne wanted to avenge Diarmait's death, but the shame of being forced to marry her husband's enemy and that the Fianna mocking her, finally brought reconciliation between her and Finn.

See The Pursuit of Diarmait and Gráinne for the full story.

 
Related Information
Name
Grainne, Gráinne, Ghrainne.
Grania (English).

Related Articles
Cormac Mac Airt, Diarmait, Finn Mac Cumhaill, Angus Og.

The Pursuit of Diarmait and Gráinne.



Ailill Aulomm
 

Ailill Aulomm was the son of Eógan Mór and brother of Lugaid Lága. Ailill also had seven other brothers.

Ailill Aulomm was best known for his involvement with the goddess Aíne, daughter of Eógabal, who was the foster son of Manannán Mac Lir.

Ferches, Ailill's poet-warrior, killed Eógabal at Áne Chlíach, on Samhain night, because the king's horse always disappeared on this hill at the same time of the year. Finding Aíne at the mound where Ferches had killed her father, Ailill ravished the goddess. While he was raping her, she suck and swallowed one of his ear, which was how he got the nickname Aulomm, "bare-ear". This was in revenge for killing her father and violating her. Aíne gave him a son, named Eógan.

Ailill was married to Sadb, daughter of Conn Cétchathach, and he had other children. Three sons - Cian, Cormac Cas and Dichorb, and a daughter, Aife. Ailill was also the foster father of Lugaid Mac Con.

A war between his son and foster son, Eógan and Lugaid, resulted in the death his son and Ailill's seven brothers at the Battle of Maige Mucrama. Though, Lugaid Mac Con won the war and became the high king of Ireland, he lost it seven years later, because of his poor judgement.

When Lugaid returned to him, Lugaid thought his foster father had forgiven him, when he received a kiss on a cheek. Having one ear was not the only oddity of Ailill's feature. One of his teeth was venomous. The kiss from Ailill caused half of Lugaid's face to shrivel up. After days of agony, Lugaid's asked one of his followers to kill him. This was Ailill's revenge for the death of his son and his seven brothers in the Battle of Maige Mucrama.

 
Related Information
Name
Ailill Aulomm – Ailill "bare-ear".

Period/Cycle
Fenian Cycle.

Related Articles
Eógan Mór, Eógan, Lugaid Mac Con, Conn Cétchathach, Aíne.



Lugaid Lága
 

Champion of Lugaid Mac Con and later to Cormac Mac Airt. Lugaid Lága was the brother of Ailill Aulomm.

Instead of serving his nephew Eógan, son of Ailill, he was the follower of Lugaid Mac Con, his brother's foster son. He took part in the Battle of Cenn Abrat, but followed Lugaid Mac Con into exile to Albany, when Eógan was victorious.

When another battle took place at Maige Mucrama, it was Lugaid Lága who killed Art Óenfher, the father of Cormac Mac Airt. When Lugaid Mac Con had to abdicated to Cormac Mac Airt. Lugaid Lága, slayer of Art, now served Art's son.

Lugaid Lága was known as one of Ireland's five great warriors. He was the protector of Uirne, the sister of Muirenn Mucháem and mother of the hounds, Bran and Sceolang.

 
Related Information
Name
Lugaid Lága.

Lugaid, Lewy.

Related Articles
Eógan Mór, Ailill Aulomm, Eógan, Lugaid Mac Con, Art Óenfher, Cormac Mac Airt, Bran and Sceolang.



St Patrick
 

Patron saint of Ireland. Saint Patrick was a historical figure shrouded in legend and myth. St Patrick was largely responsible for Christianisation of Ireland during the fifth century AD.

Historically, he was born in Britain, coming from Romano-British family. He served for six years as slave in Ireland after Irish pirates captured him when he was a teenager. Somehow he managed to escape and return to Britain, before his father sends him to the Continent for training as a priest. Patrick made it his mission to return and preach in Ireland. His works as a missionary proved to be a success, as travelled widely in Ireland, preaching and baptising the pagan Irish population. He wrote two works, Confessio and Epistola.

As a legendary figure St Patrick was said to have performed several miracles including destroying the gold icon of Crom Cruach and removing all the snakes on the isle.

St Patrick appeared in the Acallam na Senórach ("Colloquy of the Ancients"), where he met the aged Fian heroes – Caílte Mac Ronan and Oisín – 300 years later. These two warriors told of great deeds performed by Finn Mac Cumhaill and the Fianna.

Patrick was the son of Calpurn. Patrick had the ability to perform miracles, including exorcising demons. At first, when Patrick met Caílte and heard the ancient warrior's stories, he was at first thought these pagan tales may corrupt his church believers. However his guardian angels, Aibelán and Solusbrethach, told him he should write every tales or poems that the heathen bard recited.

St Patrick also appeared in Altrom Tig Da Medar or "The Nurture of the Houses of the Two Milk Vessels", which was preserved in the manuscript, the Book of Fermoy. Here, he was the cleric who baptised Eithne, a Danann woman who lost her power.

 
Related Information
Name
Patrick.

Related Articles
Caílte Mac Ronan, Oisín, Finn Mac Cumhaill.






Breton Myths


 
Gradlon
Malgven
Dahut
Guénolé



Gradlon
 

Gradlon was the king of Brittany. Gradlon was the son of Conan Meriadoc and his second wife, who was known as St. Darerca. It is quite possible that Gradlon was a historical figure, who lived in the late 4th century or early 5th century AD, and later writers romanticised him in the legend, which include the induntion of Ker-Is or Ys.

Gradlon ruled his kingdom from Cornouaille, a region that is now part of the department of Finistère. Cornouaille was sometimes confused with Cornwall, of southwestern England. (I have noticed that a few people think that Gradlon was the king of Cornwall, which is a mistake.)

Gradlon fell in love with a sorceress, named Malgven. Malgven died giving birth to Dahut. Either as commeration of his wife or his love for his daughter, he built a coastal city, which he named Ys (Kêr-Is in Breton). Ys was said to be the most magnificient city in the world, with lovely palace and massive cathedrals. Since the city was built below sea level, it was protected by tall dike. Gradlon has the gold key to the floodgates that prevent the city from being floded. The gold key was on his chain which around his neck.

Gradlon befriended the priest Guénolé, and converted to the new religion. Since the king was besotted with his daughter, he allowed her freedom to follow pagan religion, which angered Guénolé.

In the earlier version, Dahut stole the key when she and her lover were drunk from wine and revelry. But in the other version, her red lover was the Devil, himself. Her lover seduced her and encouraged her to steal her father's key. And it was her lover that opened the gate that flooded the city.

Guénolé cried to the king that that must escape. His horse Morvarc'h would have easily carried him to safety, but Gradlon saw his daughter fleeing, calling him to save her. Gradlon took his daughter and tried to escape the rising water, but Morvarc'h could not carry them both. At Guénolé's urging, Gradlon reluctantly flung his daughter into the raging water. Only then did Gradlon reached the safety on the hill outside of his ruin city.

Gradlon's heart almost broke, because he let his daughter drowned.

Gradlon moved his capital to Quimper, where a statue of him was erected between two towers of the cathedral.

In another version, Gradlon was as sinful as his daughter, leading them into nightly debauchery, where the king drowned with her daughter and his people.

See the City of Ys in the Armorican Connections.

 
Related Information
Name
Gradlon, Gralon.
Erbin (Welsh).
Urbanus (Latin).
Urban (English).

Gradlon Mawr (Gradlon the Great).

Related Articles
Malgven, Dahut, Guénolé.

City of Ys.



Malgven
 

Different versions of the legend of Ys give different account of who Malgven was, and how she met Gradlon.

Malgven was either a sorceress or druidess. One says that she belonged to a group of deities or fairies, which were known in the Irish myth as the Tuatha Dé Danann. While other say that she was a witch and a queen in the north, possibly of the Picts in Albany. (Scotland).

One version says that she was already married, to an old king. Taking Gradlon as her lover, she urged Gradlon to murder her husband in his sleep. Gradlon drove the sword into his chest. Then they fled from the kingdom. They were drifting in the sea for a whole year, before their daughter was born. She was said to have fallen sick at sea, and died not long after giving birth.

According to some tradition, Malgven was said to possess her daughter, which led to her daughter's death and the destruction of the city of Ys.

See the City of Ys in the Armorican Connections.

 
Related Information
Name
Malgven.

Related Articles
Gradlon, Dahut.

City of Ys.



Dahut
 

Breton princess. Dahut was the daughter of Gradlon and the sorceress Malgven. Dahut was sometimes considered to be also a sorceress. She was also called Dahut and Ahes (Ahés or Ahé).

Gradlon built the beautiful city of Ys for his daughter, Gradlon built the beautiful city of Ys for his daughter, because Dahut loved the sea. But it was the sea that would bring her and her beloved city into ruin.

The earliest version only say that Dahut and her lover were drunk, when she stole her father's key, opened the dike that flooded Ys. A more elaborate second version has heavy Christian overtone.

Dahut was follower of the pagan religion. Because her mother was Malgven, Dahut was a sorceress and druidess. Dahut was wicked, because she led her people to nightly drunken revelry and debauchery. Dahut ignored the warning from Guénolé that her excessive would bring the destruction of Ys. While Gradlon slept, Dahut stole the key to the dikes, which hanged from the chain of her father's neck. When she opened the floodgate, the sea covered the low-lying city with water. Most of the people of Ys drowned.

Gradlon and Guénolé were among the survivors. Gradlon would have save her daughter, but Morvarc'h had trouble carrying them to safety. Guénolé knew who was responsible for the city's destruction, urged the king to throw Dahut into the water. Gradlon left with no other choice, so he flung his daughter into the water. The water immediately receded, but the entire city was submerged, and it became part of the Bay of Dourarnenez.

The legend says that Dahut did not die, rather that she was transformed into a mermaid. Dahut was like the Sirens, who lured sailors to crash their ships into the rock.

Some scholars linked Dahut with Morgan le Fay, though I am dubious about this association.

See the City of Ys in the Armorican Connections.

 
Related Information
Name
Dahut, Dahud, Ahes, Ahés, Ahé.

Related Articles
Malgven, Gradlon, Guénolé.

City of Ys.



Guénolé
 

Guénolé was a priest or monk, who founded the monastery at Landevennec in Brittany. In one story, he was a knight. Sometimes he appeared as a friend of the Armorician king, Gradlon, but in one tale, he condemned Gradlon for his sin as well as Gradlon's daughter and the inhabitants of Ys.

Guénolé tried to warn Gradlon and the people of Ys that the extravagance and revelries would bring destruction on the wicked city from God. He acted liked the ancient prophet Jeremiah, who tried to warn the Jews of not heeding his prophecy.

Most of his renunciations were against Gradlon's daughter, Dahut, because she was the one who led her father's people to pagan belief and rituals, drunken revelries and debauchery. When Dahut released the floodgates of the dikes, her father tried to save her. They king and daughter would have both perished, because the king's horse Morvarc'h couldn't carry them both to safety. So when Guénolé urged the king to throw off his "demon passenger", Gradlon reluctantly pushed his own daughter into the water, where she have believed to drown. Dahut was however transformed into a mermaid, who lured sailors to wreck their ships on the rocks.

See the City of Ys in the Armorican Connections.

 
Related Information
Name
Guénolé, Guénole, Guenole, Gwenole, Gwennole, Gwénnolé.

Related Articles
Gradlon, Dahut.

City of Ys.









This page belongs to Timeless Myths.



www.timelessmyths.com



See Copyright Notices for permitted use.


For feedback, questions, or just to say "hello",
contact can made through the Contact page.
No mailing list or spamming, please.



Home  |  Celtic Mythology  |  Otherworld  |  Warrior Society  |  Celtic Cycles

What's New?  |  About  |  Bibliography  |  Fact & Figures  |  Genealogy  |  FAQs  |  Links  |  Copyright  |  Donation  |  Contact  |  Back