#9 - GWYDDNO GARANHIR
While Bartrum makes it clear that
he thinks none of the pedigrees which include this man were more than legendary, he does cite six examples:
(1) [the pedigree cited for #8 - Einudd
(2) Gwyddno garanir arglwydd Kantref
y Gwaelod ap Cadwaladr ap Meirion Meirionydd
(3) Gwyddno garanir arglwydd Keredigion
ap Geraint ap Garanawc lawddigar ap Kyhylynn glodrydd ap Kadell dyrnllyc
(4) Gwyddno garanir (ap Garannog lewddigar)
ap Drudwas ap Dryffin
(5) Gwyddno garanyr ab Drydwas vab
Karamawg vab Dryffynn brenin Glogledd vab Klefyddgar vab Kynan glodrydd vab Cadell vab Deirullig o Gefeiliog. Dwnn ii,
(6) Drudw[a]s ap Dryffin farfawc ap Orannoc
In his notes on this group of
pedigrees, he says:
"the legendary ruler of Maes
Gwyddno or Cantre'r Gwaelod. The variety of versions recorded here suggest he had no really traditional pedigree.
It is surprising that the pedigree given in BGG 10 of Elffin ap Gwyddno has no echo in the present connection. [pedigree
(2)] is a corrupt form of [the pedigree given for Eunydd Bach]. [pedigree (3)] should be compared with HL 11 and note,
and with [the pedigree of Braint Hir, #12 in this series]. If [pedigree (6)] has any traditional basis it may be the
reason for the insertion of the names Drudwas ap Dryffin into [pedigrees (4) and (5), regarded as variants of [pedigree (3)]"
Obviously a wholly
legendary character has no authentic pedigree at all. But a majority of those pedigrees which contain his name concern
real men and clearly have tacked the nickname "garanhir" (with long crane-like legs) onto an ancestor who just happened to
be named Gwyddno.
Two such men occur
in the pedigree of the Meirionydd family, a Gwyddno ap Clydno born c. 545 and a Gwyddno ap Cadwaladr born c. 830. Neither
man should be confused with the Gwyddno Garanhir of legend; his inundation myth concerned lands in Ceredigion. And neither
man had a son named Elffin as did the legendary Gwyddno. The pedigrees of the Meirionydd men called Gwyddno are shown under
the heading of "#8 - Einudd Bach" in this Patriarch series.
The mythical Gwyddno
Garanhir, whose entire cantref was supposedly flooded by Cardigan Bay, occurs in tales usually set in the 6th century.
His story is of more interest to those who study Welsh poetry and literature than to historians. This is not to say
the basis for the tales was wholly an exercise in fiction; there might have been a real man to whom the storytellers assigned
the deeds of the fictional Gwyddno Garanhir.
For those who might be interested
in reading more about the legendary man, Bartrum gives many references where he can be found in literature in his
1993 work A Welsh Classical Dictionary.