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Preiddiau Annwfn


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Welsh title for a perhaps 9th-century short poem usually known in English as The Spoils of Annwfn. Although found in the Book of Taliesin, it is no longer attributed to that 6th-century figure. Arthur begins the action with an expedition on his ship Prydwen to capture the cauldron of the chief of the otherworldly realm of Annwfn. The realm they visit is called Caer Siddi [revolving fortress (?)], a four-cornered glass fortress contains youthful inhabitants much given to feasting and merrymaking, a wonderful fountain, a silent sentinel, and a doleful prisoner named Gwair [hay]. Brilliant with a pearl-decorated rim, the cauldron is heated by the breath of nine maidens and will not cook the food of a coward. The expedition is a failure, however, and only seven return. Text: Poems from the Book of Taliesin, ed. J. Gwenogvryn Evans (Llanbedrog, Wales, 1915), 26–41. See also R. S. Loomis, Wales and the Arthurian Legend (Cardiff, 1956).

Subjects: Religion.


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