Boddi Maes Gwyddneu ‘The drowning of Gwyddno’s plain’
verse beg. Seithenhin saw de allan

  • Early Welsh
  • verse

A series of nine Early Welsh englynion which elude to a legend about the inundation of Maes Gwyddno, ‘Gwyddno’s plain’, possibly in what is now Cardigan Bay or the Conway estuary. The disaster is said to have happened after a fountain-cupbearer (finaun wenestir) known as Mererid neglected her duty of guarding a certain well, which was subsequently allowed to overflow and submerge the land.

Boddi Maes Gwyddneu
‘The drowning of Gwyddno’s plain’
Entitled Boddi Maes Gwyddneu in Jarman’s diplomatic edition of the Black Book of Carmarthen. Also known as Cantre’r Gwaelod.
First words (verse)
  • Seithenhin saw de allan
Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Cwrtmawr MS 530A
p. 36
17th-century copies
18th-century copies, many of them associated with Evan Evans [Not listed at the moment]
  • Early Welsh
verse (primary)
Number of stanzas: 9 englynion



Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.

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Mererid [well-maiden]Mererid ... well-maiden
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.

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Maes GwyddnoMaes Gwyddno
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Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] [tr.] Rowland, Jenny, Early Welsh saga poetry: a study and edition of the englynion, Cambridge: Brewer, 1990.  

Contents : Part I. Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- Chapter 1. The Llywarch Hen poems -- Appendix: early Welsh genealogical tracts -- Chapter 2. The Urien Rheged poems -- Chapter 3. Canu Heledd : I. The historical background, II. The poems -- Appendix: edition and text of Marwnad Cynddylan -- Chapter 4. Claf Abercuawg and penitential lyrics -- Chapter 5. Miscellaneous saga poems and the performance of the saga englynion -- Chapter 6. Other genres using the three-line englyn metres -- Chapter 7. Metrics, authorship, language, dating. -- Part II: Edition and translation of the texts -- The manuscripts of the saga englynion -- Editorial note -- Texts: Canu Llywarch -- Canu Heledd: Prologue, [etc.] ... [incl.] ‘Englynion Cadwallon’ -- ‘Claf Abercuawg’ and ‘Kyntaw geir’ -- Miscellaneous saga poems: Llym awel -- Geraint fab Erbin -- Gwyn ap Nudd -- Mi a wum -- Taliesin and Ugnach -- Seithennin -- Gwallawg -- Ysgolan -- Trystan fragments -- The three Juvencus englynion -- Miscellaneous stanzas. -- Translations -- Notes -- Abbreviations -- Bibliography -- General index -- Index to the textual notes.

464–465 (text); 508–509 (translation); 641 (note) [‘Seithennin’]
[dipl. ed.] Jarman, A. O. H. [ed.], Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin, Cardiff: National University of Wales, 1982.
80–81 [id. 39.]
[ed.] [tr.] Bromwich, Rachel, “Gantre'r Gwaelod and Ker-Is”, in: Cyril Fox, and Bruce Dickins (eds), The early cultures of north-west Europe: H. M. Chadwick memorial studies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1950. 215–242.

Secondary sources (select)

Minard, Antone, “The ghost who drowned the world: a migratory legend in medieval Celtic tradition”, Studi Celtici 1 (2002): 111–154.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
May 2022, last updated: June 2023