Marwnad Cynddylan
verse beg. Dyhedd deon diechir bygeledd

  • Early Welsh
  • verse
Marwnad Cynddylan

Not be confused with the Marwnad Cynddylan which is attested in Canu Heledd (beg. Vn prenn ygwydvit a gouit arnaw).

First words (verse)
  • Dyhedd deon diechir bygeledd
  • Early Welsh
verse (primary)
Number of stanzas: 9 awdlau
Number of lines: 70
Rowland distinguishes between 9 awdlau of uneven stanza lengths (5 + 6 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 8 = 70).



(fl. c.616–c.641)
Cynddylan ap Cyndrwyn, a ruler of Powys who is thought to have allied with Penda, king of Mercia. It has been suggested that he was defeated and killed, along with Penda, in the battle of Winwaed.

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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.] Jones, Nerys Ann [ed.], Arthur in Welsh poetry, MHRA Library of Medieval Welsh Literature, 4, Cambridge: Modern Humanities Research Association, 2019.  
For over a thousand years, Arthur has had widespread appeal and influence like no other literary character or historical figure. Yet, despite the efforts of modern scholars, the earliest references to Arthurian characters are still shrouded in uncertainty. They are mostly found in poetic texts scattered throughout the four great compilations of early and medieval Welsh literature produced between 1250 and 1350. Whilst some are thought to predate their manuscript sources by several centuries, many of these poems are notoriously difficult to date. None of them are narrative in nature and very few focus solely on Arthurian material but they are characterised by an allusiveness which would have been appreciated by their intended audiences in the courts of princes and noblemen the length and breadth of Wales. They portray Arthur in a variety of roles: as a great leader of armies, a warrior with extraordinary powers, slayer of magical creatures, rescuer of prisoners from the Otherworld, a poet and the subject of prophecy. They also testify to the possibility of lost tales about him, his father, Uthr, his son, Llachau, his wife, Gwenhwyfar, and one of his companions, Cai, and associate him with a wide array of both legendary and historical figures. Arthur in Early Welsh Poetry, the fourth volume in the MHRA Library of Medieval Welsh Literature series, provides discussion of each of the references to Arthurian characters in early Welsh poetic sources together with an image from the earliest manuscript, a transliteration, a comprehensive edition, a translation (where possible) and a word-list. The nine most significant texts are interpreted in more detail with commentary on metrical, linguistic and stylistic features.
[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.

174–179 (text and translation); 180–189 (notes) [‘Appendix: Marwnad Cynddylan’]
[ed.] [tr.] Gruffydd, R. Geraint, “Marwnad Cynddylan”, in: R. Geraint Gruffydd (ed.), Bardos: penodau ar y traddodiad barddol Cymreig a Cheltaidd, cyflwynedig i J. E. Caerwyn Williams, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1982. 10–28.
Edition based on NLW 4973, with a translation into modern Welsh.
[ed.] Williams, Ifor, Canu Llywarch Hen, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1935.
Internet Archive: <link>
50–52 (XIII); 244 (notes) Text with modernised orthography.
[ed.] Williams, Ifor, “Marwnad Cynddylan”, Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 6:2 (1932, 1931–1933): 134–141.
[tr.] Clancy, Joseph P., The earliest Welsh poetry, London: Macmillan, 1970.

Secondary sources (select)

Koch, John T., Cunedda, Cynan, Cadwallon, Cynddylan: four Welsh poems and Britain 383–655, Aberystwyth: University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, 2013.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
February 2023, last updated: June 2023