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Encyclopedia > Bran the Blessed

Bran the Blessed, also known as Bran Vendigaid, Bendigeidfran or Branovices, is a giant and king of Britain in Welsh mythology. He appears in several of the Welsh Triads, but his most significant role is in the Second Branch of the Mabinogion, Branwen, daughter of Llyr. He is a son of Llyr and Penarddun, and the brother of Branwen, Manawydan, and Efnisien. The name "Bran" translates from Welsh as "raven". The mythology and legends of many different cultures include mythological creatures of human appearance but prodigious size and strength. ... Welsh mythology, the remnants of the mythology of the pre-Christian Britons, has come down to us in much altered form in medieval Welsh manuscripts such as the Red Book of Hergest, the White Book of Rhydderch, the Book of Aneirin and the Book of Taliesin. ... The Welsh Triads (Welsh, Trioedd Ynys Prydein) is used to describe any of the related Medieval collection of groupings of three that preserve a major portion of Welsh folklore and Welsh literature. ... The Four Branches of the Mabinogi are the best known tales from the medieval Welsh Mabinogion. ... The Mabinogion is a collection of prose stories from medieval Welsh manuscripts. ... In Celtic mythology, Lir (the sea) was the god of the sea, father of Manannan mac Lir, Bran, Branwen and Manawydan by Penarddun and a son of Danu and Beli. ... In Welsh mythology, Penarddun was the wife of Llyr. ... In Welsh mythology, Branwen was a daughter of Llyr and Penarddun and has been interpreted as a goddess of love and beauty. ... In Welsh mythology, Manawydan, son of Llyr, is the equivalent of the Irish Manannan mac Lir and a presumed sea god. ... In Welsh mythology, Efnisien was the son of Penarddun and Eurosswydd. ... Welsh redirects here, and this article describes the Welsh language. ... Species See text. ...


Role in the Mabinogion

Matholwch, King of Ireland, visited Bran to ask for the hand of Bran's sister Branwen in marriage. Bran agreed to this, but during a feast to celebrate the betrothal, Efnisien, a half-brother of Branwen and Bran, arrived and asked what was going on. When told, he was furious that Branwen had been given in marriage without his permission, and vented his spleen by mutilating Matholwch's horses. Matholwch was deeply angered until Bran gave him a magic cauldron which restored the dead to life. Matholwch was an Irish lord in Welsh mythology. ... In Welsh mythology, Branwen was a daughter of Llyr and Penarddun and has been interpreted as a goddess of love and beauty. ... A cauldron (from Latin caldarium, hot bath) is a large metal-made pot (kettle) for cooking and/or boiling over an open fire, usually attached to a hanger with the shape of an arc. ...


Once in Ireland, Branwen was treated cruelly by her husband, Matholwch, and was forced to work in the kitchen. She tamed a starling and sent it across the Irish Sea with a message to her brother Bran, who sailed from Wales to Ireland to rescue her with his brother, Manawydan. When Matholwch saw the giant, he asked for peace and built a house big enough for him. Matholwch agreed to let Bran live with them and give the kingdom to Gwern, his son by Branwen. The Irish lords didn't like the idea, so they hid themselves in flour bags to attack the Welsh. Efnisien guessed what was happening and killed them inside the bags by squeezing their heads, then threw Gwern into the fire. Motto: (Welsh for Wales for ever) Anthem: Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau Capital Cardiff Largest city Cardiff Official language(s) English, Welsh Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Rhodri Morgan AM Unification    - by Gruffudd ap Llywelyn 1056  Area    - Total 20,779 km² (3rd... In Welsh mythology, Gwern was a son of Branwen and Matholwch. ...


In the ensuing war, the Irish at first had the advantage because of Matholwch's magic cauldron. When the Irish dead were placed in it, they came to life and were able to fight as well as ever. Efnisien lay down among the dead and was placed in the cauldron, then broke it, bursting his heart and dying in the process. The Welsh eventually won the war, but only seven men survived. Bran himself was mortally wounded and ordered that his head should be cut off. On the return of the survivors to Wales, Branwen died of grief for all the destruction on her account and was buried beside the River Alaw in Anglesey. Anglesey (Welsh: , pronounced (IPA)), is an island and county at the northwestern extremity of north Wales. ...


Association with the Tower of London

According to the Triads, Bran's head was buried in London where the White Tower now stands. As long as it remained there, Britain would be safe from invasion. However, King Arthur dug up the head, declaring the country would be protected only by his great strength. There have been attempts in modern times to link the still-current practice of keeping ravens at the Tower of London with this story of Bran, whose name means Raven. London (pronounced ) is the capital city of England and of the United Kingdom. ... For the film with this title, see Tower of London (1939 film). ... King Arthur is an important figure in the mythology of Great Britain, where he appears as the ideal of kingship in both war and peace. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Bran the Blessed - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (505 words)
Bran the Blessed, also known as Bran Vendigaid, Bendigeidfran or Branovices, is a giant and king of Britain in Welsh mythology.
Bran agreed to this, but during a feast to celebrate the betrothal, Efnisien, a half-brother of Branwen and Bran, arrived and asked what was going on.
On the return of the survivors to Wales, Branwen died of grief for all the destruction on her account and was buried beside the River Alaw in Anglesey.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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