Eudaf Hen ab Einudd

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Eudaf Hen ab Einudd

Also Known As: "ab Einydd King of Cernwy"
Death: Powys, Wales
Immediate Family:

Son of Einudd ap Gwrddwfyn, King of Cernyw and 2nd wife of Einudd
Father of Elen ferch Eudaf Hen and Cynan ap Eudaf Hen
Brother of Gereint ab Einudd, King of Llydaw and Arthfael ab Einudd, King of Dumnonia
Half brother of Caradog ap Einudd, King of Demetia

Managed by: Bernard Raimond Assaf
Last Updated:

About Eudaf Hen ab Einudd

See Peter Bartrum, See Peter Bartrum, (February 7, 2023; Anne Brannen, curator) (February 7, 2023; Anne Brannen, curator)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Beli Mawr and Llyr Llediath in Welsh Pedigrees; . (Steven Ferry, Aug 25, 2019)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Lands of the Silures; (Steven Ferry, October 6, 2019.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Royal Family of Gwynedd - Maelgwn Gwynedd, The Dragon of Anglesey; (Steven Ferry, November 28, 2019.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Maxen Wledig and the Welsh Legends; (Steven Ferry, February 4, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott; Constans I and his A.D. 343 Visit to Britain; (Steven Ferry, February 16, 2020.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Harleian Ms 3859; (Steven Ferry, March 8, 2021.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Foundations of 'The Men of the North' - Part 1; (Steven Ferry, July 2, 2021.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Foundations of 'The Men of the North' - Part 2; (Steven Ferry, July 9, 2021.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: Britain's Royal Roman Family; (Steven Ferry, July 25, 2021.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Family of Emyr Llydaw; (Steven Ferry, October 7, 2022.)

Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Interim Kings of Gwynedd's 1st Dynasty; (Steven Ferry, October 19, 2022.)


from David Nash Ford's Early British Kingdoms:

Eudaf Hen's Ancestry

The family of Eudaf Hen - or Octavius the Old as he would have been known to his contemporaries - hailed from the Gwent area of Wales. Eudaf was apparently Lord of the Gewissae.

The Gewissae are a confused people. Some think they were the Germanic race who lived around Dorchester-on-Thames and Abingdon even before the Romans left Britain. They later merged with the West Saxons who continued to use the name. However, there are other indications that they were the British who lived further to the West. The word "Gewissae" may be related to Ewyas, the northern region of Gwent, and, possibly, to the Hwicce, an apparently Saxon people who lived in Gloucestershire. Their name may have had British origins.

There are tales of Eudaf holding court at Caer Segeint (Caernarfon), but this was probably due to associations with his son-in-law, the Emperor Magnus Maximus. The Gwent/Gloucestershire area would appear to have been his real home, like the tyrant Vortigern who seems to have claimed him as an ancestor.

But Eudaf is a man on the boundaries of mythology. All that can really be said about him is that he probably lived in the early 4th century. He supposedly took up the British High-Kingship after defeating King Coel Godhebog (the Magnificent)'s brother, Trahearn. However, even the old Celtic client-kingdoms under Roman rule had disappeared by this period. If Eudaf held any office of power, it would have been a simple administrative role; perhaps a praeses of Britannia Prima or a decurion of Gloucester or Caerwent.

He had no sons and was succeeded by his son-in-law, the Emperor Magnus Maximus. Conan, his nephew, had to be content as King of both Brittany and Dumnonia. Like many prominent men of their era, Eudaf and Conan claimed descent from Celtic Gods: Llyr Llediarth (Half-Speech), God of the Sea and his son, Bran Fendigaid (the Blessed), who was mortalized in popular tradition as a King of Siluria (Gwent). The pedigree below is gleaned from several sources, but is of little historical value:

   * Llyr Lleddiarth (Half-Speech), Abt 55 bc -

m. Iweriadd ferch Beli Mawr (the Great), 60 bc -
* Bran Fendigaid (the Blessed), Abt 20 bc -
o Caradog ap Bran (see below)
o Alan ap Bran, Abt 22 -
o Sadwr ap Bran, Abt 24 -
o Nine Others, Abt 26 -
* Caradog ap Bran, Abt 20 -
* Coellyn ap Caradog, Abt 60 -
* Owain ap Beli, Abt 100 -
* Meirchion ap Owain, Abt 140 -
* Cwrrig Fawr (the Great), Abt 180 -
* Gwrddwfn ap Cwrrig, Abt 215 -
* Einudd ap Gwrddwfn, Abt 250 -
o Eudaf Hen (the Old), King of Ewyas & High-King of Britain, Abt 283 -
+ St. Elen Lwyddog (of the Host), Abt 340 - (m. Magnus Maximus, Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, d.388)
o Gereint ap Einudd (see below)
o Arthfael ap Einudd, Abt 310 -
+ Gwrgant ap Arthfael, Abt 330 -
# Meirchion ap Gwrgant, Abt 370 -
* Gereint ap Einudd, Abt 285 -
* Conan Meriadoc, King of Brittany & Dumnonia, Abt 305 - Abt 367, (1)m. St Ursula of Dumnonia, Abt 305 - from whom descend the Kings of Dumnonia & (2)m. Dareca of Ireland, Abt 310 - from whom descend the Kings of Brittany

Octavius or Eudaf Hen King of Wales (Ewyas)

Born : Abt. 283

Father Date

Mother Einudd ap Gwrddwfn King of Wales (celt myth)

Marriage ?


Children Abt. 340 - St. Elen Lwyddog (of the Host) of Britain

Abt. 305 - Cynan King of Britain (Dumnonia)

Forrás / Source:

Eudaf Hen

A Mabinogion Hero: Lying Tongue, the Old

Eudaf Hen is a Cymric (Welsh) hero known from the Mabinogion of Breuddwyd Macsen Wledig and the Welsh Genealogies where he is portrayed as the father of Elen, who will become Magnus Maximus' wife.

Eudaf Hen is known from the Mabinogion of Breuddwyd Macsen and the old Cymric genealogies. In the tale of The Dream of Maximus Magnus Maximus, emperor of Rome, has a dream where he sees a magnificent castle. Within the castle there is a great hall and in this hall two youths are playing gwyddbwyll using a silver board. Beside a pillar in the hall he saw a hoary-headed man sitting before a golden gwyddbwyll board and carving pieces with a file from a rod of gold. Before this man sat a maiden in a chair of ruddy gold. She was the fairest maiden that he had ever seen. Magnus Maximus instantly falls in love with the maiden and urged by his counsellors he sends messengers to seek her out. Finally she is found and Magnus Maximus assembles his host and ventures forth to gain her hand.

The wise men of Rome are brought and he tells them why he is sorrowful. They urge him to send messengers to all parts of the empire so that they may seek-out his dream. Eventually the messengers see the fleet and the castle and upon entering they meet the maiden of Macsen's dream. The maiden does not believe their tale and requests that if their tale be true the emperor should journey thence to seek her. Immidiately the messengers arrived the emperor set forth with his army. They journeyed towards Britain where he conquered the island from Beli mab Manogan and his sons, driving them into the sea. From there they journeyed to Arfon and the emperor immediately recognized the land. He went to the castle where he saw the two youths, Cynan mab Eudaf and Adeon mab Eudaf playing gwyddbwyll and he saw Eudaf mab Caradog sitting in his ivory chair carving chessmen. There he saw the maiden, (who was Elen daughter of Eudaf and hailed her. The next day she asked him for her maiden portion, which was the Island of Britain to be held by her father for her from the channel to the Irish Sea and she would have three castles made for her; the first and greatest in Arfon (which would become known as Caernarfon), the second Caerleon and the third at Caerfyrddin. Thus did Eudaf gain the kingship of Britain, though he held it in trust for Magnus Maximus. Thus Cynan, who is presented as Eudaf's son in this tale is disposessed and this is why he follows Maximus as he attempts to re-gain Rome. Cynan subsequently conquers and subdues Armorica, converting it to the realm of Llydaw (Brittany).

In Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae the cognate character is probably Octavius who purportedly reigned in Britain when Constantine the Great was emperor in Rome. Constantine was crowned king of the Britons in 306 CE (the coronation taking place in York). However, as Constantine's power-base grew he went to Rome to rule, leaving Britain the the charge of a proconsul. This course of events prompted Octavius, then Duke of Gewissei [Ariconium] to initiate a rebellion. Octavius murders the porconsul and his aides to take the crown of Britain as his own (there is an echo here of how Caswallon gained the throne of Britain in the Mabinogi of Branwen ferch Llŷr).

Constantine was forced to react and he sent his great-uncle Trahern at the head of three legions to do battle with Octavius. The legions landed at Caer Peris, capturing the fortresss and forcing Octavius to raise an army by conscription the whole of Britain. The legions and this army met outside Winchester where Octavius was victorious. Trahern fled to Albany (Scotland) and pillaged the land. Of necessity, Octavius pursued him and the two forces engaged in battle outside Westmorland. However, Octavius was defeated this time and was forced to flee to Norway whilst Trahern took the cronw as his own. In Norway Octavius sought the aid of King Gunbert. Meanwhile, in Britain, Octavius' supporters managed to ambush Trahern and they killed him allowing Octavius to return and regain the throne. Well into Octavius' rule he decided to marry his only daughter to the Roman emperor Maximianus (Magnus Maximus). As a result of this, and after a struggle with his nephew, Conan Meriadoc (Cynan Meriadog) Eudaf abdicated and the throne of Britain was given to Magnus Maximus. This being where Geoffrey of Monmouth's tale dovetails into the Mabinogion of Breuddwyd Macsen.

However, the situation is not nearly as clear-cut as Geoffrey would have us believe, as exemplified by this genealogy of Saint Cattog from the Jesus College MS 20 genealogy: Cattwg m Gwynlliw m Gliws M Ffilur M Nor m Owein m Maxen (Maxen Wledig king of the Britons, and after that emperor of Rome, and Cynan the king [of Britain] in his stead) Cynan m Eudaf m Custenin m Maxen m Maximianus m Constantinus m Custeint (Constantinus' mother was Eled Lluyddog, she who won the cross in Jerusalem a part of which she bore to Constantinople and another part she sent to the Britons and with her was Owein her son. Owein was also the son of Maxen by Ceindrech daughter of Rheiden). Rheiden m Eledi m Morddu m Meirchiawn m Caswallon (In the time of this Caswallon the Romans levied a tax on the Island of Britain) Caswallon m Beli Fawr m Anna (This Anna being she whom the men of Egypt said was a cousin of the virgin Mary). It is fairly obvious that many of the Roman characters are duplicated and Eudaf's daugher Elen Lluyddog is given as the mother of Constantinus, though the tale of a relationship between her and Magnus Maximus is maintained.

Eudaf's name can be derived from the Cymric components eu (lie, falsehood) and tafod (tongue) thus he is the 'Lying Tongue'. This is very derogatory in tone and strikes me as more an epithet rather than a personal name. Perhaps his full title was originally Octafiws Eudaf (Octavius Lying-tongue) which would link the Cymric genology with Geoffrey's tale. Another genealogy is that of the children of Cunedda which gives their mother as Gwawl daughter of Coel Hen. The wife of Coel Hen being the daughter of Gadeon son of Eudaf Hen. [This Eudaf Hen being the same personage as given above]. Thus it would seem that another epithet of Eudaf was 'Hen' (The Old). In he genealogies, however, the epithet 'Hen' may simply refer to the antiquity of the person named rather than being a true contemporary epithet.

Eudaf Hen, supposed High-King of Britain

Mid-4th Century

(Latin: Octavius; English: Odda)

Eudaf Hen (the Old) first appears in the old Welsh mythological tale, the "Dream of Macsen". The future Roman Emperor, Magnus Maximus, dreamt of Eudaf's beautiful daughter, Elen Lluyddog (of the Host), and sent emissaries across the Empire to find her. She was discovered in her father's palace at Caer-Segeint (Caernarfon) where the old man sat, carving 'gwyddbwyll' pieces (like chess-men). Maximus came to Britain, married the girl and eventually inherited her father's kingdom, much to the disgust of his male heir, Conan Meriadoc.

If he existed at all, Eudaf lived in the mid-4th century. He would, therefore, have been a Romano-Briton, living an extremely Romanized lifestyle. The Latin Octavius the Old is therefore a much more appropriate form of his name. His daughter was Helena.

The Dream story clearly indicates that Octavius was the monarch around Caernarfon in North Wales, but later writers - chiefly the mistrusted Geoffrey of Monmouth - made him "Duke of the Giwissei" or "Iarl Ergyng ac Ewias": evidently ruling in Ergyng and Gwent. This may have arisen from his supposed descent from so-called pre-Roman Kings of Siluria (named after the Celtic tribe who lived in that area). Though the connection is persistent and it is equally possible that the Caernarfon association is due to Maximus and Helena's later residence there. Octavius would not have been a king at this date, but perhaps a decurion of one of these civitates (Roman towns). However, he is also called one of the High-Kings of Britain. Such a title would, clearly, not have existed either but it may indicate that he held a position of considerable importance in the Roman administration. The official with control of both the Caernarfon and Gwent areas was the Praeses of Britannia Prima.

Geoffrey's mythology has Octavius taking up the British High-Kingship after defeating King Coel Godhebog (the Magnificent)'s brother, Trahearn, in battle near Winchester. So perhaps he took office by force.

Early records are confused about Eudaf's descendants. Some stories claim that he had various sons, Conan, Adeon/Gadeon and Eudaf II. Others, that Helena was his sole direct heiress and that Conan, his male heir, was only his nephew. This appears to fit best. Magnus Maximus and his wife probably inherited Eudaf's position in society, helping the former to put himself forward as Emperor of the West. Conan made excellent marriages and was placated with vast estates given by his cousin's husband. Adeon/Gadeon alias Cadfan was actually his son. Eudaf II appears very late and is probably mythological.

Generally considered Legendary.

Name: Eudaf "Hen"

Given Name: Eudaf "Hen"

Sex: M

Change Date: 13 MAY 2009

Note: !#4568> Welsh Genealogies Ad 300-1400,-v1-p18,24* (FHL #6025561); 1

Birth: ABT 286 in North Britain

Reference Number: > 544 WEL

Death: Y

Marriage 1 Spouse Unknown


Gadeon ap EUDAF b: 322 in North Britain

Cynan ap EUDAF b: ABT 324 in North Britain
Elen "Luyddog" ferch EUDAF b: 330 in North Britain

Abbrev: Pedigree Resource File CD 6

Title: Pedigree Resource File CD 6 (Salt Lake City, UT: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., 1999)serve, Inc., 1999)serve, Inc., 1999).