St. Aneirin Gwodryd
(Born c.AD 541)
(Welsh: Neirin; Latin: Nigrinus; English: Annerin)

Prince Aneirin (or Aneurin) of Flowing Verse is one of the best known of ancient Celtic bards. He was sometimes known as Aneirin Awenyd - the Inspired - and was described by his near contemporaries as High-King of Bards or Prince of Poets. He was apparently present at the Battle of Catraeth between a British coalition under King Mynyddog Mwynfawr (the Wealthy) of Din-Eityn and the Anglians of Deira and Bernicia. There he wrote the now famous poem, Y Gododdin. Although the surviving text has become corrupted and added to, the core section is believed to have actually been written by this man around the year AD 600. His other works are collectively known as the Llyfr Aneirin. A line in Y Gododdin describes it as "the song of the son of Dwywei" indicating that Aneirin was the son of Dwywai, the daughter of King Lleinauc of Elmet, presumably by her husband, King Dunaut Bwr (the Stout) of the Northern Pennines.

In later life, Aneirin is said to have became a monk at Llancarfan in South Wales, where he had been educated as a boy. He was apparently killed by a blow to the head inflicted by a certain Heidyn ap Enygan and subsequently became revered by some as a saint.

Records of Aneirin date back to the 7th century. He is considered an historic personage.


    © Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.