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Gwineu Gwddwf Hir F [bestiary:horse] [Arthurian] [Welsh:triads]

Sir Kay [E.]; Kei, Keu (Welsh Triads) [W.]; Koi (Fergus) [OF.], Ké, Keu, Keus, Kex (other forms) [OF.];
Son of Ector, foster-brother of Arthur in youth and later Arthur's Seneschal. Known for carping tongue. See the page on ⇒Kay for his profile.

Gvineu Godwfhir (Peniarth 16) [W.] Chestnut Long-Neck (Bromwich tr.)[E.], ;
~ gvdvf hir (W=White Book of Rhydderch), ~ gwdwc hir (R=Red Book of Hergest), Gwiney Gwdhwhir (C 36), Guyneu goduff hir (BBC=Black Book of Carmarthen), gwine gyddvir (Peniarth 27), gwinau gwddwg hir (Peniarth 51), ~ gwddw hir (DC [*=Dingestow Court?], NLW), ~ gwddwfhir (Cwrt.), (Rachel Bromwich ed., Trioedd Ynis Prydein, #42)
Gwineu Gwddwf Hir [W.] "the long-necked bay" [E.](Lady Guest's notes to Lady of the Fountain) [E.];
Gunev godvff. hir (Skene ed., Black Book of Carmarthen VIII)[W.], "Gwineu Goddwf Hir"(Skene tr.) (Skene, Four Ancient Books of Wales) [W.];
[gwineu "bay, brown, auburn" + gwddwg / gwddf "neck" + hir "long"]

According to the Welsh triads, the horse of Kei/Cei, that is to say, of ⇒Sir Kay the Seneschal of Arthur. Counted among one of the Three Lively Steeds of Britain. Although the Red Book of Hergest and the White Book of Rhydderch versions of the text names the horse under the "Three Pack Horses of Britain" this hardly seems appropriate and seems to be a scribal error.

*1 Phyllis Ann Karr, The Arthurian Companion (Second Edition), (Green Knight Publishing 2001) [ISBN: 1928999131 ] [Amazon]

§ Welsh triads

Kay's horse occurs in the Triads of the Horses (Trioedd y Meirch [W.]), but the texts from different manuscripts are at considerable variance. Bromwich's critical edition uses as her base text the Peniarth 16 ms., which she calls "The Early Version".
(+)   The content of the horse triads show considerable differences among manuscripts, so Kay's horse show up under at least three triadic titles, the three lively steeds, the three packhorses, and three gift horses:

§ 1) Three Lively Steeds (Triad 42)

[= Browmwich's Triad 42 (Pen. 16 version)]
42. Tri Gohoew Edystyr Enys Prydein:
Llwyt, march Alser mab Maelgwn, a
a Gvineu Godwfhir, march Kei, b
a Chethin Carnavlaw, march Idon mab Enyr Gvent. c
— Rachel Bromwich ed.,
Trioedd Ynys Prydein: The Welsh Triads, p. 105
[Peniarth 16, fo. 53r]

42. Three Lively Steeds of the Island of Britain:
  Grey, horse of Alser son of Maelgwn,
  and Chestnut Long-Neck, horse of Cai,
  and Roan Cloven-Hoof, horse of Iddon son of Ynyr Gwent.
— tr. Bromwich

    The Black Book (Black Book of Carmarthen VIII)*2 version of the Triads of the Horses has been quoted in full on the ⇒Gringolet (Ceincaled). Thus only the relevant triad will be repeated here:

[= Browmwich's Triad 42 (BBC version)]
TRI gohoev etstir inis pridein.
Gunev godvff. hir. march kei.
Ruthir ehon tuth bleit. m. Gilberd mab kadgffro.
a. keincaled. m. gualchmei.

— Skene, vol.II, p.10 [NLW MS Peniarth 1, f. 14 r.-]

The three spirited horses of the Isle of Prydain
Gwineu Goddwf Hir, the horse of Cai;
Rhuthr Eon Tuth Blaidd, the horse of Gilbert the son of Cadgyffro;
And Ceincaled, the horse of Gwalchmai.
— Eng. tr. by Skene

§ 2) Three Pack Horses (Triad 42, Llyfr Coch Hergest var.)

When we come to the Red Book of Hergest and the White Book of Rhydderch, Kay's horse occurs in a triad with a differing title -- that which belongs to Bromwich's Triad 43, the "Three Pack Horses". She still classed the triad under Triad 42, while footnoting the variant title.
    This treatment makes much sense when we reasonably deduce this discrepancy to be due to scribal error: the copyist must have inadvertently misplaced the title of next triad (43) onto the contents of 42, and have gone on to skip over the contents of 43.
    On the other hand, Bromwich's presentation makes it appear as if Triad 43 "Three Pack Horses" is not to be found in R and W, whereas in fact at least the titles are there.

    Below left, I give the text of R patched together by making the substitutions according to Bromwich's footnotes*3. Note that it was necessary to transpose the lines in the order of b, c, a. On the right is an English rendering reconstructed from her translations of the same bits of text.

[= Bromwich's Triad 42 (Red Book of Hergest version)]
[Tri thom edystyr] enys prydein.
gvineu [gwdwc hir], march kei b
a [grei march edwin,] c
a llwyt, march alser mab maelgwn. a
— R as reconstructed from Bromwich's

Three Pack Horses of the Island of Britain:
Chestnut Long-Neck, horse of Kei,
and Grey*4, horse of [Edwin],
and Grey, horse of Alser son of Maelgwn.
— reconstruction of what
Bromwich's tr. would be

Next, on the left I provide the same Welsh text, except this time transcribed in the Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales, Series ii (= Red Book of Hergest triads). And on the right is the translation by Rhys and Evans, which rejects the original text thom edystyr ("pack horses") and emends it to "lively steeds", indicating they too see a scribal error here.

[Myv. Arch. triads ii.53 (Same RBH triad as above)]

  TRI thom edystyr ynys Prydein. Gwineu Guduc hir, march Kei. a Grei march Edwin, a Llwyd march Alser mab Maelgwn.
Myvyrian Archaiology Vol. II, p.398
(triad ii.53)

Three Lively Steeds of the Island of Britain:
Gwineu Gwdwc Hir horse of Cei,
and Grei horse of Edwin,
and Llwyd horse of Alfer son of Maelgwn
— Eng. tr. by Rhys & Evans,
of the "Red Book of Hergest triads",
appendixed in R. B. Mabinogion *5.

Though a rather redundant exercise, below is a transcript from the RBH text from the Univ. Cardiff online version, opposite my own rendition:
[= Bromwich's Triad 42 (Red Book of Hergest version)]
Tri thom edystyr ynys brydein.
g6ineu g6d6c hir, march kei
a grei march ed6in,
a lluyd march alser uab maelg6n.
— Red Book of Hergest,
fol. 146r, col. 597, line 1~

Three Sumpter Steeds of the Island of Britain:
Long-Necked Bay, horse of Kei (the Seneschal),
and Stud(?)*6, horse of Edwin,
and Gray, horse of Alser son of Maelgwn
— tr. mine

(+)§ 3) Three Gift Horses (Triad 46a)

46a. Tri Rodedicvarch Ynys Prydein:
Meingalet, march Gwalchmei,
a Myngrwn, march Gwedw,
. . . march Drutwas mab Driffin,
a Gwineu Gwdwf hir march Kei
— Rachel Bromwich ed.,
Trioedd Ynys Prydein: The Welsh Triads, p. 120
[Peniarth 47]

42. Three Bestowed Horses of the Island of Britain:
  Slender-Hard, horse of Gwalchmai,
  and Thick-Mane, horse of Gweddw,
  ... horse of Drudwas son of Tryffin,
  and Chestnut Long-Neck, horse of Cai,
— tr. Bromwich

On some of the lesser know characters mentioned in this triad, according to [Arch cambr] *7, Drutwas mab Tryphin a noted orator (one of three golden-tongue knights) in Arthur's Court (given as Tr.82). There is a song "Adar Llwch Gwin", the magical flock of birds (vultures) controlled by him. So it is sung that he was fighting a duel with some Arthur (not the King), and Drutwas ordered his birds to attack the first man he sees. Arthur was delayed and consequently the birds tore up Drutwas.

*1 Rachel Bromwich ed., Trioedd Ynys Prydein: The Welsh Triads (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1961).

The Triad of the Horses (nos. 38~46) Bromwich says occurs at the closing of "The Early Version", i.e. Peniarth 16 (Intro., xcviii).

The English translated text only of the 96 Triads (plus several variants) given by Bromwich were formerly available at e.g. (mythiccrossroads) page, originally taken from Celtic Encyclopedia which is now offline.

*2 The Black Book of Carmarthen [Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin], VIII.Trioedd y Meirch, Eng. tr. are available at www.ancienttexts.org.
Alternately, the Welsh text in Skene's Volume II is digitized by Books.Google and the E. tr. of Volume I is transcribed here at www.sacred-texts.com.

*3 A more proper transcript is given below.

*4 A horse with the same name, Grei, appears in the Canu y Meirch "Song of the Horses" in the Book of Taliesin, as "Grei march Cunin" which Bromwich translates as "Grey", horse of Cunin (Trioedd Ynys Prydein, c-ci). Awkwardly, applying that translation here has resulted in two horses having the same name in the triad.

*5 Rhys, John, 1840-1915 and Evans, J. G. (John Gwenogvryn), 1852-1930, ed., The Text of the Mabinogion : and Other Welsh Tales from the Red Book of Hergest (Oxford, Eng. : J.G. Evans, 1887.) [xxiv, 355, [1] p., [5] leaves of plates : ill., facsims. ; 27 cm.] [Series of Welsh texts 1].

I have relied on info given on the "Hergest Triads" page by Mary Jones on her Celtic Collective site (or the mirror site); and I don't have immediate access to this title [worldcat].

*6 As aforementioned, Bromwich translated the name Grei as meaning "Grey" in Welsh. The word gre is glossed as "stud, herd (of horses)". In the DC (Dingestow Court?) manuscript, the horse name appears as Gregar, and this can be construed as "herd-loving" and hence "gregarious" (gre "stud, herd of horses" + -gar suffix meaning "loving")

*7 "Celtic Remains", Archaeologia cambrensis p.142



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