Anarawd (DNB00)

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ANARAWD (d. 915?), a Welsh prince of the ninth century, was the son of Rhodri Mawr, or Roderick the Great, King of Gwynedd, or North Wales, who, having succeeded to the sovereignty of South Wales in right of his wife, became the supreme sovereign of all Wales. Rhodri was killed in battle A.D. 877, fighting against the Saxon invaders of Anglesea, and in accordance with his directions his dominions were divided among his three sons, Anarawd, Cadell, and Mervyn, Anarawd succeeding to Gwynedd, with authority over his brothers, and bearing the title of ‘Brenin Cymru oll,’ or king of all Wales. Cadell and Mervyn obtained respectively South Wales and Powys; Powys being a district corresponding roughly with Montgomeryshire and Herefordshire. Rhodri's conflict with the Saxons was continued by Anarawd, who completely defeated them at Cymryd, near Conway, in the year 880. This battle was called ‘Dial Rhodri,’ or the avenging of Rhodri. Subsequently the Britons of Strathclyde, being hard pressed by the Saxons, were received into Wales by Anarawd, who granted them the land between the Dee and the Conway, on condition of their expelling the Saxons. In 894 according to the ‘Annales Cambriæ,’ or 893 according to the ‘Brut,’ Anarawd ‘cum Anglis’ devastated Cardigan, that is, the territory of his brother Cadell, for the purpose, probably, of enforcing payment of tribute due from the younger to the elder. The ‘Annales Cambriæ’ record Mervyn's death in the year 903, Cadell's in 909, and Anarawd's in 915. The ‘Brut’ assigns Anarawd's death to 913. Anarawd was succeeded as king of Gwynedd by his son Idwal Foel, or ‘the Bald;’ but the dignity of ‘Brenin Cymru oll’ devolved upon his nephew Hywel, son of Cadell, famous in Welsh history as the great lawgiver, Hywel Dda.

One of the Triads (Myv. Arch., Gee's ed., p. 405, No. 43) speaks of Anarawd and his brothers as ‘Tri theyrn taleithiog Ynys Prydain,’ or ‘Tri thywysog taleithiog,’ ‘the three diademed princes of the Isle of Britain.’

[Brut y Tywysogion and Annales Cambriæ, both published in the Rolls Series.]

A. M.