Vnbeinyaeth Prydein, the monarchy of ' Britain ', the name of the song which the bard of the household had to sing before the host in the day of battle and fighting. It must not be supposed, however, that unbennaeth Prydain refers to the island of Britain, although Ynys Prydain is the common Welsh name for the whole island, being equivalent in meaning to insula Britannia. Prydain and Britannia are in no way etymologically related, and their confusion has been the source of endless misconceptions relative to the origins of Welsh and indeed of British history. Ynys Prydain means Picts' Island, and was equated with insula Britannia, with the natural result that Prydain was equated with Britannia. This last word again, Britannia, had various meanings. To a geographer, it would mean the island of Britain ; to a Roman official, the Roman province of Britain, south of the walls ; and lastly (what is not so well known), it meant Wales plus the Devonian peninsula, and afterwards Wales alone. Before about the twelfth century Wales bore the common name of Britannia,
twnc, the money equivalent of the king's gwestva from every free trev. It amounted to one pound. See gwestva.
Ty gwyn ar Dav [Alba Domus, the White House on the Tav], 'identified by far-reaching tradition with Whitland in Carmarthenshire.' One would suppose from the religious character of the convention, as described in the early prefaces, that it was a monastery, the word gwyn bearing some such meaning as holy or blessed, and one would be inclined to compare it with Bede's Ad Candidam Casam (Whitern in Galloway), notwithstanding his different explanation of candida. According to Blegywryd's preface, however, it was a hunting lodge constructed of white rods, for which reason it was called white ; whilst the late texts S and Z state that the Ty gwyn was so called because it was one Gwyn, the maer, who owned the house in which the law was made, hence Gwyn's house ! This Gwyn is converted into one of the twelve laics set apart to make the law, their secretary being Blegywryd, or Bledrws, here described as Archdeacon of Llandaff !
- Anc. Laws II. 893.
- The Welsh People, 155. That the Tav is the river of that name in Dyved is stated in the preface to the Book of Blegywryd.
- Bede's Ecclesiastical History III.
- Anc. Laws I. 339, 342.
- The Welsh People, 76.