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Tribes of Wales at the time of the Roman invasion. The modern Anglo-Welsh border is also shown, for reference purposes.

The Demetae were a Celtic people of Iron Age Britain who inhabited modern Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire in south-west Wales, and gave their name to the county of Dyfed.

Classical mention[edit]

They are mentioned in Ptolemy's Geographia, as being west of the Silures. He mentions two of their towns, Moridunum (modern Carmarthen) and Luentinum (identified as the Dolaucothi Gold Mines near Pumsaint, Carmarthenshire).[1] They are not mentioned in Tacitus' accounts of Roman warfare in Wales, which concentrate on their neighbours the Silures and Ordovices.

Vortiporius, "tyrant of the Demetae", is one of the kings condemned by Gildas in his 6th century polemic De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae.[2] This probably signifies the sub-Roman petty kingdom of Dyfed.


  1. ^ Ptolemy, Geographia 2.2; Demetae at
  2. ^ Gildas, De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae 31