Gofannon

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For the Wales settlement, see Gobannium.

Gofannon (Welsh pronunciation: [ɡɔˈvanɔn]) is a Middle Welsh reflex of Gobannus, one of the deities worshipped by the ancient Celts.[1] He features in Middle Welsh literature as a great metal worker and as the son of Dôn.[1] His name can be compared with the Old Irish gobae (gen. gobann) ‘smith’, Middle Welsh gof (pl. gofein) ‘smith’, Gaulish gobedbi ‘with the smiths’, all of which are cognate with Lithuanian gabija ‘sacred home fire’, gabus ‘gifted, clever’.[2] His apparent counterpart in Irish mythology, Goibniu, in addition to his duties as a smith, also takes on the role of a divine hero who brewed an ale of immortality, in addition to being an architect and builder.[1]

In Welsh mythology, Gofannon killed his nephew, Dylan Ail Don, not knowing who he was.[3] One of the tasks given to Culhwch if he were to win the hand of Olwen was to get Gofannon to sharpen his brother Amaethon's plough.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Canney, Maurice Arthur (1921). An Encyclopaedia of Religions. G. Routledge & sons, Ltd. p. 167. 
  2. ^ Václav Blažek, “Celtic ‘smith’ and his colleagues”, in Evidence and Counter-Evidence: Festschrift for F. Kortlandt 1, eds. Alexander Lubotsky, Jos Schaeken & Jeroen Wiedenhof, Amsterdam–New York: Rodopi, 2008, pp. 35-53.
  3. ^ Fee, Christopher R. (2001). Gods, Heroes & Kings. Oxford University Press US. p. 68. ISBN 0-19-517403-8. 
  4. ^ Koch, John T. (2005). Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 862. ISBN 1-85109-440-7.