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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 / Cornish / Breton 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]


  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.