Talk:Áedán mac Gabráin

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Featured article Áedán mac Gabráin is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on December 31, 2013.


I created the redirect page Áedán of Dál Riata, but then it occurred to me that maybe that would be the better title for the actual article. Should I move it there? Everyking 08:14, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

All right, I see someone has decided to change it. Everyking 08:59, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Now to fix the redirects. This wasn't an especially bad example (Fergus I of Dalriada is WP:OR), but you have to start somewhere. Angus McLellan (Talk) 09:04, 11 May 2006 (UTC)


I evaluated the article based on 7 criteria:

  1. Well-written: Neutral
  2. Factually accurate: Pass
  3. Broad: Pass
  4. Neutrally written: Pass
  5. Stable: Pass
  6. Well-referenced: Fail
  7. Images: Pass

This article has failed GAC. The referrences are all wrong- you can't just throw up some external links, then say in footnotes that the information is "somewhere" in that book. You need actual referrences, with the book title, author, and page number. I gave well-written a neutral because the entire article is not written in an encyclopedic manner, with unsupported OR masquearding as facts, saying that such a theory is more credible than others, for one example, without backing it up with anything. Also, while it's not a criteria for GAC, the fact that the nominator as well as someone else listed it as a GA class article in the Scotland and Biography templates before it was even nominated for such really makes me angry. You can declare it A class if you wish, as it's not well defined, but the article is not GA class until it passes GAC. Please fix the issues, and resubmit to GAC when it is ready. --PresN 22:37, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

As per changes, it is now sailing through with all greens. GA class it is! --PresN 19:21, 2 September 2006 (UTC)


"Áedán mac Gabráin (Old Irish pronunciation [ˈaiðaːn mak ˈgavraːnʲ]) was king of Dál Riata from circa 574 onwards." - this seems to imply that he's *still* king. GeeJo (t)(c) • 18:12, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Indeed. Adding a "(died c. something-or-other)" would fix that, I think. Angus McLellan (Talk) 21:20, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

FAR suggestions...[edit]

Suggestions -

  • For the lead, suggest saying "Medieval genealogies..." just to clarify that we're at least close to the time frame.
  • Suggest combining second and third paragraphs of Neighbors.
  • Specify the Welsh poem that his mother was a daughter of Dumnagual?
  • "... Adomnán mentions a certain Ioan..."
  • Suggest giving time frames when the various sources were composed?
  • Lots of short paragraphs. Try to combine them with surrounding ones?
  • What do modern historians make of the various bits and pieces related about him? Obviously you should be using Fraser some...
  • My main concern is that so much is sourced to the original sources and not much appears to be sourced to modern historians.
  • The prose appears fine to me, but then I'm not a Tony. Ealdgyth - Talk 03:12, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Many thanks for your comments. I surely do need to incorporate Fraser's work, which should hopefully fix the primary-sourciness issue as well. I hope to get this done at the weekend. Cheers, Angus McLellan (Talk) 12:21, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Dictionary of National Biography 1885 - 1900[edit]

As this is a featured article, is it appropriate to add {{DNB Poster|Aidan (d.606)}} to it? Jan1naD (talkcontrib) 17:18, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Well, the only downside is that the explanation on the template doc page seems to suggest that {{DNB Cite}} is simply an "inline" version of that template, when it isn't quite the same thing at all. I've can't see any problem spamming Wikisource, but it shouldn't end up looking like the DNB was used as a reference. Angus McLellan (Talk) 17:49, 3 February 2010 (UTC)


In this sentence "Francis John Byrne suggested that the Echtra was written by a poet at the court of Diarmait mac Maíl na mBó, an 11th-century descendant of Brandub, and was written to cement an alliance between Diarmait and the Scots king Máel Coluim mac Donnchada ("Malcolm III"), who claimed to be a descendant of Áedán.[3]" is author speaking of Echtra, which is later (in next sentence) introduced. But it seems, that this text narrates of Gein Branduib maic Echach ocus Aedáin maic Gabráin, which is about kinship of Diarmait and Malcolm. Hasn't there been "Francis John Byrne suggested that the Gein was written by..."? --Sternax (talk) 11:29, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

The Perfidious[edit]

Or traitor or whatever.

I know the Welsh Annals give the epithet to his dad Gawran, but apparently some scholars think that was a misattribution of one of Aed's names. Could use some discussion, if anyone knowledgeable about this comes through (or is it just the case we have both of them listed in different sources with the title but have no idea what the backstory is?)  — LlywelynII 22:30, 8 February 2013 (UTC)


Given the importance of Aneurin's poem to the Welsh, Aed's appearance there might deserve a mention as well.  — LlywelynII 22:31, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

I think we could easily add a paragraph on Aedan's appearances in Welsh tradition. It's noteworthy in that he was one of the small number of non-Britons who figured fairly prominently in the tradition. I'll see what I can do.--Cúchullain t/c 20:33, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
Is it clear that Aedan was a non-Briton? His mother came from the British kingdom of Al Clut. His father seems to have been Irish, but the article does not specifically say so unless I have missed it. Dudley Miles (talk) 21:34, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
That comment is based on Bromwich. I'm not sure what Welsh poem the article refers to as saying Aedan's mother was the daughter of Dyfnwal Hen of Alt Clut. The only source I know of that says something similar is Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd, which is heavily confused - for instance it gives Gauran as the son and Aedan as the father. Here, Aedan is given as a son of Dyfnwal. In addition, we have the De Situ Brecheniauc, which says Aedan's mother was Luan, daughter of Brychan of Brycheiniog (not Alt Clut). There is also a Life of St. Laisren that implies the saint's mother was the daughter of Aedan and the granddaughter of a Brittonic king, which could mean (if it were accurate, which is debatable) that either Aedan's father or his wife's father was a Brittonic king. The latter, I think, is what's mentioned in the "Áedán's descendants" section. Bromwich points out that the Bonedd and De Situ versions may both be spurious, but they're significant in that they both make claims of a British connection for Aedan.
I don't know if there's a consensus in the scholarship saying Aedan's mother was British. Perhaps the Bonedd is the source intended in that passage, though it's not a poem. Either way the wording could be clearer. And I don't think there's any doubt that Gabran was a Gael.--Cúchullain t/c 23:57, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
Dudley Miles, I now see that part of the confusion is due to terms like "Briton" and "British". In this context the Celtic Britons are intended; Aedan was a Gael from a Gaelic-speaking kingdom. Very few non-Britons (Gaels, Saxons, Romans, etc.) made their way into the Welsh literary tradition. I've tried to make the matter somewhat more clear in my recent edits.--Cúchullain t/c 22:03, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Concerning "confused - for instance it gives Gauran as the son and Aedan as the father", a header in Adamnan's Life of St Colmcille is given as "De quodam plebeio, Goreo nomine, filio Aidani, sancti prophetia viri." Where peasant Guaire mac Aedain, strongest/bravest man in Corcu Reti, i.e. Dal Riada. Why isn't Gauran map Aedan considered to be his own person? --Muireagain. 14:36, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

Sounds like ...[edit]

... something out of Tolkien. Sca (talk) 01:12, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

But there's a conspicuous lack of dwarves or elves. Brutannica (talk) 20:44, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Welsh addition[edit]

I hesitate to make substantial changes to this excellent article, but I think it could benefit from bit of additional material on Aedan's place in Welsh tradition. I suggest adding a passage along these lines to the "Sources" section:

Áedán additionally appears in a variety of Welsh sources, making him one of the few non-Britons to figure in Welsh tradition.[1] Welsh sources give him the epithet Bradawc, meaning "The Treacherous" or "The Wily". He may have earned this nickname due to his enmity with Rhydderch Hael, king of the nearby Brittonic kingdom of Alt Clut, a conflict remembered in the Welsh Triads and elsewhere.[2] Another Triad records Áedán's host as one of the "Three Faithful War-Bands of the Island of Britain", as they "went to the sea for their lord".[3] This may point to an otherwise lost tradition concerning one of Áedán's sea expeditions, such as to the Isle of Man.[4] Additionally, several Welsh works claim a Brittonic pedigree for Áedán. The Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd records him as a descendent of Dyfnwal Hen of Alt Clut, though the genealogy is much confused (Gauran is given as his son, rather than father).[5] The Cambro-Latin De Situ Brecheniauc and Cognacio Brychan claim his mother was Luan, daughter of Brychan of Brycheiniog in Wales.[1] Though these pedigrees are inconsistent and likely dubious, they are notable in highlighting Áedán's close association with the Britons.[6]

In paragraph in the "Reign" section on Aedan's conflict with Rhydderch, I'd like add a sentence based on Bromwich:

A number of Welsh traditions point to warfare between Áedán and King Rhydderch Hael of Alt Clut, the north British kingdom later known as Strathclyde. Hector Munro Chadwick and subsequent historians suggest Áedán was initially in a long-term alliance with Rhydderch and his predecessors that later went sour.[2] Adomnán reports...

Finally, I'm concerned about the line "A Welsh poem states that Áedán's mother was a daughter of King Dumnagual Hen of Alt Clut." I can't access the cited sources, but I have a suspicion it may be based on a misunderstanding of the Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd. This does give Dyfnwal Hen as Aedan's grandfather (or father), but on the paternal side. It's also not a poem. Might we double-check the sources in this regard?--Cúchullain t/c 07:17, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ a b Bromwich, p. 272.
  2. ^ a b Bromwich, p. 272, 494.
  3. ^ Bromwich, pp. 62-65; Bedwyr L. Jones, p. 39. Though this triad, like the Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd, flips father and son's names as Gauran map Aedan, Bromwich p. 64 takes it as a reference to Áedán rather than his father.
  4. ^ Bromwich, p. 64, 273.
  5. ^ Bromwich, pp. 256–257
  6. ^ Bromwich, pp. 272–273.

Having heard no issues for several days I went ahead and made these edits. I removed the material about Aedan's mother being a descendent of Dyfnwal Hen pending further discussion.--Cúchullain t/c 22:03, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Looks good to me. I've never actually seen Bromwich's book, so it's good to know that you have access to it! Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:20, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

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