Talk:Brân the Blessed

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More similar to the war against Troy, isn'it ?

There seems to be s sense on wiki that a lot of these people are definately 100% fictional, it should at least be considered that some of these Britons known as 'giants' did actually exist.

but how could it ever be proved? there's still no agreement about King Arthur, let alone lesser-known figures like Bran. Totnesmartin 14:35, 6 December 2006 (UTC)


Recently all usages of the name "Bran" were replaced with "Bendigeidfran", the Welsh version of "Bran the Blessed". I assume this is because the user had wanted to move the page to Bendigeidfran. I changed it back, because first, the page isn't at Bendigeidfran (yet), and second, Bran is the most common name for this character in English, and is in fact the character's name in Welsh. It is perfectly acceptible to call him "Bran" without "Fendigeid" in Welsh; for instance, his son's patronymic "Caradog map Bran". And since "Bran the Blessed" is by far the character's common name in English (every tranlation of the Mabinogi I've ever seen call him that), it should stay here.--Cúchullain t/c 21:13, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Ahem. As a fluent Welsh speaker and student of Welsh Literature in the University of Wales I can assure you that "Bran" is most definately NOT his name in Welsh. It IS Bendigeidfran, which is why I attempted to move the page. In Welsh it is NOT acceptable to call him Bran. That it has been rendered as "Bran the Blessed" by translators is in my view no excuse for continuing to do so. English speakers call him Bran because they are led to believe that this is his name, not because it is a custom. Otherwise we might as well start calling Cuchullain "Cullan's Cu"Sanddef 02:34, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Sanddef

But Bran is his name. Bendigeidfran is the same name as Bran Fendigeid, and they both translate to Bran the Blessed, the most familiar name for the character in English. As I said his son is called Caradog ap Bran (ap Llyr Llediaith), never Caradog map Bendigeidfran. Bran is used consistantly by Rachel Bromwich in Trioedd Ynys Prydein everywhere that isn't taken directly from the text, and as I said, every translation of the Mabinogi I've seen calls him Bran. I'm certain other scholars use "Bran" as well.
As for the use of English, Wikipedia has a guideline about using the most common name in article titles. This is one of the rare cases where the English version is significantly more common than the Welsh version in English (most other characters are called by their Welsh names, for instance Lleu Llaw Gyffes.) On a related note, Cúchulainn is at Cúchulainn rather than "Hound of Cullan" because he is virtually always known by his Irish name in English. I've never seen anyone use "Hound of Cullan", or "Cullan's Cu", except to explain the name.
I'd agree with the move if the name was actually incorrect. An example from this side of the Atlantic is Sacagawea; she may be better known as Sacajawea (with a j), but that is an mispelling popularized long after her death. In this case, though, Bran is his name, and "Bran the Blessed" is how he is best known in English. If you still want to move the page, you can go to requested moves (here are the instructions) so others can weigh in.--Cúchullain t/c 20:04, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Again. the use of secondary name forms is common in surnames, so the "Caradog ap Bran" argument is irrelevant. Whereas you and others are refering to translations, I am refering to originals and their modern spellings. I can pick up the original Middle Welsh text on any high street here, not that Id need to as Im a student of Welsh Literature in Welsh. In the original tale the then Bendigeitvran (Modern Bendigeidfran) is not directly refered to within the tale as Bran.Sanddef 21:31, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Sanddef
I already pointed out the common names guideline. This is an English encyclopedia, we use the title most commonly known to English readers. Bran is a rare case where a Welsh character actually has a common name in English. This may be because of the translators, but remember they are also scholars of Welsh literature like you. And while the name "Bran" doesn't appear in the texts, it is not an incorrect name for him, even in Welsh- "Fendigeid" means "blessed", while "Bran" as a name is well attested elsewhere (as in "Bran Galed"). As I said, Rachel Bromwich, an eminent scholar of Welsh literature, uses Bran consistently in her edition of the Triads. I've stated my position, and told you what to do if you want suggest the page be moved.--Cúchullain t/c 22:51, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Sanddef; I believe that the name should be changed, as it's original name is of Welsh origin. I know about the common English names, but it's like writing Siân Lloyd as Shan Loyd just because people can't pronounce it; her name is Siân, and is not translated into English as Jane. His name is Bendigeidfrân, and should not be merely boiled down to Bran even without the to bach, which is still wrong, as there is no such word in the Welsh language as Bran; it's Brân, meaning 'crow.' It's a Welsh word, and should stay at Bendigeidfrân, irrespective of how common it is in English (if people hadn't felt the need to translate it, then there'd be no problem!) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:17, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I know this is long over, but I feel the need to point out that in the original Middle Welsh text, it does indeed use Bran to refer to him (line 479). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:25, 29 October 2012 (UTC)


An extra section on orphography needs to be added to characters from Welsh mythology to explain the differences in spelling between Middle Welsh and Modern Welsh.. The point of an encyclopaedia, after all, is to be both informative and correct. As to "Bran" being a "common name", I have no idea what you're refering to, as Bran is only a common name in Ireland. As to Rachel Bromwich, she is refering to the Welsh Triads, not to the Mabinogion. Sanddef 16:33, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Sanddef

Bran is well attested as a name in Wales. In the Triads alone, besides Bendigeidfran, there is Bran Galed o'r Gogledd, the "Niggard from the North" (his magical horn has its own article here for some reason), and "Bran" is also the name given to the Briton character Brennius in the Triads, as well as in Welsh adaptations of Geoffrey of Monmouth. I also did a little reading about the use of the name, and it seems that while the form "Bendigeidfran" is used almost exclusively in the Mabinogi and the Triads, with some exceptions in the manuscripts for "Bran Fendigeid", the poets more commonly use "Bran fab Llyr" to refer to him, or simply "Bran"/"Vran". This form appears in an old reference in the Book of Taliesin, and later appears in the works of Cynddelw, among others. The reason I brought up the Triads initially was to point out that Bran, and most of the Mabinogion characters, do not exist exclusively in the Mabinogi, but in the rest of the body of Welsh literature as well.
As for an orthogrophy section, I think that's a terrific idea. I'll get on it when I have some more free time later, and I'll work in the new "finds" I just mentioned. Also, good catch with the "Bran = Crow" definition and explanation. It's something that's easy to miss, but can have grave implications for the veracity of the article.--Cúchullain t/c 21:27, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Very interesting points there. I feel I must explain that, whereas the entire contents (excluding the Taliesin stuff) of the Mabinogion are taught to all children here in Wales, all other more obscure material (such as the Triads) are limited to academia (hence my insistance about the name Bendigeidfran instead of all other alternatives). Im glad you like the idea about orphography section, I think it is the best way forward in terms of clarification. Sanddef 02:33, 7 February 2007 (UTC)Sanddef

Right now as of this moment (tonight) I only have the standard Modern Welsh version of the Mabinogion at hand. For this reason I'll start an Orphography section but I'll leave it to you to add the older spellings right now. Sanddef 02:45, 7 February 2007 (UTC)Sanddef

All right, I'll get on it.--Cúchullain t/c 06:19, 7 February 2007 (UTC)


Could one of you more knowledgeable in the matter establish whether the proper pronunciation is [brɑːn] or [bræːn] or something else? I'm fairly sure of the former, but have no reference for it. Thanks! -- Metahacker 13:46, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Arthur or Vortigern?[edit]

Hi. The article says that the head of Brân was dug up from the White Hill by Arthur. However, I seem to remember reading a translation of the Mabinogion which blamed Vortigern for digging up the head ("because Britain shouldn't rely on superstition for its defence") and said it was one of the 'Three Wicked Uncoverings'. Could somebody check the Welsh text to see if if says Arthur or Vortigern? I'm not a Welsh speaker and the only translation I have here (Everyman) doesn't say who did the uncovering. Dodo64 (talk) 09:56, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

The uncovering comes from the Welsh Triads, not the Mabinogion. Triad 37, cited in the article, says that Arthur dug up the head because he deemed it wrong that the island should be defended by anything other than him. The same triad also mentions Vortigern, who is said to have dug up the bones of Vortimer, a talisman against Saxon invasion. These are two of the "Three Unfortunate Disclosures". The other "Unfortunate Disclosure" is the uncovering of the two dragons at Dinas Emrys, which is also ascribed to Vortigern in other sources, though he's not specifically mentioned here. Vortigern isn't associated with uncovering the head of Bran the Blessed.--Cúchullain t/c 12:23, 22 April 2011 (UTC)


I notice that the lede renders "Bendigeidfran" as "Blessed Jackdaw". Do we have a source for this, or is there a historical link? Brân, by itself, just means crow or raven as per the GPC (click brân, &c on the left...) - it certainly is not as specific as jackdaw. Vashti (talk) 17:00, 22 February 2015 (UTC)