Geraint ab Erbin


   The name of Geraint ab Erbin is familiar in ancient Welsh literature through the beautiful Elegy composed by his fellow warrior, the venerable bard Llywarch Hen. Geraint was a Prince of Dyvnaint (Devon), and supposedly fell fighting valiantly against the Saxons, under Arthur's banner, in the battle of Llongborth.
"Before Geraint, the terror of the foe,
I saw steeds fatigued with the toil of battle,
And after the shout was given, bow dreadful was the onset.
At Llongborth I saw the tumult,
And the slain drenched in gore,
And red-stained warriors from the assault of the foe.
Before Geraint, the scourge of the enemy,
I saw steeds white with foam,
And after the shout of battle, a fearful torrent.
At Llongborth I saw the raging of slaughter,
And an excessive carnage,
And warriors blood-stained from the assault of Geraint.
At Llongborth was Geraint slain,
A valiant warrior from the woodlands of Devon,
Slaughtering his foes as he feIl."
   Llongborth is believed by some authorities to have been Portsmouth, and the name literally signifies the Haven of Ships. But Lady Guest informs us that other of her contemporaries including Reverend T. Price supposed it to be Langport, in Somersetshire. This opinion was founded on the similarity of the names, and the locality; Langport being situated on the river Parret, the Peryddon of the Welsh bards, and the Pedridan of the Saxon Chronicle.
   From the Triads, we learn that Geraint was also a naval commander. Gwenwynwyn the son of Nav, and March the son of Meirchion, are ranked with him as such; and we are told that with each of them were six score ships, having six score men in each.-Tr. 68.
   A Geraint was also mentioned in the Gododdin of Aneurin.
   Geraint ab Erbin has had the honour of being canonized. It is said that a church was dedicated to him at Caerffawydd, or Hereford. Four of his sons, Selyf, Cvngan, Iestin, and Cado, or Cataw, are also included in the list of Saints, and were members of the college of St. Garmon. Garwy, another of his sons, appears in a very different character from his brothers, in the Triads, where he is celebrated as one of the three amorous and courteous knights of the Court of Arthur.-Tr. 119.

Geraint ab Erbin from the Mabinogion

The parallel story from Chrétien Erec and Enid