Eufydd uab Dôn

Eufydd also known as Euuyd, Eueyed, Heueyd, Ieỽyd, Eỽyd, Euyd, or Ienuyd, is a lesser-known character in Welsh mythology. Eufydd is the son of the mother goddess Dôn and brother to the better-known figures of Gwydion, Amaethon, Gofannon and Arianrhod. There are indications that he might be linked to the Gaulish deity Ogmios, and he could also be identified with Heueyd Hen, who is Rhiannon’s father.

He appears twice in the The Book of Taliesin.

Math and Euuyd, skilful with the magic wand, freed the elements.

The Death-song of Aeddon

I have been with skilful men,
With Matheu and Govannon,
With Eunydd and Elestron,
In company with Achwyson,

The First Address of Taliesin

The implication is that Eufydd was remembered in Welsh tradition as a skilled magician, intimately associated with his more illustrious brothers Gwydion and Gofannon, and with his uncle Math fab Mathonwy.

Name Variations and Connection to Ogmios: The modern spelling of “Eufydd” differs from its historical forms, which were commonly “Euuyd” or “Eueyd” in manuscripts. The double “u” in these forms likely signifies a “v” sound, represented as “f” in contemporary Welsh, while “d” actually stands for the “ð” sound, now written as “dd.” The evolution from Ogmios, a Gaulish god of eloquence, to Eufydd has been suggested by scholars like John Rhys in 1908 and is supported by mentions in texts like Llyfr Taliesin. The proposed lineage goes: Ogomios/Ogumios > Ogmios > Oumid > Euuyd > Eufydd.

Historical Significance: A pottery shard bearing the name Ogmia depicts a figure with distinctive features, suggesting the worship of Ogmios (or a similar figure) in Britain. Additionally, Eufydd’s connection to Ogma, the Irish god related to Ogmios and known for the creation of the ogham script, strengthens this link. Ogma, like Eufydd, is a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann, similar to Eufydd’s association with Plant Dôn.

Presence in Texts: Eufydd appears in various sources, albeit with spelling variations due to medieval Welsh orthography. He’s mentioned in “Prif Gyfarch Taliesin” and in the Llyfr Taliesin’s “Marwnat Aeddon.” In “Math vab Mathonwy” from the Mabinogi, Eufydd is one of Math’s nephews. The names Heueyd Hen, father of Rhiannon, and Eueyd Hir from “Branwen uerch Lyr” also resemble Eufydd, suggesting a possible connection among these characters.

Convergence of Myths: Eufydd, or Heueyd Hen, as the father of Rhiannon, could be part of the Don-cycle, considering the divinizing “-on” suffix in their names. His characterization as an elder or underworld king aligns with Ogmios’s depiction and parallels figures like Afallach in Annwfn, the Otherworld. This interconnectedness of Eufydd, Rhiannon, and Pryderi mirrors the family of Afallach, Modron, and Mabon, creating a cohesive mythological framework.