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Euroswydd or Eurosswydd is an intriguing figure in Welsh mythology, primarily known as the father of Nisien and Efnisien with , daughter of Beli Mawr, son of Manogan. His story intersects with the The Second Branch of the Mabinogi: Branwen Daughter of Llyr, which is a cornerstone of Welsh mythological and literary tradition.

Bendigeid Vran, the son of Llyr, was the crowned king of this island, and he was exalted from the crown of London. And one afternoon he was at Harlech in Ardudwy, at his Court, and he sat upon the rock of Harlech, looking over the sea. And with him were his brother Manawyddan the son of Llyr, and his brothers by the mother’s side, Nissyen and Evnissyen, and many nobles likewise, as was fitting to see around a king. His two brothers by the mother’s side were the sons of Eurosswydd, by his mother, Penardun, the daughter of Beli son of Manogan.

The Second Branch of the Mabinogi: Branwen Daughter of Llyr

In the Mabinogi, Penarddun is also married to Llŷr, and together they have three children: Brân the Blessed, Branwe, and Manawydan. The narrative, however, does not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the conception of Nisien and Efnysien with Euroswydd. This lack of detail opens up space for speculation and various interpretations within the mythological framework.

One of the Welsh Triads adds another layer to Euroswydd’s story, mentioning him as one of the Three Exalted Prisoners of the Island of Britain and noting that he once held Llŷr captive. This piece of information suggests a deeper, possibly contentious relationship between Euroswydd and Llŷr and hints at a complex backstory that might explain the familial connections.

Three Exalted Prisoners of the Island of Britain:
Llyr Half-Speech, who was imprisoned by Euroswydd, and the second, Mabon son of Modron, and third, Gwair son of Geirioedd.  And one (Prisoner), who was more exalted than the three of them. This Exalted Prisoner was Arthur. And it was the same lad who released him from each of these three prisons- Goreu, son of Custennin, his cousin.

The Welsh Triads

The possible link between Euroswydd and the Manx tale “Y Chadee” is fascinating. The parallels drawn between the characters Eshyn and Ny-Eshyn in the Manx tale and Nisien and Efnisien in the Mabinogi are compelling. Eshyn and Ny-Eshyn, representing good and bad sons, respectively, mirror the descriptions of Nisien (noted for his peaceful nature) and Efnisien (known for his violent and destructive tendencies) in the Branwen ferch Llyr story. This parallel might indicate a shared cultural or mythological heritage between the Welsh and Manx traditions, or it could be a coincidence arising from the common storytelling motifs of contrasting sibling personalities.

Euroswydd’s story, though not as detailed as some other characters in Welsh mythology, is a testament to the rich, interconnected web of Celtic mythological traditions. His role, even as a somewhat peripheral character, contributes to the depth and complexity of the mythological narratives of the British Isles.