Names of Women of the Brythonic North in the 5-7th Centuries: Ceindrech

by Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn (Heather Rose Jones)

© 2003 Heather Rose Jones; all rights reserved

CEINDRECH (standardized modern form)

In the triads, Efrddyl (q.v.) is said to have borne triplets (one of the "three fair womb-burdens"), given a calculated date ca. 530, that included the sons Gwrgi and Peredur (who figure in the poem Y Gododdin) and a daughter Ceindrech.

Textual Sources

Ceindrech's name is given in Peniarth Ms. 50 as Ceindrech Pen Askell "C. wing-headed" but in one case as Ardun (in Peniarth Ms. 47, probably due to confusion with a woman bearing the same byname in the previous century) (Bromwich TYP).

Bartrum (WCD) lists several other women of a similar era, of variable levels of historic reliability, named Ceindrech, although in one case this name has been erroneously substituted for another.

Linguistic Analysis

A straightforward linguistic interpretation of the name would understand it as cain "beautiful" + drych "appearance, image". (In all cases, the forms of the name available reflect medieval-era spellings.) If this is so, then the reconstructions of these words found in the GPC and in Falileyev can be greatly helpful, suggesting a Brittonic *kanio-drikk-. In the early 6th century, this would be expected to give us a Latinized written form Caniodricca with a pronunciation along the lines of ['kan-I-DrIx], or in English syllables "KAHN-ih-dhrikh", where "dh" represents the initial sound of "this" and "kh" the "hard" ch of Scottish "loch".

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