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The Religion of the Ancient Celts

Page: 49

Kulhwych as the only husbandman who could till or dress a certain piece of land, though Kulhwych will not be able to force him or to make him follow him.379 This, together with the name Amæthon, from Cymric amæth, "labourer" or "ploughman," throws some light on his functions.380 He was a god associated with agriculture, either as one who made waste places fruitful, or possibly as an anthropomorphic corn divinity. But elsewhere his taking a roebuck and a whelp, and in a Triad, a lapwing from Arawn, king of Annwfn, led to the battle of Godeu, in which he fought Arawn, aided by Gwydion, who vanquished one of Arawn's warriors, Bran, by discovering his name. Amæthon, who brings useful animals from the gods' land, plays the same part as Gwydion, bringer of the swine. The dog and deer are frequent representatives of the corn-spirit, of which Amæthon may have been an anthropomorphic form, or they, with the lapwing, may have been earlier worshipful animals, associated with Amæthon as his symbols, while later myth told how he had procured them from Annwfn.

The divine functions of Llew Llaw Gyffes are hardly apparent in the Mabinogi. The incident of Blodeuwedd's unfaithfulness is simply that of the


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