Culhwch ('pigsty') is so named because he was born where a swineherd was tending pigs.
Olwen (‘white track’) is so named because four white clovers would spring up wherever she walked.
Culhwch may also be translated as ‘lean pig/boar’. It has been suggested that Culhwch may have associations with the Celtic god Moccus (the Gaulish word for ‘boar’ or ‘pig’) who is equated with the Roman god Mercury.
Caledfwlch is the Welsh name for King Arthur’s sword Excalibur.
There is, separately, the famous story of Arthur pulling a sword from a stone, the feat that confirmed him as king. This anonymous sword is not to be confused with Excalibur.
As mentioned in the bookmark for page 68, Cai and Bedwyr are often linked, and both are referred to in the Welsh poem Pa Gur. In other Arthurian literature, they appear as two of the Knights of the Round Table, Sir Kay and Sir Bedivere.
The Battle of Camlan is said to be the final battle of the legendary King Arthur, in which he was either killed or fatally wounded. It is referred to in the medieval Annales Cambriae and in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae. There are also several references to it in The Mabinogion’s ‘Rhonabwy’s Dream’ (often translated as ‘The Dream of Rhonabwy’).
There has been much speculation about the location of the battle. Suggestions include: the village of Queen Camel in Somerset; the Roman fort of Camboglanna (Castlesteads) on Hadrian’s Wall, Camelon near Falkirk in Scotland; and the Camlan Valley (Cwm Camlan) near Ganllwyd, north of Dolgellau in North Wales (the River Camlan is a tributary of the Mawddach).
Mabon is identified with the Celtic god Maponos, and his mother Modron with the Celtic goddess Dea Matrona. Maponos, said to have been worshipped in Gaul and Britain, was the god of youth and is equated with the Roman Apollo. Dea Matrona, (‘divine mother goddess’) was goddess of the River Marne in Gaul. Divine mother goddesses were also worshipped as a triad, the Deae Matronae. As mentioned in the bookmark for page 11, Matrona has also been linked with Rhiannon who appears in ‘The First Branch of the Mabinogi’.
Mabon son of Modron is also referred to as one of Arthur’s counsellors in ‘Rhonabwy’s Dream’.