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Cynan Garwyn, King of Powys
(c.545-610)
(Latin: Conanus; English: Conan)

The son of King Brochfael Ysgythrog and Arddyn Benasgel, the daughter of King Pabo Post Prydain of the Pennines, and St. Tysilio's elder brother. This late 6th century King of Powys apparently had very white legs, hence his name of White-Shanks. Though, the epithet may be a mistaken rendering of "Carrwyn," of the White-Chariot. His horse, 'Du Hir Tynnedig' (Tall Black-Tinted One), is named as one of the three chief steeds of Britain.

Cynan was a powerful king remembered in the poems of Taliesin. But, despite his probable identification with 'Cynan of the Prophecies' who was expected to free the British from Saxon oppression, his armies mostly fought against his fellow Celts. He had victories from Ynys Mon (Anglesey) to Gwent and Dyfed, and even threatened Dumnonia. His forces were, apparently, most successful in Brycheiniog, which Cynan seems to have conquered for a time. The Powysian monarch encamped on the River Nedd, but the monks of Llancarfan negotiated a peace which stopped him from continuing further into Glywysing. Cynan was a Christian himself, a patron of St. Beuno to whom he had given land near Corwen. 

Cynan married Gwynwenwen daughter of Prince Domangart mac Aidan of the Scots; and they had at least three children: Selyf Sarffgadau, Dinogad and Afandreg Ddu, the wife of King Cadfan the Wise of Gwynedd. Upon his death, Selyf succeeded to the throne of Powys.

 

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