While researching the various
children assigned to Brychan in the old manuscripts, we decided to expand our comments on Lluan to show the tendancy of some
modern historians to form an opinion and then emend ancient texts to make them support that view. The question we will
examine is "Who did Lluan marry?"
The oldest pedigree is found
in De Situ Brecheniauc from Cotton Ms Vespasian A xiv. Scholars date the extant copy to c. 1200 and believe
it had been copied from an earlier manuscript by someone who did not understand Welsh. They date the orthography of
the text to the eleventh century. The relevant pedigree reads:
"Luan filia Brach mat Haidani
While written in Latin,
the Welsh form of the epithet "bradouc" is used to describe the man given as the son of Lluan. The copyist has written
"insidiosi" above that word, being Latin for "treacherous". This is the same meaning as the Welsh "bradog" (often spelled
"fradog"). An English translation of the text would read:
"Lluan, daughter of Brychan
was the mother of Aidan Fradog"
The genealogists and historians
immediately identified the man as the same "Aydan Vradawc" mentioned in Triad #54  as one of the three Unrestrained
Ravagings of the Island of Britain. That citation tells of Aeddan Fradog coming to the court of Rhydderch Hael at Alclud
and leaving neither food nor drink nor beast alive.
While it was Rhydderch Hen
born c. 540 who resided at Alclud,
it is very likely the man who raided his court was Aeddan mac Gabrain, king
of the Dal Raida Scots whose realm lay adjacent to Dumbarton (Alclud). That Aeddan was born c. 540 and died in 607.
No historic accounts of the man call him "the Treacherous", that epithet being applied only in Welsh literature.
While we agree that the triad concerns Aeddan mac Gabrain, calling him "Fradog" might be as incorrect as calling Rhydderch
Hen "Hael".  Indeed, Rachael Bromwich was uncomfortable calling Aeddan treacherous and rendered her translation
of the Welsh word as "Wily", a position that finds no support in the Welsh language.
The next pedigree
of Lluan is found in a section of Cotton Ms Domitian I called Cognatio Brychan. Although the extant copy only dates
from the 17th century, scholars say it was copied from a manuscript written in the early 13th century. Here we find:
"Lluan mat Aidan
grutauc mat Gafron vradavc" 
Taken as written,
this citation says that Lluan was not only the mother of a son named Aidan, but had a second son named Gafron. The occurrance
of this second name confirmed the scholars belief that Aeddan mac Gabrain had to be a son of Lluan and that "Gafron"
must be her husband. Accordingly, they believe, the citation must be emended to substitute "uxor" for "mat" (mater)
preceding Gafron's name. The fact that it was Gafron who was given the "Fradog" epithet while Aiden was called "grutiog"
or grit-like was passed off as simple confusion on the part of the writer. When A.W. Wade-Evans published his Vitae Sanctorum
Britanniae et Genealogiae in 1944, he included the text of Cognacio Brychan but rendered the pedigree of
Lluan as "mater Aidan Bratauc et vxor Gafran". While he included a footnote to show that wasn't the way the text actually
read, Rachael Bromwich repeats his emendation  and claims it to be the actual text of Cognacio Brychan. Peter
Bartrum also used the emended wording in his Early Welsh Genealogiocal Tracts  but admits in a footnote that
the text says "mater" and not "uxor".
These scholars were merely following
the author of a set of pedigrees known as Jesus College Ms 20. Dating to the late 14th century, this manuscript
begins with the Brychan pedigrees. The citation for Lluan reads:
"Llvan verch Vrachan hono oed
vam Aidan mab Gwauream vradawc"  (the first 3 words are actually abbreviated in the text)
The English translation
of this text is "Lluan, daughter of Brychan, that one was the mother of Aidan ap Gawuream". Here, it can be seen that
the author of this manuscript has rendered "mab" or "son of" from the older Latin citations which read "mat" or "mater".
By the time the much
later Plant Brychan was written, the pedigree had morphed into:
"Lleian Brychan gwraic
Gawron mam Aeddan Vradoc"
The transformation was
complete; now the medieval genealogists give us simply "Lluan ferch Brychan was the wife of Gawron and mother of Aeddan Fradog".
Should we leave the matter there, we would have to date Lluan to c. 520 and acknowledge that she could not be a sister of
any of the other Brychan children which can be dated.
But the case for
Aeddan mac Gabrain being a son of Lluan has been made only by emending old texts, none of which certainly contain the name
Gabrain. However, there are other old texts which mention a "Gauron ap Aedan". Welsh triad #29 says the Three
Faithful Warbands of the Island of Britain include:
"Teleu Gauron mab
Aedan, a aethant y'r mor dros eu harglvyd"
translates this as "The warband of Gafron son of Aeddan, who went to sea for their lord". Perhaps "Gafron" would be
appropriate if the name appeared as Gavron, but it would seem as though Bromwich was putting her thumb on the scale to turn
him into the historic Gabrain. Indeed, in her discussion of the triad, she reverses these names to speak solely of Aeddan
mac Gabrain in speculating on herioc acts for which his warband may have been celebrated. But the triad is speaking
of Gauron's warband, not that of Aedan. One might also wonder what would make a warband faithful for simply "going
to the sea for their lord" and we shall return to that Bromwich translation later.
citation which identifies a man called Gauran ap Aedan is found in a series of pedigrees of North Britain chieftans called
Bonedd Gwyr y Gogledd. It first appeared in Peniarth Ms 45 of the late 14th century. Pedigree #11 reads:
Aedan uradawc m Dyuynwal hen m. Idnyuet m. Maxen Wledig, amherawdyr Ruuein" 
ap Ednyfed was a grandson of Anwn Dynod (missing from this citation) ap Maxen Wledig, the Maxen who was born c. 280 and had
a child by Elen ferch Eudaf Hen...not the one killed in 388. If this Dyfnwal Hen had a son called Aeddan Grutiog, who
in turn had a son named Gauran, that latter man would date from c. 425. By simply noting that the ancient manuscripts
sometimes referred to both Gauran and Aeddan as "Vradawc", it is at least possible that the stigma earned by one man was
passed on to his son and perhaps even to a grandson. One solution which would fit all the old citations and reject Aeddan
mac Gabrain's identity as the son of Lluan:
Aeddan Grutiog Brychan 400
425 Gauran Fradog=======Lluan 440
455 Aeddan Fradog
In this construction, the son
of Lluan bears the name assigned to him in the oldest of the pedigrees and her husband agrees with the name appearing in the
later citations. At the same time, it provides us with a Gauran ap Aeddan from the triads, one who brought shame on
himself and perhaps on his son as well. The historic Aeddan mac Gabrain had no son named Gauran or Gafron or Gawron.
When Iolo Morgannwg introduced his bogus group of triads in 1870, he made "Aeddan Fradwr o'r Gogledd" one of the three
Arrant Traitors of the Isle of Britain. This is the so-called third series of triads which have been rejected by most
serious scholars and do not appear in Bromwich's work Trioedd Ynys Prydein. In the fertile imagination
of Iolo, "fradog" becomes "fradwr" or "traitor".
The family we
posit may well have lived in Wales by the mid-fifth century; other descendants of Dyfnwal Hen are found in Gwent and Lluan
herself is the patroness of Chapel Llanlluan (or Llanlleian) in the parish of Llanarthney, Carmarthenshire. Perhaps an event
unmentioned in history disgraced her husband. Return a moment to triad #29 where the warband of Gauron ap Aedan
was praised for its faithfulness. The text "a aethant y'r mor dros eu harglvyd" can also translate as "who went INTO
the sea INSTEAD OF their lord". If we then consider the warband may have been commended for its faithfulness to
the Cymry rather than to their lord, one scenerio which would explain both the triad and the stigma of the Fradog epithet
Gauran ab Aeddan and his warband
may have been battling an enemy force around 470 (where and which enemy could only be a guess) when Gauran found his army hopelessly
trapped on high ground overlooking the sea. Knowing from past custom that if he were captured the foe would simply ransom
him back to his family for cash, he may have negotiated such a deal for himself. But his warband had little ransom value
and could not expect to receive gentle treatment were they to surrender. If Gauran simply saved his own hide and left
his warband to their own devices, they may have elected to plunge into the sea and drown rather than risk being taken to
be used as slaves by the enemy. It wasn't death they feared, but enslavement. Thus we have a warband that remained faithful
to their people and a Gauran who was thereafter called "the Treacherous".
We shall conclude with
the admission that we don't really know the family into which Lluan ferch Brychan married, but neither have the previous
scholars convinced us they know! Certainly a Lluan born c. 440 fits with the children of Brychan better than one
born c. 520. We think she was a sister of Meleri, Hunydd and Rhain, in which event we must also include Tybie since
she is patroness of the parish of Llandebie which adjoins the parish in Carmarthenshire containing Chapel Llanlluan.