From Proto-Celtic *danu- "river"

Mother of the Welsh gods.

Don in the Genealogies
In the earliest Welsh genealogies--such as those in Harleian 3859--there is mention of Anna, wife (or in some genealogies, mother) of Beli Mawr. Rachel Bromwich identifies Anna with Don, the reasons of which are explained here. In brief, Don and her consort Beli are the parents of the British gods, with Don analogus to Danu. Beli, however, has no clear analogy in Irish myth.

In the Bonedd yr Arwyr, there are two lists, the Plant Dn and the Plant Math ap Mathonwy:

25. Plant Don o Arvon
Gwydion, Govannon, Amaethon, Hunawg, Idawl, Ienuydd, Elestron, Digant, Gyluaethwy, Kynnan, Hedd, Addien, Elawg, Arianrhod

25. Plant Math ap Mathonwy
Llew Llaw Gyffes, Dylan eil ton, a Blodeuwed ue chawer o Arianrhod verch Don eu mam.

The second list identifies Dn as the ancestor of Lleu, Dylan, and Blodeuwed.

For reasons I've yet to understand, Iolo Morgannwg turned Dn into a king, identifying Gwydion as his son. The reason for this gender change I have yet to discover.

Back to "D" | Back to JCE

Mary Jones 2005