Amaethon

From Academic Kids

In Welsh mythology, Amaethon or Amathaon ( Welsh "great or divine ploughman, farmer, labourer"), was a son of Dôn and a presumed agricultural deity.

Contents

mythic representation

In Culhwch and Olwen he was the only man who could till a certain field, one of the impossible tasks Culhwch had been set before he could win Olwen's hand. In the Welsh Triads he taught magic to his brother Gwydion. In the poem Cad Goddeu he stole a dog, lapwing and roebuck from Arawn, king of Annwn (the underworld), leading to a war between Arawn and the Children of Dôn. Gwydion used his magic staff to turn trees into warriors who helped the children of Dôn win.

Etymology & Fundamental Nature

The reconstructed lexis of the Proto-Celtic language as collated by the University of Wales [1] (http://www.wales.ac.uk/documents/external/cawcs/pcl-moe.pdf) suggests that the name is likely to be ultimately derived from the Proto-Celtic *An-maketonos . This Proto-Celtic word connotes the semantics of ‘the very nourishing one.’ This apparent semantic connotation has led Dr. John Koch at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies to suggest that this personality may well personify “agricultural fertiliser”. This theory, if it is correct, would account for the associations with agriculture and his role as a figure who can make a field arable.

Bibliography

  • Ellis, Peter Berresford, Dictionary of Celtic Mythology(Oxford Paperback Reference), Oxford University Press, (1994): ISBN: 0195089618
  • MacKillop, James. Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 0192801201.
  • Wood, Juliette, The Celts: Life, Myth, and Art, Thorsons Publishers (2002): ISBN: 0007640595

External Links

[2] (http://www.mythome.org/celtic.html) [3] (http://www.paralumun.com/celticgod.htm) [4] (http://www.daire.org/names/deities.html) [5] (http://www.wales.ac.uk/documents/external/cawcs/pcl-moe.pdf)pl:Amaethon

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