The Anathemata

Mabinog’s Liturgy (continued)

By their Hausnamen no longer called, their nomina

already Anatolian:

not now of Wald or llan

but, of the polis.4 

Four generations5 of fretful charges since first our nursemaids warned us:

That’s Teutones

come to fetch you!

brats that neither sleep nor suck

bogIe Cimbri gobble up.6 


David Jones notes

4 Celts were serving as mercenaries in Ptolemaic Egypt and four. such at Abydos in 185 BC left a scratched memorial of themselves on the walls of a chapel of Horus: ‘Of the Galatians, we Thoas, Callistratos, Acannon and Apollonios came here and caught a fox.’ That four privates off duty in a strange land should chase a jackal and call it a fox and record the event fits perfectly with all we know of serving soldiers of today. Cf. H. Hubert, The Celts.

The inscription is in Greek and the names are Greek, but we know from St Jerome that even five centuries later the Galatians of Asia Minor, the descendants of the various groups of mercenaries, still retained their Celtic dialects, though long since Greek in culture.

I use the Welsh word llan because it comes direct from Old Celtic landa which in turn is cognate with the German key-word Land and so equally with our own integral English word ‘land’ and our delectable English word ‘lawn’.

5 That is, a hundred and twenty years or so. From the time when the Teutonic Cimbri of Jutland appeared on the north Italian frontier (103 BC) the bogey-men for the Roman council-chambers, and we may be sure, for the Roman nurseries, were no longer Celts, but for the first time in history, Teutons.

6 Cf. the anonymous early Latin lullaby,
‘Lalla, lalla, lalla
i aut dormi aut lacta’.

additional notes


semantic structures