Anarawd ap Rhodri (died c. 916) was a King of Gwynedd and referenced
as "King of the Britons" in the Annales Cambriae.
Anarawd's father Rhodri the Great, by conquest and alleged
inheritances, had become ruler of most of northern Wales. However,
under Welsh law he was bound to divide his lands among his able-bodied
children upon his death during a Mercian invasion around 878. Anarawd,
the eldest, retained the principal estate at Aberffraw and the
throne of Gwynedd. His brothers Cadell and Merfyn received large
estates as well, sometimes said to include the kingdoms of Ceredigion
and Powys, respectively. For this, one of the Welsh Triads records the
brothers as the "Three Diademed Princes of the Isle of Britain".
(Rhodri's fourth son, Tudwal the Lame, was apparently too young for
the initial division.)
The brothers are recorded as cooperating closely against the rulers of
the remaining lesser kingdoms of Wales. Æthelred of Mercia invaded
Gwynedd around 881 and the annals hailed his defeat at Cymryd in the
Battle of the Conwy as Dial Rhodri: "God's vengeance for Rhodri".
Tudwal was old enough to participate in this battle, but his
disfigurement on the field left him unfit for rule in Welsh eyes.
While Cadell then turned on his brother Merfyn, creating the realm
that would later empower Hywel the Good, Anarawd made an alliance with
the Danish king in York in an attempt to guard himself against further
Mercian attacks. After that alliance proved unsatisfactory, he came to
an agreement with Alfred the Great of Wessex, visiting Alfred at his
court. He received honors and gifts from the Saxons and King Alfred
stood witness at his confirmation. According to Asser, Anarawd used
his new Saxon allies to help in repelling a raid by his former Danish
allies around 894 and to ravage Cadell's lands in Ceredigion and
Ystrad Tywi the next year. Around 902, an attack on Anglesey by the
Danes of Dublin under Ingimundr was repulsed. Anarawd died c. 916,
succeeded by his eldest son Idwal the Bald.
Kings of Wales family trees
Wikisource has the text of the 1885–1900 Dictionary of National
Biography's article about Anarawd.
^ The House of Dinefwr descended from Cadell would later claim that
their ancestor had been elder. That this was a simple lie is shown,
inter alia, in British Antiquities Revived-Oxford, 1662; reprinted
^ Welsh: Tri theyrn taleithiog Ynys Prydain or Tri thywysog
taleithiog. Myv. Arch., Gee's ed., p. 405, No. 43.
Lloyd, John Edward (1911). "A History of Wales from the Earliest Times
to the Edwardian Conquest". I (2nd ed.). London: Longmans, Green, and
Co (published 1912).
Dumville, David N. (1982). "The 'Six' Sons of Rhodri Mawr: A Problem
in Asser's Life of King Alfred". CMCS. 4: 5–18.
Anarawd ap Rhodri
Born: Unknown Died: 916
Rhodri the Great
King of Gwynedd