|Llywellyn the Great ap Iowrth|
Prince of Gwynedd
Known to history as Llywellyn Fawr (Llywelyn the Great), Prince of Gwynedd, Llywelyn was not only a man of his times, but a man for his times. His father, Iorworth, had been one of nineteen sons of Owain Gwynedd, king of Gwynedd, the northwestern-most point of Wales (see map below).
When Owain died, his sons fell to fighting, and the two sons of Owain’s second wife—Dafydd (David) and Rhodri—triumphed through treachery and cruelty. Iorworth was driven out of Wales and died at the age of 22. Llywelyn was just a tot at the time, and his story is the story of the recovery of his grandfather’s kingdom—and then some, battling Anglo-Norman kings and becoming embroiled in all the big events of his day.
|Wales, c. 1271, after the reign of Llywelyn the Great|
And that is why his life can be viewed as a microcosm of medieval Europe.
|Ranulf de Blondeville, Earl of Chester|
One of his chiefallies would have been in Scotland. In fact, he married one of his natural daughters, Elen the Younger (not to be confused with her older sister, Elen the Elder), to an earl of Fife. In addition, depending on the year, he also found an ally in the English county of Chester, where the Norman earl, Ranulf de Blondeville, could be counted on. (Note to the Gards: Believe it or not, Ranulf, or more specifically his sister, is an ancestor on the paternal side of our family!)
And, last, the pesky “Normans” were all about: two kings of England—King John (the “evil” brother of Richard the Lionhearted), who, by the way, was the father of Llywelyn’s wife (it gets complicated); and King Henry III (the two came to blows in the 1230s).
|King John of England|
"Gem of Power"
End of Part 1.
Collings, Michael R. Gem Lore: An Introduction to Precious and Semi-Precious Stones. 2nd ed. (Available on Google Books)
(Available on Google Books)
“Llywelyn ab Iorwerth.” Dictionary of National Biography. 12:7.
Map of 13th-Century Wales. “Llywelyn the Great.” Wikipedia. 24 May 2013. Web. 1 Jun 2013.
Purple Diamond. Almor Design. Facebook. 8 Feb 2011. Web. 2 Jun 2013. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Almor-design/140703979290574
Ranulf de Blondeville. “Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester.” Wikipedia. 8 May 2013. Web. 1 Jun 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranulf_de_Blondeville,_6th_Earl_of_Chester