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Geraint, with his wife Enid, from The Idylls of the King

Geraint is a character from Welsh folklore and Arthurian legend, a king of Dumnonia and a valiant warrior. He may have lived during or shortly prior to the reign of the historical Arthur, but some scholars doubt he ever existed. The name is a Welsh form of the Latin Gerontius.


Historical character

Geraint's father was Erbin, a herder of sheep, and according to Culhwch and Olwen, he had brothers named Ermind and Dywel. A 'Geraint of the South' appears at the Battle of Catraeth (circa 600) in the poem Y Gododdin, attributed to Aneirin. Geraint was one of the "Three Seafarers of the Isle of Britain" according to the Welsh Triads. His deeds at the Battle of Llongborth are celebrated in the poem Geraint son of Erbin, written probably in 10th or 11th century.[1] A King Geraint also appears in the 'Life of Saint Teilo' and there are local legends of a King Geraint, the patron saint of Gerrans, near Falmouth, being buried on Carne Beacon near Veryan. His feast day is 10 August.

Arthurian legend

He is probably most famous as the protagonist in the Welsh tale Geraint and Enid, where he becomes the lover of Enid. Geraint and Enid is one of the three Welsh Romances associated with the Mabinogion. Its story closely parallels the French writer Chrétien de Troyes' Erec and Enide. Some scholars feel both works derived from a common lost source, but most believe the Welsh version derives directly or indirectly from Chrétien. In this case, the renowned figure of Geraint would have been added to the story to suit Welsh audiences unfamiliar with Chrétien's protagonist. Geraint and Enid was reworked by Alfred, Lord Tennyson into the poems The Marriage of Geraint and Geraint and Enid, part of his Idylls of the King.


  1. ^ Bollard, pp. 14–15.


  • Bollard, John K. (1994). "Arthur in the Early Welsh Tradition". The Romance of Arthur: An Anthology of Medieval Texts in Translation (Routledge): 11-23.  

See also



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