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"BATTLE OF ARGOED LLWYFAIN, THE" Taliesin (late sixth century) This poem, contained in the Book of Taliesin, is one of the oldest poems in Welsh. It recounts a mid-sixth century battle between Owain mab Urien, son of the king of Rheged, and the men of Bernicia under Fflamddwyn (Firebrand), possibly the Anglian king Theodric. Owain taunts the "fourfold hosts of Fflamddwyn," all of whom owain defeats and slaughters, demonstrating his prowess as a speaker and a warrior. The poet uses the historic present to make the battle feel real as the two leaders yell insults at each other. owain incites his men into a battle frenzy, from which they emerge victorious. Even the ravens are pleased, as they end up covered in gore from their grisly meals. Bards often accompanied battle parties so they would be able to provide immediate and living monuments to the leader's deeds, so this may be an eyewitness account. See also Taliesin; "War-band's Return, The."
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