Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Maelgwn of Gwynned

Maelgwn, Malegwyn
Latin: Magloclune, Maglocunus
Died: 547

A historical sixth-century king of Gwynedd mentioned in several Welsh texts. The Latin version of his name is Maglocunus (‘Hound Prince’), and a certain “Maglocune” is berated by Gildas in his De Excidio Britanniae. The Annales Cambriae says that he died in 547 from the plague.

The son of Clutarius, he has been tenously identified with Melkin. In the Welsh Triads, he appears as one of Arthur’s chief elders. He has two sons named Rhun and Alser.

In another Welsh poem, Taliesin and Myrddin mourn the deaths of many warriors who died in a battle against Maelgwn.

In The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens by Mike Ashley, he is listed as homosexual.

Gildas listed Maelgwyn amongst his five tyrants, calling him "first in evil" and stating that he was "drunk on wine pressed from the vine of the Sodomites". Geoffrey of Monmouth was more specific, stating that he "made himself hateful to God, for he was given to the vice of homosexuality." Maelgwyn was a tall handsome man who also had his way with the ladies, for Gildas also reprimanded him for being an adulterer.

De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae | Gildas, c. 540
Annales Cambriae | c. 960-980
Various; all Myrddin poems | 12th century to 15th century
Triads of the Island of Britain (Welsh ”Triads”) | 11th century to 14th century
The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens | Mike Ashley, 1999