Cunedda, son of Woden… King of Picts

Breth son of Buthut
Vipoig namet
Wradech uecla
Talore son of Achivir
Drust son of Erp
Talore son of Aniel (PKL)

These are the names of the sons of Cunedda, whose number was nine: Tybion, the firstborn, who died in the region called Manaw Gododdin and did not come hither with his father and his aforesaid brothers. Meirion, his son, divided his possessions among his brothers. 2, Ysfael, 3. Rhufon, 4. Dunod, 5. Ceredig, 6, Afloeg, 7. Einion Yrth, 8. Dogfael, 9. Edern Harleian 3859 (pedigree 32)

Maelgwyn, the great king, was reigning among the Britons in the region of Gwynedd, for his ancestor, Cunedag, with his sons, whose number was eight, had come previously from the northern part, that is from the region which is called Manaw Gododdin, one hundred and forty-six years before Maelgwn reigned. And with great slaughter they drove out from those regions the Scotti who never returned again to inhabit them.’ (NEN)


The first extract is from the Pictish King List. Only a handful of these lists that survived the rigors of time, but they all contain pretty much the same sequence of kings (tho’ spelt differently) to which are attached reign-lengths (which differ between recensions) and on rare occasions a piece of biographical information. The second extract refers to one of the first recorded monarchs of Britain, & a babel-chain between Cunedda & the PKL’s Canutulahina is both easy to create & to support, for the names of Cantaluhina’s immediate successors in the PKL have chispological correspondnaces in the Harleian MS, where Wradech transchispers into Ceretic, Dorornauch becomes Dunaut. We also have the chispological connections between the Historia Brittonum’s Cunedag variant for Cunedda, & the PKL’s Canutulachama variant.

We now fast-forward in time to the reign of Maelgwyn Gwynned, whose death in 547 is recorded by the Annales Cambraie as, ‘The great death [plague] in which Maelgwn, king of Gwynedd died. Thus they say ‘The long sleep of Maelgwn in the court of Rhos’.  It is through a passage in Nennius that we can link Cunedda to Maelgwyn;
Maelgwn, the great king, was reigning among the Britons in the region of Gwynedd, for his ancestor, Cunedag, with his sons, whose number was eight, had come previously from the northern part, that is from the region which is called Manaw Gododdin, one hundred and forty-six years before Maelgwn reigned. And with great slaughter they drove out from those regions the Scotti who never returned again to inhabit them.

If we say that it was 20 years after his reign as the King of Picts that Cunedda left Scotland for Wales as given in Nennius, & that Maelgwyn had also been ruling for 20 years before he died, then the 146 years as given by Nennius gives us a tentative date of 361 for Cunedda.


We may infer from Nennius that Cunedda had taken took up a position of power in the eastern central Belt of Scotland, the approximate area of Manaw Gododdin. That this region is was connected to his Pictish monarchy is remembered in the Pentland Hills, which were originally known as the ‘Pehtland’ Hills, after a variant name for the Picts also found in the Pentland Firth which seperate the Orkneys from the Scottish mainland. In East Lothian, at Traprain Law, a massive double-linked Silver Chain of the Early Christian period was discovered in 1938, a tangible hallmark of Pictish nobility.



Nennius tells us that in the 4th century, Cunedda & his sons travelled from Scotland to North Wales, where they fought & defeated the ‘Scotti’ – the same Irish tribe that would eventually establish itself further north in Dalriada – & established the Kingdom of Gwynedd. The approximate 361 dates for Cunedda is significant, for in 367 we have historical evidence for the Scotti, & others, attacking Britain.  Known as ‘The Barbarian Conspiracy,’ it was eventually put down the following year by the Roman general, Flavius Theodosius.  The Roman historian, Ammianus Marcellinus, has all the details;

At that time the Picts, divided into two tribes, called Dicalydones and Verturiones, as well as the Attacotti, a warlike race of men, and the Scots, were ranging widely and causing great devastation; while the Gallic regions, wherever anyone could break in by land or by sea, were harassed by the Franks and their neighbours, the Saxons, with cruel robbery, fire, and the murder of all who were taken prisoners.

When the Batavi, Heruli, Jovii, and Victores, who followed {Flavius Theodosius}, had arrived, troops confident in their strength, he began his march and came to the old town of Lundinium, which later times called Augusta. There he divided his troops into many parts and attacked the predatory bands of the enemy, which were ranging about and were laden with heavy packs; quickly routing those who were driving along prisoners and cattle, he wrested from them the booty which the wretched tribute-paying people had lost. And when all this had been restored to them, except for a small part which was allotted to the wearied soldiers, he entered the city, which had previously been plunged into the greatest difficulties, but had been restored more quickly than rescue could have been expected, rejoicing and as if celebrating an ovation.

While he lingered there, encouraged by the successful outcome to dare greater deeds, he carefully considered what plans would be safe; and he was in doubt about his future course, since he learned from the confessions of the captives and the reports of deserters that the widely scattered enemy, a mob of various natives and frightfully savage, could be overcome only by secret craft and unforeseen attacks. 10 Finally, he issued proclamations, and under promise of pardon summoned the deserters to return to service, as well as many others who were wandering about in various places on furlough. In consequence of this demand and strongly moved by his offer, most returned


 We here see Roman Britain continuing in a state of reconciliation. Was Cunedda part of the attacking force & later redeemed, or did he stay put in Lothian all the while & remain loyal to Rome while the Barbarians hordes ravaged Britain. We know the Attacotti members of the Barbarian Conspiracy were absorbed into the legions, so Cunedda may have experienced the same treatment. It is imposible to say at this juncture, but the timing of his move against the Irish in North Wales in all likelihood seems connected to the Roman restoration of its Britannic power base after 368.


Returning to the genealogy of Cunedda, I would like to show that he was the son of a human figure deified with some majesty by the Nordic & Teutonic races. The god was Woden, or Odin, but the man was given as either Edern (Jesus College MS20) or Aeturn (Harleian MS 3859). Aeturn-Waeturn-Woden is an easy babel-chain, but of course we need support.  We begin with Harleian MS 3859, which tells us how Tybion was Cunedda’s first-born son. This gives us a possible Woden-Cunedda-Tybion lineage, which has a mirror in the royal Anglo-Saxon genealogies of East Anglia. Here Caser would be Cunedda, with the name either corrupted from ‘Cune,’ or perhaps even Ceasar, which is a lofty rank similar to Cunedda’s ‘Guledig’ epithet.

Woden – (Aeturn)

Caser / Casser – (Cunedda Gwledig)

Titmon  / Tẏtiman / Titinon – (Tybion)


 We should also examine Cunedda’s grandfather & great-grandfather, who appear in Jesus & Harleain as Tegyth/Tacit and Padarn Beisrud/Patern Pesrut. These names translate into Latin as Tacitus & Paternus, with the latter’s epithet meaning ‘of the red robe’, indicating a high rank in the Roman administration. A link to Rome is suggested by the Scandinavian record of Woden/Odin as recorded by the medieval chronicler, Snorri Sturluson, who places him in the Trojan region of NW Turkey, beside the Dardanelles. This region was a part of the Roman province of Asia, which seems to be the etymological route of the Aesir.



In the middle of the world was built a city called Troy. This is in the land of Turkey. Twelve kingdoms were there and one high King. In this city there were twelve languages. The twelve rulers were better than any human in all the world. One king was called Munon or Mennon. His son was called Tror, who we call Thor. He would later take control of Thrace, which we call Thrudheim. He travelled all through the world and found a sibyl who we call Sif. Thor married her. Their male descendents are Loridi, Einridi, Vingethor, Vingenir, Moda, Magi, Sescef, Bedvig, Athra (who we call Annar), Itrmann, Heremod, Scialdum (who we call Skiold), Biaf (who we call Biar), Iat, Gudolf, Finn, Friallaf (who we call Fridleif), and Woden. Odin is the name we use for Woden.

The chief Odin was a great warrior and travelled all over and gained many kingdoms. He was very victorious wherever he went. This made him very esteemed and praised so much so that everyone believed that he always won every fight and battle.

Odin was supposed to have great lands near the Turks. When the Roman Emperors were trying to conquer the world they dispersed many people and kings, who fled their lands. During this time, Odin used his magic to see the future and learned that his descendents would live in the northern parts of the world. As a result, he made his brothers Ve and Vili leaders of the people of Asaland and went off to the northern lands. He took with him all his priests and many of his people.

Odin conquered many lands and had many sons who he set as leaders upon those lands. His travels took him to Gardarik (Germany), then to Saxland. There they stayed for a while. Odin had three sons in Saxony, who were put to rule over the area:

Veggdegg, who ruled East Saxony.
Beldegg (who we call Balder), who ruled Westphalia.
Siggi, who ruled over what is now France. The Volsungs are descended from him.
Odin then went northward to a country called Reidgotaland (which is now called jutland) and conquered it. In this land he set his son Skiold as ruler. From him are descended the Skioldungs dynasty of Denmark. Snorri
He then travelled north to the sea and made a home in Odenso in Fyn, Denmark.

After this he went northward into Sweden where there was a king called Gylfi. When the Aesir (what the people of Asia are called) arrived King Gylfi offered them as much power as they desired in his land. Odin found the area pleasant to live in and settled in an area now called Sigtunir. In this new land he set up rulers in the same pattern as was seen in Troy. There were twelve chiefs to administer law, and he established a legal system as it was in Troy.

After this, he travelled north even more til he confronted the sea. He then set one of his son, Saemung (who all the rulers of Norway are descended), as ruler over this area, which is now called Norway.

The Aesir had many marriages with the people and their family became quite extensive from Saxony all the way to the north. In this area, also, their language spread, the language of the people of Asia, and became the mother tongue there. Because of this, there are names for regions and places in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and England that come from the ancient language before the Aesir appeared.

Odin died in his bed in Sweden. As he approached death he had himself marked, or stabbed, with a spear point and dedicated himself all men who died through weapons. Odin was burned after his death and they say his fire was very glorious.

‘Odin was credited, the world over, as a god,‘ wrote Saxo Grammaticus, ‘which was false. He spent his time in Uppsala.’ According to my analysis, he was also connected to Britain, & Pictland in particular. The key passage in Snorri reads, ‘the Aesir had many marriages with the people and their family became quite extensive from Saxony all the way to the north.’ This sentence opens up the possibility that Woden’s son, Cunedda, married into the Pictish Royal bloodline.


Woden was clearly once a mortal. We can now deduce he had at least some aristocratic Roman blood in his veins, & that he came from the Trojan region of NW Turkey, beside the Dardanelles. This region was a part of the Roman province of Asia, which seems to be the etymological route of the Aesir. This opens up the intriguing possibility that Woden’s grandfather could have been Titus Flavius Festus, who was the govenor of Asia c.286. Saying that, an earlier Titus – Titus Flavius Postumius Varus – was actually in northern Britain during the 240s as Legatus legionis of the Legio II Augusta. But I ruminate too far in unclear waters, altho’ Varus did at one point hold the position of the Augurship, whose prophetic abilites strike a tally with the prophetic powers of Snorri’s Woden.

The key passage in Snorri  reads, ‘the Aesir had many marriages with the people and their family became quite extensive from Saxony all the way to the north.’ This sentence opens up the possibility that Woden’s son, Cunedda, married into the Pictish Royal bloodline. Also of interest is how Woden took control of Denmark & Jutland, the very homelands of the Angles who would go on to invade & name the southern portions of Britain. What has always been a bit of a mystery is why an island of NW Wales, & part of the Kingdom of Gwynedd, is also named after the Angles – Anglesey. However, if we were to simply place Cunedda in command of a group of Angles conquered by Woden & placed in the Hunnic imperial service, then all makes perfect sense.



According to various lineages, such as in Bede & the Anglian Collection,  another of Woden’s sons was Vecta, who Snorri says was a ruler in East Saxony (as Vegdagr). His name was found etched inyo a stone memorial near Edinburgh. When Bede tells us Hengist was the ‘son of Vitgilsus, whose father was Vecta, son of Woden’ we have a direct match up to an inscribed 6th century memorial called the Cat Stane, which stands in the precincts of Edinburgh Airport. It reads;

 In this tomb lies Vetta son of Victus

This places the burial site of Cunedda’s nephew in Manau Gododdin, encouraging a belief that Edinburgh was named after Aeternus-Woden. The ‘Finnesburh Fragment’ describes Hengist & his men as ‘Eotona,’ a name which clearly derives from Woden, Hengist’s great-great grandfather. Hengist’s son, Octa, led the mid-fifth century conquest of Scotland, where according to the Lancelot-Graal, they fortified a very Edinburgh like ‘Rock.’ Thus Edinburgh was named, not after Woden, but the royal house which he had founded.

Further affirmation of Woden’s children being connected to the Pictish kingship comes thro’ Vetta, whose alternative names were given as Vegdagr & Waegdaeg. Chispering these together gives us Ve-gd-aeg, which transchispers into Vipoig, who is given in the King lists as ruling directly before Cantulahina/Cunedda.



We must also look at Woden Hillfort in the Scottish Borders, near Kelso, which has a correctly-dated Roman influence. Canmore ID 58068 tells us, “Originally it was a native British fort, built in three stages – a settlement surrounded by a single, oval stone dyke, to which was then added a double rampart and intervening ditch. Both ramparts were demolished quite soon after completion, probably as a result of Roman road-building and occupation, and the site was only reoccupied by native peoples after the Romans left. Then the innermost rubble dyke on the top of the hill was built and faced with boulders. The Romans, however, seem to have used Woden Law for siege practice (if the so-called siegeworks are not simply part of the native defences). They dug a remarkable earthwork of two banks between three ditches at 12m-30m from the fort’s defences: in other words, mostly beyond the killing-range for hand-thrown missiles. Several flattened platforms on the outer bank seem to have provided sites for siege engines, protected by the inner bank and ditch, whilst beyond the main siegework, three further independent lines of earthworks were built in the customary Roman manner of short, separate sections. These are all incomplete. A further feature, the series of five cross-dykes spanning the easy ridge between Woden Law and Hunthall Hill, is pre-Roman however, and part of the native British defence system. Such cross-dykes are not uncommon in relation to hillforts in the Cheviotsi here they guard access from the main Cheviot ridge and emphasise the importance of the site and the route.”


We have now come to the most fascinating piece of the puzzle. It begins with Cunedda’s Pictish name – Canutulahina. Breaking this down we obtain – Canutu – la – hina, which seems to translate as Cunedda the Hun. This Scythian tribe would rise to a devastating prominence with Attila in the middle of the 5th century, but it seems that a couple of centuries earlier among their number was counted Woden himself. The northern settlement of Woden & his people should then be responsible for the Hunaland region mentioned in the Eddas,  which some sources place on either side of the Gulf of Bothnia down to Gästrikland, in Sweden. The key evidence comes from the Völsunga saga, a late thirteenth century Icelandic text. in it we read that Sigi, Woden’s son as given by Sturluson, was also the king of the Huns. A priceless clue that dictates how if Sigi was a Hun, then his brother Cunedda should also be one.

Oguz Yabgu State in Kazakhstan, 750–1055
Oguz Yabgu State in Kazakhstan, 750–1055

The presence of the Huns in late Roman Britain was remembered by Bede, in whose Historia Ecclesiastica we read; ‘He knew that there were very many peoples in Germany from whom the Angles and the Saxons, who now live in Britain, derive their origin… Now these people are the Frisians, Rugians, Danes, Huns, Old Saxons, and Boruhtware (Bructeri).’ The last two tribes also appear among the allies of Atilla the Hun in his 451 invasion of Gaul. Two years earlier, what we may now observe as a Hunnish contingent led by Henghist were active in south England.  Octa, for example, the kinsman of Henghist  seems a variant of the Hunnic name Octar – Attila’s uncle and earlier ruler of the Hunnic Empire. It also seems likely that the ‘the elders of the Oghgul Race’ referred to by Nennius as advising Henghist were Huns. Oghgul – Mohgul – Mongol is a distinctly possible babel-chain, but more likely is a connection to the Oghuz Turks


Where Nennius tells us that Henghist despacted reinforcemnet requests ‘to Scythia, ‘ in more recent times Lotte Hedeager has expertly shown how the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ homelands on the continent were made a part of the Hunnic Empire during the early 400s, maintaining a Hunnic presence throughout. Archeology tell us that gold open-ended earrings show the presence of the Huns in Denmark & Britain, where also a Dyerkan-type cicada brooch, found primarily in the Middle Danube, the Black Sea area and the Northern Caucasus (5th century), was discovered in Suffolk. We also have the Skjoldunge–Skilfinger texts, which descibe the early Norse rulers Haldan, Roo, Ottar and Adils – these names & their activities correspond to the fifth-century Hunnic kings Huldin, Roas, Octar and Attila.

That we have a record of the ‘Saxons’ in Britain at least as early as 441 (the Gallic Chronicle) & as we now understand, there were Huns in Pictavia, then we may now understand better a statement made by  Priscus of Panium,  who visited the court of Attila the Hun as part of an official delegation in AD 448/9.

No previous ruler of Scythia or of any other land had ever achieved so much in so short a time. He ruled the islands of the Ocean and, in addition to the whole of Scythia, forced the Romans to pay tribute. He was aiming at more than his present achievements and, in order to increase his empire further, he now wanted to attack the Persians.

Writers such as  Orosius & St Augustine were definers of the British Isles as among the ‘islands of the Ocean.’ We must also recall that 80 years later, the Romans also considered Britain to be under the ‘Giothic’ influence, with Procopius recording Belisarius as saying, ‘we on our side permit the Goths to have the whole of Britain, & the Hun-Goth connection  secured through Priscus, who said that Attila’s “Scythian” subjects spoke “besides their own barbarian tongues, either Hunnish, or Gothic.”


We have also the fabulous possibility of identifying the Pictish symbols with the Hunnic invasion of North Britain, that they are based upon the druidlike, paganistic, shamanistic Tengrism of the Huns. Recent discoveries at a Pictish site at Dunnicaer have dated the symbols to a third or fourth century date – fitting in with the arrival of Cunedda into the Pictish King List.



To wrap everything up, the Pictish King List unveils a figure called Cunedda in the very time period that the Cunedda of the Welsh tradion came down from the north. Through significant Chispological protocol we learn that he was Hunnish, & that his father was Woden, a historical figure rather like Zeus, who was originally a Hyksos king known as Seuserenre before being deified by posterity. We also learn that the ‘Saxon Advent’ Britain was in fact only a small part in a long-term Hunnish conquest. ‘Given the cultural background,‘ writes Dr Caitlin Green, ‘of the time and the textual context of the passage in question, the most credible solution is arguably that the Western Roman ambassador to the Huns did indeed believe that Attila ruled in parts of Britain and its associated islands in the late 440s, as Peter Heather, C. E. Stevens and others have indicated in the past.

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