|Discovery:||first mentioned, 1861 Stephens, T.|
|History:||Stephens/1862, 130: `I had often heard of a remarkable inscribed stone at Capel Brithdir, near Gelligaer, and had seen very grotesque sketches and interpretations of the stone and its inscription, when, in May last, I resolved to visit the place, and see whether it might not form an appropriate subject for a paper to be read at this meeting'.|
Jones/1862, 220: `This stone, which was fully described by a learned writer in the last number of the Journal, has been visited by myself for the purpose of procuring for Mr. Stephens a more accurate sketch of it than he then possessed...The stone now inclines greatly to westward, and ought to be set upright again, protected by an encircling wall. When this is done, the opportunity should be taken of excavating the ground beneath, and of ascertaining whether any traces of burial still exist. On no account should the stone be removed; it may be sufficiently protected by a proper enclosure'.
Rhys/1873, 9: `Sept. 1. -- ...From Merthyr I made my way to Capel Brithdir, less than a mile from the station of Tir Phil. In a field near the chapel stands a stone'.
Westwood/1876, 34--35: `This stone (well described by the late Thomas Stephens, Arch. Camb., 1862, p. 130, and also, with an admirable figure, by the Rev. H. L. Jones, ibid. p. 220) stands in a very desolate spot in a district difficult of access, about a mile distant from the Tir Phil Station of the Rhymney Railway, close to and on the north side of the chapel named Capel Brithdir, in a field on the west side of a mountain road...With the assistance of a photograph (of which Mr. Stephens was so good as to send me a copy, by which I have been able to produce the accompanying figure, slightly corrected from that of Mr. H. L. Jones)...In 1894 The Western Mail published a piece on this stone which revived some antiquarian interpretations of it [See TIRPH/1/1, palaeography notes]. In response, C. Williams published an article with the correct details, which was then reprinted in Arch. Camb. (Williams/1894, 330--332).
Anon/1901, 57: `The stone was visited by the Cambrian Archaeological Association, when it still was: `In a field a short distance to the north-west of the little church called Capel Brithdir, on the top of the ridge to the west of the Rhymney valley''.
Macalister/1945, 379--380: `Formerly in a field on the west side of Capel Brithdir, a church remote from the ordinary lines of traffic, in the region drained by the Rhymney. It is now in the National Museum of Wales, a concrete slab having been erected to mark its original site'.
RCAHMW/1976, 36: `Stone (Plate 2) from near the site of Capel Brithdir...The stone was placed in the National Museum of Wales in 1923'.
|Geology:||Jones/1862, 220: `It is a slab of the carboniferous sandstone, of which the hill it stands on is composed'.|
RCAHMW/1976, 36: `of the local carboniferous'.
|Dimensions:||2.25 x 1.0 x 0.22 (RCAHMW/1976)|
|Location:||National Museum of Wales (Cat: 23.283)|
Nash-Williams/1950, 166: `The stone is in the National Museum of Wales'.
Stephens/1862, 130: `It is a rough sandstone slab, six feet eight inches high, and three feet three inches across, and about three inches in thickness'.
Westwood/1876, 34: `It is a rough sandstone slab 6 feet 8 inches high, 3 feet 3 inches broad, and about 3 inches in thickness'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 166: `Rough pillar-stone. 89+" h. x 37 1/2--22" w. x 5" t.'.
RCAHMW/1976, 36: `The massive irregular upright slab measures is 2.25m (+ ca. 15cm) high, 1.0m at its widest, and 27cm to 22cm thick. The rough surface bears a Latin inscription vertically down the face'.
|Condition:||incomplete , some|
Jones/1862, 220: `and, from its hardness, it has borne the effects of weathering better than might have been expected from its exposed situation'.
|Decorations:||no other decoration|
|Jones, H.L. (1862):||TEGERNA | CUSFILI | USMARTI | HICIACIT|
TEGERNACUS FILIUS MARTI HIC IACIT
Jones/1862 223 concise discussion
|Stephens, T. (1862):||TEGERNA | CUSFILI | USMARII | HICIACIT|
TEGERNACUS FILIUS MARII HIC IACIT
Teyrnoc (PN), the son of Mar (PN) or Marius (PN), here lies.
Stephens/1862 130--131 concise discussion
|Rhys, J. (1873):||TEGERNA | CUSFILI | USMARTI | HICIACIT|
TEGERNACUS FILIUS MARTI HIC IACIT
Rhys/1873 9 reading only
|Macalister, R.A.S. (1945):||TEGERNA | CUSFILI | USMARTI | HICIACIT|
TEGERNACUS FILIUS MARTI HIC IACIT
Macalister/1945 380 reading only
|Nash-Williams, V.E. (1950):||TEGERNA | CUSFILI | [U]SMARTI | HICIACIT|
TEGERNACUS FILIUS MARTI HIC IACIT
Tegernacus (PN), son of Martius (PN), lies here.
Nash-Williams/1950 166 concise discussion
|RCAHMW (1976):||TEGERNA | CUSFILI | USMARTI | HICIACIT|
TEGERNACUS FILIUS MARTI HIC IACIT
Tegernacus (PN), son of Marti(us) (PN), lies here.
RCAHMW/1976 36 concise discussion
|Position:||E ; broad ; n/a ; undecorated|
Jones/1862, 220: `The inscription is on the eastern face of the slab'.
Macalister/1945, 380: `upon one of the broad faces, in vertical lines reading downward'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 166: `Rudely incised Latin inscription (Fig. 180) in four lines reading vertically downwards'.
RCAHMW/1976, 36: `The rough surface bears a Latin inscription vertically down the face in four lines'.
Macalister/1945, 380: `pocked and rubbed'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 166: `Rudely incised'.
|Date:||600 - 650 (RCAHMW/1976)|
Based on letter forms (RCAHMW/1976, 36).
700 - 799 (Jones/1862)
600 - 699 (Nash-Williams/1950)
Nash-Williams/1950, 166: `7th century A.D.'
|Ling. Notes:||Jones/1862, 223: `It will be observed that, contrary to the analogy of many Welsh stones, the name of the principal personage is in the nominative case; and it will also be perceived that though the scribe has committed the common error of using IACIT for IACET, yet he has so far respected the orthography of the Roman tongue as not to have forgotten, like many other early sculptors, to spell HIC, the first word of the fourth line, correctly'.|
|Palaeography:||Stephens/1862, 130--31: `I failed to take a rubbing of the inscription, owing to the roughness of the stone, which appears to have been taken in its natural state, without any attempt having been made to prepare it to receive an inscription. A photograph has since been taken, of which a copy is here subjoined: the letters are very rude, and read thus, |
The first letter of the second line is wanting, as also the last but one of the third line; but the one was evidently C, as I learn from a sketch taken in 1817, and the other may have been an I. The A in Tegernacus and Marii is peculiar in form, and seems at first sight to have been a V; but on comparing the inscription with the Tegernacus inscription at Cwmdu, I conclude that it must have been intended for an A -- possibly the long Roman A or au, as the modern o in such names as Teyrnog was formerly represented by au, as in Madauc, Catguallaun, etc.
 A sketch sent me by H. L. J., since this was written, reads T in this place, making this name Marti; but there is no such British name as Mart; and I have not literary audacity enough to suggest that `Cadoc the wise' and his preceptors could not have known the genitive form of Mars'.
Jones/1862, 222: `The letters on this stone at Capel Brithdir are of a debased Roman character, passing into minuscules, and closely resembling those of the CATAMANVS inscription at Llangadwaladr in Anglesey. Whatever date Dr. Petrie assigns to that, may be accepted, within certain limits, as the same for this stone. The character used for A, which is thoroughly barbarous in form, is nearly the same on both stones; at least, the similarity is sufficient to lead to the supposition of contemporaneous execution. The letter R occurs twice in this inscription, and is also very debased, for it assumes the form, so widely different from the Roman type, which is found on other Welsh stones and in some MSS. down to as late a period as the thirteenth century. The letter M here takes the minuscule character; and N, with the cross-stroke intended to be horizontal, is also debased. The form of G is commonly met with on other Welsh stones, and it resembles that of the Fardel stone from Devonshire, but departs rather more widely from the original and normal character of that letter. There are two forms for S on this stone, not at all resembling each other: the first that occurs approaching the shape, which it is found retaining down to the tenth century; the second still preserving some trace of the old Roman type. Two letters were much injured, the first being U, at the beginning of the third line, of which only the lower portion remains, the other being I, at the end of the same line, which, though certainly there, is so faint as to have almost led to a doubt in the critical mind of Mr. Stephens. The first E in the first line is defective at the lower part.
`A peculiar squareness distinguishes the letters of this inscription, caused by the lamination of the stone, which would greatly hinder an unskilful sculptor from forming curves upon its surface'.
Westwood/1876, 34--35: `A sketch of the inscription having been taken by Dr. Jennings of Hengoed, was given in his `Life' published at Cardff and was read ---
TFSERMACNS KILIEAS FDANI HIC SIA CIT.
In 1822, one William Owen of Anglesey undertook to translate this, and manufactured the following interpretation by assuming that the first two letters stood for Tydfil, treating the others in the same manner, and inventing names hitherto unrecorded:--
`Tydfil the queen martyr
Under Censorius Kilimax
Ascended to the abodes of peace
Her body lies here'.
This ingenious discovery did not need much demolishing, all that was wanting being to read the letters rightly. This was done satisfactorily by Mr. Stephens, who, from the particular forms of certain of the letters, attributed it to the seventh century (Arch. Camb., Report of Swansea Meeting, 1861, p. 351)...Mr. Stephens read the inscription --
HIC Ia CIT.
The first letter of the second line is wanting, as also the last but one of the third line, but the one was evidently C, as I learn from a sketch taken in 1817, and the other may have been I. The A in Tegernacus and Marii seems at first sight to have been a V, but on comparing the inscription with the Tegernacus inscription at Cwm-du I conclude it must have been intended for an A --- possibly the long A or au, as the modern O in such names as Teyrnog was formerly represented by au, as in Madauc, Catguallaun, etc. In English the inscription would read thus --- Teyrnoc the son of Mar or Marius here lies' (Stephens, loc. cit.).
The letters on this stone are of a debased Roman character passing into minuscules, many of them assuming a square character. The cross top of the minuscule g (the third letter) seems replaced by a vertical stroke, seen in the photograph to the right of the curved top of the letter, the minuscules u and s are more debased in form than usual. The N has the middle stroke horizontal, as in various early Anglo-Saxon and Irish MSS. The triangular form of the a, thrice repeated, is quite unique. The f and m are also peculiar. The photograph shows but little of the top stroke of the T and the I at the end of the third line, and Mr. Stephens objects to the name MARTI, as there is no such British name as Mart, whilst he quotes several instances of the names MOR and MAR in support of his reading MARII.
Mr. H. L. Jones adds that `the squareness of the letters was caused by the lamination of the stone, which would greatly hinder an unskilful sculptor from forming curves upon its surface. It will be observed that, contrary to the analogy of many Welsh stones, the name of the principal personage is in the nominative case; and it will also be perceived that although the scribe has committed the common error of using JACIT for JACET, yet he has so far respected the orthography of the Roman tongue as not to have forgotten, as many other sculptors have, to spell HIC, the first word of the fourth line, correctly. I am inclined to think that this stone may have been incised as late as the eighth century'.
The earlier date of the seventh century suggested by Mr. Stephens indeed appears to me to be contradicted by the rude minuscule form of several of the letters as seen by a comparison of the inscription with those represented in my 13th Plate, nor can I understand on what palaeographical grounds Mr. Stephens should have been willing to refer this stone to the seventh century, whilst he maintained that the Llantwit stones are not earlier than the ninth (see ante, p. 12)'.
Anon/1901, 57: `Some of the letters are debased Roman capitals, the rest being minuscules of the early Brythonic character'.
Macalister/1945, 380: `The letters are crudely formed...Above is a modern graffito, CMG'.
Nash-Williams/1950, 166: `Mixed Roman capitals and half-uncials (? A, M, N, R, S, U), coarsely incised. Some of the A's are apparently tilted sideways (cf. No. 166)'.
RCAHMW/1976, 36: `Although the E-s conform to Roman capitals, other letters approximate more to half-uncials, especially the R-s, N, S-s, M and U-s (the flattened U of Filius beginning the third line is just traceable). The S-shaped G also occurs locally on No. 848; the A-s are turned sideways to resemble the half-uncial form. These characteristics point to an early 7th-Century date for the inscription. Modern initials have been scratched above and below the original'.
Jones/1862, 220: `Two or three of the letters are defaced, but on the whole the inscription is still easily legible'.
Anon/1901, 57: `but owing to the roughness of the stone and to weathering, the inscription is now almost illegible'.
Macalister/1945, 380: `some of...[the letters] are worn or broken, but the condition is fair'.
`After having had sleek steeds, ruddy garments, And yellow plumes, My leg is slender, my piercing glance is gone'.
And thus Teyrnon, who was probably the Murat of his day, is described as Teyrnon of the tufted plumes -- `Teyrnon-twryf-vliant'. This personage was the contemporary of Pwyll Pendefig Dyved; and if we may assume the names Teyrnon and Teyrnoc to have been identical, the latter lived at the commencement of the seventh century. This corresponds pretty nearly with the age which I should attribute to the Brithdir inscription...At all events the Tegernacus of this inscription may fairly be identified with the Tegernacus of the stone at Cwmdu'.
Stephens/1862, 131--132: `This name, MAR, may at first sight appear to have been unusual; but the lines,
`And thou Baihousie, like the god of war, Lieutenant-general to the Earl of Mar',
sometimes cited to illustrate the `art of sinking' in poetry, will call to mind a noble Scottish family of that name. A similar name, that of Mor, occurs repeatedly in the lists of the British saints, as -- 1, Mor, son of Ceneu, or Keneu; 2, Mor, son of Pasgen; 3, Mor, a contemporary of Cerenhir, bishop of Llandaff, A.D. 877; 4, Mor, a contemporary of Bishop Libiau, A.D. 927. The first was the saint of Llanvor in Carnarvonshire, and of Llanvor in Merionethshire, if we may not assume that one of the two was named from the second, who is said to have been buried at Bardsey. The third and fourth names possibly represent but one person. This name may have been originally Mar, and that a British form of Marius; for Kymric names of Roman origin are by no means unfrequent, as Tegid, anciently Tacit, from Tacitus, Taliesin from Telesinus, etc.
This name, Mar, seems to be traceable in the district of Siluria, in the names of several churches, as -- 1, Marstow in Herefordshire; 2, Mar-cross in Glamorganshire; and 3, Mar-gam, anciently Mar-gan. The first, it is true, is said to have been named from St. Martin; but the abridgment of Martin into Mar is improbable. The second is said to have been founded by St. Samson, to be dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and to have been named from St. Mark; but this derivation is probably conjectural, and the variation seems to indicate uncertainty as to the true origin of the name.
Several explanations of the name Mar-gam have also been given, -- such as that which refers its origin to the Welsh form of the name of the Virgin Mary, i.e., Mair; but it may more probably be derived from the masculine name, MAR. A person of this name is connected with this district, namely Mar the son of Gwynlliw, and brother of the famous Cadoc or St. Cattwg; and Margam, in the Vita Sanctus Cadoci, pp. 22, 301, is expressly said to have been named from him. The word in the original (Cambro-British Saints, p. 22) is Mar-gan, literally `Mar's chant'; hence Margam would denote Mar's choir. This is also the form given to the name in the Annales de Margan; and the explanation here suggested may at least lay claim to considerable antiquity.
The Vita Cadoci professes to have been written by one Lifris (C.-B. Saints, pp. 50, 376). He was probably the same person as Lifric, the Archdeacon of Glamorgan and Master of St. Cadoc at Llancarvan, and the son of Herwald, Bishop of Llandaff, who held the see from 1056 to 1104; and as Lifric's name appears as a witness in a grant made in 1069, the derivation of Margan here giveth may claim to have been that which was accepted among the ecclesiastics of Glamorgan in the eleventh century.
 Lib. Landav., p. 542--5'.
|Macalister, R.A.S. (1933):||TEGE[--|
Anon/1933 375 concise discussion
Macalister/1945 382 concise discussion
|Position:||ind ; arris ; n/a ; undecorated|
|Language:||name only (ogham)|
|Palaeography:||Jones/1862, 220: `there are no oghamic marks whatever upon the edges'.|
Macalister, quoted in Anon/1933, 375: `Capel Brithdir: Attention was called to the faint remains of an Ogham inscription, reading TEGE...on the left hand angle, the beginning of an echo of the inscription on the face, almost all broken away'.
Macalister/1945, 382: `On the dexter edge there is a beginning of an ogham, TEGE...(the B-half of G2 is lost). But a great mass has been broken from the corner of the slab, no doubt to destroy the inscription, and the rest is lost. Obviously it must have echoed the inscription in Roman letters. The restoration is indicated in the diagram'.
RCAHMW/1976, 36: ` The suggestion (C.I.I.C. 404) that there are traces of Ogam cannot be maintained; a 7th-century date for Ogams would also be most unusual'.