The family of Eudaf Hen (Octavius (his Roman name) the Old (Hen)), are purported to
hail from the modern Gwent area of Wales, although at the time this was known as Ewyas,
and encompassed later Gwent and Ercing.
Eudaf supposedly took up the British High Kingship after defeating Trahearn, the
brother of King Coel Godhebog (the Magnificent), in the fourth century. He had no sons,
and was succeeded by his son-in-law, the Emperor Magnus Maximus. Conan
Meriadoc, his nephew, eventually became king of both Armorica and
Like many prominent men of their era, Eudaf and Conan would have dressed as Romans, but
maintained continuity with their Celtic traditions by claiming descent from Celtic
"gods": Llyr Llediarth (Half-Speech), God of the Sea and his son, Bran Fendigaid
(the Blessed), who was mortalised as a King of the Silures (in the Gwent region).
"gods" were in all likelihood glorified versions of historic Britons who ruled
the Dumnonii and Silures, and perhaps others, as the High Kings of Britain.
Eudaf also claimed the title Lord of the
Gewissę. This may have been
applied to him by later Gwent or even Dumnonian
rulers to establish the legitimacy of a possible brief overlordship over the West Saxon Gewissę (until they became a
dominant force in the mid-sixth century).
There is the possibility that this title was
incorrectly applied in reference to the Hwicce,
Saxons of a later kingdom based on Gloucestershire, which had its own British origins in Caer Gloui. The West Saxons led the
fighting against British kingdoms around Gloucester and the River Severn in the late sixth
century, and the Hwicce seem to have grabbed their own kingdom from at least some of the