Taliesin is the name of a famous Welsh poet and bard in Welsh mythology, and who apparently served as a wizard at the court of King Arthur. He seems to have been based on a historical figure who lived in the sixth century. According to mythology, Taliesin was born to the white witch Ceridwen. He was originally a servant named Gwion Back ap Gwreang who was supposed to guard a special potion she was concocting for her son, Morfran, which would bestow great intelligence, wit, and beauty to whoever drinks it (though only the first three drops were potent, the rest would be poison). Three drops accidentally spill on Gwion’s thumb and he sucks it, accidentally gaining the power of the power of the potion as a result. Afraid of Ceridwen‘s wrath, he flees but she cases after him. He turns himself into a hare but she changes into a greyhound; he transforms into a fish but she becomes an otter; and when he turns into a sparrow she becomes a hawk. Finally, Gwion turns himself into a single piece of grain which Ceridwen swallows and she soon becomes pregnant. She gives birth to a boy she sets out to sea, where he is eventually found and adopted by Elphin, lord of Ceredigion, and named Taliesin.
Taliesin means “shining brow” or “radiant brow” made up of Welsh elements tal (brow, forehead) and iesin (radiant, shining; fair), perhaps in reference to his intelligence and beauty
Meaning: “shining brow” or “radiant brow”
- Taliessin (Welsh)