In Welsh mythology, Olwen is the daughter of the giant Ysbaddaden and cousin of Goreu. She is the heroine of the story Culhwch and Olwen in the Mabinogion.

Her father is fated to die if she ever marries, so when Culhwch (Sometimes spelled as Kilhwch ) comes to court her, he is given a series of immensely difficult tasks he must complete before he can win her hand. With the help of his cousin King Arthur, Culhwch succeeds and the giant dies, allowing Olwen to marry her suitor.

The name "Olwen" reappears in the folktale Einion and Olwen, about a sheep herder who travels to the Otherworld to marry Olwen. The tale was collected at the turn of the 20th century but is certainly related to Culhwch and Olwen.

The meaning of the name Olwen is white footprint. According to legend, she was so gentle and fragile that white lilies would grow in her footprints.

Notable persons with this name

  • Olwen Fouéré, Breton/Irish actress on stage and in film
  • Olwen Hufton, British historian of early modern Europe, women's history and social history
  • Olwen Wymark, American playwright and author

See also

  • Welsh mythology in popular culture

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Olwen — ([ olwen] kymrisch „die weiße Spur“) ist in der Walisischen Mythologie die Tochter des Riesen Ysbaddaden. Dieser hat die geis, dass er am Tage der Verlobung seiner Tochter sterben müsse. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Mythologie 2 Siehe auch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Olwen — Olwen, dans la mythologie celtique galloise, est la fille du chef des géants, Yspaddaden. Elle est un des personnages principaux du conte arthurien Kulhwch et Olwen[1], son nom signifie « trace blanche ». Une malédiction veut que son… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Olwen — f Welsh; composed of the elements ôl footprint, track + (g)iven white, fair, blessed, holy. A character of this name in Welsh legend had the magical property of causing flowers to spring up behind her wherever she went …   First names dictionary

  • Olwen — noun /olwɛn/ from Welsh legend specifically The Mabinogion. her daughter, posthumous child of Gil, to my astonishment christened in St. Aidans with the name Marion (given by her godmother, a broadcaster friend of Esme) and Olwen (given by me as… …   Wiktionary

  • Olwen — This is in origin, is a truly traditional Olde English given name, which became a Saxon and Welsh surname. It pre dates written English history, and may well be a survivor of the days of the Ancient Britons before the arrival of the first Romans …   Surnames reference

  • Olwen — /ol wen/, n. Welsh Legend. a princess, the daughter of Ysbaddaden Chief giant. * * * …   Universalium

  • Olwen —    In Celtic myth she was the May Queen, the daughter of the May tree, or the Hawthorn, or the White Thorn. She may be equated with Blodeuwedd. She was the daughter of Ysbadadden, a King of the Giants, whose life would come to an end on her… …   Who’s Who in non-classical mythology

  • Olwen — /ol wen/, n. Welsh Legend. a princess, the daughter of Ysbaddaden Chief giant …   Useful english dictionary

  • Olwen Wymark — Born Olwen Margaret Buck February 14, 1932 (1932 02 14) (age 79) Oakland, California, U.S. Occupation Writer Nationality American Perio …   Wikipedia

  • Olwen Thorn — Voller Name Olwen Rhian Thorn Nation …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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