AKA: Saint Aneirin Gwodryd "of Flowering Verse"
AKA: Aneirin Awenyd "the Inspired"
fl. 600 CE, Scotland/Cumbria?
Aneurin was a contemporary of Taliesin and Myrddin; Nennius mentions him under the name "Neirin" from the alternate spelling "Aneirin". It is thought he may have been one of the poets attached to Urien's court in Rheged.
I have seen reference to Aneurin as a son of Caw, the genetically prolific chieftan of Prydyn(father of Saint Gildas, but I have yet to find a genealogy to back up this tradition. Other areas, I have seen him named a son of King Dunaut Bwr of the Northern Pennines.
Thought to be a poet in Urien of Rheged's court, he was present at the battle of Cattraith, ca. 600 CE/AD in Catterick, Yorkshire, on which he wrote his epic poem "Y Gododdin", about the defeat of the Britons against the Saxons. He is critical in some places of the rash behavior of the soldiers; in other places, he mentions knights familiar to us from Arthur's court: Peredur, Owain, and Taliesin are all named in the poem. In fact, there is a reference to Arthur as a mighty warrior of the recent past.
In some traditions, he later became a monk at Llancarfan, southern Wales, where he was supposedly educated. This would likely have lead to his being named a saint.
But was Aneurin a woman? At least one triad in the Red Book of Hergest thinks so: in the triad Three Savage Men of the Island of Britain, who performed the Three Unfortunate Assassinations, we read of one assassin:
"Heiden son of Efengad who slew Aneirin of Flowing Verse daughter of Teyrnbeirdd--the man who used to give a hundred kine every Saturday in a bath-tub to Talhaearn. And he struck her with a woodhatchet on the head."
Curious. I've never seen another reference that makes Aneurin a woman.
It feels wrong that I'm the one to write this