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Owain ap Gruffydd

Owain ap Gruffydd ( Owain Cyfeiliog) (c.1130–97), prince of southern Powys, was the nephew of Madog ap Maredudd, prince of Powys, whom he served (from 1149) in the commote of Cyfeiliog, from which he took his name. He resisted advances by Owain Gwynedd and Rhys ap Gruffydd of Deheubarth (though he married a daughter of each in turn); after Madog's death and the murder of Madog's eldest son (1160), he came to terms with fellow-princes of Powys and Henry II to establish his rule in southern Powys, probably from Welshpool. Having submitted to Rhys ap Gruffydd (1171), he married his daughter. Owain declined to aid Archbishop Baldwin and Gerald of Wales in preaching the crusade (1188) and was excommunicated as a result, but this did not prevent Gerald from lauding him as a capable soldier and wise ruler. A patron of poets, he composed at least one poem (about warriors in a prince's service, ‘The Shepherds of the Severn’) and his court poet was Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr. There was no better way of acquiring an enduring reputation.

Ralph Alan Griffiths

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