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Mythology is packed full of interesting appellations, from the wacky to the romantic. And Taliesin could be considered both or straight in the middle.
Taliesin, pronounced tal-ee-ES-in, is a Welsh name meaning “shining brow.” Tal meaning “brow,” whilst iesin means “shining.” In Welsh mythology it was the name of a wizard and bard who had the gift of prophecy. Mr Taliesin was a Master Bard, appearing in many Welsh poems in the Mabinogion.
It was believed he was the reincarnation of Gwyon Bach, a servant of the goddess Ceridwen. He had accidentally tasted three drops from the cauldron of Inspiration, which was meant for Ceridwen’s son. Fearing punishment from the goddess, he fled transforming himself into various animal forms. But when he transformed himself into a grain, Ceridwen turned herself into a hen and swallowed Gwyon Bach. Ceridwen became pregnant and gave birth to Taliesin.
Instead of killing the baby, Ceridwen threw the infant into the sea, which was rescued by Elffin, who became Taliesin’s foster father. At thirteen, Taliesin won renown as par excellence bard, when he rescued his foster-parents from Maelgwn Gwynedd, king of Wales, challenging Maelgwn’s court bards, with his skills in poetry, wisdom and foreknowledge.
There are many other stories about him, many of which that depict him as a hero. He has even been connected to King Arthur. It also believed that the legend of Taliesin could have been based on a real historical figure from the 6th century, as mentioned by Nennius, a 9th century historian.
When it comes to statistics, in the UK Taliesin was used 9 times in 2012. There hasn’t been more than 16 babies born with this name since 1996. There are no records to show that it has been used outside the UK though.
Other namesakes include: Taliesin Jaffe, an American voice actor and Taliesin from the video game Tears to Tiara.