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He was defeated in battle in 385 and beheaded at the direction of the Eastern Roman emperor.

Scholars agree that the tales are older than the existing manuscripts, but disagree over just how much older.

It is clear that the different texts included in the Mabinogion originated at different times.

The eleven tales are not adjacent in either of the main early manuscript sources, the White Book of Rhydderch (c. 1400), and indeed Breuddwyd Rhonabwy is absent from the White Book.

The Four Branches of the Mabinogi (Pedair Cainc y Mabinogi) are the most clearly mythological stories contained in the Mabinogion collection.

More recently, Patrick Sims-Williams argued for a plausible range of about 1060 to 1200, which seems to be the current scholarly consensus.

The collection represents the vast majority of prose found in medieval Welsh manuscripts which is not translated from other languages. None of the titles are contemporary with the earliest extant versions of the stories, but are on the whole modern ascriptions.Mabinogi properly applies only to the Four Branches, which is a tightly organised quartet very likely by one author, where the other seven are so very diverse (see below).Each of these four tales ends with the colophon "thus ends this branch of the Mabinogi" (in various spellings), hence the name.Pryderi appears in all four, though not always as the central character.The tales Culhwch and Olwen and The Dream of Rhonabwy have interested scholars because they preserve older traditions of King Arthur.) are the earliest prose stories of the literature of Britain. These stories offer drama, philosophy, romance, tragedy, fantasy and humour, and were created by various narrators over time.

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