The Maen Madog stone lies adjacent to the roman road Sarn Helen the Brecon Beacons. Like the stone at Gelligaer Common it is thought to mark a Christian burial (roadside graves being a feature of Roman burials). It also is not that far from the Maen Llia stone which lies about mile away to the north. The stone is inscribed on one side (the thin side in the above photograph) the inscription reading DERVAC(IVS) FILIVS (H)IC IACIT. Though the stone is named after a Madog but it is not clear who Madog was. One theory is that he was a local landowner. The base of stone is surrounded by deeply embedded stones this may mark the grave itself.
The nearby ancient road Sarn Helen is one of the many roads credited to the wife of the Roman Emperor Magnus Maximus. Magnus Maximus was an Iberian who arrived in Britain around 368 A.D. he married the daughter of Eudaf , Elen Lwddog (Elen of the Hosts). In 383 A.D. he crossed into Gaul and declared himself "Western Emperor" . He marched on Rome making Valentinian flee the city but ended up being defeated in several battles by the "Eastern Emperor" Theodosius. He was then captured and put to death in July 28rd 388. His wife Elen (or Helen) survived him and went on to do great things. Due to the number of roads she is associated with she is also refered to as Elen of the Ways. The children of Elen went on to great things founding royal dynasties in South Wales,Dyfed,Kent and the Isle of Man. Elen also appears as the wife of Merlin in Welsh myths. They is a story about them in the Mabinogi called "The dream of Macsen Wledig" Gwledig being Welsh for Ruler. Sarn Helen is marked on present day Ordnance Survey maps.Maen Madog can be found at 918157 on the Brecon Beacons West and Central map.
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