BarinthusAugust 24, 2011
This deity is known from a single mention in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Vita Merlini where he is named as the ferryman who takes the wounded Arthur to the Island of Afallach (Avalon). As such, Barinthus is a psychopomp of the ‘Charon’ type.
Barinthus is known as The Navigator, as he was an accomplished sailor to whom the waters and the stars of heaven were well known.
The mythological existence of Barinthus is also supported by the Irish Navigation Sancti Brendani (The Brendan Voyages) as St. Brendan was inspired to take his wondrous voyage to the Promised Land of Saints, a Christianized version of the Isle of the Blessed in the West, by St. Barrind (Barinthus), who had just returned from a journey there.
Barrinthus epitomizes the Charonic ferryman of the dead and may be drawn from the mythos of Manawyddan. Though his name may be derived from the Cymric word baran which stands for fury or wrath.