November 25, 2019

It is a cryptic poem of sixty lines in Middle Welsh, found in Llyfr Taliessin (Book of Taliesin).  The text recounts an expedition with King Arthur to Annwn, the Welsh name for the “Celtic” Otherworld.  Preiddeu Annw(f)n is one of the best known of mediæval British poems.  English translations, in whole or in part, have…

November 18, 2019

Introduction to the Annales Cambriae The Annales are a complex of Cambro-Latin chronicles compiled or derived from diverse sources at Saint David’s in Dyfed, Wales.  The earliest is a Twelfth-Century AD presumed copy of a mid-Tenth Century AD original; later editions were compiled in the Thirteenth Century AD.  Despite the name, the Annales Cambriae records…

Classic Lady of Shalott artwork
September 23, 2019

Lord Alfred Tennyson’s four-part poem is based on the Arthurian Legend of Elaine of Astolat, who died for that love that surpassed all human understanding. Its recounted version was in the 13th-century Italian book Donna di Scalotta but the poem is an 18th Century work. Lord Tennyson composed the poem in 1842. The poem is…

Vortigern and Merlin
August 26, 2019

Introduction to Historia Brittonum; and its sections Historia Brittonum (History of Britons) is a purported history of the indigenous Brittonic people.  The text is reputed to have been written c AD 828/829, and survives in numerous recensions that date from after the 11th Century AD.  The Historia Brittonum is commonly attributed to Nennius, as some…

A statue of St. Gildas
August 19, 2019

(On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain, or just On the Ruin of Britain): A Sermon in Three Parts Introduction to Parts One and Two De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae is a work by the 6th-Century AD British cleric Gildas. It condemns the acts of Gildas’ contemporaries, both secular and religious, whom he blames for…

Y Gododdin text
June 10, 2019

An Early Welsh Poem on the Battle of Cat(t)raeth/Cattraith. Y Guotoðin is the earliest surviving Welsh/Brythonic/Brittonic poem.  The manuscript includes a rubric (a heading on the document) which translates “This is Y Gododdin: Aneirin sang it”. Name and Location The name Gododdin is the Modern Welsh form of the name as it appears in Old…

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