This volume is unique in offering a comprehensive discussion of the subject. It will appeal widely to medievalists, to Welsh and Celtic scholars and to those non-specialists who have felt the fascination of the figure of Arthur and wish to know more.
Little, if anything, is known historically of Arthur, yet for centuries the romances of Arthur and his court dominated the imaginative literature of Europe in many languages. The roots of this vast flowering of the Arthurian legend are to be found in early Welsh tradition and this volume gives an account of the Arthurian literature produced in Wales, in both Welsh and Latin, during the Middle Ages.
The distinguished contributors offer a comprehensive view of recent scholarship relating to Arthurian literature in early Welsh and other Brythonic sources. The volume includes chapters on the “historical” Arthur, Arthur in early Welsh verse, the legend of Merlin, the tales of Culhwch ac Olwen, Geraint, Owain, Peredur, The Dream of Rhonabwy and Trystan ac Esyllt. Other chapters investigate the evidence for the growth of the Arthurian theme in the Triads and in the Historia Regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth, and discuss the Breton connection and the gradual transmission of the legend to the non-Celtic world.
Rachel Bromwich is Emeritus Reader in Celtic Languages and Literature, University of Cambridge.
A.O.H. Jarman is Emeritus Professor of Welsh, University College, Cardiff.
Brynley F. Roberts is Librarian, National Library of Wales.
List of Abbreviations
The Editors with a contribution by Daniel Huws 1 The Arthur of History Thomas Charles-Edwards 2 The Early Welsh Arthurian Poems Patrick Sims-Williams 3 Culhwch ac Olwen, The Triads, Saints’ Lives Brynley F. Roberts 4 Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae and Brut y BrenhineddBrynley F. Roberts 5 The Merlin Legend and the Welsh Tradition of Prophecy A.O.H. Jarman 6 Chwedl Geraint ab ErbinRoger Middleton 7 Owain: Chwedl Iarlles y Ffynnon R.L. Thomson 8 Historia Peredur ab EfrawgIan Lovecy 9 Breuddwyd Rhonabwy and Later Arthurian Literature Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan 10 The Tristan of the Welsh Rachel Bromwich 11 Some South-Western Sites with Arthurain Associations O.J. Padel 12 Brittany and the Arthurian Legend J.E. Caerwyn Williams 13 First Transmission to England and France Rachel Bromwich Index
“The scholarship embodied in this work is consistently high. It may assume its place as a standard in Arthurian and Welsh studies immediately.” –Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies
“ . . . an ideal source book for students . . . ” –Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies