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Arthurian Literature XXI

Arthurian Literature XXI: Celtic Arthurian Material

EDITED BY CERIDWEN LLOYD-MORGAN
General Editor KEITH BUSBY
Associate Editor ROGER DALRYMPLE
Volume: 21
Copyright Date: 2004
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 150
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt820dt
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  • Book Info
    Arthurian Literature XXI
    Book Description:

    This special number of the well-established series ‘Arthurian Literature’ is devoted to Celtic material. Contributions, from leading experts in Celtic Studies, cover Welsh, Irish and Breton material, from medieval texts to oral traditions surviving into modern times. The volume reflects current trends and new approaches in this field whilst also making available in English material hitherto inaccessible to those with no reading knowledge of the Celtic languages. CERIDWEN LLOYD-MORGAN has published widely in the field of Arthurian studies. She is currently Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Welsh, Cardiff University.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-271-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. GENERAL EDITOR’S FOREWORD
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Keith Busby

    I was delighted when Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan accepted my invitation to be Guest Editor for an issue of Arthurian Literature devoted to Celtic Arthurian texts and traditions. No-one is better placed and informed than she to fill such a role. Her introduction raises a serious problem of linguistic competency that is often glossed over, not only in connection with Celtic studies, but generally in medieval studies, as the ability to read texts in the original, older, forms of languages declines. This is not the place to indulge in a lament for the old days of philological education, but I agree wholeheartedly...

  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-8)
    Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan

    This volume of Arthurian Literature is devoted to what is often loosely and inaccurately described as ‘Celtic material’. This encompasses texts composed in one or other of the Celtic languages, or tales preserved or reflected in written or oral traditions in the countries where a Celtic language is spoken, and includes material originally composed elsewhere but translated or adapted into one or more Celtic languages. Within the study of Arthurian literature this area has been the subject of considerable controversy since the nineteenth century. Recent decades have seen the publication of a constant stream of popular works purporting to ‘identify’...

  5. I ARTHUR OF THE IRISH: A VIABLE CONCEPT?
    (pp. 9-28)
    Ann Dooley

    The myriad reconstructions of a figure of King Arthur, whether defined by literary works and/or situated in a historical context, have been one of the great distractions of British medieval cultural historians. Arthur never figured in medieval Irish tradition in any significant way; indeed, it is precisely because whatever traces may be recovered of an Arthurian tradition in Ireland are presumed to carry for an Irish scene none of the same configurations, developments and cultural concerns as in Britain, that these Arthurian markers have never been seriously revised or considered. For reasons that are as much political as historical, Arthur...

  6. II PERFORMING CULHWCH AC OLWEN
    (pp. 29-52)
    Sioned Davies

    Culhwch ac Olwen, it has been said, is ‘a tale to be heard’.¹ Indeed, from the outset it would seem that, more than any other tale of the Mabinogion corpus, it was composed with a vocalised performance in mind. Of course, most medieval literature was ultimately written ‘to be heard’ – manuscript texts would be read out aloud to a listening audience. The demands of such a practice, together with the influence of the oral storytelling tradition, has certainly left its mark on the style and structure of the native tales of medieval Wales, as I have shown elsewhere.² Without...

  7. III COURT AND CYUOETH: CHRÉTIEN DE TROYES’ EREC ET ENIDE AND THE MIDDLE WELSH GEREINT
    (pp. 53-72)
    Helen A. Roberts

    Much of the criticism surrounding the three romances of Chrétien de Troyes in relation to their Middle Welsh counterparts has concerned itself with according precedence to one text over the other. The similarity of plot in the three pairs of texts has encouraged this trend, and the texts are often compared with little concern for the fact that Chrétien’s romances and the Middle Welsh tales belong to very different literary traditions. Chrétien de Troyes’ Erec et Enide, Le Conte du graal (Perceval) and Le Chevalier au lion (Yvain), composed in the last quarter of the twelfth century, belong to a...

  8. IV OWEIN, YSTORYA BOWN AND THE PROBLEM OF ‘RELATIVE DISTANCE’: SOME METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND SPECULATIONS
    (pp. 73-94)
    Erich Poppe

    The relationship between Ystorya Bown o Hamtwn (henceforth Bown) and its Anglo-Norman source, the Geste de Boeve de Haumtone (henceforth Boeve), has played a minor, but methodologically not insignificant role in recent discussions of the relationship between the Middle Welsh Owein (or Chwedyl Iarlles y Ffynnawn) and Chrétien’s Yvain (Le chevalier au lion). In the introduction to his edition of Owein, R. L. Thomson suggested that the relative distance between Boeve and Bown could be taken as a yardstick for a medieval Welsh translator’s treatment of a foreign narrative source:

    In case it should be suggested that this degree of...

  9. V NEITHER FLESH NOR FOWL: MERLIN AS BIRD-MAN IN BRETON FOLK TRADITION
    (pp. 95-114)
    Mary-Ann Constantine

    Merlin Merlin pelac’h etu, hio! hio! – aman-han. En devez el evoa bet da chasseet, eur loenanic enoua tapet. Pa voa tapet, tapet evoa, lacet e groë da lardet. Breman e vo tenet en den emez deuz e groë; Voeda evo glascet eur higer da e lahet. Pehoa ed de glasque eur hicher da lahet, goulez digan an ani gos a gué vige ed dober tan dindan an dour, et pevoa ed dober tan dindan an dour emen a voa ed quid. Ti un ini goz evoa ed goulen logo (?) – Mi so aouache evit ho logo, bouët da...

  10. VI NARRATIVES AND NON-NARRATIVES: ASPECTS OF WELSH ARTHURIAN TRADITION
    (pp. 115-136)
    Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan

    Writing in his Tours of Wales, published in 1781, the renowned traveller and scholar Thomas Pennant, of Downing in Flintshire, gives an account of various places he had seen in Anglesey, including the following brief but telling reference:

    Above Llanddona is a high hill, called Bwrdd Arthur or Arthur’s round table; the true name was probably Din, or Dinas Sulwy; for a church immediately beneath bears that of Llanfihangel Din Sulwy

    Pennant notes that the hill, a limestone pavement, provides natural defences and that these were enhanced by building ramparts, but it is his comments on the place-name that are...

  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 137-141)