Welsh Celtic Literature
Foot-note : this article relates to only part of the literature of the Wales, that which, of the Moyen-âge to the neo-druidic rebirth , are in connection with the legendary one and the Celtic Mythologie.
The Druide S of the Celtic civilization of the Antiquité systematically privileged orality with the writing. The generally advanced argument, is that the word is alive, that the writing died. Perhaps this was also a means of limiting the dissemination of the information to the only sacerdotal class, made up of the Druide S, bards and Vate S. the oghamic writing was used only with fine spell-bindings or funerary. It is necessary to await the disappearance of the druidism and the christianization of the people Celtes, so that the oral literature is written.
First time: Life - XIIe centuryThe ancient bards survived the disappearance of the druidism, but their role and their function changed; the magic practice of poetry became a literary art. The first compositions date from the 6th century after J. - C. it is the time of the Cynfeirdd , word which means “first bards”. These poetic works concern the epopee and fall under the context Brittonique. The most known text of this time is entitled Gododdin , of the name of people from which the territory extended until the south from the Scotland. The author is Aneirin (Life century), the bard of king Mynyddawg Mawr, of which it brings back the warlike exploits. These people are not other than that which Claude Ptolémée names the Votadini at the 2nd century, and which will be submerged by the Anglo-Saxon at the 7th century.
Taliesin is a contemporary of Aneirin, to which one allots many poems, whose Kat Goddeu celebrates it ( the combat of the shrubs ). Originating in Powys, it is the bard of Urien, king de Rheged, of which it speaks in praise and shows us the prototype of the sovereign right, generous and warlike, eminently Celtic topic. But the poet is itself become a legend, so that it is difficult to find his historicity. Hanes Taliesin ( history of Taliesin ) is an account of the 9th century or 10th century, which tells the mythical birth of the bard and its various animal metamorphoses.
Llywarch Hen (the Old one) has him also really existed at the 6th century, but its legend is posterior since it dates from the 9th century. She tells the desolation of an old man who lost all his wire.
Myrddin as for him, inspired the essential character of Merlin in the Légende arthurienne. Its poems have a political notation more , since one of its topics of predilection is revenge and the victory of the Celtes over the Saxon invaders, as in the Arymes Prydein Vawr ( the oppression of the United Kingdom ).
The Gogynfeirdd (successors) are poets of court, whose topics are primarily the glory of the king and the religious veneration.
Second time: XIIIe - XVIIIe centuriesThis period is that of the “bards of the lords” (beirdd yr uchelwyr) who sees the prevalence like the courtly love. For the Celtic field, major work is without any doubt the Mabinogion, sometimes called the Four Branches of Mabinogi. They are four texts written in means-Welsh (language in force of the 12th century at the 16th century), worked out starting from two manuscripts, the White paper of Rhydderch whose drafting is spread out 1380 with 1410, and the Red book of Hergest which is gone back roughly to 1350. The developed topics find in the Irish tradition , which attests of their antiquity. One can quote, as example, the reports/ratios of the druid (or magician) and the king, the obligations of Sovereignty, the Annwvyn the Other World (the Sidh of the Tuatha Dé Danann, in Ireland), the war, the practice of the artisanal functions. It is the illustration of the trifonctionnelle ideology of the Indo-Europeans, such as it was exposed by Georges Dumézil. Just like for the Irish mythological texts, a Christian varnish is superimposed sometimes on the accounts. The word Mabinogion is the plural of Mabinogi. Various explanations on the direction of the word were advanced, but it probably comes from the god Mabon (Maponos in Gaulle) which appears in the tale Kulhwch and Olwen , and who belongs to the same collection. The four accounts are entitled: Pwyll, prince de Dyved , Mabinogi de Branwen , Manawydan wire of Llyr and Maths wire of Mathonwy . Traditionally, other tales are added there concerned with the Légende arthurienne: Lludd and Llevelys , Kulhwch and Olwen , the dream of Ronabwy , Peredur ab Evrawc and Gereint and Enid .
Néo-druidismeAt the 18th century, the Eisteddfod (plural: eisteddfodau - assembled Welsh bards) is re-established under the impulse of Goronwy Owen; the preceding meeting went back to 1450, it will become annual at the 19th century. In the context of the Celtomanie, the Néo-druidisme, of maconnic inspiration , claims to make revive the rites of the Antiquité. The June 21st 1792, Iolo Morgannwg (of its true name Edward Williams) joins together in Primrose Hill (London), the Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain (College of the Bards of the Island of Brittany). This movement induces the redécouverte and the edition of the poetic inheritance, but also the counterfeit and manufacture of false old texts. Iolo will be the principal instigator of this company, with Owen Pughe.
After these excesses, the study of Welsh poetry will become more rigorous, in 1877 a pulpit of Celtic is created with the Université of Oxford whose John Rhys is the first holder. In 1893, the university of Wales is created and, in 1907 the National library.
- Druid ~ Bard ~ Celtic Vate ~ Mythology
- Wales ~ Welsh
- Welsh Celtic Mythology ~ Mabinogion ~ Welsh Literature
- Herve Abalain, Wales, identity, modernity , Editions Ermine, Crozon, 2000,
- Christian Y.M. Kerboul, Kingdoms brittonic with the very Early middle ages , Editions of Pontig/Coop Breizh, Sautron/Spézet, 1997, &
- Myles Dillon, Nora K. Chadwick, Christian-J. Guyonvarc' H and Francoise the Russet-red, Celtic Kingdoms , Editions Ermine, Crozon, 2001,
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