Cyfoesi Myrddin a Gwenddydd ei chwaer‘The conversation between Myrddin and his sister Gwenddydd.’

  • Medieval Welsh poetry
Long poem that takes the form of a dialogue or colloquy between Myrddin and his sister Gwenddydd. In response to his sister's questions, Myrddin reveals many details concerning the future of Britain; includes references to Myrddin as a wild man of the woods; Gwenddolau; battle of Arfderydd (570s, Cumbria); includes a regnal list, especially of the Maelgyning kings of Gwynedd, from Rhydderch Hael to Hywel Dda ap Cadell (d. 950) and beyond, at which point the poem becomes obscure. It has been suggested that it was probably originally composed when Hywel Dda reigned supreme over the kingdoms of the Merfynion.


Medieval Welsh poetry


Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] Jenkins, Manon Bonner, “Aspects of the Welsh prophetic verse tradition in the Middle Ages: incorporating textual studies of poetry from ‘Llyfr Coch Hergest’ (Oxford, Jesus College, MS cxi) and ‘Y Cwta Cyfarwydd’ (Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, MS Peniarth 50)”, unpublished Ph.D. thesis: University of Cambridge, 1990.
[ed.] Evans, J. Gwenogvryn, The poetry in the Red Book of Hergest, Llanbedrog, 1911.
Internet Archive: <link>
1–4 (cols 577–583)

Secondary sources (select)

Charles-Edwards, T. M., “10. Kingship”, in: Charles-Edwards, T. M., Wales and the Britons, 350–1064, History of Wales, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 314–339.
Padel, O. J., “Geoffrey of Monmouth and the development of the Merlin legend”, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 51 (Summer, 2006): 37–65.
Jarman, A. O. H., “The Merlin legend and the Welsh tradition of prophecy”, in: Bromwich, Rachel, A. O. H. Jarman, and Brynley F. Roberts (eds.), The Arthur of the Welsh. The Arthurian legend in medieval Welsh literature, Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages 1, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1991. 117–145.
Dennis Groenewegen
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