Gerald of Wales
- c. 1146–1220 x 1223
- scholars, authors
My dissertation is a palaeographical study of the manuscripts of the works of Gerald of Wales (c. 1146-1223). Gerald was a churchman, a member of the court of King Henry II and a prolific author. His extensive works include historical and topographical descriptions of Ireland and Wales, theological and hagiographical studies, and several autobiographical works. Throughout his career he constantly revised these works. A hundred manuscripts containing works of Gerald survive today, and the progress of his revision of his works may be observed from the manuscript-record. I therefore devote some space to the textual history of Gerald's works in the manuscripts; however, the emphasis is on the manuscripts and therefore on what the textual history can show about them, not on the texts themselves. There is an unusually large number of manuscripts (about 20%) surviving from Gerald's lifetime, including some which are decorated and illustrated and at least one which has been described as a 'working copy'. I have studied these manuscripts closely, concentrating on finding similarities between them - particularly the appearance of the same hand in different manuscripts - which may point to a common place of production, possibly 'Gerald's scriptorium'. I have also considered the manuscript evidence for Gerald's publishing processes and the possibility of finding Gerald's autograph. I have then considered the manuscripts surviving from after Gerald's death and what they can show about the continuing tradition of his works, for example: who read them, and which were most popular; the geographical spread of the manuscript-evidence; whether different works were popular at different times, and why; the treatment of the works by later scholars, for example translation, abbreviation and excerpting. This includes evidence which I have discovered for the existence of now lost manuscripts. Finally, I have compared the manuscript-tradition of Gerald's works with that of some other twelfth-century Insular writers whose works survive in various authorial editions and/or in autograph or quasi-autograph copies.
L’étude cherche à évaluer la connaissance effective de la langue galloise chez Giraud de Cambrie, telle qu’elle se reflète dans ses ouvrages «Itinerarium Kambriae» et «Descriptio Kambriae» à travers la traduction, ou le commentaire de différents noms propres ou noms communs, sans exclure toute autre information pertinente fournie par l’auteur. Une attention spéciale est prêtée aux remarques «linguistiques» de Giraud sur les rapports du gallois et du grec. Les résultats de l’enquête apportent un nouvel éclairage dans le débat déjà ancien concernant le caractère gallois de Giraud.
[EN] The article investigates Gerald's actual knowledge of the Welsh language as reflected in his books 'Itinerarium Kambriae' and 'Descriptio Kambriae' by translations of and comments on various names and appellatives, as well as other relevant information provided by the author. A special paragraph studies Gerald's 'linguistic' remarks on the relationship of Welsh and Greek. The results shed new light on the long-discussed question of Gerald's 'Welshness'.