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Encyclopedia > Book of Taliesin

Book of Taliesin (Welsh: Llyfr Taliesin) is one of the most famous Welsh manuscripts. It dates from the first half of the fourteenth century. It is now at the National Library of Wales and is known as Peniarth MS 2. The manuscript is incomplete, having lost a number of its original leaves, including the first.

The volume contains a collection of some of the oldest poems in Welsh, many of them attributed to the poet Taliesin who was active towards the end of the sixth century. Other poems reflect the kind of learning with which the poet became associated, deriving partly from Latin texts and partly from native Welsh tradition. It is this manuscript which preserves the texts of famous poems such as Armes Prydein Fawr, Preiddeu Annwfn (which refers to Arthur and his warriors sailing across the sea to win a spear and a cauldron), and elegies to Cunedda and Dylan eil Ton, as well as the earliest mention in any western vernacular of the feats of Hercules and Alexander.


  • 'Book of Taliesin'. In Meic Stephens (Ed.) (1998), The new companion to the literature of Wales. Cardiff : University of Wales Press. ISBN 0708313833.
  • Haycock, Marged (1988), 'Llyfr Taliesin'. In National Library of Wales Journal, 25, 357-86.
  • Parry, Thomas (1955), A history of Welsh literature. Translated by H. Idris Bell. Oxford : Clarendon Press.

External link

  • The book of Taliesin (http://www.llgc.org.uk/drych/drych_s041.htm) at the National Library of Wales (http://www.llgc.org.uk). Gives access to colour images of Peniarth MS 2.

  Results from FactBites:
Taliesin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2042 words)
His name is associated with the Book of Taliesin, a book of poems written down in the 10th century but which some scholars believed to date in large part from the 6th century.
Of the poems in The Book of Taliesin, twelve are addressed to known historical kings such as Cynan Garwyn, king of Powys, and Gwallog of Elmet.
The rest of the book comprises poems addressing mythological, religious or shamanistic topics, as well as a few works such as 'Armes Prydein Vawr', the content of which implies that they were by later authors, perhaps contemporary to the 10th century scribe who compiled the Book of Taliesin.
Taliesin (660 words)
Taliesin is one of the earliest known Welsh poets.
Taliesin knew what was happening, because he was a seer, and told Elphin's wife.
When King Maelgwn attempted to show the finger to Elphin, he pointed out that his wife cut her fingernails more often than the owner of the finger, had servants to kneed dough and never had any under her nails, and her ring was loose on her finger, and that one was tight.
  More results at FactBites »



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