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Encyclopedia > Giraldus Cambrensis

Giraldus Cambrensis (c.1146 - c.1223), also known as Gerallt Gymro in Welsh or Gerald of Wales in English, was a medieval clergyman and chronicler of his times. Born in around 1146 at Manorbier Castle in Pembrokeshire, he was of mixed Norman and Welsh blood, his real name being Gerald de Barri. Events Saint Bernard of Clairvaux preaches the Second Crusade at Vezelay, Burgundy First written mention of Bryansk. ... Events August 6 - Louis VIII is crowned King of France. ... English historians in the Middle Ages is an overview of the history of English historians and their works in the Middle Ages. ... Manorbier (Welsh: Maenorbyr) is a village on the south coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales. ... Pembrokeshire (Welsh: Sir Benfro) is a county in the southwest of Wales in the United Kingdom. ... Norman may refer to: The Norman language The Norman people Norman architecture, the Romanesque architecture erected by the Normans. ... National motto: Cymru am byth (Welsh: Wales for ever) Waless location within the UK Official languages English(100%), Welsh(20. ...

Gerald was a nephew of the Bishop of St David's, and a grandson of Gerald de Windsor by his marriage to the notorious Nest, daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr; the family also claimed a relationship with the family of The Lord Rhys (Rhys ap Gruffydd). Gerald of Wales had a church education at Gloucester, followed by a period of study in Paris. His expectations of succeeding his uncle as bishop in 1176 were dashed, possibly because of his Welsh blood. Despite this rejection, he became chaplain to King Henry II of England in 1184, and was chosen to accompany one of the king's sons, John, on an expedition to Ireland. This was the catalyst for his literary career, his account of his findings being published as Topographia Hibernica (1188). He followed it up, shortly afterwards, with an account of Henry's conquest of Ireland, the Expugnatio Hibernica. St Davids ( Welsh: Tŷddewi) is the smallest city in the United Kingdom, with a population of under 2,000 people. ... Rhys ap Tewdwr (997-1093) was a prince of southern Wales. ... Rhys ap Gruffydd (1132–1197) was the ruler of the kingdom of Deheubarth (South Wales) from 1155 until his death. ... Gloucester (pronounced ) is a city and district in south-west England, close to the Welsh border. ... The Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of Paris throughout the world. ... Events May 22 - Murder attempt by the Hashshashin on Saladin near Aleppo Raynald of Chatillon released from prison in Aleppo May 29 - Frederick Barbarossa is defeated in the Battle of Legnano by the Lombard League leading to the pactum Anagninum (the Agreement of Anagni) September 17 - Seljuk Turks defeat Manuel... Henry II (March 5, 1133 – July 6, 1189) ruled as Count of Anjou, Duke of Normandy, and as King of England (1154–1189) and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland, eastern Ireland, and western France. ... Events Abbeville receives its commercial charter. ... John of England depicted in Cassells History of England (1902) John (French: Jean) (December 24, 1166/67–October 18/19, 1216) reigned as King of England from 1199 to 1216. ... The year 1185 saw John of Englands first expedition to Ireland and there has been much debate in historical scholarship as to its success as an expedition. ... Events Saladin unsuccessfully besieges the Hospitaller fortress of Krak des Chevaliers in modern Syria. ...

Having thus demonstrated his usefulness, Gerald was selected to accompany the Archbishop of Canterbury, Baldwin of Exeter, on a tour of Wales in 1188, the object being a recruitment campaign for the Third Crusade. His account of that journey, the Itinerarium Cambriae (1191) was followed by the Descriptio Cambriae in 1194. His two works on Wales remain incredibly valuable historical documents, significant for their descriptions - however untrustworthy and inflected by ideology, whimsy, and his unique style - of Welsh and Norman culture. In 1198, another opportunity arose for Gerald to become Bishop of St David's, but his application was again rejected. He repeatedly but unsuccessfully challenged this decision, made by Hubert Walter, before giving up in 1203 to spend the remainder of his life in academic study, producing works of devotional instruction and politics. He died in about 1223, probably in Lincoln. Arms of the Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior clergyman of the established Church of England and symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. ... Events Saladin unsuccessfully besieges the Hospitaller fortress of Krak des Chevaliers in modern Syria. ... The Third Crusade (1189 - 1192) was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy Land from Saladin. ... Events May 12 - Richard I of England marries Berengaria of Navarre. ... Events November 20 - Palermo falls to Henry VI, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire December 25 - Henry VI is crowned king of Sicily. ... Events End of the reign of Emperor Go-Toba of Japan Emperor Tsuchimikado ascends to the throne of Japan January 8 - Pope Innocent III ascends Papal Throne Frederick II, infant son of German King Henry VI, crowned King of Sicily Births August 24 - Alexander II of Scotland (d. ... Hubert Walter (died July 13, 1205), chief justiciar of England and archbishop of Canterbury, was a relative of Ranulf de Glanvill, the great justiciar of Henry II, and rose under the eye of his kinsman to an important position in the Curia Regis. ... Events April 16 - Philip II of France enters Rouen, leading to the eventual unification of Normandy and France. ... Events August 6 - Louis VIII is crowned King of France. ... Lincoln (pronounced Lin-kun) is a cathedral city and county town of Lincolnshire, England, a bridging point over the River Witham that flows to Boston. ...

Gerald's writings reflect experiences gained on his travels as well as his knowledge of the authorities on learning. Repeatedly rejected for the bishopric of his beloved St. David's, Gerald pleaded not only his own cause, but that of St. David's as an archbishopric, visiting Rome on three occasions in support of his claims. Failing to be appointed to St. David's, Gerald maintained that it was the fear of the effect that it would have on the national politics in Wales that prevented his appointment. The Pope was reluctant to have a Welsh Church independent of Canterbury.

The Welshman's writings were prolific, but it is generally agreed that his most distinguished works are those dealing with Wales and Ireland, with his two books on his beloved Wales the most important: "Itinerarium Kambriae" and "Descriptio Kambriae". Professor Davies tells us that Giraldus, whom he calls "an admirable story-teller," is the only source for some of the most famous of the Welsh folk tales including the declaration of the old man of Pencader to Henry II: This nation, O King, may now, as in former times, be harassed, and in a great measure weakened and destroyed by your and other powers, and it will also prevail by its laudable exertions, but it can never be totally subdued through the wrath of man, unless the wrath of God shall concur. Nor do I think that any other nation than this of Wales, nor any other language, whatever may hereafter come to pass, shall on the day of severe examination before the Supreme Judge, answer for this corner of the earth. (John of Salisbury: recorded in "Descriptio Kambriae" 1193) by Giraldus Cambrensis).

It was Giraldus who also wrote (of the Welsh) that "If they would be inseparable, they would be insuperable," and that, unlike the English hirelings, who fight for power or to procure gain or wealth, the Welsh patriots fight for their country. He had pleasant things to say about the poetic talents of his people, too: In their rhymed songs and set speeches they are so subtle and ingenious that they produce, in their native tongue, ornaments of wonderful and exquisite invention both in the words and the sentences... They make use of alliteration in preference to all other ornaments of rhetoric, and that particular kind which joins by consonancy the first letters or syllables of words.

Giraldus could not have predicted the later perfection of cynghanedd, the complex system of sound correspondence that has characterized the strict-meter poetry of the Welsh for so many centuries and that is still practiced today, especially in competitions for the eisteddfod chair. Cynghanedd did not become a formal system with strict rules until the fourteenth century, but its uniquely Welsh forms had been honed for centuries before that. Finally, Giraldus penned the following words that give so much pride to Welsh singers of today, especially those who participate in the immensely popular Cymanfaoedd Ganu (hymn-singing festivals) held throughout Wales and North America: Cynghanedd (literally harmony), in Welsh language poetry, is the basic concept of sound-arrangement within one line. ...

In their musical concerts they do not sing in unison like the inhabitants of other countries, but in many different parts. . .You will hear as many different parts and voices as there are performers who all at length unite with organic melody. ("Descriptio Kambriae" 1193).

External links

Some of this has been altered to stop plagerism ie if you copy this it will be completely wrong. Hehehehehehe The Cambridge History of English and American Literature. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Giraldus Cambrensis (1263 words)
Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald de Barry) was a distinguished writer, historian, and ecclesiastic of the early Middle Ages; b.
Giraldus returned, and was supported by the chieftains of Wales, while King John warmly espoused the cause of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Giraldus is impeached with ignorance of the language, and unfamiliarity with the country; he is said to have embodied in his works unauthenticated narratives, with little regard for chronology; his own admission that he had "followed the popular rumours of the land" is extended in meaning, and perhaps unduly insisted upon.
Giraldus Cambrensis - LoveToKnow 1911 (711 words)
GIRALDUS CAMBRENSIS (1146 ?-1220), medieval historian, also called Gerald De Barri, was born in Pembrokeshire.
Giraldus declares that the mission was highly successful; in any case it gave him the material for his Itinerarium Cambrense, which is, after the Expugnatio, his best known work.
He accompanied the archbishop, who intended him to be the historian of the Crusade, to the continent, with the intention of going to the Holy Land.
  More results at FactBites »



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