Myrddin Wyltt – the man before the wizard

In naming my hero from book three in the y Ddraig series, Lailocen (the Myrddyn), I went back to a range of old Celto-Cymric legends. The ‘Merlin’ as he is most commonly recognised today was a collective evolution of… Read More

Did ‘The Hobbit’ come from ‘The Mabinogion’?

J.R.R Tolkien was a card-carrying fan of all things Welsh. He loved the country, he loved the language, he loved the literature and became somewhat of an expert in it even busying himself working on both translations and… Read More

Waxing lyrical

This phrase is still fairly well used — ‘waxing poetic’ in the US and ‘waxing lyrical’ in most other English languages. The fact that waxing lyrical and waxing poetic both exist and are deemed interchangeable makes me think… Read More

The origins of counting

The early Britons’ survival relied on their livestock. Shared pastures meant you had to know how many you put in (in order to take back out) and taxes were later applied per head of stock. A stock count… Read More

Celtic counting

And say a flock of (say) 43 sheep would result in two scores and three fingers – two score and three.When you consider the evolution of counting, it seems obvious that even the earliest societies could have conceived… Read More

Why it doesn’t pay to be a 29 day month

The Gregorian calendar (‘Western’ calendar or ‘Christian’ calendar) that most of us know so well is strictly a solar calendar — meaning it generally disregards what the moon is doing and focusses more on the patterns of the sun… Read More

Language Tree

Brilliantly conceived language tree showing how language evolved. Look at Welsh tucked away there on their own tiny branch so far from English.  

A Year and a Day

Welsh literature is full of very casually used examples of time keeping termed ‘a year and a day’. As in a curse that must be borne for a year and a day after which it expires or is… Read More

Just how proficient were warriors with bows/arrows in the Dark Ages?

  For anyone who cringed watching Kevin Costner play Robin Hood…rejoice. This video is equal parts fascinating and hilarious. Here is a guy—not terribly fit, not terribly athletic, not at all cool—who has learned to use a bow… Read More

Dragons in ‘The Mabinogion’

The Mabinogion is a large (for its time) collection of myths/legends from Celtic Wales bundled together with some Arthurian tales and reasonably translated into English by Lady Charlotte Guest in the 19th C. But they were translations of… Read More