Welsh language or Alphabet soup?

Modern Welsh is descended directly from Brythonic Celtic. The language and all its changes settled into more or less its current form by 14th Century (‘middle’ Welsh) mostly forming in the 8th century (‘old’ Welsh) and anything before… Read More

With dynamic politics comes dynamic language

After the Romans abandoned Brython at the end of the 4th century, broad scale warring commenced as the lands south of Hadrian’s Wall tried to sort their own political structure out. Between AD400 and AD 700, the Brythonic… Read More

Folklore: The only thing the early Welsh wanted to do with sheep was nick them.

Wales’ reputation for… over-fondness for sheep rose out of their culturally cunning nature and not anything more skeevy. Folklore tells us that when Wales became part of the United Kingdom and came under its broader laws the punishment… Read More

Places & Names: The language we know today as ‘Welsh’

Latin was the written language in dark age Britain thanks to four centuries of Roman rule but only Monks and the very wealthy could read and write in Latin. The spiritual and political leaders of Britain shared their… Read More

Names & Places: Cymru vs Cymry

Map of Cymry from the 6th century

The Brythonic word kombrogos meant ‘land of the compatriots’ (brogi meaning territory) and this is believed to be the source of the term Cymry which still endures today in the country we know as Wales (see this post on… Read More

Names & Places: The origins of ‘Brython’

In 325BC, a Greek geographer first described the islands to the north of the main European continent as ‘pretanic’ (referring to the style of speech found there). This was later bastardised by the Romans into ‘Brittonic’ and then… Read More

The disappointing truth about the ‘father’ of Arthurian romance

We know him as ‘Geoffrey’ and he hailed from the region in Wales today known as Monmouth. His name (in Welsh) was Gruffudd ap Arthur but his friends at the time would have known him as Galfridus Artur(us)… Read More

The Welsh love a good story…

If there’s one thing that struck me on my trip around Wales (and growing up the product of Welsh lineage) it’s that the Welsh love a good tale. They can turn the smallest thing into an evocative, resonating… Read More