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The Four Ancient Books Of Wales - by William F. Skene

The Four Ancient Books Of Wales - by William F. Skene
  • #: 106964
  • Price: $3.99 In Apple Store
  • Category: Books
  • Updated: 2010-08-18
  • Current Version: 1.0
  • 1.0
  • Size: 2.10 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Credencys Solutions Inc
  • Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 2.2 or later
  • © Credencys Solutions Inc
  •  Add to Favorite apps

 

Description

The Four Ancient Books Of Wales

by William F. Skene

The only available translation of the complete corpus of Welsh Bardic poetry.

"This is William Skene's anthology of dark-age Welsh Bardic poetry. Often cited, but difficult to obtain, this book contains every remaining piece of Bardic poetry known. The poems are translated from four manuscripts: the Black Book of Caermarthen, the Red Book of Hergest (which is also the source of the Mabinogion), the Book of Taliessin and the Book of Aneurin, all of which date from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries C.E. The poems themselves date from much earlier, probably from the sixth century by internal evidence.

This corpus is one of the treasures of world literature. It is also the only true source material for the study of Bardic lore, which reputedly preserved the esoteric (and long-lost) beliefs of the Druids. Largely written to satisfy wealthy patrons, much of the subject matter is related to mead-inspired battles, particularly the renowned Gododin cycle. However, the poetry rises above the gory combat and toadying to achieve an artistic height that would not be reached for many centuries. Some of the later works, which use Christian themes as a jumping-off point, have an almost haiku-like quality. The poems are infused throughout with mystic clarity, strange flashes of wisdom, and insight into humanity and nature."

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5/5 stars

Four Ancient Books of Wales by Skene

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This is a wonderful app. Skene's contribution to Welsh literary scholarship does show its age and there are newer and in many ways better, translations of many of these poems (such as those by Haycock for the Taliesin poems, Ford for the Llywarch Hen and Jarman for Y Gododdin), however, no other effort to bring together such an ambitious compilation of early mediaeval Welsh poetry has been accomplished. Skene's translations in app form provide a convenient and enthralling entry point to this material. The ability to bookmark poems, like the well-known Preideu Annwfyn, allows quick access. This is only Volume 1, hopefully Volume 2 (the Welsh versions plus some additional material) will appear in future.

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