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Bibliographic information

Language: Welsh

Covers years: 682–1282


  • Aberystwyth, NLW, Peniarth 18 (South West Wales, s. xivmed.).
  • Aberystwyth, NLW 3035B (Mostyn 116) (s. xiv2), ff. 142r–206v.
  • Oxford, Jesus College 111 (Gŵyr, 1382 × 1408), ff. 58r–89v [accessed 23 April 2015].
  • Aberystwyth, NLW, Peniarth 19 (c. 1400), ff. 89v–143r.
  • Aberystwyth, NLW, Llanstephan 172 (s. xvi–xvii), ff. 1r–121r.

Brut y Tywysogion, Llyfr Coch Hergest/Red Book of Hergest Version

This chronicle is one of three surviving versions of the closely-related group of chronicles known as Brut y Tywysogion. Of the three, it is the only one which begins in 682 and runs to 1282, though it does not cover the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. Until 1198 it is ultimately dependent on the same material as both other versions of the Brut (Brenhinedd y Saesson and the Peniarth MS 20 version), and is then ultimately dependent on the same material as the Peniarth MS 20 version until 1282. Throughout, it contains some material not present in the other versions of the Brut. It is generally less full than the Peniarth MS 20 version, and fuller than Brenhinedd y Saesson in the parts where they share a common source. Its editor, Thomas Jones, argued that the three Welsh versions of the Brut were translated from three different versions of an original Latin chronicle, and this remains the accepted explanation of the relationship between these chronicles. All three versions of Brut y Tywysogion are mainly dependent on St David’s material before the late-eleventh century, on Llanbadarn material for much of the twelfth century, and on Strata Florida material for the thirteenth century.

Although it is customary to refer to this version as the Llyfr Coch Hergest or Red Book of Hergest version, after Oxford, Jesus College 111, this is not the best or most correct text. For his critical edition, Thomas Jones used Peniarth 18; Mostyn 116; Peniarth 19; Llanstephan 172 (all Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales); and Oxford, Jesus College 111. His basic text was provided by Peniarth 18 and Mostyn 116. The oldest manuscript, though incomplete, is Peniarth 18, a manuscript in the hands of two collaborating scribes, one of them the ‘Anchorite of Llanddewibrefi’, and which may have been written at Strata Florida.

Nia Wyn Jones

Editions & Translation

  • Brenhinoedd y Saeson, 'The Kings of the English', A.D. 682–954: Texts P, R, S in Parallel, ed. by D. N. Dumville, Basic Texts for Medieval British History, 1 (Aberdeen, 2005).
  • Brut y Tywysogion, or, the Chronicle of the Princes: Red Book of Hergest Version, ed. and trans. by T. Jones, History and Law Series, 16 (Cardiff: Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1955).

Secondary Scholarship

Secondary Scholarship - Specific to this version

  • B. F. Roberts, 'The Red Book of Hergest Version of Brut y Brenhinedd', Studia Celtica, 12/13 (1977–1978), 147–86.

Secondary scholarship - Brut y Tywysogion more generally

  • Nia Wyn Jones, ‘Brut y Tywysogion: The History of the Princes and Twelfth-Century Cambro-Latin Historical Writing’, Haskins Society Journal 26 (2014, forthcoming)
  • J. E. Lloyd, ‘The Welsh Chronicles’, Proceedings of the British Academy,14 (1928), 369–91.
  • J. Beverley Smith, 'Castell Gwyddgrug', Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies, 26 (1976), 74–77.
  • J. Beverley Smith, ‘Historical Writing in Medieval Wales: The Composition of Brenhinedd y Saesson’, Studia Celtica,42 (2008), 55–86.
  • David Stephenson, 'The Chronicler of Cwm-hir abbey, 1257–63: The Construction of a Welsh Chronicle', in Wales and the Welsh in the Middle Ages, ed. by R. A. Griffiths and P. R. Schofield (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2011), pp. 29–45.
  • David Stephenson, ‘Entries Relating to Arwystli and Powys in the Welsh Chronicles, 1128–32’, Montgomeryshire Collections, 99 (2011), 45–51.
  • David Stephenson, 'The "Resurgence" of Powys in the Late Eleventh and Early Twelfth Centuries', Anglo-Norman Studies, 30 (2007), 182–95.
  • David Stephenson, 'Welsh Chronicles' Accounts of the Mid-Twelfth Century', Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, 56 (2008), 45–57.

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