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Bibliographic information

Language: Welsh

Covers years: 682–1332


Brut y Tywysogion, Peniarth MS 20 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 generally the most complete.

The chronicle begins, like all versions of Brut y Tywysogion, with the death of Cadwaladr, last king of Britain, in 682, and runs to 1332. Until 1198 it is ultimately dependent on the same material as both other versions of the Brut (Brenhinedd y Saesson and the Llyfr Coch Hergest version), and up to the beginning of 1282 it is ultimately dependent on the same material as the Llyfr Coch Hergest version. Its account of the period after 1282 is unique, and in addition to this it contains throughout the earlier period some material not present in the other versions of the Brut. 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.

The one manuscript of importance for this version of Brut y Tywysogion is Peniarth MS. 20, which was almost certainly produced at the Cistercian abbey of Valle Crucis in Powys Fadog, around 1330. This manuscript contains Y Bibyl Ynghymraec, a Welsh version of the Promptuarium Bibliae attributed to Petrus Pictaviensis, then Brut y Tywysogion on pp. 65–302, and a bardic grammar following. There is a change of hand at 1282 (p. 292), and the last two annals, for 1331 and 1332, were written contemporaneously with the events described.

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: Department of History, University of Aberdeen, 2005).
  • Brut y Tywysogion, or, the Chronicle of the Princes: Peniarth MS. 20 Version, ed. and trans. by Thomas Jones, History and Law Series, 11 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1952). [This translation, with English notes and discussion, contains a more complete list of MSS than the 1941 edition]
  • Brut y Tywysogion, Peniarth MS. 20, ed. by Thomas Jones, History and Law Series, 6 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1941).

Secondary Scholarship

Secondary Scholarship - Specific to this version

  • Gifford and T. M. Charles-Edwards, 'The Continuation of Brut y Tywysogion in Peniarth MS.20', in Ysgrifau a Cherddi Cyflwynedig i Daniel Huws / Essays and Poems presented to Daniel Huws, ed. by Tegwyn Jones and E. B. Fryde (Aberystwyth: National Library of Wales, 1994), pp. 293–305.
  • J. G. Edwards, review of Brut y Tywysogion, Peniarth MS. 20, ed. by Thomas Jones (1941), English Historical Review, 57 (1942), 370–75.

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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