an 18 part online course with Dr Gwilym Morus-Baird

The Four Branches of the Mabinogi is an old Celtic classic that was first written down about 900 years ago. It appears to be a collection of traditional myths that probably originated in the oral storytelling tradition of the early Welsh.

The Four Branches are set in a past where the Welsh aristocracy still claim the Crown of Britain, and consider the whole island to be their sovereign territory. Historically speaking, this would have been about 2000 years ago.

On this course we explore The Four Branches as teaching tales for the young nobility of medieval Wales, and consider how this ancient Celtic mythology was used by storytellers. We will ask what the tales could mean, because, as Pwyll himself declares in the first branch “There is some magical meaning there.”

Before you begin, please get yourself a decent translation of The Native Tales. The one I suggest is by Sioned Davies in The Mabinogion (OUP 2007). There is also a Kindle edition.

Here’s what some of last year’s students said:

Please sign up for the monthly membership to follow this course.

£49 = $60 as of April 2023.

This is a recurring monthly fee that you can cancel at any time.

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This course is made up of pre-recorded video lessons, detailed notes and translations, and recorded discussions with live groups, all together about 75hrs of course videos.

The course chapters are:

Chapter 1: What are these stories for?
Chapter 2: The Magical Huntsman.
Chapter 3: Rhiannon.
Chapter 4: The Voyage To Annwfn.
Chapter 5: The War in Annwfn.
Chapter 6: The Young Fool.
Chapter 7: The Wise Hero.
Chapter 8: Plight of the Sacred Feminine.
Chapter 9: A Broken Myth.
Chapter 10: The Taliesin and Ceridwen Connection.
Chapter 11: Culhwch and Olwen.
Chapter 12: Interlacing.
Chapter 13: Magical Speech.
Chapter 14: Liminal Identities.
Chapter 15: Bird People.
Chapter 16: Special Children.
Chapter 17: Hunting the Sacred.
Chapter 18: Ouroboros.

Membership also gives you access to all of the materials on the website, including 4 other video courses to follow at your own pace: The Taliesin Tradition, The Native Tales, The Three Romances and The Welsh Fair Folk, making up 120 hours of video lectures, discussions, notes and references.

You can stop your membership at anytime, there’s no obligation to continue a course you’ve started.

Level Price  
Member £49.00 per Month. Select

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If you would like to try a free course before you sign up, please click here.