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The Mythic Fortress

Concluding this short series on Welsh Arthurian poems we take a look at the broader use of the ‘enchanted fortress’ motif and see how it’s used to evoke several different themes, both sociological and mythological.

I’ll be taking this week off from the Facebook live videos but will be returning the week after (2.11.21) with with another series, beginning with questions sent in by you kind folks. If you do have anything you would like to ask me (you can ask me anything!), then please comment below and I’ll try my best to answer.

Who Is The Gatekeeper?

Pa Gur is perhaps the oldest Welsh Arthurian poem preserved in manuscript. In it, the Welsh Arthur seeks entry for himself and his men into the fortress of Glewlwyd Gafaelfawr. But some allusions in the poem suggest that not all is as it seems, and there may be something else going on, something that evokes a much older thread in the Arthurian myth regarding death, honour and praise.

The Spoils of Annwfn

Continuing with this short series on Welsh Arthurian poems, this talk takes a look at Preideu Annwfyn (The Spoils of Annwfn), one of the better known poems from the medieval Book of Taliesin. Like many other Taliesin poems from this period, it is a strange, ambiguous and multilayered text, and although many commentators have attempted to pin its ultimate meaning down, it remains a largely mysterious poem. In this talk we touch on at least some of the more definite things that can be said about it, and dwell in the mystery of all the things that can’t!

The Witch, the Hare and the Saint

The witch transformed into a hare is an old folk tale found across many parts of Europe. In Wales, the story appears to have a connection to Saint Melangell, the protector of ŵyn Melangell (‘Melangell’s lambs’), the traditional Welsh name for hares.

Don’t forget that the next courses, The Taliesin Tradition and The Four Branches of the Mabinogi, begin in a few weeks. Places are still available for the time being.