minstrel: Documentation assistance
Taliesin of Earthstar
taliesin_o at juno.com
Sun Jan 14 20:14:50 PST 2001
On Sun, 14 Jan 2001 10:30:04 -0800 Heather Rose Jones
<hrjones at socrates.Berkeley.EDU> writes:
> I suspect this is a reference to mnemonic lists of words in
> a particular semantic field beginning with the letters of the
> (Ogam) alphabet. <snip>
I had guessed that it was something similar -- mnemonic poems, perhaps of
things such as geneological lists or what-have-you -- but was not sure if
I was reading in my own pre-suppositions.
> >2: Is there any provenance or documentation for the list
> > mentioned above?
> > I halfway suspect that the list above is "post-period
> > Romanticism," but if someone could direct me to some
> > definitive sources, I'd love to investigate further.
> There is a great deal of material on Irish bardic lore and
> training to be found in surviving law tracts and similar
> material. Whether the above list exists in that precise form,
> or whether it is a compilation by O'Curry from a variety of
> sources, I don't know, but there's no particular reason to
> be suspicious of it on general principle.<snip>
Perhaps my cynicism relates to my first example of "documentation" for
the Welsh Bards came -- I later found -- from Edward Williams/Iolo
Morgannwg. Being a cynic may not be a good thing, but "once bitten...."
> For a more direct line to period material on the Irish bardic
> traditions, there are a variety of editions of medieval manuscripts
> on the topic. (If you start getting into things like manuals on
> grammar or poetics intended for bards, you almost have an
> unmanageable amount of material.) Four Courts Press
> <http://www.four-courts-press.ie/> and the Dublin Institute for
> Advanced Studies are good places to start breaking your budget on
> this topic.
Splendid -- and my curiosity thanks you, even if my budget will probably
This looks like a great starting point for Irish Bards, and you mentioned
one for the Welsh (the "Statute of Gruffudd ap Cynan") -- let me add two
more questions, if I may.
1: Was there any real degree of documentable overlap or similarity
between the Welsh and Irish "bardic traditions" by "in period" times?
2: And reguarding the Statute specifically: admittedly, it's a
late-medieval document, but was there any relevance for a Welsh Bard of
earlier times (specifically, during the reign of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth)?
Justin W. Eiler / Madog Hir of Aire Faucon
taliesin_o <AT> juno.com
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