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Y Gododin: A Poem of the Battle of Cattraeth
Classic series of Brythonic elegies for the warriors of the northern British kingdom of Gododin who fell against the Saxons in the Battle of Catraeth (probably Catterick in Yorkshire) ca. 603.
Paperback, 148 pages
Published July 7th 2006 by Dodo Press
(first published 603)
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I, um, really like reading translators' notes. It is a weakness. But they do take up rather more pages than the actual poem, so I feel justified. And what I found interesting is that the translators here basically say, on several occasions, 'we have no idea whether this word is a proper name, a misspelled version of X, a word we no longer know the meaning of, or what'. So some of the named heroes are only named because we know that name actually existed, from contemporary works, or because no on ...more
A true classic. I read the John Williams (1811-1862) translation which has an excellent preface. Come for the tantalizing references to Urien and stay for the knee-deep pools of gore and a lesson about the dangers of drinking mead before wine.