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Arthurian Period Sources Vol 7: Gildas
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Arthurian Period Sources Vol 7: Gildas

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  14 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Arthurian Period Sources Volume 7: Gildas: The Ruin of Britain and Other Documents
Hardcover, 168 pages
Published January 1st 1978 by Phillimore & Company
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A good edition of a very good text. Gildas' Ruin of Britain is presented both in English translation as well as the original Latin, together with a few other interesting bits from his pen. The notes are thorough, but scanty, and I would hate to approach the text without having read other Chronicles (as Gildas uses few names). A wacky writer, Gildas is fun to read when he's telling history, though the long list of Bible quotes can get tiring to plow through in a sitting.
Historians bemoan his unwillingness to provide us with a clear and concise history of his time. Post-structuralist revisionists decry him as a hystrionic with a vivid imagination because, fifteen hundred years after the events, they wish to claim that they know better than the eye-witness--they promote, without support, the idea that the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain occurred without bloodshed, without enslavement, and without oppression--the dark ages, in fact, we're a time of peace and love. ...more
Flint Johnson
A solid translation, still in use thirty-some years later. Which is important as he and Patrick's two letters are our only two primary sources for the period. Why not a fifth star? One could ask that a person versed enough in the Latin of the period to make such a translation might have added notes on several aspects of the text; the nature of the Bible he used, hazy passages, double meanings, and what not. He did not.
Curtis Runstedler
Gildas is an extraordinary historian, but his complaints are legion. He presents a fascinating set of monastic rules which did not inspire as much as St David or St Benedict, but nevertheless they remain interesting. Gildas' historical accounts are well-researched, taken from the writings from predominantly Rufinus and other early historians, and he integrates his own acerbic commentary for vitriolic effect.
I simply love to read these old histories. This is a good one.
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