Welsh Classics Series, The:4 Aneirin - Y Gododdin


Language: English

ISBN: 9780863833540

Current Publication Date: 2005

Format: Hardback

Number of Pages: 205

Title available as:

  1. About the book
  2. Book Reviews


The land of Gododdin lay around and south of Edinburgh. Sometime about 595-600 AD a crack warrior-band from that region set out against an English army. They met in battle at Catterick and the Gododdin men were overwhelmed and slaughtered, to a man.

Y Gododdin is the poem composed, as it were by a witness of that notorious rout, in the first language of that nothern part of sixth-century Britain-Welsh. At the earliest known major work of literature in a native language of the British Isles, it is of vast cultural importance. It survives for us in a thirteenth-century written source known as The Book of Aneirin. The poem is at once an elegy for the slain heroes and a eulogy of their excellence and bravery as fighting men.

In concept, Y Gododdin is a poem in the heroic mould, but it records and celebrates events that were of course a total disaster.