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Gododdin - The Earliest British Literature Paperback – 31 Oct 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Gomer (31 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848515731
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848515734
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael Field on 14 Feb. 2013
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Mr. Thomas has produced a good account of the Gododdin poem but as with all translations of this powerful heroic defeat much is lost of the poetic resonance of the original - its graphic imagery and its internal literary devices are inevitably diluted. But there is a greater problem. The Gododdin are supposed to be a tribal group migrated from an eponymous location somewhere in the current Strathclyde region of Scotland - certainly North of Hadrian's Wall. However, a place called 'Manau Gododdin' according to a Nennius manuscript is wholly unknown in the Scottish or Northern British annals. Moreover, Gododdin in the Brythonic means 'an interruption, a break (of continuity)' - imputing a meaning of an interregnum occupied by an alien group i.e. not of the indigenous lineage.The conventional context of this battle, which is a cavalry charge is also wholly unfeasible even allowing for poetic licence. Three hundred or so 'men of Gwynedd' had no business travelling to 'Edinburgh' (Din Eidin in the text) and then to Catterick (Catraeth or Galltraeth in the text) to combat a vastly superior force of Saxons who almost certainly at this time and in that locality were likely to be Danish pirates. This action took place at Dunoding in Gwynedd and the battle at Galltraeth on the Lleyn peninsula and there are plenty of other location references in the poem to support this contention. It is indeed a very sad facet of the Welsh psyche that even at an academic level they do not feel worthy enough to recover their 'lost' or appropriated history and the Gododdin is but one of many similar examples. In summary, an intelligent version but one tainted by convention and lacking the courage of conviction. Mike Field.
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