The Mabinogi

It is believed that the legends of the Mabinogion are some of the earliest Welsh stories in existence. They were preserved in writing during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in manuscripts such as The White Book of Rhydderch and The Red Book of Hergest.

The eleven ancient stories took place in an enchanted landscape of magic and mystery, of fantastic creatures and strange spirits that seem very distant from our lives today. Yet within these tales are characters whose struggles with themes of fall and redemption, loyalty and betrayal, love and loathing, that still make them alive and familiar to their modern audience.

Although academics believe that a mistake by a copier of manuscripts led to the form ‘mabinogion’ (as opposed to ‘mabinogi’), this term is now used to refer to eleven stories which include the tales of Culhwch and Olwen, The Four Branches of the Mabinogi (Pwyll Prince of Dyfed, Branwen Daughter of Llŷr, Manawydan Son of Llŷr, Math Son of Mathonwy), Lludd and Llefelys, The Three Romances (The Lady of the Fountain, Peredur Son of Efrawg, Geraint Son of Erbin), The Dream of Macsen Wledig and The Dream of Rhonabwy.

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