Raphael Sackmann

A Welsh version of Dares's Trojan War from NLW Peniarth 25: Edition with translation and commentary

In all the surviving medieval manuscripts, the so-called Ystorya Dared, the Welsh adaption of Dares Phrygius’s De excidio Troiae historia, is transmitted within a historiographic context, especially with Brut y Brenhinedd, the Middle Welsh version of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae. Together with other texts, they form a cycle which postulates a direct line of descent including Noah from the Old Testament, Aeneas and Brutus of Troy, up to contemporary medieval Welsh rulers (compare POPPE 2009: 262–264, and JÄCKE 2011: 29–31).

Although ‘Ystorya Dared’ is usually considered to be a mere “prequel, or introduction, to Brut y Brenhinedd” (POPPE 2009: 264), it is obviously part of a medieval Welsh understanding of their world, thus deserving of a closer examination.

Apart from digital diplomatic editions of medieval Welsh manuscripts, and an outdated edition of one version of the text without translation (RHŶS/EVANS 1890), there is only an unpublished Welsh language edition of several versions of ‘Ystorya Dared’, also without translation (OWENS 1951).

Therefore, my thesis aims to provide an edition which conforms to the latest philological standards and includes an extensive commentary, as well as an appropriate and comprehensible English translation, in order to facilitate further reception of and discussion on this seemingly rather neglected adaption of the ‘Troy story’. In doing so, the edition will be based on the manuscript Peniarth 25 (Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Peniarth MS 25) which contains a hitherto not edited version of ‘Ystorya Dared’.

Cited sources:

JÄCKE, Anja: “Auf den Spuren des insularen Dares”. In: BOCK, Franziska; BRONNER, Dagmar; SCHLÜTER, Dagmar (eds.): Allerlei Keltisches. Studien zu Ehren von Erich Poppe. Studies in honour of Erich Poppe. Berlin: curach bhán, 2011, 29–44.

OWENS, B. G., “Y fersiynau Cymraeg o Dares Phrygius (Ystorya Dared)” (unpubl. MA thesis). University of Wales, 1951.

POPPE, Erich: „The Matter of Troy and Insular Versions of Dares’s De Excidio Troiae Historia. An Exercise in Textual Typology.“ Beiträge zur Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft 19 (2009): 253–298.

RHŶS, John; EVANS, J. Gwenogvryn: The text of the Bruts from the Red Book of Hergest. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1890.