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Taliesin and Iolo Morgannwg

Edward Williams was a 18th Century Welsh historian, poet, collector and  a forger. He better known by his bardic name;  Iolo Morgannwg , he wrote that Taliesin had an association with Gower and in particular Loughor.   


The Iolo Manuscripts (Taliesin Williams.  A selection of ancient Welsh manuscripts, in prose and verse, from the collection made by the late Edward Williams, Iolo Morganwg for the purpose of forming a continuation of the Myfyrian archaiology; page 40 ) (13)  state  Taliesin’s association with Gower and Loughor in particular.


It says that Taliesin was bard to King Urien and that Urien held court at Oystermouth near Swansea.


Talhaiarn (Urien’s court bard before Taliesin), the father of Tangwn, presided in the chair of Urien Rheged, at Caer-Gwyroswydd (Oystermouth, Swansea), after the expulsion of the Irish from Gower, Carnwyllion (near Llanelli), Cantrev-Bychan Ystrad Twyi near Carreg Cennin), and the Cantref of Iscennen (between the river Towy and the River Amman, from Llandeilo in the north to Ammanford). The said chair was established at Caer-Gwyroswydd, or Ystum Llwynarth (both Oystermouth Swansea), where Urien Rheged was accustomed to hold his national and royal court. (118)


Iolo also claims that Taliesin wrote in a form of Welsh that could be identified as a South Wales dialect:

 “Taliesin' s intercourse with Gower [[Rheged]] and its Reguli is sufficiently
decided by the several poems addressed by him to those personages. He also
writes in the Gwentian dialect  of which district he was, doubtless, a native. “
See his compositions, Myv. Arch. vol. I. In his "Kad Goddeu" he says,

" Chwaryeis yn Llychwr
Cysgais ym mhorphor."

I have played at Llychwr (Loughor) and slept in purple.

He also claims that  when Taliesin was an old man and just before he died, he  came back to Oystermouth to visit King Urien’s son Riwallon,


“Taliesin, in his old age, returned to Caer-Gwyroswydd, to Riwallon, the son of
Urien ; after which he visited Cedig, the son of Ceredig, the son of Cuneddav Wledig, where he died, and was buried with high honours, such as should always be shown to a man who ranked among the principal wise-men of the Cimbric nation ; and Taliesin, chief of the bards, was the highest of the most exalted class, either in literature, wisdom, the science of vocal song, or any other attainment, whether sacred or profane.”


Taliesin was a historic character and was bard to King Urien of Rheged. His poems in praise of Urien, written in Brythonic or old Welsh are some of the earlest British literature.







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