Delw y byd‘Image of the world’
- Middle Welsh
Delw y byd is a Middle Welsh translation of Book 1 of the medieval Latin encyclopedia Imago mundi, written by Honorius Augustodunensis.
The text of the first book of Imago mundi, and therefore Delw y byd, can be divided into four sections: Earth, Water, Air and Fire. The first section (Earth) provides a description of the world in general, Paradise, Asia, Europe and Africa. The section on Water deals with the oceans, fresh and salt water, fish inhabiting the sea, and tempests. This is followed by the Air-section which discusses the twelve winds and aerial phenomena. The final section on Fire deals with astronomy (according to the Ptolemaic (geocentric) system) and ends in a description of the Heaven of heavens.
Four distinct versions exist of Honorius Augustodunensis’ Imago mundi: 1110, 1123, 1133, and 1139. There are two different versions of Delw y byd: one translation is based on the 1110 version, and another on the 1123 version. There is a third possible translation, which may be a variant of the 1110 version. The chapter numbering system has been taken from Natalia Petrovskaia’s edition of Delw y byd.
The different medieval manuscript versions:
- Version A = translation of the 1110 version of Imago mundi
- Version B = translation of the 1123 version of Imago mundi
- Version A516 = possibly a third translation, possibly a variant on version A
Medieval manuscript witnesses:
- Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Peniarth MS 17 [s. xiii2]pp. 17–26Version A
contains: chapters 53 – 147 
omitting: chapters 78, 120 – 125, 138
- Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Peniarth MS 5 = Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch, part 1 [c. 1350]ff. 2r–4rVersion B
contains: chapters 12 – 81
omitting: chapters 44 – 47, 50-51, 53 –57, 71 – 73, 78
- Oxford, Jesus College, MS 111 = Red Book of Hergest (Llyfr Coch Hergest) [s. xiv-xv]ff. 121v–125r cols 502–516Version B + Version A516
B contains: title, chapters 1 – 81
B omitting: chapters 4, 44 – 47, 50-51, 53 – 57, 71 – 73, 78
A516 version: additional chapters 74, 77, 67 – 69
- Oxford, Jesus College, MS 111 = Red Book of Hergest (Llyfr Coch Hergest) [s. xiv-xv]ff. 242v–248v cols 975–999Version A
contains: introductory letters, chapters 1 – 87, an additional original chapter, and 88
omitting: chapters 4, 53 – 56, 71, 78
- Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson B 467 [c.1400]ff. 70v–72vVersion B
contains: chapters 38 – 41, 59 – 63
- Philadelphia, Library Company, MS 8680.O [s. xivex – s. xvi2]ff. 1r–2rVersion B
contains: chapters 11 – 12, 18 – 24
- Early modern manuscript witnesses:
- Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, MS 5267B = Y Casgliad Brith [s. xv1]ff. 1–10
- Cardiff, Central Library, MS 2.83 [s. xvimed]pp. 25–26Early Modern Welsh adaptation of Version B
contains: chapters 5 – 8
- Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Llanstephan MS 137 [s. xvii2/4]Contains Version A of Delw y Byd, copied from cols. 975-999 of the Red Book of Hergest (Jesus, Oxford College, MS 111)
- Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Llanstephan MS 148 [s. xviiex]ff. 91–98Contains Delw y Byd, copied from cols. 502-516 of the Red Book of Hergest (Jesus, Oxford College, MS 111)
- Middle Welsh
13th century (earliest medieval manuscript witness) down to the mid-16th century (latest early modern manuscript witness).
Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.
This edition presents extracts from the medieval Welsh encyclopedia Delw y Byd. A medieval Welsh translation of the first book of the Latin encyclopedia known as Imago Mundi, written by Honorius Augustodunensis in the first quarter of the twelfth century, this text is a fine example of the ties between the intellectual world of Europe and Wales in the late-twelfth/early-thirteenth centuries, when the text was translated, ties that brought across the scientific knowledge based on Roman and late antique sources. Structured according to the four elements: earth, water, air and fire, the text presents geographical, anthropological, and astronomical information, often with historical and mythological contexts. The present edition follows that organizational principle, providing a glimpse into the medieval understanding of the overarching structure of the universe.
The text is presented in its historical and literary context, with an updated account of its transmission. A commentary on the scientific context of the most interesting passages is provided, as well as a linguistic one. The edition also provides an overview of the variants by printing parallel texts based on all surviving medieval manuscript witnesses for a number of selected chapters. This includes sections of two previously unpublished medieval witnesses of the text. The accompanying glossary includes vocabulary from all extracts included in the edition.
The introduction provides the following:
- Background information on and the different versions of Imago mundi
- Information on previous editions of Imago mundi and Delw y byd
- A description of the content of the text
- Information on the different manuscripts which contain Delw y byd and their manuscript contexts
- Information on the different versions of Delw y byd
- Information on the relationships between the Imago mundi and Delw y byd manuscripts
- Notes on the editorial method and commentary.
- Text A: provides the whole text from Peniarth 17 and uses the fuller copy in the Red Book of Hergest (cols. 977-994) to fill in the missing chapters. The Latin text is printed opposite to the Welsh text.
- Text B: combines the White Book of Rhydderch and the shorter copy of the Red Book of Hergest (cols. 502-516).
- Text C: provides the remainder of the fuller copy of the Red Book of Hergest (cols. 994-998) which was not used for text A.
- Appendix: provides other minor pieces from the Red book of Hergest and Cardiff 6 (now known as Cardiff MS 2.83) manuscripts.
The introduction provides information on:
- The content of Imago mundi
- The different manuscripts which contain Delw y byd and their relation to one another and the Latin text
- Editorial methods and the ordering of the different texts in the edition
- The author of the Imago mundi, Honorius Augustodunensis
Secondary sources (select)
The present article discusses the concept of Europe in Delw y Byd, the medieval Welsh translation of the geographical section of the twelfth-century encyclopedia Imago mundi, written in Latin by Honorius Augustodunensis. The research presented here forms part of the project ‘Defining Europe in Medieval European Geographical Discourse: the Image of the World and its Legacy, 1110-1500’ funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. An early version of this article was presented at the Japan Society for Celtic Studies Annual Congress in October 2017 as 「ウェールズの地理学 書 Delw y Byd における「ヨーロッパ」のコンセプトについて」.
[EN] Delw y Byd : the Welsh medieval translation of a Latin encyclopaedia and the creation of a geographical tract.
The present article is an investigation into the origins of the Welsh geographical treatise Delw y Byd and its relation with its Latin original, Imago Mundi. It presents an overview of the manuscript tradition of the Welsh text, and identifies the branch of the Latin tradition from which Delw y Byd is derived. It establishes the existence of two independent Welsh translations of the first, geographical, book of Imago Mundi and demonstrates that one of these translations is based on the Latin text represented in the fragment of Imago Mundi preserved in Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson B 484. A date and approximate provenance are provided for Rawlinson B 484, and new light is thrown on the potential Welsh contacts of another manuscript of Imago Mundi, Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 66.
The present article examines the changes undergone by etymological formulae in the process of translation, in the 13th century, of Honorius Augustodunensis’ 12th century Latin treatise Imago Mundi ‘Image of the World’ into Welsh. In order to make the amount of evidence manageable, the article focuses on a specific feature of the etymological formulae and their translations – the word quasi. Depending on the context, this word is sometimes rendered into Welsh, but more often disappears from the translated text. The aim of the present article is to provide an explanation for this phenomenon. The data is, for the Latin text, taken from Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 66, and for the Welsh text, from Oxford, Jesus College, 111 and Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Peniarth 17. The article also provides, as background information, a short description of the relationship between the Latin and the Welsh manuscript traditions of this text, which the author intends to publish elsewhere in full. An Appendix provides all of the examples of the etymological use of quasi from the Latin and Welsh texts examined, along with the author’s French translations.
Pp. 6-9 discuss the content, earliest manuscripts, and different recensions of Imago mundi, as well as a Welsh manuscript which contains this Latin text (Exeter, Cathedral Library, 3514).
Pp. 9-10 discuss the different medieval manuscripts and recensions of Delw y byd. The omitted and included chapters are noted per manuscript as well.The discussion on pp. 12-15 shows that the translators of Delw y byd followed their source text as closely as possible, and that the minimal intervention was aimed at making the material clear to its new Welsh audience.
Flint’s chapter divisions are taken over by Natalia Petrovkskaia in most of her articles and in her edition of Delw y byd (with the chapter division of Lewis and Diverres' edition between brackets).
In her introduction, Flint provides information on:
- The author of Imago mundi, Honorius Augustodunensis
- Possible candidates for the “Henricus” to whom Imago mundi is dedicated in some English manuscripts
- The structure of the work
- The sources Honorius used for the work
The Latin text of Imago mundi printed opposite to text A in Lewis and Diverres’ edition of Delw y byd has been taken from this work.
The chapter division of this edition has been taken over by Lewis and Diverres. Natalia Petrovskaia reproduces this chapter division in square brackets in most of her articles and in her edition of Delw y byd.
The first extract (41. Y Byd, pp. 116-118) is taken from pp. 25-26 (chapters 6-7) of Lewis and Diverres’ edition, and discusses the five zones of the earth and the TO-division of the world. The introduction provides more information on the zones and TO-division, as well as some information on the knowledge of the world at large present in Wales before the arrival of Imago mundi/Delw y byd.
The second extract (44. Affrig, pp. 123-125) is taken from pp. 45-48 (chapters 32-33) of Lewis and Diverres’ edition, and discusses Africa and its various countries, cities, places and seas. The introduction provides an overview of the content given in the extract alongside some extra information.
The third extract (45. Ewrop, pp. 125-127) is taken from pp. 39-45 (chapters 22-25 and 31 (omitting the last sentence)) of Lewis and Diverres’ edition, and discusses Europe and some of its countries (Riphean Mountains, Lower Scythia, Upper Germany, Lower Germany, Britain, and Ireland) and rivers. The introduction provides an overview of the content given in the extract alongside some extra information.
Pen. 17.doc > see “t. 17” – “t. 26” for the transcription of Delw y byd.
Mynegair Peniarth 17.doc > see for an index of the contents of Peniarth 17.
- On the first page under “Delw y Byd”: the number on the left represents the manuscript page number, whilst the numbers to the right represent the page and line numbers of Lewis and Diverres’ edition of Delw y Byd.
- On the second page under “Delw y Byd”: the number on the left represents the page number of Lewis and Diverres’ edition, whilst the numbers on the right represent the page and line numbers of the manuscript.
nod. Pen. 17.doc > see for notes. direct link
The “Images of the World” Manuscripts Database of the Imago Mundi Tradition is part of the 3-year research project Defining ‘Europe’ in Medieval European Geographical Discourse: the Image of the World and its Legacy, 1110-1500, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) under the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme VENI. The project commenced on February 1, 2017, at The Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON), Faculty of Humanities at Utrecht University.
The database includes over 350 manuscripts containing the Imago Mundi of Honorius Augustodunensis and its vernacular adaptations. Manuscripts containing fragments, extracts, and extensive quotations in compilations are also included. Vernacular texts loosely based on the Imago mundi, as well as texts that constitute translations in the conventional sense of the word are included in the database. (For a full list of texts currently included, see below).
The database is intended both a tool for researchers interested in the Imago Mundi tradition and a way of presenting the results of the Defining Europe project. One of the goals of the project is to establish how the medieval geographical definition of Europe as found in the Imago Mundi spread in the period 1110-1500. The dissemination of Honorius’s text through Europe is thus a central interest of the database. The manuscript catalogue presented in the database is thus complemented by an interactive map, permitting the user to track the historical locations of individual manuscripts (where known).
P. 306: mentions “Imago mundi” amongst the content of Peniarth MS 5
P. 307: discusses ff. ii-iiii of the manuscript, which contain Delw y byd
Peniarth MS 17 is discussed on pp. 339-340
P. 339: mentions “concerning the FOUR ELEMENTS, the PLANETS,&c.” amongst the content of Peniarth 17
Pp. 339-340: discusses pp. 17-26 of the manuscript, which contain Delw y byd
P. 2: discusses cols. 502 l.19 – 516 l.26) of the manuscript, which contains Delw y byd
Pp. 7-8: discusses cols. 975-999 of the manuscript, which contain Delw y byd
Cardiff, Central Library, 2.83 (here referred to as Cardiff, Free Library, MS 6) is discussed on pp. 104-110
P. 104: discusses pp. 25-26 of the manuscript, which contain Delw y byd
P. 718: mentions “Imago mundi” amongst the content of the manuscript that is copied from the Red Book of Hergest (Oxford, Jesus College, MS 111, see pp. 1-29)
Llanstephan MS 148 is discussed on pp. 726-727
P. 726 mentions “Imago mundi” (ff. 91-98) amongst the content of the manuscript that is copied from the Red Book of Hergest (Oxford, Jesus College, MS 111, see pp. 1-29)
P. 2: mentions Delw y byd amongst the content of 8680.O. and its location on ff. 1r-2v.
P. 5: mentions the scribe, date, and script of the Delw y byd-fragment.P. 6-7: mentions the physical production (pricking ruling, leaf size, writing space, number of lines and ordering of folia) of the Delw y byd-fragment and how it most likely originates from the same manuscript as the calendar on ff. 3-4.
On pp. 251, 253 and 265 of the article she mentions the importance of this fragment as the possible exemplar of the A Version of Delw y byd, the Welsh translation of Imago mundi.
P. 9: mentions Delw y byd amongst the content of Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, MS 5267B and its location on ff.1-10 of the manuscript.
P. 11: classifies Delw y byd as “geographical or the natural world”.
P. 225: mentions Delw y byd amongst the content of Philadelphia, Library Company, MS 8680.O, as well as the text's location and included chapters in the manuscript. Roberts identifies these fragments as belonging to Version B of Lewis and Diverres’ edition.
page url: https://codecs.vanhamel.nl/Delw_y_byd
numerical alternative: https://codecs.vanhamel.nl/index.php?curid=56494
page ID: 56494
page ID tracker: https://codecs.vanhamel.nl/index.php?title=Show:ID&id=56494