Petrovskaia, Natalia I.


Petrovskaia, Natalia I., Delw y byd: a medieval Welsh encyclopedia, MHRA Library of Medieval Welsh Literature, London: Modern Humanities Research Association, 2020.

  • Book/Monograph
Citation details
Delw y byd: a medieval Welsh encyclopedia
Modern Humanities Research Association
Abstract (cited)

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 This includes sections of two previously unpublished medieval witnesses of the text.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.

Subjects and topics
Welsh literature
textual editing
Darina Knoops, Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
January 2021, last updated: January 2022