Jacobs (Nicolas)

  • s. xx / s. xxi
Jacobs, Nicolas, “Non, Nonna, Nonnita: confusions of gender in Brythonic hagionymy”, Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, New Series 23 (2017): 19–33.  

According to tradition the name of the mother of St David is Nonn, in Latin Nonna, but the name appears first in the Vita Sancti David by Rhygyfarch ap Sulien (1056/7-1099) as Nonnita. It is generally supposed that this is to be derived from the shorter form of the name, though this has so far not been explained. It has been suggested from time to time (1) that Nonn should be considered not as the origin of Nonnita but as an abbreviation of it, (2) that Nonn is not a female but a male name and designates not David’s mother but a companion of his, (3) that the name itself derives from a misunderstanding of a place-name. It is proposed to call all three of these suppositions in question, and in particular to demonstrate that Nonn/Nonna is a credible early Welsh personal name, and further to suggest how Nonnita may be derived from it. Though there is no conclusive proof that Nonn was the name of David’s mother, the claim that it could not have been is erroneous.

Jacobs, Nicolas, “Irish influence on medieaval Welsh vocabulary: the case of the gnomic poems”, in: Liam Mac Amhlaigh, and Brian Ó Curnáin (eds), Ilteangach, ilseiftiúil: féilscríbhinn in ómós do Nicholas Williams = A festschrift in honour of Nicholas Williams, Dublin: Arlen House, 2012. 97–120.
Jacobs, Nicolas, Early Welsh gnomic and nature poetry, MHRA Library of Medieval Welsh Literature, London: MHRA, 2012.
Jacobs, Nicolas, “Geufel: an unidentified plant in the Red Book Gorwynion”, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 62 (Winter, 2011): 81–88.
Jacobs, Nicolas, “A fresh look at Gwarchan Adebon”, in: Stefan Zimmer (ed.), Kelten am Rhein: Akten des dreizehnten Internationalen Keltologiekongresses, 23. bis 27. Juli 2007 in Bonn, 2 vols, vol. 2: Philologie: Sprachen und Literaturen, Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 2009. 105–109.
Jacobs, Nicolas, “Animadversions on bastardy in the Red Book of Hergest: Early Welsh gnomic poems IV.6”, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 55 (Summer, 2008): 51–59.
Jacobs, Nicolas, “Groeg ac Arabeg yn Llyfr Taliesin? T. 4. 25: yr amistra, edris ertri kila”, Studia Celtica 41 (2007): 229–231.
Jacobs, Nicolas, “A Jacksonian emendation revisited: RBH 1030.21-22 bit granclef glew”, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 48 (Winter, 2004): 101–106.
Jacobs, Nicolas, “Lledwag kronffair: what kind of fair and why so little frequented?”, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 44 (Winter, 2002): 97–102.
Jacobs, Nicolas, “Fled Bricrenn and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, in: Pádraig Ó Riain (ed.), Fled Bricrenn: reassessments, 10, London: Irish Texts Society, 2000. 40–55.
Jacobs, Nicolas, “Red, brown, and grey cuckoos: a problem in poetic ornithology”, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 40 (Winter, 2000): 27–34.
Jacobs, Nicholas, “The seafarer and the birds: a possible Irish parallel”, Celtica 23 (1999): 125–131.
Jacobs, Nicolas, “Adjectival collocations in the poetry of the early Cywyddwr: a preliminary survey”, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 31 (Summer, 1996): 55–70.
Jacobs, Nicholas, “Drysni geirfaol y gwahanglwyf - claf, clafwr, clawr, clafr”, in: Joseph F. Eska, R. Geraint Gruffydd, and Nicolas Jacobs (eds), Hispano-Gallo-Brittonica: essays in honour of professor D. Ellis Evans on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1995. 66–78.
Eska, Joseph F., R. Geraint Gruffydd, and Nicolas Jacobs (eds), Hispano-Gallo-Brittonica: essays in honour of professor D. Ellis Evans on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1995.
Jacobs, Nicholas, “Geirfa diota Dafydd: GDG 132, 1-6 gildio, golden ladin”, Studia Celtica 28 (1994): 174–177.
Jacobs, Nicolas, “Celtic saga and the contexts of old English elegiac poetry”, Études Celtiques 26 (1989): 95–142.  
[FR] Les élégies en vieil-anglais sont des poèmes lyriques ou moraux, exprimant la souffrance, la solitude, le regret du passé, etc. L’auteur leur compare les poèmes gallois anciens conservés dans le Livre noir et le Livre rouge : ces poèmes se présentent comme des extraits de légendes (cycles de Llywarch Hen, de Heledd). Il est vraisemblable que les littératures anglaises et galloises ont connu un genre narratif destiné à la récitation, et mêlant prose et poésie.

[EN] Old English elegies are lyrical and moral poems expressing solitude, suffering, regret for the past etc. The author compares them to the ancient Welsh poems preserved in the Black Book of Carmarthen and in the Red Book of Hergest: these poems are taken as extracts from sagas (e.g. the cycles of Llywarch Hen and of Heledd). It seems probable that Old English and Welsh literatures had a special narrative genre, intended to be performed before an audience, in which prose and verse were mixed together.
Journal volume:  Persée – Études Celtiques, vol. 26, 1989: <link>
Jacobs, Nicolas, “The Green Knight: an unexplored Irish parallel”, Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 4 (Winter, 1982): 1–4.
Jacobs, Nicolas, “The Old English heroic tradition in the light of Welsh evidence”, Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 2 (Winter, 1981): 9–20.


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Dennis Groenewegen
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March 2018