John T Koch
The Gododdin of Aneirin - Text and Context from Dark Age North Britain
University of Wales Press, 1997.
Secondhand paperback, £110
This scholarly paperback is an ambitious reconstruction of the original form of the Gododdin - the famous poem-cycle of the Britons of Edinburgh, c. 600AD. John Koch here presents a speculative “original” Welsh text, and a facing page translation into modern English. Because the Gododdin survives only in one corrupt later medieval manuscript, Koch, who is a highly regarded language expert, has restored the corrupt and distorted words to give a speculative reading of the original. The introduction has a lot of information about the society and hsitory that produced the poem, and the notes at the end contain a huge amount of scholarly commentary on the language and the processes of reconstructing the text. The cover picture shows a 6th-7th century Pictish silver chain from central Scotland - aristocratic warrior bling from the time and place of the Gododdin! Whether you are interested in early Welsh or early Scottish culture, poetry and music, this is an essential addition to your library. This book is long out of print and extremely hard to find.
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