The Mabinogion are the earliest prose literature of Britain. The stories were compiled in Middle Welsh in the 12th–13th centuries from oral traditions. The two main source manuscripts were created c, 1350–1410, as well as some earlier fragments. The title covers a collection of prose stories of widely different types. The highly sophisticated complexity of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi defy categorisation, the list is so diverse a leading scholar has challenged them as a true collection at all. Early scholars from the 18th century to the 1970s predominantly viewed the tales as fragmentary pre-Christian Celtic mythology and they are now seen as a sophisticated narrative tradition, both oral and written, with ancestral construction from oral storytelling, and overlay from Anglo-French influences. The first modern publications were English translations of several tales by William Owen Pughe in journals 1795,1821,1829, however it was Lady Charlotte Guest 1838–45 who first published the full collection, and bilingually in both Welsh and English.
She is often assumed to be responsible for the name Mabinogion, indeed, as early as 1632 the lexicographer John Davies quotes a sentence from Math fab Mathonwy with the notation Mabin. in his Antiquae linguae Britannicae. The Guest translation of 1877 in one volume, has been widely influential, the most recent translation is a compact version by Sioned Davies. John Bollard has published a series of volumes between with his own translation, with photography of the sites in the stories. The tales continue to inspire new fiction, dramatic retellings, visual artwork, the name first appears in 1795 in William Owen Pughes translation in the journal Cambrian Register, The Mabinogion, or Juvenile Amusements, being Ancient Welsh Romances. The name appears to have been current among Welsh scholars of the London-Welsh Societies and it was inherited as the title by the first publisher of the complete collection, Lady Charlotte Guest. The form mabynnogyon occurs once at the end of the first of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi in one manuscript and it is now generally agreed that this one instance was a mediaeval scribal error which assumed mabinogion was the plural of mabinogi.
But mabinogi is already a Welsh plural, which occurs correctly at the end of the three branches. The word mabinogi itself is something of a puzzle, although derived from the Welsh mab. Eric P. Hamp of the school traditions in mythology, found a suggestive connection with Maponos the Divine Son. Mabinogi properly applies only to the Four Branches, which is a tightly organised quartet very likely by one author, each of these four tales ends with the colophon thus ends this branch of the Mabinogi, hence the name. Lady Charlotte Guests work was helped by the research and translation work of William Owen Pughe
Nodens is a Celtic deity associated with healing, the sea and dogs. He was worshipped in ancient Britain, most notably in a complex at Lydney Park in Gloucestershire. He is equated with the Roman gods Mars, Mercury and Silvanus, and his name is cognate with that of the Irish mythological figure Nuada and the Welsh Nudd. The name Nodens probably derives from a Celtic stem *noudont- or *noudent-, making the connection with Nuada and Lludds hand, he detected an echo of the ancient fame of the magic hand of Nodens the Catcher. Similarly, Julius Pokorny derives the name from a Proto-Indo-European root *neu-d- meaning acquire, ranko Matasović has proposed that the name of this deity may come from proto-Celtic *snowdo-, meaning mist, clouds. The transition from *snoudo- to Nodons happened because the particle sN was changed to N in P-Celtic languages, such as Gaulish, Nodons name - which is in the nominative case - appears in inscriptions as Nodontī due to a change to the dative case. However, sN- was not reduced in Old Irish in which the cognate is attested as Núada ~ Núadat not *Snúada, which evidence reinforces Tolkiens derivation.
This imposing, Classical style temple building has been interpreted as an incubatio or dormitory for pilgrims to sleep. The complex was excavated in the 1920s by Sir Mortimer Wheeler. It has produced several inscriptions to Nodens, one, on a lead curse tablet, reads, It is conjectured that this lost ring is the ring of Silvianus found in the 19th century far away from Lydney. There is evidence of at least one temple priest. The cella has a floor, the surviving fragments of which depict dolphins, fish. The floor dates to the 4th century and was dedicated to the temple of Nodens by one Titus Flavius Senilis, the artifacts recovered include a bronze object, which may be a headdress or a vessel, showing a sea-god driving a chariot between torch-bearing putti and tritons. Miranda Green speculates that Senilis may have been the individual who wore this artifact, images of pilgrims and deities holding dogs occur at many Gaulish spring sanctuaries, and live sacred dogs were kept at the temple of Asclepius at Epidaurus in the Peloponnese.
The pins are associated with childbirth, the dogs, and the equating of Nodens with Silvanus, suggest a connection with hunting. According to Cook, the toponym Lydney derives from the Old English *Lydan-eġ, ‘Lludd’s Island. ’ However, the god Noadatus, equated with Mars in an inscription found at Mainz in Germany may be the same deity. The placename Maynooth, a town in north Co, Ireland, is an anglicisation of Magh Núad, which means plain of Núadu. The Gaelic-Irish surname Ó Nuadhain is believed to derive from the forename Nuadha, found particularly in County Galway, County Mayo and County Roscommon, the family were a sept of the Uí Fiachrach who settled in Cálraighe, in what is now County Sligo
The Guild Church of St Dunstan-in-the-West is in Fleet Street in the City of London. It is dedicated to a former Bishop of London and Archbishop of Canterbury, the church is of medieval origin, although the present building, with an octagonal nave, was constructed in the 1830s to the designs of John Shaw. It is not known exactly when the church was built. It was first mentioned in records in 1185. The House of Converts was eventually transformed into the Court of the Master of the Rolls, William Tyndale, the celebrated translator of the Bible, was a lecturer at the church and sermons were given by the poet John Donne. Samuel Pepys mentions the church in his diary, the church narrowly escaped the Great Fire of London in 1666. The Dean of Westminster roused 40 scholars from Westminster School in the middle of the night, the medieval church underwent many alterations before its demolition in the early 19th century. Small shops were built against its walls, St Dunstans Churchyard becoming a centre for bookselling and publishing, in 1701 the churchs old vaulted roof was replaced with a flat ceiling, ornamented with recessed panels.
The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers has been associated with the church since the 15th century, in the early 19th century the medieval church of St Dunstan was removed to allow the widening of Fleet Street and a new church was built on its burial ground. An Act of Parliament was obtained authorising the demolition of the church in July 1829, in December 1829 and September 1830 there were auctions of some of the materials of the old church. The first stone of the new building, to the design of John Shaw, Sr. was laid in July 1831, in August 1832 the last part of the old church, which had been left as a screen between Fleet Street and the new work, was removed. Shaw dealt with the site by designing a church with an octagonal central space. Seven of the eight sides open into arched recesses, the one containing the altar. The eighth side opens into a corridor, leading beneath the organ to the lowest stage of the tower. Above the recesses Shaw designed a clerestory, and above that a groined ceiling, the tower is square in plan, with an octagonal lantern, resembling those of St Botolph, and St Helens York.
George Godwin Jr suggested that the form of the lantern might have been inspired by that of St Georges church in Ramsgate. John Shaw Sr. died in 1833, before the church was completed, the communion rail is a survivor of the old church, having been carved by Grinling Gibbons during the period when John Donne served as vicar. Some of the monuments from the building were reinstituted in the new church
In Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Venus. His father was a first cousin of King Priam of Troy and he is a character in Greek mythology and is mentioned in Homers Iliad. Aeneas receives full treatment in Roman mythology, most extensively in Virgils Aeneid and he became the first true hero of Rome. Snorri Sturluson identifies him with the Norse Æsir Vidarr, Aeneas is the Latin spelling of Greek Αἰνείας. In the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, Aeneas is first introduced with Aphrodite naming him Αἰνείας for the αὶνóν ἄχος he caused her and it is a popular etymology for the name, apparently exploited by Homer in the Iliad. Later in the Medieval period there were writers who held that, as such, in the natural order, the meaning of Aeneas name combines Greek ennos and demas, which becomes ennaios, meaning in-dweller. However, there is no certainty regarding the origin of his name, in imitation of the Iliad, Virgil borrows epithets of Homer, Anchisiades, magnus and bonus.
Though he borrows many, Virgil gives Aeneas two epithets of his own in the Aeneid and pius. The epithets applied by Virgil are an example of a different from that of Homer, for whilst Odysseus is poikilios, Aeneas is described as pius. Likewise, Aeneas is called pater when acting in the interest of his men, the story of the birth of Aeneas is told in the Hymn to Aphrodite, one of the major Homeric Hymns. Aphrodite has caused the other gods Zeus, to fall in love with mortal women, in retaliation, Zeus puts desire in her heart for Anchises, who is tending his cattle among the hills near Mount Ida. When Aphrodite sees him she is smitten and she adorns herself as if for a wedding among the gods and appears before him. He is overcome by her beauty, believing that she is a goddess, after they make love, Aphrodite reveals her true identity to him and Anchises fears what might happen to him as a result of their liaison. Aphrodite assures him that he will be protected, and tells him that she bear him a son to be called Aeneas.
However, she warns him that he must never tell anyone that he has lain with a goddess, when Aeneas is born, Aphrodite takes him to the nymphs of Mount Ida. She directs them to raise the child to age five, take him to Anchises, according to other sources, Anchises brags about his encounter with Aphrodite, and as a result is struck in the foot with a thunderbolt by Zeus. Thereafter he is lame in that foot, so that Aeneas has to carry him from the flames of Troy. Aeneas is a character in the Iliad, where he is twice saved from death by the gods as if for an as-yet-unknown destiny
Great Britain, known as Britain, is a large island in the north Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2, Great Britain is the largest European island, in 2011 the island had a population of about 61 million people, making it the worlds third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of it, the island is dominated by a maritime climate with quite narrow temperature differences between seasons. Politically, the island is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, most of England and Wales are on the island. The term Great Britain often extends to surrounding islands that form part of England and Wales. A single Kingdom of Great Britain resulted from the union of the Kingdom of England, the archipelago has been referred to by a single name for over 2000 years, the term British Isles derives from terms used by classical geographers to describe this island group.
By 50 BC Greek geographers were using equivalents of Prettanikē as a name for the British Isles. However, with the Roman conquest of Britain the Latin term Britannia was used for the island of Great Britain, the oldest mention of terms related to Great Britain was by Aristotle, or possibly by Pseudo-Aristotle, in his text On the Universe, Vol. III. To quote his works, There are two large islands in it, called the British Isles and Ierne. The name Britain descends from the Latin name for Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The French form replaced the Old English Breoton, Bryten, Britannia was used by the Romans from the 1st century BC for the British Isles taken together. It is derived from the writings of the Pytheas around 320 BC. Marcian of Heraclea, in his Periplus maris exteri, described the group as αἱ Πρεττανικαὶ νῆσοι. The peoples of these islands of Prettanike were called the Πρεττανοί, Priteni is the source of the Welsh language term Prydain, which has the same source as the Goidelic term Cruithne used to refer to the early Brythonic-speaking inhabitants of Ireland.
The latter were called Picts or Caledonians by the Romans, the Greco-Egyptian scientist Ptolemy referred to the larger island as great Britain and to Ireland as little Britain in his work Almagest. The name Albion appears to have out of use sometime after the Roman conquest of Britain. After the Anglo-Saxon period, Britain was used as a term only. It was used again in 1604, when King James VI and I styled himself King of Great Brittaine, Great Britain refers geographically to the island of Great Britain, politically to England and Wales in combination
Old English or Anglo-Saxon is the earliest historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. It was brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers probably in the mid 5th century, Old English developed from a set of Anglo-Frisian or North Sea Germanic dialects originally spoken by Germanic tribes traditionally known as the Angles and Jutes. As the Anglo-Saxons became dominant in England, their language replaced the languages of Roman Britain, Common Brittonic, a Celtic language, Old English had four main dialects, associated with particular Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, Northumbrian and West Saxon. It was West Saxon that formed the basis for the standard of the Old English period, although the dominant forms of Middle. The speech of eastern and northern parts of England was subject to strong Old Norse influence due to Scandinavian rule, Old English is one of the West Germanic languages, and its closest relatives are Old Frisian and Old Saxon.
Like other old Germanic languages, it is different from Modern English. Old English grammar is similar to that of modern German, adjectives and verbs have many inflectional endings and forms. The oldest Old English inscriptions were using a runic system. Old English was not static, and its usage covered a period of 700 years, from the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain in the 5th century to the late 11th century, some time after the Norman invasion. While indicating that the establishment of dates is a process, Albert Baugh dates Old English from 450 to 1150, a period of full inflections. Perhaps around 85 per cent of Old English words are no longer in use, Old English is a West Germanic language, developing out of Ingvaeonic dialects from the 5th century. It came to be spoken over most of the territory of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms which became the Kingdom of England and this included most of present-day England, as well as part of what is now southeastern Scotland, which for several centuries belonged to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria.
Other parts of the island – Wales and most of Scotland – continued to use Celtic languages, Norse was widely spoken in the parts of England which fell under Danish law. Anglo-Saxon literacy developed after Christianisation in the late 7th century, the oldest surviving text of Old English literature is Cædmons Hymn, composed between 658 and 680. There is a corpus of runic inscriptions from the 5th to 7th centuries. The Old English Latin alphabet was introduced around the 9th century, with the unification of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms by Alfred the Great in the 9th century, the language of government and literature became standardised around the West Saxon dialect. In Old English, typical of the development of literature, poetry arose before prose, a literary standard, dating from the 10th century, arose under the influence of Bishop Æthelwold of Winchester, and was followed by such writers as the prolific Ælfric of Eynsham. This form of the language is known as the Winchester standard and it is considered to represent the classical form of Old English
Historia Regum Britanniae
Historia regum Britanniae, originally called De gestis Britonum, is a pseudohistorical account of British history, written around 1136 by Geoffrey of Monmouth. It is one of the pieces of the Matter of Britain. Although credited uncritically well into the 16th century, it is now considered to have no value as history, when events described, such as Julius Caesars invasions of Britain, can be corroborated from contemporary histories, Geoffreys account can be seen to be wildly inaccurate. Yet the deeds of men were such that they deserve to be praised for all time. He cites Gildas and Bede as sources, follows a dedication to Robert, earl of Gloucester and Waleran, count of Meulan, whom he enjoins to use their knowledge and wisdom to improve his tale. The Historia itself begins with the Trojan Aeneas, who according to Roman legend settled in Italy after the Trojan War and his great-grandson Brutus is banished, after a period of wandering, is directed by the goddess Diana to settle on an island in the western ocean.
Brutus lands at Totnes and names the island, called Albion, Brutus defeats the giants who are the only inhabitants of the island, and establishes his capital, Troia Nova, on the banks of the Thames, after his time it is renamed London. When Brutus dies, his three sons, Locrinus and Albanactus, divide the county between themselves, the three kingdoms are named Loegria and Albany. The story progresses rapidly through the reigns of the descendants of Locrinus, including Bladud, bladuds son Leir reigns for sixty years. He has no sons, so upon reaching old age he decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, Goneril and Cordelia, to decide who should get the largest share, he asks his daughters how much they love him. Goneril and Regan give extravagant answers, but Cordelia answers simply and sincerely, angered and Regan are to share half the island with their husbands, the Dukes of Albany and Cornwall. Cordelia marries Aganippus, King of the Franks, and departs for Gaul, soon Goneril and Regan and their husbands rebel and take the whole kingdom.
After Leir has had all his attendants taken from him, he begins to regret his actions towards Cordelia, Cordelia receives him compassionately and restores his royal robes and retinue. Aganippus raises a Gaulish army for Leir, who returns to Britain, defeats his sons-in-law, Leir rules for three years and dies, Cordelia inherits the throne and rules for five years before Marganus and Cunedagius, her sisters sons, rebel against her. They imprison Cordelia, grief-stricken, she kills herself and Cunedagius divide the kingdom between themselves, but soon quarrel and go to war with each other. Cunedagius eventually kills Marganus in Wales and retains the whole kingdom and he is succeeded by his son. A descendant of Cunedagius, King Gorboduc, has two sons called Ferreux and Porrex and they quarrel and both are eventually killed, sparking a civil war. This leads to Britain being ruled by five kings, who keep attacking each other, dunvallo Molmutius, the son of the King of Cornwall, becomes pre-eminent
City of London
The City of London is a city and county within London. It constituted most of London from its settlement by the Romans in the 1st century AD to the Middle Ages, the City is now only a tiny part of the metropolis of London, though it remains a notable part of central London. Administratively, it one of the 33 local authority districts of Greater London, the City of London is not a London borough. The City of London is widely referred to simply as the City and is colloquially known as the Square Mile. Both of these terms are often used as metonyms for the United Kingdoms trading and financial services industries. The name London is now used for a far wider area than just the City. London most often denotes the sprawling London metropolis, or the 32 London boroughs and this wider usage of London is documented as far back as 1888, when the County of London was created. The local authority for the City, namely the City of London Corporation, is unique in the UK and has some unusual responsibilities for a local council and it is unusual in having responsibilities and ownerships beyond its boundaries.
The Corporation is headed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, the current Lord Mayor, as of November 2016, is Andrew Parmley. The City is a business and financial centre. Throughout the 19th century, the City was the primary business centre. London came top in the Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index, published in 2008, the insurance industry is focused around the eastern side of the City, around Lloyds building. A secondary financial district exists outside of the City, at Canary Wharf,2.5 miles to the east, the City has a resident population of about 7,000 but over 300,000 people commute to and work there, mainly in the financial services sector. It used to be held that Londinium was first established by merchants as a trading port on the tidal Thames in around 47 AD. However, this date is only supposition, many historians now believe London was founded some time before the Roman conquest of Britain in 43 AD. They base this notion on evidence provided by both archaeology and Welsh literary legend, archaeologists have claimed that as much as half of the best British Iron Age art and metalwork discovered in Britain has been found in the London area.
One of the most prominent examples is the famously horned Waterloo Helmet dredged from the Thames in the early 1860s and now exhibited at the British Museum. Also, according to an ancient Welsh legend, a king named Lud son of Heli substantially enlarged and improved a pre-existing settlement at London which afterwards came to be renamed after him, the same tradition relates how this Lud son of Heli was buried at Ludgate
Saint Alban is venerated as the first recorded British Christian martyr, and is considered to be the British protomartyr. Along with his fellow saints Julius, and Aaron, Alban is one of three named martyrs recorded at a date from Roman Britain. He is traditionally believed to have been beheaded in the Roman city of Verulamium sometime during the 3rd or 4th century, little can actually be known about the real St Alban, as there are no contemporaneous accounts of his martyrdom. The major sources on his life were written hundreds of years after his death, in the view of Robin Lane Fox, the date and historicity of the first British martyr, St Alban, are highly disputable. Saint Alban was long regarded as a martyr saint, the Proto-martyr of Britain. For much of the 20th century controversy centred around the date of his martyrdom, more recently some researchers have taken a more skeptical view about the historicity of Saint Alban. Assorted figures, of mainly hagiographical legend, were identified as, at least in part and this theory received little support, or even notice, but in 2008 the historian Ian Wood proposed that the martyr-saint was an invention of Saint Germanus of Auxerre.
Germanus visited Britain in 429, as we know from the very near-contemporary mention by Prosper of Aquitaine. His chronicle, in the entry for the year 429, Agricola, a Pelagian, the son of the Pelagian bishop Severianus, corrupted the British churches by the insinuation of his doctrine. But at the persuasion of the deacon Palladius, Pope Celestine sent Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, as his representative, and having rejected the heretics, directed the British to the catholic faith. The Vita Germani was long regarded as the earliest source for the martyr Alban although recent research by Richard Sharpe has suggested the earliest version of the Passio Albani may be even earlier. It is, in any case, a part of what suggested to Professor Wood that “it is Germanus who gives Alban a name”, on this basis he states, “This would make good sense in terms of his mission, claiming Britain’s most famous cult for Catholicism”. Key to the argument here is a passage in the T version of the Passio that Professor Richard Sharpe has convincingly argued represents an interpolation into the more original E text, all extant versions of the Passio mention Germanuss visit to the tomb of Saint Alban.
The E version, followed essentially by the T version, When Germanus came to Albans basilica, carrying with him relics of all the apostles and of several martyrs. But interpolated at this point in only the T version is. Alban had revealed himself to Germanus on his journey, and now, so Germanus himself relates, St Alban met him on the stormy seas. But while he had been keeping vigil at night in his basilica, when all these things were revealed and made known a huge crowd of people was brought to god with the help of our Lord Jesus Christ to whom is honour and glory for ever and ever. It is possible to deduce that it was simply the acta, or story of the martyrdom and these acta were written down in tituli, that is possibly engraved in the walls of a church with illustrations. This might have been either in a church in Auxerre as argued by Professors Sharpe and Wood, the location of the tomb of Saint Alban that Germanus visited is most often thought to have been Verulamium, the modern St Albans
Fleet Street is a major street in the City of London. It runs west to east from Temple Bar at the boundary with the City of Westminster to Ludgate Circus at the site of the London Wall, having been an important through route since Roman times, businesses were established along the road during the Middle Ages. Senior clergy lived in Fleet Street during this period there are several churches including Temple Church. Much of the industry moved out in the 1980s after News International set up cheaper manufacturing premises in Wapping, the term Fleet Street remains a metonym for the British national press, and pubs on the street once frequented by journalists remain popular. The street is mentioned in works by Charles Dickens and is where the legendary fictitious murderous barber Sweeney Todd lived. Fleet Street is named after the River Fleet, which runs from Hampstead to the River Thames at the edge of the City of London. It is one of the oldest roads outside the city and was established by the Middle Ages.
In the 13th century, it was known as Fleet Bridge Street, the street runs east from Temple Bar, the boundary between the Cities of London and Westminster, as a continuation of the Strand from Trafalgar Square. It crosses Chancery Lane and Fetter Lane to reach Ludgate Circus by the London Wall, the road ahead is Ludgate Hill. The street numbering runs consecutively from west to east south-side and east to west north-side and it links the Roman and medieval boundaries of the City after the latter was extended. The nearest London Underground stations are Temple, Chancery Lane, and Blackfriars tube/mainline station, London Bus routes 4,11,15,23,26,76 and 172 run along the full length of Fleet Street, while route 341 runs between Temple Bar and Fetter Lane. Fleet Street was established as a thoroughfare in Roman London and there is evidence that a route led west from Ludgate by 200 AD. Local excavations revealed remains of a Roman amphitheatre near Ludgate on what was Fleet Prison, the Saxons did not occupy the Roman city but established Lundenwic further west around what is now Aldwych and the Strand.
Many prelates lived around the street during the Middle Ages, including the Bishops of Salisbury and St Davids, tanning of animal hides became established on Fleet Street owing to the nearby river, though this increased pollution leading to a ban on dumping rubbish by the mid-14th century. Many taverns and brothels were established along Fleet Street and have been documented as early as the 14th century, records show that Geoffrey Chaucer was fined two shillings for attacking a friar in Fleet Street, though modern historians believe this is apocryphal. An important landmark in Fleet Street during the late Middle Ages was a conduit that was the water supply for the area. When Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen following her marriage to Henry VIII in 1533, by the 16th century, Fleet Street, along with much of the City, was chronically overcrowded, and a Royal proclamation in 1580 banned any further building on the street. This had little effect, and construction continued, particularly timber, Prince Henrys Room over the Inner Temple gate dates from 1610 and is named after Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of James I, who did not survive to succeed his father