Mythology and storytelling in an oral tradition was a way of preserving a tribes history, its hero’s and villains and the important truths that were needed to be learned – it is its collective memory and wisdom. Commentators from Plato onwards have regarded the strange, dream-like recitations of antiquity as shimmering with esoteric significance, the visible veil of a higher invisible truth. The many characters that appear in these texts were actual people (Wales was very good at recording its genealogies) – they were the Kings and Queens (the leaders, war-lords and princes of the cantrevs [counties] of Wales).
Here we have the earliest available route into the thought-world of oral antiquity. For those of us who draw inspiration from our Brythonic past to colour our present day World View they are an invaluable resource.
Llyfr Coch Hergest (The Red Book of Hergest) – is a large vellum manuscript written shortly after 1382 which ranks as one of the most important medieval manuscripts written in the Welsh language. It preserves a collection of Welsh prose and poetry, ‘Gogynfeirdd’ poetry.