A critical edition of the poetry of Dafydd ap Gwilym

An AHRC-funded project 2002-7 which produced a digital edition of the work of Dafydd ap Gwilym (a Welsh poet of the 14th century). The work consists of 171 poems, almost all of which survive in manuscripts between 100 and 200 years later than their original composition, and bear signs of textual corruption deriving from oral transmission. Original texts have been restored as far as possible (bearing in mind that the poet's compositions may not have had an entirely fixed form). The methodology of textual reconstruction is explicit, set out in notes and a general textual essay, in contrast to the somewhat arbitrary and subjective quality of the texts in Thomas Parry's Gwaith Dafydd ap Gwilym (1952). Critical texts are accompanied by transcriptions and digital images of the earliest manuscripts, paraphrases in modern Welsh and English translations, textual and explanatory notes, and recordings of readings of the poems. At least 20 of the poems are of uncertain authorship, and the arguments for and against their authenticity are set out, including a full account of the large body of apocrypha attributed to Dafydd ap Gwilym.


Principal investigator
Professor Dafydd Johnston
Principal project staff
Professor Dafydd Johnston; Dr Cynfael Lake; Dr Huw M Edwards; Dr Dylan F Evans
Start date
Tuesday, October 1, 2002
Completion date
Friday, December 1, 2006
Source material
Manuscripts ranging in date from the 14th to the 17th century, held mainly at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, and also at the British Library, Cardiff City Library and Bangor University Library. The edition contains both digital images of the manuscripts (derived from microfilm) and transcriptions of their texts.

Johnston, Dafydd. 'Dafydd ap Gwilym and oral tradition'. Studia Celtica XXXVII (2003): 143–62.
Dafydd Johnston et al (eds), Cerddi Dafydd ap Gwilym (University of Wales Press, 2010)