Taliesin is a legendary poet of medieval Wales. There are two primary collections of Taliesin material, namely “The Book of Taliesin” (NLW Peniarth 2) and “The Tale of Taliesin” (NLW MS 5276D), with further examples occurring in the “Black Book of Carmarthen” (NLW MS Peniarth 1) and the “Red Book of Hergest” (Jesus College Oxford MS 111).

Taliesin’s name first appears in the Historia Brittonum, a circa-eighth-century text attributed to Nennius, found in MS Harley 3859 (c. 1100). Here, he is listed alongside Talhaearn Tad Awen, Aneirin, Blwchfardd, and Cian as bards who “were renowned in British poetry” [in poemate brittanico claruerunt] in the middle of the sixth century. From this obscure reference springs a long tradition of Taliesin-related poetry in medieval

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Citation: Kapphahn, Krista. "Taliesin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 February 2019 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=14016, accessed 30 May 2024.]

14016 Taliesin 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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