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Book/Printed Material The Black Book of Carmarthen. Llyfr du Caerfyddin

About this Item


  • The Black Book of Carmarthen.

Other Title

  • Llyfr du Caerfyddin


  • The Black Book of Carmarthen (so called because of the color of its binding and its connection with the Priory of Saint John the Evangelist and Teulyddog, Carmarthen) is thought by modern scholars to be the work of a single scribe writing at different times before and about the year 1250. This makes it one of the earliest surviving manuscripts written solely in the Welsh language. Apart from a small group of triads relating to the horses of legendary Welsh heroes, the Black Book is essentially a poetry manuscript. It contains poems with religious subjects, such as the "Dialogue between the Body and the Soul," and odes of praise and mourning, such as the "Elegy to Madog ap Maredudd [died 1160]." The author of this elegy is not named in the Black Book, but according to another manuscript, the poem was written by the court poet, Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr (flourished 1155-1200). The most remarkable poems in the manuscript are those about heroes of Dark Age Britain, and especially those connected with the legend of Myrddin. The Black Book of Carmarthen is designated Peniarth MS 1 by the National Library of Wales. The Peniarth Manscript collection was established by Robert Vaughan (circa 1592-1667), who acquired many significant Welsh-language manuscripts for his library in Hengwrt, Meirioneth. The collection was transferred to the Peniarth Library, Meirioneth, in 1859, and from there to the new national library in 1909.

Created / Published

  • Aberystwyth, Wales : [publisher not identified], 1250.


  • -  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland--Wales--Aberystwyth
  • -  1200 to 1250
  • -  Poetry
  • -  Welsh literature


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource at: National Library of Wales.
  • -  Content in Welsh.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Peniarth Manuscript Collection

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667646

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

The Black Book of Carmarthen. [Aberystwyth, Wales: publisher not identified, 1250] Pdf.

APA citation style:

(1250) The Black Book of Carmarthen. [Aberystwyth, Wales: publisher not identified] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

The Black Book of Carmarthen. [Aberystwyth, Wales: publisher not identified, 1250] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.