Cadfan Stone

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Cadfan Stone

Inside St Cadfan's Church, Tywyn, Gwynedd is an inscribed stone cross called the Cadfan Stone (or the Tywyn Stone). On it are the earliest known inscriptions in the Welsh language, specifically in Old Welsh.

Recent scholarship dates the inscriptions to the 9th century.[1] They were previously considered to be older. Ifor Williams dated them to the 8th century,[2] and a late 7th century or early 8th century date was suggested by Kenneth H. Jackson.[3] A date between the 7th century and the 9th century is suggested by Coflein, the website of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.[4]

Originally the stone stood over 2.3 metres tall, but it now measures 2.18m tall by 0.25m and 0.2m.[5]

Below is the interpretation given in the most recent study of the stone (sides A, B, C and D) by Nancy Edwards.[6]

A/D. Tengr(um)ui cimalted gu(reic) / Adgan // anterunc du But Marciau

'Tengrumui wedded wife of Adgan (lies) fairly near ( or very near) to Bud (and) Marciau (or But Marciau).'

A. m(ortci)c ar tr(i)

'The mortal remains of the three'

B/C. Cun ben Celen // tricet nitanam

'Cun woman (or wife of Celyn), a mortal wound remains.'

C. mort/cic pe/tuar

'The mortal remains of four'

Despite its undoubted significance, the Cadfan Stone has been given relatively little attention from Welsh authors and poets. Exceptions include the poems 'Cofebion Tywyn' by Owain Owain[7] and 'Y boen' by Myrddin ap Dafydd.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Edwards, Nancy. 2013. A Corpus of Early Medieval Inscribed Stones and Stone Sculpture in Wales. Vol. III: North Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, p. 430.
  2. ^ William, Ifor. 1972. The Beginnings of Welsh Poetry. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, pp. 25-40. His opinion is reflected in John Davies, Menna Baines, Nigel Jenkins and Peredur Lynch (ed.), The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2008).
  3. ^ Jackson, K. H. 1953. Language and History in Early Britain. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 189 and 386.
  4. ^ St Cadfan's Church, Tywyn.
  5. ^ Coflein Website
  6. ^ Edwards, Nancy. 2013. A Corpus of Early Medieval Inscribed Stones and Stone Sculpture in Wales. Vol. III: North Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, p. 430.
  7. ^ Owain Owain, 'Cofebion Tywyn', Y Faner, 7 April 1972.
  8. ^ Myrddin ap Dafydd, Clawdd Cam (Llanrwst, 2003), p. 32.