Wales Ancient Book goes online
One of the most important books in the Welsh language, the Book of Aneirin, is now available to view online. It is the last of the Four Ancient Books of Wales to do so, the others being the Black Book of Carmarthen, dating from 1250, the Book of Taliesin from the 14th century and the Red Book of Hargest, 1382.
The Book of Aneirin (1265) was written on animal skin by monks during the last decades of Welsh independent rule and contains the Gododdin, one of the oldest Welsh poems ever written. The Book is kept at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, which has published the images online to coincide with the current exhibition of the four books. For the first time, the public can view all four of these amazing early Welsh manuscripts together in one place.
The manuscripts librarian at the National Library says that the verses are uncompromising in their description of the horrors of battle. They recount how 300 troops from Manaw Gododdin, near Edinburgh, fought the Saxons at Catterick in around 600 AD. There were only three survivors and one of these was the poet Aneirin. Wales Holidays visitors can view the manuscripts at the National Library until March 2014.