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Welsh History Review

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Vol. 11, nos. 1-4 1982-83

Latin and the vernacular languages in early medieval Britain : Book review.

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'i'r bygythiad newydd i'r Gymraeg yn bennaf fel iaith dysg a
diwylliant'. Bydd pawb sydd a diddordeb yn hanes diwylliannol Cymru
ar ei ennill o ddarllen yr astudiaeth wreiddiol a meddylgar hon. Ond y
mae'n debyg mai'r cyfraniad mwyaf herfeiddiol i ni'r haneswyr cyfensiynol
fydd ysgrif John Rowlands ar farwnad Saunders Lewis i Syr John Edward
Lloyd. Amheuaf a fydd pob hanesydd yn cydweld yn llwyr a syniad
John Rowlands mai dychymyg Saunders Lewis sydd wedi gweddnewid
ein golwg ni ar hanes Cymru nes ein bod yn awr yn gorfod cydnabod
trasiedi 'yr arwyr Cymreig a fethodd a gwthio'r genedl garreg i ben
Bryn Rhyddid', ond yn bendant fe ddylem, bawb ohonom, ddarllen yr
ysgrif angerddol a beiddgar hon o ddifrif a chyda chydymdeimlad. Diolch
hefyd i Gareth Watts am ei lyfryddiaeth lawn a gofalus ac i Derwyn Jones
am ei englynion cyfarch campus. Mynegi y mae'r olaf fam pawb sy'n
adnabod yr ysgolhaig Olympaidd ei gyraeddiadau ond anwylaf ei natur
pan ddywed
'Diau'r dasg na fedri di,
Yn d'egwyl, fydd diogi.'
Hir oes iddo, 'o'r addfwyn yr addfwynaf, i fynd yn ei flaen i gyfoethogi
iaith ac ysgolheictod ei genedl.
[This collection of essays has been produced in honour of Professor
Caerwyn Williams, one of the greatest Celtic scholars ever produced in
Wales and the world's leading authority in our generation on all the
Celtic languages and literatures. The range of his interests and published
works is breathtakingly wide and assured. He is, in addition, the most
industrious and accomplished of all Welsh editors, having superbly
looked after Ysgrifau Beirniadol, Studia Celtica and Y Traethodydd
simultaneously. He has been admirably served by his editor, contributors
and publishers. Those who can read Welsh should certainly read the
touching and intimate tributes by Geraint Gruffydd and John Gwilym
Jones. Other essays of particular interest to historians are those by
Brynley Roberts, Gwyn Thomas, E. G. Millward and John Rowlands,
together with the excellent bibliography by Gareth Watts. No one has
more richly deserved a volume in his honour. Long may this most lovable
of scholars continue to enrich the language and scholarship of his country.]
Abertawe GLANMOR WILLIAMS
LATIN AND THE VERNACULAR LANGUAGES IN EARLY MEDIEVAL BRITAIN.
Edited by N. Brooks. Leicester University Press, 1982. Pp. xii, 170;
4 plates.  25.00; LLAFAR A LLYFR YN YR HEN GYFNOD. By D. S. Evans.
University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 1982. Pp. 20. 95p.
To set two simple matters straight at the start: in view of its confined
contents, Dr. Brooks's interesting book has an immodest title and, in view
of its leading contribution, it requires a philologist to do it full justice.
That said, we may proceed. About half the book is taken up by a paper
by Dr. A. S. Gratwick, 'Latinitas Britannica: was British Latin archaic?'.
That British Latin was so is Professor Kenneth Jackson's thesis in his
Language and History in Early Britain. This thesis appeared to Jackson
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