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Welsh History Review

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Vol. 20, nos. 1-4 2000-01

'Ysbryd dealltwrus ac enaid anfarwol.' Ysgrifau ar hanes crefydd yng Ngwynedd. Book review.

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wives and widows. Convinced, none the less, that in a few documents she can
detect 'a small glimpse of the real person', she thinks of Berengaria as
courageous, tenacious and loyal to her husband, alive and dead. Hence she
dwells so long on the unknowable; in her book Richard's sexuality makes his
wife's loyalty all the more praiseworthy. Of the widowed queen's tenacity there
can be no doubt; she-rightly-pestered all and sundry in an attempt to get
King John to carry out his obligations-never an easy task. In one respect only,
Berengaria may be better known to us than are Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine
and Richard. Fontevraud's turbulent history means that their remains have
been lost, but what seem to be her bones have been identified, showing that
when she died in 1230 she was 157 cm in height and about 60 years old. Since
the book begins and ends with meditations on her tomb effigy at l'Epau, the
Cistercian house near Le Mans which she founded, it is a great pity there are
no illustrations.
JOHN GILLINGHAM
London School of Economics
'YSBRYD DEALLTWRUS AC ENAID ANFARWOL'. YSGRIFAU AR HANES CREFYDD YNG
NGWYNEDD. Golygwyd gan W. P. Griffith. Canolfan Uwchefrydiau Crefydd yng
Nghymru, Bangor, 1999. Tt. 222.  13.95. il- A?
Syniad goleuedig a chanmoladwy oedd penderfynu dathlu 1450 o flynyddoedd
o hanes esgobaeth Bangor ym 1996 trwy wahodd wyth o ddarlithwyr a chyn-
ddarlithwyr Coleg Bangor i draddodi darlithiau ar hanes crefydd yng
Ngwynedd-sydd, i bob pwrpas ymarferol, yn gyfystyr a'r esgobaeth ei hun.
Gwir ddigon na ellir bod yn hollol siwr pa bryd yn union y seiliwyd yr
esgobaeth nac, ychwaith, ai Deiniol, fel y myn traddodiad oesol, a fu'n gyfrifol
am wneuthur hynny. Fel y dengys Dr Huw Pryce nid cyn 1086 y ceir cyfeiriad
pendant at esgob Bangor fel y cyfryw, ond pwysleisia hefyd y gallwn fod yn
weddol bendant bod cysylltiad rhwng Deiniol a Bangor rywbryd tua'r
chweched ganrif. Eithr nid dyna ddechreuadau y grefydd Gristnogol yn y
rhanbarth hwnnw ychwaith; gellir bod yn bur sicr yn 61 y dystiolaeth
archaeolegol y cyfeiria'r Dr Nancy Edwards ati y gwreiddiwyd y ffydd yno yn 61
yn adeg yr Ymerodraeth Rufeinig. O'r cyfnod bore hwnnw ymlaen olrheinir yr
hanes yn gryno a dirnadol i lawr ar hyd y canrifoedd at ein cyfnod ninnau yn y
gyfres gyfoethog hon o naw o ddarlithiau (bu'r golygydd yn gyfrifol am ddwy
ohonynt a dyna a gyfrif am yr un ychwanegol!)
Pob clod i'r darlithwyr am eu gwaith godidog, ac yn arbennig, efallai, i'r
golygydd, Dr W. P. Griffith, am gasglu ffrwyth eu llafur ynghyd a'i olygu. Efe
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