The Book of Llandaf as a Historical Source
Title Details

229 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

5 b/w. 8 line. Illustrations

Series: Studies in Celtic History

Imprint: Boydell Press

The Book of Llandaf as a Historical Source

by Patrick Sims-Williams

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Revisionist approach to the question of the authenticity - or not - of the documents in the Book of Llandaf.
Awarded the Francis Jones Prize in Welsh History 2019 by Jesus College Oxford

The early-twelfth-century Book of Llandaf is rightly notorious for its bogus documents - but it also provides valuable information on the earlymedieval history of south-east Wales and the adjacent parts of England. This study focuses on its 159 charters, which purport to date from the fifth century to the eleventh, arguing that most of them are genuine seventh-century and later documents that were adapted and "improved" to impress Rome and Canterbury in the context of Bishop Urban of Llandaf's struggles in 1119-34 against the bishops of St Davids and Hereford and the "invasion" of monks from English houses such as Gloucester and Tewkesbury. After assembling other evidence for the existence of pre-twelfth-century Welsh charters, the author defends the authenticity of most of the Llandaf charters' witness lists, elucidatestheir chronology, and analyses the processes of manipulation and expansion that led to the extant Book of Llandaf. This leads him to reassess the extent to which historians can exploit the rehabilitated charters as an indicator of social and economic change between the seventh and eleventh centuries and as a source for the secular and ecclesiastical history of south-east Wales and western England.

PATRICK SIMS-WILLIAMS is a Fellow of the British Academy; he was formerly Reader in Celtic and Anglo-Saxon in the University of Cambridge and Professor of Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth University.
Introduction
The Book of Llandaf and the early Welsh charter
The origin of the Llandaf claims
The charters in the Book of Llandaf: forgeries or recensions?
The authenticity of the witness lists
The integrity of the charters
The chronology of the charters
The status of the donors and recipients of the charters
The fake diplomatic of the Book of Llandaf
The Book of Llandaf: first edition or seventh enlarged revision?
A new approach to the compilation of the Book of Llandaf
The evidence of the doublets
The Book of Llandaf as an indicator of social and economic change
The royal genealogical framework
The episcopal framework
Afterword
Appendix I: Concordance and chart showing the paginal and chronological order of the charters
Appendix II: Maps of grants to bishops
Bibliography
"A work of the greatest importance...It will be the foundation of all future work on the Book of Llandaf, and on many topics it will remain the last word for a very long time to come. Clearly and economically written, and produced to the high standard which we have come to expect from the publishers, it is a monument of modern scholarship." ARCHAEOLOGIA CAMBRENSIS

Hardcover

9781783274185

April 2019

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9781787445376

April 2019

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Title Details

229 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

5 b/w. 8 line. Illustrations

Series: Studies in Celtic History

Imprint: Boydell Press