Myth-Folklore Unit: Mabinogion - Pwyll and Taliesin

OvervewThe Mabinogion (or, more correctly, The Mabinogi) is a collection of Welsh stories that were preserved in manuscript form in the 14th century but which date back many centuries earlier to the oral storytelling traditions of the Welsh people. The version you will read here is a pioneering 19th-century English translation of The Mabinogion by Lady Charlotte Guest. Out of the many story cycles that make up Lady Guest's edition of the Mabinogion, I have chosen for this unit the story of Pwyll, Prince of Dyved, and his mysterious wife Rhiannon. As you will see, theirs is a story of supernatural magic and also of love and loyalty. In addition, you will also get to read the story of the Taliesin, a comical bard and mystical prophet who was later associated with the legends of King Arthur (as, for example, in the novel Taliesin which begins Stephen Lawhead's modern series of Arthurian fantasy fiction, The Pendragon Cycle).

Language. This is a prose version of the original Welsh which attempts to give you a feel for the original oral storytelling style, and the Taliesin stories contain the poems of Taliesin translated into English.

Story Length. This unit consists of two long stories: the first half of the unit contains the story of Pwyll and Rhiannon, and the second half contains the story of Taliesin.

Navigation. You will find the table of contents below, and you can also use this link to see the story posts displayed on a single page: Mabinogion.

  1. Pwyll Goes Hunting
  2. In the Stead of Arawn
  3. Pwyll and the Wondrous Lady
  4. Pwyll and Rhiannon
  5. Gwawl's Request
  6. The Game of Badger in the Bag
  7. The Son of Pwyll
  8. Gwri Wallt Euryn
  9. An End to Rhiannon's Trouble
  1. Gwion Bach and the Cauldron
  2. The Finding of Taliesin
  3. Elphin and Taliesin
  4. The Ring upon the Finger
  5. Taliesin's Power
  6. Taliesin's Reply
  7. The Wisdom of Taliesin
  8. Taliesin Sings of the Bards
  9. Elphin's Reward

a very useful resource!)