Delw y Byd. A Medieval Welsh Encyclopedia
Author: Natalia Petrovskaia (Peterhouse 2004)
This edition presents extracts from the medieval Welsh encyclopedia Delw y Byd. A medieval Welsh translation of the first book of the Latin encyclopedia known as Imago Mundi, written by Honorius Augustodunensis in the first quarter of the twelfth century, this text is a fine example of the ties between the intellectual world of Europe and Wales in the late-twelfth/early-thirteenth centuries, when the text was translated, ties that brought across the scientific knowledge based on Roman and late antique sources. Structured according to the four elements: earth, water, air and fire, the text presents geographical, anthropological, and astronomical information, often with historical and mythological contexts. The present edition follows that organizational principle, providing a glimpse into the medieval understanding of the overarching structure of the universe.
The text is presented in its historical and literary context, with an updated account of its transmission. A commentary on the scientific context of the most interesting passages is provided, as well as a linguistic one. The edition also provides an overview of the variants by printing parallel texts based on all surviving medieval manuscript witnesses for a number of selected chapters. This includes sections of two previously unpublished medieval witnesses of the text. The accompanying glossary includes vocabulary from all extracts included in the edition.