ok apparently I am losing it entirely. I googled and found a thread started by myself in february 2004!
Astrocelt (and others)- thank you again for this response below that you gave me previously. At that time I had only found the references to Coel. in passages from Barddas. those quoted by Pennick and the OBOD article but I wasn't sure of how founded in fact some of the info is.
My impression is that Coelbren is that it is more a literary construct, in the manner of Graves' ogam tree calendar, but never actually found attested anywhere outside MS sources (ie. no inscriptions etc) ..it would seem strange to me if indeed an alphabet did exist specific for writing welsh sounds, that it would not be used to inscribe anything (when conversely there are rock ogams in Wales datable from Old Irish period up to about 11th C I think?)
However looking at the dates of these articles and the fact that searches don't turn up to much, it looks to me that Coelbren was a popular idea in the past with revivalists but doesn't seem to hold much academic weight now?
I really know nothing of Iolo Morgannwyg to comment on his work but it seems to me he was a very creative man with a sincere interest in Welsh lore and heritage, but rather poetic in his derivation of some of it or perhaps creation of things to fill gaps?
Anyway, some good ref material for a rainy day;
Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:26 pm Post subject:
I recall there is a page on the obod site that was written by Serenwen, he covered this subject some time ago. So with that in mind I hope you have access to the following sources: -
Williams, T. (trans) IoIo Mss, Llandovey Welsh Manuscript Society, 1848 p. 617-623 Bilingual
Rev. J. William ap Ithel MA, Barddas, London 1874. Vol. 1 & 2 Bilingual
Taliesin Williams (ab IoIo), Coelbren Y Beirdd; a Welsh essay on the Bardic Alphabet. Review By W. Rees in Archaeologica Cambrensis First series, vol. 1 1846 pp. 471-473
John Williams ab Ithel, ‘British Letters’ in Archaeologica Cambrensis, Vol 3 1852 pp. 21-24
Thomas Stephens, ‘An Essay on the Bardic Alphabet called Coelbren Y Beirdd’ in Archaeologica Cambrensis Fourth series, July 1872 pp. 181-210
This is a published copy of NWL Mss 954B previously known as Thomas Stephen 51
Word of warning is to be careful so watch out for those IoIo “traps”, which people often fall into! There are also a couple of other papers in Arch Camb which deals with how the Coelbren Y Beirdd came into existence, but I understand that’s covered in the Barddas. However Beith hope you make your discoveries and draw your own conclusions.