The Book of Llan Dāv
Llyfr Llan Dāv
Called in Latin Liber Landavensis also called in Welsh Llyfyr Teilo.
Reproduced from the Gwysaney MS.
vol. iv. of the Series of Old Welsh Texts
Edited by J. Gwenogvryn Evans, 1893
The Book of Llan Dāv is a medieval manuscript connected to the parish of Llan Dāv, circa 1150. It contains the lives of the following saints: St. Dubricius, St. Teilo (hence the alternate name of the MS.), St. Oudoceus, and St. Sampson, all of which were British saints of the fifth century, i.e. the end of the Roman occupation and the onset of the Saxon invasions. It then gives a list and short biographies of the bishops of Llan Dāv, as well as a papal bull of Honorius.
It is on 84 leaves of vellum, and in rather good condition. Evans, usually a reliable scholar, gives his theory that at least part of the book was written by Geoffrey of Monmouth. He uses handwriting analysis, as well as records of who was staying at Llan Dāv at the time, but I have not heard any other scholar say whether this theory has any merit.
In 1840, the Welsh Manuscript Society produced a transcription and translation which was based on later MSS, which differ greatly from the twelfth-century Gwysaney MS. As Evans points out in his introduction, it is not known why the Society did not consult the earlier MS., since they did have access to it.
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Mary Jones © 2004