Welsh Mythology

Who are the three golden shoemakers? What are the dos and don’ts of cooking with a magic cauldron? Where do pigs really come from? And how does King Arthur fit in to all of this? Learn the answers to these questions and many more in our monthly discussion group devoted to the tales of the medieval Welsh Mabinogi cycle.

Our Spring 2014 series examines the stories known as the Four Branches: legends of kings, queens, heroes, monsters, and magicians that form the core of the Mabinogi. All works will be read in English translation!

The course is divided into four two-hour sessions, and will meet on the second Wednesday of each month starting in March 2014:

  • The First Branch: Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed. Wednesday, March 12, 2014 · 7-9 pm · Topics: Gods, heroes, and the origins of the Mabinogi · The Otherworld in Celtic mythology · The Celtic horse goddess and her manifestations
  • The Second Branch: Branwen, Daughter of Llyr. Wednesday, April 9, 2014· 7-9 pm · Topics: The cauldron of rebirth · Celtic headhunters and the cult of the severed head · Contact and conflict between Wales and Ireland in history and legend
  • The Third Branch: Manawydan, Son of Llyr. Wednesday, May 14, 2014 · 7-9 pm · Topics: The Celtic sovereignty goddess · The life cycle of the hero in Celtic mythology · The Welsh Triads and the transmission of traditional knowledge
  • The Fourth Branch: Math, Son of Mathonwy. Wednesday, June 11, 2014 · 7-9 pm · Topics: Curses and taboos in Welsh and Irish mythology · The bardic tradition and the magical power of language · Representations of gender in the Four Branches

Text: The Mabinogion, ed. and tr. Sioned Davies · Oxford World’s Classics · ISBN 978-0199218783 · $13.95. Also available from Powell’s and Amazon.com.

Registration: Download the registration form for our Spring 2014 reading and discussion groups here.

Course Fee: $80 for the full course (four sessions) with advance registration, or $25 per session at the door. Walk-ins are welcome!

Payments: Please make checks payable to Benjamin Bruch. You can also pay using PayPal or a major credit card on our website.

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