The birth of an ancient tradition: the gorsedd at the eisteddfod

The eisteddfod, a traditional Welsh competition in literature and music, has served for a little over two centuries as a rallying point to define and glorify Welsh culture, customs, nationhood, and above all, language. The competition itself can be traced back to the twelfth century. Its revival in the eighteenth century introduced some new practices, although the person who invented them never admitted it. The earliest reliably documented eisteddfod was summoned in 1176, although others undoubtedly took place much earlier.  From the earliest times until the seventeenth century, eisteddfods occurred at irregular intervals, with at least one purpose being to … Continue reading