19 Facts About Taliesin


Taliesin was a renowned bard who is believed to have sung at the courts of at least three kings.

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The bulk of this work praises King Urien of Rheged and his son Owain mab Urien, although several of the poems indicate that Taliesin served as court bard to King Brochfael Ysgithrog of Powys and his successor Cynan Garwyn, either before or during his time at Urien's court.

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John T Koch argues that the description of Easter in the praise poem Yspeil Taliesin indicates that Urien and Taliesin were Christians who adhered to the Latin rather than the Insular observance of Easter.

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Taliesin suggests that the figure of Taliesin served as a bridge between the worlds of Brittonic Christian Latin literature and the Heroic Age court poets, allowing monastic scribes to cultivate vernacular poetry.

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Taliesin is mentioned as one of the five British poets of renown, along with Talhaearn Tad Awen, Aneirin, Blwchfardd, and Cian Gwenith Gwawd, in the Historia Brittonum, and is mentioned in the collection of poems known as Y Gododdin.

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Taliesin was highly regarded in the mid-12th century as the supposed author of a great number of romantic legends.

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Taliesin defended Elffin and satirised his enemy, the powerful Maelgwn Gwynedd, shortly before the latter died.

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The Latin-Breton Life of Iudic-hael refers to Taliesin visiting the monastery of Gildas at Rhuys in Brittany.

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Taliesin was a servant of Cerridwen and was made to stir the Cauldron of Inspiration for one year to allow for Cerridwen to complete her potion of inspiration.

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Taliesin instead cast him into the ocean in a large leather bag, where he was found by Elffin, who named him Taliesin.

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Introduction to Gwyneth Lewis and Rowan Williams's translation of The Book of Taliesin suggests that later Welsh writers came to see Taliesin as a sort of shamanic figure.

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Taliesin appears as a companion of Bran the Blessed in this era, by which time he was clearly perceived as a legendary figure who existed in many different times.

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Susan Kare, the typographer and graphic designer who developed the first set of fonts for the early Macintosh, created a dingbat font called Taliesin that shipped with the update disk for System 2 in 1985.

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Taliesin is relatively obscure compared to its more well-known counterpart Cairo, the symbol font that featured Apple's iconic dogcow logo.

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Taliesin's name was used, spelled as Taliessin, in Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King.

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Taliesin is a character in Thomas Love Peacock's satirical, romantic 1829 novel The Misfortunes of Elphin where he is discovered as a baby floating in a coracle by Elphin who is fishing.

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Taliesin makes an appearance in a number of works of modern commercial fiction that blend history and Arthurian legend, including quite a lengthy appearance in Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles and Guy Gavriel Kay's The Fionavar Tapestry.

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Taliesin is a central character in Moonheart, an urban fantasy novel by Charles de Lint, and appears as the chief bard of the Kingdom of Prydain in the children's novels of Lloyd Alexander which are based on the Welsh Mabinogion.

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Taliesin is character in Traci Harding's Chosen series starting with The Ancient Future Trilogy where he is an immortal time traveler trying to help the human soul mind evolution advance.

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