history

Thucydides on the plague in Athens

March 13, 2020 0 Comments
Thucydides on the plague in Athens

In the bath the other morning I happened to catch an interview with the novelist Kamila Shamsie.  She was asked what books she’d want to have with her if the coronavirus forced her to self-isolate for a lengthy period.  She had some interesting choices.  And she recommended that, instead of raiding supermarkets for toilet rolls […]

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Llangeitho mewn lluniau

February 7, 2020 0 Comments
Llangeitho mewn lluniau

Digwydd bod yn Llangeitho y dydd o’r blaen, ac yn y pentrefan gerllaw, Capel Betws Lleucu.  Pentref digon tawel yw Llangeitho heddiw, ac fe welais neb bron ar y strydoedd.  Ond ganrif a hanner yn ôl roedd pethau’n wahanol: llawer mwy o bobl yn byw a gweithio yn yr ardal, llawer mwy o Gymraeg i’w […]

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Down the rabbit hole: an early example from Gower

January 31, 2020 0 Comments
Down the rabbit hole: an early example from Gower

Alice’s adventures in Wonderland – in Lewis Carroll’s original manuscript it was entitled Alice’s adventures under ground – is probably the best-known of all tales about a child passing through a hole or tunnel in the ground to reach another world populated by strange, small creatures.  It’s a common motif in fairy stories around the […]

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At Strata Florida: Gerald’s vision of male beauty

January 10, 2020 0 Comments
At Strata Florida: Gerald’s vision of male beauty

I’ve been reading the account written by Gerald of Wales of the tour he made, on horseback and on foot, around the perimeter of Wales in the year 1188.  The manuscript – there are actually three versions – is usually called the Itinerary through Wales, and it’s the earliest account of a long journey in […]

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Greening Swansea: a forgotten pioneer

November 1, 2019 0 Comments
Greening Swansea: a forgotten pioneer

Greening cities and towns, we might imagine, is a contemporary concern – a response to the realisation that we’re rapidly destroying the earth’s environment and depleting its non-human lifeforms.  Swansea has its share of green activists and agitators working to raise awareness and press for action. It would be fair to say, though, that those […]

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Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn, selenophotographer

October 29, 2019 0 Comments
Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn, selenophotographer

If you visit the Penllergare Valley Woods, as we did last week, you can’t leave without developing a strong respect for the estate’s chief creator, John Dillwyn Llewelyn.  Photographic pioneer, astronomer, botanist, orchid collector, landscapist, inventor – he used his wealth, leisure and connections, after inheriting the estate as a boy from his grandfather in […]

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Sebon glan, sebon budr

October 11, 2019 0 Comments
Sebon glan, sebon budr

Daeth newyddion da o Lyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru‘r wythnos yma: bod y Llyfrgell wedi prynu un o’r ddau fersiwn gwreiddiol o’r llun dyfrlliw enwog Salem gan Sydney Curnow Vosper, cyn arwerthiant yng Nghaerdydd.  Mae’n hollol briodol bod llun a ddisgrifir yn aml fel ‘eicon’ o gelf Gymreig yn cael cartref parhaol mewn sefydliad diwylliannol cenedlaethol.  Fel […]

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After Offa: Mercian Hymns

September 20, 2019 0 Comments
After Offa: Mercian Hymns

We weren’t just following his Dyke on foot.  We were also tracking its maker, Offa, king of the Mercians. Or so it was said.  We’ve no contemporary evidence that Offa was the one responsible.  The first person to make the claim was Asser, a Welsh monk from St Davids (his original name may have been […]

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Hanesion coll

September 7, 2019 0 Comments
Hanesion coll

Yn ôl adroddiad yn Golwg yr wythnos ddiwethaf, mae ymchwilydd yn honni fod haneswyr wedi llwyr anghofio am un o ddiwydiannau mawr Cymru, mwyngloddio am blwm ac arian yn y Canolbarth.  Ac mae’n ymddangos bod Ioan Lord hefyd yn cyhuddo prifysgolion yng Nghymru o beidio â rhoi cyfle i fyfyrwyr astudio hanes diwydiannol y wlad […]

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Poets and rebels at Llyn Llech Owain

August 30, 2019 0 Comments
Poets and rebels at Llyn Llech Owain

At the ‘six ways’ junction in Gorslas, at the head of the Gwendraeth Fawr, I’ve driven past the sign to Llyn Llech Owain hundreds of times without ever taking up its invitation – to follow the minor road up the hill, past the church and chapel, to the lake and the country park that surrounds […]

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