Giraldus Cambrensis


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Giraldus Cambrensis

(jĭrăl`dəs kămbrĕn`sĭs), c.1146–1223, Norman-Welsh churchman and historian, also called Gerald of Wales and Gerald de Barri. He was associated (from 1184) with the king and court of England. His historical works include two descriptive works on Ireland (resulting from a visit) and Descriptio Cambriae [description of Wales]. They contain rare glimpses of medieval life and folklore. He also wrote autobiographical works, lives of churchmen, pastoral admonitions, Latin poetry, and treatises on the rights of the see of St. David's.

Bibliography

See his autobiography (ed. and tr. by H. E. Butler, 1937); biography by R. Bartlett (1982).

Giraldus Cambrensis

literary name of Gerald de Barri. ?1146--?1223, Welsh chronicler and churchman, noted for his accounts of his travels in Ireland and Wales
References in periodicals archive ?
Brown, "Marvels of the West: Giraldus Cambrensis and the Role of the Author in the Development of Marginal Illustration," in English Manuscript Studies, vol.
Giraldus Cambrensis and Gerald ofWales), Ranult Higdcn, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.
Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald the Welshman) was on a recruitment drive for 'a crazed adventure in the Middle East', while John Leland was driven mad by his 'topographical audit'--a frantic attempt to catalogue the great Tudor libraries that became a mission to map the kingdom itself.
This year the Coast presenter has been adding to his tally with a trip around Wales, in the footsteps of Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales).
From as early as the Statutes of Kilkenny of 1366, when the English government proscribed a whole raft of Irish cultural practices--indeed, from the moment Giraldus Cambrensis undertook his two influential works on Ireland at the end of the twelfth century, the Topography and the Conquest--culture and performance are at the heart of colonial anxiety.
This is an external myth, welded on to Irish character assessments by British commentators, probably since Giraldus Cambrensis or Edmund Spenser.
There is a genre of travel books on Ireland that goes back to Giraldus Cambrensis's Topographia Hibernica in the twelfth century in which the travel writer absorbs as gospel every local tall story and in which he waxes lyrical on the beauties of the countryside, the hospitality of the natives and the infectious magic and charm of a world apart that has not quite surrendered to modernity.
Written in 1186 by Giraldus Cambrensis, the Topographica Hibernica contains an infamous description of an Ulster kingship ceremony in which the inauguree mates with a white mare, which is then killed, dismembered, and boiled.
Giraldus Cambrensis made the distinction explicit: there were two Merlins, one, born of an incubus, called Merlin Ambrosius, who prophesied in the time of Vortigern (Merlin of the Historia), and another, born in Scotland, called Merlin Caledonius or Sylvester, who prophesied during the reign of Arthur (Merlin of the Vita).(17)
Unifying all viewpoints from Giraldus Cambrensis to the `atrocity' pamphlets of the 1640s is the theme of territorial acquisition - and upon the vast estates hereby created the Irish might be allowed to serve as `our best Gardeners, fruiterers and keepers of our horses' (51).
Curiously, I was just reading The Itinerary through Wales by Giraldus Cambrensis, (Gerald of Wales) during which time, 1188AD, Gerald accompanied Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, to seek recruits for the Crusades.
Shots of imperialist rhetoric injected into the political discourse between England and Ireland by Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) in the later twelfth century, for example (backed by endorsements from classical antiquity of the civilizing effects of cultivation), grounded England's evolving imperial aspirations such that, by the 1500s, English "agricultural civility" effectively trumped "the pastoral savagery of the Irish" (4).