Coelbren y Beirdd / The Bardic Alphabet
Iolo Morganwg, a.k.a. Edward Williams (1747-1826), an antiquarian, poet
and collector of medieval Welsh literature, invented Coelbren
y Beirdd or The Bardic Alphabet in about 1791 and claimed that it
was the alphabet of the old Welsh bards.
In 1840 Taliesin ab Iolo, Iolo Morganwg's son, published a book
entitled Coelbren y Beirdd and based on his father's writings
which included details of the Bardic Alphabet. The alphabet proved
popular with poets and druids during the 19th century, but some,
such as Edward Davies (1756-1831), questioned it's authenticity.
By 1893 few believed that it was genuine, and it was revealed that
Morganwg had forged many of his manuscripts.
- Type of writing system: alphabet
- Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines
- Used to write: Welsh
Consists of 20 basic letters, plus 20 other letters for long
vowels and mutations. The letters were to be represented in a wooden
frame, known as peithynen (see right).
Coelbren y Beirdd
Information about Coelbren y Beirdd and Iolo Morganwg