Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PHYLIP BRYDYDD ( fl. 1222 ), court poet .

His extant works are an awdl and intercessionary englynion addressed to Rhys Gryg (q.v.) , a chain of englynion and an elegiac awdl to Rhys Ieuanc ap Gruffudd (son of the ‘lord’ Rhys ) (d. 1222 ) , and two other interesting poems in which he claims priority over poets of lower degree. One of these last-mentioned was sung in the court of Rhys Ieuanc in Llanbadarn-fawr . Gwilym Ddu associates Phylip with Ceredigion , and ranks him among the exponents of the tradition of the highest grade of court poets ( Myv. Arch. , 277b, 8-9). Phylip Brydydd refers to himself as Rhys Gryg 's chaired poet , and as one who was his comrade ‘a hundred times,’ even when his enemies arose against him ‘in every hill’ — probably an allusion to the vicissitudes which overtook that prince in 1213 . This poet's compositions reveal his pride in the noble tradition of the leading court poets of Wales , which he claims can be traced back to the muse of Taliesin and the court of Maelgwn Gwynedd . They also reveal, however, that the guardians of this tradition were driven in the courts of South Wales , even as early as his day, to strive against the ‘poetasters,’ the ‘unskilled dabblers’ and ‘vain bards’ — a reference to the lower strata of poets of whom more was to be heard in a later generation.


  • The Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales , 257-9.


David Myrddin Lloyd, M.A., (1909-81), Aberystwyth / Scotland

Published date: 1959