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Benjamin Guy

Dr Benjamin Guy

Research Associate

School of Welsh

Welsh speaking


I specialise in the language, literature and history of medieval Wales. My interests range across early Welsh poetry, historical writing, and manuscripts, as well as early Insular history. I have a special interest in medieval Welsh texts that convey contemporary political views through representations of the Welsh past. I have conducted extensive research on the tradition of Welsh genealogical writing, from the early medieval to early modern period, and this is the subject of my monograph. I am currently a Research Associate working on the earliest poems in the Welsh Myrddin tradition. 






Book sections



My research interests include:

  • Early Welsh poetry
  • Medieval genealogical writing
  • Medieval Welsh Chronicles
  • Welsh manuscripts
  • Early Latin texts from Wales (Historia Brittonum, saints' Lives, charters)
  • The Border between England and Wales in the early Middle Ages
  • Medieval Princes of Wales



'Explaining the Origins of Brittany in the Twelfth Century: St Cadog's Solution', in Multi-disciplinary Approaches to Medieval Brittany, 450–1200: Connections and Disconnections, ed. C. Brett, F. Edmonds and P. Russell (Turnhout: Brepols, 2023), pp. 239–62.


Offa's Journal 4, Special Issue: Borders in Early Medieval Britain, ed. B. Guy, H. Williams and L. Delaney (2022), pp. i + 176 [OPEN ACCESS].

'The Changing Approaches of English Kings to Wales in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries', in Offa's Journal 4, Special Issue: Borders in Early Medieval Britain, ed. B. Guy, H. Williams and L. Delaney (2022), pp. 86–106 [OPEN ACCESS].

'The Vespasian Life of St Teilo and the Evolution of the Vitae Sanctorum Wallensium', in Seintiau Cymru, Sancti Cambrenses: Studies on the Saints of Wales / Studies in the Saints of Wales, ed. D. N. Parsons and P. Russell (Aberystwyth: University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, 2022), pp. 1–30 [OPEN ACCESS].

'Origin Legends and Genealogy', in Origin Legends in Early Medieval Western Europe, ed. L. Brady and P. Wadden (Leiden: Brill, 2022), pp. 363–84.


'Misunderstanding Old Welsh Orthography and Insular Script in the Jesus College 20 Genealogies', Celtica 33 (2021), 59–96.


Medieval Welsh Genealogy: An Introduction and Textual Study, Studies in Celtic History (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2020).

The Chronicles of Medieval Wales and the March: New Contexts, Studies, and Texts, ed. B. Guy, G. Henley, O. W. Jones, and R. Thomas, Medieval Texts and Cultures of Northern Europe (Turnhout: Brepols, 2020), pp. xvi + 455.

'Historical Scholars and Dishonest Charlatans: Studying the Chronicles of Medieval Wales', in The Chronicles of Medieval Wales and the March, ed. Guy et al . (see above), pp. 69–106.

'Brut Ieuan Brechfa: A Welsh Poet Writes the Early Middle Ages', in The Chronicles of Medieval Wales and the March, ed. Guy et al . (see above), pp. 375–419.

'Geoffrey of Monmouth's Welsh Sources', in A Companion to Geoffrey of Monmouth, ed. G. Henley and J. B. Smith, Brill Companions to European History (Leiden: Brill, 2020), pp. 31–66 [OPEN ACCESS].

'The Reception of Geoffrey of Monmouth in Wales', in A Companion to Geoffrey of Monmouth, ed. G. Henley and J. B. Smith, Brill Companions to European History (Leiden: Brill, 2020), pp. 494–7 [OPEN ACCESS].


'Rheinwg: The Lost Kingdom of South Wales', Peritia 30 (2019), 97–121.

'Writing Genealogy in Wales, c.1475–c.1640: Sources and Practitioners', in Genealogical Knowledge in the Making: Tools, Practices, and Evidence in Early Modern Europe, ed. J. Eickmeyer, M. Friedrich and V. Bauer, Cultures and Practices of Knowledge in History 1 (Berlin: de Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2019), pp. 99–125.


'Constantine, Helena, Maximus: On the Appropriation of Roman History in Medieval Wales, 800–1250', Journal of Medieval History 44 (2018), 1–25.

'The Earliest Welsh Genealogies: Textual Layering and the Phenomenon of "Pedigree Growth"', Early Medieval Europe 26.4 (2018), 462–85 [OPEN ACCESS].

'The Life of St Dyfrig and the Lost Charters of Moccas (Mochros), Herefordshire', Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 75 (2018), 1–37.

'Gerald and Welsh Genealogical Learning', in Gerald of Wales: New Perspectives on a Medieval Writer and Critic, ed. G. Henley and A. J. McMullen (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2018), pp. 47–61.


'A Lost Medieval Manuscript from North Wales: Hengwrt 33, the Hanesyn Hên', Studia Celtica 50 (2016), 69–105 [OPEN ACCESS].

'The Textual History of the Harleian Genealogies', Welsh History Review 28 (2016), 1–25.


'Egerton Phillimore (1856–1937) and the Study of Welsh Historical Texts', Honourable Proceedings of the Society of Cymmrodorion, new series, 21 (2015), 36–50.

'The Origins of the Compilation of Welsh Historical Texts in Harley 3859', Studia Celtica 49 (2015), 21–56.


'A Second Witness to the Welsh Material in Harley 3859', Quaestio Insularis: Selected Proceedings of the Cambridge Colloquium in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic 15 (2014), 72–91.

'The Breton Migration: A New Synthesis', Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 61 (2014), 101–56.

'A Welsh Manuscript in America: Library Company of Philadelphia, 8680.O', National Library of Wales Journal 36 (2014), 1–26 [OPEN ACCESS].


'Did the Harleian Genealogies Draw on Archival Sources?', Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 32 (2012), 119–33.


Review of H. Pryce, Writing Welsh History: From the Early Middle Ages to the Twenty-First Century (2022), in The Medieval Review (2023) [OPEN ACCESS].

Review of D. W. Burchmore, The History of the Kings of Britain: The First Variant Version (2019), in Journal of Medieval Latin 32 (2022), 300–6.

Review of K. McCann, Anglo-Saxon Kingship and Political Power: Rex gratia Dei (2018), in Speculum 97 (2022), 224–5.

Review of W. MacQuarrie and J. F. Nagy, ed., The Medieval Cultures of the Irish Sea and the North Sea: Manannán and His Neighbours (2019), in Journal of English and Germanic Philology 120.2 (2021), 245–7.

Review of M. F. Stevens, The Economy of Medieval Wales, 1067–1536 (2019), in The Medieval Review (2021) [OPEN ACCESS].

Review of I. Daniel, Llythyr Gildas a Dinistr Prydain (2019), in Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 80 (2020), 104–7.

Review of R. Flechner, Saint Patrick Retold: The Legend and History of Ireland's Patron Saint (2019), in Kelten 83 (2020) [OPEN ACCESS].

Review of P. Sims-Williams, The Book of Llandaff as a Historical Source (2019), in Glamorgan (2020), 225–9.

Review of Michael Powell Siddons, Welsh Genealogies A.D. 1500–1600 (WG 3) (2017), in Welsh History Review 29 (2019), 480–2.

Review of Lindy Brady, Writing the Welsh Borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England (2017), in English Historical Review 134 (2019), 9479.

Review of Lynette Olson, ed., St Samson of Dol and the Earliest History of Brittany, Cornwall and Wales (2017), in English Historical Review 134 (2019), 1767.

Review of David Stephenson, Medieval Powys: Kingdom, Principality and Lordships, 1132–1293 (2016), in Speculum 93.3 (2018), 915–17. 


Academic positions:

  • March 2022 - present: Research Associate, Welsh Merlin poetry project, Cardiff University
  • September 2020 - March 2022: Teaching Associate in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge
  • October 2017 - August 2020: Junior Research Fellow, Robinson College, Cambridge
  • January 2017 - September 2017: Research Associate, Vitae Sanctorum Cambriae project, University of Cambridge

Education and qualifications

  • 2019 Postgraduate Certificate of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, University of Cambridge
  • 2016 PhD Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge
  • 2013 MA History, Brown University
  • 2012 BA Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge