Caradoc of Llancarfan

Caradoc of Llancarfan (12th C, W) was a Welsh cleric and author generally accepted to be the author of a ‘Life of Gildas’ and of a ‘Life of Saint Cadog’ in Latin.  He was a contemporary of Geoffrey of Monmouth, author of the Historia Regum Britanniae, the end of which refers to Caradoc as writing a continuation covering the period from 689 to his own time.  This must be the chronicle Brut y Tywysogion, though no extant medieval copy mentions Caradog as its author.  The date of the Life of Gildas is estimated at c.1130-1150 and the author shows familiarity with the abbey at Glastonbury, which has been taken as suggesting that he may have relocated from Llancarfan to Glastonbury.  Caradoc’s version of the Life of Saint Cadog is included in a manuscript held at the University of Cambridge, along with the Life of Gildas, at the end of which the author identifies himself, in a Latin couplet, as also being the author of the second Life.  The life of Cadog includes King Arthur as a major character.  The 16th century Welsh antiquary David Powel claimed his Historie of Cambria was a continuation of this chronicle.  At the end of the 18th century Iolo Morganwg wrote what he claimed was Caradoc’s lost chronicle, ‘Brut Aberpergwm’.  This work became one of the most influential and best-known of Iolo’s numerous literary and antiquarian forgeries, which give Morgannwg a central place in early and medieval Welsh history.

back to C – D

back to Writers A – Z