Myrddin, Merlin, Myrlin, Merlyn

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Gwilym Goch
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Myrddin, Merlin, Myrlin, Merlyn

Postby Gwilym Goch » 14 Nov 2005, 16:45

How do all?

Recently joined this space and very interesting it all is too.

Would any of you mind giving me a little bit of your time? I've started an MA course recently and have just been looking at the historic development of Myrddin in early Welsh and Medieval English literature. This has led me to realise that there's an enormous organic, cultural phenomena which has sprouted from these early versions and would like to gauge the current trends in this ongoing myth. My question is, how do you personally relate to Myrddin or Merlin or whatever you choose to call him? What is your experience of him?

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Re: Myrddin, Merlin, Myrlin, Merlyn

Postby DJ Droood » 28 May 2010, 12:43

I bought a copy of Excalibur...the definitive film version of the tale and Nicol Williamson resides in my brain as "Merlin" whenever I access that idea....certainly a facinating British character, more interesting and evocative than even King Arthur.
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Re: Myrddin, Merlin, Myrlin, Merlyn

Postby oaklight » 28 May 2010, 15:39

I bought a copy of Excalibur...the definitive film version of the tale and Nicol Williamson resides in my brain as "Merlin" whenever I access that idea....certainly a facinating British character, more interesting and evocative than even King Arthur.
I'm with you, Cuz; for me, he is the definitive literary Myrddin!
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Re: Myrddin, Merlin, Myrlin, Merlyn

Postby Corwen » 28 May 2010, 18:50

I find the story of Suibhne Geilt fascinating as he is another character in the same ecstatic 'wildman' tradition as Merlin. Its well worth a read.

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Re: Myrddin, Merlin, Myrlin, Merlyn

Postby oaklight » 28 May 2010, 23:13

I find the story of Suibhne Geilt fascinating as he is another character in the same ecstatic 'wildman' tradition as Merlin. Its well worth a read.

http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T302018/index.html
I agree, and history is full of many other examples of the very fine line between inspiration and madness. I've often wondered if that's because a mind that's operating at high performance has less of a "safety margin" than the rest of us. Does inspiration cause the madness or the other way around?
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blue pig
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Re: Myrddin, Merlin, Myrlin, Merlyn

Postby blue pig » 01 Jan 2014, 14:52

Hi folks :)

Starting the new year and acknowledging the new moon with a little Merlin time...

Just checking out the BBC religion site again after a while and happy to find and take time to listen to the Merlin story presented by Melvyn Bragg.

A valuable 45 minutes for those tracing the reality and myth.

Cheers Beeb :grin:

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Re: Myrddin, Merlin, Myrlin, Merlyn

Postby Mannan » 10 May 2014, 19:44

As well as Suibne and Myrddin, let's not forget that the Manx traditionally called their god Manannan by the epithet 'Manannan Keoi' - 'Frenzied Manannan'. There is a great deal of conflation between Merlin and Manannan, in fact: The 12thC monk Jocelyn of Furness (a contemporary of Geoffrey of Monmouth) called the 'wizard' whom St Patrick kicked out of the Isle of Man 'Melinus' and made a similar association between a saint and a wild enchanter in his 'Life of St Kentigern' - the same enchanter linked to the Merddyn myths. Another 'wildman' from Irish medieval mythology other than Suibne Geilt was the character Derg Corra from the tale 'Finn and the man in the tree'.

An interesting linguistic approach which parts the fog between 'celtic' and 'germanic' mythology is the transformation which occurs in the 'M' sound, which becomes 'W' - 'Sow-in' not 'Sam-hain' is a good example from the Gaelic languages. Allowing for this transformation to affect initial consonants, then Merddyn becomes Werddyn - a step closer to 'Wodin', who in Norse myth had his own episode of revelatory insanity...


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