17 – Pretani Associates – Isles of Pretani Series – Pretani Literature

Before writing was used within the Isles of Pretani (British Isles), important information such as laws, the genealogies of the clans, the history of the tribes and tales, were recited in verse. Storytellers remind us today of how important the old-world art of reciting was used to pass on information and remember heroes, whether real or mythological. It would be the telling of the tales of King Arthur and his companions with such names as Merlin, Excaliber, Camelot, Tristan, Lancelot and Avalon that would become the most enduring ever known.

The development of alphabets would create written records within the Isles of Pretani. Unfortunately Pretani manuscripts have not survived to modern times. However the existence of the Pretani and their folkore will have been passed down using oral tradition and captured in later manuscripts. Such literature records the heroes of the Pretanic people such as the Gododdin, the oldest Scottish poem written in Brittonic or Welsh which mentions Tristan as Drust, son of the Pretanic king Talorc, who ruled in Northern Britain about 780, who was placed with Merlin in the Caledonian Forest, and whose legends were later given a new setting in Cornwall.

As language changed within the Isles of Pretani, the Pretani name would change to Cruithni in Gaelic and later Cruthin in English in the island known today as Ireland; and in the island known today as Britain, Pretani would change to Prydain. These words Cruithni/Cruthin would become recorded within great works of early literature such as the Ulster Cycle. These tales written in the Pretanian Abbot Comgall’s monastery of Bangor, are traditionally felt to depict the north of Ireland in the first few centuries AD and speak of the Cruithni/Cruthin (Pretani).

Writings such as The Annals of Tigernach, The Pictish (Pretani) Chronicle, St Berchan, the Albanic Duan, the Book of Deer and John of Fordun clearly show that the name Cruithni/Cruthin (Pretani) was applied to the inhabitants of both Scotland and Ireland.

Writings until modern times in the Brittonic languages of Welsh, Cornish and Breton literature, clearly show the name Prydain and its variants was applied to the inhabitants of Britain. The word Prydain is still used today and is found in the British passport.