Lecture Natalia Petrovskaia: Understanding Historia Peredur vab Efrawc

Centre for Medieval Studies

De eerste regels van de middeleeuwse tekst Historia Peredur vab Efrawc. Foto: Jesus College, Oxford
The first lines of the text Historia Peredur vab Efrawc. Photo: Jesus College, Oxford via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.0)

On 28 March, the Centre for Medieval Studies will organise its fifth lecture in the Lecture Series 2023-2024. Assistant Professor in Celtic Natalia Petrovskaia will give a talk entitled ‘Understanding Historia Peredur vab Efrawc: Disentangling a Welsh Text from the Grail Romance’. 

Internally consistent episodes

Traditionally, the medieval Welsh tale Historia Peredur vab Efrawc (Story of Peredur son of Efrawc) often referred to as Peredur for short, has been seen as one of the Welsh equivalents of the late twelfth-century verse romances by Chrétien de Troyes. In this instance, the text was taken to be an adaptation of the story of Perceval, known also as the Conte du graal (Story of the Grail). Seen as an adaptation, the Welsh text has not received wide critical attention (or much acclaim), as it appeared to be full of inconsistencies, seemed to contain multiple interpolations, and, crucially, featured no Grail.

This lecture, introducing some of the arguments put forward in Petrovskaia’s recent book, This is Not a Grail Romance (University of Wales Press, 2023), will demonstrate that Peredur is not a badly unified single narrative, but rather a series of internally consistent episodes, rich with local detail which would have been amply appreciated by its original audiences, and anchored in medieval Welsh laws, customs, society, and geography.  

About Natalia Petrovskaia

Natalia I. Petrovskaia is assistant professor in Celtic at Utrecht University. Her monographs include Medieval Welsh Perceptions of the Orient (Brepols, 2015), Delw y Byd: A Medieval Welsh Encyclopedia (MHRA, 2020), and This is Not a Grail Romance: Understanding Historia Peredur vab Efrawc (University of Wales Press, 2023). 

Petrovskaia’s interests include medieval geographical traditions, translation and transmission of medieval European texts, and Arthurian literature. She has been working on Peredur on and off since first developing an interest for this text as undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Cambridge (2004-2013). She is the winner of the 2021 Journal of the International Arthurian Society Essay Prize, for her article on the legal aspects of Peredur.

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Kromme Nieuwegracht 20, T.0.05
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