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And Matholwch was angered mightily. So Bendigeid Vran offered an atonement, a staff of silver, as tall as himself, and a plate of gold of the breadth of his face, and horses new. But seeing that Matholwch was not yet cheered, said Bendigeid Vran, "I will give unto thee a cauldron, which can restore to life men who are slain, all but their power of speech.

And so Matholwch with Branwen returned to Ireland with thirteen ships. And in due time a son was born unto her, and the name that they gave him was Gwern the son of Matholwch. And behold in the second year a tumult arose in Ireland, among those who heard of the insult which Matholwch had received in Cambria, and of the hurt done to the horses.

And in vengeance they took Branwen from the chamber with him, and made her cook for the Court; and they caused the butcher after he had cut up the meat to come to her and give her every day a blow on the ear. And Branwen reared a starling in the cover of the kneading trough, and she taught it to speak. And she wrote a letter of her woes, and bound the letter to the bird's wing, and sent it towards Britain. Branwen the daughter of Lyr From 'Wonder Stories from the Mabinogion', And he caused sevenscore and four countries to come unto him, and Bendigeid Vran and his host sailed towards Ireland.

Messengers then went unto Branwen, saying "We see a forest upon the sea? And a mountain beside it? And the men of Ireland said to Matholwch their king, "This great man was never known to be within a house, let us make therefore a house that will contain him and the men of the Island of the Mighty on the one side, and thyself and thy host on the other; and there we will show that his sister's son will be our heir and sometime king of Ireland.

But the Irish planned a crafty device, that they should put a leathern bag by each of the hundred pillars that were in the house, and an armed man in every one of them. Then Evnissyen came in, and scanned the house with fierce and savage looks, and descried the leathern bags. And Evnissyen felt about it until he came to the man's head, and he squeezed the head until he felt his fingers meet together in the brain through the bone. So he did the like unto every one of them, until he had not left alive, of all the two hundred men.

The men of the Island of Ireland entered the house on the one side, and the men of the Island of the Mighty on the other. And there was concord between them; and the sovereignty was conferred upon the boy, Gwern the son of Matholwch, and he was beloved by all that beheld him. Then Evnissyen arose and took up the boy by the feet, and thrust him headlong into the blazing fire. Then never was there made so great a tumult in one house as was made by them, as each man armed himself.

Then the Irish kindled a fire under the cauldron of renovation, and they cast their dead therein, and the next day they came forth fighting-men as good as before, except that they were not able to speak. Then when Evnissyen saw that the dead of the Island of the Mighty were nowhere resuscitated, he cried in his heart and he cast himself among the dead of the Irish. And two unshod Irishmen came and flung him into the cauldron. And rent the cauldron in four pieces, and burst his own heart also.

Thus the men of the Island of the Mighty were not victorious, for only seven men of them all escaped, and Bendigeid Vran himself was grievous wounded in the foot with a poisoned dart. And Bendigeid Vran commanded them that they should cut off his head, and travel to London.


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And all that time my head will be to you as pleasant company as it ever was when on my body. And at Gwales in Penvro you will be fourscore years and the head with you uncorrupted, until you open the door that looks towards Cornwall. And then you must to London to bury the head on the White Mount, with the face towards France. Seven Cantrevs remain unto me, wherein Rhiannon my mother dwells.

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I will bestow her upon thee and the seven Cantrevs with her, for thou didst never hear a lady discourse better, and even now her aspect is not uncomely. And such was the friendship between those four, that they would not be parted from each other by night nor by day. Pryderi and Kicva, and Manawyddan and Rhiannon. And after his return, Pryderi and Manawyddan feasted and took their ease.

And as they sat, behold, a peal of thunder, and lo there came a fall of mist, so thick that not one of them could see the other. And after the mist it became light all around. And when they looked they saw neither house, nor beast, nor smoke, nor fire, nor man, nor dwelling; but the houses of the Court empty, and desert, and uninhabited, without either man or beast within them. And they came into the hall, and there was no man; and to the sleeping-place, and they saw none; and in the mead-cellar and in the kitchen there was nought but desolation.

Then they began to go through the land and all the possessions that they had, and they visited the houses and dwellings, and found nothing but wild beasts. And when they had consumed their feast and all their provisions, they fed upon the prey they killed in hunting, and the honey of the wild swarms.

And thus they passed the first year pleasantly, and the second; but at the last they began to be weary. And Manawyddan gilded and coloured them with blue enamel, in the manner done by Llasar Llaesgywydd. And so fine was their work that no man bought saddles but of them. So the saddle-makers of Hereford assembled together, and agreed to slay Manawyddan and his companions. Now they received warning, so they went to another city, and took to the craft of making shields, and to another they took the craft of shoemakers.

But their craft was so fine that they were marked everywhere by the craftsmen there, and so left for another city. So they journeyed to Dyved, and went to Narberth again, and there they kindled fire and supported themselves by hunting. And one morning Pryderi and Manawyddan rose up to hunt, and they pursued a boar, all white, until they beheld a vast and lofty castle, all newly built, in a place where they had never before seen either stone or building. And the boar ran swiftly into the castle and their dogs after him.

And within he beheld a fountain of marble, and a golden bowl hanging by chains from the air, to which he saw no end.

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And he went up to the bowl and laid hold of it, whenupon his hands stuck to the bowl, and his feet to the floor, and all his joyousness forsook him, so that he could not utter a word. And they waited for him till near the close of the day, then only Rhiannon woukld go into the strange place.

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And as she went in, she perceived Pryderi, and she took hold of the bowl with him; and as she did so her hands became fast to the bowl, and her feet to the slab, and she was not able to utter a word. And, lo, there came thunder upon them, and a fall of mist, and thereupon the castle vanished, and they with it. Then did Kicva the daughter of Gwynn Gloyw and Manawyddan sorrow that they were alone. Let us go into Lloegyr, I can work as a shoemaker. So he began his craft, and thus they tarried there a year, until the cordwainers became envious, and took counsel concerning him. So towards Dyved they set forth to return.

And never was he better pleased than when he saw Narberth again, and the lands where he had been wont to hunt with Pryderi and with Rhiannon. And then he began to prepare some ground, and he sowed a croft, and a second, and a third. And the three crofts prospered with perfect growth, and no man ever saw fairer wheat grown there. And thus passed the seasons of the year until the harvest came. And then as each day Manawyddan set forth to reap, the crop he found grew less. So, by night, he went to watch the croft. And at midnight, lo, there arose the loudest tumult in the world. And he looked, and behold the mightiest host of mice in the world, which could neither be numbered nor measured.

And they all took their way, carrying the ears of wheat with them. In wrath and anger did he rush upon the mice, and caught one of them up, and put it in his glove. Main article: Politics of Wales. Main article: Local government in Wales. See also: History of local government in Wales.

See also: Marcher Lord. Main article: Geography of Wales. See also: List of settlements in Wales by population and List of towns in Wales. See also: Geology of Wales. Main article: Economy of Wales. See also: Tourism in Wales. Main article: Transport in Wales. Main article: Education in Wales.

See also: List of universities in Wales and List of further education colleges in Wales. Main article: NHS Wales. Main article: Culture of Wales. Main article: Welsh mythology. File:Llyfyrgell Genedlaethol. Main article: Welsh art. Main article: National symbols of Wales. Main article: Sport in Wales. Main article: Media in Wales. See also: List of newspapers in Wales. Main article: Welsh cuisine. See also: Cuisine of Gower. Main article: Music of Wales. See also: Music of Cardiff. See also: Cinema of Wales. Wales portal Celtic Studies portal. It seems comparatively late as the place name, the nominative plural Lloegrwys , "men of Lloegr", being earlier and more common.

The English were sometimes referred to as an entity in early poetry Saeson , as today but just as often as Eingl Angles , Iwys Wessex-men , etc. Lloegr and Sacson became the norm later when England emerged as the kingdom. As for its origins, some scholars have suggested that it originally referred only to Mercia — at that time the powerful kingdom and for centuries the main foe of the Welsh.

It was an applied to the new kingdom of England as the whole see for instance Rachel Bromwich ed. See also Discussion in Reference Retrieved 10 October Angles and Britons: O'Donnell Lectures. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. Laudator Temporis Acti website. Michael Gilleland. Retrieved 29 October Northumbria, — Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. I, , S. In Phillimore, Egerton. Y Cymmrodor.

London: Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion published Current Archaeology. Retrieved 28 September Stroud, Gloucestershire: Tempus Publishing. Abgerufen am 30 September BBC History website. Retrieved 5 August Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust. Retrieved 30 December Stone Pages website. Retrieved 17 November Retrieved 24 October BBC Cymru Wales website.

BBC Cymru Wales. Retrieved 2 October Retrieved 17 May Oxbow Books and Celtic Studies Publications. The Prehistoric Society.

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In: Acta Palaeohispanica X Palaeohispanica. An Atlas of Roman Britain. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers published Britannia: A History of Roman Britain 3rd, revised ed. The Works of Gildas and Nennius. London: James Bohn. Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion. National Geographic News. Retrieved 9 September In: European Journal of Human Genetics. Script error: No such module "Vorlage:Handle".

PMID PMC : freier Volltext. Mercia: an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in Europe. Leicester University Press. Retrieved 27 November Retrieved 4 October BBC News. Retrieved 5 March London: Reader's Digest. A country and principality within the mainland of Britain Great Britain: Oxford University Press. Wales -lz. Principality occupying extreme W. BBC website. Retrieved 21 September Davies p.

Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales. Retrieved 26 September Rebirth of the Nation: Wales — Oxford: Oxford University Press. BBC News website. Retrieved 21 June National Library of Wales. Retrieved 25 November Gathering the Jewels. Retrieved 18 October Y Lolfa Cyf. Halcrow website. Halcrow Group Ltd. Retrieved 8 January The Fight for Welsh Freedom. Archived from the original on 9 September Retrieved 5 November WalesOnline website. Media Wales Ltd. Retrieved 25 July Welsh Assembly Government. Retrieved 15 October The Monarchy and the Constitution. London: Oxford University Press.

In his autobiography, the Duke of Windsor complained that, as Prince of Wales, are was 'no specific routine job in the sense, for example, that the vice-president has the job Though I was next in line to the Throne, with all that position implied, I actually possessed no formal state duties or responsibilities. Retrieved 4 November United Kingdom Parliament website. United Kingdom Parliament. Retrieved 1 September Welsh Assembly Government website. National Assembly for Wales website. National Assembly for Wales. Retrieved 6 October Retrieved 29 September Retrieved 9 December Retrieved 19 June The National Archives website.

HM Government. Retrieved 3 November Her Majesty's Courts Service website. Her Majesty's Courts Service. Retrieved 7 October Retrieved 31 December Archived from the original on 6 February Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 10 February Visit Wales website. Retrieved 3 October Size of Wales. European Land Information Service. International Hydrographic Organization. Retrieved 12 November The British Cartographic Society. London: guardian. Retrieved 30 September Retrieved 18 May The doggerel verse was composed in English, probably for the benefit of visitors from across Offa's Dyke.

In: Q. Met Office website. Met Office.

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US Navy website. US Navy. Airports guides website. TravelSmart Ltd. Hydro-GIS Ltd. London: The Independent. Retrieved 2 September Ecology Matters Ltd. Retrieved 6 September Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Retrieved 14 August Ed Atlas of the British Flora. Making sense of Wales.

Welsh Government website. Welsh Government. Stats Wales for the Welsh Government. September University of Wales Swansea. Retrieved 11 September Retrieved 11 October Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales website. The psychology of distance: Wales: one nation. Papurau Gregynog. Cardiff: Institute of Welsh Affairs published Retrieved 7 September GO Wales website. GO Wales. Stamp 1 June Country Quest Magazine. Bank of England website. Bank of England. The Bank of England has had the monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales since the early 20th century.

Archives Wales. Retrieved 8 September Royal Mint website. Royal Mint. Retrieved 6 June Office of Rail Regulation. May Retrieved 7 June Department for Transport. Retrieved 15 April BBC Cymru Wales history website. Retrieved 24 November Schooling in rural societies. Attitudes and language. Multilingual Matters. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Shimahara, N. Ken; Holowinsky, Ivan Z. Local identity and national systems: the case of Wales.

Ethnicity, race, and nationality in education: the global perspective. Retrieved 31 July NHS Wales website. NHS Wales. Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. The English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root singular Walh , plural Walha , which was itself derived from the name of the Celtic tribe known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all Celts.

Wallonia and Wallachia and peoples e. Historically in Britain , the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain e. Cornwall and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Celtic Britons e. Walworth in County Durham and Walton in West Yorkshire , [6] as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut.

It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples. The word came into use as a self-description probably before the 7th century. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh. Until c. The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian , Cambric and Cambria , survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales, Welsh and the Welsh people. The Cumbric language , which is thought to have been closely related to Welsh, was spoken in this area until becoming extinct around the 12th century.

This form also appears at times in literary references, as in the pseudohistorical " Historia Regum Britanniae " of Geoffrey of Monmouth , where the character of Camber is described as the eponymous King of Cymru. Script error. Wales has been inhabited by modern humans for at least 29, years. At that time sea levels were much lower than today, and the shallower parts of what is now the North Sea were dry land. The east coast of present day England and the coasts of present day Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands were connected by the former landmass known as Doggerland , forming the British Peninsula on the European mainland.

The post-glacial rise in sea level separated Wales and Ireland, forming the Irish Sea. According to John T. Koch and others, Wales in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-networked culture that also included the other Celtic nations , England, France, Spain and Portugal where Celtic languages developed. The Roman conquest of Wales began in AD 48 and took 30 years to complete. Roman rule lasted over years. The campaigns of conquest are the most widely known feature of Wales during the Roman era , because of the spirited, but ultimately unsuccessful, defence of their homelands by two native tribes: the Silures and the Ordovices.

Roman rule in Wales was a military occupation, save for the southern coastal region of south Wales , east of the Gower Peninsula , where there is a legacy of Romanisation. Both Caerwent and Carmarthen , also in southern Wales, became Roman civitates. The Romans used their engineering technology to extract large amounts of gold , copper and lead , as well as modest amounts of some other metals such as zinc and silver.

Although Latin became the official language of Wales, the people tended to continue to speak in Brythonic. While Romanisation was far from complete, the upper classes of Wales began to consider themselves Roman, particularly after the ruling of that granted Roman citizenship to all free men throughout the Empire. Early historians, including the 6th century cleric Gildas , have noted as a significant point in Welsh history, [32] as it is stated in literature as the foundation point of several medieval royal dynasties.

In that year the Roman general Magnus Maximus , or Macsen Wledig, stripped all of western and northern Britain of troops and senior administrators, to launch a successful bid for imperial power; continuing to rule Britain from Gaul as emperor. Having left with the troops and Roman administrators, and planning to continue as the ruler of Britain in the future, his practical course was to transfer local authority to local rulers.

The earliest Welsh genealogies give Maximus the role of founding father for several royal dynasties, including those of Powys and Gwent. The year period following the collapse of Roman rule is the most difficult to interpret in the history of Wales. Before extensive studies of the distribution of R1b Y-DNA subclades , some previously maintained that native Britons were displaced by the invaders. With the loss of the lowlands, England's kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria , and later Wessex , wrestled with Powys, Gwent and Gwynedd to define the frontier between the two peoples.

Having lost much of what is now the West Midlands to Mercia in the 6th and early 7th centuries, a resurgent late-7th-century Powys checked Mercian advances. Aethelbald of Mercia , looking to defend recently acquired lands, had built Wat's Dyke. According to John Davies , this endeavour may have been with the agreement of Powys king Elisedd ap Gwylog , as this boundary, extending north from the valley of the River Severn to the Dee estuary, gave Oswestry to Powys. Davies wrote of Cyril Fox 's study of Offa's Dyke: "In the planning of it, there was a degree of consultation with the kings of Powys and Gwent.

On the Long Mountain near Trelystan, the dyke veers to the east, leaving the fertile slopes in the hands of the Welsh; near Rhiwabon , it was designed to ensure that Cadell ap Brochwel retained possession of the Fortress of Penygadden. By the 8th century, the eastern borders with the Anglo-Saxons had broadly been set.

Script error The southern and eastern parts of Great Britain lost to English settlement became known in Welsh as Lloegyr Modern Welsh Lloegr , which may have referred to the kingdom of Mercia originally and which came to refer to England as a whole. From onwards, a series of dynastic marriages led to Rhodri Mawr 's r. His sons in turn would found three principal dynasties Aberffraw for Gwynedd, Dinefwr for Deheubarth and Mathrafal for Powys. Rhodri's grandson Hywel Dda r.

Maredudd's great-grandson through his daughter Princess Angharad Gruffydd ap Llywelyn r. Historian John Davies states that Gruffydd was "the only Welsh king ever to rule over the entire territory of Wales Thus, from about until his death in , the whole of Wales recognised the kingship of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn.

For about seven brief years, Wales was one, under one ruler, a feat with neither precedent nor successor. Within four years of the Battle of Hastings , England had been completely subjugated by the Normans. Owain Gwynedd's grandson Llywelyn Fawr the Great, — , wrested concessions through the Magna Carta in and receiving the fealty of other Welsh lords in at the council at Aberdyfi , became the first Prince of Wales.

With Llywelyn's death and his brother prince Dafydd 's execution, the few remaining Welsh lords did homage for their lands to Edward I. To help maintain his dominance, Edward constructed a series of great stone castles: Beaumaris , Caernarfon and Conwy. The apocryphal story that Edward tricked the Welsh by offering them a Welsh-born Prince who could speak no English was first recorded in But the rebellion failed, and Owain went into hiding in ; peace was essentially restored in Wales by Although the Statute of Rhuddlan in provided the constitutional basis for post-conquest government of the Principality of north Wales from until , there was no formal Union until Prior to the British Industrial Revolution , which saw a rapid economic expansion between and , there were signs of small-scale industries scattered throughout Wales.

With access to local coal deposits and a harbour that could take advantage of Cornwall's copper mines and the copper deposits being extracted from the then-largest copper mine in the world at Parys Mountain on Anglesey, Swansea developed into the world's major centre for non-ferrous metal smelting in the 19th century. In the late 18th century, slate quarrying began to expand rapidly, most notably in north Wales. The Penrhyn Quarry , opened in by Richard Pennant , was employing 15, men by the late 19th century, [70] and along with Dinorwic Quarry , it dominated the Welsh slate trade.

Although slate quarrying has been described as 'the most Welsh of Welsh industries', [71] it is coal mining which has become the single industry synonymous with Wales and its people. Initially, coal seams were exploited to provide energy for local metal industries but, with the opening of canal systems and later the railways, Welsh coal mining saw a boom in its demand.


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  • As the south Wales coalfield was exploited, mainly in the upland valleys around Aberdare and later the Rhondda , the ports of Swansea, Cardiff and later Penarth, grew into world exporters of coal and, with them, came a population boom. By its height in , Wales was producing almost 61 million tons of coal. As well as in south Wales, there was also a significant coalfield in the north-east of the country, particularly around Wrexham.

    Historian Kenneth Morgan described Wales on the eve of the First World War as a "relatively placid, self-confident and successful nation". Output from the coalfields continued to increase, with the Rhondda Valley recording a peak of 9. A total of , Welshmen served in the war, representing The first quarter of the 20th century also saw a shift in the political landscape of Wales. Since , the Liberal Party had held a parliamentary majority in Wales and, following the general election of , only one non-Liberal Member of Parliament, Keir Hardie of Merthyr Tydfil , represented a Welsh constituency at Westminster.

    After economic growth in the first two decades of the 20th century, Wales' staple industries endured a prolonged slump from the early s to the late s, leading to widespread unemployment and poverty in the south Wales valleys. The 20th century saw a revival in Welsh national feeling. Plaid Cymru was formed in , seeking greater autonomy or independence from the rest of the UK. Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg The Welsh Language Society was formed in , in response to long-held fears that the language might soon die out. By the end of the s, the regional policy of bringing businesses into disadvantaged areas of Wales through financial incentives had proven very successful in diversifying the industrial economy.

    It was believed that the foundations for stable economic growth had been firmly established in Wales during this period; but this view was shown to be wildly optimistic after the recession of the early s saw the collapse of much of the manufacturing base that had been built over the preceding forty years. In the first referendum , in , the Welsh electorate voted on the creation of an assembly for Wales, but there was a large majority for the "no" vote. The governments of the United Kingdom and of Wales almost invariably define Wales as a country. Although we are joined with England by land, and we are part of Great Britain, Wales is a country in its own right.

    However the Prince of Wales has no constitutional role in modern Wales. But he does not have a role in the governance of Wales, even though his title might suggest that he does. Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Referendums held in Wales and Scotland in chose to establish a form of self-government in both countries. Members AMs ACau are elected for four-year terms under an additional member system. Forty of the AMs represent geographical constituencies , elected under the First Past the Post system. The remaining twenty AMs represent five electoral regions , each including between seven and nine constituencies, using the d'Hondt method of proportional representation.

    Labour remained the largest Assembly party following the election , winning 26 of the 60 seats. Under the 'One Wales' agreement, a referendum on giving the Welsh assembly full law-making powers was promised "as soon as practicable, at or before the end of the assembly term in " and both parties have agreed "in good faith to campaign for a successful outcome to such a referendum". Welsh Labour remained the largest party in the Assembly following the National Assembly for Wales election, , winning 30 of the 60 seats. Other parties represented in the assembly were the Welsh Conservatives the loyal opposition with 14 seats, Plaid Cymru who have 11 seats and the Welsh Liberal Democrats with five seats.

    Carwyn Jones remained First Minister following the election, this time leading a Welsh Labour ministerial team. After the May election, Labour continues to form the largest group in the Assembly, with 29 AMs. The remaining seat is held by Kirsty Williams of the Liberal Democrats. The twenty areas of responsibility devolved to the Welsh Government, known as "subjects", include agriculture, economic development, education, health, housing, local government, social services, tourism, transport and the Welsh language.

    The GoWA allows for the Assembly to gain primary lawmaking powers on a more extensive range of matters within the same devolved areas if approved in a referendum. A referendum on extending the law-making powers of the National Assembly was accordingly held on 3 March It asked the question: "Do you want the Assembly now to be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for? Consequently, the Assembly is now empowered to make laws, known as Acts of the Assembly , on all matters in the subject areas, without needing the UK Parliament's agreement.

    Nevertheless, the Welsh Assembly has deployed their own envoy to America, primarily to promote Wales-specific business interests. Script error For the purposes of local government, Wales has been divided into 22 council areas since These "principal areas" [] are responsible for the provision of all local government services, including education, social work, environment and roads services. Template:Principal areas of Wales imagemap.

    Note: Wales has six cities. By tradition, Welsh Law was compiled during an assembly held at Whitland around by Hywel Dda , king of most of Wales between and his death in The 'law of Hywel Dda' Welsh : Cyfraith Hywel , as it became known, codified the previously existing folk laws and legal customs that had evolved in Wales over centuries.

    Welsh Law emphasised the payment of compensation for a crime to the victim, or the victim's kin, rather than punishment by the ruler. English law has been the legal system of Wales and England since , [] and continues to be so, although there is now a growing body of contemporary Welsh law since devolution to Wales since The Welsh Assembly has the authority to draft and approve laws outside of the UK Parliamentary system to meet the specific needs of Wales. Under powers approved by a referendum held in March , it is empowered to pass primary legislation known as Acts of the Assembly in relation to twenty subjects listed in the Government of Wales Act such as health and education.

    Through this primary legislation, the Welsh Government can then also enact more specific secondary legislation. Wales has no women's prisons; female inmates are imprisoned in England. Script error Wales is a generally mountainous country on the western side of central southern Great Britain.

    Much of Wales' diverse landscape is mountainous, particularly in the north and central regions. The mountains were shaped during the last ice age, the Devensian glaciation. The highest mountains in Wales are in Snowdonia Eryri , of which five are over Script error. The highest of these is Snowdon Yr Wyddfa , at Script error. The highest outside the s is Aran Fawddwy , at Script error , in the south of Snowdonia. The highest point being Pumlumon at Script error.

    Forty two percent of the coastline of south and west Wales is designated as Heritage Coast , with 13 specific designated strips of coastline maintained by Natural Resources Wales successor body to the Countryside Council for Wales. On the night of 25 October , over ships were destroyed off the coast of Wales when a hurricane blew in from the Atlantic. The first border between Wales and England was zonal, apart from around the River Wye, which was the first accepted boundary. The Seven Wonders of Wales is a list in doggerel verse of seven geographic and cultural landmarks in Wales probably composed in the late 18th century under the influence of tourism from England.

    Script error The earliest geological period of the Paleozoic era, the Cambrian , takes its name from the Cambrian Mountains , where geologists first identified Cambrian remnants. The older rocks underlying the Cambrian rocks in Wales lacked fossils which could be used to differentiate their various groups and were referred to as Pre-cambrian. In the midth century, two prominent geologists, Roderick Murchison and Adam Sedgwick who first proposed the name of the Cambrian period , independently used their studies of the geology of Wales to establish certain principles of stratigraphy and palaeontology.

    The next two periods of the Paleozoic era, the Ordovician and Silurian , were named after ancient Celtic tribes from this area based on Murchison's and Sedgwick's work. Wales lies within the north temperate zone. It has a changeable, maritime climate and is one of the wettest countries in Europe. Average annual coastal temperatures reach Script error and in low lying inland areas, Script error lower.

    It becomes cooler at higher altitudes; annual temperatures decrease on average approximately Script error each Script error of altitude. Consequently, the higher parts of Snowdonia experience average annual temperatures of Script error. The ocean current, bringing warmer water to northerly latitudes, has a similar effect on most of north-west Europe.

    As well as its influence on Wales' coastal areas, air warmed by the Gulf Stream blows further inland with the prevailing winds. At low elevations, summers tend to be warm and sunny. Average maximum temperatures range between Script error. Winters tend to be fairly wet, but rainfall is rarely excessive and the temperature usually stays above freezing. Spring and autumn feel quite similar and the temperatures tend to stay above Script error — also the average annual daytime temperature.

    The sunniest time of year tends to be between May and August. The south-western coast is the sunniest part of Wales, averaging over hours of sunshine annually. Wales' sunniest town is Tenby , Pembrokeshire. The dullest time of year tends to be between November and January. The least sunny areas are the mountains, some parts of which average less than hours of sunshine annually. Coastal areas are the windiest, gales occur most often during winter, on average between 15 and 30 days each year, depending on location. Inland, gales average fewer than six days annually.

    Rainfall patterns show significant variation. Snow falls several times each winter in inland areas, but is relatively uncommon around the coast. Met Office statistics show Swansea to be the wettest city in Great Britain, with an average annual rainfall of 1, Because of its long coastline Wales hosts a variety of seabirds.

    The coasts and surrounding islands are home to colonies of gannets , Manx shearwater , puffins , kittiwakes , shags and razorbills. The larger Welsh mammals died out during the Norman period, including the brown bear, wolf and the wildcat. The pine marten which has had the occasional sighting, has not been officially recorded since the s. The polecat was nearly driven to extinction in Britain, but hung on in Wales and is now rapidly spreading. Feral goats can be found in Snowdonia. The waters of south-west Wales of Gower, Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay attract marine animals, including basking sharks , Atlantic grey seals , leatherback turtles, dolphins , porpoises , jellyfish, crabs and lobsters.

    Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion in particular are recognised as an area of international importance for bottlenose dolphins , and New Quay has the only summer residence of bottlenose dolphins in the whole of the UK. River fish of note include char , eel , salmon , shad , sparling and Arctic char , whilst the Gwyniad is unique to Wales, found only in Bala Lake.

    The north facing high grounds of Snowdonia support a relict pre-glacial flora including the iconic Snowdon lily — Gagea serotina — and other alpine species such as Saxifraga cespitosa , Saxifraga oppositifolia and Silene acaulis. Wales also hosts a number of plant species not found elsewhere in the UK including the spotted rock-rose Tuberaria guttata on Anglesey and Draba aizoides [] on the Gower. Over the last years, Wales has been transformed first from a predominantly agricultural country to an industrial, and now a post-industrial economy. From the middle of the 19th century until the post-war era, the mining and export of coal was a dominant industry.

    At its peak of production in , nearly , men and women were employed in the south Wales coalfield , mining 56 million tons of coal. In the late s and early s, Wales was successful in attracting an above average share of foreign direct investment in the UK. Because of poor-quality soil, much of Wales is unsuitable for crop-growing and livestock farming has traditionally been the focus of agriculture.

    Contextualizing the Muslim Other in Medieval Christian Discourse

    The Welsh landscape protected by three national parks and 45 Blue Flag beaches , as well as the unique culture of Wales, attract large numbers of tourists, who play an especially vital role in the economy of rural areas. The pound sterling is the currency used in Wales. Numerous Welsh banks issued their own banknotes in the 19th century. The last bank to do so closed in ; since then, although banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland continue to have the right to issue banknotes in their own countries, the Bank of England has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in Wales.

    However, Wales has not been represented on any coin minted from The main road artery along the south Wales coast is the M4 motorway. It also provides a link to southern England, terminating in London. The A55 expressway has a similar role along the north Wales coast, connecting Holyhead and Bangor with Wrexham and Flintshire. It also links to north-west England, principally Chester.

    The main north-south Wales link is the A , which runs from Cardiff to Llandudno. Cardiff International Airport is the only large and international airport in Wales. Providing links to European, African and North American destinations, it is about Script error southwest of Cardiff city centre , in the Vale of Glamorgan. The Welsh Government manages those parts of the British railway network within Wales. Cardiff Central is Wales' busiest railway station, with over four times as much passenger traffic as any other station in Wales.

    Beeching cuts in the s mean that most of the remaining network is geared toward east-west travel connecting with the Irish Sea ports for ferries to Ireland. All trains in Wales are diesel-powered, since no lines have been electrified. Wales has four commercial ferry ports. Regular ferry services to Ireland operate from Holyhead , Pembroke and Fishguard.

    The Swansea to Cork service, cancelled in , was reinstated in March , but has been withdrawn again in The University College of Wales opened in Aberystwyth in Cardiff and Bangor followed, and the three colleges came together in to form the University of Wales. The Welsh Department for the Board of Education followed in , which gave Wales its first significant educational devolution. In there were 33 nursery, primary, secondary comprehensive and 43 special schools with 56 independent schools in Wales. In the country had , pupils taught by 27, teachers. Historically, Wales was served by smaller 'cottage' hospitals, built as voluntary institutions.

    Source: John Davies A History of Wales. Wales The population of Wales doubled from , in to 1,, in and had reached 2,, by Most of the increase came in the coal mining districts, especially Glamorganshire , which grew from 71, in to , in and 1,, in However, there was also large-scale migration into Wales during the Industrial Revolution. The English were the most numerous group, but there were also considerable numbers of Irish and smaller numbers of other ethnic groups, [] [] including Italians , who migrated to South Wales. Many of these self-identify as Welsh.

    The census showed Wales' population to be 3,,, the highest in its history. The UK census was criticised in Wales for not offering 'Welsh' as an option to describe respondents' national identity. Respondents were instructed to "tick all that apply" from a list of options that included Welsh. The outcome was that No Welsh national identity was indicated by The proportion giving their sole national identity as British was No British national identity was indicated by The census showed Wales to be less ethnically diverse than any region of England: [] The lowest proportion of White British The proportion born in Wales varies across the country, with the highest percentages in the south Wales valleys and the lowest in mid Wales and parts of the north-east.

    The total fertility rate TFR in Wales was 1. Template:Largest cities. He argued that the Brythonic languages originated in Gaul France , and that the Goidelic languages originated in the Iberian Peninsula.