Prof Paul Russell

Professor of Celtic

Contact Information

Department of ASNC
Faculty of English, 9 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP
Office: S-R35 (+44-1223-767312), email:

Departmental and College Responsibilities

  • Director of Studies in ASNC for Clare, Fitzwilliam, Peterhouse, St Edmund's, and Trinity Hall.
  • Supervision of graduate students in Medieval Welsh and Irish language and literature and in Celtic philology
  • Principal Investigator, Vitae Sanctorum Cambriae Project (AHRC funded), 1 January 2017 – 31 December 2019
  • Principal Investigator, Brittany and the Atlantic Archipelago: Contact, Myth and History (Leverhulme funded), September 2015 – September 2019
  • Principal Investigator, Early Irish Glossaries Project (AHRC funded), 1 July 2006 – 30 June 2009
  • Teaching in Medieval Welsh (Part 1, Paper 7; Part II, Paper 7 (including medieval Cornish and Breton)); Medieval Irish (Part I, Paper 8; Part II, paper 8); Textual Criticism (Part II, Paper 10); Celtic Philology (Part II, Paper 12); with contributions to Palaeography and Codicology (Part I, Paper 10) and Law and Lawlessness (Part II, Paper 4)

Academic Interests

Celtic philology and linguistics; Medieval Welsh and Irish language and literature; especially learned and functional texts; Irish glossaries and related texts; early Welsh orthography; Old Welsh and Old Breton glossed texts; Middle Welsh translation texts; medieval Welsh law; Latin texts from medieval Wales; history of Celtic scholarship.

Selected Publications

  • ‘Three notes on Canu Urien’, North American Journal of Celtic Studies 4.1 (2019), 48–78.
  • ‘Distinctions, foundations, and steps: the metaphors of the grades of comparison in medieval Irish and Welsh’, Language and History, 63 (2020), 47–72. DOI: 10.1080/17597536.2019.1706131.
  • ‘Bilingualisms and multilingualisms in medieval Wales: evidence and inference’, Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmorodorion, 25 (2019), 7–22.
  • ‘“Something of a more congenial nature”: Henry Bradshaw, Old Breton, and the editing of Celtic glossed texts’, Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 16.4 (2019) [special issue: Particles of light’: the legacy of Henry Bradshaw, ed. Liam Sims and Jill Whitelock], 535–55.
  • (with Myriah Williams) ‘Invisible ink: The recovery and analysis of a lost text from the Black Book of Carmarthen (NLW Peniarth MS 1)’, National Library of Wales Journal, 37 (2019), 74–94.
  • ‘Networks of letters: correspondence between Rhys, Stokes, and Bradshaw’, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 77 (2019), 17–31.
  • ‘“Mistakes of all kinds”: the glossography of medieval Irish literary texts’, Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 37 (2017 [published 2019]), 1–32.
  • Brenhin uu. Reading the death of kings in Culhwch ac Olwen’, North American Journal of Celtic Studies, 3.1 (2019), 55–64.
  • ‘“Divers evidences antient of some Welsh princes”’: Dr John Dee and the Welsh context of the reception of Geoffrey of Monmouth in sixteenth-century England and Wales’, in L’Historia regum Britannie et les ‘Bruts’ en Europe, Tome II: Production, circulation et réception (xiie-xvie siècle), ed. H. Tétrel and G. Veysseyre (Paris: Garnier, 2018), pp. 395–426. DOI: 10.15122/isbn.978-2-406-07201-0.p.0395
  • ‘The languages and registers of law in medieval Wales and Ireland’, in Law and Language in the Middle Ages, ed. Jenny Benham, Matthew McHaffie, and Helle Vogt (Leiden: Brill, 2018), 83–103.
  • ‘The Evolution of Celtic’, in A Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics, ed. Jared Klein, Brian Joseph, and Matthias Fritz, 3 vols, HSK 41.2 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2017), II.1274–97.
  • Ad6uyn gaer yssyd: an Early Welsh Poem Revisited’, Celtica 29 (2017), 6–37.
  • Canyt oes aruer: Gwilym Wasta and the Laws of Court in Welsh Law’, North American Journal of Celtic Studies, 1.2 (2017), 173–88.
  • (with Brian Cook), ‘The multispectral recovery of trioedd cerdd in NLW Peniarth 20’, National Library of Wales Journal 36 (2017), 558–86.
  • ‘From plates and rods to royal drink-stands in Branwen and medieval Welsh law’, North American Journal of Celtic Studies, 1.1 (2017), 1–26.
  • ‘“Go and look in the Latin books”: Latin and the vernacular in medieval Wales’, in Latin in Medieval Britain, ed. Richard Ashdowne and Carolinne White, Proceedings of the British Academy 206 (London: OUP, 2017), 213–46.
  • Reading Ovid in Medieval Wales (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2017). ISBN 978-0-8142132-2-3 (hbk), 978-0-8142537-7-9 (pbk). Pp. xx+291.
  • Priuilegium Sancti Teliaui and Breint Teilo’, Studia Celtica 50 (2016), 41–68 (28 pp.). DOI 10.16922/SC.50.3
  • Grammatica, Gramadach, Gramadeg: Vernacular Grammar and Grammarians in Medieval Ireland and Wales, joint-editor with Deborah Hayden, SIHOLS 125 (Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2016). ISBN 978-90-272-4616-5. ISSN 0304-0720. Pp. xiv+226.
  • (with Deborah Hayden), ‘Editors’ Introduction’, in Grammatica, Gramadach, Gramadeg, pp. 1–10.  DOI 10.1075/silhols.125.005int
  • ‘Teaching between the lines: grammar and grammatica in the classroom in Early Medieval Wales’, in Grammatica, Gramadach, Gramadeg, pp. 133–48. DOI 10.1075/sihols.125.07rus
  • ‘Poetry by numbers: the poetic triads in Gramadegau Penceirddiaid’, in Grammatica, Gramadach, Gramadeg, pp. 161–80. DOI 10.1075/sihols.125.09rus
  • ‘Welsh word-formation’, in Word-Formation. An International Handbook of the Languages of Europe, ed. Peter O. Müller, Ingebord Ohnheiser, Susan Olsen, Franz Rainer, HSK 40.1–5, 5 vols (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016), IV.2769–2781.
  • ‘Beyond Juvencus: an Irish context for some Old Welsh glossing?’, in Early Medieval Ireland and Europe: Chronology, Contacts, Scholarship. Festschrift for Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, ed. Pádraic Moran and Immo Warntjes, Studia Traditionis Theologiae 14 (Turnhout, 2015), pp. 203–14.
  • ‘Verbal nouns in Celtic’, in Word-Formation. An International Handbook of the Languages of Europe, ed. Peter O. Müller, Ingebord Ohnheiser, Susan Olsen, Franz Rainer, HSK 40.1–5, 5 vols (Berlin, 2015), II.1186–97.
  • GwasGuos-, Gos-: the reflexes of Brittonic *wo’, in Mélanges en l’honneur de Pierre-Yves Lambert, ed. Guillaume Oudaer, Gaël Hily, and Hervé Le Bihan (Rennes: TIR, 2015), 77–89.
  • In aliis libris: Adaptation, Re-working and Transmission in the Commentaries to Amra Coluimb Chille’, in Authorities and Adaptations: the Reworking and Transmission of Sources in Medieval Irish Textual Culture, ed. E. L. Boyle and D. Hayden (Dublin: DIAS, 2014), pp. 63–93.
  • Rhetoric and Reality: Essays in Honor of Daniel F. Melia, joint-editor with Georgia Henley, CSANA Yearbook 11–12 (Colgate, NY, 2014). ISBN 978-0-912568-26-3 (ISSN 1649-0096). Pp. xliv + 198.
  • ‘Horticultural genealogy and genealogical horticulture: the metaphors of W plant and OIr. cland’, in Rhetoric and Reality, ed. Henley and Russell, pp. 155–72.
  • ‘From compound to derivative: the development of a patronymic “suffix” in Gaulish’, in Continental Celtic Word Formation. The Onomastic Data, ed. Juan Luis García Alonso (Salamanca, 2013), pp. 201–14.
  • Externarum linguarum excellens: the rhetoric and reality of the languages of Gruffudd ap Cynan, ruler of Gwynedd († 1137)’, in Multilingualism in Medieval Britain (c. 1066–1520): Sources and Analysis, ed. J. A. Jefferson and A. Putter (Turnhout, 2013), pp. 73–87
  • An habes linguam Latinam? Non tam bene sapio: views of multilingualism from the early-medieval West’, in Multilingualism in the Greco-Roman Worlds, ed. Alex Mullen and Patrick James (Cambridge, 2012), pp. 193–224.
  • ‘The englyn to St Padarn revisited’, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, 63 (2012), 1–14.
  • ‘Culhwch’s weaponry: penntireg and enilleg’, Études celtiques, 38 (2012), 259–69.
  • Fern do frestol na .u. consaine: perceptions of sound laws, sound change, and linguistic borrowing among the medieval Irish’, in The Laws of Indo-European, ed. Andreas Willi and Philomen Probert (Oxford, 2012), pp. 17–30.
  • ‘Revisiting the “Welsh Dictator” of the Old English Orosius’, Quaestio Insularis, 12 (2011), 31–62 (pdf).
  • Uocridem: a new British word from Vindolanda’, Studia Celtica, 45 (2011), 192–7 (cf. also the note in A. K. Bowman, J. D. Thomas, and R. S. O. Tomlin, ‘The Vindolanda Writing-Tablets (Tabulae Vindolandenses IV, Part 1)’, Britannia, 41 (2010), 187–224, at p. 212).
  • ‘Multilinguisme en Grande-Bretagne (Antiquité tardif – Débuts du Moyen Âge)’, in Annuaire de l’École Pratique des Hautes Études, Section des Science Historiques et Philologiques, 2009–10 (Paris, 2011), pp. 297–300.
  • Welsh Law in Medieval Anglesey. British Library, Harleian MS 1796 (Latin C), Texts and Studies in Medieval Welsh Law II (Cambridge, 2011). ISBN 978-0-9561089-1-3 (ISSN 1759-0809), pp. xlviii + 88.
  • The Tripartite Life of Whitley Stokes (1830–1909), joint-editor with Elizabeth Boyle (Dublin, 2011: Four Courts). ISBN 978-1-84682-278-0, pp. xiv + 252.
  • ‘Grilling in Calcutta: Whitley Stokes, Henry Bradshaw and Old Welsh in Cambridge’, in The Tripartite Life of Whitley Stokes, ed. Boyle and Russell, pp. 144–60.
  • A Bibliography of Medieval Welsh Literature for Students, 3rd edn (Cambridge, ASNC: 2011). ISBN 978-0-95623553-8-1, pp. 80.
  • Tome: Studies in Medieval Celtic History and Law in Honour of Thomas Charles-Edwards, joint-editor with Fiona Edmonds (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2011). ISBN 978-1-84383-661-2, pp. xvii + 238.
  • The Languages of Early Britain, guest-edited issue of the Transactions of the Philological Society, 109.2 (2011), joint-editor with S. Laker. ISSN 0079-1636. Pp. 90.
  • ‘Latin and British in Roman and Post-Roman Britain: methodology and morphology’, Transactions of the Philological Society, 109.2 (2011), pp. 138–57. 
  • ‘Scribal (In)consistency in Thirteenth-Century South Wales: the Orthography of the Black Book of Carmarthen’, Studia Celtica, 43 (2009), 135–74.
  • ‘“Ye shall know them by their names”: names and identity among the Irish and the English’, in Anglo-Saxon/Irish Relations before the Vikings, ed. James Graham-Campbell and Michael Ryan. Proceedings of the British Academy, 157 (London, 2009), pp. 99–111.
  • (with Sharon Arbuthnot and Pádraic Moran) Early Irish Glossaries Database, 2nd enhanced edn. (Cambridge, ASNC: 2009).
  • ‘Poets, Power and Possessions in Medieval Ireland: Some Stories from Sanas Cormaic’, in Law, Literature and Society, ed. J. Eska, CSANA Yearbook 7 (Dublin, 2008), pp. 9–45.
  • ‘Read it in a Glossary’: Glossaries and Learned Discourse in Medieval Ireland, Kathleen Hughes Memorial Lectures 6 (Cambridge, ASNC: 2008). ISBN 978-0-9554568-6-2. Pp. 32 [Kathleen Hughes Memorial Lecture 2007].
  • (with Alex Mullen) Celtic Personal Names of Roman Britain (Cambridge, ASNC: 2007).
  • Tair Colofn Cyfraith: The Three Columns in Welsh Law, The Welsh Legal History Society, V (2005), joint-editor with T. M. Charles–Edwards (Bangor: The Welsh Legal History Society, 2007). ISBN 0-9541637-4-5. Pp. xiv + 334
  • ‘The Arrangement and Development of the Three Columns Tractate’, in Teir Colofn Cyfraith, ed. Charles–Edwards and Russell, pp. 60–91.
  • Y Naw Affeith: Aiding and Abetting in Welsh Law’, in Teir Colofn Cyfraith, ed. Charles–Edwards and Russell, pp. 146–70.
  • ‘The Three Columns of Law from Latin D (Oxford, Bodley, Rawlinson C 821)’, pp. 213–37.
  • ‘The names of Celtic origin’, in The Durham Liber Vitae, London, British Library, MS Cotton Domitian A.VII, ed. D. and L. Rollason, 3 vols (London, 2007), II, pp. 5–8.
  • ‘Commentary: A. Personal names: A.1 Celtic names’, in The Durham Liber Vitae, London, British Library, MS Cotton Domitian A.VII, ed. D. and L. Rollason, 3 vols (London, 2007), II, pp. 35–43.
  • ‘The history of the Celtic languages of the British Isles’, in Language in the British Isles, ed. D. Britain (Cambridge, 2007), pp. 185–99.
  • Contributor to Celtic Culture. A Historical Encyclopaedia, ed. J. T. Koch, et al., 5 vols (ABC-Clio: Santa Barbara, Denver, Oxford, 2006), Cormac mac Cuillennáin (p. 487), Glossaries (pp. 821–2), Gruffudd ap Cynan (pp. 852–3), the Irish language (pp. 985–93), Llyfr Du o’r Waun (pp. 1175–6), Sanais Cormaic (p. 1559).
  • (with Pádraic Moran) Early Irish Glossaries Database (Cambridge, ASNC: 2006).    
  • VILBIAM (RIB 154): kidnap or robbery?’, Britannia 37 (2006), 363–7.
  • Vita Griffini filii Conani. The Medieval Latin Life of Gruffudd ap Cynan, ed. and transl. (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2005). ISBN 0-7083-1893-2. Pp. xiv + 222
  • Quasi: bridging the etymological gap in early Irish glossaries’, in A Companion in Linguistics. A Festschrift for Anders Ahlqvist on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday, ed. B. Smelik, R. Hofman, C. Hamans, D. Cram (Nijmegen: Draak, 2005), pp. 49–62.
  • ‘“What was best of every language”: the early history of the Irish language’, in A New History of Ireland, vol. 1, ed. D. Ó Cróinín (Oxford, 2005), pp. 405–50.   
  • ‘Welsh *cynnwgl and related matters’, Studia Celtica 39 (2005), 181–8.
  • The Prologues to the Medieval Welsh Lawbooks (Cambridge, ASNC: 2004). ISBN 1-904708-03-X. Pp. x + 21.
  • A Bibliography of Medieval Welsh Literature for Students (Cambridge, ASNC: 2004). ISBN 0-9532172-99. Pp. 71.
  • Entries for the New Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford. 2004) [Cellach, Cormach mac Cuillennáin, Donatus of Fiesole].
  • ‘Old Welsh DinacatCunedagTutagual: fossilised phonology in Brittonic personal names’, in Indo-European Perspectives  in honour of Anna Morpurgo Davies, ed. J. H. W. Penney (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 447–60.
  • Yr Hen Iaith. Studies in Early Welsh,editor (Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2003). ISBN 1891271105. Pp. viii + 221.
  • RowynniaucRhufoniog: the orthography and phonology of /m/ in Early Welsh’, in Yr Hen Iaith. Studies in Early Welsh, ed. P. Russell (Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2003), pp. 25–47.
  • (with A. Falileyev) ‘The dry-point glossess in Oxoniensis Posterior’, in Yr Hen Iaith. Studies in Early Welsh, ed. P. Russell (Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2003), pp. 95–101.
  • ‘Texts in contexts: recent work on the Mabinogi’, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, 45 (2003), 59–72.
  • Contributor to the Encyclopaedia of Ireland (Gill & MacMillan: Dublin, 2003) [articles on Celtic languages (p. 178), Cormac mac Cuillennáin (p. 240), Goidelic in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man (p. 445), Ptolemy's map of Ireland (p. 902)].
  • ‘Patterns of Hypocorism in Early Irish hagiography’, in Saints and Scholars. Studies in Irish Hagiography, ed. J. Carey, M. Herbert, P. Ó Riain (Four Courts, Dublin, 2001), pp. 237–49.