Andrew Breeze

Andrew Breeze (born 6 July 1954), MA, DipCeltStud, PhD, FSA, FRHistS, has been profesor de filología at the University of Navarra[1] since 1987.

Andrew Breeze
Born6 July 1954
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Known forHistorical linguistics
Philology of Celtic languages
Onomastics, especially place-names
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge, University of Oxford
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Navarra (previously at Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies)

Early life

Breeze was educated at Sir Roger Manwood's School, the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. He is married with six children.


Besides numerous research papers on the philology of multiple Celtic languages, he is the author of the substantial Medieval Welsh Literature (1997)[2] and The Origins of the "Four Branches of the Mabinogi" (2009). He is also co-author with Professor Richard Coates of Celtic Voices, English Places (2000).

Breeze is one of the most prolific and varied contributors to Mabinogi Studies, and The Mabinogion research, especially addressing historical and political parallels. In 1997 he published the controversial 'Did a woman write the Four Branches of the Mabinogi?'[3],[4] proposing a woman composer for this leading literature of British/ Welsh heritage. Breeze's theory rests on the unusual lack of warlike or fighting heroics compared to preceding literature; the high quantity of material on mothering, besides complex, in depth portraits of Mabinogi women.[5] This much has been supported or tolerated by some scholars, but there has been much less approval of Breeze's preferred candidate Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd. Since the 1997 article Breeze has been persistent in further publications on the idea.[6]

In 2015, he published a paper identifying the locations of King Arthur's battles from the 9th-century Historia Brittonum, placing them all in Scotland and Northern England, with the exception of Mount Badon in the year 493, located at a hillfort east of Braydon Forest, Wiltshire, but having nothing to do with Arthur. Using these identifications, he suggested that Arthur was a Briton from the Kingdom of Strathclyde who fought other Britons, rather than Anglo-Saxons.[7][8] Other scholars have questioned his findings, which they believe are based on coincidental resemblances between place-names.[9][10]


1997 Medieval Welsh Literature, Four Courts Press (ISBN 1-85182-229-1).

2000 (with Richard Coates; including a contribution by David Horovitz) Celtic Voices, English Places: Studies of the Celtic Impact on Place-Names in England, Stamford: Shaun Tyas; (ISBN 1 900289 41 5).

2008 The Mary of the Celts, Gracewing (ISBN 978 0 85244 682 9)

2009 The Origins of the "Four Branches of the Mabinogi", Gracewing (ISBN 978 0 85244 553 2)

  • , University of Navarra: Andrew Breeze, CV listing publications.


  1. "Andrew Breeze's publications", indexed by Google Scholar
  2. Breeze, Andrew, Medieval Welsh Literature (Dublin: Four Courts Press., 1997)
  3. Breeze, Andrew Charles, Studi Medievali, Vol. 38, 2, pp. 679-705.
  4. Roger Dobson, Is this Welsh princess the first British woman author?', The Independent, 11 Jan. 1997. The Independent
  5. There is an interesting study of Mabinogi women, with conclusions very different from those reached by Breeze, in Roberta Valente's ‘"Merched y Mabinogi": Women and the Thematic Structure of the Four Branches’ (unpub. PhD thesis, Cornell University, 1986)
  6. The Mabinogi Bibliography holds 24 Breeze entries, where most scholars have 5 or less.
  7. "King Arthur? No, the legendary leader was just a Scottish general". Mail Online. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  8. "King Arthur 'was real, wasn't a king... and lived in Strathclyde'". The Independent. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  9. "Was king Arthur from Scotland?". Lost Kingdom Fantasy Writing, Roleplaying and Worldbuilding Resources. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  10. "Academia up in arms over King Arthur's Glasgow roots". Retrieved 30 December 2015.
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