Cambria is a name for Wales, being the Latinised form of the Welsh
name for the country, Cymru. The term was not in use during the
Roman period (when
Wales had not come into existence as a distinct
entity). It emerged later, in the medieval period, after the
Anglo-Saxon settlement of much of Britain led to a territorial
distinction between the new Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (which would become
England) and the remaining Celtic British kingdoms (which would become
Latin being the primary language of scholarship in Western
Christendom, writers needed a term to refer to the Celtic British
territory and coined
Cambria based on the Welsh name for it.
Cambria in legend
4 See also
The Welsh word Cymru (Wales), along with Cymry (Welsh people), was
falsely supposed by 17th-century celticists to be connected to the
Biblical Gomer, or to the
Cimbri or the
Cimmerians of Antiquity. In
reality it is descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning
"fellow-countrymen". The term thus conveys something like "[land
of] fellow-countrymen". The use of Cymry as a self-designation seems
to have arisen in the post-Roman Era, to refer collectively to the
Brythonic peoples of Britain, inhabiting what are now Wales, Cornwall,
Northern England, and Southern Scotland. It came into use as a
self-description probably before the 7th century and is attested in
a praise poem to
Cadwallon ap Cadfan
Cadwallon ap Cadfan (Moliant Cadwallon, by Afan
Ferddig) c. 633. In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used
Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older,
more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of
the Britonnic peoples (including the Welsh) and was the more common
literary term until c. 1100. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference
to the Welsh. Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry,
regardless of whether it referred to the people or the country. The
Cambria was coined in the Middle Ages, and was used
regularly by Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Cambria in legend
Geoffrey of Monmouth in the first part of his
Historia Regum Britanniae
Historia Regum Britanniae ("History of the Kings of
Britain"), the Trojan Brutus had three sons, among whom he divided his
lands after landing in Britain and subduing Gogmagog. His eldest son,
Locrinus, received the land between the rivers
Humber and Severn,
which he called Loegria (a Latinisation of the medieval Welsh name
Lloegyr (modern Welsh: Lloegr), "England"). His second son,
Albanactus, got the lands beyond the Humber, which took from him the
name of Albany (Yr Alban in Welsh: Scotland). The youngest son,
Camber, was bequeathed everything beyond the Severn, which was called
after him "Cambria".
This legend was widely prevalent throughout the 12th–16th centuries.
The name "Cambria" lives on in some local names, e.g.
Cambrian Way. It is also used internationally in geology to denote the
geologic period between around 542 million years and 488.3 million
years ago; in 1835 the geologist
Adam Sedgwick named this geological
period the Cambrian, after studying rocks of that age in Wales.
It is also a rare female name.
It is also found in the name of a number of colleges stretching across
Wales - Coleg Cambria.
It is also referenced in the song "Men of Harlech"
Men of Harlech
Men of Harlech , a
song popular with supporters of Cardiff City Football Club, and also
the Welsh National Team.
Cambria County, Pennsylvania
^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Cambria". Encyclopædia
Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
^ Davies, John (2007). A History of Wales. London: Penguin.
^ Lloyd, John Edward (1911). "A History of
Wales from the Earliest
Times to the Edwardian Conquest (Note to Chapter VI, the Name
"Cymry")". I (Second ed.). London: Longmans, Green, and Co. (published
^ Phillimore, Egerton (1891). "Note (a) to The Settlement of
Brittany". In Phillimore, Egerton. Y Cymmrodor. XI. London: Honourable
Society of Cymmrodorion (published 1892). pp. 97–101.
^ Davies (1994) p. 71, The poem contains the line: 'Ar wynep Kymry
^ Davies (1994) p. 69
Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873)". University of California Museum of
Paleontology. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
^ "Quick facts about the name". ohbabynames.com.
Cambria - meaning of
Cambria name". Thinkbabynames.com. Retrieved