This important historical record, whose name translates as 'The Chronicle of the Princes', is a chronology of people and events covering the period from the 7th century until 1332. The initial records were begun in the 8th century may have been kept at Strata Florida Abbey, where a later translation into Welsh is thought to have taken place, but the records were later maintained at Llanbadarn Fawr, outside modern Aberystwyth.
The Brut y Tywysogyon begns with the death of Cadwaladr Fendigaid (Cadwaladr the Blessed) in 682 AD. The original was written in Latin but these have long been lost, and we are left with Welsh translations, in several versions. The Brut is one of the most important historical records in Welsh history, and gives a valuable insight into the early history of Wales at a time when written records were few and far between. The most complete version of the Brut is held at Peniarth, and is known as Peniarth MS. 20.
The records are sparse in the early years but become more thorough in the latter years. The initial entries focus on the births, deaths, and major events of the Welsh rulers of Gwynedd, Powys and Deheubarth, though there is mention of major church activity. The record is not exclusively Welsh, as there is mention of events in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and even as far afield as France.