Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Island of Honey

Isle of Honey

The term “Island of Honey” is believed to be an early poetic or symbolic name for Britain. This designation appears in some medieval Welsh literature, specifically in Welsh poetry and mythological texts.

In Welsh, Britain is referred to as “Ynys Prydain” or “Ynys Yr Afallon,” both of which translate to “Island of Britain” or “Island of the Mighty.” The poetic epithet “Honey Isle” or “Island of Honey” is thought to be an evocative and metaphorical way of describing the richness and prosperity of the land.

This usage can be found in the medieval Welsh text Preiddeu Annwfn (The Spoils of Annwfn), a poem attributed to the legendary figure Taliesin. In this poem, the phrase “the honey-island of Beli” is used, where Beli is often associated with the god Belenus or Beli Mawr, a deity in Celtic mythology.

According to the White Book of Rhydderch, Britain was called Island of Honey. It had previously been called Myrddin’s Precinct. It was later conquered by Prydein son of Aedd, and became known as Prydein, or Britain.

Triads of the Island of Britain (Welsh ”Triads”) | 11th century to 14th century