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Professor Patrick Sims-Williams FBA

Celtic Languages and Literatures
Patrick Sims-Williams profile picture

About this Fellow

Patrick Sims-Williams has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 1996. His research is focused on ancient and medieval Celtic language, literature and history. From 1977 to 1993 he was a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, before becoming Professor of Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth University in 1994. He is the founding editor and publisher of ‘Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies’ (1981-), renamed ‘Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies’ in 1993, and also publishes its related book series: see Between 1998 and 2008 he served on the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and he is the current President of the International Congress of Celtic Studies (since 2011). He directs the British Academy project ‘The Development of the Welsh Language/Datblygiad yr Iaith Gymraeg’ (2007-), and has directed eight other collaborative research projects funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2), the AHRC (4), and the Modern Humanities Research Association (2). His work has won the 1992 Sir Israel Gollancz Prize (British Academy), for Religion and Literature in Western England, 600-800; the 1999 Antiquity Prize, for the ‘Best Paper’ in 1998 (‘Genetics, Linguistics and Prehistory: Thinking Big and Thinking Straight’, ‘Antiquity’, 72 (1998), 505-27); the 2007 G. T. Clark Award (Cambrian Archaeological Association), for ‘The Celtic Inscriptions of Britain: Phonology and Chronology’, c. 400-1200; and the 2011 Vernam Hull Prize, for ‘Irish Influence on Medieval Welsh Literature’.

Complete list of publications


Current post

  • Emeritus Professor of Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth University

Past Appointments

  • Assistant Lecturer, Lecturer, and Reader in Celtic and Anglo-Saxon, University of Cambridge, 1977 - 1993
  • Professor of Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth University, 1994 - 2016

British Academy Appointments

  • Member of Council, 2012 - 2015


Buchedd Beuno: The Middle Welsh Life of St Beuno, with a Short Grammar of Middle Welsh (2018).


Liber Coronacionis Britanorum: A Medieval Welsh Version of Geoffrey of Monmouth (2017)


Irish Influence on Medieval Welsh Literature (2011)


A Corpus of Latin Inscriptions of the Roman Empire Containing Celtic Personal Names (2007-9)


Studies on Celtic Languages before the Year 1000 (2007)


Ancient Celtic Place-Names in Europe and Asia Minor (2006)


The Celtic Inscriptions of Britain: Phonology and Chronology, c. 400-1200 (2003)


Britain and Early Christian Europe: Studies in Early Medieval History and Culture (1995)


Religion and Literature in Western England, 600-800 (1990)


Other Linguistics and Philology Fellows

Professor Ian Roberts

Historical and comparative syntax of the Romance, Germanic and Celtic languages; grammatical analysis adopting and adapting the concepts and techniques of Chomskyan generative theory.

Professor Graham Furniss

Oral and written literatures of Africa; orality, performance and genre in the popular cultures of West Africa with particular reference to Hausa-speaking regions of Nigeria and Niger

Professor Aditi Lahiri

Synchronic and diachronic morpho-phonology of Germanic and Indo-Aryan language families, and psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic research on the phonological and morphological representations of the mental lexicon