Formal assembly of Welsh bards and minstrels that originated in the traditions of medieval court bards. Early eisteddfods were competitions of musicians (especially harpists) and poets from which new musical, literary, and oratorical forms emerged. The assembly at Carmarthen in 1451 authoritatively established the arrangement of the strict metres of Welsh poetry. The modern annual National Eisteddfod, revived in the 19th century, includes awards for music, prose, drama, and art, but the investiture of the winning poet remains its high point.
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