BANGOR is again at the centre of global Arthurian and Celtic studies with the launch of a new book and a major international academic congress planned for the city.

The publication Arthur in the Celtic Languages, The Arthurian Legend in Celtic Literatures and Traditions, edited by Ceridwen Lloyd Morgan and Eric Poppe, is to be launched at Bangor University's Centre for Arthurian Studies.

It is the first, comprehensive, authoritative survey of Arthurian literature and tradition in the Celtic languages of Welsh, Cornish, Breton, Irish and Scottish Gaelic.

According to Professor Raluca Radulescu, director for the Centre for Arthurian Studies, at Bangor University, the launch, at 4pm, on Thursday, February 28, highlights "the central place occupied by Bangor," in globally important Arthurian and Celtic studies.

"We held a symposium last June on the same topic, which led to the editors, one of whom is a member of our Centre for Arthurian Studies, to specifically request that the launch be held, as an international premiere in Bangor," she said.

"This book will change thinking on this topic for a generation and beyond, no other like this has ever been attempted before and will be hugely important. It connects with our international status on Arthurian and Celtic studies. We have had more than 200 international and national visits to the centre, as well as visiting fellows and distinguished academics.

"It is the first time ever that all Celtic languages, apart from Manx, are represented, medieval to modern, in a volume, thus placing Bangor, through the launch, at the centre of Arthurian and Celtic studies once again."

The XVIth International Congress of Celtic Studies is being held at Bangor University from Monday, July 22 until Monday, 26 July.

The congress is the foremost international gathering of scholars researching the languages, literatures and cultural traditions of the Celtic-speaking peoples.

Prof Radulescu said: "The notion of bringing together in Bangor all the Celtic languages (with the exception, in the case of the book of Manx) links directly to the forthcoming XVIth Celtic Congress.

"Recently, a news story broke about the discovery of an Old French manuscript in the Bristol City Archives, but which only talks about the romance Arthur of the 12th century.

"Here in this new volume, and at the Celtic Congress,we will be talking about the oldest Arthur, and how Arthur is Celtic!"

For more information about the Celtic Congress see 'Arthur in the Celtic Languages, The Arthurian Legend in Celtic Literatures and Traditions is printed by the University of Wales Press.ISBN: 9781786833433. It is £75.