Epic stories of war and heroism are not limited to the Greeks. Many ancient cultures, including those of the British Isles, have rich traditions of oral and written storytelling.
Peter Godfrey, who goes by Peter Townes on stage, intends to keep this tradition going for the Welsh. He will perform in "Tall Tales from Wales" on Dec. 14 and 15 at ARTworks in Beaufort.
"They're good talkers, and they just have a huge, very long, very documented storytelling tradition," Lisa Rentz, transmedia specialist at ARTworks, said about the Welsh focus.
Combine the rich tradition of Welsh storytelling with the powerful force of Christmas tales, and the outcome can be outstanding, Rentz said.
Godfrey's performance will include a short history of Welsh storytelling, a chat about Welsh genealogy and a reading of Dylan Thomas's "A Child's Christmas in Wales."
A few facts to know before you go:
Godfrey bases his belief on a roll call he does before his shows in which he asks the audience if they have Welsh surnames or maiden names.
"Bards who would be at court, they would sing praises of the kings and the people who have been paying for them. They stuck to reciting the same things exactly, they did not deviate. They were not very creative," Godfrey said. "The minstrels, they made it up as they went along, so their stories would change and were fun."
For centuries before monks started writing the stories, bards, or professional poets, would train as apprentices for years, learning classical stories until they could retell thousands of stories. When the stories started to be written, the bards were offended, Godfrey said.
"The bards thought this was like stealing their wares, if things were written down," he said. "If it was written down, anybody could read it."