Geoffrey of Monmouth

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Geoffrey of Monmouth
Known for His chronicle Historia Regum Britanniae

Geoffrey of Monmouth

(mŏn`məth), c.1100–1154, English author. He was probably born at Monmouth and was of either Breton or Welsh descent. In 1152 he was named bishop of St. Asaph in Wales. His Historia regum Britanniae (written c.1135), supposedly a chronicle of the kings of Britain, is one of the chief sources of the Arthurian legendArthurian legend,
the mass of legend, popular in medieval lore, concerning King Arthur of Britain and his knights. Medieval Sources

The battle of Mt. Badon—in which, according to the Annales Cambriae (c.
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. Geoffrey was the first to write a coherent account of Arthur, establishing the great warrior as a national hero, the conqueror of Western Europe. He drew information from the writings of BedeBede, Saint
, or Baeda
(St. Bede the Venerable), 673?–735, English historian and Benedictine monk, Doctor of the Church, also called the Venerable Bede. He spent his whole life at the monasteries of Wearmouth (at Sunderland) and Jarrow and became probably the
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, GildasGildas, Saint
, d. 570, British historian, possibly a Welsh monk. Shortly before 547 he wrote the De excidio et conquestu Britanniae, a Latin history of Britain dealing with the Roman invasion and the Anglo-Saxon conquest of England, the earliest authority for the period.
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, NenniusNennius
, fl. 796, Welsh writer, to whom is ascribed the Historia Britonum. He lived on the borders of Mercia and probably was a pupil of Elbod, bishop of Bangor.
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, the Welsh chronicles, and folklore, and imaginatively wove the whole into a fictional narrative in the form of a history. His work had great influence on WaceWace
, c.1100–1174, Norman-French poet of Jersey. King Henry II made him canon of Bayeux. His Roman de Brut (1155) is a long, rhymed chronicle of British history based on the Historia of Geoffrey of Monmouth.
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, LayamonLayamon
, fl. c.1200, first prominent Middle English poet. He described himself as a humble priest attached to the church at Ernley (Arley Regis) near Radstone. His Brut
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, and many chroniclers of the Middle Ages. Another work attributed to him, the Vita Merlini (1148), also influenced later stories of Arthur and MerlinMerlin,
in Arthurian legend, magician, seer, and teacher at the court of King Vortigern and later at the court of King Arthur. He was a bard and culture hero in early Celtic folklore. In Arthurian legend he is famous as a magician and as the counselor of King Arthur.
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See his History of the Kings of Britain, tr. by L. Thorpe (1966); study by J. S. P. Tatlock (1950).

Geoffrey of Monmouth


(Galfridus Monemutensis). Born circa 1100; died circa 1154. English chronicler.

Geoffrey’s main work, History of the Kings of Britain (circa 1137), covering the period up to the end of the seventh century, draws heavily from Celtic legend. One of its sources is History of the Britons by Nennius, a Welsh chronicler of the late eighth and early ninth century. Geoffrey’s chronicle influenced Medieval European literature and chronicles. Many later English writers, including Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, and Tennyson, relied upon Geoffrey’s work for source material.


Historia Regum Britanniae. Edited by A. Griscom. London, 1929.

Geoffrey of Monmouth

?1100--54, Welsh bishop and chronicler; author of Historia Regum Britanniae, the chief source of Arthurian legends
References in periodicals archive ?
The History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth was accepted within the context of this development, for he tried to create a totally new version of the ecclesiastical history of the island, in the center of which a "Brittonic" church was placed.
It is notable that neither Ranulph Higden nor Geoffrey of Monmouth elaborated at any length on these kings.
13) In the later The House of Fame, Chaucer shows his familiarity with the literary tradition of Troy in enumerating an array of previous writers who have contributed to the celebrity of Troy: Homer, Dares and Dictys, Lollius, Guido de Columnis, and Geoffrey of Monmouth (1466-72).
This multifaceted background gives him a keen ability to explore the intersection of law and literature, which is perhaps most apparent in his chapters on Geoffrey of Monmouth, Shakespeare, and E.
A number of allusions in the prophecy strongly suggest the acquaintance of its author with Welsh prophetic material mediated through sources other than Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Not sure of that but if you are believer in the Arthur stories then within Llandaff Cathedral is the tomb of the saint who according to the prime originator of the legends, Geoffrey of Monmouth, actually crowned King Arthur at Caerleon.
In other words, the studies Williams makes of the use of celestial phenomena in early Irish literature are suggested to indicate Welsh uses of those images from the same period, and which can thus be used as a background for a discussion of high medieval literary uses of celestial portents in Taliesin and Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Geoffrey of Monmouth and William Camden the author divides her text according to the standard regions because names tended to come in groups according to settlers.
These chapters are full of insights and information, on the medieval writers of Arthurian legend from Geoffrey of Monmouth to Malory, on English poets from Spenser to Tennyson, on Mark Twain, and on such 'subscholarly mystical Merlin publications' (p.
It was Geoffrey of Monmouth who first brought this composite character Merlin (as he calls him) into contact with Arthur's father in his bestselling pseudohistory; but, although Merlin facilitates Arthur's clandestine conception, the two never meet and Geoffrey says nothing of the wizard's ultimate fate.
The English first claimed Arthur for their own in the 12th century, when writer Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote a History of the Kings of Britain.
Breton bards, like their Welsh counter-parts, maintained and enhanced Arthur's legend between the second half of the 5th century, when the real Arthur is said to have lived, and the 12th, when the stories began appearing in books by Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Anglo-Norman Robert Wace and Chretien de Troyes, beginning an industry that continues today.