Layamon


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Layamon

(lā`əmən, –mŏn, lī`–), 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 is a chronicle in 32,341 short lines on the history of Britain, from the fall of Troy to the arrival of Brutus in Britain and continuing through the death of Cadwaladr. Layamon freely adapted the Brut of Wace and added material from other sources. His Anglo-Saxon narrative meter foreshadows the Middle English metrical system. This chronicle, important in the development 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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, gives one of the finest renderings of King Arthur as a national hero. It also contains the first mention of LearLear
, legendary English king, supposed descendant, through Locrine and Brut, of Aeneas of Troy. The story of Lear and his three daughters probably originated in early Celtic mythology.
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 and CymbelineCymbeline
or Cunobelinus
, d. c.A.D. 40, British king. His conquest of the Trinovantes (of Essex) reportedly made him the wealthiest and most powerful ruler in SE England. After his death his kingdom was divided between his sons Togodumnus and Caractacus.
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.

Bibliography

See his Brut, ed. by G. L. Brook and R. F. Leslie (1963).

Layamon

, Lawman
12th-century English poet and priest; author of the Brut, a chronicle providing the earliest version of the Arthurian story in English
References in classic literature ?
This is how Layamon tells the story of Arthur's death, or rather of his "passing":
You see by this last line that Layamon has forgotten the difference between Briton and English.
The distribution of the relevant forms in the Southwestern and Kentish EH EIH EY(E) 1(E)H c1200 Layamon (Worc) 107 9 2 1 c1275 Owl and the Nightingale (Sur) 6 4 c1300 Sir Orfeo (Glouc) 4 c1320 Castel of Love5 (Worc) 5 1 c1320 Myrour of Lewed Men (Worc) 8 c1330 Robert of Gloucester Chr.
If we are to insist on the literal truth of the story that Ferdowsi gives at the opening of the Shahnameh, we are left with the not unparalleled (it is after all what Layamon claimed he was doing, though perhaps not wholly truthfully) but nevertheless peculiar spectacle of a poet taking his material from one kind of source and his manner from another.
Rather curiously, Layamon, in his adaptation of Wace's Brut into Middle English from about 1200, drops the embarkation scene in all its detail, while elsewhere expanding on the Arthurian matter of his source(s).
When he discusses King Arthur he could have spared us Layamon and given us T.
26) In arguing that Ferdowsi's stylized references to an archetypal source-book reflect a "rhetoric" of oral poetics, Davis adduces two typological parallels from the Historia Regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth and from the Brut of Layamon (pp.
By contrast, Chapter Two shifts the focus to the chronicle tradition, with Wade tracing the evolution of Avalon from Geoffrey of Monmouth through Wace to Layamon and beyond.