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 periodicals archive ?
(28) Arthur's complex character and its relation to the depiction of his imperial aims have been previously discussed in Heng, Empire of Magic; in Marie-Francoise Alamichel, 'King Arthur's Dual Personality in Layamon's "Brut"', Neophilologus, 77.2 (1993), 303-19, which deals with Arthur's two-faced depiction and character in the Brut; in Robert Warm, 'Arthur and the Giant of Mont St-Michel: The Politics of Empire Building in the Later Middle Ages', Nottingham Medieval Studies, 41 (1997), 57-71, which focuses primarily on the Alliterative Morte Arthure and argues that the Mont St Michel giant episode 'cast[s] [...] Arthur's own imperial ambitions into a profoundly negative light' (p.
Proper names aside, these lines consist almost entirely of Anglo-Saxon words--words ("king" "daughter," "other," "child;' "fairest," "flesh" "earth") unchanged in meaning or even much in pronunciation since centuries before Layamon. The only word for which this is not the case is the very last one, "delight" which is from Latin, and which finally gestures towards the Latin and Norman sources that for the most part furnish the content of Layamon's, Thomas Malory's, and Tennyson's respective Arthuriads.
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).
(16) Roger Sherman Loomis, 'Layamon's Brut', in Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages, ed.
bihonged mid snawe' in lines 10040ff.: 'This type of simile appears to be unknown in OE, and is first noted in Layamon who may have derived it from Latin epic.'(14) Certainly the ultimate source for the elaborate long-tailed similes which Laghamon uses is likely to be Latin epic, but Laghamon himself does not seem to be a particularly learned or bookish poet, at least with respect to the Latin tradition; thus, any Latin influence on his poetry is likely to have been indirect.
Later writers in the chronicle tradition, notably Wace of Jersey and Layamon, filled out certain details, especially in connection with Arthur's knightly fellowship.
LAYAMON'S BRUT: A HISTORY OF THE BRITONS 58 (Donald G.
For Bzdyl, the DIALAN trial began as he was finishing his translation of Layamon's Brut, a Middle English poem that tells of the founding of Britain.
The English priest Layamon (fl 1198 - 1207) took the chronicle of Wace as his model and wrote The Brut -- perhaps the first of the legends of Arthur to be composed in the English language.
Layamon's Brut, or Chronicle of Britain; a poetical semi-Saxon paraphrase of the Brut of Wace.
Other topics include a preliminary sketch of Reginald Pecock (1390-1460) and his vocabulary, Old English sal "time:" metaphor and metonymy in word and text, Middle English decline of the Old English word leode: a case study of the two manuscripts of Layamon's Brut, historical word-formation caught in the present, names of medicines in early modern English medical texts 1500-1700, and the regional aspects of the distribution of nouns in -ling in Middle English.
The topics include a historical study of voice onset time in received pronunciation, the origin and function of the grapheme combination qu in English, words denoting kingdom in Layamon's Brut, female animals in fables by Robert Henryson and Biernat of Lublin, a synopsis of the main approaches to semantic change in linguistics through the 19th and 20th centuries, and the linguistic situation in Kenya according to Labov's social factors.