The History of the Kings of Britain
The History of the Kings of Britain is arguably the most influential text written in England in the Middle Ages. The work narrates a linear history of pre-Saxon Britain, from its founding by Trojan exiles to the loss of native British (Celtic) sovereignty in the face of Germanic invaders. Along... show more
The History of the Kings of Britain is arguably the most influential text written in England in the Middle Ages. The work narrates a linear history of pre-Saxon Britain, from its founding by Trojan exiles to the loss of native British (Celtic) sovereignty in the face of Germanic invaders. Along the way, Geoffrey introduces readers to such familiar figures as King Lear, Cymbeline, Vortigern, the prophet Merlin, and a host of others. Most importantly, he provides the first birth-to-death account of the life of King Arthur. His focus on that king's reign sparked the vogue for Arthurian romance throughout medieval Europe that has continued into the twenty-first century. This new translation is the first in over forty years and the first to be based on the Bern manuscript, now considered the authoritative Latin text. It is accompanied by an introduction that highlights the significance of Geoffrey's work in his own day and focuses in particular on the ambiguous status of the text between history and fiction. Appendices include historical sources, early responses to the History, and other medieval writings on King Arthur and Merlin.
Publish date: December 11th 2007
Publisher: Broadview Press
Pages no: 312
Edition language: English
Historia Regum Britanniae is a highly mythologized, and possibly fictional, history of Britain prior to the Anglo-Saxon conquest. Published in 1136, the work covers 2,000 years between the Fall of Troy to the reign of Cadwallader the last non-Saxon king. Geoffrey claims to have translated an ancient...
I feel I need not speak at any length about the dubious amount of actual history contained in this influential little volume, nor would I bet money on Monmouth believing in the strict historicity of his work when he wrote it. Monmouth does, unfortunately, believe a little to readily in the patriotic...
Don't read it in one go. Full of legends and names. Apart from that, awesome in it's own right.
I'm uncertain of how to file this. It's presented as history, but that's slightly "history" in the sense that Herodotus wrote "history" as well. It is and it isn't. It purports to tell the history of the kings of Britain, from the founding of the nation by Brutus, to the point at which the Saxons ga...