Historia regum Britanniae ‘History of the kings of Britain’
- Cambro-Latin texts
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Over 200 manuscripts are known. See Julia C. Crick, The Historia Regum Britannie of Geoffrey of Monmouth: A summary catalogue of the manuscripts, vol. 3 (1989).
A long Latin sermon by the British cleric Gildas (fl. first half of the 6th century) concerning the state of Britain.Historia BrittonumHistoria BrittonumHistoria ecclesiastica gentis AnglorumHistoria ecclesiastica gentis AnglorumA history in five books on the churches and peoples of England.
Latin chronicle compiled between the late 14th and early 15th century, which though left incomplete, aimed at describing a full history of Brittany. It incorporates a wide range of sources, including historical, hagiographical and archival materials. The work is anonymous and may have been written and compiled by Hervé Le Grant, a Breton notary with access to ducal archives.
A Latin Arthurian narrative, possibly of the 12th century but written after Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia.
A collection of prophecies of English kings, which are much indebted to Book VII of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia. Not every manuscript witness contains the full set, but the complete version consists of three texts: (1) Arbor fertilis, about Edward the Confessor’s dream vision concerning the Norman invasion and the accession of Henry II; (2) Sicut rubeum draconem, a king-list running from William I to John; and (3) Mortuo leone, concerning Stephen and Henry II.
Medieval Latin poem, probably of the late 13th or early 14th century, which relates a prophecy about the political future of Britain. Like similar prophecies of the period, it is dependent on Geoffrey of Monmouth’s account of Merlin’s prophecy for Britain (Prophetiae Merlini) and other Galfridian narratives. Its central message is that through an alliance of the Scots and the Welsh, English rule will come to end and Britain will be unified under a new king-hero. The poem, or good parts of it, circulated widely in English manuscripts, both from the north and elsewhere, frequently as a minor text in the company of historical works (to which even further prophetic texts may have been added).
Secondary sources (select)
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