Historia regum Britanniae eBook ´ Historia regum

Historia regum Britanniae eBook ´ Historia regum

Historia regum Britanniae ✅ Historia regum Britanniae PDF / Epub ⚣ Author Geoffrey of Monmouth – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Completed in 1136 The History of the Kings of Britain traces the story of the realm from its supposed foundation by Brutus to the coming of the Saxons some two thousand years later Vividly portraying Completed in The History of the Kings of Britain traces the story of the realm from its supposed foundation by Brutus to the coming of the Saxons some two thousand years later Vividly Historia regum Kindle - portraying legendary and semi legendary figures such as Lear Cymbeline Merlin the magician and the most famous of all British heroes King Arthur it is as much myth as it is history and its veracity was uestioned by other medieval writers But Geoffrey of Monmouth's powerful evocation of illustrious men and deeds captured the imagination of subseuent generations and his influence can be traced through the works of Malory Shakespeare Dryden and Tennyson.


10 thoughts on “Historia regum Britanniae

  1. Jan-Maat Jan-Maat says:

    Very odd but popular medieval English work it survives in a relatively large number of manuscripts and is mostly fictional It is an entirely remarkable book coming from a remarkable place from the edge of Norman rule it creates or assumes a new identity rooted in the mythical past of Wales but looking deep into mainland Europe Britain is the island of immigrants but Merlin provides an autochthonous voice naturally evil advisers try to trick the king into murdering him but the boy Merlin outwits them and orders that a great pit be dug in which the assembled notables see two dragons coiled together all the symbolism bangs our heads on the notion of rootedness which itself is a curious turn of events in a text dedicated to one of King Henry I's many bastard children Not that Geoffrey suggests that the new comers graft themselves onto the ancient root stock no in a twist he uses the career of King Arthur specifically the part were he rampages with a victorious army across France to demonstrate political continuity despite changing identities the Norman Kings did as the Angevin kings would do just as Arthur did and project power out deep into mainland Europe from among the deep roots of the mountains of Wales National unity in this telling is not about shared ancestry but combination in a common aggressive cause It is a slightly odd vision maybe and yet at this time such voices from the fringes were carrying odd legends deep into the European mainstream which pop up in Chrétien de Troyes among others to haunt our imaginations for centuries to come


  2. Liz Janet Liz Janet says:

    This book is not only about OrIt is about a bunch of crazy people that lived throughout the history of Britain all the way to the time this book was written and the hopeful return of the Once and Future King from the Trojans to the Anglo Saxons with a lot of myth mixed in The book itself is very inaccurate but it has early accounts of King Lear and Arthur Pendragon so I do not care how imprecise it is I love it I mean Monmouth said that someone gave him the text for him to translateThis is reuired reading for every Arthurian Legend Lover Because It Is Amazing Because I Say So


  3. David Sarkies David Sarkies says:

    Rule Brittania14 February 2018 – Siem Reap Maybe I should have written my review on A Farewell to Arms on Valantine's Day as opposed to some semi mythological text about a bunch of British kings that probably never existed but then again I've never been a big fan of Valantine's Day especially when I started working only to discover that in an office environment you suddenly have this huge competition among the ladies as to whose partner loves them the most based on the biggest bunch of flowers I still remember that first Valantine's Day seeing lady after ladying going down stairs and returning with a bunch of flowers and one particular woman going down three times returning with ever bigger bunches and it was from the same person or so she claimed Anyway this is the second time I've read this book and the first time I absolutely loved it but then again back then I was one of those people who believed anything At that time I never realised that Britain was originally colonised by the Trojans that the British were the ones who sacked Rome and that Brennius was a Brit as opposed to a Gaul Nor did I realise that Constantine was a Brit and that it was King Arthur that brought an end to the Roman Empire Well as it turns at I'm not entirely sure whether that really is the case anyway but as Chopper Read once said why let the truth get in the way of a good yarn So the Historia Regum Britanae was a history written by Geoffrey of Monmouth sometime in the 10th Century which puts it after the Norman invasion Geoffrey in his introduction explains that he was always interested in who the kings of Britain were before the Roman invasion and while he had been doing some research on the kings that came later namely referring to sources such as Bede Nennias and Gildas he was mystified as to what went on before Well to his surprise he was handed a mysterious Red Book which gave him his answers so he then proceeded to write his own history While many of his claims are dubious in the least I suspect that this red book may have actually existed It is a great story and a great history though Geoffrey focuses on battles as opposed to any real philosophical or political dialogue In this text we learn of the origins of the British people – they were Trojan A man named Brutus who was about two generations after Aeneas accidentally killed his mother and father so was exiled He took a group with him to Greece to establish a new land and in doing so went to war with his neighbours In a act of deceit he slaughtered some of his enemies only to be told that it would be best to leave because he had pretty much upset everybody else around him and that he would never have any rest from war if he remained So he travelled around landing in some places only to discover that the locals really didn't want him there so instead of wasting manpower by constantly fighting he moved on until he came to the British Isles As we make our way through the history we encounter Brennius the aforementioned Gaul who sacked Rome except that he wasn't a Gaul but actually a Briton We encounter King Lear however in this text it is Leir who doesn't go mad in the moors and ends up dying along with all of his daughters but flees to France raises an army and returns and reclaims his kingdom We also encounter the Roman invasion of Britain but Geoffrey writes this from the perspective of the British and thus paints them as being much capable and unified as opposed to the tribal structure that historians believe was actually the case Finally as we come to the 4th Century we encounter the famous Uther Pendragon which he suggests is a corruption of the name Uther ben Dragon or son of the Dragon who as a child flees to France when his Uncle Vortigern seizes the throne for himself This then sets the stage for the final part of the book where there is a constant struggle between the British and the Saxons where in the end as we all know the Saxons win and the British are confirmed to a small section of the island that we now know as Wales – it is Geoffrey's assertion that the Welsh are the true descendants of the Britons There is a suggestion that this history is the springboard for the Arthurian romances that come into play in both England and France I noticed that when I read Bede he skips over the period of time where Geoffrey places the story of Arthur I suspect Geoffrey used this jump to insert the story which probably was in the form of an oral legend at the time anyway or at least in that Little Red Book and it is one of the longest in the book Geoffrey's account goes that Vortigern was ruling the island with an iron fist and with the help of the Saxons but the alliance was coming apart When Uther and his older brother Aurelius came of age they returned and fought against Vortigern and the Saxons and of course won However both of them died and this is where Arthur ascends the throne Arthur does have a powerful sword but it isn't Excalibur nor does he pull it from a stone Merlin also appears but he has to do with Vortigern and Uther than he does with Arthur though Geoffrey does make mention that they do meet on one occasion Interestingly there is an entire chapter dedicated to a series of apocalyptic style prophecies told by Merlin who foresees the coming of Arthur The way these prophecies are written suggest a heavy Biblical influence though Geoffrey does refer to Biblical events as he is telling his story The story of the cuckolding of Arthur does not appear here however while Arthur is away in France fighting the Romans he does leave Mordred in charge of Britain along with Guinevere Once the Romans had been dealt with he discovers that Mordred had claimed the throne of Britain for himself so he returns with an army to take it back which could flag the Lancelot affair down the track Interestingly I notice that Arthur is basically perpetually at war but then again this isn't so much a defensive war because not only does he invade Gaul Geoffrey seems to use Gaul and France interchangeably but he goads the Romans into attacking him as well Thus it is not surprising that we he eventually dies sort of – he is mortally wounded and taken off to Avalon never to be seen again sort of because the suggesting is that he may return it is in battle I suspect that this work is very much like the Aenead was to Rome and I do note that Geoffrey does start his book from where the Aenead ends In one sense he is claiming British heritage from the Romans thus suggesting that like Rome Britain is destined for greatness While many of his battles aren't resounding victories and his kings immortal killing machines he does have the British conuer large swathes of Europe at least three times as well as making certain well known figures British Mind you this was the 10th Century and Britain had just been conuered by the Normans – except they were really British Geoffrey seems to refer back to a part of France called Little Britain or Brittany as it is known today In a way what Geoffrey seems to be trying to establish here is not so much a justification for the Norman invasion – that had happened about fifty years ago but probably still in living memory of many of the older people – but rather suggesting that Britain was now returning to her original roots and the Saxon domination now being over turned Then again the Norman invasion within a a couple of hundred years suddenly evolved into a struggle between the English and the French and a part of me wonders whether the Historia Regum Brittanae was playing in the back of the king's minds particularly since that for uite a while Geoffrey's text was considered history and I believe even Holinshed includes Brutus in his history


  4. ALLEN ALLEN says:

    It's best to stick to the Penguin version This one is from Createspace a subsidiary of a large retailer


  5. Felix Felix says:

    As a number of people who know me well could easily attest to I am fascinated by history books which contain very little actual history Although these books are often of very little value in the field of history The History of the Kings of Britain definitely contains very little historical fact they remain very valuable when studying the culture of a place or time and often illustrate a great deal about a people or a culture's sense of self It's for largely the same reasons that I am so fascinated by The Book of Mormon which although largely discredited by historians nevertheless speaks much of an American sense of selfThis narrative history speaks much of a Medieval British sense of self It has an almost schizophrenic approach when dealing with the Romans Did they bring a great deal of culture to Britain? Or is it true as a speaker in this narrative claims that Greater than all its other evils is the harm done to Britain by the overlordship of the Romans for no man is able to hold lasting power there without losing his freedom and being forced to bear the yoke of servitudeThe great irony is that these words were composed in Latin and all through the narrative the likely subconscious influence of the Romans is apparent Not least of all in a tendency to drop in Latin names among the British characters as if such a thing were perfectly natural But we should not let ourselves dwell on such discrepancies This is a narrative in which pagans call upon the one true God and Julius Caesar himself performs hand to hand battle with British soldiersIn all it's a fascinating narrative One should not come to it for history but for the study of a medieval culture it is truly invaluable


  6. Lady Mayfair Lady Mayfair says:

    I don’t like Monmouth Dim witted and blinded by a vulgar dislike of the Welsh who he calls “unworthy successors to the noble Britons” he has cut Arthur’s metaphorical right hand; in this account there is no Lady of the Lake bestowing him an enchanted sword Instead Arthur wields Caliburnus which is not Excalibur it’s just a sword and if Arthur wields just a sword then he is just another king wherein lies another issue with Monmouth’s histories For King Arthur is not just a king he is the King that will raise again But these are subtleties Monmouth cannot comprehend he is a mere English mortal whereas Nennius will live foreverThis account is the euivalent of “a friend of a friend said that”; Monmouth himself says he writes by inspiration from stories his friend told him and a mysterious book that Walter archdeacon of Oxford brought from Brittany I can safely say this is bollocks as Monmouth has translated ad litteram from Nennius from the first paragraph where he laments the lack of information regarding the islands in his classics Bede Gildas to the scene when Merlin explains the symbolism of the fighting dragonsThere are several points of interest in the account the genealogy of the British from Brutus and Aeneas descendants of Troy to the origins of the kings of East Anglia the genealogy of the Mercians however these are shadowed by a multitude of inaccuracies such as suggesting it was Merlin who brought Stonehenge to its current location but this is rather ridiculous as the stones predate Arthurian loreThe only points that rose my interest were the ‘fact’ that Sir Gawain is Arthur’s nephew and that Uther Pendragon is buried at Stonehenge


  7. Sarah Sarah says:

    it is easier for a kite to be made to act like a sparrow hawk than for a wise man to be fashioned at short notice from a peasant He who offers any depth of wisdom to such a person is acting as though he were throwing a pearl among swineWell the short way to express my opinion of The History of the Kings of Britain is simply to say this this book is a big freakin' deal Although this account is not seen as anything than fiction or at the most very very twisted bits and pieces of truth I have to hand it to Geoffrey of Monmouth that it covers a very long span of time and manages to remain interesting through and through Going into History I knew there was going to be talk of Merlin and Arthur which got me all excited to begin with But to find out that the story of King Lear was told as well? That completely blew my mind Not only does the reader get the bit of the story that Shakespeare adapted into his famous tragedy but also the aftermath of how it all went down As to not ramble for too long I can summarize my thoughts I love knowing that History is a big deal for Arthurian nerds such as Tennyson and even as far back as Malory himself I also love knowing that the Bard got one of his stories from the same exact work How amazing is that???Now History's account of Arthur is not nearly as embellished or famous as Malory's of course but one of the biggest highlights of the novel as a whole is Geoffrey's depiction of Merlin from his origin to his prophecies Although some of the symbolism in the chapter about Merlin's prophecies is somewhat undecipherable to modern day scholars a lot of it has to do with events to come later in Geoffrey's account or even events that took place in Geoffrey's lifetime or soon before it I do also appreciate how Geoffrey implements the use of Biblical events to give the reader an idea of what was going on in other parts of the world at the same time as events in Britain To me that helps me to put everything into perspective as well as see at what approximate time Christianity began to spread northward and westward


  8. Evan Leach Evan Leach says:

    This is a very interesting read especially for Arthurian buffs The book's description of Geoffrey as a sometimes less than reliable historian is some serious understatement even Geoffrey's learned contemporaries understood this history to be largely a product of the author's own imagination But it's an important book nonetheless In the course of Geoffrey's 2000 year tale he presents the earliest known version of the King Lear story and the first English non Welsh telling of the King Arthur legend among many othersSo readers interested in an early look at British history may be disappointed But those who want to trace the Matter of Britain back to its beginnings will eat this up Geoffrey's history influenced countless writers and artists for centuries and it still has appeal today 35 stars recommended


  9. Oblomov Oblomov says:

    Historia Regum Britanniae is as historically accurate as I am Ryan Gosling and the fact Geoffrey begins by essentially saying 'my source is one book and I've shoved in some extra details off the top my head' I wonder why it took till the Renaissance before anyone really called bullshitPride was probably the reason with The History performing the same glorifying act for Britain as Virgil's The Aeneid did for Rome Almost exactly the same actually since apparently my ancestors were also displaced Trojans led by Brutus who enjoyed some dashing adventures before hitting the Isles and comitting mass genocide against the native giants The History covers about 1100BC to almost 700AD and details the lives of many Kings with no historical basis how we colonised half of Europe married British nobility to Roman Emporers and built huge cities that rivalled Rome all of which we lost due to the Isles' oldest and most diabolical nemesis the Saxons Geoffrey also hates the Scots the Welsh and 'effeminate degeneracy' with all the growling passion of a complete gammonI found this book hysterical It's dry pompous and unforgivably long in places but that po facedness makes it wonderfully funny when we have chapter titles like this Malgo king of Britain and a most graceful person addicts himself to sodomy or this Constantine having murdered the two sons of Mordred is himself killed by Conan which when taken out of context sounds like the synopsis of an epic crossover fanfictionDespite the ludicrous stories of Julius Ceasar being beaten back by his own sword after it lodges in his British opponent's helmet and he can't retrieve it or the rapist giants magicians angels and dragons that appear in this history we do have to thank Geoffrey for providing the basis for three British legends that later better writers would improve upon King Lear Merlin and ArthurThese first references to the Arthurian legend are partly why I read this and you can recognise the foundation stones for later works There's Merlin changing Uther Pendragon's appearance into that of a woman's husband so he can molest her Arthur has a decent sword called Caliburn which would become Excalibur We have the villainous Mordred who is Arthur's nephew but not his incestuous love child and Arthur has a wife called Guanhumara Guinevere view spoiler who betrays her husband and runs off to a nunnery but she does this with Mordred as Lancelot hadn't been invented yet hide spoiler


  10. Mark Adderley Mark Adderley says:

    Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain is the story of all the legendary kings of Britian from the founder Brutus the grandson of Aeneas down to the last king of Britain Cadwalladr On the way Geoffrey recounts the tales of King Leir Cymbeline and Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain Most importantly however one fifth of the book is devoted to retelling the life story of King Arthur Geoffrey was actually the first person to do this Immensely popular in the Middle Ages—over 200 manuscripts have survived as opposed to 80 of The Canterbury Tales and 50 of Piers Plowman—this is the book that started the fashion for Arthurian romance that continued throughout the Middle Ages and is still being felt today in modern novels and moviesAlthough Lewis Thorpe's translation is inaccurate in places it's still the most readable translation available and it has an extensive glossaryindex of proper names Michael Faletra's translation from Broadview Press is accurate and it contains a full translation of Geoffrey's other important work the Life of Merlin The History of the Kings of Britain


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10 thoughts on “Historia regum Britanniae

  1. Jan-Maat Jan-Maat says:

    Very odd but popular medieval English work it survives in a relatively large number of manuscripts and is mostly fictional It is an entirely remarkable book coming from a remarkable place from the edge of Norman rule it creates or assumes a new identity rooted in the mythical past of Wales but looking deep into mainland Europe Britain is the island of immigrants but Merlin provides an autochthonous voice naturally evil advisers try to trick the king into murdering him but the boy Merlin outwits them and orders that a great pit be dug in which the assembled notables see two dragons coiled together all the symbolism bangs our heads on the notion of rootedness which itself is a curious turn of events in a text dedicated to one of King Henry I's many bastard children Not that Geoffrey suggests that the new comers graft themselves onto the ancient root stock no in a twist he uses the career of King Arthur specifically the part were he rampages with a victorious army across France to demonstrate political continuity despite changing identities the Norman Kings did as the Angevin kings would do just as Arthur did and project power out deep into mainland Europe from among the deep roots of the mountains of Wales National unity in this telling is not about shared ancestry but combination in a common aggressive cause It is a slightly odd vision maybe and yet at this time such voices from the fringes were carrying odd legends deep into the European mainstream which pop up in Chrétien de Troyes among others to haunt our imaginations for centuries to come

  2. Liz Janet Liz Janet says:

    This book is not only about OrIt is about a bunch of crazy people that lived throughout the history of Britain all the way to the time this book was written and the hopeful return of the Once and Future King from the Trojans to the Anglo Saxons with a lot of myth mixed in The book itself is very inaccurate but it has early accounts of King Lear and Arthur Pendragon so I do not care how imprecise it is I love it I mean Monmouth said that someone gave him the text for him to translateThis is reuired reading for every Arthurian Legend Lover Because It Is Amazing Because I Say So

  3. David Sarkies David Sarkies says:

    Rule Brittania14 February 2018 – Siem Reap Maybe I should have written my review on A Farewell to Arms on Valantine's Day as opposed to some semi mythological text about a bunch of British kings that probably never existed but then again I've never been a big fan of Valantine's Day especially when I started working only to discover that in an office environment you suddenly have this huge competition among the ladies as to whose partner loves them the most based on the biggest bunch of flowers I still remember that first Valantine's Day seeing lady after ladying going down stairs and returning with a bunch of flowers and one particular woman going down three times returning with ever bigger bunches and it was from the same person or so she claimed Anyway this is the second time I've read this book and the first time I absolutely loved it but then again back then I was one of those people who believed anything At that time I never realised that Britain was originally colonised by the Trojans that the British were the ones who sacked Rome and that Brennius was a Brit as opposed to a Gaul Nor did I realise that Constantine was a Brit and that it was King Arthur that brought an end to the Roman Empire Well as it turns at I'm not entirely sure whether that really is the case anyway but as Chopper Read once said why let the truth get in the way of a good yarn So the Historia Regum Britanae was a history written by Geoffrey of Monmouth sometime in the 10th Century which puts it after the Norman invasion Geoffrey in his introduction explains that he was always interested in who the kings of Britain were before the Roman invasion and while he had been doing some research on the kings that came later namely referring to sources such as Bede Nennias and Gildas he was mystified as to what went on before Well to his surprise he was handed a mysterious Red Book which gave him his answers so he then proceeded to write his own history While many of his claims are dubious in the least I suspect that this red book may have actually existed It is a great story and a great history though Geoffrey focuses on battles as opposed to any real philosophical or political dialogue In this text we learn of the origins of the British people – they were Trojan A man named Brutus who was about two generations after Aeneas accidentally killed his mother and father so was exiled He took a group with him to Greece to establish a new land and in doing so went to war with his neighbours In a act of deceit he slaughtered some of his enemies only to be told that it would be best to leave because he had pretty much upset everybody else around him and that he would never have any rest from war if he remained So he travelled around landing in some places only to discover that the locals really didn't want him there so instead of wasting manpower by constantly fighting he moved on until he came to the British Isles As we make our way through the history we encounter Brennius the aforementioned Gaul who sacked Rome except that he wasn't a Gaul but actually a Briton We encounter King Lear however in this text it is Leir who doesn't go mad in the moors and ends up dying along with all of his daughters but flees to France raises an army and returns and reclaims his kingdom We also encounter the Roman invasion of Britain but Geoffrey writes this from the perspective of the British and thus paints them as being much capable and unified as opposed to the tribal structure that historians believe was actually the case Finally as we come to the 4th Century we encounter the famous Uther Pendragon which he suggests is a corruption of the name Uther ben Dragon or son of the Dragon who as a child flees to France when his Uncle Vortigern seizes the throne for himself This then sets the stage for the final part of the book where there is a constant struggle between the British and the Saxons where in the end as we all know the Saxons win and the British are confirmed to a small section of the island that we now know as Wales – it is Geoffrey's assertion that the Welsh are the true descendants of the Britons There is a suggestion that this history is the springboard for the Arthurian romances that come into play in both England and France I noticed that when I read Bede he skips over the period of time where Geoffrey places the story of Arthur I suspect Geoffrey used this jump to insert the story which probably was in the form of an oral legend at the time anyway or at least in that Little Red Book and it is one of the longest in the book Geoffrey's account goes that Vortigern was ruling the island with an iron fist and with the help of the Saxons but the alliance was coming apart When Uther and his older brother Aurelius came of age they returned and fought against Vortigern and the Saxons and of course won However both of them died and this is where Arthur ascends the throne Arthur does have a powerful sword but it isn't Excalibur nor does he pull it from a stone Merlin also appears but he has to do with Vortigern and Uther than he does with Arthur though Geoffrey does make mention that they do meet on one occasion Interestingly there is an entire chapter dedicated to a series of apocalyptic style prophecies told by Merlin who foresees the coming of Arthur The way these prophecies are written suggest a heavy Biblical influence though Geoffrey does refer to Biblical events as he is telling his story The story of the cuckolding of Arthur does not appear here however while Arthur is away in France fighting the Romans he does leave Mordred in charge of Britain along with Guinevere Once the Romans had been dealt with he discovers that Mordred had claimed the throne of Britain for himself so he returns with an army to take it back which could flag the Lancelot affair down the track Interestingly I notice that Arthur is basically perpetually at war but then again this isn't so much a defensive war because not only does he invade Gaul Geoffrey seems to use Gaul and France interchangeably but he goads the Romans into attacking him as well Thus it is not surprising that we he eventually dies sort of – he is mortally wounded and taken off to Avalon never to be seen again sort of because the suggesting is that he may return it is in battle I suspect that this work is very much like the Aenead was to Rome and I do note that Geoffrey does start his book from where the Aenead ends In one sense he is claiming British heritage from the Romans thus suggesting that like Rome Britain is destined for greatness While many of his battles aren't resounding victories and his kings immortal killing machines he does have the British conuer large swathes of Europe at least three times as well as making certain well known figures British Mind you this was the 10th Century and Britain had just been conuered by the Normans – except they were really British Geoffrey seems to refer back to a part of France called Little Britain or Brittany as it is known today In a way what Geoffrey seems to be trying to establish here is not so much a justification for the Norman invasion – that had happened about fifty years ago but probably still in living memory of many of the older people – but rather suggesting that Britain was now returning to her original roots and the Saxon domination now being over turned Then again the Norman invasion within a a couple of hundred years suddenly evolved into a struggle between the English and the French and a part of me wonders whether the Historia Regum Brittanae was playing in the back of the king's minds particularly since that for uite a while Geoffrey's text was considered history and I believe even Holinshed includes Brutus in his history

  4. ALLEN ALLEN says:

    It's best to stick to the Penguin version This one is from Createspace a subsidiary of a large retailer

  5. Felix Felix says:

    As a number of people who know me well could easily attest to I am fascinated by history books which contain very little actual history Although these books are often of very little value in the field of history The History of the Kings of Britain definitely contains very little historical fact they remain very valuable when studying the culture of a place or time and often illustrate a great deal about a people or a culture's sense of self It's for largely the same reasons that I am so fascinated by The Book of Mormon which although largely discredited by historians nevertheless speaks much of an American sense of selfThis narrative history speaks much of a Medieval British sense of self It has an almost schizophrenic approach when dealing with the Romans Did they bring a great deal of culture to Britain? Or is it true as a speaker in this narrative claims that Greater than all its other evils is the harm done to Britain by the overlordship of the Romans for no man is able to hold lasting power there without losing his freedom and being forced to bear the yoke of servitudeThe great irony is that these words were composed in Latin and all through the narrative the likely subconscious influence of the Romans is apparent Not least of all in a tendency to drop in Latin names among the British characters as if such a thing were perfectly natural But we should not let ourselves dwell on such discrepancies This is a narrative in which pagans call upon the one true God and Julius Caesar himself performs hand to hand battle with British soldiersIn all it's a fascinating narrative One should not come to it for history but for the study of a medieval culture it is truly invaluable

  6. Lady Mayfair Lady Mayfair says:

    I don’t like Monmouth Dim witted and blinded by a vulgar dislike of the Welsh who he calls “unworthy successors to the noble Britons” he has cut Arthur’s metaphorical right hand; in this account there is no Lady of the Lake bestowing him an enchanted sword Instead Arthur wields Caliburnus which is not Excalibur it’s just a sword and if Arthur wields just a sword then he is just another king wherein lies another issue with Monmouth’s histories For King Arthur is not just a king he is the King that will raise again But these are subtleties Monmouth cannot comprehend he is a mere English mortal whereas Nennius will live foreverThis account is the euivalent of “a friend of a friend said that”; Monmouth himself says he writes by inspiration from stories his friend told him and a mysterious book that Walter archdeacon of Oxford brought from Brittany I can safely say this is bollocks as Monmouth has translated ad litteram from Nennius from the first paragraph where he laments the lack of information regarding the islands in his classics Bede Gildas to the scene when Merlin explains the symbolism of the fighting dragonsThere are several points of interest in the account the genealogy of the British from Brutus and Aeneas descendants of Troy to the origins of the kings of East Anglia the genealogy of the Mercians however these are shadowed by a multitude of inaccuracies such as suggesting it was Merlin who brought Stonehenge to its current location but this is rather ridiculous as the stones predate Arthurian loreThe only points that rose my interest were the ‘fact’ that Sir Gawain is Arthur’s nephew and that Uther Pendragon is buried at Stonehenge

  7. Sarah Sarah says:

    it is easier for a kite to be made to act like a sparrow hawk than for a wise man to be fashioned at short notice from a peasant He who offers any depth of wisdom to such a person is acting as though he were throwing a pearl among swineWell the short way to express my opinion of The History of the Kings of Britain is simply to say this this book is a big freakin' deal Although this account is not seen as anything than fiction or at the most very very twisted bits and pieces of truth I have to hand it to Geoffrey of Monmouth that it covers a very long span of time and manages to remain interesting through and through Going into History I knew there was going to be talk of Merlin and Arthur which got me all excited to begin with But to find out that the story of King Lear was told as well? That completely blew my mind Not only does the reader get the bit of the story that Shakespeare adapted into his famous tragedy but also the aftermath of how it all went down As to not ramble for too long I can summarize my thoughts I love knowing that History is a big deal for Arthurian nerds such as Tennyson and even as far back as Malory himself I also love knowing that the Bard got one of his stories from the same exact work How amazing is that???Now History's account of Arthur is not nearly as embellished or famous as Malory's of course but one of the biggest highlights of the novel as a whole is Geoffrey's depiction of Merlin from his origin to his prophecies Although some of the symbolism in the chapter about Merlin's prophecies is somewhat undecipherable to modern day scholars a lot of it has to do with events to come later in Geoffrey's account or even events that took place in Geoffrey's lifetime or soon before it I do also appreciate how Geoffrey implements the use of Biblical events to give the reader an idea of what was going on in other parts of the world at the same time as events in Britain To me that helps me to put everything into perspective as well as see at what approximate time Christianity began to spread northward and westward

  8. Evan Leach Evan Leach says:

    This is a very interesting read especially for Arthurian buffs The book's description of Geoffrey as a sometimes less than reliable historian is some serious understatement even Geoffrey's learned contemporaries understood this history to be largely a product of the author's own imagination But it's an important book nonetheless In the course of Geoffrey's 2000 year tale he presents the earliest known version of the King Lear story and the first English non Welsh telling of the King Arthur legend among many othersSo readers interested in an early look at British history may be disappointed But those who want to trace the Matter of Britain back to its beginnings will eat this up Geoffrey's history influenced countless writers and artists for centuries and it still has appeal today 35 stars recommended

  9. Oblomov Oblomov says:

    Historia Regum Britanniae is as historically accurate as I am Ryan Gosling and the fact Geoffrey begins by essentially saying 'my source is one book and I've shoved in some extra details off the top my head' I wonder why it took till the Renaissance before anyone really called bullshitPride was probably the reason with The History performing the same glorifying act for Britain as Virgil's The Aeneid did for Rome Almost exactly the same actually since apparently my ancestors were also displaced Trojans led by Brutus who enjoyed some dashing adventures before hitting the Isles and comitting mass genocide against the native giants The History covers about 1100BC to almost 700AD and details the lives of many Kings with no historical basis how we colonised half of Europe married British nobility to Roman Emporers and built huge cities that rivalled Rome all of which we lost due to the Isles' oldest and most diabolical nemesis the Saxons Geoffrey also hates the Scots the Welsh and 'effeminate degeneracy' with all the growling passion of a complete gammonI found this book hysterical It's dry pompous and unforgivably long in places but that po facedness makes it wonderfully funny when we have chapter titles like this Malgo king of Britain and a most graceful person addicts himself to sodomy or this Constantine having murdered the two sons of Mordred is himself killed by Conan which when taken out of context sounds like the synopsis of an epic crossover fanfictionDespite the ludicrous stories of Julius Ceasar being beaten back by his own sword after it lodges in his British opponent's helmet and he can't retrieve it or the rapist giants magicians angels and dragons that appear in this history we do have to thank Geoffrey for providing the basis for three British legends that later better writers would improve upon King Lear Merlin and ArthurThese first references to the Arthurian legend are partly why I read this and you can recognise the foundation stones for later works There's Merlin changing Uther Pendragon's appearance into that of a woman's husband so he can molest her Arthur has a decent sword called Caliburn which would become Excalibur We have the villainous Mordred who is Arthur's nephew but not his incestuous love child and Arthur has a wife called Guanhumara Guinevere view spoiler who betrays her husband and runs off to a nunnery but she does this with Mordred as Lancelot hadn't been invented yet hide spoiler

  10. Mark Adderley Mark Adderley says:

    Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain is the story of all the legendary kings of Britian from the founder Brutus the grandson of Aeneas down to the last king of Britain Cadwalladr On the way Geoffrey recounts the tales of King Leir Cymbeline and Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain Most importantly however one fifth of the book is devoted to retelling the life story of King Arthur Geoffrey was actually the first person to do this Immensely popular in the Middle Ages—over 200 manuscripts have survived as opposed to 80 of The Canterbury Tales and 50 of Piers Plowman—this is the book that started the fashion for Arthurian romance that continued throughout the Middle Ages and is still being felt today in modern novels and moviesAlthough Lewis Thorpe's translation is inaccurate in places it's still the most readable translation available and it has an extensive glossaryindex of proper names Michael Faletra's translation from Broadview Press is accurate and it contains a full translation of Geoffrey's other important work the Life of Merlin The History of the Kings of Britain

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