Geoffrey Of Monmouth
'Historia Regum Brittaniae'
The History of the Kings of Britain

Geoffrey ap Arthur, later known as Geoffrey of Monmouth, completed this work in 1136. He claimed that Walter Mapes, Archdeacon of Oxford, discovered an ancient manuscript in Armorica (Brittany) written in the British tongue i.e. the Celtic language of the Britons prior to the arrival of the Saxons and Danes, something like the Welsh language. Geoffrey said that Walter Mapes asked him to translate this document into Latin - which he was delighted to do.

Though nowadays this work is considered by many as little more than fiction, it is interesting to note that when it first appeared it was mostly met with approval. It was not until the seventeenth century that the authenticity of the content was questioned.

How the work came into being, and how accurate its contents are, are important questions to be argued over again and again. However, few would argue over its importance and contribution to literature; for without it the legend of King Arthur would surely not have developed.

Here we offer you the opportunity to dip into 'Historia Regum Brittaniae'. The text is taken from the 1718 Latin to English translation by Aaron Thompson who followed for the most part Commeline's 1587 edition of the original.

The Contents of Books VIII to XI are included as these chart the rise and fall of Arthur.

The texts of Book IX, Chapters XII, XIII & XIV are included for these very firmly locate the Coronation of Arthur and his Palace in Caerleon. They also tell of Caerleon being one of the three most important religious centres in Britain and the location of a college of two hundred philosophers.

The entire text of the 'Prophecy of Merlin' is included, as well as a discussion of some of the more interesting visions.

The Contents of Books VIII to XI

Book IX, Chapter XII - Arthur summons a great many Kings, Princes, Arch­bishops, &c. to a solemn Assembly at the City of Legions

Book IX, Chapter XIII - A Description of the Royal Pomp at the Coronation of Arthur

Book IX, Chapter XIV - After a Variety of Sports at the Coronation, Arthur amply rewards his Servants

Book VII, Chapter III - The Prophecy of Merlin

Book VII, Chapter IV - The Continuation of the Prophecy

Numerous References to Caerleon - The City of the Legions