Dee Finney's blog

start date July 20, 2011

Today's date September 28, 2012


9-28-12 -  DREAM -  I had a long conversation with a Princess of England - (can't remember her name or the conversation.  She was very close with her brother Geoffrey of Monmouth.

I then had a long conversation with Geoffrey, and I apparently worked for the two of them, and promised to help them with some documents, which I was to copy.

While I was doing this, early in the morning, an uncle of Geoffrey came into the room and stole the documents from me.

I was not able to get the documents back.

This is a past-life event for me.  I have long known I was a Monk in England, along with some other Monk's who all have reincarnated at the same time, and I know who they are as well, though I have never met them in person.


9-28-12 - MEDITATION:  I was just resting my eyes after lunch, and relaxing, and suddenly I saw a list of things on a screen, and a voice said, "What exactly do we know about Geoffrey of Monmouth?

There were about 10 or 12 things on the list.

1.  Geoffrey was a monk
2.  Geoffrey was a Benedictine Monk
3.  Geoffrey had a sister who was a Princess
4.  Therefore Geoffrey had to be a Prince
5.  Therefore Geoffrey's Father was a King (King Arthur)
6.  Geoffrey's Father's name was Arthur
7.  Geoffrey lived at the castle in Oxford
8.  Geoffrey was a writer
9.  Geoffrey knew Merlin (Myrrdin) Vertigern
10.  Geoffrey had a well known uncle who had possession of his writings
11. Geoffrey could read and write in at least three languages, English, Welsh, and Latin
12.  Could Geoffrey's uncle actually be Merlin?


HERE ARE OTHER PAGES ABOUT KING ARTHUR ON THIS SITE:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=e3a9b83b631f93fe&biw=1280&bih=915

HERE ARE OTHER PAGES ABOUT MERLIN ON THIS SITE:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=e3a9b83b631f93fe&biw=1280&bih=915


Geoffrey of Monmouth
by David Nash Ford

Geoffrey is traditionally said to have been a Welshman, born somewhere in the region of Monmouth around 1100, though one or both of his parents may have come from Brittany. His father's name was apparently Arthur, a man who would perhaps have told his son stories of his Royal namesake from an early age.

Local tradition makes Geoffrey a Benedictine monk at Monmouth Priory, if not the actual prior. However, this seems to be due to a misidentification with his contemporary, Prior Geoffrey the Short of Monmouth. Certainly Geoffrey's Window' at which he is said to have sat and written his famous works and Geoffrey's Study' used as a schoolroom within the Priory Gatehouse are only of late 15th century date. At most it seems that Geoffrey might perhaps have been educated at Monmouth Priory. Some say, erroneously, that his tutor was an uncle named Uchtryd who made him Archdeacon of Llandeilo or Llandaff when he became Bishop of the latter in around 1140.

A variety of obscure medieval records give only glimpses of the man's real life. By his late twenties, Geoffrey certainly seems to have travelled eastwards to become a secular Austin canon at the Collegiate Church of St. George at the castle in Oxford. He was a member of the college community there, and a tutor of some kind, for at least the next twenty years - witnessing a number of charters during his residence - but he turned to writing not long after his arrival. The Prophecies of Merlin' appear to have been a series of ancient Celtic prophecies which, at the request of Alexander of Salisbury, Bishop of Lincoln, Geoffrey translated into Latin, perhaps with some additions of his own. Whether they had previously been attributed to the Northern British bard, Myrddin, is unknown. As with all his works, Geoffrey hoped the prophecies might bring him a lucrative preferment in the Church, and he used its dedication to ingratiate himself with Alexander who was Bishop of his local diocese. Geoffrey made a more appreciative acquaintance while at St. George's, in the person of Walter the Provost, who was also Archdeacon of the city. In his writings, Geoffrey tells us that Walter gave him "a certain very ancient book written in the British language" and, probably because he was unable to read Welsh (or Breton) himself, the Archdeacon encouraged Geoffrey to translate it into Latin.

So, in about 1136, the Welshman set about writing his History of the Kings of Britain' dedicated to Robert, Earl of Gloucester, and Waleran, Count of Mellent. Whether this was a straight translation of an ancient book' or contained considerable embellishments, if not worse, from Geoffrey himself has been the subject of heated debate for many generations. At the time, the work was taken at face value and accepted by most as a true history of the Welsh nation from around 1100 bc to around AD 689. Merlin appeared again, as an advisor to Kings Ambrosius and Uther, but the work was most notable for its extensive chapters covering the reign of the great King Arthur. Since the 17th century, however, its author has been largely vilified as an inexorable forger who made up his stories "from an inordinate love of lying". Modern historians tend to be slightly more sympathetic. Parts of Geoffrey's work certainly seem to have their origins in ancient Celtic mythology, others could have come from works by authors such as Gildas, Nennius, Bede and also the Mabinogion. But there are also hints that he had access to at least one other work unknown to us today. His ÔKing Tenvantius of Britain,' for example, was otherwise unknown to historians until archaeologists began to uncover Iron Age coins struck for a tribal leader in Hertfordshire named Tasciovantus. Some people consider the several copies of a Welsh version of Geoffrey known as the Brut y Brenhinedd' to be his original ancient book'. However, the Chronicle of Saint Brieuc' makes reference to several of Geoffrey's characters apparently from a source called the Ystoria Britannica'.

At the end of 1150, Geoffrey appears to have come into the possession of further source documents concerning the life-story of his original subject, the bard, Myrddin (alias Merlin). Unfortunately, these did not line up terribly well the information he had given about this man in his History of the Kings of Britain' - perhaps indicating that this part was either invented or, more probably, that Merlin's name had been rather over-eagerly attributed to an otherwise unknown Royal adviser. Keen to put across the true story, without losing face, Geoffrey wrote the Life of Merlin,' correctly placing its events after the reign of Arthur, but thus giving his title role an impossibly long lifespan. It was dedicated to his former colleague at St. George's, Robert De Chesney, the new Bishop of Lincoln.

The following year, Geoffrey's sycophancy at last paid off. He was elected Bishop of St. Asaphs, for good service to his Norman masters; and was consecrated by Archbishop Theobald at Lambeth Palace in February 1152. As a Welsh-speaker, he was probably chosen in an attempt to make the diocesanal administration more acceptable in an age when Normans were not at all popular in the areas of Wales which they controlled. However, the strategy seems to have been unsuccessful. Owain Gwynedd's open rebellion was in full swing and Geoffrey appears to have never even visited his bishopric. He died four years later, probably in London.

Barber, R. (1961) King Arthur: Hero and Legend, London: St. Martin's Press.
Harrison, J. (2001) "Geoffrey of Monmouth" in Monmouth Priory, Monmouth: Vicar & Parochial Church Council of Monmouth.
Kissack, K. (1996) The Lordship, Parish & Borough of Monmouth, Hereford: Lapridge Publications.
Lacy, N.J. (ed.) (1996) The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, London: Garland Publishing Inc.
Roberts, B.F. (1991) "Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae and Brut y Brenhinedd"in R. Bromwich et al. (ed.s)'s The Arthur of the Welsh Cardiff: University of Wales Press
Thorpe, L. (1976) "Introduction" in Geoffrey of Monmouth's The History of the Kings of Britain, London: Penguin Books Ltd.

See these King Arthur pages on this site:

Copyright ©2011, LLC  

Geoffrey of Monmouth (Latin: Galfridus Monemutensis, Galfridus Arturus, Galfridus Artur, Welsh: Gruffudd ap Arthur, Sieffre o Fynwy) (c. 1100 – c. 1155) was a cleric and one of the major figures in the development of British historiography and the popularity of tales of King Arthur. He is best known for his chronicle Historia Regum Britanniae("History of the Kings of Britain"), which was widely popular in its day and was credited, uncritically, well into the 16th century,[1] being translated into various other languages from its original Latin.

Geoffrey was probably born some time between 1100 and 1110[2] in Wales or theWelsh Marches. He must have reached the age of majority by 1129, when he is recorded as witnessing a charter.

In his Historia, Geoffrey refers to himself as Galfridus Monumetensis, "Geoffrey of Monmouth", which indicates a significant connection to Monmouth, Wales, and which may refer to his birthplace.[3] Geoffrey's works attest to some acquaintance with the place-names of the region.[3] To contemporaries, Geoffrey was known as Galfridus Artur(us) or variants thereof.[2][3] The "Arthur" in these versions of his name may indicate the name of his father, or a nickname based on Geoffrey's scholarly interests.[2]

Earlier scholars assumed that Geoffrey was Welsh or at least spoke Welsh.[2] However, Geoffrey's knowledge of the Welsh language appears to have been slight,[2] and it is now recognised that there is no real evidence that Geoffrey was of either Welsh or Cambro-Norman descent, unlike for instance, Gerald of Wales.[3] He is likely to have sprung from the same French-speaking elite of the Welsh border country as the writers Gerald of Wales and Walter Map, and Robert, Earl of Gloucester, to whom Geoffrey dedicated versions of his Historia Regum Britanniae.[2] It has been argued, by Frank Stenton among others, that Geoffrey's parents may have been among the many Bretons who took part in William I's Conquest and settled in the southeast of Wales.[3] Monmouth had been in the hands of Breton lords since 1075[3] or 1086[2] and the names Galfridus and Arthur (if interpreted as a patronymic) were more common among the Bretons than the Welsh.[3]

He may have served for a while in a Benedictine priory in Monmouth.[4] However, most of his adult life appears to have been spent outside Wales. Between 1129 and 1151 his name appears on six charters in the Oxford area, sometimes styled magister("teacher").[2] He was probably a secular canon of St. George's college. All the charters signed by Geoffrey are also signed byWalter, Archdeacon of Oxford, also a canon at that church. Another frequent co-signatory is Ralph of Monmouth, a canon ofLincoln.[2]

On 21 February 1152 Archbishop Theobald consecrated Geoffrey as bishop of St Asaph, having ordained him a priest 10 days before. "There is no evidence that he ever visited his see," writes Lewis Thorpe, "and indeed the wars of Owain Gwynedd make this most unlikely."[5] He appears to have died between 25 December 1154 and 24 December 1155, in 1155 according to Welsh chronicles, when his apparent successor, Richard, took office.[2]

Historia Regum Britanniae

Geoffrey wrote several works of interest, all in Latin, the language of learning and literature in Europe during the medieval period. His major work was the Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain), the work best known to modern readers. It relates the purported history of Britain, from its first settlement by Brutus, a descendant of the Trojan hero Aeneas, to the death of Cadwallader in the 7th century, taking in Julius Caesar's invasions of Britain, two kings, Leir and Cymbeline, later immortalized byWilliam Shakespeare, and one of the earliest developed narratives of King Arthur.

Geoffrey claims in his dedication that the book is a translation of an "ancient book in the British language that told in orderly fashion the deeds of all the kings of Britain", given to him by Walter, Archdeacon of Oxford. Modern historians have dismissed this claim.[6]It is, however, likely that the Archdeacon furnished Geoffrey with some materials in the Welsh language that helped inspire his work, as Geoffrey's position and acquaintance with the Archdeacon would not have afforded him the luxury of fabricating such a claim outright.[7] Much of it is based on the Historia Britonum, a 9th century Welsh-Latin historical compilation, Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum and Gildas's sixth-century polemic De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae expanded with material fromBardic oral tradition, genealogical tracts, and embellished by Geoffrey's own imagination.[8] In an exchange of manuscript material for their own histories, Robert of Torigny gave Henry of Huntingdon a copy of Historia regum Britanniae, which both Robert and Henry used uncritically as authentic history and subsequently used in their own works,[9] by which means some of Geoffrey's fictions became embedded in popular history.

Historia Regum Britanniae is now acknowledged as a literary work of national myth containing little reliable history. This has since led many modern scholars to agree with William of Newburgh, who wrote around 1190 that "it is quite clear that everything this man wrote about Arthur and his successors, or indeed about his predecessors from Vortigern onwards, was made up, partly by himself and partly by others".[10] Other contemporaries were similarly unconvinced by Geoffrey's "History". For example, Giraldus Cambrensis recounts the experience of a man possessed by demons: "If the evil spirits oppressed him too much, the Gospel of St John was placed on his bosom, when, like birds, they immediately vanished; but when the book was removed, and the History of the Britons by 'Geoffrey Arthur' (as Geoffrey named himself) was substituted in its place, they instantly reappeared in greater numbers, and remained a longer time than usual on his body and on the book."[11]

However, his major work was widely disseminated across the whole of Medieval Western Europe: Acton Griscom listed 186 extant manuscripts in 1929, and others have been identified since.[12] It enjoyed a significant afterlife in a variety of forms, including translations/adaptations such as the Anglo-Norman Roman de Brut of Wace, the Middle English Brut of Layamon, and several anonymous Middle Welsh versions known as Brut y Brenhinedd ("Brut of the kings").[13] where it was generally accepted as a true account.

Other writings

The earliest of Geoffrey's writings to appear was probably the Prophetiae Merlini (Prophecies of Merlin), which he wrote at some point before 1135, and which appears both independently and incorporated into the Historia Regum Britanniae. It consists of a series of obscure prophetic utterances attributed to Merlin, which Geoffrey claimed to have translated from an unspecified language.

Geoffrey's structuring and reshaping of the Merlin and Arthur myths engendered the vast popularity of Merlin and Arthur myths in later literature, a popularity that lasts to this day; he is generally viewed by scholars as the major establisher of the Arthurian canon.[14] The Historia's effect on the legend of King Arthur was so vast that Arthurian works have been categorized as "pre-" or "post-Galfridian" depending on whether or not they were influenced by him.

The third work attributed to Geoffrey is another hexameter poem Vita Merlini ("Life of Merlin"). The Vita is based much more closely on traditional material about Merlin than are the other works; here he is known as Merlin of the Woods (Merlinus Sylvestris) or Scottish Merlin (Merlinus Caledonius), and is portrayed as an old man living as a crazed and grief-stricken outcast in the forest. The story is set long after the timeframe of Historia's Merlin, but the author tries to synchronize the works with references to the mad prophet's previous dealings with Vortigern and Arthur. The Vita did not circulate widely, and the attribution to Geoffrey appears in only one late 13th century manuscript, but contains recognisably Galfridian elements in its construction and content, and most critics are content to recognise it as his.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Polydore Vergil's sceptical reading of Geoffrey of Monmouth provoked at first a reaction of denial in England, "yet the seeds of doubt once sown" eventually replaced Geoffrey's romances with a new Renaissance historical approach, according to Hans Baron, "Fifteenth-century civilisation and the Renaissance", in The New Cambridge Modern history, vol. 1 1957:56.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k J. C. Crick, "Monmouth, Geoffrey of (d. 1154/5)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 7 June 2009
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Roberts, "Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regnum Britanniae and Brut y Brenhinedd", p. 98.
  4. ^ Dunn, Charles W. (1958). Bibliographical Note to History of the Kings of Britain. E.P Dutton & Co..
  5. ^ From the introduction to his translation of The History of the Kings of Britain (London: Penguin Books, 1966), p. 12.
  6. ^ Richard M. Loomis, The Romance of Arthur New York & London, Garland Publishing, Inc. 1994, pg. 59
  7. ^ Michael Curley, Geoffrey of Monmouth, p. 12
  8. ^ Thorpe, Kings of Britain pp. 14–19.
  9. ^ C. Warren Hollister, Henry I (Yale English Monarchs), 2001:11 note44.
  10. ^ Quoted by Thorpe, Kings of Britain, p. 17.
  11. ^ Gerald of Wales, The Journey through Wales/The Description of Wales (Lewis Thorpe ed.), Penguin, 1978, Chapter 5, p 116.
  12. ^ Thorpe, Kings of Britain p. 28
  13. ^ Thorpe, Kings of Britain p. 29
  14. ^ Thorpe, Kings of Britain, p. 20ff., particularly pp. 20–22 & 28–31.

eferences and further reading

  • Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. Edited and translated by Michael Faletra. Broadview Books: Peterborough, Ontario, 2008. ISBN 1-55111-639-1
  • Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. Translated, with introduction and index, by Lewis Thorpe. Penguin Books: London, 1966. ISBN 0-14-044170-0
  • Parry, John Jay, and Robert Caldwell. "Geoffrey of Monmouth" in Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages, Roger S. Loomis (ed.). Clarendon Press: Oxford University. 1959. ISBN 0-19-811588-1
  • Morris, John. The Age of Arthur: A History of the British Isles from 350 to 650. Barnes & Noble Books: New York. 1996 (originally 1973). ISBN 1-84212-477-3
  • Roberts, Brynley F.. "Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regnum Britanniae and Brut y Brenhinedd" in The Arthur of the Welsh: The Arthurian Legend in Medieval Welsh Literature, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1991, ISBN 0-7083-1307-8
  • Curley, Michael. Geoffrey of Monmouth. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1994.
  • Echard, Siân. Arthurian Narrative in the Latin Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. ISBN 978-0521021524
  • N. J. Higham. King Arthur: Myth-making and History, London and New York, Routledge, 2002, ISBN 0-415-21305-3
  • Echard, Siân, ed. The Arthur of Medieval Latin Literature: The Development and Dissemination of the Arthurian Legend in Medieval Latin. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0708322017

External links

  Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Geoffrey of Monmouth
  Wikisource has original text related to this article:

Editions of the Latin Text

Hammer, Jacob/ Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia regum Britanniae, a variant version. Edited by Jacob Hammer. Medieval Academy Books, No. 57 (1951). Medieval Academy Electronic Editions.

nglish translations available on the web



Geoffrey of Monmouth is on the left.

Prophetiae Merlini

The Prophetiae Merlini is a Latin work of Geoffrey of Monmouth circulated, perhaps as a libellus or short work,[1] from about 1130, and by 1135.[2][3] Another name is Libellus Merlini.

The work contains a number of prophecies attributed to Merlin, the wizard of legend, whose mythical life was largely generated by Geoffrey himself. The Prophetiae preceded Geoffrey's larger Historia Regum Britanniae of c. 1136, and was mostly incorporated in it, in Book VII;[4] the prophecies, however, were influential and widely circulated in their own right. According to Geoffrey, he was prompted by Alexander of Lincoln to produce this section of his larger work separately.[5]



The Prophetiae is in some ways dependent on the De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae of Gildas.[1] From Gildas and NenniusGeoffrey took the figure of Ambrosius Aurelianus, who figures in the preface to the prophecies (under a variant name): there is then a confusion made between Ambrosius and Merlin, deliberately done.[6]

When Geoffrey's Historia was largely translated as the Roman de Brut, the material on Merlin's prophecies was omitted. It was still read in Latin, but was displaced for readers in French, and then English, by other political prophecy.[7]

This work not only launched Merlin as a character of Arthurian legend: it also created a genre of prophecy. A distinctively English style of political prophecy, which as been called Galfridian, was created, in which animals stand for particular political figures.[8]Political prophecy in this style remained popular for at least 400 years. It was subversive, and the figure of the prophetic Merlin was strongly identified with it.[9]

Content and the character of Merlin

The Prophetiae is the work that introduced the character of Merlin (Merlinus), as he later appears in Arthurian legend. He mixes pagan and Christian elements.[4] In this work Geoffrey drew from the established Welsh tradition of prophetic writing attributed to the sage Myrddin, though his knowledge of Myrddin's story at this stage in his career appears to have been slight.[10]

In the preface 
Vortigern asks Ambrosius (Merlin) to interpret the meaning of a vision. In it two dragons fought, one red and one white. Merlin replies that the Red Dragon meant the British race, the White Dragon the Saxons. The Saxons would be victorious. A long prophetic sequence forms the body of the work, relating mainly to the wars.[6]

Many of its prophecies referring to historical and political events up to Geoffrey's lifetime can be identified – for example, the sinking of the White Ship in 1120, when William Adelin, son of Henry I, died.[11]

Geoffrey introduced the spelling "Merlin", derived from the Welsh "Myrddin". The Welsh scholar Rachel Bromwich observed that this "change from medial dd > l is curious. It was explained by Gaston Paris as caused by the undesirable associations of the French word merde".[12]


The first work about the prophet Myrddin in a language other than Welsh, the Prophetiae was widely read — and believed — much as the prophecies of Nostradamus were centuries later; John Jay Parry and Robert Caldwell note that the Prophetiae Merlini "were taken most seriously, even by the learned and worldly wise, in many nations", and list examples of this credulity as late as 1445.[13]

Ordericus Vitalis quoted from the Prophetiae around 1134–5.[14] At much the same time, and in the same area, Abbot Suger copied some of the prophecies almost exactly in his Life of Louis the Fat, for the purpose of praising Henry I of England.[15] In the 1140s or early 1150s John of Cornwall produced another work collecting prophecies, that drew on the Prophetiae. It contained elements from other sources, however, which predominate.[16] This work was also named Prophetiae Merlini. Gunnlaugr Leifsson made an Icelandic translation of the prophecies, Merlinús spá.[17] There is a 15th-century English manuscript commentary on Geoffrey's work.[18]

In the 16th century the founding legends of British history came under strong criticism, in particular from Polydore Vergil. On the other hand they had their defenders, and there was a revival of Arthurian lore with a Protestant slant. By the 17th century Geoffrey's history in general, and Merlin's prophecies in particular, had become largely discredited as fabrications, for example as attacked byWilliam Perkins.[19] But the politics of the Union of the Crowns of 1603 gave the prophecies a short new lease of life. The Whole Prophesie of Scotland of that year treated Merlin's prophecies as authoritative.[20] James Maxwell, a student of prophecy who put it to political use in the reign of James VI and I, distinguished between the Welsh and "Caledonian" Merlins.[21]


  1. ^ a b Richard Barber (18 March 1999). Arthurian Literature. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-85991-163-4. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  2. ^ Helen Fulton (1 February 2012). A Companion to Arthurian Literature. John Wiley & Sons. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-470-67237-2. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  3. ^ Christopher Harper-Bill; Elisabeth Van Houts (2007). A Companion to the Anglo-Norman World. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. pp. 200–.ISBN 978-1-84383-341-3. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b Laura C. Lambdin; Robert T. Lambdin (2008). Arthurian Writers: A Biographical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-313-34682-8. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  5. ^ James L. Kugel (1990). Poetry and Prophecy: The Beginnings of a Literary Tradition. Cornell University Press. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-8014-9568-7. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  6. ^ a b Libellus Merlini in Lewis Spence, A Dictionary of Medieval Romance and Romance Writers (1913), pp. 222–3;
  7. ^ Lesley Ann Coote (2000). Prophecy and Public Affairs in Later Medieval England. Boydell & Brewer. p. 101. ISBN 978-1-903153-03-1. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  8. ^ Rupert Taylor, The Political Prophecy in England (1911), pp. 4–5;
  9. ^ Bart Van Es (5 December 2002). Spenser's Forms of History. Oxford University Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-19-924970-1. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  10. ^ Ziolkowski, Jan (1990). "The Nature of Prophecy in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Vita Merlini", p. 152. In Kugel, James L. (Ed.), Poetry and Prophecy: the Beginnings of a Literary Tradition. Cornell.
  11. ^  "Geoffrey of Monmouth". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  12. ^ Bromwich, Trioedd Ynys Prydein: The Welsh Triads, second edition [Cardiff: University of Wales, 1978], p. 472 n.1.
  13. ^ John Jay Parry and Robert Caldwell. "Geoffrey of Monmouth" in Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages, Roger S. Loomis (ed.), Clarendon Press, Oxford University, 1959, p. 79
  14. ^ Siân Echard (10 September 1998). Arthurian Narrative in the Latin Tradition. Cambridge University Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-521-62126-7. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  15. ^ Lindy Grant, Abbot Suger of St-Denis: Church and State in Early Twelfth-Century France (1998), p. 39 and p. 42.
  16. ^ A. G. Rigg (10 December 1992). A History of Anglo-Latin Literature, 1066-1422. Cambridge University Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-521-41594-1. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  17. ^ Harald Kittel; Juliane House; Brigitte Schultze (30 December 2007). Übersetzung: Ein internationales Handbuch zur Übersetzungsforschung. Walter de Gruyter. p. 1362. ISBN 978-3-11-017145-7. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  18. ^ Patricia Ingham (2001). Sovereign Fantasies: Arthurian Romance and the Making of Britain. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 54–5. ISBN 978-0-8122-3600-2. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  19. ^ Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, pp. 507–8.
  20. ^ James P. Carley; Felicity Riddy (1 August 1997). Arthurian Literature XV. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-85991-518-2. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  21. ^ Roger A. Mason (27 April 2006). Scots and Britons: Scottish Political Thought and the Union of 1603. Cambridge University Press. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-521-02620-8. Retrieved 9 May 2012.



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




As Vortegirn, king of the Britons, was sitting upon the bank of the drained pond, the two dragons, one of which was white, the other red, came forth, and ap­proaching one another, began a terrible fight, and cast forth fire with their breath. But the white dragon had the advantage, and made the other fly to the end of the lake. And he, for grief at his flight, renewed the assault upon his pursuer, and forced him to retire. After this battle of the dragons, the king commanded Ambrose Merlin to tell him what it portended. Upon which he, bursting into tears, delivered what his prophetical spirit suggested to him, as follows:-

“Woe to the red dragon, for his banishment hasteneth on. His lurking holes shall be seized by the white dragon, which signifies the Saxons whom you invited over; but the red denotes the British nation, which shall be oppressed by the white. Therefore shall its mountains be levelled as the valleys, and the rivers of the valleys shall run with blood. The exercise of religion shall be destroyed, and churches be laid open to ruin. At last the oppressed shall prevail, and oppose the cruelty of foreigners. For a boar of Cornwall shall give his assistance, and trample their necks under his feet. The islands of the ocean shall be subject to his power, and he shall possess the forests of Gaul. The house of Romulus shall dread his courage, and his end shall be doubtful. He shall he celebrated in the mouths of the people and his exploits shall be food to those that relate them. Six of his posterity shall sway the sceptre, but after them shall arise a German worm. He shall be advanced by a sea-wolf, whom the woods of Africa shall accompany. Religion shall be again abolished, and there shall be a translation of the metro­politan sees. The dignity of London shall adorn Dorobernia, and the seventh pastor of York shall be resorted to in the kingdom of Armorica. Menevia shall put on the pall of the City of Legions, and a preacher of Ireland shall be dumb on account of an infant growing in the womb. It shall rain a shower of blood, and a raging famine shall afflict mankind. When these things happen, the red one shall be grieved; but when his fatigue is over, shall grow strong. Then shall mis­fortunes hasten upon the white one, and the buildings of his gardens shall be pulled down. Seven that sway the sceptre shall be killed, one of whom shall become a saint. The wombs of mothers shall ripped up, and infants he abortive. There shall be a most grievous punishment of men, that the natives may be restored. He that shall do these things shall put on the brazen man, and upon a brazen horse shall for a long time guard the gates of London. After this shall the red dragon return to his proper manners, and turn his rage upon himself. Therefore shall the revenge of the Thunderer show itself, for every field shall disappoint the husbandmen. Mortality shall snatch away the people, and make a desolation over all countries. The re­mainder shall quit their native soil, and make foreign plantations. A blessed king shall prepare a fleet, and shall be reckoned the twelfth in the court among the saints. There shall he a miserable desolation of the kingdom, and the floors of the harvests shall return to the fruitful forests. The white dragon shall rise again, and invite over a daughter of Germany. Our gardens shall be again replenished with foreign seed, and the red one shall pine away at the end of the pond. After that shall the German worm be crowned, and the brazen prince buried. He has his bounds assigned him, which he shall not be able to pass. For a hundred and fifty years he shall continue in trouble and subjection, but shall bear sway three hundred. Then shall the North wind rise against him, and shall snatch away the flowers which the west wind produced. There shall be gilding in the temples, nor shall the edge of the sword cease. The German dragon shall hardly get to his holes, be­cause the revenge of his treason shall overtake him. At last he shall flourish for a little time, but the decimation of Neustria shall hurt him. For a people in wood and in iron coats shall come, and revenge upon him his wickedness. They shall restore the ancient inhabitants to their dwellings and there shall be an open destruction of foreigners. The seed of the white dragon shall be swept out of our gardens, and the remainder of his generation shall be decimated. They shall bear the yoke of slavery, and wound their mother with spades and ploughs. After this shall succeed two dragons, whereof one shall be killed with the sting of envy, but the other shall return under the shadow of a name. Then shall succeed a lion of justice, at whose roar the Gallican towers and the island dragons shall tremble. In those days gold shall be squeezed from the lily and the nettle, and silver shall flow from the hoofs of bellowing cattle. The frizled shall put on various fleeces, and the outward habit denote the inward parts. The feet of barkers shall be cut off; wild beasts shall enjoy peace: mankind shall be grieved at their punishment: the form of commerce shall be divided: the half shall be round. The ravenousness of kites shall be de­stroyed, and the teeth of wolves blunted. The lion’s whelps shall be transformed into sea-fishes; and an eagle shall build her nest upon Mount Aravius. Vene­dotia shall grow red with the blood of mothers, and the house of Corineus kill six brethren. The island shall be wet with night-tears; so that all shall he provoked to all things. Woe to thee, Neustria, because the lion's brain shall be poured upon thee; and he shall be banished with shattered limbs from his native soil. Posterity shall endeavour to fly above the highest places; but the favour of new comers shall be exalted. Piety shall hurt the possessor of things got by impiety, till he shall have put on his Father: therefore, being armed with the teeth of a boar, he shall ascend above the tops of mountains, and the shadow of him that wears a helmet. Albania shall be enraged, and assembling her neighbours, shall be employed in shedding blood. There shall he put into her jaws a bridle that shall be made on the coast of Armorica. The eagle of the broken covenant shall gild it over, and rejoice in her third nest. The roaring whelps shall watch, and leaving the woods, shall hunt within the walls of cities. They shall make no small slaughter of those that oppose them, and shall cut off the tongues of bulls. They shall load the necks of roaring lions with chains, and restore the times of their ancestors. Then from the first to the fourth, from the fourth to the third, from the third to the second, the thumb shall roll in oil. The sixth shall overturn the walls of Ireland, and change the woods into a plain. He shall reduce several parts to one, and be crowned with the head of a lion. His beginning shall lay open to wandering affection, but his end shall carry him up to the blessed, who are above. For he shall restore the seats of saints in their countries, and settle pastors in convenient places. Two cities he shall invest with two palls, and shall bestow virgin-presents upon virgins. He shall merit by this the favour of the Thunderer, and shall he placed among the saints. From him shall proceed a lynx penetrating all things, who shall be bent upon the ruin of his own nation; for through him Neustria shall lose both islands, and be deprived of its ancient dignity. Then shall the natives return back to the island; for there shall arise a dissension among foreigners. Also a hoary old man, sitting upon a snow-white horse, shall turn the course of the river Periron, and shall measure out a mill upon it with a white rod. Cadwallader shall call upon Conan, and take Albania into alliance. Then shall there be a slaughter of fo­reigners; then shall the rivers run with blood. Then shall break forth the fountains of Armorica, and they shall be crowned with the diadem of Brutus. Cambria shall he filled with joy; and the oaks of Cornwall shall flourish. The island shall be called by the name of Brutus; and the name given it by foreigners shall be abolished. From Conan shall proceed a warlike boar, that shall exercise the sharpness of his tusks within the Gallic woods. For he shall cut down all the larger oaks, and shall be a defence to the smaller. The Arabians and Africans shall dread him; for he shall pursue his furious course to the farther part of Spain. There shall succeed the goat of the Venereal Castle, having golden horns and a silver beard, who shall breathe such a cloud out of his nostrils, as shall darken the whole surface of the island. There shall be peace in his time; and corn shall abound by reason of the fruitfulness of the soil. Women shall become serpents in their gait, and all their motions stall be full of pride. The camp of Venus shall he restored; nor shall the arrows of Cupid cease to wound. The fountain of a river shall be turned into blood; and two kings shall fight a duel at Stafford for a lioness. Luxury shall overspread the whole ground; and fornication not cease to debauch mankind. All these things shall three ages see; till the buried kings shall be exposed to public view in the city of London. Famine shall again return; mortality shall return; and the inhabitants shall grieve for the destruc­tion of their cities. Then shall come the board of commerce, who shall recall the scattered flocks to the pasture they had lost. His breast shall he food to the hungry, and his tongue drink to the thirsty. Out of his mouth shall flow rivers, that shall water the parched jaws of men. After this shall be produced a tree upon the Tower of London, which having no more than three branches, shall overshadow the surface of the whole island with the breadth of its leaves. Its adversary, the North wind, shall come upon it, and with its noxious blast shall snatch away the third branch; but the two remaining ones shall possess its place, till they shall destroy one another by the multitude of their leaves: and then shall it obtain the place of those two, and shall give sustenance to birds of foreign nations. It shall he esteemed hurtful to native fowls; for they shall not be able to fly freely for fear of its shadow. There shall succeed the ass of wickedness, swift against the goldsmiths; but slow against the ravenousness of wolves. In those days the oaks of the forests shall burn, and acorns grow upon the branches of teil trees. The Severn sea shall discharge itself through seven mouths, and the river Uske burn seven months. Fishes shall die with the heat thereof; and of them shall be engendered serpents. The baths of Badon shall grow cold and their salubrious waters engender death. London shall mourn for the death of twenty thousand; and the river Thames shall be turned into blood. The monks in their cowls shall be forced to marry, and their cry shall be heard upon the mountains of the Alps."

Book VII, Chapter IV - The Continuation of the Prophecy

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"Three springs shall break forth in the city of Win­chester, whose rivulets shall divide the island into three parts. Whoever shall drink of the first, shall enjoy long life, and shall never be afflicted with sickness. He that shall drink of the second, shall die of hunger, and paleness and horror shall sit in his countenance. He that shall drink of the third, shall he surprised with sud­den death, neither shall his body be capable of burial. Those that are willing to escape so great a surfeit, will endeavour to hide it with several coverings: but whatever bulk shall be laid upon it, shall receive the form of another body. For earth shall be turned into stones; stones into water; wood into ashes; ashes into water, if cast over it. Also a damsel shall be sent from the city of the forest of Canute to administer a cure, who, after she shall have practiced all her arts, shall dry up the noxious fountains only with her breath. Afterwards, as soon as she shall have refreshed herself with the wholesome liquor, she shall bear in her right hand the wood of Caledon, and in her left the forts of the walls of London. Wherever she shall go, she shall make sulphureous steps, which will smoke with a double flame. That smoke shall rouse up the city of Ruteni, and shall make food for the inhabitants of the deep. She shall overflow with rueful tears, and shall fill the island with her dreadful cry. She shall be killed by a hart with ten branches, four of which shall bear golden diadems but the other six shall he turned into buffalo’s horns, whose hideous sound shall astonish the three islands of Britain. The Daneian wood shall be stirred up, and breaking forth into a human voice, shall cry: Come, O Cambria, and join Cornwall to thy side, and say to Winchester, the earth shall swallow thee up. Translate the seat of thy pastor to the place where ships come to harbour, and the rest of the members will follow the head. For the day hasteneth, in which thy citizens shall perish on account of the guilt of perjury. The whiteness of wool has been hurtful to thee, and the variety of its tinc­tures. Woe to the perjured nation, for whose sake the renowned city shall come to ruin. The ships shall re­joice at so great an augmentation, and one shall be made out of two. It shall be rebuilt by Eric, loaden with apples, to the smell whereof the birds of several woods shall flock together. He shall add to it a vast palace, and wall it round with six hundred towers. Therefore shall London envy it, and triply increase her walls. The river Thames shall encompass it round, and the fame of the work shall pass beyond the Alps. Eric shall hide his apples within it, and shall make subterraneous passages. At that time shall the stones speak, and the sea towards the Gallic coast be con­tracted into a narrow space. On each bank shall one man hear another, and the soil of the island shall be enlarged. The secrets of the deep shall be revealed, and Gaul shall tremble for fear. After these things shall come forth a hern from the forest of Calaterium, which shall fly round the island for two years together. With her nocturnal cry she shall call together the winged kind, and assemble to her all sorts of fowls. They shall invade the tillage of husbandmen, and devour all the grain of the harvests. Then shall follow a famine upon the people, and a grievous mortality upon the famine. But when this calamity shall be over, a detestable bird shall go to the valley of Galabes, and shall raise it to be a high mountain. Upon the top thereof it shall also plant an oak, and build its nest in its branches. Three eggs shall be produced in the nest, from whence shall come forth a fox, a wolf, and a bear. The fox shall devour her mother, and bear the head of an ass. In this monstrous form shall she frighten her brothers, and make them fly into Neustria. But they shall stir up the tusky boar, and returning in a fleet shall encounter with the fox who at the beginning of the fight shall feign herself dead, and move the boar to compassion. Then shall the boar approach her carcase, and standing over her, shall breathe upon her face and eyes. But she, not forgetting her cunning, shall bite his left foot, and pluck it off from his body. Then shall she leap upon him, and snatch away his right ear and tail, and hide herself in the caverns of the mountains. Therefore shall the deluded boar require the wolf and bear to restore him his members; who, as soon as they shall enter into the cause, shall promise two feet of the fox, together with the ear and tail, and of these they shall make up the members of a hog. With this he shall be satisfied, and expect the promised restitution. In the mean time shall the fox descend from the moun­tains, and change herself into a wolf, and under pretence of holding a conference with the boar, she shall go to him, and craftily devour him. After that she shall transform herself into a boar, and feigning a loss of some members, shall wait for her brothers; but as soon as they are come, she shall suddenly kill them with her tusks, and shall be crowned with the head of a lion. In her days shall a serpent be brought forth, which shall be a destroyer of mankind. With its length it shall encom­pass London, and devour all that pass by it. The moun­tain ox shall take the head of a wolf, and whiten his teeth in the Severn. He shall gather to him the flocks of Albania and Cambria, which shall drink the river Thames dry. The ass shall call the goat with the long beard, and shall borrow his shape. Therefore shall the mountain ox be incensed, and having called the wolf, shall become a horned bull against them. In the exer­cise of his cruelty he shall devour their flesh and bones, but shall be burned upon the top of Urian. The ashes of his funeral-pile shall be turned into swans, that shall swim on dry ground as on a river. They shall devour fishes in fishes, and swallow up men in men. But when old age shall come upon them, they shall become sea-wolves, and practise their frauds in the deep. They shall drown ships, and collect no small quantity of silver. The Thames shall again flow, and assembling together the rivers, shall pass beyond the bounds of its channel. It shall cover the adjacent cities, and overturn the moun­tains that oppose its course. Being full of deceit and wickedness it shall make use of the fountain Galabes. Hence shall arise factions provoking the Venedotians to war. The oaks of the forest shall meet together, and encounter the rocks of the Gewisseans. A raven shall attend with the kites, and devour the carcases of the slain. An owl shall build her nest upon the walls of Gloucester, and in her nest shall be brought forth an ass. The serpent of Malvernia shall bring him up, and put him upon many fraudulent practices. Having taken the crown, he shall ascend on high, and frighten the people of the country with his hideous braying. In his days shall the Pachaian mountains tremble, and the pro­vinces be deprived of their woods. For there shall come a worm with a fiery breath, and with the vapour it sends forth shall burn up the trees. Out of it shall proceed seven lions deformed with the heads of goats. With the stench of their nostrils they shall corrupt women, and make wives turn common prostitutes. The father shall not know his own son, because they shall grow wanton like brute beasts. Then shall come the giant of wicked­ness, and terrify all with the sharpness of his eyes. Against him shall arise the dragon of Worcester, and shall endeavour to banish him. But in the engagement the dragon shall be worsted, and oppressed by the wicked­ness of the conqueror. For he shall mount upon the dragon, and putting off his garment shall sit upon him naked. The dragon shall bear him up on high, and beat his naked rider with his tail erected. Upon this the giant rousing up his whole strength, shall break his jaws with his sword. At last the dragon shall fold itself up under its tail, and die of poison. After him shall suc­ceed the boar of Totness, and oppress the people with grievous tyranny. Gloucester shall send forth a lion, and shall disturb him in his cruelty, in several battles. He shall trample him under his feet and terrify him with open jaws. At last the lion shall quarrel with the king­dom, and get upon the backs of the nobility. A bull shall come into the quarrel, and strike the lion with his right foot. He shall drive him through all the inns in the kingdom, but shall break his horns against the walls of Oxford. The fox of Kaerdubalem shall take revenge on the lion, and destroy him entirely with her teeth. She shall be encompassed by the adder of Lincoln, who with a horrible hiss shall give notice of his presence to a multitude of dragons. Then shall the dragons encoun­ter, and tear one another to pieces. The winged shall oppress that which wants wings, and fasten its claws into the poisonous cheeks. Others shall come into the quar­rel, and kill one another. A fifth shall succeed those that are slain, and by various stratagems shall destroy the rest. He shall get upon the back of one with his sword, and sever his head from his body. Then throwing off his garment, he shall get upon another, and put his right and left hand upon his tail. Thus being naked shall he overcome him, whom when clothed he was not able to deal with. The rest he shall gall in their flight, and drive them round the kingdom. Upon this shall come a roaring lion dreadful for his monstrous cruelty. Fifteen parts shall he reduce to one, and shall alone possess the people. The giant of the snow-white colour shall shine, and cause the white people to flourish. Pleasures shall effeminate the princes, and they shall suddenly be changed into beasts. Among them shall arise a lion swelled with human gore. Under him shall a reaper be placed in the standing corn, who, while he is reaping, shall be oppressed by him. A charioteer of York shall appease them, and having banished his lord, shall mount upon the chariot which he shall drive. With his sword unsheathed shall he threaten the East, and fill the tracks of his wheels with blood. After­wards he shall become a sea-fish, who, being roused up with the hissing of a serpent, shall engender with him. From hence shall be produced three thundering bulls, who having eaten up their pastures shall be turned into trees. The first shall carry a whip of vipers, and turn his back upon the next. He shall endeavour to snatch away the whip, but shall be taken by the last. They shall turn away their faces from one another, till they have thrown away the poisoned cup. To him shall succeed a husbandman of Albania, at whose back shall be a serpent. He shall be employed in ploughing the ground, that the country may become white with corn. The serpent shall endeavour to diffuse his poison, in order to blast the harvest. A grievous mortality shall sweep away the people, and the walls of cities shall be made desolate. There shall be given for a remedy the city of Claudius, which shall interpose the nurse of the scourger. For she shall bear a dose of medicine, and in a short time the island shall be restored. Then shall two successively sway the sceptre, whom a horned dra­gon shall serve. One shall come in armour, and shall ride upon a flying serpent. He shall sit upon his back with his naked body, and cast his right hand upon his tail. With his cry shall the seas be moved, and he shall strike terror into the second. The second therefore shall enter into confederacy with the lion; but a quarrel hap­pening, they shall encounter one another. They shall distress one another, but the courage of the beast shall gain the advantage. Then shall come one with a drum, and appease the rage of the lion. Therefore shall the people of the kingdom be at peace, and provoke the lion to a dose of physic. In his established seat he shall adjust the weights, but shall stretch out his hands into Albania. For which reason the northern provinces shall be grieved, and open the gates of the temples. The sign-bearing wolf shall lead his troops, and surround Cornwall with his tail. He shall be opposed by a soldier in a chariot, who shall transform that people into a boar. The boar therefore shall ravage the provinces, but shall hide his head in the depth of Severn.

A man shall embrace a lion in wine, and the dazzling brightness of gold shall blind the eyes of beholders.

Silver shall whiten in the circumference, and torment several wine-presses.

Men shall be drunk with wine, and, regardless of heaven, shall be intent upon the earth.

From them shall the stars turn away their faces, and confound their usual course.

 Corn will wither at their malign aspects; and there shall fall no dew from heaven. The roots and branches will change their places, and the novelty of the thing shall pass for a miracle.

The brightness of the sun shall fade at the amber of Mercury, and horror shall seize the beholders.

 Stilbon of Arcadia shall change his shield; the helmet of Mars shall call Venus. The helmet of Mars shall make a shadow; and the rage of Mercury pass his bounds. Iron Orion shall unsheath his sword: the marine Phoebus shall torment the clouds; Jupiter shall go out of his lawful paths; and Venus forsake her stated lines.

The malignity of the star Saturn shall fall down in rain, and slay mankind with a crooked sickle.

The twelve houses of the stars shall lament the irregular excursions of their guests; and Gemini omit their usual embraces, and call the urn to the fountains.

The scales of Libra shall hang obliquely, till Aries put his crooked horns under them.

The tail of Scorpio shall produce lightning, and Cancer quarrel with the Sun.

Virgo shall mount upon the back of Sagittarius, and darken her virgin flowers.

The chariot of the Moon shall disorder the zodiac, and the Pleiades break forth into weeping.

No offices of Janus shall hereafter return, but his gate being shut shall lie hid in the chinks of Ariadne.

The seas shall rise up in the twinkling of an eye, and the dust of the ancients shall be restored.

The winds shall fight together with a dreadful blast, and their sound shall reach the stars."