"A Certain Very Ancient Book": Traces of an Arthurian Source in Geoffrey of Monmouth's History

  title={"A Certain Very Ancient Book": Traces of an Arthurian Source in Geoffrey of Monmouth's History},
  author={G. Ashe},
  pages={301 - 323}
  • G. Ashe
  • Published 1 April 1981
  • History
  • Speculum
At a time when I was giving a good deal of attention to such matters [i.e. traditions of Arthur and other early British kings], Walter, Archdeacon of Oxford, a man skilled in the art of public speaking and well-informed about the history of foreign countries, presented me with a certain very ancient book written in the British language. This book . .. set out all the deeds of these men, from Brutus, the first King of the Britons, down to Cadwallader, the son of Cadwallo. At Walter's request I… Expand
14 Citations
Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Matter of Wales
The reconstruction of the literary history of the Matter of Britain was one of the most fertile of scholarly preoccupations in terms of twentieth-century popular culture, and writers like Jessie L.Expand
Legendary: Was King Arthur a Living Hero or a Popular Legend?
Despite being a well-known figure in Western culture, the historical evidence for King Arthur is very small, and scholars have not even been able to identify a specific person as the historicalExpand
Merlin in Cornwall: The Source and Contexts of John of Cornwall's Prophetia Merlini
The twelfth century witnessed the heyday of the Merlinic prophecy as a topic of special—and sometimes even obsessive—interest among European literati. The publication of Geoffrey of Monmouth’sExpand
A Possible Arthurian Epitome in a Tenth-Century Manuscript from Cornwall
'De raris fabulis,' an early tenth-century text from Wales or Cornwall, preserves colloquies used by monastic oblates to practice conversational Latin. It yields a potential Arthurian context and mayExpand
The Origins of the Arthurian Legend
After prolonged debate, the search for the 'historical Arthur' remains inconclusive, because of the nature of the evidence which historians take into account. Possibilities arise, however, fromExpand
Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia regum Britannie and the Critics
Building upon the mainly philological and historicist approaches of the past, this volume offers historicist, feminist, and post-colonialist readings as well as ones representing source andExpand
'Fairy' in Middle English romance
My thesis, ‘Fairy in Middle English romance’, aims to contribute to the recent resurgence of interest in the literary medieval supernatural by studying the concept of ‘fairy’ as it is presented inExpand
Recent Work on the Origins of the Arthurian Legend: A Comment
I have been asked to comment on four of the articles appearing in the present number of Arthuriana. It is unusual for articles to be reviewed simultaneously with their appearance; yet ArthurianExpand
Narrating the Matter of Britain: Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Norman Colonization of Wales
"Ac aruaethu awnaethant o gyntundep mynnv dileu yr holl Bryttannyeit o gwbyl hyt na choffeit Brytannyawl enw ynn tragy wydawl. Ac wrth hynny y kynnullawd Henry urenhin lu o'r holl ynys, o BennrynExpand
Scribal Authorship and the Writing of History in Medieval England
Author(s): Fisher, Matthew | Abstract: Based on new readings of some of the least-read texts by some of the best-known scribes of later medieval England, Scribal Authorship and the Writing of HistoryExpand


On the book ' s alleged geographic provenance , see also John J . Parry and Robert A . Caldwell , " Geoffrey of Monmouth , " in
  • Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages
  • 1971