Geoffrey of Monmouth

Historian and Bishop of St Asaph, Wales (c.1095–1155)

Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1095 – c. 1155) was a clergyman and writer. He was probably born in Wales. He was made the bishop of St Asaph on 21 February 1152.

Geoffrey of Monmouth
Bornc. 1095 [1]
Diedbetween December 1154 and December 1155 (aged c. 58-60)
Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff
Notable workHistory of the Kings of Britain

Around 1136 he wrote Historia Regum Britanniae in Latin, translated as History of the Kings of Britain. It is a mythical history which included the first account of King Arthur, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table.

Stories about in Geoffrey's book helped to make Arthur a popular character. Shakespeare consulted Geoffrey's book when he wrote King Lear and Cymbeline.

As early as 1190, William of Newburgh wrote "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".[2]

References change

  1. Arthurian Figures of history and legend: A biographical dictionary: "Geoffrey of Monmouth (floruit 1112–1139/ lifespan circa 1095–1155)".
  2. Quoted by Thorpe in Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. Translated, with introduction and index, by Lewis Thorpe. London: Penguin Books, 1966, p. 17. ISBN 0-14-044170-0