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Inventing King Arthur: Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain

September 2022 Confirmed

Precepted by Liam Daley.
This course offers an in-depth look at the first complete “historical” narrative of the reign of King Arthur, Geoffrey’s Historia Regum Britanniae – as well as the centuries-long controversy this book generated. Comprising almost a quarter of Geoffrey’s History (Books 4 – 11), this crucial first account of the king includes the arrival of the Saxons in England, a battle of dragons, the boy Merlin’s prophetic visions, Arthur’s magically-contrived conception, his conquest of Rome, and his overthrown and death at the hands of his nephew Mordred. This course will also look at the battle of books that ensued following the appearance of Geoffrey’s work, with some contemporary chroniclers alleging that Geoffrey had simply made the whole thing up, and others rallying to Geoffrey’s (and Arthur’s) defense.

Required Texts

Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain (Penguin edition, trans. Lewis Thorpe) ---- Optional: The History of the Kings of Britain (Boydell Press dual language edition, transl. Neil Wright).

See the overall page for the Inventing King Arthur: Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain module.

See other modules (potentially) offerred in September 2022.

See other modules in the General Humanities sector.

Days and Times

Meeting Wednesdays in a two-hour block from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (Eastern Time), beginning Sept 7

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