Wace: Roman de Brut [A History of the British]

(2621 words)
  • Judith Weiss (University of Cambridge)

The twelfth-century Norman poet Wace occupies an important place in medieval historiography and had an incalculable influence on medieval romance. By translating Geoffrey of Monmouth’s “history” of Britain, the Historia Regum Britanniae, into his French verse Roman de Brut, he instantly allowed the layman as well as the clerk access to the “information” that Britain, settled by Brutus the grandson of Aeneas, had a long and proud history whose climax was the reign of king Arthur. Wace’s work led in turn to the thirteenth-century English translation by La3amon and to numerous other Anglo-Norman and English “Bruts”; it also provided the starting-point and inspiration for the flowering of Arthurian romance.

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Weiss, Judith. "Roman de Brut". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 March 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2345, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Arthurian Literature