Layamon (fl. 1190-1220) was a poet and a cleric, and he is best known as the author of 16,095-line Middle English poem the

Brut

(c. 1189-1216), which is extant in two manuscripts: British Library, Cotton MS Caligula A.ix and British Library, Cotton MS Otho C.xiii. He is commonly known as “Laȝamon” (Caligula) or “Laweman” (Otho), which are often modernised as “Layamon” and “Lawman”. In the Caligua

Brut

, Layamon reveals various biographical details in his prologue:

An preost wes on leoden; Laȝamon wes ihoten. he wes Leouenaðes sone; liðe him beo Drihten. He wonede at Ernleȝe; at æðelen are chirechen. vppen Seuarne staþe; sel þar him þuhte. on-fest Radestone; þer he bock radde. (Caligula, ll. 1-5) [There was a priest in the land who was called Laȝamon; he was

1960 words

Citation: Shirley, Victoria. "Layamon". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 July 2022 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2650, accessed 29 February 2024.]

2650 Layamon 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.