Nennius: Historia Brittonum [History of the Britons] (408 words)

  • Hugh Magennis (Queen's University Belfast)

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The Historia Brittonum is an important, though problematical, source for the history of Britain from Roman times to the 680s, containing a brief outline of events in this period, as well as assorted supplementary material, including an account of the Ages of the World and various genealogies of Anglo-Saxon royal houses. It has traditionally been attributed to a ninth-century Welsh scholar called Nennius, who was in fact responsible for one redaction of an existing work (no longer extant in its original form) produced in 828-9 by an anonymous Welsh author using a wide range of historical sources, some of which appear to derive from oral tradition. The Historia emanates from north Wales but shows detailed knowledge of Anglo-S…

Magennis, Hugh. "Historia Brittonum". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 September 2002
[, accessed 26 October 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Arthurian Literature