Layamon’s Brut (c. 1189-1216) is a 16,095-line poem written in early Middle English that recounts the legendary history of Britain, from its foundation by Brutus of Troy to the Saxon invasion and the loss of British sovereignty in the sixth century under Cadwalader. The Brut is a translation of the Anglo-Norman Roman de Brut [Romance of Brut] (1165) by Robert Wace, which is derived from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Latin history, the Historia regum Britanniae [The History of the Kings of Britain] (1136). As one of the earliest examples of Middle English poetry, the Brut has been described by scholars as “one of the landmarks in English literary history” (Tatlock 1950: 485), and “the greatest achievement in English poetry between the Anglo-Saxon period and Chaucer” (Wyld 1930: 1).
Citation: Shirley, Victoria. "Layamon's Brut". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 July 2023 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=39383, accessed 09 December 2023.]