Layamon, Layamon's Brut

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(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


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


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).


5775 words

Citation: Shirley, Victoria. "Layamon's Brut". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 July 2023 [, accessed 19 April 2024.]

39383 Layamon's Brut 3 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.

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