(Life of Merlin
) is a poem by Geoffrey of Monmouth written in the early twelfth century. It consists of 1529 lines in Latin hexameter and exists in full in a single manuscript, British Library Cotton Vespasian E iv, which dates from the end of the thirteenth century. The poem follows Merlin’s transformation from Welsh king to wild man and ascetic, with much of the focus centring on Merlin’s madness and the supernatural powers that he acquires as a result of his insanity.
Geoffrey previously wrote about Merlin in his famous historical chronicle, Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain, 12th century), where Merlin was introduced as a prophetic child. In Vita, Geoffrey re-introduces Merlin as an adult and explores his life and identity in much greater
Citation: Puttanna, Riya. "Vita Merlini". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 June 2020 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8639, accessed 22 February 2024.]