Geoffrey of Monmouth, Vita Merlini

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Riya Puttanna (Independent Scholar - Europe)

The Vita Merlini (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 …

2612 words

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 03 February 2023.]

8639 Vita Merlini 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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