History document

May 11th, 2015
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Geoffrey of MonmouthHistory of theKings of Britaintranslated byAaron Thompsonwith revisions byJ. A. GilesIn parentheses PublicationsMedieval Latin SeriesCambridge, Ontario 1999Book I.Chapter 1. The epistle dedicatory to Robert earl of GloucesterWhilst occupied on many and various studies, I happened to lightupon the History of the Kings of Britain, and wondered that in theaccount which Gildas and Bede, in their elegant treatises, had given ofthem, I found nothing said of those kings who lived here before theIncarnation of Christ, nor of Arthur and many others who succeededafter the Incarnation, though their actions both deserved immortal fame,and were also celebrated by many people in a pleasant manner and byheart, as if they had been written. Whilst I was intent upon these andsuch like thoughts, Walter, archdeacon of Oxford, a man of greateloquence, and learned in foreign histories, offered me a very ancientbook in the British tongue, which, in a continued regular story andelegant style, related the actions of them all, from Brutus the first king ofthe Britons, down to Cadwallader the son of Cadwallo. At his request,therefore, though I had not made fine language my study, by collectingflorid expressions from other authors, yet contented with my ownhomely style, I undertook the translation of that book into Latin. For if Ihad swelled the pages with rhetorical flourishes, I must have tired myreaders, by employing their attention more upon my

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