Illustrated copy of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain


The History of the Kings of Britain by the Anglo-Norman cleric, Geoffrey of Monmouth (b. c. 1100, d. 1154) was an enormously popular historical text in the 12th century. Over 220 medieval copies of this work survive. Geoffrey’s history of the kings of England up to the arrival of the Anglo Saxons includes the story of the legendary King Arthur and his court, told for the first time in some detail.

This copy of the History was produced in Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy in the mid-12th century. It contains one of the earliest surviving pictures of King Arthur as an ink drawing in the margin of the main text, where Arthur is portrayed as a venerable and dignified monarch in long robes.

This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.

Full title:
Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae
2nd half of the 12th century, Normandy
Geoffrey of Monmouth
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
Bibliothèque nationale de France
Latin 8501A

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