Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Arthur
A brief run through of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s version of the Arthurian legend from ‘The History of the Kings of Britain’.
King Uther, after becoming the king of Britain falls in lust with Ygerna, who is the wife of Gorlois the Duke of Cornwall. He persuades Merlin to change him in to the semblance of the Duke and makes love to Ygerna in the Dukes castle. Meanwhile the Duke is killed in a battle with Uther’s men.
Uther takes Ygerna for his wife, and Arthur is born from their union when Uther was in the shape of Gorlios.
Uther dies, and the 15 year old Arthur leads a fight against the invading Saxons at the battle of the River Douglas. Arthur is victorious and teamed with his cousin Hoel they fight more battles at Lincoln, Caledon Wood and at Bath. They then chase the combined forces of Picts and Saxons into Scotland in the area around Loch Lomond.
Arthur takes Guinevere for his wife, she is a noble woman of Roman stock, and one of the most beautiful women in the country.
Arthur then travels to Ireland and defeats the king there, so adding Ireland to his growing kingdom.
His fame begins to spread throughout the land and his court attracts the most powerful people in the land.
Not satisfied with his conquests at home he travels overseas, and defeats a large army in Gaul. Almost pushing through to Rome he receives word that his nephew Mordred has stolen his throne and taken Guinevere for his wife.
He returns to Britain, landing at Richborough, and defeats Mordred’s army. Mordred manages to escape, and Arthur pursues him to Winchester where they again give battle and Mordred is defeated a second time.
Arthur’s last battle takes place at the River Camlan in Cornwall, here he finally kills Mordred but is severely wounded in the process. He is tended to and taken to the Isle of Avalon to heal. He leaves his kingdom and crown to Constantine in the year 542AD.
Although greatly simplified this is the general gist of the Arthurian part of The History of the Kings of Britain.