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The Arthurian Way of Death D. A reader new to Geoffrey might wish for a little more on the biography and historical context, but this introduction is aimed squarely at the specialist reader, and in that respect does everything it needs to do.
Reeve moves smartly to a discussion of his decision to collate eleven manuscripts in full and six in part, repeating some arguments from his Journal of Medieval Latin article on the transmission of Geoffrey's text. The edition does not collate all these manuscripts in its apparatus, but rather, aims to reconstruct the two most significant witnesses throughout, along with two other witnesses for certain sections of the text Merlin's prophecies, and the narrative from that point to the end of the work. The textual introduction includes a manuscript stemma and several tables of variants.
A casual user is unlikely to read all of Reeve's detailed analysis, which is a shame, for the admittedly forbidding technical sections are enlivened by touches of textual humor, as for example when Reeve observes that an omission is 'to the detriment of both sense and syntax' p.
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Reeve himself notes that 'most readers There follow brief sections on such issues as spelling, punctuation, Geoffrey's sources, and editions, and [End Page ] a somewhat longer section of critical notes, where Reeve takes extra time to explain some particularly interesting or challenging editorial decisions. One of the shorter sections is where one finds the explanation for what is undoubtedly Reeve's most surprising decision—his choice of the title De gestis Britonum. Reeve notes that five of his manuscripts agree on this form of the title, and that Geoffrey uses it himself at the end of his Vita Merlini.
History of the Kings of Britain: Historia Regum Britanniae
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Norako Author. Analysis: The Historia is, as Geoffrey Ashe observes, "the work that made Arthur a quasi-historical monarch with an 'official' biography. It is one of the most important books of the Middle Ages. Besides planting highly erroneous notions of British history, it supplied a basis and framework for Arthurian romance and exerted an influence extending through Spenser, Shakespeare, and many others" Ashe Indeed, the influence and reach of the Historia are vast, and its portrayal of Arthur as a conqueror-king proved particularly long-lasting.
The Historia was written c. As Geraldine Heng notes, "the foundational myth and regnal geneology fashioned by the Historia devise an indispensable model, in culture, of an insular collectivity and political community that is specifically driven by continuity-through-disruption as its engine of historical development—thus producing the necessary conditions, and an indispensible matrix, for the future project of imagining England as a medieval nation" Heng Of particular interest in the context of crusade memory and memorialization is the Historia 's climactic account of Arthur's war with the Roman Emperor Lucius.
By this point in the narrative, Arthur has already established himself as a conqueror bent on fashioning a global empire. He has brought under his control Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, and Gaul—where he personally defeats the ruler Frollo in single combat. Gaul is, at this point, still governed by Rome. Legates from Rome visit Arthur's court not long after this campaign, demanding both tribute and the return of previously Roman territory.
Arthur refuses, amasses a loyal army, and journeys into France to battle with Lucius. Arthur's army is comprised of loyal and feudally-bound retainers, and Lucius's army is comprised of armies from the Mediterranean Basin, presumably bound by similar oaths: Lucius Tiberius, on receiving this answer, by order of the senate published a decree, for the eastern kings to come with their forces, and assist in the conquest of Britain. Camelot Project. Two were in southern Spain—one a caliph in Cordova in the later tenth century.