Early Welsh literature, dating from the ninth to twelfth centuries, presents an origin legend of Britain that differs from the account given by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regum Britanniae. While Geoffrey claims a Trojan origin for Britain, justifying the later Norman occupation of the island, Welsh tradition posits an autochthonous British foundation hero, Prydein, whose most famous successor was Arthur, king of Britain. In some of the key texts from early Welsh literature, including the Triads, Culhwch ac Olwen, and Breuddwyd Rhonabwy, Arthur is used to support the Welsh belief in their ancient right to rule the whole island of Britain, a right that was usurped by the Saxons and entirely overridden by the Normans. Yet the evidence also suggests that by the twelfth century writers and churchmen were turning away from the Welsh version of British history, satirizing Arthur and his mythical past as mere illusions.
|Title of host publication||A Companion to British Literature|
|Editors||Robert DeMaria Jr, Heesok Chang|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|ISBN (Print)||9780470656044 , 9781118827338|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Jan 2014|