The Myth of Brutus the Trojan

Trans. Devon. Assoc., 1880, Vol XII, pp. 560-571.


R.N. Worth, F.G.S etc..

Prepared by Michael Steer

Brutus, or Brute of Troy, was a legendary descendant of the Trojan hero Aeneas, known in medieval history as the eponymous founder and first king of Britain. This legend first appears in the Historia Brittonum, an anonymous 9th-century historical compilation to which commentary was added by Nennius, but is best known from the account given by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regum Britanniae. The foundation myth of Brutus having settled in Britain was still considered as genuine history during the Early Modern Period, for example Holinshed's Chronicles (1577) considers the Brutus myth to be factual. (The claim, as told by Geoffrey of Monmouth, is that "Voyaging amidst perils, upon the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea they found four nations of Trojan descent, under the rule of Corinaeus, who afterwards became the Cornish folk. Uniting their forces the Trojans sailed to the Loire, where they defeated the Gauls and ravaged Acquitaine with fire and sword. Then Brutus 'repaired to the fleet, and loading it with the riches and spoils that he had taken, set sail with a fair wind towards the promised island, and arrived on the coast of Totnes. The island was then called Albion and was inhabited by none but a few giants'.") The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

Ǣneas 560, 562
Alanus 562
Armenon 562
Arthur 563, 565, 569
Arviragus 565
Aurelius Ambrosius 568
Belinus 565
Brian 565
Brutus 560-2, 564-5, 567-70
Cadwalla 565
Caradoc, Duke 565
Carew 566-7
Constantine, Emperor 568
Corinæus, King (also Corin) 560-1, 563-4, 566
Diana, Goddess 560
Drayton 566
Edwin, King 565
Fethuir 562
Giles 561
Goemagot (Giant; also Goemet; Gogmagog) 561, 563-8
Hamo 565
Hawkyns, Sir John 567
Hawkyns, William 567
Hercules 564
Higden 569
Hisicion 562
Hoel 565
Ignoge 560
Japhet 562
Kerslake, Mr T. 568-9
Lucas, John 566
Mapes, Walter 562
Maximian, Senator 565
Merlin 568
Monmouth, Geoffrey of 561-5, 567-9
Nennius 562-3, 568
Neugio 562
Newland, John 564
Noah 562
Pandrasus, King 560
Pellitus 565
Prince 563
Ptolemy 569
Rhea Silvia 562
Risdon 564
Spencer 565
St. Asaph, Bishop Geoffrey of 561
Sylvius 560
Uther Pendragon 568
Vespasian, Emperor 568-9
Vortigern 568
Westcote 564, 566-7
Windeatt, Mr Edward 563