3) Brutus of Troy
Tuesday, 7 May 2019, 7:24
“Britain, the best of islands, is situated in the Western Ocean, between France and Ireland, being eight hundred miles long, and two hundred broad. It produces everything that is useful to man, with a plenty that never fails. It abounds with all kinds of metal, and has plains of large extent, and hills fit for the finest tillage, the richness of whose soil affords variety of fruits in their proper seasons.”
These are the very first words of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Briton.
They are true! Lovely country. But note that Nennius, Gildas and Bede all start their histories with the same/similar description.
Geoffrey then follows with the story of the founding of this country over 3,000 years ago by Brutus, the (great) grandson of Aeneas of Troy. It was prophesied, by soothsayers, that Brutus would cause the death of both his father and his mother. His mother died in childbirth, his father, Silvius, got in the way of another one of those pesky arrows – this one having been shot by his son, Brutus.
Yup. I know :o)
As punishment, Brutus was exiled from his homeland (Alba, Italy) and travelled to Greece. There he fought lots of battles etc and one day he had a vision. The goddess Diana told him:
“Brutus! there lies beyond the Gallic bounds
An island which the western sea surrounds,
By giants once possessed, now few remain
To bar thy entrance, or obstruct thy reign.
To reach that happy shore thy sails employ
There fate decrees to raise a second Troy
And found an empire in thy royal line,
Which time shall ne’er destroy, nor bounds confine.”
So, Brutus and his fellow Trojans sail west to an island called Albion or Al’Bania.
The rest, as they say, is history.
But what if……….?