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"I did not think this worth mentioning in my Catalogue. But, when I saw the Mistake repeated by Gaston Paris in Romania (tome XII. p. 174, note 4), and again by Zimmer, Nennius Vindicatus (Berlin, 1893) pp. 277–8, I wrote to G. P.

He told me that he would correct the mistake, in a notice of Zimmer's book. – However, G. P. still clung to his notion, that Geoff. had passed his younger life in France. — He said that Geoff. always means Great Britain, when he speaks of Britannia, and always calls Brittany by the old name, Armorica. - Consequently, he argues that when Geoff. says that Archdeacon Walter brought him the book (the History of the old kings of Britain) "ex Britannia", Geoff. himself must have been on the Continent.

“Now, Geoff. only deals with the kings before 689. Naturally, then, he calls Brittany Armorica; just as an historian of the Roman Empire would call France Gallia. But even in the course of his history, he 5 times mentions that it is now called Britannia.

These 5 times are as follows: (1). From Schulz, Lib. V. Cap. XII.

Speaking of ‘Maximianus', Geoff. says that Britain was not enough for him, and he thought of subduing Gaul: — “Ut ergo transfretavit, adiit primitus Armoric[an]um

regnum, quod nunc Britannia dicitur": - etc. (2). Schulz, lib. V. cap. XVI (p. 73). - When "Maximianus"

had been killed at Rome by the friends of Gratianus, the “Britones", whom he was leading, "ad concives suos venerunt ad Armoricam, quæ jam altera Bri

tannia vocabatur". (3). Schulz, lib. VI. cap. IV. (p. 76). — “transfretavit Guete

linus Londoniensis Archiepiscopus in minorem Bri

tanniam, quæ tunc Armorica sive Letavia dicebatur.” (4). Schulz, lib. XI. cap. X. (p. 161.) After having told

of the ravages of Gormund the African, he says: "Plures etiam Armoricanam Britanniam maximo na

vigio petiverunt”. (5). Schulz, lib. XII. cap. V. (p. 166). – King Salomon speaks

. to the Envoys of Cadwallo, saying: “Dumque hujus meæ Britannia" etc.

p. 70.


In his short Epilogue (Lib. XII, cap. XX) Geoff. leaves ancient History behind him, and playfully warns his living contemporaries, Caradoc of Llancarvan, Malmesbury, and Huntingdon, not to treat of the old British kings, because they have not possession of that book in the British language, which Archdeacon Walter brought "ex Britannia”. And here surely, “Britannia" stands for that “Armoric[an]um regnum, quod nunc Britannia dicitur”.


ROMANCES, VOL. 1. (1883).

At pp. 204–6 I made 2 Statements (as to dates, etc.) about the period of the connection of Geoffrey with Archdeacon Walter of Oxford, and also with Bishop Alexander of Lincoln, (the diocese to which the Archdeaconry of Oxford then belonged).

But I find that I then omitted a 3rd piece of evidence, that would serve to make the other two more complete; although it had been copied by Sir Thomas Phillipps, and printed for the Archæological Institute, as far back as 1851 (see Archæological Journal, vol. VIII. pp. 286—7).

This additional piece of evidence appears in two Grants, copied from a Godstow Register, which has been apparently transcribed (according to Phillipps) about 1420. The Register used to be in the Remembrancer of the Exchequer's Office (Carlton Ride). It is now in the Record Office (Queen's Remembrancer): – Miscellaneous Books, vol. 20.

When we have inserted these 2 Godstow Grants (as No. 3), the Statements will appear as follows: – (1). 1129. Gaufr’ Artur witnessed the Foundation charter

of Oseney Abbey in Conjunction with Archd" Walter. (2). 1135 (or there-abouts). Geoffrey had hardly got half

way (he tells us) in his Historia, when Bp. Alexander asked him to translate Merlin's Prophecies into Latin; and a passage of this translation "de libello Merlini”

is quoted by Ordericus Vitalis, in his list. Eccles., in Book XII. chap. 47. (a Book apparently completed

in 1136 or 1137). (3). 1138. Two Grants, made by Archd" Walter to Godstow,

on occasion of the Dedication of the Church of St Giles (2nd April, 1138). - The first Grant is witnessed (among others) by Radulphus de Monemo” and “Magister Gaufridus Arturus", and the 2n1 Grant by the same: “Magistro Galfrido Artdo" and "Radulpho de

Monumuta". By the end of the year 1138 the first edition of the Historia was finished; for it was seen by Henry of Huntingdon in the Abbey of Bec (near Rouen) in January 1139. – Robert of Gloucester (to whom the Historia was dedicated) was styled in his youth Robert of Caen; and it was probably he, who sent it to Bec. Huntingdon gives an Abstract of the Historia, in a Letter addressed to one "Warinus Brito" (see my pp. 210— 211), styling it "librum grandem Gaufridi Arturi".

Archdeacon Walter was a man of some official importance under Henry I. (see my page 218). - After Henry's death (1135) we lose sight of him; but he lived till 1151; and he probably had at least some access to his new Diocesan, Robert de Chesney, (Bp. of Lincoln in 1148): It was just then that Geoffrey found it necessary to turn to a new Patron; and he accordingly dedicated his metrical Vita Merlini to Bp. Robert, begging him to show more favour to the Author, than had been shown by his predecessor, (i. e. Bishop Alexander): "Ergo meis ceptis faueas . uatemque tueri Auspicio meliore uelis . quam fecerit alter . Cui modo succedis merito promotus honore": (see my vol. I. p. 280).

Geoffrey probably hoped for a good canonry in Lincoln: – such as fell (some 30 years later) to the lot of another Welshman, Walter Map. But he had to content himself with a Welsh Archdeaconry, (probably in succession to his Uncle), and with his chaplaincy to Earl William (son of the great Earl Robert) of Gloucester; till he was consecrated Rp. of St Asaph on the 24th Feb. 1152 (see my p. 205); and even then, according to the Gwentian Brut. (see my p. 204) “he never entered upon his functions"; (North Wales being

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then in dire confusion); “but he died in his house in Llandaff in 1154”.

We may conjecture that Geoff. took his Degree (probably at Paris) between 1129 and 1138. – But the evidence is not conclusive; for the names of the Witnesses are crowded together in our copy of the Oseney Cartulary, and the Scribe may have omitted “Magistro" for want of room.

So much for the original documents! If I might add a very small amount of guess-work, I should regard them as telling the following story. – Archdeacon Walter of Oxford brought home from Brittany an Old-Welsh Ms., containing many British genealogies and several historical glosses. He had not leisure (perhaps not skill enough) to translate these into Latin, and arrange them. — He naturally turned to South Wales, where Robert of Gloucester was Prince of Glamorgan, and Urban was Bp. of Llandaff. One of these (perhaps both of them) recommended Geoffrey, the nephew and fosterson of Uchtryd, at that time Archdeacon (and afterwards, in 1140, Bp.) of Llandaff. Geoff. did his work, from first to last, under the sanction of Archdeacon Walter; and he especially notes the historical assistance afforded by the Archdeacon, when he is approaching the last battles of Arthur: (Book XI. chap. 1).




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It is customary to parallel OE. arn "house' and Go, razn "house'. Not long ago it occurred to me that OE. ræsn ceiling', 'timber', must also be associated, and on looking it up I found that Ettmüller long ago suggested the equivalence of Go. razn and OE. rasn but was not aware of the relation of OE. ærn to the other words. Now that the association of Go. razn and OE. ærn is generally accepted, Ettmüller's suggestion seems to have been largely lost sight of, though it is still to be found in Fick and Skeat (under ransack).

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It is clear that we have to assume Gc. rás-na- : raz-na-. The former is preserved, so far as I know, only in OE. ræsn. The latter appears in Gothic as razn and in Old Norse as rann, with the regular assimilation of zn, rn to nn (BrugmannI. p. 778, Noreen Altisländ. Gr. 9 208). In Old English this assimilation is not normal, and we should expect *rearn < *rarn, *rarn, cf. leornian, Go. lais. But the word never appears with both r's and it is evident that this is due to the working of dissimilation. The case is nearly parallel to that of *hrærn (= ON. hronn < *hrarno-, *hrazno-) which appears in Old English as hreen and hern.

It will be necessary for us to consider carefully the form of the differentiation. It might be suggested that it was of the type r—p > r-, that is, that the second r was dropped as in OE. cwearternes > cweartenes (Hpt. 513, JGP. II. 361), OHG. prart > prat, Lat. aratrum > Sp. and Prt. arado, and such names as Northrup > Northup, Purmort > Purmot, etc. This explanation would hold for OE. ærn, which is clearly due to metathesis (Sievers, $ 179) of *ræn, older *rærn

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