Vortigern Studies

What's New I Sitemap I Bibliography I Vortigern I Vortigern Studies l Wansdyke I POLLS I LINKS l Sitemaster I FAQs
about Vortigern Studies l Messageboard I Games I Arthurian Collection I View Guestbook I Sign Guestbook l Webrings

  Vortigern Studies > Vortigern > Art & Literature > Illumination 1

Vortigern Studies Index

VORTIGERNSTUDIES HOMEPAGE
VORTIGERNSTUDIES SITEMAP
VORTIGERN INDEX
VORTIGERNSTUDIES INFOPAGES
WHAT IS NEW IN VORTIGERN STUDIES
ABOUT VORTIGERN STUDIES
VORTIGERN STUDIES BIBLIOGRAPHY
VORTIGERN STUDIES LINKS
SEARCH VORTIGERN STUDIES
CONTACT US!

 

Art and Literature
click here

Illumination 1:
British Library MS Cotton Claudius B VII f.224
Robert Vermaat

British Library MS Cotton Claudius B VII f.224
Illumination 1:
"The youthful and precocious Merlin reads his prophecies to Vortigern"

The picture, from the 13th-century British Library MS Cotton Claudius B VII f.224, shows a young Merlin reading his long list of prophesees to King Vortigern. This MS is Geoffrey of Monmouth's Prophetia Merlini, a MS that differs slightly from Geoffrey's earlier Historia Regum Britanniae. This English manuscript dating to 1250-70 contains some unique illustrations and extends the information available through the cycles, introducing new illustrations not available in other manuscripts. The manuscript comes from the collection of Sir Robert Cotton.

The Prophetia Merlini, with the full prophesies of Merlin (as cooked up by Geoffrey), has intriegued people during the whole period of the Middle Ages. This famous illumination shows the equally famous scene when King Vortigern, exasparated that his tower will not stand, listens to the advice of his magicians and calls for a boy without father to be found, so that he may be killed.

The boy called Emrys then reveals the secret of the tower's demise: a pool underneath, where two dragons fight. The illumination shows this detail quite nicely with two beasts swimming in a kind of cavern. Then Emrys (or Merlin, as we call him now), utters a long list of incomprehensible prophesies, that were probably much better understood (or so one thought) during Geoffrey of Monmouth's day.


VortigernStudies is copyright Robert Vermaat 1999-2002. All rights reserved