Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

Bell, Alexander, ed., An Anglo-Norman Brut (Royal 13.A.xxi) (Anglo-Norman Text Society 21-22. Oxford) Read this source online

Text name(s): Brut

Number of pages of primary source text: 167


    Dates: 1150 - 1240

    Archival Reference: London, BL Royal 13. A. xxi

    Original Language(s): 

    • Anglo-Norman


    • Original language included.

    Translation Comments: 

    Geopolitical Region(s): 

    • British Isles
    • England


    Record Types: 

    • Chronicle, Annals
    • Literature - Verse

    Subject Headings: 

    • Literature - Epics, Romance
    • War - Chivalry
    • Classics / Humanism
    • Historiography
    • Literature - Arthurian
    • Royalty / Monarchs
    • Travel / Pilgrimage


    • Index
    • Glossary
    • Introduction


    The verse Anglo-Norman Brut tells the legendary history of the British from their founder Brutus’s flight from the fall of Troy to the birth of King Arthur. It may have been an unfinished work, since the one manuscript in which it exists was completed by the scribe with part of Wace’s more widely-known Brut. Unlike Wace’s Brut, however, the language employed in this version suggests that the author was a native of England. Both legendary histories are based on Gregory of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae. Though a reworking of legendary material, the text shows evidence of insular interest in historiography. Bell’s is the only edition of this work and, while not in translation, gives the entirety of the unique Anglo-Norman text. It includes linguistic and historical notes on the text, a selective glossary with reference to the text (6 pp.) and a complete index of names (5 pp.).

    Introduction Summary: 

    The brief introduction (26 pp.) is mostly concerned with discussing the manuscript in which the text is preserved, the text’s position in the manuscript in relation to other texts it contains, and the sources it used, in order to explain connections between the Anglo-Norman verse Brut and other legendary early British histories. The author cannot be identified, and rather than discussing the contents of the text in detail, the introduction refers to an article by the editor, “The Royal Brut Interpolation,” Medium Aevum 32:3 (1963), 190-202.

    Cataloger: EGK