Merlin

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Definition

Merlin (also known as Myrddin, Merlinus) is the great wizard of the Arthurian Legends best known from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur (1469 CE). The character was created by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his History of the Kings of Britain (1136 CE) where he first appears as a wise and precocious youth with prophetic powers. The French poet Robert Wace (c. 1110-1174 CE) then translated Geoffrey's work and added to it in his Roman de Brut (c. 1160 CE). Merlin was later featured as the central character of the Merlin by Robert de Boron (12th century CE) who cast him as a Christian prophet, and this depiction, with some variation, would continue in the Vulgate Cycle (1215-1235 CE) and the Post-Vulgate Cycle (c. 1240-1250 CE) to influence Malory's final characterization of the seer.

More about: Merlin

Timeline

  • 1136
    Merlin the Wizard first appears in literature in Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain.
  • c. 1200
    Merlin's character is Christianized by the French poet Robert de Boron in his poem Merlin.
  • c. 1450
    The Prose Merlin is written featuring Merlin as the main character.
  • 1469
    Sir Thomas Malory fully develops the character in his Le Morte D'Arthur.
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