A Chronology of the

 

Historia regum Britannie

 

 

Siân Echard, University of British Columbia

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It can be difficult to track the events, both fictitious and real, of Geoffrey’s Historia regum Britannie. The chronology below is based in part on the very useful chart at the back of Lewis Thorpe’s Penguin translation of Geoffrey’s work. The “synchronisms” are partly Geoffrey’s own statements, particularly in the early part of the Historia. Later, from the time of Caesar onwards, we have other sources from which to provide conjectural dates.
 
c. 1240 BC Possible date of the Trojan War (based on assumption that Troy VIIa is best historical candidate for a real basis) Aeneas escapes from Troy. His great-grandson Brutus leads the Trojans out of Greece and eventually to the island of Britain
1115-1075 BC Eli rules in Judea (chapter 22; 1 Samuel)

Brutus (23 years); builds Trinovantum (London)

Locrinus (10 years)

1075-1035 BC

Samuel rules in Judea (chapter 25; 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel)

Homer is a famous poet (chapter 25)

Gwendolen (15 years)

Maddan (40 years)

1050-1011 BC King Saul reigns in Judea (chapter 26; 1 Samuel) Mempricius (20 years)
1011-971 BC King David reigns in Judea (chapter 27; 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel) Ebraucus (39 years); builds York
970-930 BC Solomon builds the Temple in Jerusalem (chapter 28; 1 Kings)

Brutus Greenshield (12 years)

Leil rules in Britain (25 years); builds Carlisle

874 BC Elijah prays for drought (chapter 30; Kings 17:10-17)

Rud Hud Hudibras(39 years); builds Winchester

Bladud (20 years); builds Bath

753 BC

Romulus and Remus found Rome (chapter 32)

 

Leir (60 years); builds Leicester

Cordelia (15 years)

740-741 BC Isaiah makes his prophecies (chapter 32; 2 Kings)

Cunedagius (35 years)

Riwallo, Gurgustius, Sisillius, Iago, Kimarcus, Gorboduc, Ferreux and Porrex, 5 unnamed kings

Dunwallo Molmutius (40 years)

390 BC Sack of Rome (chapter 43)

Belinus and Brennius; Belinus builds major roads, Caerleon, and Billingsgate in Trinovantum (London)

Gurguit Barbtruc

Guithilin and Marcia, and their son Sisillius

Kinarius, then Danius

Morvidus

Gorbonianus

Arthgallo and Elidur

Ingenius (7 years) and Peredur; then Elidur again

unnamed son of Gorbonianus

Margan

Enniaunus (6 years)

Idwal

Rhun

Geraint

Kadell

Coel

Porrex

Cherin

Fulgenius

Edadus

Andragius

Urianus

Eliud

Cledauc

Cloten

Gurguint

Merianus

Bledud

Cap

Oenus

Sisillius

Bledgabred

Arthmail

Eldol

Redion

Redech

Samuil

Penissel

Pir

Capoir

Cligueillius

Heli (40 years)

Lud; renovates walls of Trinovantum-- the city comes to be called London after him

55-54 BC Julius Caesar invades Britain (chapters 54-63) Cassibelaunus
c. 44 BC Augustus is emperor of Rome (chapter 64)

Tenvantius

Cymbeline (more than 10 years)

8-7 BC Birth of Christ (chapter 64)  
43 AD

Claudius comes to Britain (chapters 65-68)

St Peter is in Antioch, then Rome (chapter 68)

St Mark is in Egypt (chapter 68)

 

Guiderius and Arviragus; Southampton is named for their defeat of the Roman Lelius Hamo; Arviragus builds Gloucester

 

  Vespasian comes to Britain (chapter 69)

Marius

Coilus

c. 174-189 AD Pope Eleutherius sends Fagan and Duvianus to Britain (chapter 71) Lucius (dies 156 AD)
208-211 AD Severus comes to Britain and orders a wall built between Deira and Alban (chapter 74) Bassianus and Geta
303 AD - Emperor Diocletian persecutes Christians (chapter 77) Asclepiodotus (10 years)
296-306 AD Constantius I is in Britain (chapter 78) Coel, Constantius (11 years)
306-337 AD Constantine the Great is emperor (chapter 79) Constantine I, Octavius, Trahern, Maximianus
    Gratianus
c. 400 AD The Romans withdraw from Britain (chapters 89-91)

Constantine II (10 years)

Constans

450-455 AD

Hengist and Horsa come to Britain (chapter 98)

Sts Germanus and Lupus come to (re)convert the Britons (chapter 100)

Vortigern, Vortimer

 

   

Aurelius Ambrosius; he sends Merlin and Utherpendragon to Ireland to seize the Ring of Giants, which is re-erected at Mount Ambrius (chapter 130; this is Stonehenge)

Utherpendragon

    Arthur becomes king (chapter 143)
542 AD  

Arthur, seriously wounded at Camlann, hands the crown to Constantine III (chapter 178)

Constantine III (4 years)

   

Aurelius Conanus (3 years)

Vortipor

Malgo

Kareticus

597 AD Pope Gregory I sends Augustine to Britain (chapter 188)

Three unnamed warlords

Cadvan

Cadwallo (who will reign for 48 years, through the reigns of various Saxon rulers, below)

634 AD Battle of Hefenfelth (chapter 199) Oswald is king of Northumbria
655 AD Battle of Winwaed (chapter 200) Oswy defeats Penda
689 AD  

Cadwallader, last king of the Britons, dies

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