Dating a latin king
Whether they had previously been attributed to the Northern British bard, Myrddin, is unknown.
As with all his works, Geoffrey hoped the prophecies might bring him a lucrative preferment in the Church, and he used its dedication to ingratiate himself with Alexander who was Bishop of his local diocese.
But there are also hints that he had access to at least one other work unknown to us today.
His 'King Tenvantius of Britain,' for example, was otherwise unknown to historians until archaeologists began to uncover Iron Age coins struck for a tribal leader in Hertfordshire named Tasciovantus.
At the end of 1150, Geoffrey appears to have come into the possession of further source documents concerning the life-story of his original subject, the bard, Myrddin (alias Merlin). (1991) "Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae and Brut y Brenhinedd" in R. (ed.s)'s The Arthur of the Welsh Cardiff: University of Wales Press Thorpe, L.
Unfortunately, these did not line up terribly well the information he had given about this man in his 'History of the Kings of Britain' - perhaps indicating that this part was either invented or, more probably, that Merlin's name had been rather over-eagerly attributed to an otherwise unknown Royal adviser. (ed.) (1996) The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, London: Garland Publishing Inc. (1976) "Introduction" in Geoffrey of Monmouth's The History of the Kings of Britain, London: Penguin Books Ltd.
In his writings, Geoffrey tells us that Walter gave him "a certain very ancient book written in the British language" and, probably because he was unable to read Welsh (or Breton) himself, the Archdeacon encouraged Geoffrey to translate it into Latin.
So, in about 1136, the Welshman set about writing his 'History of the Kings of Britain' dedicated to Robert, Earl of Gloucester, and Waleran, Count of Mellent.
A variety of obscure medieval records give only glimpses of the man's real life.
Owain Gwynedd's open rebellion was in full swing and Geoffrey appears to have never even visited his bishopric.
It has approximately 2,800 students, and it is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.
By his late twenties, Geoffrey certainly seems to have travelled eastwards to become a secular Austin canon at the Collegiate Church of St. He was a member of the college community there, and a tutor of some kind, for at least the next twenty years - witnessing a number of charters during his residence - but he turned to writing not long after his arrival.
The 'Prophecies of Merlin' appear to have been a series of ancient Celtic prophecies which, at the request of Alexander of Salisbury, Bishop of Lincoln, Geoffrey translated into Latin, perhaps with some additions of his own.