Brutus of Troy: And the Quest for the Ancestry of the British

Authors: 
ISBN-10: 
1473849179

In his latest research, renowned genealogist, Anthony Adolph, takes on the eponymous mythological ancestor of the British, Brutus. According to tradition, Brutus is a descendant of Aeneas, a Trojan refugee of the Trojan War (ca. 1200 BCE). It is through Brutus that the later English monarchs would lay claim to the throne; a tradition maintained by today’s Welsh Royalty.

Before this publication, I had no knowledge of “Brutus of Troy.” This came as a bit of a shock, mainly because his legacy has been so embedded into the history of England. Initially conceived by Medieval Age monks, Brutus was woven into the foundation myth of his people. And much like each culture before them, there was a constant desire to trace one’s lineage to something greater, typically resulting in an origin story. This is where Brutus comes into the picture.

The story of Brutus continues after Aeneas’s Virgilian journey from a burning Troy and to his eventual conquering of the Italian mainland. Ascanius, son of Aeneas, founded Alba Longa, a city in ancient Latium, Southeast of Rome. He married and fathered Brutus. As a young man, Brutus accidentally killed his father and was exiled from Italy. Much like his grandfather before him, Brutus sets off on a journey of his own, where the goddess Diana prophesied of his finding an island outside of the Pillars of Hercules (the Straits of Gibraltar) known as Albion (i.e. England). On his journey to the island and even after stepping foot on Albion, Brutus and his compatriots are met with a series of trials and tribulations, the next more devastating than the last. Brutus succeeded in all of his efforts and established a “New Troy.” This would later become London. He divides the island amongst his offspring, thereby leaving his legacy and establishing the start of a Royal line.

Anthony Adolph introduces the reader to Brutus and the earliest traces of his story, as it was preserved in Medieval literature, and on the heels of Roman occupation and Roman influences. The reader is guided through each telling as it was told within its respective historical context. He then continues to provide a detailed account of Brutus’s life, as related by Geoffrey of Monmouth. This leads to each retelling of the hero’s tale and what and whom he would later inspire. As is fitting of every epic, Adolph ends his research with the traditions of Brutus’s passing and burial.

It is immediately apparent that Anthony Adolph has exhausted every resource at his disposal. The conclusion of which lead to an extremely well researched publication. I enjoyed reading this immensely. I would definitely recommend it to anyone with an interest in both Classical and Medieval literature.

By Petros Koutoupis

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Top New Stories

The Achievement of the Grail.
Leah Tether works at the University of Bristol. She received funding for this research from Anglia Ruskin University, Ghent University, Somerville College, Oxford and the Stationers' Foundation. Type “Holy Grail” into Google and … well, you probably don’t need me to finish that sentence.

Human Origins

Kalash girls with traditional clothing.
The Kalash (known also as the Kalasha) are an indigenous people living in what is today Pakistan. Although Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, with more than 95% of its population being adherents of Islam, the Kalash hold on to their own religious beliefs, along with their own identity, way of life, and language.

Ancient Technology

10 Innovative Medieval Weapons: You Would Not Want To Be At The Sharp End Of These!
Long before modern warfare, there was a time of knights in shining armor atop equally armored horses fighting for the hand of a maiden or in pitched battle. However, the weapons that these knights wielded expanded far past that of an ordinary sword and shield.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)