‘‘Libellus Merlini’’ (Little Book of Merlin)
A Latin tract on the subject of the prophecies of Merlin written
by Geoffrey of Monmouth about 1135. Geoffrey prefaced
his account of the prophecies with one concerning the deeds
of a supernatural youth named Ambrosius whom he deliberately
confounded with Merlin.
Vortigern, king of the Britons, asked Ambrose Merlin the
meaning of a vision in which two dragons, one red and one
white, engaged in combat. Merlin replied that the Red Dragon
signified the British race, which would be conquered by the
Saxon, represented by the White Dragon.
A long prophetic rhapsody follows, relating chiefly to the
Saxon wars, which concludes in the Seventh Book of Geoffrey’s
Historia Regum Britanniae. The story was known in Iceland before
1218 in a form independent of the Historia. This tract must
not be confused with the Vita Merlini (1145 or 1148) generally
attributed to Geoffrey.

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