Brutus, or Brute of Troy, is a legendary descendant of the Trojan hero Aeneas, known in medieval British history as the eponymous founder and first king of Britain. This legend first appears in the Historia Brittonum, an anonymous 9th-century historical compilation to which commentary was added by Nennius, but is best known from the account given by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regum Britanniae. […]
A variant version of the Historia Brittonum makes Brutus the son of Ascanius’s son Silvius, and traces his genealogy back to Ham, son of Noah. Another chapter traces Brutus’s genealogy differently, making him the great-grandson of the legendary Roman king Numa Pompilius, who was himself a son of Ascanius, and tracing his descent from Noah’s son Japheth. These Christianising traditions conflict with the classical Trojan genealogies, relating the Trojan royal family to Greek gods.[…]
Brutus renames the island after himself and becomes its first king. Corineus becomes ruler of Cornwall, which is named after him. They are harassed by the giants during a festival, but kill all of them but their leader, the largest giant Goemagot, who is saved for a wrestling match against Corineus. Corineus throws him over a cliff to his death. Brutus then founds a city on the banks of the River Thames, which he calls Troia Nova, or New Troy. The name is in time corrupted to Trinovantum, and the city is later called London. He creates laws for his people and rules for twenty-four years. […]
Early translations and adaptations of Geoffrey’s Historia, such as Wace’s Norman French Roman de Brut, Layamon’s Middle English Brut, were named after Brutus, and the word brut came to mean a chronicle of British history. One of several Middle Welsh adaptations was called the Brut y Brenhinedd (“Chronicle of the Kings”). Brut y Tywysogion (“Chronicle of the Princes”), a major chronicle for the Welsh rulers from the 7th century to loss of independence, is a purely historical work containing no legendary material but the title reflects the influence of Geoffrey’s work and, in one sense, can be seen as a “sequel” to it. Early chroniclers of Britain, such as Alfred of Beverley, Nicholas Trivet and Giraldus Cambrensis began their histories of Britain with Brutus. The foundation myth of Brutus having settled in Britain was still considered as genuine history during the Early Modern Period, for example Holinshed’s Chronicles (1577) considers the Brutus myth to be factual.
Source: Brutus of Troy – Wikipedia