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Nennius (nĕnˈēəs) [key], fl. 796, Welsh writer, to whom is ascribed the Historia Britonum. He lived on the borders of Mercia and probably was a pupil of Elbod, bishop of Bangor. The Historia is a compilation containing much on the early history of Britain and the Anglo-Saxon invasions. Although some scholars think that it was compiled by Nennius from various works, most now agree that the history is a revision by Nennius of an older work. It is important chiefly for the study of early British legends, especially the Arthurian legend. There are several manuscripts in Latin and Irish. Among the many translations of the Historia is an excellent one by A. W. Wade-Evans (1938) of a Latin text.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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