THE ACCEPTANCE OF ARTHUR
WHATEVER the origin and whatever the good faith of Geoffrey Historia, it had the fortune to win early and enduring acceptance as a credible narrative. We have seen that so serious a historian as Henry of Huntingdon, while greeting his discovery of 1139 with some amazement, did not hesitate to use it as material for the revision of his own work; and that Alfred of Beverley a few years later wrote a summary of its contents and noted the stir it was causing. These are only the precursors of innumerable chroniclers, Latin, English, and French, throughout the middle ages, who treat Geoffrey as the primary authority for their accounts of Celtic Britain. They may question his individual statements or weigh them against those of other writers. They may add details from romance or perhaps here and there from oral tradition. They may exercise their own imaginations in interpretation or expansion. None the less, Geoffrey remains the fundamental source.
Translations and paraphrases soon brought the material of the Historia into literature, and a series of vernacular Bruts links chronicle to romance. Of Latin adaptations it is only necessary to mention a Gesta Regum Britanniae in hexameter verse dedicated