A figure from Welsh legend, who entered English literature via *Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain (1136). There, he is a 'fatherless' youth, conceived by an incubus and gifted with prophecy, who becomes counsellor first to the British king Aurelius (for whom he transports and builds *Stonehenge) and later to Aurelius's brother Uther Pendragon, whom he magically helps in an illicit love-affair which results in the birth of *Arthur. In Geoffrey's History he plays no further part, but a Burgundian poem c.1200 has him continue as young Arthur's protector and adviser, a role later made familiar by Malory. Another strand of tradition, Welsh and Scottish rather than English but reflected in Geoffrey's poem The Life of Merlin (c.1150), shows Merlin as a tragic figure unconnected with Arthur, a crazed forest-dwelling recluse uttering mysterious verses and foretelling his own death. Medieval, Elizabethan, Victorian, and modern writers further elaborate Merlin's story.
   Folk tradition stressed Merlin's prophecies. Geoffrey had previously composed the Proph-ecia Merlini, a series of obscure symbolic utterances, some alluding to political events of his own times, which he incorporated into his History; they were so vague that later generations easily found new applications for them. A later anonymous text in the same style, The Last Kings of the English, was also alleged to be Merlin's prophecy. Both were widely known, adapted, and used as propaganda in many medieval wars and rebellions, and in Reformation controversies (Thomas, 1971: 389-422). Compilers of almanacs, astrologers, and pamphleteers continued to exploit Merlin's name till the end of the 18th century.
   Surprisingly, Merlin rarely features in English local lore, apart from his link with *Stonehenge. The town of Marlborough (Wiltshire) claims that its name means 'Merlin's Barrow' and that he rests under a mound in the grounds of the public school there; James I granted the town the motto Ubi nunc sapientis ossa Merlini.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Merlin — beim Diktieren seiner Gedichte, frz. Buchmalerei aus dem 13. Jh. Merlin (wahrscheinlich vom walisischen Myrddin [ mɘrðin]) ist der Name eines der bekanntesten mythologischen Zauberer des westlichen Kulturkreises …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • MERLIN — MERLI La littérature médiévale galloise possède quelques poèmes où il est question de la légende de Myrddin, fou misérable exilé dans la forêt écossaise, traqué par ses ennemis. Plus tard, Myrddin est doté du don de prophétie, et sa folie est… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Merlin GT — Merlin EZ Merlin EZ Type Utilitaire léger Motorisation Moteur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Merlin EZ — Vue de l avion Type Utilitaire léger Motorisation Moteur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Merlin — (Прага,Чехия) Категория отеля: 3 звездочный отель Адрес: Gorazdova 22, Прага, 120 00, Чехия …   Каталог отелей

  • merlin — 1. (mèr lin) s. m. Personnage traditionnel, chez les populations celtiques, lequel possède un grand pouvoir magique.    Par extension, nom donné à ceux qui prétendent s occuper des sciences occultes. •   Dis moi un peu, vieux Merlin, ton… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • merlin — merlín s. n., pl. merlíne Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  MERLÍN s. n. 1. coardă subţire alcătuită din trei fire de in sau de cânepă răsucite împreună, servind la matisarea parâmelor. 2. ciocan pentru asomarea… …   Dicționar Român

  • merlin — (n.) small, strong European falcon, early 14c., from Anglo Fr. merilun, an aphetic form of O.Fr. esmerillon merlin, small hawk (12c., Mod.Fr. émerillon), from Frankish *smiril or some other Germanic source (Cf. O.H.G. smerlo, Ger. Schmerl merlin… …   Etymology dictionary

  • merlin — [mʉr′lin] n. [ME merlion < OFr esmerillon, dim. of esmeril, merlin < OHG smirl, merlin] a small, dark falcon (Falco columbarius) with a striped, brownish red breast, of North America and Eurasia …   English World dictionary

  • merlin — merlin. Белок, участвующий в подавлении развития опухолей, в частности, образующихся при нейрофиброматозе II типа <neurofibromatosis type II>, близок к белкам, образующим ассоциации с элементами цитоскелета; предполагается локализация гена… …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • Merlin — Merlin, der mächtige Zauberer des Sagenkreises, geb. im 5. Jahrhundert, Sohn eines Römers, nach Andern eines Zauberers und einer englischen Königstochter, die Nonne war. Er stand bei 4 englischen Königen in hohem Ansehen, und zahlreich sind die… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon