List of Ancient Arthurian Texts

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If there is one literary figure responsible for most of what we now consider modern fantasy, it’s that of King Arthur. While we can’t possibly list all of the media in the Arthurian Legends, even just the ancient texts, we can list some of the most significant. This is the Arthurian ancient text timeline.

What’s on the Ancient Arthurian Text timeline?

This timeline does not attempt to list everything with any connection to the Arthurian legends. Doing so would be all but impossible, even for ancient texts. But we do attempt to list most of the more significant contributions to the Arthurian mythos. And we’ve also attempted to keep our list to that which is easiest to obtain. Some stories are highly obscure and hard to track down. For this reason, we try and stick with the tales that you can easily get your hands on.

This timeline focuses on ancient texts that are related to King Arthur. While most of these are public domain, some of them have English translations that are copyrighted. We’ve tried to provide links to all public domain materials where possible. These texts are restricted to some of the most notable Arthurian texts, those that progressed the mythos forward in important ways.

Where to start reading the ancient Arthurian texts?

For those who want a deep dive into the scholarly side of King Arthur, we recommend starting from the beginning. This will give you a solid understanding of how the legends have evolved over time. But for those interested in the most important texts, we recommend The History of the Kings of Britain, Le Morte d’Arthur, and the poems by Tennyson.

We hope you enjoy this timeline! If you like it, you might want to consider visiting our Arthurian Legends Hub. Check it out!

And if you see any significant text you think we should add, don’t hesitate to let us know!

1De Excidio et Conquestu BritanniaeNovelSt. Gildas0500-01-016th CenturyMentions the Battle of Badon Hill, long associated with Arthur.
2Y GododdinNovelAneirin0600-01-017-8th CenturyThe first mention of Arthur in any text
3Historia BritonumNovelNennius0828-01-019th CenturyChronicles the Battle of Badon and the Saxon conquest of the britons.
4Annales CambriaeNovelAnonymous0900-01-0110th Century
5Preiddeu Annwfn (The Spoils of Annwn)NovelTaliesin0900-01-0110th CenturyThe text recounts an expedition with King Arthur to Annwfn or Annwn, the Welsh name for the Celtic Otherworld.
6Trioedd Ynys Prydein (Triads of the Isle of Britain)NovelAnonymous1000-01-0111th CenturyContains The Triads of the Horses, Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain, and Twenty-four Knight sof Arthur's Court.
7The Legend of St. GoeznoviusNovelAnonymous1019-01-0111th Century
8Vita Sancti CadocNovelLifris of Llancarfan1086-01-0111th Century
9Englynion y BeddauNovelAnonymous1090-01-0111th CenturyPart of the Black Book of Carmarthen
10Pa Gur yv y PorthaurNovelAnonymous1090-01-0111th CenturyPart of the Black Book of Carmarthen
11Vita Sancti EuflamiNovelAnonymous1100-01-0112th Century
12Culhwch and OlwenNovelAnonymous1100-01-0112th CenturyOne of the earliest stories concerning King Arthur and his court.
13Vita Sancti CarannogNovelAnonymous1100-01-0112th Century
14Vita Santi GildaeNovelCaradoc of Llancarfan1120-01-0112th Century
15Vita Sancti PaternusNovelAnonymous1120-01-0112th Century
16Gesta Regum AnglorumNovelWilliam of Malmesbury1125-01-0112th Century
17Historia AnglorumNovelHenry of Huntingdon1129-01-0112th Century
18Historia Regum BritanniaeNovelGeoffrey of Monmouth1136-01-0112th Century
19Vita MerliniNovelGeoffrey of Monmouth1140-01-0112th CenturyOften included in editions of the History of the Kings of Britain.
20Roman de BrutNovelWace1155-01-0112th Century
21BuyTristanNovelBéroul1170-01-0112th Century
22TristanNovelThomas of Britain1170-01-0112th Century
23LanvalNovelMarie de France1170-01-0112th Century
24ChevrefoilNovelMarie de France1170-01-0112th Century
25Erec and EnideNovelChrétien de Troyes1170-01-0112th Century
26CligésNovelChrétien de Troyes1170-01-0112th Century
27BuyFolie Tristan d'OxfordNovelAnonymous1175-01-0112th Century
28Yvain, the Knight of the LionNovelChrétien de Troyes1180-01-0112th Century
29Lancelot, the Knight of the CartNovelChrétien de Troyes1180-01-0112th Century
30Life of Saint KentigernNovelJocelyn of Furness1185-01-0112th Century
31BuyPerceval, le Conte du GraalNovelChrétien de Troyes1190-01-0112th CenturyIncomplete
32BuyWorks of Robert de BoronNovelRobert de Boron1190-01-0112th CenturyConsisting of Joseph of Arimathea, Merlin, and Perceval
33Vita Sancti IlltudNovelAnonymous1190-01-0112th Century
34BuyLanzeletNovelUlrich von Zatzikhoven1194-01-0112th Century
35BrutNovelLayamon1200-01-0113th Century
36BuyLancelot-Grail (The Vulgate Cycle)NovelAnonymous1210-01-0113th Century
37BuyTristanNovelGottfried von Strassburg1210-01-0113th Century
38Perlesvaus (High History of the Holy Graal)NovelAnonymous1210-01-0113th Century
39ParzivalNovelWolfram von Eschenbach1210-01-0113th Century
40BuyDiu Crône (The Crown)NovelHeinrich von dem Türlin1220-01-0113th Century
41BuyDaniel von BlumenthalNovelDer Stricker1220-01-0113th Century
42BuyJaufreNovelAnonymous1225-01-0113th CenturyNo translation in the public domain.
43BuyProse TristanNovelLuce de Gat, Helie de Boron1230-01-0113th Century
44BuyPost-Vulgate CycleNovelAnonymous1240-01-0113th Century
45BuyThe Lancelot-CompilatieNovelAnonymous1250-01-0113th Century
46BuyL'âtre périlleux (The Perilous Cemetery)NovelAnonymous1250-01-0113th Century
47BuyGarel von dem blühenden TalNovelDer Pleier1250-01-0113th Century
48BuyTandareis und FlordibelNovelDer Pleier1250-01-0113th Century
49BuyMeleranzNovelDer Pleier1250-01-0113th Century
50Brut y BrenhineddNovelAnonymous1250-01-0113th Century
51Sir TristremNovelThomas of Britain1250-01-0113th Century
52The Black Book of CarmarthenNovelAnonymous1250-01-0113th Century
53BuyRoman de SilenceNovelHeldrius de Cornwall1260-01-0113th Century
54BuyMelech ArtusNovelAnonymous1279-01-0113th Century
55The Dream of RhonabwyNovelAnonymous1290-01-0113th CenturyPart of the Red Book of Hergest and associated with the Mabinogion.
56Stanzaic Morte ArthurNovelAnonymous1300-01-0114th Century
57Sir Perceval of GallesNovelAnonymous1300-01-0114th Century
58The Avowyng of ArthurNovelAnonymous1300-01-0114th Century
59BuyPerceforestNovelAnonymous1344-01-0114th Century
60Peredur, son of EfrawgNovelAnonymous1350-01-0114th CenturyPart of the Red Book of Hergest and associated with the Mabinogion.
61Owain, or the Lady of the FountainNovelAnonymous1350-01-0114th CenturyPart of the Red Book of Hergest and associated with the Mabinogion.
62Geraint and EnidNovelAnonymous1350-01-0114th CenturyPart of the Red Book of Hergest and associated with the Mabinogion.
63MabinogionNovelAnonymous1350-01-0114th Century
64Sir Libeaus DesconusNovelThomas Chestre1390-01-0114th Century
65Sir Gawain and the Green KnightNovelThe Pearl Poet1390-01-0114th Century
66Yvain and GawainNovelAnonymous1390-01-0114th Century
67The Awntyrs off ArthureNovelAnonymous1390-01-0114th Century
68Sir ClegesNovelAnonymous1390-01-0114th Century
69Lancelot of the LaikNovelAnonymous1390-01-0114th Century
70Sir LaunfalNovelThomas Chestre1390-01-0114th Century
71Alliterative Morte ArthureNovelAnonymous1400-01-0115th Century
72King Arthur and King CornwallNovelAnonymous1400-01-0115th Century
73Sir Gawain and the Carle of CarlisleNovelAnonymous1400-01-0115th Century
74Prose MerlinNovelAnonymous1450-01-0115th Century
75The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame RagnelleNovelAnonymous1450-01-0115th Century
76Le Morte d'ArthurNovelSir Thomas Malory1485-01-0115th Century
77Orlando InnamoratorNovelMatteo Maria Boiardo1498-01-0115th Century
78Arthur of Little BritainNovelAnonymous1500-01-0116th Century
79The Boy and the MantleNovelFrancis James Child1500-01-0116th Century
80The Greene KnightNovelAnonymous1500-01-0116th CenturyPart of the Percy Folio.
81The Jeaste of Sir GawainNovelAnonymous1500-01-0116th Century
82The Knightly Tale of Gologras and GawainNovelAnonymous1508-01-0116th Century
83The Misfortunes of ArthurNovelThomas Hughes1587-01-0116th Century
84The Faerie QueeneNovelEdmund Spenser1590-01-0116th Century
85Tom a LincolnNovelRichard Johnson1607-01-0117th Century
86The History of Tom Thumbe, the Little, for his small stature surnamed, King Arthurs DwarfeNovelRichard Johnson1621-01-0117th Century
87Tom Thumbe, His Life and DeathNovelAnonymous1630-01-0117th Century
88The Birth of Merlin, or, The Childe Hath Found His FatherNovelWilliam Rowley1662-01-0117th Century
89Prince Arthur: An Heroick Poem in Ten BooksNovelRichard Blackmore1695-01-0117th Century
90King Arthur: An Heroick Poem in Twelve BooksNovelRichard Blackmore1697-01-0117th Century
91On King Arthur's Round-table at WinchesterNovelWarton, Thomas1777-01-0118th Century
92The Grave of King ArthurNovelWarton, Thomas1777-01-0118th Century
93Vortigern and RowenaNovelW. H. Ireland1799-01-0118th Century
94The Lady of ShalottNovelAlfred, Lord Tennyson1833-01-0119th Century
95The Legends of King Arthur and His KnightsNovelJames Knowles1862-01-0119th Century
96The Boy's King ArthurNovelSidney Lanier1880-01-0119th Century
97Tristram of LyonesseNovelAlgernon Charles Swinburne1882-01-0119th Century
98Idylls of the KingNovelAlfred, Lord Tennyson1885-01-0119th Century
99A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's CourtNovelMark Twain1889-01-0119th Century
100The Story of King Arthur and His KnightsNovelHoward Pyle1903-11-0120th Century (No Copyright)
101BuyKairo-kōNovelNatsume Sōseki1905-01-0120th Century (No Copyright)
102The Life of Sir Aglovale de GalisNovelClemence Housman1905-01-0120th Century (No Copyright)
103The Story of the Champions of the Round TableNovelHoward Pyle1905-01-0120th Century (No Copyright)
104The Story of Sir Launcelot and His CompanionsNovelHoward Pyle1907-01-0120th Century (No Copyright)
105Launcelot and ElaineShort FilmCharles Kent1909-11-1320th Century (No Copyright)
106The Story of the Grail and the Passing of King ArthurNovelHoward Pyle1910-01-0120th Century (No Copyright)

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