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Nationalism and Religious Identity In The History of the Kings of Britain The Norman conquest of 1066 marked the second time in the last seven hundred years that the British people had been subjected to a cultural upheaval Massive linguistic and cultural alterations in Britain made tracing the history of past inhabitants of the nation difficult Geoffrey of Monmouth was one particular writer that attempted to fill this void Monmouths work The History of the Kings of Britain proposed a glorious past for the British people and was at the time of its creation considered a factual interpretation This piece however regardless of its authenticity is interesting in the manner of which it portrays nationalism and religious identity Monmouth creates a glorious past for the British people in a period where their origins are in question Monmouths history to achieve this outcome uses two central themes nationalism and religious identity Through the use of these tools Monmouth creates his history a glorious representation of Britains past All of Monmouths noble rulers of Britain share two common traits namely that they are fiercely loyal to the church and that they have nationalistic attitudes Only leaders with these traits are viewed in a positive light by the history These traits allow Monmouth to create a history which glorifies Britain and shows its religious identity as well as the nationalistic qualities of her ancestors Monmouth asserts a proud history of Britain even from its origins The name Britain comes from Brutus who founds Britain after leaving the ruins of Troy Brutus the first King of the Britons 51 Monmouth gives Britain noble beginnings descending from another great empire Monmouth asserts from the very beginning that the British people started out with the best possible lineage which is second to none Monmouth then continues to assert this national pride throughout the history as supposed great leaders of Britains past are again
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