Merlin – From Druid to Devil’s Son

In this video I shall present a study on the literary sources of the Middle Ages that gave rise to the figure of Merlin. But before that, we must understand how the medieval mentality viewed magic, as well as the evolution of what constituted magic, as such perceptions were altered at several points due to the growing of the Christian religious morality. The medieval mentality concerning magic helped in the construction of Romance as a literary genre which by itself lies in the core of Arthurian Legends, thus helping to create the figure of Merlin (and others) and its evolution from Druid, to Prophet, to Wizard and Sorcerer and becoming the Son of Satan in later periods of the Middle Ages. Hope you enjoy this video.

Bibliography at the end of this video.

Note: At minute 43:00 there’s a written error of a translation on the screen. I wrote “Gwasgargerdd fyrddin yn y bedd” (“The Diffused Song of Merlin in the Grave”), a Welsh poem about Myddrin, but my translation on the screen was “The Serparation Song of Merlin in the Grave”. Even though I said the translation right, while writing during editing it I’ve commited two errors: (1) wrong translation; (2) misspelled “separation”. My apologies. This is what happens when you work during the day and do YouTube during the night.

Introduction – 00:00

Sources of Study – 02:45

Magic in the Middle Ages – 06:23

Magic and Romance – 20:13

Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Merlin – 25:17

Druids and Kings – 32:28

Myrddin, Lailoken and Taliesin – 38:16

Robert de Boron (Christianzing Merlin) – 52:35

Thomas Malory (Merlin, the Devil’s Son) – 01:02:17

Conclusion – 01:05:32

Bibliography – 01:09:09

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