London’s Foundation-Myth

Lud - Copy

John Stow wrote in his magisterial “A Survay of London, written in the year 1598” (*):

“ …   Geoffrey of Monmouth … reporteth that Brute [Brutus of Troy], lineally descended from the demi-god Aeneas, the son of Venus, daughter of Jupiter, about the year of the world 2855, and 1108 before the nativity of Christ, built this city near unto the river now called Thames, and named it Troynovant [New Troy] … ”.

And:

“ King Lud afterwards not only repaired this city, but also increased the same with fair buildings, towers and walls, and after his own named called it Caire-Lud … .  This Lud had issue two sons, Androgeus and Theomantius, who being not of age to govern on their father’s death, their uncle Cassibelan [Cassivellaunus] took upon him the crown: about the eighth year of whose reign, Julius Caesar arrived in this land with a great power of Romans to conquer it [in 55-4BCE] … ”.

Also in the sixteenth century, a statue of Lud was erected on the inner side of the city gate that had by then come to bear his name.  The statue was salvaged when the gate was later demolished, and may still be viewed in the church of St Dunstan in the West on Fleet Street.

(*) See also E.O. Gordon’s “Prehistoric London“, published by Covenant in 1930.

 

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