The first half of the Canterbury Roll depicts a vision of English and British "history". The mix of myth and actual historical facts illustrates the broader medieval view of the nature of the English and British past.

The Lancastrian Scribe did not invent the version of history presented on the Roll on his own. It is highly likely that he worked from a template, one based on popular chronicles of the time. The Roll even references the Polychronicon by Ranulf Higden and appears to rely on work by Geoffrey of Monmouth.

Drawing heavily on the history written in medieval chronicles, the Canterbury Roll incorporates pseudo-mythical traditions into its account of Britain and its kings.


Biblical Foundations

The Canterbury Roll begins with Noah's Ark – a medieval perception of history that starts with the Bible

Classical Myth

An introduction to the influence of Graeco-Roman civilization on medieval England, focusing on the "founding myth" of Britannia by Trojan refugees

Legendary Kings of Britain

Inspired by chroniclers such as Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Canterbury Roll refers to the mythical kings of Britain, including King Arthur, giving 15th-century England an "heroic" golden age