Merlin reciting his poems, as illustrated in a French book from the 13th century.

Merlin is a legendary figure best known as the wizard featured in the Arthurian legend. The standard depiction of the character first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written c. 1136, and is based on an amalgamation of previous historical and legendary figures. Geoffrey combined existing stories of Myrddin Wyllt (Merlinus Caledonensis), a North Brythonic prophet and madman with no connection to King Arthur, with tales of the Romano-British war leader Ambrosius Aurelianus to form the composite figure he called Merlin Ambrosius (Welsh: Myrddin Emrys).

Geoffrey's rendering of the character was immediately popular, especially in Wales.[1] Later writers expanded the account to produce a fuller image of the wizard. Merlin's traditional biography casts him as a cambion: born of a mortal woman, sired by an incubus, the non-human wellspring from whom he inherits his supernatural powers and abilities.[2] The name of Merlin's mother is not usually stated, but is given as Adhan in the oldest version of the Prose Brut.[3] Merlin matures to an ascendant sagehood and engineers the birth of Arthur through magic and intrigue.[4] Later authors have Merlin serve as the king's advisor until he is bewitched and imprisoned by the Lady of the Lake.[4]


Name and etymology

Merlin advising King Arthur in Gustave Doré's illustration.

The name "Merlin" derives from the Welsh Myrddin, the name of the bard Myrddin Wyllt, one of the chief sources for the later legendary figure. Geoffrey of Monmouth Latinised the name to Merlinus in his works. The medievalist Gaston Paris suggests that Geoffrey chose the form Merlinus rather than the regular Merdinus to avoid a resemblance to the Anglo-Norman word merde, for faeces.[5]

The Celticist A. O. H. Jarman suggests the Welsh name Myrddin (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈmərðɪn]) was derived from the toponym Caerfyrddin, the Welsh name for the town known in English as Carmarthen.[6] This contrasts with the popular but false folk etymology that the town was named for the bard. The name Carmarthen derives from the town's previous Roman name, Moridunum.[5][6]

Geoffrey's sources

Geoffrey's composite Merlin is based primarily on Myrddin Wyllt, also called Merlinus Caledonensis, and Aurelius Ambrosius, a mostly fictionalised version of the historical war leader Ambrosius Aurelianus.[7] The former had nothing to do with Arthur and lived long before the Arthurian period. According to lore, he was a bard driven mad after witnessing the horrors of war, who fled civilisation to become a wild man of the wood in the 6th century.[8] Geoffrey had this individual in mind when he wrote his earliest surviving work, the Prophetiae Merlini (Prophecies of Merlin), which he claimed were the actual words of the legendary madman.

Geoffrey's Prophetiae do not reveal much about Merlin's background. When he included the prophet in his next work, Historia Regum Britanniae, he supplemented the characterisation by attributing to him stories about Aurelius Ambrosius, taken from Nennius' Historia Brittonum. According to Nennius, Ambrosius was discovered when the British king Vortigern was trying to erect a tower. The tower always collapsed before completion, and his wise men told him the only solution was to sprinkle the foundation with the blood of a child born without a father. Ambrosius was rumoured to be such a child, but when brought before the king, he revealed the real reason for the tower's collapse: below the foundation was a lake containing two dragons who destroyed the tower by fighting. Geoffrey retells this story in Historia Regum Britanniæ with some embellishments, and gives the fatherless child the name of the prophetic bard, Merlin. He keeps this new figure separate from Aurelius Ambrosius, and to disguise his changing of Nennius, he simply states that Ambrosius was another name for Merlin. He goes on to add new episodes that tie Merlin into the story of King Arthur and his predecessors.

Geoffrey dealt with Merlin again in his third work, Vita Merlini. He based the Vita on stories of the original 6th-century Myrddin. Though set long after his time frame for the life of "Merlin Ambrosius", he tries to assert the characters are the same with references to King Arthur and his death as told in the Historia Regum Britanniae.

Merlin Ambrosius, or Myrddin Emrys

A giant helps Merlin build Stonehenge. From a manuscript of the Roman de Brut by Wace (British Library, Egerton 3208).

Geoffrey's account of Merlin Ambrosius' early life in the Historia Regum Britanniae is based on the story of Ambrosius in the Historia Brittonum. He adds his own embellishments to the tale, which he sets in Carmarthen, Wales (Welsh: Caerfyrddin). While Nennius' Ambrosius eventually reveals himself to be the son of a Roman consul, Geoffrey's Merlin is begotten on a king's daughter by an incubus. The story of Vortigern's tower is essentially the same; the underground dragons, one white and one red, represent the Saxons and the British, and their final battle is a portent of things to come.

At this point Geoffrey inserts a long section of Merlin's prophecies, taken from his earlier Prophetiae Merlini. He tells only two further tales of the character. In the first, Merlin creates Stonehenge as a burial place for Aurelius Ambrosius. In the second, Merlin's magic enables Uther Pendragon to enter into Tintagel in disguise and father his son Arthur with his enemy's wife, Igraine. These episodes appear in many later adaptations of Geoffrey's account. As Lewis Thorpe notes, Merlin disappears from the narrative after this; he does not tutor and advise Arthur as in later versions.[4]

Later adaptations of the legend

Merlin, from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493).

Several decades later, the poet Robert de Boron retold this material in his poem Merlin. Only a few lines of the poem have survived, but a prose retelling became popular and was later incorporated into two other romances. In Robert's account, as in Geoffrey's Historia, Merlin is begotten by a demon on a virgin as an intended Antichrist. This plot is thwarted when the expectant mother informs her confessor Blaise of her predicament; they immediately baptize the boy at birth, thus freeing him from the power of Satan. The demonic legacy invests Merlin with a preternatural knowledge of the past and present, which is supplemented by God, who gives the boy a prophetic knowledge of the future.

Robert de Boron lays great emphasis on Merlin's power to shapeshift, on his joking personality, and on his connection to the Holy Grail. This text introduces Merlin's master Blaise, who is pictured as writing down Merlin's deeds, explaining how they came to be known and preserved. Robert was inspired by Wace's Roman de Brut, an Anglo-Norman adaptation of Geoffrey's Historia. Robert's poem was rewritten in prose in the 12th century as the Estoire de Merlin, also called the Vulgate or Prose Merlin. It was originally attached to a cycle of prose versions of Robert's poems, which tells the story of the Holy Grail: brought from the Middle East to Britain by followers of Joseph of Arimathea, the Grail is eventually recovered by Arthur's knight Percival.

The Prose Merlin contains many instances of Merlin's shapeshifting. He appears as a woodcutter with an axe about his neck, big shoes, a torn coat, bristly hair, and a large beard. He is later found in the forest of Northumberland by a follower of Uther's disguised as an ugly man and tending a great herd of beasts. He then appears first as a handsome man and then as a beautiful boy. Years later, he approaches Arthur disguised as a peasant wearing leather boots, a wool coat, a hood, and a belt of knotted sheepskin. He is described as tall, black and bristly, and as seeming cruel and fierce. Finally, he appears as an old man with a long beard, short and hunchbacked, in an old torn woolen coat, who carries a club and drives a multitude of beasts before him (Loomis, 1927).

The Prose Merlin later came to serve as a sort of prequel to the vast Lancelot-Grail, also known as the Vulgate Cycle. The authors of that work expanded it with the Vulgate Suite du Merlin (Vulgate Merlin Continuation), which describes King Arthur's early adventures. The Prose Merlin was also used as a prequel to the later Post-Vulgate Cycle, the authors of which added their own continuation, the Huth Merlin or Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin.

In the Livre d'Artus, Merlin enters Rome in the form of a huge stag with a white fore-foot. He bursts into the presence of Julius Caesar and tells the emperor that only the wild man of the woods can interpret the dream that has been troubling him. Later, he returns in the form of a black, shaggy man, barefoot, with a torn coat. In another episode, he decides to do something that will be spoken of forever. Going into the forest of Brocéliande, he transforms himself into a herdsman carrying a club and wearing a wolf-skin and leggings. He is large, bent, black, lean, hairy and old, and his ears hang down to his waist. His head is as big as a buffalo's, his hair is down to his waist, he has a hump on his back, his feet and hands are backwards, he's hideous, and is over 18 feet tall. By his arts, he calls a herd of deer to come and graze around him (Loomis, 1927).

These works were adapted and translated into several other languages. The Post-Vulgate Suite was the inspiration for the early parts of Sir Thomas Malory's English language Le Morte d'Arthur. Many later medieval works also deal with the Merlin legend. The Italian The Prophecies of Merlin contains long prophecies of Merlin (mostly concerned with 13th-century Italian politics), some by his ghost after his death. The prophecies are interspersed with episodes relating Merlin's deeds and with various Arthurian adventures in which Merlin does not appear at all. The earliest English verse romance concerning Merlin is Arthour and Merlin, which drew from the chronicles and the French Lancelot-Grail.

As the Arthurian myths were retold and embellished, Merlin's prophetic aspects were sometimes de-emphasised in favour of portraying him as a wizard and elder advisor to Arthur. On the other hand, in the Lancelot-Grail it is said that Merlin was never baptized and never did any good in his life, only evil. Medieval Arthurian tales abound in inconsistencies.

A manuscript found in Bath from the 1420s simply records a "Merlyn" as having helped Uther Pendragon with his "sotelness" or subtleness, presumably but not necessarily magic. His role could be embellished and added to that of Aurelianus Ambrosius, or he could be made into one of old Uther's favourite advisors and naught more.

In the Lancelot-Grail and later accounts, Merlin's eventual downfall came from his lusting after a huntress named Niviane (or Nymue, Nimue, Niniane, Nyneue, or Viviane in some versions of the legend), who was the daughter of the king of Northumberland. In the Suite du Merlin,[9] for example, Niviane is about to depart from Arthur's court, but, with some encouragement from Merlin, Arthur asks her to stay in his castle with the queen. During her stay, Merlin falls in love with her and desires her. Niviane, frightened that Merlin might take advantage of her with his spells, swears that she will never love him unless he swears to teach her all of his magic. Merlin consents, unaware that throughout the course of her lessons, Niviane will use Merlin's own powers against him, forcing him to do her bidding.[9]

When Niviane finally goes back to her country, Merlin escorts her. However, along the way, Merlin receives a vision that Arthur is in need of assistance against the schemes of Morgan le Fay. Niviane and Merlin rush back to Arthur's castle, but have to stop for the night in a stone chamber, once inhabited by two lovers. Merlin relates that when the lovers died, they were placed in a magic tomb within a room in the chamber. That night, while Merlin is asleep, Niviane, still disgusted with Merlin's desire for her, as well as his demonic heritage, casts a spell over him and places him in the magic tomb so that he can never escape, thus causing his death.[9]

Merlin's death is recounted differently in other versions of the narrative; the enchanted prison is variously described as a cave (in the Lancelot-Grail), a large rock (in Le Morte d'Arthur), an invisible tower, or a tree.[citation needed] In the Prophetiae Merlini, Niviane confines him in the forest of Brocéliande with walls of air, visible as mist to others but as a beautiful tower to him (Loomis, 1927). This is unfortunate for Arthur, who has lost his greatest counselor. Another version has it that Merlin angers Arthur to the point where he beheads, cuts in half, burns, and curses Merlin.[citation needed]

Fiction featuring Merlin


Many parts of Arthurian fiction include Merlin as a character. Mark Twain made Merlin the villain in his 1889 novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. He is presented as a complete charlatan with no real magic power, and the character seems to stand for (and to satirise) superstition. Yet at the very last chapter of the book, Merlin suddenly seems to have a real magic power, and he puts the protagonist into a centuries-long sleep (as Merlin himself was put to sleep in the original Arthurian canon). C. S. Lewis used the figure of Merlin Ambrosius in his 1946 novel That Hideous Strength, the third book in the Space Trilogy. In it, Merlin has supposedly lain asleep for centuries to be awakened for the battle against the materialistic agents of the devil, able to consort with the angelic powers because he came from a time when sorcery was not yet a corrupt art. Lewis's character of Ransom has apparently inherited the title of Pendragon from the Arthurian tradition. Merlin is also portrayed in the T. A. Barron series The Lost Years of Merlin and The Great Tree of Avalon.

Merlin is a major character in T. H. White's collection The Once and Future King and the related The Book of Merlyn. White's Merlin is an old man living time backward, with final goodbyes being first encounters, and first encounters being fond farewells.

Mary Stewart produced an influential quintet of Arthurian novels, with Merlin as the protagonist in the first three: The Crystal Cave (1970), The Hollow Hills (1970) and The Last Enchantment (1979).

Merlin plays a modern-day villain in Roger Zelazny's short story "The Last Defender of Camelot" (1979), which won the 1980 Balrog Award for short fiction and was adapted into an episode of the television series The Twilight Zone in 1986. Additionally, the last five books in Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber star a character named Merlin, with seemingly little to do with Arthurian legend, though other references to the legend seem to hint at a connection.

Merlin also plays a major role in Stephen R. Lawhead's The Pendragon Cycle. Here Merlin is the child of Taliesin and the Lady Charis (the Lady of the Lake). He is the last child of the race who sought refuge on the Isle of the Mighty (Britain) when Atlantis fell into the sea, and thus is blessed with long life and power. Merlin becomes a king in his own right; but after losing his beloved in war, he flees to the wilderness. He is later found by his loyal servant and sets on a quest to find the new High King of Britain and bring about Taliesin's vision of the Kingdom of Summer. He eventually finds Arthur and acts as his chief bard and aide. In this series, unlike most, Merlin is a champion of Christianity. Marion Zimmer Bradley also connects the stories of Merlin and Taliesin in her novel The Mists of Avalon. Here, "the Merlin" is a title held by the Chief Druid of Britain, with Taliesin being one of the individuals to hold this role. A second Merlin, the bard Kevin Harper, becomes the Merlin famously seduced by Nimue.

Bernard Cornwell's best selling trilogy "The Warlord Chronicles" -- (The Winter King (1995), Enemy of God (1996), Excalibur: A Novel of Arthur (1997)) -- portrays Merlin as an eccentric, charismatic, and arrogant Druid, feared by Britons and Saxons alike, who struggles to restore the pagan ways of the pre-Roman Britain in face of the rapid proliferation of Christianity.

Kristine Jones explores Merlin's childhood in Merlin of Carmarthen. Various legends of the magician's young life are woven together, and Merlin is portrayed as an isolated boy whose life is tragically intercepted by war and an inescapable future.

Bryan Davis's two series Oracles of Fire and Dragons in our Midst both introduce Merlin as a contemporary prophet from the Aurthurian era. Merlin is also the name of the private plane the Bannister family owns and flies.

Merlin is referenced in the Harry Potter series as a great sorcerer from the past. Wizards and witches who have achieved great deeds are awarded with the Order of Merlin. His name is used in exclamations, such as "Merlin's beard!". Furthermore, J. K. Rowling's new website, Pottermore, reveals that Merlin attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and that he was placed in Slytherin House.

Merlin is also a recurring character in Simon R. Green's Nightside series, appearing as dead but able to manifest himself through a direct blood descendent, Alex Morrissey, through sheer will.

Merlin's Mirror, by Andre Norton, tells the story of the half-human, half-alien Merlin and his struggle to ensure that Arthur reach the throne of Avalon in spite of the machinations of the villainess Nimue, the Lady of the Lake.

In Robert Holdstock's series "The Merlin Codex", Merlin is portrayed as a mage from the beginning of time. He and others were set with the task of walking a circular path around the world and learning all they could. The story is set centuries before Merlin meets Arthur. Also in this telling every time Merlin uses his magic, it ages him.

In Raven c.s. McCracken's novella Merlin's Knot (2011), Merlin has placed all of his knowledge of magic in a secret book, lost to the ages until Alan Clark, a computer programmer and artificial intelligence specialist, cracks the Celtic Knot code to find its final hiding place. However, he hasn't been the only one looking for it - Morgan Le Fey, Merlin's long-time foe, has also been searching for the tome and will stop at nothing to get it.

In Susan Cooper's "The Dark is Rising" sequence, Merlin is portrayed as Merriman Lyon, one of the Old Ones of the light, engaged in a timeless battle with those of the dark. He is capable of moving through time in order to manipulate events to prepare the youngest of the Old Ones for their final battle.

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King mentions Merlin (spelled Maerlyn) as having been part of the ancient court of Arthur Eld and, furthermore, as being the illegitimate father of series antagonist Randall Flagg.

Film and television

Disney's version of Merlin.

Merlin is an important figure in films and television programs, where he functions often as a teacher or mentor figure, a role that he shares with other wizard and wizard-like figures in popular texts, such as Gandalf the White.[10] One of the best known of the film Merlins is the Merlin of the 1963 animated Disney film The Sword in the Stone, based on T. H. White's novel of the same name. Disney's (and White's) version of the character aids and educates King Arthur about various things. He was voiced by Karl Swenson and animated by several of Disney's Nine Old Men, including Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, and John Lounsbery. Kahl also designed the character, refining the storyboard sketches of Bill Peet. Merlin later appeared in a number of Disney productions, where he has been voiced by several different actors. Merlin, played by Nicol Williamson, has a large role in the 1981 film Excalibur, which is roughly based on Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur. Laurence Naismith appears as Merlyn in the film version of the musical play Camelot, (based on T. H. White's The Once and Future King). In the 1998 miniseries Merlin, the protagonist Merlin (played by actor Sam Neill) battled the pagan goddess Queen Mab.[11] In 1981, the television series Mr. Merlin featured Merlin living undercover in modern-day San Francisco as a mechanic named "Max Merlin," portrayed by Barnard Hughes. In 2006 and 2007, the television series Stargate SG-1 used Merlin and Arthurian legend as major plot points in both Season 9 and 10. Specifically, Merlin is portrayed as an Ancient whose superior knowledge of the universe is the source of many components of the legends. In 2005, Merlin appeared as leader of the Woads of Britton and father to Guinevere in King Arthur. Also in 2007, the film The Last Legion portrayed Merlin (initially called Ambrosinus) as a druid and tutor of both the last Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus Caesar, as well as of his son Arthur. In 2008, the BBC created a television series, also called Merlin, which deviated significantly from more traditional versions of the myth, portraying Merlin (played by Colin Morgan) as the same age as Arthur, and swapping the moralities of Morgana and Nimueh so that they are good and evil respectively instead of the other way round (though in later series, Morgana turned to darkness). Merlin, portrayed by Simon Lloyd Roberts, was the protagonist of the 2008 fantasy film Merlin and the War of the Dragons, which was based loosely on the legends of King Arthur. The 2010 Disney Channel original movie Avalon High also featured Merlin, played by Joey Pollari. Merlin was also featured in The Sorcerer's Apprentice, having three apprentices.

The Doctor Who episode Battlefield suggests that Arthurian legend in our world is influenced by actual events in a parallel world, and that the Doctor is himself Merlin. In keeping with the notion that Merlin might experience events in reverse order, however, the Doctor has no memory of ever having (yet) been Merlin, while Mordred remembers Merlin being "bound in the ice caves for all eternity".

In the TV series Camelot, Merlin is played by Joseph Fiennes. Merlin appears at the beginning of the cartoon TV Show, "Justice League" episode #20 "A Knight of Shadows, Part 1". Merlin's voice is portrayed by the actor William Morgan Sheppard.[12] Ashley Cowie, Scottish author, historian, and archaeologist, and his team search the U.K. for treasures said to have been hidden away by Merlin in the 5th episode of season 1's "Legend Quest".[13]

Other cultural references

A main belt asteroid is named Merlin in honour of the legendary wizard. Merlin is a character in the MMO role-playing games Wizard101 and RuneScape. In the latter, Merlin's Crystal is a quest to free Merlin and become one of the Knights of the Round Table. In the role-playing game Magic and Mayhem, Merlin is the game's final antagonist. He also appears in the action role-playing game Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. Adobe Photoshop has long included an easter egg featuring Merlin; in the Paths palette, when holding option/alt and selecting Palette Options from the flyout menu, a miniature dialog appears entitled "Merlin Lives!" with a cartoon depiction of the wizard and a single button, "Begone." On the Harry Potter website "Pottermore" it is stated that Merlin was a Slytherin. The Penderyn Distillery in Wales produces a cream liqueur called 'Merlyn' named after the wizard.

See also


  1. ^ Lloyd-Morgan, Ceridwen. "Narratives and Non-Narrtives: Aspects of Welsh Arthurian Tradition." Arthurian Literature. 21. (2004): 115-136.
  2. ^ Katharine Mary Briggs (1976). An Encyclopedia of Fairies, Hobgoblins, Brownies, Boogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures, p.440. New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-394-73467-X
  3. ^ Bibliographical Bulletin of the Arthurian Society Vol LIX (2007) p 108, item 302
  4. ^ a b c Geoffrey of Monmouth (1977). Lewis Thorpe. ed. The History of the Kings of Britain. Penguin Classics. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-140-44170-0. 
  5. ^ a b "Merlin". Oxford English Dictionary. 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Koch, p. 321.
  7. ^ Ashe, Geoffrey. The Discovery of Arthur, Owl Books, 1987.
  8. ^ Dames, Michael. Merlin and Wales: A Magician's Landscape, Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2004
  9. ^ a b c Robert de Boron (1994). James J. Wilhelm. ed. Suite du Merlin. Garland Reference Library. 
  10. ^ Torregrossa, Kyle Murdough and Bryson Poland, Michael A., “Merlin Goes to the Movies: The Changing Role of Merlin in Cinema Arthuriana,” Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies 29.3-4 (1999): 54-65; Torregrossa, Michael A., “The Way of the Wizard: Reflections of Merlin on Film," in The Medieval Hero on Screen: Representations from Beowulf to Buffy, eds. Martha W. Driver and Sid Ray (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2004), pp. 167-91.
  11. ^ Jennie M. Morton, "Of Magicians and Masculinity: Merlin and the Manifestation of the New Man," in: Culture and the Medieval King, ed. Christine Havens, Keith Russo, and Richard Utz, Special Issue (4.1, Spring 2008) of UNIversitas: The University of Northern Iowa Journal of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity
  12. ^ "Justice League". 
  13. ^ "Legend Quest". 


  • Oxford English Dictionary. 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2010. 
  • Arbrois De Jubainville, H., Merlin est-il un personage historique?, Revue des questions historiques 5, 1868.
  • Breton-Guay, Neomie, Merlin l'Enchanteur dans les images de la renaissance arthurienne, 2006.
  • Cadieux-Larochelle, Josee, Pour forger un mythe: les avatars de Merlin, 1996.
  • Castleden, Rodney, King Arthur: The Truth behind the legend, London, New-York, G. Routhledge, 2000.
  • Donnard, Ana, Merlin, L'intermediaire des mondes. Minas Gerais federal University.
  • Dumezil, Georges, Mythes et Dieux des Indo-europeens Flammarion, 1992.
  • Gaster, M, The Legend of Merlin: A Postscript, Folklore, 1905
  • Gaster, M, "The Legend of Merlin" Folk-Lore, 1905.
  • Gill, N.S., Who was Merlin and was Merlin Real? Ancient/Classical History, 2007.
  • Heather, P.J., Divination, Folklore, 1954.
  • Hersart, Theodore, Myrdhin ou l'enchanteur Merlin: son histoire, ses oeuvres, son influence, Paris, Terre de Brume, 1989.
  • Holdstock, Robert, Le graal de fer, Paris, Pocket, 2006.
  • Joe, Jimmy, Timeless Myths: The Many Faces of Merlin, 2007.
  • Koch, John T. (2006). Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1851094407. Retrieved November 23, 2009. 
  • La Croix, Arnaud de, Arthur, Merlin et le Graal, un mythe revisite, Monaco, Editions du Rocher, 2001.
  • Lacy, Norris J. (Ed.) (1991). The New Arthurian Encyclopedia. New York: Garland. ISBN 0-8240-4377-4.
  • Loomis, Roger Sherman (1927). Celtic Myth and Arthurian Romance. Columbia University Press.
  • Monmouth, Geoffrey. The History of the Kings of Britain. The Romance of Arthur. Ed. James J. Wilhelm. New York: Garland Publishing, 1994. 63-93.
  • Rider, Jeff, The fictional margin: The Merlin of the Brut, Modern Philology, 1989, University of Chicago Press.
  • Torregrossa, Michael A. “Merlin Goes to the Movies: The Changing Role of Merlin in Cinema Arthuriana.” Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies 29.3-4 (1999): 54-65.
  • Torregrossa, Michael A. “The Way of the Wizard: Reflections of Merlin on Film." In The Medieval Hero on Screen: Representations from Beowulf to Buffy. Eds. Martha W. Driver and Sid Ray. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2004. pp. 167–91.

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  • Merlin — beim Diktieren seiner Gedichte, frz. Buchmalerei aus dem 13. Jh. Merlin (wahrscheinlich vom walisischen Myrddin [ mɘrðin]) ist der Name eines der bekanntesten mythologischen Zauberer des westlichen Kulturkreises …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • merlin — 1. (mèr lin) s. m. Personnage traditionnel, chez les populations celtiques, lequel possède un grand pouvoir magique.    Par extension, nom donné à ceux qui prétendent s occuper des sciences occultes. •   Dis moi un peu, vieux Merlin, ton… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • merlin — merlín s. n., pl. merlíne Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  MERLÍN s. n. 1. coardă subţire alcătuită din trei fire de in sau de cânepă răsucite împreună, servind la matisarea parâmelor. 2. ciocan pentru asomarea… …   Dicționar Român

  • merlin — (n.) small, strong European falcon, early 14c., from Anglo Fr. merilun, an aphetic form of O.Fr. esmerillon merlin, small hawk (12c., Mod.Fr. émerillon), from Frankish *smiril or some other Germanic source (Cf. O.H.G. smerlo, Ger. Schmerl merlin… …   Etymology dictionary

  • merlin — [mʉr′lin] n. [ME merlion < OFr esmerillon, dim. of esmeril, merlin < OHG smirl, merlin] a small, dark falcon (Falco columbarius) with a striped, brownish red breast, of North America and Eurasia …   English World dictionary

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  • Merlin — Merlin, der mächtige Zauberer des Sagenkreises, geb. im 5. Jahrhundert, Sohn eines Römers, nach Andern eines Zauberers und einer englischen Königstochter, die Nonne war. Er stand bei 4 englischen Königen in hohem Ansehen, und zahlreich sind die… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

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