Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Corineus of Cornwall

Coraneus, Corneus, Corneus

An exiled Trojan leader (perhaps a prince of Troy), who came to Britain in the company of Brutus. Renowned as a soldier and a giant killer, Geoffrey makes Corineus a giant himself and says that when he landed in Britain his party found the country inhabited by a tribe of giants with whom they engaged a battle.

Eventually the quarrel was decided by single combat in which Corineus defeated the giant Gogmagog (Gog and Magog), the battle between the two giants occurring, according to legend, on Plymouth Hoe. Even though Gogmagog managed to break three of Corineus’ ribs, this served only to madden him, and he finally flung Gogmagog to his death, at Lam Goemagot – ‘the Giant’s Leap’.

Two huge figures commemorating the giants were carved in the white limestone overlooking Plymouth harbour. These were destroyed in 1671. In return for Corineus’ magnanimous deeds ridding the country of the giants, Brutus gave him the land of Cornwall, which he named after himself.