History Of The Britons (Historia Brittonum) by Nennius

This Etext prepared by Bert Olton

History Of The Britons (Historia Brittonum) by Nennius

Translated by J. A. Giles

I. The Prologue.

1. Nennius, the lowly minister and servant of the servants of
God, by the grace of God, disciple of St. Elbotus,* to all the
followers of truth sendeth health.
* Or Elvod, bishop of Bangor, A.D. 755, who first adopted in the
Cambrian church the new cycle for regulating Easter.

Be it known to your charity, that being dull in intellect and
rude of speech, I have presumed to deliver these things in the
Latin tongue, not trusting to my own learning, which is little
or none at all, but partly from traditions of our ancestors,
partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of
Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans, and the chronicles
of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymus, Prosper, Eusebius,
and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons, although our
enemies, not following my own inclinations, but, to the best of
my ability, obeying the commands of my seniors; I have lispingly
put together this history from various sources, and have endeavored,
from shame, to deliver down to posterity the few remaining ears of
corn about past transactions, that they might not be trodden under
foot, seeing that an ample crop has been snatched away already by
the hostile reapers of foreign nations. For many things have been
in my way, and I, to this day, have hardly been able to understand,
even superficially, as was necessary, the sayings of other men;
much less was I able in my own strength, but like a barbarian,
have I murdered and defiled the language of others. But I bore
about with me an inward wound, and I was indignant, that the name
of my own people, formerly famous and distinguished, should sink
into oblivion, and like smoke be dissipated. But since, however,
I had rather myself be the historian of the Britons than nobody,
although so many are to be found who might much more satisfactorily
discharge the labour thus imposed on me; I humbly entreat my
readers, whose ears I may offend by the inelegance of my words,
that they will fulfil the wish of my seniors, and grant me the easy
task of listening with candour to my history. For zealous efforts
very often fail: but bold enthusiasm, were it in its power, would
not suffer me to fail. May, therefore, candour be shown where
the inelegance of my words is insufficient, and may the truth of
this history, which my rustic tongue has ventured, as a kind of
plough, to trace out in furrows, lose none of its influence from
that cause, in the ears of my hearers. For it is better to drink
a wholesome draught of truth from the humble vessel, than poison
mixed with honey from a golden goblet.

2. And do not be loath, diligent reader, to winnow my chaff, and
lay up the wheat in the storehouse of your memory: for truth regards
not who is the speaker, nor in what manner it is spoken, but that
the thing be true; and she does not despise the jewel which she has
rescued from the mud, but she adds it to her former treasures.

For I yield to those who are greater and more eloquent than myself,
who, kindled with generous ardour, have endeavoured by Roman
eloquence to smooth the jarring elements of their tongue, if they
have left unshaken any pillar of history which I wished to see
remain. This history therefore has been compiled from a wish to
benefit my inferiors, not from envy of those who are superior to
me, in the 858th year of our Lord's incarnation, and in the 24th
year of Mervin, king of the Britons, and I hope that the prayers
of my betters will be offered up for me in recompence of my labour.
But this is sufficient by way of preface. I shall obediently
accomplish the rest to the utmost of my power.

II. The Apology of Nennius

Here begins the apology of Nennius, the historiographer of the
Britons, of the race of the Britons.

3. I, Nennius, disciple of St. Elbotus, have endeavoured to write
some extracts which the dulness of the British nation had cast away,
because teachers had no knowledge, nor gave any information in
their books about this island of Britain. But I have got together
all that I could find as well from the annals of the Romans as from
the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Hieronymus, Eusebius, Isidorus,
Prosper, and from the annals of the Scots and Saxons, and from
our ancient traditions. Many teachers and scribes have attempted
to write this, but somehow or other have abandoned it from its
difficulty, either on account of frequent deaths, or the often
recurring calamities of war. I pray that every reader who shall
read this book, may pardon me, for having attempted, like a
chattering jay, or like some weak witness, to write these things,
after they had failed. I yield to him who knows more of these
things than I do.

III. The History.

4, 5. From Adam to the flood, are two thousand and forty-two
years. From the flood of Abraham, nine hundred and forty-two.
>From Abraham to Moses, six hundred.* From Moses to Solomon, and
the first building of the temple, four hundred and forty-eight.
>From Solomon to the rebuilding of the temple, which was under
Darius, king of the Persians, six hundred and twelve years are
computed. From Darius to the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and to the fifteenth year of the emperor Tiberius, are five hundred
and forty-eight years. So that from Adam to the ministry of
Christ and the fifteenth year of the emperor Tiberius, are five
thousand two hundred and twenty-eight years. From the passion of
Christ are completed nine hundred and forty-six; from his incarnation,
nine hundred and seventy-six: being the fifth year of Edmund, king
of the Angles.
* And forty, according to Stevenson's new edition. The rest of
this chronology is much contracted in several of the manuscripts,
and hardly two of them contain it exactly the same.

6. The first age of the world is from Adam to Noah; the second
from Noah to Abraham; the third from Abraham to David; the fourth
from David to Daniel; the fifth to John the Baptist; the sixth
from John to the judgment, when our Lord Jesus Christ will come
to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire.

The first Julius. The second Claudius. The third Severus. The
fourth Carinus. The fifth Constantius. The sixth Maximus. The
seventh Maximianus. The eighth another Severus Aequantius. The
ninth Constantius.*
* This list of the Roman emperors who visited Britain, is omitted
in many of the MSS.

Here beginneth the history of the Britons, edited by Mark the
anchorite, a holy bishop of that people.

7. The island of Britain derives its name from Brutus, a Roman
consul. Taken from the south-west point it inclines a little
towards the west, and to its northern extremity measures eight
hundred miles, and is in breadth two hundred. It contains thirty
three cities,[1] viz.

1. Cair ebrauc (York).
2. Cair ceint (Canterbury).
3. Cair gurcoc (Anglesey?).
4. Cair guorthegern [2]
5. Cair custeint (Carnarvon).
6. Cair guoranegon (Worcester).
7. Cair segeint (Silchester).
8. Cair guin truis (Norwich, or Winwick).
9. Cair merdin (Caermarthen).
10. Cair peris (Porchester).
11. Cair lion (Caerleon-upon-Usk).
12. Cair mencipit (Verulam).
13. Cair caratauc (Catterick).
14. Cair ceri (Cirencester).
15. Cair glout (Gloucester).
16. Cair luillid (Carlisle).
17. Cair grant (Grantchester, now Cambridge).
18. Cair daun (Doncaster), or Cair dauri (Dorchester).
19. Cair britoc (Bristol).
20. Cair meguaid (Meivod).
21. Cair mauiguid (Manchester).
22. Cair ligion (Chester).
23. Cair guent (Winchester, or Caerwent, in Monmouthshire).
24. Cair collon (Colchester, or St. Colon, Cornwall).
25. Cair londein (London).
26. Cair guorcon (Worren, or Woran, in Pembrokeshire).
27. Cair lerion (Leicester).
28. Cair draithou (Drayton).
29. Cair pensavelcoit (Pevensey, in Sussex).
30. Cairtelm (Teyn-Grace, in Devonshire).
31. Cair Urnahc (Wroxeter, in Shropshire).
32. Cair colemion (Camelet, in Somersetshire).
33. Cair loit coit (Lincoln).
[1] V.R. Twenty-eight, twenty-one.
[2] Site unknown.

These are the names of the ancient cities of the island of Britain.
it has also a vast many promontories, and castles innumerable, built
of brick and stone. Its inhabitants consist of four different
people; the Scots, the Picts, the Saxons and the ancient Britons.

8. Three considerable islands belong to it; one, on the south,
opposite the Armorican shore, called Wight;* another between
Ireland and Britain, called Eubonia or Man; and another directly
north, beyond the Picts, named Orkney; and hence it was anciently
a proverbial expression, in reference to its kings and rulers,
"He reigned over Britain and its three islands."
* Inis-gueith, or Gueith.

6. It is fertilized by several rivers, which traverse it in all
directions, to the east and west, to the south and north; but
there are two pre-eminently distinguished among the rest, the
Thames and the Severn, which formerly, like the two arms of Britain,
bore the ships employed in the conveyance of riches acquired by
commerce. The Britons were once very populous, and exercised
extensive dominion from sea to sea.

10.* Respecting the period when this island became inhabited
subsequently to the flood, I have seen two distinct relations.
According to the annals of the Roman history, the Britons deduce
their origin both from the Greeks and Romans. On the side of the
mother, from Lavinia, the daughter of Latinus, king of Italy, and
of the race of Silvanus, the son of Inachus, the son of Dardanus;
who was the son of Saturn, king of the Greeks, and who, having
possessed himself of a part of Asia, built the city of Troy.
Dardanus was the father of Troius, who was the father of Priam and
Anchises; Anchises was the father of Aeneas, who was the father
of Ascanius and Silvius; and this Silvius was the son of Aeneas
and Lavinia, the daughter of the king of Italy. From the sons
of Aeneas and Lavinia descended Romulus and Remus, who were the
sons of the holy queen Rhea, and the founders of Rome. Brutus
was consul when he conquered Spain, and reduced that country to
a Roman province. He afterwards subdued the island of Britain,
whose inhabitants were the descendants of the Romans, from Silvius
Posthumus. He was called Posthumus because he was born after the
death of Aeneas his father; and his mother Lavinia concealed
herself during her pregnancy; he was called Silvius, because he
was born in a wood. Hence the Roman kings were called Silvan,
and the Britons from Brutus, and rose from the family of Brutus.
* The whole of this, as far as the end of the paragraph, is
omitted in several MSS.

Aeneas, after the Trojan war, arrived with his son in Italy; and
Having vanquished Turnus, married Lavinia, the daughter of king
Latinus, who was the son of Faunus, the son of Picus, the son of
Saturn. After the death of Latinus, Aeneas obtained the kingdom
Of the Romans, and Lavinia brought forth a son, who was named
Silvius. Ascanius founded Alba, and afterwards married. And
Lavinia bore to Aeneas a son, named Silvius; but Ascanius [1]
married a wife, who conceived and became pregnant. And Aeneas,
having been informed that his daughter-in-law was pregnant, ordered
his son to send his magician to examine his wife, whether the child
conceived were male or female. The magician came and examined the
wife and pronounced it to be a son, who should become the most
valiant among the Italians, and the most beloved of all men. [2]
In consequence of this prediction, the magician was put to death
by Ascanius; but it happened that the mother of the child dying
at its birth, he was named Brutus; ad after a certain interval,
agreeably to what the magician had foretold, whilst he was playing
with some others he shot his father with an arrow, not intentionally
but by accident. [3] He was, for this cause, expelled from Italy,
and came to the islands of the Tyrrhene sea, when he was exiled
on account of the death of Turnus, slain by Aeneas. He then went
among the Gauls, and built the city of the Turones, called Turnis. [4]
At length he came to this island named from him Britannia, dwelt
there, and filled it with his own descendants, and it has been
inhabited from that time to the present period.
[1] Other MSS. Silvius.
[2] V.R. Who should slay his father and mother, and be hated by
all mankind.
[3] V.R. He displayed such superiority among his play-fellows,
that they seemed to consider him as their chief.
[4] Tours.

11. Aeneas reigned over the Latins three years; Ascanius thirty
three years; after whom Silvius reigned twelve years, and Posthumus
thirty-nine * years: the latter, from whom the kings of Alba are
called Silvan, was brother to Brutus, who governed Britain at the
time Eli the high-priest judged Israel, and when the ark of the
covenant was taken by a foreign people. But Posthumus his brother
reigned among the Latins.
* V.R. Thirty-seven.

12. After an interval of not less than eight hundred years, came
the Picts, and occupied the Orkney Islands: whence they laid waste
many regions, and seized those on the left hand side of Britain,
where they still remain, keeping possession of a third part of
Britain to this day. *
* See Bede's Eccles. Hist.

13. Long after this, the Scots arrived in Ireland from Spain.
The first that came was Partholomus,[1] with a thousand men and
women; these increased to four thousand; but a mortality coming
suddenly upon them, they all perished in one week. The second
was Nimech, the son of...,[2] who, according to report, after
having been at sea a year and a half, and having his ships shat-
tered, arrived at a port in Ireland, and continuing there several
years, returned at length with his followers to Spain. After these
came three sons of a Spanish soldier with thirty ships, each of
which contained thirty wives; and having remained there during the
space of a year, there appeared to them, in the middle of the sea,
a tower of glass, the summit of which seemed covered with men, to
whom they often spoke, but received no answer. At length they
determined to besiege the tower; and after a year's preparation,
advanced towards it, with the whole number of their ships, and all
the women, one ship only excepted, which had been wrecked, and in
which were thirty men, and as many women; but when all had disem-
barked on the shore which surrounded the tower, the sea opened and
swallowed them up. Ireland, however, was peopled, to the present
period, from the family remaining in the vessel which was wrecked.
Afterwards, other came from Spain, and possessed themselves of
various parts of Britain.
[1] V.R. Partholomaeus, or Bartholomaeus.
[2] A blank is here in the MS. Agnomen is found in some of the

14. Last of all came one Hoctor,[1] who continued there, and whose
descendants remain there to this day. Istoreth, the son of
Istorinus, with his followers, held Dalrieta; Buile had the island
Eubonia, and other adjacent places. The sons of Liethali[2] obtained
the country of the dimetae, where is a city called Menavia,[3] and
the province Guiher and Cetgueli, [4] which they held till they
were expelled from every part of Britain, by Cunedda and his sons.
[1] V.R. Damhoctor, Clamhoctor, and Elamhoctor.
[2] V.R. Liethan, Bethan, Vethan.
[3] St. David's.
[4] Guiher, probably the Welsh district Gower. Cetgueli is Caer
Kidwelly, in Carmarthenshire.

15. According to the most learned among the Scots, if any one
desires to learn what I am now going to state, Ireland was a
desert, and uninhabited, when the children of Israel crossed the
Red Sea, in which, as we read in the Book of the Law, the Egyptians
who followed them were drowned. At that period, there lived among
this people, with a numerous family, a Scythian of noble birth,
who had been banished from his country and did not go to pursue
the people of God. The Egyptians who were left, seeing the
destruction of the great men of their nation, and fearing lest he
should possess himself of their territory, took counsel together,
and expelled him. Thus reduced, he wandered forty-two years in
Africa, and arrived, with his family, at the altars of the Philis-
tines, by the Lake of Osiers. Then passing between Rusicada and
the hilly country of Syria, they travelled by the river Malva
through Mauritania as far as the Pillars of Hercules; and crossing
the Tyrrhene Sea, landed in Spain, where they continued many years,
having greatly increased and multiplied. Thence, a thousand and
two years after the Egyptians were lost in the Red Sea, they passed
into Ireland, and the district of Dalrieta.* At that period, Brutus,
who first exercised the consular office, reigned over the Romans;
and the state, which before was governed by regal power, was
afterwards ruled, during four hundred and forty-seven years, by
consuls, tribunes of the people, and dictators.
* North-western part of Antrim in Ulster.

The Britons came to Britain in the third age of the world; and in
the fourth, the Scots took possession of Ireland.

The Britons who, suspecting no hostilities, were unprovided with
the means of defence, were unanimously and incessantly attacked,
both by the Scots from the west, and by the Picts from the north.
A long interval after this, the Romans obtained the empire of the

16. From the first arrival of the Saxons into Britain, to the
fourth year of king Mermenus, are computed four hundred and twenty
eight years; from the nativity of our Lord to the coming of St.
Patrick among the Scots, four hundred and five years; from the
death of St. Patrick to that of St. Bridget, forty years; and from
the birth of Columeille[1] to the death of St Bridget four years.[2]
[1] V.R. Columba.
[2] Some MSS. add, the beginning of the calculation is 23 cycles
of 19 years from the incarnation of our Lord to the arrival of
St. Patrick in Ireland, and they make 438 years. And from the
arrival of St. Patrick to the cycle of 19 years in which we live
are 22 cycles, which make 421 years.

17. I have learned another account of this Brutus from the ancient
books of our ancestors.* After the deluge, the three sons of Noah
severally occupied three different parts of the earth: Shem extended
his borders into Asia, Ham into Africa, and Japheth in Europe.
* This proves the tradition of Brutus to be older than Geoffrey
or Tyssilio, unless these notices of Brutus have been interpolated
in the original work of Nennius.

The first man that dwelt in Europe was Alanus, with his three sons,
Hisicion, Armenon, and Neugio. Hisicion had four sons, Francus,
Romanus, Alamanus, and Brutus. Armenon had five sons, Gothus,
Valagothus, Cibidus, Burgundus, and Longobardus. Neugio had three
sons, Vandalus, Saxo, and Boganus. From Hisicion arose four
nations--the Franks, the Latins, the Germans, and Britons: from
Armenon, the Gothi, Balagothi, Cibidi, Burgundi, and Longobardi:
from Neugio, the Bogari, Vandali, Saxones, and Tarinegi. The
whole of Europe was subdivided into these tribes.

Alanus is said to have been the son of Fethuir;* Fethuir, the son
of Ogomuin, who was the son of Thoi; Thoi was the son of Boibus,
Boibus of Semion, Semion of Mair, Mair of Ecthactus, Ecthactus of
Aurthack, Aurthack of Ethec, Ethec of Ooth, Ooth of Aber, Aber of
Ra, Ra of Esraa, Esraa of Hisrau, Hisrau of Bath, Bath of Jobath,
Jobath of Joham, Joham of Japheth, Japheth of Noah, Noah of Lamech,
Lamech of Mathusalem, Mathusalem of Enoch, Enoch of Jared, Jared
of Malalehel, Malalehel of Cainan, Cainan of Enos, Enos of Seth,
Seth of Adam, and Adam was formed by the living God. We have
obtained this information respecting the original inhabitants of
Britain from ancient tradition.
* This genealogy is different in almost all the MSS.

18. The Britons were thus called from Brutus: Brutus was the son
of Hisicion, Hisicion was the son of Alanus, Alanus was the son
of Rhea Silvia, Fhea Silvia was the daughter of Numa Pompilius,
Numa was the son of Ascanius, Ascanius of Eneas, Eneas of Anchises,
Anchises of Troius, Troius of Dardanus, Dardanus of Flisa, Flisa
of Juuin, Juuin of Japheth; but Japheth had seven sons; from the
first named Gomer, descended the Galli; from the second, Magog, the
Scythi and Gothi; from the third, Madian, the Medi; from the fourth,
Juuan, the Greeks; from the fifth, Tubal, arose the Hebrei, Hispani,
and Itali; from the sixth, Mosoch, sprung the Cappadoces; and from
the seventh, named Tiras, descended the Thraces: these are the sons
of Japheth, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech.

19.* The Romans, having obtained the dominion of the world, sent
legates or deputies to the Britons to demand of them hostages and
tribute, which they received from all other countries and islands;
but they, fierce, disdainful, and haughty, treated the legation
with contempt.
* Some MSS. add, I will now return to the point from which I made
this digression.

Then Julius Caesar, the first who had acquired absolute power at
Rome, highly incensed against the Britons, sailed with sixty
vessels to the mouth of the Thames, where they suffered shipwreck
whilst he fought against Dolobellus, (the proconsul of the British
king, who was called Belinus, and who was the son of Minocannus
who governed all the islands of the Tyrrhene Sea), and thus Julius
Caesar returned home without victory, having had his soldiers
Slain, and his ships shattered.

20. But after three years he again appeared with a large army,
and three hundred ships, at the mouth of the Thames, where he
renewed hostilities. In this attempt many of his soldiers and
horses were killed; for the same consul had placed iron pikes in
the shallow part of the river, and this having been effected with
so much skill and secrecy as to escape the notice of the Roman
soldiers, did them considerable injury; thus Caesar was once more
compelled to return without peace or victory. The Romans were,
therefore, a third time sent against the Britons; and under the
command of Julius, defeated them near a place called Trinovantum
[London], forty-seven years before the birth of Christ, and five
thousand two hundred and twelve years from the creation.

Julius was the first exercising supreme power over the Romans who
invaded Britain: in honour of him the Romans decreed the fifth month
to be called after his name. He was assassinated in the Curia, in
the ides of March, and Octavius Augustus succeeded to the empire
of the world. He was the only emperor who received tribute from
the Britons, according to the following verse of Virgil: "Purpurea
intexti tollunt aulaea Britanni."

21. The second after him, who came into Britain, was the emperor
Claudius, who reigned forty-seven years after the birth of Christ.
He carried with him war and devastation; and, though not without
loss of men, he at length conquered Britain. He next sailed to
the Orkneys, which he likewise conquered, and afterwards rendered
tributary. No tribute was in his time received from the Britons;
but it was paid to British emperors. He reigned thirteen years
and eight months. His monument is to be seen at Moguntia (among
the Lombards), where he died in his way to Rome.

22. After the birth of Christ, one hundred and sixty-seven years,
king Lucius, with all the chiefs of the British people, received
baptism, in consequence of a legation sent by the Roman emperors
and pope Evaristus.*
* V.R. Eucharistus. A marginal note in the Arundel MS. adds,
"He is wrong, because the first year of Evaristus was A.D. 79,
whereas the first year of Eleutherius, whom he ought to have
named, was A.D. 161." Usher says, that in one MS. of Nennius he
found the name of Eleutherius.

23. Severus was the third emperor who passed the sea to Britain,
where, to protect the provinces recovered from barbaric incursions,
he ordered a wall and a rampart to be made between the Britons, the
Scots, and the Picts, extending across the island from sea to sea,
in length one hundred and thirty-three miles: and it is called in
the British language Gwal.* Moreover, he ordered it to be made
between the Britons, and the Picts and Scots; for the Scots from
the west, and the Picts from the north, unanimously made war
against the Britons; but were at peace among themselves. Not long
after Severus dies in Britain.
*Or, the Wall. One MS. here adds, "The above-mentioned Severus
constructed it of rude workmanship in length 132 miles; i.e. from
Penguaul, which village is called in Scottish Cenail, in English
Peneltun, to the mouth of the river Cluth and Cairpentaloch, where
this wall terminates; but it was of no avail. The emperor Carausius
afterwards rebuilt it, and fortified it with seven castles between
the two mouths: he built also a round house of polished stones on
the banks of the river Carun [Carron]: he likewise erected a
triumphal arch, on which he inscribed his own name in memory of
his victory.

24. The fourth was the emperor and tyrant, Carausius, who, incensed
at the murder of Severus, passed into Britain, and attended by the
leaders of the Roman people, severely avenged upon the chiefs and
rulers of the Britons, the cause of Severus.*
* This passage is corrupt, the meaning is briefly given in the

25. The fifth was Constantius the father of Constantine the Great.
He died in Britain; his sepulchre, as it appears by the inscription
on his tomb, is still seen near the city named Cair segont (near
Carnarvon). Upon the pavement of the above-mentioned city he sowed
three seeds of gold, silver and brass, that no poor person might
ever be found in it. It is also called Minmanton.*
* V.R. Mirmantum, Mirmantun, Minmanto, Minimantone. The Segontium
of Antoninus, situated on a small river named Seiont, near Carnarvon.

26. Maximianus[1] was the sixth emperor that ruled in Britain. It
was in his time that consuls[2] began, and that the appellation of
Caesar was discontinued: at this period also, St. Martin became
celebrated for his virtues and miracles, and held a conversation
with him.
[1] This is an inaccuracy of Nennius; Maximus and Maximianus were
one and the same person; or rather no such person as Maximianus
ever reigned in Britain.
[2] Geoffrey of Monmouth gives the title of consul to several
British generals who lived after this time. It is not unlikely
that the town, name, and dignity, still lingered in the provinces
after the Romans were gone, particularly as the cities of Britain
maintained for a time a species of independence.

27. The seventh emperor was Maximus. He withdrew from Britain
with all his military force, slew Gratian, the king of the Romans,
and obtained the sovereignty of all Europe. Unwilling to send
back his warlike companions to their wives, children, and possessions
in Britain, he conferred upon them numerous districts from the lake
on the summit of Mons Jovis, to the city called Cant Guic, and to
the western Tumulus, that is, to Cruc Occident.* These are the
Armoric Britons, and they remain there to the present day. In
consequence of their absence, Britain being overcome by foreign
nations, the lawful heirs were cast out, till God interposed with
his assistance. We are informed by the tradition of our ancestors
that seven emperors went into Britain, though the Romans affirm
there were nine.
* This district, in modern language, extended from the great St.
Bernard in Piedmont to Cantavic in Picardy, and from Picardy to
the western coast of France.

28. Thus, aggreeably to the account given by the Britons, the
Romans governed them four hundred and nine years.

After this, the Britons despised the authority of the Romans,
equally refusing to pay them tribute, or to receive their kings;
nor durst the Romans any longer attempt the government of a country,
the natives of which massacred their deputies.

29. We must now return to the tyrant Maximus. Gratian, with his
brother Valentinian, reigned seven years. Ambrose, bishop of Milan,
was then eminent for his skill in the dogmata of the Catholics.
Valentinianus and Theodosius reigned eight years. At that time
a synod was held at Constantinople, attended by three hundred and
fifty of the fathers, and in which all heresies were condemned.
Jerome, the presbyter of Bethlehem, was then universally celebrated.
Whilst Gratian exercised supreme dominion over the world, Maximus,
in a sedition of the soldiers, was saluted emperor in Britain, and
soon after crossed the sea to Gaul. At Paris, by the treachery
of Mellobaudes, his master of the horse, Gratian was defeated and
fleeing to Lyons, was taken and put to death; Maximus afterwards
associated his son victor in the government.

Martin, distinguished for his great virtues, was at this period
bishop of Tours. After a considerable space of time, Maximus
was divested of royal power by the consuls Valentinianus and
Theodosius, and sentenced to be beheaded at the third mile-stone
from Aquileia: in the same year also his son Victor was killed in
Gaul by Arbogastes, five thousand six hundred and ninety years
from the creation of the world.

30. Thrice were the Roman deputies put to death by the Britons,
and yet these, when harassed by the incursions of the barbarous
nations, viz. Of the Scots and Picts, earnestly solicited the aid
of the Romans. To give effect to their entreaties, ambassadors
were sent, who made their entrance with impressions of deep sorrow,
having their heads covered with dust, and carrying rich presents,
to expiate the murder of the deputies. They were favourably
received by the consuls, and swore submission to the Roman yoke,
with whatever severity it might be imposed.

The Romans, therefore, came with a powerful army to the assistance
of the Britons; and having appointed over them a ruler, and settled
the government, returned to Rome: and this took place alternately
during the space of three hundred and forty-eight years. The
Britons, however, from the oppression of the empire, again massacred
The Roman deputies, and again petitioned for succour. Once more
the Romans undertook the government of the Britons, and assisted
them in repelling their neighbours; and, after having exhausted
the country of its gold, silver, brass, honey, and costly vestments,
and having besides received rich gifts, they returned in great
triumph to Rome.

31. After the above-said war between the Britons and Romans, the
assassination of their rulers, and the victory of Maximus, who
slew Gratian, and the termination of the Roman power in Britain,
they were in alarm forty years.

Vortigern then reigned in Britain. In his time, the natives had
cause of dread, not only from the inroads of the Scots and Picts,
but also from the Romans, and their apprehensions of Ambrosius.*
* These words relate evidently to some cause of dispute between
the Romans, Ambrosius, and Vortigern. Vortigern is said to have
been sovereign of the Dimetae, and Ambrosius son to the king of
the Damnonii. The latter was half a Roman by descent, and naturally
supported the Roman interest: the former was entirely a Briton,
and as naturally seconded by the original Britons.

In the meantime, three vessels, exiled from Germany, arrived in
Britain. They were commanded by Horsa and Hengist, brothers, and
sons of Wihtgils. Wihtgils was the son of Witta; Witta of Wecta;
Wecta of Woden; Woden of Frithowald; Frithowald of Frithuwulf;
Frithuwulf of Finn; Finn of Godwulf; Godwulf of Geat, who, as they
say, was the son of a god, not[1] of the omnipotent God and our
Lord Jesus Christ (who before the beginning of the world, was with
the Father and the Holy Spirit, co-eternal and of the same substance,
and who, in compassion to human nature, disdained not to assume
the form of a servant), but the offspring of one of their idols,
and whom, blinded by some demon, they worshipped according to the
custom of the heathen. Vortigern received them as friends, and
delivered up to them the island which is in their language called
Thanet, and, by the Britons, Ruym.[2] Gratianus Aequantius at
that time reigned in Rome. The Saxons were received by Vortigern,
four hundred and forty-seven years after the passion of Christ,
and,[3] according to the tradition of our ancestors, from the
period of their first arrival in Britain, to the first year of
the reign of king Edmund, five hundred and forty-two years; and
to that in which we now write, which is the fifth of his reign,
five hundred and forty-seven years.
[1] V.R. not the God of gods, the Amen, the Lord of Hosts, but one
of their idols which they worshipped.
[2] Sometimes called Ruoichin, Ruith-in, or "river island," separated
from the rest of Kent and the mainland of Britain by the estuary
of the Wantsum, which, though now a small brook, was formerly
navigable for large vessels, and in Bede's time was three stadia
broad, and fordable only at two places.
[3] The rest of this sentence is omitted in some of the MSS.

32. At that time St. Germanus, distinguished for his numerous
virtues, came to preach in Britain: by his ministry many were saved;
but many likewise died unconverted. Of the various miracles which
God enabled him to perform, I shall here mention only a few: I
shall first advert to that concerning an iniquitous and tyrannical
king, named Benlli.* The holy man, informed of his wicked conduct,
hastened to visit him, for the purpose of remonstrating him. When
the man of God, with his attendants, arrived at the gate of the
city, they were respectfully received by the keeper of it, who
came out and saluted them. Him they commissioned to communicate
their intention to the king, who returned a harsh answer, declaring,
with an oath, that although they remained there a year, they should
not enter the city. While waiting for an answer, the evening came
on, and they knew not where to go. At length, came one of the
king's servants, who bowing himself before the man of God, announced
the words of the tyrant, inviting them, at the same time, to his
own house, to which they went, and were kindly received. It
happened, however, that he had no cattle, except one cow and a
calf, the latter of which, urged by generous hospitality to his
guests, he killed, dressed and set before them. But holy St.
Germanus ordered his companions not to break a bone of the calf;
and, the next morning, it was found alive uninjured, and standing
by its mother.
* King of Powys. V.R. Benli in the district of Ial (in Derbyshire);
in the district of Dalrieta; Belinus; Beluni; and Benty.

33. Early the same day, they again went to the gate of the city,
to solicit audience of the wicked king; and, whilst engaged in
fervent prayer they were waiting for admission, a man, covered
with sweat, came out, and prostrated himself before them. Then
St. Germanus, addressing him, said "Dost thou believe in the Holy
Trinity?" To which the man having replied, "I do believe," he
baptized, and kissed him, saying, "Go in peace; within this hour
thou shalt die: the angels of God are waiting for thee in the air;
with them thou shalt ascent to that God in whom thou has believed.:
He, overjoyed, entered the city, and being met by the prefect, was
seized, bound, and conducted before the tyrant, who having passed
sentence upon him, he was immediately put to death; for it was a
law of this wicked king, that whoever was not at his labour before
sun-rising should be beheaded in the citadel. In the meantime,
St. Germanus, with his attendants, waited the whole day before
the gate, without obtaining admission to the tyrant.

34. The man above-mentioned, however, remained with them. "Take
care," said St. Germanus to him, "that none of your friends remain
this night within these walls. Upon this he hastily entered the
city, brought out his nine sons, and with them retired to the house
where he had exercised such generous hospitality. Here St. Germanus
ordered them to continue, fasting; and when the gates were shut,
"Watch," said he, "and whatever shall happen in the citadel, turn
not thither your eyes; but pray without ceasing, and invoke the
protection of the true God." And, behold, early in the night,
fire fell from heaven, and burned the city, together with all those
who were with the tyrant, so that not one escaped; and that citadel
has never been rebuilt even to this day.

35. The following day, the hospitable man who had been converted
by the preaching of St. Germanus, was baptized, with his sons, and
all the inhabitants of that part of the country; and St. Germanus
blessed him, saying, "a king shall not be wanting of thy seed for
ever." The name of this person is Catel Drunlue:* "from hence-
forward thou shalt be a king all the days of thy life." Thus was
fulfilled the prophecy of the Psalmist: "He raiseth up the poor
out of the dust, and lifteth up the needy out of the dunghill."
And agreeably to the prediction of St. Germanus, from a servant
he became a king: all his sons were kings, and from their offspring
the whole country of Powys has been governed to this day.
* Or Cadell Deyrnllug, prince of the Vale Royal and the upper
part of Powys.

36. After the Saxons had continued some time in the island of
Thanet, Vortigern promised to supply them with clothing and
provision, on condition they would engage to fight against the
enemies of his country. But the barbarians having greatly increased
in number, the Britons became incapable of fulfilling their
engagement; and when the Saxons, according to the promise they
had received, claimed a supply of provisions and clothing, the
Britons replied, "Your number is increased; your assistance is
now unneccessary; you may, therefore, return home, for we can no
longer support you;" and hereupon they began to devise means of
breaking the peace between them.

37. But Hengist, in whom united craft and penetration, perceiving
he had to act with an ignorant king, and a fluctuating people,
incapable of opposing much resistance, replied to Vortigern, "We
are, indeed, few in number; but, if you will give us leave, we
will send to our country for an additional number of forces, with
whom we will fight for you and your subjects." Vortigern assenting
to this proposal, messengers were despatched to Scythia, where
selecting a number of warlike troops, they returned with sixteen
vessels, bringing with them the beautiful daughter of Hengist.
And now the Saxon chief prepared an entertainment, to which he
invited the king, his officers, and Ceretic, his interpreter,
having previously enjoined his daughter to serve them so profusely
with wine and ale, that they might soon become intoxicated. This
plan succeeded; and Vortigern, at the instigation of the devil,
and enamoured with the beauty of the damsel, demanded her, through
the medium of his interpreter, of the father, promising to give
for her whatever he should ask. Then Hengist, who had already
consulted with the elders who attended him of the Oghgul[1] race,
demanded for his daughter the province, called in English, Centland,
in British, Ceint, (Kent.) This cession was made without the
knowledge of the king, Guoyrancgonus,[2] who then reigned in Kent,
and who experienced no inconsiderable share of grief, from seeing
his kingdom thus clandestinely, fraudulently, and imprudently
resigned to foreigners. Thus the maid was delivered up to the
king, who slept with her, and loved her exceedingly.
[1] V.R. Who had come with him from the island of Oghgul, Oehgul
(or Tingle), Angul. According to Gunn, a small island in the
duchy of Sleswick in Denmark, now called Angel, of which Flensburg
is the metropolis. Hence the origin of the Angles.
[2] V.R. Gnoiram cono, Goiranegono, Guiracgono. Malmesbury,
Gorongi; Camden, Guorong, supposed to mean governor, or viceroy.

38. Hengist, after this, said to Vortigern, "I will be to you
both a father and an adviser; despise not my counsels, and you
shall have no reason to fear being conquered by any man or any
nation whatever; for the people of my country are strong, warlike,
and robust: if you approve, I will send for my son and his brother,
both valiant men, who at my invitation will fight against the
Scots, and you can give them the countries in the north, near the
wall called Gual."[1] The incautious sovereign having assented
to this, Octa and Ebusa arrived with forty ships. In these they
sailed round the country of the Picts, laid waste the Orkneys, and
took possession of many regions, even to the Pictish confines.[2]
[1] Antoninus's wall.
[2] Some MSS. add, "beyond the Frenesic, Fresicum (or Fresic) sea,"
i.e. which is between us and the Scotch. The sea between Scotland
and Ireland. Camden translates it "beyond the Frith;" Langhorne
says, "Solway Frith."

But Hengist continued, by degrees, sending for ships from his own
country, so that some islands whence they came were left without
inhabitants; and whilst his people were increasing in power and
number, they came to the above-named province of Kent.

39. In the meantime, Vortigern, as if desirous of adding to the
evils he had already occasioned, married his own daughter, by whom
he had a son. When this was made known to St. Germanus, he came,
with all the British clergy, to reprove him: and whilst a numerous
assembly of the ecclesiastics and laity were in consultation, the
weak king ordered his daughter to appear before them, and in the
presence of all to present her son to St. Germanus, and declare
that he was the father of the child. The immodest* woman obeyed;
and St. Germanus, taking the child, said, "I will be a father to
you, my son; nor will I dismiss you till a razor, scissors, and
comb, are given to me, and it is allowed you to give them to your
carnal father." The child obeyed St. Germanus, and going to his
father Vortigern, said to him, "Thou art my father; shave and cut
the hair of my head." The king blushed, and was silent; and,
without replying to the child, arose in great anger, and fled from
the presence of St. Germanus, execrated and condemned by the whole
[1] V.R. "Immodest" is omitted in some MSS.

40. But soon after, calling together his twelve wise men, to
consult what was to be done, they said to him, "Retire to the
remote boundaries of your kingdom; there build and fortify a city[1]
to defend yourself, for the people you have received are treacherous;
they are seeking to subdue you by stratagem, and, even during your
life, to seize upon all the countries subject to your power, how
much more will they attempt, after your death!" The king, pleased
with this advice, departed with his wise men, and travelled through
many parts of his territories, in search of a place convenient
for the purpose of building a citadel. Having, to no purpose,
travelled far and wide, they came at length to a province called
Guenet;[2] and having surveyed the mountains of Heremus,[3] they
discovered, on the summit of one of them, a situation, adapted to
the consturction of a citadel. Upon this, the wise men said to
the king, "Build here a city: for, in this place, it will ever be
secure against the barbarians." Then the king sent for artificers,
carpenters, stone-masons, and collected all the materials requisite
to building; but the whole of these disappeared in one night, so
that nothing remained of what had been provided for the constructing
of the citadel. Materials were, therefore, from all parts, procured
a second and third time, and again vanished as before, leaving and
rendering every effort ineffectual. Vortigern inquired of his wise
men the cause of this opposition to his undertaking, and of so much
useless expense of labour? They replied, "You must find a child
born without a father, put him to death, and sprinkle with his
blood the ground on which the citadel is to be built, or you will
never accomplish your purpose."
[1] V.R. You shall find a fortified city in which you may defend
[2] V.R. Guined, Guoienet, Guenez, North Wales.
[3] V.R. Heremi, Heriri, or Eryri, signifying eagle rocks, the
mountains of Snowdon, in Carnarvonshire. The spot alluded to is
supposed to be Dinas Emrys, or the fortress of Ambrosius.

41. In consequence of this reply, the king sent messengers through-
out Britain, in search of a child born without a father. After
having inquired in all the provinces, they came to the field of
Aelecti,[1] in the district of Glevesing,[2] where a party of boys
were playing at ball. And two of them quarrelling, one said to
the other, "O boy without a father, no good will ever happen to
you." Upon this, the messengers diligently inquired of the mother
and the other boys, whether he had had a father? Which his mother
denied, saying, "In what manner he was conceived I know not, for
I have never had intercourse with any man;" and then she solemnly
affirmed that he had no mortal father. The boy was, therefore,
led away, and conducted before Vortigern the king.
[1] V.R. Elleti, Electi, Gleti. Supposed to be Bassalig in
[2] The district between the Usk and Rumney, in Monmouthshire.

42. A meeting took place the next day for the purpose of putting
him to death. Then the boy said to the king, "Why have your
servants brought me hither?" "That you may be put to death,"
replied the king, "and that the ground on which my citadel is to
stand, may be sprinkled with your blood, without which I shall be
unable to build it." "Who," said the boy, "instructed you to do
this?" "My wise men," answered the king. "Order them hither,"
returned the boy; this being complied with, he thus questioned
them: "By what means was it revealed to you that this citadel
could not be built, unless the spot were previously sprinkled with
my blood? Speak without disguise, and declare who discovered me
to you;" then turning to the king, "I will soon," said he, "unfold
to you every thing; but I desire to question your wise men, and
wish them to disclose to you what is hidden under this pavement:"
they acknowledging their ignorance, "there is," said he, "a pool;
come and dig:" they did so, and found the pool. "Now," continued
he, "tell me what is in it;" but they were ashamed, and made no
reply. "I," said the boy, "can discover it to you: there are two
vases in the pool;" they examined and found it so: continuing his
questions, "What is in the vases?" they were silent: "there is a
tent in them," said the boy; "separate them, and you shall find
it so;" this being done by the king's command, there was found in
them a folded tent. The boy, going on with his questions, asked
the wise men what was in it? But they not knowing what to reply,
"There are," said he, "two serpents, one white and the other red;
unfold the tent;" they obeyed, and two sleeping serpents were
discovered; "consider attentively," said the boy, "what they are
doing." The serpents began to struggle with each other; and the
white one, raising himself up, threw down the other into the middle
of the tent, and sometimes drove him to the edge of it; and this
was repeated thrice. At length the red one, apparently the weaker
of the two, recovering his strength, expelled the white one from
the tent; and the latter being pursued through the pool by the
red one, disappeared. Then the boy, asking the wise men what
was signified by this wonderful omen, and they expressing their
ignorance, he said to the king, "I will now unfold to you the
meaning of this mystery. The pool is the emblem of this world,
and the tent that of your kingdom: the two serpents are two dragons;
the red serpent is your dragon, but the white serpent is the
dragon of the people who occupy several provinces and districts of
Britain, even almost from sea to sea: at length, however, our
people shall rise and drive away the Saxon race from beyond the
sea, whence they originally came; but do you depart from this
place, where you are not permitted to erect a citadel; I, to whom
fate has allotted this mansion, shall remain here; whilst to you
it is incumbent to seek other provinces, where you may build a
fortress." "What is your name?" asked the king; "I am called
Ambrose (in British Embresguletic)," returned the boy; and in
answer to the king's question, "What is your origin?" he replied,
"A Roman consul was my father."

Then the king assigned him that city, with all the western
Provinces of Britain; and departing with his wise men to the
sinistral district, he arrived in the region named Gueneri, where
he built a city which, according to his name, was called Cair
* An ancient scholiast adds, "He then built Guasmoric, near
Lugubalia [Carlisle], a city which in English is called Palmecaster."
Some difference of opinion exists among antiquaries respecting the
site of vortigern's castle or city. Usher places it at Gwent,
Monmouthshire, which name, he ways, was taken from Caer-Went, near
Chepstow. This appears to agree with Geoffrey's account, {illegible}
See Usher's Britan. Eccles. cap. v. p.23. According to others,
supposed to be the city from the ruins of which arose the castle
of Gurthrenion, in Radnorshire, Camden's Britannia, p.479. Whitaker,
however, says that Cair Guorthegirn was the Maridunum of the
Romans, and the present Caermarthen. (Hist. Of Manchester, book
ii. c. 1.) See also Nennius, sec.47.

43. At length Vortimer, the son of Vortigern, valiantly fought
against Hengist, Horsa, and his people; drove them to the isle of
Thanet, and thrice enclosed them within it, and beset them on the
Western side.

The Saxons now despatched deputies to Germany to solicit large
reinforcements, and an additional number of ships: having obtained
these, they fought against the kings and princes of Britain, and
sometimes extended their boundaries by victory, and sometimes were
conquered and driven back.

44. Four times did Vortimer valorously encounter the enemy;[1]
the first has been mentioned, the second was upon the river Darent,
the third at the Ford, in their language called Epsford, though
in ours Set thirgabail,[2] there Horsa fell, and Catigern, the son
of Vortigern; the fourth battle he fought was near the stone[3]
on the shore of the Gallic sea, where the Saxons being defeated,
fled to their ships.
[1] Some MSS. here add, "This Vortimer, the son of Vortigern, in
a synod held at Guartherniaun, after the wicked king, on account
of the incest committed with his daughter, fled from the face of
Germanus and the British clergy, would not consent to his father's
wickedness; but returning to St. Germanus, and falling down at his
feet, he sued for pardon; and in atonement for the calumny brought
upon Germanus by his father and sister, gave him the land, in which
the forementioned bishop had endured such abuse, to be his for ever.
Whence, in memory of St. Germanus, it received the name Guarenniaun
(Guartherniaun, Gurthrenion, Gwarth Ennian) which signifies, a
calumny justly retorted, since, when he thought to reproach the
bishop, he covered himself with reproach."
[2] According to Langhorne, Epsford was afterwards called, in the
British tongue, Saessenaeg habail, or 'the slaughter of the Saxons.'
[3] V.R. "The stone of Titulus, thought to be Stone in Kent, or
Larger-stone in Suffolk.

After a short interval Vortimer died; before his decease, anxious
for the future prosperity of his country, he charged his friends
to inter his body at the entrance of the Saxon port, viz. upon the
rock where the Saxons first landed; "for though," said he, "they
may inhabit other parts of Britain, yet if you follow my commands,
they will never remain in this island." They imprudently disobeyed
this last injunction, and neglected to bury him where he had ap-
* Rapin says he was buried at Lincoln; Geoffrey, at London.

45. After this the barbarians became firmly incorporated, and
were assisted by foreign pagans; for Vortigern was their friend,
on account of the daughter* of Hengist, whom he so much loved,
that no one durst fight against him-in the meantime they soothed
the imprudent king, and whilst practising every appearance of
fondness, were plotting with his enemies. And let him that reads
understand, that the Saxons were victorious, and ruled Britain,
not from their superior prowess, but on account of the great sins
of the Britons: God so permitting it.

For what wise man will resist the wholesome counsel of God? The
Almighty is the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, ruling and
judging every one, according to his own pleasure.

After the death of Vortimer, Hengist being strengthened by new
accessions, collected his ships, and calling his leaders together,
consulted by what stratagem they might overcome Vortigern and his
army; with insidious intention they sent messengers to the king,
with offers of peace and perpetual friendship; unsuspicious of
treachery, the monarch, after advising with his elders, accepted
the proposals.
* V.R. Of his wife, and no one was able manfully to drive them
off because they had occupied Britain not from their own valour,
but by God's permission.

46. Hengist, under pretence of ratifying the treaty, prepared
an entertainment, to which he invited the king, the nobles, and
military officers, in number about three hundred; speciously
concealing his wicked intention, he ordered three hundred Saxons
to conceal each a knife under his feet, and to mix with the Britons;
"and when," said he, "they are sufficiently inebriated, &c. cry out,
'Nimed eure Saxes,' then let each draw his knife, and kill his
man; but spare the king, on account of his marriage with my daughter,
for it is better that he should be ransomed than killed."*
* The VV. RR. Of this section are too numerous to be inserted.

The king with his company, appeared at the feast; and mixing with
the Saxons, who, whilst they spoke peace with their tongues,
cherished treachery in their hearts, each man was placed next to
his enemy.

After they had eaten and drunk, and were much intoxicated, Hengist
suddenly vociferated, "Nimed eure Saxes!" and instantly his
adherents drew their knives, and rushing upon the Britons, each
slew him that sat next to him, and there was slain three hundred
of the nobles of Vortigern. The king being a captive, purchased
his redemption, by delivering up the three provinces of East,
South, and Middle Sex, besides other districts at the option of
his betrayers.

47. St. Germanus admonished Vortigern to turn to the true God,
and abstain from all unlawful intercourse with his daughter; but
the unhappy wretch fled for refuge to the province Guorthegirnaim,*
so called from his own name, where he concealed himself with his
wives: but St. Germanus followed him with all the British clergy,
and upon a rock prayed for his sins during forty days and forty
* A district of Radnorshire, forming the present hundred of Rhaiadr.

The Blessed man was unanimously chosen commander against the Saxons.
And then, not by the clang of trumpets, but by praying, singing
hallelujah, and by the cries of the army to God, the enemies were
routed, and driven even to the sea.*
*V.R. This paragraph is omitted in the MSS.

Again Vortigern ignominiously flew from St. Germanus to the kingdom
of the Dimetae, where, on the river Towy,* he built a castle, which
he named Cair Guothergirn. The saint, as usual, followed him there,
and with his clergy fasted and prayed to the Lord three days, and
as many nights. On the third night, at the third hour, fire fell
suddenly from heaven, and totally burned the castle. Vortigern,
the daughter of Hengist, his other wives, and all the inhabitants,
both men and women, miserably perished: such was the end of this
unhappy king, as we find written in the life of St. Germanus.
*The Tobias of Ptolemy

47. Others assure us, that being hated by all the people of Britain,
for having received the Saxons, and being publicly charged by St.
Germanus and the clergy in the sight of God, he betook himself to
flight; and, that deserted and a wanderer, he sought a place of
refuge, till broken hearted, he made an ignominious end.

Some accounts state, that the earth opened and swallowed him up,
on the night his castle was burned; as no remains were discovered
the following morning, either of him, or of those who were burned
with him.

He had three sons: the eldest was Vortimer, who, as we have seen,
fought four times against the Saxons, and put them to flight;
the second Categirn, who was slain in the same battle with Horsa;
the third was Pascent, who reigned in the two provinces Builth
and Guorthegirnaim,[1] after the death of his father. These
were granted him by Ambrosius, who was the great king among the
kings of Britain. The fourth was Faustus, born of an incestuous
marriage with his daughter, who was brought up and educated by
St. Germanus. He built a large monastery on the banks of the
river Renis, called after his name, and which remains to the
present period.[2]
[1] In the northern part of the present counties of Radnor and
[2] V.R. The MSS. add, 'and he had one daughter, who was the
mother of St. Faustus.'

49. This is the genealogy of Vortigern, which goes back to
Fernvail,[1] who reigned in the kingdom of Guorthegirnaim,[2]
and was the son of Teudor; Teudor was the son of Pascent; Pascent
of Guoidcant; Guoidcant of Moriud; Moriud of Eltat; Eltat of
Eldoc; Eldoc of Paul; Paul of Meuprit; Meuprit of Braciat;
Braciat of Pascent; Pascent of Guorthegirn, Guorthegirn of
Guortheneu; Guortheneu of Guitaul; Guitaul of Guitolion; Guitolion
of Gloui. Bonus, Paul, Mauron, Guotelin, were four brothers, who
built Gloiuda, a great city upon the banks of the river Severn,
and in Birtish is called Cair Gloui, in Saxon, Gloucester. Enough
has been said of Vortigern.
[1] Fernvail, or Farinmail, appears to have been king of Gwent
or Monmouth.
[2] V.R. 'Two provinces, Builth and Guorthegirnaim.'

50. St. Germanus, after his death, returned into his own country.
*At that time, the Saxons greatly increased in Britain, both in
strength and numbers. And Octa, after the death of his father
Hengist, came from the sinistral part of the island to the kingdom
of Kent, and from him have proceeded all the kings of that province,
to the present period.
* V.R. All this to the word 'Amen,' in other MSS. is placed after
the legend of St. Patrick.

Then it was, that the magnanimous Arthur, with all the kings and
military force of Britain, fought against the Saxons. And though
there were many more noble than himself, yet he was twelve times
chosen their commander, and was as often conqueror. The first
battle in which he was engaged, was at the mouth of the river
Gleni.[1] The second, third, fourth, and fifth, were on another
river, by the Britons called Duglas,[2] in the region Linuis.
The sixth, on the river Bassas.[3] The seventh in the wood Celidon,
which the Britons call Cat Coit Celidon.[4] The eighth was near
Gurnion castle,[5] where Arthur bore the image of the Holy Virgin,[6]
mother of God, upon his shoulders, and through the power of our
Lord Jesus Christ, and the holy Mary, put the Saxons to flight,
and pursued them the whole day with great slaughter.[7] The ninth
was at the City of Legion,[8] which is called Cair Lion. The
tenth was on the banks of the river Trat Treuroit.[9] The eleventh
was on the mountain Breguoin, which we call Cat Bregion.[10] The
twelfth was a most severe contest, when Arthur penetrated to the
hill of Badon.[11] In this engagement, nine hundred and forty fell
by his hand alone, no one but the Lord affording him assistance.
In all these engagements the Britons were successful. For no
strength can avail against the will of the Almighty.
[1] Supposed by some to be the Glem, in Lincolnshire; but most
probably the Glen, in the northern part of Northumberland.
[2] Or Dubglas. The little river Dunglas, which formed the
southern boundary of Lothian. Whitaker says, the river Duglas,
in Lancashire, near Wigan.
[3] Not a river, but an isolated rock in the Frith of Forth, near
the town of North Berwick, called "The Bass." Some think it is
the river Lusas, in Hampshire.
[4] The Caledonian forest; or the forest of Englewood, extending
from Penrith to Carlisle.
[5] Variously supposed to be in Cornwall, or Binchester in Durham,
but most probably the Roman station of Garionenum, near Yarmouth,
in Norfolk.
[6] V.R. The image of the cross of Christ, and of the perpetual
virgin St. Mary.
[7] V.R. For Arthur proceeded to Jerusalem, and there made a cross
to the size of the Saviour's cross, and there it was consecrated,
and for three successive days he fasted, watched, and prayed,
before the Lord's cross, that the Lord would give him the victory,
by this sign, over the heathen; which also took place, and he took
with him the image of St. Mary, the fragments of which are still
preserved in great veneration at Wedale, in English Wodale, in
Latin Vallis-doloris. Wodale is a village in the province of
Lodonesia, but now of the jurisdiction of the bishop of St. Andrew's,
of Scotland, six miles on the west of that heretofore noble and
eminent monastery of Meilros.
[8] Exeter.
[9] Or Ribroit, the Brue, in Somersetshire; or the Ribble, in
[10] Or Agned Cathregonion, Cadbury, in Somersetshire; or Edinburgh
[11] Bath.

The more the Saxons were vanquished, the more they sought for new
supplies of Saxons from Germany; so that kings, commanders, and
military bands were invited over from almost every province. And
this practice they continued till the reign of Ida, who was the
son of Eoppa, he, of the Saxon race, was the first king in Bernicia,
and in Cair Ebrauc (York).

When Gratian Aequantius was consul at rome, because then the whole
world was governed by the Roman consuls, the Saxons were received
by Vortigern in the year of our Lord four hundred and forty-seven,
and to the year in which we now write, five hundred and forty-seven.
And whosoever shall read herein may receive instruction, the Lord
Jesus Christ affording assistance, who, co-eternal with the Father
and the Holy Ghost, lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

In those days Saint Patrick was captive among the Scots. His
master's name was Milcho, to whom he was a swineherd for seven
years. When he had attained the age of seventeen he gave him his
liberty. By the divine impulse, he applied himself to reading of
the Scriptures, and afterwards went to Rome; where, replenished
with the Holy Spirit, he continued a great while, studying the
sacred mysteries of those writings. During his continuance there,
Palladius, the first bishop, was sent by pope Celestine to convert
the Scots [the Irish]. But tempests and signs from God prevented
his landing, for no one can arrive in any country, except it be
allowed from above; altering therefore his course from Ireland,
he came to Britain and died in the land of the Picts.*
* At Fordun, in the district of Mearns, in Scotland-Usher.

51. The death of Palladius being known, the Roman patricians,
Theodosius and Valentinian, then reigning, pope Celestine sent
Patrick to convert the Scots to the faith of the Holy Trinity;
Victor, the angel of God, accompanying, admonishing, and assisting
him, and also the bishop Germanus.

Germanus then sent the ancient Segerus with him as a venerable
and praiseworthy bishop, to king Amatheus,[1] who lived near, and
who had prescience of what was to happen; he was consecrated bishop
in the reign of that king by the holy pontiff,[2] assuming the
name of Patrick, having hitherto been known by that of Maun;
Auxilius, Isserninus, and other brothers were ordained with him
to inferior degrees.
[1] V.R. Germanus "sent the elder Segerus with him to a wonderful
man, the holy bishop Amathearex." Another MS. "Sent the elder
Segerus, a bishop, with him to Amatheorex."
[2] V.R. "Received the episcopal degree from the holy bishop
Amatheorex." Another MS. "Received the episcopal degree from
Matheorex and the holy bishop."

52. Having distributed benedictions, and perfected all in the name
of the Holy Trinity, he embarked on the sea which is between the
Gauls and the Britons; and after a quick passage arrived in Britain,
where he preached for some time. Every necessary preparation being
made, and the angel giving him warning, he came to the Irish Sea.
And having filled the ship with foreign gifts and spiritual
treasures, by the permission of God he arrived in Ireland, where
he baptized and preached.

53. From the beginning of the world, to the fifth year of king
Logiore, when the Irish were baptized, and faith in the unity of
the individual Trinity was published to them, are five thousand
three hundred and thirty years.

54. Saint Patrick taught the gospel in foreign nations for the
space of forty years. Endued with apostolical powers, he gave
sight to the blind, cleansed the lepers, gave hearing to the deaf,
cast out devils, raised nine from the dead, redeemed many captives
of both sexes at his own charge, and set them free in the name of
the Holy Trinity. He taught the servants of God, and he wrote
three hundred and sixty-five canonical and other books relating
to the catholic faith. He founded as many churches, and consecrated
the same number of bishops, strengthening them with the Holy Ghost.
He ordained three thousand presbyters; and converted and baptized
twelve thousand persons in the province of Connaught. And, in
one day baptized seven kings, who were the seven sons of Amalgaid.[1]
He continued fasting forty days and nights, on the summit of the
mountain Eli, that is Cruachan-Aichle;[2] and preferred three
petitions to God for the Irish, that had embraced the faith.
The Scots say, the first was, that he would receive every repenting
sinner, even at the latest extremity of life; the second, that
they should never be exterminated by barbarians; and the third,
that as Ireland[3] will be overflowed with water, seven years
before the coming of our Lord to judge the quick and the dead, the
crimes of the people might be washed away through his intercession,
and their souls purified at the last day. He gave the people his
benediction from the upper part of the mountain, and going up
higher, that he might pray for them; and that if it pleased God,
he might see the effects of his labours, there appeared to him an
innumerable flock of birds of many coulours, signifying the number
of holy persons of both sexes of the Irish nation, who should come
to him as their apostle at the day of judgment, to be presented
before the tribunal of Christ. After a life spent in the active
exertion of good to mankind, St. Patrick, in a healthy old age,
passed from this world to the Lord, and changing this life for a
better, with the saints and elect of God he rejoices for evermore.
[1] King of Connaught.
[2] A mountain in the west of Connaught, county of Mayo, now
called Croagh-Patrick.
[3] V.R. that no Irishman may be alive on the day of judgment,
because they will be destroyed seven years before in honour of
St. Patrick.

55. Saint Patrick resembled Moses in four particulars. The angel
spoke to him in the burning bush. He fasted forty days and forty
nights upon the mountain. He attained the period of one hundred
and twenty years. No one knows his sepulchre, nor where he was
buried; sixteen[1] years he was in captivity. In his twenty-fifth
year, he was consecrated bishop by Saint Matheus,[2] and he was
eighty-five years the apostle of the Irish. It might be profitable
to treat more at large of the life of this saint, but it is now
time to conclude this epitome of his labours.[3]
[1] V.R. Fifteen.
[2] V.R. By the holy bishop Amatheus.
[3] Here ends the Vatican MS. collated by Mr. Gunn.

[Here endeth the life of the holy bishop, Saint Patrick.]
(After this, the MSS. give as 56., the legend of king Arthur,
which in this edition occurs in 50.)

Genealogy of the kings of Bernicia.*
* These titles are not part of the original work, but added in
the MSS. by a later hand.

57. Woden begat Beldeg, who begat Beornec, who begat Gethbrond,
who begat Aluson, who begat Ingwi, who begat Edibrith, who begat
Esa, who begat Eoppa, who begat Ida. But Ida had twelve sons,
Adda, Belric, Theodric, Ethelric, Theodhere, Osmer, and one queen,
Bearnoch, Ealric. Ethelric begat Ethelfrid: the same is Aedlfred
Flesaur. For he also had seven sons, Eanfrid, Oswald, Oswin,
Oswy, Oswudu, Oslac, Offa. Oswy begat Alfrid, Elfwin, and Egfrid.
Egfrid is he who made war against his cousin Brudei, king of the
Picts, and he fell therein with all the strength of his army, and
the Picts with their king gained the victory; and the Saxons never
again reduced the Picts so as to exact tribute from them. Since
the time of this war it is called Gueithlin Garan.

But Oswy had two wives, Riemmelth, the daughter of Royth, son of
Rum; and Eanfled, the daughter of Edwin, son of Alla.

The genealogy of the kings of Kent.

58. Hengist begat Octa, who begat Ossa, who begat Eormenric,
who begat Ethelbert, who begat Eadbald, who begat Ercombert, who
begat Egbert.

The origin of the kings of East-Anglia.

59. Woden begat Casser, who begat Titinon, who begat Trigil, who
begat Rodmunt, who begat Rippa, who begat Guillem Guercha,* who
was the first king of the East Angles. Guercha begat Uffa, who
begat Tytillus, who begat Eni, who begat Edric, who begat Aldwulf,
who begat Elric.
* Guercha is a distortion of the name of Uffa, or Wuffa, arising
in the first instance from the pronunciation of the British writer;
and in the next place from the error of the transcriber--Palgrave.

The genealogy of the Mercians.

60. Woden begat Guedolgeat, who begat Gueagon, who begat Guithleg,
who begat Guerdmund, who begat Ossa, who begat Ongen, who begat
Eamer, who begat Pubba.* This Pubba had twelve sons, of whom two
are better known to me than the others, that is Penda and Eawa.
Eadlit is the son of Pantha, Penda, son of Pubba, Ealbald, son of
Alguing, son of Eawa, son of Penda, son of Pubba. Egfert, son of
Offa, son of Thingferth, son of Enwulf, son of Ossulf, son of
Eawa, son of Pubba.
* Or Wibba.

The kings of the Deiri.

61. Woden begat Beldeg, Brond begat Siggar, who begat Sibald,
who begat Zegulf, who begat Soemil, who first separated[1] Deur
from Berneich (Deira from Bernicia.) Soemil begat Sguerthing, who
begat Giulglis, who begat Ulfrea, who begat Iffi, who begat Ulli,
Edwin, Osfrid and Eanfrid. There were two sons of Edwin, who fell
with him in battle at Meicen,[2] and the kingdom was never renewed
in his family, because not one of his race escaped from that war;
but all were slain with him by the army of Catguollaunus,[3] king
of the Guendota. Oswy begat Egfrid, the same is Ailguin, who
begat Oslach, sho begat Alhun, who begat Adlsing, who begat Echun,
who begat Oslaph. Ida begat Eadric, who begat Ecgulf, who begat
Leodwald, who begat Eata, the same is Glinmaur, who begat Eadbert
and Egbert, who was the first bishop of their nation.
[1] V.R. Conquered.
[2] Hatfield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. See Bede's Eccles.
[3] Cadwalla, king of the Western Britons.

Ida, the son of Eoppa, possessed countries on the left-hand side
of Britain, i.e. of the Humbrian sea, and reigned twelve years,
and united* Dynguayth Guarth-Berneich.
* V.R. United the castle, i.e. Dinguerin and Gurdbernech, which
two countries were in one country, i.e. Deurabernech; Anglice
Diera and Bernicia. Another MS. Built Dinguayrh Guarth Berneich.

62. Then Dutgirn at that time fought bravely against the nation
of the Angles. At that time, Talhaiarn Cataguen* was famed for
poetry, and Neirin, and Taliesin and Bluchbard, and Cian, who is
called Guenith Guaut, were all famous at the same time in British
* Talhaiarn was a descendant of Coel Godebog, and chaplain to

The great king, Mailcun,* reigned among the Britons, i.e. in the
district of Guenedota, because his great-great-grandfather, Cunedda,
with his twelve sons, had come before from the left-hand part, i.e.
from the country which is called Manau Gustodin, one hundred and
forty-six years before Mailcun reigned, and expelled the Scots
with much slaughter from those countries, and they never returned
again to inhabit them.
* Better known as Maelgwn.

63. Adda, son of Ida, reigned eight years; Ethelric, son of Adda,
reigned four years. Theodoric, son of Ida, reigned seven years.
Freothwulf reigned six years. In whose time the kingdom of Kent,
by the mission of Gregory, received baptism. Hussa reigned seven
years. Against him fought four kings, Urien, and Ryderthen, and
Guallauc, and Morcant. Theodoric fought bravely, together with
his sons, against that Urien. But at that time sometimes the enemy
and sometimes our countrymen were defeated, and he shut them up
three days and three nights in the island of Metcaut; and whilst
he was on an expedition he was murdered, at the instance of Morcant,
out of envy, because he possessed so much superiority over all
the kings in military science. Eadfered Flesaurs reigned twelve
years in Bernicia, and twelve others in Deira, and gave to his wife
Bebba, the town of Dynguaroy, which from her is called Bebbanburg.*
* Bambrough. See Bede, iii. 6, and Sax. Chron. A.D. 547.

Edwin, son of Alla, reigned seventeen years, seized on Elmete, and
expelled Cerdic, its king. Eanfled, his duaghter, received baptism,
on the twelfth day after Pentecost, with all her followers, both
men and women. The following Easter Edwin himself received baptism,
and twelve thousand of his subjects with him. If any one wishes
to know who baptized them, it was Rum Map Urbgen:* he was engaged
forty days in baptizing all classes of the Saxons, and by his
preaching many believed on Christ.
* See Bede's Eccles. Hist. From the share which Paulinus had in
the conversion of the Northumbrian king, it has been inferred
that he actaully baptized him; but Nennius experssly states, that
the holy sacrament was administered by Rhun, the son of Urien.
The Welsh name of Paulinus is Pawl Hen, or Polin Eagob.

64. Oswald son of Ethelfrid, reigned nine years; the same is
Oswald Llauiguin;[1] he slew Catgublaun (Cadwalla),[2] king of
Guenedot,[3] in the battle of Catscaul,[4] with much loss to his
own army. Oswy, son of Ethelfrid, reigned twenty-eight years and
six months. During his reign, there was a dreadful mortality
among his subjects, when Catgualart (Cadwallader) was king among
the Britons, succeeding his father, and he himself died amongst
the rest.[5] He slew Penda in the field of Gai, and now took
place the slaughter of Gai Campi, and the kings of the Britons,
who went out with Penda on the expedition as far as the city of
Judeu, were slain.
[1] Llauiguin, means the "fair," or the "bounteous hand."
[2] This name has been variously written; Bede spells it Caedualla
(Cadwalla); Nennius, Catgublaun; the Saxon Chronicle, Ceadwalla;
and the Welsh writers, Cadwallon and Kalwallawn: and though the
identity of the person may be clearly proved, it is necessary to
observe these particulars to distinguish him from Cadwaladr, and
from another Caedualla or Caedwalla, a king of the West Saxons;
all of whom, as they lived within a short time of each other,
have been frequently confounded together.--Rees's Welsh Saints.
[3] Gwynedd, North Wales.
[4] Bede says at Denis's brook.
[5] The British chronicles assert that Cadwallader died at Rome,
whilst Nennius would lead us to conclude that he perished in the
pestilence at home.

65. Then Oswy restored all the wealth, which was with him in the
city, to Penda; who distributed it among the kings of the Britons,
that is Atbert Judeu. But Catgabail alone, king of Guenedot,
rising up in the night, excaped, together with his army, wherefore
he was called Catgabail Catguommed. Egfrid, son of Oswy, reigned
nine years. In his time the holy bishop Cuthbert died in the
island of Medcaut.* It was he who made war against the Picts,
and was by them slain.
* The isle of Farne.

Penda, son of Pybba, reigned ten years; he first separated the
kingdom of Mercia from that of the North-men, and slew by treachery
Anna, king of the East Anglians, and St. Oswald, king of the North
Men. He fought the battle of Cocboy, in which fell Eawa, son of
Pybba, his brother, king of the Mercians, and Oswald, king of the
North-men, and he gained the victory by diabolical agency. He
was not baptized, and never believed in God.

66. From the beginning of the world to Constantinus and Rufus,
are found to be five thousand six hundred and fifty-eight years.

Also from the two consuls, Rufus and Rubelius, to the consul
Stilicho, are three hundred and seventy-three years.

Also from Stilicho to Valentinian, son of Placida, and the reign
of Vortigern, are twenty-eight years.

And from the reign of Vortigern to the quarrel between Guitolinus
and Ambrosius, are twelve years, which is Guoloppum, that is
Catgwaloph.* Vortigern reigned in Britain when Theodosius and
Valentinian were consuls, and in the fourth year of his reign the
Saxons came to Britain, in the consulship of Felix and Taurus, in
the four hundredth year from the incarnation of our Lord Jesus
* In Carmarthenshire. Perhaps the town now called Kidwelly.

>From the year in which the Saxons came into Britain, and were
received by Vortigern, to the time of Decius and Valerian, are
sixty-nine years.


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