Historia Brittonum: §4-31
4.-5. From Adam to the flood, are two thousand and forty-two years. From the flood to Abraham, nine hundred and forty-two. From Abraham to Moses, six hundred2. 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. 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.
§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 Æquantius. The ninth Constantius.3 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 southwest 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,4 viz.
1. Cair ebrauc (York)
2. Cair ceint (Canterbury)
3. Cair gurcoc (Anglesey?)
4. Cair guorthegern (unknown)5
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 (Cirenchester)
15. Cair gloui (Gloucester)
16. Cair luilid (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 in 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. Cair teim (Teyn-Grace, in Devonshire)
31. Cair Urnahc (Wroxeter, in Shropshire)
32. Cair celemion (Camalet, in Somersetshire)
33. Cair loit coit (Lincoln)
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 Wight6; 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."
§9. 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 preeminently 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 the riches acquired by commerce. The Britons were once very populous, and exercised extensive dominion from sea to sea.
§10.7 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 Æneas, who was the father of Ascanius and Silvius; and this Silvius was the son of Æneas and Lavinia, the daughter of the king of Italy. From the sons of Æneas 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 Æneas 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 who sprang from him; but they were called Britons from Brutus, and rose from the family of Brutus. Æneas, 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, Æneas 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 Æneas a son, named Silvius; but Ascanius8 married a wife, who conceived and became pregnant. And Æneas, 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.9 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; and 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 by accident.10 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 Turnus11, slain by Æneas. He then went among the Gauls, a nd built the city of the Turones, called Turnis. 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.
§11. Æneas reigned over the Latins three years; Ascanius thirty-three years; after whom Silvius reigned twelve years, and Posthumus thirty-nine years12: 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.
§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, were they still remain, keeping possession of a third part of Britain to this day.13
§13. Long after this, the Scots arrived in Ireland from Spain. The first that came as Partholomus14, 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 _______15, who, according to report, after having been at sea a year and a half, and having his ships shattered, 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 disembarked 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, others came from Spain, and possessed themselves of various parts of Britain.
14. Last of all came one Hoctor16, 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 Liethali17 obtained the country of the Dinetæ, where is a city called Menavia18, and the province Guiher and Cetgueli18, which they held till they were expelled from every part of Britain, by Cunedda and his sons.
15. According to the most learned among the Scots [Irish--MJ], 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 Philistines, by the Lake of Osiers. Then passing between Rusicada and the hilly country of Syria, they travelled by the river Malva through Mauritainia 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.20 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. 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 world.
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 Columcille21 to the death of St. Bridget four years.22
17. I have learned another account of this Brutus from the ancient books of our ancestors.23 After the deluge, the three sons of Noah severally occupied three different part of the earth: Shem extended his borders into Asia, Ham into Africa, and Japheth into Europe.
The first man that dwelt in Europe was Alanus, with his three sons, Hisicion, Armenon, and Neugio. Hisicion had four sons, Froncus, Romanus, Alamanus, and Brutus. Armenon had five sons, Gothus, Valaothus, Cibidus, Burgundus, and Longobardus. Neugio had three sons, Valdalus, Saxo, and Boganus. From Hisicion arose four nations--the Franks, the Latins, the Germans, and Britons: from Armenon, the Gothi, Valagothi, Cibidi, Burgundi, and Longobardi: from Neugio, the Bagari, Vandali, Saxones, and Tarinegi. The whole of Europe was subdivided into these tribes. Alanus is said to have been the son of Fethuir;24 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 Ecthactur, Ecthactur 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 o 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.
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, Rhea 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.
19.25 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.
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,26 (the proconsul of the British king, who was called Belinus,27 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 honor 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 aulæa 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 was 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.28
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:29 and it is called in the British language, Gwal30. More over, he ordered it to be made between the Britons, and the Picts and Scots; for the Scots from the west, and the Picts form the north, unanimously made war against the Britons; but were at peace among themselves. Not long after Severus dies in Britain.
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.31
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.32
26. Maximianus33 was the sixth emperor that ruled in Britain. It was in his time that consuls34 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.
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 of the summit of Mons Jovia, to the city called Cant Guic, and to the western Tumulus, that is, to Cruc Occident.35 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 that there were nine. The eighth was another Severus, who lived occasionally in Britain, and sometimes at Rome, where he died. The ninth was Constantius who reigned sixteen years in Britain, and, according to report, was treacherously murdered in the seventeenth year of his reign.
28. Thus, agreeably 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 favorably 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 neighbors; 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.36 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,37 not 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.38 Gratianus Æquantius at the time reigned in Rome. The Saxons were received by Vortigern, four hundred and forty-seven years after the passion of Christ, and,39 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 which we now write, which is the fifth of his reign, five hundred and forty- seven years.
On to page 2
[My notes are in red; Giles are in black.]
2. 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.
3. This list of the Roman emperors who visited Britain, is omitted in many of the MSS.
4. V.R. Twenty-eight, twenty-one.
5. Site unknown, but translates as "Vortigern's Fort"
6. Inis-gueith, or Gueith.
7. The whole of this, as far as the end of the paragraph, is omitted in several MSS.
8. Other MSS. Silvius.
9. V.R. Who should slay his father and mother, and be hated by all mankind.
10. V.R. He displayed such superiority among his play-fellows, that they seemed to consider him as their chief.
12. VR Thirty-seven.
13. See Bede’s Eccles. Hist. pp. 5, 6, note.
14. V.R. Partholomæus, or Bartholomæus. Here
Nennius is following the Irish Lebor Gabala Erenn, wherein Partholon is
the second settler of Ireland, after Cessair, the daughter of Noah, who sought
to escape the flood. The presence of Partholon and Nemed (see below) in
this history, as well as in Giraldus Cambrensis' History and Topography of
Ireland (12th C.), shows the popularity of this version of Irish history, and
[My notes are in red; Giles are in black.]
2. 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. 3. This list of the Roman emperors who visited Britain, is omitted in many of the MSS. 4. V.R. Twenty-eight, twenty-one. 5. Site unknown, but translates as "Vortigern's Fort" 6. Inis-gueith, or Gueith. 7. The whole of this, as far as the end of the paragraph, is omitted in several MSS. 8. Other MSS. Silvius. 9. V.R. Who should slay his father and mother, and be hated by all mankind. 10. V.R. He displayed such superiority among his play-fellows, that they seemed to consider him as their chief. 11. Tours 12. VR Thirty-seven. 13. See Bede’s Eccles. Hist. pp. 5, 6, note. 14. V.R. Partholomæus, or Bartholomæus. Here Nennius is following the Irish Lebor Gabala Erenn, wherein Partholon is the second settler of Ireland, after Cessair, the daughter of Noah, who sought to escape the flood. The presence of Partholon and Nemed (see below) in this history, as well as in Giraldus Cambrensis' History and Topography of Ireland (12th C.), shows the popularity of this version of Irish history, and its' antiquity.
15. A blank is here in the MS. Agnomen is found in some of the others. In the Lebor Gabala, it is Nemed son of Agnomen.
16. V.R. Damhoctor, Clamhoctor, and Elamhoctor.
17. V.R. Liethan, Bethan, Vethan.
18. St. David’s.
19. Guiher, probably the Welsh district Gower. Cetgueli is Caer Kidwelly, in Carmarthenshire.
2O. North-western part of Antrim in Ulster.
21. V.R. Columba.
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. This genealogy is different in almost all the MSS.
25. Some MSS. add, I will now return to the point from which I made this digression.
26. There is some corruption or defect in the original. See Geoffrey of Monmouth, bk. iv. c. 3.
27. VR Cassibelanus.
28. 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. See Bede’s
Eccles. Hist. p. 10.
29. VR Thirty-two.
30. 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.
31. This passage is corrupt, the meaning is briefly given in the translation.
32. V.R. Mirmantum, Mirmantun, Minmanto, Minimantone. The Segontium of Antoninus, situated on a small river named Seiont, near Camarvon.
33. 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.
34. 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.
35. 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.
36. These words relate evidently to some cause of dispute between the Romans, Ambrosius, and Vortigern. Vortigern is said to have been sovereign of the Dimetæ, 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. See Whitakers
Manchester, b. ii. c. 2.
37. V.R. not the God of gods, the Amen, the Lord of Hosts, but one of their idols which they worshipped.
38. 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. See Bede’s
Eccles. Hist. p. 37, note.
39. The rest of this sentence is omitted in some of the MSS.
SOURCES Back to Latin British Texts
Six Old English Chronicles ed. and trans. J.A. Giles. London: H. G. Bohn, 1848.
Back to CLC
Back to Latin British Texts