The Celtic Literature Collective

Historia Brittonum III: §32-56
St. Germanus and Vortigern to King Arthur

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.40 The holy man, informed of his wicked conduct, hastened to visit him, for the purpose of remonstrating with 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.

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 ascend to that God in whom thou hast 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 labor 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 Drunluc:41 "from henceforward 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.

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 have 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 unnecessary; 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 dispatched 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 enamored 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 at tended him of the Oghgul42 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,43 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.

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."44 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.45 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 ecclesiastes 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 immodest46 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 synod.

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 city47 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 seized 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;48 and having surveyed the mountains of Heremus,49 they discovered, on the summit of one of them, a situation, adapted to the construction of a citadel. Upon this, the wise went 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 labor? 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 build, or you will never accomplish your purpose."

41. In consequence of this reply, the king sent messengers throughout Britain, in search of a child born without a father. After having inquired in all the provinces, they came to the field of Ælecti,50 in the district of Glevensing,51 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.

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 wish 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;" 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 third 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 Embresguletic51a)," 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 Guorthegirn.52

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 dispatched 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 time did Vortimer valorously encounter the enemy;53 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 [sic],54 there Horsa fell, and Catigern, the son of Vortigern; the fourth battle he fought, was near the stone55 on the shore of the Gallic sea, where the Saxons being defeated, fled to their ships. 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 impru dently disobeyed this last injunction, and neglected to bury him where he had appointed.56

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,57 whom he so much loved, that no one durst fight against him--in the meantime they soothed the imprudent king, and whilst practicing 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.

46. Hengist, under pretense 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."58 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,59 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 nights. This 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.60 Again Vortigern ignominiously flew from St. Germanus to the kingdom of the Dimetæ, where, on the river Towy,61 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.

48. 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,62 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.63

49. This is the genealogy of Vortigern, which goes back to Fernvail,64 who reigned in the kingdom of Guorthegirnaim,65 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 bands of the river Severn, and in British is called Cair Gloui, in Saxon, Gloucester. Enough has been said about Vortigern.

50. When Gratian Æquantius 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 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 a 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. 78

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,79 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,80 assuming the name Patrick, having hitherto been known by that of Maun; Auxilius, Isserninus, and other brothers were ordained with him to inferior degrees.

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 for eign 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 [sic] 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 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.81 He continued fasting forty days and nights, on the summit of the mountain Eli, that is Cruachan-Aichle;82 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 Ireland83 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 labors, there appeared to him an innumerable flock of birds of many colors, 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.

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; sixteen84 years he was in captivity. In his twenty-fifth year, he was consecrated bishop by Saint Matheus,85 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 not time to conclude this epitome of his labors. 86 [Here endeth the life of the holy bishop Saint Patrick.]

56. St. Germanus, after his death, returned into his own country [???]. At66 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 king dom of Kent, and from him have proceeded all the kings of that province, to the present period. 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.67 The second, third, fourth, and fifth, were on another river, by the Britons called Duglas,68 in the region Linuis. The sixth, on the river Bassas.69 The seventh in the wood Celidon, which the Britons call Cat Coit Celidon.70 The eighth was near Gurnion castle,71 where Arthur bore the image of the Holy Virgin,72 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.73 The ninth was at the City of Legion,74 which is called Cair Lion. The tenth was on the banks of the river Trat Treuroit.75 The eleventh was on the mountain Breguoin, which we call Cat Bregion.76 The twelfth was a most severe contest, when Arthur penetrated to the hill of Badon.77 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. 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).

On to §57-66


Due to the fact that Giles originally set §56--the story of Arthur's battles--at §50, and due to the fact that I, like many editors, decided that this is a bad idea and have moved Arthur back to §56, the ordering of the footnotes, while matching to the appropriate subject, do not seem to be sequential.

40. King of Powys. V.R. Benli in the district of Ial (in Derbyshire); in the district of Dalrieta; Belinus; Beluni; and Benty.

41. Or Cadell Deyrnllug, prince of the Vale Royal and the upper part of Powys.

42. 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.

43. V.R. Gnoiram cono, Goiranegono, Guiracgono. Malmesbury, Gorongi; Camden, Guorong, supposed to mean governor, or viceroy. 44Antoninus’s wall.

44. Antonius's wall.

45. 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."

46. V.R. "Immodest" is omitted in some MSS.

47. V.R. You shall find a fortified city in which you may defend yourself.

48. V.R. Guined, Guoienet, Guenez, North Wales.

49. V.R. Heremi, Henri, 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. see #51a.

50. V.R. Elleti, Electi, Gleti. Supposed to be Bassalig in Monmouthshire.

51. The district between the Usk and Rumney, in Monmouthshire.

51a. "Embresgueltic": Welsh, meaning "Prince Emrys."  This Emrys or Ambrosius is later called by Geoffrey of Monmouth "Merlinus Ambrosius"--and this is the Merlin who becomes the prophet and advisor to Uther Pendragon and engenders Arthur's conception according to Geoffrey.  However, it is significant that there is no mention of Ambrosius Aurelianus, the leader of the Battle of Badon according to Gildas.  Is this some tradition linked to Ambrosius?  And what lead Geoffrey to connect this name to the semi-historical bard and prince Myrddin?

52. 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, bk. viii, c. 2. 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.

53. 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 forementiorted 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."

54. According to Langhorne, Epsford was afterwards called, in the British tongue, Saessenaeg habail, or ‘the slaughter of the Saxons.’ See note at p. 188.

55. V.R. "The stone of Titulus, thought to be Stone in Kent, or Larger-stone in Suffolk. The very remarkable monument, called Kit Cotty’s house, is traditionally supposed to mark the grave of Catigern."

56. Rapin says he was buried at Lincoln; Geoffrey, at London.

57. 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.

58. The VV. RR. of this section are too numerous to be inserted.

59. A district of Radnorshire, forming the present hundred of Rhaiadr.

60. V.R. This paragraph is omitted in the MSS.

61. The Tobias of Ptolemy

62. In the northern part of the present counties of Radnor and Brecknock.

63. V.R. The MSS. add, ‘and he had one daughter, who was the mother of St. Faustus.'

64. Fernvail, or Farinmail, appears to have been king of Gwent or Monmouth.

65. V.R. ‘Two provinces, Builth and Guorthegirnaim.’

66. V.R. All this to the word ‘Amen,’ in other MSS. is placed after the legend of St. Patrick.

67. Supposed by some to be the Glem, in Lincolnshire; but most probably the Glen, in the northern part of Northumberland.

68. Or Dubglas. The little river Dunglas, which formed the southern boundary of Lothian. Whitaker says, the river Duglas, in Lancashire, near Wigan.

69. 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.

70. The Caledonian forest; or the forest of Englewood, extending from Penrith to Carlisle.

71. Variously supposed to be in Cornwall, or Binchester in Durham, but most probably the Roman station of Garionenum, near Yarmouth, in Norfolk.

72. V.R. The image of the cross of Christ, and of the perpetual virgin St. Mary.

73. V.R. For Arthur proceeded to Jerusalem, and there made a cross to the size of the Saviours 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.

74. Exeter.

75. 0r Ribroit, the Brue, in Somersetshire; or the Ribble, in Lancashire.

76. 0r Agned Cathregonion, Cadbury, in Somersetshire; or Edinburgh.

77. Bath.

78. At Fordun, in the district of Mearns, in Scotland--Usher.

79. 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."

80. V.R. "Received the episcopal degree from the holy bishop Amatheorex." Another MS. "Received the episcopal degree from Matheorex and the holy bishop."

81. King of Connaught.

82. A mountain in the west of Connaught, county of Mayo, now called Croagh-Patrick.

83. 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.

84. V.R. Fifteen.

85. V.R. By the holy bishop Amatheus.

86. Here ends the Vatican MS. collated by Mr. Gunn.

Six Old English Chronicles ed. and trans. J.A. Giles. London: H. G. Bohn, 1848.

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