– Before the withdrawal Britannia had been converted to Christianity and had even produced its own heretic in Pelagius. Britain sent three bishops to the Council of Arles in 314, and a Gaulish bishop went to the island in 396 to help settle disciplinary matters. Material remains testify to a growing presence of Christians, at least until around 360. After the withdrawal of the Roman legions from the province of Britannia in 410, the natives of the province were left to defend themselves against the attacks of the Saxons … After the legions left, pagan tribes settled the southern parts of the island, but western Britain, beyond the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, remained Christian. This native British Church developed in isolation from Rome under the influence of missionaries from Ireland … Evidence for the survival of Christianity in the eastern part of Britain during this time includes the survival of the cult of Saint Alban and the occurrence in place names of eccles, derived from the Latin ecclesia, meaning “church”. The invasions destroyed most remnants of Roman civilization in the areas held by the Saxons and related tribes, including the economic and religious structures. It was against this background that Pope Gregory I decided to send a mission, often called the Gregorian mission, to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity in 595.
Roman Britain – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
came under increasing pressure from barbarian attack on all sides towards the end of the 4th century, and troops were too few to mount an effective defence. The army rebelled and, after elevating two disappointing usurpers, chose a soldier, Constantine III, to become emperor in 407. He soon crossed to Gaul with an army and was defeated by Honorius; it is unclear how many troops remained or ever returned, or whether a commander-in-chief in Britain was ever reappointed. A Saxon incursion in 408 was apparently repelled by the Britons, and in 409 Zosimus records that the natives expelled the Roman civilian administration (although Zosimus may be referring to the Bacaudic rebellion of the Breton inhabitants of Armorica since he describes how, in the aftermath of the revolt, all of Armorica and the rest of Gaul followed the example of the Brettaniai).
A later appeal for help by the British communities was rejected by the Emperor Honorius in 410. This apparent contradiction has been explained by EA Thompson as a peasant revolt against the landowning classes, with the latter group asking for Roman help; an uprising certainly occurred in Gaul at the time. With the higher levels of the military and civil government gone, administration and justice fell to municipal authorities, and small warlords gradually emerged all over Britain, still aspiring to Roman ideals and conventions. Laycock (Britannia the Failed State, 2008) has investigated this process of fragmentation and emphasised elements of continuity from the British tribes in the pre-Roman and Roman periods to the kingdoms that formed in the post-Roman period.
By tradition, the pagan Saxons were invited by Vortigern to assist in fighting the Picts and Irish, though archaeology has suggested some official settlement as landed mercenaries as early as the 3rd century. Germanic migration into Roman Britannia may well have begun much earlier even than that. There is recorded evidence, for example, of Germanic Roman auxiliaries being brought to Britain in the 1st and 2nd centuries to support the legions. The new arrivals rebelled, plunging the country into a series of wars that eventually led to the Saxon occupation of Lowland Britain by 600. Around this time many Britons fled to Brittany (hence its name). A significant date in sub-Roman Britain is the famous Groans of the Britons, an unanswered appeal to Aëtius, leading general of the western Empire, for assistance against Saxon invasion in 446; another is the Battle of Dyrham in 577, after which the significant cities of Bath, Cirencester and Gloucester fell and the Saxons reached the western sea … Most scholars reject the historicity of the later legends of King Arthur, which seem to be set in this period, but some such as John Morris see it as evidence behind which may lie a plausible grain of truth.
Cornwall’s native name (Kernow) appeared on record as early as 400. The Ravenna Cosmography, compiled c. 700 from Roman material 300 years older, lists a route running westward into Cornwall and on this route is a place then called Durocornovio (Latinised from British Celtic duno-Cornouio-n – “fortress of the Cornish people”). In Latin, ‘V’ represented and was pronounced as a ‘W’ and the fortress name refers to Tintagel. King Mark, of Tristan and Iseult fame, probably ruled in the late 5th century. According to Cornish folklore, he held court at Tintagel. King Salomon, father of Saint Cybi, ruled after Mark. 410: Emperor Honorius recalls the last legions from Britain. There is some uncertainty: some say that this “rescript” refers not to Britannia (= Britain) but to Bruttium in Italy. Mid-5th century – first waves of settlers from Cornwall, and Devon, go to Brittany 433: The Britons call the Angles to come and help them [as mercenaries ] against the Picts. about 446: The “Groans of the Britons” last appeal (possibly to the Consul Aetius) for the Roman army to come back to Britain.
Dumnonia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– The area maintained trade links with Gaul and the Mediterranean after the Roman withdrawal, and it is likely that tin played an important part in this trade. Post-Roman imported pottery has been excavated from many sites across the region. An apparent surge in late 5th century Mediterranean and/or Byzantine imports is yet to be explained satisfactorily. … Christianity seems to have survived in Dumnonia after the Roman departure from Britain, with a number of late Roman Christian cemeteries extending into the post-Roman period. … In the 5th and 6th centuries the area was allegedly evangelized by the children of Brychan and saints from Ireland, like Saint Piran; and Wales, like Saint Petroc or Saint Keyne. Important [5th century burials] at Bodmin, Glastonbury; and also at Exeter where discovered near the cathedral … probably [representing the foundation] attended by St. Boniface (whether this was Saxon or Brythonic is somewhat controversial). Sporadically, Cornish bishops are named in various records until they submitted to the See of Canterbury in the mid-9th century.
3. ^ a b c d e Yorke, Barbara, Wessex in the early Middle Ages, 1995
11. ^ Thomas, Charles (1981) reviewing Pearce (1978) in Britannia 12; p. 417
Cathal mac Finguine – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– The kingship of Cashel, argued in early Munster sources, e.g. the Uraicecht Becc, as actually the most powerful in Ireland, was founded in the middle of the 5th century by the descendants of Conall Corc and Aimend, the “inner circle” of the Eóganachta, who after a century and a half of able politicking had come to supersede the overlordship of the Corcu Loígde in Munster .. At this time the Uí Néill were striving to be the sole Kings of Tara, with the succession generally alternating between the northern and southern branches of the Uí Néill, although the ancient ceremonial kingship had not long before been held by the Laigin and Ulaid, and more distantly the Dáirine and Érainn.
Connachta – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– The use of the word cúige, earlier cóiced, literally “fifth”, to denote a province indicates the existence of a pentarchy in prehistory, whose members are believed to have been population groups the Connachta, existing in prehistory as a “tribal complex”, the Ulaid (Ulster) and the Laigin (Leinster), the region of Mumu (Munster), and the central kingdom of Mide. This pentarchy appears to have been broken up by the dawn of history in the early 5th century with the reduction of the Ulaid and the founding of new Connachta dynasties which expanded north and east.
ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dartraige_Con-innsi – The status of the king (and queen) of Airgíalla was such that they sat beside the High King at Tara at great gatherings, and his sword was allowed to touch the High Kings hand – a sign of trust. The larger kingdoms territory decreased as the area took on a more ecclesiastical power structure from Armagh and allied with the with Northern and Southern Ui Neill who dominated the political sphere serving as High King of Ireland from the Hill of Tara. It was further reduced by the conquest of the Normans in the 12th century. The Book of Rights list the tribes of the Airgíalla in the 5th century and their entitlements.
History of Ireland (400
– The first reliable historical event in Irish history, recorded in the Chronicle of Prosper of Aquitaine, is the ordination by Pope Celestine I of Palladius as the first bishop to Irish Christians in 431 – which demonstrates that there were already Christians living in Ireland. Prosper says in his Contra Collatorem that by this act Celestine “made the barbarian island Christian”, although it is clear the Christianisation of the island was a longer and more gradual process. The mission of Saint Patrick is traditionally dated around the same time – the earliest date for his arrival in Ireland in the Irish annals is 432 – although Patrick’s own writings contain nothing securely dateable. It is likely that Palladius’ activities were in the south of Ireland, perhaps associated with Cashel, while Patrick’s were later, in the north, and associated with Armagh.
Ceretic Guletic – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– Ceretic Guletic of Alt Clut was a king of Alt Clut (modern Dumbarton) in the 5th century. He has been identified with Coroticus, a Britonnic warrior addressed in a letter by Saint Patrick. Of Patrick’s two surviving letters, one is addressed to the warband of this Coroticus. Bemoaning the capture and enslavement of newly Christianised Irish and their sale to non-Christians, Patrick includes the imprecation: Soldiers whom I no longer call my fellow citizens, or citizens of the Roman saints, but fellow citizens of the devils, in consequence of their evil deeds; who live in death, after the hostile rite of the barbarians; associates of the Scots and Apostate Picts; desirous of glutting themselves with the blood of innocent Christians, multitudes of whom I have begotten in God and confirmed in Christ.
In the letter Patrick announces that he has excommunicated Coroticus’ men. The identification of Coroticus with Ceretic Guletic is based largely on an 8th century gloss to Patrick’s letter. … Ceretic appears also in the Harleian genealogies of the rulers of Alt Clut, which list the names of his father (Cynloyp), grandfather (Cinhil) and great-grandfather (Cluim). It is from the latter source that we get his nickname, Guletic (“Land-holder”). In the Book of Armagh, he is called “Coirthech rex Aloo”, “Ceretic, King of the Height [of the Clyde]”.
2. ^ De Paor, pp. 109 – 113; Charles-Edwards, pp. 226 – 230. ^ Thomas, pp. 339 – 343.
5. ^ Harleian genealogy 5; see also, Williams, Smyth, and Kirby (eds.), A Biographical Dictionary of Dark Age Britain, (London, 1991), s.v. “Ceretic”, pp. 78-8
6. ^ Alan MacQuarrie, “The Kings of Strathclyde”, in A. Grant & K.Stringer (eds.) Medieval Scotland: Crown, Lordship and Community, Essays Presented to G.W.S. Barrow, (Edinburgh, 1993), p. 3.
Cinuit of Alt Clut – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– Cinuit (Welsh: Cynwyd) may have been an early king of Alt Clut, later known as Strathclyde, a Brythonic kingdom in the Hen Ogledd or “Old North” of Britain. The Harleian genealogies indicate that he was the son of Ceretic Guletic, who may be identified with the warlord Ceredig rebuked by Saint Patrick in one of his letters … a Welsh triad attached to the text mentions the “three hundred swords of the (tribe of) Cynwydion” as one of three formidable north British war bands, along with those of Coel Hen and Cynfarch.
4. ^ a b Bromwich, pp. 256–257.
Anglesey – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– [The] British Iron Age and Roman sites have been excavated, and coins and ornaments discovered, especially by the 19th century antiquarian, Lord Stanley of Penrhos. Following the Roman departure from Britain in the early 5th century, pirates from Ireland colonised Anglesey and the nearby Llŷn Peninsula. In response to this, Cunedda ap Edern, a Gododdin warlord from Scotland, came to the area and began the process of driving the Irish out. This process was continued by his son Einion Yrth ap Cunedda and grandson Cadwallon Lawhir ap Einion, the last Irish invaders finally being defeated in battle in 470.
Cunedda – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
ap Edern (fl. 5th century) also known as Cunedda Wledig (“holder of lands”), was an important early Welsh leader, and the progenitor of the royal dynasty of Gwynedd … The name Cunedda derives from the Brythonic word kunodagos, meaning good hound. His genealogy is traced back to Padarn Beisrudd, which literally translates as Paternus of the Scarlet Robe. One traditional interpretation identifies Padarn as a Roman (or Romano-British) official of reasonably high rank who had been placed in command of Votadini troops stationed in the Clackmannanshire region of Scotland in the 380s or earlier by the Emperor Magnus Maximus. Alternatively, he may have been a frontier chieftain who was granted Roman military rank, a practice attested elsewhere along the empire’s borders at the time. In all likelihood, Padarn’s command in Scotland was assumed after his death by his son, Edern (Latin: Æturnus), and then passed to Edern’s son, Cunedda.
Cunedda and his forebears led the Votadini against Pictish and Irish incursions south of Hadrian’s Wall. Sometime after this, the Votadini troops under Cunedda relocated to North Wales in order to defend the region from Irish invasion, specifically the Uí Liatháin, as mentioned in the Historia Brittonum. Cunedda established himself in Wales, in the territory of the Venedoti, which would become the centre of the kingdom of Gwynedd … Maximus (or his successors) may have handed over control of the British frontiers to local chieftains at an earlier date; with the evacuation of the fort at Chester (which Mike Ashley, incidentally, argues is most likely where Cunedda established his initial base in the region, some years later) in the 370s, he may have had little option. Given that the archaeological record demonstrates Irish settlement on the Llŷn Peninsula however and possible raids as far west as Wroxeter by the late 4th century, it is difficult to conceive of either Roman or allied British forces having presented an effective defence in Wales … Cunedda’s supposed grandson Maelgwn Gwynedd was a contemporary of Gildas, and according to the Annales Cambriae died in 547.
The hill of Allt Cunedda close to Cydweli in Carmarthenshire is probably associated with this Cunedda and suggests his campaigns against the Irish extended from Gwynedd into to south west Wales. Amateur excavations of this site in the nineteenth century revealed an Iron Age hill fort and several collapsed stone cists containing the buried but well preserved skeletons of several men with formidable physical proportions … One of the tumuli was known locally as Banc Benisel and was reputedly the grave of a Sawyl Penuchel, a legendary King of the Britons presumably from late Iron Age Britain. His epithet Penuchel or Ben Uchel means “high head” … Much of the archaeological evidence was inadvertently destroyed by J. Fenton’s expedition in 1851 and it is not known if all the great men buried at this site were contemporaries or if there were successive burials on a site with long term cultural significance. The name connection with Cunedda makes it tempting to speculate that the great Cunedda himself may have been buried at this site; a site whose Iron Age notoriety may well have maintained a cultural importance well after the end of the Roman period and into the Dark Ages.
1. ^ Giles 1841:24–25, De Excidio, sections 28 and 29 (in English)
2. ^ Giles 1841:244–45, De Excidio, sections 28 and 29 (in Latin)
3. ^ Phillimore 1888:155, Annales Cambriae, year 547 — “Mortalitas magna inqua pausat mailcun rex genedotae”
Gododdin – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– Cunedda, legendary founder of the Kingdom of Gwynedd in north Wales, is supposed to have been a Manaw Gododdin warlord who migrated southwest during the 5th century.
Meirchion Gul – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– was probably a late 5th century king of Rheged, a Brythonic realm in the area of sub-Roman known as the Hen Ogledd … Next to nothing is known about Meirchion, although his epithet means the Lean. He appears in the Middle Welsh genealogical text Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd as the son of the equally obscure Gwrwst Lledlwm, a grandson of Coel Hen, and grandfather of renowned Urien Rheged. He is assumed, like Urien, to have ruled Rheged, including Catterick.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornovii_(Midlands) -After Roman occupation, the lands of the Cornovii became a centre of military and economic operations. Viroconium Cornoviorum became one of the most important cities in Roman Britain, where Legio XIV Gemina was garrisoned for some time. The Romans also exploited metals such as copper, lead and silver in the area. Some Romanised Cornovii are known to have served as Roman legionaries. The 5th century saw continued town life in Viroconium but many of the buildings fell into disrepair. However, between 530 and 570 there was a substantial rebuilding programme in timber with most of the old basilica being demolished and replaced with new buildings. These probably included a very large two-story timber-framed building and a number of storage buildings and houses. In all, 33 new buildings were constructed. The archaeologists responsible for the most recent excavations comment that “their construction was carefully planned and executed…” and “were skillfully constructed to Roman measurements using a trained labour force”.
4. ^ White, Roger; Philp Barker Wroxter:Life & Death of a Roman City Tempus Publishing, 1998 ISBN 978-0-7524-1409-6 pp.121-128
Welsh toponymy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Many others took their name from churches established from the 5th century onwards, many of which use the prefix llan for “church”. For example, the many examples of Llanfihangel refer to a church dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel; Llangefni refers to a “church on the [river] Cefni”; and Betws-y-Coed refers to a “prayer-house (betws) in the wood”. The word llan is believed to have originally had the meaning of a family, or tribal, enclosure. It later came to mean a sacred enclosure for worship, and hence a church.
2. ^ a b c d e f Hywel Wyn Owen, The Place-names of Wales, 1998, ISBN 0-7083-1458-9
4. ^ Wales in the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica’
History of Scotland – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
‘s population comprised two main groups: the Picts, the original peoples (possibly a Brythonic Celtic group) who occupied most of Scotland north of the Firth of Clyde and the Firth of Forth: the area known as “Pictavia” … The Britons, formed from a Roman-influenced Brythonic Celtic culture in the south, with the kingdom of Y Strad Glud (Strathclyde) from the Firth of Clyde southwards, Rheged in Cumbria, Selgovae in the central Borders area and the Votadini or Gododdin from the Firth of Forth down to the Tweed … Invasions brought three more groups, though the extent to which they replaced native populations is unknown …The Old Irish-speaking Scotti (Scots) or more specifically, the Dál Riatans, arrived from Ireland from the late 5th century onwards, taking possession of Argyll and the west coast in the Kingdom of Dál Riata.
The Anglo-Saxons expanding from Bernicia and the continent. Notably seizing Gododdin in the 7th Century. It was their language, a variant of early northern Middle English, now known as Middle Scots but called Ynglis at the time, which eventually became the predominant tongue of lowland Scotland, whereas the name “Scottis” (Modern form: Scots) referred to the Gaelic language spoken largely in the Highlands. However, during the late Middle Ages the name “Scots” was transferred to the Scottish form of English, while the Celtic language of the Highlands came to be known only as Gaelic. In the aftermath of the 795 Viking raid on Iona, the Norse Jarls of Orkney took hold of the Western Isles, Caithness and Sutherland, while Norse settlers mixed with the inhabitants of Galloway to become the Gallgaels.
Isle of Man – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– The Iron Age marked the beginning of Celtic cultural influence. Large hill forts appeared on hill summits, and smaller promontory forts along the coastal cliffs, while large timber-framed roundhouses were built. It is likely that the first Celtic tribes to inhabit the island were of the Brythonic variety. Around the 5th century AD, cultural influence from Ireland, probably along with some degree of migration, precipitated a process of Gaelicisation, evidenced by Ogham inscriptions, giving rise to the Manx language, which remains closely related to Irish and Scottish Gaelic.
25. ^ Manx Museum Celtic Farmers (Iron Age) collections
Æthelwold of East Anglia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
During the 5th century, groups of settlers of mixed stock migrated into the Fens and up the major rivers inland. From Bede it is known that the people who settled in what became East Anglia were Angles, originally from what is now part of Denmark … The settlers were unaffected by Roman urban civilisation and had their own religion and language. As more of the region fell under their control, new kingdoms were formed, replacing the function of the Roman territoria. Surrounded by sea, fenland, large defensive earthworks such as the Devil’s Dyke and wide rivers, all of which acted to disconnect it from the rest of Britain, the land of the East Angles eventually became united by a single ruling dynasty, the Wuffingas.
4. ^ Warner, The origins of Suffolk, pp. 60–61.
6. ^ Warner, The origins of Suffolk, pp. 66–67.
Wuffingas – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sam Newton has claimed that the poem Beowulf may have been composed during the reign of Ælfwald of East Anglia. Before the end of his rule, Ælfwald’s kingdom contained a group of ecclesiatical centres, all of which had strong associations with the Wuffingas dynasty. These included the sees at Dommoc and Helmham, St. Botulph’s monastery at Icanho, the religious foundations at Ely and Dereham founded by daughters of Anna, the minster at Blythburgh and the monastery founded by Sigeberht prior to his abdication and subsequent death in battle.
3. ^ Newton, The Origins of Beowulf and the Pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia, p 133-4
Hoxne Hoard – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
is the largest hoard of late Roman silver and gold discovered in Britain, and the largest collection of gold and silver coins of the fourth and fifth century found anywhere within the Roman Empire … The coins of the hoard date it after AD 407, which coincides with the end of Britain as a Roman province. The owners and reasons for burial of the hoard are unknown, but it was carefully packed and the contents appear consistent with what a single very wealthy family might have owned … The Hoxne Hoard was buried during a period of great upheaval in Britain, marked by the collapse of Roman authority in the province, the departure of the majority of the Roman army, and the first of a wave of attacks by the Anglo-Saxons. After 410, Roman histories give little information about events in Britain. Writing in the next decade, Saint Jerome described Britain after 410 as a “province fertile of tyrants”, suggesting the collapse of central authority and the rise of local leaders in response to repeated raids by Saxons and others. By 452, a Gaulish chronicler was able to state that some ten years previously “the Britons, which to this time had suffered from various disasters and misfortunes, are reduced by the power of the Saxons”.
In September 1993, after the field of the hoard find was ploughed, the Suffolk County Council … Archaeological Service surveyed the field, finding four gold coins and 81 silver coins, all considered part of the same hoard. Both earlier Iron Age and later mediaeval materials were also discovered, but there was no evidence of a Roman settlement in the vicinity. A series of late Bronze Age or early Iron Age post holes, which may have formed a structure, were found. However, no structural features of the Roman period were detected. The most significant coin find from the end of Roman Britain, the hoard contains all major denominations of coinage of the time, and many examples of clipped silver coinage typical of late Roman Britain. The gold solidi are all close to their theoretical weight of 4.48 g (1⁄72 of a Roman pound). The fineness of a solidus in this period was 99% gold. The total weight of the solidi in the hoard is almost exactly 8 Roman pounds, suggesting that the coins had been measured out by weight rather than number.
The Hoxne Hoard comes from the later part of a century (c. 350–450) from which an unusually large number of hoards have been discovered, mostly from the fringes of the Empire. Such hoards vary in character, but many include the large pieces of silver tableware lacking in the Hoxne Hoard: dishes, jugs and ewers, bowls and cups, some plain, but many highly decorated. Two other major hoards discovered in modern East Anglia in the last century are from the fourth century; both are now in the British Museum. The Mildenhall Treasure from Suffolk consists of thirty items of silver tableware deposited in the late fourth century, many large and elaborately decorated, such as the “Great Dish”. The Water Newton Treasure from Cambridgeshire is smaller, but is the earliest hoard to have a clearly Christian character, apparently belonging to a church or chapel; the assorted collection probably includes items made in Britain.
Spong Hill – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– Three 5th century cremation urns from the Spong Hill site bear the impression of the debated term alu by “the same runic stamp” in mirror-runes.
2. ^ Hines, John. “Grave Finds With Runic Inscriptions From Great Britain” as collected in Düwel, Klaus. (Editor) (2002) Runeninschriften ALS Quelle Interdisziplinaerer Forschung: Abhandlungen DES Vierten Internationalen Symposiums Uber Runen Und Runeninschriften in Goettingen VOM 4.-9. August 1995, page 189. Walter de Gruyter ISBN 9783110154559
Undley bracteate – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– The Undley bracteate is a 5th century bracteate found in Undley Common, near Lakenheath, Suffolk. It bears the earliest known inscription that can be argued to be in Anglo-Frisian Futhorc (as opposed to Common Germanic Elder Futhark). The image on the bracteate is an adaptation of an Urbs Roma coin type issued by Constantine the Great, conflating the helmeted head of the emperor and the image of Romulus and Remus suckled by the wolf on one face … The words [in runes] mægæ medu are interpreted as meaning “meed for the kinsmen”, i.e. “reward for relatives”, referring to the bracteate itself. The word gægogæ appears to be some magical invocation or battle cry, comparable to the goagagea on the Kragehul I lance-shaft.
List of hoards in Britain – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[There’s to many here to name!]
History of Kent – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– Roman Britain was under attack by Saxon and other raiders in the 3rd Century and it became necessary to fortify the once-prosperous commercial port of Rutupiae. Triple ditches and ramparts were dug (still visible round the site of the arch Richborough Castle although the defences were completely revamped after a decade or so and Richborough was provided with its circuit of towered stone walls and outer ditches, becoming one of the most important of the Saxon shore forts. It was one of the last to be regularly occupied and there is evidence of a large Roman population here in the early 5th century, some of them worshipping in the Early Christian church discovered in a corner of the fort.
King Arthur – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
some scholars argue … was originally a fictional hero of folklore—or even a half-forgotten Celtic deity—who became credited with real deeds in the distant past. They cite parallels with figures such as the Kentish totemic horse-gods Hengest and Horsa, who later became historicised. Bede ascribed to these legendary figures a historical role in the 5th-century Anglo-Saxon conquest of eastern Britain. It is not even certain that Arthur was considered a king in the early texts. Neither the Historia nor the Annales calls him “rex”: the former calls him instead “dux bellorum” (leader of battles) and “miles” (soldier). The so-called “Arthur stone”, discovered in 1998 among the ruins at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall in securely dated 6th-century contexts, created a brief stir but [has been proven] irrelevant [for historical purposes].
15. ^ Green 1998; Padel 1994; Green 2007b, chapters five and seven.
16. ^ Historia Brittonum 56, 73; Annales Cambriae 516, 537.
18. ^ Heroic Age 1999
Ambrosius Aurelianus – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– Following the destructive assault of the Saxons, the survivors gather together under the leadership of Ambrosius, who is described as “a gentleman who, perhaps alone of the Romans, had survived the shock of this notable storm. Certainly his parents, who had worn the purple, were slain by it. … presumably a Romano-Briton, rather than a Roman from elsewhere in the empire … Gildas says that he won his battles “with God’s help”. Accordingly Ambrosius organised the survivors into an armed force and achieved the first military victory over the Saxon invaders. However, this victory was not decisive: “Sometimes the Saxons and sometimes the citizens [meaning the Romano-British inhabitants] were victorious.”
Two points in this brief description have attracted much scholarly commentary. The first is what Gildas meant by saying Ambrosius’ family “had worn the purple”: does this mean that Ambrosius was related to one of the Roman Emperors, perhaps the House of Theodosius or an usurper like Constantine III. Roman males of the senatorial class wore clothes with a purple band to denote their class, so the reference to purple may be to his aristocratic heritage. In addition, Roman military tribunes (tribuni militum), senior officers in Roman legions, wore a similar purple band, so the purple may refer to military leadership background in his family. It has also been suggested that “the purple” is a euphemism for blood, and therefore “wearing the purple” may be a reference to martyrdom. The second question is the meaning of the word avita: as Gildas could have meant “ancestors”, or intended it to mean more specifically “grandfather”—thus indicating Ambrosius lived about a generation before the Battle of Mons Badonicus.
S. Appelbaum has suggested that Amesbury in Wiltshire might preserve in it the name of Ambrosius, and perhaps Amesbury was the seat of his power base in the later fifth century. Place name scholars have found a number of place names through the Midland dialect regions of Britain that incorporate the ambre- element: examples include Ombersley in Worcestershire, Ambrosden in Oxfordshire, Amberley in Herefordshire, Amberley in Gloucestershire and Amberley castle in West Sussex. These scholars have claimed this element represents an Old English word amor, the name of a woodland bird. However, Amesbury in Wiltshire is in a different dialect region and does not easily fit into the pattern of the Midland dialect place names. If this etymology is combined with the tradition reported by Geoffrey of Monmouth stating that Ambrosius Aurelianus ordered the building of Stonehenge – which is located within the parish of Amesbury (and where Ambrosius was supposedly buried) – and with the presence of an Iron Age hill fort also in that parish, then it may be tempting to connect Ambrosius with Amesbury.
Avebury – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– In the Early Mediaeval period, which began in the 5th century following the collapse of Roman rule, Anglo-Saxon tribes from continental Europe migrated to southern Britain, where they may have come into conflict with the Britons already settled there. Aubrey Burl suggested the possibility that a small group of British warriors may have used Avebury as a fortified site to defend themselves from Anglo-Saxon attack. He gained this idea from etymological evidence, suggesting that the site may have been called weala-dic, meaning “moat of the Britons”, in Old English, the language of the Anglo-Saxons.
The early Anglo-Saxon settlers followed their own pagan religion which venerated a selection of deities, the most notable of whom were apparently Woden and Thunor. It is known from etymological sources that they associated many prehistoric sites in the Wiltshire area with their gods, for instance within a ten mile of radius of Avebury there are four sites that were apparently named after Woden: Wansdyke (“Wodin’s ditch”), Wodin’s Barrow, Waden Hill (“Wodin’s Hill)” and perhaps Wanborough (also “Woden’s Hill”). It is not known if they placed any special religious associations with the Avebury monument, but it remains possible.
During the Early Mediaeval period, there were signs of settlement at Avebury, with a grubenhaus, a type of timber hut with a sunken floor, being constructed just outside of the monument’s west bank in the 6th century. Only a few farmers appeared to have inhabited the area at the time, and they left the Avebury monument largely untouched.
46. ^ Burl 1979. p. 31.
47. ^ “Avebury Concise History”. Wiltshire Council. Wiltshire Council – Wiltshire Community History Get Population/Census Information. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
48. ^ a b Burl 1979. p. 32.
49. ^ a b c d e Burl 1979. p. 33.
Ælle of Sussex – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
477: Ælle and his 3 sons, Cymen and Wlencing and Cissa, came to the land of Britain with 3 ships at the place which is named Cymen’s shore,
477: Ælle killed many Welsh and drove some to flight into the wood called Andredes leag.
485: Here Ælle fought against the Welsh near the margin of Mearcred’s Burn.
491: Here Ælle and Cissa besieged Andredes cester, and killed all who lived in there; there was not even one Briton left there.
If the dates given by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle are accurate to within half a century, then Ælle’s reign lies in the middle of the Anglo-Saxon expansion, and prior to the final conquest of the Britons. It also seems consistent with the dates given to assume that Ælle’s battles predate Mons Badonicus. This in turn would explain the long gap, of fifty or more years, in the succession of the “bretwaldas”: if the peace gained by the Britons did indeed hold till the second half of the 6th century, it is not to be expected that an Anglo-Saxon leader should have anything resembling overlordship of England during that time. The idea of a pause in the Anglo-Saxon advance is also supported by the account in Procopius of 6th century migration from Britain to the kingdom of the Franks. Procopius’s account is consistent with what is known to be a contemporary colonization of Armorica (now Brittany, in France); the settlers appear to have been at least partly from Dumnonia (modern Cornwall), and the area acquired regions known as Dumnonée and Cornouaille. It seems likely that something at that time was interrupting the general flow of the Anglo-Saxons from the continent to Britain.
The dates for Ælle’s battles are also reasonably consistent with what is known of events in the kingdom of the Franks at that time. Clovis I united the Franks [Merovingie] into a single kingdom during the 480s and afterwards, and the Franks’ ability to exercise power along the southern coast of the English channel may have diverted Saxon adventurers to England rather than the continent.
It is possible, therefore, that a historical king named Ælle existed, who arrived from the continent in the late 5th century, and who conquered much of what is now Sussex. He may have been a prominent war chief with a leadership role in a federation of Anglo-Saxon groups fighting for territory in Britain at that time. This may be the origin of the reputation that led Bede to list him as holding overlordship over southern Britain. The battles listed in the Chronicle are compatible with a conquest of Sussex from west to east, against British resistance stiff enough to last fourteen years. His area of military control may have extended as far as Hampshire and north to the upper Thames valley, but it certainly did not extend across all of England south of the Humber, as Bede asserts. Ælle’s death is not recorded by the Chronicle, which gives no information about him, or his sons, or the South Saxons until 675, when the South Saxon king Æthelwalh was baptized.
16. ^ a b c d e Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England, pp. 17–19.
26. ^ Campbell et al., The Anglo-Saxons, p. 22.
27. ^ a b c Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England, p. 12.
28. ^ Fletcher, Who’s Who, p. 17.
29. ^ Kirby, Earliest English Kings, p. 55.
Extreme weather events of 535
The extreme weather events of 535–536 were the most severe and protracted short-term episodes of cooling in the Northern Hemisphere in the last 2,000 years. The event is thought to have been caused by an extensive atmospheric dust veil, possibly resulting from a large volcanic eruption in the tropics, or debris from space impacting the Earth. Its effects were widespread, causing unseasonal weather, crop failures, and famines worldwide. The Byzantine historian Procopius recorded of 536, in his report on the wars with the Vandals, “during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness…and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear.”
The Gaelic Irish Annals record the following:
“A failure of bread in the year 536 AD”—The Annals of Ulster
“A failure of bread from the years 536–539 AD”—The Annals of Inisfallen
Further phenomena reported by a number of independent contemporary sources:
Low temperatures, even snow during the summer (snow reportedly fell in August in China, which postponed the harvest there) Crop failures.
“A dense, dry fog” in the Middle East, China, and Europe
Drought in Peru, which affected the Moche culture
Tree ring analysis by dendrochronologist Mike Baillie, of the Queen’s University of Belfast, shows abnormally little growth in Irish oak in 536 and another sharp drop in 542, after a partial recovery. Similar patterns are recorded in tree rings from [worldwide] Ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica show evidence of substantial sulfate deposits around 533–534 ± 2 years, evidence of an extensive acidic dust veil.
It has been conjectured that these changes were due to ashes or dust thrown into the air after the impact of a comet or meteorite, or after the eruption of a volcano (a phenomenon known as “volcanic winter”). The evidence of sulfate deposits in ice cores strongly supports the volcano hypothesis; the sulfate spike is even more intense than that which accompanied the lesser episode of climatic aberration in 1816, popularly known as the “Year Without a Summer”, which has been connected to the explosion of the volcano Mount Tambora in Sumbawa, Indonesia.
The 536 event and ensuing famine has been suggested as an explanation for the sacrifice by Scandinavian elites of large amounts of gold at the end of the Migration Period, possibly to appease the angry gods and get the sunlight back. The decline of Teotihuacán, a huge city in Mesoamerica, is also correlated with the droughts related to the climate changes, with signs of civil unrest and famines. David Keys’ book speculates that the climate changes may have contributed to various developments, such as the emergence of the Plague of Justinian, the decline of the Avars, the migration of Mongolian tribes towards the West, the end of the Persian Empire, the rise of Islam, and the fall of Teotihuacán.
2. ^ a b c Larsen, L. B.; Vinther, B. M.; Briffa, K. R.; Melvin, T. M.; Clausen, H. B.; Jones, P. D.; Siggaard-Andersen, M.-L.; Hammer, C. U. et al (2008). “New ice core evidence for a volcanic cause of the A.D. 536 dust veil”. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35 (4): L04708. Bibcode 2008GeoRL..3504708L. doi:10.1029/2007GL032450. New ice core evidence for a volcanic cause of the A.D. 536 dust veil.
11. ^ a b Keys, David Patrick (2000). Catastrophe: an investigation into the origins of the modern world. New York: Ballantine Pub. ISBN 0-345-40876-4.
13. ^ MacIntyre, Ferren (2002). “Simultaneous Settlement of Indo-Pacific Extrema?”. Rapa Nui Journal 16 (2): 96–104.
14. ^ Baillie, M. G. L. (1999). Exodus to Arthur: Catastrophic Encounters with Comets. London: B.T. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-8352-0.
15. ^ Rigby, Emma; Symonds, Melissa; Ward-Thompson, Derek (February 2004). “A comet impact in AD536?”. Astronomy and Geophysics 45 (1): 1.23. Bibcode 2004A&G….45a..23R. doi:10.1046/j.1468-4004.2003.45123.x. A comet impact in AD 536? – Rigby – 2004 – Astronomy & Geophysics – Wiley Online Library.
16. ^ a b Wohletz, Ken, Were the Dark Ages Triggered by Volcano-Related Climate Changes in the 6th Century?
23. ^ Morten Axboe (2001). “Året 536”. Skalk (4): 28–32.
24. ^ Axboe, M. (1999). “The year 536 and the Scandinavian gold hoards”. Medieval archaeology 43: 186–8. http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/adsd…43_186_188.pdf.
Plague of Justinian – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Plague of Justinian was a pandemic that afflicted the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire), including its capital Constantinople, in 541–542 AD. It was one of the greatest plagues in history. The most commonly accepted cause of the pandemic is bubonic plague, which later became infamous for either causing or contributing to the Black Death of the 14th century. However, recent genetic studies of the bubonic plague germ, carried out from samples taken from skeletal remains in London by researchers from the University of Tübingen, suggest that the Justinian Plague (and others from antiquity) arose from either now-extinct strains of Yersinia pestis genetically distinct from the strain that broke out in the 14th century pandemic, or from pathogens entirely unrelated to bubonic plague. The plagues’ social and cultural impact during this period is comparable to that of the Black Death. In the views of 6th century Western historians, it was nearly worldwide in scope, striking central and south Asia, North Africa and Arabia, and Europe as far north as Denmark and as far west as Ireland. Genetic studies point to China being the primary source of the contagion. Until about 750, the plague returned with each generation throughout the Mediterranean basin. The wave of disease also had a major impact on the future course of European history. Modern historians named this plague incident after the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I, who was in power at the time. He contracted the disease yet survived.