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FABIUS ETHELWERD THE CHRONICLE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD TO A.D. 975

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FABIUS ETHELWERD
THE CHRONICLE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD TO A.D. 975
page 3



A.D. 449.] THE PIOTS AND 8COTS. beginning with Caius Julius Caesar, that they had held the island above mentioned, wherein they had built cities and castles, bridges and streets of admirable construction, which are seen among us even to the present day. But whilst the people of Britain were living carelessly within the wall, which had been built by Severus to protect them, there arose two nations, the Picts in the north and the Scots in the west, and leading an army against them, devastated their country, and inflicted many sufferings upon them for many years. The Britons being unable to bear their misery, by a wise device send to Rome a mournful letter* the army returned victorious to Brome. But the Scots and Picts, hearing that the hostile army was gone, rejoiced with no little joy. Again they take up arms, and like wolves attack the sheepfold which is left without a protector : they devastate the northern districts as far as the ditch of Severus : the Britons man the wall and fortify it with their arms ; but fortune denied them success in the war. The cunning Scots, knowing what to do against the high wall and the deep trench, contrive iron goads with mechanical art, and dragging down those who were standing on the wall, slay them without mercy : they remain victors both within and without ; they at once plunder and take possession ; and a slaughter is made worse than all that had been before. Thus ended the four hundred and forty-fourth year since the in carnation of our Lord The Britons, seeing themselves on every side vanquished, and that they could have no more hopes from Borne, devise, in their agony and lamentations, a plan to adopt. For in those days they heard, that the race of the Saxons were active, in piratical enterprises, throughout the whole coast, from the river Rhine to the Danish city,j" which is now commonly called Denmark, and strong in all matters connected with war. They therefore send to them messengers, bearing gifts, and ask assistance, promising them their alliance when they should be at peace. But the mind of that degraded race was debased by ignorance, and they saw not that they * There is evidently a hiatus in this passage, but see Bede i. 13, p. 22 f Urbe, * city," seems here rather to designate country or territory* Β 2


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