Help us create a biggest collection of medieval chronicles and manuscripts on line.
#   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z 
Medieval chronicles, historical sources, history of middle ages, texts and studies

Geoffrey of Monmouth History of the Kings of Britain

uses Google technology and indexes only and selectively internet - libraries having books with free public access
  Previousall pages


Geoffrey of Monmouth
History of the Kings of Britain
page 18

night, and possessing himself of a valley through which the enemy was to pass, lay hid there in expectation of their coming. The next day the Italians came in full march to the place; but when they saw the valley glittering with the enemy’s armour, they were struck with confusion, thinking Brennius and the Galli Senones were there. At this favourable opportunity, Belinus on a sudden rushed forth, and fell furiously upon them: the Romans on the other hand, thus taken by surprise, fled the field, since they neither were armed, nor marched in any order. But Belinus gave them no quarter, and was only prevented by night coming on, from making a total destruction of them. With this victory he went straight to Brennius, who had now besieged Rome three days. Then joining their armies, they assaulted the city on every side, and endeavoured to level the walls: and to strike a greater terror into the besieged, erected gibbets before the gates of the city, and threatened to hang up the hostages whom they had given, unless they would surrender. But the Romans, nothing moved by the sufferings of their sons and relations, continued inflexible, and resolute to defend themselves. They therefore sometimes broke the force of the enemy’s engines, by other engines of their own, sometimes repulsed them from the walls with showers of darts. This so incensed the two brothers, that they commanded four and twenty of their noblest hostages to be hanged in the sight of their parents. The Romans, however, were only more hardened at the spectacle, and having received a message from Gabius and Porsena, their consuls, that they would come the next day to their assistance, they resolved to march out of the city, and give the enemy battle. Accordingly, just as they were ranging their troops in order, the consuls appeared with their re-assembled forces, marching up to the attack, and advancing in a close body, fell on the Britons and Allobroges by surprise, and being joined by the citizens that sallied forth, killed no small number. The brothers, in great grief to see such destruction made of their fellow soldiers, began to rally their men, and breaking in upon the enemy several times, forced them to retire. In the end, after the loss of many thousands of brave men on both sides, the brothers gained the day, and took the city, not however till Gabius was killed and Porsena taken prisoner. This done, they divided among their men all the bidden treasure of the city.

Chapter 10. Brennius oppresses Italy in a most tyrannical manner. Belinus returns to Britain.

After this complete victory, Brennius stayed in Italy, where he exercised unheard-of tyranny over the people. But the rest of his actions and his death, seeing that they are given in the Roman histories, I shall here pass over, to avoid prolixity and meddling with what others have treated of, which is foreign to my design. But Belinus returned to Britain, which he governed during the remainder of his life in peace; he repaired the cities that were falling to ruin, and built many new ones. Among the rest he built one upon the river Uske, near the sea of the Severn, which was for a long time called Caerosc, and was the metropolis of Dimetia; but after the invasion of the Romans it lost its first name, and was called the City of Legions, from the Roman legions which used to take up their winter quarters in it. He also made a gate of wonderful structure in Trinovantum, upon the bank of the Thames, which the citizens call after his name Billingsgate to this day. Over it he built a prodigiously large tower, and under it a haven or quay for ships. He was a strict observer of justice, and re-established his father’s laws everywhere throughout the kingdom. In his days there was so great an abundance of riches among the people, that no age before or after is said to have shown the like. At last, when he had finished his days, his body was burned, and the ashes put up in a golden urn, which they placed at Trinovantum, with wonderful art, on the top of the tower above-mentioned.

Chapter 11. Gurgiunt Brabtruc, succeeding his father Belinus, reduces Dacia, which was trying to shake off his yoke.

He was succeeded by Gurgiunt Brabtruc, his son, a sober prudent prince, who followed the example of his father in all his actions, and was a lover of peace and justice. When some neighbouring provinces rebelled against him, inheriting with them the bravery of his father, be repressed their insolence in several fierce battles, and reduced them to a perfect subjection. Among many other things it happened, that the king of the Dacians, who paid tribute in his father’s time, refused not only tribute, but all manner of homage to him. This he seriously resented, and passed over in a fleet to Dacia, where he harassed the people with a most cruel war, slew their king, and reduced the country to its former dependence.

Chapter 12. Ireland is given to be inhabited by the Barclenses, who had been banished out of Spain.

  Previous First Next  

"Medievalist" is an educational project designed as a digital collection of chronicles, documents and studies related to the middle age history. All materials from this site are permitted for non commersial use unless otherwise indicated. If you reduplicate documents from here you have to indicate "Medievalist" as a source and place link to us.