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 34

spreading over the rest of the provinces of Gaul, all their dukes and princes were in a dreadful consternation, and had no other hopes left but in their prayers to their gods. Maximian, finding that he had struck terror into them, began to think of still bolder attempts, and by profusely distributing presents, augmented his army. For all persons that he knew to be eager for plunder, he enlisted into his service, and by plentifully bestowing his money and other valuable things among them, kept them firm to his interest.

Chapter 14. Maximian, after the conquest of Gaul and Germany, makes Triers the seat of his empire.

By these means he raised such a numerous army, as he thought would be sufficient for the conquest of all Gaul. Notwithstanding which he suspended his arms for a time, till he had settled the kingdom which he had taken, and peopled it with Britons. To this end he published a decree, for the assembling together of a hundred thousand of the common people of Britain, who were to come over to settle in the country; besides thirty thousand soldiers, to defend them from hostile attack. As soon as the people were arrived according to his orders, he distributed them through all the countries of Armorica, and made another Britain of it, and then bestowed it on Conan Meriadoc. But he himself, with the rest of his fellow soldiers marched into the further part of Gaul, which, after many bloody battles, he subdued, as he did also all Germany, being everywhere victorious. But the seat of his empire he made at Triers, and fell so furiously upon the two emperors, Gratian and Valentinian, that he killed the one, and forced the other to flee from Rome.

Chapter 15. A fight between the Aquitanians and Conan.

In the meantime, the Gauls and Aquitanians gave disturbance to Conan and the Armorican Britons, and harassed them with their frequent incursions; but he as often defeated them, and bravely defended the country committed to him. After he had entirely vanquished them, he had a mind to bestow wives on his fellow soldiers, by whom they might have issue to keep perpetual possession of the country; and to avoid all mixture with the Gauls, he sent over to the island of Britain for wives for them. In order to accomplish this, messengers were sent to recommend the management of this affair to Dianotus, king of Cornwall, who had succeeded his brother Caradoc in that kingdom. He was a very noble and powerful prince, and to him Maximian had committed the government, while he was employed in affairs abroad. He had also a daughter of wonderful beauty, named Ursula, with whom Conan was most passionately in love.

Chapter 16. Guanius and Melga murder eleven thousand virgins. Maximian is killed at Rome.

Dianotus, upon this message sent him by Conan, was very ready to execute his orders, and summoned together the daughters of the nobility from all provinces, to the number of eleven thousand; but of the meaner sort, sixty thousand; and commanded them all to appear together in the city of London. He likewise ordered ships to be brought from all shores, for their transportation to their future husbands. And though in so great a multitude many were pleased with this order, yet it was displeasing to the greater part, who had a greater affection for their relations and native country. Nor, perhaps, were there wanting some who, preferring virginity to the married state, would have rather lost their lives in any country, than enjoyed the greatest plenty in wedlock. In short, most of them had views and wishes different from one another, had they been left to their own liberty. But now the ships being ready, they went on board, and sailing down the Thames, made towards the sea. At last, as they were steering towards the Armorican coast, contrary winds arose and dispersed the whole fleet. In this storm the greater part of the ships foundered; but the women that escaped the danger of the sea, were driven upon strange islands, and by a barbarous people either murdered or made slaves. For they happened to fall into the hands of the cruel army of Guanius and Melga, who, by the command of Gratian, were making terrible destruction in Germany, and the nations on the sea-coast. Guanius was king of the Huns, and Melga of the Picts, whom Gratian had engaged in his part and had sent him into Germany to harass those of Gratian’s party along the sea-coasts. While they were thus exercising, their barbarous rage, they happened to light upon these virgins who had been driven on those parts, and were so inflamed with their beauty, that they courted them to their brutish embraces; which, when the women would not submit to the Ambrons fell upon them, and without remorse murdered the greatest part of them. This done, the two wicked leaders of the Picts and Huns, Guanius and Melga, being the partisans of Gratian and Valentinian, when they had learned that the island of Britain was drained of all its soldiers, made a speedy voyage towards it; and, taking into their assistance the people of the adjacent islands, arrived in

  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.