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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 231



A.D. 458. Saint John the Baptist revealed the place where his head lay, near what was formerly the palace of Herod, to two eastern monks who had come to pray at Jerusalem. And after that it was transported to Edissa, a city of Phoenicia, and buried with all due honour. A.D. 459. The emperor Marcian being dead, Leo the Greater1 and Leo the Less became emperors, and reigned sixteen years. At the same time, Alexandria and Egypt, becoming infected with the errors of the heretic Dionysius, were filled with an unclean spirit, and barked with the madness of dogs. Hilderic succeeded to the throne of the Franks, and reigned twenty-six years. A.D. 460. Vortimer, king of the Britons, and the flower of the youth, died, and with him all the hope and victory of the Britons was extinguished. For the devil entered into the heart of his step-mother, Rowena, and she gave him poison by means of one of his intimates, in consequence of which he died suddenly, and was buried in the city of London. And after his death, Vortigern, at the instigation of his wife, sent into Germany for Hengist, to desire him to come privately and with only a few attendants, to Britain, lest, if he came in any other way, the Britons might set upon him with one general attack. A.p. 461. Hengist, having heard of the death of Vortimer, returned to Britain with four thousand armed men, whom he had induced to join him. But when the arrival o f such a numerous host was made known to Vortigern and the principal men of the island, they were very indignant, and determined to fight with them. And when his daughter had by messengers communicated that determination to Hengist, he thought of betraying his country under the pretence o f peace, and he sent ambassadors to the king, saying that he had engaged such a numerous body of men without the idea of offering any violence either to him or to his kingdom, but that he thought Vortimer was still alive, whom he was, above all things, desirous to conquer. But as he was now dead, he had no hesitation about committing himself and his people to the Our Chronicler is mistaken here ; there were not two emperors of the name of Leo, but Leo I., thé pope, was contemporary with Leo the emperor of the East, and this is probably what has misled Matthew. See Gibbon, c. xxxv. xxxvi.


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