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History Of The Britons
Nennius

 
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History Of The Britons
Nennius
page 3

Silvius Posthumus. He was called Posthumus because he was born after the death of Aeneas his father; and his mother Lavinia concealed herself during her pregnancy; he was called Silvius, because he was born in a wood. Hence the Roman kings were called Silvan, and the Britons from Brutus, and rose from the family of Brutus.

(7) The whole of this, as far as the end of the paragraph, is omitted in several MSS.

Aeneas, after the Trojan war, arrived with his son in Italy; and Having vanquished Turnus, married Lavinia, the daughter of king Latinus, who was the son of Faunus, the son of Picus, the son of Saturn. After the death of Latinus, Aeneas obtained the kingdom Of the Romans, and Lavinia brought forth a son, who was named Silvius. Ascanius founded Alba, and afterwards married. And Lavinia bore to Aeneas a son, named Silvius; but Ascanius (8) married a wife, who conceived and became pregnant. And Aeneas, having been informed that his daughter-in-law was pregnant, ordered his son to send his magician to examine his wife, whether the child conceived were male or female. The magician came and examined the wife and pronounced it to be a son, who should become the most valiant among the Italians, and the most beloved of all men. (9) In consequence of this prediction, the magician was put to death by Ascanius; but it happened that the mother of the child dying at its birth, he was named Brutus; ad after a certain interval, agreeably to what the magician had foretold, whilst he was playing with some others he shot his father with an arrow, not intentionally but by accident. (10) He was, for this cause, expelled from Italy, and came to the islands of the Tyrrhene sea, when he was exiled on account of the death of Turnus, slain by Aeneas. He then went among the Gauls, and built the city of the Turones, called Turnis. (11) At length he came to this island named from him Britannia, dwelt there, and filled it with his own descendants, and it has been inhabited from that time to the present period.

(8) Other MSS. Silvius.
(9) V.R. Who should slay his father and mother, and be hated by all mankind.
(10) V.R. He displayed such superiority among his play-fellows, that they seemed to consider him as their chief.
(11) Tours.


11. Aeneas reigned over the Latins three years; Ascanius thirty three years; after whom Silvius reigned twelve years, and Posthumus thirty-nine (12) years: the latter, from whom the kings of Alba are called Silvan, was brother to Brutus, who governed Britain at the time Eli the high-priest judged Israel, and when the ark of the covenant was taken by a foreign people. But Posthumus his brother reigned among the Latins.

(12) V.R. Thirty-seven.

12. After an interval of not less than eight hundred years, came the Picts, and occupied the Orkney Islands: whence they laid waste many regions, and seized those on the left hand side of Britain, where they still remain, keeping possession of a third part of Britain to this day. (13)

(13) See Bede's Eccles. Hist.

13. Long after this, the Scots arrived in Ireland from Spain. The first that came was Partholomus, (14) with a thousand men and women; these increased to four thousand; but a mortality coming suddenly upon them, they all perished in one week. The second was Nimech, the son of..., (15) who, according to report, after having been at sea a year and a half, and having his ships shat- tered, arrived at a port in Ireland, and continuing there several years, returned at length with his followers to Spain. After these came three sons of a Spanish soldier with thirty ships, each of which contained thirty wives; and having remained there during the space of a year, there appeared to them, in the middle of the sea, a tower of glass, the summit of which seemed covered with men, to whom they often spoke, but received no answer. At length they determined to besiege the tower; and after a year's preparation, advanced towards it, with the whole number of their ships, and all the women, one ship only excepted, which had been wrecked, and in which were thirty men, and as many women; but when all had disem- barked on the shore which surrounded the tower, the sea opened and swallowed them up. Ireland, however, was peopled, to the present period, from the family remaining in the vessel which was wrecked. Afterwards, other came from Spain, and possessed themselves of various parts of Britain.
(14) V.R. Partholomaeus, or Bartholomaeus.
(15) A blank is here in the MS. Agnomen is found in some of the others.


14. Last of all came one Hoctor, (16) who continued there, and whose descendants remain there to this day. Istoreth, the son of Istorinus, with his followers, held Dalrieta; Buile had the island Eubonia, and other adjacent places. The sons of Liethali (17) obtained the country of the dimetae, where is a city called Menavia, (18) and the province Guiher and Cetgueli, (19) which they held till they were expelled from every part of Britain, by Cunedda and his sons.

(16)V.R. Damhoctor, Clamhoctor, and Elamhoctor.
(17) V.R. Liethan, Bethan, Vethan.
(18) St. David's.
(19) Guiher, probably the Welsh district Gower. Cetgueli is Caer Kidwelly, in Carmarthenshire.


15. According to the most learned among the Scots, if any one desires to learn what I am now going to state, Ireland was a desert, and uninhabited, when the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, in which, as we read in the Book of the Law, the Egyptians who followed them were drowned. At that period, there lived among this people, with a numerous family, a Scythian of noble birth, who had been banished from his country and did not go to pursue the people of God. The Egyptians who were left, seeing the destruction of the great men of their nation, and fearing lest he should possess himself of their territory, took counsel together, and expelled him. Thus


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