ANCIENT STATE OF BRITAIN
RICHARD OF CIRENCESTER
[Based on Bertram's edition of London, 1809.
Names marked with an * will be found listed in the Appendix with modern equivalents.]
1. THE shore of Gaul would be the boundary of the world, did not the island1 of Britain claim from its magnitude almost the appellation of another world; for if measured to the Caledonian promontory2 it extends more than eight hundred miles in length.3
2. Britain was first called by the ancients Albion,4 from its white cliffs; and afterwards in the language of the natives, Britain. Hence all the islands hereafter described were denominated British.5
3. Britain is situated between the north and west,6 opposite to, though at some distance from, Germany, Gaul, and Spain, the most considerable parts of Europe, and is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean.
4. On the south of Britain lies Belgic Gaul, from which coast passengers usually sail to the Rhutupian port.* This place is distant from Gessoriacum,* a town of the Morini, the port most frequented by the Britons, fifty miles, or according to others, four hundred and fifty stadia. From thence may be seen the country of the Britons whom Virgil in his Eclogues describes as separated from the whole world,
"O penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos."
5. By Agrippa, an ancient geographer, its breadth is estimated at three hundred miles; but with more truth by Bede at two hundred, exclusive of the promontories.7 If their sinuosities be taken into the computation, its circuit will be three thousand six hundred miles. Marcian, a Greek author, agrees with me in stating it at MDICCLXXV.8
1. ALBION, called by Chrysostom Great Britain, is, according to Caesar, of a
triangular shape, resembling Sicily. One of the sides lies opposite to Celtic
Gaul. One angle of this side, which is the Cantian promontory,* is situated to
the east; the other, the Ocrinian promontory,* in the country of the Damnonii,
faces the south and the province of Tarraconensis in Spain. This side is about
five hundred miles in length.
2. Another side stretches towards Ireland and the west, the length of which, according to the opinion of the ancients, is seven hundred miles.
3. The third side is situated to the north, and is opposite to no land except a few islands; but the angle of this side chiefly trends towards Germania Magna.* The length from the Novantian Chersonesus,* through the country of the Taixali, to the Cantian promontory,* is estimated at eight hundred miles. Thus all erroneously compute the circuit of the island to be two thousand miles for from the Cantian promontory to Ocrinum,* the distance is four hundred miles; from thence to Novantum, a thousand; and from thence to the Cantian promontory, two thousand two hundred. The circumference of the whole island is therefore three thousand six hundred miles.9
4. Livy and Fabius Rusticus compare the form of Britain to an oblong shield or battle-axe; and as, according to Tacitus, it bears that figure on the side of Caledonia, the comparison was extended to the whole island, though the bold promontories at its further extremity give it the shape of a wedge. But Caesar and Pomponius Mela assert that its form is triangular.
5. If credit may be given to the celebrated geographer Ptolemy and his contemporary writers, the island resembles an inverted Z10, but according to the maps the comparison is not exact. The triangular shape, however, seems to belong to England alone.11
1. THE original inhabitants of Britain, whether indigenous or foreign, are, like
those of most other countries, unknown. The Jews alone, and by their means the
contiguous nations, have the
happiness of tracing their descent since the creation of the world from
2. From the difference of personal appearance different conjectures have been drawn. The red hair and large limbs of the Caledonians proclaim their German origin; the painted faces and curled locks of the Silures, and their situation opposite to Spain, corroborate the assertion of Tacitus, that the ancient Iberians passed over and occupied this country and Ireland. Those who live nearest the Gauls resemble them, either from the strength of the original stock, or from the effects which the same positions of the heavens produce on the human body.
3. If I were inclined to indulge a conjecture, I might here mention that the Veneti12 in their commercial expeditions first introduced inhabitants and religion into this country. Writers are not wanting, who assert that Hercules came hither and established a sovereignty. But it is needless to dwell on such remote antiquities and idle tales.13
4. On the whole, however, it is probable that the Gauls occupied the contiguous regions. According to Tacitus, their sacred rites and superstitions may be traced; nor is the language very different; and lastly, the tradition of the druids, with the names of the states which still retain the same appellations as the people sprung from the cities of Gaul, who came hither and began to cultivate the country.14
5. According to Caesar, the country was extremely populous, and contained numerous buildings, not dissimilar to those of the Gauls. It was rich in cattle.
6. The inhabitants of the southern part were the most civilized, and in their customs differed little from the Gauls. Those of the more distant parts did not raise corn; but lived on fruits and flesh. They were ignorant of the use of wool and garments, although in severe weather they covered themselves with the skins of sheep or deer. They were accustomed to bathe in the rivers.
7. All the Britons formerly stained their bodies of a blue colour, which according to Caesar gave them a more terrible appearance in battle. They wore their hair long, and shaved all parts of the body except the head and the upper lip.
8. Ten or twelve Britons had their wives in common; and this custom particularly prevailed among brethren, and between fathers and sons; but the children were considered as belonging to him who had first taken the virgin to wife. The mothers suckled their own children, and did not employ maids and nurses.
9. According to Caesar also they used brass money, and iron rings of a certain weight instead of coin.15
10. The Britons deemed it unlawful to eat hares,16 fowls, or geese; but they kept those animals for pleasure.
11. They had pearls, bits made of ivory, bracelets, vessels of amber and glass, agates, and, what surpasses all, great abundance of tin.
12. They navigated in barks, the keels and ribs of which were formed of light materials; the other parts were made of wicker and covered with the hides of oxen.17 During their voyages, as Solinus asserts, they abstain from food.18
13. Britain produces people and kings of people, as Pomponius Mela writes in his third book; but they are all uncivilized, and in proportion as they are more distant from the continent, are more ignorant of riches; their wealth consisting chiefly in cattle and land. They are addicted to litigation and war, and frequently attack each other, from a desire of command, and of enlarging their possessions. It is customary indeed for the Britons to wage war under the guidance of women, and not to regard the difference of sex in the distribution of power.
14. The Britons not only fought on foot and on horseback, but in chariots drawn by two horses, and armed in the Gallic manner. Those chariots, to the axle-trees of which scythes were fixed, were called covini, or wains.
15. Caesar relates that they employed cavalry in their wars, which before the coming of the Romans were almost perpetual. All were skilled in war; each in proportion to his family and wealth supported a number of retainers, and this was the only species of honour with which they were acquainted.19
16. The principal strength of the Britons was in their infantry, who fought with darts, large swords, and short targets. According to Tacitus, their swords were blunt at the point.
17. Caesar in his fourth book thus describes their mode of fighting in that species of chariots called esseda.20 At first they drove through the army in all directions, hurling their darts; and by the terror of the horses, and the noise of the wheels, generally threw the ranks of the enemy into disorder. When they had penetrated between the troops of cavalry, they leaped from their chariots and waged unequal war on foot. Meanwhile the chariots were drawn up at a distance from the battle, and placed in such a position, that if pressed by the enemy, the warrior* could effect a retreat to their own army. They thus displayed the rapid evolutions of cavalry, and the firmness of infantry, and were so expert by exercise, as to hold up the horses in steep descents, to check and turn them suddenly at full speed, to run along the pole, stand on the yoke, and then spring into the charge.
18. The mode of fighting on horseback threatened equal danger to those who gave way, or those who pursued. They never engaged in close lines, but in scattered bodies, and with great intervals; they had their appointed stations, and relieved each other by turns; and fresh combatants succeeded those who were fatigued. The cavalry also used darts.
19. It is not easy to determine the form of government in Britain previous to the coming of the Romans. It is however certain that before their times there was no vestige of a monarchy, but rather of a democracy, unless perhaps it may seem to have resembled an aristocracy.21 The authority of the Druids in affairs of the greatest moment was considerable. Some chiefs are commemorated in their ancient records, yet these appear to have possessed no permanent power; but to have been created, like the Roman dictators, in times of imminent danger. Nor are instances wanting among them, as among other brave nations, when they chose even the leader of their adversaries to conduct their armies. He, therefore, who before was their enemy, afterwards fought on their side.
20. The Britons exceeded in stature both the Gauls and the Romans. Strabo affirms that he saw at Rome some British youths, who were considerably taller than the Romans.
21. The more wealthy inhabitants of South Britain were accustomed to ornament the middle finger of the left hand with a gold ring; but a gold collar22 round the neck was the distinguishing mark of eminence. Those of the northern regions, who were the indigenous inhabitants of the island from time immemorial, were almost wholly ignorant of the use of clothes, and surrounded their waists and necks, as Herodian reports, with iron rings, which they considered as ornaments and proofs of wealth. They carried a narrow shield, fitter for use than ornament, and a lance, with a sword pendant from their naked and painted bodies. They rejected or despised the breast-plate and helmet, because such armour impeded their passage through the marshes.
22. Among other particulars, this custom prevailed in Britain. They stopped travellers and merchants, and compelled them to relate what they had heard, or knew, worthy of notice. The common people usually surrounded foreign merchants in the towns, and obliged them to tell from whence they came, and what curious things they had observed. On such vague reports they often rashly acted, and thus were generally deceived; for many answered them agreeably to their desires with fictitious stories.23
23. Their interments were magnificent; and all things which they prized during life, even arms and animals, were thrown into the funeral pile. A heap of earth and turf formed the sepulchre.24
1. ALL, the Britons, like the Gauls, were much addicted to superstitious
ceremonies; and those who laboured under severe disorders, or were exposed to
the dangers of war, either offered human
victims, or made a vow to perform such a sacrifice.
2. The druids were employed in the performance of these cruel rites; and they believed that the gods could not be appeased unless the life of a man was ransomed with human blood. Hence arose the public institution of such sacrifices; and those who had been surprised in theft, robbery, or any other delinquency, were considered as the most acceptable victims. But when criminals could not be obtained, even the innocent were put to death, that the gods might be appeased.
3. The sacred ceremonies could not be performed except in the presence of the druids; and on them devolved the office of providing for the public as well as private rites. They were the guardians of religion and the interpreters of mysteries; and being skilled in medicine, were consulted for the preservation or restoration of health.
4. Among their gods, the principal object of their worship was Mercury.25 Next to him they adored Justice (under the name of Astarte), then Apollo, and Mars (who was called Vitucadrus), Jupiter, Minerva, Hercules, Victory (called Andate), Diana, Cybele, and Pluto. Of these deities they held the same opinions as other nations.
5. The Britons, like the Gauls, endeavoured to derive their origin from Dis or Pluto, boasting of this ancient tradition of the druids. For this reason they divided time, not by the number of days, but of nights, and thus distinguished the commencement of the month, and the time of their birth. This custom agrees with the ancient mode of computation adopted in Genesis, chapter i.26
6. The druids, being held in high veneration, were greatly followed by the young men for the sake of their instructions. They decided almost all public and private controversies, and determined disputes relative to inheritance or the boundaries of lands. They decreed rewards and punishments, and enforced their decisions by an exclusion from the sacrifices. This exclusion was deemed the severest punishment; because the interdicted, being deemed impious and wicked, were shunned as if contagious; justice was refused to their supplications, and they were allowed no marks of honour.27
7. Over the druids presided a chief, vested with supreme authority. At his death he was succeeded by the next in dignity; but if there were several of equal rank, the contest was decided by the suffrages of their body; and sometimes they even contended in arms for this honour.28
8. The druids went not to war, paid no tribute like the rest of the people, were exempted from military duties, and enjoyed immunities in all things. From these high privileges many either voluntarily entered into their order, or were placed in it by friends or parents.
9. They learned a number of verses, which were the only kind of memorials or annals in use among them.29 Some persons accordingly remained twenty years under their instruction, which they did not deem it lawful to commit to writing, though on other subjects they employed the Greek alphabet. "This custom," to use the words of Julius Caesar, "seems to have been adopted for two reasons: first, not to expose their doctrines to the common people; and, secondly, lest their scholars, trusting to letters, should be less anxious to remember their precepts; for such assistance commonly diminishes application, and weakens the memory."
10. In the first place they circulated the doctrine that souls do not die, but migrate into other bodies.30 By this principle they hoped men would be more powerfully actuated to virtue, and delivered from the fear of death. They likewise instructed students in the knowledge of the heavenly bodies, in geography, the nature of things, and the power of the gods.31
11. Their admiration of the mistletoe must not be omitted. The druids esteemed nothing more sacred than the mistletoe, and the tree on which it grew, if an oak. They particularly delighted in groves of oaks,32 and performed no sacred rite without branches of that tree, and hence seems to be derived their name of druids, Δςυδες. Whatever grew on an oak was considered as sent from heaven, and as a sign that the tree was chosen by God himself. The mistletoe was difficult to be found, and when discovered was gathered with religious ceremonies, particularly at the sixth day of the moon (from which period they dated their months and years, and their cycle of thirty years,) because the moon was supposed to possess extraordinary powers when she had not completed her second quarter. The mistletoe was called in their language all heal.33 The sacrifice and the feast being unduly prepared under the tree, they led thither two white bulls, whose horns were then bound for the first time.34 The priest, clothed in a white vestment, ascending the tree, cut off the mistletoe with a golden bill, and received it in a white cloth. They then slew the victims, invoking the favour of the Deity on their offering. They conceived that the mistletoe cured sterility in animals; and considered it as a specific against all poisons. So great was the superstition generally prevailing among nations with respect to frivolous objects.
12. The doctrine of the druids is said to have been first invented in Britain, and from thence carried into Gaul; on which account Pliny says (in his thirtieth book), "But why should I commemorate these things with regard to an art which has passed over the sea, and reached the bounds of nature? Britain even at this time celebrates it with so many wonderful ceremonies, that she seems to have taught it to the Persians." Julius Caesar affirms the same in his Commentaries: "And now those persons who wish to acquire a more extensive knowledge of such things, repair co Britain for information."
13. At a certain time of the year the druids retired to a consecrated grove in the island of Mona, whither all persons among whom controversies had arisen, repaired for the decision of their disputes.
14. Besides the druids, there were among the Gauls and Britons poets, called bards,35 who sang in heroic measures the deeds of the gods and heroes, accompanied with the sweet notes of the lyre.
15. Concerning the druids and bards, I shall conclude this chapter in the words of Lucan:
"You too, ye bards! whom sacred raptures fire.
To chant your heroes to your country's lyre;
Who consecrate, in your immortal strain,
Brave patriot souls, in righteous battle slain,
Securely now the tuneful task renew,
And noblest themes in deathless songs pursue.
The druids now, while arms are heard no more,
Old mysteries and barbarous rites restore,
A tribe who singular religion love,
And haunt the lonely coverts of the grove.
To these, and these of all mankind alone,
The gods are sure revealed or sure unknown.
If dying mortals' doom they sing aright,
No ghosts descend to dwell in dreadful night;
No parting souls to grisly Pluto go,
Nor seek the dreary silent shades below;
But forth they fly immortal in their kind,
And other bodies in new worlds they find;
Thus life for ever runs its endless race,
And like a lino death but divides the space,
A stop which can but for a moment last,
A point between the future and the past.
Thrice happy they beneath their northern skies,
Who that worst fear the fear of death despise
Hence they no cares for this frail being feel,
But lush undaunted on the pointed steel;
Provoke approaching fate, and bravely scorn
To spare that life which must so soon return."
Rowe's Lucan, book i.
1. THIS island is rich in corn and wood, is well adapted for the maintenance of
flocks and cattle, and in some places produces vines. It also abounds with
marine and land birds, and contains
copious springs, and numerous rivers, stored with fish, and plentifully supplied
with salmon and eels.
2. Sea-cows or seals,36 and dolphins are caught, and whales, of which mention is made by the satirist:
"Quanto delphinis balaena Britannica major."
3. There are besides several sorts of shell-fish, among which are muscles,
containing pearls often of the best kind, and of every colour: that is, red,
purple, violet, green (prasini), but principally
white, as we find in the venerable Bede's Ecclesiastical History.
4. Shells37 are still more abundant, from which is prepared a scarlet dye of the most beautiful hue, which never fades from the effect of the sun or rain, but becomes finer as it grows older.
5. In Britain are salt and warm springs, from which are formed hot baths, suited to all ages, with distinct places for the two sexes.38
6. White lead is found in the midland regions, and iron in the maritime, but in small quantities gold and silver are also produced, but brass is imported. Jet of the purest quality abounds; it is of a shining black, and highly inflammable.39 When burned, it drives away serpents, and when warmed by friction attracts bodies, like amber.
7. Britain being situated almost under the north pole, the nights are so light in summer, that it is often doubtful whether the evening or morning twilight prevails; because the sun, in returning to the east, does not long remain below the horizon. Hence, also, according to Cleomenes, the longest day in summer, and the longest night in winter, when the sun declines towards the south, is eighteen hours; and the shortest night in summer, and day in winter, is six hours. In the same manner as in Armenia, Macedon, Italy, and the regions under the same parallel, the longest day is fifteen, and the shortest nine hours.
8. But I have given a sufficient account of Britain and the Britons in general. I shall now descend to particulars; and in the succeeding pages, shall describe the state and revolutions of the different nations who inhabited this island, the cities which ennobled it, with other particulars, and their condition under the Roman dominion.
1. BRITAIN, according to the most accurate and authentic accounts of the
ancients, was divided into seven parts, six of which were at different times
subjected to the Roman empire, and the
seventh held by the uncivilized Caledonians.
2. These divisions were called Britannia Prima, Secunda, Flavia, Maxima, Valentia, and Vespasiana, which last did not long remain under the power of the Romans. Britannia Prinia is separated by the river Thamesis from Flavia, and by the sea40 from Britannia Secunda. Flavia begins from the German Ocean, is bounded by the Thamesis,* by the Sabrina,* on the side of the Silures and Ordovices, and trends towards the north and the region of the Brigantes.41 Maxima, beginning at the extreme boundary of Flavia, reaches to the wall,42 which traverses the whole island, and faces the north. Valentia occupies the whole space between this wall and that built by the emperor Antoninus Pius, from the estuary of the Bdora* to that of the Clydda.* Vespasiana stretches from the estuary of the Bdora to the city of Alcluith,* from whence a line drawn to the mouth of the Varar* shows the boundary. Britannia Secunda faces the Irish Sea to the north and west. But sufficient notice has now been taken of the provinces.
3. Before we proceed to a more minute description, let us touch upon the form of government. In remote times all Britain was divided among petty princes and states, some of whom are said to have existed after the country was occupied by the Romans; though, under the Roman domination, they retained scarcely the shadow of regal authority. A legate being appointed by the emperor over the conquered countries, Britain became a proconsular province. This form of government continued several ages, although in the meantime the island underwent many divisions, first into the Upper and Lower districts, and then, as we have before shown, into seven parts. It afterwards became the imperial residence of Carausius and those whom he admitted to a share of his power. Constantine the Great, the glory and defence of Christianity, is supposed to have raised Maxima and Valentia to consular provinces, and Prima, Secunda, and Flavia, to praesidials. But over the whole island was appointed a deputy-governor, under the authority of the praetorian prefect of Gaul. Besides whom, an ancient volume, written about that period, mentions a person of great dignity, by me title of comes, or count of the Britons, another as count of the Saxon coast, and a third as leader or duke of Britain; with many others, who, although possessed of great offices, must be passed over in silence, for want of certain information.43
4. I now commence my long journey, to examine minutely the whole island and its particular parts, and shall follow the footsteps of the best authors. I begin with the extreme part of the first province, whose coasts are opposite Gaul. This province contains three celebrated and powerful states, namely, Cantium, Belgium, and Damnouium, each of which in particular I shall carefully examine.
First of Cantium.
5. Cantium,44 situated at the extremity of Britannia Prima, was inhabited by the Cantii, and contains the cities of Durobrobis* and Cantiopolis,* which was the metropolis, and the burial-place of St. Augustin, the apostle of the English; Dubrae,* Lemanus,* and Regulbium* garrisoned by the Romans; also their primary station Rhutupis,* which was colonized and became the metropolis, and where a haven was formed capable of containing the Roman fleet which commanded the North Sea. This city was of such celebrity that it gave the name of Rhutupine to the neighbouring shores; which Lucan,
"Aut Taga qnum Thetis Rhutupinaque littora fervent."
From hence oysters of a large size and superior flavour were sent to Rome, as Juvenal observes,
"Circaeis nata forent, an
Lucrinum ad saxum, RHUTUPINOVE edita fundo
Ostrea, callebat prime deprendere morsu."
It was the station of the second Augustan legion, under the count of the Saxon
coast, a person of high distinction.
6. The kingdom of Cantium is watered by many rivers. The principal are Madus,* Sturius,* Dubris,* and Lemanus,* which last separates the Cantii from the Bibroci.
7. Among the three principal promontories of Britain, that which derives its name from Cantium* is most distinguished. There the ocean, being confined in an angle, according to the tradition of the ancients, gradually forced its way, and formed the strait which renders Britain an island.
8. The vast forest called by some the Anderidan, and by others the Caledonian, stretches from Cantium a hundred and fifty miles, through the countries of the Bibroci and the Segontiaci, to the confines of the Hedui. It is thus mentioned by the poet Lucan:
"Unde Caledoniis fallit turbata Britannos."
9. The Bibroci45 were situated next to the Cantii, and, as some imagine, were
subject to them. They were also called Rhemi, and are not unknown in record.
They inhabited Bibrocum,46 Regentium,* and Noviomagus,* which was their metropolis. The Romans held
10. On their confines, and bordering on the Thames, dwelt the Attrebates,* whose primary city was Calleba.*
11. Below them, nearer the river Kunetius,* lived the Segontiaci,* whose chief city was Vindonum.*
12. Below, towards the ocean, and bordering on the Bibroci, lived the Belgae,47 whose chief cities were Clausentum48 now called Southampton; Portus Magnus,* Venta,* a noble city situated upon the river Antona. Sor-biodunum* was garrisoned by the Romans. All the Belgae are Allobroges, or foreigners, and derived their origin from the Belgae and Celts. The latter, not many ages before the arrival of Caesar, quitted their native country, Gaul, which was conquered by the Romans and Germans, and passed over to this island: the former, after crossing the Rhine, and occupying the conquered country, likewise sent out colonies, of which Caesar has spoken more at large.49
13. All the regions south of the Thamesis* were, according to ancient records, occupied by the warlike nations of the Senones. These people, under the guidance of their renowned king Brennus, penetrated through Gaul, forced a passage over the Alps, hitherto deemed impracticable, and would have razed proud Rome, had not the fates, which seemed like to carry the republic in their bosom, till it reached its destined height of glory, averted the threatened calamity. By the cackle of a goose Manlius was warned of the danger, and hurled the barbarians from the capitol, in their midnight attack. The same protecting influence afterwards sent Camillus to his assistance, who, by assailing them in the rear, quenched the conflagration which they had kindled, in Senonic blood, and preserved the city from impending destruction. In consequence of this vast expedition, the land of the Senones,50 being left without inhabitants, and full of spoils, was occupied by the above-mentioned Belgae.
14. Near the Sabrina and below the Thamesis lived the Hedui,* whose principal cities were Ischalis* and Avalonia.* The Baths,* which were also called Aquae Solis, were made the seat of a colony, and became the perpetual residence of the Romans who possessed this part of Britain. This was a celebrated city, situated upon the river Abona, remarkable for its hot springs, which were formed into baths at a great expense. Apollo and Minerva51 were the tutelary deities, in whose temples the perpetual fire never fell into ashes, but as it wasted away turned into globes of stone.
15. Below the Hedui are situated the Durotriges, who are sometimes called Morini. Their metropolis was Durinum,* and their territory extended to the promontory Vindelia.* In their country the land is gradually contracted, and seems to form an immense arm which repels the waves of the ocean.
16. In this arm was the region of the Cimbri,* whose country was divided from that of the Hedui by the river Uxella.* It is not ascertained whether the Cimbri gave to Wales its modern name, or whether their origin is more remote. Their chief cities were Termolus* and Artavia.* From hence, according to the ancients, are seen the pillars of Hercules, and the island Herculea* not far distant. From the Uxella a chain of mountains called Ocrinum extends to the promontory known by the same name.
17. Beyond the Cimbri the Carnabii inhabited the extreme angle of the island, from whom this district probably obtained its present name of Carnubia (Cornwall). Their chief cities were Musidum* and Halangium.* But as the Romans never frequented these almost desert and uncultivated parts of Britain, their cities seem to have been of little consequence, and were therefore neglected by historians; though geographers mention the promontories Bolerium and Antivestaeum.*
18. Near the above-mentioned people on the sea-coast towards the south, and bordering on the Belgae Allobroges, lived the Damnonii, the most powerful people of those parts; on which account Ptolemy assigns to them all the country extending into the sea like an arm.52 Their cities were Uxella,* Tamara,* Voluba,* Cenia,* and Isca,* the mother of all, situated upon the Isca. Their chief rivers were the Isca,* Durius,* Tamarus,* and Genius.* Their coasts are distinguished by three promontories, which will be hereafter mentioned. This region was much frequented by the Phoenician, Grecian, and Gallic merchants, for the metals with which it abounded, particularly for its tin. Proofs of this may be drawn from the names of the above-mentioned promontories, namely Hellenis,* Ocrinum,* and Κςιοΰ μετωπον [Ram Head] as well as the numerous appellations of cities, which show a Grecian or Phoenician derivation.
19. Beyond this arm are the isles called Sygdiles,* which are also denominated Œstromenides and Casaiterides.
20. It is affirmed that the emperor Vespasian fought thirty battles with the united forces of the Damnonii and Belgae. The ten different tribes who inhabited the south banks of the Thames and Severn being gradually subdued, their country was formed into the province of Britannia Prima, so called because it was the first fruit of victory obtained by the Romans.
21. Next in order is Britannia Secunda, which is divided from Britannia Prima by the countries already mentioned, and from the Flavian province by the Sabrina* and the Deva;* and the remaining parts are bounded by the internal sea. This was the renowned region of the Silures,53 inhabited by three powerful tribes. Among these were particularly distinguished the Silures Proper, whom the turbid estuary of the Severn divides from the country we have just described. These people, according to Solinus, still retain their ancient manners, have neither markets nor money, but barter their commodities, regarding rather utility than price. They worship the gods, and both men and women are supposed to foretell future events.
22. The chief cities of the Silures were Sariconium,* Magna,* Gobaneum,* and Venta* their capital. A Roman colony possessed the city built on the Isca, and called after that name, for many years the station of the second or Augustan legion, until it was transferred to the Valentian province, and Rhutupis.* This was the primary station of the Romans in Britannia Secunda.
23. The country of the Silures was long powerful, particularly under Caractacus, who during nine years withstood the Roman arms, and frequently triumphed over them, until he was defeated by Ostorius, as he was preparing to attack the Romans. Caractacus, however, escaped from the battle, and in applying for assistance to the neighbouring chieftains was delivered up to the Romans, by the artifices of a Roman matron, Carthismandua, who had married Venutius, chief of Brigantia. After this defeat the Silures bravely defended their country till it was overrun by Veranius, and being finally conquered by Frontinus, it was reduced into a Roman province under the name of Britannia Secunda.
24. Two other tribes were subject to the Silures. First the Ordovices, who inhabited the north towards the isle of Mona;* and secondly the Dimetiae, who occupied the west, where the promontory Octorupium* is situated, and from whence is a passage of thirty miles to Ireland. The cities of the Dimetiae were Menapia* and Maridunum* the metropolis. The Romans seized upon Lovantium* as their station. Beyond these, and the borders of the Silures, were the Ordovices, whose cities were Mediolanum* and Brannogenium.* The Sabrina, which rises in their mountains, is justly reckoned one of the three largest rivers of Britain, the Thamesis (Thames) and the Tavus (Tay) being the other two. The name of the Ordovices is first distinguished in history on account of the revenge which they took for the captivity of their renowned chief. Hence they continually harassed the Roman army, and would have succeeded in annihilating their power, had not Agricola turned hither his victorious arms, subdued the whole nation, and put the greater part to the sword.
25. The territory situated north of the Ordovices, and washed by the ocean, was formerly under their dominion. These parts were certainly inhabited by the Cangiani, whose chief city was Segontium,* near the Cangian promontory,* on the Minevian shore, opposite Mona,* an island long distinguished as the residence of the druids. This island contained many towns, though it was scarcely sixty miles in circuit; and, as Pliny asserts, is distant from the colony of Camalodunum two hundred miles. The rivers of the Pangiani were Tosibus,* called also Canovius, and the Deva,* which was their boundary. In this region is the stupendous mountain Eriri.* Ordovicii. together with the regions of the Cangiani and Carnabii, unless report deceives me, constituted a province called Genania, under the reign of the emperors subsequent to Trajan.
26. I now proceed to the Flavian province; but for want of authentic documents, am unable to ascertain whether it derived its name from Flavia Julia Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, who was born in these parts, or from the Flavian family.
27. Towards the river Deva were situated, in the first place, the Carnabii.54 Their principal places were Benonae,* Etocetum,* and Banchoriurn,* the last the most celebrated monastery in the whole island, which being overthrown in the dispute with Augustine was never afterwards restored; and the mother of the rest, Uriconium,* esteemed one of the largest cities in Britain. In the extreme angle of this country, near the Deva, was the Roman colony Deva,* the work of the twentieth legion, which was called Victrix, and was formerly the defence of the region. This place is supposed to be what is now termed West Chester.
28. Below these people stretched the kingdom, or rather the republic, of the Cassii, called by Ptolemy Catieuchlani, which arose from the union of two nations. Those nearest the Sabrina were called the Dobuni, or, according to the annals of Dio, the Boduni.55 In their country the Thames rises, and, proceeding through the territories of the Hedui, Attrebates, Cassii, Bibroci, Trinobantes, and Cantii, after a long course flows into the German Ocean. The cities of the Dobuni were Salinae,* Branogena,* on the left of the Sabrina [Severn], Alauna,* and the most venerable of all, Corinium,* a famous city supposed to have been built by Vespasian. But Glevum,* situated in the extreme part of the kingdom, towards the territory of the Silures, was occupied by a Roman colony, which, according to the writers of those times, was introduced by Claudius Caesar. Adjoining to these were the Cassii, whose chief cities were Forum Dianas* and Vernlamium.* But when the last was raised by the Romans to the municipal rank, it obtained the pre-eminence over the other cities. St. Alban the martyr was here born. This city was involved in the ruin of Camalodunum* and Londinium,* in the insurrection of Bonduica, which is related by Tacitus. The Cassii were conspicuous above the other nations of the island; and Caesar in his second invasion had the severest conflicts with their renowned chief Cassibellinus, to whom many people were tributary; and was repulsed by the Cassii in league with the Silures; to which Lucan alludes: "Territa qucesitis ostendit terga Britannis." But on the coming of Claudius, they, with the neighbouring people, were subdued, and their country reduced to a Roman province, first called Caesariensis, and afterwards Flavia.
29. Near the Cassii, where the river Thamesis approaches the ocean, was the region of the Trinobantes,* who not only entered into alliance with the Romans, but resigned to them Londinium their metropolis, and Camalodunum situated near the sea, for the purpose of establishing colonies. In this city was supposed to be born Flavia Julia Helena, the pious wife of Constantine Chlorus and mother of Constantine the Great, who was descended from the blood of the British kings. It was the chief colony of the Romans in Britain, and distinguished by a temple of Claudius, an image of Victory, with many ornaments.56 But Londinium was and ever will be a city of great eminence. It was first named Trinovantum, then Londinium, afterwards Augusta, and now again Londona. According to the chronicles it is more ancient than Rome. It is situated upon the banks of the Thamesis, and is the great emporium of many nations trading by land or sea. This city was surrounded with a wall by the empress Helena, the discoverer of the Holy Cross; and, if reliance may be placed on tradition, which is not always erroneous, was called Augusta, as Britain was distinguished by the name of the Roman Island.
30. The boundary of this people towards the north was the river Surius, * beyond which lived the Iceni, a famous people divided into two tribes. The first of these, the Cenomanni, dwelt to the north towards the Trinobantes and Cassii, and bordered on the ocean towards the east. Their cities were Durnomagus,* and their metropolis Venta.* Camboricum* was a Roman colony. A tongue of land stretching into the sea towards the east was called Flavii Extrema.* Their most remarkable rivers are the Garion,* the Surius,* and the Aufona,* which falls into the bay of Metaris.* Beyond the Aufona, bordering on the Carnalii, Brigantes, and the ocean, lived the Coitani,57 in a tract of country overspread with woods, which, like all the woods of Britain, was called Caledonia.* This is mentioned by the historian Florus.58 The chief city of the Coitani was Ragae.* Besides this was Lindum,* a Roman colony, on the eastern extremity of the province. The river Trivotini* divides the whole country into two parts. The nation of the Iceni, being of a warlike character, neglected husbandry as well as the civil arts; they voluntarily joined the Romans; but, revolting, and exciting others to follow their example, were first subdued by Ostorius. A few years afterwards, Praesutagus their king, at his decease, made Caesar and his descendants his heirs. But the Romans, abusing the friendship of these people and giving themselves up to every species of debauchery, excited their resentment, and the Iceni with their allies, under the warlike Bonduica, widow of Praesutagus, destroyed their colonies, and massacred eighty thousand Roman citizens. They were afterwards reduced by the legate Suetonius, a man highly esteemed for prudence.
31. On the northern part of this region is the river Abus,* which falls into the ocean, and was one of the boundaries of the province Maxima, and Seteja* was the other. This province was also called the kingdom of Brigantia, because it comprehended the region of that name inhabited by three nations. At the eastern point, where the promontories of Oxellum* and of the Brigantes* stretch into the sea, lived the Parisii, whose cities were Petuaria* and Portus Felix.*
32. Above, but on the side of the Parisii, are the proper Brigantes,59 a numerous people who once gave law to the whole province. Their towns were Epiacum,* Vinovium,* Cambodunum,* Cataracton,* Galacum,* Olicana,* and the chief city Isuriurn.* Eboracum,* on the Urus,* was the metropolis, first a colony of the Romans, called Sexta, from being the station of the sixth legion, termed the Victorious, and afterwards distinguished by the presence of many emperors, and raised to the privileges of a municipal city.
33. This province is divided into two equal parts by a chain of mountains called the Pennine Alps, which rising on the confines of the Iceni and Carnabii, near the river Trivona,* extend towards the north in a continued series of fifty miles.
34. The people to the west of this chain60 are the Voluntii and Sistuntii, who are united in a close confederacy.61 Their cities are Rerigonium,* Coccium,* and Lugubalium.* The two last were occupied by Roman garrisons.
35. The northern frontier of this province was protected by a wall62 of stupendous magnitude built by the Romans across the Isthmus, eighty miles in length, twelve feet high and nine inches thick, strengthened with towers.
36. We collect from history, that these people were first attacked by the emperor Claudius, then overrun by the legate Ostorius, and finally defeated by Cerealis. By their voluntary submission to Agricola they obtained peace. The actions and unheard-of perfidy of their queen have disgraced their name in history. These people were descended from those powerful nations, who in search of new habitations quitted their country, which was situated between the Danube, the Alps, and the Rhone.63 Some of them afterwards emigrated into Ireland, as appears from authentic documents.
37. Further north were situated those powerful nations, who in former times were known under the name of Maeatae, and from whom that fratricide Bassianus,* after the death of his father, basely purchased peace. They possessed Ottadinia towards the east, Gadenia, Selgovia, Novantia, and further north Damnia.
38. Nearest the wall dwelt the Gadeni,64 whose metropolis was Curia.* The Ottadini65 were situated nearer the sea. Their chief city was Bremenium,* and their rivers Tueda,* Alauna,* and the two Tinas,* which ran within the wall.
39. The Selgovae66 inhabited the country to the west. Their cities were Corbantorigum,* Uxellum,* and Trimontium,* which, according to ancient documents, was a long time occupied by a Roman garrison. The principal rivers of this region were Novius,* Deva,* and partly the Ituna.*
40. The Novantes67 dwell beyond the Deva, in the extreme part of the island, near the sea, and opposite Ireland. In their country was the famous Novantum Chersonesus,* distant twenty-eight miles from Ireland, and esteemed by the ancients the most northern promontory of Britain,68 though without sufficient reason. Their metropolis was Lucophibia, or Casae Candidas;* their rivers Abrasuanus,* Jena,* and Deva,* which was the boundary towards the east.
41. The Damnii69 dwelt to the north of the Novantes, the Selgovae, and the Gadeni, and were separated from them by the chain of the Uxellan mountains.* They were a very powerful people, but lost a considerable portion of their territory when the wall was built, being subdued and spoiled by the Caledonians. Besides which, a Roman garrison occupied Vanduarium* to defend the wall.
42. In this part, Britain, as if again delighted with the embraces of the sea, becomes narrower than elsewhere, in consequence of the rapid influx of the two estuaries, Bodotria* and Clotta.* Agricola first secured this isthmus with fortifications, and the emperor Antoninus erected another wall celebrated in history, which extended nearly five and thirty miles, in order to check the incursions of the barbarians. It was repaired, and strengthened with eleven towers, by the general Ætius. These regions probably constituted that province, which, being recovered by the victorious arms of the Romans under Theodosius, was supposed to have been named Valentia, in honour of the family from whom the reigning emperor was descended.
43. Beyond the wall lay the province Vespasiana. This is the Caledonian region so much coveted by the Romans, and so bravely defended by the natives, facts which the Roman historians, generally too silent in regard to such things, have amply detailed. In these districts may be seen the river Tavus,* which appears to separate the country into two parts. There are also found the steep and horrid Grampian hills, which divide the province. In this region was fought that famous battle between Agricola and Galgacus, which was so decisive in favour of the Romans.70 The magnitude of the works at this day displays the power of the Romans, and the ancient mode of castrametation; for, in the place where the battle was fought, certain persons of our order, who passed that way, affirmed that they saw immense camps, and other proofs which corroborated the relation of Tacitus.
44. The nations which were subject to the Romans shall now follow in their order. Beyond the Isthmus, as far as the Tavus, lived the Horestii.71 Their cities, which before the building of the wall belonged to the Damnii, were Alauna,* Lindum,* and Victoria,* the last not less glorious in reality than in name. It was built by Agricola on the Tavus, twenty miles above its mouth.
45. Above these, beyond the Tavus, which formed the boundary, lived the Vecturones or Venricones,72 whose chief city was Orrea,* and their rivers Isica* and Tina.*
46. The Taixali73 inhabited the coast beyond the boundaries of the Vecturones. Their principal city was Devana* and their rivers the Deva* and Ituna.* A part of the Grampian hills, which extends like a promontory into the sea, as it were to meet Germany, borrows its name from them.
47. To the west of these, beyond the Grampian hills, lived the Vacomagi,74 who possessed an extensive tract of country. Their cities were Tuessis,* Tamea,* and Banatia.* Ptoroton,* situated at the mouth of the Varar,* on the coast, was at the game time a Roman station, and the chief city of the province. The most remarkable rivers of this region, after the Varar, which formed the boundary, were the Tuesis* and Celnius.*
48. Within the Vacomagi, and the Tavus, lived the Damnii Albani,75 a people little known, being wholly secluded among lakes and mountains.
49. Lower down, to the banks of the Clotta, inhabited the Attacotti,76 a people once formidable to all Britain. In this part is situated the great lake formerly called Lynchalidor,* at the mouth of which the city of Alcuith* was built by the Romans, and not long afterwards received its name from Theodosius, who recovered that province from the barbarians. These people deserved high praise for having sustained the attacks of the enemy after the subjugation of the neighbouring provinces.
50. This province was named Vespasiana, in honour of the Flavian family, to which the emperor Domitian owed his origin, and under whom it was conquered. If I am nut mistaken, it was called under the later emperors Thule, which Claudian mentions in these lines:
"Incaluit Pictorum sanguine Thule,
Scotorum cumulos flevit glacialis Hieme."
But this country was so short a time under the power of the Romans, that posterity cannot ascertain its appellations or subjugation. We have now examined in a cursory manner the state of Britain under the Romans; we shall next as briefly treat of the country of the Caledonians.
51. Although all the parts of Britain lying beyond the
Isthmus may be termed Caledonia, yet the proper Caledonians dwelt beyond the
Varar, from which a line drawn accurately points out the boundary of the Roman
empire in Britain. The hithermost
part of the island was at different times in their possession, and the
remainder, as we have related, was occupied by barbarous Britons. The ancient
documents of history afford some information
thus far; but beyond the Varar the light is extinct, and we are enveloped in
darkness.77 Although we know that the Romans erected altars there to mark the
limits of their empire, and that Ulysses,
tossed by a violent tempest, here fulfilled his vows; yet the thick woods and a
continued chain of rugged mountains forbid all further research. We must
therefore be satisfied with the following
information, gleaned from the wandering merchants of the Britons, which we leave
for the use of posterity.
52. The Caledonians,78 properly so called, inhabited the country to the westward of the Varar, and part of their territory was covered by the extensive forest called the Caledonian wood.
53. Less considerable people dwelt near the coast. Of these the Cantae79 were situated beyond the Varar, and the above-mentioned altars, to the river Loxa,* and in their territory was the promontory Penoxullum.*
54. Next in order is the river Abona,* and the inhabitants near it, the Logi.80 Then the river Ila,* near which lived the Carnabii,81 the most remote of the Britons. These people being subdued by the propraetor Ostorius, and impatiently bearing the Roman yoke, joined the Cantae, as tradition relates, and, crossing the sea, here fixed their residence. Britain in these parts branches out into many promontories, the chief of which, the extremity of Caledonia, was called by the ancients Vinvedrum, and afterwards Verubium.*
55. After these people were placed the Catini,82 and the Mertae83 further inland near the Logi. In these regions was the promontory of the Orcades,* contiguous to which are the islands of that name beyond this part flowed the Nabaeus,* which bounded the territory of the Carnabii.
56. In the lower part of this region were situated the Carnonacas,84 in whose territories was the promontory Ebudum,* beyond which the ocean forms a large bay, formerly called Volsas.* The lower coast of this bay was inhabited by the Cerones;85 and beyond the Itys,* the territory of the Creones extended as far as the Longus.* The promontory stretching from thence, and washed by the ocean and the bay Lelanus,* is named after the inhabitants the Epidii.86
57. I cannot repass the Varar without expressing my wonder that the Romans, in other respects so much distinguished for judgment and investigation, should have entertained the absurd notion, that the remainder of Britain exceeded in length and breadth the regions which they had subdued and occupied. There is, however, sufficient evidence that such was their opinion; for whoever attentively considers their insatiable desire of rule, and reflects on the labour employed in the erection of those stupendous works which excite the wonder of the world, in order to exclude an enemy scarcely worthy of their notice or resentment, must in this respect, as in all others, adore the providence of the Divine Being, to whom all kingdoms are subject, and perpetual glory is due, now and for ever. Amen!
THE different parts of Britain having been cursorily examined according to my
original design, it seems necessary, before I proceed to a description of the
islands, to attend to a doubt suggested
by a certain person.87 "Where," asks he, "are the vestiges of those cities and
names which you commemorate? There are none." This question may be answered by
another: Where are now the
Assyrians, Parthians, Sarmatians, Celtiberians? None will be bold enough to deny
the existence of those nations. Are there not also at this time many countries
and cities bearing the same names as
they did two or three thousand years ago? Judea, Italy, Gaul, Britain, are as
clearly known now as in former times; Londinium is still styled in the common
language, with a slight change of sound,
London. The negligence and inattention of our ancestors in omitting to collect
and preserve such documents as might have been serviceable in this particular,
are not deserving of heavy censure,
for scarcely any but those in holy orders employed themselves in writing books,
and such even esteemed it inconsistent with their sacred office to engage in
such profane labours. I rather think I
may without danger, and without offence, transmit to posterity that information
which I have drawn from a careful examination and accurate scrutiny of ancient
records concerning the state of
this kingdom in former periods. The good abbat, indeed, had nearly inspired me
with other sentiments, by thus seeming to address me: Are you ignorant how short
a time is allotted us in this world;
that the greatest exertions cannot exempt us from the appellation of
unprofitable servants; and that all our studies should be directed to the
purpose of being useful to others? Of what service are
these things, but to delude the world with unmeaning trifles?
To these remarks I answer with propriety. Is then every honest gratification forbidden? Do not such narratives exhibit proofs of Divine Providence? Does it not hence appear, that an evangelical sermon concerning the death and merits of Christ enlightened and subdued a world overrun with Gentile superstitions? To the reply, that such things are properly treated of in systems of chronology, I rejoin: Nor is it too much to know that our ancestors were not, as some assert, Autochthones, sprung from the earth; but that God opened the book of nature to display his omnipotence, such as it is described in the writings of Moses. When the abbat answered, that works which were intended merely to acquire reputation for their authors from posterity, should be committed to the flames, I confess with gratitude that I repented of this undertaking. The remainder of the work is therefore only a chronological abridgment, which I present to the reader, whom I commend to the goodness and protection of God; and at the same time request, that he will pray for me to our holy Father, who is merciful and inclined to forgiveness.
The following Itinerary is collected from certain fragments left by a Roman general. The order is changed in some instances, according to Ptolemy and others, and it is hoped, with improvement.
AMONG the Britons were formerly ninety-two cities, of which thirty-three were more celebrated and conspicuous. Two municipal,88 Verolamium;* and Eboracum.* Nine colonial;89 namely, Londinium,* Augusta, Camalodunum,* Geminte Martue, Rhutupis,* Thermae,* Aqua Soils, Isca* a Secunda, Deva,* Gatica, Glevum,* Claudia, Lindum,* Camboricum.* Ten cities under the Latian law:90 namely, Durnomagus,* Catarracton,* Cambodunum,* Coccium,* Lugubalia,* Ptoroton,* Victoria,* Theodosia,* Corinum,* Sorbiodunum.* Twelve stipendiary91 and of lesser consequence; Venta Silurum,* Venta Belgarum,* Venta Icenorum,* Segontium,* Maridunum,* Ragae,* Cantiopolis,* Durinum,* Isca,* Bremenium,* Vindonum,* and Durobrivae.* But let no one lightly imagine that the Romans had not many others besides those above-mentioned. I have only commemorated the more celebrated. For who can doubt that they who, as conquerors of the world, were at liberty to choose, did not select places fitted for their purposes? They for the most part took up their abode in fortresses which they constructed for themselves.
(The Itinerary, which follows here in the original Latin, being a dry list of
names, is omitted.)
1. HAVING now finished our survey of Albion, we shall describe the neighbouring
country, Hibernia or Ireland, with the same brevity.
2. Hibernia is situated more westerly than any other country except England; but as it does not extend so far north, so it stretches further than England towards the south, and the Spanish province of Tarraconensis, from which it la separated by the ocean.92
3. The sea which flows between Britain and Hibernia is subject to storms, and according to Solinus, is navigable only during a few days in summer. Midway between the two countries is the island called Monoeda,* but now Manavia.
4. According to Bede, Hibernia is preferable to Britain, on account of its situation, salubrity, and serene air, insomuch that snow seldom remains more than three days, nor is it usual to make hay for the winter, or build stalls for cattle.
5. No reptile is found there, nor does it maintain a viper or serpent; for serpents frequently carried from England have died on approaching the shore. Indeed almost all things in the island are antidotes to poison. We have seen an infusion of scraped pieces of bark brought from Hibernia, given to persons bitten by serpents, which immediately deprived the poison of its force, and abated the swelling.
6. This island, according to the venerable Bede, is rich in milk and honey; nor is it without vines. It abounds with fish and birds, and affords deer and goats for the chase.
7. The inhabitants, says Mela, are more than other nations uncivilized and without virtue, and those who have a little knowledge are wholly destitute of piety. Solinus calls them an inhospitable and warlike people. The conquerors, after drinking the blood of the slain, daub their faces with the remainder. They know no distinction between right and wrong. When a woman brings forth a son, she places its first food on the point of her husband's sword, and, introducing it into the mouth of the infant, wishes according to the custom of the country, that he may die amidst arms and in battle. Those who are fond of ornaments adorn the hilts of their swords with the teeth of marine animals, which they polish to a degree of whiteness equal to ivory; for the principal glory of a man consists in the splendour of his arms.
8. Agrippa states the length of Hibernia to be six hundred miles, and the breadth three hundred. It was formerly inhabited by twenty tribes, of whom (fourteen93) lived on the coast.
9. This is the true country of the Scots, who emigrating from hence added a third nation to the Britons and Picts in Albion. But I cannot agree with Bede, who affirms that the Scots were foreigners. For, according to the testimony of other authors, I conceive they derived their origin from Britain, situated at no considerable distance, passed over from thence, and obtained a settlement in this island. It is certain that the Damnii, Voluntii, Brigantes, Cangi, and other nations, were descended from the Britons, and passed over thither after Divitiacus, or Claudius, or Ostorius, or other victorious generals had invaded their original countries. Lastly, the ancient language which resembles the old British and Gallic tongues, affords another argument, as is well known to persons skilled in both languages.94
10. The Deucalidonian Ocean washes the northern side of Hibernia; the Vergivian and Internal the eastern, the Cantabric the south, as the great British or Atlantic Ocean does the western. According to this order, we shall give a description of the island and the most remarkable places.
11. The Rhobogdii occupied the coast of the island next to the Deucaledonian Sea. Their metropolis was Rhobogdium. In the eastern part of their territories was situated the promontory of the same name; in the Western the Promontorium Boreum, or Northern Promontory. Their rivers were the Banna, Darabouna, Argitta, and Vidua; and towards the south, mountains separated them from the Scotti.
12. On the coast between the northern and Venicnian Promontory, and as far as the mouth of the Rhebeus, dwelt the Venicnii. To them the contiguous islands owe their name. Their capital was Rheba. The Nagnatae dwelt below the Rhebeus as far as the Libnius, and their celebrated metropolis was called after them. The Auterii lived in a recess of the bay of Ausoba, towards the south, and their chief city was named after them. The Concangii occupied the lower part of the same region, near the southern confines of which flowed the river Senus, a noble river, on which was situated their chief city Macobicum. Hibernia in this part being contracted, terminates in a narrow point. The Velatorii inhabited the country near the southern promontory by the river Senus; their metropolis was Regia, and their river Durius. The Lucani were situated where the river Ibernus flows into the ocean
13. The southern side of the island stretched from the Promontorium Austriacum, or Southern Promontory, to the Sacred Promontory. Here lived the Ibernii, whose metropolis was Rhufina. Next was the river Dobona, and the people called Vodiae, whose promontory of the same name lies opposite to the Promontorium Antivestaeum in England, at about the distance of one hundred and forty-five miles. Not far from thence is the river Dabrona, the boundary of the Brigantes, who have also the river Briga for their limit, and whose chief city is called Brigantia.
14. The part of this island which reaches from the Sacred Promontory as far as Rhobogdium is called the Eastern. The Menapii, inhabiting the Sacred Promontory, had their chief city upon the river Modona called by the same name. From this part to Menapia* in Dimetia, the distance, according to Pliny, is thirty miles. One of these countries, but which is uncertain, gave birth to Carausius. Beyond these people the Cauci had their metropolis Dunum [Down]; and the river Oboca washed their boundaries. Both these nations were undoubtedly of Teutonic origin; but it is not known at what precise time their ancestors first passed over, though most probably a little while before Caesar's arrival in Britain.
15. Beyond these were the Eblanae, whose chief city was Mediolanum, upon the river Loebius. More to the north was Lebarum, the city of the Voluntii, whose rivers were Vinderus and Buvinda. The Damnii occupied the part of the island lying above these people, and contiguous to the Rhobogdii. Their chief city was Dunum [Down], where St. Patrick, St. Columba, and St. Bridget are supposed to be buried in one tomb.
16. It remains now to give some account cf those people who lived in the interior parts. The Coriondii bordered upon the Cauci and Menapii, above the Brigantes; the Scotti possessed the remaining part of the island, which from them took the name of Scotia. Among many of their cities, the remembrance of two only has reached our times: the one Rheba, on the lake and river Rhebius; the other Ibernia, situated at the east side of the river Senus.
17. I cannot omit mentioning in this place that the Damnii, Voluntii, Brigantes, and Cangiani were all nations of British origin, who being either molested by neighbouring enemies, or unable to pay the heavy tribute exacted of them, gradually passed over into this country in search of new settlements. With respect to the Menapii, Cauci, and some other people, it has been before remarked that many things occur which cannot safely be relied upon. Tacitus relates that Hibernia was more frequented by foreigners than Albion. But in that case, the ancients would undoubtedly have left us a more ample and credible account of this island. While I am writing a description of Hibernia, it seems right to add, that it was reduced under the Roman power, not by arms, but by fear: and moreover, that Ptolemy, in his second map of Europe, and other celebrated geographers, have erred in placing it at too great a distance from Britain, and from the northern part of the province Secunda, as appears from their books and maps.
18. North of Hibernia are the Hebudes, five95 in number, the inhabitants of which know not the use of corn, but live on fish and milk. They are all, according to Solinus, subject to one chief, for they are only divided from each other by narrow straits. The chief possessed no peculiar property but was maintained by general contribution: he was bound by certain laws; and lest avarice should seduce him from equity, he learned justice from poverty, having no house nor property, and being maintained at the public expense. He ad no wife; but took by turns any woman for whom he felt an inclination, and hence had neither a wish nor hope for children. Some persons have written concerning these Hebudes, that during winter darkness continues for the space of thirty days, but Caesar upon diligent inquiry found this assertion untrue, and only discovered by certain water-measures of time that the nights were shorter here than in Gaul.
19. The Orcades, according to some accounts, are distant from the Hebudes seven days and nights' sail; but this is erroneous. They are thirty in number, and contiguous to each other. They were uninhabited, without wood, and abounded with reeds: several were formed only of sand and rocks, as may be collected from Solinus and others.
20. Thule, the last of the British isles, is placed by Mela opposite to the coast of the Belgae. It has been celebrated in Greek and Roman verse. Thus the Mantuan Homer says,
"Et tibi serviat ultima Thule."
Here are no nights during the solstice when the sun passes the sign of Cancer;
and on the other hand, in the winter there are no days, as Pliny asserts. These
circumstances are supposed to happen
for six whole months. The inhabitants, as Solinus affirms, in the beginning of
the spring live among their cattle upon herbs, then upon milk, and lay up fruits
against the winter. They have their
women in common without marriages. Thule, according to the same author, abounds
in fruits. At the distance of a day's sail from Thule the sea is difficult to
pass through, and frozen;
it is by some called Cronium. From Thule to Caledonia is two days' sail.
21. The isle of Thanatos* is bounded by a narrow channel, and separated from the continent of Britain by a small estuary called the Wantsum. It is rich in pasture and corn. According to Isiodorus, its soil is not only salubrious to itself, but to others, for no snakes live in it, and the earth being carried to a distance destroys them. It is not far distant from Rhutupis.*
22. The isle of Vecta,* conquered by Vespasian, is thirty miles in length, on the side next to the Belgae, from east to west, and twelve from north to south. In the eastern part it is six miles, in the western three, from the above-mentioned southern shore of Britain.
23. Besides the isles just specified, there were VII Acmodae,* Ricnea,* Silimnus,* Andros,* Sigdiles,* XL Vindilios,* Sarna,* Cassarea,* and Cassiterides.*
24. The island Sena, opposite the Ossismican96 coast, is according to Mela famous for the oracle of the Gallic deity, of whom the priestesses, sanctified by perpetual virginity, are said to have been nine in number. The Gauls call them Senae, and suppose them gifted with singular powers; that they raise the winds and the seas with incantations, change themselves into what animals they please, and cure disorders which in other places yield to no remedy; that they have the knowledge of future events, and prophesy. They are not favourable except to mariners, and only to such as go thither for the purpose of consulting them.
25. The rest of the isles of smaller size and consequence which lie round Albion will be better perceived and known by the inspection of the annexed map97 than from any description. Here, therefore, we stop, and anxiously commend our labours to the favour and judgment of the benevolent reader.
The first book of the geographical Commentary on the situation of Britain, and those stations which the Romans erected in that island, is happily finished, through the assistance of God, by the hand of Richard, servant of Christ and monk of Westminster. Thanks be to God!
WE have thought proper to add as a supplement to the description of ancient
Britain in the same summary manner.
I. An epitome of chronology from the creation to the sack of Rome by the Goths:
II. A short account of the Roman emperors, and governors, who presided over this country:
III. Some persons will perhaps say that this kind of work is not absolutely necessary either for divine worship or greater thing. But let them know that leisure hours may be dedicated to the study of the antiquities of our country without any derogation from the sacred character. Yet if censorious people envy us such pleasures at leisure hours, hastening to the end and almost arrived at the goal, we here check our steps.
IV. In the beginning, the Almighty Creator made this world, inhabited by us and
other creatures, out of nothing, in the space of six days.
V. In the year of the world 1656, the Creator, to punish the increasing wickedness of mankind, sent a flood upon the earth, which, overwhelming the whole world, destroyed every living creature except those which had entered the ark, and whose progeny replenished the new world with colonies of living beings.
VI. 3000. About this time some persons affirm that Britain was cultivated and first inhabited, when it was visited by the Greek and Phoenician merchants. Nor are those wanting who believe that London was shortly after built by a king called Bryto.
VII. 3228. The brothers Romulus and Remus laid the foundation of Rome, which in time became the common terror of all nations.
VIII. 3600. The Senones, having emigrated from Britain, passed through Gaul, with the intent to invade Italy and attack Rome.
IX. 3650. The Belgae entered this country, and the Celta occupied the region deserted by the Senones. Divitiacus king of the Ædui soon afterwards passed over with an army and subdued great part of this kingdom. About this time the Britons who were expelled by the Belgae emigrated to Ireland, formed a settlement, and were thenceforward called Scots.
X. 3943. Cassibelinus waged war with the maritime states.98
XI. 3946. Caesar overcame the Germans, Gauls, and also the Britons, to whom, before this time, even the name of the Romans was unknown. The conqueror, having received hostages, rendered the people tributary.
XII. 3947. At length coming a second time into this country, upon the invitation, as he pretended, of the Trinobantes, he waged war with Cassibelinus king of the Cassii. Suetonius, however, asserts, with greater probability, that he was allured by the costly pearls of Britain.
XIII. 4044. The emperor Claudius passed over to Britain, and in the space of six months, almost without effusion of blood, reduced a great part of the island, which he ordered to be called Cajsariensis.
XIV. 4045. Vespasian, at that time in a private station, being sent by the emperor Claudius with the second legion into this country, attacked the Belgae and Damnonii, and having fought thirty-two battles and taken twenty cities, reduced them under the Roman power, together with the Isle of Wight.
XV. 4047. The Romans occupied Thermae and Glebon.
XVI.4050. Ostorius the Roman general, after a war of nine years, overcame Caracticus king of the Silures, great part of Britain was reduced into a province, and the colony of Camalodunum founded.
XVII. 4052. Certain cities of the Belgae were yielded by the Romans to Cogibundus, that he might form a kingdom. About this time the Cangi and Brigantes went over and settled in Ireland.
XVIII. 4061. The emperor Nero, having no courage for military enterprises, nearly lost Britain; for under him its two greatest cities were taken and destroyed. Bonduica, in order to revenge the injury offered to her by the Romans, rose in arms, burned the Roman colonies of London, Camalodunum, and the municipal town Verulamium, and slew more than eighty thousand Roman citizens. She was at length overcome by Suetonius, who amply avenged the loss, by slaughtering an equal number of her subjects.
XIX. 4073. Cerealis conquered the Brigantes.
XX. 4076. Frontinus punished the Ordovices.
XXI. 4080. Agricola after a severe engagement subdued Galgacus king of the Caledonians. He ordered all the island to be examined by a fleet, and having sailed round its coasts, added the Orcades to the Roman empire.
XXII. 4120. The emperor Hadrian himself came into he island, and separated one part of it from the other by an immense wall.
XXIII. 4140. Urbicus being sent hither by Antoninus Pius, distinguished himself by his victories.
XXIV. 4150. Aurelius Antoninus also obtained victories over some of the Britons.
XXV. 4160. Britain was enlightened by the introduction of Christianity, during the reign of Lucius, who first submitted himself to the cross of Christ.
XXVI. 4170. The Romans were driven from the Vespasian province. About this time it is supposed that king Reuda came with his people, the Picts, from the islands into Britain.
XXVII. 4207. The emperor Severus, passing over into Britain, repaired the wall built by the Romans, which had been ruined, and died not long after, by the visitation of God, at York.
XXVIII. 4211. Bassianus (Caracalla) obtained a venal peace from the Mneatae.
XXIX 4220. During these times the Roman armies confined themselves within the wall, and all the island enjoyed a profound peace.
XXX. 4290. Carausius, having assumed the purple, seized upon Britain; but ten years afterwards it was recovered by Asclepiodorus.
XXXI. 4304. A cruel and inveterate persecution, in which within the space of a month seventeen thousand martyrs suffered in the cause of Christ. This persecution spread over the sea, and the Britons, Alban, Aaron, and Julius, with great numbers of men and women, were condemned to a happy death.
XXXIL 4306. Constantius, a man of the greatest humanity, having conquered Allectus, died at Eboracum in the sixteenth year of his reign.
XXXIII. 4307. Constantine, afterwards called the Great, son of Constantius by Helena, a British woman, was created emperor in Britain; and Ireland voluntarily became tributary to him.
XXXIV. 4320. The Scoti entered Britain under the conduct of the king Fergusius, and here fixed their residence.
XXXV. Theodosius slew Maximus the tyrant three miles from Aquileia. Maximus having nearly drained Britain of all its warlike youth, who followed the footsteps of his tyranny over Gaul, the fierce transmarine nations of the Scots from the south, and the Picts from the north, perceiving the island without soldiers and defenceless, oppressed it and laid it waste during a long series of years.
XXXVI. 4396. The Britons indignantly submitting to the attacks of the Scots and Picts, sent to Rome, made an offer of submission, and requested assistance against their enemies. A legion being accordingly despatched to their assistance, slew a great multitude of the barbarians, and drove the remainder beyond the confines of Britain. The legion, upon its departure homewards, advised its allies to construct a wall between the two estuaries, to restrain the enemy. A wall was accordingly made in an unskilful manner, with a greater proportion of turf than stone, which was of no advantage; for on the departure of the Romans the former enemies returned in ships, slew, trampled on, and devoured all things before them like a ripened harvest.
XXXVII. 4400. Assistance being again entreated, the Romans came, and with the aid of the Britons drove the enemy beyond sea, and built a wall from sea to sea, not as before with earth, but with solid stone, between the fortresses erected in that part to curb the enemy. On the southern coast, where an invasion of the Saxons was apprehended, he erected watch towers. This was the work of Stilicho, as appears from Claudian.
XXXVIII. 4411. Rome, the seat of the fourth and greatest of the monarchies, was seized by the Goths, as Daniel prophesied, in the year one thousand one hundred and sixty-four after its foundation.
From this time ceased the Roman empire in Britain, hundred and sixty-five years after the arrival of Julius Caesar.
XXXIX. 4446. The Roman legion retiring from Britain, and refusing to return, the Scots and Picts ravaged all the island from the north as far as the wall, the guards of which being slain, taken prisoners, or driven away, and the wall itself broken through, the predatory enemy then poured into the country. An epistle was sent filled with tears and sorrows to Fl. Ætius, thrice consul, in the twenty-third year of Theodosius, begging the assistance of the Roman power, but without effect.
1. HAVING followed truth as far as possible, if any thing should occur not
strictly consistent with it, I request it may not be imputed to me as a fault.
Confining myself closely to the rules and laws
of history, I have collected all the accounts of other persons which I found
most accurate and deserving of credit. The reader must not expect any thins
beyond an enumeration of those emperors
and Roman governors who had authority over this island. With an account of these
I shall close my book.
2. Julius Caesar the dictator was the first of the Romans who invaded Britain with an army, during the reign of Cassibelinus; but, although he defeated the inhabitants in one battle, and occupied the coast, as Tacitus observes, he rather seems to have shown the way to his successors than to have given them possession.
3. In a short time the civil wars succeeding, the arms of the chiefs were turned against the republic. Britain was also long neglected by the advice of Augustus and the command of Tiberius. It is certain that Caligula intended to enter Britain; but his quick temper and proneness to change, or the unsuccessful attempts against the Germans, prevented him.
4. Claudius, however, carried war into Britain which no Roman emperor since Julius Caesar had reached, and, having transported his legions and allies without danger or bloodshed, in a few days reduced a part of the island. He after sent over Vespasian, at that time in a private station, who fought two and thirty battles with the enemy, and added to the Roman empire two very powerful nations, with their kings, twenty cities, and the isle of Vecta, contiguous to Britain. He overcame the remainder by means of Cneas Sentius and Aulus Plautius. For these exploits he obtained a great triumph.
5. To him succeeded Ostorius Scapula, a man famous in war, who reduced the nearest part of Britain into a province, and added the colony of the veterans, Camalodunum. Certain cities were delivered up to the chief Cogibundus, who, according to Tacitus, remained faithful till the accession of Trajan to the empire.
6. Avitus Didius Gallus kept possession of what his predecessors had acquired, a few posts only being removed fur-ther into the interior, in order to obtain the credit of extending his dominion.
7. Didius Verannius, who succeeded, died within a year.
8. Suetonius Paulinus continued prosperous for two years. The tribes being reduced and garrisons established, he attacked the isle of Mona, because it gave succour to the rebellious and afforded opportunities for invasion. For the absence of the governor removing all fear, the Britons began, to recover courage, and rose in arms under the conduct of Bonduica, a woman of royal descent. Having reduced the troops scattered in the garrisons, they attacked the colony [Camalodunum] itself, as the seat of slavery, and in the height of rage and victory, exercised every species of savage barbarity. Had not Paulhus, on receiving the intelligence, luckily hastened to crush the revolt, Britain must have been lost. But the fortune of one battle restored it to its former submission Many of the natives, from the consciousness of their defection, and fear of the governor, continued under arms.
9. Suetonius, in other respects an illustrious man, but arrogant to the vanquished and prompt to avenge his own injuries, being likely to exercise severity, he was replaced by Petronius Turpilianus, who was more merciful, a stranger to the offences of the enemy, and therefore more likely to be softened by their repentance. Having settled the disturbances, he gave up the province to Trebellius Maximus.
10. Trebellius, being of a slothful disposition and unused to war, retained the province by gentleness. The barbarous Britons ceasing to be ignorant of luxury, and the termination of civil wars, gave him an excuse for inactivity. But discord called forth his exertions; for the soldiery, when released from military labours, grew wanton from too much rest. Trebellius, having evaded the rage of the army by flight, was shortly allowed to resume the command, the licentiousness of the soldiery becoming as it were a composition for the safety of the general. This sedition ended without bloodshed.
11. Nor did Vectius Bolanus, although the civil wars still continued, harass Britain by restoring discipline. There was the same inactivity towards the enemy, and the same insubordination in the garrisons; but Bolanus, being a good man and not disliked, acquired affection instead of authority.
12. But when, with the rest of the world, Vespasian had recovered Britain, we see distinguished generals, famous armies, and the enemy dispirited: Petilius Cerealis immediately excited terror by attacking the state of the Brigantes, which was esteemed the mast populous of the province. Many battles were fought, some of which were bloody, and a great part of the Brigantian territory was either conquered or invaded.
13. But although Cerealis had diminished the care and fame of his successor, the burden was sustained by Julius Frontinus, a man of high courage. Overcoming at once the spirit of the enemy and the difficulties of the country, he subjugated the warlike and powerful nation of the Silures.
14. To him succeeded Agricola, who not only maintained the peace of the province; but for seven years carried on war against the Caledonians and their warlike king Galgacus. He thus added to the Roman empire nations hitherto unknown.
15. But Domitian, en vying the superior glory of Agricola, recalled him, and sent his lieutenant Lucullus into Britain, because he had suffered lances of a new form to be named Luculleas after him.
16. His successor was Trebellius, tinder whom the two provinces, namely, Vespasiana and Maeata, were wrested from the Roman government; for the Romans gave themselves up to luxury.
17. About this time the emperor Hadrian visiting this island, erected a wall justly wonderful, and left Julius Severus his deputy in Britain.
18. From this time nothing worthy of attention is related, until Antoninus Pius carried on so many wars by his generals. He conquered the Britons by means of Lollius Urbicus, the proprietor, and Saturninus, prefect of the fleet, and, the barbarians being driven back, another wall was built. He recovered the province afterwards called Valentia.
19. Pius dying, Aurelius Antoninus gained many victories over the Britons and Germans.
20. On the death of Antoninus, when the Romans deemed their acquisitions insufficient, they suffered a great defeat under Marcellus.
21. To him succeeded Pertinax, who conducted himself as an able general.
22. The next was Clodius Albinus, who contended with Severus for the sceptre and purple.
23. After these, the first who enjoyed the title of lieutenant was Virius Lupus: he did not perform many splendid actions; for his glory was intercepted by the unconquerable Severus, who, having rapidly put the enemy to flight, repaired the wall of Hadrian, now become ruinous, and restored it to its former perfection. Had he lived, he intended to extirpate the very name of the barbarians; but he died by the visitation of God, among the Brigantes, in the city of Eboracum.
24. Alexander succeeded, who gained some victories in the East, and died at Edessa.
25. His successors were the lieutenants Lucilianus, M. Furius, N. Philippus ******** who, if we except the preservation of the boundaries, performed hardly any thing worthy of notice.
26. Afterwards *****
The rest is wanting.
1 The early Greeks and Romans doubted whether Britain was an island, or part of the continent. This uncertainty gave rise to a controversy which was not settled till the time of the propraetor Julius Agricola. Tac. Vit. Agric. c. 38. Dio. Cass. Hist. Rom. lib. 39.
2 Dunnet Head.
3 Richard gives too great an extent to our island, which, according to the most accurate observations, stretches only from lat. 49° 48', the most southern point, to Dunnet Head, which is in lat. 58° 40' or scarcely 5·0 geographical miles.
4 Various explanations have been given of the
names of Albion and Britain, applied to our island. Some derive Albion from the
white rocks which bound the coast; some from Albion, a son of Neptune, who is
represented as its first discoverer and cultivator; others have likewise derived
the name Britain from the Phoenician or Hebrew Baralanac, signifying the land of tin. It was also
called by the natives, Hyperborea, Atlantica, Cassiteris, Romana, and Thule.
According to the British Triads, "the three names given to the isle of Britain, from the beginning, were before it was inhabited, the name of Clas Merddyn (or the green spot defended by water); after it was inhabited, Y Vet Ynys (the honey island); and after it was brought under one government by Prydain, son of Aedd, it was called Ynys Prydain (or the isle of Britain).
In some old writings it is also termed, Yr Ynys Wen, (or the white island.)
5 This part is taken from Pliny, who
enumerates the British isles in the following order: Orcades, 40; Acmodae, 7; Haebudes, 30. Between Britain and
Ireland, Mona, Menapia, Ricnea, Vectis, Silimnus, Andros; beneath, Siambis and
Axuntos: on the opposite aide, towards the German Sea, the Glessariae, called
Electrides by the later Greek writers, from the amber found there: and last of
He refers to others mentioned by different authors, viz., Mictis, Scandia, Dumnia, Bergos, and Nerigos.
6 That is, from Rome. Richard, in copying the Roman writers, adopted their expressions in regard to the relative positions of places.
7 Richard errs in supposing the estimation of Bede more accurate than that of Agrippa.
8 The numerals are here so incorrect that it is difficult to discover what number was meant by Richard. Marcian observes that the circuit of our land is not more than 28,604 stadia, or 3575 miles, nor less than 20,526, or 2576 miles.
9 Bertram has endeavoured to reconcile the various and discordant calculations given by different ancient authors of the circuit of our island. On such vague principles as these estimations are made, it would be almost an possible, even now, for two persons to produce the same result.
10 Ptolemy's expression is obscure; but he was evidently led to this supposition by the notion that Caledonia or Scotland trended to the east, as appears from his latitudes and longitudes. This form, therefore, he not unaptly compares to the inverted Z. It would be a trespass on the patience of the reader to attempt to reconcile what is irreconcilable.
11 These words are chiefly taken from Tacitus. The obscurity of the expression and the absurdity of the comparison, will sufficiently show the ignorance of those ancients whose works have reached the present time, in regard to our island. Tacit. Vit. Agricolae, sec. 10.
12 The Veneti, a tribe seated on the coast of Armorica or Bretagne, distinguished for their maritime power, and with whom Caesar waged war. Their territory according to his description, was part of Celtic Gaul, and the present Vannes was their capital.
13 To these conjectures relative to the original inhabitants, and subsequent
colonists of Britain, it may not be uninteresting to add the accounts preserved
in the Welsh Triads.
The historical Triads record that the first colonists of Britain were Cymry, who originally came from Defrobani Gwlad Yr gav, the summer land, or Tauric Chersonesus. There they have left many traces of their name preserved by ancient authors, among which we may instance the Cimmerian Bosphorus.
Subsequent colonists arrived from the neighbouring continent at various times. The Loegrwys (Loegrians) from Gascogne; the Brython from Lydaw (Britanny), who were descendants from the original stock of the Cymry. Two descents are also mentioned in Albin, or North Britain; one called the tribe of Celyddon, the other the primitive Gwyddelians. Another descent is said to have been made in the south, in Ynys-Wyth, or the Isle of Wight, by the men of Galedin (the Belgae), when their native country was inundated. Another colony called the Corani came from the country of the Pwyl (Poland), and settled on the sea coast, about the river Humber. A descent in Albin, or North Britain, of a colony of Gwyddelian Fifh [Irish Picts], who are described as coming from the sea of Loclyn (the Baltic); and a partial settlement of the men of Loclyn (Scandinavians), who were expelled after remaining for three generations. The arrival of the Romans and Saxons is also mentioned, as well as some partial settlements of Gwyddclians from Ireland.
14 We discover a few cities in Gaul, bearing nearly the same appellation! as those of Britain; and in both countries we find the Atrcbates, the Morini, the Edui, the Senones, the Menapii, and the Rhemi.
15 The natives of China and Japan follow a similar custom in regard to gold and silver, which are not coined, but pass according to weight.
16 It seems that they considered the appearance of a hare a fortunate omen; for the Roman historians observe that Bondicea, after haranguing her troops, let loose a hare which she had concealed in her garments.
17 This species of boat is still used on the Welsh rivers, and is called a coricle in English, and cwch in Welsh. It is so light that a man may carry one on his back.
18 Richard has mistaken the sense of Solinus, who, in describing the passage from Great Britain to Ireland, observes that from its shortness they abstained from food. "Navigantes escis abstinent, pro freti latitudine." C. 25.
19 In all periods the Britons seem to have been divided into numerous petty communities or states, headed by chiefs, who are here dignified with the title of kings. From the jealousies and weakness attending such a state of society, the island first became a prey to the Romans, and afterwards to the Saxons; and when the Britons were confined to the mountains of Wales, the same causes hastened the annexation of their country to England.
20 In the early ages chariots were universally used in rar. In the Scriptures they are frequently mentioned as forming the principle strength of an army; and the mode of fighting in chariots among the Greeks and Trojans, according to the description of Homer, was exactly similar to that of the Britons. The steeds of his heroes were
"Practised alike to stop, to turn, to chase,
To dare the shock, or urge the rapid race."
His warriors sometimes drive through the ranks of the enemy, sometimes fight from their chariots, and sometimes alight and maintain the combat on foot, while their chariots retire to the rear.
"This counsel pleased, the godlike Hector sprung
Swift from his seat; his clanging armour rung.
The chief's example follow'd by his train,
Each quits his car and issues on the plain;
By orders strict the charioteers enjoin'd
Compel the coursers to their ranks behind."
The Britons, however, appear to have devised an improvement in this mode of warfare, which was unknown to the Greeks. Their chariots seem to have been of two kinds, the covini or wains, heavy and armed with scythes, to break the thickest order of the enemy; and the etaeda, a lighter kind, adapted probably to situations and circumstances in which the covini could not act, and occasionally performing the duties of cavalry. The essedae, with the cavalry, were pushed forward to oppose the first landing of Caesar; and Cassivellaunus afterwards left 4000 essada as a corps of observation to watch his movements. Caesar. Comment, lib. 5, sec. 15.
21 The government of the ancient Britons may be denominated patriarchal. Each community was governed by its elders; and every individual who could not prove his kindred to some community, through nine descents, and the same number of collateral affinities, was not considered as a freeman. Beyond this degree of kindred, they were formed into new communities. The elders of the different communities were subordinate to the elders of the tribes. But in times of public danger, as is recorded in the Triads, some chief of distinguished abilities was entrusted with the supreme authority over the tribes or communities, who united in common defence. Such were Caswallon (Cassivellaunus), Caradwg (Caractacui), ad wain, and of Macsen.
22 This torques, chain, or rather wreath, is frequently alluded to by the early British bards.
"Yet in the battle of Arderydd I wore the golden torques,"
"Four and twenty sons I have had
Wearing the golden wreath, leaders of armies."
"Of all who went to Cattraeth, wearing the golden tore or wreath."
The same bard states that in the battle of Cattraeth were three hundred and
sixty who wore the golden torques.
We give a description of one of these ornaments found near the castle of Harlech, in Merionethshire, in 1692. "It is a wreathed bar of gold, or perhaps three or four rods jointly twisted, about four feet long, but naturally bending only one way, in the form of a hatband. It is hooked at both ends. It is of a round form, about an inch in circumference, and weighs eight ounces." Gibson's Camden, p. 658.
Another mark of dignity was a string of amber beads worn round the head. To this Aneurin alludes
"With wreaths of amber twined round his temples."
These beads, have been frequently found in tumuli, particularly in those on Salisbury Plain. See Turner's Vindication of the Welsh Bards. Owen's Elegies of Llywarch Hin.
23 This is Caesar's account of a Gallic custom; but it is applied, not without reason, to the Britons, and indeed is equally applicable to all uncivilized people.
As the classic authors have left us no description of the modes of interment
among the Britons, Richard was induced, by the conformity of their manners and
customs to those of the Gauls, to
adopt the words used by Caesar in his account of the Gallic funerals.
Unfortunately the remains of the British bards afford little assistance in
supplying this deficiency. It appears, however, that the
Britons raised tumuli over their dead, and continued the practice till after the
introduction of Christianity; and that their other modes of interment were the
earned, or heap of stones; the cistvaen,
or stone chest; and perhaps the cromlec, or hanging stone. From a curious
fragment commemorating the graves of the British warriors, which is printed in
the first volume of the Welsh
Archaeology, we learn further, that they buried their dead on the top of hills
and lofty cliffs, on declivities, in heaths and secluded valleys, on the banks
and near the fords of rivers, and on the
sea-shore "where the ninth wave breaks." Allusions are also made to
corresponding stones raised on these graves; and it is said, "the long graves in
Gwanas, no one knows to whom they belong
nor what is their history."
As the modes of interment among all early nations were in many respects similar, there is perhaps no part of our national antiquities which has given scope to so much conjecture as this. The reader who is desirous of more particular information relative to this subject, may at least find amusement in consulting the works of Stukeley, Douglas's Nenia Britannica, the Archaeologia, and various accounts scattered in different periodical publications.
25 This passage has puzzled the British antiquaries, because it militates against the grand principle of the druidic theology, and because, as they assert, no traces of the Greek or Roman deities are found among the early Britons. Possibly some of the British tribes might have brought this mode of worship from Gaul; but more probably the assertion was derived from the misconception of the ancient authors themselves, who gave the names of their own deities to the objects of adoration distinguished by similar attributes in other countries. The account is borrowed from Caesar's description of the Gauls, lib. vi 15.
26 "And the evening and the morning were the first day," &c. ver. 5. We also still say a se'nniyht, a fortnight.
27 Like the excommunication of the catholic church.
28 Such a custom would contravene the principles of the druidic or bardic system, which prohibited them from using arms. The remark seems to have been extended to a general application by Richard, from a single instance recorded by Caesar, of a druidic election in Gaul thus decided.
29 According to the opinion of the Welsh antiquaries, the system of druidical knowledge forms the basis of the Triads. If this be the case, it must be confessed that the bards possessed a profound knowledge of human nature, uncommon critical sagacity, and a perfect acquaintance with the harmony of language and the properties of metre. For example, the subjects of the poetical Triads are,
The Welsh language.
Fancy and invention.
The design of poetry.
Nature of just thinking.
Rules of arrangement.
Rules of description.
Variety of matter and invention.
Rules of composition; comprising the laws of verse, rhyme, stanzas, consonancy or alliteration, and accent.
We quote a few of these Triads to show their nature and structure. The three
qualifications of poetry; endowment of genius, judgment from experience, and
happiness of mind.
The three foundations of judgment; bold design, frequent practice, and frequent mistakes.
The three foundations of learning; seeing much, suffering much, and studying much.
The three foundations of happiness; a suffering with contentment, a hope that it will come, and a belief that it will be.
The three foundations of thought; perspicuity, amplitude, and justness. The three canons of perspicuity; the word that is necessary, the quantity that is necessary, and the manner that is necessary.
The three canons of amplitude; appropriate thought, variety of thought, and requisite thought.
30 According to the Triads, the
theology of the bards was pure monotheism. They taught also the transmigration
of souls; believing that the soul passed by death through all the gradations of
life, from Anoom, the bottomless abyss, or lowest degree of animation, up to the
highest degree of spiritual existence next to the Supreme Being. Human nature
was considered as the middle point
of this scale. As this was a state of liberty, in which the soul could attach
itself to either good or evil; if evil predominated, it was after death obliged
to retrace its former transmigrations from a
point in the animal creation equal to its turpitude, and it again and again
became man till it was attached to good. Above humanity, though it might again
animate the body of man, it was incapable
of relapse; but continued progressively rising to a degree of goodness and
happiness, inferior only to the Deity.
It is remarkable that many singular points of coincidence have been discovered in comparing the religious system of the Hindoos with that of the ancient Britons; and in the languages of these two people some striking similarities occur in those proverbs and forms of expression which we derived from national customs and religious ceremonies.
31 This account of the druids, like some of the preceding paragraphs, is borrowed from Caesar's description of the Gauls.
32 Gen. xxi. 33.
The worship and religious ceremonies of the druids have formed the subject of
many and voluminous dissertations; and the mistletoe, from its connection with
their sacred rites, is a plant that has
always been interesting to antiquaries. In a letter recently received by the
editor from the learned and scientific Professor of Botany, Dr. Daubeny, of
Magdalen College, Oxford, that gentleman
observes, that though the mistletoe is occasionally found on the oak in Britain,
yet this occurs so rarely that it is difficult to suppose the druids could have
got a supply for their purposes from such
"There is a plant nearly allied to the mistletoe, the Loranthus Europus, which grows freely on the oak, when it occurs; but unfortunately the most western locality known is the garden of Schoenbrunn near Vienna, but out of the limits, I believe, within which the druidical worship existed: it is very uncommon in Hungary.
"This circumstance has given rise to an hypothesis, which I may repeat without attaching to it any very great importance, namely, that the Loranthus is the mistletoe of the druids, and that when the druidical worship was exterminated, this plant, as being introduced into their rites, was extirpated from all those parts of Europe, where the druids were known."
The oak among the ancient Britons was peculiarly sacred as the place of worship, and consequently branches of this tree were used to adorn the altar, and garlands of its leaves to decorate the priest or druid; and the mistletoe, being so seldom found on the oak, was considered so great and desirable an appendage, that no solemn festival was held without it. It has been observed by naturalists that the blossom of the mistletoe falls within a few days of the summer solstice, and the berry within a few days of the winter solstice. These incidents therefore marked the return of two of the usual seasons for holding the bardic conventions and festivals. When the sacrifice was over, the berries of this plant were taken by the ovate, the physician of the tribe, and converted to medical purposes. That these berries possessed medicinal virtues can hardly be doubted. The following passage respecting this sacred plant occurs in Bacon: "Mistletoe groweth chiefly upon crab trees, apple trees, sometimes upon hazels, and rarely upon oaks; the mistletoe whereof is counted very medicinal. It is ever green, winter and summer, and beareth a white glistening berry: and it is a plant utterly differing from the plant on which it groweth."
Sir John Colbach published a Dissertation on the efficacy of the mistletoe in 1720; but in medicine, as in fashion, what is deemed of high value in one age is discontinued in the next, and thought nothing of. Such is the fate of the mistletoe in the present day as to any medicinal use that is made of it.
34 As the plough was fastened to the
horns of the beasts, this expression signifies that the animal had never been
employed in labour.
It is a singular coincidence of circumstances that bulls perfectly white were sacrificed by the Egyptians to Apis. When such an animal was found unblemished, and without a single black hair, the priest tied a fillet about his horns, and sealed it with the signet of his ring; it being a capital crime to sacrifice one of these animals except it was thus marked. Herodotus
35 According to the Welsh antiquaries, these distinctions are erroneous. The druidical, or rather bardic, system consisted of three classes: the bard proper, whose province was philosophy and poetry; the druid, or minister of religion; and the ovate, or mechanic and artist. For a curious account of the bardic system and institutions the reader is referred to the Introduction to Owen's Translations of the Elegies of Lly worch Hic.
36 We do not find that Pennant mentions, among the amphibious animals, the Vituli Marini, by which Richard probably meant seals.
37 Richard calls these shells Cochleae, or snails, though he probably alludes to the species styled by naturalists Murea, which contained the famous Tyrian purple, so much valued by the ancients. Yet, whatever our island may have formerly produced, we discern no traces in later ages, of any testaceous animal yielding a purple or scarlet dye.
38 Richard here doubtless principally alludes to Bath, the Aquae Solis of the ancients.
39 This substance appears to have been wrought into ornaments for the person. In the barrows, jet beads of a long elliptical form were found, together with others of amber, and a coarse blue glass.
40 Rather by the estuary of the Severn.
41 Here some word is evidently omitted in the original. We would supply it by comparing this description with that of Britannia Secunda in the second section, and read "Sabrina et Deva, &c., by the Severn and the Dee from the Silures and Ordovices."
42 The wall or vallum erected by Severus between the Solway Frith and the mouth of the Tyne.
43 These remarks seem to have been drawn from the Notitia Imperii, and consequently refer to a late period of the empire.
44 Cantium contained the present county of Kent, as far as the Rother, except a small district in which Holwood Hill is situated, and which be longed to the Rhemi.
45 The Bibroci, Rhemi, or Regni, inhabited part of Hants, and of Berks, Sussex, Surrey, and a small portion of Kent.
46 Uncertain. Stukeley calls it Bibrox, Bibrax, or the Bibracte of the Itinerary.
47 The Belgae occupied those parts of Hants and Wilts not held by the Segontiaci.
48 This is an error: the ancient Clausentum was at Bittern, on the Itchin, opposite Northam.
49 This passage as printed in the original is very obscure; but the meaning is supplied by Caesar, from whom it is taken, and a subsequent pages where Richard mentions the same fact. Vide the Chronology in b. ii c. i. sec. 9.
50 There was a tribe of Celts called Senones seated on the banks of the Seine as late as the time of Caesar, and this was one of the tribes who marched with Brennus against Rome. But we cannot discover from whence Richard drew his information that these Senones originally emigrated from Britain, leaving their country to be occupied by the Belgae.
51 This is drawn from Solinus, who speaks of Britain in general. We know not on what authority it was applied by Richard to Bath.
52 Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, and part of Somerset.
53 The Silures, with their two dependent tribes, the Dime-Use and the Ordovices,
possessed all the country to the west of the Severn and the Dee, together with
the island of Anglesey.
"Of these territories the Dimetiae had the counties of Pembroke, Cardigan, and Caermarthen; while the Silures possessed all the rest of South Wales, as well as such parts of England as lay to the west of the Severn and to the South of the Teme: while the Ordovices occupied all North Wales, as well as all the country to the North of the Teme, and to the West of the Severn and the Dee, except a small tract to the West of Bangor and Penmorvay, which together with the isle of Anglesey belonged to their subordinate clan the Cangani."
54 The territory of the Carnabii was bounded on the north by the Mersey, west by the Severn, east by part of the Watling Street, and to the south by Staffordshire.
55 The Dobuni were bounded on the west by the Severn, on the south by the Thames, on the east by the Charwell, and on the north by the Carnabii.
The Catsii, bounded on the south by the Thames, on the west by the Dobuni, on the east by the Trent, and on the north by the Iceni.
56 This temple with its ornaments is mentioned in Tacitus.
57 In the map given by Bertram these people are called the Coritani. They seem to have inhabited Lincoln, Leicester, and Nottingham.
58 B. iii. ch. 10, where, speaking of Caesar, he says, "Caledonias se quutua in sylvas.''
59 Their territory stretched from the bounds of the Parisii northward to the Tine, and from the Humber and Don to the mountains of Lancashire, Westmoreland and Cumberland.
60 To the Voluntii belonged the western part of Lancashire; and to the Sistuntii, the west of Westmoreland and Cumberland as far to the walk.
61 Hence, in §31, they are called one people.
The wall of Severus. The exact site of the barrier erected by Severus against
the northern tribes, has furnished matter of dispute to many of our antiquaries.
The researches of others, particularly
Horsley, have, however, set this question at rest. From their information,
joined to the scanty evidence of history, it has been proved that three walls or
ramparts were erected by the Romans at
different times, to secure the northern frontier of their dominions in Britain.
The first was a rampart of earth, from the Solway Frith to the Tine, raised by Hadrian about the year 120; but its form and construction have not been satisfactorily ascertained. It was, however, evidently nothing more than a line intended to obstruct the passage of an enemy between the stations which constituted the real defences of the frontier.
The second was raised by Lollius Urbicus under the reign of Antoninus Pius, about 140, between the Friths of Forth and Clyde. This was likewise of earth, though perhaps faced with stone, and, like that of Hadrian, seems to have been intended as a line connecting the chain of stations, which formed a new barrier on the advance of the Roman arms. In the course of both these was a military road communicating from station to station.
The last and most important is that begun by Severus, after his expedition against the Caledonians, about 208. It runs nearly over the same ground as that of Hadrian; but is a complete and well combined system of fortification. From an examination of its remains it appears to have been built of stone, fifteen feet high and nine thick. It had parapet and ditch, a military road, and was defended by eighteen greater stations placed at intervals of three to six miles; eighty-three castles at intervals of six to eight furlongs, and, as it is imagined, a considerable number of turrets placed at shorter distances.
Either from superior sagacity or superior information, Richard clearly distinguishes these three walls, which so much puzzled later writers, though it must be confessed that in other places he has suffered himself to be led into some errors in regard to their situation, and the persona by whom they were erected. See b. ii. ch. 1, sect. 22, 27, 36, 37; ch. 2, sect. 1 7, 23. For a detailed account of these works the reader is referred to Horsley's Britannia Romana; Warburton's Account of the Roman Wall; Hutchinson's Northumberland; Roy's Military Antiquities; Mutton's Account of the Roman Wall.
63 These were the Helvetii, whose emigration is mentioned in Caes. Comm. de Bell. Gal. lib. i. We have not discovered from what authority Richard draws his account of their emigration to Ireland.
64 The Gadeni appear to have occupied the midland parts from the wall probably as far as the Forth.
65 The Ottadini stretched along the eastern coast, from the wall as far as the Frith of Forth, and were bounded on the west by the Gadeni.
66 The Selgovae appear to have occupied all the shire of Dumfries, and part of Kirkudbright.
67 The Novantes held the south-western district of Scotland, from the Dee to the Mull of Galloway; that is, the west of Kirkudbright and Wigtown, and part of the Carrick division of Ayr.
68 By an error in the geographical or astronomical observations preserved by Ptolemy, the latitudes north of this point appear to have been mistaken for the longitudes, and consequently this part of Britain is thrown to the east.
69 These people inhabited the principal part of what are called the Lowlands. Their territories beyond the Isthmus evidently stretched as far as the Grampians, consisting of great part of Ayr, all Renfrew and Lanark, a considerable part of Stirling, and perhaps Linlithgow.
70 It may perhaps appear superfluous to refer the antiquary to Roy's masterly Commentary on the campaigns of Agricola in this part of Britain; but it will scarcely be deemed so to observe, that we see few instances in which military and local knowledge are so well applied to the elucidation of antiquities.
71 The Horestii occupied Clackmannan and Kinross, and part of Perth as far as the Tay. To them belonged likewise all the country stretching from the Grampians to Loch Lomond.
72 The Vecturones occupied the eastern part of Perth, Forfar, Kincardin, and part of Aberdeen.
73 The Taixali held the eastern coast of Aberdeen, apparently as far as Kinnaird Head.
74 The Vacomagi were spread over an extensive region west of the Taixali and north of the Grampians, comprising a considerable part of Aberdeen, all Banff, Murray, Elgin, and Nairn, with the north-east of Inverness.
75 The Damnii Albani may have been a remnant of the Damnii, who, after the erection of the wall, being cut off from the rest of their tribe, were gradually circumscribed by the neighbouring people, to Braidalbane, and a small part of the west of Perth and east of Argyle.
76 The Attacotti occupied a considerable part of Argyle, as far as Lochfyn.
77 It must be confessed that the information preserved by Richard, in regard to this remote part of our island, is extremely obscure, and that his descriptions will only assist us in guessing at the situation of the different tribes. Perhaps this can scarcely be deemed extraordinary, when we consider how imperfectly the interior of this country is known even at present.
78 The country of the proper Caledonians was the central part of Inverness and Ross.
79 The Canta seem to have held Cromarty and East Ross.
80 The Logi seem to have held the south-east of Strathnavem, and north-east of Sutherland.
81 The Carnabii inhabited part of Caithness, the north of Ross, and central part of Sutherland.
82 The Catini held part of Caithness and the east of Sutherland.
83 The Mertae held the country comprised between the Catini and Carnabii.
84 The Carnonacae seem to have held the detached portion of Cromarty, situated near Loch Broom, and a small part on the border of Sutherland.
85 The Cerones held the north-west part of Ross; the Creones south-west of Ross and Inverness, and a part of Argyle.
86 The Epidii probably occupied the Western part of Argyle, as far as the Mull of Cantyr, and were bounded on one side by the sea and in the other by Lochfyn.
87 These remarks prove how much Richard rose superior to the prejudices of his age and his profession. From the tone which he assumes, it it however, evident that he found it advisable to yield to the remonstrances of his superior.
88 Municipia were towns whose inhabitants possessed in general all the rights of Roman citizens, except those which could not be enjoyed without an actual residence at Rome. They followed their own laws and customs, and had the option of adopting or rejecting those of Rome. Antiq. Rom. b. x. c. 23.
89 There were different kinds of colonies, each entitled to different rights and privileges; but we have no criterion to ascertain the rank occupied by those in Britain.
90 The Latian law consisted of the privileges granted to the ancient inhabitants of Latium. These are not distinctly known; but appear principally to have been the right of following their own laws, an exemption from the edicts of the Roman praetor, and the option of adopting the laws and customs of Rome. Rosini.
91 The stipendiary were those who paid their taxes in money, in contradistinction from those who gave a certain portion of the produce of the soil, and were called Vectigales. Rosini.
92 As we have neither the assistance of an Itinerary to guide us in out researches, nor a local knowledge of Ireland, we have not attempted to specify the situation of the ancient states and cities in that island.
93 In the original is an error in the numerals, the number afterwards specified is fourteen.
94 Nearly one-third of the words in the Irish tongue are the same as the modern Welsh, and many idioms and modes of speech are common to both languages.
95 The Hebudes amount to more than five. From hence it may perhaps be inferred that the Roman fleet in their voyage of discovery did not reach these seas, though they coasted the northern part of Scotland, for the Orcades are rightly numbered.
96 From a tribe of the Veneti called Ossismii, who inhabited part of Bretagne.
97 The map being no longer of any use, has been omitted in this edition.
98 Probably from Caesar, though the precise date seems to be fixed without authority. Caes. de Bell. Gall. lib. v., 9.
Abona = Frith of Dornoch, Stukeley
Abrasuanus = The Luce
Abus = The Humber
Acmodae = Uncertain
Alcluith = Dumbarton. It was afterwards called Theodosia
Alauna = The Coquet or Alcester
Anderida = Pevensey
Andros = Uncertain
Antivestaeum = Land's End, and Lizard Point
Artavia = Uncertain, probably in Devonshire
Attrebates = Part of Hants, and Berks
Aufona = The Nen
Avalonia = Glastonbury
Banatia = Uncertain, hut near the Ness; perhaps Inverness or Bonness
Banchoriurn = Banchor
Bassianus = Caracalla
Baths = Bath
Bdora = Bodora and Bodotria, Frith of Forth
Branogena = Near Lentwardine
Brannogenium = Near Lentwardine
Bremenium = Riechester, Northumberland
Caledonia = Calyddon (coverts or thickets)
Cambodunum = Slack
Camalodunum = Colchester
Camboricum = Cambridge
Cangian promontory = Brach y Pwyl Point
Cantian promontory or Cantium = North Foreland
Cantiopolis = Canterbury
Casae Candidas = Wigtown, Horsley. Whithern, Stukeley, Roy
Cassarea = Jersey
Cassiterides = Scilly Isles
Cataracton = Catteric
Celnius = Dovem
Cenia = On the Fal
Cimbri = Part of Somerset and Devon
Clotta = Clyde
Clydda = Clyde
Coccium = Blackrode
Corbantorigum = Drumlanrig, or Kirkudbright
Corinium = Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Curia = Uncertain
Deva, Roman colony = Chester
Deva = The Dee
Devana = Probably Old Aberdeen
Dubrae = Dover
Dubris = Dover rivulet
Durinum = Maiden Castle, near Dorchester
Durobrivae = Rochester
Durius = The Dart
Durnomagus = Castor near Chesterton
Durobrobis = Rochester
Eboracum = York
Ebudum = Cape Wrath
Epiacum = Linchester
Eriri = Snowdon.
Etocetum = Wall
Flavii Extrema = Part of the Suffolk Coast
Forum Dianas = Dunstable
Galacum = Galgacum, uncertain
Garion = The Yar
Gessoriacum = Boulogne
Glevum = Gloucester
Genius = The Fal
Germania Magna = Germany proper, Denmark, Norway, &c
Gobaneum = Abergavenny
Halangium = Carubre
Hedui = Nearly all Somersetshire
Hellenis = Probably Berry Head
Herculea = Lundy Island
Ila = All, Stukeley, Shiel, Roy
Isca = Caerleon
Isca = Exeter or Ex
Ischalis = Ilchester
Isica = South Esk
Isuriurn = Aldborough
Ituna = The Eden / Ithan
Itys = Shiel, Roy
Jena = Cree, Roy
Lelanus = Lochfyn
Lemanus = Lymne or Rother
Lindum = Ardoch or Lincoln
Londinium = London
Longus = Loch Loch, Stukeley. Linnhe Loch, Roy
Lovantium = Llanio Issau on the Teivi
Loxa = Frith of Cromartie, Stukeley. Loth R., Roy
Lugubalia = Carlisle
Lugubalium = Carlisle
Lynchalidor = Loch Lomond
Madus = Medway
Magna = Kentcherter
Maridunum = Caermarthen
Mediolanum = On the bank of the Tanat
Menapia = St. Davids
Metaris = Boston Deep
Mona = Anglesey
Monoeda = Man
Musidum = Near Stratton
Nabaeus = Navern
Novantum Chersonesus = Rens of Galloway
Noviomagus = Holwood Hill
Novius = Nith
Octorupium = St. David's Head
Ocrinum = Lizard Point
Olicana = Ilkley
Orcades = Dunnet Head, Stukeley. Duncansby Head, Roy
Orrea = Bertha, or Old Perth
Oxellum = Spurn Head
Penoxullum = Tarbet Ness, Stukeley. Ord Head, Caithness, Roy
Petuaria = Broughton on Humber
Portus Felix = Near Bridlington Bay
Portus Magnus = Portchester
Ptoroton = Burgh Head
Ragae = Leicester
Regentium = Chichester
Regulbium = Reculver
Rerigonium = Ribchester
Rhutupian port = Richborough, Kent
Rhutupis = Richborough
Ricnea = Uncertain
Sabrina = Severn
Salinae = Droitwich
Sariconium = Rose or Berry Hill, in Weston
Sarna = Guernsey
Segontium = Caer Segont
Seteja = The Mersey
Sigdiles = Uncertain
Silimnus = Uncertain
Sorbiodunum = Old Sarum
Sturius = The Stour
Surius = The Stour
Sygdiles = Scilly Isles
Tamea = Brae Mar Castle
Tamara = On the Tamar
Tamarus = Tamar
Tavus = Tay
Termolus = Uncertain, probably in Devonshire
Thamesis = Thames
Thanatos = Thanet
Theodosia = Dumbarton
Thermae = Bath
Tina = Tine
Tosibus = The Conway
Trimontium = Birrenswork Hill
Trinobantes = The Thames to the Stour on the north, the west to the Brent and the Ouse
Trivona = Trent
Trivotini = Trent
Tueda = Tweed
Tuessis = On the Spey
Two Tinas = The North and South Tine
Uriconium = Wroxeter
Urus = Probably from the Ure, which receives the name of Ouse above York, on its junction with the Nid
Uxella = The Parret, probably near Bridgewater
Uxellan mountains = The Lothera
Uxellum = Uncertain
Vanduarium = Paisley, or Renfrew, Roy
Varar = Murray Frith
Vecta = Wight
Venta = Caerwent or Castor near Norwich or Winchester
Venta Belgarum = Winchester
Venta Icenorum = Castor, near Norwich
Venta Silurum = Caerwent, Monmouth
Verubium = Ness or Noss Head, Stukeley
Verulamium = St. Albans
Victoria = Dealgin Ross
Vindelia = Isle of Portland
Vindilios = Uncertain
Vindonum = Possibly Egbury camp
Vinovium = Binchester
Volsas = Loch Broom
Voluba = On the Fowey