Flowers of History

THE
FLOWERS OF HISTORY,
ESPECIALLY SUCH AS RELATE TO
THE AFFAIRS OF BRITAIN.

FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD TO THE YEAR 1307.
COLLECTED BY
MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER.

TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL,
BY
C.D. YONGE, B.A.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOLUME I.

B.C. 4004 TO A.D. 1066

LONDON:
HENRY G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
MDCCCLIII.

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

The author of the following Chronicle was a Benedictine Monk, who flourished probably in the early part of the fourteenth century, though some place him near the end of it. It begins with the creation of the world, and continues to the end of the reign of Edward the First. In his Preface, the Author speaks as if he intended to write the history of the whole world; but after the time of the Heptarchy, he very rarely mentions the affairs of any country except Great Britain. The early portion of the work is merely an abridgment of the Bible: then he gives us a brief sketch of Rome, making little mention of Greece, except where its history is connected with that of the Jews or Romans. Of our own early times he gives us the fabulous traditions of Brutus (whom he represents as the great-grandson of AEneas), and Pandrasus, and Corinaeus, and Camber; relates the sad story of Lear, the prophecy of Merlin, and so conducts us through the wars of Vortimer and Vortigern, etc., to the times of comparatively certain history. It is, of course, after this point that his work begins to be really valuable; for he was not only a careful observer, and a great master of plain and simple narrative, but, what was even more unconunon in the days in which he wrote, he paid great attention to order and chronology. As might be expected, he is very credulous on the subject of the miracles attested by the Roman church, as performed by the early martyrs, dead and alive; of which he gives us copious accounts: but the frequent recurrence of such marvellous stories ought not to diminish our confidence in him when relating facts, where there was no room for ascribing them to supernatural agency; for we must recollect that the belief in such events was common in his time; and not only have we no right to quarrel with him for not being in advance of his age on such points, but we may derive some

ii TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

instruction from seeing what in those days the most learned mon could look upon as matters of sober history. In the reigns of our kings after the Conquest, he is exceedingly minute and careful; and as such, is constantly referred to by Hume and other historians. His account of the troubles of the reigns of John, and Henry the Third, bears internal marks of accuracy and fidelity; and in his relation of the wars of Edward, he shows no small power of vivid description.

He is said to have formed his work very much upon the plan of that of Matthew Paris, who lived in the preceding century; and both were largely indebted to Roger of Wendover, as far as his history extended, which was to [A.D. 1238.] For the last seventy-two years of his work, he appears to have drawn on his own resources and industry. On the whole, there can be no doubt that he is one of the most valuable authorities for the times of which he treats, and well deserving the reputation which he has earned among modem historians.

CONTENTS OF VOLUME I.

PAGE

PREFACE 1

THE FIRST AGE OF THE WORLD.

FROM B.C. 4004 TO B.C. 2849.

The Creation - Adam is driven from Paradise - Cain and Abel - Noah: 3

THE SECOND AGE.- FROM B.C. 2348 TO B.C. 1921.

The Delnge - The descendants of Noah - The different divisions of the Nations - The reigns of Belus, Semiramis, Ninas, Astyages, Cyrus, Darius - The divisions of the world into Europe, Asia, and Africa - The colonization of Europe - The tower of Babel: 7

THE THIRD AGE.- FROM B.C. 1921 TO B.C. 1055.

The call of Abraham - The birth of Isaac and Ishmael - The foundation of Argos, by Machus - The story of Esau and Jacob - Apis arrives in Egypt - The history of Joseph - The Exodus - Moses a contemporary of Cecrops - Joshua a contemporary of Bacchus - Busiris, Cadmus, Europa - Apollo is born - The Jewish Judges - Paris carries off Helen - Triptolemus - The Minotaur - Ampheon - OEdipus - Danae - Fall of Troy, and arrival of AEneas in Italy - Brutus, son of Silvius, is banished into Greece - An oracle warns him to go to Albion - Description of Albion - Brutus founds London in the time of Saul - Descendants of Brutus - David is king: 13

THE FOURTH AGE.- FROM B.C. 1055 TO B.C. 606.

Ebrancus founds York - Solomon builds the temple - The division of the Jewish Tribes - Elijah - Bladud, king of Britain, is contemporary of Elijah - Shishack plunders Jerusalem - Sardanapahis - End of the kingdom of Assyria - History of king Lear - Rome is founded by Romulus and Remus - The old kings of Italy, Janus, Saturn, Jupiter - Early history of Alba and Rome - Kings of Rome after Romulus - Constantinople is founded in the time of Tullus Hortilius - Story of Lucretia - Nehemiah is a contemporary of Spurius Cassius - Story of Esther - Regulus - List of the Jewish kings - The prophecy of the Sibyls - The Jews are carried off to Babylon: 37

iv CONTENTS.

PAGE

THE FIFTH AGE.- FROM B.C. 606 TO B.C. 4.

Account of Babylon - Kings of Babylon - Jerusalem is restored - List of the kings of Britain - Kings of Persia - Brennus, king of England, makes war upon Rome - Alexander subdues Persia - Division of the kingdom of Alexander - Antiochus - Ptolemy - The Punic wars - Other Wars of the Romans - The High Priests of the Jews, Onias, Jason, etc. - Wars of the Maccabees - Caesar invades Britain, is defeated by Cassibelaunus - Augustus Caesar - Herod - Joseph is espoused to Mary: 79

THE SIXTH AGE.

CHAP. I.- FROM B.C. 4 TO A.D. 14.

The birth of Christ - Question when the Sixth Age of the world is properly said to begin - Circumstances attending the birth and early age of our Saviour - Invective against the Heathen Philosophers and their theories - The wise men of the East - Herod's massacre of the Innocents - Account of Josephus - Violence of Herod to his own family - Treachery of Antipater - Cymbeline and his sons in England - Death of Herod - His kingdom is divided - Trogus - Archelaus - Death of Augustus Caesar: 116

CHAP. II.- FROM A.D. 15 TO A.D. 38.

Reign of Tiberius - Livy - Ovid - A great earthquake in Asia Minor - The invention of glass - Death of Cymbeline - History of Pilate - The preaching of John - The principal events in our Saviour's life - Judas Iscariot - Letter of Caesar to the Senate about Christ - The Apostles - Saint Stephen - Saint Paul - Portrait of our Saviour - Death of Pilate: 129

CHAP. III.- FROM A.D. 39 TO A.D. 117.

Herod is deprived of his kingdom - Caligula - Claudius - Saint Peter is made Pope - Saint Mark - Guiderius and Arviragus, kings of Britain - Famine at Rome - Nero - Festus - Saint James - Mary Magdalene - Simon Magus - Nero sets fire to Rome - Galba - Otho - Vitellius - Vespasian persecutes the Jews - Titus takes Jerusalem - John, Simon - Livius succeeds Peter as Pope - Arviragus dies - The Picts, under Roderic, arrive in Britain - The Scots - Marius, king of Britain - Domitian - Saint John is banished to Patmos - Quinctilian - Clement is Pope - Trajan's reign, victories, persecution of the Christians, and death: 143

CONTENTS. v

CHAP. IV.- FROM A.D. 118 TO A.D. 284.

PAGE

Hadrian succeeds Trajan - Rebuilds Jerusalem - Lucius, king of Britain - Antoninus Pius - The heresy of Valentinus - Galen - Dispute about the day of Easter - Polycarp - Marcus Antoninus - Two Emperors at a time - Commodus - Irenaeos - The Britons are converted to Christianity by Faganus and Deruvianus - Pertinax - Severus - He comes to Britain - Is slain there - Tertullian - Bassianus - Macrinus - Alexander - The heresy of Sabellius - Origen - Maximus - Gordian - Philip - Decius - Gallus - Valerian - Gallienus - Cyprian - Claudius - Aurelian - Tacitus - The heresy of the Manicheans - Probus - Carus: 158

CHAP. V.- FROM A.D. 286 TO A.D. 340.

Diodetian's reign - Carausius in Britain - Constantius - Galerius, Maximian - The empress Helena - The persecution of Diocletian - Amphibolus - Saint Albanus - Diocletian and Maximian abdicate the throne - Constantine is made emperor in Britain - Comes to Rome - Octarius - Silvester - The Arrian heresy - Death of Constantine: 176

CHAP. VI.- FROM A.D. 341 TO A.D. 434.

Constantius - Death of Arrius - The bones of Saint Andrew and Saint Luke are taken to Constantinople - Julian - Eusebius dies - Saint Hilary - The bones of John the Baptist are collected - Alaric - Valentinian and Valens - Octarius, king of Britain, dies - Gratian - Maximianus becomes king of Britain - Conan - The Franks - Pharamond - Death of Athanasius - Gregory Nazianzen - Basil - Theodosius - Arcadius - Maximus, king of Britain - Death of Maximus - Rufinus - Stilicho - Saint Ambrose dies - The Pelagian heresy - Saint John Chrysostom - Saint Augustine - Honorius - The Nestorian heresy - The Romans abandon Britain - The Scots and Picts invade it: 193

CHAP. VI.- FROM A.D. 435 TO A.D. 464.

The Britons receive a king from Brittany - Attila - Vortigern - Saint Germain - Wars between the Britons and the Picts and Scots - The Saxons are invited into Britain - Meroveus, king of the Franks - The Saxons arrive in Britain - Are defeated by Vortigern - The Council of Chalcedon - Vortimer - Horsa - Hengist - Death of Vortimer - Return of Hengist - The Saxons destroy the British Churches - Merlin: 208

CHAP. VII.- FROM A.D. 465 TO A.D. 498.

Prophecy of Merlin - The red dragon - The white dragon - The Revolution in Britain - Aurelius returns to Britain - Death of Vortigern - Of Alaric - Odoacer, king of the Goths - Theodoric, king of the Goths - Aurelius defeats Hengist, and puts him to death - Restores the Churches - Saint Patrick in Ireland - Olla, king of the South Saxons - Cedric, king of the West Saxons - Death of Aurelius - Birth of Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon: 226

vi CONTENTS.

PAGE

CHAP. IX.- FROM A.D. 499 TO A.D. 585.

Clovis enriches the Church - The Saxons become nearly masters of Britain - They are defeated by Uther Pendragon - Olla, king of the Saxons, dies - Uther Pendragon dies - King Arthur is crowned - His victories over the Saxons - Justin, emperor of Rome - Boethius - The Saxons again invade Britain, and are defeated - Arthur's sword, Caliban, and other arms - He restores the Churches - Marries - Justinian, emperor of Rome - Saint Anthony - Saint Denis - Saint Benedict - Iotila - Arthur kills Mordred, and is mortally wounded - Clothaire, king of the Franks - The Saxons become masters of Britain - The Heptarchy: 250

CHAP. X.- FROM A.D. 586 TO A.D. 621.

The Britons retreat to Wales - And to Cornwall - The whole island of Britain obtains the name of Anglia - Gregory becomes pope - Saint Augustine is sent to England - The English become Christians - The Church of Rome is declared the chief of all the churches - Death of Ethelbert - Wars between the different kings in England - Chosroes, king of Persia: 270

CHAP. XI.- FROM A.D. 622 TO A.D. 676.

The heresy of the Monothelites - The Saracens attack the Roman Empire - Mahomet - His wife Cadijah - Pope Honorius - King Edwin becomes a Christian - Heraclius becomes a Monothelite - Cadwallan, king of Wales - Oswald, king of Northumberland - Oswy - The heresy of the Monothelites is condemned - King Louis violates the tomb of Saint Denis - Cadwallan dies: 289

CHAP. XII.- FROM A.D. 677 TO A.D. 704.

Disputes and Ecclesiastical affairs in Britain - Wilfrid is deposed from his Bishopric - Saint Etheldreda - Saint Hilda - A Council is held at Hatfield - Saint Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne - Egfrid is killed - Cadwallader is baptized - Dies - The Histories of Geoffrey of Monmouth, Caradoc of Lancarban, William of Malmesbury, and Henry of Huntingdon - Pepin, king of France - Part of the true cross is found at Rome - A Dead Man is restored from purgatory in Northumberland - The Bishopric of Winchester is divided: 318

CHAP. XIII.- FROM A.D. 705 TO A.D. 742.

Death of Ethelred - The See of Worcester is founded - Saint Guthlac of Croyland - Gregory is Pope - Ina, king of the West Saxons, defeats and kills Eadbert - Bede writes his History - Schism of the Iconoclasts - Wars of Ethelbald, king of Mercia - Death of Bede - His character - Death of Gregory: 341

CONTENTS. vii

CHAP. XIV.- FROM A.D. 743 to 802.

PAGE

Wars in Britain - Miracles wrought at the tomb of Benedict - Offa, king of Mercia - Charlemagne makes war upon the Saxons and on the Lombards - Allies himself with Offa - Honours paid to the body of Saint Alban - Ethelbert, king of the East Angles and Martyr - Offa goes to Rome - Dies - Charlemagne goes to Rome - Egbert succeeds to the throne of the West Saxons: 358

CHAP. XV.- FROM A.D. 803 TO A.D. 870.

Egbert begins to subdue the other kingdoms of the Heptarchy - Charlemagne summons five councils in France - Dies - Egbert becomes sole king of England - Subdues Wales - The Danes land at Sheppey - Are defeated by Egbert - He dies - They return a second time - Constant wars between them and the English - Alfred, son of Ethelwolf, is born - Story of the old woman of Berkeley - Ethelwolf devotes a tenth part of his kingdom to the service of God - He takes Alfred to Rome - Ethelwolf dies - Saint Swithun - Alfred marries - The Danes overrun England and Scotland - Death of King Edmund: 389

CHAP. XVI.- FROM A.D. 871 TO A.D. 900.

The Danes invade the West Saxons - Reach Reading - Battles with Alfred - King Ethelred dies and is succeeded by Alfred - The youth and education of Alfred - His wisdom - His wars - Brithred, king of Northumberland and Mercia - The body of Saint Cuthbert is brought from Lindisfarne - A truce is made between Alfred and the Danes - It is broken - Alfred besieges Exeter and builds a fleet - The Danes ravage Wiltshire - Alfred retires to Athelney - King Gytro becomes a Christian - An account of John or Dun Scotus - Alfred defeats the Danes - Story of a vision of the emperor Charles about purgatory - Alfred becomes king of all Britain - A List of the kings of the Heptarchy - Alfred founds monasteries - Appoints governors throughout his kingdom - Story of Rollo, duke of Normandy - Death of Alfred: 420

CHAP. XVII.- FROM A.D. 901 TO A.D. 941.

Edward the Elder succeeds Alfred - A great council of the English Church is held - Edward wars against the Danes - Rollo becomes a Christian - The Danes continue their ravages - Many towns are built throughout the kingdom - Edward dies - Athelstan succeeds him - Saint Dunstan flourishes - Treaty of peace between Athelstan and Robert of Normandy - Athelstan puts his brother Edwin to death - His wars with Constantine, king of Scotland, and Anlaf, king of Ireland - Otho becomes emperor of the Romans - Athelstan dies, and is succeeded by Edmund - England is divided between Edmund and Anlaf: 455

viii CONTENTS.

PAGE

CHAP. XVIII.- FROM A.D. 942 TO A.D. 975.

Anlaf dies - William, duke of Normandy, is murdered - Death of king Edmund - Edred succeeds to the throne - His courage and death - Edwy succeeds - Dunstan is banished - Edwy is banished, and Edgar made king - Dunstan is recalled - Simony in the Church - The wisdom and power of Edgar - He dies, and is succeeded by Edward: 472

CHAP. XIX.- FROM A.D. 976 TO A.D. 1016.

The death of Edward the Martyr - Ethelred succeeds to the throne - Death of Dunstan - Quarrel between Ethelred, and Richard of Normandy - Tribute is paid to the Danes - Death of Richard - Story of Silvester or Gerebert - Ethelred builds a fleet - Slaughter of the Danes - Sweyn, king of Denmark, subdues England - Ethelred flies to Normandy - Death of Sweyn - Return of Ethelred - He dies, and is succeeded by Edmund Ironside - Edmund's victories - His peace with Canute - His death: 487

CHAP. XX.- FROM A.D. 1017 TO A.D. 1042.

Canute becomes sole king of England - Banishes the nobles - Marries Emma, sister of Richard, duke of Normandy - A conference at Oxford establishes the laws of Edward - Character of Canute - His liberality - He subdues Norway - Birth of William of Normandy - He succeeds to his father's dukedom - Death of Canute - Coronation of Harold - Hardicanute is set up in opposition to him by Godwin, and is crowned king - Dies, and is succeeded by Edward the Confessor: 517

CHAP. XXI.- FROM A.D. 1043 TO A.D. 1066.

King Edwin marries earl Godwin's daughter - Godwin and his sons become enemies to Edward - Death of Godwin - Siward defeats Macbeth, and Malcolm is made king of Scotland - Edward summons from Hungary his nephew Edward to become his successor - The story of Lady Godiva - A singular piece of sorcery is detected at Rome - An agreement is made between Harold and William of Normandy - Harold ravages Wales - Saint Oswin - Quarrel between Tosti and Harold - Death of Edward - Harold is crowned king of England - William of Normandy invades England - The Battle of Hastings: 533

THE
FLOWERS OF HISTORY
ESPECIALLY SUCH AS
RELATE TO THE AFFAIRS OF BRITAIN.
FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD TO THE YEAR 1307.

COLLECTED BY
MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER.

PREFACE.

We have thought fit to set forth, the chief accidents of the times, and the series of events from the beginning of the world to the present hour, and also the successions of certain kingdoms and monarchs, for the instruction of future ages; in order that an attentive reader may, from our brief notices, be led to gather a fuller knowledge of the facts related.

But what are we to say in reply to certain dull auditors, who, in a spirit of detraction, say, "What occasion is there to commit to writing the lives and deaths of men, and different events which happen to mankind? Why perpetuate by written records the recollection of prodigies in heaven and earth, or those which affect the other elements"? Let them know that the good lives and virtuous manners of men of old time, are recorded to serve as patterns for the imitation of subsequent ages; and that the examples of the wicked are set forth, not that they may be imitated, but that they may be shunned. But prodigies and portents, in past time, threaten the faithful

2 PREFACE.

with famine, or mortality, or other sources of supreme vengeance. Therefore, the recollection of these events is handed down in books, that if at any time similar occurrences should take place, sinners who recollect that they have by any means incurred the wrath of God, may flee to the remedy of repentance, and appease God by such means.

It is on this account, therefore, (not but what there are other sufficient reasons likewise) that Moses, the lawgiver, sets before us, in his Divine History, the innocence of Abel, the envy of Cain, the simplicity of Jacob, the craftiness of Esau, the malice of the eleven sons of Israel, the goodness of the twelfth, to wit, Joseph, and the punishment of the five cities which were consumed by fire and brimstone; in order that we may imitate the good, and avoid being followers of the wicked, and by shunning all temptations to sin, we may radically weaken it; and this is the effect produced in us not only by Moses, but by all the authors of the Holy Volume, both in their historical and moral works, where they commend virtue, and show their detestation of vice, and so teach us at the same time to fear and to love God.

Those men, then, must not be listened to, who say that books of Chronicles, and especially those published by Catholics, ought to be neglected; since by the study of them a diligent enquirer may be able to discover by his memory, to understand by his intelligence, and to set forth, with eloquence, all that is necessary for human life, and for human safety.

BOOK I.

THE FIRST AGE OF THE WORLD.

FROM THE CREATION OF THE WORLD TO THE DELUGE.

B.G. 4004-2349.

THE CREATION - ADAM IS DRIVEN FROM PARADISE- CAIN AND ABEL - NOAH.

CH I.- The Creation of the World.

In six days God accomplished the creation of the world.

On the first day he made the light.

On the second day he poised the firmament of heaven in the midst of the waters: the waters themselves, and the earth, together with the upper heaven, and those virtues which enabled them to praise their maker, having been created before the beginning of these six days.

On the third day, having collected the waters, which had previously covered everything, into their place, he bade the dry land appear.

On the fourth day he placed the stars in the firmament of heaven, and that day, as far as we can now collect, by a calculation of the equinox, was the twelfth day of the calends of April (March 21).

On the fifth day he created all swimming and flying and breathing creatures.

On the sixth day he formed the terrestrial animals, and the man Adam himself, in the district of Damascus; and from the side of Adam, while he was sleeping, he produced Eve, the mother of all living. And the day on which he did this, was, according to the most credible conjecture, the tenth of the calends of April (March 23). From which circumstance, it is deservedly believed (unless some more probable opinion shall be maintained hereafter), that on this same tenth day of the calends of April the Lord was crucified. For God appointed that on one and the same day, not only of the week, but also of the month, the second Adam, having been

4 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 4003.

condemned to the sleep of death, for the ohject of the life-giving salvation of the human race, and having produced the heavenly sacraments out of his own side, shall sanctify to himself the church as his spouse, on the same day on which he had originally, himself, created Adam, and, taking a rib out of his side, had formed a woman, by whose assistance the human race might be propagated.

CH. II.- Adam is driven out of Paradise.

ADAM having been transferred into Paradise, from whence the four rivers [1] arise, after he had given names to his wife and to all the other animals and things, yielded to his wife in the matter of eating the apple. After this, having made girdles because of their feelings of shame at their nakedness, they are driven by the Lord out of Paradise, and in the sweat of their brow do they seek bread out of the earth, which has been cursed. After this, cherubim armed with a flaming sword are placed by the Lord before the gate of paradise, and not only our first parents, but their whole posterity, are driven out from the delights of paradise.

CH. III.- The birth of Cain and Abel, and the death of Abel.

ADAM knew his wife, not indeed while in Paradise, but after he was guilty, and banished from it. And although the lawgiver Moses has given us a brief list of the generations of Adam, as he was hastening on to the times of Abraham, the father of the Hebrews, still he has passed over the named of many sons and daughters of Adam.

But Methodius, the martyr, when he was in prison, prayed to God, and the revelation which he prayed for, concerning the beginning and end of the world, was given to him by the Holy Spirit. And he has left us a written statement, (drawn up indeed in a simple style) saying that they both, to wit, Adam and Eve, were virgins when they departed from Paradise.


[1] The names of these rivers are thus given in the Bible, Genesis ii. 11 - 14. "The name of the first is Pison, that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah: where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon; the same is it that compasseth the whole land of AEthiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates".

B.C. 3000.] THE DESCENDANTS OF CAIN. 5

And in the fifteenth year of the life of Adam, Cain [1] was born to him, and also his sister Calmana. Fifteen years later, Abel was born to him, and also his sister Delbora. Then in the hundred and thirtieth year of his (that is of Adam's) life, Cain slew Abel, and Adam and Eve mourned for him a hundred years, and then Seth was born to him in the thirtieth year of the first Chiliad, that is to say of the first age. [2]

CH. IV.- Cain becomes a Wanderer.

CAIN the husbandman, grieving that his own offerings were rejected, while those of Abel were not, slew his brother, although for the action he was reproved by the Lord, and destined to be punished by a sevenfold [3] sin. Subsequently he was made a vagabond and a houseless man upon the face of the earth, after he had been cursed by the Lord.

CH. V.- The Descendants of Cain.

CAIN knew his wife Calmana, and she brought him forth Enoch; Enoch begat Irad; Irad begat Mamael; [4] Mamael begat Matusael; Matusael begat Lamech; Lamech had two wives, to wit, Adah and Zillah. By Adah he had a son named Jabaal; [5] by Zillah he had Tubalcain and Naamah. This Lamech was the first man who introduced bigamy; and when he had slain a man to his wounding, and a young man in his envy, he foretold to his wives that on this account there was a seventy-fold punishment due to him. [6]


[1] The date of Cain's birth as at present believed, and inserted in the margin of the Bible, is the year after the Creation of the World, viz. 4003. Abel's birth is supposed to have followed immediately; the death of Abel is by the same authority placed in the year 3875.

[2] This is not very plain; the year of Seth's birth is usually given as 3769 B.C., 235 A.M., and, by the account of our author himself, it would be the two hundred and thirtieth, or thirty-first of Adam's life.

[3] This seems to refer to Gen. iv. 15. "And the Lord said unto Cain, therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold". See note on chap. v.

[4] The name in the Bible is Mehujael.

[5] The Bible tells us that Adah had two sons, Gen. iv. 20, 21. "And Adah bare Jabal; he was the father of all such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ".

[6] This refers to Gen. iv. 23, 24. "And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech; for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt: if Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and seven fold".

6 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 2349.

Jabaal, having invented portable tents for shepherds, was the first man who distinguished flocks according to their quality, and breed and age. Jabaal was the father of those who play on the organ and the harp, that is to say, he was the inventor of the art of music, and he engraved a description of his art on two pillars, one of brick and the other of marble, as a durable record, in case of fire or flood.

Tubalcain was the inventor of the smith's art; he was a fabricator of works of sculpture in metals; and it was by the sound of his hammers that Jabaal was delighted, and so was the first person to lay down rules for the harmony of sounds derived from these hammers.

CH. VI.- The descendants of Seth.

ADAM, as has been already mentioned, begat Seth; Seth begat Enos; Enos begat Canaan; Canaan begat Malaleel; Malaleel begat Jareth; Jareth begat Enoch. This Enoch pleased God, and being translated to Paradise, dwells there with Elias. And Enoch, as some kind of letters had been invented, wrote a book (as is stated in the Epistle of Jude). [1] And in his time Adam is believed to have died.

Enoch begat Methusaleh; Methusaleh begat Lamech; Lamech begat Noah.

But Adam lived nine hundred and thirty years; Seth nine hundred and twelve; Enos, nine hundred and five; Canaan, nine hundred and ten; Malaleel, eight hundred and ninety-five; Jareth, nine hundred and sixty-two; Enoch, three hundred and sixty-five; Methusaleh, nine hundred and sixty-nine; Lamech, seven hundred and seventy-seven. When Noah was five hundred years old, he begat Shem, Ham, and Japhet.

HERE ENDS THE FIRST AGE - Containing, according to the Hebrews, 1656 years; according to the Seventy translators of the Bible, 2242.


[1] This refers to Jude 14. "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints".

BOOK II.

THE SECOND AGE OF THE WORLD.

B.C. 2448 - 1921.

THE DELUGE - THE DESCENDANTS OF NOAH - THE DIVISIONS OF THE NATIONS - THE REIGNS OF BELUS, SEMIRAMIS, NINUS, ASTYAGES, CYRUS, DARIUS - THE DIVISIONS OF THE WORLD INTO EUROPE, ASIA, AND AFRICA - THE COLONIZATION OF EUROPE - THE TOWER OF BABEL.

CH. I.- The Deluge, and Life and Death of Noah.

IN the hundredth [1] year of his life, Noah, now that the flood covered the earth, entered the ark with seven souls, which ark he had finished twenty years before, as God had conversed with him for a hundred years. And the waters increased upon the earth for a hundred and fifty days, the Lord raining upon it for forty days and nights; when, on the twenty-seventh [2] day of the seventh month, the ark rested on the mountains of Armenia; after forty days, Noah sent out a raven, and after that a dove bearing an olive branch, and at last, on the twenty-seventh day of the second month, he went forth out of the ark, the year having come round again to the very same day on which he had entered it; when the moon had entered the seventeenth day of the second month.

And the sacrifice of Noah was accepted, and he received permission to eat flesh, provided it was without blood; and the rainbow was placed in heaven, as a covenant the deluge


[1] This clearly means the hundredth year of Noah's life, after the birth of Shem, Ham, and Japhet; that is to say, when he was six hundred years old. See, however, note on chap. vii.

[2] Our author is not quite correct here; the flood began on the seventeenth day of the second month (Gen. vii. 11), and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark rested on Ararat (Gen. viii. 4). On the twenty-seventh day of the second month he left the ark (Gen. viii. 14). Moreover, he did not send out a dove bearing an olive branch; but he sent forth the dove, and she returned to him in the evening, "And lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off" (Gen. viii. 11).

8 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 2250.

was passed and should not return and that what should hereafter come was a conflagration.

He got drunk with wine, of which he was the first inventor, and was mocked by Ham; on which account he cursed him, but blessed his other sons. And so he died.

CH. II.- The Generations of Noah,

THERE are seventy-two [1] generations catalogued of the three sons of Noah. To wit, fifteen of Japhet, thirty of Ham, and seventeen of Shem. And these men were scattered over the world. Shem obtained Asia, Ham Africa, and Japhet Europe; and the ancients distinguish their genealogies in this manner. Shem, the eldest of the family, came into Asia, and arranged the provinces in this manner.

CH. III.- The Divisions of the Nations - the Reigns of Belus, Semiramis, Ninus, in Assyria; Astyages, Cyrus, and Darius in Persia.

AS the people increased after the flood, there arose four principal kingdoms; that of the Assyrians in the East, where the first king was Belus; that of the Sicinii in the West, where the first king was Egialeus; that of the Scythians in the North, where the first king was Tanus; that of the Egyptians in the South, where the first king was Myneus. Belus was succeeded by his wife Semiramis, who made the district of Babylon the metropolitan district of her kingdom. She was succeeded by Ninus, who was the inventor of idols, making an image in honour of his father Belus. At length came Sardanapalus, from whom Arbaces wrested the kingdom and transferred it to the Medes. And after a time, Astyages becoming king of the Medes, gave his daughter to a prince [2] of the Persians, who became the father of Cyrus, by whom


[1] There is again some error here. Fifteen, thirty, and seventeen make sixty-two, not seventy-two; nor do the numbers exactly coincide with the list of names given in the Bible, where (Gen. x. 1. Chron. i.) we find the names of fourteen descendants of Japhet, thirty of Ham, and twenty-seven of Shem.

[2] Our author is mistaken here. Cambyses, the father of Cyrus, was not a prince, though of a good family (oclinc ayaonc Hdt. i. 107). And Darius did not reign as the colleague of Cyrus, but succeeded to the kingdom on the death of Smerdis the Magus, seven or eight years after the death of Cyrus (B.C. 36), and he was the son of Hystaspes, not of Astyages (Hdt. iii. 75).

B.C. 2250.] DIVISIONS OF THE WORLD. 9

Astyages was conquered; and when he died, the sovereignty was transferred to the Persians, and Darius, the son of Astyages, reigned with this same Cyrus as his colleague.

CH. IV.- The Divisions of the World; Europe, Asia, and Africa - The Colonization of Europe.

THIS habitable world of ours, which is surrounded on all sides by the ocean, has three principal divisions. To wit, Asia, Africa, and Europe; but Asia is the largest. In it there are the following countries:- India, Parthia, Syria, Persia, Media, Mesopotamia, Cappadocia, Palestina, Armenia, Cilicia, Chaldaea, Biffamia, Lydia. In Africa there are these provinces:- Lybia, Cyrene, Pentapolis, AEthiopia, Tripolitania, Egypt, Gaetulia, Natabria, Numidia, the greater and the lesser Syrtes.

In Europe there are these countries:- Italy, Spain, Germany, Macedonia, Thrace, Dalmatia, Pannonia, Gaul, Achaia, the greater and the lesser Britain, Ireland, and the Northern Isles beyond the ocean.

The first man of the race of Japhet who came to Europe was named Alanus, and he came with his three sons, whose names are as follows:- Isicion, Armenion, and Negno. Isicion had four sons; they are these: Francus, Romanus, Alemannus, and Brito. Armenion had five sons, as follows: Gothus, Valagothus, Caebidus, Burgundus, and Longobardus. Negno had four sons, whose names are these:- Wandalus, Saxo, Bogarus, and Targus. From Isicion, the first-born of Alanus, sprang four nations:- the Latins, the Franks, the Germans, and the Britons. From Armenion, the second son, are descended the Goths, the Valagoths, the Caebidi, the Burgundians, and the Lombards. From Negno, the third son, are derived the Bogari, the Vandals, the Saxons, and the Tharinci. And these nations are scattered over the whole of Europe.

But Alanus was, as they say, the son of Frethevit, the son of Ogomun, the son of Thay, the son of Boyb, the son of Simeon, the son of Mayr, the son of Athach, the son of Aurtaach, the son of Cephet, the son of Cozech, the son of Abrech, the son of Ra, the son of Ezra, the son of Isram, the son of Bach, the son of John, the son of Jabach, the son of Japhet, the son of Noah.

Of Asia and Africa we will speak in another place.

10 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 2247.

CH. V.- The Tower of Babel - The Descendants of Shem, down to Thare or Terah.

SHEM was a hundred years old when he begat Arphaxad, which happened two years after the flood. Arphaxad begat Sale, or Cainan. Sale founded a city, which he called after his own name, Salem, and he was the father of Heber, from whom the Hebrews (Hebraei) derive their name, or else they are called so from Abraham, as if they were Abrahai. Heber begat Phaleg, in whose time the sons of the sons of Noah, not having faith in the covenant of God which he had made with Noah, to the effect that there should not again be a flood, put together bricks for stones, and bitumen for cement, in order to build a tower, the height of which should reach to heaven; in order that if a flood should inundate the earth, they might remain safe on its summit. And since they thought that they might be able by their own skill to escape all danger, from either flood or fire, there was caused in that very place, to wit, in the land of Shinar, a division or confusion of tongues, so that no one of them could understand the language of his neighbour; therefore the Lord scattered them over divers countries, and they left off building the tower. And the name of that place was called Babel, that is to say, confusion, because there the language of the whole earth was confused.

And Phaleg, in whose family the Hebrew language remained, which is the most ancient of all languages, was on that account called Phaleg, that is to say, divided from the others. Phaleg begat Ragau, Ragau begat Saruch, who begat Nachor; that Nachor, when he had departed from Chaldaea, married a wife named Melcha, the daughter of his brother who was dead, and dwelt in Charran of Mesopotamia. His father having died there, and Abraham having taken up his abode as a sojourner in Canaan, Nachor begat these three brothers: Huz, Buz, and Bathuel, with five others, from one of whom, namely, Buz, was descended Balaam, who, according to the Hebrews, is the same person spoken of in Job as Elihu the Buzite. [1]

That Nachor begat Thare, who, not being able to bear the injuries that were inflicted on him in the matter of adoring


[1] Job xxzii. 6.

B.C. 2075.] REIGN AND CHARACTER OF SEMIRAMIS. 11

fire in Chaldaea, where they put to death his first-born son, Aran, travelled away with Abraham and Nachor, and the family of Aran, to Charran in Mesopotamia, where Thare [1] died, at the end of two hundred and five years.

CH. VI.- The Reign and Character of Semiramis - Duration of the Assyrian Monarchy.

IN the times of Thare reigned Ninus, the most powerful king of the Assyrians, the son of queen Semiramis. She, a woman of manly strength of mind, governed the kingdom of the Assyrians with great power, for two and thirty years. And in order to resemble a man more closely, she clothed her legs and arms in the dress of a man, and wore a tiara on her head. And that she might not by any chance be supposed to conceal any secret design under this unusual garb, she ordered the people in general to wear the same dress, and ever since the whole nation retains that fashion.

She performed great exploits; and as she was a woman of manly courage, she was not content with the boundaries of her dominions, which had been acquired by her husband, and to which she had succeeded, but she overwhelmed Ethiopia with war. She carried her arms into India; a country which no one before her had ever subdued.

She it was who built the city of Babylon, and surrounded it with a wall, and appointed it to be the metropolis of the kingdom of the Assyrians. At last she was slain by her own son; and when he had succeeded his mother, he, being content with the kingdom as it had been made by his parent's toil, laid aside all thoughts of war; and, as if he had changed sexes with his mother, seldom came into the sight of men, but grew old amid the bands of women. And his posterity followed his example so far, as to give their answers to people by the intervention of messengers.

After Ninus, thirty-six kings, in continual succession, possessed the monarchy of the Assyrians, for a period of thirteen hundred years, down to the time of Sardanapalus.

CH. VII.- Generations from Noah to Abraham.

BUT Noah lived after the deluge [2] eight hundred and fifty


[1] Called Terath in Genesis.

[2] There is a difficulty here: if he means that Noah lived after the deluge, and died at the age of eight hundred and fifty years, our author is wrong, for Noah's age was nine hundred and fifty years (Gen. ix. 29). If he means that he lived eight hundred and fifty years after the flood, that would make him out as having lived to the age of 1450. But, by comparing the statement in the first chapter of this book, it appears possible that the writer may have fancied, by some mistake, that the flood took place in the hundredth year of Noah's life, instead of the six hundredth.

12 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1921.

years. Shem lived six hundred years. Arphaxad lived three hundred and thirty-eight years. Heber lived four hundred and sixty-four years. Sale lived four hundred and thirty-three years. Phaleg lived two hundred and thirty-nine years. Ragan, or Reu, lived two hundred and thirty-nine years. Sarug lived two hundred and thirty years. Nachor lived one hundred and thirty-nine years. But Thare lived seventy years, and begat Abraham in the forty-third year of the before-mentioned Ninus king of the Assyrians.

In Thare, the Second Age of the world terminates, consisting, according to the Hebrews, of 1292 years. According to the seventy translators of the Bible, of 1072 years. [1]


[1] The real date of the death of Thare, or Terah, was B.C. 1921. A.M. 2083.

BOOK III.

THE THIRD AGE OF THE WORLD.

B.C. 1921-1055.

THE CALL OF ABRAHAM - THE BIRTH OF ISAAC AND ISHMAEL - THE FOUNDATION OF ARGOS BY MACHUS - THE STOBY OF ESAU AND JACOB - APIS ARRIVES IN EGYPT - THE HISTORY OF JOSEPH - THE EXODUS - MOSES A CONTEMPORARY OF CECROPS - JOSHUA A CONTEMPORARY OF BACCHUS - BUSIRIS, CADMUS, EUROPA - APOLLO IS BORN - THE JEWISH JUDGES - PARIS CARRIES OFF HELEN - TRIPTOLEMUS - THE MINOTAUR - AMPHION - AEDIPUS - DANAE - FALL OF TROY AND ARRIVAL OF AENEAS IN ITALY - BRUTUS, SON OF SYLVIUS, IS BANISHED INTO GREECE - AN ORACLE WARNS HIM TO GO TO ALBION - DESCRIPTION OF ALBION - BRUTUS FOUNDS LONDON IN THE TIME OF SAUL - DESCENDANTS OF BRUTUS - DAVID IS KING.

CH. I.- The Travels of Abraham - The chief events of his Life - The Birth and Marriage of Isaac - The Birth of Esau and Jacob.

THARE, as has been already said, begat Abraham, Aran, and Nachor. Aran begat Milcah, Lot, and Sarah. When Lot had departed from Sodom, after the destruction of the five cities, he begat these two sons, Moab and Ammon, on his two daughters, having been made drunk by them.

Nachor begat Huz, Buz, and Bathuel, and their mother was Milcah, the daughter of Aran. Bathuel begat Laban and Rebecca.

Abraham had a wife by name Sarah, the daughter [1] of Aran his brother. He had also two handmaids, Hagar, an Egyptian, and Cethura. By Sarah he became the father of Isaac; by Hagar of Ismael; by Cethura of Madan and Madian. Ismael begat


[1] The Bible speaks of Sarah as the daughter of Terah. Abraham says to Abimelech (Gen. xx. 12), "And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife".

14 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1898.

Naiaboth and Cedar. This Abraham, after Aran his brother had been suffocated, adopted his son Lot, and having taken Sarah to wife, journeyed with his father into Carran. From thence, after the death of his father, he came to Sichem, and from thence to Pentapolis. After that, pitching his tent between Bethel and Hay, after he had in Egypt pretended that his wife was his sister, he returned into the valley of Mamre, and there dwelt in agreement with his three brethren. Abraham taught the Egyptians arithmetic and astronomy, from which nation these arts subsequently passed into Greece. And coming after the slaughter of the four kings, he was honoured by Melchisedec, who received tithes from him; and he obtained a sign of the offspring that should be given him, in cattle and lands.

After this, when he was seventy-five years of age, and was attacked out of envy by the people of Chaldea and Mesopotamia, because they themselves worshipped fire and images of the gods; but he himself worshipped one God alone, the Creator of all things; and asserted that the honour of worship, and the payment of thanks, were due to him alone. And that the creature is governed by the power and rule of his Maker, and does not exist by his own excellence. At the command of the Lord, he left his nation and his country, and came into the land of Canaan, receiving the promise that he should increase and become a great nation; having his name changed from Abram to Abraham, which, being interpreted, is "A father of many nations", and being also promised that in his seed should all the nations of the earth be blessed.

Lastly, he receives this law from the divine will, that he should circumcise himself and his offspring, not that God himself had made anything superfluous in man which he subsequently commanded to be cut off, but in order that the posterity of the chosen man might be distinguished among other nations by this bodily mark. And when he was now an old man he begat Isaac. But he had previously, as I have already said, begotten Ismael, from whom are descended the Arabs and other nations who boast that they are sprung from the race of Abraham. Isaac also was circumcised, on the eighth day after his birth. Besides these things, when Abraham was now very old, God again commanded him to sacrifice to him his before-mentioned son Isaac on Mount Moriah. Which command he

B.C. 1739.] LIFE OF ISAAC AND OF JACOB. 15

was willing to fulfil, being more desirous to obey his Creator than to gratify his own affections. But the Deity, who is never harsh to believers, withheld the man, by the voice of an angel, from the slaughter of his son, showing him a ram which he might slay instead of his son, so that the sacrifice of such a man might be consummated without the cost of any pious affection.

After these events, when Isaac was sixty years old, he begat Esau and Jacob, the patriarchs of the Idumaean and Israelitish nations.

CH. II.- The Foundation of the Kingdom of Argos in Greece.

ABOUT this time the kingdom of the Argives was established, of which Machus was the first king, who is reported to have been the father of Io, the wife of Osiris, who is worshipped in Egypt as a mighty goddess, because she ruled there with justice, and instructed the people of the country in literature.

CH. III.- The chief circumstances in the life of Isaac and of Jacob - The Character of Esau.

ISAAC, who has been already mentioned, having gone with Rebecca, who was great with child, and who had heard the oracle that Esau should fear Jacob, to Abimelech in Gerar, after he had called his wife his sister, and gathered crops of an hundred-fold from his seed, and cleaned out three wells, and digged a fourth in Beersheba, and made a treaty in the same place with Abimelech and Phicol, without intending it, rejected Esau and blessed Jacob, who having supplanted his brother both in his birthright as the elder, and also in his blessing, went into Mesopotamia, and on his way he erected a pillar with an inscription on it near Luz; [1] and he served a servitude of fourteen years to Laban for Rachel and Leah, and made a covenant with him to serve him seven years more for his flocks; but when this latter period, in which he varied the rods, was scarcely fulfilled, he departed with his wives and his eleven sons, and as Rachel had privily carried off his images from Laban, he was caught by him at Galaad. There having made a treaty with Laban, he stopped his bands at the stones near Manaim, [2] where on his journey he saw camps of angels,


[1] This was the same as Bethel (Gen. xxviii. 19).

[2] Manaim, or Mahanaim, means Two Hosts or Two Camps. "When Jacob saw these (the angels), he said this is God's Hosts. And he called the name of that place Mahanaim". (Gen. xxxii. 2.)

16 MATTHEW Of WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1747.

and he crossed the ford of Jaboch, and in the morning he wrestled with an angel and injured his sinew. And then, having had his name changed, he sent forward gifts to his brother, and, being in great alarm, met him. Afterwards, when his daughter Dinah had been injured by Sichem, and the Sichemites had been treacherously slain, by the command of God, he erected an altar at Bethel, and purified his house.

Esau was a hairy man and a hunter; he sold his birthright as the elder for a mess of pottage, and from the red pottage he got the name of Edom. He married some Canaanitish wiyes, Judith and Basemath, and though he had been supplanted by his brother in the matter of his blessing, he met Jacob peaceably as he was returning from Mesopotamia with four hundred men.

Moreover, it was Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, who brought the mother of Esau and Jacob, namely Rebecca, to Isaac, from Mesopotamia, and she was the sister of Laban, and the daughter of Bathuel.

CH. IV.- Of the Edomites and Balaam.

IN the time of the sons of Isaac, as some authors relate, the second king of Edom was Job, of the race of Huz, the son of Nachor, called afterwards Balak, who is also called in Genesis Jobab, the great grandson [1] of Esau. But the Hebrews, as we have already mentioned, assert that he was descended from Huz, the first born son of Nachor.

At the same time Balaam was born, who in the book of Job is called Elihu; he was descended from Buz, and being hired by Balak the king to curse Israel, blessed him, his ass having previously spoken to him; and he prophesied about the rising of the star and of the Saviour.

CH. V.- The Birth of the Patriarchs.

BUT the before-mentioned Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs, from whom the twelve tribes of Israel derive their origin. For he had by Leah, who was also called Weakeyed, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zabulon, and Dinah his daughter, who is recorded to have been ravished by the Sichemites.


[1] The steps of this genealogy, as given in Genesis (c. xxxvi.), are Esau, Revel, Zerah, Jobab.

B.C. 1729.] EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF JUDAH. 17

By Bala [1] he had Dan and Naphtali; by Gelfa [2] he had Gad and Asser. By Rachel, who was called the Beautiful, he became the father of Joseph and Benjamin. Joseph begat Manasseh and Ephraim; each of whom makes a tribe by himself, the tribe of Levi being removed from the lot of inheritance.

CH. VI.- Apis comes into Egypt, and is deified.

ABOUT the same time Apis, the son of Phorceus, king of the Argives, came by sea into Egypt. And after he had died in that country, he was called Serapis, the greatest god of all the Egyptians. And he is called Serapis, not Apis, because the Egyptians call a sarcophagus Soros. And they began to worship him while buried in a sarcophagus, before they built him a temple. His son was Argus, from whom the Argi derive their name.

CH. VII.- Joseph is sold by his Brethren - The famine in Egypt - Jacob comes down to Egypt, and dies.

BUT when Joseph was fifteen years of age, he fed the flocks with his brethren, while he himself was still a boy; and he was with the sons of Bala and Zelfa, the wives of his father. And as he had accused his brethren before his father, and had related many dreams which he had dreamt to his brethren; they envied him, and sold him to the Egyptians.

But while Joseph was sojourning in Egypt, in the second year of the famine, Jacob also came down thither with seventy-two souls, and dwelt there; and also died there, blessing all his sons in regular order.

CH. VIII.- Events in the life of Judah.

JUDAH, the son of Jacob, had a wife named Shuah, and begat Er, Onan, and Zela; by Thamar he had Phares and Sarah. Judah had given Thamar as a wife to his two sons Er and Onan successively; and when they had perished owing to their shameful wickedness, he sent her back to her father's house, fearing to give her to Zela, as he ought to have done, for the sake of raising seed. And afterwards, as she was sitting in the road, Judah, going with Iram his shepherd, to the sheepshearing, after the death of Shuah his wife, begat Phares and Sarah, who were twins, thinking that Thamar was a harlot. And afterwards, when she was being led to the stake as having been detected in adultery, she delivered herself by the display


[1] Called Bilhah and Zilpah in the Bible.

18 MATTHEW OF WESTMISTER. [B.C. 1531.

of his ring and staff and amulet which she had received as a pledge.

CH. IX.- The descendants of Jacob are oppressed in Egypt - Moses is born - The Egyptians are lost in the Red Sea - God leads the Israelites through the wilderness.

BUT after that Israel had died in Egypt, and had been carried into Canaan, and buried there, the people of the Hebrews increased wonderfully for many years, until the Egyptians became jealous of their increase, and till their very fecundity became troublesome to them. Then they began to oppress them with many labours, but at length the Divine pity had regard to the people. For in these days there went forth a man of the house of Levi, by name, Amram, who, having received a wife of his own family, by name Jochabeth, begat Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam. Afterwards, when Moses had grown up under the favour of the Lord, he led forth his people from Egypt by great portents and prodigies, and they crossed the Red Sea with dry feet. And when the king of Egypt pursued them, being moved by repentance for having permitted them to depart, he himself, with his chariots and his horsemen, entered the middle of the dry sea; but suddenly the whole mass of water was poured back upon him from behind, and he was overwhelmed there with his entire army. And even now there exist on that shore the most undoubted traces of this miracle; unto this day the tracks of the wheels and the footsteps of the horsemen and foot-soldiers are beheld there, and if by any chance they are disturbed, they are repaired again at sunrise by Divine interposition.

But after the people of the Hebrews had passed the Red Sea, they were in the desert of Sinai forty years; in the first of which years, they received a law from God by the hand of Moses. Nevertheless, during all these years none of their shoes or garments became worn out, nor did their hair or nails grow long, so as to inconvenience them. But, as if immortality had been restored to them, their simple integrity preserved the form of man unchanged. And a column of light preceded them by night as a guide to their road, which by day bore the appearance of a cloud, and defended them from any injury from the heat, so that the vast solitude might not overwhelm them with weariness.

B.C. 1490.] THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL. 19

CH. X.- The founding of Athens - Cecrops - Atlas - Mercury.

BUT Moses led this people out of Egypt, in the latter days of the life of Cecrops,king of the Athenians, who founded the city of the Athenians, in honour of Minerva, and called the Attics Athenians, from her name. [1] For Minerva is called in Greek "Atheuatt Hapthiun" that is to say, "Immortal Virgin", since Wisdom, of which she is the goddess, can neither die nor be seduced. She is said to have appeared of the age of puberty in the times of Ogygius, at the lake which is called Imtonis. Owing to which circumstance she was thought a goddess, the more easily in proportion as her real origin was less known.

The Athenians are reported to have been the first to teach the neighbouring nations the art of spinning wool, and the use of oil and wine. It is also related of Cecrops, that he was the first person who sacrificed an ox to Jupiter. Moreover, at this time they say that he formed men out of clay, because he was a most excellent teacher of wisdom. His brother was Atlas, [2] who was himself also a consummate astronomer.

At this time also. Mercury, the grandson of Atlas by his daughter Maia, is said to have lived, a man who was an inventor of many arts.

Cecrops was succeeded by Carnao, in whose time the deluge of Deucalion took place. To this time is also ascribed the fabulous conflagration of Phaethon.

CH. XI.- The numbers of the Tribes of Israel.

WHILE the children of Israel remained in the desert, the Lord ordered Moses and Aaron to number them by pedigrees, and houses, and families, and to count the names of each person of twenty years of age and upwards, of the male sex, who was able to go out to war.

And there were found to be of the tribe of Reuben, the first-born son of Israel, forty-six thousand four hundred men.


[1] The Greek name of Minerva is 'Athnun'.

[2] This does not agree with any account that has come down to us. There is no mention made of any parent of Cecrops, who is represented as earthborn; while Atlas, according to Hesiod (Theog. 507), was son of Tarpetus and Clymene.

20 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1491.

Of the tribe of Simeon, [1] seventy thousand three hundred. Of the tribe of Gad, forty-five thousand six hundred and fifty. Of the tribe of Judah, seventy-four thousand six hundred. Of the tribe of Issachar, fifty-four thousand four hundred. Of the tribe of Zebulon, fifty-seven thousand four hundred. Of the tribe of Joseph, that is, of the sons of Ephraim, forty thousand four hundred; and of the tribeof Manasseh,the brother of Ephraim, thirty-two thousand two hundred. Of the tribe of Benjamin, thirty-five thousand four hundred. Of the tribe of Dan, seventy-two thousand seven hundred. Of the tribe of Asser, forty-one thousand five hundred. Of the tribe of Naphtali, fifty-three thousand four hundred. And the sum of all the children of Israel was six hundred and three thousand five hundred and forty. The Levites were not numbered with the rest, but by the command of God, they were appointed to bear the tabernacle of the testimony, and all its utensils, and were attached to the service of the tabernacle, and pitched their camps around the circuit of the tabernacle.

CH. XII.- The different resting-places of the Israelites in the wilderness.

IN the first year of their wanderings, the first resting-place of the people of Israel in the desert was Rameses; the second, Succoth; the third, Echam; the fourth, Phiairoth; the fifth, Marah; the sixth, Helem; the seventh, the wilderness of Sin; the eighth, Dephea; the ninth, Alus; the tenth, Raphidim; the eleventh, the wilderness of Sinai. In the second year, their first resting-place was the Tomb of Concupiscence; the second was Mount Sepher; the third. Mount Seroch; the fourth, Rechima; the fifth, Remon Phares; the sixth, Lebna; the seventh, Ressa: the eighth, Chelata; the ninth, Arada; the tenth, Maceloth; the eleventh, Chaach; the twelfth, Mare; the thirteenth, Melcha; the fourteenth, Esmena; the fifteenth, Bameca Cham; the sixteenth, Mount Golgay; the seventeenth, Rechalathar; the eighteenth, Elrona; the nineteenth, Asion


[1] These numbers are not quite consistent with the account in the Bible (Numbers i.) or with themselves. The number of Simeon's tribe is stated in the Bible at 59,300; of Ephraim, at 40,500; and of Daq, at 62,700. And the total amount of the numbers mentioned in the text is not 603,540, as it is stated, but 624,450.

B.C. 1450.] JOSHUA SUCCEEDS MOSES. 21

Gaber; the twentieth, Cades. In the third year their first resting-place was Mount Hor; the second, Salmana; the third, Phenon; the fourth, Oboth; the fifth, Jeabarim; the sixth, Gibon Gad; the serenth, Hemon; the eighth, Blataim; the ninth, Abarim; the tenths the plains of Moab. [1]

CH. XIII.- Joshua succeeds Moses - The story of Achan - Of the Gibeonites - Jericho and Ai are taken - The sun and moon are stopped in their course,

AFTER Moses died, Joshua, the son of Nun, succeeded him in the leadership of the people of Israel, at the command of God; and he, having sent spies to Jericho, Sethim, after seven days, crossed over Jordan with all the people with dry feet. He brought twelve stones out of the bed of the river on to the dry land, and also a second set of twelve out of the bed of the river on to the dry land; [2] and he renewed the people by a second circumcision in Gilgal. He compassed the city of Jericho for seven days, the priests clanging with trumpets, and on the seventh day he destroyed it. He stoned Achan, who had stolen a wedge of gold and a purple garment from the offerings, because the Lord, being angry thereat, had slain thirty-six men before Ai. He took the city of Ai by ambush, and burnt it, and received the Gibeonites as slaves to hew wood and draw water. He slew five kings who had besieged Gibeon, having lengthened the space of day, the sun and moon standing still; he also slew twenty-four kings who were with Jabin.

Having built an altar on Ebal, he ordered blessings and curses to be proclaimed, and divided the land, giving it to some by concession, to others by tradition. He dismissed two tribes and a half, which, on their return after fourteen years, had built an altar [3] by the borders of Jordan; and he wrote in a book an account of his covenant with the people about worshipping God, which was entered into with the efiusion of water. [4]


[1] These wanderings of the Israelites are recorded Numb. xi. xii. xx. xxi. But the greater part of the names given here differ from those in the Bible.

[2] This is a mistake; the second set of stones were "set up in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood". (Josh. iv. 9.)

[3] See Josh. xxii. 10

[4] See Josh. xxiv. 14, 26.

22 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1425.

CH. XIV.- Mention is made of Bacchus, Cadmus, Apollo, Perseus, etc.

IN the time of Joshua, Liber Pater is said to have revealed the vine to his host in Greece. Also, about this time, Europa is said to have been carried off, and her sons were Rhodomanthus, Sarpedon, and Minos. In these days also, lived Busiris, a son of Neptune and Lybia, the daughter of Paphus, who used to sacrifice his guests to his gods.

Phoenix and Cadmus having come from Thebes, a city of Egypt, into Syria, reigned in the countries of Tyre and Sidon. But as Cadmus migrated into Greece, the whole country got the name of Phoenicia, from Phoenix.

Jupiter got possession of Europa, the daughter of Phoenix, and Danaus by the means of his fifty daughters, slew the sons of his brother AEgisthus, [1] one only being left alive, who succeeded him in the kingdom.

About this time Latona brought forth Apollo, not that Apollo whose oracles used to be consulted, but the one who with Hercules became a slave of Admetus; and he nevertheless was accounted a god, so that many believe that he was one and the same Apollo with the other.

Moreover at this time also Liber Pater warred in India; and it is said that he had many women in his army, who were called Bacchae, celebrated not so much for their virtue as for their madness.

About the same time also Perseus and his wife Andromeda are said to have been received into Heaven.

CH. XV.- The Judges of Israel from Othniel to Sampson,

AFTER the death of Joshua, the son of Nun, who succeeded Moses, the people of the Hebrews continued under judges for many years; and the names of the judges are these:- Othniel, Aioth, Deborah, Gideon, Abimelech, Mola, Jair, Jephtha, Abesan, Aldon, Samson, Eli, and Samuel, who anointed Saul to be king.

The above mentioned Othniel slew Carrathsepher, by which exploit he gained his wife Achsah, who asked of her father


[1] This is a mistake of our Chronicler for AEgyptus; AEgisthus is known as the paramour of Clytaemnestra.

B.C. 1161.] THE JUDGES OF ISRAEL. 23

the upper springs and the lower springs. He judged Israel forty years.

He was succeeded by Aioth, [1] who had equal use of both his hands, and slew Eglon, a fat king, and so delivered Israel, and himself defended Israel, and died the same year. He judged Israel.

Eighty years afterwards, Shamgar slew six hundred men with a ploughshare.

Deborah, the wife of Barachor Lapidoth, Sisera having been slain by the hand of Jael, the wife of Abner [2] the Kenite, who gave him a cup of milk, at length slew Jabin, whose general Sisera was, and sang a song over him. Deborah judged Israel forty years.

Gideon having been saluted by an angel to whom he offered flesh on Petra, and who was called Jerubbaal from having destroyed an altar, having received a sign by means of a fleece, with three hundred men who lapped water like dogs, with broken pitchers and clanging trumpets, overthrew four kings, Oreb, Zeb, Zeba, and Salmana.

Abimelech, the son of Jerubbaal by his concubine, being made king in Sichem over the Sichemites, slew his seventy brothers, leaving only one surviving, who told the Sichemites a parable about the brier, the fig tree, the vine and the bramble. He also destroyed this same Sichem, with Gaal, its king, by means of Zebul, and died himself in the town of Thesbe, having a millstone thrown upon him by the hand of a woman. Abimelech, the son of Jerubbaal, reigned over Israel three years.

Thola succeeded Abimelech, and judged Israel twenty-three years.

Jair judged for twenty-two years.

Jephthah, who had been discarded by the children of Israel as illegitimate, and who abode in the country of Thob, was afterwards made prince over them; and, having bound himself by a vow, in consequence of his victory over the Ammonites, he sacrificed his daughter, after giving her two months and forty days to bewail her virginity. Chechoiat [3] slew forty-two thousand of Ephraim by Shibboleth and Sibboleth, trying them at the fords of Jordan. Jephthah judged Israel six years. After him Abesan judged Israel seven years.


[1] Called in the Bible Ehud.

[2] Called in the Bible Heber.

[3] Called in the Bible Gilead.

24 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1120.

Ailon judged Israel ten years.

Abdon, or Labdon, judged eight years.

Sampson judged Israel twenty years. This Sampson was the son of Manoah of the tribe of Dan, and his birth was foretold by an angel. He was a Nazarite, and he married a wife in Timnath; and he proposed a riddle about a lion to guests, which was solved by the treachery of his wife. He burnt the corn crops of his enemies by tying fire to the tails of foxes. He slew a thousand men with the jawbone of an ass, which gave him water in Ramathlesbi. He carried the gates of Qazah to the mountain. At length, by the treachery of Dalilah hia hair was cut, and he was blinded by the Philistines, and compelled to grind corn; but when his hair grew again, he, in the temple of Dagon, slew more men when dying than he had slain while alive.

CH. XVl.- Of the rape of Helen - The Minotaur, the Centaurs, and other monsters of Bellerophon, Amphion, Ganymede, Danae, etc.

DURING these years, in which the people of the Hebrews after the death of Jehu or Joshua, were subject under judges to the alternatives of humiliation and distress, of prosperity and comfort, Alexander, called also Paris, carried off Helen; and the kingdom of the Argives was transferred to Mycenae, where Agamemnon reigned. About the same time also some fables were invented, which are celebrated among the grammarians. To wit, the fable of Triptolemus, that he, at the command of Ceres, being borne on the wings of serpents, bore corn, as he flew, to the earth which as yet had none.

The fable of the Minotaur: how that it was a beast shut up in a labyrinth, which when men had entered, they were involved in inextricable wanderings, so that they could not escape.

The fable of the Centaurs, that their nature was one combined of that of horses and men.

That of Tricerberus, that he is a three-headed dog in the shades below.

That of Phrixus and his sister Helle, that they were borne on a ram, and so flew.

That of the Gorgon, that she had serpents for hair, and turned those who beheld her into stone.

That of Bellerophon, that he was borne on a flying horse, which was named Pegasus.

B.C. 1184.] THE FALL OF TROY. 25

That of Amphion, that by the sweetness of his harp he soothed stones and drew them after him.

That of Daedalus, the artist, and his son Icarus, that they flew by means of wings which they fitted on.

That of OEdipus, that he compelled a certain monster which was called the Sphinx, a quadruped with a human face, by solving a riddle which she was in the habit of proposing as unanswerable, to perish by a fall from her own precipice.

That of Antaeus, whom Hercules slew, which relates that he was a son of the earth, and that consequently whenever he fell to the ground he rose up more vigorous.

That of Ganymede, a boy carried off for lustful objects, a crime which is said to have been committed in reality, not by Jupiter to whom it is ascribed, but by Tantalus the king.

Danae too is said to have lain with Jupiter himself, who descended in a shower of gold, by which fable it is implied that the chastity of the woman was corrupted by gold.

CH. XVII.- The fall of Troy - AEneas arrives in Italy - Ascanius, Sylvius, Brutus, etc.

IN this third age of the world, when Labdon had judged Israel three years, the destruction of Troy took place, four thousand nineteen years having been accomplished since the beginning of the world, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven years since the Deluge, fourteen hundred and three since the birth of Abraham; eight hundred and thirty-five since the age of Ninas king of the Assyrians.

It was also four hundred and four years since the foundation of the city of Alba, and four hundred and six before the first Olympiad. [1] And AEneas, the son of Venus and Anchises, escaping from the destruction, came into Italy, in the third year after that destruction. He fought with Turnus, the son of Daunus, king of the Tuscans, and slew him; and married his betrothed wife Lavinia, daughter of king Latinus.

AEneas reigned as king of the Latins three years. And when he died Ascanius succeeded to the kingdom, being the son of AEneas, whom he had born to him in Troy, being the son of his wife Creusa, and whom, when he came into Italy,


[1] Our historian probably refers to the institution of the Olympic games by Hercules, not to the Olympiad of Coebus, from whence chronologists date B.C. 776. The inconsistency of the previous dates it is hardly necessary to point out.

26 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1100.

he brought with him. Ascanius built Alba on the Tiber, and begat a son whose name was Sylvius. He, indulging in further love, married a granddaughter of Lavinia, and caused her to be with child. And when the day of her delivery arrived the woman brought forth a son, and died herself at his birth. The boy is given to the midwife, and called Brutus. Afterwards, when fifteen years had elapsed, the youth was accompanying his father out hunting, and by an unintentional wound of an arrow, he slew his father instead of a wild beast. And after his death he was driven out of Italy, his relations being indignant at his having committed such a crime.

CH. XVIII.- Brutus goes to Greece - Collects the Trojans around him - Pandrasus.

BRUTUS, therefore, being driven into exile, went to the land of Greece, and there he found the posterity of Helenus, the son of Priam, who were held in slavery under the power of Pandrasus, the king of the Greeks. The fact was, that Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles, after the overthrow of Troy, had carried off with him in chains the before-mentioned Helenus, and many other persons; and had ordered them to be kept in prison, that he might avenge on them the death of his father.

Brutus now, recognising the pedigree of his ancient fellow-citizens, remained among them. And he became so eminent for military renown and for honesty, that he was beloved both by the kings and princes beyond all the youth of the country. For he was wise among the wise, impetuous among the warlike, and whatever gold or silver or ornaments he acquired, he gave wholly among the soldiers. Therefore, as his fame had spread abroad among all nations, the Trojans began to flock to him, entreating him to become their leader, and to deliver them from their slavery to the Greeks, which they asserted might easily be accomplished, as they had already multiplied in the land to such an extent, that they were reckoned at seven thousand souls besides women and children. There was also a certain youth of the noblest blood in Greece, by name Assaracus, who favoured the cause. For he was born of a Trojan mother, and placed the greatest confidence in the Trojans, so that by their assistance he resisted the unquiet

B.C. 1100.] BRUTUS DEFEATS PANDRASUS. 27

spirit of the Greeks. For his brother was accusing him for the sake of three castles which his father, when dying, had given to him, and he endeavoured to take them from him, because he was the son of a concubine. But his brother was a Greek on both the father's and the mother's side, and he had won over the king and all the other Greeks to favour his party.

Brutus, therefore, beholding the multitude of the men, and the castles of Assaracus, which were open to him, agreed to their request the more fearlessly. Accordingly, being raised to the office of their general, he collects the Trojans from all quarters, and fortifies the castles of Assaracus. But he himself, and Assaracus, with the whole multitude of men and women which adhered to them, occupied the woods and hills. Then he sent letters from himself to the king, entreating his Highness and Mightiness to permit the people to migrate to other lands and nations, or else to return to their pristine dignity in their own country. On this, Pandrasus, being inflamed by great anger, collected a vast army to pursue the Trojans and subject them to still more rigorous slavery. But as he was marching by the city of Sparata, towards the desert places in which he conjectured that they were assembled, Brutus sallied out with three thousand men, and attacked him quite suddenly, while he was expecting nothing of the sort, and routed the whole of his army, and put the chief part of it to the sword. But at last, as Mars turned out favourable to him, he took Antigonus, die mother of the king, and Anacletus his companion, and put them in chains.

CH. XIX.- Brutus defeats Pandrasus and takes him prisoner.

BRUTUS having gained this victory, fortified his city with six hundred soldiers, and delivering his prisoners to guards, again sought the more secret parts of the woods. But Pandrasus, being anxious, on account of his own defeat and the captivity of his brother, employed his leisure in re-uniting his distracted people, and when he had accomplished his object, he proceeded to besiege the town. For he thought that Brutus had thrown himself into it with Antigonus, and the rest of the prisoners whom he had taken. When therefore he came near the walls, he ordered some of his troops to cut off all egress from the garrison, which was blockaded;

28 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1100.

others to turn the course of the river; others to loosen the fabric of the walls by frequent blows of the battering-ram and other warlike engines. But Brutus desiring to bring aid to the besieged, arranged to attack the camp of the Greeks on the following night, in order that he might inflict a miserable slaughter on the Greeks, who would be weary in the labour, heavy in sleep, and secure, as they fancied, from the attack of the enemy, and afterwards might reduce them to subjection to his will.

When therefore his forces were arranged, Brutus, with his companions, boldly pierced the wedges of the enemy, and penetrated to the king's tent, which, above all things, he desired to reach. Having done this, they instantly draw their swords, they enter the bed-chambers of the sleepers, they redouble their deadly blows, and, showing no pity, they traverse the whole camp in this manner, cruelly slaughtering every one they meet.

Pandrasus himself, deprived of all comfort, was detained as prisoner by Brutus, who ordered him to be bound and preserved with all respect.

CH. XX.- Brutus marries the daughter of Pandrasus.

BUT Brutus, being delighted at his victory, asked his friends what they would advise him to demand of Pandrasus, while they, influenced by different passions, were recommending different things: Mantritius rose, a man of great eminence for wisdom, and having commanded silence, said, "To slay a king from a desire of ruling, appears to me to be impious, as it is lawful for all men to fight for their country. But I recommend that we should demand of him his daughter in marriage for our general, and gold and silver with her, and ships, and corn, and all other things which may be necessary for our march, in order that we may be able to proceed to some desert country, where we and all our posterity, for ever, may be able to reign by ourselves". And when this opinion had gained the assent of them all, the king, at the command of Brutus, was brought, with great respect, into the middle: and when he had been informed of their proposal, he answered with a lowly voice; "Since the hostile gods have delivered me and my brother Antigonus into your hands, I must comply with your request, lest I lose my life, which can be

B.C. 1100.] BRUTUS SETS SAIL TO SEEK A NEW HOME. 29

either taken away from or granted to me at your pleasure. Accordingly I give to your general my daughter Imogene; I give gold and silver, corn and wine and oil, and whatever you think necessary for your march".

Accordingly, his daughter having been married to Brutus, and everything else having been properly performed, the king was released from prison, and the Trojans, having succeeded in their wishes, escaped from his power.

CH. XXI.- Brutus sets sail in quest of a home - Consults the oracle of Diana.

BRUTUS, then, and his comrades having sailed two days and one night with a fair wind, came to a certain island called Leogicia, which having been laid waste in old time, was inhabited by no one. Disembarking from their ships they came to a certain deserted city, in which was a temple of Diana, and they found an image of the goddess herself, which gave answers if any question was put to it by any one. His comrades suggest to the general to visit the temple, and having offered propitiatory gifts, to enquire of the deity what country would give them an abode and a secure resting-place. Brutus acquiescing in their advice, stood before the altar of the goddess, holding in his right hand a sacrificial vessel full of wine and the blood of a white doe, and broke the silence with these words:-

THE QUESTION PUT BY BRUTUS TO DIANA.

Queen of the groves, of all wild beasts the foe,
You who through heav'n and shades below can roam;
Reveal, I pray, the future fates, and show
What land shall give us a safe, lasting home.
Where I may kindle you a sacred fire,
And build a temple for your virgin choir.

When he had repeated this nine times, he walked round the altar four times, and poured forth the blood and wine which he held on the altar, and lay down on the skin of the doe, which he had stretched before the altar, and thus, having invited slumber, he fell asleep. It was then about the third hour of the night, when mortals are sunk in the most pleasant sleep; then it appeared to him that the goddess was standing before him, and addressing him in this manner:-

30 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1100.

ANSWER OF DIANA.

In the far west, beyond the Gallic shore,
A seagirt isle in that vast ocean lies;
A seagirt isle, which whilome giants bore.
Now desolate, invites your band's emprise.
Seek that, for it shall be your lasting home,
Your flag shall on a second Troy be unfurl'd;
There, of your blood shall mighty monarchs come.
And to their mighty sway subject the world.

CH. XXII.- Brutus proceeds on his voyage - Joins Corinaeus - A battle with Goffrarius - Bravery of Corinaeus and Turnus.

THE leader being awakened by such a vision as this, reported what he had heard to his companions; they being elated with great joy, immediately return to the ships. Passing over the sea, after a voyage of thirty days, they came to Africa. From thence they came to the altars of the Philaeni, and to the lake of Salivae, and sailed between Ruscitada and the mountain Azara. Then crossing the river Malua, they went towards the pillars of Hercules, and the Tyrrhenian sea, where, near the shore, they found four families of Trojan exiles, which had accompanied Rutinor in his flight. Their leader was Corinaeus, a man of great wisdom, boldness and virtue. Brutus united him, and the people which he governed, to himself. From thence they proceeded to Aquitania, and entering the mouth of the Lijer, [1] they examined the situation of the country. Corinaeus himself, disembarking from the ships, with two hundred men, collected supplies with great bravery. And when the news of that proceeding was brought to Goffrarius, who at that time reigned in Aquitania, he came against him with the Gauls and Aquitanians, and endeavoured to wrest their booty from them. So a battle began, and a contest of great fierceness on both sides ensues. But Corinaeus, with a dense phalanx, forces his way through the squadrons of the enemy, and put them to flight; and as he had lost his sword by accident, he wielded a battle-axe. One man's hand arm and all he cuts off; another's shoulder-blade he separates from his body; another's head he cuts off at one blow; another's legs he cuts asunder from their union; all were rushing at him, and he by himself was rushing against all. And Brutus,


[1] The Loire.

B.C. 1100.] BRUTUS ARRIVES IN BRITAIN. 31

perceiving this, inflamed with love for the man, came with one squadron, and put Goffrarius the king, with the Pictavians [1] and Gauls, to flight.

There was in the battle a Trojan, of the name of Turnus, a nephew of Brutus, than whom there was no one more bold or fearless, except Corinaeus. He with his single sword slew six hundred men, but, alas! was slain sooner than he deserved to be, by the attacking Gauls. And from his name the city of the Turni [2] derived its appellation, because, as Homer [3] bears witness, he was buried there. And, although so important a victory filled Brutus with the greatest joy, still he was also afflicted with great grief, because he had lost his nephew, a youth of such great excellence.

Without delay, he sought his fleet, with the consent of all his companions, filling it with all the booty which he had acquired, and embarking on board his ships, he approached the promised island with a fair wind, and anchored on the Istonesian [4] coast.

CH. XXIII.- Brutus comes to Britain - Divides it among his chief comrades.

THE name of the island was at that time Albion, and it was inhabited by no one except a few giants. Nevertheless, by its pleasant situation, and the abundance of its rivers full of fish, and the beauty of its groves, it inspired Brutus and his companions with a desire of taking up their abode in it; accordingly, having traversed certain provinces, they drive the giants whom they find into the caverns in the mountains; they divide the country, which their leader gives them, by lot; they begin to cultivate the land; to build houses; so that in a short time you would have supposed that the island had been inhabited from the earliest ages.

Lastly, Brutus calls the island Britain, after his own name, and calls his comrades and friends Britons. For he wished to leave behind him a perpetual recollection of himself, by such a derivation from his name; with which view subsequently, the language of the nation which was formerly called Trojan, or crooked Greek, was now called British.


[1] The inhabitants of the district of Poictiers.

[2] Now Tours.

[3] This must be some mistake of the good monk. There is no such place or people mentioned in Homer.

[4] Near Thionville, in Belgiam.

32 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1100.

But Corinaeus called that portion of the kingdom which fell to his lot Corinaea, after his own name; and his people he called Corinaean, following the example of his leader. And the reason why he especially chose that district, which, from being the horn (cornu) of Britain, is called Cornubea, [1] was, because above all things he was eager to fight the giants. For there were a greater number of them there, than in any other of the provinces which were distributed among his companions.

In sooth, as it is read in the history of the Britons, he himself engaged in a personal combat with one of the giants, by name of Gogmagog; whose stature was twelve cubits high, and putting him on his shoulders, he carried him down to the seashore, and throwing him down over the precipice, he dashed him to pieces.

CH. XXIV.- Brutus founds London.

AT length, having divided the kingdom, Brutus was desirous to found a city. Accordingly, proceeding to execute his wish, he travelled round the whole country till he came to the river Thames, where he found a situation suitable for his purpose. Accordingly, he built a city there, and called it Troja Nova, which name afterwards got corrupted, and was called Trinovantum. [2] Then he dedicated it to the citizens who were to live in it, and he gave them a law under which they might live peaceably.

At that time the sons of Hector were reigning in Troy, having expelled the posterity of Antenor.

Sylvius AEneas was reigning in Italy, the son of AEneas, and grandfather, in the third degree, of the Brutus of the Latins.

Eli the priest was reigning in Judaea; and the ark of the covenant was taken by the Philistines, about the same time.

CH. XXV.- Of the priesthood of the tribe of Levi - Of Corah, Dathan, and Abiram - Of the taking of the ark and death of Eli.

IT has been already mentioned, that by the command of the Lord, the tribe of Levi was separated from the allotment of inheritance, for the purpose of ministering in the tabernacle of the covenant, and of offering sacrifices and victims for sin. That Levi begat Caath; Caath, by his wife Jochabeth, became the father of Ishar and Amram; Ishar, the first-born,


[1] Now Cornwall.

[2] Now London.

B.C. 1491.] THE STORY OF ELKANAH, SAMUEL, ETC. 33

begat Dorah; Amram begat Aaron and Moses. This Moses led the children of Israel out of the Egyptian bondage, as has been already mentioned. Aaron begat Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. The above-mentioned Corah strove with Aaron in the wilderness about the priesthood, because he was the son of Ishar, the elder brother of Amram. And on this account he perished by fire from heaven, with two hundred and fifty of his followers. Also Dathan and Abiram, and Nadab and Abihu were destroyed at the same time.

The priests descended from Eleazar down to the time of Christ, according to the appointment of the judges, kings and prophets. Eleazar waa succeeded by Phineas, Phineas by Abisve, Abisve by Boezi, Boezi by Ozi, after whom the priesthood was transferred from the line of Eleazar to Eli, who was the son of Thamar, and Azariah, Meraioth, Amariah, and Achitob were deprived of the priesthood. But Eli was lukewarm in correcting his sons, Hophni and Phineas, who, together with him, discharged the duties of the priesthood, and treated the sacrifices at the altar with irreverence, and therefore it is related that he was rejected by the Lord. And when he heard of the slaughter of his sons, and that the ark of the Lord was taken by the Philistines, he fell down from his seat, and broke his neck, and died. And he judged Israel forty years.

CH. XXVI.- The story of Elkanah, Samuel, and Saul.

IN those days there was a man named Elkanah, descended through Corah from Ishar, and he had two wives, Peninah who was fruitful, and Hannah who was barren. And Hannah having made a vow, that if God would grant her a male child, she would make him a Nazarene, brought forth Samuel, who was both prophet and judge. And he delivered Israel from the Philistines by a lamb, which he slew on the stone of Help, which was placed on the borders of the land, with reference to the petition of Israel. [1]


[1] The Bible account (1 Sam. vii. 12.) is, that Samuel sacrificed, "and the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines and discomfited them, and they were smitten before Israel ... Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, [The stone of help. Margin.] saying, hitherto hath the Lord helped us".

34 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1095.

He anointed Saul, who was pointed out to him by the Lord, king over Israel, confirming his anointing by three signs, and giving him an injunction, for transgressing which, subsequently he was rejected by the Lord, and placed in such straits that he tried to raise Samuel from the dead, by the assistance of the magic art of a Pythoness. King Saul was descended by many successions from Abel, through the tribe of Benjamin, of whose descendant Cis, he was the son. Saul begat Jonathan, Joshua, Melchisiah, and Ishbosheth, and two daughters, Merob and Mishcol.

CH. XXVII.- Brutus dies - His sons divide his kingdom - The invasion and death of Humber - The fate of Estrildis - Locrinus marries Guendolen - Homer flourishes.

WHILE that Saul reigned in Judaea, Brutus, the king of Britain, became the father of three sons by his wife, Imogene; and their names were Locrinus, Albanactus, and Camber. These men, after their father departed this life, in the twenty-fourth year of his reign (and he was buried in the city which he had built), divided the kingdom of Britain among them, and departed each to his own place. Locrinus, who was the first-born, possessed the middle portion of the island, which was afterwards called Loegria, after his name. Camber took that part which is beyond the river Severn, and which was afterwards called Cambria, from his name; being the country which is now called Wales. Albanactus, who was the youngest, had that part which is now called Scotland, and he called it Albania, from his own name.

These men reigned a long time in peace and unanimity with one another, till Humber, the king of the Huns, invaded Albania, and in a great battle with Albanactus, slew him. Therefore Locrinus, his elder brother, uniting with his brother Camber, came to meet the king of the Huns on this side of the river which is now called the Humber, where a battle took place, and they put Humber the king to flight, who fled as far as the river and was drowned in it, and bequeathed his name to the river.

After this victory Locrinus carried off three maidens, one of whom, by name Estrildis, was of wonderful beauty; and she was the daughter of some king of Germany. So Locrinus being attracted by love for her, wished to unite her to himself in

B.C. 1050.] THE REIGN AND DEATH OF MADDAN. 35

marriage. And when Corinaeus heard this, he was exceedingly indignant, because Locrinus had agreed to marry his daughter. He therefore went to the king, and, partly by threats and partly by caresses, compelled Locrinus to perform what he had promised. Accordingly he married the daughter of Corinaeus, whose name was Guendolen; but he did not for all that forget his love for Estrildis, but having made a subterraneous cave in the city Trinovantum, he was content to enjoy stolen pleasures with her in that. In the mean time Estrildis became with child, and brought forth a daughter, whom she called Habre. And Guendolen too being pregnant, brought forth a son, whom she called Maddan. But when Corinaeus died, then Locrinus forsook Guendolen, and made Estrildis his queen: and in consequence, Guendolen became beyond all measure indignant, and went to Cornwall. There she collected an army and laboured to disturb Locrinus: and when a battle took place near the river Styra, Locrinus received a wound from an arrow, and died when he had reigned ten years.

Then Guendolen, raging with a frenzy equal to that of her father, orders Estrildis and her daughter Habre to be thrown into the river, which was at the time called Habre, from her name, but it is now corrupted into the pronunciation Sabrina, [1] for she was willing to give her the honour of an eternal memory, because her husband had begotten her.

At this time Homer lived, who was accounted an illustrious orator and poet, and Samuel the prophet flourished in Judaea.

CH. XXVIII.- Maddan's reign and death.

MADDAN being invested with the crown, begot two sons, Mempulius and Malas, and administered the kingdom in peace for forty years. When he died a quarrel arose between the above-mentioned brothers, because each of them wished to possess the whole island. But Mempulius having slain his brother, behaved with such cruelty to the nation, that he laboured to put to death nearly every man of the highest birth in the kingdom. However, in the twentieth year of his reign, when he was out hunting, he went out by himself and quitted his companions, and was devoured by a troop of furious wolves.


[1] The Severn.

36 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1045.

CH. XXIX.- Of the genealogy of our Saviour - the story of Rahab.

THE line of the genealogy of the Saviour took its rise from Abraham, in this third age of the world.

Abraham (as it has been said before) begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob, Jacob begat Judah and his brethren; Judah begat Pharez and Zarah by Thamar, Pharez begat Esrom, Esrom begat Aram, Aram begat Aminadab, Aminadab begat Naasson. This Naasson departed from Egypt and was the prince of the tribe of Judah, and that became true which God foretold to Abraham in Genesis; that in the fifth generation, reckoned according to the royal family, so that we mean by generations, not persons, but successions, the children of Israel depart from Egypt; as you may see if you calculate from Judah to Naasson. For in that list the word "begot" occurs five times. But if that succession is limited to the fourth generation in the sacerdotal tribe, then those who make the calculation must proceed from Levi to Eleazar.

Naasson begat Salmon, Salmon married Rahab the harlot, who received the spies in Jericho, and hid them under straw of flax, and let them down over the wall, and delivered her own house by a scarlet thread, which she placed in the window, while Jericho was being destroyed. By Rahab Salmon became the father of Boaz. In the days of Boaz, Elimelech, a man of Bethlehem, with his wife Naomi, and his sons Mahlon and Chelion, came at a time of famine into Moab, where he obtained wives for his sons, to wit, Ruth and Orpah. And when he and his sons died, Naomi returned with Ruth the Moabitess, and by her Boaz became the father of Obed, raising up seed to his dead kinsman. And Obed begat Isai or Jesse, for he had two names; and Jesse begat David and his brethren.

This David Samuel the prophet anointed to be king, when Saul had been rejected for disobedience.

THE END OF THE THIRD AGE OE THE WORLD, which ends in Saul, consisting, according to the Hebrews, of 942 years; according to the seventy translators, of 940.

BOOK IV.

THE FOURTH AGE OF THE WORLD.

B.C. 1055-606.

EBRANCUS FOUNDS YORK - SOLOMON BUILDS THE TEMPLE - THE DIVISION OF THE JEWISH TRIBES - ELIJAH - BLADUD, KING OF BRITAIN, IS CONTEMPORARY OF ELIJAH - SHISHAK PLUNDERS JERUSALEM - SARDANAPALUS - END OF THE KINGDOM OF ASSYRIA - HISTORY OF KING LEAR - ROME IS FOUNDED BY ROMULUS AND REMUS - THE OLD KINGS OF ITALY, JANUS, SATURN, JUPITER - EARLY HISTORY OF ALBA AND ROME - KINGS OF ROME AFTER ROMULUS - CONSTANTINOPLE IS FOUNDED IN THE TIME OF TULLUS HORTILIUS - STORY OF LUCRETIA - NEHEMIAH IS A CONTEMPORARY OF SPURIUS CASSIUS - STORY of ESTHER - REGULUS - LIST OF THE JEWISH KINGS - THE PROPHECY OF THE SIBYLS - THE JEWS ARE CARRIED OFF TO BABYLON.

CH. I.- Of the reign of David - Saul's visit to him - The rebellion of Absolom - His death and character.

DAVID, as it has been already said, though the youngest of his brethren, was elected king by the Lord, and anointed by Samuel in Bethlehem, as a token of his being king. After that, he reigned in Hebron over the tribe of Judah seven years and six months; and thirdly, he reigned over the whole of Israel thirty-three years. After the death of Goliah he soothed the mind of Saul, by playing on the harp; he gained the affections of Jonathan, and became the king's son-in-law. But the king conceived. envy against him because of the praises which the virgins bestowed on him; David, however, frustrated his designs against him, and brought him a hundred foreskins; and avoided a blow from a lance which Saul aimed at him while he was playing the harp; and also he escaped from the treacherous attack of his guards by the device of Michol, who

38 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1055.

placed an image in his bed instead of him. By the kindness of Samuel he saw Saul prophesying in Naioth, without receiving any injury from him. And he made a treaty with Jonathan, who practised shooting arrows. [1] In Nob he ate the priests' bread, having pretended to be mad at Achish.

Abiathar was the only one of the priests who escaped when the rest were slain by Doeg, after which David slew the robbers and delivered Keilah. Once, while Saul was asleep, he privily took away a pitcher of water and his spear, and forded the river, delivering his lord the king from the enemies that were coming against him. Afterwards, [2] when Saul pursued him he cut off the skirt of his garment. When Nabal, who was a foolish man, died, he married his wife Abigail. Returning from Achish to Ziklag, he smote the Amalekites, and slew the man who brought him news of Saul's death, and composed a mournful elegy over him, and lamented him.

After Ishbosheth died he reigned alone in Jerusalem, which was formerly called Solema, casting the Jebusites out of it; and he built Mello. Having defeated the Philistines in Baalpharosin, the ark of the Lord is brought back to Jerusalem, and David danced before the ark, for which he is laughed at by Michal. Posterity is promised him, but he is forbidden himself to build a house for the Lord. He measured the Moabites with a line and smote them, and overthrew the Philistines and Edomites in the valley of Salt, and delivered Israel out of their hands. He distributed official dignities, and slew Uriah by the hand of the Ammonites. He fled before Absolom, who had at first been rejected by him, and who afterwards pursued him; and when he was slain, and when Ahitophel had hanged himself, he returned to Jerusalem, and by numbering the people brought the anger of God upon himself.

David was both king and prophet, born of the tribe of Judah, the son of Jesse, born in Bethlehem: as a boy he was a keeper of sheep, he was the youngest of his brothers, but superior to them in genius. He was called by the Lord to the kingdom, and anointed king by the prophet. In war he was brave, for personal courage he was conspicuous, he triumphed gloriously: he was a veteran in victory, patient in


[1] Jonathan gave notice to David of Saul's disposition towards him by shooting arrows, see 1 Sam. xx. 20.

[2] David cat off Saul's skirt before he took his spear and cruse, 1 Sam. xxiv. 4; xxiv. 12.

B.C. 1055.] SOLOMAN BUILDS THE TEMPLE. 39

adversity, prudent amid dangers, grieving for his own sins, mournful for the deaths of others, prone to repentance, swift to pardon, gentle as a companion, inclined to mercy, inasmuch as he did not injure the king who was his enemy, when he might have done so; and he did not only save him when he was in his power, but he avenged him after he had been slain. He slew a lion and a bear without a sword; he drove away an unclean spirit by the sweetness of his harp-playing, and he slew the giant.

Therefore he ended his life in the fiftieth year of his reign and the seventieth of his life, and was buried in his city of Bethlehem, which is called also by another name Ephrata, where also our Lord Jesus Christ was born after the flesh, and where also Rachel died after she had brought forth Benjamin; where also the tomb of Jesse the father of David is shown.

And this town is in the tribe of Judah, six miles from Jerusalem, on the south, in the road to Hebron.

CH. II.- Ebrancus founds York - Brutus II. - Leyl.

AT the same time that David reigned in Judaea, Membritius, the king of the Britons, died, and Ebrancus his son succeeded to the kingdom, and reigned forty years in it. He was the first king since Brutus, who directed his fleet towards Gaul, and he returned victorious. After that he founded a city on the other side of the Humber, which he called after his own name Caerbranc, that is, the City of Ebrancus.

(At that time Sylvius Latinus was reigning in Italy.)

He also built the city of Alched towards Scotland, and the town of Mount Agnel, which is now called the Castle of the Maids. He begat twenty sons and thirty daughters, all of whom he sent into Italy to Sylvius Alva, who succeeded Sylvius Latinus in the kingdom, and there they became the wives of the noble Trojan. After him, Brutus, surnamed Green Shield, took the helm of the kingdom and reigned twelve years. He was succeeded by his son Leyl.

CH. III.- Solomon builds the temple - Dies - Leyl founds Carlisle - Dies, and is succeeded by Rudhudibras, who founds Canterbury.

AFTER the death of King David, in the fourth age of the world, Solomon his son succeeded him, having been anointed

40 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 975.

king by Nathan the prophet, and by Zadok the priest After that, Joab being shun, and Shimei, and Adonijah his brother, Solomon, having received wisdom from God after a sacrifice which he offered, began to build a temple to the Lord at Jerusalem, in the fourth year of his reign, and the five hundred and second year after the Exodus of Israel from Egypt; on the thousand and twentieth [1] year of the arrival of Abraham in the land of Canaan from Mesopotamia in Syria, and the fourteen hundredth year after the flood.

In these days also, Leyl, king of the Britons, who was mentioned in the last chapter, built a city and called it after his own name Carlisle, that is to say, the city of Leyl. He reigned twenty-five years. After him, his son Budhudibras took the kingdom; he founded Caerceynt, that is, Canterbury, and Caerguyent, that is, Winchester, and the town of Mount Paladin, which is now called Septonia. [2]

Solomon the son of David was the son of Bathsheba, and born in Jerusalem. And before he was born it was pronounced that he should be the wisest of men. He dedicated the temple of the Lord; he was prosperous in his empire, though not so warlike a king as his father: he was beloved by God, discreet in judgment, just in giving sentence, pacific in his administration, one who begged for wisdom and gained it to such a degree as to know the entire arrangement of the world, the virtues of the elements, the power of the different minerals and herbs, the nature of all animals and the thoughts of men. His beginning was good, and his end evil. For after wonderful glory on account of his virtues, he became corrupted by his love for women, and lost the wisdom that he had received, and sank in the deepest idolatry, which was his ruin. He reigned forty years and lived fifty-two. [3] Then he ended his life and his reign; and he was buried in Bethlehem, in the city of his father.


[1] These dates are not quite correct, or quite consistent. The flood took place B.C. 2349. The call of Abraham, 1921. The Exodus, 1491. The distance of time between the call of Abraham and the departure from Egypt being 430 years, not 518.

[2] Now Shaftesbury.

[3] This is not quite correct. Solomon was born B.C. 1033; Dayid died 1015; Solomon died 975, so that he was fifty-eight years old, not fifty-two.

B.C. 1004.] DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE. 41

CH. IV.- Solomon dedicates the Temple - The reign of Rehohoam - The separation of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel.

THE temple, as it has been mentioned, having been built by Solomon, he consecrated it with great solemnity on the tenth of September. The house of the forest of Lebanon, and the royal palace, were built in a wonderful manner. The queen of Sheba was received with great honour. But his praiseworthy life was miserably stained by illicit love.

After Solomon, his son Rehoboam became king, against whom there rose up Jeroboam of the tribe of Ephraim, and he separated the ten tribes from Judah, and from the house of David, which happened, not by chance, but by the decree of God, on account of the offence of Solomon, who, after he had built that most noble temple at Jerusalem, was seduced by the blandishments of women, and fell into idolatry. But the pitying and merciful God would not deprive him of the kingdom of his father before his death, on account of David his servant.

Afterwards, when each part, as it is written, began to have its separate king, there remained with the tribe of Judah, and the tribe of Benjamin, the tribe of Levi also, which was the tribe of the priesthood, dedicated to the especial service of the Lord. And after this time, these three tribes were called the kingdom of Judah, and the other tribe had the name of the kingdom of Israel. There adhered also to the people of Israel the two tribes Manasseh and Ephraim, which are not of the twelve tribes. For Joseph, who was one of the twelve patriarchs, did not make one tribe like the other patriarchs, but two, namely, those which we have just named.

Jeroboam being a man of perverse mind, established idolatry in Samaria and throughout all his kingdom. For he was afraid lest, by coming to the temple of God which was in Jerusalem, and to which, according to the divine command, the whole nation was bound to come for the purpose of sacrificing, his people should be reduced and restored to the rule of the race of David, as being the royal family. On which account, as has been already said, he polluted the whole people of Israel with wicked impiety. For he lived by the advice of Abdo the prophet, and did not forsake his evil ways, and

42 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 850.

accordingly he receired a severe announcement of his impending desolate condition from Ahijah at Shiloh, transmitted to him by his wife, who consulted the prophet about the safety of her child. After this he died, and he reigned twenty-two years.

CH. V.- Different kings reign in Israel - Elijah the Tishbite flourishes - His actions - Prophecies about Antichrist - Bladud succeeds Rudhudibras in Britain - He is succeeded by Leyr - Ahab reigns in Israel and Jehu - Elisha flourishes - His Character and Actions - The Israelites are carried into Assyria by Tiglath, Pileser, and Shalmaneser.

ACCORDINGLY, after the kingdom was divided, Jeroboam was succeeded by Nadab his son, who reigned over Israel in Samaria for two years. This Nadab besieged Gebbithon, a city of the Philistines, and was slain by Baasha who succeeded him, and reigned twenty-four years. This Baasha was reproved by Jehu the prophet, and nevertheless he built Rama as a fortress against Asa, and being hindered by Benhadad he died. But this Benhadad was one of the ancient kings of Syria, who were always hostile to the kingdom of Israel. Baasha was succeeded by Hela his son, and he reigned two years; and then becoming tipsy or drunk, he was slain by Zimir. Zimir reigned in his stead for seven days, and then being besieged by Omri, he was burnt alive in Titzah. Omri succeeded him, and reigned twelve years. This Omri, three years before he became sole king, was at war with Thebit, and he built Samaria, and then he died. He was succeeded by Ahab his son, who reigned after him twenty-two years. At this time flourished the prophets Elijah, Michaiah, and Obadiah.

Elijah the Tishbite, a great priest and prophet, and a dweller in the desert, a man full of faith, and of the greatest devotion, brave in enduring labours, clean and industrious, of excellent abilities, strict in the practice of discipline, constant in holy meditation, and fearless of death, scourged tyrants, put sacrilegious persons to death, and was eminent for many acts of virtue. Moreover, he closed up the heaven so that it should not rain, and caused a drought for three years. Again he prayed, and the heaven gave forth rain. He raised from death

B.C. 750.] ELIJAH THE TISHBITE. 43

the son of the woman whose virtue he had rewarded, by preventing her measure of meal from wasting, and by keeping her cruse of oil flowing in a perpetual stream. At his word fire from heaven descended on a sacrifice. He burned two companies of fifty soldiers with their commanders, by fire from heaven. When crossing Jordan, he divided the waters by a touch of his mantle. After this, he was carried off in a fiery chariot, and ascended into heaven; being about to come again, according to the prophet Malachi, at the end of the world, and to precede Christ, and to announce his last advent, with great wonder and prodigious portents; so that Antichrist will wage war against him, and he shall conquer him, and slay him. And the carcasses of these men shall lie unburied in the streets. After that, a great kingdom shall be raised by the Lord, and shall smite the kingdom of Antichrist. After this the Lord shall come, and shall slay Antichrist with the sword of his mouth, and all those besides, who have worshipped him; and the Lord shall reign with all his people in everlasting glory.

In the days of this Elijah the prophet, Bladud, the son of Rudhudibras, succeeded to the kingdom of Britain, and held it for twenty years. He built the city of Caerbodun, which is now called Badonia (Bath); and he made in it warm baths fit for the use of mankind, which he committed to the presidency of Minerva; in whose temple he established an everlasting fire, which was never to burn away to ashes; but as soon as the flame gets feeble, it is turned into globes of stone. He also taught necromancy throughout the kingdom of Britain. And he was incessantly doing marvellous tricks, till at last he made himself wings, and endeavoured to go through the air; and fell down on a temple of Apollo, just below the city Trinovantum, and was dashed to pieces.

He was succeeded by Leyr, his son, who reigned forty years. He founded a city on the river Sora, which is called in the British language, Caerleyer; and in the Saxon language, Leicester.

At the same time that Elijah slew the priests of Baal, Ahaziah, his son, succeeded Ahab, and reigned two years. Ahaziah was succeeded by Joram, his brother, who reigned twelve years. Jehu slew Joram, having been anointed by the disciple of Elisha, for the purpose of scattering the family of Ahab, according to the prophecy of Elijah. And Jehu reigned twenty-eight

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years. He was succeeded by Joacham, his son, who reigned seventeen years. In his reign, Elisha the prophet died, a man of a very illustrious life, and very glorious for his miracles; and he was buried in Samaria.

Elisha, the disciple of Elijah, was a native of the town of Amelmoth, and of the tribe of Reuben. At his birth, a golden calf, which was in Gilgal, lowed; and its voice sounded in Jerusalem. Then a prophet, being inspired, said, "This day is born in Jerusalem a man who shall destroy all idolatry". He being glorified with a double portion of Elijah's spirit, was distinguished by many important actions, and displays of virtue. He divided Jordan, in order to pass through it, and having checked the waters, he then turned them back to their course. He threw a pitcher into the barren waters of Jericho, and so embued them with fertility. By a single word, he gave up some boys who mocked him to wild beasts. He made waters run with blood, so as to cause the slaughter of his enemies. By a word, he made a woman fruitful who before was barren; and when her son died, he raised him from the dead. And he softened the bitterness of some men's food. He fed the people with ten loaves, and collected fragments that were left afterwards. He cleansed Naaman of the stain of leprosy, by washing in Jordan; and he inflicted the leprosy upon his disciple, whom he cursed. He made the iron of an axe which fell into the Jordan to float, by throwing a piece of wood into the water. He smote the host of Syria with blindness; he predicted death to one who did not believe him. He put the enemy to flight by the sound of chariots; he dispersed a besieging force; he warded off a famine. After his death, he restored life to a dead corpse, and his sepulchre is shown to this day in the city of Sebastia, deserving, indeed, of all honour, and held in great veneration.

Joachim, the king of Israel, was succeeded by his son Joash, who reigned sixteen years. After Joash, his son Jeroboam reigned for forty-one years. In his time, the prophets Hosea, Amos, Joel, and Jonas prophesied. Jeroboam, the king, was succeeded by his son Zechariah; he reigned six months, and was slain by his servant Shallum. After Shallum, who reigned only one month, Menahem succeeded him, and reigned ten years. This Menahem gave a thousand talents to Pul, the king of the Assyrians, in order to let him depart from his kingdom;

B.C. 700.] THE KINGS OF JUDAH. 45

but provoked his anger by a gift of some false calves. After Menahem, there reigned Pehahiah, his son, for two years. Pehahiah was succeeded by Pekah, the son of Remaliah, under whom Nahum the prophet flourished; and Pekah reigned twenty years.

But he could not resist Tiglath Pileser, or prevent his taking prisoners two tribes and a half, and as many out of the tribe of Zabulon and Naphtali as were equivalent to half a tribe more. He was succeeded by Hoshea, who was taken prisoner by Shalmanezer, king of the Assyrians, who removed the Israelites into the country of the Assyrians, settling them in the cities of the Medes, near the river Goza. Under the same Hoshea, although he had granted permission for them to go thrice a year to Jerusalem, the ten tribes were taken by Shalmaneser; and among them was Tobias taken, whose history is well known.

Samaria having been besieged for three years, was filled with Cutheans, [1] or Jacobites, or Samarians; but though they received the law from fear of lions, they did not cast away their idols.

CH. VI.- Of the Kings of Judah - Edom revolts - Character of Sardanapalus - Abastus revolts from him - The Empire of the Assyrians is transferred to the Medes - Amalius and Numitor flourish in Italy.

WE are now about to treat of those kings who were contemporaries of the kings of Israel; and we will begin with Rehoboam, the son of Solomon. This Rehoboam, when the Lord had divided the kingdom, and when ten tribes followed Jeroboam, retained only two with the tribe of Levi; and his kingdom was called the kingdom of Judah. And as their sons provoked the Lord, Shishak, the king of Egypt, came to Jerusalem, and despoiled the temple of the Lord. And he took away the golden shields, and left brazen ones in their


[1] "And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria, instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria and dwelt in the cities thereof. And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which slew some of them". (2 Kings xvii. 24, 25.)

46 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 700.

place. At this time prophesied Ahijah, Jehu, Amos, Joel, Zachariah, and Elijah who was carried off by the Lord, and was nowhere seen afterwards. Rehoboam reigned seventeen years, and was succeeded by Abijah, who reigned three years; Asa succeeded Abijah. This Asa fortified the cities of Giboah and Masphat with the stones and timber which Baasha had collected in Rama, and was reproved by Jehu, because he had placed his hope in Benhadad; and so he died of a disease in the feet, the same which he had brought upon the prophet by putting him in prison. He reigned fifty-one years, and was succeeded by Jehosaphat. He reigned twenty-five years; and after Jehosaphat Joram reigned for twenty-seven years; while he was king, Edom revolted, and shook off its allegiance to Judea, and appointed a king for itself.

Joram was succeeded by Othoziah, who reigned one year, and he was also called Oziah and Azariah. And this Azariah, with his son Joash, and his grandson Amaziah, the evangelist Matthew has omitted from his genealogy of Christ. After Azariah, Athaliah reigned for six years; and after her, who making a good beginning, but a most wicked ending, slew Zachariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, between the temple and the altar; and he reigned forty years. After Joash came Amaziah, who reigned twenty-nine years.

About this time, Sardanapalus was king of the Assyrians, a man more profligate than any woman. He always lived among the women; and when, on a certain day, Arbastus, his prefect, whom he had appointed governor of the Medes, had obtained admittance to him, he found him among troops of harlots, dressed in woman's apparel, spinning purple on a distaff, and distributing their tasks to the virgins, while he surpassed all the women who were in his company in the effeminacy of his person, and the wanton carriage of his eyes. And when Arbastus had seen this, he returned to his companions, and related what he had seen, and declared that he could no longer obey one who preferred being a woman to being a man. So a conspiracy of the Medes is quickly excited against the nation of the Assyrians, and war is proclaimed against Sardanapalus; and he, when he was no longer able to resist the revolted nations, retired into his palace, where he had had a funeral pile built; and having set it on fire, he burnt himself and all his riches; and so Sardanapalus, the king of the

B.C. 700.] THE STORY OF LEYR AND HIS DAUGHTERS. 47

Assyrians, died, after he had reigned thirty-six years. And the kingdom of the Assyrians was transferred to the Medes, by means of Arbastus, the prefect of the Medes.

After this, the kingdom of the Medes ran on through a succession of ages and of kings, till the time of Astyages, the grandfather of Cyrus, a period of three hundred and fifty years. But the kings of the Medes are not reckoned in the number of illustrious kings, until we come to the before-mentioned Cyrus, although they were all possessed of the power of the Chaldaeans, and were illustrious, too, from the name of Babylon.

We must at the same time note this, that the kingdom of the Assyrians was transferred to the Medes by the Arbastus already spoken of; at the same time that Boras was king among the Latins, being the father of Amulius and Numitor, and the grandfather of Rhea Sylvia, who was the mother of Romulus and Remus.

CH. VII.- The conduct of King Leyr to his daughters - The ingratitude of the two elder, and the affection of Cordelia - Leyr dies - Cordelia succeeds him.

ABOUT this time, Leyr, king of the Britons, being very old, and having no son, determined to marry his three daughters to noble husbands, and to divide the kingdom among them. But in order to know which of them was most worthy of the best portion of his kingdom, he collected them all together, putting questions to them, to see by which of them he was most beloved; and when two of them had answered that they loved their father more than their own selves, the third, who was the youngest, perceiving the flattery of her sisters, said, "I have always loved you as my father, and in no other manner, and if you wish to extort anything more from me, I tell you, that as your wealth is, so is your influence, and I love you in that degree". And when the king heard this, he answered with great indignation, "Since you have despised my old age so greatly, in proportion as I have loved you more than the others, I shall, for the future, be ashamed to love you at all, nor shall you have any share in my kingdom with your sisters". So when he had said this, he married the other two girls whom I have mentioned, to the dukes of Cornwall and Scotland, giving them each a half of Britain, in such a

48 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 650.

way, that after his death they were to enjoy the dominion of the whole island. At length, when a report of this had reached the ears of Aganippus, king of France, he immediately sent ambassadors to the before-mentioned king, entreating him to give him his younger daughter, whose name was Cordelia, for his lawful wife. But the king persisting in his indignation which I have spoken of, answered thus, "That he would willingly give her to him, but it must be without land, or money, or gold, or silver". And this was done. Then, after some time, when king Leyr began to grow feeble from old age, the before-mentioned dukes, to whom he had given his daughters and all Britain, made an insurrection against him, and took the kingdom and all his royal power from him. Therefore, the king, not knowing what to do, decided, at length, to betake himself to his daughters, among whom he had divided his kingdom, in order that, if possible, they might support him as long as he lived, and forty soldiers, whom he kept about him. But they, taking his words out of his mouth with great indignation, said that he was an old man, a dotard and a beggar, and not worthy of the noble family to which he belonged; but if he chose, he might remam with one soldier, provided he dismissed all the rest.

But the king, when he was thus recalled to a recollection of his former dignity, wept, and uttered a groan, saying, "O my daughter, Cordelia, how true are those words which you replied to me, to wit, 'As your wealth is, so is your influence, and I love you in that degree'. So while I had wealth, I had power; now I have no wealth, therefore I have no power. From which it is plain that it was not myself that you loved, but my gifts". Resolving these and similar thoughts frequently in his mind, he at length determined to visit his daughter who was in the countries across the sea, in order, in his miserable and destitute condition, to try the disposition of her whose kindness he had not all deserved. Accordingly, he embarked on the sea in haste, and arrived on the other side of the sea, having had a prosperous voyage. So he came to Caricia, where his daughter was, and sent his messenger to her to tell her to what a state of misery he was reduced. But Cordelia, when she heard it, was much affected, and with tears asked how many soldiers he had with him. And when the messenger told her that he had come with only one soldier

B.C. 650.] REIGN AND DEATH OF CORDELIA. 49

and one armour-bearer, she immediately gave orders that he should conduct her father to another city, and give him a bath there and cherish him, and clothe him in royal apparel. She also commanded that he should take forty soldiers with noble equipments, and then announce to Aganippus, king of France, that he had arrived. When this had been done, he sent a messenger to the king and to his daughter, to inform them that he had been driven from the kingdom of Britain by his sons-in-law, and that he had come to them, in order, by their aid, to recover his kingdom. But they came to meet him with their magistrates and nobles, and received him with great honour; and sending ambassadors throughout the whole of France, they commanded all soldiers, and all who could march to battle, to meet as speedily as possible, with horses and arms, in order to invade Britain, with the father of the queen. And when this was done, Leyr took with him his daughter, with the multitude of warriors who had been collected, and fought with his enemies, and gained the victory. And when he had reduced both his sons-in-law under his power, he died in the third year after. Aganippus, the king of France, died also. Therefore, Cordelia, the daughter of the king, succeeded to the helm of the kingdom, and buried her father in a subterraneous cave, which she had commanded to be made in Leicester, beneath the river Sera.

CH. VIII.- The reign and death of Cordelia - She is attacked by her Nephews - They defeat her - They quarrel with one another - Cunedagius becomes sole king.

WHEN, therefore, Cordelia had governed the kingdom peaoeably for five years, the two sons of her sisters, Marganus and Canedagius, began to disquiet her; and they were the sons of her sisters, by Maglaurus and Henorinus, the dukes of Cornwall and Albany, and the young men themselves had the character of being men of admirable virtue. Maglaurus was the father of Marganus, and Henorinus of Cunedagius. These youths then, when, after the deaths of their fathers, they had succeeded to their dukedoms, felt indignant that Britain should be subject to a woman. Accordingly, having collected armies, they rose up against the queen, and would not desist from their ferocious hostility, until, after laying waste several provinces, they met her in battle. At last, she was taken, and

50 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 650.

thrown into prison by them; where, being overwhehned with grief, on account of the loss of the kingdom, she slew herself.

After this, the young men divided the island between them; that part which is on the other side of the Humber, extending towards Catanesia, fell to Marganus, and the other part, which is on the other side of the river, and looks towards the west, became subject to Cunedagius.

At the end of two years, some persons, who were desirous to cause disturbances in the kingdom, came to Marganus, and worked upon his mind, saying, that it was base and shameful for him not to be lord of the whole island, as he was the first-born. And when he had been excited by these and other arguments, he led an army through the provinces of Cunedagius, and began to lay them waste with fire; therefore, quarrels sprung up between the kings, and Cunedagius came to meet him with all his forces, and a battle took place, in which he inflicted great slaughter upon Marganus, and put him to flight. Then, as he fled, he pursued him from province to province, and at last slew him, in a village of Cambria, which, after his death, was called by the people of the village Margan, after his name, and retains the appellation to this day. Therefore, Cunedagius having gained the victory, obtained the sovereignty of the whole island, and governed it gloriously for thirty-three years.

CH. IX.- Rome is founded by Romulus and Remus - The former Kings of Italy, Janus, Saturn, Picus, Faunus, Latinus - AEneas, his descendants; Amulius, Numiter - Birth of Romulus and Remus - The institutions of Romulus - The Senate - The Rape of the Sabines - Union of the Romans and Sabines - Death of Remus and of Romulus.

ABOUT the same time the celebrated city of Rome was founded by the twin brothers, Romulus and Remus, the origin of whose kingdom I will proceed to explain in a few words, in such a manner as not to exceed the moderate limits that I have allotted myself.

Of a surety, that nation carried its arms so extensively over the world, that they who read the account of their exploits and power, as it really was, are learning the history not of the nation, but of the whole human race. For virtue and fortune appear to have laboured in unison to build up their empire.

B.C. 750.] FORMER KINGS OF ITALY. 51

According to some accounts, the first king who reigned in Italy was Janus; then came Saturn, who fleeing out of Greece from his son Jupiter, came to a city which was called Saturnia, from his name, the ruins of which are seen to this day on the borders of Tuscany, not far from Rome; and because Saturn lay hid (latuit) in Italy, the country was called Latium [1] from that fact. He taught the people, who as yet were quite uncivilised, to build houses, to cultivate the land, to plant vineyards, and to live in such fashion as became men, when previously they had been half savage, supporting life only by the nourishment derived from acorns, and living in caves or huts, roofed with leaves and twigs. He also was the first to teach men the use of brazen money, in return for which services he was called a god by the ignorant and barbarous multitude.

After Saturn his son Picus reigned in Italy. And there is a fable told about him, that because he despised the love of a very celebrated sorceress named Circe, he was changed by her into a bird of the same name, which is called pica (the woodpecker), to punish his disdain. After Picus, Faunus his son became king; he was the father of Latinus, whose mother, Carmentis Nicostrata, is beheved to have been the inventress of the Latin letters, in reference to which, some one has said -

"To wise Carmentis all our books we owe".

In the reigns of these sovereigns, a hundred and fifty years are said to have elapsed.

During the reign of Latinus, who corrected the Latin language and called the people Latins after his own name, Troy


[1] This is the etymology given by the purest Latin writers. Virgil says.-

"Primus ab aethereo venit Saturnus Olympo,
Arma Jovis fugiens, et regnis exul ademptis.
Is genus indocile ac dispersum montibus altis
Composuit, legesque dedit: Latiumque vocari
Maluit, his quoniam latuisset tutus in oris".- AEn. viii. 323.

Which is thus rendered by Dryden-

"Then Saturn came, who fled the power of Jove,
Robb'd of his realms and banish'd from above;
The men, dispersed on hills to towns he brought.
And laws ordain'd and civil customs taught,
And Latium called the land where safe he lay
From his unduteous son, and his usurping way".- Ibid. 430.

52 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1100.

was taken by the Greeks in the eight hundred and forty-third year after the birth of Abraham, eight hundred and thirty-four years after that of Ninus, king of Assyria; forty-four years before the foundation of Rome, and forty-six before the first Olympiad. When therefore Troy was taken, as has been said before, AEneas, the son of Venus and Anchises, came into Italy. In the third year after the fall of Troy, he fought with Turnus, and slew him. But Turnus was the son of Danaus, the king of the Tuscans; and Lavinia, the daughter of the king Latinus, had been betrothed to him. She was now married to AEneas, who called the town which he had founded Lavinium, after her name. AEneas reigned over the Latins for three years after he obtained the kingdom. After him Ascanius, who is also called Julius, the son of AEneas, became king; he left Sylvius Postumus his heir, being his own brother and the son of AEneas by Lavinia, whom he had brought up with great affection. Then Ascanius begat Julius, from whom the family of the Julii descended: but he was only a child when Ascanius died, and unequal as yet to govern his fellow-citizens. When Ascanius had reigned thirty- eight years he died, and Sylvius Postumus succeeded him in the kingdom, and reigned twenty-nine years. And he was called Postumus, because he was born after (post) the death of his father, and Sylvius because he was bred up in the country and in the woods (sylvis). And all the Alban kings were called Sylvius from him. Sylvius Postumus was succeeded by AEneas Sylvius, who reigned thirty-one years. After him Latinus Sylvius reigned fifty years.

About this time David the king of the Jews flourished.

Latinus Sylvius was succeeded by Alba Sylvius, who reigned thirty-nine years. Alba Sylvius was succeeded by AEgyptus, or Atis, his son, who reigned twenty-four years. He again was succeeded by Capys Sylvius, the son of the preceding king, who reigned twenty-eight years, and founded Capua, in Campania. Carpentus Sylvius, the son of Capys, succeeded him, and reigned thirteen years. The next king was Tyberinus, the son of Carpentus: his reign lasted nine years; and it was from him that the river Tyber derived its name, because he was drowned in it; as it had been previously called the Albula. After him, Agrippa Sylvius reigned forty years.

About this time, Homer is said to have flourished in peace.

Agrippa Sylvius was succeeded by Aremus Sylvius, his son,

B.C. 1100.] ORIGIN OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. 53

who reigned nineteen years. He built a fortress for the Albans amongst the mountains, where Rome now stands; and being a wicked man, was slain by a thunderbolt, for his wickedness. Aventinus Sylvius succeeded him, and reigned thirty-seven years; and died and was buried on that mountain, which is now part of the city of Rome, and he left his name for ever to the place. Then Procas Sylvius, the son of Aventinus, took the kingdom, and reigned twenty-three years.

About this time, Phedon, the Argive, invented weights and measures. Also, among the Hebrews, Zechariah was king of Judah, and Jeroboam of Israel.

The successor of Procas Sylvius was Amulius, his elder son, who reigned forty-three years; and was succeeded by Numitor, the youngest son of king Procas, who having been driven from the kingdom by his brother, Amulius, lived on his own estate. Rhea Sylvia, the daughter of Numitor, had been appointed a Vestal virgin, with the object of preventing her from having any children. And as, in the seventh year of her uncle's reign, she had twins, she was buried alive in the earth, in accordance with the law which at that time existed. But Faustulus, the shepherd of the royal flock, took the children, who had been exposed near the banks of the river; and brought them to Alla Laurentia, his wife, a woman who, on account of her beauty, and the rapacity with which she made money of it, was called Lupa (wolf) by the neighbours. And from her, even down to our own time, the harlots' houses are called Lupanaria. When the children had grown up, they collected a powerful band of shepherds and banditti, to slay Amulius in Alba, and restore their grandfather, Numitor, to the kingdom.

Therefore, the Roman Empire, than which none in the whole world can be recollected by human memory, which was either smaller at its beginning, or more mighty in its increase, derived its origin from Romulus, who, being the son of Rhea Sylvia, and, as it was thought, of Mars, was born at one birth with his brother Remus. Romulus lived as a bandit among the shepherds, and when he was eighteen years old, he founded a small city on the Palatine hill, on the tenth of the calends of May (April 21), in the third year of the sixth olympiad, the four hundred and nineteenth after the destruction of Troy, or the four hundred and fourth as Rosius says, and six years before

54 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 720.

the ten tribes were carried off to the mountains of the Medes, [1] by Sennacherib, king of the Chaldeans. When then he had built the city, which he called Roma, after his own name, and from which name the citizens were called Romani, he acted in the following manner. Having built a temple, which he called Asylum, he promised freedom from punishment to all who fled to it; by which means he collected a multitude of people from the neighbouring nations, who had got into any trouble in their own country, and who now fled to him, and were received as citizens in his new city. The Latin and Etruscan shepherds, and the Iriges from across the sea, who had come to Italy under AEneas, and the Arcadians, who had come with Evander, all flocked to that place, and in this way, as it were, composed one body out of various elements, and made one Roman people.

He chose a hundred of the elders as a council, whose advice he might take on every matter, and whom he called Senators, by reason of their age (Senectus), and Fathers, from the resemblance of their care to that of a father. He also chose a thousand (mille) fighting men, whom he called Milites (soldiers), from their number. Then, as neither he nor his people had any wives, he invited all the nations which were neighbours to the city of Rome, to a spectacle of games. And he carried off all their virgins, in the fourth year after the building of Rome. And one of the virgins, who was the most beautiful of all, is given by acclamation on the part of all the ravishers, and by the gift of Romulus, to the general Thalassus: on which account, at the nuptial solemnities they commonly cry out "for Thalassus", meaning that the bride is beautiful enough to be worthy of Thalassus. As war was stirred up on account of the injury done by carrying off the virgins, he conquered the people of Caecina, of Antennae, of Crustumium, the Sabines, the people of Fidene, and the Brizantes, all which tribes surround the city. Then also, the virgin Tarpeia was crushed by the shields of the Sabines, on the hill, which from her name was called the Tarpeian Mount, and on which the Capitol was subsequently built.

However, the Romans made a treaty with the Sabines,


[1] This is not quite correct; it was Shalmaneser, and not Sennacherib, who defeated Hosea, took Samaria, and carried the Israelites away to Assyria, B.C. 724.

B.C. 715.] THE REIGN OF NUMA POMPILIUS. 55

whose danphters they had carried off, and a lasting friendship, so that Tatius, the king of the Sabines, reigned jointly with Romulus, and with equal power. And the Sabines and the Romans became one people, and the Romans, to confirm the union, placed the names of the Sabines before their own; and in like manner the Sabines prefixed Roman names to theirs; and from this time forth the custom prevailed, that no one of the Romans was without a praenomen. It was from this union of the two nations that Romulus got the name of Illirinus, as, after the fashion of the Sabines, he used to carry a spear, which in the Sabine language is called "Quiris". And the Romans too were called Quirites, either from the Quiris, that is to say, from the spear, or from Quirinus.

Afterwards, Remus, the brother of Romulus, was slain by Fabius, the general of Romulus, by a shepherd's rake; whether by the consent of Romulus or not, I know not. The cause of his death was this: that he found fault with the rampart, as being insufficient for the protection of the new city, and leapt over its scanty defence.

But Romulus having in the thirty-ninth year of his reign disappeared near the Caprean Marsh, was believed to have been translated to the gods, and was worshipped under the name of Quirinus. After that the senators ruled at Rome, each governing for five days; and their successive governments occupied one year.

CH. X.- The reigns of Numa, Tullus, Aulus, Tarquinius, Servius - The first census is taken - Tarquinius the Proud - Constantinople is founded, and Marseilles - Arion flourishes - Nabuchodonosor takes Jerusalem - Belshazzar - Daniel - Cyrus.

AFTER Romulus, Numa Pompilius was created king over the Romans, at the same time that Hezekiah was king over the Jews. He carried on no wars, but he did not less good to the state than Romulus had done. For he, like another Moses, gave laws and customs to the Romans, who, from their constant wars, hitherto appeared mere robbers and semi-barbarians. He also divided the year into ten months, which had previously been confused, and left destitute of any accurate computation, and he established an infinite number of sacrifices and temples at Rome; or, according to some accounts, he

56 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 672.

added two months, January and February, to the year; as there had been only ten months in the system established among the Romans by Romulus. He also built the Capitol from its foundations, being especially devoted to religion and sacred things, and he taught his people the observances of sacrifices and ceremonies, and the whole worship of the gods.

He instituted the pontiffs, the augurs, and the other ranks of the priesthood, [1] and some other secret pledges of the empire; and the worship of Janus with two faces. He was the first who delivered the sacred flame of Vesta to the virgins to be taken care of by them, in order that a flame kindled from the stars of heaven might watch for ever over his image, as a guardian of the empire. For he was so much led away by vanity, that he made many laws at the dictation of the devil, which afterwards he perceived would be very injurious if they ever came to the knowledge of men: but as he was afraid to burn them, he buried them under ground secretly, near his own tomb, where he thought that no one would come. But in process of time, a certain countryman found these books, while ploughing in that place. He brought them to the Praetor, and the Praetor laid them before the Senate. But the Senate, when it saw them, was filled with detestation, and shuddered, and committing them to the flames burnt them, lest the curiosity of any one should reveal such guilt and such diabolical wickedness to the knowledge of man. Numa died of disease in the forty-first year of his reign.

In the reign of Numa, Glaucus invented the way to solder iron together. Also in his time, the prophets Isaiah and Hosea flourished.

The successor of Numa was Tullus Hostilius, who established all the details of military discipline and of the art of war, and he was the first of the Roman kings who wore the purple, and used the fasces.

In his time Manasseh was king of Judah.

Tullus also enlarged the city by the addition of Mount Caelius. When he Iwd reigned thirty-two years, he was struck by lightning and burnt in his palace.

About this time the city of Byzantium, which was afterwards called Constantinople, was founded.

After him Aucus Martius, the grandson of Numa


[1] Meaning the Ancilia.

B.C. 550.] NUMA AND HIS SUCCESSORS. 57

Pompilius by his daughter, succeeded to the kingdom, while Josiah was king over the Jews. He built the city of Ostia, at a distance of sixteen miles from the city, at the spot where the river and sea unite; he fought against the Latins, and he added the Aventine mount to the city, and also the Janiculan mount.

During his reign Epidamnus, which was afterwards called Dyrrachium, was founded. He died of disease in the twenty-third year of his reign.

After him, Tarquinius Priscus became king. He doubled the number of the senate, he conquered the Sabines, and joined no small quantity of land, which he took from them, to the territory of the city; and he was the first person who celebrated a triumph in Rome. He built walls and towers, he began the Capitol, [1] and subdued twelve tribes of Etruria. In the thirty-seventh year of his reign he was slain by a son of his predecessor Aucus.

In his reign Arion of Methymna is said to have been carried by a dolphin to Taenarus. About the same time, Marseilles was founded; also, Jerusalem was subdued by king Nabuchodonosor.

After him, Servius Tullius reigned thirty-four years.

In his reign Belshazzar was king of the Chaldaeans, under whom Daniel read the mystic writing on the wall, and interpreted it.

This Servius Tullius finally subdued the Sabines, and added three hills, namely the Quirinal, Verrinal and Esquiline, to the city. He was the first man who instituted the census. In his time a census took place at Rome, and there were found to be eighty-seven thousand men capable of bearing arms. At last, Servius Tullius was slain by the wickedness of Tarquin the Proud, his son-in-law, and the son of that king whom he himself had succeeded, and of his own daughter, who was Tarquin's wife.

After him, Lucius Tarquin the Proud, the seventh and last of the kings, seized upon the kingdom.


[1] Our author has said above, that Numa built the Capitol; the truth is, that Numa built a small temple, dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, on the Esquiline Hill, which was not called Capitolium till after the foundation of that which was built by Tarquin, and then it was distinguished as Capitolium Vetus, while the great Capitol, the temple of Jupiter Opt. Max., was founded by Tarquinius Priscus, in consequence of a vow made by him during the Sabine wars, and was finally completed by the second Tarquin, though not dedicated till after his expulsion by M. Horatius.

58 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 510.

In his time, by the indolgence of Cynu, king of Persia, forty-two thousand four hundred Jews returned to Jerusalem.

Tarquin was the first inventor of the different modes of torture, such as scourges of oxhide, dubs, red-hot plates, prisons, chains, fetters, exile, working in mines. He completed the temple of Jupiter, in the Capitol; afterwards, while besieging Ardea, he was expelled by the Romans, and lost his kingdom. For the younger son of this Tarquin had violently ravished a most noble matron of the Roman state, by name Lucretia, the wife of Collatinus, and a relation of Brutus, a man of most noble birth; and she, having complained to her husband Collatinus, and to her father, and to Brutus her kinsman, and to her other friends and relations, of the injury done to her, and having bound them by an oath to avenge her, chastising in her own own person the foul crime which had been committed against her, slew herself before them all.

And in this way seven kings reigned at Rome, for a period of two hundred and forty-three years.

CH. XI.- The Consular Government is established at Rome - The war with Porsenna - The Dictatorship - The wars of Camillus - Rome is taken by the Gauls - History of Esther and Mordecai - Torquatus - Corvinus - Alexander the Great - Wars with the Samnites - Papirius Cursor - The Caudine Forts - War with Pyrrhus - Cineas - Fabricius - Death of Pyrrhus - The first Punic war - Duilius's naval victory - Regulus's death,

AFTER this, two consuls began to be created instead of one king; with this view, that if one of them chose to be a bad ruler, the other, who had equal power with him, might restrain him; and it was determined that they should retain their office more than one year, that they might not be made insolent by a long duration of power. The consuls in the first year were Lucius Junius, and Brutus, [1] who had been the main instrument of the expulsion of the Tarquins. And it was determined that no one should remain in the city who bore the name of Tarquin.


[1] Our author is mistaken here; it was Brutus whose praenomen was Junius, and not Lucius Collatinus his colleague; but I shall not think it necessary, except in very important instances, to point out the variations between the account given in these chronicles and that which is more usually received.

B.C. 450.] CAMILLUS DELIVERS ROME FROM THE GAULS. 59

In the ninth year after the expulsion of the kings, when the son-in-law of the younger Tarquin, Porsenna, king of Etruria had collected a numerous army, with the object of avenging the injury done to his father-in-law, a new office was created at Rome, which was called the Dictatorship, being a magistracy of greater power than the consulship. In the same year, also, the master of the horse was created, who was to be under the orders of the dictator. Nor can there be mentioned a more lofty magistracy than the ancient dictatorship in the whole history of the Roman empire, especially when Octavianus Augustus, and Caius Caesar before him reigned under the name and honours of the dictatorship. The first dictator at Rome was Largus, [1] and the first master of the horse was Spurius Cassius, who was created sixteen years after the expulsion of the kings.

The Roman people rose in a formidable sedition, on the plea that they were oppressed by the senate and consuls. And at that time Spurius Cassius created tribunes of the people, as if they were to be judges and defenders of himself, so that by their means he might be protected from the enmity of the senate and the consuls.

About the same time, by the permission of Xerxes, king of Persia, Nehemiah arrived in Judaea, and restored the walls and the city. In the three hundred and second year after the building of Rome, the consular form of government was put an end to, and instead of the two consuls, ten magistrates were appointed, who should exercise supreme power under the name of decemvirs. In the three hundredth and fifteenth year after the building of Rome, the people of Fidenae revolted and attacked the Romans; but they were defeated by them, and submitted, and twenty years afterwards they revolted a second time; but Furius Camillus, the dictator, was sent against them, and defeated them, and after a long siege he took their city, which was very ancient, and afterwards he took Falisci, which was another city of equal renown.

After this, the Galli Senones came against Rome and took it, nor could any thing be defended except the Capitol. And when they had besieged this last fortress for a long time, Camillus, who was in banishment in a neighbouring city, came upon the Gauls and defeated them with enormous slaughter.


[1] This should be Lartius.

60 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 400.

And so Camillus entered Rome, and was called a second Romulus, as being the deliverer of his country.

At this time the illustrious queen Esther flourished, and also Plato the philosopher. Queen Esther, daughter of the brother of Mordecai, of the tribe of Benjamin, was a captive, and was taken from Jerusalem to Susa, and on account of her beauty and her very celebrated virtue, while only a girl, she was united in marriage to the king of Persia. She exposed herself to death, in order to deliver her people, and she persuaded the king to crucify a friend of his, who was advising wicked measures against the people of God, on a cross, which he had prepared for Mordecai. And so she saved a free nation from destruction, and delivered them from slavery. She is buried in Susa, a city of the Medes, in which she was queen. In the three hundred and sixty-fifth year after the foundation of Rome, military tribunes were created instead of the two consuls, and under them the Roman affairs began to prosper. The following year, an immense gulf, reaching down to hell, suddenly opened in the middle of the city, and as it remained a long time, and alarmed every one, and as the soothsayers declared that it demanded the burial of a living man within it, Marcus Curtius mounted his horse, and in complete armour plunged into the gulf; and thus it was closed. In the mean time, Titus Quintius the dictator was sent against the Gauls, who had invaded Italy; but the Gauls were encamped four miles from the city, on the other side of the river Anio, where a young man named Lucius Maulius, one of the most nobly born of the whole senate, went forward and slew a Gaul, who challenged him to single combat, and having stripped him of his golden chain (torquis), and placed it on his own neck, received in triumphant manner the name of Torquatus, for himself and his posterity. Then the Gauls were put to flight, and were also defeated soon after by Caius Sulpicius.

Another time, a certain Gaul challenged the bravest of the Romans. Then Marcus Valerius, a military tribune, offered himself, and having gone forth in armour, a crow (corvus) settled on his right arm. Presently, when he was fighting with the Gaul, the same crow with his wings and talons battered the eyes of the Gaul, so as to prevent him from looking straight forward. And so he was slain by the tribune

B.C. 360.] THE ROMANS WAR WITH THE SAMNITES. 61

Valerius, and gave him not only a victory, but also a name; for he was afterwards called Corvinus, and on accoimt of this exploit he was made consul, though he was only twenty-three years old. About this time, the night was lengthened on one occasion, and was seen to be extended over a great part of the following day. And stones fell from the clouds.

About the same time Alexander the Great was born.

Now the Romans began to be a powerful people, for a war was carried onby them a hundred and thirty miles from the city, against the Samnites, who are a people between Picenum Campania and Apulia. If you enquire about their wealth, they wear arms inlaid with gold and silver, and garments embroidered down to the very edge. If you enquire about their skill in manoeuvres and ambushes, you must know that that nation owed its power to its defiles, and to the facilities afforded by its mountains for manoeuvres. If about their rage and madness, know that they hastened to the destruction of the world with their sacrilege and human sacrifices. If you would understand their obstinacy, think of that treaty which they broke six times over; so that their pertinacity was even more violent than their enmity. Therefore, the Romans undertook war against the Samnites on behalf of the Campanians and Tidicini.

The district of Campania is the most beautiful of all the regions, not in Italy only, but, I may almost say, in the whole world. Lucius Papirius Cursor was despatched to that war, with the appointment of dictator. And as he wished to return to Rome, he left Fabius Maximus, his master of the horse, in command of the army, with orders not to engage the enemy in his absence. Fabius, however, having an opportunity offered him, fought a most successful battle, and utterly routed the Samnites, on which account he was condemned to death by the dictator, because he had fought without his permission; but he was delivered by his great popularity with both the soldiers and the people, as such a sedition was excited against Papirius the dictator, that he was nearly killed himself. Afterwards the Samnites defeated the Romans in the consulship of Titus Veturius and Spurius Postumius, when they were hemmed in, in a narrow strait at the Candine Forts, with great disgrace. And their general Pontius employed the security which his victory gave him, in consulting

62 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 290.

his father Herennius whether he should slaughter them, hemmed in as they were, or spare them now that they were subdued. He eventually chose to keep them alive to disgrace them. For he compelled the whole Roman army, which was disgracefully taken prisoners, stripped of their arms, and even of their clothing, only one single covering of the most trifling nature being left them to cover their persons for modesty's sake, to make a long procession, passing under the yoke, and submitting to an act of slavery. Then having taken six hundred Roman knights as hostages, he sent back the rest loaded as they were with ignominy, and the consuls too, stripped of their arms, under such conditions of peace as the Samnites chose to impose. And if the Romans, when subjected to the Samnites, had preserved that faith in their treaty with them, which is expected to be observed towards them by those who become subject to them, there would either be no Romans at this day, or they would be subjects to a Samnite master.

But the next year, at the command of the senate, the peace which had been made with the Samnites was broken, and Lucius Papirius sent against them as consul. For he had at that time such a reputation as a soldier, that when it was said that Alexander, king of Epirus, and brother of Olympia the mother of Alexander the Great, was preparing to invade Italy, the Romans chose him, as the chief of all their generals, to resist his invasion. Accordingly the Samnites were defeated in a battle with Papirius, seven thousand of them were made to pass under the yoke, and Papirius celebrated a triumph for their conquest.

About the same time Appius Claudius the Censor made the Claudian aqueduct and the Appian road.

About this time also, Jaddua the High Priest flourished at Jerusalem, whose brother Manasseh built the temple on Mount Gerizim.

The Samnites having renewed the war, defeated Quintus Fabius Maximus, with the slaughter of three thousand of his men. Afterwards, when his father Fabius Maximus had been given him as his lieutenant, he defeated the Samnites and took several of their towns. After that, Publius Cornelius Rufinus and Marcus Curius Dentatus, being both consuls, were sent against the Samnites, and defeated them in great battles, destroying the very ruins of their cities to such a degree, that

B.C. 280.] WAR DECLARED AGAINST THE TARENTINES. 63

to this very day the town of Samnium is sought for in the district, and cannot easily be found. And so the war, which had been carried on against the Samnites for forty-nine years, was put an end to, nor was there any enemy left in Italy to give any more trouble to the Roman valour.

About the same time war was declared against the Tarentines, who are a people at the extreme end of Italy, because they had insulted the ambassadors of the Romans. They entreated the aid of Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who traced his descent from Achilles, against the Romans. He immediately invaded Italy, and that was the first occasion on which the Romans fought with an enemy from beyond the sea. Against Pyrrhus was sent the Consul Publius Valerius Laevinus; who, when he had taken Pyrrhus's spies, ordered them to be led durough the camp, and desired all the Roman army to be shown to them, in order that they might tell Pyrrhus what was being done by the Romans. Afterwards a battle took place, and Pyrrhus, when on the point of being routed, restored the battle, and defeated the Romans by the aid of his elephants, of whom the Romans were afraid, because they were quite strange to them. But night put an end to the battle: and during the night, Laevinus retreated. But Pyrrhus took eighteen hundred Romans prisoners, and treated them with great honour, burying the dead: and when he saw the corpses with all their wounds in front, lying, even after death, with fierce countenances, he is said to have raised his hands to heaven, with these words, "That he could become the master of the world if he had such soldiers as them". After that Pyrrhus marched towards Rome, and laid the whole country waste with fire and sword, ravaged Campania, and came to Praeneste, which is only eighteen miles from the city. But presently, from fear of the army, with which the consul was pursuing him, he retreated into Campania. The ambassadors who were sent to him to treat about ransoming the prisoners, were honourably treated by him, and he restored the captives to the Romans without any payment; one of the ambassadors of the Romans, by name Fabricius, he admired so greatly, that, knowing him to be a poor man, he sought to tempt him by the offer of a fourth part of his kingdom, to come over to him, but his offers were despised by the Roman, and at last, as on all these accounts, he was possessed by a great admiration for

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the Romans, he sent an ambassador, one of his chief men, whose name was Cineas, to propose peace on equal terms, provided Pyrrhus might be left in possession of that portion of Italy wluch he occupied with his army. Cineas, his ambassador, the very next day after he arrived in Rome, addressed the whole order of the knights and all the senators by their names. [1] The peace, however, which he proposed was not agreed to, and he was sent back to Pyrrhus by the senate, with the answer, that there could be no peace between him and the Romans unless he withdrew from Italy.

Then the Romans ordered all the prisoners whom Pyrrhus had restored, to be accounted infamous for having permitted themselves to be taken prisoners with arms in their hands, and decreed that they should not be restored to their former condition, till they had brought back victorious spoils from enemies whom they had slain. And so the ambassador of Pyrrhus returned, and when Pyrrhus asked him what sort of place he had found Rome, Cineas, the ambassador, replied that "he had seen a country of kings, and that nearly every one there was equal to what Pyrrhus alone was thought in Epirus and the rest of Greece".

So an army was again sent against Pyrrhus, under Publius Sulpicius and Decius the consuls. A battle took place, in which he was wounded, some of his elephants killed, twenty thousand of the enemy slain, and five thousand of the Romans. Pyrrhus was driven back to Tarentum. After an interval of a year, Fabricius, who had formerly rejected the offers of Pyrrhus when he tried to bribe him with a fourth part of his kingdom, was sent against Pyrrhus. And as he and king Pyrrhus had pitched their camps near one another, the physician of Pyrrhus came to him by night, offering to take off Pyrrhus by poison if he would promise him a reward. But Fabricius put him in chains, and ordered him to be led back to his master king Pyrrhus, and ordered the king to be informed of what his traitorous physician had offered against his life. On which the king, struck with admiration, is reported to have exclaimed, "Fabricius is a man whom it is more difficult to


[1] This fact is alluded to by Cicero, Tusc. Disp. i. 24, where he is speaking of the memory of Cineas, and is expressly mentioned by Seneca, who, however, substitutes for "the knights", "every one of the common people of the city that flocked round him", "Omnium urbanam circumfusam".- Controv. Proaem

B.C. 260.] THE AFRICANS SEND MARCUS REGULUS TO ROME. 65

turn from the path of honour, than it is to divert the sun from its course". Then Pyrrhus the king went to Sicily: Fabricius having defeated the Tarentines, celebrated a triumph; but Pyrrhus, on his return to his own country, was killed at Argos, a city of Greece.

About this time, among the Jews, Simon, the son of Onias, flourished as high priest, he who was surnamed the Just.

At this time blood flowed from the springs in many places, and milk fell from the clouds in the form of rain.

Up to the four hundred and seventy-seventh year of the city, though the name of Rome was by this time illustrious, still its arms had never been carried out of Italy. Therefore, that it might be known what was the amount of the forces of the Romans, a census was taken, and there were found to be two hundred and ninety-two thousand and three hundred and thirty-four citizens, although wars had never ceased since the first foundation of the city.

War was now commenced against the Africans, and in the first and second year of it triumphs were celebrated for victories gained over them in Sicily. Duilius also defeated the admiral of the Carthaginians in a pitched battle; he took thirty-two ships and sank twenty-four; took seven thousand of the enemy prisoners, and slew three thousand; nor was there any victory which caused more delight to the Romans, because being previously invincible by land, they henceforth were very powerful by sea also. At this time Aulus Regulus killed a serpent of wonderful size near the river Bagrada; its skin was a hundred and twenty feet long, and it was brought to Rome, where it was for a long time an object of astonishment to all beholders. About this time silver money was coined at Rome for the first time.

About the same time the Africans, after a battle with the Romans, requested Marcus Regulus, the Roman general whom they had taken prisoner in the war, to go to Rome and obtain peace for them from the Romans, and effect an exchange of prisoners. When he arrived in Rome he was introduced into the senate; but he refused to act as a free Roman. For he said, that ever since the day on which he had fallen into the hands of the Africans, he had ceased to be a Roman; and in order to confirm his assertion, he removed his wife from his embrace. And he advised the senate not to make peace with

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the Africans; for he asserted that they were so mnch broken by their disasters that they had no hope of recovering themselves, and that it was not for the advantage of the Romans that so many thousand prisoners as they had should be restored for the sake of himself, who was but one old man, and the few Roman prisoners besides, whom the Carthaginians had taken. And so he carried his point; for no one of the Romans voted for the admission of the African ambassadors who had come to ask for peace. And after he had given that advice he was not compelled by the Romans to return to the Carthaginians, since they strove to detain him by force, but because he had sworn to the Carthaginians, he fulfilled his oath of his own accord. Regulus having returned, announced to the Carthaginians the answer of the Romans. But the Carthaginians put him to death with unheard-of and horrible tortures. For they fastened him in a narrow frame of wood in which he was compelled to stand, which frame was filled on all sides with sharp nails, so that he could not bend himself in any direction without the most terrible suffering, and then, cutting off his eyelids, they murdered him by excessive want of sleep.

About the same time the river Picenus flowed with blood, and in Tuscany the sky was seen to be on fire, and there was an extraordinary light visible at night, three moons appearing in the heavens at the same time.

CH. XII.- The kings of Judaa - Shalmaneser carries off the ten tribes - Pharaoh Necho carries off Jehoahaz to Egypt - Nebuchadnezzar carries off Zedekiah to Babylon - Daniel - Shedrach, Meshach, and Abednego - End of the kingdom of Judah.

HAVING now explained these matters briefly, our pen must turn back to the Jewish history. After the reign of Amaziah, king of Judah, whom I have already mentioned, the people remained without a king for thirteen years, as is proved by the books of the Kings, and by a comparison of the years or the kings of Judah and of the kings of Israel. After that interregnum, [1] Ozias reigned fifty-two years, and after him Jotham


[1] Ozias, (called by this name also, Matth. i. 8) who is also called in the Old Testament Uzziah, 2 Kings xv. 13, and Azariah, 2 Kings xv. 1. But our Chronicler appears to be mistaken as to the interregnum, which had no existence; he was misled by Kings xv. 1, where the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam's reign is spoken of, but that refers to his partnership in the kingdom with his father; it was only the sixteenth year of his reign as sole monarch of Israel.

B.C. 750.] THE KINGS OF JUDaEA. 67

reigned sixteen years. He built the gate of the House of the Lord, which in the Acts of the Apostles is called Beautiful, by the Hebrews the Gate of Jotham, and by others the Tower of the Flock. At this time the prophets Hosea, Amos, Isaiah, and Jonah prophesied in Judea.

After Jotham, Ahaz reigned sixteen years; after Ahaz, Hezekiah reigned twenty-eight years; and in the sixth year of his reign, Shalmaneser the king of the Assyrians descended into Samaria and carried off the ten tribes of Israel, and made them dwellers in the land of the Assyrians; and into their country he introduced in their stead the people who were called Chussaeans. And as they began to serve other gods in that land, the Lord sent lions among them, who devoured them; and when king Shalmaneser heard this, he sent one of the priests, who were his prisoners, to teach them the doctrines of the law of Israel, and to convert them to the worship of the God of that land, in hopes that by that remedy this annoyance or curse might be removed from them. But they received indeed the pentateuch of Moses, but did not desert the gods of their fathers: and moreover, they erected an altar on Mount Gerizim, and would never enter the temple which was at Jerusalem, which they were enjoined by the law to go to, and in which they were bound to pay their vows to God. And we read that these people were called Samaritans from Samaria, and the Jews abstained from all intercourse with them.

The years during which Israel was divided from Judah and from the house of David were three hundred and sixty.

After Hezekiah, Manasseh reigned over Judah for thirty-five years. After Manasseh, Amon reigned two years. After Amon, Josiah reigned thirty-one years. He fought with Necho, king of Egypt, and was slain in the plain of Megiddo. About this time Jeremiah, Oldah, and Zephaniah prophesied in Judaea. After Josiah, Joachaz reigned in Judaea three months; and before the end of these months, Necho the king of Egypt, who has been already mentioned, came to Jerusalem, and took Joachaz prisoner, and carried him into Egypt, and set Eliachim, whom he called Joachim or Jeconiah, the son of Josiah, over his kingdom. And he condemned Judaea to pay a tribute of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. In the eleventh year of Eliachim, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem, demanding from him the tribute which he had

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been accustomed to pay to the king of Egypt, and which he for three years was not ashamed to pay. But in the third year, hearing that the Egyptians were about to make war upon Babylon, he postponed making the payment. On which account Nebuchadnezzar put him to death as a rebel, and led three thousand men of Judah captive to Babylon, among whom was the prophet Ezekiel, who was as yet a boy; and then he set Joachim, who is also called Jeconiah, over them as king.

But not many days after, Nebuchadnezzar, in the eleventh year of his reign, took Jeconiah, who was coming to meet him with his mother and some of his people, and carried him to Babylon, and instead of him he set Zedekiah, his uncle, whom he also called Mattaniah, over Judah and Jerusalem. But this Zedekiah, not long after, began to rebel against Nebuchadnezzar, who had adjured him by the Lord, and to act with hostility against his liberal benefactor. And then again Nebuchadnezzar returned, to wit, in the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah, and carried him away captive to Babylon, and threw down the wall of the city, and burnt the temple, and carried off all the vessels of the house of the Lord with him, and placed them in the temple of his own god. Daniel also, and the three children, Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, who were of the royal blood, were carried off as captives, whom Nebuchadnezzar of his liberality caused to be instructed in the literature of the province and also in that of the Chaldees.

Moreover the fire of the altar of burnt-offerings was taken away by the priests, and hidden in a deep and dry well, and there preserved with great diligence. There too Jeremiah the prophet caused the tabernacle of the covenant and the ark, and the altar of incense, to be taken with him to mount Abaris, which Moses had once ascended, that he might see the inheritance of the Lord; and Jeremiah found a cave there, and he placed those things in it, offering the sacrifice of the consummation of the temple. Then he blocked up the mouth of the cave, and all those things are hidden there to this day. But in the ark were contained the golden pot which held the manna, and the rod of Aaron which had blossomed, and the tables of the covenant.

The kingdom of the nation of Judah remained there up to the present devastation and destruction of the temple, nine hundred and fourteen years and six months and ten days.

B.C. 600.] PROPHECIES OF THE SIBYL. 69

And this devastation is said to have been committed not in the presence of Nebuchadnezzar himself, but by the agency of Nabuzardan, the chief of his army. For he, after the return of the king into Egypt, was sent to Jerusalem by him, and utterly destroyed the temple, and threw down the wall of the city, and led the people who remained there, captive to Babylon. In this Zedekiah the kingdom was terminated, which had lasted, according to Josephus, five hundred and fourteen years, seven months and ten days; but according to the books of the Kings, not quite five hundred years. Four hundred and eighty years, six months and ten days had elapsed since the building of the temple. A thousand and seventy-two years, six months and ten days since the departure of the people from Egypt.

After this the administration of the state was in the hands of the priests, subsequently to the return from the captivity, except that about the time of Christ there were a few kings, who are recorded hereafter, after the priests.

CH. XIII.- List of the Priests.

THE priests in this fourth age of the world were sixteen, according to the account of Hegesippus. Abiathar, Zadok, Achimaah, Azariah, Eleazar, Oziel, Jehoiada, Azariah, Amariah, Achitob, Zadok, Shallum, Elkiah, Azariah, Saraiah, Josedech. These are called not only priests, but high priests; and they occupy a period of three hundred and ten years. For the temple was overthrown in the four hundred and thirtieth year after its foundation.

CH. XIV.- An account of the Sibyl - Prodigies seen at Rome.

THERE was also a sibyl, the daughter of king Priam, her mother's name was Hecuba, and she was called in the Greek language Tyburcina, but in Latin Albunea. She, traversing the different regions of the east, prophesied in Asia, Macedonia, Herostaea, Pamphilia, Agalgudea, Cilicia, and Galatia. And when she had filled all this part of the world with her prophecies, she went from thence into AEthiopia, Gabaon, Babylonia, Africa, Libya, Pentapolis, Maritima, and Palestine. Throughout all these provinces she, being inspired with prophetic spirit, prophesied good things to the good, and evil things to the evil, as the Lord had commanded her; and we know that in her prophecies she announced true things, and foretold what

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would come to pass in the latter times. Accordingly, the Romans hearing of her fame, told all these things to their leader; he therefore, in accordance with a vote of the Senate, sent ambassadors to her, and inviting her, with great honour caused her to be conducted to Rome.

It happened at that time that a hundred Romans of the Senate saw a wonderful dream; all seeing one and the same vision on the same night. They saw in a vision of the night nine suns shining in heaven, each of which bore a different appearance in its face. The first was brilliant and shining over the whole earth. The second was more brilliant, and larger, being of a remarkable brightness. The third was of a blood-red colour, fiery and terrible, and sufficiently brilliant. The fourth was red with blood, and four lines branched off from it towards the south. The fifth was dark, having doors in it, as in a dark thunder-cloud. The sixth was dark, and had a sting in it like the tail of a scorpion. The seventh, was dark, terrible, and of the colour of blood, having a stained sword in it. The eighth was suffused, having a hue of blood in the centre. The ninth was dark, having only one bright ray.

And when the sibyl entered Rome, the Romans, beholding her, admired her exceeding beauty; for she had a beautiful face, an elegant person, was graceful in her gestures, copious in eloquence, pouring forth to her hearers an acceptable discourse, fraught with proofs of great wisdom.

The men, then, who had seen these dreams came to her, for her fame had been widely spoken of and celebrated; and they say, "O mistress and queen, we entreat you by the great beauty of your person, and by the wisdom of your mind, and by the eloquence of your mouth, such as we have never found in any other woman, to explain and interpret to us a certain wonderful dream, in which we all, a hundred in number, saw separately in one night, and to set before ns what it indicates of futurity". The illustrious virgin answered and said to them, "It is not proper to reveal a sacred mystery in a dunghill or a place which is polluted with all sorts of contamination". (For after she had heard the beforementioned dream related to her by them all, one after another, she felt her spirit agitated, and was amazed at the strangeness of the matter.) "Come, then", she added, "and let us

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ascend the Aventine hill, and there I will foretell to yon what shall happen to the Roman state". And they did as she said. And a second time the virgin demanded an account of the vision from them; and they, reciting it to her, did not vary from their previous account; and she said, "The nine suns which yon saw are nine different ages among the sons of men".

CH. XV.- The interpretation of the Dream of the Senators.

THE first sun is the first generation; and men shall be simple, frank, loving liberty, veracious, gentle, kind, comforters of the poor, sufficiently wise.

The second sun is the second generation. Men shall live splendidly, increasing in riches, fearing the Lord, living on the earth without wickedness.

The third sun is the third generation; and nation shall rise against nation, and there shall be many battles in Rome.

The fourth sun is the fourth generation; and men shall deny the truth; and in these days a woman shall arise, Mary by name, having a husband whose name is Joseph, and she shall bring forth a child, and she shall be a virgin before her delivery and a virgin after her delivery. But the child that shall be born of her shall be very God and very man, as the prophets have predicted. He shall fulfil the law of the Jews blamelessly, and shall add thereto laws of his own, and He shall reign for ever and ever. Amen.

And when he is born there shall be a host of angels on the right hand and on the left, saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will". And when he is baptised in the water by John, his forerunner, a voice shall come from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him". But there were then some of the priests of the Jews who heard these words, and who were indignant at them, and said to her, "These are terrible things; let not the queen speak thus". The Sibyl answered, and said, "O Jews, it is inevitable that these things must come to pass; but you will not believe in Him". "We do not believe", they reply, "because he has given His everlasting word and covenant to our holy nation that He will not take his protecting hand from us". She answered them, a second time, and said, "The God of heaven is born the

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Son of a Virgin, as it is written; and he shall be like his Father, and he shall grow up in his age as a young child, and the kings and princes of the earth shall rise up against him. In those days the kingdom shall belong to Caesar Augustus, and he shall reign in Rome, and subject all the earth to himself. After these things, the priests of the Hebrews will rise up against the Lord himself and against the man whose name will be Jesus, because he will perform many miracles, such as have never been heard of nor seen before; and they will take him, and give him slaps with hostile hands, and will spit poisonous spittle at his sacred face, and they will inflict stripes upon his holy back, and he shall receive their buffets in silence. They shall give him gall for meat, and vinegar to satisfy his thirst; and, at length, they shall hang him on the tree, and shall slay him; and these things shall avail them nothing; because, on the third day, he shall rise again, and shall show himself to his disciples, and in their sight he shall ascend into heaven; and of his kingdom there shall be no end".

And to the chiefs of the Romans she said, the fifth sun is the fifth generation; and the Lord Jesus will choose himself two fishermen of Galilee, and he will teach them his law, saying, "Go ye and teach all nations the doctrine which you have received from me, and teach all nations in seventy-two languages".

The sixth sun is the sixth generation; and the men shall besiege this city for three years and three months.

The seventh sun is the seventh generation; and men shall arise and shall cause many persecutions in the land of the Hebrews, on account of the Lord.

The eighth sun is the eighth generation; and Rome shall be a prey and a desolation, and men shall struggle, shall howl in tribulation and pain, saying, "Do you think we shall live till the time of the delivery"?

The ninth sun is the ninth generation; and princes of the Romans shall arise to the destruction of many. Then shall arise two kings out of Syria, and their army shall be increased to a countless multitude, as the sand of the sea; and they shall be masters of the cities, and provinces, and countries of the Jews as far as Macedonia, and then there shall be much shedding of blood. All the people of the East shall fear at

B.C. 1000.] INTERPRETATION OF THE SENATORS' DREAM. 73

their comings and shall be scattered. And, after these things, there shall arise two kings from Egypt, and shall conquer four kings, and shall slay them and all their army, and shall reign for three years and six months. After them shall arise a king, C. by name, mighty in war, and he shall reign thirty years, and he shall build a temple to the Lord, and shall fulfil the law, and shall do justice in the earth for the sake of the Lord. And after him shall arise another, and shall reign a short time, and barbarian nations shall conquer him and slay him.

After him shall arise a king, B. by name; and from B. shall proceed Andon, the king; and from Andon shall proceed another A.; and from A. shall proceed a third A.; and from him shall descend a fourth A., and he shall be of a too warlike disposition and a victorious warrior. From him shall descend a king, by name R., and to R. shall be born L., and he shall have power over nineteen kings. After him shall arise a Salic king in France, by name R. He shall be great, and very pious, powerful, and merciful, and he shall execute judgment, and do justice to the poor; and so great shall be the power of the virtue that is in him, that, as he goes on his way, the tops of mountains and of trees shall bow before him, water shall stop when it meets him, and there has been no king before him equal to the Roman power, neither after him shall there be any. After him shall come a king, by name L., and, after him, B., who shall reign for twenty-three years upon the earth. From B. shall descend A., and he shall be brave in battle and of a warlike disposition; and though he shall go a great deal over sea and land, he shall not be given into the hands of his enemies, but he shall die as an exile from his kingdom, and his soul shall be in the hand of God. Then there shall rise up another, V. by name, being in one part a Salic, in another part a king, in another a Lombard, and he shall have power on earth, and he shall die in battle against his enemies.

In those days there shall be one of the name of O.; he too shall be very powerful, and brave, and good; and he shall do justice to the poor, and shall judge rightly. And from this O. shall proceed another O., a most powerful king; and under him there shall be battles between the Pagans and the Christians, and their blood shall be shed, and his heart shall be in the hand of God, and he shall reign for seven years. And of

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his wife shall be born another king named O.; he will be a bloody and wicked man, destitute of faith and truth; and by his means many evils will exist, and there will be great bloodshed, and cities too will be destroyed by his power. For there will be much tribulation and many battles in other countries than his. Then nation shall rise up against nation in Cappadocia, and in Paraphilia; and nations will be made captive in his time; because he did not enter the sheepfold by the door: and he will reign four years. After him shall arise a king whose name is H., and in like manner in his days shall there be many battles. He shall conquer Syria, and he shall become master of Pentapolis by taking it, being himself a king of the race of the Lombards. Then shall there arise a king named C., and shall subdue the Lombards, and there shall be wars and battles.

And the Salic king will be brave and powerful, but his kingdom will endure but a short time. Then will arise Hagarenes, and tyrants, and will take Tarentum and Barro; and will plunder the cities and will be eager to go to Rome, and will rage, nor will there be any one to resist them, except the God of Gods and Lord of Lords. Then the Jews will come to Persia, and will lay it waste, so that the cities that they plunder shall not recover. And the Persians hastening forwards will pitch their tents near the ditch towards the East, and will take Rome, and will obtain peace for a while. And there will enter a warlike king of the Greeks, and will destroy the temples of the idols; by name Hierapolim. And locusts and worms will come and will devour the trees and the crops of Cappadocia and Cilicia. And the people will be tormented with famine, and afterwards there will be such things no more.

Then will there rise up another Salic king, a brave man and a warrior, and many of his neighbours, powerful nations, will be indignant with him. In those days, brother will deliver brother to death, and father will deliver son. Brother shall marry sister, and one man's wife shall go with another man; fathers and sons and the whole family will work detestable works on the earth; old men will lie with virgins, and priests of evil with deluded maidens. Bishops will be followers of evil deeds; and there will be shedding of blood in the earth; the temples of the saints will be polluted and there will be filthy fornication, and the wickedness of Sodom in

B.C. 1000.] INTERPRETATION OF THE SENATORS' DREAM. 75

the people. So that the sight of them will be manifest in their insults, and there will be men rapacious, insolent, hating justice, and loving falsehood, and the Roman judges will be changed. If they judge one thing to day, they will alter it the next day for a bribe which they look to receive; and they will not judge what is true, but what is false.

In these days there will be perjured, rapacious men, loving the rewards of falsehood, and law will be destroyed, and truth. And there will be earthquakes in divers places, and the cities and regions of islands will be submerged; and there will be in many places pestilences of men, and the earth will be desolated by enemies. And their vanity will not be able to comfort them.

After these things, there will arise a king by name H., in whose time there will be wars, and he will reign two years. After him, there will arise another king by name A.; and he, when he comes, will obtain the kingdom for a time, and will come to Rome and take it. And his rival shall not be mortified in the hands of his enemies. In the days of his life he will be good and great, and he will do justice to the poor; and he will live a long time. After him will arise another king by name H.; and from this H. will proceed twelve more.

He will be a Lombard by birth, and will reign an hundred years. And after him, there will arise another king H. by name, and he will come from France. This shall then be the beginning of sorrows, such as have not been since the beginning of the world; and in those days there shall be wars, and the tribulation of many, and bloodshed, and earthquakes in cities and in countries. And many cities will be taken, and there will be no one who can resist the enemy, because God will at that time be angry with the earth. Rome will be in striking, and in the sword; it will be stormed and taken in the hand of the king himself. And men will be rapacious, covetous, tyrants, hating the poor, oppressing the innocent, and saving the guilty, and they will be unjust, wicked, condemners of the innocent. They shall be taken from the borders of the earth, and there shall be no one on the earth who can resist them, or destroy them on account of their wickedness and covetousness. Then there will arise a king of the Greeks, whose name will be Constans; and he will be king of Greeks and Romans. He will be tall of stature, and beautiful in countenance;

76 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1000.

splendid in appearance; well made in all the outline of his limbs; and his reign will be ended in a hundred and twelve years.

In his days there will be great riches, and the earth will yield its fruit in abundance, so that a bushel of wheat shall be sold for one penny, a measure of wine for one penny, a measure of oil for one penny. And he will be king, keeping the scripture before his eyes; and the king of the Greeks and the Romans will claim all the kingdoms of Christendom for his own. He will lay waste all the cities and islands of the rebels, and will destroy all the temples of the idols; and will invite all the heathen to baptism, and the cross of Jesus Christ will be erected throughout all temples. Then Egypt will pass through AEthiopia to submit to God. But they who do not adore the cross of Jesus Christ shall be punished by the sword. And when a hundred and seventy years are fulfilled, the Jews will be converted to Jesus, and his sepulchre will be glorious in the eyes of all men. In those days, Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell fearlessly.

CH. XVI.- Continuation of the Sibyl's prophecy - Of Antichrist - The different Sibyls.

IN that time shall arise a prince of the tribe of Dan, who shall be called Antichrist; he will be the son of Perdition, and the teacher of error, the fulness of wickedness; who will subvert the world, and will do prodigies and great miracles by false pretences, and will delude many by false pretences, and magic art. So that he will appear to send fire from heaven, and the years will be diminished like months, and months like weeks, and days like hours. Then too there will arise foul nations from the north (which Alexander hemmed in), and Gog and Magog. These are the twenty-two kings whose number is like the sand of the sea. But when the king of the Romans comes, having collected an army, he will subdue them and crush them to their utter destrucdon. And after that he will come to Jerusalem, and having there laid down the crown from off his head, and all his kingly apparel, he will leave his kingdom to God the Father and to Christ his Son.

But during his reign, two most illustrious men will come forth, Elias and Enoch, to announce the arrival of the Lord Christ; and Antichrist will slay them, and after three days they will be raised again by the Lord. Then there shall be a

B.C. 1000.] THE DIFFERENT SIBYLS. 77

great persecution, such as never was before, and shall not be afterwards. The Lord will shorten those days for his elect's sake, and in the virtue of the Lord, Antichrist will be slain on Mount Olivet, by Michael the Archangel.

When the Sibyl had prophesied these and many other fatore events to the Romans, as signs by which the Lord might be known to be coming to judge the world, she proceeded in her prophecy, saying:-

J udgment shall make the earth to drip with sweat.
E ternal God shall then from heaven descend-
S wift, to decide the fate of quick and dead;
U pright and wicked men shall fear alike;
S o shall each soul before its judge appear.

C lose darkness shall overwhelm the savage world;
H ot flames shall scorch the earth, and sea, and heav'n.
R estore the dead, and all their wealth, O grave-
I nquiring souls shall burst the gates of hell.
S afe, holy light shall to all flesh he given,
T h' undying flame shall burn the guilty men.
U nveiling every secret act, and each thought
S urveyed beneath the light of God's pure word.

G rief shall make all men gnash their teeth in vain:
O ne darkness shall envelo'p earth, sea, sky,
D im shall all the sunbeams be, and lost the stars;

T he hills shall sink, the vallies shall uprise.
H ere shall no heights, no eminence be seen,
E ach mountain with the plain shall levelled be.

S eas shall their billows check, the earth shall melt;
A ll fountains dry, all rivers burn with flame-
V ainly lamenting human guilt and toil;
I mpetuous trumpets a sad note shall pour,
O ld earth shall gape, and hell's wide gulf display,
U nder the Lord's dread glance all kings shall stand
R ound that great throne which with dread lightnings beams.

These things were spoken of the nativity, passion, resurrection, and second coming of Christ; and are found to have in Greek in their first letters the words 'IijtfoD; Xgrog uTog Swrng', which is also seen when they are translated into English, except that the propriety of the Greek letters could not be so exactly observed.

Generally speaking, all female prophetesses are called Sibyls in the Greek language, for the word piog in the AEolic dialect means God; and the Bouln is the Greek for mind or intention; so that the name means the mind of God. And so they were called Sibyls because they were interpreters of

78 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 1000.

the will of God. And as we call all men who prophecy prophets or seers, so every woman who prophecies is called a Sibyl. And by credible authors there are said to have been ten sibyls. The first of whom came from the Persians; the second was an African; the third was a Delphian, born in the temple of the Delphian Apollo; she it was who predicted the Roman wars. The fourth was the Cumaean Sibyl, in Italy. The fifth was an Erythraean, by name Eriphile, and born in Babylon; and she it was who prophesied to the Greeks when they were engaged in the expedition against Troy, that Troy would fall, and that Homer would write lies. The sixth was a Samian, who was called Femonote. The seventh was a Cumaean, called Amalthea. The eighth was a native of the Hellespont, born in the Trojan territory, and it is related that she lived in the time of Solon and Cyrus. The ninth was Phrygian, who prophesied at Ancyra. The tenth a native of Tibur, named Albunea.

There are verses of all of these prophetesses extant, in which they are most evidently proved to have written about God and Christ, and the heathen. But the Erythrean is said to have been more celebrated than the rest, and she, in Greek, was also called a native of Tibur, as has been previously mentioned. And some relate that she prophesied at the time when Rome is proved to have first began to flourish; when Ahaz, or, as some say, when Hezekiah, who succeeded him, reigned in Judea. And she wrote some prophecies manifestly relating to Christ, as has been already mentioned. And a most illustrious man, and most acute interpreter, Flaccianus, has shown some verses of hers in a Greek manuscript, the first letters of which make up the words 'Inpouc Xpiotog uTog Swrng', which, in English, is Jesus Christ, the Son of God the Saviour; and these verses, the first letters of which give the sense, some one, namely, Saint Augustine, has translated in Latin verses, which are still extant.

And besides all these, they say that there was another Sibyl, who adored and worshipped the wood of the cross, which was for a long time despised by all men, and trampled on and looked disdainfully on in Jesusalem.

HERE ENDS THE FOURTH AGE OF THE WORLD; Consisting, according to the Hebrews, of four hundred and seventy-three years; according to the seventy translators of the Bible, of four hundred and eighty-four.

BOOK V.

THE FIFTH AGE OF THE WORLD

BEGINS IN THE NINTH YEAR OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR, KING OF BABYLON, WHO LIVED AFTER THIS OVERTHROW TWENTY-FIVE YEARS.

B.C. 696-4.

ACCOUNT OF BABYLON - KINGS OF BABYLON - JERUSALEM IS RESTORED - LIST OF THE KINGS OF BRITAIN - KINGS OF PERSIA - BRENNUS, KING OF ENGLAND, MAKES WAR UPON ROME - ALEXANDER SUBDUES PERSIA - DIVISION OF THE KINGDOM OF ALEXANDER - ANTIOCHUS - PTOLEMY - THE PUNIC WARS - OTHER WARS OF THE ROMANS - THE HIGH PRIESTS OF THE JEWS, ONIAS, JASON, ETC. - WARS OF THE MACCABEES - CAESAR INVADES BRITAIN, IS DEFEATED BY CASSIBELANUS - AUGUSTUS CAESAR - HEROD- JOSEPH IS ESPOUSED BY MARY.

CH. I.- Babylon, its situation, etc. - Creesus - Belshazzar - Cyrus - The rebuilding of the temple of Jerusalem - The restoration of Babylon - The successors of Cyrus - Nehemiah.

AFTER the destruction of the temple of the Lord, in the manner already spoken of, and the carrying away at the same time of the people of the Jews to Babylon, they remained there seventy years, at the end of which, Jeremiah had prophesied that the captivity of the Jews would be terminated. During which time there reigned over Persia, after Nebuchadnezzar, four kings, to wit, Evilmerodach, Labosardach, Egesar, and Belshazzar, nor had the Jews any hope of escaping from Babylon, which at that time was the strongest and richest, and highest of all cities. In its circuit was four hundred and eighty-six furlongs. And it was built in a plain, and in the likeness of a camp, arranged with walls of equal length, so as

80 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 550.

to form a square. And the width of those walls was fifty cubits; and their highest was four times as great as their width, and on the face of the walls were a hundred brazen gates. And through the middle of the city ran the river Euphrates, and outside the walls was a fosse of great width, like a river, completing the entire circuit of the city.

The citadel, which commanded the city from within, is that tower, which was began to be built after the flood of Nimrod, a most famous giant, being in height five thousand one hundred and seventy-four paces. And its width is well known to be four thousand paces. There were besides, other houses in the city, consisting of eight towers piled one upon the other, so as to be of a wonderful height, so that it seemed incredible that such a city could ever be destroyed by human valour.

Croesus, the king of Lydia, had come thither, a king of great renown for his riches, in order to assist the Babylonians, with many other kings and princes. And when Belshazzar had completed the seventeenth year of his reign, thinking the prophecy of Jeremiah a vain one, in which he had prophesied that after the seventieth year the captivity of the Jews should be terminated, he caused the sacred vessels of the temple of the Lord to be displayed on his own table, and contrary to all divine and human law, he drank out of them. But Cyrus, the grandson of king Astyages, being instigated by a divine oracle, exacted punishment for this wickedness.

Cyrus had been educated among the Persians, and when he grew up, having collected a powerful band of Persians he proclaimed war against his grandfather, and, having come to a battle with him, he routed his army, and took Astyages himself prisoner. But he took nothing from him but the kingdom, therefore Cyrus transferred that dignity from the Medes to the Persians, and he subjugated Syria and Scythia; and when he had done this he then besieged Babylon; and so Cyrus, according to the prophecy of Isaiah, the prophet who had predicted that these things would hereafter come to pass, put to flight the king and his defeated army, and entered the city. And when he began to arrange the affairs of the city, he relaxed the captivity of the Jews and permitted nearly fifty thousand men to return to Judaea, restoring to them the gold and silver vessels of the temple of the Lord, which were five thousand and forty in number. He also commanded Josedech

B.C. 500.] REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE. 81

the Priest, of the race of Aaron, who had heen carried away with his fathers to return to his country, in order that the ancient rites of the sacred worship might he re-established by the experience of an experienced priest.

The Jews therefore returning to Jerusalem, began to rebuild the temple of the Lord. But as the Samaritans hindered them, the work was interrupted, till at last it was completed under Darius, in the second year of his reign; and we must remark that at one and the same time that Babylon was taken, by Babylon Rome was delivered from the arrogant domination of the profligate king Tarquin.

Moreover, after the haughtiness of ancient Babylon had been chastised by that most mighty monarch Cyrus, he built in the same spot the city which is at present inhabited under the name of Babylon, rejecting all the superstition of the ancient Babylon; and so the old Babylon, according to the prophecy of the holy prophet Isaiah, was reduced to the waste condition of a desert. At this time the prophets Haggai, and Zachariah and Malachi, flourished in Judea.

Cambyses, the son of the before-mentioned Cyrus, is called Nebuchadnezzar the Second. In his time, the events which are contained in the history of Judith are supposed to have happened. After his death two Magi reigned for eight years; and after their death, Darius, [1] the son of Antipastes, was appointed king, who had married the daughter of Cyrus the king, and had secured to himself the kingdom by his marriage with the royal family, so that the kingdom did not appear to be transferred to another house, but rather to be brought back again to the family of Cyrus. And in the second year of the reign of this Darius, as I have already said, the rebuilding of the temple was completed in the forty-sixth year, that is, after it was begun to be rebuilt. On which account, the Jews in the gospel are reported to have said to our Lord, that "this temple was forty and six years in building", etc. etc.


[1] A great deal of this account is evidently taken from Herodotus i. 178, who, however, does not mention the enormous and impossible height of the tower here spoken of. Our author is mistaken in saying that the taking of Babylon, which took place B.C. 536, was the same year as the expulsion of the Kings, B.C. 509. Also only one Magus, named Smerdis, reigned after Cambyses, and he only reigned a few months. The name of the father of Darius was Hystaspes, not Antipastes.

82 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 460.

Darius was succeeded by Xerxes his son. In the seventh year of whose reign Ezra, the scribe of the law of God, went up from Babylon to Jerusalem, bringing to the temple of the Lord the sacred money, namely, six hundred and fifty talents of silver, and vessels of silver of the weight of a hundred talents, and vessels of gold of the weight of twenty talents; and he celebrated the solemn feast of tabernacles. Nehemiah also, who had been the cupbearer of the king himself, returned from the camp at Susa, in the twentieth year of the same king's reign; and he rebuilt the walls of the city with the greatest care.

CH. II.- Of the kings of Britain - Riwallus, Gurgustus Porrex, Molmutius - The kingdom is divided between Belinus and Brennius.

ABOUT this time Cunedagius, king of Britain, was succeeded by Riwallus his son, in whose time a shower of rain fell on the earth, and lasted three days. He was succeeded by his son Gurgustius, and he again by Sisillius, who was succeeded by Jago, the grandson of Gurgustius, he by Cunarus the son of Sisillius, and he by Gorbonego. This last monarch had two sons, namely, Terrex and Porrex, between whom a contest arose, after the death of their father, as to which of them should obtain the sovereignity of Britain. But Porrex laying an ambush for his brother, slew him; and when their mother became acquainted with this circumstance, she was exceedingly enraged at the death of her son. Accordingly, watching the opportunity when Porrex was asleep, she with her hand-maidens cut him in many pieces in a cruel manner.

After this, civil discord oppressed the people for a long time, and the kingdom fell into the hands of five kings, who harassed one another with mutual disasters. At length, as time wore on, Hurom excited a young man, the son of Clotho, king of Cornwall, who is called Molmutius by Dunwall; and he, when he had succeeded to his father's kingdom, rose up against the kings of Loegria, and Wales, and Scotland, and slew them, and from thenceforward he reigned by himself. He established the Molmutine laws, which to this day are celebrated among the English. Moreover, he enacted that the temples of the gods and their cities should have such dignity, that whatever fugitive or criminal took refuge in them, he might be allowed to depart unhurt through the midst of his

B.C. 460.] XERXES IS SLAIN. 83

enemies. He also made a law that the arable lands of the farmers, and the roads which led to the hefore-mentioned temples or cities, should he confirmed in the same privilege.

After this, when he had maintained the kingdom forty years in peace he died, and was buried in the city Trinovantum, near the temple of Concord, which he himself had built, for the purpose of giving confirmation to his laws.

After that, his two sons, Belinus and Brennius, divided the kingdom between them, in such a way that Belinus had Loegria, Wales, and Cornwall; and Brennius, who was the younger, had Northumberland and Scotland.

CH. III.- The succession of the kings of Persia - The expedition of Xerxes against Greece - Vashti - Esther - The war between Artaxerxes and Cyrus - Aristotle.

AFTER the before-mentioned Darius, son of Antipastes, Xerxes, a most powerful monarch, and one of great riches and power, reigned in the country of the Persians. He is said to have had seventy thousand armed men, and three hundred thousand auxiliary troops, in the army with which he marched to attack Greece. He had also twelve hundred ships of war, and three thousand transports. But all this great army was without a general, for Xerxes was always seen to be the last in battle, and the first in flight; he was timid amid dangers, and insolent the moment that he was released from fear; owing to which, before he commenced the war, he, relying on his great wealth, levelled mountains with the plains, loaded seas with bridges, and made enormous canals of water navigable.

But when he came to the straits of Thermopylae, which is the entrance into Greece, he was shamefully defeated; and when he had returned from thence, having been defeated in battles both by land and sea, he began to be despised by his own subjects also. Accordingly, as the majesty of the king grew less every day, Artabanus, his prefect, being led to entertain a hope of obtaining the kingdom, entered the palace in the evening, with seven strong young men, and slew him, and took possession of the kingdom. And Artaxerxes Longimanus succeeded Artabanus. He, in the third year of his reign, entertained all the nations which are subject to the Persians, with their satraps and generals, for a hundred and eighty days, with a magnificent and luxurious banquet. Also

84 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 400.

queen Vashti, his wife, entertained all the women at a feast, in the most splendid and sumptuous manner. And as the king, amid his ecstasy, wished to display the beauty of the queen to his guests, he sent to desire her to come to him, hut she, elated with pride and arrogance, disdained to go to him; and the king, being indignant at this conduct, deserted her, and married Esther, a Hebrew maiden, who appeared to surpass all the damsels of Babylon in the beauty and sweetness of her countenance.

This Artaxerxes ordered all Greece, which was now subdued in war, and which he claimed as his own, to lay down arms, threatening that whoever spoke against peace, should be punished with death; and he did this not with the view of consulting the welfare of the nation by peace, but in order to be left in quiet as far as they were concerned, so as to be able to occupy himself with other wars.

After these events a civil war broke out among the Persians, as Artaxerxes and Cyrus, being brothers, quarrelled about the kingdom; and when both the brothers, coming in opposite directions, met on horseback and fought together, Artaxerxes was wounded, but was saved from death by the swiftness of his horse; but Cyrus, being overwhelmed by the guards of the king, was slain, and by his death put an end to the battle, and so Artaxerxes confirmed the power of his kingdom by fratricide. He also fought with success against the most powerful of the Persian prefects Phamalnyus and Sissaplurius; and after much labour he reduced Egypt under his dominion.

About this time Aristotle the philosopher flourished.

After Artaxerxes another Artaxerxes reigned, who was surnamed Oethus.

CH. IV.- Of the quarrels between Belinus and Brennius - The character of Brennius - The brothers are reconciled - Brennius invades Italy - The great reputation of the Gauls in Asia - They get a footing in Bithynia,

IN these days a great quarrel arose between the aforesaid kings of Britain, Belinus and Brennius, because each was anxious to obtain the sovereignty of the whole island. And as war was proclaimed on both sides, they both met with their armies duly marshalled, and prepared for battle. When, therefore, they had consumed a great part of the day in fighting,

B.C. 380.] BRENNIUS ARRIVES IN BRITAIN. 85

victory declared for Belinus, and the greater part of the army of Brennius was slain, and the rest were put to flight. But Brennius himself escaped with difficulty, and fled full of anxiety to the Gauls. And when he had related his disaster to the chief men of the country, he implored their aid, in order to recover his lost kingdom. But after assistance had been refused him by them all, he came at last to Seginus, the duke of the Allobroges, and by him he was honourably received. And as he stayed with him for some time, he became so intimate with him that he was preferred by him to all the nobles in his council, for he was energetic in war, tranquil in peace, well-made in his limbs, full of expedients in counsel, and sufficiently accomplished in the arts of hunting and fowling. And when the duke saw that so many excellencies were met in one man, he determined in his mind to give him his only daughter in marriage. And so, without delay, the damsel is married to Brennius, and the chief men of the country are made subordinate to him, and he obtains the ducal throne.

There did not elapse more than a year after this time, before the last day of the duke's life arrived, which took him from this world. Then Brennius, by liberally distributing the duke's treasures to the chief men of the country, won the good-will of all of them with great prudence, and was especially liberal in entertaining them at feasts, which the men of that province thought a great thing. When, therefore, all of them were gained over to his friendship, he told them how he had been driven from Britain by his brother Belinus. And when the nobles heard his story they promised that they would go with him, wherever he chose to conduct them.

Accordingly a great army was collected without delay, and he set sail, and being borne on with a fair wind, he arrived in Britain. Therefore, when his arrival was known, Belinus, his brother, having enlisted the whole youth of the island, went to meet him, with the intention of fighting him. But when the armies were arrayed opposite to one another, and had almost begun to engage, the mother of the two princes came with speed, rushing through the marshalled hosts, longing to see her son, whom she had not beheld for a long time. When, therefore, she came to the place where her son was, she threw her arms round his neck, and pressed her long-desired kisses on his cheeks; then, showing him her

86 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 385.

bosom, she addressed him in this manner, sobbing as she spoke: "Remember, my dearest son, Brennius, remember these breasts which you have sucked, remember your mother, whose bowels brought you forth to the light with intolerable agony. Remembering, therefore, the anxiety which I have endured on your account, pardon your brother at my request, and check the anger which you have conceived against him". Brennius, being moved at these and many other arguments used by his mother, submitted to be pacified, and laying down his helmet where he stood, he went forward with his mother to meet his brother. And when Belinus perceived this, he also threw away his arms and rushed forward to his embrace with a kiss; and, as they were thus made friends, they retired to the city of Trinovantum, where, after they had taken counsel as to what they should do, they determined to lead a joint army into the country of Gaul, in order to reduce the neighbouring nations under their power.

Then, after an interval of a year, they crossed the sea to Gaul, and began to lay waste the country. And when news of this was spread through those nations, all the chiefs of the Gauls came against them, and a battle ensued. But the Britons gained the victory, and the Gauls fled, their army being severely damaged. And the Britons and Allobroges pursued them and took them prisoners, and compelled them to surrender. Moreover, after they had fortified some castles and cities, they proceeded towards Rome. For such a multitude of soldiers accompanied them, that they compelled all the provinces through which they passed to pay them tribute.

Of these brothers the Roman history gives the following account. Three hundred thousand Gauls having gone forth to seek a new habitation, under the command of Belinus and Brennius, invaded Rome, and stayed there some time. But having received a thousand pounds' weight of gold from the Romans as the price of their departure, they divided their forces, and some proceeded onwards to Greece, some to Macedonia, and others to Thrace, and they filled the whole of Asia with their posterity like a swarm of bees. And so great was the dread of the Gallic name and of the Gallic arms, and so invincible was their prosperity in those days, that the kings of the east did not presume to carry on any war without the aid of a mercenary force from their nation, and when they were

B.C. 380.] THE ROMANS UTTERLY ROUTED. 87

driven from their kingdoms, they never fled to any people for aid but to the Gauls. For they did not think that they could defend their majesty or recover what they had lost except by the aid of Gallic valour. Therefore they were summoned to the assistance of the king of Bithynia, and when they had gained the victory they divided the kingdom with him, and named all that district Gallo Graecia.

CH. V.- The History of Rome - Wars with the Gauls - Belinus and Brennius defeat the Romans - Belinus returns to England and reigns peaceably - Beautifies the Island - Ireland is colonised - Martia - Archigallo - Elidurus's three reigns.

THE two consuls at that time at Rome were Gabius and Porsenna, by whose wisdom the republic was governed. And they, seeing that no one could resist the bravery of these brothers, with the consent of the senators, came to them, offering them many presents of gold and silver, and they promised to pay them tribute every year. Therefore a treaty was made and hostages given, and then the kings led their forces into Germany. But when they were departed, then the Romans were vexed at the before-mentioned treaty, and recovering their courage, they went to the assistance of the Germans. And when this was related to the brothers, they took counsel how they might be able to subdue both the nations; and having decided, Belinus remained in Germany, to wage war against the enemy in that country, but Brennius went to Rome, in order to chastise the Romans for the violation of the treaty. When, therefore, their armies were divided in this manner, Gabius and Porsenna, by an unexpected chance, met Belinus, and were eager to engage: there was no delay. The Romans, being unable to bear the weight of the battle any longer, fled from the field. And Belinus pursuing them without mercy, did not cease slaughtering them till night came on, so that his troops were unable to complete the massacre that they had begun. The Romans, therefore, being utterly routed, Belinus, with his victorious army, arrived at Rome, where he found his brother vigorously attacking the city; therefore they joined their forces, and did not cease battering the walls. And in order to strike the enemy with the more alarm, they hung the Roman hostages on a gallows before the gates of the city.

88 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [B.C. 380.

In the meantime the consuls Gabius and Porsenna, having recruited their armies, ordered the Romans to sally forth out of the city with the dawn, and to attack the enemy vigorously, while they themselves would set upon them in the rear, and endeavour to slaughter them. As soon therefore as it was dawn, the citizens in front, and the consuls in the rear, made an attack on the Allobroges and Britons unexpectedly, and there fell on each side many thousand armed men. But the brothers, making many onsets, at last compelled the enemy to give ground. At length, when Gabius was slain and Porsenna taken prisoner, victory declared for the brothers, and the city, with all the wealth of the citizens, fell into their power. Brennius therefore remained in Italy, and oppressed the people with unheard-of tyranny. And of him Lucan, an admirable poet, speaks in the following lines:-

"When Brennus with his fierce victorious band Planted his banner on Tarpeia's hill".

That is, in the Capitol. But his other exploits I have decided to pass over, because the Roman histories relate them fully, and in order to prevent a feeling of weariness from growing on my readers.

But Belinus, when he returned to Britain, governed his country in tranquillity. And he built a city near the mouth of the Severn, on the river Usk, which he called Caeraski, which was the metropolis of Demecia, which, a long time afterwards, the Romans called the city of Legions, [1] because the Roman legions used to winter in that place. He also built a gate of wonderful beauty in the city of Trinovantum, which to this day is called Belinsgate, by the people of that part of the city. When he died he was succeeded by Gurgunt Barbitul, his son, who was a diligent imitator of his father's actions, to such a degree that he reduced all his adversaries to proper subjection.

Among many other praiseworthy actions which he performed, he led an army into Dacia, and compelled the Dacians to pay him the tribute which they owed to his father. Then returning after his victory, he found thirty ships coming through the Orkney isles, full of men and women. And when he had enquired the reason of their voyages, their leader, whose name was Partholiam, answered that he was seeking a place in which


[1] Afterwards Caerleon.

B.C. 350.] ARTIFICE OF ELIDURUS. 89

to dwell, and asked him to allot him a portion of the kingdom of Britain, where he might live under his government. And the king, being willing to listen to them, sent some of his men with them to the island of Hibernia, which was at that time utterly without any inhabitants, and he gave them that country. Accordingly they increased in that place, and have retained the island to this day by hereditary right.

When Gurgunt died, and was buried in Uie city of Legions, Guithclin, his son, succeeded to the crown. And he had a wife of noble birth, Martia by name, excellent in all accomplishments, and even the inventress of that code of laws which the Britons call the Martian laws, and which afterwards, Alfred, translating them into the Saxon language, called Marchenleage. When Guithclin died, his son Sesillius succeeded him, the name of whose eldest son was Cimaras. And his brother's name was Elavius. He died, and was succeeded by his son Morindus, who was born of a concubine. He, when moved by anger, used to spare no one, but slew every one who was standing near him. But a savage monster came out of the Irish sea, and made him pay the penalty of his combat with it. For as the report of the monster reached the king, who heard that a monster of unheard-of savageness was devouring the inhabitants of the coast, he himself went to fight it. But he did not succeed, for the monster hastened towards him, and opening its jaws swallowed him as if he had been a little fish. After him his son Gorbonianus became king; and he was succeeded by his brother, Archigallo. He laboured to depress all the nobles, and to exalt the lower orders. But the nobles deposed him from the throne, and made his brother, Elidurus, king. And he, after five years, coming into the Calatrian wood, by chance met his brother, and being moved at the circumstance, went with haste up to him, and throwing his arms upon his neck gave him repeated kisses, leading them to the town of Alclud, where he hid him in the royal bedchamber. After this, the king, pretending that he was unwell, sent messengers unto all the borders of Britain, ordering the princes who were subject to him to come with all the speed possible to visit him. And when they had all assembled at the king's command, he desired that they should enter his chamber singly and without any noise, because his wickedness required silence. Accordingly, the nobles, believing the statements

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of the king, all entered his bedchamber one after the other. And Elidurus had commanded his servants to cut off all their heads, that they might not again refuse to submit to his brother Archigallo. And they, being influenced by fear, obeyed him unanimously. And so, having made a secure treaty with him, he took the crown from his own head, and put it on that of his brother.

After which action Elidurus acquired the surname of Pius; afterwards Archigallo died, when he had been king ten years, and was buried in the city of Caerleyr. So Elidurus becomes king a second time, and is restored to his former dignity; but his two younger brothers, Vigenius and Pendurus, having collected a body of armed men from all quarters, and made an insurrection against him, and having fought a battle, they took him prisoner, and put him in prison in the city of Trinovantum.

After this, the kingdom being divided, they held it for seven years, till at last they both died by sudden deaths; and so Elidurus was taken out of prison and raised to the kingdom a third time. And having passed all his time in piety and justice, he departed this life, leaving an example of piety to his successors.

CH. VI.- Nehemiah governs the Jews.

IN the meantime, Nehemiah, who has been mentioned before, the scribe of the law of God, when he had restored the ornaments of the temple of God, and all things which related to the worship of religion, sent the grandsons of those priests who had hidden the sacred fire of the altar of burnt-offenngs in a dry well, as has been already mentioned, to look for it. But they did not find the fire, but some thick water, which they drew and brought to Nehemiah, and he ordered it to be sprinkled on some logs and on a burnt-offering, and fire was kindled from that water, so that all men marvelled. And Nehemiah himself presided as priest in Jerusalem for twelve years.

But after the return of the Jewish nation from Babylon, all the government was carried on by the priests. Therefore both he and Josedech, who, as it has been mentioned, returned from Babylon by command of Cyrus, and fourteen men, their descendants, filled the office of High Priest in a regular order

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of succession from the return of the people till the time of Antiochus Eupator, a period of three hundred and three years, the most eminent in reputation of whom were Jesus the High Priest, Joachim, Eliasaph, Simon, Onias, and Jaddua.

CH. VII.- Victories of Philip in Greece - Alexander subdues Darius.

MOREOVER in the time of Jaddua, Philip, the son of Amyntas, and father of Alexander the Great, king of Macedon, suhdued the Athenians and Phocoeans, and Thessalians, and also reduced Cappadocia under his dominion. And when he died, Alexander the Great succeeded him; who, when he was twenty years old, began to attack the kingdom of Persia, with an army of thirty thousand infantry and four thousand five hundred cavalry. And the ranks of this army were commanded by no one under sixty years of age; and if you had seen the chief officers of the camp, you would have thought you were looking upon a senate, and not upon a body of captains of an army. No one of them all ever thought of flight in battle, or of anything but victory, nor did any one place his hope in his legs, but in his arms.

Moreover Darius the king, in the confidence of his strength, thought it would be more glorious not to repel the enemy from the borders of Persia, but to admit them within the bosom of his kingdom; and accordingly he allowed them to cross the river Euphrates and the mountains of Cilicia without hindrance, and at last in the plains of Adrastus he arrayed his army against Alexander. And Darius had in that battle six hundred thousand men. But that numerous army soon turned their backs, conquered not less by the skill of Alexander than by the valour of the Macedonians. There was a great slaughter of the Persians in that battle; but of the army of Alexander there only fell nine hundred infantry and a hundred and twenty cavalry. After the victory the greater part of Asia revolted to Alexander. Subsequently, Alexander fought many battles with the prefects of Darius, whom he defeated, not so much by arms as by the terror of his name. For by this time the soldiers of Alexander looked on the Persian gold, and the riches of all the East, as their own booty, and took no thought of the war or of dangers, but only of the riches that were to be acquired.

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CH. VIII.- The last Victory of Alexander over Darius.

AFTER these events, Darius again went forth to battle with four hundred thousand infantry and a hundred thousand cavalry. Alexander met him, and a battle was fought with great carnage on both sides. In that battle both the kings were wounded, and the battle was a long time in doubt, till at last Darius fled. After that, a great slaughter of the Persians occurred, for sixty-one thousand infantry and ten thousand cavalry were slain, and forty thousand were taken prisoners. But of the Macedonians there fell only a hundred and thirty infantry and a hundred and fifty cavalry.

In the Persian camp a great deal of gold and other riches was found; and among the prisoners who were taken in the camp, was the mother of Darius, and his sister, and two of his daughters; and though Darius offered half of his kingdom for their ransom, he could not obtain them. But Alexander ordered them to be treated like queens in his camp; and bade the daughters look forward to a marriage which should be not inferior to the rank of their father.

CH. IX.- Darius dies - Alexander takes Tyre - Founds Alexandria - Becomes Master of the East - Dies.

AFTER these events Darius was bound with golden chains by his own relations, who were anxious to gain the favour of the victorious Alexander; and he ended his life in bondage. But Alexander buried his body as became a king; and so the Persian kingdom came under the power of the Macedonians, after it had stood for two hundred and thirty-one years.

But in the meantime Alexander took Tyre, a most flourishing city; and he built Alexandria on the river Thanais, and he marched upon India, in order to extend the boundaries of his empire as far as the extreme borders of the Eastern ocean; and there he, on horseback, fought with Porus, the most valiant monarch of the Indian nation, in single combat. But Porus, who was overthrown by the death of his horse, was protected from death by the prompt assistance of his guards. Then Alexander, having subdued all the nations of the East as far as the river Indus and the ocean, determined to return back again. But only five years after the death of king Darius, after his return to Babylon, he was plotted against by the

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treachery of his own people in the same city, in the flower of his age, and at the summit of victory; and died by poison, in the thirty -second year of his age, and the twelfth of his reign.

CH. X.- The Division of Alexander's kingdom after his death - Ptolemy - Philip - Seleucus - Antigonus.

AFTER his death, his kingdom was immediately transferred to, or divided among many successors. The first part of Egypt, Africa, and Arabia fell by lot to Ptolemy.

Philip, who was also called Arrhidaeus, the brother of Alexander, obtained Macedonia.

Seleucus obtained Syria, and Babylon, and all the kingdoms of the East.

Antigonus obtained the kingdom of Asia Minor.

Besides this, other illustrious men, who had served under the great Alexander, occupied different provinces, and becoming kings, from having been prefects, they not only acquired vast riches for themselves, but they also bequeathed them to their posterity. But all these kings not long afterwards destroyed one another by mutual wars and contests. Of them, however, Seleucus founded Antioch, Laodicea, Seleucea, Apra, Esse, Beraea and Pella; all famous cities, and settled Jews in all of them. The son of this Seleucus was Antiochus the Great.

CH. XI.- Antiochus the Great.

THIS Antiochus released the priests and scribes and singers of the temple of the Lord from tribute, and from the royal tax. And from all other exactions. But Seleucus and Lysimachus fought against one another with great vehemence. This was the last war of the comrades of Alexander. And when they were both slain, Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, reduced Judaea and Jerusalem under his own power by treachery, and they continued so for forty years.

CH. XII.- Ptolemy Philadelphus.

AFTER him Ptolemy Philadelphus became king, and he reigned thirty-eight years, and sent many presents to Jerusalem; and he caused the Holy Scriptures to be translated out of the Hebrew language into Greek, by seventy translators. In his time silver money was first coined in the city.

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CH. XIII.- Ptolemy Euergetes - Cleopatra - Seleucus - Heliodorus profanes the Temple - Demetrius - Antiochus Epiphanes.

AFTER him Ptolemy Euergetes reigned for twenty-six years. In his time Jesus the son of Sirach composed the book of Wisdom.

The daughter of this Ptolemy, Cleopatra by name, Antiochus the Great made his lawful wife, receiving with her from the aforesaid Ptolemy part of Syria and Samaria, and Judaea, and Phoenicia, under the name of dowry. This Antiochus became the father of Seleucus, and of his brother Antiochus. Of whom, Seleucus sent Heliodorus to Jerusalem, to plunder the treasury of the temple of the Lord, and to bring to him the money which he procured from it. But when Heliodorus and his guards, desiring to perform the command of the king, had entered the temple, a certain terrible horse appeared to him, which scourged him terribly, so that he went back and returned to the king without having succeeded in his object.

The Parthians revolted from this Seleucus, and made Arsaces their king. After the death of Seleucus, Antiochus, his brother, who was called Epiphanes, that is to say illustrious, obtained his kingdom. Seleucus, however, had a son, whose name was Demetrius.

After the death of Ptolemy Euergetes, Ptolemy Sotor reigned in Egypt, and he was succeeded by Ptolemy Epiphanes, and Epiphanes left two sons, one of wnom was called Philometer, and the other was named Physcon.

CH. XIV.- Hannibal - His Oath - He invades Italy - The Battle of Lake Thrasymene.

AT this time Hannibal, the son of Hamilcar, flourished at Carthage. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the Carthaginians and Africans; which was a fatal misfortune not so much to the Romans, as to Africa itself. When he was nine years old he took an oath that he would never be a friend to the Romans. And when he was appointed general, he, with the purpose of invading the territories of the Romans, crossed the Pyrenees; opened himself a way with a sword through the most ferocious tribes of the Gauls, and marching from the Pyrenees to the Alps, fought with Scipio, who was at that time consul at

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Rome, and defeated him. Afterwards he slew Flammius, the Roman consul, at lake Thrasymene, and utterly destroyed his army.

CH. XV.- The Battle of Cannes - Scipio - The Battle of Zama.

ANOTHER time Lucius AEmilius Paulus and twenty men of consular and praetorian rank were slain by him at Cannae, a small town of Apulia; many senators also were taken prisoners and slain; and three hundred men of noble birth; and Varro the consul fled with fifty knights. Besides these, forty thousand infantry soldiers and three thousand five hundred knights perished. And Hannibal, in testimony of his victory, sent three bushels of golden rings to Carthage, which he had stripped off the hands of the Roman knights who had been slain. So that nearly all the flower of the Roman troops perished in that battle; and the Romans were in such despair, that they thought it fit to deliberate on the plan of leaving Italy and seeking a new habitation. After this, the two brothers Scipio, both consuls of the Romans, were slain in Spain by Hannibal's lieutenants. But their nephew, Scipio, who was called Africanus, having received, by lot, a command in Spain as proconsul, bent all his thoughts on avenging his father and uncle, and crossing the Pyrenees, defeated Hasdrubal, the general of the Carthaginians, in a battle, and stripped him of his camp, and reduced all Spain, from the Pyrenees as far as the ocean, to be again a Roman province. And then at length Hannibal was compelled to return into Africa in order to assist the harassed Carthaginians, and Scipio defeated him in a pitched battle. In that battle twenty thousand five hundred and eighty Carthaginians were slain, and all the Carthaginian elephants either taken or killed.

CH. XVI.- Description of Carthage - It is destroyed.

AT last Carthage was destroyed by the Romans; a city which embraced thirty thousand paces within its walls, and was almost entirely surrounded by the sea, except the entrance, which was open for a space of three thousand paces. Moreover the town had a wall twenty feet thick, built of square stone, and ten cubits high. The citadel of the same city, which was called Byrse, contained a space of more than two thousand paces. On one side of it, its wall which served also for the city

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wall, and hung over the sea. The city was destroyed and burnt seven hundred years after its original foundation; and in this manner the Punic war was finished.

CH. XVII.- State of Numidia - And Mauritania - Jugurtha - Metellus - Marcius - Bocchus - Wars with the Romans in Spain - Death of Attalus.

AT this time, Micipsa, a friend of the Roman people, was reigning in Numidia. After his death, Jugurtha succeeded to the kingdom; and he provoked a war with the Romans by the deaths of Adhubal and Hiempsal, the children of Micipsa. On this occasion, Numidia was first conquered by Metellus, the consul, and afterwards it was entirely subdued by Marcius.

So also Mauritania, which was governed by king Bocchus, was subjugated by the Romans.

After that, the Biscayans, the people of Gallicia and Lusitania, Spanish tribes, were almost wholly conquered in a single battle. In Italy too, the Epirots, who had conspired in Illyricum with Pyrrhus, their king, against the Romans, were first pacified and tranquillised, but afterwards were conquered and compelled to submit to the Roman yoke, along with the Achaeans and Messalians.

After this, the Roman fortune, not content with the limits of Italy, began to extend itself over distant kingdoms. In nearly almost this very time Attalus, the king of Asia, died, and by his last will left the Roman people the inheritors of his kingdom.

CH. XVIII.- Antiochus - Onias - Jason.

BUT to return to the Jewish history. The generals of Alexander the Great being dead, by one fortune or another, then Antiochus Epiphanes, already spoken of, reigned in Syria, the son of Antiochus, the great king, in about the hundred and thirty-seventh year of the reign of the Greeks. In those days Onias was the high priest at Jerusalem. And his brother Jason being desirous to wrest the priesthood from him, began without disguise to violate the laws of Judaea, and to trample on them openly in all particulars, as if he were unable to gain the priesthood, which he was desirous of, by any other means than wickedness.

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CH. XIX.- The Wickedness of Jason - The Sacrilege of Antiochus.

FOR he dared to construct a gymnasium under the very tower of the temple, and to place all the best of the youths in brothels, and to entitle those who were at Jerusalem Antiochians. But the divine vengeance overtook the nefarious and unheaardof wickedness of this impious Jason, who was no priest at all. For to act impiously with respect to divine laws does not usually escape unpunished. And at the end of three years, Jason, who had violated the laws of God, and made his own brother prisoner, was, by the command of king Antiochus, banished to the district of Ammonitis, and a man of the name of Menelaus, of the tribe of Benjamin, obtained the priesthood. But by the contrivance of this Menelaus, Onias, who was a pious priest, was treacherously slain by the agency of a certain prefect of the king, named Andronicus. And not long afterwards, Menelaus was removed from the priesthood, and his brother Lysimachus succeeded him. But as even then he would not desist from his malpractices, he at length came to a miserable end, being precipitated from a tower fifty cubits high.

Lysimachus too, after he had carried off a great quantity of gold from the temple, was stoned by a concourse of the people close to the treasury, and so died.

After these events, Antiochus, the king, who has been mentioned before, went up to Jerusalem, and entered the sanctuary with great arrogance, and carried off the golden altar, and the candelabrum, and the table of the shewbread, and the veil, and the other ornaments of the temple, and returned to Antioch. And after this, he proclaimed to all the nations of his dominions, that they should be all one nation, and he forbade burnt offerings or sacrifices to be offered in the temple of the Lord; and he ordered the Jews to be polluted by being made to eat unclean meats, in order that they might transgress the commands of God.

CH. XX.- The Cruelties of Antiochus towards the Jews.

IN these days, a certain man named Eleazar, a very old man, was endeavoured to be compelled to eat swine's flesh; but he said, "It is not worthy for Eleazar, who is ninety years old, to go over to the fashion of foreigners". And preferring a glorious death to an odious life, he died, worn out by many punishments, leaving

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to the younger men and the whole nation a noble example of virtue and fortitude.

It happened at the same time, that seven brethren and their mother were endeavoured to be compelled by scourges to eat similar food, in the presence of that most cruel king. But they chose rather to be put to death by tortures, than to eat swine's flesh, contrary to divine and human law. And last of all, their holy and noble mother suffered, after she had already witnessed with calmness the deaths of all her seven sons in one day.

Information was laid against two other women that they had circumcised their children: and their sons were suspended round their necks, and then the executioner led them publicly through the city, and threw them down from the wall. Besides this, all those in whose houses any books of the covenant of the Lord were found, and all who observed the law of Moses, were put to death in accordance with the command of the king. On which account the multitude of the people was alarmed, and forsook the law of the Lord, according to the commandment of king Antiochus, and sacrificed to idols, and broke the sabbath, and built altars and temples to idols, after the manner of the gentiles; nor did any one dare openly to confess himself to be a Jew; but they imitated the pursuits of the Greeks, and wished to become in all things like tha people, who had been their enemies and murderers.

CH. XXI.- Of Judas Maceabaus.

IN these days, Judas Maccabaeus withdrew into the desert, and there among the wild beasts he passed his life with his friends, that he might not be a partaker in the pollutions and errors of his nation. But although they who abode with him were few in number, still they so defeated the numerous armies and generals of Antiochus in many battles, that they recovered the temple which was at Jerusalem, and the laws which had been abolished were restored by their successful obstinacy. By which it was made evidently plain, that the strength of men was nothing against God.

CH. XXII.- The Death of Antiochus.

IN the meantime Antiochus, the king, as he was unable to accomplish all the wickedness that he had conceived, because

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God hindered him, swelling with anger, was hastening to Jerusalem. And as he was on his way thither, it happened that he fell from his chariot, and having some limbs broken by the violence of the fall, he took to his bed, and after being afflicted for a long time with miserable weakness, he died. But he left a heir, a young son, also named Antiochus, whom he called Eupator.

CH. XXIII.- Demetrius recovers Syria - Death of Eupata Alchimus - Nicanor is sent against the Jews - Death of Judas Maecabaeus - Jonathan.

AND when Demetrius, the son of Seleucus, whom we have mentioned before, heard this, he escaped secretly from Rome, where he was detained as a hostage, and hastened to come to Syria, where he was received with great good will by the people, and soon collected an army, and afterwards he took Eupator, who was still a minor, and his guardian Lysias, and put them both to death.

And when he was thus seated on the throne of his fathers, that most wicked man, Alchimus, came to him, being of the race of Aaron, indeed he was the brother of Onias, the high priest, but he had nothing worthy of the priesthood about him. For in the time of offence he had voluntarily polluted himself out of flattery to king Antiochus, and so he began to speak ill of the people of God, and to inflame the king by many harangues against Judas Maccabaeus.

For he used to say, "These men who are called Assideans of the Jews, the head of whom is Judas Maccabaeus, nourish wars and cherish seditions, and do not allow the kingdom to be tranquil. On which account I, who have been defrauded of the glory of my fathers, I mean the office of high priest, have come hither, in the first place keeping my faith as regards the service of the king, and in the second place consulting also the good of my fellow-citizens. For owing to the wickedness of the before-mentioned men, the whole of our nation is sadly afflicted. But concerning all these matters, I beseech you, king, that you, according to your universal humanity towards all men, will condescend to provide for the welfare of our country and nation".

Then the king sent to Jerusalem Nicanor, the master of his elephants, with orders to take Judas Maccabaeus and to make

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Alchimas high priest. But when Alchimus, inspired with almnost the ferocity of a wild beast, had come to Jerusalem, and had obtained the office of high priest by bribery, in order to leave no law human or divine unbroken, he ordered the walls of the inner chamber of the holy temple, the work of the holy prophets, to be broken down; three hundred and three years after the people had returned from Egypt. But he, wretched man! could not long escape the punishment of his wickedness. For suddenly his mouth was closed, and he could not speak, but being attacked by paralysis, he died miserably. And so, as there were now no priests of the family of Aaron, and as Judas Maccabaeus had been slain by the chance of war, as he was fighting in defence of the laws of his country, Jonathan, his brother, obtained the chief command of the Jews, and the office of high priest at the same time.

CH. XXIV.- Demetrius is slain by Alexander - Jonathan is killed - Simon - Tryphon - John Hyrcanus - Pompey the Great - The wars of the Romans in the East - Crassus - Catiline - Cicero - Ptolemy.

BUT in the mean time, Alexander, the son of Antiochus Eupator, kills king Demetrius. But Demetrius had become the father of a son, who was also named Demetrius, and who afterwards slew the aforesaid Alexander, and who defeated the Parthians in many battles; but at last he was taken prisoner by them, and died in Hyrcania. But king Alexander had entrusted his son, who was not yet grown up, to Tryphon, one of his soldiers, that he might be brought up by him. And he, believing that the young man, Demetrius, was dead, having slain his ward, Anthinocor (for that was the name of the boy to whom Tryphon ought to have been guardian), he invaded the kingdom of Syria. And when he had made himself master of it, he took Jonathan, the brother of Judas, and the high priest of the Jews, by treachery, and put him to death. And not long afterwards, Tryphon was defeated in battle by Antiochus, the brother of Demetrius, who was bred up in Asia, and was put to death. And so the kingdom of Syria came again into the family of Demetrius. Jonathan was succeeded by his brother Simon. And after Simon, the high priesthood came to his son John, who from fighting against the Hyrcanians, got the name of Hyrcanus. Hyrcanus was succeeded by Aristobulus,

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who was made both king and high priest; Aristobulas was in like manner succeeded by Alexander, who was also both king and high priest. Alexander died and left two sons surviving him, namely, Aristobulas and Hyrcanus. But he ordered by his will, that Alexandra, his wife, should have the administration of the kingdom till his sons grew up, leaving it at the same time to her decision, to which of the two she might think fit to entrust the office of high priest.

She appointed Hyrcanus to succeed his father as high priest, on account of his prerogative as the elder, giving no public office to his brother Aristobulus. But after the death of Alexandra, Aristobulus invaded the kingdom, and at last Hyrcanus ceded to him the dignity of high priest. But subsequently, the same Hyrcanus being stirred up by Antipater, the father of Herod, repented of what he had done, and betook himself in the first instance to the king of Arabia, and afterwards to Pompey, the general of the Romans (who had come into Syria with the object of subduing Tigranes, the king), and he laid before him his complaint about the conduct of his brother. On which occasion the same Pompey, the consul of the Romans, besieged the city of Jerusalem, and polluted the temple, and sent Aristobulus, the high priest, prisoner to Rome with his children; and left the priesthood to Hyrcanus, and appointed the before-mentioned Antipater governor of the whole kingdom.

And so at length the nation of the Jews became tributary to the Roman empire, and in this way (as I have related) the brothers Aristobulus and Hyrcanus, quarrelling with one another about the kingdom, first gave occasion to the Romans to invade Judaea. And in these days Pompeius, whom I have mentioned above, and Gabinius, the consuls of the Romans, reduced the whole of Syria under the power of the Romans, and reduced it to the form of a province, and in this way the east was gradually subjected to the Roman power.

In the mean time the conspiracy of Catiline, as it has been related by Sallust, broke out at Rome. But it was quickly put an end to and extinguished by the vigilance of the consul, Cicero. Crassus succeeded Gabinius, and Ptolemy Dionysius succeeded Ptolemy Alexander, as king of Syria.

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CH. XXV.- Of some of the British kings - Regin, Morgan - Cinerus, etc.- Lud - Cassibelaunus - Trinovantum gets the name of London.

IN these days, after the reign of Eliduras, king of the Britons, Regin, the son of Gorbonianus, succeeded to the kingdom. He was succeeded in his turn by Maranus, the son of Archigallo. He by his brother Ennianus, who in the sixth year of his reign was deposed for the tyrannical conduct which he practised on his people, and in his place Idwallo, the son of Vigenius, became king. He was succeeded by Cinerus, the son of Pendurius, he by Geroncius, he by Catellus, he by Coillas, he by Porrex, he by Chuin. Chuin's three sons, Fulgenius, Eldadus, and Androgius all reigned after him in succession. After them came Urianus, the son of Androgius. He was succeeded by Eliud, he by Eledauch, he by Cloten, he by Gurguncius, he by Morcan, he by Bledudo, he by Capetus, he by OEnus, he by Sisellus, he by Bledgaberd, he by Atchival, he by Eldol, he by Redion, he by Rederchius, he by Samulius, he by Penissel, he by Pyr, he by Capsyr, he by Degucillus, he by Heli. Heli governed the realm for forty years.

He had three sons, namely, Lud, Cassibelaunus, and Nennius, of whom Lud was the eldest, and obtained the kingdom after the death of his father. He being a very celebrated builder of cities, renewed the walls of the city of Trinovantum, and surrounded it with a great number of towers. He also commanded the citizens to build themselves houses and edifices in it, so that there was not ever in such distant kingdoms any city which contained more beautiful palaces. He was a man of a warlike disposition, and very liberal in making presents. And though he had a great many cities, yet he loved this one above them all, and he spent the greater part of the year in it, from which circumstance it was subsequently named Caselud; and then, by corruption of the name, Caerlunden. And in later ages, as the language changed, it was called Lundone, and afterwards Lundres, which was the name given to it by the foreigners who subjected this country to themselves.

When he died, his body was buried in the above-named city, near that gate which is still called after his name, Portlud, in the British language, but Ludgate in Saxon. He had two sons, Androgeus and Tennancius. And as they, by reason

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of their tender age, were unequal to the management of the kingdom, his brother, Cassibelaunus, was raised to the throne in their stead. Afterwards, when he was invested with the crown, he began to be so celebrated for liberality and honour, that his fame became known throughout distant kingdoms, owing to which, it happened that the sovereignty over the whole realm was given to him, and not to his nephews. Still, Cassibelaunus gratified his natural affection by not leaving the young men destitute of royal power, but by dividing a great part of the kingdom among them. For he gave the city of Trinovantum, in the duchy of Kent, to Androgeus, and the duchy of Cornwall to Tennancius. But he himself retained the kingly crown, and was supreme over them and all the other princes in the whole island.

CH. XXVI.- Julius Caesar invades Britain - He is defeated and returns to Gaul - The Death of Nennius.

IN the mean time it happened, that Julius Caesar, having subjugated Gaul, came to the coast of the Ruteni. [1] And when he beheld Britain from that point, he asked of the bystanders what country it was, and what nation dwelt across the sea. Then, when he had learnt the name of the island from his informants, he sent messengers over thither to the king of the island, demanding, with threats, that he should pay him tribute every year, in the same way that he received it from other nations. But Cassibelaunus, king of the Britons, when he had learnt the object of the coming of the ambassadors, answered with indignation, that he would by no means pay any tribute. The Britons, said he, are of the same vein of nobility with the Romans, being equally descended from the daughter of Priam and AEneas, and our offspring is accustomed to enjoy such a degree of liberty, as to be utterly ignorant what slavery is. And if the gods themselves were to attempt to deprive us of it, we would labour with all our energies to resist them, even if we were forced to encounter death in the maintenance of it. When the ambassadors returned, and when Julius Caesar had received this answer, he was very angry, and ordered vessels to be got ready, in order to prosecute by force the demand which


[1] The Ruteni were a tribe of Northern France - their chief town was Segedonum, now Rhodes.

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he had made of Cassibelaunus. And as the fair wind offered which he wished for, he entered the mouth of the river Thames with his army.

At that moment, king Cassibelaunus, with all the bravest men of his kingdom, was taking counsel how he might best repel the enemy. There were present with him, Belinus, the general of his army, and Androgeus, the duke of Trinovantum, and Tennancius, duke of Cornwall. There were present also three of his feudatory kings, namely, Cridiosus, king of Albany, and Oquerth, a king of Penedocia, and Britael, king of Demecia. At last, they all agreed in this, that they should attack the camp of Caesar, and endeavour to drive him out of the country before he had taken any city or town. Accordingly, the opposing armies met and fought a long time with great violence. At last, when a chance had opened to Nennius an opportunity of meeting with Caesar, he rushed vehemently upon him, and putting forth all his strength, he smote him on the helmet, being greatly delighted at having the opportunity of engaging sword in hand with so great a man. But Julius putting forth his shield, fought gallantly himself with his drawn sword, and striking him twice on the helmet, wounded him mortally. And his sword glided off from the helmet of Nennius to his shield, and being directed with all his strength, stuck in it.

And so Nennius having in this manner got possession of the sword of Caesar, did not desist from rushing upon his enemies. And whoever he struck with it he disabled, striking off his head or some one of his limbs. While he was raging in this manner, Labrenus, the tribune, met him, and was slain by him. At last, when the greater part of the day was gone, victory declared for the Britons. So when night came, Caesar embarked his shattered legions on board his ships, and returned to Gaul in great disorder. And it is with reference to this retreat, that Lucan, an admirable poet, speaks thus in praise of the Britons:-

"What time great Caesar showed his back in flight
To the brave Britons, whom he sought as foes".

But Nennius, the brother of the king, having been mortally wounded, as I have said before, died a fortnight after the battle. And the Britons when they buried him, placed along with him in his sarcophagus the sword of Caesar, which was

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named Bloody Death, because no one who was wounded by it ever escaped alive.

CH. XXVII.- Caesar invades Britain a second time - Cassibelaunus defeats htm - He returns to Gaul.

AS Julius Caesar, therefore, had been put to flight in this manner, not one single day passed without his bewailing his own flight and the victory of the Britons. Then, after two years had elapsed, he prepares again to cross the ocean and to avenge himself on Cassibelaunus. And when Cassibelaunus learnt this from messengers, he fixed stout iron stakes in the channel of the Thames, beneath the surface of the water, as he expected that the general would sail up that river towards Trinovantum, hoping that his ships would be dashed to pieces if they came upon them. Accordingly, Julius, when he had prepared everything necessary for himself, arranged to approach the city of Trinovantum by the river Thames. But his ships, sticking on the stakes that I have already mentioned, suddenly incurred great danger. For, in consequence, there were about a thousand soldiers drowned, as the river, entering in the holes made in the ships, sucked the vessels down. Caesar, therefore, having suffered shipwreck in this manner, with great difficulty reached the land with those of his men who had escaped this danger. But Cassibelaunus, when he saw this, made an attack on the Romans, who resisted the onset of the Britons gallantly. But being in great danger in the river, they suffer more damage than they inflict. So, as they were enfeebled in an excessive degree, the Britons gained the triumph. But Caesar, flying with a few troops to his ships, was quickly borne away by his vessels, and arrived at the shores of the Morini, and entering a town which he had previously built, and which was called Odrea, he there waited for more numerous reinforcements of troops.

CH. XXVIII.- Rejoicings for the Victory of Cassibelaunus - His quarrel with Androgeus - Treason of Androgeus - Cassibelaunus is defeated - Pays tribute to Caesar - Dies - Is succeeded by Tennacius.

THEREFORE Cassibelaunus, being delighted at his repeated victories, returned to the city of Trinovantum, with the whole multitude of his kingdom, and ordered all men to pay due

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honours and sacrifices to their gods, who had granted him triumph over so great a general. Soon after therefore, as soon as they had performed the proper solemnities due to their gods, and had refreshed themselves with banquets and drinking parties, they spent the rest of the day in arranging games. While therefore they were playing, a great quarrel arose between the grandson of the king and the grandson of Androgeus, duke of Trinovantum, which was carried to such a height, that while they were quarrelling, the grandson of the king lost his head. And, in consequence of his death, the whole council was thrown into disorder, and the sad news was hrought to Cassibelaunus.

The king, being indignant at the misfortune of his grandson, in his anger ordered Androgeus to give up his grandson, and prepare to submit to such a sentence as the nobles of the kingdom should pass upon him. But Androgeus, in reply, desired the king to remember that it was he himself who had the right of deciding about his own subjects, and that it was before him that any complaint which any one might hare to bring against them ought to be decided. And as they, in this manner, separated from one another with indignation, Cassibelaunus hastened to lay waste the provinces of Androgeus, to carry fire and sword through them, and did not cease to do him all the harm he could. Afterwards, as the king, though often entreated by Androgeus, would in no respect abate his fury. Androgeus being deprived of all comfort, sent messengers with hostages to Julius Caesar, entreating his assistance, in order that he, aided by Caesar's highness, might be able to resist the injuries of Cassibelaunus. He also added that, if by Caesar's power he were restored to his former dignity, he would make Caesar master of the whole of Britain. And Androgeus sent him his son Sueva and thirty of the children of the noblest birth in the kingdom, to give him a feeling of security, giving him leave to kill them if he, in any respect, behaved with falsehood towards him.

But when the Roman general heard an invitation of this kind from the messengers who brought it to him, he ordered the hostages to be detained in an honourable manner; and being elated with great joy, he quickly embarked on board his ships with the whole of his army, and crossing rapidly with a fair wind, he landed successfully at the harbour of Rutupium,

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which is now called Sandwich; there he found Androgeus the duke of Trinovantum, who promised him faithful obedience, and pointed out to him with great prudence how he ought to proceed.

In the meantime king Cassibelaunus had besieged the city of Trinovantum, but as soon as he heard of the arrival of Caesar he hastened to meet him. When therefore the opposing armies met in a certain valley near Dover, there ensued great bloodshed on each side. And after they had spent a great deal of the day in fighting, suddenly Androgeus appeared out of a certain wood which was near at hand, with five thousand armed men, and attacked the army of Cassibelaunus in the rear, and, although with great difficulty, routed it. But the king being compelled to flee with his army, occupied a high and precipitous mountain, which had on its summit a thick cover of hazel bushes, and was rocky; and which had been used at times by the Britons for an encampment. Caesar therefore blockaded that mountain towards the close of day, and cut the enemy off from all means of escape.

After a second day had elapsed, when Caesar was unable to compel the Britons to surrender, he determined to reduce them by famine, if Androgeus had not come to himself again, and felt some pity for his own nation. Consequently he came to Julius, and addressed him in this manner: "Behold you have now sufficiently avenged yourself on Cassibelaunus, and you have made all Britain subject to yourself by my assistance. Our omnipotent gods are not willing that I should allow my master to be condemned to a shameful death, or to be bound with chains. Have pity on him therefore, because he cannot be in danger as long as I am alive". Caesar therefore being moved to thoughts of peace by the request of Androgeus, came to a treaty in the terms that Cassibelaunus should promise to pay to Caesar from Britain, every year, three thousand pounds weight of silver, under the name of tribute. Then, having become friends, they gave one another mutual gifts. And when seven more years had elapsed, Cassibelaunus died, and was buried in York. He was succeeded by Tennacius, the brother of Androgeus; because Androgeus himself had gone to Rome with the Roman general.

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CH. XXIX.- Caesar returns to Rome - His war with Pompey - Pompey is slain - and Caesar.

As Caesar had now finished all his wars in the west, in ten years he hastened to Rome to oppose Pompey, being impatient to reign alone. For as Lucan says,-

"Partners in power ne'er one another trust,
No king will bear a rival near his throne".

But as soon as his approach was made known to Pompey and the Romans, they were alarmed, and voted that he should not come into the city unless he first disbanded his army. And Caesar, being indignant at this, proceeded towards Rome in an hostile manner. But Pompey and all the Roman Senate were struck with consternation, and fled to Greece. Then Caesar, entering the city, took the money from the public treasury, and gave it to his soldiers. At length, a battle was fought, and Caesar put Pompey to flight, and drove him through Syria into Egypt. In that battle twelve thousand of Pompeys soldiers and thirty-four centurions are said to have been slain. But as soon as Pompey reached the shore, he was, for the sake of gaining the favour of Caesar, murdered by command of the young Pompey.

Then Caesar marched through all the kingdoms of the east, and subjugated all that came in his way. Then he returned to Rome, and by himself governed the whole republic, and enjoyed supreme power. But while he was thus insanely new modelling the whole constitution of the republic in a manner contrary to the customs of his ancestors, he was pierced with twenty-four wounds, and slain in the senate house, Brutus and Cassius being the prime movers of the deed; three years and six months after he had attained absolute power. It is said that two hundred and sixty men were privy to this conspiracy.

CH. XXX.- The character and reign of Augustus - His moderation - Antony - Cleopatra - Herod.

THE second monarch of Rome was Augustus Octavianus, than whom no commander was ever more successful in war, or more moderate in peace. Having in his youth been involved in civil wars, he without any difficulty made subject to the

B.C. 31.] THE PEDIGREE OF OUR SAVIOUR. 109

Roman empire all the kingdoms which he attacked. But he attained the supreme power by himself; the republic was divided between him and his father-in-law Antony. At last, when Antony had slain himself with his own hand for the sake of Cleopatra his queen, who preferred espousing the party of Augustus to his own, he by himself governed all the countries of the world. For the princes of the very extremities of the earth, invited by the fame of his wisdom and kindness, thought it desirable to live under him, and to take their share in the government as his subordinates. For Augustus did more among all men by the influence of his name, than any other commander could have effected by the might of his arms. For Herod, the king of the Jewish nation, who had received his crown from Antony, whom I have already mentioned, betook himself to Augustus of his own accord; and although he had come to him trembling, because he had been an adherent of Antony, he is said to have received the following reply:-

"You are worthy to reign over many men, and you are full of good dispositions, inasmuch as you do not desert a friend who is placed in adverse circumstances. But it seems to us an unworthy thing not to surpass in kindness a man whom we have already subdued with our arms".

And when Augustus had said this, he placed a crown on his head, giving him Godacus and Hippo, and Samona, and Ipenus, and the tower of Strato, and the cities on the coast. When therefore all the kingdoms all over the world were now at peace, and when the whole tumult of war was put an end to, he returned to Rome, and governed the republic in tranquillity, according to the Roman laws, giving to every one his rights.

CH. XXXI.- The pedigree of our Saviour - Ezra - Nehemiah.

THE line of our Saviour, who was born in this fifth age of the world, is traced from Salathiel, whom Jechoniah the younger begot after the migration to Babylon. For the elder Jechoniah, of whom we have already spoken, by the advice of Jeremiah gave himself up into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon; and with him about ten thousand of the Jews migrated, among whom were Ezekiel and Daniel, and the three children. But Salathiel begot Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel

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begot Alrad, in whose time Ezra, having founded a library, returned to Jerusalem, with seventeen hundred of the Jews, and cast out the foreign women from all commerce with the Jews.

About the same time, Nehemiah, coming to Jerusalem, built the walls with six gates in a narrow place, and delivered the people from usury. He kindled fresh fire from sticks which had been hidden by Jeremiah. Esdras read in the tabernacle, and caused the people to assemble to hear the law four times every day, and four times by night, and he also led the people to the celebration of the Sabbath.

Alrud begot Eliachim, Eliachim begot Azor, Azor begot Achim, Achim begot Eliud, Eliud begot Eleazar. This Eleazar stabbed an elephant, and perished with it. Eleazar begot Mathan. Mathan by his wife Escha became the father of Jacob. But when Mathan died, Mathas or Melchi took Escha his wife, and by her had Heli, who was the uterine brother of Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary. Joseph was the adopted son of Heli according to the law, and not according to nature. With reference to which we read in the Gospel of Luke the Evangelist: "Being as it was thought the son of Joseph, who was the son of Heli".

This Joseph had a wife according to the law of the Jews, of his own tribe and family, by name Mary. And of her, in accordance with the announcement of an angel, a true king and priest was born, Christ, the son of God, after the order of Melchisedech.

CH. XXXII.- The Tyranny and Cruelty of Herod - Marries Mariamne - His Love for her - He kills her - The Wickedness of Antipater - Birth of Herod Agrippa.

BUT now, when the legitimate line of kings and priests of the Jews was extinct, Herod, who was a foreigner, the son of Antipater, the prince, and of Cypis, an Arabian, was invested by the Roman senate with the kingdom of the Jews, and, contrary to all human and divine laws of the Jewish nation, he promoted all the lowest of the people. He kept the vestments of the high priest shut up, and never permitted any one to use them. And in order to mingle his own posterity with the royal family of the Jews, he repudiated Dosis, the wife whom he had originally married, and married Mariamne, the granddaughter of king Aristobulus, and the daughter of Hyrcanus, the high priest.

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And lest by any chance he might be proved to be a foreigner, and not of the seed of Israel, he burnt all the books in which the noble pedigrees of that nation were inscribed, and which were preserved in the temple, in order that, when all evidences were destroyed, he himself might appear to belong to it. He is said to have had nine wives, two of whom brought him no children.

But the one who had the most influence with him, of all of them, was Mariamne, by reason of her extraordinary beauty, on account of which he would never allow her to be annoyed. For she bore him five sons, two of whom, Alexander and Aristobulus, were conspicuous for their wit and manly courage. And although Herod would never thwart Mariamne in anything, she was by no means at any concern to requite her husband with similar affection; but having watched her opportunity, because she had found out that Hyrcanus, her grandfather, had been put to death by the contrivance of her husband, because he erronously suspected him of having had a design upon the kingdom, she attacked her husband with expressions of the greatest hatred. Herod, hearing this, lays all the blame on Mariamne, because he had sent her picture into Egypt to Antony, whom I have spoken of before, and had roused him by the splendour of her beauty, and excited his passions, and he was a man whom she knew to be violently given to all kinds of amorous indulgences. And so Herod ordered her to be put to death, though repentance for the deed very soon followed upon the action.

Her sons, whom I have spoken of, succeeded their mother, desirous to be avengers of her death, if they could; asserting that no sufficient cause could be alleged to justify the crime of parricide. By these circumstances, Herod was immoderately enraged, so that there was no kind of ferocity to which he did not give way; he trusted no one, suspected every one. And Antipater, the son of Herod and of his wife Dosis, whom I mentioned just now, seeing this, relying on two weapons, namely, his skill in flattery and his cunning in simulation, began to accuse his brethren before his father to such a degree, that his father, forgetful of humanity, put them all to death in the city of Sebaste. But the blood-thirsty mind of Antipater was not satisfied with the death of his brothers, who were thus slain; but his impious mind, when he had no longer any

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brethren to hate, began secretly to persecute his father. But when the king discoyered his intrigues, he suddenly caused him to be decapitated. But before he was executed he begot Herod Agrippa, of whom we shall speak hereafter.

CH. XXXIII.- Of the birth of John the Baptist.

THERE was, in the days of Herod, king of Judaea, in the twenty-ninth year of his reign, a priest of the name of Zechariah, of the course of Abijah, and his wife Elizabeth was of the family of Aaron. For David, the king, wishing to increase the worship of the Lord, instituted twenty-four chief priests, of whom, however, one was the principal, who was called the Chief of the Priests. For he appointed sixteen men of the family of Eleazar, and eight of the family of Ithamar, and, according to lot, he gave each of them a week of their turn. And Abijah had the eighth week, of whose family was Zechariah; and when on the day of propitiation he was offering incense, an angel foretold to him that he should have a son born to him from his wife. But he, considering the barrenness of his wife and the age of both himself and her, did not believe it, and for this he was struck dumb till the day of her delivery. The angel also told him what should be the name of the child, and foretold to him his noble character and his abstinence. So Elizabeth conceived, and hid herself for five months.

CH. XXXIV.- The Angel Gabriel is sent to the Virgin Mary.

But in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent to Nazareth, to Mary, who had been espoused to Joseph; and when he had saluted her and told her that she should bring forth Jesus, the Son of the Highest, and when he had enquired how this should be, seeing that she knew not a man, and had even vowed not to do so, unless God arranged it otherwise, the angel added that she should conceive, not by any man, but by the operation of the Holy Spirit, and told her that her cousin Elizabeth had already conceived. For the tribes of the priesthood and of the kingdom were mingled. For Aaron had a wife named Elizabeth, of the tribe of Judah, the sister of Naason; and Jehoiada the priest had a wife named Jochabeth, the daughter of king Joram. And Mary answered, "Be it done to me according to thy word". And immediately Christ was conceived by the Virgin, a complete man in soul and

B.C. 5.] CAESAR'S EDICT. 113

flesh, so that the lineaments of his limbs were discernible to human vision.

And he is believed to have been conceived on the twenty-fifth day of March, and when thirty-three years had elapsed, to have died on the same day. And we must remark that there were two sisters in Judaea, by name Hymeria and Anna, the first of whom was the mother of Elizabeth, who brought forth John, the forerunner of the Lord. The second had three husbands, Salome, Joachim, and Cleophas. And Salome begot Mary the wife of Zebedee, of whom were born James the Greater, and John the Evangelist; Cleophas begot Mary the wife of Alphaeus, of whom were born James the Less, and Jude, or Thaddeus. And Joachim begot Mary, the Mother of the Lord. And we have detailed these circumstances in order to show the relationship between Elizabeth and the Mother of the Lord; as it was said by the angel, "Behold, your cousin Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age".

CH. XXXV.- Joseph thinks of putting away Mary.

And immediately after the departure of the angel, Mary arose and went into the city of Judah, and entered into the house of Zechariah, and saluted Elizabeth, and remained there three months, ministering to her cousin until she was delivered. And when the child was circumcised on the eighth day, and was called John, Mary returned to her own home to Nazareth. And when Joseph her husband knew that she was with child, he was unwilling to divorce her, but was minded to put her away privately. Then he was warned in his sleep by an angel to take her as his wife, for the angel told him that her child had been conceived by the Holy Ghost, and that he was one who should save his people from their sins. So he, receiving his wife, remained with her, both of them living in a state of virginity, in order that she might enjoy the comfort of a husband, and that the Son of God might be concealed from the devil.

CH. XXXVI.- The cireumstances preceding the Birth of our Saviour - Caesar's Edict - Christ is born.

Then went forth an edict of Caesar Augustus, that a census should be taken of all the world. The emperor wished to know the number of countries in the world which were subject to the Roman dominion, and also the number of the citizens

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in every country, and the number of heads in every city. He also commanded that every one should come from all the suburban towns and villages and boroughs to his own city, from which he derived his origin, and that each should bring a piece of money for himself, which should be of the value of ten sesterces, and should have an image of Caesar and the inscription of his name. And as Judaea appeared to be in the very centre of our earth, the order was that this taxing should be begun there.

Now this taxing was first made when Cyrinus was governor of Syria, or else it may [1] be called "first", because it was the first that took place after the entrance of Cyrinus on his government, or it may be called "first", as being universal and the greatest ever made by Augustus, because no such is said to have been made either before or since.

Joseph, therefore, went up from Nazareth to Bethlehem, bewise he was of the family of David, in order to give in his name with Mary, his wife, who was great with child. And when she was there she brought forth her first-born son (nor did she ever bring forth any one after him), and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, between an ox and an ass, which Joseph had, as it happened, brought


[1] With respect to the difficulty which our chronicler here endeavours to explain, I probably cannot do better than quote the note giiven in Doyley and Mant's Bible (Luke ii. 2), condensed from Paley, Prideaux, and Dr. Hammond:- "A difficulty has arisen respecting these words, from the circumstance of its appearing, from other historical records, that Cyrenius was not made governor of Syria till ten or twelve years after the birth of Christ, and that at the beginning of his government an assessment was made in Judaea. In order to meet this difficulty, it is to be stated that the words in the original admit of being translated 'This was the first assessment (or enrolment) of Cyrenius, the governor of Syria'. Thus we may suppose that the assessment now spoken of, was made under the superintendence of Cyrenius who was afterwards the governor of Syria; and that as he was subsequently well known by this title of governor of Syria, he is here by anticipation called by that title. It should be observed that the assessment here mentioned, is expressly said to be that 'first made', an expression which clearly has reference to a second assessment, that is, to the assessment mentioned in history, about twelve years afterwards, when Cyrenius was actual governor. An important confirmation of this mode of explaining the difficulty is, thta Josephus mentions the fact of the whole nation having taken an oath to be faithful to Caesar, about the time of Christ's birth. And this may be the occasion of the very assessment or enrolment of which we read in this verse".

B.C. 4.] JESUS CHRIST IS BORN. 115

with him to carry the things that were necessary for his journey. And because, on account of the number of rich men who had come thither for the same purpose, there was no room for poor people in the inn, they laid him in a manger, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib". And Habakkuk [1] says, "You are known between two animals".

Therefore, now as the legitimate line of kings had ceased, as has already been said, there came, according to the prophecy of Daniel, the expectation of all nations, Jesus Christ our Lord, of the race of kings and priests, taking flesh upon him out of his great mercy.


[1] It is not clear what passage in Habakkuk our author refers to here.

BOOK VI.

THE SIXTH AGE OF THE WORLD. [1]

CH. I.- FROM B.C. 4 TO A.D. 15.

The Birth of Christ - Question when the Sixth Age of the World is properly said to begin - Circumstances attending the Birth and Early Age of Our Saviour - Invective against the Heathen Philosophers and their Theories - The Wise Men of the East - Herod's Massacre of the Innocents - Account of Josephus - Violence of Herod to his own Family - Treachery of Antipater - Cymbeline and his sons in England - Death of Herod - His kingdom is divided - Trogus - Archelaus - Death of Augustus Caesar.

In the fifty thousand nine hundred and ninety-ninth year after the creation of the world, in the fifty-second year of the reign [2] of Augustus Caesar, and the thirtieth of the reign of Herod, Cymbeline, the son of Tennancius, being king of Britain, and in the third year of the hundred and ninety-third Olympiad, in the fourth indiction, [3] in the second existing


[1] From this period, our Author no longer divides his work into Books or Chapters, but proceeds without any break to the coronation of William the Conqueror. For the divisions into chapters, as given in this volume, the Translator is responsible.

[2] This looks as if he dated the reign of Augustus from the murder of Julius Caesar, which, however, took place B.C. 44, not B.C. 42. The battle of Philippi was B.C. 42. The battle of Actium not till B.C. 31. The era A.D. coincides with the first year of the 195th Olympiad.

[3] "The indiction, instituted by Constantine the Great, is properly a cycle of tributes orderly disposed for fifteen years, and by it accounts of that kind were kept. Afterwards, in memory of the great victory obtained by Constantine over Megentius, 8 Cal. Oct. (24 Sept.) 312, by which an entire freedom was given to Christianity, the Council of Nice, for the honour of Constantine, ordained that the accounts of years should be no longer kept by Olympiads, which till that time had been done, but that, instead thereof, the indiction should be made use of by which to reckon, and date their years".- Johnson's Dict, in voc. But this can hardly be what our author means. Ducange says, "Indiction is a name given by the Latins to a number of fifteen years, usually added to the years of Christ, to prevent mistakes in chronology". The passage in the text is not very dear, and Ducange confesses that there is great difficulty about the word, on more accounts than one.

B.C. 4.] WHEN THE SIXTH AGE BEGAN. 117

epact, [1] and fifth concurrent, [2] on the twenty-fifth day of December, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born in Bethlehem of Judaea, in order, by sanctifying the people of the Gentiles, and the Jewish nation, to bind them together, and unite them to himself. And he was born, according to his most exactly ordered arrangement, on the night of the Lord's day; because, if you reckon back in the chronological tables, you will find the fifth concurrent of this year, the third regular of January. And when they are added together, and seven are subtracted, one remains. And so you will find that the first of January on that year fell on a Sunday, which corresponds to my calculation. For on the same day in which God said, "Let there be light, and there was light", the day-star from on high visited us, in order to give light to those who sat in darkness, and to guide them into the way of peace.

And the sixth age began, according to some people, with the Nativity of Christ. According to the Apostle, for instance, who says, "When the fulness of time shall have come", etc. According to others, with the day on which he was baptized, on account of the regenerative power given to the waters.


[1] "Epect, a number whereby we denote the excess of the solar year above the lunar, and thereby may find out the age of the moon every year. In the solar year consisting of 365 days, and the lunar but of 354; the lunations every year get eleven days before the solar year, and thereby, in nineteen years, the moon completes 20 minutes (times?) 12 lunations, or gets up one whole solar year, and having finished that circuit, begins again with the sun, and so from 19 to 19 years".- Johnson's Dict, in voc.

[2] "Concurrents is a name given to a number of days never exceeding seven, which, being added to the regulars, make up a festival".- Ducange in voc. Conc. "In the works of the ecclesiastical chronologers, there are solar and lunar regulars. A solar regular is an invariable number added to a month, which, being added to a concurrent, points out in what day of a week any month of which it is the regular begins. A lunar regular is an invariable number added to a month, in order to find out the moon in the calends of each month".- Ibid. Regularis.

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According to others, with his Pasuon, because then the door was opened, and the seventh glory of those at rest began. Therefore, Christ put off his Advent to the sixth age, in order that the length of time might not destroy the fuhness of the new law. For if he had come before, perhaps the length of time would have effaced all the precepts of the new law. Moreover, it was becoming that he who had made man on the sixth day, should bring him to the fulness of the law in the sixth age of the world, and as the world was now growing old, should refresh it by his new arrival.

As shepherds, at a distance of one mile from Bethlehem, were keeping the watches of the night, in attendance upon their flocks, behold! an angel of the Lord stood near them, announcing that a Saviour had been born in Bethlehem, and as a sign of it, he told them that the child was placed in a manger. For it was a custom from old time among the Gentiles, at each solstice, to keep the watches of the night, on account of their veneration for the sun; and this custom had probably obtained among the Jews, from the practice of those with whom they dwelt.

And when the angel departed, there appeared a multitude of spirits, saying, "Glory to God in the highest", etc. Very deservedly, at the birth of the Lord, is the Song of Peace heard from the angels, because by His birth peace was made between God and man, between angel and man, and between Jew and Gentile. Therefore, the shepherds going to Bethlehem, found there the Great Shepherd in the manger, and related what they had heard and seen. But Mary kept all these things in her heart.

And although Christ was thought the son of Joseph, still his generation was in this manner. For the first creation of a human being was out of the earth; the second out of the side of the man; the third from man and woman; and this one from woman and the Holy Ghost, without a man. And on the eighth day, Christ was circumcised, and his prepuce is said to have been brought down by an angel, in the time of Charlemagne, to the temple of the Lord at Jerusalem, and by him to have been transferred to Aix la Chapelle, and afterwards to have been placed by Charles the Bald in the Church of the Saviour, at Carosium, and to have been reverently honoured in that Church.

B.C. 4.] VARIOUS OPINIONS OF PHILOSOPHERS. 119

And after the days of the Purification of Mary were accomplished, his parents brought Jesus to Jerusalem, and offered victims for him, a pair of turtle-doves and two young pigeons, and moreover they redeemed him with five pieces of silver. And there was at Jerusalem an old man, named Simeon, who had received an answer from the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death till he had first seen the Lord's Christ; and he came with the Spirit into the temple, and took Jesus in his arms. And in the same hour, Anna, the prophetess, coming in, spoke of him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Israel.

Let, therefore, those philosophers of the Gentiles be confounded, who, by their sagacious investigations, have been able to conjecture that the world and all the courses of things are composed of four elements; and who, seeking for the author of the world in the elements, have never been able to find him. For Thales, the Milesian, having comprehended the calculations of astronomy, began to predict the eclipses of the sun and moon; for he thought himself that water was the origin of all things. Anaximander, his pupil, asserted that all things were derived not from moisture, but from their own several beginnings, and he taught that first principles were infinite in number. And as Thales had asserted that the origin of all things was to be found in water, Anaximenes in air, the Stoics in fire, and Epicurus in atoms, Plato is praised, who was the first person who divided Philosophy into three divisions, namely, Moral Philosophy, which is conversant about actions, Natural Philosophy, which is devoted to contemplation, and Logical Philosophy, by which the truth is distinguished from falsehood.

But the philosopher Pythagoras, when he was asked what he professed, replied, "That he was a philosopher, that is to say, a lover of wisdom". For to profess himself a wise man, appeared to him to be a most arrogant proceeding. But all these men, because they sought for wisdom without faith, perished on account of their folly. Were not these men, the Holy Fathers of the Old and New Testament, wiser than they? for they, being clear-sighted with lynxes' eyes, found God as he is; while those who sought him in the elements, could never find him at all.

Also Abel the Just, by giving tithes and first-fruits, made God

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propitious to himself, and was the first person who gained the crown of martyrdom. Enoch, the seventh from God, pleased God, and was translated into Paradise. Noah also by faith delivered himself and his children from the danger of the deluge. Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. Moses believed, and wrote that the Trinity created the Heaven and the Earth and all that is therein. The holy David and his son Solomon, and Isaiah, and Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and Daniel, and the rest of the Prophets preached the true God and worshipped him, asserting that the natures which had been created by him, derived the beginning and end of their existence and motion from him; and that he gave all living things that rational spirit which is called the mind; and that he regulated the human race in its beginning and progress, and in its end. Lastly, these men, being inspired with the Holy Spirit, announced to us that the Author and Governor of all things, being fettered by no chains, and divisible into no parts, is confined to no place, is in no part changeable, filling heaven and earth with his power, but with a nature which is in need of nothing; and that he regulates everything which he has created in such a manner that he allows it to practise and exercise its own appropriate motions.

Lastly, among those wise men of the world who are accounted fools before God, there is found to be such excessive disagreement, that it is difficult to perceive in what opinion even a diligent reader may rest. But our writers, though they were not contemporaries or fellow-disciples, are still found to agree with one another, and to be at variance in no respect. For they were the organs of God, and therefore they all, if moved by the divine harmony, knew that there was one beginning, one progress, and one end of all things.

[A.D. 2.] These astronomers, through their own skilfulnesa in their art, without any divine inspiration, came to Jerusalem saying, "Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and are come with gifts to worship him". And when Herod heard this, he was alarmed, being a man who had no connection with the royal family; and having sent for the doctors of the law, he asked of them where Jesus should be born. And they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judah; for thus it is written in the book of Micah the Prophet. And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not by any means

A.D. 2.] THE LORD ADORED BY THE MAGI. 121

the least among the princes of Judah, for out of thee shall come a babe who shall rule my people Israel". Then Herod having privily called the wise men, enquired of them carefully the time of the star which had appeared to them. And sending them to Bethlehem, he said, "Go ye and enquire diligently about the young child, and when ye have found him bring me word, that I may go and worship him also". But he said this treacherously, wishing to kill him, because he was to be the king of the seed of David, who might be able to get possession of his kingdom.

Then the wise men, coming to the cradle of Christ, found him with Mary his mother, and falling down they worshipped him, and opening their treasures they offered him gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And when the duty of their devotion had been wisely discharged, they omitted to return to Herod; on which account the king was alarmed with more suspicion, and adopting a wicked counsel, he sent and slew all the children who were in Bethlehem, from two years old and under, hoping that among the boys of the same age, he should slay the child Jesus. For he had learnt that the star had arisen on the day in which the Lord was born, and according to the rising of the star, he knew that Jesus was a year old, and a few days over; and therefore he let loose his fury upon the children of two years old and under, down to the infant who was only one night old. But Joseph, having been warned by the voice of an angel, took the child and his mother and fled into Egypt on the second of February, and remained there till the death of Herod. In reference to which it is said that as when the children of Israel departed from Egypt, there was not one house in Egypt in which, by the contrivance of God, there was not some one lying dead, so now there was not a temple in Egypt in which an idol had not fallen down.

Some say that it was on the thirteenth day after his birth, that the Lord was adored by the Magi, and that the star had appeared to them a considerable time before Christ was born, and that so they were able to come from a distance, or perhaps they travelled over a wide extent of country, sitting on dromedaries. But the account given by Josephus, appears to contradict this opinion. For he says that Herod was summoned by letter by Caesar Augustus, to go to Rome to answer the accusations of his sons, whom I have spoken of above; and

122 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 3.

that he took Alexander, his son, with him to Rome, and aocosed him before Cesar of having prepared poison for him. And as he was travelling through Sicily, hearing that the ships of the people of Tarshish had conveyed the Magi, he, being vehemently enraged, burnt the ships of Tarshish, so that the prophecy of the Psalmist was fulfilled, "In an angry spirit", etc.

But when he had pleaded his cause against his sons, before Caesar, a reconciliation was made up between them, on these conditions, that the young men should obey their father in all matters, and that he himself should leave his kingdom to whoever he chose. And when he came to Jerusalem he convened the people, and relating the peace that had been made between them by Caesar, he declared that he would appoint an heir. Thus being more firmly established in his kingdom than before, he ordered the children to be put to death; the greater part of whom are buried at the third milestone from Bethlehem, on the southern road. Chrysostom says that the star appeared during the year before the Nativity of the Lord, and that Herod believed that the Lord had been born at that time, and therefore he thought that the Lord was two years old with the addition of a few days; and therefore he slew all the children of two years old and upwards, up to five years, but none less than two years old; and he speaks below of the age of two years according to his calculation of the number. For as from a calculation of the time, those who are younger than two years old are inferior to those who are born after them, so by calculation of number, those who are more than two years old are inferior to them, because they are reckoned after them. And it appears, to prove this assertion, that some bones of the Innocents are considered so large that they cannot belong to children who were but two years old. But it may be said to this, that men at that time were far taller and larger than of late. This year also was Bissextile, consisting of three hundred and sixty-six days, and it was called Bissextile, because the sixth of the calends of March was reckoned twice.

[A.D. 3.] By the cunning of the before-mentioned Antipater, Alexander and Aristobulus were a second time rendered objects of suspicion to Herod; and on this account the father wrote to Augustus and accused his sons of many crimes. Caesar therefore sent Saturninus and Piarius, his lieutenants, with a rescript

A.D. 3.] HEROD PUTS HIS SONS TO DEATH. 123

that they should bring the two young men before a council of the nobles which they should convoke, and try the sons, and that Herod should do what he pleased with them if he could convict them. But when both sides had been heard, the lieutenants pronounced that they deserved to be condemned, but not to death. Then their father threw them into prison at Sebaste, and ordered their accomplices to be put to the torture; in order that, by their confession, he might learn if his sons were contriving anything against his life. And one of them confessed that he had had great promises made to him by Alexander, if he would give hu father poison. And his barber confessed that great gifts had been promised him if, while he was trimming their father's beard, he would cut his throat. He added also, that Alexander had said that there was no hope to be placed in an old man who dyed his hair in order to seem young.

Herod, being influenced by these things, sent javelin men, and ordered his sons to be put to death, and to be carried to Alexandria, and to be buried there, with Alexander, his maternal grandfather. Then Herod made a will, and appointed Antipater to be king after him, and Herod who was surnamed Antipas, to govern in the place of Antipater; but Antipater incurred intolerable hatred from the people, as every one knew that he had heaped calumnies on his brothers and fellow subjects; and on this account, his father regarded him with an unfavourable eye. Besides this, Antipater was displeased with his father, because he had substituted his brother for him, and shown that he was unwilling that the kingdom of Antipater should come to his children. He had another and still more influential cause of dislike towards his father. For he cherished with paternal affection the youthful children of those sons whom he had slain, joining them to other grandchildren of his in matrimony. For, according to Josephus, there were little children left by Aristobulus, namely, Herod Agrippa, who slew James with the sword, and Herodias, whom Herod Antipas afterwards took away from his brother Philip. Antipater, therefore, was afraid that, some time or other, Herod would restore the kingdom to his brother's youthful children, because he was related to them on the mother's side. He also excited Feroras to a frantic hatred of Herod, to such a degree, that Feroras left his father, and settled in the land which had been granted to him on the other side of Jordan.

124 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 4.

But Antipater himtelf, with even the consent of his father, when he had devised some opportunity for doing so, went to Rome, and procured a very efficacious poison from a certain female poisoner of Arabia, and gave it to the wife of Feroras, that while he himself was absent, it might be given to his father by a servant whom he himself had bribed for the purpose. But while Antipater was absent at Rome, Feroras died, and Herod received information about the poison which was thus stored up in the care of the wife of Feroras, from a handmaid who left her mistress in a passion. Accordingly, having summoned his brother's widow, he orders her to bring him the poison. She having left the palace as if for the purpose of getting it, threw herself down a height, but being brought half dead to the king, she said, "When your brother and my husband died, he said to me, wife bring hither the poison that Antipater left us, and burn it in the fire before my eyes, in order that I may not carry with me to the shades below, a conscience which will be the avenger of my fratricide. But I threw a great portion of it into the fire, but kept back a small part for my own use in any doubtful circumstances, because I was afraid of you". But when she had given him the box she died.

And as he had received many other proofs that Antipater was labouring to effect his father's death, Herod recalled him suddenly, and repudiated his mother. And when he had publicly accused his son of parricide, in the presence of Varus, the governor of Syria, who had come to Jerusalem at that time, he threw him into prison at Jericho. And when the father sought for the accomplices of his son, in order to slay them all together with his son by exquisite punishments, he was hindered by a violent attack of illness.

The same year John the Evangelist was born.

[A.D. 4.] Caesar Augustus was passing the forty-fifth year of his reign. At which time there were two sophists in Jerusalem, whom not a few of the young men used to follow when they expounded the law. It seemed a good opportunity to them while Herod was seen to throw down the golden eagle which the king had set up contrary to the laws of his country over the principal gate of the temple. And when it was thrown down, the king being very angry, got the better of his disease by the violence of his anger, and proceeding to the public assembly,

A.D. 7.] HEROD'S MESSENGERS RETURN FROM ROME. 125

endeavoured to revenge the insult upon all the people of Jerusalem. But yielding to the entreaties of the people, he revenged himself on the authors of the action only. Accordingly he took those who had been let down with ropes, to cut the eagle to pieces, and burnt them alive with the two sophists.

After this he was afflicted with various distempers. For he had no slight fever, and an intolerable itching over the whole surface of his body; he was harassed incessantly with the pains of the cholic, his feet were swollen with dropsy, rottenness in his members was breeding worms; his panting for breath was incessant, he was constantly giving vent to broken sobs, which were referred by all people to the vengeance of God. He crossed the Jordan at Calirope, where he took the warm baths, and as the physicians had recommended the bathing his body with warm oil, he was placed in a vessel full of it, and relaxed to such a degree that he even rolled his eyes in a powerless manner, like a dead man. But then, when the bystanders raised a shout, he with some difficulty was brought to look up again.

[A.D. 5.] Cymbeline, the king who had reigned over Britain, begot two sons, namely, Guiderius and Arviragus, of whom Guiderius was the elder; and when his father died, as is stated below, he succeeded to the helm of the kingdom, and governed the people who became his subjects in joy and peace.

About this time, Herod sent ambassadors to Rome, and brought many accusations against his son Antipater.

[A.D. 6.] Herod returning to Jericho, as he had heard that the Jews had shown great joy at the news of his expected death, ordered all the youths of noble birth in Judaea to be collected and shut up in the hippodrome, that is to say, in the prison of the Circus, giving a charge to his sister Salome, that when he expired she should immediately put them to death, so that all Judaea might mourn at his death as well as during his life. This year also was a Bissextile year.

[A.D. 7.] The messengers whom Herod had sent to Rome returned, and brought a letter from Caesar, to the effect that he might send Antipater into banishment, or, if he preferred it, ought condemn him to death; and he was a little reinvigorated by the messengers; but afterwards he asked for an apple (a fruit that he was very fond of eating), and also for a knife to cut it with; and as on a sudden he was shaken by a violent cough,

126 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 8.

he, looking round to see that there was no witness to hinder him, raised his right hand to stab himself. But Asciabus, his cousin, held his hand, and immediately a lamentation arose in the king's palace, as if the king were dead. And Antipater hearing it, exulted greatly, and promised the guards large rewards to release him. And when Herod heard this, he was more indignant at the exaltation of his son than grieved at death, and he instantly sent guards to execute him, and he ordered him to be buried in Hyrcania. And immediately he altered his will, and left Archelaus his son his successor in his kingdom, but in such a manner that he was to receive the diadem from Augustus. But five days after the death of his son, Herod, who had lived miserably, died more miserably still, in the forty-ninth year of the reign of Augustus; and Archelaus buried him in Herodium, according to his own injunction. And sitting in the tribunal, he said that he meant to govern in the name of the king till his succession was confirmed by Caesar, promising to show himself a better governor than his father in every respect.

But a sedition arose in Rome, a thing which often happens under new kings; and as Archelaus could not quell it, though he sent a great body of guards and slew about nine thousand men, he went to Rome himself, leaving Archelaus governor of the kingdom. Herod Antipas, also, went in order to dispute the possession of the kingdom with his brother. At length, by the advice of the senate, Caesar divided the monarchy of Herod; giving the central part, that is Judaea and Idumaea, to Archelaus. But he divided the central [1] part into two tetrarchies, and the country on the other side of Jordan and Galilee fell to the share of Herod, but Ituraea and Trachonitis were given to Philip. And so the three brothers were sent back into Judaea, having remained four months at Rome, awaiting the decision in the matter. But Archelaus raged against his subjects more savagely than his father had done.

[A.D. 8.] The second year of the reign of Archelaus. The angel told Joseph to return with his child and its mother into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judaea in his father's stead, he did not like to go thither, but went to Galilee, and abode in Nazareth.


[1] There is evidently some error in the text here. The sense seems to require caeteram, or some such word, instead of mediam, so that the translation should be, "he divided the remainder".

A.D. 11.] CASISVB THS OBATOB DIEfif. 127

[A.D. 9.] The fifty-first year of the reign of Caesar Augustus. Trogus Pompeius [1] terminated his chronicles, in which he had, as it were, handed down the course of the world which was past to the memory of posterity. For he so relates the history of the republic of the Romans, and of their arms which that nation carried so widely over the whole world, from the beginning to the present time, that any one who reads his account may learn that virtue and fortune laboured together to build up the Roman empire.

[A.D. 10.] The Athenians endeavoured to create a sedition in their city against the Romans; but were put down, and the leaders of the insurrection were put to death.

About the same time, Archelaus, to show his contempt for his family, repudiated Mariamne, his brother's daughter, whom his father had given him aa his wife; and married Glasira, the daughter of the king of Cappadocia, and previously the wife of his brother Alexander, who had been married after the death of Alexander to Juba, king of Libya; and ever since the death of Juba, had lived in widowhood with her father. And when she had returned to Judaea, and married Archelaus, she fancied that she saw Alexander standing over her, and saying, "Was not a lawful marriage enough to content you, but must you again return to my house, and form a shameless connection with my brother? I will therefore, recover you though against your will". And she, after she had related the dream, survived scarcely two days.

[A.D. 11.] The fifty-second year of the reign of Augustus Caesar, and the fifth of the reign of Archelaus, king of Judaea. Caninus the orator died of starvation.


[1] Trogus Pompeius was a Gaul by descent, whose grandfather received the citizenship of Rome from Pompey the Great, during his war with Sertorius. His history is not extant, but we have forty-four books of Justin's history, which the author tells us was entirely derived from the universal history of Trogus Pompeius. And from Justin we learn that Trogus's history consisted also of forty-four books, called Libri Historiarum Phillipicarum, as the main object of the writer was to give an account of the rise and fall of the Macedonian monarchy; though he digressed so as to take in the history of the eastern nations: the Peloponesian war, the Sacred war, the history of the Apulians, Sabines and Samnites, while the last books contained a sketch of the Roman history and notices of the Ligurians, Massilians and Spaniards. One of the last events mentioned in it was the recovery of the standards of Crassus from the Parthians, B.C. 20.

128 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 15.

[A.D. 12.] The boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem behind his parents, and after three days he was found by his parents, sitting in the middle of the doctors, both hearing and asking them questions; and all were astonished at his wisdom and answers.

[A.D. 13.] Augustus, with his son Tiberius, had a census of Rome taken, and the population was found to amount to nine million three hundred and seventy thousand.

[A.D. 14.] The fifty-fifth year of the reign of Augustus Caesar. King Archelaus, who had been often accused, was summoned before Caesar. And five days before he was to appear before him, he dreamt that nine full and excellent ears of corn were devoured by oxen. And while he was consulting the prophets whom he had summoned respecting this dream, Simon the Essene interpreted the ears of corn as meaning years, and the oxen the change of affairs, because oxen turn over and changes the land by ploughing it. And he said, therefore, that the dream portended that he should reign nine years, and die after he had experienced several changes of circumstances. Accordingly, coming to Rome in the ninth year of his reign, he was condemned by Caesar, and sent into banishment to the city of Vienne, in Gaul; just at the time that an eclipse of the sun took place.

[A.D. 15.] Augustus Caesar waa stricken by illness at Nola, and died, after he had reigned fifty-seven [1] years, six months, and ten days. For as the Lord was born in the forty-second year of his reign, and was thirty years old in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, it follows that Augustus Caesar died when the Lord was in his fifteenth year.

And he died in the seventy-seventh year of his reign, at Acella, a city of Campania; and he was buried in the Campus Martius, boasting above all things that he had left that a marble city which he had found a brick one.


[1] Our Chronicler here is inconsistent with himself. If the fourteenth year of the Incarnation of our Lord was the fifty-fifth year of Augustus' reign, it is quite plain that in the next year he would not have reigned fifty-seven years and a half. He is also not quite right about our Lord's age. Augustus really died 14th Cal. September, 19th August, A.D. 14, when our Saviour was in the eighteenth year of his age. Consequently, the thirtieth year of his age coincides with the twelfth of the reign of Tiberius. And the crucifixion took place A.D. 33, in the thirty-seventh year of his age.

A.D. 21.] THE TEMPERING OF GLASS DISCOVERED. 129

CH. II.- FROM A.D. 15 TO A.D. 38.

Reign of Tiberius - Livy - Ovid - A great earthquake in Asia Minor - Invention of Glass - Death of Cymbeline - History of Pilate - The preaching of John - Principal events in our Saviour's life - Judas Iscariot - Letter of Caesar to the Senate about Christ - The Apostles - St. Stephen - St. Paul - Portrait of our Saviour - Death of Pilate.

[A.D. 16.] Tiberius Claudius, the son of Julia, and stepson of Augustus Caesar, was raised to the empire; and he reigned twenty-two years. At first, he governed the republic with great moderation, so much so, that when some people advised him to increase the tribute imposed on the provinces, he answered that it was the part of a good shepherd to shear the sheep, and not to flay them.

[A.D. 17.] Livy the Ortensian, the historian, finished his history. And it was in this year, according to some authors, that Augustus Caesar died. For those who adopt this opinion reckon the half year and the few days that are over as an entire year.

[A.D. 18.] The second year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. The admirable poet Ovid died in exile. For he had been banished by Augustus Caesar, and sent to an island in Pontus, on account of Caesar's wife, with whom he was suspected of too great an intimacy. It was also said that he had composed some books in verse about her; and on that account he was banished by the emperor her husband.

[A.D. 19.] Valerius, the historian, wrote an account of the sayings and actions of the Romans. In the same year, Germanicus, the son of Drusus and father of Caligula, triumphed over the Germans, against whom he had been sent by Augustus Caesar.

[A.D. 20.] Thirteen cities were overthrown by an earthquake, namely, Ephesus, Magnesia, Sardis, Monestene, Hiero, Caesarea, Philadelphia, Thimolus, Themus, Cyme, Smyrna, Apollonia, and Hyrcania.

[A.D. 21.] Fenestella, a writer of histories and poetry, died in the seventieth year of his age, and was buried at Cumae, in the tenth indiction.

In the same year, a certain artist discovered how to temper glass, making it flexible and ductile. And when he had been brought before Tiberius Caesar, he offered him a small bottle;

130 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 28.

at which the emperor was indignant, and threw it down on floor. But the artist picked the bottle up from the floor, which had become bent like a vessel of brass, and taking a hammer out of his bosom, he beat the bottle into shape again. When he had done this, Caesar said to the artist, "Is any one else acquainted with this manufacture of glass"? And when he had affirmed with an oath that no one else understood it, he ordered him to be decapitated, lest, if the art became known, gold might come to be esteemed as clay, and all the value for the precious metals entirely destroyed; because, in fact, if glass vessels could not be broken, they would do better than either golden or silver ones.

[A.D. 22.] King Cymbeline, in whose reign our Lord was born, died in Britain, and was succeeded by Guiderius, his son, who disdained to pay the Romans the usual tribute, a thing which none of his predecessors from the time of Julius Caesar had dared to attempt.

[A.D. 23.] Tiberius Caesar summoned a great number of kings before him, and sent none of them back to their kingdoms, but reduced all their kingdoms into provinces, and appointed procurators where there had been kings.

[A.D. 24.] Valerius Gracchus was sent as procurator of Judaea; who thinking all gain to be piety, openly sold the office of high priest, and removed Annas, and appointed Ishmael high priest.

[A.D. 25.] The ninth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. The theatre of Pompey was burnt, in the fifteenth indiction.

[A.D. 26.] Gracchus, the procurator of Judaea, removed Ishmael the high priest, and appointed Eleazar, the son of Annas, in his room.

[A.D. 27.] The same procurator removed Eleazar, and appointed Simon high priest.

[A.D. 28.] Simon is removed, and Josippus, who is also called Caiaphas, appointed in his place. After which event Valerius returns to Rome. There was a certain king, by name Tyrus, who had a carnal knowledge of a certain damsel named Pila, the daughter of a certain miller, by name Atus, and who compounded one name out of the two, and gave the son whom the damsel bore the name of Pilatus. When Pilatus was three years old, Pila sent him to the king. But the king had also a son by his wife, who was very nearly

A.D. 28.] HISTORY OF PILATE. 131

the same age as Pilate. While the two children were growing up to years of discretion, they constantly played together, contending with one another in wrestling, and boxing, and slinging. But the legitimate son of the king, as being of noble blood, was found to have in every point more action than Pilate, and more skilful in every kind of contest, and therefore Pilate, being moved with envy, and being excited with bile and indignation, privily slew his brother. And the king, hearing of this, was greatly grieved, and having summoned an assembly, asked them what ought to be done with this wicked homicide. And all cried out with one accord that he was a criminal worthy of death. But the king, coming to himself again, would not crown one iniquity with another, but sent him to Rome as a hostage for the tribute which he was bound annually to pay to the Romans, wishing both to be innocent of the slaughter of his son, and at the same time to be freed from the tribute to the Romans.

There was at this time at Rome the son of the king of the Franks, whom the king had sent to Rome in a similar manner, on account of his tribute. Pilate associated with him, and finding that he was surpassed by him in accomplishments and energy, gave way to the stings of envy, and murdered him. But when the Romans inquired what ought to be done with him, they said this man, who has murdered his brother and assassinated our hostage, will be very useful to the republic if his life is spared, and being of a savage disposition himself, will bow down the necks of our savage enemies. They said, therefore, as he is guilty of a capital crime, let him be appointed judge in Pontus over those nations who would endure no judge at all; so that perhaps their obstinacy may be subdued by his severity; and if he does not succeed, let him meet with the punishment that he deserves. Accordingly, Pilate was sent to that ferocious nation, which was in the habit of murdering its judges, not being ignorant of the character of the people among whom he was sent, and on what a thread his life hung; and so he, having due regard to so important a matter, wished to save his own life, and by great severity he utterly broke the spirit of the nation by threats and promises, by punishments and bribery.

But Herod, when he heard of the energy of the man, felt a kindred delight in his cunning, being a cunning man

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himself, and by gifts and messengers incited him to come and see him, and gave him np his power and authority over Judsaea and Jerusalem. The aforesaid Pilate, when he had collected a countless sum of money, went to Rome without the knowledge of Herod, and offered a vast sum to the emperor Tiberius, and prevailed upon him, by presents, to confirm him in the government, which at present he held from Herod. Pontius Pilate therefore was sent by Tiberius as procurator of Judaea; in whose time Herod Antipas called the town which he had built Tiberius, in honour of Tiberius. On this account, Pilate and Herod became enemies, until, at the time of our Lord's Passion, Pilate again made Herod his friend, by sending the Lord to him.

Another cause is assigned for their enmity in the scholastic histories. For a certain person making himself out to be the Son of God, led a number of the Galileans to Mount Gerizim, where he said that he would ascend into heaven. But Pilate coming upon them, slew him and all his followers, fearing lest he might seduce the Jews in the same manner. And on this account they became enemies, because Herod was ruler over the Galileans. And either cause may be the true one.

[A.D. 29.] Servius Plautus, being accused of having corrupted his son, and being convicted, killed himself, before the tribunal.

[A.D. 30.] John the Baptist, in the time of the high priests Annas and Caiaphas, preached in the desert the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, because he moved those who were to be baptized to repentance, and did not baptize any, except those whom he saw to be repentant.

The same year, Jesus coming from Galilee to Jordan to him, was baptized by him. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, that is to say, he had began his thirtieth year, thirteen days of that year being passed. And according to this, Jesus lived only thirty-two years and a half. But John Chrysostom was of another opinion. For the opinion of some authors is, that in the same year the Lord called his Apostles, began to teach the doctrine of the Gospel, fasted, was tempted, and performed the miracle of the wine; because it is read that he and his disciples were invited to a marriage. But the opinion of others is more probable, which says that he did all these things before John the Baptist was thrown

A.D. 31.] HISTORY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT. 133

into prison, but that he did them privately, and that after that time he preached publicly; and we shall follow this order of events, without prejudice to the other opinion.

But we read in the Gospel that the Lord called the Apostles twice. First of all, when he saw Nathanael under the fig-tree; but they did not at that time follow him perfectly, because they returned to their former occupations. A second time also he called them, when crowds were flocking to him; and when he himself saw there two ships standing by the lake. And then, leaving all, they followed him perfectly.

[A.D. 31.] On the thirteenth day, according to the opinion, which I have already mentioned, the Lord turned the water into wine, at the marriage of the governor of the feast, his mother obtaining this favour from her Son. In the same year we read that John was thrown into prison by Herod. In this year, too, we read of the second calling of the Apostles, in which Jesus chose twelve to preach the faith of the Gospel, and to bear witness to the truth; among whom he had one whose wickedness he turned to a good purpose, and so fulfilled the sacrament of his Passion, and gave an example to his church of enduring the injuries of wicked men.

We read in a certain history, that there was a man in Jerusalem, by name Reuben, who was also called Simon, of the tribe of Judah, or, according to Hieronymus, of the tribe of Issachar, who had a wife who was called Cyborea. Accordingly, one night, when each of them was well satisfied with the other, Cyborea being asleep, saw a dream, which she, being greatly alarmed, related to her husband, with groans and sighs, saying, "It seemed to me that I was bringing forth a wicked son, who was the cause of the destruction of the whole of our race". And Reuben answered her, "You are saying a shocking thing, one which ought not to be said; and I think you are hurried away by a frantic spirit of divination". But she replied, "If I feel that I have conceived, and if I bring forth a son, then beyond all doubt it will have been no frantic spirit that possessed me, but a certain revelation".

Accordingly, as time went on, when she had brought forth a son, his parents were greatly alarmed, and began to consider what they should do with him. And as they were reluctant to put him to death, and yet were unwilling to breed up the destruction of their race, they placed the child in a

134 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 31.

basket, and exposed him on the sea, and the waves of the sea drove him upon an island which is called Scarioth. And from that island he was called Judas Iscariot. But the queen of that place, who had no children, happened to go down to the seashore, for the sake of bathing, and when she saw a basket tossed about by the waves of the sea, she ordered it to be opened. And finding in it a child of elegant shape, she sighed, and said, "O, if I were relieved by the comfort of such an offspring, so that I might not be without a successor to my kingdom"! Therefore, she caused the child to be secretly bred up, and feigned that she herself was with child. At length she pretended that she had been delivered; and the matter becomes known by common report over the whole kingdom. All the princes are greatly rejoiced at the birth of a child, and the common people are delighted with extravagant joy. Accordingly, she causes the child to be bred up in a way suited to the royal magnificence.

But not long afterwards, the queen did really conceive by the king, and brought forth a son to his father. But when the two children had grown up to some size, they were often playing together, and Judas used to annoy the king's son by repeated injuries, and often drove him to tears. But the queen, being vexed at this, and knowing that Judas was not in any way connected with her, used frequently to beat him. But even then he did not desist from annoying the other boy.

At length the truth is made known, and it is divulged that Judas is not the real son of the queen, but only a foundling. And when Judas found this out, he was exceedingly ashamed, and privily murdered his putative brother, the king's son. And as he feared sentence of death for this action, he fled with the tributaries to Jerusalem, and gave himself up to the court of Pilate, who was governor at that time. And as the circumstances of both of them were very much alike, and Pilate found that Judas very much resembled him in disposition, therefore he began to feel a great affection for him. Therefore, Judas is appointed to preside over the whole of Pilate's court, and every thing is regulated by his nod. Accordingly, on a certain day, Pilate, who was looking from his palace at a certain garden, was seized with such a longing for the apples that grew there, that he appeared almost ready to faint. But that orchard belonged to Reuben, the father of Judas; but

A.D. 31.] JUDAS HANGS HIMSELF. 135

Judas did not recognise his father, nor did Reuben recognise his son, because Reuben thought that he had perished in the waves of the sea, and Judas was utterly ignorant who was his father, or what was his country.

Accordingly, Pilate sent for Judas, and said to him, "I am seized with such a longing for those apples, that if I am disappointed of them, I shall die". Judas, therefore, being thus excited, leaps into the orchard, and quickly gathers the apples. In the meantime Reuben comes, and catches Judas while he is stealing the apples; therefore they both struggle together vigorously, and there is a great quarrel. After the quarrel they come to blows, and heap mutual injuries on one another. At last Judas strikes Reuben with a stone in that part where the head is joined to the neck, and kills him. And so he took the apples, and went and told Pilate what had happened.

The day is sinking and the night coming on, when Reuben is found dead, and is supposed to have been overtaken by sudden death. Then Pilate gave Judas all the property belonging to Reuben, and gave Cyborea, the wife of Reuben, as a wife to Judas. After this, when one day Cyborea was sighing bitterly, and Judas, her husband, asked her anxiously what cause of grief she had, she answered, "Alas! I am the most unhappy of all women, because I have found my infant drowned in the waves of the sea, and my husband overtaken by death; but Pilate has added grief to my grief, in making me a miserable bride, and in giving me, against my will, in marriage a third time". And when she had related the whole of the story about her child, and Judas had told her all that had happened to him, it was discovered that Judas had married his own mother, and had slain his father. Being influenced, therefore, by repentance, at the persuasion of Cyborea, he sought our Lord Jesus Christ, and implored pardon for his sins, and became the disciple of Christ. And afterwards, when Satan entered into him, he sold his Lord and master for thirty pieces of silver, namely, to the Jews, who bound him and led him away, and gave him up to Pontius Pilate, under whom he suffered, was crucified, died, and was buried.

And, as the history of the Gospels teaches us, Judas himself, when he saw that he had been condemned, threw down the pieces of silver in the temple, and went away and hanged himself and, while hanging, burst in the middle, and all his

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bowels were scattered. And the devil went off with that impure and sordid soul of his through his belly, and not through his mouth, as he had entered through his cheeks, in order that he might have nothing to do with the mouth with which he had kissed our Saviour. For that mouth which had touched the glorious mouth of Christ was not to be polluted in so vile a manner. It was fitting that the bowels which had conceived such treachery should be burst and fall to pieces; and that the throat from which the words of treason had gone forth should be pressed by a halter. For it very often happens that the manner of the punishment intimates the manner of the fault; on which account the head of the body is cut off from a man, because he himself has cut off the head of the mind, that is to say, reason. And so Judas died in the air, to show that he was to be associated with the powers of air. For it was fitting that that man should be separated from the region of men and angels, who was an object of detestation to both; and therefore, both the manner and the place of his punishment corresponded to his crime.

[A.D. 32.] The beginning of the twentieth jubilee according to the Hebrews. In this year also the Transfiguration of our Lord is believed to have taken place, on the eighth of the ides of August (6th August); an event which the Lord forbade to be divulged, lest his Passion should be hindered. At this time, also, our Lord Jesus Christ chose seventy-two disciples, who were to go before him into every place whither he himself was about to come; and Matthias, who succeeded the before-mentioned Judas, is believed to have been one of them, and likewise Joseph, who was called the Just, and Cleophas, who is related to have been the brother of Joseph, the father of our Lord, and Barnabas, whom we have mentioned before. All these men were sent to prepare the gospel before the Lord, in order that their master, when he came after them, might be more honoured.

[A.D. 33.] Our Lord Jesus Christ was betrayed by his disciple, and suffered under Pontius Pilate, as has been already said, and was crucified on the twenty-fifth day of March, and the twenty-fifth of the moon. And he rose again the third day, in the month which is called by the Hebrews Nisam. He ascended up to heaven on the fifth of May, and on the fifteenth of the same month the Holy Ghost descended upon the apostles.

A.D. 33.] PILATE'S LETTER TO CAESAR. 137

Now concerning this Passion of our Lord, Pontius Pilate wrote to Tiberius Caesar in the following manner:

"Pontius Pilate to his master Claudius, greeting. The thing has lately happened, which I myself am also pleased at, namely, that the Jews out of envy have ruined themselves and their posterity with a cruel damnation. For as their fathers had a promise that God would send them his Holy One from heaven, who should be deservedly called their king, and had promised that he would send him upon earth by means of a virgin; and when, during my government, the God of the Hebrews had come, and they had seen him give sight to the blind, cleanse the lepers, cure the paralytic, drive devils out of men, raise the dead, command the winds, walk over the sea with dry feet, and do many other marvellous things, and when all the people of the Jews called him the Son of God, then the chief priests became full of envy towards him, and delivered him to me, and, telling all sorts of different falsehoods, said that he was a sorcerer, and that he was acting contrary to their law. And I believed that the fact was so, and having scourged him, I gave him up to their will. And they crucified him, and put guards over him after he was buried. But he, though my soldiers were guarding him, rose again the third day. But their envy was inflamed to such a height that they gave the soldiers money, saying to them, 'Say ye that his disciples have stolen his body'? But the soldiers, after they had received the money, could not keep silence about what had really happened. For they testified that he had risen again, and that they had received money from the Jews, and therefore I have suggested this, that no one may speak falsely by giving any other account of it, or may think it necessary to believe the lies of the Jews".

Then Caesar, with an expression of great satisfaction, laid the letter before the senate, requiring that Christ should be considered a God. But the senate refused to consecrate Christ, being moved with indignation because the letter had not been laid before them first, according to custom. Then the senate passed an edict that the Christians should be exterminated out of the city. But Caesar, being indignant at this, threatened their accusers with the death which they wished to inflict upon the Christians. And from that day forth, the formerly much-praised modesty of Caesar began to be changed, as a punishment

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to the contradictory senate. For he behaved with such savage cruelty to the Romans, that he scarcely left one of them safe. And it so fell out that they who had hoped to be saved by the guidance of Christ, were punished by their own Caesar. For it was a scandalous thing that the consecration of Christ should stand in need of human assistance.

But in the meantime the apostles at Jerusalem ordained Matthias an apostle, and they ordained also seven deacons, whose names are these, Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a stranger of Antioch; from whom arose the heresy of the Nicolaitans. When he went forth to preach, he took with him a most beautiful wife; and when on a certain day he was reproached by his companions with jealousy, he brought her forward into the middle of them, that if any one chose he might abuse her. From which circumstance, some heretics think that one may lawfully indulge in promiscuous and illegitimate connections, taking in a wicked way his contempt for that lust as a sanction for the gratification of their own lusts.

Moreover, when the preaching of the word of God was extending itself widely abroad through different provinces, Philip, going down into Samaria, preached there the word of God. There was at that time in the city a certain magician, named Simon, seducing the people; and he was called by them the Virtue of God: and he, seeing the miracles which Philip performed, believed, and was baptized by him. But when, a few days afterwards, Peter and John arrived, and had laid their hands on the heads of those who believed, they received the Holy Ghost. And Simon seeing this, brought them money, in order that he might receive this power. But Peter said to him, "Thy money perish with thee, since thou hast thought that the gift of God can be acquired by money". Simon then, being confused by these words, departed, not being able to bear the thunderbolt of the word of God. About the same time, James, the brother of the Lord, was ordained by the apostles Patriarch of Jerusalem; and he was the son of Alpheus and Mary the sister of the mother of the Lord. Then the apostles, being about to go over the whole world, to preach the gospel to every creature, arranged a creed, in order that, as they were going to different nations, they might not preach different doctrines, but might all deliver the same truths. And so Peter entered Pontus,

A.D. 37.] TIBERIUS SENDS TO PILATE FOR CHRIST. 139

Galatia, Cappadocia, and Bithynia; Andrew went to Achaia, Thomas to Indus, John to Asia, Matthew to AEthiopia, all with one accord preaching the faith of the gospel eyerywhere,the Lord working with them, and confirming their discourse with signs following.

[A.D. 34.] Stephen, the deacon and protomartyr, was stoned at Jerusalem by the Jews, and Saul, a young man, took care of the garments of the Jews who stoned him. Peter held the chair of Antioch seven years.

[A.D. 35.] Paul the Apostle is converted to the faith and is baptized at Damascus by Ananias, and then immediately entering the synagogue, he confounded the Jews who dwelt at Damascus. After that he filled all the provinces, from Jerusalem as far as Illyricum, with his preaching.

[A.D. 36.] The Apostle Matthew wrote his gospel, and from having been an apostle became an evangelist. The same year, Tiberius Claudius, after he had reigned twenty-two years, was killed by the intrigues of Caligula.

[A.D. 37.] Caius, surnamed Caligula, succeeded to the kingdom, and reigned for three years, ten months and two days. Because he had been born in the army, he got the name of a military boot, that is of a caligula. [1] He, in the first year of his reign, gave the kingdom of the Jews to Herod Agrippa, the son of Aristobulus, adding to him the tetrarchies of Philip, Lysanias, and Herod, who had beheaded John the Baptist, and who had clothed the Lord Jesus in a white robe, and sent him back to Pilate.

When Tiberius lay ill of a severe attack of leprosy, news was brought to him that there was at Jerusalem a certain physician, who cured all diseases with a single word; and he was not aware that the Jews and Pilate had killed him. Accordingly he said to Volusianus, who was his intimate friend, "Go quickly across the sea, and tell Pilate to send this physician to me, to restore me to my former health". And when Volusianus had come to Pilate, and had reported to him the command of the emperor, Pilate was alarmed, and asked for a fortnight's respite. Within which space of time, Volusianus had examined a certain matron, by name Veronica, who was well


[1] The name of the boot, however, was caliga, and those who wore it were caligati.

Adjutor gelidos veniam caligatus in agros. Juv. III. 322.

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acquainted with Jesos, where Christ Jesus could be found, and she replied, "Alas! he was my Lord and my God, and Pilate, when he had been delivered to him, out of envy, condemned him, and ordered him to be crucified". Then Volusianus, being greatly grieved, said, "I am greatly grieved that I cannot do what my master had ordered". And Veronica said, "As my Lord used to go about preaching, and as I was very unwilling to be deprived of his presence, I wished to have his likeness drawn for myself, that, while I was deprived of his presence I might at least have, as a comfort, the figure of his resemblance. And as I was taking a linen cloth to the painter to be painted, the Lord himself met me, and asked me whither I was going; and when I had told him the reason of my journey, he asked me for the cloth, and gave it me back again, stamped with a likeness of his adorable countenance. Now if your master looks devoutly on this likeness of his, he will immediately enjoy the blessing of health". And he replied, "Is not such a resemblance as this to be acquired by silver or gold"? And she said, "No; I therefore will go with you with serious feelings of devotion, and I will bring to Caesar the likeness which he must look at, and then I will return".

Accordingly, Volusianus went to Rome with Veronica: and said to the emperor Tiberius, "Pilate and the Jews have given up to death, and out of envy have crucified Jesus, who was formerly much wished for by you; therefore a certain matron has come with me, bringing the likeness of Jesus himself; and if you look on that devoutly, you will presently obtain the blessing of your health". Caesar therefore ordered the path to be covered with silken cloths, and desired the likeness to be shown to him. And presently, when he had gazed upon it, he obtained his former health. And this likeness is kept to this day at Rome, in the church of the Chief of the Apostles, and is shown to the people, and it is called by some Veronica, from the name of the woman who brought it to Rome.

[A.D. 38.] Pontius Pilate is taken by command of Caesar, and is led to Rome. And when Caesar heard that Pilate had arrived in Rome, he was filled with excessive fury, and caused him to be brought before him. And Pilate brought with him the robe of the Lord, which was without seam, and he put it on, and wore it before the emperor. And presently, when the emperor saw him, he laid aside all his anger.

A.D. 38.] PILATE KILLS HIMSELF. 141

and immediately rose up before him, and could not prevail upon himself to speak to him harshly on any subject; and he, who in his absence appeared so terrible and cruel, is now in his presence found to be very mild. And when he had let him depart, he immediately became terribly enraged with him, calling out that he was miserable, because he had not at all explained to him the madness of his praetor; and immediately he caused him to be recalled, swearing and vowing that he was the Son of Death, and that he was not worthy to live upon the earth. But the moment that he saw him again, he saluted him, and laid aside all his ferocity of disposition. All marvel, and he marvelled himself, that he was so enraged against Pilate while he was absent, and that while he was present, he was unable to speak at all harshly to him. And when this had happened three times, Veronica came in, and said to Caesar, "Lord Caesar, that wicked man being clothed in the garment without seam, of my Lord Jesus, which his most glorious mother made for him with her own hands, makes every man peaceable towards him". Then Caesar ordered him to be stripped at that time, and immediately resumed towards him all his ferocity of disposition. And when the emperor expressed great astonishment at this circumstance, he was told that that had been the tunic of the Lord Jesus.

Then the emperor ordered him to be thrown into prison, while he was deliberating with the council of his wise men what ought to be done with him. Sentence therefore was given against Pilate, that he should be banished and condemned to the most shameful death. And Pilate, being banished by Caesar to Vienne, a city of Gaul, slew himself with his own hand and with his own knife, and by such a death escaped from a miserable life. And when Caesar heard of the death of Pilate, he said, "He has truly died by a most shameful death, when his own hand has not spared him". Therefore he was fastened to a great weight, and thrown into the river Tiber. But the malignant and sordid spirits, rejoicing in his malignant and sordid body, and carrying it aloft in the air, excited wonderful inundations in the waters, and produced in a terrible manner, lightnings, and tempests, and thunders, and hailstorms in the air, so that all men were kept in a state of fearful alarm. Wherefore the Romans dragged him out of

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the stream of the Tiber, and by way of derision took him to Vigenna, and threw him into the Rhone. For it is called Vigenna, as if it were Via Gehennae (the way to hell), because it was then the place of a curse. But the wicked spirits were there also, doing the same things in that place. Therefore, these men, not being able to bear being infested with daemons to such a degree, removed that vessel of cursing from them, and sent it to be buried in the territory of the city of Lausanne. The men of Lausanne, as they were also greatly afflicted in consequence by such hostilities as I have already described, removed it from themselves, and threw it down a well, which was surrounded on all sides by mountains, where even to this day, according to some accounts, some diabolical machinations are seen to be boiling over.

In the scholastic histories it is said that Pilate was accused before Tiberius of the violent murder of the Innocents, and because too, in spite of the outcries of the Jews, he had placed images of the Gentile gods in the temple, and because he had appropriated to his own purposes money which had been laid up for Corban, and with it had made an aqueduct leading to his own house; and that for all these things he was exiled to Lyons, where he was born; in order that he might die to the disgrace of his nation.

CH. III.- FROM A.D. 39 TO A.D. 117.

Herod is deprived of his kingdom - Caligula - Claudius - St. Peter is made Pope - St. Mark - Guiderius and Arviragus, kings of Britain - Famine at Rome - Nero - Festus - St. James - Mary Magdalene - Simon Magus - Nero sets fire to Rome - Galba - Otho - Vitellius - Vespasian persecutes the Jews - Titus takes Jerusalem - John - Simon - Linus succeeds Peter as Pope - Arviragus dies - The Picts under Roderic arrive in Britain - The Scots - Inacus, king of Britain - Domitian - St. John is banished to Patmos - Quinctilian - Clement is Pope - Trajan's reign, victories, persecutions of the Christians, and death.

[A.D. 39.] The emperor stripped Herod of his kingdom, and condemned him with the adulterous Herodias to eternal exile; the damsel who danced was swallowed up alive by the earth.

[A.D. 40.] Caesar ordered the temple which was at Jerusalem to be profaned by the sacrifices of the Gentiles, and placed a

A.D. 44.] CLAUDIUS CROSSES OVER INTO BRITAIN. 143

statue of Jupiter there, and ordered himself to be worshipped and adored as the Lord of heaven and earth. Then, having become hated by all men, he was slain by his own guards. In his secret repositories were found two documents, in which were contained the names of picked men, who were destined to death. And there was also found there a chest full of all kinds of poisons. But by the command of his successor Claudius, they were all thrown into the sea, where they caused the death of a great many fish.

[A.D. 41.] Claudius, the uncle of Caligula, was raised to the empire, and reigned thirteen years and eight months.

At the beginning of his reign, Peter, who had previously governed the church at Antioch, came to Rome, and taught the saving faith to all who believed his faithful words; and there he held the episcopal chair for twenty-five years, that is to say, till the last year of the reign of Nero.

[A.D. 42.] Mark the Evangelist published first at Aquilia, the Gospel, which he had written at the dictation of Philip, and having ordained Hermagoras his disciple at that place, he went on to Egypt.

[A.D. 43.] Herod Agrippa desired to oppress some of the Church. And he slew James, the brother of John, with the sword; and seeing that what had been done in the matter of the death of James pleased the Jews, he apprehended Peter the Apostle, and threw him into prison. But the angel of the Lord released him from prison and caused him to depart in safety.

[A.D. 44.] Tiberius Claudius, having crossed over into Britain, which no one had ever dared to do before Julius Caesar, and which no one had ventured to attempt since his time, landed in the city of Caerperis, which is now called Porchester. For Guiderius, king of the Britons, had disdained to pay the tribute which had now for many years been accustomed to be paid to the Romans. And Claudius, being indignant at this, determined to recover it. But Guiderius, as soon as he had heard of the arrival of Claudius, attacked the army of the Romans, and in a pitched battle compelled the Romans to flee to their ships. And Laelius Hamo, the general of the emperor's army, seeing this, threw away his own arms, and took up British arms, and began to fight as though against his own countrymen. He encourages

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the Britons to pursue, promising them a speedy triumph. For he had learnt their language and their customs, because he had been brought up among the British hostages at Rome. At last, coming by degrees to where the king was, he slew him with his sword, while he was expecting no such thing. Then escaping among the enemy, he joined his own men again with his impious victory. But Arviragus, the king's brother, when he knew that he was killed, clothed himself in the royal armour as if he were Guiderius himself, and urged the Britons to persevere. At length, the Romans dividing into two parts, basely left the field to the enemy. Arviragus therefore did not desist from pursuing the enemy, until he caught them on the sea-shore, and came upon Laelius Hamo unexpectedly and slew him. And that port is to this very day called the port of Hamo, that is Hampton [Southampton].

In the meantime, Claudius having recruited his forces, besieged Caerperis, that is Porchester, with great rigour, and threw down the walls, and subdued the citizens. But Arviragus pursued him with a hostile army, and Claudius threw himself into Winchester; then Arviragus besieged that city, and endeavoured to take it by all sorts of machines. But Claudius having thrown the gates open, came forth with his men to battle. But, before the armies closed, they sent messengers from one to the other, and made peace on these conditions, that Claudius should give his daughter in marriage to Arviragus, and that Arviragus should hold the kingdom of Britain from the Romans, subject to tribute. Arviragus agreed to this, and, by advice of his friends, made submission to Caesar.

After this, Claudius sent for his daughter, and in the meantime, by the assistance of Arviragus, he reduced the Orkney islands under his power. Then when the winter was passed, the ambassadors returned with his daughter, whose name was Gevuisa, and she was married with all due ceremony to Arviragus. But Arviragus built a city in honour of Claudius, and to preserve the recollection of such an honourable marriage, which, from his name, was called Caerglou, that is to say the city of Claudius, and it is even now called Gloucester. Then when Claudius had returned to Rome, the whole government of all the islands in the province fell into the hands of Arviragus. The same year Herod Agrippa was smitten by an angel, and swelling over his whole body, expired in a miserable

A.D. 52.] VESPASIAN SENT BY CLAUDIUS TO BRITAIN. 145

manner. And he was succeeded by Agrippa, his son, and remained king till the ultimate destruction of the temple.

[A.D. 45.] The twelfth year after the Passion of our Lord. The blessed Virgin Mary was taken up to heaven by angels. She had lived and remained in the house of the blessed Evangelist St. John, to whom Christ, when on the cross, had recommeiided her. And the same year, between Thera and Therasia, an island rose out of the deep, being thirty stadia in extent.

[A.D. 46.] The Evangelist Mark, having strengthened the churches throughout Libya, Marmorica, Ammoniaca, Pentapolis, and Alexandria, was at last seized by the heathens, and received the crown of martyrdom at Alexandria. The same year, Paul and Barnabas, having taken upon themselves the Apostleship, preached to the Gentiles.

[A.D. 47.] When Cumanus was procurator of Judea, a great sedition arose at Jerusalem, in the days of unleavened bread; to such a degree that the people were crowded together at the entrance of the gates, and thirty thousand Jews are said to have been trampled under foot, and suffocated by the pressure.

[A.D. 48.] A census of Rome was taken under Claudius, and there were found to be six millions nine hundred and forty-four thousand Roman citizens.

[A.D. 49.] Claudius, the emperor, expelled the Jews from Rome, as they behaved seditiously; a fact which is mentioned by Luke the Evangelist, in the Acts of the Apostles.

[A.D. 50.] The emperor was passing the tenth year of his reign. And in his time a great famine took place throughout Syria; but Helen, the queen of the Allabeni, who had been converted to the faith of Christ, supplied him most abundantly for the necessities of the Christians.

[A.D. 51.] There was so great a famine at Rome, that the emperor was attacked with abuse by the populace, in the middle of the forum, and was shamefully pelted with crusts of bread.

[A.D. 52.] Arviragus, king of Britain, arrived at such a pitch of pride, that he would not any longer be held in subjection to the Roman power. Therefore Vespasian was sent by Claudius to Britain; and when he had begun to anchor his vessels in the harbour of Sandwich, Arviragus met him, and forbade him to enter the port. But Vespasian, backing his

146 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 57.

sails, anchored off the coast near Totness, and besieged the city which was then called in the British language Carpenhuelgoit, bat which is now called Exeter. Then, when seven days had elapsed, Arviragus arrived, and engaged the Romans in a battle; and when each army had received a great deal of damage, by the mediation of Gevuisa, the daughter of Claudius, the generals were made friends. Then Vespasian returned to Rome, and Claudius remained in Britain.

After this, Arviragus began to hold a senate, and to exhibit such proofs of honour and liberality that his fame was celebrated throughout all Europe. On which account Juvenal is related to have addressed the emperor in the following manner, speaking of Romulus, who had been taken:

"Then you will take a king, or else, perhaps,
Arviragus will fall from off the pole
Of the Britannic chariot".

[A.D. 53.] The Emperor Claudius disinherited his son Britannicus, making him incapable of succeeding to the Roman empire, and adopted Nero, the husband of Octavia, his daughter, as his successor. Amd not long after, Claudius died by poison.

[A.D. 54.] Nero, the fifth emperor beginning from Augustus, having attained the sovereign power, reigned there ten years and eight months. He shewed himself not only the follower, but even the surpasser of all the sins and wickednesses of his uncle Caligula. In the first year of his reign, Anianus undertook the presidency over the church of Alexandria, as successor to the Evangelist St. Mark.

[A.D. 55.] Festus, having been appointed by Nero, succeeded Felix as procurator of Judea. By whom Paul the Apostle was sent bound to Rome, where he was detained for two years in free custody.

[A.D. 56.] A man of the name of Longius, who had formeriy been a soldier of the governor Pilate, and who at the time of our Saviour's Passion was converted to the true faith by a miracle, and who afterwards at Caesarea, in Cappadocia, was instructed by the Apostles, and made a bishop, finished his life by martyrdom.

[A.D. 57.] Paul is said to have travelled as far as Spain, and to have left Trophius at Arles, and Crescens at Vienne, who were both disciples of his, to preach the gospel in these places.

A.D. 60.] INHUMAN CONDUCT OF NERO. 147

[A.D. 58.] Albinus succeeded Festus, as procurator of Judea. And at this time, Nero, who was capable of scarcely any actions of military daring, very nearly lost Britain.

[A.D. 59.] Peter the Apostle ordained two bishops, namely, Linus and Cletus, to perform all the duties to the people in the city of Rome as his suffragans, and to preach the faith of Christ to the infidels without ceasing.

[A.D. 60.] Nero slew Agrippina, his own wife, and the sister of his father. And he indulged in luxury to such a degree, that he used to be bathed in both cold and warm unguents, and to fish with golden nets, which he drew up with purple cords.

Nero, urged on by the madness of his wicked mind, ordered his mother to be slain and cut to pieces, that he might see how it was that he was cherished in her womb. And his physician used to say, accusing him of his wicked conduct towards his mother, "All laws, both human and divine, forbid a son to kill his mother, who has brought him forth with so much pain, and has nourished him with so much trouble and anxiety". And he answered them, "Cause me then to become pregnant with a boy, and afterwards to bring him forth, that I may know how great was the pain which was endured by my mother". (And he had conceived this desire of bringing forth a child, because while passing through the city he heard a woman crying out.) They tell him that such a thing is not possible, because it is contrary to nature; nor can anything be known which is inconsistent with reason. Nero replied to them, "Unless you cause me to become pregnant with a boy and to bring forth, I will cause you all to die by a cruel death". Then they gave him a drink, and in it they secretly gave him a frog to swallow, and by their devices they caused this frog to grow in his belly. And presently his belly began to swell, not being able to endure what was contrary to his nature, so that Nero believed that he was pregnant with child. And they made him observe a regimen, such as they were aware was adapted to nourish a frog, saying "that it was necessary to adhere to such a diet, because of his pregnancy". At length, when he was harassed with excessive pain, he said to the physicians, "Hasten the time of my delivery, because my languor is such that I am unable to pant or breathe". Then they gave him potions to cause him to vomit.

148 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 66.

and at last he brought up a frog of a terrible appearance, infected with humours, and all stained with blood. And Nero beholding what he had brought forth, abhorred it, and wondered at its being so monstrous a thing. But they said, "that he had brought forth so deformed an offspring, because he was unwilling to wait patiently for the due time of his delivery". And he said, "Was I such as that, when I first quitted the hiding-place of my mother"? And they said, "Yes". Therefore he ordered that this ofispring of his should be bred up, and should be shut up in a vault of stone, and kept so. So the physicians going to Rome, found the frog lying hid in a vault, and threw it out of the city and burnt it. And from this circumstance, as some people affirm, that part of the city where the frog lay hid, received the name of Lateran, from the frog lying hid (a latente rana), Nero, too, as it is related in the Chronicles, married a man as his wife.

[A.D. 61.] Statius Suesullius, of Toulouse, in Gaul, taught rhetoric, a man perfect in every branch of knowledge relating to that art.

[A.D. 62.] James, the brother of the Lord, who was called the Just, and was the Bishop of Jerusalem, was stoned by the Jews, and had his brains dashed out with a fuller's pole; in whose place Simeon the Second is made bishop.

[A.D. 63.] Mary Magdalene departed to the Lord; she who washed the feet of the Saviour with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head.

[A.D. 64.] Florus succeeded Albinus as procurator of Judaea; and as the Jews could not endure his luxury and avarice, and all his other wickednesses, they began to rebel against the Romans. And Vespasian was sent by Nero to put them down, with his son Titus; and they took many cities of Judaea, and utterly destroyed them.

[A.D. 65.] Persius the poet died. Lucretius was put to death by Nero, and he also deprived of his life his own preceptor Lucan, whom he caused to be bled to death in a bath, because in his youth he had flogged him, saying that he could not bear the sight of him.

[A.D. 66.] Simon Magus came to Rome, and by his magic arts caused the people to go mad, to such a degree, that by some he was adored as a god. But the Almighty Lord, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles, discovered his vanities

A.D. 67.] VESPASIAN SLAYS THE JEWS. 149

and insanities by means of his Apostle Peter, who exposed him so, that he threw himself down from a height, and broke his neck, and died. Then Nero, being perplexed, gave orders to apprehend Peter; but Peter being at that time desirous to escape from the city, when he came to the gate, saw Christ meet him; so he, adoring him, said, "Lord, whither goest thou"? And he said, "I am coming to Rome, to be crucified a second time". Peter, understanding that it was in himself that the Lord was going to suffer, inasmuch as he suffers in his saints, not by pain of body, but by the compassion of his mercy, returned into the city, and was soon taken by his persecutors, and led to the cross. And he was crucified with his head downwards; and Paul, who had been a long time detained in the city as a prisoner, was beheaded the same day.

[A.D. 67.] Nero ordered the city of Rome to be set on fire. And in order to behold a likeness of Troy when it was burning, he feasted his eyes for six days and six nights with a view of the violent fire; and while he was surveying it from a lofty tower, he was singing the Iliad with great joy, dressed in the dress of a tragedian.

While these things were being done at Rome, Vespasian crashed the Jewish race with a miserable overthrow. For he took the city of Jocapata, and slew forty thousand men in it. He took Joppa, and drowned in the sea, in cold blood, four thousand five hundred souls. In Tarichia, when it was taken, six thousand seven hundred persons were slain, and six thousand youths sent to Nero. He slew twelve hundred more, and sold thirty thousand four hundred prisoners for slaves. At the taking of Gamale, four thousand are stated to have been slain, and five thousand perished by being thrown down a precipice; two thousand more, who followed John as their leader, were slain in Gilgala, and three thousand sentenced to captivity. After this, Jericho was destroyed, and ninety-two thousand two hundred people perished. Of this destruction, Isaiah thus prophesied against the wicked Jews, saying, "Alas, sinful nation! a people heavy with iniquity, a worthless son, impious children: they have forsaken the Lord, they have blasphemed the Holy One of Israel, they are turned backwards". In this destruction, when Josephus the historian, and the military general of the Jews, was on the point of being slain by the Romans, he predicted to

150 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 71.

Vespasian the death of Nero, and that be himself would be emperor after him, and so for the time he escaped danger of death.

[A.D. 68.] Galba was created emperor of Spain, and Nero was pronounced at Rome a public enemy by the whole people. And when Nero heard that Galba had been created emperor by the Roman army, he lost all courage and hope, and flying in a most ignominious manner from the city, slew himself at the fourth mile-stone, and in him the whole family of Caesar became extinct. Galba, coming to Rome, reigned six months and six days.

[A.D. 69.] Otho, who was born of a most illustrious family in the town of Ferentum, came to Rome, and slew Galba in the middle of the forum and usurped the empire. He reigned three months.

In the mean time, Vitellius having been created emperor by the German legions in Gaul, hastened on his march towards Rome. But Otho met him, and fought with him, and defeated him in three battles. And in the fourth battle, when Otho found that his troops were beaten, he slew himself; and so Vitellius came to Rome, and he reigned there eight months.

[A.D. 70.] As Vitellius was behaving in Rome with great cruelty and wickedness, he was murdered by pricks of innumerable most minute wounds, and at last was thrown into the Tiber, and deprived of common burial.

Therefore, Vespasian, having heard of the death of Nero, and that Vitellius was slain, having taken a great many cities of the Jews, turned his attention to besieging the city of Jerusalem. And after he had blockaded an innumerable multitude of the Jewish nation in the city, who were assembled there on account of one of their festivals, he appointed his son Titus governor in his stead, and came to Rome. For as he had been elected by the senate on account of the nobility of his family, and his bravery in war, he would not be wanting to the Romans, nor would he spare the Jews, whom Titus his son continued to attack.

[A.D. 71.] Vespasian obtained the empire, and he reigned nine years, eleven months, and twenty-two days. In the meantime, Titus, his son, was pressing the Jews with a terrible and lasting siege. For, as all the rights of law had been corrupted, and all religion violated by them, God deserted them; and not only

[A.D. 71.] THE ROMANS BESIEGE JERUSALEM. 151

did the Romans press upon them, but they themselves also afflicted one another by their domestic seditions. For they were busy hunting for extravagances of luxury, and rare perfumes; they were curling their hair with curling-irons, and painting their eyes with antimony, and dressing themselves in female attire, and imitating their delicacy; trying even to make their voices effeminate, to change their sex, to walk with a mincing pace, letting their hair grow, painting their faces white, pumicing their cheeks, plucking out their beards, and besides all these things, they delighted in the practice of intolerable cruelty.

Terrible sedition was let loose among them, peace was buried, faith was withered, avarice was dominant to such a degree, that nothing appeared to them to be honourable which was unconnected with money.

They had two especial encouragers of this baseness; one of whom was John, a fickle man, a pest of the people; inferior to no one in cunning, a man never free from a desire of doing injury, crafty and treacherous, learned in lies, he believed that deceitfulness was virtue, and would circumvent his dearest friends. The other was called Simon; a man equal to the other for cruelty; of a harsh disposition, and savage, one who could be moved by no impulse to pity. These men, under the pretext of preserving liberty, let loose their rage against the nobles, who were either attacked by false accusations and put down, or else thrown into prison and murdered. Also foreign priests, who had obtained the priesthood by the employment of bribes, dragged on the ignoble common people to every wickedness, at the pleasure of their iniquitous chiefs. But while these things were being done by the Jews, the Romans were endeavouring to batter down the walls of Jerusalem, with machines and every sort of warlike instrument. Nor was there any intermission, nor was any respite given. Despair gave courage to the Jews, desire of glory increased the valour of the Romans. Numbers of men were slain, while the ramparts of the walls were loosened by continued blows.

At length the Jews gave way, and the Romans entered the outer walls of the city, not without great injury and loss on their own side. Then the war was rekindled, because there still remained the walls to be won. Titus exhorts his

152 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 72.

soldiers on the one side, on the other the Jews who were hemmed in had leisure for defence. In the meantime, miserable famine attacked the besieged, so much that the whole city was filled with corpses. Sons tore the food from the mouths of their parents, and parents from those of their sons; some tore to pieces the carcases of horses, others stripped off the bark of trees. Mothers roasted their own children and drowned them; many fed on the vomiting and dung of others. And so four years passed from the time that siege was first laid to the city. Titus ascended the walls, not without great loss on the side of his army, and obtained possession of the fortifications of the city, polluted the temple and the Holy of Holies, plundered the sacred vessels, and distributed the gold and silver and precious stones among his soldiers.

At last the Romans, weary with the enormous slaughter, sought for men to whom the captive slaves might be sold; but because they were very many to be sold, and few buyers were found, thirty slaves were sold for one piece of money. But ninety-seven thousand captives were led away, and some of them were even thrown to wild beasts to be eaten by them. This last destruction of the temple happened eleven hundred and two years after its foundation; and the city was burnt on the eighth day of the seventh month, and the temple was utterly destroyed. And these things were done at the time of the solemnity of Easter, which the Jews used to call Pascha. For it was fitting that they should be slaughtered on those same days of Pascha in which they had ignominiously scourged the Saviour of the world, who would have been their own Saviour too if they had been willing, and hung him on the cross. The Lord himself showed in the Gospel that this destruction would take place, when he wept over the city of Jerusalem, saying, "The days will come upon thee, and thy enemies shall surround thee with a trench, and shall dash thee to the ground, and thy sons who are in thee, and shall not leave in thee one stone upon another, because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation".

At the same time, Linus, the second pope, succeeded Peter the Apostle in the chair at Rome, and sat in it eleven years, three months, and twelve days.

[A.D. 72.] Judaea having been subdued by Titus, and Jerusalem having been destroyed, a dispersion of the Jews over

A.D. 75.] THE KING OF THE PICTS LANDS IN BRITAIN. 153

the whole world took place; and many signs and wonders preceded their dispersion. For a star in the form of a sword was seen to stand over the city of Jerusalem, and a comet lasted an entire year. At Easter the eastern gate of the temple, which was closed, and which could scarcely be moved by twenty men, opened in the night of its own accord. Chariots and armed bands were in like manner seen to move through the air. At the solemn festival of Easter, one night a light shone in the temple equal to the light of day, for half an hour. An ox which was brought as a victim, brought forth a lamb in the middle of the temple. At Pentecost a voice was heard in the temple, saying, "Let as depart hence, let us depart hence, let us depart hence". Jesus, the son of Anianus, a man of the common people, kept continually crying out four years before the commencement of the war, "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds; a voice in Jerusalem and in the temple, a voice against new husbands and new brides, and against all this people". And even though he was scourged, without cursing or blessing any one, he cried out without ceasing for seven years and five months, "Woe to Jerusalem"! And he never became hoarse, and never ceased crying out. During the siege he stood upon the wall and cried, "Woe to the wicked city! woe to the shrine! woe to the temple"! And when he added, "Woe to myself"! an enormous stone struck and killed him.

[A.D. 73.] Arviragus, the king of the Britons, having fulfilled the days of his life, died, and was buried by Claudius at Chester. Marius, his son, succeeded him in his kingdom, a man of wonderful wisdom and prudence, and who formed such a friendship for the Roman people, that he took care without the least objection to pay the tribute which was required of him.

[A.D. 74.] A Colossus was erected at Rome, which was a hundred and seven feet in height.

[A.D. 75.] Roderic, king of the Picts, coming from Scythia, landed in the northern part of Britain, and began to lay waste that province. But Marius, king of the Britons, attacked him in a hostile manner, and slew him. After that, he grants to the conquered people who had come with Roderic a part of Albany to dwell in, which is called Caithness, a desert district, previously destitute of all inhabitants.

154 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 82.

[A.D. 76.] The Picts who had come with Roderic into Britain, having no wives, asked the Britons to give them their daughters and kinswomen in marriage. But when they were refused, they crossed over the sea into Ireland, and bringing back women out of that country, they begot children who were all after their own likeness, men of moderate stature.

[A.D. 77.] The people who derived their origin from the Picts and from the Irish, begun to be called Scots, as a people made up of different nations. For that is called "Scot" which is collected from many things into one heap. Moreover, that land which was formerly called Albany, now gets the name of Scotland from the Scots.

[A.D. 78.] Marius, king of the Britons, departed this life, and left Coillus, his son, as his successor. He having been brought up in Rome from his infancy, was much beloved by the senate. For he paid the tribute which was demanded of him, and ruled his kingdom in peace and tranquillity.

[A.D. 79.] John the Evangelist was accounted very eminent in the church of the Ephesians. For having founded seven churches in that city, the names of which we read in the Apocalypse, he took care to ordain suitable ministers in all of them.

[A.D. 80.] Vespasian died at Rome of a flux of the belly, in the seventeenth year of his reign. But some say that he died of a violent attack of fever.

[A.D. 81.] Titus, the son of Vespasian, succeeded to the empire, and reigned two years, and as many months; a man admirable for every kind of virtue to such a degree, that he was called the love and delight of the human race. He was so merciful in his government that he shed no blood whatever, but dismissed some men who had been convicted of conspiracy against him, and retained them in the same intimacy with himself as they had previously been.

[A.D. 82.] Titus was passing the second year of his reign. He built an amphitheatre at Rome, and at his dedication he killed five thousand wild beasts. He was also so far the most eloquent man of his day, that he pleaded causes in Latin, and composed poems and tragedies in Greek. He also said that he had lost a day, when one had passed in which he had done no good. At last he died in the city of Rome, to the great grief of all the citizens.

A.D. 94.] THE NEW FAITH FOUNDED AMONG THE GAULS. 155

The same year, Cletus became the third pope, and occupied the Roman chair eleven years, one month, and two days.

[A.D. 83.] Domitian, the younger brother of Titus, succeeded to the empire. He reigned fifteen years and six months. He advanced to such a pitch of pride that he ordered himself to be called God and Lord, and to be worshipped; and he was the second emperor after Nero, who endeavoured most cruelly to persecute the Christians and the Church of Christ by formal edicts.

[A.D. 84.] John the Apostle was sent by Domitian into exile, to the island of Patmos. There he wrote the Apocalypse, which is called or translated in Latin the Revelation.

[A.D. 85.] Domitian the emperor built the Pantheon, that is, a temple in honour of all the gods.

[A.D. 86.] Habilius succeeded Anianus at Alexandria, who had been the successor of Mark.

[A.D. 87.] Flavia Domicilla, the niece of Flavius Clemens, the consul, by his sister's side, was banished to the isle of Pontia, on account of her bearing witness to the faith; at the same time, Quintilian the orator flourished.

[A.D. 88.] Domitian banished the mathematicians and philosophers from the city of Rome.

[A.D. 89.] Domitian caused the Jews of the seed of David to be put to death with bitter torments, as if there might have been some king among them, who might obtain possession of his kingdom.

[A.D. 90.] The Capitol, the Forum of Trajan, the Warm Baths of Trajan, the Morning School, the Pantheon, the Golden Roll, and the Temple of Vespasian, were all completed at Rome.

[A.D. 91.] Domitian the emperor triumphed gloriously over the Dacians and Germans.

[A.D. 92.] Domitian ordered gold and silver statues to be erected to him in the Capitol. The same year, Cletus, the pope, received the crown of martyrdom from Domitian.

[A.D. 93.] Clemens was elected fourth pope. He occupied the Roman chair nine years, two months, and ten days.

[A.D. 94.] Clement, the bishop of the Roman see, sent some energetic and noble men to lay the foundation of the new faith among the Gauls. He sent Dionysius to the Parisians, Nicasius to the people of Senlis, Taurinus to Evreux, Trophimus

156 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 98.

to Arles, Paul to Narbonne, Saturninus to the people of Toulouse, Astremonius to Rennes, Martial to the Limoisin, Gratian to Tours, Julian to Le Mans, Lucian to Beauvais, Firmius to the people of Amiens, Photivus to Lyons. And by their efforts an innumerable multitude of men was induced to abandon the worship of idols.

[A.D. 95.] John the Apostle is related to have been thrown, by the emperor Domitian, into a cauldron of boiling oil; and he was taken out of it completely unhurt, as he had always remained free from all carnal corruption.

[A.D. 96.] Apollonius and Euphrates flourished, who are accounted illustrious philosophers. Dionysius and Nicasius with their companions received the crown of martyrdom; and Domitian ordered every one of the seed of David to be put to death.

[A.D. 97.] St. Denis, the disciple of the blessed pope Clemens, suffered with his companions, Rusticus the archbishop, and Eleuthericus the archdeacon, under Fecennius Sisinnius the proconsul, in the city of Paris, on the seventh of October. At the same time, the blessed Nicasius also suffered with his companions, under the same proconsul, in the city of Rouen.

[A.D. 98.] Domitian was murdered in the city of Rome, in his palace, by the senate. And his corpse was exposed on a common bier, and carried to burial by the common night buriers, and ignominiously insulted.

The aged Nerva succeeded him, and reigned one year, five months, and six days. He, by his first edict, ordered all the exiles whom Domitian had banished, to be recalled. In consequence, the Apostle John was released by this indulgence, and returned to Ephesus. And because he saw that the faith of the church had, during his absence, been shaken by heretics, he condemned the heresy of Cerinthus and Ebion in that city. For they both made out the world to have been created by angels, and asserted that Jesus was only a man, and denied his resurrection. Nor did they believe in the resurrection of the dead. The Apostle being urged by his brethren to overturn this heresy, wrote his Gospel, showing in the beginning of it, that "In the beginning was the word, and the word was God, and by him all things were made".

Nerva the emperor wishing to provide for the welfare of the afflicted republic, when dying, adopted Trajan, a man of the most consummate wisdom, as his son.

A.D. 111.] ANTIOCH DESTROYED BY AN EARTHQUAKE. 157

[A.D. 99.] Trajan succeeded to the Roman empire, and reigned nineteen years, six months, and fifteen days. In his time, John the Apostle being ninety-nine years of age, went to Christ, having delivered a discourse to his disciples who were present.

[A.D. 100.] Trajan subdued many nations on the other side of the Danube, and reduced Germany on the other side of the Rhine to its former condition.

[A.D. 101.] Trajan occupied Seleucia, Ctesiphon, and Babylon; and was the first man, since Alexander, who marched as far as the borders of India.

[A.D. 102.] After the death of the blessed Clement, Anacletus sat in the Roman chair, and occupied it nine years and ten months. And the see was vacant thirteen days.

[A.D. 103.] Trajan put in operation a persecution against the Christians, and Simon, the son of Cleophas, bishop of Jerusalem, was crucified, and succeeded by Justus.

[A.D. 104.] Saint Ignatius, bishop of the city of Antioch, was brought to Rome, and given to wild beasts to be devoured, on the first of February.

[A.D. 105.] Alexander, bishop of Rome, received the crown of martyrdom, and is buried at the seventh milestone from the city, on the Numantine road, on the spot where he was beheaded.

[A.D. 106.] The aged Zachariah, bishop of the church at Vienne, received the crown of martyrdom. And his predecessors, of whom the first was Crescens, and the next Martinus, were disciples of the apostles.

[A.D. 107.] Pliny the orator and historian, who among other judges had been sent to prosecute the church, inflicted severe death on no one, but, as soon as he was appointed, moderated the original edict by rescripts of a more gentle tenor.

[A.D. 108.] The golden palace at Rome, which had been built by Nero, was burnt by a sudden conflagration.

[A.D. 109.] The Pantheon at Rome, which Domitian had built to the admiration of all men, was burnt by lightning.

[A.D. 110.] An earthquake destroyed almost the whole of the city of Antioch, and many other cities also in different parts of the world.

[A.D. 111.] Evaristus, the sixth pope, succeeded Anacletus, the bishop of the Roman see, and governed the church fourteen years.

158 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 119.

[A.D. 112.] The Jews simultaneously, and as if under the influence of frantic rage, rose in insurrection in different nations of the world, and carried on most atrocious wars, until they were put down by deserved slaughter, according to the command of the emperor.

[A.D. 113.] Vetus, bishop of Vienne, who had been one of the disciples and hearers of the apostles, was very eminent for his confessions of faith and doctrine.

[A.D. 114.] Phocas, bishop of the city of Cynops, endured martyrdom most gloriously; and his sacred remains were carried to Vienne, a city of Gaul, and there placed in the church of the Holy Apostles.

[A.D. 115.] Coillus, the king of the Britons, had an only son born to him, whom he called Lucius, and who was born to the great joy and exultation of his father, because he had begotten him in his old age, when he had given up all hope of an heir.

[A.D. 116.] Justus was discharging the office of priest at Alexandria.

[A.D. 117.] Trajan died at Seleucia, a city of Isauria, and the Romans burnt his body, and buried his ashes in a marble column.

CH. IV.- FROM A.D. 118 TO A.D. 284.

Hadrian succeeds Trajan - Rebuilds Jerusalem - Lucius king of Britain - Antoninus Pius - The Heresy of Valentinus - Galen - Dispute about the day of Easter - Polycarp - Marcus Antoninus - Two Emperors at a time - Commodus - Irenaeus - The Britons are converted to Christianity by Faganus and Detuvianus - Pertinax - Severus - He comes to Britain - Is slain there - Tertullian - Bassianus - Macrinus - Alexander - The Heresy of Sebellius - Origen - Maximus - Gordian - Philip - Decius - Gallus - Valerian - Gallienus - Cyprian - Claudius - Aurelian - Tacitus - The Heresy of the Manicheans - Probus - Carus.

[A.D. 118.] AElius Adrian became master of the Roman empire, and he reigned twenty-one years. He was the son of the cousin of Trajan, a man of industry and discretion, and one who was easily moved to mercy.

[A.D. 119.] Adrian the emperor regulated the republic with most just laws, so that he was called by the senate the "Father of his Country". He was learned in both the Latin and Greek

A.D. 126.] MARK APPOINTED BISHOP OF JERUSALEM. 159

languages, and built a library at Athens, which was a wonderful building.

[A.D. 120. Alexander succeeded pope Eyaristas, and ruled . eighteen years, five months, and two days. He appointed the words of the Lord about the bread and wine to be recited in the canon, and ordered holy water to be sprinkled in the habitations of men.

[A.D. 121.] The emperor Adrian was taught and instructed in the books composed on the subject of the Christian religion, by Quadratus, a disciple of the apostles, and Aristides an Athenian, a man full of faith and wisdom, and by Serenus, his lieutenant. On which account, in a letter addressed to the proconsul of Asia, he enjoined that no one should be allowed to condemn the Christians without accusing them of some crime, and proving it.

[A.D. 122.] The emperor Adrian crushed, with tremendous slaughter, the Jews who had rebelled and were laying waste Palestine, which had formerly been their own province, and he avenged the Christians.

[A.D. 123.] AElius Adrian rebuilt Jerusalem, and ordered it to be called AElia, after his own name. He ordered, also, that no Jew should be allowed to enter it, as the city was only open to the Christians.

[A.D. 124.] Coillus, king of the Britons, died, and Lucius, his son, was invested with the crown. He followed all the acts of goodness of his father, and was esteemed by all men as Coillus himself had been.

[A.D. 125.] Mark was appointed bishop of Jerusalem, being the first of the Gentiles who ever was so, as all those were now dead who had been bishops from the time of the Passion of our Lord to the present moment. For the first bishop of Jerusalem was James, the brother of our Lord. The second was Simon, the son of Cleophas. The third, Justus; the fourth, Zaccheus; the fifth, Tobias; the sixth, Benjamin; the seventh, John; the eighth, Matthias; the ninth, Philip; the tenth, Seneca; the eleventh, Justus; the twelfth, Levi; the thirteenth, Ephraim; the fourteenth, Joseph; the fifteenth and last, Judas.

[A.D. 126.] Aquila the orator, a man of Pontus both by birth and extraction, flourished; and he was the first translator of the divine law since the seventy translators.

160 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 136.

[A.D. 127.] Justus, bishop of the church at Vienne, was highly distinguished for his confession of Christ.

[A.D. 128.] Sixtus, the eighth pope, succeeded Alexander, and ruled for ten years, three months, and twenty days. And the see was vacant two days.

[A.D. 129.] Publius, bishop of Athens and a disciple of the apostles, received the crown of martyrdom on account of the faith of Christ, and was succeeded by Quadratus, whom we have mentioned before, who with great industry gathered the church of Christ together again, which had been dispersed in great alarm.

[A.D. 130.] Basilides, the heresiarch, greatly polluted the church of Christ by his treachery; it was from him that the Basilidians, who adhered to his sect, derived their name. These men, among other blasphemies which they have invented about Christ, deny that he suffered.

[A.D. 131.] Cornelius was appointed fourth bishop of Antioch. At the same time the blessed Cuthdrat, a bishop and disciple of the apostles, suffered gloriously. He gathered together, by his faith and energy, the church which had been scattered abroad in great alarm by the persecution of Adrian.

[A.D. 132.] Nicopolis and Caesarea were destroyed by an earthquake. At the same time, Saint Symphrosia suffered in the city of Tibur, with seven of her sons; first of all, her hands were stricken off, then she was hung up by the hair, and last of all she was thrown into the river.

[A.D. 133.] Hymenaeus presided over the church at Alexandria as bishop. At the same time, Saint Sabina, the martyr, suffered most gloriously at Rome, under the emperor Adrian. She was slain with the sword, and so flew to heaven, with the palm of martyrdom.

[A.D. 134.] Sylvius Julianus composed a perpetual edict. Adrian having built some beautiful temples at Athens, also built there a library of marvellous grandeur.

[A.D. 135.] The Jews flew to arms, and ravaged Palestine. At the same time the blessed Aristides was deposed, who had offered the emperor Adrian some works on the Christian religion, and made him an elegant address, proving that Jesus was the only God.

[A.D. 136.] The Jewish war which was being carried on in Palestine was terminated.

A.D. 145.] HERUS APPOINTED BISHOP OF ANTIOCH. 161

[A.D. 137.] Mark is appointed bishop of Jerusalem, being the first of the Gentiles who was so, [1] there being an end to all those bishops who had been of the circumcision.

[A.D. 138.] Antoninus, surnamed Pius, was created emperor; he reigned twenty years and not quite three months. He lived in such tranquillity, that he was deservedly called "Pious, and the Father of his country".

[A.D. 139.] Telesphorus was appointed pope, being the ninth who had sat in the Roman chair. He ruled for eleven years, three months, and twenty days, and the see was vacant seven days.

[A.D. 140.] Antoninus, with his sons Aurelius and Lucius, released all men from their debts and burnt their bonds, throughout the whole Roman empire.

[A.D. 141.] Justin the philosopher gave to Antoninus a work which he had composed on the subject of the Christian religion, and rendered him favourable to the Christians. And Justin, not long afterwards, when a persecution was set on foot, was betrayed by Crescens Cinicus, and shed his blood for Christ's sake.

[A.D. 142.] The heresy of Valentinus and Marcion wickedly attacked the Church of Christ, and the inventors of this wickedness set up AEones, [2] that is to say, some wickednesses, as the original creator of the world. They also affirmed that Christ did not derive his body from a virgin's, but asserted that he only passed through her as through a pipe.

[A.D. 143.] Galen, the eminent physician, a native of Pergamus, flourished at Rome. About the same time, in the reign of the emperor Antoninus, Saint Alexander the bishop endured martyrdom, and was slain by the sword, after the infliction of many kinds of torture.

[A.D. 144.] Pius was ordained bishop of the Roman Church. About the same time, Saint Concordius, a Presbyter, suffered at Spoletum, and received the crown of martyrdom after the endurance of many kinds of torture, being at last slain with the sword.

[A.D. 145.] Herus was appointed bishop of Antioch. About


[1] Our Chronicler has already stated this fact as having happened in the year 125.

[2] The theory of AEones was asserted by Valentinus, not by Marcion. See Mosheim Eccl. Hist. Cent. II. Part II. vii.-xv.

162 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 156.

the same time. Saint Pontianus, at the command of the emperor Antoninus, arrived nobly, at the glory of martyrdom, and received the palm of a martyr after the fire of many tribulations.

[A.D. 146.] Mark succeeded to the bishopric of Alexandria. About the same time, at Smyrna, Saint Polycarp was delivered to the flames in the time of the emperor Antoninus; and being thoroughly tried, and found pure, deserved a crown from the Lord.

[A.D. 147.] The heretic Valentinus became notorious, and prevailed till the time of Nicetus. About the same time, the Blessed Philip, bishop in the city of Cortina, being made perfect in holiness, fell asleep in the Lord.

[A.D. 148.] Vesomedius of Crete, a musical poet of lyric poems, flourished.

[A.D. 149.] Taurus Hyresius, an illustrious philosopher of the Platonic sect, flourished. About the same time, Saint Papyrus, the bishop, became a glorious martyr at Pergamus.

[A.D. 150.] Hyginus became pope, and sat in the Roman chair four years, three months, and six days. He arranged the order of the clergy, and settled the different ranks in regular order.

[A.D. 151.] Apollonius the Stoic, and Basilida, both eminent philosophers, flourished. About the same time, Maria, a virgin, went to the Lord happily, being made a martyr by the command of the emperor Antoninus.

[A.D. 152.] Adrian of Nicomedia, and Maximus of Tyre, flourished. At the same time, Saint Felicitas and her seven sons were beheaded for Christ's sake, by command of the emperor Antoninus.

[A.D. 153.] Celadion flourished as bishop of the Church at Alexandria.

[A.D. 154.] Pius sat in the Roman chair; he ruled his see for eleven years, three months, and twenty-one days, and it was vacant twenty-two days.

[A.D. 155.] Hermes wrote a book, which is called the "Shepherd's Book", in which is contained the precept of an angel, that Easter should be always celebrated on the Lord's day.

[A.D. 156.] Polycarp, a disciple of the blessed Saint John, came to Rome, and delivered many men from the taint of heresy, who had been lately corrupted by the doctrine of Valentine and Cerdo.

A.D. 169.] EARTHQUAKES AND INUNDATIONS OF RIVERS. 163

[A.D. 157.] Justas, bishop of the people of Vienne, and Photinus, bishop of Lyons, flourished in the Church of Christ.

[A.D. 158.] Antoninus, surnamed Pius, was attacked by disease, and died at the twelfth milestone from the city.

[A.D. 159.] Marcus Antoninus Verus obtained the Roman empire, and reigned nineteen years and eleven months. He took to himself as partner in the empire, Aurelius Commodus, his relation. Up to this period, there was only one Augustus at the same time.

[A.D. 160.] Marcus Antoninus and Aurelius Commodus carried on war against the Parthians, with admirable virtue and success. And at the same time, the fourth persecution against the Christians since the time of Nero, was kindled throughout Asia and the Gauls.

[A.D. 161.] Pionius and Polycarp, disciples of the blessed Saint John, and bishops of Smyrna, suffered a glorious martyrdom.

[A.D. 162.] A great many persons in the Gauls gloriously shed their blood for the sake of Christ; and among them, Justus, bishop of Vienne, having been wasted away a long time in banishment, was made a glorious martyr.

[A.D. 163.] The heresy of Cataphrygians arose, which derived its name from the province of Phrygia, where its authors lived.

[A.D. 164.] Anicetus was appointed to the Roman chair, where he sat for eleven years. He established a rule that the clergy should not wear long hair.

[A.D. 165.] Photinus, bishop of Lyons, an admirable old man, suffered martyrdom, with forty-eight more, of the cities of Vienne and Lyons.

[A.D. 166.] Severinus, Exuperius, and Felicianus, received the crown of martyrdom.

[A.D. 167.] A terrible plague spread over Italy, to avenge the martyrs; so that villages and farms in every direction remained without cultivators or inhabitants, and even Gaul did not escape unhurt by this pestilence.

[A.D. 168.] There were numbers of earthquakes, accompanied by the destruction of cities and inundations of rivers, throughout several provinces. Swarms of locusts also infested the fields in every direction.

[A.D. 169.] Aurelius Commodus, while he was sitting in a

164 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 178.

carriage with his brother, died of the disease which the Greeks call apoplexy. And after his death, Marcus Antoninus for some time governed the republic by himself.

[A.D. 170.] Marcus Antoninus took Lucius Commodus, his son, as his partner in the kingdom. And he also moderated the old severe laws by new constitutions.

[A.D. 171.] Marcus, with his son, ordered all the records of the fiscal transactions, which were full of false accusations, to be collected and burnt.

[A.D. 172.] Melletius Asianus, bishop of Sardicas, delivered to the emperor Marcus Antoninus an apology for the Christians.

[A.D. 173.] The heretics called the Montanists arose; who got their name from the circumstance of their lying hid in the mountains during the time of the persecution, on which occasion they separated themselves from the body of the Catholic Church.

[A.D. 174.] Marcus Antoninus, the emperor, with his son Lucius, happily terminated the war with the Marcomanni. But after the barbarian nations, namely, the Vandals and Sarmatians, had surrounded nearly the whole of the German and Roman army, certain Christian soldiers who were with the emperor, invoking the name of Christ with great constancy, threw the enemies into consternation, and put them to flight. And the emperor wrote a letter to the senate to convey them the information, and delightedly attributed his victory to Christ.

[A.D. 175.] Sother was elected pope, as successor to Anicetus. He occupied the Roman chair nine years, three months, and twelve days. And the see was vacant twenty-two days. He established a rule that no monk should touch the sacred vessels, or the sacred robe; or should put incense on the incense-burner.

[A.D. 176.] Tatianus the heresiarch attempted to cloud the Church of Christ with his own doctrines; and from him arose the Encratites, who were so called because they avoided eating flesh. Severianus carried this error further still. From him are derived the Severians.

[A.D. 177.] Theophilus, the sixth president of the Church of Antioch, flourished. And also Pinitus of Crete, bishop of the city of Gnossus.

[A.D. 178.] Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, the emperor, being stationed in Pannonia, was attacked by sudden illness and died. And after his death Lucius Antoninus Commodus, his son,

A.D. 185.] CHRISTIANITY SET UP IN BRITAIN. 165

reigned fifteen years. He waged war saccessfully against the Germans.

[A.D. 179.] Lucius Antoninus, being utterly depraved by luxury and profligacy, and being rendered quite shameless, constantly fought in arms among the gladiators in the schools, and also in the amphitheatre, and constantly exposed himself to fight with wild beasts.

[A.D. 180.] The Capitol of Rome was struck by lightning, and that caused a conflagration, which burnt with its devouring fury the library which had been collected by the care of former ages, and several temples situated in the neighbourhood.

[A.D. 181.] The emperor Lucius murdered the senators, and especially those whom he had observed to be eminent for nobleness and energy.

[A.D. 182.] Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, flourished, and also Dionysius, who had been a disciple of the disciples of Christ, and who at that time governed the church at Corinth.

[A.D. 183.] The emperor had the head taken off the Colossus, and ordered one bearing his own resemblance, to be placed upon it.

[A.D. 184.] Theodotius of Ephesus, the third translator of the divine law, flourished with high reputation.

[A.D. 185.] Eleutherius was elected the fifteenth pope. He sat in the Roman chair for fifteen years, six months, and five days; and the see was vacant six days.

About the same time, Lucius, king of the Britons, directed letters to the same pope, entreating of him that he might be made a Christian. And the blessed pontiff, having ascertained the devotion of the king, sent to him some religious teachers, namely, Faganus and Deruvianus, to convert the king to Christ, and wash him in the holy font. And when that had been done, then the different nations ran to baptism, following the example of the king, so that in a short time there were no infidels found in the island. Therefore, those blessed teachers, when they had destroyed paganism throughout the whole of Britain, dedicated the temples, which had been founded in honour of many gods, to the one God, and to his saints, and filled them with different companies of ordained priests; and they appointed in the different cities of the kingdom twenty-eight bishops, who were under the supreme jurisdiction of three archbishops and three metropolitan sees. The first see was that of London, to which Cornwall and Loegria were

166 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 192.

subject, provinces which the Severn separates from Wales. The second was at York, to which Deira and Scotland were subject, and which the great river Humber separates from Loegria. The third was in Caerleon, to which Cambria, that is, Wales, which the Severn separates from Loegria, was subject. The old walls and buildings testify to us that this city was formerly situated on the river Usk, in Glamorgan.

[A.D. 186.] The blessed priests Faganus and Deruvianus returned to Rome, and easily prevailed on the most blessed pope that all that they had done should be confirmed. And when it had been, then the before-mentioned teachers returned to Britain, with a great many more, by whose teaching the nation of the Britons was soon founded on the faith of Christ, and became eminent as a Christian people. And their names and actions are found in the book which Gildas the historian wrote, concerning the victory of Aurelius Ambrosius.

[A.D. 187.] Lucius, the glorious king of the Britons, when he saw that the worship of the true faith was extended in his kingdom, having with great liberality giving possessions and territories to the churches and to ecclesiastical men, confirmed all his gifts by papers and muniments. And he appointed all churches with their burying places to be free, so that whatever malefactor fled to them, should remain unhurt by any one. Then living happily in the love of God and of his neighbours, he governed his kingdom in the greatest tranquillity.

[A.D. 188.] Eleutherius, bishop of the city of Rome, made a law that no food should be rejected by Christians, which was reasonable and fit for man.

[A.D. 189.] Hegesippus, bishop of Jerusalem for nineteen years, and a most veracious writer of ecclesiastical history, flourished.

[A.D. 190.] Lucius Commodus the emperor, who was a cruel monster to all, died, being strangled in the temple of Vesta.

[A.D. 191.] Helvius Pertinax was created emperor by the senate. He reigned six months, and they were scarcely completed, when he was murdered in his palace, by the wickedness of Julian, who reigned after him for seven months. Severus defeated Julian in civil war, and slew him.

[A.D. 192.] Severus, an African by descent, obtained the Roman empire, and reigned eighteen years. He, being cruel by nature, was often attacked by many wars. He governed the republic with great courage, but with great difficulty.

A.D. 203.] DEATH OF LUCIUS, KING OF THE BRITONS. 167

[A.D. 193.] Severus defeated all Cyzicus, and slew Pestenninus Niger, who in Egypt and in Syria had aspired to the tyranny.

[A.D. 194.] Severus checked the Jews and Samaritans, who were endeavouring to rebel with the sword; and conquered the Parthians, the Arabians, and the Alabeni.

[A.D. 195.] Severus began the fifth persecution after Nero, against the Christians. And a great many saints in the different provinces received the crown of martyrdom; among whom were Leonidas, the father of Origen, and Clement, the bishop of the church at Alexandria.

[A.D. 196.] Irenaeus of Lyons, with a vast multitude of every sex and age, underwent martyrdom for the sake of Christ.

[A.D. 197.] Claudius Albinus, who had made himself Caesar in the Gauls, was slain at Lyons.

[A.D. 198.] Victor was appointed pontiff of the Roman see, being the sixteenth pope. And he remained in it ten years, two months, and ten days, and the see was vacant six days. He established the rule of regulating Easter by the moon; so that it should be celebrated from the fourteenth day of the first month to the twenty-first.

[A.D. 199.] Apollonius, a most discreet man, wrote against Montanus, Prisca, and Maximilla, all heretics, who affirmed that the Holy Ghost had been given not to the Apostles, but to them.

[A.D. 200.] Serapion, bishop of the church at Antioch, and Apollonius, a senator, were made martyrs.

[A.D. 201.] The illustrious king of the Britons, Lucius, was taken in the midst of his good actions, and departed this life, to go to Christ, at Claudiocestria; and was honourably buried in the church of the principal see. After his death, a dissension arose among the Britons, because he died without an heir, and because the Roman power was weakened. And so Britain remained in a state of division till the arrival of Severus, who afterwards restored it to obedience to the Romans.

[A.D. 202.] At the command of Severus, Perpetua and Felicitas were in the camp at Carthage, in Africa, given up to wild beasts, for Christ's sake, to be devoured by them, on the seventh of March, and with them, Revocatus and Saturninus. But Secundolus, after he had been a long time kept in prison, fell asleep in Christ.

[A.D. 203.] Panthenus, a philosopher of the Stoic sect, was

168 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 207.

sent to India, to teach the natives, by Demetrius, bishop of Alexandria. And he was the first person who was sent thither; and he founded the church of Christ, by his industry and good example.

[A.D. 204.] Symmachus, the fourth translator of the divine law, flourished.

[A.D. 205.] Severus the emperor transferred the war to the districts of Britain, where he reduced the greater part of the island to obedience to him, by great battles often repeated. But that part of the people whom he could not subdue at the time, he put to flight, and drove across the Deira. And being continually harassed by their formidable rebellions, he often lost great numbers of his men. Therefore, he determined to separate that part of the island which he had reduced, from those tribes who were still unconquered, by fosses and walls, so as to keep off those indomitable enemies at a greater distance from himself. Therefore he constructed a vast dyke, and with a very strong wall, fortified with many towers; extending a hundred and thirty-two miles in length, from sea to sea, and having stationed garrisons along it, he proceeded to York.

[A.D. 206.] Fulgentius, the leader of the people, who had been put to flight, when he saw that he and his troops were cut off by this wall, crossed the sea into Scythia, in hopes, by the assistance of the Picts, to be restored to his former dignity. And when he had collected there all the youth of his country, he returned with a large fleet to Britain, and besieged York. And when news of this event was brought to Severus, he immediately marched his army to the besieged town. And a hard-fought battle took place, and Severus, the emperor, was slain, and Fulgentius was mortally wounded. Severus left two sons, Bassianus and Geta, of whom the Britons elected Bassianus for their king, because he was born of a British mother, and the Romans elected Geta, because he was connected with them on both sides of his house. But the brothers engaged in battle, in which Geta was killed, and Bassianus gained the victory. After that, he marched towards Rome with all speed.

[A.D. 207.] Bassianus Aurelius Antoninus Caracalla gained the sovereign powers; he reigned seven years, and showed himself in all respects a sterner character than even his father Severus. Moreover, he was so frantic in his lusts, that he married his step-mother Julia.

A.D. 219.] CALIXTUS ELECTED POPE. 169

[A.D. 208.] A fifth edition of the divine law was found at Jericho; the author of which is not known.

[A.D. 209.] Zephyrinus was elected pope. He sat in the Roman chair eight years, six months, and ten days. And the see was vacant six days.

[A.D. 210.] While Bassianus was emperor, Symmachus diffused his heresy abroad, by preaching that Jesus was born of Joseph in the natural way, and that the Mosaic law ought to be observed according to the Jewish fashion.

[A.D. 211.] Alexander, bishop of Cappadocia, being full of a desire to see the sacred places, came to Jerusalem, while Narcissus, who was the bishop of that city, and a man of exceeding old age, was still alive; and the Lord himself, in a revelation, directing such a step, he is made bishop in the room of Narcissus.

[A.D. 212.] Tertullianus, an African, the son of a centurion of proconsular rank, flourished; he was celebrated in all the churches, but afterwards he fell away, and embraced the doctrines of Montanus, and wrote books against the church.

[A.D. 213.] Bassianus the emperor waged a war against the Parthians, and was surrounded by the enemy, between Edessa and Carrae, and slain.

[A.D. 214.] Macrimus the prefect usurped the empire, and reigned one year. And when the year was passed, he was slain in a tumult of the soldiers.

[A.D. 215.] Marcus Aurelius Antoninus succeeded to the empire, and held it for four years.

[A.D. 216.] The city of Nicopolis in Palestine, which was formerly called Emmaus, was built. This is that Emmaus, which the Lord, after his resurrection, condescended to sanctify by his entrance into it.

[A.D. 217.] Sabellius the heresiarch appeared, who asserted that one ought to preach one person only, of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

[A.D. 218.] Alexander was created emperor, by the consent of both the Senate and the soldiers, and reigned fifteen years with great glory for his equity.

[A.D. 219.] Calixtus was elected the eighteenth pope. He sat in the Roman chair five years, two months, and two days, and the see was vacant six days. He appointed a fast to take place at the fruit season every year, to obtain fine weather and abundant crops.

170 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 231.

[A.D. 220.] A sixth edition of the divine law was found at Nicopolis; the author of which is not known.

[A.D. 221.] Hippolytus the bishop, who was the author of many small works, wrote a canon of the times, and brought it down to his own day.

[A.D. 222.] Mammaea, the most Christian mother of the emperor, was anxious to hear the presbyter Origen, and sent for him from Antioch, and treated him with the greatest respect.

[A.D. 223.] The emperor Alexander carried an expedition into Persia, and defeated and subdued Xerxes, king of Persia.

[A.D. 224.] Urbanus was elected pope; he held the Roman chair eight years, ten months, and eleven days, and the see was vacant seventeen days. He strengthened many nobles to profess the faith of Chnst and to encounter martyrdom.

[A.D. 225.] Almachius, prefect of the city of Rome, raged against the Christians with great cruelty, and brought the blessed Caecilia to the palm of martyrdom. And influenced by her miracles and example, Tiburtius, Valerianus, and Maximus, endured martyrdom in a glorious manner.

[A.D. 226.] The emperor Alexander most gloriously defeated Xerxes, king of the Persians.

[A.D. 227.] Ulpian the lawyer, the assessor of Alexander, flourished with great renown. At the same time, many martyrs were put to death, whom Alexander the emperor condemned by a capital sentence.

[A.D. 228.] Terninus, a presbyter of Antioch, Hippolytus, Berillus, and Hostrenus, all flourished as eminent writers.

[A.D. 229.] The presbyter Calepodius suffered under the emperor Alexander, who caused him to be slain with the sword, and his body to be dragged through the city, and at last thrown into the Tiber.

[A.D. 230.] Zebennus, bishop of Antioch, flourished. About the same time, Palmatius, the consul, with his wife and children, and forty companions of both sexes, endured an illustrious martyrdom.

[A.D. 231.] Origen of Alexandria, after he had castrated himself for the love of the kingdom of heaven, and had lived freely with both men and women, came from Alexandria to Jerusalem; on which account, he is celebrated over the whole world; and he was a man of so admirable a genius, that he

[A.D. 240.] ORIGEN INSTRUCTS TWO BISHOPS. 171

surpassed in every kind of learning all the doctors of his time. At last, however, this presbyter became infatuated and deceived, and said, "That the Son could not see the Father, nor could the Holy Spirit see the Son". He also said, "That the souls had sinned in the beginning of the world, and had deserved different torments for their different sins, and that it was on this account that the world was made". He also said, "That the Son was yet to suffer, and that he would redeem the devils as well as men". When he argued on the right side no man spoke better, when on the wrong side no man spoke worse.

[A.D. 232.] Pontianus was elected into the Roman chair, and he ruled four years, two months, and two days.

[A.D. 233.] The emperor Alexander was slain at Mayence, in a tumult raised by the soldiers, after he had reigned thirteen years.

[A.D. 234.] Maximinus was elected emperor by the army, without the consent of the senate, after he had carried on the war in Germany successfully; and he reigned three years.

[A.D. 235.] The emperor Maximinus put in force a persecution against the prelates of the Churches; especially on account of Mammaea, the mother of Alexander, whom he had succeeded, and her most Christian family; in which many persons flew to the kingdom of heaven, having obtained the crown of martyrdom.

[A.D. 236.] Pontianus, bishop of the Roman see, received the crown of martyrdom, and was buried in the cemetery of pope Calixtus.

[A.D. 237.] Antherius was elected pope; he sat in the Roman chair one month and fifteen days; at the expiration of which, by the command of Maximinus, he went to heaven as a martyr. But after a few days, Maximinus himself was slain by Pompey.

[A.D. 238.] Gordian obtained the Roman empire; he reigned six years. For Pompey, the slayer of Maximinus, and his brother Albinus, who had usurped the empire, were slain in the palace. The same year, Fabian was elected pope, and sat in the Roman chair fourteen years, eleven months, and eleven days.

[A.D. 239.] Lucianus Africanus flourished, among the ecclesiastical writers. And he is spoken of as exceedingly learned in all philosophical studies, and in all the learning of the Greeks.

[A.D. 240.] Origen, in Caesarea of Palestine, instructed

172 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 252.

Theodorus, surnamed Gregory, and Athenodorus, both bishops, in divine philosophy.

[A.D. 241.] Florentius, bishop of Vienne, was illustrious for his life and learning, and he lived till the reign of Gallienus and Volusianus, and was banished and endured martyrdom.

[A.D. 242.] Fabian ruled the Roman Church. At whose promotion the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, descended on his head.

[A.D. 243.] Gordian, who was still a boy, marching against Parthia in the east, was slain by the treachery of his friends, near Circea, on the Euphrates.

[A.D. 244.] Philip was elected emperor; he reigned seven years, and associated Philip, his son, with himself, as partner in the empire.

[A.D. 245.] The emperor Philip is made a Christian, being the first of all the emperors who was so. And he remained a Christian unto the end.

[A.D. 246.] Origen wrote eight volumes, disputing against a certain Celsum, an Epicurean philosopher, who had written books against us. And Hieronymus testifies that he had read five thousand books of this writer.

[A.D. 247.] The year of the nativity of Christ was celebrated by the most Christian emperor Philip.

[A.D. 248.] The third year of Philip's reign, the thousandth year from the foundation of Rome was completed.

[A.D. 249.] Pope Fabian appointed that a new chrism should be made every year, and the old one burnt.

[A.D. 250.] Philip, both the father and the son, were both, although in different places, murdered in a military tumult by the treachery of Decius.

[A.D. 251.] Decius, the originator of the civil war, became emperor, and reigned a year and three months. He, out of hatred of Philip, whom he had succeeded, disseminated deadly edicts, for the persecution and slaughter of the Christians; and he was the seventh, since Nero, who had raged against the worshippers of Christ. At this time, also the blessed Fabian suffered at Rome. And at Ephesus the seven Holy Sleepers lay hid on Mount Caelius. Alexander the bishop suffered at Jerusalem, and Laurentius and Hippolytus at Rome.

[A.D. 252.] Gallus, having obtained the kingdom, with his son Volusianus, held it for thirty-one years and five months. At

A.D. 255.] VALERIAN TAKEN PRISONER. 173

which time a terrible pestilence raged throughout almost all the provinces of the Roman empire, beyond a question as divine vengeance for the injuries done to the name of Christ. At the same time, the presbyter Origen, whom we have spoken of above, died. His writings are found, in some passages, to be corrupted by heretical errors. For he asserted that all who had ended their lives in sins, even in the greatest, and the devil and all his angels, are to be purifed after a long time, and restored to the kingdom of God; and that some again fall into torments, and again return to happiness. And he says that all rational creatures always have been, and always will be, going through these alternations of happiness and misery. He is related to have published a thousand tracts and more, and many books of commentaries; and he castrated himself for the sake of chastity, although he did not do it scientifically. And he acted in that, as the pilot of a ship would, who, seeing a tempest coming, for the sake of avoiding the storm, were in a passion to break his rudder, and bury the vessel in the waves. At the same time, Cyprian, the light of the doctors, flourished at Carthage.

In this year, also, Cornelius was elected bishop of the city of Rome, and held the chair two years and as many months, and ten days. He, being asked by a certain matron named Lucinia, for the bodies of Peter and Paul, took them out of the catacombs by night, and Lucinia placed the body of the blessed Paul in her farm in the road to Ostia, where he was beheaded. The corpse of the blessed Peter, pope Cornelius placed near the spot where he had been crucified. The same year, Gallus and Volusianus, while carrying on a civil war against AEmilianus, who was plotting a revolution, were slain: and AEmilianus also died in the third month of his tyranny.

[A.D. 253.] Valerian succeeded to the empire with his son Gallienus, and reigned fifteen years. He was the first person who worshipped the saints to such a degree that his house was believed by the faithful to be the church of God.

[A.D. 254.] Lucius was elected bishop of the city of Rome, and held the chair three years, three months, and three days.

[A.D. 255.] Valerian, immediately after having set on foot the eighth persecution against the Christians, was taken prisoner by Sapor, king of Persia, and deprived of his eyes, and kept in ignominious slavery among the Persians as long as he lived; and he lived to a great age. Gallienus, terrified by so

174 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 268.

clear a judgment of God, restored peace to the church by a lukewarm satisfaction.

[A.D. 256.] Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, receives the crown of martyrdom. His life, and an account of his passion, have been written by Pontianus, his deacon, and left by him to the faithful, for their edification.

[A.D. 257.] Stephen was elected to the Roman chair, which he held four years, three months, and three days. He ordered the priests and Levites not to wear their sacred vestments in daily use, but only in the church.

[A.D. 258.] The Germans invaded all Italy in a hostile manner, and penetrated as far as Ravenna.

[A.D. 259.] Greece, Macedonia, Pontus, and Asia were destroyed by an inundation of the Goths.

[A.D. 260.] Sixtus was elected to the Roman chair, and held it for two years, eleven months, and six days, and then it was vacant.

[A.D. 261.] Postumius, by means of great bloodshed for twenty-one days, seized the supreme power in Gaul, and he retained it ten years, displaying great virtue and moderation. He expelled the enemies who had previously got the mastery, but he was nevertheless slain in a sedition of the soldiers.

[A.D. 262.] Victorinus was created emperor by the Gauls, and, after a short time, was slain at Vienne.

[A.D. 263.] Dionysius was appointed pope, and occupied the Roman chair two years and two months.

[A.D. 264.] Gregory, bishop of Neo Caesarea in Pontus, wishing to build a church, was hindered by some mountain. And as there was not room for building the church, he, by his prayers, removed the mountain, and founded the church.

[A.D. 265.] Felix was appointed to the Roman chair, and occupied it two years, ten months, and twenty-five days. About the same time, also, Lupicinus, bishop of the church at Vienne, flourished with great renown.

[A.D. 266.] Gallienus, the emperor, having deserted the republic, and given himself up to licentiousness at Milan, was slain.

[A.D. 267.] Claudius assumed the supreme power with the good-will of the senate, and reigned two years.

[A.D. 268.] Eutychianus became pope of Rome, and continued so for eight years, ten months, and three days. And the see was vacant eight days.

A.D. 277.] ANATOLIUS, BISHOP OF LAODICEA. 175

[A.D. 269.] Claudius attacked the Goths, who had now for fifteen years been devastating Illyricum and Macedonia, and routed them with incredible slaughter. And a golden shield in the senate house, and a golden equestrian statue in the Capitol were decreed him by the senate. But immediately after this, he fell sick and died at Smyrnium.

[A.D. 270.] Quintillus, the brother of Claudius, a man of singular moderation, having been elected emperor by the army, was slain on the seventeenth day of his reign. The same year, Madion, a presbyter of the church at Antioch, argued against Paul of Samosata, the bishop of Antioch, who asserted the doctrine that Christ was a man of common nature; and only notaries were present at the argument.

[A.D. 271.] Aurelian obtained the empire, and held it four years and six months, a man eminent for military excellence.

[A.D. 272.] Aurelian undertook an expedition in the Danube, and defeated the Goths in great battles.

[A.D. 273.] Aurelian surrounded the city of Rome with stronger walls, and rendered it impregnable. The same year, Paul, who has been mentioned above, is convicted of his heresy at Antioch, and condemned.

[A.D. 274.] After Aurelian had decided to adopt measures of persecution against the Christians, a thunderbolt fell at his feet, to the great alarm of the bystanders. And not long afterwards, he was killed on a journey.

[A.D. 275.] Tacitus became emperor. He reigned six months; and after he was slain in Pontus, Florian succeeded to the empire, and reigned eighty-eight days, and was slain at Tarsus.

The same year, Eutychianus, bishop of Rome, received the crown of martyrdom, and was buried in the cemetery of Calixtus; and he had buried three hundred and forty-two martyrs with his own hand.

[A.D. 276.] Caius was made bishop of the city of Rome, and remained so eleven years, four months. In which year, also, Probus obtained the empire, and reigned six years and four months.

[A.D. 277.] Anatolius, bishop of Laodicea, in Syria, flourished, and was greatly celebrated. The greatness of his genius may be plainly known from the book which he composed on the subject of Easter, and from the ten books of his arithmetical institution.

176 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 285.

[A.D. 278.] The insane heresy of the Manicheans rose up; the author of which was Manes. These men teach that there are two principles, one of good and the other of evil, one of light and the other of darkness; they affirm that souls flow from God as from a kind of spring; they reject the Old Testament, and receive the New in part. About the same time, Simplides, bishop of Vienne, a man of wonderful sanctity, flourished.

[A.D. 279.] Probus, the emperor, completely delivered France from the barbarians by whom it had been long occupied, having at last defeated the enemy, in many terrible battles.

[A.D. 280.] Probus carried on two wars, one in the east, in which he defeated and took prisoner the tyrant Saturninus, the other in which he defeated Proculus and Bonosus in great battles at Agrippina, and slew them. Archelaus, bishop of Mesopotamia, composed an account of the argument which he held against Manichaeus of Persia, which was published in the Syrian language, but has been translated, and is in the hands of many of the Greeks.

[A.D. 281.] The emperor Probus was slain at Sirmium in a military tumult. The second year of his reign was, according to the Hebrews, the beginning of the eighty-sixth jubilee, in which are contained four thousand two hundred and fifty years.

[A.D. 282.] Carus became emperor, and reigned two years with his sons Carinus and Numerianus.

[A.D. 283.] Phierius, presbyter of Alexandria, under Theonas, the bishop, taught the people, and composed different books of tracts. He was also master of so elegant a style, that he was called the younger Origen.

[A.D. 284.] Carus being occupied with the Persian war, alter he had taken two most noble cities, Coelon and Ctesiphon, and had triumphed over the Persians, was struck by lightning in his camp on the Tigris, and died.

CH. V.- FROM A.D. 285 TO A.D. 340.

Diocletian's reign - Carausius in Britain - Constantius - Galerius Maximian - The empress Helena - The persecution of Diocletian - Amphibalus - Saint Albanus - Diocletian and Maximian abdicate the throne - Constantine is made emperor in Britain - Comes to Rome - Octavius - Silvester - The Arrian heresy - Death of Constantine.

[A.D. 285.] Diocletian obtained the empire of Rome, and held

[A.D. 292.] ALECTUS IS SENT TO REDUCE BRITAIN. 177

it twenty years; and immediately, as soon as he had the power, he slew with his own hand Aper, the slayer of Numerianus.

[A.D. 286.] There was in Britain a certain yonth named Carausios, of the lowest class of the people, who, having gone to Rome, demanded permission from the senate to protect the maritime coast of Britain from barbarian invasion with a fleet. At last, after he had deceived the senate with his false promises, he obtained what he asked, and departed for Britain with sealed papers. Presently putting to sea, with a band of pirates for his companions, he plundered the lands in all the islands of the province, and overthrew the cities and towns, sparing no one. All who coveted the property of others flocked to him; and he laboured to unite them into one band by continual largesses. Nevertheless he was uneasy in his mind from being conscious of wickedness, and so he told the Britons that if they would make him king, he would exterminate the Romans, and deliver the whole island from that barbarous nation. When they all consented, he assumed the royal diadem, and reigned seven years, and disdained to pay the accustomed tribute to the Roman senate.

[A.D. 287.] Caius, bishop of the city of Rome, received the crown of martyrdom under the emperor Diocletian.

[A.D. 288.] Marcellinus succeeded to the Roman chair, and filled it seven years, two months, and twenty-four days. And the see was vacant for seven years and ten days.

[A.D. 289.] Diocletian, after a most difficult war and exceeding labour, subdued Carinus, whom Carus Caesar had left in Dalmatia.

[A.D. 290.] When Amandus and AElian had stirred up pernicious tumults in Gaul, Diocletian made Maximian, surnamed Herculeus, Caesar and partner in the empire; and sent him to Gaul, where by his military valour he easily routed the disorderly armies of uncivilised men.

[A.D. 291.] Sudden disturbances took place in nearly every part of the Roman empire. On which Diocletian was moved and sent Constantius, Maximian, Galerius, and Maximin to the different provinces, in order to defend the republic by military force.

[A.D. 292.] As Carausius was rebelling against the Romans in Britain, the senate send Alectus to slay the tyrant and reduce Britain to obedience to the Romans. And he having

178 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 299.

arrived in the island, fought a battle and killed Carausius. After that, he made great slaughter among the Britons, who, having deserted the republic, had submitted themselves to the commands of Carausius. And then, having himself assumed the crown of the kingdom, he held the island for three years.

[A.D. 293.] Diocletian ordered jewels to be inserted in his garments and shoes, a thing which none of his predecessors had done, as hitherto the emperors had worn only the plain purple.

[A.D. 294.] Asclepiodotus, duke of Cornwall, coming as an ally of the Britons, attacked Alectus while he was at London offering sacrifices to his national gods. But Alectus, as soon as he was informed of the arrival of Asclepiodotus, left the sacrifice, and went forth against him, and having fought a very severe battle, he was put to flight by Asclepiodotos, and all his army was routed. And as they fled, the Britons slew many thousands of them, and Alectus himself. But Lenius Gallus, the colleague of Alectus, collected the rest of the Romans in the city of London, to resist Asclepiodotus, and avoid the death that threatened them. Therefore the Britons attacked the city with great vigour, and endeavoured to batter down the walls. And forming in close line of battle, they attacked the Romans, and in one day slew them all, at the torrent below the city which the Britons afterwards adled Nantgallus, from the name of the general, but in Saxon it was styled Walbroke.

[A.D. 295.] Asclepiodotus, with the consent of the people, took the crown of Britain, and reigned with great uprightness for ten years.

[A.D. 296.] Constantius married the step-daughter of Herculeus Maximianus, whose name was Theodora. And by her he had six sons, the brothers of Constantine.

[A.D. 297.] Constantius Caesar had his army so completely routed in his first battle against the Alemanni, that he could scarcely escape himself; but he retrieved his fortunes by a subsequet victory so complete, that seventy thousand of the Alemanni are said to have been slain in a few hours.

[A.D. 298.] Maximianus Herculeus subdued Achilleus, who was rebelling against the Romans in Egypt, and the Quinquegentiani.

[A.D. 299.] Diocletian took Achilleus, who had been besieged at Alexandria eight months, prisoner, and put him to death.

A.D. 303.] THE TENTH PERSECUTION OF THE CHRISTIANS. 179

[A.D. 300.] Galerias Maximian, after he had already fought two battles agamst Narses, was defeated in the third conflict, and, having lost his army, fled to Diocletian.

[A.D. 301.] Ambrosius flourished, and taught rhetoric in Africa, and published some admirable volumes against the Gentiles.

[A.D. 302.] Marcellus was elected to the papal chair at Rome, and occupied it four years and six months.

The same year, Coelus, duke of Caercolun, that is of Colchester, rose in insurrection against Asclepiodotus, king of Britain, and in a pitched battle slew him, and obtained his kingdom. But the Romans sent Constantius, a senator who had subdued Spain and many other countries for them, that he might reduce Britain to obedience to the Romans. But when Coelus, king of the Britons, heard of his arrival, he was afraid to fight with him, as the report of his wisdom and courage made him out invincible. When, therefore, Constantius had arrived in the island, Coelus sent ambassadors to him, and asked for peace, and promised submission. And Constantius agreed to his requests, and demanded nothing more than the accustomed tribute. But when peace had been made and hostages given, at the end of the month Coelus died. Then Constantius obtained the crown, and united with himself in marriage Helena, the daughter of king Coelus, a virgin of great beauty, and most perfectly accomplished in all liberal arts and musical instruments. For her father had no other child to enjoy the throne of the kingdom after him, on which account he had taken care that she should be thoroughly accomplished, so that she might be able to rule the kingdom with honour and tranquillity after his death. And Constantius had a son by her, and called him Constantine.

[A.D. 303.] Which was the twenty-first year of the reign of Diocletian, a terrible persecution of the Christians was commenced, being the tenth since the time of Nero; in which Christianity was almost destroyed throughout the whole world. For Diocletian in the east, and Maximian Herculeus in the west, ordered the churches to be destroyed, and the Christians slain. An edict was likewise issued, that all the churches throughout the whole world should be levelled with the ground, and the sacred Scriptures burnt in the fire, in the middle of the market place, and all those who presided over the difierent churches

180 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 303.

should be thrown into prison, and by exquisite tortures compelled to sacrifice to the gods. Then some, being overwhelmed with fear, yielded, but some were supported by divine virtue, and flew to heaven through torments. In this slaughter, the legion of the Holy Thebeans, which contained six thousand, six hundred and sixty-six soldiers, suffered, gloriously enduring martyrdom for Christ's sake, at the command of Maximian. And of this multitude of martyrs, some few names have been ascertained by us, those, namely, of Mauricius, Exuperius, Candidus, Victor, Innocentius, and Vitalis. But the other names, though they are not known to us, are inscribed in the book of life. The passion of Victor and Ursa took place at Castrum Solodi. The martyrdom of Gereon and his companions, three hundred and twenty-eight in number, took place at Cologne.

This persecution was so cruel and so bloody, that in one month seventeen thousand martyrs are recorded to have been put to death. For it crossed over the sea, and kindled the illustrious funeral piles of holy martyrs among the Britons, since Saint Alban suffered among that nation; of whom the presbyter Fortunatus speaks, thus praising his martyrdom:

"The fertile Britain boasts the noble Alban".

And this Alban, when the commands of the treacherous emperors against the Christians were raging, received in hospitality a certain clergyman, who was fleeing from his persecutors. And seeing that he devoted himself to continual prayers and watchings, he being suddenly filled with the divine grace, began to imitate the example of his faith, and being gradually instructed by his salutary exhortations, forsook the darkness of idolatry, and became a Christian with his whole heart. The name of that clergyman, although the Roman histories pass it over, is nevertheless steted in the history of the Britons. For it is said, that Alban, glowing with affectionate gratitude, first of all, hid his confessor Amphibalus from his persecutors when he was pursued by them, and then changing garments with him, exposed himself to the danger of death, in this imitating Christy who laid down his life for his sheep.

Therefore every day, when the hour of evening was coming on, the master and the disciples, avoiding the society of men, betook themselves to a more remote dwelling, which is called

A.D. 303.] SAINT ALBAN IS SEIZED. 181

in the common language a cabin, and there spent the whole night in the praise of God. And they did this, that their secret might not become known to the infidels, who vied with one another, not in imitating the worshippers of the Christian religion or their faith, but in persecuting the faithful. But after some time had elapsed, a certain gentile went boldly to the judge, and told him what was done, omitting no statement by which he more easily could injure the innocent, or stir up the judges to fury. So when these things were known, the judge was presently excited to great fury and anger, and ordered Alban and his master to be summoned to his presence, to make them sacrifice victims to his gods with all the reverence that they deserved. And if they refused, he ordered them to be arrested by force and violence, to be bound with chains, and to be placed on the altars of the gods to be slain, like victims. But this decree was not unknown to Alban, who wishing to escape the machinations of the ruler by any means possible, exhorted Amphibalus to retire from the city, and take care of himself, giving him a cloak embroidered with gold, that he might be safer from his enemies. For a dress of this kind was at that time held by all men in such honour and reverence, that any one who was clad in it, might penetrate unhurt through bands of enemies. But he himself returned the cassock of his master, though he most certainly knew that his enemies would not look upon it with favourable eyes, but would be furious against it. Therefore Amphibalus, acquiescing in the entreaties of Alban, fled before daylight, going by the road which leads from the city to the north. And Alban conducted him, as long as it seemed desirable to both of them. And when they were departing from one, another, and taking leave of each other for the last time, who could recall their tears to his recollection, without weeping himself?

Therefore Amphibalus hastened into Wales, to become a martyr there. And Alban wore the dress of his master, that by this course he might the more readily attract the rage of the gentiles to himself alone. But when day broke, the horsemen rushed with ferocious spirit to the house of Alban, and hunted through every part of it, and at last they found Alban himself in the cabin, in a foreign dress, barefoot before the cross of the Lord which his master had left him, earnest in prayer. Then seizing him inhumanly, they bound him

182 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 303.

with chains, and dragged him into the presence of the judge, who at that moment was, with the whole city, standing by the altars, to sacrifice the victims to his gods. But Alban, to show that he was the servant of the cross, bore aloft in his hand the sign of the Lord without ceasing. And when the judge, looking on him with a most ferocious countenance, commanded him to offer libations to the gods, the blessed Alban replied, "I by no means sacrifice to your false gods, who have never been able to help either themselves or others". Then, by command of the judge, Alban was seized and stretched out to be scourged, but amid the stripes his prayers to God were heard without ceasing. And when the hands of the victors were wearied, and the point was not gained, he was ordered to be detained in the judge's prison six months and more. But presently the elements began to testify to the wickedness done to the martyr. For, from the time of his arrest to the day when he was to be released from prison, no dew or rain moistened the earth, but every day the whole country was burnt up under a most scorching sun. No fields, no trees produced any crops, the elements themselves fighting against the wicked. But as the judge and the citizens of Verolamium could not bear such an infliction, they impeach Alban, and having collected everybody into one place, they caused him to be brought before them. And while he was standing in the middle of the multitude, they all with one accord gave sentence of death against this holy man of God. And he, frequently kissing the cross of the Lord, which he held in his hand, and praying, commended his cause to the Lord. Therefore, Alban was dragged from the judgment-seat to punishment. And when those who were leading him came to a rapid river, he, uttering a prayer to God, opened a way for the people through the waters. Then the soldier who was dragging Alban to punishment, seeing the miracle, threw away his sword, confessed his errors, and entreated pardon of the Saint. After this circumstance, the enemies of the truth seize the man, dash out his teeth, and in a merciless manner break all his bones; and though there was no part of his body remained unhurt, still the faith which glowed in his breast could not be impaired.

At length, ascending to the summit of a mountain, they found there an innumerable crowd of men, who burning with

[A.D. 303.] ALBAN BECOMES A MARTYR. 183

thirst beneath the scorching sun, were now at the very point of death. And Alban, sympathising with their miseries, by his prayers produced a spring on the top of the mountain; the infidels quenched their thirst, but still thirsted for human blood. Why need I dwell on the circumstances? Out of the whole people one is selected as executioner, to perpetrate the wickedness before them all. And he, with his whole force, striking his sword against his neck, at one blow cut off the martyr's head; but as the eyes of him who gave the blow fell on the ground at the same time as the head of the martyr, he became utterly blind. And the cross which the holy man had been used continually to bear in his hands, being now besprinkled with his happy blood, fell on the ground, and a certain Christian secretly carried it away, and hid it from the ignorant pagans. And when this was done, the soldier whom the pagans had a little while before left half dead, using all his efforts, ascended the mountain by climbing. Then the judge, insulting the wounds of the man, said: "Pray now to Alban, that he would condescend to restore your bones to their former condition". "I do believe", he replied, "that the blessed Alban by his holy merits will be able to restore to me perfect soundness, and to lead me to the mercy of the Saviour". Then reverently taking hold of the head of the martyr, and devoutly placing it close to his own body, he began to recover his bodily strength, which before seemed hopeless, and having been made sound, he did not cease from preaching the merits of Alban and the power of Christ, in the hearing of all the people. Then opening the earth, he buried the body of Alban in the ground, and himself raised a mound over it. And when this was seen, that soldier is ordered to be apprehended by the enemies of the cross, and after punishments too horrid to relate, as they tore his holy body limb from limb, at last they cut off his head with a sword. And thus that soldier, persevering in the faith of Christ, deserved to be elevated to the crown of martyrdom with the most blessed Alban. Accordingly, on the following night, a column of light appeared to rise from the tomb of the blessed martyr, and to penetrate into heaven; down which angels descending and ascending, spent the whole night in praising God. And among other things which they sung, this expression was frequently heard: "Alban, an illustrious man, has become a glorious martyr".

184 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 303.

And when suddenly a great concourse of gentiles flocked to behold this sight, one of them broke out into the following language: "It is quite plain that Christ the Son of God is effecting all these wonderful things which we have seen; let us go and seek out the man of God, because, as you know, he by his preaching converted Alban to Christ". And as they all approved of this advice, about a thousand men began to journey towards Wales, and there they found Amphibalus, the man of God, preaching the word of life to the men of that country. And they, explaining to him the cause of their coming, offered him the cross sprinkled with blood, which he had formerly given to his dear Alban. And he, returning thanks to God preached about religion to his new hearers. And they immediately with one accord eagerly took the sign which is in Christ from his sacred hands. And when a few days had passed, the news of the circumstance came to Verolamium. And the citizens there, excited with immoderate fury, set out on the journey with all their strength, and with great uproar, as if they had been going to battle. But hearing of the illustrious name of Amphibalus, after a few days they found him, his fame acting as their guide, and as they went they found those whom they sought listening eagerly to his words. But the gentiles, carried away with diabolical fury, rushed with frantic wildness upon the saints of God, and cutting their bodies into small pieces, sent their happy souls with joy to heaven. And so father was slain by son, brother by brother, and citizen by citizen. Of this Holy College one alone survived, who being detained by the way by the infirmity of his body, was not able to be present. The holy Amphibalus, surrounded by the bodies of those who had been slain, recommended their blessed souls to the Lord, and then the bloody executioners pouring forth all their rage upon him, and binding his arms with the most cruel thongs, compelled him to walk barefoot before their horses towards the city of Verolamium. But the nearer he came to his dear Alban, the more the toughness of the road and the pain of the toil became softened in his eyes.

And as they proceeded on their journey, Amphibalus, though in bonds himself, released a sick man, in the sight of them all, from the bonds of his sickness. Then, when at last they came in sight of the walls of the city, they for a while laid

A.D. 303.] MARTYRDOM OF AMPHIBALUS. 185

down their shields in a desert place, and planted their spears in the ground. But while all the others rested, Amphibalus alone took no rest, but taught his persecutors the word of salvation because the word of God could not be bound.

In the meantime the news was brought to the city that the citizens had returned home, and had brought back with them the master of Alban. It was also said that all those for whom they had undertaken that laborious journey had perished in a distant country. But when the judge was informed of this, he said, in the presence of all the people, "Let us all go forth and meet our enemy, that he who is known to have offended, may feel that vengeance is taken upon him by all". Then each one exhorts his fellow to go more swiftly, and they excite one another against their enemy. And as they proceeded on the road which leads from the city towards the north, they left the city nearly empty. And coming to the man of God, they found him bound with chains. And presently they seized him, and stripped him cruelly, and laid open his bowels with the sword, and bound him to a stake which was fixed in the ground, and caused the holy man of God to walk round the stake. When Amphibalus, the man of God, placed among all these terrible straits, still showed no sign of pain, the enemies of the cross, becoming more exasperated, placed him as a sign among them, and stab and break to pieces with knives and spears all that there was left of his body. Then many men beholding the constancy of the blessed martyr, and admiring it more and more, submitted themselves to the faith of Christ, praying to God with a loud voice, that by the merits and intercession of the blessed martyr, they might deserve to become partakers in eternal life. And when this was known, the javelin-men put a thousand men to death, the blessed Amphibalus looking on, and commending their souls to God.

After these events, the wicked raged to effect the death of this innocent man, and in order to destroy his blessed life, they pelt him cruelly with a shower of stones. But he, persisting in his prayers, and minding nothing else, did not cease for a moment. And when at length he was on the point of restoring his invincible spirit to heaven, two angels, radiant with heavenly brightness, came down from above to him, and took up with them the soul of the blessed man, shining with extraordinary brilliancy, and bore it off to heaven with hymns

186 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 310.

and praises. And a Toice from heaven was heard addressing him in this manner, in the hearing of all men: "Verily I say unto you, this day you shall be with your disciple Alban in paradise". Then a certain one of the faithful in Christ secretly took away the body of the blessed martyr, and reverently buried it in the earth.

About the same time there suffered in Britain, Aaron and Julius, with many other men and women, who went up by martyrdom to the desirable joy of the heavenly Jerusalem; the blessed Alban still being the protomartyr of the English, who first purpled Britain with his blood. And in the same slaughter, Pamphilus suffered, whose life has been written in three books by Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea.

[A.D. 304.] Diocletian at Nicomedia, and Maximian Herculeus at Milan, laid aside the purple; but the persecution when it had been once begun did not cease to rage till the seventh year of Constantine.

[A.D. 305.] Galerius obtained the Roman empire, and reigned three years. In the same year, which is the third year of the persecution, Constantius, a man of the greatest magnanimity, died in Britain at York. And his son Constantine succeeding to the kingdom of Britain, laboured to govern his realm with the greatest tranquillity and honour.

[A.D. 306.] Maximin and Severus, who had been made Caesars by Galerius, increase the persecutions against the Christians. At this time, Peter, the bishop of Alexandria, suffered, and many Egyptians with him. Lucian also suffered, a presbyter of the church of Antioch, and Timotheus was put to death at Rome on the twenty-first of June.

[A.D. 307.] Constantine, son of Constantius and Helen, was made emperor, from having been king of Britain, and reigned twenty years and ten months.

[A.D. 308.] Nicolas, a man eminent for sanctity and virtue, was consecrated bishop of Mirrhe, the metropolis.

[A.D. 309.] Eusebius was elected to the Roman chair, and occupied it two years and two months. The same year. Galenius died, and Constantine became sole emperor.

[A.D. 310.] Pascasius flourished in the church at Vienne, and Phileas, the Egyptian, composed a book in most elegant style in praise of martyrdom, and at last he gloriously ended his own life by martyrdom.

A.D. 313.] PERSECUTION CEASES. 187

[A.D. 311.] Melchiades became pope; he occupied the Roman chair three years, eight months, and eight days.

[A.D. 312.] Maxentius, son of Herculeus Maximian, was called Augustus at Rome. He behaved with great tyranny towards the Roman people, endeavouring to ruin all the most noble men of the city. And as his savageness increased, men quitted their country and fled into Britain to Constantine, and were honourably received by him. At last, as great numbers had come to him, they excited him to hatred of Maxentius, often addressing him in this manner:- "You are the only one of our race; you, by expelling Maxentius, can restore to us what we have lost, and by our assistance you will be able to obtain the empire of Rome, which is your due. For you have great wealth of gold and silver, and a great number of valiant soldiers". Constantine, therefore, being excited by these and other inducements, prepared a fleet by the advice of the Romans, which he adopted in all particulars.

[A.D. 313.] Constantine, coming to Rome, led with him the three uncles of Helena, his mother, namely, Trahernius, Marius, and Leolinus, and a countless number of soldiers. And when Maxentius the tyrant had been expelled, he restored all whom he had proscribed to their former dignity. He also advanced his three uncles to the rank of senators, and after that he governed the monarchy of the world with tranquillity.

The same year, the persecution of the Christians ceased, and peace was given to the churches; and this persecution had lasted the preceding ten years, or something like it, as Bede relates in me first book and sixth chapter of his History. During which time, Diocletian in the east, and Maximian Herculeus in the west, ordered the churches to be laid waste, and the Christians to be afflicted and put to death, being the tenth persecution since Nero. But when the whirlwind ot this persecution had, after the lapse of ten years, become calmed, then the faithful in Christ coming forth in public (men who, during the time of danger, had hidden themselves in remote woods, and desert places, and secret caves), renewed the churches of the saints which had been thrown to the ground, and founded, and built, and completed temples to the Holy Martyrs, and set them up like victorious standards, and celebrated days of festival, and performed sacrifices.

At this time, a temple is founded in honour of the blessed

188 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 315.

Alban, the proto-martyr of the English, as Bede tells as, in the first book and sixth chapter of his History, where he relates the matter thus: "The blessed Alban suffered on the twenty-first day of Jane, near the city of Verolamium, which is now called Warlancestria, or Watlingecestria by the nation of the English, where, in subsequent times, when the Christians were in peace, a church of wonderful beauty, and worthy of his martyrdom, was built, ten years after his passion, in which spot to this very day, the cure of the sick, and the manifestations of numerous virtues, are displayed without ceasing. And the following is the reason why the before-mentioned city is spoken of by two names; for from the river which is called the Warlame, and which flows through the country to the east of the city, it is called Warlancestria: but from the royal road, which is called Watlingestrete, and which lies on the west of the city, it is called Watlingecestria".

And peace now continued inviolate in the churches of Britain till the times of the Arrian heresy.

[A.D. 314.] Octavius, king of the Gevisci, made an insurrection against the pro-consuls appointed by the Romans, to whom the government of Britain had been entrusted, and having slain them, made himself master of the kingdom. And when news of this was brought to Constantine at Rome, he sent Trahernius, the uncle of his mother, with three legions, to reduce the island again to obedience to the Romans. Trahernius therefore landed in the island, and in two days took the city of Caerperis, which is now called Porchester. And when this was known, Octavius came to meet him with a powerful army, and a battle was fought, in which he routed the forces of Trahernius and put him to flight. But he retreated to Scotland by sea, and began to lay waste the provinces. And Octavius having got his forces together again, fought with him in the province which is called Westmoreland; but on this occasion, Octavius was thrown into disorder and fled without the victory, and Trahernius pursuing him, deprived him of the crown and kingdom. And then Octavius went to Norway, and besought aid from king Humbert.

[A.D. 315.] Saint Silvester was appointed pope; and occupied the Roman chair twenty-three years, ten months, and eleven days, and the see was vacant fifteen days. This holy man is

A.D. 318.] CONSTANTINE IS BAPTIZED. 189

described as having been of an angelic aspect, elegant in his discourse, holy in his works, great in counsel, a catholic in faith, most patient in hope, liberal in charity, the comfort of orphans and widows, the support of the monks and clergy, the defence of laymen and poor men, the succour of matrons and virgins. His therefore being adorned by such eminent and great virtues, was accounted honourable before God and before man.

[A.D. 316.] The before-mentioned Octavius, being anxious on account of the kingdom that he had lost, issued an edict to his friends, to endeavour with all their efforts to kill Trahernius. At last, when, one day, Trahernius was leaving the city of London, a certain count laid wait for him in one of the suburbs in a valley, and slew him. But Octavius returned into Britain, and having routed the Romans, occupied the kingdom, and governed it peaceably many years.

[A.D. 317.] Saint Silvester, fleeing from the persecution of the emperor Constantine, lay hid in Mount Seraphus.

[A.D. 318.] After Constantine Augustus had made a great slaughter of the Christians, he was violently attacked with leprosy. And as he was advised to make himself a bath of the blood of innocent children, three thousand were brought to him. But their mothers, with dishevelled hair and naked breasts, prostrated themselves before him, groaning and howling, and caused great alarm to him and his nobles. Then the emperor, abhorring such a crime, ordered the children to be restored to their mothers with ample presents, in order that they who had come weeping might return rejoicing. God having regard for this pious action, the next night sent to him the Apostles Peter and Paul, who addressed him in the following manner: "Since, Constantine, you have abhorred the effusion of innocent blood, we are sent by God to give you salutary advice with reference to the recovery of your health; send, therefore, to Silvester, the bishop of the city of Rome, who is lying hid in Mount Seraphus, by whose means, when you have believed in the one God, and have been baptised in the font in the baptismal water, you shall be cleansed from all contagion of leprosy".

The emperor therefore, rising up, caused Silvester to come to him, and carefully related to him all that had been said to, and seen by him. Then the holy Silvester baptised him.

190 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 323.

after he had been strengthened in the faith. And he, rising up from the font, confessed that he had seen Christ, and being perfectly cleansed from his leprosy, ordered by his imperial edict, that the one true Almighty God should be worshipped by the whole city, and that if those who despised this order should be punished.

[A.D. 319.] The emperor Constantine, being now become a Christian, gave leave freely to restore the churches, and to build new ones in honour of Christ; and he gave privileges to the Christians throughout nearly the whole of the Roman empire, so that the Christian people might live in freedom and safety under bishops regularly ordained to their bishoprics.

[A.D. 320.] The Arrian heresy began, so called from Arrius, a presbyter of Alexandria, who, not acknowledging the Son to be co-eternal with the Father, asserted the existence of different substances in the Trinity, saying, that one was greater than the other, in contradiction of that Word of our Lord, "I and the Father are One". To condemn this man, and to re-establish the pure faith, a council of three hundred and eighteen bishops was assembled by Constantine from all quarters of the world.

[A.D. 321.] The most sacred council of Arles was convened, consisting of six hundred bishops; Mauritius being at this time bishop of the aforesaid city.

[A.D. 322.] The heresy of the Donatists arises in Africa, having its beginning from a certain Donatus, who coming from Numidia, deceived nearly all Africa by his persuasive eloquence, asserting that the Son was inferior to the Father, and the Holy Spirit inferior to the Son, and that Catholics required to be baptised again after a lapse.

[A.D. 323.] A great multitude of barbarians was collected together on the river Danube, ready for war against the Romans, which Constantine hearing, prepared an army against them, and went to meet them. And the following night there came to him a person of great splendour, saying to him, "Constantine, look up to Heaven, and see". But he, looking up to Heaven, saw a figure of the Holy Cross, and ordered the figure to march before him, trusting in it, because on it he had seen inscribed, radiant with splendid brightness, "In this sign shalt thou conquer". And when he had seen this sight, he made a cross resembling it, to serve as the imperial

A.D. 329.] POPE SILVESTER CONFOUNDS THE JEWS. 191

standard, a sign full of terror to the enemy; and the barbarians coming on, fell in battle, being miserably slaughtered, and an infinite multitude of them perished. And the Lord gave the victory to Constantine by virtue of the Holy Cross.

[A.D. 324.] Helena, the mother of Constantine, being warned by some divine visions, went to Jerusalem, and diligently looking for the cross of the Lord, instead of one she found three; but the impossibility of distinguishing between the several crosses disturbed her joy at the success of her search. At last, of the three crosses which she had found she was made undoubtedly sure which was the true one, by means of a certain sick woman who was cured by the true cross. The nails by which the body of our Lord had been fastened to the cross, she with maternal affection brought to her son, and bade him make bridle-bits of them, to use in any doubtful war, in order that the prophecy might be fulfilled, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that in the bridle of a horse it shall be called Holy to the Lord".

[A.D. 325.] Constantine built a baptistery at Rome, of wonderful beauty, near the church of the blessed John the Baptist, which was called Constantine's church, where he had formerly been baptised; and he also made a church for the blessed Peter, out of a temple of Apollo, and another for the blessed Paul. He also surrounded the body of each, to the height of five feet, with beautiful brass.

[A.D. 326.] The emperor ordered a church to be built in the Soran palace, which is called Jerusalem, where he deposited a portion of the Holy Cross; also a church to the blessed martyr Agnes, at the request of Constantia his daughter, where Constantia herself, the sister of Augustus, had been baptised.

[A.D. 327.] The same emperor built a church in honour of Saint Lawrence the martyr, in the road to Tibur and the Veranian field, where the martyr was buried.

[A.D. 328.] Pope Silvester enacted that the holy chrism should be reverently consecrated, not by presbyters, but by bishops.

[A.D. 329.] A hundred and twenty of the wisest of the Jews were collected before Constantine and his mother Helena, to argue against pope Silvester, maintaining that the faith of the Christians was groundless, and invented not by God but by men devoid of reason; whom the holy Silvester, supported by a band of twenty-four bishops, manfully resisted and confused

192 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 336.

them all, and rendered them dumb, by the authority of the Old as well as of the New Testament; and the greater part of them, leaving the blindness of Judaism, were converted to the faith of the Trinity which they attacked. Also the faith of many Christians was strengthened by the fact of a ferocious bull which had been slain in a pasture of the Jews, who were unable to recover him, being afterwards restored to life by the blessed Silvester.

[A.D. 330.] The emperor Constantine built a church to the blessed Peter and Paul the Apostles, in the Lavican road, between two bay trees.

[A.D. 331.] The emperor built a mausoleum, constructed with extraordinary beauty, where he afterwards buried his mother, in a most costly sarcophagus.

[A.D. 332.] The emperor built a church in the city of Ostia, near the gate of the city of Rome, in honour of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and Saint John the Baptist, and in the city of Alba he built a church in honour of the same Saint.

[A.D. 333.] The emperor Constantine built a church in the city of Naples, of wonderful beauty, to all the apostles and martyrs; and in Drepana, a city of Bithynia, he built a church in honour of the martyr Lucian. And he ornamented the city with new buildings, and called it Helenopolis, from the name of his mother.

[A.D. 334.] Marcus and Julius are appointed bishops of Rome. The Romans defeated the Goths in the country of the Sarmatia. In consequence of an edict of Constantine, the temples of the gentiles were thrown down.

[A.D. 335.] The emperor Constantine built in Thrace a city, which he honoured with the title of his own name, and destined it to be the seat of the Roman empire, and the capital of the east, and Rome to be the capitol of the world, which last city he bequeathed by will to the blessed Peter and Paul. He also commanded the noblest of the Romans, and nearly the whole body of the senators with their wives and children, to take up their abode in the new Rome, that is, in Constantinople.

[A.D. 336.] Reccius, bishop of Augustina, was greatly celebrated, and Juvencus, a Spanish presbyter, who turned the four books of the Gospels into hexameter verse.

A.D. 343.] JULIUS ELECTED POPE. 193

[A.D. 337.] The emperor ordered (without putting any one to death) that the temples of the pagans should be closed, and all the altars of the gods to be broken to pieces.

[A.D. 338.] Firmian, who is also called Lactantius, a disciple of Arnobius, went to Nicomedia to write a treatise on rhetoric.

[A.D. 339.] James, bishop of the city of Nisibis, who in the council of Nice, with the other bishops, condemned the Arrian heresy, and who was besides the author of many books, flourished with great distinction in the church.

[A.D. 340.] The noble emperor Constantine terminated his life by a glorious death. In which year also, the holy Silvester, going the way of all flesh, departed to the Lord. It was in truth worthy, and altogether suitable, that those who had laboured together so perseveringly for the increase of the church, should together receive the deserved recompense of their labours.

CH. VI.- FROM A.D. 341 TO A.D. 434.

Constantius - Death of Arrius - The bones of St. Andrew and St. Luke are taken to Constantinople - Julian - Eusebius dies - St. Hilary - The bones of John the Baptist are collected - Alaric - Valentinian and Valens - Oltarius, king of Britain, dies - Gratian - Maximianus becomes king of Britain - Conan - The Franks - Pharamond - Death of Athanasius- - Gregory Nazianzen - Basil - Theodosius - Arcadius - Maximus, king of Britain - Death of Maximus - Rufinus - Stilicho - St. Ambrose dies - The Pelagian heresy - St. John Chrysostom - St. Augustine - Honorius - The Nestorian heresy - The Romans abandon Britain - The Scots and Picts invade it.

[A.D. 341.] Constantius with his brothers Constantine and Constans became emperors, and reigned fourteen years. The same year Marcius was elected pope, and occupied the Roman chair two years, eight months, and twenty days.

[A.D. 342.] James, the bishop of Nisibis, a man of great learning, in both the divine and human writings, died. The same year, Saint Nicholas, bishop of the metropolis of Mirrha, departed to Christ.

[A.D. 343.] Julius was elected to the papal chair at Rome, and held it eleven years, two months, and seven days.

194 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 352.

[A.D. 344.] The Arrian impiety persecuted first of all Athanasius, the bishop of the city of Alexandria, and afterwards other eminent bishops, with banishment, imprisonment, and various kinds of affliction.

[A.D. 345.] Maximin, bishop of Treves, flourished, by whom Athanasius was honourably received and protected, while he was being sought for by Constantine, who intended to punish him.

[A.D. 346.] Nectarius, bishop of the church at Vienne, was eminent for his learning and faith; he was the principal person at the council of Arles; and he both taught and preached in the church, that the essence of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost was of one nature, power, divinity, and virtue.

[A.D. 347.] Antony the monk departed to the Lord, in the wilderness, in the hundred and fifth year of his age.

[A.D. 348.] The remains of the blessed Timothy were brought to Constantinople.

[A.D. 349.] While the heretic Arrius, relying on the favour of Constantine, was going to Constantinople to the church, with the intention of contending for his belief, against the faithful in Christ, turning aside in the forum of Constantine to ease himself, he suddenly left his bowels, and his life, and his heresy at once on the same spot.

[A.D. 350.] Constantius having entered Rome, the bones of Saint Andrew the Apostle and of Saint Luke the Evangelist were brought to Constantinople, and deposited there with great honour.

[A.D. 351.] Hilarius, the bishop of Poictiers, who having been driven out by the Arrians, had gone into exile into Phrygia, gives a book to Constantius at Constantinople, and then returned to Gaul.

[A.D. 352.] The heresy of the Anthropomorphites [1] arose in Syria and Macedonia, deriving its origin from a certain Anthropos, who asserted that Jesus had only a human form, and that his Godhead was distinct from his bodily parts; which is contrary to the Catholic faith. About the same time the bishop Paphnutius, a man of eminent virtue, flourished.


[1] There is a manifest mistake in our author's statement here. The sect of the Anthropomorphites derived its name from avthpwpoc, man, and uopon, form, and not from the name of its founder.

A.D. 363.] SERAPION BISHOP OF THANES, DIES. 195

[A.D. 353.] Donatus, a writer and teacher of the art of grammar, was celebrated at Rome.

[A.D. 354.] Eusebius, of Caesarea, in Palestine, a man most learned in the Holy Scriptures, first fell into the Arrian heresy, but afterwards corrected himself before he died.

[A.D. 355.] Eustacius, bishop of Antioch, composed some short works against the Arrian doctrines, and was afterwards banished.

[A.D. 356.] When Eustacius, bishop of Antioch, was banished, Liberius was appointed pope, and occupied the chair at Rome ten years.

[A.D. 357.] Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra, who wrote many things against the Arrians, was accused of the Sabellian heresy, as Hilarius mentions. But he defended himself, denying that he held the heresy of which he was accused.

[A.D. 358.] Basil, bishop of Ancyra, in Macedonia, with Eustacius Sebasteus, was an eminent man, and very skilful in the art of physic.

[A.D. 359.] Lucifer, bishop of Carela, was banished by Constantius, because he would not condemn the Nicene creed. But after he returned from exile, he agreed with the heretics, and, departing from the communion of the church, he shared the fall of his namesake and adviser Lucifer, the star of the morning.

[A.D. 360.] Eusebius, bishop of Vercellae, on account of his confession of faith, was banished by Constantius to Catapolis, and when he returned from exile he was murdered by the treachery of the Arrians.

[A.D. 361.] Hilary, bishop of Poictiers, in Aquitaine, was by the contrivance of Saturninus, bishop of Arles, sent from the council into exile in Phrygia, with the sanction of Constantius, and he there wrote twelve books against the Arrians. And when he returned from exile he wrote a book about the councils, addressed to the bishops of the Gauls.

[A.D. 362.] The emperor Constantius, on account of the persecution of the Arrians, banished Liberius, bishop of the Roman see. And as he was going into exile, Fortunatius, bishop of Aquileia, first tampered with him and corrupted him, and dragged him into subscribing to heresy.

[A.D. 363.] Serapion, bishop of Thanes, a man of elegant

196 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 366.

genius, died, in the reign of Constantius; a man illustrious for his confession of faith.

[A.D. 364.] Acarios, bishop of Neo Caesarea, was so illustrious during the reign of Constantius, that he consecrated Felix bishop of Rome, in the place of Liberius; and he remained so a whole year.

The same year the emperor Constantius died, and Julian succeeded to the empire, and reigned two years and eight months. He having become emperor from having been a priest, fell into the worship of idols, and inflicted martyrdom on the Christians, and, in his fierce hatred, sent them to heaven. And among others who are found to have suffered for the sake of Christ throughout the world, John and Paul endured illustrious martyrdom at Rome. Julian also, out of hatred towards the Christians, allowed the Jews to repair the temple at Jerusalem. And when they, having collected out of all the provinces, were laying new foundations, on a sudden an earthquake took place at night, and all the stones are said to have been shaken from the very bottom of the foundation, and to have been scattered far and wide. Moreover, a ball of fire came out of the inner part of the temple, and threw down many of their houses with the conflagration which it caused.

[A.D. 365.] The pagans at Sebaste, a city of Palestine, entering the sepulchre of the blessed John the Baptist, scattered his bones; they are again collected, and again they scatter them widely over the fields, and burn them. But by the providence of God, some monks from Jerusalem and some other persons were present, who carried off all that they could, and bore them reverently, first to their father Philip, and then to the chief pontiff. At the same time, the apostate Julian ordered the bones of the venerable James, bishop of Nisibis, to be carried out of the city. And not long afterwards, when he was marshalling his army against the Persians, he was slain (by whom is uncertain), and scattering his entrails in the air, he blasphemed Christ the Lord in his frantic fury, crying out, "You have conquered, Gahlean! you have conquered"! This mirade, however, is attributed to the Mother of the Saviour, who admirably executed this revenge by the agency of the blessed Mercurius, her soldier.

[A.D. 366.] Liberius, bishop of the city of Rome, after the

A.D. 373.] VALENS PERSECUTES THE CHRISTIANS. 197

death of Felix, returned from banishment, and again sat in the chair of Peter, and remained there five years. The same year, Jovinian obtained the empire, and held it and reigned one year and eight months. And as he immediately affirmed that he was a Christian, he said that he was unwilling to rule over pagans. And the whole army, which, because of the influence of Julian, had cast off the name of Christ, hearing this, confessed themselves Christians. But a premature death cut short the pious and joyful beginnings of this great emperor. The same year, the council at Antioch was convened, consisting of bishops from Miletus and the districts of Antioch, in which the Macedonian doctrine was wrongfully established; and it derived its name from Macedonius, a bishop of Constantinople, who deemed that the Holy Ghost was God.

[A.D. 367.] Valentinian, with his brother Valens, succeeded to the empire, and reigned ten years. At the same time, Apollinaris, bishop of Laodicea, compiled many books on the subject of our religion; but afterwards, incautiously deviating from the faith, he adopted the heresy which goes by his name, saying that Christ took upon himself only body, without any soul.

[A.D. 368.] The heresy of Photinus and Eunomius flourished. Photinus was bishop of the city of Sira, and asserted that Christ was begotten on Mary, by Joseph, according to the usual matrimonial process.

[A.D. 369.] The Goths in the Danube became divided into two parts, under Frigedern and Alaric. But Frigedern subdued Alaric by the assistance of Valens, and in requital of this assistance, he, from having been a Catholic, became an Arrian with the whole nation of the Goths. At this time, Hilary, bishop of Poictiers, wrote.

[A.D. 370.] Vulfila, bishop of the Goths, being a master of Gothic literature, translated each Testament into his own language.

[A.D. 371.] Damasus was elected to the Roman chair, and occupied it eighteen years, two months, and ten days. And the see was vacant twenty-one days. Pope Damasus was accused of adultery, but was acquitted by forty-four bishops.

[A.D. 372.] Pope Damasus built a church near his palace in honour of Saint Laurence, and adorned it with most sumptuous presents.

[A.D. 373.] Valens, having been baptized by Eudoxius, bishop of the Arrians, persecuted the Christians.

198 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 379.

[A.D. 374.] Pope Damasus built a church at the Catacombs, where the bodies of Saint Peter and Saint Paul lay, and adorned with verses the street in which their holy bodies had been placed.

[A.D. 375.] Octavius, the before-mentioned king of Britain, died, being worn out with old age. He had one only daughter, and no male offspring. Therefore Britain continued some time in a state of dissension, because different people embraced different opinions as to whom they should give the damsel who had the kingdom for her dowry in marriage.

[A.D. 376.] Damasus established a rule of saying in church at the end of the Psalms, "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost".

[A.D. 377.] Gratian became emperor of Rome, and reigned six years. The same year, Ambrosius was consecrated bishop of Milan, and by his industry all Italy was strengthened in the faith of Christ.

[A.D. 378.] Valens and Gratian, having issued a law that the monks should serve in the army, ordered those who refused, to be beaten to death with clubs.

[A.D. 379.] The nobles of Britain, in order to enjoy a lasting peace, sent ambassadors to Rome to invite Maximinianus, a senator, to marry the daughter of Octavius, the king of whom I have before spoken. For he was a Briton on the father's side, being the son of Leolinus, the uncle of Constantine; but on the mother's side he was a Roman; and on both sides he traced his origin up to royal blood. And when the messengers had explained to Maximinianus the cause of their coming, he at once agreed to their proposals, because he was treated in a very hostile manner by Gratian and Valentinian; and on his way to Britain he overthrew the cities and fortifications of the Franks, and reduced them to obedience to himself, and acquired great riches in gold and silver. But when at length he arrived in the port of Southampton, Conan, the grandson of king Octavius, came to meet him with all the youth of the kingdom, intending to fight with him, as he panted with all his heart for the kingly power. But he defeated Conan with the assistance of the Britons, and then they married the daughter of the king to Maximinianus with all due ceremony. But Conan, being beyond measure indignant, went to Scotland, and occupied himself in collecting an army. There, with all

A.D. 387.] JUSTUS DIES IN EGYPT. 199

the whole multitude of his nation, he crossed the river Humber, and began to ravage all the provinces. But Maximinianus coming up, defeated him in battle. However, at length, through the intervention of friends, they made peace.

[A.D. 380.] The Franks uniting with the Romans, defeated the Alemanni, who were in rebellion, between the Danube and the sea of Azov. In reference to which victory, the emperor Valentinian first gave that tribe the name of Franks, in the Achaean language, calling them so from their fierceness, sternness, and boldness. And they, a short time afterwards, as they refused to pay tribute to the Romans, and would not submit to the sovereignty of the Romans, quitted Sicambria, [1] and went to the most distant parts of the river Rhine, to the cities of the Germans, who had been settled there for some years, with their chiefs, Marcomirus and Subnon. And there they elected Pharamond to be their first king, and submitted to the laws which their former chiefs, Guisonastus and Salegastus, had established.

[A.D. 381.] Titus, bishop of Ostia, a most energetic arguer against the Manichaeans, died. The same year, Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, having suffered much ill-treatment from the Arrians under the sanction of the emperor Valentinian, died. Priam, the first king of the Franks, reigned six years.

[A.D. 382.] Theodosius became emperor of Rome; he reigned sixteen years. In his time, Gregory Nazianzen, a most eloquent man, and the teacher of Hieronymus, paid the debt of nature.

[A.D. 383.] Basil of Caesarea, and Effrem, a deacon of the church at Edessa, died.

[A.D. 384.] Saint Martin was born. The same year, Theodosius defeated the Alans, the Huns, and the Goths, in several great battles.

Maximus also defeated the Picts and Scots, who invaded Britain.

[A.D. 385.] The Arrians, unable to bear the emperor Theodosius's study of the faith, after forty years, abandoned the churches which they held by force.

[A.D. 386.] Marcomir, king of the Franks, died, in thirty-four days after he succeeded to the kingdom. Niceta, bishop of Vienne, a most eminent man for learning, flourished.

[A.D. 387.] Justus, bishop of Lyons, who subsequently left


[1] Sicambria was in Lower Germany, on the Rhine.

200 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 390.

his see and chose the life of an anchorite, died in Egypt. The same year, a council of a hundred and fifty fathers was assembled at Constantinople, against the heretic Macedonius, while Damasus remained at Rome.

[A.D. 388.] Siricius was elected to the Roman chair; he held it fifteen years, eleven months, and ten days; and the see was vacant twenty days.

[A.D. 389.] Theodosius associated his son Arcadius with himself as partner in the kingdom. The same year, after the death of Auxentius the bishop, a great defender of the errors of the Arrian sect, when there was a discussion among the Catholics about the election of his successor, and when Ambrosius, a man of consular rank, had come forward to pacify the people, on a sudden the voice of an infant was heard, "That Ambrosius should be the bishop". And presently, Ambrosius, who was at the time a catechumen, was taken and baptized, and eight days afterwards was ordained bishop, to the great joy of the people. And when, not long afterwards, the same Ambrosius was sowing the word of God in the church of God, one of the Arrians saw an angel of God standing at the ear of the bishop, indicating to him what he ought to announce to the people. And when he saw this miracle, he began to defend the faith which he had previously attacked.

[A.D. 390.] Maximus, king of the Britons, in consequence of the vast quantity of gold and silver of which he was possessed, and of his great number of valiant soldiers, was so much elated, that, as his kingdom was not sufficient for him, he became desirous of subduing the country of Gaul, and subjecting it to himself; therefore, having prepared a fleet, he proceeded towards the kingdom of the Armorici, which was afterwards called Lesser Britain (Brittany). And he took with him such a very numerous army, that he left almost the whole of Britain entirely destitute of an armed force. When therefore he had sailed with a fair wind to the before-mentioned country, and had begun to ravage the neighbouring provinces, Unibald, the duke of that country, met him, with fifteen thousand armed men. But at their first meeting he was put to flight, and the greater part of his army was slain. Therefore Maximus summoned over Conan, from whom, as I have said before, he had wrested the kingdom of Britain, and gave him the kingdom of the Armorici, and ordered it to be called Lesser Britain.

A.D. 392.] CONAN SENDS FOR WIVES FOR HIS SOLDIERS. 201

But Conan, thanking him with an inclination of his head, promised to remain futhful in his obedience to him as long as they both should live. Then having united their armies, they manfully reduced the cities and towns under their power. And all that resisted they gave to the flames, and utterly destroyed. And so, as all fled from him, Maximus within one year reduced all that part of Gaul to obedience to himself, sparing, however, the women and children. And he united to himself all whom he was aware were discontented with the existing state of things, and distributing silver and gold among them, he allowed them to exult in their spoils and gains.

[A.D. 391.] Maximus the tyrant, wishing to fill the kingdom which he had taken with British inhabitants, issued an edict, that a hundred thousand men, taken from the common people, should come to him from Britain, in order to fill that country, and also thirty thousand soldiers to defend the bishops, who were already ordained, from the incursions of enemies. And when he had finished everything according to his wish, he divided the land liberally among each of the nations, and also the woods, and the rivers full of fish, with which that region abounded. And committing to Conan the government of the whole people, he appointed him king of that country, and called the country the Lesser Britain, as has been already mentioned. Then Maximus, advancing with his entire forces, penetrated the interior of Gaul, and after some most severe battles subjugated the whole of Germany. And placing the throne of his empire at Treves, he attacked the two emperors with such violence that he slew Gratian, and drove Valentinian from the city of Rome.

[A.D. 392.] Conan, king of the Armorican Bretons, wishing to give wives of his nation to his fellow-soldiers, that they might not form a mixture of races with the Gauls, sent to Dionotus, king of Cornwall, to whom Maximus had entrusted Britain in his absence, to desire him to manage this matter, and to send the damsels to him with speed. Dionotus therefore, having received the message of Conan, collected throughout all the provinces the daughters of the nobles to the number of eleven thousand; and of others sprang from the lower orders to the number of six thousand, all of whom embarked on board ship at London. There were, however, some of them who, preferring chastity to marriage, would have chose

202 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 393.

rather to lose their lives than to be married to husbands, however noble, in this manner. When, therefore, the fleet entered the sea by the mouth of the river Thames, a sudden tempest arose, and they all began to be in danger, and the greater part of them were drowned. And eleven thousand virgins, who are said to have suffered at Cologne after this disaster, fell in with the lawless army of Wannius, king of the Huns, and of Melga, duke of the Picts, who by the orders of Gratian were oppressing the Maritime nations with terrible cruelty. These troops, meeting with the before-mentioned damsels, and beholding their beauty, desired to wanton with them. And when the damsels had refused, and had in a most Christian spirit looked with due disdain on the pagans, both armies rushed upon them. And in this way the chaste band, being cut to pieces with bloody swords, went to the kingdom of heaven as martyrs.

Then the wicked generals, when they had learnt that the island of Britain was destitute of armed soldiers, march thither, and invade the kingdom, which was without any ruler or defender. For Maximian had taken away with him, as I have already stated, all the soldiers and warlike youth, leaving only the unwarlike rustics in the country; and the chiefs, whom I have spoken of, making vast slaughter of the common people, began to lay waste the towns and cities. When therefore this sad calamity was announced to Maximus, [1] he sent the senator Gratian with two legions, who routed the enemy with enormous slaughter, and drove them to Ireland. In the meantime, Maximus having been killed at Rome, the Britons who were with him fled to their fellow-citizens in Lesser Britain. Gratian therefore, when he heard of the death of Maximus, assumed the crown, and made himself king. After this, he behaved with such cruelty to the Britons, that the people assembled and murdered him; and after he was dead, the enemies who have been mentioned before, returned and afflicted Britain with most terrible and lasting oppression.

[A.D. 393.] There flourished in the church of God, Gregory Nazianzen, Gregory of Nyssa, Hilary of Poictiers, Martin of


[1] There is a great confusion of names in this account; our Chronicler sometimes speaks of Maximus, sometimes of Maximian. It is plain that we are always to understand Maximus to be the person meant.

A.D. 401.] THE HEBESY OF THE MESSALIANS. 203

Tonx, Ambrose of Milan, Jerome, abbot of Bethlehem, and Pachomius, abbot of Egypt.

[A.D. 394.] The chronicles of Jerome and those of Gennadius begin. The same year, Saint Patrick, a Scot, was sold as a slave into Ireland, with his sisters; and he became the swineherd of the king, in which situation he was often honoured with conferences with the angels.

[A.D. 395.] As Jerome translated the sacred scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments into the Latin language, the edition of the seventy translators began to be less thought of.

[A.D. 396.] The bodies of the prophets Habakkuk and Micah are discovered.

[A.D. 397.] The bodies of the martyrs Nazarius and Celsus were found at Milan by Ambrose, and taken up.

[A.D. 398.] On the death of Theodosius the great emperor, Arcadius and Honorius, his sons, succeeded to the empire, and reigned fourteen years; and they dividing the monarchy of the world between them, placed the principal seats of their government, the one at Rome and the other at Constantinople. And in their time Donatus, the bishop of Epirus, was eminent for his virtues, who killed a savage dragon by spitting in his month: a monster so large, that as it was desirable to destroy him, lest he should taint the air, eight yoke of oxen could scarcely drag it to the place where it was to be burnt.

[A.D. 399.] Ambrose first appointed hymns to be sung in the church; and at the same time Arsenius, from having been a senator, became a monk. About the same time the temples of the Gentiles, at the command of Theodosius, were destroyed throughout the world, and in their stead temples of Christ are built in every direction.

[A.D. 400.] Rufinus, the commander of the oriental army, being carried away by the desire of empire, and rebelling, from a hope of attaining the chief power, was slain by Stilicho, the commander of the western army; of whose death the admirable poet Claudian thus speaks:

"No longer do I grieve that wicked men
Rise to the topmost height of prosperous power
They are but raised to fall more fatally".

[A.D. 401.] The heresy of the Messalians arose; of those men, that is to say, who say that devils can be driven out of men by merely speaking to them.

204 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 407.

[A.D. 402.] There was a certain heretic, by name Eunomios, who presumed to baptise by immersion, saying that people ought to be baptised, not in the name of the Trinity, but in that of the death of Christ; and he used to rebaptise those who had been baptised in the Trinity.

[A.D. 403.] Saint Ambrose finished his life gloriously, and his actions and character are described in clear language to the bishop Augustine by Paul, bishop of Nola. At the same time, Sisinnius and Alexander received the crown of martyrdom in Italy. About the same time, Stilicho, wishing to disturb the peace of the emperor, appointed Alaric, the king of the Goths, his master of the soldiers.

[A.D. 404.] The Pelagian heresy arose, which was originated by a certain Pelagius, a native of Britain. He taught that men could be saved without the grace of God, by their own merits, and that every man was guided to justice by his own will; that infants are born without original sin, and are as innocent as Adam was before his fall; and that they require to be baptised, not in order to be freed from sin, but that they may be admitted to the kingdom of God by adoption; though, even if they were not baptised, there could still be for them a happy and everlasting life out of the kingdom of heaven. That Adam was injured by his own sin alone, and that he died, not because of his offence as deserving of death, but because of the condition of his nature, as he would have died even if he had not sinned. He affirmed also, that all prayers which are offered by the church, whether for the faithful or for infidels, are vain.

[A.D. 405.] Anastasius was appointed to the Roman chair, and he occupied it two years and twenty-six days, and the see was vacant twenty-one days. The same year, the abbot Pachovius ended his life in virtue, in the hundred and tenth year of his age.

[A.D. 406.] John Chrysostom was very eminent in the church of Christ; at the same time also, John, bishop of Constantinople, and Theoplitus, bishop of Alexandria, flourished.

[A.D. 407.] A boy was born in a fortress of Judaea, by name Emmaus, perfect from the navel, and divided upwards, so that he had two bosoms, and two sets of arms, two heads, and each body had its own separate sensations. But when one ate the other did not eat, when one slept the other was awake; they played at the same time, and they lived nearly to the age

A.D. 417.] COUNT CONTSTANTIUS EXPELS THE GOTHS. 205

of manhood. But after a time one body died, and the other survived it three days. The same year, Innocent the First was made pope, and he sat in the Roman chair fifteen years, two months, and twenty days; and the see was vacant fifteen days.

[A.D. 408.] Innocent, bishop of the city of Rome, dedicated a church to the most blessed martyrs Gervasius and Prothatius; which was built by the devotion of a most illustrious woman, by name Vestina.

[A.D. 409.] Pope Innocent made a rule that the kiss of peace should be given at mass, and that the oil for the sick should be consecrated by the bishop.

[A.D. 410.] Saint Alexius flourished at Rome; a man who left his bride on the first night of his marriage, and travelled eighteen years for Christ's sake.

[A.D. 411.] Saint Augustine, bishop of Hippo, was very much distinguished in the church of Christ for learning and sanctity.

[A.D. 412.] Honorius succeeded Arcadius the emperor, and reigned twenty years.

[A.D. 413.] The heresy of the Priscillanists arose, which was originated by a certain Priscillus, who connected men with stars that influenced their fate; and who affirmed that the human body itself was arranged with reference to the twelve signs of the zodiac; placing Aries in the head, Taurus in the neck, Gemini in the shoulders, and Cancer in the breast; in this manner running through all the limbs down to the feet, which he assigned to the fishes. He despised marriage and the use of meat. He also attributed the creation of human flesh not to God, but to the evil angels.

[A.D. 414.] Honorius the emperor appointed Constantius, his comrade, master of his army; who, in the first place, going into Gaul, took Constantine prisoner at Arles, and put him to death.

[A.D. 415.] The heresy of Pelagius came to an audience of pope Innocent, and gave rise to a council of two hundred and twenty-four bishops of Carthage; which convicted and condemned it.

[A.D. 416.] Orosius, a presbyter and historian, flourished, who was sent by Saint Augustine to Saint Jerome, to learn the theory of the soul.

[A.D. 417.] Count Constantius, being at Arles, and displaying great energy in the transaction of affairs there, expelled the

206 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 426.

Goths, who were commanded by Atavulfas, the husband of Placida, from Narbonne, and compelled them to retire into Spain.

[A.D. 418.] Lucian, the presbyter, flourished with great distinction. He wrote a treatise on the revelation of Stephen, the proto-martyr, and of his companions, in the Greek language; which afterwards Avitus, a Spanish presbyter, translated into Latin. He also sent by Orosius the remains of the blessed Stephen to the western nations.

[A.D. 419.] Anianus, bishop of Aurelia, flourished, who by his prayers delivered the citizens of Aurelia from the Huns.

[A.D. 420.] The Britons, unable to endure the hostile attacks of the Scots, Picts, and Norwegians, sent to Rome requesting aid; and a legion is immediately sent to them, which slew a vast multitude of the barbarians, and expelled them from the borders of Britain. After that, for the sake of repelling the enemy, they built a wall between the two seas, which, however, as it was made more of turf than of stone, was of no use to the Britons in their works, without a commander. For presently, when the Romans departed, the enemies whom I nave spoken of arrived again in ships, and cut down, laid waste, overthrew and destroyed everything that they met with.

[A.D. 421.] Pharamund became king of the Franks, and he reigned eleven years. Again the Britons implored assistance from the Romans, who came and drove the enemy back to the sea, and uniting themselves, the Britons made the wall solid with stone, and extended it from sea to sea; they also all along the shore of the southern sea placed numerous towers at intervals, and fortified the country; and then bade farewell to their companions, as not intending to return again.

[A.D. 422.] Zozimus was made pope. He sat in the Roman chair three years, eight months, and twenty-five days. And the see was vacant eleven days.

[A.D. 423.] Jerome the presbyter ended his life in sanctity, the last day of September, in the ninety-first year of his age.

[A.D. 424.] Macharius, an Egyptian monk, was eminent for wonders and virtue.

[A.D. 425.] Boniface was appointed pope. He occupied the chair at Rome three years, eight months, and thirteen days. And the see was vacant nine days.

[A.D. 426.] Severus, the presbyter, by name Sulpitius, who

A.D. 434.] THE ROMANS WITHDRAW FROM BRITAIN. 207

wrote a book about the life of the blessed Martin, died. He in his old age was seduced by the Pelagians, but, acknowledging his fault in having been too talkative, he kept silence to the day of his death, making amends by his silence for the evil that he had done by talking.

[A.D. 427.] Coelestinus was appointed pope. He occupied the Roman chair seven years, one month, and nine days. And the see was vacant twenty-one days. The same year, Theodosius the younger succeeded to the empire, and reigned twenty-seven years.

[A.D. 428.] Valentinian the younger, the son of Constantius, was created emperor at Ravenna, and Placida, his mother, had the title of Augusta given her.

[A.D. 429.] Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, revealed his faithless heresy. He asserted that the blessed Virgin Mary was not the mother of God, but only of a man, so that he made one person of the flesh, and another of the Deity. And he did not believe that there was one only Christ in the world and in the flesh; but he preached that there were two separate persons, one the Son of God, and the other the Son of Man.

[A.D. 430.] The devil appeared to the Jews in Crete in the figure of Moses, and promised to lead them across the sea with dry feet to the land of promise; and then exulted when many lost their lives. The rest who were saved were all converted to Christ.

[A.D. 431.] The ferocious nations of the Vandals, Alans, and Goths crossed over from Spain to Africa, and polluted every place with fire, and sword, and rapine, and also with Arrian impiety. But the blessed Augustine, bishop of Hippo, and likewise an illustrious teacher of all the churches, departed to the Lord in the third month of the siege of Hippo, to escape seeing the ruin of his city.

[A.D. 432.] The Vandals, after having taken Carthage, devastated Sicily. The same year, Clodoveus became king in Gaul, and reigned seventeen years.

[A.D. 433.] Palladius was ordained by pope Coelestinus, and sent as the first bishop to the Scots who believed in Christ.

[A.D. 434.] When the Romans withdrew from Britain, the Picts and Scots returned with the Norwegians and Dacians, and took possession of the whole island, which was almost

208 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 435.

destitute of all its original inhabitants, from the northern coast as far down as the wall which the Romans had erected for the defence of the country. And after this, the enemy attacked the wall, and loosened its joints, and with iron hooks threw down the Britons who were placed on the high ramparts of the walls to resist it, against the bulwarks. For they were without a ruler; ignorant how to fight, and always inclined to flee. On which account, those who were able to escape from this calamity sought hiding-places in the thicknesses of the groves, in lairs and secret places of the earth. At last, when they had abandoned their cities, the miserable people were torn to pieces like lambs by wolves. Why need I dwell on the story? They again sent a letter filled with tearful lamentations to AEtius, the Roman governor and consul, which contained these words among others:-

"The groans of the Britons to AEtius, the consul, greeting".

"The sea drives us on the barbarians, and the barbarians drive us to the sea; and between the two, two kinds of death arise. We are either drowned or stabbed".

But when the Romans had told them that they were not inclined any longer to exhaust themselves with such laborious expenses for them, the messengers departed in grief, and reported their repulse to their fellow-citizens.

These are the transactions of the eighth year of the reign of the younger Theodosius. In this year the tribute of Britain ceased, which had been paid to the Roman senate ever since the time of Julius Geesar.

CH. VII.- FROM A.D. 435 TO A.D. 464.

The Britons receive a king from Brittany - Attila - Vortigern - Saint Germain - Wars between the Britons and the Picts and Scots - The Saxons are invited into Britain - Meroveus, king of the Franks - The Saxons arrive in Britain - Are defeated by Vortigern - The council of Chalcedon - Vortimer - Horso - Hengist - Death of Vortimer - Return of Hengist - The Saxons destroy the British Churches - Merlin.

[A.D. 435.] Guithelin, archbishop of London, flourished, a man remarkable for his learning and virtues. He, as soon as he was made aware of the calamitous state of Britain, and of its desertion by the Romans, being filled with pity, crossed the sea to the Lesser Britain, which had formerly been called

A.D. 435.] ALDROENUS SENDS TROOPS TO BRITAIN. 209

Armorica, or Laecania, to entreat assistance for his brethren. The king of that country at that time was Aldroenus, the fourth successor of Conan, to whom the tyrant Maximus had given that kingdom. And he, when he saw that venerable man, received him with due honour. But the archbishop, relating the cause of his arrival, burst into tears, and said, "Your nobleness is sufficiently aware, O king, how Maximus, who conferred this kingdom on you and your predecessors, deprived our island of its soldiers, and also robbed it of its men and women of the highest rank, and we and our fellow citizens have suffered great misery, having become a mere object of prey and plunder to all nations. We are not only oppressed by the enemy, but we are dying of hunger, being deprived of every sort of food, except what we can obtain by our skill in hunting".

"We, therefore, cut off from all other hope, approach your grace, most serene king, imploring you to come in person to bring us assistance; and to dispose of the kingdom, which will then be your due after you have expelled the barbarians, at your own pleasure; and to govern the people, and to restore to its ancient state a country which in old time subjugated very distant kingdoms". And when the archbishop, in a very long speech, had said this and a great deal more, the king replied in the following manner:-

"There was once a time when I would not have refused to receive the island of Britain, but now that disasters have fallen on it, it has become less valuable in my eyes, and odious in those of my nobles. But because my grandfathers and great-grandfathers possessed that island, I give you my brother Constantine, and two thousand soldiers with him. And if God permit, he will deliver the country from its enemies, and, being invested with the crown, he will possess the kingdom, with honour and glory". The king had scarcely made an end of speaking, when the archbishop addressed Constantine, a man of great reputation as a soldier, in the following cheerful words:- "Christ is victorious! Christ is king! Christ is emperor! May the grace of Christ, therefore, stand by the king of Britain, who is our defence, that he may restore our miserable island to its former dignity". In short, ships were made ready on the shore, and the number of troops that I have already stated was enlisted from the different parts of the

210 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 442

kingdom. And they having embarked and set sail, landed prosperously in the harbour of Totness. And not long after, the Britons who had been dispersed in caves and hiding-places flocked together, and engaging the enemy in battle, gained the victory by the energy of the new king and the merits of the blessed Guithelin.

After this, an assembly was held at Chichester, where they raised Constantine to the throne, and gave him a wife descended from a noble race of Roman blood, who had been educated by the care of the blessed Guithelin, archbishop of London; and by her, in process of time, he had three illustrious sons, namely, Constans, Aurelius Ambrosius, and Uther Pendragon. Constans, his first-born, he devoted to God, giving him to the church of Amphibalus, at Winchester, when he took upon himself the orders of a monk; Aurelius Ambrosius and Pendragon he committed to the archbishop of London to be educated.

[A.D. 436.] Sixtus became pope. He sat in the Roman chair eight years and eighteen days. He rebuilt in an admirable manner the church of Saint Mary, the Mother of the Lord, which had originally been a temple of Liber Pater.

[A.D. 437.] Eudoxia, the wife of Theodosius, the emperor, returned from Jerusalem, bringing with her the remains of the blessed proto-martyr Saint Stephen, which were found in the church of Saint Lawrence, and are piously worshipped by the faithful.

[A.D. 438.] Bleda and Attila, who were brothers, and kings of many nations, laid waste Illyricum and Thrace.

[A.D. 439.] Maximus, bishop of Turin, flourished, a man of great learning in the Holy Scriptures.

[A.D. 440.] Petronius, bishop of Bologna, in Italy, a man of great holiness of life, deeply versed in monastic studies, and highly accomplished in secular literature, died.

[A.D. 441.] Julian, the bishop, and Coelestine, flourished, being both followers of Pelagius.

[A.D. 442.] Leporius, a presbyter, adopted the doctrine of Pelagius, presuming on the purity of his own life, by which, of his own will alone and through his own unassisted efforts, without any assistance from God, he thought that he had obtained grace. At length, however, he was convinced of his error, and composed a book of recantation, written in the spirit of the true Catholic faith.

A.D. 445.] VOBTIGERN SCHEMES TO GAIN THE CROWN. 211

[A.D. 443.] Leo the First became bishop of Rome, and sat in the Roman chair twenty-one years, one month, and nine days. And the see was vacant twenty-one days.

[A.D. 444.] Victor of Marseilles, an orator, who wrote a book on Genesis addressed to his son AEthereus, but who was not possessed of much learning in the Holy Scriptures, died.

[A.D. 445.] Constantine, king of the Britons, one day, when he was going out hunting, was assassinated with a knife by a certain Pict, who was in his train, in a very dense thicket. On his death, a dissension arose among the nobles as to who should be raised to the kingdom; for the sons of the deceased king, Aurelius Ambrosius and Uther Pendragon, had been sent into Lesser Britain to be educated. And even if they had been present, they would have been incapable of becoming kings, because of their tender age. Then Vortigern, the consul of the Genvisei, who was labouring with all his might to become king, went to Winchester, and took Constans, the monk, the son of Constantine, out of the cloister, and conducted him to London, and, although the people scarcely approved of the measure, because he was a monk, raised him to the kingdom. For Guithelin, the archbishop of London, was dead, and there was no one else who would have presumed to make him king. But Vortigern took upon himself the part of a bishop, and with his own hands placed the crown on his head.

Constans, therefore, being made king, committed the regulation of all the affairs of the kingdom to Vortigern. But Vortigern, being a crafty man, committed the castles and fortifications of the kingdom to his own guards, and began to deliberate with himself how he might most cunningly betray the king. Therefore, he took the treasures of the king into his own custody, and every day he augmented the number of his soldiers and servants. Then he wrote to the king, and advised him to take into his service a hundred Picts (whom he knew to be inclined and ready for any kind of fraud or treachery), to protect his person day and night from any attack of his enemies.

The king having given his consent, the before-mentioned number of Picts was admitted into the private household of the king. And Vortigern enriched them to such a degree with military pay, and so pampered them with the most delicate food, that they almost adored him, and used to assert loudly

212 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 446.

in the streets that he was the man who deserved the empire. When, then, Vortigern perceived that he had acquired the good-will of all classes, he one day invited all these men to a feast, saying with tears that he was going to leave Britain, because he had not revenue enough of his own to provide pay for fifty soldiers. Then departing, as if out of spirits, to his own house, he left them drinking in the hall. But the Picts, having heard his address to them, murmured among one another, saying, "Why should we not kill that monk, so that Vortigern may become master of the kingdom"? Therefore they all, being drunk, rose up, and attacked the king. And when they had slain him, they brought the head of the monarch to Vortigern. But when Vortigern saw it, he burst into tears, as if grieved at the sight, in order to disguise his treachery imder the veil of tears. Then, as soon as these things had taken place, he convoked the citizens of London, and ordered these Picts to be put to death, that is, to be decapitated, in order to excuse himself from having had any share in this wickedness. At length, when he saw that he had no rival to dread, he placed on his own head the crown of Britain, and became the superior of all the princes of the land. Now, when he was thus raised to the throne, the moral pestilence of all kinds of wickedness began to increase; shameful wickedness stalked abroad, and hatred of truth, and contempt of God, and litigiousness, and rivalry in luxury and crime, so that Vortigern himself appeared to be a vessel containing all kinds of wickedness, and (what is above all things contrary to the honour of a king) he depressed the nobles, and promoted those who were base both in manners and extraction, and so became odious both to God and men.

[A.D. 446.] The Pelagian heresy, which had been introduced by Agricola, a disciple of Pelagius, polluted the faith of the Britons, with its foul pestilence. But the Britons, as they were neither willing in any degree to receive a perverse doctrine, blaspheming the grace of Christ; and on the other hand were not able by reasoning to refute the crafty wickedness of argument, adopted a salutary counsel, of seeking aid in their spiritual warfare from the Galician bishops. Wherefore, a numerous council was collected in that country, and a man was sought for who might be sent to Britain to succour the faith. At last, by the judgment of the whole synod, some

A.D. 446.] PELAGIANISM REFUTED. 213

priests were selected to be sent thither as apostles, namely, Germanus, bishop of Altisiodoria, and Lupis, bishop of the city of Troyes, who hastened to Britain to confirm the faith of the church. When they with prompt devotion had yielded to the prayers and injunctions of the holy church, they set sail on the ocean, and although with labour and danger, they in a short time crossed the sea, and enjoyed the wished-for shore in quiet. Then they convened a synod at Verolamium, and an immense multitude of men, with even their wives and children, came thither to the summons. The people was assembled, the judge who was to preside was waited for, the parties were present similar though in unequal condition; for on one side was divine faith, on the other human presumption; on one side Christ, on the other Pelagius, the author of the perverse error.

As the first step, the blessed priests gave their adversaries liberty of arguing, and of proposing what they pleased, and they permitted them to give utterance to their chattering loquacity; so they, with naked, unmeaning words, long and fruitlessly wasted the time, and tired the ears of the auditors. Then the venerable priests, overflowing with eloquence, poured upon them with showers from the Gospels and words of the Apostles. They also mingled their own arguments with the divine ones, and followed up their modest assertions with testimonies, which they read. Vanity is convicted, perfidy is confounded and refuted, so that, not being able to answer, they confess at each objection that is alleged against them, that they have erred. The people who witness the conference, can hardly restrain themselves from violence, and bear their testimony in favour of the decision with uproar. After that day, that cunning superstition was so thoroughly eradicated from the minds of all men, that they embraced with thirsty desire the doctrine of the priests and of the orthodox believers. Therefore that damnable sin having been checked, and its authors confuted, and the minds of all men settled in purity of faith and consolidated in unity, the honest priests sought the blessed Alban, with the intent of returning thanks to God by his intervention; that now that they were victorious, they might discharge their devoted feelings of gratitude to that person whose assistance they had implored when entering upon the contest.

214 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 447.

But when the blessed Germanus anrived at the martyr's tomb, having with him relics of all the apostles and of the different martyrs, having made a speech, he ordered the sepulchre to be opened, with the intention of placing his precious offerings in it, thinking it suitable that the hospitable receptacle of the tomb of one saint, should contain the limbs of the saints collected from different countries, whom heaven had received as equal in merit. And when they had been honourably deposited and regularly placed together, from the very place where the blood of the martyr had been shed, the priest took up a mass of dust to carry away, in which there was visible blood which had been preserved, and was red from the corpse of the martyr, while his persecutor was pale. But the priest, after he had consummated everything prosperously according to his wish, and having properly arranged everything, which was previously in confusion, returned with joy to his own land, being a grateful acceptor of the kindness of God, and of the blessed Alban, the proto-martyr of the English, to whom he ascribed the victory, and preaching tidings of great joy. And after these things had happened in this manner, an innumerable multitude of each sex was converted to the Lord.

[A.D. 447.] When the wickedness of king Vortigern, and the fickleness of his mind, had become known to all the nations round about, the Scots from the west and the Picts from the north rose in insurrection against him (for Vortigern had slain a hundred of their fellow-citizens). And they kept over-running the kingdom of Britain with the most active hostility and incessant diligence. For, destroying everything by fire and sword, with plunder and ravages, they wore out the offending nation, because the nature of the country favoured their disdain of them; and in this way the wicked people as well as the king, was involved in one common vengeance. And those of the miserable people, who were not affected by their ruption of the enemy, were utterly destroyed by a terrible famine, so that they were ground down and crushed as it were between two millstones. While the pestilence was at its height, the sword also came upon them so fiercely, that the living were not sufficient even to bury the dead. Therefore the king, with a desolate people, exhausted by warlike attacks, not knowing what to do against the irruption of the enemy, began to despair. At length it was decided by all to invite the nation of the

A.D. 448.] THE ISLAND OF BRITAIN TRANQUILLIZED. 215

Saxons from the parts beyond the sea, to their assistance. And it is plain that it was so arranged by the divine providence, in order that evil might come against wicked men, as in fact, the event plainly showed. In the meantime, ambassadors were sent that the business which had been already discussed might be concluded.

[A.D. 448.] The Picts and Scots united their forces and undertook the war against the Britons. But as the Britons judged that their army would be unequal to that of the enemy, they implored the aid of the holy priests Germanus and Lupus. At last, when the greater portion of their army was preparing to take arms and to make ready for war, Germanus promised to act as their general. He selects men without any baggage, he reconnoitres the adjacent country, and from the side from which the arrival of the enemy is expected, he sees a valley surrounded with mountains, in which he, as general of the British host, marshals his new army. And now the fierce multitude of the enemy was at hand, and those who had been placed in ambush saw it approaching. Then on a sudden, Germanus, as their standard bearer, exhorts them, and bade them all reply to his words with one shout. So the priests all shouted, repeating Hallelujah three times. One shout from the whole multitude ensues, and the enclosed confined spaces within the mountains, reverberating with the crash, re-echoed the swelling cry; the army of the enemy is panic-struck, and thinking, in their fear, that not only the surrounding rocks, but that the very vault of heaven itself is coming down upon them, are thrown into such alarm, that the speed of their feet was scarcely thought sufficient. They fled in every direction, they threw away their arms, glad to save even their naked bodies out of danger. The river which they had to cross showed that numbers in their headlong flight had been drowned in that. The army, without striking a single blow, beholds its vengeance, and becomes a leisurely spectator of the victory which is offered to it. The spoils which have been thrown down are gathered up, and the religious soldier embraces the joys of the heavenly victory. The pontiffs triumph over the enemy thus thrown into confusion without bloodshed; they triumph also in a victory won by faith and not by armies.

The island therefore being now tranquillised, and in the enjoyment of complete security, and all enemies, whether invisible

216 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 449.

or manifest in the flesh, being subdued, they prepare to return with all convenient speed to their own country, from which they had been summoned; and their own merits, and the intercession of the blessed martyr Alban, secured them a favourable voyage, and a prosperous passage restored them in tranquillity to their longing friends.

This year Meroveus became king of the Franks, and he reigned ten years.

[A.D. 449.] The nation of Angles or Saxons having been invited by king Vortigern, arrive in Britain in their ships of war, and receive a place of abode in the eastern part of the island from the king, as being about to fight for his country. They therefore accepted the district when the Britons gave it to them, on condition that they should fight for the safety and peace of the country, against all enemies, and that the Britons themselves should furnish them with sufficient pay while doing military service. They came from the three most warlike tribes of Germany, that is, from the Saxons, the Angles, and the Jutes. From the Jutlanders the men of Kent and the Wictuarii are descended; the latter tribe is that which possesses the Isle of Wight, and those parts, which to this day, in the province of the West Saxons, are called the country of the Jutes, lying opposite the Isle of Wight itself. But the East Saxons, the South Saxons, and the West Saxons came from that part of Saxony which is now called the country of the old Saxons.

Moreover, from the Angles, that is to say, from that district which is called Angulus (the corner), and which from that time to the present day, as it is said, has remained deserted. Between the provinces of the Jutlanders and the Saxons, come the East Angles, the Midland Angles, and the other tribes of the Angles claim their origin from the nation of the Northumbrian Mercians, which dwells to the north of the river Humber.

Their leaders are reported to have been two brothers. Hengist and Horsa, who were the sons of Withgisius, whose frtther was Witha, the son of Wetha, the son of Woden, from whose blood the royal family of many provinces derived their origin. And when at last they were brought into the presence of the king, he asked of them what faith and what religion their fathers had espoused. And Hengist replied, "We worship their national gods, that is to say, Saturn and Jupiter, and the

A.D. 450.] THE SCOTS AND PICTS RAVAGE BRITAIN. 217

rest of those deities who govern the world, and most especially Mercury, whom we call Woden. To him our ancestors dedicated the fourth day of the week, which to this day is called Wodenesday. Next to him, we worship that goddess who is the most powerful of all the goddesses, named Frea, after whose name we call the day Friday. But Frea, as some people assert,, is the same as Venus, and is called Frea as if it were Froa, from Frodos, which means the foam of the sea, from which, according to some authors, Venus was born. On which account the same day is also called the day of Venus". Vortigern replied to this, "I am greatly grieved at your barbarism (it might be more properly termed your infidelity), but I am rejoiced at your arrival, because either God or some one else has brought you hither in a suitable time for my necessity. For my enemies oppress me on all sides; and if you will share with me the labour of my battles, I will maintain you honourably in my kingdom, and I will enrich you with all kinds of gifts and with lands". The barbarians agreed at once to his proposal, and having made a treaty with him, they remained at his court.

The same year, news was brought to Britain that the Pelagian error had again sprung up under the influence of a few promoters of it. Again the prayers of the Britons are borne to the blessed Germanus, that he would condescend to undertake the cause of God and the contest in this spiritual warfare. He promptly assents to their petition, taking with him Severus, a man of proved sanctity, who was a disciple of the most blessed father Lupus, and who was then ordained bishop of Treves. The two together set sail, and, as the elements are favourable, they reach the shores of Britain with a prosperous voyage. And Germanus, by the antidote of his preaching, heals the wounds of infidelity, and the medicine of learning cures the apostasy of blasphemy. And all those erroneous opinions are condemned with their authors. And the consequence was, that from that time forward the faith remained inviolate in that country. Accordingly, all things being now settled, the blessed priests returned successfully to that country from which they had come.

[A.D. 450.] After the departure of the most blessed pontiffs from Britain, the Scots and Picts, rising again from deaths collected an enormous army from the north and began to

218 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 450.

ravage the northern parte of the island. And when news of this was brought to Vortigern, he collected soldiers and marched across the Humber to meet them, and there was no great necessity for the citizens to fight; for the Saxons who were present, fought so gallantly, that the enemies who were previously accustomed to be victorious, were now at once put to flight. Vortigern, therefore, having gained the victory by their means, increased his donations to them, and gave their general, Hengist, a great deal of land in Lyndenscia (Lincolnshire), to support himself and his comrades. But Hengist, as he was a crafty man, having ascertained the good-will which the king bore him, addressed him in this manner:- "My lord king, your enemies are disquieting you on every side, and threatening you, and saying that they will bring over Ambrosius Aurelius from the country of Armorica (Brittany), in order, when they have deposed you, to promote him to be king. If you please, therefore, we will send to our own country, and invite troops from thence, that our number may be increased".

The king then adopted their advice and request, and desired Hengist to send to Germany, in order that the soldiers, who were invited over from thence, might bring speedy aid to his timidity. Accordingly, without any delay, an embassy was sent to Germany, and the messengers, when they returned, brought with them eighteen ships filled with picked soldiers. They also brought the daughter of Hengist, Rowena by name, with whose beauty Vortigern was so charmed, that he begged her of her father. And Hengist, when he knew how easily moved the mind of the king was, granted him his daughter. Therefore Satan entered into his heart, inasmuch as he, being a Christian, was desirous to marry a pagan wife. So the king that very night married a pagan wife, who charmed him exceedingly. On which account he incurred the enmity of his nobles and his sons. He had previously had sons by another wife, whoso names were Vortimer, Catigern, and Pascentias. He had also a daughter by the same wife, whom he himself married, and had a daughter by her, for which he was excommunicated by Saint Germanus, and by the whole convention of bishops.

The same year, as Sigisbert writes in his chronicle, Saint Germanus, having come to Ravenna, for the sake of the peace of the Armorican nation, and having been received with reverence

[A.D. 453.] HENGIST's ADVICE TO VORTIGERN. 219

by Valentinian and his mother Placida, departed to Christ, and his body was brought by a worshipful band of saints and by companies of religious men, on account of his great virtue, to Altisiodorum. At which time, Severus, a presbyter, a man of great eminence on account of the miracles which he wrought, by having destroyed a temple of idols, where Gentile error adored a hundred gods with an insane worship, built a church to the blessed proto-martyr, Stephen, that it might be consecrated before the gates of Vienne. But as he was waitmg for the return of the blessed Germanus from Ravenna, as he had engaged that he should come to the dedication of it, it so fell out that on the day of dedication, before the offices were begun, the body of that blessed confessor of Christ was brought through Vienne, and was borne into this identical new church, for the sake of resting there; and in this manner, it is well known that the engagement of the man of God was fulfilled. The miracles and eminent acts of virtue which God wrought in Britain by that blessed man, the account which has been written of his life will enable those to judge who wish to do so. But Bede, in his History of England, relates that he departed this life in the sixth year of the reign of Marcianus, which is eight years later than this.

[A.D. 451.] Philip, a presbyter and disciple of the blessed Jerome, who wrote some commentaries on the book of Job in plain, simple language, ended his life.

[A.D. 452.] Theodosius the emperor died, and Marcian and Valentinian succeeded him, and reigned six years. At the beginning of their reign, the Council of Chalcedon was held, owing to the exertions of the blessed Pope Leo, when Eutyches, with Dioscorus, bishop of Alexandria, were publicly convicted and condemned. But Eutyches was abbot of Constantinople, and denied that Christ, after his assumption of humanity, existed in two natures, asserting that the divine nature was the only one that was in him.

[A.D. 453.] Hengist, when he had married his daughter to Vortigern, addressed him in this manner, saying, "Listen to my advice, and let us invite hither my son Octa with his cousin Abissa, for they are warlike men, and will subdue countries for you, which you may give them, to hold of you; those, for instance, which are in the northern parts of Britain, near the wall, between Deira and Scotland; and they being

220 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 455.

there, will check the incursions of the barbarians, and so you will remain in peace on this side of the Humber". Vortigern consented, and immediately they sent ambassadors, and they who had been invited, namely, Octa, Abissa, and Cerditius, came with three hundred ships full of armed men, all of whom were kindly received by Vortigern, and enriched with liberal presents. But when the Britons saw this, they feared their treachery, and desired the king to expel them from his territories, for that pagans ought not to associate with Christians, because the Christian law forbade it. Moreover, a murmur and complaint of the nobles was heard against the detestable marriage of the king, of which one poet speaks in a tone of invective and in elegant verse:-

"Law, love, and marriage bonds unite the two;
But what a law? what love? what kind of bonds?
The law is lawless, hateful is the love,
Discordant all the bonds".

Moreover, the number of those who arrived was so great, that they were a terror to the natives to whom they were to have been a protection. But Vortigern disdained to attend to the advice of his countrymen, because he loved them above all nations, on account of his wife.

[A.D. 454.] The nobles utterly deserted Vortigern, king of Britain, and unanimously raised Vortimer his son to the throne, who by their advice, which he adopted in every particular, began to expel the barbarians, and pursuing them as far as the river Derwent, he defeated them and put great numbers of them to the sword. And with them fled Vortigern, who gave them all the aid that he could, on account of his wife, as he was very uxorious. Then Vortimer, having gained the victory, began to restore to the native citizens the possessions which they had lost, and to treat them with affection, and to restore the churches that had been destroyed, and to treat with especial honour the ecclesiastics and religious men.

[A.D. 455.] Which is the seventh year after the arrival of the Angles in Britain, the nations of the Angles with Vortigern, having recovered their strength, began again to provoke Vortimer, king of the Britons, to war. And the armies meeting here and there about Aylesford, fought a long time with great vigour. At length the weight of the battle turned against the

A.D. 457.] TERRIBLE CONFLAGRATION AT VIENNE. 221

Saxons, who abandoned the fight and the field of battle. But the Britons pursued them manfully, and slew a countless number of them, and routed the rest, and Vortimer returned victorious to his home. And not long after, Vortimer, with his brothers Catigern and Pascentius, and with the whole people of the island, declared war against the Saxons. And when they were met they arrayed their armies for battle. But Horsa, the brother of Hengist, to whom Vortigern had given the province of Kent, and who was called king by his countrymen, fell on the army of Catigern, the brother of Vortimer, with such impetuosity, that it was scattered like dust, and completely dispersed. And afterwards he slew Catigern, who was thrown from his horse. And when Vortimer, his brother, saw that, he rushed against him, and having slain him, he put to flight the remainder of his squadrons, and drove them back to Hengist, and the whole weight of the battle was turned against Hengist. And as the enemy could not resist the justice of Vortimer's cause, they at length fled, not, however, before they had inflicted great loss upon the Britons, for even those who had never done so before, were now exhausted, and fled.

[A.D. 456.] After the death of Horsa, the Saxons raised Hengist, his brother, to the kingdom of Kent. And the same year he is recorded to have fought against the Britons. But being unable to withstand the justice of Vortimer's cause, he fled to the isle of Thanet, where he was incessantly harassed by naval attacks. At length the Saxons embarked on board their own vessels, and leaving their wives and sons behind them, returned to Germany.

[A.D. 457.] Saint Mamertus, bishop of Vienne, when the solemnity of the vigil of our Lord's resurrection was beginning, saw at twilight the public buildings of the city of Vienne blazing with a terrible conflagration. I need not dwell on the circumstances; the people were filled with alarm, and the church was emptied, as every one was afraid of a similar disaster for his own house. But still the holy Mamertus stood before the altar clothed in festival garments; and kindling with the warmth of his faith, he checked the power of the flames with the stream of tears which he shed. Therefore, laying aside despair, they return to the church, all ascribing the miracle to the holy man.

222 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 461.

[A.D. 458.] Saint John the Baptist revealed the place where his head lay, near what was formerly the palace of Herod, to two eastern monks who had come to pray at Jerusalem. And after that it was transported to Edissa, a city of Phoenicia, and buried with all due honour.

[A.D. 459.] The emperor Marcian being dead, Leo the Greater [1] and Leo the Less became emperors, and reigned sixteen years. At the same time, Alexandria and Egypt, becoming infected with the errors of the heretic Dionysius, were filled with an unclean spirit, and barked with the madness of dogs. Hilderic succeeded to the throne of the Franks, and reigned twenty-six years.

[A.D. 460.] Vortimer, king of the Britons, and the flower of the youth, died, and with him all the hope and victory of the Britons was extinguished. For the devil entered into the heart of his step-mother, Rowena, and she gave him poison by means of one of his intimates, in consequence of which he died suddenly, and was buried in the city of London. And after his death, Vortigern, at the instigation of his wife, sent into Germany for Hengist, to desire him to come privately and with only a few attendants, to Britain, lest, if he came in any other way, the Britons might set upon him with one general attack.

[A.D. 461.] Hengist, having heard of the death of Vortimer, returned to Britain with four thousand armed men, whom he had induced to join him. But when the arrival of such a numerous host was made known to Vortigern and the principal men of the island, they were very indignant, and determined to fight with them. And when his daughter had by messengers communicated that determination to Hengist, he thought of betraying his country under the pretence of peace, and he sent ambassadors to the king, saying that he had engaged such a numerous body of men without the idea of offering any violence either to him or to his kingdom, but that he thought Vortimer was still alive, whom he was, above all things, desirous to conquer. But as he was now dead, he had no hesitation about committing himself and his people to the


[1] Our Chronicler is mistaken here; there were not two emperors of the name of Leo, but Leo I., the pope, was contemporary with Leo the emperor of the East, and this is probably what has misled Matthew. See Gibbon, c. xxxv. xxxvi.

A.D. 462.] DEVASTATIONS COMMITTED BY THE SAXONS. 223

disposal of Vortigern, so that he might keep in his kingdom as many as he chose, and the rest should set sail again and return to Germany. When this message was given to the king, and when a time and place for confirming this agreement was fixed by common consent, the king ordered the nations and the Saxons to meet on the first of May at Amesbury, that what had been agreed to, might then and there be ratified. But Hengist ordered his comrades to bring with them, each of them, a long knife concealed in their boots, and while the Britons were conferring together without fear of danger, every one of the Saxons was to be ready, when the signal was given, - "pymet bon seyes", - to draw his knife and stab the Briton who sat next to him. And they did so. Hengist himself kept Vortigern close to him, holding him by his cloak, and all the rest, who were expecting nothing of the kind, to the number of four hundred and sixty men, princes, and illustrious barons, and magistrates, they murdered. The magistrate of Gloucester, named Eldol, was there, and he, when he saw the treachery, seized a stake which he happened to find, and dashed to pieces and sent to hell every one whom he could reach with it, and breaking the heads of one, the arms of another, the collar-bone of another, and the legs of several, he caused no small consternation among the enemy, and did not quit the place till he had slain seventy men and worn out his stick. But at last, as he was unable to resist so great a multitude, he turned from them and fled to his own city. Many were slain on both sides, but the Saxons gained the victory, because the unarmed Britons had no means of resistance.

[A.D. 462.] The Saxons threatening death to king Vortigern, put him in prison, and demanded of him that he should give up his cities and fortifications as a ransom for his life. And when he had confirmed his concessions by an oath, they released him, and first of all went and seized upon London. Then they seized York and Lincoln, and also Winchester, laying waste each of the provinces. And they attacked the citizens with great violence, as wolves attack sheep which the shepherds have deserted. They levelled all churches and ecclesiastical buildings with the ground, and slew the priests by the very altars. They burnt the Holy Scriptures with fire, and heaped mounds of earth over the burial places of the holy

224 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 464.

martyrs. The religious men who were able to escape from this slaughter, carried off the remnant of their sacred things with them, and took refuge in caves, and groves, and deserts and abrupt hills and mountains. But when Vortigern had beheld the devastation which they made, not knowing what to do against that wicked nation, he retired into the district of Wales, and shut himself up in the town of Genorium.

[A.D. 463.] The heresy of the Acephali, who rejected the council of Chalcedon, sprung up, and they were called Acephali, that is to say, "without a head", because it cannot be ascertained who was the original author of this heresy. They deny that there is in Christ the property of two substances, but contend that there is only one nature in his person.

[A.D. 464.] The British nation sent messengers into Brittany, to Aurelius Ambrosius and Uter Pendragon, his brother, who had been sent there out of fear of Vortigern, entreating them, with great zeal and earnestness, to come quickly from the Armorican country to them, in order that when they had expelled the Saxons and king Vortigern, they might take on themselves the crown of Britain. And they, as they were now grown up to man's estate, prepared for the expedition, prudently, with ships and armed soldiers. And when this was told to king Vortigern, having summoned his wise men, he asked them what he ought to do in such circumstances. And they, in reply, advised him to build a very strong tower, which might preserve himself and his family from death. Accordinglv, having passed over several provinces with the view of finding out a suitable place, he came at last to mount Erith, where he found a suitable place as it seemed to him. Accordingly, having collected masons from all parts, he ordered a tower to be built. And they began the foundations, but whatever they did in the day the next night the earth swallowed up. Vortigern, therefore, asked his wise men the cause of the ruin, enquiring what this prodigy portended to him. They therefore counselled him to seek out a youth who had no father, in order that the mortar and the stones might be sprinkled with his blood, and so the work which had been begun, might have strength and firmness. He at once sends messengers about to the different provinces to find a youth answering to this description. At length the messengers came to the city which was afterwards called Caermarthen, and

A.D. 464.] MERLIN IS BROUGHT BEFORE VORTIGERN. 225

there they saw two youths qiuirrelling, one of whom was attacking his companion and saying, "Why do you contend with me, you fool? - Can you who were born without a father, pretend to rival my nobleness, who, being born of the royal family, am illustrious by both sides of my house"? The messengers hearing this expression, took the youth and his mother, and straightway brought him to the king. And when they were all standing in the royal presence, the king began diligently to enquire of the boy's mother who was the father of her son. And she answered him, "As my soul liveth, my lord king, when I was in the chamber of the king of Demecia, my father, there appeared unto me a person in the appearance of a very handsome young man, and embracing me repeatedly, he gave me many kisses. And when we had embraced tenderly, he suddenly vanished and departed. And as he frequently returned to me, he left me at last with child; nor is there any one else who was the father of this youth". Then the king, being astonished beyond measure, called the youth, and enquired of him by what name he was known. And when he had said that he was called Merlin Ambrosius, he asked the king why he and his mother had been brought into his presence. And the king replied, "My wise men gave me counsel to seek out a youth without a father, by whose blood my work might be bedewed, and so be strengthened". Merlin answered, "Order your wise men to come before me. and I will convince them that they have devised a lie; for as they did not know what was under the foundation, they endeavoured to satisfy you by a lie. But call your workmen and order them to dig the earth, and you will find a swamp below which does not allow your work to stand". Then Merlin coming to the wise men said, "Tell me, you vilest of flatterers, what lies hid beneath the swamp? " But they made him no answer, but kept silence. And Merlin turning to the king, said, "Order the swamp to be drawn off by small drains, and at the bottom you will find two hollow stones and two dragons sleeping in them". And the king, believing his words, ordered the swamp to be drained, and, to the astonishment of every one, he found that to be true which had been spoken by Merlin.

226 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 465.

CH. VIII.- FROM A.D. 465 TO A.D. 498.

The prophecy of Merlin - The Red Dragon - The White Dragon - The Revolutions in Britain - Aurelius returns to Britain - Death of Vortigern - of Alaric - Odoacer, King of the Goths - Theodoric, King of the Goths - Aurelius defeats Hengist and puts him to death - Restores the Churches - Saint Patrick in Ireland - Olla King of the South Saxons - Cedric, King of the West Saxons - Death of Aurelius - Birth of Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon.

[A.D. 465.] Hilary was appointed to the Roman chair; he held it for six years and three months, and the see was vacant ten days. At his request Victorinus made out the Paschal cycle of five hundred and thirteen years.

The same year, when Vortigern, king of the Britons, had sat down on the bank of the swamp which had heen drained, two dragons came forth, one of which was white, and the other red. And when they had come near to one another, they began a terrible battle. For they breathed out fire and smoke; and the white prevailed, and at last drove, the red one to the extremity of the swamp. But he, being grieved at being driven off, attacked the white one, and made him also retreat. And as they fought in this way, the king ordered Merlin Ambrosius to say what the battle of the dragons portended. And presently he, bursting forth into weeping, imbibed the spirit of prophecy, and took up his parable, and said -

"Woe to the red dragon, for his extermination draweth nigh. The white dragon (which indicates the Saxons whom you have invited) shall occupy his caverns. But the red dragon signifies the nation of the Britons, which shall be oppressed by the white one. Therefore these mountains shall be made plain as the valleys, and the rivers of the valleys shall flow with blood. The worship of religion shall be destroyed, and the ruin of the churches shall be made manifest. At last the oppressed people shall prevail, and shall withstand the cruelty of the foreigners. For the boar of Cornwall shall bring succour, and shall trample their necks under his feet; the isles of the ocean shall be subjected to his power, and he shall possess the power of the Gauls. The house of Romulus shall tremble at his fierceness, and his end shall be doubtful. He shall be

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celebrated in the months of the people, and his acts shall be food to those who tell of them. Six of his posterity shall sway the sceptre, but after them there shall arise a German worm, and a wolf out of the sea shall raise him up, whom the African shores shall famish with a train. A second time shall religion be destroyed, and there shall be a change of the principal sees. The dlgnity of London shall adorn Canterbury, and the seventh pastor of York shall dwell in the kingdom of Brittany. St. David's shall be clothed with the pallium of the city of Legions, [1] and the preacher of Ireland shall be dumb on account of the child that is growing in his womb. It shall rain showers of blood, and terrible famine shall afflict mortals. While these things are taking place, the red dragon shall grieve, but when the trouble is past, he shall again flourish. Then the misfortune of the white dragon shall draw near, and the buildings of his gardens shall be destroyed. Seven sceptre-bearing princes shall be slain, and one of them shall be sanctified. The wombs of matrons shall be cut open, and infants shall be born out of season. The punishment of men shall be great, and the nations shall be restored. He who does this shall appear a brazen man, and mounted for many ages on a brazen horse, he shall keep the gates of London. Then the red dragon shall reassume his natural character, and shall endeavour to put forth his rage against him. Therefore the vengeance of the thunderer shall come upon him, and the whole land shall deceive the husbandmen. Mortality shall seize the people, and shall thin all nations. Those who are left shall forsake their native soil and shall sow foreign lands. The blessed king shall prepare a fleet, and in the court of the twelfth he shall be reckoned among the good or blessed. There shall be miserable desolation of the kingdom, and the threshing-floors of the harvest shall show barren fields. The white dragon shall arise a second time, and shall invite the daughter of Germany. Our gardens shall again be filled with foreign seed, and the red dragon shall languish in the extremity of the swamp. Then the German worm shall be crowned, and the brazen prince shall be brought low. A boundary is appointed before him, which he shall be unable to pass over. For he shall remain for one hundred and fifty years in


[1] Now Caerleon.

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disquietude and subjection, and then he shall flourish for three hundred years. Then shall rise up against him the north, and shall strip him of the flowers to which the west wind has given birth. There shall be gilding in the temples and the edge of the sword shall not slacken. The German dragon shall scarcely maintain his caverns, because the vengeance for his treachery is at hand. At last he shall flourish for a while, but the decimation of Neustria shall injure him. For a people on wooden horses and clothed in iron cloaks shall come upon him, which shall exact revenge for his wickedness, and shall restore their abodes to the former inhabitants, and the ruin of the foreigners shall be made manifest. The seed of the white dragon shall be destroyed from out of our gardens, and the remains of his generation shall be decimated. They shall bear the yoke of perpetual slavery, and shall wound their mother with spades and ploughs. Then shall succeed two dragons, one of which shall be clothed with the dart of envy, but the other shall retire under the shadow of his name. Next shall come the lion of justice, at whose roaring the towers of the Gauls and the dragons of the isles shall quake. In his days gold shall be extracted from the city and from the nettle, and silver shall flow from the hoofs of oxen. Men with curled hair shall wear embroidered woollen garments, and their external dress shall be a token of their inward disposition. The feet of them that bark shall be cut short, the wild beasts shall have peace, and humanity shall put an end to punishment. The form of the land shall be divided, and the half shall be round. The rapacity of the hawks shall be done away with, and the teeth of the wolves shall be made blunt; the lion's whelps shall be transformed into the fishes of the sea, and the eagle shall build his nest on mount Aranius. Venedotia shall be red with the blood of matrons, and the house of Corinaeus shall slay six brethren. The isle shall be wet with nightly tears, and all men shall be stirred up to all sorts of actions. Woe to thee Neustria, for on you shall the brain of the lion be poured forth, and he shall be driven with torn limbs from his native soil. His posterity shall strive to fly beyond the decrees of the highest, but the power of the new-comers shall be exalted. Piety shall injure him who gains possession by impious means, until he clothes himself with his father. Therefore, girding himself with the teeth of a boar, he shall

[A.D. 465.] THE PROPHECY OF MERLIN. 229

pass over the tops of the mountains, and the shade of him who wears the helmet. Albania shall be indignant, and, calling together its allies, shall seek to shed blood. A bit shall he put into its jaws, which shall he forged in the bay of Armorica. The eagle of the broken treaty shall gild it, and shall rejoice at its third nest making. Roaring whelps shall be awake, and neglecting the groves, shall hunt within the walls of cities. They shall make no small slaughter of those who resist, and shall cut out the tongues of bulls. They shall load with chains the necks of them that roar, and shall renew ancient times. Then the thumb shall roll round in oil, from the first to the fourth, from the fourth to the third, and from the third to the second. The sixth will overthrow the fortifications of Ireland, and will level the groves with the plain, will reduce different portions into one whole, and will he crowded with the head of a lion. His beginning will yield to vain affections, but his end will rise to heaven. He will clothe two cities with the pallium, and will give to virgins the gifts of virgins. Then he will deserve the favour of the thunderer, and will be placed among the blessed. There will go forth from him a lynx penetrating everything, which will threaten the ruin of his own nation. For by its means Neustria will lose both their lands, and will be deprived of its former dignity. Then the citizens will return to the island; for a dissension will arise among the foreigners. Also, a snow-white old man on a snow-white horse will divide the river, and with a white rod will measure out a mill-stream above it. Cadwallader will invite Conan, and will receive Albany in alliance. There will be a slaughter of foreigners; their rivers will flow with blood; then the Armorican mountains will burst forth, and the Bruti will be crowned with a diadem. Cambria will be filled with joy, and the strength of Cornwall will flourish; the island shall be called by the name of Brutus, and the use of the name of the foreigner shall perish. From Conan shall come forth a warlike boar, who shall exercise the sharpness of his teeth, within the Gallic woods. For he shall cut down every large oak, and shall afford his protection to the smaller ones. The Arabs shall tremble before him, and the Africans. For he shall extend his impetuous course into farther Spain. A goat of the camp of Venus shall succeed, having golden horns and a silver beard, and who will breathe forth out of his nostrils

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so dense a cloud, that the whole surface of the island will be overshadowed by it. In his time there shall be peace, and the crops shall be multiplied in the fertility of the soil, Women as they walk shall become serpents, and every step of theirs shall be filled with pride. The camps of Venus shall be renewed, nor will the arrows of Cupid cease to wound. A fountain will be turned into blood, and two kings will fight a battle on account of the lioness near the Ford of the Staff. The whole ground will be luxuriant, and human nature will not cease practising fornication. These ages shall see all these events, till three kings are known to have been buried in London. Famine will return again, mortality will return again, and the citizens will grieve for the desolation of the cities. The boar of commerce will come at this time, who will recall the scattered flocks to the pastures that they had lost. His breast will be food to those who want, and his tongue will appease the thirsty. From his mouth will proceed rivers, which will moisten the dry jaws of men. After that, a tree will be produced above the Tower of London, which, though content with only three branches, will overshadow the surface of the whole island with the breadth of its leaves. After this, the north wind will come upon it as an adversary, and with its cruel blast will carry off its third bough. But the remaining two shall fill up the place of the one that has been extirpated, till the one destroys the other by the multitude of its leaves. Then that one shall occupy the place of the other two, and shall support birds from foreign countries. It will be considered injurious to the flight of native birds, for through fear of its shade they will lose their freedom of flight. The ass of wickedness will succeed, swift against the workers in gold, but slow against the rapacity of wolves. In these days oaks shall burn in the groves, and acorns shall be produced on the boughs of holm oaks. The Severn shall run into the sea by seven mouths, and the river Usk shall boil for seven months. The fishes shall die from the heat thereof, and serpents shall be generated from them. The baths of Bath shall grow cold, and its wholesome waters shall cause death. London shall mourn the death of twenty men, and the Thames shall be turned into blood. Men in cowls shall be invited to marriage, and their outcry shall be heard in the mountains of the Alps. Three springs shall burst up in the city of

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Winchester, the streams from which shall divide the island into three parts; he who drinks of one of them shall enjoy a longer life, and shall not be oppressed by languor coming upon him. He who drinks of the second shall die of want and hunger, and paleness and horror shall sit in his face. He who drinks of the third shall die a sudden death, nor shall his corpse be able to rest in the tomb; but ashes alone shall be found in his belly, and ashes shall be turned into water if they be cast upon him. Sesides this, from the city of the grove of Canute a maiden will come forth, to exercise the labour of healing, and, as soon as she enters all the citadels, she will by her breath alone heal the injurious springs. Then, when she has refreshed herself with the wholesome water, she will bear in her right hand the grove of Calidon, and in her left the bulwarks of the wall of London. Wherever she goes she leaves sulphureous footsteps, which smoke with a double flame. The smoke that arises will arouse the people of Rhodey, and will make food to exist beneath the deep; she will draw forth lamentable tears, and will fill the island with fearful cries. A stag of ten tines shall slay her, four of which shall bear golden diadems, but the remaining six shall be turned into ox horns, which with their ill-omened sound shall shake the three islands of Britain. The forest of Dean shall be shaken, and shall burst out in human voice and cry, "Approach, Cambria, and join to your side Cornwall, and say to Winchester, the earth shall swallow thee up. Transfer the seat of the shepherd to where the ships land, and the other lands will follow the head. For the day is near at hand when the citizens shall perish for their wicked perjury. The whiteness of the wool has been injurious, and the diversity of its dyes. Woe to the perjured nation, because an illustrious city shall be destroyed for its sake. The ships shall rejoice in that great increase, and one shall be made out of two. Hericius, loaded with fruit, shall rebuild it, to the perfume of which, birds will flock from different woods. He will add a huge palace, and will fence it round with six hundred towers; on each tower will a captain of ten be placed, who will give laws to the subjects. Therefore shall London be envious, and shall increase her walls threefold. The Thames shall surround it on all sides, and the fame of the work shall reach beyond the Alps. Hericius shall conceal his fruit beneath it, and shall prepare subterranean roads. In that time

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shall stones speak, and the sea by which one sails to Gaul, shall be contracted to a short space. A man on one coast shall be heard by a man on another, and the solid space of the island shall be extended. The secrets of the depths below the sea shall be revealed, and Gaul shall tremble for fear. After these things, a heron shall proceed from the Calaterian grove, which shall fly round the island for three years. With its nightly cry it shall summon all the birds around it, and shall unite every kind of bird to itself; then they shall descend upon the cultivated lands of man, and shall devour all the grain of the harvest. Famine shall ensue, and terrible mortality shall follow the famine. But when this great calamity has ceased, then the detestable bird will go to the valley of Galabes, and will raise it till it become a high mountain. And on its top shall it plant an oak; and in the boughs of the oak will it build its nest, from which a fox, and a wolf, and a bear will come forth, the fox shall devour its mother, and shall wear an ass's head; and having assumed this monstrous appearance, it shall frighten its brethren, and shall drive them to Neustria. But they shall rouse up a shaved boar there, and returning in a ship shall meet with the fox, and the fox when it begins to fight with them shall feign itself dead, and shall move the boar to pity. Presently the boar shall approach the carcase, and while standing over it, shall breathe into its eyes and on its face; but the fox, not forgetful of its previous tricks, shall bite its left foot, and shall tear it entirely away from its body, and making a leap, shall also tear off its right ear and its tail, and then shall hide in the caverns of the mountains. Therefore, the boar having been mocked, will seek the wolf and the bear, that they may restore him the limbs which he has lost. And when they enter into the matter, they will promise him two feet, and ears, and a tail, and will make the limbs of a pig out of them. He will acquiesce, and look on at the promised restoration. In the meantime the fox will descend from the mountains, and will change himself into a wolf, and as if it intended to hold a colloquy with the boar, it will address him cunningly, and eat him entirely up. Then it will transform itself into a boar, and as if it were devoid of limbs, it will await the Germans, but these too, after they arrive, it will destroy with an unexpected attack, and will be covered with a lion's head. In its days will be born a serpent.

[A.D. 465.] THE PROPHECY OF MERLIN. 233

which will threaten mankind with death, and with its length will surround London, and will devour every one who passes by. The mountain ox will assume the head of a wolf, and will whiten his teeth in the workshop of the Severn. He will associate with himself the flocks of Albany and of Cambria, and they shall dry up the Thames, by drinking it. The ass shall call the goat a beast with a long beard, and shall change its form; therefore the beast from the mountains shall he indignant, and having invoked the assistance of the wolf, shall become a horned bull against them; and indulging its ferocity, it shall devour their flesh and bones, but shall be burnt itself on the top of Urianus. The ashes of its funeral pile shall be changed into swans, which shall swim on dry land, as if on a river. Fishes shall feed on fishes, and men shall devour men. But when old age comes on, they shall become lights, and shall devise submarine plots. They shall sink ships, and shall amass no small quantity of money. The Thames shall again be flooded, and, collecting all its streams, shall proceed beyond the bounds of its channel, shall bury the cities in its neighbourhood, overthrow the mountains that are in its way, and shall add to itself the spring of Galabes, full of treachery and wickedness. From that shall arise seditions exciting the Venedoti to battle. The strength of the woods shall meet, and shall combat with the rocks of the Gewissi; the crow will fly with the hawks, and devour the bodies of the slain; the owl shall build its nest on the walls of Gloucester, and an ass shall be bred in its nest. A serpent at Malvern shall rear it, and shall teach it many tricks. Having assumed a crown, it shall ascend the high places, and with its horrid appearance [1] it shall alarm the people of the country. In his days the Pachacian mountains shall shake, and the provinces shall be stripped of their groves. For there shall come a worm of fiery breath, who, with the vapour which he breathes forth, shall burn up the trees. From it there will go forth seven lions, defiled with the heads of goats; with the foulness of his nostrils he shall corrupt the women, and shall make good women common. The father shall not know his own son, because they shall act wantonly like cattle. Therefore, the giant of wickedness shall succeed, who, with the brilliancy of


[1] The Latin is racanatu, racanatus being, according to Ducange, a species of ragged garments, especially worn by monks.

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his eyes, shall terrify all mankind. Against him there shall rise up the dragon of Worcester, and shall endeavour to exterminate him, but when they meet, the dragon shall he conquered, and shall he oppressed by the wickedness of the conqueror. For he shall mount the dragon, and, stripping off his garments, shall sit upon him naked. The dragon shall bear him aloft to the skies, and, erecting his tail, shall buffet him, being naked. The giant, having again recovered his strength, shall beat his jaws with his sword. But at length, the dragon shall be entangled under his tail, and he shall be poisoned and perish. To him shall succeed the boar of Totness, and shall oppress the people with terrible tyranny. Gloucester shall send forth a lion which shall harass the serpent with frequent battles. He shall trample him under his feet, and shall frighten him with his jaws open. At last, the lion shall quarrel with the kingdom, and shall mount the backs of the nobles. The bull will come in upon the quarrel, and will smite the lion with his right foot. He will drive him over the different parts of the kingdom, but will break his horns against the walls of Exeter. The fox of Caerdubal shall avenge the lion, and utterly destroy him with his teeth. The serpent of Lincoln shall surround the fox, and shall give evidence of his presence with many dragons and with horrible hissings. The dragons shall meet in fight, and one will tear the other. The one which is winged will overwhelm the one which is without wings, and fix his poisonous talons in his cheeks. Others will come to the battle, and kill one another. A fifth will succeed to those that are slain, and by different machinations will crush the rest. He shall mount the back of one with a sword, and separate his head from his body. Stripping off his garments, he will mount another, and will lay both his right and his left hand on his tail. Being naked, he will cut him in pieces and succeed, though without clothing. The rest he will torment in the rear, and drive them over the whole surface of the kingdom. Then will come a roaring lion, formidable with savage ferocity. He will reduce fifteen portions into one, and he alone will possess the people. A giant will shine with snow-white warmth, and shall give birth to a white people. Luxury will enervate the princes, and their subjects will be changed into beasts. Among them shall arise a lion swollen with human blood; a mower will be beneath him in a corn-field, and while he labours

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in his mind, will be overwhelmed by him. A charioteer of York will appease them, and having driven his master into a chariot which he brings, will mount it. Having drawn his sword, he will threaten the east, and fill the tracks of his wheels with blood. Then will be produced in the sea a fish, which, being recalled by the hissing of the serpent, will breed with it. From them will be born three fiery bulls, which, when they have devoured their pastures, will be converted into trees. The first shall bear a scourge made of snakes, and shall turn his back on the one which is born after him. This one will seek to wrest his scourge from him, but will in his turn be attacked by the last. They will each turn their faces from the other till they have produced a poisoned cup. To the last will succeed a countryman of Albany, who will be threatened in the rear by a serpent. He will occupy himself in turning up the land, that the country may be white with corn-fields. The serpent will labour to diffuse his poison, that the corn may not grow up to harvest. The people will be thinned by deadly slaughter; and the walls of cities will be made desolate. The city of Claudius will be given as a remedy, which will interpose a foster-daughter of the one with the scourge. For she will carry a medicinal amulet, and in a brief time the island will be recovered. Then two persons shall obtain the sceptre; and a horned dragon shall minister to them. The one will come in arms, and ride a flying serpent. He will sit with naked body on his back, and put his right hand on his tail. By his shouts the seas will be awakened; and he will strike the second with fear. Therefore, the second will ally himself with a lion; but a quarrel will spring up between them, and they will fight. After mutual disasters they will mutually yield, but the fierceness of the beast will prevail. Some one will come up with a drum and harp, and smooth the fierceness of the lion. Therefore, the nations of the kingdom will be pacified, and bring the lion to the amulet. Having taken a seat, he will study measures of corn, but will stretch his hands into Albany. Therefore, the provinces of the north will be saddened, and will open the doors of the temple. The standard-bearing wolf will levy troops, and his tail will surround Cornwall. A soldier in a chariot will resist him, who shall change that people into a boar. Therefore, the boar will lay waste the provinces, but will hide his head in

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the depths of the Severn. A man will embrace a lion on the ground, and the brilliancy of gold will blind the eyes of the beholders. Silver will glisten around, and vex the different wine-presses. When the wine is put in mortals will be drunken, and, disregarding heaven, will fix their eyes on the earth. The stars will avert their countenances from them, and will confuse their accustomed courses. The crops will wither under their indignation, and the moisture of heaven will be denied to them. The roots and branches will change places, and the novelty of the thing will be a wonder. The splendour of the sun will grow pale with the admixture of Mercury, and horror will be to the beholders. Stilbon of Arcadia will change his shield, the helmet of Mars will invite Venus. The helmet of Mars will cause a shade; the fury of Mercury will pass its bounds. Iron Orion will bare his sword, the watery Phoebus will vex the clouds; Jupiter will leave his lawful paths, tind Venus forsake her appointed lines. The lust of the star of Saturn will fall, and slay mortals with his curved sickle. The twelve numbers of the houses of the stars will grieve that the hosts do so transgress. The Gemini will change their accustomed embraces, and call the urn to the springs. The scales of Libra will hang awry, while Aries places his crooked horns beneath. The tail of the Scorpion will appease the lightnings, and Cancer will quarrel with the sun. Virgo will mount on the back of Sagittarius, and will darken her virgin flowers. The chaunt of the moon will disturb the zodiac, and the Pleiades will break forth into weeping. No duties will return, but the closed door will be hidden in the fissures of Adrianne. At the stroke of a ray the seas will arise, and the dust of the ancients will be renewed. The winds will 'strive together with terrible blast, and make a noise amid the stars'".

When Merlin had uttered this long prophecy, he raised all his hearers to a kind of extasy and excessive admiration, though different people had different opinions about him. For some said that he had imbibed a pythonical inspiration, and that, in the fashion of demons, he spoke in riddles obscurely and ambiguously, as Balaam had done; while others made contrary assertions. Vortigern therefore, desiring to know his end, asked the youth to tell him what he knew. And Merlin answered him, "Escape the fire of the sons of Constantine, if you can. For they will subdue the nation of the

[A.D. 467.] THEODORUS FLOURISHES. 237

Saxons, and will burn you yourself, having shut you up in the town of Genorium. The faces of the Saxons will be red with blood, and after Hengist is slain, Aurelius Ambrosius will be crowned". Accordingly, immediately the very next day Aurelius Ambrosius landed, with his brother Uther Pendragon, and a very large company of armed men. Therefore, the Britons who had been scattered all about came together, and having convoked an assembly of the kingdom, made Aurelius king. And he, when he was raised to the throne, laboured to repair, as well as he could, the churches that had been levelled to the ground. He was very liberal in giving presents, diligent in his obedience to the gods, modestly despising liars and their flatteries, strong in his feet, and still stronger as a rider, and very skilful in managing armies of soldiers. Being distinguished for such virtues as these, he was a man of great celebrity and renown, even among distant nations.

[A.D. 466.] When the Britons were urging Aurelius their king to attack the Saxons, the king objected. For he wished first to pursue Vortigern, and therefore he directed his army towards Wales, and attacked the town of Genorium. And when he arrived before it, remembering the treachery that had been practised against his father and his brother, he said to those who were standing by, "Look, ye noble princes, and see if the walls of this castle can protect Vortigern, who has laid waste a fertile country, destroyed holy churches, and eradicated Christianity almost from sea to sea, and who (and this I think the most grievous thing of all) has betrayed my father and brother".

"Now, therefore, O most noble princes, strive manfully, and first of all avenge yourselves in him by whom all these things have been done; and then let us turn our arms against the enemy". They act at once upon his words, and endeavour with all sorts of machines to batter down the walls. At last, when everything else had failed, they employed fire, and when that was properly kindled, it did not stop till it had consumed the castle and Vortigern.

[A.D. 467.] Theodoras, bishop of the city which had been built by Cyrus, king of Persia, and bore the name of Cyria, a man thoroughly learned in the Holy Scriptures, flourished, as a most brilluuit pillar of the church.

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[A.D. 468.] Clodoveus, [1] king of the Franks, slew Alaric, king of the Goths, ten miles from the city of Poictiers. And his son Almaric escaped and fled to Spain.

[A.D. 469.] King Clodoveus subdued Toulouse, the Santones, and all the land of Aquitania, and driving out the Arrian Goths from these countries, caused the Cathohc Franks to dwell in them.

[A.D. 470.] Silvian, a presbyter at Marseilles, addressed to Claudian, a presbyter at Vienne, a book which he had written, being an exposition of the latter part of Ecclesiastes.

[A.D. 471.] Simplicius was elected to the Roman chair, and occupied it fifteen years, one month, and six days.

[A.D. 472.] Hilary, president of the church at Arles, a charitable man and lover of the poor, flourished as a teacher of the Holy Scriptures.

[A.D. 473.] Aurelius Ambiosius provoked Hengist and his son Osric, surnamed AEsc, to war in Kent, and marshalled twelve battalions of Britons in the place which was afterwards called Wipedeflete, where the battle raged a long time with great vigour on both sides; and no small quantity of blood was shed; but the victory was doubtful, and the battle so disastrous, that for a long time afterwards the Saxons never dared to enter the territories of the Britons, nor the Britons to enter Kent. But the Saxons, who lost there among other men a great prince named Wiped, called the field of battle Wipedeflete in memory of him.

[A.D. 474.] Claudian, a presbyter of Vienne, flourished, a man very learned in ecclesiastical matters, and a subtle disputant.

[A.D. 475.] Prosper, of the district of Aquitania, dictated some epistles against Eutyches, who had adopted erroneous opinions on the subject of the real incarnation of Christ, and on free-will.

[A.D. 476.] Hilary, bishop of the city of Rome, ordered that the clergy should not wear the dress of the laity, and forbade presbyters to have concubines. The same year, when Clodoveus, king of the Franks, was fighting against the Alemanni and his army was being terribly cut up, he raised his eyes to heaven, and


[1] Our Chronicler antedates Clodoveus or Clovis. He began to reign A.D. 481, and he was only fifteen when he succeeded his father, Childeric (See Gibbon, c. xxxviii.) And the date of the defeat and death of Alaric, who was not the great Alaric, is A.D. 507.

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said, "Lord Jesus Christ, whom my wife Clotilde worships, I devoutly entreat your assistance. And if you grant me the victory in this contest, I will be baptized, and for the future will believe in your name". And after he had said this, the Alemanni were compelled to flee, and the king returned in triumph to his country. Then, having sent for Saint Remigius, he was baptised with all his family. And it happened at his consecration that the minister was slow in bringing the holy chrism to the bishop, and the crowd was impatient, and still he did not come, and the bishop was concerned at it, and prayed that the delay might not cause any mischief; when, lo on a sudden a chrismatical unction in a miraculous vase was brought to him from heaven by the ministry of an angel, and the vessel is preserved to the present day in the church at Rheims. And from it, as it is always full miraculously, the kings of the Franks who are to be anointed are consecrated.

[A.D. 477.] Zeno succeeded to the Roman empire, and reigned seventeen years. The same year, Ella and his three sons, Cymen, Plentingus and Cissa, came over to Britain, and landed at the place which was afterwards from Cymen called Cymenshoara, that is to say, the port of Cymen. But as they were landing, great multitudes of Britons flocked to the place, and immediately waged war against them. But the Britons abandoned the field, and were put to flight, and driven as far as the nearest wood, which is called Andredeswold. And the Saxons, occupying the sea-coast of Sussex, gradually reduced all the territory of that district to subjection.

[A.D. 478.] When Zeno the emperor was desirous to slay his son Leo, his mother substituted some one else who resembled him, who afterwards remained a clergyman, and lived to the time of Justinian.

[A.D. 479.] The body of Saint Barnabas, the Apostle, and the Gospel of Matthew, written with his own hand, was discovered, in consequence of a revelation made by himself.

[A.D. 480.] Odoacer, king of the Goths, made himself master of Rome, which the Gothic kings occupied for some time afterwards.

[A.D. 481.] Theodoric, king of the Goths, ravaged both the Macedonias and Thessaly, and occupied Italy with a hostile army.

[A.D. 482.] Honoricus, an Arrian, the king of the Vandals,

240 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 487.

having banished three hundred and three Catholic bishops, shut up their churches, and inflicted all kinds of punishments on the common people, and put to death a countless multitude of them as victims to their faith in Christ. He also cut off the hands and cut out the tongues of the orthodox, and so made many thousand martyrs.

[A.D. 483.] Clodoveus, king of the Franks, took prisoner and killed Regnacarius, his kinsman, and his brother Farro.

[A.D. 484.] Timotheus, after Protherius had been slain by the people of Alexandria, or by his own desire, or at all events by his own permission, was ordained by a single bishop to supply the place of the bishop who had been slain.

[A.D. 485.] The Britons under the command of Aurelius Ambrosius met at Mereredesburne, in battle against Ella and his sons, and after a long and obstinate battle, Ella and his sons abandoned the field, not without great loss to the Britons. Therefore Ella sent to his own country, asking for a more numerous army.

[A.D. 486.] Felix was elected to the Roman chair, and he occupied it eight years, eleven months, seventeen days, and the see was vacant five days.

[A.D. 487.] Aurelius Ambrosius, having collected an enormous number of Britons, determined to provoke the Saxons to battle. Therefore he led his army towards the north, and found Hengist with his Saxons, on the other side of the Humber. But when Hengist heard of his arrival in that district, he went boldly to meet him, and intending to make a sudden and unforeseen attack on the plain which is called Maysbely, through which Aurelius must pass, he expected to catch the Britons unprepared. But his design was not unperceived by Aurelius, though he did not on account of it abandon his intention of crossing that plain; and accordingly, the military legions on each side having been duly marshalled, the armies met, and causing no small bloodshed on both sides, they made a great slaughter. On one side the Britons, and on the other the Saxons were wounded by various chances, and slain by the sword. At last, when Hengist saw that his allies were yielding and the Britons prevailing, he immediately fled and hastened to the town of Caerconan, which is now called Coningsburgh. But knowing that all his hopes consisted in his sword and spear, he would not quit the town because he

A.D. 489.] AURELIUS DEFEATS THE SAXONS. 241

did not think that it could resist Aurelius. Aurelius pursued him, and cut off the heads of all whom he fell in with on his march, and so sent them to hell. Therefore Aurelius, having gained the victory, glorified the God of Heaven from the bottom of his heart, who had permitted him to triumph over the enemy.

[A.D. 488.] Aurelius Ambrosius, while he was passing all through Britain seeking the enemy, found the churches everywhere levelled with the ground, at which he was greatly grieved. Therefore, having sent for masons and carpenters, he laboured to restore the holy buildings. Accordingly, having placed presbyters and clerks in them, he recalled the divine worship to its former state. But whenever he found any profane temples to the gods, and any idols, he utterly banished them from the recollection of all men under heaven, and completely destroyed them. He took care himself, and enjoined all churches and ecclesiastical persons to observe justice and peace; giving them out of his royal munificence many benefices with ample revenues, and he ordered all men to pray for the kingdom and for the constitution of the church.

[A.D. 489.] Aurelius Ambrosius directed letters to all the districts in Britain, ordering all men who could bear arms to come to him as speedily as possible, and to labour without ceasing, to exterminate the pagans from the kingdom of Britain. When therefore every one had come, Aurelius marched his army towards the north, and found Hengist and his Saxons on the river which is called the Don, with his forces all in order of battle. Not to dwell on the circumstances, the battalions meeting in all quarters, engaged in a most violent battle, and spilt no little blood. And when they had fought in this manner for a very long time, Eldol, duke of Gloucester, who burned with an eager desire of meeting with Hengist, penetrating with the phalanx which he commanded through the ranks of the enemy, caught Hengist by the visor of his helmet, and putting forth all his strength, dragged him among his own countrymen. "This day", said he, "has God fulfilled my desire, for our victory is in the hand of God". Therefore the Saxons fled in every direction, as fancy directed each of them, and Aurelius pursued them, and bravely slew them. But Octa, the son of Hengist, with a great number of his men, reached York: while Eosa and many others sought the city of Alclud.

242 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 490.

As, therefore, Aurelius had got the victory, he took the city of Conan, and remained there three days. After this, having summoned his generals, he ordered them to decide what ought to he done with Hengist. Therefore Eldol, the hishop of Gloucester, and brother of duke Eldol, ordered all men to hold their peace, and gnashing his teeth for rage, he himself spoke thus:- "Although all were willing to release him, yet I would cut him in pieces. Why do ye hesitate, ye effeminate men? Did not Samuel the prophet, when he cut the king of Amalek in pieces, limb by limb, after he was taken in war, say, 'As thou hast made mothers childless, so I will this day make thy mother childless among women'. And do ye the same with this second Agag, who has deprived many mothers of their sons". And when he had said this, Eldol drew his sword and dragged him out of the city, and cutting off his head, sent him to hell. He was succeeded by his son Osric, surnamed AEsc, who reigned over the nation of the Saxons in Kent, from whom, to this day, the kings of Kent are called AEskings. For Vortigern had given that province to Hengist for his daughter, as has been related above. And he had possessed it for twenty-four years, as if it had been his by hereditary right.

[A.D. 490.] Aurelius Ambrosius led his army to York, in order to attack Octa, son of Hengist. And when he had besieged the city, Octa was afraid to hold the city against a multitude. Therefore, having taken salutary counsel, he went out with the nobles whom he had with him, and surrendered himself and his friends in these words: "My gods have been conquered, and I have no doubt that your God is king, as he has compelled so many nobles to come to you. Receive us, therefore, and, unless you are inclined to mercy, take us as bound and ready to endure any punishment you can inflict". Aurelius was moved with compassion, and pitied them. And led by the example of Octa, Eosa also came in, and the rest who had fled, all begging for and obtaining pardon. Therefore he gave them the district which is close to Scotland, and made a treaty with them. Then he went to the monastery of Amesbury, which is near Caerbaradot, which is now called Salisbury, where the princes who were dead lay, whom Hengist had betrayed, and being moved by pity, was dissolved in tears. Therefore, considering with himself, and wishing to make the

A.D. 490.] MERLIN's ADVICE FOLLOWED. 243

place where so many noble men lay memorable, he sent Merlin, the prophet, to enquire diligently how he might best fulfil the design which he was anxious about. But when Merlin had been conducted into the presence of the king, he related to him the circumstances of the death of the beforementioned noble men, how the Saxons had betrayed them, and told him his own wish also, to mark the place with due honour.

Then Merlin, having been for a short time rapt in an ecstasy of mind, at length answered him, and said, "If, my lord king, you wish to adorn the place of their burial with a perpetual monument, send for the Giant's Dance, which is on Killard, a mountain of Ireland, where there is such a structure of stones as no one of this age has ever beheld with his eyes. For they are large and wonderfully put together, and if they are arranged in this place, they will stand for ever as a memorial and representation of the memorable slaughter that you have spoken of". On this, Aurelius burst out laughing, and answered Merlin, "Are the stones of Ireland better than the stones of this country, that they need be brought from such a distance into Britain"? And Merlin answered, "Do not indulge, O king, in unwise laughter, for they are mystical stones, and wholesome as cures for different diseases. The giants formerly brought them over from the most remote districts of Africa, in order to make baths of them here for themselves when they were attacked with various infirmities. For they washed the stones in various confections of herbs, and poured them into baths in which the sick were cured. Nor is there one stone among them which has not some medicinal property". And when the Britons heard this, they determined to send for the stones. Therefore, Uther Pendragon, the brother of the king, was selected, with fifteen thousand armed men, to bring away the stones by force, in case any one endeavoured to hinder them. Merlin was also appointed to superintend the work, that everything might be done by his genius and prudence.

Accordingly, when ships had been prepared, they set sail and came, after a prosperous voyage, to Ireland. And when Gillomannius, king of Ireland, had heard of their arrival and of its cause, he said to those who stood by, "Arm yourselves, men, arm. yourselves, because as long as life is in me, they

244 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 491.

shall not carry away from us the least stone of the Giant's Dance. Immediately the two armies met in battle, but victory declared for the Britons. Then they went to Mount Killard, and in vain attempted to throw down the structure of stone. And as they were all unable to effect anything, Merlin laughed at them, and then making his own machines, he pulled down the stones more easily than it is possible to believe, and putting them on board ship, joyfully carried them off to Britain. And when the news was brought to Aurelius, he came with his bishops and abbots and other nobles to the hill of Amesbury, where, on the day of Pentecost, he wore the crown, and appointed pastors to the two metropolitan churches, giving the see of York to the holy Sampson, and that of Caerleon to Dubricius. And when he had done all this in that place, he ordered Merlin to erect the stones around the burial place of the nobles. And he, in obedience to his orders, placed them in a marvellous manner in the same way in which they had been placed on Mount Killard. The same year, Idatius, bishop of Libitana, a city of Spain, finished his chronicles, which he brought down from the first consulship of Theodosius to this date. Gennadius too, this year, finished his book on illustrious men.

[A.D. 491.] Saint Patrick, the second archbishop of Ireland, rested in the Lord in the hundred and twenty-second year of his age. Of his sanctity and miracles many proofs are related. For forty years he preached the virtues of the apostles, while he gave sight to the blind, caused the deaf to hear, drove out devils from bodies which they had occupied, released men in prison, whom he redeemed at his own expense, and, endued with divine virtue, raised nine men from the dead. He also wrote three hundred and forty-five grammars and more; he ordained an equal number of bishops, and a thousand presbyters, and he converted twelve thousand men in the district of Connaught to the faith of Christ. He also baptized in one day, seven kings, who were the sons of Amolgith, and he fasted forty days and as many nights on the top of mount Hely, where he offered up three prayers for those Irish who had received the faith of Christ. In the first place, he prayed that every one of them might feel repentance, though it were in the last stage of their lives. Secondly, that he might not be eternally worn out by the unbelievers. Thirdly, that no

A.D. 491.] HISTORY OF SAINT PATRICK. 245

one of the Irish may survive at the advent of the Judge, because Ireland, according to the prayer of Saint Patrick, will be destroyed seven years before the judgment. And on that hill he blessed the people of Ireland, and went up thither in order to pray for them and to see the fruit of his labour.

There also came to him to that place, innumerable birds of various colours, that he might bless them, which, as the Saint interprets it, indicate that all the saints of both sexes of the Irish will come to him at the day of judgment as to their father and teacher, and will follow him into the presence of God.

There are four points of view in which Moses and Patrick are parallel. In the first place, because an angel conversed with Patrick also, in a burning bush. Secondly, because he fasted on a mountain forty days and forty nights. Thirdly, because he also lived to the age of a hundred and twenty-two. Fourthly, because his tomb cannot be found; but he was buried in a secret place, without any one knowing where.

In his childhood, as he was by nation an Irishman, he was sold by his father with his two sisters, to go to Scotland, and purchased by a certain man named Cuuleu, whose swineherd he became. Then, when he was seventeen years of age, he returned from his captivity into his own country, and having been instructed in sacred literature by the providence of God, be then went to Rome, and spent his time there till he was accounted more learned still; and perusing the Holy Scriptures, he penetrated the divine mysteries. And while he abode at Rome, Palladius was sent by pope Celestine to the Scotch, as their bishop, in order to convert them to Christ; and he, first of all preaching the word of God in Scotland, at length came to Britain, and died in the country of the Picts. But when the death of Palladius was heard of, Patrick, while Theodosius and Valentinian were emperors, was sent by pope Celestine to the parts of the west, in order to preach the standard of the true cross to the Gentiles. And when he had come to Britain, he preached there the word of God, and was gladly received by the nations who inhabited those countries. Then be proceeded onwards to Scotland, and preached the word of God, which could not be kept in bonds. At last, being promoted by the archbishop Matthew to the rank of bishop, he at his ordination assumed this name of Patrick, for his name

246 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 493.

before was Nanniis. With him also were ordained Ansilius and Iserninus, and some others also to inferior degrees, in order that they might serve God under him, as their chief. Then, having received a blessing in the name of the Holy Trinity, he embarked on board ship, and coming to the island of Britain, he preached there many days. Then he went on to Ireland, being girded up to preach the Gospel, and being rich in spiritual treasures, he baptised them, gaining many to God, and preaching the Gospel for eighty years; and at last, having arrived at the highest perfection in religion, and being full of days, and illustrious with all kinds of proofs of his virtues, he rested in Christ.

[A.D. 492.] Ella, who had occupied the country of the South Saxons, as has been said above, came from the country of Germany, bringing with him a military reinforcement, relying on the aid of which, he besieged the very strongly fortified city of Andredcestria. And when this was known, the Britons flocked together from all quarters, like a swarm of bees, and as enemies vigorously attacked the blockading Saxons, always hanging on their rear with archers. And so, leaving the siege of the city, the pagans directed their march and their arms against them. But the Britons, being superior to them in swiftness of foot and activity of body, took refuge in the woods, and when the pagans again turned against the city, they again attacked them in the rear. The Saxons were long harassed by this system, and suffered no small loss. Then the Saxons dividing their army into two parts, assigned to one portion the duty of besieguig the city, and to the other, that of subduing the Britons. But the citizens being worn out with long famine, and wasting away, and being unable any longer to bear the weight of the hostile pagans, all perished by the edge of the sword, and the enemy utterly destroyed the city. And the place of the city is to this very day shown to passers-by as desolate. Ella then remained there, with his three sons, and began to inhabit that district which is to this day called in English, Sussex, but in the Latin the country of the South Saxons.

[A.D. 493.] Anastasius succeeded to the empire of Rome, and reigned twenty-five years. And we may remark, that the year when Zeno died and Anastasius began to reign, was, according to the Romans, the five thousand nine hundred and

A.D. 497.] PASCENTIUS OBTAINS AID FBOM IRELAND. 247

eighty-ninth year from the birth of Adam; but, according to the calcalation of the Alexandrines, the five thousand nine hundred and eighty-third.

[A.D. 494.] Gelavius was appointed to the Roman chair, and occupied it four years, eight months, and nineteen days. The same year Cedric, and his son Kenric came with five ships to Britain, and landed in the place which was afterwards called from his name, Cerdioshoara, that is to say, the port of Cedric. But the same day, a great multitude of the inhabitants of the country came against them, and fought manfully. But the Saxons stood firm in front of their ships, till the darkness of the night put an end to the contest. But when they found the Saxons so formidable, the Britons withdrew, and the pagans began gradually to occupy more and more of the sea coast in a hostile country, though not without frequent battles with the inhabitants. From this Cedric, the kings of the West Saxons derive their descent.

[A.D. 495.] Anastasius the emperor wished to recall the heretic Acatius, but the Romans would not consent. Acatius was bishop of Constantinople, but he had become odious to God and the Holy Church.

[A.D. 496.] The before-mentioned heretic Acatius was struck by lightning, and died. The same year, Pascentius, the son of Vortigern, who had fled (as has been related above) into Germany, landed in the northern part of Britain, with a powerful and well-appointed army, in order to avenge himself and his father on Aurelius, king of the Britons. And when news of this was brought to the king, he collected an army and went to meet him, and the two leaders eagerly engaged in battle, but at last Pascentius was conquered, and put to flight.

[A.D. 497.] The above-mentioned Pascentius betook himself to Gillomannius, king of Ireland, and besought him for aid, to avenge himself on Aurelius, and Gillomannius, being mindful of the injury done to himself by Aurelius, in carrying away the Giant's Dance by force from Ireland, promised him assistance. Accordingly, having prepared ships, he crossed the sea and landed at St. David's. And when the news of this reached the king, Uther the brother of Aurelius (for Aurelius himself was ill) went towards Gillomannius and Pascentius. But before Pascentius engaged in battle with Uther, the king's brother, knowing that Aurelius was lying sick at Winchester, he bribed

248 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 498.

a certain Saxon, by name Eopa, with many gifts, to take off Aurelius by poison. Accordingly, the traitor, assuming the dress of a monk, went to Winchester. After he reached the city, he professed to be a physician, and offered his services to the king's attendants, who were anxious for nothing so much as for a physician. And at last he was introduced to the presence of the king, and gave him poison. And when the king had taken it, the wicked traitor desired him to go to sleep, and that then he would at once recover his health. However, the poison immediately entered the pores and veins of his body, and death ensued. Then that traitor, escaping privily, departed from the palace.

But while these things were taking place at Winchester, Gillomannius and Pascentius fought a most severe battle in Wales, with Uther, the brother of the king; but at last Uther prevailed, and gained the victory, and Gillomannius and Pascentius were both slain. After these occurrences, a star of marvellous size and brilliancy appeared, shining with one single ray, attached to which ray, was extended a ball of fire, in the shape of a dragon, and out of its mouth proceeded two rays, one of which appeared to extend its length beyond the regions of Gaul, and the other was bent towards the Irish sea, and terminated in seven smaller rays. This star having been seen, Uther was agitated with excessive fear, and asked his wise men to tell him what the star portended. And they answered and said, "The star and the fiery dragon under this star indicate you. The ray which is extended towards the country of Gaul, portends that you will have a most mighty son, who shall possess the numerous kingdoms which the star covers. But the other ray indicates a daughter, whose sons and grandsons shall possess the kingdom of Britain in succession. Hasten therefore, most noble general, hasten. For that brother of yours, the illustrious king of the Britons, Aurelius Ambrosius, is dead, with whom both the military skill and glory of the Britons has expired". And immediately messengers arrived relating the death of the king, and that he had been already buried in a royal manner by the bishops and abbots of the kingdom, within the Giant's Dance, which he himself had ordered to be built.

[A.D. 498.] Anastasius was appointed to the chair of Rome, and occupied it one year, eleven months, and twenty-four

A.D. 498.] THS SAXONS COMPLETELY ROUTED. 249

days. The same year, Uther, the brother of Aurelius, the deceased king of Britain, having heard of the death of his brother, came in haste to Winchester, and having convoked the people and clergy of the kingdom, took upon himself the sovereignty of Britain. And remembering the star that has been already mentioned, he ordered two dragons to be made of gold, in the likeness of the dragon which he had beheld in the ray of the star, and he placed one in the church of the first see of Winchester, and retained the other to be borne before himself in battle. Accordingly, from that time forth he was called in the British language Uther Pendragon. But in the language of the Angles, Uther Drafe Deued, and in Latin, Uther the Dragon's Head. On which account, to this very day the custom has prevailed among the kings of this land, of ordering a dragon, instead of a standard, to be borne before them in their warlike expeditions.

About this time, Octa, the son of Hengist, and Eosa, his kinsman, having been released from the treaty which they had made with Aurelius, endeavoured to wage war against king Uther, and to extend their own territories. Accordingly, being accompanied with a very numerous multitude of Saxons, they invaded the northern provinces of Britain, and utterly destroyed the fortifications from Scotland down as far as York. Afterwards, when they had began to besiege the city of Alclud, Uther Pendragon arrived with all the strength of the district, and engaged in battle with them. The Saxons resisted manfully, and put the Britons to flight, and the pagans pursued them as far as Mount Danet; when day dawned, the Britons occupied the mountain, and took it for their refuge, not knowing what to do. At last, they, with wise counsel, determined to make a nocturnal attack on the enemy, and to come upon them while asleep and unarmed. Being therefore arranged in battalions and armed, they marched upon the camp of the enemy, and attacked it vigorously. And the Saxons being thus surprised unexpectedly, could make no effectual resistance, while the others derived boldness from their deliberate design. At last Octa and Eosa were taken prisoners, and the Saxons were completely routed. Then, when peace was restored everywhere, the king went to London, and caused Octa and Eosa to be detained as prisoners in that city. And as the feast of Easter was at hand, he ordered the nobles of the kingdom to

250 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 499.

assemble there, in order that when he assumed the diadem, they might celebrate the holy day with due honour. All immediately obeyed, and the king celebrated the festivity with joy. Among other nobles, Gorlois, duke of Cornwall, was present, with his wife Igerna, whose beauty surpassed that of all the women in Britain. When the king beheld her, he was at once inflamed with love for her, and sent her alone cups of wine and spiced dishes without ceasing. But when her husband heard of it, he was very angry, and departed from the court without leave. At this, the king was very indignant, and went in haste to Cornwall, burning all his towns and cities with fire. At last, when he had arrived at Dimilioch, he provoked the count, who was besieged there, to battle. And the count acting foolishly, went forth from the city; but he fell among the first, mortally wounded, and his comrades were completely routed. And the king, after his death, married his wife, and had by her a son and daughter. And the son was named Arthur, and the daughter Anna. But Arthur, by his wonderful virtue, well deserved to be accounted illustrious.

CH. IX.- FROM A.D. 499 TO A.D. 585.

Clovis enriches the Church - The Saxons became nearly masters of Britain - They are defeated by Uther Pendragon - Ella, king of the Saxons, dies - Uther Pendragon dies - King Arthur is crowned - His victories over the Saxons - Justin, emperor of Rome - Boethius - The Saxons again invade Britain, and are defeated - Arthur's sword Caliburn, and other arms - He restores the churches - Marries - Justinian, emperor of Rome - Saint Anthony - Saint Denis - Saint Benedict - Iotila - Arthur kills Mordred, and is mortally wounded - Clothaire, king of the Franks - The Saxons become masters of Britain - The Heptarchy.

[A.D. 499.] After the death of pope Anastasius, two successors to the apostolic see were consecrated, namely, Symmachus and Laurentius. And as on this account great dissensions arose at Rome, the Roman senate decreed that they should both go to Theodoric, king of Italy. And when they had done so, the king gave sentence that whichever of them was first ordained, and whichever had the good will of the greater part of the people, should retain the apostolic see. Accordingly, Symmachus, being confirmed in the see, ordained Laurentius

A.D. 505.] CUSTOM INSTITUTED BY POPE SYMMACHUS. 251

as bishop in the church of Miscen. But three years afterwards, Symmachas was impeached, and Laurentius recalled. Then Symmachas, a synod of a hundred and fifteen bishops having been convened, cleared himself most eloquently from the accusations brought against him, and proved his own innocence. And so Laurentius was again ejected, and Symmachus restored. But when Symmachus died, then it was determined that Laurentius should be elected to the apostolic see in his place.

[A.D. 500.] Clodoveus, king of the Franks, gave many estates to the church of Rheims, out of his own innate royal munificence. Remigius having given a great portion of them to the church of Lyons, founded the seat of a bishopric there, that the dignity and honour of the church might be increased.

[A.D. 501.] Port, and his two sons, Bleda and Magla, came to Britain with two ships, and landed in the place which, from the name of Port, is called Portsmouth. Moreover, expelling the duke of that district, they occupied the sea-coast, and began to inhabit the place which was previously unoccupied.

[A.D. 502.] Symmachus Patricius, and his son-in-law Boethias, translated books treating of all the liberal sciences out of Greek into Latin.

[A.D. 503.] A certain exceedingly mad man from Africa, named Olympus, while he was in a bath blaspheming the Holy Trinity, was burnt by a thunderbolt which came down on him from heaven.

[A.D. 504.] While Deuterus, the Arrian bishop at Constantinople was baptizing a man of the name of Barba, and expressing the distinction between the persons of the Trinity incorrectly, saying, "I baptize you, Barba, in the name of the Father, by the Son, in the Holy Ghost", the water suddenly disappeared.

[A.D. 505.] Alamund, king of the Saracens, having been baptized by the orthodox, when the Eutychians were desirous to seduce him, refuted them by this fabulous argument; that he had received letters mentioning the death of the archangel Michael. As they replied that this was impossible, because the nature of an angel was impassible, "How then", said he, "was Christ, according to your statement, crucified naked, unless he really had two natures, since, according to you, even an angel cannot die"?

252 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 511.

[A.D. 506.] Pope Symmachas instituted a custom on every Sunday or birth-day of a saint to sing the Gloria in Excelsis at mass, a hymn which pope Telesphorus had only appointed to be sung on the night of the birth-day of our Lord; and he added to it the words of the angels which follow.

[A.D. 507.] There flourished in Britain Saint Samson, archbishop of York, and Saint Dubritius, archbishop of Caerleon.

[A.D. 508.] Hormisda was elected pope, and occupied the Roman chair nine years and seventeen days, and the see was vacant six days. The same year, Cedric and his son Kenric provoked the Britons to battle. For Uther, king of the Britons, was sick, and could not turn himself on either side; on which account he appointed duke Nathanlioth general of the army of the Britons. And when the Saxons and Britons met, they fought with great vigour. But the Saxons, piercing the ranks of the Britons, slew duke Nathanlioth; and with him there fell of the Britons five thousand men, and the Saxons withdrew exulting in their victory.

[A.D. 509.] The keepers of the prison in which Octa and Eosa were passing their tedious life, being corrupted by bribes, fled with them into Germany, and returned with a large fleet to compass the destruction of Britain. Therefore, king Uther entrusted the army of Britain to Lothus, the magistrate of Leyli, a most energetic man. But when he had advanced against the enemy, he was several times repulsed by them, because the Britons would not obey his counsels.

[A.D. 510.] The emperor Anastasius sent letters to Louis, [1] king of the Franks, about the consulship, and a golden crown, and ever after that day he was styled consul.

[A.D. 511.] The Saxons who inhabited Britain, seeing that Uther Pendragon, the king, was afflicted by great infirmities, all agreed together to expel all the islanders from their country, and, uniting their forces, to subdue that fertile country to obedience to them for ever. Therefore, overrunning all the provinces, as they knew that no one could resist them, they began to ravage almost the whole island from sea to sea. Nor did they spare the prelates or the property of the church; but extirpated nearly the whole of Christianity out of the island. But the islanders, abandoning their infirm monarch, fled to


[1] The same who has hitherto been called Clodoveus, or Clovia.

A.D. 513.] JOHN APPOINTED TO THE ROMAN CHAIR. 253

the precipices of the mountains and in the hiding-places in the woods, according to the ancient proverb -

"Where'er the head deceased is,
The other limbs know little ease".

[A.D. 512.] Uther Pendragon, king of the Britons, being greatly grieved at the subversion of the kingdom, and the oppression of the holy church, and the desolate state of the nobles, and the dispersion of the people, having convoked all the nobles of his kingdom, reproached them bitterly for their pride and indolence. And, heaping many hard words and reproaches on them, he swore that he himself would lead them against the enemy in order to recall the minds of all men to their former state and boldness. Therefore, he ordered a litter to be made in such a manner that he might be carried in it, as his infirmity prevented him from advancing in any other way. Accordingly, the king having been placed in a litter, he marched to Verulamium with all the force of his kingdom, where the wicked Saxons were encamped, and from whence they were oppressing the whole kingdom. And when Octa and Eosa heard of the advance of the Britons, and that their king had come in a litter, they disdained to fight with him, because he came in a carriage: therefore, they withdrew into the city, and left the gates open, out of indignation. But Uther ordered his men at once to blockade the city, and to batter down the walls on every side; and, accordingly, having beaten down the walls, they would at once have entered the city, and shed no little blood, if the Saxons had not at last determined to resist them. But when morning came, the Saxons marched out with their forces in battle array, challenging the Britons to battle; the Britons opposed them gallantly, the Saxons charged intrepidly, and great slaughter took place on both sides. At last, after many bloody battles, the victory was decided in favour of the king of the Britons, and Octa and Eosa having been slain, the remainder of the Saxons fled before the Britons.

Therefore, the king was delighted, and derived such vigour of mind and such happiness from his victory, that he who was previously unable to rise without the support of another, now with a slight effort reseated himself in his litter as if he had recovered his former health.

[A.D. 513.] John was appointed to the Roman chair, and

254 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 516.

occupied it two years and nine months. The same year, Saint Genevieve, a virgin of Paris, being eighty years old, departed to the Lord.

[A.D. 514.] The grandsons of Cedric, Scupha and Wihgarus, arrived in Britain with two ships, and landed on the western side of the island. Therefore, the generals of the Britons came forth against them to battle, but their forces were routed in a moment. The prowess of Cedric was very terrible; and though he passed through the whole island in a hostile manner, he scarcely found any one to resist him: so that the magnificence of the pagans increased every day. The same year, Ella, whom all the Saxons obeyed as their king, died; and Cissa, his son, reigned in his stead; from whom the city which he founded derived its name of Chichester.

[A.D. 515.] Felix was elected pope, and occupied the Roman chair four years, two months, and thirteen days. He separated the clergy from the people in the church; as the two bodies had previously been accustomed to sit together.

[A.D. 516.] When Uther Pendragon, king of the Britons, was lying, weighed down by infirmities, at Verulamium, the Saxons agreed together, and sent some wicked men, disguised in the dress of the poorest class, to take off the king by poison. So they came to Verulamium, and carefully began to examine into the means of killing the king. At length they selected this device in preference to any other, as the best by which to effect their design. There was, outside the city, a fountain of very clear water, which the king used to drink, because he was disinclined to any other liquid. Therefore, these wicked traitors attacked the fountain itself, and imbued it thoroughly with the most deadly poison; to such a degree, that even waters at a distance which proceeded from it were corrupted. And, when the king had drank of it, he speedily died, and several other persons beside him, till the wickedness was discovered, and the fountain blocked up and covered with a mound of earth. This is believed to have been the very fountain which the invincible martyr, Alban, produced for the thirsty people out of the dry soil of the steep hill, when he was being led to martrydom.

But, when the king was dead, the priests met together with the clergy of the kingdom and the people, and buried him in royal fashion within the Giant's Dance; and, after this had been

A.D. 518.] BONIFACE PLACED IN THE ROMAN CHAIR. 255

done, Dubritius, archbishop of the city of London, in union with the bishops and nobles of the land, made Arthur, his son, a youth of fifteen years of age, king, with great pomp. He was a man of unheard-of valour and liberality, by which he became so popular, that he was praised by all men, even by his enemies; for such a host of soldiers flocked to his standard, and so great was the number of those who wished to serve under him, that he had not sufficient means to supply pay for them. At that time the Saxons had invited over their fellow countrymen from Germany; and, under their leader, Colgrin, had subjugated the whole of that part of the island which extends from the Humber to the sea of Caithness. And when Arthur heard that, he, with those who owed allegiance to him, marched to York, which had been already subdued by the Saxons. But Colgrin, hearing of the advance of Arthur, went to meet him with a very numerous army, near the river Douglas, and a battle took place, in which Arthur put Colgrin to flight, and pursued him as far as York, and there blockaded him in that city. But Baldulph, the brother of Colgrin, while awaiting the arrival of the Saxons on the coast, proposed to make a night attack upon Arthur. Arthur, however, being forewarned of this by his spies, sent Cador, duke of Cornwall, with six hundred cavalry and three thousand infantry, ou the road by which the enemy would come; and they, attacking them unexpectedly, killed and wounded a great many of them, and put the rest to flight.

[A.D. 517.] Duke Cheldric came from Germany with seven hundred ships, and landed in Scotland, and the Britons were affraid to enter in a contest, of which they thought the result doubtful, with so great a force; therefore, Arthur raised the siege of York, and retreated to the city of London with his army. Then, having taken counsel of his friends, he sent messengers into Brittany, to king Hoel, to tell him of the difficulties of Britain. But Hoel was the son of Arthur's sister, by Dubritius, king of the Armorican Britons; and he, hearing of the danger with which his uncle was threatened, ordered a large fleet to be prepared; and, having collected fifteen thousand armed men, arrived with a fair wind at the port of Southampton. Arthur received him with joy and due honour. The same year the holy virgin Bridget departed to the Lord.

[A.D. 518.] Boniface was placed iu the Roman chair, which

256 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 520.

he occupied two years and seven days. The same year, Arthur, having collected a large army, marched to the city of Caerlindcoit, which is now called Lincoln, where, having found the Saxons, he made an unheard-of slaughter of them; for there fell of them in one day six thousand men, who all perished miserably, some being drowned in the river, some being pierced with arrows, and others slain by the sword while flying. But Arthur never ceased pursuing the fliers till they came to the grove of Calidon; but there they all gathered into a body, and endeavoured to resist him, defending themselves manfully; and Arthur, seeing this, ordered the trees to be cut down around that part of the wood, and the trunks to be arranged around in such a way that all egress was utterly denied to them; for his object was to blockade them there till they all died of famine. Accordingly, the Saxons, having nothing to eat, begged leave to depart, on condition of returning with nothing but their persons to Germany. And Arthur, having deliberated with his council, granted their request, and, retaining all their property and spoils, and exacting tribute and hostages from them, conceded them nothing but a safe retreat

[A.D. 519.] Justus became emperor of the Romans, and reigned eight years. This year also, Boethius, who had been banished by the pope, wrote his book on the subject of the consolation of philosophy.

[A.D. 520.] The Saxons, Colgrin, Baldulph, and Cheldric, repented of having made the agreement with Arthur. On which account they returned to Britain, and landed on the shore of Totness, and at last besieged the city of Bado. And when the news of this got abroad, Arthur ordered their hostages to be hung. Then, hastening towards the besieged city, he ordered all men to take arms; and he himself put on a breastplate, put on his head with the image of a dragon engraved on it, and to his shoulders he hung his shield named Pridwen, in which was embossed the image of the Holy Mother of God, which constantly recalled her to his memory. He was also girded with a trusty sword, called Caliburn, and a lance named Iron adorned his right hand. Then, having marshalled his troops, he boldly attacked the enemy. But they manfully resisted the whole day, and dealt unwearied slaughter among the Britons. At last, when the sun was approaching its setting, the Saxons occupied a mountain close

[A.D. 521.] ARTHUR'S GENEROSITY TO HIS ENEMIES. 257

at hand, intending to use it as a camp. But the next day, at dawn, Arthur, with his army, ascended to the top of the hill; but, in ascending, he lost many of his men; for the Saxons descended from the summit to meet him, and so inflicted wounds on his troops more easily than his troops could wound them. The Britons, howeyer, having by great valour, won the top of the hill, inflicted terrible slaughter on the enemy; and the Saxons, opposing their breasts to them, resisted them obstinately with all their might. And when they had spent a great part of the day in fighting, at last, Arthur, drawing Caliburn, invoked the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and threw himself with fierce impetuosity among the dense lines of the enemy, and slew every one he could reach, with blows that were not trifling, and which needed no repetition. Nor did he cease from his fury till he had slain eight hundred and forty men with his single sword. Colgrin, and Baldulph, his brother, fell there, and with them many thousands of the barbarians. But Cheldric, when he saw the danger of his companions, fled with the remnant of the army. Therefore the King ordered Cador, duke of Cornwall, to pursue them. And, as they could find no safe place of refuge, they at last, with their scattered battalions, reached the Isle of Thanet; but the duke pursued them, and gave them no rest till he had slain Cheldric, and received the surrender of the rest.

The same year, John was appointed to the Roman chair, and occupied it two years.

[A.D. 521.] Boethius, having been long an exile, was put to death by Theodoric, king of the Goths. The same year, news was brought to Arthur that the Scots and Picts had besieged king Hoel, in the city of Alclud, where he was lying sick. On which account he hastened to go to his assistance, that he might not be overwhelmed by any means by the barbarians. And when the enemy heard of his advance, they fled to Mureif. And Arthur pursued them, and besieged ihem in that town, and they escaped by night, and entered the lake of Lumonoy. But Arthur having collected some ships, surrounded the island, and blockading them, pressed them so much with hunger for fifteen days, that about a million of them died. After which circumstance, the bishops of that district came barefoot and weeping to the king, entreating him to have mercy upon that miserable people, and to permit them to inhabit a small

258 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 526.

portion of the country under the yoke of perpetual slavery. Therefore, the king being moved at the tears of the bishops, pardoned his enemies and granted their request.

[A.D. 522.] Agapitus was placed in the Roman chair, and occupied it eleven months. He was succeeded by Silverius, who was pope for one year. The same year, when king Arthur had entered the city of York, when the day of the nativity of the Lord was at hand, he was greatly grieved at seeing the desolation of the holy churches, and having convoked the people, he gave the see of the archbishopric to Pirannus, his chaplain. He restored throughout all Britain the churches that had been destroyed, and recalled the nobles of the kingdom who had been expelled by the Saxons, and restored them their lands and paternal possessions very liberally.

[A.D. 523.] When Arthur, king of Britain, had restored the island to its former condition, he married a wife, by name Guenhumara, descended from the noble race of the Romans. She had been brought up in the palace of the duke of Cornwall, and was superior to all the women of this island in beauty. Then, having invited numbers of nobles from distant kingdoms, he began to display so much elegance of behaviour at home, in dress, in bearing arms, in speaking and all his conduct, that he excited distant nations to an emulation of him. And the fame of his liberality and virtue becoming notorious throughout different countries, affected the kings across the sea, exciting affection in some, and no small apprehension in others.

[A.D. 524.] Vigilius became pope, and occupied the Roman chair sixteen years and twenty-six days, and the see was vacant three months and five days.

[A.D. 525.] King Arthur, having prepared a powerful fleet, went to the island of Ireland, and on his landing he was met by Gillamurius, the king, with the people of that country. At last Gillamurius was taken prisoner, and the rest of the chiefs were compelled to capitulate. After that he ravaged Holland, Jutland, and the islands of the Orkneys with fire and sword, and placed all these countries under tribute. And when he had done this, he returned to Britain.

[A.D. 526.] The heresy of Acephali was refuted and condemned. They were called Acephali, that is to say, without a head, for it cannot be ascertained who was the author of that

A.D. 532.] DIONYSIUS ARRANGES HIS CYCLE. 259

heresy. The Acephali are impugners of the three articles agreed to by the Council of Chalcedon. They deny the property of two substances in Christ, and assert that there was only one nature in his person. They also assert that the Apostle Paul, in his Epistles, ordered women to be made deaconesses, because he mentions them after the deacons.

[A.D. 527.] Justinian succeeded to the Roman empire, and reigned thirty-eight years. The same year, Pagans came from Germany and occupied East Anglia, that is to say, that district which is called the country of the East Angles; some of whom invaded Mercia, and fought many battles with the Britons. But as their leaders were very numerous, their names have not been preserved. The same year, the kingdom of the East Saxons, which was called Essex, was first established, and Erkenwin is believed to have been its founder and first king; he was the son of Offa, the son of Bredecan, the son of Sigewolf, the son of Spetua, the son of Geser, the son of Andesse, the son of Saxuad, the son of Woden.

[A.D. 528.] Cedric and his son Kenric having collected very large bodies of armed men in the Isle of Wight, made a great slaughter there, at Wigaresbin, and made themselves masters of the whole island.

[A.D. 529.] The body of Antony the monk was found, in consequence of a divine revelation, and was brought to Alexandria.

[A.D. 530.] Some orthodox bishops in Africa having had their tongues cut out by the roots by the Vandals, spoke distinctly afterwards, in such a way as to be a marvel and a sight to many. And one of their number increased the miracle, because he becoming unduly elated, was deprived of the divine gift, and became dumb again.

[A.D. 531.] Saint Adastus was ordained as the first bishop of Artois, by Saint Remigius.

[A.D. 532.] The abbot Dionysius arranged his cycle, consisting of five cycles of nineteen years. And because the second year of this arrangement ought to correspond, in the calculation, with the first year of the nativity of Christ, the thirty-fifth year of the cycle of Dionysius ought to correspond, in the calculation, with the thirty-third year of the nativity of Christ, that is to say, in such a way that the fourteenth day of the moon in April, would be the ninth of the calends of April, and the fifth day of the week. The passion of Christ

260 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 536.

would be the eighth of the calends of April (March 25), and the sixth day of the week; the resurrection, the sixth of the calends of April and the Lord's day. But as this is not really the case, but in that year the fourteenth day of the April moon fell on the twelfth of the calends of April, and the first day of the week, and the Lord's day of Easter on the fifth day of the calends, on that account this cycle is rejected, because it is inconsistent with the Gospel truth.

This year also, the emperor Justinian abridged the books of the Roman laws into one volume, which is called the Code of Justinian.

[A.D. 533.] Cedric, the first king of the West Saxons, died, and Kenric, his son, reigned in his stead. He reigned twenty-six years. The same year, king Arthur, designing to subdue all Europe, having prepared a fleet, went to Norway. And when he had arrived there, he found Sichelm, the king of that country, already dead, who dying, had assigned the kingdom of the Norwegians to Lother, Arthur's sister's son. For he was the grandson of Sichelin, and a youth of wonderful virtue and liberality, on which account he had adopted him as his successor in the kingdom. There was also at that time, Walwan, the son of the befoire-mentioned Lother, a youth of twelve years of age, who had been entrusted to pope Vigilius to bring up, and who received from him also the belt of military service. When Arthur, having subdued the Norwegians, had raised Lother to the throne, he returned to Britain with joy, intending to invade the country of Gaul, which he was excessively desirous to reduce under his own power.

[A.D. 534.] The abbot Theodoric, a disciple of Saint Remigius, and the abbot Theodulph, a disciple of Theodoric himself, flourished in Gaul.

[A.D. 535.] Two uterine brothers flourished in Gaul, who were born the same day, and consecrated pontiffs the same day; one of them, named Medardus, to the see of Nismes, the other, named Gildardus, to that of Rouen, and who also departed from this world to Christ, being released on the same day.

[A.D. 536.] Saint Benedict, according to some accounts, departed to Christ. Likewise king Arthur, desiring to reduce the countries of Gaul under his power, having prepared a fleet, committed the protection of the whole of Britain and

[A.D. 540.] A GREAT MORTALITY AT BYZANTIUM. 261

his wife to Mordred, his nephew. Then sailing across the sea, with a prosperous voyage, he, without difficulty, subdued Estrusia, which is now called Normandy; then advancing onwards, be ravaged all the provinces of Gaul, and at last slew Frollo, the governor, in battle, and compelled the city of Paris to capitulate and acknowledge him for its master. Then marching towards the west, he reduced Anjou, Poictiers, Gascony, and all Aquitaine to submission.

[A.D. 537.] A miracle happened of universal notoriety, affecting Theophilus the apostate, and the blessed Mary, the mother of the Saviour. The same year also, Arthur, king of the Britons, having subdued the countries of Gaul, marched to Anteus, where he defeated Lucius, the consul of the city of Rome (who had come to assist the Gauls with all the power of Rome), near Lengriae, in the valley which is now called Seisias, and slew him.

[A.D. 538.] King Totila persecuted Benedict the younger, on account of his faith in Christ; and as, though he wished to burn him and his cell, he was not able to do so, he threw him into a heated furnace in Campania, in Italy, and the next day he came out unhurt, with his garments uninjured.

[A.D. 539.] The sun was obscured from the morning till the third hour. The same year, king Arthur, having subdued the provinces around the Alps, prepared to march onwards to subdue the Roman people. His name was very much magnified over the whole earth. On which account princes and nobles came from distant countries to live under him and to be instnicted by him, and to enjoy the delights of his presence and politeness. Of his magnificence and virtue. Merlin, the prophet of the Britons, prophesied, saying, "At length oppressed Britain shall prevail, and shall withstand the fierceness of the foreigners. For the boar of Cornwall shall bring help, and shall trample the necks of his enemies under his feet. The isles of the ocean shall be subjected to his power, and he shall be lord of the Gallic priests; the house of Romulus shall tremble at his fierceness, and his end shall be doubtful. He shall be celebrated in the mouth of the people, and his exploits shall be food to the relators of them".

[A.D. 540.] A great mortality of mankind took place at Byzantium. On which account, by command of the emperor Justinian, the solemnity of the Holy Mother of God began to

262 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 541.

be celebrated, which is called the Purification, on the second day of February, and the pestilence ceased. The same year, Mordred, the nephew of Arthur, to whom Arthur had entrusted Britain, caused himself to be crowned with his uncle's diadem, and took his queen, Guenhumara, to be his own wife, violating the rights of her former marriage. And that traitor was confederate with the Saxons, who under the command of Cheldric came from Germany with eight hundred ships full of soldiers, who all obeyed Mordred as their own lord. And when the infamy of that wickedness came to the ears of Arthur, who had already began to ascend the Alps on his march towards Rome, he returned with only the kings of the island towards Britain, inflamed with the greatest wrath and inextinguishable hatred against Mordred.

[A.D. 541.] A comet appeared in Gaul, so bright that the whole heaven appeared to be on fire. And the same year, real blood rained out of the clouds; and about the same time, a certain individual's house was seen to be sprinkled with blood, and a terrible mortality of men followed. The same year, the noble king Arthur, coming to Britain with great haste, arranged to land in the harbour of Rutupium, which is now called Sandwich. And while he was disembarking, Mordred, with a very numerous army came against him, and inflicted no small slaughter on his troops as they were landing. On that day Anguselus, King of Albany, fell, and Walwan, the king's grandson, and innumerable others. But at last, after a great deal of labour and a doubtful and bloody battle, Arthur and his army effected their landing. And then attacking the enemy with great impetuosity, they put Mordred and his army to flight, with no ordinary loss. And Mordred, rallying his forces as well as he could, threw himself into Winchester. And when the news of this event was brought to queen Guenhumara, she fled in haste to Caerleon, and there took upon herself a religious habit amongst the nuns in the monastery of Julius the Martyr.

Arthur, greatly enraged, hastened to Winchester and besieged Mordred, who had already entered that city. But in the morning, having marshalled his troops, Mordred sallied out from the city and attacked the king vigorously. Then there was no small slaughter made of the opposing armies, but at

A.D. 543.] MORDRED'S SONS RISE AGAINST CONSTANTINE. 263

last, Mordred abandoned the field, and took his way towards Cornwall. And Arthur pursued him, and overtook him at the river Camblan. But Mordred being the most impious and most audacious of men, marshalled his troops and attacked the king and his army with great impetuosity, choosing rather to die than to flee any longer before his enemies. Then, as they fought in different parts of the field, there was no small bloodshed on both sides, and the groans of the dying inspired the living with ferocity. But after a great part of the day was passed, at last Arthur rushed on, borne onwards by a lion's spirit, against that part of the army in which he knew that Mordred was; and making himself a way with his sword, and scattering the enemy, he made a most bloody slaughter of them, scattered their close ranks, and drove them different ways. The battle grew thick and fierce, and the air rattled with the clang of the blows. Therefore that traitor Mordred fell, and with him the Saxons, Cedric, Elaphius, Egbrith, and Bruning, and many thousands of soldiers with them, and so, by the favour of God, the victory fell to Arthur. But, alas! he was mortally wounded, and was carried from thence to the island of Avalon, which is now called Glasconia, to be healed of his wounds.

[A.D. 542.] King Arthur, as his life was despaired of, his enemies being now slain, bestowed the crown of Britain on his kinsman, Constantine, the son of Cador, duke of Cornwall. The dying king kept himself from sight, that his enemies might not insult his misfortunes, and so his friends be grieved. On which account, as the histories say nothing of the death of Arthur or of his burial, the nation of the Britons, out of the greatness of their affection for him, contend that he is still alive.

The same year, while Clothaire, king of the Franks, was besieging the city of Saragossa, in Spain, the citizens prayed to the Lord, and carried the tunic of the blessed martyr Vincentius round the walls. And the king accepted it as a present from them, and so returned again to his own country.

[A.D. 543.] The two sons of Mordred rose in insurrection against Constantine, king of the Britons, wishing to avenge their father, and having made an alliance with the Saxons, they fought many battles. But at last Constantine put them to flight, and pursuing them, slew one of them at Winchester, in

264 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 550.

the church of Saint Amphibalus, before the altar. And the other he condemned to a cruel death at London, where he was hidden in a convent of a religious brotherhood.

[A.D. 544.] Herculianus, bishop of Perugia, became a martyr, having been beheaded by Totila, king of the Ostrogoths. And his head, after his death, was found to be united to his body. The same year, Withgar, the prince of the Isle of Wight, died, and was buried in the place which is called after his name Withgaersberie.

[A.D. 545.] Saint Remigius, ardibishop of Rheims, fell asleep in the Lord. About the same time, Constantine, king of the Britons died, and was buried within the Giant's Dance. He was succeeded by Aurelius Conan, a youth of marvellous virtue, and his own grandson, a man in all respects worthy of a crown, except inasmuch as he was a lover of civil war. In fact, he imprisoned his uncle, who ought to have reigned after Constantine, and put his two sons to death, and so obtained the kingdom and reigned thirty years.

[A.D. 546.] Pope Vigilius was driven into banishment by the emperor Justinian, because he refused to recall the heretic Anthymus to his bishopric.

[A.D. 547.] Alboyn, king of the Lombards, slew Cunimund, king of the Gepidae, in battle, and he had the skull of his head made into a drinking cup for himself, and carried off his daughter prisoner, and made her his wife.

[A.D. 548.] The kingdom of the Northumbrians took its rise. For when the nobles, of the Angles, by great and continued exertions, had subdued that country, they unanimously elected a most noble youth, of the name of Ida, to be their king. And Ida had by his queen six sons, Adda, Ethelric, Theodoric, Etheric, Osmer, and Theofred. And by his concubines he had six other sons, Oga, Alric, Eccha, Osbald, Segor and Segother. They all came into Britain with forty ships, and landed at Flemesburgh. Ida reigned twelve years, and built the castle of Bebanburgh, which he fortified at first with wooden pales, and afterwards with a wall. In a subsequent page I shall give an account of his family.

[A.D. 549.] Agerirus, bishop of Verdun, flourished, and was very eminent for sanctity.

[A.D. 550.] An alder tree bore the berries and fruit of a vine, and some other monstrous and portentous things were seen.

A.D. 554.] A VERY SEVERE WINTER. 265

[A.D. 551.] The fifth universal synod was held at Constantinople; in which an epistle which is called Iba, is reproved as being full of error, and Theodoras, who separated the person of the Mediator of God and man in two substances, was convicted and condemned as having fallen into impiety and infidelity. The same year, the bishop Jordan ended his history.

The same year, Justinian Augustus having been seduced by the heretic Anthymus, began to deviate from the catholic faith, so his wife Theodora sent to Pope Vigilius, desiring him to recal Anthymus. For he had been the bishop of Constantinople, and had been degraded by pope Agapetus, because he was a favourer of heretics, and because pope Vigilius postponed recalling him, he, being compelled by force, made him come to him. And as he then treated him very injuriously, pope Vigilius is reported to have said to him, "As far as I see, it is not Justinian and Theodora who have made me come to them, but Diocletian and Eleutheria".

[A.D. 552.] Pelagius succeeded Vigilius in the Roman chair, four years, ten months, and eighteen days. And the see was vacant six months. The same year, when a certain boy in the east, the son of Jewish parents, had been induced by his fellows, who were the sons of Christians to receive the body and blood of Christ, in the church of the mother of the Lord, and was on that account thrown by his father into a burning furnace, he was drawn out from thence unhurt by the Christians, and asserted that the woman who was painted in that church holding a child in her arms, had blown away the flames with her cloak, so as to keep them from him.

[A.D. 553.] Saint Maurus, a disciple of the blessed Benedict, flourished in high reputation, for his virtues and the miracles which be wrought. And when a noble man, by name Florus, had heard of his arrival in the country of Gaul, he came to him, and with great elevation pointed out to him a suitable place for building a monastery. And having scarcely given hinuelf time to obtain the consent of the man of God, he collected workmen, and began and completed the work; and Florus entrusted his son Bertulph to the blessed Maurus to be educated, and many other nobles followed his example, and made that place remarkable.

[A.D. 554.] The winter was so severe with frost and snow, that the birds and wild beasts could be caught by the hand.

266 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 561.

[A.D. 555.] An appearance like that of lances was seen in the air, reaching from the north to the west.

[A.D. 556.] Saint Medard, a bishop of Nismes, a man illustrious for his virtues, departed to the Lord, and was buried at Soissons.

[A.D. 557.] Queen Radegund, the wife of Clothaire, formerly king of the Franks, assumed a new garment, and became eminent for every kind of holiness. At this time, there were a great many battles between the Britons and the Angles, and a great many soldiers were slain on each side, the victory declaring for both parties in turn.

[A.D. 558.] Gregory, sou of Gordian, a senator, arrived at man's estate at Rome. He founded six monasteries in Sicily, and a seventh at Rome in his own house, out of his patrimony; and, from having been praetor of the city, became a monk, and was exceedingly eminent for learning, wisdom, doctrine, and holiness.

[A.D. 559.] Kenric, king of the West Saxons, died, and Cevalinus, his son, reigned in his stead, and was king thirty years.

[A.D. 560.] Ida, king of the Northumbrians, died, and his realm was divided into two kingdoms. Ella, the son of Iffus, a most valiant general, began to reign in Deira, and gave that name to his kingdom, and reigned over it for thirty years. While Adda, the son of Ida, succeeded his father in the kingdom of the Bernicians, and reigned seven years. That Ella, king of the Deiri, is the same who is mentioned in the life of the blessed pope Gregory, as will be seen in the subsequent pages of this history.

The same year, a certain Jew carried off by stealth a statue of the Saviour out of a church, and took it privily to his own house, and there pierced it with a dart. And as he was going to burn it in the fire, he found himself covered with blood from the image, and, being awe-struck, he hid it. And the Christians sought for it, and found it by means of the traces left by the blood, and recovered it all stained with blood, and stoned the Jew.

The same year, Ethelbert, the great king of Kent, according to some authors, with whom Bede agrees, began to reign. But the opinion of the others appears more probable.

[A.D. 561.] Saint Brendan flourished in Scotland, who, daring

A.D. 566.] ETHELBERT REIGNS IN KENT. 267

a voyage that lasted seven years, went to the Fortunate Islands, and saw many things worth relating. And he had a disciple Machutus, who was completely educated by him, and who was the companion of his voyage, and who was very eminent in Britain for his miracles and holiness. And he, being provoked by the Britons, cursed them, and went over to Gaul, where he flourished, and was very eminent for virtue, living under the protection of Leontius, bishop of Guienne. And as, by reason of his curse, the Britons became afflicted with many disasters, he subsequently healed them by giving them his blessing, and absolved them. About the same time, Sampson, archbishop of the Dolensians, and successor of the holy Sampson, who crossed over from the Greater Britain to the Lesser, was eminent for learning and holiness.

[A.D. 562.] A mountain in Gaul, on the river Rhone, bellowed for many days, and was at length driven from its place by another mountain, and with the churches, and buildings, and men, and beasts that were on it, was precipitated into the river.

[A.D. 563.] Priscian, the grammarian and orator, a subdeacon, who turned the Acts of the Apostles into hexameter verse, flourished at Rome. There flourished at the same time Fortunatus, an eminent man, of illustrious genius, of acute discernment and pleasing eloquence, who came from Italy to Tours, and wrote an account of the acts of the blessed Martin in heroic metre, in four books. And, removing from thence, he was made bishop of Poictiers.

[A.D. 564.] After the death of Clothaire, king of the Franks, his four sons divided the kingdom between them; and the eldest of them, named Chilperic, reigned twenty-three years.

[A.D. 565.] Justin the younger obtained the empire of Rome, and reigned twelve years. In this year also there were seen many signs in the sun and moon.

[A.D. 566.] John was appointed to the Roman chair, and occupied it twelve years, eleven months, and twenty-seven days. And the see was vacant ten months and three days. The same year, Saint Columbus flourished, who came from Scotland into Britain. The same year, Ethelbert, son of Ermeric, succeeded to the kingdom of Kent, and governed it with great vigour for fifty-six years. He was the most powerful of all the kings of England, and extended the boundaries of his empire as far as the river Humber, by which the people

268 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 575.

of the north are divided from those of the south, and ruled the inhabitants of all those provinces with great nobleness.

[A.D. 567.] On the death of Adda, king of the Bernicians, Glappa succeeded to the kingdom, and reigned five years. The same year, fiery spears were seen in the air, portending the irruption of the Lombards into Italy.

[A.D. 568.] Ceauline, king of the west Saxons, and Cutha, his brother, united their forces, and made war upon Ethelbert, king of Kent. And two counts, the allies of Ethelbert, were slain, and he himself was put to flight.

[A.D. 569.] Glappa, king of the Bernicians, died, and Theobald reigned in his stead, and was king for one year.

[A.D. 570.] Fretheulfas became king of the Bernicians, and reigned seven years. The sameyear, the people of Armenia adopted the faith of Christ, and the abbot Wandregisilus was born.

[A.D. 571.] One cycle of the sacred passover of four hundred and twenty-two years since our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified; in the seventh indiction, the five thousand and seventy-fifth year after the creation of the world, according to the Greeks. Affa was at this time the king of east Anglia.

[A.D. 572.] Gregory was ordained bishop of Tours, and was esteemed very eminent for his piety.

[A.D. 573.] The Spaniards and the Gauls differed about the celebration of Easter; as the Spaniards celebrated it on the twenty-first of March, and the Franks on the eighteenth of April. But it was proved, by divine interposition, that the Franks were the more correct as to the days, because the fountains in Spain, for the purpose of baptism, which had been accustomed to be filled on the sabbath of the sacred passover by divine agency, became filled, not on the passover of the Spaniards, but on that of the Franks.

[A.D. 574.] The following circumstance happened: Albinus, king of the Lombards, had formerly slain in battle his wife's father Cunimund, king of the Gepidae, and had made a drinking cup for himself out of his skull. And as one day he gave it to his wife to drink out of, saying, "Drink with your father", she, being inflamed with womanly fury, procured him to be assassinated by his armour-bearer.

[A.D. 575.] Benedict became pope, and sat in the Roman chair four years, six months, and seventeen days. He was the

A.D. 582.] GREGORY SENT TO CONSTANTINOPLE. 269

pope from whom Gregory received permission to depart and preach to the Angles, but he was afterwards recalled, as the people behaved tumultuously, and was ordained the seventh Levite.

[A.D. 576.] A famine attacked Rome, and many of the Romans fled to the Lombards. But Tiberius, who was afterwards emperor, sent a quantity of corn from Egypt, and delivered Rome from scarcity.

[A.D. 577.] Tiberius obtained the Roman empire, and reigned seven years. And as he was very liberal to the poor, God permitted him to find many treasures. The same year, Fretheulth king of the Bernicians, died, and Theodoric succeeded him, and reigned seven years.

[A.D. 578.] Saint Germanus, bishop of Paris, by his death went to adorn the heavenly regions. The same year, Aurelius Conan, king of the Britons, died, and Vortiper succeeded him, and reigned three years. And he, being an enemy of the Saxons, triumphed gloriously over them several times.

The same year, after Uffa, king of the East Angles, from whom the kings of that province are called Uffingi, Titillus, his son, succeeded to the kingdom. And Titillus was the father of Redwald, who was the tenth in descent from Woden.

[A.D. 579.] Pelagius became pope. He occupied the Roman chair ten years, eight months, and ten days. And the see was vacant six months and twenty-five days.

[A.D. 580.] Fire was seen to run along the heaven. About this period, there were continual irruptions of the Britons and Saxons into one another's territories. For Ceaulinus took Bedcanford castle, which is now called Bedford; and other fortresses also, namely, Lienbury, Aylesbury, Bensington, Henesham, Gloucester, Cirencester, and Bath. And his name became very illustrious.

[A.D. 581.] Pope Pelagius determined that nine prefaces only ought to be sung at mass, and abolished the daily sentences which were used to be repeated. The same year, Vortiper, king of the Britons, died, and was sueceeded by Malgo, a most excellent man, eminent for his orthodoxy, valiant in arms, and excessively liberal; but being enervated by the disease of Sodom, he made himself odious to God and men. He also reduced six islands of the ocean, which joined his province, under his dominion.

[A.D. 582.] Gregory the teacher was sent by pope Pelagius to

270 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 586.

Constantinople, and composed books of morals on Job, and also, in the presence of the emperor in that city, confuted Eutychius, the bishop of Constantinople, who advanced erroneous dogmas about the resurrection of the dead, and affirmed that in the glory of that resurrection the human body would come impalpable to the winds, and more subtle than air. And when Eutychius died soon after, he utterly put down his opinions.

[A.D. 583.] At Tours, real blood flowed from the head of the altar when broken.

[A.D. 584.] Tiberius Caesar, having gone mad and died, was succeeded by Mauritius, who reigned twenty-two years. The same year, Ceauline, king of the West Saxons, and his brother Cuthwine, fought a battle with the Britons at Frithculey, where Cuthwine was severely wounded and killed. Therefore, the Angles were conquered and put to flight.

[A.D. 585.] The kingdom of Mercia took its rise, and Creodda was its first king: so that all the kingdoms of the Angles or Saxons were by this time began, and they are eight in number, namely, the kingdom of Kent, the metropolis of which is the city of Canterbury. The kingdom of the South Saxons, that is, Sussex, the metropolis of which is the city of Chichester. The kingdom of the East Saxons, that is Essex, the metropolis of which is the city of London. The kingdom of the East Angles, that is, East Anglia, the chief city of which is Norwich. The kingdom of the West Saxons, or Occidental Saxons, the metropolis of which is the city of Wentana, which is now called Winchester. The kingdom of Mercia, or Middle Anglia, the chief city of which is Doncaster, but now Lincoln. And the kingdom of Northumberland, the chief city of which is York. And this last kingdom was divided into two parts, as has been said above.

FROM A.D. 586 TO A.D. 621.

CH. X.- The Britons retreat to Wales and to Cornwall - The whole island of Britain obtains the name of Anglia - Gregory becomes Pope - Saint Augustine is sent to England - The English become Christians - The Church of Rome is declared the chief of all churches - Death of Ethelbert - War between the different kings in England - Chosroes king of Persia,

[A.D. 586.] Caretius, a lover of civil wars, and a man hated

A.D. 586.] THE CHURCHES DESTROYED BY THE BRITONS. 271

by both gods and Britons, succeeded Malgo, king of the Britons. And the before-mentioned kings, those, that is to say, of the Angles and Saxons, being aware of his inconsiderable character, united and rose in insurrection against him, and after many battles drove him from city to city, till at last, after a severe battle, they drove him across the Severn into Wales. And the clergy and the priests were all driven out of the country, swords flashing on every side, and flames crackling in the churches in every direction. Therefore the remnant of the Britons retreated into the western parts of the island, that is, into Cornwall and Wales, abandoning the greater portion of the island; and from thence they made frequent and fatal attacks on their enemies without intermission. Then the archbishops, Theonus, archbishop of London, and Thadiocus, archbishop of York, seeing all the churches, which were under their government, levelled with the ground, fled with many of the ordained clergy who had survived the perils of those times, and with the relics of the saints, into Wales, fearing lest, by the irruption of such numerous and terrible hosts of barbarians, the holy bones might be effaced from the recollection of men, if they did not withdraw them from the impending danger. A great many people also fled to Armorican Britain (Brittany), and abandoned the whole church of two provinces, namely, Loegria and Northumberland, which were thus stripped of their convents and left desolate.

Some, however, of the bodies of the saints which lay reverently concealed in burying places, they covered with mounds of earth, to prevent them from exposure to the contempt of unbelievers. For the most valiant kings of the Angles and Saxons were most atrocious pagans, who thirsted for nothing more than to utterly subvert Christ and the worship of Chnstians. For if any church remained unhurt after the district was subjugated, it tended more to the confusion of the name of Christ than to his glory. For these unbelievers made there thirty temples to their own gods, and polluted the holy altars of God with their profane sacrifices. Therefore, the Britons abandoning the crown of the kingdom for many ages, that is to say, till the time of Cadwallon, whom Bede calls Cedwallus, never ceased from attacking uninterruptedly with civil wars that part of the country which remained to them, and which was subject not to one king, but to their tyrants.

272 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 586.

Therefore, the miserable relics of the Britons remained in three provinces only, to wit, in Cornubia, which is called Cornwall by some people, because it stretches into the sea like a horn (Cornu), and Demecia, which is also called South Wales, and Venedocia, which is also called North Wales. So being confined, though sorely against their will, within these boundaries, they nevertheless never forsook their faith in Christ. In this particular alone are they considered blameable, that they always regard the nation of the Angles, even to this very day, with mortal hatred, as if it were owing to them that they were banished from their proper country, and they are not more willing to associate with them than with dogs. But their provinces are impregnable, being thickly planted with dense woods, entrenched behind deep marshes, and swelling with lofty mountains; out of which they often sally like mice out of caverns, and wickedly attack the nation of the Angles, and will take no other ransom from them in war, except their heads.

At this time, the church of the blessed martyr Alban, which is related to have been built after his passion, with wonderful stone-work, in a manner worthy of his martyrdom, is believed to have been with other buildings of the same sort utterly overthrown and destroyed, till by the ministry of king Offa, acting in obedience to the revelation of an angel, the body of the glorious confessor and martyr was found and his monastery rebuilt.

Britain therefore, having been subdued, and the kings banished, the kings of the Angles or Saxons occupied the country in every direction, extended their kingdoms, and set limits to their dominions with respect to nothing, but the power of each individual. At this time, eight kings reigned, whose names are these - Athelbert was king of Kent; Cissa of Sussex; Cealine of Wessex; Creodda of Mercia; Erkenwin of Essex; Titillus of East Anglia; Ella of Deira, and AEthefrid of Bernitia. And these kingdoms in process of time were thus distinguished.

The kings of Canterbury reigned only in the province of Kent; the kings of Sussex bore sway only in that province; the kings of Essex reigned in that province and in Middlesex; the kings of East Anglia reigned in Norfolk and Suffolk, and in the county of Cambridge, until their power was crippled by Offa, king of Mercia. The kings of Mercia ruled over the

A.D. 589.] BIRTH OF SEBEBT. 273

counties of Gloucester, Worcester, Warwick, Chester, Derby, Lincoln, Leicester, Oxford, Hereford, Stafford, Northampton, Buckingham, Bedford, Huntingdon, Cambridge, and Hereford. The kings of the West Saxons ruled over the counties of Berks, Dorset, Southampton, Wilton, Salisbury, and Bath. These provinces therefore, being thus distributed among six kings, they were constantly engaged in civil wars, and worse than civil wars, with one another. The two kings who reigned in Northumberland, governed the country to the north of the great river Humber, to the kingdom of Scotland. But we have said enough about them before.

After matters had been arranged in this way, the kings above-mentioned determined utterly to destroy Britain and the memory of the Britons, with which view they unanimously agreed that the island should no longer be called Britain, from Brutus, but Anglia, from the Angles.

The same year, while Gunthran, king of the Franks, being weary with hunting, was sleeping in his armour-bearer's lap, near a stream of water, the armour-bearer saw a little animal issue out of the king's mouth. And as it wished to cross the stream and could not do so, the armour-bearer placed his sword across the water, and so made it a path to go and, return. And when it came back into the king's mouth, he woke, and said that he had dreamed that he was passing over an iron bridge, and said that he had seen great treasures under a certain mountain. And when he went to the mountain, in accordance with the faith he placed in his dream, he did find great treasures there; and when he had acquired them, he appropriated them to the uses of the church.

[A.D. 587.] Clothaire became king of the Gauls, and reigned forty-four years. The same year, Erkenwin, king of the East Saxons, died, and Sledda, his son, reigned in his stead.

[A.D. 588.] Ethelfrid, king of the Bernicians, took for his wife Acca, the daughter of Ella, king of the Deiri, and she, in process of time, brought him seven sons. And the names of his sons are as follows: Eanfrid, Oswald, Oswin, Ossac, Oswid, Osa, and Offa. The same year, Creodda, king of the Mercians died, and Wibba, his son, succeeded him, and reigned three years.

[A.D. 589.] Sledda, king of the East Saxons, became the father of Sebert, who succeeded him in the kingdom, by the daughter of Ermenric, a former king of Kent.

274 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 593.

[A.D. 590.] Cyssa, king of the South Saxons, died, and that kingdom devolved on Ceaulinus, king of the West Saxons.

[A.D. 591.] A flood, almost exceeding the belief of men, took place in Italy, and after a great deal of confusion a pestilence followed, which was called an inguinal plague; and which slew Pelagius the pope first of all, and after that, thinned the people with a terrible mortality. At that time, the blessed Gregory was filling the office of archdeacon in the city of Rome, and he ordered a sevenfold litany to be performed for this terrible mortality among the citizens. It is called a sevenfold litany, because in the first rank came all the regular clergy; in the second, all the abbots and their monks; in the third, all the abbesses and their nuns; in the fourth, all the infants; in the fifth, all the laymen; in the sixth, all the widows; in the seventh, all the married couples. And so, having arranged all these matters properly, the man of God, by appeasing the wrath of God, completely eradicated this before-mentioned pestilence from the city.

[A.D. 592.] The blessed Gregory was elected pope, the people joining their acclamations to those of the clergy, and although he was himself very reluctant, and strove against it, and absented himself, he was at last discovered and enthroned. Among other works of piety, he was able by his prayers to release the soul of Trajan, who had formerly been emperor, although he was a pagan, from the pains of hell. He composed an Antiphoner, and ordered Kyrie Eleeson with the Hallelujah to be sung at the masses. And he very advantageously added three sentences to the canon of the mass, namely, "And order our days in thy peace, and deliver us from eternal damnation, and cause us to be reckoned in the flock of thy elect".

[A.D. 593.] Ceaulinus and his brother Quicheline died, and Cedric succeeded Ceaulinus in the kingdom of the West Saxons, and reigned five years. The same year, pope Gregory ordered the Lord's prayer to be recited over the host, after the canon.

The same year, Ella, king of the Deiri, died. And on his death, Ethelred, king of the Bernicians, expelled his son Edwin from the kingdom of the Deiri, and governed the two kingdoms with great vigour. But Edwin being driven into exile, went and dwelt in banishment at the court of Redwald, king of Ihe East Angles, till he was restored by his means to his kingdom.

A.D. 596.] AUGUSTINE PREACHES THE GOSPEL IN BRITAIN. 275

[A.D. 594.] The robe of our Lord and Saviour was, through the confession of a Jew named Simon, found in the city of Zaphat, not far from Jerusalem, and was placed at Jerusalem, in the place where the cross of Christ is worshipped, by Gregory, bishop of Antioch, Thomas, bishop of Jerusalem, and John, bishop of Constantinople.

The same year, Wilba, king of Mercia, died, and was succeeded by Charles, who was not his son, but only a kinsman, and who reigned ten years.

[A.D. 595.] Richard, king of the Visigoths, confirmed the whole of his nation in the catholic faith, after a synod of sixty-two bishops had been collected at Toledo, and had abjured and anathematized the Arrian heresy.

[A.D. 596.] Which is the hundred and forty-seventh year after the arrival of the brothers Hengist and Horsa in Britain, Augustine, the servant of God, was sent by the blessed pope Gregory into Britain to preach the word of God to the barbarous nation of the Angles. For they, being blinded by pagan superstition, had destroyed all Christianity in that part of the island which they occupied. But among some portion of the Britons the faith of Christ still flourished, which, having been introduced in the hundred and fifty-eighth year after the divine incarnation, was never wholly lost from among them. On the eastern side of Kent is the Isle of Thanet, on which the man of God, Augustine, and his companions, to the number, as it is reported, of about forty men, landed. And Augustine sending interpreters to king Ethelbert, gave him notice that he had come from Rome, and that he was the bearer of excellent tidings, because he promised eternal joy in heaven to those who should obey him. The king, hearing this, came a few days afterwards to the island, and sitting down in the open air, invited Augustine and his companions to come there to a conference with him. And they, being endowed with divine courage, came, bearing a cross for a standard, and a likeness of our Lord and Saviour depicted on a picture, and chanting litanies for their own salvation and that of those for whom they had come. And when, at the command of the king, they had sat down, they preached the Word of Life to him and to all who had come with him, and he replied, saying, "The things which you promise are beautiful, but because they are new to me and doubtful, I cannot at the moment give my assent to them,

276 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 598.

forsaking these things which I and my nation have so long preserved. But because you, being foreigners, have come hither from a great distance, and because you have been desirous to communicate to me things which you yourselves believe to be true and excellent, we are not disposed to deal harshly with you. But we will rather receive you in friendly hospitality, and supply you with such things as are necessary for your support. Nor do we prohibit you from winning over to the faith of your religion, all whom you can influence by preaching". Accordingly, he assigned them an abode in the city of Canterbury, which was the capital of his dominions, where they began to imitate the apostolic life of the primitive church, using continual prayers and fastings, and preaching the Word of God, and bathing all whom they could convince in the laver of salvation. And immediately many believed and were baptized (imitating the simplicity of an innocent life) to the sweetness of heavenly doctrine. On the east there was a church close to the city itself, which had been built in old time in honour of the blessed Martin, in which the queen, the daughter of the king of France, by name Bertha, had been accustomed to pray, and in which these missionaries began also to meet together,and preach and celebrate masses and baptize. And when, after a short time, the king himself, among others, being delighted with the pure life of these holy men, believed and was baptized, numbers began to flock together every day to hear the word of life, and leaving the errors of the Gentiles, to believe and unite themselves to the unity of the church. He also allotted to the doctors a habitation suitable to their degree, in his own metropolis, the city of Canterbury, and he gave them what was necessary for them in other particulars. In the meantime, the man of God, Augustine, went to Arles, and having been ordained archbishop by the archbishop of that city, he returned to Britain.

[A.D. 597.] The monastery of the blessed Benedict which that father had founded in Castrum Cassinum, was destroyed by the perfidy of the Lombards, and therefore the monks fled from that place, and sought refuge in Rome, bringing with them the rule which their saintly founder had taught them.

[A.D. 598.] Gregory, bishop of the city of Tours, flourished in the Gauls: he brought the relics of Saint Julian out of the territory of Auvergne. The same year, too, Saint Columban, the

A.D. 603.] AUGUSTINE HOLDS A SYNOD IN BRITAIN. 277

teacher of the Scots and Picts, died, and left many proofs of his holiness to later ages.

[A.D. 599.] Redwald, king of the East Angles, died, and Eorpenwald succeeded to the helm of the kingdom.

[A.D. 600.] Childebert, king of the Franks, died, and his two sons, Theodebert and Theodoric, reigned in his stead.

[A.D. 601.] The blessed pope Gregory sent the pallium to Augustine, to the church of London, which at that time was the metropolis of the Britons, as Bede testifies in his History of the Angles.

[A.D. 602.] The contention which had arisen between the Roman church and the arrogance of John, bishop of Constantinople, who usurped the name of Universal Patriarch, and which having commenced in the time of Pope Pelagius had been carried on with no want of energy by pope Gregory, was terminated by the death of John, when there had been no previous possibility of ending it.

[A.D. 603.] Ethelred, king of the Northumbrians, fighting against the Britons at Caerleon, slew a great number of religious men belonging to the abbey of Bangor.

At this time the man of God, Augustine, availing himself of the authority and assistance of king Ethelbert, summoned to his synod the bishops and doctors of the nearest province of Britain to the place which, in the language of the Angles, is called to this day Augustine's Afe, that is to say, the Oak of Augustine, on the borders of the West Saxons and the Wictians, and began to persuade them with fraternal admonitions to hold the catholic faith with him, and to unite with him in undertaking the joint labour of preaching the gospel to the nations for the sake of the Lord; as hitherto they had celebrated the sacred feast of Easter and done many other things in a manner contrary to the unity of the church. And after a long discussion, when they would not assent to either the prayers or exhortations of Augustine, he said, "Brethren, let us pray to Almighty God that he will deign to show us by heavenly signs which tradition is to be followed, and by what path we ought to hasten on our journey to the kingdom of neaven. Let some sick man be brought, and let all belief be placed in, and all authority given to, that party by whose prayers he is cured". And when his adversaries, though against their will, had agreed, a sick man was brought in, deprived of his eye-sight.

278 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 603.

And when he had been submitted to the bishops of the Britons, but had derived no advantage from their ministry, at length Augustine bent his knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, entreating him to restore sight to the blind, in order that, by the bodily illumination of one man, God might kindle the grace of spiritual light in the heart of many believers. And immediately the blind man received his sight, and Augustine was proclaimed by every one as the true messenger of the highest right. Then the Britons confessed they understood that that was the true way which Augustine preached, but still they said that they could not, without the consent of their chiefs, forsake their ancient customs, so that they begged that another synod might be held, consisting of more members. And when that had been decided on, there came, as it is related, seven bishops of the Britons and many most learned men, especially from their most noble monastery, which, in the language of the Angles, is called Bangorneburg, over which, at that time, Dionotus is said to have presided as abbot. And they, when on their way to the before-mentioned council, came first to a holy and prudent man, who had led the life of an anchorite among them, and consulted him whether they ought to desert their own traditions at the preaching of Augustine. And he answered them, "If he be a man of God, follow him". They said, "And how can we prove this"? He said to them, "The Lord has said, "Learn of me, because I am meek and lowly of heart". If, therefore, that Augustine is meek and lowly of heart, it is credible that he himself both bears the yoke of Christ, and offers it to you to be home. If, however, he is violent and insolent, then it is plain that he is not from God, and that his discourse is not to be regarded by you". They replied again, "And how are we to discern this"? "Contrive", said the anchorite, "that he shall first arrive with his friends at the place of council, and then if he, of his own accord, rises up when you approach, you may know that he is a servant of Christ, and obediently listen to him. But if he disdains you, and will not rise up to you, though you are more in number, then he, likewise, may be disdained by you". It therefore so happened, that when they arrived, Augustine was sitting in his chair. And they, on seeing this, were immediately turned to anger, and considering him full of pride, laboured to contradict everything which he said. And Augustine

A.D. 603.] ETHELRED SLAYS THE MONKS OF BANGOR. 279

said to them, "If you are willing to comply with me in three things only, namely, so as to celebrate Easter at its proper time, to fulfil the ministry of baptism, by which we are regenerated to God, according to the customs of the Roman Church, and to preach the word of God to the nation of the Angles in union with us, we will submit patiently to all your other practices, although they are contrary to our customs". But they declared that they would do none of these things, and that they would not consider him as archbishop, arguing with one another - "If he would not rise up to us before, how much more will he despise us when we are once actually subject to him"? And the man of God, Augustine, is related to have said to them, "If they would not have peace with their brethren, would they accept war from their enemies? And if they were unwilling to preach the way of life to the nation of the Angles, he told them they would endure the revenge of death at their hands". And this happened in every respect as he had foretold, the divine judgment so ruling events. And not long afterwards, Ethelred, king of Northumberland, a man of great courage and a most ferocious pagan, having collected a great army in the city of Legions, which is called by the Britons Caerleon, and which was called the city of the Legions, because the Roman Legions used to be stationed there, made a great slaughter of them. For being about to engage in battle with the Britons, when he saw that their priests, who had come together to address their prayers to God on behalf of the soldiers who were occupied in war, were stationed in a safe place, he asked who they were, or what they were going to do there. For there were a great many of them from the monastery of Bangor, which is said to have contained such a number of monks that they were divided into seven classes with seven rectors, and no division contained fewer than three hundred religious brethren. And the greater part of them having kept a fast for three days, met together with other priests also for the sake of praying to God, having Brochimallus for their defender, to protect them from the swords of the barbarians while they themselves were engaged in praying. And when the tyrant Ethelred had learnt the object of their presence, he said, "And if these men invoke the aid of their God against us, then, although they do not bear arms, they are fighting against us, inasmuch as they

280 MATTHEW Of WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 604.

are pursuing us with their unfriendly imprecations". Therefore he orders his troops to turn their arms against them first, and in this way he destroyed the other bodies in this wicked warfare, not without great loss to his own army. In that battle it is said that of these men who had come only to pray, there were about twelve hundred men slain, and that only fifty escaped by flight. Brochimallus, too, fled with his men, at the first onset of the enemy, and left those whom he ought to have defended, unarmed and exposed to the swords of their slayers. And thus the prophecy of the blessed pontiff Augustine was fulfilled.

[A.D. 604.] The blessed Augustine built a church to Saint Andrew the Apostle, by the liberality of king Ethelbert, in the city which from some primitive name Rof was called Rofecester, or the city of Rof. And he enriched it with many ample possessions, and ordained Justus as bishop of that city.

The same year, the same Augustine consecrated Mellitus as pontiff in the city of London. And thus the dignity of the city of London, which in the times of the Britons had always had an archbishop, was transferred to Canterbury, in order that the prophecy of Merlin might be fulfilled, when he said, "Religion shall be destroyed in the island, and a change of the principal sees shall take place. The dignity of London shall adorn Canterbury", etc. The same year, Mellitus having been sent by the blessed Augustine into the province of the East Saxons to preach the gospel, converted king Sebert, with the whole of his nation, to the true faith. And the same Sebert was nephew of Ethelbert, the great king of Kent, being the son of his sister Ricula, and was placed under his power; for he governed all the nations of the Angles as far as the boundary of the river Humber. The same year, the emperor Maurice, a man who feared God, was continually in his prayers entreating the divine mercy to grant to him to expiate the gailt of his crimes in this life. Therefore, one night, while he was lying in his bed, a voice came to him from heaven, saying, "Maurice, deliver yourself, and your wife Constantia, and your children, to the soldier Phocas". So, when he awakened, he asked his servants whether they knew of any soldier in his army called Phocas. And they answered, "We do". And he asked, "Of what character is he"? And they said, "He is a proud and rash young man". Then Augustus related his dream, and

A.D. 605.] THE BLESSED GREGORY DIES. 281

greatly glorified God, because of his vision. And after this, being in the territories of the enemy, when be compelled his soldiers to abstain from violence and plunder, and did not give them their usual pay, they began to entreat Phocas to govern them as their emperor. And Phocas complied with their request, and took upon him the royal purple. And Maurice, hearing this, lost all courage, and yielded to the stream of circumstances that flowed against him, and fled into a wood near the sea; in which be and his wife and his five sons were slain, by command of Phocas Augustus Caesar. Phocas therefore usurped the Roman empire, and reigned eight years.

[A.D. 605.] Which is the second year of the reign of Phocas, the blessed Gregory departed from this life to the Lord. This blessed man, while still alive, was once walking through the forum of Trajan, the emperor, which be had himself adorned with beautiful edifices, and recollecting a judgment of his with which he had consoled a widow, as a reward for this great humanity of the emperor, he went in haste to the church of the holy Apostle Peter, and there it is related that be wept a long time for the unbelief and error of that most merciful emperor, till on the next night, he received an answer that he had been heard on behalf of Trajan, on condition of never again praying for any other pagan. And we are to believe that thus the soul of Trajan was delivered from the torments of hell, so that, though it is placed in hell, it, by the mercy of God, does not feel the smallest of the torments of hell. In fact, the same fire of Gehenna, if it is able equally to detain many sinners, at the same time is able, by the mercy of God, to avoid inflicting on all of them equal punishment. For souls in Gehenna feel torture according to the degree of their guilt. Now the act of piety by which Trajan moved God and the blessed Father Gregory to mercy, was this.

At a certain time, when Trajan was hastening very eagerly to some war, a certain very poor widow woman came to him, dissolved in tears, and saying, "My son has been put to death, though innocent, by your orders, and I entreat you that, as you cannot restore him to me, you will condescend at least to avenge his blood". And when Trajan promised that, if be returned in safety from the war, be would avenge him, the widow saidj "And if you die in battle, who will then do me

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justice"? Trajan answered, "He who shall reign after me". And she said, "But what good will it do you, if some one else does me justice"? Trajan replied, "None, certainly". And the widow said, "Is it not then better for you to do me justice yourself, and to receive your reward for it, than to transmit this reward to another"? Then Trajan, being moved both by her piety and her reasoning, dismounted from his horse, and did not depart before he had given sentence for the widow, and seen his sentence executed. And, as a reward for this humanity and exhibition of justice, he deserved to be released, five hundred years afterwards and more, from the punishments of hell by the prayers of the blessed Gregory.

The same Father Gregory was the first man who, in the beginning of his epistles, before giving his greeting and favour and blessing, announced himself as the servant of the servants of God, and so showed to all his successors a pattern of humility. And he added to his humility usefulness, when he said, "Health", that is, health of soul and body, "Goodwill", that is, from God and man, and "Blessing", which is in the seed of Abraham, namely, Christ, in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. And this blessed father Gregory, although he was so eminent for virtue and knowledge, still had numerous detractors after his death to such a degree, that out of hatred to him, and for the sake of eradicating all recollection of him, his books would all have been burnt, if Peter had not been his deacon. For he said that he had seen the Holy Spirit hovering over him like a dove, while he was writing his books.

[A.D. 606.] Sabinianus became bishop of Rome, and occupied the Roman chair one year, five months, and nine days. The same year, a poor man was asking alms of some sailors, and received none, as the captain said, "We have nothing here but stones"; so the poor man said, "Let everything then be turned into stones". And when he had said that, everything that there was eatable in the ship was turned into stone, though preserving its original shape and colour.

[A.D. 607.] Ceolric, king of the West Saxons, died, and Ceulf succeeded him, and reigned twenty-four years. The same year, pope Sabinianus reproved the liberality of his predecessor the blessed Gregory, and under this pretence held back his hand from the needy; and so Gregory in a vision thrice reproved him for the fault of covetousness, and for differing

A.D. 611.] BONIFACE CONVOKES A SYNOD IN ITALY. 283

from his example in not regarding the poor; and appeared a fourth time to him, reproaching him so severely and threatening him, and at last he smote him on the head, by which Sabinianus was greatly afflicted, and soon after died.

[A.D. 608.] Boniface became pope, and sat in the Roman chair six years, eight months, and twenty-nine days. And the same year, the blessed Augustine, first archbishop of Canterbury, died on the twenty-sixth day of May. He was succeeded by Laurentius, who was a Roman by birth, and who he himself had ordained in his lifetime, in order that the church in its tender state might not be in want of a shepherd. And he was buried near the church of the Apostles Peter and Paul, which had not yet been completed or dedicated; and in that church the bodies of many archbishops are said to be buried.

[A.D. 609.] Boniface the Fifth succeeded to the Roman chair, and occupied it six years, eight months, and twelve days; and the see was vacant seven months and twenty-five days. And Phocas the emperor, at his request, ordered that the Roman church should from henceforth be the head and mistress of all the churches. For up to this time the church of Constantinople had been used to write itself the first of all the churches. The same pope also procured from the same prince the temple at Rome, which had been in ancient times called the Pantheon, because in it the worship of all the (I will not say gods, but) daemons was celebrated. And when he had obtained this, he expelled from it all the multitude of different images, and made it a church of Almighty God and the Holy Virgin Mary, and all the saints; so that in the same place where formerly the worship of all the devils was celebrated, the memory of all the saints should be preserved for the future.

[A.D. 610.] Ceulf, king of the West Saxons, died, and Cinegilf, the son of Ceola, reigned in his stead, and reigned thirty-one years. At this time, Penda was king of Mercia, Redwald king of the East Angles, Ethelbert king of Kent, Sebert king of the East Saxons, and Ethelred, a proud man, and one covetous of vain-glory, king of Northumberland.

[A.D. 611.] Pope Boniface, having convoked a synod in Italy, in the month of March, on the third day of the month, ordained many things for the advantage of the church. And there was present at this council Mellitus, bishop of London, who had been sent thither by Laurence, archbishop of

284 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 613.

Canterbury, in order that on his return to Britain he might bring back the decrees of the synod to the churches of the Angles, and cause them to be observed on the authority of the chief pontiff. The same year, John, archbishop of Alexandria, flourished, who, on account of his eminent liberality to the poor of Christ, deserved to obtain the surname of the Alms-giver. And it happened that a certain foreigner, beholding his excessive compassion for the poor, wishing to tempt him, came to him while he was visiting the sick according to his custom, and said to him, "Pity me, because I am poor and a prisoner". And the patriarch said to his steward, "Give him six pieces of gold". And when the beggar had received them, he changed his dress, and coming again from another quarter, he fell at his feet, saying, "Have mercy upon me, because I am tormented with hunger". Again the patriarch said to his steward, "Give him six pieces of gold". And when he had done so, his steward whispered in the ear of the patriarch, "Master, he has now received twice to-day". He came again a third time, and asked alms; and the servant told his master that it was the same man. And that merciful bishop said, "Give him twelve pieces of gold, lest perchance he be Christ himself who is come to tempt me".

[A.D. 612.] Phocas the emperor, while he was raging with cruelty against those of his own household, was put to death, by command of Heraclius, the patrician of Africa, who, after the death of Phocas, made himself master of the empire.

[A.D. 613.] Heraclius obtained the Roman empire, and reigned thirty-one years. The same year, at Maurienne, a city of Gaul, there was a certain woman too much devoted to the worship of Saint John the Baptist. She, persevering in constant prayers, in a prayer which she repeated for three years, entreated of God that one of the limbs of the Baptist might be given to her. And placing her hope in God, she made a vow not to eat till what she was asking for was given to her. And accordingly she fasted for seven days, and on the seventh day she saw on the altar a thumb of wonderful whiteness, and joyfully received the gift of God. And when three bishops who had come to worship it tried to pull off a piece of this thumb, they were astonished at seeing three drops of blood drop from it on the cloth which was beneath it, and they were all delighted at having deserved to become possessors of one of the drops.

A.D. 616. ETHELBERT, KING OF KENT, DIES. 285

[A.D. 614.] Godgave was elected pope, and occnpied the Roman chair for three years and twenty days, and the see was vacant one month and six days. He made a rule, that if any men or women in any way received their sons from the sacred fountain, they should be separated. And if any woman had married her godfather, they should be separated, and that the woman should receive back her dowry and might marry another husband at the expiration of a year, if she pleased. The same year, Kinigilf, king of the West Saxons, took Quichelin, his son, to be partner in his kingdom.

[A.D. 615.] When Clodesvida of Mathe was fleeing from her betrothed husband, a veil for her head was sent to her from God, by an angel, and she dedicated herself and all her possessions to God.

[A.D. 616.] Ethelbert, king of Kent, after a temporal reign of fifty-six years, distinguished by great glory, mounted up to the eternal joys of the kingdom of heaven. He died twenty-one years after he had received the faith, and was buried in the porch of Saint Martin, within the church of the apostles Peter and Paul, which he himself had founded. The same year that Ethelbert died, his son Eadbald succeeded to the kingdom, and was a great injury to the tender growth of the church; since he not only would not receive the faith of Christ, but was polluted with such fornication, that he was mad enough to marry his father's wife. And this irregularity caused a great storm, which was increased by the death of Sebert, king of the East Saxons, who, seeking the eternal realms of heaven, left three sons heirs of his temporal kingdom, who all remained pagans. And they soon began to become open slaves to idolatry, which, while their father was alive, they appeared to have somewhat interrupted, and they gave the nations which were subject to them free license to worship idols. And when they saw the pontiff, having first celebrated the solemnities of the mass in the church, administer the eucharist to the people, they, inflated with barbarous folly, said to him, "Why do you not give us the white bread which you used to give to our father Sebert, and which, to this day, you do not cease to give the people in church"? And Mellitus himself replied to them, "If you are willing to be washed in the fountain of salvation in which your father was washed, you may become partakers of the holy bread, but if not, you cannot receive the bread of life". And they answered, "If you will not

286 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 616.

assent to our requests in a case that is so easy, you shall not be allowed to remain in our kingdom". Accordingly Mellitus was expelled, and came into Kent, intending to discuss with Laurence and Justus, his brother bishops, as to what ought to be done. And they determined, by their joint counsel, that it would be better for them all to return to their own country, and serve God with free minds, than to remain among rebels to the faith without doing any good.

Accordingly, Mellitus and Justus, in the first place, departed into Gaul, intending there to await the result of the business. But not long afterwards, the king, who had expelled the messengers of truth, went forth to battle against the people of the Gewisei, and were all, in accordance with the divine judgment, slain with their whole armies. But when Laurence, the archbishop, was about to follow Mellitus and Justus, and to abandon Britain, the night before his departure he ordered a bed to be prepared for him in the church of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul. And when, after having poured forth many prayers and tears to God for the condition of the church, he had laid down his limbs to rest there, and had fallen asleep, there appeared to him the most blessed prince of the apostles, and scourged him for a long period in the secret silence of the night with a severe whip, and asked him, with apostolical severity, why he was forsaking the flock which he himself had committed to him, or to what shepherd, now that he himself was fleeing, he was entrusting the sheep of Christ who were placed in the midst of wolves? "Are you", said the vision, "forgetful of my example, who, for the little ones of Christ whom he reconunended to me as a proof of his affection for me, endured chains, and stripes, and imprisonment, and affliction, and at last, even the death of the cross at the hands of infidels, in order to be hereafter crowned with Christ"? So Laurence, the servant of Christ, being animated by the scourging and simultaneous exhortation of the blessed Apostle, came at early dawn to the king, and lifting up his garments, showed him with what severe stripes he had been scourged. And the king marvelled greatly, and asked who in his kingdom had dared to inflict such blows on so excellent a man. At length, when he heard that it was for the sake of his safety that the bishop had suffered such wounds and torments from the Apostle of Christ, he feared greatly, and having anathematized all

A.D. 618.] COSDROA LAYS WASTE JERUSALEM. 287

idolatrous worship, and renounced his illegal marriage, he received the faith of Christ and was baptized; and endeavoured with all his might, in all matters, to consult and favour the interests of the church. And he himself, with all his nation, from the time that he was converted to the Lord, studied to submit himself to the laws of God. He also sent into Gaul and recalled the bishops Mellitus and Justus, and desired them to return fearlessly to their churches; and so, after seeing this miracle, he returned to the unity of the church.

[A.D. 617.] The bishops Mellitus and Justus returned to Britain, and were received with due honour by king Eadbald and all his nation. The same year, Redwald, king of the East Angles, provoked Ethelred, king of Northumberland, to war. Therefore, the armies of these two monarchs met in the district of the Jutes, on the eastern bank of the river which is called the Idle. From which circumstance, the proverb arose, which remains in force to the present day, "The Idle river was foul with Anglian blood". Therefore, Ethelred, being fierce and indignant, and greatly marvelling that any one should dare to fight with him, rushed boldly, but in no kind of order, upon the enemy, although the army of Redwald, being arranged with great skill, caused no slight alarm to those who beheld it. But the king of Northumberland, as if he had found a prey, suddenly rushed upon the close battalions and overthrew Reiner, the captain of the host of Redwald, with all his army, and sent them in haste to hell. But Redwald, being not at all alarmed at the great slaughter, but only animated to seek revenge, gloriously pierced the battalions of Ethelred, and having shed a great deal of the blood of the enemy, slew that haughty king. Then pursuing the enemy, without any mercy, he routed all their army, and utterly crushed them. In this battle the prowess of Edwin was particularly eminent, who, having been expelled from that kingdom, had lived in exile with Redwald for seventeen years. Therefore, Edwin, the son of Ella, reigned over the two kingdoms of the Deiri and the Bernicians; and afterwards becoming a Christian, he reduced all the kings, both of the Angles and of the Welch, to submission to him.

[A.D. 618.] Cosdroa, king of Persia, took Damascus, and laid waste Jerusalem, and burnt all the sacred places in that city, and took prisoners an immense multitude of the people.

288 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 621.

and slew ninety thousand of them, and expelled Zachariah, the patriarch of the city, and carried off the precious wood of the cross with him into Persia. But he was not permitted to violate the sepulchre of the Lord, fenced round as it was with divine virtue. About the same time, he occupied all Egypt, and Alexandria, and Libya, and Carthage, in hopes by this means to provoke Heraclius to battle; and Heraclius sent messengers to him, requesting him to desist from his attempts; but he disdained to do so, and treated the ambassadors of the emperor with insult.

[A.D. 619.] Heraclius, the emperor, invested his son Constantine with the kingly diadem, and gave him the title of Augustus.

[A.D. 620.] Heraclius, the emperor, in the tenth year of his reign, having collected a numerous army, marched against Cosdroa, bearing with him the likeness of the Holy Mother of God, which is at Byzantium, and which was painted not by the hand of man, but by a divine miracle. And when he had arrived on the borders of the city of Gozorem, Cosdroa took to flight, and ravaged with fire all the lands which he passed through, and then appointed a great many generals to command his army, and to subdue Heraclius, while he himself kept fleeing from place to place, from the face of the emperor. But Heraclius, supported by the aid of the picture of the Mother of God, slew all his enemies in battle, or else put them to flight disgracefully, and at last, Cosdroa was taken prisoner in his flight, and thrown into prison, and at last died the death of wicked men. The emperor having gained the victory, gave his soldiers rewards, such as were deserved by their labours; and having reunited his forces a little, he brought back to Jerusalem the wood of the cross of the Lord, giving much thanks to God for so signal a triumph, and shedding devout tears.

[A.D. 621.] Boniface the Sixth, pope of the Roman church, was in the fourth year of his power, and he reigned five years and fourteen days, and the see was vacant six months. About the same time, Laurence, the second archbishop of Canterbury, died, and was succeeded by Mellitus, bishop of London, who occupied the archiepiscopal see five years. Mellitus was succeeded by Justus, who survived the same period of time. After Mellitus, the church of London was vacant for many

A.D. 622.] MAHOMET DELUDES CADIJAH. 289

years. But Justus was succeeded in the church of Rochester by Romanus.

CH. XI.- FROM A.D. 622 TO A.D. 676.

The heresy of the Monothelites - The Saracens attack the Roman Empire - Mahomet - His wife Cadijah - Pope Honorius - King Edwin becomes a Christian - Heraclius becomes a Monothelite - Cadwallan, king of Wales - Oswald, king of Northumberland - Oswy - The heresy of the Monothelites is condemned - King Louis violates the tomb of Saint Denis - Cadwallan dies.

[A.D. 622.] Cyrus, bishop of Alexandria, and Sergius, patriarch of Constantinople, preached the heresy of the Monothelites. About this time also, the Saracens, who are also called Turks, under the leadership of Mahomet, a false prophet, went forth from their own country, and began terribly to ravage the empire of Heraclius. Now this Mahomet, the chief of the Saracens and Arabs, was of the race of Ishmael, the son of Abraham, who, having been in his early life a merchant, used often to go with his camels into Egypt and Palestine, and have intercourse with both Jews and Christians, from whom he learnt both the Old and New Testament, but was only made a most impious magician by them. And as he was travelling to and fro, it happened that he entered the province of Corozonia, of which Cadijah was said to be mistress. And as she was admiring the various beautiful things which Mahomet had brought with him, having obtained them by theft or pillage, she began gradually to attach herself more intimately to him. And after Mahomet had acquired a hold over her with his incantations, he began cunningly to lead her by degrees into error, saying that he himself was the Messiah, whom the Jews were still expecting to come. And not only that powerful woman was deluded into embracing this opinion, but all the Jews, which his fanaticism reached, flocked to him in crowds, together with the Saracens, influenced by the great novelty of the event. And then he began to make new laws, and to deliver them to these people, fortifying them with testimonies out of both the Old and New Testament. These laws the Ishmaelites call theirs, and claim him for their lawgiver.

And the woman, whom I have already spoken of, seeing the man surrounded by an indiscriminate company of Jews and Saracens, thought that a divine power was concealed in

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him, and as she was a widow, she took him for her husband. And in that way Mahomet obtained the principality of the whole of that province. But at last, the Arabs who adhered to him, began to attack the kingdom of Persia, and after that, the territories of the Eastern Empire, and invaded Alexandria, in the reign of Heraclius.

After this, Mahomet began frequently to fall down in epileptic fits, which Cadijah, his wife, seeing, was greatly grieved at having married an unclean and epileptic man; and so he wishing to pacify her, said, that the angel Gabriel was conversing with him, and that he, as being a carnal man, was unable to support his brightness, and on that account, he asserted that it was that he had fallen down and fainted. And so his wife, and all the Arabs and Ishmaelites, believed that he received the laws from the mouth of the archangel, which he afterwards gave them; because the archangel Gabriel is often sent to mankind. He used to preach that pleasures and carnal delights were not to be preferred to future happiness, though uncertain, and to live with glory was the highest good. On which account, I imagine, that if he were alive at the present day, he would find many disciples. At last, when he had entangled such a number of men, as I have described, in his heresy, one evening, when he was sitting in his palace inebriated with strong wine, which had, however, been poisoned by the touch of one of his companions, he knew that his accustomed sickness was coming upon him, and so went out in haste, saying that he was invited to a conference with an angel, and ordering that no one should follow him, lest he should be unable to support the angelic brightness, which he himself was unable to bear, and so should die. And he ascended a dunghill, that he might not hurt himself in falling, and immedliately fell down on the heap, and rolled about up and down, gnashing his teeth and foaming. And a multitude of pigs which were near, seeing this, ran up, and tearing him to pieces, choked him. But his wife and family, hearing the noise of the pigs, ran out in astonishment, and found the body of their master for the most part devoured by the pigs. But because he had predicted his resurrection within three days, they carefully preserved his body; but when thirty days had passed, and he did not rise again, then his accomplices, that they might not be convicted of falsehood, as they had often in preaching borne testimony to him, buried his body,

A.D. 625.] PAULINUS ORDAINED ARCHBISHOP OF YORK. 291

unwashed and half eaten, in a precions tomb; and collecting what had been left by the pigs, they placed it with all honour in a gold and silver chest, beautifully wrought, and related that the angels of God would scarcely leave his body on earth, and had carried off his soul with joy to the delights of heaven.

Moreover, he taught that those who kill their enemies, or who are killed by their enemies, enter paradise; and that there is a choice refection of meat and drink, and a river flowing with wine, milk, and honey; and a carnal commerce with women, not such as exists at present, but of a different kind, and abundant pleasure of all sorts. He appointed four governors in the kingdom of the Saracens, whom he called admirals, and he caused the book which contained his law to be called the Protosymbolum.

The same year, Honorius became the sixty-eighth pope; he sat in the Roman chair twelve years, eleven months, and seventeen days. And the see was vacant seven months and eighteen days.

[A.D. 623.] Saint Romanus, archbishop of Rouen, flourished, in great eminence for sanctity and virtue. At the same time, after the brothers Sexred and Siward Sigebert, surnamed the Little, the son of Siward, reigned over the East Saxons; and afterwards, by the just judgment of God, he and his brother Sibert were slain by Kinegilf, king of the West Saxons, and Quichelin, his son. For after the death of their father, they returned to the worship of idols, and expelled Mellitus, bishop of London. And now they were so completely destroyed, that not an individual of their whole army escaped to tell of the disaster.

[A.D. 624.] Redwald, king of the East Angles, died, and Eorpenwald took the helm of the kingdom in his place, and, having made a good beginning, finished with a glorious end.

[A.D. 625.] Paulinus was ordained archbishop of York by archbishop Justus. And it happened that Edwin, king of Northumberland, having sent ambassadors to woo her, asked for Ethelburga, daughter of Ethelbert, the deceased king of Kent, for his wife. But he received for answer from the brother of the maiden, who was then king, that it was not lawful to unite a Christian maiden to a pagan, lest the worship of the true God should be profaned by commerce with an unbeliever. And when his messengers brought back this

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answer to king Edwin, he replied that if, after being investigated by learned men, the religion of the damsel should be found to be more holy and more worthy of God, he would not refuse to receive it on the conditions before-mentioned. And accordingly, the damsel was immediately sent to him, and Paulinus with her, that she might not be contaminated by intercourse with pagans, and that he might strengthen her with daily exhortations and the administration of the heavenly sacraments.

But when she arrived in Northumberland, the king granted that all persons, whether men, women, or priests, who had come with her, might observe their faith and the worship of their religion in Christian fashion. And thus Paulinus came with the virgin to king Edwin as a sort of companion in this carnal union; but his object was rather to strive with all the energy of his mind to bring over the nation among which he came, to a knowledge of the truth.

[A.D. 626.] A certain assassin, named Eumerus, came (having been sent by Quichelin, king of the West Saxons, who was reigning as partner with his father Kinegilf) in order to kill king Edwin. And he, pretending to have come on an embassy from his master, rushed upon the king with a poisoned axe near the river Derwent, intending at least to kill him with the poison, if the axe failed. But a servant of the king, named Lilla, seeing him, interposed himself to receive the wound, and was pierced by it, and by the same blow the king was slightly wounded. And after a knight had been subsequently slain, the assassin himself was slain with the sword, and entirely cut to pieces. The king was much disturbed by the occurrence, but a daughter whom his queen bore him the next night somewhat mitigated his grief. And when the king had given thanks to his gods, Paulinus reproved him, saying that it was owing to his prayers that the queen had been delivered without suffering. So the king, being delighted at his words, promised to believe in the God of Paulinus if he would grant him the victory over Quichelin, and as a pledge of the fulfilment of his promise, he ordered his daughter to be baptised. And she, being baptized with thirty of his family, was named Eanfled. Then, having levied an army, the king marched against Quichelin, and having declared war against all those whom he had discovered in conspiring against his life, he either slew them, or compelled them to surrender; and he

A.D. 627.] REVELATION MADE TO PAULINUS. 293

slew Quichelin in the place which is called to this day, in the language of the Angles, Quichelines haune, and in evidence of his victory he gave the name to the place, and so returned in triumph to his country.

[A.D. 627.] A certain revelation was made to archbishop Paulinus by divine inspiration, as it is believed, which excited king Edwin to believe in this manner. As Ethelred, who reigned before him, had formerly persecuted him, he fled and abode with Redwald, king of the East Angles; but while there, he ascertained, through some friend of his, that Redwald had been bribed, by the presents of Ethelred, either to kill him himself, or else to deliver him up to his enemy to be murdered. On receiving this information, Edwin answered his friend, "Whither can I now fly, after having been for so many years traversing all the territories of Britain, in hopes to avoid the treachery of my enemies? If I must die, I had rather let him kill me here, than fall by a meaner hand". And as he was lying on his bed the next night, tormented by mental anguish in this manner, he saw a man utterly unknown to him standing by him, and saying, "What would you give to the man who would release you from this misery, and persuade king Redwald to love you"? And when he replied, "Everything that is in my power", the other continued, "What would you give to any man who should promise you truly that you should become a powerful king, having crushed your former enemies"? Edwin having made the same reply as before, he proceeded, "And if any one were to shew to you a better path of life than any one of your ancestors enjoyed, would you be guided by him"? When Edwin had promised most firmly that he would, then the other, placing his hands upon his head, added, "When then this token happens to you, remember this time and this conversation". And when he had said this, he disappeared suddenly, that the king might understand that it was not a man, but a spirit.

In the morning, the royal youth was sitting by himself, when the friend of whom I have spoken before came to him, and said, "Arise and be cheerful, the king's heart is changed towards you. For by the advice of the queen, he has determined to keep faith with you". In short, Redwald, as has been already related, declared war against king Ethelred, and restored Edwin to his kingdom. And when Paulinus, being prompted by the Holy Spirit, had brought this oracle to the king's

294 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 632.

mind, he laid his hands upon him, and when the king was going to throw himself at his feet, he raised him up, and exhorting him to embrace the faith, prevailed upon him. Therefore, on the holy day of Easter, the king and many other persons with him were baptized by Paulinus, in the church of Saint Peter, which he himself had built of wood, and the idols and their altars he utterly destroyed. After that he erected an episcopal see in the city of York for Paulinus, and built there a church of stone, in which his children were baptized, with an immense multitude of men, so that in a short time there was no unbeliever found in the whole kingdom.

[A.D. 628.] Archbishop Paulinus converted the province of Lindsey, which is the district on the south bank of the river Humber, to the Christian faith; and first of all he baptized Blecca, the governor of that province, with all his house. And in that city he built a church, and consecrated Honorius as bishop of it.

[A.D. 629.] A battle took place between Penda, king of Mercia, and Kinegilf, king of the West Saxons, at Cirencester. And after a great slaughter on both sides, the two parties made a truce and retreated.

[A.D. 630.] King Edwin, among the works of usefulness which he did for his nation, conducted streams of clear water in brazen pipes along the sides of the roads, for the refreshment of travellers. He ordered standards to be borne before him; and brought all Britain into such a state of peace in his time, that a woman loaded with gold, with a little child, might have gone about unhurt wherever she pleased. This year, archbishop Justus died, and was succeeded by Honorius.

[A.D. 631.] Sergius, the patriarch of Constantinople, and Cyrus, the bishop of Alexandria, fell into the heresy of the Monothelites, who asserted that there was but one operation in Christ, and so disturbed the church of believers. On which account the emperor, who favoured them, incurred the hatred of all his subjects, and was attacked on all sides by all his neighbours, and he, who had been used to conquer everybody, was now conquered by everybody, by the permission of divine justice.

[A.D. 632.] Eorpenwald, king of the East Angles, in consequence of the exhortations of king Edwin, received the faith of Christ. But after he and all his family had believed, and been baptized by bishop Felix, he did not live long, being slain

A.D. 633.] QUARREL BETWEEN EDWIN AND CADWALLAN. 295

by a Gentile of the name of Regbert. After this event, the province continued in error for three years. But Felix, the bishop above-mentioned, was a Burgandian by birth, and had been sent into that province to preach by Honorius, archbishop of Canterbury; and he was made bishop of the city of Dommoc, where he discharged his pontifical duties for seventeen years, till he ended his life in peace.

[A.D. 633.] A quarrel broke out between king Edwin and Cadwallan, king of the Britons. They met in battle, and an engagement took place, in which Cadwallan lost many thousands of his troops, and was put to flight. So Edwin, having gained the victory, led his army through the provinces of the Britons, and in three of their kingdoms, namely, Demecia, Venedocia, and Menevia, he burnt the cities and slew the innhabitants, and reduced all the provinces to submit to him. But Cadwallan, who had fled into Ireland, having recruited his forces, was always endeavouring to return to his country, but was unable to do so, because whenever he arrived in any harbour and began to land, Edwin came to meet him, and prevented him from doing so. For Edwin had a certain astrologer, by name Pellitus, who showed him everything that was being done. But Cadwallan becoming desperate, went into Brittany to king Solomon, and was received by him with due respect. And when Solomon had learnt the cause of his coming to him, he promised him assistance and advice. Then Cadwallan gave him a full account of the astrologer of Edwin, and Solomon advised him to send some wary and bold man in a foreign disguise to endeavour to kill that magician. And the advice seemed good to Cadwallan, and immediately he entrusted this business to his nephew, by name Brian. And he, obeying the orders of his master, hastened to fulfil them. And so, putting on the dress of a foreigner, he made an iron staff, very sharp, and fastened a wallet to his left side, and, coming to Britain, hastened towards York, where he knew that Edwin was. When, therefore, he entered the city, he associated with the poor who were waiting for alms at the king's gate. And as he went to and fro, his sister came out from the palace having a pitcher in her hand, in which to fetch water for the queen's use. For Edwin had carried her off in the city of Worcester, when he was raging through the provinces of the Britons after the flight of Cadwallan. And she, recognising her brother among the poor men, was afraid lest he might be recognised

296 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 634.

by some of the enemy, and taken prisoner. And, therefore, in a few words, she made known to her brother the state of the court, and told him how to know the magician whom he was seeking, who at that very moment, as it happened, was walking among the beggars. And Brian, recognising his sister, desired her to come out secretly to him the next night, to an old temple outside the city, where he would wait for her arrival. Then, returning to the poor men, he came to the place where Pellitus was arranging them, and immediately he lifted up his staff and thrust it in the breast of the magician, and killed him. And then, throwing the staff down on the ground, he concealed himself in the crowd, and, without being suspected by any of the bystanders, he arrived at the secret place which he had agreed upon with his sister. But she, though she desired to come out to him secretly by night, was not able to do so. For the whole court was in confusion because of the death of Pellitus, on which account the king ordered sentinels to be placed round the palace. But Brian, penetrating through the thick woods, came to Exeter, where he assembled the Britons, and related what he had done. And they fortified that city, and joyfully awaited the arrival of Cadwallan. And when the news became known throughout Britain, Penda, king of Mercia, came to Exeter with a great multitude of Saxons, and blockaded Brian.

[A.D. 634.] When Cadwallan, king of the Britons, had learnt what had happened to Pellitus, he landed in the island with ten thousand soldiers, and marched rapidly to Exeter; and in a battle which took place, Penda, who was not prepared for such a vigorous attack as was made upon him, was at once taken prisoner, and his army routed. And, as he had no other way of procuring his liberty, he swore fidelity to Cadwallan, and gave hostages for his allegiance; and Cadwallan having, in concert with the king of Mercia, convoked the Britons, went to Northumberland, and began to ravage the territories of king Edwin. And when news of this fact was brought to Edwin, who was in the place called Heethfeld, he went to meet him, and fought a battle with the Britons. And Edwin himself was killed, and his army cruelly defeated. And Edwin was slain, and his son Offrid and Godbald, king of the Orkneys, on the eleventh day of October. And Edwin's head was brought to York and buried in the church of the blessed Peter, which he himself had founded. And a great slaughter took place in

A.D. 635. OSWALD, KING OF NORTHUMBERLAND. 297

the church and throughout all the nation of the Northumbrians. Since Penda, king of Mercia, was devoted to idols and utterly ignorant of the name of Christ, so that he spared no one, but considered all the faithful of Christ public enemies. And Cadwallan, though he had the name and profession of a Christian, was so barbarous, that he spared neither the female sex nor the innocent age of little children, but with the savageness of a wild beast, inflicted death by torture upon all. And traversing those provinces furiously for a long time, he endeavoured to get rid of the whole race of Angles from the British territories. Therefore, as the churches of Northumberland were all in confusion, Paulinus, the archbishop, taking with him queen Ethelburga, returned back by sea into Kent, and was received with due respect by Honorius, the archbishop, and king Eadwald. And he had with Affica and Eanfleda, the son and daughter of Edwin, and Iffus, the son of Osred his son, and many precious vessels belonging to the king, and a large golden cross, and a golden goblet, all which things were preserved in the church at Canterbury, and shown for a long time after. And at that time, as the church at Rochester had no pastor, Paulinus took the care of it upon himself, on the invitation of the pontiff Honorius and king Eadwald, and continued in that office till he went above to the kingdom of heaven. And when he died, he left in that city the pallium which he had received from the Roman pontiff.

When Edwin died, he was succeeded in the kingdom of the Deiri by Osric, his kinsman, and the kingdom of the Bernicians fell to the lot of Eanfrid, son of king Ethelred. These young men, in the time of king Edwin, lived in banishment among the Scots and Picts, and were baptized there; but as soon as they became kings, they turned to the worship of idols. But in a very short time, Cadwallan, king of the Britons, slew both the youths; and first of all, he made a sudden attack upon Osric, and slew him, when he had rashly thrown himself into a town. And afterwards, when he had for an entire year been devastating the provinces of Northumberland with terrific slaughter, he treated Eanfrid in a similar manner, when he came to him incautiously with only twelve soldiers, with the view of obtaining peace.

[A.D. 635.] Oswald succeeded to the entire kingdom of Northumberland, and held it nine years. And soon afterwards, in order to increase the spread of the faith in his kingdom, he

298 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 635.

sent into Scotland, where he had been in banishment, and invited over Ardan, the pontiff, a man of great piety. And when the bishop came, Oswald erected an episcopal see for him in the island of Lindisfarne. When, therefore, the faith began to extend itself, it happened that as Aidan, who was preaching the gospel, had not a perfect knowledge of the English language, the king himself served as his interpreter to his generals and servants. For during the long period of his exile, he had thoroughly learnt the language of the Scots, and owing to this, it happened that in a short time the faith spread so widely, that there was not a single unbeliever to be found in all that district. But Oswald was the son of king Ethelred, the brother of Eanfrid, on which account he succeeded to both the kingdoms, and reigned over them gloriously.

In this year also, Penda, king of Mercia, was sent by Cadwallen, king of the Britons, with a large army, into Northumberland, for the purpose of killing king Oswald. But Oswald, being attacked by Penda in the place which is called Hefenfild, that is to say, the Heavenly Plain, raised up with his hands the sign of the life-giving cross, and, fixing it in a hole, steadied it with turves, and ordered all his comrades to cry out to God in these words with their loudest voice, "Let us all kneel to God, and let us all together pray to him to defend us from the army of the proud king of Britain, and his wicked general, Penda; for He knows that we are engaged in war for the just protection of our nation". All therefore did as he commanded, and in this manner they advanced against the enemy, and, as their faith deserved, gained the victory; and the place in which the king erected the cross is to this day accounted to be endowed with miraculous power, and is held in great reverence.

In the same year, by command of pope Honorius, Birinus came into the country of the West Saxons, and was ordained bishop by Asterius, pontiff of Genua, that he might preach the grace of faith to that people; and, as he preached the Gospel in that country, Kinigilf, the king of that province, believed, and was baptized with all his nation. It happened at that time that king Oswald was present, and received him as he came up from the font, and Oswald was about to take his daughter to wife. Accordingly, both the kings gave the city of Dorchester to be an episcopal see, and, when they had

A.D. 640.] THEODORUS ELECTED POPE. 299

built and dedicated churches, Birinus laboured to bring the seeds of Divine worship to bear fruit in them.

[A.D. 636.] Sigebert, a most Christian man in every respect, and one of great learning, succeeded to the kingdom of the East Angles. He, while his brother Eorpenwald was still alive, had the sacraments of the faith administered to him while he was in exile in Gaul. And, as soon as he began to reign, he laboured to make his whole nation a partaker of them, and established schools of learning in various places, in order that the uncivilised inhabitants might become acquainted with the charms of literature. At last, he renounced the world, and became a monk, leaving the throne of his kingdom to his kinsman Egric.

[A.D. 637.] Severinus was appointed to the chair of Rome, and filled it two years, four months, and twenty-nine days. About the same time, Audoenus, the referendary of Dagobert, the king, flourished in Gaul, and he was called by this title, because all public documents were brought back (referebantur) to him to be confirmed by the ring or seal of the king.

[A.D. 638.] Saint Laudo flourished, who was the master, from his childhood, of Lambert, afterwards bishop and martyr, and so led him into the way of truth.

[A.D. 639.] John became pope, and filled the Roman chair one year, eight months, and nineteen days; and the see was vacant a month and thirteen days.

[A.D. 640.] Theodorus was elected as the successor of John, and filled the Roman chair six years, five months, and eight days; and the see was vacant fifty-two days. The same year, Eadbald, king of Kent, at last departed this life, and left two sons, Ermenred and Erconbert, heirs of his temporal kingdom, but the younger one, Erconbert, cunningly supplanted his brother in the kingdom, and deprived him of it. And then usurping it himself, he reigned gloriously for twenty-four years and some months, for he was the first of all the kings of England who ordered the idols to be destroyed throughout his whole kingdom, and a fast of forty days to be observed. And that his orders might not be easily despised by any one, he ordered condign punishment to be inflicted on all transgressors. And he had a queen named Sexburga, daughter of Anna, queen of the East Angles, by whom he had a son and daughter, named Egbert and Ercongoda. Likewise, in process of time, there were born to Ermenred the sons Ethelbert and Ethelred, of whom we shall speak at the proper time. But the

300 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 644.

before-mentioned Ercongoda took the habit of a nun in the Briglensian monastery of the French, and serving God, there lived as a virgin of great virtue. For at that time, as there were not yet many monasteries in the kingdom of England, many of the Britons went to the monasteries of Gaul for the sake of a monastic life. And the inhabitants of that district relate many works of virtue, and many miraculous signs wrought by this virgin, after she was thus dedicated to God. But it will be enough for us to give that account of her departure only, when she took her way to the kingdom of heaven. Accordingly, when the day of her call was at hand, she saw a band of men in white garments enter her monastery, and when she asked them what they were looking for, or what they wanted, it is said that they replied, that they had been sent thither to bring away with them a golden coin, which had arrived there from Kent. And that very night, as it was drawing to a close, that is to say, at the beginning of morning, she passed from the darkness of this present world, and departed to the light that is above. And many of the brethren of that monastery who were in other houses, declared that they had heard the voices of angels singing, and as they presently went out, wishing to know what was the matter, they saw a very great light shining from heaven, which was conducting that holy soul, released from the bonds of the flesh, to the eternal joys of the heavenly country.

[A.D. 641.] Heraclius Augustus died, and after his death, Heraclius Constantine, his son, became emperor, and reigned four months; and they were hardly expired, when he was poisoned by his step-mother Martina.

[A.D. 642.] Heraclonas, the son of Heraclius, succeeded to the empire, with his mother Martina, and reigned six months. And at the end of this time they were driven out by the senate, on account of the poison which they had administered to Heraclius; and Martina had her tongue cut out, and Heraclonas his nose cut off, and in this condition they were sent to Constans, the son of the younger Heraclius.

[A.D. 643.] Kinigilf, king of the West Saxons, departed this life, after he had reigned thirty-two years, and Kiniwalc, his son, became king in his stead, and reigned thirty-one years.

[A.D. 644.] When Saint Oswald had reduced all the nations of Britain, namely, the Angles and Scots, and Picts and Britons, to submit to his power, nevertheless he always preserved his

A.D. 644.] CONSTANS EMPEROR OF ROME. 301

former humility, showing himself affable to strangers, a father to the poor, terrible to the rich, and observing justice in all things. When, on the sacred day of Easter, he was sitting at dinner with bishop Aidan, and a silver dish was set before him, laden with royal delicacies, and he was on the point of putting out his hand to bless the bread, on a sudden, the servant came in to whom the charge of ministering to the poor was committed, and told the king that there was a multitude of poor people approaching, who were sitting everywhere about the streets, entreating alms from the king. And he immediately ordered the food that was set before him to be carried down to them, and the dish to be broken into small pieces, and to be distributed among them; and Aidan, being delighted at this act of royal piety, seized his right hand, and said, "This hand shall never decay". And so it happened; for as in the battle in which he was slain, that hand and arm were cut off, it is the fact, that to this day that hand remains uncorrupted, and being enclosed in a silver gilt chest, is preserved with his arm in the royal city which is called Burgum, in the church of the blessed Peter, and is devoutly worshipped by the people. He was the nephew of king Edwin by his sister Accha, a worthy heir of the religion and dominions of such a predecessor. But his enemy envied his goodness, while the heart of Cadwallon excited him to slay him. And so, in the thirty-eighth year of his age, on the fifth day of the month of August, and in the ninth year of his reign, he was slain in a terrible battle, which was fought by Penda, king of Mercia, in an unfavourable place, which is called in the language of the Angles Marelfeld, in which place, where he, fighting for his country, received the crown of martyrdom, to this day, the cure of sick persons has never ceased.

The same year, Kiniwalc founded an episcopal see at Winchester, in which Hedda was the first pontiff of the Angles. For, after Birinus, bishop of Dorchester, departed to be with Christ, and had been buried in his own church, when in process of time that city was subdued by the kings of Mercia, the see was transferred to Winchester, but the body of the blessed Birinus was transferred to the same place by the bishop I have named, and honourably buried in the church of the first see.

The same year, Constans, the son of Heraclius Constantinus, became master of the Roman empire, and reigned twenty-six years. He also fell into the heresy of the Monothelites, as

302 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 647.

his grandfather, Heraclius Augustus, had done. And the Monothelites assert that there is but one nature in Christ, contrary to the orthodox faith. For the Son of God says of the divinity of his essence, "I and the Father are one"; and, speaking of the substance of his humanity, he says - "The Father is greater than I"; but we will discuss these matters more at length hereafter.

[A.D. 645.] Oswald was succeeded in the kingdom of the Bernicians by Oswy, his brother, who reigned with great trouble for twenty-eight years; during whose reign, Oswin, the son of King Osric, succeeded to the kingdom of the Deiri, and reigned seven years. He, when firmly fixed in his kingdom, made himself beloved by all men; for he was of an angelic aspect, tall in stature, pleasant in disposition, polite in his manners, liberal in giving, temperate at table, chaste in his bed, elegant in his habits, and though raised to the highest summit of kingly power, he studied to retain humility, which is called the guardian of all virtue. And, accordingly, he was reverenced by the great as their master, and beloved by the lowly as their companion, so that all men were delighted to live under his power. The same year, Godgave succeeded Honorius, as archbishop of Canterbury. The same year, Penda, king of Mercia, attacked in war Kiniwalc, king of the West Saxons, because he had repudiated his sister, and deprived him of his kingdom. The same year, Lewis succeeded to the kingdom of France, and reigned seventeen years, while Sigibert, his brother, was reigning in Austria.

[A.D. 646.] Kiniwalc, king of the West Saxons, having recovered his kingdom, gave many houses to Cuthred, his kinsman, the son of Quichelin. The same year, the holy Paulinus, bishop of Rochester, changed this temporal life for an eternal one, of whose sanctity Bede tells many laudatory stories.

[A.D. 647.] Saint Furseus flourished in great eminence in Italy. He having undertaken a journey for the sake of Christ, went as far as the Gauls, and having been honourably received by king Lewis, he founded the Latiniac monastery. And not long afterwards, his brothers, Foillanus and Uleanus, made a similar vow of travelling, and followed him, and were very celebrated in Gaul. Of whom, Foillanus, out of the liberality of the virgin Gertrude, founded the Fossian monastery, in which he also reposes, after having received the crown of

A.D. 650.] FELIX, BISHOP OF THE EAST ANGLES, DIES. 303

martyrdom. The same year, Ithamarus succeeded Paulinus, bishop of Rochester, in the government of that church.

[A.D. 648.] Martin was elected to the chair of Rome, and occupied it six years, one month, and twenty-six days, and the see was vacant twenty-eight days.

[A.D. 649.] King Oswy, as he was often visiting Sigebert, king of the East Saxons, in the province of Northumberland, exhorted him to embrace the faith of Christ. And at length, as the consent of the king's friends aided his exhortations, Sigebert was baptized by Bishop Finan. Being, therefore, now made a citizen of the eternal kingdom, on his return to his dominions, he begged of king Oswy to give him some teachers to convert his nation to the faith. And he sending into the province of the Middle Angles, invited the man of God, Cedda, to come to him, and having given him a certain presbyter for his companion, he sent them among the East Saxons, to preach the word of faith to them. And when they, having traversed the whole country, had collected a numerous church to God, it happened that Cedda returned home to have a conference with bishop Finan. And when Finan heard how the word of the Gospel had prospered, he appointed Cedda bishop over the before-mentioned nation; and he, when he had received the bishopric, returned to the province of the East Saxons, where he built churches in various places, and ordained priests and deacons. And they, having began the administration of baptism in the cities which are called Ithancester and Tileburgh, the first of which is on the banks of the river Pentas, and the second on the banks of the river Thames, fulfilled their duties properly. And not long afterwards the king was slain by his own relations, because he was in the habit of sparing his enemies, and because he bore a gentle mind, and pardoned those who repented for injuries which they had inflicted on him. But Sigebert was succeeded in the kingdom of the East Saxons by Suithelin, the son of Sexbald, who was baptized by bishop Cedda, in the province of the East Angles, in the royal town, which is called Rendlesham. And Ethelwald, king of that nation, and brother of Anna, their queen, was his godfather at the font.

[A.D. 650.] Egelbert succeeded Birinus, the first bishop of Dorchester in that see. This year also Felix died, who had been bishop of the East Angles for sixteen years, and Honorius appointed Thomas his deacon, of the province of the Girvii,

304 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 651.

to be bishop in his stead; and when he died, five years after, Boniface succeeded in his room. The same year, Peada was raised by his father Penda to the kingdom of Mercia, and being in all respects worthy of the name of king, he came to Oswy, king of Northumberland, and begged of him that he would give him his daughter Effleda, to be his wife; but he could not obtain that, unless he, and all the nation which he governed, received the faith of Christ. He, therefore, having heard the preaching of the truth, and the promises of the kingdom of heaven, and being persuaded by Alfred, his friend, the son of Oswy, whose sister, by name Kiniburga, was his wife, was baptized by bishop Finan, with the whole of his family, in the royal town, which is called Atwall. And having received four priests, with a view to the conversion of his nation to the faith, he returned with joy to his own land; and these priests coming into that province, preached the word of God, and the great body of the nation submitting themselves to them, renounced the foulness of idolatry, and were regenerated in the fountain of the faith. Nor did Penda, though he was a most atrocious Pagan, forbid the word of God to be preached in his nation, that is to say, in the nation of the Mercians, saying that those men were wretched and contemptible who refused to obey the God in whom they believed.

[A.D. 651.] After causes of dissension had arisen between the kings of the Deiri and of the Bernicians, namely, between Oswy and Oswin, they each collected as numerous an army as they could for battle; but just as they were on the point of engaging in the place which is called Wilfaresdune, Oswin, seeing that his forces were unequal to those of his enemy, sent back the army which he commanded, and ordered them all to return home, and went to lodge himself with a single soldier, named Tonherus, in the house of a Count Hunwald, whom he believed to be very friendly to him; but he turned out very different, for he was betrayed by this same count, and so Oswy sent his general, named Ethelwin, to put the king to death. And when Oswin heard of his approach, he immediately went forth to meet the swords of the wicked, and the victors rushing upon him, slew him, with his soldiers, in the place which is called Sugetlingen, by a most detestable death. And so Oswin followed the example of his Saviour, for he too, when he was on his road to his passion, and the Jews were demanding that he should be crucified himself, asked them

A.D. 651.] CONDUCT OF THE MARTYR OSWIN. 305

whom they were seeking, and when they answered that they were seeking Jesus of Nazareth, he said, "If ye seek me, let these go their way", meaning his disciples, for he alone was sufficient for the redemption of the world. Animated then by his example, as I have already said, Oswin, the glorious martyr of God, after he had been betrayed by his friend, as our Saviour had been by his disciple, offered himself to death for his country and his nation, calling to mind the sentence of our Saviour, in which he says - "Greater love than this hath no man, than to lay down his life for his friends". On which account there is no doubt that a virtuous life preceded such a death, especially as no one can suddenly become perfect. But Oswin had been, as has been said above, from his earliest years, a most sincere worshipper of the Christian religion, and tall in stature, active in virtue, angelic in countenance, polite in manners, great in council, pleasant in disposition, liberal in giving, temperate at table, continent in bed, affable to all men, very experienced and very pious, and so impartial between poor and rich, that the poor looked upon him as an equal, and the rich as their master and superior. Owing to which, it happened that, on account of the amiability of his royal disposition, all men flocked to him and loved him, so that those who had been educated in the royal manner appeared in the eyes of all men more learned than their fellows.

But we must not pass over his humility, which is called the guardian of all virtue, because he has left a most complete example of it to all future ages. For he had given to bishop Aidan a valuable and most excellent horse, which he, though he was ordinarily accustomed to journey on foot, made use of either to cross the streams of rivers, or whenever necessity compelled him to quicken his steps. And not long afterwards, when a poor man met the bishop, and asked alms of him, he jumped down and ordered the horse, all royally equipped as he was, to be given to the poor man. And Aidan took great care of the poor, and was, as it were, the father of the wretched. And when this was told to the king, he said to the bishop, "Why, my master, did you prefer to give that royal horse, which you ought to have kept for your own, to a poor man? Had we not other horses of less value, or other gifts which might have sufficed for a poor man, without your giving him a horse which I selected especially for your own"? But the bishop replied, "What are you saying, O king? which is

306 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 652.

dearer to you, that son of a horse, or the Son of God"? Then the king, suddenly repenting of the expression which he uttered, immediately rose up, and fell at the feet of the bishop, entreating him to pardon his offence, on condition of his giving as much as ever Aidan should enjoin of his substance to the sons of God. And the bishop seeing this, immediately rose up from his seat and raised him up, promising that be would entirely pardon him, provided he would come to himself again, and lay aside his sorrow. And when, at the bidding of the bishop, the king resumed his spirits, the Pontiff was greatly grieved, and shedding tears abundantly, said to his servants, in his native language, "Have I ever seen before so humble a king? This land is not worthy to have such a ruler". Lastly, he was so eminent for the love of God and his neighbour, and so loving to his neighbour in the love of God, that he was willing to shed his own blood for his nation, and, what is more, even while sparing the blood of others. Being then entirely fenced round with such numerous and great virtues, he was a victim worthy of God, and hastened to his martyrdom.

And this most blessed king and martyr, Oswin, suffered on the nineteenth of August, in the ninth year of his reign, in the place which is called Sugetlingum, and his body was brought to the church of the mother of God, which is at the mouth of the river Tyne, situated on its north bank, and was buried in the open air. For the people in those parts were ignorant and uncivilized, and so the body of the martyr was enclosed in a stone sarcophagus, and buried in the deep bosom of the earth, being hereafter brought to the light by the grace of God. And Oidwald, the son of king Oswald, whom queen Eanfleda, daughter of king Edwin, bore to him, succeeded him in the kingdom of Deira. But when twelve days had elapsed after the death of Oswin, bishop Aidan was also taken from this life, and received from God the everlasting reward of his labours. He was succeeded in the bishopric of Lindisfarne by Finan, who was a Scot by birth, but he continued only a short time in his bishopric.

[A.D. 652.] Egric, king of the East Angles, having been attacked in the war by Penda, king of Mercia, as he saw that he was inferior to the enemy, asked his predecessor, Sigebert, the monk of whom we have spoken before, to come in the war with him to encourage his army. But as he was unwilling, and refused, they dragged him, against his will out of the

A.D. 654.] ETHELBERT AND ETHELRED ARE VILIFIED. 307

monastery to the battle, hoping that the soldiers would never think of flight in the presence of a king who had formerly been a most gallant man, and of great experience in military affairs. But he, not being unmindful of his profession, and that it was not lawful for him to fight, was slain, together with king Egric, and their whole army was put to the sword and routed. He was succeeded by Annas, the son of Enus, of the royal family, a most excellent man, of whom we shall speak in subsequent pages.

[A.D. 653.] Pope Martin held a council at Rome of a hundred and fifty bishops, where he condemned the heresy of the Monothelites and its follower, Paul, the pretended patriarch of Constantinople. And when this was known, Constans Augustus summoned pope Martin to Constantinople, and from thence banished him to the Chersonesus. He also condemned many of the orthodox with scourgings and banishment, because they would by no means acquiesce in his heresy. The same year, Godgave succeeded Honorius, as archbishop at Canterbury.

[A.D. 654.] Penda, king of Mercia,

"Gave his whole soul to arms and brook'd no path
That was not red with blood",

attacked Annas, king of the East Angles, a most pious man, and in a moment crushed him and his whole army; and Annas was succeeded in his kingdom by his brother Ethelbert. The same year, Erconbert, king of Kent, died, and was succeeded in his kingdom by his son Egbert, who reigned nine years. He had brought up in his palace the two sons of Ermenred, his uncle, by name. Ethelbert and Ethelred, who, after receiving the regeneration of holy baptism, remained in innocence and voluntary chastity, and protected the honesty of their morals by the guardianship of humility. But there was in the household of the before-mentioned king, a certain servant, a limb of the Devil, by name, Thunder (which answers to the Latin Tonitru), and he envying the laudable progress of the boys, began by sedulous flattery and incessant diligence to blacken their innocence to the king. "I see", said he, "that you, king, are carefully breeding up those who some day or other will endeavour to deprive you of your kingdom. On which account, I should think it a useful thing for you, that they should either be sent into distant banishment, or else that you

308 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 654.

should allow them to be given to me to put to death". And as the king dissembled his feelings, and this man was continually instigating him to sanction the deed, and the king forbade it in such a lukewarm manner, at last Thunder came to such a pitch of audacious rashness, that he determined on the destruction of these innocent persons. In short, the whirlwind, named Thunder, is armed with diabolical fury, and in the absence of the king, he basely murdered the before-mentioned innocents, and shamefully buried the bodies of these holy youths in the royal palace, under the king's chair. When the king returned, the night was very stormy, and a column of light, sent from from heaven, filled the royal palace with inconceivable brightness. And the servants of the king's household beholding this, fell in terror to the earth, and were almost driven to madness. And when the king waked at the noise made by the guards, and was ignorant of the cause of the uproar, he got up, according to his custom, to hear matins. And having gone forth from his palace, he saw an orb of unusual splendour, shining with rays. And the king recollected the conversation which he had had with that minister of wickedness on the subject of murdering the boys, and was greatly grieved; and having summoned to his presence the author of the wickedness, he asked him where his kinsmen were, who were accustomed to stand in his presence every day, and whom he had not seen the day before? And he, like Cain, answered the king, "I know not; am I the children's keeper"? But the king said to him, "Thou wicked servant, you always foretold to me evil things concerning them, therefore, thou wretch, you must tell me where they are"; and when that wicked man, full of haughty pride, had told the king what had happened, he was greatly enraged. But when he recovered himself, he took all the blame of the crime on himself, and, being immoderately agitated, passed the whole night in tears. At last, when the day dawned, he ordered Adeodatus, the archbishop, and what nobles he could assemble, to be summoned, and related to them the whole matter from beginning to end and how the pillar of light had been sent from heaven, and had descended on the bodies of these holy youths. The archbishop advised that the bodies of the innocent victims should be carried to the metropolitan church, and there be buried in royal fashion. And as soon as they came to the place, they found the holy remains indecorously placed under

A.D. 655.] PENDA INVADES NORTHUMBERLAND. 309

the king's chair: but all these things were done in a royal village, which was called Eastree.

When, therefore, the remains of these holy youths had been collected, to be carried away on biers, the archbishop ordered that they should be carried to Christ's Church, in Canterbury; but in vain, for they could not be moved, although they strove with all their efforts to do so. Therefore, he changed his intention, and ordered them to be carried to the church of Saint Augustine; but still they could do nothing in the way of moving them. At last it was arranged that they should be carried to that most celebrated monastery at Wearin; and when this design was adopted, then they lifted the biers with as little difficulty as if they had no burden at all on them. And when they came to the monastery, the funeral solemnities were duly performed by the archbishop, and they buried the bodies of the holy youths near the high altar; and in that place, by the divine mercy, many wonderful miracles are wrought to the praise of God, and to the glory of these youths.

It happened, at this time, that Ermenburga, the sister of the king, having repudiated her husband, the son of Penda, king of Mercia, with his own consent, determined to lead a chaste life. And when she, with her family, had come to her brother, and had intimated her design to him, he gave her the place indicated as that of the before-mentioned vision, when, having built a monastery in honour of the martyrs, Ermenburga, beloved of God, offered up to God, in union with the nuns who were associated with her, the fruit of good conversation, and at last rested in the Lord. At this time, also, Botolph built a church at Hiccanhoe.

[A.D. 655.] Penda, king of Mercia, at the instigation of Cadwallon, king of the Britons, invaded Northumberland with an immense army which he had collected. But Oswy, being compelled by necessity, promised him many presents and royal ornaments, in order to induce him to abandon his warlike designs, and return amicably to his own land. But when he could be prevailed on neither by bribes or prayers, the king fled to divine aid, to be delivered from the impiety of the barbarian; and, binding himself by a vow, said - "If that pagan refuses to receive our gifts, we will offer them to the Lord our God, who knows how to accept them". Therefore, he vowed that if he were victorious, he would dedicate his daughter to the Lord in sacred virginity, and would also give twelve farms

310 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 655. for the erection of monasteries. And then, accompanied by a small army, he gave battle to the pagans, who are reported to have had thirty times as numerous an army as himself, for he had thirty generals fully appointed for war; but Oswy alone, with his son Elfrid, under the leadership of Christ, met them, put them to flight, pursued them, and slew them. Among others, the wicked king, Penda, fell, who had deprived so many noble men of their temporal life. And king Ethelher, brother of king Annas, whom we have already mentioned, and who was the instigator of the war, fell too, as he would not survive the loss of all his army; and because the battle took place near the river, which is called the Winwed, and which, at that time, in consequence of the excessive rains, had broken all its bounds, it happened that the water killed more in their flight than the sword had slain in battle. From which, the proverb went abroad: "The slaughter of Annas, the slaughter of the kings, Sigebert and Egric, the slaughter of Oswald and Edwin, have been all washed out in the river Winwed".

Then king Oswy, showing his gratitude to God for the victory which had been granted him, in accordance with the vows which he had made to the Lord, gave his daughter, who was scarcely one year old, to be devoted to God in perpetual virginity, in a monastery which is called Hertsee, that is to say, the island of the Hart, over which, Hilda was at that time presiding as abbess. And she, having acquired the possessions of ten families in the place, which is called Streneshalh, built a monastery there. But king Oswy managed this war so as to be of the greatest advantage to both the nations, as he delivered his own people from the hostile incursion of the pagans, and converted to the beauty of the Christian faith the nation of the Mercians, now that their perfidious head, who had crushed every one, was thrown down. Ethelher was succeeded in the kingdom of the East Angles by his brother Ethelwald, and by a continued series of succession, the kingdom at last came to Eadwolf and Eadwald, the sons of this same Ethelher.

[A.D. 656.] King Oswy gave to Peada, the son of Penda, because he was his kinsman, the kingdom of the South Mercians (who are divided from the Northern Mercians by the river Trent), to be held of himself; and he had the first bishop in the province of Mercia, who was also bishop of the people of Lindsey and the Middle Angles, and whose name was Dinam. He died in the country of the Middle Angles, and was buried

A.D. 661.] KINIWALC RENEWS THE WAR AGAINST ULFHER. 311

there; the second bishop of that province was Coellac, who afterwards gave up his bishopric and returned to Scotland. The third was Tunher, an Angle by birth, and who had been brought up in Scotland, and had been ordained abbot in the monastery which is called Ingetling, where Oswin, the king and martyr, was slain.

[A.D. 657.] Peada, the son of Penda, was wickedly slain by the treachery (as they say) of his wife, at the very time of the festival of Easter. He was succeeded by his brother Ulfher, who reigned seventeen years, the heir of his father's virtues; and he, as soon as he was raised to the throne, rebelled against king Oswy, supported by the assistance of Oswy's enemies and of the dukes Eabbus and Edbert, who expelled the servants of Oswy from the kingdom of the Mercians, and so recovered their territories and their liberty. Tunher was succeeded by the bishops Jaruman, Ceaddam, and Winfrid, who successively filled the office of bishop in Mercia.

[A.D. 658.] Kiniwalc, king of the East Saxons, renewed the war against the Britons at Pennum. But at first the Britons in some degree repelled the Angles, but afterwards they became tired, and their courage melted away like snow, and they were driven from Pennum to Pendred, and an irremediable blow was infficted on the race of Brutus on that day.

[A.D. 659.] Eugenius was raised to the Roman chair, which he occupied two years, nine months, and twenty-two days, and the see was vacant two months.

[A.D. 660.] Lewis, king of the French, discovered the body of the blessed Dionysius, and covetously and impiously broke off his arm-bone and carried it away, but soon fell into incurable madness.

[A.D. 661.] Kiniwalc, king of the West Saxons, renewed the war against Ulfher, king of Mercia. But he displayed all his father's valour, and enjoyed his father's fortune, and so prevailed and put the king of the West Saxons to flight, and ravaged his territories. At last, coming to the Isle of Wight, he made himself master of it by force of arms. The same year, Ethelwald, king of the South Saxons, in the thirteenth year of his reign, being subdued by the before-mentioned Ulfher, received the faith of Christ, and was taken from the sacred fount by the same king as his godfather. And after this event, he sent Eopa, the presbyter, to the Isle of Wight,

312 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 663.

to convert that people to the true faith by his preaching. There was at that time, in the province of Northumberland, a certain clergyman, by name Wilfred, a great friend of AElfrid, the son of king Oswy, on account of his learning in all matters of Christian erudition; he, returning from Rome, spent a considerable time with Dalfinus, archbishop of Lyons, and received from him the crown of ecclesiastical treasure, therefore AElfrid gave him a monastery of forty families in Ripon, a place which he had a little before given to the bishops who celebrated the Easter of the Lord according to the custom of the Scots. But as they afterwards, when the choice was given them, preferred leaving that place rather than to change their customs, he now gave the place to one whose life and doctrine were more deserving of it.

This year also, AEgelbertus, bishop of the West Saxons, whom we have already mentioned, a friend of AElfrid, arrived in the province of Northumberland, and he, on the petition of the before-mentioned AElfrid, ordained the presbyter Wilfrid to the monastery that I have spoken of, where he lived in all good conversation of life, and himself laboured diligently to perform all the precepts which he delivered to his disciples to follow. Bishop Egelbert, leaving king Kiniwalc and the kingdom of England, took a bishopric in Gaul, and Wina succeeded to his bishopric in his room.

[A.D. 662.] Vitalian was appointed to the chair of Rome, and filled it for twelve years and six mouths, and the see was vacant two months and thirteen days.

[A.D. 663.] Clothaire succeeded to the throne of France, and reigned four years. The same year, there was great discussion in England between the English and the Scots about the observance of Easter. The king Oswy and his son AElfrid, and on the part of the Scots Colman, bishop of Lindisfarne, with his clergy from Scotland, met at Strenelhalh; there were present also bishop Gedda and the abbess Hilda, who both took the part of the Scots, and on the other side there was the priest Wilfrid, with several monks and clergymen, who held different opinions from those of the Scots about the celebration of Easter. When they were all seated, king Oswy addressed them, saying, "That it behoved those who served one and the same God to have one rule of life, and not to vary from one another in the celebration of the holy sacraments, when they all are expecting one kingdom in heaven; they ought,

A.D. 664.] KING ERCONBERT DIES. 313

therefore, to seek together to ascertain which is the more correct tradition, and then they ought all to ohserve it faithfully". Then Colman said, "This Easter, which I have been accustomed to keep, I received from my ancestors, who sent me hither as bishop, and all our ancestors, so beloved by God, are known to have kept it in the same manner. And that it may not appear incorrect to any one, I may add, that it is the very same manner in which the Evangelist John is said to have kept it in all the churches over which he presided". And when he had spoken for some time in this manner, the king commanded Wilfrid, the priest, to speak, who began and spoke thus: "The Easter which we Romans, Italians, Gauls, and Greeks keep, is the same which the whole church, universally diffused over the whole world, keeps in common, with the exception of the Picts, Scots, and Britons, who foolishly contend against the whole world. For when the Lord said to Peter, the chief of the Apostles, 'Thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, and I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven', can you, after that, Colman, prefer our ancestors, the Picts and Scots, to the chief of the Apostles, to whom the Lord committed the regulation of the whole church"? When the king heard this, he said, "Are those things, Colman, which Wilfrid says, true"? And he replied, "My lord king, they are true". "If, then", said the king, "you both of you agree in this, that these words were said to Peter in his character of chief of the Apostles, then I say to you that he is an officer whom I am not disposed to contradict. But as far as lies in my power, I desire to obey his regulations, lest, perchance, when I come to the doors of the kingdom of heaven, there may be no one to open them to me, if he is averse who is proved to have the keys". When the king said this, all those who were sitting around lifted up their hands to heaven applauding him; and leaving the less perfect custom, they adopted that which they ascertained to be the better.

[A.D. 664.] King Erconbert died, and Egbert, his son, succeeded him in the kingdom of Kent. The same year, Colman, bishop of Lindisfarne, returned with his priests back to Scotland, and Tuda was ordained bishop in his stead. The same year, an eclipse of the sun took place in the month of May, and an unheard-of mortality ensued. Deodatus, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and the see of Canterbury was vacant

314 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 668.

four years. The same year, Alfrid, son of king Oswy, sent bishop Wilfrid into Gaul, that he might be there ordained archbishop of York. Accordingly, he went to Egelbert, who, having left Britain, had become bishop of Paris, and was consecrated by him. And while he was sojourning at Paris, king Oswy sent Cedda, the priest, to the chief priest of the West Saxons, whose name was Wina, who consecrated him bishop, although against the statutes of the canons, because while Wilfrid was still alive, no one else ought to have been elected bishop in his stead. But that error was subsequently corrected, as will be related hereafter.

[A.D. 665.] There was so terrible a mortality in England, that men came in crowds to the precipices which overhang the sea, and threw themselves headlong down, preferring to perish by a speedy death rather than by the slow torture of disease.

[A.D. 666.] Wina, bishop of Winchester, was driven from his bishopric by king Kiniwalc, and bought the bishopric of London from Ulfher, king of Mercia, for a large price, on which account after his death he was not considered entitled to be reckoned in the series of bishops of London.

[A.D. 667.] The emperor Constans, wishing to make the city of Rome the head of the empire, met with great resistance from the people of Constantinople, and so his design was wholly dropped. After that he came to Rome, and made an offering to Saint Peter of a pallium woven with gold. And pope Vitilian received him with great honour, and conducted him to the threshold of Saint Peter, attended by a numerous body of people. And when he had remained twelve days in the city, inflamed by great covetousness, he carried down to the Tiber every kind of ornament of brass or marble with which the city was decorated, in order to take them away to Constantinople. And, among other things, he stripped the church of Mary, the blessed Mother of God, and of all the martyrs, which was anciently called the Pantheon, of its brazen tiles, and then he returned to Constantinople.

[A.D. 668.] Pope Vitilian ordained Theodorus to be bishop of the church of Canterbury. And when he arrived in Britain two years after, he degraded Cedda, a holy and modest man, who he decided had been irregularly promoted to the archbishopric of York, and recalled Wilfrid, who had been unjustly expelled. But Cedda yielded with humility, and received the bishopric of Lichfield to govern.

A.D. 673.] A COUNCIL CONVENED AT HERTFORD. 315

[A.D. 669.] The emperor Constans was most wickedly murdered in a bath by his servants. And after his death the soldiers took an Armenian of the name of Mezentius, and made him emperor. But a few days afterwards, Constantine, the son of the deceased Constans, coming up with his friends, condemned the before-named Mezentius and the assassins of his father to a terrible death. About this time the false prophet Mahomet, of whom we have spoken before, died, and was buried in Hell. [1]

[A.D. 670.] Deodatus was elected pope, and occupied the Roman chair four years, two months, and five days, and the see was vacant four months and fifteen days. The same year, Constantinus, the son of Constans, obtained the empire of Rome, and reigned seventeen years. He restored the churches which had been destroyed ever since the time of Heraclius, his great grandfather, and endeavoured to extirpate the heresy of the Monothelites, and to put down its favourers. The same year, Oswy, the noble king of Northumberland, died, worn out with sickness and old age, and was buried in the church at Streneshalh, where king Edwin had been buried before, and his son, Egfrid, became king in his stead, and reigned fifteen years. But Oswy was the son of Ethelfrid, who was the son of Ethelric, who was the son of Ida, the first king of Northumberland, of the nation of the Angles.

[A.D. 671.] There was a great battle of birds in England, so that many thousands were found slain, and the foreign birds seemed to be leaving the kingdom.

[A.D. 672.] Kiniwalc, king of the West Saxons, died, when he had reigned thirty-one years, and his wife Sexburga reigned in his stead, and reigned one year; but as the nobles of the kingdom were indignant, she was expelled from the kingdom, as they would not serve under a female commander.

[A.D. 673.] While Lothaire was king of Kent, and Eascwine king of West Saxony, Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, convened a council at Hertford of all the bishops and kings and nobles of England who were present in the island. The archbishop of York, Wilfrid, was present, and Bosa, bishop of the East Angles, and Leutherius, bishop of the West Saxons, and Putta, bishop of Rochester, and Winfrid, bishop of Mercia. And when they were all seated, Theodore proposed before


[1] The real date of the death of Mahomet is June 7th, A.D. 632, in his sixty-third year; the date of the Hegira is A.D. 622.- Gibbon, ch. i.

316 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 675.

them all, ten articles, the first of which was that they should all observe the sacred day of Easter together; on the next Sunday after the fourteenth day of the first month, the second that no bishop should invade the province of another; the third, that no bishop should be permitted to disturb the monasteries which had been consecrated by God, nor to appropriate any of their possessions; the fourth, that monks should not go from place to place, but should persevere in that obedience which they had promised at the time of their conversion; the fifth, that no clerk should forsake his bishop or be admitted if he went to any other diocese, without letters from his own superior; the sixth, that foreign bishops and clergy should perform no duty without the consent of the bishop in whose diocese they were sojourning; the seventh, that a synod should be held twice a year, or at the very least once a year, because different causes and occupations hinder many; the eighth, that no bishop should out of ambition prefer himself to another, but that all should be guided by the time and order of their consecration; the ninth, that more bishops should be made, as the number of the faithful increased; the tenth, that no one should be permitted to contract any connection with a woman except a legitimate marriage; that no one should commit incest, and that no one should put away his wife except for the cause of fornication. And as all the bishops consented to these articles, every one confirmed what was thus settled by the subscription of his own signature.

[A.D. 674.] Bosa, the bishop, being removed while still alive, because he was prevented by grave infirmity from the discharge of his episcopal duty, two persons were ordained in his place, namely, Acca and Bedwin; and ever since that time that province has been in the habit of having two bishops, and the seats of their respective sees were Dommoc and Helmham. And not long afterwards, archbishop Theodore being offended at the disobedience of Winfrid, bishop of Mercia, deposed him, and in his stead ordained Sexulf bishop, who was the founder and abbot of the monastery which is called Medeshamstrede, in the district of the Girvians. But Winfrid, when he was deposed, returned to his monastery, which is called Dobarune, where he ended his life in all goodly conversation.

[A.D. 675.] When Sebba, son of Seward, and Sigeher, son of the uncle of Sigebert, were reigning jointly in the country of

A.D. 676.] CADWALLON DIES. 317

the West Saxons, Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, ordained Erkenwald bishop of the city of London. He, before he was made bishop, had founded two famous monasteries, one for himself, and the other for Ethelberga, his sister; he had established in each the most excellent discipline, and his own was called Chertsey, and that of his sister Berfingum. But in process of time Erkenwald became diseased in his feet, and when he was going round his district in a litter, he came, as it chanced, to the bank of a most rapid river; and when his companions hesitated, because he, being infirm, could not pass the river, either on horseback or on foot, the flood suddenly disappeared, and as soon as the bishop and his retinue had passed over the dry channel, the river returned to its natural bed. And the touch of this litter of Erkenwald cured many feeble persons and those afflicted with fevers. At last, the man of God, Erkenwald, after he had finished the course of this present life, died, and was buried in the church of the blessed Paul, in London, where, to this very day, he gives immediate recovery from many ailments to his suppliants. The following are the names of his successors: Walder, Jugwald, Egulf, Wiger, Eadbrith, Eadgar, Kiniwalc, Eadbald, Edbert, Osmund, Ethelnoth, Celbert, Revulf, Suithulf, Eadstan, Ulf, Ethelward, and Elstan; and all these men filled the chair of the see of London till the time of Edward the Elder, king of England; but the memory of them all is so completely effaced, that neither their acts nor their burial-places are known.

[A.D. 676.] Cadwallon, king of the Britons, being worn out by old age and infirmity, died, after he had reigned forty-eight entire years, and the Britons embalmed his body with balm and spices, and placed it in a brazen image, made with wonderful skill in his likeness and of his size, over the west gate of London; and the figure was sitting on a brazen horse, in token of the severe tyranny which he exercised over the English. They also made a church at the gate in honour of the blessed Martin, that divine service for him and for all the faithful who were departed might be everlastingly performed in it. He was succeeded in his kingdom by Cadwallader, his son, whom Bede calls the young Cadwalla, whose mother was the sister of Penda, king of Mercia, whom Cadwalla, after he had made peace with his brother, took for his wife, and by her he became the father of Cadwallader.

318 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 676.

The same year Ulpher, king of Mercia, died, whose queen, Hermengilda, daughter of Erconbert, king of Kent, and of the holy Sexburga, daughter of Annos, king of the East Angles, and sister of the holy Ethelfrida, made him the father of the holy Wereburga, a virgin of great virtues. She, after the death of her father, renounced the world, and entered the monastery of her mother's aunt, Ethelfrida. And when Ethelred, her uncle, who succeeded Ulpher in the kingdom, heard of her holy disposition, he appointed her to preside over some monasteries of virgins devoted to God, with the rank of abbess, and she lived among them with great strictness, and to the end of her life served Christ, her king. At length, in one of her monasteries, which is called Trikingeham, she departed this life, and her corpse, as she herself had enjoined in her lifetime, was borne to the monastery called Mihealbrig, and buried with all honours; and that monastery remained uninjured to the time when the wicked race of the Danes ravaged the provinces of England with cruel slaughter.

King Ulpher had also brothers by name Ethelred and Penda, of whom we have spoken above, and Merwald, who reigned in the western division of Mercia. His queen, the holy Ermenburga, daughter of Ermenred, the brother of Erconbert, king of Kent, bore him three daughters, namely, the holy Milburga, the holy Mildrith, and the holy Mildgyth. She also bore him a son, named Merefin, a boy of eminent sanctity. Ulpher was succeeded by his brother Ethelred, who married Ostrica, the sister of Egfrid, king of Northumberland, and had by her a son named Ceolred. The same year, Eascwin, king of the West Saxons, died, who was the son of Kenseus, who was the son of Kenferth, who was the son of Cuthgis, who was the son of Ceulf, who was the son of Kenric; and Eascwin was succeeded by Kentwin, who was the son of Kinegilf, who was the son of Ceulf, and who reigned ten years.

CH. XII.- FROM A.D. 677 TO A.D. 704.

Disputes and Ecclesiastical affairs in Britain - Wilfrid is deposed from his Bishopric - Saint Etheldreda - Saint Hilda - A Council is held at Hatfield - Saint Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne - Egfrid is killed - Cadwallader is baptised - Dies - The Histories of Geoffrey of Monmouth, Carradoc of Lancarban - William of Malmesbury, and Henry of Huntingdon - Pepin, king of France - Part of the true Cross is found at Rome - A Dead Man is restored from Purgatory in Northumberland - The Bishopric of Winchester is divided.

A.D. 678.] WILFRID EXPELLED FROM HIS KINGDOM. 319

[A.D. 677.] Donus was elected to the Roman chair, and filled it one year, five months, and ten days, and the see was vacant ten months and fifteen days. At this time Saint Ethelreda flourished in the Isle of Ely. This year also, a comet appeared for three months, and one day it shone in the morning like the sun.

[A.D. 678.] A quarrel arose between Egfrid, king of Northumberland, and the venerable archbishop Wilfrid. And the holy man being expelled, three bishops were appointed in his room, namely, Bosa, to govern the province of Deiri, and Eatta, to govern that of the Bernicians. The one had the seat of his bishopric at York, and the other in the church of Hagustald; and both of them came from the community of monks. And with them Eadhed was ordained bishop of the province of Lindsey, which king Egfrid had lately made himself master of, having defeated in battle and put to flight Wilfer, king of Mercia. He was the first bishop of that province. The second was Ethelwin, the third Edgar, the fourth Kinibert, who governs it at present. [1] For, before the appointment of Eadhed, it had a president named Sexulf, who was also at the same time bishop of the Mercians and of the Midland Angles. And when he was driven out of Lindsey, he continued to regulate these provinces. But these bishops whom I have mentioned were ordained by archbishop Theodore, who, three years after the departure of Wilfrid, ordained two more bishops, namely, Tunbert, for the church of Hagustald, when Eata returned to Lindisfarne, and Trunwin, for the province of the Picts, which at that time was reduced under the dominion of the Angles. The same year, Agatho was appointed pope, and filled the Roman chair two years, six months, and three days. And the see was vacant one year, six months, and five days.

When Wilfrid was expelled from his bishopric, he went to Rome, and intended to plead his cause and argue against his expulsion before pope Agatho. But when he embarked on


[1] There is manifestly some great error here, probably of the text, but I cannot conjecture what it may be, or how it ought to be corrected.

320 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 678.

board ship, with a west wind blowing, he went to Friesland, where he preached the word of faith to the people of that country, and washed king Aldegils and his people in the laver of salvation. And he spent the winter with the new people of God in that country, and after that he went to Rome, where his cause was sifted before Agatho, in the presence of many bishops, and, by unanimous judgment of them all, he was pronounced to have been guiltless of the accusations brought against him, and to be most worthy of his bishopric. And at this time the pope had collected a synod of a hundred and twenty-five bishops at Rome, against those men who espoused the doctrines of the heresy of the Monothelites; he commanded Wilfrid also to be summoned, and ordered him to take his seat among the bishops, and to declare his own belief and that of the province from which he had come; and as he and his flock were found to be true Catholics in faith, he was absolved from the penalties which had been imposed on him. And when he returned to Britain, he converted the province of the South Saxons from the darkness of idolatry to the faith of Christ. He also sent ministers of the Word of God to the Isle of Wight, and, in the second year of Ealfrid, who succeeded Egfrid as king of Northumberland, he recovered his see by the express appointment of the king. And, as time went on, when he was visiting his parishes, and had come to the village which is called Tundanfre, a great number of women met him, bringing him their children to be confirmed. And a poor woman had mingled with the crowd, bearing in her arms a dead child, whom she presented to the bishop for confirmation, thinking that, by this device, she might receive back her son in sound health. But when the bishop had uncovered the boy, in order to perform his office, he perceived that he was devoid of life. Then, the woman being detected in her trick, betook herself to prayer, and besought Wilfrid by God, and by the Mother of God, to yield to pity and raise her dead son to life; and falling at his feet, and taking hold of them, she declared that she would not quit them till she had received back her son safe and sound. In the meantime, the mind of the holy man was wavering as to whether he should rashly attempt an unaccustomed miracle, or hard-heartedly disregard the tears of a widow. But pity prevailed over his virtuous breast; he yielded to her prayer, and placing his right hand on the corpse, he recalled the soul into the body. The woman

A.D. 679.] THE HOLY VITGIN ETHELREDA DIES. 321

shouted for joy, but was checked by the bishop, and enjoined to hold her peace.

[A.D. 679.] Egfrid, king of Northumberland, and Ethelred, king of Mercia, fought a terrible battle near the river Trent, in which Escwin, brother of king Egfrid, a youth much beloved in both these provinces, was slain. For Ethelred, king of Mercia, had married his sister, by name Ostrica. And when the war between the kings was supported on each side with great animosity, Theodorus, the pontiff, supported by divine assistance, put a complete end to it, making an arrangement, according to which, a large sum of money was to be given to king Egfrid, for the death of his brother. At the same time, the holy virgin Ethelreda departed from this world, and exchanged this temporal life for an eternal one. She was the daughter of Annas, king of the East Angles, and a child worthy of such a father, and she had been formerly married to Tonbert, prince of the South Girvians. But after his death she remained a pure virgin. Afterwards she was yoked, by the compulsion of her parents, to Egfrid, king of Northumberland; but, though married to two husbands, she persevered in retaining a most immaculate virginity. And the man of God, Wilfrid, was a witness of her virginity; for when the venerable Bede asked him questions on the subject, he said that Egfrid had promised him an estate, and a large sum of money, if he could persuade Ethelreda to consent to the consummation of their marriage. And a divinely miraculous sign, namely, the fact that the flesh of this same virgin, after it was buried, and the clothes in which her chaste flesh was wrapped, could not be corrupted, was a proof that she died wholly unpolluted by the touch of a man. For she lived twelve years with the before-mentioned king, but never could be softened so as to consent to his wishes; and at last this most holy virgin prevailed upon him to allow her to become a nun at Coludesburch (and she received the blessings of the holy Wilfrid), where Ebba, the aunt of her husband Egfrid, was abbess. And after a year, the virgin was made abbess in the Isle of Ely, discharging the duties of a mother to the virgins there, by her advice and example; and having lived there seven years, serving God in an exemplary manner, she changed this fleeting life for an eternal one. And in that place frequent miracles are even now wrought by the glory of God and praise of that virgin.

322 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 680.

[A.D. 680.] The abbess Hilda, after she had lived in the dress of holy religion at Streneshalh for thirty-three years, departed from this world to be with the Lord. And this most blessed virgin, being of the high-born family of king Edwin, and having been converted to the faith by the preaching of the blessed Paulinus, afterwards, abandoning her secular garb, proposed to transfer herself to the monastery of Cala, where her sister Hereswitha, the mother of AEldulf, king of the East Angles, was happily serving God. But she was kept back by Bishop Aidan, and made abbess at Hertesey, and afterwards of the monastery called Streneshalh, which she had founded herself, and where she so instructed her clergy in ecclesiastical habits that five of them rose to the episcopal dignity, namely, Bosa and Wilfrid, at York, Hedda, in the church at Dorchester, John, in the church at Hagustald, Ostfort, in the province of the Wiccians, which was at that time governed by king Osric. Tadfrid, also, of the same monastery, was elected bishop, but by his untimely death was prevented from being consecrated.

The mother of this same Hilda had had a dream, in which, when seeking her husband, she could not find him, but under her garments she found a valuable necklace, which gave light to all the borders of Britain. But the most holy Hilda languished six years, while her soul was being gradually freed from the annoyances of the flesh, and her virtue was being made perfect in weakness; and after seven years' fever, she departed from death to life. And in the very hour in which she died, a certain nun saw her soul being carried up to heaven by angels, where she is enjoying everlasting joy with Christ. The same year, Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, convened a council in the place which is called Hatfield, in the sixth year of Ethelred, Idng of Mercia, while Ealdulf was reigning in the kingdom of the East Angles (he was the successor of Ethelwald), Egfrid being king of Northumberland, and Kentwin of the West Saxons. In this council Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, presided, being present with his suffragan bishops and many others. Accordingly, the sacred gospels being laid before them, Theodore produced a creed to all the assembled holy fathers, framed in the following language:-

"We admit the Five Holy General Councils of the Holy Orthodox Fathers, to wit the Nicene Council, convened to

A.D. 681.] A MONASTERY FOUNDED AT JAREWE. 323

oppose Arrius and his doctrines, the Council of Constantinople, to oppose the madness of Macedonius and Eudoxias and their doctrines; the Council of Ephesus, to oppose Nestorius and his doctrines; the Council of Chalcedon, to oppose Eutyches and Nestorius and their doctrines, and the Second Council of Constantinople, to oppose Theodore, and Ibis, and Cyril and their doctrines. We also add a Sixth Council, held at Rome, in the time of Pope Martin, to oppose the heresy of the Monothelites, in the reign of Constantine, the most Christian emperor,- and we receive and glorify the Almighty God as they glorified him, adding nothing and subtracting nothing from their assertions. We condemn those whom they condemned, and receive those whom they received; all which things we subscribe as articles to be observed according to the belief which the holy prophets and apostles held concerning God, and according to their writings, Amen".

[A.D. 681.] A monastery was founded at Jarewe. The same year, the abbot of the Floriacensian monastery, by name Nummolus, being forewarned by a divine revelation, sent one of his monks, named Aigulfus, to Mount Cassinus, to bring him from thence the body of the most holy Benedict. For the convent which the same Benedict had formerly established there, had been plundered by the Lombards and reduced to desolation; but, nevertheless, the body of the holy Benedict, with that of his sister Scholastica, were preserved, these being buried in one place. It also happened that some people from Lyons were going at the same time to the before-mentioned place to remove the body of the holy Scholastica. But after they arrived at the Floriacensian convent they joined the blessed Aigulfus, and remained with him, until they arrived at the threshold of Saint Peter,- and when they had reached that, then the blessed Aigulfus left their company, and proceeded on by himself to Mount Casinus, where he determined to spend the night. And lo! in the silence of dark night he saw the tomb of the holy father Benedict lit up from heaven in such a manner, as if it were fenced all round with thick stones. But when the night was passed, that splendor disappeared; then the before-mentioned Aigulfus reverently approached the spot, and breaking the tomb in the side, he emptied it, and put all that he found there in one basket, which he had brought

324 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 681.

ready for the purpose. And when Aigulfus had done this, and was returning to his own country, he showed it to the companions of his journey, and returned with them to the Floriacensian monastery. But before he reached it he came to the place which they call Novus Vicus, which is distant one mile from the before-mentioned monastery. And there the abbot Nummolus, of whom I have already spoken, came out with a great crowd, and met them reverently, and received the sacred pledges with due honour. And taking the basket which I mentioned, he placed it in the church of the prince of the Apostles, Peter, and took out the holy bones, which were lying inclosed in it, in a confused manner. And then taking them out, he separated them all from one another, distinguishing the greater from the less. And when this had been done, lo! the perfect corpses of two dead persons were carried out to burial, one of which was of the male sex, and the other of the female. A marvellous thing - for when the large bones had been placed upon the corpse of the male sex, immediately, through the merits of the blessed Benedict, life was restored to the dead. Then the smaller bones were placed on the corpse of the damsel, and the two instantly revived. And there was no small multitude of men present at this miracle. And the Cenomannian citizens were present, who had been the partners of his journey and his labour. And they with many prayers entreated that the bones of the holy Scholastica might be given to them, and obtained it, in order that two great luminaries might not be shut up in one place, when one was enough for each. Accordingly, the Cenomannians returned to their city, carrying with them the before-mentioned corpse with great joy, and it was reverently buried near the walls of Lyons, in a new church which was built in honour of it; where a band of holy and devout women was collected under regular discipline. After these things had been done in this manner, when the venerable father Nummolus was one night praying in the open air to the Lord, that he would give him a sign from heaven, to show him in what place he should bury the body of the blessed Benedict, lo! on a sudden a light was sent from heaven, appearing to him like lightning, which showed him most plainly the place where the body ought to be put. And he, delighted at this token, buried it in the place which God had pointed out to him, and the place was the oracle of the blessed mother of

A.D. 685.] JOHN APPOINTED POPE. 325

God, at no great distance from the church of Saint Peter, which has been previously mentioned. And this most holy body was removed again a hundred and thirty-eight years after this removal. And whoever, in the place where it now is, shall invoke the name of the most pious father with pious devotion, shall receive the wished-for reward of his devotion.

Theodoric reigned in France fourteen years.

[A.D. 682.] Kentwin, king of the West Saxons, attacked the Britons in war, and as they made an ineffectual resistance, he, with victorious energy, drove them with slaughter and conflagration as far as the sea.

[A.D. 683.] Saint Cuthbert was consecrated bishop of Lindisfarne. The same year, Sigebert, king of the East Saxons, died, and Sebba, his partner in the kingdom, began to reign by himself.

[A.D. 684.] Leo was elected to the Roman chair, and filled it ten months and seventeen days. The same year also, Pope Benedict succeeded him, and was Pope two months and three days.

The same year, Egfrid, king of Northumberland, having sent an army into Ireland, under the command of Bertus, ravaged the unoffending nation, and one which had always been most friendly to the nation of the Angles, so as never to lay a hostile hand on the churches or monasteries. But they, with all their power, applied themselves to repelling force by force, invoking the aid of the divine mercy, and, with incessant prayers, they entreated heaven to avenge their cause. And so it happened, that those who were deservedly spoken ill of for their impiety, soon suffered the punishment of their guilt under the avenging hand of God, as the history of the following year will show.

[A.D. 685.] John was appointed to the Roman chair, and filled it for one year. The same year, Egfrid, king of Northumberland, having rashly led his army to ravage the provinces of the Picts, in spite of the advice of many of his friends, and especially of Cuthbert, of blessed memory, who had lately been ordained bishop, was led into a narrow defile, among inaccessible mountains, by the enemy feigning flight, and was slain with the greater part of his army which he had brought with him. His brother AElfrid succeeded him, although not born in lawful wedlock, a man of great learning in the Scriptures, who gloriously retrieved the fortunes of his kingdom.

326 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 686.

which were beginning to be greatly depressed. Egfrid was the son of Oswy, and Eanfleda, the daughter of Edwin. But Oswy was the son of Ethelfrid, who was the son of Ethelric, who was the son of Ida, the first king of Northumberland, of the nation of the Angles. And a wonderful miracle was wrought in a certain war between Egfrid and Ethelred, king of Mercia, as has been mentioned above, which, if it is related, will, I think, be profitable to the salvation of many.

In that battle there was slain, among others of the army of Egfrid, a young man named Jonna; and, after he had lain all the night of the day on which he was slain, among the other corpses of the slain, like a dead man, he at last recovered his spirits, and revived; and, sitting up, bound up his wounds as well as be could. Then, after resting a short time, he got up, and began to depart; but, as he was going away, he was taken prisoner, and put in chains by an officer of king Ethelred's. Now, this soldier, who was thus put in chains, had a very religious brother, by name Tunna; and when Tunna heard that his brother had been killed in battle, he came to look and see if he could find his brother's body. And, having found another body very like his brother, he thought that it was his brother, and so he carried it to his monastery, and gave it honourable burial, and often caused masses to be celebrated for the absolution of his soul. But at the time when one brother caused masses to be celebrated for the soul of his brother, the chains of the living brother were loosened, and could not be kept on by any means. The magistrate, therefore, seeing that it was impossible for him to be restrained by chains, carried him to London, and sold him to a Frieslander. And the Frieslander also finding the same thing to be the case, took, as a ransom from him, the same price which he had paid for him, and allowed to him to depart to become a soldier. And when he, coming to his own country, had told his brother and his countrymen of the province what had happened to him, many of them were prompted to offer victims more frequently to God, and to do alms and offer prayers for the delivery of those who had departed from life. And it is because I have ascertained this miracle to be undoubtedly true, that I thought it deserving of insertion in this my history.

[A.D. 686.] Conon was appointed to the see of Rome, which he occupied eleven months. The same year, bishop Eata died, and John, a holy man, of Hagustald, succeeded to the

A.D. 686.] MIRACLE AT THE TOMB OF SAINT CUTHBERT. 327

presidency of the church. The same year, Lothaire, king of Kent; died on the sixth of February, for he had been wounded in the war with the South Saxons, which Eadric, the son of Egbert, his brother, had stirred up against him, and he died under the hands of the surgeons. And, after his death, that same Eadric reigned for a year and a half. The same year, when the man of God, Cuthbert, had for two years governed the church of Lindisfarne, he, knowing by the spirit of God, of which he was full, that the day of his departure was at hand, cast off the burden of his pastoral care, and was eager to return to the struggle of the anchorite's life which he had forsaken, in order that the freer flame of his ancient compunction might burn up in him the obstinate thorns of worldly solicitude. And when he had spent about two months with great exultation in his recovered tranquillity, and had chastised his body and soul with the abundant vigour of his accustomed strictness, he was seized with sudden infirmity, the fire of temporal suffering, and so he began to prepare himself for the joys of everlasting bliss; and after having been worn out for three weeks with continued suffering, he thus came to his end. And fortifying his departure by the reception of the body and blood of the Lord, raising his eyes and hands to heaven, and commending his soul to God, he breathed his last. Then he was carried in a boat to the island of Lindisfarne, and he rests there, with an incorruptible body, in a stone sepulchre, in the church of the blessed Peter, on the right hand of the altar, and is placed as if he were asleep.

But even after he was dead and buried, the signs of these virtues, which he had practised while alive, did not cease, for a certain boy in the district of Lindisfarne was vexed by a most cruel devil, and could not be cured by any manner or power of exorcism; therefore, he was placed on a carriage and brought to the monastery, to be healed by the merits of the blessed man who lay there. Then a certain priest, prompted by the Holy Spirit, taking up a small portion of earth where he knew that water had been spilt with which the dead body of the blessed Father had been washed, dipped it in water, and then spread it over the mouth of the patient who, immediately that he touched the water, ceased from his frenzy, and passed the night in quiet sleep, and in the morning found himself released from his affliction by the virtue of the blessed Father Cuthbert. Afterwards, after the lapse of eleven years since his burial, God put into the hearts

328 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 687.

of the brethren, his body, being as they supposed, reduced to dust, to collect his bones, which they supposed were dry and withered, after the fashion of dead men, in a small urn. When they took the opinion of Eadbert, their bishop, on this matter, he approved of their design. Accordingly, he ordered them to do this on the day that they were to be so placed in the urn. But they, when they opened his tomb, found his whole body as entire as if he had been still alive, and with all the joints of the limbs still unrelaxed, much more like a man asleep than dead; in such a condition, indeed, that all his garments in which he was clothed, as a bishop ought to be, were found uninjured.

This year also there was an eclipse of the moon, on the eighth indiction. The sun also was eclipsed at about ten o'clock on the third of May. And the same year a most terrible pestilence ensued, which lasted three months, namely, all July, August, and September. There was also a great mortality at Rome. And this pestilence so ravaged Ticino, that the citizens all fled to the mountains, and grass and brambles grew in the city. In that city also, two angels visibly appeared among the people, one a good, and the other a malignant one. And as many times as the malignant angel, with the sanction of the good angel, struck the door of any house with a hunting spear which he carried in his hand, so many dead corpses were carried out of that same house the next day. Then it was told by revelation to some men of the city, that that pestilence would not cease till an altar to Saint Sebastian, the martyr, was erected in that church of the blessed Peter the Apostle, which is called Ad Vincula. Accordingly, the relics of the martyr were brought from the city of Rome, and immediately, as soon as the altar was built to him in the before-mentioned church, the plague ceased.

The same year, Kentwin, king of the West Saxons, died, and Cadwallader, king of the Britons, seized on his kingdom, and reigned in it for two years. Respecting this Cadwallader, there is a difference between the history of the Britons and the chronicles of the Angles; for the Angles assert that Cadwallader was the son of Kinibert, of the race of Ceoline. The Britons, on the other hand, say that he was the son of Cadwallon, king of the Britons, who slew the kings of the Angles, Edwin, and the holy Oswald.

[A.D. 687.] Sergius was appointed to the see of Rome, and

A.D. 688.] CADWALLA ABANDONS HIS KINGDOM. 329

filled it thirteen years, eight months, and twenty-four days; and the see was vacant one month and twenty days. The same year, that catholic man, the Emperor Constantine, died, and was succeeded by his son Justinian, who reigned ten years. This year also, Eadric, king of Canterbury, died. And after his death, his kingdom was invaded by foreigners; for king Cadwallader and his brother, Mollo, entered the province, and ravaged and depopulated it without meeting with any resistance, and their barbarous power lasted for three years, till the before-mentioned Mollo, desirous of empty glory, was cut short by an early death. The same year, the before-mentioned king Cadwallader subdued the Isle of Wight, and cruelly slew Ethelwald, king of the South Saxons, who at that time was the lord of these islanders, and desolated the island with the most inhuman ravages. But he was soon expelled by Ethelwald, Bertham, and Audun, and so he left the kingdom to those leaders, and they occupied it for a long time afterwards. But Cadwallader was, as I have said before, according to the chronicles of the Angles, the son of Kinibert, who was the son of Cedda, who was the son of Cuther, who was the son of Ceauline.

But I think that I ought not to pass over in silence how the two sons of Arwald, the prince of the Isle of Wight, by the grace of God, received the crown of martyrdom. While the enemy were threatening the island, they fled, and escaped to the neighbouring province of the Jutes; but being brought back again, they were put to death by command of Cadwallader. And when the abbot of Redfort, whose monastery was not far off, heard this, he came to the king, and entreated of him, that if he was bent on slaying the youths, he would allow them first to receive the sacraments of faith. And when the king had given his consent, and they had been washed in the fountain of salvation, the executioner came, and they joyfully underwent temporal death, by which they knew beyond a doubt that they would pass to everlasting life.

[A.D. 688.] Cadwallader was moved by the divine mercy to abandon his temporal kingdom for the sake of God, and so he went to Rome, wishing to obtain this singular glory of being washed in the fountain of baptism at the threshhold of the Apostles Peter and Paul, as he had learned that by that fountain the entrance to everlasting life was opened to the human race. He also hoped that if he were baptized and soon released from the

330 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 689.

flesh, he should he quite clean to pass to eternal happiness. Both which objects he, by the favour of God, accomplished as he had desired.

[A.D. 689.] King Cadwallader came to Rome while Sergius was filling the office of the pontificate, and was baptized on the sacred day of the sabbath of Easter; and while he was still wearing his white garments [1] he was seized with sickness, and on the twentieth of April he was released from the flesh, and united to the kingdom of the blessed in heaven. At the time of his baptism, the pope whom I have mentioned gave him the name of Peter, in order that a king who, under the influence of pious love, had come to the threshhold of Peter from the ends of the earth, should be joined in fellowship with him by likewise bearing his name. And, by the command of the pontiff, he was buried in the church of the Apostle, and an epitaph is inscribed on his monument expressed in the following language:-

"Dominion, power, and a mighty realm;
Fair children, willing nobles, subjects, home;
And forts, and camps, and riches, which his sire
And he himself by virtuous might acquired.
The brave Cadwallader left for love of God".

Cadwallader was succeeded in the kingdom of the West Saxons by Ida, one of the royal family, who reigned thirty-seven years. He was the son of Kenred, who was the son of Ceolwald, who was the brother of Kiniwald, and Ceolwald and Kiniwald were the sons of Cuthwin, who was the son of Ceauline; and so, by tracing back his pedigree, he arrived at Woden.

The same year, Geoffrey of Monmouth, who was afterwards bishop of Saint Asaph, terminated the history of the Britons, which he had commenced with the fall of Troy, in this manner: When the Britons had been driven from the island by the Saxons, they went to Wales, where they degenerated from the pure blood of the Britons, and came to be called not Britons, but Welch (Wallenses), deriving their name from Wallo, their leader, or from Galaes, the queen, or from their own savageness. And I entrust to my contemporary, Caradoc of Lancarban, the task of writing the history of their kings who have successfully ruled over them in Wales since that time; while the kings of the Saxons form the subject of the works of William


[1] The neophytes, or new converts, wore a white garment at their baptism, and for some short time afterwards in most instances.

A.D. 692.] WILFRED EXPELLED FROM HIS BISHOPRIC. 331

of Malmesbury and Henry of Huntingdon, whom, however, I advise not to meddle with the kings of the Britons, as they have not the book in the British langaage which Walter, archdeacon of Oxford, brought from Brittany, and which, as it has been composed with truth on the subject of their history, to the honour of the before-mentioned princes, I have in this manner studied to translate into the Latin language.

[A.D. 690.] Theodore, of blessed memory, archbishop of Canterbury, died, full of days, after he had discharged the duties of his bishopric twenty-two years, and he was buried in the church of the blessed Peter, in which the bodies of all the archbishops of Canterbury are buried. And the following epitaph is on his monument:-

"Here, in this tomb, the blest archbishop lies,
Whom the Pelasgian language Theodore calls;
His happy soul has mounted to the skies,
Joined to the angels in the heavenly halls".

The same year, Elfwald, king of the East Angles, died, and was succeeded in his kingdom by Beorna.

[A.D. 691.] Pepin, [1] king of the French, subdued Neustria, and ordained Saint Lambert as bishop of the city of Utrecht. About the same time, Willebrod, with twelve companions, passed from England into Gaul, and was very eminent for sanctity.

[A.D. 692.] Brithwald, who had been abbot of the monastery which is called Raculfe, succeeded Theodore as archbishop of Canterbury. And he was elected on the first day of the month of July, while the brothers Withred and Siward were reigning in Kent, who, by their religion and energy, delivered the nation from foreign invasion. They afterwards built a church in honour of Saint Martin, in the town of Dover, in the place assigned to them by that saint, in which they placed monks who should live according to rule, and enriched them at the same time with much property and with estates. These brothers reigned thirty-four years and a half. The same year, Wilfrid, archbishop of York, was accused before king AEfrid, and was expelled from his bishopric by the king and several of the bishops. Accordingly, he went to Rome with his


[1] This Pepin, however, never took the title of king. He was duke of Austrasia, and governed France under the title of Mayor; nor did his son Charles Martel ever assume the title of king. Pepin, son of Charles Martel and father of Charlemagne, was the first who assumed the royal titles, which he did A.D. 751, with the sanction of pope Zachary, just sixty years after the time when he is here spoken of as actual king. See Gibbon, clxix.

332 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 692.

accusers, in order to defend himself; and before a tribunal, composed of many bishops, in the presence of the lord pope, it was judicially proved that his accusers had contrived some false accusations against him. And letters were written to AElfrid, king of Northumberland, to cause him to be reinstated in his archbishopric, because he had been unjustly condemned. But when he was on his way back to Britain, and had arrived in the land of Gaul, he was seized with a sudden sickness, so that he could not sit on a horse, but was carried on a litter by the hands of servants. And in this way he arrived in Melun, a city of Gaul, and lay for four days and nights like one dead. And after he had suffered in this way, without eating or drinking, unable to speak or hear, for four days, on the fifth day, at dawn, he sat up again like a man rising up out of a heavy sleep, and sighing gently, asked where the priest Eatta was. And as he came as soon as he was summoned, Wilfrid addressed him in the following manner:-

"A terrible vision has lately appeared to me, which I wish you to hear, and afterwards to bury in silence, until I understand clearly what God intends to do with me. A person stood by me, brilliant with white garments, saying that he was Michael the archangel, and said to me, 'For this object have I been sent, to recall you from death to life. For God has given you life on account of the intercession of the tears of your disciples, and of the prayers of his own mother. But be thou ready, for in four years I shall return and visit thee again. And when you have arrived in your own country, you shall recover a portion of the possessions which have been taken from you, and you shall end your life in tranquil peace'". Accordingly, the bishop recovered, to the joy of all men, and having resumed his journey, he arrived in Britain. And when the letters which he brought from the pope had been read, Brithwold, the archbishop of Canterbury, and Ethelred, who had formerly been king, but was now abbot, eagerly favoured him, but AElfrid, king of Northumberland, disdained to receive him. But when AElfrid died not long afterwards, Ofred succeeded him in the kingdom, and he convened a synod near the river Nid, and after a brief contest between the two sides, at length, with the approbation of all men, Wilfrid was restored to the government of the church. And in that office he passed his life in peace for four years, as it had been predicted to him by the angel, and at last rested in the Lord. And he died on

A.D. 696.] THE MERCIANS MURDER QUEEN OSTRICA. 333

the twelfth of October, in his monastery, which he had in the province of Indales, under the government of the abbot Cuthwold. And he was carried by the brethren to his original monastery at Ripon, and there buried in the church of the blessed Apostle Saint Peter, near the altar, on the south side.

[A.D. 693.] Ina, king of the West Saxons, arrayed a formidable army, and determined to avenge the burning of his kimsman Mollo. But Withred, king of Kent, came to meet him humbly, and gave him a large sum of money for the death of the young man, and so

"The strife was ended and fair peace restored".

The same year, Brithwald was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury by Godwin, archbishop of Gaul. And he consecrated Tobias bishop, as successor to Godmund, bishop of the church at Rochester; and Tobias was a man of great learning, both in the Latin and Greek language.

[A.D. 694.] Lewis became king of France, and reigned four years. And at this time, the sanctity and innocence of the blessed Leodegarius, bishop of Heducen, began to be very eminent by the favour of Almighty God. But he was afterwards decapitated, after having been cruelly tortured by that minister of cruelty, Ebroin, who, having laid aside the monastic habit, had the chief power under a certain king of France, named Theodoric, and who treated him with terrible cruelty, because he had been a friend of his predecessor. But while Ebroin was yet alive, the merciful Lord adorned the holy man with grace to work many miracles.

[A.D. 695.] Pope Sergius, found in the church of the blessed Peter, at Rome, a great portion of the cross of our Lord, which is now every year, on the day of the exaltation of the lifegiving cross, kissed and reverently worshipped, by the whole Roman people. The same year, Hewaldus the White and Hebaldus the Black, two priests, went from Britain into Friesland, for the sake of preaching, and there received the crown of martyrdom, and were buried at Cologne by order of Pepin, the king. There was an eclipse of the sun this year, at three o'clock in the day.

[A.D. 696.] The Mercians, who are also called the Suthumbrians, that is to say, that part of the Mercians which is to the north of the river Trent, committed a most atrocious crime. For they murdered in a barbarous manner the queen Ostrica, the

334 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 699.

wife of king Ethelred, and daughter of Egfrid, king of Northumberland. The same year, Eadbert; successor of the holy Cuthbert, moved the body of that blessed saint, after it had been eleven years in the tomb; and when he placed it on the floor, both the body and the features were found to be unimpaired. About the same time, the patrician Leo deprived Justinian of the empire, and having cut off his nose and cut out his tongue, sent him into banishment.

[A.D. 697.] Leo obtained the empire of Rome, and reigned two years. The same year, Willibrod, a Briton by birth, was sent by Pope Sergius to preach the gospel to the people of Friesland, and by the gift of king Pepin received the episcopal see of Utrecht.

[A.D. 698.] Hildebert was created king of France, and reigned eighteen years. The same year, the holy Lambert received the crown of martyrdom, and was buried at Utrecht. For he had ventured to reprove Pepin the prince, [1] because he had taken an adulterous concubine, besides his legitimate wife. And, accordingly, he was slain by her brother Dodon, and was buried at Utrecht, as I said before. The same year, Absimarus, who is also called Tiberius, was appointed as the keeper of the prison of Leo, who was deposed from the sovereign power, and mutilated by having his nose cut off.

[A.D. 699.] Absimarus, who is also called Tiberius, obtained the empire of Rome, and reigned seven years. The same year, Dodo, the slayer of the holy Lambert, was tormented by a most shameful illness, being eaten up by worms, and, on account of the intolerable stench that proceeded from him, he was thrown into the Mease, and all his accomplices in guilt were banished within the year, by the direct intervention of the Deity. And the slayer of the holy martyr met with his brother in battle, and both the combatants were slain by one another.

This year, a certain father of a family in the county of Northumberland, being seized with a very severe illness of body, died at the beginning of the night, but coming to life again


[1] To understand this - as in one sentence our author calls Pepin king, then calls Lewis king, then Hildebert king, and Pepin prince - we must recollect that Lewis and Hildebert were the real kings of that miserable lot called Rois Faineaus, and that Pepin was their Maire de Palais, who wielded the whole authority, though, as I said in a previous note, without the title of king.

A.D. 699.] A VISION OF THE UNSEEN WORLD. 335

at dawn, and suddenly sitting up, he frightened all those who were sitting weeping by the corpse, most terribly, and put them to flight. But his wife, who loved him more than the others did, although she was greatly frightened remained there, and he, comforting her, said, "Fear not, for I am really risen again from death, which had possession of me, and am permitted again to live among men". And immediately he rose up and went to the oratory of the village, and remained all day in prayer; and after that, he divided all the substance that he possessed into three portions. Of which he gave one to his wife, the second to his children, and retained one for himself, which he immediately distributed among the poor. And not long afterwards he received the treasure in the monastery which is called Melrose, and was wholly released from all secular cares, and having entered the monastery, he related the horrible visions which he had seen, to the abbot and to the brethren, in these words: "A certain person of brilliant aspect, and bright raiment, guided me. And we proceeded silently, as it appeared to me, towards the place where the sun rises at the time of the solstice, until we came to a valley of immense width, infinite length, and unmeasurable depth. And this valley was on the left hand, presenting one side excessively terrible with glowing flames, and the other equally intolerable with furious hail and cold, which penetrated and troubled everything. And each side was full of the souls of men, which were seen by turns on one side and on the other, tossed almost as if by a violent tempest. And as they could not endure the violence of the general heat, they leaped miserably into the middle of the intolerable cold. And as even there they could find no rest, they leaped again into the middle of the inextinguishable flames, to be burnt in a miserable vicissitude, without any interval of rest. And there was an innumerable multitude of unseemly spirits, and I began to think what that infernal place was, of the intolerable torments of which I had often heard a description. The guide who was going before me answered to my thoughts, saying, 'Do not look down here'. But when he led me further on, frightened as I was with this horrible spectacle, I suddenly saw the place in front of me begin to be obsciued, and become all full of darkness, and when we entered this darkness, it gradually became so dense, that I could see nothing else except just the form and dress of the person who was

336 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 699.

preceding me. And as we were going on in solitary darkness through the shade, on a sadden there appeared to us frequent balls of most ill-omened flame, ascending as it were out of a deep well, and again falling down into it. And when I had been conducted to this point, my guide suddenly disappeared, and left me alone in the middle of the darkness and of that horrible vision. And when the same balls of fire kept on without intermission, at one time rising on high, and at another sinking down to the lowest gulf, I saw all the points of the flames which mounted upwards, full of the spirits of men, which rose like ashes which are thrown up with smoke, and which at one time rose on high, and at another fell down to the depths, when the vapours of the fire are drawn back. But an extraordinary stench boiled up with these same vapours, and tainted all that place of darkness. And when I had stood there for some time in alarm, and uncertain what to do, on a sudden, I heard behind me a sound of miserable weepings and a laugh of mocking devils, which became louder, and reached as far as me. And then I contemplated a crowd of malignant spirits, which with great exultation were thrusting down the souls of men, grieving and howling, into the middle of the darkness. And I was not able clearly to distinguish the weeping of men and the laughter of the devils, but heard only a promiscuous noise of both classes in my ears. And some obscure spirits ascended from that fire-vomiting abyss, and ran up and surrounded me, and alarmed me with their fiery eyes, and breathed forth a fetid flame from their mouth and nostrils, and endeavoured to lay hold of me with fiery forceps which they held in their hands, and yet were perfectly unable to reach me, though they ventured to frighten me. And when I was thus hemmed in on all sides by enemies and darkness, and was casting my eyes about in every direction, in case I might, by chance, see any means of salvation, I perceived, on the road by which I had come, a brilliancy as that of a star shining, amid the darkness, which gradually increased in size, and hastened towards me; and as it drew near, all the hostile spirits dispersed, which were before endeavouring to take hold of me with forceps. But the light which had driven them away, as it came near, was the very guide who had previously conducted me. And, presently, he turned his course off towards the right, and began to lead me as if towards the spot where the sun rises in the winter, and very

A.D. 699.] A VISION OF THE UNSEEN WORLD. 337

soon he delivered me from the darkness, and led me into the air of calm light. And as he was leading me there, I saw before us a very large wall, to the height and length of which there appeared to be no limit whatever. And I began to marvel why we were approaching this wall, as there was no window or door, or means of scaling it visible to any one; when, therefore, we had arrived at the wall, immediately, by some means or other, we found ourselves at the top of it, and there was there a very wide and fertile plain, full of so delicious a fragrance of blooming flowers, that the admirable sweetness of its perfume at once drove away all the unpleasant smell of the dark furnace which had overwhelmed me. And so brilliant a light pervaded all that place, that it appeared brighter than all the splendour of day, or than the beams of the noon-day sun. For there was in this place an innumerable band of men in white garments, and many places of abode for joyful souls. And as he was leading me through the middle of the bands of the happy inhabitants, I considered that it was the kingdom of heaven; but he, answering my thoughts, said, 'Do not look towards this'; and when, proceeding onwards, we had passed through the realms of good and blessed spirits, I saw before us a much greater glory of light than before, and in it I also heard most delicious voices singing; and such a fragrance of marvellous perfume was diffused from the place, that that perfume which, when I tasted it before, appeared to me as strong as possible, now appeared to me very insignificant. So also, that exquisite light of the flowery plain, in comparison of the light which I now beheld, appeared trifling and inconsiderable. When I hoped that we were about to enter this delicious spot, my guide suddenly stopped, and, turning his steps at once, led me back by the same way by which we had come. Then he who was guiding me, said to me, 'Do you know what all these things are which you have seen'? I answered, 'No'. Then he said, 'That valley which you beheld, terrible with burning flames and rigid cold, is the very place in which the souls of those people are to be examined who postpone confessing and making amends for the crimes which they have committed, and betake themselves to repentance at the very moment of death, and thus leaving the body, do all, at the day of judgment, arrive at the kingdom of heaven: there are many also, whom the prayers of the living, and their alms and fasts, and, above all things, the celebration

338 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 699.

of masses profit, so as to procure their release before the day of judgment. Again, that fire-vomiting and fetid well, which you saw, is the very mouth of hell, and whoever falls into that will not be released in all eternity. But that flowery spot which you saw, in which you beheld beautiful youths, happy and shining, is the place in which the souls of those persons are received who leave the body amid good works, and who, nevertheless, are not so absolutely perfect as to deserve at once to enter the kingdom of heaven; but they all in the day of judgment will arrive at the sight of God and the joys of the kingdom of heaven. But those who are perfect in every word, and deed, and thought, the moment that they quit the body, enter the kingdom of heaven. And to the neighbourhood of this place that other spot extends, where you heard the sound of sweet song, amid sweet odours and brilliant light. But as you are now about to return to the body, and again to live among men, if you study to examine your own actions curiously, and to keep your life and conversation in uprightness and simplicity, you yourself shall, after your death, receive a place of abode among these joyful bands of good spirits whom you have seen. For I, when I departed for a time from you, did so, with a view to find out what was to become of you'. When he had said this to me, I greatly loathed returning to the body, being delighted with the sweetness and beauty of the place that I had seen, and also with the fellowship of the persons whom I beheld. But while thinking of these things (in what manner it happened I know not), I suddenly found myself alive among men". At last, in the vicinity of his cell, as has been said before, he used constantly to go into the river which flowed by, for the sake of the great effect it had in chastising his body, and he would often plunge into its rising waves, and there, as long as he could stand, persevere in psalms and prayers, and remain fixed there while the water rose up to his loins, and sometimes up to his neck; and when he left the water, he never took any care to change his clothes, but kept them until they became dry again by the warmth of his body. But in the winter, when the crusts of ice were flowing down the river around him, those who saw him said, "It is a strange thing, brother Drichelm, that you can stand such severity of cold"; but he answered simply, "I have seen things colder". And when they said, "It is a wonder that you can like to preserve such austere continence", he answered, "I have seen things more austere".

A.D. 703.] SAINT BENEDICT DIES. 339

And so, to the day of his summons, he used, from his indefatigable desire for heavenly blessings, to tame his aged body with daily fasting; and he was the salvation of many, not only by his actions, but also by his example,

[A.D. 700.] Brithricus, count of Northumberland, wishing to avenge his lord, king Egfred, invaded the land of the Picts in a hostile manner; but he fell, like his lord, feeling the effects of the curses of the Irish. And so he was slain by the people of the Picts. About the same time, the Romans overran Syria, and slew twenty thousand Saracens.

[A.D. 701.] A good and learned man flourished, by name Adamannus, a priest, and the abbot of those monks who were in the island of Hii. He being sent as an ambassador to king AEfrid, when he saw the rites of the ecclesiastical institution, and of the observance of the feast of Easter, was at once drawn over to agree to them; And when he had returned home, he laboured to lead his flock, who were in the island of Hii, into the way of truth; but he could not succeed, and so he sailed to Ireland, and there he brought over almost all the people to observe the legitimate time of Easter. And this man of God also wrote a book on the place of our Lord's nativity, passion, and ascension, and gave a wonderful description of the character of the Holy Land.

[A.D. 702.] John was elected to the See of Rome, and held it three years, two months, and thirteen days; and the see was vacant one month and thirteen days.

[A.D. 703.] Saint Benedict, an English abbot, after a praiseworthy life, rested in the Lord by a glorious death. This man of God was born of a noble family of the English nation, and in his youth he served in the army. Afterwards, though he was a servant of King Oswy, and had received from him no small estate, being the king's own gift, he despised all the perishable things of the world for the sake of Christ, and went to Rome, that he might there become instructed in ecclesiastical discipline, and apply himself to spiritual warfare, by which he might benefit himself and others, and be found a useful servant in the cultivation of the Lord's vineyard; and returning from Rome to the island of Saint Honorat, he joined a company of monks, received the tonsure, and having been regularly educated for two years, be then returned a second time to the threshold of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul; at which time, when Pope Vitalianus had sent Theodore, archbishop

340 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 704.

of Canterbury, into Britain, he when he came brought with him many relics of the saints. And afterwards, when he became united with Egfrid, King of Northumberland, the king gave him an estate sufficient for sixty families, to found a monastery in honour of Peter the chief of the apostles, at the mouth of the river Wira, A.D. 674, in the second indiction. Another monastery, in honour of Paul, the teacher of the Gentiles, is founded in Girwi, not far from the other, and the same king also enriched that with estates sufficient for sixty families, and the bishop took care to enrich it abundantly, and filling these monasteries with religious monks, he ordained Ceolfrid as president of the one, and Easterwin as president of the other; and he did this with the view of having a regular order preserved in them both, as well when he was absent as when he was present. It was to this servant of God, Benedict, that the venerable Bede, that teacher of the English, was entrusted to be educated by him, and it was under him that he is related to have been advanced to the order of the priesthood. He is said to have gone to Rome five times, and as he always returned enriched with divine improvement, he laboured to educate those under his authority, both by his actions and by his example. At length, after a laudable life, Benedict, the conqueror of the vices, that most pious confessor of Christ yielded to the infirmity of the flesh, and rendered up his spirit to his Creator, on the 12th of January. He was succeeded in his burdensome honours by a holy man, a pupil of his own, Ceolfrid, under whom Bede, the servant of Christ, most admirably filled up the labour which he had begun, by sacred descriptions, to the advantage of the universal church.

[A.D. 704.] Hedda, bishop of Winchester, who had succeeded Leutherius, died, and in the place where he died many miracles were wrought, on account of the merits of his sanctity; for the men of that province were accustomed to throw dust that they took up from that spot into the water, for the sake of those who were sick, and then by having this water brought to them or sprinkled on them, both men and cattle were delighted to find that they recovered their health. And after his death his bishopric was divided into two parts, one of which, that is, the bishopric of Winchester, was given to Daniel, and he held it to the time of Bede. The other diocese, that of Sherborne, was given to Aldelm, who held it four years, and there remained to the bishop of Winchester only two provinces, those, namely, of Hampton and Surrey. But the other had

A.D. 706.] SICINNIUS APPOINTED TO THE ROMAN CHAIR. 341

the provinces of Wilton, Dorset, Berru, and Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall. But the village of Sherborne is so small, that it appears marvellous that a bishopric should have lasted there so many ages.

CH. XIII.- FROM A.D. 705 to A.D. 742.

Death of Ethelred - The See of Worcester is founded - Saint Guthlac of Croyland - Gregory is Pope - Ina, king of the West Saxons, defeats and kills Eadbert - Bede writes his History - Schism of the Iconoclasts - Wars of Ethelbald, King of Mercia - Death of Bede - His Character - Death of Gregory.

[A.D. 705.] Ethelred, king of Mercia, who had become a monk, after having ruled the kingdom with great vigour for thirty years, died at Bardoneia, and was buried there. This king had two sisters, who were most holy virgins, by name Kinesdrida and Kineswitha, both dedicated to God from their infancy, and who nobly persevered to old age in their noble determination of virginity. But the younger, not being content with the salvation of herself alone, restored Offa, her betrothed husband, also to the kingdom of heaven; and Offa reigned in the kingdom of the East Saxons a few years after Sigehard and Scofrid, being a youth of pleasant countenance, in the flower of his age, and greatly beloved by his countrymen. He then, in consequence of the exhortations of the before-mentioned Kineswitha, as she disdained to become his wife, was taught to sigh for heavenly love, and went to Rome, and having become a monk there, he ascended devoutly to the kingdom of heaven. The remains of these holy virgins are worshipped by, and bring good fortune to the people at Medeshamstede, a village which is sometimes called the Borough of Saint Peter (Peterborough). The same year, AElfrid, king of Northumberland, died, and was succeeded by his son Osred, who reigned eleven years. Ethelred was succeeded as king of Mercia by Kinred, who reigned five years. This year also, John was selected pope of Rome, and occupied that see one year.

[A.D. 706.] Sicinnius was appointed to the Roman chair, and held it only twenty days. The same year, Justinian, who had been an exile, was, by the assistance of Trehelbus, king of Bulgaria, restored to his kingdom, and reigned six years. And when he was firmly seated on the throne, he put to death all those men who had formerly expelled him, and ordered

342 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 707.

Absimarus Tiberius to be executed. He also tore out the eyes of the patriarch Gallinicus, and sent him to Rome, and slew a countless multitude of Roman citizens. He likewise caused the town of Chersona, where he had lived in banishment, to be destroyed, and practised unheard-of cruelties on his enemies.

[A.D. 707.] Constantine was elected to the Roman chair, and occupied it seven years and fifteen days, and the see was vacant forty days. About the same time, there was a certain soldier, of the family of Kinred, king of Mercia, a man openly devoted to vice; and as the king earnestly advised him to seek repentance, he so disregarded his warnings of salvation, that he postponed all amendment of his flagitious life. But about this time he was seized with an illness, and took to his bed, and began to yield to the attacks of severe pain. Accordingly, the king went to see him, and frequently exhorted him to turn to repentance for his sins, before he died. But he replied that he would not confess his sins till he recovered from his sickness, lest his companions should reproach him with having done so through fear of death. And when, as his disease became more violent, the king came again to him to exhort him, he began to cry out with a piteous voice, "Why have you come hither? you cannot any longer be any advantage or salvation to me". And the king answered him, "Do not say so; study to adopt sensible and sane thoughts". "I am not insane", said the man, "but I have a terrible conscience before my eyes. For a little before you came, two youths entered this house, and sat down close to me, the one at my head, and the other at my feet, and one of them brought me forth a book, very beautiful, but very small, for me to read, in which I found all the good deeds which I have hitherto done, set down. But they, looking on the book, said nothing, and immediately there came up an army of most foul, malignant spirits, which blockaded this house on the outside, and sitting down inside also, filled the greater part of it. Then one of the foulest among them, who appeared larger than his fellows, produced a book of horrible appearance and enormous bulk, and insupportable weight, and ordered one of his attendants to bring it to me to read. And when I had read in it, I found all the wickednesses, all the offences that I had committed, not only in deed or word, but in even the slightest thought, written down in it most legibly, in the blackest characters. And they

A.D. 710.] KINRED PUTS ON THE MONASTIC HABIT. 343

said to those bright men in white gannents, who were sitting by me, 'Why sit ye here, knowing that this man most undoubtedly belongs to us'? They replied, 'You speak truly, take him and lead him away to the crowd of your damnation'. Then two most wicked spirits rose up, having forks in their hands, and smote me, one on the head and the other on the feet, and they now are creeping, to my great torture, into all my inward parts, and as soon as they meet I shall die, and then, as all these devils are prepared to carry me off, I shall be dragged down to hell". Thus spoke that despairing wretch, and immediately his miserable death ensued. But it is evident, in this case, that this display of his crimes was not made for his own sake, as he derived no benefit from it, but for that of others, that they, knowing the circumstances of his death, might not delay their repentance, lest they should be anticipated by some unforeseen stroke of death, and so die unrepentant.

[A.D. 708.] Ina, king of the West Saxons, fought a battle against Gerens, king of the Welch; and at the beginning of the battle, Higebald, his general, was slain. But at last, the king of Wales fled, and left his arms and spoils to the Angles, who were pursuing him. The same year, Offer, governor of Northumberland, fought against the Picts, and slew a great multitude of them, and so became the avenger of king Egfrid.

[A.D. 709.] Aldelm, bishop of Sherborne, died. When that holy man was only a priest, and abbot of the monastery which they call the city of Maildulph, he, at the command of a synod, wrote an admirable book to his nation against the errors of the Britons, by which he induced them to adopt the Catholic celebration of Easter. He also wrote an excellent treatise on Virginity, and many other books likewise, being a man of the greatest learning on every subject, and admirable for his erudition, as well in mundane as in spiritual affairs. And after his death, Forther succeeded him in his pontificate, who was also a man of most praiseworthy learning in the holy Scriptures.

[A.D. 710.] Kinred, who had for some time governed the kingdom of Mercia in a most noble manner, abandoned the sceptre of the kingdom in a more noble manner still. For while Constantine filled the office of pontiff at Rome, Kinred devoutly travelled to the threshold of the apostles, and there put on the monastic habit, and remained there till the day of

344 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 711.

his summons, in prayers, and fastings, and alms. He was succeeded in the kingdom by Ceolred, the son of Ethelred, who ruled that kingdom before Kinred. And he came to Rome with Offa, king of the Saxons, of whom mention has been made above. And Offa too, prompted by a devout mind, left wife, and lands, and kinsmen, and country for Christ's sake, that he might receive in this life a hundred-fold, and in the world to come life everlasting. He was succeeded in his kingdom by Selred, the son of Segebert the Good, who reigned thirty-eight years.

[A.D. 711.] In the province of the South Saxons, it was determined, by a synodal decree, that those in that province who had hitherto belonged to the diocese of Winchester, over which Daniel at that time presided, should henceforth form a separate diocese, and have a bishop of their own. And Eadbert was consecrated their first bishop, who had been abbot of the monastery of bishop Wilfrid of blessed memory, which is called Selsey, where that servant of God, having been in exile for five years, had obtained from the king of that province an estate sufficient for eighty families, in which he might receive his fellow-exiles, and supply them with the necessaries of life. For it is a place surrounded on all sides by the sea, except on the west, where it is connected with the main-land by a neck of land of about the extent of a sling's throw in width. And when Wilfrid had received this spot, he founded a monastery on it, and instituted a regular system of life, forming his convent chiefly of those persons whom he had brought with him, and his successors maintained his institutions for a long time afterwards. And as king Ethelwald gave him not only the land and the men on it, but also entire power over them, he regenerated all those whom he found there in the water of baptism, and strengthened them in the faith of Christ. And there were in number, with servants and hand-maidens, about two hundred and fifty souls, all of whom he delivered, as I may say, from the service of the devil, and also, by giving them their liberty, from the yoke of human slavery.

But when Wilfrid was recalled to the province of Northumberland first of all, Cadwallader, king of the West Saxons, and after him his successor Ina (having defeated and slain the kings of that province), occupied that kingdom. Owing to which circumstance, it happened that during all that time that nation had no bishop of its own, but was subject to the bishop

A.D. 714.] SAINT GUTHLAC DIES. 345

of the city of Winchester, as has been said before. And after Eadbert, the first bishop of that country, Cella succeeded to the office of the pontificate. And when he was withdrawn from this world, that see was vacant till the death of Bede. This year also the great Wilfrid died, forty-five years after he first received his bishopric, as has been stated before. And he was succeeded in the bishopric of Hagustald by Eatta, one of his priests. And Bede the priest says a great deal about his industry in his book of history, and greatly commends his sanctity.

[A.D. 712.] Egwin, the third bishop of the Wicci, flourished. But the first bishop of that province had been a man by name Bosel, and the second was Ostfort. And Egwin, being the third in order, going to Rome with Kinred, king of Mercia, and Offa, king of the East Angles, obtained from pope Constantine the privilege of liberty for the monastery which he had erected in the district of Worcester, in order to render it more secure from the irruption of wicked men. And his successors in the bishopric of Worcester were Wilfrid, Mildred, Werenerd, Tilher, Herefert, Debert, Herebert, Alwyne, Hereferth, Ethelhun, Wilferth, Kinewolt, Dunstan, Oswald, and Eldulf, of whom the three last were also afterwards archbishops of Canterbury. About the same time, Justinian, the emperor, was slain by the heretic Philippicus at Constantinople, and his son Tiberius with him. For Justinian was the emperor who had treated those citizens with excessive tyranny, ordering their city to be ploughed up, and to be rased to the ground, because they had conspired together to depose him, as has been related above.

[A.D. 713.] Philippicus usurped the Roman empire, and received the purple at Constantinople, and reigned two years. He, being a heretic, banished Cyrus, the bishop of Constantinople, and placed in that see a proud monk of his own opinions, by name John. And Philippicus himself sent to Rome to pope Constantine letters full of erroneous doctrine, which that holy man, by the advice of the Roman people, rejected, and ordered that his name should not be inscribed in the rolls, that his payment of money should not be received, and that his name should not be recited at the solemnity of the mass.

[A.D. 714.] Saint Guthlac, the hermit, ended his days in a marsh at Croyland. He was descended from no ignoble family, but was of illustrious blood on both sides of his house. And when his mother bore him, in the reign of Ethelred, king

346 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 714.

of Mercia, a certain hand of fiery brilliancy shone forth, which seemed to descend from the sky and to be stretched out to the cross, which was standing before the door of the house in which was a woman in travail. And this mighty miracle was immediately known all over the country of the Midland Mercians. And the child was baptized, and, by desire of his parents, was called Guthlac. And when he advanced in age, and his strength increased, he collected around him a band of followers, and followed the profession of arms. But the innate kindness of his disposition was such, that out of the plunder that he collected from every quarter, he always remitted a third part to those who had possessed the property. Accordingly, when he had passed eight years in this ferocious kind of lie, one night he pondered within himself, and recollected how vain the glory of this world is, and how everlasting and certain the damnation of the world to come. Therefore, when morning came, he left his house and his fellow banditti, and betook himself to the monastry of Rependune, [1] which was famous at that time. And there he received the tonsure, and assumed the clerical garb, and determined to repent of his sins. And, after that, he procured himself to be instructed in sacred literature and monastic discipline, and laboured in solitude to emulate the virtues of the saints; and having read accounts of the virtues of monks who had chosen a life of solitude, he desired to find a wilderness, and undertook a journey to discover a suitable place for himself. At last, he came to a large swamp, which is situated on the eastern side of Mercia, and enquired diligently what was the character of that district. And some one told him that there was in that vast swamp a remote island, which many people had endeavoured to inhabit, but which had been abandoned by almost everyone, on account of the monsters seen in that desolate place. But when he heard that, this man of God asked to have this place pointed out to him. And his informant, taking with him a fishing-boat, carried the holy man of God to the place. This island is called Croyland; and no one before had ever ventured to inhabit it, on account of the terrible apparitions of the devils who dwelt in it.

In this place then the holy man began to dwell, committing himself especially to the protection of Saint Bartholomew. And when he had abode there some time, he returned to his companions, from whom he selected two boys, and then returned with them to the island, where he took up his


[1] Now Repton.

A.D. 714.] ACCOUNT OF SAINT GUTHLAC. 347

spiritnal arms with all faith, and manfully fought for the Lord. And there was in the island a mound composed of earth of the fields, in the side of which there appeared to be something hke a cistern, where the servant of God made himself a cabin, in which he began to live, wearing garments of neither linen nor wool, but clothed only in skins. And so great was his abstinence, that he only took a small portion of barley bread, and a cup of water after sunset. But on a certain day, when he was applying himself to his usual study of meditation, two devils in human dress suddenly stood by him, who addressed him familiarly in the following manner: "We have seen your faith, and your fortitude, and invincible patience, and therefore we will give over disquieting you, and moreover we wish to instruct you in the way of life of the ancient hermits. Moses, and Elias, and other fathers of antiquity, pleased God by much abstinence. Therefore, you must keep afoot, not for two days, or three, but rather for a whole week, that as God formed the world in six days and rested on the seventh, so man ought to replenish his spirit by fasting six days, and eat on the seventh, and so refresh his body". The man of God having heard this, replied as follows: "Let them be turned backward, who seek my soul to destroy it". And presently, according to his daily custom, he took a small piece of barley bread, - but the evil spirits retired, and filled all the place with their sad lamentations.

A short time after this event, while the blessed man was, according to his custom, watching, during the dark night, and intent on his prayers, foul spirits filled me whole of his cell, and in a moment they bound the man of God, and cast him out of his cell, and threw him into the muddy water of the black swamp. Then, having taken him up and carried him over very rough ground, they dragged him on till they nearly dislocated all the joints of his body. At length they stopped him for a while, and laid injunctions on him to depart from that habitation. But he replied, "The Lord is on my right hand, that I shall not be moved". They took him up a second time, and began to scourge him with whips, made as it were of iron, and when they had scourged him, and afflicted him with all kinds of tortures, they carried him up into the air, where the heaven appeared to be black with the multitude of unclean spirits. And they immediately united, and bore the servant of Christ to the jaws of hell. He, beholding the torments

348 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 714.

of hell, forgot all the punishments which he had suffered, in comparison with these greater ones. Then they began to insult the holy man, saying, "Behold, we have power to thrust you down into these punishments, that you may there be punished, everlastingly, for your sins". But he spoke to them thus: "Woe to ye, children of darkness! If ye have this power, why do you delay"? And as they are preparing themselves, as if to do so, lo! Saint Bartholomew arrives with immense brightness, and orders the devils to restore the servant of God to his abode, without delay. And they, quicker than thought, fulfilled the commands of the apostle. But, while Guthlac was being borne through the air, a voice was heard as of people playing on the harp - "The saints shall go on from virtue to virtue, and the God of Gods shall appear in Sion". And it happened in the days of Ceoled, king of Mercia, at the time of cock-crow, that the blessed Guthlac appeared to himself to be hearing the outcries of a tumultuous multitude. Then the man of God went forth from his cell, and perceived a multitude, speaking the British language, approaching his house, and presently he saw his house on fire. And as he hastened to come to the protection of his house, he was intercepted by lizards, and borne aloft into the air. Then, when he found that it was a snare of the enemy, he began to chant this verse of the psalm, "The Lord is my helper, and I shall look down upon my enemies".

At another time he was occupied with his nightly prayers, when he felt the island tremble with a great noise. And presently he heard noise, as of herds of cattle running. And immediately he beheld figures of various monsters, approaching from all quarters, that is to say, figures of wild beasts, and other animals. And as they all made a terrible uproar around the soldier of Christ, he said, "Most wretched Satan, why dost thou endeavour to imitate a strength which does not belong to you? In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to desist". And after these words, immediately all the phantoms disappeared.

A certain bishop, by name Hebba, came to converse with the holy man, having in his retinue a certain librarian of the name of Wilfrid. He, hearing of his servants talking of the virtues and miracles of the blessed Guthlac, said to some, who were doubting by whose power he did these works, that if he were to see him he should be able to discern whether he were a

A.D. 718.] RABBOD DECLINES TO BE BAPTIZED. 349

a true worshipper of God, or whether he only put on an appearance of sanctity. Accordingly, the bishop hefore-mentioned, being refreshed by the conversation of the man of God, began to exhort him earnestly to receive the ordination of priesthood from him. And he, falling at the feet of the bishop, promised to obey his injunctions. Therefore, the bishop being delighted, having first consecrated a church, joyfully promoted him to the rank of the priesthood. And on that day, contrary to his usual wont, he was compelled, by the invitation of the pontiff, to sit down at supper with the rest. Then, beholding Wilfrid, of whom I have spoken before, he said to him, "Oh! brother Wilfrid, what do you now think ought to be said of the man of whom you yesterday undertook most positively to pronounce an opinion"? He, marvelling greatly, rose up, and prostrated himself at his feet, humbly begging pardon. If I were to desire to give a full account of all the virtues of this holy man, it would be an undertaking resembling that of beginning to count the sands of the sea. He commenced his solitary life in the twenty-fifth year of his age, and continued in it fifteen years. And when he died, being perfect in all holiness, he was buried in his own oratory, which he had dedicated to the honour of Saint Bartholomew. And in that place, all who entreat his aid with pious minds obtain the indulgence of divine mercy.

[A.D. 715.] Gregory was elected to the Roman chair, which be occupied fifteen years, eight months, and twenty-two days; and the see was vacant thirty-five days. The same year, Anastasius rose up in insurrection against the Emperor Philippicus, deprived him of his eyes, usurped his throne, and reigned three years.

[A.D. 716.] Ina, king of the West Saxons, fought against Ceolred, king of Mercia, at Wodnesbirch, and the victory remained undecided.

[A.D. 717.] Theodore having obtained the empire of Rome, reigned one year. The same year, Osred, king of Northumberland, fought a battle near the sea-shore, and being unsuccessfol, was slain. He was succeeded by Kinred, who reigned two years.

[A.D. 718.] Rabbod, duke of Friesland, was, by the preaching of the blessed bishop Wilfran, induced to be baptized; but when he had put one foot in the font, he drew back the other, and asked whether the greater number of his predecessors

350 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 722.

were in Paradise or in hell? And when he heard that they were in hell, he drew back altogether, saying, "It is better for me to follow the greater than the smaller number". The same year, Leo was created emperor, who reigned thirty-three years.

[A.D. 719.] Ceolred, king of Mercia, died, and was buried at Lichfield, and was succeeded in the kingdom of Mercia by Ethelbald, a brave and mighty prince, who reigned most victoriously for forty-one years. The same year, Kenred, king of Northumberland, died, and left the government of his kingdom to Osric, who held it twenty years. And king Ethelbald was the son of Alwy, who was the son of Eoppa, who was the son of Wibba, etc. etc.

[A.D. 720.] Ingilf, brother of king Ina, ended his days. And this year, Cuthburga, the sister of king Ina, and of Keneburga, built an abbey at Wimborne. This Cuthburga was given in marriage to Egfrid, king of Northumberland, but separated herself from him in his life-time.

[A.D. 721.] The holy John, archbishop of Beverlae, rested in the Lord. This holy man, a doer of many holy works, has had Bede for his panegyrist in his actions of the Angles. But there is also this remarkable circumstance with respect to that holy man, that the inhabitants of Beverlae are accustomed to exhibit, in the place where he is buried, very savage bulls as a spectacle, which, being bound with tight chains, are led forward by great labour on the part of strong men. But the moment that they enter his cemetery, all their ferocity is calmed, and they are so quiet that, from their simplicity, you might think them sheep. Therefore, when their bonds are loosened, they are set free, to play in the court yard; though, before, they attacked, with their horns and feet, whatever came in their way. John was succeeded by Wilfrid the second, one of his priests, who lived beyond the time of Bede.

[A.D. 722.] Ina, king of the West Saxons, led a great army into Sussex, and slew in battle Eadbert, whom he had previously driven from the camp, which is called Taunton, where Ina had built a fortress, which has already been mentioned. The same year, Withred, king of Kent, died, and left three sons heirs of his kingdom, of whom Ethelbert, the first born, succeeded to the throne, and reigned seventeen years, About the same time, Tobias, bishop of Rochester, died, and was succeeded by Eadulfus.

A.D. 727.] INA FORSAKES HIS KINGDOM. 351

[A.D. 723.] Ricobert, bishop of Rheims, was deposed from his bishopric by Charles, king of France, because he showed a hostile disposition in refusing to open the gates of the city of Rheims to him when he was marching against Reginfred. And on the same account, Eutherius, of Arles, was ejected from his bishopric.

[A.D. 724.] A certain wicked Jew promised a certain noble that he should reign for fifty years, and by that means persuaded him to order the images of God and the saints to be destroyed throughout his whole kingdom; and, accordingly, he, influenced by a hope of a long reign, issued such an edict, but expired immediately afterwards.

[A.D. 725.] Bede, a venerable priest of the Angles, began his history, and having laudably began, and happily finished it, he presented it to king Geolwlf.

[A.D. 726.] The Emperor Leo ordered the images of Christ and his saints to be broken into small pieces, for which he was abundantly refuted by Pope Gregory in his letters, but to no purpose.

[A.D. 727.] Ina, a prosperous and powerful king, leaving his kingdom to his kinsman Ethelhard, went to Rome, in order to exchange his temporal kingdom for an eternal one. And when he arrived in that city, he built a house in the city, with the consent and goodwill of Pope Gregory, which he called the school of the English, that the kings of England and the royal family, with the bishops and priests, and clergy, might come to it to be instructed in the catholic doctrine and faith, so as to prevent anything improper, or contrary to the catholic unity, from being taught in the Anglican Church: and then, when they had been strengthened in a lasting faith, they might return to their own country. For the doctrine and schools of the English, ever since the time of Saint Augustine, had been interdicted by the Roman Pontiffs, on account of the continual heresies which had arisen in Britain at the time of the arrival of the English, when Pagans, being intermingled with the Christians, corrupted the grace of the holy conversation of the Christian faith. Therefore, Ina built, near the house which I have already mentioned, a church in honour of the blessed Virgin Mary, in which, whenever the English came to Rome, the divine masteries might be celebrated, and in which they might be buried whenever it happened that any of the English died in Rome. And that all these things might receive the

352 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 728.

power of a laating durability, it was, by a general decree, ordained throughout the whole kingdom of the West Saxons, of which the before-mentioned Ina was king, that a penny should be sent by every family to the blessed Peter and the Roman church, which payment is called in English Romescot, in order that the English, who abode there, might have a means of support from that source. And this church, of which I have already spoken, is often described in the chronicles of the English as having been burned down and again rebuilt.

This is the same man who built the abbey of Glastonbury, which has been long since destroyed, and which he enriched with many possessions, and strengthened with the bulwark of the privileges which he granted to it. The name of this king's brother was Ingilfus, and his sisters were the holy Cuthburga and the holy Quenburga, and his wife's name was Sexburga. He was succeeded in his kingdom by Ethelhard, his kinsman, descended from the family of king Cedric, who reigned fourteen years. The same year also, Ethelhard fought a battle against the young Oswald, a youth, of the royal family of the kings of the West Saxons, who endeavoured to make himself master of the kingdom. But when the young man had found himself to be no match for the powers of the king, he escaped in flight, and left Ethelhard his kingdom in peace.

[A.D. 728.] When pope Gregory had found the emperor Leo wholly incorrigible, he withdrew Rome, Italy and Spain, from his power, and forbade their revenues to be paid to him. This year also, a certain brother, whom I forbear to name, being placed in a noble monastery, lived disgracefully among the brethren. He was continually reproved by the brethren and elders of the place, and admonished to betake himself to a purer course of life. And although he refused to listen to them, still he was endured by them on account of the need they had of his works, because he was a man of extraordinary skill as a smith. For he was much addicted to drunkenness, and to the other allurements of a dissolute life, and preferred to remain day and night in his workshop to playing or praying in the church, or listening to the word of life. At last, being stricken by a severe sickness, and reduced to the last gasp, he summoned the brethren around him, and told them that he saw hell opened, and Satan sunk down in the abyss of hell; and likewise Caiaphas, and the rest of those who had slain the Lord, all close together, and delivered to the avenging

A.D. 782.] TADWIN ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 353

flames, and in their neighbourhood (said he), "Woe is me! I see a place of eternal damnation prepared for me, miserable that I am". The brethren hearing this, began earnestly to exhort him even then, while he remained in the flesh, to betake himself to repentance. He answered despairingly, "I have no longer any time to change my course of life, when I myself have seen my judgment completely fixed". And saying this, he departed, without having received the last offices. And this circumstance becoming extensively noised abroad, excited many to turn themselves to repentance for their sins, and not to delay.

[A.D. 729.] Two terrible stars were seen around the sun, one of which preceded the rising, and the other followed the setting sun, as if they were at the same time omens to both east and west of dire calamities, or else, at all events, one preceded the approach of day, and the other the approach of night, to show that misfortunes impend over mortals both day and night. And they bore a heap of fire towards the north, inclining towards the west, and they appeared in the month of January, and remained about a fortnight. And the same year a most terrible visitation of the pagans laid waste Gaul and Spain with terrible slaughter; [1] but they not long afterwards suffered the deserved punishment for their treachery, being crushed in a miserable manner.

[A.D. 730.] Gregory became pope, and occupied the Roman see ten years. The same year, Osric, king of Northumberland, left his kingdom, which he had held for fifteen years, to Ceolwolf. Ceolwolf was the son of Cutha, who was the son of Cuthwin, who was the son of Lethewold, who was the son of Egwald, who was the son of Aldelm, who was the son of Oga, who was the son of Ida. This king being truly blessed, and very sufficiently accomplished in literature and knowledge, showed plainly by his end how much advantage he derived from his course of life.

[A.D. 731.] Brithwald, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and left his archbishopric to Tadwin.

[A.D. 732.] Tadwin was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury


[1] The author here refers apparently to the subjugation of Spain and invasion of Gaul by the Saracens. The battle of Xeres, which decided the fate of Spain, took place A.D. 711. The battle of Tours, by which Charles Martel delivered Europe from the fear of being overrun in a similar manner, A.D. 732.

354 MATTHEW OF WETMINSTER. [A.D. 734.

in his own city, by the venerable men Daniel, bishop of Winchester, Ingolgus, bishop of London, Alwyn, bishop of Lichfield, and Ealdulf, bishop of Rochester, on the tenth day of the month of June. He was a man very eminent for his strictness as an ecclesiastic.

[A.D. 733.] Archbishop Tadwin, having received a pallium, ordained two bishops. The same year, also, king Ceolwolf was taken prisoner, shaved, and sent back to his kingdom.

[A.D. 734.] Ethelbald, king of Mercia, having collected an army, besieged the castle of Somerton. And as no one was able to bring assistance to the beleaguered citizens, the said king made himself master of the castle. And after that, having compelled all the citizens to submit to him, he reigned over all the provinces of England, as far as the river Humber. The same year, an eclipse of the sun took place, on the fourteenth of August, about three o'clock in the day, to such an extent, that nearly the whole orb of the sun appeared covered over with a black shield.

The same year, Bede, a venerable man, and of an unvaryingly heavenly disposition, ascended to the palaces of heaven. He was a man endowed with divine virtue, restraining his own vicious propensities and those of others, on which account he deserves to be held in everlasting recollection. For he was a venerable priest, having been educated in that monastery of Peter the chief of the Apostles, which is at the mouth of the river Wire, and is called Gerewi; where he spent the whole period of his life, under the most reverend abbot Benedict, and afterwards under Ceolfrid, being a man of God, thrice blessed, devoting all his labours to the Holy Scriptures and to meditative studies, delighting always in learning, or writing, or teaching. In the nineteenth year of his age he attained to the office of deacon, and in his thirtieth year he was advanced to the rank of the priesthood; after which time, he employed himself till his fortieth year in compiling from the works of the holy fathers, for the benefit of the church, seventy-eight books, in thirty-six volumes, which he himself gives a list of in his History of England, composing them in a rigidly pure style, by which he deserved to be accounted by the whole church the teacher of the English, and their venerable father. And when, last of all, he published his History of the Kings of England, and other events and exploits, among his books,

A.D. 734.] LETTER OF POPE SERGIUS. 355

having worked them up with great care and labour, he burst forth into prayer, saying, "I entreat you, good Jesus, to give also to him, to whom you have by your favour granted to imbibe sweetly the words of your knowledge, that he may hereafter arrive at the fountain of all wisdom, and may appear for ever before your face. Moreover, I most humbly entreat all those to whom this history may ever come, all those of my nation who either read or hear it, to remember often to entreat the Divine clemency for my infirmities, both of mind and body, and to give me this requital in their provinces, so that I may find in all of them the fruit of their pious intercession. Amen"!

Moreover, the fame of this venerable man was so well known to the Roman pontiff, that his eminence entreated his aid to explain certain obscure questions in the Holy Scriptures. But that he ever went to Rome I do not positively affirm. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that he was invited thither, as this letter will plainly show, which formerly pope Sergius directed to the abbot Ceolfrid, and which is couched in the following terms:-

"Sergius, the bishop, the servant of the servants of God, to Ceolfrid, the religious abbot, health, and the apostolical benediction. With what words, and in what manner can we express the clemency and unspeakable providence of our God, and give proper thanks for all his benefits towards us, in that He leads us who are placed in darkness and the shadow of death to the light of knowledge? We therefore exhort the god-beloved kindness of your pious spirit, that (as there have arisen some questions about certain articles relating to ecclesiastical affairs, which cannot be cleared up without a more protracted examination, for which purpose we have need of conferring with some one thoroughly imbued with a knowledge of literature), you, as becomes a devout helper of our holy mother, the universal church, will not delay to accommodate your obedient devotion to this our exhortation, but that you will, without any delay, send to the sight of our mediocrity that religious servant of God, the venerable Bede, a priest of your monastery, to the threshold of the chief apostles, my lords Peter and Paul, your lovers and protectors, who, by the favour of God shown to your holy kings, you may not doubt shall return successfully to you, when the desired examination of the aforesaid articles have been completed by

356 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 734.

the aid of God. For whatever is made known and imparted to the universal church, by his pre-eminent wisdom, will, as we confidently trust, be an advantage to all those who are under your role".

But at the time when the Venerable Bede, a man worthy of God, departed this life, for a fortnight before the resurrection of our Lord, he was afflicted with an incessant pain and difficulty of breathing. But even then, he was cheerfdl and full of joy, giving thanks night and day and every hour to Almighty God, up to the day of our Lord's Ascension, that is, till the twenty- fifth of May, and giving daily lectures to his disciples out of the Holy Scriptures, and all the rest of the day he passed in singing psalms and in prayer. And the whole night he watched, and passed it in joy and exultation and giving of thanks, except when occasionally a brief sleep interrupted him. The third day before the Ascension of our Lord, he began to suffer more from his asthma, and a slight swelling appeared in his feet, a warning and indication of impending death. Then, having summoned a congregation, he was anointed with the kiss of peace, and having reverently, and with tears received his viaticum, he implored all present to have a remembrance of his soul. And for some of the brethren he showed a more intimate friendship, and secretly gave them some presents as memorials of him. And on the day of the Ascension of our Lord, when the departure of his soul from his body was near at hand, he lay down on a cloak, that was placed beneath him, in front of the oratory, at which he was accustomed to pray, and with unchanged countenance and feeling, he prayed for the grace of the Holy Spirit, speaking thus; "O king of glory, Lord of virtues, you who this day ascended triumphant above all the heaven, leave us not orphans, but send to us the promised gift of the Father, namely, the Spirit of Truth". And when he had uttered this prayer, he yielded up his spirit. And as his spirit departed, those present perceived such an odour as frankincense does not emit, nor the most precious balms supply. And he was buried at the time in the same monastery; but afterwards he was placed to rest with the blessed Guthbert, bishop of Durham, in a sarcophagus exquisitely wrought of gold and silver.

At the time when Bede, the servant of God, departed this life, these kings were flourishing in England: Ethelbert was reigning in Kent; Ethelhard in Wessex; Selred in East Saxony;

A.D. 738.] ETHELWALD, BISHOP OF LINDISFARNE, DIES. 357

Ethelbald in Mercia; Ethelred (who, by his queen Leofrona, became the father of the Holy Albert) in East Anglia; Ceolwulf, in the province of Northumberland. Also under these kings, were the following bishops; in Kent there was Tadwin, archbishop of Canterbury; Ealdulf in the city of Rochester; Ingoldus, bishop of London. Two in East Anglia, namely, Eadbert, bishop of Helmham, and Ethelac, bishop of Dommerc. In Mercia, there was Alwyn at Lichfield, Wilfrid in the province of the Wiccii, the seat of whose see was at Worcester; and over the nation of the Mercians, who dwelt beyond the Severn, Wilfrid was bishop, whose cathedral city was Hereford. In the province of Lindsay was Kinebert, at Winchester, Daniel. In the province of Northumberland were four bishops, Wilfrid at York; Ethelwald at Lindisfarne; Acca at Hagustald; and Ethelin at Witern. The same year, Tadwin, archbishop of Canterbury, died. The same year, the moon appeared suffused with a bloody redness, for an entire hour, on the last day of January. The same year, Acca was driven from the bishopric of Hagustald, and after an interval of two years, he was succeeded by Frithebert, on the seventh of September.

[A.D. 735.] Nothelm was ordained archbishop of Canterbury, of whom Bede in the preface to his History of England, testifies that he was the greatest use to him in compiling his account of the exploits of the English, by bringing him letters out of the Roman archives, which were necessary for that work, while he was as yet only a priest in the city of London.

[A.D. 736.] Nothelm, archbishop of Canterbury, having received the pallium from the pope, was confirmed in his episcopal office.

[A.D. 737.] Alwyn, bishop of Lichfield, being of an extreme old age, died; and in his stead, two bishops were consecrated, namely, Witta at Lichfield and Tota as the first bishop of Leicester.

[A.D. 738.] Forther, bishop of Sherburne, went to Rome with the queen of the West Saxons, forsaking all their splendid possessions. Likewise, in those days, a great many kings, bishops, noblemen, and men of meaner birth, clergy and laity, did the same thing with their wives. The same year, Ethelwald, bishop of Lindisfarne, paid the debt of nature, and was succeeded in his burdensome honour by Renulf. At this time also, Frithebert was ordained bishop of Hagustald. The same

358 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 744.

year, Selred, king of the East Saxons, was deprived of both his life and his kingdom, and was succeeded by Swithred.

[A.D. 739.] Ethelhard, king of the West Saxons, died, and in his stead, his brother, Cuthred, reigned fifteen years. This year also, as some assert, Ceolwolf, the most noble king of Northumberland, departed from this life to Christ. He was succeeded in the kingdom by Eadbert, his kinsman, who reigned eleven years. Eadbert was the son of Eata, the son of Lethewod, the son of Ceolwolf. The same year, Nothelm, archbishop of Canterbury, and Ealdulph, bishop of Rochester, both died.

[A.D. 740.] Cuthbert, the eleventh archbishop of Canterbury, is said to have been consecrated. And when he had received the pallium, he consecrated Dumi, bishop of the church of Rochester.

[A.D. 741.] Ethelbald, the proud king of Mercia, harassed Cuthred, king of the West Saxons, with war, and also with internal seditions. At last they made peace with one another, and kept it for a short time.

[A.D. 742.] Gregory died, and Pope Zachary became pope. He occupied the chair of Rome nine years and three months. The same year, Constantine became emperor, and reigned thirty-five years.

CH. XIII.- FROM A.D. 743 TO A.D. 802.

Wars in Britain - Miracles wrought at the tomb of Benedict - Offa, king of Mercia - Charlemagne makes war upon the Saxons and on the Lombards - Allies himself with Offa - Honours paid to the body of St. Alban - Ethelbert, king of the East Angles and Martyr - Offa goes to Rome - Dies - Charlemagne goes to Rome - Egbert succeeds to the throne of the West Saxons.

[A.D. 743.] Fiery visions were seen in the sky on the first of January, such as no men of that age had ever beheld. The same year, Wilfrid the younger, archbishop of York, died, and was succeeded by Egbert, a man thoroughly learned in divine knowledge.

[A.D. 744.] Cuthred, king of the West Saxons, and Ethelbald, king of Mercia, being at peace with one another, united their forces, and fought against the Britons, who had collected an army from all quarters. And when these most valiant kings,

A.D. 748.] APPLICATION FOR THE RELICS OF BENEDICT. 359

rushing with strong battalions upon the enemy, pressed very hard upon them, and bore them down terribly, the Welch were put to flight, and gave their backs to the smiters, and their spoils to the pursuers, and the kings returned victoriously to their own country.

[A.D. 745.] Egbert, archbishop of York, reclaimed, in a praiseworthy manner, the pallium, which, ever since the time of Paulinus, first archbishop of York, had been passed over by eight bishops.

[A.D. 746.] Daniel, bishop of Winchester, ended his days in the forty-fifth year of his bishopric, and was succeeded by Humfrey. The same year, the emperor Constantine, who devoted all his attention to magic arts, and bloody sacrifices and luxury, caused many monks and clergy to be stoned for their adherence to the true faith. And the pretended patriarch of Constantinople agreed with him in all his measures, on account of his love of earthly dignities. On which account, indignation descended from heaven upon the citizens of that city, warning their wicked emperor to turn himself from the madness with which he was raging, but he continued unaltered. Therefore, pestilence and death visited them, beginning in Sicily and Calabria, till it reached the city of Rhegium, which it so completely desolated, that there were many houses in which there was not an inhabitant found. Anastasius himself was worn out with excessive sufferings, vomiting up all his bowels as it were, and at last he died miserably.

[A.D. 747.] There were seen stars falling from heaven, so that all who beheld them thought that the end of the world was at hand.

[A.D. 748.] Some monks of the Cassian brotherhood, at the instance of Charles the Great, procured letters from Pope Zachary to Pepin, king of the French, begging him to cause the monks of Floriacum to restore to its proper place the body of the most blessed Benedict, which they had stolen, in order that the aforesaid servants of God might rejoice in the restoration of this among them, and that they themselves might receive their reward from God. And when the pious king, Pepin, had read this letter, he gave a positive command to Remigius, archbishop of Rouen, to go with three other bishops to Floriacum, in order to restore the greatest portion of the holy Benedict to the Cassian monks, without, however, wholly depriving the monastery at Floriacum of it. But when the matter became

360 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 749.

known to the monks of Floriacam, they kept a three days' fast, and prayed before his tomb with tears, saying, "O you, our only hope after God, father Benedict, receive, we beseech you, our tears, and remain with us in this place, which you have long since condescended to select; but if you are so indignant at the weight of our sins as to be unwilling to remain with us, you shall at all events have us for most devout fellow travellers". And when they had spent the whole three days in these sobbings and weepings, lo! the before-mentioned bishops arrive, and endeavour to fulfil the commands of the king. And when the abbot Medo, who at that time ruled that monastery, had learned the arrival of the bishops, and the reason of it, he summoned the brethren of the congregation to the neighbouring church of the blessed Peter, and shut himself up with them then, and there they all fell on the ground, and pouring forth plentiful tears, betook themselves to prayer. But the bishops having entered the temple of the Holy Mother of God, before they came to the tomb of the blessed Benedict, were struck with such great fear and blindness, that they could not recognise one another. When then they found themselves blinded by the divine vengeance, they began tremblingly to go through the church, until in their wanderings they came to the ropes of the bells. And pulling them with all their might, they sought to bring themselves aid in this manner. The abbot and the brethren, whawere lying prostrate in prayer, hearing these sounds, entered the church, and found the bishops, who could still see nothing. And when they said to them, "What are you doing, O Pontiffs"? they answered and said, "We have come hither rashly, in order to arouse the blessed father Benedict to vengeance. Woe unto us, because we have sinned! But ye, servants of God, pray for us to God Almighty, that he may open our eyes, and we promise you that we will never venture to do such deeds in future". On this, the brethren shed abundance of tears in their behalf, and some fell on the ground, and prayed more earnestly for them, that the divine mercy would consent to restore them their sight. And while they were praying, their eyes were opened, and the bishops returned with trembling to their own homes.

The same year, Cuthbert, archbishop of Canterbury, and Ethelbald, king of Mercia, held a council.

[A.D. 749.] Eadbert, king of Kent, after he had held the helm of the kingdom for six years, ended his days, and was

A.D. 753.] MARTYRDOM OF SAINT BONIFACE. 361

succeeded by Ethelbert, who reigned fourteen years. The same year, Kineric, son of Cuthred, king of the West Saxons, was slain. The same year, Ethelwold, king of the East Angles, died, and Beorna and Ethelbert divided his dominions between them.

[A.D. 750.] Eadbert, king of Northumberland, took prisoner bishop Kinewulf, and brought him to the city of Bebba, which is now called Baambure, in French, and gave orders to besiege the church of the blessed Peter, in Lindisfarne.

[A.D. 751.] Cuthred, king of the West Saxons, fought a battle against Ethelhun, a most gallant general, who raised a sedition against his lord; and, although in the number of his soldiers he was unequal to his lord, he still met him in the plain, and fought a most severe battle. But at last the king retired from the field victorious, and left Ethelhun severely wounded. The same year, Stephen was elected pope, and occupied the Roman chair five years and twenty-eight days. He, in the last year of his pontificate, transferred the Roman empire from the Greeks to the Germans, in the person of king Charlemagne, son of Pepin, king of France, who had been made so in his youth.

[A.D. 752.] Cuthred, king of the West Saxons, unable to endure the haughty exactions and insolence of Ethelbald, king of Mercia, met him in a hostile manner at Beorford, where the two kings fought a most terrible battle. But Ethelbald, while Ethelhun marched before him with his standard, on which was embroidered a golden dragon, fought with furious rage against his enemies; but the standard-bearer of king Cuthred directed his lance against the hostile standard-bearer, and ran him through, so that a shout arose, and the side of Cuthred was greatly strengthened. And the thunders of war, and the clang of blows, and the cries of men falling on both sides, sounded terribly. On each side was there hope of victory, and on neither any thought of flight. But, at length, God, who resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble, put Ethelbald to flight, and joyful victory fell to the lot of Cuthred. The same year, an eclipse of the moon took place after midnight, on the last day of July.

[A.D. 753.] Saint Boniface, bishop of the city of Mayence, with fifty-three other persons, received the crown of martyrdom in Friesland.

362 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 757.

[A.D. 754.] The holy Boniface, who is also called Winfrid, archbishop of France, perished by martyrdom.

[A.D. 755.] Cuthred, king of the West Saxons, and Ethelbald, king of Mercia, fought a severe battle in the place which is called Sacchenda. But Ethelbald, who would not escape destruction by flight, was slain, and so died. And Ethelbald, king of Mercia, was succeeded by Beorredus. And after the death of Ethelbald, the king who reigned forty-one years, the kingdom of the West Saxons was greatly strengthened.

[A.D. 756.] Paul became pope, and filled the chair at Rome for ten years. In which year also, the most mighty king Cuthred, who had enjoyed such a long course of prosperity, and gained so many victories, ended his life by the pitiless hand of death. He was succeeded in his kingdom by Sigebert, his kinsman, who held it, however, only a short time. For he was so insolent and swoln in his pride, on account of the exploits of his predecessor, that he was intolerable even to his own servants. And as he ill-treated them in every imaginable manner, and perverted or changed the laws of his predecessors for his own advantage, Cumbra, a most noble officer, reported to the king the complaints of the whole people; and, because he advised the king to govern the people committed to his care with greater mildness, and to clothe himself with humility, and appear amiable to God and men, the king ordered him to be put to death by an atrocious mode of execution; and from that time forth became more cruel still, and increased the tyranny which he practised upon his people. And, when that was found to be the case, the nobles of the kingdom, with all the people, met together, and Sigebert was expelled from his kingdom by the deliberate wisdom of the whole nation, and Kineulf, a youth of the royal family, was elected, and promoted to be king. And king Sigebert, after he was deposed, fled to the wood which is called Andredeswald, and hid himself where Ansian, the swineherd of Cumbra, the officer who, as we have related, had been wickedly put to death, found the king concealed at Pribetesflade, and slew him to avenge his own master.

The same year, Humphrey, bishop of Winchester, died, and was succeeded by Kinehard.

[A.D. 757.] Eadbert, king of Northumberland, voluntarily left his kingdom to Osulf, his son, who held it for a year, and then lost it. For he was wickedly slain by his own nation

A.D. 758.] INSURRECTION IN MERCIA. 363

on the twenty-fourth of July. But king Eadbert assumed the garb and tonsure of a monk. He is the eighth of the kings of England who exchanged their temporal kingdom for an eternal one, in order to have, as a reward in heaven, the delight of the eighth beatitude, which is due to voluntary poverty. Osulf, his son, was succeeded in the kingdom of Northumherland by Ethelwold Mollo, who reigned six years.

[A.D. 758.] A tribe of the kingdom of Mercia rose in insurrection against their king, Beornred, because he was ruling the people, not according to just laws, but tyrannically. And accordingy, all men, both noble and ignoble, met together, and, under the leadership of Offa, a most gallant youth, expelled him from the kingdom. And when this had been done, by the unanimous consent of all men, both clergy and people, crowned the aforesaid Offa as king. For Offa was descended from the royal family, inasmuch as he was the son of Thinferth, who was the son of Ealdulf, who was the son of Osulf, who was the son of Eoppa, who was the son of Wibba, who was the son of Creodda, who was the son of Kinewold, who was the son of Cnebba, who was the son of Ithel, who was the son of Eomeri, who was the son of Angelthean, who was the son of Offa, who was the son of Weremund, who was the son of Withleig, who was the son of Wagon, who was the son of Frethegeath, who was the son of Woden.

To this last the ancients dedicated the fourth day of the week, which was called Wodnesday. And his wife was Frea, to whom the ancients dedicated the sixth day of the week, which is called Fryday. But Woden was the son of Frethewold, who was the son of Freolaf, who was the son of Frithewolf, who was the son of Godwolf, who was the son of Geta. The Pagans long ago used to worship this last as God, and Sedulius, a noble poet, makes mention of him in an eastern hymn, where he begins thus:-

"Let the Gentile poet strive
In loud high-sounding verse to tell
Their wicked figments, and in praise
Of Geta bid their voices swell".

But Geta was the son of Cethwa, who was the son of Beau, who was the son of Seldua, who was the son of Heremod, who was the son of Itermod, who was the son of Hathra, who was the son of Wala, who was the son of Bedwi, who was the son

364 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 765.

of Shem, who was the son of Noah, who was the son of Lamech, who was the son of Methuselah, who was the son of Enoch, who was the son of Malaleel, who was the son of Cainan, who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam, whom the Lord formed out of the clay of the earth.

King Offa then was the terror and dread of all the kings of England, for he defeated in battle the king of Kent, the king of the West Saxons, the king of Northumberland, the king of the South Saxons, the king of the East Angles, and, as will be said hereafter at greater length, having conquered all the remaining kings, or made them tributary to himself, he extended the kingdom of Mercia to no inconsiderable extent.

[A.D. 759.] Ethelwald Mollo, king of Northumberland, waged war against the most powerful duke Oswin, whom he slew, and retired with victory. This same year also, Unno, the king of the Picts, died.

[A.D. 760.] An eclipse of the moon took place about midnight, on the first of August. The same year, Cuthbert, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and was succeeded by Bregwin, a prudent man, and of great acquaintance with literature.

[A.D. 761.] The head of Saint John the Baptist was brought into the city of Edessa.

[A.D. 762.] Ethelbert, king of Kent, departed this life, and left Eadbert heir of his kingdom. The same year, Ethelbald, king of Northumberland, took Etheldreda for his queen.

[A.D. 763.] Bregwin, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and Iambert succeeded him. The same year, Frethewold, bishop of White Chase, departed this life, and was succeeded by Pethwin.

[A.D. 764.] Hemel, bishop of Lichfield, died, and was succeeded by Cuthfrid. The same year, Ealdulf, bishop in Lindsey, ended his days, and Ceolwolf succeeded him. But we are quite ignorant what city these bishops had as the cathedral city of their diocese. But that there were many bishops there, that is to say, in the district of Lindsey, which is between Lincoln and the river Humber, we are quite certain; and the first bishop, as the Venerable Bede testifies in his History of England, was ordained bishop by Paulinus, the first archbishop of York. This year, Adrian succeeded to the see of Rome.

[A.D. 765.] Ethelwald Mollo, king of Northumberland, slew that most valiant duke Oswyn, who rebelled against him, and

A.D. 768.] STEPHEN, POPE OF ROME. 365

not long afterwards he departed this life himself, and was succeeded by Ealred, the great-great-grandson of king Ida, who reigned eight years.

The same year, Offa, the most mighty king of Mercia, having conceived an enmity against the people of Kent, endeavoured to strip Iambert, archbishop of Canterbury, of the primacy, and at the same time endeavoured to adorn the kingdom of Mercia with the archbishopric. Therefore he sent messengers to pope Adrian, entreating of him to decorate Ealdulf, bishop of Lichfield, with the pallium, contrary to the custom of the ancients, and to make all the bishops of his kingdom subordinate to him. And he wearied the Apostolic See so long with plausible arguments, that, as the Roman pontiffs, by reason of their various occupations, are easily drawn in to give their consent to different things, he obtained what he asked, namely, that all the provinces of Mercia should be made subject to the before-named bishop, the names of whom are as follows: Denebert, bishop of Worcester; Werebert, bishop of Leicester; Eadulf, bishop of Sinacester; Ulward, bishop of Hereford; and the bishops of the East Angles, namely, Halard, bishop of Helmham, and Tidferth, bishop of Dommac. And there remained to the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops of London, Winchester, Rochester, and Sherburne. And this violence of the king continued in effect during the whole period of the supremacy of Iambert, although this archbishop omitted nothing either of his acts of liberality or diligence, and derogated in no respect from his former dignity. This year, Constantine became pope, and occupied the see for one year and one month. He had been made a priest on a sudden from having been a layman, and he was a tyrannical invader of the papacy, but at last he was troubled by the church, through the zeal of the faithful, and was deprived of his eyes.

[A.D. 766.] Ealdulf, as archbishop of Lichfield, received the pallium, and Frithbert, bishop of Hagustald, died.

[A.D. 767.] Egbert, archbishop of York, died, and was succeeded by Eanbald. This is that Eanbald, who, acting in union with Ethelhard, archbishop of Canterbury, baffled and defeated the invasion which Offa, king of Mercia, endeavoured to make of the rights of the church of Canterbury. The same year, Alcmund succeeded Frithbert, as bishop of Hagustald.

[A.D. 768.] Stephen became pope of Rome, and governed the see for three years. The same year, Werebert, fourth bishop

366 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 773.

of Leicester, died, and was succeeded by Unwona. For Leicester is an ancient city, deriving its name from Leyr, king of the Britons. And the first English bishop of that see was named Totta, the second was Eadbert, the third was Werebert, the fourth [1] was Unwona, who with Offa, king of Mercia, and Hunbert, archbishop of Lichfield (as they commonly called Berthun, transposing the syllables of his name), is said to have been present, with the rest of the bishops, at the discovery of the body of the blessed proto-martyr, Alban. But of this we shall speak hereafter.

[A.D. 769.] The city Cataracta was burnt with fire, by Beornred, the tyrannical king of Mercia, who had been deposed. But Beornred himself perished miserably by fire, the same year, by the just judgment of God.

[A.D. 770.] Charles, king of France, having collected a mighty army, attacked the nation of the Saxons in war, and, though a great number of his chief men were slain, he nevertheless, returned home with the victory. The same year, stars were seen to fall from heaven in an awful manner.

[A.D. 771.] Offa, king of Mercia, subdued the nation of the Angles by force of arms. And the same year, Charles, king of France, was cut short by a sudden death, and so expired; and Charles, his brother, who had previously obtained one half of his father's dominions, now took upon himself the sole government of the whole kingdom, amid the acclamations of the people. [2]

[A.D. 772.] Pope Stephen died, and Adrian the First succeeded him, and ruled the church twenty-three years, ten months, and eighteen days.

[A.D. 773.] Ealdred, king of Northumberland, departed this life, and was succeeded by Ethelred. The same year, Offa, king of Mercia, fought a battle against the Kentish people, at Ottanforde. But at length, after terrible slaughter on both sides, Offa was gloriously successful, and retired in triumph. The same year, pope Adrian invited Charles to Rome, to defend the church; and he arriving there, besieged Papia, and leaving his army there, went on to Rome himself, and there celebrated


[1] There is evidently some mistake or else some corruption of the text here. At the beginning of the sentence Werebert was called the fourth bishop, and if so, Unwona must have been the fifth.

[2] The Charles who died was Carloman: the Charles who obtained the undivided sovereignty was Charlemagne. Pepin died 768, and Carloman 771, as is correctly stated here.

A.D. 774.] THE KING OF FRANCE REDUCES ITALY. 367

the festival of the Holy Resurrection, and after that, he returned and took Papia; and again returning to Rome, he held a council in union with pope Adrian, and a hundred and fifty-three other religious abbots and bishops, in which pope Adrian and the general council gave him the right of electing the Pontiff, and of regulating the Apostolic See, and the dignity of patrician, [1] and moreover, settled that all the archbishops and bishops in all the provinces should receive their investititure from him; and that a bishop should be consecrated by no one, unless he had been first approved and invested by the king. And the council anathematized all who rebelled against this decree, and confiscated all their possessions, unless they came to their senses. This is the statement of Sigebert.

[A.D. 774.] Charles, the most mighty king of France, besieged and blockaded Ticino, a most noble city of the Lombards, and took it, with Desiderius, the king, and reduced all Italy under his power.


[1] "After the recovery of Italy and Africa by the arms of Justinian, the importance and danger of this remote province required the presence of a supreme magistrate: he was indifferently styled the Exarch or Patrician. And these governors of Ravenna, who fill their place in the chronology of princes, extended their jurisdiction over the Roman city. Since the revolt of Italy and the loss of the exarchate, the distress of the Romans had exacted some sacrifice of their independence, and the decrees of the senate and people successively invested Charles Martel and his posterity with the honours of patrician of Rome. The leaders of a powerful nation would have disdained a servile title and subordinate office, but the reign of the Greek emperors was suspended, and in the vacancy of the empire they derived a more glorious commission from the pope and the republic. The Roman ambassadors presented these patricians with the keys of the shrine of St. Peter as a pledge and symbol of sovereignty, and with a holy banner, which it was their right and duty to unfurl in defence of the church and city ... And the patriciate represented only the title, the service, the alliance of these distant protectors. The power and policy of Charlemagne annihilated an enemy and imposed a master. In his first visit to the capital, he was received with all the honours which had formerly been paid to the exarch, the representative of the emperor, and these honours obtained some new decorations from the joy and gratitude of Pope Adrian the First ... In the twenty-six years which had elapsed between the conquest of Lombardy and his imperial coronation, Rome, which had been delivered by the sword, was subject, as his own, to the sceptre of Charlemagne. The people swore allegiance to his person and family; in his name money was coined and justice was administered, and the election of the popes was examined and confirmed by his authority".- Gibbon, c. xlix. vol. ix. p. 153, Edit. 1820.

368 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 775.

[A.D. 775.] Offa, king of Mercia, being eager to gain over all the neighbouring kings to be his friends, that he might be free from foreign enemies, in spite of all the damage which he had done to his neighbours, endeavoured, by many presents, to make a friend of Charlemagne, king of the French. But before this time they were enemies to one another, to such a degree, that all the traffic of merchants between the two kingdoms was suspended. But it is shown evidently by the letter of Charlemagne, king of the French, that a firm treaty of friendship was now made between him and Offa; and the letter is as follows:

"Charles, by the grace of God, king of the French and Lombards, and patrician of the Romans, to the venerable man and dearest brother, Offa, king of Mercia, greeting. In the first place, we return thanks to Almighty God for the sincerity of the Catholic faith, which we find most excellently expressed in your pages. And as to the foreigners, who, for the love of God and salvation of their souls, desire to approach the threshold of the blessed Apostles, let them come in all peace, without any alarm. But if there be any people found among them who are not obeying the dictates of religion, but who are only in the pursuit of gain, they must pay the appointed dues at the proper places. We are willing also that traders shall, in accordance with our command, have legitimate patronage in this our kingdom. And if in any place they are treated with unjust oppression, they shall have an appeal to ourselves, or to our judges, and we will take care that complete justice is done. Moreover, let your beloved highness know that we have sent some presents from our dalmatics and pallia to each of the episcopal sees of your kingdom or that of king Ethelred, having begged them from the kindness of our lord, pope Adrian, and we entreat you that you will order intercession to be made for him. And also we have sent some presents for your metropolitan cities, out of that store of human riches which our Lord Jesus has granted us out of his gratuitous mercy. We have also ordered a belt, and a Hungarian sword, and two robes of silk, to be sent as presents for your highness. Fare ye well".

"To Offa, Charles a belt and sabre gave,
To bid him bind the weak, the foeman brave,
A robe a hint all secret things to hide;
And so with sword and belt and robe he tried
To crush the fierce, the humble friends t'unite,
And veil all foul and secret things from light".

A.D. 780.] KING OF NORTHUMBERLAND DEPOSED. 369

[A.D. 776.] Fiery and terrible signs were seen in the heavens after the setting of the sun. And serpents, too, were seen in Sussex, to the great wonder of the people, as if they rose in abundance out of the earth.

[A.D. 777.] The emperor Constantine died, and Leo Zaccarus succeeded to the Roman empire, and reigned five years.

[A.D. 778.] Pethwin, bishop of Witern, and also of White Chase, came to the last day of his bishopric and of his life, and was succeeded by Ethelbert. The same year, Ethelwald and Herebert, dukes of the kingdom of Northumberland, rebelled against their king, and slew Ealdulf, the general of the army of king Ethelred, at Ringesflibe, and afterwards the same dukes slew the dukes of the king, by name Kinelf and Eggen, in a terrible battle. And king Ethelred fled from their face, and they appointed Alfwold king in his stead, and he reigned ten years.

[A.D. 779.] Offa, that most gallant king of Mercia, fought against Kinewolf, king of the West Saxons, while he was besieging the castle of Bensinton. But, by the fortune of war, Kinewolf got worsted, and so fled from the place, and the invincible king of Mercia, Offa, reduced the castle under his own power.

"Offa, born of royal blood,
Stands unmoved by battle's flood:
Bold he crushes all that's base,
No foeman dares to meet his face:
He's Cato, Mars, and likewise Paris,
And Mercia safer now by far is,
While he upholds her laws, than when
She own'd the sway of weaker men.
He with his sword the proud subdues.
No prince obedience dare refuse.
E'en the great Charles, fair France's lord,
Owns his great power and trusts his word.
And all fair Mercia's peopled realm
Rests while his wisdom guides the helm;
All at his coronation sing
The well-earn'd praises of their king".

[A.D. 780.] Ethelred, king of Northumberland, was deposed,

370 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 786.

and departed first of all to the city of Bebba, and afterwards to the king of the Picts, named Kinothus, at whose court he ended his life.

[A.D. 781.] The princes of Northumberland burned in his own house a magistrate, their justiciary, who was severe beyond the requirements of justice. The same year, Kinewolf, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and was succeeded by Higbald.

[A.D. 782.] Hirenes, with his son Constantine, succeeded to the empire of Rome, and governed it for ten years. The same year, a man found a plate of gold at Constantinople, and on it was a man, with this inscription - "Christ is born of Mary, a virgin, and I believe in him: in the time of the emperors Constantine and Hirenes, O sun, you will see me again".

[A.D. 783.] Alfwold, king of Northumberland, sent to Rome for a pallium, and gave it to the archbishop. The same year, Alcmund, bishop of Hagustald, died, and was succeeded by Gilbert.

[A.D. 784.] Wilbert, bishop of Sherburn, died, and was succeeded by Castanus.

[A.D. 785.] Withichind and Albion, dukes of Saxony, who were infidels, were reconciled to Charlemagne, and baptized.

[A.D. 786.] Kinewolf, king of the West Saxons, after he had reigned twenty-six years, and had fought many battles with great glory against the Britons and many other nations, banished a young man, by name Kinehard, the brother of king Sigebert, whom Kinewolf had expelled from the kingdom, as has been related before, suspecting him, lest he should hereafter aspire to the kingdom, or perhaps avenge his brother's death. But Kinehard, thinking it best to yield to the times, dissembled in his mind, and departed as if willingly. But soon after, he joined some secret companies of banditti, and sought the recesses of the woods, where he lay in ambush, waiting many days, because of the proverb which is ofiten repeated -

"What expectation long denies,
A sudden hour full oft supplies".

Meantime, while king Kinewolf, in the indulgence of illegitimate amours in the village which is called Merton, was giving himself up to secret joys, and when this had been discovered by Kinehard, whom I mentioned just now, Kinehard with his accomplices besieged the house. But the king, who

A.D. 789.] ADRIAN SENDS AMBASSADORS INTO BRITAIN. 371

had come with a small retinue, and almost as it were by himself, when he found himself hemmed in on all sides by his enemies, closed the doors of the house, hoping either to terrify the banditti by his authority, or to pacify them by his address. But in vain; for being surrounded by the multitude, as he thought it injurious to his reputation to yield to the enemy, he stood on his defence, and wounded Kinehard himself severely. And when Kinehard saw this, he and his men rushed upon the king and slew him; and a few of the king's train who were present, refusing to yield, and striving to avenge their master, were all slain in the same manner. The news was quickly borne to the nobles of the murdered king, who were waiting for him at no great distance, among whom Osric, above all others, exhorted his companions not to allow such wickedness to pass unpunished. Accordingly, with drawn swords they rushed upon the enemy. Kinehard seeing this, reminded them of his relationship to their former king, and made them many promises; but when he could not move them, he excited his party to resistance. At length victory, as was just, declared for the servants of the king, who slew Kinehard with all his companions. And the body of the king was buried at Winchester, and that of Kinehard at Rependune, which was then a noble and famous monastery.

[A.D. 787.] Kinewolf, king of the West Saxons, being dead, Brithricus, his son, succeeded to the kingdom, and reigned sixteen years. In which year also, Celdulf, bishop of Dorchester, died, and was succeeded by Aldulph.

[A.D. 788.] Blood rained down on the earth from heaven, and queen Ricdritha died.

[A.D. 789.] Pope Adrian sent ambassadors into Britain, to re-establish the faith which Augustine had preached. And they, having been honourably received by kings, clergy, and people, built a beautiful edifice in the firm foundation of faith, the grace of Christ working with them. And they held a council at Chalthuthe, where Iambert, archbishop of Canterbury, resigned part of his archbishopric to the archbishop of Lichfield. In that council also, Offa, the mighty king of Mercia, caused Egfrid, his eldest son, to be solemnly crowned as king, who afterwards, being a most pious youth, and of a most noble disposition, reigned in conjunction with his father to the end of his life. The same year, Alfwald, king of Northumberland, was conspired against by one of his nobles, whose name was

372 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 792.

Sigan, and cruelly slain near Wall; and his body was buried in the church of Hagustald. And in the place where this king was slain, a light issuing from heaven was seen by many people; on account of the strangeness of which fact, a church was built by the faithful of that place, and was dedicated to the honour of God and king Oswald. He was succeeded in his kingdom by Osred, son of Alcred, the great-great-grandson of king Ida, who reigned one year.

[A.D. 790.] The sign of the cross was seen on the garments of several men, which was a strange thing both to speak and hear of. For we suppose that it took place as a warning to the nations of the country to avoid as far as they could the infliction of the Danes, which happened immediately after.

[A.D. 791.] Brithric, king of the West Saxons, in order to gain more influence among his neighbours, married the daughter of Offa, king of Mercia, the most powerful king of that time. And being strengthened by that connection, he drove Egbert away into France, who was the only surviving member oi the royal family, and who he was afraid would be a hindrance to his objects and to his reign. And after he had been driven away, the king enjoyed quiet security, till the nation of the Danes, a people accustomed to live by piratical rapine, coming over in three ships, disturbed the peace of the province. It may be suspected that they came also as spies, in order to see the fertility of the land, as the multitude of their nation which came afterwards and filled the whole of Britain proved as clear as daylight. But on this occasion they landed secretly, and attacking a royal village which was close by, they slew the king's bailiff, who went out to meet them in battle. He was the first of the English nation who was slain by them, but afterwards many thousands of thousands of them were slain by that enemy. At last, the multitude of people that came up was so great, that the Danes were stripped of their booty, and compelled to flee to their ships.

[A.D. 792.] King Osred [1] was, by the treachery of some of


[1] It is hardly necessary to point out the contradictions in this sentence, in which Osred is stated to have been expelled after he had reigned one year, while the same year is stated in the next line to have been the fourth since he succeeded to the throne, as in fact it was, for his succession is the last thing mentioned in the year 789. Any subsequent similar instances I shall not think it necessary to point out, as they may be safely trusted to the discernment of the reader.

A.D. 793.] OFFA RECEIVES ETHELBERT WITH HONOUR. 373

his subjects, driven from his kingdom when he had reigned one year. And Ethelred, the son of Mollo, was elected in his stead. This year also, which is the fourth year after that in which Osred originally became king, he collected an army and returned, in order to expel Ethelred, by whom he himself had been expelled from the kingdom, but was taken prisoner on his march, near Tynemouth, and put to death. The same year, a synod was convened in the place which is called Finchale, over which the archbishop presided, and which was attended by his suffragan bishops and many others.

[A.D. 793.] Constantine obtained the empire of Rome, and reigned seven years. The same year, Charlemagne, king of France, sent a synodal book to Britain, in which there were found many things contrary to the true faith, and especially this, that it was laid down by the unanimous assertion of nearly all the eastern teachers, that men ought to adore images, a practice which the Catholic church utterly execrates; and against which Alban wrote an epistle, admirably resting on the authority of the Holy Scriptures, and he took this epistle with this same synodal book to the king of France, on the part of the bishops and nobles. The same year, Ethelred, king of Northumberland, married Elfleda, daughter of king Offa.

About the same time, Ethelbert, king of the East Angles, son of king Ethelred, quitted his own kingdom, in spite of the strong remonstrances of his mother, and came to Offa, the most mighty king of Mercia, and begged of him that he would give him one of his daughters in marriage. And Offa, that most noble and most illustrious and most high-born king, when he had learnt the object of the arrival of king Ethelbert, received him with great honour in the royal palace, and showed him all the attention and kindness that lay in his power, not only to the king himself, but to all his comrades who had come with him. But when king Offa consulted his queen Quendritha, and asked her advice on the subject, she, being urged by the promptings of the devil, is said to have made answer to her husband, "Behold, God has this day given your enemy into your hands, whose kingdom you have so long coveted with daily desire, so that now you can extinguish him secretly, and so his kingdom will pass under the power of you and your successors for ever". But the king was greatly agitated at the advice of his wife, and reproving her with indignation, made answer to her, "You have spoken like one

374 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 793.

of the foolish women; far from me, far from me may so detestable an action be, which, if it were perpetrated, would be an everlasting reproach to me and my successors". And, having said this, the king departed from her. Afterwards, when his agitation had become gradually calmed, both the kings sat down at table, where, having refreshed themselves with royal food, they spent the whole day with music and dancing, and harp-playing, to their great delight. But in the meantime, the wicked queen, not abandoning her foul design, treacherously ordered a bed-chamber to be adorned in royal fashion with silk mattrasses and curtains, for king Ethelbert to pass the night upon; and near the royal bed she caused a chair to be made ready, furnished with the most princely decorations, and surrounded on all sides by curtains, beneath which, wretch that she was, she caused a deep hole to be dug, in order to effect her wicked purpose. Accordingly, when king Ethelbert, after a day of pleasure, wished to give up his limbs to sleep, he was conducted into this bed-chamber, and, as soon as he sat down in the chair which I have described, he was suddenly precipitated into the deep hole, chair and all, and strangled by the executioners whom the queen had concealed there. In the moment that the king had fallen into the pit, the wicked traitors threw over him pillows, and garments, and curtains, that his cries might not be heard. And thus that king and martyr, being murdered, though innocent, received the crown of life which God has promised to those that love him.

But when this detestable action which the wicked queen had done to the suitor of her daughter became known to the comrades of the murdered king, they departed from the palace before daylight, fearing lest they themselves might be subjected to similar treatment. And the noble king Offa, when he had received information of the crime that had been committed, mourned, and shut himself up in a chamber, and for three days would not taste food. But, although he was quite innocent of all participation in the king's death, he nevertheless sent a powerful expedition, and annexed the kingdom of the East Angles to his own dominions. And the holy Ethelbert was buried without any honour, and the place was known to no one, till his body, having been pointed out by light from heaven, was found by the faithful, and was conveyed to the

A.D. 794.] KING OFFA WITNESSES A HEAVENLY MIRACLE. 375

city of Hereford, where it now adorns with its miracles, and glorifies with its virtues, that episcopal see.

[A.D. 794.] Iambert, archbishop of Canterbury, died, when he had discharged the daties of that see for twenty-seven years with extraordinary diligence. And he was buried in the chapter house of the church of Saint Augustine, and was succeeded by Athelard, who had been thirteen years bishop of the city of Winchester. The same year, Eanbald, archbishop of York, consecrated Baldulph, bishop of Witerne, which is called in English White Chase.

The same year, when Offa, the most mighty king of Mercia, while residing in the city of Bath, was, after the labours of the day, enjoying the rest of night in his royal bed, he was warned by a divine oracle, which was announced to him by an angel, to take up out of the earth Alban, that saint of God, the proto-martyr of the Angles or Britons (which indeed is the correct statement, because it is certain that he was a Briton, and not an Angle, so that it is a mistake to call him the proto-martyr of the Angles). And king Offa was at the same time commanded to place the remains of Saint Alban in a repository which should be more worthy of them. Accordingly, the king, being desirous immediately to obey the divine injunctions, having sent for Humbert, archbishop of Mercia, to whom Lichfield had lately been given by this king for his archiepiscopal see, declared to him the will of God on the subject. Then the aforesaid bishop, immediately having joined with himself Ceolwolf, bishop of Lindsey, and Unwin, bishop of Leicester, his suffragans, with an exceeding number of people of both sexes and of every age, met the king on a day appointed at Verolamium. But the king, as he was journeying thither, saw a ray of light issuing from heaven like a huge torch, and descending like a flash of lightning towards the place of the sepulchre. And as this heavenly miracle was beheld by every one, they all by this indication were made more certain of the truth of the vision. Then, when the people had been sanctified by fasting, and alms, and prayers, the bishops, adorned with their sacerdotal mitres, entreated the aid of the blessed martyr to be present to them. For the place and the memory of the martyr had been entirely lost for about three hundred and forty-four years since the arrival of Saint Germain, bishop of Altisiodora, who with the blessed Lupus, bishop of the city of Troyes, had come to Britain to extirpate

376 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 794.

the heresy of the Pelagians. For since that time the pagan nations of the Saxons, Jutes, and Angles, having expelled the Britons, had subjugated Britain, as has been related already at some length, and ravaging the lands, setting fire to the cities and towns, levelling the holy churches to the ground, and murdering the priests, had pitilessly destroyed almost the whole surface of the island from sea to sea. And, during this period, the church of the blessed Alban, the proto-martyr of the Angles (which Bede in his History of England relates to have been built of stone most exquisitely wrought), was wholly destroyed, along with the other churches of the country. And his sepulchre also, which at the time of the arrival of Saint Germain, and before that, from the time of the passion of the martyr to that of the desolation of his country, was well known to all men, and an object of adoration to all, on account of the number of miracles wrought at it, was now unknown to any one, till it was thus revealed to king Offa by the ministry of the Anglican pontiff.

When then, as we have already said, prayers had been offered up by the clergy and people with alms and fasting, they divide the ground between them, and search everywhere for the burial-place of the martyr. Nor were they compelled to be a long time searching for the place, as the divine mercy condescended to reveal it by heavenly light. And so, while that most valiant king Offa was standing by, they found the body of the martyr in a wooden coffin, in which, owing to the cruelty of the barbarians, and the critical circumstances of the times, it had been hidden by the faithful, with the sacred relics of all the apostles and of the different martyrs, which the Holy Germain had deposited there a long time before. And this discovery moved not only the clergy, but the whole people to tears, especially because it confirmed the words of the Holy Fathers respecting the relics which were found with the body, and which we read were put with the martyr's holy body, to his great comfort. To make my story short, the archbishop with his bishops raised the treasure, which had been long hidden beneath the turf, out of its sepulchre with holy fear, and while a solemn procession went before with hymns and praises, they transferred it to a certain church, which had been formerly consecrated outside of the city of Verulamium, in honour of the holy proto-martyr, where they replaced the holy relics of

A.D. 794.] ST. ALBAN'S MONASTERY ESTABLISHED. 377

the father in a coffin, exquisitely made of gold and silver and precious stones.

In which place, down even to the present day, divine miracles are incessantly wrought, and, in the sight of many, hearing is there restored to the deaf, the power of walking to the lame, sight to the blind, and to all who with faith implore the assistance of the blessed martyr, desired health of mind and body is given by God.

And these things were done in the five hundred and seventh year after his passion, three hundred and forty-four years after the arrival of the Angles in Britain, in the first induction, on the first day of August.

When this had been done in that place, the king convoked a provincial council, and deliberated with archbishop Humbert and his suffragans, and all the nobles, on the subject of collecting a brotherhood of monks, and establishing a monastery in that place where he had found the remains of the proto-martyr of his kingdom, and which that holy man had consecrated with his blood. And the proposal of the king pleased them all, and he adopted the advice of the bishops, that the monastery which was to be built, should, by the authority of the Roman pontiff, be canonized and privileged, in honour of the martyr. And that all these things might be more completely and regularly done, the king is advised to treat with the Roman court about this matter, either by the intervention of legates a latere, or else in his own person. Accordingly, the king adopted this advice, and undertook a laborious journey, in order that as the blessed Alban shone forth as the proto-martyr of the Angles, so his monastery might be superior, in both possessions and privileges, to all similar brotherhoods in the kingdom. Therefore, the king put to sea, and landed at the port which he wished to, in Flanders; and coming to a certain town, named Monasteriolum, he stopped there for the sake of resting, and when he could procure no fodder for his horses, he marvelled greatly, as the whole district was seen to abound in fertile meadows. Accordingly, the king enquired to whom those meadows belonged, and he received for answer, that they had many owners. Accordingly, the king commanded that all the inhabitants should appear before him, and when they came, he spoke seriously to them on the subject of selling those fields; they who heard this were exceedingly indignant,

378 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 794.

asserting that the owners of the meadows abounded sufficiently in temporal wealth. And when, at last, those nobles to whom the lands belonged had been brought into the king's presence, he spoke to them of selling the fields. And as he heard that they abounded in every kind of riches, "You do not abound", said the king, "so greatly, but that you may be made to abound still more. We will become purchasers of your lands, not according to their valuation, but at the price at which you are willing to sell them. Nor will there be any difficulty about the price, though there is no option about the sale". When they heard these words, they all yielded to covetousness, and received from the king a price for their meadows, according to their will. And when the purchase had been completed, the king consecrated those meadows, and with royal munificence confirmed the enjoyment of them to all strangers who should pass by, that all foreigners who were in that place for a time, should have grass and hay sufficient for the food of their beasts, without any payment, for ever, in consequence of the royal beneficence.

Then when the money for the purchase of the fields had been paid, the king set out from that place, and proceeded to Rome, where he reached the wished-for threshold of the Apostles, and traversed the places consecrated to the different Saints with pious devotion. Then he explained to the Supreme Pontiff Adrian the object of his visit, and in a spirit of devotion addressing to him his entreaties respecting the canonization of the place, and of the blessed Alban, and respecting the building of a monastery, he easily inclined the Roman court to grant his petition, especially on the ground that the discovery of the martyr's body had been brought about by Divine revelation. Then he consulted the court on the subject of the foundation of the monastery, and its emancipation from all subjection to bishops; and the Roman Pontiff gave him the following answer: "My most beloved son, Offa, most mighty king of the English, we exceedingly commend your devotion about the proto-martyr of your kingdom, and we gladly give assent to your request and proposal of building a monastery and endowing it with privileges, enjoining you, for the remission of your sins, that when you return to your own land, you shall, by the advice of your bishops and nobles, confer on the monastery of the blessed Alban whatever possessions or privileges you choose; and when you have

A.D. 794.] EXTENT OF KING OFFA'S RULE. 379

thus given it privileges, we will confirm your original grant, by a grant of privileges from us corresponding to yours. And we will adopt that monastery to be a special daughter of the Roman Church, and we will make it subject immediately to our own see, without any bishop or archbishop interfering between us and it". So when he had received this answer, the king deliberated with himself as to what he could do in return, which should be worthy of such great liberally. At length, Divine grace inspiring the king, a wholesome idea occurred to him, and the next day he went into the school of the English, which was at that time flourishing at Rome, and gave to that school, for the support of those subjects of his kingdom who should come thither, a piece of silver money for each family, every day and every year for ever, provided their estate in land, besides their house, did not exceed the value of thirty pieces of silver; and by this great liberality he obtained the privilege, that no one of the kingdom of England who was a public penitent, should be compelled to leave the kingdom for the performance of any penance that might be enjoined him. Having therefore executed this donation, and procured its ratification from the pope, and having received remission of his sins, and the benediction of the Supreme Pontiff, that great king returned to his own dominions. Then, having convened a council of his bishops and nobles at Verulamium, with their unanimous consent and good will, he conferred on the blessed Alban ample estates and innumerable possessions, which he invested with various liberties and privileges. And he collected a brotherhood of monks from thoroughly religious houses to his house, at the tomb of the martyr, and he set over them an abbot named Willegod, to whom he granted the monastery itself, and all the rights of a king.

This great king, Offa, ruled over twenty-three provinces, which the English call shires, that is to say, over that of Hereford, whose bishop has his episcopal see in the city of the same name; over those of Worcester and Gloucester, whose bishop has his see at Worcester; over those of Warwick, Chester, Stafford, Shrewsbury, and Derby, the cathedral city of which shires is Lichfield; over Leicestershire, whose bishop has his see in the city of the same name; over Lincolnshire, the cathedral city of which is Lindesey; over the shires of Northampton, Oxford, Buckingham, Huntingdon, Cambridge, and half of Hertford, the see of the bishop of which is at

380 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 795.

Doncaster; over those of Essex, Middlesex, and the other half of Hertford, the bishop of which has his see in London; over Norfolk and Suffolk there are two bishops, the bishop of Helmham and the bishop of Dommuc; he also ruled over the province of Nottingham, the Christian government of which province belongs to the archbishop of York. And from all these provinces the aforesaid king gave the donation of the blessed Peter, which has been spoken of before, and which is called in English Romescot.

Moreover, that most mighty king, Offa, gave to the blessed proto-martyr Alban, his own lordly town, which is abont twenty miles from Verulamium, and is called Mueslaw, and an equal space round it, as is testified to this day by the writings of the king which are contained in the afore-mentioned church. Which church is eminent for such extraordinary liberties and privileges, that it is the only place exempt from the apostolic customs, and from the payment which is called Romescot, though neither king nor archbishop, nor bishop, abbot nor prior, nor any one else in the whole kingdom is exempt from the payment of it. And the abbot, or archdeacon monk, appointed under him, exercises pontifical power over priests and laymen throughout his whole possessions, so that he owes no obedience to any archbishop or legate, save only to the Supreme Pontiff. This also should be known, that when the great king Offa granted this established revenue to the vicar of the blessed Peter, the pontiff of the Roman city, when, that is to say, he gave him the payment of Romescot throughout his realm, he also prevailed on the Roman pontiff to grant that the church of Alban, the proto-martyr of the Angles, might faithfully collect this same Romescot from the whole of the province of Hertford, in which this church that we have so often mentioned is situated, and having collected it, might retain it for its own use. On which account, as the church itself has, as a gift from the king, all manner of royal rights, so the abbot of the place for the time being has a right to wear the full pontifical ornaments. And this is enough to say at the present time about the holy Alban.

[A.D. 795.] Humbert, archbishop of Lichfield, died, and was succeeded by Higbert. The same year, some terrible prodigies alarmed the miserable nation of the English. For fearful lightnings and dragons, blazing in a dreadful manner, were seen to fly through the air, signs which foreshowed a mighty famine,

A.D. 797.] POPE ADRIAN DIES. 381

and a terrible slaughter among mankind. Accordingly, the Danes came on with the Norwegians, and slew in a fearful manner the people of the provinces of Northumberland and Lindisfarne, and destroyed the churches of Christ with their inhabitants. The island of Lindisfarne, which extends over more than eight miles, contains a noble monastery, in which the illustrious father and bishop Cuthbert was buried, and also the other bishops who were his holy successors; but the Lindis is a small brook which runs into the sea, and is about two feet in width when the tide is low and the stream distinguishable, but when the tide is high, then the Lindis cannot be discerned.

[A.D. 796.] Constantine, the emperor, deprived many of his subjects of their eyes, and condemned to a cruel death pope Stephen, whom he had shut up in a prison, and kept prisoner for forty years; and he compelled all his subjects who were objects of suspicion to him, to swear on the word of the holy cross, that they would worship no image of God or his Saints, and that they would address no invocations to the mother of God. And condemning all those who kept watch in honour of God, and all who lived religiously, deprived them of their patrimonies, and tormented them in every possible manner. In the case of those who were the most pious, he smeared their beards with wax or pitch, and then set fire to them. And he compelled monks to marry wives, and nuns to marry husbands; which many refusing to do, came to the palm of martyrdom. Nor is there any persecution of a gentile in which more persons are said to have been martyred than in this one. This year also, Sigar, the general, who had slain the blessed king Alfwold in a shameful manner, perished by deserved tortures.

[A.D. 797.] Pope Adrian died, and was succeeded by Leo, who filled the papal chair twenty years, five months, and sixteen days, and the see was vacant three days. The same year, there were seen around the sun three other suns, intimating perhaps the death of the many kings and nobles who this year departed from this life. The same year, Ethelred, king of Northumberland, forsook his proper wife, and married a fresh one; on which account he was slain by his own people. And Osred succeeded him in his kingdom; but he died on the twenty-fifth day of his reign, and Eardulf succeeded to the kingdom, and reigned ten years. This year also.

382 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 797.

Eanbald, archbishop of York, died, and Eanbald the Second succeeded him. The same year, Ethelbert, king of Kent, died, and was succeeded by Eadbert. About the same time, Ethelhard succeeded to the administration of the archbishopric of Canterbury, as successor to Iambert, the previous archbishop.

On the twenty-eighth day of July died Offa, king of Mercia, and his son Egbert succeeded to his glorious kingdom, and reigned a hundred and forty-one days, and died before the end of the same year. He was succeeded by Kenulf, a great man, and very happy in a pious family, who governed the kingdom in peace, justice, and piety. After the death of Egfred, king of Kent, Eadbert, who is also called Pren, succeeded to that kingdom; he reigned three years, and was then taken prisoner, and carried away by Kenulf.

The following letter [1] was written by Charlemagne to Offa:- "Charles, by the grace of God, king of France and Lombardy, and patrician of Rome, to the venerable man, our dearest brother Offa, king of Mercia, health. In the first place we return thanks to Almighty God for the sincerity of the catholic faith, which we find most excellently expressed in your pages. And as to the foreigners who, for the love of God and salvation of their souls, desire to approach the threshold of the blessed apostles, let them come in all peace, as far as we are concerned, without any alarm. But if there be any persons found among them who are not obeying the dictates of religion, but who are only in the pursuit of gain, they must pay the appointed dues at the proper places. We are willing also that traders shall, in accordance with our command, have legitimate patronage in this our kingdom; and if in any place they are treated with unjust oppression, they shall have an appeal to us or to our judges, and we will take care that fall justice is done them. Moreover, let your beloved highness know, that we have sent some presents from our dalmatics and pallia to each of the episcopal sees of your kingdom, or of that of king Ethelred, being the fruit of the kindness of our lord the apostle Adrian. And, we entreat you that you will order intercession to be made for him, having no doubt that his blessed soul is at rest. And in order that we may show our faith and affection for you who are most dear to us, we have, out of the treasure of human riches


[1] This letter is very nearly identical with that given under the year 775.

A.D. 797.] EGFRID ENDOWS THE CHURCH OF ST. ALBAN. 383

which the Lord Jesus, out of his undeserved mercy, has bestowed on us, sent some gifts to your metropolitan cities, and for your own beloved highness we have thought proper to send one belt, one Hungarian sword, and two silk robes. Farewell"!

The same year, as is the opinion of many writers, Offa, the magnificent king of Mercia, having built a most truly noble monastery, after the discovery of the body of the blessed Alban, in the town which is called Offaeleia, died, and his body was borne to the town of Bedford, and is said to have been buried with royal magnificence in a chapel outside the town, built on the banks of the river Usk. And to this day the report of nearly all the people of that district affirms, that the aforesaid chapel was destroyed by length of time and by the violence of the river, and was, together with the royal sepulchre, by the rapidity of the stream thrown down into the water; and in consequence, even to the present day, that sepulchre is at times clearly seen in the deep water by men who bathe in the river there in the summer, while at other times, as if there were some fate about it, if you seek for it ever so carefully, you cannot find it.

That most valiant king, Offa, was succeeded in his kingdom by Egfrid, his son, who in his father's life-time had reigned with him as his colleague for eight years; therefore, as soon as Egfrid, who was an excellent youth, and endowed with great nobleness of disposition, was confirmed in his kingdom, he, treading in the pious footsteps of his father, devoutly gave to the church of the blessed Alban, the proto-martyr of the English, many estates and possessions, and by his special decree confirmed them, and all the other estates which his father had given to the aforesaid church, in the enjoyment of all the royal privileges which it now has, or which a king can confer on any church. And in order that his donation might have the force of perpetual duration, he, according to the custom of the Roman Church, added to the deed the subscription of all the bishops, and counts, and barons of his empire, and also the sign of the cross. And, moreover, avoiding in all things to imitate the covetousness of his father, he with ready devotion rescued all the different possessions of which he had stripped any monastery, with a view to the exaltation of his own kingdom, and he by a special decree confirmed their possessions to all who requested such a measure.

384 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 798.

Likewise, being softened by the request of Ethelhard, archbishop of Canterbury, he would have willingly restored to him the dignities of which archbishop Iambert had been deprived, as has been stated before, if an untimely death had not removed him from mankind, for he died on the hundred and forty-first day after the decease of his father, and so gave all the people of his kingdom cause for great grief, on which I think that we ought not to suppose that so noble a youth died for his sins, but rather that he was taken away because his father had spilt much to strengthen himself in his kingdom. He was succeeded in the kingdom of Mercia by Kenulf a noble man, the son of Cuthbert, and great-great-grandson of king Wibba, who reigned twenty-four years. He by his wife Alfritha became the father of Kenelm, who was afterwards a Saint, and of two daughters, Quendrida and Burgenilda.

The same year, after the before-mentioned king of Mercia, Kinulf, had been invested with the crown of the kingdom, he displayed his character religious in his palace, and in war victorious as a lion. And Ethelhard, archbishop of Canterbury, and Eanbald, archbishop of York, came to him, and consulted him respecting the lost dignities of the church of Canterbury. And when the king fully understood how much wickedness his predecessor Offa had committed in mutilating the diocese of Canterbury, he with great devotion restored the custom of antiquity. Accordingly, Ethelhard sending letters, both from himself and from all the bishops in England, to Pope Leo, the successor of Adrian, and himself discharging the especial functions of an ambassador, obtained what he asked. On which account it is related, very highly to the praise and glory of that archbishop, that he restored the pristine dignity of the see, which it behoves you his successors carefully to guard. The same year, Mildred, bishop of Worcester, died, and was succeeded by Weremund; and again in the same year, Eanbald, archbishop of York, received the pallium, and afterwards ordained Eadred as successor to Ethelbert, uniting bishop Higbald with him to the honour of the pontificate; and this happened on the twenty-ninth of October, at a place which is called Wudaford.

[A.D. 798.] Kinulf, king of Mercia, traversed the province of Kent in a hostile manner, and ravaged it, and took pnsoner their king Eadbert, who was surnamed Pren, and who was unable to contend with him, and brought him back with

A.D. 798.] THE VIRGIN APPEARS TO POPE LEO. 385

him in chains in triumph. But not long afterwards, when he was dedicating the church at Winchelcombe, which he had founded, on the day of the consecration he released the captive king before the altar, and gave him his liberty. There was present there Cuthred, whom king Kinulfus had set over the see of Canterbury, in the place of the before-mentioned Eadbert. The church reechoed with applause, the streets resounded with men running to and fro, because in an assembly of thirteen bishops and ten dukes no one had suffered any denial of liberality, but every one went away with his pouch full. For besides the presents which the chief men received of incalculable value and number, in utensils, and garments, and fine horses, there was given to all who had no estate a pound of silver, and to each priest a mark of gold, and to each monk a broad piece, and last of all, he distributed many gifts among the general crowd. He also enriched the monastery with such ample revenues, as would appear incredible at the present time.

The same year, Eanbald, archbishop of York, convened a synod at Finchale. About the same time, Eardulf, king of Northumberland, fought a battle against duke Wad and some of his fellow conspirators, in the place which is called Bilingeho. But at last, after many had been slain on both sides, the king obtained a most royal victory over this enemy. Hirenes reined by herself for three years.

When Leo, while a young man, was doing penance for wanton conduct, and while he was praying before the altar of the blessed Virgin, she appeared to him, saying, "Leo, correct your excesses, and I will promote you to the highest rank". He, remembering these words, abandoned the study of rhetoric, and betook himself to that of theology, and becoming changed into quite another man, he became chaste and modest, and diligent and learned. And he became a most skilful rhetorician and theologian. Therefore when the apostolic see became vacant he was raised to it, and when he was celebrating solemn mass for the first time, an offering of no small magnitude was made to him. For among those who were bringing offerings, a certain woman, to whom, as it was said, he had had access in former times, sweetly pressed the hand of Leo himself, and while pressing it kissed it, till she raised the flame of lust in the pope. He, reminding himself of the

386 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 800.

solemn duties in which he had heen engaged, while he was sitting in the conclave, suddenly cut off his hand, according to that gospel, "if your foot or your hand shall offend you, cut it off and cast it from thee", etc. etc. And afterwards, as he was often invited to officiate, and constantly excused himself, and yet as the brethren would give him no respite, because they did not know that he was mutilated, the pope withdrew himself into a secret place, and prostrating himself in devout prayer before the altar of the Blessed Virgin, he said, "O most merciful Virgin, you have hitherto promoted me and raised me up; look now upon me, miserable that I am, now that I have taken vengeance on my transgressions, that I may not be confounded at the last; now therefore do you give me comfort, lest I complain, and say you have crushed me by raising me". Therefore the blessed mother of mercy restored a new hand to the mutilated arm. Accordingly, the pope, who had hitherto preserved his former hand which he had cut off, having convened the brethren, explained to them in order all the events which had happened, that the glory of the holy Virgin might not be concealed. And he showed to them, aye, and to the whole church, the hand which he had formerly cut off, and he did not conceal the cause; and he told them how, while he was prostrate in prayer, the blessed Virgin appeared to him and restored his hand to his mutilated arm. And a rule was then made, that from that time forward those who brought offerings should not kiss the hand of the pope, but his foot; though it had formerly been the custom that the hand should be kissed, and not the foot. In memory of this miracle, the hand which was cut off is still preserved in the Lateran treasury, and it is kept free from decay by the Lord, in honour of his mother.

[A.D. 799.] The Romans being at variance among themselves, seized pope Leo, a holy man, and one worthy of all praise, and bound him, and cut out his tongue, and tore out his eyes, and at last expelled him from the Roman see, and leaving him half dead amid the blasphemies of the executioners, they committed a foul crime. But the piteous and merciful Lord, who does not forsake those who hope in him, mercifully restored him his tongue and his eyes, and enabling him to see and to preach the word of faith better than he had done before, restored him to his former dignity.

[A.D. 800.] A most wicked army of pagans cruelly plundered

A.D. 801.] POPE LEO CROWNS CHARLEMAGNE. 387

the churches of Hercene and Tynemouth, and fled with the spoils to their ships. The same year, Eadred, bishop of Hagustald, died, and Eadbert succeeded in his stead. And the same year, Alcmund, son of king Eadred, was seized by the guardians of Eardulf, king of Northumberknd, and by his command was slain with those who had deserted Eardulf. The same year, on the twenty-third of December, a great wind came from Africa, and with its terrible blast tore up by the roots cities and trees, and the sea breaking its bounds, caused a great loss of cattle in different places.

The same year, Charlemagne, king of France, a king of extraordinary valour, with a countless host of armed men entered the city of Rome, and visited the holy places many times. And having stayed in that city for some months, he adorned the church of Peter and Paul, the Apostles of Christ, with royal gifts, of gold and silver and precious stones. He also honoured Leo, the venerable pope, with numerous presents of various kinds, and scattering his adversaries, slew some, and drove others into banishment, and caused some to be even hung on the gallows.

[A.D. 801.] When king Charlemagne, in the city of Rome, had arranged many things which had reference to the honour of God and the advantage of the people, on the day of the Nativity of our Lord, he entered the church of Peter, the chief of the Apostles, with his dukes, and magistrates, and soldiers, and a great retinue. And there he was invested by pope Leo with a royal robe, and a golden crown was placed upon his head, and a royal sceptre was given into his hand. And on that day, that great emperor deserved this dignity and magnificence; so as to be called the emperor of the whole world, as in fact he was. And at the same time, ambassadors of the Greeks were sent with gifts of inestimable value from the city of Constantinople to Charles, begging him earnestly to condescend to accept that empire. And while these ambassadors were still at Rome, messengers were sent from Jerusalem, from the Christians there, both clergy and laity, to Charles, who had been lately created emperor, bringing to the king, among other gifts, a silver standard, with the keys of the most holy places, and they arrived on the day of our Lord's resurrection, and they brought him many other things, entreating him to condescend to be their defender and governor. The most pious emperor consented to the desires of

388 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 802.

all who came to him, and promised that he would not only be ready to conquer the enemies of the cross on earth, but also on the sea, if necessity required it. For he understood that states were happy if either those who studied wisdom governed them, or if their governors were willing to apply themselves to the study of wisdom. Then he went to the city of Ravenna, and carefully deliberated with his nobles on the subjects that have been already mentioned.

[A.D. 802.] Brithric, king of the West Saxons, died by poison in this manner. This king had, as has been related above, a queen named Eadburga, daughter of Offa, king of Mercia, who being elated by her many honours, gave herself up to strange thoughts of ambition. For being excited by maternal tyranny, she was in the habit of accusing all the men of noble birth in the kingdom who had been ordained, and all the men of any religious orders, to the king, and to curse them, on which account she became hated by the princes and dukes, and nobles, and the whole nation. And in this way that wicked woman so won over the king by her blandishments, that he either put to death or banished every one whom she accused. And if she could not prevail on the king to do this, she was accustomed to kill them secretly by poison. Now there was at this time a young man of illustrious family, very intimate with the king, and wholly devoted to him, against whom the wicked queen brought her accusations in vain, on which account she took him off by poison. And as the king, without knowing it, tasted the same poison, he died immediately, though she had not designed to administer poison to the king, but only to the young man. However, they both drank of it, and both died of the fatal draught. When, therefore, the king had been killed in this manner, that wicked woman was greatly alarmed, and fled with incalculable treasures and crossed the sea, and went to the court of Charlemagne, king of France, and made him many presents. And when this wickedest of all women, although one of most exquisite beauty, stood before the king, the monarch addressed her thus: "Choose, Eadburga, whichever you prefer to marry, me or my son, who is my comfort". But she, without taking time for deliberation, discarding all restraint of modesty, answered and said, "If an option or liberty of choice were given to me, I should choose your son rather than yon, because he is younger". Then the king, perceiving that she was influenced

A.D. 805.] ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY DIES. 389

only by the desire of gratifying her lust, made her this elegant reply: "If you had chosen me, you should have had my son; but because you have chosen him, you shall neither have me nor him". But the king, on account of her wickedness and excessive beauty, gave her a noble nunnery of women, in which, having laid aside her secular garments, out of hypocrisy, and assumed the habiliments of a nun, she filled the place of abbess for a few years. In a short time afterwards, while she was cursing some of her sacred duties, she is said to have been ravished by a low-born man of her own nation. Accordingly, the king ordered her to be expelled from the holy nunnery, as a woman taken in adultery; and after that she passed her time in poverty, most miserably and shamefully, to the end of her life.

And when king Brithric was killed in this manner, Egbert succeeded him in his kingdom, and reigned thirty-six years. He was descended from the royal family of his nation, and with great might added many kingdoms to his empire. The same year, Eadbert, bishop of London, died, and was succeeded by Edgar.

CH. XV.- FROM A.D. 803 to A.D. 870.

Egbert begins to subdue the other kingdoms of the Heptarchy - Charlemagne summons five councils in France - Dies - Egbert becomes sole king of England - Subdues Wales - The Danes land at Sheppey - Are defeated by Egbert - He dies - They return a second time - Constant wars between them and the English - Alfred, son of Ethelwolf is born - Story of the old woman of Berkeley - Ethelwolf devotes a tenth part of his kingdom to the service of God - He takes Alfred to Rome - Ethelwolf dies - Saint Swithan - Alfred marries - The Danes overrun England and Scotland - Death of King Edmund.

[A.D. 803.] Higbald, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and was succeeded by Egbert; this Higbald was present at the ravages committed by the Danes in the province of Northumberland, which have been already mentioned.

[A.D. 804.] Beornred, bishop of Rochester, died, and was succeeded in his bishopric by Puthric.

[A.D. 805.] Ethelhard, archbishop of Canterbury, died, who (as had been foretold to him) received with great power the dignity

390 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 814.

of the church of Canterbury, which had been lost. He was succeeded by Wilfrid, who governed that see twenty-eight years.

[A.D. 806.] Wilfrid, the archbishop of Canterbury, who has been mentioned before, received the pallium, and was confirmed in his dignity.

[A.D. 807.] Cuthred, king of Kent, died, and was succeeded in his kingdom by Baldred.

[A.D. 808.] Eardulf, king of Northumberland, was driven from his kingdom, and succeeded by Alfwold, who reigned two years; and it was that same Alfwold who drove him out, and occupied his kingdom.

[A.D. 809.] Egbert, king of the West Saxons, approached in a hostile manner that district which is called Cornwall, and made himself master of it, and added it to his kingdom, after some battles, ih which many persons were slain on both sides.

[A.D. 810.] Alfwold, king of Northumberland, died, and Eandred reigned in his stead, and reigned thirty-two years. The same year, Egbert subjugated the northern Britons, and compelled them to become tributary to him.

[A.D. 811.] King Egbert compelled the Welch to pay him tribute, as he had in the past year compelled the northern Britons; and he traversed all their territories, piercing their borders in every part; and ravaging their country from north to south with fire, he plundered it, and then returned to his own kingdom.

[A.D. 812.] Saint Amandus was exhumed at the monastery of Elms, in France, and his body was found uninjured at a distance of a hundred and fifty-two years from his death; and his hair and nails required to be cut, as they appeared to have grown; and when some of his teeth were extracted out of his mouth with a forceps, blood flowed from the gums, which is still preserved, and is of miraculous power.

[A.D. 813.] Charlemagne, king of France, and patrician of Rome, ordered councils to be held throughout Gaul; one at Mayence, a second at Rheims, a third at Tours, a fourth at Chalons, and a fifth at Arles; at which councils some chapters of Holy Scriptures, necessary to the Universal Church, are said to have had their interpretation settled.

[A.D. 814.] Charlemagne, king of France, and emperor of Rome, died, after he had reigned forty-five years. And he was succeeded by his son Lewis.

A.D. 818.] POPE STEPHEN DIES. 391

The same year, Wilfrid, archbishop of Canterbury and Wibert, bishop of Sherborne, went to Rome, on the business of the Anglican Church.

The following is a statement made by Turpin, archbishop of Rheims:-

"But a short time ago, the death of king Charlemagne was intimated to me in the following manner. On a certain day, when I was at Menna, standing in the church before the altar, rapt in ecstasy, and occupied in my prayers, and singing the psalm, 'God, come thou to my aid', I saw innumerable hosts of odious-looking soldiers pass before me, and bend their course towards Lothogaringia; and when they had all passed, I saw one of them, resembling an Ethiopian, following the others with a slow step, to whom I said, 'Whither are ye going'? and he replied, 'To Aix-la-Chapelle are we going, to the death of Charlemagne, in order to carry his spirit off to hell'. And I said to him, 'I adjure you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that after you have accomplished your journey, and effected your object, you do not refuse to return to me'. Then, after a short interval, almost before I had finished my psalm, they returned to me in the same order. And I said to the last one, to whom I had originally spoken, 'What have you done'? And the devil said, 'We weighed the actions of Charles, but Galetian, without any regard to the sum of them, put so many huge stones, and such a countless quantity of beams from his churches, in the scale, that his good deeds weighed more than his evil ones, and therefore he took his soul away from us'. Having said this, the devil disappeared. And, therefore, I understood that on that day Charlemagne had departed from this life, and had been deservedly transferred, by the assistance of the blessed James (to whom he had built many churches), to the kingdom of heaven".

[A.D. 815.] Louis, king of France, received consecration at Rome, as emperor, from the hands of pope Leo.

[A.D. 816.] The holy pope, Leo, died; and Stephen succeeded him in the Roman chair, and filled it for one year.

[A.D. 817.] Pope Stephen died, and Paschal succeeded him in the Roman chair, which he filled for seven years and seventeen days. The same year, the English school at Rome was burnt with fire.

[A.D. 818.] Seloamer, king of the Abroditae, was driven from

392 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 821.

his kingdom by the emperor Louis, and passed over to the Danes.

[A.D. 819.] Bernard, king of Italy, was accused of having conspired against the emperor, and being convicted of lese majesty, was deprived, first of all his kingdom, then of his eyes, and at last of his life.

[A.D. 820.] By the arrangements of the emperor Louis, a general assembly of bishops and abbots was held at Aix-la-Chapelle, at which certain articles were agreed on, which were necessary for the use of monks and nuns. Kenulf, the father of Kenelm, founded the abbey of Winchelcombe, in a manner sufficient to support two hundred monks.

[A.D. 821.] Kenulph, king of Mercia, died, and his body received burial at Winchelcombe. He was succeeded in his kingdom by Kenelm, his son, whom, when he was seven years old, his father had entrusted to his sister Quendrida, to be brought up by her. But she, being seduced by a wicked desire of reigning, gave her nephew to one of the guards, who had been educated by her, with injunctions to kill him. He took the innocent boy out, as if to hunt, and having cut off his head, hid him among the bushes; and, marvellous to relate, the crime which was perpetrated so secretly in England, was made known at Rome by Divine revelation. For a white dove flew over the altar of the blessed Peter, the chief of the apostles, and dropped upon it a paper, which gave regular information of the death of the holy king and martyr, Kenelm, and also of the place where he was buried, but, as this paper was written in golden characters of the English language, it was in vain endeavoured to be deciphered by the Romish priests, and by any others who were present, and who, at the pope's command, endeavoured to make it out. But, in good time, an angel came to them, who, translating the paper into the Latin language, caused an epistle of the Roman pontiff to give information to the kings of England of their martyred compatriot. For, among other things contained in this paper, were these words: In clene fau bathe Kenelin fynebearne lith under thorne heaued by reaued: which means, in Latin, In clene fou bathe: that is, in the pasture of the cows, Kenelm, the son of the king, lies under a bramble, deprived of his head, near the head. Therefore, as has been already said, the body of this blessed king having been

A.D. 826.] BERNULF SLAIN BY THE EAST ANGLES. 393

miraculously revealed to the kings of England, his youthful corpse was taken out of the cave, and, by a great multitude of clergy and nobles, conveyed to Winchelcombe. The parricidal, or rather fratricidal, woman, excited by the song of the clergy and laymen, and their eager applause at the discovery of this holy martyr, put her head out of the window of the chamber in which she was standing, and sang the psalm, "Lord, do not thou be silent about my glory"; and then, designing I know not what sorcery, repeating it backwards, she endeavoured to check the joy of the singers; and when she had got back from the end to this verse, "This would be their work, who speak ill of me before the Lord", both her eyes burst at once from their sockets, and fell down upon the page which she was reading. And to this day, that psalter, wrought in silver, and bedewed with the blood of her eyes that fell, shews the mark of this seizure of hers. And of the martyrdom of this holy youth, some one speaks thus:

"There lies beneath the thorn, by foulest murder torn,
Deprived of his head, the royal Kenelm dead".

And the holy Kenelm was succeeded in the kingdom of Mercia by Ceolwulf, his uncle, who reigned two years, although he was in a short time deprived of his kingdom.

[A.D. 822.] Some earth in Saxony swelled up for the space of a league, in the form of a rampart, to the astonishment of many.

[A.D. 823.] Ceolwulf was expelled from the kingdom of Mercia, and was succeeded by Bernulf, who reigned four years.

[A.D. 824.] A girl, twelve years of age, after the sacred communion on the day of Easter, abstained first of all from bread ten days, and after that from all meat and drink for three years, and then she returned to the ordinary usages of life. Eugenius became pope of Rome.

[A.D. 825.] Egbert, king of the West Saxons, fought a battle against Bernulf, king of Mercia, who was invading his territories in a hostile manner, at Ellendown, in which a great number of men in both kings' armies were slain, and Egbert returned a fatal conqueror to his own kingdom.

[A.D. 826.] Bernulf, the before-mentioned king of Mercia, was slain by the East Angles, because he endeavoured to invade that kingdom, and to claim it, as having been his own ever since the time of king Offa. The same year, the bodies of the holy martyrs Marcellinus and Peter were removed from

394 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 830.

Rome and conveyed to France, where they became famous for many miracles. Ludican succeeded king Bernulf.

[A.D. 827.] Valentine succeded pope Eugenius, and governed the see forty days. Egbert, king of the West Saxons, sent Ethelwolf, his son, with Ethelstan, bishop of Sherburne, and Wyhard, a commander, into Kent, with a very numerous body of troops, who drove king Baldred across the river Thames, and reduced the kingdom of Kent, and also Sussex, under the power of king Egbert. And this year also, the East Angles received king Egbert as their patron and lord. And at last, Egbert was the only one left of eight kings, and he had subdued and made himself master of the whole of this island, from the river Humber to the south coast and Gallic Channel This year, Gregory became bishop of Rome, and filled that see sixteen years.

[A.D. 828.] Ludican, king of Mercia was slain by king Egbert, and was succeeded in his kingdom by Wilafer, who was immediately driven out by king Egbert, and passed three years in banishment. And at the same time, Egbert defeated Swithred, king of the East Saxons, and drove him too from his kingdom. And when Swithred had been driven away, the kings of the West Saxons occupied that kingdom. The same year, there rained, near Vaison, in France, a shower of corn, like wheat, only with shorter and rounder grains. This year also, Egbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and was succeeded by Eardulf.

[A.D. 829.] When Egbert, king of the West Saxons, had made himself master of all the southern kingdoms of England, he led a great army into Northumberland, and fearfully ravaged and overwhelmed that province, and compelled Eandred, its king, to pay tribute. This year is the four thousand seven hundred and eighty-eighth year from the beginning of tht world, and the end of the ninth great year from the beginning of the world, each great year consisting of five hundred and thirty-two years.

[A.D. 830.] The most mighty king Egbert, leading a powerful army into Wales, reduced all the Welsh, with their kings, to a voluntary submission to his dominion. The same year, the same king Egbert, being moved by pity, permitted Wilaf, king of Mercia, to hold his kingdom under him, on condition of the payment of tribute.

A.D. 837.] EGBERT, KING OF THE WEST SAXONS, DIES. 395

[A.D. 831.] Theophilus became emperor of Constantinople. The same year, Wolf, archbishop of York, paid the debt of nature, and was succeeded by Wymond.

[A.D. 832.] Wilfrid, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and was succeeded by Ceolnoth, who received the pallium the following year.

[A.D. 833.] The army of the Danes, unbelieving pirates, after they had been defeated and put to flight at Dunemuth, ravaged Sheppy, that is to say, the Isle of Sheep. For these pagans had put in there with thirty-five ships, and having ravaged that island, they sailed on and landed at the place which is called Carrum, and there they gave themselves up to plunder and rapine, and spared neither sex nor age.

[A.D. 834.] King Egbert, having collected a large army, directed his standards and army against the aforesaid pagans; but, after great slaughter had taken place on both sides, prevailed by the fortune of war. In these battles there fell, among others, Herefrid, bishop of Winchester, and Sigelm, bishop of Sherborne; with duke Dudda, and duke Osmund. And Edmund succeeded Herefrid, and Ethelwold succeeded Sigelm.

[A.D. 835.] The Welsh united their forces to those of the Danes, and the two together invaded the kingdom of Egbert with fire and sword, and endeavoured to destroy his castles and towns. But when king Egbert heard this, he met the enemy with a numerous army, and, when they resisted, he made a great slaughter of them, and at length he compelled the Danes and the Welsh to betake themselves to a ruinous flight, and delivered his country from the irruption of the enemy.

[A.D. 836.] The same king, Egbert, overwhelmed with a severe defeat, and utterly routed and put to flight, a fresh army of the Danes which came over.

[A.D. 837.] Pope Gregory, who had been previously called Leo the Fourth, called a new city, which he had lately completed, Leonia, aiter his own name. The same year, Egbert, king of the West Saxons, passed from this world, after he had reigned thirty-seven years and seven months, and was buried at Winchester. And his son, Ethelwolf, whom some call Eadulf, succeeded him, and reigned twenty years and five months. This Ethelwolf had, by his queen, four illustrious

396 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 838.

sons of whom the eldest was named Eadbald, the second Ethelbert, the third Ethelred, and the youngest Alfred, all of whom reigned in succession after their father. He also had a fifth son, named Athelstan, who was not born in wedlock, to whom he gave all the kingdoms which his father Egbert had acquired by force of arms, remaining contented himself with the kingdom of the West Saxons only.

[A.D. 838.] The Danes landed in the port of Southampton with thirty-three ships, with great confidence and pride; but count Ulfward having slain many thousands of them in a pitched battle, compelled them to depart with disgrace. But the same year, not long afterwards, the same pagans landed at Portsmouth, and began to ravage the country. And when the news got abroad, duke Ethelhelm met them with the men of Dorset, and put them to flight; but using his strength inconsiderately, he advanced with his men without sufficient regularity, and so was slain by the enemy.

Now then, since we have come to that great and horrible calamity which, on account of their sins, was inflicted by means of the Danes on the English nation, it may be well to explain briefly to our readers the cause of this disaster, that it may serve aa a caution to future ages.

In the primitive church of the Angles religion shone most brightly, so that kings and queens, princes and dukes, counts and barons, and rulers of churches, being all inflamed with the desire of life in heaven, vied with one another, as we have already shown, in seeking a monastic life, a spontaneous banishment, a life of solitude, and left all to follow their Lord. But, in process of time, all virtue decayed so much in them, that no nation appeared equal to them in treachery or fraud. Nor was there anything hated by them except piety, and justice, and honour. Nothing was dear to them except wars, worse even than civil wars, and the spilling of innocent blood. Therefore, Almighty God sent against them pagan nations, most cruel people, like swarms of bees, who spared neither the sex of women nor the age of infants, namely, Danes and Norwegians, Goths, Swedes, Vandals, and Frieslanders, who, from the beginning of the reign of king Ethelwold till the arrival of the Romans, for nearly two hundred and thirty years destroyed this sinful land from sea to sea, and from man to beast. Since, though they were constantly invading England

A.D. 842.] THE ARMY OF THE DANES RAVAGES ENGLAND. 397

from all quarters, they did not labour to subdue it or to become master of it, but only to ravage and plunder it. And if they were at times defeated, the English gained nothing by that, as a more numerous fleet and army came from some other quarter unexpectedly and suddenly. Forsooth, while the English kings were marching to the eastern side of the kingdom to fight them, before they could reach the hostile battalions, a messenger would hasten up, saying, "O king, whither are you going? Behold now a countless fleet of barbarians is occupying the coast on the southern part of the kingdom, and ravaging the cities and towns, and laying waste with fire and sword every thing that it can meet with". And just in the same way, similar news would come from the east, or west, or north, and despair the natives of all hope of safety. And thus the kings, distracted with bad news and evil messages, went forth with cowed spirits, and entered on a doubtful contest against the invading enemy. And the consequence was, that sometimes the English were victorious, and sometimes the enemy.

[A.D. 839.] Count Herbert fought agamst the pagans st Merswar; where, as the Danes attacked gallantly, and his own men ran away, the said count died.

[A.D. 840.] Eandred, king of Northumberland, died, and was succeeded by Ethelred, his son, who reigned seven years.

[A.D. 841.] An army of pagans marched in a hostile manner through the eastern parts of England, that is to say, through Kent and East Anglia, where they slaughtered a vast multitude of men. And in the same year, the same pagans ravaged the district of Lindsey. The same year, Lewis, the pious king of the French, and patrician of the Romans, died, and was succeeded by Lothaire, who reigned fifteen years.

[A.D. 842.] The wicked army of the Danes penetrated more deeply into England, and slew a vast number of persons of both sexes around Canterbury and Rochester, and the city of London. Theodolph Aurelian, a bishop, being accused of felony before Lewis, the emperor, son of Charlemagne, by some of his rivals, was by him committed to prison at Andegavi. And when, on the Lord's day, a procession with branches of palm leaves was passing by the prison in which he was guarded, he opened the window, and silence having been produced, he chaunted these most beautiful verses,

398 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 849.

"Glory and praise, and honour", of his own composition, in the presence of the emperor; and the emperor was so highly pleased with them, that he soon released him from his bondage, and restored his bishopric; and he established a rule, that these verses should be chaunted on this day at the end of the procession as it entered the church.

[A.D. 843.] Lothaire, king of the French and emperor of the Romans, marching into Saxony, with great courage put down a very formidable conspiracy of freedmen, who wished to crush their masters, and condemned the ringleaders of the sedition to death.

[A.D. 844.] Sergius, who is also called Pelagius, was appointed to the Roman chair, and governed that see three years. The same year, Ethelwolf, king of the West Saxons, fought the nation of the Danes at Carrum, but the Danes got the victory. The same year, Ethelred, king of Northumberland, was driven from his kingdom, and was succeeded by Readwolf, who, immediately after he was invested with the crown, fought a battle against the pagans at Aluethelie, in which he and his commander Alfred fell with the greatest part of his troops; and after this, Ethelred became king a second time.

[A.D. 845.] Duke Earnulf, with the men of Somerset, and duke Osric, with the men of Dorset, and with Alstan, bishop of Sherburne, fought a battle against the Danes at Pedredesmouth, and made a great slaughter of the enemy, and gained the victory. The same year, Egbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and was succeeded by Eanbert.

[A.D. 846.] Ethelstan, the bishop, and Alcher, the general, fought a battle at Sandwich against an immense army of the pagans, and took nine of their largest ships, and put the rest to flight.

[A.D. 847.] Pope Leo occupied the see of Rome, and ruled it for eight years, three months, and six days; and the see was vacant two months. The same year, Eadbert, bishop of Worcester, died, and was succeeded by Alhun.

[A.D. 848.] Ethelred, king of Northumberland, was slain, and was succeeded by Osbert, who reigned in his stead eighteen years. The same year, an eclipse of the sun took place at six o'clock, on the first of October.

[A.D. 849.] A son was born to Ethelwolf, king of the West

A.D. 851.] ETHELWOLF DEFEATS THE PAGANS. 399

Saxons, in the province of Berkshire, in the royal town which is called Wantage, who, at the sacred regeneration of baptism, received the name of Alfred. His mother's name was Osburga, a very religious woman, of noble family and great abilities, and she was the daughter of Aslat, the illustrious cupbearer of king Ethelwolf. And Aslat was descended from the Goths and Jutes, of the family of two brothers, whose names were Scuphus and Withgar. They, having received power from their uncle, the king of the West Saxons, and from Kenric, their cousin, first of all slew a few Britons in the Isle of Wight, whom they found inhabiting the said island, in a place which is called Withgaresburg, that is to say, the town of Withgar; and after that, as I have said before, they occupied and made themselves masters of the whole island.

The same year, on the vigil of the day of Pentecost, Berthfer, son of the king of Mercia, wickedly slew his kinsman, the son of Bertulf, the holy Wolstan. And he was the grandson of two kings of Mercia. And the corpse of the deceased is said to have been conveyed to the most famous monastery of his time, which was called the monastery of Rependune, and to have been buried in the tomb of his grandfather, king Wilaf. But heavenly miracles were not wanting to his martyrdom. For, from the spot where he was murdered in his innocence, a pillar of light rose up to heaven, and was visible for thirty days to all the inhabitants of that place.

[A.D. 850.] The French were worsted in a terrible battle by the Bohemians; which battle a malignant spirit publicly professed by the mouth of a certain demoniac, that he had regulated, and that he, by his own labours and those of his companions the spirits, namely, pride and discord, had caused the French to fly before their enemies.

[A.D. 851.] A great army of pagans, with three hundred and fifty ships, entered the mouth of the Thames, and sacked Dorobernia, which is Canterbury, and put to flight Bertulf, king of Mercia, who had come against them to give them battle. And becoming more audacious still after this, they marched with all their force into Surrey. But when the news of this event was brought to Ethelwolf, king of the West Saxons, he collected a great army, and with his son Ethelbald, fought a battle against the pagans in a place which

400 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 852.

is called Acte, and defeated them, and inflicted an unheard-of slaughter upon them.

[A.D. 852.] Bertulf, king of Mercia, passed from this life, and was succeeded by Berthred, who reigned twenty-two years. He, in the first year of his reign, took for his wife the daughter of Ethelwolf, and by so doing established himself firmly in his kingdom. And his nuptials were celebrated in the royal town which is called Chippenham, where the damsel, Ethelswitha, received the title of queen.

About this time, a certain wicked woman, living in the town which is called Berkeley, [1] devoted to gluttony and wantonness, and even in her old age putting no limit to her crimes and witchcraft, continued immodest to the day of her death. One day, when she was sitting at dinner, a jackdaw, which she kept as a pet, began to chatter something or other. And when the woman heard it, her knife fell from her hand, and her face began to grow pale; and uttering a groan, she said, "This day I shall meet with a great disaster, for my plough has this day come to its last furrow". And when she had said this, a messenger of woe came in; and when the woman had asked him why he came, "I bring you news", said he, "of the death of your son, and of the decease of his whole family, by a sudden destruction". And the woman, being greatly affected by this misfortune, immediately took to her bed, and became afflicted with a sore disease. And when she found that it was creeping down to her vitals, she wrote a letter to summon her surviving children to her, and they consisted of two, a monk and a nun. And when they came, she addressed them thus, with a voice broken by sobs: "My children", said she, "I, to my great sorrow, have always been a slave to the practice of demoniacal arts. I have been a sink of all vices, a teacher of all unholy allurements. And yet, amid all this wickedness, I have always had a hope founded on your religion, which has steadied my despairing soul, and I have looked forward to finding you my defenders against devils, and my protectors against my most cruel enemies. Now, therefore, since I have come to the end of my life, I entreat you, by the breast on which I bare you, that you will endeavour to relieve my torments. When I am dead sew me up in the hide of a stag, and then place me in a stone sarcophagus, and fasten the lid upon it with iron and lead; and then


[1] Called Okeley by Hume.

A.D. 852.] STORY OF A CERTAIN WICKED WOMAN. 401

bind the stone round with three most powerful chains of iron, and employ fifty clerical singers of psalms to chaunt, and as many priests to celebrate masses for three days, and by these means to check the ferocious attacks of my adversaries. And if I lie in this way unmoved for three days, on the fourth day bury me in the ground".

Accordingly, everything was done as she had commanded them. But, alack the day! neither prayers, nor tears, nor chains were of any avail. For though on the two first nights the choirs of psalm-singers were watching by the body, the demons came and broke open the door of the church, which was shut fast with a mighty bolt, and easily burst asunder the two outer chains; but the middle one, which was the strongest, remained uninjured; and on the third night there was, ahout cockcrow, a noise as of enemies marching up, and the whole monastery seemed to be moved from its foundations. Then one of the demons, who was more formidable in countenance than the rest, and more conspicuous for his stature, shook down the doors of the church with a violent assault, and dashed them to pieces. Clergy and laity were stupified, all their hair stood on end, and the singing of psalms ceased. And then the demon, with arrogant gestures, as it seemed, proceeded to the tomb, and calling gently on the name of the woman, commanded her to rise. And when she replied that she could not because of her chains, "You shall quickly", said he, " be released, to your own misfortune". And in a moment he burst the chain which had mocked the fierceness of the other demons, as if it had been an hempen string. He also pitched aside the lid of the sepulchre, and in the sight of them all, dragged the woman out of the church, where before the doors was seen a horse neighing proudly, with iron hoofs, and nails projecting from him on all sides, and the wretched woman was thrown upon him, and so disappeared from the eyes of the bystanders. But her horrible cries, imploring help, were heard for nearly four miles.

Now this story which I have related will not be incredible, if the dialogue of the blessed Gregory he read, in which he relates that a man who had been buried in a church, was turned out of doors by demons. Moreover, among the French, Charles Martel, a man of illustrious courage, who compelled the Saracens who had invaded Gaul, to return to Spain, is related, when he had ended his course of this life, to have

402 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 854.

been buried in the church of the blessed Denys. But because, for the sake of the pay of his soldiers, he had tampered with his own patrimony, and also with the tithes of nearly all the churches of Gaul, he was carried away bodily out of the sepulchre, in a miserable manner, by malignant spirits, and has never been seen since to this very day.

[A.D. 853.] Ethelwolf, king of the West Saxons, and Beornred, king of Mercia, defeated the Midland Britons in battle, and compelled them to submit to their dominion.

[A.D. 854.] Wymond, archbishop of York, died, and was succeeded by Wolfer. The same year, Eanbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and was succeeded by Eardulf. The same year, the noble king Ethelwolf gave a tenth part of his kingdom, free from all secular services, exactions, and tributes to God and the blessed Mary, and all the saints. And I think it well to set forth here the deed of this donation, and the confirmation of the charter by which it was given, in order that his devotion may be known among all men.

"Though our Lord Jesus Christ reigns for ever and ever, nevertheless we see in our times wars, and conflagrations, and plundering of our resources, and various and inhuman afflictious of barbarian enemies, and nations of pagans laying waste our country and afflicting us to the very point of death, and we see perilous times at hand. Wherefore, I, Ethelwolf, king of the West Saxons, with the advice of my bishops and princes, have adopted a salutary counsel and one uniform remedy in giving up a certain portion of my territory to God and the blessed Mary, and to all the saints, to be possessed by them of everlasting right, to wit, one tenth part of all my territory, which shall be exempt from all gifts, and protected from all secular services, and from the tribute due to the king, both greater and less, and free also from the tax which is called Witeredden. And this land shall be free from all burdens for the release of souls, and for the remission of my sins, and dedicated to God above, without any charges on account of any expeditions, or buildings of bridges, or fortifications of citadels, in order that the priests may the more diligently pour forth prayers for us to God without intermission, in proportion as we by this donation do in some respects lighten their heavy burdens. And it has seemed good to Alstan, bishop of the church of Sherburne, and to Swithun, bishop of the church at Winchester, with their abbots, and with the

A.D. 854.] ALFRED CROWNED KING BY THE POPE. 403

servants of God, namely, the religious men and women, on whom the above benefits have been conferred, to adopt a rule that all the brethren and sisters shall, every week, on the day of Mercury, that is to say, on Wednesday, sing, in every church, fifty psalms; and that each priest shall celebrate two masses, one for the king and another for his dukes who consent to this measure, for the salvation and refreshing of their souls. And after we are dead, they shall discharge the same duty for the king separately, and for all his dukes together. And let this deed be firmly established for all the days of Christianity, as firmly as liberty is established, and let it last as long as the faith flourishes among the nation of the Enghsh". And the charter of this donation was written A.D. 855, on the fourth indiction, on the third of November, in the city of Winchester, before the greater altar of the blessed Apostle Peter.

After these events, Ethelwolf, the noble king of the West Saxons, having gone to Rome with great honour, took with him Alfred, his younger son, whom he beloved more than all the rest, in order that he might there be instructed by pope Leo in morals and religion. And when the king had stayed there with his son more than a year, he caused his son to be there crowned king by the pope, and a few days afterwards he returned to his own country, taking with him into England Judith, the daughter of Charles, [1] king of France, whom he had married. But in the meantime, while the king was delaying in the parts beyond the sea, there rose up a conspiracy of some of his nobles against the aforesaid king, the object of Ethelbald, the first- born son of the king, and of Alstan, bishop of Sherburne, and of Eandulf, count of the county of Somerset, to prevent the king, when he returned home from Rome, being received again into his kingdom. And there were two pretexts for this; one, because he had, while at Rome, procured his younger son Alfred to be crowned as king, as if his other sons were excluded from the kingdom; the other, because he had despised all the women of England, and taken to himself in wedlock a foreigner, the daughter of the king of France. Besides this, the before-mentioned conspirators heard that, contrary to the customs and laws of the kings of the West Saxons, he was wont to address Judith, the daughter of the king of France, whom he had lately espoused, as his queen, and caused


[1] This was Charles the Bald.

404 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 855.

her to sit at table and eat by his side. But the nation of the West Saxons does not permit the queen to sit by the side of the king, and considers her proper title to be, not the queen, but the king's wife. And this disgrace originated in the conduct of Eadburga, the daughter of king Offa, a queen of that nation, who destroyed her husband Brithric with poison, and who, sitting by the king's side, was accustomed to accuse all the nobles of the kingdom, and to murder, by means of poisonous draughts, all whom she could not destroy by her accusations. Therefore, because of the wickedness of this queen, as has been related above at some length, the West Saxons had all agreed never to permit a king to reign over them who offended in the before-mentioned particulars. At last, when Ethelwolf, who was a peaceable king, returned from Rome, his son Ethelbald, who has been already mentioned, attempted with his accomplices to prosecute to its accomplishment the wickedness which he had conceived. But Almighty God did not permit this to succeed. For to prevent a worse than civil war, one, namely, between father and son, from drawing to a head, by the ineffable clemency of the king, the conspiracy of all the nobles and bishops was appeased, and the king divided the kingdom of the West Saxons with his son, which had never been divided before, so that the eastern districts of the kingdom fell to the share of his son, and the western part remained with the father. And, though the whole nobility of the kingdom was willing to fight for the king, and to exclude his son from a share in the kingdom, if the father would have allowed it to be done, yet he was, by the innate nobleness of his mind, so far removed from the vice of covetousness, that be satisfied the ambition of his son to such a degree, that when the father ought to have reigned by the just judgment of God, his obstinate and wicked son did reign.

[A.D. 855.] Pope Leo died, and was succeeded by Benedict, who ruled the see two years, six months, and ten days. The same year, king Edmund, who traced his origin up to the blood of the ancient Saxons, succeeded to the supreme power in the province of the East Angles, in the thirteenth year after his birth; and on the day of the Nativity of our Lord, the twenty-fifth of December, that most pious youth, having been elected king by all the nobles and people of that district, and being compelled, in spite of great resistance on his own part, to assume the reins of government, received consecration from

A.D. 857.] KING ETHELWOLF DIES. 405

Humbert, bishop of Helmham, in the royal town which is called Bures.

[A.D. 856.] Lothaire, king of France, and patrician of Rome, died, and was succeeded by Louis, who reigned twenty-one years.

[A.D. 857.] Ethelwolf, the peaceful king of the West Saxons, among his other good studies in this present life, thinking of his passage to the life everlasting, lest his sons should quarrel with one another after his decease, drew up an epistle touching the inheritance, in which he had the division of his kingdom equitably apportioned between his sons Ethelbald and Ethelbert, and whatever treasures in money he should leave behind him he divided between his daughter and his relatives, and the nobles of his kingdom. Moreover, and for the benefit and salvation of his soul, he enjoined his successors to the end of time, in every ten hides or manors to maintain one poor man, whether a native or a stranger, in meat, drink, and clothing, provided only that that district was full of cattle, and was cultivated by men. And he ordered four hundred mancuses [1] to be carried to Rome every year, to be there divided, so that one hundred mancuses should be spent in honour of Saint Peter, the chief of the Apostles, in the especial purchase of oil for filling all the lamps of the Apostolic Church on the eve of Easter, and the same sum for refilling them at cock-crow; also a hundred mancuses in honour of Saint Paul for the same purposes, and a hundred were to be given to the universal pope for the purpose of increasing his alms.

Moreover, this king, so devoted to God, before the death of king Egbert, his father, had been ordained bishop of Winchester; but after his father's death, though he was very unwilling, he was created king, as there was no one else of the royal family who was entitled to reign. At last, when the illustrious king Ethelwolf had governed the kingdom of the West-Saxons with great care for seventeen years, he went the way of all flesh, and left Ethelbert, his second son, the kingdom of Kent with Sussex, while his eldest son, Ethelbald, succeeded him in the kingdom of the West Saxons; and king Ethelwolf was buried with royal honours at Winchester, in the cathedral church.

As soon as Ethelbald had been advanced to the kingdom, he, in defiance of the laws of God, and the honour of the


[1] A mancus was about the weight of our present half crown.- Hume, c. ii.

406 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 862.

Christian name, aye, contrary to even the customs which obtain among pagan nations, he ascended the bed of his deceased father, and married Judith, the daughter of the king of France, and reigned with unbridled cruelty over the West Saxons for two years and a half. The same year, Cedda, bishop of Hereford, died, and was succeeded by Albert

[A.D. 858.] Pope Benedict died, and Nicolas succeeded to the Roman chair, and ruled that see nine years, two months, and twenty days. The same year, Ethelbald, bishop of Lichfield, died, and was succeeded by Humbert.

[A.D. 859.] Ethelbald, king of the West Saxons, repenting of the wickedness before-mentioned, divorced Judith, his stepmother, whose bed he had defiled, and having done penance, during the remaining time that he lived, he governed the kingdom in peace and justice.

[A.D. 860.] Leuculf, duke of the Saxons, transported the body of the blessed pope Innocent from Rome into Saxony.

[A.D. 861.] Ethelbald, king of the West Saxons, was cut off by a premature death in the fifth year of his reign, and was buried with royal honours at Sherburne. He was succeeded in his kingdom by his brother Ethelbert, who reduced under his dominion Wessex, Kent, Essex, and Sussex. In those days a vast multitude of Danes came across the sea, and plundered the city of Winchester in a hostile manner. But as they were returnmg with immense booty to their ships, Osric, count of Hampshire, and Ethelwolf, count of Berkshire, manfully encountered them, and slew many of them, and compelled the rest to seek safety in flight. The same year, Rethune, bishop of Leicester, died, and Aldred succeeded to the bishopric.

[A.D. 862.] Saint Swithun, bishop of the city of Winchester, departed to the Lord. This holy man, while he was alive, was the possessor of many virtues, but was especially eminent for clemency and humility. And once upon a time it happened that this servant of God was sitting with some workmen on the bridge of the city of Winchester, in order by the spur given by his presence to excite the activity of the labourers. And lo! there came across the bridge into the city, a woman bringing her wares to market, and carrying eggs, and the labourers from all sides sprang upon her with wanton attack, as is the way with men of that sort, and broke all her eggs to pieces. And when, through the lamentations of the woman, this shameful deed came to the ears of the pious bishop, and

A.D. 867.] POPE ADRIAN SUCCEEDS NICOLAS. 407

he had sighed for the loss of that poor woman, being moved with pity, he made the sign of the cross over the broken eggs, and so repaired the fractures of all of them. And with respect to the humility of the man, this fact is worthy of being remembered, that as often as he was about to consecrate any newly-built church, however long the journey was, he used to walk thither vigorously on his feet, refusing the use of horse or carriage. And that he might not be ridiculed by the ignorant, or remarked by the proud, and so give cause for boasting; he avoided the sight of men, and usually made his journey by night. He was a lover of holy solitude, and thought it not right to squander his possessions in any pomps. At last, when about to bid farewell to this present life, he, with the strictness which became a bishop, enjoined his domestics to bury his corpse outside his church, where it might be exposed to the feet of the passers-by, and to the drops that fell from on high. He was succeeded in his bishopric by Ealferth, a man of considerable erudition in ecclesiastical matters, and who occupied the place of his predecessor with great wisdom for some time.

[A.D. 863.] The pagans wintered in the isle of Thanet, and made a firm treaty of peace with the men of Kent. But after the manner of foxes, they sallied by night out of their camp, and ravaged the whole eastern district of Kent, and returned with the spoil to their ships.

[A.D. 864.] Humbert, bishop of Lichfield, died, and was succeeded in his bishopric by Kineferth.

[A.D. 865.] The bodies of the Saints Eusebius and Pontianus were, in consequence of the gift of pope Nicolas, transported into Gaul, and honourably buried in two monasteries, which by the vows of religious men had been conferred on Saint Peter.

[A.D. 866.] Ethelbert, king of the West Saxons, died, and his brother Ethelred reigned in his stead, and reigned five years. And at this time a great fleet of the Danes arriving in England, wintered in the country of the East Angles, when a great part of those who had been infantry soldiers became cavalry.

[A.D. 867.] Pope Adrian succeeded Nicolas, and ruled the Roman see four years. The same year, the wicked army of the Danes, on the day of All Saints, quitted the district of the East Angles, and went to the city of York; at which time

408 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 867.

also, a great dissension arose among the people of Northumberland, in which the people expelled their lawful king, Osbert, from his kingdom, and raised to the supreme power a tyrant named Ella, who was not descended from the royal family. But under the influence of the divine guidance, when the Danes arrived, Osbert and Ella made peace with one another for the common good. And then, uniting their numerous forces, they marched upon the city of York; and on their arrival, the pagans at once retreated within the walls of the city, determining to defend themselves there; but the Christian kings pursued them, making a most vigorous attack upon the enemy, and battered down the walls of the city. At last, they entered the city, and fought a battle against the pagans, in which they themselves suffered severe loss. For in that battle fell the kings Osbert and Ella, and with them eight generals, with a great number of common men, and the battle was fought on Palm Sunday. At last, the wicked Danes being victorious, ravaged the whole province of Northumberland as far as the mouth of the river Tyne, and having subdued their enemies, made themselves absolute masters of the whole country. Then the kings of Northumberland having been slain, a person of the name of Egbert, an Angle by birth, obtained the kingdom under the power of the Danes, and governed it six years.

The same year, Alfstan, bishop of Sherburne, died; who, in the time of the kings of the West Saxons, Egbert, and his son Ethelwolf, flourished in the kingdom with great influence and reputation for wisdom, and by his exertions in war he reduced the people of Kent and the East Angles under the power of king Egbert. And he excited the courage of king Ethelwolf against the Danes, who then, for the first time, were infesting this island; drawing money out of the treasury himself, and himself levying an army, and being successful in the results of his warfare, he conducted many wars against the enemy with great courage. Moreover, any one may judge of his power from this fact, that when king Ethelwolf was returning from Rome, he refused him entrance into his kingdom, and set up his son Ethelbald as king in his stead, until he allowed the father to return as a partner with his son in the kingly power. And he left his church, which he had governed for fifty years, very rich in estates which he had acquired on all sides. And, as he was a man of unlimited covetousness, so also was he one

A.D. 870.] DANEBS LAND IN SCOTLAND. 409

of pre-eminent liberality. And he was buried at Sherburne, in the cathedral church.

[A.D. 868.] Alfred, brother of king Ethelred, a youth of admirable probity, married a wife of the royal family of Mercia, who was the daughter of Ethelred, count of the Ganni, who was surnamed Muchel which in Latin means Magnus. Her mother's name was Eadburga, of the noble race of the beforementioned kings. The name of the maiden whom Alfred espoused was Alswitha. The same year, the army of the Danes, which has been frequently mentioned, left Northumberland and came down to Nottingham, and wintered there. But Nottingham was called in the British language Tingnobant, and in Latin Domus Speluncarum (the house of caves). And when Burrhed, king of Mercia, heard of their arrival in those parts, he sent messengers to Ethelred, king of the West Saxons, and to his brother Alfred, to beg for aid in a suppliant manner, in order to enable him to defeat the army of the pagans, which was hateful both to God and man. And Alfred immediately collected an immense army, and joined the king of Mercia, and then the two kings marched with one mind towards Nottingham, purposing to fight a battle. But as the pagans, being protected by the fortifications of the citadel, declined a battle, and as the Christians were unable to batter down the walls, peace was made for a time between the Mercians and pagans, and both parties returned to their own territories.

The same year, the oratory of Saint Andrew the Apostle was built, and dedicated at Cimesia, by Alwyn, bishop of Worcester. This year a comet was seen very clearly.

[A.D. 869.] The before-mentioned army of the pagans passing back again towards Northumberland, went to the city of York, and wintered there.

[A.D. 870.] An innumerable multitude of Danes landed in Scotland, under the leadership of Hinguar and Hubba, men of terrible obstinacy and unheard-of valour. They endeavoured to carry on a war of extermination throughout all the territory of England; they murdered all the boys and old men whom they met, and gave up the holy matrons and virgins to the sport of the soldiery. And when this tyrannical ferocity had spread over all parts of the kingdom, Ebba, the holy abbess of the nunnery of Collingham, fearing lest she herself, to whom the pastoral charge of regulating the affairs of her house and

410 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 870.

order had been committed, should, with the virgins under her authority, be given up to the sport of the pagans, so as to lose her virgin modesty, convened all the sisterhood to a chapter, and burst forth in the following words, saying, "There have lately come into our district most wicked pagans, men ignorant of every kind of humanity, who traverse every part of this region, and spare neither the sex of females nor the age of infants. They trample upon churches and ecclesiastical persons, they defile women bound by the holiest vows, and crush and destroy whatever they meet with. Therefore, if you are willing to adopt my advice, I entertain certain hopes, founded on the divine mercy, that we shall be able to escape the rage of the barbarians, and to preserve the modesty of oar perpetual maidenhood". And when the entire assembly of the virgins had given her their pledge and most solemn promise that they were desirous to obey her maternal injunction in all things, then that abbess of admirable courage, openly giving to all the sisters an example of chastity which should be profitable not only to those nuns, but which should be worthy of being followed by all succeeding virgins, and by all who should at any time exist, took a razor, and cut off her nose, and her upper lip close to the very teeth, and so made herself a shocking sight to all the bystanders. And as the whole assembly which beheld this memorable deed admired it, they all inflicted similar treatment on themselves, and followed the example of their mother. And after these things had been done in this manner, the next morning, at dawn, those most wicked tyrants came, in order to deliver up those holy women devoted to God, to be the sport of their soldiery, and to plunder the monastery itself, and burn it with fire. But when they beheld that abbess and every one of the sisters so shamefully mutilated, and steeped in their own gore from head to foot, they retreated in haste from that place, as it appeared too long for them to remain on that spot for even a brief space of time. And the before-mentioned generals, retreating from that place, ordered their wicked guards to hurl fire upon it, and so burn up the monastery itself, with all its offices, and the nuns themselves. And when these commands had been executed accordingly by those ministers of iniquity, the holy abbess, and all those most holy virgins with her, arrived at the glory of martyrdom. And when these things had been done in this manner, those

A.D. 870.] STORY OF KING EDMUND. 411

most impious infidels sailed upwards along the coast, laying waste everything they met with, with fire and sword. And in this diabolical persecution, many most noble monasteries, which were situated on the sea-coast, are said to have been destroyed, namely, the monastery of monks at Lindisfarne, where at that time there was a cathedral see, which the blessed bishop Cuthbert adorned with the sacred presence of his body. Also the monastery at Tynemouth, for nuns, and the Gyrwian monastery for monks, and that of Wearmouth, in which it is related that the venerable priest, Bede, was educated. There was also the nunnery at Streneshele, which the most blessed abbess, Hilda, founded, and in which she assembled many virgins. And thus those wicked leaders, passing through the county of York, burnt churches, and cities, and towns, and destroyed the inhabitants of every sex and age, with all their property and their cattle. Then sailing up the river Humber, they raged there with similar fury; and advancing from thence, they destroyed all the monasteries and nunneries situated in the fens, and slew all the inhabitants. And the names of these monasteries and nunneries were that of Croyland, of Thorney, of Ramsey, of Hampstead, which is now called Saint Peter's Borough. They also ravaged the Isle of Ely, and destroyed a nunnery which was formerly of the highest celebrity, in which the holy virgin and queen, Elthelreda, gloriously filled the office of abbess for many years.

Now, therefore, since in that persecution the glorious king and martyr, Edmund, was slain, and perished by the swords of the wicked brothers, Hinguar and Hubba, it is fitting in this place to relate the cause of this important martyrdom, and to explain how the before-mentioned leaders got the opportunity of condemning that most pious king to a most barbarous death. There was then in the days which were not long past, in the kingdom of the Danes, a certain man, descended from the royal family of that nation, by name Lothbroc. He by his wife became the father of two sons, namely, of Hinguar and Hubba. And when one day he had embarked in a little boat, alone with his hawk, in order to hunt the ducks and other small birds in the islands of the sea which were near the land, a sudden tempest arose, by which he was carried out into the wide sea, and for many days and nights tossed about in every direction, and grievously afflicted.

At last, after having encountered many dangers, he was

412 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 870.

driven into Anglia, and landed in the province of the East Angles, which is called Northfolke by the inhabitants, near the town which is called Redham. And being discovered there alone with his hawk, by the men of that district, he was brought before Edmund, king of the East Angles, as a wonder. And having been honourably received by the king himself, on account of the extreme elegance and beauty of his person, he remained for some time at his court. And as the language of the Danes is near akin to the dialect of the Angles, Lothbroc began to relate to the king by what chance it was that he had been driven to Anglia. Lothbroc also was much pleased by the graciousness of the manner of king Edmund, and by the admirable state of his military discipline, and by the numerous retinue of servants who stood by, whom the industry of the king had made fally accomplished in all honourable actions and in every variety of knowledge. Lothbroc, therefore, being excited by his admiration for such manners and discipline, asked with earnestness of the king to allow him to remain at his court, in order to be more fully instructed in the discipline of the king. And when king Edmund had graciously listened to his request, Lothbroc united himself to the king's huntsman, whose name was Bernus, in order, in his company, to become fully instructed in the art of hunting, in which Bernus was thoroughly skilful; for he was thoroughly acquainted not only with the practice of hunting, but also with that of fowling, so that in catching both birds and beasts, everything succeeded according to his wish. He caught whatever he wished, and frequently enriched the king's table with the most delicate dishes. And as he was greatly beloved by the king, as the nobleness of his birth sanctioned, the king's huntsman began to envy him greatly, because he surpassed him in the before-mentioned arts. And being inflamed against Lothbroc with mortal envy, one day, when they were going out hunting together, he made a treacherous attack upon him, and wickedly slew him, and hid his body in the thickness of the wood. And when he had done this, that wicked huntsman withdrew, and blowing his horn, called the dogs to himself. But Lothbroc had bred up a harrier in the palace of king Edmund, which, as is often the case, became greatly attached to him; and when the huntsman retreated with the rest of the hounds, this harrier remained alone by the body of his master. The next day, when the king was sitting at table,

A.D. 870.] STORY OF KING EDMUND. 413

and observed that Lothbroc was not present with the rest of his court, he asked eagerly of his servants what had became of him; and Bernus, the huntsman, replied, that the day before, when he returned home from hunting, Lothbroc remained behind him in the wood, and he declared that he had not seen him since. But he had scarcely finished speaking, when, lo! the harrier which Lothbroc had bred, entered the king's palace, and began to wag his tail and fawn upon all present, and especially upon the king. And when the king saw this, he said to the byestanders, "See, the hound of Lothbroc is come as a forerunner of his master, who is on his way". And in his joy the king fed the hound carefully, hoping that he was a sign that his master was coming: but he waited in vain. For immediately that the hound was satisfied, he returned to his master, and kept his accustomed watch near his corpse. Again, after three days, being compelled by hunger, he returned to the king's table to be refreshed; and the king, greatly marvelling, ordered his servants to follow the footsteps of the dog if he left the palace, and carefully to ascertain whither he went. And this was done by the servants, just as they had been commanded to do by the king; and following the hound as he retired, they were conducted to the lifeless body of Lothbroc. And when this had been related to the king, he was greatly agitated, and ordered that his body should be buried with all honour.

Then king Edmund, having made a diligent investigation into the death of Lothbroc, convicted Bernus, the huntsman, of this wicked action. And he ordered the soldiers and lawyers of his court to pronounce their judgment as to what should be done with the murderer. And they all agreed together in this point, that the huntsman should be placed in the boat in which Lothbroc had come to Anglia, and should then be cast adrift in the middle of the sea, without any naval instruments, so that it should be proved whether God chose to deliver him from his danger. Therefore, the huntsman, in accordance with the sentence that had been pronounced, was cast adrift in the deep sea, and, after a few days, was driven to Denmark. And when he had been found by the guardians of the harbours, the Danes recognised the boat, because in it their master Lothbroc had been accustomed to go fowling; and so they conducted him to Hinguar and Hubba, the sons of the Danish prince who had been slain in Anglia, who were powerful

414 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 870.

and cruel men, and who immediately applied the torture to Bernus, inquiring of him what had become of their father, who had departed from them in that boat. Bernus, having been tortured severely for a long time with all kinds of tortures, invented a lie, and said that their father, having been by chance driven into Anglia, was found by Edmund, king of the East Angles, and had been put to death by his command. On this they burst forth into most bitter weeping, and, being inconsolably afflicted at the death of their father, they swore by their almighty gods that they would not leave that murder unpunished. And they appointed Bernus, the huntsman, who had come in their father's boat, to be their guide, that they might avenge themselves on king Edmund. After this, they collected a numerous army, and put to sea, with twenty thousand armed men, towards the district of the East Saxons, to which point they directed their sails and their arms, in order to avenge themselves on king Edmund, who was, in reality, perfectly innocent of that murder. But, as the winds drove their fleet the contrary way, they were compelled to land in Scotland, at Berwick on the Tweed, where they began to lay waste the country, as they had predetermined to do, and committing barbarities all around them, they at length came to East Anglia. And, having pitched their camp near the town which is called Thetforde, they slew with the edge of the sword all the men and women whom they found there. At last, when Hinguar, that most wicked tyrant, had in some degree satiated his fury with the multitude of those whom he had slain, he summoned before him some of the common people, whom he judged unworthy of his sword, and strictly examined them as to where their king was living at that time. For a report had reached him that the most pious king, Edmund, was a man of might both in power and in arms, and of unequalled nobleness in all the proportions of his body, and in height. On which account, he hastened to put to death everyone whom he found all round, lest Edmund should gather around him such a band of soldiers as might enable him to defend his country.

At that time, that glorious king, the future martyr, Edmund, was at that time dwelling in the royal town which was called Heglesdune, from which town also the neighbouring wood derived its name, as that wicked robber learnt from the common people. On which, he treacherously summoned one

A.D. 870.] STORY OF KING EDMUND. 415

of his soldiers to him, and sent him to the king, commanding him to divide with him all his treasures, and the riches which he had inherited from his father, and to reign as tributary to him. But it was in treachery that Hinguar demanded his treasures, as he thirsted for the head of that most benevolent monarch, rather than for his money. Accordingly, when the soldier, after a rapid journey, had arrived at the dwelling of king Edmund, he addressed him in the following words:- "My master, the universally-dreaded Hinguar, the most invincible king of the Danes, has come to this country to winter. And if you despise his power, you shall be judged unworthy of either life or kingdom". And when, in this manner, he had related to the king all the messages which he had been commanded to deliver, one after another, as we have detailed them before, the most pious king Edmund groaned out of the depth of his heart, and, having summoned Humbert, bishop of Helmham, he asked counsel of him, saying, "O Humbert, servant of the living God, the half of my own soul, behold, the arrival of barbarian enemies is at hand, who will endeavour utterly to destroy, and to efface from the memory of succeeding generations, all that is left of our dear country and its inhabitants, which is already partly desolated. But, behold, would that, by my death, the people who are subject to me might escape with their lives. For, out of love for a temporal kingdom, or for the gain of this present life, I will not subject myself to a heathen tyrant, when, dying like a soldier for my nation and my country, I may become a standard bearer of the king of heaven".

The bishop answered him thus: "My most beloved king, those whom you wish to preserve and to survive their country, unless you guard against them and save yourself by flight, will immediately be wicked traitors, who will endeavour to destroy you and your subjects". Then the most merciful king replied: "This is the most ardent wish that I entertain, not to survive my most faithful and beloved friends, whom that savage bandit has most inhumanly slain; and, indeed, what you suggest to me is to stain my glory with guilt, when, up to this day, I have never incurred the disgrace of warfare; and the King of Heaven shall be my witness to this, that no fear of the barbarians shall ever separate me, alive or dead, from the love of Christ". Then the most blessed king Edmund turned to the messenger who had been sent to him by the

416 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 870.

wicked Hinguar, and said to him, "Stained as you are with the blood of my people, you are worthy of the punishment of death. But, imitating the example of my master, Christ, if it shall so happen, I am not at all afraid willingly to die for His sake. Return, therefore, with speed to your master, and bear him my answer: 'Though, with your might, you may carry off my treasures and riches, which the mercy of God has given me, still you shall never make me subject to your infidel power; for it is honourable to defend liberty for ever, and to uphold at the same time the purity of the faith, for which objects, if it be necessary, we do not consider it useless to die; therefore, as your arrogant ferocity has began, murder the king after his servants, and the King of Kings, who sees this, shall transport me to heaven, where I shall reign for ever and ever'".

When, therefore, the savage messenger departed, king Edmund ordered his soldiers to fly to arms, saying, that it was a worthy deed to fight for their faith and for their country, and not to show themselves deserters of the war and betrayers of their nation. Therefore, the most blessed king Edmund, being animated by the earnest exhortations of the bishop Humbert, and of his nobles and soldiers, marched forth, with all the army which he could assemble, boldly against the enemy, and fought a terrible battle, accompanied with heayy loss to both sides, against the enemy who came to meet him, not far from the city which is called Thedforde; for when they had mutually slaughtered one another from morning till evening, and when the whole field was red with the excessive number of the slain, and with their blood, the most pious king Edmund grieved not only at the slaughter of his own troops, who were fighting for their country and their nation, and for the faith of Jesus Christ, and whom he knew to have received the crown of martyrdom, but also for the death of the infidel barbarians who are thrust with exceeding bitterness down to the gulf of hell. Therefore, as soon as me pagans retreated from the place of death, that most blessed confessor of Christ, king Edmund, with the remainder of his soldiers who survived, marched to the royal town of Hegledune, and resolved unchangeably in his mind, that he would never for the future fight against the barbarians. But he only said this, that it was needful that he alone should die for his people, and that the whole nation should not perish.

A.D. 870.] MARTYRDOM OF KING EDMUND. 417

While, therefore, Hinguar was inconsolably anxious about the slaughter which had fallen upon his troops, his brother Hubba came to him at Thedforde, after having already laid waste the whole of Mercia, bringing with him ten thousand armed men; and then uniting their forces, with the object of avenging themselves on the holy king Edmund, they moved their camp and soon arrived at the town of Heglesdune, where the most blessed king Edmund at that time was. Then the tyrant, Hinguar, commanded the king and all his army to be surrounded, so that not one of them all might escape alive. Therefore, the holy king Edmund, when he perceived that he was surrounded on all sides by the enemy, by the advice of Humbert, bishop of Helmham, fled to the church, to show himself a member of Christ, and throwing away his temporal arms, he put on the armour of heaven, humbly praying to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, to give him constancy in his sufferings. Therefore, the most merciful king, Edmund, was pitilessly dragged out of the church by the ministers of iniquity, and bound with cruel thongs; and as Christ was brought before Pilate, the governor, so was Edmund led before the unjust leader, wishing to follow the steps of Him who was slain as a victim for us.

At the command of this wicked leader he was bound to a tree, which was at no great distance, and scourged for a long time, and mocked in many ways; but Edmund, the invincible wrestler of Christ, by continually, with mouniful voice, invoking Christ amid his stripes, drove his tormentors to madness; and they, amusing themselves with his body as with a target, pierced every part of it with darts and arrows, nor was there a vacant spot in the martyr's body where a new wound could be inflicted; for as a hedgehog is beset with closely-set thorns over his whole skin, so was the body of the invincible king pierced with the points of arrows. And when even thus the bloody monster Hinguar could not separate the holy martyr Edmund from the faith of Christ and from the confession of the Trinity, so as to gain assent to his wretched persuasions, he immediately commanded the executioner to cut off the head of the martyr with his bloody sword, and the executioner, amid his prayers and confession of the name of Christ, at one blow savagely struck his holy head from his shoulders, and decapitated him, on the twentieth day of November, and so offered to God a grateful holocaust, which had

418 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 870.

been purified by the fire of suffering, and transmitted it with the palm of victory and crown of justice to heaven. And the ministers of the devil leaving the body of the martyr deprived of its head, conveying the head into the wood which is called Heglesdune, threw it among the thick bushes and brambles, for the cruel butchers were still anxious that the body of the martyr should not, with his head, be given the burial which became it by the few Christians whom they had left alive; for Hinguar and Hubba, those most wicked robbers, had learnt that their father, Lothbroc, had been formerly murdered in the before-mentioned wood, on which account, at the lying suggestion of the huntsman Bernus, they sought to retaliate on the blessed king and martyr Edmund, and therefore threw his head ignominiously into the same wood, and gave it to be devoured by the birds of heaven and the wild beasts.

And with the most holy king Edmund, there also suffered his inseparable companion Humbert, bishop of Helmham, who had raised king Edmund to the supreme power, and who, being animated by the constancy of the king to endure martyrdom, was with him made a possessor of the kingdom of heaven. And when this blessed king had been thus removed to the heavenly regions, the pagans, boasting extravagantly, wintered in that district, having driven out the few natives who survived the previous massacre. The same year, Ceolnoth, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and was succeeded by Ethelred, a venerable man, of great learning in all divine matters.

When, then, after the martyrdom of the most blessed king Edmund, the brothers Hinguar and Hubba, hated by God, had passed part of the winter season in the country of the East Angles, devoting themselves to plunder and rapine, there came to the same district to them a man of the name of Gytro, the most powerful of the kings of the Danes, in order to pass the winter with the before-mentioned brethren. When then the spring season arrived, all the pagans departed together from East Anglia. And when this was heard, the Christians came forth on all sides from their lurking places, and laboured most earnestly to find the head of the blessed king Edmund, and unite it to his body, and then to give such a burial to the whole body as a king was entitled to. And as they all united in this object with equal eagerness, and traversed the woods, seeking diligently for the martyr's head, a thing wonderful to relate, and unheard of in previous ages, happened. For while

A.D. 870.] DISCOVERY OF THE HEAD OF KING EDMUND. 419

they were all seeking for the head among the thickets and closely-growing woods, and one companion kept mutually calling on another in his native language, and said, "Where are you? where are you"? the head of the martyr replied in the same language, "Her, her, her", which means in Latin "Hic, hic, hic" Nor did it cease to cry out and repeat the same words until it brought all the seekers to itself; and then there was found with the head a wolf of great size and horrible appearance, which, embracing the holy head with his fore-legs, hung over the holy martyr, keeping watch. Therefore the men fearlessly took up the head, pouring forth praises to God, and carried it to its body, the wolf following them to the place of burial. Then they joined the head to the body, and placed it in a suitable mausoleum. And when this had been done, the wolf sought the retirement of his favourite solitude. And there was built by the faithful on the same spot a small chapel of moderate workmanship, where afterwards, for many ages, the holy body of the martyr rested. This most blessed king and martyr, Edmund, suffered in the eight hundred and seventieth year of grace, in the twenty-ninth year of his age, and the sixteenth of his reign, on the first of December, on the second day ot the week, in the third indiction, on the twenty-second day of the month.

Afterwards, when an interval of many years had elapsed, when the flames of war were completely quenched, the piety of the faithful began to breathe again, who, having seen frequent miraculous signs in the place where the body of the martyr was resting, which is now called Hoxon by the natives, built a very large church in the royal town, which is called in the English language Beodricheswort, but in Latin Beodricicurtis, or the dwelling of Beodric, and they transferred to that church the body of the holy martyr with great solemnity. But a marvellous circumstance occurred. For though the most precious corpse of the martyr was believed to have decayed, from the long time which had elapsed since his death, it was found to be so entire and uninjured, that not only was the head reunited and closely joined to the body, but that there was absolutely no wound or scar visible on it. And so Edmund, that martyr worthy of God, was removed to the before-mentioned place like a living man, the sign of martyrdom appearing on his neck all round, like a scarlet thread, as a woman of blessed memory was accustomed to testify, by name

420 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 871.

Oswen, who often practised fasting and prayer at the sacred tomb of the martyr for a series of many years, opening the mausoleum of the blessed martyr, and, on every occasion of the Lord's Supper, cutting his hair and his nails, and all the fragments she carefully collected and deposited in a small bag, and placed on the altar of that church, where to this very day they are preserved with all due veneration.

The same year, died Weremond, bishop of Dummoc, after whose death that see was transferred to Helmham, and instead of two bishops, one of whom had his episcopal seat at Dummoc, and the other at Helmham, there was ordained one bishop, by name Wilred, who had as his successors in the same see Athwolf, Alfric, Theodred, Athelstan, Algar, Alwyn, Alfric, a third Alfric, Stigand, Ethelm, and Herstan.

CH. XVI.- FROM A.D. 871 TO A.D. 900.

The Danes invade the West Saxons - Reach Reading - Battles with Alfred - King Ethelred dies and is succeeded by Alfred - The youth and education of Alfred - His wisdom - His wars - Brithred, king of Northumberland and Mercia - The body of Saint Cuthbert is brought from Lindisfarne - A truce is made between Alfred and the Danes - It is broken - Alfred besieges Exeter and builds a fleet - The Danes ravage Wiltshire - Alfred retires to Athelney - King Gytro becomes a Christian - An accountof John or Dun Scotus - Alfred defeats the Danes - Story of a vision of the emperor Charles about purgatory - Alfred becomes king of all Britain - A list of the kings of the Heptarchy - Alfred founds monasteries - Appoints governors throughout his kingdom - Story of Rollo, duke of Normandy - Death of Alfred.

[A.D. 871.] The before-mentioned army of the pagans quitted the country of the East Angles, and invaded the kingdom of the West Saxons, and came to the royal town which is called Reading, situated on the south bank of the river Thames, in the county of Berks. After the arrival of whom, on the third day, two of their counts, with a numerous multitude of armed men, went forth to plunder, while others in the meantime raised a fortification between the two rivers, namely, the Thames and the Kennet, on the right hand of the above-mentioned town. And they were encountered by Eadulf, count of Berkshire, and his army, in the place which is called

A.D. 871.] BATTLE BETWEEN THE PAGANS AND CHRISTIANS. 421

Anglefeld, that is to say, the Field of the Angles, where the two armies fought vigorously, till a count of the pagans being destroyed with the greater part of his army, gave the rest a reason for flying. And so when the Christians had gained the victory, four days afterwards, Ethelred, the king, and his brother Alfred, collected an army and came to Reading, slaying and overthrowing whatever pagans they found outside of the citadel. At last, the pagans sallying out of all the gates at once, engaged in battle with all their strength, and fighting long and bravely, they slew count Eadulf, and put the Christians to flight, at which disaster the Christians were greatly alarmed, and again met to give them battle four days afterwards, in the place which is called Hesseldune, that is to say, the Mount of the Ash, having assembled all the forces which they could collect. But the pagans divided themselves into two battalions, arranging in one the two kings, Bascai and Halden, and in the other all the generals with their subjects. And the Christians seeing this, divided their army in like manner into two bodies, giving one to king Ethelred, and the other to his brother Alfred. And king Ethelred was in his tent hearing mass, and, as his men were constantly urging him to come forth to battle, he affirmed resolutely that he would not move till the priest had finished the mass; and this faith of the Christian long availed him much on that day.

There was on the field of battle a very low tree, around which the hostile armies met with great shouts. And when they had fought for a long time with great courage on both sides, the pagans, in accordance with the judgment of God, not being able to withstand the onset of the Christians, after the greater part of their army had been slain, betook themselves to an ignominious flight. There the two kings of the pagans, Bascai and Halden, were slain, and they, and many thousands more who were slain with them, descended to hell, to be tormented in everlasting flames. But on the other side, where the general and the dukes were, against whom Alfred, the brother of the king, was fighting, there were slain these generals, the elder and the younger Sidrac, Osbern, Frank, and Harold, with innumerable others, and the whole army of the pagans fleeing all the following day and night, were routed and scattered over the whole plain of Hesseldune. Fourteen days afterwards, king Ethelred and his brother Alfred came together a second time with united forces to Basing, intending to give

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battle to the pagans. But when they had fought vigorously a long time, the pagans gained the victory. Again, after the lapse of two months, king Ethelred and his brother Alfred, after a long battle at Mereton against the wicked infidels, defeated them, and compelled the pagans to betake themselves to flight. But afterwards, when they returned to attack the Christians, they came off victorious. In this battle Hamund, bishop of Sherburne, received the crown of martyrdom, and was succeeded in his bishopric by Ethelheg, a man of great learning in ecclesiastical matters.

The same year, Ethelred, king of the West Saxons, died, on the twenty-third of April. And when he had been buried in royal rashion at Wimborne, his brother Alfred, who had previously received the crown and royal unction at Rome from pope Leo, assumed the government of the whole kingdom, to the extreme joy of all the inhabitants. The ancient writers, tracing up the genealogy of this king, have woven him a pedigree, and carried him up to Christ.

King Alfred was the son of Ethelwolf, the great king of the West Saxons, who was the son of Egbert, who was the son of Alcumund, who was the son of Eafa, who was the son of Eoppa, who was the son of Inoilf, who was the brother of Inas, and these were both the sons of Kenred, who was the son of Ceolwald, who was the son of Cuthwin, who was the son of Cealwin, who was the son of Kenric, who was the son of Cedric. He was the first of the Angles who reigned in the kingdom of the West Saxons. Cedric was the son of Elesas,who was the son of queen Gewisa, as descendants of whom, some of the Britons claim nobility of birth. Gewisa was the daughter of Gewy, who was the son of Wingy, who was the son of Frewin, who was the son of Frethegar, who was the son of Braendei, who was the son of Beldag, who was the son of Woden. To Woden the ancients dedicated the fourth day of the week, which, from his name, they called Wodenesday, that is to say, the day of Woden. Woden was the son of Frethewold, who was the son of Freolaf, who was the son of Frethewolf, who was the son of Fin, who was the son of Godwolf, who was the son of Geta. The ancient Gentiles used formerly to worship Geta as a god; and Sedulius, an admirable poet, making mention of huiin his paschal poem, says:

"When Gentile poets strive with labour vain,
To deck their fictions in high-sounding words
And tragic bluster, celebrating Geta,
That empty god, or showing off their skill".

A.D. 871.] THE CHILDHOOD OF ALFRED. 423

Greta was the son of Teathwy, who was the son of Beau, who was the son of Seldua, who was the son of Seaf. Seaf, as it is related, was driven by sea to a certain island of Germany, by name Scandalin, of which Jordan, the historian of the Goths, speaks, having been placed, while he was a child, in a small boat without any rower, a handful of corn being placed at his head, which we in our native language call a Seaf, but which is called in the language of the Gauls Garba, and in this condition he was found asleep. And from this circumstance he was called Seaf, and was received by the men of the district as a miraculous gift, and was carefully brought up by them. And when he grew up to man's estate, he reigned in the town which was then called Slaswic, but which is now called Haithebi. And that is the district which is called Old Anglia, from which the Angles came into Britain, and it lies between the Goths and the Saxons. Seaf was the son of Heremod, who was the son of Itermod, who was the son of Hathras, who was the son of Wala, who was the son of Bedwy, who was the son of Sem, who was the son of Noah, who was the son of Lamech, who was the son of Methuselah, who was the son of Enoch, who was the son of Jared, who was the son of Malalehel, who was the son of Cainan, who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam, who was the son of God.

Alfred, in his years of childhood, was beloved with exceeding affection by his father and mother, beyond all his brothers, and what was still more, he was greatly beloved by all the kingdom, on which account he was bred up in the king's palace without ever being removed from it, for he was more beautiful in figure and more dignified in countenance than any of his brethren. On which account he appeared more gracious both in language and in manners. But, owing to the neglect of his parents and teachers, he remained quite devoid of all learning, up to the twelfth year of his age. Nevertheless, he was day and night a diligent hearer of Saxon poems, and also a docile repeater of them, so that he retained them in his memory. He was incomparable both for his skill and for his success in the arts of hunting and fowling, as he was also in all other accomplishments. And when, one day, his mother was showing him and his brothers a Saxon book

424 MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER. [A.D. 871.

on the art of poetry, which she held in her hand, she said to them, "I will give this book to whichever of you can learn it first." Then Alfred, being charmed with the beauty of the initial letter of the book, answered his mother, "Will you really give that book to that one among us who shall be the most quickly able to understand it, and to repeat it in your presence"? And she replied, "I will give it". Then he, taking the book, went to a master, and read it, and, returning to his mother, repeated it from memory. After that, with continued use, without any intermission, he constantly carried about with him, and diligently pondered, the psalms and prayers of David, which he had written out in one book, and which out of his devout spirit, he placed in his bosom. For he heard his master say that an illiterate king was like a crowned ass. But when, being in the flower of his age, he saw the law that was in his members to be contrary to the law of his mind, and that it was leading him captive to the law of sin, he often, at cock-crow and at the hours of matins, would rise secretly from his bed and visit the churches and relics of the saints, for the sake of praying, and remaining there a long time prostrate in prayer, he would implore the mercy of God, to strengthen his mind in the love of his blessed majesty by some infirmity of the body which he might be able to endure, but yet not to such a degree that he would appear unworthy or unprofitable in human affairs. And when, with great devotion of mind, he had made this request to the Lord frequently, after a short interval of time, by the kindness of God, he became afflicted with the piles, with which complaint he was violently afflicted for many years, and was brought even to despair of his life.

And on a certain occasion, when, by the prompting of the Deity, he went to Cornwall for the sake of hunting, and had turned aside, for the sake of praying, into a certain church, in which the holy Gueriir and the holy Neoth were living, prostrating himself a long time in silent prayer, he implored the mercy of God, entreating him to change the annoyance of the disease which was pressing upon him, for some slighter infirmity, which, however, should not appear externally on his body, so that he might not be more despised by men. And when he had finished his prayer, he continued the journey which he had begun, and no long time afterwards he was, as he had prayed to be, entirely delivered from that disease, and by the divine kindness, perfectly cured. But when that infirmity

A.D. 871.] EXEMPLARY CONDUCT OF ALFRED THE GREAT. 425

was removed from him, another much more troublesome complaint attacked him, namely a desire for the joys of marriage, which wore him out incessantly from the twentieth to the forty-fifth year of his life. Amid this whirlwind of temptations there were born to him sons and daughters by his before-mentioned queen, whose name was Aswitha, and they were born in the following order;- his first-born daughter was called Elfleda, who, when the time of marriage arrived, was married to Ethelred, count of Mercia. Then he had a son born, by name Edward, who, after his father, governed the kingdom of England. In the third place a daughter was born to him, by name Ethelgina, who, having been devoted to the rules of monastic discipline, took upon herself a religious habit. Edward and Ethelward were constantly educated in the court of the king, and were carefully taught the psalms and books of Saxon literature. Ethelwald was the youngest of all, and with the other noble youths of the country, he, by the diligent care of his parent, was instructed in the knowledge of literature, that he might have liberal knowledge instilled into him before he acquired the strength suitable for manly pursuits and exercises.

Moreover, king Alfred, among all the dangers of his wars and the frequent hindrances of this present life, amid his continual infirmities of body and the invasions of the pagans, began to arrange the affairs of his kingdom, to practise every kind of hunting, and to train his goldsmiths, and artisans, and falconers, and hawkers. With a genius of his own which was quite novel, he occupied himself in building edifices which were venerable and noble beyond anything that had been attempted by his predecessors. He was careful every day to hear mass, with the Daily Hours. He was fond of psalms and prayers, and constant in alms-giving. Many Frenchmen, and others from distant countries, of their own accord, submitted to his dominion, because he was amiable and affable to all men, pleasant in his manners, and an incomparably strict examiner into discipline in all things, and because he honoured, protected, and enriched with treasures and estates all strangers and foreigners, whether noble or low-bor