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their tin mines; Aristotle also alludes to them, and Polybius says that in his day (260 B.C.) writers discoursed largely on the subject.

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Diodorus Siculus and Strabo, shortly after Cæsar's invasion, speak of the triangular form of the island, and give some vague idea of its size; and Ptolemy, early in the second century of the Christian era, furnishes a table of the positions of many of its promontories and rivers, and of its tribes and cities; to which Marcianus Heracleota, in the third, adds further particulars of the “Pretannic islands," Ibernia (Ireland) and Albion. He describes the first as containing "sixteen nations, eleven celebrated towns, fifteen principal rivers, five remarkable promontories, six distinguished islands;" and the latter, which he says is by far the greater, not contracted like other islands, but drawn out and extended over a great part of the northern ocean, with two particularly extensive isthmuses, one greater than the other, in the form of feet, of which the lesser stretches out towards Aquitania,—has “thirty-three nations, fifty-nine celebrated towns, forty noble rivers, fourteen lofty promontories, one notable chersonesus, five spacious bays, three commodious harbours. The whole circumnavigation of the island of Albion is not more than 28,604, nor less than 20,526 stadiad." At a later, but uncertain date, the Itinerary of Antoninus supplies detailed information as to the topography of Britain, to which some addition may be made from the Peutingerian Table, a document probably belonging to the fourth century, though only known to us from a transcript of much later date.

The generally received ideas of the state of Britain at

b The name is often confined to the Scilly isles, but in this instance and others it probably includes also much of the modern counties of Cornwall and Devon.

e De Mundo, c. 3; but the genuineness of this work has been questioned. See Dr. Smith's Classical Dict., art. "Aristotle."

d Equal to 3,178 and 2,280 English miles.

the time of its invasion by the Romans, are almost exclusively derived from the statements of Julius Cæsar, and it should excite no surprise to learn that many of them are erroneous, when it is remembered that Cæsar's stay here was but brief, and that only a very small part of the country fell under his own observation. His account is shortly, that the people on the coast where he landed much resembled the Gauls, though they had no coinage, but used instead brass or iron rings as money; and that the rest of the natives, who were reputed aborigines, were mere savages, clad in skins, and dyeing their bodies with woad, which gave them a terrible appearance; they had vast herds of cattle and lived on milk and flesh, not cultivating corn; they wore long hair, but no beards; and they dwelt together in parties of ten or twelve, who had wives in common. Some of these statements are confirmed by Dio Cassius, (as preserved to us by Xiphilinus, and Herodian ",) when speaking of the unsubdued tribes in the time of Severus; but others are quite contrary to fact. The coins of many British rulers exist 1,

This custom, which is probably to be regarded as a pure invention of Cæsar's informants, is not mentioned by Diodorus.

f Xiphilinus was a Greek monk of the eleventh century, who has left an epitome of several of the lost books of the Roman History of Dio Cassius, written early in the third century.

Herodian lived about A.D. 250, and wrote a valuable History of his

own times.

The opinion of the learned Editors of the Monumenta on this point is thus stated (p. cli.): "The French numismatists have claimed as Gallic the coins which are called British, though they have not made out any title to their appropriation. It has been broadly stated that the Britons were too barbarous to need a coinage; but if that were the case, surely the Gauls could have had just as little need of a metallic currency, as they were at that time little, if at all, more advanced in civilization than their British neighbours. It is absurd to suppose that one only of two nations, so nearly allied to each other in religion and manners as were the Gauls and Britons, and carrying on together an extensive commerce, should have known the use of money. It may therefore be assumed, that if the Gauls had a metallic currency before the time of Julius Cæsar's invasion of this island, which to a certainty they had, so also had the Britons. It must be remembered that there are extant coins peculiar to this island; or rather, coins have been discovered here unlike any which are found in any other country, such as those, for instance, which have inscriptions on tablets. There is undoubtedly a great resemblance between some of the British and Gallic coins; both are thick and dished, and appear to have been rudely

some of which are of gold, and bear an ear of corn on the reverse, thus testifying both knowledge and esteem of agriculture, and Diodorus Siculus says, "They who dwell near the promontory of Britain which is called Belerium (now the Land's end,) are singularly fond of strangers, and from their intercourse with foreign merchants, civilized in their habits." Strabo too says, "The Cassiterides are inhabited by men in black cloaks, clad in tunics reaching to the feet, and girt about the breast, walking with staves, and bearded like goats." Cæsar describes the inland regions as producing tin, and the maritime, iron; but other writers more accurately tell us that tin was produced near the sea shore, that it was skilfully worked and fused by the natives, and by them conveyed in waggons in great abundance, to "a certain island named Ictis, lying off Britain; for a singular circumstance happens with respect to the neighbouring islands lying between Europe and Britain; for at the high tides, the intervening passage being flooded, they seem islands; but at the low tides, the sea retreating and leaving much space dry, they appear peninsulas;" a statement of Diodorus Siculus, which is usually considered to identify Ictis as the Mount St. Michael, in Cornwall, of our own day. Beside tin, lead and skins are mentioned as exchanged with foreign merchants for earthenware, glass beads, salt, and brazen vessels. To British exports were afterwards added slaves and fierce hunting dogs, and in the fourth century, if not before, wheat in large quantity.

Tacitus, in narrating the campaigns of Agricola, informs us that the natives of Britain were of several distinct races, as evidenced by their differences of personal

formed after the model of the Grecian coins. ... Camden was the first who claimed and established a coinage for the inhabitants of his country; he has assigned about eighteen different types to Cunobelin, Boadicea, Caractacus, &c.; but there are as many as seventy-two other types still extant.'" Many of these are figured in Evans' "Coins of the Ancient Britons," and that writer considers that a British gold coinage existed at least a century before the invasion of Cæsar.

appearance. The height and the yellow locks of the people on the north-east coast shewed their German origin, while the shorter stature and swarthy complexion of those in the west rendered it probable that they were a colony from Iberia. To all, the praise of desperate valour is due; Cæsar acknowledges that their horsemen and charioteers contended vigorously with him; and to the last period of Roman occupation, there were numerous tribes that had never been subdued. Xiphilinus describes (from their contemporary, Dio Cassius) the state of these about the close of the second century of the Christian era. "The Mæatæ and the Caledonians inhabit mountains wild and waterless, and plains desert and marshy, having neither walls nor cities nor tilth, but living by pasturage, by the chase, and on certain berries; for of their fish, though abundant and inexhaustible, they never taste. They live in tents naked and bare-footed, having wives in common, and rearing the whole of their progeny. Their state is chiefly democratical, and they are above all things delighted by pillage; they fight from chariots, having small swift horses; they fight also on foot, are very fleet when running, and most resolute when compelled to stand; their arms consist of a shield and a short spear, having a brazen knob at the extremity of the shaft, that when shaken it may terrify the enemy by its noise; they use daggers also; they are capable of enduring hunger, thirst, and hardships of every description; for when plunged in the marshes they abide there many days with their heads only out of water; and in the woods they subsist on bark and roots; they prepare for all emergencies a certain kind of food, of which if they eat only so much as the size of a bean they neither hunger nor thirst. Such then is the island of Britannia, and such the inhabitants of that part of it which is hostile to us."

Herodian gives a very similar account, and adds, "They encircle their loins and necks with iron, deem

ing this an ornament and mark of opulence, in like manner as other barbarians esteem gold. They puncture their bodies with pictured forms of every sort of animals, on which account they wear no clothing, lest they should hide the figures on their body."


The kingly form of government prevailed among the Britons before the coming of Cæsar, and it was continued long after, though in subordination to the Roman governors, but the most influential persons among them were the Druids. These men, Cæsar informs us, were the depositories of all the learning of the Britons, and they had numerous schools where they taught many things respecting the stars and their motion, respecting the extent of the world and of our earth, respecting the nature of things, respecting the power and the majesty of the immortal gods." These doctrines were supposed to have originated in Britain, and in Cæsar's time those Gauls who wished to study them visited our island for the purpose.

On the

But the Druids were not merely teachers. contrary, they were rulers, who imposed ordinances on all classes, and enforced them by terrible penalties; they were the arbiters of peace and war; they had sacred groves and rude stone temples, in which they offered human sacrifices; and so powerful was their influence over their countrymen, that the Romans forsook their usual policy of leaving untouched the superstitions and priesthoods of conquered nations, and laboured zealously to destroy both the priests and the altars of Britain. Tacitus gives a lively account of the assault for this purpose on the stronghold of Druidism (A.D. 61).

Suetonius "prepared to fall upon Mona (Anglesey i), a country powerful in inhabitants, and a common place of refuge to the revolters and fugitives; he built, for that

i The name Mona is often given to the Isle of Man, but it is certain that Anglesey is meant in this instance.

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