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[THE island of Britain is eight hundred miles long and two hundred miles broad: and here in this island are five tongues; English, British, Scottish, Pictish, and Latin. The first inhabitants of this land were Britons; they came from Armenia, and first settled in the south of Britain. Then befell it that Picts came from the south from Scythia, with long ships, not many, and first landed in North Hibernia, and there entreated the Scots that they might there abide. But they would not permit them, for they said that they could not all abide there together. And then the Scots said, 'We may nevertheless give you counsel. We know another island eastward of this, where ye may dwell if ye will, and if any one withstand you, we will assist you, so that you may subdue it.' Then went the Picts and subdued this land northwards; the southern part the Britons had, as we before have said. And the Picts obtained wives for themselves of the Scots, on this condition, that they should always choose their royal lineage on the woman's side; which they have held ever since. And then befell it in the course of years
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is apparently the work of many successive hands, and extends in different copies from the time of Cæsar's invasion to the middle of the twelfth century. As it has been repeatedly printed, it may suffice here to repeat, that, with the exception of the insertions placed within brackets, the text to the year 975 is mostly taken from the MS. designated by the letter A.; from that period to 1079 from MSS. A. C. D. E. F. and G., and from thence to the conclusion from MS. E.: and that such portions of the different MSS. as are concurrent with the text, but will not conveniently admit of collation, are given separately in a smaller type. These variations will sometimes convey the same information two or three times over but it has been deemed advisable to retain all of them that the reader may have a more ample meaus of judging of the authority of this invaluable national record.
This description of Britain is taken from Bede's Ecclesiastical History. See p. 4.
that some part of the Scots departed frcm Hibernia intc Britain, and conquered some portion of the land. And thei leader was called Reoda; from whom they are named Dalreodi.*1
Sixty years before Christ was born, Gaius Julius, emperor of the Romans, with eighty ships, sought Britain. There he was at first distressed by a fierce battle, and a large portion of his army was dispersed. And then he left his army to abide among the Scots,† and went south into Gaul, and there collected six hundred ships, with which he came again into Britain. And as they first rushed together, the emperor's 'gerrefa' was slain: he was called Labienus. Then the Welsh took large and sharp stakes and drove them into the fording place of a certain river under water; this river was called Thames. When the Romans discovered this, then would they not go over the ford. Then fled the Britons to the wood-wastes, and the emperor conquered very many of their chief cities after a great struggle, and departed again into Gaul.
Before the incarnation of Christ sixty years, Gaius Julius the emperor, first of the Romans, sought the land of Britain; and he crushed the Britons in battle, and overcame them: and revertheless he was unable to gain any empire there.
A. D. 1. Octavianus reigned fifty-six years; and in the forty-second year of his reign Christ was born.
A. 2. The three astrologers came from the eastern parts in order that they might worship Christ. And the children were slain at Bethlehem, in persecution of Christ by Herod.
A. 3. This year died Herod, having stabbed himself, and Archelaus his son succeeded to the government. And the child Christ was brought back again from Egypt.
A. 4. 5. §
See the etymology of this name in a note at page 7.
"This is an error, arising from the inaccurately written MSS. of Orosius and Bede; where in Hybernia and in Hiberniam occur for in hiberna. The error is retained in Wheloc's Bede."-INGRAM.
§ These blank dates are found in the MSS. of the Saxon Chronicle, and are retained in this volume, for the sake of references which occur betweer the MSS. where the date happens to be blank, and others in which facts are assigned to them.
A. 6. From the beginning of the world to this year, five thousand and two hundred years were gone by.
A. 11. This year Herod the son of Antipater obtained the government of Judea.
A. 12. Philip and Herod divided Lysia (between them), and Judea they divided into tetrarchies.
A. 12. This year Judea was divided into four tetrarchies.
A. 16. This year Tiberius succeeded to the empire.
A. 26. This year Pilate began to rule over the Jews.
A. 30. This year Christ was baptized; and he converted Peter and Andrew, and James and John and Philip, and the twelve apostles.
A. 31. 32.
A. 33. This year Christ was crucified; being from the beginning of the world about five thousand two hundred and twenty-six years.
A. 34. This year St. Paul was converted, and St. Stephen stoned.
A. 35. This year the blessed apostle Peter established a bishop's see in the city of Antioch.
A. 36. 37.
A. 38. This year Pilate slew himself with his own hand.
A. 40. Matthew, in Judea, began to write his gospel.
A. 45. This year the blessed apostle Peter established a bishop's see in Rome. This year James, the brother of John, was slain by Herod.
A. 46. This year Herod died; he who slew James, one year before his own death.
A. 46. This year the emperor Claudius came to Britain, and subdued a large part of the island; and he also added the island of Orkney to the dominion of the Romans.
A. 47. This year Claudius, second of the Roman kings, sought the land of Britain, and brought under his power the greater part of the island, and also subjected the Orkney Islands to the dominion of the Romans. This wat he
effected in the fourth year of his reign and in the same year was the great famine in Syria, which was foretold in the Aots of the Apostles through Agabus the prophet. Then Nero succeeded to the empire after Claudius: he nearly lost the island of Britain through his cowardice. Mark the Evangelist begins to write the gospel in Egypt.
A. 47. This was in the fourth year of his reign, and in this same year was the great famine in Syria which Luke speaks of in the book called Actus Apostolorum.'
A. 47. This year Claudius, king of the Romans, went with an army into Britain, and subdued the island, and subjected all the Picts and Welsh tc the rule of the Romans.
A. 48. In this year there was a very severe famine.
A. 49. This year Nero began to reign.
A. 50. This year Paul was sent in bonds to Rome.
A. 62. This year James, the brother of our Lord, suffered martyrdom.
A. 63. This year Mark the Evangelist died.
A. 69. This year Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom.
A. 69. This year Peter suffered on the cross, and Paul was slain
A. 70. This year Vespasian obtained the empire.
A. 71. This year Titus, the son of Vespasian, slew one hundred and eleven thousand Jews in Jerusalem.
A. 81. This year Titus succeeded to the empire, after Vespasian; he who said that he had lost the day on which he had done no good.
A. 82. 83.
A. 84. This year Domitian, the brother of Titus, succeeded to the empire.
A. 84. This year John the Apostle wrote the book which is called Apocalypse.
A. 85. 86.
A. 87. This year John the Evangelist wrote the book of the Apocalypse in the island of Patmos.
A. 100. This year Simon the apostle, the kinsman of Christ, was crucified, and John the Evangeliat rested ir death on that day at Ephesus.
A. 101. This year pope Clement died.
A. 110. This year Ignatius the bishop suffered martyrdom A. 111.-115.
A. 116. This year Adrian the emperor began to reign. A. 117.-136.
A. 137. This year Antoninus began to reign.
A. 145. This year Marcus Antoninus and Aurelius his brother succeeded to the empire.
A. 167. This year Eleutherius obtained the bishopric of Rome, and held it in great glory for twelve years.* To him Lucius, king of Britain. sent letters praying that he might be made a Christian: and he fulfilled that he requested. And they afterwards continued in the right faith till the reign of Diocletian.
A. 167. This year Eleutherius succeeded to the popedom, and held it fifteen years; and in the same year Lucius, king of the Britons, sent and begged baptism of him. And he soon sent it him; and they continued in the true faith until the time of Diocletian.
A. 188. This year Severus succeeded to the empire, and went with an army into Britain, and subdued a great part of the island by battle; and then, for the protection of the Britons, he built a rampart of turf, and a broad wall thereon, from sea to sea. He reigned seventeen years, and then ended his days at York. His son Bassianus succeeded to the empire another son of his was called Geta; he died. A. 190.-198.
A. 199. In this year the Holy-rood† was found.
A. 286. This year St. Alban the martyr suffered.
* According to Muratori, Eleutherius presided from A. 170 to A. 185. "Those writers who mention this grand discovery of the holy cross, by Helena the mother of Constantine, disagree so much in their chronology, that it is a vain attempt to reconcile them to truth or to each other. This and the other notices of ecclesiastical matters, whether Latin or Saxon, from the year 190 to the year 380 of the Laud MS. and 381 of the printed Chronicle, may be safely considered as interpolations, probably posterior to the Norman Conquest."-INGRAM.