According to tradition, Ælle died in this year and Cissa
established his royal centre, although the chroniclers made no
mention of either father or son after 491.
This seems to indicate
that the bretwalda had lost his drive to engage on the battlefield
after Mount Baden. However, Ælle would still have held the authority
of his military achievements, namely, his victorious year of 491 and
his leadership in establishing an entirely new Saxon territory. The
thinking here is that, just as the aristocratic Ambrosius Aurelianus had
a battle leader in the so-called Artorius (maybe it was Ambrosius
who won many of the earlier quasi-legendary twelve battles), the
possible royal Saxon bretwalda might have had his battle leader in
the mixed race alderman Cerdic/Ceretig. For his part, Cissa would
have been committed to the kingdom of the South Saxons.
Cerdic, who had long been an active and, by now, dominant warlord,
decided to make another naval attack on Romano-Britain, perhaps this
time on the west bank of the Solent. Ceretic probably knew that an
immediate military success would secure for him an unrivalled
supremacy over the pure blooded Saxon and Jutish leaders, following
the death of the old bretwalda.
Documented history tells us that
Cerdic, having [possibly] allied himself with his Jutish nephews, Stuf and
Wihtgar, and presumably commanding an army of West Saxons and
Meonware, attacked and defeated the Britons. In the wake of this
victory, the British population was then driven out and yet more
territory was gained for the growing number of settlers.
of Jutes, who were by now the Meonware, and West Saxons, no doubt allied with
mixed race groups, was proving a powerful combination. It is worth
mentioning that military action, of the kind described above, would
not have been seen so much as ethnic cleansing or genocide, but
rather as a matter of securing absolute ownership of the land.