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Post-Roman Britain

Annales Cambriae / Annals of Wales

Compiled 1 April 1999

The main body of this version, the James Ingram translation (London: Everyman Press, 1912), is taken from the Harleian manuscript.

This is the earliest copy of the Annales Cambriae to have survived, although there are later copies of other lost versions.

Text in maroon is from entries which are not found in the Harleian MS, but which appear in some of those later versions. Notes have been added by the compiler for this page.

 

447

Days as dark as night [referring to an eclipse, or the Adventus Saxonum?] [1].
 

[1] Post-Roman Britain, thirty-eight years after the end of Roman administration of the island.

453

Easter altered on the Lord's Day by Pope Leo, bishop of Rome.
 

454

St Brigid is born.
 

457

St Patrick goes to the Lord.

St Patrick
This impression of St Patrick in Ireland is one of the less fanciful, and clearly shows the bishop in his later years, towards the end of the fifth century


458


St David is born in the thirtieth year after Patrick left Menevia [427, presumably when he first visited Ireland].
 

468

The death of Bishop Benignus.
 

501

Bishop Ebur rests in Christ, he was 350 years old.
 

516

The Battle of Badon, in which Arthur carried the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ for three days and three nights on his shoulders and the Britons were the victors. [Dated to about 490-500 by many scholars, with 496 being used throughout this site.]
 

521

St Columba is born. The death of St Brigid.
 

537

The Battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell [usually dated to 511]: and there was plague in Britain and Ireland.
 

544

The sleep [death] of Ciaran.
 

547

The great death [plague] in which Maelgwn, king of Gwynedd died. Thus they say 'The long sleep of Maelgwn in the court of Rhos'. Then was the yellow plague.

Gwynedd
The mountains of North Wales provided a powerful refuge for the rulers of Gwynedd in times of trouble and a wonderfully scenic backdrop to Cunedda's victories over the Irish raiders who were plaguing the region in the late fourth century


558


The death of Gabrán, son of Dungart [of Dal Riada].
 

562

Columba went to Britain.
 

565

The voyage of Gildas to Ireland.
 

569

The 'Synod of Victory' was held between the Britons.
 

570

Gildas wisest of Britons died.
 

573

The Battle of Arfderydd between the sons of Eliffer [of Ebrauc] and Gwenddolau son of Ceidio [of Caer-Guendolau]; in which battle Gwenddolau fell; Merlin went mad [2].

[2] The effective end of post-Roman Britain, which gradually contracts into Wales, the south-west & the north.

Map of Britain AD 550-600
At the start of this period, the Angle and Saxon kingdoms on the east and south coasts were firmly established. Many of the rapidly-formed Romano-British territories in those areas had been swept away in the late fifth century (click or tap on map to view full sized)


574


The sleep [death] of Brendan of Birr.
 

580

Gwrgi and Peredur sons of Elifert [of Ebrauc] died.
 

584

Battle against the Isle of Man and the burial of Daniel of the Bangors.
 

589

The conversion of Constantine [claimed as high king of Britain] to the Lord.
 

594

Aethelbert reigned in England [Kent, from 560 - the concept of 'England' did not yet exist].
 

595

The death of Columba.

The death of King Dunod son of Pabo [of The Peak].
Augustine and Mellitus converted the English to Christ [Kent again].
 

601

The synod of Urbs Legionis [Caer Legion to the Britons, Chester in English].

Gregory died in Christ and also Bishop David of Moni Iudeorum.
 

606

The burial of Bishop Cynog.
 

607

The death of Aidan son of Gabrán [of Dal Riada]
 

612

The death of Kentigern and Bishop Dyfrig.
 

613

The battle of Caer Legion [Chester]. And there died Selyf son of Cynan [of Powys]. And Iago [of Gwynedd] son of Beli slept [died].

The River Dee
The River Dee probably formed the border between northern Powys and south-western Rheged during the sixth century AD, and until the fall of the latter in the early seventh century


616


Ceredig died [almost certainly meant for Ceretic of Elmet].
 

617

Edwin [of the Northumbrians] begins his reign.
 

624

The sun is covered [eclipsed].
 

626

Edwin is baptised, and Rhun [second] son of Urien [Rheged] baptised him.
 

627

Belin dies.
 

629

The besieging of King Cadwallon [of Gwynedd] in the island of Glannauc.
 

630

Gwyddgar comes and does not return. On the Kalends of January the battle of Meigen; and there Edwin was killed with his two sons [633 Anglo Saxon Chronicle]; but Cadwallon was the victor.
 

631

The battle of Cantscaul in which Cadwallon fell.

Roman Viroconium
The old Roman fort at Viroconium, one of their largest settlements, was substantially and skilfully rebuilt in timber between about 530-570, and then mostly dismantled by 600, during the period in which Pengwern may have achieved a semblance of independent Romano-British rule


632


The slaughter of the [River] Severn and the death of Idris [Gawr 'the Big', ruler of Meirionnydd].
 

644

The battle of Cogfry in which Oswald king of the Northmen [the Northumbrians] and Eawa [Eoba] king of the Mercians fell.
 

645

The hammering of the region of Dyfed, when the monastery of David was burnt.
 

649

Slaughter in Gwent.

650

The rising of a star.
 

656

The slaughter of Campus Gaius.
 

657

Penda [of Mercia] killed.
 

658

Oswy [Oswiu of Bernicia] came and took plunder [from Mercia].
 

661

Cummine 'the Tall' [of Munster] died.
 

662

Brocmail 'the tusked' dies [actually Brochfael ap Swalda of Meirionydd and not the famed Brochfael Ysgythrog 'of the Tusks' of the Paganes territory].
 

665

The first celebration of Easter among the Saxons. The second battle of Badon [the first being the Mons Badonicus of around the 490s]. Morgan dies [possibly Morgan Glas 'the Blue' of Glastenning?].

Glastonbury
The Glastonbury region, nominally part of Dumnonia, seems to have experienced a power vacuum in the mid-fifth century which allowed the Dogfeilion kings to walk in and take over


669


Oswy, king of the Saxons [Bernician Northumbrian bretwalda], dies.
 

676

A star [comet] of marvellous brightness was seen shining throughout the whole world.
 

682

A great plague in Britain, in which Cadwaladr son of Cadwallon [of Gwynedd] dies.
 

683

A plague was in Ireland.
 

684

A great earthquake in the Isle of Man.
 

689

The rain turned to blood in Britain, and in Ireland milk and butter turned to blood.
 

704

Aldfrith king of the Saxons [Northumbrians] died. The sleep of Adomnán.
 

714

Night was as bright as day. Pepin 'the Elder' [actually Pepin II, of Heristal], king of the Franks, died in Christ.
 

717

Osred king of the Saxons [Northumbrians] dies.
 

718

The consecration of the church of the archangel Michael on Mount Gargano.
 

721

A hot summer.
 

722

Beli son of Elffin dies. And the battle of Hehil among the Cornish, the battle of Garth Maelog, the battle of Pencon among the south Britons, and the Britons were the victors in those three battles.
 

728

The battle of Mount Carno.
 

735

Bede the priest sleeps.
 

736

Oengus king of the Picts died.
 

750

Battle between the Picts and the Briton, that is the battle of Mocetauc. And their king Talorgan is killed by the Britons.

Plain of Kyle
The Northumbrians seized the plain of Kyle following a heavy battle between its former owners, the Britons of Alt Clut, and the Picts - presumably this loss cut off the Britons from the southern territory of Cumbria


754


Rhodri king of the Britons [Gwynedd] dies.
 

757

Ethelbald [of Mercia?] king of the Saxons dies.
 

760

A battle between the Britons and the Saxons, that is the battle of Hereford and Dyfnwal son of Tewdwr dies.
 

768

Easter is changed among the Britons on the Lord's day, Elfoddw, servant of God, emending it.
 

775

Ffernfael son of Ithael [of Gwent] dies.
 

776

Cinaed, king of the Picts dies [also known as Kenneth MacFeredach].
 

777

Abbot Cuthbert dies.
 

778

The devastation of the South Britons [of Dumnonia] by Offa [of Mercia].

Dumnonia in Maps - Map 9 AD 722
The victories of AD 722 were hugely important, as they apparently won the Dumnonians a century of peace, and may even have penetrated far into Devon - a West Saxon attack of AD 814 seemed to aim at the recovery of these regions (click on map to view full sized)


784


The devastation of Britain by Offa in the summer.
 

796

Devastation by Rheinwg [of Dyfed] son of Offa. The first coming of the gentiles [Norsemen] among the southern Irish.
 

797

Offa king of the Mercians and Maredudd [Meredydd ap Teuder] king of the Demetians [Dyfed] die, at the battle of Rhuddlan.
 

798

Caradog king of Gwynedd is killed by the Saxons.
 

807

Arthen king of Ceredigion dies. Solar eclipse.
 

808

Rhain king of the Demetians [Dyfed] and Cadell king of Powys die.
 

809

Elfoddw archbishop in the Gwynedd region went to the Lord.
 

810

The moon covered. Mynyw burnt. Death of cattle in Britain [bovine plague?].
 

811

Owain son of Maredudd [Owain ap Meredydd of Dyfed] dies.
 

812

The fortress of Degannwy is struck by lightning and burnt.
 

813

Battle between Hywel and Cynan [of Gwynedd]. Hywel was the victor.
 

814

There was great thunder and it caused many fires. Tryffin son of Rhain [of Dyfed] died. And Gruffydd son of Cyngen [of Powys] is killed by treachery by his brother Elisedd after an interval of two months [while Cyngen rules the kingdom]. Hywel triumphed over the island of Mona and he drove Cynan from there with a great loss of his own army.

Rhodri Mawr
There never was a king of Wales (a Germanic title, while the Welsh used the Latin princeps) but Rhodri Mawr perhaps came closest to achieving the reality of either, uniting all of the Welsh principalities under his control but then undoing the process by ensuring that they were divided amongst his sons upon his death


816


Hywel was again expelled from Mona. Cynan the king dies [Cynan Tyndaethwy (ap Rhodri) of Gwynedd]. Saxons invaded the mountains of Eryri and the kingdom of Rhufoniog.
 

817

The battle of Llan-faes.
 

818

Cenwulf [of Mercia] devastated the Dyfed region.
 

822

The fortress of Degannwy is destroyed by the Saxons and they took the kingdom of Powys into their own control.
 

825

Hywel dies.
 

831

Lunar eclipse. Laudent died and Sadyrnfyw Hael of Mynyw died.
 

840

Nobis the bishop ruled Mynyw.
 

842

Idwallon dies.
 

844

Merfyn dies. The battle of Cetill.
 

848

The battle of Ffinnant. Ithael king of Gwent was killed by the men of Brycheiniog.

Brecon Beacons
The fluctuating fortunes of the principality of Brycheiniog took place in the dramatic landscape of the Brecon Beacons in south-eastern Wales


849


Meurig [of Gwent] was killed by Saxons.
 

850

Cynin [of Powys] is killed by the gentiles [or 852]. ["Black gentiles" would seem to be the Danes]
 

853

Mona laid waste by black gentiles.
 

856

Kenneth king of the Picts died [or 860]. And Jonathan prince of Abergele dies.
 

860

Catgueithen was expelled.
 

864

Duda laid Glywysing waste.
 

865

Cian of Nanhyfer died.
 

866

The city of York was laid waste, that is the battle with the black gentiles.
 

869

The battle of Bryn Onnen.

Viking ship
A recreation of a Viking ship of this period which was uncovered on England's west coast, in Liverpool on the Wirral peninsula in 2007 (formerly part of Northumbria and, before that, South Rheged)


870


The fortress of Alt Clud [Dumbarton, Strathclyde] was broken by the gentiles.
 

871

Gwgon king of Ceredigion was drowned.
 

873

Nobis the bishop and Meurig die. The battle of Bannguolou.
 

874

Llunferth the bishop consecrated.
 

875

Dungarth king of Cernyw that is of the Cornish [of Dumnonia] was drowned.
 

876

The Battle of Sunday in Mona.
 

877

Rhodri [of Gwynedd] and his son Gwriad is killed by the Saxons.
 

878

Aed son of Neill [or mac Kenneth - of Scotland] dies.
 

880

The battle of Conwy. Vengeance for Rhodri at God's hand. The battle of Cynan.
 

882

Catgueithen died.
 

885

Hywel died in Rome.

Lateran Palace
The Lateran Palace was originally owned by the Roman patrician Laterani family, who were accused by Nero of plotting against him. The building was confiscated, and between the fourth and fifteenth centuries it was the pope's official residence


887


Cerball died.
 

889

Suibne the wisest of the Irish died.
 

892

Hyfaidd dies.
 

894

Anarawd [of Gwynedd & Deheubarth] came with the Angles and laid waste Ceredigion and Ystrad Tywi.
 

895

The Northmen came and laid waste Lloegr [the British name for what became England] and Brycheiniog and Gwent and Gwynllywiog.
 

896

Bread failed in Ireland. Vermin like moles with two teeth [rats?] fell from the air and ate everything up; they were driven out by fasting and prayer.
 

898

Athelstan [Guthrum, Danish] king of the Saxons [East Anglia] died.

Two sides of a coin issued by Guthrum
Shown here are two sides of a coin which was issued by Guthrum at the end of the ninth century and which imitated Alfred the Great's 'two-line' design


900


Alfred king of the Gewissi [West Saxons] dies.
 

902

Igmund came to Mona and took Maes Osfeilion [Osmaeliog].
 

903

Merfyn [of Powys] son of Rhodri [of Gwynedd] died and Llywarch son of Hyfaidd [of Dyfed] dies.
 

904

Rhodri son of Hyfaidd [of Dyfed] was beheaded in Arwystli.
 

906

The Battle of Dinmeir and Mynyw was broken.
 

907

Bishop Gorchywyl dies and King Cormac.
 

908

Bishop Asser died.
 

909

King Cadell [of Seisyllwg] son of Rhodri [of Gwynedd] dies.
 

913

Ohter comes to Britain.
 

915

Anarawd king of the Britons [Deheubarth] dies.
 

917

Queen Aethelflaed died.
 

919

King Clydog [presumably the ruler of Seisyllwg] was killed.
 

921

The Battle of Dinas Newydd.
 

928

Hywel journeyed to Rome. Helen died.

Map of England and Wales AD 900-950
By the dawn of the tenth century the period of invasion and conquest by the Vikings, mostly originating from Denmark or Viking Dublin, had ended (click or tap on map to view full sized)


935


Gruffydd son of Owain died.
 

938

The Battle of Brune.
 

939

Hyfaidd son of Clydog, and Meurig, died.
 

941

Aethelstan king of the Saxons [of Wessex] died.
 

942

King Afloeg dies.
 

943

Cadell son of Arthfael was poisoned. And Idwal son of Rhodri and his son Elisedd are killed by the Saxons.
 

944

Llunferth bishop in Mynyw died.
 

945

Bishop Morlais died.
 

946

Cyngen son of Elisedd was poisoned. And Eneuris bishop in Mynyw died. And Strathclyde was laid waste by the Saxons [3].
 

[3] The Angles and Saxons are now united under one king.

947

Edmund king of the Saxons [England] was killed.

Eric Bloodaxe silver penny
Shown here are two sides of a silver penny issued under the rule of Eric Bloodaxe following his exile from Norway and during his governance of the Scandinavian kingdom of York in England


950


Hywel king of the Britons [Deheubarth] called the Good died.
 

951

And Cadwgan son of Owain is killed by the Saxons. And the battle of Carno between the sons of Hywel and the sons of Idwal.
 

952

Iago and Idwal the sons of Idwal laid Dyfed waste.
 

954

Rhodri son of Hywel [of Deheubarth] dies.
 

 

 

     
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