Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Irish version of the Historia Britonum of Nennius (Author: unknown)

Historia 15


After the arrival of German in the island of Britain, he went to the fortress of the warrior whose name was Benli to preach


to him. German stopped with his clerics at the door of the fortress. The porter went to the king with the message of the clergyman; the king said, with an oath, that if the clergy were to remain until the end of a year at the door of the fort, they should not come in. The porter came with this answer to German. German came away from the door in the evening, and did not know what road he should go. But one of the servants of the king came out of the fortress, and bowed down before German, and brought him with him to his cabin kindly and cheerfully. And he had no cattle but one cow with her calf, and he killed the calf, and boiled it, and gave it to the clergymen. And German ordered that its bones should not be broken; and on the morrow the calf was alive in the presence of its dam.

On the next day German repaired to the door of the fortress to pray an interview with the king. And then there came a man


running and full of sweat from head to foot; and he knelt to German, and German said, ‘Dost thou believe in the Holy Trinity?’ and he replied, ‘I believe.’ And German baptized him and gave him a kiss: and he said unto him, ‘Arise, now thou shalt die, and the angels of God are awaiting thee.’ And he went cheerfully into the fortress, and was put to death by the king, for the king was accustomed to put to death every one of his people that did not come before sun-rise to do the work of the palace.

German passed the whole of that day till night at the door of the fortress, until the same i. e. the first mentioned servant came; and German said to him, ‘Take care, take care that none of thy people be in this fortress this night.’ He immediately brought out with him the nine sons he had in the fortress, and he brought the clergyman with him to his house again; and they all kept watch. And the fire of God immediately came from heaven upon the fortress, so that it burned the people of the fortress, both men and women, one thousand persons, through the anger of God and of German; and it remains a ruin to the present day.

On the following day this servant, with his sons and the people of the district, in like manner were baptized; and German blessed him and his children. His name was Caiteal, and through


the word i. e. blessing of German, he became a king, and his sons became kings, and their seed have ever since been in the land called Pogus; ut dicitur in the psalms, suscitans a terra inopem, et de stercore erigens pauperem.