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

Historia 12

Now Julius, the first king of the Romans, who took the


island of Britain, was killed in his own senate; and it was in his honour that the Romans gave the month of July its name, at the end of seven and forty years after the birth of Christ.

ii. Cluid Claudius was the second king that took possession of Britain, at the end of forty and four years after the birth of Christ, and he brought a great slaughter upon the Britons, and he penetrated to the islands of Orc, after causing a slaughter of his people, and after a great loss of his people by the chieftain whose name was Cassibellaunus. He reigned thirteen years and seven months, when he died in Magnantia of the Longobards, as he was going to Rome from the island of Britain.

After one hundred and forty-seven years from the birth of Christ, the Emperor and the Pope, viz., Eleutherius, sent clerks from them with letters to Lucius King of Britain, in order that the king might be baptized, and the other kings of Britain in like manner.

iii. Severus was the third king that came to Britain; and it was


by him was made the Saxon ditch against the barbarians, i. e. the Cruithnians, 2130 paces long, and the name of that ditch among the Britons was GUAUL. And he commanded another ditch to be made against the Gaels and the Cruithnians, i. e. Cladh na muice, and he was afterwards killed by the Britons, with his chieftains.

iv. Carausius afterwards came bravely to avenge Severus on the Britons, so that the King of Britain fell by him, and he assumed the royal robes in spite of the king, i. e. of the emperor; so that Alectus, the Roman champion, killed him, and he himself viz. Alectus seized the kingdom afterwards for a long time.

v. Constantinus, son of Constantine the Great, son of Helena, took the island of Britain, and died, and was buried at Caersegeint, i. e. Minantia, another name for that city; and letters on the gravestone


point out his name, and he left three seeds in the green of that city, so that there is not a poor man in that city.

vi. Maxim was the sixth emperor that took Britain. It was at that time that the consulship was begun among the Romans, and no king was called Caesar from thenceforth. It was in the time of Maxim that the noble venerable prelate St. Martin flourished; he was of Gaul of Ulexis.

vii. Maximian took the kingdom of Britain, and he led the armies of Britain against the Romans, so that Gratian, the emperor, fell by him, and he himself took the empire of Europe; and he did not suffer the armies he had brought with him to go back to their wives and their children, nor to their lands, but gave them many lands, from the place where there is the lake on the top of Mount Jove, to Canacuic on the south, and westward to the Mound Ochiden, a place where there is a celebrated cross, and these are the Britons of


Letha, and they remained in the south ever since, and it was for this reason that foreign tribes occupied the lands of the Britons, and that the Britons were slaughtered on the borders of their land.

But Gratian, with his brother Valentinian, reigned conjointly six years. It was in his time lived the noble prelate in Milan, a teacher of Catholicity, viz. Ambrose.

Valentinian and Theothas Theodosius were in joint sovereignty eight years. It was in their time was assembled the synod in Constantinople of three hundred and fifty clerks, to banish the heresy of Macedon, viz., the denying the Holy Ghost. And it was in their time the noble priest Cirine Hieronymus flourished at Bethlehem Judah, the catholic interpreter.

The same Gratian, as we have said, and Valentinian, reigned until Maximen Maximus was made king by the soldiers in the island of Britain, and went across the sea to France; and the king, Gratian, was set at liberty by the treacherous counsel of the master of the soldiers,


Parassis Merobladis; and the king fled to Lugdon, and was taken there and put to death.

Maximen and his son Victor reigned jointly. Martin was at Torinis at that time. But Maximen was stripped of his royal robes by the consuls, i. e. by Valentinen and Theothas, at the third stone from the city Eigilia Aquileia, and his head was cut off in that place. His son Victor also fell in France by the hand of the count whose name was Arguba; from the creation of the world are 5690 years, to this event, according to all the chronicles.