Sub-Roman Britain refers to the period in Late Antiquity in Great Britain, covering the end of Roman rule in the late 4th and early 5th centuries, its aftermath into the 6th century. The term "sub-Roman" was used to describe archaeological remains such as potsherds found in sites of the 5th and 6th centuries, hinted at the decay of locally-made wares from a previous higher standard that had existed under the Roman Empire, it is now more used to denote this period of history instead. The term Post-Roman Britain is used in non-archaeological contexts. Although the culture of Britain in the period was derived from Roman and Celtic sources, there were Saxons settled as foederati in the area from Saxony in northwestern Germany, although the term "Saxon" was used by the British for all Germanic incomers; the latter assumed more control, creating Anglo-Saxon England in the process. The Picts in northern Scotland were outside the applicable area; the period of sub-Roman Britain traditionally covers the history of the area which subsequently became England from the end of Roman imperial rule, traditionally dated to be in 410, to the arrival of Saint Augustine in 597.
The date taken for the end of this period is arbitrary in that the sub-Roman culture continued in northern England until the merger of Rheged with Northumbria by dynastic marriage in 633, longer in the West of England, Cornwall and Wales especially. This period has attracted a great deal of academic and popular debate, in part because of the scarcity of the written source material; the term "post-Roman Britain" is used for the period in non-archaeological contexts. Britain south of the Forth–Clyde line; the history of the area between Hadrian's Wall and the Forth–Clyde line is similar to that of Wales. North of the line lay a thinly-populated area including the kingdoms of the Maeatae and the kingdom whose kaer near Inverness was visited by Saint Columba; the Romans referred to these peoples collectively as Picti Picts. The term "Late Antiquity", implying wider horizons, is finding more use in the academic community when transformations of classical culture common throughout the post-Roman West are examined.
The period may be considered as part of the early Middle Ages, if continuity with the following periods is stressed. Popular works use a range of more dramatic names for the period: the Dark Ages, the Brythonic Age, the Age of Tyrants, or the Age of Arthur. There is little extant written material available from this period, though there is a considerable amount from periods that may be relevant. A lot of what is available deals with the first few decades of the 5th century only; the sources can usefully be classified into British and continental, into contemporary and non-contemporary. Two primary contemporary British sources exist: the Confessio of Saint Patrick and Gildas' De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae. Patrick's Confessio and his Letter to Coroticus reveal aspects of life in Britain, from where he was abducted to Ireland, it is useful in highlighting the state of Christianity at the time. Gildas is the nearest to a source of Sub-Roman history but there are many problems in using it; the document represents British history as he and his audience understood it.
Though a few other documents of the period do exist, such as Gildas' letters on monasticism, they are not directly relevant to British history. Gildas' De Excidio is a jeremiad: it is written as a polemic to warn contemporary rulers against sin, demonstrating through historical and biblical examples that bad rulers are always punished by God – in the case of Britain, through the destructive wrath of the Saxon invaders; the historical section of De Excidio is short, the material in it is selected with Gildas' purpose in mind. There are no absolute dates given, some of the details, such as those regarding the Hadrian's and Antonine Walls are wrong. Gildas does provide us with an insight into some of the kingdoms that existed when he was writing, how an educated monk perceived the situation that had developed between the Anglo-Saxons and the Britons. There are more continental contemporary sources that mention Britain, though these are problematic; the most famous is the so-called Rescript of Honorius, in which the Western Emperor Honorius tells the British civitates to look to their own defence.
The first reference to this rescript is written by the 6th century Byzantine scholar Zosimus and is found in the middle of a discussion of southern Italy. The Gallic Chronicles, Chronica Gallica of 452 and Chronica Gallica of 511, say prematurely that "Britain, abandoned by the Romans, passed into the power of the Saxons" and provide information about St Germanus and his visit to Britain, though again this text has received considerable academic deconstruction; the work of Procopius, another 6th-century Byzantine writer, makes some references to Britain, though the accuracy of these is uncertain. There are numerous written sources that claim to provide accurate accounts of the period; the first to attempt this was the monk Bede. He based his account of the Sub-Roman period in his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (w
Taliesin was an early Brythonic poet of Sub-Roman Britain whose work has survived in a Middle Welsh manuscript, the Book of Taliesin. Taliesin was a renowned bard, believed to have sung at the courts of at least three Brythonic kings. Ifor Williams identified eleven of the medieval poems ascribed to Taliesin as originating as early as the sixth century, so being composed by a historical Taliesin; the bulk of this work praises King Urien of Rheged and his son Owain mab Urien, although several of the poems indicate that he served as the court bard to King Brochfael Ysgithrog of Powys and his successor Cynan Garwyn, either before or during his time at Urien's court. Some of the events to which the poems refer, such as the Battle of Arfderydd, are referred to in other sources. In legend and medieval Welsh poetry, he is referred to as Taliesin Ben Beirdd, he is mentioned as one of the five British poets of renown, along with Talhaearn Tad Awen, Aneirin and Cian Gwenith Gwawd, in the Historia Brittonum, is mentioned in the collection of poems known as Y Gododdin.
Taliesin was regarded in the mid-12th century as the supposed author of a great number of romantic legends. According to legend Taliesin was adopted as a child by Elffin, the son of Gwyddno Garanhir, prophesied the death of Maelgwn Gwynedd from the Yellow Plague. In stories he became a mythic hero, companion of Bran the Blessed and King Arthur, his legendary biography is found in several late renderings, the earliest surviving narrative being found in a manuscript chronicle of world history written by Elis Gruffydd in the 16th century. Details of Taliesin's life are sparse; the first mention of him occurs in the Saxon genealogies appended to four manuscripts of the Historia Brittonum. The writer names five poets, among them Taliesin, who lived in the time of Ida of Bernicia and a British chieftain, utigirn; this information is considered credible, since he is mentioned by Aneirin, another of the five mentioned poets, famed as the author of Y Gododdin, a series of elegies to the men of the kingdom of Gododdin who died fighting the Angles at the Battle of Catraeth around 600.
Taliesin's authorship of several praise-poems to Urien Rheged is accepted, these poems mention The Eden Valley and an enemy leader, identified as Ida or his son Theodric. These poems refer to victories of Urien at the battles of Argoed Llwyfain, The Ford of Clyde and Gwen Ystrad. Taliesin sang in praise of Cynan Garwyn, king of Powys and Cynan's predecessor Brochwel Ysgithrog is mentioned in poems. According to legends that first appear in the Book of Taliesin Taliesin's early patron was Elffin, son of Gwyddno Garanhir, a lord of a lost land in Cardigan Bay, called Cantre'r Gwaelod, Taliesin defended Elffin and satirised his enemy, the powerful Maelgwn Gwynedd, shortly before the latter died. According to the Welsh Triads Taliesin had a son, accounted a great warrior who suffered a violent death in Lothian. Taliesin's own grave is held in folk-lore to be one near the village of Tre Taliesin near Llangynfelyn called Bedd Taliesin, but this is a Bronze Age burial chamber, the village of Tre-Taliesin, located at the foot of the hill, was named after the burial chamber in the 19th century though legend was traced by Edward Lhuyd to the 17th century.
More detailed traditions of Taliesin's biography arose from about the 11th century, in Historia Taliesin. In the mid-16th-century, Elis Gruffydd recorded a legendary account of Taliesin that resembles the story of the boyhood of the Irish hero Fionn mac Cumhail and the salmon of wisdom in some respects; the tale was recorded in a different version by John Jones of Gellilyfdy. This story agrees in many respects with fragmentary accounts in the Book of Taliesin. According to the Hanes Taliesin, he was known as Gwion Bach ap Gwreang, he was a servant of Cerridwen and was made to stir the Cauldron of Inspiration for one year to allow for Cerridwen to complete her potion of inspiration. Upon completion of this potion, three drops landed upon Gwion Bach's thumb. Gwion placed his thumb in his mouth to soothe his burns resulting in Gwion's enlightenment. Out of fear of what Cerridwen would do to him, Gwion fled and transformed into a piece of grain before being consumed by Cerridwen. Gwion was reborn and given the name Taliesin.
According to these texts Taliesin was the foster-son of Elffin ap Gwyddno, who gave him the name Taliesin, meaning "radiant brow", who became a king in Ceredigion, Wales. The legend states that he was raised at his court in Aberdyfi and that at the age of 13, he visited King Maelgwn Gwynedd, Elffin's uncle, prophesied the manner and imminence of Maelgwn's death. A number of medieval poems attributed to Taliesin allude to the legend but these postdate the historical poet's floruit considerably; the idea that he was a bard at the court of King Arthur dates back at least to the tale of Culhwch and Olwen a product of the 11th century. It is elaborated upon in modern English poetry, such as Tennyson's Idylls of the King and Charles Williams's Taliessin Through Logres, but the historical Taliesin's career can be shown to have fallen in the last half of the 6th century, while historians who argue for Arthur's existence date his victory at Mons Badonicus in the years either si
Edwin of Northumbria
Edwin known as Eadwine or Æduinus, was the King of Deira and Bernicia – which became known as Northumbria – from about 616 until his death. He converted to Christianity and was baptised in 627. Edwin seems to have had two siblings, his sister Acha was married to king of neighbouring Bernicia. An otherwise unknown sibling fathered Hereric, who in turn fathered Abbess Hilda of Whitby and Hereswith, wife to Æthelric, the brother of king Anna of East Anglia; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reported. The exact identity of Æthelric is uncertain, he may have been a brother of Ælle, an elder brother of Edwin, an otherwise unknown Deiran noble, or the father of Æthelfrith. Æthelfrith himself appears to have been king of "Northumbria"—both Deira and Bernicia—by no than 604. During the reign of Æthelfrith, Edwin was an exile; the location of his early exile as a child is not known, but late traditions, reported by Reginald of Durham and Geoffrey of Monmouth, place Edwin in the kingdom of Gwynedd, fostered by king Cadfan ap Iago, so allowing biblical parallels to be drawn from the struggle between Edwin and his supposed foster-brother Cadwallon.
By the 610s he was in Mercia under the protection of king Cearl, whose daughter Cwenburg he married. By around 616, Edwin was in East Anglia under the protection of king Raedwald. Bede reports that Æthelfrith tried to have Raedwald murder his unwanted rival, that Raedwald intended to do so until his wife persuaded him otherwise with Divine prompting. Æthelfrith faced Raedwald in battle by the River Idle in 616, Æthelfrith was defeated. Raedwald's son Raegenhere may have been killed at this battle, but the exact date or manner of Raedwald's death are not known, he died between the years 616–627, the efficacy of Edwin’s kingship ostensibly depended on his fealty to Raedwald. Edwin was installed as king of Northumbria confirming Raedwald as bretwalda: Æthelfrith's sons went into exile in Irish Dál Riata and Pictland; that Edwin was able to take power not only in his native Deira but in Bernicia may have been due to his support from Raedwald, to whom he may have remained subject during the early part of his reign.
Edwin's reign marks an interruption of the otherwise consistent domination of Northumbria by the Bernicians and has been seen as "contrary to the prevailing tendency". With the death of Æthelfrith, of the powerful Æthelberht of Kent the same year and his client Edwin were well placed to dominate England, indeed Raedwald did so until his death a decade later. Edwin expelled Ceretic from the minor British kingdom of Elmet in either 616 or 626. Elmet had been subject to Mercia and to Edwin; the larger kingdom of Lindsey appears to have been taken over c. 625, after the death of king Raedwald. Edwin and Eadbald of Kent were allies at this time, Edwin arranged to marry Eadbald's sister Æthelburg. Bede notes that Eadbald would agree to marry his sister to Edwin only if he converted to Christianity; the marriage of Eadbald's Merovingian mother Bertha had resulted in the conversion of Kent and Æthelburg's would do the same in Northumbria. Edwin's expansion to the west may have begun early in his reign.
There is firm evidence of a war waged in the early 620s between Edwin and Fiachnae mac Báetáin of the Dál nAraidi, king of the Ulaid in Ireland. A lost poem is known to have existed recounting Fiachnae's campaigns against the Saxons, the Irish annals report the siege, or the storming, of Bamburgh in Bernicia in 623–624; this should be placed in the context of Edwin's designs on the Isle of Man, a target of Ulaid ambitions. Fiachnae's death in 626, at the hands of his namesake, Fiachnae mac Demmáin of the Dál Fiatach, the second Fiachnae's death a year in battle against the Dál Riata eased the way for Edwin's conquests in the Irish sea province; the routine of kingship in Edwin's time involved regular annual, wars with neighbours to obtain tribute and slaves. By Edwin's death, it is that these annual wars, unreported in the main, had extended the Northumbrian kingdoms from the Humber and the Mersey north to the Southern Uplands and the Cheviots; the royal household moved from one royal vill to the next, consuming the food renders given in tribute and the produce of the royal estates, dispensing justice, ensuring that royal authority remained visible throughout the land.
The royal sites in Edwin's time included Yeavering in Bernicia, where traces of a timber amphitheatre have been found. This "Roman" feature makes Bede's claim that Edwin was preceded by a standard-bearer carrying a "tufa" appear to be more than antiquarian curiosity, although whether the model for this practice was Roman or Frankish is unknown. Other royal sites included Campodunum in Elmet, Sancton in Deira, Goodmanham, the site where the pagan high priest Coifi destroyed the idols according to Bede. Edwin's realm included the former Roman cities of York and Carlisle, both appear to have been of some importance in the 7th century, although it is not clear whether urban life continued in this period; the account of Edwin's conversion offered by Bede turns on two events. The first, during Edwin's exile, tells; the second, following his marriage to Æthelburg, was the attempted assassination at York, at Easter 626, by an agent of Cwichelm of Wessex. Edwin's decision to allow the baptism of his daughter Eanfled and his su
West Riding of Yorkshire
The West Riding of Yorkshire is one of the three historic subdivisions of Yorkshire, England. From 1889 to 1974 the administrative county, County of York, West Riding, was based on the historic boundaries; the lieutenancy at that time included the City of York and as such was named West Riding of the County of York and the County of the City of York. Its boundaries correspond to the present ceremonial counties of West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and the Craven and Selby districts of North Yorkshire, along with smaller parts in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and, since 1996, the unitary East Riding of Yorkshire; the West Riding encompasses 1,771,562 acres from Sheffield in the south to Sedbergh in the north and from Dunsop Bridge in the west to Adlingfleet in the east. The southern industrial district, considered in the broadest application of the term, extended northward from Sheffield to Skipton and eastward from Sheffield to Doncaster, covering less than one-half of the riding. Within this district were Barnsley, Bradford, Dewsbury, Halifax, Keighley, Morley, Pontefract, Rotherham, Sheffield and Wakefield.
Major centres elsewhere in the riding included Ripon. Within the industrial region, other urban districts included Bingley, Bolton on Dearne, Cleckheaton, Featherstone, Hoyland Nether, Mexborough, Normanton, Rothwell, Shipley, Sowerby Bridge, Swinton, Wath-upon-Dearne and Worsborough. Outside the industrial region were Goole, Ilkley and Selby; the West Riding contained a large rural area to the north including part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The subdivision of Yorkshire into three ridings or "thirds" is of Scandinavian origin; the West Riding was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Unlike most English counties, being so large, was divided first into the three ridings and the city of York; each riding was divided into wapentakes, a division comparable to the hundreds of Southern England and the wards of England's four northern-most historic counties. Within the West Riding of Yorkshire there were ten wapentakes in total, four of which were split into two divisions, those were— Claro, Skyrack and Tickhill and Staincliffe.
The wapentake of Agbrigg and Morley was created with two divisions but was split into two separate wapentakes. A wapentake known as the Ainsty to the west of York, was until the 15th century a wapentake of the West Riding, but since has come under the jurisdiction of the City of York The administrative county was formed in 1889 by the Local Government Act 1888, covered the historic West Riding except for the larger urban areas, which were county boroughs with the powers of both a municipal borough and a county council. There were five in number: Bradford, Huddersfield and Sheffield; the City of York was included in the county for lieutenancy purposes. The number of county boroughs increased over the years; the boundaries of existing county boroughs were widened. Beginning in 1898, the West Riding County Council was based at the County Hall in Wakefield, inherited by the West Yorkshire County Council in 1974; the Local Government Act 1888 included the entirety of Todmorden with the West Riding administrative county, in its lieutenancy area.
Other boundary changes in the county included the expansion of the county borough of Sheffield southward in areas in Derbyshire such as Dore. Fingerposts erected in the West Riding. At the top of the post was a roundel in the form of a hollow circle with a horizontal line across the middle, displaying "Yorks W. R.", the name of the fingerpost's location, a grid reference. Other counties, apart from Dorset, did not display a grid reference and did not have a horizontal bar through the roundel. From 1964, many fingerposts were replaced by ones in the modern style, but some of the old style still survive within the West Riding boundaries. By 1971 1,924,853 people lived in the administrative county, against 1,860,435 in the ten county boroughs; the term West Riding is still used in the names of the following clubs, organisations: 33rd Foot, First Yorkshire West Riding Regiment, a re-enactment group based in Halifax who depict this Regiment during the Napoleonic Wars 49 Signal Squadron, a squadron of 34 Signal Regiment based at Carlton Barracks in Leeds 51st Light Infantry, a re-enactment group based in the West Midlands who depict this Regiment during the Napoleonic Wars 106 Field Squadron, a squadron of 72 Engineer Regiment based in Greenhill and Manningham Lane, Bradford 269 Bat
Hilda of Whitby
Hilda of Whitby or Hild of Whitby is a Christian saint and the founding abbess of the monastery at Whitby, chosen as the venue for the Synod of Whitby. An important figure in the Christianisation of Anglo-Saxon England, she was abbess at several monasteries and recognised for the wisdom that drew kings to her for advice; the source of information about Hilda is the Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede in 731, born eight years before her death. He documented much of the Christian conversion of the Anglo-Saxons. According to Bede, Hilda was born in 614 into the Deiran royal household, she was the second daughter of Hereric, nephew of Edwin, King of Deira and his wife, Breguswīþ. When Hilda was still an infant, her father was poisoned while in exile at the court of the Brittonic king of Elmet in what is now West Yorkshire. In 616, Edwin killed the son of Æthelric of Bernicia, in battle, he took its throne. Hilda was brought up at King Edwin's court. In 625, the widowed Edwin married the Christian princess Æthelburh of Kent, daughter of King Æthelberht of Kent and the Merovingian princess Bertha of Kent.
As part of the marriage contract, Aethelburh was allowed to continue her Roman Christian worship and was accompanied to Northumbria with her chaplain, Paulinus of York, a Roman monk sent to England in 601 to assist Augustine of Canterbury. Augustine's mission in England was based in Kent, is referred to as the Gregorian mission after the pope who sent him; as queen, Æthelburh continued to practice her Christianity and no doubt influenced her husband's thinking as her mother Bertha had influenced her father. In 627 King Edwin was baptised on Easter Day, 12 April, along with his entire court, which included the 13-year-old Hilda, in a small wooden church hastily constructed for the occasion near the site of the present York Minster. In 633 Northumbria was overrun by the neighbouring pagan King of Mercia, at which time King Edwin fell in battle. Paulinus accompanied her companions to the Queen's home in Kent. Queen Æthelburh founded a convent at Lyminge and it is assumed that Hilda remained with the Queen-Abbess.
Hilda's elder sister, married Ethelric, brother of King Anna of East Anglia, who with all of his daughters became renowned for their Christian virtues. Hereswith became a nun at Chelles Abbey in Gaul. Bede resumes Hilda's story at a point when she was about to join her widowed sister at Chelles Abbey. At the age of 33, Hilda decided instead to answer the call of Bishop Aidan of Lindisfarne and returned to Northumbria to live as a nun. Hilda's original convent is not known except. Here, with a few companions, she learned the traditions of Celtic monasticism, which Bishop Aidan brought from Iona. After a year Aidan appointed Hilda as the second Abbess of Hartlepool Abbey. No trace remains of this abbey, but its monastic cemetery has been found near the present St Hilda's Church, Hartlepool. In 657 Hilda became the founding abbess of Whitby Abbey known as Streoneshalh. Archaeological evidence shows that her monastery was in the Celtic style, with its members living in small houses, each for two or three people.
The tradition in double monasteries, such as Hartlepool and Whitby, was that men and women lived separately but worshipped together in church. The exact location and size of the church associated with this monastery is unknown. Bede states that the original ideals of monasticism were maintained in Hilda's abbey. All property and goods were held in common. Everyone had to do good works. Five men from this monastery became bishops. Two, John of Beverley, Bishop of Hexham and Wilfrid, Bishop of York, were canonized for their service to the Christian church at a critical period in its fight against paganism. Bede describes Hilda as a woman of great energy, a skilled administrator and teacher; as a landowner she had many in her employ to care for sheep and cattle and woodcutting. She gained such a reputation for wisdom that princes sought her advice, she had a concern for ordinary folk such as Cædmon, however. He was a herder at the monastery, inspired in a dream to sing verses in praise of God. Hilda encouraged him to develop it.
Bede writes, "All who knew her called her mother because of her outstanding devotion and grace". The prestige of Whitby is reflected in the fact that King Oswiu of Northumberland chose Hilda's monastery as the venue for the Synod of Whitby, the first synod of the Church in his kingdom, he invited churchmen from as far away as Wessex to attend the synod. Most of those present, including Hilda, accepted the King's decision to adopt the method of calculating Easter used in Rome, establishing Roman practice as the norm in Northumbria; the monks from Lindisfarne, who would not accept this, withdrew to Iona, to Ireland. Hilda suffered from a fever for the last seven years of her life, but she continued to work until her death on 17 November 680 AD, at what was the advanced age of sixty-six. In her last year she set up another monastery, at Hackness, she died after receiving viaticum, her legend holds that at the moment of her death the bells of the monastery of Hackness tolled. A nun there named. A local legend says that when sea birds fly over the abbey they dip their wings in honour of Saint Hilda.
Another legend tells of a plague of snakes which Hilda turned to stone explaining the presence of a
Yr Hen Ogledd, in English the Old North, is the region of Northern England and the southern Scottish Lowlands inhabited by the Celtic Britons of sub-Roman Britain in the Early Middle Ages. Its denizens spoke a variety of the Brittonic language known as Cumbric; the Hen Ogledd was distinct from the parts of northern Britain inhabited by the Picts, Anglo-Saxons, Scoti as well as from Wales, although the people of the Hen Ogledd were the same Brittonic stock as the Picts and Cornish, the region loomed large in Welsh literature and tradition for centuries after its kingdoms had disappeared. The major kingdoms of the Hen Ogledd were Elmet in western Yorkshire. Smaller kingdoms or districts included Aeron, Eidyn and Manaw Gododdin; the Angle kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia both had Brittonic-derived names, suggesting they may have been Brittonic kingdoms in origin. All the kingdoms of the Old North except Strathclyde were conquered by Anglo-Saxons and Picts by about 800; the legacy of the Hen Ogledd remained strong in Wales.
Welsh tradition included genealogies of the Gwŷr y Gogledd, or Men of the North, several important Welsh dynasties traced their lineage to them. A number of important early Welsh texts were attributed to the Men of the North, such as Taliesin, Myrddin Wyllt, the Cynfeirdd poets. Heroes of the north such as Urien, Owain mab Urien, Coel Hen and his descendants feature in Welsh poetry and the Welsh Triads. Nothing is reliably known of Central Britain before c. 550. There had never been a period of long-term, effective Roman control north of the Tyne–Solway line, south of that line effective Roman control ended long before the traditionally given date of departure of the Roman military from Roman Britain in 407, it was noted in the writings of Ammianus Marcellinus and others that there was ever-decreasing Roman control from about AD 100 onward, in the years after 360 there was widespread disorder and the large-scale permanent abandonment of territory by the Romans. By 550, the region was controlled by native Brittonic-speaking peoples except for the eastern coastal areas, which were controlled by the Anglian peoples of Bernicia and Deira.
To the north were the Picts with the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata to the northwest. All of these peoples would play a role in the history of the Old North. From a historical perspective, wars were internecine, Britons were aggressors as well as defenders, as was true of the Angles and Gaels. However, those Welsh stories of the Old North that tell of Briton fighting Anglian have a counterpart, told from the opposite side; the story of the demise of the kingdoms of the Old North is the story of the rise of the Kingdom of Northumbria from two coastal kingdoms to become the premier power in Britain north of the Humber and south of the Firth of Clyde and the Firth of Forth. The interests of kingdoms of this era were not restricted to their immediate vicinity. Alliances were not made only within the same ethnic groups, nor were enmities restricted to nearby different ethnic groups. An alliance of Britons fought against another alliance of Britons at the Battle of Arfderydd. Áedán mac Gabráin of Dál Riata appears in the Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd, a genealogy among the pedigrees of the Men of the North.
The Historia Brittonum states that Oswiu, king of Northumbria, married a Briton who may have had some Pictish ancestry. A marriage between the Northumbrian and Pictish royal families would produce the Pictish king Talorgan I. Áedán mac Gabráin fought as an ally of the Britons against the Northumbrians. Cadwallon ap Cadfan of the Kingdom of Gwynedd allied with Penda of Mercia to defeat Edwin of Northumbria. Conquest and defeat did not mean the extirpation of one culture and its replacement by another; the Brittonic region of northwestern England was absorbed by Anglian Northumbria in the 7th century, yet it would re-emerge 300 years as South Cumbria, joined with North Cumbria into a single state. The organisation of the Men of the North was tribal, based on kinship groups of extended families, owing allegiance to a dominant "royal" family, sometimes indirectly through client relationships, receiving protection in return. For Celtic peoples, this organisation was still in effect hundreds of years as shown in the Irish Brehon law, the Welsh Laws of Hywel Dda, the Scottish Laws of the Brets and Scots.
The Germanic Anglo-Saxon law had culturally different origins, but with many similarities to Celtic law. Like Celtic law, it was based on cultural tradition, without any perceivable debt to the Roman occupation of Britain. A primary royal court would be maintained as a "capital", but it was not the bureaucratic administrative centre of modern society, nor the settlement or civitas of Roman rule; as the ruler and protector of his kingdom, the king would maintain multiple courts throughout his territory, travelling among them to exercise his authority and to address the needs of his clients, such as in the dispensing of justice. This ancient method of dispensing justice survived throughout England as a part of royal procedure until the reforms of Henry II modernised the administration of law. Modern scholarship uses the term "Cumbric" for the Brittonic language spoken in the Hen Ogledd, it appears to have been closely related to Old Welsh, with some local variances, more distant
Annales Cambriae is the name given to a complex of Cambro-Latin chronicles compiled or derived from diverse sources at St David's in Dyfed, Wales. The earliest is a 12th-century presumed copy of a mid-10th century original. Despite the name, the Annales Cambriae record not only events in Wales, but events in Ireland, England and sometimes further afield, though the focus of the events recorded in the two-thirds of the text is Wales; the principal versions of Annales Cambriae appear in four manuscripts: A: London, British Library, MS. Harleian 3859, folios 190r-193r. B: London, National Archives, MS. E.164/1 pp. 2–26C: London, British Library, MS. Cotton Domitian A.i, folios 138r-155rD: Exeter, Cathedral Library, MS. 3514, pp. 523–28, the Cronica ante aduentum Domini. E: ibid. pp. 507–19, the Cronica de Wallia. A is written in a hand of about 1100x1130 AD, inserted without title into a manuscript of the Historia Brittonum where it is followed by a pedigree for Owain ap Hywel. Although no explicit chronology is given in the MS, its annals seem to run from about AD 445 to 977 with the last entry at 954, making it that the text belongs to the second half of the 10th century.
B was written at the Cistercian abbey of Neath, at the end of the 13th century. It is entitled Annales ab orbe condito adusque A. D. mcclxxxvi. C is part of a book written at St David's, is entitled Annales ab orbe condito adusque A. D. mcclxxviii. Two of the texts, B and C, begin with a World Chronicle derived from Isidore of Seville's Origines, through the medium of Bede's Chronica minora. B commences its annals with Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain "sixty years before the incarnation of the Lord." After A. D. 457, B agrees with A until A ends. C commences its annals after the empire of Heraclius at a year corresponding to AD 677. C agrees with A until A ends, although it is clear that A was not the common source for B and C. B and C briefer Welsh entries. D and E are found in a manuscript written at the Cistercian abbey of Whitland in south-west Wales in the 13th century. A alone has benefited from a complete diplomatic edition. There are two entries in the Annales on King Arthur, one on Medraut, one on Merlin.
These entries have been presented in the past as proof of the existence of Arthur and Merlin, although that view is no longer held because the Arthurian entries could have been added arbitrarily as late as 970, long after the development of the early Arthurian myth. The entries on Arthur and Mordred in the A Text: Year 72 The Battle of Badon, in which Arthur carried the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ on his shoulders for three days and three nights and the Britons were victors. Year 93 The Strife of Camlann in which Arthur and Medraut fell and there was death in Britain and in Ireland. Concerning Arthur's cross at the Battle of Badon, it is mirrored by a passage in Nennius where Arthur was said to have borne the image of the Virgin Mary "on his shoulders" during a battle at a castle called Guinnion; the words for "shoulder" and "shield" were, however confused in Old Welsh – *scuit "shield" versus *scuid "shoulder" – and Geoffrey of Monmouth played upon this dual tradition, describing Arthur bearing "on his shoulders a shield" emblazoned with the Virgin.
Merlin is not mentioned in the A Text, though there is mention of the battle of Arfderydd, associated with him in medieval Welsh literature: Year 129 The Battle of ArmteridTexts B and C omit the second half of the year 93 entry. B calls Arfderydd "Erderit". In the B Text, the year 129 entry continues: "between the sons of Elifer and Guendoleu son of Keidau in which battle Guendoleu fell and Merlin went mad". Both the B and C texts display the influence of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, this is reflected in the Arfderydd entry by the choice of the Latinized form Merlinus, first found in Geoffrey's Historia, as opposed to the expected Old Welsh form Merdin. History of Wales English historians in the Middle Ages Brett, Caroline, 1988'The Prefaces of Two Late Thirteenth-century Welsh Latin Chronicles', Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 35, pp. 64–73. Dumville, David N. 1972-74'Some aspects of the chronology of the Historia Brittonum', Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 25, pp. 439–445.
Dumville, David N. 1977'Sub-Roman Britain: history and legend', History 62, pp. 173–192. Dumville, David N. 1977/8'The Welsh Latin annals', Studia Celtica 12/13, pp. 461–467 Dumville, David N. 1984'When was the'Clonmacnoise Chronicle' created? The evidence of the Welsh annals', in Grabowski K. & Dumville D. N. 1984 Chronicles and Annals of Mediaeval Ireland and Wales: The Clonmacnoise-group of texts, Boydell, pp. 209–226. Dumville, David N. 2002'Annales Cambriae, A. D. 682-954: Texts A-C in Parallel', Department of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic, University of Cambridge. Dumville, David N. 2004' Annales Cambriae and Easter', in The Medieval Chronicle III, Amsterdam & New York. Gough-Cooper, Henry, 2010'Annales Cambriae, from Saint Patrick to AD 682: Texts A, B & C in Parallel.' The Heroic Age: A Journal of Early Medieval Northwest Europe, Issue 15 The Heroic Age website Grigg, Erik, 2009"Mole Rain' and other natural phenom