Kingdom of Aksum
The Kingdom of Aksum was an ancient kingdom located in what is now Tigray Region and Eritrea. Axumite Emperors were powerful sovereigns, styling themselves King of kings, king of Aksum, Raydan, Salhen, Beja and of Kush. Ruled by the Aksumites, it existed from 100 AD to 940 AD; the polity was centered in the city of Axum and grew from the proto-Aksumite Iron Age period around the 4th century BC to achieve prominence by the 1st century AD. Aksum became a major player on the commercial route between the Roman Ancient India; the Aksumite rulers facilitated trade by minting their own Aksumite currency, with the state establishing its hegemony over the declining Kingdom of Kush. It regularly entered the politics of the kingdoms on the Arabian Peninsula and extended its rule over the region with the conquest of the Himyarite Kingdom; the Manichaei prophet Mani regarded Axum as one of the four great powers of his time, the others being Persia and China. The Aksumites erected a number of monumental stelae, which served a religious purpose in pre-Christian times.
One of these granite columns is the largest such structure in the world, at 90 feet. Under Ezana Aksum adopted Christianity. In the 7th century, early Muslims from Mecca sought refuge from Quraysh persecution by travelling to the kingdom, a journey known in Islamic history as the First Hijra; the kingdom's ancient capital called Axum, is now a town in Tigray Region. The Kingdom used the name "Ethiopia" as early as the 4th century. Tradition claims Axum as the alleged resting place of the Ark of the Covenant and the purported home of the Queen of Sheba. Aksum is mentioned in the first-century AD Periplus of the Erythraean Sea as an important market place for the trade in ivory, exported throughout the ancient world, it states that the ruler of Aksum in the first century was Zoskales, besides ruling the kingdom controlled land near the Red Sea: Adulis and lands through the highlands of present-day Eritrea. He is said to have been familiar with Greek literature. 4. Below Ptolemais of the Hunts, at a distance of about three thousand stadia, there is Adulis, a port established by law, lying at the inner end of a bay that runs in toward the south.
Before the harbor lies the so-called Mountain Island, about two hundred stadia seaward from the head of the bay, with the shores of the mainland close to it on both sides. Ships bound for this port now anchor here because of attacks from the land, they used to anchor at the head of the bay, by an island called Diodorus, close to the shore, which could be reached on foot from the land. Opposite Mountain Island, on the mainland twenty stadia from shore, lies Adulis, a fair-sized village, from which there is a three-days' journey to Coloe, an inland town and the first market for ivory. From that place to the city of the people called Auxumites there is a five days' journey more; the whole number of elephants and rhinoceros that are killed live in the places inland, although at rare intervals they are hunted on the seacoast near Adulis. Before the harbor of that market-town, out at sea on the right hand, there lie a great many little sandy islands called Alalaei, yielding tortoise-shell, brought to market there by the Fish-Eaters....
6. There are imported into these places, undressed cloth made in Egypt for the Berbers. Besides these, small axes are imported, adzes and swords. From the district of Ariaca across this sea, there are imported Indian iron, steel, Indian cotton cloth. There are exported from these places ivory, tortoiseshell and rhinoceros-horn; the most from Egypt is brought to this market from the month of January to September, that is, from Tybi to Thoth. On the basis of Carlo Conti Rossini's theories and prolific work on Ethiopian history, Aksum was thought to have been founded by the Sabaeans, who spoke a language from the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Evidence suggests that Semitic-speaking Aksumites semiticized the Agaw people, who spoke other Afroasiatic languages from the family's Cushitic branch, had established an independent civilisation in the territory before the arrival of the Sabaeans. Scholars like Stuart Munro-Hay thus point to the existence of an older kingdom known as D'mt, which flourished in the area between the tenth and fifth centuries BC, prior to the proposed Sabaean migration in the fourth or fifth century BC.
They cite evidence indicating that Sabaea
The Vandal Kingdom or Kingdom of the Vandals and Alans was established by the Germanic Vandal people under Genseric, ruled in North Africa and the Mediterranean from 435 AD to 534 AD. In 429, the Vandals, estimated to number 80,000 people, had crossed by boat from Spain to North Africa, they advanced eastward conquering the coastal regions of 21st century Morocco and Tunisia. In 435, the Roman Empire ruling in North Africa, allowed the Vandals to settle in the provinces of Numidia and Mauretania when it became clear that the Vandal army could not be defeated by Roman military forces. In 439 the Vandals renewed their advance eastward and captured Carthage, the most important city of North Africa; the fledgling kingdom conquered the Roman-ruled islands of Sicily and Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea. In the 460s the Romans launched two unsuccessful military expeditions by sea in an attempt to overthrow the Vandals and reclaim North Africa; the conquest of North Africa by the Vandals was a blow to the beleaguered Western Roman Empire as North Africa was a major source of revenue and a supplier of grain to the city of Rome.
Although remembered for the sack of Rome in 455 and their persecution of Nicene Christians in favor of Arian Christianity, the Vandals were patrons of learning. Grand building projects continued, schools flourished and North Africa fostered many of the most innovative writers and natural scientists of the late Latin Western Roman Empire; the Vandal Kingdom ended in 534 when it was conquered by Belisarius in the Vandalic War and incorporated into the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. The Vandals, under their new king Gaiseric, crossed to Africa in 429. Although numbers are unknown and some historians debate the validity of estimates, based on Procopius' assertion that the Vandals and Alans numbered 80,000 when they moved to North Africa, Peter Heather estimates that they could have fielded an army of around 15,000–20,000. According to Procopius, the Vandals came to Africa at the request of Bonifacius, the military ruler of the region. However, it has been suggested. Advancing eastwards along the African coast, the Vandals laid siege to the walled city of Hippo Regius in 430.
Inside, Saint Augustine and his priests prayed for relief from the invaders, knowing full well that the fall of the city would spell conversion or death for many Roman Christians. On 28 August 430, three months into the siege, St. Augustine died - from starvation or stress, as the wheat fields outside the city lay dormant and unharvested. After 14 months and diseases were ravaging both the city's inhabitants and the Vandals outside the city walls; the city fell to the Vandals and they made it their first capital. Peace was made between the Romans and the Vandals in 435 through a treaty - between Valentinian III and Genseric - giving the Vandals control of coastal Numidia and parts of Mauretania. Genseric chose to break the treaty in 439 when he invaded the province of Africa Proconsularis and laid siege to Carthage; the city was captured without a fight. Genseric made it his capital, styled himself the King of the Vandals and Alans, to denote the inclusion of his Alan allies into his realm. Conquering Sicily, Corsica and the Balearic Islands, he built his kingdom into a powerful state.
Averil Cameron suggests that the new Vandal rule may not have been unwelcome to the population of North Africa as the previous landowners were unpopular. The impression given by sources such as Victor of Vita and Fulgentius of Ruspe was that the Vandal take-over of Carthage and North Africa led to widespread destruction. However, recent archaeological investigations have challenged this assertion. Although Carthage's Odeon was destroyed, the street pattern remained the same and some public buildings were renovated; the political centre of Carthage was the Byrsa Hill. New industrial centres emerged within towns during this period. Historian Andy Merrills uses the large amounts of African red slip ware discovered across the Mediterranean dating from the Vandal period of North Africa to challenge the assumption that the Vandal rule of North Africa was a time of economic instability; when the Vandals raided Sicily in 440, the Western Roman Empire was too preoccupied with war in Gaul to react. Theodosius II, emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, dispatched an expedition to deal with the Vandals in 441, but it only progressed as far as Sicily.
The Western Empire under Valentinian III secured peace with the Vandals in 442. Under the treaty the Vandals gained Byzacena, part of Numidia, confirmed their control of Proconsular Africa. Historians since Edward Gibbon have seen the capture of North Africa by the Vandals and Alans as the "deathblow" and "the greatest single blow" to the Western Roman Empire in its struggle to survive. Prior to the Vandals, northern Africa was prosperous and peaceful, requiring only a small percentage of the Roman Empire's military forces, was an important source of taxes for the empire and grain for the city of Rome; the scholar Josephus in the first century CE said that North Africa fed Rome for eight months of the year, with the other four months of needed grain coming from Egypt. The Roman need for grain from North Africa may have declined by the 5th century because of the diminishing population of the city of Rome and a decreasing number of Roman soldiers. Moreover, the treaty
Mercia was one of the kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. The name is a Latinisation of the Old English Mierce or Myrce, meaning "border people". Mercia dominated what would become England for three centuries, subsequently going into a gradual decline while Wessex conquered and united all the kingdoms into Kingdom of England; the kingdom was centred on the valley of the River Trent and its tributaries, in the region now known as the English Midlands. The kingdom did not have a single capital as such. In times before a sizable civil service the'capital' was wherever the king was at any given time. Early in its existence Repton seems to have been the location of an important royal estate. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, it was from Repton in 873-4 that the Great Heathen Army deposed the King of Mercia. Earlier, King Offa seems to have favoured Tamworth, it was there where he was spent many a Christmas. For 300 years, having annexed or gained submissions from five of the other six kingdoms of the Heptarchy, Mercia dominated England south of the River Humber: this period is known as the Mercian Supremacy.
The reign of King Offa, best remembered for his Dyke that designated the boundary between Mercia and the Welsh kingdoms, is sometimes known as the "Golden Age of Mercia". Nicholas Brooks noted that "the Mercians stand out as by far the most successful of the various early Anglo-Saxon peoples until the ninth century", some historians, such as Sir Frank Stenton, believe the unification of England south of the Humber estuary was achieved during the reign of Offa. Mercia was a pagan kingdom; the Diocese of Mercia was founded in 656, with the first bishop, based at Repton. After 13 years at Repton, in 669 the fifth bishop, Saint Chad, moved the bishopric to Lichfield, where it has been based since. In 691, the Diocese of Mercia became the Diocese of Lichfield. For a brief period between 787 and 799 the diocese was an archbishopric, although it was dissolved in 803; the current bishop, Michael Ipgrave, is the 99th. At the end of the 9th century, following the invasions of the Vikings and their Great Heathen Army, much of the former Mercian territory was absorbed into the Danelaw.
At its height, the Danelaw included all of East Anglia and most of the North of England. The final Mercian king, Ceolwulf II, died in 879, it was ruled by a lord or ealdorman under the overlordship of Alfred the Great, who styled himself "King of the Anglo-Saxons". The kingdom had a brief period of independence in the mid-10th century, again briefly in 1016. Mercia is still used as a geographic designation, the name is used by a wide range of organisations, including military units, public and voluntary bodies. Mercia's exact evolution at the start of the Anglo-Saxon era remains more obscure than that of Northumbria, Kent, or Wessex. Mercia developed an effective political structure and adopted Christianity than the other kingdoms. Archaeological surveys show that Angles settled the lands north of the River Thames by the 6th century; the name "Mercia" is Old English for "boundary folk", the traditional interpretation is that the kingdom originated along the frontier between the native Welsh and the Anglo-Saxon invaders.
However, P. Hunter Blair argued an alternative interpretation: that they emerged along the frontier between Northumbria and the inhabitants of the Trent river valley. While its earliest boundaries will never be known, there is general agreement that the territory, called "the first of the Mercians" in the Tribal Hidage covered much of south Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and northern Warwickshire; the earliest person named in any records as a king of Mercia is Creoda, said to have been the great-grandson of Icel. Coming to power around 584, he built a fortress at Tamworth, his son Pybba succeeded him in 593. Cearl, a kinsman of Creoda, followed Pybba in 606; the Mercian kings were the only Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy ruling house known to claim a direct family link with a pre-migration Continental Germanic monarchy. The next Mercian king, ruled from about 626 or 633 until 655; some of what is known about Penda comes from the hostile account of Bede, who disliked him – both as an enemy to Bede's own Northumbria and as a pagan.
However, Bede admits that Penda allowed Christian missionaries from Lindisfarne into Mercia, did not restrain them from preaching. In 633 Penda and his ally Cadwallon of Gwynedd defeated and killed Edwin, who had become not only ruler of the newly unified Northumbria, but bretwalda, or high king, over the southern kingdoms; when another Northumbrian king, Oswald and again claimed overlordship of the south, he suffered defeat and death at the hands of Penda and his allies – in 642 at the Battle of Maserfield. In 655, after a period of confusion in Northumbria, Penda brought 30 sub-kings to fight the new Northumbrian king Oswiu at the Battle of Winwaed, in which Penda in turn lost the battle and his life; the battle led to a temporary collapse of Mercian power. Penda's son Peada, who had converted to Christianity a
Osraige or Osraighe, Osraí, anglicized as Ossory, was a medieval Irish kingdom comprising what is now County Kilkenny and western County Laois, corresponding to the Diocese of Ossory. The home of the Osraige people, it existed from around the first century until the Norman invasion of Ireland in the 12th century, it was ruled by the Dál Birn dynasty, whose medieval descendants assumed the surname Mac Giolla Phádraig. According to tradition, Osraige was founded by Óengus Osrithe in the 1st century and was within the province of Leinster. In the 5th century, the Corcu Loígde of Munster displaced the Dál Birn and brought Osraige under Munster's direct control; the Dál Birn returned to power in the 7th century, though Osraige remained nominally part of Munster until 859, when it achieved formal independence under the powerful king Cerball mac Dúnlainge. Osraige's rulers remained major players in Irish politics for the next three centuries, though they never vied for the High Kingship. In the early 12th century, dynastic infighting fragmented the kingdom, it was re-adjoined to Leinster.
The Normans under Strongbow invaded Ireland beginning in 1169, most of Osraige collapsed under pressure from Norman leader William Marshal. The northern part of the kingdom known as Upper Ossory, survived intact under the hereditary lordship until the reign of King Henry VIII of England, when it was formally incorporated as a barony of the same name; the ancient Osraige inhabited the fertile land around the River Nore valley, occupying nearly all of what is modern County Kilkenny and the western half of neighbouring County Laois. To the west and south, Osraige was bounded by the River Suir and what is now Waterford Harbour; these three principal rivers- the Nore, the Barrow, the Suir, which unite just north of Waterford City, were collectively known as the "Three Sisters". Like many other Irish kingdoms, the tribal name of Osraighe came to be applied to the territory they occupied; the kingdom's most significant neighbours were the Loígsi, Uí Ceinnselaig and Uí Bairrche of Leinster to the north and east and the Déisi, Eóganacht Chaisil and Éile of Munster to the south and west.
Some of the highest points of land are Brandon Arderin. The ancient Slige Dala road ran southwest through northern Osraige from the Hill of Tara towards Munster. Another ancient road, the Slighe Cualann cut into southeast Osraige west of present-day Ross, before turning south to present-day Waterford city; the tribal name Osraige means "people of the deer", is traditionally claimed to be taken from the name of the ruling dynasty's semi-legendary pre-Christian founder, Óengus Osrithe. The Osraige were either a southern branch of the Ulaid or Dál Fiatach of Ulster, or close kin to their former Corcu Loígde allies. In either case it would appear; some scholars believe that the Ō pedigree of the Osraige is a fabrication, invented to help them achieve their goals in Leinster. Francis John Byrne suggests; the Osraighe themselves claimed to be descended from the Érainn people, although scholars propose that the Ivernic groups included the Osraige. Prior to the coming of Christianity to Ireland, the Osraige and their relatives the Corcu Loígde appear to have been the dominant political groups in Munster, before the rise of the Eóganachta marginalized them both.
Ptolemy's 2nd-century map of Ireland places a tribe he called the "Usdaie" in the same area that the Osraige occupied. The territory indicated by Ptolemy included the major late Iron Age hill-fort at Freestone Hill and a 1st-century Roman burial site at Stonyford, both in County Kilkenny. Due to inland water access via the Nore and Suir rivers, the Osraige may have experienced greater intercourse with Britain and the continent, there appears to have been some heightened Roman trading activity in and around the region; such contact with the Roman world may have precipitated wider exposure and conversion to Early Christianity. From the fifth century, the name Dál Birn appears to have emerged as the name for the ruling lineage of Osraige, this name remained in use through to the twelfth century. From this period, Osraige was within the sphere of the province of Leinster. Several sources indicate that towards the end of the fifth century the Osraige ceded a swath of southern territory to the displaced and incoming Déisi sometime before 489.
The traditional accounts states that the landless, wandering Déisi tribe were seeking a home in Munster, through the marriage of their princess Ethne the Dread to Óengus mac Nad Froích, king of Munster. As part of her dowry, Ethne asked for the Osraige to be cleared off their land, but were repulsed several times by the Osraige in open battle before overcoming them through magic and guile; the account mentions that at this defeat, the Ossorians fled like wild deer, a pun on their tribal name. It appears that soon thereafter following this defeat, the hereditary Dál Birn kings were displaced for a period by the Corcu Loígde of south Munster; the Dál Birn remained in control of their northern territory while Corcu Loígde kings ruled the greater portion of southern Osraige around the fertile Nore valley until the latter part of the sixth century and t
Kingdom of the Lombards
The Kingdom of the Lombards known as the Lombard Kingdom. The king was traditionally elected by the highest-ranking aristocrats, the dukes, as several attempts to establish a hereditary dynasty failed; the kingdom was subdivided into a varying number of duchies, ruled by semi-autonomous dukes, which were in turn subdivided into gastaldates at the municipal level. The capital of the kingdom and the center of its political life was Pavia in the modern northern Italian region of Lombardy; the Lombard invasion of Italy was opposed by the Byzantine Empire, which retained control of much of the peninsula until the mid-8th century. For most of the kingdom's history, the Byzantine-ruled Exarchate of Ravenna and Duchy of Rome separated the northern Lombard duchies, collectively known as Langobardia Maior, from the two large southern duchies of Spoleto and Benevento, which constituted Langobardia Minor; because of this division, the southern duchies were more autonomous than the smaller northern duchies.
Over time, the Lombards adopted Roman titles and traditions. By the time Paul the Deacon was writing in the late 8th century, the Lombardic language and hairstyles had all disappeared; the Lombards were Arian Christians or pagans, which put them at odds with the Roman population as well as the Byzantine Empire and the Pope. However, by the end of the 7th century, their conversion to Catholicism was all but complete, their conflict with the Pope continued and was responsible for their gradual loss of power to the Franks, who conquered the kingdom in 774. Charlemagne, the king of the Franks, adopted the title "King of the Lombards", although he never managed to gain control of Benevento, the southernmost Lombard duchy; the Kingdom of the Lombards at the time of its demise was the last minor Germanic kingdom in Europe, aside from the Frankish Empire. Any genetic legacy of the Lombards was diluted into the Italian population owing to their small number and their geographic dispersal in order to rule and administer their kingdom.
Some regions were never under Lombard domination, including Sardinia, Calabria, southern Apulia and the Latium. In all these regions the Byzantines brought more Greco-Anatolian lineages, which were the dominant lineages from the Magna Graecia period. A reduced Regnum Italiae, a heritage of the Lombards, continued to exist for centuries as one of the constituent kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire corresponding to the territory of the former Langobardia Maior; the so-called Iron Crown of Lombardy, one of the oldest surviving royal insignias of Christendom, may have originated in Lombard Italy as early as the 7th century and continued to be used to crown Kings of Italy until Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 19th century. The earliest Lombard law code, the Edictum Rothari, may allude to the use of seal rings, but it is not until the reign of Ratchis that they became an integral part of royal administration, when the king required their use on passports; the only evidence for their use at the ducal level comes from the Duchy of Benevento, where two private charters contain requests for the duke to confirm them with his seal.
The existence of seal rings "testifies to the tenacity of Roman traditions of government". In the 6th century Byzantine Emperor Justinian attempted to reassert imperial authority in the territories of the Western Roman Empire. In the resulting Gothic War waged against the Ostrogothic Kingdom, Byzantine hopes of an early and easy triumph evolved into a long war of attrition that resulted in mass dislocation of population and destruction of property. Problems were further exacerbated by a devastating plague pandemic. Although the Byzantine Empire prevailed, the triumph proved to be a pyrrhic victory, as all these factors caused the population of the Italian Peninsula to crash, leaving the conquered territories underpopulated and impoverished. Although an invasion attempt by the Franks allies of the Ostrogoths, late in the war was repelled, a large migration by the Lombards, a Germanic people, allied with the Byzantine Empire, ensued. In the spring of 568 the Lombards, led by King Alboin, moved from Pannonia and overwhelmed the small Byzantine army left by Narses to guard Italy.
The Lombard arrival broke the political unity of the Italian Peninsula for the first time since the Roman conquest. The peninsula was now torn between territories ruled by the Lombards and the Byzantines, with boundaries that changed over time; the newly arrived Lombards were divided into two main areas in Italy: the Langobardia Maior, which comprised northern Italy gravitating around the capital of the Lombard kingdom, Ticinum. The territories which remained under Byzantine control were called "Romania" in northeastern Italy and had its stronghold in the Exarchate of Ravenna. Arriving in Italy, King Alboin gave control of the Eastern Alps to one of his most trusted lieutenants, who became the first Duke of Friuli in 568; the duchy, established in the Roman town of Forum Iulii fought with the Slavic population across the Gorizia border. Justified by its exceptional military needs, the Duchy of Friuli thus had greater autonomy compared to
Kingdom of Gwynedd
The Principality or Kingdom of Gwynedd was a Roman Empire successor state that emerged in sub-Roman Britain in the 5th century during the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain. Based in northwest Wales, the rulers of Gwynedd rose to dominance and were acclaimed as "King of the Britons" before losing their power in civil wars or invasions; the kingdom of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn—the King of Wales from 1055 to 1063—was shattered by a Saxon invasion in 1063 just prior to the Norman invasion of Wales, but the House of Aberffraw restored by Gruffudd ap Cynan recovered and Llywelyn the Great of Gwynedd was able to proclaim the Principality of Wales at the Aberdyfi gathering of Welsh princes in 1216. In 1277, the Treaty of Aberconwy granted peace between the two but would guarantee that Welsh self-rule would end upon Llewelyn's death, so it represented the completion of the first stage of the conquest of Wales by Edward I. Welsh tradition credited the founding of Gwynedd to the Brittonic polity of Gododdin from Lothian invading the lands of the Brittonic polities of the Deceangli and Gangani in the 5th century.
The sons of their leader, were said to have possessed the land between the rivers Dee and Teifi. The true borders of the realm varied over time, but Gwynedd Proper was thought to comprise the cantrefs of Aberffraw and Cantref Rhosyr on Anglesey and Arllechwedd, Dunoding, Dyffryn Clwyd, Llŷn, Rhos and Tegeingl at the mountainous mainland region of Snowdonia opposite; the name Gwynedd is believed to be an early borrowing from Irish, either cognate with the Old Irish ethnic name Féni, "Irish People", from Primitive Irish *weidh-n- "Forest People"/"Wild People", or Old Irish fían "war band", from Proto-Irish *wēnā. The 5th-century Cantiorix Inscription now in Penmachno church seems to be the earliest record of the name, it is in memory of a man named Cantiorix, the Latin inscription is Cantiorix hic iacit/Venedotis cives fuit/consobrinos Magli magistrati: "Cantiorix lies here. He was a citizen of Gwynedd and a cousin of Maglos the magistrate"; the use of terms such as "citizen" and "magistrate" may be cited as evidence that Romano-British culture and institutions continued in Gwynedd long after the legions had withdrawn.
Ptolemy marks the Llŷn Peninsula as the "Promontory of the Gangani", a name he recorded in Ireland. In the late and post-Roman eras, Irish from Leinster may have arrived in Anglesey and elsewhere in northwest Wales, with the name Llŷn derived from Laigin, an Old Irish form that means "of Leinster"; the region became known as Venedotia in Latin. The name was attributed to a specific Irish colony on Anglesey, but broadened to refer to Irish settlers as a whole in North Wales by the 5th century. According to 9th century monk and chronicler Nennius, North Wales was left defenseless by the Roman withdrawal and subject to increasing raids by marauders from the Isle of Man and Ireland, a situation which led Cunedda, his sons and their entourage, to migrate in the mid-5th century from Manaw Gododdin to settle and defend North Wales against the raiders and bring the region within Romano-British control. According to traditional pedigrees, Cunedda's grandfather was Padarn Beisrudd, Paternus of the red cloak, "an epithet which suggests that he wore the cloak of a Roman officer", according to Davies.
Nennius recounts how Cunedda brought order to North Wales and after his death Gwynedd was divided among his sons: Dynod was awarded Dunoding, another son Ceredig received Ceredigion, so forth. However, this overly neat origin myth has been met with skepticism: Early Welsh literature contains a wealth of stories seeking to explain place-names, doubtless the story is propaganda aimed at justifying the right of Cunedda and his descendants to territories beyond the borders of the original Kingdom of Gwynedd; that kingdom consisted of the two banks of the Menai Straits and the coast over towards the estuary of the river Conwy, the foundations upon which Cunedda's descendants created a more extensive realm. Undoubtedly, a Brittonic leader of substance established himself in North Wales, he and his descendants defeated any remaining Irish presence, incorporated the settlements into their domain and reoriented the whole of Gwynedd into a Romano-British and "Welsh" outlook; the Welsh of Gwynedd remained conscious of their Romano-British heritage, an affinity with Rome survived long after the Empire retreated from Britain with the use of Latin in writing and sustaining the Christian religion.
The Welsh ruling classes continued to emphasize Roman ancestors within their pedigrees as a way to link their rule with the old imperial Roman order, suggesting stability and continuity with that old order. According to Professor John Davies, "here is a determinedly Brythonic, indeed Roman, air to early Gwynedd." So palpable was the Roman heritage felt that Professor Bryan Ward-Perkins of Trinity College, wrote "It took until 1282, when Edward I conquered Gwynedd, for the last part of Roman Britain to fall a strong case can be made for Gwynedd as the last part of the entire Roman Empire and west, to fall to the barbarians." There was quick abandonment of Roman political and ecclesiastical practices and institutions within Gwynedd and elsewhere in Wales. Roman knowledge was lost as the Romano-Britons shifted towards a streamlined militaristic near-tribal society that no longer