The Gauls were a group of Celtic peoples of West-Central Europe in the Iron Age and the Roman period. The area they inhabited was known as Gaul, their Gaulish language forms the main branch of the Continental Celtic languages. The Gauls emerged around the 5th century BC as the bearers of the La Tène culture north of the Alps. By the 4th century BC, they spread over much of what is now France, Spain, Switzerland, Southern Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia by virtue of controlling the trade routes along the river systems of the Rhône, Seine and Danube, they expanded into Northern Italy, the Balkans and Galatia. Gaul was never united under a single ruler or government, but the Gallic tribes were capable of uniting their forces in large-scale military operations, they reached the peak of their power in the early 3rd century BC. The rising Roman Republic after the end of the First Punic War put pressure on the Gallic sphere of influence. After this, Gaul became a province of the Roman Empire, the Gauls culturally adapted to the Roman world, bringing about the formation of the hybrid Gallo-Roman culture.
The Gauls of Gallia Celtica according to the testimony of Caesar called themselves Celtae in their own language, Galli in Latin. As is not unusual with ancient ethnonyms, these names came to be applied more than their original sense, Celtae being the origin of the term Celts itself while Galli is the origin of the adjective Gallic, now referring to all of Gaul; the name Gaul itself is not from the Germanic word * Walhaz. Gaulish culture developed out of the Celtic cultures over the first millennia BC; the Urnfield culture represents the Celts as a distinct cultural branch of the Indo-European-speaking people. The spread of iron working led to the Hallstatt culture in the 8th century BC; the Hallstatt culture evolved into the La Tène culture in around the 5th century BC. The Greek and Etruscan civilizations and colonies began to influence the Gauls in the Mediterranean area. Gauls under Brennus invaded Rome circa 390 BC. By the 5th century BC, the tribes called Gauls had migrated from Central France to the Mediterranean coast.
Gallic invaders settled the Po Valley in the 4th century BC, defeated Roman forces in a battle under Brennus in 390 BC and raided Italy as far as Sicily. In the 3rd century BC, the Gauls attempted an eastward expansion in 281-279 BC, towards the Balkan peninsula, which at that time was a Greek province, with the ultimate goal to reach and loot the rich Greek city-states of the Greek mainland, but the majority of the Gaul army was exterminated by the Greeks and the few Gauls that survived were forced to flee. A large number of Gauls served in the armies of Carthage during the Punic Wars, one of the leading rebel leaders of the Mercenary War, was of Gallic origin. During the Balkan expedition, led by Cerethrios and Bolgios, the Gauls raided twice the Greek mainland. At the end of the second expedition the Gallic raiders had been repelled by the coalition armies of the various Greek city-states and were forced to retreat to Illyria and Thrace, but the Greeks were forced to grant safe-passage to the Gauls who made their way to Asia Minor and settled in Central Anatolia.
The Gallic area of settlement in Asia Minor was called Galatia. But they were checked through the use of war elephants and skirmishers by the Greek Seleucid king Antiochus I in 275 BC, after which they served as mercenaries across the whole Hellenistic Eastern Mediterranean, including Ptolemaic Egypt, where they, under Ptolemy II Philadelphus, attempted to seize control of the kingdom. In the first Gallic invasion of Greece, they achieved victory over the Macedonians and killed the Macedonian king Ptolemy Keraunos, they focused on looting the rich Macedonian countryside, but avoided the fortified cities. The Macedonian general Sosthenes assembled an army, defeated Bolgius and repelled the invading Gauls. In the second Gaulish invasion of Greece, the Gauls, led by Brennos, suffered heavy losses while facing the Greek coalition army at Thermopylae, but helped by the Heracleans they followed the mountain path around Thermopylae to encircle the Greek army in the same way that the Persian army had done at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, but this time deafeating the whole of the Greek army.
After passing Thermopylae the Gauls headed for the rich treasury at Delphi, where they were defeated by the re-assembled Greek army. This led to a series of retreats of the Gauls, with devastating losses, all the way up to Macedonia and out of the Greek mainland; the major part of the Gaul army was defeated in the process, those Gauls survived were forced to flee from Greece. The Gallic leader Brennos was injured at Delphi and committed suicide there. (He is not to be confused with another Gaulish leader bearing the same name who had sacked Rome a century earlier. In 278 BC Gaulish settlers in the Balkans were invited by Nicomedes I of Bithynia to help him in a dynastic struggle against his brother, they numbered about 10,000 fighting men and about the same number of
Macha was a sovereignty goddess of ancient Ireland associated with the province of Ulster with the sites of Navan Fort and Armagh, which are named after her. Several figures called Macha appear in Irish mythology and folklore, all believed to derive from the same goddess, she is said to be one of three sisters known as'the three Morrígna'. Like other sovereignty goddesses, Macha is associated with the land, kingship and horses; the name is derived from Proto-Celtic *makajā denoting "a plain". It was said that Macha was called Grian Banchure, the "Sun of Womanfolk". A poem in the Lebor Gabála Érenn mentions Macha as one of the daughters of Partholón, leader of the first settlement of Ireland after the flood, although it records nothing about her. Various sources record a second Macha as the wife of Nemed, leader of the second settlement of Ireland after the flood, she was the first of Nemed's people to die in Ireland – twelve years after their arrival according to Geoffrey Keating, twelve days after their arrival according to the Annals of the Four Masters.
It is said that the hilltop where she was buried was named after her: Ard Mhacha, "Macha's high place". The surrounding woodland was cleared by Nemed's folk and named Magh Mhacha, "Macha's plain". Macha, daughter of Ernmas, of the Tuatha Dé Danann, appears in many early sources, she is mentioned together with her sisters, "Badb and Morrigu, whose name was Anand". The three are considered a triple goddess associated with war. O'Mulconry's Glossary, a thirteenth-century compilation of glosses from medieval manuscripts preserved in the Yellow Book of Lecan, describes Macha as "one of the three morrígna", says the term Mesrad Machae, "the mast of Macha", refers to "the heads of men that have been slaughtered". A version of the same gloss in MS H.3.18 identifies Macha with Badb, calling the trio "raven women" who instigate battle. Keating explicitly calls them "goddesses", but medieval Irish tradition was keen to remove all trace of pre-Christian religion. Macha is said to have been killed by Balor during the battle with the Fomorians.
Macha Mong Ruad, daughter of Áed Rúad, according to medieval legend and historical tradition, the only queen in the List of High Kings of Ireland. Her father Áed rotated the kingship with his cousins seven years at a time. Áed died after his third stint as king, when his turn came round again, Macha claimed the kingship. Díthorba and Cimbáeth refused to allow a woman to take the throne, a battle ensued. Macha won, Díthorba was killed, she won a second battle against Díthorba's sons. She married Cimbáeth. Macha pursued Díthorba's sons alone, disguised as a leper, overcame each of them in turn when they tried to have sex with her, tied them up, carried the three of them bodily to Ulster; the Ulstermen wanted to have them killed, but Macha instead enslaved them and forced them to build Emain Macha, to be the capital of the Ulaid, marking out its boundaries with her brooch. Macha ruled together with Cimbáeth for seven years, until he died of plague at Emain Macha, a further fourteen years on her own, until she was killed by Rechtaid Rígderg.
The Lebor Gabála synchronises her reign to that of Ptolemy I Soter. The chronology of Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn dates her reign to 468–461 BC, the Annals of the Four Masters to 661–654 BC. Marie-Louise Sjoestedt writes of this figure: "In the person of this second Macha we discover a new aspect of the local goddess, that of the warrior and dominator. Macha, daughter of Sainrith mac Imbaith, was the wife of an Ulster farmer; some time after the death of Cruinniuc's first wife, Macha appears at his house. Without speaking, she begins acting as his wife. Soon she becomes pregnant by him; as long as they were together Cruinniuc's wealth grew. When he leaves to attend a festival organised by the king of Ulster, she warns him that she will only stay with him so long as he does not speak of her to anyone, he promises to say nothing. However, during a chariot race, he boasts; the king orders Cruinniuc be held on pain of death. Although she is pregnant, Macha is brought to the gathering and the king forces her to race the horses.
She wins the race, but cries out in pain as she gives birth to twins on the finish line. For disrespecting and humiliating her, she curses the men of Ulster to be overcome with weakness—as weak "as a woman in childbirth"—at the time of their greatest need; this weakness would last for five days and the curse would last for nine generations. Thereafter, the place where Macha gave birth would be called Emain Macha, or "Macha's twins"; this tale explains the meaning of the name Emain Macha, explains why none of the Ulstermen but the semi-divine hero Cúchulainn could resist the invasion of Ulster in the Táin Bó Cuailnge. It shows that Macha, as goddess of the land and sovereignty, can be vengeful if disrespected, how the rule of a bad king leads to disaster; this Macha is associated with horses—it is significant that twin colts were born on the same da
Táin Bó Cúailnge
Táin Bó Cúailnge is a legendary tale from early Irish literature, considered an epic, although it is written in prose rather than verse. It tells of a war against Ulster by Connacht queen Medb and her husband Ailill, who intend to steal the stud bull Donn Cuailnge and are opposed only by teenage Ulster hero Cú Chulainn; the Táin is traditionally set in the 1st century in an pre-Christian heroic age, is the central text of a group of tales known as the Ulster Cycle. It survives in three written versions or "recensions" in manuscripts of the 12th century and the first a compilation written in Old Irish, the second a more consistent work in Middle Irish, the third an Early Modern Irish version; the Táin is preceded by a number of remscéla, or pre-tales, which provide background on the main characters and explain the presence of certain characters from Ulster in the Connacht camp, the curse that causes the temporary inability of the remaining Ulstermen to fight and the magic origins of the bulls Donn Cuailnge and Finnbhennach.
The eight remscéla chosen by Thomas Kinsella for his 1969 translation are sometimes taken to be part of the Táin itself, but come from a variety of manuscripts of different dates. Several other tales exist which are described as remscéla to the Táin, some of which have only a tangential relation to it; the first recension begins with Ailill and Medb assembling their army in Cruachan, the purpose of this military build-up taken for granted. The second recension adds a prologue in which Ailill and Medb compare their respective wealths and find that the only thing that distinguishes them is Ailill's possession of the phenomenally fertile bull Finnbhennach, born into Medb's herd but scorned being owned by a woman so decided to transfer himself to Ailill's. Medb determines to get the potent Donn Cuailnge from Cooley to equal her wealth with her husband, she negotiates with the bull's owner, Dáire mac Fiachna, to rent the animal for a year until her messengers, reveal that they would have taken the bull by force if they had not been allowed to borrow it.
The deal breaks down, Medb raises an army, including Ulster exiles led by Fergus mac Róich and other allies, sets out to capture Donn Cuailnge. The men of Ulster are disabled by the ces noínden. A separate tale explains this as the curse of the goddess Macha, who imposed it after being forced by the king of Ulster to race against a chariot while pregnant; the only person fit to defend Ulster is seventeen-year-old Cú Chulainn, he lets the army take Ulster by surprise because he's off on a tryst when he should be watching the border. Cú Chulainn, assisted by his charioteer Láeg, wages a guerrilla campaign against the advancing army halts it by invoking the right of single combat at fords, defeating champion after champion in a stand-off lasting months. However, he is unable to prevent Medb from capturing the bull. Cú Chulainn is both hindered by supernatural figures. Before one combat the Morrígan visits him in the form of a beautiful young woman and offers him her love, but he spurns her, she reveals herself and threatens to interfere in his next fight.
She does so, first in the form of an eel who trips him in the ford as a wolf who stampedes cattle across the ford, as a heifer at the head of the stampede, but in each form Cú Chulainn wounds her. After he defeats his opponent, the Morrígan appears to him in the form of an old woman milking a cow, with wounds corresponding to the ones Cú Chulainn gave her in her animal forms, she offers him three drinks of milk. With each drink he blesses her, the blessings heal her wounds. After a arduous combat he is visited by another supernatural figure, who reveals himself to be Cú Chulainn's father. Lugh puts Cú Chulainn to sleep for three days. While Cú Chulainn sleeps the youth corps of Ulster come to his aid but are all slaughtered; when Cú Chulainn wakes he undergoes a spectacular ríastrad or "distortion", in which his body twists in its skin and he becomes an unrecognisable monster who knows neither friend nor foe. He avenges the youth corps sixfold. After this extraordinary incident, the sequence of single combats resumes, although on several occasions Medb breaks the agreement by sending several men against him at once.
When Fergus, his foster-father, is sent to fight him, Cú Chulainn agrees to yield to him on the condition that Fergus yields the next time they meet. There is a physically and gruelling three-day duel between the hero and his foster-brother and best friend, Ferdiad. Cú Chulainn wins, killing Ferdiad with the Gáe Bolga; the debilitated Ulstermen start to rouse, one by one at first en masse, the final battle begins. To begin with Cú Chulainn sits it out, recovering from his wounds. Fergus has Conchobar at his mercy, but is prevented from killing him by Cormac Cond Longas, Conchobar's son and Fergus' foster-son, in his rage cuts the tops off three hills with his sword. Cú Chulainn enters the fray and confronts Fergus, who makes good on his promise and yields to him, pulling his forces off the field. Connacht's other allies panic and Medb is forced to retreat, she does, manage to bring Donn Cuailnge back to Connacht, where the bull fights Finnbhennach, kills him, but is mortally wounded, wanders around Ireland creating placenames before returning home to die of exhaustion.
White horse (mythology)
White horses have a special significance in the mythologies of cultures around the world. They are associated with the sun chariot, with warrior-heroes, with fertility, or with an end-of-time saviour, but other interpretations exist as well. Both white horses and the more common grey horses, with white hair coats, were identified as "white" by various religious and cultural traditions. From earliest times, white horses have been mythologised as possessing exceptional properties, transcending the normal world by having wings, or having horns; as part of its legendary dimension, the white horse in myth may be depicted with seven heads or eight feet, sometimes in groups or singly. There are white horses which are divinatory, who prophesy or warn of danger; as a rare or distinguished symbol, a white horse bears the hero- or god-figure in ceremonial roles or in triumph over negative forces. Herodotus reported that white horses were held as sacred animals in the Achaemenid court of Xerxes the Great, while in other traditions the reverse happens when it was sacrificed to the gods.
In more than one tradition, the white horse carries patron saints or the world saviour in the end times, is associated with the sun or sun chariot or bursts into existence in a fantastic way, emerging from the sea or a lightning bolt. Though some mythologies are stories from earliest beliefs, other tales, though visionary or metaphorical, are found in liturgical sources as part of preserved, on-going traditions. In Celtic mythology, Rhiannon, a mythic figure in the Mabinogion collection of legends, rides a "pale-white" horse; because of this, she has been linked to the Romano-Celtic fertility horse goddess Epona and other instances of the veneration of horses in early Indo-European culture. White horses are the most common type of hill figure in England. Though many are modern, the Uffington White Horse at least dates back to the Bronze Age. In Scottish folklore, the kelpie or each uisge, a deadly supernatural water demon in the shape of a horse, is sometimes described as white, though other stories say it is black.
In Greek mythology, the white winged horse Pegasus was the son of the gorgon Medusa. Poseidon was the creator of horses, creating them out of the breaking waves when challenged to make a beautiful land animal. In Norse mythology, Odin's eight-legged horse Sleipnir, "the best horse among gods and men", is described as grey. Sleipnir is the ancestor of another grey horse, owned by the hero Sigurd. In Slavic mythology, the war and fertility deity Svantovit owned an oracular white horse. One of the titles of God in Hungarian mythology was Hadúr, according to an unconfirmed source, wears pure copper and is a metalsmith; the Hungarian name for God was, remains "Isten" and they followed Steppe Tengriism. The ancient Magyars sacrificed white stallions to him before a battle. Additionally, there is a story that the Magyars paid a white horse to Moravian chieftain Svatopluk I for a part of the land that became the Kingdom of Hungary. Actual historical background of the story is dubious because Svatopluk I was dead when the first Hungarian tribes arrived.
On the other hand Herodotus mentions in his Histories an Eastern custom, where sending a white horse as payment in exchange for land means casus belli. This custom roots in the ancient Eastern belief. In Zoroastrianism, one of the three representations of Tishtrya, the hypostasis of the star Sirius, is that of a white stallion; the divinity takes this form during the last 10 days of every month of the Zoroastrian calendar, in a cosmogonical battle for control of rain. In this latter tale, which appears in the Avesta's hymns dedicated to Tishtrya, the divinity is opposed by Apaosha, the demon of drought, which appears as a black stallion. White horses are said to draw divine chariots, such as that of Aredvi Sura Anahita, the Avesta's divinity of the waters. Representing various forms of water, her four horses are named "wind", "rain", "clouds" and "sleet". White horses stand for the sun; the Vedic horse sacrifice or Ashvamedha was a fertility and kingship ritual involving the sacrifice of a sacred grey or white stallion.
Similar rituals may have taken place among Roman and Norse people, but the descriptions are not so complete. In the Puranas, one of the precious objects that emerged while the devas and demons were churning the milky ocean was Uchaishravas, a snow-white horse with seven heads. Turaga was another divine white horse that taken by the sun god Surya. Uchaishravas was at times ridden by Indra, lord of the devas. Indra is depicted as having a liking for white horses in several legends – he steals the sacrificial horse to the consternation of all involved, such as in the story of Sagara, or the story of King Prithu; the chariot of the solar deity Surya is drawn by seven horses, alternately described as all white, or as the colours of the rainbow. Hayagriva the Avatar of Vishnu is worshipped as the God of knowledge and wisdom, with a hum
Herne the Hunter
In English folklore, Herne the Hunter is a ghost associated with Windsor Forest and Great Park in the English county of Berkshire. He is said to have antlers upon his head, ride a horse, torment cattle, rattle chains; the earliest mention of Herne comes from William Shakespeare's 1597 play The Merry Wives of Windsor, it is impossible to know how or to what degree Shakespeare may have incorporated a real local legend into his work, though there have been several attempts to connect Herne to historical figures, pagan deities, or ancient archetypes. There is little written evidence for Herne the Hunter before the 1840s, the details of his original folk tale have been filtered through the various versions of Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor. Published versions of the play refer only to the tale of Herne as the ghost of a former Windsor Forest keeper who haunts a particular oak tree at midnight in the winter time, wearing horns, shaking chains, causing cows to produce blood instead of milk: The earliest written account of Herne comes from The Merry Wives of Windsor in 1597: Sometime a keeper here in Windsor Forest, Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight, Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns.
You have heard of such a spirit, well you know The superstitious idle-headed eld Receiv'd, did deliver to our age, This tale of Herne the Hunter for a truth. — William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of WindsorAn early, pirated version of the play from 1602 includes a different version of this text, which states that the ghost was invented to scare children into obedience, that mothers tell their children the tale of a ghost who walks the forest in the form of a great stag. Because it is a common surname, it is not possible to further identify Shakespeare's Herne, no earlier references to his legend exist. Two hundred years in 1792, Samuel Ireland expanded on Shakespeare as follows: “The story of this Herne, keeper in the forest in the time of Elizabeth, runs thus: – That having committed some great offence, for which he feared to lose his situation and fall into disgrace, he was induced to hang himself on this tree.” It has been noted that the reference to Herne's death as a suicide fits a traditional belief that this sort of death is more to produce a haunting.
Shakespeare's reference to rattling chains fits a common ghostly motif. However, other elements of the tale are unusual for other ghost stories of Shakespeare's era. Ghostly cattle or dogs were common, it is possible that Shakespeare invented this detail to better fit the forest setting, or to lead into the humorous image of a character wearing antlers, which would have resembled cuckold's horns to an Elizabethan audience. It was unusual for ghosts of this period to produce such damaging effects. Herne is described bewitching cattle, bloodying their milk, causing trees to wither. Herne became popularized after his appearance in Shakespeare's play, the supposed location of Herne's Oak was, for many years, a matter of local speculation and controversy; some Ordnance Survey maps show Herne's Oak a little to the north of Frogmore House in the Home Park. This tree was felled in 1796. In 1838, Edward Jesse claimed that a different tree in the avenue was the real Herne's Oak, this gained in popularity with Queen Victoria.
This tree was blown down on 31 August 1863, Queen Victoria had another tree planted on the same site. The Queen's tree was removed in 1906. One of the new oaks planted in 1906 is given the title of Herne's Oak. Further details have entered the folklore from later sources and reported sightings, such as those in the 1920s. William Harrison Ainsworth's 1843 novel Windsor Castle popularised his legend. Ainsworth's version of the tale added a number of new details, including having Herne being gored by a stag, only to have the Devil save him on the condition that he wear the stag's antlers. Jacob Grimm was the first to suggest influentially, that Herne had once been thought of as the leader of the Wild Hunt, based on his title. In the 20th century, further details were added to Herne's legend, including the idea that his ghost appears shortly before national disasters and the deaths of kings, it was during the 20th century that incidents of personal encounters with the ghost, or of people hearing his hounds and horn in Windsor Forest, were first reported.
Various theories have been proposed to account for the origin of the character, none of, proved conclusive, the source for many of the tales told of Herne remain unknown. In his 1929 book The History of the Devil – The Horned God of the West R. Lowe Thompson suggests that "Herne" as well as other Wild Huntsmen in European folklore all derive from the same ancient source, citing that "Herne" may be a cognate of the name of Gaulish deity Cernunnos in the same way that the English "horn" is a cognate of the Latin "cornu" explaining that "As the Latin cornu changes into horn so might Cerne change into Herne." and adding "In any case the reader may be prepared to recognize Cernunnos and the older magician, who emerge as the Wild Huntsman. My assumption is that these two forms have been derived from the same Palæolithic ancestor and can, indeed, be regarded as two aspects of one central figure, will help us to understand the identification of Herlechin and Herne, whom I will take as the most fam
Cassivellaunus was a historical British tribal chief who led the defence against Julius Caesar's second expedition to Britain in 54 BC. He led an alliance of tribes against Roman forces, but surrendered after his location was revealed to Julius Caesar by defeated Britons. Cassivellaunus made an impact on the British consciousness, he appears in British legend as Cassibelanus, one of Geoffrey of Monmouth's kings of Britain, in the Mabinogion, the Brut y Brenhinedd and the Welsh Triads as Caswallawn, son of Beli Mawr. His name in Common Brittonic, *Cassiuellaunos, comes from Proto-Celtic *kassi- "passion, hate" + *uelna-mon- "leader, sovereign". Cassivellaunus appears in Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, having been given command of the combined British forces opposing Caesar's second invasion of Britain. Caesar does not mention Cassivellaunus's tribe, but his territory, north of the River Thames, corresponds with that inhabited by the tribe named the Catuvellauni at the time of the invasion under Claudius.
Caesar tells us that Cassivellaunus had been in near-constant conflict with his neighbors, as was typical of the British tribes in this period, had brought down the king of the Trinovantes, the most powerful tribe in Britain at the time. The king's son, fled to Caesar in Gaul. Despite Cassivellaunus's harrying tactics, designed to prevent Caesar's army from foraging and plundering for food, Caesar advanced to the Thames; the only fordable point was defended and fortified with sharp stakes, but the Romans managed to cross it. Cassivellaunus dismissed most of his army and resorted to guerilla tactics, relying on his knowledge of the territory and the speed of his chariots. Five British tribes, the Cenimagni, the Segontiaci, the Ancalites, the Bibroci and the Cassi, surrendered to Caesar and revealed the location of Cassivellaunus's stronghold.. Caesar proceeded to put the stronghold under siege. Cassivellaunus managed to get a message to the four kings of Kent, Carvilius and Segovax, to gather their forces and attack the Roman camp on the coast, but the Romans defended themselves capturing a chieftain called Lugotorix.
On hearing of the defeat and the devastation of his territories, Cassivellaunus surrendered. The terms were mediated by Caesar's Gallic ally. Hostages were given and a tribute agreed. Mandubracius was restored to the kingship of the Trinovantes, Cassivellaunus undertook not to wage war against him. All this achieved, Caesar returned to Gaul; the Roman legions did not return to Britain for another 97 years. The Greek author Polyaenus relates an anecdote in his Stratagemata that Caesar overcame Cassivellaunus's defence of a river crossing by means of an armoured elephant; this claim may derive from a confusion with the Roman conquest of 43 AD, when Claudius is supposed to have brought elephants to Britain. Cassivellaunus appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's 12th century work Historia Regum Britanniae spelled Cassibelanus or Cassibelaunus; the younger son of the former king Heli, he becomes king of Britain upon the death of his elder brother Lud, whose own sons Androgeus and Tenvantius are not yet of age.
In recompense, Androgeus is made Duke of Kent and Trinovantum, Tenvantius is made Duke of Cornwall. After his conquest of Gaul, Julius Caesar sets his sights on Britain, sends a letter to Cassibelanus demanding tribute. Cassibelanus refuses, citing the Britons' and Romans' common Trojan descent, Caesar invades at the Thames Estuary. During the fighting, Cassibelanus's brother Nennius encounters Caesar and sustains a severe head wound. Caesar's sword gets stuck in Nennius's shield, when the two are separated in the mêlée, Nennius throws away his own sword and attacks the Romans with Caesar's, killing many, including the tribune Labienus; the Britons hold firm, that night Caesar flees back to Gaul. Cassibelanus's celebrations are muted by Nennius's death from his head wound, he is buried with the sword he took from Caesar, named Crocea Mors. Two years Caesar invades again with a larger force. Cassibelanus, had planted stakes beneath the waterline of the Thames which gut Caesar's ships, drowning thousands of men.
The Romans are once again put to flight. The leaders of the Britons gather in Trinovantum to thank the gods for their victory with many animal sacrifices and celebrate with sporting events. During a wrestling bout, Cassibelanus's nephew Hirelglas is killed by Androgeus's nephew Cuelinus. Cassibelanus demands that Androgeus turn his nephew over to him for trial, but Androgeus refuses, insisting he should be tried in his own court in Trinovantum. Cassibelanus threatens war, Androgeus appeals to Caesar for help, agreeing to accept him as liege and sending his son as a hostage. Caesar invades landing at Richborough; as Cassibelaunus's army meets Caesar's, Androgeus attacks Cassibelaunus from the rear with five thousand men. His line broken, Cassibelanus retreats to a nearby hilltop. After two days siege, Androgeus appeals to Caesar to offer terms. Cassibelanus agrees to pay tribute of three thousand pounds of silver, he and Caesar become friends. Six years Cassibelanus dies and is buried in York. Androgeus has gone to Rome with Caesar, so Tenvantius succeeds as king of Britain.
Cassivellaunus appears as Caswallawn, son of Beli Mawr, in the Welsh Triads, the Mabinogion, the Welsh versions of Geoffrey's Historia Regum Britanniae known as the Brut y Brenhinedd. In the Second Branch of the Mabinogi, he appears as a usurper, who
"Rhiannon" is a song written by Stevie Nicks and recorded by Fleetwood Mac on their eponymous album in 1975. "Rhiannon" was voted #488 in The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine. Its US chart peak was in June 1976, when it hit #11, it peaked at #46 in the UK singles chart for three weeks after re-release in February 1978. The song is always referred to as "Rhiannon" on Fleetwood Mac albums; the title "Rhiannon" was used only on single versions in some countries. Live performances of the song were sometimes prefaced with Nicks saying, "This song's about an old Welsh witch." During 1975–1980, Fleetwood Mac's live performances of "Rhiannon" took on a theatrical intensity not present on the FM-radio single. The song built to a climax in which Nicks' vocals were so impassioned that, as drummer and band co-founder Mick Fleetwood said, "her Rhiannon in those days was like an exorcism." Nicks discovered Rhiannon in the early'70s through a novel called Triad, by Mary Bartlet Leader.
The novel is about a woman named Branwen, possessed by another woman named Rhiannon. There is mention of the Welsh legend of Rhiannon in the novel, but the characters in the novel bear little resemblance to their original Welsh namesakes. After writing the song, Nicks learned that Rhiannon originated from a Welsh goddess, was amazed that the haunting song lyrics applied to the Welsh Rhiannon as well. Nicks researched the Mabinogion story and began work on a Rhiannon project, unsure of whether it would become a movie, a musical, a cartoon, or a ballet. There are several "Rhiannon Songs" from this unfinished project including "Stay Away" and "Maker of Birds." Nicks wrote the Fleetwood Mac song "Angel" based on the Rhiannon story. Fleetwood Mac Stevie Nicks – lead vocals Lindsey Buckingham – Telecaster, background vocals Christine McVie – keyboards, background vocals John McVie – bass guitar Mick Fleetwood – drums Redd Kross recorded a lo-fi version of "Rhiannon" in 1988, released as a 7" 45-rpm single bundled with the magazine "Away From The Pulsebeat".
Waylon Jennings included the song in his 1985 album. Hardcore Punk band Zeke included the song in their 2000 Dirty Sanchez album; the song was recorded in 1976 by Lochiel and South Carvolth Schools for The Langley Schools Music Project. Hole sampled "Rhiannon" on the song "Starbelly" from their album Pretty on the Inside from 1991. Japanese artist Superfly recorded the song as a B-side of the single "Ai o Komete Hanataba o", released on February 28, 2008. American Idol contestant Didi Benami performed the song in 2010 during the Top 8 semifinal round of the competition. Votes received. Taylor Swift performed with Stevie Nicks at the 2010 Grammy Awards. Best Coast played the song in a live session for Sirius XMU in May 2012. Vaughan Penn and the Boomers played this song during their club days in the 1980s Lady Antebellum performed a duet with Stevie Nicks on the song "Rhiannon" at the 2014 ACM Awards. Singer RES included the song on her 2013 EP Refried Mac. Sticky Fingers included the song on Like a Version.
The song was covered by former Fleetwood Mac member Bob Welch on his 2006 album His Fleetwood Mac Years and Beyond, Vol. 2. Author Glen Cook stated in an interview that the title for his novel She Is the Darkness was taken from the lyrics of "Rhiannon"; the song made an appearance in the second episode of American Horror Story: Coven and was subsequently performed by Nicks herself in a guest appearance in the tenth episode, "The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks". Song lyrics at the official Fleetwood Mac site Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics