Brut Tysilio | The Oldest Surviving History of The Bryttaniaid [Britons]
The Brut Tysilio, also called the “Ystorya Brenhined y Brytanyeit” Jesus MS. LXI, is the oldest surviving history of the Bryttaniaid [Britons].
Bryttaen, the best of the islands, which used to be called the white island,* situated as it is* in the western ocean between Ffraink and Iwerddon, [extends] eight hundred miles in its length and two hundred in its width, and whatsoever men must needs use it supplies them in unfailing plenty. And with this it is full of numerous wide-spreading plains and noble hills, and havens to which from overseas come foreign products in great variety. And there are also in it forests and thickets full of various kinds of animals and wild beasts, and many swarms of bees gathering honey among the flowers. There are with this fair pastures at the foot of wind-swept mountains, and bright, clear springs, and further, there are lakes and rivers full of various varieties of fish. Moreover, there are in it three noble rivers, namely, the Temys, and the Hymyr, and the Hafrenn. These, like three arms, divide the island; and along them come various kinds of articles of barter from countries Overseas. And further, of old there were adorning it three and thirty noble chief cities, some of which are today wasted, their walls uprooted; while others are still inhabited, with holy temples in them for the praise of God.* And so it is peopled by five nations, the Bryttaniait, the Normaniaid, the Ssaesson, the Ffichtiait, and the Yssgottiaid. And of all these the Bryttaniaid were the first to settle it, from mor rrydd* [the Channel] as far as the sea of Iwerddon, until the vengeance of God came upon them for their sins, which we shall presently show. And here endeth the prologue of Eneas yssgwyddwynn.
After the town was taken, Eneas fled, and Essgannys his son with him, and they came in ships to the land of Eidial, which is called the land of Ryfain. And at that time Lattinys was king in the Eidial, and he received Eneas with honour. Then after Eneas had fought with Tyrrv, king of Yttyl, and he was killed by Eneas, Essgannys got to wife Lauinia, daughter to Lattinys. And after Eneas, Yssgannys became a great man, and when Essgannys was elevated to kingly state, he built a city on the shores of the river Taiberys [Tiber]. And there a son was born to him named Ssylliys, who gave himself to secret fornication and seduced a niece, and got her with child. And when Essgannys his father learned this, he ordered the diviners to tell him by whom* the girl had conceived. And after they had divined and had gained a certitude on this point, they said that the maid was with child of a son, who would kill his mother and his father, and after it happened to him to wander through many lands, would rise to great honour. Nor did the diviners deceive them. And so when the maid’s time to give birth was come, she died in childbed. And thus he slew his mother. And the boy was named Bryttys and was put out to fosterage.
And when he had been brought to the age of fifteen years, one day he was following his father in hunting, while so doing behold a great stag passed by, Bryttys bent his bow, and shot at the stag, and with that shot he struck his father with an arrow under the top of his breast and he died. And thus he slew his father also. And then after the death of Ssylhys, the men of the Eidial banished Bryttys out of his country, for it was not fitting for them to take as king over them one who had wrought such outrage as to kill his mother and father. And after his banishment from there he went as far as Groec, and he saw men of the race of Elenys, son of Priaf, of the heritors of Troyaf, in slavery under Pendrassys, king of Groec. For after the fall of Troyaf, Pyrr, son of Achilarwy, to revenge his father on them had led this nation with him, and had held them in slavery for a long time. And then when Bryttys found they were his own nation, he settled there with them. Thereupon when Bryttys had become acquainted with them, and all of them with him, so great was his talent among them that he was approved by the kings and princes; and all this by means of his bearing and his beauty, and his bravery, and his liberality, and his skill in warcraft and his renown. Wisest was he among the wise men and bravest among the war-like. And whatever also fell to him, of gold and silver, or steeds or raiment, all these he shared among his noble comrades and with any that would take hem of him. And thus, when his fame had flown throughout the lands of Groec, and all the men of the lineage of Troyaf from every place as far as the bounds of Groec, had rallied to him, they asked that he should be prince over them and free them from that slavery. And this they said he could easily do, for so great a number had assembled together that there were seven thousand fighting men. They said further,* “And moreover the young man, the noblest in grroec on his father’s side, and his mother sprung from the stock of Troyaf, is relying upon us and hoping to get strong support from us. This is the reason why the men of this land make war upon him, with a brother of his by the same father, because his mother as well as his father is of Groec stock; and there is great strife between them because of three castles which the father left to that son at his death, in excess [of those left] to his brother. Of these the men of Groec seek to deprive him, because of his mother’s descent from Troyaf, therefore do the men of Groec hold with the brother against him.” And then, after Bryttys had seen the ample number of men and had seen the castles strong and ready for him, easy was it for him to comply with them, and to take the leadership upon himself.
And then after Bryttys had been elevated to be prince of the host of Troyaf, he strengthened the castles of Assarakys and filled them with men and arms and food. And when he had finished this, he and Assarakys, taking with them all their host and their goods, started towards the depths of the dense forests, where they fled, and then Bryttys sent a letter to bpendrassys, king of Groec, in this fashion:
“Bryttys, prince of the remnant of the nation of Troyaf, sends this letter to Pendrassys, king of Groec, telling him that it is not worthy in him to have and hold in captivity a right royal tribe of the line of dardar, nor to confine them more than they deserve because of their nobility. Therefore Bryttys tells him that they hold it better far to live in the wilderness, and to feed like animals on raw flesh and herbs, with freedom, than amid feasting and luxury under slavery. Even if this provoke thy pride of mastery and possession, rather than make war upon them thou shouldest forgive them, for it is both nature and duty that every slave should struggle to win back his ancestral dignity and his freedom, and we therefore pray thy forbearance and permission that with freedom we may dwell in the wilderness to which we have fled, or if freedom be denied to them in thy kingdom, permit them to seek in other lands a dwelling place without slavery.”
And when Pendrassys grasped the meaning of the letter, he marvelled greatly that such a message should be sent him, and at once called his council to him; thus was its advice, to gather a great host and go after them into the wilderness. And thus as they passed by outside the castle called Yssbaradings, Bryttys suddenly attacked them with three thousand armed men, and he found them unarmed and he wrought great havoc amongst them. And at once they betook themselves to disgraceful flight, their king in the lead. And they made for the river which is called Ystalon, and so great was their haste and their fear of Bryttys that part of them were drowned, and part were killed on the river bank, and the third part fled. Thus did he get the victory over them. And when he saw this, Antigonys the brother of bpendrassys was greatly grieved; he called his comrades to him and marshalled them, and attacked the men of Troyaf, preferring* to be kified with glory than escape with shame. And he exhorted his host to fight bravely, he ordered the attack, and he dealt great blows himself. But little did it serve him, for Bryttys and his men were equipped with arms; but they [the Greeks] were unready and had not time to don their armour, and so Bryttys got the best of them at once, and captured Antigkonys the king’s brother. And then Bryttys strengthened the castle of Assarakys and put six hundred fighting men* in it, and with his host returned to the forest to the place which was their dwelling. Pendrassys, worried by his flight and also by his brother’s capture, rallied as many of his host as had escaped, and the next day took stand before the castle; for he thought that Bryttys was therein, and his brother in prison and the other prisoners as well. And when he had come there he divided his host around the castle, especially [setting] the greater part to keep the gates, that none might issue forth; and another part to turn the water from the castle, and a third to make machines to fight against it [the fort], and to seek to throw it down. And in obedience to the king’s behest every one wrought with the best device he could; and when night came upon them he chose the bravest men to besiege the castle that those who were weary might sleep, before Bryttys and his host should come upon them the second time. And the castellans meanwhile resisted them manfully, shooting and throwing wildfire upon them, by all various devices seeking to drive them away from the wall. And then when they had set the machines against it [the fort] and began to dig under it, the castellans poured the wildfire* and boiling water on their heads, and drove them from the walls. And then when they were wearied by day-long labour, and lack of sleep at night, and hunger and thirst, they sent messengers to Bryttys to seek help from him lest they should be forced to give up the castle.
And when Bryttys heard this, he was perplexed for he knew not how he could succour them, for he had not force sufficient to give battle to them in the field. So he planned to launch a night attack against them, and he thought to kill the pickets, and seek them in their sleep. But this he saw he could not do without the help of men of Groec. He therefore called Anakletys, a friend of Antigonys was he, drew his sword, holding him, gripped him firmly did Bryttys, and spoke to him thus: “Here, chosen youth, is thy death and end, unless thou doest faithfully the thing I require of thee. This night I will make attack upon the men of Groec, and in this way I wish that thou shouldest deceive them, in order that my way against them may be open. Go to their pickets and say that thyself and Antigonys have escaped out of my prison, and that you have left him in a woody glen and there he is, — without being able to go further because of the weight of the iron which is on him, — and beg them to come with thee. to bring him in. If you do this, I shall get my will upon them.” And then when Anaklettys saw Bryttys showing him his own death, he gave oath to be faithful to Bryttys, on condition that Antigonys should go with him. And so they started toward the men of Groec, and when be [Anaklettys] reached the pickets, they surrounded him, and asked him if he had come there to betray them. “Not so in truth, but on my back have I carried Andigonys by craft from Bryttys’s dungeon, and I left him hiding amid the thorns and briers in the glen below. So come quickly with me to fetch him.” And so they were afraid to go with him for fear of treachery, and one who knew him said that he was speaking the truth. Then in close order, the watch went with him to the place where he had said Antigonys was, and then Bryttys rushed out upon them and killed them without leaving one. And then they went on in order, and they reached the middle of the host, and no one spoke a word on the march until Bryttys and his men had surrounded the king’s tent. Then Bryttys blew his horn at the door of the tent and began to kill them in their sleep. And then from the cries of the slain the others awoke, who did not know whither to flee, until all were slain. And when the castellans knew this, they sallied forth. And when Bryttys got inside the tent of the king he seized and bound him, thinking that he would get more profit from this than from killing him. And so after the night was past, and the dawn had come, Bryttys called his men around him and divided the spoil of the dead among them, whatever each one wished. And so to the castle came Bryttys, and with him the king, a prisoner; and he strengthened the castle with men and arms.
And when the victory was theirs, Bryttys called his council in order to learn what it would advise him to demand of the king, — “For his body is in our possession, and whatever may be asked of him he will give for his freedom.” And the council said to him that it was better to take ransom from him than to dwell among enemies. And after long dispute a wise man named Membyr arose, asked silence, and spoke thus, “O brother Lords, how long wifi ye hesitate as to what I think is most likely to be for your future interest, namely, decision to go away from here, so that you and your heirs may have perpetual peace. For if you free king Pendrassys and take from him a part of Groec to dwell in, never shall you have secure peace; for so long as there is a man of rgrroec alive, they will remember last night until they take vengeance either on yourselves or on your children for this raid. My counsel to you therefore is that you take to lawful wife her that is called Enogen, his eldest daughter, and with her, gold and silver, and ships and wine and grain, and all things needful, and also his consent that we go to other lands, to whatever place God may send us, in freedom, for fear of the slavery of the men of Groec upon us and our children.” And so to his reasoning all agreed.
And then it was ordered that king Pendrassys should be brought into their midst; and Bryttys said that should he not do all things asked of him, he would get his death. And when he came forth there was set for him a seat higher than all others, and then he spoke like this. “The infernal gods have given me and Antigonys, my brother, into your hands, and lest I lose my life I must submit to you, which I promise to do, to buy of you myself and Antigonys, my brother. Nor is it strange that I should obey you, for it is blameless in me to give my well-loved daughter to yonder Young man. For I know that he comes of the line of Priaf and Enssisses, and his fame and bravery show it at this hour. Who but he could have freed the exiles of Troyaf, when they had been so long enslaved, and captive under so many princes? Who but he, with such small forces as he had, could face the king of Groec, give him battle in the field, and put him to flight, and at last capture and bind him? For this I will give my daughter to him, and give with her gold, silver, precious treasures, wine and oil and wheat and gems and ships aplenty, and however much you shall need of other things, and Enogen, my daughter. Or if you wish to dwell here, I will give you a third of my kingdom; and will remain with you a prisoner till you have received everything promised.”
And then messengers were sent to every port of grroec to collect ships and bring them to one port. In all their Number was three hundred and twenty-four ships, and at once they were loaded with such things as were named above, and all kinds of fruits; and then the king was set at liberty. And when they had embarked upon the ships, Enogen stood in the lowest bottom of the ship, between Bryttys’s hands, weeping and sobbing for longing for her country. Bryttys soothed and spoke her fair, until, wearied out with weeping, sleep fell upon her. And so for two days and a night they sailed with the wind behind them and came to an island named legetta; and it was barren, with no one inhabiting it, after it had been laid waste by a tribe called the Pirattas. And here Bryttys sent three hundred fighting men On shore to see if there were any one there, and when they saw no one there, they hunted the various animals. And when night came upon them, they came to a ruined town, vast and ancient, and there was an image of Diana, which gave answers to those who asked, and any one who sought information from her received it.
And the next morning, they returned to the ships with their loads of game of many kinds, and told Bryttys what they had seen in that island, and urged him to go to that temple to sacrifice to that goddess, and to ask of her where he should find a place to dwell in. And upon the advice of these men, Bryttys took with him Gerion, the diviner, and twelve of his elders* and carrying everything needed, they went to the temple. And when he reached it, Bryttys put on a chaplet of vine leaves on his head, and came to the door of that old temple. And in the ancient law sacrifice was made to the three gods, namely, Iubiter, and Merkywri, and Diana. And then Bryttys alone came before the altar of the goddess; and in his left hand there was a vessel full of wine, and in his right hand a horn filled with the blood of a white hind; and he raised his face to the image, he spoke like this: “O thou that art the mighty Queen of the chase, and that art the guardian of the forest boar, O thou to whom it is permittea to range the paths of the air and the halls of hell, tell me what land I shall have to dwell in, and to worship thee through the ages and the years, — and I will build a temple to honour thee.” And when he had said this nine times, he went four times around the altar; then poured the wine into the jaws of the goddess, and laid himself down on the pelt of a white hind. And when it was the third hour of the night, the time of sweetest sleep, he deemed that he saw the goddess before him and speaking to him like this: “Bryttys,” said she, “under the setting of the sun, beyond the lands of Ffraink, there is an island in the ocean, on every side protected by the sea, in which giants lived aforetime, — but now it is empty. Go thou thither, for it is meet for thee and thy Descendants. And it shall be for thy sons a second Troyaf, and there shall be born kings of thy lineage, to whom the whole world shall bow.”
And when he had seen that vision, Bryttys awoke, and was bewildered as to what he had seen. And they went to the ships with joy, and hoisted sail, and cleaving the waves of ocean within the ninth day they reached the Aifric, and from thence, they knew not what land they should head for, and from thence they came to the altars of the Velystynion.* And there they met great peril fighting with the Piraniaid, which were a cruel tribe. But these Bryttys overcame nevertheless, and he was enriched by their spoil. From hence they sailed until they came to the land of Mawritania, and there for lack of food and drink they had to land and plunder the whole island. And from hence they came to the caves* of Erkwlff the mighty, where many of those sea beasts that are called mermaids gathered around them, and nearly sank their ships. And from thence they came unto the Tyren Sea; and on that shore there met them four clans of exiles of Troyaf, who had fled from there with Antenor; and a great man was prince over them, who was stronger and braver than any one, who was named Koroneys. And it was not more difficult for him to fight a giant than a year-old boy. And after they became acquainted, and learned that both were of one kindred, they marched together and Korinays paid homage to bryttys. And in all battles and fighting he strengthened Bryttys better than any one. And then they came to Ackwitania, and cast anchor in the port of Lingyrys [the Loire] for seven days, to see the condition of the country.
And a man was king there called Koffarffichdi* [Koffar the Pict]; and when he heard of the descent of the fleet upon his country, he sent messengers to them to learn what they wanted, whether peace or war. And so as the messengers were going toward the ships, korinays, who was hunting, met them, and the messengers asked who gave him permission to hunt in the king’s forest. And he said that he had sought permission from no one to hunt wherever he willed. Whereupon one of the messengers, who was called mynbert, drew his bow and let drive an arrow at Korinays, but he dodged the arrow, quickly seized Mynnbert, and pulled the bow roughly out of his hand, and struck him on the head with it so that all his brains stuck to the bow. The other messenger barely escaped by the strength of his swiftness of foot, and that one told Koffarffichdi how mymbert had been slain. And then Koffarffichdi collected a great force intending to take revenge upon korineys for killing his messenger. And when Bryttys heard this, he strengthened his ships, and put the women and children aside, and came with all his fighting men to land against Koffarfflchdi, and fiercely did they fight. And Korineys took great shame to see that the Gwas Gwniaid [Gascons] withstood them, and that he did not see the men of Troyaf prevailing over them; and then Korineys called his own men to him, he set them as a separate force on the right of the army, and killed those people without resting, and put them to flight, leaving only the slain behind him. For when he took his two-edged axe in his hand, he kified whomever he met, for he clave them from their crowns down to the ground. And greatly marvelled his enemies to see him do so. And these words he said to them, “Whither are ye flying, ye feeble cowards? Fight with Korineys. Out upon you — for shame to fly for fear of one man! It is safe for you to fly, for I would put to flight even giants.” After he said this, Earl ssiart, with a hundred men at arms, turned back, but Korineys attacked them, and heaving up his axe, struck him on the crest of his helmet and split him to the ground, and then with his axe circling about him without rest he hewed his enemies, and every one that met him he killed or maimed at one blow. And then Bryttys saw him in that peril, and brought up his men to his support. And then was there a great battle between them and the various tribes; and straightway after that Koffarffichdi and his army were put to flight. And he went to Ffraink to his kindred to seek aid to wreak his rage upon the men of Troyaf. For at that time one custom as to dignity, Lordship, and government prevailed throughout the country, for there were twelve kings over Ffraink, but king Karwed* was of higher dignity than they. And these received him cordially and promised him help to repel the foreign nation from his country and its bounds.
And then, after Bryttys had got the victory, he enriched his men with the spoils of the dead; and then marshalling his men the second time, he marched to the country, and they took every kind of goods that were in it to the ships with them and burned the cities, and took all their gold and their silver, and whatever else of value that could be carried,— and killed all the people. Then, after he had burned over the whole face of Gassgwin [Gascony], from there he went to the place called at this hour the city of tyrri. And there, when he saw a spot fitted by its strength, he measured out a place suitable for tents and raised a stockade about it, in order that they might, if need be, sustain an assault, —for they feared that Koffarffichdi and other kings might come with many armies — and there waited for them.* And then when Koffarffichdi heard that they were there, he rested neither day nor night till he came to a place where he saw the whole fort. And then he said, “Alas! Alas! what sad shame of fate is this, to see an outland people with their tents pitched in my kingdom. Arm yourselves, O chieftains, catch them as sheep are caught in a pen, and we will divide them among us and scatter them all over our country as prisoners and slaves, and thus wreak our wrath and vengeance upon them.” And marshalling the men in twelve divisions, he advanced upon the men of Troyaf. When Bryttys knew this, he put on his armour, and [so did] his men, and came out against Koffarffichdi, and attacked him fiercely, instructing his men to attack when advantage served and to wait when they must. And thus the men of Troyaf conquered and compelled Koffarffichdi and his men to flee at the first rush, and in this flight were slain two thousand of them. But the numbers of Koffarfflchdi’s men and the Ffraink were tenfold larger than those of Bryttys, for every hour others came in. And then they attacked the men of Troyaf a second time, and made great slaughter and drove them back again into their castles. And so after the Ffraink had won that victory, they sat down about them, thinking to shut them up until they died of famine, or until they could put them to some death more cruel than that. And that night Bryttys took council with Korineys and the decision was that Korineys should go quietly from the camp, and hide in a neighbouring wood, and that next day when Bryttys should attack them, he should rise upon the other side, and raise a cry upon them, and make a great slaughter on the Ffraink. And this did Korineys; taking with him three thousand armed men, he went out at night and hid in the forest. And the next morning Bryttys posted his men with order and skill and gave battle in the field to the Ffraink; the Ffraink fiercely attacked in turn, so that many thousands fell on both sides. And there was a youth of Troyaf lineage, nephew to Bryttys, and his name was Tyrri, who, Korineys excepted, was the bravest. For he slew six hundred men with his own sword; but at last the Ffraink killed him, and there he was buried, and from his name that place is still called the city of tyrri, because he was buried there. And then, behold Korineys came upon them when they were unaware and suddenly attacked the rear; and when Bryttys saw this, he nerved himself and his men to bravery; and so loud was the shouting which Korinays raised that the Ffraink became disheartened, thinking there were in that place greater numbers than there were, and the Ffraink began to leave the field and to flee, and the men of Troyaf pursued them until they had the victory over them. And so, though Bryttys was joyful over getting the victory, he was sad because of his nephew tyrri’s death. And thus the number of Bryttys’s followers daily lessened, whilst that of the Ffraink increased; therefore in council Bryttys was advised to return to his ships while the greater part of his men were still whole, and having also the credit of the victory; and then to go toward the island of which the goddess had told him. And without delay, by the counsel of the nobles, they went upon the ships, taking with them whatever they desired of any valuable thing there was in that land.
And then they hoisted sail with a fair wind, and made landfall on the strand of Tatnais.* For that place was the Alban, which in Kymraec is called y wenn ynys [the White Island], and no one dwelt there but a few giants; and it had a fair aspect, with many fine rivers abounding in fish, and there were in it also noble forests. And so Bryttys and his followers were pleased with the situation of the island; and the giants fled to the mountains. And then by consent of the princes, they divided the island amongst them, and began to plow and to build houses on it and to occupy it; and in a short time it might have been thought that it had been settled for many ages. And then Bryttys desired to call the island by his own name, and that the race inhabiting it should be called bryttaniaid; this also was by reason of his own name, for he wished to have eternal renown, until the day of judgment. And from that time on, the language of that people was called Bryttanec. And Korineys put on the part that came to him [the name] Kerniw [Cornwall], for he had his choice before all others, and he chose that part of the island because the giants were most numerous there, for to fight with them delighted him more [than anything]. And there was among them a certain monster called Gogmagog,* who was twelve cubits in height, whose power and strength were said to be so great that he could tear from its roots down under his feet the largest oak in the forest as easily as he would pull up a little twig of hazel.
And so, as Bryttys was fighting upon a feast day in the place where he first came to land on this island, behold Gogmagog came with eleven giants and made a bloody slaughter upon the Bryttaniaid. And then many of them rallied and fought manfully with them, and slew them all except Gogmagoc, for Bryttys caused him to be kept alive because it would delight him to see Korineys fight him, for that was his desire also. And so when Korinays saw that monster toming, he thrilled with delight, and throwing off his armour, challenged the giant to come to grips with him. And they came together, stood face to face, and each one got a hold on the other with much tongue-lashing, until those that were near them were wearied by their breathing. And at once the giant hugged Korinays to him with all his might, until he broke three of his ribs, two on the left side and one on the right side. And then Korineys became enraged, and took his strength to him and lifted the giant to his shoulder, and ran with him towards a sea-crag and bearing him to its highest peak, threw him over the rock into the sea, so that he went into a thousand pieces, and the waves were discoloured by his blood for a long time. And that place from that day to this is called the giant’s Leap, or Gogmagog’s jump.
And then when the island had been divided, Bryttys desired to build a city And he went the island’s length seeking a place suitable for the purpose. And at last he came to the banks of the river Temys and he traversed the bank along the sands. And when he found a place lovely and filling his desires, he built a city there and called it Troyaf newydd, and thus it was called for a long time; and, then by corruption of that name, it was called trynofant. Afterwards it was possessed by Llydd, the son of Beli the great, the brother of Kasswallawn, the man who fought with ilkassar. And when this Llydd got the kingship he strengthened the city with [grants of] lands and with walls of wondrous art and craftsmanship; and he ordered it to be called from that time forth kaer-lydd, after his own name; and the Ssaisson called it Lwndwn. And on this account there was great contention between Llydd and Rryniaw his brother, because the name of Troyaf was blotted out.
And then when Bryttys had finished the building of the city, and had strengthened it with walls and castles, he consecrated them, and he made inflexible laws for the governance of such as should dwell there peacefully, and he put protection on the city and granted privilege to it. At this time Eli the priest ruled in Judea and the ark of the covenant was in captivity to the Pilistewission. And in Troyaf there ruled a son of Ector the mighty, after he had expelled from it the descendants of Antenor. And in the Eidial there ruled Ssylhys, the son of Yssgannys, the son of Eneas, — uncle of Bryttys, and this one was the third king after Lattinys. And then Bryttys had, by his wife Enogen, three sons, namely Locrinys, Kamber, and Albanactys. And those three sons, when their father died in the twenty-fourth year alter he came to this island, divided the island into three parts. Locrinys, for he was the eldest, took the middle of the island, and this part was called Lloegr, from his name. Kamber got the other part beyond the Hafren, and that part is called Kymry; and Albanakdys got from the river Hymyr to Cape Bladdon, and that [part] is called Yssgotlond, and from his name Alban. And thus all three reigned at the same time. And then came Hymyr, king of Hvnawd,* with a large fleet to land in the Alban, and Albanactys fought with him and there Albanactys was killed, and the people of that country were compelled to fly to locrinys. And he sent to his brother, and they gathered all the Youth of the two countries, and went against Hynnyr and put him to flight, until he was drowned in this river, and from then until today this river is called Hymyr.
And then after Locrinys got the victory, he divided the spoils of the dead and all the gold and silver found in the ships. And he also took three young women fair of form and face, and one of them was daughter to the king of ssermania whom hynnyr had carried off from there with two other damsels when he plundered the country. And her name was Essyllt,* and her flesh was fairer than the whitest snow, or the lily, or the tusk of the sea-beast [walrus]. And when locrinys saw her, he was inflamed with love of her, and took the maid to his bed, even as his married wife. And when korineys learned it, he was greatly incensed because locrinys had promiseu to take his daughter to wife. And then Korineys went to the king, and shaking his axe at him said like this: “Is it thus, fellow, that you repay the many wounds and injuries I suffered with your father when we fought the foreign peoples for him? Is it thus, fellow, that you repay me by disgracing my daughter, putting a barbarian maiden before her? This shall not be done cheaply by you while there is strength in my two arms, for by this axe has many a giant lost his life.” This while brandinshing his two-edged axe as if about to strike him; but their comrades went in between him and the king.
And when they had pacified them, they compelled Locrinys to take the daughter of Korineys to wife. But notwithstanding he did not abjure his love for Essyllt, but made for her in Llyndain a cave under ground and ordered his nearest friends to ward her. And when he went to visit her, he said he was going to make secret sacrifice to god, for fearing Corineys he did not dare to take her openly to his bed; and so he spent seven years with her. But after Korineys died, locrinys left gwenddolav his daughter, and publicly took essyilt into the queen’s bed. And then gwennddolav grieved, and went to kerniw, and rallied all the Youth of the province to her, and began to make war on locrinys. And then the two forces met on the banks of the river which is called vyrram, and fierce was the battle there. And there Locrinys was struck in the forehead with an arrow and was killed. And then gwennddolav took the government of the island into her own hands. And she ordered both essyilt and her daughter hafren to be taken and drowned in the river, and ever since it has been called the river Hafren throughout Ynys Brydain, and thus it will be called until the day of judgment, on account of the maiden drowned in it, so that there shall be everlasting remembrance of the daughter of Locrinys.
And after Locrinys the queen reigned twelve years, and twelve other years had locrinys reigned. And when Madoc her son came of legal age, he was made king, and she herself ruled Kerniw while she lived. And then Madoc married and of his wife had two sons, namely, Membyr and Mael, and then madoc governed the realm in peace for twelve years and then he died. And after this discord arose between his two sons about the kingdom, for each one of them wished to have it for himself. And Membyr sent a message to Mael his brother to come to talk with him with the intention of making peace, and then by treachery Membyr caused his brother to be killed. And after getting the dominion of the whole island, he grew so cruel that he killed as many nobles as there were in the island lest they should succeed to power after him, and also he left his lawful wife, the mother of Efroc the mighty, gave himself over to the sin of Ssottma and Amorra, forsaking the blameless use of nature.*
In the hundredth year of his kingdom, as he was one day hunting, he went a little apart from his men in a woody glen, and there came wolves and killed him.* And after the death of Membyr, Efroc his son became king, strong to rule the kingdom; and he ruled it thirty years. And he was the first king after Bryttys who went with a fleet to Ffraink. And there he killed and burned, and took their spoil and their gold and their silver, and went home with the renown of that victory, after burning the cities and utterly destroying keeps and castles. And he first built in the country beyond the Hymyr, the city called after his own name, Dinas Efroc [Efroc’s city]. And that time Dafydd was king of Karissalem. And he also built Kaer Efrawc over against Alban. And he built the castle of mount Angned, which today is called the castle of the maidens or the hill of mourning. And efroc had twenty sons by twenty wives, and thirty daughters, and he ruled this kingdom forty years. The oldest of the sons was Bryttys darian las, Gums, Rvn, Morydd, Bleiddyn, Iago, Kalan, Kynar, Yssbladen, Gwryl, Dardan, Eidiol, Ivor, Gwychyr, Gronwy, Ector, kyhylyn, Rad, Assarakys, Howel. And the sons and daughters their father sent to the eidial, to ssilmins Alban, the man who was king after Ssiliys Lattinys. And there they were given [in marriage] to nobles of the race of troyaf. And all the sons, with Assarakys as their chief, with a fleet went unto ssermania, and by the aid of ssilmins Alban they conquered ssermania and obtained that kingdom.
Bryttys darian las dwelt with his father, and reigned ten years after his father. And after him came Lleon the hero his son; a good man was he, a king upholding truth and justice.
And that Lleon steered well the governance of the kingdom; and he built toward the north of Ynys Brydain the city that is called Kaer Lleon.* And at that time Sselyf, the son of Dafyd, was building the temple of Jessu Krist in Karissalym. And there came the queen of the south to listen to Sselyf’s wisdom; and Lleon ruled as king twenty-five years. But in the end of his days he became feeble, so that disorder arose in the kingdom and civil war.
And after him Rvn baladr bras, his son, reigned forty years, lacking one. And he brought his people out of war into peace. And this Rvn built Kaer Kaint, and Kaer Wynt and Kaer Vynydd y Paladr [the kaer of the mountain of the spear]; and there the eagle prophesied, foreboding [evil] to this island. And Sselyf son of Dafyd finished Kaerssalem.
The Reign of Blaiddyd
And after him came Blaiddyd, his son; and he reigned twenty years. And he built Kaer Vaddon, and the baths which were always warm for the healing of any that had need of them. And he sacrificed to the sorceress called Minerva; he kindled fire that never died until it had burned down to fine ashes, and when it began to burn out, it rekindled the [second*] time in balls of fire. And at this time the prophets prayed that god would give no rain, and there was not a drop of rain for three years and seven months. And Blaiddyd was a deeply learned man. And he was the first in all Ynys Brydain who brought in necromancy; nor did he rest from practicing such arts until he made pinions and wings for himself and flew to the upper air, from thence he fell down on the temple of Apolo in Llyndain and was dashed in a hundred pieces.
The Reign of llvr
And after Blaiddyd, llvr, his son, became king, and for forty years he ruled the kingdom manfully and peacefully. He built a City on the river Ssoram, which is called Kaer Lyr in Kymraec, and in Ssaessnec, Lessedr. And this llvr had no son but three daughters, and their names were Koronilla, and Rragaw, and Kordalia. And their father loved them beyond measure, and he loved Kordalia, his Youngest daughter, more than the two other daughters. And then as he grew old and over-burdened, he planned to divide his kingdom in three parts and to give them to husbands, and a third of the kingdom with each one of them; and also when he should have found out which one of his daughters loved him most, to give her the largest share of his wealth. And so he asked his eldest daughter how greatly she loved her father. And she swore that she loved her father more than the soul that was in her body. Then, said he to her, “Since, thou lovest me more than the whole world, my most loving daughter, I will bestow thee on the man thou lovest most, and with thee a third of my realm.” And then he asked his next oldest daughter, how greatly did she love her father, and she said that she could not tell with her tongue how much she loved her father, and Swore that she loved her father more than all creatures upon earth. So he loved her greatly, and gave her the second share of his dominions. And then Kordaila, after seeing her two sisters deceiving him with false deceiving love, was minded to give him a moderate answer. And then he asked his Youngest daughter how greatly did she love her father. “My Lord father, it may be that some pretend to love their father more than they do; but, my Lord, I will love thee as a daughter should love her father. According to what grounds of affection there shall be, will I love thee, my Lord father.” Then her father, thinking that she said this to him out of sheer willfulness of heart,* was greatly angered and spoke thus: “In the way that thou lovest me in my old age, so will I love thee henceforth, for I will disinherit thee forever of thy share of ynys brydain and will give it to thy two sisters; though I say not that I will not give thee to a husband, if fate so orders, for thou art my daughter, yet will I give with thee neither wealth nor honour as with thy sisters. For though I have loved thee more than both of them together, me thou lovest not.” And so by the advice of his nobles, he gave his two older daughters to two princes, namely to the prince of Kerniw and the prince of the gogledd,* and the kingdom in two halves between them. And afterward it chanced that [A]ganipys, king of Ffraink, heard great praise of kordailia, saying that she was a beautiful creature; and sent envoys to ask her of her father as his wedded wife. And this was told to her father by the envoys, and he said that he would give her to a husband without dowry in the world with her, because he had given his realm and his gold and his silver to his two other daughters. Nevertheless, when the king of Ffraink learned how beautiful was the maid, he was filled with love of her, and said that he had plenty of gold and silver and lands, and that he needed nothing except a beautiful wife, by whom he might have children as heirs for his dominions. And then speedily was agreement made between them. And then the other princes took rule over the land which he had manfully governed for a long time, dividing into two halves; and maglawn, prince of Alban, took llvr to himself, and forty mounted gentlemen with him, lest he might take shame being without horsemen following him. And after llvr had been with him a quarter of a year, Koronilla grew angry because her father had so many horsemen, and because their servants embroiled the court, and so she told her husband that thirty mounted gentlemen were enough, while the rest should be let go. And when llvr was told this, he said in wrath that he would leave maglawn and go to the Earl of Kerniw. And the Earl received him honourably; and so at the end of the year war and tumult arose between the servitors. And then Ragaw grew angry against her father, and bade him [send] away all his gentlemen but five who should wait on him. And then llvr became greatly distressed, left there and went the second time to his eldest daughter thinking that she was no longer angered that he had kept his gentlemen with him. But she swore with great wrath that he should not stay there unless he let go all his gentlemen save one of them who should serve him — saying that an old man had need of no such crowd. And then since he was denied whatsoever he wished from his daughter, he sent away all his gentlemen save one. And then he thought of his dignity and honour, and he was greatly grieved; and thought of going to see his daughter who had gone to Ffraink, but feared to do so because so lovelessly he had dismissed her there. At length, he could no longer brook his other daughters, and he started for Ffraink. And when he took ship, seeing himself accompanied by three mounted gentlemen only, with weeping he spoke thus: “Oh, ye fates! whither are ye tending? For much more pain it is to remember prosperity when it is lost, than to bear poverty without having become accustomed to wealth. How many hundred men aforetime followed me, when I was attacking castles and towns and ravaging the territories of my enemies; and after all that, I now suffer poverty and anguish, caused by the men who at that time were beneath my feet. O god, when will the time come when I shall take revenge upon them for this? Alas, how true, was thy saying, when thou saidst that according to my power and prosperity wouldst thou love me. And so while riches were in my own hand and I had power to give great gifts, all loved me; but when gifts are gone, love has flown away. How then for shame shall I ask support of thee since I took offense with thee, wiser than thy sisters, for thy wisdom, for after I had given them my dominions, they made me as an exile from home and country.” And thus lamenting his trouble, he reached paris,* the city where his daughter lived. And then he sent greeting to his daughter, telling her what misfortunes had come upon him. And when his messenger said that he was there alone but for a single gentleman, she sent him much gold and silver, telling her father to go to a nearby city, give himself out as ailing, bathe, and dress himself in new garments proper for a king to wear; and take on forty mounted men, and fit them handsomely with horses, arms, and apparel. And then he sent a letter to his son-in-law and daughter. And when the king heard this, he came with his nobles to meet him, and honourably welcomed him as befitted a king. And then Anipys gathered a large force from the whole of Ffraink, especially all the mounted men, and they two went to Lloegr, llvr and kordaila his daughter and that host, to fight with his two sons-in-law, and got the victory over them. And after llvr became paramount over the kingdom the second time, he lived but three years. And at the same time died Acanapys, king of Ffraink. And then Kordaila got the rulership into her own hands, and then she caused her father to be buried in a cave, which was made beneath the river which is called ssoram at kaer Lvr (Leicester). This house of earth was made in honour of the god called biffrons. And there came together each year all the mechanics and craftsmen of the kingdom, to begin every work they planned to execute to the end of a year from the day on which they began work. And so kordaila ruled the kingdom peacefully and happily. And after a time there rose against her her two nephews, her sisters’ sons, the son of Maglawn, prince of the gogledd, and the son of einion, prince of Kerniw, — and the names of the sons were Morgan, son of Maglawn, and kynedda, son of Einion — saying that it was disgraceful that a woman should rule the kingdom. And so each one of them raged against her and began to devastate the land. And then they warred against her and took her and put her in prison; and in the prison, of rage and misery, she lost herself. And then those men shared the island between them in two parts. And there was given to Morgan the part beyond the Hymyr, called Yssgottlont. And to kynedda as his share, the other part to the westward. And at the end of two years after this, certain who loved war and tumults came to vmorgan saying that it was a disgrace for him that, because being the elder, he ought to rule the whole kingdom, he was holding it under another, and that kynedda had two thirds of the kingdom. And then Morgan began to ravage and to burn. And then Kynedda. gathered a large force* against him, put him to flight, and pursued him from one country to another, and from place to place, till they came to the great plain in kymry. And there the battle followed, and morgan was killed in morganwc on the spot where stands the monastery of margam; and there he was buried. And then after getting this victory Kynedda was king over the whole kingdom for thirty-three years in joy and peace; and on the eleventh day before may day following, the building of Ryfain was begun by two brothers named Rromilys and Rraimes. And after Kynedda was dead, Rriallon, his son, became king after him. And a Youth was he, and a maker of peace and happiness. He ruled his kingdom peacefully, and in his time came a bloody rain for three days and nights, and death upon men.
And after Rriallon, Gorwst his son became king. After him Saissyll became king. After him Iago, gorwst’s nephew, became king. After Iago, Kynvarch, son of Ssayssyllt, became king. After Yssyllt,* Gwrvyw became king; and he had two sons named Ffervex and Porex. And when their father was enfeebled by years and disease, dispute broke out between the two brothers about the kingship and to know which should get it. Porex, inflamed with rage and hatred against his brother, planned to kill him. And when Ffervex heard this, he went to Ffraink to seek support and strength from Siwart, king of Ffraink; and came back again to fight his brother. And then Fforex* killed him with the greater part of his host. But the mother of the two youths became angry at Fforex, her still living son, and came with her maids and found him sleeping, and she killed him in his sleep, then tore him into little pieces. And after this for a long time there was strife among the peoples and civil* war about the kingdom, until they divided it into five parts, under five of these kings, who alternately fought each other. And then a long time after that, there arose the fame of the Youth who was called Dyfnwal Moel Myd, for he was a son of Klydno, Earl of Kerniw, and he was of more beauty and bravery than any of the kings of ynys brydain. And that young man, after his father’s death, took the kingdom into his own hands, and at once fought with Pymed,* king of lloegr, and slew him. And then when this was heard by Nydawc, king of Kymbry, and Tewdwr, king of Yssgottlont, they and their forces came into Dyfnwal’s territory and began to ravage and to burn. And when Dyfnwal heard this he came with thirty thousand armed men and fought them. Much of the day was spent without advantage to one over the other. And then when Dyfnwal saw he was not getting the victory, he called to him one hundred and twenty of his bravest men, and gave them the armour of the slain [men] about them, and putting off his own armour, he put on the armour of a dead man, and he quickly went to the place where nydawc the king was, and slew him; then with his hundred and twenty men he went to the place where dtewdwr was and ordered them to rush upon him, and they killed him suddenly. All this he did with but a hundred and twenty men. And then he quickly put on his own armour, for fear his own soldiers should kill him, then exhorted them anew to kill their enemies, and it was not long before he got complete victory. And then he traversed the country far and wide, capturing and destroying camps and castles. And when he had subdued to himself all ynys brydain from one sea to the other, he caused a Crown of gold to be made for him, and wore it on his head. And he brought f the island back to its ancient dignity, and established laws, which are still called the laws of Dyfnwal-Moel Myd. And the Ssaesson still observe them; and he granted right [of refuge] to temples and cities, and to roads* named by law, so that every one who fled to them, whatever he bad done amiss, should find protection, and go whither he would without permission of his adversaries. He also did many other things, too tiresome to treat of, concerning which Gildas wrote; for be gave privilege of refuge to the roads* leading to the chief cities, and he granted the principal roads to the common people to go to the cities and temples, and in his time there was neither thief nor criminal; and so after governing the land in this fashion for forty years from the time when he made and put on the Crown, he died, and was buried in llyndain in a temple which he himself had built.
The Contentions of Beli and Bran
And after he died, strife and disunion arose between his sons Beli and Bran about the kingship and the crown, for each one desired it for himself. But wise men of high degree made peace between them, and they divided the kingdom in two parts, to wit, Beli was left Lloegr and the crown of the kingdom, and the whole of kymry and kerniw also, since he was the eldest son, — because according to the ancient law of the men of troyaf the eldest son got the whole inheritance. And to Bran fell all the country north of the Hymyr, that is, all the Gogledd* in subordination to his brother. And this was confirmed between them, so five years passed by untroubled. And then certain who loved strife came to Bran and said that it was weakness and disgrace on his part to surrender his own rights to his brother, having had the same mother and father, and being of the same rank* and deserts, and further “you have been in more feuds and wars than he; when Edwetro, prince of Morien, came into your country, you quickly chased him away. Therefore, break off this disgraceful compact that is between you and your brother and go to the king of Llychlyn,* and take his daughter as your wedded wife, and by his help you will be able to win your rights.” And then Bran was goaded to rage by these words, and [went] to Llychlyn to marry the daughter of the king of Llychlyn. And when that was told to Beli, he was grieved and considered it improper, and was angered greatly that his brother, without conference with him, had in that way sought alliance against him.
And Beli gathered a great host and marched through Hymyr, seized the fortresses and cities, and put his own men into them. And when Bran heard this, he gathered a great army from Llychlynn. And as he joyfully went with this fleet, the wind with him, towards his country, behold Gwychlan, king of Dassia,* who was pursuing him for love of the maiden he had carried away from Llychlyn, met them. And when that one knew that bran was there, he prepared his fleet and fought him hard, until he managed to throw hooks upon the ship in which was Bran’s wife, and dragged it with him until he and she came into the midst of his own fleet. And then, behold! a storm of wind came and scattered the ships to every strand disastrously, and thus for five days they sailed. And in the Gogledd it was that the king of Dassia was forced ashore.
And when the men of that country heard that, they seized them and brought them to Beli, who was there waiting for his brother from Llychlyn. And along with the king of Dassia’s ships, there were three other ships, and one of them belonged to the ships of Bran, his brother. Well pleased was Beli to capture it to begin to take revenge upon his brother. And a few days later, behold, Bran came, having gathered his ships along the coast of the Gogledd. And when it was told him that Beli had conquered his following and captured his wife, he sent a message to Beli demanding that his wife and his kingdom be delivered to him again, saying that unless he got them, he would ravage the whole island from one sea to the other; and would also kill him should he meet him. And when Beli heard this, he refused those two demands, both as to his wife and his kingdom.
And then Beli gathered a host of all the horsemen of Ynys Brydain, and set forth against Bran and prepared to fight with him. And forthwith when Bran learned this, he came up with Beli in a place called the grove of Kaladyr, and there they engaged fiercely, for both of them were men famed in battle; and on both sides men fell as fall the oats of harvest before the reapers. And at last, the bryttaniaid were victorious, and the men of Llychlyn fled broken to their ships; for in that battle fifteen thousand of the men of Llychlyn were killed, and none escaped unwounded. And then scarcely did bran reach one of his ships and go to Ffraink. And the other multitudes who had come with him fled to the first place where they could find safety. And then after getting this victory, Beli called the nobles of the kingdom to Kaer Efroc, to take counsel as to the king of Dassia, for that man had sent messengers to him offering homage and submission, and also tribute every year, that he might be released, and his beloved. And this Beli did, upon the advice of the nobles; and took oaths and hostages from the king of Dassia. Then he with his beloved were set at liberty.
And after Beli had subdued the island from one sea to the other, and there was no one to oppose him, he confirmed the laws he made and had peace cried through the whole island, and more especially in the temples and cities. And to these he gave the most ample privileges they ever had. And at this time there was contention as to the high ways, whose boundaries were not clearly known. Therefore, he called to him all the stone masons of Ynys Brydain, and ordered them to make roads of stone and mortar, according to rule. One of them was built from the Cape of Kerniw on the sea unto Cape Bladdon* in the Gogledd, and that is the length of Ynys Brydain, through such chief cities as were directly in its course. And another he ordered to be made across the island, that is from Kaer Vyniw [St. David’s] on the coast, to Port Hamon, that is Norddamtwn. And he also ordered to be made two other roads, slantwise to these, reaching the corners of the island, passing as the others did through cities. And when they were finished, he ordered them to be held sacred, and gave them right of sanctuary, so that whoever reached one of those roads, however great crimes he had committed, no one dared molest him. And then Beli reigned in peace.
And Bran, his brother, who had fled to Ffraink in distress, was sad because of his banishment from his country and kingdom. And there was no way for him to get it back, and he knew not what to do. And then, with eleven horsemen, he went to the prince of Ffraink and showed him his evil case. And when this one refused to help him, straightly he went on to the prince of Byrgwin [Burgundy], and he was cordial to him and gave him his company and his love, so that there was not in the court any one of so much honour as he. This was because in everything that he did, whether in war or in peace, he showed praise and honour, so that the prince loved him as much as if he were his son. For Bran was a man fair to look upon, with long and slender limbs, courteous, wise and capable, as it befitted him to be. And when the prince had thus set his love upon him, having as his heir an only daughter, he gave her to Bran as his wedded wife, and promised Byrgwin to him in succession to himself, provided that he should have no other heir; and if he should have a son he promised him support and means to conquer his own realm; and another one of the princes of Ffraink also promised him support. And then Bran married the maiden. And thus the nobles of the country became subject to him, and he ruled with his own hand the territory which had been given him. And not a year later, the prince died. And then Bran restored to such princes as loved him, the estates which the prince had taken away from their forbears; and thus he bound their love to himself because of his generosity. And with that he did what the men of Byrgwin held best, giving of food and drink to everyone who came, and no door was shut against them.
And then when the multitude was in accord with him, he pondered in what way he could get revenge upon Beli his brother for what he had done to him. And so all promised him support and forces to go to conquer whatever place in the world he wished. And then without delay he gathered a vast host, and coming to Ffraink, made a compact with those men permitting that he, with his army, should pass through that country towards Ynys Brydain. And when the ships were ready on the coast of Fflawndrys, they went to sea with the wind behind them, until they came to Ynys Brydain. And when Beli heard that his brother was coming with a great fleet, he gathered a mighty host and set out against him to fight him. And then as they were about to grapple, Tonwen, their mother, came to them, and hastened through the armies, seeking to see Bran, her son, for she had not seen him for a long time. And so, trembling with fear, she walked to the place where Bran was standing, and put her arms about his neck, and gave him many kisses, and then bared her breast and through sobbing and weeping, said thus to him: “My dearest son, remember these breasts which thou hast sucked, and remember thy mother’s heart who bore thee nine months beneath her girdle, remember all the pains I took to rear thee. Think of these things today; for the sake of the creator from heaven who made thee, grant forgiveness to thy brother. Let thy anger, which thou hast conceived against him, cease, for he gave thee no occasion for anger, and it was not he who banished thee from thy country and kingdom. And he did thee no wrong. And he did not banish thee to humble thee, but rather for thy elevation, for thou wast in subjection to him for a small part of the kingdom. And although thou didst lose that part, thou art now his equal, and thus he caused thy elevation to great dignity. For it is greater honour to be duke of Byrgwin than of a share of Ynys Brydain. Consider, not by him first grew this quarrel between you, but thou thyself began it, when thou wentest to seek the daughter of the king of Llychlyn as thy wife, and by that strength sought to dispossess him.” And so after she had said this to him with weeping, he turned to peace and quietness, with utter will and purpose to do after his mother’s counsel, and taking from his head his helmet and his cap of mail, he went to the place where Beli, his brother, was. And when he saw his brother coming to him, he threw aside his weapons, and put his arms about his brother’s neck, and quickly were they reconciled. And then their armies also threw down their arms, praising the peace; and they marched to Llyndain, and there they took counsel, both they and their nobles. The decision was to go to Ffraink, and subdue all its provinces to their own possession. And when they had been a year in Llyndain, they set out towards Ffraink, and began to harry the country. And when the men of Ffraink heard this, they rallied all Ffraink to one place, and fought with them, and Beli and Bran got the victory. And the men of Ffraink fled, and the Bryttaniaid chased them until they took the king prisoner, and made him submit to them. And then they destroyed all the strong forts, and by the end of the year subdued the whole kingdom.
And after this they came with their armies to Ryfain, and began destroying the strongholds throughout the Eidial, and they conquered the whole country as far as Ryfain. At that time there were in Ryfain two princes, and their names were Galins and Fforkena, and to them was committed the ruling of the country. And when they saw that no nation was able to withstand the fierceness of Beli and Bran, by the advice of the senate of Ryfain they made peace with them, and gave them great gifts of silver and gold, and promised tribute to them every year for leaving the land in peace. And for this Beli and Bran took hostages of them. And from there Beli and Bran with their hosts went to Ssermania. And then after they had begun to war against those peoples, they [the Romans] were sorry for their compact which they had made with the Bryttaniait, and broke it and went to help the men of Ssermania. And when Beli and Bran heard this, they were greatly enraged and took counsel how they might fight two armies, for it was not easy in view* of the army coming from Ryfain. The decision was to leave Beli and all the Bryttaniaid with him to fight the men of Ssermania, while Bran with his troops went towards Ryfain. And when the men of Ryfain heard this, they left the men of Ssermania and sought to head off Bran and his host before they reached Ryfain. And when Beli heard this, he came with his army by night against them unto a woody glen which lay on their way, and Beli and his force hid there to waylay them. And next day, behold, the men of Ryfain coming to that place, and then they saw the arms of their enemies glittering along the glen. And then greatly were they frightened, thinking that Bran was there, and the men of Byrgwin with him. And then Beli quickly attacked them, and at once the men of Ryfain fled and left the field, for they could neither put on their armour nor form; and Beli chased them until night stopped his slaughtering. And then after getting the victory, Beli reached Bran, his brother, the third day after he had sat down before the walls of Ryfain. And then when the two armies were before the city, they attacked it fiercely, working great woe upon the men of Ryfain, and they erected a gallows before the gate of the city to hang the hostages if they would not give up the city; but for all this they held it. And they fought sometimes with their engines, at other times by shooting arrows at them and they fought every way they could. And then when Beli and Bran saw this, they burned with rage and ordered the four and twenty hostages, men of highest rank, to be banged before the city in their presence. Then the men of Ryfain marshalled their army in divisions, and came out of the city, and gave them battle in the field because word came to the men of Ryfain from the two princes who had gathered their Scattered troops saying that they were marching to their aid, and begging that they should not give up the city on any account. And then the troops in two hosts came suddenly upon the Bryttaniaid and the men of Byrgwin, and made great slaughter. And then when Beli and Bran saw the slaughter of their comrades, they were grieved, and rallied their warriors and exhorted them to fight their enemies, and they drove them far back, and in the end, after thousands on both sides had been killed, Beli and Bran got the victory, killed Galins, and took fforkena and the city. And Beli and Bran divided the booty among their comrades. And then after getting this victory, Bran lived as Emperor in Ryfain and subdued the people with infinite cruelty, and as it is told in the history of the men of Ryfain, I have not here told more of it, for too much weariness would it be to rehearse it all. And then Beli went back to Ynys Brydain, and ruled his kingdom in peace for the rest of his life. And he rebuilt the strongholds in every place where they were ruined, and built other new ones. And among these he built a city on the banks of the River Wysc; and there was the archbishop-house of Dyfed. And after the men of Ryfain came to this island, it was called Kaerllion, for there they used to dwell in winter. And Beli also built a splendid Gate in Llyndain on the banks of the Temys, which is called Bilinssgad. On its battlements he made a mighty tower, and at its base he made a water gate for embarking upon the ships. And he everywhere enforced anew his father’s laws, and gave himself to truth. And in his time there was abundance of gold and silver among the people, so that neither before nor afterward was there the like. And at last, when the day appointed for his departure from this world was come, his body was burned, and his ashes were put in a golden vessel, of wondrous craftsmanship, and were buried in Llyndain on the top of the tower above mentioned.
The Reign of Gwrgant
And when Beli was dead, Gwrgant Varf-dwrch, his son, became king. A man wonderfully earnest was he; and he followed his father’s ways and loved peace and truth. But when any one warred against him, he took upon himself the bravery of battle and fought his enemies fiercely and made them his suppliants. And then the king of Dassia sought to hold back the tribute, which he had paid to his father, and refused to pay to him. So he went with a fleet against the king of Dassia, and fought fiercely against those people, and killed the king and put the country in bondage to himself, as it had formerly been to his father. And so, as he was going home through the isles of Ore, he fell in with thirty ships, bearing men and women. And when he learned of their arrival, the king seized their prince, who was called Barthlome,* who then prayed his protection, saying that he had been banished from Yssbaen, and was roving the seas seeking a dwelling place. And he therefore begged of Gwrgant a part of this isle to inhabit, that they might no longer be buffeted by the sea, because for a year and a half since they left their country had they been on the ocean. And when Gwrgant learned of their coming and from what nation they came, he sent an escort with them so far as Iwerddon, which was waste, and gave them that land from that day to this. And then they multiplied, and settled that place, and since then until this day their descendants are in Iwerddon. And after Gwrgant’s life came to its end, he died in kaerllion on Wysc, and there he was buried, in the place which he had strongly fortified after his father’s death.
The Reign of Kyhylyn
And when Gwrgant was dead, Kyhylyn his son took the crown of the kingdom, and ruled it in peace and harmony so long as he lived. His wife Was named Marssia, and deeply versed was she in all arts. And together with her husband, she found out everything wonderful pertaining to the Principles of the laws, which the Bryttaniait called the laws of Marssia, and this [code] Alvryd the king turned from Kymraec into Saessnec, and called it Maicheneange in the ssaesson language.
The Reign of Saessyllt
And after Cyhylyn died, the rulership of the kingdom remained in the hands of his wife, and of Saessyllt, her son, for at his father’s death her son was hardly seven years old, and could not rule the kingdom on account of his age. Therefore because of his mother’s wisdom she was kept with him. And after she died Sayssyllt took the crown of the kingdom.
The Reigns of Kynvarch, Daned, and Morydd
And after him Kynvarch, his son, was king. And after him Daned, his brother, was king. And after Daned, Morydd, his son became king. He was his son by a concubine, and was a man meriting high praise, except that he was overgiven to cruelty, for when he was enraged he would spare no one, but would kill him if he could. For he was handsome,* liberal in gifts, and there was not in battle a braver man in the kingdom. And in his time came Morien with a mighty host to the gogledd and began to ravage the land. And then Morydd came forth against him with his host. And Morydd slew more of them single-handed than did all his host. And after gaining the victory, he left not one man of the army alive, but ordered each to be brought before him, one after another, to be killed and then flayed; and he rested for a short while, and then had the others to be flayed alive and afterwards burned. And then there chanced to come a cruelty to destroy his wickedness and his iniquity; for there came out of the sea of Iwerddon a monster whose cruelty could never be satisfied; for wherever he went without rest he devoured man and beast. And when Morydd heard this, he went out himself to fight it, but it did not prosper him, for when he had used up all his weapons, the monster came upon him and swallowed him alive as a big fish gulps down a little one. And this man had three sons; and one of them was named Gwrviniaw. And he took the crown of the kingdom, and a good man was he; for there was no man who loved justice more than he. And so in all the cities of Ynys Brydain he repaired the temples, and built other new ones, and in his time gold and silver abounded; he bade the commonalty cultivate the ground, and he kept them from being wronged by any of his Nobles or his Stewards; and also he enriched the young men with gold and silver, so that there was need for none of them to wrong each other. And then Gwrviniaw died and was buried in Llyndain.
The Reigns of Arthal and Eleidir
And after him, Arthal, his brother, became king; he was not like his brother in his conduct, for he harassed the hereditary nobles and raised the ignoble to honour, and plundered the wealthy and worthy, forcing them to pay him tribute; then finally the nobles of the kingdom rose against him and dethroned him. And they made Eleidir, his brother, king, and they called him Eleidir the great, because of the mercy he showed his brother. For when five years had passed, Eleidir was hunting in the forest [called] the grove of the kiadyr and there quite unawares he met Arthal, his brother, who had been banished from the kingdom, and had been in many countries seeking aid for the recovery of his kingdom, and procured nothing at all. And unable longer to endure bitter need, he had returned again to ynys Brydain attended by twelve horsemen only, seeking to visit his foster brothers. And when Eleidir saw him, he ran to him, affectionately threw his arms about his neck and kissed him; and Eleidir wept because of his brother’s banishment from his kingship and the greatness of his misfortunes. And then Eleidir took his brother to the city of Alklyd, and hid him there in a chamber. Then Eleidir feigned sickness, and sent messengers to every place on the face of ynys Brydain, asking all the princes to come to visit him. And when all had come to kaer Alklyd, he told the porter to admit to him but one at a time, who should come quietly, lest it should cause his head to pain him to hear too much noise, which all believed. And then Eleidir ordered his servants to seize and behead any one who would not the second time swear loyalty to Arthal, as they had done aforetime; and thus, when their oaths were confirmed partly by agreements and partly by threatening, all were peacefully reconciled to his brother. And then Eleidir came to his brother at Kaer Efrawc, and he took the crown from his own head and set it on Arthal his brother’s. And from that time he was called Eleidir the great. And after this, Arthal was king ten years, correcting his former evil ways, and from that time he honoured the nobles, he checked all ungentleness and left to every one his property, and in every place maintaining truth, and at kaelyl was he buried.
And Eleidir the second time was elevated to be king. And then came his two younger brothers to fight him, Owain and Predyr, with a great host, and got the victory and caught Eleidir, and took him to Llyndain, where they imprisoned him, and divided the kingdom between them. To Owain fell the part from the hymyr to the west, that is, Lloegr, kymry, and kerniw; and Predyr’s part was from the hymyr to the gogledd, and all the gogledd.* And at the end of seven years Owain died, and the whole kingdom came into the hand of Predyr; and he ruled the kingdom peacefully, so that neither of his brothers was had in memory. And then Predyr died. And then Eleidir was taken from his prison, and was made king the third time, and after spending all his days peacefully, he died.
The Reigns of Gorviniaw through Manogan
And after him, Gorviniaw, his son, was made king, and was like his father in justice and sincerity.
And after him Morgan, the son of Arthal, became king, and governed the kingdom in happy peacefulness. And after him, Einon, his brother, became king; quite unlike his brother’s was his way of ruling his people; and in his sixth year he was cast out of his kingship because of his cruelty and contempt of truth, and that ruined him. And after him Eidwal, the son of Owain, his kinsman, became king; and for fear of the calamity that came upon Einion, he maintained justice among the People. And after him Rvn, son of Predyr, became king. And after him Geraint the son of Eleidir became king. And after him Kadell, son of Geraint, became king. After Kadell, Koel became king. After Koel, Porex became king. After Porex, Cheryn became king. And he had three sons, namely, ifyigniws, and Eidal, and Andras, and these one after another were kings. After them Yrien, son of Andras, became king. After him Elvyrd became king. After him came Klydoc, and after Klydoc came Klydno. After Klydno came Gorwst. After him came Mairiawn. After him Blaiddyd became king. After him came Gaff. After him came Owain; after Owain came Sayssylit; after him Blegywryd; after him Arthmael, his brother. After him Eidol. After him Ryclion, after him Rydderch, after him Sawl-benn-Ychel.* After him came Pirr. After him, Kapeur, after him Manogan, his son, a notable man was he, and he loved justice and truth. The Reign of Beli Mawr and his sons
After him came Beli Mawr, his son. And he ruled as king in ynys Brydain forty years. And he had four sons, Llydd, and Llefelys, and Kasswallawn, and Nyniaw; and Llydd was the eldest son. And after his father was dead he took the government of the island. And he strengthened the walls of Llvndain, surrounded the city with many farmsteads, and lived in it the greater part of the year. And he had built within the city walls splendid buildings the like of which were not seen in all countries.* And he called it Kaer Lvdd; and in the end it was called Kaer Lvndain. And, after the coming of the alien nation into it, it was called Kaer Lwndwn.
The Tale of Lludd and Lleuelys
And Llefelys* loved he most of his brothers, because he was wise and eloquent. And when Llefelys heard that the king of Ffraink was dead with no heir saving a daughter, and that the kingdom was in her hand, he counselled his brother to go to the princes of Ffraink and ask for the maiden. And then without delay the maid was given him, and the kingdom’s crown with her. And he ruled with all good will as long as he lived. And then some time after, three plagues came upon ynys Brydain, the like of which had never been seen. One of these was a tribe named the Koraniait, and such was their knowledge that there was not a word caught by the wind that they did not know, and because of this no harm could [be wrought] upon them. And the second was a shriek that on the eve of every may-day resounded at every hearth-stone throughout all ynys brydain, which went through the hearts of men and animals so powerfully that men paled and lost their strength, and the women their unborn children, Young men and maidens lost their senses, and animals it struck barren in the forests. The third was, that whatever store was brought together in any of the courts of Ynys Brydain, nothing came into use, saving what was consumed on the first night. And while the cause of the first of the calamities was plain, as to the two others, there was no one that knew their meaning. Then was llydd greatly worried and puzzled because such plagues vexed ynys Brydain. And so he fitted out ships to go to see Llyfelys, his brother. And when Llefelys knew this, he came to meet him, and put his arms about his neck. And when Llefelys learned his brother’s errand, he ordered a long horn to be made, such as could be talked through, so that the Koraniait should get no wind of their conversation lest they learn their secret plans. So they talked through the tube, but neither could hear from the other anything but bitter words arsey-versey* whereby Llefelys knew that a devil had got into the tube, so he ordered it to be flushed with wine. By virtue of the wine the devil left the tube. And Llefelys then gave his brother a certain kind of insects, and told him, when he got home to crush them and put them in cold water, and then calling every one together, both the Bryttaniait and Koraniaid, from the entire kingdom, to sprinkle the whole assembly with that water, which would kill all the Koranjait, and do no injury at all to the Bryttaniait. “The second plague of your kingdom is the island dragon and another dragon of the alien nation seeking to conquer her; and your dragon from rage and anguish gives that shriek which you hear. And this is the way,” said he, “in which you may know this. When you go home, measure the island, its length and its breadth, and in the place where you find the centre of the island, there order a pit to be dug in the earth, and let a large cauldron of mead, the very best you can get, be set in the pit, and cover the cauldron with a satin cloth. And do you keep watch over these things yourself, and you will hear the dragons furiously fighting in the air. And when they are worn out with fighting, taking the form of two pigs, they will settle down on the cloth, drink the mead, and pull the cloth with them to the bottom of the cauldron, and there fall asleep. And then wrap the cloth about them, and bury them deep in the earth in the strongest place that can be found in your kingdom; and, whilst they are there, no plague will come to ynys Brydain from anywhere. The third plague is a strong man skilled in magic who carries off your food and drink, by sorcery and illusion making every one to sleep. Therefore, you must yourself watch your chance and defend your stores; and lest sleep overcome you, have a tub of cold water at hand, and when drowsiness comes on, plunge into the tub of water.” And then Llydd returned home. And he called before him all the men of the kingdom, and then he sprinkled the water on them all. And the Koraniait died at once, but the Bryttaniait suffered no injury. And forthwith after this Llydd ordered the island to be measured in length and breadth, and in Rydychen [Oxford] was the centre found. And there he caused a pit to be dug as Llefelys had said to him. And thereupon he found everything true as his brother had told it to him. And when the pigs fell asleep, Llydd wrapped the cloth about them, and at Dinas Emrys in a stone coffer he hid them deep in the earth; and from that time that stormy shriek ceased. And then the king ordered a great feast to be laid out, and when it was ready, a tub of cold water to be placed near by, and so he watched the feast. And as he was thus watching for the greater part of the night, he heard the loveliest song in the world lulling him to sleep, but into the water many times he went. And then he saw coming in a large man in armour, with a big basket, into which in his sight f he put all the provision of meat and drink, and started off with it. And then Llydd ordered him to halt, and said to him, “Though thou hast already caused me loss, no longer shalt thou do so, unless thou art stronger than I am.” Then the black man halted, and furiously they fought, so that fire was shining from their swords, but at last llydd overcame the plague. And then the black man asked mercy of the king, saying that he would make good all the loss he had caused him up to that time; and that from that day he would be a true man to the king. And the king took his oath from him. Thus Llydd made an end of all three plagues,* and when he died his body was buried in kaer Lyndain near the gate called in kymraec porth llydd, and in Sssaessnec lwyd-gad.
The Reign of Kasswallawn
And he had two sons, Afarwy and Tenefan; but since they were not of age to rule the kingdom, Kasswallawn, the son of Beli the king’s Uncle was consecrated. And after Kasswallawn was ordained king, he gave himself to love truth and justice, and though he was king, no advantage did he wish to take of his nephews, but gave them large shares of the realm, giving to Afarwy, Llyndain and the Earldom of Kent: and to Tenefan, the Earldom of Kerniw; and be himself was king over the whole.
The Coming of Julius Caesar
At this time came Ilkassar, emperor of Ryfain, who was subduing the islands,* and after he had conquered Ffraink, and from there caught sight of Ynys Brydain, he asked what land that was opposite to him. And some told him that it was Ynys Brydain. After Ilkassar knew the meaning of the island and the people that inhabited it, he said, “Here is our race, men of Ryfain; for both the men of Ryfain and the Bryttaniait come of the race of Troyaf; for Eneas, after the fall of Troyaf, was ancestor to us and to them. For Bryttys [was] the son of Ssylhys, the son of Yssgannys, the son of Eneas, and Bryttys was the first to subdue that island yonder, and I have the opinion* that it will not be hard for me to subject the island yonder to the Senate of Ryfain. For sea-bound they are, and they are without knowledge of war, or bearing of arms, or of fighting. But right it is first to send Envoys, warning them not to withstand the men of Ryfain, but to pay them tribute, as do all the other nations about them, — and that without fighting, lest they should force us to shed their blood who are related to us, and trace their lineage to our forefather Priaf.” And then Ilkassar sent that message and command to Kasswallon to do according to it. But Kasswallawn held that course unworthy, and sent a letter to Ilkassar in these words:
“Kasswallawn, king of the Bryttaniait, sends greeting to Ilkassar, emperor of Ryfain, to say to him, — I wonder much at the greed of the men of Ryfain and how greatly they thirst for gold and silver, so that they are unwilling for us who endure hardship in the ocean, to live in a sea-girt isle beyond the limits of the world, without seeking to impose tribute on us f for the land which until now we have had freely. A great shame to thee, O Ilkassar, is that which thou hast commanded, because we and you are alike descended from the stock of Eneas Yssgwyddwyn. Therefore thou shouldest not seek to bring us into perpetual captivity. Wherefore know thou, O Ilkassar, we will fight for our land and liberty shouldest thou cross the sea, as thou promisest, rather than let thy foot touch Ynys Brydain.”
And so after Ilkassar had seen Kasswallawn’s letter and his answers, he fitted out a fleet, and came to the mouth of the Temys. And against him came Nynniaw, his [Kaswallon’s] brother; and Afarwy, his nephew, prince of Llyndain; and Trahayant, Earl of Kerniw; and Kradawc, king of Alban; and Gwerthaet, king of Gwent; and Brithael, king of Dyfed. They came without delay to the castle of Doral, at once they came down to the beach, and manfully they fought on all sides. And then Nyniaw and Ilcassar met, and Ilkassar raised his sword aiming at Nynnyaw’s head; but he caught it on his shield, until the sword stuck in it, but he could not pull it out on account of the thickness of the armies pressing upon them. And when Nynyaw had got his sword, no one stood up under his blows. And then the Earl Alibiens met nyniaw and quickly he was slain. Thus the greater part of Ilkassar’s army were killed, and he himself was driven in disgraceful flight to Ffraink. The men of ifraink rose against him, and fought against him seeking to throw down his Lordship over them; for they thought his attack on the Bryttaniait had failed, since he had fled away from there, and they heard that Kasswallawn’s ships were on the sea in pursuit of him. But he [Caesar] gave an enormous sum of money to the princes of ifraink and freedom to all prisoners held by him, and thus he pacified the people. And after this victory, Kasswallawn and his nobles with him came to llvndain to pay honour to the gods. On the fifteenth day thereafter, Nynnyaw died of that head-blow, and was buried near the north gate, and the sword with him; and the sword was called the red death, because any one wounded by it died at once. At this time Ilkassar built the castle of [G]odinae,* lest it should happen that the men of ffraink should withstand him the second time. And so, two years later, Ilkassar came a second time to take Revenge upon the Bryttaniait for his disgrace. And when Kasswallawn heard this, he ordered iron stakes of the thickness of a man’s thigh to be planted along the middle of the Temys in the course of Ilkassar’s ships, and without warning, they ran upon the stakes, and the ships were pierced, and thousands of his men were drowned. And those who did gain the land were met by Casswallawn and all the might of Lloegr, and thus he got the victory.
And Ilkassar fled to the strand of Moran, and from there he went to the fortress of [G]odinae. And then Kasswallawfl went to ilyndain, and there made a great feast for his princes and servants. And there he Sacrificed thirty-two thousand animals of many different kinds; and they passed the nights in all sorts of games. And then a quarrel sprang up between two Young nobles, while they were tilting. One was named Hirlas, the king’s nephew, the other was Kyhylyn, nephew to Afarwy. And in the end, Kyhylyn killed Hirlas, the king’s nephew. And this caused great excitement in the court; and the king was greatly enraged, and wished to have Afarwy’s nephew before the judgment of his court. But Afarwy doubted about that, and said it was in llyndain that satisfaction should be given for every wrong committed within his kingdom and for that he was ready. The king, however, would have nothing but to have Kyhylyn at his will. But Afarwy would not have this, knowing what the king’s will was; and therefore Afarwy left the court, and went to his own territory. When the king saw this, he followed him with a large force, and wholly devastated the country with fire and sword. Then Afarwy sent to the king asking reconciliation, but without getting it. And then Afarwy pondered by what means he could withstand the king, and in council he was advised to send to Ilkassar, to ask him to come to ynys Brydain and he would be a help to him, to strengthen him in his coming, and they would subdue ynys Brydain to Ilkassar. And in confirmation of this, Afarwy sent Kynan, his son, and thirty-two hostages of the nobles of ynys Brydain as pledges therefor. And then Ilkassar prepared a fleet and landed at the port of Rwydon, where Afarwy received him respectfully. And the king was then besieging Kaer Lvndain; but when Kasswallawn heard of the coming of Ilkassar to ynys Brydain, he prepared to come against him. When he had reached the woody glen near kaer gaint [Canterbury], he saw the tents of the men of Ryfain, and there they fought, and there was great slaughter on both sides; and in the end the Bryttaniaid were driven to a high mountain, which manfully they held, and killed many of the men of Ryfain. And when the men of Ryfain saw this, they surrounded the mountain seeking to starve out the Bryttaniait. And then Kasswallawn sent to Afarwy to ask him to make peace between himself and Ilkassar. And Afarwy was amazed, and said, “It is not* strange that he who is in war a lamb, and a lion in peace, should seek reconciliation.” And then came Afarwy to Ilkassar and said thus to him: “My Lord,” said he,” I promised thee the subjection of ynys Brydain, and here it is for thee by letting Kasswallawn be king under thee, paying tribute to the Senate of Ryfain.” And Ilcassar refused that proposal. And when Afarwy saw this, he said, “My Lord, though I did promise thee the subjection of ynys Brydain, I did not promise the destruction of my own race. For they have not done me wrong so far that they cannot make it right,and I will not consent to have my race destroyed.” And so Ilkassar granted peace to Kasswallawn, upon his giving three thousand pounds every year to the senate of Ryfain from ynys Brydain. And when this was confirmed, together they came* to llvndain. And there they dwelt that winter. And the following summer ikassar went toward Ryfain. And Afarwy went with him to oppose Pontenis, who at this time was ruling the empire there. And Kasswallawn remained in ynys Brydain, reigning Seven years, and after his death he was buried at kaer Efroc. And after Kasswallawn, Tenefan, son of llydd, Earl of Kerniw, became king.
The Reigns of Cynfelyn/Cunobelinus and Gloyw Kassar
And after him Kynvelyn, his son, who had been brought up by Ilkassar, became king. And beyond measure did Kynvelyn love the men of Ryfain so that he did not dislike to pay the tribute to them. And in his time was born Iessu Krist. And after Kynvelyn had reigned twelve years, there were born to him two sons, Gwydr and Gwairydd. And when kynvelyn was dead, Gwydr was made king, and when he was settled in his realm, he withheld the tribute to the men of Ryfain, and when the men of Ryfain knew this, they sent Gloywkassar and a great army with him to ynys Brydain; and when the Emperor had landed, he attacked Kaerberis and fought against the fort, but when he did not succeed he closed up the gates of the town with a stone wall, to shut up the multitude within until they died of famine, and when Gwydr heard it, he prepared a great host, went to Kaerberis, and promptly fell upon the men of Ryfain and more of them were killed by Gwydr himself than by the greater part of his host together. And then came Hamon, the deceiver, who from the hostages of the Bryttaniait at Ryfain had learned the language. He threw aside his own arms and took the arms of one of the Bryttaniait who had been killed, and came among the armies, and when he got the chance, killed the king, and from there slunk in and out until he reached his own army, and he threw away that armour and put on his own arms. And when Gwairydd learned of his brother’s death, he took off his own harness and put on his brother’s royal armour, and incited his men to fight manfully, and to put the men of Ryfain to flight. And then Hamon and the larger part of the army with him fled to the place called porth Hamon, or bporth Hamwnt it is called to this hour;* and there Hamon was killed. And then Gwairydd went onto the place, where Glywkasser was fighting against kaer beris. And when the cpmpany within the fortress perceived the Bryttaniait coming to help them, they came out trom the fortress to fight the men of Ryfain. And on both sides many were killed, but yet because of the number of the men of Ryfain, they won the fort, and drove Gwairydd in flight to kaer wynt, and hither came Gloywkassar and his army, and wished to shut up the Bryttaniait until they should die of famine; and when Gwairydd learned this, be arrayed his host and came out. When Gloywkassar saw this, he sent to the Bryttaniait to ask for peace, and forthwith peace was made between them; and to confirm the peace, Gloywkassar gave his daughter to Gwairydd to wife. And after this, with the power of the Bryttaniaid, the men of Ryfain subdued the Ork islands, and the other islands about them. And when winter slipped away, the maid, matchless in her form and fairness, came from Ryfain, and Gwairydd married her. And then Gloyw kassar built a city which he called kaer-loyw [Gloucester] on the bank of Hafren, on the boundary between kymrv and lloegr.
And at this time Krist suffered at Karissalem; and pedr the Apostle set up his chair at Anossia;* and from there he came to Ryfain, to live and exercise Bishop right; and he sent Mark, Teacher and Evangelist, to Eifft [Egypt] to preach the Evangel which he himself had written. And when Gloyw-karsar had opportunity, he went to Ryfain, and left the governance of ynys Bryaain to Gwairydd. And after he left the island Gwairydd took upon himself rashness, and pride, and withheld the tribute to the men of Ryfain. And when gloywkassar* heard this, he sent Vassbassian with a great army to take tribute from ynys Brydain. And when his fleet was fully ready, they made landfall at the port of rydipi. And Gwairydd and his army came against them and forbade him the land. They therefore trimmed their sails and landed at the port of Totnais, and after landing they invested kaer benhwylgoed and fought against it. And when the king learned this, he prepared his army and reached there at the end of the seventh day, and attacked the men of Ryfain, and fought with them, and that day many on both sides were killed. And on the next day so great was the number of the men of Ryfain that it was hard to overcome them. And then came the Queen to make peace between them. And together they came to llyndain. And from there they sent combined forces to Iwerddon to subdue it. And when the winter was over, Vassbassian came to Ryfain, and by oaths he pledged Gwairydd in ynys Brydain to the end of his life. And at his death, he was buried in the monastery of kaer-loyw which was built by Gloyw-kassar.
Mayric, Koel and Lles
And after Gwairydd, Mayric, his son, became king; and in his time came Rodric, the king of the ffichdiait from sseithia with great army to Alban, and subdued it. And when the king knew this, he came against him, and fought him and put him to flight, and in that flight Rodric was slain. And then Meyric gave part of Alban to those people to dwell in. And when they had settled that place, the ffichdiaid found no mates. And so they came to the Bryttanlaid and asked their daughters as their wives, but it seemed Unworthy to the Bryttaniait to give them to them. And so the ffichdiait went as far as iwerddon and took Gwyddylessav [Goidelic women] as wives, and from them have the Yssgottiait descended. And when Mayric had quieted this island, of his free accord and friendship he granted peace to the men of Ryfain. And he put new laws in all parts of his dominions, and ruled in a quiet peace as long as he lived. And after Mayric died, Koel, his son, became king. He had been reared at Ryfain. And so greatly did he love the men of Ryfain that though he could have withheld the tribute, he did not withhold it while he lived. And after Koel, lles, his son, became king. And he was of like disposition with his father; and when he was well established in his kingdom, he sent to Elenteriws, the bishop of Ryfain, to beg him that he would send to ynys Brydain teachers of the christian faith, so that by their instruction and preaching he might believe in Krist And he sent him two teachers, Dyfan and ffagan;* and they preached to him of Krist’s coming in the flesh. And they washed him in holy and faithful baptism, and all the people of his kingdom after him. And then lles gave over the temples, which had been built for the false Gods, and ordered that they should be Consecrated in the name of almighty god and the saints, and set in them Various grades of ordained men to live there and to render divine worship to god. At that time there were eight and sixty Bishop-houses* in Ynys Brydain, and three archbishop-houses bearing rule over the others and those three were in the three chief cities of the island, namely llyndain, and kaerefroc, and kaerllion oh wysc. And when partition was made between the arch bishop-houses, to the Bishop-house of Kaer Efrawc belonged deifyr and brynaich, and all the gogledd, defined by the hymyr. And to the Arch Bishop-house of ilyndain, lloegr and Kerniw, as defined by the hafren. And to the Arch Bishop-house of Caer llion, Kymry, from the hafren upwards; for Caer llion was primate over the other two. And afterwards the king gave them great gifts of land and soil. And at kaer loyw he ended his life, and was buried in the monastery there, one hundred and thirty-six years after Krist came in the flesh. And there were at that time in ynys Brydain twenty-eight temples.* And also three above these. And those twenty-eight temples were under the ownership of the three others, and their domains were at the command of the others. In each one of those temples was placed a consecrated Bishop; and in each of the three principal ones an Arch Bishop, in the principal cities already named. Then since lles had no heir, there sprang up discord between the Bryttaniait and the men of Ryfain. And from that time on the men of ryfain weakened. And when this was told to the Senate of Ryfain, they sent sseferys, a senator of Ryfain, with a legion of fighting men, that is, twenty thousand. And for the most part he prevailed against the Bryttaniait. Some of them, with ssiien as prince over them, fled through daif yr and brynaich, and many fights were there between them, to that emperor’s great concern. And so he ordered a dike to be made between daifr and Alban by a common tax, from sea to sea, by which it would be easy to resist the Bryttafliait. And when Siien saw that it profited neither himself nor the Bryttaniaid to fight the men of Ryfain, he went as far as sseithia to seek support. And when he had secured all the Youth of that country, he came back to ynys Brydain and invested Kaer Efrawc, and fought against it. And when the rumour had run through the realm, the greater part of the Bryttaniait forsook the emperor and came over to ssiien. And then without delay sseferys went with his army to fight with silien. And Silien smote him with a deadly wound, and of that sseferys died, and was buried at kaer Efrawc.
Karan And two Sons had Sseferys, Bassian and Getta. And Getta’s mother descended from Ryfain, but the mother of Bassian from ynys Brydain. And after his father’s death, the men of Ryfain made Getta their prince, because his mother’s descent was from Ryfain. And then the Bryttaniait took Bassian as their king because of his mother’s descent from ynys Brydam; and hence strife arose between the brothers. And upon a day they met, and at that meeting Getta was killed, and Bassian got the kingship for his own. And at this time there was a Young man in ynys Brydaifl, Karan was his name. He came of humble lineage, but was renowned for bravery, proved in many battles. And he went to Ryfain and asked the senators of Ryfain for a commission to protect ynys Brydain with his ships against the alien people, and from that he promised much benefit. And then he went back again to ynys Brydain; and built up the island’s power, and went to sea, frequenting many different ports, and he made great disturbance in the islands round about, laying them waste, killing and burning. And all those who loved violence and plunder came to him until he had such great multitudes that he had fear of no man. And then, seeing all things prospering for him, he sent to the Bryttaniad asking them that he might become their king, and [if he did] he would destroy the men of Ryfain, and chase them out of this island, and deliver them from the alien nation. And when he got the victory, he went with a great host against Bassian and the men of Ryfain and the ffichdiait. And in the first battle the ffichdiait turned against the men of Ryfain; in that battle Bassian was killed, and the men of Ryfain were put to flight, for they could not tell who were against them and who were not. And after Karan got the victory through the treachery of the ffichdiait, he gave Essgottlond to them, and there they still are in the place called Prydyn.
Allectus and Asclepiodotus
And when the Senators of Ryfain knew this, they sent Alectys, a Senator of Ryfain, with three legions of fighting men to ynys Brydain. Against them set out Karan and his host, and fought with them, and in that battle was Karan slain. And Electys raised a great storm among the Bryttaniait; and they held it dire misfortune, and chose Alyssglapitwlws as their prince, — for he was Earl of Kerniw, — and went against Alectys unto llyndain, where he was keeping a feast ot his ancestral gods. And when Alectys grasped the purpose of the business, he marshalled his host and attacked the Bryttaniait. And then there was great slaughter, but in the end the men of Ryfain fled, and the Bryttaniait chased them, and killed thousands of them; and there was killed Alectys. And the men of Ryfain shut the gates of llyndain against them. Boiysgalys, Alectys’s comrade was he, took upon himself to command the men of Ryfain. But Alyssglapitwlws surrounded the city, and sent to all the princeS of ynys Brydain, saying that he was sitting down before kaer Lvndain, and ordering all to come without delay to aid him. Upon the summons hastily came the men of South Wales and men of North Wales, and the men of daifr and brynnaich, and the men of Allan.* And when all were before the city, they battered down the walls, through them and over them they went in, and began to kill the men of Ryfain. And when they saw this, they went to the king, and begged him for protection and to be let go alive to their country. But whilst the king was taking counsel as to them, the men of Gwynedd waylaid the men of Ryfain and killed them all.* And then Alyssglapytwlws took the crown of the kingdom and ruled it twenty years. And in his time began the tempest which Diakiessiawn, the emperor of Ryfain, raised against the christians, until he almost wiped out all Christianity.
Coel, Elen, and Constantine
And then came Maxen and Erkwlff, two princes, by order of that brutal one, and destroyed the Churches, burned the books of holy scripture, and killed the [lay] christians and clergy. And then were killed Saint Alban of Virolan,* and Aron of kaer llion, his companion. And then rose up Koel Earl of Kaer loyw, and warred against Alyssglapitwlws, and quickly Koel slew him. And then Konstans, a senator of Ryfain, who had been subduing Yssbaen, came to ynys Brydain, and warred against Koel, and he fixed a day intending to attack; but suddenly they made peace. And at the end of a week and a month after this, Koel died, and ten years had he reigned. And then Konstans took as his wedded wife, Elen, Koel’s only daughter, who was called Elen lyddawc, whose like for lovely form and face was never seen before; and to them was born a son called Kystennin, son of Konstant. This one conquered Ryfain from Maxen the cruel, he and his three Uncles, his mother’s brothers, namely Llywelyn and Trahaern and Mayric. And this Trahaern came with three legions of armed men to wrest ynys Brydain from Eydaf, the Earl of Erging and Eyas, and took kaer-beris. And toward the close of the second day Eydaf drew near Kaer wynt to Maes Vrien, and there he gained his first victory. And Tryhaern was driven in flight to his ships and made land-fall in Alban to renew war. And then Trahayarn defeated and pursued Eydaf from place to place until he fled to Llychlynn, to seek support from Gyttbert, king of Prydyn,* and asked him to cause Trahayarn’s death.* So the Earl of the strong castle lay in wait for Trahayarn with a hundred horse in a glen, along which he must pass, and when Trahayarn came, he quickly killed him.
Eudaf and Conan Meriadoc
And then Eydaf gained the mastery of ynys Brydain, and took the kingdom’s crown, and straightway was greatly enriched, and gathered men and steeds and arms and goods, so that it was not easy for any king to Contend with him. And so Eydaf held this kingdom until there came two Emperors from Ryfain, Grassiant and Afalawnt. And be ruled ynys Brydain almost to the end of his life, wanting a true heir and having no other except one only daughter. And then he caused all the nobles of ynys Brydain to be summoned to take counsel with them as to the governance of the island, and also as how best to bestow Elen his daughter. And some advised him to give his kingdom to his nephew, Kynan Mairiadawc, his brother’s son, and to give Elen his daughter to a Prince of some other country,* with plenty of treasure from this island with her. Others advised that she should be given to a prince of this island and the realm with her. And then said Kradawc, the Earl of Kerniw, “We are under subjection to the Senate of Ryfain. My advice is that you send to Ryfain, and choose Maxen Wledic, for he is son to Llywelyn, the uncle of Elen Lyddawc, and his mother was the daughter of a prince of the Senate of Ryfain, — and give thy daughter to him and the kingdom with her. And from this we shall get the support of the senate of Ryfain to defend our country against the alien nation.” And on this they stayed. And thereupon Kradawc, the Earl, sent his son, Mayryc, to Ryfain. And it was but seldom that there was agreement between the men of Ryfain and all the countries.* When Mayric saw their discord, he said to Maxen, “I wonder that you put up with those men yonder.” “What shall I do?” said Maxen. “Come,” said he, “with me to Ynys Brydain, and marry Elen, the daughter of Eydaf, the king of. the Bryttaniaid, and with her take the realm; thus by the strength of the Bryttaniait you may conquer any island that resists you.” And on this Maxen settled. And then he collected a fleet, and went to Ffraink, and forced them to do his will and to give him gold and silver. And then warning was brought to the king of the Bryttaniaid that a fleet was at sea, and that it was not known where it would land. And then Eydaf ordered Kynan Mairiadoc to marshal all the Youth of ynys Brydain to defend the land against the alien nation. And then Kanan with a mighty host reached the hill of Kent. And when Maxen saw the size of the army, he rushed to Mayryc and said to him, “There is need of good counsel and strength to face an army as large as this with all signs of fighting on it.” And then were chosen twelve of the oldest and most prudent men, and they were sent ashore in a boat, and each of them bore in his hand a green olive branch as token of peace. And they came to Kynan Mairiadawc, and greeted him Courteously, and said that they were envoys from Maxen Wiedic to the king of the Bryttaniaid. Then Kynan asked, “Why then came he with so great a force as that, if he comes in peace?” They said, “Lest he should suffer violence upon his voyage.” And when Kynan knew their errand, he desired to fight them, lest he should lose his kingship. Then said Kradawc, the Earl of Kerniw, “Let these men go on to the king and let what be wishes be done to them.” Then went they to the fort in arvon [Caernarvon] where Eydaf, with his daughter Elen, held his court. And without delay Maxen took Elen as his wedded wife, and the government of the kingdom With her And when Kynan learned it, he went to Alban, raised a large army there, and came through hymyr, and began to ravage that district, until Maxen came and put them to flight. Then the second time Kynan and his army came back; and peace was made between them, to win together and lose together. And at the end of the fifth year after this, Maxen and Kynan went to Ffraink to the place where Hymblat was prince, and killed him. And then Maxen said to Kynan Mairiadawc, “Since I have taken from thee ynys Brydain, I will give thee Llydaw.” And this was the first time that the Bryttaniait came to llydaw, and from this time on it is called little Bryttaen And from there Maxen marched to the city of Roam, to Normandi, and for fear of him the Ffraink fled, leaving the castles and the cities empty. And from there Maxen went to Ryfain and fought against Grassian and Nafalawnt, the emperors of Ryfain; and quickly he killed the one and banished the other from Ryfain. At this time there were many conflicts between the Bryttaniaid of Llydaw and the Ffraink. And when this had been so for a long time, the men of llydaw, desirous of getting suitable wives, sent messengers to ynys Brydain, to the Earl of Kerniw, who had been left as guardian of the kingdom; and begged him to send to Kynan Mairiadoc eleven thousand daughters of noblemen of the island as Wives for them, and sixty maidens of servile descent, and attendants. And when that number of maidens had been collected, they started with their fleet, but at sea an adverse wind arose and scattered the ships to various shores, and sunk some of them. At that time Gwnwas and Meiwas were warring on the sea against the men of ssermania in interest of Grassian, the emperor of Ryfain. And those men met two ships of these maidens, which had been scattered in the sea of ffraink. And when the above mentioned men were told by the maidens that ynys Brydain was left empty, they reversed their sails, and made for ynys Brydain. For this Gwnwas was king of hynawd,* and Melwas was king of Paittio. And when they landed in the gogledd, they killed the people wherever they marched. And when Maxen heard this in Ryfain, he sent two legions of soldiers, with Grassian as commander, to defend ynys Brydain. And so there was a battle between them and the warriors, and many on both sides were killed, and Gwnnwas and Meiwas were driven in flight to iwerddon. At this time Maxen was killed in Ryfain, and the whole multitude who came from ynys Brydain, except those who escaped to llydaw on foot. And when Grassian heard of the death of Maxen and his chief men, Grassian took the government of ynys Brydain into his own possession and wore the crown of the kingdom on his head, and reigned for a long time in cruelty towards the and at last his own men killed him. And when Gwnwas and Melwas heard of the killing* of grassian by his own men, they collected the men of Llychlyn and of Dennmark and the yssgottiaid and ffichiait, and they came to ynys Brydain and ravaged it with fire and sword from one sea to the other, and killed multitudes. And then after the Bryttaniaid saw that they had no success in opposing them, they sent to Ryfain asking aid from them. And they obtained a legion of armed men with Sefervys as prince over them. And when they reached ynys Brydain they met the enemy and drove them out of its bounds. And then, by common agreement, they made a stone wall by united labours between Daifyr and the gogledd, so that it would be harder for the alien nation to oppress them in the future. And after going from that place to Ilyndain, the men of Ryfain ordered Kyhylyn to say that the Bryttaniait had been losing their men and their property, and that they themselves had been laying out more gold and silver than they ever got from ynys Brydain while seeking to defend the Bryttaniat, that in future they would not labour to defend it. And the afflicted :people gave a dolorus cry because they saw all their supports failing them. And then the men of Ryfain took ship and went to their country. And when Gwynwas and Melwas knew this, they gathered the largest force they could, landed in Alban, made war on the Bryttaniait, and killed* them, subdued Alban as far as the hymyr, and made many raids on them. And when the Bryttaniait saw that they could not withstand their enemies, they sent a piteous appeal to Gittiws, the emperor of Ryfain, begging his aid to withstand their enemies. But when the Senate of Ryfain heard their prayer, they denied it wholly, and from that time out renounced ynys Brydain and its tribute. And when the Bryttaniait learned of the refusal of the men of Ryfain, they sent Kyhylyn, the Archbishop of Llyndain, to Llydaw to ask help from Aldwr, king of llydaw, for he was the fourth king after Kynan Mairiadawc. And when Kyhylyn had told the king the distress of the Bryttaniait caused by the alien nation, the king was grieved, and gave them two thousand armed horsemen with his brother Kystennin as leader over them And when the ships were made ready they set sail toward ynys Brydain, and at the port of Totnais they came to the land of Lloegr And when Gwnnwas and Meiwas heard this, they made ready, joined battle, and fiercely fought, and on both sides multitudes were killed. But in the end Kystennin and the Bryttanlait got the victory by the slaughter of their enemies. And after this they came to kaer vyddav, where Kystennin put on the kingdom’s crown. And there was given him to wife the daughter of one of the princes of Ryfain, who had been fostered by Kyhylyn the Archbishop.* And by her he had three Sons, namely, Konstant, and Emrys, and Ythyr ben dragwn. And this Konstant was reared in the monastery of Amffibalys at kaer Wynt, and the other Sons were given in fosterage to Kyhylyn. And when Kystennin had ruled in Messed peacefulness for twelve years, there came one of the Ffichtiaid, and under the pretence of talk with him apart from others, with a knife wounded him in the top of his breast, — and of that wound he died.
The House of Kystennin and Gwrtheyrn’s Treachery
And then after Kystennin was dead, disunion arose among the nobles of the island about choosing a king, some of them wishing to make Emrys king and some of them wishing to make Ythyr king, and others to make king some one of their own friends. And in the end, when no agreement between them was reached, came Gwrtheyrn Gwrthenav, since he was one of the Elder Nobles* of ynys Brydain, and his counsel had highest credit. After considering that none but one of the sons of Kystennin had rightful title to the island, he went to kaer Wynt to Konstant Vynach [the monk], for he was the Oldest of the three sons of Kystennin and asked what honours he would confer upon himself if he made him king. The monk promised him everything he might wish in return for that. And then Gwrthayrn took the Young man away from the monastery, against the will of the Abbot and his company, and ordained him king. And he made Gwrthayrn high steward over ynys Brydain. And when it had been so for some time, Gwrtheyrn pondered treacherously by what means he could himself become king. And then he told the King that a fleet was at sea, and that no one knew where it would land, and that it would be best to strengthen the castles with men and arms and food and drink. And the king ordered him to do as he wished, for he had given to him the governance of the island. And after Gwrthayrn had the king’s answer he himself went from castle to castle, and he then chose four score of the Sons of the highest nobles of the race of the ffichtiait, to attend at the head of the king’s stallion. And when it had been so for a time, by honours and gifts and easy service Gwrtheyrn pleased them well. And one night as they were drinking wine in the king’s hail after the king had gone to sleep, Gwrthayrn complained to the ffichdiait that he had no wealth and so could be of but small benefit to any one: “Could I do honour to any one, I would do it to yourselves.” “How is it?” said they, “Is it not thou who art the king?” “No, in truth I have no lordship but Erging and Eyas.” And so after Gwrtheyrn had gone to sleep, they went to the king’s Chamber, cut off his head, and came to Gwrtheyrn, and cast the head into his lap, saying, “Take this, and, if thou wilt, be king.” And when Gwrtheyrn saw this, he wept, from deception and not from anger, and he caused these men to be seized and he put them in prison. And when the nobles of ynys Brydain learned of the killing of the king, they gathered in Llyndain, ordered the four score men who had killed the king to be hanged, and committed the realm to Gwrtheyrn until a lawful king over it could be had.* And when Kyhylyn knew of the killing of the king, he fled secretly to Gwrgant, Earl of Kent, unknown also to any of the nobles of tne island. And when tne princes and nobles of the island learned this, they also were sore distressed, as were also his sons by his other wife. Their names were Kyndayrn, and Gwerthevyr, and Passgen. And at this time Simawn, the Bishop, and Lippys his companion were preaching in the island and teaching the faith to the Christians, for since the pagans came upon them there was misbelief among them, because of the false preaching of that antichrist named Pelagian. For that man had corrupted the faith of the Bryttaniait; and by Preaching of these saintly men, the Bryttaniait were turned to the catholic faith.* And then came Hainssiestr to the king and bade him to supper. And the daughter of Hamster was one of the fairest women in the world; the king lusted to sleep with her that night, and got his wish by promising to marry her. And the next day Hainssiestr said to the king, “Thou art now son to me and I father to thee, and therefore right it is that thou shouldest follow my advice from this time out, and I will advise thee well, so that thou shalt not be driven out by the alien nation. Send to Sermania for Octa, my son, and Assaf his uncle, who is a warrior good and renowned, and give them Yssgottlont, which is the place that troubles thee with many wars, and they will hold it against men from afar.” Thereupon the king sent to ssermainia to call in those men, and then there came from ssermania three hundred ships of armed men, with Octaf, Assaf, and Kledric as princes over them, to ynys Brydain. And when the princes of the island learned this, they were saddened by the multitude they heard had come to land and sent to the king demanding that he should banish them, and drive them away. But when Gwrtheyrn knew this, naught did he but encourage the men of Sermania by giving them lands and possessions. And when the Bryttaniaid knew this, they chose Gwerthevyr son of Gwrthayrn, as their king, and began to make war upon the ssaesson. And then Gwerthevyr won four fields from them. The first battle was on the Avon boundary*; the second battle at ryd y pyssgod [Fishford], and there Kyndayrn and Hors met and each slew the other. The third battle was on the seashore, and the ssaesson fled to ynys Daned [Thanet], Gwerthevyr following them and slaying them. And when the ssaesson saw there was no place to escape to, they left their wives and children, and themselves fled to their country. And when wGwerthevyr had defeated them, he returned to ynys Brydain. And when Rawnwen, Gwrthayrn’s wife, heard that the ssaesson were all slain, she gave gold and silver to his own servant* to poison the king. And when he perceived that he was poisoned, he summoned all the princes and charged all of them to defend their country against the alien nation, loyal to their truest duty. He then divided his treasure among all his princes, and ordered them to burn his body, and put the ashes in a bronze figure of a man, and to display the image at the ports at which an alien nation should threaten to land, for doubtless they would not come then they saw his image there. And when Gwerthefyr was dead, the princes did not do as he ordered them, but buried him in Llyndain, and they made Gwrtheyrn king a second time, for lack of any lawful man. And when he got the governance of the island the second time, Rawnwen sent to ssermania to Hainssiestr, her father, telling him to raise an ample army and to come to ynys Brydain and telling him that Gwerthevyr was dead. And when Hainssiester knew this, he came with sixty ships of armed men to Ynys Brydain. When the bryttaniait learned of the landing of such a multitude, they besought the king to chive them back. And when the ssermaniait knew this, they told the king and his princes that they had come to the island with no hostility in the world against the bryttaniait, but “thinking that Gwerthevyr the Blessed was not dead, we brought the multitude with us lest he should molest us. Since he is dead, our petition is that the king set a time, that in an appointed place we may learn his pleasure as to the number of us that shall remain here, and those who do not, shall go back again to our country.” And that time was appointed for May-day,* on the great plain in Kymry. It was forbidden also that any one should bring weapons to the conference, lest strife between the parties should arise. And then Hainssiest conceived his accustomed treachery, and ordered each of his men to go to the appointed parley carrying a long knife in his hose, and that when he should order, “draw owd Iwr Sax, —draw out your knives, — and kill the bryttaniaid before they realize it.” And when the day came, the king and his princes came to the appointment and the Saxonian on the other side. And as the princes were standing in a owd in discussion, Hainssiestr cried out: “draw owt ywr ssaxs.” And the ssaesson drew out their knives and killed four hundred and sixty of the Bryttaniaid, counting Earls, Barons, and chieftains. The king himself was seized by Hainssissester; and of all the princes of ynys Brydain none escaped but Eidiol, Earl of kaer loyw, who escaped by the might of a club which he found under foot; with that club he killed seventy men, and so he escaped unhurt and came to his own realm. ‘And then there was taken away from the king Kaer Lyndain, and Kaer Efroc, and Kaer Lincol. And then the king was let go, and he was banned from the whole extent of lloegr, and he fled to Kymry.
And after he had for some time been in this case, he planned to build a castle lest he should be beaten by the alien nation as they had done before; and having searched the whole of the land of kymry, he found a spot suited for a castle in the place called at this hour dinas Emrys, in the Yrri [Snowdon]. And when he had brought there many stone workers he began the making of the walls. Then as much as was built by day fell down by night. And after it had been thus for a long time without advancing the work, Gwrthayrn was amazed, and asked the twelve chief bards what he must do that the work might stand. And they held council as to what answer they should give him. Then one of them said, “the thing that never can be, and let us bid seek for that which never can be found, so shall we be without reproach.” They therefore told the king that if the blood of a son who had no father could be had and mixed with the mortar, the work would stand. And when the king was told this, he sent throughout the kingdom to find a son who had no father.
And when they had gone everywhere, the searchers came to kaer Vyrddin, so called because it had been founded by ten thousand [myrdd] men. And there they saw boys playing ball and two of them began to wrangle; “Be silent,” said one to the other, “and do not compare yourself to me; for I am noble by my father and mother both, — and as for you, you have no father.” And when the messengers heard this, they laid hold on the boy, brought him to the mayor, and ordered him, on the king’s authority, to send the boy and his mother before the king. And that he did And then the king asked the woman who was father of the boy. “On my faith,” said she, “I know not. Only daughter was I to the king of dyfed. And when still Young, I was made a nun at kaer Vyrddin. And as I slept among my sisters, in my sleep I saw Young man who embraced me; but when I awoke, there was no one but my sisters and myself. After this i conceived and this boy was born to me. And on my faith in god, more than this there never was between a man and myself.” And then the king asked of Bishop maygan, “Could this be true?” “It could,” said he. “For when Lyssyffer and the evil angels who sinned with him, fell, in the places and in the forms under which they were when God bade them cease, in those places they are to this day, and some of them are able to assume the forms of women, some of men; and thus perhaps was this boy begotten.” And then the king told the lad that he must have his blood to mix with the mortar to make the work stand. “Why,” asked the boy, “what makes my blood of use more than other blood?” “Because of the saying of my twelve chief bards,” said the king. “Call hither the twelve chief bards,” said the boy. And when they were come, the boy asked them, “Why* have you told the king that my blood will make the work stand? What,” said the boy, “is beneath yonder spot of rushes?” “On our faith, we know not,” said they. And then the boy gave orders to dig under the rushes, and tnere was found a large pool of water. “What now in that pool?” said the boy. “We know not,” said the bards. “Draw oft the pond, and you will find in it a stone chest, and in that chest there are two dragons sleeping, and when they awake, they fight, and that struggle makes the work to fall.” And when they could not drain the pool, Merddin with his arts drew it off by five running streams. Annvab y llaiann [the nun’s son] he was called before this, but myrddin after this, because he was found in kaer Vyrddin.* And after Gwrtheyrn knew that the lad had great knowledge, he asked him, “What is to happen to me?” “To be killed and burned,” said merddin. “For today the sons of Kystennin are setting sail upon the sea and tomorrow they will come to the port of Totnais on the shore of Lloegr. Wherever you go, beware of the two sons of Kystennin” And then Gwrtheyrn ordered the stone chest to be opened, and out of it arose the two dragons, one white and one red, and they began to fight fiercely. At once the white one drove the red dragon to the middle of the pool, and then the red one, wounded, drove the white one back to the middle of the pool. Then Gwrtheyrfl asked Myrddin what that should signify, and be said, “Woe to the red dragon, for her calamity hasteneth and the white dragon shall seize her caves. The white dragon signifieth the ssaesson, and the red dragon, which shall be conquered by the white one, signifieth the Bryttaniait. For this shall the mountains be leveled like the valleys, and in the valleys the rivers shall flow with blood.”
And then Gwrtheyrn asked Myrddin what sort of death would take him off. And he said, “Beware the two* sons of Kystennin, because they are now spreading their sails on the shore of the sea of Llydaw to go to ynys Brydain to wrest their country from the Ssaxssoniait, and first they will burn thee up in a tower of stone, since by thy treachery and destruction thou didst betray their father and their brother, and didst invite the ssaesson into this island for the sake of getting power from them. And that is powerlessness for thee this day, because two deaths pursue thee. One is the ssaesson who overcome thee. And tomorrow Emrys and Ythr, the sonS of Kystennin, shall come with twelve thousand armed horsemen, and shall redden the faces of the ssaesson with their own blood, and after Hainssiestr is killed, Emrys shall be crowned, and shall govern the realm; and shall rebuild the Churches, but in the end with poison shall he be killed. And after him shall Ythyr his brother be crowned and with poison shall he also be killed through the perfidy of the ssaesson; and the boar of Kerniw shall avenge all that.” And no later than the next day, the sons of Kystennin landed in Lloegr; and when their landing was known all the Bryttaniait came together and came to do homage to Emrys, and he put Ofl the crown and was consecrated king. And then Emryd and his men took counsel whether first to attack Gwrtheyrn or the ssaesson. In the council he was advised to come to Kymry and attack the Castle of Gronwyr,* for thither Gwrtheyrn had fled. It was in Erging, on the shore of the Gwy. And there Emrys arrived with a great host, and bringing to mind the wrongs done by Gwrtheyrn, he said to his nobles, “Ha, nobles, this man caused my father and my brother to be killed, and brought the treacherous pagan ssaesson into this island, therefore let us manfully attack that Castle there.” And without delay they set fires around it, and burned up whatever of men and goods were in the Castle and Gwrtheyrn with them. And then Hainssiestr feared, for he heard that no one in Ffraink could oppose Emrys and live, although he was wise, liberal, and merciful. The ssasson therefore retreated to the other side of the Hymyr, and there fortified themselves that they might live there.
And when Emrys heard it, he went after them with an army; and much grieved was he to see the Churches destroyed by the ssaesson, and he vowed that if he came back alive, he would have them rebuilt as they had been, at their best. And when Hainssiestr heard that Emrys was seeking him, he exhorted his men to fight manfully, and told them that Emrys had but small force of horsemen from Llydaw, and also that they themselves were not afraid of the Bryttaniait since they were* forty thousand armed men. And then they went to a place called maes Beli, thinking to make a sudden treacherous attack on Emrys and his army. But Emrys foresaw that, and marshalled his army, and intermixed his own men and those of Llydaw. And he posted the men of Dyfed on the high hills on their flank, and the men of gwynedd in a wood nearby, so that they could receive the Ssaesson whichever way uiey came And on the other side, Hainssiestr exhorted and instructed his men. When many on both sides had been killed, Hainssiestr and his army fled to a place called kaer Kynan and Emrys and his army pursued and killed them, as has been told.* And a large part of them escaped to a nearby castle, where they formed the second time from every direction and fought fiercely. But in the end the armies of Emrys broke through the armies of the ssaesson and scattered them, by the warcraft of the chiefs. And then did Eidol, Earl of Kaer loyw, make search for Hainssiest, and at last found him. And they fought furiously until one saw the fire from their swords like the lightning before the thunder. And whilst they were still doing so, behold, Gwrlais, the Earl, came up with his army, and thereupon scattered the ssaesson. And then, moved by fierce confidence, Eidiol seized Hainsiestr by the beard and helmet, and dragged him into the midst of his own army, crying, with all his might, “Now wipe out the Ssaesson, for they are beaten. Here is Hainssiestr now.” And from then on fled the Ssaesson, and fled Octaf, the son of Hainssiest, with the greater part of his army, to kaer Efroc. And Ossaf, his uncle, with the rest of his army, fled to kaer Alklyd. And after getting this victory, Emrys went to kaer Kynan, mentioned above, and took the fortress, and there he stayed three days to direct the burial of the bodies of those slain,* to heal the wounded, and to cast off their fatigue. And Emrys then took counsel as to Hainssiestr. In the council were the Bishop of Kaer-loyw and Eidiol the Earl, his brother. And when the Bishop saw Hainssiestr standing before him, he cried, “Ha, nobles, should ye all desire to set Hainssiestr free, I myself would slay him, as did the prophet Samwel, when he saw Agaf, king of Amlech, in prison, and he caused him to be hewed in small pieces, and said to him, ‘As thou didst make mothers without Sons, so will I make thy mother sonless.” And then Eidiol and Hainssiestr came to the top of a high hill near the castle, and he cut off his bead; and he raised a great cry* over his head, as was the custom in burying a ssawden [warrior].* And from thence Emrys went to kaer Efroc, to seek Octaf. But ill council Octaf was advised with all his people to go each with chains in their hands, and a bit of earth on the head of each one, and so to yield themselves to the will of Emrys, saying to him, “O Lord king, our gods are overthrown, and we do not doubt that thy god reigneth, who committeth to thy will in this plight so many noblemen as these. Lord, here we are, submissive, each of us with a chain in his hand; — if thou wisbest it, order us to be put to death.” And then Emrys held council, and there the Bishop and Eldiol said, “Ye evil men have come of your own will to beg mercy, even as people came to Issrael, and received it; and our mercy will not be less than that of the iddewon” [Jews]. And thus Ossaf and his followers came into the mercy of Emrys, and they took land from Emrys in perpetual serfdom; and that land was Yssgotlont. And thus peace was made between them.
And then Emrys went to kaer Efroc and called to him all his Earls, and his barons, and his Arch-bishops. And first of all it was decreed in Council to rebuild at Emrys’s cost the Churches which the ssaesson had destroyed everywhere throughout the kingdom. And the fifteenth day after this he reached Llyndain. And there also he ordered that the Churches be repaired, bad laws amended, lands which had been wrongly taken away given back to each one, and justice meted out to all who claimed it. And from thence he went to kaer wynt to do in like manner. And when he had pacified every place, he went to ssalstbri to behold the graves of those whom Hainssiestr had caused to be killed, Earls, barons, and men of gentle blood. And three hundred monks were together in the monastery of mount Ambri, for so it was called because it had been founded by a man named Ambri. And Emrys was sad to see that place so unadorned, and he sent for all the stone masons and some of the carpenters of ynys Brydain to make a lasting adorn-meat, touched with artistry, about that place of graves. But when the company had come together and their artistry failed them, Tramor, Arch-bishop of kaer-lleon, drew near and said to Emrys “Lord,” said be, conceive strange things by his unfailing immortal artistry.” So Merddin summon to you Myrddin the bard of Gwrthheyrn, for he knows how to was brought to Emrys and joyful over him was the king. But, when Emrys asked him to make prophecies as to what was about to happen to this island, Merddin answered him, “It would not be right to speak of such things except upon necessity. And were I to speak of them without necessity, the Spirit which teaches me would go from me when I have need of him.” And then the king was unwilling to press him further, but asked him how he would plan a work beautiful and permanent for that place.
And Merddin counseled him to go to Iwerddon, to the place where there is a circle of the Giants on Mount-Kilara, “for there there are stones marvellous in nature, concerning which no one knows anything. And not by strength or force, Lord, shall they be had, but by knowledge [i.e., mystic lore]. Were they once here, as they are there, they would stand eternally.” And then Emrys said with laughter, “In what way could they be brought from there?” And Myrddin said, “Lord, stir not thyself to laughter, for I speak but soberness and truth. For stones of mystic power are they with many healing virtues in them, and giants long ago brought them from the farthest part of Yssbaen and placed them as they are. They brought them for this reason. When sickness came upon one of them, they made an ointment in the middle of the stones, then washed the stones with water, and that water they put into the ointment, and thus got complete health from the wounds they had, because they put herbs in the ointment, and these cure the wounds.” And when the king learned the virtues of the stones at once he set out to get them, and sent Ythyr-benn-dragwnn as chief of fif teen thousand armed men, and with him merddin also, because he was the greatest genius of his contemporaries. Gilamwri was then King of Iwerddon and when he heard of this, he came with a great host against them, and asked the purpose of their errand. And when the king learned the purpose of the errand he laughed and said, “It is not strange to me that any feeble people are able to ravage ynys brydain, since they are so foolish as to make the people of Iwerddon fight them for the sake of stones.” Then they joined battle and fought furiously and killed many on both sides, until Gilamwri fled, abandoning his men. And then said Merddin, “Use the best device you know to carry away the stones,” but they did not succeed. Then Merddyin laughed and without any labour except by art easily carried the stones to the ships. And thus they brought them to the mountain of Ambri. And then Emrys called to him there all the Earls and barons, and the ordained scholars of the kingdom, under their advice to glorify that place with splendid adornment. And then Emrys wore the kingdom’s crown upon his head and reverently kept the feast of Whitsuntide three days. And he gave to all of the people of the island their full rights, and satisfied all his men as to gold and silver and horses and arms as became each one. And when he had arranged all things, Emrys ordered Merddin to set up the stones as they had been at and so he did. And thus every one knew that cunning is better than strength. At this time Passgen, the son of Gwrthayrn, had fled to ssermania, and there gathered an army, the largest he could get, by promising to them all sorts of reward for coming with him, to win back ynys brydain from Emrys, the son of Kystennin. And they trusted Passgen and came with him, with a multitude of armed men And when the fleet reached this island, they began to ravage the Country And when Emrys beard this, he went out against them with a great host, and drove them in shameful flight to Iwerddon, where Gilamwri was King And cordial was be to Bpassgefl And each complained to the other of the Sons of Kystennin Then upon agreement the two went with a fleet to the land of Myniw And when* Ythyr heard this, be had great anxiety because Emrys was ill at kaer Wynt, and he himself bad not strength enough to give open battle to Bpassgen and Gilamwri And when the two men heard this, they were glad that Emrys was ill, judging that Ythr could not by himself face them both. And then one of the Ssaesson named Eppa came to Passgen, and asked him what reward he would give to him who should kill Emrys. “I will give him,” said Passgen, “a thousand pounds, and my friendship for life, and should I become king, I will reward him with land and earth and treasure to his content.” And then said Eppa, “I know a medicine against Emrys, and the customs* of the Bryttaniait. Give me confirmation of what thou hast promised me, and I will cause the death of Emrys.” And then they confirmed it. And then Eppa had his head and his beard shaved, like a Monk, took leech tools with him, and went to Emrys’s court, — had himself announced to some from the palace and said that he was a skilled Physician. And they could find no better thing than that, and they told it to Emrys. And thereupon he mixed a draught of poison for the king, and he drank it, and the deceiver counseled him to rest secluded after the draught that the poison might more quickly affect him. And then Eppa vanished from the court. And then a Star of enormous size appeared to Ythyr, having a single shaft, and at the head of the shaft a ball of fire in shape of a dragon, and from the dragon’s jaws, two beams went upward, the one beam reaching towards the farthest parts of Ffraink and the other beam towards Iwerddon, which split into seven smaller beams. And Ythr and all who saw this spectacle feared, and they asked the wise men what it might mean. And then Merddin wept and said, “O nation of the Bryttaniait! now are ye bereft of Emrys Wledic, a loss that cannot be replaced. But in spite of this ye are not lacking another king, because thou, Ythr, shalt be king. Haste to fight thy enemies, for thou shalt possess this whole island. For it is thou that art signified by the star thou saweSt with the fiery dragon. And the beam pointing over ifraink signifies a son of thine, who shall be prosperous and shall possess much of the earth; the other beam signifies a daughter of thine, whose Sons and descendants shall inherit one after another.” Then Ythr, though doubting what Myrddin said, attacked his enemies and fought with them, and many on both sides were killed. And at length Ythyr won, driving Passgen and Kilamwri to their ships and killing, as had been told before. And after the victory, Ythyr returned to kaer-Wynt to bury Emrys, his brother. And thither came all the Archbishops and Bishops and Abbots of the island, and Emrys was buried near the Monastery of Ambri, within the Circle of the Giants. And And then Ythr convened all that multitude, and by consent of all, Ythr was consecrated king.
Uther Pendragon and the conception of Arthur
And the crown of the kingdom was put upon his head. And then came to Ythr memory of what Merddin had said to him, and Ythr commanded to be made two thagons of gold, of marvellous craftwork, in likeness of that he had seen heading the shaft of light. And one of these images hr gave to the chief Church at kaer Wynt; the other he had carried before him when he went to battle. And from that time on he was called Ythr ben dragwn. Then Octal, the son of Hainssiestr, and Assaf, called the ssaesson to them, and when Emrys was dead, said that they were free of their oath they had given him. And they sent to ssermania to ask for aid, and also to Passgen. Having collected a multitude of people they conquered all Lloegr, as far as kaer Efrawc. And when they were begin¬ning to besiege the town, Ythr came with his army, and there was fierce fighting, and in the end the ssaesson were put to flight and chased to the place called mynydd danned [the toothed mountain], for that was a strong and high place, with crags and stones There tney spent that night And Ythr called his council to him. Then arose Gwrlais, Earl of Kerniw, and said, “Much fewer are we than they When the night is dark, Lord, let us go at them, and we shall get them cheaply.” This they did, and stormed the mountain, killed many, and captured Octaf and Assaf, and scattered all the rest. And after this victory Ythr went to kaer Alklyd; and he made a circuit of the whole country, and strengthened law so that none dared to wrong another. And after he had settled everything, the king went to Llvndain, and there he put Octaf and Assaf in prison. And he kept the feast of easter, and bade thereto the Earls and barons and their wives with them from the whole of ynys Brydain, and gracious was Ythr to them all. And they passed the feast-time in luxury and cheerfulness. And thereto came Gwrlais, Earl of Kerniw, and his wife was Eigr, daughter of Amlawdd wiedic, and there was in ynys Brydain neither matron nor maid as fair as she. And when Ythr looked upon her, he loved her greatly, so that he could not hide it, nor could he be without her. He sent her many gifts and liquors in cups of gold, as well as silly messages, until Gwrlais the Earl learned this. And then he became enraged, and left the court without permission of the king. And when Ythr learned this, he was angered, and sent messengers after Gwrlais ordering him to return, because it was great insult to quit the court of the king without permission. And he sent a second messenger, and a third, and he came not at all. Then the king said he would beggar him by fire and sword unless he should return. But return Gwrlais did not, in spite of threats. And so the king quickly gathered an army and killed and burned throughout the lordship of Gwrlais. Then Gwrlais, since he had not strength enough to face the king in open field, fortified two castles which he had, and in the strongest castle he put his wife; the castle was named Tindagol, and it was on the seashore. And he went himself to the other castle called Tinblot, lest they should both be taken. Then Ythr and his army attacked the castle where Gwrlais was, scattered his men, and all but killed him,* and quickly came a messenger to tell Eigr this. And then Ythr called to him Wiffin, of kaer Gradawc, for a knight of his was he, and told him all his mind, and his love for Eigr, and asked his counsel. And Wlffin said, “Lord King, it profits not to try by force to get the castle in which Eigr is, for it stands on a sea crag, and there is but a single causeway leading to it, and that path three knights can hold against the whole world. This is my counsel, that you call to you Myrddin, tell him your secret, and if any one can help you, that man will” And the king did this. Then Merddin said, “If you desire this, the form of Gwrlais must be put upon you, and I myself will go in the likeness of Brithael, the favorite squire of Gwrlais, and I will give Wlffin the form of Medaf of Tindagol, favorite squire to Gwrlais And then no one will know that we are not Gwrlais and his two servants.” And when they had been transformed in this way, they set out and towards evening reached the gate of Tindagol castle, and told the porter that Gwrlais was there. And the porter opened, and they went in, and Ythr went to sleep with Eigr, and began in loving, lying, converse to tell her that he had come away by stealth from the other castle to see her; and be could not on any account refrain from coming. And she believed it. And that night was conceived Arthyr, son of Ythr. And So when Ythr’s army learned that he was not with them, they attacked the castle bravely, so that Gwrlais had to come out and give them battle; and then Gwrlais was killed and his men scattered. And quickly there came messengers to tell this to Eigr. And Ythr was with her in her bed, and in Gwrlais’s semblance he said to her, laughing, “Lady I am not yet killed; I will go to see how many of my men I have lost.” And then Ythr went to his army in his own form. But for one thing Ythr grieved, that Gwrlais was killed, but for the other he held it very good. And from that time Ythr took Eigr as a secret wife, and had by her a son and daughter namely Arthyr and Anna, his sister. And after that Ythr fell into sore* disease, and was ailing for a long time, until he angered the keepers of Octaf and Assaf, and out of hatred to him they set those princes free of the country and went with them to ssermania. And when the Bryttaniait heard that the men of ssermania were on the way to attack the island, they were frightened. And it came true, for they came to Alban, and began to ravage the country and to burn it. Llew, the son of Kynvarch, was prince over the hosts of the Bryttaniait, for he had married Anna, daughter of Ythr benn dragwnn. And a great man was he and generous, and he loved truth; and many battles did he fight with the Saesson, but oftentimes the ssaesson overcame him.
When it had been so for a long time until he had well nigh lost the whole island, Ythr was told that the Earl could not subdue the ssaesson. And Ythyr was greatly enraged, and called all the nobles of the island before him upbraid them for their haif-heartedness against the ssaesson. And in council Ythr was advised that he cause himself to be carried in a litter before his army to the town of Verolan, for there the pagan ssaesson were killing and burning. And when Octaf and Assaf heard that Ythr was ill and was being carried before his army towards that place in a litter, they were pleased, and they derided him contemptuously and called him the half-dead man. And the ssaesson went into the city and left the gates open in contempt of Ythr and his army. And when Ythr knew this, he surrounded the city, and many got inside and on both sides many were killed, until night. On the next morning the ssaesson came out of the town, and fought fiercely against the Bryttaniait, and there Octaf and Assaf were killed, and others of the princes of the ssaesson fled disgracefully. And then Ythr, in delight, sat up in his bed, though before he had been turned only by the strength of two strong men, and said, “The deceiving betrayers called me the half-dead man, but the half-dead man who conquers is better that the half-alive man who is conquered; and also better it is to die gloriously, than to live shamefully.” And after this victory, the remnants of the ssaesson who escaped came together in Alban to Fight as before. Ythr wanted to follow them, but the council would not let him, for he was too ill to be carried on a litter. On this account the ssaesson were more bold, and planned Ythr’s death by treachery; and sent men in the guise of freed men* to talk with him. These men got word that Ythr drank only of the water of a well near Verolam. This and the nearby springs they poisoned so that when Ythr drank the water, he died,—and as many as drank after him, until they found it out, and the Bryttaniait filled up the wells with earth. And then they buried Ythr in the circle of the Giants.* And then the saesson sent to ssermania to seek help to win ynys Brydain. And there was sent them a mighty Fleet with Kolgrin as their prince; and they prevailed from hymyr to the cape of bladdon. And when the nobles of ynys Brydain learned this, because of the menace of the ssaesson they gathered together at kaer Vyddav as many clerks and laymen as there were in ynys Brydain.