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In the year 1586, CAMDEN, the antiquarian, published the first edition of his Britannia, a work that long Camden's continued to be a standard authority on all questions connected with Roman Britain. It originally appeared in Latin, forming a small octavo volume of 556 pages; but in the later editions, which are in English, has been extended to four volumes folio. Camden's Britannia was followed in 1603 by his Anglica, Normannica, Hibernica, Cambrica, a volume of reprints of some of the chief ancient writers on English, Norman, Irish, and Welsh history. Camden's labours have however been, to a great extent, superseded by the publication of the The Monu- Monumenta Historica Britannica, which includes, totorica Bri- gether with reprints of the more important earlier writers on English history, a large collection of passages from Greek and Roman authors and from ancient inscriptions relating to early Britain.
The Inscriptiones Britanniae Christianae (Berlin, 1876) of professor Hübner contains all Latin inscriptions found down to the ninth century. It should however be observed that it is doubtful whether any of these can rightly be referred to the present period, i.e. to the time of Roman Christianity in Britain.
Modern Writers.-To Camden's Britannia succeeded, British, and in the year 1732 the Britannia Romana of JOHN HORS
LEY. This work is divided into three parts: (i) a narrative of the Roman transactions in Britain; (ii) a collection of Roman inscriptions and sculptures discovered in Britain ; (iii) the Roman geography of Britain, after Ptolemy, the Itinerarium of Antoninus, the Notitia, the anonymous Ravennas, Peutinger's Table, &c. Horsley is generally admitted to have been a careful
and judicious anti
Monumenta Historica Britannica: or, Materials for the History of Britain. Edited by Hen. Petrie and Joh. Sharpe, fol. London, 1848. (For list of contents, see Hardy, D. C. i. 850.)
quary, but much of his work, like that of Camden, reappears in an improved form in the Monumenta. MR. BRUCE'S volume on The Roman Wall, originally designed as a popular introduction to Horsley, has expanded in the third edition (1867) into a standard work, with numerous and carefully executed plans and illustrations. It has the merit of being committed to the support of no particular theory. Scarcely a statement,' says the compiler, is brought forward which is not directly deduced from inscriptions found upon the wall. The legions and auxiliary cohorts are themselves required to describe their movements, to name the camps which they garrisoned, and to specify the works on which they were employed.' In this respect, Mr. Bruce's work differs considerably from that of ALGERNON HERBERT, entitled Britannia after the Romans (2 vols., 183641). In this the writer deals at length with the mythological element and the legendary history. He identifies Uthyr Pendragon with Jupiter, Prince Arthur with Hercules, relegating nearly all the earlier traditions to the region of the fabulous. He also advances the theory of what he terms a Neo-Druidic heresy,' consequent upon the separation of Britain from the Roman Empire. The Druidical antiquities are elaborately illustrated by STUKELEY in his works on Stonehenge and Avebury.'
Stonehenge, a Temple restored to the British Druids. By W. Stukeley, fol. 1740. Abury, a Temple of the British Druids, with some others, described. By the same, fol. 1743.
More recent and accurate criticism, however, is to be Articles by found in the contributions of Dr. Guest to the elucidation of disputed points in connection with the following subjects: (i) Fulius Cæsar's Invasion of Britain (Archæological Fournal, vol. xxi. 1864); (ii) The Campaign of Aulus Plautius (Ibid., vol. xxiii. 1866); (iii) The Boundaries that separated the Welsh and English Rule during the
thorities for Dispute.
Seventy-Five Years which followed the Capture of Bath, A.D. 577 (Ibid. vol. xvi. 1859). In the paper already referred to (supra, p. 234), On the Early English Settlements, the same writer approaches the much disputed question respecting the permanence of Roman institutions and Roman influences subsequent to the departure of the legions and the arrival of the Saxons. His high authority may be cited in favour of an affirmative conclusion, though his language is carefully qualified. On the same side are to be found Mr. Brewer (Quar. Rev., vol. cxli. 295-301), and MR. C. H. PEARSON (History of England in the Early and Middle Ages, 2nd edit. i. 83-103). While the same theory is carried to the most extreme conclusions by MR. COOTE, in his work entitled The Romans of Britain (1878), where he professes to trace, in the laws and customs of the England of the fifth and sixth centuries, a condition of society 'steeped in Roman institutions and observances.' In the opposed ranks are Lappenberg, professor Stubbs, Freeman, and Wright. The last-named writer in his volume, The Celt, the Roman, and the Saxon (3rd edit. 1875), which forms an interesting manual of the antiquities of the period B.C. 55 to A.D. 597, holds that there existed a large Saxon element in the population prior to the invasion under Hengist and Horsa.
As regards the evidence for the existence and characteristic institutions of the ancient British Church, the student is referred to Spelman and Wilkins' Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents (ed. Haddan and Stubbs), i. 1-200, where all the really trustworthy data are incorporated.
It may be observed that the decision of this controversy turns, to a great extent, upon the acceptance or non-acceptance of the testimony of Gildas, and his genuineness as a writer.
A.D. 450 TO THE NORMAN CONQUEST.
(A.) Contemporary Writers.-The guidance of Gildas is lost to us with the year 560; Nennius goes no further than the year 688. A few meagre notes, by another Authoritics hand, afford a kind of continuation of Bede's History described. already down to the year 766. The records of the different Chronicles continue, up to the time of Alfred, to be somewhat meagre; but with the commencement of his reign become much fuller. In the eleventh century, slight differences occur in the different texts, and with the reign of Edward the Confessor these become much more marked, indicating the divergencies of political feeling in the different parts of the country where they were compiled. The Abingdon Chronicle, for example, shews decided hostility to earl Godwin, while the Peterborough Chronicle is equally favourable to his cause (see Freeman, Norman Conquest, i. 442).
ASSER, a monk of Celtic extraction, belonging to the Asser. monastery of St. David's, who became bishop of Sherborne and died in the year 910, was the adviser and coadjutor of king Alfred in the latter's efforts to revive learning throughout the country. He is generally believed to have been the author of an extant Life of ALFRED,' consisting of two parts: (1) a chronicle of events
' In Camden, Anglica, &c., and M. H. B. There is also an edition by Wise. Oxford, 1722. A Chronicon Fani S. Neoti, an anonymous
extending from 851 to 887; (2) personal events respecting Alfred himself, designed as a kind of Appendix. The fact that the latter part was written while Alfred was still in the prime of life, together with certain inconsistencies and improbabilities in the narrative, has inclined some critics (see article by the late Mr. Thomas Wright, in Biog. Brit. Litteraria) to conclude that Asser was not the author. Dr. Reinhold Pauli, the author of an admirable Life of Alfred, considers however that the work is substantially that of Asser, with interpolations belonging to a much later date. In referring to places by their Latin or Saxon names, the writer often adds the Celtic name, a feature which would seem plainly to prove that he was a Briton by descent. His narrative was probably compiled for the information of a Celtic community, such as we know to have existed at St. David's. Asser is under frequent obligations to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, of which the earlier part of his work is often a mere transcript.
The Latin version of the Chronicle of ETHELWERD,' written in the tenth century, and treating of English history from the earliest times to the year 975, is interesting as the only production of a Latin historian in an interval of two centuries. Ethelwerd was probably an caldorman, and he is styled by William of Malmesbury 'the noble and magnificent.' His work is devoid of originality, being little more than a meagre compilation from Bede and the Saxon Chronicle; the Latinity is also extremely bad. 'In an historical point of view,' however, Sir T. D. Hardy considers that his authority and value as a writer are not to be despised.'
compilation beginning with Cæsar's invasion of Britain and ending A D. 914, has also been attributed to Asser, bu is probably a compilation of the latter part of the twelfth century. (See Hardy, D. C. i. 577-) In Savile's Scriptores post Bedam (see supra, p. 216).