The Annals of Wales
(Part VI)

by Anonymous, translated from Latin by Wikisource

Year. Saint Dewy is born on the thirtieth year from Patric's de[p]arture from Menevia.
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Year. The rest of Bishop Benign.
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Year. The bishop Ywor went to Christ in the 350th year of its age.[1]

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Year. The Battle of Badon, in which King Artur carried the cross of our Lord Jhesus Christ for three days and three nights on his shoulders.[2] In that battle fe[l]l Colgrine and Radulph, dukes of the Angles.[3]
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Year. Columchilla is born. Saint Brigida went to Christ.
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Year. The Battle of Camlam, in which the famous Arthur and Modred his betrayer fell from mutual wounds.
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Year. The sleep of Karavin.[4]
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Year. There was great death in Britain. Mailgun Guineth died.[5] Thus it is said, "the long sleep of Mailgun at the court of Rhos".[6] After that, there was the "Yellow Plague".[7]
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Year. Gawran the Traitor[8] son of Dinwarch died.
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Year. Columchilla came from Hibernia to Britain.
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Year. Voyage of Gilda to Hybernia.
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Year. The Synod of Victory[9] is held among the Britons.
Year. Gildas, wisest of the Britons, died.
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Year. The Battle of Erderit between the sons of Elifer and Guendoleu son of Keidia, in which battle Guendoleu fell; Merlin driven insane.
Year. Brendan Berur died.
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Year. Gurgi and Peretur, sons of Elifer, die.
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NotesEdit

  1. L. episcopus ywor .ccc°.l. etatis sue anno obiit in christo. This is probably a reference to the destruction of the bishopric of York (L. Eboracum), which was dated by medieval Britons to the reign of the pseudohistorical King Lucius (c. 180) and which was destroyed by the pagan Saxons around this date. The bishops of York – including the one documented attending the Council of Arles – have traditionally employed the abbreviation Ebor as their surname; further, within the chronicle, other bishops' names precede their title in the Latin, whereas this "name" suffixes its.

    Nonetheless, the entry is generally cited as evidence of a (otherwise unreported) medieval tradition of a single, miraculously long-lived bishop. Even if this reading were accurate, it presumably arose to explain the long sequence of identically-named bishops in the surviving records.
  2. Nennius similarly has Arthur bearing an image of the Virgin Mary "on his shoulders" during a battle at a fortress called Guinnion. The Old Welsh iscuit, however, meant both "shoulder" and "shield" and Geoffrey played on the dual tradition in his account of Arthur, describing Arthur bearing "on his shoulders a shield" emblazoned with the Virgin (IX.iv.). See: Jones, W. Lewis. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes, Vol. I, XII, §2. Putnam, 1921. Accessed 30 Jan 2013.
  3. Geoffrey has Colgrinus, Badulphus (presumably for a "Beadwulf"), and Cheldricus. Nennius omits any of them. Scholars who don't find the entire account fanciful generally connect them with the family of the Cerdic who in the following decades founded Wessex; Peter Roberts argued the three intended the sons of Ælle of Sussex.
  4. Probably St. Ciarán the Younger, who was killed in a plague around this time, although possibly St. Ciarán the Elder instead.
  5. Maelgwn Gwynedd's death is traditionally blamed on y vad velen, the Yellow Plague of Rhos, which in turn was blamed on the failure to properly bury the corpses left by his father Cadwallon's victory over the Irish settlements on Anglesey. Most sources concerning this narrative are suspect, since they originated with Iolo Morganwg, a known forger; however, his "sources"' account is corroborated by the "Life of St. Teilo, Archbishop of the Llandaf Church" in the 12th-century Book of Llandaf. The Llandaf account, however, claims the disease spread through the country "as a column of a watery cloud, having one end trailing along the ground, and the other above, proceeding in the air", killing any man or animal it touched. Most likely, the "great death" mentioned here and at AD 548 in the Annals of Ulster was the arrival in the British Isles of Justinian's Plague, which almost certainly was an early strain of the bubonic plague. If there was a separate disease, it may have been relapsing fever, which produces jaundice and was known as "yellow plague" in Irish. The placement of Maelgwn's death in this entry is unusual, since it seems to indicate he died of the great plague and not the yellow one.
  6. Apparently an expression in medieval Welsh used both literally as a euphemism for death and in a similar fashion to English's "sleep like the dead".
  7. L. tunc fuit lallwelen, where lallwelen is Old Welsh equivalent to the modern fall felen, "yellow plague". Cf. Cule, John. Wales and Medicine, pp. 141–155.
  8. Old Welsh: Wradouc (= modern Bradawg).
  9. Over the Pelagian heresy.