Help us create a biggest collection of medieval chronicles and manuscripts on line.
#   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z 
Medieval chronicles, historical sources, history of middle ages, texts and studies

Geoffrey of Monmouth History of the Kings of Britain

uses Google technology and indexes only and selectively internet - libraries having books with free public access
  Previousall pages


Geoffrey of Monmouth
History of the Kings of Britain
page 24

according to ancient custom. Cassibellaun, finding he could not attain his ends, threatened Androgeus to destroy his country with fire and sword, if he should not comply with his demands. But Androgeus, now incensed, scorned all compliance with him. On the other hand, Cassibellaun, in a great rage, hastened to make good his threats, and ravage the country. This forced Androgeus to make use of daily solicitations to the king, by means of such as were related to him, or intimate with him, to divert his rage. But when he found these methods ineffectual, he began in earnest to consider how to oppose him, At last, when all other hopes failed, he resolved to request assistance from Caesar, and wrote a letter to him to this effect: “Androgeus, duke of Trinovantum, to Caius Julius Caesar, instead of wishing death as formerly, now wishes health. I repent that ever I acted against you, when you made war against the king. Had I never been guilty of such exploits, you would have vanquished Cassibellaun, who is so swollen with pride since his victory, that he is endeavouring to drive me out of his coasts, who procured him that triumph. Is this a fit reward for my services? I have settled him in an inheritance; and he endeavours to disinherit me. I have a second time restored him to the kingdom and he endeavours to destroy me. All this have I done for him in fighting against you. I call the gods to witness I have not deserved his anger, unless I can be said to deserve it for refusing to deliver up my nephew, whom he would have condemned to die unjustly. Of which, that you may be better able to judge, hear this account of the matter. It happened that for joy of the victory we performed solemn honours to our tutelary gods, in which after we had finished our sacrifices, our youth began to divert themselves with sports. Among the rest our two nephews, encouraged by the example of the others, entered the lists; and when mine had got the better, the other without any cause was incensed, and just going to strike him; but he avoided the blow, and taking him by the hand that held the sword, strove to wrest it from him. In this struggle the king’s nephew happened to fall upon the sword’s point, and died upon the spot. When the king was informed of it, he commanded me to deliver up the youth, that he might be punished for murder. I refused do it; whereupon he invaded my provinces with all his forces, and has given me very great disturbance; flying, therefore, to your clemency, I desire your assistance, that by you I may be restored to my dignity, and by me you may gain possession of Britain. Let no doubts or suspicion of treachery in this matter detain you. Be influenced by the common motive of mankind; let past enmities beget a desire of friendship and after defeat make yon more eager for victory.”

Chapter 9. Cassibellaun, being put to flight, and besieged by Caesar, desires peace.

Caesar, having read the letter, was advised by his friends not to go into Britain upon a bare verbal invitation of the duke, unless he would send such hostages as might be for his security. Without delay, therefore, Androgeus sent his son Scaeva with thirty young noblemen nearly related to him. Upon delivery of the hostages, Caesar, relieved from his suspicion, reassembled his forces, and with a fair wind arrived at the port of Rutupi. In the meantime Cassibellaun had begun to besiege Trinovantum and ravage the country towns; but finding that Caesar was arrived, he raised tie siege and hastened to meet him. As soon as he entered a valley near Dorobernia, he saw the Roman army preparing their camp: for Androgens had conducted them to this place, for the convenience of making a sudden assault upon the city. The Romans, seeing the Britons advancing towards them, quickly flew to their arms, and ranged themselves in several bodies. The Britons. also put On their arms, and placed themselves in their ranks. But Androgens with . five thousand men lay hid in a wood hard by, to be ready to assist Caesar, and spring forth on a sudden upon Cassibellaun and his party. Both armies now approached to begin the fight, some with bows and arrows, some with swords, so that much blood was shed on both sides, and the wounded fell down like leaves in autumn. While they were thus engaged, Androgens sallied forth from the wood and fell upon the rear of Cassibellaun’s army, upon which the hopes of the battle entirely depended. And now, what with the breach which the Romans had made through them just before, what with the furious irruption of their own countrymen, they were no longer able to stand their ground, but were obliged with their broken forces to quit the field. Near the place stood a rocky mountain, on the top of which was a thick hazel wood. Hither Cassibellaun fled with his men after he found himself worsted; and having climbed up to the top of the mountain, bravely defended himself and killed the pursuing enemy. For the Roman forces with those of Androgeus pursued him to disperse his flying troops, and climbing up the mountain after them made many assaults, but all to, little purpose; for the rockiness of, the mountain and great height of its top was a defence to the Britons, and the advantage of higher ground gave

  Previous First Next  

"Medievalist" is an educational project designed as a digital collection of chronicles, documents and studies related to the middle age history. All materials from this site are permitted for non commersial use unless otherwise indicated. If you reduplicate documents from here you have to indicate "Medievalist" as a source and place link to us.