The Ruin and Conquest of Britain

400 A.D. - 600 A.D.

Tables of

The Sources
Lifetimes
Armies

The Sources (in order first quoted)
 
Author Date Title Credibility (see below)
Claudian c.400 The Consulship of Stilicho *****
Nennius c.800 The History of Britain **
Anonymous c.1060 Welsh Genealogies and Pedigrees **
Claudian c.405 The Gothic Wars *****
Zosimus c.510 New History ****
Procopius c.555 History of the Wars ****
Gildas c.545 The Ruin of Britain (Gildas) ****
Anonynous
c.850
Bern Codex
***
Fastidius c.410 Letter to a widow *****
?
?1200
Chronicles of Anjou
*
Rutilius Namatianus 418-20
De Reditu Suo
*****
Anonymous c.891 Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (ASC) **
Prosper of Aquitaine 433 Chronicle *****
Constantius c.480 Life of St. Germanus ****
Anonymous c.1000 Irish Annals ***
Anonymous c.970 Annales Cambriae (AC) **
Anonymous
c.795
Anglian Genealogies
***
Anonymous c.455 Gallic Chronicle ****
Bede c.730 The Ecclesiastical History of England (Bede) ***
Geographer of Ravenna ?700
***
Anonymous ?1060 The Welsh Triads *
Muirchu ?675 Life of St. Patrick ****
St. Patrick ?455 Letter to Coroticus *****
William of Malmesbury c.1143 History of the Kings of England *
Jordanes c.555 Gothic History ****
Sidonius c.469 Letter to Riothamus *****
Sidonius c.470 Letter to Vincentius *****
Gregory of Tours c.592 History of the Franks ****
Henry of Huntingdon c.1135 History of England *
Sidonius c.480  Letter to Namatius *****
William of Leon c.1017 Life of St. Goeznovius **
Bede c.720 Chronica Majora ***
Sidonius c.474 Letter to Ecdicius *****
Felix c.730 Life of St. Guthlac ***
Leland c.1540 Itinerary *
John of Glastonbury c.1350 Chronicle of Glastonbury Abbey *
Adam of Bremen 1075 Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum
***
Anonymous
c.860
Annales Fuldenses
***
Anonymous
900s
Life of St. Dalmas of Rodez
****
[The Mabinogion] ?1060 The Dream of Rhonanbwy *
Hywel c.950 Laws of Hywel ***
Taliesin c.565 In praise of Cynan ****
Roger of Wendover c.1235 Flowers of History *
Gildas c.571 Penetentials of the Synod of Victory *****
Anonymous
700s
The Ruin
**
Taliesin c.579 The Battle of Argoed LLwyfain ****
Taliesin c.580 Death song of Owain ****
Taliesin c.580 Urien of Yrechwydd ****
Taliesin c.585 The battle of Gwen Ystrad ****
Roger de Hoveden c.1202 Annals *
Aneirin c.600 Y Gododdin ****

The credibility rating I have given the works here applies only to the parts of those works which I have quoted. It is meant to indicate how much weight can be given to the information in these quotes. Obviously this is a crude system, as different bits of information from the same work will have different credibility. The rating system is as follows:

*****   Absolutely reliable: From a contemporary witness; almost certainly not corrupted in later transcriptions.
****     Fairly reliable: From a near-contemporary witness, or contemporary non-witness; possibly corrupted.
***       Not reliable in detail but probably correct in outline: Probably based on earlier written accounts.
**         Unreliable but probably having some basis in fact: Probably based on oral tradition.
*           Totally unreliable but possibly having some basis in fact: Based on fictional or untraceable sources.


Speculative Lifetimes of personages.
 
Name Birth Death Age Notes
of Britain



Vortigern/Catel ?410 c.474 64 First recorded high-king of post-Roman Britain c.440-c.456 and c.470-c.474
Vortimer ?430 c.470 40 Son of Vortigern, high-king from c.456. Maybe identical to Riothamus
Cattegirn ?432 c.458 26 Son of Vortigern, King of Powys c.456-458
Pascent  ?435 ?480 45 Son of Vortigern, King of Builth from c.456 and King of Powys from c.458
Ambrosius  ?417 c.472 55 Rival of Vortigern
Ambrosius Aurelianus ?447 ?506 59 Son of Ambrosius, high-king/Dux Bellorum from c.475
Arthur ?475 c.539 64 Dux Bellorum from ?506, British leader at Badon
of Kent



Hengest ?415 ?475 59 First king of Kent from c.453.
Horsa ?420 c.458 38 Brother of Hengest
Octha ?435 c.488 53 Son of Hengest, leader of Bernician settlers c.454-c.475, then King of Kent
Rhonwen ?437 ?474 37 Daughter of Hengest, wife of Vortigern from c.453
Orric Oesc ?460 c.512 52 King of Kent from c.488, founder of new dynasty
Octha ?490 ?540 50 Son of Oesc, King of Kent from c.512
Oermenric ?520 565 45 Son of Octha, King of Kent.
Aethelbert 552 617 65 Son of Oermenric, King of Kent from c.565 and Third Bretwalda after Ceawlin
of Gwynedd



Cadwallon Longhand ?475 ?534 59 King of Gwynedd
Maelgwn ?505 549 44 Son of Cadwallon, King of Gwynedd, married Brochfael's sister
Rhun ?525 ?570 45 Son of Maelgwn , King of Gwynedd from 549
Beli ?545 ?598 53 Son of Rhun, King of Gwynedd, perhaps died at Catterick
Iacob ?565 c.610 45 Son of Beli, King of Gwynedd
Cadfan ?585 c.625 40 Son of Iacob, King of Gwynedd
Cadwallon ?605 633 28 Son of Cadfan, King of Gwynedd, slayer of Edwin.
Cadwalladr ?630 684 54 Son of Cadwallon, King of Gwynedd after Cadfael (?634-?655)
of Sussex



Aelle ?454 c.518 64 First King of Sussex from c.477, First Bretwalda, probable Saxon leader at Badon
Cymen ?476 ?530 54 Son of Aelle, ?King of Sussex
Wlenking ?505 ?560 55 ?Son of Cymen, ?King of Sussex
Cissa ?535 590 55 ?Son of Wlenking, King of Sussex
of Powys



Cyngen ?480 ?520 40 King of Powys, grandson of Pascent
Brochfael ?500 ?540 40 Son of Cyngen, King of Powys.
Cynan garwyn ?520 ?575 55 Son of Brochfael, King of Powys
Selyf ?555 c.610 55 Son of Cynan, King of Powys
of Anglia/Mercia



Icel ?450 ?500 50 First King of the Angles in Britain from ?480
Cnebba ?480 ?530 50 Son of Icel
Cynewald ?510 ?560 50 Son of Cnebba
Creoda ?540 593 53 Son of Cynewald, perhaps lost East Anglia to Uffa in 571, King of Mercia from 585
Wybba ?576 626 50 Son of Creoda, King of Mercia
Penda ?605 655 50 Son of Wybba, King of Mercia, Slayer of Oswald
of York



Coel the Old ?375 440 65 Last Dux Brittaniarum, First King of the North
Ceneu ?415 ?470 55 Son of Coel, ?King of the North
Gurgust Letlum ?450 ?505 55  Son of Ceneu, ?King of the North
Eliffer ?485 ?540 55 Son of Gurgust, King of York only (not Rheged or Elmet)
Peredur ?520 ?582 62 Son of Eliffer, joint King of York
Gwrgi ?522 ?582 60 Son of Eliffer, joint King of York
Gwgon Gwron ?555 ? ? Son of Peredur, failed to recover his kingdom from Ella
of Wessex



Cerdic ?456 518 62 First leader of the Gewissae from c.495
Creoda ?484 534 50 Son of Cerdic, leader of the Gewissae
Cynric  ?512 560 48 Son of Creoda, leader of the Gewissae
Ceawlin ?538 593 55 Son of Cynric, King of West Saxons, Second Bretwalda after Aelle
Cuthwulf ?540 571 31 Son of Cynric
Cuthwine ?560 584 24 Son of Ceawlin
Ceolwulf ?570 611 41 Son of Cuthwulf, King of West Saxons from 597
of Rheged



Merchianum ?480 ?530 50 Perhaps first King of Rheged, Son of Gurgust
Cynfarch ?505 ?555 50 Son of Merchianum, King of Rheged
Elidr ?515 ?560 45 Son of Merchianum, King of South Rheged, married Maelgwn's daughter, slain in Gwynedd probably by Rhun
Urien ?530 ?590 60 Son of Cynfarch, King of Rheged, Northern British leader 
LLywarch the Old ?545 ?615 70 Son of Elidr, King of South Rheged, lost his kingdom to Aethelfirth
Owain ?550 ?585 35 Son of Urien
Rhun ?565 ?630 65 Son of Urien, baptizer of Edwin in c.626
Rhwyth ?590 ? ? Son of Rhun
Rhieinfellt ?615 ? ? Daughter of Rhwyth, wife of Oswy from c.633
of East Anglia



Uffa ?540 578 38 King of East Anglia from 571
Titilus ?550 599 49 Brother of Uffa, King of East Anglia
Redwald ?580 625 45 Son of Titilus, King of East Anglia, Fourth Bretwalda after Aethelbert, Slayer of Aethelfirth
of Elmet



Masguic clop ?480 ?535 55 Perhaps first King of Elmet, Son of Gurgust
Laenauc ?510 ?565 55 Son of Masguic, King of Elmet
Gwallawg ?540 ?595 55 Son of Laenauc, King of Elmet, fought with Urien against Angles
Ceredic ?570 ?625 55 Son of Gwallawg, King of Elmet, lost his kingdom to Edwin
of Dent



Mar ?445 ?500 55 Perhaps first King of Dent, Son of Ceneu
Arthwys ?480 ?535 55 Son of Mar
Pabo ?510 ?565 55 Pillar of Britain, son of Arthwys
Dunaut ?545 597 52 Son of Pabo, lost his kingdom to Aethelfirth
of Bernicia



Eosa
?455
?505
50
First of the line to come to Britain
Eoppa
?485
?535
50
Son of Eosa
Ida ?515 559 44 First king of the Bernicians from c.547
Aethelric ?540 572 32 Son of Ida, King of Bernicians from 568.
Aethelfirth  ?565 617 52 Son of Aethelric, First King of Northumbria (Bernicia and Deira) from 593, slayer of Selyf
Oswald 605 642 37 Son of Aethelfirth, slayer of Cadwallon, King of Northumbria after Edwin
Oswy 612 670 58 Son of Aethelfirth, King of Northumbria after Oswald, Slayer of Penda
of Strathclyde



Ceretic ?405 ?460 55 King of Strathclyde, raider of St. Patrick's Ireland
Cinuit ?430 ?485 55 son of Ceretic, King of Strathclyde
Dumgual hen ?455 ?520 65 son of Cinuit, King of Strathclyde
Clinoch ?485 ?540 55 son of Dumgual hen, ?King of Strathclyde
Cinbelin ?490 ?540 50 son of Dumgual hen
Tutagual ?510 ?560 50 son of Clinoch, King of Strathclyde
Clitnoy Eidin ?520 ?570 50 son of Cinbelin, Ruler of Dunedin, raider of Rhun's Gwynedd
Rhyderch hen ?542 612 70 son of Tutagual, King of Strathclyde, raider of Rhun's Gwynedd, and fought with Urien against the Angles
of Deira



Soemil
?415
?465
50
? First leader of Deirans from c.443
Westerfalcon ?440 ?490 50 Son of Soemil
Wilgis ?465 ?515 50 Son of Westerfalcon
Usfrey ?490 ?540 50 Son of Wilgis
Yffe ?515 560 45 Son of Usfrey
Ella ?540 588 48 Son of Yffe, King of the Deirans from 560 
Edwin 586 633 47 Son of Ella, slayer of and successor to Aethelfirth, King of Northumbria
of Dyfed



Agricola ?470 ?520 50 First British King of Dyfed
Vortipor ?490 ?545 55 Son of Agricola, King of Dyfed
Cincar ?515 ?565 50 Son of Vortipor, King of Dyfed
Petr ?545 ?590 45 Son of Cincar, King of Dyfed
Arthur ?570 ?615 45 Son of Petr, King of Dyfed, probably named after Arthur


Dark-Age Armies, as recorded by the sources.

Date Source Size Corrected * Origin Comments
c.411
Chronicle of Anjou
1000
1000
Armorican/British
Took Blois in Gaul.
c.449 Nennius 120 (3 keels) 120 Saxon Invited to Thanet.
c.453 Nennius 640 (16 keels) 640 Saxon Invited to Kent.
c.454 Nennius 1600 (40 keels) 1600 Saxon Defeated Picts.
c.456 ASC 4000 400 Romano-British Slain by Saxons.
469 Jordanes 12 000 1200 Romano-British Defeated by Visigoths.
471 Sidonius 18 horsemen 18 horsemen Romano-Gaulish Defeated below.


>2000 >200 Visigoths Defeated by above.
477 ASC 120 (3 keels) 120 South Saxons Defeated British.
495 ASC 200 (5 keels) 200 West Saxons Fought with British.
498 Irish Annals 150 150 Scots Went to Britain from Ireland.
501 ASC 80 (2 keels) 80 West Saxons Fought with British.
508 ASC 5000 500 British Slain by West Saxons.
518 Nennius 960 100 Saxon Slain by one charge of British Cavalry.
540 Procopius 100 000 (400 keels) 1600 (40 keels) Angle Defeated the Varni in Germany
575 Triads 2100 2100 British (Carlisle) Defeated by other British.
598 Aneirin 300 horsemen 300 horsemen British (Gododdin) Defeated by below.


10 000 1000 Northumbrians Defeated above.
614 ASC 2046 200 British Slain by West Saxons
655 ASC 30 nobles 30 nobles Mercian Slain by Northumbrians

* The "corrected size" is based on the principle that accounts by one's opponent of the size of one's army could easily have been exaggerated by an order of magnitude.

From these figures one can give the following very rough estimates for the sizes of armies in Arthurian Britain:

Infantry: 100--2000, perhaps typically around 500.

Cavalry : 20--400, perhaps typically around 100.



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