King Arthur Pages
Marriage to Guinevere
5th & 6th Century Timeline of
From the departure of the Romans from
Britain to the establishment of sizeable
410 - Emperor Honorius of Rome tells Britain to attend to its own affairs.
Zosmius reports Roman officials expelled and native government establishes
Circa 410 - Governor Owain Finddu of Glywysing (Cardiff & Glamorgan area) is assassinated in Gwynedd (North Wales). Irish incursions into Gwynedd (North Wales), Powys (Mid Wales), Garth Madrun, Dyfed (South West Wales) & the Gower Peninsula (South Wales Swansea).
411 - Capture, at Arles, of Constantine, last Emperor of Britain. He was executed at Ravenna soon afterward.
413 - Pelagian heresy said to have begun, by Prosper (Tiro) of Aquitaine in his "Chronicle".
420 - Pelagian heresy outlawed in Rome (418) but, in Britain, supposedly enjoys much support from "pro-Celtic" faction. Traditionalists (pro-Romans) support Roman church. During this time, according to Prosper, Britain is ruled by petty "tyrants".
Circa 420 - Death of Coel Hen, probably the last Roman Dux Brittanniarum. The lands of his office in Northern Britain are divided between his descendants and become petty kingdoms of the "Gwyr y Gogledd".
421 - Supposed death of King Gradlon Mawr of Brittany. Probable division of Brittany into sub-kingdoms of Cornouaille and Domnonée.
Circa 423 - Birth of St. Patrick in Banna Venta Burniae, thought to be near Birdoswald.
425 - Vortigern usurps Imperial power in Britain, possibly as High-King.
Circa 425 - Cunedda Wledig and his retinue are moved south from Manau Gododdin to Gwynedd (North Wales) in order to expel the invading Irish.
Circa 425-50 - King Conomor flourishes in Dumnonia (North Yorkshire Pennines), probably from his capital at Castle Dore.
428 - Vortigern invites a number of Germanic warriors to aid him in consolidating his position in Britain according to the Historia Brittonum. This appears to have been an early use of German mercenaries, who probably settled in the Dorchester-upon-Thames area.
429 - At the request of Palladius, a British deacon, Pope Celestine I dispatches Bishops Germanus of Auxerre and Lupus of Troyes to Britain to combat Pelagian heresy. While in Britain, Germanus, a former military man, leads Celtic Britons to "Hallelujah" victory on the Welsh border. St. Cadfan founds the Monastery of Barsdey (Island off the coast of Lleyn Peninsula, North Wales).
claim Bardsey Island to be Avalon)
Circa 434 - St. Patrick is captured by pirates and taken to Ireland as a slave.
435 - Tibatto leads Armorican movement for independence from Roman Gaul.
Circa 435 - War breaks out between the Irish settlers in Garth Madrun and Powys (Mid Wales). King Anlach of Garth Madrun is defeated and forced to send his son, Brychan, as a hostage to the Powys (Mid Wales)ian Court.
437 - Ambrosius Aurelianus appears as leader of the Pro-Roman faction in Britain (traditionally returning from exile in Brittany). Vortigern's apparent relative, Vitalinus (Guitolinus), fights against Ambrosius (King Arthur’s Uncle) at the Battle of Wallop. The latter is probably victorious and is "given all the kingdoms of the western side of Britain".
Circa 437 - The Irish chieftain, Triffyn Farfog takes the Kingdom of Dyfed (South West Wales) by marrying the daughter of King Clotri.
Circa 440 - St. Patrick escapes from his captors and returns to Britain.
Circa 440-50 - Period of Civil War and famine in Britain, caused by ruling council's weakness and inability to deal with Pictish invasions; situation aggravated by tensions between Pelagian/Roman factions. Vacated towns and cities in ruin. Migration of pro-Roman citizens toward west. Country beginning to be divided, geographically, along factional lines. King Glywys of Glywysing (Cardiff & Glamorgan area) flourishes in Glywysing (Cardiff & Glamorgan area).
Circa 440-90 - King Brychan flourishes in Brycheiniog (Brecon). His three wives give birth to many saintly children who evangelize Dumnonia (North Yorkshire Pennines). One tradition maintains that Brychan was the father of Merlin the Magician.
Circa 441 - Gallic Chronicle records, prematurely, that "Britain, abandoned by the Romans, passed into the power of the Saxons."
443 - Death of King Constantine Corneu of Dumnonia (North Yorkshire Pennines). His kingdom was divided between his two sons as Dumnonia (North Yorkshire Pennines) and Cerniw.
446 - Celtic Britons (probably the pro-Roman party) appeal to Aetius, Roman governor of Gaul, for military assistance in their struggle against the Picts and the Irish/Scots. No help could be sent, at this time, as Aetius had his hands full with Attila the Hun.
Circa 446 - Vortigern authorizes the use of Saxon mercenaries, known as foederati, for the defence of the northern parts against attack by the Picts and to guard against further Irish incursions. The Saxons are given a little land in Lincolnshire.
447 - Second visit of St. Germanus (this time accompanied by Severus, Bishop of Trier) to Britain. Was this visit spiritually motivated, to combat a revived Pelagian threat or was Germanus sent in Aetius' stead, to do whatever he could to help the desperate Celtic Britons? Vortigern is accused of incest. Battle of Aylesford (Kent) in which the rebellious sons of Vortigern, Vortimer and Cadeyrn, defeat Hengest for the first time. Cadeyrn is killed in the fighting. Germanus expells the Irish from Powys (Mid Wales) and restores Cadeyrn's son, Cadell Ddernllwg, to the throne.
Circa 447 - Celtic Britons, aroused to heroic effort, "inflicted a massacre" on their enemies, the Picts and Irish, and were left in peace, for a brief time. Could this heroic effort have been led, again, by St. Germanus?
Circa 448 - Civil war and plague ravage Britain.
Circa 450 - In the first year of Marcian and Valentinian, Hengest arrives on shores of Britain with "3 keels" of warriors, and are welcomed by Vortigern. This event is known in Latin as the "Adventus Saxonum," the Coming of the Saxons or the Dawn of the Saxon Age.
Circa 452 - Increasing Saxon settlement in Britain. Vortigern marries Hengest's daughter, Rowenna, and supposedly offers the Jutish leader the kingdom of Kent. Hengest invites his son, Octha, from Germany with "16 keels" of warriors, who occupy the northern lands, to defend against the Picts. Picts never heard from, again.
Circa 453 - Raids on British towns and cities becoming more frequent. Increasing Saxon unrest.
455 - Prince Vortimer apparently rebels against the pro-Saxon policies of his father, Vortigern, and fights Hengest at the Battle of Crayford. Hengest is victorious and the British army flees back to London.
456 - The indecisve Battle of Aylesford between Hengest's Saxons and the British under Prince Vortimer. Prince Cadeyrn of Britain and King Horsa of Kent are killed in the fighting.
Circa 456 - St. Patrick leaves Britain once more to evangelise Ireland. Geoffrey of Monmouth tells us of a probably fictitious, but entirely believable, event in which Saxons massacre 300 leading British noblemen at a phony "peace" conference.
Circa 458 - Saxon uprising in full-swing. Hengest finally conquers Kent, in south-eastern Britain.
Circa 458-60 - Full-scale migration of British aristocrats and city-dwellers across the English Channel to Armorica, in north-western Gaul (the "second migration"). British contingent led by Riothamus (perhaps a title, not a name).
Circa 459 - Vortigern is burnt to death while being besieged by Ambrosius Aurelianus at Ganarew.
Circa 460-70 - Ambrosius Aurelianus of pro-Roman faction takes full control of Britain; leads Celtic Britons in years of back-and-forth fighting with Saxons. British strategy seems to have been to allow Saxon landings and to then contain them there.
464 - Supposed death of the legendary King Aldrien of Brittany.
465 - Battle of Wippedsfleet (or Richborough), in which the Celtic Britons defeat the Saxons, but with great slaughter on both sides. The latter are confined to the Isle of Thanet and there is a respite from fighting "for a long time."
Circa 465 - 'King' Arthur probably born around this time. Birth of St. Dyfrig also.
Circa 466-73 - Period of minimal Saxon activity. Re-fortification of ancient hillforts and construction of the Wansdyke possibly takes place during this time.
Circa 469 - Roman emperor, Anthemius, appeals to Celtic Britons for military help against the Visigoths. Reliable accounts by Sidonius Apolonaris and Jordanes name the leader of the 12,000 man Breton force, Riothamus. The bulk of the British force was wiped out in battle against Euric, the Visigothic king, and the survivors, including Riothamus, vanished and were never heard from, again.
Circa 471 - The army of King Ceretic of Strathclyde raids the Irish Coast and carries off some of St. Patrick's new flock and sells them into slavery. The king receives a written repremand from the Irish Evangelist.
473 - Men of Kent, under Hengest, move westward, driving Celtic Britons back before them "as one flees fire."
477 - Saxon chieftain, Aelle, lands on Sussex coast with his sons. Celtic Britons engage him upon landing but his superior force besieges them at Pevensey and drives them into the Weald. Over next nine years, Saxon coastal holdings are gradually expanded in Sussex.
Circa 480 - King Erbin of Dumnonia (North Yorkshire Pennines) abdicates in favour of his son, King Gerren LlygesoCirca Death of King Glywys of Glywysing (Cardiff & Glamorgan area). His kingdom is divided into Gwynllwg, Penychen, Gorfynedd, Edeligion and others.
Circa 485 - Birth of St. Samson.
Circa 485-96 - Period of Arthur's "twelve battles" during which he gains reputation for invincibility.
486 - Aelle and his sons overreach their normal territory and are engaged by Celtic Britons at battle of Mercredesburne. Battle is bloody, but indecisive, and ends with both sides pledging friendship.
Circa 487 - Birth of St. David.
Circa 490 - Hengest dies. His son, Aesc, takes over and rules for 34 years. Death of Einion Yrth of Gwynedd (North Wales). His kingdom is divided into Gwynedd (North Wales) and Rhos (North Wales Conwy Valley). St. Cybi Felyn is born in Callington in Cerniw.
493 - Death of St. Patrick, in Glastonbury according to local legend. Down Patrick seems more likely.
Circa 495 - The Germanic King Cerdic and his son, Cynric, land somewhere on the south coast, probably near the Hampshire-Dorset border. Their followers establish the beginnings of the Kingdom of Wessex. King Gwynllyw of Gwynllwg carries off Princess Gwladys of Brycheiniog (Brecon). War between the two kingdoms narrowly avoided by the intercession of the legendary Arthur. The couple marry.
Circa 496 - The Siege of Mount Badon. Celtic Britons, under the command of the "war leader" Arthur, defeat the Saxons, under King Esla of Bernicia and possibly Cerdic of Wessex.
Circa 496-550 - Following the victory at Mt. Badon, the Saxon advance is halted with the invaders returning to their own enclaves. A generation of peace ensues. Corrupt leadership, more civil turmoil, public forgetfulness and individual apathy further erode Romano-British culture over next fifty years, making Britain ripe for final Saxon "picking."
497 - Birth of St. Cadog. Death of King Erbin of Dumnonia (North Yorkshire Pennines).
Circa 500-17 - King Cadwallon Lawhir expels the Irish from Anglesey (North Wales).
Circa 505 - Death of St. Paulinus.
508 - King Cerdic of Wessex begins to move inland and defeats British king, Nudd-Lludd (Natanleod), at the Battle of Netley.
Circa 510 - The Battle of Llongborth (possibly Langport or Portsmouth), where King Gerren Llyngesoc of Dumnonia (North Yorkshire Pennines), was killed. Prince Rivod of Brittany murders his brother, King Maeliaw, and usurps the Breton throne. Many of the Breton Royal family flee to Britain, including Prince Budic who seeks refuge at the court of King Aircol Lawhir in Dyfed (South West Wales).
Circa 515 - Death of Aelle. Kingdom of Sussex passed to his son, Cissa and his descendents, but over time, diminished into insignificance.
517 - Death of King Cadwallon Lawhir of Gwynedd (North Wales). His son, Maelgwn takes the throne, murders his uncle, probably King Owain Danwyn of Rhos (North Wales Conwy Valley), and re-unites the two kingdoms.
517-49 - King Maelgwn flourishes in Gwynedd (North Wales). Invades Dyfed (South West Wales) and generally tries to assert himself as High-King of Britain.
519 - Kingdom of the West Saxons (Wessex) founded with Cerdic its first ruler.
Circa 520 - King Pabo Post Prydain of the Pennines abdictaes his throne and divides the kingdom between his two sons. He retires, as a hermit, to Anglesey (North Wales). Death of King Riwal Mawr Marchou of Domnonée. King Budic II of Brittany returns to Cornouaille to claim the Breton throne.
521 - St. Samson is consecrated a bishop by St. Dyfrig, Archbishop of Glywysing (Cardiff & Glamorgan area) & Gwent (South East Wales).
523 - Death of King Gwynllyw of Gwynllwg. Gwnllywg and Penychen united under his son, St. Cadog
Circa 525 - St. Samson founds the Monastery of Dol and becomes its first Abbot.
Circa 528 - King & Saint Cadog of Glywysing (Cardiff & Glamorgan area) abdicates in favour of King Meurig of Gwent (South East Wales), who is joined in marriage to Cadog's aunt. Banishment of Princess Thaney of Gododdin. Birth of her son, St. Kentigern.
530 - Saint Pabo Post Prydain, ex-King of the Pennines dies at Llanbabo. The British of the Isle of Wight are defeated by King Cerdic of Wessex at the Battle of Carisbrooke.
Circa 535 - Kings Sawyl Penuchel of the Southern Pennines is expelled from his kingdom (enemy uncertain) and flees to Powys (Mid Wales). Death of King Meirchion Gul of Rheged. The kingdom is divided into North and South. Death of St. Illtud, Abbot of Llanilltud Fawr.
537 - Battle of Camlann, according to Annales Cambriae. Fought between the forces of Arthur and Mordred. Death (or unspecified other demise) of Arthur (according to Geoffrey of Monmouth). Saint and King Constantine ruling in Dumnonia (North Yorkshire Pennines).
Many historians put this battle much earlier. A possible site for the Battle of Camlann is the fort of Moel Arthur in Clwyd North Wales near the town of Ruthin/Rhuthun.
Circa 538 - King Cynlas Goch of Rhos (North Wales Conwy Valley) abandons his wife in favour of his sister-in-law, a nun who he drags from her convent. Civil War between Cynlas and his cousin, King Maelgwn of Gwynedd (North Wales). Maelgwn enters a monastery, but soon returns to secular life and murders his nephew in order to marry his widow! Civil War also in Powys (Mid Wales) due to the tyranny of King Cyngen Glodrydd.
540 - King Jonas of Domnonée is murdered by King Cono-Mark of Cerniw and Poher. Cono-Mark marries Jonas' widow and rules Domnonée.
Circa 540 - Probable writing of Gildas' "De Excidio Britanniae." King Caradog Freichfras of Gwent (South East Wales) gives Caerwent to St. Tathyw and moves the Royal court to Portskewett
545 - Death of the joint-Kings Budic II and his son Hoel I Mawr of Brittany. King Tewdwr Mawr succeeds to the throne, but is quickly ousted from Cornouaille by King Macliau of the Vannetais. Tewdwr flees to Cerniw and sets himself up as King of the Penwith region.
Circa 545 - The Synod of Brefi is held at Llandewi Brefi to condemn the Pelagian heresy. St. Dyfrig, Archbishop of South Wales resigns his position in favour of St. David. David moves the Archdiocese from Caerleon to St. Davids. Death of St. Dyfrig. He is succeeded as Bishop of Glywysing (Cardiff & Glamorgan area) & Gwent (South East Wales) by St. Teilo. Prince Judwal of Domnonée flees from his murderous step-father to the court of King Childebert of the Franks.
546 - St. Gildas returns to Brittany with St. Cadog.
547 – King Morgan Bulc of Bryneich /Bernaccia is expelled from his fortress of Bamburgh by the Angle King Ida who renames the kingdom Bernicia. Morgan Bulc is forced into exile and the events of his 50 year campaign to regain his kingdom may have contributed to the King Arthur Legend.
Apparent death of
the, probably joint-king, Hoel II Fychan of Brittany.
Circa 548 - King Cono-Mark of Cerniw, Poher and Domnonée marries Princess Triphine of BroëreCirca
549 - "Yellow" Plague hits Celtic British territories, causing many deaths, including King Maelgwn of Gwynedd (North Wales). Ireland also affected. Saxons, for whatever reason, are unaffected by it.
Circa 550 - Death of St. Ninian, Bishop of Whithorn. Birth of St. Tremeur. Murder of his mother, Triphine, by his father, King Cono-Mark of Cerniw, Poher and Domnonée. Prince Judwal of Domnonée retakes his throne. Cono-Mark flees to Cornwall. The semi-legendary Kingdom of Lyonesse centred around the Scilly Isles possibly inundated by the sea.
552 - King Cynric of Wessex lays siege to the British at Old Sarum and put them to flight.
555 - St. Cybi Felyn, Abbot of Holyhead, dies at his monastery. Murder of St. Tremeur. Death of his father, King Cono-Mark of Cerniw and Poher.
Circa 555 - Death of King Erb of Gwent (South East Wales). The kingdom is divided into Gwent (South East Wales) and Ergyng (Ross on Wye area).
556 - King Cynric of Wessex lays siege to the British at Barbury Castle and is victorious.
558 - Broërec is attacked by King Childebert of the Franks. King Canao II leads resistance.
Circa 560 - Prince Elidyr of Strathclyde invades Gwynedd (North Wales) in right of his wife. He tries to expel his brother-in-law, King Rhun Hir of Gwynedd (North Wales), at the Battle of the Cadnant Brook, but is killed in the process.
564 - Death of St. Tugdual, Bishop of Tréguier.
Circa 564 - St. Cadog settles in Weedon in Calchfynedd and is made Bishop there. St. Samson attends the Council of Paris and witnesses several Royal decrees.
Circa 565 - King Riderch Hael of Strathclyde mounts an unsuccessful revenge attack on King Rhun Hir of Gwynedd (North Wales). Rhun marches on Strathclyde and reinforces the armies of his half-brother, Brudei, in Pictland. Death of St. Samson.
569 - St. David holds the Synod of Victoria to denounce the Pelagian heresy once more.
570 - Death of St. Gildas.
Circa 570-75 - The Northern British Alliance is forged between the kingdoms of North Rheged, Strathclyde, Bryneich and Elmet. They fight the Northumbrians at the Battles of Gwen Ystrad and the Cells of Berwyn
571 - King Cuthwulf of Wessex invades Midland Britain and defeats the Celtic Britons, probably under the King of Calchfynedd, at the Battle of Bedford.
573 - Kings Peredyr and Gwrgi of Ebrauc (North Yorkshire) ally themselves with Kings Dunaut Bwr of the Northern Pennines and Riderch Hael of Strathclyde. They march north to claim the fort at Caerlaverock from King Gwendoleu of Caer-Gwendoleu. The latter was killed in the Battle of Arthuret and his bard, Myrddin, is forced to flee into the Caledonian Forest.
575 - Prince Owein of North Rheged (Cumberland, Westmorland) kills King Theodoric of Bernicia (Northumberland) at the Battle of Leeming Lane.
577 - Wessex invades the lower Severn Valley. Kings Ffernfael of Caer-Baddan, Cyndyddam of Caer-Ceri and Cynfael of Caer-Gloui are killed at the Battle of Dyrham. Wessex overuns the Cirencester area. King Tewdwr Mawr of Brittany returns to Cornouaille, reclaims his throne and kills King Macliau of the Vannetais in battle.
580 - The army of Kings Peredyr and Gwrgi of Ebrauc (North Yorkshire) march north to fight the Anglians of Bernicia. Both are killed by King Adda's forces at Caer Greu. The Deirans rise up, under King Aelle, and move on the City of Ebrauc (North Yorkshire)irca King Peredyr's son is forced to flee the Kingdom. St. Cadog is martyred in Calchfynedd by invading Mercians.
584 - Death of St. Deiniol Gwyn, Bishop of Bangor Fawr. The Celtic Britons are victorious over King Ceawlin of Wessex at the Battle of Fethanleigh and kill his brother, Cuthwine. Ceawlin ravages the surrounding countryside in revenge.
585 - Death of King Alain I of Brittany.
586 - Death of King Rhun Hir of Gwynedd (North Wales). Death of King Judwal of Domnonée.
588 - King Edwin of Deira is ousted from his Kingdom by the Bernicians and seeks refuge at the court of King Iago of Gwynedd (North Wales) .
589 - Death of Saint and King Constantine of Dumnonia (North Yorkshire Pennines). Death of St. David, Archbishop of St. Davids.
590 - The Siege of Lindisfarne. The Northern Celtic British Alliance (North Rheged, Strathclyde, Bryneich and Elmet) lays siege to King Hussa of Bernicia and almost exterminates the Northumbrians from Northern Britain. King Urien of North Rheged (Cumberland, Westmorland) is assassinated at the behest of his jealous ally King Morgan Bulc of Bryneich / Bernicia (Northumberland) . The Northumbrians recover while internal squabbles tear the Celtic British Alliance apart.
Circa 591 - King Dunaut Bwr of the Northern Pennines mounts an invasion of North Rheged, but is repulsed by its King, Owein, and his brother, Prince Pasgen. Prince Elffin of North Rheged (Cumberland, Westmorland)is simultaneously attacked by King Gwallawc Marchawc Trin of Elmet.
Circa 593 - King Morgan Bulc of Bryneich invades North Rheged (Cumberland, Westmorland)and kills King Owein in battle. Prince Pasgen of North Rheged (Cumberland, Westmorland)flees to the Gower Peninsula (South Wales Swansea). A greatly diminished North Rheged (Cumberland, Westmorland)probably continues under the rule of their brother, Rhun.
595 - The aging King Dunaut Bwr of the Northern Pennines dies fighting off a Bernician invasion. His kingdom is overrun and his family flee to join his grandson in Gwynedd (North Wales).
598 - Kings Mynyddog Mwynfawr of Din-Eidyn & Cynan of Gododdin ride south to fight Saxon Bernicia against enormous odds at the Battle of Catterick. The Celtic Britions are victorious, though King Gerren of Dumnonia (North Yorkshire Pennines) is killed in the fighting. He is buried at Dingerein. Probable expansion of North Rheged (Cumberland, Westmorland)(Cumberland, Westmorland) to fill the vacuum left in Dumnonia (North Yorkshire Pennines) (North Yorkshire Pennines).
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Merlin the Magician
Born circa 400 CE ; Welsh: Myrddin;
Latin: Merlinus; English: Merlin.
The Beguiling of Merlin
Portraying Merlin’s infatuation with the Lady of the Lake
Painted by Edward Burne-Jones between 1872 and 1877.
Lady Lever Gallery, Liverpool, England
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