The Annals of Wales A

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For other versions of this work, see The Annals of Wales.
The Annals of Wales (c. 1100) 
Unknown, translated by James Ingram
Text A, Harleian MS 3859
Translation by James Ingram, 1912.
The Annales Cambriae (The Annals of Wales) is the name given to a complex of Cambro-Latin chronicles deriving ultimately from a text compiled from diverse sources at St David's in Dyfed, Wales, not later than the 10th century. Despite the name, the Annales Cambriae record not only events in Wales, but also events in Ireland, Cornwall, England, Scotland, and sometimes further afield, though the focus of the events recorded especially in the later two-thirds of the text is Wales.

The A Text was written around 1100 and inserted without a title into a manuscript of the Historia Brittonum where it is immediately followed by a pedigree for Owain ap Hywel (d. 988). Although no explicit chronology is given in the manuscript, its annals seem to run from around 445 to 977 with the last entry at 954, making it likely that the original text belonged to the second half of the 10th century.— Excerpted from Annales Cambriae on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The primary text of this translation is from the Harleian manuscript 3859, the earliest copy of the Annales Cambriae which has survived. The text enclosed within the "‡" symbols are entries which are not found in the Harleian MS, but which appear in a later version.

The A Text did not include any dates at all, but merely noted a string of Years.[1] The dates given here are conjectural and disputed within a range of about five years. The B Text includes year entries as far back as the birth of Jesus, includes entries very similar to these, and includes dates in entries after 1097: however, the list of years disagrees with the list of dates and both disagree with the correct dates for known events.

5th century[edit]

447[edit]

  • ‡ Days as dark as night.[2]

453[edit]

454[edit]

457[edit]

458[edit]

468[edit]

6th century[edit]

501[edit]

  • Bishop Ebur rests in Christ, he was 350 years old.[7]

516[edit]

521[edit]

537[edit]

544[edit]

  • The sleep[11] of Ciaran.

547[edit]

  • The great death[12] in which Maelgwn, king of Gwynedd died. ‡ Thus they say 'The long sleep of Maelgwn in the court of Rhos'. Then was the yellow plague. ‡

558[edit]

562[edit]

  • Columba went to Britain.

565[edit]

  • ‡ The voyage of Gildas to Ireland. ‡

569[edit]

570[edit]

  • Gildas ‡ wisest of Britons ‡ died.

573[edit]

574[edit]

580[edit]

584[edit]

589[edit]

594[edit]

595[edit]

  • The death of Columba.
  • The death of king Dunod ‡son of Pabo.‡
  • Augustine and Mellitus converted the English to Christ.

7th century[edit]

601[edit]

606[edit]

  • The burial of bishop Cynog.

607[edit]

  • The death of Aidan son of Gabrán

612[edit]

  • The death of Kentigern and bishop Dyfrig.

613[edit]

  • The battle of Caer Legion [Chester]. And there died Selyf son of Cynan. And Iago son of Beli slept [died].

616[edit]

  • Ceredig died.

617[edit]

  • Edwin begins his reign.

624[edit]

  • The sun is covered [eclipsed].

626[edit]

  • Edwin is baptized, and Rhun son of Urien baptized him.

627[edit]

  • Belin dies.

629[edit]

  • The beseiging of king Cadwallon in the island of Glannauc.

630[edit]

  • Gwyddgar comes and does not return. On the Kalends of January the battle of Meigen; and there Edwin was killed with his two sons; but Cadwallon was the victor.

631[edit]

  • The battle of Cantscaul in which Cadwallon fell.

632[edit]

  • The slaughter of the [river] Severn and the death of Idris.

644[edit]

  • The battle of Cogfry in which Oswald king of the Northmen and Eawa king of the Mercians fell.

645[edit]

  • The hammering of the region of Dyfed, when the monastery of David was burnt.

649[edit]

  • ‡Slaughter in Gwent.‡

650[edit]

  • The rising of a star.

656[edit]

  • The slaughter of Campus Gaius.

657[edit]

  • Penda killed.

658[edit]

  • Oswy came and took plunder.

661[edit]

  • Cummine the tall died.

662[edit]

  • Brocmail ‡ the Tusked ‡ dies.

665[edit]

  • The first celebration of Easter among the Saxons.[16] The second battle of Badon. Morgan dies.

669[edit]

  • Oswy, king of the Saxons, dies.

676[edit]

  • A star of marvelous brightness was seen shining throughout the whole world.

682[edit]

  • A great plague in Britain, in which Cadwaladr son of Cadwallon dies.

683[edit]

  • A plague ‡was‡ in Ireland.

684[edit]

  • A great earthquake in the Isle of Man.

689[edit]

  • The rain turned to blood in Britain, and ‡in Ireland‡ milk and butter turned to blood.

8th century[edit]

704[edit]

  • Aldfrith king of the Saxons died. The sleep of Adomnán.

714[edit]

  • Night was as bright as day. Pepin the elder [actually Pepin II, of Heristal], king of the Franks, died in Christ.

717[edit]

  • Osred king of the Saxons dies.

718[edit]

  • The consecration of the church of the archangel Michael ‡on mount Gargano.‡

721[edit]

  • A hot summer.

721[edit]

  • Beli son of Elffin dies. And the battle of Hehil among the Cornish, the battle of Garth Maelog, the battle of Pencon among the south Britons, and the Britons were the victors in those three battles.

728[edit]

  • The battle of mount Carno.

735[edit]

  • Bede the priest sleeps.

736[edit]

  • Owen king of the Picts died.

750[edit]

  • Battle between the Picts and the Briton, that is the battle of Mocetauc. And their king Talorgan is killed by the Britions.

754[edit]

  • Rhodri king of the Britons dies.

757[edit]

  • Ethelbald king of the Saxons dies.

760[edit]

  • A battle between the Britons and the Saxons, that is the battle of Hereford and Dyfnwal son of Tewdwr dies.

768[edit]

  • Easter is changed among the Britons ‡on the Lord's day ‡, Elfoddw, servant of God, emending it.

775[edit]

  • Ffernfael son of Ithael dies.

776[edit]

  • Cinaed king of the Picts dies.

777[edit]

  • Abbot Cuthbert dies.

778[edit]

  • The devastation of the South Britons by Offa.

784[edit]

  • The devastation of Britain by Offa in the summer.

796[edit]

  • ‡Devastation of Rheinwg by Offa[17].‡ The first coming of the gentiles [Norsemen] among the southern Irish.

797[edit]

  • Offa king of the Mercians and Maredudd king of the Demetians die, and the battle of Rhuddlan.

798[edit]

  • Caradog king of Gwynedd is killed by the Saxons.

9th century[edit]

807[edit]

  • Arthen king of Ceredigion dies. ‡Solar eclipse‡

808[edit]

  • Rhain king of the Demetians and Cadell ‡king‡ of Powys die.

809[edit]

  • Elfoddw archbishop in the Gwynedd region went to the Lord.

810[edit]

  • ‡The moon covered ‡. Mynyw burnt. ‡Death of cattle in Britain.‡

811[edit]

  • Owain son of Maredudd dies.

812[edit]

  • The fortress of Degannwy is struck by lightning and burnt.

813[edit]

  • Battle between Hywel ‡and Cynan. Hywel‡ was the victor.

814[edit]

  • There was great thunder and it caused many fires. Tryffin son of Rhain died. And Gruffydd son of Cyngen is killed by treachery by his brother Elisedd after an interval of two months. Hywel triumphed over the island of Mona and he drove Cynan from there with a great loss of his own army.

816[edit]

  • Hywel was again expelled from Mona. Cynan the king dies. ‡Saxons invaded the mountains of Eryri and the kingdom of Rhufoniog‡.

817[edit]

  • The battle of Llan-faes.

818[edit]

  • ‡Cenwulf devastated the Dyfed region.‡

822[edit]

  • The fortress of Degannwy is destroyed by the Saxons and they took the kingdom of Powys into their own control.

825[edit]

  • Hywel dies.

831[edit]

  • ‡Lunar eclipse.‡ Laudent died and Sadyrnfyw Hael of Mynyw died.

840[edit]

  • Nobis the bishop ruled Mynyw.

842[edit]

  • Idwallon dies.

844[edit]

  • Merfyn dies. The battle of Cetill.

848[edit]

  • The battle of Ffinnant. Ithael king of Gwent was killed by the men of Brycheiniog.

849[edit]

  • Meurig was killed by Saxons.

850[edit]

  • Cynin is killed by the gentiles.

853[edit]

  • Mona laid waste by black gentiles.

856[edit]

  • Kenneth king of the Picts died. And Jonathan prince of Abergele dies.

860[edit]

  • Catgueithen was expelled.

864[edit]

  • Duda laid Glywysing waste.

865[edit]

  • Cian of Nanhyfer died.

866[edit]

  • The city of York was laid waste, that is the battle with the black gentiles.

869[edit]

  • The battle of Bryn Onnen.

870[edit]

  • The fortress of Alt Clud was broken by the gentiles.

871[edit]

  • Gwgon king of Ceredigion was drowned.

873[edit]

  • Nobis ‡the bishop‡ and Meurig die. The battle of Bannguolou.

874[edit]

  • ‡Llunferth the bishop consecrated.‡

875[edit]

  • Dungarth king of Cernyw ‡that is of the Cornish‡ was drowned.

876[edit]

  • The battle of Sunday in Mona.

877[edit]

  • Rhodri and his son Gwriad is killed by the Saxons.

878[edit]

  • Aed son of Neill dies.

880[edit]

  • The battle of Conwy. Vengeance for Rhodri at God's hand. ‡The battle of Cynan.‡

882[edit]

  • Catgueithen died.

885[edit]

  • Hywel died in Rome.

887[edit]

  • Cerball died.

889[edit]

  • Suibne the wisest of the Irish died.

892[edit]

  • Hyfaidd dies.

894[edit]

  • Anarawd came with the Angles and laid waste Ceredigion and Ystrad Tywi.

895[edit]

  • The Northmen came and laid waste Lloegr and Bycheiniog and Gwent and Gwynllywiog.

896[edit]

  • ‡Bread failed in Ireland. Vermin like moles with two teeth fell from the air and ate everything up; they were driven out by fasting and prayer.‡

898[edit]

  • ‡Athelstan king of the Saxons died.‡

900[edit]

  • Alfred king of the Gewissi dies.

10th century[edit]

902[edit]

  • Igmund came to Mona and took Maes Osfeilion.

903[edit]

904[edit]

906[edit]

  • The battle of Dinmeir and Mynyw was broken.

907[edit]

  • ‡ Bishop ‡ Gorchywyl dies ‡ and king Cormac ‡.

908[edit]

  • ‡ Bishop ‡ Asser died.

909[edit]

913[edit]

  • Ohter comes ‡ to Britain ‡.

915[edit]

917[edit]

  • Queen Aethelflaed died.

919[edit]

  • King Clydog was killed.

921[edit]

  • The battle of Dinas Newydd.

928[edit]

  • Hywel journeyed to Rome. ‡ Helen died. ‡

935[edit]

  • ‡ Gruffydd son of Owain died. ‡

938[edit]

  • The battle of Brune.

939[edit]

  • Hyfaidd son of Clydog, and Meurig, died.

941[edit]

  • Aethelstan ‡ king of the Saxons ‡ died.

942[edit]

  • King Afloeg dies.

943[edit]

  • Cadell son of Arthfael was poisoned. And Idwal ‡ son of Rhodri ‡ and his son Elisedd are killed by the Saxons.

944[edit]

  • Llunferth bishop in Mynyw died.

945[edit]

  • ‡ Bishop Morlais died. ‡

946[edit]

  • Cyngen son of Elisedd was poisoned. And Eneuris bishop in Mynyw died. And Strathclyde was laid wasted by the Saxons.

947[edit]

950[edit]

  • Hywel king of the Britons ‡ called the Good ‡ died.

951[edit]

  • And Cadwgan son of Owain is killed by the Saxons. And the battle of Carno ‡ between the sons of Hywel and the sons of Idwal. ‡

952[edit]

954[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Written in poor or uneducated Latin as anus rather than annus.
  2. Some sources record a similar event in Constantinople in 450.
  3. This refers to the adoption by Rome of a new method for computing Easter established by Victorius of Aquitaine. It actually occurred in 457.
  4. Other annals place her birth in 451.
  5. Other annals place St. Patrick's death in 493. Early modern scholarship placed it in 420. More recent work dates it to 460.
  6. Also placed in 467.
  7. The entry seems to concern Ibar, although it may conflate him with earlier figures such as the "Bishop Eborius" from York listed among those attending a council in Arles in 314. However, the entry may simply be an error caused by confusion of the place name York (Latin: Eboracum) with a personal name. If the Welsh records included references to the legendary King Lucius, they may have conflated it with the establishment of the diocese of York; the archdiocese was destroyed by the Saxons around this time.
  8. Although this is the plain meaning of the Latin text, note that in the Old Welsh originally used to retell the story that "shoulder" and "shield" were homophones — iscuit. Geoffrey of Monmouth even combined the two and described Arthur carrying an icon of the Virgin Mary "upon shoulders on a shield". Jones, W. Lewis. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes, Vol. I, XII, §2. Putnam, 1921. Accessed 30 Jan 2013.
  9. Mentioned in other sources as dying in 523 or 525.
  10. More often known as Mordred in English.
  11. I.e., death.
  12. Probably plague
  13. Against the Pelagian heresy.
  14. Actually 604.
  15. Saint David is now generally thought to have died in 589.
  16. "Saxon" is used here and throughout the text to refer to the English generally.
  17. Ingram translates Vastatio Reinuch ab Offa "Devastation by Rheinwg son of Offa"; however, such a son is otherwise unrecorded and "Rheinwg" was a period name for Dyfed in south Wales.
  18. Actually 900.
  19. Actually 916.
  20. Actually 946
  21. Actually 953.