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invasion under Julius Caesar: and the people thus described, together with the Attrebates, are conjectured by other antiquaries to have possessed a part of that county, so late as the date of the invasion under Claudius. - % • In the above statement of the possessions of the Belgæ proper," I have followed the account of Richard of Cirencester, as illustrated by the able notes of Mr. Leman. The towns unquestionably belonging to this people are noticed in the annexed Map. Venta + (Winchester) which Richard mentions as a “noble city,” was their capital.—In regard to the name by which this tribe is distinguished, it may be observed that they are often termed the Proper Belga by modern historians and antiquaries, in contradistinction either from such colonies of the same stock, as had obtained an earlier footing, and had effected an intermingled settlement with Celtic tribes more towards the interior of south Britain; or from such nations as were conquered by the Belgic arms, and were become tributary. > 8. ... . . * * The Morini,f having subdued the Durotriges, who origimally possessed Dorsetshire, fixed themselves in that district; and their territory is believed to have comprehended the whole of the present county. Their capital was Dunium, or Durinum (Maiden Castle, near Dorchester, which last place was subsequently the Roman station.) * . . . C 4 s: The
bly considerable in number, they might venture on opposing the Romans, at least when those enemies appeared only in straggling parties.—Such is the hypothesis of the above writers; and considering the frequency, and the dissimilarity of situation, in which traces of the Cangi or Ceangi occur, the conjecture certainly wears an air of probability.—For some remarks on this subject, see Beauties for Cheshire, p. 184–185; and for Wilts, p. 5–6. * For some notice of the Belgae, and their possessions, see Beauties for Hampshire, p. 5–6; for Wiltshire, p. 5–7 : and for Somersetshire, p. 339 —340. . . 3. * The capital of the Celtic tribe, the Segontiaci, before the invasion of the Belg” was at Old Winchester, which the Belge removed to the present site of New Winchester. o * The Morini are mentioned in the Beauties for Dorsetshire, p. 321.
The DAMNoN11, or DANMonii,” occupied Devonshire, and the south-east part of Cornwall; having for their metropolis, Isca (Exeter.) . . Ž The ATTREBA tes, or AttheBAT11,+ possessed the north-east part of Hampshire, and the south and north-east parts of the county of Berks; (the remaining parts of those districts being retained by the Segontiaci.) The only town mentioned by Ptolemy as belonging to this tribe, is termed Nalcua by that writer; which is generally agreed to have been the same with the Calleva of Antoninus, and the Calleba of Richard. Much uncertainty has prevailed as to the probable site of this town, the capital of the Attrebates. But, in the commentary on Richard's Itinerary, strong arguments are adduced for ascribing it to Silchester, that venerable spot which now presents so impressive an outline of a vast Roman city, deserted by inhabitants, and remote from the track of all travellers, except those led by curiosity to examine its massy and extensive walls. * . . To the north of the Cantii and of the Thames, were seated the TRINoBANTEs, or TRINov ANTes, f who inhabited the districts now denominated Middlesex and Essex, together with a part of Hertfordshire; having Trinobantum, or Trinovantum (afterwards better known by the names of Londinium and Augusta) for their capital. § According to Mr. Whitaker, and his opinion has a great appearance of correctness, the Trinobantes were no other
* For many particulars respecting the Damnonii and their possessions, see Beauties for Cornwall, p. 311, et seq; and Beauties for Devonshire, p. 5. * The Attrebates are mentioned in the Beauties for Berkshire, p. 83–84. # The Trinobantes are noticed in the Beauties for London and Middlesex, p. 1; and for Essex, p. 243, - . $ It is observed by Mr. Whitaker (Hist, of Manchester, Vol. I. p. 100. notes) that “ Ptolemy, who places the Cantii in all the south of Middlesex, fixes the Trinoantes in Essex only. But as the Trinoantes, according to Richard, p. 23, &c. once resided in Middlesex, Ptolemy's account of the Cantii and Trinoantes was taken from records of two different dates, and ought, therefore, to be referred to different periods.” . | Hist, of Manchester, Vol. II. p. 205,
other than a branch of the Cantii, which spread over all Middlesex and Essex, and, as “Novantes, or Newcomers, into Middlesex, had their fortress distinguished by the appellation of Tre-Norantum, or the town of the Novantes.” It may, however, be observed that an etymology of this term, quite different from that given by Mr. Whitaker, is presented in that page of the Beauties of England, to which I have referred for some further particulars concerning these ancient inhabitants of Middlesex. . - . In concluding this brief geographical survey of the population of ancient Britain, it is desirable to remind the reader that we shall certainly fall into a considerable error, if we believe that the present boundary marks of the different counties afford a close resemblance to those of the kingdoms, or petty states, into which Britain was divided before the interference of the Romans.—In forming an estimate of the probable limits of such territories, we, perhaps, find the best guide in a careful consideration of natural circumstances. Rivers and ranges of mountains formed lines of natural boundary, which, in most instances, must have been adopted by a rude people, and which do, in fact, constitute the limits of many countries in the present improved state of society. A mode of calculation on the extent of territory possessed by each British tribe, formed on such a consideration of imperative natural circumstances, will be obvious in many of the remarks submitted in the preceding pages. r . The reader who compares the above statements, concerning the territories of the various British tribes, with the accounts of those w petty nations prefixed to respective portions of the Beauties of England and Wales, will not neglect to held in remembrance that the Map of ancient Britain, and the observations by which it is accompanied, apply entirely to one period, the first invasion of the island under Julius Caesar. Such a view was chosen, on the principle of its embracing the point of history most useful and interesting to the English and Welsh topographer. A perusal of the soregoing historical Analysis, and a reference . to
to the tables of division between the Celtic and Belgic tribes, will enable the reader to detect any casual errors of appropriation into which the editors of this work may have fallen, whilst merely engaged in the description of a particular district. Each of the numerous small states mentioned above, whether Celtic or Belgic, constituted a separate monarchy, the right of succession to which was of an hereditary nature. Thus divided into distinct communities, each under its respective head, the whole of the Britons were evidently in that state of society which immediately succeeds to the patriarchal, when they were first called to defend their country against so potent an enemy as the Romans. Their want of general unanimity is noticed, by several Roman and Greek writers, as one of the great causes of their want of success in opposing the Roman invasion. But, notwithstanding the remarks of those writers, it is certain that the British tribes were accustomed to unite their forces under one leader, on the advance of a common enemy. This officer appears, however, to have been merely a military commander-in-chief, and was one of the British kings, created, on the approach of danger, Pendragon, or commandant over the other allied sovereigns. Such were Cassivellaunus and Caractacus. . ... * As we are not informed of any difference between the political constitution, the religious ceremonials, and prevailing laws, of the Celtic and Belgic Britons, the following observations on these subjects, apply to them collectively, as forming the population of this island at the date of the Roman invasion. It is believed that the power of the respective British Kings was far from being arbitrary or extensive; and that the chief civil duties of the state, including the privileges of forming and administering laws, were wested in the ministers of religion. The members of this potent priesthood, are known by the general name of DRUIDs; but they are described, on the testimony of ancient writers, as being divided into three classes, appropriated to different branches of learning, and engaged in performing dis... - tilict
tinct offices. These three classes are usually denominated Bards, Druids, and Faids.” Some of the peculiar duties of each class, together with the nature of the religion which they taught, and many of its ceremonials, may be thus stated, on the authority of contemporary Roman and Greek writers. The Bards exercised the office of historical and genealogical poets. The Druids, who were far more numerous than either of the other classes, performed the principal offices of religion; whilst the Faids were the religious poets and presumptive prophets of the association. They composed hymns in honour of the Gods, which they chanted on sacred occasions; and devised such pretended revelations as were calculated to impress the multitude with reverence and awe. Many of the Druids appear to have lived in fraternities, near the temple which they served; thus resembling, in one habit of familiar life, the monastic churchmen of succeeding ages. It is probable that they preserved celibacy; but it is believed that they were not on that account, entirely deprived of female society. The softer sex, ever conspicuous for a tender zeal of piety, claimed a participation in the honours of the priesthood; and they were sound useful auxiliaries in the pageants of superstitious devotion. These druidesses are said to have been also divided into three classes, and those of the upper order were much esteemed by the people, for their pretended skill in divination and prophecy. Their numbers were considerable, and their zeal unbounded. It will be recollected that when Suetonius invaded the Isle of Anglesey, numerous bands of these consecrated females were seen hurrying along the ranks of the British army, bearing flaming
* Bard braynt, Derwydd, and Owydd. See Beauties for Wales, (Vol. XVII) p. 35–It must be noticed that, in the opinion of many Welsh antiquaries, the Druidical or Bardic system, consisted of classes whose duties they thus appropriate : the Bard proper attended to philosophy and poetry; the Druid was the minister of religion; and the ovate was the mechanic and anist. See a dissertation on the Bardic system and institutions, in the introduction to Owen's Translations of the Elegies of Llywarch Hên.