The Adventus Saxonum in the Chronicon Britannicum

The Chronicon Britannicum appears to indicate why there are differing dates for the Adventus suggested by the Historia Brittonum and the Historia Ecclesiastica. One of the possible dates indicated by the former is 428 and by the latter 447.

HB 66: “Vortigern reigned in Britain when Theodosius and Valentinian were consuls, and in the fourth year of his reign the Saxons came to Britain, in the consulship of Feliz and Taurus …”[1]

HE II 14: “So King Edwin, with all the nobles of his race and a vast number of the common people, received the faith and regeneration by holy baptism in the eleventh year of his reign, that is in the year of our Lord 627 and about 180 years after the coming of the English to Britain.”[2]

The CBrit inserts between the entries for the years 413 and 427 the following entry dated, out of sequence, to the year 447:

“Angli in majorem Britanniam venerunt, & Britones inde ejecerunt.”

This suggests that CCCCXLVII (447) may have been a corruption of CCCCXXVII (427), that is although the author was allocating the same date to the event as that in the HE, he was sequencing it in his list in line with a date close to that cited by the HB.

[1] Han, K. W. L., 2008.
[2] McClure, J., Collins, R., 1999, 97.
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Illtud

St. Samson was a generation younger than Illtud and was ordained by him at the abbey of Llanwit Major (Llanilltud Fawr).

Plate: Nash-Williams, V. E., 1950, The Early Christian Monuments of Wales

There is an inscribed stone at the church there which states it was prepared for the souls of Samson the abbot and others, one of which is a king called Iuthahelo, that is Ithel (Barturm incorrectly thought the stone bore the name Iltutus). This is likely to be Ithel Hael of Llydaw, thus indicating Llydaw was not only the name for Brittany but also of a region of Glamorgan.

Illtud’s father was Bicanus, prince of Llydaw. He may have preceded Erb, king of Gwent and Ergyng, and been conflated with Erbic, a later king. This would suggest Bicanus was of gen. -2 and Illtud of gen. -1. His mother was Rieingulid, daughter of Anblawd, wrongly identified as Amlawdd Wledig.

V. Samsonis states that Illtud was a disciple of St. Germanus but chronology indicates this could not have been the bishop of Auxerre. The V. Ninnochae states:

“Sanctus Germanus episcopus ex Hibernensium regione transmissus a Sancto Patricio archiepiscopo, venit ad Brochanum regem Britanniæ.”[1]

This individual, who was alive during the reign of Brychan of gen. -1, is likely to have been the Germanus who ordained Illtud. He was St. Garmon who, as indicated by Bartrum, was the Germanus of the Historia Brittonum. HB 39 suggests he was probably of the same generation as Vortigern’s daughter, that is gen -2.

[1] Baring-Gould, S., Fisher, J., 1911, 68.