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Cap. III. Of the Ancient Names or Denominations of this Iland.

Dis, Samothes. IN the diligent perusall of their treatises, who haue written of the state of this our Iland, I find that at the first it séemed to be a parcell of the Celtike kingdome, whereof Dis otherwise called Samothes, one of the sonnes of Japhet was the Saturne or originall beginner, and of him thencefoorth for a long while called Samothea. Afterward in processe of time, when desire of rule began to take hold in the minds of men, and ech prince endeuoured to enlarge Neptunus Marioticus. his owne dominions: Albion the sonne of Neptune, Amphitrite surnamed Marioticus (bicause his dominions laie among the ilands of the Mediterran sea, as those of Plutus did on the lower grounds neere vnto shore, as contrariwise his father Jupiter dwelled on the high hils néerer to heauen) hearing of the commodities of the countrie, and plentifulnesse of The first conquest of Britaine. soile here, made a voiage ouer, and finding the thing not onelie correspondent vnto, but also farre surmounting the report that went of this Iland, it was not long after yer he inuaded the same by force of armes, brought it to his subiection in the 29. yeare after his grandfathers decease, and finallie changed the name thereof into Albion, whereby the former denomination after Samothes did grow out of mind, and fall into vtter forgetfulnesse. And thus was this Iland bereft at on time both of hir ancient name, and also of hir lawfull succession Britaine under the Celts 341. yeares. of princes descended of the line of Japhet, vnder whom it had continued by the space of 341. yeares and nine princes, as by the Chronologie following shall easilie appeere.

Goropius our neighbor being verie nice in the denomination of our Iland, as in most other points of his huge volume of the originall of Antwarpe lib, 6. (whom Buchanan also followeth in part) is brought into great doubt, whether Britaine was called Albion of the word Alb, white; or Alp an hill; as Bodinus is no lesse troubled with fetching the same ab Oibijs, or as he wresteth it, ab Albijs gallis. But here his inconstancie appeareth, in that in his Gotthadamca liber. 7. he taketh no lesse paines to bring the Britaines out of Denmarke, whereby the name of the Iland should be called Vridania, Freedania, Brithania, or Bridania, tanquam libera Dania, as another also dooth to fetch the originall out of Spaine, where Breta signifieth soile or earth. But as such as walke in darkenesse doo often straie, bicause they wot not whither they go euen so doo these men, whilest they séeke to extenuate the certeintie of our histories, and bring vs altogither to uncerteinties & their coniectures. They in like maner, which will haue the Welshmen come from the French with this one question, vnde Walli nisi a Gallis, or from some Spanish colonie, doo greatlie bewraie their oversights; but most of all they erre that endeuour to fetch it from Albine the imagined daughter of a forged Dioclesian, wherewith our ignorant writers haue of late not a little stained our historie, and brought the sound part thereof into some discredit and mistrust: but more of this hereafter.

Neptune God of the sea. Now to speake somewhat also of Neptune as by the waie (sith I haue made mention of him in this place) it shall not be altogither impertinent. Wherfore you shall vnderstand, that for his excellent knowledge in the art of nauigation (as nauigation then went) he was reputed the most skilfull prince that lined in his time. And therfore, and likewise for his courage & boldnesse in aduenturing to and fro, he was after his decease honoured as a god, The maner of dressing of chips in old time. and the protection of such as trauelled by sea committed to his charge. So rude also was the making of ships wherewith to saile in his time (which were for the most part flat bottomed and broad) that for lacke of better experience to calke and trim the same after they were builded, they vsed to naile them ouer with rawe hides of bulles, buffles, and such like, and with such a kind of nauie (as they say) first Samothes, & then Albion arriued in this Iland, which vnto me doth not séeme a thing impossible. The northerlie or artike regions, doo not naile their ships with iron, which they vtterly want, but with wooden pins, or els they bind the planks togither verie artificiallie with bast ropes, osiers, rinds of trées, or twigs of popler, the substance of those vessels being either of fir or pine, sith oke is verie deintie & hard to be had amongst them. Of their wooden anchors I speake not (which neuerthelesse are common to them, and to the Gothlanders) more than of ships wrought of wickers, sometime vsed in our Britaine, and couered with leather euen in the time of Plinie, lib. 7. cap. 56. as also botes made of rushes and réeds, &c. Neither haue I iust occasion to speake of ships made of canes, of which sort Staurobates, king of India fighting against Semiramis, brought 4000. with him and fought with hir the first battell on the water that euer I read of, and vpon the riuer Indus, but to his losse, for he was ouercome by hir power, & his nauie either drowned or burned by the furie of hir souldiers.

But to proceed, when the said Albion had gouerned here in this countrie by the space of seauen yeares, it came to passe that both he and his brother Bergion were killed by Hercules at the mouth of Rhodanus, as the said Hercules passed out of Spaine by the Celtes to go ouer into Italie, ani vpon this occasion (as I gather among the writers) not vnworthie to be remembred. It happened in time of Lucus king of the Celts, that Lestrigo and his issue Lestrigo. (whome Osyris his grandfather had placed ouer the Janigenes) did exercise great tyrannie, Janigenes were the postetitie of Noah in Italie. not onelie ouer his owne kingdome, but also in molestation of such princes as inhabited round about him in most intollerable maner. Moreouer he was not a little incouraged in these his dooings by Neptune his father, who thirsted greatly to leaue his xxxiii. sonnes Neptune had xxxiii. sounes. settled in the mightiest kingdoms of the world, as men of whom he had alreadie conceiued this opinion, that if they had once gotten foot into any region whatsoeuer, it would not be long yer they did by some meanes or other, not onelie establish their seats, but also increase their limits to the better maintenance of themselues and their posteritie for euermore. To be short therefore, after the giants, and great princes, or mightie men of the world had conspired and slaine the aforsaid Osyris, onlie for that he was an obstacle vnto them in their tyrannous dealing; Hercules his sonne, surnamed Laabin, Lubim, or Libius, in the reuenge of his fathers death, proclaimed open warres against them all, and going from place to place, he ceased not to spoile their kingdomes, and therewithall to kill them with great courage that fell into his hands. Finallie, hauing among sundrie other ouercome the Lomnimi Lomnimi. Geriones. or Geriones in Spaine and vnderstanding that Lestrigo and his sonnes did yet remaine in Italie he directed his viage into those parts, and taking the kingdome of the Celts in his waie, he remained for a season with Lucus the king of that countrie, where he also maried Galathea. Galates, or Kelts. his daughter Galathea, and begat a sonne by hir, calling him after his mothers name Galates, of whom in my said Chronologie I haue spoken more at large.

In the meane time Albion vnderstanding how Hercules intended to make warres against his brother Lestrigo, he thought good if it were possible to stop him that tide, and therefore sending for his brother Bergion out of the Orchades (where he also reigned as supreame Bergion. lord and gouernour) they ioined their powers, and sailed ouer into France. Being arriued Pomponius Mela cap. de Galha. there, it was not long yer they met with Hercules and his armie, neare vnto the mouth of the riuer called Roen (or the Rhodanus) where happened a cruell conflict betwéene them, in which Hercules and his men were like to haue lost the day, for that they were in maner wearied with long warres, ana their munition sore wasted in the last viage that he had made for Spaine. Herevpon Hercules perceiuing the courages of his souldiours somewhat to abate, and seeing the want of artillerie like to be the cause of his fatall daie and present ouerthrowe at hand, it came suddenlie into his mind to will each of them to defend himselfe by throwing stones at his enimie, whereof there laie great store then scattered in the place. The policie Strabo, lib. 4. was no sooner published than hearkened vnto and put in execution, whereby they so preuailed in the end, that Hercules wan the field, their enimies were put to flight, and Albion and his brother both slaine, and buried in that plot. Thus was Britaine rid of a tyrant, Lucus king of the Celts deliuered from an vsurper (that dailie incroched vpon him, building sundrie cities and holds, of which some were placed among the Alps & called after his owne name, and other also euen in his owne kingdome on that side) and Lestrigo greatlie weakened by the slaughter of his brethren. Of this inuention of Hercules in like sort it commeth, that Jupiter father vnto Hercules (who indeed was none other but Osyris) is feigned to throw downe stones from heauen vpon Albion and Bergion, in the defense of his sonne: which came so thicke vpon them, as if great drops of raine or haile should haue descended from aboue, no man well knowing which waie to turne him from their force, they came so fast and with so great a violence.

But to go forward, albeit that Albion and his power were thus discomfited and slaine, yet the name that he gaue unto this Iland died not, but still remained vnto the time of Brute, who arriuing héere in the 1116. before Christ, and 2850. after the creation of the world, not onelie changed it into Britaine (after it had beene called Albion, by the space of about 600. yeares) but to declare his souereigntie ouer the rest of the Ilands also that lie scattered round about it, he called them all after the same maner, so that Albion was said in time to be Britanniarum insula maxima, that is, The greatest of those Iles that beare the name of Britaine, which Plinie also confirmeth, and Strabo in his first and second bookes denieth not. There are some, which vtterlie denieng that this Iland tooke hir name of Brute, doo affirme it rather to be so called of the rich mettals sometime carried from the mines there into all the world as growing in the same. Vibius Sequester also saith that Calabria was sometime called Britannia, Ob immensam affluentiam totius delitiæ atque vbertatis, that was to be found heerein. Other contend that it should be written with P (Pritannia.) All which opinions as I absolutelie denie not, so I willinglie leane vnto none of them in peremptorie maner, sith the antiquitie of our historie carrieth me withall vnto the former iudgements. And for the same cause I reiect them also, which deriue the aforesaid denomination from Britona the nymph, in following Textor (or Prutus or Prutus the sonne of Araxa) which Britona was borne in Creta daughter to Mars, and fled by sea from thence onelie to escape the villanie of Minos, who attempted to rauish and make hir one of his paramours: but if I should forsake the authoritie of Galfride, I would rather leane to the report of Parthenius, whereof elsewhere I haue made a more large rehersall.

It is altogither impertinent, to discusse whether Hercules came into this Iland after the death of Albion, or not, although that by an ancient monument seene of late, as I heare, and the cape of Hartland or Harcland in the West countrie (called Promontorium Herculis in old time) diuers of our British antiquaries doo gather great likelihood that he should also be here. But sith his presence or absence maketh nothing with the alteration of the name of this our region and countrie, and to search out whether the said monument was but some token erected in his honour of later time (as some haue beene elsewhere, among the Celts framed, & those like an old criple with a bow bent in one hand & a club in the other, a rough skin on his backe, the haire of his head all to be matted like that of the Irishmens, and drawing manie men captiue after him in chaines) is but smallie auailable, and therefore I passe it ouer as not incident to my purpose. Neither will I spend any time in the determination, whether Britaine had beene sometime a parcell of the maine, although it should well séeme so to haue beene, bicause that before the generall floud of Noah, we doo not read of Ilands, more than of hils and vallies. Wherfore as Wilden Arguis also notèth in his philosophie and tractation of meteors, it is verie likelie that they were onelie caused by the violent motion and working of the sea, in the time of the floud, which if S. Augustine had well considered, he would neuer haue asked how such creatures as liued in Ilands far distant from the maine could come into the arke, De ciuit. lib. 16. cap 7. howbeit in the end he concludeth with another matter more profitable than his demand.

As for the speedie and timelie inhabitation thereof, this is mine opinion, to wit, that it was inhabited shortlie after the diuision of the earth. For I read that when each capteine and his companie had their portions assigned vnto them by Noah in the partition that he made of the whole among his posteritie, they neuer ceased to trauell and search out the vttermost parts of the same, vntill they found out their bounds allotted, and had seene and vewed their limits, euen vnto the verie poles. It shall suffice therefore onelie to haue touched these things in this manner a farre off, and in returning to our purpose, to proceed with the rest concerning the denomination of our Iland, which was knowne vnto most of the Gréekes for a long time, by Yet Timeus, Ephotus, and some of the Grecians, know the name Britannia, as appeareth also by Diodorus, &c. before the comming of Cesar. none other name than Albion, and to saie the truth, euen vnto Alexanders daies, as appeareth by the words of Aristotle in his De mundo, and to the time of Ptolomie: notwithstanding that Brute, as I haue said, had changed the same into Britaine, manie hundred yeares before.

After Brutus I doo not find that anie men attempted to change it againe, vntill the time that Theodosius, in the daies of Valentinianus and Valens endeuoured, in the remembrance of the two aforesaid Emperours, to call it Valentia, as Marcellinus saith. But as this deuise tooke no hold among the common sort, so it retained still the name of Britaine, vntill the reigne of Ecbert, who about the 800 yeare of Grace, and first of his reigne, gaue foorth an especiall edict, dated at Winchester, that it should be called Angles land, or Angel-landt, for which in our time we doo pronounce it England. And this is all (right honorable) that I haue to say, touching the scuerall names of this Iland, vtterlie misliking in the meane season their deuises, which make Hengist the onlie parent of the later denomination, whereas Ecbert, bicause his ancestours descended from the Angles one of the sixe nations that came with the Saxons into Britaine (for they were not all of one, but of diuers countries, as Angles, Saxons, Germans, Switzers, Norwegiens, Jutes otherwise called Jutons, Vites, Gothes or Getes, and Vandals, and all comprehended vnder the name of Saxons, bicause of Hengist the Saxon and his companie that first arriued here before anie of the other) and therto hauing now the monarchie and preheminence in maner of this whole Iland, called the same after the name of the countrie from whence he derived his originall, neither Hengist, Of this opinion is Belforest, lib. 3. cap. 44. neither anie Queene named Angla, neither whatsoeuer deriuation ab Angulo, as from a corner of the world bearing swaie, rr hauing ought to doo at all in that behalfe.

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