Of the giant Albion, of his comming into this Iland, diuers opinions why it was called Albion: why Albion and Bergion were slaine by Hercules: of Danaus and of his 50 daughters.
The Third Chapter.
NEPTUNUS called by Moses (as some take it) Nepthuim, the sixt sonne of Osiris,
Annius de Viterbo. Diodorus Sieulūs. Pinnesses or gallies. Higinus. Pictonius.
after the account of Annius, and the brother of Hercules, had appointed him of his father (as Diodorus writeth) the gouernement of the ocean sea: wherefore he furnished himselfe of sundrie light ships for the more redie passage by water, which in the end grew to the number of a full nauie: & so by continuall exercise he became so skilfull, and therewith so mightie vpon the waters (as Higinus & Pictonius doo write) that he was not onelie called the king, but also estéemed the god of the seas. He had to wife a ladie called Amphitrita, who was also honored as goddesse of the seas, of whose bodie he begat sundrie
Scrip. Bri. cent. 1.
children: and (as Bale reporteth) he made euerie one of them king of an Iland. In the Ile of Britaine he landed his fourth son called Albion the giant, who brought the same
Ioh. Textor. Polydor.
vnder his subiection. And herevpon it resteth, that Iohn Textor, and Polydor Virgil made mention, that light shippes were first inuented in the British seas, and that the same were couered round with the hides of beasts, for defending them from the surges and waues of the water.
This Albion being put by his father in possession of this Ile of Britaine, within short time subdued the Samotheans, the first inhabitantes thereof, without finding any great resistance, for that (as before ye haue heard) they had giuen ouer the practise of all warlike and other painefull exercises, and through vse of effeminate pleasures, wherevnto they had giuen themselues ouer, they were become now vnapt to withstand the force of their enimies: and
Nichol. Perot. Rigmanus Philesius. Aristotle. Hum. Lhoyd.
so (by the testimonie of Nicholaus Perottus, Rigmanus Philesius, Aristotle, and Humfrey Llhoyd, with diuers other, both forraine & home-writers) this Iland was first called by the name of Albion, hauing at one time both the name and inhabitants changed from the line of Iaphet vnto the accursed race of Cham.
This Albion (that thus changed the name of this Ile) and his companie, are called giants, which signifieth none other than a tall kind of men, of that vncorrupt stature and highnesse
naturallie incident to the first age (which Berosus also séemeth to allow, where he writeth, that Noah was one of the giants) and were not so called only of their monstrous greatnesse, as the common people thinke (although in deed they exceeded the vsuall stature of men now in these daies) but also for that they tooke their name of the soile where they were
What Gigantes signifie
borne: for Gigantes
signifieth the sons of the earth: the Aborigines, or (as Caesar calleth them) Indigenæ; that is, borne and bred out of the earth where they inhabited.
Thus some thinke, but verelie although that their opinion is not to be allowed in any
Against the opinion of the Aborigines.
condition, which maintaine that there should be any Aborigines, or other kind of men than those of Adams line; yet that there haue béene men of far greater stature than are now to be found, is sufficientlie prooued by the huge bones of those that haue beene found in our time, or lately before: whereof here to make further relation it shall not need, sith in the description of Britaine ye shall find it sufficientlie declared.
Bale. Bergion brother to Albion. Hercules Lybicus.
But now to our purpose. As Albion held Britaine in subiection, so his brother Bergion kept Ireland and the Orkenies vnder his rule and dominion, and hearing that their coosine Hercules Lybicus hauing finished his conquests in Spaine, meant to passe through Gallia into Italie, against their brother Lestrigo that oppressed Italie, vnder subiection of him & other of his brethren the sons also of Neptune; as well Albion as Bergion assembling their powers togither, passed ouer into Gallia, to stoppe the passage of Hercules, whose intention was to vanquish and destroie those tyrants the sonnes of Neptune, & their complices that kept diuers countries and regions vnder the painefull yoke of their heauie thraldome.
The cause that moued Hercules thus to pursue vpon those tyrants now reigning thus in
The cause why Hercules pursued his coosins.
the world, was, for that not long before, the greatest part of them had conspired togither and slaine his father Osiris, notwithstanding that they were nephues to the same Osiris, as sonnes to his brother Neptune, and not contented with his slaughter, they diuided his carcase also amongst them, so that each of them got a peece in token of reioising at their murtherous atchiued enterprise.
For this cause Hercules (whome Moses calleth Laabin) proclamed warres against them all in reuenge of his fathers death: and first he killed Triphon and Busiris in Aegypt, then Anteus in Mauritania, & the Gerions in Spaine, which enterprise atchiued, he led his armie towardes Italie, and by the way passed through a part of Gallia, where Albion and Bergion
hauing vnited their powers togither, were readie to receiue him with battell: and so néere to the mouth of the riuer called Rhosne, in Latine Rhodanus,
they met & fought. At the first there was a right terrible and cruell conflict betwixt them. And albeit that Hercules had the greatest number of men, yet was it verie doubtfull a great while, to whether part the glorie of that daies worke would bend. Whereupon when the victorie began outright to turne vnto Albion, and to his brother Bergion, Hercules perceiuing the danger and likelihood of vtter losse of that battell, speciallie for that his men had wasted their weapons, he caused those that stood still and were not otherwise occupied, to stoope downe, and to gather vp stones, whereof in that place there was great plentie, which by his commandement they bestowed so fréelie vpon their enimies, that in the end hée obteined the victorie, and did
Hercules discomfitcth his enimies Albion is slaine.
not only put his aduersaries to flight, but also slue Albion there in the field, togither with his brother Bergion, and the most part of all their whole armie. This was the end of Albion, and his brother Bergion, by the valiant prowesse of Hercules, who as one appointed by Gods prouidence to subdue the cruell & vnmercifull tyrants, spent his time to the benefit of mankind, deliuering the oppressed from the heauie yoke of miserable thraldome, in euerie place where he came.
And by the order of this battell wée maye learne whereof the poets had their inuention,
The occasion of the fable of Iupiters heiping his son Hercules. How this Ile was called Albion, of the glant Albion. Iohn Bale.
when they faine in their writings, that Iupiter holpe his sonne Hercules, by throwing downe stones from heauen in this battell against Albion and Bergion. Moreouer, from henceforth was this Ile of Britaine called Albion (as before we haue said) after the name of the said Albion: because he was established chiefe ruler and king thereof both by his grandfather Osiris, and his father Neptune that cunning sailour reigning therein (as Bale saith) by the space of 44. yeares, till finally he was slaine in maner afore remembred by his vncle Hercules Libicus.
After that Hercules had thus vanquished and destroied his enimies, hée passed to and fro thorough Gallia, suppressing the tyrants in euerie part where he came, and restoring the people vnto a reasonable kinde of libertie, vnder lawfull gouernours. This Hercules (as we find) builded the citie Alexia in Burgongne, nowe called Alize. Moreouer, by Lilius Giraldus in the life of Hercules it is auouched, that the same Hercules came ouer hither into Britaine. And this dooth Giraldus write by warrant of such Britons as (saith the) haue so written themselues, which thing peraduenture he hath read in Gildas the ancient Briton poet: a booke that (as he confesseth in the 5. dialog of his histories of poets) he hath séene. The same thing also is confirmed by the name of an head of land in Britaine called Promontorium Herculis,
as in Ptolomie ye may read, which is thought to take name of his arriuall at that place. Thus much for Albion and Hercules.
But now, whereas it is not denied of anie, that this Ile was called ancientlie by the name
Diuers opinions why this Ile was calied Albion. Sée more hereof in the description.
of Albion: yet there be diuers opinions how it came by that name: for manie doo not allow of this historie of Albion the giant. But for so much as it apperteineth rather to the description than to the historie of this Ile, to rip vp and lay foorth the secret mysteries of such matters: and because I thinke that this opinion which is here auouched, how it tooke that name of the forsaid Albion, sonne to Neptune, may be confirmed with as good authoritie as some of the other, I here passe ouer the rest, & procéed with the historie.
When Albion chiefe capteine of the giants was slaine, the residue that remained at home in the Ile, continued without any rule or restraint of law, in so much that they fell to such a dissolute order of life, that they séemed little or norhing to differ from brute beasts: and those are they which our ancient chronicles call the giants, who were so named, as well for the huge proportion of their stature (sithens as before is said, that age brought foorth far greater men than are now liuing) as also for that they were the first, or at the least the furthest in remembrance of any that had inhabited this countrie. For this word Gigines,
from whence our word giant (as some take it) is deriued, is a Gréeke word, and signifieth, Borne or bred of or in the earth, for our fore-elders specially the Gentiles, being ignorant of the true beginning of mankind, were persuaded, that the first inhabitants of any countrie were bred out of the earth, and therefore when they could go no higher,
Terræ filius what it signifieth.
reckoning the descents of their predecessours, they would name him Terræ filius,
The sonne of the earth: and so the giants whom the poets faine to haue sought to make battell against heauen are called the sonnes of the earth: and the first inhabitants generally of euery
countrie were of the Gréekes called Gigines,
and of the Latines Aborigines,
that is, People borne of the earth from the beginning, and comming from no other countrie, but bred within the same.
These giants and first inhabitants of this Ile continued in their beastlie kind of life vnto the arriuall of the ladies, which some of our chronicles ignorantly write to be the daughters of Dioclesian the king of Assyria, whereas in déed they haue béene deceiued, in taking the
The mistaking of the name of Dioclesianus for Danaus.
to be short written for Dioclesianus:
and by the same meanes haue diuers words and names béene mistaken, both in our chronicles, and in diuers other ancient written woorks. But this is a fault that learned men should not so much trouble themselues about,
Hugh the Italian. Harding. Iohn Rous out of Dauid Pencair.
considering the same hath bin alreadie found by sundrie authors ling sithens, as Hugh the Italian, Iohn Harding, Iohn Rouse of Warwike, and others, speciallie by the helpe of Dauid Pencair a British historie, who recite the historie vnder the name of Danaus and his daughters. And because we would not any man to thinke, that the historie of these daughters of Danaus is onelie of purpose deuised, and brought in place of Dioclesianus, to excuse the imperfection of our writers, whereas there was either no such historie (or at the least no such
women that arriued in this Ile) the authoritie of Nennius a Briton writer may be auouched, who wrote aboue 900. yeares past, and maketh mention of the arriuall of such ladies.
To be short, the historie is thus. Belus the sonne of Epaphus, or (as some writers
D m poeticum.
haue) of Neptune and Libies (whome Isis after the death of Apis maried) had issue two sonnes: the first Danaus, called also Armeus; and Aegyptus called also Rameses: these
Lanaus. Aegyptus Higinus.
two were kings among the Aegyptians, Danaus the elder of the two, hauing in his rule the vpper region of Aegypt, had by sundrie wiues 50. daughters, with whome his brother Aegyptus, gaping for the dominion of the whole, did instantlie labour, that his sonnes being also 50. in number, might match. But Danaus hauing knowledge by some prophesie or oracle, that a sonne in law of his should be his death, refused so to bestow his daughters. Hereupon grew warre betwixt the brethren, in the end whereof, Danaus being the weaker, was inforced to fiée his countrie, and so prepared a nauie, imbarked himselfe and his daughters, and with them passed ouer into Gréece, where he found meanes to dispossesse Gelenor (sonne to Stenelas king of Argos) of his rightfull inheritance, driuing him out of his countrie, and reigned in his place by the assistance of the Argiues that had conceiued an hatred towardes Gelenor, and a great liking towardes Danaus, who in verie deed did so farre excell the kings that had reigned there before him, that the Gréekes in remembrance of him were after called Danai.
But his brother Aegyptus, taking great disdaine for that he and his sonnes were in such sort despised of Danaus, sent his sonnes with a great armie to make warre against their vncle, giuing them in charge not to returne, till they had either slaine Danaus, or obteined his daughters in mariage. The yoong gentlemen according to their fathers commandement, being arriued in Greece, made such warre against Danaus, that in the end he was constrained to giue vnto those his 50. nephues his 50. daughters, to ioine with them in mariage, and so they were. But as the prouerbe saith, "In trust appeared treacherie." For on the first night of the mariage, Danaus deliuered to ech of his daughters a sword, charging them that when their husbands after their bankets and pastimes were once brought into a sound sléepe, ech of them should slea hir husband, menacing them with death vnlesse they fulfilled his commandement. They all therefore obeied the will of their father, Hypermnestra onely excepted, with whom preuailed more the loue of kinred and wedlocke, than the feare of hir fathers displeasure: for shee alone spared the life of hir husband Lynceus, waking him out of his sléepe, and warning him to depart and flée into Aegypt to his father. He therefore hauing all the wicked practises reuealed to him by his wife, followed hir aduice, and so escaped.
Now when Danaus perceiued how all his daughters had accomplished his commandement,
sauing onelie Hypermnestra, he caused hir to be brought forth into iudgement, for disobeieng him in a matter wherein both the safetie and losse of his life rested: but she was acquitted by the Argiues, & discharged. Howbeit hir father kept hir in prison, and séeking to find out other husbands for his other daughters that had obeied his pleasure in sleaing their first husbands, long it was yer he could find any to match with them: for the heinous offense committed in the slaughter of their late husbands, was yet too fresh in memorie, and their bloud not wiped out of mind. Neuerthelesse, to bring his purpose the better to passe, he made proclamation, that his daughters should demand no ioinctures, and euerie suter should take his choise without respect to the age of the ladie, or abilitie of him that came to make his choise, but so as first come best serued, according to their owne phantasies and likings. Howbeit when this policie also failed, & would not serue his turne, he deuised a game of running, ordeining therewith, that whosoeuer got the best price should haue the first choise among all the sisters; and he that got the second, should choose next to the first; and so foorth, ech one after an other, according to the triall of their swiftnesse of foote
How much this practise auailed, I know not: but certeine it is, diuers of them were bestowed, either by this or some other meanes, for we find that Autonomes was maried to Architeles, Chrysanta or (as Pausanias saith) Scea was matched with Archandrus, Amaome with Neptunus Equestris, on whome he begat Nauplius.
But now to returne vnto Lynceus, whome his wife Hypermnestra preserued, as before ye
haue heard. After he was once got out of the reach and danger of his father in law king Danaus, he gaue knowledge thereof to his wife, in raising a fire on heigth beaconwise,
accordingly as she had requested him to doo at his departure from hir: and this was at a place which afterwards tooke name of him, and was called Lyncea. Upon his returne into Aegypt, he gaue his father to vnderstand the whole circumstance of the trecherous crueltie vsed by his vncle and his daughters in the murder of his brethren, and how hardly he himselfe had escaped death out of his vncles handes. Wherevpon at time conuenient he was furnished foorth with men and ships by his father, for the spéedie reuenge of that heinous, vnnaturall and most disloiall murder, in which enterprise he sped him foorth with such diligence, that in short time he found meanes to dispatch his vncle Danaus, set his wife Hypermnestra at libertie, and subdued the whole kingdome of the Argiues.
This done, he caused the daughters of Danaus (so many as remained within the limits of his dominion) to be sent for, whome he thought not worthie to liue, bicause of the cruell murther which they had committed on his brethren: but yet for that they were his wiues sisters, he would not put them to death, but commanded them to be thrust into a ship, without maister, mate or mariner, and so to be turned into the maine ocean sea, and to take and abide such fortune as should chance vnto them. These ladies thus imbarked
Harding and Iohn Rous out of Dauid Pencair.
and left to the mercy of the seas, by hap were brought to the coasts of this Ile then called Albion, where they tooke land, and in séeking to prouide themselues of victuals by pursute of wilde beasts, met with no other inhabitants, than the rude and sauage giants mentioned before, whome our historiens for their beastlie kind of life doo call diuells. With these monsters did these ladies (finding none other to satisfie the motions of their sensuall lust) ioine in the act of venerie, and ingendred a race of people in proportion nothing differing from their fathers that begat them, nor in conditions from their mothers that bare them.
But now peraduenture ye wil thinke that I haue forgotten my selfe, in rehearsing this historie of the ladies arriuall here, bicause I make no mention of Albina, which should be the eldest of the sisters, of whome this land should also take the name of Albion. To this we answer, that as the name of their father hath bene mistaken, so likewise hath the whole course of the historie in this behalfe. For though we shall admit that to be true which is rehearsed (in maner as before ye haue heard) of the arriuall here of those ladies; yet certeine it is that none of them bare the name of Albina, from whome this land might be called Albion. For further assurance whereof, if any man be desirous to know all their
names, we haue thought good here to rehearse them as they be found in Higinus, Pausanias,
The names of the daughters of Danaus.
and others. 1 Idea, 2 Philomela, 3 Scillo, 4 Phicomene, 5 Euippe, 6 Demoditas, 7 Hyale, 8 Trite, 9 Damone, 10 Hippothoe, 11 Mirmidone, 12 Euridice, 13 Chleo, 14 Vrania, 15 Cleopatra, 16 Phylea, 17 Hypareta, 18 Chrysothemis, 19 Heranta, 20 Armoaste, 21 Danaes, 22 Scea, 23 Glaucippe, 24 Demophile, 25 Autodice, 26 Polyxena, 27 Hecate, 28 Achamantis, 29 Arsalte, 30 Monuste, 31 Amimone, 32 Helice, 33 Amaome, 34 Polybe, 35 Helicte, 36 Electra, 37 Eubule, 38 Daphildice, 39 Hero, 40 Europomene, 41 Critomedia, 42 Pyrene, 43 Eupheno, 44 Themistagora, 45 Paleno, 46 Erato, 47 Autonomes, 48 Itea, 49 Chrysanta, 50 Hypermnestra. These were the names of those ladies the daughters of Danaus: howbeit, which they were that should arriue in this Ile, we can not say: but it sufficeth to vnderstand, that none of them hight Albina. So that, whether the historie of their landing here should be true or not, it is all one for the matter concerning
See more in the description.
the name of this Ile, which vndoubtedlie was called Albion, either of Albion the giant (as before I haue said) or by some other occasion.
And thus much for the ladies, whose strange aduenture of their arriuall here, as it may séeme to manie & (with good cause) incredible, so without further auouching it for truth I leaue it to the consideration of the reader, to thinke thereof as reason shall moue him sith I sée not how either in this, or in other things of such antiquitie, we cannot haue sufficient warrant otherwise than by likelie coniectures. Which as in this historie of the ladies they are not most probable, yet haue we shewed the likeliest, that (as we thinke) may be déemed to agrée with those authors that haue written of their comming into this Ile But as for an assured proofe that this Ile was inhabited with people before the comming of Brute, I trust it may suffice which before is recited out of Annius de Viterbo, Theophilus, Gildas, and other, although much more might be said: as of the comming hither of Osiris,
Vlysses in Britaine.
as well as in the other parties of the world: and likewise of Vlysses his being here, who in performing some vow which he either then did make, or before had made, erected an altar
in that part of Scotland which was ancientlie called Calidonia, as Iulius Solinus Polyhistor in plaine words dooth record.
¶ Vpon these considerations I haue no doubt to deliuer vnto the reader, the opinion of those that thinke this land to haue bene inhabited before the arriuall here of Brute, trusting it may be taken in good part, sith we haue but shewed the coniectures of others, till time that some sufficient learned man shall take vpon him to decipher the doubts of all these matters. Neuerthelesse, I thinke good to aduertise the reader that these stories of Samothes. Magus, Sarron, Druis, and Bardus, doo relie onelie vpon the authoritie of Berosus, whom most diligent antiquaries doo reiect as a fabulous and counterfet author, and Vacerius bath laboured to prooue the same by a speciall treatise latelie published at Rome.