What the Roman historiographer Marcellinus reporteth of the Scots, Picts, and Britains vnder the emperour Iulianus, Valentinianus and Valens, they send their vicegerents into Britaine, the disquiethesse of that time, London called Augusta, the worthie exploits of Theodosius in this Iland against the enimie, Valentinus a banished malefactor deuiseth his destruction, he is taken and executed, he reformeth manie disorders and inconueniences, the first entring of the Saxons into Britaine, they are dawnted at the verie sight of the Romane ensignes, the Saxons lieng in wait for their enimies are slaine euerie mothers sonne.
The Xxxiiij. Chapter.
BUT now sith no mention is made of the Scots in our histories, till the daies of Maximus
the vsurper or tyrant, as some call him, who began his reigne here in Britaine about the
yéere of our Lord 383, and that till after he had bereft the land of the chiefest forces thereof, in taking the most part of the youth ouer with him: we find not in the same histories of anie troubles wrought to the Britains by that nation. Therefore we haue thought good héere to come backe to the former times, that we may shew what is found mentioned in the Romane histories, both before that time and after, as well concerning the Scots and Picts
Ammianus Marcellinus lib. 20. The emperor Iulianius.
as also the Saxons, and especiallie in Ammianus Marcellinus, where in the beginning of his twentith booke intreating of the doings of the emperour Iulianus, he saith as followeth.
In this state stood things in lllyricum or Slauonia, and in the east parts, at what time Constantius bare the office of consull the tenth time, and Iulianus the third time, that is to
say, in the yéere of our Lord 360, when in Britaine quietnesse being disturbed by roads made by the Scots and Picts, which are wild and sauage people, the frontiers of the countrie were
Scots and Picts trouble the state of this Ile.
wasted, and feare oppressed the prouinces wearied with the heape of passed losses. The emperor [he meaneth Iulianus] as then remaining at Paris, and hauing his mind troubled with manie cares, doubted to go to the aid of them beyond the sea, as we haue shewed that Constantius did, least he should leaue them in Gallia without a ruler, the Almains being euen then prouoked and stirred vp to crueltie and warre.
Lupicinus sent into Britaine.
He thought good therefore to send Lupicinus vnto these places to bring things into frame and order, which Lupicinus was at that time master of the armorie, a warlike person and skilfull in all points of chiualrie, but proud and high-minded beyond measure, and such one as it was doubted long whether he was more couetous or cruell. Herevpon the said
Bataui now Hollanders.
Lupicinus setting forward the light armed men of the Heruli and Bataui, with dinuers companies also of the people of Mesia now called Bulgarie; when winter was well entred and come on, he came himselfe to Bulleine, and there prouiding ships, and imbarking his men,
when the wind serued his purpose, he transported ouer vnto Sandwich, and so marched foorth unto London, from thence purposing to set forward, as vpon aduise taken according to the qualitie of his businesse he should thinke méet and expedient.
Of the dispiacing of these men the learned may sée more in Am. Mar.
In the meane time, whilest Lupicinus was busie here in Britaine to represse the enimies, the emperour Constantius displaced certeine officers, and among other he depriued the same Lupicinus of the office of the master of the armorie, appointing one Gumobarius to succéed him in that roome, before anie such thing was knowen in these parties. And where it was doubted least that Lupicinus (if he had vnderstood so much whilest he was yet in Britaine) would haue attempted some new trouble, as he was a man of a stout and loftie mind, he was called backe from thence, and withall there was sent a notarie vnto Bulleine, to watch that none should passe the seas ouer into Britaine till Lupicinus were returned: and so returning ouer from thence yer he had anie knowledge what was doone by the emperour, he could make no sturre, hauing no such assistants in Gallia, as it was thought Ile might haue had in Britaine, if he should haue mooued rebellion there.
The same Marcellinus speaking of the doings about the time that Valentinianus, being
Ammianus Marcellinus lib. 26.
elected emperour, had admitted his brother Valens as fellow with him in gouernement, hath these words. In this season as though trumpets had blowne the sound to battell through out the whole Romane empire, most cruell nations being stirred vp, inuaded the borders
The Almans. The Sarmatians. The Quadi Picts and Saxons. Austorians. The Goths.
next adioining, the Almans wasted and destroied the parts of Gallia and Rhetia, as the Sarmatians and Quadi did Paunonia, the Picts, the Saxons, the Scots, and the Attacots vexed the Britains with continuall troubles, and gréeuous damages; the Austorians and the people of the Moores ouerran the countrie of Affrike more sharpelie than il time past they had done; the pilfring troops of the Goths spoiled Thracia; the king of Persia set in hand to subdue the Armenians, and sought to bring them vnder his obeisance, hasting with all spéed toward Numonia, pretending (though vniustlie) that now after the deceasse of Iouinius, with whome he had contracted a league and bond of peace, there was no cause of let what he ought not to recouer those things, which (as he alledged) did belong to his ancestors: and so foorth.
Moreouer, the same Marcellinus in another place writeth in this wise, where he speaketh of the said Valentinianus Departing therefore from Amiens, and hasting to Trier, he was troubled with gréeuous newes that were brought him, giuing him to vnderstand, that Britaine by a conspiracie of the barbarous nations was brought to vtter pouertie, that Nectaridus one
Comes maritimi tractus.
of the emperours house earle of the sea coast, hauing charge of the parties towards the sea, was slaine, and that the generall Bulchobaudes was circumuented by traines of the enimies. These things with great horrour being knowne, he sent Seuerus as then erie, or (as I may call him lord steward of his houshold) to reforme things that were amisse, if hap would
so permit, who being shortlie called backe, Iouinius going thither, and with spéed hasting forward, sent for more aid and a great power of men, as the instant necessitie then required. At length, for manie causes, and the same greatlie to be feared, the which were reported and aduertised out of that Ile, Theodosius was elected and appointed to go thither, a man of
Theodosius sent into Britaine.
approoued skill in warlike affaires, and calling togither an hardie youthfull number of the lerions and cohorts of men of warre, he went foorth, no small hope being conceiued of his good spéed; the fame wherof spred and went afore him.
A litle after, Marcellinus adding what people they were that troubled the Britains in this wise, saith thus. This shall suffice to be said, that in this season the Picts diuided into two
Picts diuided into two nations. Attacotti.
nations Dicalidones, and Victuriones, and in like maner the Attacotti a right warlike nation, and the Scots wandering here and there, made fowle woorke in places where they came. The confines of France were disquieted by the Frankeners and Saxons borderers vnto them, euerie one as they could breaking foorth, & dooing great harme by cruell spoile, fire, and taking of prisoners. To withstand those dooings if good fortune would giue him leaue, that most able capteine going vnto the vttermost bounds of the earth, when he came to the
Theodosius passeth ouer into Britaine.
coast of Bullen which is seuered from the contrarie coast on the other side by the sea, with a narrow streight, where sometime the water goeth verie high and rough, & shortlie after becommeth calme & pleasant, without hurt to those that passe the same, transporting ouer at leasure, he arriued at Sandwich (or rather Richburrow) where there is a quiet road for vessels to Ile at anchor. Wherevpon the Bataui and Heruli, with the souldiers of the legions
called Iouij, and Victores, being companies that trusted well to their owne strength, marched foorth & drew towards London, an ancient citie, which now of late hath bin called Augusta.
London called Augusta.
Herewith diuiding his armie into sundrie parts, he set vpon the troops of his enimies as they were abroad to forrey the countrie, pestered with burdens of their spoiles and pillage, and spéedilie putting them to flight, as they were leading away those prisoners which they had taken, with their booties of cattell, he bereft them of their preie, the which the poore Britains that were tributaries had lost. To be briefe, restoring the whole, except a small portion bestowed amongst the wearie souldiers, he entred the citie which before was opprest with troubles, but now suddenlie refreshed, bicause there was hope of reliefe and assured preseruation.
After this, when Thecdosius was comforted with prosperous succasse to attempt things of greater importance, and searching waies how with good aduise to woorke suerlie: whilest he remained doubtfull what would insue, he learned as well by the confession of prisoners taken, as also by the information of such as were fled from the enimies, that the scattered people of sundrie nations which with practise of great crueltie were become fierce and vndanted, could not be subdued but by policie secretlie practised, and sudden inuasions. At length therefore setting foorth his proclamations, and promising pardon to those that were gone awaie from their capteins or charge, he called them backe againe to serue: and also those that by licence were departed and laie scattered here and there in places abroad. By this meanes, when manie were returned, he being on the one side earnestlie prouoked, and on the other holden backe with thoughtfull cares, required to haue one Ciuilis by name sent
Theodosius requireth to haue Cinilis sent to him. Dulcitius.
to him to haue the rule of the prouinces in Britaine in steed of the other gouernours, a man of sharpe wit, and an earnest mainteiner of iustice. He likewise required that one Dulcitius a capteine renowmed in knowledge of warlike affaires might be sent ouer to him for his better asistance. These things were doone in Britaine.
Againe, in his eight and twentith booke, the same Marcellinus reciting further what the same Theodosius atchiued in Britaine, hath in effect these words: Thedosius verelie a capteine
London called Augusta.
of woorthie fame, taking a valiant courage to him, and departing from Augusta, which men of old time called London, with souldiers assembled by great diligence, did succour and reléeue greatlie the decaied and troubled state of the Britains, preuenting euerie conuenient place where the barbarous people might Ile in wait to doo mischiefe: and nothing he commanded the meane souldiers to doo, but that whereof he with a chéerefull mind would first take in hand to shew them an example. By this meanes accomplishing the roome of a valiant souldier, and fulfilling the charge of a noble capteine, he discomfited and put to flight sundrie nations, whome presumption (nourished by securitie) emboldened to inuade the Romane prouinces: and so the cities and castels that had béene sore endamaged by manifold losses and displeasures, were restored to their former state of wealth, the foundation of rest and quietnesse being laid for a long season after to insue.
But as these things were a dooing, one wicked practise was in hand & like to haue burst foorth, to the gréeuous danger of setting things in broile, if it had not béene staied euen in
Valentinus. Valeria now Stiermarke.
the beginning of the first attempt. For there was one Valentinus, borne in the parties of Valeria adioining to Pannonia, now called Stiermarke, a man of a proud and loftie stomach, brother to the wife of Maximinus, which Valentinus for some notable offense had béene banished into Britaine, where the naughtie man that could not rest in quiet, deuised how by some commotion he might destroy Theodosius, who as he saw was onelie able to resist his wicked purposes. And going about manie things both priuilie and apertlie, the force of his vnmeasurable desire to mischiefe still increasing, he sought to procure aswell other that were in semblable wise banished men, & inclined to mischiefe like him selfe, as also diuers of the souldiers, alluring them (as the time serued) with large promises of great wealth, if they would ioine with him in that enterprise. But euen now in the verie nicke, when they shuld haue gone in hard with their vngratious exploit, Theodosius warned of their intent, boldlie aduanced himselfe to sée due punishment executed on the offendors that were foorthwith taken and knowne to be guiltie in that conspiracie.
Dulcitius is appointed to put Valentinus to death.
Theodosius committed Valentine with a few other of his trustie complices vnto the capteine Dulcitius, commanding him to see them put to death: but coniecturing by his warlike skill (wherein he passed all other in those daies) what might follow, he would not in anie wise haue anie further inquirie made of the other conspirators, least through feare that might be spread abroad in manie, the troubles of the prouinces now well quieted, should be againe reuiued. After this, Theodosius disposing himselfe to redresse manie things as néed required, all danger was quite remooued: so that it was most apparent, that fortune fauored him in such wise, that she left him not destitute of hir furtherance in anie one of all his attempts. He therefore restored the cities & castels that were appointed to be kept with garrisons, and the borders he caused to be defended and garded with sufficient numbers to kéepe watch and ward in places necessarie. And hauing recouered the prouince which the enimies had gotten into their possession, he so restored it to the former state, that vpon
A part of Britaine called Valentia.
his motion to haue it so, a lawfull gouernour was assigned to rule it, and the name was changed, so as from thencefoorth it should be called Valentia for the princes pleasure.
The Areani, a kind of men ordined in times past by our elders (of whome somewhat we haue spoken in the acts of the emperour Constance) being now by little and little fallen into vices, he remooued from their places of abiding, being openlie conuicted, that allured with bribes and faire promises, they had oftentimes bewraied vnto the barbarous nations what was doone among the Romans: for this was their charge, to runne vp and downe by long iournies, and to giue warning to our captains, what sturre the people of the next confines were about to make.
The praise of Theodosius.
Theodosius therefore hauing ordered these & other like things, most woorthilie & to his high fame, was called home to the emperours court, who leauing the prouinces in most triumphant state, was highlie renowmed for his often and most profitable victories, as if he had béene another Camillus or Cursor Papirius, and with the fauor and loue of all men was conueied vnto the sea side; and passing ouer with a gentle wind, came to the court, where he was receiued with great gladnesse and commendation, being immediatlie appointed to succéed in the roome of Valence Iouinus that was maister of the horsses. Finallie, he was called by the emperour Gratianus, to be associated with him in the imperiall estate, after the death of Valence, in the yeare after the incarnation of our Sauior 379 and reigned emperour,
surnamed Thodosius the great, about 16 yeares and 2 daies.
Hereto also maie that be applied which the foresaid Marcellinus writeth in the same booke, touching the inuasion of the Saxons, the which (as Wolf. Lazius taketh it) entred then first
into great Britaine, but were repelled of the emperour Valentinianus the first, by the conduct and guiding of Seuerus. The same yéere (saith he) that the emperours were the third time
consuls, there brake forth a multitude of Saxons, & passing the seas, entred stronglie into the Romane confines: a nation fed oftentimes with the slaughter of our people, the brunt of whose first inuasion earle Nonneus susteined, one which was appointed to defend those
parties, an approoued capteine, & with continuall trauell in warres verie expert. But then incountring with desperate and forlorne people, when he perceiued some of his souldiers to be ouerthrowne and beaten downe, and himselfe wounded, not able to abide the often assaults of his enimlies, he obteined this by informing the emperour what was necessarie and ought to be doone, insomuch that Seuerus, maister or (as I maie call him) coronell of the
Seuerus coronell of the footmen.
footmen, was sent to helpe and reléeue things that stood in danger: the which bringing a sufficient power with him for the state of that businesse, when he came to those places, he diuiding his armie into parts, put the Saxons in such feare and trouble before they fought, that they did not so much as take weapon in hand to make resistance, but being amazed with the sight of the glittering ensignes, & the eagles figured in the Romane standards, they streight made sute for peace, and at length after the matter was debated in sundrie wise (because it was iudged that it should be profitable for the Romane commonwealth) truce was granted vnto them, and manie yoong men (able for seruice in the warres) deliuered to the Romans according to the couenants concluded.
After this the Saxons were permitted to depart without impeachment, & so to returne from whence they came, who being now out of all feare, and preparing to go their waies, diuers bands of footmen were sent to Ile priuilie in a certeine hid vallie so ambushed, as they might easilie breake foorth vpon the enimies as they passed by them. But it chanced far otherwise than they supposed, for certeine of those footmen stirred with tie noise of them as they were comming, brake foorth out of time, and being suddenlie discouered whitest they hasted to vnite and knit themselues togither, by the hideous crie and shout of the Saxons they were put to flight. Yet by and by closing togither againe, they staied, and the extremitie of the chance ministring to them force (though not sufficient) they were driuen to fight it out, and being beaten downe with great slaughter, had died euerie mothers sonne, if a troope of horssemen armed at all points (being in like maner placed in an other side at the entring of the waie to assaile the enimies as they should passe) aduertised by the dolefull noise of them that fought, had not spéedilie come to the succour of their fellowes.
Then ran they togither more cruellie than before, and the Romans bending themselues towards their enimies, compassed them in on each side, and with drawne swords slue them downe right, so that there was not one of them left to returne home to their natiue countrie to bring newes how they had sped, nor one suffered to liue after anothers death, either to reuenge their ruine, or to lament their losse. Thus were the limits of the Romnane empire preserued at that time in Britaine, which should séeme to be about the yéere of our Lord 399.
¶ Thus were the Romans, as commonlie in all their martiall affaires, so in this incounter verie fortunate, the happie issue of the conflict falling out on their side. And strange it is to consider and marke, how these people by a celestiall kind of influence were begotten and borne borne as it were to prowesse and renowme; the course of their dealings in the field most aptlie answering to their name. For (as some suppose) the Romans were called of the
Solinus. Adr. Iun.
Gréeke word ῥώμη,
signifieng power and mightinesse: and in old time they were called Valentians, A valendo,
of preuailing: so that it was no maruell though they were victorious subduers of forren people, sithens they were by nature created and appointed to be conquerors, and thereof had their denomination.