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have been annexed by Geoffrey, and he makes the second Constantine father, not only of Constans, but also of Aurelius Ambrosius (Emrys Wledig) and of Uthyr Bendragon. The Cystennin Fendigaid (the Blessed) of his Brut is simply the Constantine of 407-11. He is also called Cystennin Fendigaid in the Red Book Triads,1 where his son Constans is called Cystennin Fychan (the Younger). He is also styled Cystennin Llydaw, and in the third or latest series of the Triads he is stated to have been one of " the Three Foreign Sovereigns of Britain." 2 He is credited with having been, in conjunction with the Emperor Theodosius, the original founder of Bangor Illtyd, that is, Llantwit Major.3 He is given as the grandfather of King Arthur, whose pedigree is made to run, Arthur ab Uthyr ab Custennin ab Cynfor ab Tudwal ab Morfor ab Eudaf ab Cadwr ab Cynan ab Caradog ab Bran.4 Among the triplets known as " the Stanzas of the Achievements" occurs the following—
The achievement of Cystennin Gorneu
The later genealogies include also among the Welsh Saints Constantine the Great, son of Maxen Wledig by Elen Luyddog, as well as his brothers Owain Finddu, Peblig, and Ednyfed.6 He is said in late documents to have founded the Archbishopric of York, and, along with his father, to have founded the church of Caerleon on Usk.7
The mediaeval Welsh Calendars give only one festival of a Cystennin, May 21, which is that of Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor.
Cystennin the Usurper hardly merits a place among the Saints. In 406 a swarm of Vandals, Sueves, and Alans had crossed the Rhine and inundated Gaul, ravaging it, and cutting off communication between Britain and Rome. Italy had been invaded by Alaric in 402, it was again invaded by Radagasius in 405. Under the feeble sway of Honorius the Western Empire was falling to pieces. In 407 the Roman soldiers in Britain raised a private soldier Constantine
1 Mabinogion, ed. Rhys and Evans, pp. 298-9; Myv. Arch., pp. 393, 395.
2 Myv. Arch., p. 405. 3 Iolo MSS., p. 134.
4 MostynMS. 117 (thirteenth century). This Cystennin is called Cystennin Gorneu in the Iolo MSS., p. 137, and is said to have been the father of Arthwg, the grandfather of S. Eldad. 5 Iolo MSS., p. 264.
6 Ibid., pp. 113, 138. At the latter reference another brother, Gwythyr, is given, and Peblig is said to have been the son of Owain.
7 Ibid., p. 221; Myv. Arch., p. 407.
to the purple. The name had a charm for them, and they hoped that with the name of the first Christian Emperor he would inherit his greatness. The proclamation was made by the second and sixth Legions, stationed respectively at Richborough (Rutupiae), and York (Eburacum). For the four succeeding years, the legions in Britain and Gaul were of no service towards the Empire. This revolt made its ruin all the more complete and speedy. From Britain Constantine crossed into Gaul, and the Roman legions there revolted and joined his standard.
It is somewhat remarkable that Gildas, who speaks of the previous revolt of Maximus with such horror, and of him as "accursed," should say not one word against the usurper Constantine; and this looks much as though he regarded Constantine with respect and his memory with tenderness.
Stilicho sent Sarus the Goth to oppose the progress of the Usurper, and he defeated and killed Justinian, and contrived the assassination of Nervigastes, the two ablest generals of Constantine. The latter was besieged by Sarus in Vienne, but Edobincus and Gerontius, two generals who had replaced those who had been slain, came to his aid, and drove the besiegers back over the Alps.
Constantine now fixed his court at Valence on the Rhone, and turned his arms against the inrushing Vandals, Sueves, and other barbaric hordes, and pushed them back, so that the Rhine frontier was safer than it had been since the days of Julian. He proceeded to send his son, Constans, into Spain, and in 408 this prince—he had been created Caesar—was pressing hard the troops that remained faithful to Honorius in the peninsula.
In the early days of the year 409, Constantine, who was now master of the three great provinces of the West, sent eunuch ambassadors to the court of Honorius, to excuse his usurpation on the plea that he had been compelled to it by the soldiery. Honorius deemed it safest to come to terms with the "tyrant," and he recognized him as a partner in the Empire.
Constantine then entered Italy at the head of a strong army, with the secret intention of deposing the feeble Honorius, and making himself master of the whole Western Empire. He had halted under the walls of Verona, when he was suddenly recalled to Gaul by the defection of his general Gerontius, who, having the command of the army in Spain, persuaded the troops to support his revolt. Gerontius moved at once into Gaul and took prisoner and put to death Constans, the son of Constantine, at Vienne. Constantine threw himself into Aries, and was there besieged by Gerontius. But an army sent by Honorius compelled Gerontius to raise the siege and fly to the Pyrenees, where he soon after perished.
In Aries, in expectation of receiving little consideration from Honorius, Constantine took refuge in a church, when the troops of Honorius surrounded the city. He accepted ordination as priest, thereby finally abandoning all claims to the imperial throne. After having received a solemn promise of safety, confirmed by oaths, he opened the city gates, and was taken along with a son, Julian, and sent as prisoners to Rome. A conscientious observance of oaths was not a feature in the character of the despicable Honorius, and he ordered both captives to be put to death, when they were still thirty miles distant from Ravenna.
Constantine was an able general, and had his revolt succeeded, he might have staved off for a while the downfall of the Western Empire.
S. CORBRE, Confessor
In Peniarth MS. 176 (of the middle of the sixteenth century), known as the Booh of Griffith Hiraethog, occurs the entry, "Eglwys gorbre sant ymonn," "S. Corbre's Church in Anglesey," by which is intended the church of Hen Eglwys, "the Old Church." 1 The church is also called " Llan y Saint Llwydion," "the Church of the Holy Saints." 2 It is usually said to be dedicated to a S. Llwydian, with festival on November 19 or 22, but he has clearly been evolved out of the last name.
Mynwent Corbre, "Corbre's Cemetery," is mentioned in the twelfth century Black Book of Carmarthen? in one of the "Verses of the Graves," which are memorials of the places of sepulchre of about 200 warriors and persons of distinction connected with the early history of Britain. The triplet may be rendered thus—
The grave of Ceri Gleddyfhir (the Long-sworded) is in the confine of Hen
Tarw Torment (the Bull of Conflict) in the cemetery of Corbre.
Corbre is the Welsh form of the rather common Irish name Cairbre. There are three Saints of this name commemorated in the Irish Mar
1 Dr. J. Gwenogvryn Evans, Report on Welsh MSS., i, p. 978.
2 Ibid., p. 912.
3 Ed. Dr. J. G. Evans, 1906, p. 63. There is a farm called Corbre in Llanllechid, Carnarvonshire.
tyrologies. Cairbre Crum, Bishop of Clonmacnoise, on March 6, but he lived in the ninth century. Cairbre, Bishop of Moville, occurs on May 3, but there is no record as to the period at which he lived. The third is Cairbre or Coirpre, Bishop of Coleraine, on November n. He was a disciple of S. Finnian of Clonard and nourished about 540.1
Corbre is, no doubt, the original patron of Hen Eglwys. In the Extent of 1352 the villa libera of Hen Eglwys is given as held of SS. Faustinus and Bacellinus,2 by whom must be meant " Y Saint Llwydion." Of Bacellinus nothing seems to be known, nor anything definitely of Faustinus; but it is curious to note that Faustinus and -Marcellinus, Roman priests, are coupled together as two Luciferians that were exiled in 369, in the time of Pope Damasus. The only name approximating these on November 19 or 22 is Faustus on the 19th, an obscure Eastern martyr of the early fourth century. A Marcellinus is coupled with Marcellus as patron of Llanddeusant, also in Anglesey. They may have been the two Popes Marcellus (January 16) and Marcellinus (April 26), martyrs in the early fourth century, the former of whom succeeded the latter as Pope; but the Gwyl Mabsant of the parish, September 25, does not favour the supposition. A Marcellus is supposed to be patron also of Martletwy, Pembrokeshire.
S. CORENTINE, Bishop, Confessor
This Saint was the son of one of the colonists from Britain in the fifth century, and was born about the year 410. He retired into solitude in Plou-Vodiern in Armorican Cornouaille, and was granted lands by Grallo. He is reckoned the first Bishop of Quimper, and he signed the Canons of the Council of Angers in 453. Among these was one condemning "those vagabond monks who ramble about unnecessarily, and without letters of recommendation," a blow levelled against the Celtic Saints, who were greatly addicted to this rambling, but who did so to good purpose, for the establishment of latins or religious centres for the several clans or tribes.
Corentine had a little pool, with a spring of water in it, near his cell. By a special miracle, a fish lived in this basin, which served Corentine with a meal every day. He put his hand into the water, drew out the fish, cut off as much of its flesh as he wanted, and then
1 Colgan, Acta SS. Hibern., pp. 313, 406; Trias Thaumat., pp. 183, 380.
2 Record of Carnarvon, 1838, p. 44. Lewis Morris, Celtic Remains, pp. 183, 242, gives the former saint by mistake as Franciscinus.
I 8 2 Lives of the British Saints
threw it back into the spring, where it recovered itself before his next meal. There was a lame priest, a hermit, named Primael, who had a chapel at Chateauneuf-du-Faou. Corentine went to visit him. He slept the night at his hermitage, and next morning Primael went to fetch water from the spring, which was at some distance. As the old man was lame, and the way long, Corentine pitied him, and driving his staff into the ground, elicited a bubbling fountain at the hermit's door.
Two eminent Saints visited him one day. Corentine was in despair. He had flour, and could give them pancakes for dinner, but pancakes, before it was understood how to season them with sugar, nutmeg, and lemon, were thought to be very insipid. He went to his fountain to have a look at the fish. It would be like killing the goose that laid the golden eggs, if he broiled for his visitors the entire fish. But, to his great joy, he found the spring full of plump eels. He cooked them for dinner in light wine; and his visitors left, praising heaven for having given them so dainty a meal.
However, one day King Grallo lost his way when hunting, and arrived hungry at the cell of the Saint. Corentine was obliged then to cut an unduly large slice out of the back of his fish. The king's cook, without whom Grallo prudently did not lose himself, scoffed at the small supply, but as he began to fry the slice of fish, it multiplied in the pan sufficiently to satisfy the king and all who came to the hermitage. Grallo was naturally curious to see the fish itself, and Corentine took him to the fountain, where they found the creature frolicking about quite uninjured. An attendant of the king tried his knife on the fish, and the wound remained unhealed till Corentine discovered what had been done, restored the fish to soundness, and bade it depart lest it should get into mischief again through the concourse of the curious who would be sure to come to the fountain on hearing of the miracle. The prose for the feast of S. Corentine in the Quimper Breviary says that it was the bishop of Leon who tried his knife on the fish, but the lesson for the festival in the Leon Breviary repudiates the charge, and lays the blame on an attendant of the king. Grallo, charmed with the miracles he had witnessed, presented the forest and the hunting-lodge of Plou-Vodiern to the Saint.
The Life of S. Corentine 1 is late and a very unsatisfactory production.
1 Bibliotheque Nat., Paris, MSS. Lat. 12,665, f- 236; MSS. Fr. 22,321, f. 728, from the Breviaries of S. Brieuc and Nantes. Vita Sti. Corentini in Bullet, de la Soc. Arch, de Finistere, xii, pp. 148, et seq. A Life composed in the thirteenth century. Also a Life in Albert le Grand from the Breviaries of Quimper, Leon and Nantes.