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TABLE VIII. Families Of Amlawdd Wledic (. And Of Gwrtheyrn Gwrtheneu (B). (A.) Amlawdd Wledig—Gwen, da. Cunedda Wledig.
TABLE IX. Pedigree Of Some Of The Early Kings Of Ireland.
A.R. with Baodan
LIVES OF THE BRITISH SAINTS
S. AARON, Martyr
The earliest authority for S. Aaron is Gildas, De excidio Britannia, § 10 (ed. Hugh Williams). He says, "God, therefore, as willing that all men should be saved, magnified His mercy unto us, and called sinners, no less than those who regard themselves righteous. He of His own free gift, in the above mentioned time of persecution, as we conclude,1 lest Britain should be completely enveloped in the thick darkness of black night, kindled for us bright lamps of holy martyrs. The graves where their bodies lie, and the places of their suffering, had they not, very many of them, been taken from us the citizens on account of our numerous crimes, through the disastrous division caused by the barbarians, would at the present time inspire the minds of those who gazed at them with a far from feeble glow of divine love. I speak of Saint Alban of Verulam, Aaron and Julius, citizens of Caerleon, and the rest of both sexes in different places, who stood firm with lofty nobleness of mind in Christ's battle." Some writers have been pleased to discredit the words of Gildas in reference to Aaron and Julius, but surely without reason; as Professor Williams well says: "One finds it difficult to understand why this story must be doubted. There must have been a tradition to this effect at Caerleon in the sixth century, and in the Book of Llan Ddv we find evidence of the very local tradition that has been said to be wanting. The Index of that book mentions about eighteen place-names beginning with Merthir (modern Welsh, Merthyr), one of which is 'Merthir Iun (Iulii) et Aaron.' A merthyr means, as its Latin original martyrium denotes, 'place of martyr or martyrs,' that is, a church built in memory of a martyr, and generally over his grave." Again,—" We can hardly doubt that such a name as Merthyr, from martyrium, is as old as llan, or cil, or disert, if not indeed older.
1 "Ut conicimus." The words imply that Gildas was not certain as to the exact period when the Martyrdom took place.