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VOL. I.]

OCTOBER, 1894.

[No. 6.

THE HISTORY OF WALES.

V.—THE ROMAN IN WALES.

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T was the work of Rome to stop Europe, the Britons clung fondly to Roman the migration of the nations and traditions long after the last Roman legion to form the restless tribes of the had departed. The roads, the mines, the

world into an organized state. cities, and the villas were left. And, above From Jerusalem in the east to Carnarvon all, the Roman method of government was in the the west,

left. While the tribal spirit

Britons were was broken and

struggling national inde

against the barpendence des

barians who troved; and out

poured into of the ruins of

their country, many states

they were and cities,

[graphic]

ANCIENT BRITISH CROSS AT MARGAM.

gaged in a no different in

less important wealth and

struggle for the religion and

continuation of civilization and

Roman unity history, Rome

and orderly rose in unriy

government. alled majesty

The British When Rome

leaders who fell, and when

fought against the nations

the Angle and which formed

Saxon in its empire fell

vaders fought asunder again

against each at the touch

other for the of the mighty

succession to barbarian of the

the departed east and north,

power of the each liberated

duke of the nation looked

Britains or of upon itself as

the count of the a little Rome.

Saxon shore. And the very By E. Donovan, 1805.

Wales owes barbarians, who had brought destruction its characteristic desire for independence to its over-civilized provinces, clothed to the mountains, and to them it owes themselves with the authority of the its ever-present division. Its second great officers of the great fallen Empire.

characteristic, the desire for unity which Among the other Romanized nations of seems to be inconsistent with its love of

(CARANORIVS
PYREIS

ROMAN MEMORIAL.

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independence, it owes to the discipline to the story of the conquest of Wales by
which Rome subjected it. Rome destroyed the Roman.
the independence of its four or five great A short time before the birth of Christ,
tribes, united it by means of roads, and Britain was inhabited by tribes, some of
gave it and its neighbouring mountains them just come over from the continent,
one powerful ruler. When the Romans

When the Romans and others gradually coming. The conleft, Wales was not so greatly affected quest of Gaul by Julius Cæsar put an end by the fall of the Roman Empire as to this migration ; and the British tribes some of the other parts of Britain were. were left, for a short time, to themselves. The English invasion did not affect it ex The close connection between British tribes cept in the way of cutting it off from and those of the mainland had caused Cornwall and Strathclyde, and furthering Julius Cæsar to appear on the British its unity by being a menace to it. So, in coast, with two legions, in the autumn of Wales, we look for an extensive and a last the year 55 before Christ, and with a ing influence exercised by the Roman. much larger force in the following year.

To those who know Wales well, the He found that one powerful tribe, the Roman is still strangely present, though Cativelauni, under its king Cassivellaunus, nearly fifteen hundred years have elapsed was extending its dominion over the other since the day of his power. The walls his tribes. Cæsar's interference did little more hands built are still seen at Chester and than show the weaker tribes they could Carnarvon and other places, his pits and appeal against an ambitious Briton to the smelting forges can still be seen in the lead all-conquering power of Rome. and copper districts of Powys, his chisel When the Romans came again in the marks are seen on the rocks of the gold year 43, nearly a hundred years after mountains of Merioneth, even his candles Caesar's departure, they found that the can be found occasionally in the mines that radiant Cymbeline and his sons exercised have been silent since he left.

a great power over the other tribes. The While writing these lines in the most Roman general Aulus Plautius defeated mountainous and inaccessible parts of Caratacus, Cymbeline's son, and wrested Wales, I can see a Roman villa,-standing from his family the power over the tribes on the level summit of a pleasant hill of Britain east of the Severn. Caratacus which juts out into the valley, facing the retired beyond the Severn, and united the morning sun, and overlooking a beautiful tribes of modern Wales against the inlake. Yesterday I was shown a piece of a vader. Somewhere on the eastern slopes beautiful Samian vase, with its well known of our mountains, the decisive battle belustrous red colour; the day before I saw a tween Caratacus and Ostorius Scapula, Roman brick turned up by the plough. In

described in the vivid and picturesque pages a marshy part of the mountain behind the of Tacitus, took place. Though Caratacus villa, piles of wood are still to be seen, and was taken to Rome to adorn a triumph, the the road can be traced by names like spirit of the warlike mountain tribes reLlechwedd Ystrad where it no longer exists. mained unbroken. Suetonius Paulinus Not so very far away are thousands of conquered Mon, and destroyed its druid Roman steps, still used by those who groves, but was recalled by rebellions in would have had to climb over boulders and through springing heather if it had In the year 78, Agricola came to Wales, not been for these Roman steps. If our finished the conquest, and the settlement of forefathers used the Roman road, lived in the country is associated with his name. the Roman villa, and spoke the Roman Under his firm but just and humane hand, language to a great extent, it is very im the land became peaceful and wealthy, and probable that, of all things, the political the building of towns and making of roads institutions of the future should not be took the place of vigorous war. On the affected by Roman traditions. But, before borders of modern Wales, the cities of passing to the “Sovereignty of Britain”

Sovereignty of Britain” Carleon, Uriconium, and Chester rose; and and Arthur, I must stop to relate briefly more to the west were Segontium and

his rear.

.

Moridunum, the beginnings of our Car- fend the western coast against the pirates, narvon and Carmarthen. From north to and to march, with a grandeur that left south two parallel roads ran, on each side indelible traces in Welsh imagination, along of the mountains, connected by a number the northern wall. of cross roads,-not very unlike our modern As the barbarian invasions were making railway system. The mineral resources of the connection between Britain and Rome the country were more extensively drawn less close, it was often difficult to know upon, and the Roman villas on the hill whether the governors of Britain were sides were centres of a unifying and of an subjects or emperor's. In 288, Carausius, enervating Roman civilization. Wales was connected with the western sea, ruled inrapidly becoming Roman, and the number of dependently and successfully in Wales. A Latin words introduced into Welsh show how welcome by the people, probally, is the rapidly Roman

[graphic]

one.

meaning of the ideas were

famous phrase permeating in

on his coin,stitutions and

"Come, thou thought in

long expected Wales.

It was in Even before

Britain that Agricola had

Constantine brought peace

was crowned, to Wales, there

before he conwere signs of

quered his the coming dis

rivals and ruled solution of the

again over the great Empire

whole world. of which Wales

By the middle now formed

of the fifth a living part.

century the The restless

hold of Rome nations of the

on Wales had north were

entirely gone. continually

In 410, Alaric gathering, they

took Rome itattacked the

self, and by the Roman prov

end of the sixth inces by sea

century Roman and land, and

Wales was the Picts of

separated from the north and

Rome by the pirates of the

Teutonic barwest were conBy E. Donovan, 1805.

barians who tinually pouring into Roman Britain. had spread over the flat lands of Lloegr as Two emperors, Hadrian and Severus, came far as Carleon and Chester. to build walls and to turn back the tide of barbarian invasion, but in vain.

Wales was part of the Roman diocese of During these wars Britain was naturally Britain for more than three hundred and divided into two parts for purposes of de- fifty years. During that time, the confence. The eastern portion, the flat lands nection between it and the continent was of the south and east, is associated with closer than it had ever been before, its the count of the Saxon shore. The western people were brought in contact, either at portion, the mountainous regions of the home or while in service abroad, with all north and west, is associated with the duke forms of religion and morality. The differof the Britains. His work it was to de ences between its own tribes became less,

PC CUCI

ANCIENT BRITISH CROSSES AT PYLE, GLAMORGANSHIRI.

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