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These pedigrees are generally given without any variation ; but to say nothing of the improbability that such memorials should be preserved during the three centuries and upwards of Roman ascendancy, they receive no confirmation from other authorities until the lower dates affixed, being the first that could be ascertained with any tolerable degree of accuracy. From those dates downwards, however, these pedigrees divide into several branches; their relationships multiply, and are so complex and interwoven that they could not have been traced with any degree of correctness unless they were recorded soon after the times in which they occurred, and it should not be forgotten that they are almost always reconcilable with chronology. It will be observed that the dates in question, to which may be added Teithfallt A. D. 430, and Ystrafael A. D. 330 from the first table, occur shortly before or soon after the departure of the Romans from Britain. May it not, therefore, be supposed that all the generations from thence upwards were invented to support the pretensions of those chieftains, who rose into power upon the decline of the Roman interest; for that they were forged at an early time is probable from the fact that they are at variance with the monkish stories respecting the British parentage of Constantine the Great. These worthies were likely to owe their influence to the system of clanship prevalent among the Celtic nations, and they would find it politic to show their descent from the families of Cassibelaunus and Caractacus, of whose existence and prowess they could be informed by their Roman masters, even if there had been no native traditions remaining.
The line of Eudaf ab Caradog, in the first table, demands a more especial attention upon the present occasion, inasmuch as it contains the names of several Saints; and as its details are more complicated, it presents features very different from the rest. Cadfrawd, the son of Cadfan, appears in a generation immediately succeeding that of Lleurwg; and upon re
ference to the Cambrian Biography, it is seen that this person
a Saint and Bishop who lived about the beginning of the third century.” It would appear that the editor of that work employed as his authority the Silurian catalogue of Saints, and that he calculated the dates accordingly; but in a lower part of the line the dates of other members of the family may be ascertained from the known era of their contemporaries in history. These dates, however, are so much at variance with the former that the whole chronology is confused. There is reason to think that the inconsistency has arisen from a very simple mistake on the part of some compilers of genealogies in the middle ages ; and to explain it a third table may be produced on the authority of George Owen Harry.
Tudwal 1 Llew, married Anna, daughter of Uther, A. D. 500 to 550
(Cynfor) Constantine, A. D. 433 Androenus
1 Constans Emrys or Ambrosius
Uther Emyr Llydaw
In this table it is necessary first to point out an error. In the Triads, Cynan Meiriadog is invariably said to be the brother of Elen; and if she was the daughter of Eudaf, Cynan must also have been the son of Eudaf. The name of Caradog may have slipt into the place of Eudaf from the generation preceding. If this arrangement be the correct one, it will immediately be observed that the names marked 1, 2, 3, and 4, are repeated twice over, and the mistake alluded to is simply this:-Cadfan the father of Stradwen, and Cadfan the father of Morfawr have been thought to be the same person, and the ancestry of the latter has been given to the former. Cadfan, the father of Stradwen,* which is only another name for Ystrafael, must be considered the first person or founder of his family, and the time in which he lived will depend upon the known date of his descendant Llew ab Cynfarch, who was contemporary with Arthur. Cadfrawd and Ystrafael will thus be placed in the first part of the fourth century; and Coel Godebog will be coeval with Constantine the Great, instead of being his grandfather, as reported in the legends. The pedigree of Cynan Meiriadog must commence with his grandfather Caradog, t and the notion that he was a descendant of the great Caractacus must be set aside. The general period in which he lived may be known from his connexion with the emperor Maximus, the date of whose usurpation is A. D. 383. But if Cynan Meiriadog was living in A. D. 380, it is impossible that his descendant in the fourth or fifth degree should be king of the Britons in A. D. 433. It appears, however, that George Owen Harry has confounded Constantine, the father of Ambrosius, with Cystennyn Goronog, a descendant of Cynan, and who succeeded to the sovereignty of Britain on the death of Arthur A. D. 542.
So much may be said for the sake of establishing the order of succession from the beginning of the fourth century, so as
* George Owen Harry, to fill up the chronology, has heaped the presumed ancestors of Stradwen and Morfawr, one upon the other; but notwithstanding this accumulation, the pedigree falls short of the era of Caractacus by a whole century.
+ According to the first table, Caractacus and Caradog the grandfather of Cynan were the same person, which cannot be admitted without committing an anachronism of two centuries.
to include the immediate ancestors of those chieftains who rose into power upon the departure of the Romans. It has been already observed that the Triads and the poems of the Bards allude to no affairs which were transacted in the third century ; and if the arrangements just made be correct, the genealogies afford no information as to the Saints who lived in the same period. This chasm in Welsh tradition is due to the quiet submission of the people under a foreign power; and if those accounts which relate to the age preceding prove uncertain, and occasionally incorrect, the remoteness of the time, as well as the interruption, must in fairness be sufficient to account for their inaccuracy and uncertainty. The third and early part of the fourth centuries include the usurpation of Carausius and the accession of Constantine, both of which happened in Britain, but these events more especially concerned the Romans. As regarded the history of the Britons
a nation, this was an eventful period. The Christian religion, doubtless, continued to make progress; but as for those who were engaged in the work of promoting it, no friendly Bard has preserved their names.
Nocte, carent quia vate sacro.
The Welsh Saints from A. D. 300 to A. D. 400.
In the year 303 occurred the persecution under Dioclesian, in which St. Alban, the Proto-martyr of England, and his contemporaries, Amphibalus, Aaron, and Julius, are said to have suffered martyrdom ; and though their history is obscured with fable, the credit of their existence may be maintained upon the testimony of writers of great antiquity;* but as their names are not noticed in any catalogue of Welsh Saints, it will not be necessary to say much respecting them. They appear to have been Romans rather than Britons, which may account for the circumstance of their having passed almost unregarded by the Welsh people. There is no church in Wales dedicated to Alban, or Amphibalus. Julius and Aaron are said to have been inhabitants of the Roman city of Caerleon upon Usk, where, according to Walter de Mapes, Geoffrey of Monmouth, as well as Giraldus Cambrensis, two illustrious churches were dedicated to their memory, and adorned with a convent of nuns and a society of regular canons. But as those authors, who flourished from A. D. 1150 to 1200, admit that these establishments did not exist in their time, but were among the glories of Caerleon which had passed away, the whole account may be regarded as a monkish fable, it being inconsistent with the history of the age to which it is referred. Soon after the Norman Conquest there was an ordinary church at Caerleon, dedicated to Julius and Aaron jointly,
* Constantius of Lyons, who wrote the life of St. Germanus about A. D, 500, Venantius Fortunatus, and Bede.