return to main page
The historical works of Venerable Bede tr. from the Latin,J. A. Giles,1843

Bebe's Chronicle of the Six Ages of the World

A.M. 4444 [493] - A.M. 4471 [520]

Zeno reigned 17 years. [Byzantine Emperor from 474-491] The body of the Apostle Barnabas, and the Gospel of Matthew in his handwriting, are brought to light by revelation from himself.

Odoacer, king of the Goths, made himself master of Rome, which from that time continued to be governed for a season by kings of that people. [Flavius Odovacer was a Germanic soldier, who became the first King of Italy with the acknowledgement of the Senate (476–493).]

On the death of Theodoric, son of Triarius [an Ostrogoth chieftain, a rival for the leadership of the Ostrogoths with his kinsman Theoderic the Great], Theoderic surnamed Valamer, obtained the sovereignty of the Goths, and after depopulating Maccdouia and Thessaly, and burning many towns nigh to the metropolis itself, he next invaded and made himself master of Italy. [Emperor Zeno had ordered Theodoric the Great, king of the Germanic Ostrogoths (475–526), to overthrow Odoacer and after killing him became ruler of Italy (493–526).]

Honoric, king of the Vandals in Africa, an Arian, banished more than 334 catholic bishops, and closed their churches ; he moreover inflicted tortures of all kinds on their people, even amputating the hands, aud cutting out the tongues of multitudes, but after all he could not silence the confession of the Catholic faith.

The Britons under Ambrose Aurelian, a man of great modesty, and perhaps the only one of Roman descent that had survived the Saxon slaughter, his noble parents having fallen victims to the same, ventured forth against the Saxons to gain a victory over that hitherto victorious people; from that time they fought with varied success, until by the arrival of more formidable numbers, the entire island was after a long season subdued.*


(*Footnote by translator: See Bede's Ecclesiastical History, Book I. Chap. XVI. In this period we place, also, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, A.D. 515. The death of Prince Arthur, A.D. 542. )

Bede's Ecclesiastical History, Book I. Chap. XVI

THE BRITONS OBTAINED THEIR FIRST VICTORY OVER THE ANGLES, UNDER THE COMMAND OF AMBROSIUS, A ROMAN

WHEN the victorious army, having destroyed and dispersed the natives, had returned home to their own settlements, the Britons began by degrees to take heart, and gather strength, sallying out of the lurking places where they had concealed themselves, and unanimously imploring the Divine assistance, that they might not utterly be destroyed. They had at that time for their leader, Ambrosius Aurelius, a modest man, who alone, by chance, of the Roman nation had survivcd the storm, in which his parents, who were of the royal race, had perished. Under him the Britons revived, and offering battle to the victors, by the help of God, came off victorious. From that day, sometimes the natives, and sometimes their enemies, prevailed, till the year of the siege of Baddesdown­hill, when they made no small slaughter of those invaders, about forty­four years after their arrival in England. But of this hereafter.