THE RULERS OF THE SOUTH SAXONS or the
NOTHGYTH QUEST HYPOTHESIS ON
THE KINGDOM OF SUSSEX.
The Dragon of St. Leonard's Forest in Sussex.
For Saxon dress scroll down to bottom of page.
OFFICIAL SUSSEX FLAG,
MOTO, 'WE WUNT BE DRUV'.
The Nub of the Hypothesis.
FOR THE SOUTH SAXONS:
The Aellean Warlordship.
WARLORD AELLE OF
with CO-WARLORD CISSA
OF SUSSEX (Cissa Aelling,
born 477, oldest legitimate son)
The Cissan Kingdom.
KING CISSA OF SUSSEX
(died aged 90) 514-567,
with ALDERMAN WINE
CISSING ?c.521 till 563 and
with HRYWARH MAGIL
(married to Alhhild, daughter
of Cissa by Menia) 563- 567.
under CEAWLIN (?married to
Rihtwen daughter of Wine
Cissing) 567-592, probably
with UNDER-KING RICCEOL
Continuing Devolvement to?645.
The Realm of the Two
Dynasties, 1)with the Os-
Dynasty descended from
?Egcwald and Cissa, 2)with
the Aethel- dynasty
?AETHEL- AND OS-
possibly with UNDER-KING
(?natural sons of Aethelwealh)
THE OS- DYNASTY UNDER
KING CAEDWALLA with
THE OS- DYNASTY
KING NOTHHELM (NUNNA)
NOTHHELM with KING
WATT (?natural son of
?688-?701, and DUKE BRYNI
OF SOUTH SAXONS (?ditto)
2) WITH AETHEL- DYNASTY
with KING ATHELSTAN
?701-?722 and ALDERMAN
OSRIC (?son of Nothhelm by
Aethelthryth, daughter of
Aethelwealh and Eafe)
?722 till 758,
probably with KING
AETHELSTAN (his father)
OS- AND AETHEL-
KING OSMUND ?OSRICING
and KING EALDWULF
with KINGS AELFWALD and
OSLAC (also sons of Osric
The Vortigern (Gwrtheyrn)
Gold solidus of the Western Emperor Costantie III.
Ambrosius Aurelius (Emrys
Ben Aur), born ?411,
c457-c477. Son of Western Emperor Constantine III.
Artorius Ambrosius, born ?453,
?Validus (Emrys Wledig),
?adopted son of Ambrosius
Aurelius c477 till 508. Military
sobriquet: Gwledig Naw Cant
Lliwed or King Natanleod, =
The Ruler of 900 Companies.
Sussex shire county arms as given by John Speed the map maker.
Prince Frederick Augustus, First Duke of Sussex, 1773-1843.
Augustus at nine years old, by Gainsborough.
PAPER BY DAVID SLAUGHTER,BA(Hons),ATC (Sussex), Blue Robe Druid of the Welsh Gorsedd, dedicated to the author's wife ANNE.
Depiction of Aelle landing in Sussex.
Storm clouds over the Seven Sisters.
An illustration of Saxon warriors.
THE CONTENTS, FULL LIST:
DISSERTATION ON METHOD AND SOURCES
PART ONE: AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH
PART TWO: REBUILDING A POSSIBLE GENEALOGY
PART THREE: RECONSTRUCTED LIST OF RULERS
PART FOUR: THE TIMESCALE
PART FIVE: SPELLING IN OLD ENGLISH
Genesis of the South Saxons
Ancestral South Saxons c410-477
The text includes the following content on: Britain after 410, the Ouse and CuckmereValley Saxons High-Kingdom of the Britons, entries on the Vortigern from 399-456, Ambrosius Riomathus from 411-477, Elleswoutsdijk on the Westerschelde, Wlanca and Lancing, Aelle ?Hegeling from 450, Artorius Riomathus from 453, Vortimer, Hengist and freedom of the South Saxons 455, beginnings of Brito-Saxon dynasy in Sussex 455 and local Britons of Rhegin (sub-Roman Sussex), Cymen Wlencing from 45?, Cerdic Elesing/Cerddig vab Elised from 476, Aelle’s marriage and Hayling Island.
King Aelle in the Great Pendragon Campaign.
The Aellean Warlordship, 477-514
The text includes the following content on: Aelle’s warlordship, Hayling Island and Selsey, the Hermitage Stream as Mearcred’s Burn and Old Shoreham as Cymenesoranham, Aelle’s Britons, Arthurian battles, the destruction of and massacre at Anderidum in 491, Cissa’s appoinment as Co-Warlord aged fourteen, the survival of Sussex after Mount Badon in 493, Cissa’s marriage to Menia (?Menyw), speculated to have been the sister of Edela, Alderman of the Britons, see the annal for 500, the conjecture on surviving sub-Roman communities in Sussex, Natanleod’s defeat at the ‘camlann’ or bend in the Hamble at the river crossing of the old Roman road in 508.
The dew pond beneath the west side of Chanctonbury Ring.
Strength to Changing Times
The Cissan Kingdom 514-567
The text includes the following content on: the transformation of the Aellean Warlordship into Cissa’s Kingdom of the South Saxons in 514, the possible establishment of an hereditary Witan of the South Saxons formed from the members of a warmmot which had served Aelle and Cissa, Cissa as a pagan Saxon king and Wodenism, evidence of a rebellion against Cissa’s kingship in 514 (rather than military action in 540), Cissa’s royal centre at Cissanceaster (today’s Chichester) and the founding of Winesceselige (Old Winchelsea) by Wine Cissing who died in 563, Eadwine Cissing and Thuringia, the conjectural union of Ceawlin with Wine Cissing’s daughter, the social order in the Cissan Kingdom, Cissa’s co-ruler Llywarch, Alderman of the Britons, 563-567, possible dynastic rivalries and the lead up to the Devolvement on Wessex on Cissa’s death in 567.
Ceawlin's ancestor Cerdic, or Ceretic.
Devolvement on Wessex 567-645?
The text includes the following content on: the Under-Kings Ricwúlf and Riceól, the sons of Cissa’s daughter Alhhild by Llywarch (or Hrywyrh, but not Rhywyrch) and the Bretwalda Ceawlin, on whom Sussex had been devolved; the possible relationship between South and West Saxons, King Ceol, the aggression of King Ceowulf, King Cynegils, the eventual decline of West Saxon power, the rise of Northumbria and Penda’s Mercia, Bishop Birinus’mission in Wessex and the pagan stronghold of Sussex, Penda’s invasion of Wessex, the question of how and when the devolvement ended and the question of King Aethelwealh’s ancestry.
Storm clouds over Worthing in West Sussex.
Re-establishing the South SaxonKingdom. Realm of the Two Dynasties ?645-772
Developed on the basis of historical records
The text includes the following content on: King Watt, King Aethelwealh’s personal aldermen Beorhthun and Andhun, Bryni, first duke of the South Saxons, Wulfhere of Mercia, the Wihtware and the Meonware, Eafe of Hwicce and her family, the Irish mission at Bosham, Aethelwealh’s baptism, Aethelthryth, Aethelstan, Wilfrid of York’s conversion of the South Saxons, the South Saxons in Kent, Eadric and Hlothhere, Aethelwealh and his eldest son killed on the Isle of Wight, Caedwalla’s conquest of Sussex, Under-King Egcwald, the appointment of Nothhelm, Nothgyth, the martyrdom of St Lewina, St Cuthman’s mission, the Knucker of Lyminster, the Diocese of Selsey, the rebellions of Ealdberht, the borders of Sussex and Surrey in the warlike eighth century, the reconstruction of King Aethelberht’s reign, Aethelheard and Cuthred of Wessex, Aethelbald of Mercia, the reign of Osmund and his co-rulings leading to the collapse of the Kingdom of the South Saxons.
King Canute on Bosham beach.
The Mercian Province 772-825
HMS Offa, an O-class destroyer launched in March 1941.
The text includes the following content on: Offa’s takeover of Sussex and the demotion of her four kings, the relationship between Offa and the South Saxons, Offa’s Dukes of the South Saxons, Oswald, Oslac and Ealdwulf, Oswald’s charter and Bishop Osa, the isolation of Sussex when the Mercians lost Kent, Oslac’s charter and its witness list, Ealdwulf and Oslac’s charter, Ealdwulf and Aethelwulf, Charlemagne, King Offa’s successors and Denton in the Diocese of Selsey, the annexation of Sussex by Wessex, the parish church at Steyning.
Depiction of fighting between Saxons.
Section IV………The Miscellany
Anglo-Saxon Naming Patterns
Enigma of Cymen’s Shore
Old Shoreham as Cymenesoranham
Aelle’s Connection with Selsey Bill
Coast of Sussex in the Fifth Century
On Cissa’s Kingship
On the Ratio of Finding Graves
The Survival of South Saxon Charters
Possible Chronicle of the South Saxons
Eadwine Princeps Australium Saxonum
Latin inscription from Chichester.
Bilingual sign in Wales.
Development of Language in Former Roman Province of Britannia
circa 380 – circa 760
Development Stages in theCeltic and Germanic Languages
Generations of Brythonic and Germanic Speakers
A Radical Speculation on post-Roman rulers of Rhegin
The image of a teenage Hengist.
Section V…The Appendix
Enclave of the Haestingas ?449 until 825
A] Pagan Period
The Possibility of both King and Thingstead
Thoughts on the Jutish Warrior
On the Pagan Gods of the Haestingas
B] After the Coming of Christanity
Includes: On the Question of Jutish speech, c450-870
Cumin Seed, Calcite & Stone, Gold & Clay
Cumin and Cymen Wlencing
Calcite and Sunstone Technology
Stone and Irish Christianity
Gold and Runic Spells
Analogy of the Giant Pottery Vessel.
PRESENTING THE HYPOTHESIS
Light Sussex hen.
Trained historians, committed to the discipline of their calling and under the pressures inevitably put upon them, are unlikely to have the time to waste, let alone any desire, to compile hypothetical annals. On the other hand, an amateur may be driven by the urge to recover the scattered remnants of a tribal history and, during the same process, replace all that has been lost by thoughtful speculation. We will be judged in this endeavour by others. Thus the Nothgyth Quest has been an undertaking to reconstruct South Saxon history, along with a genealogy of the rulers, by means of research based conjecture. To put this another way, the writer embarked on a quest to try bridging the gap between the end of Roman Sussex and the Mercian province annexed by Wessex in 825; the self-set task has proved an absorbing adventure. The paper has also been written, in part, for those who already have an interest in historical Sussex, especially the centuries from the earliest charters up to the Norman conquest and the later Mediaeval period which followed. However, because the South Saxons emerged from the seismic decades of the fifth century, perhaps the Nothgyth Quest may prove a source for those motivated by Arthurian Britain and the early settlements of Anglians, Jutes and Saxons. It was, after all, the combined immigration of these tribes over many generations that eventually overcame the Britons. Please note that the question of the Germanic mercenaries’ revolt, when (the) Vortigern reneged on their pay, has not been discussed. In reality, from the writer’s viewpoint, this uprising might well have involved a majority of Jutish warriors and, except for a minority of individuals, probably had little to do with most South Saxon settlers. Our belief is that the relationship between the Britons and the South Saxons was most likely established long before the revolt and would have kept its continuity, even if the ex-Roman citizens had tended to look down on their barbarian neighbours. On the other hand we have included Vortimer’s campaign because, under his leadership, the Britons bagan to fight back which had profound consequences for Aelle and his South Saxons. Ideas have also been developed, as an integral part of the paper, on the Germanic language of the new settlers from northern Europe and the Brythonic tongue of the Romano-British people.
The writer has tried to bear in mind the curious reader too, whose interests lie in delving into a wider range of historical subjects, and who is also attracted to the seemingly more obscure areas of the past. The subject of the so called Heptarchy and its plethora of kingdoms, of which the South Saxons were part, comes into this category. Moreover, besides the conjecture which has built this reconstructed story of Sussex, the Nothgyth Quest has tried to include as much detail as possible about different aspects of human life during the centuries covered by the text. The latter may be of use to the less initiated. It is hoped, as well, that the work will lend itself as a facility which can be ‘dipped into’ by readers who like to enjoy several books at a time or by the student needing a diversion from the demands of specialised scholarship. In the manner of ‘it has been suggested that’ or ‘a case might be argued for’, it is also hoped this hypothesis may be employed as an acceptable source of reference by those writing on the history of Sussex. Above all, the Nothgyth Quest has been undertaken to try and replace what has been irrevocably lost from the depleted annals of South Saxon history.
A map showing the invasions of Britain from a European perspective.
The reader will note that we have presumed there to have been four royal families in Sussex, but this should come as no surprise, because there has long been reference to the South Saxon dynasties as opposed to a single House of Sussex or House of Aelle. We believe our understanding of kingship in Sussex as one that was essentially shared is in line with professional opinion, although we shall refer loosely to the occasional unitary king where we have concluded a co-ruler was a royal relative not raised to kingship. There is, for instance, no evidence that Wine Cissing (founder of Old Winchelsea, or Winesceselige) was ever King of the South Saxons, yet he was likely to have been Cissa’s co-ruler. More strictly speaking shared, or even group kingship, must have been the normal form of governance in Sussex before the Mercian conquest in 771x772. While stressing to the reader the speculative bias of his paper, the writer does believe the overall account it gives of the South Saxons and their surrounding world is a feasible rendition of their story. It has been said that there are revelationary strengths in hypothesis, strengths which the writer has strenuously tried to apply. Even where less cautious, radical conjectures have been put forward, they may offer an invitation to explore possibilities and extend horizons. However, the attempt to reconstruct the history of the Jutish Haestings in Section V, about whom little has been recorded, is very radical and therefore far less well founded as conjecture. In as much as the normal discipline of history demands acceptable documented records, an hypothesis which attempts to reconstruct lost history demands that a reasoned explanation for each conjecture must be given and, as far as possible, that explanation should be justified as well.
Contemporary South Saxon warrior of hockey.
We have also employed sources which would be eschewed by most students of recorded history, for example folk legends and less orthodox chronicles. In the case of the latter truth has to be sifted from fable, but on what basis? We have aimed to be constrained by reference to certain guidelines. These have been defended in the text, the main factors being: 1) South Saxons started to settle early in the fifth century; 2) Hengist forced (the) Vortigern to recognise South Saxon independence; 3) Aelle of Sussex landed in 477 and died in 514; 4) Aelle’s son Cissa became the co-leader of the South Saxons on reaching teenage manhood at 14. 5) Cissa lived to be 90 and his regnal dates as founding King of the South Saxons were 514-567; 6) Mount Badon was fought in 493, it was Artorius Natanleod who was killed in 508 and the massacre at Anderidum was because the local Britons were in league with him; 7) There was a Cymen Wlenching of Old Shoreham and the Wincheling of Winchelsea was Wine Cissing. The latter probably predeceased his father in 563; 8) There were sub-Roman communities which suvived in Sussex and that Cissa married a Briton recorded as Menia, very likely Germanicised from the Celtic Menyw; 9) Cerdic Elsing was originally Ceretic vab Elised of a Saxon mother; 10) Ceawlin, in spite of his aggression against the West Britons, would have been prepared to work with Brito-Saxon under-kings, who were Cissa’s blood relatives, during the Devolvement on Wessex. We hope that none of these statements go against the essence of either Bede or the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and, at the same time, neither would they be incompatible with the evidence of archaeology; for instance, it has been totally accepted that Aelle, Cymen, Wlanca and Cissa were all members of the same close family, although not as the brothers Cymen Aelling, Wlencing Aelling and Cissa Aelling. The writer has strayed by a small measure from this self imposed discipline in the case of the exploration of certain dates given in the earliest remnants of South Saxon genealogy. Here the subject matter relates specifically to the annals for 486, 490, 491, 492 and 514 in Roger of Wendover’s Flores Historiarum and the discussion has been given in a somewhat more cut and dried manner. This, it is hoped, the reader will excuse.
Teutonic Elves, an illustration from the Asatru Community website
Avoiding subjectivity is very difficult in this process, but we earnestly hope that by giving reasons for every conjecture an acceptable measure of objectivity has been maintained at every stage of the hypothesis. Indeed, in this respect, unexpected factors regularly presented themselves which had to be taken seriously as likely elements of lost South Saxon history, leading to considerable, painstaking revision of important elements in the text. Consistency being considered the bench mark by which the possible accuracy of an hypothesis is to be judged, the matter it contains ought to link up in a chain of theories which produce a reasonably strong structure, in this case, of conjectural history. Any exceptions to the structure of an hypothesis, therefore, may be judged as a failure in the chain of events, increasing the possibility that other individual links could be unviable. We have tried to ensure that this dilemma does not arise by ensuring an overall compatibility. Furthermore, our aim has been to write the hypothesis in such a manner as to keep the reader constantly aware of the speculative nature of the reconstruction it presents. Unless this pinciple can be achieved, the hypothesis is inevitably weakened by arguments which have not been conceived with enough rigour. Our intention has been to apply these principles throughout the paper and we hope the reader will find that we have, in large measure, succeeded in doing so. Any lapse has not been intended.
KEY DATES 514, 563 AND 567. TEXT TAKEN FROM THE DISSERTATION ON METHOD AND SOURCES.
NOTE: The Nothgyth Quest Hypothesis has taken the line that there were sub-Roman communities in Sussex, which became integrated with the new Germanic population, and that the massacre and destruction at Pevensey very likely had to do with a threat of naval incursion by Artorius. On the presumption that we are historically correct in these matters, then it would have been natural for the Romano-Britons and Brito-Saxons in Sussex to have known Hrywyrh, the second King’s Alderman, as Llywarch Mael or Hrywyrh Magel (compare the Brito-Saxon name Maegla). Mael was the title given by the Britons to a governing lord or prince, as is clearly demonstrated by the reference to Coinmail or Coinmagil and Ffaronmail or Fffaronmagil in the Winchester and Peterborough manuscripts respectively of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Our commitment to the dates 514, 563 (re: Roger of Wendover’s date for Malgo’s death and Caretius’ succession in 586) and 567 (re: the Wendover date for Cissa’s death in 590) is to be revealed in depth immediately below and the reader can then decide whether or not to take on board our argument.
Vincent of Beauvais writing in a manuscript.
The calculations given in the ensuing paragraphs are presented in Roman rather than Arabic numerals (the latter displacing Roman figures from the late fourteenth century) in order to show these sums in a way that Roger of Wendover probably added and subtracted, in the first half of the thirteenth century, as a Benedictine monk at St Alban’s Abbey. Our conviction is that they have a direct bearing on three significant dates of decease in the South Saxon story. The death of Aelle the Bretwalda in 514, the death of Wincheling (Wine Cissing) in 563, and the death of King Cissa aged 90 in 567. The writer’s belief is that Wine was Cissa’s eldest son and his Winchelsea based co-ruler until he predeceased his father in 563. Wine was then succeeded by Hrywarh (wrongly Rhywyrch) a Briton whose title as a co-ruler with Cissa would have been ‘mael’ Anglicised to mail, magil or, perhaps, magel. Hrywyrh’s native name must have been Llywarch and he had married Alhhild, Cissa’s daughter by Menia (Menyw), another Briton. More will be revealed on this subject as our reconstruction of South Saxon history is developed.
In creating his chronicler’s garden of ‘history’ flowers (Flores Historiarum) we believe it can be argued that Roger of Wendover had a covert interest in relating historical figures, dates and periods of time to Latin cardinals and ordinals and Roman numerals. For instance, the account of the Wendover Mahomet, a cunning magician and heretic, is placed in the year that Jerusalem fell to Muhammad the Prophet, 622. In this distorted yarn Queen Cadisan (Khadija bint Khuwaylid) of Corozon (invented from Qur’an+Sunnah) went from admiring ‘the various merchandize which Mahomet had brought with him’ to becoming fascinated with his incantations and, having been led into error, she then married him. Roger’s narrative was then continued on what appears might have been the xenophobic and contemptuous anectodes from crusaders about the Saracens. While Roger made no mention of Jerusalem, there does seem to have been another element concerning his choice of year, 622. In Latin ‘in the six hundredth and twenty second year of the Lord’ would be ‘in anno sescento quod vicesimo secundo Domini’. Similarly, ‘in the twenty second verse of the sixth chapter’ would be ‘in verso vicesimo secundo capitis sextis’. The ordinals which the two phrases contain are close in either language. In St. Matthew’s Gospel this is the verse (Matt.6 v22) in which Jesus said, "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light”. In the next verse he said, “but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” We suggest that Roger was reminded of this teaching in regard to the year 622 and that, from his point of view, because Queen Cadisan’s eye had been attracted to Mahomet by his wealth and wizardry she had eventually been led into the darkness of Mahomet’s heresy. This interest in cross-referencing history and numerals to develop an annal, rather like the grafting of roses, will now be demonstrated by the exercise immediately below.
Jean Miélot compiling the Miracles de Notre Dame.
Maths in Roman Numerals.
In this system one carried X’s (10’s) from the first column to second, C’s (100’s) from the second column to the third and M’s (1000’s) from the third column to the fifth. One carried across the tops of columns from left to right and across the bases of columns going from right to left. Here we are dealing with both periods of time and the heading dates of annals which we believe once existed.
CD/LXX/VII (477) the date for Aelle’s landing at Cymenesoranham added to the .......LXX...II (72) yrs. = Anderidum (491) to Hrywyrh as Cissa’s co-ruler (563) gives D……XLIX (549), coincidently resulting in the date for the hundredth anniversary of the Adventus Saxonum (449). This coincidence, we think, instigated some thoughts in Roger of Wendover’s mind, presuming he would then have observed the following: D...X...IV (514) the date of Aelle’s death and the start of Cissa’s kingship minus CDXC...I (491) the date of Anderidum gives XXIII (23) years; if one then adds the …..XXIII (23) years of Cissa’s co-leadership with Aelle, his father, with the year D..LXVII (567) the actual date of Cissa’s death aged XC, you can contrive Cissa’s death to have been in DXC (590). This computation would have given Roger certain opportunities for his Flowers of History which we shall now explore in greater depth.
Flores Historarium by Roger of Wendover.
UNCOVERING THE DATE OF KING CISSA'S DEATH AND CONFIRMING THE TRADITIONAL DATE OF AELLE'S DECEASE IN 514.
The dilemma of Roger’s date 590 for the death of Cissa is that the monk also recorded Aelle’s landing in 477 with his sons Cymen, Plenting (Wlencing) and Cissa. Therefore this manipulation of Cissa’s date of death made him a very unlikely 113+ when he died. On the other hand, St. Alfarius, who founded the Benedictine monastry of La Trinità della Cava in 1011, is said to have been born in 930 and to have died in 1050. One can only imagine that the monk had two things in mind. The lifespan of Moses, calculated by Rabbinical Judaism to have corresponded to 1391-1271 BC and a boy Cissa who was about seven years old in 477. In this regard, one must remember a Benedictine’s faith in the authority of the Bible. This trust might have allowed Roger to believe literally that Moses had died aged 120. Our conclusion has been that Cissa must have been born in 477 and that he died at the great age of 90, or during his ninetieth year in 567.
ROGER OF WENDOVER'S HEROIC SAINT PATRICK.
While on the topic of life span, let us look at the Wendover St. Patrick who lived for 122 years. Here is the quarternity, documented in Roger’s chronicle, which equates St Patrick with Moses: 1) An angel conversed with Patrick in a burning bush; 2) Patrick fasted forty days and nights on a mount; 3) Patrick like Moses lived for 122 years; 4) Patrick’s sepulchre, like the grave of Moses, has never been found. We would argue that Roger found spiritual symbolism in St. Patrick’s six score years and two and offer the ensuing approach to decipher it. Lilith, by tradition the serpent who tempted Eve, can be linked here to the L in Roman numerals in relation to Patrick, for he was said to have who expelled snakes from Ireland. Here, for example, is one way in which Lilith can be made to vanish in Roman numerals: XL (40) added to LX (60) becomes C (100) which could stand for Christus. Roger could then have contrived to double the LX (60), that is ‘LX tempora II pares C’ (60x2=120) for potency, and develop a ‘CXX plus II, pro Alpha quod Omega, pares CXXII’ (120+2, for Alpha and Omega, =122) for the saint’s invented longevity of 122 years. This is reminiscent of the figure 888 which represented Jesus in Greek numbers, Eta having the numerical value of eight. Roger gave Patrick’s date of death as 17th of March CDXCI (491). The CD has to be there for the fifth century. The XCI is presumedly made up of XL days of Lilith’s temptations, XL years of pilgrimage in Lilith’s presence and XI, which can be put together to indicate the Chi-Rho monogram, to complete the sum of XCI (91). Once again Lilith has been expelled. The Chi-Rho monogram of Christ was described by Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea (lived 263-339) in his Life of Constantine (De Vita Constantini). The Emperor Charlemagne had regarded himself as the successor and equal of Constantine the Great, whilst Constantine was to acquire mythic status as the warrior who stood against heathendom. It was also under the Carolingian emperors that the Rule of Benedict became the guideline for all western monasteries. The Rule encouraged their scriptoria to copy not only monastic theology, scriptural exergesis, patristics and the Bible, but the Graeco-Roman classics as well. The exceptional library at St. Albans had been rapidly increased in the middle of the twelfth century and even contained unusual examples of Arabic scholarship. This facility must have been a gift to Roger and the grammarian, poet and physicist, John of Wallingford, who had been schooled in Paris and who held the abbacy of St. Abans 1196-1214, must have been another inspiration.
THE EXPLORATION TO UNCOVER THE DATE OF WINCHELING'S DEATH.
The iconic King Cissa would have been legendary in medieval Sussex, inciting the interest and enquiry of mediaeval historians such as Roger of Wendover. Cissa was probably said to have landed with Aelle at Selsey and assisted his father to destroy the Pevensey fort, to have lived for 90 years and founded the Kingdom of Sussex, to have married a Briton by whom he had 2 sons, one dying 4 years before him and the other being a knight of King Arthur, to have had a British co-ruler and Brito-Saxon grandsons who later became kings. If this was the popular tale, in which the Britons had played a positive role and it had been heard by Roger, who clearly despised the Britons, he would have been more than keen to express a countervailing view. Wincheling (Wine Cissing) was remembered as Cissa’s son by the folk of Winchelsea and was almost certainly his father’s co-ruler in the east of the kingdom. Unlike Sir Audoin (Eadwine), though, Cissa’s other son, there was no Arthurian story attached to Wincheling and he does not appear on any king list. This paper has concluded, therefore, that Wincheling predeceased his father.
Self-portrait of Matthew Paris, a younger contemporary of Roger of Wendover.
Conceivably Roger might have had access to South Saxon annals during the early stages of compiling the Flowers of History. The Boxgrove Benedictine Priory was three miles from Chichester cathedral, where we believe any South Saxon annals would have been kept, and visiting monks from St Albans could have lodged at the priory. It appears that the Norman library at Chichester could have escaped the great fire of 1187, since nine twelth century manuscripts given by Bishop Seffrid II (episcopal dates 1180-1204) have survived and so might have a Chichester chronicle. The particular annals which are revealed, we contend, would have recorded Wine Cissing’s death in 563 and King Cissa death in 567. The South Saxons were heathens at this time, whereas Bede had recorded how St. Columba (Colum Cille) had come to Britain (Iona) in 565 to preach Christianity to the northern Picts. The stark contrast between pagan Sussex and Pictish conversion was likely to have struck a Benedictine historian and drawn his attention to any South Saxon annals during the 560’s. We claim, as well, that when Roger had read of Cissa’s death aged 90, the papacy of Gregory the Great, Father of Christian Worship, could well have come to mind as well, for it was in 590 that the Gregorian papacy began. Our paper also contends that the Romano-Britons made victorious attacks on the South Saxons which are condensed, perhaps in a more palatable form for Roger’s audience, in his annal for 492. They became part of Aelle’s seige and destruction of Andredes Ceaster. Roger’s date 492 for the demise of Anderidum, instead of Bede’s 491, probably reflects the monk’s need to open a new annal for Pevensey after his long annal for St Patrick in the previous year and, conveniently, 492 marked the end of an indiction cycle. At this point, we have a list of encounters, which are fully discussed further down, and which we suggest must have been observed by Roger of Wendover in whatever South Saxon records, because his annal for 492 so exactly reflects the kind of reciprocated fighting which these events reveal:
477. Aelle lands at Seley/local Britons take flight, successful Saxon incursion.
485. Mearcred’s Burn, indecisive/Treaty agreed between Saxons and Britons.
488. Carbrinanburh, Britons defeated/South Saxons victorious.
489. Cengandun, South Saxons defeated/Britons victorious.
489. Flossandene, South Saxon defeated/Britons victorious.
491. Anderidum, fort destroyed and Britons massacred/Aelle’s greatest triumph.
493. Mount Badon, South Saxons and Jutes crushed/Artorius’ greatest tiumph.
501. Porta captured Porchester, Britons defeated/?South Saxons victorious.
504. Cymen, the son of Wlanca, killed fighting the Britons.
Din Gonwy, now Deganwy, traditional home of Maelgwn Gwynedd.
Our view is that he would also have read something like the proceeding reconstructed South Saxon annals for the period 500-567 which have been extracted from Item 10 of the Miscellany, ‘The probability of a Chronicle of the South Saxons’. If there had been mention of a Hrywyrh Magel (Llywarch Mael), as our annal for 563 suggests, Roger would surely have been reminded of Geoffrey’s Malgo (Maelgwn Gwynedd). The writer believes that the Britons would have played a considerable role in Sussex up till 592.
501. Here came Porta with his sons Bieda and Maelgo to Porchester and drove out the Britons.
504. Here Cymen was killed fighting Natanleod and the Britons.
514. Here Aelle the Bretwalda died and Cissa became King of the South Saxons and his hall was at Cissanceaster. In the same year came Ifa son of Wuffa with Hunred and Ceretic the Briton and fought Cissa for the kingdom. And Cissa defeated them.
519. Here Eleda, the son of Elli+ became Alderman of Cissa’s Britons. And that Eleda was the father of Hrywyrh.
The Old Harbour at Winchelsea.
521][ Here Wine Cissing founded his settlement on Winesceselige and he built ships to match the ships of the Haestingas.
531. Here Eadwine the son of Cissa and his Saxons sailed to Thuringia to fight against the Franks and the Thuringians were defeated and their king was killed.
546. Here Edela passed away and Hrywarh became alderman.
563. Here [the manuscript possibly damaged]* by Menia the Briton. After his death Hrywyrh the Briton, Menia’s brother, became the King’s alderman and they called him Hrywarh Magil. And he was the father of Ricwulf and Ricceol by Alhhilda the daughter of Cissa.
[Whereas Roger records that ‘In the year of grace 586, Malgo King of the Britons was succeeded by Caretius’…(this statement leads to a damning criticism of the Britons). Then, ‘At this time there were eight kings in the island whose names were as follows, Athelbert in Kent, Cissa in Sussex (deceased aged 90 in 567), Ceaulin in Wessex, Credda in Mercia, Erkenwine in Essex, Titilus in East Anglia, Ella in Deira and Affrid in Bernicia’. We believe the clues here are Malgo and Cissa derived from two annals of South Saxon origin, one of which was like the one above stating that Hrywarh Magil became King Cissa’s co-ruling alderman in 563.]
567. Here Cissa died. He was ninety years old and held the Kingdom of the South Saxons for fifty three winters. And the kingdom passed to Ricwulf and Ricceol, the sons of Hrywarh, who were Cissa’s grandsons. They held the kingdom for twenty five winters and Ceawlin was their overlord.
[Whereas Roger records ‘In the year of grace 590 on the death of Cissa, King of the South Saxons, that kingdom devolved on Ceaulin, King of the West Saxons’, instead of Cissa’s death in 567 aged 90 and ‘that kingdom devolved on Ceaulin’. Strangely there is no mention of Gregory the Great’s election as Pope, but Roger was on a different track. The story of the Wendover St Gregory opens in 591 when the blessed Gregory was the Archdeacon of Rome. The Tiber had broken its banks and the plague swept through the city. Gregory ordered the Sevenfold Litany to be said by seven numbered sections of society, 1) all clergy 2) all abbots and monks 3) all abbasses and nuns 4) all children 5) all laity 6) all widows and 7) all the married, which pacified God’s anger and freed the city from the pestilence. Then, in five hundred and ninety two, Gregory became Pope and, amongst other acts of piety, rescued the pagan Trajan from hell because Trajan had once delayed going to war so that he could ensure justice for a grieving widow whose son had been executed in spite of his innocence. Two times the square of seven gives the date of Trajan’s gaining the imperium in 98. In point of fact Gregory ordered the Litania Septiformis to be said by processions of clergy, of laity, of monks, of virgins, of matrons, of widows, and of the poor and children.]
Pope Gregory the Great.
+ For Elli (Eli) see ‘The Legend of Alesa and Elli (Aelle)’ below. ][ 521 a notional date for Wine Cissing's having reached his maturity
*Roger of Wendover made no mention of Wine Cissing’s predeceasing his father in relation to the Devolvement. Perhaps the reason for this omission was because, in whatever manuscript Roger was reading, the wording at this point was illegible, the speculated missing words being ‘Wine Cissing died and Wine was Cissa’s son’. However the term Magel or Magil (i.e. Mael), which would have been bestowed upon Hrywarh by the Romano-British element in Sussex when he became a co-ruler, is very near to the name Maglo (Maelgwn Gwynedd) who, according to Roger of Wendover, died 4 years before King Cissa, in 586. Working back from an actual date for Cissa’s death in 567, aged 90, we can calculate that the elevation of a Briton, called Hrywyrh Magel or Magil, as Cissa’s personal alderman would have been found in a South Saxon annal for 563. Accepting this assertion, it seems not unreasonable to assume that the Briton’s promotion took place in the wake of Wine Cissing’s decease in the same year. Magil in its native form MAEL meant either a ruling lord or ruling prince (i.e. a man or royal status), so that is hardly surprising, however unlikely, to find Hrywyrh listed as Rhywyrch, the third King of Sussex whose claim rested on his marriage to Alhilda (i.e. Alhhild), King Cissa’s sole heiress. Even on the basis that Hrywyrh was the only son-in-law of the deceased Cissa, a South Saxon witan would not have granted kingship to a Briton who was not Cissa's consanguinal relative.
ROGER OF WENDOVER'S UNHEROIC BRITONS.
The Devolvement we have accepted as historical and Roger had also stated in an earlier annal that ‘In the same year (514) died Ella’. 514 is perfectly acceptable to this paper, as has been indicated above, and we have calculated that Aelle would have been about 64 when he passed away. Roger’s Gwyneddan annal, however, is fabricated to introduce Caretius, Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Keredic, who represented the reprehensible Briton. The diatribe against him in Geoffrey’s history is given in the manner of a scolding Gildas. Strictly for the record, Annales Cambriae stated that Maelgwn Gwynedd (i.e. Malgo) died of the plague in 547. We believe that Roger had an objective for his Gwyneddan annal and Caretius/Keredic provided the perfect character for this purpose since Caretius ‘loved civil wars and was odiuos to God and to his subjects’ and the Angles and Saxons had driven him ‘from city to city till at last they chased him beyond the Severn into Wales’. Having placed King Cissa’s date of death to 590, it was merely a matter of moving the elevation of Hrywarh Magil in 563 (and death of Wine Cissing) to Malgo’s supposed decease in 584. This gave Roger the chance to develop a scathing diatribe about the Britons which is succeeded by a second paragraph on the consolidation of England and the commitment of her rulers ‘wholly to obliterate Britain and all memory of the Britons’. Roger of Wendover told his readers about how the Britons were for a long time without a royal diadem, of how they fought amongst themselves and how they came to be ruled by three tyrants instead of one king. Roger went on to write about how their miserable remnants had sought refuge in Cornwall and Wales, where they were confined against their will in dense forests, deep marshes and (the Welsh) mountains, and on how they broke out like mice from their holes to harass the English, whom they esteemed as no better than dogs, with deadly hatred and cruelty. Indeed, if they captured Englishmen during the course of war the Britons (in other words the Welsh) would behead them. As to British Christianity, in the face of the pagan invader, their archbishops, Theon of London and Thadioceus of York, had fled, leaving the provinces of Loegria and Northumberland ‘wholly destitute of clergy’. It is worth remembering in this context, that Prince Llywelyn the Great dominated Walia Pura (Welsh Wales), during the forty six years of his nation building principate from 1194 until his abdication in 1240. This political situation would have been on-going through most of Roger of Wendover’s adult life and, monk or no monk, could well have caused him considerable irritation.
Collage from illustrations found in the Book of Hours MS Codex 003141 at the Rauner Library, French c1440, on Altoon Sultan's blog titled Studio and Gardens.
THE THEGNS OF MERCIA, AED THOMPSON, ANDREW THOMPSON AND ANTHONY LEWIS
king Edgar the Peaceful
Anglo-Saxon Group, re-enactment from Helen Hollick's Picture gallery.
Wuffing Education. Alderman Paul Mortimer at West Stow.
Modern girl in Saxon costume outside a Saxon house. Lothene Archaeology.
Aethelflaed, the Lady of the Mercians (869-913).
Monks taught children in Anglo-Saxon England. Peter Jackson.
Saxon churl or free serf.
Bede's World. Anglo-Saxon children
A gathering of Anglo-saxons.
King Canute and his wife Queen Aelfgifu.
Children in a Saxon home. Re-enactment.
ANGLO-SAXON WARRIORS RE-ENACTMENT.
Baron G in work mode as a Saxon peasant.
Anglo-Saxon shoes made of cow's skin leather.
Saxon peasants paying their taxes. Gouache by Peter Jackson, 1969.
Anglo-Saxon warrior, circa 1000 AD. rosieandglenn.co.uk
Anglo-Saxon dress from a reconstructed burial.
Re-enactment of Anglo-Saxon village life.
Re-enactment of a group of Anglo-Saxon villagers.
A smith heating an iron in the fire, while others watch and warm their hands.
Modern person as an Anglo-Saxon antler worker.
Shepherds tending their sheep.
How they dressed across the Channel. Aethelstan Psalter.
Children in Saxon costume at Sutton Hoo.
A female dancer from Anglo-Saxon England.
Anglo-Saxon peasants at work on the land.
An AngloSaxon woman spinning thread.
Sprang weaving. Re-enactment of a Saxon weaver. Lothene Archaeology.
Re-enactment of winding wool. Lothene Archaeology.
Wynflaed, the saxon weaver and merchant's wife. Re-enactment.
Re-enactment of a Saxon family meal.
Saxons hunting birds.
Re-enactment of Saxon sheep shearing.
Re-enacting the life of Anglo-Saxon children at Scarborough College.
WARRIORS OF WODEN.
Keeping warm in Anglo-Saxon England.
Kim Siddorn of Regia Anglorum in their hall at Wychurst. Photo: Brijesh Patel.
The Saxons arrive in Anglian Tamworth.
Re-enacting a scene from Saxon England.
Re-enacting a Mercian warrior.
The British Wolf-Hunters. A Tale of England in Olden Times, by Thomas Miller.
Anglo-Saxon costumes, duckster.com