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1. History of the Britons (Historia

1. History of the Britons (Historia Brittonum)
by fl. 796 Nennius
Kindle Edition: Pages (2006-02-26)
list price: US$0.99 -- used & new: US$0.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000JQU6UE
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.Download Description
Then it was, that the magnanimous Arthur, with all the kings and military force of Britain, fought against the Saxons. And though there were many more noble than himself, yet he was twelve times chosen their commander, and was as often conqueror. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating period piece and historic document
This was a fascinating document.I have read a number of history books which cite early documents such as this one, but have not read any of the primary documents from this period.Although I've had a smattering of Latin, I have never tried to tackle the self translation of works written in it as this one was.J. A. Jiles' translation is welcome.

The lengthy introduction by the original author with its elaborate profession of inadequacy carries one almost immediately into a past world where there was as much art to modesty as there was to anything.It gives a bird's eye view of a world very different from our own.

The beginning chapters deal primarily with early Church history in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.While much of this was based on tradition and legend, the author was much closer in time to those whose deeds he describes than we are, and despite errors and emendations by later writers and the undoubted PR potential for the Church, he had a greater possibility of knowing the subjects or their sources better than we do.It certainly makes for interesting reading.Later chapters are devoted to the Romans in England, and to later kings of the Picts, Scots, Britians, Angles and Saxons.The names of these individuals and their exploits will be familiar to anyone who has read anything about the history of the period, and include discussions of King Arthur, Ambrosius, the Saxon incursions into England, etc.

An interesting chance to read one of the sources for early English history.

5-0 out of 5 stars A review of Nennius's History of the Britons - Bernie Watts
History of the Britons, by Nennius is not a novel nor is it a history book in the traditional sense. The book provides a chronology of founders, kings and rulers of Britain stretching back from the 8th century, through the Roman and ancient Druidic times to Adam.

The book is also a geography of the British Isles explaining the etymology of the various Islands that make up the "British Isles".

Nennius identifies thirty three cities that are existent at the time of his writing including Cair londein (London), Cair ligion, (Chester) and the ancient city of Cair lion (Caerleon) to name but three.

An interesting reference is made in Chapter III (22) that "after the birth of Christ, one hundred and sixty-seven years, king Lucius, with all the chiefs of the British people, received baptism in consequence of a legation sent by the Roman emperors and pope Evaristus."

If correct; this leads one to ponder a couple of things,

1) that Britain was converted long before Rome sent out Augustine or Columban brought the faith to Northern Britain via Scotland as is the traditional (Roman) view and

2) that Britain was possibly the very first nation to be converted, Holus bolus, to Christianity.

The book is at its most useful when used alongside other narratives or books as an aid to contextualize events of the period of interest. History Of The Britons

1-0 out of 5 stars cheap, disgraceful, and a terrible wasted opportunity
When J.Giles translated a number of ancient British and English historical texts in 1844, he was, I suppose, breaking new ground - although not so new as might be thought, since many of his texts were widely and long since known.But that any publisher should see fit to reprint his dated and by now thoroughly inadequate translation, is hard to believe; and that it should be the mighty Penguin, the largest British publisher of classic texts in paperback, is beyond condemnation.It is not as though newer translations were not available.These texts are absolutely fundamental to the understanding of the history of Britain, and to place this in the hands of the ordinary paperback reader, with Penguin's supposed authority behind it, in place of a new version with the insights of 160 years of scholarship behind it, is to do them a grave disservice.I really cannot understand why Penguin has been struck with such a sudden fit of cheapskatehood; or should we think of offloading any shares we have in the company?

2-0 out of 5 stars A Reprint of Part of a Very Old Collection of Translations
This small paper reprint comes from a very old collection of translations that contained Gildas, Geoffrey, and Nennius with I believe a section of the Anglo Saxon Chronical.The Translation is rather poor and is from a manuscript inferior to that used for Nennius, History of the British, 1980. This manuscript unlike that used for Myres' edition does not contain the Annales Cambriae.The reason this version is the only one in circulation might be the lack of copywrite protection.Be warned this translation by Giles is not annotated in any way and is in an order not congruent with that cited in most Arthurian secondary literature--following up footnotes will be difficult.If you can get the 1980 translation from a university library or a very good public library, you can annotate this text and correct the the most glaring translation errors.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating historical artifact
There is considerable controversy about this work. Drawing on earlier sources (some of which are no longer available), it appears to have been compiled around the end of the Eighth Century by a Welsh monk named Nennius. The book contains (not in this order) a history of Britain, complete with genealogies back to Adam, a list of extant British cities, and a short history of Saint Patrick. Most significantly, the book contains numerous references to Vortigern, Ambrosius and Arthur.

This short book is (compared to modern books) poorly organized, and of dubious reliability. However, as a historical artifact it is quite fascinating. If you have ever read references to Nennius' work in another book, then it would be worth your wile to get ahold of the book, and read see the references in context. I enjoyed it, and think that you will too. ... Read more

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