History Of The Britons (Historia Brittonum) by Nennius

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II. The Apology of Nennius

Here begins the apology of Nennius, the historiographer of the Britons, of the race of the Britons.

3. I, Nennius, disciple of St. Elbotus, have endeavoured to write some extracts which the dulness of the British nation had cast away, because teachers had no knowledge, nor gave any information in their books about this island of Britain. But I have got together all that I could find as well from the annals of the Romans as from the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Hieronymus, Eusebius, Isidorus, Prosper, and from the annals of the Scots and Saxons, and from our ancient traditions. Many teachers and scribes have attempted to write this, but somehow or other have abandoned it from its difficulty, either on account of frequent deaths, or the often recurring calamities of war. I pray that every reader who shall read this book, may pardon me, for having attempted, like a chattering jay, or like some weak witness, to write these things, after they had failed. I yield to him who knows more of these things than I do.

III. The History.

4, 5. From Adam to the flood, are two thousand and forty-two years. From the flood of Abraham, nine hundred and forty-two.
>From Abraham to Moses, six hundred.* From Moses to Solomon, and the first building of the temple, four hundred and forty-eight.
>From Solomon to the rebuilding of the temple, which was under Darius, king of the Persians, six hundred and twelve years are computed. From Darius to the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the fifteenth year of the emperor Tiberius, are five hundred and forty-eight years. So that from Adam to the ministry of Christ and the fifteenth year of the emperor Tiberius, are five thousand two hundred and twenty-eight years. From the passion of Christ are completed nine hundred and forty-six; from his incarnation, nine hundred and seventy-six: being the fifth year of Edmund, king of the Angles.

* And forty, according to Stevenson's new edition. The rest of this chronology is much contracted in several of the manuscripts, and hardly two of them contain it exactly the same.

6. The first age of the world is from Adam to Noah; the second from Noah to Abraham; the third from Abraham to David; the fourth from David to Daniel; the fifth to John the Baptist; the sixth from John to the judgment, when our Lord Jesus Christ will come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire.

The first Julius. The second Claudius. The third Severus. The fourth Carinus. The fifth Constantius. The sixth Maximus. The seventh Maximianus. The eighth another Severus Aequantius. The ninth Constantius.*
* This list of the Roman emperors who visited Britain, is omitted in many of the MSS.

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