called himself Gaufridus Monemutensis which suggests
his roots were in Monmouthshire, though he is thought to
have lived in Oxford from 1129 to 1151 and in North Wales
until his death in 1155. Caerleon is frequently mentioned
in "The History" and it seems likely that Geoffrey's
early years were spent near the (then) city which he refers
to as "The City of the Legions". This title
would seem to describe other Roman Cities better, as Caerleon
was only ever home to one legion - The Second Augustan Legion
- but Geoffrey takes pains to leave us in no doubt that
he is referring to Caerleon.
then, are the references made to Caerleon, "The
City of the Legions":
BY BELINUS (390BC)
Belinus, "king of the entire island from sea to
sea", returned to Britain after sacking Rome with
his brother Brennius and distributing "all the hidden
treasures of the citizens among their own troops".
He governed his homeland in peace, restoring existing cities
"wherever they had fallen into decay" and
founding many new ones. "Among the others he which
he founded was a certain city on the bank of the River Usk,
near to the Severn Sea; this was the capital of Demetia
(nowadays South Wales) and for a long time it was called
Kaerusc. When the Romans came the earlier name was dropped
and it was re-named the City of the Legions, taking
its title from the Roman legions who used to winter there."
SEAT OF AN ARCHFLAMEN THEN ARCHBISHOP
The seats of the archflamens (spiritual leaders) had been
in "three noble cities: London, York and the
City of the Legions, the site of which, by the River
Usk in Glamorgan, is still shown by its ancient walls and
buildings". The Pope sent missionaries and the
archflamens were replaced by archbishops. The 28 flamens
were replaced by bishops. Kambria or Wales was placed under
the City of the Legions.
AND AARON MARTYRED
In the days of Emperor Diocletian, Churches were destroyed
and Christians persecuted. "Two townsfolk in the
City of the legions", Julius and Aaron "stood
firm in the battle-line of Christ". They were "torn
limb from limb and mangled with unheard-of cruelty".
THE PROPHECIES OF MERLIN) THE SEAT MOVES TO MENEVIA (ST
"Menevia shall be dressed in the pall (ecclesiastical
vestment) of the City of the Legions
ARCHBISHOP ADVISES KING AURELIUS TO SEEK MERLIN'S HELP
After defeating Hengist, the Saxon leader, Aurelius decided
to build a monument to those "leaders and princes"
betrayed by Hengist. "Tremorinus, Archbishop of
the City of the Legions, went to the king and said,
' If there is anyone anywhere who has the ability to execute
your plan, then Merlin, the prophet of Vortigern, is the
man to do it
BECOMES ARCHBISHOP AFTER TREMORINUS
two metropolitan sees of York and the City of the Legions
were without incumbents. With the general consent of his
people, whom he wished to consult in this matter, Aurelius
gave York to Samson, a most distinguished man who was famous
for his great piety. The city of the Legions he bestowed
upon Dubricius, whom divine providence had already singled
out as one suitable for promotion there."
"After the death of Uther Pendragon, the leaders
of the Britons assembled from their various provinces in
the town of Silchester and there suggested to Dubricius,
the Archbishop of the City of the Legions, that as
their king he should crown Arthur, the son of Uther.
... Dubricius lamented on the sad state of his
country. He called the other bishops to him and bestowed
the crown of the kingdom upon Arthur."
Arthur summoned all the leaders of the lands under his control
to a feast in the City of the Legions. "Situated
as it is in Glamorganshire, on the River Usk, not far from
the Severn Sea, in a most pleasant position, and being richer
in material wealth than any other townships, this city was
eminently suitable for such a ceremony."
buildings are described as a match for Rome.
churches of Julius and Aaron are mentioned.
city contained a college of 200 learned men.
from many parts of Europe were invited.
was a grand procession.
famed for bravery, wore arms.
would only give their love to men who had proved themselves
three times in battle.
planned imitation battles on horseback, women watched
from the walls.
rest played various games, winners had an immense prize
from Arthur but no sign of ill-feeling among the losers.
Three days were passed in this way.
the king's uncle became new archbishop of the city. Dubricius
went to live as a hermit.
letter arrived from the Romans demanding money. Arthur
withdrew the kings to a gigantic tower near the entrance
to the palace. A long discussion followed, Arthur listened
to the kings' advice. All agreed not to pay. A battle
strategy was planned. The kings returned to their own
countries to make preparations.
BECOMES A NUN
"However, the Perjurer (Mordred) re-formed
his army and so marched into Winchester on the following
night. When this was announced to Queen Guinevere, she gave
way to despair. She fled from York to the City of the
Legions and there, in the church of Julius the Martyr,
she took her vows among the nuns, promising to lead a chaste
BECOMES ARCHBISHOP AFTER DAVID
"David, the most holy Archbishop of the City
of the Legions, died in the town of Menevia, inside
his own abbey.." He was on a visit to his friars
there. He was buried in that same church. Kinoc replaced
him in the metropolitan see.