The kings of the Venedotiae provided extraordinary leadership. It was their king called the 'Bear', in latin 'Ursus', and in cimbri 'Arth', whose double romano-british name was Arthursus, who defeated the saxon army led by either Cerdic, or his precedents Aelle and Octha, at the renowned battle of Bath Hill circa 495 Anno Domino (Year of our Lord). The Annales Cambriae (Welsh Chronicles) somewhat unreliably date the battle with the post-dated entry for 516 A.D.(Anno Domino):
"the siege of Bath-hill... when took place... not the least slaughter of our cruel foes ...(as I am sure) forty-four years and one month after the landing of the Saxons, and also the time of my own nativity."
The only mention of the fabled magician, Merlin, is found in the tragic entry of the Annales Cambriae for the year 573, a full two generations after the entry for Arthur. This entry reads simply:
...which of course, means, Merlin is effectively insane.
What we are to make of this, can be anyone's guess. I suppose it to mean that a very important man in the community, who by other traditions was an important shaman close to the chieftain, completely lost his mind towards the end of his life. ......
It is Nennius, the fanciful eighth century storyteller, who had the most to say about "Arthur the magnanimous". Though "there were many more noble than himself", Arthur was twelve times chosen commander and twelve times led his kings and armies to victory. The eighth victory, at Gurnion castle, was due to Arthur holding up an image of the Virgin Mary, which put the Saxons to flight. Nennius does not mention the particulars of Arthur's twelfth victory at Badon Hill, the final great success mentioned by Gildas as having put an end to the Saxon's incursions for a good forty five years, other than to say Arthur himself killed nine hundred and forty Saxons with his own hand. ......
This book unearths the evidence of prehistoric hill forts and Roman ruins; delineates the feudal wars, the 1536 union with England and the ensuing Reformation; and explains the transformations of the Industrial Revolution.