Alan Bradley abradley1 at bigpond.com
Wed Apr 11 18:02:09 MDT 2001

> From: Mark Jones
> The Welsh are a very interesting people. These original Celtic
> inhabitants of Britain lived under the Romans for 400 years. When the
> Romans finally left in the 5th century, they'd kept their language
> altho they'd forgotten how to fight, and ended up pushed into the
> mountain fastnesses of Wales by invaders from northern Europe. There
> they stuck, and gradually relearnt how to fight.

I'm not so sure about the "forgotten how to fight".  It's true that they
initially attempted to use a Roman style army of foederati
(allies/mercenaries) against the Picts and Irish pirates (the "Scots").
These foederati were, of course, the "original" "Saxon" "invaders".  (The
quotes mean: they were not the first, they were of "mixed" origin, and they
were the local army, not "invaders".)  There also seem to have been Cymry
groups from the north who were more militaristic, having been allies, rather
than subjects of Rome.

Their initial (Scottish and Irish) enemies were, of course, Celts too.  The
Saxons only began to overshadow them after the army mutinied.

Various Cymry states persisted for some centuries in (what is now) England,
and seem to have successfully fought off the "Saxons" at various points.  So
their being pushed into Wales (and Scotland) was a very long and hard-fought

> For six hundred years they sustained one of the only literary cultures in
> Europe,

Nonsense.  Double nonsense when you consider the (Eastern) Roman Empire
still existed during this period, and that Spain was dominated by Islam from
the early 8th Century.

> and never lost the art of writing unlike their pagan Saxon neighbours,
> who'd stolen their land. The Welsh language and sense of identity was
> forged  in that period.

Alan Bradley
abradley1 at bigpond.com

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