This is the Sixth-part of our discussion of Britain in the so-called Age of Arthur: the 5th though the mid-6th Century A.D. It is a fascinating period, with the Classical civlization of Greece and Rome giving way to the Germanic “Dark Ages”. It was the sunset of Celtic-Roman culture in Britain; it was the Age of Arthur!
But who was Arthur?
Before we answer that question, it is necessary we understand the world in which he lived.
As the Saxon terror spread throughout the south of Britain, the first victims were the farmers and villa-owning Romanized gentry of the open country. Unlike town and city dwellers, these had no high, strong walls to shelter behind; nor civic militias to defend those walls. Farms and villas were pillaged, the inhabitants driven off or killed. Archeological finds show hoards of Roman coins from this period; hastily buried by the owners before fleeing, perhaps in anticipation of one day returning.
As previously stated, many of these fled to Armorica (Brittany), founding a British colony that in time lent its name to the area. Many, but not all: some stayed and fought back. These were led by a Romano-British gentlemen said to have been descended from Roman aristocracy, and to have been a staunch opponent of Vortigern’s Saxon policy.
That man was Ambrosius Aurelianus.
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