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generally quotes manuscript page and column, first laid open the fact that a colony of Scots, under Riada, settled in Pictland."1 After quoting the words of Kennedy regarding Riada's settlement in Britain, Pinkerton adds: “In both these passages
' he gives no authorities, though he commonly produces them." He then treats at some length of O'Connor's allusion to the settlement of Riada in Britain, and sums up with these words: “All
: · this is given as usual without an authority or reference. The circumstances of Mr O'Connor's tale are also discordant,” &c.3 Ritson4 says: “No such expedition, nor even such a person as Riada, or Reuda, is ever noticed by Tigernach, or Flannus a Monasterio (Flan of Bute), as quoted by Usher or O'Flaherty, or in the Ulster Annals, or any other ancient or authentic monument." It is not noticed by Clyn, an Irish annalist of the fourteenth century, who was acquainted with Bede's History, and quotes it. If it had been mentioned there in Clyn's life-time, he would scarcely have ignored altogether such an important episode in his country's annals. If the ancient Irish writers knew nothing of this expedition of Scots where did Bede learn about it?
It may be remarked here also that Ireland (Hibernia) is not said in this first chapter to have had any other
This would have been a strange omission on the part of Bede, who lived at the very time when the country is alleged to have also been called Scotia or Scotland; and, if this had been the case, it would have been still more wonderful to find that throughout the
1 Pinkerton's Enquiry, vol. ii. p. 63.
3 Ibid., p. 67.
· whole of the Ecclesiastical History, even interlopated as it is, it is never distinctly affirmed that Ireland was ever called Scotia. Speaking of the forged writings which form the ground-work of Boece’s History of Scotland, Innes says: “It is a great advantage to truth
: that the most part of the forgers of pretended old writings were, by the permission of providence, generally so extremely ignorant, and frequently of so little sense or judgment, that even almost in every passage of their inventions, one may discover anachronisms, contradictions, and other marks of their forgery."1
A GENUINE CHAPTER: ONLY ONE ROMAN WALL KNOWN
The next chapter which concerns the present subject, is the twelfth chapter of Book I. The substance of this chapter is copied by most of the ancient annalists; and it appears to be almost, if not altogether, the genuine work of Bede. It is entitled: “ The Britons being ravaged by the Scots and Picts, sought succour from the Romans, who, coming a second time, built a wall across the island; but the Britons being again invaded by the aforesaid enemies, were reduced to greater distress than before.” The materials for this chapter are taken from a work by Gildas, a preceding British writer; but several important additions are made to them in the Ecclesiastical History. For instance, after calling the Picts and Scots transmarine, or foreign, nations, as his predecessor had done, Bede adds:
“We call these foreign nations, not on account of their being
1 Essay i., p. 304.
seated out of Britain, but because they were remote from that. part of it which was possessed by the Britons; two inlets of the sea lying between them, one of which runs in far and broad into the land of Britain, from the Eastern Ocean, and the other from the Western, though they do not reach so as to touch one another. The eastern has in the midst of it the city Guidi. The western has on it, that is, on the right hand thereof, the city Alcluith, which in their language signifies the rock Cluith, for it is close by the river of that name.”
Again, after giving Gildas' account of the arrival of the Romans, the defeat of the enemies, and the building of a turf wall, Bede adds:
“However, they drew it (the wall) for many miles between the bays or inlets of the seas, which we have spoken of; to the end that where the defence of the water was wanting, they might use the rampart to defend their borders from the irruptions of the enemies. Of which work there erected, that is, of a rampart of extraordinary breadth and height, there are evident remains to be seen at this day. It begins at about two miles' distance from the monastery of Abercurnig, on the west, at a place called in the Pictish language, Peanfahel, but in the English tongue Penneltun, and running to the westward, ends near the city Alcluith.”
Then, after paraphrasing his predecessor's narrative of another visit of the Roman troops, and the driving of the Scots and Picts again beyond the seas, he continues to depend on Gildas in stating that the Romans resolved to leave the country for ever, but before doing so they helped the natives to build a stone wall from sea to sea.
After this another addition of Bede's is found to this effect: "This famous wall, which is still to be seen, is not far from the trench of Severus, and was built at the public and private expense, the Britons also lending their assistance. It is eight feet in breadth, and
twelve feet in height, in a straight line from east to
The most of this chapter was evidently written by
It has been sometimes stated that Bede takes notice of three walls built by the Romans in Britain, but a diligent examination of the Ecclesiastical History reveals the fact that he knew only of one, the wall of Antoninus, between the Firths of Forth and Clyde. Three walls are spoken of in the Ecclesiastical History: the one built by Severus, and the other two which have just been noticed; but the passage referring to one of these has been shown to be, in all likelihood, an interpolation, and the other two walls were evidently built on or near the same site. According to Bede, the stone wall was not far from the trench which accompanied the ram
part, or turf wall, of Severus. In the fifth chapter he alludes to the building of this wall in these words: “ After many great and dangerous battles, he (Severus) thought fit to divide that part of the island, which he had recovered from the unconquered nations, not with a wall, as some imagine, but with a rampart. For a wall is made of stones, but a rampart, with which camps are fortified to repel the assaults of enemies, is made of sods cut out of the earth, and raised above the ground all round like a wall, having in front of it the ditch whence the sods were taken." Then in the eleventh chapter he alludes to it again thus: “In the year 402.
the Romans ceased to rule in Britain.
They resided within the rampart, which, as we have mentioned, Severus made across the island,” which shows that he is speaking of a wall between the Firths of Forth and Clyde, for it is now well known that the Roman occupation of the country extended thus far from the time of Antoninus till the Romans left the island. The phrase, not far from the trench of Severus, may mean that the stone wall spoken of by Bede was erected at some short distance from Severus' rampart, and likely to the south of it; but it is straining the meaning of the words to identify the stone wall with Hadrian's, between the Tyne and Eden, in the north of England, as some writers have done. It is an undoubted fact that Bede's account of the building of the stone wall is not in accordance with the evidence of the stones of the wall itself and Roman history; but it is less in accordance with the evidence supplied by the stones of Hadrian's wall and other circumstances. The reason for this is plain. The references to these works in Roman writers are scanty and