Gildas: The Ruin of Britain

Overview

This reading kinda just throws you into the middle of whatever this dude was writing about. You figure out pretty quickly that he’s talking about the Saxon invasion of Britain that happened around 450 AD. You also quickly figure out that this document isn’t exactly a neutral one. The author is heavily against the Saxons.

Chapter 23 (Yes, that’s where it starts)

The British King, Gurthrigern Vortigern, basically invited the Saxons onto the island. The Saxons started with 3 ships just to see what was up. They were like “I think we could do Britain better.” So, they brought the rest of the gang, and they started taking over Britain.

The Saxons were like: “We’re going to kill you unless you give us all your stuff.” The Brits were like “Here, take it.” Then the Saxons were like: “That’s not enough.” And the Brits were like: “Umm. That’s all we got.” Then the Saxons were like: “Prepare to die (in the next chapter).”

Chapter 24

This chapter is a lot of words to describe: the Saxons killed everyone and it wasn’t pretty. They completely destroyed a sanctuary with fire and battering rams for things that wouldn’t burn. So many people died, they didn’t even bother burying them. This passage is like a Quentin Tarantino movie.

Chapter 25

People tried to escape the slaughter (I don’t blame them). The Saxons cut them off at the mountains and killed them. Some people who didn’t run and weren’t killed immediately tried to submit to the Saxons as slaves; they were killed too. This happened for a long while. Then this guy named Ambrosius Aurelianus (say that 10 times fast) came along and was like “My name is Ambrosius Aurelianus, you killed my father (and mother). Prepare to die.” People started to follow him into battle. He actually did fairly well.

Chapter 26

The fighting went on for “44 years and 1 month.” The siege of Mount Badon was the final battle.

The author goes on for the rest of the chapter like: “Then everyone went back to church and it was beautiful.”

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