button to main menu  Camden's Britannia, edn 1789

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  Cartismandua
  Cartismandua
  Caractacus

time brought back Ostorius who was entring into a new war, and who soon put a stop to them by the execution of a few persons. At this time the Brigantes had a queen of their own Cartismandua, of great power and noble birth, who took and delivered Caratacus up to the Romans. Wealth and prosperity making her despise her husband Venutius, she made his armour-bearer Vellocatus partner of her bed and throne; the introduction of which infamy into the family occasioned a fatal war. The husband had on his side the affections of his subjects, the adulterer only the queen's passion and cruelty to support him. She by her artifices took off the brother and relations of Venutius, who provoked by this disgrace called in allies, and by their assistance and by the revolt of the Brigantes, which soon followed, reduced Cartismandua to extremities. On her applying to the Romans their light troops and cohorts after various engagements extricated her from her difficulties. The kingdom was however left to Venutius, and the management of the war to the Romans [m], who were not able to reduce the Brigantes before the time of Vespasian. Then Petilius Cerealis invaded their kingdom, fought many battles, sometimes bloody ones, and subdued or wasted the greatest part of the Brigantes. But whereas Tacitus says this queen of the Brigantes gave up Caratacus to Claudius, and that that emperor exhibited him in his triumph, it is certainly an antichronism in that excellent author, and some time since noticed as such by Lipsius that perfect master of the spirit of the antient writers. For neither was this Caratacus king of the Silures led in that triumph of Claudius, nor Caratacus son of Cunobeline (for so he is styled in Fasti, though by Dio Catacratus) over whom Aulus Plautius, if not the same year certainly the following, obtained an ovation. But this I leave to the discussion of others having treated of it before. In Hadrian's time when, as Spartian [n] observes, "the Britans could not be kept in obedience to the Romans," our Brigantes also seem to have revolted from the Romans, and raised a rebellion. Had this not been the case there was no reason for Juvenal [o] who wrote then to have thus expressed himself:

Dirue Maurorum attegias, castella Brigantum.

The tents of Moors and Brigant castles sack.
Nor do they seem to have been very quiet afterwards in the reign of Antoninus Pius who dispossessed them of part of their territory for making inroads into Genunia or Guinethia a province in alliance with the Romans, as we before observed.
Might I be allowed by our critics who now take extraordinary liberties. I think I could correct two errors in Tacitus relative to the Brigantes. The first is in the 12th book of his Annals [p], where he says Venutius before-mentioned was of the state of the Jugantes; I would read of the Brigantes, which Tacitus himself seems to intimate in the 3d book of his History. The other is in his life of Agricola [q]. The Brigantes under the command of a woman, began to fire the colony, &c, where historical truth obliges us to read the Trinobantes; for he is speaking of queen Boodicia who had nothing to do with the Brigantes, but had stirred up the Trinobantes to revolt, and driven out the colony at Camalodunum or Maldon.
  Northumberland
  Deira
  Bernicia

The very extensive country inhabited by these people which narrows as it runs, rises in the middle like the Appennines in Italy, with a continued ridge of mountains parting the counties, into which it is now divided. For under them to the east and German ocean lie the county of York and the bishopric of Durham; and to the west Lancashire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland; all which counties in the infancy of the Saxon government were comprehended in the kingdom of Deira. For the Saxons called these counties the kingdom of Northumberland, dividing it into two parts, calling that Deira or [Deir-land], which lies nearest to us on this side Tine, and Bernicia [r] that which lies further on from the Tine to the Frith of Edenborough [s]; both which parts had for some time kings of their own, but were at last united under one. I must just observe by the way, that whereas in the life of Charlemagne [t] we read, that Eardulph, king of the Northumbrians, i.e. De Irland, being driven from his native country, took refuge with that prince, we must join the two words and read Deirland, and understand it of this kingdom and not of Ireland.
[m] Tacit. Hist. III. 45.
[n] Vit. Adriani c.5.
[o] Sat. XIV. 196.
[p] c.40.
[q] c.31.
[r] Breniac, Briniac. mountainous, by transposition of one letter Bernicii. MS. n. G.
[s] Historians differ greatly in their accounts of the precise limits of these two divisions. Usser Primord. p.212. G.
[t] P.272. Annal Francor'. in 8o.
YORK.
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