The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

tinus, the Roman pontiff, to the Scots that believed in Christ, to be their first bishop. In the twenty-third year of his reign, Ætius, a renowned person, being also a patrician, discharged his third consulship with Symmachus for his colleague. To him the wretched remains of the Britons sent a letter, which began thus:—" To Ætius, thrice Consul, the sighs of the Britons." And in the sequel of the letter they thus expressed their calamities:— "The barbarians drive us to the sea; the sea drives us back to the barbarians; between them we are exposed to two sorts of deaths, we are either slain or drowned." Yet neither could all this procure any assistance from him, as he was then engaged in most dangerous wars with Bledla and Attila, kings of the Huns. And, though the year before this, Bledla had been murdered by the treachery of his brother Attila, yet Attila himself remained so intolerable an enemy to the Republic, that he ravaged almost all Europe, invading and destroying cities and castles. At the same time there was a famine at Constantinople, and shortly after, a plague followed, and a great part of the walls of that city, with fifty-seven towers, fell to the ground. Many cities also went to ruin, and the famine and pestilential state of the air destroyed thousands of men and cattle.


CHAPTER XIV.
THE BRITONS, COMPELLED BY FAMINE, DROVE THE BARBARIANS OUT
OF THEIR TERRITORIES; SOON AFTER THERE ENSUED PLENTY OF
CORN, LUXURY, PLAGUE, AND THE SUBVERSION OF THE NATION.

In the mean time, the aforesaid famine distressing the Britons more and more, and leaving to posterity lasting memorials of its mischievous effects, obliged many of them

-25-

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