The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

THE
ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY
OF THE
ENGLISH NATION.

BOOK I.

CHAPTER I.
OF THE SITUATION OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND, AND OF THEIR
ANCIENT INHABITANTS.

Britain, an island in the ocean, formerly called Albion, lies at a considerable distance to the north and west from the three largest countries in Europe— Germany, France and Spain. It extends 800 miles in length towards the north, and is 200 miles in breadth, excepting only the greater distances of several promontories; by which its compass is made to be 3675 miles. To the south, as you pass along the nearest shore of the Belgic Gaul, the first place in Britain which opens to the eye, is the city of Rutubi Portus, which is by the English corrupted into Reptacestir. The distance from hence across the sea to Gessoriacum, the nearest shore of the Morini, is 50 miles, or as some writers say, 450 furlongs. On the back of the islands where it opens to the immense ocean, it has the islands called Orcades. Britain excels for grain and trees, and is fit for feeding cattle and beasts of burden. It also produces vines in some places, and has plenty of land

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