The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

one, either before or after Julius Cæsar, who had dared to land upon the island; yet, within a very few days, without any fight or bloodshed, the greatest part of the island was surrendered into his hands. He also added to the Roman empire the Orcades, which lie in the ocean beyond Britain, and then returning to Rome the sixth month after his departure, he gave his son the title of Britannicus. This war he concluded in the fourth year of his empire, which is the forty-sixth from the incarnation of our Lord. In which year there happened a most grievous famine in Syria, which, in the Acts of the Apostles, is recorded to have been foretold by the prophet Agabus. Vespasian, who came to be emperor after Nero, being sent into Britain by the same Claudius, brought also under the Roman dominion the Isle of Wight, which is next to Britain on the south, and is about thirty miles in length from east to west, and twelve from north to south; being six miles distant from the southern coast of Britain at the east end, and three only at the west. Nero, succeeding Claudius in the empire, attempted nothing in martial affairs; and therefore, among innumerable other detriments brought upon the Roman state, he almost lost Britain; for under him two most noble towns were there taken and destroyed.


CHAPTER IV.
LUCIUS, KING OF BRITAIN, WRITING TO POPE ELEUTHERUS,
DESIRES TO BE MADE A CHRISTIAN.

In the year of our Lord's incarnation 156, Marcus Antoninus Verus, the fourteenth from Augustus, was made emperor, together with his brother, Aurelius Commodus. In their time, whilst Eleutherus, a holy man, presided over the Roman Church, Lucius, king of the Britons, sent

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