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Ewyas

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Ewyas

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Ewyas appears as a kingdom of the Silures Britons. Sometimes known as Ewias or Euas, the latter name appearing later. The Kingdom was situated on the eastern edge of mid-south Wales (now in the English county of Herefordshire and probably also including eastern portions of Gloucestershire). Its capital was the Roman city of Caerwent (Caer Gwent)(Monmouthshire). The Romans called the town Venta Silurum (which is generally accepted to mean "market town of the Silures", implying that they were there prior.

Typically, its rulers traced their lineage to some of the greatest figures of Celtic British history, the list of ancestors dating back to the landing of Julius Caesar in 55 BC., likely an attempt to win favour with Rome. There is overlap with the Silures Britons and profiles can be attributed to either or both up to c. 180 when this category should be used in preference.

Known Events

c. 22 AD. Alan ap Bran, brother of Caradoc ap Bran. Appears as King of Ewyas and Silures. He is followed by his brother.

c. 24 AD. Sadwr ap Bran. He is regarded as the third son of High King Bran Fendigaid. Legend provides there was 12 sons. Like his brother he appears to have been King of Ewyas and Silures. There is division at this point between Silures and Ewyas. Why this division occurs is unknown but while Caratacus appears as King of Silures, Sadwr ap Bran is followed by his sister.

c. 65 AD. Eurgain. She is said to have been in Rome. On her return she is accredited with bring Christianity to Ewyas.

c. 65/70 AD. Coellyn ap Caradog appears as King. It is likely that the Caradoc mentioned is Caradoc ap Bran and this a return to a male line.

c. 100. Owain ap Beli. At some point in his reign the Silures achieve civitas status, giving the Silures the rights of citizenship. The capital at Venta Silurum (Caerwent) is developed.

c. 140. Meirchion Fawdfilr ap Owain a son of Owain ap Beli.

c. 180. Cwrrig Fawr or Goruc Mawr (Cwrrig the Great). The relationship to the previous King is unclear.

c. 215. Gwrddwfn ap Cwrrig, a son to Cwrrig.

c. 250. Einudd ap Gwrddwfn, a son to Gwrddwfn.

c. 283. Eudaf Hen, also known by his Roman name Octavius the Old. He appears as King of Ewyas & High King of Britain.

c. 283. St Elen Lwyddog (Helen of the Host). She is said to have been a daughter of Eudaf Hen and is said to have married Magnus Maximus, Emperor of the Western Roman Emperor (d.388). Clearly there is confusion of dates here as Magnus Maximus was born c. 335. Although not formally canonised by Rome, she is known as Saint Helen of Caernarfon in the Welsh church.

c. 285. Gereint ap Einudd Son of Einudd. He is the father of Conan Meriadog of Dumnonia.

c. 300. Of note, archaeologists have discovered that around this period, extensive fortification work occurred at Caerwent, Glevum and Caerleon. The reason is unknown but presumed to relate to a significant increase by Irish raiders (Scoti) at the time. The Roman Government of Britain reorganised around this period dividing Britain into four regions. Ewyas becomes part of Britannia Prima.

c. 320. Arthfael ap Einudd, appears as King. He was a brother to Gereint.

c. 340. Gwrgant ap Arthfael. He was a son of Arthfael.

c. 380. Meirchion ap Gwrgant.

In around 383, Magnus Maximus, as commander of Britain and High King of the Britons, before leaving for Rome, reorganised Britain. The region of mid-south Wales was part of his defensive districts with a capital at a place called Cernyw. He placed his son, Eugenius, in command of the new territory. At some point before 430 this district falls under the control of High King Vortigern. It doesn't appear as a distinct entity after this date. Vortigern grants the territory, encompassing Ewyas, to his son Vortimer. Vortigrn's new territory becomes Gwent.

Sources

  • Wikipedia for later years and is not particularly accurate for the early period.


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Categories: Ewyas