Saturday, July 7, 2018

Early history of Wales

The Aryans who first came to Britain were the Celts. They came in two waves, starting about 700 B.C. The first wave – the Goidelic Celts or Gaels – settled in Ireland and the highlands of Scotland. The second – the Brythonic Celts or Britons – settled in England, Wales and the Scottish lowlands.

Between cca.700 and 100 B.C., they settled the whole of Britain. They formed tribal kingdoms that were frequently at war with each other. Between A.D. 43 and A.D. 47 the invading Romans subdued the lowlands of southern England. They then pursued into the Welsh highlands the British leader Caractacus (or Caradoc), who there organized the resistance of the Silures in the south and the Orodovices in the North. In A.D. 60 the Romans drove the Britons of north Wales into Anglesey, defeated them in a great battle.

By 80 A.D., the Romans had conquered today’s England, Wales and southern Scotland, but problems in other parts of their empire made them withdraw behind the so-called Hadrian’s Wall in the first half of the 2nd century.

After crushing the Britons’ resistance, the Romans Romanized the southern areas (i.e. they imposed their civilization and way of life on native people); northern Britain and Wales were placed under military control and the natives were allowed to carry on with their own way of life.

In the early medieval period, Wales was an agrarian land of dispersed settlements, inhabited by a people who spoke an ancient Celtic language. This language has been one of the most tenacious survivors of all the Celtic languages, and is still spoken as the everyday language in large parts of the country.

The people of Wales were regarded as a ‘hardy stock’, who reared sheep and cattle and cultivated cereal crops, especially oats. Wales, a congeries of Celtic kingdoms lying in Great Britain’s southwest, was formally united with England by the Acts of Union of 1536 and 1542. Most legislation dealt with ‘England and Wales’ as one unit.
Early history of Wales
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