Tuesday, September 20, 2005

History of Wales

History of Wales. This is a short history of the European nation of Wales which is a part of the United Kingdom.

Wikipedia notes, "Wales is a country and one of the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom (along with England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland). Wales is located in the south-west of Great Britain, and is bordered by England to the east, the Bristol Channel to the south, St George's Channel in the west, and the Irish Sea to the north."

From the site:

After an occupation lasting 360 years, the Romans left a Britain which was thoroughly permeated by the civilization of the Empire. In this Wales largely participated, though it is chiefly in Southeast Wales that the traces of Imperial Rome must be sought. Recent excavation has exposed vast remains of the power and luxury of the conquering race, at Caerwent in Monmouthshire (once a seaport); and at Caerleon, in the same county, classical antiquity competes with Arthurian romance for the visitor's attention. Many Welsh pedigrees assign existing families a Roman ancestor in the person of some official who lived in the period between the departure of the legions and the Saxon conquest. It is, however, chiefly in the domains of language and religion that Rome has left an abiding imprint on Wales.

After the departure of the Romans from Britain, the native inhabitants retained a semblance of Roman institutions. Considerable vestiges of these remained among the Welsh in the time of the Saxon Heptarchy. The clan system and other Celtic customs, however, continued in force long after imperial forms were forgotten. Only for a brief period were the Welsh united under one sovereign, in the successive reigns of Rhydderch Mawr (Roderick the Great) and his son Howel Dda, or the Good, both of whom were strong rulers and wise legislators. The laws of Howel Dda are yet extant. They commence with a declaration that the king had obtained their sanction by the Pope of Rome, and their tenor is one of reverence for the Christian Faith and Church.

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