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Dash'd by thy foam, yon vestal braves
Dyssynni,+ tame thy furious tide,
Thou, Dyvi, dangerous and deep,
Foamy Rhediol, ** rage no more
* Cyric. The patron saint of the Welsh mariners.
† Dyssynni. A river in Merionethshire, running through a picturesque country. Mervinia. Merionethshire.
Dyvi. A large river, dividing Merionethshire from Cardiganshire. 11 “ My Morvid sails.” It was usual for those (even females), who went from North Wales on pilgrimages to St. David's, to pass the dangerous strands, and sail over the rough bays, in slight coracles, without any one to guide or assist them; so firmly were they pursuaded that their adored saint, as well as Cyric, the ruler of the waves, would protect them in all dangers. See the note on Traeth Mawr.
Ceredig. An ancient prince, from whom Ceredigion (Anglicè, Cardigan,) derives its name.
** Rhediol, Ystwyth, and Aeron, rivers in Cardiganshire.
Hide from the nymph, ye torrents wild,
Now safe beneath serener skies,
Her wearied step, with awe profound,
Teivi. A large river dividing the counties of Cardigan and Pembroke. + Menevia. In Welsh Mynyw, the ancient city of St. David's, in Pembrokeshire. The pilgrimages to this place were, in those times, esteemed so very meritorious, as to occasion the following proverbial rhyme in Welsh :
Dôs i Rufain unwaith, ag i Fynyw ddwywaith,
A'r un elw cryno a gai di yma ac yno.
Roma semel quantum, bis dat Menevia tantum,
And once to Rome your steps entice;
Go visit old Saint Taffy twice.
HISTORICAL NOTICES OF THE CELTS.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF PROFESSOR MUCHAR, OF GRATZ,
Continued from Vol. IV. p. 11. From the regular manner in which the various settlements of the Celts were divided into large provinces, possessed by a particular clan, and those again separated into smaller departments, according to the statement of ancient authorities, it would appear that they had made considerable advancement in the political knowledge of forming departmental distributions with geographical accuracy, and it is manifest from Livy's account of the emigration, in the reign of Ambigat, that, at a very remote period, distinctions of personal rank were formally recognized. Many authors corroborate him; among others, Athenæus quotes the weighty testimony of Posidonius; for, in his description of the Celtic festivals, he indicates the strict gradations of rank observed by them, by assigning to the partakers of the feast, their proper stations, according to their superiority of birth, or wealth, or warlike merit : μεσος ο κρατιστος διαφερων των αλλων, η κατα πολημικην ευχερειαν, η κατα το γενος, η κατα πλετον.” Philarchus confirms this in speaking of the Celtic monarchs. Diodorus mentions Celtic nobility as a distinct class, and of their chieftains, the well-informed Strabo. Silius records the pride they attached to pedigree:
"Ipse tumens atavis, Brenni se stirpe ferebat
Crisus.” Appian, also, has recorded the weighty influence bestowed by rank among the Celts: As Decimus was traversing the Alps as a fugitive towards Aquileia, he was robbed and made prisoner on the territory of a powerful Celtic chieftain, and inquired to what chief of that nation that part of the country or clan belonged,-«ηρετο μεν, οτε Κελτων δυναστων το *Ovos ein." Cæsar says of the Celts in Gaul, “that there are only two classes of consideration and power, the first were Druids, the second those of equestrian order (equites,) the latter were nobles, the moving element of small states (civitatibus;) they were the princes and leading magistrates in each separate clan, were free both in person and property, and took part in public councils and transactions ; among them were certain gradations of rank, the very noble ("longè nobilissimi.')" There is mention also made of free
men, next in rank (genere dispari,) and of gentry, but of inferior station (humili loco nati,) and the train of adherents and dependents was in proportion to the rank and wealth of the individual (ita plurimos circum se clientes habet.) The nobility were those who possessed the largest extent of land, it was they in council had the power of declaring war, and to them the duty was assigned of protecting the frontiers of their territory; in war, whether against a foreign enemy, or in internal feuds, they all took the field, and this, before Cæsar's arrival in Gaul, occurred yearly. Polybius says that those chiefs were most in repute whose favors had attracted most followers, these were chosen men, and devoted to their lord; between them existed a mutual attachment, he says—" sodalitatibus colendis maximè studebant.” Such followers, in the middle ages, were considered as a component part of the family of a powerful baron, and, as among the Celts, were often of noble birth, but reduced to poverty, and attached themselves to a chief, at whose call their service, and even lives were offered. “The principal personages among the Celts,” says Diodorus, “ have a select guard composed of indigent nobles, who drive their chariots, or carry their shields." Pausanias observes more particularly, “each Celtic nobleman is followed in war by two of his dependents on horseback, who are versed in the science of chivalry (equestrium artium maximè gnari); while their lord is engaged in fight, they remain at some distance, so that if his horse happen to be killed, they can supply him with another; and, should he himself be slain, the squire takes his place in battle, who is again succeeded by his comrade, in case he be killed or wounded.” Pausanias adds, “he conjectures (ut mea fort opinio,) that this plan was adopted in imitation of the Persians; this mode of fighting is, in the language of the Celts, called trimarcisian, for by them a horse is called march (equum enim Marcam appellant.)”
Cæsar, in recording a particular fact which fell under his own observation, adds confirmation to the foregoing : “the Celtic commander, Adcantuanus, attempted to make an attack with six hundred men, devoted to his service, called soldurii : such men are by their chief allowed the enjoyment of every comfort in their maintenance, and should he be killed in battle, his select followers either expose themselves to a similar fate in war, or subsequently deprive themselves of life, and I have not heard of an instance that
any of these men have refused to sacrifice their lives with their leader.” But, in another, he says, “Litovicus, with his adherents, fled, for it is unlawful for the Celts to desert their patron “etiam in extremâ fortunâ.” Nicolaus Damascenus reports the same of the Celtic king, Adiatomus, with his six hundred followers, which he says are called in their language Silodouni,* (εθνος τ8το κελτικον τη πατριω γλωττη Σιλοξενους, ταυτην εκεινων ενχην ποιημενων,) upon all occasions they remained with their patron, and did not wish to survive his death, and they, in compensation, both in peace and war, enjoyed considerable advantages and privileges from their lord.
Upon some occasions the lower orders of the people appear to have had a voice in the choice of their rulers, for there is a clear distinction made between the general convention, and the assembly of princes and nobles; and it is evident there was a middle class of freemen possessed of hereditary property, and such men, on being reduced in circumstances, attached themselves to the service of a conspicuous chief, as “clientes."
“ the lower orders were not better treated than slaves, they were not admitted to assist at public councils, and when either embarrassed by debts, or oppressive taxes, or through the injustice of the strong, they entered the service of some chief, he regarded them as much his property as his slaves.” Diodorus relates also “that there was a class of freemen who were independent of the nobles,” and others assert that there were small land-owners, who paid taxes, but many of whom were compelled, by necessity, to acknowledge a dependence on the higher nobility, so that their situation was something similar to that ofthe Franklins of the middle ages. Polybius, in recording the settlement of the Celts in Italy, says, “at first they held council in secret, composed solely of the leading men, without the intervention of the people (absque multitudinis consensu);" he also indicates the existence of a middle class, who were occasionally discontent, and formed conspiracies against the higher (seditione adversus Duces excitatâ,) these were probably such as were not reduced to dependence, and continued in possession of their liberty. That class who were born slaves were numerous, but it would also
there were others who, according to the Celtic institutions, were attached to the soil, and over whom a less rigorous feudal authority was
* Quære Issel-dyn?