Gildas (Breton: Gweltaz; c. – c. ) — also known as Gildas the Wise or Gildas Sapiens — was a 6th-century British monk best known for his scathing. Gildas’. ‘On the Ruin of Britain’. Translated by J. A. Giles and T. Habington. For convenience, this text has been composed into this PDF document by. Camelot. The Preface, History and Epistle of Gildas’ principal work, De Excidio Britanniae, a sermon in three parts condemning the acts of his contemporaries, both.

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Gildas’s work is of great importance to historians, because, although it is not intended primarily as history, it brutain almost the only surviving source written by a near-contemporary of British events in the fifth and sixth centuries.


He excoriates his fellow Britons for their sins, while at the same time lauding heroes such as Ambrosius Aurelianuswhom he is the first to describe as a leader of the resistance to the Saxons. It is understood if they return not unto the Lord, at least, when such an admonition, as the following, has been heard: From of old hast thou broken my yoke, thou hast burst my chains; thou saidst, I will not serve.

And by the fire of his jealousy shall the whole land be consumed, when oj Lord shall bring an end and a loneliness over all that dwell in the land. But when the righteous shall turn away from his righteousness and commit iniquity, according to all the unrighteousnesses which the gildaas hath committed, all the righteousnesses which he hath done, shall not be in remembrance.

Forasmuch as I have magnified thee to be prince over Israel, because they have provoked me by britaih vanities, behold I stir up after Baasha and after his house, and I shall render his house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Ghe.

Otherwise thou shalt know and see, even in this world, how evil and bitter it is to have abandoned the Lord thy God, and that His fear is not with thee, and that in the world to come thou shalt be burnt in the hideous mass of eternal fires, without, however, in any 77 way dying. Thou hhe not respect thy neighbour to his own ruin, nor hold back word in the time of salvation.

On the Ruin of Britain by Gildas

His Damnonia is generally identified ggildas the kingdom of Dumnonia in southwestern Britain. I have, however, thought it necessary to insert in this little work a few things from The Wisdom of Solomon, so as to declare exhortation or intimation to kings no less than threats, yhe it should tne said of me, that I wish to place burdens of words, heavy and grievous to be borne, upon the shoulders of men, but am unwilling to move them with my finger, that is, by a word of consolation.


He that saith that the wicked is just, shall be accursed of the people, and hated gildaa the nations: To these men, by the Lord’s favour, there came victory. The Romans therefore, having slain many of the faithless ones, reserving some for slavery, lest the land should be reduced to destitutionreturn to Italy leaving behind them a land stripped of wine britaln oil. So far, I giodas argued with the kings of my country no less by oracles of prophets than by my own words, desiring that they should know what the prophet had said: Priests Britain has, but foolish ones; a great number of ministers, but shameless; clergy, but crafty plunderers; pastors, so to say, but wolves ready for the slaughter of souls, certainly not providing what is of benefit for the people, but seeking the filling of their own belly.

For this sweet harmony between Christ the head and the members continued, until the Arian unbelief, fierce as a snake vomiting forth upon us its foreign poison, caused deadly separation between brethren dwelling together. God knoweth those that sin against Him, therefore He will deliver them unto death and unto destruction. And the Lord said unto me, Pray not for that people for their good.

Those few who have abandoned the broad way and are finding the narrow, are forbidden by God to pour out prayers for you, who persist in evil and tempt Him so greatly: Gildas is best known for his polemic De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniaewhich recounts the sub-Roman history of Britain, and which is the only substantial source for history of this period written by a near-contemporary.

In my zeal, therefore, for the holy law of the Lord’s house, gilds by the reasons of my own meditation or overcome by the pious entreaties of brethren, I am now paying the debt 1 exacted long ago.

De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae – Wikipedia

And the Lord said unto me: To the contrary hath both a judgment been made and the judge accepted it. Hear ye the word of the Lord, ye house of Jacob, and all kindred of the house of Israel: Pirates from the Orkney Islands came and sacked his island, carrying off goods and his friends as slaves. My son thou hast sinned; add no more thereto but rather pray to be relieved of thy old sins.

They have violently seized the mere name of priest, without receiving its true meaning or apostolic worthiness, but as men, who in respect of sound faith and by repentance for sins, are not yet fit. Differing versions of the Life of Saint Gildas exist, but both agree that he was born in what is now Scotland on the banks of the River Clydeand that he was the son of a royal family. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.


Will he who falls not rise again, and he who is turned away not return?

The various relics survived the revolution and have all since been returned to Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys where they are visible at various times of the year at a dedicated “treasury” in the village. If ye be willing and hear me, ye shall eat the good of the land.

For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity: How gladly, in this place, as one tossed by the gildaw of the sea, and carried into the desired haven by the oars, would I, under the prompting of modesty, take my rest, did I not see mountains so great, and gildss such a kind, of the evil committed by bishops or the other priests, or by clergy of my own order also, raised up against God. Israel is my first born if he spared not its priests, prophets, kings for so many centuries, if he spared not the apostle his minister, and the members of that primitive church, when they swerved from the right path, what will he do to such blackness as we have in this age?

He rose and said unto the people: Its waves shall be moved, and they cannot prevail; they shall swell, and shall not pass over it. Who seeing do glldas see, and hearing do not hear, whose heart is covered with a thick cloud of vices. Calamities from without were aggravated by tumults at home, because the whole country by pillagings, so frequent of this kind, was being stripped of every kind of food supply, with od exception of the relief that came from their skill in hunting.

Listen also to what Ezekiel the famous prophet, the wonderful seer of the four beasts of the gospels, has said of the wicked. For froward thoughts separate from God. The text as it is used today is thus a scholarly reconstruction; the prime witness and possibly the entire manuscript stemma may not actually preserve the original page order of the autograph.

Iolo Morganwg adds Saint Cenydd to the list. He is also associated with the foundation of Bangor. And the Lord said: If thou wash thee with nitre, and multiply unto thee the plant borith, thou art marked by thine iniquity before me, saith the Lord.

The house of Israel have hated him that reproveth in the gates, and have abhorred the righteous word.