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Britain's Royal Roman Family
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Sandde Hardd of Mortyn
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Bradwen of Llys Bradwen in Meirionydd
Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Sir Aaron ap Rhys
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
Ifor Bach, Lord of Senghenydd
Ancestors and Children of the Lord Rhys
                               BRUTUS, THE LEGENDARY EPONYM OF BRITAIN
                                              By Darrell Wolcott
        First related by Nennius in the 9th century AD, the Brutus legend says it was a great-grandson of the noted Trojan warrior Aeneas[1] who came to Britian c. 1100BC and named the island after himself after slaying the giants who he'd found inhabiting it.  Ancient Roman historians deduced the ancestry of Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome, from that same Aeneas.[2]  We took little note of those legends until we discovered the modern work by I.J. Wilkens "Where Troy Once Stood".
       In his 1990 book, Wilkens makes a strong case that the geography of Homer[3] places the city of Troy in Western Europe, not in Turkey and that the habits described for both combatants is much more consistent with them being Celts rather than Greeks and Turks. He places Troy near Cambridge in Britain, and its attackers from the European continent. The possibility that the Trojan War was actually a part of early British history led us to examine the Brutus legend more closely. 
       Several important Welsh royal families[4] trace their ancestry back to Beli Mawr of c. 130BC [5] and we have elected to stop there, considering it a suitable place to separate history from legend.  But pedigrees do exist which trace Beli Mawr back to Brutus.  If we apply the same generational gaps to men of the first millinium BC which are found in families after dates began to be reckoned by the birth of Christ, then the Brutus in the pedigree material[6] would date near 835BC:
                835 BC  Brutus
                805      Locrinus
                775      Madog
                740      Membyr
                710      Efrog
                680      Brutus darian las (green shield)
                645      Llywelyt
                615      Rhun baladr bras (broad shaft)
                585      Bleidud
                550      Llyr
                520      Reagan  (daughter)
                505      Cunedda
                475      Rhiwallon
                445      Gorwst
                415      Seriol
                380      Antonius
                350      Aedd Mawr
                320      Prydein
                285      Dyfnarth
                255      Crydon
                225      Cerwyt
                190      Eneid
                160      Manogan
                130BC  Beli Mawr
        According to Nennius, Homer, Virgil and other early writers, the Trojan family was related in this manner:
                              Tros  (eponym of Troy)
          l                                                  l
        Ilus                                       Asaracus
          l                                                  l
    Laomedon                                     Capen
          l                                                 l
      Priam (king during Trojan War)  Anchises (elderly when Troy fell)
          l                                                 l
                                 l                    (b)              l
                           Ascanius(d)              Silvius Postumus(e)
                             Silvius                (legendary ancestor of
                                 l                       Romulus and Remus,
                             Brutus                   founders of Rome)
   (a)  Virgil relates her death as Aeneas carried his aged father from Troy.  It was one of her brothers, Paris, who had taken Helen from Sparta to Troy even though she was married to the brother of Agememnon...the king who assembled the armies (traditionally called Greeks) to attack Troy
   (b)  The member of the Trojan royal family who fled when Troy fell, eventually settling in Italy where he remarried
   (c)  The Italian princess who married Aeneas 3 years before his death
   (d)  The first son of Aeneas who was but a child when Troy fell, and who became king of Alba Longa in Italy after his father's death
   (e)  About 15 years younger than his half-brother, he is said to have been born after Aeneas died.  He was named king of Alba Longa after the death of Ascanius since the son of Ascanius was yet a child.
        If it were Brutus ap Silvius in this chart who was born near 835BC, the end of the Trojan war would have be be dated c. 895 based on the following extension of his pedigree:
                   965BC  Anchises (about age 70 at fall of Troy)
                       930   Aeneas (about age 35 at fall of Troy)
                      900  Ascanius (about age 5 at fall of Troy)
                       865  Silvius
                       835  Brutus
        While no contemporary sources date the fall of Troy, most scholars accept the 1184BC dating offered by Eratosthenes in the 3rd century BC.  But others have suggested dates considerably earlier than that even though men prior to Eratosthenes believed it occured as late as 940BC.  However, all guesses were by Greeks who believed it was a part of their history and had an interest in claiming the Greek civilization was older than some of their rival nations.
       For their part, the Roman historians claim their Romulus was born in 771BC.  Counting backwards with the pedigree they fashioned for him, Aeneas would occur c. 1225BC and fit well with the Eratosthenes estimate.  There remains some suspicion, however, that the number of links claimed between Aeneas and Romulus was tailored to fit with a 1184BC date for the fall of Troy.  One can see the uncertainties in the following example:
        Roman historians say the mother of Romulus and Remus was Rhea Silvia, daughter of Numitor.  And that the king selected to succeed Romulus at his death was an unrelated man named Numa Pompilius.  But one of the pedigrees cited by Nennius says Numa Pompilius was a younger son of Ascanius (son of Aeneas) and the father of Rhea Silvia.  Nennius says that lady was the mother of Alanus, whose son was Hessitio, the latter being the father of a second man named Brutus.
        Nennius did not offer an opinion as to which of the two men named Brutus was the founder of Britian; his purpose was simply to present two alternate pedigrees of a Trojan named Brutus which were extant when he wrote.  It was the later Geoffrey of Monmouth who chose Brutus ap Silvius as Britian's founder even though he confused that Silvius son of Ascanius with the Silvius who was half-brother to Ascanius.
        For our part, we think all the pedigrees trying to link the founding of Rome and Britain to Aeneas of Troy were the product of wishful thinking.  Perhaps the Trojan War was historic[8] (wherever it was located), but none of the men later than Aeneas are found in any extant source earlier than the 1st century BC.  Should evidence be discovered which redates the Trojan War to c. 900BC, we could at least conclude that Brutus might chronologically have been a great-grandson of the Aeneas mentioned in the Iliad.  Otherwise, his pedigrees are deficient and likely fabricated. 
[1] Mentioned briefly in Homer's Iliad c. 800BC, he was the main character in Virgil's Aeneid written in the 1st century BC.  Homer's two poems were written from the viewpoint of the men who attacked Troy, notably Odysseus and Achilles.
[2] Roman historians Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassensis, writing in the era of Caesar Augustus, make Romulus "the 15th generation from Aeneas" descended from his son Silvius by an Italian princess.
[3] Scholars have for years chided the geography of Homer as nonsense, but only because it is inconsistent with siting Troy in Asia Minor.  Wilkens posits that all the Homer placenames were in Western Europe in his era; that descendants of the Trojan War later migrated to Greece and renamed various islands and cities around the Aegean Sea after places in their former homeland to perpetuate the glorious memory of their epic victory over Troy.  After several centuries passed, the Greeks came to believe it was a part of their local history.
[4] These include Coel Hen, Urien Rheged, Llywarch Hen, Cunedda, Vortigern and the later kings Rhodri Mawr, Gruffudd ap Cynan, Bleddyn ap Cynfyn and Elystan Glodrydd
[5] Detailed charts of all the many families descended from Beli Mawr are consistent with this dating of his birth.
[6]  We present the pedigrees found in Historia Gruffudd ap Cynan and ABT 1a, rejecting that given by Geoffrey of Monmouth which inserts some 37 more generations
[7]  The extant pedigree material takes the legendary Trojan family, whom the ancient Romans deduced from the god Jupiter, and merges it with biblical history by making Dardanus "ap Elisha ap Javan ap Japeth ap Noah".  One assumes this completely anachronistic connection was to satisy Christian needs many centuries later. 
[8]  The war was supposedly to avenge the cuckolded husband of Helen of Sparta, a young lady seduced by Paris of Troy and taken home by him.  It seems exceedingly doubtful her husband's brother could assemble a huge army of allies willing to wage a 10 year long foreign war for the honor of a single lady.  If historic, the war must have been about something in the national interest of all those who besieged Troy