Writing in Arthur's
- St. Gildas is the
earliest British writer
whose writings are still around today.
- He was a monk
and a hermit and wrote a book
called 'De Excidio et
Conquestu Britanniae' (The Ruin & Conquest of Britain). He
wrote other books too, but they have not survived.
- De Excidio was a
religious book, although it does tell us some things about
what was happening in Britain around King
Arthur's time (early 6th century).
- We don't really know
much about St. Gildas. His life-story was written down a few
hundred years later. We don't know how much is true. It said:
- Gildas was born in
Strathclyde (now in Scotland).
- He went to school in
- He became a missionary, telling people about Jesus and the Bible in
Wales and Ireland.
- His family fell out
with King Arthur when he killed Gildas' brother, Huail.
Gildas later forgave him.
- Gildas was friends
with St. Cadog. He gave him his hand-bell. He also looked
after his monastery at Llancarfan (Glamorgan)
for a while.
- He then became a
hermit on Flatholm, an island near Weston-super-Mare
- But he was attacked
by pirates, so he moved to Street, near Glastonbury.
He wrote his books there.
- He negotiated (got
two sides to agree to) the release
of Queen Guinevere when she was kidnapped.
- Gildas may have also
gone to Brittany (North-West France), but this was probably a
different saint called Gueltas.