Nennius of Bangor, in Wales, a noted British monastic, flourished in the first part of the 9th century (comp. Historia Britonum). Vossius (De Historicis Latinis) says that he lived in the early part of the 7th century, but he assigns no authority for this assertion. In the history Nennius states himself to have been a Briton, and not a Saxon, and a disciple of the holy bishop Elbodus, or Elvodug. He wrote a history of Britain, Historia Britonum, or, as it is sometimes styled, Eulogium Britanniae, which, he says at the beginning, he compiled from all he could find — "from the Roman annals and the chronicles of the fathers, as well as from the writings of the Scots and the Angli, and from the traditions of our ancestors." The history begins with a fabulous genealogy of Brutus, grandson of aEneas, who reigned in Britain. The author afterwards relates the arrival of the Picts in North Britain, and of the Scots in Ireland; and, after a brief and confused narrative of the Roman conquest and empire in Britain, he comes to the Saxon invasion and gradual subjugation of the country. The manuscript of Nennius was mutilated and interpolated by a transcriber, who signs himself "Samuel," and "a disciple of Beularius Presbyter," and who acknowledges that he left out what he thought useless in Nennius's work, and added what he gathered from other writers concerning the towns and wonders of Britain: see end of chapter 64 of Nennii Banchoriensis Eulogium Britannice, edited by C. Bertram, and published together with Gildas and Richard, the Monk of Westminster (Copenhagen, 1757, 8vo). Such is the common account of Nennius; but it is, to say the least, doubtful whether such a person ever existed, and whether the history ascribed to him was not the fabrication of a much later age. Though the work existed earlier, the name of Nennius is not mentioned in connection with it earlier than the 13th century. It is in any case of little value, but even that little is of course greatly reduced if it be the production of an age much later than it professes to be. The question will be found fully discussed in Mr. Wright's Biographia Britannica Literaria (Anglo-Saxon period), pages 137-142; the Introduction to Mr. Stevenson's valuable variorum edition of the Historia Britonum;, Schoell, Diss. de Eccles. Britonumn Scotorumque Historice Fontibus, pages 29-37. A translation of Nennius, by the Reverend W. Gunn, was published in London (1819, 8vo), and reprinted in the Six Old English Chronicles, published as a volume in Bohn's "Antiquarian Library" (1848). (J.N.P.)

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