O're Hills and Valleys Reign: A Cumbrian Timeline

One thing the orthodox church calls itself<<the orthodox Catholic church>
It does, but Eastern Orthodox is its common name among western lay folk, if they don't mistakenly call it Greek Orthodox.

I should mention that i haven't decided if the Britannic Catholics are a fully separate church or merely an autocephalus/sui juris church in communion with Rome. I'd love to hear people's opinions on either option.
Will the anglo saxons inside the kingdom influence cumbric at all?
Linguistically? A few borrowed words but little else i think. I've tried to find research about norse influences on the Gaelic languages for comparison but ive come up with nothing. Ive seen a few word borrowings and names reinterpreted in gaelic (Ivar -> Ímair) but little else.
About hagiography is it Byzantine or an original style ?
I'm not super familiar with the different styles. Itd be closer to whatever style St. Cadoc's and the other Celtic saints were done in.
 
I should mention that i haven't decided if the Britannic Catholics are a fully separate church or merely an autocephalus/sui juris church in communion with Rome. I'd love to hear people's opinions on either option.
There is a case to be made for orthodoxy,the britannic church could be a seperate church in communion with constantinople,now in tl the situation migth be different,but rome will propably seek to cull the independence that the brittannic chuch will gain.it is remote from rome and the anglo-saxon invasions that happened help more in that regard,furthermore the orthodox communion is less authoritarian than the catholic one(they will certainly allow cumbric as the language of the cumbric church,priests need to get married to be entered into the church-population growth(not really they marry because the priest is supposed to be the role model for the community),there is also caesaropapism, and by not being under the authority of rome, cumbria can control its church and not allow corruption to seep into it(there was some corruption in orthodoxy bu it was not that prevailent as it was in rome)furthermore it seems the church of england was greco-roman ,which probably was the situation for the whole of the british isles
you also said that the gregorian mission never happens which means that the cumbric church is even more isolate from rome and will probably continue to do so
About a Brittannic church it can happen but being in communion with orthodoxy would help with eastern relations and they allow variety within the church as long as the creed is respected and not changed.
a Brittannic church is possible since as i said before the brittish churches are independent at the moment and the gregorian mission hasnt happened,they probably will form their own customs,use cumbric as the church language and have unique traditions,the papacy wont have influence over them for a long time,so it is not wrong to say that in this situation they have found themselves in, they are in a position to form their own church.
 
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Chapter 4: Ethnogenesis
Chapter 4

With his victory at Catraeth Ewen was without a doubt the most powerful king in the north and quite possibly in all of Britain, at least in military terms. If he had wanted to he could have easily pressed further south; Dere was conquered, Lindsege was unwilling to oppose him and readily accepted his overlordship, and Merce was kingless and its warbands scattered. It certainly would have been in line with the expansionist streak he demonstrated against his previous foes. Perhaps he thought such a move would overextend himself, or maybe he was paid off with tribute that may have been hinted at in his eulogy poem, but he decided to return home and disband the army. He was victorious and had gained land and wealth, his warbands were satisfied.

Cundairn succeeded his father three years later but much less peaceably than his father had come to the throne. King Neython of the Picts laid claim to the throne of Alt Clout[1] either in an attempt to check the growing power of his southern neighbor or simply just for expanding his own power and influence, causing Coustentin vap Redherch to flee to the safety of nearby Dal Riata. There was a battle between Cundairn and Neython at Predhynain in 615 AD. contesting his usurpation but it seems to have been indecisive for both parties by the sparse information given.

A second attempt was made in 621 at the battle of Cumyrinalt. Coustentin returned from his time among the Skots with a band of hardened mercenaries and further gathered as many loyal Britons to himself as he could. Neython obviously had to deal with the threat he posed and quickly marched down from Predin. Ironically, they met near the old ruins of the antonine wall in a clash that no doubt bore echoes of the long history between the two peoples. The fighting was long and vicious, with the mercenaries proving their worth, but it seemed like the Picts would still win the day until the army of Reget arrived led by a king eager to redeem himself and assert his cousin's right. The men of Bernice and Dere reinforced the line of alt clout while the horsemen of Reget encircled the Pictish flanks. The weight of these combined forces Neython couldn't withstand and he fled the field while much of his army was captured. The victory would mark an end to pictish attacks south of the Avon Gwerit but perhaps more importantly we see a cultural shift in the people north of the Avon Cymber as in the praise poem commemorating the victory we see the first instance of them being referred to as the Cumbry.

On the religious side of things, Ewen had granted to Andras the land he had already built upon and paid to have Andras' little chapel expanded into a proper monastery in the style of Lannilltud.[2] Andras continued his work in preaching and teaching in Dere, including performing a three day long mass baptism at Eoforwic, starting with Eadwine's sister Acha who was afterwards married by Cundairn, solidifying his hold over the region. Andras was proving successful enough that he was even beginning to send missionaries north to Bernice, but soon he would be sending missionaries southward too.

Pibba's death at Catraeth along with several important nobles had thrown Merce into disarray as a struggle for the crown commenced. On one side were the supporters of Pibba's young children, Eowa and Penda (six and four years old, respectively), with the expectation that they would control the regency. The other faction wanted a strong king immediately lest their neighbors started whittling away at their borders, and they coalesced around ealdorman Cearl as their leader. The evening before a clash between the two factions Cearl was encamped upon the crossroads of the old roman roads of the Fosse Way and Watling street and received a vision of a golden cross in the sky and heard a voice saying that he would gain victory and the kingdom by bearing the sign of the cross.[3] Cearl did so supposedly by painting the golden cross upon the blue cloaks he and his retinue wore. Cearl went on to win at the battle of Aderestun against the "loyalist" faction and marched on the royal center of Tomworthig, where he was officially declared king. Eowa and Penda disappear from the records from then on, so it is presumed that the two princes were executed. Among his first acts as king was to lift the restrictions placed upon the Christians, but he didn't formally reach out to the British church until 617 A.D., some five years after his victory.

From an outside perspective this sudden turn away from the old pagan gods and towards christianity may seem odd, but even ignoring the vision and interaction with Andras it is not hard to see why Woden and Þunor were starting to seem less attractive than they once were. The pagan Anglo saxon advances from the mid sixth century had ground to a halt as had happened to the West Saxons at the battle of Deorham, or totally reversed as seen in the north with the rise of Reget. Cearl was likely a survivor of Catraeth and had seen that the christian armies of the north had defeated warriors and kings claiming the favor, or at least descent, from the gods of his people. Perhaps he had even heard of the exchange between Andras and Coefi from Eadwine's warband, and began to think the christian god was better for finding victory. Whatever the case was, Cearl felt a change in the wind and was adjusting his course to match it.

Andras received the request and traveled to convert the Mercian king with his best anglian monks in tow, likely as to not imply that christianity was only a British religion. Cearl proved to be more interested in actual christian instruction than he had at their previous meeting, and so were his counselors after he had explained the visions he had been given previously. Though he was still somewhat hesitant because he didn't want to upset the men who put helped him in power, he agreed that his household would convert if he won another victory by the Christian god's intervention. He got his victory in a fight with the Middle Angels near a crossing of the river Nyn, where on the bank opposite from the battle Cundairn lead his monks in a prayer for victory and thus the place was named Munecsford. A man of his word, Cearl indeed had his whole family baptized by Andras. King Cearl also encouraged his subjects to convert, though he didn't force them to. This was less from a moral stance than a pragmatic one; forcing conversion would be difficult and antagonistic while rewarding the nobles of his court was easier and was more in line with the king's role as a giver of gifts. Andras installed a priest to minister for the royal family while he arranged for the archbishop of Cair Ciron to send on more holy men for Merce and for himself in the north.

[1] Neython was a descendant of Duwnwal Hen of Alht Clout on his father's side and thus an uncle to Redherch. It was by virtue of his mother being a Pictish princess he had been acclaimed king of the picts in 595 AD.
[2] Lannandras (OTL Scarborough), called Andres Mynster by the angles, would not be completed until after Ewen's death, but the school there still bears his name.
[3] Renamed Heh Ród, formerly Roman Venonis
 
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Please note that the Celtic church had no archbishops. In fact, while they did have bishops, Abbott was considered the senior rank. As best as I can tell, the first person labelled Archbishop in Ireland was given that rank in 1105 or so.
 
Please note that the Celtic church had no archbishops. In fact, while they did have bishops, Abbott was considered the senior rank. As best as I can tell, the first person labelled Archbishop in Ireland was given that rank in 1105 or so.
Im well aware of the fact that the historical Celtic church did not have archbishops, though it is incorrect to say abbots out ranked bishops and we have tales of even Columba recognizing that a visiting bishop out ranked him and should be the one performing the sacraments. Abbots were often just more prominent than bishops because they were the ones leading the missionary efforts, if the abbot himself wasn't infact a bishop at the same time.

However, that doesn't mean that there hadn't been archbishoprics in britain before the Roman withdrawal, Britain was certainly divided up into dioceses that the church copied from secular roman administration, just that by the time they reconnected with the wider church they no longer existed.

Now you can certainly argue that all of them fled the turmoil of going on in Britain, the ones in Londinium and Eboracum certainly did, and its likely that the one in Lindum did so as well. Im supposing here however that the bishop of Corinium did not leave because of the safety of the Severn valley. ITTL neither Wessex or the Hwicce managed to penetrate the cotswolds.
 
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Although, perhaps i should say that the bishop of Corinium isn't an archbishop in the sense that the see was given a pallium by the Pope, just that he is considered by the British church to be the most senior of themselves and so they label him as such.

When the Pope is finally able to turn his attention to Britain ...well, sparks are going to fly over the honor they have given a simple bishop, among other controversies
 
Chapter 5:
Chapter Five

Paskent, who had succeeded Brannok as archbishop of Cair Ciron, was ecstatic at the success Andras' mission was finding and gladly lent his aid to induct the angles into the faith and especially to train them up as men of the cloth. The reason for this were the strict laws arrayed against the Britons in the Anglo-saxon territories that limited their ability to travel and interact with the Anglo-saxons and especially their ruling class. Such restrictions obviously wouldn't apply to the Anglo-saxon converts, nor to the handful of irish peregrini [1] that made their way into the pagan lands of the southeast. Paskent and Andras would send further missions to Westseaxna and East Engle respectively while attempts to reach into Cantawara and Suþseaxna were rebuffed turned away.

Cundairn wasn't blind to the influence that the church offered him beyond his own territories, using the connections he had to appoint abbots in southern Predin and arrange the marriage of Connad Mac Conall, co-ruler of Dal Riata, with his niece Rienmelt verch Reyth. In the south he stood as godfather to Cadell son of King Cadvail of Cair Mammik (a position that was considered as good or better than a blood relation). With the approval of Paskent the king invested Saint Andras and Saint Elifer with the sees of Evrok and Lindcolun in a reestablishment of the ancient ecclesiastical provinces of Britannia Secunda and Flavia Caesariensis. He was also more than happy to patronize the church materially, granting land to monasteries throughout Reget as well as in the sub-kingdoms of Alht Clout and Elvet, like Glaskow abbey which was given to Irish monks from Eilean Bhóid that had a sheltered his cousin Coustentin in his exile. Unusually for most cultures in this period, we also see Queen Acha taking an active role in ruling by witnessing charters and donating land to Abbeys in the former Anglian kingdoms such as at Dunhama and Hereteu.

Their support was not only because of piety, though. When Urien and Ewen had conquered Bernice and Dere a significant number Anglian landowners remained in place, but despite their submission to the Mab Meirchyon dynasty[2] tension remained between the anglian speaking pagans and the british speaking christians that threatened to boil over if not dealt with. It appears that both of them were working together, in support with the church, to bring the two groups into further contact while also tying them together through a shared faith and education as the monastic communities would teach the families of both groups indiscriminately, as saint Andras directed.

We also see the mixing of their cultures in more subtle ways. A mixture of 'Celtic' and 'Germanic' styles began emerging that has come to be known as the Insular style, that prominently featured interlace and geometric styles from the romano-celtic tradition with the animal styles of the Anglo-saxons. It would be some time yet before they would reach their fullest expression in illuminated manuscripts, but broaches and other jewelry with the style do appear. It has been supposed that the marriage to Acha brought the first anglian poets into the cumbrian court because later laws entitle the queen to her own poet among her entourage, but it is far from certain that such was the case at this early date.

Reget was becoming a formidable power in Britain and it's rise loomed large over the south, because despite the long standing grudges the Britons and Angles south of the Cymber-Mersuwy line both viewed it as a threat. To the Angles the Mab Meirchyon were the bane of anglian dynasties, having brought low the Idingas the Ællingas and the Iclingas, and if they pressed south any of them could be next. There was also a worry among some of them, even the christians, that the ongoing conversion efforts were a cowardly and devious means to subject them at to the (spiritual) authority of the norþwealhcynn without a fight. To the Brythonic kingdom of Powis they were encroaching upon their traditional sphere of influence, leading to worries over their ambitions towards Cair Leon[3], a vital part of their northern defenses; whoever held it would have easy access to the heartlands of Powis and its capital. Tensions between north and south were rising, and it was only a matter of time before fighting broke out again.

[1] literally pilgrim or wanderer, but here meaning the practice for people to go into exile from their homeland either as penance or to preach The Word.
[2] "Sons of Meirchyon", the legendary first ruler of Reget and Urien's grandfather. Through him Urien's family claimed descent from Cail Hen, the last Dux Britanniarum before roman withdrawal.
[3] that is, Cairleon on Deverdewr, not to be confused with Cairleon on Wisk.
 
Sorry this one took so long guys, it was a bit of a struggle to tie off, and beyond that i wanted to give some attention to things beyond just war. Cundairn's rule is meant to be largely peaceful so focusing on his fights too much would give the wrong impression.
 
Wait alt clout ? Did cundairn conquer the kingdom because last time I checked it was independent
In a strict sense he did conquer it from king Neython, though he did so to reinstall the previous king who was allied with him. Sub-kingdomship is a kinda hazy concept, but think of it as a sort of vassalage.

So whereas before Coustentin vap Redherch was only an allied independent king, after regaing the throne he owed his authority to his restorer who was clearly Cundairn.
 
In a strict sense he did conquer it from king Neython, though he did so to reinstall the previous king who was allied with him. Sub-kingdomship is a kinda hazy concept, but think of it as a sort of vassalage.

So whereas before Coustentin vap Redherch was only an allied independent king, after regaing the throne he owed his authority to his restorer who was clearly Cundairn.
https://www.archaeology.co.uk/articles/features/rheged-rediscovered-uncovering-a-lost-british-kingdom-in-galloway.htm
 
Interesting. I've heard about this dig before, though i didn't get a good look at the picture stone till now, which has given me some ideas.
Trustys-Hill1.jpg

The z rod and double disk is a typical Pictish symbol, but the carving on the right looks an awful lot like the Draco, the military standard of roman cavalry and supposedly the inspiration for Y Ddraig Goch of the Welsh. It wouldn't be surprising that the Cumbrians were still using it, we know that the carolingians were using it and the bayeux tapestry depicts Harold also using a draco standard. We even see the normans and angevins "raising the dragon" later on, though by that time it was a banner rather than a windsock
 
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Interesting update. May be worth mentioning that OTL Angles and Scandinavians used interlace too albeit not in the abstract geometry and more as part of their animal images. Not that should alter your in-universe dialogue though!

(And still loving the Alt Old Cumbrian dialect by the way!)
 
Chapter 6
Chapter Six

Despite the largely peaceful and prosperous rule of Cundiarn not everyone in the north appreciated being under Reget's thumb. Eidyn vap Cerdik, one of the sons of the king of Elvet, rebelled in 632 AD. Eidyn's motives in this aren't told to us by the Chronica, but the old antiquarian notions of it arising from his dissatisfaction with Cundiarn's reconcilary policies with the north angles can be dismissed on account of the Mercian and Powisian support he received. The most popular theory among current historians is that the rebellion arose over a dispute to the succession of the sub-kingdom, as the regnal list of Elvet have Cerdik dying at about this time and succeeded by his son Predour, who has appeared in Cundiarn's charters and was likely the over-king's favored candidate to succeed. Alternatively, it could be as simple as an independence movement. In either case Merce and Powis were quick to lend their support, and the combined warriors of the south once again faced off with the warriors of the north at a location northeast of Cairleon on Deverdewr.[1]

4f37oHQ.jpg

The southern forces made use of the wooded landscape to secure their flanks and gave a pointed reminder of why the shield wall endured for so long as a viable tactic. Javelins were thrown and blocked, the cavalry charged repeatedly but was repulsed each time. Eidyn, along with kings Cearl of Merce and Eluit of Powis, didn't allow them to break the shield wall to pursue. Then the infantry of the north moved in and met the southern line. Fights between shield walls are essentially a pushing match as spears and swords and axes attempt to get around (or break) the protection of the shields. The casualties at this point of the battle were relatively low; the real slaughter only really took place once a line broke, and so every fight greatly depended upon the moral of the warriors. When the heir to the north, Cinuit, was killed the northern line faltered, and when King Cundairn himself was cut down the shield wall collapsed completely and the army was routed.

The death of a ruler is an unstable and uncertain time for a kingdom of this era, which was why many of them designated the heir apparent to take the throne immediately, known as the Tanais in the British realms. With the loss of both however Reget was thrown for a loop. Cundiarn did have another son, Arthwal, but british succession customs tended to prefer adults over children (Arthwal was fourteen) which meant that some thought the crown ought to go to Reyth son of Elffin, a cousin to Cundiarn. And contrary to later developments, matrilineal relatives weren't barred from the kingship so Coustentin of Alt Clout also had a valid claim to press. Late in 632 the Queen Acha, exercising a surprising amount of royal authority even after her husband's death, stepped in to prevent civil war and called for a cumgor to determine the way forward. The cumgor was not, as some earlier historians had supposed, a legislative institution that directly prefigured the modern Senadh. Rather it was an informal body of important lords, clergy, and jurists assembled in an ad hoc manner to provide legal advice to the king, to show their support for the king's edicts and charters, or on very rare occasions choosing the monarch. It does not appear to have had the power to pass laws on its own authority. We're not told of all the political wrangling that must have gone on behind the scenes, but judging by the cumgor's neutral location of Penroudh[2] and that it was held almost four months after Cundiarn's death, it could not have been an easy task.

The Election of Penroudh, as this event came to be known as, considered each claimant in order of proximity of blood; first Arthwal, then Reyth, and then Coustentin[3]. Coustentin attempted to improve his chances with a marriage proposal to the widowed queen, but her cousin Hereric as head of her household conditioned his approval on Coustentin immediately naming Arthwal as his Tanais, which the sub-king of Alt Clout rejected. Reyth likely emphasized his connections with the king of Dal Riata and the fact that his holdings were in Din Prys, the heartlands of Reget. Arthwal probably relied upon the precedent set by his forefathers; the crown had passed to the eldest surviving son for the last three generations; from Cunvarch to Urien to Ewen to Cundiarn. Arthwal also would have had the support of Bernice and Dere as he was more likely to continue the favorable integration scheme of his father and mother, given his half Angle ancestry. In the end the cumgor did decide in Arthwal's favor, unknowingly further entrenching the tendency towards primogeniture.

We are given a description of the coronation ceremony of a later monarch of Cumbria and it is supposed that Arthwal's ceremony would have been much the same, as similar practices among all the Britons as far south as Cerniw imply a common origin.

galloway-kingdom.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smart.jpg

The king would travel to the royal center of Ardhwall[2] and fasted for the three days before the ceremony. The day of the ceremony would begin with a celebration of mass at the local church, during which prayers and blessings for the king's reign would be made, after which the bishop would place the royal diadem upon the king. Then the king would make a procession on horseback up the hill to the citadel where he would dismount. A sword owned by the last king, which had been placed inside of an anvil, would be withdrawn by the new king to symbolize his full assumption of royal power.

[1] Believed to be near Cinuidryd, "Cinuit's ford" (OTL knutsford)
[2] "Red Top" (OTL Penrith); "walled hieghts" (OTL Trusty's hill)
[3] When the laws of Cumbria would be written down decades later matrilineal relatives would be regarded as more distant than patrilineal ones for legal purposes, though we cannot be absolutely certain this was true at the time of the first Cumgor of Penroudh.
 
Before anyone says anything, it was a complete coincidence that Arthwal and Ardhwall have similar names. I made up a family tree for the MabMeirchyon dynasty quite a while ago, while i only settled on a British name for Trusty's hill last night by looking at the typonomy of local places
 
Before anyone says anything, it was a complete coincidence that Arthwal and Ardhwall have similar names. I made up a family tree for the MabMeirchyon dynasty quite a while ago, while i only settled on a British name for Trusty's hill last night by looking at the typonomy of local places
I'd expect there to be lots of common historical misconceptions about it though!
 
@The Professor I've been meaning to ask your opinion regarding word choices for the different notions of king. In the story so far I've been keeping to English king, over-king and sub-king because they fairly clear descriptors, but I'm not sure how i ought to translate them.

Im aware of words like Ri and Brenin that exist in modern celtic languages, and Whalley's work on Cumbraek that I've been referencing also provides the word Tiarn (from common brittonic Tigernos which appears in Kentigern and Vortigern), but i am at a loss as to any of their connotations. Do you have any recommendations?
 
You could adapt names into titles. The examples of Caesar, Arshak, and Mwata Yamvo show that across multiple continents the name of a successful, era-defining founder figure could become the title of later rulers who project themselves as inheritors of the founders' legacy and mission.
 
@The Professor I've been meaning to ask your opinion regarding word choices for the different notions of king. In the story so far I've been keeping to English king, over-king and sub-king because they fairly clear descriptors, but I'm not sure how i ought to translate them.

Im aware of words like Ri and Brenin that exist in modern celtic languages, and Whalley's work on Cumbraek that I've been referencing also provides the word Tiarn (from common brittonic Tigernos which appears in Kentigern and Vortigern), but i am at a loss as to any of their connotations. Do you have any recommendations?
Well, tiarn/tirn/etc would do for generic prince, ruler, lord, etc.
Ri(g) works for king in general.
It's the overking and underking terms to play with.
Bren(h)in comes from brigentin "preeminent" and essentially translates Augustus. So would work for a more imperial king.
Vortigern/Guortigern literally means "overlord". There's the modern Welsh version gwrtheyrn. This could be used for Vulgar Latin Superrex or Rex Superanus (whence sovereign).
Cornish and Breton used "great king" maghtighern, maeltiern, etc.
Regulus
was often used as the Latin for a petty or sub king. So perhaps little king would do? Or the prefix is in Welsh and Breton means "sub" or "deputy" so the Cumbric equivalent could work (I'm unclear on the etymology else would provide it).
 
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