Blaeu Atlas of Scotland, 1654

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Name: Blaeu, Joan, 1596-1673  
Title: Adnotata ad Scotorvm Antiqvitatem  
Pagination: 4-5
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Translation of text:

does the third boundary of Lollius Urbicus have place or truth; for if this whole area between the two boundaries of which remains survive is carefully investigated, not the slightest vestige or suspicion of anything will be found, since these regions are mostly rough with mountains, especially inland, and would not have allowed such works; nor was it the role of any Legate with small resources to undertake such building works. Under him at that time only two legions were engaged in guard duties, as evidenced by contemporary inscriptions from this wall: the 2nd Augustan Legion, and the 20th Strong (11) and Victorious Legion. One dug up reads

2nd Augustan Legion

The other, which is still extant in a distinguished location [It is in the portico of Dunottar, the castle of the Earl Marischal in the province of Mearns], is in these terms:

For Emperor and Caesar T. Aelius
Hadrian Antoninus Augustus Pius
Father of the Nation
A Detachment of the 20th Valerian
Victorious Legion built for 3 miles

This latter inscription gives the truth about Lollius Urbicus, testifying that he raised no new wall or boundary, but constructed his work, which mentions the Emperor Antoninus whose legate he was, on the old boundary of Hadrian.

Under the Emperor Commodus, the situation here became worse, until the Emperor Severus arrived with a large army; he tired himself and the enemy, and consumed by age ended his life in the province, with the war against the enemy still not settled. Certainly although I have often perused the acts of this most warlike Emperor in this island, I confess that in many respects I have not been satisfied by the authorities, so confusingly have many points been trusted to print. It is agreed that he, or his sons, constructed that most famous wall, of which a great part still exists running from the Solway to the Tyne: but how he yielded so much territory to the enemy, compelled by no necessity (later Emperors did not disdain that land as of no use, as some maintain) with the war continuing, I certainly do not grasp; and yet the writers maintain that this was his own work. If they had said, that on the father's death the sons, disagreeing and hastening to Rome to seize the empire, had compacted with the enemy and constructed this work, their story would have been more credible.

In any case this new boundary and new frontier always thereafter provided everlasting seeds for quarrels, wars and slaughter. For when the Scots, Picts, Attacotts, Dicaledons, Vetturions and Maeatans, separate in their homes but under two chiefs of Scots and Picts by name, as I quoted a little earlier from Bede, were first pushed back by Agricola beyond the Forth and Clyde, the whole western coast being torn from the Scots and the Picts being driven out of the eastern, and were intent on every uprising to recover their lands, yet they were always constrained and pushed back to the wall of Agricola or Hadrian, until Severus yielded to them as much territory as they might have desired but could not have expected. It seems indeed, that if the Romans had later contained themselves within Severus' wall, they would have had them as neighbours and not enemies. But after, as is related by some historians of not the worst reputation [Nennius the Briton, who lived in the year 620], Carausius under the Emperor Diocletian (who later established a tyranny for some time in the island) again moved the frontier forward to the Forth, and under the Emperor Valentinian, Theodosius, parent of the Emperor Theodosius, according to Marcellinus, had reduced all the territory between the boundaries to the form of a province under the name Valentia, the enemy exerted all their powers against the Romans as treaty-breakers and sought back what they had lost as their own. But in vain, as the Romans were always dominant, and continuously held what they had captured as long as the empire stood intact. That boundary which Agricola had first set up, remained the frontier almost to the end. It was defended by Gallio of Ravenna, as is clear from Bede, it seems to have been defended by Stilicho. It was finally lost, after the Romans had left the island, and defences were drawn back to Severus' wall, in which, with the absence of the Romans and the exhaustion of the youth by levies, there was no strength. The enemy, exulting in slaughter, raged cruelly against the Provincials, and there was no end before the Saxons were summoned.

I have investigated this so fully, in order to display the causes of war which so many writers had passed over untouched, so that it might be seen that those enemies, those barbarians waged such pertinacious wars continuing on wars, not without legitimate as it seemed to them cause of hatred, since they ascribed all this to the Romans, who had in their greed violated lawfully agreed frontiers.

On the remains of Hadrian's wall I have the following from a paper of Timothy Pont; as it is full of barbarous names, which do not allow Latin charm, I have copied it in the vernacular. (Section Note)
The trace of this fortification beginneth betwinx Abircorn and the Queens ferry, besyd the rampier and ditche, with the rownds stof all along it had many squar fortifications in form of a Roman camp. it went west from Abircorn towards Kinneil, then to Inner-ewin at Langtown a myl be-east Falkirk a fort, at ye rowntree-burne-head a fort, at wester Cowdon above Helins Chapell one, at the Croyhill one, and at Cailly-bee, that is the Dick wood over against the Croyhill, on the top of the Bar-hill a great one, and at Balchastel over against the Bar-hill, at Achindevy, at Kirkintillo, at East Caldar, at Hiltoun of Calder, at Bal-muydie, at Simmerstoun and ovir Kelvin river, at Carrestoun, at Achter-minnie, at the Roch-hill ovir agains the westerwood at Bankir ovir agains Castel Cary, at Dunvass.

So far this paper, and there is much more as far as Dumbarton which I should have liked to investigate, although age has now prevented this for me.

On the origin and causes of the Saxon tongue among us, which today has been changed or turned into English. (Section Note)
It is often rightly asked how it has come about that, although our ancestors came here from Ireland bringing that language with them, they have now for the most part forgotten it and the Saxon has replaced it in first position. With varying dialect it has varied among the English as among us, and we do not differ in any point except that it is pronounced among us with a slightly different accent, and is less cultivated than among them, especially among the common people, just as in different kingdoms there is not everywhere the same purity of language, as may be seen in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, nor is there a more certain indication of foreignness than speech. Among the English those who speak quite purely, every day give citizenship to foreign words, and that not because of lack of resources, but by a luxury of speech and desire for novelty; hence the varied provinces among them who are at a greater distance, at a greater distance (so to speak) from this factory of recently attracted words, drink in that newness at a later time, especially the common people. Our compatriots, who are at the greatest possible distance thence and who care least for such things, use a more antique language; these fastidious innovators shrink from it and despise it as old-fashioned; so far have they moved from the original Saxon that, it if is read, no-one any more understands it, and just as modern French has moved from its parent Celtic, so has that from its parent. This English has now spread over almost the whole of our kingdom, if you except the west coast from the Firth of Clyde to the north, where deep barbarity retains the old language among the common people. But there is no-one there with any cultivation who does not also speak like us.

Now let us see how this initially foreign language has crept over us and in time has put out such deep roots that our original tongue is carried away to exile on the farthest coasts. Edicts of emperors and the power of the Roman empire, however much exerted to this, could not drive out the provincial language from the common people. I admit that the provincials were never forbidden their language by the edicts of emperors, but in Latin alone law was dispensed in the courts, in Latin public business was transacted, as much for the majesty of the empire as to make the provincials learn of necessity that of which in the whole of their lives there was so much use.

Although this change was not and could not have been sudden, it is now only felt to have happened and is only perceived to have been born like alluvial land in rivers. Hence in historians there is a deep silence concerning it.

Some wish the beginnings of this to have flowed from our trade and links with the neighbouring English, after the Saxons had embraced Christianity and begun to be held under one king; certainly there was very great friendship between these neighbouring races, especially after our people had appropriated for themselves what the Saxons of Northumbria had taken from them by right of war; and this friendship remained in good repair until it was totally dissolved by the treachery and violence of Edward I. But if we reckon truly, no custom of such character or strength held them that anything could have been pulled away from our language, nor does this theory seem either true or probable.

Others refer this to the time of our king Malcolm III, which falls a few years before the Norman invasion of England, which occurred in 1066 A.D. For then Edgar, the legitimate heir of the kingdom, being excluded from the throne, came with all his family to these shores and was kindly received by Malcolm, who himself, as an exile not so long before, had found a safe place for refuge in that country; and when he returned to his own to drive out the tyrant Macbeth from his usurped kingdom, he had had many companions and those not of the lowest rank. So, his affairs now prospering, he kindly repaid them with lands, manors and honours. Our annals bear witness that many distinguished families whose descendants are alive today owe their origins to this event; their names, which have been spread by numerous children, remain. The kind treatment of Edgar, therefore, gave the opportunity for a new relationship. His sister Margaret, a most choice maiden for chastity, sanctity and all Christian virtues, was married to Malcolm; hence any English who did not agree well with the Normans found a safe refuge here; hence many expeditions and wars were undertaken to regain the right to the English crown, but in vain, since by now the people, all the Churchmen (who had much influence then), and the greatest part of the nobility had surrendered. But neither Edgar's companions nor those who before him had returned as allies with Malcolm, who were not numerous, had so much influence as to extinguish the native language; there was not such a crowd to prevail over people and commons. This matter certainly rests on votes: here there is pure democracy, or what is worse, mob rule. The commons, the people have charge of language, and it is not in the gift of any ruler to make it otherwise.

Now I shall expound what I feel; and if anyone brings forward something more probable to outweigh my opinion, I shall bear it equably, I shall march to his judgement, as I am determined not to obstruct the truth.

When at first our ancestors, and before

  [Continuation of text]

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