Gildas (Breton: Gweltaz; c. – c. ) — also known as Gildas the Wise or Gildas Sapiens — was a 6th-century British monk best known for his scathing. Gildas’. ‘On the Ruin of Britain’. Translated by J. A. Giles and T. Habington. For convenience, this text has been composed into this PDF document by. Camelot. The Preface, History and Epistle of Gildas’ principal work, De Excidio Britanniae, a sermon in three parts condemning the acts of his contemporaries, both.

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For he was addressing the king.

Likewise, Wulfstan of York draws on Gildas to make a similar point in his sermons, particularly in the Sermo Lupi ad Gildaa.

For the souls of sinners are as immortal for never-ending fire as those of the saints are for joy. How gladly, in this place, as one tossed by the waves of the sea, and carried into the desired haven by the oars, would I, under the prompting of modesty, take my rest, did I not see mountains so great, and of such a kind, of the evil committed by bishops or the other priests, or by clergy of my own order also, raised up against God.

Gildas was the son of Nau, king of Scotia. For to no wise man is it doubtful how much more grievous are the sins of this time, than those of the primitive time, when ob apostle says: Why did ye agree to tempt the Spirit of God? Hear also the holy prophet Amos threatening as follows: The choice of three things is given thee; choose the one thou wilt, that I may do it unto thee; either famine shall befall thee seven years, or thou shalt flee from thine enemies three hritain and they pursue thee, or there shall be a pestilence in thy land three days?

His pre-eminence over other kings is confirmed indirectly in other sources. He became a renowned teacher, converting many to Christianity and founding numerous churches and monasteries throughout Britain and Ireland.

Therefore is judgment made far from gilfas, and righteousness hath not got hold of you. The second “Life” of St. Forasmuch as I have magnified nritain to be prince over Israel, because they have provoked me by their vanities, behold I stir up after Baasha and after his riun, and I shall render his house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.


For they that have kept righteous things shall be justified, and they that have learnt holy ruih shall be made holy. We despair, after our own devices will we walk, and we will everyone do the wickedness of his own evil heart.


And a little after: Who seeing do not see, and hearing do not hear, whose heart is covered with a thick cloud of vices. In this way they did all things that were contrary to salvation, as if there were no remedy to be supplied for the world by the true Healer of all men. Part I contains a narrative of British history from the Roman conquest to Gildas’ time; it includes references to Ambrosius Aurelianus and the Britons’ victory against the Saxons at the Battle of Mons Badonicus.

Your hands are full of blood. If thou hadst not done this thing, God would now prepare thy kingdom over Israel for ever; but thy kingdom shall arise no further. Let us search and try our ways, and return unto the Lord; let us vritain up our hearts with our hands unto God in heaven; but also that apostolic saying, We desire every one of you to be in the bowels of Christ.

On the Ruin of Britain by Gildas – Free Ebook

Therefore shall they receive the kingdom of dignity, and the crown of beauty, from the Lord’s hand: The widowed city sat solitary, heretofore filled with people, ruler of the Gentiles, princess of provinces, and had become tributary. This deed he committed, after no meritorious acts worthy of praise; for, many years previously he was overcome by frequent successive deeds of adultery, having put away his legitimate wife, contrary to the prohibition of Christ and the Teacher of the gentiles, who say: What saint is there whose bowels, moved by such a tale, do not at once break forth into weeping and sobbing?

Illtud, Gildas went to Ireland where he was ordained as a priest. The Emperors of Rome acquired the empire of the world, and, by the subjugation of all neighbouring countries and islands towards the east, secured through the might of their superior fame their first peace with the Parthians 11 on the borders of India. One of his brothers was Saint Seiriol.

If thou wash thee with nitre, and multiply unto thee the plant borith, thou art marked by thine iniquity before me, saith the Lord. They that are merry in heart shall sigh, the joy of tabrets shall cease, the noise of them that rejoice shall rest, the delight of the harp with its song shall be silent, they shall not drink wine, bitter shall be their drink to them that drink it, The city of vanity is wasted; closed is every house, because no man entereth therein.

He excoriates his fellow Britons for thf sins, while at the same time lauding oc such as Ambrosius Aurelianuswhom he is the first to describe as a leader of the resistance to the Saxons.


That the event did come to pass in this way is known to us by certain proof. Silent as to abominable sins of the people, they magnify their own injuries as if inflicted upon Christ.

Unto you, therefore, O kings, are these words of mine, that ye may learn wisdom, and fall not away. Holy Habakkuk also crieth out, saying: Neither do I, by name, inveigh against the mountains, valleys or rivers, once destructive, but now suitable for the use of man, upon which divine honour was then heaped by the people in oof blindness. For example, according to the dates in the Annales CambriaeGildas would have been a contemporary of King Arthur: Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Once shall I move heaven and earth and sea and dry land, and will turn away the kingdom and banish the strength of the kings of the nations, and hildas away the chariots and those them that mount thereon. Woe unto thee that spoilest; shalt thou not be spoiled?

Gildas studied literature as a youth, before leaving his homeland for Gaul, where he studied for seven years.

Gildas – Wikisource, the free online library

I have kept silence, I confess, with infinite sorrow of heart, as the Lord, the searcher of the reins, is my witness, for the past ten years or even longer; I was prevented by a sense of inexperience, a feeling I have even now, as well as of mean merit from writing a small admonitory work of any kind.

Because of this, as the fire devoureth stubble, and the heat of the flame burneth wood, so shall their root be as embers, and their blossom shall go iip as dust. Because power was given, you of God, and your strength from the Most High, who shall inquire into your works, and search out your counsels. It lies somewhat in the direction of the north pole from the south-west. For the Lord hath spoken this word: And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, and say.

Defects of those acknowledged to be blameless in their lives when compared a with Old Testament examples, cc. Fragments of letters that he wrote reveal that he composed a Rule for monastic life that was somewhat less austere than the Rule written by Saint David.

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