Arviragus Gweirgydd ap Cunobelin King of Siluria [Legendary] 1 2 3 4
- Born: abt 0010
- Marriage (1): Venissa [Legendary]
- Died: Abt 0074 about age 64
Other names for Arviragus were Arvirargus, Aviragus, Caradog, Caratacus, Caratauc map Cinbelin map Teuhant and Gweirydd ap Cynfelyn.
Legendary King of Britain, contemporary with Claudius and Vespasian.
"...a historical British chieftain of the Catuvellanuni tribe, who led the British resistance to the Roman conquest. He may correspond with the legendary Welsh character Caradog and the legendary British king Arvirargus."
From A History of Wales , p. 26:
"Cunobelinus died about AD 40 and his kingdom was inherited by his sons, Caratacus and Togodumnus. Their brother, Amminius, had been exiled by Cunobelinus, and he appealed to Rome to help him gain a share of his father's territories. Amminius's appeal, along with the complaints of the tribes which had suffered from the attacks of the Belgae, provided the Romans with an excuse to invade the island, although their real motive was their desire to seize the fertile lowlands...
"In May AD 43, Aulus Plautius sailed across the Channel with four legions and a host of auxiliary soldiers--forty thousand men in all. Within three months, it was considered that Rome's hold upon south-eastern Britain was secure enough to allow the emperor Claudius, the most inoffensive member of the complex Julio-Claudian family, to visit the new province and to make a ceremonial entry into Camulodunum (Colchester), the capital of the Catuvellauni, on an elephant...
"Roman power came under attack from the independent tribes living beyond [the Fosse Way]. Chief among them were the Silures of south-east Wales. They attacked the new province in AD 47 and 48 at the behest of Caratacus (the Caradog of Welsh tradition), who had fled to the territory of the Silures following the defeat of the Catuvellauni [in AD43]...
"In AD 49, a fort was erected for the Twentieth Legion near the place where the city of Gloucester would latyer be founded and it was linked with smaller forts at Usk, Clyro and other places, with the intention of putting pressure on the Silures. Caratacus continued his resistance among the Ordovices and it was in their territory, near Caersws perhaps, that he was defeated and his wife and children were captured in AD 51. Caratacus himself fled to the Brigantes, but he was yielded up to the Romans by their queen, Cartimandua. He was taken to Rome and there, according to Tacitus, he made a speech which has reounded down the ages.
"The resistance of the tribes of Wales did not come to an end with the capture of Caratacus. In AD 52, a legion--probably the twentieth--was defeated by the Silures..."
From Wikipedia - Arvirargus :
Arvirargus (or Arviragus) was a legendary, and possibly historical, British king of the 1st century AD. A shadowy historical Arviragus is known only from a cryptic reference in a satirical poem by Juvenal , in which a giant turbot presented to the Roman emperor Domitian (AD 81 - 96) is said to be an omen that "you will capture some king, or Arviragus will fall from his British chariot-pole".
Geoffrey of Monmouth 's Historia Regum Britanniae (1136) presents a legendary Arviragus who is contemporary with the emperor Claudius (AD 41-54). However, Geoffrey's work is highly romanticized and contains little trustworthy historical fact, rendering his account of Arvirargus suspect.
According to Geoffrey, Arvirargus is a son of the former king Kimbelinus . He succeeds to the throne of Britain after his elder brother, Guiderius , dies fighting the invading Romans under Claudius. Arviragus puts on his brother's armour and leads the army of the Britons against the Romans. When he learns that Claudius and his commander, Hamo , have fled into the woods, Arvirargus follows him until they reach the coast. The Britons kill Hamo as he tries to flee onto a ship and the place is named Southampton after him. Claudius is able to reassemble his troops elsewhere and he besieges Portchester until it falls to his forces.
Following Hamo's death, Arvirargus seeks refuge at Winchester , but Claudius follows him there with his army. The Britons break the siege and attack the Romans, but Claudius halts the attack and offers a treaty. In exchange for peace and tribute with Rome, Claudius offers Arvirargus his own daughter in marriage. They accept each other's terms and Arvirargus aids Claudius in subduing Orkney and other northern lands.
In the following spring, Arvirargus weds Claudius' daughter, Genvissa , and names the city of Gloucester after her father. Following the wedding, Claudius leaves Britain in the control of Arvirargus. In the years following Claudius' departure, Arvirargus rebuilds the cities that have been ruined and becomes feared by his neighbours. This causes him to halt his tribute to Rome , forcing Claudius to send Vespasian with an army to Britain. As Vespasian prepares to land, such a large British force stands ready that he flees to another port, Totnes , where he sets up camp.
Once a base is established, he marches to Exeter and besieges the city. Arvirargus meets him in battle there and the fight is stalemated. The following morning, Queen Genvissa mediates peace between the two foes. Vespasian returnes to Rome and Arvirargus rules the country peacefully for some years. When he finally dies, he is buried in Gloucester, the city he built with Claudius. He is succeeded by his son, Marius .
Geoffrey's legendary Arvirargus appears to correspond to some degree to the historical Caratacus , son of Cunobelinus , who, along with his brother Togodumnus , led the initial resistance to the Roman invasion of AD 43, and went on to be a thorn in Rome's side for nearly a decade after Togodumnus's death. Welsh versions of Geoffrey's Historia call him Gweirydd and his brother Gwydr.
Arvirargus is a character in William Shakespeare 's play Cymbeline . He and his brother Guiderius had been kidnapped in childhood by Belarius, a nobleman wrongly banished by Cymbeline, and brought up in secret in Wales, but are reunited with their father and sister Imogen in time for the Roman invasion.
Arviragus married Venissa [Legendary], daughter of Claudius Roman Emperor and Unknown. (Venissa [Legendary] was born about 0012.)