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Ebrauc is the suggested name for a Brythonic kingdom of sub-Roman Britain, based on the city of York. This city was called by the Brythonic name of Caer Ebrauc in Nennius’s Historia Britonum. It is derived from the Roman name, Eboracum. In modern Welsh it is still called Efrog.

At the end of Roman rule, some historians think the city may have briefly flourished as the capital of an independent realm, split off from a great ‘Kingdom of the North’, perhaps in ca 470. The area known to the British as Deifr, meaning ‘waters’ (perhaps referring to its coastal location, or to its many rivers), may have been part of this kingdom. It is better known as the later Anglian kingdom of Deira.

Welsh poetry of this period indicates that the native Britons of what the bards were to call "the old north" or Yr Hen Ogledd were disastrously fractious and were far happier to fight amongst themselves than to confront their common foes. If the historical Northern king, Peredur ab Eliffer, ruled in York (see Peredur), then independence for this kingdom was not to last long.

In 573, this Peredur, and his brother, Gwrgi, went to war with the armies of a Northern king called Gwenddoleu ap Ceidio and were victorious at the Battle of Arfderydd (modern Arthuret in Cumberland, now Cumbria). The original of the Arthurian wizard, Merlin, is supposed to have been one of the few survivors[1]. This was a pyrrhic victory for these Northern princes for, according to the Annales Cambriae, they were killed only seven years later when their weakened forces moved against the Angles of Bernicia. However, it was the Angles of Deira who subsequently took over the region.

Control of Ebrauc was briefly restored to native Britons under King Cadwallon ap Cadfan of Gwynedd who seized the area and the city after the Battle of Hatfield Chase in October 632 during which his rival, Edwin of Northumbria was killed. Three years later, Cadwallon was ejected by Oswald of Bernicia at the Battle of Heavenfield and Anglian control was restored.

Notes

References

  • Bromwich, Rachel (1978) Trioedd Ynys Prydein: The Welsh Triads
  • Guest, Lady Charlotte (1849) The Mabinogion
  • Ingram, James (ed.) (1912), The Annales Cambriae
  • Morris, John (1973) The Age of Arthur
  1. Dialogue Between Myrddin and his Sister Gwendydd
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