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Red Dragon versus White Dragon - Britons Defeat Saxons

A manuscript maintained at Lambeth Palace depicts a scene from Geoffrey Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain. The scene reveals the Red Dragon (of the Britons) defeating the White Dragon (of the Saxons).

A sixth-century Celtic monk, whose name was Gildas, wrote a history—actually, more of a sermon—known as De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae (“The Ruin and Conquest of Britain”). In this work, Gildas references Ambrosius Aurelianus—a man of Roman birth, living in Britain (although his Roman parents had died)—who successfully led the Britons in battle against a remnant of invading Saxons:

After a certain length of time the cruel robbers [a reference to invaders of Britain] returned to their home. A remnant [of those “robbers”], to whom wretched citizens flock from different places on every side, as eagerly as a hive of bees when a storm is threatening, praying at the same time unto Him with their whole heart, and, as is said, “Burdening the air with unnumbered prayers,” that they should not be utterly destroyed, take up arms and challenge their victors to battle under Ambrosius Aurelianus.

He was a man of unassuming character, who, alone of the Roman race chanced to survive in the shock of such a storm (as his parents, people undoubtedly clad in the purple, had been killed in it), whose offspring in our days have greatly degenerated from their ancestral nobleness. To these men, by the Lord’s favour, there came victory. (See Gildas at Chapter 25.)

It is likely this historical event which the artist used to reference the Red Dragon (of the Britons) prevailing—at least temporarily—over the White Dragon (of the Saxons).

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 14, 2017

Updated Last Revision: Sep 01, 2017


Media Credits

Unnamed artist illustrating a manuscript maintained at Lambeth Palace depicting a scene from Geoffrey Monmouth's "History of the Kings of Britain." Online via "English Monarchs."

 

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Red Dragon versus White Dragon - Britons Defeat Saxons" AwesomeStories.com. May 14, 2017. Oct 18, 2017.
       <https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Red-Dragon-versus-White-Dragon-Britons-Defeat-Saxons>.
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