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CARADOC ap Cunobelinus

CARADOC ap Cunobelinus. (Caratacus)(Brythonic: Caratacos)(Latin: Caractacus)(Greek: Karatakos). British chieftain of the Catuvellauni tribe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catuvellauni), who led the British resistance to the Roman conquest.
Born (about 8)(80-S?) A.D. at Trevan, Llanilid, Glamorganshire, Wales; son of CUNOBELINUS ap Tasciovanus. {S6, S7}.

A genealogy in the Welsh Harleian MS 3859 (ca. 1100) includes the generations Caratauc map Cinbelin map Teuhant, corresponding, via established processes of language change, to Caratacus, son of Cunobelinus, son of Tasciovanus, preserving the names of the three historical figures in correct relationship. (S6,S7).

Caradoc ap Cunobelinus is confused with several others named Caradoc, primarily Caradoc ap Bran. To compound the issue, both Caradoc ap Bran and Caradoc ap Cunobelinus have been identified with Caratacus, who appears as a prominent figure in Welsh and British history. Caradoc ap Cunobelinus was King of the Catuvellauni, and Caradoc ap Bran was King of the Silures. The Catuvellauni were located southwestern England, and were on the forefront of the Roman invasion in 54 BC by Julius Caesar, and again in 43 AD by Caludius, so it makes sense that Caradoc ap Cunobelinus would be identified with Caratacus. However, Tacitus in his work Annals, describe Caratacus leading the Silures and Ordovices in what is now Wales against the Roman governor Publius Ostorius Scapula. It is possible that both were called Caratacus. The question is which one was captured and taken to Rome.

The confusion primarily arises from the Roman invasion. The initial resistance was led by the Catuvellauni, by Caradoc and his brother. They offered some stiff resistance, but were eventually driven westward toward Wales, uniting with the Silures and other western peoples. The record is not clear if Caradoc ap Cunobelinus had become leader of the entire group or if Caradoc ap Bran played an important role. Tacitus speakes highly of the power of the Silures, but is not clear on who the Caradoc (Caratacus) is who is their leader.

In Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain, Caradoc ap Cunobelinus appears to correspond to Arviragus, the younger son of Kymbelinus, who continues to resist the Roman invasion after the death of his older brother Guiderius. In Welsh versions his name is Gweirydd, son of Cynfelyn, and his brother is called Gwydyr. The name Arviragus is taken from a poem by Juvenal. (S6, S11,S12).

Based on coin distribution (S8), Caradoc ap Cunobelinus appears to have been the protegé of his uncle Epaticcus, who expanded Catuvellaunian power westwards into the territory of the Atrebates. After Epaticcus died ca. 35 A.D., the Atrebates, under Verica, regained some of their territory, but it appears that Caradoc completed the conquest, and as Dio (S7) tells us, Verica was ousted, fled to Rome and appealed to the emperor Claudius for help. This was the excuse Claudius used to launch his invasion of Britain in 43 A.D. (S6).

In the year 42 A.D., Claudius, Emperor of the Romans, issued his fateful decree that the acceptance of the Druidic or Christian faith was a capital offense, punishable by death. Christians were to be killed by the sword, by torture chamber, or to be thrown to the lions in the arena of the colosseum. Claudius ordered the complete destruction of Christian Britain and the burning of its great institutions and libraries. To this purpose, Claudius equipped the largest and most efficient army ever sent by Rome to conquer a foe. The Commander-in-Chief selected by the Emperor Caesar to carry out his edict was Aulus Plautius (S14), whom Rome records as being one of the most brilliant commanders and strategists in her military history. Upon arriving in Britain Plautius made his headquarters at Chichester. After the conquest Aulus Plautius became the first governor of the new Roman province.

In the initial confrontation, the Britons were said to be led by Togodumnus and Caratacus (Caradoc) of the Catuvellauni, or by Arviragus and his brother Guiderius. This then gives rise to the speculation that they were one and the same, Caradoc and Arviragus, Togodumnus and Guiderius.

Togodumnus and Caratacus were reluctant to fight a pitched battle, relying on instead on guerrilla tactics. However, Plautius defeated first Caratacus, then Togodumnus, in battles on the river Medway and the river Thames.(S8,S13). Togodumnus was killed and the Catuvellauni's territories conquered, but Caratacus survived and carried on the resistance further west. (S6,S13).

Having reached the Thames, Plautius halted and sent for Claudius, who arrived with elephants and heavy artillery and completed the march on the Catuvellaunian capital, Camulodunum (Colchester). A Roman province was established in the conquered territory, and alliances made with nations outside direct Roman control. Plautius became governor of the new province, serving from 43 to 47, when he was replaced by Publius Ostorius Scapula. (S14).

Note that from this point on the two men (Caradoc ap Bran and Caradoc ap Cunobelinus) are confused in the records, and it is not clear which one is being referred to.

, Caradoc realized the seriousness of the situation and committed his personal forces against the common enemy. Caradoc was a man of great leadership, intelligent, versed in the arts of politics and warfare. He was an able administrator of outstanding stature. His countenance was described by Roman writers as bold and honourable.

Caradoc and his forces were able to resist the invaders for a period of nearly nine years. After some early defeats in the east, Caratacus moved west into more rugged territories that would be easier to defend. Up until this time, the Welsh Silures had not entered the conflict, but as the conflict between Rome and Britain increased in vigor and magnitude, possibly under the leadership of Caradoc ap Bran, but this is not clear. In any case, the Silures and other groups combined with the forces of Caradoc ap Cunobelinus. (S13).

No better picture can be obtained of the relentless manner in which the war between Rome and Britain was fought, with victory swinging from one side to the other, than by reading the reports of the foremost Roman writers (Tacitus, Martial, Juvenal, etc.). With ungrudging admiration they tell how the Silurian warriors led by Caractacus (Caradoc), swept onward in irresistible waves over the bodies of their dead and dying comrades with a battling savagery that appalled the hardened, war-scarred veterans of the Roman Legions. For the first time the Romans met women warriors fighting side by side with their men in defense of their homeland.

Caratacus in Tacitus's Annals, with numerically inferior forces, led the Silures and Ordovices in Wales against Plautius's successor as governor, Publius Ostorius Scapula. Caratacus moved north, to the land of the Ordovices (central Gwynedd, southern Clwyd, northern Powys) to find the ideal location for a battle which he intended to be decisive. Finally, in 51 A.D., Scapula managed to defeat Caratacus' forces in a battle somewhere in Ordivician territory (see the Battle of Caer Caradoc), capturing Caratacus's wife, son and daughter and receiving the surrender of his brothers. (S6,S13).

Although his forces were defeated, Caratacus was not killed in the battle but managed to escape to the land of the Brigantes in northern Britain, where he hoped to find safety and a base for future resistance to the Romans. (S13). The Brigantian queen, Cartimandua, however, was loyal to Rome, and she handed him over in chains to the Roman General Ostorius Scapula. (S6,S13). This was one of the factors that led to two Brigantian revolts against Cartimandua and her Roman allies, once later in the 50s and once in 69, led by Venutius, who had once been Cartimandua's husband). (S6).

After his capture, Caratacus was sent to Rome as a war prize, presumably to be killed after a triumphal parade. Caradoc and his son Cyllin and his daughter Eurgain (Claudia) of Caesar’s household, were taken to Rome and placed in the care of Pomponia Graecenia, wife of the Roman regent, General Plautus, who had been the commander in the invasion of 43 A.D.

Although a captive, he was allowed to speak to the Roman senate. Tacitus (Annals 12:37) records a version of his speech in which he says that his stubborn resistance made Rome's glory in defeating him all the greater: (S6).

If the degree of my nobility and fortune had been matched by moderation in success, I would have come to this City as a friend rather than a captive, nor would you have disdained to receive with a treaty of peace one sprung from brilliant ancestors and commanding a great many nations. But my present lot, disfiguring as it is for me, is magnificent for you. I had horses, men, arms, and wealth: what wonder if I was unwilling to lose them? If you wish to command everyone, does it really follow that everyone should accept your slavery? If I were now being handed over as one who had surrendered immediately, neither my fortune nor your glory would have achieved brilliance. It is also true that in my case any reprisal will be followed by oblivion. On the other hand, if you preserve me safe and sound, I shall be an eternal example of your clemency. (S6,S9).

He made such an impression that he was pardoned and allowed to live in peace in Rome. According to Dio Cassius, Caratacus was so impressed by the city of Rome that he said And can you, then, who have got such possessions and so many of them, covet our poor tents? (S6,S7).

By order of the Claudian Tribunal, Caradoc, with all the members of the royal Silurian family, were set free. The only restrictions were that he must remain in Rome, on parole, for seven years. Neither he nor any members of his family were ever to bear arms against Rome. One son, Cyllinus, was permitted to return to Britain and rule over the kingdom of the Welsh Silurians in the place of his father.

This is a point that causes confusion. If Cyllinus is indeed the son of Caradoc ap Cunobelinus, as it appears, why did he return to Britain to rule in Welsh Siluria rather than in the land of the Catuvellauni?

During his stay in Rome Caradoc and his family resided at the Palatium Briannicum (The Palace of the Britain), which was to become world famous as a Christian sanctuary. When the Apostle Paul came to Rome there remained three years of the parole for Caradoc to complete. At that time the residents of the Palatium Britannicum were the High Priest Bran, King Caradoc and his wife the Queen, his sons Cyllinus and Cynon, his daughter the Princess Eurgain and her husband Salog Lord of Salisbury, his son Linus, his daughter Gladys who the emperor adopted as his daughter and her husband Pudens the Senator and his mother Priscilla, Pastor Hermas.

The date and place of the death of Caradoc, is not recorded. Some think that he died in Rome, and some that he died in Siluria (Monmouthshire).


CHILDREN of Caradoc ap Cunobelinus:
  1. CYLLIN ap Caradoc. (Cyllinus, Kyllin).
  2. Lleyn (Linus) the Martyr. Linus was baptized and confirmed in Britain, possibly by Joseph of Arimathea before being taken hostage with his father to Rome. He is said to be the same Linus whom the Apostle Paul addressed in his Epistles, and who was consecrated by Paul to be the first Bishop of Rome. (see 2 Timothy 4:21).
  3. Gladys.
  4. Meuric. (S4).


Caradoc ap Cunobelinus
Cyllin ap Caradoc
Meirchion Fawr Filwr
Caradwg, King of Dumnonia
Arthfael(b)  Eudaf Hen(c) Gereint(d)
Avallach ap Bran
Euddolen Ap Afallach
Eudos Ap Euddolen
Eifydd Ap Eudos
Eudeyrn ap Eifydd and Millisanndia verch Seysild
Euddigan ap Eudeyrn and Generys verch Tegwaret
Ryddrech Rhodri ap Euddigan and Margareta verch Eynon
Gloyw Gwallthir ap Rhodi
Gwidolin ap Gloyw
Gwidol ap Gwidolin and Dinoi of Lidinin
Guorthenau Vortigern ap Gwidol and Sevira ferch Macsen
Cadeyrn, King of Powys, (Gwrtheyrn) Vortigern  
Kadell (Cadell) ap Caderyn (c580-?)
Gwnfyw Frych  ap Cadell 
Gwynnan ap Gwnfyw Frych
Gwriawn (Gwylawr)  ap Gwynnan  (c615-?)  
Byordderch ap Gwriawn (c650-?)
Bywyn ap Byordderch  (c705-?) 
Gwaethgar Gwaeddgar ap Bywyn (c755-?) 
Gwrgant (Gwrgeneu) ap Gwaeddgar (c790-?)
Cadfarch ap Gwrgant  (c830-?)
Ynyr ap Cadfarch (c870-949) and Rheingar verch Lluddoccaf
Tudor Trevor ap Ynyr (900-948) and Angharad verch Hywel Dda
Dyngad ap Tudor Trevor (c930-?) and Sissely verch Seferws (Seferys)
Rhiwallon ap Dyngad of Maelor Gymraeg (c965-1073) 
Caradog ap Rhiwallon (c1000-?)
Breichiol ap Caradog (c1030-?) 
Pyll ap Breichiol (c1060-?) 
Meurig ap Pyll of Penhros  (c1095-?) 
Caradog ap Meurig of Penrhos  (c1125-?)
Iorwerth ap Caradog (c1160-?) and Alis verch Bleddyn Broadspear
Adam Gwent
Adam ap Iorwerth (Adam Gwent) (c1190-1246), of Llanfriafael and Goleuddydd verch Hywel
John ap Adam (Adam Fynchan)(John ap Adam) (c1220-c1270) and N.N. Burchill/(verch Dafydd)
John ap Adam  (c1255-c1310)  md Elizabeth de Gournay
(Sir) Thomas ap Adam (c1307-c1342)  md Joan Inge
John ap Adams and Millicent Bessylls
John Adams (c1360-c1424)  and Clara Powell  (changed name from ap Adams to Adams)
Roger Adams (1392-?) and Jane Ellyott
Thomas Adams (1422-?) and Maria Upton
John Adams (1452-?) and Jane (Renneigh) Benneleigh
John Adams (1482-1557) and Catharine Stebbing
John Adams (1502-?)  and Margaret Squier
Richard Adams (c1530-1603) and Margaret Armager
Robert Adams (1568-1602) and Elizabeth Sharlon
Robert Adams and Eleanor Wilmot
Elizabeth Adams and Edward Phelps
Samuel Phelps and Sarah Chandler
John Phelps and Sarah Andrews
John Phelps and Deborah Lovejoy
Samuel Phelps and Margaret Nevins
Ebenezer Ferrin and Lydia Phelps
Samuel Ferrin and Sally Clotilda Powell
Lydia Powell Ferrin and George William Washington Williams
George William Williams and Harriett Thurston
Minnie Williams and Clive Vernon Tenney
Mildred Ella Tenney and Glenn Russell Handy
Deborah Lee Handy and Rodney Allen Morris