Nennius was one of the earliest British historians. He was from Powys in Central Wales by the English border and lived in the 800s CE.
The first part of the historical account of Nennius is usually considered to be fictitious.
The History of Nennius in general has been described as having ‘all
the historical reliability of fairy-stories’.
We however believe the first part at least it to be basically correct and to reflect the Israelite origin of the Scots people and their association with the Scythians prior to their reaching the Isles of Britain.
This is what Nennius says concerning the first ancestor of the Scots:
Nennius: Historia Brittonum,
I. THE PROLOGUE.
15. According to the most learned among the Scots, if any one desires to learn what I am now going to state, Ireland was a desert, and uninhabited, when the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, in which, as we read in the Book of the Law, the Egyptians who followed them were drowned. At that period, there lived among this people, with a numerous family a Scythian of noble birth, who had been banished from his country, and did not go to pursue the people of God. The Egyptians who were left, seeing the destruction of the great men of their nation, and fearing lest he should possess himself of their territory, took counsel together, and expelled him. Thus reduced, he wandered forty-two years in Africa, and arrived with his family at the altars of the Philistines, by the Lake of Osiers. Then passing between Rusicada and the hilly country of Syria, they travelled by the river Malva through Mauritania as far as the Pillars of Hercules; and crossing the Tyrrhene Sea, landed in Spain, where they continued many years, having greatly increased and multiplied Thence, a thousand and two years after the Egyptians were lost in the Red Sea, they passed into Ireland, and the district of Dalrieta. At that period, Brutus, who first exercised the consular office, reigned over the Romans; and the state, which before was governed by regal power, was afterwards ruled, during four hundred and forty-seven years, by consuls, tribunes of the people, and dictators.
The Britons came to Britain in the third age of the world; and in the fourth, the Scots took possession of Ireland.
The Britons who, suspecting no hostilities, were unprovided with the means of defence, were unanimously and incessantly attacked, both by the Scots from the west, and by the Picts from the north. A long interval after this, the Romans obtained the empire of the world.
We understand that the Ten Tribes were Israelites who separated from Judah, lost their identity, and became part of the Scythians.
From Scythia they moved westward with some of them penetrating the British isles.
This extract from Nennius concerns the Scots who moved from Ireland to Scotland.
They said that the ancestor of the Scots lived amongst the Israelites.
This first Scot was described not as an Israelite however but rather as a Scythian.
We must remember that the Irish and British scribes were relatively learned and familiar with the Classics.
They probably were familiar with Josephus who was quite respected amongst early Christian scholars.
Josephus had said that the Scythians descended from Magog.
In light of our other researches let us assume that there existed different traditions saying (correctly) that the ancestors of the Scots were both Israelites and Scythians.
Yet not an Israelite as the Jews were but something else.
Church Prejudice was against identification with the Jews.
Scholars said the Scythians were from Magog.
The concept of the Ten Tribes was not necessarily known to most scholars of the time.
Without awareness of the Ten Tribes it would be difficult to
rationalize how someone could be both "Jew" or Hebrew from Israel and also a
Scythian from Magog
We therefore obtain an account such as that of Nennius that attempts to reconcile the apparently divergent and contradictory sources.
Notice how the area of the land of Israel is circumvented though clearly included in the ambit of the Scots sojourning:
# he wandered forty-two years in Africa, and arrived with his family at the altars of the Philistines, by the Lake of Osiers. Then passing between Rusicada and the hilly country of Syria, they travelled by the river Malva through Mauritania as far as the Pillars of Hercules; and crossing the Tyrrhene Sea, landed in Spain #
The altars of the Philistines are at the southern end of the land of Israel near Egypt.
The hilly country of Syria is in the northern regions of the Land of Israel.
Nennius is not saying expressly that the Scots are from the Lost Ten Tribes BUT if we were to take Nennius literally that is the conclusion we would reach from our modern perspective.
This is what Nennius may be understood as saying. This in effect is
what did happen.
The Earliest West European Beliefs in their Israelite Origins.
HEBREW CELTIC NAMESAKES
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