ancient, irregular magazine, wargaming

Trojan England

In the twelfth century a welsh cleric wrote a book entitled the History of the Kings of Britain. He made claims within the book that stated that British kings were descended from the Trojans, and that ancestors of the Trojans landed in Britain some time after the fall of Troy, creating a Trojan/Greek state in South West Britain.

Geoffrey of Monmouth
Geoffrey was a Welsh cleric born around 1100 AD and possibly born in the Monmouth region of Wales. It is believed he was Welsh or due to his poor knowledge of the Welsh language, that he was Cambro-Norman and belonged to the French speaking elite on the Welsh border.

It is also possible that early in his career he served as a Benedictine monk in Monmouth, though between 1129 and 1151 his name appears on six charters in the Oxford area. His writings indicate that he has an excellent degree of knowledge of the Monmouth area and that it is well known to him.

Geoffrey wrote several books, but what he is most well known for was Historia Regum Britanniae or the History of the Kings of Britain. He is also credited with making the King Arthur Myth popular. The books starts with the first settlement in Britain of the Trojan descendants by Brutus and his people, through to Cadwallader in the 7th Century.

He claims it is a translation of an ancient book written in the British language, though much of the book is based on earlier writings, such as Bede’s Historia Ecclesastica Gentis Anglurum and Gilda’s De Excidio et Conquestu Britannie.

Geoffrey’s book is more a fictional account peppered with popular history rather than a genuine historical factual piece of literature. It is recognised today as a literary work of national myth. Many of his contemporaries dismissed his work as ‘made up’. However, his work was popular across Europe where it helped to shape and structure the Arthurian myth. He is regarded by many scholars as the major establisher of the Arthurian myth.

He is also responsible with History of the Kings of Britain for bringing Merlin to the attention of the public. Then around 1150 he came into possession of some new source material relating to the bard Myrddin (Merlin). These sources didn’t line up with what he had published in the History of the Kings of Britain. This may have been because he had attributed acts carried out by another Royal Advisor, to Myrddin or had just fabricated them.

Thus Geoffrey wrote the Life of Merlin in order to place Merlin within the context of his History of the British Kings. He gave long life to the myth of Merlin and made him an immortal figure of the Arthurian legend.

Brutus and the Trojans

After the fall of Troy, the Trojans flee and settle across Europe. Aeneas and his people settle in Italy. Brutus was the grandson of Aeneas. It is said that Brutus accidentally kills his father whilst out hunting. As a result he is exiled from Italy so he leaves with a large group of warriors and families. They sail and wander around the Tyrrhenian sea and up to Gaul. Whilst in Gaul campaigning, he founds the city of Tours. He leaves Gaul because the fighting was becoming too difficult, he was facing more Celtic tribes than he and his warriors were able to beat. So they travel across the channel to Britain, which is called Albion.

He heads for the South West of Britain, this region is well known to the Trojans due to its tin production. The Mediterranean region has been purchasing tin from the tribes in the South West for a number of years as it is a vital ingredient in the production of bronze.

It is believed that Brutus lands at the modern town of Totnes, named New Troy, and renames Albion after himself (Brutain). They settle in Cornwall, though they are harassed by local giants, one in particular named Gogmaogg. A Trojan hero named Corineus challenges the giant and defeats Gogmaogg by throwing him off a cliff.

They quickly subdue the local tribes living in the South West peninsula and start to create a Trojan/Greek state.

Move on a few years…

A hundred years after the Trojan invasion and settlement, the Greek state of Kernow has become prosperous and extremely powerful from the production of tin on a large scale. Several towns, cities and villages have been built and settled.

Using local material such as granite, buildings have been fashioned in a Greek/Mediterranean fashion. Ports are built at key points along the coast of Kernow creating a bustling business in trade with the continent, especially such places as Rome, Greece and North Africa.

The Trojan elite have become quite powerful and are eyeing the rest of Britain.The local British tribes have become weary of their new neighbours over the last 100 years, though as yet there have been no moves by the Trojans for conquest. They have traded with Kernow for goods and there has been, to some degree, an uptake by Celtic tribes for Greek-style goods.

Some of the tribes in the South East have developed pseudo Greek cultures along with strong trade ties with Gaul, Ammorica and Italy selling grain and other produce to them. It is these cities and small kingdoms that the Trojan ruling elite have their eyes on.

Kernow Trojan Army
The Trojan army consists of elite Hoplite units that are only manned by those who are of Trojan descent. These are well-armed and are equipped with only the best Bronze armour and iron weapons. Other units include Celtic-Trojan auxiliaries. These troops are of Celtic/Albion descent, they are equipped with some Greek-style armour and Celtic weapons.

The Trojans soon take to the British/Albion use of the chariot. They now have two types, a light chariot used for skirmish purposes and generally driven by Celtic-Trojans and a heavy chariot unit which uses a more Roman-style chariot used for breaking up ranks of infantry.

The Kernow Trojans also make use of local ponies for scouts and have light horse cavalry as well.

Officers are generally of Trojan descent, though local elites are also given command though never of a Hoplite unit. They can only command auxiliary and cavalry troops.

Along the border of Kernow, what is now modern Devon and Somerset border, are a line of small forts. These are to protect the Trojans from attacks by local tribes, though it has mainly been cattle raids and small skirmishes rather than any large scale attacks.

The coast is also well-protected with watch towers at key points to spot any potential seaborne invasion.

Over the last 100 years the Trojan elite have built up a substantial naval capacity of both military and merchant vessels along with numerous fishing boats. This has given them a strong presence both around the waters of Britain but also in the Mediterranean, allowing them to build strong trade links with many countries in both regions.

More recently they have set up a small port on the coast of Ireland. This is, in part, to establish trade links and also to combat a growing pirate presence operating from the Irish and Welsh coasts. Using small ships, raiders/pirates attack trade vessels destined to and from Kernow Trojan ports.

Kernow Celts  
After the settlement of the Trojans the local tribes became second class citizens. A hundred years on, it is possible for citizens of local descent to rise in station, especially through trade. The Trojans have become the noble elite and at first were responsible for most aspects of life. Now, a hundred years on, education, trade, military and local government has become accessible to local inhabitants. There are still some areas which are barred to locals, such as the elite Hoplite regiments, Royal Guard, the Senate and ownership of tin mines. Within the military, senior command is still only open to those of Trojan Descent, no local would be considered to command a Kernow Army.

The Trojan elite have started to look at expansion into southern Ireland, having now established a port and small town called Nesos in what is now modern day Cork. Nesos has become a small, bustling town, bringing goods in and out of the country. So far, they haven’t had any problems with the local Irish tribes, in fact most have welcomed them because of the luxury goods the Trojans have introduced to them.Most of the Irish nobles have accepted the Trojan lifestyle very easily, building villas and houses in the Trojan/Greek style.

They have also looked at setting up a similar port/town in Wales to help establish trade links.

Though their main aim was the conquest of Britain, they first moved into the southern area of the country tackling the Celtic tribes there.

Celts (outside of Kernow)
The tribes beyond the borders of Kernow have been influenced by Greek/Trojan culture but have not relinquished their Celtic roots. Some tribes have built stone structures and developed military along similar lines, but they are still deep-rooted in a Celtic warrior culture, living in hill forts and fortified settlements.

Those in the South East of the country have developed strong trade links with the continent and still have a strong Celtic culture, though in the last 50 years they have also developed links with the Mediterranean and in particular Rome, which has had influence on these tribes. Roman culture can be seen in the goods traded and in some cases the building structures being developed, though they’re still using local traditional materials rather than stone, concrete and marble.

Tribes in the North of England are still strongly Celtic in culture. They live in the same manner as they did prior to the Trojan invasion. They fight amongst each other and carry out raids on their southern rich neighbours.

Roman Influence
Rome expanded in the same manner as they did historically, though conquest of Gaul was completed in a much quicker time scale. The Roman army has moved through Gaul with a larger army, their main aim was and still is the invasion of Britain. They see the Trojan state of Kernow as a threat to Roman expansion.

The Romans are having to compete for trade in the Mediterranean region. Kernow has much better trade contacts in the region and is exploiting them at a cost to Rome. The senate have their sights firmly set on the growing wealth of the Trojans.

So far they have sent emissaries to the tribes along the South East of Britain offering aid if the Trojans attack. They know that if they are to become the dominant force in the region then they need to curb any expansion by the Trojans.

Northern Europe
The tribes of Germania are stirring, the Trojans have seen that Rome could be a problem and so have sent emissaries to the most influential of the Germanic tribes offering support and aid for an invasion of Gaul. If the German tribes overrun Gaul, then the Romans will be delayed or even prevented from interfering within Britain thus allowing the Trojans to continue with expansion plans unhindered.

This article is currently available in Issue 13 Irregular Magazine 


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