Humber the Hun

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Humber the Hun was a legendary king of Huns who, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, invaded Britain in the 1st millennium BC.

Mediaeval literature[edit]

According to Geoffrey, following the division of Britain amongst Locrinus, Kamber, and Albanactus, Humber invaded Albany[1][2][3] which was later re-named after the Scoti, and killed Albanactus[1][2][4][3] in open battle. The remaining Albians fled south where Locrinus allied with Kamber[1][4] and defeated Humber near a river in which Humber was drowned.[1][4] The river, which was thereafter known as the Humber,[4][3][5] marked the southern border of the Kingdom of Northumbria and is one of the main rivers of England.[1]

When Locrinus raided Humber's ships after his death, he found Humber's consort Estrildis,[2][3] the daughter of the King of Germany there. Thus Humber's Huns were able to settle Britain with their Queen Estrildis eventually marrying Locrinus. The River Severn was named after her daughter Hafren.

Post-mediaeval literature[edit]

The war between Humber and Locrinus was retold in many histories, poems and dramas. Dramatic works include the play Locrine (1591; published 1595 under the initials W.S.).[2]
Poetry includes The Faerie Queene (1590) by Edmund Spenser;[6] "An old Ballad of a Duke of Cornwall's Daughter", published in a 1726 collection of old ballads;[3] and the introduction to the poem The revenge of Guendolen (circa 1786) by J.J. Proby.[7]
Historical accounts include the eighteenth century works The history of Great-Britain, from the first inhabitants thereof, 'till the death of Cadwalader, last king of the Britains; and of the Kings of Scotland to Eugenev (1701) by John Lewis;[4] ; The naval history of Britain, from the earliest periods of which there are accounts in history, to the conclusion of the year M.DCC.LVI. (1756);[8] and A new and complete history of England, from the first settlement of Brutus, upwards of one thousand years before Julius Cæsar, to the year 1793 (1791-1794) by Charles Alfred Ashburton.[9]

Interpretation[edit]

A mediaeval studies scholar has pointed out that mediaeval maps of Britain represent a conception of a land divided by the rivers Humber and Severn into three realms.[1] The river names, she suggests, are associated with legendary figures who attempt to transgress boundaries, in this case an invading king, who are destroyed by the water that defines the limits.[1]

In Pop-culture[edit]

Modern Scots Protestants are still referred to as Huns by Gaels.[10][11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Warren, Michelle R. (2000). History on the Edge: Excalibur and the Borders of Britain, 1100-1300. U of Minnesota Press. p. 37. ISBN 9780816634910. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Berek, Peter (1982). "Tamburlaine's Weak Sons: Imitation as Interpretation Before 1593". Renaissance Drama (New Series). The University of Chicago Press for Northwestern University. 13: 68–69. JSTOR 43264629.
  3. ^ a b c d e Philips, Ambrose. A collection of old ballads. Corrected from the best and most ancient copies extant. With introductions historical and critical. Illustrated with copper plates. Vol.II. 2nd ed., vol. 2, printed for J. Roberts, in Warwick-Lane; D. Leach, at Locke's Head adjoining to Ludgate; and J. Battley, in Pater-Noster-Row, MDCCXXVI. [1726], chapter 2, pp. 1-6. Eighteenth Century Collections Online, http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/8m2xF1. Accessed 13 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e Lewis, John. The history of Great-Britain, from the first inhabitants thereof, 'till the death of Cadwalader, last king of the Britains; and of the Kings of Scotland to Eugenev. As also A short Account of the Kings, Dukes, and Earls of Bretagne, 'till that Dukedom was united to the Crown of France, ending with the Year of our Lord 68; in which are several Pieces of Taliessin, an antient British Poet, and a Defence of the Antiquity of the Scotish Nation: With many other Antiquities, never before published in the English Tongue: With a Compleat Index to the Whole. By John Lewis, Esq; Barrester at Law. Now first published from his original manuscript. To which is added, The breviary of Britayne, written in Latin by Humfrey Lhuyd, of Denbigh, a Cambre Britayne; and lately englished by Thomas Twine, Gent. Printed for F. Gyles in Holborn, Mess. Woodman and Lyon in Covent-Garden, and C. Davis in Pater-Noster-Row, MDCCXXIX. [1729], p. 30. Eighteenth Century Collections Online, http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/8m2xD5. Accessed 13 January 2019.
  5. ^ Taggart, Caroline (2011). The Book of English Place Names: How Our Towns and Villages Got Their Names. Random House. p. 181. ISBN 9781409034988. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  6. ^ Humber. Oxford Reference. Ed. Retrieved 13 January 2019, from http://www.oxfordreference.com.rp.nla.gov.au/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095950120.
  7. ^ Proby, John Joshua, Earl of Carysfort (c. 1786). The revenge of Guendolen (Eighteenth Century Collections Online). London?. p. 3. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  8. ^ Berkley, George, and John Hill. The naval history of Britain, from the earliest periods of which there are accounts in history, to the conclusion of the year M.DCC.LVI. Compiled from the papers of the late Honourable Captain George Berkley, Commander of His Majesty's Ship Windsor. And illustrated with A great Number of Figures, on Folio Copper-Plates, of Sea Charts, Heads Engagements, and other Subjects. Printed for T. Osborne and J. Shipton, in Gray's-Inn; J. Hodges, near London-Bridge; B. Collins, at Salisbury; and S. Crowder and H. Woodgate, in Pater-Noster-Row, MDCCLVI. [1756]. Eighteenth Century Collections Online, http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/8m3Nu8. Accessed 13 January 2019.
  9. ^ Ashburton, Charles Alfred. A new and complete history of England, from the first settlement of Brutus, upwards of one thousand years before Julius Cæsar, to the year 1793. ... Forming a chronological detail of ... all the monarchs ... Also biographical anecdotes of admirals, generals, ... By Charles Alfred Ashburton, Esq. Printed and sold by W. and J. Stratford, [1791-94], pp. iv, 10. Eighteenth Century Collections Online, http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/8m3Ns1. Accessed 13 January 2019.
  10. ^ "What does the word 'hun' mean and what is its place in today's society?". Irish Post. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  11. ^ Cooney, Darren. "Rangers fans group Club 1872 wants Celtic supporters banned from Ibrox". Daily Record. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  12. ^ "'Kill all huns' painted on small Orange hall". Belfast News Letter. Retrieved 13 July 2017.