Caerdif, Cardef, Caerdydd, Caerdyv, Kardyval
Cardiff is named in some romances as one of Arthur’s several courts. The Alliterative Morte Arthure and Malory mention one of Arthur’s knights called the “Captain of Cardiff,” who fought in the war against Rome.
Cardiff | 0 to the 9th century AD
Roman Period | 1st – 5th centuries
During the Roman occupation of Britain, there was a Roman civilian settlement and fort established in the area that is now Cardiff. The fort, known as Venta Silurum – believed to be present-day Caerwent – which is not far from modern Cardiff, was part of the network of Roman defenses in the region. It served as a strategic outpost for the Romans. Cardiff was part of the Roman province of Britannia.
Post-Roman Period and Early Medieval Period | 5th – 9th centuries
Following the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the early fifth century, the historical record becomes less clear. The region went through a period of transition and political upheaval, and likely experienced changes in population and governance, influenced by the movements of different groups, including the Anglo-Saxons and the incoming waves of Celtic peoples. The area around Cardiff came under the influence of Celtic Britons, specifically the Silures tribe, who inhabited the region before and during the Roman period.
The Anglo-Saxon conquests and the subsequent establishment of their kingdoms led to significant cultural and political changes in the region, with Celtic Britons often being pushed to the western and northern parts of the island. During this time, the area would have been a part of the Welsh kingdoms, and the landscape and society would have been shaped by a mix of indigenous Welsh traditions and external influences. Wales during this time was inhabited by Celtic peoples, and the region around Cardiff would have been part of the Kingdom of Glamorgan.
The early medieval period also witnessed the gradual spread of Christianity and the establishment of early Christian monastic communities, and some local churches and religious sites may have roots in this era.
Viking Raids | 8th – 9th centuries
The eighth and ninth centuries saw Viking raids along the coasts of Britain, and Wales was not exempt from these incursions. Vikings targeted coastal areas, including the Bristol Channel. While there isn’t specific evidence of Viking activity in what is now Cardiff, the broader region was likely affected by Viking movements.
Alliterative Morte Arthure | c. 1400
The Carle off Carlisle | Early 16th century
Syre Gawene and the Carle of Carlyle | c. 1400
Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470