NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia


Gwent is a historical county in southeast Wales, bordering England to the east. Gwent is a territory which comprises part of Glamorgan, Monmouthshire and parts of Herefordshire.

It was ruled at one time by Octavius, and later by Vortigern. Geoffrey calls it Merlin’s county, and says that Merlin lived there for a time at the fountain of Galabes.

It is thought to be identifiable with Glenvissig, the realm of Meurig, father of Athrwys.

Gwent | 0 to the 9th century AD

Gwent was originally a Welsh kingdom, and its name is derived from the Welsh words Gwyn (white or fair) and t (place): Gwynt meaning Fair Place.

Roman Period | 1st – 5th centuries
During the Roman occupation of Britain, which began in the first century AD, the area that would later become Gwent was part of the Roman province of Britannia. The Romans built roads, fortifications, and other infrastructure, leaving a lasting impact on the region. The Roman town of Caerwent (Venta Silurum) was an important administrative and trading center in the region.

Sub-Roman Period | 5th – 7th centuries
Following the decline and withdrawal of the Roman Empire from Britain in the early fifth century, Britain entered a period often referred to as the Sub-Roman or post-Roman period. During this time, various Celtic and Germanic peoples migrated and settled in different parts of Britain, contributing to the evolving cultural and political landscape.

Anglo-Saxon Period | 5th – 9th centuries
The Anglo-Saxon migration and invasions during the fifth and sixth centuries led to the establishment of several Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in Britain. Gwent and the surrounding areas would have been part of the frontier zone between the native Britons and the incoming Anglo-Saxons.

Early Medieval Wales | 5th – 9th centuries
Gwent, like other regions of Wales, was home to native Britons who resisted Anglo-Saxon encroachment. The establishment of early Welsh kingdoms took place during this period, among them Gwent. The precise political and territorial boundaries during these centuries are not well-documented, and the history of the early medieval Welsh kingdoms is often a subject of scholarly debate.

Gwent was ruled by local chieftains and dynasties. Gwent was one of several early medieval Welsh kingdoms that were characterized by tribal affiliations and kin-based societies.

The spread of Christianity during this period had an impact on the region. Christian missionaries worked to convert the local population, and monastic communities may have been established.

See also
The Roman Empire | The Legend of King Arthur

Historia Regum Britanniae | Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1138