Gildas and the ‘grievous divorce from the barbarians’



This article examines a specific phrase from Chapter 10 of Gildas's De Excidio Britonum. It suggests that to date, this phrase (lugubre divortium barbarorum) has not been properly understood or translated. In a new interpretation, the article argues that it refers to the breaking of the treaty between the Britons and Saxons mentioned in Chapter 23 of De Excidio Britonum. This new interpretation expands our understanding of Gildas's attitude towards barbarians and the British church.