The reign of King Beldeg, a semi-legendary figure from early British history, was during the transition from the late Roman period to the Early Middle Ages. Information about this period is scarce and largely based on archaeological evidence, as written records of the period are limited.
Legends of King Beldeg
King Beldeg, also known as Beli Mawr, is a figure in Welsh mythology and tradition. He was considered a king of Britain and appears in various texts, including several medieval Welsh genealogies and pedigrees. However, he's largely regarded as a mythical figure, and historical data about his reign and the era he supposedly lived in is scarce.
Here are a few pieces of information that can be pieced together based on Welsh mythology and related sources:
- Mythical Lineage: Beldeg was considered to be the son of Dumnonia, the son of Aedd Mawr, who was said to be the ancestor of all the Celtic Britons.
- Legendary Progeny: Beldeg is often credited with being the ancestor of several important figures in Welsh mythology. For example, Caswallawn (Cassivellaunus), a historical British chieftain who resisted Julius Caesar's second expedition to Britain, is sometimes considered his grandson.
- Llyr and Bran: Two of his supposed sons, Llyr and Bran, are significant figures in Welsh mythology. Llyr is a sea god and may be the basis for Shakespeare's King Lear. Bran the Blessed, another son, is a giant and hero known for his magical cauldron that can bring the dead back to life.
- Historical Era: The supposed period of Beldeg's reign (~495-500 AD) was a time of significant transition in Britain. This was the tail end of the Roman influence on the island and the start of the Early Middle Ages, with the growing influence of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes.
Remember that while these figures feature heavily in Welsh mythology and historical tradition, they're generally considered mythical rather than historical figures. The historical details of this time in Britain are somewhat vague due to a lack of contemporary written records.
Types of Dwellings
During this time, dwellings were mainly simple wooden structures or post-Roman stone buildings. The general populace lived in small, single-room huts made of wood or wattle and daub, with thatched roofs. The more affluent individuals may have inhabited stone villas, remnants from the Roman era.
The Average Dwelling and Day-to-Day Life
The average person likely lived in a small, simple hut and led a subsistence lifestyle based on farming, hunting, and gathering. Life was largely communal, with families living together in small settlements.
The UK Population and Its Influence on Society
Population estimates during this period are challenging due to the lack of records. However, it is likely the population was relatively small and widely dispersed. This influenced the construction of dwellings, which were typically small and clustered in rural villages.
Changes in Society and the Influence of Construction Materials
The transition from Roman rule to independent kingdoms during this era likely saw a shift in societal structures, affecting the types of buildings constructed. Stone was used for significant structures such as churches and fortifications, while timber, wattle and daub were used for common dwellings.