Milesius of Spain


Who in his youth and during his father's lifetime went into Scythia, where he was kindly received by the king of that country, who gave him his daughter in marriage, and made him general of his forces. In this capacity Milesius defeated the king's enemies, gained much fame, and the love of all the king's subjects. His growing greatness and popularity excited against him the jealousy of the king, who, fearing the worst, resolved on putting Milesius privately out of the way, for openly he dared not attempt it. Milesius, having heard of the king's intentions, slew him, left Scythia, and retired into Egypt with a fleet of sixty sail. Pharaoh Nectonileus, then king of Egypt, being informed of his arrival, and of his great valor, wisdom, and conduct of arms, made him general of all his forces against the king of Ethiopia, then invading his country.

Here, as in Scythia, Milesius was victorious. He forced the enemy to submit to the conquerors' own terms of peace. By these exploits Milesius found great favor with Pharaoh, who gave him (he being then a widower) his daughter in marriage, and kept him for 8 years afterwards in Egypt.

At length Milesius took leave of his father-in-law, and returned to Spain, where he arrived, to the great joy of his people, who were much disturbed by incessant wars, and the intrusion of foreign nations, after the death of his father and during his own long absence from Spain. He had no sooner arrived than he set about extirpating the foreigners and restoring peace to his distracted people, in which he soon succeeded.

He had but just attained this object when a great dearth and famine occurred, which lasted for 26 years. Milesius looked upon this as a just punishment from heaven on him and on his people for their negligence in not seeking the country destined for their final abode, so long foretold by the Druid, Cachear, as already mentioned, the time limited by the prophecy being now almost expired. To expiate his fault and to comply with the will of his gods, Milesius, with the general approbation of his people, sent his uncle Ithe, with his son Lugadius and one hundred and fifty gallant men, to visit Ireland, and to bring back an account of these western islands.

Ithe and his companions having visited Ireland for the purpose of inspection, were honorably received and entertained by the native Irish, who, finding Ithe to be a man of great wisdom and knowledge, referred their disputes to him for settlement. His decisions having met with their mutual and entire satisfaction, he exhorted them to practice the virtues of forbearance, peace, and love, adding much in praise of their delightful, pleasant, and fruitful country. He then took his leave of them to return to his ship and go back to Spain. No sooner had he gone than the chiefs began to suspect the object of his visit, and, to prevent his returning with an army to invade their country, they pursued and overtook him before he had time to reach his ship. They attacked his party, put them to rout, and mortally wounded himself at a place called Magh Ithe, in the County Donegal. His son having rescued his mangled body, brought it back to Spain and exposed it to public view, thereby to excite his friends and relations to avenge his murder. The exposing of the dead body of Ithe had the desired effect, for thereupon Milesius made great preparations to invade Ireland, but before he could effect that object he died, leaving the care and charge of the expedition to his 8 sons. Milesius was a very valiant champion, a great and fortunate warrior, and prosperous in all his undertakings.

The 8 sons of Milesius were not forgetful of their father's command, for soon after his death, with a numerous fleet well manned and equipped, they set forth from Brigantia (now Corunna) in Galicia, and sailed prosperously to the coast of Ireland, or "Innis Fail."

After many difficulties, and the loss of many of their ships and men in a storm which arose, they landed and conquered the natives of the island in a pitched battle, in which they lost a great number of their men, and 6 of the 8 brothers, sons of Milesius.


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