King Coel and Helen


From AD 217 to 284 in sixty seven years there were twenty four Emperors  with an average tenure of less than two years. One tenure (Gordion) was only twenty-one days.

The instability almost took the form of an elaborate competion to gain control between east and west of more specifically between the Dacian legions and the Rhineland legions both of whom were experiencing attacks from outside the empire and were probabably searching for a greater share of total resources.

In 260 the Emperor Valerian who had his power base in Gaul marched east to meet a challenge from the Parthians. He was disastrously defeated at the battle of Edessa and spent the rest of his life in slavery. The eastern provinces feared for their safety and in the same year the Palmyrene queen Xenobia , who claimed direct descent from Cleopatra,  rebelled and created a breakaway declared a Palmyrene empire with herself as Augusta.  In the north of the nmediterranian the empire came as far west as the shores of the Bosphorus and in the south as far as Libya.

Total Independance

Simultaneously  it was the signal for Marcus Cassianus Latinus Posthumous  to declare Britain, Gaul and Hispania and Raetia independent of Rome. He created a new empire , on the Roman model complete with senators and consuls. The Celts including Britain, Gaul and Hispania, felt they had been deserted by Valerian and made the long Desire for independance a reality.   For the next decade the Roman Emperor was in control only of Africa, Italy, the Balkans and Greece.

Postumous executed the son of Gallienus and his guardian Silvanus and created an independent state  with its capital at Trier (Augusta Trevorum).

Posthumus ruled for nine years before succuming to instability within his own army. he was killed by his army for refusing to allow them to sack Mainz where he had just put down a rebellion.  Posthumus was followed in quick succession by Marius, Marcus Piaonius Victorinus, Domitianus and Tetricus.

It is not an attractiive tale laced with murder and rape but it does show the determination of the celts to break away from contol from Rome.  the fact that none of these emperors can be found in the standard lists of roman emperors is initself evidence of just how independant it was.

it is also important to note that Hispania , Gaul and Britain were all part of this independant state, and for ten years the local govenors or kings would have responded to Trier not to Rome.

This brief period has become known as ‘The Gallic Empire” but as is shown by other segments  in this topic it was preeceeded and followed by a continuous series of initiatives all intended to provide indepenance from Rome.

Helen of the Cross

The attempt to reclaim the east  was delayed until 270 when  the emperor Aurelian accepted the challenge. The campaign was notable because one of his senior officers a member of the Protectores Augusti Nostri was Constantine Chlorus, the father of Constantine, perhaps the most famous of the roman emperors.

Constantine’s mother was Helen of the Cross. The commonly accepted version of her identity is that she was born in Drepanum in Bithnia, Asia Minor. In this version, she was the daughter of an inn-keeper who acted as a stable maid and who, for a small fee offered other services to visitors. The justification of the choice of Drepanum is that much later Constantine renamed the town Helenopolis.

Dual Identity

Constantius Chlorus is supposed to have met her there at the very beginning of the attack by Aurelian of the Palmyrene empire which did indeed start in Asia Minor. Helen is then supposed to have given birth to Constantine in Naissius in Moesia in the district of Dacia Aurelis. It is known that Constantine was born on the 27th February but the date of constantine’s birth is given as between 270 and 274.

There is no doubt that Constantus Chlorus was in both these places but the dates are all wrong.

The Gothic invasion.

There was a battle of Naissius in 269 at which a massive invasion of Goths into moesia was repulsed by the Emporer Claudius II who may well have been born in Naissius. After winning the battle Claudius promptly died of the plague (possibly smallpox)

There was a short lived attemp by Quintillus, Claudius brother to succeed his brother. Aurialian was hailed as Emporer by the Pannonian legions and defeated Quintillus. Quintillus died shortly afterwars possibly struck down by the same plague which killed Claudius.

A complication to the story is that there are geneologies which show Constantius Chlorus as the son of Claudius. If these geneologies are correct and the family home was at Naissius it is possible that Constantine would be described as “of Naissius’ wherever he was born.


Aurelian first task was to  clean up the aftermath of the battle of Nassias.

Therefore Constantius was in Naissius in 271, helping to evacuate  Romans from Dacia proper and resettle them in Moesia.

It was the next year 272 that he went to Asia Minor   From Asia minor, in an integrated campaign against Xenobia he went eastward through Asia minor, to Egypt and finally to Syria Palastine where the campaign ended in 273.

If he met Helen and got her pregnant in 272 he would have had to have sent her back  to Naissias( to the family Home?) whilst he continued to the east in which case Constantine would have been born in 273 whilst he was still on active duty. This does not sound like an unintended pregnancy with a stable-maid.

King Cole

An alternative history has Helen as a British Princess, the daughter of King Cole. This is again offered by Geoffrey of Monmouth and has been much derided by modern historians. However…

When the Eastern empire had been reclaimed Aurelian dashed back during 273 to win back his Western empire. As “Protectores Augusti Nostri” Contantius would have been with him.

In early 274 Tetricas emperor of the Gallic Empire surrendered. Clearly there had been advance negotiations as Tetricas was not punished but awarded the position as governor of Luciana and Brutium (the toe of Italy).

At the negotiations which must have preceded the surrender it is not impossible that King Cole was a part to discussions and that Constantius could have met and wooed his daughter.

The marriage could have been a part of the agreed settlement to ensure continued interest in the british case in the central empire. This would then place the birth in 274 at approximately at the same time as Tetricus surrender. In these circumstances Helen would have been escorted back to Naissius, (the family home?)with a substantial escort.


Now other things fall into place.

in 289 Constantius divorced Helen and made a dynastic marriage with Maxentius’ step daughter theodora and in 305 their daughter Anastasia married a “Bassianus”. aside from this “Bassianus’ there are only four other people in recorded history with the name Bassianus. Three of them were associated with Caracella who shared his cognomen with his grandfather. His nephew, who is more commonly referred to as Heliogabalus, had this same cognomen.

Totally seperately Geoffrey of Monmouth, or the documents he was working with identified a British king called Bassianius and assumed that this must be Caracella.

The timing in Geoffrey suggested was however co incident with Constantius Chlorus, and King Cole. It is possible with a slight amendment in timing to conclude that Geoffrey’s Bassianius and Constantius Chlorus son in law are one and the same.

This would make Constantius Chlorus son in law of one British King and the father in law of another.

Macsen Weldeg

The connection between Constantius Chlorus family and the Britons do not end there. Some geneologies identify another british king, Magnus Maximus who is known in welsh history as Macsen Weldig, as the great grandson of Constantius Chlorus. This Macsen used Britain as a springboard for an attempt to reclain the empire which in his eyes had been usurped by the Valentian dynasty. Though Maximus does not appear in many of the lists of Roman Emporers, between 383 and 388 he was recognised as Augustus for Britain ,Gaul and Hispania this was another life for the Gallic empire, possibly in the eyes of the celts it never ceased to exist. Once again Maccsen placed his the capital at Augusta Treverorum (Trier).

Thus there more evidence to support the view that Helen of the cross was indeed a British princess and not a stable maid, than the mainstream view would have us believe.

Incidentally, Constantine called other towns and cities after his mother, not just Drepanum and there is one more Bessianus, a character in Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” for which the story line and characters are total fiction.


Constantius managed to switch his alliance to a succession of Emporers in the years 275 to 284 after the death of Aurelia and spent a year as govenor of Dalmatia. Salona on the coast of Dalmatia was the birthplace and home of Diocles.

For Diocles fate took a hand when the emperor Carus was struck by lightening during an otherwise successful campaign against the Persians and his son Numerian died of a mystery disease on the journey back to Rome. The army chose the commander of Carus’ cavalry as the new Emporer. This was Diocles .

In 290 Diocletian (name change to make him sound Roman) planned substantial reforms. From now on, the provinces, almost a hundred in number, would be administered directly by the Emperor through a monarchical hierachy of “Vicars”.

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.