Translation: Meanwhile the hooked weapons of their enemies were not idle, and our wretched countrymen were dragged from the wall and dashed against the ground. Section 19 Gildas here describes post-Roman Britons on Hadrian's Wall defending it against the Scots and Picts below. This bizarre image, familiar to students of British history for generations, is belied by a more recent translation which runs, "Meanwhile there was no respite from the barbed spears flung by their naked opponents, which tore our wretched countrymen from the walls and dashed them to the ground." (Michael Winterbottom (trans.) Gildas: The Ruin of Britain and Other Works (1978) p. 23).