Vortigern Studies

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Welcome to Vortigern Studies!

Vortigern Studies has the internet's most comprehensive treatment of Britain's history from the end of the Roman era to Arthurian times. Edited by Robert M. Vermaat, this unique website focuses primarily on the person of Vortigern and the enigmatic earthwork called Wansdyke. It features narrative histories, original source documents and important texts, extensive bibliographies, reading lists, informative articles by guest writers, maps, polls and more.

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Popularly said, Vortigern Studies spans the period between the Romans and King Arthur.
It deals with the fifth century as a whole in general, but with the middle in particular, esp
Folio 100v of the Vergilius Romanus, a possibly fifth-century British scene.ecially the years a.d. 425x455, which is considered by most people to have been the reign of Vortigern.

Vortigern Studies concentrates on the period between the Roman occupation of Britain and the Early Middle Ages. This period, which is sometimes called the Dark Ages, stretch roughly from AD 400 to 600. Vortigern Studies is mainly concerned with the events that brought about the changes from Roman Britain to Saxon England.

Was this Vortigern?This period in Britain is not very well documented, but it may have been mirrored by the (later) occurrances in Gaul, where the diocese went through the (same?) stages of disloyalty, self-interest and pure treason to the Roman cause, eventually ending with the independence of most of Gaul. The rest of the diocese were by then so-called ‘Barbarian kingdoms’, which were in fact no more than internal subdivisions under Roman officials of Germanic descent, who had lived all their lives within the Roman empire (such as Stilicho). If one recalls that the Roman military had been based on Germanic soldiers or even allied Germanic tribes, it is easy to see that the ‘Fall of the Roman empire’ was quite bloodless in most cases.

Therefore, Britain was possibly not conquered by invading barbrians, but subdivided by the military inheritors of the Roman empire, and only later settled by new-coming immigrants from northern Germany. In the case of Britain, it renounced Roman rule almost certainly in 410 or possible even in 425, when the person of Vortigern came to power, possible wtin the context of a national council. Vortigern Studies means to look into several theories that try to counter the traditional opinions on this timeframe in Britain.

Or was this Vortigern?Vortigern has had a bad press, which hasVortigern's death - burned in his fortress. Based on the illustration in Peter Langtoft's Chronicle (1307). tended to obscure the part which he played in the history of fifth-century Britain. The purpose of this website is the promotion of my ideas about the process by which the Roman diocese of Britain transformed into the warring Dark Age kingdoms of Britons and Saxons. Though traditionally this process was seen as having started by the fictitious departure of the Roman legions and the no less fictitious arrival of 'three rowing-boats' full of Saxons, it is clear that this process was much more complicated.

A direct link to Vortigern and the transformation of Roman Britain can be found in the Wansdyke, a large defensive earthwork that runs from Somerset to the Savernake Forest in Wiltshire, looking to the north.

This ancient monument, which also has had a bad press, was probably constructed within Vortigern's lifetime, and probably against him. I will endorse the opinion that this earthwork does not consist of two unrelated parts, one in Wiltshire and the other in Somerset, separated now in time as well as in geography, but that they were constructed as two parts of one scheme, carried out in the first half of the 5th century.

The purpose of this website is to provide the visitors the information they need on this above subjects. Whether you visit this site by chance or by design, I hope to provide you with what you want. This can be some superficial information from the Frequently Asked Questions for those who are new to the problem of Vortigern, to the very detailed papers on Vortigern and related subjects, which can all be found in the Sitemap. The Vortigern Studies Bibliography provides an ever expanding list of books, articles and sources that are connected with this subject. Ultimately, this site means to fulfill educational purposes as well through maps, plates and figures, and by presenting rare sources or the links with the more well-known ones that are already published on-line.

Summing up, the Vortigern Studies website should be the guide to all who seek information about Britain in the direct post-Roman era.

VortigernStudies is copyright Robert Vermaat 1999-2008. All rights reserved