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History and Texts
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The sources on Vortigern

Robert Vermaat


On this page, I've collected a few quotes on Vortigern and Vitalinus from the original Latin texts. Though I am discussing all sources in full elsewhere, the full text in English from most of these sources can be found on the following pages.

GILDAS, "De excidio et conquestu Britanniae", chapter 13.1
Tum omnes consiliarii una cum superbo tyranno Vertigerno caecantur, adinvenientes tale praesidium, immo excidium patriae ut ferocissimi illi nefandi nominis Saxones deo hominibusque invisi, quasi in caulas lupi, in insulam ad retundendas aquilonales gentes intromitterentur.
A full English text of part of Gildas' book can be found on the following page.

BEDE, "De Tempore Ratione", chapter 3
Quos [Anglos] illi unanimo consilio cum rege suo Vertigerno [sic] quasi defensores patriae ad se invitandos elegerunt.

BEDE, "Historia Ecclesiastica Gentia Anglorum", book 1, chapter 14
initum namque est consilium, quid agendum..., placuitque omnibus cum suo rege Uurtigerno...
A full English text of part of Bede's book can be found on the following page.

Early British Chronicle
Annos ccccxlviiii Martinus cum Valentiniano imperium suscipiens et vii annis tenuit; quorum tempore Angli, a Uuertigerno Brittonum rege arcessiti, Brittaniam adierunt quorum dux erat Hengist filius Ohta.

'NENNIUS', "Historia Brittonum", chapter 31
Guorthigirnus regnavit in Brittannia, et dum ipse regnabat in Brittannia, urgebatur a metu Pictorum Scottorumque et a Romanico impetu, nec non et a timore Ambrosii.

'NENNIUS', "Historia Brittonum", chapter 39
Nam, super omnia mala adjiciens, Guorthigirnus accepit filiam sui uxorem sibi, et peperit ei filium.

'NENNIUS', "Historia Brittonum", chapter 47
Tres filius habuit, quorem nomina sunt Guorthemir.., secundus Categirn, tertius Pascent...Quartus fuit Faustus.

'NENNIUS', "Historia Brittonum", chapter 49
Guorthigirn Guortheneu, filius Guitaul, filii Guitolin.

'NENNIUS', "Historia Brittonum", chapter 66
Et a regno Guorthigirni usque ad discordiam Guitolini et Ambrosii anni sunt XII, quod est Guoloppum, id est Catguoloph. Guorthigirnus autem tenuit imperium in Brittannia Theodosio ei Valentiniano consilibus, et in quarto anno regni sui Saxones ad Brittanniam venerunt, Felice et Tauro consilibus, cccc anno ab incarnatione Domini nostri Jesu Christi.
A full English text of part of the Historia Brittonum can be found on the following page.

Pillar of Elise
Britu autem filius Guarthi(girn) quem benedixit Germanus quemque peperit ei Sevira filia Maximi regis qui occidit regem Romanorum.
A full English text of the text on the Pillar of Elise can be found on the following page.

MS Cotton Vespasian B, chapter 6
Quando Gratianus consul fuit secundo et Equitius quarta, tunc his consolibus Saxones a Wyrtgeorno in Brittannia suscepti sunt, anno .ccc .xxlviiii a passio ne Christi.

GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH, "Historia Regum Britanniae", book 6, chapter 2-6
Inito itaque consilo transfretauit Guithelinus lundoniensis archiepiscopus....
...eliguntur ex diuersis partibusregni milites &
Guithelino traduntur..
Tunc defunctus fuerat
Guithelinus archiepiscopus.

GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH, "Historia Regum Britanniae", book 6, chapter 6 - book 8, chapter 2
Accessit Uortigernus consul Gewissorum...Uortigernus ergo per illos uictoria potitus donaria sua ampliauit eis atque duci eorum Hengisto dedit agros plurimos in Lindesia...At Uortegirnus diffugiebat consilio eorum adquiescere quia super omnes gentes propter coniugem suam ipsos diligebat. Quod cum uidissent Britones deseruerunt ilico Uortegirnum & unanimiter Uortimer... Quod cum alimentum reperisset non adquieuit diunctus donec turrim & Uortegirnum exarsit.
A full English text of part of Geoffrey's' book can be found on the following page.

Bibliography

  • Bede: Ecclesiastical History of the English People, trans. Leo Shirley-Price, (St Ives 1990).*
  • Bede the Venerable: Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum: The History of the Primitive Church of England, transl. the rev. William Hurst, 1814, http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/St.Pachomius/bede.html.
  • Dumville, David N.: A new chronicle-fragment of early British history, in: English Historical Review LXXXVII, 1973, pp. 312-314.*
  • Dumville, David N.: Kingship, genealogies and regnal lists, in: Sawyer, P.H.: Early Medieval Kingship, (Leeds, 1977), pp. 72-104.*
  • Geoffrey of Monmouth: The History of the Kings of Britain, trans. Lewis Thorpe, (Penguin, St Ives 1966).*
  • Geoffrey of Monmouth: The Historia Regum Britanniae, trans. John Allan Giles, in: Six Old English Chronicles, of which two are now first translated from the monkish Latin originals (London, George Bell and Sons, 1891), full text (English) at http://camelot.celtic-twilight.com/hrb/index.htm.
  • Gildas: The Ruin of Britain and other works, Latin and trans. M. Winterbottom, History from the Sources VII, (Old Woking 1978).*
  • Gildas The de excidio Britonum (The Ruin of Britain): ed. and Latin Keith Matthews (2000), based on Mommsen's version, at: http://www.kmatthews.org.uk/history/gildas/frames.html
  • Gildas: De Excidio Brittonum, trans. John Allan Giles, in: Six Old English Chronicles, of which two are now first translated from the monkish Latin originals (London, George Bell and Sons, 1891), full text (English) at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/gildas-full.html.
  • Nennius: British History and the Welsh Annals, Latin and trans. John Morris, History from the Sources VIII, (Chichester 1980).*
  • Nennius: The Historia Brittonum: ed. Theodor Mommsen, at: http://www.gmu.edu/departments/fld/CLASSICS/histbrit.html.
  • Nennius: The Historia Brittonum: ed. and Latin Keith Matthews (2000), based on Mommsen's version, at: http://www.kmatthews.org.uk/history/hb/historia_brittonum1.html.
  • Nennius: The Historia Brittonum, trans. John Allan Giles, in: Six Old English Chronicles, of which two are now first translated from the monkish Latin originals (George Bell and Sons, London 1891), full text (English), formerly at http://www.littlebohemia.org/nennius.html.

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