have reached the Vortigern Homepage, which is the
part of the Vortigern Studies Website which is
solely dedicated to the study of Vortigern.
Vortigern? Who was he to deserve to be the
subject of a study? Vortigern (c. AD 370x450)
lived in the years after the Roman Empire in
Britain had ended, and before the Saxons came to
conquer the island. In fact he is the man (made)
responsible for disastrously inviting the Anglo-Saxons
into Britain in the fifth century!
remember? Those familiar with the legends of King
Arthur will have recognised him by now. Yes, he
was the old tyrannical king that sent for the
young Merlin to be sacrificed, so that his tower
would no longer collapse... The one with those
fighting dragons, a red and a white one. This
legend, though probably totally untrue, is the
main reason why we still even remember Vortigern,
with the tale playing a large role in both
Arthurian legend and the founding of Wales as a
nation. So why should anyone would want to study
this evil king? The answer is simple - he was not
such a bad king to begin with. In fact, his
reputation is largely due to a bad press in later
establish the value of historical his background,
Vortigern Studies looks at all we know of
Vortigern and his place in the Dark Ages, e.g.
the sources, Vortigern's family, the places that
Vortigern is connected to and the legends around
his person. Another interesting field of study is
connected with that famous legend we mentioned
above - Vortigern's cities. On the run for his
persecutors, he fled through Wales, building
cities and forts on the way, where he tried to
take refuge. Wales is filled with these places,
and we take a closer look at each of them.
also like to offer you as much source-material as
possible under copyright regulations. This means
making available at this site the actual texts or
those parts dealing with Vortigern, but also
images, poems and other parts of the arts as well.
A good discussion is also possible, and apart
from offering opinions about Vortigern's position
in history through articles, there is the
messageboard, and a good deal of guest-articles
offer different opinions as well.
major supporting fields for Vortigern Studies are
the sources and archaeology. These sources are
the works of contemporary and medieval historians
and chroniclers, but also those of later times,
up to the 15th century. Archaeology will also
receive a good deal of attention, but this will
be limited to the findings from the Late Roman
period to the Early Dark Ages, i.e. the fifth
study is backed up by a large Bibliography, which
is made up of articles, translations of the
sources and books, some of which are available
from our associate bookshop, Amazon.com.
with the late 4th century, all Late Classical to
dark Age and Medieval sources that concern either
Britain or Vortigern are dealt with. The Gallic
Chronicles, Gildas, Bede, Geoffrey of Monmouth
and many more.
Who was Vortigern?
Meet the real character behind the fictional
villain. What was he before he became king? Was
he really called 'Vortigern'? How did he die?
The Family of Vortigern
Who were his
children, and how many? Did he have a Roman
Emperor for a father- in-law? See the complete
genealogy from Roman times down to the Middle
The Cities of Vortigern
Where is the real 'City
of Vortigern'? How many did he build? The myth of
The Realm of Vortigern
was Vortigern's true grave? Where did Vortigern
rule? His lands may have strechted across Wales
and the Midlands.
History and Texts
we take the sources at face value? What texts
should be disregarded, what seen as real history?
Also, translations from texts about Vortigern
from Gildas, Bede, 'Nennius' and more.
Art and Literature
is almost unknown in art when compared to, say
Merlin or Arthur. But there are still some works
of art in which he appears, like in paintings and
by several authors on varying subjects that
augment the other articles on this site. Some of
these have appeared elsewhere, others are