|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.
Vortigern Studies Index
What was ? in 1999
VORTIGERN STUDIES AND THE ARTHURIAN COLLECTION
At this last
day of the year (no, not of the century or the Milennium
- Vortigern Studies is a historically correct website!).
Vortigern Studies is now a proud member of a third
webring: the Ring of the Red Dragon ! This Ring lists webcites that
deal with Wales, Welsh history, culture, customs, beliefs,
language, and anything else Welsh.
my first real scientific publication: Forty
Years of Fear - Facts and fiction in chapter 66 of
the Historia Brittonum (This
article is published in The Heroic Age Issue 2, december 1999).
I've also added the new pedigrees
of eastern, mid- and south Wales for reference purposes
mostly. Parts of these two pages will be added into new
material or updates. I've already updated
the pages of Vortimer, Catigern, Pascent, Faustus, and Incest with this and other material.
Studies has a new layout, consisting of a greyish
watermark. I've been making some changes to the
visibility of the mosaic border (due to a bug in HTML)
and the color of the linked text. Also, I've added new search
boxes and more Polls, one on my Family page and one in the Arthurian Booklist. A new Links page: contributions to Vortigern by others on the web.
Studies has been enriched with a new item - the Monthly
you can see what the visitors think of several
issues that are raised on this Website.
Studies is now a proud member of the Celtic Culture Webring! This Ring lists many websites
with a general Celtic theme.
About half of the Links pages have been completed (my! this ain't
half a job - more and more keeps cropping up as I go
The Wansdyke section has finally been upgraded with some
modest beginnings; my own experiences in visiting this monument from 1989 to 1996.
Also an update of the Dinas Emrys page (which has now separated into
a page on the fort and a newone on the explanation) and an update
for the Pillar
of Elise (which is
now separated into two pages, one about the monument and
a new one
about the text itself).
There are of course also new items in the Bibliography,
but these remain as a rule unspecified because of space
limitations. Beside that, I have added two new items to the Arthurian Collection;
J.: Merlin, The King's Wizard,
(Voyager 1999), which is part 2 of the
novelisation of the NBC miniseries.
Kevin and Peter Malone (ill.): Arthur,
Koning van Alle Tijden (Christofoor
1999), a very good children's book which takes
both history and legend seroius.
seven months, work has finally begun on the Wansdyke
apologize for the delay. The articles will take some more
time, but I'll try try to give you a general idea by
adding lots of pictures.
is now about six months old! To celebrate that, I have
changed the layout again and added lots of pictures. My
new border, a Roman mosaic floor from Caerwent (Gwent),
may not be seen by all those with a Mac, sorry about that.
The articles are neatly divided into chapters, as could
already be seen on the Sitemap. I have finally begun a
Links-page, with links to all kinds of sites that may be
of interest to the visitor. These pages will be updated
in the next weeks.
Unfortunately, the linkup with Ordnance Survey has fallen
through, due to added costs that were too high at this
time. I will replace the maps in due course.
There are new articles on some sites Vortigern may have
built a 'city', such as Dinas Emrys, Yr
Wyddfa and Carn
Fadrun, all in
Gwynedd. I have also located the grave
of Catigern and
the best (?) candidate for the grave
of Vortigern on
the west coast of Dyfed. Lastly, a speculative article on
the possible birthname of Vortimer.
Unfortunately, more delays in the history department,
especially the article by Horst-Wolfgang Böhme I'm
translating, and therefore also of the other articles
about Vortigern, the Saxon federates and the End of Roman
Britain. This means that this section will not appear
before the summer of 2000. I'll compensate by finishing
the sections on geographical and source-material first.
As I announced
on May 6th, the Vortigern Studies Bibliography, which has grown too large for
just one webpage, has been divided up into alphabetic
chapters to make the use of it easier.
The all - but
- finishing touch to the geographical part. I have added
maps and pictures to several pages (and many more on the
way - keep checking!) and, under license from the
Ordnance Survey, the enlarged details of several maps as
well. Now you will be able to visit all Caer Guorthigirns
Some new items in the Arthurian Collection:
A.A.: The Perilous Order: Warriors of
the Round Table, (Hodder
and Stoughton 1999). This is the third book in
this series, following The Dragon and the
Unicorn and Arthor. Don't be
confused, this is the same book as The Wolf
and the Crown, published in the USA in 1998
(Like The Eagle and the Sword was the
same as Arthor).
Henry : The Great Captains,
(Bodley head 1956, repr. 1980). This is a great
historical Dark Age novel by an all-too often
forgotten writer. His style is dark and
apocalyptic, but the story may very well come
close to the real thing!
Alistair : Arthur and the Lost
Kingdoms, (Weidenfeld &
Nicolson, 1999). This is the latest in a long
line of pseudo-scientific attempts to reconstruct
the real Arthur. Moffat opts for the Votadini, a
tribe in the Scottish Lowlands. His attempt may
fail from time to time, but the book is well
Margaret : Arthurian Legends
(Scholastic 1998). A droll comic version
of the legend.
As well as
two booklets: Knights of the Round Table,
a Pitkin Guide, and Arthur, Land and Legend,
from the Wessex Series. Also several new books in the Vortigern
Studies Bibliography, which are indicated there.
August 5, 1999
The major, major update
's here! Not just a
few new items on one of the
booklists, but 18 new articles (and one major update)!
I've finished one of the main
pillars under the theory about Vortigern; the article about Vitalinus. This was part of my paper
on the possible background of the story of
Guithelinus in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia
Regum Brittanniae (as presented at the
Second Conference of the Medieval Chronicle last
Furthermore, I've completed all
articles on Vortigern's family and most
about the variety of geographical locations
attached to him (these will in time be updated
with maps). We have a
second guest-article: 'The Problem of Caer Guorthigirn', by Michael Veprauskas.
This fits neatly with the new articles on
Vortigern-places. Well, that should keep you busy
for a while.
July 16, 1999
Four new books in the Arthurian Collection,
all Children's books by jane Yolen.
and the Dragons is a fantastically
illustrated (by Li Ming) book about the young boy
Merlin and his confrontation of Vortigern. The
story is being told to the young Arthur, a nice
touch. This book is also made into an animated
movie by the same title.
Merlin Trilogy is an mostly
adaptation of two stories from Merlin's Booke
(by the same author) into three lovely works for
and Merlin are very
useful for the starting young reader.
the Messageboard today. Instead of just the
Vortigern & Wansdyke Messageboard, it's also open now
to any ideas about Arthurian stuff in the broadest sense.
You'll find that upon leaving you'll have the chance to
return to both the Vortigern Homepage and the
Arthurian Collection. The reason is that the visitors (there
have been about 200 yet!) seem too timid for it to work
properly. Reactions to my Arthurian Collection have
inspired me to this change, so hopefully it'll work
better now. Come on you lot! Share your views with all of
new To the Arthurian Collection: Stonehenge
by Evans & Hanselmann. This is an old album, alas not
available through Amazon.com.
You might have
noticed a totally new layout today. I've changed
the background to white and the fonts from Book Antiqua to Arial for a
more compact look. Frames will be added later, if at all.
I've also finished all links to Amazon.com in the
Arthurian Collection and I've started with the Vortigern
& Wansdyke Bibliography as well. Those of you you who
want to find out more about some of the items in my
collection can do so now. In time I will add a review on
each of these items containing the cover, three pages
from the book and a comment. So please, keep coming back!
Five new items in the Arthurian Various
list: an Excalibur paperknife,
three calendars and a pendant
in the form of the elusive cross that was reputedly found
at Glastonbury in the 13th century.
Added a Guestbook today.
Please let me know what you think of this site.
Three new movies in the Arthurian
Yankee at King Arthur's Court (Paramount
1949), the musical classic with 'Der
Bingle' Crosby in an immortal performence,
co-starring Rhonda Fleming and William
Bendix in this version of Mark Twain's 19th
century political satire.
Entertainment 1993), starring Noah Wyle,
Sean Patrick Flanery and Sheryl Lee in a
movie about a strong Guinevere (a bit too
strong, while Arthur fails completely).
1998), starring Sam Neill, Helena Bonham
Carter, Rutger Hauer (as Vortigern),
Isabella Rosellini and Martin Short in an
alas shortened video of the very good NBC
miniseries. The best for a long time,
leaving movies such as Excalibur
and First Knight a long way
June 20, 1999
been adding some more material in the sources-section of
the Bibliography. Since I have a chance to lecture at the
Second Conference for the Medieval Chronicle on
July 20th, a slight overrepresentation of Geoffrey of
Monmouth might be noticed. I can assure you that this
will change in time, when I will finally deal with the
rest of the sources, starting with Gildas and the
Historia Brittonum. Also new in the Bibliography is a
book I can recommend to everyone interested in this field:
new In the Arthurian Collection: a
completely new lay-out to distinguish it from the
VortigernStudies site. The links to Amazon.com are now
completed as well. Also a gigantic billboard
(2,5 m x 1m across) from the movie The Magic Sword,
quest for Camelot, (Warner Bros 1998), a nice
surprise from my local videoshop. A picture of it will
follow shortly. new Novels:
Caidin, M.: Indiana Jones
en de Witte Heks, (Bruna 1997), a
translation in Dutch of Indiana Jones and the
Lampo, H. & Pieter Paul
Koster: Arthur, (Atrium
1985), a photobook of the Arthurian legend, very
good landscapes combined with (dutch) texts from
June 4, 1999
a major revision of most pages (concerning file names and
attachments) I added the first step in the Amazon.com
Associates program. My Arthurian Collection will (step by step) be
linked to this mega-bookstore! Most items are for sale,
so the interested collector will be able to complete his
or her collection..
Anew article I had been working
on a long time, the genealogical connections of Vortigern and his Family, has also been added. The
quality still is not what I'd like it to be, but I
thought it better than nothing. My next-to-perfect family
tree disintegrated in HTML, of course. Any ideas?
Last but not least, to console those anxious for any
article of the Wansdyke homepage (they will appear! but
not before october, I'm afraid), I added a link to a very
nice site (from Watford to Camelot) with the only real
webpage (as far as I know) with anything about the
Wansdyke at all!
May 21, 1999
have finally added a counter! But more important, new articles on Vortigern and his family;
'Who was Vortigern' is an article particulairy
for those not yet familiar with the subject. The FAQS are
even more important for the novice! Also articles about Vortigern's Deaths and the refutation of the
stories about Vortigern and the supposed incestuous relation with his own
Most important at this stage though is the acceptance by Arthur's Ring, a select group (25 members
to date) of webpage-owners, devoted to the post-Roman
period in general and the Arthurian cycle in particular.
I feel that by enlightening the intersted visitor about
the difficulties around Vortigern I might clear up the
period that came before Arthur. Or try to at least.
May 16, 1999
added new articles on Catigern and Faustus, both of whom were sons of
Vortigern. 'Who was Britu?' receives an answer here.. An
article that I personally like is 'Saints on the move', which looks at the
similarities of names and stories about Vortigern in both
Wales, Ireland and Brittany. The sources are stocked with
an article about the Bonedd y Saint.
May 12, 1999
new Articles on the Name
of Vortigern, St Gurthiern, Vortimer and The Pillar of Elise. We're getting there...
Other articles are close to publication, so please be
patient if you've already found this site!
May 6, 1999
added new graphics
and a changed lay-out, so that visitors are more at home,
knowing where they are and what other pages there are.
Some additions to the family-page as well, but that will
have to wait until later, as must the Wansdyke section,
presumably until this fall. The Bibliography is growing a
bit too much, I'll probably have to change that, too.
Though there are a few articles in the Vortigern section,
I'm still waiting with going public until I have at least
five large and up to ten smaller articles placed there.
April 13, 1999
I have a new email adress! My personal
email adress is now VortigernStudies@Hotmail.com.
have added two new items to the
Mallory, J.: Merlin,
The Old Magic, (Voyager
1998), which is part 1 of the
novelisation of the NBC miniseries.
(Sony 1998), a very nice CD-ROM with an
animated movie and some nice games for
are more new items on the Vortigern
& Wansdyke Booklist, but these are a
bit too numerous to show here. One I would recommend
however, especially to wargamers and those of you
interested in the militairy side of this period, is Germanic
Warrior, 236-568 AD, by Simon MacDowall and
illustrated beautifully by Angus McBride. This volume (19,
1996) of the Osprey Warrior series is a real asset to the
visualization of the times, even more so when completed
with Late Roman Infantryman, 236-565 AD,
(Warrior Series 9, 1994) and Late Roman
Cavalryman, 236-565 AD, (Warrior
April 8, 1999
opened a new Messageboard at Insidetheweb!
Though there might be not so much to discuss (no-one
knows this homepage is online yet, maybe some of you have
already found your way there), some of you might have
their own opinions about this subject!
April 6, 1999
evening, I finally managed to put these pages on the
Internet! It is not much; only the opening pages: Robert's
Homepage, the Vortigern
Homepage, the Wansdyke Homepage
and the structure below that. The only works of
interest for you, the visitor, are my two Bibliographies
about my Arthurian Collection
and all the scientific books and articles that
are the basis for all articles that will appear here
during the following months. Apart from that, I have
placed only one guest-article on the site, because I felt
that there could only be more of these once I have placed
my own views there first. It would not be fair to review
the opinions of others before I have shown my own, would
it?. The very important article of Horst-Wolfgang Böhme,
which I am authorized to translate from German, will not
appear before october I'm afraid, but I'll see what I can
Apart from the plain text part, there is not much in the
lay-out as well; this will come later, I promise! Frames,
buttons, etc., I need to learn a bit more about, or else
ask other people to do me some favors. I can only ask you,
the visitor, to be patient and keep coming back!
april 6, 1999