Skip to main content
Select Source:

Vortigern

Vortigern a legendary 5th-century British king traditionally said to have invited the Saxons under Hengist and Horsa into Britain and to have married Hengist's daughter Rowena; according to Geoffrey of Monmouth's chronicle he was defeated and killed by Ambrosius Aurelianus, leader of Romano-British resistance to the Saxon invasion.

Vortigern and Rowena was the title of an alleged Shakespeare play which the forger William Henry Ireland (1777–1835) pretended to have discovered; it was produced by Kemble in 1796, but was derided by the public.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Vortigern." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Vortigern." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vortigern

"Vortigern." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vortigern

Vortigern

Vortigern. A leader of the Britons in the immediate post-Roman period. Bede gives ad 449 as the year of the adventus Saxonum (the coming of the Saxons) and the story of Vortigern falls into the years following this date. Vortigern appears to have been a sub-Roman ruler in southern England, who, in order to protect his realm, is said to have invited two Saxon warriors, Hengist and Horsa, and their troops into Britain to act as a mercenary force. They revolted against Vortigern and set up their own rule in Kent in the 450s.

Eleanor Scott

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Vortigern." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Vortigern." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vortigern

"Vortigern." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vortigern

Vortigern

Vortigern (vôr´tĬgərn), 5th cent., tribal king of Britons in Wales and S England. Tradition transmitted by Bede says that Vortigern invited the Germanic leaders Hengist and Horsa to Kent to help withstand the Picts and Scots. Later he quarreled and fought with Hengist and Horsa.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Vortigern." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Vortigern." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vortigern

"Vortigern." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vortigern