Vortigern

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Vortigern (pronounced /ˈvɔrtɨɡɜrn/;[citation needed] Welsh: Gwrtheyrn; Old English: Wyrtgeorn; Breton: Guorthigern; Irish: Foirtchern), also spelled Vortiger and Vortigen, was a 5th-century warlord in Britain, a leading ruler among the Britons. His existence is considered likely, though information about him is shrouded in legend. He is said to have invited the Saxons to settle in Kent as mercenaries to aid him fight the Picts and the Scots beyond Hadrian's Wall. Unfortunately they revolted, killing his son in the process and adding Sussex and Essex to their own kingdom. This earned him a poor reputation so that he was eventually remembered as one of the worst kings of the Britons in later legend.

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Accounts

Gildas

The 6th-century historian Gildas wrote De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae (English: On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain) in the first decades of the sixth century. In Chapter 23, he tells how "all the councillors, together with that proud usurper" [omnes consiliarii una cum superbo tyranno] made the mistake of inviting "the fierce and impious Saxons" to settle in Britain.[1] According to Gildas, apparently a small group came at first, and was settled "on the eastern side of the island, by the invitation of the unlucky [infaustus] usurper". This small group invited more of their countrymen to join them, and the colony grew. Eventually the Saxons demanded that "their monthly allotments" be increased, and when their demands were eventually refused, broke their treaty and plundered the lands of the Romano-British.

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