British History,Monarchs of Great Britain,King Arthur

Interesting Events in Early British History

Vortigern Invites the Saxons - mid-440's

To aid the Britons in their defense against the increasingly brutal raids from the northern tribes, Vortigern authorizes the use of Saxon mercenaries, in exchange for which services the Saxons would receive land to be used for settlement. This was consistent with the standard Roman practice of employing one barbarian tribe to defend against another. Vortigern must have also been encouraged by the words of Hengest, the Saxon chief, as recorded in the "Kentish Chronicle":
"Hengest said to Vortigern...'Take my advice, and you will never fear conquest by any man or any people, for my people are strong. I will invite my son and his cousin to fight against the Irish, for they are fine warriors.'"
The anti-Pict/Irish strategy that Vortigern chose to employ proved to be successful, since these tribes were never a problem, again. But, the words of Hengest would come to haunt Vortigern, very soon.

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