Who was Vortigern?

   Vortigern, a British King who flourished in the 5th century. According to Gildas, Bede, Ethelwerd, and the Old Engglish Chronicle, he invited Hengist and Horsa to assist him against his enemies the Picts and Scots. Nennius, on the other hand, represents the German chiefs as exiles who went to the island unasked. Whichever form of the story be true, it seems certain that after a short time the newcomers, reinforced by fresh bands of their countrymen, turned against Vortigern and wrested from him the Kentish territory. Nennius is the first to bring " the beautiful daughter of Hengist" on the scene. He does not, however, name her. This is first done by Geoffrey of Monmouth (12th century), who in the main follows and expands the version of Nennius. Geoffrey calls her Rowena, or according to some MSS, Ronwen and Ronwenna. There is something like unanimity in the chronicles regarding Vortigern's character. He was at once tyrannical and lascivious; and monkish indignation (as expressed in the legend of St. Germanus) he was finally destroyed by fire from heaven. It is to be presumed that Vortigern came to a violent end in conflict with the adventurers who had established themselves in his dominions.