British - A prince of Gwent. A king of Britain. Husband of Renwein and Sevira. Father of Catigern, Faustus, Paschent and Vortimer. He killed King Constantine and put his eldest son, Constans, in his place, treating him as a puppet. He later killed Constans to become king himself. In another version it was Moines, son of Constans, who was killed when Vortigern took the throne. After the death of Sevira, he married Renwein, a daughter of Hengist the Saxon, who poisoned Vortigern's son, Vortimer. When Hengist treacherously killed many of Vortigern's nobles, the king retreated to Wales and built a castle at Dinas Emrys on Mount Erith. When the walls started to sink, he tried using magic. A boy, fathered by an incubus, said that the subsidence was caused by two dragons, red and white, hidden years before by Lud. In one version, the boy was Ambrosius, later called Emrys Gwledig; others say he was the wizard Merlin. Some say the two dragons fought and the red one killed the white one. Another version says that the dragons were Aurelius and Uther who flew off to Brittany, returning later in human form at the head of an army which reclaimed the kingdom. In this version, they burned down Vortigern's tower and killed him. In some accounts, the fortress was being built on Salisbury Plain. In some lore, occasionally called Vortigern, Urtigernus, Urtigernus, 'overlord', 'overlord', Welsh Gwrytheyrn or Welsh Gwrytheyrn.

Nearby Myths