Hengest (Hengist) VON SACHSEN
(Abt 420-488)


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Hengest (Hengist) VON SACHSEN 1

  • Born: Abt 420
  • Died: 488

   Research Notes:

Hengist (or Hengest) and Horsa (or Hors) are figures of Anglo-Saxon history, which records the two as the Germanic brothers who led the Angle, Saxon, Frisian, and Jutish armies that conquered the first territories of Britain in the 5th century. Tradition lists Hengist (through his son, whose name varies by source) as the founder of the Kingdom of Kent.

Hengist and Horsa are attested in Bede's 8th-century Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum; in the 9th-century Historia Brittonum, attributed to Nennius; and in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a collection of annals compiled from the end of the 9th century. Geoffrey of Monmouth greatly expanded the story in his influential 12th-century pseudohistory Historia Regum Britanniae, which was adapted into several other languages. As a result, the pair appear in various other later works. Notably, Hengist is also briefly mentioned in the Prose Edda, written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century.

According to these sources Hengist and Horsa arrived in Britain as mercenaries serving Vortigern, King of the Britons. This event is traditionally recognised as the beginning of the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain. Sources disagree about whether Hengist was the father or grandfather of Oisc of Kent and Octa of Kent, one of whom succeeded Hengist as king. In the Historia Brittonum Hengist had an unnamed daughter (Historia Regum Britanniae first gave her name as Rowena) who seduced Vortigern, eventually leading to the Treachery of the Long Knives when Hengist's men massacred the Britons at a peace accord. While the early sources indicate that Horsa died fighting the Britons, no details are provided about Hengist's death until Geoffrey's Historia, which states that Hengist was beheaded by Eldol, the British duke of Gloucester, and buried in an unlocated mound.

For complete article and references, refer to source. 2

   Marriage Information:


1 The Peerage, http://www.thepeerage.com/p15026.htm#i150251.

2 Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hengist_and_Horsa.

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