Friday, June 19, 2009

Vortigern, Prince of Dumnonium

Smile when you call me that!

A name I ran across reading David Hume's History of England.
We are not exactly informed what species of civil government the Romans on their departure had left among the Britons; but it appears probable, that the great men in, the different districts assumed a kind of regal though precarious authority; and lived in a great measure independent of each other. To this disunion of counsels were also added the disputes of theology; and the disciples of Pelagius, who was himself a native of Britain, having increased to a great multitude, gave alarm to the clergy, who seem to have been more intent on suppressing them, than on opposing the public enemy. Labouring under these domestic evils, and menaced with a foreign invasion, the Britons attended only to the suggestions of their present fears; and following the counsels of Vortigern, Prince of Dumnonium, who, though stained with every vice, possessed the chief authority among them, they sent into Germany a deputation to invite over the Saxons for their protection and assistance.

Yeah, that'll do it. What is he, the proto-type of Mordred?

Crap! Look at this:
The Saxons

Of all the barbarous nations, known either in ancient or modern times, the Germans seem to have been the most distinguished both by their manners and political institutions, and to have carried to the highest pitch the virtues of valour and love of liberty; the only virtues which can have place among an uncivilized people, where justice and humanity are commonly neglected.

I wonder how long that "Germanic Liberties" crap was going on in England. I'm guessing it started around 1714 and ended about 1914.


Tef said...

I'm bored.

Al said...

Sorry about that.

LibertyBob said...

The Saxons weren't all that bad, unless you count among them the first communists.

From 841 to about 845, the sub-group of Saxons called Stellinga rose up against Charlemagne any time his forces were elsewhere. They wanted a return to equality amongst all the social classes and removal of a state-mandated religion. That sounds rather communist to me. For the full effect, it is notable that the name "Stellinga" means in their language "Comrades".

Al said...

Communism's great as long as there's plenty of food lying around on the ground. What you describe is pretty much the anarchist ideal, if we could just keep the Hengists and Horsas from putting the Britons to the sword, we'd really have something.

Supergovernments haven't fixed the problem either.

LibertyBob said...

I'm kinda thinking that the Britons had it coming. Like the people who like government to handle everything today, they relied on someone else to solve their problems. They effectively decided that their role was to be victims. They just couldn't be bothered to be their own governors.

Al said...

That's what Hume was saying. They were such a bunch of lazy twits, due to four centuries of having the Romans run things, they weren't spiritually able to do it themselves. They finally did get some backbone and fight the Saxons, but they were too late to make it stick long-term.

So, naturally, they moved to France.