EBK Home
  King Arthur
  For Kids
  Mail David


Generations of Ambrosius
Michael Veprauskas presents 'A Brief Chronology'


Birth of Aurelius Ambrosius (Ambrosius the Elder).


Association with "Circle of Ambrose".


Aurelius Ambrosius joins the Roman senate.


Most probable period in which Aurelius Ambrosius was appointed consular governor of Maxima Caesariensis.  Best chronological fit would be between 417-420, and necessitate a Roman attempt to regain authority in parts of the old British diocese. Similar attempts were made in Armorica and northern Gaul, at this time, with varied and intermittent success.


Aurelius Ambrosius is the official representative of Honorius to British provincial council.  "Wearing of the purple."  Possible failure of effective Roman support during this time.


Rise of influence and power of Vortigern, culminating in his High-Kingship.


Beginning of Vortigern's High-Kingship over much of Britain.  The provincial council has decided, external factors dictate, the need for strong, central, leadership.  Aurelius Ambrosius can offer no firm alternative.


First use of Saxon foederati by Vortigern.


First visit of St. Germanus to combat Pelagianism.  The doctrine is supported by Vortigern. Legendary assistance, by St. Germanus, in founding of Welsh dynasties in conjunction with Vortigern's sons.  Hallelujah Victory.


Decision of council, led by Aurelius Ambrosius, to relocate Cunedda and followers to parts of Wales to counter the Irish threat.  Vortigern acquiesces and assigns Ambrosius "Dinas Emrys and all the western lands".  i.e.,  Ambrosius becomes the architect for the defence of these areas. This was motivated by the councils reluctance to depend entirely on German mercenaries, with their constant demands for increased provisions, especially in an area were they would be lightly supervised.  Cunedda and his followers would be self-supporting.


Birth of Aurelius Ambrosius Aurelianus.  His mother was probably of British descent and considerably younger than Ambrosius the Elder.


Delivery of Kent to Hengist and Horsa by Vortigern.  In part for the hand of Hengist's daughter, in part to compensate for the British councils refusal to increase provisions to Vortigern's Kentish foederati.


Open rift between Ambrosius' faction and Vortigern.  Battle of Wallop.  Probably followed by a period of civil strife in eastern and southern Britain.


German foederati take advantage of British unrest and openly revolt, citing  as cause, failure of  British to supply provisions.  Flow of provisions may have been reduced to nil as a consequence of British civil war.


Gallic chronicles report large sections of Britain under German control following Saxon revolt.  Communications between Britain and Gaul disrupted.


Probable death of Ambrosius the Elder, "who was killed in these same broils", i.e. the Saxon revolt.  Ambrosius' surviving family is in hiding by now.


British resistance to Saxons under the leadership of Vortigern's sons, especially Vortimer and Categirn.  Four major engagements and several minor ones take place. Categirn and Horsa are killed in the fighting.


Second visit of St. Germanus to Britain.  By this time, Saxons are contained in some areas by Vortimer.


Probable death of Vortimer. British offensive stalemates.


British betrayal at peace conference. Collapse of British military in east and south of Britain.  Vortigern cedes territory to gain his freedom but, despised by all, dies shortly after.


British, lacking strong leadership, are overwhelmed.  Saxons raid from Kent to the Severn valley. Mass migration of British upper class to Armorica.


Aurelius Ambrosius Aurelianus becomes involved in British affairs, organising British resistance.  During a period of respite, many British flock to his standard. He initiates a British counter offensive.


Extended period of fighting to and fro.  Fortification of defensive sites and stationing of troops by Ambrosius.  Ambrosius is recognised as High-King by much of Britain. Assistance of the "warlike Arthur" in the latter part of his reign, who commands the mobile field force.


Death of Ambrosius.  His sons rule small kingdoms in the east and south of Britain. Arthur remains active, and may have claimed the High-Kingship.


Battle of Mons Badonicus.


Battle of Camlann. Maeglwn of Gwynedd claims supremacy over British.


Gildas writes De Excidio Brittaniae,  Ambrosius' grandchildren are active: "His descendants in our day have become greatly inferior to their grandfather's excellence."


There is plague in Britain, the British are much more seriously afflicted than the Saxons.


Death of Maeglwn of Gwynedd.


Resumption of Saxon advance.

Back to: Generations of Ambrosius Part 1


    Michael Veprauskas 2001. All Rights Reserved.