Front Page Titles (by Subject) 6.: THE SAXON CONQUEST OF BRITAIN — ( P. 269 ) - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 6
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6.: THE SAXON CONQUEST OF BRITAIN — ( P. 269 ) - Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 6 
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. J.B. Bury with an Introduction by W.E.H. Lecky (New York: Fred de Fau and Co., 1906), in 12 vols. Vol. 6.
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THE SAXON CONQUEST OF BRITAIN — (P. 269)
In regard to Vortigern’s invitation, Mr. Freeman observes (Norman Conquest, i. 13-14): —
“The southern Britons were now exposed to the attacks of the Picts and Scots who had never submitted to the Roman yoke, and there is no absurdity in the familiar story that a British prince took Teutonic mercenaries into his pay, and that these dangerous allies took advantage of the weakness of their hosts to establish themselves as permanent possessors of part of the island. But if the account be rejected, the general narrative of the Conquest is in no way affected; and, if it be accepted, we may be sure that Vortigern’s imitation of many Roman precedents did but hasten the progress of events. The attempts which had been checked while the Roman power was flourishing were sure to be renewed when the check was withdrawn, and if a Welsh King did invite a Jutish chieftain to defend him, that invitation was only the occasion, and not the cause, of the conquest which now began.”
The conquest began about the middle of the fifth century; but, as Mr. Plummer observes (in his ed. of Bede, vol. ii. p. 27), it is improper to interpret Bede as committing himself (in B. i. 15) to the year 449 for the first coming of the Saxons. “Bede never professes to know the exact year . . . he always uses the word ‘circiter’ in reference to it” — and circiter covers 446-457.
In earlier times of course the shore of Britain was exposed to the raids of Saxon pirates, against which the Count of the Saxon shore had to guard. For the littus Saxonicum meant the shore exposed to Saxon pirates, not the shore colonised by Saxon settlements. Cp. Freeman, op. cit. p. 11, note 2; Stubbs, Const. Hist. of England, i. p. 64.
For the Saxon conquest in general see Guest, Origines Celticae, vol. ii.; Freeman, op. cit. cap. 2; J. R. Green, Making of England. The Ecclesiastical History of Bede (with his other works) has been edited by Mr. Plummer (1896) — a truly admirable edition; and by Mommsen in the Chronica Minora, vol. iii., which also includes Gildas and Nennius. The chief work on Nennius is H. Zimmer’s Nennius vindicatus, 1893.