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JohnHowellsTyrfro
10-08-2016, 06:12 AM
But did the Romans have as negative an effect on the Celts as the Anglo-Saxons did?

I'm not an expert, but the Romans were brutal in suppressing opposition. It is said they tolerated and even embraced some local practices like in relation to religion. On the other hand they deliberately wiped out the basis of Celtic culture in Britain - the Druids, they killed them all.
As has been pointed out elsewhere the Celts and indeed the Anglo Saxon tribes were perfectly happy at times to fight against each other, steal each other's land and so on. The idea of "good" Celts and "bad" Anglo Saxons is a bit simplistic I think.
As far as I know, no evidence has been found of a sort of mass genocide by the A/S against the general celtic population, although there was slavery, but there was everywhere in that period. It could be argued that Anglo/Saxon culture and language was more successful in some ways than Celtic was, so successful that it has become established across much of the World- look at the English language for example.
I'm not defending the Anglo/Saxons, I'm Welsh and have many Welsh Ancestors as well as a few A/S (probably), but these things are historic realities, we can't change what happened a thousand years ago.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
10-08-2016, 08:08 AM
I think when one reads stories like Mac Dathó's Pig (http://adminstaff.vassar.edu/sttaylor/MacDatho/), which mirror the testimony of Greek writers like Poseidonius, he realizes that violence was a longstanding way of life among the Celts.

There are plenty of people in Irish bogs (and elsewhere) that might agree.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
10-08-2016, 08:25 AM
Some strange alliances were formed in days gone by, Welsh with Saxon, Saxon with Irish or Dane :-
"After his exile, Ælfgar headed to Ireland where he recruited a mercenary fleet. Gruffudd, meanwhile, gathered a huge army and marched to a pre-ordained meeting point with Ælfgar near the mouth of the River Wye. This was the heartland of Gruffudd ap Rhydderch’s domain, and the latter was killed by his northern rival and namesake, Gruffudd ap Llywelyn thereby becoming the only man to unite and rule all the lands that comprise modern Wales."

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjl34iC4crPAhUKLcAKHYmGCbsQFggyMAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.historic-uk.com%2FHistoryUK%2FHistoryofWales%2FWales-Mercia-Harold-the-road-to-1066%2F&usg=AFQjCNFazAoKgYhgY2oFLD9SLpK0jM6_kQ&sig2=dsUebqaUCtJ2_aPQ29PkBA

JohnHowellsTyrfro
10-08-2016, 08:42 AM
It grieves me to say this, as a peace-loving person with both Celtic and Anglo-Saxon ancestry, but both the Celts and Germani were noted fighters, and extolled the battles among themselves as much as those against each other. The past is horribly sanguinary. I made that clear, I hope, in Blood of the Celts, and will not shrink from it in the next book. But I am not a military historian. Migration, and what DNA can tell us about it, is my focus.

The Battle of Brunanburh
Never, before this,
were more men in this island slain
by the sword's edge--as books and aged sages
confirm--since Angles and Saxons sailed here
from the east, sought the Britons over the wide seas,
since those warsmiths hammered the Welsh,
and earls, eager for glory, overran the land.[nb 3]

corner
10-08-2016, 09:30 AM
The Battle of Brunanburh
Never, before this,
were more men in this island slain
by the sword's edge--as books and aged sages
confirm--since Angles and Saxons sailed here
from the east, sought the Britons over the wide seas,
since those warsmiths hammered the Welsh,
and earls, eager for glory, overran the land.[nb 3]Was watching Michael Wood's Alfred the Great documentary on the BBC this week and it was mentioned. That was a particularly nasty one - not well known but a big event in British history, the 'Great War'.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
10-08-2016, 11:43 AM
Was watching Michael Wood's Alfred the Great documentary on the BBC this week and it was mentioned. That was a particularly nasty one - not well known but a big event in British history, the 'Great War'.

Yes I saw it too, that's why it was in the back of my mind. :) I really enjoyed that series.

Jean M
10-08-2016, 12:08 PM
Isn't there also the possibility the evidence of violence is down to social restructuring after the Bronze Age collapse?

Archaeologists now recognise that human-on-human violence goes back a long way into human history. It happened in the Neolithic, particularly I think under the pressure of climate change in Europe and the Near East c. 6200 BC. Four sites in Anatolia show fortifications being built and large-scale destruction by fire coinciding with the crisis.

The development of swords and armour in Europe pre-dates the Bronze Age collapse. From Blood of the Celts:


Swords were first made in the Bronze Age. Unlike bows and axes, initially devised for hunting and chopping, swords had no other function but to fight other human beings. Likewise shields and armour would only be made by communities who foresaw combat. Though helmets and body-armour could be of leather and shields of wood, metal gave better protection. For these bronze was first poured into a flat cast to create a metal sheet, and the sheet was then hammered into the required shape, using annealing (re-heating) to keep it malleable. In Central Europe the first armour appears c. 1300 BC at the beginning of the Urnfield culture. Approximately 120 helmets, 95 shields, 55 greaves and 30 cuirasses are known from the European Bronze Age.

The collapse of states in the Near East and Greece c. 1200 BC no doubt upset some cross-European trading arrangements. But climate change again seems to be at the root of it. So it is hard to disentangle the factors that may have led to the burst of hillforts in Britain and Ireland c. 1000 BC.

Jean M
10-08-2016, 12:12 PM
I'm not an expert, but the Romans were brutal in suppressing opposition. It is said they tolerated and even embraced some local practices like in relation to religion. On the other hand they deliberately wiped out the basis of Celtic culture in Britain - the Druids, they killed them all.

Only in the area they controlled. I know that you are thinking of the massacre on Anglesey. Druids probably survived in the north.

Jean M
10-08-2016, 12:58 PM
It could be argued that Anglo/Saxon culture and language was more successful in some ways than Celtic was.

It may look like that now, but at the time that Germani entered Britain, Gaul, Italy, the Alps and Iberia, their technological/economic level was far below that of the Western Roman empire, whose remnants they were taking over. These incomers were the "barbarians". In their own homelands they did not have mosaic floors and under-floor heating and hot baths. In some cases a Germanic military elite simply took over at the top and tried to maintain the Roman way of life, but that was not the case in Britain. The Angles and Saxons were not that sophisticated. They just wanted good land to farm.

The great bulk of the Celts had been absorbed into the Roman Empire long before. Their previous way of life was lost. It survived only on the fringes outside the Roman Empire: Ireland and Northern Britain. So the incoming Angles and Saxons were not fighting Celts of the Irish or Scottish type. They were fighting Romano-British who had largely lost the old habits of self-defense. What they obtained thereby was much of the best agricultural land in Britain plus the well-sited port of Londinium. Not that they did much with the latter initially. But over many centuries they gradually developed the more complex ways of life that can be supported by an agricultural surplus and trade.

They had arrived at a country worth stealing by the time William of Normandy set his sights on it. However England continued to be overshadowed by the wealthy states of France and Spain in the Middle Ages. Under the Tudors England (and Wales) lagged behind the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch in the Age of Exploration, but once begun, English explorers became the trailblazers of what was to become a vast global empire. The foundation of the East India Company in 1600 was key turning point. With it the English broke the Spanish and Portuguese monopoly of the East Indian spice trade. The company was gradually drawn into political and military intervention in India to protect its trading interests, that “absent-minded” acquisition of empire. In the 18th century Britain led the Industrial Revolution, which boosted the country to super-power status. It was only at that point that we hit top billing, and of course by that time it was not England but Britain, a meld of Celtic and Germanic.

Some of the key inventors of the time came from the "Celtic fringe" e.g.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Watt
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Trevithick

rms2
10-08-2016, 03:10 PM
. . .

The great bulk of the Celts had been absorbed into the Roman Empire long before. Their previous way of life was lost. It survived only on the fringes outside the Roman Empire: Ireland and Northern Britain. So the incoming Angles and Saxons were not fighting Celts of the Irish or Scottish type. They were fighting Romano-British who had largely lost the old habits of self-defense . . .

Be that as it may, the British Celts very nearly ran the Anglo-Saxons out, and it took the Anglo-Saxons centuries to complete the conquest of what is now England. Had the British Celts not been so keen on fighting one another and siding at times with the Anglo-Saxons, the story might have been very different and we might be speaking and writing Brythonic right now.

Apparently Riothamus, whoever he was, was doing so well in the 5th century against the Anglo-Saxons that he led an expeditionary force to Gaul to help the locals against them there. Had he not been betrayed by the Romans, and his army defeated by the Visigoths, the Britons would not have been so vulnerable.

kevinduffy
10-08-2016, 03:52 PM
I think when one reads stories like Mac Dathó's Pig (http://adminstaff.vassar.edu/sttaylor/MacDatho/), which mirror the testimony of Greek writers like Poseidonius, he realizes that violence was a longstanding way of life among the Celts.

But is there much evidence in the archaeological record that the Celtic newcomers engaged in violence against the native farmers?

kevinduffy
10-08-2016, 03:55 PM
I'm not an expert, but the Romans were brutal in suppressing opposition. It is said they tolerated and even embraced some local practices like in relation to religion. On the other hand they deliberately wiped out the basis of Celtic culture in Britain - the Druids, they killed them all.
As has been pointed out elsewhere the Celts and indeed the Anglo Saxon tribes were perfectly happy at times to fight against each other, steal each other's land and so on. The idea of "good" Celts and "bad" Anglo Saxons is a bit simplistic I think.
As far as I know, no evidence has been found of a sort of mass genocide by the A/S against the general celtic population, although there was slavery, but there was everywhere in that period. It could be argued that Anglo/Saxon culture and language was more successful in some ways than Celtic was, so successful that it has become established across much of the World- look at the English language for example.
I'm not defending the Anglo/Saxons, I'm Welsh and have many Welsh Ancestors as well as a few A/S (probably), but these things are historic realities, we can't change what happened a thousand years ago.

I am not saying that the Romans were non-violent, but there does seem to have been a greater survival of Celts in what is known today as "England" than there was after the Anglo-Saxons invaded. The Romans seem to have wanted to rule over the British Celts while the Anglo-Saxons seem to have wanted to replace them.

kevinduffy
10-08-2016, 04:00 PM
Ask Boudica.

But was her tribe wiped out or did the Romans end up ruling over them? While both the Romans and Anglo-Saxons engaged in violence in Britain, only the Anglo-Saxons seem to have wanted to eliminate the British Celts.

corner
10-08-2016, 04:25 PM
If we believe Tacitus, about 80,000 Britons got the rough end of the Roman stick somewhere on Watling Street.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Watling_Street

Jean M
10-08-2016, 04:47 PM
I am not saying that the Romans were non-violent, but there does seem to have been a greater survival of Celts in what is known today as "England" than there was after the Anglo-Saxons invaded. The Romans seem to have wanted to rule over the British Celts while the Anglo-Saxons seem to have wanted to replace them.

Indeed that is the broad-brush-stroke picture. The Romans were intent on drawing huge regions of Europe into their empire, far larger than they could populate with Roman farmers. They did go in for massive killing and enslavement, as we know from Caesar's frank account of how he took Gaul, as well as the crushing of Boudicca's rebellion in Britain. But on the whole it served them best if they could cow the populace and rule via Romanised local leaders.

In their first push into Britain, the Anglo-Saxons mainly aimed at grabbing land that they could farm. They were not interested in taking over the Roman system, which was not what they were used to. However the first results that we have from ancient DNA in eastern England show that there was some early mixing with the locals. Then more Anglo-Saxons arrived, boosting the Germanic element. We don't yet have results from western England, where I expect a somewhat different pattern - more survival of Britons in their own settlements within Wessex, for example.

Jean M
10-08-2016, 04:54 PM
But is there much evidence in the archaeological record that the Celtic newcomers engaged in violence against the native farmers?

We don't know. What we do know is that today there is next to no Y-DNA in Britain that we can be pretty sure reflects that of local Neolithic farmers. Naturally Alistair Moffat, once he realised this, went to the press with screaming headlines about genocide. But we actually don't know what the processes were that led to this result. So I'm inclined to caution.

Jean M
10-08-2016, 05:20 PM
Be that as it may, the British Celts very nearly ran the Anglo-Saxons out.

Not really. What the Romano-British did at the Battle of Badon, it seems, was successfully halt the Anglo-Saxon advance for a century or so. The only thing I have online on this period has a focus on the west and needs revising now, but it covers the period of peace: http://www.buildinghistory.org/bath/saxon/dobunni.shtml


Riothamus, whoever he was, was doing so well in the 5th century against the Anglo-Saxons that he led an expeditionary force to Gaul to help the locals against them there.

Riothamus did not fight Anglo-Saxons in Gaul and it is not clear that he was betrayed by the Romans whom he had gone to aid. But the loss of his army was the last in a series of moves which drew fighting men from Britain onto the Continent in the support of one would be-emperor or another. That must have weakened the position of the Romano-British vis-a-vis the Angles and Saxons, not to mention the Irish and Picts.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
10-08-2016, 08:22 PM
I am not saying that the Romans were non-violent, but there does seem to have been a greater survival of Celts in what is known today as "England" than there was after the Anglo-Saxons invaded. The Romans seem to have wanted to rule over the British Celts while the Anglo-Saxons seem to have wanted to replace them.

That's an interesting question. There are people here who know far more than me about DNA and history, but it seems that that the "English" are far from exclusively Anglo/Saxon which doesn't seem to me to suggest some mass extinction event or expulsion. If they are roughly one third A/S ( which may include some Norse) surely the rest largely represents the original population?
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi-tt7r_MvPAhUIKsAKHQgoA6gQFggqMAE&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fscience%2F 2015%2Fmar%2F18%2Fgenetic-study-30-percent-white-british-dna-german-ancestry&usg=AFQjCNHfrrvnXOQVEI59sBJFtkmZwYprMw&sig2=JJt_77jKNpXIjT_hNo6Bfg

My family history is in the Welsh borders and on the English side, there is plenty of evidence of "Welsh" occupation and ancestry even today.
Certainly the A/S took territory, as did the Vikings, Normans and even elements of the Irish peoples in Scotland and Wales. Maybe we shouldn't just single out the A/S for blame. :) I have the feeling that a lot of the earlier inhabitants were integrated into A/S society, as they were under the Romans.
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjc3f-4_8vPAhUJBcAKHUbSAAIQFggoMAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fskyelander.orgfree.com%2Fscot3.ht ml&usg=AFQjCNGU4zjasXAUGY5_bfu7tmIpBiHl1w&sig2=VLN4_TMTLOpp45TDzrfDvQ

JohnHowellsTyrfro
10-08-2016, 08:37 PM
It may look like that now, but at the time that Germani entered Britain, Gaul, Italy, the Alps and Iberia, their technological/economic level was far below that of the Western Roman empire, whose remnants they were taking over. These incomers were the "barbarians". In their own homelands they did not have mosaic floors and under-floor heating and hot baths. In some cases a Germanic military elite simply took over at the top and tried to maintain the Roman way of life, but that was not the case in Britain. The Angles and Saxons were not that sophisticated. They just wanted good land to farm.

The great bulk of the Celts had been absorbed into the Roman Empire long before. Their previous way of life was lost. It survived only on the fringes outside the Roman Empire: Ireland and Northern Britain. So the incoming Angles and Saxons were not fighting Celts of the Irish or Scottish type. They were fighting Romano-British who had largely lost the old habits of self-defense. What they obtained thereby was much of the best agricultural land in Britain plus the well-sited port of Londinium. Not that they did much with the latter initially. But over many centuries they gradually developed the more complex ways of life that can be supported by an agricultural surplus and trade.

They had arrived at a country worth stealing by the time William of Normandy set his sights on it. However England continued to be overshadowed by the wealthy states of France and Spain in the Middle Ages. Under the Tudors England (and Wales) lagged behind the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch in the Age of Exploration, but once begun, English explorers became the trailblazers of what was to become a vast global empire. The foundation of the East India Company in 1600 was key turning point. With it the English broke the Spanish and Portuguese monopoly of the East Indian spice trade. The company was gradually drawn into political and military intervention in India to protect its trading interests, that “absent-minded” acquisition of empire. In the 18th century Britain led the Industrial Revolution, which boosted the country to super-power status. It was only at that point that we hit top billing, and of course by that time it was not England but Britain, a meld of Celtic and Germanic.

Some of the key inventors of the time came from the "Celtic fringe" e.g.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Watt
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Trevithick

Thanks Jean, but wouldn't it be fair to say that the A/S were eventually particularly successful? They seem to have left a legacy that the Romans, Vikings and even Romans never did. Didn't they lay the foundations of modern law and governance and create a largely unified Country (England) for the first time? They also appeared to have had considerable wealth and learning. It could be argued maybe that they were unlucky or foolish to lose against the Normans?
I'm not cheer-leading for the A/S/ :) .

kevinduffy
10-08-2016, 09:02 PM
That's an interesting question. There are people here who know far more than me about DNA and history, but it seems that that the "English" are far from exclusively Anglo/Saxon which doesn't seem to me to suggest some mass extinction event or expulsion. If they are roughly one third A/S ( which may include some Norse) surely the rest largely represents the original population?
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi-tt7r_MvPAhUIKsAKHQgoA6gQFggqMAE&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fscience%2F 2015%2Fmar%2F18%2Fgenetic-study-30-percent-white-british-dna-german-ancestry&usg=AFQjCNHfrrvnXOQVEI59sBJFtkmZwYprMw&sig2=JJt_77jKNpXIjT_hNo6Bfg

My family history is in the Welsh borders and on the English side, there is plenty of evidence of "Welsh" occupation and ancestry even today.
Certainly the A/S took territory, as did the Vikings, Normans and even elements of the Irish peoples in Scotland and Wales. Maybe we shouldn't just single out the A/S for blame. :) I have the feeling that a lot of the earlier inhabitants were integrated into A/S society, as they were under the Romans.
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjc3f-4_8vPAhUJBcAKHUbSAAIQFggoMAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fskyelander.orgfree.com%2Fscot3.ht ml&usg=AFQjCNGU4zjasXAUGY5_bfu7tmIpBiHl1w&sig2=VLN4_TMTLOpp45TDzrfDvQ

But didn't most of this "integration" involve Anglo-Saxon men mating with British Celtic women?

JohnHowellsTyrfro
10-08-2016, 09:23 PM
But didn't most of this "integration" involve Anglo-Saxon men mating with British Celtic women?

I think that's suggested, but that's not exclusively something related to A/S, like how many people are supposed to be descended from some Celtic King or Warlord, but I think your mind is made up about the A/S and we are all entitled to an opinion. :)

Jean M
10-08-2016, 09:43 PM
Thanks Jean, but wouldn't it be fair to say that the A/S were eventually particularly successful?

I aim to be entirely fair to the Anglo-Saxons, don't worry. But I also want to get across that the creation of England did not happen overnight. It is convenient to chop up the past into digestible chunks. So in the schools you and I went to, we might get the Normans one year and the Tudors the next or whatever. That framework can lead us to think that a "period" was the same right the way through, and that changes only happened at the start or the end. In reality the past is a continuous flow mixing continuity and change.

The pagan Angles and Saxons who first staggered up a strange shore in the 5th century in hopes of a new land that didn't keep sinking into the ocean did not have exactly the same society as the land ruled by the excessively pious Edward the Confessor in 1066. Wealth was eventually accumulated, based on agricultural surplus. Like I say, they had gone straight for the best land. The Romano-British were driven into the mountains or overseas. Mountains are very beautiful, but the lowlands are the bread basket of Britain.

Jean M
10-08-2016, 10:35 PM
It could be argued maybe that they were unlucky or foolish to lose against the Normans?

Like I say, I'm not a military historian. I know that Harold had already fought the Norwegians at Stamford Bridge https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Stamford_Bridge and then had to march his army south to fight William at Hastings less than three weeks later. So pretty tough. But I'm not cheering for either side. The Normans also played their part in creating the land I live in.

rms2
10-09-2016, 12:16 AM
Not really. What the Romano-British did at the Battle of Badon, it seems, was successfully halt the Anglo-Saxon advance for a century or so. The only thing I have online on this period has a focus on the west and needs revising now, but it covers the period of peace: http://www.buildinghistory.org/bath/saxon/dobunni.shtml

Yes, really. Evidently, Riothamus had them quelled. At another point, Urien of Rheged was harrying them pretty well but was then assassinated at the instigation of another British prince.




Riothamus did not fight Anglo-Saxons in Gaul and it is not clear that he was betrayed by the Romans whom he had gone to aid. But the loss of his army was the last in a series of moves which drew fighting men from Britain onto the Continent in the support of one would be-emperor or another. That must have weakened the position of the Romano-British vis-a-vis the Angles and Saxons, not to mention the Irish and Picts.

I would have to go back and read the material again, but I believe there are sources (Jordanes, for one, I think) for what happened with Riothamus and his men in Gaul. As I understand it, he went there initially to fight against the Loire Saxons. He went out to fight the Visigoths expecting Roman support that did not materialize.

J1 DYS388=13
10-09-2016, 07:45 AM
... It could be argued maybe that they were unlucky or foolish to lose against the Normans?
I'm not cheer-leading for the A/S/ :) .

The visitors centre at Hastings explains the battle in detail --- the advantage of elevation, the disadvantage of boggy ground, use of a feint attack. I came away with the impression that was largely a matter of what happened on the day.

I also don't have a dog in that fight.

I've toured a lot of battlefields. I can think of only one other battlefield where I couldn't mentally root for one side or the other, and that was the Little Big Horn.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
10-09-2016, 08:13 AM
The visitors centre at Hastings explains the battle in detail --- the advantage of elevation, the disadvantage of boggy ground, use of a feint attack. I came away with the impression that was largely a matter of what happened on the day.

I also don't have a dog in that fight.

I've toured a lot of battlefields. I can think of only one other battlefield where I couldn't mentally root for one side or the other, and that was the Little Big Horn.

Yes I suppose it's easy to be wise in hindsight. It is suggested that if the A/S had been more disciplined in holding their ground, or even withdrawing, there might have been a different outcome. I'm not supporting the A/S either, my ancestry is mixed, but I can't help respecting what they tried to do so soon after Stamford Bridge.
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjIs52Toc3PAhVlDMAKHb-iBcAQFggiMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fpenelope.uchicago.edu%2F~grout%2F encyclopaedia_romana%2Fbritannia%2Fanglo-saxon%2Fhastings%2Fhastings.html&usg=AFQjCNFP_nYcG9mKheiBEqMUWs8eO3Ma3g&sig2=eN2wnhpaUFQ8WtUK69bJ3Q

J1 DYS388=13
10-09-2016, 08:21 AM
That was a Herculean effort. They were tough warriors.

Jean M
10-09-2016, 11:52 AM
Yes, really. Evidently, Riothamus had them quelled.

The problem here is that the sources for Britain in this period are so slight, that historians or novelists can paint a lot of different pictures. Looks like you read a version (Geoffrey Ashe on Arthur?) in which the mysterious Riothamus had thrust the Anglo-Saxons back into the sea and was chasing them to Gaul. But there is no evidence of that in the sources for him, or in any other source, or the archaeology.

Riothamus appears to have been a military leader of the British in Armorica, in alliance with the western emperor Anthemius (proclaimed in 12 April 467). This we judge from a letter of Sidonius Apollinaris on behalf of the Prefect Arvandus from Lyons in 469 which advised Euris, king of the Visigoths, against making an alliance with "the Greek emperor", namely Anthemius, and urged him to attack the "Britons situated on the far side of the Loire" (i.e. north of the Loire). If we assume that these Britons/Bretons were led by Riothamus, then the British army under him moved south into Aquitania Prima, but was defeated by Euric's Visigoths and was driven to take refuge with the Burgundians, who were also in alliance with Anthemius, as Jordanes tells us. T.M. Charles-Edwards in Wales and the Britons 350-1064 (Oxford University Press 2013), p. 60 argues that Riothamus probably returned later to Armorica, and that the British settlement there may have been established by imperial authority.

JonikW
10-09-2016, 09:40 PM
The visitors centre at Hastings explains the battle in detail --- the advantage of elevation, the disadvantage of boggy ground, use of a feint attack. I came away with the impression that was largely a matter of what happened on the day.

I also don't have a dog in that fight.

I've toured a lot of battlefields. I can think of only one other battlefield where I couldn't mentally root for one side or the other, and that was the Little Big Horn.

Coincidentally, the 950th anniversary of Hastings is being marked at Battle this weekend. I take my family to the October reenactment every year and can testify that it's a great day out. The fighting itself is fun and informative and there are also talks from authors specialising in the period. I enjoyed a presentation by Marc Morris a couple of years back after reading his excellent book on the conquest. So come along if you're free!

Jean M
10-10-2016, 10:56 AM
Coincidentally, the 950th anniversary of Hastings is being marked at Battle this weekend.

In part to celebrate the anniversary, English Heritage this summer unveiled additions to the Battle of Hastings battlefield site. There is an article about the new features in the November/December issue of British Archaeology. I rather like the carved oak figures of fighters that have been installed across the battlefield. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/1066-battle-of-hastings-abbey-and-battlefield/

10-10-2016, 12:13 PM
Yes I suppose it's easy to be wise in hindsight. It is suggested that if the A/S had been more disciplined in holding their ground, or even withdrawing, there might have been a different outcome. I'm not supporting the A/S either, my ancestry is mixed, but I can't help respecting what they tried to do so soon after Stamford Bridge.
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjIs52Toc3PAhVlDMAKHb-iBcAQFggiMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fpenelope.uchicago.edu%2F~grout%2F encyclopaedia_romana%2Fbritannia%2Fanglo-saxon%2Fhastings%2Fhastings.html&usg=AFQjCNFP_nYcG9mKheiBEqMUWs8eO3Ma3g&sig2=eN2wnhpaUFQ8WtUK69bJ3Q

Hiya, Didnt the A/S break shield wall on the top of the hill to chase a fake Breton retreat? I read somewhere this was a Breton tactic to break shield walls, possibly learnt whilst fighting the Vikings. if the A/S hadn't fallen for this, could have been a different outcome.

razyn
04-02-2017, 05:38 AM
Had a concert to play this evening at The College of William & Mary, got there early with some time to kill, so we killed it in the campus bookstore (sort of a specialized branch of Barnes & Noble). Looking at the "Ancient History" section, there were several shelves about the usual suspects (Greeks, Romans, Egyptians), and only one about Celts. But it was your book, Blood of the Celts. Already have a copy, but I was pleased to see it.