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Thread: Angle vs. Saxon

  1. #11
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    One of the most identifying differences of the early Anglo Saxon settlements is the significant cultural artifacts found in early female graves from the early fifth century period, found in the North and East of England. These are stated as emphatic markers of Ethnicity( British Artifacts, Brett Hammond Vol 1 Early Anglo Saxon 2009 ) The early Anglian Women were dressed with Cruciform type,or square headed type, paired brooches for their outer cloaks/clothing fastenings. Whereby the early Saxon settlements of the South and East of England usually had distintive composite circular or disc brooches,for the same, these are similar/identical to the cultural fashions of their differing original Homelands during the same periods.
    Last edited by Paul333; 08-17-2018 at 06:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etrusco View Post
    as a side topic I post this interesting study on how it came to be that the Angles became the name of all the germanic populations in England. It seems it all stem from Gregory the Great misunderstanding of the exact proportions of Angles, Jutes and Saxons. according to the author till Gregory the Great the "english" were called Saxons. Only after the conversion the name Angles ( and hence english and England) became prevalent.

    https://www.google.it/url?sa=t&rct=j...E86Ulcqyc-Y8v7
    It's probably nothing, but my Y-line comes from a small town NE of the Rhine (near the Hesse/Palatinate border), that was supposed to have been founded in the 13th century by folks from Thuringia; nevertheless, my 6th and 5th great grandfathers both married women with the surname "Engelmann" (literally Angle-man). So perhaps the surname is an echo of identifying with the tribe or the area centuries later.

    If it really was the same tribe that split and was both in that region of Germany and in SE England, it would at least be consistent with the failure of genetic tests to separate the two groups easily.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonikW View Post
    I agree that Jean's book should be excellent, based on the quality of her other books and her posts here. I'd also recommend The English Settlements by Myres. It's stood the test of many decades. The introduction alone will inspire you, where he describes his walks on foot in England before the motorways, his sketching of objects in collections across northern Europe and his general love of the subject. It's a book that will grip you on every page as well as giving you a sound grounding in the material culture including the differences between Angle and Saxon pottery styles and brooches. I've returned to that book many times over the years.
    One of the most recognised books regarding the period is by Frank Stenton, Anglo Saxon England,reprinted 1985 Oxford History of England, he writes of the whole of the Anglo-Saxon period. but includes the settlement period.

    Another great book is The Origin of the English Nation, by H Munro Chadwick 1906, it goes into detail about the period, but his book is now very much dated and overtaken by later discoveries such as Sutton Hoo,etc, but if you bear this in mind it is a very good read, about the early settlements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    However we know that there were four dialects of Old English: Northumbrian and Mercian composing the Anglian dialects and Kentish and West Saxon composing the other two dialects. I expect that Kentish and West Saxon had more Saxon influence than their northerly neighbours in terms of linguistics.
    The old standard maps have the Jutes going into Kent - and Hampshire.
    Later observations in the 1700s/1800s point out the similarity of some Kentish dialect to Frisian.
    Whatever that means for language.
    (A contributor to other threads at Anthrogenica has often noted a movement of people from the area of what we would now call Denmark into the area of the Frisian islands.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul333 View Post
    One of the most identifying differences of the early Anglo Saxon settlements is the significant cultural artifacts found in early female graves from the early fifth century period, found in the North and East of England. These are stated as emphatic markers of Ethnicity( British Artifacts, Brett Hammond Vol 1 Early Anglo Saxon 2009 ) The early Anglian Women were dressed with Cruciform type,or square headed type, paired brooches for their outer cloaks/clothing fastenings. Whereby the early Saxon settlements of the South and East of England usually had distintive composite circular or disc brooches,for the same, these are similar/identical to the cultural fashions of there differing original Homelands during the same periods.
    I remember seeing something about this with an associated map here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saetro View Post
    The old standard maps have the Jutes going into Kent - and Hampshire.
    Later observations in the 1700s/1800s point out the similarity of some Kentish dialect to Frisian.
    Whatever that means for language.
    (A contributor to other threads at Anthrogenica has often noted a movement of people from the area of what we would now call Denmark into the area of the Frisian islands.)
    It makes sense, and I'm not sure history is really clear on who the Jutes were with hypothesis ranging from Geats to there own tribe of Eotenas, etc. I find the Jutes to be one of the more mysterious tribes to settle in Britain, to be clearly part of the original bunch of Germanic tribes coming into Britain to be total forgotten in the term "Anglo-Saxon" is interesting. I know there is one train of thought that has the Jutes as a subset of the Saxons (Saxones Eucii).

    Now I know this was originally a topic in Gwydion's thread over in the Celtic section, but considering it pertains to the Anglo-Saxons and anglicisation of Brittonic elites I want to at least bring up the whole Celtic names amongst Anglo-Saxon elite families.

    Obviously we know of the Wessex royals with names like Cerdic, Caedwalla, Ceawlin and how they probably were an elite British family who were eventually anglicised over time adopting Anglo-Saxon culture and language. But what about other kings throughout Britain at this time? One of the kings of Lindsey was named "Caedbaed" which is allegedly a name of Celtic origin, it has also been pointed out that Penda, his father Pybba and his son Peada all have seemingly Celtic names. With the name Penda even categorised as a "British" name" in the ninth century document Liber vitae Dunelmensis. Apparently finding Germanic etymologies for the name Penda is difficult with one of them being a feminine name of "Penta" or a personal name of "Penti" stemming from a toponym. Some have suggested Penda's alliances with Welsh kings was perhaps due to a common heritage that he and those kings shared. Obviously British Celtic elites had to survive the Anglo-Saxon settlement (invasion if you like), and considering the genetics results they did, so perhaps anglicisation of Britain at this time was driven by a combination of Anglo-Saxon migrants and their war bands from Northern Europe and British leaders and their warriors/people adopting Anglo-Saxon language/culture?

    EDIT: I also wanted to mention the name Æthelwealh, specifically Æthelwealh of Sussex, who was a contemporary of Caedwalla of Wessex, apparently the name Æthelwealh means "Noble Foreigner". Did Æthelwealh have British (Welsh) roots also?
    Last edited by spruithean; 08-17-2018 at 01:24 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    Obviously we know of the Wessex royals with names like Cerdic, Caedwalla, Ceawlin and how they probably were an elite British family who were eventually anglicised over time adopting Anglo-Saxon culture and language. But what about other kings throughout Britain at this time? One of the kings of Lindsey was named "Caedbaed" which is allegedly a name of Celtic origin, it has also been pointed out that Penda, his father Pybba and his son Peada all have seemingly Celtic names. With the name Penda even categorised as a "British" name" in the ninth century document Liber vitae Dunelmensis. Apparently finding Germanic etymologies for the name Penda is difficult with one of them being a feminine name of "Penta" or a personal name of "Penti" stemming from a toponym. Some have suggested Penda's alliances with Welsh kings was perhaps due to a common heritage that he and those kings shared. Obviously British Celtic elites had to survive the Anglo-Saxon settlement (invasion if you like), and considering the genetics results they did, so perhaps anglicisation of Britain at this time was driven by a combination of Anglo-Saxon migrants and their war bands from Northern Europe and British leaders and their warriors/people adopting Anglo-Saxon language/culture?
    I know this perhaps sounds fanciful and without much to support it, but I've always wondered if perhaps an Anglicization of some of the Britons could have been brought about by a willing adoption of a non-Roman pagan culture?

    We have a potentially analogous example (though sometimes disputed) of the Norse-Gaels in the Hebrides during the Viking era. Now while mostly this cultural syncretism is seen as the Norse adopting Gaelic customs and Christianity, there are old Irish records stating that some of the Norse-Gaels were Gaels who had "forsaken their baptism" and adopted Norse customs and were thus detested by the Christian or normative Gaelic Irish. If this were true then we have what could potentially be a parallel simply involving different insular Celtic and Germanic groups in a different time, i.e. Christian Gaels and pagan Norse in the Viking period rather than Christian Britons and pagan Anglo-Saxons. If it could happen later when Christianity was much more firmly entrenched and had a longer history, why not in the earlier period where it was less so?

    Maybe the split between the Welsh and English initially was the former were Britons who retained a Roman identity and Christianity while the latter Germanized and paganized due to contact with the foederati within Britain and Germanics abroad (evidence the pagan barbarian people kept contacts and interacted can be seen in the coordinated "Great Conspiracy" of the late 4th century, etc.) and the vacuum of power left by withdrawal of Roman power?

    Either way there certainly remains mysteries about the whole Anglo-Saxon invasion/settlement and the way some Briton elites as you note became part of the new order seemingly willingly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post
    I know this perhaps sounds fanciful and without much to support it, but I've always wondered if perhaps an Anglicization of some of the Britons could have been brought about by a willing adoption of a non-Roman pagan culture?

    We have a potentially analogous example (though sometimes disputed) of the Norse-Gaels in the Hebrides during the Viking era. Now while mostly this cultural syncretism is seen as the Norse adopting Gaelic customs and Christianity, there are old Irish records stating that some of the Norse-Gaels were Gaels who had "forsaken their baptism" and adopted Norse customs and were thus detested by the Christian or normative Gaelic Irish. If this were true then we have what could potentially be a parallel simply involving different insular Celtic and Germanic groups in a different time, i.e. Christian Gaels and pagan Norse in the Viking period rather than Christian Britons and pagan Anglo-Saxons. If it could happen later when Christianity was much more firmly entrenched and had a longer history, why not in the earlier period where it was less so?

    Maybe the split between the Welsh and English initially was the former were Britons who retained a Roman identity and Christianity while the latter Germanized and paganized due to contact with the foederati within Britain and Germanics abroad (evidence the pagan barbarian people kept contacts and interacted can be seen in the coordinated "Great Conspiracy" of the late 4th century, etc.) and the vacuum of power left by withdrawal of Roman power?

    Either way there certainly remains mysteries about the whole Anglo-Saxon invasion/settlement and the way some Briton elites as you note became part of the new order seemingly willingly.
    That actually seems somewhat reasonable and I can see the similarities you mention between the Norse-Gaels and the British adoption of Anglo-Saxon culture. I think if we look at Britain in this time period from a point of view of a people who may have seen themselves as perhaps Cymry but also as part of a greater Roman identity. Even though Britain was on the frontier of the Roman Empire and to some a backwater place, it was still part of Rome and their presence cannot be understated. We know the Romans had a knack for incorporating other cultures and deities into their own culture and they did this to great effect (see Epona, yes I know wikipedia, but was the quickest thing I could dig up). I think these blending of cultures happened more frequently than is let on in history, we know the Picts eventually adopted Gaelic culture, as they were absorbed by the Gaels.

    In this period of history I think if I were a king and I shared a common enemy with a newcomer who spoke a different language but had some level of power behind him, I would most certainly try to strike up an alliance regardless of language and customs. Obviously the British kings in sub-Roman Britain and post-Roman Britain would have had rivalries with fellow British kings, it doesn't seem farfetched for a Germanic ally to exist.

    The Great Conspiracy is interesting, on one hand it seems somewhat fanciful to have such a situation take place, but perhaps it may have felt like a conspiracy with different tribes taking advantage of a crumbling Roman outpost in the north. We know the belligerents of that conflict appear to be composed of Picts, Scots, Attacotti*, Saxons, Franks and Roman deserters on the one side and on the Roman side we have leaders like Nectaridus, Fullofaudes**, Severus, Iovinus and Count Theodosius. Perhaps these Roman deserters were Germanic foederati who had already established their own homes in Britain?

    * = the Attacotti are a mysterious bunch, and I'm not exactly sure what their origins were, perhaps some Celtic origin or perhaps somewhere further afield?
    ** = Fullofaudes, is according to some accounts a Romanized Germanic Dux Britanniarum in Britain, possibly he was from one of the tribes that lived by the Rhine.
    Last edited by spruithean; 08-17-2018 at 02:17 AM.
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    I can recommend The Early Germans by Malcolm Todd. The second edition from 2007 is available in a soft cover edition. He is a professor emeritus of archaeology at the University of Durham. After a general introduction about their common culture, he then discusses the history of the most well known Germanic tribes, including the Saxons and the Angles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenHind View Post
    I can recommend The Early Germans by Malcolm Todd. The second edition from 2007 is available in a soft cover edition. He is a professor emeritus of archaeology at the University of Durham. After a general introduction about their common culture, he then discusses the history of the most well known Germanic tribes, including the Saxons and the Angles.
    I'll second that. I've got The Northern Barbarians, which I think is basically the same book. It has some excellent maps of terrain and cultures as well as providing a detailed examination of the early Germanic peoples. Also Everyday Life of the Barbarians, which gives a simpler overview with useful line drawings. He was another of the rare masters, along with Myres and Stenton. I imagine you could pick them up cheaply somewhere. ADD: In the former work I loved how Todd advised the reader to have a copy of Tacitus's "golden book" to hand while reading. I felt I was accompanying him on a journey into the past.
    Last edited by JonikW; 08-17-2018 at 06:17 PM.
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    I'm really interested in this Saxon and Angles thing but I will make it somewhat broader.

    In this respect I recently have read John Grisby, Beowulf & Grendel (2005). In essence Grisby states from the 'Danish' room the Odin culture got popular in the fifth/sixth century. That spread with the 'Danish' influence around the southern North Sea!? There are much signs that underline this.....

    Alex Woolf suggests:

    In the Roman Iron Age, and the immediately preceding period, there is much evidence for political and cultural fragmentation across the future Danish territories, but from the sixth century some sort of stability seems to begin to emerge, to the extent that Ian Wood has hypothesized a Pax Danorum operating in the eastern North Sea and the Southern Baltic.
    Taken together, the evidence suggests that a centralized Danish kingdom, or at least a relatively stable hegemony, comparable to that maintained by the Mercian kings between the late seventh and the mid-ninth century, had emerged by the turn of the sixth and seventh centuries.
    How fare was the influence of Danish restricted to the 'eastern North Sea and the Baltic Sea' ? I guess they also along the southern North Sea (like Alex Woolf seems to suggest too).

    Jytte Ringtved (1999):
    This could relate to the extensive raids and warfare in south Scandinavia , especially in the late Roman period and Migration periods. We know of this from war spoil offerings not least from the east coast of middle and south Jutland- an area which by the end of the period was inhabited by the Danes. Therefore it seems natural to suggest that more or less constant military armament along the way favored a strong leader and central political leadership.
    Ulf Näsman (1999):
    In the archeological record the indicators of war seems to disappear after AD 500, not to reappear in large numbers till the Viking Age...
    Thus this phase could be understood as a period of consolidation between an early phase of tribal warfare and a later phase in which territorial defense of the Danish kingdom becomes visible in the records.
    This is also the period when the Grossstamme and early states appear on the scene (Nicolay 2014).

    Thorsten Capelle (1998) speaks of a 'reformation of the Saxons' in their core area: the Northern Weser-Elbe area (so along the North Sea Coast) during the sixth century. This was mainly because of the Danish influx. Hauck was in 1970 the first one who suggested that, based on archeological findings.

    So in the end this suggest roughly for migration time (Nicolay 2017):

    1. A Saxon phase (c. AD 390-500) with Saxon style brooches.
    2. A Scandic/Danish phase (c. AD 475-550) with bracteate (so called type D) and crucifix brooches.

    The picture published by spruithaen:
    http://www.friedrichfroebel.com/cruciform.jpg

    In this respect Nicolay (2017) speaks of four 'hotspots' in the Southern North Sea area of phase 2, from east to west:

    1. the area around Sievern, Weser-Elbe area along the coast;
    2. the area around Wijnaldum, most northwestern part of Friesland;
    3. Eastern Kent;
    4. Northern Norfolk.

    Please correct or add!
    Last edited by Finn; 08-18-2018 at 03:22 PM.

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