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Loki
Tuesday, August 12th, 2003, 10:41 PM
Here is the most classical description known of the history of the English people, made by the Venerable Bede. I have visited the "shrine" to him in Newcastle, "Bede's World", a fascinating open-air museum which illustrates the early lifestyle of the Germanic Anglo-Saxons, the forefathers of the English nation. Here I will quote from Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. This book, although written from a Christian perspective, can be considered England's Germania. It is unrivalled.


From Chapter XV

Those who came over were of the three most powerful nations of Germany * Saxons, Angles, and Jutes. From the Jutes are descended the people of Kent, and of the Isle of Wight, and those also in the province of the West Saxons who are to this day called Jutes, seated opposite to the Isle of Wight. From the Saxons, that is, the country which is now called Old Saxony, came the East Saxons, the South Saxons, and the West Saxons. From the Angles, that is, the country which is called Anglia, and which is said, from that time, to remain desert to this day, between the provinces of the Jutes and the Saxons, are descended the East Angles, the Midland Angles, Mercians, all the race of the Northumbrians, that is, of those nations that dwell on the north side of the river Humber, and the other nations of the English.

The two first commanders are said to have been Hengist and Horsa. Of whom Horsa, being afterwards slain in battle by the Britons, was buried in the eastern parts of Kent, where a monument, bearing his name, is still in existence. They were the sons of Victgilsus, whose father was Vecta, son of Woden; from whose stock the royal race of many provinces deduce their original. In a short time, swarms of the aforesaid nations came over into the island, and they began to increase so much, that they became terrible to the natives themselves who had invited them. Then, having on a sudden entered into league with the Picts, whom they had by this time repelled by the force of their arms, they began to turn their weapons against their confederates. At first, they obliged them to furnish a greater quantity of provisions; and, seeking an occasion to quarrel, protested, that unless more plentiful supplies were brought them, they would break the confederacy, and ravage all the island; nor were they backward in putting their threats in execution. In short, the fire kindled by the hands of these pagans proved God's just revenge for the crimes of the people; not unlike that which, being once lighted by the Chaldeans, consumed the walls and city of Jerusalem. For the barbarous conquerors acting here in the same manner, or rather the just Judge ordaining that they should so act, they plundered all the neighbouring cities and country, spread the conflagration from the eastern to the western sea, without any opposition, and covered almost every part of the devoted island. Public as well as private structures were overturned; the priests were everywhere slain before the altars; the prelates and the people, without any respect of persons, were destroyed with fire and sword; nor was there any to bury those who had been thus cruelly slaughtered. Some of the miserable remainder, being taken in the mountains, were butchered in heaps; others, spent with hunger, came forth and submitted themselves to the enemy for food, being destined to undergo perpetual servitude, if they were not killed even upon the spot some, with sorrowful hearts, fled beyond the seas. Others, continuing in their own country, led a miserable life among the woods, rocks, and mountains, with scarcely enough food to support life, and expecting every moment to be their last.

+Suomut+
Sunday, September 7th, 2003, 05:52 PM
I have to say, though, calling Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum England's version of Germania is rather misleading. Bede's work is rather along the lines of Saxo Grammaticus's Gesta Danorum (History of the Danes ) and vice-versa. Tacitus' Germania is in a strict class all by itself--it is the possession of Latins by culture, but it is the topical possession of all modern Englishmen, Danes, et al. Germania is unrivalled universally, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum is unrivalled among Englishmen, and Gesta Danorum is unrivalled (I suppose) among Danes.

Earl Uhtred
Friday, December 12th, 2003, 07:05 AM
I'm glad you approve :D I'm down there every week.

+Suomut+
Friday, December 12th, 2003, 12:36 PM
I'm glad you approve :D I'm down there every week.R U English, Earl? Where'd U get the custom avatar from? Good battle scene, I suppose the guys with the axes are Norsemen & the guys with swords/spears are Englishmen! LOL :) Oh, the good ole' days of inter-Germanic warfare, ah, those were the days! "The Germanic brother that doesn't destroy me only makes me stronger." :) (I would WINK, but the freaking smilies DON'T WORK, gggggrrrrrr) Cheers. :)

Earl Uhtred
Sunday, December 14th, 2003, 11:36 AM
R U English, Earl?

Oh yes.


Where'd U get the custom avatar from?

I scanned it out of an Osprey title, 'Viking Hersir' - it's supposed to be the Battle of Brunanburh.


Good battle scene, I suppose the guys with the axes are Norsemen & the guys with swords/spears are Englishmen! LOL :)

:)

If you have the whole picture it's apparent the English are on the right and the Viking alliance on the left. The bloke at the centre of my avatar is supposed to be a Norseman, yes.


Oh, the good ole' days of inter-Germanic warfare, ah, those were the days! "The Germanic brother that doesn't destroy me only makes me stronger." :) (I would WINK, but the freaking smilies DON'T WORK, gggggrrrrrr) Cheers. :) [/color]

Aye, but then internecine strife is part of our common story isn't it? By such rocks men killed Bloodaxe...

+Suomut+
Sunday, December 14th, 2003, 09:15 PM
Oh yes.I'm happy to hear this, Earl. We need more English folks in this Ting posting English-related pieces. I've posted my fair share.


I scanned it out of an Osprey title, 'Viking Hersir' - it's supposed to be the Battle of Brunanburh.I've got a seperate post for this one.:)


If you have the whole picture it's apparent the English are on the right and the Viking alliance on the left. The bloke at the centre of my avatar is supposed to be a Norseman, yes.My suspicions were correct, the axes flying were a dead give away!:) Thanks for blowing it up a little, lad.


Aye, but then internecine strife is part of our common story isn't it? By such rocks men killed Bloodaxe...Perhaps I'm not off base in stating that the modern English are descended from some of the most VIOLENT Germanics who have ever walked this earth. Needless to say, Englishmen are GOOD at fighting and waging war, it's in the 'blood.' lol

Earl Uhtred
Monday, December 15th, 2003, 10:08 AM
Cheers, Suomut :) I registered after reading one of the articles you posted as it happens. Much as I like SF - where I post as 'godwinson' - there's more in the way of credible cultural / historical discussion here.

Said I was English, not strictly true, though I have lived in this country all my life I'm in large part German, right down to the surname.

FadeTheButcher
Friday, December 19th, 2003, 07:15 AM
By the way, what happened to Bede's monastery?

FadeTheButcher
Friday, December 19th, 2003, 09:22 AM
I saw this and knew instantly that Loki would enjoy it so I thought I would post it. :p

"The aspect of Europe was changing, but the fundamental character of its life remained the same. These States, which have been described as national States [Fade: the barbarian kingdoms], were not really national at all, but were merely fragments of the great unity which had been replaced. There was no profound transformation except in Britain.

There the Emperor and the civilization of the Empire had disappeared. Nothing remained of the old tradition. A new world had made its appearance. The old law and language and institutions were replaced by those of the Germans. A civilization of a new type was manifesting itself, which we may call the Nordic or Germanic civilization. It was completely opposed to the Mediterranean civilization syncretized in the Late Empire, that last form of antiquity. Here was no trace of the Roman State with its legislative ideal, its civil population, and its Christian religion, but a society which had preserved the blood tie between its members; the family community, with all the consequences which it entailed in law and morality and economy; a paganism like that of the heroic poems; such were the things that constituted the originality of these barbarians, who had thrust back the ancient world in order to take its place. In Britain a new age was beginning, which did not gravitate towards the South. The man of the North had conquered and taken for his own this extreme corner of that “Romania” of which he had no memories, whose majesty he had repudiated, and to which he owed nothing. In every sense of the word he replaced it, and in replacing it he destroyed it.

The Anglo-Saxon invaders came into the Empire fresh from their Germanic environment, and had never been subjected to the influences of Rome. Further, the province of Britain, in which they had established themselves, was the least Romanized of all the provinces. In Britian, therefore, they remained themselves; the Germanic, Nordic, Barbarian soul of peoples whose culture might almost be described as Homeric has been the essential factor in the history of this country."

Henri Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne (London, 1954), pp.140-41

Angelcynn Beorn
Monday, December 22nd, 2003, 04:55 AM
Bloody excellent article, thanks!

Her ealswa we sculon ofercuman!

+Suomut+
Thursday, December 25th, 2003, 12:05 AM
Cheers, Suomut :) I registered after reading one of the articles you posted as it happens. Much as I like SF - where I post as 'godwinson' - there's more in the way of credible cultural / historical discussion here.Thanks for the good words, Earl. Your nick from over there sounds familiar, I used to be over there YEARS!!!!!! ago, until I finally got fed up with some of the crap going on there and left for good (I wasn't alone, I think).


Said I was English, not strictly true, though I have lived in this country all my life I'm in large part German, right down to the surname.I'm German-English mixed. ;-) As paradoxical as it seems, you're IMO just as good a German as an Englishman and vice-versa! LOL ;-)

+Suomut+
Thursday, December 25th, 2003, 12:15 AM
I saw this and knew instantly that Loki would enjoy it so I thought I would post it. :p

Henri Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne (London, 1954), pp.140-41Suomut enjoyed it too! ;-) That's a good passage. It's not the sort of thing certain 'anti-English' elements like to read, though. :P

One of my professors way back in college suggested I read the above work, but I never got around to it...it's on my LENGTHY 'to-do' list. :-( Now I'd at least like to have a copy to thumb thru!

Loki
Saturday, February 14th, 2004, 06:24 PM
Cheers, Suomut :) I registered after reading one of the articles you posted as it happens. Much as I like SF - where I post as 'godwinson' - there's more in the way of credible cultural / historical discussion here.

Said I was English, not strictly true, though I have lived in this country all my life I'm in large part German, right down to the surname.

Earl Uhtred/godwinson - WELCOME to Skadi Forum! :) It would be great if more men of your calibre and heritage would become involved on this forum.

Loki

Saddams Lawyer
Sunday, March 7th, 2004, 03:01 AM
Heres another Noble Person adding himself ! yes here he comes over there ! LOL

Im a new member, i live in England in East Anglia in a county called Suffolk in a small town, lovely place hardly any IF any ethnic minorities, and the crime rate displays this.

+Suomut+
Monday, March 8th, 2004, 07:41 PM
Heres another Noble Person adding himself ! yes here he comes over there ! LOL

Im a new member, i live in England in East Anglia in a county called Suffolk in a small town, lovely place hardly any IF any ethnic minorities, and the crime rate displays this.Welcome, Lawyer, it's great to have you on Skadi! :) Perchance we can have you as an attorney for the English Folk! lol ;) I like your avatar...who's that your grandmother? lol ;) Good looking woman...sux I was born in a different era. :~( CHEERS! :)

AryanKrieger
Tuesday, April 27th, 2004, 08:09 PM
Here is the most classical description known of the history of the English people, made by the Venerable Bede. I have visited the "shrine" to him in Newcastle, "Bede's World", a fascinating open-air museum which illustrates the early lifestyle of the Germanic Anglo-Saxons, the forefathers of the English nation. Here I will quote from Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. This book, although written from a Christian perspective, can be considered England's Germania. It is unrivalled.

Yes these words are sacred or should be sacred to all Germanic people.
It is a pity that many would seek to deny the Germanic ethnicity of the Anglo-Saxon Folc.
Undoubtedly a reaction towards das Deutsche Volk after WWII and Jewish propoganda are behind this.

Glenlivet
Tuesday, April 27th, 2004, 08:15 PM
It is indeed strange how little English youngsters know about the NW German element in them. Some Englishmen (mainly in the east) are anthropologically indistinguishable from these NW Germans. The English and the Germans share the Nordid sub race. There are of course other elements in both nations.

What people often forget is how artificial modern nations are.



Yes these words are sacred or should be sacred to all Germanic people.
It is a pity that many would seek to deny the Germanic ethnicity of the Anglo-Saxon Folc.
Undoubtedly a reaction towards das Deutsche Volk after WWII and Jewish propoganda are behind this.

Oski
Thursday, August 2nd, 2007, 09:18 PM
Vikings

In 793, a group of Scandinavian warriors sacked the monastery at Lindisfarne, off the north-east coast of England, unleashing two and a half centuries of turmoil on western Europe. Scandinavia already had close ties with its North Sea neighbours: trade links were strong between Swedish, Danish, Frisian, and English merchants, and East Anglia may have had kings of Swedish origin. The wealth of western Europe eventually tempted some to take what they could not barter for.

The causes of the ‘Viking Age’ (in England, c.793-1066) are disputed but include such factors as a worsening climate in Scandinavia making agriculture more difficult; poor prospects at home for younger sons who stood to inherit little; a religion (see below) promoting aggressive self-reliance; political consolidation in Denmark and, later, Norway which uprooted many earls and their followers, whose only skills were in warfare. The technological breakthrough which made Viking raids possible was in shipbuilding; the typical Viking craft was a low, sleek, clinker-built vessel, designed with a prow at either end for rapid relaunching and fitted with a sail, but capable of being rowed (or even carried short distances overland) by its crew of between 40 and 60 men. In small groups they were fast enough to evade detection, to make a sudden raid from a beach landing and put out to sea again before land forces could be mustered against them. The decisive Viking advantage was the ability to make a sea-crossing without hugging the coasts, so maximizing the element of surprise.

The early raids were mostly hit-and-run attacks, but in 864-5 a Danish force (known as se micla here, ‘the Great Army’) decided to winter over in England. From this point on, the character of Viking activity changed: a more mature leadership saw the benefits of a settled life in the west over the perils of transporting plunder back to Denmark or Norway. The Vikings moved into the north-east of England, Ireland, the Hebrides, and Orkneys as settlers, changing the political geography of these regions. At about this time, Norwegian adventurers discovered Iceland and within a few decades permanent settlements had been established. They also, of course, ‘discovered’ America 500 years before Columbus.

If fast-moving raiders were hard to deal with, warlords determined to overthrow the existing hierarchy and install themselves as leaders were even harder. The coasts of northern Europe were defended by a variety of measures. In France, bridges over navigable rivers were strengthened with towers at either end, and town defences were refurbished. Viking attacks destroyed one English kingdom after another until only Wessex survived in the south-west of the country. There, King Alfred (849-99) devised a system of burh strongholds which provided static points of defence for the countryside. He also reformed the pattern of military service to make better use of his resources and designed ships which could match those of his foes. After years of struggle, a treaty of 886-90 between King Alfred and the Danish leader Guðrum (d. 890) ceded the north and east of England to Danish control, an area known as the ‘Danelaw’. It fell to Alfred's son, Edward (c.872-924), and grandson, Æðelstan (c.894-939), to recapture this territory also.

Viking control continued in Dublin and there was even a short-lived Scandinavian ‘Kingdom of York’ under the exiled Norwegian King Eirikr Blóðox (‘Eric Bloodaxe’) who was killed at Stainmoor, Yorkshire, in 954. In 911 Norsemen were granted territory on the coast of northern France where they set up a buffer state; this province of Normandy eventually proved a troublesome neighbour and, of course, the source of the last successful invasion of England 155 years later.

Viking interest was not confined to western Europe, and Swedes navigated the rivers draining into the eastern Baltic in search of trading opportunities and sources of silver, the principal medium of exchange. Viking kingdoms based on Novgorod and Kiev were established in the 10th century through trading contacts with the Slavs, although within a century the Swedish rulers had forsaken their separate identity and adopted Slavonic names and customs. The Slavs called these Scandinavians ‘Rus’, which may be the origin of the name ‘Russia’. They also traded along the great rivers down to the Black Sea, and some enlisted as mercenaries with the Byzantine emperor, providing him with the élite Varangian Guard. Others sailed through either around Spain or along the rivers of France to raid in the Mediterranean, forming a permanent settlement in Sicily. The archaelogical indicators that Vikings once cruised offshore are the watchtowers built along the coasts of Spain, France, and Italy by people anxiously looking out for their signature longships.

From the late 980s a fresh wave of raiding from Scandinavia hit western Europe; these were larger forces led by determined men such as Olaf Tryggvason (968-1000), later king of Norway. The English King Æðelred II Unræd (c.966-1016) (Ethelred ‘the Unready’) saw one of his best generals slain at Maldon, Essex, in 991 and on the advice of his churchmen decided to buy the Vikings off. Taxes were raised to pay this ‘Danegeld’, but the payments only encouraged raiding by other groups. Thus began an ignominious period in English history during which the nation paid taxes to raise armies against itself. Æðelred went into exile in Normandy in 1013-14 with his Norman wife, Emma, leaving the country to the Danish leader, King Sven ‘Forkbeard’. Æðelred's third son, Edmund Ironside, led a bold, determined, but ultimately unsuccessful resistance to Sven's son, Knut (‘King Canute’), whose reign proved a period of reconstruction and consolidation.

The last great Viking leader must be Haraldr Harðráða (1016-66), sometime king of Norway and leader of the Byzantine emperor's Varangian Guard, whose invasion of the north of England was crushed by Harold (Godwinson) II's Saxons at Stamford Bridge, a battle that may have weakened them sufficiently to make the difference at Hastings 21 days later against the Normans, themselves of Viking stock.

The size of Viking armies is difficult to assess; English sources refer for example to ‘250 ships’, but there is no agreement as to what this means in terms of battlefield army size. A surviving Viking warship from Gokstad had provision for 32 oarsmen, but it is not clear whether this was the entire ship's company and, furthermore, what proportion of the crew would be non-combatants or wat chmen to guard the craft. Were all the 250 vessels warships, or were some cargo vessels with a large hold and correspondingly less room for warriors? It seems safe to conclude that armies (better, ad hoc groupings) numbering some thousands could be assembled by charismatic leaders.

Viking techniques of warfare were in the mainstream Germanic tradition of mobile infantry engagements. Generally, Viking armies, whose main advantages were speed and surprise, avoided open battle, preferring the swift raid against a wealthy, unsuspecting target followed by orderly withdrawal. When reluctantly brought to battle, leaders used standard ‘shieldwall’ formations of front-rank men standing shoulder to shoulder with their shields before them, wielding long (6-8 foot (1.8-2.4 metre) ) thrusting spears to break up enemy formations as they advanced to within striking distance. Hostilities began with an exchange of missiles (arrows and throwing spears) followed by one side charging the other's line; if the defenders' shieldwall held, the attackers were beaten back onto their own second rank, while if the attackers broke through, the shieldwall fragmented into a series of isolated battle groups. A general mêlée followed, where confidence and determination must have been as important as skill at arms.

Body armour and weapons were very personal items, and the wealthy chose them as much for display value as for technical effectiveness. Characteristic Viking hand weapons included swords, the slashing blades often of Rhenish workmanship, tapered and up to 3 feet (0.9 metre) in length; narrow, single-edged, sharply pointed knives; long-shafted, broad-bladed axes, and shorter, single-handed forms such as the ‘bearded axe’ (Norse skeggox). Shields were usually circular (occasionally kite-shaped), up to 3 feet (0.9 metre) in diameter, with a conical, central iron boss covering the hand. Viking warriors commonly used bows and arrows, as well as other missile weapons such as throwing-spears and axes. Armour consisted of a knee-length mailshirt, a helmet with faceplate, and iron-banded protection for forearms and lower legs (although these latter are only attested from the earlier Vendel period). Leather, hide, and fur garments formed a cheaper and warmer alternative—an important factor when crossing many miles of open sea.

An aspect of Norse society which contributed to the success of its warriors was its religious background. Much is made of the cult of nðinn (Odin), the one-eyed master of death and magic whose handmaidens, the Valkyrjar (Valkyries), welcomed fallen warriors into his hall, Valholl (Valhalla) ; worshippers of this god actively sought battle death, regarding anything less as unmanly. Devotees of nðinn included the notorious berserkir and ulfheðnir, who fought unprotected except by bear- or wolf-skin respectively, without regard for personal safety. Impressive though these specialists were, the majority of Vikings were worshippers of Þórr (Thor) whose cult centred round the weather and the agrarian cycle. The irascible, red-bearded giant-killer protected men and their livelihoods against the savage elements of the northern winter; his hammer, Mjolnir, was a popular amulet and continued even into the period of contact with Christian belief. In time, Vikings gained knowledge of Christianity during their activities in the west and many accepted the ‘White Christ’ into their pantheon, but without abandoning their older gods.

For all the immense distances they covered and their qualities as warriors, the Vikings made no lasting cultural impact on western Europe and were ultimately absorbed into the host populations wherever they settled.

Normans
designation for the Northmen, or Norsemen, who conquered Normandy in the 10th cent. and adopted Christianity and the customs and language of France. Abandoning piracy and raiding, they adopted regular commerce and gave much impetus to European trade. They soon lost all connection with their original Scandinavian homeland, but they retained their craving for adventure, expansion, and enrichment. In 1066 the Norman Conquest of England made the duke of Normandy king of England as William I (William the Conqueror). The Norman nobility displaced the Anglo-Saxon nobility of England. The Normans readily adapted to the feudalism of N France and are believed either to have introduced feudalism to England or to have strengthened a pre-existing feudal system there.
Early in the 11th cent. bands of Norman adventurers appeared in S Italy, where at first they aided the local nobles in their rebellion against Byzantine rule. A steady stream of land-hungry Norman nobles, under the pretext of expelling the Greeks, proceeded to take over the land. Most remarkable among these adventurers were the numerous sons of Tancred de Hauteville. One of these, William Iron Arm, became lord of Apulia in 1043; he was succeeded by his brother Drogo and by another brother, Humphrey, who defeated (1053) Pope Leo IX when the pope attempted to enforce papal rights in S Italy. In 1059, Humphrey's brother and successor Robert Guiscard was invested by Pope Nicholas II with duchies of Apulia and Calabria and the island of Sicily, which was yet to be conquered. He completed the Norman conquest of S Italy; another brother, Roger I, conquered Sicily, and in 1130 Roger's son, Roger II, set up the kingdom of Sicily, which included the island and the Norman possessions in S Italy.

The Normans soon adopted Italian speech and customs. Their ambitious plans against the Byzantine Empire were a factor in bringing about the Crusades, in which they at first played an important part. The medieval Normans were notable for the great authority given their dukes; for their enthusiasm for conquest; and for their economic and social penetration of conquered areas. Wherever the Normans went, Norman architecture left its traces.

Angles Saxons and Jutes
The Angles is a modern English word for a Germanic-speaking people who took their name from the cultural ancestor of Angeln, a modern district located in Schleswig, Germany. Ancient Angeln preceded all modern national distinctions and was probably not coterminous with the modern. For more information, see under Angeln.


Evolution of the name
The ethnic name has had various spellings. The earliest attested is Anglii, a Germanic tribe mentioned in the Germania of Tacitus. It is an adjectival form. One individual of this identity would be an Anglius (male) or an Anglia (female), which in the plural is Anglii or Angliae. The masculine is used for the generic form.

The noun from which this adjective was produced remains unknown for certain. The stem would have had the form *Ang?l/r-. Etymology theories have been:-

From Latin angulus = "angle".
From the Germanic god Ingwaz and the Ingvaeones federation of which the Angles were part. (the initial vowel could as well be "e" or "a").
It may refer to fishing by the method called angling.
The Old English word for the district of Angeln (where the Angles may have come from) on the Baltic is Angel.
It may mean "the people who dwell by the Narrow Water (i.e. the Schlei)", from the Proto-Indo-European language root ang- meaning "narrow".
Pope Gregory the Great is the first known to have simplified Anglii to Angli, the preferred form for the Anglii in Britain, which he did in an epistle. The country remained Anglia in Latin. Meanwhile, English had changed its vowels. Alfred's Orosius uses Angelcynn (kin) for England or the English people; Bede, Angelfolc (folk); however, we also find Engel, Englan (the people), Englaland and Englisch.

Angles is used as root in French (and Anglo-Norman) words Angleterre (Angleland, i.e. England) and Anglais (English).


Early history

Angles under other names
This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article.
Please improve it or discuss changes on the talk page. See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for suggestions.
Two important geographers, Strabo and Pliny, are silent concerning the Angles. They both use the excuse that the south shore of the Baltic is terra incognita, "unknown land." They both go on to describe that shore, however. As the Angles took a geographic name, they must have had others not based on geography. The two silent geographers can help us with this question.

The knowledge of neither one of them predates Tacitus by very long. Strabo's mention of the Battle of Teutoburg Forest places his securely to the final years of Augustus' reign and after; i.e., the early first century.

Strabo (7.2.1, 4 and 7.3.1) states that the Cimbri still live on the peninsula (Jutland) where they always did, even though some of them liked to wander. Beyond the Elbe the coastal people are unknown, but south of them are the Suebi from the Elbe to the Getae (Goths). Strabo was moving in his mind eastward from the Rhine.

Pliny on the other hand moved mentally from east to west (4.13.94). His description leaves the Black Sea, crosses the Ripaei mountains to the shore of the northern ocean, and follows it westward to Cadiz. In this direction in Scythia, where the Sarmati, Venedi, Sciri and Hirri are located, as far as the Vistula.

Then the Inguaeones begin. Baunonia (Bornholm) is an island opposite Scythia. We arrive at Cylipenus, probably the Bay of Kiel, and from there to another gulf, Lagnus, which is on the frontier of the Cimbri. Its location is not known, but it must have been in the Angeln region.

In Pliny the Inguaeones consisted of the Cimbri and the Teutones (the Chauci as well, but they were not in this region). If Lagnus was on the Cimbrian frontier and was after Kiel then Angeln must have been in the territory of the Teutones. They were perhaps not named Angles at that time; however, the territory of the Teutones probably included the Propommern and the region south to the Elbe (mainly Holstein), accounting for the implied larger range of the people called Angles in later sources.


The Anglii of Tacitus
Schleswig-Flensburg districtPossibly the first instance of the Angles in recorded history is in Tacitus' Germania, chapter 40, in which the Anglii are mentioned in passing in a list of Germanic tribes. He gives no precise indication of their geographical position, but states that, together with six other tribes, they worshipped a goddess named Nerthus, whose sanctuary was situated on "an island in the Ocean."

The other tribes are the Reudigni, Aviones, Varini, Eudoses, Suarini and Nuitones, which are together described as being behind ramparts of rivers and woods; that is, inaccessible to attack. As the Eudoses are the Jutes, these names probably refer to localities in Jutland or the Baltic coast; i.e., they are all Cimbri or Teutones. The coast contains sufficient estuaries, inlets, rivers, islands, swamps and marshes to have been then inaccessible to those not familiar with the terrain, such as the Romans, who just wrote it off as unknown and inaccessible country.

At the present time the majority of scholars believe that the Anglii had lived from the beginning on the coasts of the Baltic, probably in the southern part of the Jutish peninsula. The evidence for this view is derived partly from English and Danish traditions dealing with persons and events of the 4th century (see below), and partly from the fact that striking affinities to the cult of Nerthus as described by Tacitus are to be found in Scandinavian, especially Swedish and Danish, religion.

Investigations in this subject have rendered it very probable that the island of Nerthus was Sjælland (Zealand), and it is further to be observed that the kings of Wessex traced their ancestry ultimately to a certain Scyld, who is clearly to be identified with Skiöldr, the mythical founder of the Danish royal family (Skiöldungar). In English tradition this person is connected with "Scedeland" (pl.), i.e. Scandinavia, while in Scandinavian tradition he is specially associated with the ancient royal residence at Lejre in Sjælland.

The account in Germania is contradictory to that of the silent geographers in at least one major point. Tacitus viewed the Baltic as the Suebian Sea and lists the seven tribes above as being in Suebian territory. The Suebi were among the Herminones of central Germany. And yet Pliny, who is just as creditable, accounts for the Teutones as being Inguaeones, the Ingaevones of Tacitus. In Strabo, the Suebi are to the south of the coast. The Suebian language went on to become Old High German, while the Angles and Jutes were among the speakers of Old Saxon.

An explanation no doubt existed, whether one of the authors misunderstood or the distribution of tribes in the 1st century resulted from an overlay of different historical schemes. At this time there is no verifiable answer to the question and no good reason for forcing an answer by excluding evidence.


The Suevi Angili
Ptolemy in his Geography (2.10), half a century later, presents a somewhat more complex view, as might have been expected. The Saxons are now around the lower Elbe, to which they could have gotten merely by an extension of the Saxon alliance. East of them we find not only the Teutones but a dissimilation of them, the Teutonoari, which has an -oari suffix denoting "men" (wer); i.e., "the Teuton men." These Teutons or Teuton men appear to have been in Angeln and the land around it.

The Angles as such are not listed at all. Instead we find some Syeboi Angeilloi , Latinized to Suevi Angili, located south of the middle Elbe. Owing to the uncertainty of this passage there has been much speculation regarding the original home of the Angli. One theory, which however has little to recommend it, is that they dwelt in the basin of the Saale (in the neighbourhood of the canton Engilin), from which region the Lex Angliorum et Werinorum hoc est Thuringorum is believed by many to have come.

A second solution is that these Angles of Ptolemy are not the ones of Schleswig at all. According to Julius Pokorny the Angri- in Angrivarii, the -angr in Hardanger and the Angl- in Anglii all come from the same root meaning "bend", but in different senses; in other words, the similarity of the names is strictly coincidental and does not reflect any ethnic unity beyond Germanic. The Suevi Angeli would have been in Lower Saxony or near it and, like Ptolemy's Suevi Semnones, were among the Suebi at the time.


The Angli of Bede
Manuscript of Bede.Bede states that the Angli, before they came to Great Britain, dwelt in a land called Angulus, and similar evidence is given by the Historia Brittonum. King Alfred the Great and the chronicler Æthelweard identified this place with the district that is now called Angeln, in the province of Schleswig (Slesvig), though it may then have been of greater extent, and this identification agrees very well with the indications given by Bede. Full confirmation is afforded by English and Danish traditions relating to two kings named Wermund and Offa, from whom the Mercian royal family were descended, and whose exploits are connected with Angeln, Schleswig and Rendsburg. Danish tradition has preserved record of two governors of Schleswig, father and son, in their service, Frowinus (Freawine) and Wigo (Wig), from whom the royal family of Wessex claimed descent. During the 5th century the Angli invaded Great Britain, after which time their name does not recure on the continent except in the title of the code mentioned above.

The province of Schleswig has proved exceptionally rich in prehistoric antiquities that date apparently from the 4th and 5th centuries A.D. Among the places where these have been found, special mention should be made of the large cremation cemetery at Borgstedterfeld, between Rendsburg and Eckernförde, which has yielded many urns and brooches closely resembling those found in heathen graves in England. Of still greater importance are the great deposits at Thorsberg moor (in Angeln) and Nydam, which contained large quantities of arms, ornaments, articles of clothing, agricultural implements, &c., and in the latter case even ships. By the help of these discoveries, we are able to reconstruct a fairly detailed picture of Angle civilization in the age preceding the invasion of Great Britain.


Angle influence in Great Britain
EnglandAccording to sources such as the Bede, after the invasion of Great Britain, the Angles split up and founded the kingdoms of the Nord Angelnen (Northumbria), Ost Angelnen (East Anglia), and the Mittlere Angelnen (Mercia). Thanks to the major influence of the Saxons, the tribes were collectively called Anglo-Saxons by the Normans. A region of England is still known as East Anglia.

The centre of the Angle homeland in the north-eastern portion of the modern German bundesland of Schleswig-Holstein, itself on the Jutland Peninsula, is where the rest of that people stayed, a small peninsular form still called Angeln today and is formed as a triangle drawn roughly from modern Flensburg on the Flensburger Fjord to the City of Schleswig and then to Maasholm, on the Schlei inlet.

In any case, this small and relatively easterly geographic localisation of the original Angeln tribal group has led to one of the Anglo-Saxon Invasion's enduring mysteries: how it is possible that the Anglo-Saxons were so frequently mentioned as colonisers of ancient Great Britain in all the ancient and medieval written sources, while evidence of the neighbouring and much more powerful Frisians' concurrent colonising activities in Great Britain has been so limited to discoveries in archeological science, and more often to logical deductions and inferences alone? Of course, ethnic Frisians are known to have inhabited the land directly in the path of any migration route from Angeln to Great Britain (except for the long and difficult route by sea around the northern tip of Denmark), and, in fact, they also inhabited lands between the ancient Saxon domain and Great Britain; yet they are rarely mentioned as having taken part in the vast migration.


St. Gregory
The Angles are the subject of a legend about Pope Gregory I (ca. 540–604 A.D.). As an abbreviated version of the story goes, Gregory happened to see a group of Angle children from Deira for sale as slaves in the Roman market. Struck by the beauty of their fair-skinned complexions and bright blue eyes, Gregory inquired about their background. When told they were Angles, he replied with a Latin pun that translates well into English: “Non Angli, sed angeli” ("Not Angles, but angels"). Supposedly, he thereafter resolved to convert their pagan homeland to Christianity.

Saxons

Germanic people, first mentioned in the 2d cent. by Ptolemy as inhabiting the southern part of the Cimbric Peninsula (S Jutland). Holding the area at the mouth of the Elbe River and some of the nearby islands, they gradually extended their territory southward across the Weser River. A politically unified people, the Saxons were ruled by princes or chieftains. Their assemblies, in which all classes except slaves were represented, were consulted on all issues of war and peace. In the 3d and 4th cent. the Saxons were active in raiding expeditions along the coasts of the North Sea. The European coast from the Loire to the Scheldt rivers and the southeastern coast of Britain, where defenses were erected against their piratical raids, were known to the Romans as litora Saxonica [Saxon shores]. By the 5th cent. Saxons had established settlements along the north shore of Gaul, especially at the mouth of the Loire, and eventually these Saxons came under Frankish domination. As the Roman occupation of Britain weakened, the Saxons increased their marauding attacks and also began (c.450) to make settlements there, resisting all efforts to drive them off. By the end of the 6th cent. they and their neighbors the Angles were firmly established in the island, laying the foundations of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (see Anglo-Saxons). Wessex, the kingdom of the West Saxons, became dominant. After the migration to Britain, the Saxons on the Continent came to be identified by historians as the Old Saxons. By virtue of their conquest (531) of Thuringia, they occupied NW Germany. In 566 they were subjugated by the Franks and forced to pay tribute. The Old Saxons waged intermittent war with the Franks until the end of the 8th cent., when they were conquered by Charlemagne and absorbed into his empire. After this conquest they were forcibly converted to Christianity. In the division of the empire by the Treaty of Verdun (843), the lands of the Saxons were included in the section that formed the basis for modern Germany.

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Jutes

The Jutes were a Germanic people who are believed to have originated from Jutland (called Iutum in Latin) in modern Denmark and part of the East Frisian coast. The Jutes, along with the Angles, Saxons and Frisians, were mentioned amongst the Germanic tribes who sailed across the North Sea to raid and eventually invade Great Britain from the late fourth century A.D. onwards, either displacing, absorbing or destroying the native Celtic peoples there. According to Bede, they ended up settling in Kent, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. There are a number of toponyms that attest to the presence of the Jutes in the area, such as Ytene, which Florence of Worcester states was the contemporary English name for the New Forest.

While it is commonplace to detect their influences in Kent (for example, the practice of partible inheritance known as gavelkind), the Jutes in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight vanished, leaving only the slightest of traces. One recent scholar, Robin Bush, even argued that the Jutes of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight became victims of a policy of ethnic cleansing by the West Saxons, although this has been the subject of debate amongst academics, with the counter-claim that just the aristocracy might have been wiped out.

It is thought that others remained in their continental homeland and became the indigenous people of modern Jutland.

Some scholars read the ēotenas involved in the Frisian-Danish conflict described in the Finnesburg Episode (lines 1068-1159 in Beowulf) as Jutes, others as "giants" or as a kenning for "enemies"; If the Jutes are indeed the same as the Euthiones, they are mentioned in a poem by Venantius Fortunatus (583).


Jutes and Geats
Some authorities believe the Jutes are identical with the Geats (the "Jutish hypothesis"), a people who once lived in southern Sweden, such as the Oxford English Dictionary, which speculatively identifies the Swedish Geats (through Eotas, Iótas, Iútan and Geátas) with the Danish Jutes. However, in both Widsith and Beowulf, the Eotenas in the Finn passage (see Finnsburg Fragment) are neatly distinguished from the Geatas. It may be that the two tribal names happened to be confused, which has happened, for example, in the sources about the death of the Swedish king Östen. Otherwise, Eotenas might correspond - in an etymological sense - to Jotuns (ogres in new-english) as a call name instead of the name of a tribe.

It is possible that the Jutes are a related people to the Geats and a Gothic people as it is mentioned in the Gutasaga that some inhabitants of Gotland left for mainland Europe (the Wielbark site in Poland is evidence of a Scandinavian migration).







Most people here know all this already but those new (especially young americans) to a germanic-themed forum might find this interesting.