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Vingolf
Tuesday, August 28th, 2007, 06:31 PM
An apartheid society existed in early Anglo-Saxon Britain, research suggests.
Scientists believe a small population of migrants from Germany, Holland and Denmark established a segregated society when they arrived in England.

The researchers think the incomers changed the local gene pool by using their economic advantage to out-breed the native population.

The team tells a Royal Society journal that this may explain the abundance of Germanic genes in England today. There are a very high number of Germanic male-line ancestors in England's current population. Genetic research has revealed the country's gene pool contains between 50 and 100% Germanic Y-chromosomes.

But this Anglo-Saxon genetic dominance has puzzled experts because some archaeological and historical evidence points to only a relatively small number of Anglo-Saxon migrants.

Estimates range between 10,000 and 200,000 Anglo-Saxons migrating into England between 5th and 7th Century AD, compared with a native population of about two million.

To understand what might have happened all of those years ago, UK scientists used computer simulations to model the gene pool changes that would have occurred with the arrival of such small numbers of migrants.

The team used historical evidence that suggested native Britons were at a substantial economic and social disadvantage compared to the Anglo-Saxon settlers.

The researchers believe this may have led to a reproductive imbalance giving rise to an ethnic divide.

Ancient texts, such as the laws of Ine, reveal that the life of an Anglo-Saxon was valued more than that of a native.

Dr Mark Thomas, an author on the research and an evolutionary biologist from University College London (UCL), said: "By testing a number of different combinations of ethnic intermarriage rates and the reproductive advantage of being Anglo-Saxon, we found that under a very wide range of different combinations of these factors we would get the genetic and linguistic patterns we see today.

"The native Britons were genetically and culturally absorbed by the Anglo-Saxons over a period of as little as a few hundred years," Dr Thomas added.

"An initially small invading Anglo-Saxon elite could have quickly established themselves by having more children who survived to adulthood, thanks to their military power and economic advantage.

"We believe that they also prevented the native British genes getting into the Anglo-Saxon population by restricting intermarriage in a system of apartheid that left the country culturally and genetically Germanised.

"This is exactly what we see today - a population of largely Germanic genetic origin, speaking a principally German language."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5192634.stm

Rowan
Tuesday, August 28th, 2007, 10:22 PM
I've heard of something like this before. And from what I know there seems to be some truth to it. The behavior seems to follow basic invasion patterns as well. The new comer place themselves at the top of a society and enforce laws and customs to keep the native poplations in line, just look at the Hindu caste system for a good example. Even today when you see people who could fall into the Anglo-Saxon grouping they seem to be, for the most part unblended when compared to the other types you see in the british isles.

Vingolf
Tuesday, August 28th, 2007, 10:47 PM
The most important issue here, is this:

Scientists believe a small population of migrants from Germany, Holland and Denmark established a segregated society when they arrived in England. The researchers think the incomers changed the local gene pool by using their economic advantage to out-breed the native population. [...] The researchers believe this may have led to a reproductive imbalance giving rise to an ethnic divide. Ancient texts, such as the laws of Ine, reveal that the life of an Anglo-Saxon was valued more than that of a native. [...] An initially small invading Anglo-Saxon elite could have quickly established themselves by having more children who survived to adulthood, thanks to their military power and economic advantage. "We believe that they also prevented the native British genes getting into the Anglo-Saxon population by restricting intermarriage in a system of apartheid that left the country culturally and genetically Germanised."
... because it can be done again, in our era. Britain back in those days was also to some extent a multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural society. This triggered Germanic group consciousness (in-group cohesion), increasingly outstripping their "competitors".

Huzar
Tuesday, August 28th, 2007, 11:32 PM
The team tells a Royal Society journal that this may explain the abundance of Germanic genes in England today. There are a very high number of Germanic male-line ancestors in England's current population. Genetic research has revealed the country's gene pool contains between 50 and 100% Germanic Y-chromosomes.


Y-chromosome test isn't anymore (today) the best one to know the genetic essence of a population. I'm not expert in genetic but Y-c. test is a bit superficial i know. However the study is interesting........




But this Anglo-Saxon genetic dominance has puzzled experts because some archaeological and historical evidence points to only a relatively small number of Anglo-Saxon migrants.


Indeed there isn't, perhaps, a real Germanic "dominance". Perhaps the study meant the presence of a Germanic component in the major part of the peoples, but not a dominance of germanic component in the gene pool of those persons..........i think it's very difficult to interpret in the right way such kind of data........ fascinating anyway.




Estimates range between 10,000 and 200,000 Anglo-Saxons migrating into England between 5th and 7th Century AD, compared with a native population of about two million.


The most interesting part, VINGOLF. I'm very interested by ancient Demography. I already know that Anglosaxon were not more than few hundreds of thousands.

The estimations i found, say from 300'000 to 500'000, Anglo-saxon on a native population of 2,5 millions of Britons .




To understand what might have happened all of those years ago, UK scientists used computer simulations to model the gene pool changes that would have occurred with the arrival of such small numbers of migrants.


That's the problem : too many combinations are possible. I'd like to have the specific programs to do some simulations....:)




Dr Mark Thomas, an author on the research and an evolutionary biologist from University College London (UCL), said: "By testing a number of different combinations of ethnic intermarriage rates and the reproductive advantage of being Anglo-Saxon, we found that under a very wide range of different combinations of these factors we would get the genetic and linguistic patterns we see today.
"The native Britons were genetically and culturally absorbed by the Anglo-Saxons over a period of as little as a few hundred years," Dr Thomas added.
"An initially small invading Anglo-Saxon elite could have quickly established themselves by having more children who survived to adulthood, thanks to their military power and economic advantage.



Like i said......interpretation of data isn't easy. Personally (as graduated in History) i dubt that Anglo-saxon "exterminated" the native populations or inverted the initial numerical proportions. If Anglosaxons were ,say, 200'000,and the locals were, say, 2'000'000. a 1 to 10 ratio. We can suppose that Anglosaxons in 2 centuries of apartheid increased greatly their initial consistence, but. We can conjecture, reasonably, a final proportion of 1 to 4.

It would mean a total gene poll at 75% native briton, and at 25% anglo-saxon.


I don't think that Anglosaxons absorbed the natives, rather the opposite (genetically). Of course culturally, Anglo-saxon imprintig was absolutely dominant.

Æmeric
Wednesday, August 29th, 2007, 12:04 AM
I don't think that Anglosaxons absorbed the natives, rather the opposite (genetically). Of course culturally, Anglo-saxon imprintig was absolutely dominant.
How is it that the language was/is English & not British(Welsh). In places like France ( Franks), Spain (Visigoths) & Italy (Lombards), the Germanics never outnumbered the Romanized Gauls, Iberians or Italians & were obsorbed into the local population & adopted the language of the conquered as their own. This didn't happen in England.

Huzar
Wednesday, August 29th, 2007, 12:41 AM
How is it that the language was/is English & not British(Welsh). In places like France ( Franks), Spain (Visigoths) & Italy (Lombards), the Germanics never outnumbered the Romanized Gauls, Iberians or Italians & were obsorbed into the local population & adopted the language of the conquered as their own. This didn't happen in England.


Intelligent observation. Very often, peoples raised the same interrogative (in other discussion on the matter).

English is a Germanic language of course......but the most latinised amongst the Germanic languages without dubt. This could confirm a residual linguistic latin substratum in the british isles, whom "softened" the old original Germanic language of Anglo-saxons.......if you note, English language is a bit different in its structure, from German (even more from scandinavian)........

But the principal cause could be (imo) that romanization in the british isles was rather WEAK. When we use the term "romanisation", you have to remember that romanisation process had a different impact in any country colonised by romans : in some areas the romanisation was very strong....in some others, was very weak. The british isles due the great distance from the centre of imperial power (rome) weren't subjected to an extensive process of romanisation (with hundred thousands of Roman settlers). So anglo-saxons found a country largely populated but not too romanized. So they could impose their language more easily.

In conutry like France and Italy (italy case is even more complex since "real" italians were present only in central-southern part, while northern part around the Alps was populated by romanized Gauls like in France) Romanisation was so strong that Lombards and Franks couldn't impose their own languages.

Less than less Iberian peninsula (not subjected to big invasions of any sort. Too far from continental Europe)


You see, Americ, the problem is the same (recurrent) : peoples hardly accept that Genetic and language can be very unrelated each other...........EXAMPLE = in your country live 40 millions of African americans. They're all english native speakers but their ancestry of course isn't anglosaxon. This shows that an entire population can speak a language without any genetic relation with the original speakers of that language.

Æmeric
Saturday, September 1st, 2007, 05:27 AM
According to Richard McCulloch, there seems to be a significant difference, subracially, between the English, & the Danes & northwest Germans. I don't know how accurate McColluch's estimates are;


England = 25% Keltic Nordic (derived from pre-Roman invaders), 15% Anglo-Saxon (post-Roman Germanic invaders, most common in the southeast, especially East Anglia), 15% Brunn (indigenous Paleolithic inhabitants), 15% North-Atlantid and 10% Paleo-Atlantid (blend of Mesolithic Atlanto-Mediterranean invaders with both earlier and later arrivals; most common in the Midlands and northwest), 8% Hallstatt Nordic (of Viking and Norman derivation), 5% Tronder ( of Norwegian Viking derivation; most common in the northeast0, 3% Borreby and 2% Falish (both of Viking & Norman derivation; associated with the landed gentry; scource of the "John Bull" type), 2% Noric (from Bronze-Age invaders).
http://www.racialcompact.com/nordishrace.html

The most common types in northwest Germany is Borreby, Falish & Anglo-Saxon. In Denmark the population is 40% Borreby, 30% Falsih, 20% Hallstatt Nordic, 5% Anglo-Saxon & 5% East Baltic. The most common type in England is Keltic Nordic at 25%. This type is not common in Denmark or northwest Germany but accounts for 60% in Belgium (mainly Flanders), 50% in the Netherlands, 40% in Ireland (mainly in the east), 30% in Wales & 25% in Scotland. Ireland is 40% Brunn, Scotland 10%. North-Atlantid & Paleo-Atlantid account for 65% of the population of Wales compared to 25% for England & 20% for Scotland. From a subracial viewpoint, it appears that the majority of the ancestors of the English would pre-Germanic invaders. Unless the Keltic-Nordic was introduced by pre-Roman Germanics.

Edit: I've been informed that McCulloch is not a reliable source. Maybe someone could point me in the direction of more reliable information concerning the subracial makeup of Western European nations?

Rhydderch
Saturday, September 1st, 2007, 12:18 PM
Estimates range between 10,000 and 200,000 Anglo-Saxons migrating into England between 5th and 7th Century AD, compared with a native population of about two million.I think they've got this bit right anyway, but I think the available evidence (historical, theoretical, cultural, anthropological etc.) is consistent with (indeed supports) the idea that the proportions didn't fundamentally alter from what they were initially.

A British population of between two and four million, and a conquering population of up to 200,000. No doubt it would have been more concentrated in some kingdoms/principalities than others.

In any case, how come the Germanic invaders didn’t set up this apartheid thing in other areas of the Roman world? The proportions of them must have been about the same in those regions too.


Ancient texts, such as the laws of Ine, reveal that the life of an Anglo-Saxon was valued more than that of a native.The same thing can be found on the continent, in the areas conquered by barbarians.

OneEnglishNorman
Saturday, September 1st, 2007, 05:36 PM
According to Richard McCulloch, there seems to be a significant difference, subracially, between the English, & the Danes & northwest Germans. I don't know how accurate McColluch's estimates are;


http://www.racialcompact.com/nordishrace.html (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.raci alcompact.com%2Fnordishrace.html)

The most common types in northwest Germany is Borreby, Falish & Anglo-Saxon. In Denmark the population is 40% Borreby, 30% Falsih, 20% Hallstatt Nordic, 5% Anglo-Saxon & 5% East Baltic. The most common type in England is Keltic Nordic at 25%. This type is not common in Denmark or northwest Germany but accounts for 60% in Belgium (mainly Flanders), 50% in the Netherlands, 40% in Ireland (mainly in the east), 30% in Wales & 25% in Scotland. Ireland is 40% Brunn, Scotland 10%. North-Atlantid & Paleo-Atlantid account for 65% of the population of Wales compared to 25% for England & 20% for Scotland. From a subracial viewpoint, it appears that the majority of the ancestors of the English would pre-Germanic invaders. Unless the Keltic-Nordic was introduced by pre-Roman Germanics.

Edit: I've been informed that McCulloch is not a reliable source. Maybe someone could point me in the direction of more reliable information concerning the subracial makeup of Western European nations?

The estimates are perhaps not based on the most solid ground.

North-Alpinids (Borrebies) do not seem uncommon in England. Or maybe I'm seeing Bruenns. Perhaps these types are more gracialised in England than elsewhere. Anyway, I cannot believe England is 5 times more Paleo-Atlantid than Borreby. I do not believe England consists of 2% planoccipital, short & high-headed Norids either. People with flattened heads at the back are heavy-set CM types.

The English are getting taller all the time. Europe as a whole is becoming more dolichocephalic. I say it's difficult for sure to pin down the sub-racial situation in England, because the children look much different to their grandparents.

To greatly generalise, some English look Keltic-Nordid or North-Atlantid, others look Borreby or Nordid. Those are the two main camps.

Rhydderch
Sunday, September 2nd, 2007, 11:49 PM
The estimates are perhaps not based on the most solid ground.I don't know how McCulloch comes his conclusions. They often seem way off the mark.


North-Alpinids (Borrebies) do not seem uncommon in England.That's my impression too; Borrebies seem particularly common around London. I think the Borreby in England is often underestimated; when they're mixed in, the mixtures can be classed as something else, and the Borreby side is often largely ignored.

A major Borreby group probably entered during pre-Neolithic times. The Anglo-Saxons and Vikings also seem to have had a strong Borreby aspect to them. And even some groups among the Bronze Age invaders were partly of this type.


Or maybe I'm seeing Bruenns.These are probably more common in the country as a whole. Anthropological surveys also suggest Brunns are a fairly strong element in England, however Borrebies are (to me at least) a lot more distinctive.


To greatly generalise, some English look Keltic-Nordid or North-Atlantid, others look Borreby or Nordid. Those are the two main camps.Would this be the situation in London, or are you including the whole country? Whatever the case, that's very much the impression I've got of Londoners.

Kadu
Monday, September 3rd, 2007, 01:13 AM
IMO the most typical phenotypes of the Germanics that invaded Britain are indeed the Borreby type, the Anglo-Saxon type and unstable Nordid/Borreby combinations.
Curiously i saw today "King Arthur"(played by Clive Owen in this film), and Cerdic(played by Stellan Skarsgård) said that his men should not mate with native Women because the offsprings would be born mestizos and weak.

Huzar
Monday, September 3rd, 2007, 06:27 PM
I think they've got this bit right anyway, but I think the available evidence (historical, theoretical, cultural, anthropological etc.) is consistent with (indeed supports) the idea that the proportions didn't fundamentally alter from what they were initially.



I substantially think that Germanic invasions of post-imperial era, didn't altered too much the genetic composition of the regions invaded. Or better, yes, there was an alteration but not a radical one. Local populations persisted in much bigger numbers than the most recent invaders.





A British population of between two and four million, and a conquering population of up to 200,000. No doubt it would have been more concentrated in some kingdoms/principalities than others.


Very probable. South-eastern England is surely the most Anglo-saxon part of the british isles. Highest concentration of Angles Saxons and Jutes.



In any case, how come the Germanic invaders didn’t set up this apartheid thing in other areas of the Roman world? The proportions of them must have been about the same in those regions too.



Interesting question..............you see, the problem is very complex. It's difficult to interpretate the cultural evolution occurred in the dark centuries. Especially in the lapse of time between 400 and 600 A.D. ....a temporal window equivalent to 2 centuries of total caos..........during which the strength created the shape of future European states.


I propose an interesting comparison : England and Italy
(i say "interesting", since to many of you could appear weird to compare Italy and England)

Both were "regions" of Roman Empire, and both were invaded by Germanic populations (Lombards for Italy and Anglosaxons for England) after the fall of Roman Empire. In both cases , the local population outnumbered many times the invaders.

Italy (for who doesn't know italian history in the dark age), was depopulated in comparison to demographic standards of Roman empire, cause big wars, and endemic pestilences. So the local population of italy, was about 4 millions at the moment of Lomgbards invasion (in 568 A.D.). Lombards number is estimated in 250'000-300'000 peoples.

Less or more the same proportions of Anglo-saxons in England, if you note.

At this point you could ask to me WHY, England developed a Germanic language, while Italy a romance one.........on this i answered to AMERIC some posts ago (at least my personal suppositions).


France case is similar : Franks were 300'000/400'000 on a local population of various millions.

If someone has some ideas on the matter, can help me with some suppositions........

Vingolf
Monday, September 3rd, 2007, 06:48 PM
I substantially think that Germanic invasions of post-imperial era, didn't altered too much the genetic composition of the regions invaded. [...] Italy (for who doesn't know italian history in the dark age), was depopulated in comparison to demographic standards of Roman empire, cause big wars, and endemic pestilences. So the local population of italy, was about 4 millions at the moment of Lomgbards invasion (in 568 A.D.). Lombards number is estimated in [B]250'000-300'000 peoples. [...] France case is similar : Franks were 300'000/400'000 on a local population of various millions.
First, give me your sources. Second, there were several "waves" of Germanic expansion in both England, France and Italy (not just Lombards, Franks, Anglo-Saxons and Jutes). Third, these countries are not 100% homogeneous entities in a genetic, historical or cultural sense. The predominantly Germanic parts of these countries have constituted the dominant national core: Eastern (South-eastern) England, Northern Italy, Northern France.

Huzar
Monday, September 3rd, 2007, 11:38 PM
First, give me your sources.


For Italy my sources are Paolo Possenti (Encyclopedia of Italian history) and an ancient source : Paul Deacon.

About Anglo-saxons, ask to who opened the thread (his sources)



Second, there were several "waves" of Germanic expansion in both England, France and Italy (not just Lombards, Franks, Anglo-Saxons and Jutes).


Yeah, you're right. My post wasn't complete. About Italy i should ad Ostrogoths (the king was Theodoric) : their (estimated) number was about 150'000-200'000

For Italy, taking in account all the waves of invasion (in a time of 200 years) we could assume an hypothetical total Germanic flux equivalent to Half million of peoples ( 400'000 to 500'000) on a native population of 4 to 5 millions of locals.

important to note that less or more 3/4 of germanic waves settled northern and to some extent central ones. Tuscany for example) regions of Italy.


I'll find other data for England and France.




Third, these countries are not 100% homogeneous entities in a genetic, historical or cultural sense. The predominantly Germanic parts of these countries have constituted the dominant national core: Eastern (South-eastern) England, Northern Italy, Northern France.


Another good point. Effectively the core of England is outh-eastern part............French dominant national core is the north (Paris is in the north) .....and for Italy is the northern part too (although the capital is Rome, for political/administrative reason. It gives the idea of how weird is the italian national state = recent and artificial creation)

Rhydderch
Tuesday, September 4th, 2007, 05:37 AM
At this point you could ask to me WHY, England developed a Germanic language, while Italy a romance one.........on this i answered to AMERIC some posts ago (at least my personal suppositions).It's a good question. I think it can be explained with a certain hypothesis I have on this. The hypothesis "falls out" (IMO) of what we know about post-Roman Britain and the Anglo-Saxons.

I'll try to put it simply. If a point is reached where the language of either the conquered or the conquerors is essentially the only medium of communication between the two groups, then it stands to reason that the other language will eventually die out (would you agree with that?).

In my view there is a reason why that situation would have come about with Old English in Britain.

Now there is abundant reason (which I won't go into here) to believe the post-Roman Britons were still native speakers of Brythonic, however use of Latin was widespread as a second language. There is also good reason to believe many among the Saxons could speak Latin.

When a country is conquered, normally both groups start to learn each others' language.

So one would expect knowledge of Old English to start spreading among the conquered Britons. However, rather than a knowledge of Brythonic spreading among the Saxons, I believe it would be Latin which would spread among them. This would be because many Saxons could already speak Latin, and Latin was also widely used by the British (meaning it wasn't really necessary for Saxons to learn Brythonic anyway). It would be much easier to learn a language (and it'd be more readily available) if many of your countrymen can already speak it.

So this would lead to a situation in which both Latin and Old English were used as means of communication between Britons and Anglo-Saxons, while Brythonic was used only among the Britons themselves.

But since Latin was not spoken as a native language by either group, it would start to become irrelevant, because most Britons in contact with Saxons could (with time) speak Old English anyway. So I suggest Latin declined and then ultimately dropped out of use altogether.

This left Old English in a position where it was essentially the only medium of communication between Britons and Anglo-Saxons (as well as being the elite language of the Saxon-ruled kingdoms). So given enough time, the British language (used only by the Britons), would increasingly weaken and decline, until it started to drop out of use (surviving longest in remoter areas) altogether.


The situation would obviously have turned out (and did in France, Italy etc.) quite differently if Latin had been the native language of the British.

Leofric
Tuesday, September 4th, 2007, 06:19 AM
Now there is abundant reason (which I won't go into here) to believe the post-Roman Britons were still native speakers of Brythonic, however use of Latin was widespread as a second language.

[...]

The situation would obviously have turned out (and did in France, Italy etc.) quite differently if Latin had been the native language of the British.

I wish you would. Since your point here seems to hinge on whether the Britons adopted Latin, I think if you went into the reasons to believe they didn't, it would shed light on why you think English is the predominant language of Britain today.

The Romans were in Britain not much less time than they were in Gaul.

And I have to wonder why the Britons would abandon Brythonic for the English but not for the Romans. What did the English have that the Romans didn't have?

I know we were talking about this on Skadi right about the time that site went down. Maybe we can finish the discussion here.

Matamoros
Tuesday, September 4th, 2007, 07:12 AM
I wish you would. Since your point here seems to hinge on whether the Britons adopted Latin, I think if you went into the reasons to believe they didn't, it would shed light on why you think English is the predominant language of Britain today.

The Romans were in Britain not much less time than they were in Gaul.


From what I've read, the Britons had not adopted Latin to the same extent as the Gauls had. I think historians believe this because there is archelogical and written evidence from this time which supports this. Of course, there is very little evidence of ANYTHING between 400-700 Britain, but what there is suggests that it was only for a small number of Britons that Latin was their native language. IIRC from my studies of the Roman world, Gaul was a much more prosperous province than Britain - and had while the Romans occupied both places for a similar amount of time, they had a much greater influence on the language and culture of Gaul, than in Britain.


It's a good question. I think it can be explained with a certain hypothesis I have on this. The hypothesis "falls out" (IMO) of what we know about post-Roman Britain and the Anglo-Saxons.
...
The situation would obviously have turned out (and did in France, Italy etc.) quite differently if Latin had been the native language of the British.

It's certainly an interesting theory. Prior to DNA analysis, many experts believed that the Anglo-Saxons had exterminated or expelled all the native Britons during the invasion. They thought this due to the lack of words with Celtic roots in the modern English language. When two languages exist side-by-side, they adopt words from each other - even if one becomes dominant, it will still have picked up many words from the other. So they came to the conclusion that Angles and Saxons had not been living in the same community/society as the native Britons. DNA is hard to interpret, but to a certain extent it suggests that there was some mixing with the native population. As for why there are almost no words with Celtic origins in English? Most people have no idea, but your theory may be one possibility. :)

Vingolf
Tuesday, September 4th, 2007, 08:20 AM
About Italy i should ad Ostrogoths (the king was Theodoric) : their (estimated) number was about 150'000-200'000.
These numbers are uncertain and should be used with caution, though. As for Italy, we should also keep in mind Germanic influence in medieval and modern times (Normans, Germans/Austrians, for instance).

Another good point. Effectively the core of England is outh-eastern part............French dominant national core is the north (Paris is in the north) .....and for Italy is the northern part too (although the capital is Rome, for political/administrative reason. It gives the idea of how weird is the italian national state = recent and artificial creation)
There are also significant cultural (as well as ethnic/genetic) differences between northern and southern parts of Italy and France (family structure and agriculture, for instance). There are major differences within France corresponding to the division between the Germanic peoples who lived northeast of “the eternal line,” which connects Saint Malo on the English Channel with Geneva in French-speaking Switzerland. This area developed large-scale agriculture capable of feeding the growing towns and cities, and did so prior to the agricultural revolution of the 18th century. The Germanic northeast became the center of French civilization, industrialization and world trade.

Huzar
Tuesday, September 4th, 2007, 08:59 AM
The Romans were in Britain not much less time than they were in Gaul.
And I have to wonder why the Britons would abandon Brythonic for the English but not for the Romans. What did the English have that the Romans didn't have?



Hmm......i guess your point. i can see what's your hipothesis. MATAMOROS, has answered for me., less or more.




IIRC from my studies of the Roman world, Gaul was a much more prosperous province than Britain - and had while the Romans occupied both places for a similar amount of time, they had a much greater influence on the language and culture of Gaul, than in Britain.


I agree. Probably, much more Roman colonists settled Gaul........so latin language persisted more. Besides the major proximity of GAUL to the centre of power helped the persistence of latin language

We're comparing GAUL and BRITAIN, but perhaps a perct comparison is impossible since the difference betweem the 2 areas......

Rhydderch
Tuesday, September 4th, 2007, 11:43 AM
I still have my answer to your last message on the Skadi thread. Skadi actually went down while I was writing it out. A couple of days ago I sent it to you in a PM (it's rather long actually :)); that might clarify some of the background to this hypothesis.


I wish you would. Since your point here seems to hinge on whether the Britons adopted Latin, I think if you went into the reasons to believe they didn't, it would shed light on why you think English is the predominant language of Britain today.

The Romans were in Britain not much less time than they were in Gaul.Britain was ruled for less time (not that much less though, as you say), it is further from Italy, and it is an island. Displacement of native languages would spread from more strongly Romanised (and closer to Italy) areas like southern Gaul. It needs a base to spread from, communities where the language is native would hasten the process too.

Given say, a couple more hundred years, I think Latin probably would have established itself in Britain too.

And for the historical evidence, I'll quote what I've said in the PM:

"Well, the post-Roman rulers almost exclusively had Celtic names, but Roman education and ways appear to have been widespread (judging from the writings of Gildas and others). But unlike on the continent, they don't appear to have considered themselves "Romans", and indeed continental writers don't seem to see them as such either. In fact I've read that their attitude to Britons was not very friendly, seeing them as "treacherous and rebellious no-goods" in the words of one article I read."

I'll go into more detail if necessary.

Æmeric
Tuesday, September 4th, 2007, 02:35 PM
Now there is abundant reason (which I won't go into here) to believe the post-Roman Britons were still native speakers of Brythonic, however use of Latin was widespread as a second language. There is also good reason to believe many among the Saxons could speak Latin.

I think the best reason to believe that the post-Roman Britons were still native speakers of Brythonic is that their descendents still speak Brythonic languages in Brittany & Wales, & it was spoken in Cornwall up to the 18th century.

Leofric
Tuesday, September 11th, 2007, 09:56 PM
I still have my answer to your last message on the Skadi thread. Skadi actually went down while I was writing it out. A couple of days ago I sent it to you in a PM (it's rather long actually :)); that might clarify some of the background to this hypothesis.
I've read the PM, but I though it might be better to get those ideas out in public. Of course, pasting the PM in here wouldn't quite fit into the flow of conversation, but I'm hoping we can hit all the topics in that PM (and more) over the course of the thread.


Britain was ruled for less time (not that much less though, as you say), it is further from Italy, and it is an island. Displacement of native languages would spread from more strongly Romanised (and closer to Italy) areas like southern Gaul. It needs a base to spread from, communities where the language is native would hasten the process too.

Given say, a couple more hundred years, I think Latin probably would have established itself in Britain too.
These are good points. They don't prove that Britain wasn't Latin-speaking, but they strengthen the case.

Incidentally, the people of Toledo (who were primarily Romance from an ethnic perspective) were Arabic-speaking when Toledo was liberated after only three and a half centuries of Muslim rules. (Sad, huh?) So a population can shift its language pretty quickly when the new language gives access to a significantly more valuable material culture (which had been my contention on the thread you were responding to when you got cut off).


And for the historical evidence, I'll quote what I've said in the PM:

"Well, the post-Roman rulers almost exclusively had Celtic names, but Roman education and ways appear to have been widespread (judging from the writings of Gildas and others). But unlike on the continent, they don't appear to have considered themselves "Romans", and indeed continental writers don't seem to see them as such either. In fact I've read that their attitude to Britons was not very friendly, seeing them as "treacherous and rebellious no-goods" in the words of one article I read."

I'll go into more detail if necessary.
People are often pretty conservative in their naming. Visigothic names (and surnames), for example, are still very common in Spain, even though Visigothic language died out probably long before 711. So lack of Roman names might not be good evidence for their not having adopted Latin.

That they didn't self-identify as Romans could be telling, but then, many colonized peoples who have completely dropped their ethnic tongue for the that of the imperial power (and sometimes the more so out of resentment) have also not identified with their overlords. In many of those cases, of course, the division between the groups has been further supported by racial distinction, something which doesn't operate at all in dividing the Romans from the Britons, but I still think that not self-identifying as Romans might merely be a sign of resistance, even though they (maybe) adopted very much of Roman culture, including Roman language.




I think the best reason to believe that the post-Roman Britons were still native speakers of Brythonic is that their descendents still speak Brythonic languages in Brittany & Wales, & it was spoken in Cornwall up to the 18th century.
I think the Celtic language of Brittany is the best evidence here. Wales and Cornwall, I think, were never really taken over by the Romans — I could be totally wrong there, and if so I hope someone corrects me — it's just the way I've been told it in the past.

But if I understand correctly, the Bretons are the descendants of Britons who fled the Anglo-Saxon conquest. I would think they would be far more likely to have switched to Latin (if anyone did) than the Welsh or the Cornish, since they would likely have lived in the more Romanized areas that the Anglo-Saxons took over.

Rhydderch
Wednesday, September 12th, 2007, 05:43 AM
People are often pretty conservative in their naming.True, however as far as I'm aware the Gauls and others had generally adopted Roman names.


Visigothic names (and surnames), for example, are still very common in Spain, even though Visigothic language died out probably long before 711.I think the situation there is a little different in that the Visigothic "established" culture had become merged with that of the natives, to an extent at least, and the Visigoths were the rulers. The locals had adopted aspects of the Visigothic culture of the rulers, which became fixed.

Regarding Britain, if I remember rightly it appears that during Roman rule, Britons often had a Roman name and a British name. Pelagius for example, was apparently Morgan, and St. Patrick was Maewyn Succat. This was a pattern throughout the Roman Empire.

Given this, it seems likely that British names would have died with the British language, but they appear to have re-emerged if anything, from under the (perhaps) rather superficial Latinisation.

Leofric
Wednesday, September 12th, 2007, 02:03 PM
Regarding Britain, if I remember rightly it appears that during Roman rule, Britons often had a Roman name and a British name. Pelagius for example, was apparently Morgan, and St. Patrick was Maewyn Succat. This was a pattern throughout the Roman Empire.

Given this, it seems likely that British names would have died with the British language, but they appear to have re-emerged if anything, from under the (perhaps) rather superficial Latinisation.

That does seem to me to be pretty good evidence for the preservation of the British language.

But tell me more about this pattern that was common throughout the Empire. Maybe I simply misunderstand it. Did it occur only in areas of bilingualism? Or was it something that had more to do with ethnic preservation regardless of linguistic preservation? Some Indians and Blacks here in the US, for example, will adopt ethnic names even though they have no clue about their ethnic language. Do you know more about how this practice worked elsewhere in the Empire?

It seems to me from reading the New Testament that many Jews would have two names, one Hebrew and one Greek. That would seem to argue for the bilingualism theory. But the problem with that is that the Jews didn't speak Hebrew at that time, but Aramaic. So their Hebrew names would likely have been a matter of mere cultural preservation, even if they did perhaps use their Hebrew names among themselves and their Greek names for others.

Rhydderch
Thursday, September 13th, 2007, 06:50 AM
Did it occur only in areas of bilingualism?That's the impression I get, although I could perhaps look a bit further into it. For example I'm not aware of Gaulish or Iberian names surviving in their respective regions.

Taking a Roman name appears to have been a matter of identifying in some way with the language and culture of the Romans, and also being a Roman subject (I mention the latter because the Britons apparently largely dropped the practise of using a Roman name after the departure of Roman rule).


Or was it something that had more to do with ethnic preservation regardless of linguistic preservation? Some Indians and Blacks here in the US, for example, will adopt ethnic names even though they have no clue about their ethnic language.I guess that's probably a bit more of a modern phenomenon though, with maybe certain exceptions.


Do you know more about how this practice worked elsewhere in the Empire?One thing I had in mind is what you mention below, the apostles had Hebrew, Greek and often Latin names too (i.e. Paul's Hebrew
name was Saul, but "Paulus" is Latin).


It seems to me from reading the New Testament that many Jews would have two names, one Hebrew and one Greek. That would seem to argue for the bilingualism theory. But the problem with that is that the Jews didn't speak Hebrew at that time, but Aramaic. So their Hebrew names would likely have been a matter of mere cultural preservation, even if they did perhaps use their Hebrew names among themselves and their Greek names for others.Well, Aramaic is very similar to Hebrew, and is even referred to as "the Hebrew tongue" in the New Testament, so I'm not sure that the names would be perceptibly different in Aramaic, at least given that they have come to us through the medium of Greek.

However, in this case there is also the religious element. And Hebrew was also retained as a second language among the Jews.

Oswiu
Friday, November 16th, 2007, 07:58 AM
I suppose it's necessary to bring up the onomastica of late Roman Britain as revealed through early mediaeval Welsh genealogies.

Vortigern was from a line of Vitaliuses and Vitalinuses (i.e. Gwidol, Gwidolin). There's an Eudaf Hen knocking around in his pedigree too (Octavius the Old). (Western/Southwestern 'England')

Coel Hen may well just be Caelius. His ancestors include a Gratian and an Urban. (Northern 'England')

Cluim and Cinhil in Ceretic Guletic's pedigree are distortions of Clemens and Quintilius. (Southern 'Scotland')

Tacitus, Paternus and Aeternus all figure in the pedigree of Cunedda. (Lothian - North 'Wales')

http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/gene/index.html

It seems that the elite were heavily Romanised, which few would dispute. But then a fashion seems to have come just before the Germanics came, for taking ultra nationalistic names and pedigrees. Most of the pedigrees in the above sources begin with ancient Celtic Gods. The Romanised generation is followed by one with native names, some even associated with rulers who had fought the Romans - Caradoc and Tasciovanus.

In language, the Welsh have quite a lot of Latin borrowings - pont for bridge, and loads more that I've forgotten!

Rhydderch
Friday, November 16th, 2007, 09:28 AM
But then a fashion seems to have come just before the Germanics came, for taking ultra nationalistic names and pedigrees.Perhaps it's simply that the names had always been used, along with a Latin name (as in the example I gave in the above post), but with the end of Roman rule they tended to drop the Latin name.