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History Narratives, documentations and philosophies of History; the study and interpretation of past events and civilizations. "He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future."

Cerdic of Wessex - Celtic or Germanic?

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Old Sunday, November 9th, 2008   #1
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Cerdic of Wessex - Celtic or Germanic?

Cerdic of Wessex (d. 534) was the King of Wessex (519–534) and is regarded as the ancestor of all subsequent Kings of Wessex.

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Cerdic landed in Hampshire in 495 with his son (or grandson) Cynric in three ships. He is said to have fought a British king named Natanleod at Netley Marsh in Hampshire and killed him in 508, and to have fought at Charford (Cerdics Ford) in 519, after which he became first king of Wessex. The conquest of the Isle of Wight is also mentioned among his campaigns, and it was later given to his kinsmen, Stuf and Wihtgar (who had supposedly arrived with the West Saxons in 514).

The name Cerdic is thought to be British – a form of the name Ceretic or Caradog (in Latin Caratacus) – rather than Germanic in origin. One explanation for this is the possibility that Cerdics mother was British and that he was given a name used by his mothers people; if so, this would provide evidence for a degree of mixing, both cultural and biological, between the invaders and the native British. Alternatively, the use of a British name may indicate that Cerdic was a native Briton, and that his dynasty became Anglicised over time. This view is supported by the non-Germanic names of his successors including Ceawlin, Cedda and Caedwalla. If this were the case then the records of Cerdic landing in Britain, which were written down many generations after the events they purport to portray, must be looked on as being in the realms of legend.
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