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Thread: The Anglo-Frisians: Ancient English of the Ice Age

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    The Anglo-Frisians: Ancient English of the Ice Age

    The Old Theory of the origins of the English said that they were born out of post-Roman invaders of Britain called the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. They were meant to have absorbed, expelled or killed the previous Celtic inhabitants who had lived there previously.

    However this Theory always had very flimsy foundations and now it is being completely shot to pieces.

    - Firstly archaeologists have found no evidence of mass expulsion or murder of Celts.

    - Secondly linguists can find so little trace of celtic words in English that they don't think that Celts and English could have lived side-by-side or mixed together.

    - Thirdly DNA evidence shows that the majority of the ancestors of the modern indigenous English have been here since the Ice Age.

    - Fourthly although there is evidence that the elite of pre-Roman England spoke Celtic there is no evidence that the majority population did.

    - Fifthly the English language does not look like an amalgam of the Angle, Saxon and Jutish languages but looks like it is related to another continental language called Frisian.

    - Sixthly DNA evidence shows Germanic origin of Eastern Britons in modern Scotland that is not explainable by any post-Roman invasion.

    - Seventhly there IS archaeological evidence that the people who lived in eastern britain in ancient times before the Romans were of different stock to those who lived in the west.
    - Westerners built megaliths like Stonehenge. Easterners didn't
    - Westerners left smaller foot prints in clay. Easterners left larger ones.
    - Westerners set up gravestones with ogham (celtic runic) inscriptions when the Romans left. Easterners didn't.


    So if the Old Theory is rubbish what would a New Theory look like?

    To find the answer we need to look at current research on that other similar question - the origin of the Indo-Europeans (that ancient people who were the ancestors of the majority of modern Europeans). In this field of enquiry the Old Theory said that the Indo-Europeans were warlike invaders who stormed into Europe just a few thousand years ago killing off most of the existing populations. However this theory has been shown to be as baseless as the Old Theory about the English. To fill the void a Neolithic Theory was suggested that the Indo-Europeans were farmers who came out of the middle-east at the time of the Neolithic agriculture revolution. However this theory has now fallen by the wayside as DNA testing shows that the areas which received the largest numbers of Neolithic settlers are actually the least Indo-European.

    But to the rescue of confused historians has come the Paleolithic Continuity Theory.

    According to the PCT the Indo-Europeans originated over 25,000 years ago by developing a superior culture to other Europeans which made them better able to survive and prosper in cold environments. Because of this they were able to expand in numbers compared to the other Europeans and become the most numerous population. During the last Ice Age the Indo-Europeans had to retreat into a number of distinct refuges or pockets of warmer territory. In these refuges developed the distinctly different language families such as Celtic, Germanic, Italic, Balto-Slavic etc.

    As the last Ice Age came to an end about 10,000 years ago , the Celts migrated North from a refuge in Iberia up the Atlantic Coast into South-West France , Ireland and Western Britain. Germans migrated along inland waterways from a refuge a bit further east - possibly on the borders of modern France and Spain and colonized what is now Northern France, the Low Countries, Germany, Eastern Britain and Scandinavia.

    Originally sea-levels were much lower than today and a people we can call the Anglo-Frisians roamed over an area that is now under the North Sea. With rising sea-levels the Anglo-Frisians in Britain became cut-off from their relatives on the Continent. But today the legacy of the common origin of the English and Frisians is still clear to see in the language they both speak.

    For many thousands of years the Celtic and English inhabitants of the British Isles lived separate lives. Travel then was much easier along waterways than across mountainous inland terrain. So the British Celts were part of an Atlantic civilisation and had more to do with their Celtic cousins in Gaul and Iberia (Spain) than the Germanic English. These in turn were part of a North Sea civilisation and had more to do with their Germanic cousins on the continent than the Celts.

    However this was to change when Celtic tribes acquired new technology in the building of chariots. Suddenly it became possible for bands of Celtic warriors to roam far and wide across Europe and conquer the native population. Thus arose a Celtic Empire . It was not perhaps as organised as the Roman Empire which came later but it did have features in common. The Celtic Empire would have been built initially by a conquering Celtic aristocracy. But their numbers were few and they would have intermarried with the locals. Their children were perhaps bilingual speaking the local language and also the common Celtic tongue of the Empire. They would have been given prestigious Celtic names, just as later Roman citizens were given prestigious Latin ones.

    This seems to have happened in ancient England and in the more southerly German lands on the continent as well. This confused the Romans as some apparently Celtic tribes were actually Germanic tribes who had taken on Celtic airs and graces. No wonder the so-called 'Celts' and the Germans looked so much alike.

    This has confused modern historians as well. Ancient English with Celtic-sounding names have been assumed to be Celtic. Very probably Vortigern who called upon Hengest and Horsa for assistance when the Romans left was not Celtic but Germanic - an Englishman in fact. Indeed he may have considered Hengest and Horsa as cultural cousins and felt he was calling on his own kith and kin for help.

    So there we have it. The New Theory of English Origins says that the English populated an empty Eastern Britain at the end of the last Ice Age and have been here ever since. England has been invaded several times but never in such large numbers as to extinguish the genetic memory of those original inhabitants nor the language that they spoke.

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    Is there some link / reference for this please?

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    Read about this in a Norwegian scientific magazine a while ago, interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueEnglish View Post
    Is there some link / reference for this please?
    Well, I've read similar theories before, too. Stephen Oppenheimer's "Origins of the British" argues the same thing but comes to a seperate conclusion (a similar one, none the less) and I think Simon James, Francis Pryor and John Collis do also, all of which are cited in The Origins of the British.

    I believe other authors have written about this too but I can't for the life of me think who.

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    Stephen Oppenheimer's "Origins of the British" argues the same thing but comes to a seperate conclusion (a similar one, none the less)
    What is the separate conclusion?

    I believe other authors have written about this too but I can't for the life of me think who.
    Bryan Skyes is the most famous author on this subject for his book "Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland". I've heard the Skyes book is the same as Origins of the British just without going into as much detail as Oppenheimer. So because of this, in my opinion, it will not be as good as Oppenheimer's book.

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    More of this Paleolithic Continuity Theory can be found on this website: http://www.continuitas.org/
    I read their introduction once, but I wasn't really convinced. They made quite some linguistical errors to back up their theory.

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    There is an excellent article on the Paleolithic Continuity Theory at:

    http://www.enter.net/~torve/trogholm...european1.html

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