Anglo-Saxon Conquest and Formation of Germanic States

An example of this problem is the claim that the Saxons were hired by the Romans to fight in Britain. As there was a lack of troops in Britain in Rome at that time, the depiction of Saxons used as mercenaries seems plausible: the Romanized British decided to hire barbarians as mercenaries for security reasons, which was a common Roman practice. Instead of reflecting mass migration, archaeological evidence of Saxon presence before 450 AD. Very low, which coincides with the military conquest indicated in the old reports: As the field army of the British, the number of Saxons could not have been more than a few thousand at first. The Gallic Chronicle of 452 AD speaks of Saxon rule over much of southern Britain, which also coincides with the increase in the number of Saxon archaeological materials after 450 AD. For Bryan Ward-Perkins, the answer to the relative lack of indigenous influence on everyday objects lies in the success of Anglo-Saxon culture, highlighting the microdiversity and greater cohesion that has produced a dynamic force compared to British culture. [200] From pearls and quoits to clothes and houses, something unique happened in the early Anglo-Saxon period. Evidence of material culture shows that people have adopted and adapted styles based on fixed roles and styles. Commenting on the variety of nearly a thousand glass beads and many different basic garments of Lakenheath, John Hines explains that these reveal a “society in which people rely on others to fulfill a role” and “what they had around them was a statement”, not about the individual, but about “the identity between small groups, not in small groups.” [239] Available evidence includes the few contemporary and quasi-contemporary written documents, archaeological and genetic information. [a] The few literary sources speak of hostilities between immigrants and natives.

They describe the violence, destruction, massacres and flight of the Romano-British population. Moreover, there is little clear evidence of a significant influence of British Celtic or British Latin on Old English. These factors indicated a massive influx of German-speaking peoples. In this view, held by most historians and archaeologists until the middle to the end of the 20th century, much of present-day England was liberated from its former inhabitants. If this traditional view were correct, the genes of the last English would have been inherited mainly from Germanic migrants. Cerdic is the most famous of the Saxon kings who ruled from 519 to 534 AD. The entry of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 519 AD states: “That year Cerdic and Cynric received the kingdom of the West Saxons, and in the same year they fought against the British in a place now called Cerdices-Ford. And from that day on – the princes of the West Saxons ruled. He is said to have fought against “the famous King Arthur” in 520 AD, but that date could actually deviate by a year, and the battle with Arthur took place in 519 AD. Historian Robert J.

Sewell notes that “Cerdic met with great resistance from the last Romano-British under an obscure leader who claims as well as any other to have been the `real` King Arthur” (3). Cerdic won the battle or declared an armistice and received land from the British king, who identified with Arthur, but in any case he founded the Kingdom of West Saxony, Wessex, in Britain. While the date of 519 AD is cited in Anglo-Saxon chronicles for the beginning of his reign, other sources suggest a date to 532 AD. In 530 AD, Cerdic conquered the Isle of Wight with its already established army and navy; he died two years later, in 534. So the earlier date makes more sense than the last one in Cerdic`s life account. The chaotic nature of the time and the conflicting narratives from different sources often create very different narratives that were followed or combined by later authors. The first events described in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle were transcribed centuries after their appearance. Barbara Yorke, Patrick Sims-Williams and David Dumville, among others, pointed out how a number of features of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle for the fifth and early sixth centuries clearly contradict the idea that they contain a reliable annual record. [34] Stuart Laycock suggested that some information describing the first period could be accepted as a kernel of truth if obvious glosses and fictions are rejected (such as information about Porta and Portsmouth). The sequence of events associated with Ælle of Sussex seems plausible, while the data are uncertain. [35] However, the presentation of evidence of Anglo-Saxon colonization from a chronicle such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is uncertain and relies heavily on the current view of entries that are acceptable to the truth.

As Dumville points out of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, “medieval historiography has assumptions that are different from ours, especially with regard to the distinction between fiction and non-fiction.” [36] Symbolism was an essential element of Anglo-Saxon culture. Julian D. Richards suggests that in societies with strong oral traditions, material culture is used to store and transmit information and stands, rather than literature in those cultures. This symbolism is less logical than literature and more difficult to read. The Anglo-Saxons used symbolism to communicate and support their thinking about the world. The Anglo-Saxons used symbols to distinguish groups and individuals, status and role in society. [198] After the Norman Conquest, much of the Anglo-Saxon nobility was sent into exile or joined the ranks of the peasantry. [126] It is estimated that in 1087 only about 8% of the country was under Anglo-Saxon control.

[127] In 1086, only four Anglo-Saxon landowners owned their land. However, the survival of the Anglo-Saxon heiresses was significantly greater. Many of the next generation of nobility had English mothers and learned to speak English at home. [128] Some Anglo-Saxon nobles fled to Scotland, Ireland, and Scandinavia. [129] [130] The Byzantine Empire became a popular destination for many Anglo-Saxon soldiers because it needed mercenaries. [131] The Anglo-Saxons became the predominant element in the elite of the Varangian Guard, which until then had been a largely North Germanic unit, from where the emperor`s bodyguard came and served the empire until the early 15th century. [132] However, england`s home population remained largely Anglo-Saxon; for them, little changed immediately, except that their Anglo-Saxon lord was replaced by a Norman lord. [133] Britain was the only place in Europe where new states were formed that had little in common with Roman principles. All of the emerging states of continental Europe that emerged after the decline of the Roman order were founded on Roman foundations, sometimes with clear Roman involvement or even retaining key aspects of Roman life.