If we accept that there was no Anglo-Saxon invasion what do we throw out in terms of established his

If we accept that there was no Anglo-Saxon invasion what do we throw out in terms of established history of Britain?Did King Vortigern not invite Hengist and Horsa to help him fight the Picts and the Scots. Christianity also existed in late Roman Britain, contradicting Venerable Beade’s history of England.
I look forward to your feedback.

The Venerable Bede knew that Christianity existed in late Roman Britain, and he says as much. In fact, most of the early parts of his history are about the history of Christianity in Britain…the baptism of Lucian the Briton, the martyrdom of St. Alban and his companions during the Diocletian persecutions, the Arian controversy in the British church, the rise of the Briton Pelagius and his heresy, the way that St. Germain came to Britain after the British church had gone Pelagian, performed miracles and beat the Pelagians in debate, and then used a miracle to help the British defeat the Picts and Saxons, the way that British Christian missionaries went to other places to spread the religion, etc. So, I’m not sure why you say that the fact that Christianity existed in late Roman Britain contradicts the Venerable Bede’s account.

What is the revisionist history that is being proposed when you posit the Anglo-Saxons May not have “invaded” Britain? That they peacefully migrated? Or??? And, what is the evidence for this new understanding?

Why would anyone “accept” that? There is proof of both conquest and colonization by the Anglo-Saxons.

What would they call “England” then? (Or the French, who call it Angleterre?)
What would the call Sussex, Essex, and Wessex? Oh, and Middlesex?
Why is the Anglish language mainly of Germanic root rather than Gaelic (before those pesky Normans got hold of it)?

Yes, this is the question, Without knowing what the alternative is it is impossible to answer the OP

Is this an exercise in alternative history, in which case it does not belong in GQ, or is someone seriously arguing, these days, that the Anglo-Saxon invasions never took place? If the latter, the OP owes us an account of the evidence and arguments, because it sure ain’t the conventional wisdom.

I don’t support this revisionist history that casts doubt on the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons. But here it is. My opinion is it’s bad history. Have a look and let me know what you think.

History of Britain The Anglo Saxon Invasion BBC Documentary

I don’t Youtube.

Is this available in print anywhere?


I don’t think that link is saying anything revolutionary, you’d be hard-pressed to find any historians who argue that the native population, Romano-British, Scotti, various Celtic cultures and so on were completely replaced by Anglo-Saxons.

I did not watch the YouTube either, but i find it hard to believe that BBC would produce a documentary entitled “History of Britain The Anglo Saxon Invasion” if it was going to say that there was no Anglo-Saxon invasion. As for your link, it says no such thing. It merely says that he genetic evidence shows that the pre-existing Celtic population was not wiped out (perhaps not even much reduced) by the invaders. This will come as a surprise to no-one. The article is a bit misleading inasmuch as it implies that some people will be surprised to learn that many English people have some Celtic ancestry, but otherwise its contents are unsurprising and it in no way suggests that there was no Anglo-Saxon invasion.

Is this a little like the Invasion of the Celts from mainland Europe that never happened as such- much culture was transferred, but no large populations. How many Romans moved permanently to Britain?

Maybe it is cultural rather than genetic invasion.

Here’s a reference to the program I was referring to.

Well put. It seems someone is exploiting the fact that “invasion” has multiple meanings: 1. a military takeover which may deeply influence the political structure and/or language of a place, or 2. a wholesale mass movement of people resulting in a major change in the typical genetic makeup of the invaded people (although even this wouldn’t cause THAT big a genetic shift, unless it was accompanied by genocide as well).

There may be new genetic evidence to confirm that the Anglo-Saxon arrival in Britain resembled the former more than the latter. I can see why this would be a surprise for some people.

Backing off a bit from the specifics here, when a theory or explanation is rejected in science, it’s because new evidence has shown that the theory is wrong or incomplete. So you can’t just say “we proved this explanation is wrong - now what?” It entirely depends on what this new evidence WAS. I get this a lot in biology discussions: “we prove evolution is wrong. What replaces it?” It’s a nonsense question unless you can tell us exactly what evidence you’ve given that proves evolution is wrong. The new explanation has to account for the new evidence, so without that evidence, we can’t form a new theory.

From davidmich’s link: “He assumed the original inhabitants of Britain could be represented by men living in Castlerea, in central Ireland, a region not reached by any foreign invader.”

This is equivalent to saying “He assumed the original inhabitants of Germany could be represented by men living in Stockholm.” The British were not Irish (and they didn’t speak Gaelic as md2000 states). Both British and Irish are Celtic, but speaking related languages does not guarantee genetic relationship, and his making such an assumption casts doubt on his entire theory.

He’s also mixing linguistic and genetic arguements. If the Basques are an ancient people because their language pre-dates the Indo-Europeans, then the Celts must NOT be as ancient, because their unrelated language is Indo-European. If the Celts and the Basques share genetic material, they must be related. You can’t have it both ways. (You can certainly have genetic pre-IE people take on a different language, which is probably what happened, but you can’t use language to make a good argument about genetics.) Further, if these people havve Basque DNA and speak English, why is he calling them “Celts” ?

The findings are interesting, but the interpretation has huge and elementary errors.

I am not sure that it even shows that. It just shows that there was not a genocide of the people already here, and nobody really ever thought there was. Quite a few Angles, Saxons, and Jutes might still have arrived, but no immigrating, ‘conquering’ group is likely to be close in numbers to the numbers of people already in a well populated (by teh standards of the time) country.

If there were n Anglo-Saxon invasion what would we use for swear words? We’d have to all give a foutre, or maybe some weird Romano-Celt hybrid word for copulation.