Why are the Germanic settlers of England known as Anglo-Saxons? Ethnic maps of pre-Norman Britain will show that the Jutes also settled there, in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Were the Jutes eventually overwhelmed by the Angles and the Saxons, or is it just too much of a mouthful to say “Anglo-Saxon-Jutish”?
Well, the Britannica notes that there is no written record of the Jutes on the continent so they appear to have been a smaller tribe. Kent was hemmed in by Sussex and Essex (the -sex suffix meaning Saxon). Most likely the smaller population of Jutes (both in England and Jutland/Denmark) were simply swallowed up by their more numerous cousins.
I thought that Jutland was explicity named for the Jutes?? Or that the area where people spoke Frisian was part of their homeland?
Just as Saxony (Sachsen) was named for Saxons, in Germany.
I believe it is generally accepted that some Frisians
went along with the migration too. In fact, the impression I get from most maps and diagrams i’ve seen regarding this,
is that the migrants departed from a string of harbors running from Southern Denmark down beyond the mouths of the Rhine.
I think Germany also has one or more place names based on the Angles, but I can’t remember right now. I’ll try to find out.
Lo, I have found it:
…their continental homeland was centred in Angulus, traditionally identified as the Angeln district in Schleswig between the Schlei inlet and the Flensburger Förde, which they appear to have abandoned at the time of their invasion of Britain. They settled in large numbers during the 5th and 6th centuries in the kingdoms of Mercia, Northumbria, and East and Middle Anglia. *
There seems to have actually been a multiplicity of different people who raided/invaded/settled in what is now England after the Roman withdrawal. In addition to the already mentioned Frisians ( and Dutch is very close to English )I believe that archaeological evidence has pointed to the ruler buried at Sutton Hoo ( who I think has been tentatively identified as a major king by the name of Redwald of Anglia )as having been a member of a Swedish ( !! ) dynasty. At that time the North Germans seemed to have formed pretty much a single block linguistically and culturally. And apparently there was at least a reasonable amount of contact between the different tribes. The “Angles” ( who may have been at least in part a composite of different northern peoples - witness the Swedish king of East Anglia ) and Saxons were simply the most numerous and the ones that left their names to posterity.
On a related point ( I love to listen to myself talk )the ‘Viking Age’ as usually construed is probably a misnomer. In fact there is was likely very little difference between between the earlier Anglo-Saxon invasions and the later ‘Viking’ attacks. Not ethnically, not culturally, and not linguistically. The Danish of Canute’s time was apparently mutualy intelligible with ‘Old English’. And frankly the time difference between the end of the last trickle of Anglo-Saxon emigration and the start of the Viking raids was probably inconsequential ( considering the inherent conservativeness of much of medieval society ) and may have just reflected a breathing period while populations replenished then spilled over again in Scandinavia. The Vikings were less settled and consequently were ( just a little ) less sophisticated than the English - but the only major difference was their paganism. And by Canute’s time even that had largely died out. His ( Canute’s ) reign was apparently not regarded with any particular horror by the English ( which included many of recent Danish and Norwegian extraction, settled during earlier assaults ). In fact he seems to have been moderately popular. And Harald Hardraada’s of Norway’s invasion of North England in 1066 was supported by at least some local magnates. If Canute had left a less unsettled situation after his early death, England might have continued on under a Danish dynasty for some time.
That’s why the Norman invasion of 1066 is so significant. It caused a major cultural and political shift in England - reorientating it from Northern Europe to Western Europe.
Oh and one final point - The modern region of Saxony in East Central Germany is not the historical region of Saxony from which the Saxons originated. That was in Northern/North-Western Germany bordering on Denmark and including the coast to the SouthWest of the Danish penninsula.
This is all reminding me of the whole Schleswig-Holstein
Question, which involved Jutland, land of the Jutes. But that was much later. Also, besides always wondering why the Jutes are left out when people talk about the Anglo-Saxons, like the original questioner has, I have wondered always about the Picts. They occur in the phrase, “the Picts and the Scots.” Whenever I look them up, it says that little is known about the Picts. There are also the Sards of Sardinia of whom nothing is known or left but strange towers they built. Did not the Picts build strange towers as well?
And who are the Frisians that I see mentioned above? I forgot about them.
don willard: The Picts in a general sense are usually referred to as the “aboriginal” inhabitants of the British Isles. Which is kind of a suspect statement when used as an absolute, but it’s probably close enough for government work. They were referred to as ‘Cruithni’ in Ireland and by the early Scots ( who were Irish - see below ). The term Pict itself was first used by the Romans. They were at least ( one of ) the pre-Celtic inhabitants of Britain ( and they were probably non-Indo-European ). They were eventually pushed northwards and then finally absorbed by the invading Celtic tribes. The Picts in the sense of ‘The Kingdom of Scots and Picts’ c.843 C.E., were the dominant inhabitants of modern day Scotland North of the Soutern Uplands ( which at that point was a Brythonic Celt Kingdom called Strathclyde ). They consisted of a mix of those “original” Picts I mentioned before with Brythonic Celts and spoke a form of P-Celtic ( i.e. Brythonic - Welsh, Cornish, Manx, etc. ) mixed with elements of their earlier language.
The Scots were Gaelic ( Q-Celtic ) invaders that had occupied the Southern Isles and SouthWestern Highlands of Scotland starting from about the year 500 C.E. . They were originally a satellite state ( and their leaders originally seemed to have borne the title of Mormaer or Steward ) of the Dal Riata dynasty of Ulster ( which many scholars believe may have been a dynasty of Pictish origins ) - hence their “Kingdom” was later referred to as Dalriada. Their relations with the Picts was sometimes hostile, sometimes not. But they were very much the junior partner power wise. After Angus MacFergus, King of the Picts (752-761) united the two Pictish Kingdoms then extant, he subjugated the Scots as well. The Scots seem to have been vassals of sorts for much of the period afterwards.
In 843 the situation was reversed, not by conquest, but by marriage ties. Kenneth MacAlpin of the Scots seems to succeeded to the Pictish throne based on matrilineal descent. He was likely a strong ruler and the merger of the two crowns happened at a point when both were under intense pressure from the Vikings. It was probably just an expedient and defensively minded union. Kenneth’s immediate succesors variously bore the titles Reges Pictorum or Reges Albaniae ( Alban or Albany being the old word for Scotland ). But they were buried on the Island of Iona as Kings of the Scots and the name ‘Scotia’ stuck.
As to the Frisians - they were the dominant German tribe inhabiting roughly what is today the Netherlands. The term later became a geographic name for a province or region in that area ( I’m not sure which ). One of our Dutch posters will have to explain if there is any modern day separation between 'Dutch" and ‘Frisian’. I don’t know myself.
Thanks Tamerlane for the information. I did read that the language of the Flemish part of Belgium is Dutch, but that they like to give theirs a different name. Maybe the Flems are the same as the Frisians? My great-grandfather came from the French-speaking part of Belgium and spoke French, so I guess he would be called a Walloon. The Belgiae were mentioned by Caesar or other Roman records, and I guess they gave rise to both the Flemish and the Walloons.
I would guess that the Walloons were not among the Belgae named by Julius Caesar. (Leaving aside all the ethnic mixing that resulted from the various invasions/migrations that occurred between the first and sixth centuries), Walony was actually a French region until it was stripped away from France and given to the Netherlands after the Napoleonic wars as a way to punish France (and provide a buffer between France and the Germanic countries).
Flanders was ethnically Dutch, but had been separated from the rest of the Nether-Lands for several hundred years. The Spaniards had tried to force Catholicism back onto the Dutch (using various House of Hapsburg connections to justify their presence) and had succeeded in taking and holding Flanders while failing the capture Holland and the other Dutch regions.
After twenty or so years of living under Dutch rule, the Flemish and the Walloons banded together to declare themselves independent. (They did not have much in common except a desire to not live under Dutch rule.) The various Austrian-dominated countries of central Europe opposed either a “republican” state or a return to French control, so the new Kingdom of Belgium was created and a minor Germanic noble was appointed king.
Well, I’m not Dutch or Frisian, but I know that Frisian, although spoken in areas of what is now the Netherlands, is actually closer to Old English than to Dutch. From this page at Britannica.com, we have this quote:
There is a famous couplet that goes:
Bread, butter, and green cheese
Is good English and good Friese.