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Old March 17th, 2017, 03:46 AM   #1

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The Anglo Saxon Chronicle - Part 1: A.D. 1 - 748


Continuing from:

Let's do some history! Anglo Saxon Chronicle anyone?
and
The Anglo Saxon Chronicle - Part 0 (Preliminaries)

It's been great so far. Everyone except TotalAaron has been marvelously patient and thoughtful in going through the preliminaries. Discussion on that part may well continue over there.

Proceeding patiently still, let's introduce part 1. (Really - it will be worth it!) Part 1 is known as the Winchester or Parker Chronicle.

Click the image to open in full size.
(A page from the Winchester, or Parker Chronicle, showing the genealogical preface.)

From: Anglo-Saxon Chronicle - New World Encyclopedia

Quote:
The earliest extant manuscript, the Winchester Chronicle, was written by a single scribe up to the year 891. The scribe wrote the year number, DCCCXCII, in the margin of the next line; subsequent material was written by other scribes.[3] This appears to place the composition of the chronicle at no later than 892; further evidence is provided by Bishop Asser's use of a version of the chronicle in his work Life of King Alfred, known to have been composed in 893.[4] It is known that the Winchester manuscript is at least two removes from the original of the Chronicle; as a result, there is no proof that the Chronicle was compiled at Winchester.[5] It is also difficult to fix the date of composition, but it is generally thought that the chronicles were composed during the reign of Alfred the Great (871–899). Alfred deliberately tried to revive learning and culture during his reign, and encouraged the use of English as a written language. The Chronicle itself, as well as the distribution of copies to other centres of learning, may be a consequence of the changes Alfred introduced.[6]
And from the Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-...ster_Chronicle

Quote:
[A]: The Winchester (or Parker) Chronicle is the oldest manuscript of the Chronicle that survives. It was begun at Old Minster, Winchester, towards the end of Alfred's reign. The manuscript begins with a genealogy of Alfred, and the first chronicle entry is for the year 60 BC.[5] The section containing the Chronicle takes up folios 1–32.[12] Unlike the other manuscripts, [A] is of early enough composition to show entries dating back to the late 9th century in the hands of different scribes as the entries were made. The first scribe's hand is dateable to the late 9th or very early 10th century; his entries cease in late 891, and the following entries were made at intervals throughout the 10th century by several scribes. The eighth scribe wrote the annals for the years 925–955, and was clearly at Winchester when he wrote them since he adds some material related to events there; he also uses ceaster, or "city", to mean Winchester.[13] The manuscript becomes independent of the other recensions after the entry for 975. The book, which also had a copy of the Laws of Alfred and Ine bound in after the entry for 924, was transferred to Canterbury some time in the early 11th century,[5] as evidenced by a list of books that Archbishop Parker gave to Corpus Christi.[12] While at Canterbury, some interpolations were made; this required some erasures in the manuscript. The additional entries appear to have been taken from a version of the manuscript from which [E] descends.[13] The last entry in the vernacular is for 1070. After this comes the Latin Acta Lanfranci, which covers church events from 1070–1093. This is followed by a list of popes and the Archbishops of Canterbury to whom they sent the pallium. The manuscript was acquired by Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury (1559–1575)[5] and master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, following the dissolution of the monasteries, and bequeathed to the college on his death. It now forms part of the Parker Library.
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Old March 17th, 2017, 04:11 AM   #2

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It's Friday, and I won't post this weekend, so I'll get us started from the Chronicle itself (finally!). I've done some hyperlinking. Quoting from The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Quote:
The island Britain (1) is 800 miles long, and 200 miles broad. And there are in the island five nations; English, Welsh (or British) (2), Scottish, Pictish, and Latin. The first inhabitants were the Britons, who came from Armenia (3), and first peopled Britain southward. Then happened it, that the Picts came south from Scythia, with long ships, not many; and, landing first in the northern part of Ireland, they told the Scots that they must dwell there. But they would not give them leave; for the Scots told them that they could not all dwell there together; "But," said the Scots, "we can nevertheless give you advice. We know another island here to the east. There you may dwell, if you will; and whosoever withstandeth you, we will assist you, that you may gain it." Then went the Picts and entered this land northward. Southward the Britons possessed it, as we before said. And the Picts obtained wives of the Scots, on condition that they chose their kings always on the female side (4); which they have continued to do, so long since. And it happened, in the run of years, that some party of Scots went from Ireland into Britain, and acquired some portion of this land. Their leader was called Reoda (5), from whom they are named Dalreodi (or Dalreathians).
Footnotes to this section:
Quote:
(1) This introductory part of the "Chronicle" to An. I. first printed by Gibson from the Laud MS. only, has been corrected by a collation of two additional MSS. in the British Museum, "Cotton Tiberius B" lv. and "Domitianus A" viii. Some defects are also here supplied. The materials of this part are to be found in Pliny, Solinus, Orosius, Gildas, and Bede. The admeasurement of the island, however inaccurate, is from the best authorities of those times, and followed by much later historians.
(2) Gibson, following the Laud MS. has made six nations of five, by introducing the British and Welsh as two distinct tribes.
(3) "De tractu Armoricano." -- Bede, "Ecclesiastical History" i. I. The word Armenia occurring a few lines above in Bede, it was perhaps inadvertently written by the Saxon compiler of the "Chronicle" instead of Armorica.
(4) In case of a disputed succession, "Ubi res veniret in dabium," etc. -- Bede, "Ecclesiastical History" i. I.
(5) Reada, Aelfr.; Reuda, Bede, Hunt. etc. Perhaps it was originally Reutha or Reotha.
Some maps I found along the way:

Click the image to open in full size.

(Wiki caption: Great Britain in the 5th century AD, before the invasion and subsequent founding of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
Mainly Brittonic areas
Mainly Pictish areas
Mainly Goidelic areas

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old March 17th, 2017, 06:20 AM   #3

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Wow guy way to single me out. all i did was Sonic the hedgehog my way through the topic (hehe) Anyway

So Britain is a Parthian Conspiracy? Amazing
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Old March 17th, 2017, 08:28 AM   #4
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This first section is, of course, a load of cobblers. The Britons did not come from Armenia and the Picts did not come from Scythia. However, the point about the Scots living in Ireland is correct. 'Scot' derives from 'Scotti', a late Latin term basically meaning 'pirates'. It is basically a derogatory term akin to American terms such as 'Okies' or 'rednecks' or British terms such as 'bumpkins' or 'woolly-backs' or the gloriously regional 'Shat earhole-biters' for the residents of Skelmanthorpe in Yorkshire. 'Pict' is much the same, deriving from late Latin 'Picti' ('painted ones').

It's also right that Pictish kingship was down the distaff - you inherited via your mother's family, not your father's.

The Scots of Dal Riata (roughly 'Riata's land') are an obscure lot. It's generally thought that that migrated to Argyll from Ireland, as there is also a Dal Riata on the northern Irish coast. However, some argue that Dal Riata was a single polity on both sides of the Irish Sea - seaways were routeways back then and we should not consider them barriers to movement.
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Old March 17th, 2017, 09:10 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Graham View Post
This first section is, of course, a load of cobblers. The Britons did not come from Armenia and the Picts did not come from Scythia. However, the point about the Scots living in Ireland is correct. 'Scot' derives from 'Scotti', a late Latin term basically meaning 'pirates'. It is basically a derogatory term akin to American terms such as 'Okies' or 'rednecks' or British terms such as 'bumpkins' or 'woolly-backs' or the gloriously regional 'Shat earhole-biters' for the residents of Skelmanthorpe in Yorkshire. 'Pict' is much the same, deriving from late Latin 'Picti' ('painted ones').

It's also right that Pictish kingship was down the distaff - you inherited via your mother's family, not your father's.

The Scots of Dal Riata (roughly 'Riata's land') are an obscure lot. It's generally thought that that migrated to Argyll from Ireland, as there is also a Dal Riata on the northern Irish coast. However, some argue that Dal Riata was a single polity on both sides of the Irish Sea - seaways were routeways back then and we should not consider them barriers to movement.
Armenia is a misreading of Bede's "Armoricano" (Brittany) by the scribe of ASCe the 12th century Peterborough MS. Also found in D, the Worcester MS.

Quote:
Picts did not come from Scythia
You sound very certain on that one, their language has never been satisfactorily explained.

Last edited by Haesten; March 17th, 2017 at 09:17 AM.
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Old March 17th, 2017, 09:13 AM   #6

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There were people of Paleolithic Culture in Britain before the end of the last Ice Age; i.e. when Britain was still a European peninsula.

No one knows how they styled themselves back then.
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Old March 17th, 2017, 09:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Armenia is a misreading of Bede's "Armoricano" (Brittany) by the scribe of ASCe the 12th century Peterborough MS. Also found in D, the Worcester MS
Is that where it came from? Interesting!

Quote:
You sound very certain on that one, their language has never been satisfactorily explained.
There's not much of it, certainly, but what little we have looks like a Celtic language not terribly far removed from Brittonic.
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Old March 17th, 2017, 10:01 AM   #8
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9th century historians looked at the similarities between the words 'Britain' and 'Brittany' and concluded there must be a relationship. They were correct but got it backwards. Instead of Amoricans migrating to Britain, 5th century Britons migrated to Amorica and eventually renamed it Brittany.

"The first inhabitants were the Britons, who came from Armenia, and first peopled Britain southward."

Not sure what is meant by peopling Britain southward. Logically (if we assume for the moment that the first Britons came from Amorica/ Brittany) it means Britain was first settled in the south and then the population expanded northward, but it reads like Britain was first settled north to south. Anyone know how Scythia became confused into this account?
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Old March 17th, 2017, 10:33 AM   #9
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A few dating errors. Interesting that AS Chroniclers had a firmer grasp of the more distant 1st century than of the more recent 4th, 5th, and 6th centuries - probably an indication of the instability of those later centuries.

3 AD death of Herod actually occurred in 4 BCE so a +7 year error
16 AD Tiberius succeeded Augustus actually occurred in 14 CE so a +2 year error
39 AD Caius (aka Caligula) succeeded Tiberius actually occurred in 37 so the same +2 year error
46 or 47 AD Claudius conquered Britain actually occurred in 43 CE so a +3 or +4 year error
70 AD Vespasian became emperor actually in 69 so a +1 year error
116 AD Hadrian became emperor actually in 117 so a -1 year error
199 AD found the holy rood actually dated circa 300 CE so about a -100 year error
418 AD loss of all of the gold in Britain probably a reference to Constantine III in 407 CE so a +11 year error
423 AD Theodosius II actually attained the throne in 408 so a +15 year error
443 AD begged assistance against the Picts was actually no earlier than 446 so at least a -3 year error
444 AD death of St Martin actually died in 397 so a +47 year error
509 AD death of St. Benedict actually died in 543 or 547 so a -34 or -38 year error

There are other dating errors but this is enough to make the point. One year dating errors are actually common because the Roman new year was in March. Events from January or February were then credited to the previous year. Regnal years could also throw some dates off by one year.

Last edited by Chlodio; March 17th, 2017 at 10:36 AM.
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Old March 17th, 2017, 10:45 AM   #10

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Beautiful, a post-grad class designed more for learning than the GPA. This promises to be a really sweet ride.
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