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Old December 15th, 2012, 06:31 AM   #1
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Original names of Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms?


When did the names Wessex, Sussex, Essex, Mercia, Kent, Northumbria, etc., come into use, and what were their names in the original Germanic tongue?

Same question goes for the Post-Roman Briton Kingdoms (but their names in their tongue, of course).
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Old December 15th, 2012, 07:50 AM   #2

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Wessex, Sussex and Essex are contractions of West Saxons, East Saxons and South Saxons. There are no North Saxons (Nosex!) but there is Norfolk and Suffolk counties (Northfolk, Southfolk), folk also being a Germanic linguistic import into English. In these cases these were the original germanic names.

Kent is a derivation from Canti. This appears to be the original Celtic name for these lands and their peoples, the Romans knew them as the Cantiacii tribe.

I have no idea about Mercia or Northumbria.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 08:10 AM   #3

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I have no idea about Mercia or Northumbria.
Northumbria was formed from the amalgamation of Bernicia and Deira by Aethelfrith. The old English name for it I think was Norşanhymbra, although we could go further back to before it became a unified kingdom. Im not sure if Benicia and Deira were Anglo-Saon or Brythonic kingdoms though .
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Old December 15th, 2012, 08:59 AM   #4

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Bernicia was an early Angle kingdom and was approximately equivalent to the modern English counties of Northumberland and Durham, and the former Scottish counties of Berwickshire and East Lothian, stretching from the Forth to the Tees

It was almost certainly the first English kingdom, Angle = England (not Saxonland)

Rollason has three models for it's formation as Roman Britain contracted south.

1. Handed directly to Angle federates by Roman rulers.

2. Handed to native British rulers and indirectly by them to Angle federates.

3. Conquest by incoming Angles and destruction of the native British.

Northumbria, 500-1100: Creation and Destruction of a Kingdom - David W. Rollason - Google Books

Model 1 is most plausible or a combination of 1 and 2, due to the wider context of the role of Barbarians in the later and 5th century Roman Empire
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Old December 15th, 2012, 09:20 AM   #5

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Originally Posted by Mangekyou View Post
Northumbria was formed from the amalgamation of Bernicia and Deira by Aethelfrith. The old English name for it I think was Norşanhymbra, although we could go further back to before it became a unified kingdom. Im not sure if Benicia and Deira were Anglo-Saon or Brythonic kingdoms though .
And for the OP, just in case you don't already know, the ş is pronounced like a th and the y is pronounced like a German ü. So it wouldn't sound as different as it looks.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 09:23 AM   #6

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Mercia is from the Old English mearc, boundary limit term border defined area district province,

Men of the marches.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 09:36 AM   #7

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I need a plausible Saxon name for a Saxon adventurer to 11th century Byzantium. What would be a good name, could anyone suggest some?

I'm using Richard for the moment, but someone said it's too Norman sounding. But I thought it's of Germanic origin, and therefore should pass muster as a Saxon name.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 09:56 AM   #8

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I need a plausible Saxon name for a Saxon adventurer to 11th century Byzantium. What would be a good name, could anyone suggest some?

I'm using Richard for the moment, but someone said it's too Norman sounding. But I thought it's of Germanic origin, and therefore should pass muster as a Saxon name.
Siward or Eadric (the Wild), Morcar (Mōrcǣr) or Edwin,(Ēadwine)

Eadric_the_Wild Eadric_the_Wild
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Old December 15th, 2012, 10:04 AM   #9

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Thanks. By the sounds of those, Edward would sound reasonable too I guess. Yes?
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Old December 15th, 2012, 10:34 AM   #10

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Thanks. By the sounds of those, Edward would sound reasonable too I guess. Yes?
Or Edmund or any from here.

Prosopography of Anglo Saxon England: Database Home

Just click person then name and you can go through the whole alphabet.
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