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Old June 10th, 2013, 10:32 AM   #1
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Anglo-Saxon's legacy


When I read something about the English history, I always thought about this.

What is the legacy of the Anglo-Saxons (that we can encounter today)?

There are probably less than I can think of. William the Conqueror practically eroded almost everything about the previous Anglo-Saxons in England. There are a handful of Anglo-Saxon era churches today. This is all I can think of.
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Old June 10th, 2013, 12:42 PM   #2

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The bastard of Normandy didn't invade England in the Anglo-Saxon cultural period he invaded it in the Anglo-Danish period. Britain was very Scandinavian culturally back then.

Also apart from eradicating the Anglo-Danish lords he had a policy of don't rock the boat and he did much of this as political move against the king of France. As long as England and France stayed linguistically and culturally different the it would make any French attempts on his crown less viable. The entire English civil service stayed in place, the English legal system was retained and despite his Norman lords protests he advocated the use of the English language.

Last edited by Toltec; June 10th, 2013 at 12:44 PM.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 02:40 AM   #3
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English language sprouted from the Anglo Saxons. Also some major historical literature from that period (the Anglo Saxon Chronicle and the Age of Bede) are one of the only and most important historical sources of that period. Got to remember that the Norman invasion only resulted in a couple of thousands of Normans at the most migrating to England. Anglo Saxon culture predominated lower class english society for hundreds of years following the invasion. Its just that the Ruling Classes society is one we can see evidence of today.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 03:11 AM   #4

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Although the Normans impinged on British society, the anglo-saxons were by no means written out, and in fact the erosion was in some ways the opposite direction as the teachers of norman children were invariably anglo-saxon servants.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 05:47 AM   #5
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Maybe if we stopped calling them Anglo-Saxons and called them English we could see their achievements better. The ethnic mix of England in the twelfth century is different from the ethnic mix of England today yet both are English.

Asser might describe Alfred as King of the Anglo-Saxons and give him Germanic sounding ancestors but thatís just one source, also used by the ASC, and might be to do with church politics.

The one contemporary source we do have is the Treaty of Alfred and Guthrum, written around 880. I havenít seen the actual document in Old English but all the translations Iíve seen mention an English Nation.

Not a new idea but one I feel that is growing.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 12:24 PM   #6
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Thats interesting. I presumed that the English didn't start seeing themselves as a nation or as a group of people till the 14/15th century. During the 100 yrs war. *off to check this document* Though are you sure they haven't got nation and state mixed up.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 01:18 PM   #7

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Part of the Saxon legacy is the English language (parts of it), plus the geography of England - the shire names and divisions. The Saxons turned England into a Catholic nation, they were the catalyst for creating the King Arthur myth, and they established the use of the word 'Easter' for that religious celebration.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 01:21 PM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by needstablity View Post
When I read something about the English history, I always thought about this.

What is the legacy of the Anglo-Saxons (that we can encounter today)?

There are probably less than I can think of. William the Conqueror practically eroded almost everything about the previous Anglo-Saxons in England. There are a handful of Anglo-Saxon era churches today. This is all I can think of.
Most of the counties/shires and most of the place names are Anglo-Saxon in origin, also even in legal documents most of the words will be Anglo-Saxon in origin.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 02:43 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by History Fanatic View Post
Thats interesting. I presumed that the English didn't start seeing themselves as a nation or as a group of people till the 14/15th century. During the 100 yrs war. *off to check this document* Though are you sure they haven't got nation and state mixed up.
That depends. Regional identity is a very strong characteristic of any people and the Britons were no exception (we still make jokes about regional characters today based on stereotypes). However, the advent of english/danish struggles must have cemented the wessex-dominated national identity, and Alfred isn't called 'the Great' for nothing. Further, by the time of 1066, we see a clear national identity among saxons inhabitants, coloured by the normal feudalism of past ages.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 02:45 AM   #10
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Common Law?
Trail by Juries?
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