How authentic is this scene?

Jan 2015
2,859
MD, USA
#3
Basic rule of thumb: EVERYTHING in the movies is WRONG. The producers work very hard and spend lots of extra time and money to achieve that wrongness. Now, once in a while, something more-or-less historical might slip in by accident, but please don't let that spoil your enjoyment of the film.

In this case, there *were* human beings who used round shields with bosses. And that was a nice sword hilt, only 3 or 4 centuries too early for that scene. Everything else, down to dialog and mindset, sorry, right down the crapper.

Matthew

PS: Didn't someone ask the very same question about this very same scene not too long ago? Just seems like deja vu...
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,634
Dispargum
#4
At one time it was commonly believed that the Anglo-Saxons perpetrated a genocide in Britain so that when they were done, there was no one left in England but Anglo-Saxons. No one with even a cursury study of the topic believes that any more. There was considerable intermarriage. While there were quite a few wars between the Romano-British and the Anglo-Saxons, it wasn't genocide.
 
Nov 2018
174
Wales
#5
DNA and isotope analysis have certainly dismissed any Anglo-Saxon invasion as we know it. We should have already known this from Roman sources. Rome named their defenses and commander titles after the areas they defended, or certain individuals, not their enemies.

Saxon Shore - Wikipedia

The Saxons were already in Britain while the Romans were still in control.
 
Sep 2015
319
ireland
#6
At one time it was commonly believed that the Anglo-Saxons perpetrated a genocide in Britain so that when they were done, there was no one left in England but Anglo-Saxons. No one with even a cursury study of the topic believes that any more. There was considerable intermarriage. While there were quite a few wars between the Romano-British and the Anglo-Saxons, it wasn't genocide.
I still believe it to be so with perhaps a few qualifications. First of all it depends on what period you`re talking about. Genocide probably overstates it a bit, but there`s enough literary evidence to suggest that we`re not talking about slow and friendly assimilation, not even close. There may well have been some of that in the second half of the 4th century but the 5th was a different animal entirely. As regards intermarriage, I`d suggest that both sides of the family might not have attended the wedding. It`s also unfair to blame it all on the Saxons. Gildas spoke of three devastations by the Scots and Picts in the first half of the 5th century where the northerners crossed Hadrians Wall and forced the abandonment of towns culminating in the letter to Aetius ..... "the barbarians drive us into the sea and the sea drives us back into the hands of the barbarians".

I`d be of the opinion that there was a large area of south central Britain depopulated in the latter 5th century, effectively a waste land. Even in the sixth, Gildas said many of the cities were not inhabited as the had previously been and that they were "deserted, dismantled and neglected". This was still at least a generation after the "war" had ceased. If that`s not evidence of some form of a wartime genocide, then I don`t know what is. I`d still be happy to take eyewitness evidence over that of DNA.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,634
Dispargum
#7
The problem with relying on literary sources is that we don't have any eyewitnesses. As you say, even Gildas wrote a generation or more after the invasion that he describes. All cities in the former empire saw significant population declines in the 5th and 6th centuries. What happened to British cities was not unusual for the times, but no one suggests a genocide on the continent. At one point Rome had over a million people. By the 6th century its population had fallen to about 10,000. That's a 99% decline. If Gildas said the British cities were "deserted, dismantled, and neglected" we are under no obligation to take him literally. He was probably exagerating. A city with only 10% of its former population would seem deserted/dismantled/neglected.

What was unusual in Britain was that Latin nearly died out and was replaced by English. On the continent, the barbarians dropped their native languages and adopted Latin. Why Britain was different is something of a mystery that genocide could explain, but there are other explanations as well. In Gaul it took almost 500 years for Latin to displace Celtic. Britain was only Roman for 350 years so Latin was less established there. Roman schools seem to have been less common in Britain than elsewhere around the empire.

The Romano-British also to some extent abandoned Christianity, or at least the Roman Church. This could also be explained by genocide, but a closer look at the literary sources reveals the survival of the Celtic Church. Gildas and Bede meant that the Roman Church died out, but they have been interpreted to mean that all Christianity disappeared. It didn't.
 
Nov 2018
174
Wales
#8
I still believe it to be so with perhaps a few qualifications. First of all it depends on what period you`re talking about. Genocide probably overstates it a bit, but there`s enough literary evidence to suggest that we`re not talking about slow and friendly assimilation, not even close. There may well have been some of that in the second half of the 4th century but the 5th was a different animal entirely. As regards intermarriage, I`d suggest that both sides of the family might not have attended the wedding. It`s also unfair to blame it all on the Saxons. Gildas spoke of three devastations by the Scots and Picts in the first half of the 5th century where the northerners crossed Hadrians Wall and forced the abandonment of towns culminating in the letter to Aetius ..... "the barbarians drive us into the sea and the sea drives us back into the hands of the barbarians".

I`d be of the opinion that there was a large area of south central Britain depopulated in the latter 5th century, effectively a waste land. Even in the sixth, Gildas said many of the cities were not inhabited as the had previously been and that they were "deserted, dismantled and neglected". This was still at least a generation after the "war" had ceased. If that`s not evidence of some form of a wartime genocide, then I don`t know what is. I`d still be happy to take eyewitness evidence over that of DNA.
The following dna map appears to show an Amglo-Saxon invasion. You can see all the A-S by their red squares right? What many neglect is that the author of the map points out that all British DNA is closer to each other, than to any European general type. Despite the apparent labels shown on this map, people in Britain are similar, regardless of location. Given that the A-S never conquered, or even inhabited substantial areas of Britain, it is almost certain no A-S invasion took place.

What is certain is that bad science was involved in the Georgian and Victorian eras in perpetrating the A-S invasion myth. This is where 'science' is used to prove a theory based on politics or culture, rather than literature being used to add 'colour' to actual FACT.

The reason for the marginal differences in DNA can be explained by geography, specifically geology.
 
Likes: Sindane

Sindane

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
4,671
Europe
#9
The following dna map appears to show an Amglo-Saxon invasion. You can see all the A-S by their red squares right? What many neglect is that the author of the map points out that all British DNA is closer to each other, than to any European general type. Despite the apparent labels shown on this map, people in Britain are similar, regardless of location. Given that the A-S never conquered, or even inhabited substantial areas of Britain, it is almost certain no A-S invasion took place.

What is certain is that bad science was involved in the Georgian and Victorian eras in perpetrating the A-S invasion myth. This is where 'science' is used to prove a theory based on politics or culture, rather than literature being used to add 'colour' to actual FACT.

The reason for the marginal differences in DNA can be explained by geography, specifically geology.
Wrong
The red square shape does not represent 'Anglo Saxon

Added - yes the colours and shapes only show relatedness
 
Last edited:
Sep 2015
319
ireland
#10
Well Gildas had access to eyewitness accounts of Saxon activity because he says so and his descriptions of Saxon atrocities are far more vivid than anything he says of the Scots and Picts. He is his own eyewitness to the state of the towns and if he was exaggerating, then I think you need to have a reason as to why he`d do it. It just doesn`t make any sense that he would embellish the facts when his congregation had their own eyes and ears and knew perfectly well what was going on around them. I`d also suggest that a town that had it`s population reduced by 90% in a war would have suffered a genocide but I know that your 10% is only a speculative number.

The other bit of evidence I`d offer is something nobody ever seems to take notice of and it is Patricks Confessio. After escaping from slavery in Ireland Patrick writes about returning to Britain and wandering around for 28 days with his companions and not meeting anyone. You`d probably cover 500 miles on foot in that time.
 

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