Were Hengest and Horsa Real?

Nov 2008
1,155
England
I'm not referring to concubines, that was a term Peter used.
I mentioned marriage as well a concubinage in my post, and once again I will repeat that this may well have happened in the early phases of the Adventus.

We know that what little british archaology there is, hanging bowls, enamelled objects, is found almost exclusively in germanic contexts.
Not exclusively. Try and seek out Peter Graham`s posts about the British polity based at Lincoln. That is one example.

British women too could have married into anglo saxon settlements for protection.
This fits with what I wrote in my first sentence.

If Britain's 4m romano british population crashed to 1.5m to 2m, how would 200,000 anglo saxons immigrants grow to become a solid majority?
I Believe Justinian`s plague may be part of the answer. There is also some circumstantial evidence that the Anglo-Saxons actually marginalised the Britons by taking the good agricultural land, leaving only the less productive areas for them. Indeed, you have hinted at such a scenario in previous posts if my memory serves me correctly.

That was your scenario, not mine. I favour much much chain migration over a couple of centuries.
You must have misunderstood me, and possibly I misunderstood you. I`m certainly not against the possibility that the migration, or migrations, took place over a century or so. Indeed, that has been my favoured belief. However, there could have been a large scale migration in the second half of the fifth century, something similar to the Lombard migration/invasion of Italy.

Bede writes that Aelthfrith did more to drive Britons out or make them tributary.
I`m not ignoring the tributary Britons. But would the Anglo-Saxons have married them? Did colonists in Australia marry aboriginal people? Possibly a few, but not many. Did !9th century Americans marry Indians in the migration westwards? Some certainly did, but the incidence was not that great. You see where I`m going with this line of argument, and it is reflected in the literature not just in Ine`s laws. There is just too much of it to be lightly dismissed or ignored.

It is tenuous to assume little assimilation because of some late 7th century laws in one part of the country. Nor do those laws suggest a contemptuous relationship anyway. To the contrary, they show that britons could achieve positions of high rank - "Cyninges horswealh" referring to a king's horse messenger. It shows a degree of trust and the fact that it was written into law suggests that it was not an unusual position.
These laws certainly do put Britons in an inferior position, and also the very term wealas has negative conatations. The weregild for a British horse messenger is lower that that of a corresponding West Saxon one. It is instructive to note the weregild you mention for this British horse rider only attracted a sum equivalent to that of a Saxon ceorl, namely 200 shillings. I`m not so sure about your last point. It may have been necessary to include the status in the laws because of its unusual nature. The laws of Ine have the nature of being written as each case arose and needed clarification, rather than being composed at one sitting.

I will agree with you that there probably have been some inter-marriage, but I don`t believe it was wide-spread as Peter believes, or as he terms it "assimilation". Nevertheless, all of the scenarios mentioned may have happened at different times and in different locations to a certain degree, but not to a large degree. For instance, Aethelfrith, The Northumbrian king, drove out some Britons and made some tributary, but there is no record of my favourite Mercian king, Penda, doing that.
 
Nov 2008
1,155
England
Regarding chain migration, carbon dating of the two groups in the graveyard at West Heslerton, local and non local dates for 2 possible date calibrations are as follows :

Earliest possible phase
I (450–500 AD) 4 - 7
II (500–550 AD) 5 - 3
III (550–600 AD) 2 - 1

Latest possible phase
II (500–550 AD) 2 - 3
III (550–600 AD) 6 - 5
IV (600–650 AD) 3 - 3

There are 11 non locals and 11 local. The locals does not necessarily imply britons because the children of immigrants would look local. What is clear however, is thet non locals, ie first generation immigrant appear in all date phases, classic chain migration, where people follow in the footsteps of their predecessors.
Interesting, Authun, and there is nothing controversial here.
 
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Nov 2008
1,155
England
That assertion is not supported even by the of Peter Heather, who argues for large scale migration of the Goths.

"It is now impossible to believe in a European past littered with closed ‘peoples’ utterly distinct from one another. "
Peter Heather, Migration - Networks and Neighbours 3.1 (2015)
I downloaded the paper a couple of weeks ago. Thank you anyway.

Again looking at Authun`s post. That scenario infers only young men migrated during the Adventus, and I consider that to be unrealistic, and it certainly did not happen with others during the Volkerwanderung.
That is what I wrote, read carefully. Are you suggesting Heather believes only young Gothic males migrated into the wreckage of the Western Roman Empire? If so, I will have to re-read Heather`s paper.
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
4,867
I downloaded the paper a couple of weeks ago. Thank you anyway.

That is what I wrote, read carefully. Are you suggesting Heather believes only young Gothic males migrated into the wreckage of the Western Roman Empire? If so, I will have to re-read Heather`s paper.
I am pointing out that Heather rejects any concept that any migrating peoples, whether Goths, Anglo Saxons or other, remain intact and distinct from their neighbours. In Heather's view the idea that the anglo saxons did not mix with Britons is 'impossible'.

It is now impossible to believe in a European past littered with closed ‘peoples’ utterly distinct from one another. "
 
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authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
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Not exclusively. Try and seek out Peter Graham`s posts about the British polity based at Lincoln. That is one example.
I wrote "almost exclusively", not "exclusively". Were there say half a dozen instances, that would make a difference. However, I take the term from Heinrich Härke's paper 'Invisible Britons', "Such artefacts (penannular brooches, hanging bowls and enamelled items) have been recovered exclusively from Anglo-Saxon cultural contexts, " Whether Peter is right or Härke is right, Kevin Leahy in Towards the Anglo Saxon Kingdom of Lindsey* writes that the hanging bowl in Lincoln and which was found in a grave is evidence of 'activity' only. Leahy does not write that it is british activity or that it is a british grave and also points out that anglo saxon pottery sherds and a girdle hanger are also found. (ASSAH 10 Making of Kingdoms). On the one hand, it may be a british archaeological artefact in a germanic grave, on the other it may be evidence of anglo saxons and britons both living in Lincoln. We don't know.


I`m not ignoring the tributary Britons. But would the Anglo-Saxons have married them?
Why not? If the dwellers on the western moors agreed to pay the Bernician Aethelfrith tribute, why would they not interact with Deirans who were much closer geographically and who had just as much cause to hate Aethelfrith? Aethelfrith's aggression may have spurred the Westmoringas on to seek the protection of the Deirans. With Aethelfrith dead, they might have wanted to consolidate an alliance. Your enemy's enemy is my friend.

I am genuinely interested to hear your model for the numbers. If Britain's 4m romano british population crashed to 1.5m to 2m, how would 200,000 anglo saxons immigrants grow to become a solid majority? British women marrying anglo saxon males offers a possible explanation. If you reject that model, what else could explain the data?
 
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Nov 2008
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I am pointing out that Heather rejects any concept that any migrating peoples, whether Goths, Anglo Saxons or other, remain intact and distinct from their neighbours. In Heather's view the idea that the anglo saxons did not mix with Britons is 'impossible'. Though this appears to be a view you hold.
No. Once again you are not seemingly reading what I wrote. I`m suggesting that Anglo-Saxons did not mix with Britons to a large extent, and that is to the point where there was what could be described as assimilation to a great extent and over a wide area; but I will repeat for the last time what I have wrote a number of times and that is the circumstances were nuanced and varied from time to time and from place to place. In short, King Aethelfrith had much fun ethnically cleansing Britons a lot of the time, but when he was in a good mood he only subjugated them. King Penda, my hero, on the other hand did not do any of that. Anyone, whatever their race or creed, were welcome in his mead hall on a Saturday night. It is true, though, that anyone who crossed him got knocked on the head, as King Anna of the East Anglia found out and he was English.
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
4,867
In short, King Aethelfrith had much fun ethnically cleansing Britons a lot of the time, but when he was in a good mood he only subjugated them. King Penda, my hero, on the other hand did not do any of that. Anyone, whatever their race or creed, were welcome in his mead hall on a Saturday night.
What is this? I'll take it that you're happy that it is the end of the first working week of the New Year.
 
Nov 2008
1,155
England
I am genuinely interested to hear your model for the numbers. If Britain's 4m romano british population crashed to 1.5m to 2m, how would 200,000 anglo saxons immigrants grow to become a solid majority? British women marrying anglo saxon males offers a possible explanation. If you reject that model, what else could explain the data?
I have heard that History repeats itself, but it seems Aelfwine has to do so too. Here we go:

I Believe Justinian`s plague may be part of the answer. There is also some circumstantial evidence that the Anglo-Saxons actually marginalised the Britons by taking the good agricultural land, leaving only the less productive areas for them. Indeed, you have hinted at such a scenario in previous posts if my memory serves me correctly.
Now I will ask you a question. Do you think historians take into account when they present their hypotheses the effects of the Dunkirk marine transgression, the plague of Justinian, and the adverse climatic event of the sixth century?
 
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authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
4,867
I have heard that History repeats itself, but it seems Aelfwine has to do so too.
But you have avoided the answer. You supply no data, no estimates, no model. How does 1 to 2 million romano britons and 200,000 anglo saxons in the 5th/6th century turn into a solid anglo saxon majority in the 7th century? What figures and timescale are you suggesting for the turn around?

The marine transgression was a 4th century event and affected roman britain and in all probablity it contributed to a drop in the 4m population. Even if, as speculated, that reduced it to 2m , the population is still far in excess of 200,000 anglo saxons. If the plague reduced the 2m further down to 1m, there are still 5 times as many britons as anglo saxons. What happened? The events of 536 do not explain it, Elmet, is still a british kingdom east of the Pennines at the start of the 7th century.

They are contributory factors but I cannot see how they would affect the data to the extent of overturning such a majority. Other factors must also be in play and intermarriage is one explanation. If you reject that, what do you propose?
 
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Nov 2008
1,155
England
What is this? I'll take it that you're happy that it is the end of the first working week of the New Year.
I`m retired so working weeks are a thing of the past.

But you have avoided the answer. You supply no data, no estimates, no model. How does 1 to 2 million romano britons and 200,000 anglo saxons in the 5th/6th century turn into a solid anglo saxon majority in the 7th century? What figures and timescale are you suggesting for the turn around?
Supplying numbers for this period is guesswork , but using your numbers I believe it would be possible for those 200,000 Anglo-Saxons to eventually multiply and become the majority if the Britons only suffered great mortality during Justinians plague. That and also the marginalisation of the British being forced to live on poor farmland.

The events of 536 do not explain it, Elmet, is still a british kingdom east of the Pennines at the start of the 7th century.
I never mentioned Elmet: I mentioned historians. Here is what I wrote:

Now I will ask you a question. Do you think historians take into account when they present their hypotheses the effects of the Dunkirk marine transgression, the plague of Justinian, and the adverse climatic event of the sixth century?
 
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