Were Hengest and Horsa Real?

Jan 2014
2,333
Westmorland
I'm basing my arguments on what a number of scholars say. Amongst these are Patrick Sims-Williams, who is one of our foremost philologists and an acknowledged expert on the early medieval period. If you think he and the others are wrong, you need to provide a proper rebuttal with appropriate references to the scholars who argue as you do. Simply referencing an online dictionary with no explanation of what I'm supposed to be looking for (I can guess, but it's for you to make your case) isn't enough.

I'll level with you. My concern is that your dogged adherence to the notion that the ASC is an accurate record of fifth or sixth-century events is essentially a faith-based position rather than an evidence based one. For whatever reason, you want or need it to be true. You don't want to give it up and I don't think you have any interest in having your mind changed. That's your prerogative, but if I am right, there's nothing to be gained by continuing this discussion.
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
4,971
I suppose the next question is whether the Wihtgars from 697 on were named after the fifth-century figure or whether the name had currency on the Continent and can be shown to have been in existence before or during the migration age.

It's impossible to know what names were used in pre-literate society but 'gar' is common enough throughout the germanic speaking world. Hrothgar ofcourse is a king of the spear danes but the name was used until the time of the normans who introduced it into England and is now known as Roger. It replaced OE Hroðgar . It might be possible to find examples in the Prosopography of the Late Roman Empire but the germanic names are romanised and not immediately obvious, eg Arminius' postulated germanic name was Herman. It does show that dithematic names were in use from the 1st century and there are other examples like the Marcomannic prince Cathuualda. There may be 'gar' examples in roman sources but I don't have access to PLRE. It has to be hypothesised though back projection. By the same token we don't have direct examples that the britons spoke a celtic language. The existence of Brittonic too is a combination of romanised words and names and a back projection of old welsh. We don't have any writen evidence from the Britons themselves.
 
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Haesten

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,874
I'm basing my arguments on what a number of scholars say. Amongst these are Patrick Sims-Williams, who is one of our foremost philologists and an acknowledged expert on the early medieval period. If you think he and the others are wrong, you need to provide a proper rebuttal with appropriate references to the scholars who argue as you do. Simply referencing an online dictionary with no explanation of what I'm supposed to be looking for (I can guess, but it's for you to make your case) isn't enough.

I'll level with you. My concern is that your dogged adherence to the notion that the ASC is an accurate record of fifth or sixth-century events is essentially a faith-based position rather than an evidence based one. For whatever reason, you want or need it to be true. You don't want to give it up and I don't think you have any interest in having your mind changed. That's your prerogative, but if I am right, there's nothing to be gained by continuing this discussion.
You appear to want Natanleod's birth certificate as proof, no one claims the ASC is accurate to the degree you demand for the early 6c, just not all invented as you claim. I have noticed you do not demand the same degree of proof for your Welsh sources?

Btw Swanton note 14 makes no comment on Natanleod, just Cerdicesford "presumably" Charford, Hants.

wæt - wet

'' - Bosworth–Toller Anglo-Saxon Dictionary
 
Jan 2014
2,333
Westmorland
You appear to want Natanleod's birth certificate as proof, no one claims the ASC is accurate to the degree you demand for the early 6c, just not all invented as you claim. I have noticed you do not demand the same degree of proof for your Welsh sources?
Of course I don't want Natanleod's birth certificate. I'm open to being wrong, but if you want me to accept that you are right, all I want is for you to provide a proper, scholarly argument to support your case.

I am equally critical of the Welsh sources. And for the same reasons - they are the products of a later age. A ninth-century source is a primary source for the ninth-century, but is not a primary source for the fifth-century. We know that medieval audiences saw things differently to us - as both Sims-Williams and Halsall have pointed out, the whole point of 'history' was to provide an instructive lesson or an enjoyable story, not to accurately report things that really happened. Truth, legend and myth could all legitimately be mixed up to achieve that objective. Our tendency to assume that a medieval audience expected the same from their history as we expect from ours is a fallacy. Scribes who invented stuff or twisted stuff weren't conning their audiences or engaged in dark conspiracies - they were just doing what they were supposed to do. As such, we have to accept that much of what a source says about an earlier period is quite likely to be a confection. We need to interrogate the preoccupations and circumstances in existence at the time of composition of a text to try and understand why it is telling us what it is telling us.

Might I suggest that you read the entirety of the first chapter of Yorke's Kings and Kingdoms if you are not already familiar with it? It is an excellent start point for some of this stuff. You might also read Helena Hamerow's chapter on the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms in the New Cambridge Medieval History series.
 

Haesten

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,874
Of course I don't want Natanleod's birth certificate. I'm open to being wrong, but if you want me to accept that you are right, all I want is for you to provide a proper, scholarly argument to support your case.

I am equally critical of the Welsh sources. And for the same reasons - they are the products of a later age. A ninth-century source is a primary source for the ninth-century, but is not a primary source for the fifth-century. We know that medieval audiences saw things differently to us - as both Sims-Williams and Halsall have pointed out, the whole point of 'history' was to provide an instructive lesson or an enjoyable story, not to accurately report things that really happened. Truth, legend and myth could all legitimately be mixed up to achieve that objective. Our tendency to assume that a medieval audience expected the same from their history as we expect from ours is a fallacy. Scribes who invented stuff or twisted stuff weren't conning their audiences or engaged in dark conspiracies - they were just doing what they were supposed to do. As such, we have to accept that much of what a source says about an earlier period is quite likely to be a confection. We need to interrogate the preoccupations and circumstances in existence at the time of composition of a text to try and understand why it is telling us what it is telling us.

Might I suggest that you read the entirety of the first chapter of Yorke's Kings and Kingdoms if you are not already familiar with it? It is an excellent start point for some of this stuff. You might also read Helena Hamerow's chapter on the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms in the New Cambridge Medieval History series.
I have read Helena, can't recall anything on Natanleod? I have also picked up a major howler by Barbara on the ASC before, Mercian Register from memory.
I seem to recall Net-ley compared to Tha-net somewhere.
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
4,971
Modern German nass, from Middle High German, from Old High German naz, from Proto-Germanic *nataz (“wet”), from Proto-Indo-European *ned- (“to be wet”). Cognate with Dutch nat (“wet”), Ancient Greek νοτέω (notéō, “to be wet”),

OE on the other hand uses wæt which is of course related to wæter neither of which need translation. However, it is possible in modern german to say 'nasser Wasser'. Sorting it out would require some thorough linguistic analysis.

Natanleod could be a germanic dithematic name however, leod, meaning people is related to modern german Leute. Natan can mean night and nætan can mean 'to crush'. Although a germanic construction it might easily be a name to give an oppressor, even if that oppressor was not germanic.
 

Haesten

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,874
Modern German nass, from Middle High German, from Old High German naz, from Proto-Germanic *nataz (“wet”), from Proto-Indo-European *ned- (“to be wet”). Cognate with Dutch nat (“wet”), Ancient Greek νοτέω (notéō, “to be wet”),

OE on the other hand uses wæt which is of course related to wæter neither of which need translation. However, it is possible in modern german to say 'nasser Wasser'. Sorting it out would require some thorough linguistic analysis.

Natanleod could be a germanic dithematic name however, leod, meaning people is related to modern german Leute. Natan can mean night and nætan can mean 'to crush'. Although a germanic construction it might easily be a name to give an oppressor, even if that oppressor was not germanic.
Similar origin probably.
Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, - Naze derives from OE næss (ness) - promontory/headland.
Naze DB - Aeldulvesnasa
 

Haesten

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,874
If the battle took place at Charford Hants, Natanleaga would most likely be the New Forest. DB - Nova Foresta.

Cerdic could have been called in by Jute settlers and landed in the Southampton Water/ Beulieu River area. This doesn't fit very well with the Gewisse a generation later being based at Dorchester on Thames.