What did the Angles, Saxons and Jutes do to the native English?

Jan 2014
2,382
Westmorland
But if it was not a defence, then I`m at a loss to understand how the Romans could have effectively defended the rich Lincolnshire hinterland. Those extensive watery wastes would have aided Saxon pirates to penetrate far inland, not prevented them doing so.
One possible answer is that they didn't really need to defend it because Saxon piracy wasn't that much of a problem.

But even if it was, Lincolnshire is one of those places where the Roman roads really are arrow straight. Lincoln was a major town and appears to have avoided much trouble in the Roman period. An undefended large villa at North Greetwell, a few miles out of Lincoln, has plausibly been proposed as the residence of the provincial governor. The county was studded with other small, walled Roman towns (including Caistor, Ancaster and Horncastle) which presumably operated as centres of the pagi. There isn't a lot of evidence of violence at any of them and I'd guess that the good logistics and open country meant that as soon as raiders were spotted, a response could be marshalled pretty quickly. Unless you have a chronic problem, you don't need to build a 70 mile stop line and if you do have a chronic problem, that stop line has to be manned, in which case we'd have evidence of garrisons, towns or whatever
 
Nov 2008
1,278
England
One possible answer is that they didn't really need to defend it because Saxon piracy wasn't that much of a problem.

But even if it was, Lincolnshire is one of those places where the Roman roads really are arrow straight. Lincoln was a major town and appears to have avoided much trouble in the Roman period. An undefended large villa at North Greetwell, a few miles out of Lincoln, has plausibly been proposed as the residence of the provincial governor. The county was studded with other small, walled Roman towns (including Caistor, Ancaster and Horncastle) which presumably operated as centres of the pagi. There isn't a lot of evidence of violence at any of them and I'd guess that the good logistics and open country meant that as soon as raiders were spotted, a response could be marshalled pretty quickly. Unless you have a chronic problem, you don't need to build a 70 mile stop line and if you do have a chronic problem, that stop line has to be manned, in which case we'd have evidence of garrisons, towns or whatever
To be frank, I`m am bored with this seemingly endless discussion because it is going nowhere. I was going to summarise again why Jim Storr believes the Car Dyke is a defensive structure but I can see no point in doing so because I would be repeating myself. Concerning Frankish and Saxon piracy during this period, all the information is in Haywood` book Dark Age Naval Power. I do not, however, believe you would find reading Haywood`s book instructive, simply because you have a negative attitude towards it. I suspect the same is true for Storr`s book King Arthur`s Wars.
 
Dec 2014
23
Kent, England
Quote:
In the hungry period of June\July when there is nothing for a farmer to do but wait for the crops to ripen, he goes off to steal his British neighbours supplies
Why his British neighbour? Why would he not steal off his AS neighbour if the opportunity presented itself? We mustn't let our own ideologies about nationalism infect our thinking about the past. If you look at the raiding and reiving of the pre-1603 Anglo-Scottish border, it is quite clear that everyone raided everyone. Nationality doesn't appear to have been a concern.

Yep - that is just how I see it.
Other things being equal, I would think he was most likely to steal from whoever he had the fewest social ties with.
 
Jan 2014
2,382
Westmorland
Other things being equal, I would think he was most likely to steal from whoever he had the fewest social ties with.
Possibly so, provided we can accept that social ties were not necessarily ethnically conditioned. A remarkable number of commentators (including those who really should know better) assume that early medieval Britons felt - or, at least, should have felt - some greater kinship with other Britons than with any of the other inhabitants of the British Isles. Conflict between Britons is often described as 'squabbling' which led to a failure of Britons to unite against ' the common enemy'. Such interpretations are so shot through with assumptions as to make any conclusions drawn from them virtually worthless.
 
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Dec 2014
23
Kent, England
Possibly so, provided we can accept that social ties were not necessarily ethnically conditioned. A remarkable number of commentators (including those who really should know better) assume that early medieval Britons felt - or, at least, should have felt - some greater kinship with other Britons than with any of the other inhabitants of the British Isles. Conflict between Britons is often described as 'squabbling' which led to a failure of Britons to unite against ' the common enemy'. Such interpretations are so shot through with assumptions as to make any conclusions drawn from them virtually worthless.
Exactly my point, thank you.
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
5,018
Other things being equal, I would think he was most likely to steal from whoever he had the fewest social ties with.
The original premise is not an accurate summary of anglo saxon food production - that there was hunger during the months of June and July. Huge quantities of animal bones and large quantities of shell fish have been found at West Heslerton. Even dolphin bones have been found in the Peak District. Some vegetables, like leeks for example, were planted because they could be harvested between late autumn and early spring. They were also adept of food preservation, drying, salting curing etc. Milk and cheese were produced all year round and oats, rye and barley was stored for bread making. This was also supplmented by game, venison, duck, boar, geese plus things like gull eggs.

This is what Oxbow Books has to say about Ann Hagen's Anglo Saxon Food and Drink. Production, Processing, Distribution and Consumption.

"This synthesis of primary and secondary sources, both literary and archaeological, on the subject of Anglo-Saxon food and drink, brings together a vast amount of data and authoritative discussion on a broad range of subjects. Ann Hagen stears away from drawing heavily on recipes as a means of revealing the types of foods, food choices and preferences in this period, to focus on the growing and harvesting of domestic and wild foods, preserving, food preparation and eating. Cereals, vegetables, herbs, fruit and nuts, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, poultry and eggs, wild animals and birds, honey, fish and molluscs, are just some of the food types discussed. Within each section Ann Hagen delves deeper to consider such subjects as the methods of harvesting and processing food, hunting and animal husbandry, attitudes towards particular types of food, accessibility to foods, diet, food shortages, diseases and what foods were considered everyday and which were reserved for special occasions. Food as payment for rents or services rendered, markets, measures, fasting and feasting, are also discussed in detail. Moving on to drink, Ann Hagen examines the types of drinks available, the context in which they were consumed - domestic, religious and in the alehouse - and the prevalence of drunkenness. In her conclusion, she draws together the evidence to reveal changes in food production and preferences from the early 5th to 11th century, drawing largely on sources from Anglo-Saxon England and the Celtic West of Britain. The role of women, the importance of bread, the social status of feasting, nutrition and changes in diet, and table manners, are just some of the many subjects covered. An excellent study and great value for money. "
 
Dec 2014
23
Kent, England
The original premise is not an accurate summary of anglo saxon food production - that there was hunger during the months of June and July. Huge quantities of animal bones and large quantities of shell fish have been found at West Heslerton. Even dolphin bones have been found in the Peak District. Some vegetables, like leeks for example, were planted because they could be harvested between late autumn and early spring. They were also adept of food preservation, drying, salting curing etc. Milk and cheese were produced all year round and oats, rye and barley was stored for bread making. This was also supplmented by game, venison, duck, boar, geese plus things like gull eggs.

This is what Oxbow Books has to say about Ann Hagen's Anglo Saxon Food and Drink. Production, Processing, Distribution and Consumption.

"This synthesis of primary and secondary sources, both literary and archaeological, on the subject of Anglo-Saxon food and drink, brings together a vast amount of data and authoritative discussion on a broad range of subjects. Ann Hagen stears away from drawing heavily on recipes as a means of revealing the types of foods, food choices and preferences in this period, to focus on the growing and harvesting of domestic and wild foods, preserving, food preparation and eating. Cereals, vegetables, herbs, fruit and nuts, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, poultry and eggs, wild animals and birds, honey, fish and molluscs, are just some of the food types discussed. Within each section Ann Hagen delves deeper to consider such subjects as the methods of harvesting and processing food, hunting and animal husbandry, attitudes towards particular types of food, accessibility to foods, diet, food shortages, diseases and what foods were considered everyday and which were reserved for special occasions. Food as payment for rents or services rendered, markets, measures, fasting and feasting, are also discussed in detail. Moving on to drink, Ann Hagen examines the types of drinks available, the context in which they were consumed - domestic, religious and in the alehouse - and the prevalence of drunkenness. In her conclusion, she draws together the evidence to reveal changes in food production and preferences from the early 5th to 11th century, drawing largely on sources from Anglo-Saxon England and the Celtic West of Britain. The role of women, the importance of bread, the social status of feasting, nutrition and changes in diet, and table manners, are just some of the many subjects covered. An excellent study and great value for money. "
Very interesting, especially as there were many deaths from starvation in June/July well into the 19th century.

However while the extract seems to show that overall there was a large and varied amount of food available it does nothing to relate this to population ie food per person or take into account the impact of famine years.
 
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authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
5,018
Very interesting, especially as there were many deaths from starvation in June/July well into the 19th century.
There were famines due to crop failures but they are of a different nature to the annual lull in production suggested in the relevant post. England's population grew steadily from the end of the 8th cent until the plague in the 1300s. Food production was in general, not a hinderance to growth. Besides, anglo saxon and 19th century are completely different societies, early anglo saxon society being almost exclusively agricultural with tiny settlements producing for what they needed with little trade. Manufacturing, trading and market towns, transport, warehousing and the start of a more modern economy come later and monetary systems are later developments. In this society, there are large numbers of people not producing food relying on others producing it for them. Geoffrey Chaucer of Canterbury Tales fame was Customs Controller in the Port of London in the 1300s and had dealings with the Hanseatic Steelyard in London, the Hanseatic League in northern europe and also with the mediterranean world. Men were employed filling and emptying warehouses, loading and unloading ships, cities existed all with mouths to feed. Nothing like that in early anglo saxon england. At that time, wool produced in Yorkshire was turned into cloth locally. By Chaucer's time, sacks of raw wool from Yorkshire were being traded in the market in Florence. You wouldn't have had the irish potato famine had it not been for the system of landlords and tennants where production was decided by the land owners according to market prices. Even at the height of the famine, potatoes were being exported from some parts of Ireland to England.
 
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Mar 2019
27
Europe
Hi, I'm pretty perplexed by this subject and that's being kind.
1. What exactly did the invading Germanic tribes do to the native English (Britons)? Did they kill them all off? Did they impose an Apartheid like system on the native British, where by Germanic men would rape and impregnate native English women (and British men were prohibited from marrying Germanic women) like some historians have suggested?
2. Or did the invading Germanics (Saxons, Angles, Jutes) actually intermarry with the native British?
3. What is the most current and valid theory on the subject?
4. At what point in British history, do the lines between Briton and say Saxon for example, become completely blurred? In other words, when are all British referred to as Anglo-Saxons? Why did this happen?
5. Just how Anglo-Saxon are the modern British?
There are no "Native English".
The term English comes from Angles, who are Germanics. There were no English on the British Isles prior to them.
Britons were just that... Britons, not "Native English".
 
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