Who are the Anglo Saxons


Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
Who are the Anglo Saxons and where did they come from ?

As their seems to be some newbies who are interested in Anglo Saxon history I think it would be a good idea to start a thread on the subject. To be honest, it's an area of history I could do with a bit more knowledge on :eek:

I look forward to reading your posts :)


Ad Honorem
Nov 2007
What little I can remember off-hand suggests that the Angles were from the area of Denmark/ North Germany, while the Saxons were from the lands along the Rhenus (Rhine).

Both tribes were invited over to provide protection for the Romano-British populations after the Roman Empire gave up Britannia.

The Angles were mainly based in what is now North-east England (Northumbria and Bernicia) as a sort of buffer-state between the Picts and their prey.

The Saxons seemed to concentrate around what became South-east and Southern England. Mostly in Suffolk (South folk) and Norfolk (North folk).
Dec 2007
London, England.
The Angles were the ones invited over by Vortigern to help fight and counter the picts and scottish raids, i won't rattle on about who led them as everyone knows who Hengist and his brother Horsa are. Although modern sources point them them being Jutes.

I spoke about this in another thread so i shall just copy this part of the info across:

According to sources such as the Bede and others, after the invasion of England, the Angles split up and founded the kingdoms of the Nord Angelnen (Northumbria), Ost Angelnen (East Anglia), and the Mittlere Angelnen (Mercia). The Angles were infact the founders of the "Anglo Saxon" kingdoms in England.

Long after the names such as Wessex, Essex, Sussex, Mercia (Middlesex being a county made by the Mercians) actually appear as the name of Kingdoms.

The Angles were mainly lived in the south and only after they rebelled against Vortigern and took swathes of his land did they invite over more of their folk and only then did they move around the land and go further up north. They were spead all over not just one area. Following the success of the take over more sects of "Saxons" came over.

The Jutes are orginally from Jutland in northern Denmark, and over the years have been argued over just who they are as a people. They have been called the Eucii or Saxones Eucii and seemed to be attached to the Saxon people and dependants of the Franks around 535/6. Others have said the Jutes are identified Eotenas and they were involved in heavy fighting with the Danes decribed in the "Finnesburg Fragment" which is an old english poem.

The Saxons come from what is now Northern Germany and were as history suggests, a mish mash of smaller tribes that came to be collectively called Saxons due to the area they lived. If you beleive why the Saxons were named its because of the single edges knives they used to carry called the Seax. According to historians over the periods the Saxons were very "war-like and ferocious" and that helped them to aquire land and territory both in their homeland and in England.

The Frisians also come from Northern Germany and Northern Holland. The language of the Frisians, even now, is the closest to English, if you go over to northern Holland now you could have a convosation with an local, although it would be difficult and a slow process but you could understand one another. They arrived in Kent long before the other ethnic groups arrived around the year 250s, they came peacefully but also as pirates. They also became tied to the Saxons and though already close relations were sucked into the Saxon way of life and become part of the "Saxon tribes"

What i have said above is really quite brief. If i were to list and name everything i would be here for weeks, so i wont. :p

There is so much information around about the "Anglo Saxons" it will make your head spin. The downside though is the fact that still people can't agree about the origins of the people, most of it is now known but i'd say a good 40% or so isn't so you will no doubt read a lot of contradictions and people slating each others work.

Hope this little bit of info helps, any questions just ask. :)
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Likes: macon


Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
Thanks for that Iron, I have been to Holland and agree with what you are saying about the language.
I am not convinced by some claims that the English language evolved separately in England and am of the view that it was introduced to the British Isles by the peoples known collectively as the Anglo Saxons, though I like to keep an open mind on these things
Thanks for your reply :)
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Dec 2007
London, England.
Thanks, this period of history is my favourite, i try to learn as much as i can. :)

@ PADDYBOY: You are definately right by saying it was introduced by the Anglo Saxon peoples, but because of the influx of people and different ethnic backgrounds over the years it did become a stand alone language, with words and meanings changing as various peoples moved around the country. Also with the Viking incursions and eventual settling, it was mixed even futher.

The "English" language at the time of the Anglo Saxons would have been recoginisable to folk coming from the continent but would sound strange because as i said before words and meanings changed a lot over the years, as well as all the different accents.
Likes: PoitierFrance
Feb 2011
Wakefield, West Yorkshire
They were from places that we consider Europe today. Places like Denmark, Germany and Sweden. They are not to be confused with the Vikings, as the Vikings were mostly from the northern lands like Norway rather than Germany

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