18 Facts About Anglo-Saxons


Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group who inhabited England in the Early Middle Ages.

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However, the ethnogenesis of the Anglo-Saxons happened within Britain, and the identity was not merely imported.

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Bede identifies three phases of settlement: an exploration phase, when mercenaries came to protect the resident population; a migration phase, which was substantial as implied by the statement that Anglus was deserted; and an establishment phase, in which Anglo-Saxons started to control areas, implied in Bede's statement about the origins of the tribes.

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The traditional explanation for their archaeological and linguistic invisibility is that the Anglo-Saxons either killed them or drove them to the mountainous fringes of Britain, a view broadly supported by the few available sources from the period.

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Harke has posited a scenario in which the Anglo-Saxons, in expanding westward, outbred the Britons, eventually reaching a point where their descendants made up a larger share of the population of what was to become England.

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Anglo-Saxons had been the prior of a monastery in Rome when Pope Gregory the Great chose him in 595 to lead the Gregorian mission to Britain to Christianise the Kingdom of Kent from their native Anglo-Saxon paganism.

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Anglo-Saxons had been at the monastery in Iona when Oswald asked to be sent a mission to Christianise the Kingdom of Northumbria from their native Anglo-Saxon paganism.

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Anglo-Saxons was joined the following year by his colleague Hadrian, a Latin-speaking African by origin and former abbot of a monastery in Campania .

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Anglo-Saxons's work showed that scholars in England, at the very edge of Europe, could be as learned and sophisticated as any writers in Europe.

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Anglo-Saxons established a chain of fortresses across the south of England, reorganised the army, "so that always half its men were at home, and half out on service, except for those men who were to garrison the burhs", and in 896 ordered a new type of craft to be built which could oppose the Viking longships in shallow coastal waters.

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Anglo-Saxons was uncompromising in his insistence on respect for the law.

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The Anglo-Saxons became the predominant element in the elite Varangian Guard, hitherto a largely North Germanic unit, from which the emperor's bodyguard was drawn and continued to serve the empire until the early 15th century.

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However the Anglo-Saxons believed in 'luck' as a random element in the affairs of man and so would probably have agreed that there is a limit to the extent one can understand why one kingdom failed while another succeeded.

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Pagan Anglo-Saxons worshipped at a variety of different sites across their landscape, some of which were apparently specially built temples and others that were natural geographical features such as sacred trees, hilltops or wells.

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The early Anglo-Saxons were organised in various small kingdoms often corresponding to later shires or counties.

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Anglo-Saxons used symbolism to communicate as well as to aid their thinking about the world.

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Anglo-Saxons used symbols to differentiate between groups and people, status and role in society.

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Food eaten by Anglo-Saxons was long presumed to differ between elites and commoners.

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