Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain
Quick Reference: Anglo-Saxon society
The Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain is the migration of several Germanic peoples from the western coasts of Europe and their settlement in Great Britain in the 5th century. There is no precise date known, save that it began in the early fifth century after the final departure of Roman troops in 410, and continued for some time thereafter. Their arrival is called the Adventus Saxonum in Latin texts, a characterisation first used by Gildas c. 540.
The Adventus Saxonum is the starting point in the history of England, and is traditionally characterised as an invasion rather than a settlement, with differing dates and circumstances suggested as the best conjecture. Whichever may be best, a measure of the early success of the Anglo-Saxons came in 441, when the Gallic Chronicle of 452 recorded that Britain fell under Saxon domination after suffering many disasters, likely meaning that all contact with the British coast had been cut off by that date.
There is ongoing debate, scholarly and otherwise, as to how and why the Anglo-Saxon settlements were successful and as to the full nature of the relationships between the Anglo-Saxons and Romano-Britons, including to what extent the incomers displaced or supplanted the existing inhabitants. The mostly non-Romanised Britons living in the west and north of Britain were largely unaffected by the Anglo-Saxon settlement.
- 1 Peoples
- 2 Migration factors
- 3 Early settlements
- 4 Earliest Anglo-Saxon Society
- 5 Number of migrants
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 Citations
- 9 References
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The only reliable and useful textual source for the peoples now known as the Anglo-Saxons and their original homelands is Bede's Ecclesiastical History, written c. 731. It identifies the migrants as Angles, Saxons and Jutes, and it says (Bk I, Ch 15) that the Saxons came from Old Saxony and the Angles from 'Anglia', which lay between the homelands of the Saxons and Jutes. Anglia is reasonably taken to be the old Schleswig-Holstein Province (straddling the modern Danish-German border), and containing the modern Angeln. Jutland was the homeland of the Jutes, and the coast between the Elbe and Weser rivers is the Saxon point of origin.
Angles, Saxons, Jutes
Artifacts known as tracht (i.e., native costumes that are inappropriate as trade goods) are among the most reliable evidence. One of the distinctions found in burials is in women's fashion, and here there are differences that distinguish and identify Angles, Saxons and Jutes, supplemented by finds that can be related to specific regions of the Continent. In eastern Kent, for example, excavation has uncovered Jutish-style brooches and pottery.
While the ancestral societies and customs of the Angles and Saxons can be deduced from their later attested activities in Britain, there is nothing known of the historical Jutes in their original homeland aside from Bede's statement that they lived north of the Angles. Attempts have been made to fill this vacuum with peoples mentioned in classical and other ancient sources.[note 1]
A type of earthenware unique to the 4th century Frisians, called terp Tritzum, has been found in both Flanders and Kent. This dissertation research, if substantiated, would refute the contention that Frisians were not among the Germanic settlers, as Snyder contends.
There is an ongoing debate as to whether the medieval and modern Frisians are the descendants of the ancient Frisians known to classical writers as the Frisii, or whether those ancient Frisians were replaced by Saxons from the east who were later given the name of the original Frisians. The arguments are beyond the scope of this article and tangential to its point—the 4th and 5th century people of Frisia were among the migrants to Britain, a people commonly known as Frisians.
The Byzantine scholar Procopius, writing c. 565 in his Gothic Wars (Bk IV, Ch 20), said that Britain in his time was occupied by three peoples: Angles, Frisians and Britons. Procopius said that he was relating information from an informant, likely a member of a Frankish delegation to the court at Byzantium, and did not assert the information as fact. Other information that he related included the inaccurate assertion that there were no horses in Britain. His information about Britain, while occasionally useful, is not considered authoritative.
The presence of artifacts that are identifiably 'North German' along the coastal areas between the Humber Estuary and East Anglia indicates that Scandinavians migrated to Britain. However, this does not suggest that they arrived at the same time as the Angles (they may have arrived almost a century later), and their status and influence upon arrival is uncertain. In particular, regarding a significant Swedish influence in association with the Sutton Hoo ship and a Swedish origin for the East Anglian Wuffinga dynasty, both possibilities are now considered uncertain.
A large number of Frankish artifacts have been found in Kent, and these are largely interpreted to be a reflection of trade and commerce rather than early migration. Yorke (Wessex in the Early Middle Ages, 1995), for example, only allows that some Frankish settlement is possible. Frankish sea raiding was recorded as early as 260 and became common for the next century, but their raids on Britain ended c. 367 as Frankish interest turned southward and was thereafter focused on the control and occupation of northern Gaul and Germania.
Russo (Town Origins and Development in Early England, 1998) says that after c. 500 a Frankish warrior-aristocracy moved into eastern Kent and perhaps married into the Jutish royal family, but this would be much later than the arrival of Jutish immigrants and not a migration as such. Yorke (Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England, 1990) notes that the dominant influence in the archaeological record for eastern Kent in the 6th century is Frankish.
Rugii, Danes, Hunni, Bructeri, etc.
Some histories say that Bede (Bk V, Ch 9) named the Fresones (Frisians), Rugini (Rugii), Dani (Danes), Hunni (a Frisian branch known as the Hunsing, but sometimes translated as Huns), Antiqui Saxones (Old Saxons) and Boructuarii (Bructeri) as arriving in Britain among the Angles and Saxons. However, this chapter of the Ecclesiastical History discusses Saint Egbert's intended mission to Germany and the peoples to whom he was to minister there. Bede noted that this is the same land from which the Angles and Saxons came, but did not say that these peoples came to Britain with the Angles and Saxons.
The low-lying continental coast of Europe was lightly populated until c. 200 BC, when the climate and environment became more amenable to human habitation. Conditions remained favourable from 200 BC to 250 AD, and the region became densely populated.
However the region had been undergoing a series of marine transgressions (called Dunkirk 0 through Dunkirk IIIb) characterised by a rising water table and floods that left layers of clay on the land. The heaviest blow came with the "Dunkirk II transgression" that began in the 3rd century and continually worsened, leaving large areas of the coast uninhabitable from c. 350–c. 700. People were forced to abandon their homes and emigrate. Archaeologists conducting research along the historically flood-prone coast tell this same story for the Rhine/Meuse delta (Zeeland, Brabant, parts of South Holland and Limburg); Friesland; Groningen; Ostfriesland, German Friesland and the Weser/Jade estuary; and Dithmarschen, Eiderstedt and Nordfriesland.
In the Rhine/Meuse delta, the population became scanty. Between the 5th and 7th centuries few centers of occupation existed in the delta region, and in the estuarine and peat areas no settlements at all have been found. The area would not be repopulated until the Carolingian Era. The areas with river clay became so covered with sedimentation that habitation was almost impossible between 250–650.
The northern region (coastal Netherlands, Germany and Denmark) was dominated by salt marshes, forming a district that was distinct from the southern region, and with a somewhat more erratic history, but with the same story of abandonment as bogs expanded and living conditions became intolerable. By 400–600 the outer islands were only sparsely inhabited, and virtually uninhabited from 600 to 700.
In Angeln c. 320 the population halved from its level of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, with the people emigrating to points unknown (the Angles are not known to be in Britain at this early date). In the 5th century the population would again be greatly reduced, and this coincides with the arrival of the Angles in Britain.
The climate also became cooler and wetter in Scandinavia, forcing the abandonment of uplands and marginally productive land in Norway, and forcing the abandonment of farmsteads in both Norway and Denmark, especially after 400 AD.
Strong, organised seafaring tradition
Saxon origins are complex and little understood. In the Germanic pre-Migration Period (i.e., before c. 300 AD) they and the related Frisii, Chauci, and Angles inhabited the Continental European coast from the Zuyder Zee to south Jutland. The Chauci were either ancestral Saxons or merged into the Saxons later, and they were one of the most prominent early Germanic seafarers, entering recorded maritime history with a raid on Roman Belgica in AD 41. Chaucian raiding was endemic in the North Sea Channel until their last recorded raids c. 170–175. They lost their separate identity in the 3rd century, after which time they were considered to be Saxons.
There was a sharp increase in the number and severity of raids along the British and Continental coasts beginning c. 250, much of it carried out by the Franks, who would become the premier threat for the next 100 years. Beginning c. 280 the Franks were joined by the Saxons, and by c. 350 they would replace the Franks as the primary threat. Saxons would be the only recorded sea raiders in the North Sea between c. 376 and c. 450. The Saxons would continue raiding both Britain and the Continental coast until their settlement in Britain in the 5th century, after which time they would continue their raiding on the Continental coast until the 7th century using Britain as their base.
Little is known of Anglian and Jutish activities, as they are not mentioned by those names. The Angles were not recorded in contemporary sources until c. 550 (mentioned by Procopius in his History of the Wars), while the Jutes are first mentioned by Bede in the 8th century.
The Roman occupation of Britain had been largely focused on the commercially valuable south and east. This region became integrated into Roman society, governed by a Roman civil administration and laws, and became Romanised over time.
By the time Roman troops left this part of Britain for the last time in 407, the Romanised south and east were in a state of economic collapse, accompanied by a de-Romanisation of the populace. Villas, the heart of agrarian Roman society, were being abandoned in large numbers. Coinage became progressively unavailable after 402, and soon disappeared altogether. Roman-style towns, the centers of civil administration and commercial industries, went into a steep decline from which they did not recover. Industrial ceramic production ended and only the simplest means of market transfer remained in effect, still existing as a barter economy in the mid-5th century.
The west and north of Britain were relatively unaffected. The Roman occupation had been military rather than civil, and as long as these Britons did not interfere with or threaten Roman interests, the Romans were content to leave them alone, allowing their tribal societies to continue as before, with their people never becoming Romanised. Roman troops left these areas in 383, at which time the tribes became independent again, as they had been before the Roman invasion.
One source, viz. in Gildas Sapiens’ De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, which he composed in the 6th century, claims that when the Roman army departed the Isle of Britannia in the 4th century CE, the Britons (its indigenous inhabitants) were invaded by their neighbours to the north, namely the Picts (now Scotland) and the Scots (now Ireland). The Britons then admitted into their island the Saxons, hoping to repel by them the invading armies of the north. To their great dismay, the Saxons themselves turned against the Britons.
The earliest cemeteries that can be classified as Anglo-Saxon are found in widely separate regions and are dated to the early 5th century. The exception is in Kent, where the density of cemeteries and artifacts suggest either an exceptionally heavy Anglo-Saxon settlement, or continued settlement beginning at an early date, or both.
Many of the inland settlements are on rivers that had been major navigation routes during the Roman era. These sites, such as Dorchester on Thames on the upper Thames, were readily accessible by the shallow-draught, clinker-built boats used by the Anglo-Saxons. The same is true of the settlements along the rivers Ouse, Trent, Witham, Nene and along the marshy lower Thames. Less well-known due to a dearth of physical evidence but attested by surviving place names, there were Jutish settlements on the Isle of Wight and the nearby southern coast of Hampshire.
By the late 5th century there were additional Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, some of them adjacent to earlier ones, but with a large expansion in other areas, and now including the southern coast of Sussex.
A number of Anglo-Saxon cemeteries are located near or at Roman-era towns, but the question of simultaneous town occupation by the Romano-Britons and a nearby Anglo-Saxon settlement (i.e., suggesting a relationship) is not confirmed. At Roman Caistor-by-Norwich, for example, recent analysis suggests that the cemetery post-dates the town's virtual abandonment.
Implicitly contradicting the archaeological dating, some histories assert that the Anglian settlements in the English Midlands, the heartland of the future Kingdom of Mercia, are the result of an early 6th-century invasion by the East Anglians and/or new immigrants from the Continent, rather than the result of 5th century settlement.
Earliest Anglo-Saxon Society
The Anglo-Saxons settled in small groups covering a handful of widely dispersed local communities that can be called "tribal", with a political leadership that was simple, informal, and having a military relevance. There was a peasant element to the Anglo-Saxon influx that contributed to the relatively flat social structure that would still be visible in the 6th century. The earliest settlements show no obvious signs of a stable elite.
Despite their wide distribution in small settlements and a social structure that was only slightly hierarchical, the Anglo-Saxons were quite capable of organising and executing large-scale military operations in the fifth century, a fact confirmed by historical sources. For example, there were raids along the Frankish Continental coast made by large fleets of Saxon ships as far south as the Garonne. The coastal Saxons would continue their predatory raids on the Continental coast until the 7th century, as they had done before their migration to Britain.
Life in Britain was rural. Anglo-Saxons tended to settle as a group in farms consisting of anywhere from 4 to 20 people, in contrast to the British custom of a single farmstead containing a single family. However, the extent to which any such Anglo-Saxon settlement constituted a "village" is debatable, as the medieval English village did not come into existence until the late Saxon period. Neither the early Anglo-Saxons nor the Britons used stone, instead building their structures of wood and thatch. Ceramics were all hand-made and local, and would remain so until the 7th century.
The excavation of early medieval Anglo-Saxon burial grounds suggests high levels of infant and child mortality and a high level of mortality among women of child-bearing age, with most women dying before the age of 35. Men fared somewhat better. The study of teeth and bones suggests that even those who were comparatively wealthy suffered deprivation in their youth. While it would be an overstatement to extrapolate the results of a relatively few excavations to characterise an entire population, nevertheless it is sufficient to disavow any notions that the early Anglo-Saxons obtained a life of ease and comfort after migrating to Britain.
Anglo-Saxon society was hierarchical but not strongly so, and probably less than is implied by legal theories, with the bulk of the population either peasants or slaves. The hierarchical structure was characteristic of their ancestral homelands, and was also reflected in Britain in the grave goods of their early cemeteries, where the wealthy can be distinguished from the poor. Yorke (The Conversion of Britain, 2006) describes the early Continental Saxons as having powerful local families and a dominant military leader, while Kirby (The Earliest English Kings, 2000) suggests that even much later, the earliest 6th-century kingdoms in Britain can be better described as "chiefdoms" rather than "states".
Number of migrants
Many historians decline to offer a numerical estimate of the number of migrants or their ultimate proportion of the total population, offering only qualitative estimates that state (usually without cited authority) that the proportion of Britons in the post-migration population was substantial, assertions that do not necessarily help in determining the number of migrants. These include Chris Wickham (Framing the Early Middle Ages, 2005), D. P. Kirby (The Earliest English Kings, 2000), Barbara Yorke (Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England, 1990; Wessex in the Early Middle Ages, 1995; The Conversion of Britain 600–800, 2000), Chris Snyder (An Age of Tyrants, 1998) and Nicholas Higham (Rome, Britain and the Anglo-Saxons, 1992).
There is wide variation among those who do offer numerical estimates. Heinrich Härke is quoted by Pryor as arguing that the British population fell from 2–4 million to 1–2 million between the 4th and late 5th centuries, and that there were between 100,000 and 200,000 Anglo-Saxon immigrants. Snyder (The Britons, 2003, revised in 2005) cites Michael Jones for an estimate of between 10,000 and 20,000 Anglo-Saxons, adding that few if any archaeologists support the notion that the British population of what is now England was wiped out. Laing and Laing (Celtic Britain and Ireland, 1990) summarise the evidence as a Roman-era population of perhaps 4 million of which about 90% were rural, to which the Anglo-Saxons added between 10,000 and at most 25,000 (women, children and the infirm included).
Härke's numerical estimate suggests that the Anglo-Saxons constituted between 5% and 20% of the migration-era population of Britain. The extremely low estimates of Jones and Laing seem to make it impossible for the Anglo-Saxons to have conducted large-scale raids on the Frankish coast, or to have mustered the manpower to engage the Britons in major battles, or to have left sufficient protection for the "women, children and infirm" (Laing's words) while the men were away. It is known that the Anglo-Saxons did all of these things.[original research?]
While the currently available DNA evidence suggests considerable population continuity from the pre-Roman Iron Age onward, that does not necessarily help in answering the questions of how many Anglo-Saxons migrated to Britain, or their percentage in the migration-era population of Britain. Stephen Oppenheimer, basing his research on the Weale and Capelli studies, maintains that all invasions since the Romans have had very little impact upon the gene pool of the British Isles, and that its inhabitants from prehistoric times belong to an Iberian genetic grouping. He says that most people on the Isles are genetically similar to the Basque peoples of northern Spain and southwestern France, from 90% in Wales to 66% in East Anglia (named after the Germanic Anglo-Saxons), in England. Oppenheimer suggests that the division between the West and the East of England does not begin with the Anglo-Saxon invasion but originates with two main routes of genetic flow - one up the Atlantic coast, the other from neighbouring areas of Continental Europe - which happened just after the Last Glacial Maximum. He reports works on linguistics by Forster and Toth which suggests that Indo-European languages began to fragment some 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age. He claims that the Celtic languages split from the Indo-European earlier than previously suspected, some 6000 years ago. He claims that the English language split from the Germanic languages before the Roman period, and became the English that was spoken by the Belgae tribes of what is now eastern and southern England, northeastern France, and Belgium, before these areas of Europe were conquered by the Romans, and long before the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons.
- The Jutes are said perhaps to be the 'Eudoses' mentioned by Tacitus, or the 'Eucii', or the 'Eutii', or the 'Euthiones', or even the 'Geatas' mentioned in the poem Beowulf. Perhaps they are the Danubian tribes called Iutugi, Juthungi and Vithungi by the Romans, later called Eutii or Eucii by Theudebert and Euthiones by Venantius Fortunatus, who moved to the Elbe and Oder rivers, and from there migrated to Jutland. Perhaps 'Jute' is Bede's variation of thiuda, tiut, diut (ie, "Deutsch"), and 'Jute' is ultimately a generic reference to Germans. Other forms used to denote people from Jutland include Eotas, Iotas, Iutan, Iotan and Ghetes. Othographic variations include Jut, Jót, Iut, Iot, Eot, Giot, Ghet, Gaut, Geat, Gwit, Whit and Vit. Some confusion can be attributed to Alfred the Great and the historian Ethelweard who, 400 years after the Anglo-Saxon settlement, used the terms 'Eotas', 'Gioti', 'Geatas' and 'Jutae' interchangeably.
- Haywood 1999:80, Dark Age Naval Power, "Anglo-Saxon Piracy and the Migration to Britain". Footnote 32.
- Haywood 1999:80, Dark Age Naval Power, "Anglo-Saxon Piracy and the Migration to Britain".
- Giles 1843a:72–73, Bede's Ecclesiastical History, Bk I, Ch 15.
- Yorke 2006:57, The Conversion of Britain c.600–800.
- Russo 1998:105, Town Origins and Development in Early England.
- Earle, John (1892), The Deeds of Beowulf, Oxford: Oxford University, pp. 176, 198.
- Schütte, Gudmund (1912), "The Geats of Beowulf", in Goebel, Julius, JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology XI, Urbana: University of Illinois, p. 581
- Haywood 1999:76, Dark Age Naval Power.
- Roemer, Jean (1888), Origins of the English People and of the English Language, New York: D. Appleton and Company, pp. 65–67
- Oman, Charles (1910), "The Settlement of the Conquerors", England before the Norman Conquest I, New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, pp. 216–217
- Looijenga, Jantina Helena (1997), "History, Archaeology and Runes", in SSG Uitgeverij, Runes Around the North Sea and on the Continent AD 150–700; Texts and Contexts (PhD dissertation), Groningen: Groningen University, p. 30, ISBN 90-6781-014-2
- Snyder 2003:86, The Britons, "Britons and Saxons". Snyder cites Bremmer's work for this contention, The Nature of the Evidence for a Frisian Participation in the Adventus Saxonum (1990).
- Bazelmans 2009:321–337, The early-medieval use of ethnic names from classical antiquity: The case of the Frisians.
- Higham 1992:168, Rome, Britain and the Anglo-Saxons.
- Cameron, Averil (1985), "Times and Places", Procopius and the sixth century, Berkeley: University of California, p. 214, ISBN 0-520-05517-9
- Haywood 1999:39–40, Dark Age Naval Power.
- Yorke 1995:31, Wessex in the Early Middle Ages.
- Jones 1990:308–309, Atlas of Roman Britain.
- Yorke 1990:61, Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England, "The East Angles".
- Brown 2001:151, Mercia, "The Archaeology of Mercia", by Martin Welch.
- Snyder 2003:86, The Britons, "Britons and Saxons". Snyder says that they arrived in the late 5th century.
- Kirby 2000:16, The Earliest English Kings.
- Yorke 1995:43, Wessex in the Early Middle Ages.
- Haywood 1999:47, Dark Age Naval Power.
- Haywood 1999:111, Dark Age Naval Power.
- Yorke 1990:61, Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England, "Kent".
- Yorke 2006:57, The Conversion of Britain 600–800, for example.
- Clarke, Hyde (1878), "On the Settlement of Britain and Russia by the English Races", in Rogers, Charles, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society VII, London: Royal Historical Society, p. 253, for one example. Many others have noticed the incongruity of grouping the Huns among these western European coastal German peoples while omitting the Hunsing, who are a logical inclusion.
- Kirby 2000:13, The Earliest English Kings, for example.
- Giles 1843b:186–189, Bede's Ecclesiastical History, Bk V, Ch 9.
- Higham 1992:153, Rome, Britain and the Anglo-Saxons, "The English Settlement: History and Archaeology". Higham notes that the passage is ambiguous and that Bede probably never intended to imply that these peoples came to Britain.
- Louwe Kooijmans 1974:44–45, The Rhine/Meuse Delta.
- Ejstrud 2008:17–19, The Migration Period.
- Knottnerus 2001:30–31, LANCEWAD 2001: Cultural History.
- Meier 2004:55,63, Man and Environment in Schleswig-Holstein.
- Louwe Kooijmans 1974, The Rhine/Meuse Delta, PhD Thesis.
- Louwe Kooijmans 1980:106–133, Archaeology and Coastal Change in the Netherlands.
- Nienhuis 2008, Environmental History of the Rhine-Meuse Delta.
- Knottnerus 2001:29–63, Cultural History in LANCEWAD: Landscape and Cultural Heritage in the Wadden Sea Region—Project Report.
- Meier 2004:55–70, Man and environment in the marsh area of Schleswig-Holstein from Roman until late Medieval times.
- Meier, Landscape and Settlement History of the North-Sea Coast of Schleswig-Holstein.
- Louwe Kooijmans 1974:44, The Rhine/Meuse Delta.
- Louwe Kooijmans 1974:120, The Rhine/Meuse Delta.
- Louwe Kooijmans 1974:69, The Rhine/Meuse Delta.
- Ejstrud 2008:22–23, The Migration Period.
- Berglund 2002:10, Human impact and climate changes.
- Issar 2003:54–57, Climate Changes during the Holocene.
- Ejstrud 2008:28, The Migration Period.
- Haywood 1999:14, Dark Age Naval Power.
- Haywood 1999:15, Dark Age Naval Power.
- Haywood 1999:21, Dark Age Naval Power.
- Haywood 1999:28, Dark Age Naval Power.
- Haywood 1999:63, Dark Age Naval Power.
- Haywood 1999:84–87, Dark Age Naval Power.
- Jones 1990:151; An Atlas of Roman Britain. The degree of Romanisation was greatest in the southeast, becoming progressively less to the north and west, ending along a line approximately extending from the East Riding of Yorkshire to southeastern Wales.
- Frere 1987:357, Britannia.
- Wickham 2009:151, The Inheritance of Rome.
- Wickham 2005:47, Framing the Early Middle Ages, Geography and Politics.
- Wickham 2005:259, 473; Framing the Early Middle Ages.
- Wickham 2005:475, Framing the Early Middle Ages, Rural Settlement and Village Societies.
- Snyder 1998:134, Age of Tyrants. New bronze issues stopped arriving after 402 and gold and silver finds dated later than 411 tend to be copies or counterfeit.
- Higham 1992:70, Rome, Britain and the Anglo-Saxons. Higham notes that the provision of small change dwindled after 392 and stopped c. 402, with the supply of gold coins dying out within a decade.
- Wickham 2005:307; Framing the Early Middle Ages.
- Snyder 2003:102, The Britons.
- Laing 1990:112–113, Celtic Britain and Ireland, The non-Romanized zone of Britannia.
- Jones 1990:151,154; An Atlas of Roman Britain
- Wickham 2005:332; Framing the Early Middle Ages.
- Frere 1987:354, Britannia, The End of Roman Britain. Specifically, Frere refers to Wales, the western Pennines, and the fortress at Deva; he then goes on to suggest that the same was true north of Hadrian's Wall, referring to the lands of the Damnonii, Votadini, and the Novantae.
- Jones 1990:317, An Atlas of Roman Britain
- Jones 1990:199, An Atlas of Roman Britain. The major inland navigation routes are shown.
- Zaluckyj 2001:13, Mercia, "Mercia: The Beginnings", by Sarah Zaluckyj. Zaluckyj states that the Angles travelled up river valleys, specifically mentioning the Trent and Nene.
- Jones 1990:318, An Atlas of Roman Britain
- Russo 1998:71, Town Origins and Development in Early England.
- Dornier 1977:20–24, Mercian Studies, "Annals and the Origin of Mercia", by Wendy Davies. This is largely based on the 14th century Flores Historiarum, with the explanation that battles were fought against the Britons and the names of the leaders are not given because there were so many of them.
- Wickham 2009:157, The Inheritance of Rome.
- Wickham 2005:312, Framing the Early Middle Ages.
- Wickham 2005:503, Framing the Early Middle Ages.
- Haywood 1999:85, Dark Age Naval Power, "Anglo-Saxon Piracy and the Migration to Britain"
- Higham 1992:118, Rome, Britain and the Anglo-Saxons.
- Higham 1992:125, Rome, Britain and the Anglo-Saxons.
- Higham 1992:9, Rome, Britain and the Anglo-Saxons.
- Snyder 2003:73, The Britons.
- Yorke 2006:70, The Conversion of Britain c.600–800.
- Kirby 2000:20, The Earliest English Kings.
- Haywood 1999:15, Dark Age Naval Power. For example, the Chauci, who were either ancestral Saxons or later merged into them seamlessly, were originally neither highly centralised nor highly stratified, though they became more so after 100 AD.
- Yorke 2006:59, The Conversion of Britain c.600–800.
- Kirby 2000:3, The Earliest English Kings.
- Wickham 2005:303–382, Framing the Early Middle Ages, "Political Breakdown and State-building in the North".
- Kirby 2000:13, The Earliest English Kings.
- Snyder 1998:252, An Age of Tyrants.
- Higham 1992:209, Rome, Britain and the Anglo-Saxons
- Pryor 2004:128, Britain AD.
- Snyder 2003:87, The Britons.
- Snyder 2003:90, The Britons.
- Laing 1990:69, Celtic Britain and Ireland, "The Romanized zone of Britannia".
- Oppenheimer, Stephen (2006). The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story: Constable and Robinson, London. ISBN 978-1-84529-158-7.
Environment c. 250–500
- Assendorp, Jan-Joost; et. al. (2001), "The Lower Saxony Wadden Sea Region", in Vollmer, M.; et. al., LANCEWAD: Landscape and Cultural Heritage in the Wadden Sea Region—Project Report (12), Wilhelmshaven: Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, pp. 165–194
- Berglund, Björn E. (2002), "Human impact and climate changes—synchronous events and a causal link?", Quaternary International 105 (1), Elsevier (published 2003), p. 10
- Ejstrud, Bo; et. al. (2008), Ejstrud, Bo; Maarleveld, Thijs J., eds., The Migration Period, Southern Denmark and the North Sea, Esbjerg: Maritime Archaeology Programme, ISBN 978-87-992214-1-7
- Issar, Arie S. (2003), Climate Changes during the Holocene and their Impact on Hydrological Systems, Cambridge: Cambridge University, ISBN 978-0-511-06118-9
- Knottnerus, Otto S. (2001), "Cultural History", in Vollmer, M.; et. al., LANCEWAD: Landscape and Cultural Heritage in the Wadden Sea Region—Project Report (12), Wilhelmshaven: Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, pp. 29–63
- Louwe Kooijmans, L. P. (1974), The Rhine/Meuse Delta. Four studies on its prehistoric occupation and holocene geology (PhD Dissertation), Leiden: Leiden University Press
- Louwe Kooijmans, L. P. (1980), "Archaeology and Coastal Change in the Netherlands", in Thompson, F. H., Archaeology and Coastal Change, London: Society of Antiquaries, pp. 106–133
- Meier, Dirk (2004), "Man and environment in the marsh area of Schleswig-Holstein from Roman until late Medieval times.", Quaternary International 112, Elsivier, pp. 55–70
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