Talk:Sub-Roman Britain

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Anglo-Saxon migration[edit]

In an attempt to tidy up, the information from Anglo-Saxons on the Anglo-Saxon migration has been moved to this page. It needs tidying up, but I think it firmly belongs in this page. Harthacanute 11:51, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Personally I'm not sure I'm too happy with with "Anglo-Saxon Invasion" Invasion! This article has suddenly bulged enormously. I think the recent A-S section needs to be trimmed and the removed material moved back to some A-S related article, or made into a new article or something. It's just a bit too A-S heavy. If there's no other place for it, I guess it will do for now, but this just seem kind of haphazard... --Smccandlish 05:56, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
In particular, I think about 90% of the genetics blather needs to get axed from this article (though I think it might make a fine article by itself. It's a very distracting and disruptive insertion here!) --Smccandlish 05:59, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
PS: Compare how similar genetic information is presented in Early history of Ireland; much better - just two short, informative paragraphs that don't go on and on about study methologies and other excruciating detailia. --SMcCandlish 00:35, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I wrote the genetic section, originally in Anglo-Saxons and moved here, because the original section was misinformed, misunderstood and had deliberatelly distorted the original findings of the genetic studies [1]. The original sources were exclusively journalistic, and had sensationalised the findings of the original academic papers. I used the original papers as a source for the edit as per wikipedia policy on reliable sources, these papers were more considered, and didn't make claims of genocide or mass expulsions, as the journalistic sources had claimed. I am sorry if accuracy and detail bore you. I shall, in future allow inacuracies, misinterpretations and down right lies to creep into articles, for fear that their correction will offend or bore you. Alun 13:08, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
You needn't take it personally. I didn't say it was poorly written, or incorrect, nor am I questioning your motives. I'm saying only that it is a distracting and disruptive insertion. It has swelled the size of the article to impart nitpicky details that the typical reader will not be interested in and which don't actually have anything salient to do with Sub-Roman Britain. This is not an article about the methodolgy of genetic studies. If the study itself warrants that much information being written about it, then it should have its own article (and maybe it should - you say that journalists, et al., have been misinterpreting it, after all). Again, see how the same sort of information was handled in Early history of Ireland. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] - 04:12, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
How can I not take it personally when you refer to my edit as blather and nitpicky. It is all very well to express your opinion on the talk page, but you shuld be aware that this is your opinion (and is not necessarily shared by others), and talk pages should be used in a constructive way to get consensus about article content, rather than used to make offensive remarks. Maybe this isn't the right place for the edit I made, but I did not put it here, I put it in the Anglo-Saxons article, it was subsequently moved here. The edit does go into some detail about methodology, but without a clear understanding of how the data were compiled, what assumptions were made, and how the data were subsequently manipulated, a proper understanding of the conclusions cannot be reached. I do not necessarily disagree with you that the content may not be appropriate to this article, but you could have expressed this opinion without being offensive. Alun 05:08, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I can take full responsibility for moving the genetic stuff from Anglo-Saxons, so any criticism for that should be sent my way. However, we now have a situation where a detailed methodology of the genetic evidence doesn't appear on either page (which I think is appropriate). I think I've suggested before and I'll suggest again that genetic analysis could do with its own article, as I'm sure a wide range of matters (beyond the Anglo-Saxon - e.g. Vikings) can be used as examples. I lack the expertise to write on it, though, so if people want that I'll leave it in the hands of others. Harthacanute 11:53, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
A split seems reasonable. As well as Cavalli-Sforza's books & stuff, the Weale & Capelli studies, plus the assorted Irish ones, there's a study by Topf et al on Neolithic & later emigration, which I haven't seen. The abstract is findable with Google, but it's not on Pubmed or any of the free access sites as yet. But there should be enough in those for article on "Genetic evidence for historic migration to Britain and Ireland" (or something, that's not a very exciting title). Angus McLellan (Talk) 12:14, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I've been thinking this is a good idea for some time. I could have a crack at some point in the future, but at present I'm a bit strapped for time. Been doing a major rewrite of Rosalind Franklin and have sent it for peer review. If anyone's interested in reviewing this article, comments are always appreciated. Also plan to do a fact and reference check over at English people. Alun 07:00, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Hi, Without wanting to get in the middle of a debate, just a small point. How can it be an Anglo-Saxon invasion when surely it was the Saxons who invaded (or migrated, depending on which theory you subscribe to) and became Anglicised, thus leading to the term Anglo-Saxon? fluoronaut 11:07, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Fluoronaut, what they mean is that the Angles were also Germanic arrivals (like the Saxons). Before that, the population of what we now call England (ie Angleland) was Celtic (ie Britons) who had adopted many Roman customs (hence Romano-British). Jameswilson 23:03, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Cheers James - this makes it much clearer. I was under the impression that this term was applied to the Germanic group only after they invaded/migrated to Britain since they are alleged to have settled in fairly discrete areas of southern Britain. Hope this is not muddying the waters unnecessarily. fluoronaut 17:50, 10 July 2007 (UT

going back to the original discussion on this page I note that Weales - on which much of the sensationalist reporting and strange statistical speculation about population replacement (Haerke etc) is based - work is flawed as the line they take through Britain is no way representative of typical settlement patterns over the country, due to the viking eruption being focussed in that are and also only having a sample of seven towns. pehaps Haerkes work in the article should be balanced not just by further analysis of Weales work but by looking for other counts of Y and mitochondria and of autosomal 14:48, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Discussion copied from Talk:Aurelanii Wars[edit]

The following discussion has been copied from Talk:Aurelanii Wars (Wetman 19:35, 18 May 2005 (UTC)):

There is indeed a genuine gap in the History of Britain sequence. The Roman Britain article doesn't bring the story, thin as it may be, through to the Anglo-Saxon settlements. Isn't this timeframe sometimes designated Sub-Roman Britain? It's based on archaeology nowadays, with a glance at Bede and the hagiographies. Is that right? Should we start afresh with that title, or is there a better title to fit into the "History of Britain" taxobox? --Wetman 00:41, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

That sounds as good a name as any to me. I've been half-meaning to start an article on that for a while, but have been too lazy. But I'll definitely contribute.Kuralyov 00:45, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
I've tried to cover part of this in Anglo-Saxons; feel free to use the relevant section as a start. (And I can provide references politely.) Some co-ordination with Historical basis for King Arthur, & the usual Welsh kingdoms ought to be done, too. -- llywrch 01:03, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
I certainly have no problem with anyone using information from the Historical King Arthur article. I'm just curious as to the timeframe for Sub-Roman Britain - 410 as the beginning, I assume, but to when? Alfred? The Norman Conquest?Kuralyov 01:19, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
To the arrival of Augustine at Canterbury is suggested by Snyder. Check the ext. refs. in the stub at Sub-Roman Britain. The History of Britain series already picks up the threads with the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. --Wetman 02:17, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
Or to AD 600, which is practically the same thing (Augustine arrived in Kent in 597). The reasons for this cut-off are as follows:
  • Quality of information dramatically changes. Before 600, we are heavily dependent on archeology & traditions, some of which were not written down until 500 years later. After this point we have Bede, & a fair number of contemporary documents, whose numbers continue to increase.
  • Although there are exceptions, the primary theme until that point is how to preserve Romanitas against the Barbarians; after that, the theme more closely mirrors medieval struggles.
  • Augustine of Canterbury's arrival primarily affected the Saxons, & not the Cornish, Welsh & northern kingdoms -- at least immediately. Putting the end point at 600 avoids that problem.
(P.S. Shouldn't this discussion be moved to/continued at Talk:Sub-Roman Britain? -- llywrch 17:25, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

"Upholders of a civilized tradition"[edit]

I do not understand the meaning of the following phrase in this article: " This is the era of Arthur and of Patrick, upholders of a civilized tradition at the limits of its frontier. Could someone please explain it to me?--Heathcliff 02:49, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

Surely you could just give them a more telling and accurate joint characterization yourself. --Wetman 03:09, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
I simply do not know what the phrase is being used to mean and would like to know. Does the question bother you? I'm sorry, but so much of a statement is lost without the voice inflection and the body language that I can't tell if you mean to sound annoyed. I see that you wrote the phrase in question. Is there a reason you won't tell me what you were getting at.--Heathcliff 03:28, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

"Patrick" is Saint Patrick and "Arthur" is King Arthur who are both considered to be figures of this period who have entered into legend. User:Dimadick

That's okay.

If it were a High School essay question, might it go like this? Patrick and Arthur: Compare and Contrast: The historical Patrick and the perhaps-historical Arthur: in what senses did they both operate at the edges of their respective cultural sphere? (Use your definition of Marches in your answer.) What episodes in their legend or career would suggest that this is so? Which aspects of the two men were the most "Romanized"? Violence is constant in their milieu: how did their reactions to violence differ? (10 minutes: 10 points)
(;>p) Wetman 19:35, 18 May 2005 (UTC))
I really don't know how to take this response. Is there a reason why you will not explain to me what you mean when you say they were "upholders of a civilized tradition at the limits of its frontier"?--Heathcliff 22:22, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
Britain was the limit of the Roman frontier. Patrick and Arthur fought to maintain Roman culture. It can't get much simpler than that.Kuralyov 00:09, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

In that case I think that "upholders of the Roman tradition at the limits of its frontier" would be clearer," but I'm wondering if that statement is really acurate or at least verifiable. Arthur it seems to me was almost ceratinly not a real person, and even if he was almost nothing is known about the real man so it's hard to say that he upheld anything. I don't know anything about St. Patrick. In what we did he uphold Roman tradition?--Heathcliff 02:42, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Since no one has offered an opinion that the statement is accurate, I'm going to go ahead and take it out. It can always be put back in if someone feels that it is correct.--Heathcliff 21:45, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

A timeline?[edit]

This seems one area of history where the definitive dates that a timeline necessarily implies are too arbitrary not to be misleading and a source of largely irrelevant contention. Can't we work all the elements in the "timeline" into more nuanced discourse in the main text? --Wetman 05:18, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Lack of balance[edit]

This article gives way more space to the theories of Francis Pryor than to the consensus view. Whatever that is. The article doesn't bother to tell.

In light of some of the comments here I've done a pretty serious re-write of this page. The previous version seemed to concentrate far too much on a small number of issues and interpretations (such as genetic evidence and Francis Pryor's theories). I've tried to give a balanced account of the main evidence and debates for this period. There's some pretty big gaps, especially on North Britain, but I don't have the expertise to write on that. There's a lot to cover and so I've made each bit fairly short; the page could easily be three times this length with each issue handled satisfactorily. I'm sure there'll be plenty of criticism, but hopefully this is a move in the right direction. Harthacanute 18:30, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the rewrite. It's much better now. (I wrote the comment two paragraphs up - hadn't learnt how to sign yet) Jon kare 22:00, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Confusing title[edit]

It seems to be an accepted archaelogical/historical term, but I must say I find the use of "Sub-Roman Britain" to refer to this intermediate period to be confusing.

My first reaction was that the use of the prefix "sub" in "Sub-Roman" sounded odd, then parsed it as "Britain under the Romans"; I was then surprised to read it referred to the period after the Roman occupation. I'm afraid I can't suggest an alternative: if it weren't so redundant, I would go for "Romano-British Britain". --Saforrest 00:12, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Sub-Roman Britain is a term in use, and uniquely identifies the period. Romano-British Britain isn't used. There are zero GBooks hits for romano-british-britain versus the 250-odd for sub-roman-britain, but the winner is, ta da, post-roman-britain, 640 hits, no doubt beaten by Dark Ages by a mile, but that's not exactly a real alternative given the plethora of dark ages. Angus McLellan (Talk) 01:04, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
The Dark Ages article covers some of the (mis)use of the term (dark ages) in history, popular culture and academia. I wonder what the most recent books being published by Oxford University Press, Princeton, Harvard, etc.. call the "5th-7th c" period? -- Stbalbach 01:44, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
So just make "Post-Roman Britain" go to this article too and everyone should be happy.
PS: I'm very happy to see this article "calm down" over the last month or so. Earlier this year it was a real mess. It was practically a radically different article every time I stopped by! — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] - 05:50, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Use 'Post-Roman', it sounds les dopy, idiotic and confuseing!!!-- (talk) 16:55, 14 January 2008 (UTC)


I've removed the map as the information it contains does not seem to be based on any reliable sources. Though there are occasional references to some of the kingdoms on the map in contemporary sources (such as those kingdoms mentioned in Gildas), there is little to locate them geographically, and certainly not to start drawing a complex network of borders on a map. Other kingdoms on the map seem to be inferred from later or earlier political entities, assuming that they existed in 500. As with many things on this period, great unknowns and grey areas are regularly glossed over in an attempt to give a coherent picture that can not be substantiated by the source material. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Genetic evidence[edit]

I just reverted a deletion of a passage about genetic evidence. This isn't meant to be editwarring; I'd just like to discuss what to do with such material in general first. More than half-a-year or so ago I objected to the addition of a very, very wordy (and science-geeky) paragraph on this topic to the article myself. But I do think the material has value. What I'd like to suggest is that all of that material be summarized, without reference to this chromosome or alelle or that, and just get to the conclusions (and arguments against them, if they are strong and sourceable). I think it IS of value to the article to discuss the post-Roman genepool, but we needn't get tumid or overly technical about it in this article. Yes? — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 07:18, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

The things I dislike about these English articles are the Pro-Celtic bias and the anti-Anglo-Saxon bias. Genetics doesn't make the English (the name 'English' is itself from 'Angle') a Celtic group. Whether or not the English have some Celtic blood is unimportant, they are a Germanic group. Also, Oppenheimer has been criticised by many and numerous studies have contradicted his, so using him as the only source for English genetics is, to put it bluntly, laughable. DR. Martin Hesselius 13:04, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

the modern english people speak a west germanic language, technically, because its basic grammar and most of its basic lexicon derives from the language of jutland/frisia in pre roman times. but its grammar has evolved and as for lexicon the input from old welsh, french, latin and greek mean that that is a historical rather than current relationship. there is almost no mutual intelligibility between english and the other germanic langs. just because the people adopted the language of the anglo-saxon settlers, does not make them a germanic people, it was probably economically advantageous, as romano british landlords dealt with anglian chiefs, for british people to speak english, and politically easier for british aristocrats to cluster to the courts of the leading anglo-saxon kings, and call themselves english. we remain i think a people of the british ethnic group, related more to the celts, but still closer to the belgians and most welsh, than to germans or danes, and therefore not a germanic people. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:11, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Eh? There are about five sources for genetics here. The genetic data do not contradict each other. Indeed the genetic data are remarkably consistent. It seems to me that you have not actually read any of the genetic papers if you make this claim. What is true is that the genetic data can be interpreted in different ways. Oppenheimer is as good a source as any other, he doesn't actually say anything that different to any of the other sources. The most important work is that done by Capelli so far, and they show only limited "Anglo-Saxon" migration. Besides which this has got bugger all to do with genetics, archaeologists have been casting doubt on migrationist theories for the last thirty years, so I don't understand why people get all upset when genetics just supports what archaeologists have been saying for years anyway. It's not "pro-Celtic" to say that academics from two different disciplines reject a mass Anglo-Saxon invasion, it is simply citing sources. If you have a problem take it up with the people who publish the papers. Besides which claiming that there was a limited invasion rather than a mass migration is not the same as claiming that the the "Anglo-Saxons" were not a Germanic people. Germanic in this sense is surely a social/cultural/linguistic term, and indeed no one is claiming that the "Anglo-Saxons" did not speak a Germanic language or have a Germanic culture/society. There is evidence that there were indeed regions where "Anglo-Saxons" lived where non-Anglo-Saxons also lived. There is also evidence that Germanic languages may have been spoken in parts of England since before the Roman occupation. Indeed if you had actually bothered to read Oppenheimer you would know that the main thrust of his argument is that the Germanic nature of eastern England is very ancient, and that there were contacts between the various peoples of the North Sea for millenia. So his argument is that there doesn't need to have been a mass migration, the nature of North Sea Britain was already Germanic. This is a very similar idea to Barry Cunliffe's idea of an "Atlantic zone", a "central zone" and a "North Sea zone" of prehistoric contacts for the British Isles. So rejecting an "Anglo-Saxon" mass migration is not the same as claiming that the "Anglo-Saxons" were not Germanic, and it is facile to equate migration with cultural change. I'd like to see the "many and numerous studies" that criticize Oppenheimer, I note that you don't actually provide any sources, presumably these are archaeologists who also disagree with people like Catherine Hills, Barry Cunliffe and Francis Pryor? Alun 05:32, 24 April 2007 (UTC)


Can Gildas really be called contemporary? He covers a lot of ground, and was clearly not alive when much of his historical narrative took place (Dumville especially in his 1977 article points out the lack of reliable contemporary sources). St Patrick appears to be in similar doubt. The dating just doesn't seem to be secure enough to assert that they were contemporary with sub-Roman Britain. fluoronaut 16:09, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Whatever his credibility and precise dates, Gildas' book is De Excidio Britanniae or "On the Ruin of Britain"; the sub-Roman cultural point-of-view is virtually defined by Gildas' sermon.--Wetman 05:52, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I will answer your question and also add a few more things.

Gildas was alive during the Anglo-Sason migration, so be it the end of it. He does note a mass migration and the 'Welsh' being pushed into the hills. Obviously the British and Anglo-Saxons mixed in some cases but I doubt it happened often in the earlier days due to the Anglo-Saxon paganism. As does Bede who was nearer to the period than modern academics like Oppenheimer etc but still many years after. I believe in a mass migration as genetical studies don't really prove anything other than the ancestors of the English lived in Siberia for a time. The part of British DNA termed 'Celtic' or 'British' isn't really much to do with the Celts but a great deal of European people. Oppenheimer claims that there has been a Germanic presence before Rome (which maybe true, however, I would have thought the Romans would have know this! There were certainly Germanic soldiers in service of Rome) but it is safer to say that Gildas was right about the Anglo-Saxon mass migration.King Óðinn The Aesir 21:33, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

The trouble with your argument is that Gildas doesn't mention a mass migration at all. Indeed, Gildas, Bede and the A-S Chronicle make references to warbands arriving in small numbers of "keels" (large open rowing boats like the one at Sutton Hoo). I haven't checked, but the Chronicle probably mentions no more than 9 or so boatloads of incomers leading to the creation of Wessex. In fact no contemporary or near contemporary writing mentions a single peasant being imported from the Continent, only warriors, and small numbers of these, are described.

In regard to the implied situation of apartheid between the A-S and the natives, this really has no basis. The two peoples had very similar societies, material cultures and didn't look very different, why would they have treated each other as wholly alien? The British and native Indians (of India) were far more different culturally and equally different in religion than the A-S and Celtic Britons were, and lo and behold, where did the "Anglo-Indian" population come from?

There are a number of indications that native dynasties became Anglo-Saxon over time. The founder of Wessex was a man called Cerdic, this is a British name derived from Caratacus. Some of his successors had undisputedly Celtic names also, such as Ceawlin and Caedwalla. Even that great pagan Penda, didn't have a Germanic name, his name relates to the Welsh 'pen' meaning head or chief, his father Pybba has a name perhaps related to 'pybyr' meaning 'strong' also in Welsh.

Oppenheimer like many others gets confused by language. Language is a cultural trait, it isn't inherited like DNA markers. He might argue that 'north-central European' genetic markers were present in Britain before the Romans but he cannot have any idea what language or languages the possessors of these genetic markers spoke.

There is a phrase in the article about a "British underclass" described in Ine's laws. The wergild price of Britons was lower than that of the English, but the laws describe "Welshmen who prosper and own 5 hydes of land." This was quite a lot of land and its owner would have been an important person. There are also Welshmen who are described as "The King's horse-Welshmen" who seem to have had a special relationship to the king. To describe these as being an underclass would seem somewhat inaccurate, to describe them as being at a legal disadvantage compared to their English compatriots would be better.

Urselius 15:24, 1 August 2007 (UTC)


Wikipedia should refer to migration or invasion consistently. For their own reasons, brits like to refer to Roman/Norman invasions but refer to Saxon migration. Wikipedia should be harmonised and use one of the two terms consistently.

Not all things are amenable to regularisation. The Roman and Norman invasions were just that, and they were extensively recorded by contemporary historians. The way that large parts of Sub-Roman Britain became Anglo-Saxon England is rather more obscure. There doesn't seem to have been a single invasion, but even the multiple small invasions by Germanic war-bands described in the sources were recorded long after the events and some accounts may have more than a little legendary, rather than factual, content.

The changes of culture and language in lowland Britain were profound but the idea that a mass-migration of people from North Germany caused these changes has been challenged by both archaeological and genetic evidence in the past few decades. Therefore appropriateness the use of the word "migration" is also moot. Perhaps the term "Anglicisation" is the best catch-all title for the process.

Urselius 11:23, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

"Aboriginal" or "aboriginal pre-Celtic"?[edit]

The reference to Cunliffe, Iron Age Britain 1995:7 that read "in the same English regions 69% of male lines are still of aboriginal, pre-Celtic origin" has been edited to delete "pre-Celtic" by User:Zburh. Was this a correction to better reflect Cunliffe's assertion, or just a manipulation of the information?--Wetman 19:28, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

The Cunliffe ref is for "the eastern and south eastern coasts of Great Britain do not belong to this zone". That's a reasonable summary of what he says and what map 2 shows. The bit Zburh changed appears to be referenced to something by Oppenheimer. Absent an explanation or a reference, I'd revert the change, but that's just me. Angus McLellan (Talk) 22:18, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Removal of section on Hengest[edit]

The reference in Bede, writing well over two centuries after the supposed time of Hengest, is based on Anglo-Saxon origin myths. The dates used by Bede are his rationalisation of an existing oral myth. These is no contemporary (fifth-century) evidence for the existence of Hengest. As an essentially legendary character from Anglo-Saxon myth, perhaps a section on Hengest would be better placed in a section on Anglo-Saxon beliefs and culture. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:02, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Post-Roman Britain?[edit]

Should this article be retitled Post-Roman Britain? There are two reasons to consider this change - that the term "sub" is derogatory and that Post-Roman is more widely used. The former comes from the days when the cultural characteristics of the Roman period were seen as ideal but a more appreciative view is now often taken of the cultural characteristics of the following period. Comparing the number of search engine hits on the web for the two terms reveals that Post-Roman is used nearly 40 times as often as Sub-Britain. The latter is mainly used in archaeological contexts. I know that this is a poor measure of its relative importance but is indicative. Adresia (talk) 11:09, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

I was under the impression that the wide use of the term 'sub-Roman Britain' stems from the important article by Dumville ('Sub-Roman Britain: History and Legend' in History 62, 173-92, 1993) and which has been generally adopted by scholars in this field. One argument for not using the term post-Roman would be that a number of historians believe that the Roman empire continued to strongly influence British life for many years after the withdrawal of soldiers and the fall of Rome itself. As far as being derogatory goes, well, evidence suggests that there was a decline in quality of life in Britain at this time, which can plausibly be seen as a decrease in 'civilised' habits (eg. rapid decline quality of pottery, increase in disorder, increase in invasions etc etc). fluoronaut (talk) 10:44, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

The article appeared in 1977 not 1993. Most of the hits on "sub-Roman Britain" appear shortly after this time and many are references to this paper. Both Post-Roman and Sub-Roman are now used with the former in the lead on Google Books and Google Scholar. Sub-Roman implies that Roman culture was better but this was not necessarily so for the majority of Britons. Adresia (talk) 21:24, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Don't know where 1993 came from - you're right of course, it's much earlier. fluoronaut (talk) 17:04, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

There just is no derogatory implication in "sub-Roman Britain": it is an archaeological descriptor of provincial Roman culture quite far from style centers, that was thrown on its own after the breakdown of long-distance trade: thus pottery becomes locally-made and cruder. I wouldn't insist on changes to quite familiar designations unless I were a leader in the field, in which case I'd begin with a resounding article in a major publication. --Wetman (talk) 10:09, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

The name for the period in the article on "History of England" is Post Roman! (talk) 21:01, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

'Sub-Roman' seems to falling out of favour in the newer literature. Its retention is becoming controversial. I agree we should drop the usage in favour of 'post-Roman', or at least note that some authorities now find it objectionable. For example, Francis Pryor, in Britain AD (2005), p. 132, prefers 'post-Roman'; he writes of the 'so-called "sub-Roman" period', and notes: 'The term “sub-Roman”, has a pejorative ring which recalls "sub-human". It is still sometimes used to describe the period 410-500.' Lachrie (talk) 19:37, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Support a possible move for the reasons given above. And in an archaeological sense, sub-x could refer to pre-x, which this is not, or "less than" x, which is the implication here. (talk) 22:37, 30 July 2013 (UTC)


Does anyone know of evidence for its existence in the post-Roman period? It was certainly an important entity in the pre-Roman period. It is shown on the British kingdoms map but on what basis? Adresia (talk) 18:50, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

The main settlement of the Celtic federation of Britons called the Durotriges was Durnovaria (modern Dorchester, Dorset); do any of the relevant articles help you with the archaeology? --Wetman (talk) 06:37, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
What's your reference for Durotrigia before the Roman period (or during/after it)? I know of no written material that has survived from Britain before the Roman period, and I know of no source that talks about a "Celtic federation of Britons". Can you outline your source for this so I can investigate? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:24, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Probably the main evidence in the LPRIA for the Durotriges is their coins. There is some written evidence for them in the Roman period but not after. Different maps (guesses) exist for the post roman period. (talk) 21:29, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

My source should be familiar to all, as it's been in print in various revisions since 1974: it's Barry Cunliffe, Iron Age Communities in Britain: An Account of England, Scotland and Wales from the Seventh Century BC Until the Roman Conquest, 4th ed. 2005: Part II.8 "The tribes of the periphery: Durotriges, Dobunni, Iceni and Corieltauvi" (pp 178-201). "The Durotriges were a close-knit confederacy of smaller units centred on modern Dorset," he begins (p. 178). Anyone with more than the slenderest desultory interest in the Durotriges needs to see this book. --Wetman (talk) 10:51, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Though Cunliffe's souce? Or did he infer that the Durotriges were a close-knit confederacy of smaller units from their coins alone? It's just that I was recently in a lecture with Mary Beard (Professor of Classics at Cambridge University) and she stated that pretty much everything people like Cunliffe say about tribal groupings prior to the Roman conquest is at best educated conjecture, and at worst mere fantasy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:16, 15 February 2008 (UTC)


This article is supposed to be about the History of Sub Roman Britain, NOT the History of academic squabbles concerning the history of Sub Roman Britain. This article would be great for a history student who want to find about academic disputes, but it is useless as a reference for a layman who wants a general idea of what happened between 400 and 700 AD in the UK.

To take only one glaring example of bad writing.

“Writing in Latin perhaps about AD 540, Gildas gives a preliminary account of the History of Britain but the earlier part is in error.” HOW, ABOUT WHAT “He castigates five rulers in western Britain - Constantine of Dumnonia, Aurelius Caninus, Vortipor of the Demetae, Cuneglassus and Maglocunus - for their sins.” WHICH SINS! “He also attacks the British clergy.” FOR WHAT! “He gives information on the British diet, dress and entertainment.” WHAT DOES HE SAY THEY ARE? “He writes that Britons were killed, emigrated or were enslaved but gives no idea of numbers of each type.” THIS IS THE BEST SENTENCE IN THE PARAGRAPH BUT IT IS AT LEAST HALF A WHINE THAT DILDAS GIVES NO NUMBERS.

Granted that the sources for this period are weak, but you have to say something. The whole article can’t be academic criticism. You NEED a narrative based one something then you can go into criticisms of the narrative, but with out that you don’t have shit. (talk) 01:38, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Ok, there is some bad writing, but that isn't your main complaint, right? The problem is that there are conflicting ideas about the history of sub-Roman Britain, so there is absolutely no way that a straightforward narrative 'this is the history' can be written. We can't choose one writer and use their ideas, we have to represent all significant views of this period. It would be nice if what you want could be provided, and it can be for most periods of British history, but not this one. Of course, if you can show how it can be done, I have most of the important books on this period and would be glad to help you rewrite it. Doug Weller (talk) 08:31, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Large parts of this page are now unwarranted and without any historical grounding[edit]

Looking through this page I am shocked by the lack of historical rigour applied to it. All of the narrative is based on incredibly weak evidence, much of which is mythical and written several centuries later, even though it is here presented as fact. The so-called nations on the map have little foundation in evidence - the sad fact is that the peoples who lived in Britain in this period did not draw lines on maps in neat ways that we like in the 21st century. Please please remember that Gildas may be our main source but he is limited on so many levels. Writers on this page have not realised that "what we know" and "what we would like to know" and "what people think would be a good idea to know" are all quite different things. Anyone who comes along claiming to have "the story" of Britain in the 5th and 6th centuries should pay serious attention to what has been said about the topic in the last 20 years, and not be attempting to cast Arthurian legend and pre-1990 Dark Age romanticism as unquestionable fact. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:59, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

True enough. More text written as reports of published material will improve the article. The fanciful list of "kingdoms" needs to be confined to the sub-Roman period ending with Anglo-Saxon control, and rewritten as sourced text not an undifferentiated bulletted list.--Wetman (talk) 18:46, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Some bad sources also, eg other Wikis. Doug Weller (talk) 19:12, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

poor editing[edit]

I was asked for some reason to say why I reverted a series of edits.[2] I was quite surprised to be sent such a message as this series of edits removed some well sourced and well founded points of view from the article, and some of the edit summaries even admitted that their sole purpose was to remove a specific point of view from the article, something we should not allow. This series of edits did not seem to be the result of any decision by editors on this talk page, and therefore do not seem to represent anything like the settled consensus for this article. Here are the reasons for the reverts:

  • diff What is wrong with this assertion? It's perfectly justified and numerous archaeologists and other authorities support this point of view. The edit summary is particularly confusing, it states "removed pov", but if Wikipedia removed all reliably sourced pov's then there would be no content at all. Including pov's is what we're supposed to do. What does "numbers may be less than previously thought" mean? And "the idea of a tiny ruling elite like the normans is not widely supported" is not only a totally incorrect claim, but can be cited many times from numerous authorities. I don't see any merit in this edit, it removes an extremely well supported point of view that is held by many experts in the field.
  • diff I don't know what this edit is supposed to mean, it does not accurately reflect what the source says.
  • diff Sykes and Oppenheimer do indeed make this claim. Can the editor provide evidence that they do not? The editor seems to be presenting their own interpretation of the data, indeed the claim of the editor is not incompatible with what Sykes and Oppenheimer say, because Sykes and Oppenheimer claim that some of the aboriginal DNA types are actually continental and are not derived from an Anglo-Saxon invasion but from pre-Anglo-Saxon contacts between eastern England and the other North Sea regions. And of course many of similarities in York and other North Sea regions may be due to later Danish settlement during the Danelaw. To claim that all haplotgroup I Y chromosomes in England are exclusively due to an "Anglo-Saxon" invasion is not supported by any source. The fact of settlement during the Danelaw is not disputed by any authority as far as I know, and long standing links between North Sea regions prior to the Roman invasion is a notable point of view that can be cited from reliable sources. Thus the edit displays an ignorance of what Sykes and Oppenheimer actually say. So a sub-set of haplogroup I Y chromosomes seem to be associated with the sub-Roman period, the editor has no reason to claim that all haplogroup I types are derived from an Anglo-Saxon invasion, and no source that I know of claims this. If a source does claim this, then include it by all means, but don't remove what other reliable sources say based on personal opinion, that's original research. Removal of a reliably sourced claim based on an ignorance of the source used, then claiming that the source is "wrong" is a direct breach of Wikipedia policies, we provide the points of view of reliable sources here, and we do not remove reliably cited points of view because we think they are "wrong".

That's it, I think I've covered everything. I'm a bit angry that I got a rather nasty note on my talk page when I was clearly replacing verifiably sourced information that had been removed by an editor who specifically stated in their edit summaries that they were removing these points of view because they did not agree with them and not because they were not supported by reliable sources. Alun (talk) 12:32, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Many apologies if you thought it was nasty, I was trying to stop an edit war. I got sidetracked and didn't finish what I started, and will ask the other editor to comment here. Doug Weller (talk) 12:55, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
No problem Doug. I'm a bit tired today and have bee a little snappy, so I'm as much to blame as anyone :) Sorry. Alun (talk) 14:09, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Here are some direct quotes relevant to what Oppenheimer says about "Anglo-Saxon" migration to England during the sub-Roman period, they are relevant to this edit.

  • "overall male intrusionfrom Northern Europe into England from any time since the last Ice Age varies from 15-42% (average 30%) in different samples.... given that the cross channel matches inevitably include a much larger flow of founder gene types from the earlier Mesolithic ans Neolithic periods, the overall figure of 30% invasion into England from Northern Europe since the last Ice Age is still most likely to be a gross overestimate of the recent Anglo-Saxon invasion" p. 378-379
  • "When we do begin to look at the effects and variation in rates of specific "Anglo-Saxon" gene types throughout Britain, several patterns emerge. First, the 30% intrusive figure falls sharply to 5.5% in England, and an average of 3.8% over all of the British Isles.This seems to point to a real, though small, Anglo-Saxon invasion of eastern Britain and England. Exact gene types matches from the putative Anglo-Saxon homelands are found at frequencies of 5-10% throughout England. Within England the highest rates of intrusion, 9-15%, are seen in parts of Norfolk, in the Fen country around the Wash and, notably, in Mercian and Anglian English towns f Weale's transect.
  • "Danish gene type matches account for 4.4% of the entire British sample, which is marginally greater than the similar figure of 3.8% for Anglo-Saxon matches."
  • "I would go much further than doubting Gildas on the genetic and cultural evidence. The so called Anglo-Saxons were not even the first English nation. They did not all arive at the same time. The Saxons, in particular, were already in residence during Roman times. The Angles were not genetically, culturally or linguistically close to the Saxons, nor for that matter to Frisians. The Angles and Jutes were more Scandinavian culturally and linguistically, with clear genetic and archaeological matches to the Danish peninsula and Sweden. They were not even our first Scandinavian visitors, nor our last."
  • "The largest figures come from our first hunter gatherer founders, while figures for more recent arrivals, such as Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, rarely top 10% locally and 6% overall."

I'm not concerned with the truth, I am concerned with including citable reliable sources accurately, and I am concerned with the casual removal of verifiable cited information just because it does not sit with the belief of any particular editor. Wikipedia does not exist to promote "facts" or "the truth", it exists to give all relevant notable points of view, this is the core of neutrality. The removal of this information was a direct breach of our neutrality policy, Oppenheimer does say this, removing it does not change that. I don't care if you disagree with Oppenheimer, I don't care if you want to add additional information that contradicts Oppenheimer, that would be good, it would make the article more neutral, but I do care that editors remove sources just because they don't like what they say. That makes me very angry. Alun (talk) 17:23, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't see the connection here. The sentence is saying that the study cannot find a statistically significant difference between North German samples and Danish samples collected, and so the researchers combined these samples and called them a single population North Germany/Denmark (NGD). Of course this is a "bad thing" because it means that Capelli et al. cannot distinguish between "Anglo-Saxon" migration and later Danish Viking migration. The study did not collect any Frisian samples at all, but they do include the Frisian samples collected by Weal et al. in 2002 in some of their statistical analyses. When they include these Frisian samples they find no significant statistical difference between these samples and the NGD samples, indicating that any difference between these samples and the NGD samples can be due to chance. On the other hand when they include the Frisian samples of Weal et al. in their principal components analysis they find that "The Frisian samples were more 'Continental' than any of the British samples, although they were somewhat closer to the British ones than the North German/Denmark sample". I assume that this edit is referring to the principal components analysis, but the sentence it has been included in is not referring to the PC analysis, nor is it referring to the similarities or differences between NGD samples and samples from Great Britain and Ireland, the sentence it has been included in was referring to the impossibility of distinguishing the North German and Danish samples. I cannot see the relevance of Capelli et al. not being able to distinguish between North German and Danish samples to the postion of Weal et al. Frisian samples on Capelli's principal components analysis, these observations are not related as far as I can see. Alun (talk) 06:11, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

I feel that it should be noted in the article that the Frisian sample was slightly closer to indigenous samples. This is especially because the Frisian sample was not used as the main sample for the source of continental or Germanic invaders in the main study which could possibly alter results (a fact mentioned itself in the study). The choice of source populations is something which is key to the accuracy of studies since it can alter the interpretation of the results (eg. many reserachers are currently questioning the selection of source populations in various studies, such as the choice of Basques to represent Upper Paleolithic markers). The Y-chromosome study mentions:
"If, for example, the real continental invaders had a composition more similar to the indigenous British than our candidate sample set, our results would systematically underestimate the continental input."
"When included in the PC analysis the Frisians were more “Continental” than any of the British samples, although they were somewhat closer to the British ones than the North German/Denmark sample. For example, the part of mainland Britain that has the most Continental input is Central England, but even here the AMH+1 frequency, not below 44% (South-well), is higher than the 35% observed in the Frisians."
I also noted that this was a mistake in the study since according to the chart, the two locations which had the lowest percentages of AMH+1 were in fact York and Norfolk which both had frequencies of 37%. Anyways, I felt that this is a noteworthy inclusion since it is a major distinction between this study and the earlier one carried out by Weale, that is all. Ciao, Epf (talk) 02:14, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Please explain why a sentence that discusses the lack of statistical significance between the Danish samples and the North German samples is the place to discuss this. This sentence simply means that the differences between the North German samples and the Danish samples can be due to chance. When they include Weal et al. Frisian samples they find that these are not significantly different to the NGD samples, indicating that genetic differences between Friesland and North Germany and Denmark are within the range of chance for this analysis: "With regard to source populations, we note that Weal et al. recently used Friesland as an Anglo-Saxon representative source population and suggested a substantial replacement of pre-Anglo-Saxon paternal lineages in central England. We therefore compared Frisians to our North German/Danish sample and found that the two sets are not significantly different from each other (p=0.3)." That would be a valid observation when we are discussing differences between populations. On the other hand the differences between British samples and all Continental samples is significant and not due to chance "Note that the similarity of the Danish and North German Y chromosomes means that, at the hg resolution, we cannot distinguish the genetic contributions to the British Isles of the two component groups. All continental populations, however, show significant differences from the indigenous group (p<0.01), and Norway can be distinguished, though to a lesser degree, from the German/Danish sample (p<0.05)." I have no problem with saying that the Weal et al. Frisian samples were a little closer to the samples from eastern England than the NGD samples were, but that should be included in a discussion of the principal components analysis and not in a discussion of the lack of statistical significance between Danish and North German samples. The only point of note regarding the the NGD samples and the Frisian samples is the lack of statistical significance between these samples. If you want to include a discussion of the principal components analysis then I would support that, but you edit conflates two different observations. Let's try to be precise. Alun (talk) 05:05, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
OK I've included a brief discussion of the PC analysis, personally I think it's a bit over the top, this is supposed to be a summary of the main article Settlement of Great Britain and Ireland. Additionally we should avoid, as much as possible, including results of research, but rather rely on the conclusions of research papers. We should always be careful of primary sources (such as raw data) and try to use secondary (such as conclusions, discussion of these data by others etc.) and tertiary sources as much as possible because primary sources are so technical and easily open to interpretation and misunderstanding, as per Wikipedia:NOR#Primary.2C_secondary.2C_and_tertiary_sources, WP:SYN and Wikipedia:Primary Secondary and Tertiary Sources. Alun (talk) 05:57, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Why are you citing a page that was written in userspace by one editor, and is not policy? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:04, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

The Huns[edit]

I think that the end of Roman Britain was caused by the Huns. It's logical. :-) --Mazarin07 (talk) 00:22, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

A quite novel theory. Interesting...-- (talk) 17:46, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Major Towns and Cities of sub-Roman Britain[edit]

May I propose a list is created on this page listing the names of the principal settlements of the time in their Brythonic / Old Welsh names. I know there has been some controversy regarding the attribution of an alternate Welsh name to places presently within the bounds of England and this page would be a place where such a list could sit. What do Wikipædians think about this proposal? James Frankcom (talk) 23:57, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Many are already listed at Welsh exonyms. Ghmyrtle (talk) 23:10, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

King of the Britons[edit]

May I draw your attention to the article King of the Britons and the discussion started on its talk page? This stems partly from my recent move to edit out and prepare for deletion what I regard as a very misleading and inappropriate template - Template:Kings of the Britons - which had been added to the articles on Owain Glyndŵr, the two Llywelyns and other medieval Welsh kings and princes, as well as the giant Idris Gawr (!) and various early and sub-Roman leaders. The title "King of the Britons" had also been added to the info boxes and lead text. Your comments and, hopefully, support would be welcome. Enaidmawr (talk) 00:36, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Culture vs Society[edit]

Do we have to use the word 'culture'? I suggest that the word 'society' has a place in an article like this.Keith-264 (talk) 13:37, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Plague of Justinian[edit]

I don't understand why the consequences of the Plague of Justinian are not taken in due consideration when dealing with the end of the last descendants in Britain of Roman Britain. Here it is (if Morris' book is not enough!) another good reference: Little, Lester K., ed., Plague and the End of Antiquity: The Pandemic of 541–750, Cambridge, 2006. ISBN 0-521-84639-0. Wikipedia is made of contributions from many users: if you disagree, please ADD your data and DON'T ERASE information if well referenced, please. And, please again, don't erase without real reason a map showing the historical extention of non anglosaxon Britain in 500 AD.--Paul0559 (talk) 02:37, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Hello Paul0559, thanks for coming to the talk page with this. You might have added Extreme weather events of 535–536, as it is also a likely contributor to the changes in this era. However, like plagues, many past historians have written in an "only people create history" perspective, so we don't have reliable historical information on other significant factors, such as plagues and climate. Modern theories and hypotheses (by whatever name) are just that at present — not that they are right or wrong, but that they are no more than theories. Presenting them as history doesn't seem quite right.
For myself, I'm confident that plagues and climate events are important and overlooked factors in history, though I'm unsure of the specific impacts regarding specific eras; but that amounts to my opinion. And if I were to insert information into an article, it would be my obligation to justify it to the other editors; it would not be the obligation of other editors to check out my sources and prove me wrong. That applies to maps as well.
As for your hoped-for article improvement, perhaps we can live with the present article for a couple of days to see what others might say, and go forward from there.
Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 03:25, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Well Paul0559, I see that you added your insistence to the talk page and then changed the article back to "your way" in less than 20 minutes, before anyone could respond. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 03:31, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your answer, Notuncurious. As you can see in the article there it is a section that deals with the fact that half the population of western Britain was killed by the Plague of Justinian. We are not dealing with extreme weather, but with something very very catastrophic. And don't forget that in those centuries a big plague was followed always by widespread famine and lack of newborns (so: no soldiers for the wars 20 years later, exactly when the last romanized cities of western Britain -like Bath- were conquered by the Anglosaxons!)....the Arab civilization in the Middle East, as a example, suffered a similar fate in the XIII century and never recovered since then. I write this to explain the importance of a huge plague, even if there are not precise statistical data & information about.

Anyway, feel free to do what you want with my contribution to the article: I don't want to be involved in edit wars or something similar. Best regards.--Paul0559 (talk) 03:56, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

I've no opinion on whether Paul0559's addition is factually correct or not - but, if it is included, it needs the help of an English speaker to ensure it is written in an understandable way. Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:40, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I can understand Paul0559's addition.But I don't understand the "real" problem here. May be celtic nationalism? "Hate" against a map or a book?--A(u)R(elianus duca)THUR (talk) 14:15, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
If it's clear to you, please explain how, for instance, the "legendary" King Arthur gained "an historical" victory? Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:19, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Erased references of scholar books (Morris, Lesler) and maps about the Welchs. This is NOT Wikipedia:this is nationalism hate at the worst level! Ricky F.
I've given you an official warning for your edit summary, stop attacking other editors. We aren't going to treat Arthur as a historical character, a blog ("Helping doctors make better decisions" is the motto of the company hosting the blog) is not a reliable source, etc. Dougweller (talk) 16:00, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

I am sorry for all this mess. Please, calm down. I am sure some impartial editor will understand that my edits about the Plague of Justinian were based on scholar books (and place in the article the reference to Little, Lester K., ed., Plague and the End of Antiquity: The Pandemic of 541–750, Cambridge, 2006. ISBN 0-521-84639-0. and the map showing the Welsh (as Anglosaxons called the Romano-British people) area in 500 AD. --Paul0559 (talk) 17:22, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

So what does Little et al say about this issue? What exactly do you want to write and what are you going to cite for it? Dougweller (talk) 18:55, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Little et al wrote that the Plague of Justinian depopulated Justinian empire and stopped him from reconquering all the Western Roman empire. It was so terrible the Plague that the Arabs (not affected by it) later were able to obtain astonishing victories against the depopulated Eastern Roman empire (and the Persians). They wrote even that the plague was "transported" by rats on merchant ships to the British isles. And we know by archeology (see:Tintagel, etc..) that there was a huge commerce between western "romanized" Britain and the Mediterranean sea. They wrote that British cities like Bath were depopulated (I don't remember where I have read that half the population died in those cities, but I will find it), while the Anglosaxons were not much affected because lived mainly of local farming and had practically no commerce outside the British isles. Now allow me to repeat what I wrote to Notuncurious: .."And don't forget that in those centuries a big plague was followed always by widespread famine and lack of newborns (so: no soldiers for the wars 20 years later, exactly when the last "romanized" cities of Western Britain -like Bath- were conquered by the Anglosaxons!).."..As you can see, Dougweller, the plague hit all Western Europe with comerce with Constantinople and it is the best explanation of why the Anglosaxons (after their defeat at Mount Badon and nearly fifty years of peace) were able to conquer in a fast way the remaining western cities of the "romanized" Britons (that were getting some growth in the first half of the VI century, according to archeological discoveries). As you know, the books of Gilas and Bede are our ONLY sure evidence from those years (with their references to the Romano-British leader Ambrosianus Aurelianus and his possible identification with King Arthur).....and only archeology is actually helping us (like when was found the famous Arthur stone with inscriptions in "local" LATIN and not in celtic). Scholars like Allen Grant made their maps with a serious approach.....and without "suffering influences" from the political "celtic POV" of our days. Anyway, even if believe you are not going to add my writings to the article (and I am not going to partecipate in future to the article), have my best regards.--Paul0559 (talk) 22:01, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

The map[edit]

I presume the map in question is from Grant Allen's book, which was first published I think in 1881. It might be useful in an article looking at the development of scholarship on this question, but it clearly can't be used in any way that suggests it is accurate. Dougweller (talk) 19:00, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Or have a look at it here, skim through the book, and read Grant's partial bibliography in the wikipedia article about him. Very much agree with Dougweller's comment.
Even maps from reputable authors need to be verified as accurate. For example
  • Cunliffe, Barry W. (1971), Iron Age Communities in Britain (4th ed.), Routledge (published 2005), p. 216, ISBN 0415347793  - map of the tribes of Northern Britain, attributed to "various sources"
The map is a fiction and Cunliffe's attribution is not comforting. Several of the peoples mentioned on the map are known only from a single mention by Ptolemy, and he showed these peoples in a different location that Cunliffe. It shows that even good people can be wrong at times. Maps need to be verified by the editors who want to use them, and not tossed into articles as if they were accurate by default. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 19:22, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
What has to do Cunliffe's map with our discussion? The map of Allen Grant was not "tossed into article": it is perfectly suited to show Sub-Roman Britain in 500 AD (and was done by a renowned scholar, not a Commons editor).--Paul0559 (talk) 21:40, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
"was done by a renowned scholar, not a Commons editor" ... sounds like you have a low opinion of Commons editors.

I am a commons editor, but I don'even dream of reaching the level of scholars & professional map editors.--Paul0559 (talk) 03:34, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

The point regarding Cunliffe is that he is an authority of some repute in this particular field, yet he makes mistakes, and his work should not be accepted uncritically. Nor should Allen's work be accepted uncritically, particularly by anyone who wants to use his work in support of their own thesis. And by the way, did you arrive at your conclusion that this map is a good choice because Allen's reasoning led to the map as would your conclusion, or did you reach your conclusion and then search until you found a map that happened to agree with you? If the former, perhaps you'll include Allen's reasoning in any future article updates in order to support your thesis; if the latter, then this simply looks like "cherry picking" to promote an argument. Also, was Strathclyde really the name of a large kingdom in 500AD, as shown on the map? Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 00:38, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Sincerely (and with all the respect for the Commons editor) I cannot put on the same level the map of the scholar Allen and the other map in the article done by user:Briangotts (File Britain 500 CE.png)

Britain 500AD

And, as I have written before, Allen's map is perfectly suited to show Sub-Roman Britain in 500 AD.

What I cannot understand well is why you accept uncritically the map Britain 500 CE.png.....Are you sure all the many borders are well done? And how the Commons editor who did the map was able to precisely define those borders if we lack detailed information from those centuries? At least the scholar Allen wrote on his map -with a serious approach- that the borders were approximate and left the area of the "Welsh" without borders inside. Indeed, I am going to try to edit a map on Commons about the last "romanized" british cities in the same year, but I don't even dream of pinpointing precise borders of Celtic/Romano-British/Anglosaxons kingdoms.....and of course I am no match for scholar's maps. A last salute.--Paul0559 (talk) 03:34, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

The map you mention, File:Britain 500 CE.png, is inaccurate and incorrect, fictional, and misleading. It diminishes the article, certainly, and also the other articles that use it. It is not being defended here, and I never accepted it. I think that wikipedia would be better off without it. I doubt that it would be placed in this article today, but that's just my guess. But for whatever reason it was put there, and for whatever reason it remains there today, that is not a justification for putting any other map in the article. Saying or writing that your map is perfectly suited to show Sub-Roman Britain in 500 AD doesn't make it so. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 03:59, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks to Dougweller for bringing this issue forward. The image was deleted from Scotland during the Roman Empire on the above grounds. However, I think it is has a purpose, and there is a paucity of suitable images, so I've restored it and added various caveats including "Created by Grant Allen and published in 1884, the names of the tribes and boundaries are indicative at best." If there is something more up-to-date please let me know. Ben MacDui 10:56, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Mistake. The map you have restored was not made by Gran Allen in 1884 and it is inaccurate and incorrect, fictional, and misleading.--A(u)R(elianus duca)THUR (talk) 14:32, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Allen's map is File:Y Gogledd.jpg. File:Britain 500 CE.png doesn't seem to have much going for it at all, it's a compliation of "Based in part upon and on information derived from Mike Ashley's Mammoth Book of Irish & British Kings and Queens,Bruce Gordon's Regnal Chronologies, and other sources." and I wish we had a simple way of taking this to deletion as not a RS. Dougweller (talk) 14:54, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Understood. I fear that this file may suffer from similar problems. Ben MacDui 16:44, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

For clarification,

Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 17:11, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

They are all crap inaccurate and misleading. Some comment on the Prydyn map here. The Gutenberg map in particular is hopeless; for one thing it shows that Strathclyde included Rheged, in 500 AD! The Britain 500 CE map includes "kingdoms" for which we have no evidence other than fringe theory deductions from late genealogies and legend. For the Britannia 10DC map, I concur with Notuncurious above. The main argument for using one or more of these maps seems to be that "any map is better than none", even if they are quite simply incorrect. I'd use the opposite argument: not having a map at all is better than using a map which is at best inaccurate and at worst a piece of fiction. Enaidmawr (talk) 23:29, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Parts of Britain 878 AD
Allow me one last comment: why the Gutenberg map (or Allen map) is hopeless?Strathclyde included Rheged even in this other map from another scholar. How these scholars can do the same huge mistake? Furthermore, how can we pretend full precision from maps of those dark age centuries? The only thing to do -IMHO- is to use renowned scholar's maps and accept what they write in those maps, pinpointing under the map explanations about their possible mistakes (or what we "believe" it is a mistake). To left the article without a map is a small "damage" to Wikipedia.....and reduces the full understanding of the article. Regards--Paul0559 (talk) 01:44, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
Grant Allen possessed no qualifications I can see to call him an Anglo-Saxon scholar, let alone a renowned one. Dougweller (talk) 05:48, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Oppenheimer actually postulates that the Germanic presence in the isles is older than the Anglo-Saxons[edit]

Oppenheimer does not state that the people that lived in what is now England are Celtic, but Germanic people of Basque genetics that existed long before the Anglo-Saxon invasions and are related to the Belgae, whom he identifies as Germanic, and the people of the Frisia coasts. He postulates this because he does not believe that the Anglo-Saxon couldn't have changed the Brythonic language into a Germanic one. He also too umbrage with the fact that he was misquoted as stating that the English are Celtic. I added this information to the article but it was removed as an act of vandalism and thus I reinstated it. All the Celtic romanticists cannot just misquote Oppenheimer to suit their ends as that is unencyclopaedic. The Mummy (talk) 13:44, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Hello Mummy, it sounds like you have enough material to expand the article about Oppenheimer, but the quantity added to this article (which is already a bit too large) seems to give too much prominence to one particular point of view. Whether or not Oppenheimer resents misinterpretation of his opinions and hypotheses is not relevant, nor is the issue of whether or not he was in fact misinterpreted. And disagreement with your approach does not imply agreement on my part with the material that you are replacing.
Removing the mention of Cumbric language survival, Cornish language survival, and other similar material is not consistent with your stated purpose. You removed factually accurate (and relevant) material and replaced it with a hypothesis that you like, citing a blog page as one of your references.
And by the way – if one attempts to make a point using the best argument one has, and if your best argument is to describe actions you oppose as "vandalism" and to refer to those who express ideas contrary to your own personal opinions as "Celtic romanticists", then you have done no credit to your argument. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 15:02, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

The last half of the article is allegedly based on Oppenheimer's findings and yet it is a complete bastardization of his ideas and thus, whether it is too long or not, my revisions are justified. YOU removed relevent info because you are clearly biased towards the racist and nationalistic view that the English are derived from people that have always be here. I think Oppenheimer's view falls under this and thoroughly disagree with it, yet I think that misinterpreting his views is still wrong.

And bagpipes certainly are not only Celtic, by the way, and there is no evidence that they existed in the British isles before the 14th century. The Mummy (talk) 16:20, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Would you please try to find a way to incorporate your views without removing material that is not relevant to your stated purpose? As for sources, a blog page is not considered reliable in any sense of the word, yet you are citing it as a reference. You removed factually true and relevant information without a reason. Surely you can make your point without doing that.
Also, a revert and request to go to the talk page first is a request to do just that, without your repeated re-insertion of the same text. All you are doing here is repeating your edit summary and engaging in repeated personal attacks. A gratuitous charge of "you are clearly biased towards the racist and nationalistic view", along with the earlier charges, won't get us to a consensus.
Please have another look at your edits, and at a minimum consider replacing the material you removed that is not covered by your stated purpose of correcting misinformation about Oppenheimer's theories (regarding bagpipes, for example). And surely you can find an acceptable alternative to the blog reference that you cite. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 18:53, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

I have not read Oppenheimer, but I would have to agree with Noctuncurious's approach. The more and more you make statements about undo bias that come across as personal attacks, the more and more I am concerned about your motives for making these edits. A complete removal of factual information that may not be from your personally favored source would make the article misleading or perhaps biased in the totally opposite direction. The Mummy, please bring scholarly work forward to either support your own view, or dispute the previously represented position, otherwise your edits and approach to this page should be removed because they violate consensus, thank you. SADADS (talk) 19:13, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

I only have a bias for the facts, SADADS. Oppenheimer does not say that that the English are culturally Celtic, he says they are genetically related to Basques like the Britons, Frisians and other groups in Europe. The way the last paragraph was worded made it sound like Oppenheimer believes that the English are Celtic (or Brittonic to be more precise) when he does not. He states in his work that he believes that the area which is now England has been inhabited by a Germanic linguistic group before the Anglo-Saxon invasion. He believes that Celtic seperated from I.E. earlier than is presumed and he also believed that English broke away from P.Germ. earlier than is presumed.

You should either contain Oppenheimer's real theory or not mention him in relation to this topic at all. And I certainly do not have a bias towards his theory as I find it rather absurd; what I do object to is people misrepresent his theory in an encyclopaedia article. It seems to me that a lot of wikipedias have some sort of racialistic aversion to any suggestion that the English - whose language has the least Celtic loans than any of the Germanic languages spoken today, Icelandic included- are not Celtic and thus want to pervert Oppenheimer's theory to fit their own idea of how it should be. This is not good scholarship and is against the rules, whether you agree with them or not. Oppenheimer's theories do not state that a Celtic culture continued in Britain, he merely proposed the idea that the Welsh and English are both genetically similar to Basques, though he believes they both represent two different strands of Basgue genetics with a cline in the border lands, one for the Britons and one for the Germanic people which he believes lived here just after the Last Glacial Maximum. He believed that the Germanic influence in pre-England is more from North Germanic settlers than the later West Germanic incursion, although he also links these to the Germanic tribes in the Belgae confederacy and the coast of what is now Friesland. I do not agree with his view, however, but it should be included in this article rather than the weasel words that make it seem like he believes in a Celtic cultural survival. Infact, he even states that it is unlikely that the area which makes up most of England was ever Celtic due to the lack of Celtic traces in the English language and the fact that England only has a few Brittonic toponymes.

And I certainly do not have an anti-Celtic bias as I am a proud Gael myself, however, this is an encyclopedia and making up theories and attributing them to Dr. Oppenheimer is wrong and certainly against the rules. The Mummy (talk) 23:02, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

None of what you say is to the point of all this. Indeed, you might have said it here, on the talk page, in response to the initial request, and gained a following. Instead, (1) you continue, for the 3rd time in this thread, with personal attacks and uncivil, hostile, and inappropriate descriptions of others, such as the above "a lot of wikipedias have some sort of racialistic aversion"; (2) you removed factually accurate information such as the Northumberland pipes, which is not relevant to your stated purpose of correcting a misinterpretation of Oppenheimer; (3) you are using a blog page as a reference for some of your material. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 23:43, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
I read around the internet, and generally think that your scholarship behind the statements are relatively good. (I have seen references to that blog in intellectual conversations, so I am not particularly offended by that as a source. I think that you should find some other form of more specific scholarship in order to comply with wikipedia policy on sources -- perhaps a citation to the pages in Oppenheimer's book where he makes this statement?)
My greatest concern, which is becoming more and more pertinent as we discuss this on the talk page, is that you are assuming that we (Notuncurious and I) are objecting to your edit for some sort of predisposition for a certain type of scholarship. As I specifically stated, I personally have no deep grounding in this type of anthropological work, therefore no firm predispositions to certain scholarship. Your particularly violent reactions to us and rather extreme blanket statements when not given provocation, bring into question whether your edits have good judgment behind them.(I initially gave you benefit of the doubt because your edit history looked rather constructive.) All I ask, to assuage my doubts, is for something specific that validates the specific removals you made, whether it be a scholarly website, a journal article or a quote or excerpt from the book which supports your approach.
And remember be courteous!!!!
SADADS (talk) 00:32, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

No my violet reaction does not bring into question my motivation, it just shows my contempt for anti-encyclopedic revisions and the fact that my very relevant revision was reverted despite the fact that I explained that the theory purported at the end of the section ran contrary to the real views of Oppenheimer who does not believe in a Celtic continuity in the area which is now England. My reaction is besides the point, either you should reference Oppenheimer's real theory or you should not reference him at all.

I have made a compromise and have left much of the original text before my initial revision even though no sources where previded for it, unlike the segment I added.

And, I removed the Northumbrian smallpipe reference because A). bagpipes are not evidence of a Celtic survival as they are not Celtic in origin, B). the first Celts to use bagpipes in the British isles were the Irish who started this tradition in the 13th or 14th century C). the first reference to the instruments in Britain are from Chaucer who was English and D). many non-Celtic regions traditionally have bagpipes (and for that matter tartan) such as Scandinavia and the Slavic nations. That reference obviously came from the parallels between Northern England and Scotland, however, in Scotland the smallpipes are called Inglis pipes. The tradition of bagpipes, much like kilts in the modern sense, is not an ancient tradition and thus does not date back to the ancient Britons, Picts or Gaels who didn't use the instrument.

I sincerely apologise if you feel offended by some of my remarks and I will apologise for not making a discussion before my revision, even though I do not feel that a discussion was necessary as I merely corrected an erroneous passage of text.The Mummy (talk) 00:56, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

My bet, to explain the lack of sourcing, is that whoever wrote the article is used to the general bibliographic sourcing that scholars are allowed to use in encyclopedic entries, therefore wrote that section in synthesis; this article uses this type of sourcing and has a number of synthesized sections. If you are an expert in this field, or have strong familiarity, I think the article demands someone who can negotiate their way through the scholarship in an informed matter in order to cite the work.
I think we learned a several lessons, here and wasted at least a couple hours of editing in this conversation:
1. If reverted, ask for what type of proof the editor wants in order to keep your changes
2. Pay attention to strength of rhetoric when entering into the sub-community of an article for the first time, You never know what you are getting in to. (I had a really bad experiance with Talk:Battle of Strasburg
3. Don't assume that most editors aren't scholars or admire a scholarly approach--I bet a lot of us are decently qualified academics.

Any objections to the current logic behind the change Notuncurious? (I am not sure if we completely answered your objections, but I think The Mummy has a valid point

SADADS (talk) 01:22, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

You make very good points, however, the section contained highly questionable content, as I demonstrated with the smallpipes, which are a modern instrument in the area and were first mention further to the south of Britain by Chaucer.

I do think that some editors are scholars, I am myself, however, the error in the text didn't seem like a scholarly error unless it was made by a scholar far outside of his field. I have encountered the same misinterpretation of Oppenheimer's view on Wikipedia and the internet before which strikes me as deliberate weaseling or vandalism which was unnoticed by the majority of editors on this article.

But now we are in, more or less, agreement. I should have discussed my changes first, however, these changes were needed because misusing theory of anyone does not fit with the criteria set out by Wikipedia. Having Oppenheimer's full theory clarifies what be believes, which is that the area which is now England has never been Celtic but Germanic in culture. He merely states that both groups have similar, but not the same, genetics from the Basques. I do not subscribe to his theory as he is not a geneticist (he is a paediatrician) and is using the Weale and Capelli studies as his basis. Now the Weale and Capelli studies show a majority of continental, or Anglo-Saxon genetics - a large majority in the area Weale studied and a smaller majority in all of England in Capelli's study - with less continental genetics under the Thames and to the west. This was put down to the influence of the traditionally Celtic areas in southern England such as Cornwall.

Oppenheimer's interpretation seemed very popular with the media but was, I find, absurd. However, as he made a major media splash, his views are still relevant if portrayed in their true light. The Mummy (talk) 12:03, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I think we should reconsider the angel fire website as a source, it looks to be a private website with research that may focus on pop-history not necessarily real research. And that blog is still not very supportive, nor really corresponds with WP policy.SADADS (talk) 14:31, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
On your earlier point above, you are on-target with your suggestions, SADADS. The article content, per se, was not the point. A good effort to turn things around, well done.
That said, The Mummy, the article is certainly in need of some good attention. As for any uncertainties regarding reaction to improving the article, "be bold and give it a try" is a wikipedia principle. Should there be questions or a revert, take it to the talk page and see where the conversation goes. And don't let one bump in the road keep you from getting the article to where it should be.
Am still a bit frosty over the name-calling that seemed intended to cause harm without regard to right or wrong, but that will pass shortly, so let's consider the matter closed. Regards, Notuncurious (talk) 15:17, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, can we avoid Angelfire please. Also, Germanic in 'culture'? What does that mean? Dougweller (talk) 16:46, 18 September 2000

I'd like to point out Weales - on which much of the sensationalist reporting and strange statistical speculation about population replacement (Haerke etc) is based - work is flawed as the line they take through Britain is no way representative of typical settlement patterns over the country, due to the viking eruption being focussed in that are and also only having a sample of seven towns. pehaps Haerkes work in the article should be balanced not just by further analysis of Weales work (which Oppenheimer does, although his conclusion is not necessarily affected by the defects in Weales work as much as Haerkes was) but by looking for other counts of Y and mitochondria and of autosomal types. (talk) 16:05, 18 November 2010 (UTC)


The following paragraph is out of place under "End of Roman Britain":

 "Others may have lived in separate communities from those of the Anglo-Saxons, but under Anglo-Saxon rule. The laws of King Ethelbert of Kent, probably written in the early seventh century, make reference to a legal underclass known as laets who might represent British communities. There definitely is a British (wealh) underclass referred to in Ine of Wessex’s law code, written in the late seventh or early eighth centuries."

Under "Archeological Evidence": "In the Sub-Roman period there seems to have been a preference for using less durable materials than in the Roman period." sounds like PC thinking. Perhaps the inhabitants of Rio's favelas have a preference for living in shacks instead of houses with indoor plumbing and running water... If you don't want to say, or don't agree, that they had lost the ability to build in brick and stone, then perhaps "Buildings were constructed of less-durable materials than in the Roman period", or something similar.

Under "Population changes" "According to a new study, an apartheid-like system existed in early Anglo-Saxon England, which prevented the native British genes getting into the Anglo-Saxon population by restricting intermarriage and wiped out a majority of original British genes in favour of Germanic ones"

Although I admit I haven't read the book "Saxons, Vikings, and Celts", does this agree with Sykes? (talk) 13:18, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree and have moved the anachronism to History of Anglo-Saxon England. I've edited in your suggestion on the construction methods. On your last point, the [citation needed] at the end was a challenge asking for a reliable source to be stated. As it had been there for more than a year without any response, I've deleted that passage. Moonraker2 (talk) 15:29, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Investigating population movement by stable isotope analysis: a report from Britain[edit]

Paper at [3] Dougweller (talk) 20:43, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Sources and Arthur[edit]

I have tagged the article, as the first half is severely lacking in sources to substantiate the text.

I removed the insertion after the citation for 'Age of Arthur', as this refers to the usage of that term, rather than the subject of the article. I am sure that something could be said about Arthur, but not this way, and not much - as there is an article devoted to the legendary figure, and this sort of material would be better off dealt with there.

It is not uncommon for a text about post-Roman / pre-Norman Britain to have half-a-dozen pages about Arthur - if only to point out most of what we know is based on the the fiction of Geoffrey of Monmouth and Norman historical revisionism of Henry II. Whilst I am sure that some information has since been superceded, Lloyd Laing's "Celtic Britain" (Palladin, 1979) gives a concise account of what we know and how the legend developed. I have this text, as well as Geoffrey's book, the Anglo Saxon Chronicles, and numerous other books (although nothing that recent), and Patrick's account - if there is anything specific needing looking up, let me know. Mish (talk) 09:34, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Anglo-Saxon migration comes after the end of Roman Britain, surely? The sequence should be:

  • Celtic Britain (background)
  • Roman Britain (background)
  • end of Roman oversight
  • Celtic-Roman Britain
  • Briton migration to mainland Europe / Anglo-Saxon migration into Eastern Britain / Briton migration to Western Britain

Is it possible to reorganise this to follow the historical flow as much as possible (acknoweldging there is room for debate); at the moment the narrative is confused.Mish (talk) 09:57, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Section on linguistic evidence of migrations (5.1) contains contradictions[edit]

"Studies of Old English, P- and Q-Celtic and Latin have provided evidence for contact between the Britons, the Gaels, and the Anglo-Saxons. The general consensus is that Old English has little evidence of linguistic contact." Is there contact evidence or not? "England (except Cornwall and Cumbria) shows little evidence now of Celtic in its placenames. There are scattered Celtic placenames throughout, increasing towards the west. There are also Celtic river names and topographical names." How does the two last sentences fit the first?

Can someone who knows the subject sort this out? DeCausa (talk) 19:34, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Self identifying Britons[edit]

"The withdrawal of Roman legions did not put an end to the Roman culture of the "lost province", which still remained part of the Roman cultural world, as Britons self-identified as Roman."

This is drivel. It makes my eyes bleed JF42 (talk) 21:59, 6 September 2011 (UTC)


The Gewisse region has important historical information regarding this area. Does anyone have additional information on this?

Twillisjr (talk) 16:30, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

"Celtic" British kingdoms[edit]

Do we need to identify unequivocally "British" kingdoms as "Celtic"? Reasons for doing so include the fact that most of their populations probably did speak something roughly ancestral to modern Welsh. Reasons for not doing so include Oppenheimer's Germanic theories (see discussion above) with the possibility of non-Celtic Belgic elements in the South-East at least, and the widespread use of Latin, which continued to be spoken as the prestige language even of the western kingdoms for centuries. That's leaving out the Irish element and whatever Pictish or other languages may have been relevant to the area. I suggest that giving a blanket description of these kingdoms as "Celtic" is un-necessary at best and mildly inappropriate at worst. Richard Keatinge (talk) 09:50, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Appreciate this being brought to discussion. The Kingdoms section is in two parts. Its second part is headed There were also areas that became Anglian or Saxon kingdoms, thus separating it from the first. None of the kingdoms noted in the first part – from Bryneich to Gododdin – were in southeast Britain or in Pictish lands. All were in Celtic Britain. Does anyone dispute it? Some may have been under Irish control at various points, but does anyone say they weren't Celtic? Whatever one may think of Oppenheimer, I'm sure even he would describe these kingdoms as Celtic. Daicaregos (talk) 10:34, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Diolch Daicaregos. The "Celtic" comment seems on a reasonable reading to encompass the whole section - the areas do overlap. I've just given it a quick going over to clarify that and a few other details. The view that the South-East spoke something recognizably Germanic in 400 is a minority view and I'm not relying on it. Still, with the Belgic tribes there is genuine uncertainty about what they actually spoke.
The main point is, what do we mean when we describe a polity as "Celtic"? That a lot of people there probably (not definitely) spoke what we'd now classify as a Celtic language? If so, the word is correct though I'd still suggest it's un-necessary; we already mention that they were "British", an ethno-political identification that is unambiguously correct and that the potentiores there would probably have recognized themselves. Also, the initial AS conquests are unlikely to have replaced all the native speech at once; if we accept "a lot of Celtic being used" as our criterion, that would apply to many early AS kingdoms too.
If we would - as I would - require a higher level of "Celticness" before using the word, for example the use of a Celtic language in official records and statements, spoken as a language of power, used on monuments to kings, and so on, the word is clearly inappropriate for the areas outside Irish or Pictish control. They probably used Latin, at least officially and for the first stages of our period. I suggest that we simply remove "Celtic" and avoid all these issues here, leaving linguistic details to the appropriate articles. Richard Keatinge (talk) 12:01, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree, remove 'Celtic'. That would also bring it more in line with the academic literature as I recall - I'm not at home so can't check my library. Dougweller (talk) 14:03, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't feel overly strongly about the word 'Celtic' here, but the IP's edit seemed reasonable inasmuch as Great Britain (possibly excluding the Picts) was inhabited by Britons, before, during and after the Roman occupation, and before the arrival of the Saxons, and those Britons were Celtic peoples. Saying Various British kingdoms existed at some point in the period. could imply continuity between those kingdoms and the current British state. I suggest either linking British to Britons (Celtic people) or, preferably, recasting, so the word British is not used in that context. Daicaregos (talk) 15:10, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
I've put in the link to Britons (Celtic people) and will leave it for others to think of a good way of recasting it. Diolch i bawb eto. Richard Keatinge (talk) 17:25, 25 October 2013 (UTC)