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Why England and not Saxland?

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  Quote vulkan02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Why England and not Saxland?
    Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 13:52
Ok so Ive heard it before that the Saxons and the Angles are the first germanic tribes to invade England after Roman power in the British isles fell.
In England you had many kingdoms later on and I believe the most powerful king who united it was the king of Wessex. Then you had other Saxons kingdoms such as Essex, Sussex etc. If there was so many SAXON kingdoms why did this nation take the name of the Angles??
Also why are the isles called the British isles too?? Were the Britons a major tribe because i never heard of them??
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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 14:01
Saxland is north-western Germany
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  Quote vulkan02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 14:05
Saxland or Saxony?
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  Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 14:05
And probably the Anglo-Saxons were the majority (anglo is the first word) and therefore Angland - England...
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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 14:06
this is something i have ever wondered...I know Brits or at least some of them considder themselves Anglo-Saxon...but to which degree do they considder themselves Saxon, and what do they think about their relation to the German Saxons?
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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 14:07
Originally posted by vulkan02

Saxland or Saxony?

Saxland.
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 14:17
The Welsh and Gaelic names for the English derive from the localised words for Saxon.
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  Quote Jazz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 14:17
Not sure about the Angle-land, Sax-land part, but the Britons were one of the many Celtic tribes displaced by the Germanic migrations. 

As for the etymolgy of the term British Isles, I would guess that because the Britons were the tribe in most contact with the then outside world, and because the rest of the tribes were mostly Celtic in origin, outsiders might not have been able to distinguish between all of them.  Thus because these Celtic tribes held parts of what is now England proper and virtually all the islands inbetween, that is perhaps how the term originated....

Again, this is all just a guess.
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  Quote vulkan02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 14:28
Hmm in wikipedia it states that Britons were called so by Phoenician traders way before Rome. I think Angles and Saxons weren't much different in language or customs but the mystery is why Saxons created so many powerful kingdoms and then fail to name the country accordingly.
I found this map and it seems the Angles had only one kingdom named after them.




Edited by vulkan02
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 14:31
Hmm, The Greeks called it Pretani (sp?), a name from some people who lived in the south, supposed to mean Painted people or somesuch.

The name of the Island is in part due to the Romans, and in part due to The Franco-Normans. The Roman province was of course called Britannia, whilst Scotland was called Caledonia. That got the tradition started.
When the Normans invaded, they brought the French language over, which had Grand Brettange (Great Britian), and plain Brettangne (Brittany), Great Britian being the bigger of the two, that became the name of the main island.
The term 'British Isles' wasn't used untill relativly more recently, different people dispute what the implied reason for the name was, but it emerged out of geographical convenience more than anything else.

Hmm in wikipedia it states that Britons were called so by Phoenician traders way before Rome.


The Phoenicans called it the Tin Islands, they traded indirectly (?) with the natives for tin, which was found in abundance (still is, if you can afford the water pumping bills) particualry in Cornwall.


Edited by Cywr
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  Quote vulkan02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 14:37
thanks for the info there Cwyr but the main question is still left unanswered
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 14:49
I think its because the Angles were politicly/culturaly dominant.

They never called themselves Angles, but rather Engele [sp] (Angle is just Latin getting it wrong again), and this can be seen by how all Germanic languages call it that way, only languages that got the name via Latin replace the 'e' with an 'a'.
But why England, and not Sachsaland or Seaxland or whatever.
Alfred the Great coined the title Rex Anglorum Saxonum, but by then the name England was already in use, the Anglo-Saxon bit is just due to Latin rivial amoungst the educated, and was actualy first used on the continent, not in Britian

Early Saxon writers note that they are part of the Anglelcyn fairly early on, and that they speak Englisc. So the real question is why they saw things that way?
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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 14:49
Northumbria, Mercia and Lindsey were Anglican kingdoms too, so overall, Angles occupied much more of Britain than Saxons. obviously the main thrust to britain was also carried out by Angles, because today there are still Saxons on the mainland, but no Angles...
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 14:49

Originally posted by Jazz

Not sure about the Angle-land, Sax-land part, but the Britons were one of the many Celtic tribes displaced by the Germanic migrations. 

As for the etymolgy of the term British Isles, I would guess that because the Britons were the tribe in most contact with the then outside world, and because the rest of the tribes were mostly Celtic in origin, outsiders might not have been able to distinguish between all of them.  Thus because these Celtic tribes held parts of what is now England proper and virtually all the islands inbetween, that is perhaps how the term originated....

Again, this is all just a guess.

Oddly enough perhaps the Anglo-Saxons called the country Bretenland. The Romans called the country Britannia (Brittania, Britania, whatever) because they called the Celts who lived there Britanni. What the Britons called themselves or their country I don't know (similarly, what did the Belgae and the Gauls call themselves?)

When the Romans moved out several groups of invaders moved in: Jutes (from Jutland ), Saxons from (Lower) Saxony, Angles from the country in between and occasional others like Friesians. This is how the Venerable Bede describes it in his Ecclesiatsical History of the English People in 731.

They came from three very powerful Germanic tribes [de tribus Germaniae populis fortioribus], the Saxons, Angles and Jutes. The people of Kent [Cantuari] and the inhabitants of the Isle of Wight [Uictuarii, hoc est ea gens quae Uectam tenet insulam] are of Jutish origin and also those opposite the Isle of Wight, that part of the kingdom of Wessex [in provincia Occidentalium Saxonum] which is today called the nation of the Jutes [Iutarum natio nominatur]. From the Saxon country, that is, the district now know as Old Saxony, came the East Saxons, the South Saxons and the West Saxons. Besides this, from the country of the Angles, that is, the land between the kingdoms of the Jutes and the Saxons, which is called Angulus, came the East Angles, the Middle Angles, the Mercians and all the Northumbrian race [tota Nordanhymbrorum progenies] (that is, those people who dwell north of the river Humber) as well as the other Anglian tribes [ceterique Anglorum populi]. Angulus is said to have remained deserted from that time to this. Their first leaders are said to have been two brothers, Hengist and Horsa. Horsa was afterwards killed in battle by the Britons, and in the eastern part of Kent there is still a monument bearing his name. They were the sons of Wihtgisl, son of Witta, son of Wecta, son of Woden, from whose stock [de cuius stirpe] the royal families of many kingdoms [multarum provinciarum regium genus] claimed their descent.

Bede later and in general uses gens Anglorum to refer to the whole caboodle, but why I don't know. Gregory the Great is said to have seen some beautiful children being sold in the slave market in Rome and to have asked what they were. 'Angli' he was told. 'Non Angli, sed Angeli' he is supposed to have replied. Indicating that Angli was becoming the generic name as early as the Sixth century (if the story is true)

Of course it's very useful that 'England' emerged as the name, because if it had been Saxonland or Jutland or Friesland, life could have got very confusing. Luckily the name 'Angulus' seems to have died out as a German placename.

Incidentally, talking about apocryphal stories, Heinrich Heine is supposed to have remarked about something or other: 'Wie eng, wie englisch'.

 

 

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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 15:09
Is there much evidence to support that the Saxons in England regarded themselves as culturaly and linguisiticly distinct from the Angles? I'm thinking the language it begins to look like the opposite fairly early on.
Could it be that it was just a political tag, that lost its relevance once Alfred had united the country?
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  Quote vulkan02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 15:23
Originally posted by Temujin

Northumbria, Mercia and Lindsey were Anglican kingdoms too, so overall, Angles occupied much more of Britain than Saxons. obviously the main thrust to britain was also carried out by Angles, because today there are still Saxons on the mainland, but no Angles...


Isn't there in Germany a region called Angle just like styrobiorn said there's a region called Saxland?
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 15:28
AFAIK, its in Denmark, Southern Denmark to be precise, or maybe part of it is technicly in Germany.
I don't think it goes by that name anymore though.
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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 15:41
Originally posted by rider

And probably the Anglo-Saxons were the majority (anglo is the first word) and therefore Angland - England...


Most of what I know about this subject has already been said, but let's just make one thing absolutely clear: "Anglo-Saxon" is a modern term, 19th century if I'm not mistaken, used to sum up all the invading Germanic tribes; mainly Saxons and Angles, but also Jutes and Frisians.
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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 15:45

Originally posted by vulkan02


Isn't there in Germany a region called Angle just like styrobiorn said there's a region called Saxland?

well, first of, it was not called Saxland by the natives but Sachsen (ch pronounced like a x, this is a special exception in German language), Saxland being the Scandinavian name for it. and no, at least in Germany there are no Angles and no region that was called like that.

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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 15:54

Originally posted by Temujin

this is something i have ever wondered...I know Brits or at least some of them considder themselves Anglo-Saxon...but to which degree do they considder themselves Saxon, and what do they think about their relation to the German Saxons?

Most archaeological evidence which seemed to these days be supported by genetic research puts the number of Germanic invaders (excluding later vikings) as less than 20,000 total onto a population of over 3 million. Which is pretty similar to both the numbers of vikings and normans that came over. Still enough for most people in the country to have a small grain in them.

As for the thinking side, culturally the English really don't think about that kind of thing, the welsh and scots do a lot, outside a dubious right wing group you'd struggle to find and englishman who considered himself kindred to a resident of saxony.

 

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