The Anglo-Saxons

intaglio

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According to this article the anglo-saxons had some quite interesting ideas. I rather like the idea of very competetive swimming.

Edit To Add: Here is the text of the short 2002 article.

Society founded on folklore, fear and fun

Angelique Chrisafis
Thu 14 Mar 2002 04.58 EST

The Anglo-Saxons - Germanic tribes that inhabited England from the 5th century and dominated until 1066 - were a nation of soul-searchers. In poems and folk tales they described at great length the emotions and feelings of monsters. The use of force against these giant, panting ogres was often supported by painstaking legal argument.

Yet they lived in constant fear of violence and being "hewed amain with swords mill-sharp" like the characters of oral tradition. Villagers carried wooden shields in case feuds between kingdoms such as East Anglia, Essex and Mercia brought men with battle-axes in the afternoon.

Viking invasions provided more food for paranoia. Anglo-Saxon villagers dug ditches around their territories, used the soil to build earth walls, and patrolled them.

They had a highly developed culture with skilled craftsmen, but those who worked the land lived under a basic feudal system.
Despite the full agricultural year, "larking about" featured highly. Swimming was popular and, according to texts, it was "quite fair" for swimmers to try and drown their opponents. Those wanting to prove themselves swam in their armour.

Men enjoyed running while carrying a large load, skating and skiing. They also passed the time with intricate board games, bats and balls, dice and complex riddles.

Early Anglo-Saxon settlers were pagans who worshipped a number of gods, while later settlements converted to Christianity.
According to Germanic law and legend, wives retained possession of their property and could count on their brothers and nephews for protection against abuse. Children were considered adults at 10, and were answerable to the law, which prized peace above anything else.

The number of intricate toy wooden ships hints at the importance of recreation for children who worked the fields with their parents. Child mortality was high but adults often lived to 40.

One-fifth of our vocabulary today derives from the Anglo-Saxon language.
 
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Pete Younger

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Glad you got that link working at last, I used a Anglo saxon word when I tried it, interesting article though.
 

rynner2

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Skiing?

I thought skiing was a relatively modern invention (19th C?), and that before that people wore tennis raquets on their feet to cross snow.

Any experts on skiing history care to put the record straight?
 

carole

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Sounds as though our society has deteriorated a bit since Anglo-Saxon times . . .

Carole
 

FelixAntonius

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carole said:
Sounds as though our society has deteriorated a bit since Anglo-Saxon times . . .

Carole

Down hill since 1066 & all that..... carole!!!!!
 
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rynner2

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But what about the tennis raquets - er - skis?
 

intaglio

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I think theres a viking runestone with someone with what looks like skis on their feet.

It creates a wonderful picture, skis, lycra suit, ceremonial horned helmet. :D
 

Melf

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p.younger said:
Glad you got that link working at last, I used a Anglo saxon word when I tried it, interesting article though.

i think the word u used origanaly ment "to hit or to strike!"

now write out 100 times:-
"i must not use words that i dont know the meaning of"
 

EnolaGaia

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Newly published research suggests the Anglo-Saxons are better described as a linguistic / cultural grouping rather than a particular genetic lineage or population.
Being Anglo-Saxon was a matter of language and culture, not genetics

New evidence to answer the question 'who exactly were the Anglo-Saxons?'...

A new study from archaeologists at University of Sydney and Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, has provided important new evidence to answer the question "Who exactly were the Anglo-Saxons?"

New findings based on studying skeletal remains clearly indicates the Anglo-Saxons were a melting pot of people from both migrant and local cultural groups and not one homogenous group from Western Europe. ...

The researchers found that between two-thirds and three-quarters of early Anglo-Saxon individuals were of continental European ancestry, while between a quarter and one-third were of local ancestry.

When they looked at skeletons dated to the Middle Anglo-Saxon period (several hundred years after the original migrants arrived), they found that 50 to 70 percent of the individuals were of local ancestry, while 30 to 50 percent were of continental European ancestry, which probably indicates a change in the rate of migration and/or local adoption of culture over time.

"These findings tell us that being Anglo-Saxon was more likely a matter of language and culture, not genetics" ...
FULL STORY: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-06/uos-baw062321.php
 

EnolaGaia

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Here are the bibliographic details and abstract for the published research report. The full report can be accessed at the link below.

Plomp KA, Dobney K, Collard M (2021)
A 3D basicranial shape-based assessment of local and continental northwest European ancestry among 5th to 9th century CE Anglo-Saxons.
PLoS ONE 16(6): e0252477.
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0252477

Abstract
The settlement of Great Britain by Germanic-speaking people from continental northwest Europe in the Early Medieval period (early 5th to mid 11th centuries CE) has long been recognised as an important event, but uncertainty remains about the number of settlers and the nature of their relationship with the preexisting inhabitants of the island. In the study reported here, we sought to shed light on these issues by using 3D shape analysis techniques to compare the cranial bases of Anglo-Saxon skeletons to those of skeletons from Great Britain that pre-date the Early Medieval period and skeletons from Denmark that date to the Iron Age. Analyses that focused on Early Anglo-Saxon skeletons indicated that between two-thirds and three-quarters of Anglo-Saxon individuals were of continental northwest Europe ancestry, while between a quarter and one-third were of local ancestry. In contrast, analyses that focused on Middle Anglo-Saxon skeletons suggested that 50–70% were of local ancestry, while 30–50% were of continental northwest Europe ancestry. Our study suggests, therefore, that ancestry in Early Medieval Britain was similar to what it is today—mixed and mutable.

SOURCE / FULL REPORT: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0252477
 

Cochise

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Without going and looking things up, I had got the impression that over the last 20 years or more the idea that the Saxons physically drove out all the previous occupants had been rejected. Just as the Celts before them, they are now assumed to have turned up in relatively small numbers of mostly male warbands. The richest might have sent for their families after, but the rest must have intermarried.

As with the Normans later, it seems to have been a case of initially forming a new ruling caste which imposed new societal ,rules but which then gradually merged physically (and to some extent culturally) with the previous society. Which 'invasion' had the most lasting cultural effects - Celtic, Roman, Saxon, Viking or Noman - would be an interesting debate.

The geographical differences in cultures within Great Britain surely have something to do with which areas were most dominated by the various incomers - the Saxon influence is still strong in East Anglia but the Viking influence is strong in Yorkshire and Northumberland, for example.
 
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