Who were the Anglo-Saxons?

This is something that I always questioned living in the usa. The differences between Anglo America and Latin America. What made something Anglo and where did the term Anglo come from? Being in London at the time, I started doing research on the Anglo-Saxons. Thanks to google, it is so easy nowadays to learn about any topic.

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Before the Anglos arrived, England was under Roman rule.  We all know that the main official language of the Roman Empire was Latin. If we went with just this part of history, then every part of the Americas that speaks English would fall in the term of Latin America. Well, of course, there is more to it. There was a group of people that the Romans disliked and called them savages. They were called the Germanic people. This is where the Anglos-Saxons start to come in.

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After the fall of Rome (395 AD) and a little more than 100 years,  a few Germanic tribes started strongly looking for a new home. They came from, which is now, the Netherlands, Germany, and Demark. Back then it was called Jutland, Anglia, Saxon Cost, and Frisii. As the Anglo- Saxons made their way to Britannia. They settled in places called Essex (east), Sussex (south), and Wessex (west). If you look at the names of where the Saxons settled, you can see where the root words came from. The word Saxons come from the type of knives, the Anglo- Saxons would use. However, from what scholars say, the sex part of the name comes from sax because it was pronounced like sex original. It’s funny to think that when I was a kid, I used to look at streets that were called Essex and laugh. Es in Spanish means is. So, as a kid, I thought the streets meant is sex. Well, doing some research, makes you value and appreciate things in a more interesting light.

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The Anglo-Saxons never really considered themselves that term. It was a label given to them by the non-germanic people of Britain. It was a way to distinguish the difference between the two. The Anglo-Saxons spoke what is now called Old English. Eventually, through wars and mixing, the growing population of Anglo-Saxons became the majority. Families of mixed Anglo and Non-germanic had to choose which language/culture, they would grow up in. Families chose to grow up in the Anglo/Germanic culture. Which lead to English becoming the main language of Britain. As you can see, this is why the English speaking parts of the Americas are called Anglo-America and not Latin America. Although French and Latin have heavily influenced English, most of the grammar and core vocabulary comes from the germanic branch. This is why I love history and diving deeper into everything. It gives a better understanding of the world.

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references

websites:

https://www.history.org.uk/primary/resource/3865/anglo-saxons-a-brief-history

https://www.historyextra.com/period/anglo-saxon/facts-anglo-saxons-dates/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/anglo_saxons/saxons.shtml

https://www.bl.uk/anglo-saxons/articles/who-were-the-anglo-saxons

 

 

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21 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I think what we now call Anglo Saxons were a branch of the Germanic tribes, who were also closely related to the ‘Celts’, or Cimmerians. Interestingly, one of tribes associated with the Scythians, who lived north of the Caucasus mountains in what is now southern Russia, were called the Sacae. This may be the origin of the word Saxon, for the Scythians were certainly some of those who were to migrate west into Europe.

  2. I once had a conversation with someone who is, in part, Filipina, about the choices given on forms for identifying race. We both agreed they were insufficient. I said that I didn’t consider “white” to be my race but that was the most likely choice for me. She asked what I would say my race was and I said “Anglo-Saxon”. She laughed.

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