The utter destruction of the Roman rule of Britain has interested me all my life. It is amusing to watch ‘historians’ and others desperate attempts to evade or wipe out the massive destruction of ancient Roman rule of Britain by invaders who are called ‘Anglo-Saxons’. The language I am using today is ‘Anglo-Saxon’ in origin with Latin add ons plastered on after the Church returned to England after the Great Destruction. There is this ongoing propaganda storyline that tries desperately to minimize the utter destruction of the Roman Empire in Britain.
The tribal stories of the dim Dark Ages is what created all the many European languages and we can track where tribes went and who they annihilated via language. The Romans imposed Latin on many tribes for a long time and the length of Roman rule and the weakness of tribal invasions are clearly outlined by language differences in Europe.
That is, where they speak and write in ‘Romance’ languages is where the Roman rule was strongest and the other places once ruled that have an entirely different language base are where the Romans were utterly destroyed or never ruled. We call these ‘Germanic’ languages.
This was my field of study when attending universities before they utterly destroyed the German language departments. It is an important field of study for it outlines how empires rise and fall and what happens next. I was highly interested in all this due to this very salient reason.
I wanted to understand barbarian invasions and how they can dominate civilizations, and using language as the flashlight to peer into the dim, dark past, is very amusing as well as enlightening. Ahem, sorry for that little joke.
I am 50% German and 50% English/French/Indian mix from the European invasion of the New World starting back in 1650 and thus, full of the strange conquest/mix up everything due to sex stuff that went on in the hinterlands of the New World since my family was always on whatever was the frontier, being people who disliked government rule and wanted to be as far away as humanly possible.
Now, stuck in the maw of the Ruling Elites, readers here know I dislike this greatly. The strange story of the northern tribe’s conquests and self-destruction is my family’s weird story. My grandfather told me years ago, ‘If you can see the smoke from your neighbor’s chimney, they are too close’, was the family’s life motto. I can see the smoke of my neighbors but I have this surrounding land that I control so I don’t mind it much.
This restlessness is a key player in history: some families need to roam and push outwards because they frankly don’t like neighbors or they want something to exploit and don’t want to be bothered being stopped. That is, people who like to conquer places for themselves. Restless is very much a huge part of this.
I have moved many times, my entire family has moved many times. We all have without exception, moved all over kingdom come, across the entire planet. I have been living in one spot for over 25 years and periodically, I get this urge to move yet again. It eats away at me, it is most annoying but very real, this urge to be restless.
Of all the Germanic languages, English has literally conquered the most lands compared to other Germanic languages. My German half of the family speaks mainly Germany, being there on the border of Bavaria and Austria, but all the ones in the US and England speak English. I am one of the few who went back to Germany and spoke fluent German but was deported…HAHAHA.
Weather pushes tribes and they expand or contract accordingly, that is, cold pushes out Norse in waves due to changes which force them to go exploring and changing weather conditions causes distress in neighboring states which weakens these so the Norse can expand.
For example, during the Dark Ages, it was colder. All ‘Dark Ages’ are colder weather events. Rivers freeze over and barbarians wearing animal skins invade. It is the old story of wine drinkers being invaded by beer drinkers.
History of Germanic languages – Wikipedia shows these invasions clearly. Here is the story of the British destruction by the Angles and Saxons which is no history, actually, because there was no one able to write anything much after the invasion. They all fled or were…killed. Yes, killed. The invaders had no need for the skills of the Romanized Brits. And these invaders nearly totally destroyed everything Roman except a few items like Hadrian’s Wall was left in ruins but still visible.
But all those Roman cities and villas were wiped out…oh, and the bathing pool at Bath was left for some odd reason. Very surprising, by the way.
In 388, Maximus led his army across the Alps into Italy in an attempt to claim the purple. The effort failed when he was defeated in Pannonia at the Battle of the Save(in modern Croatia) and at the Battle of Poetovio (at Ptuj in modern Slovenia). He was then executed by Theodosius.
Britain was suffering raids by the Scoti, Saxons, and Picts and, sometime between 396 and 398, Stilicho allegedly ordered a campaign against the Picts, likely a naval campaign intended to end their seaborne raids on the east coast of Britain. He may also have ordered campaigns against the Scoti and Saxons at the same time, but either way this would be the last Roman campaign in Britain of which there is any record.
In 401 or 402 Stilicho faced wars with the Visigothic king Alaric and the Ostrogothicking Radagaisus. Needing military manpower, he stripped Hadrian’s Wall of troops for the final time. 402 is the last date of any Roman coinage found in large numbers in Britain, suggesting either that Stilicho also stripped the remaining troops from Britain, or that the Empire could no longer afford to pay the troops who were still there. Meanwhile, the Picts, Saxons and Scoti continued their raids, which may have increased in scope. In 405, for example, Niall of the Nine Hostages is described as having raided along the southern coast of Britain.
On the last day of December 406 (or, perhaps, 405), the Alans, Vandals, and Suebi living east of Gaul crossed the Rhine, possibly when it was frozen over, and began widespread devastation.
The Celts, who invaded the British Isles region, were pushed around by the Romans and then the many waves of Nordic invaders. The Celts managed to survive all of this, especially the Roman push for the government of the empire hated the Celts but couldn’t eradicate or relocate them like they did to the Phoenicians of Carthage.
As the Roman empire rotted away, the Celts took over parts of Europe only to face a foe of great destructive power, the northern tribes like the Angles and Saxons who were the ones who launched the first invasion of England.
Note, too, the Scots who are the ones who gave Scotland its name, came broiling out of the cold north, too, by 400 AD. This Scot/Anglo/Saxon invasion was utterly and totally devastating. Barely anything Roman survived it as I pointed out above.
When archeologists dig up pieces of the Roman civilization in Britain, they find it in pieces about two inches in size, that is, ground nearly to a pulp. A rare broken by not totally destroyed object is dug up and lots of Roman coins are found all the time, but large objects are very rare. Sometimes, the foundation and mosaic floors of a Roman villa are found but these are rare and usually the ‘buildings’ are actually the basements where the heating systems were run.
It is very astonishing how thorough the Scots/Saxons/Angles were in their utter destruction of all things Roman. The Roman stuff post-collapse were all brought in from missionaries who re-introduced Latin to the people via the Church and who brought in Roman-style architecture which is called, today, ‘Romanesque’. That is, ‘in the style of Rome’.
A very funny thing about English as a language is, due to these historical forces, and the Norman Invasion, the language is a patchwork of multiple languages and each of these were introduced with virtually no change to themselves so we have many words of many languages embedded into English while retaining the Angle/Saxon framework, basic words and so forth.
It is a hybrid language now but the essential structure is firmly Angle/Saxon. Its ability to suck in all other words without changing its essential structure is the strength of this language and it comes from the restlessness of parts of the population that constantly moves around the planet earth.
By the way, the Normans brought in many of the Latin words we use today in English because they refused to learn English but did learn, all of the ruling elites, learned Latin! And so when, beginning in the 14th century, they began using English to talk to soldiers and serfs, they hammered lots of Latin into the language because they used this in diplomacy and the Church.
What revived Latin wasn’t ‘Latin speaking post-imperial English’ but rather, missionaries and the Church who came in to convert these pagans. There were zero Latin speaking Romans in Britain when the first missionaries came back.
For nearly 200 years, all traces of the Roman language vanished along with the people and guess what happened to them all? Ahem. Barbarians often kill lots and lots of people. I know this very much because we remained quite violent for many, many, many…ahem…quite a few generations like, several thousand years? Yes.
The utter and total annihilation of the Romanize people of Britain is constantly irritating many people who want to wipe out this utter wipe out. The Celtic people want to believe that there was no annihilation. They re-established themselves as the Romans were killed by them or driven out by them but the northern tribal invasion was a huge set-back and so the Celts were confined to Ireland and Wales.
All the waves of invaders from the North and then from France pretty much changed the populations of England. The Norman invasion was the strongest, politically, and the weakest, genetically. Their attempts at being above the peasants who were mostly Angle/Saxon meant they were a minority and stayed a minority. Their influence was political and cultural but the essence of ‘British’ was not theirs to own.
I am fascinated by this push to pretend the Romanized Brits survived. I think genetics as well as history shows that they were utterly defeated and annihilated and maybe traces of their genetics are there due to some few escaping annihilation and were made via rape most likely, a part of the genetic code.
But these few had near zero cultural influence by 550 AD. The utter wipeout of the Roman systems, culture and language is quite obvious. There were no real survivors who had any power or skills. It was wiped out!
The Chinese are hyper aware about all this due to their own history of being invaded by barbarians. The Manchurians, for example, tried and tried to impose their culture and will on the population of China but failed for the most part due to being small in number and were eventually wiped out as a political force by invading barbarians from Europe who came mainly from Norse stock.
Here are two BBC videos that were made as a sop to Celtic citizens of Britain that pretends there really was no Anglo Saxon big invasion which is mostly wishful thinking, trying desperately to minimize the Angle/Saxon invasion:
The desperate need to be crazy about all this is understandable. Everyone wants to believe they are all-fantastic/powerful/good/etc. Well, language is where such battles leave scars and the English language is, as its name clearly says, ‘Angles’ language, that is, the Anglo-saxons so utterly dominated the landscape after invading when the Roman legions left, the language is theirs.
Even the Norman Invasion failed to dislodge Angle-saxon language skills. The Normans struggled for 400 years to not speak English but Henry III decided to learn English so he could talk to his troops in 1250 but the rest still resisted.
Henry IV was the first king to speak English all his life and his son, the famous Henry V was the first to lead troops into battle and braced them for this by giving big speeches in English. The rest of the nobility followed suit and then all gave up totally during the War of Roses when they had to talk to their own troops regularly and were not invading France all the time.
Funny side story: Starting with the Georges who spoke only German and it wasn’t until after the Napoleonic Wars, did the royals of England speak English as a first language. And even funnier, Queen Victoria’s husband had to learn English because his native language was German. Ahem.
I do say, History is, like my little Scottish doggie, doomed to chase its own tail endlessly.