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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare Through the Ages > The Medieval Era

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The Medieval Era Discussions on Knights and Crusaders, and all things medieval!

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  #46  
Old 19 Mar 09, 15:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
DNA profiling has shown there was no major invasion after the Romans left. It was a cultural change. The 'English' Celts seemed to have hated the Romans, the reason why so many Roman units were on hand, while the 'Welsh' tribes seemed happier. This compares with the Vikings centuries later, and the area they controlled under Danelaw. Definite DNA differences here. Also a large number of provable battlefields when dealing with Vikings. A large battle did see 'Welsh' Celts decisively defeat 'English' Celts at Badon Hill, but the details of which are sketchy at best. Enough that hundreds of miles seperate possible locations of the battlesite.
Thats the first time Ive heard of that. Interesting. Do you have any book recommendations that cover the profiling? I'd really like to take a look at it.

Wlad
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  #47  
Old 19 Mar 09, 15:35
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The "Saxon Advent" (placed at about 447AD iirc) was not the invasion it was once thought but it still saw the movement of more "Saxons" to south and southeast of Britain. The problem is that by 495-510 AD the Saxons were now the dominant political and military group in the region but this power had its limits, which probably helps explain the temporary halt (or slowing) of the Saxon conquest in the early 6th Century. Combine this with a defeat or two in the west and a pause became necessary. They simply needed time to consolidate before pushing on.
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  #48  
Old 19 Mar 09, 16:40
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Originally Posted by HappyWlad View Post
Thats the first time Ive heard of that. Interesting. Do you have any book recommendations that cover the profiling? I'd really like to take a look at it.

Wlad
The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story by Stephen Oppenheimer, and Blood of the Isles by Bryan Sykes are two. Bryan Sykes is Professor of Human genetics at the University of Oxford. (Interestingly a Cambridge study in 2002 stated the English were Saxon peoples which may be a reason while their rivals at Oxford proved the opposite ).
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  #49  
Old 19 Mar 09, 16:43
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Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Badon Hill was theoretically a battle between Romano-Celts led by Arthur defeating an invading force of Saxons (but probably 'English' Celts). I used the term 'English' Celts to imply Celts from England, not a Anglo Saxon-Celt hybrid that was the prevalent view until recently. I believe the current English, and dna testing seems to support this, were the Britons who quickly adopted Germanic culture. The Welsh kept their roots, and this may have been due to being treated better by the Romans, due to the fact they needed the locals friendly for two reasons. One was copper and gold mining, and fortunately near to a source of tin (from Cornwall) to make bronze. The second was the Isle of Anglesey, a major bread basket for Rome. Yet, another reason why the Welsh may have found it easier to keep to their roots was that Anglesey was the spiritual home of the druids, even if Suetonius Paulinus had destroyed the sacred groves in AD60.
OK the issue I have with this is probably Linguistic alone, but the "English: were the settled Anglians or Angles (half of the Anglo/Saxon) they called their territories Angleland and called themselves Angleish from which, over the intervening centuries got turned into England.
the Celts shared a common language whereas the Angles ( english if you like) had a tongue foreign to the Britons on the Isle. The Britons, Khymry, and Gaels ( Scots if you prefer) all had similar languages and culture. This is one of the reasons for the dischord in the first place. The Saxons Angles and Jutes were Alien cultures to the Britons and Khymry, and vice versa.
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  #50  
Old 19 Mar 09, 16:57
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Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story by Stephen Oppenheimer, and Blood of the Isles by Bryan Sykes are two. Bryan Sykes is Professor of Human genetics at the University of Oxford. (Interestingly a Cambridge study in 2002 stated the English were Saxon peoples which may be a reason while their rivals at Oxford proved the opposite ).
Well Oxford (or what would become oxford) was originally staffed by scholars sent for from ...Wales!

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  #51  
Old 19 Mar 09, 17:30
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The language and the DNA evidence in many ways contradict each other. English is certainly of Germanic origin, and the spread of which mirrors the Anglo-Saxon control of England. The DNA evidence states the influence of Saxon DNA had little impact on the 'English' Celts. Thus I favour a cultural revolution that the Welsh, Cornish and Scots did not partake in.

When I visited North Wales for a holiday and went to some Roman sites, I was amazed at the number of Romans that had to be kept in Britain to keep the natives under control. Especially at a time when Romes borders were being constantly tested, and every man was needed. Of course the metal and grain resources were vital and just shows how important those commodities were.

Just reading up on a second possible location of 'Camelot' - .

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  #52  
Old 19 Mar 09, 17:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
The language and the DNA evidence in many ways contradict each other. English is certainly of Germanic origin, and the spread of which mirrors the Anglo-Saxon control of England. The DNA evidence states the influence of Saxon DNA had little impact on the 'English' Celts. Thus I favour a cultural revolution that the Welsh, Cornish and Scots did not partake in.

When I visited North Wales for a holiday and went to some Roman sites, I was amazed at the number of Romans that had to be kept in Britain to keep the natives under control. Especially at a time when Romes borders were being constantly tested, and every man was needed. Of course the metal and grain resources were vital and just shows how important those commodities were.

Just reading up on a second possible location of 'Camelot' - .

OK, you're going to have to explain what you mean by 'cultural revolution'.
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  #53  
Old 19 Mar 09, 18:04
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Ooohh WONDERFUL!

now my Co-workers have been "reading" this thread over my shoulder and are throwing in their own likes and dislikes based on the various fictions they have read...sigh

there is no, I repeat NO Camelot.
Nick I appreciate your use of quotes around the name

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  #54  
Old 19 Mar 09, 20:32
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Ooohh WONDERFUL!

now my Co-workers have been "reading" this thread over my shoulder and are throwing in their own likes and dislikes based on the various fictions they have read...sigh

there is no, I repeat NO Camelot.
Nick I appreciate your use of quotes around the name

There is also no, I repeat NO, King Arthur!
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  #55  
Old 20 Mar 09, 05:09
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There is also no, I repeat NO, King Arthur!
Everyone is entitled to their point of view . Even if they're wrong.

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Originally Posted by Arthwys View Post
Ooohh WONDERFUL!

now my Co-workers have been "reading" this thread over my shoulder and are throwing in their own likes and dislikes based on the various fictions they have read...sigh

there is no, I repeat NO Camelot.
Nick I appreciate your use of quotes around the name

King Arthur does that .

The Language evidence does tend to support an invasion theory, which lasted until the advent of DNA profiling. Secondary evidence to support the invasion theory was provided by the fact peoples were being pushed westwards by mounted barbarians, eg the Huns at that time. However, even some the larger 'invasions' that were reported were really small. I'm limited to what I can do at work but when I get home I'll find a map where the Angles, Jutes and Saxons took 'control'. Given that each group was about the same size, and that the Jutes only seem to have taken Kent, I would expect a greater concentration of Anglo-Saxon power there. This seems to be confirmed by the fact that the Kentishmen are always seperated in sources from the other Anglo-saxon groups which history tends to blur into one generic grouping.

I use 'cultural revolution' for England as they very quickly looked towards Northern europe for inspiration and trade. However, Wales and Cornwall were still trading with the Eastern half of the Roman Empire, thus Roman inspired cultural links remained strong.

Come back to you with camelot .
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  #56  
Old 20 Mar 09, 07:12
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Hi Nick. I think Cornwells arguments were that all these stories were based on much older myths... the grail being simply a christianised version of the much older magic cauldron stories.

I think in the authors notes Cornwell made a comment about including some of the more recent characters like Lancelot saying initially he wasn't going to have any of the non-celtic characters but that when he sketched out the stories he found them rather dull without people like Lancelot. I think Lancelot paying that bards was a nice touch... rather like the Arthur legends themselves. I'm sure there was a real guy who inspired them originally but I'm sure a dark age warlord wasn't that nice a guy either!!!

My favourite character was Sagramor. People might think it crazy that one of Arthurs warriors was a black guy, but the Romans garrisoned some of the forts around Newcastle with Numidians & Libyans so there were actually hundreds of black skinned men in Northern England hundreds of years before the books were set.

Oh I should add regarding the DNA evidence (my professional field !) that all these profiles come from MITOCHONDRIAL DNA not genomic DNA. The DNA in your mitochondria is passed down from your mother not your father so the fact that British DNA remained in 'England' merely proves that the Saxons didn't slaughter or displace the women. What happened to the men is a whole different issue.

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  #57  
Old 20 Mar 09, 07:48
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Hi Nick. I think Cornwells arguments were that all these stories were based on much older myths... the grail being simply a christianised version of the much older magic cauldron stories.

I think in the authors notes Cornwell made a comment about including some of the more recent characters like Lancelot saying initially he wasn't going to have any of the non-celtic characters but that when he sketched out the stories he found them rather dull without people like Lancelot. I think Lancelot paying that bards was a nice touch... rather like the Arthur legends themselves. I'm sure there was a real guy who inspired them originally but I'm sure a dark age warlord wasn't that nice a guy either!!!

My favourite character was Sagramor. People might think it crazy that one of Arthurs warriors was a black guy, but the Romans garrisoned some of the forts around Newcastle with Numidians & Libyans so there were actually hundreds of black skinned men in Northern England hundreds of years before the books were set.

Oh I should add regarding the DNA evidence (my professional field !) that all these profiles come from MITOCHONDRIAL DNA not genomic DNA. The DNA in your mitochondria is passed down from your mother not your father so the fact that British DNA remained in 'England' merely proves that the Saxons didn't slaughter or displace the women. What happened to the men is a whole different issue.
Loved Bernards positioning of a battlefield because no one knew where it was, so he chose one near to where he would go on holiday with a caravan!
I also have no issues with unusual races as it was the Romans practice to use troops outside their natural homeland, such as Sarmatians in Britain.

Very true about female DNA . However, for the last part, if the Saxons had been killing the Celtic men on such a scale at least one story would have survived stating such. None exist. Mass grave do not exist. There is an almost complete lack of battlefields in most of Britain during this time, except where 'English' and Celtic borders meet, ie those holding onto the older traditions, and those with the new. Stories about Vikings abound about looting and settling in a very similar setting and culture, so if the Saxons had invaded and began ethnic cleansing we would have heard. This is why I favour a 'cultural revolution' fueled by a willingness to discard the trappings of Rome, and trade with the newer powers on the continent.
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Old 20 Mar 09, 11:12
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Hi Nick, to a great extent you may be right. There was a news story a few years back that 'English' was created in Leicester as a hybrid British-Latin-Saxon sort of hybrid language to allow trade.

Of course the problem with stories surviving is by definition the 'dark ages' are poorly documented which is why the whole Arthur story is debatable. Of course the simple fact is that Britain was fairly sparsely populated... an army of 1000 would be all you'd need to take half the country. A few hundred killed in the countryside would be a plane crash today, but significant ethnic cleansing then.

I've been to Badon hill outside Bath and its a convincing site for A battle. The real terrain fits cornwells description well and if I'd have been Derfel I'd have put my spears up there too! Even today you could hold off an army from that position.
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Old 20 Mar 09, 12:49
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Interesting. Never heard of the 'trade language' before, ironic its become that for the world today.

There is an Author called Francis Pryor (Prior? - at work so can't check sources) who hosted a program called Britain AD - King Arthurs Britain. He believes there were no real immigrations at all, and has some reasonable proof. My belief is somewhere between the old view and his.

Assuming a population of aproximately 2 million for Britain in 500AD, the Angles and Saxons are not going to dilute the population too much. There is no reason why an invader could just remove the top caste and replace the old nobles with themselves, but this does not seem to be the case. The Jutes of similar size to the Angles and Saxons seem to have landed in only one area - Kent - hence the difference in terminology for the people from this area - The Kentish Men. This area is likely to have been subjugated to true Germanic rule, as opposed to influence.
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Old 20 Mar 09, 13:05
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Hi Nick, the fact that that gem of wisdom- that Leicester invented English was 'proven' by Leicester makes it a bid dubious but its an interesting story. The DNA gets muddled by the Vikings/Danes who came a few centuries later... basically Denmark is so close to Jutland etc that the DNA is basically identical. A significant number of Vikings certainly settled in Britain so I've no reason to doubt we didn't get a reasonable number of Saxons earlier.

Actually the Viking case rather proves your idea... they came in reasonable numbers but certainly didn't drive out the natives to any serious degree.
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