This is a great topic, the Anglo Saxon hoard is particulary interesting. I am sure in time much will be gained by the study of these artefacts. And whilst this
metal detectorist did report his find, you have to wonder how many others would not report a treasure such as this, to sell on to the black market in antiquities?
Emperor Claudius Rome, on Oct 2 2009, 02:36 AM, said:
While were on the Topic of the Anglo-Saxons, why were the Romano-British kings dumb enough to allow the Saxons to settle in Britain. And did king Arthur really exist? So much stuff to talk about.
There is much debate about the final scenes of Roman Britain. It is certain that the province, along with the rest of the Western Empire, had come under pressure from 'barbarian' attack during the 3rd century. In Britain a series of forts were built along the south eastern coast, 'forts of the saxon shore'
, to counter the threat of Germanic raiders. It is also possible that Saxon mercanaries were employed in an attempted rebellion, against Rome, by an ambitous Roman commander in the mid 4th century, perhaps these were the first to be invited into Britain to fight for gold?
Towards the end of the 4th/ early 5th centuries it seems that the British Provinces had turned chaotic, with repeated rebellion away from Rome instigated by various provincial governers and generals, and that much of the 'Roman' infrastructure was already in an advanced state of decay.
It is likely that Saxons were hired as mercenaries, to fight against rival Romano British factions, and to provide defence against the continued sea raids. But in addition to these mercanary soldiers it is also likely that many were peacefull traders, and farmers, who would pose no threat to indiginous Romano British society. My personal interpretation of the period would see a general chaos set in during the 4th century, as the province of Roman Britain begins to fall apart. Into this arrive the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes, as both peacefull settlers and warbands (although there is no evidence for widespread war or ethnic cleansing). A degree of conflict, togethor with gradual cultural assimilation, as the four strands (Romano British/ Saxon/ Angle/ Jute) come togethor in a melting pot of cultural diversity, to emerge during the early 7th (possibly much earlier in the light of a certain recent discovery?), as the first English kingdoms.
This does not really answer the question, as so much is not yet certain, but in general the first Saxons are likely to have been mercanary soldiers, togethor with peacefull settlers, welcomed by the Romano British warlord currently enjoying a run of good luck. During next two centuries of chaos they mixed in with numerous other North European settlers, and the native British, to form the basis of English society.
As for Arthur, with no archaeological evidence or historical sources, it is not possible to prove his existence, absence of evidence, is not evidence of absence
, he may well have been an actual historical figure, a Romano British warlord.
it is much more likely that he is an amalgamation of numerous characters, who would have existed in between the 5th/ 7th centuries. So no, he probably did not exist, although he might be based on a mixture of historical characters.
Edited by mikey, 02 October 2009 - 10:48 AM.