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"That the small neck of land, with few villages, round Angeln [in Denmark], with both its name and the majority of its place-names, should then become unpopulated, seems far-fetched, especially in view of the thousands of places in Sweden which are admirably placed [for Anglian origin]." David Burns.

Simon James, The Atlantic Celts, 1999, pp 14 - 15

Sam Newton, The Origins of Beowulf and the Pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia, 1993

400 - 650 AD.

December 2017. Above are two maps, upper by Simon James and lower by Sam Newton. I find James's map enlightening, but I would like to revise the topography proposed by Newton. Revision, as below:

Jutes are simply Geats, with a softened G, as in Götar. With a hard G they become Goths. Simeon of Durham recognised them as Goths, located north of the Angles. The Wulfings, or Wuffings, were Angles, North, South and East, especially when in Britain, Norfolk and Suffolk. So where did the Wuffings or Wulfings actually come from ?

Three maps from Iron and Man in Prehistoric Sweden, 1979, edited by Helen Clarke. [Modified].


Iron, cold iron, is the master of them all

The earliest firm recording of the Saxons as North Germans is in 555 AD. Before c 555 AD "Saxons" were simply people who brandished the seax. To the pious Brythons, like Gildas, and the less pious Scots, Picts and others, the Wuffings were Saxon, Sassenach or Saeson; to themselves they were the Anglish. They, in time, suffered themselves to be called Anglish-Sassenach, but their language remained fundamentally Old Anglish; which was not, incidentally, Old English. Ängel, originally Engel or Ingel, occurs almost 100 times in Sweden. See Burns. The above maps suggest that the Wuffings, located in an area here contended to be in mid-Småland, were at the centre of a flourishing iron industry, including the manufacture of superior weaponry, ensuring their tribal dominance.

In The Reckoning of Rædwald, 2003/8, Sam Newton conducts a very through investigation of the Anglian dynasty of Rædwald, but his interest in that dynasty's Swedish origins, and the overall Swedish connection, as commented on by Bruce-Mitford, is less complete.

Nonetheless, at the end of his reckoning, Newton makes some interesting points about the pagan implications of the ship-burials at Sutton Hoo, in Sweden and elsewhere in Britain.

"The notion of heaven as a haven over the horizon is one which both Christian and pagan might share, especially during a period of religious transition". P 42; The Reckoning. "So potent is the metaphor of the ship as the soul's ferry that it is used as an elegant symbol in the more explicitly Christian poetry ..... " The mind inevitably turns towards The Seafarer. I wonder if Sam had read it. See also the lecture by David Burns, Beowulf --- Ett Anglosvenskt Epos, 2017, section 6: "Kristen väft på hednisk varp i Beowulf."

Although 75%, or maybe more, of the scholarly offerings on the topic of The Seafarer are terminally misguided, if not totally worthless, because of the poem's linguistically distorted translations, and lamentable misinterpretation, there is nevertheless a perception that it contains a secular pagan, as well as a Christian message. Kipling's verse Cold Iron seema similarly to somewhat uneasily conflate the two competing outlooks. However, it has to be faced that all of what survives a man's death, with certitude, is his earthly reputation, good or bad. Since kine die and kin die. What a blunder it was to forbid mention of Erostratus ! Thereby ensuring the immortality of his name, if not his soul.

under permanent reconstruction

1999: Swedish Sprachgefühl for Anglo-Saxon
2013: More Sprachgefühl for Anglo-Saxon
essays and papers
d.w.anthony     bede
ancient scandinavia
gothonic or old scandinavian
gata and strada    geats     gildas
saxon shore: one, two, three
journey's jargon


© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2017
All Rights Reserved

A Short Reading List

Stjerna, R.
Chambers, R.W.
Bruce-Mitford. R.L.S.
Sherley-Price, Leo; rev.Latham, R.E.
McClure, J. & Collins, R.
Clarke, Helen, edit.
Wallace-Hadrill, J.M.
Engstrom, Robert; & others
Newton, Sam
James, Simon
James, Simon
Newton, Sam
Sherley-Price, Leo; rev.Latham, R.E.
Burns, David J.
Essays on questions in connection with Beowulf
England before the Norman Conquest
The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial
A History of the English Church & People
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Iron and Man in Prehistoric Sweden
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Sword of Sutton Hoo
The Origins of Beowulf and East Anglia
Exploring the World of the Celts
The Atlantic Celts: Ancient People or Modern Invention ?
The Reckoning of King Rædwald
History of the English Church & People
A Short Comparison of Place-Names in England & Sweden
Translated by J.R.Clark Hall. See Geats.
Cary, M.: Foreword on Roman Britain.
The Swedish Connection; Chapter X.
Bede. Revised edition.
Bede. Bertram Colgrave translation.
Jernkontoret: 5 contributors
A Historical Commentary
& Lankton, S.M.& Lesher-Engstrom, Audrey
Pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia
See second exploration by James; 1999
Ancient People or Modern Invention ?
Second Edition 2008
Folio edition. Intro: Melvyn Bragg.
The Better Book Co; Chichester PO19 6SW

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