Seafarer Essays & Papers

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a summing up

on Angles Saxons Jutes

Paul Dowswell

Swedish craftsmanship

The snippet at left was published in 1999 and 2004. It is from Sutton Hoo, The Anglo-Saxon way of Life and Death, by Paul Dowswell and I thought it might serve to kick off this page of remarks on yet again more about the colonists of Ancient Britain. The passage is of interest since it more or less represents the general impression current in England among those who might, with a little effort, be better informed. That said, Dowswell's book is easily the best introduction to what exists of Sutton Hoo.

However, the "Anglo-Saxons" did not come from Germany, mainly or at all. Isaac Taylor pointed out as long ago as 1864 that there are hardly any place-names from what is now Lower Saxony represented in England.

Jutes. There is no point in thinking there is anything special about Jutes. Jutes are, simply, Goths; and Goths are Geats and Gauts. In Sweden they are Götar, from Götaland, south of the Swedes, north of Europe.

I don't know about Norway and Denmark, but there are hundreds and hundreds of Swedish place-names repeated in England. David Burns' Short Comparison is 600 pages long. One point about these place-names is that they are obviously mostly pre-Viking.

See Isaac Taylor, below. Excised from that excerpt is Isaac's supposition that Angel, or Angle, derived from "angle" --- a hook, although that dotty speculation is constantly repeated. The numerous Swedish place-names beginning Angel-, Engel- and Ingel- must derive from Ing. But perhaps you can think of a better explanation. "There are over 1,000 place-names beginning with Ing- in Sweden". Burns, page 308.

Rainbird Clarke, author of East Anglia, 1960, produced a work which is predominantly archaeological, ranging over millenia. However, he has a chapter concentrating on the "Early Saxon age", which he dates very approximately from 400 to 600 AD. In spite of writing 82 years after Isaac Taylor, Rainbird sadly fails to understand that that during this period there was no particular tribe known as "Saxon". All his "Saxons" were actually Angles, from Angleland, ie what is now Sweden; and they spoke Anglish. Anglish was not "Old" English, and modern Swedes may be Gothic but not essentially Germanic. The fact is, imho, the Goths originated in Sweden.

The Geats of Beowulf, Wisconsin, 1967, Jane Acomb Leake
The Well Spring of the Goths, iUniverse, Inc, 2004, Ingemar Nordgren

Serious students seeking to establish the history and influence of the Goths may come across the above two publications. Unfortunately, Leake links the Geats with the Getae, which has not found acceptance elsewhere; and Nordgren's mastery of the English language matches the accuracy of his orthography, valiant though both may be. Nevertheless, insofar as it may be ascertained, I tend to agree with him that the Götar of Sweden fathered not only the Angles of England, the Saxons, the Friesians and the Germans, but also the Vandals, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, attracting numerous other peoples as they cut their way towards Rome, Spain and North Africa.

Gaut         Getae        Goth

Low-German ?? Stone knife or celt ??

Errors are made.

"It is dangerous to be right when established authority is wrong." Voltaire.
Henry Sweet is the Aristotle of Anglo-Saxon studies.
The Horace Walpole of Linguistics.
Errors in Understanding.

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© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2018

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A Seafarer edition was published June 2005, limited to 125 copies: ISBN 0-9550 126-0-0

The published text has since been repeatedly revised

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a summing up

From East Anglia, 1960, by Rainbird Clarke: Anglish Place-Names