"I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact."
Claude Lévi-Strauss, The Structural Study of Myth

Map, modified, from Clark Hall, 1911
Bede and Simeon were totally ignorant of Mercator's projection.
Simeon said the Angles were located between the Saxons and the Goths.
It is arguable that Saxony, as a definable area, did not exist at this time.

The Saxon Shore

By whom was it manned, defended and maintained ?

Statue of Bryhtnoth: heir of the Anglo-Saxons of the Saxon Shore
6'9", with swan-white hair, died in battle, 991 AD, aged 60

In A Short Comparison of the Place-Names of England and Sweden, 2015, David Burns has something of a problem. Mostly, the earliest fixed and certain date for these English place-names is given by the Domesday Book, 1086 AD. There is a tendency among the onomastic experts of this world to believe that the Scandinavian place-names of England were first established by the Viking hordes, supposedly solely from Norway and Denmark, after the raid on Lindisfarne, 793.

However, there is no good reason why these Scandinavian place-names should not have arrived in England at least 600 or 700 years earlier than the raid on Lindisfarne.

Boadicea of the Iceni revolted and was crushed in 60 AD. (But did she die in vain ? Not if Brexit can help it !). However, who served under Paulinus, who defeated her ? Mercenaries, all called Saxons by the Romans, who came to settle the coastline, up and down the Saxon Shore. The Scots called them Sassenachs, and the Welsh called them Saeson. Just another name for others --- they weren't by any means all Saxons. Many were Goths and Angles. In any case, they spoke Old Scandinavian, and from then on gave names to the places they settled which reminded them of their homeland. Like Manhattan was called Amsterdam, then York.

There must have been thousands of so-called "Saxon" tribesmen under Roman Legion service in England, and elsewhere, between 100 and 400 A.D. Their families would have had independent settlements near or next to their Britannic Legion quarters, and also further inland. Old Scandinavian is the language attested in the oldest Scandinavian Elder Futhark inscriptions, allegedly spoken from ca. the 2nd to 8th centuries. It evolved into Anglo-Saxon, now risibly called "Old English", and the dialects of what is equally doggedly called "Old Norse", at the beginning of the Viking Age about AD 800. Improved account.

Let's look at the above maps, and the original homeland of the Angles, or Scandinavians, who wandered into Britain, apparently in a succession of waves over many years, starting perhaps in about 6,000 BC. In about 730 AD the Venerable Bede wrote that the country called Anglia lay between the provinces of the Jutes and the Saxons. Presumably Simeon of Durham was following Bede, when he wrote that the infant Sceaf was received by the natives of the country called Old Angeln, which is "situated between the Saxons and the Goths". Neither Bede nor Simeon would have had any conception of Mercator's projection, which makes it even more likely that the Angles actually occupied the area outlined on the modified map heading this page. Goths are Geats, and Geats are Jutes. All writers are extremely uncertain as to where the Angles actually came from, which is why I draw attention to their disegard of Ängelholm, spelled Engelholm until the clumsy and misleading Swedish spelling reforms of the early 20th century.

A Swedish note on the place-name Ängelholm states that: "namnet, som finns upptecknat i formen Engelholm år 1516, lär inte ha något med änglar att göra, inte heller med engelsmän (som ibland hävdats). I stället kan det vara ett gammalt ord ængil med betydelsen "krökning" eller förträngning, jämför tyskans eng = "trång" och engelskans angle = "vinkel", syftande på en krök av Rönne å. Det kan också vara ett uppkallandenamn - på södra Själland finns en herrgård med samma namn. Stavningen Engelholm levde kvar fram till den allmänna stavningsreformen 1912." This note rejects any link with England, although admitting that this has sometimes been claimed. Instead it suggests some association with "narrow", or "crooked", like the hook at the end of an angler's fishing-line. Between Elsinore and Helsingborg the Sound is indeed narrow, with Engelholm just around the corner. It seems to me just as likely that the Engels came from Engelholm as from Angeln, an insignificant place in Denmark. "Old Angeln", I contend, included what is now Skåne, and was Scedeland or Scedenig, as far East as Simrishamn, and why not as far North as Götaland, including the Wulffings, wherever they were.

1 August 2017. Have to repeat this amusing comment by a male person, living in the US (where else ?), last heard from in 2008. No further information on his identity has yet been revealed.

Quote: "(Swedish Sprachgefühl is) a silly article, the musings of somebody who likes both Beowulf and Swedish and decides they must be connected; you can find similarly inspired speculations on how Sumerian is the best guide to Turkish and all manner of other such.

As for this: Anglo-Saxon is not 'Old English', any more than Latin is 'Old Italian', or 'Old Spanish', or 'Old Portuguese', or 'Old Roumanian'.

Latin is Old Italian and all the rest; we don't call it that for obvious reasons (it already has a name, and there are too many descendents [sic] with a claim on it), but that doesn't change its status as the ancestor of Italian. (The real question is why Italian is called that rather than [New] Latin.) The language has always been called 'English'; we add the 'Old' to the early Medieval form as a matter of convenience, but it's the same language we speak now, with the inevitable alterations brought by centuries of use. To call it 'Anglo-Saxon' makes no sense. "

Obey thy God, and never mind, O Muse
the laurels or the stings: make it thy rule
to be unstirred by praise as by abuse
and do not contradict the fool.

Pushkin - Nabokov

Unfortunately, I canot resist contradicting this linguistically multi-challenged fool. First off, I suggest he takes a trip across the sea, and wanders the streets of Rome, informing the Italians that they are actually speaking New Latin. They might be surprised, since most of them can't speak Old Latin. The basic difference between Latin and Anglo-Saxon, however, is that Latin was indigenous, whereas Anglo-Saxon (so called until 1928) was imported. It was initially Old Scandinavian, and never English, which didn't emerge until hundreds of years later. It might, conceivably, be called Anglish.

A recap: Sceaf (as is reported) was driven when a youth upon a certain island of Germany called Scandza, which is mentioned by Jordanes, the historian of the Goths; he arrived sleeping in a ship, but with no rowers, and a sheaf of corn was placed at his head; hence his name Sceaf. The natives of the district received him as if he had been miraculously sent to them, and trained him up carefully; and when he came to manhood he reigned in the town then called Slaswic, but now Haitheby. The country is called Old Angeln, and from it the Angles came into Britain; and it is situated between the Saxons and the Goths.

From: A History of the Church of Durham by Simeon of Durham; translated from the original Latin by Joseph Stevenson MA. First published 1855 by Seeleys of London in the series "The Church Historians of England". Facsimile reprint 1993: Llanerch Publishers, Felinfach.

Simeon's Chronicles of the Angles: Vol III. (Early 1100s). p.757.

Simeon notes that the Angles came from Old Angeln, which lies "between the Saxons and the Goths". This would therefore include all Scania, and the town of Angelholm. And why not Ingelsträde and Ängelbeckstrand as well ? Nearly all subsequent writers have failed to include Scania as part of Old Angeln.

Womb of nations, ringed in red: I'd include Götaland

essays and papers       main index
david burns       david burns 2
the saxon shore two       the saxon shore three
scedeland       engelholm
gothonic or old scandinavian
commentary       annotation
back to this version
on to oppenheimer on language
gata and strada
hollander & gradon
back to language of ancent britain
tower of babel
try ship four

All Men Must Die



My fellow man I do not care for
I often ask me what he's there for
The only answer I can find
Is reproduction of his kind
Ogden Nash


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