the roman empire's northern shore: carlisle to newcastle; 73 miles

The Saxon Shore

Who manned the Roman army ?

There was a well documented practice of deliberately settling barbarian tribes (Franks became foederati in 358 AD under Emperor Julian) to strengthen Roman defences. Laeti was a term used in the late Roman Empire to denote communities of foreigners, or people from outside the Empire, permitted to settle on, and granted land in, imperial territory on condition that they provide recruits for the Roman military. Laeti sounds much like Leute.

It grows morre obvious by the minute that the rank and file of the Roman legions did not consist of Romans, but foederati, and that these were all called Saxons by the put-upon and resentful natives, though few or none actually came from what is now called Saxony. There is a record of an inspection in Vindolanda circa AD 95 where the full quota of troops was meant to comprise 756 Dutch and Belgians, though 300 of those skiving Sassenachs went missing.

The Saxon name, and its derivatives, quite regardless of actual geographic tribal origin, appears in other languages as Sassenach Sasannach Sasunnach Sasann Saeson Sais Saesneg Seisnig Sawsnek Sawzneck Sasunn Sasainn Sassone Sasi Saksa Saksamaa Saksalaiset Sakslased Sakset Saks. Saxony didn't exist. See Canon Isaac Taylor. No tribe called itself Saxon.

Anyone who carried a seax was called a Saxon.

Isaac Taylor, Words and Places, 1878, p 98. See also p 54.

The bulk of these "Saxons", recruited for Britain by the Romans, were actually Angles, together with a number of Goths, known as Jutes. The "G" is either hard or soft. "The Angles, being the predominant settlers" along Britannia's Roman "Saxon" Shore, "subsequently received the name of Anglo-Saxons". Since they were mainly Angles, they spoke Anglish, which was NOT Old English. English is a language which didn't even begin to appear until well after 1066 AD. Anglish is thoroughly Scandinavian.

Check out the place-names provided by David Burns in Cumberland and Northumberland. Perhaps there are some Belgian and Dutch. Though northern England would be more suited to Angles and Geats, coming from what today is southern Sweden.

A sensible study of the Scandinavian languages might start with The Language of the Oldest Runic Inscriptions; A Linguistic and Historical-Philological Analysis, by .A.Makaev, first published in 1965. This work was translated into English from the original Russian by John Meredig, and published in 1996 by Kungl. Vitterhets Historia och Antikvitets Akademiens Handlingar, Filologisk-filosofiska serien 21. A prefatory note remarks: "Language barriers among linguists are more durable than the Iron Curtain or the Berlin Wall (Anatoly Liberman, "Scandinavian phonology", Scandinavian Studies 66: 232-3 [1994])."

Under Construction

essays and papers       main index
david burns       david burns 2
saxon shore one       saxon shore two
scedeland      engelholm
gothonic or old scandinavian
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gata and strada      geats
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