Saturday, August 13, 2022

Vikings and Anglo-Saxons

 I’m 39/324 through Cat Jansen’s River Kings and enjoying it.   References to the “Great Army” of the Vikings who after wintering in and around Repton, and then decided to stay, were hitherto described by traditional researchers as exaggerations.  Excavations didn’t give evidence of a very large number.  But more recently, better DNA analyses have shown that the Viking DNA could not be distinguished from that of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes the preceded the Vikings settling in Britain. 

“Both the terms ‘Viking’ and ‘Anglo-Saxon’ can arguably be seen as purely modern inventions: they are unlikely to have made sense to someone living in the ninth century. Here, the term ‘Viking’ is used to describe in a very broad sense the people and cultural traits that emerged and spread from Scandinavia during the Viking Age. The term ‘Anglo-Saxon’, while subject to a long history of misuse by racists and extremists, remains a widely understood frame of reference for the communities and kingdoms of England between the fifth and early eleventh centuries. Neither this nor Viking is used to imply ethnicity; they are, simply, the most useful, if inaccurate, terms we have available today.”

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