Angles, Saxons, and Jutes (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Creation of the state of England.
Britain, as with much of Northern Europe, became subject to raids from Germanic tribes as the Roman Empire crumbled. The Roman provinces in Britain were abandoned in 410, and the Romano-British had to defend themselves as much against the Picts and Irish as against the Germanic tribes. The British war leader, Vortigern, sought the aid of the Jutes and Saxons, giving the Saxon leader, Hengist, a hold over the British. Though they were first granted land in Kent (at Thanet), the Jutes and Saxons subsequently defeated the British at Aylesford (455) and Crayford (457) and established their territory in Kent. The kingdom of Kent claims descent from Oisc, Hengist’s son, though the kingdom did not really emerge until the reign of Eormenric (of Frankish descent) in the 560’s.
A flood of Germanic warriors and settlers followed. The Saxons, under Aelle (the first bretwalda, or overlord), gained the south coast west of Kent, massacring the British at Anderida (491). At the same time, the Angles were gaining a hold over the east coast, around the Humber. In this period, the British rallied under Ambrosius Aurelianus and Arthur and defeated the Saxons at Mount Badon (495/516).
The next wave of invasions, about thirty years later, was more decisive. Icel settled in East Anglia in the 530’s at the same time that Cerdic gained territory...
(The entire section is 710 words.)
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