Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Belgae and the Ancient Germanic Colonisation of England

English history or the beginnings of English history in Britain is customarily ascribed to the year 449CE according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles:
Then came the men of three Germanic tribes: Old Saxons; Angles and Jutes. Of the Jutes came the people of Kent and the Isle of Wight; that is the tribe which now lives on Wight, and that race among the West-Saxons which men even now called Jutish. Of the Old Saxons came the East-Saxons, South-Saxons and West-Saxons. Of the Angles-the country they left has stood empty between the Jutes and Saxons-come the East-Anglians, Middle-Anglians, Mercians and all the Northumbrians."
Bede in the 8th century CE wrote in his A History of the English Church and People:
"In the year of our Lord 449, Martian became Emperor with Valentinian, the forty-sixth in succession from Augustus, ruling for seven years. In his time the Angles or Saxons came to Britain at the invitation of King Vortigern in three long-ships, and were granted lands in the eastern part of the island on condition that they protected the country: nevertheless, their real intention was to subdue it."
Then a bit further on:
"These new-comers were from the three most formidable races of Germany, the Saxons, Angles, and Jutes. From the Jutes are descended the people of Kent and the Isle of Wight and those in the province of the West Saxons opposite the Isle of Wight who are called Jutes to this day. From the Saxons-that is, the country known as Angulus, which lies between the provinces of the Jutes and Saxons and is said to remain unpopulated to this day-are descended the East and Middle Angles, the Mercians, all the Northumbrian stock[that is, those peoples living north of the river Humber], and the other English peoples."
Now I am not disputing any of this but it has become clear that this event did not mark the beginnings of Germanic colonisation in Britain. That process began much earlier so that at the time of the Roman conquest there was already a Germanic presence in England. One of the best arguments for this theory is contained in Part 3 of Stephen Oppenheimer`s The Origins of the British. This is an excellent and very thoroughly researched book which I recommend to anyone interested in the origins of the English and British peoples. Aryanists and Anglo-Saxonists will take heart in his theory of a much earlier Germanic and Indo-European presence in the British Isles than traditionally historians would admit. The most negative opinions of the work are usually by people who have never read the book in its entirety or have not properly understood it. Oppenheimer analyses the structure and lexicon of Old English and comes to the conclusion that it is not merely an offshoot of the West Germanic or Ingaevonic language group. Its genesis is more complicated than that. It does indeed share a close similarity in structure with Old Frisian but its lexicon is greatly affected by North Germanic-Old Norse. Now my readers must not jump to the conclusion that this is the result of the Viking invasions as these took place centuries after the advent of the Anglo-Saxons. So any Scandinavian influence on Old English would have had to have taken place before the Saxon invasions but this does not make sense as before these invasions there was no English presence in Britain-or so it would seem. Thus Oppenheimer theorises that there was indeed a Germanic language and thus a Germanic presence already here in England by the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasions. Gildas in his De Exidio et Conquestu Britanniae[On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain] in the 6th century CE wrote:
"A pack of cubs burst forth from the lair of the barbarian lioness, coming in three keels, as they call war-ships in their language....."
As a Briton and as a cleric Gildas was clearly much more emotional about the advent of the Anglo-Saxons than either Bede or the compilers of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles! `Keel` is generally reckoned to be a Scandinavian term rather than a typical Old English one. Indeed not only was there a Germanic language and thus a Germanic people present in England before the Roman and Anglo-Saxon invasions but Oppenheimer suggests that Old English has such a deep antiquity that it should be classed as a fourth Germanic language group outside of North, West and East Germanic. Thus English may be descended directly neither from Old Saxon nor Old Norse. Indeed Oppenheimer states:
".....but starts to look as if it could include some of the period of the Later Neolithic and Bronze Age, when, as we have seen, there do appear to be genetic and cultural influences coming into Eastern England from southern Scandinavia and North-West Europe."
Oppenhimer spends a lot of time discussing the Belgic peoples of the Lowlands and how in fact Caesar did not define them as being Celts. You will recall that Caesar in his De Bello Gallico[The Gallic War] divides Gaul into three parts:
"The whole of Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, and the third a people who in their own language are called `Celts`, but in ours, `Gauls`."
The Belgae were not Celtic speaking and on the continent they included a number of Germanic tribes amongst them. Oppenheimer states that the Belgae probably spoke a Germanic language,
"perhaps ancestral to Dutch or Frisian which they carried to England even before the Roman invasions."
It is significant that the area of England which the Belgae occupied is the very same area first occupied by the Anglo-Saxons. Of the continental Belgae Oppenheimer states:
"While several personal and tribal names in Belgica described by Caesar have a clearly Gaulish derivation, a larger proportion do not, and some may have belonged to the Germanic branch of Indo-European."
Indeed according to Caesar:
"When Caesar asked the two convoys about the Belgic states-how many were under arms, and what was their strength in war-he discovered that most of the Belgae were of German extraction, and had long ago crossed the Rhine and settled on the western side because of the fertility of the soil. They had forced out the Gauls who dwelt there."
Caesar also identifies the Germanic Cimbri and Teutones as settlers in Belgica:
"The Aduatuci were descendants of those Cimbri and Teutoni who,when marching into our Province and Italy, had left all the cattle and baggage they could not drive or carry with them on this side of the Rhine:....
What is amazing is the lack of Celtic place names in England. So according to Oppenheimer one must assume either the Britons were entirely exterminated by the Anglo-Saxons or that there was already a Germanic language being spoken in England in the areas initially invaded by the Anglo-Saxons. Looking also at the English language it has always intrigued me that there are less than two dozen Celtic loan words in the language and that these stem from places that were known to be Celtic such as Cornwall and Cumbria[Corn-Wealas and Cymru]. Yet there are far more Latin and Norman loan words than this. PC archaeologists and historians who discredit the Germanic invasion or wipe-out theories cannot adequately explain this. There is no historic precedent for this. We also know of course that many of the so-called `Roman` soldiers were in fact Germanic mercenaries and this Germanic presence has been known by scholars for years. However the Germanic genetic, cultural and language penetration into southern and eastern England has a much deeper antiquity than this, something which Woden`s Folk was already aware of before the publication of this book in 2006. Even Tolkien was aware of this and it is reflected in his mythology. When the Germanic peoples invaded England in the period from 449CE to the Danish conquests they were in fact RETURNING to England. Thus the English whether you take the 449CE date or project it back into the Neolithic or Bronze Age are in fact indigenous to Britain if the UN definition is anything to go by. Indeed we are probably one of the very oldest of Indigenous peoples:
"Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing in those territories, or parts of them. They form at present non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop, and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal systems."


Anonymous said...

Makes sense also considering the discovery of 'Atlantis' and the joining of the territories together.

Angela Wentworth said...

Before reading the following, the reader should understand that when the fraudulent Gregorian calendar was formed approximately one thousand years were added. To explain briefly, there was no J in English. Thus Jesus was spelt Iosus and similar (spellings no then being set). To denote a year following the debateable birth of Jesus, an i was placed in front of the year. When the calendar change was forced by pain of death what had (for instance) been i066 was made to appear as 1066. Stories were concocted to fill in this huge gap. This wasn't so difficult when monarchs ruling here often rarely if ever set foot on these islands and they were known by other titles and names in not only their own homelands but also in other lands they invaded and conquered or part conquered. The fact of the i being deliberately replaced with a 1 can be verified by viewing the years written in earlier untampered with writings and maps. This was done to consolidate the power of foreign rulers and their proxies (nobles) in the knowledge that as the then made illiterate common peoples bred further generations then within only two or three generations the fraudulent timeline and stories would be accepted as fact. There is a quite good video which explains some of this, and I shall post a link later.

I explain this so that as the reader you understand that word of mouth history from forebears relating to prior to the change of calendar is actually about a thousand years nearer to our time now. Bear in mind that in actuality the current year is 1016 or thereabouts. So that word of mouth history handed down through common peoples is a lot nearer and more reliable than the masses are led to believe. Many many generations fewer since even prior to the Romans. Maybe about 45% fewer in fact. That is a great difference. Now to get to the history of my paternal Grandmother's not so distant after all ancestors.

My paternal Grandmother, born 1899 in Selborne, Hampshire, explained to me that she came from Belgae lineage who settled in that then unoccupied area and made it habitable about 200 years before the Romans

The Belgae originally crossed the Rheine to get away from the warring tribes who were always fighting, and wouldn't let them follow across, preventing them from coming ashore. The seemed to prefer taking over uninhabited land and making it habitable, as they did so to the West of the Rheine. From here they gradually spread toward the coast of what is now named the English Channel and there not being more spare land some crossed over and travelled until they found uninhabited land in what is now Hampshire. Over time they drained the large marsy area that no other tribes had bothered with, and made it as good as possible. Anyone who has studied the geology of Selborne and the surrounds will know what was meant by my Grandmother by "as good as possible."

The reputation of the Belgae for being warlike was only as a result of refusing to be beat by those who invaded and harrassed them. In short, they had to give at least as good as they got but much preferred to live in peace, unhindered. It was just that they refused to be cowered. A big difference between that and being vicious for the sake of it.

Some neighbouring tribes did likewise.

Unfortunately, I haven't the time just now to go on to the Romans but will return later for that.

Meanwhile, the link I mentioned;

kev moore said...
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