Thursday, 1 January 2015

Germanic Tribes in Britain

I have covered this topic on numerous occasions, but due to the importance of the arguments put forward I am here going to look at another aspect of the subject. Now, it should be understood that there is nothing new in the material covered, since this is historical records (whether accurate or not we will perhaps never know), but the material has been mostly overlooked, in some cases because it does not fit with the prevailing dogma that the 'Celts' were in Britain prior to the 'Anglo-Saxon invasions', and that all of the tribes were thus 'Celtic' - even though (as I will show) the evidence is piled high against this idea. 

The thorn-in-the-side of this idea seems to lie in one part with what is termed the Belgae who were not one tribe, but a confederation of tribes, many of which Julius Caesar referred to as being Germanic in origin, also speaking a Germanic Language. Confirmation of this seems to come from a strange source, that of a work called The White Goddess by Robert Graves, who, incidentally, is anti-English, anti-Germanic and strongly pro-Celtic - so he has no axe to grind on this subject. The evidence that I am putting forward here is not so much historical (which is never fully factual anyway) but legendary and mythological.

In a Welsh work Cod Goddeu ('Battle of the Trees') we find a legendary battle between Bran, represented by the Alder-Tree, and Gwydion, represented by the Ash-Tree. Immediately something striking hits us - Gwydion/Wydion is similar to the name Woden whose tree is the Ash-Tree (in Norse Myth anyway). Indeed, Gwydion is the son of the god Don, who some Celtic scholars see as a later male version of the goddess Danu, though this may not necessarily be the case. The root of both Wydion-Don is DN, which is again the root of Odin/Woden, and the name 'Don' or 'Donnus' may be a 'father' with the 'son' having the same roots of the name. Graves traces this battle between the two distinct cultures to the area of the South of England, and at the core of which was Wiltshire. Here we are in the realm of the Belgae. 

Legend tells us that the Coritani, based in the Midlands, were from Northern Europe and dwelt amongst the tribes of this area after raiding here; indeed their title suggests the koryos which is a Greco-Latin form of our heri, which would have made them like Vikings who raided and then settled the area. So we have two clear suggestions that Germanic Tribes did exist here in England well before the later 'invasions'. It has been suggested that the Belgae may have been linked to the Fir Bolg who invaded Ireland in ancient times. 

We now turn to a Roman named Procopius of Caesarea, born in Caesarea in Palestine in the fifth century CE. According to Procopius the land called Brittia was occupied by Britons, Frisians and Angles, and his account is earlier than the first 'invasions' under Hengest and Horsa. Again, we have an account of Germanic Tribes being here in England already, and indeed well established here. If these tribes had merged with the Belgae Tribes then this would account for the total lack of any Welsh words in this area of the country. 

There is another stumbling-block to the concept that the English were already here, and that is the controversy over the name 'Angles'. Various spurious attempts have been made to take the name as meaning 'bend', presumably from the term 'angle', or even 'fishermen', no doubt from 'angler'. Would it not be far easier to derive the name 'Angle' or 'Engle' from the root-words that make up the title Ingwe or Ingui -


The Engles or Angles were the descendants of Ingwe, which we know to be right from the name Ingvaeones given to the peoples of the areas some of the English dwelt. Variants of these root-names exist all over Britain, indeed in the 'Celtic' areas such as Ireland and Scotland - Aengus, Oenghus, Angus etc. 

When we recognise that the English are the Sons of Ing even more surprising results come to light. In a German legend Hengest and Horsa were said to have been the sons of the Duke of Engern - again we see the root Eng appear. Here, indeed, we now find a further link between the Angles and the Saxons, since the Duchy of Engern is near to the Teutoburg Forest, and this area in the eighth century CE was occupied by the Angrarii - once more the prefix Ang- comes into this argument. These occupied the three subdivisions of Saxony, Westfalahi, and Ostfalahi - which we know were occupied by the Saxons. This would suggest that the names 'Angle' and 'Saxon' were interchangeable, and the two tribes had long been linked together. Legend has it that the Angrarii invaded Westphalia under Yglo Lascon. Their legends also say that Vergest was the father of Hengest and Horsa, and he also had a daughter named Svava ('Swan') which if I am correct fits with the Frisian legend of Hengest and Horsa. 

From all this we can gather that the Angles, Saxons and Frisians were on a par with the Britons in these islands, and that the Belgae were a confederation of tribes that could have included some of these. Two of the Germanic Tribes mentioned as part of the Belgae were the Eburones and the Sicambri/Sigambri the latter which we have shown to be the Wolsungas as the Sigambrian Franks. So we have a clear reference to a Wolsunga presence here in England during the first part of the Age of Christ. There can hardly be doubt as to the fact that the name Gwydion/Wydion (*) was not Welsh originally but was Germanic, and referred to Woden. Such must have been the influence of these Germanic Folk that the legends and myths of their gods was absorbed by the Britons, and kept by the Welsh or Gauls as part of theirs. 

(*) The 'g' at the beginning of 'Gwydion' would not have been sounded, this being a silent consonant; we are left with Wydion which is sounded like Woden, a 'coincidence' that cannot be dismissed lightly. The Welsh version of 'William' has had a 'g' added to the front of it, which further emphasises the correctness of this argument. 'William' is a Germanic loan-name.

How old this legend of the conflict between Bran (Alder) and Gwydion (Ash) goes back we cannot tell but we are certainly taken back well before the time of Hengest and Horsa. We also have a god named Nodens whose name is very much like Odin/Woden but whom we know very little of. We do know that an alternative to 'Woden' was 'Hooden', so to link 'Nodens' too is not really so far fetched. We are finding more and more scholars who have studied this subject and are coming to the conclusion that the history taught to us is some way off the mark. 

We have said this before, that the only reason why scholars in the past assumed that the English Tribes pushed the 'Welsh' into what is now Wales was because the area we know as England was virtually devoid of any Welsh-Celtic terms. The only other explanation could be that there were kindred Germanic Tribes here already, and that the newcomers would have blended into these tribes without much change in language, apart from localised dialects, of course. This is the logical conclusion to the problem.

There are 'Anglo-Saxon' grave-finds in Kent whose skeletons bear no difference to that of much earlier Bronze Age finds - so we are gradually beginning to look even further back in time. In the end we may actually find proof that the English dwelt here in very ancient times, indeed as far back as to At-al-land. 

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