Anglosaxon Invaison

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THE OLD ENGLISH PERIOD ( 449-1100)

The Anglo-Saxon Invasion

450-650 AD

By the year 449 AD, a group of Germanic tribes began its invasion of Britain. They migrated in groups from their original homelands and settled in. These tribes were: The Angles, The Saxons, The Jutes and The Frisians. They came from different parts of Germany, Denmark and Netherlands bringing their closely related dialects with them. The Romans had completely abandoned Britain and native Celts had been enslaved by the invaders. The Angles took over northern England . The Saxons took over the south. The Jutes took Isle of Wight and regions of Kent and Hampshire.

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The Celts referred to all new comers as the Saxons and their land became known as Saxonia. Gradually, the term was changed into Anglia or Englaland ( The land of the Angles). The Germanic tribes compromised seven kingdoms in England: Kent, Essex, Sussex, Wessex, East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbrians. Kent became the center of culture and wealth which was occupied by the Saxons, and the leadership moved constantly between these kingdoms.

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THE SEVEN KINGDOMS

How did the Anglo-Saxons deal with the Roman's civilization?

The Saxons destroyed the Roman's achievements in Britain, and the Roman's towns were burnt or destroyed.

The Dialects of Old English

After the settlement of the Germanic tribes , They tried to combine their original but closely related dialects in one language. The new emerging language was not fully unified, and each dialect kept some of its specific characteristics that were distinguished later as dialects of the new unified language. The new language came to be known as the Anglo-Saxon language or Old Englisc. We can distinguish four major dialects of OE:

Northumbrian

Mercian

West Saxon

Kent

Most preserved records and literary works of OE were kept in West Saxon dialect.
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