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The ANGLES (Latin : Anglii) were one of the main Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
who settled in Great Britain
Great Britain
in the post-Roman period. They founded several of the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England
Anglo-Saxon England
, and their name is the root of the name England. The name comes from the district of Angeln
Angeln
, an area located on the Baltic shore of what is now Schleswig-Holstein .

CONTENTS

* 1 Name

* 2 Greco-Roman historiography

* 2.1 Tacitus
Tacitus
* 2.2 Ptolemy
Ptolemy

* 3 Medieval historiography * 4 Archaeology * 5 Anglian kingdoms in England
England
* 6 See also * 7 Notes * 8 References * 9 Further reading

NAME

The name of the Angles
Angles
may have been first recorded in Latinised form, as Anglii, in the Germania of Tacitus
Tacitus
. It is thought to derive from the name of the area they originally inhabited: Angeln
Angeln
in modern German, Angel
Angel
in Danish . This name has been hypothesised to originate from the Germanic root for "narrow" (compare German and Dutch eng = "narrow"), meaning "the Narrow ", i.e. the Schlei
Schlei
estuary ; the root would be angh, "tight". Another theory is that the name meant "hook", as in angling for fish; Julius Pokorny , a major Indo-European linguist, derives it from *ang-, "bend" (see ankle).

During the 9th century
9th century
, all invading Germanic tribes were referred to as Englisc, who were speakers of Old English
Old English
(which was known as Englisc, Ænglisc or Anglisc). Englisc also goes back to Proto-Indo-European *h₂enǵʰ-, meaning 'narrow'. In any case, the Angles
Angles
may have been called such because they were a fishing people or were originally descended from such, and therefore England
England
would mean 'land of the fishermen ', and English would be 'the fishermen's language'.

Gregory the Great in an epistle simplified the Latinised name Anglii to Angli, the latter form developing into the preferred form of the word. The country remained Anglia in Latin. Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
's translation of Orosius ' history of the world uses Angelcynn (-kin) to describe England
England
and the English people; Bede
Bede
used Angelfolc (-folk); there are also such forms as Engel, Englan (the people), Englaland, and Englisc, all showing i-mutation .

GRECO-ROMAN HISTORIOGRAPHY

TACITUS

The map shows both the Angeln
Angeln
and the Schwansen peninsulas Possible locations of the Angles
Angles
and Jutes
Jutes
before their migration to Britain.

The earliest recorded mention of the Angles
Angles
may be in chapter 40 of Tacitus
Tacitus
's Germania written around AD 98. Tacitus
Tacitus
describes the "Anglii" as one of the more remote Suebic tribes compared to the Semnones and Langobardi , who lived on the Elbe
Elbe
and were better known to the Romans. He grouped the Angles
Angles
with several other tribes in that region, the Reudigni , Aviones , Varini
Varini
, Eudoses , Suarini and Nuitones . These were all living behind ramparts of rivers and woods and therefore inaccessible to attack.

He gives no precise indication of their geographical situation but states that, together with the six other tribes, they worshiped Nerthus , or Mother Earth, whose sanctuary was located on "an island in the Ocean". The Eudoses are the Jutes
Jutes
, these names probably refer to localities in Jutland
Jutland
or on the Baltic coast. The coast contains sufficient estuaries, inlets, rivers, islands, swamps and marshes to have been then inaccessible to those not familiar with the terrain, such as the Romans, who considered it unknown, inaccessible, with a small population and of little economic interest.

The majority of scholars believe that the Anglii lived on the coasts of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
, probably in the southern part of the Jutish peninsula. This view is based partly on Old English
Old English
and Danish traditions regarding persons and events of the 4th century, and partly on the fact that striking affinities to the cult of Nerthus as described by Tacitus
Tacitus
are to be found in pre-Christian Scandinavian , especially Swedish and Danish, religion.

PTOLEMY

Ptolemy
Ptolemy
writing in around AD150, in his atlas Geography (2.10), describes the Sueboi Angeilloi, Latinised to Suevi Angili, further south, living in a stretch of land between the northern Rhine and central Elbe, but apparently not touching either river, with the Suebic Langobardi on the Rhine to their west, and the Suebic Semnones on the Elbe
Elbe
stretching to their east.

These Suevi Angili would have been in Lower Saxony or near it, but they are not coastal. The three Suebic peoples are separated from the coastal Chauci , (between Ems and Elbe
Elbe
), and Saxones , (east of the Elbe
Elbe
mouth), by a series of tribes including, between Weser and Elbe, the Angrivarii , "Laccobardi" (probably another reference to Langobardi, but taken by Ptolemy
Ptolemy
from another source), and Dulgubnii . South of the Saxons, and east of the Elbe, Ptolemy
Ptolemy
lists "Ouirounoi" (Latinised as Viruni, and probably the Varini) and Teutonoari, which either denotes "the Teuton men", or else it denotes people living in the area where the Teutons had previously lived (who Ptolemy
Ptolemy
places still living to the east of the Teutonoari). Ptolemy
Ptolemy
describes the coast to the east of the Saxons
Saxons
as inhabited by the Farodini , a name not known from any other sources.

Owing to the uncertainty of this passage, there has been much speculation regarding the original home of the Anglii. One theory is that they or part of them dwelt or moved among other coastal people perhaps confederated up to the basin of the Saale
Saale
(in the neighbourhood of the ancient canton of Engilin ) on the Unstrut valleys below the Kyffhäuserkreis , from which region the Lex Angliorum et Werinorum hoc est Thuringorum is believed by many to have come. The ethnic names of Frisians and Warines are also attested in these Saxon
Saxon
districts.

A second possible solution is that these Angles
Angles
of Ptolemy
Ptolemy
are not those of Schleswig
Schleswig
at all. According to Julius Pokorny the Angri- in Angrivarii , the -angr in Hardanger and the Angl- in Anglii all come from the same root meaning "bend", but in different senses. In other words, the similarity of the names is strictly coincidental and does not reflect any ethnic unity beyond Germanic.

On the other hand, Gudmund Schütte, in his analysis of Ptolemy, believes that the Angles
Angles
have simply been moved by an error coming from Ptolemy's use of imperfect sources. He points out that Angles
Angles
are placed correctly just to the northeast of the Langobardi , but that these have been duplicated, so that they appear once, correctly, on the lower Elbe, and a second time, incorrectly, at the northern Rhine.

MEDIEVAL HISTORIOGRAPHY

Further information: Kings of the Angles Manuscript of Bede
Bede

Bede
Bede
states that the Anglii, before coming to Great Britain, dwelt in a land called Angulus, "which lies between the province of the Jutes and the Saxons, and remains unpopulated to this day." Similar evidence is given by the Historia Brittonum . King Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
and the chronicler Æthelweard identified this place with the district that is now called Angeln
Angeln
, in the province of Schleswig
Schleswig
(Slesvig) (though it may then have been of greater extent), and this identification agrees with the indications given by Bede.

In the Norwegian seafarer Ohthere of Hålogaland 's account of a two-day voyage from the Oslo fjord to Schleswig, he reported the lands on his starboard bow, and Alfred appended the note "on these islands dwelt the Engle before they came hither". Confirmation is afforded by English and Danish traditions relating to two kings named Wermund and Offa of Angel , from whom the Mercian royal family claimed descent and whose exploits are connected with Angeln, Schleswig, and Rendsburg
Rendsburg
. Danish tradition has preserved record of two governors of Schleswig, father and son, in their service, Frowinus ( Freawine ) and Wigo (Wig), from whom the royal family of Wessex
Wessex
claimed descent. During the 5th century, the Anglii invaded Great Britain, after which time their name does not recur on the continent except in the title of Suevi Angili.

The Angles
Angles
are the subject of a legend about Pope Gregory I , who happened to see a group of Angle children from Deira for sale as slaves in the Roman market. As the story would later be told by the Anglo- Saxon
Saxon
monk and historian Bede
Bede
, Gregory was struck by the unusual appearance of the slaves and asked about their background. When told they were called "Anglii" (Angles), he replied with a Latin pun that translates well into English: “Bene, nam et angelicam habent faciem, et tales angelorum in caelis decet esse coheredes” ("It is well, for they have an angelic face, and such people ought to be co-heirs of the angels in heaven"). Supposedly, this encounter inspired the Pope to launch a mission to bring Christianity to their countrymen.

ARCHAEOLOGY

The province of Schleswig
Schleswig
has proved rich in prehistoric antiquities that date apparently from the 4th and 5th centuries. A large cremation cemetery has been found at Borgstedt , between Rendsburg
Rendsburg
and Eckernförde , and it has yielded many urns and brooches closely resembling those found in pagan graves in England. Of still greater importance are the great deposits at Thorsberg moor (in Angeln) and Nydam , which contained large quantities of arms, ornaments, articles of clothing, agricultural implements, etc., and in Nydam even ships. By the help of these discoveries, Angle culture in the age preceding the invasion of Britannia can be pieced together.

ANGLIAN KINGDOMS IN ENGLAND

See also: Anglo- Saxon
Saxon
settlement of Britain , Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
, and History of Anglo-Saxon England
Anglo-Saxon England
Angles, Saxons
Saxons
and Jutes throughout England
England

According to sources such as the History of Bede, after the invasion of Britannia, the Angles
Angles
split up and founded the kingdoms of Northumbria
Northumbria
, East Anglia
East Anglia
, and Mercia
Mercia
. H.R. Loyn has observed in this context that "a sea voyage is perilous to tribal institutions", and the apparently tribe-based kingdoms were formed in England. In early times there were two northern kingdoms (Bernicia and Deira) and two midland ones (Middle Anglia and Mercia), which had by the 7th century resolved themselves into two Angle kingdoms, viz., Northumbria and Mercia. Northumbria
Northumbria
held suzerainty amidst the Teutonic presence in the British Isles in the 7th century, but was eclipsed by the rise of Mercia
Mercia
in the 8th century. Both kingdoms fell in the great assaults of the Danish Viking
Viking
armies in the 9th century. Their royal houses were effectively destroyed in the fighting, and their Angle populations came under the Danelaw
Danelaw
. Further south, the Saxon
Saxon
kings of Wessex
Wessex
withstood the Danish assaults. Then in the late 9th and early 10th centuries, the kings of Wessex
Wessex
defeated the Danes and liberated the Angles
Angles
from the Danelaw. They united their house in marriage with the surviving Angle royalty, and were accepted by the Angles
Angles
as their kings. This marked the passing of the old 'Anglo- Saxon
Saxon
' world and the dawn of the "English " as a new people. The regions of East Anglia
East Anglia
and Northumbria
Northumbria
are still known by their original titles. Northumbria
Northumbria
once stretched as far north as what is now southeast Scotland
Scotland
, including Edinburgh
Edinburgh
, and as far south as the Humber Estuary
Estuary
.

The rest of that people stayed at the centre of the Angle homeland in the northeastern portion of the modern German Bundesland of Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
, on the Jutland
Jutland
Peninsula . There, a small peninsular area is still called " Angeln
Angeln
" today and is formed as a triangle drawn roughly from modern Flensburg
Flensburg
on the Flensburger Fjord to the City of Schleswig
Schleswig
and then to Maasholm, on the Schlei
Schlei
inlet.

SEE ALSO

* Ancient Germanic culture portal * Anglo-Saxon England
Anglo-Saxon England
portal

* Angeln
Angeln
* Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
* East Anglia
East Anglia
* Kingdom of East Anglia
East Anglia
* List of ancient Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
* Mercia
Mercia
* Northumbria
Northumbria

NOTES

* ^ See the translation by Sweet, noted by Loyn.

* ^ Pyles, Thomas and John Algeo 1993. Origins and development of the English language. 4th edition. (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich). * ^ Barber, Charles, Joan C. Beal and Philip A. Shaw 2009. The English language. A historical introduction. Second edition of Barber (1993). Cambridge: University Press. * ^ Baugh, Albert C. and Thomas Cable 1993 A history of the English language. 4th edition. (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall). * ^ Fennell, Barbara 1998. A history of English. A sociolinguistic approach. Oxford: Blackwell. * ^ A B Tacitus
Tacitus
& 98 , Cap. XL. * ^ A B Church (1868) , Ch. XL. * ^ A B C D E F Chadwick 1911 , pp. 18–19. * ^ Schütte (1917) , p. 34 & 118. * ^ Sweet (1883) , p. 19. * ^ Loyn (1991) , p. 24. * ^ Bede
Bede
(731) , Lib. II. * ^ Jane (1903) , Vol. II. * ^ Loyn (1991) , p. 25.

REFERENCES

* Beda (731), Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum . (in Latin) * Bede
Bede
(1907) , Bede\'s Ecclesiastical History of England: A Revised Translation, London: George Bell & Sons . * Cornelius Tacitus, Publius (98), De origine et situ Germanorum Check date values in: date= (help ). (in Latin) * Cornelius Tacitus, Publius (1942)

* "Angles", Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
, 2 (9th ed.), 1878, p. 30

* v * t * e

Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples

LANGUAGES

* Germanic parent language * Proto-Germanic language
Proto-Germanic language

* North Germanic languages
Germanic languages

* Old Norse
Old Norse

* West Germanic languages
Germanic languages

* Ingvaeonic languages * South Germanic

* Northwest Germanic * East Germanic languages
Germanic languages
* Germanic philology

PREHISTORY

* Nordic Bronze Age
Nordic Bronze Age
* Pre-Roman Iron Age in Northern Europe * Jastorf culture
Jastorf culture
* Nordwestblock * Przeworsk culture * Wielbark culture * Oksywie culture * Chernyakhov culture

ROMAN IRON AGE IN NORTHERN EUROPE

* Magna Germania * Germanic Wars * Battle of the Teutoburg Forest * Germania * Irminones * Ingaevones * Istvaeones * Chatti * Marcomanni
Marcomanni
* Suebi
Suebi

MIGRATION PERIOD

* Germanic Iron Age
Germanic Iron Age
* Alemanni
Alemanni

* Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons

* Angles * Jutes
Jutes
* Saxons
Saxons

* Burgundians
Burgundians
* Danes * Franks
Franks
* Frisii
Frisii
* Geats
Geats
* Gepids
Gepids

* Goths
Goths

* Visigoths
Visigoths
* Ostrogoths * Vagoth * Gothic War (376–382)
Gothic War (376–382)

* Gotlander * Heruli
Heruli
* Lombards
Lombards
* Rugii
Rugii
* Scirii * Suebi
Suebi
* Swedes * Vandals
Vandals
* Varangians * Vikings
Vikings
* Christianization * Romanization

SOCIETY AND CULTURE

* Mead hall * Alliterative verse * Migration Period
Migration Period
art

* Runes
Runes

* Runic calendar

* Sippe

* Ancient Germanic law

* Lawspeaker * Thing

* Germanic calendar * Germanic kingship * Germanic name * Numbers in Norse mythology * Romano-Germanic culture

RELIGION

* Odin
Odin
* Thor
Thor
* Nerthus * Veleda * Tuisto * Mannus * Sacred trees and groves

* Paganism

* Anglo- Saxon
Saxon
* Continental Germanic * Frankish * Norse

* Christianity

* Anglo- Saxon
Saxon
* Gothic

DRESS

* Bracteates * Fibula * Suebian knot

WARFARE

* Gothic and Vandal warfare * Anglo- Saxon
Saxon
warfare * Viking
Viking
Age arms and armour * Migration Period
Migration Period
spear * Migration Period
Migration Period
sword

BURIAL PRACTICES

* Tumulus * Ship burial * Norse funeral * Alemannic grave fields * Sutton Hoo
Sutton Hoo
* Spong Hill

* List of ancient Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
* Portal:Ancient Germanic culture

AUTHORITY CONTROL

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Angles
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