British History, 407-597, by Fabio P. Barbieri

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Book VII: Towards a reconstruction of the lost history of Britain from Ambrosius to Saint Gildas

This book takes the study from cultural analysis with historical overtones to the fullness of historical writing, proposing a historical narrative of events from the Saxon revolt of 442 to the Letter to Lovocatus and Catihernus (510).

 

A summary of what we have been able to learn about Vitalinus, the man who became Vortigern, cast into a historical form.

An account of the Saxon revolt, its effects on Gaul and Britain, Ambrosius’ war (which is dated to some time before 468) and the British intervention in the War of the Loire (Gaul, 468), based mainly on Roman documents.

A series of hypotheses on the early history of Britain, including a suggestion that the Anglian/English ethnic identity came about with the arrival of a king Icel from Denmark some time after the original settlement, and that the kings of East Anglia and Kent are even later and have something to with what seems to have been a wave of Scandinavian invasion about 527.

The war in question is that of Ambrosius against the Saxons (and Vitalinus) and the ethnic and cultural consequences are the settlement of considerable numbers of Celtic tribesmen from beyond the Wall, who had supported Ambrosius, in military colonies in Britain and Gaul. From now till the English conquest, Britain is a patchwork of Latin-speaking, consciously Roman Britons, and of Celtic-speaking military settlers from the north.

Two Celtic priests from the British military settlements in northern Gaul are shown, in a surviving document, to be savagely at odds with their Frankish-imposed bishops, and to follow cultual practices that go back both to a Celtic tribal world and to Eastern Mediterranean church practices.

History of Britain, 407-597 is copyright 2002, Fabio P. Barbieri. Used with permission.

Comments to: Fabio P. Barbieri


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