Origin of the Saxons, and Derivation of the Name

Book 2, Chapter 1, 449 AD to 597 AD – The Saxons – Continued

The origin of the Saxons has been a subject of learned dispute. Ptolemy mentions a tribe called Saxons, living on the north side of the Elbe, but they could not then have been of much importance, for seven other tribes are named by him as occupying the same small peninsula. Tacitus, who wrote before Ptolemy, does not mention them, and it is a fair inference that they were then an obscure and inconsiderable people. It seems most probable that they were a part of that second great wave of population which spread over Europe about six hundred years BC, and which consisted of the Scythian, German, and Gothic tribes. From this great stock sprung the Anglo Saxons, Lowland Scotch, Normans, Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, Dutch, Germans, Belgians, Lombard’s, and Franks of after times.

The name Saxons is probably derived from Sakai-suna, or the sons of the Sakai, which came to be abbreviated into Saksun, but the name is more generic than local, and was afterwards applied not only to the Saxons, properly so called, but to the neighbouring tribes of the Jutes and Angles. Their character and habits were alike, and as was the case with most of the rude Teutonic tribes, they were equally ready to fight with or against each other, spilling their own blood as freely as that of their enemies.


Chapter 1, The Saxons

Invasions by Picts and Scots

Fables and Traditions of the Period

Contemporaneous Accounts of Them

Divided State of British Tribes

Origin of the Saxons and Derivation of the Name

Chapter 1, The Saxon Kingdoms

Their Character Habits and Leaders

Successive Landings and Formation of States

The Saxon Kingdoms

Chapter 1, Introduction of Christianity

Mission of Augustine and Introduction of Christianity

Social Condition at the Transition Period

Authorities



Categories: Book 2

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