[lit-ideas] Eastward Ho

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 16:37:22 EST

In a message dated 3/3/2009 2:40:23 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
sedward@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
The most important debate is 
whether the  South Saxons were brought in by ambitious local Brits (The 
Balkanisation  Theory), or whether they were heroic seaborne invaders as the 
chronicles  would have us believe. I tend towards the former interpretation, 
but leave  room for the possibility of a landing or two.


What points? I collect books on the English Channel. 
With the Jutes it's easy because it's former Isle of Thanet (literally an  
island, now, in the Words of Sancho Panza, like Barataria, an island totally  
surrounded by land).
One point is enough for a landing and an heroic past.

My favourite landing picture is Watts, "Landing of Julius Caesar in  
Britain". Westminster. The sky looks so bright that they do note the Italian  
And what about the Mercians. For Bedford _was_ Mercia, right? If the South  
Saxons were mercenaries, what about the other tribes? 

"The other debate is one between tradition and evidence  over the route the 
South Saxons took in their take-over. Tradition has a  west-east flow of 
battles, whilst evidence suggests an east-west  progression. I favour the 
Did they have a compass? I get so easily lost in the countryside that I  
assume the Saxons too. Or do you mean, 'roughly west-side', 'roughly 
Coates has this toponymy map, but I haven't studied it in detail. And in any  
case, when it comes to landmarks, I'm only interested in 'sea-marks' or  
'channel-marks' if you must. (Like "Long Island Sound, or the River Plate, the  
Channel is hardly 'sea').
When it comes to origins, I do love the story of Frisia, and Angeln. The  
Saxons, though, it's _obvious_ they came from Saxony. I love my plattsdeutsche. 
When I learned German in Buenos Aires, my professor would always correct my 
/sp/  into the ugly (to me) sound /shp/. I could not tell him that I was trying 
to go  plattsdeutsche since he would give me a B-.
"And if you want Romance, there's always the possibility that Arthur fought  
his first battle just south east of Lewes at the mouth of what is now the  
Glynde. You need Nennius and a stack of archaeological articles to get the  
context of this one. That and a measure of disbelief over the historicity of  
said Arthur."
Yes, and Robin Hood was a Saxon, too, right? Nay, Mercian of Notts.
Another one for Saxon lore is "Westward ho", right?
It's all pretty confusing. Some say even that "Anglo-Saxon" is not really a  
compound of "Angles" plus "Saxons" but that "Anglo-" works as suffix, alla  
"French Canadian". 
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