Anglia (peninsula) | history


Early history

Flensburg/Flensborg is the largest town in Anglia. View of the borough of Jürgensby/Jørgensby on the Anglian side of the Flensburg Firth.

The region was home to the Germanic people, the Angles, some of whom, together with Saxons and Jutes, left their home to migrate to Britain in the 5th and 6th centuries. For the years 449-455, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, written around 890, describes how King Vortigern (a British tribal king) invited the Angles to come and receive land in return for helping him defend against marauding Picts. Those successful Angles sent word back that good land was available and that the British were 'worthless'.[citation needed] (In fact, the racial contempt of the Angles towards the Britons was an invention[citation needed] of the monk Gildas, who is part founder of this origin myth.[citation needed] His object was to vilify the decadence of the British leadership).[citation needed] A wholesale emigration of Angles and kindred German peoples followed.

The Chronicle, commissioned by King Alfred the Great, drew on earlier oral traditions and on the few written fragments available. The best of these, written around 730, was by the monk Bede whose history of English Christianity had the following brief account of the origin and distribution of the Angles:[3]

from the Angles, that is, the country which is called Anglia, and which is said, from that time, to remain desert to this day, between the provinces of the Jutes and the Saxons, are descended the East Angles, the Midland Angles, Mercians, all the race of the Northumbrians, that is, of those nations that dwell on the north side of the River Humber, and the other nations of the English.

— Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Book I, Chapter XV, 731 A.D.

The phrase "north of the Humber" refers to the northern kingdom of Northumbria, which includes what is now north and north-eastern England and part of southern Scotland. Mercia was located in central England and broadly corresponds to what is now known as the English Midlands.

This account can be related to the evidence of archaeology, notably the distribution of types of fibulae, or brooches, worn by both men and women in antiquity. Eastern coastal and Northern Britain were settled by groups wearing cruciform brooches, of the style in fashion at the time in coastal Scandinavia, all of Denmark, and Schleswig-Holstein south to the lower Elbe and east to the Oder, as well as a pocket in coastal Friesland.

Later history

After the Angles departed from Anglia, by the 8th century the region was occupied by Danes. This is reflected in the large number of place names ending in -by (meaning "city") in the region today. In the 10th century, the chronicler Æthelweard reports that the most important town in Anglia was Hedeby (Ger. Haithabu).

Later Anglia's history is subsumed in that of the larger surrounding region, which came to be known as Southern Jutland or Schleswig (Dan. Slesvig). Until the 19th century the area belonged to Denmark. In terms of ethnic and linguistic heritage the countryside spoke a Danish dialect until the early 1800s after which Low German spread northwards, whereas the towns spoke Low German from the late medieval era. Denmark lost Schleswig to Austria and Prussia in 1864 as a result of the Second Schleswig War. In 1920, following Germany's defeat in the First World War, a plebiscite was held to determine which areas should return to Danish control. As a result of the plebiscite, the northern part of Schleswig returned to Denmark, but Anglia remained in Germany. See Schleswig-Holstein Question for a detailed history.

Other Languages
Ænglisc: Angul
العربية: أنغلن
asturianu: Angeln
azərbaycanca: Angeln
български: Ангелн
català: Angeln
dansk: Angel
español: Angeln
français: Angeln
galego: Angeln
magyar: Angeln
македонски: Ангелн
norsk: Angeln
Plattdüütsch: Angeln (Landschop)
polski: Angeln
português: Ânglia
русский: Ангельн
Simple English: Angeln
svenska: Angeln
українська: Ангельн