Language: Old English


The Germanic peoples began the period settled along the eastern coast up to Lothian and the southern coast to the Isle of Wight, always near the coast. By 600 they had moved into most of England and conquered it.


The Germanic tribes in Britain were a part of a major continental movement that occurred during the last century of Roman rule, called the Age of Migrations. They made up two separate groups in Britain. The first had been invited by the Romans to serve as foederati, tribesmen allowed to retain their tribal identity as they kept the English Channel free of pirates in return for food and supplies for themselves and their families. These tribesmen would remain loyal to Rome as long as the locals were able to supply them. When they could no longer do so they would revolt, transforming the local villages that had been their employers into subservient settlements.

The second group arrived after the dissolution of the foederati and the cessation of all anti-pirate activities. These tribes would migrate from the continent for the express purpose of claiming land. This they would do, pushing ever further into the interior until the rise of British kingdoms forced them to stop towards the end of the fifth century.

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