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The Anglo-Saxons were a people who inhabited Great Britain from the 5th century. They comprise people from Germanic tribes who migrated to the island from continental Europe, their descendants, and indigenous British groups who adopted some aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture and language. Historically, the Anglo-Saxon period denotes the period in Britain between about 450 and 1066, after their initial settlement and up until the Norman conquest. The early Anglo-Saxon period includes the creation of an English nation, with many of the aspects that survive today, including regional government of shires and hundreds. During this period, Christianity was established and there was a flowering of literature and language. Charters and law were also established. The term Anglo-Saxon is popularly used for the language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons in England and eastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century. In scholarly use, it is more commonly called Old English.

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Detailed Anglo-Saxon Invasion

The Anglo-Saxons were not originally one people, but a mixture of people from many different Germanic tribes invading the British Isles around the same time. Those whose names remained were the Angles, likely from Angul in Jutland, and Saxons, of Old Saxony in North-Western Germany (Not to be confused with the modern state of Saxony, in Eastern Germany), though the Jutes, Franks, Frisians (The modern descendants of whom are the closest genetic, and linguistic relatives of the modern English people), and possibly a number of Geats, and others are thought to have joined them. This map shows detailed movements of the invasions of these people, usually all attributed to the Angles, and Saxons, but potentially including those of the others involved.

Contributed by Sean Gay

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