I have been reading for the past few hours about all the various players in Western/Northern Europe:
- Germanic People
- Anglo Saxons
Wikipedia says of the Anglo-Saxons that their identity arose out of complex interactions with several Germanic tribes and the indigenous Britons. The Britons, were some form of Celts living in the "British Isles" I guess, so they were the ones occupying the many islands there.
But then Wikipedia goes and says:
The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group who inhabited England in the Early Middle Ages.
England wasn't formed though then, so I am confused. The Kingdom of England goes back a few generations to Edward the Elder, who was "King of the Anglo-Saxons".
First question, did they call themselves "Anglo-Saxon" at this time, or is this an after-the-fact term?
Then it goes back to Edwards great grandfather, who was "King of Wessex" until 871 (Kingdom of "England" was formed in 927 as far as I can tell).
This list of Wessex Monarchs is kind of helpful. Which goes back to the Kingdom of Gewissae, and then it says Birinus converted the Gewisse to Christianity in AD 636. So it goes Anglo Saxon -> Gewisse -> Wessex -> England -> Great Britain (in 1700's)? Since the Anglo-Saxons merged in with the indigenous Britons in their land, perhaps this is why ultimately they called it Great Britain (just guessing).
But then in the Early Anglo-Saxon history section, it says there are Angles and Saxons (amongst others), and the Angles were "one of the main Germanic peoples who settled in Great Britain in the post-Roman period." I guess the "Saxons" become what is now Germany, so the name just got reused for some strange reason.
So to summarize:
- Did the Anglo-Saxons call themselves Anglo-Saxons? Or something else? So when did they become "Anglo-Saxons"?
- The Anglo-Saxons are just Germanic tribe settlers, being moved west for some reason?
- And then England wasn't formed until 927, after Gewisse -> Wessex -> England. But they must have interbred with the native Britons, and the other neighbors I'm guessing, so is everyone by 927 called "English" now?