Anglo-Saxon Conquest

Anglo-Saxon Conquest


the conquest of Britain by North German tribes—the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians—in the 5th and 6th centuries.

As of the mid-5th century, pirate raids on Britain were replaced by the immigration of considerable numbers of Germans to the coastal regions and into the heart of the country, in the face of stubborn opposition by the Britons. In the course of the Anglo-Saxon conquest, most of the Britons were exterminated, subjugated, or driven off to Scotland, Wales, and the Continent (present-day Brittany); in part they merged with the conquerors. By the end of the 6th century, the German tribes had successfully conquered most of Britain.

The power of royal authority, numerous bodyguards, and intensified exploitation of the subjugated population were part of the influence of the conquest on the structure of such kingdoms as Kent, Wessex, Sussex, Essex, East Anglia, Northumbria, and Mercia.


Stenton, F. Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford, 1943.
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