Inventing History: The Myth of Anglo Saxon Purity

The Anglo Saxon Invasion That Never Happened

BBC (2015)

Film Review

This BBC documentary uses archeological, genetic and linguistic evidence to demolish the myth of a fifth century Anglo Saxon invasion that supposedly drove Britain’s indigenous tribes west and north to Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

There is no archeological evidence whatsoever of an invasion. In fact, current evidence suggests a lengthy period (beginning in 2,000 BC) of Germanic migration and assimilation with Celtic inhabitants was more likely.

For me, the most interesting evidence comes from linguistic study of Old English. The latter differs significantly from other Germanic languages in that it uses word order, rather than word endings, to distinguish between the subject and object of sentences. Linguists attribute this anomaly to the merger of Celtic and Germanic cultures over many centuries and the influence of Celtic speakers on Old English.

Archeologists now believe that the myth of fifth century Anglo Saxon invasion was created by mixed race kings to lay claim to their (fraudulent) claim of pure Teutonic heritage This was frequently used to justify their privilege over genetically equivalent subjects who were stigmatized as irrational and unstable Celts.