Romano-British culture

Romano-British culture is the culture that arose in Britain under the Roman Empire following the Roman conquest in AD 43 and the creation of the province of Britannia. It arose as a fusion of the imported Roman culture with that of the indigenous Britons, a people of Celtic language and custom. It survived the fifth-century Roman departure from Britain, eventually finding itself a stronghold in Wales where it was to form the basis of an emerging Welsh culture.[1] Scholars such as Christopher Snyder believe that during the 5th and 6th centuries – approximately from 410 when the Roman legions withdrew, to 597 when St Augustine of Canterbury arrived – southern Britain preserved an active sub-Roman culture[2] that survived the attacks from the Anglo-Saxons and even used a vernacular Latin when writing.[3]

Roman.Britain.Romanisation
Relative degrees of Romanisation, based on archaeology. Romanisation was greatest in the southeast, extending west and north in lesser degrees. West of a line from the Humber to the Severn, and including Cornwall and Devon, Roman acculturation was minimal or non-existent.

Arrival of the Romans

All Roman coins 1997 - 2010 (2)
Roman coins findings clearly indicate the areas of biggest "cultural romanisation" and presence in Roman Britain

Roman troops, mainly from nearby provinces, invaded the Brythonic Celtic land in AD 43, in what is now part of England, during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Over the next few years the province of Britannia was formed, eventually including the whole of what later became England and Wales and parts of Scotland.[4] Thousands of Roman businessmen and officials and their families settled in Britannia. Roman troops from across the Empire, as far as Spain, Syria, Egypt, and the Germanic provinces of Batavia and Frisia (modern Netherlands, Belgium, and the Rhineland area of Germany), were garrisoned in Roman towns, and many married local Britons. The Roman army and their families and dependents amounted to 125,000 people, out of Britannia's total population of 3.6 million at the end of the fourth century.[5] There were also many migrants of other professions, such as sculptors from Roman Syria and doctors from the Eastern Mediterranean region.[6] This diversified Britannia's cultures and religions, while the populace remained mainly Celtic, with a Roman way of life.

The bulk of the population was rural; from a total population of 3.6 million at the end of the fourth century, the urban population was about 240,000 people,[5] with the capital city of Londinium having about 60,000 people.[7][8] Londinium was an ethnically diverse city with inhabitants from across the Roman Empire, including natives of Britannia, and immigrants from continental Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.[9] There was also cultural diversity in other Roman-British towns, which were sustained by considerable migration, both within Britannia and from other Roman territories, including North Africa,[10] Syria, the Eastern Mediterranean, and continental Europe.[6]

Later, Britain was independent of the rest of the Roman Empire for a number of years, first as part of the Gallic Empire, then 20 years later under the usurpers Carausius and Allectus.

Christianity came to Britain in the 3rd century. One early figure was Saint Alban, who (according to tradition) was martyred near the Roman town of Verulamium, on the site of the modern St Albans, during the reign of Emperor Decius.

Roman citizenship

One aspect of Roman influence seen in British life was the grant of Roman citizenship.[11] At first this was granted very selectively: to the council members of certain classes of towns, whom Roman practice made citizens; to veterans, either legionaries or soldiers in auxiliary units; and to a number of natives whose patrons obtained citizenship for them. Some of the local Brittonic kings, such as Togidubnus, received citizenship in this manner. The number of citizens steadily increased, as people inherited citizenship and more grants were made. Eventually in 212, everybody except slaves and freed slaves were granted citizenship by the Constitutio Antoniniana.

The other inhabitants of Britain, who did not enjoy citizenship, the Peregrini, continued to live under the laws of their ancestors. The principal handicaps were that they could not own land with a Latin title, serve as a legionary in the army (although they could serve in an auxiliary unit, and become a Roman citizen upon discharge), or, in general, inherit from a Roman citizen. But for the majority of British inhabitants, who were peasants tied to the soil, citizenship would not dramatically alter their daily lives.

Roman departure from Britain

Britannia became one of the most loyal provinces of the Empire until its decline, when Britannia's manpower was diverted by civil wars. Eventually emperor Honorius ordered Roman troops back home to help fight the invading hordes. Constantine III initially rebelled against Honorius and took further troops to Gaul, but was later recognised as a joint emperor.

After the Roman departure from Britain, the Romano-British were commanded by Honorius to "look to their own defences". A written plea to General Flavius Aëtius, known as the Groans of the Britons, may have brought some brief naval assistance from the fading Roman Empire of the West, but otherwise they were on their own.

Post-Roman period

Britonia6hcentury
British settlements in the 6th century

In the early stages the lowlands and cities may have had some organisation or "council" and the Bishop of London appears to have played a key role, but they were divided politically as former soldiers, mercenaries, nobles, officials and farmers declared themselves kings, fighting amongst each other and leaving Britain open to invasion. Two factions may have emerged: a pro-Roman faction and an independence faction. The one leader at this time known by name is Vortigern, who may have held the title of "High King". The depredations of the Picts from the north and Scotti (Scots) from Ireland forced the Britons to seek help from pagan Germanic tribes of Angles, Saxons and Jutes, who then decided to settle in Britain. Some of the Romano-British people migrated to Brittany, the Kingdom of the Suebi and possibly Ireland.

The Anglo-Saxons obtained control of eastern England in the 5th century. In the mid-6th century they started expanding into the Midlands, then in the 7th century they expanded again into the south-west and the north of England. The unconquered parts of southern Britain, notably Wales, retained their Romano-British culture, in particular retaining Christianity.

Some Anglo-Saxon histories (in context) refer to the Romano-British people by the blanket term "Welsh". The term Welsh is derived from an Old English word meaning 'foreigner', referring to the old inhabitants of southern Britain.[12] Historically, Wales and the south-western peninsula were known respectively as North Wales and West Wales.[13] The Celtic north of England and southern Scotland was referred to in Welsh as Hen Ogledd ("old north").

The struggles of this period have given rise to the legends of Uther Pendragon and King Arthur. There are many theories, but it is sometimes said that Ambrosius Aurelianus, the leader of the Romano-British forces, was the model for the former, and that Arthur's court of Camelot is an idealised Welsh and Cornish memory of pre-Saxon Romano-British civilisation.

See also

References

  1. ^ Gerrard James, University Newcastle (2016). "Romano-British Pottery in the Fifth Century". Internet Archaeology (41). doi:10.11141/ia.41.9.
  2. ^ Snyder Christopher A., University Marymount, Virginia (1997). "A gazetteer of Sub-Roman Britain (AD 400-600): The British sites". Internet Archaeology (3). doi:10.11141/ia.3.2.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Sub-Roman Britain. The-orb.net (2 June 2003).
  4. ^ Kinder, H. & Hilgemann W. The Penguin Atlas of World History, Penguin Books, London 1978, ISBN 0-14-051054-0
  5. ^ a b Joan P. Alcock, A Brief History of Roman Britain, page 260, Hachette UK
  6. ^ a b David Shotter (2012), Roman Britain, page 37, Routledge
  7. ^ Will Durant (7 June 2011). Caesar and Christ: The Story of Civilization. Simon and Schuster. pp. 468–. ISBN 978-1-4516-4760-0.
  8. ^ Anne Lancashire (2002). London Civic Theatre: City Drama and Pageantry from Roman Times to 1558. Cambridge University Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-5216-3278-2.
  9. ^ DNA study finds London was ethnically diverse from start, BBC, 23 November 2015
  10. ^ Ray Laurence (2012), Roman Archaeology for Historians, page 121, Routledge
  11. ^ Roman Citizenship. Romanempire.net.
  12. ^ Balderdash and flummery. World Wide Words (23 November 1996).
  13. ^ h2g2 – Maps of Cornwall (Kernow) showing a Celtic or Distinct Identity. Bbc.co.uk.

Bibliography

  • Jones, Michael (1996) The End of Roman Britain. Ithaca: Cornell University Press
  • Myres, John (1960) Pelagius and the End of Roman Rule in Britain. In: Journal of Roman Studies, 50, 21–36.
  • Pryor, Francis (2004) Britain AD: a Quest for Arthur, England and the Anglo-Saxons. London: Harper Collins ISBN 0-00-718186-8
  • Radford, C. A. Ralegh (1939) Tintagel Castle. London: H.M.S.O. (Reprinted by English Heritage 1985)
  • Thomas, Charles (1993) Tintagel: Arthur and Archaeology. London: English Heritage

External links

Alaisiagae

In Romano-British culture and Germanic polytheism, the Alaisiagae (possibly "dispatching terrors" or "all-victorious") were a pair of Celtic and Germanic goddesses deifying victory.

British Latin

British Latin or British Vulgar Latin was the Vulgar Latin spoken in Great Britain in the Roman and sub-Roman periods. While Britain formed part of the Roman Empire, Latin became the principal language of the elite, especially in the more Romanized south and east of the island. However, it never substantially replaced the Brittonic language of the indigenous Britons, especially in the less Romanized north and west. In recent years, scholars have debated the extent to which British Latin was distinguishable from its continental counterparts, which developed into the Romance languages.

With the end of Roman rule, Latin was displaced as a spoken language by Old English in most of what became England during the Anglo-Saxon settlement of the fifth and sixth centuries. It survived in the remaining Celtic regions of western Britain until about 700, when it was replaced by the local Brittonic languages.

Camelot

Camelot is a castle and court associated with the legendary King Arthur. Absent in the early Arthurian material, Camelot first appeared in 12th-century French romances and, after the Lancelot-Grail cycle, eventually came to be described as the fantastic capital of Arthur's realm and a symbol of the Arthurian world.

The stories locate it somewhere in Great Britain and sometimes associate it with real cities, though more usually its precise location is not revealed. Most scholars regard it as being entirely fictional, its unspecified geography being perfect for chivalric romance writers. Nevertheless, arguments about the location of the "real Camelot" have occurred since the 15th century and continue to rage today in popular works and for tourism purposes.

Celtic Britons

The Britons, also known as Celtic Britons or Ancient Britons, were Celtic people who inhabited Great Britain from the British Iron Age into the Middle Ages, at which point their culture and language diverged into the modern Welsh, Cornish and Bretons (among others). They spoke the Common Brittonic language, the ancestor to the modern Brittonic languages.The traditional view that the Celtic Britons originally migrated from the continent, mostly across the English Channel, with their languages, culture and genes in the Iron Age has been considerably undermined in recent decades by the contention of many scholars that Celtic languages had instead spread north along the Atlantic seaboard during the Bronze Age, and the results of genetic studies, which show a large continuity between Iron Age and older British populations, suggesting trans-cultural diffusion was also very important in the introduction of the Celtic languages.

The earliest evidence for the Britons and their language in historical sources dates to the Iron Age. After the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century, a Romano-British culture emerged, and Latin and British Vulgar Latin coexisted with Brittonic. During and after the Roman era, the Britons lived throughout Britain. Their relationship with the Picts, who lived north of the Firth of Forth, has been the subject of much discussion, though most scholars now accept that the Pictish language was related to Common Brittonic, rather than a separate Celtic language.With the beginning of Anglo-Saxon settlement and Gaelic Scots in the 5th and 6th centuries, the culture and language of the Britons fragmented, and much of their territory was gradually taken over by the Anglo-Saxons and Scots Gaels. The extent to which this cultural and linguistic change was accompanied by wholesale changes in the population is still a matter of discussion. During this period some Britons migrated to mainland Europe and established significant colonies in Brittany (now part of France), the Channel Islands as well as Britonia in modern Galicia, Spain. By the beginning of the 11th century, remaining Brittonic Celtic-speaking populations had split into distinct groups: the Welsh in Wales, the Cornish in Cornwall, the Bretons in Brittany, the Cumbric speaking people of the Hen Ogledd ("Old North") in southern Scotland and northern England, and the remnants of the Pictish people in the north of Scotland. Common Brittonic developed into the distinct Brittonic languages: Welsh, Cumbric, Cornish and Breton.

Cornish people

The Cornish people or Cornish (Cornish: Kernowyon) are a Celtic ethnic group native to, or associated with Cornwall and a recognised national minority in the United Kingdom, which can trace its roots to the ancient Britons who inhabited southern and central Great Britain before the Roman conquest. Many in Cornwall today continue to assert a distinct identity separate from or in addition to English or British identities. Cornish identity has been adopted by migrants into Cornwall, as well as by emigrant and descendant communities from Cornwall, the latter sometimes referred to as the Cornish diaspora. Although not included as an explicit option in the UK census, the numbers of those claiming Cornish ethnic and national identity are officially recognised and recorded.Throughout classical antiquity, the ancient Britons formed a series of tribes, cultures and identities in Great Britain; the Dumnonii and Cornovii were the Celtic tribes who inhabited what was to become Cornwall during the Iron Age, Roman and post-Roman periods. The name Cornwall and its demonym Cornish are derived from the Celtic Cornovii tribe. The Anglo-Saxon invasion and settlement of Britain in the 5th to 6th centuries restricted the Romano-British culture and language gradually into the north and west of Great Britain whilst the inhabitants of southern and eastern Britain became English. The Cornish people, who shared the Brythonic language with the Welsh and Bretons across the sea, were referred to in the Old English language as the "Westwalas" meaning West Welsh. The Battle of Deorham between the Britons and Anglo-Saxons is thought to have resulted in a loss of landlinks with the people of Wales.The Cornish people and their Brythonic Cornish language experienced a process of anglicisation and attrition during the Medieval and early Modern Period. By the 18th century, and following the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Cornish language and identity had faded, largely replaced by the English language (albeit Cornish-influenced West Country dialects and Anglo-Cornish) and/or British identity. A Celtic revival during the early-20th century enabled a cultural self-consciousness in Cornwall that revitalised the Cornish language and roused the Cornish to express a distinctly Celtic heritage. The Cornish language was granted official recognition under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in 2002, and in 2014 the Cornish people were recognised and afforded protection by the UK Government under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.In the 2011 census, the population of Cornwall, including the Isles of Scilly, was estimated to be 532,300. The Cornish self-government movement has called for greater recognition of Cornish culture, politics and language, and urged that Cornish people be accorded greater status, exemplified by the call for them to be one of the listed ethnic groups in the United Kingdom Census 2011 form.

Daco-Roman

The term Daco-Roman describes the Romanized culture of Dacia under the rule of the Roman Empire.

Gallo-Roman culture

The term "Gallo-Roman" describes the Romanized culture of Gaul under the rule of the Roman Empire. This was characterized by the Gaulish adoption or adaptation of Roman morals and way of life in a uniquely Gaulish context. The well-studied meld of cultures in Gaul gives historians a model against which to compare and contrast parallel developments of Romanization in other, less-studied Roman provinces.

Interpretatio romana offered Roman names for Gaulish deities such as the smith-god Gobannus, but of Celtic deities only the horse-patroness Epona penetrated Romanized cultures beyond the confines of Gaul.The barbarian invasions beginning in the early fifth century forced upon Gallo-Roman culture fundamental changes in politics, in the economic underpinning, in military organization. The Gothic settlement of 418 offered a double loyalty, as Western Roman authority disintegrated at Rome. The plight of the highly Romanized governing class is examined by R.W. Mathisen, the struggles of bishop Hilary of Arles by M. Heinzelmann.Into the seventh century, Gallo-Roman culture would persist particularly in the areas of Gallia Narbonensis that developed into Occitania, Cisalpine Gaul, Orléanais, and to a lesser degree, Gallia Aquitania. The formerly Romanized north of Gaul, once it had been occupied by the Franks, would develop into Merovingian culture instead. Roman life, centered on the public events and cultural responsibilities of urban life in the res publica and the sometimes luxurious life of the self-sufficient rural villa system, took longer to collapse in the Gallo-Roman regions, where the Visigoths largely inherited the status quo in 418. Gallo-Roman language persisted in the northeast into the Silva Carbonaria that formed an effective cultural barrier with the Franks to the north and east, and in the northwest to the lower valley of the Loire, where Gallo-Roman culture interfaced with Frankish culture in a city like Tours and in the person of that Gallo-Roman bishop confronted with Merovingian royals, Gregory of Tours. Based on mutual intelligibility, David Dalby counts seven languages descended from Gallo-Romance: Gallo-Wallon, French, Franco-Provençal (Arpitan), Romansh, Ladin, Friulian, and Lombard. However, other definitions are far broader, variously encompassing the Rhaeto-Romance languages, Occitano-Romance languages, and Gallo-Italic languages.

Insular Celts

The Insular Celts are the speakers of the Insular Celtic languages, which comprise all the living Celtic languages as well as their precursors, but the term is mostly used in reference to the peoples of the British Iron Age prior to the Roman conquest, and their contemporaries in Ireland.

According to older theories, the Insular Celtic languages spread throughout the islands in the course of the insular Iron Age. But this is now doubted by most scholars, who see the languages as already present, and possibly dominant, in the Bronze Age. At some point the languages split into the two major groups, Goidelic in Ireland and Brittonic in Great Britain, corresponding to the population groups of the Goidels (Gaels) on one hand and the Britons and the Picts on the other. The extent to which these peoples ever formed a distinct ethnic group remains unclear. While there are early records of the Continental Celtic languages, allowing a comparatively confident reconstruction of Proto-Celtic, Insular Celtic languages become attested in connected texts only at the end of the Dark Ages, from around the 7th century AD, by which time they had become mutually incomprehensible.

Kingdom of Kent

The Kingdom of the Kentish (Old English: Cantaware Rīce; Latin: Regnum Cantuariorum), today referred to as the Kingdom of Kent, was an early medieval kingdom in what is now South East England. It existed from either the fifth or the sixth century CE until it was fully absorbed into the Kingdom of England in the tenth century.

Under the preceding Romano-British administration the area of Kent faced repeated attacks from seafaring raiders during the fourth century CE. It is likely that Germanic-speaking foederati were invited to settle in the area as mercenaries. Following the end of Roman administration, in 410, further linguistically Germanic tribal groups moved into the area, as testified by both archaeological evidence and Late Anglo-Saxon textual sources. The primary ethnic group to settle in the area appears to have been the Jutes: they established their Kingdom in East Kent and may initially have been under the dominion of the Kingdom of Francia. It has been argued that an East Saxon community initially settled in West Kent, but was conquered by the expanding kingdom of East Kent in the sixth century.

The earliest recorded King of Kent was Æthelberht, who, as Bretwalda, wielded significant influence over other Anglo-Saxon kings in the late sixth century. The Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons began in Kent during Æthelberht's reign with the arrival of the monk Augustine of Canterbury and his Gregorian mission in 597.

Kent was one of the seven kingdoms of the so-called Anglo-Saxon heptarchy, but it lost its independence in the 8th century when it became a sub-kingdom of Mercia. In the 9th century it became a sub-kingdom of Wessex, and in the 10th century it became part of the unified Kingdom of England that was created under the leadership of Wessex. Its name has been carried forward ever since as the county of Kent.

Knowledge of Anglo-Saxon Kent comes from scholarly study of Late Anglo-Saxon texts such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Ecclesiastical History of the English People, as well as archaeological evidence such as that left by early medieval cemeteries and settlements, and toponymical (place-name) evidence.

List of Roman hoards in Great Britain

The list of Roman hoards in Britain comprises significant archaeological hoards of coins, jewellery, precious and scrap metal objects and other valuable items discovered in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) that are associated with period of Romano-British culture when Southern Britain was under the control of the Roman Empire, from AD 43 until about 410, as well as the subsequent Sub-Roman period up to the establishment of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. It includes both hoards that were buried with the intention of retrieval at a later date (personal hoards, founder's hoards, merchant's hoards, and hoards of loot), and also hoards of votive offerings which were not intended to be recovered at a later date, but excludes grave goods and single items found in isolation.

Most Roman hoards are composed largely or entirely of coins, and are relatively common in Britain, with over 1,200 known examples. A smaller number of hoards, such as the Mildenhall Treasure and the Hoxne Hoard, include items of silver or gold tableware such as dishes, bowls, jugs and spoons, or items of silver or gold jewellery.

London Wall

The London Wall was the defensive wall first built by the Romans around Londinium, their strategically important port town on the River Thames in what is now London, England, and subsequently maintained until the 18th century.

It is now the name of a road in the City of London running along part of the course of the old wall between Wormwood Street and the Rotunda junction where St. Martin's Le Grand meets Aldersgate Street. Until the later Middle Ages, the wall defined the boundaries of the City of London.

Mill Hill Anglo-Saxon cemetery

Mill Hill Anglo-Saxon cemetery is a place of burial. It is located close to the town of Deal in Kent, South-East England. Belonging to the Middle Anglo-Saxon period, it was part of the much wider tradition of burial in Early Anglo-Saxon England.

Mill Hill was an inhumation-only cemetery, with no evidence of cremation.

Roman Britain

Roman Britain (Latin: Britannia or, later, Britanniae, "the Britains") was the area of the island of Great Britain that was governed by the Roman Empire, from 43 to 410 AD. It comprised almost the whole of England and Wales and, for a short period, southern Scotland.

Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 55 and 54 BC as part of his Gallic Wars. According to Caesar, the Britons had been overrun or culturally assimilated by other Celtic tribes during the British Iron Age and had been aiding Caesar's enemies. He received tribute, installed the friendly king Mandubracius over the Trinovantes, and returned to Gaul. Planned invasions under Augustus were called off in 34, 27, and 25 BC. In 40 AD, Caligula assembled 200,000 men at the Channel on the continent, only to have them gather seashells (musculi) according to Suetonius, perhaps as a symbolic gesture to proclaim Caligula's victory over the sea. Three years later, Claudius directed four legions to invade Britain and restore the exiled king Verica over the Atrebates. The Romans defeated the Catuvellauni, and then organized their conquests as the Province of Britain (Latin: Provincia Britannia). By the year 47, the Romans held the lands southeast of the Fosse Way. Control over Wales was delayed by reverses and the effects of Boudica's uprising, but the Romans expanded steadily northward.

The conquest of Britain continued under command of Gnaeus Julius Agricola (77–84), who expanded the Roman Empire as far as Caledonia. In the summer of 84, Agricola faced the armies of the Caledonians, led by Calgacus, at the Battle of Mons Graupius. Battle casualties were estimated by Tacitus to be around the 10,000's on the Caledonian side and about 360 on the Roman side. The bloodbath at Mons Graupius concluded the forty-year conquest of Britain, a period that saw between 100,000 and 250,000 Britons killed. In the context of pre-industrial warfare and of a total population of Britain of c.2 million, these are very high figures.Under the 2nd-century emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, two walls were built to defend the Roman province from the Caledonians, whose realms in the Scottish Highlands were never controlled. Around 197, the Severan Reforms divided Britain into two provinces: Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior. During the Diocletian Reforms, at the end of the 3rd century, Britannia was divided into four provinces under the direction of a vicarius, who administered the Diocese of the Britains. A fifth province, Valentia, is attested in the later 4th century. For much of the later period of the Roman occupation, Britannia was subject to barbarian invasions and often came under the control of imperial usurpers and imperial pretenders. The final Roman withdrawal from Britain occurred around 410; the native kingdoms are considered to have formed Sub-Roman Britain after that.

Following the conquest of the Britons, a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged as the Romans introduced improved agriculture, urban planning, industrial production, and architecture. The Roman goddess Britannia became the female personification of Britain. After the initial invasions, Roman historians generally only mention Britain in passing. Thus, most present knowledge derives from archaeological investigations and occasional epigraphic evidence lauding the Britannic achievements of an emperor. Roman citizens settled in Britain from many parts of the Empire.

Romanization (cultural)

Romanization or Latinization (or Romanisation or Latinisation), in the historical and cultural meanings of both terms, indicate different historical processes, such as acculturation, integration and assimilation of newly incorporated and peripheral populations by the Roman Republic and the later Roman Empire.

Ancient Roman historiography and Italian historiography until the fascist period used to call the various processes the "civilizing of barbarians".

Romano-Germanic culture

The term Romano-Germanic describes the conflation of Roman culture with that of various Germanic peoples in areas successively ruled by the Roman Empire and Germanic "barbarian monarchies".

These include the kingdoms of the Visigoths (in Hispania and Gallia Narbonensis), the Ostrogoths (in Italia, Sicilia, Raetia, Noricum, Pannonia, Dalmatia and Dacia), the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in Sub-Roman Britain and finally the Franks who established the nucleus of the later "Holy Roman Empire" in Gallia Aquitania, Gallia Lugdunensis, Gallia Belgica, Germania Superior and Inferior, and parts of the previously unconquered Germania Magna. Additionally, minor Germanic tribes, like the Vandals, the Suebi, and the Visigoths established kingdoms in Hispania.

The cultural syncretism of Roman and Germanic traditions overlaid the earlier syncretism of Roman culture with the Celtic culture of the respective imperial provinces, Gallo-Roman culture in Gaul and Romano-British culture in Britain. This results in a triple fusion of Celtic-Roman-Germanic culture for France and England in particular.

Romano-Germanic cultural contact begins as early as the first Roman accounts of the Germanic peoples. Roman influence is perceptible beyond the boundaries of the empire, in the Northern European Roman Iron Age of the first centuries AD. The nature of this cultural contact changes with the decline of the Roman Empire and the beginning Migration period in the wake of the crisis of the third century: the "barbarian" peoples of Germania Magna formerly known as mercenaries and traders now came as invaders and eventually as a new ruling elite, even in Italy itself, beginning with Odoacer's rise to the rank of Dux Italiae in 476 AD.

The cultural syncretism was most pronounced in Francia. In West Francia, the nucleus of what was to become France, the Frankish language was eventually extinct, but not without leaving significant traces in the emerging Romance language. In East Francia on the other hand, the nucleus of what was to become the kingdom of Germany and ultimately German-speaking Europe, the syncretism was less pronounced since only its southernmost portion had ever been part of the Roman Empire, as Germania Superior: all territories on the right hand side of the Rhine remain Germanic-speaking. Those parts of the Germanic sphere extends along the left of the Rhine, including the Swiss plateau, the Alsace, the Rhineland and Flanders, are the parts where Romano-Germanic cultural contact remains most evident.

Early Germanic law reflects the coexistence of Roman and Germanic cultures during the Migration period in applying separate laws to Roman and Germanic individuals, notably the Lex Romana Visigothorum (506), the Lex Romana Curiensis and the Lex Romana Burgundionum. The separate cultures amalgamated after Christianization, and by the Carolingian period the distinction of Roman vs. Germanic subjects had been replaced by the feudal system of the Three Estates of the Realm.

Sarre Anglo-Saxon cemetery

Sarre Anglo-Saxon cemetery is a place of burial that was used in the sixth and seventh centuries CE.

Welsh people

The Welsh (Welsh: Cymry) are a Celtic nation and ethnic group native to, or otherwise associated with, Wales, Welsh culture, Welsh history and the Welsh language. Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living in Wales are British citizens.The language, which falls within the Insular Celtic family, has historically been spoken throughout Wales, with its predecessor Common Brittonic once spoken throughout most of the island of Great Britain. Prior to the 20th century, large numbers of Welsh people spoke only Welsh, with little or no fluent knowledge of English. Welsh remains the predominant language in parts of Wales, particularly in North Wales and West Wales. English is the predominant language in South Wales. Many Welsh people, even in predominately English-speaking areas of Wales, are fluent or semi-fluent in Welsh or, to varying degrees, capable of speaking or understanding Welsh at limited or conversational proficiency levels. Although the Welsh language and its ancestors have been spoken in what is now Wales since well before the Roman incursions into Britain, historian John Davies argues that the origin of the "Welsh nation" can be traced to the late 4th and early 5th centuries, following the Roman departure. The term "Welsh people" applies to people from Wales and people of Welsh ancestry perceiving themselves or being perceived as sharing a cultural heritage and shared ancestral origins.In 2016, an analysis of the geography of Welsh surnames commissioned by the Welsh Government found that 718,000 people (nearly 35% of the Welsh population) have a family name of Welsh origin, compared with 5.3% in the rest of the United Kingdom, 4.7% in New Zealand, 4.1% in Australia, and 3.8% in the United States, with an estimated 16.3 million people in the countries studied having at least partial Welsh ancestry. Over 300,000 Welsh people live in London alone.

Woolmer Forest

Woolmer Forest is a royal hunting forest. It lies within the western Weald in the South Downs National Park, straddling the border between east Hampshire and West Sussex. Covering an area of some 1,293.9 hectares (3,197 acres), it is both a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Historically a largely treeless heathland on sterile sandy soils, the forest was traditionally managed, like other royal forests, as "wood pasture" in which deer would be kept for hunting by the aristocracy for sport and for venison, and where commoners were permitted to graze their livestock. The forest today consists of both dry and humid lowland heath. It contains the largest and most diverse area of lowland heathland habitats outside the New Forest and is considered to be the most important area of heathland in the Weald of southern England; it is the only site in England known to support all twelve known native species of reptiles and amphibians, and it supports a nationally important heathland flora with associated birds and invertebrate fauna.Woolmer village lies within the confines of the forest.

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