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AI image of Anglo-Saxon soldiers fighting in battle. Source: Sarah/Adobe Stock

How Violent Were the Anglo-Saxons Really? (Video)


The Anglo-Saxons, comprised of diverse tribes such as the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, arrived in Britain during the 5th century, following the decline of Roman influence. While historical narratives often depict them as violent conquerors, modern research paints a more nuanced picture of their integration into British society. Contrary to earlier beliefs, archaeological findings suggest that their interactions with the native Britons were not marked by widespread genocide. Instead, the Anglo-Saxons settled in Britain peacefully over time, coexisting with the existing Celtic populations.

Burial customs provide valuable insights into Anglo-Saxon society. Sites like Sutton Hoo and Spong Hill reveal the wealth of artifacts and burial practices, indicating social status, religious beliefs, and cultural traditions. While conflicts and raids were not uncommon, daily life for the Anglo-Saxons revolved around farming, craftsmanship, trade, and communal activities.

The socio-political structure of Anglo-Saxon England was complex, with ealdormen holding political and judicial power, while priests provided spiritual guidance. The majority of the population were farmers, supplemented by craftsmen, traders, and entertainers.

Despite occasional violence and threats, the Anglo-Saxons enjoyed cultural pursuits such as drinking, dancing, and storytelling. Understanding the intricacies of Anglo-Saxon society challenges simplistic narratives of brutality, offering a more nuanced perspective on early medieval British history.

Top image: AI image of Anglo-Saxon soldiers fighting in battle. Source: Sarah/Adobe Stock

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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