I find that easy to accept. But of course, that goes for immigrants who
go to a new country where they adapt. In the case of Anglo-Saxon
England, it's much more difficult to set up such a simple model, since
it depends on so many factors.
How many Britons kept speaking Brythonic? Until how late? And how many
spoke English as a second language? When did the change come? Fast and
furious or over centuries? Maybe the Germanic immigrants had been living
in Britain far longer than we assumed? I think that's one of the points
behind the 'apartheid' model - a minority forcing a majority to adapt to
their culture, their language. But why can't that have happened
voluntarily? To take part in the new culture?
Sure, I could imagine massive immigrations that lead to a society being
forced to adapt to the new language. In fact, that's what I used to
think did happen in Britain before I first learned about the signs of
continuity (I, too, grew up with tales of reforestation and massive
Roman ruins being shunned by Saxon immigrants who founded new
settlements and cut the trees again).
Even in a milder model of assimilation and adaptation, I could envisage
a population that has only one choice if it wants to take part in the
new elite, and that is adapt to the culture of that group, and speak
But maybe it was even less forced, purely by attraction? I know it's
totally alien to some to even think that way of the 'Anglo-Saxon'
culture, in regards of the 'vastly superior' (not my choice of words)
Roman culture. Maybe the Britons actually liked what the Saxons had to
offer? Something like what happened after the initial Arab conquest of
North Africa and Spain - these invaders were also a minority, with a new
religion and a new language. They did not massacre the native, nor force
them away, but gradually all came to speak Arabic.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: British archaeology discussion list
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> On Behalf Of Bea Hopkinson
> Sent: maandag 24 juli 2006 23:00
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Continuity of Brythonic society'
> If we look at our own mixed societies today we find bi-lingual ability
> least in the first immigrant generation, then a gradual dying out of
> language in the second and third and so on. Why cannot we accept this
> antiquity? There are so many complexities in integrating societies
> wiping them out would NOT seem very sensible if you want them to
> to work and communicate with you, the conqueror. They would also have
> translators. Like Robert I thought that archaeological evidence has
> shown the anhiliation theory to be no longer acceptable.