Their earliest known homeland is in the eastern-central portion of the Jutland penninsula, which still incudes the peninsula of Angeln, presumably the heartland of Old Anglia.
The supposed ancestor of the Angles appears in Saxo Grammaticus’ History of the Danes, written at some period between 1208 and 1218. Book 1 tells very briefly that the brothers Dan and Angul, the sons of a certain Humbli, gained rule over the territory of their people with the consent of those people, although at that period in time the title king was still unknown.
Saxo writes (as translated by Oliver Elton):
Of these two, Angul, the fountain, so runs the tradition, of the beginnings of the Anglian race, caused his name to be applied to the district which he ruled. This was an easy kind of memorial wherewith to immortalise his fame: for his successors a little later, when they gained possession of Britain, changed the original name of the island for a fresh title, that of their own land.
From that point Saxon turns to Dan and his descendants and speaks no more of Angul or his descendants, save in passing when the English are mentioned.
Dan himself, ancestor of the Danes, appears in some other works, but in none of these is Dan the son of anyone with a name like Humbli and in none of these does Dan have a brother with a name anything like Angul.
Settlement in BritainEdit
From the Angles, that is, the country which is called Anglia, and which is said, from that time, to remain desert to this day, between the provinces of the Jutes and the Saxons, are descended the East Angles, the Midland Angles, Mercians, all the race of the Northumbrians, that is, of those nations that dwell on the north side of the river Humber, and the other nations of the English.
The Historia Brittonum connects the area which later became Northumbria with Hengist’s sons Oisc and Ebissa as do Geoffrey of Monmouth, Wace, and Lawman. Nowhere are we given any historical writings about the early kings of these northern territories, if indeed they had kings, until the emergence of King Ida of Bernicia who died in 559.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:
Ida was son of Eoppa, Eoppa of Esa, Esa of Ingui, Ingui of Angenwit, Angenwit of Aloc, Aloc of Benoc, Benoc of Brand, Brand of Bældæg, Bældæg of Woden.
According to the Historia Brittonum:
Woden begat Beldeg, who begat Beornec, who begat Gethbrond, who begat Aluson, who begat Ingwi, who begat Edibrith, who begat Esa, who begat Eoppa, who begat Ida.
Believe which genealogy you will, if you wish to believe. The lines of descent differ after tracing Ida up to Ingui/Ingwi although they join again in Bædæg/Beldeg son of Woden.
For Deira to the south, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle relates:
Ælle was son of Yffe, Yffe of Uxfrea, Uxfrea of Wilgisl, Wilgisl of Westerfalca, Westerfalca of Sæfugl, Sæfugl of Sæbald, Sæbald of Sigegeat, Sigegeat of Swebdæg, Swebdæg of Sigegar, Sigegar of Wægdæg, Wægdæg of Woden.
The Historia Brittonum relates:
Woden begat Beldeg, Brond begat Siggar, who begat Sibald, who begat Zegulf, who begat Soemil, who first separated Deur from Berneich (Deira from Bernicia.) Soemil begat Sguerthing, who begat Giulglis, who begat Ulfrea, who begat Iffi, who begat Ulli, Edwin, Osfrid, and Eanfrid.
These genealogies are the same up to Wilgisl/Giulglis and only join again with Woden. See Hengist#Ancestry for how the first of these genealogies goes up to supposed kindred of Hengist. For the kingdom of Lindesfarne, otherwise unmentioned, there is a genealogy in the “Anglian Collection”:
Aldfrith Eating, Eata Eanferthing, Eanferth Bisceoping, Beoscep Beding, Beda Bubbing, Bubba Cædbæding, Cædbęd Cwedgilsing, Cwedgils Cretting, Cretta Winting, Winta Wodning.
Anglican Collection GenealogiesEdit
- Anglian royal genealogies in Wright, Thomas (Ed.). (1845), Reliquiæ antiquæ: Scraps from ancient manuscripts (Vol. II) (pp. 171–3). London: John Russell Smith.
- Matthews, Keith (2006). The ‘Anglian Collection’ of royal genealogies. In Keith’s history pages.
- Retrieved from http://www.kmatthews.org.uk/history/anglian_collection.html
Saxo Grammaticus’ History of the DanesEdit
- Fisher, Peter (Trans.), & Davidson, Hilda Ellis (Ed.). (1979). Saxo Grammaticus: The History of the Danes, Books I-IX (Vol. I English Text, Vol. II. Commentary (Bks. 1-9)). Cambridge: D. S. Brewer.
- Preview of 2006 edition retrieved from http://books.google.ca/books?id=QWQUcg39P3wC&lpg=PP1&dq=inauthor%3Asaxo%20inauthor%3Agrammaticus&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
- Elton, Oliver (Trans.). (1905). The Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus. New York: Norroena Society. (Reprinted 2008 by Forgotten Books.)
Some Name VariationsEdit
LATIN: Angli; FRENCH: Englois; ENGLISH: Englisce; MALORY: Englysshemen.