Episode 29: The Anglo-Saxon Invasion

The Anglo-Saxons arrived in the British shores as permanent settlers in the 5th century. They encountered native Britons who spoke Latin and Celtic languages. The two groups soon fought for control of the region we know today as England.  We explore this period of ‘lost’ history by examining the few pieces of written and archaeological evidence which survive.


10 thoughts on “Episode 29: The Anglo-Saxon Invasion

      • Hi John. It has been quite a long time since I researched this episode, so I don’t have my sources for those numbers. Here is a link to demographia.com which shows the population of London over time:


        There was a general decrease in the population during the late Roman period, and the population didn’t reach that level again until the post-Norman period. But you are correct, the population density during the Roman period must have been quite significant.

  1. Hi Kevin! Don’t know if you look into this later on but, from my understanding, the Cornish are doing their best to re-introduce their language, much like was done with Welsh recently. Might be something interesting to look up more about… Love the podcast!

  2. Re the naming of the invaders. You are probably aware that the English are referred to as “Saeson” by us Welsh and their language is “Saesneg”.
    So no change there.
    The Breton language is very close to Cymraeg and is reasonably easily understood by us, in it’s written form at least. My one attempt to speak to a Breton guy involved a lot of French and English words but given time I believe it would have been fruitful.
    Thanks for the podcast
    Diolch am y podlediad.

  3. In case you ever go back and fix these things, at around 29’10” there’s a slight slip where you say the Saxons were conquered by the Britons.

    I’m loving this podcast, dude. It’s a work of exceptional quality. ?

  4. I’m a latecomer to this party. Kevin your podcasts have greatly increased my running distances as I float along in a linguistic trance.
    Just a point on episode 29 – re the 2 unique oddities of English usage , in particular the present continuous (” I am writing this”). In fact this also happens in Italian and Spanish eg Sto guardando ( It.” I am looking” )using the same combination of to be and the gerund.

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