Britain After Rome: Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings

In 410 AD the Roman Emperor Honorius told a delegation of pleading Britons that they had to look to their own defences against marauding Germanic tribes. The Romans had enough problems of their own. After almost 400 years of rule, Rome abandoned its once treasured province, Britannia. The history of Britain fell into a Dark Age for two centuries. This darkness is gradually being dispelled by new archaeological discoveries. When the Dark Age was over we find a Britain divided into a number of ‘kingdoms’ and dominated by peoples we know as Angles, Saxons and Jutes. These kingdoms would vie with one another for dominance until they found a new enemy keen to make Britain home – the Vikings. Three weeks after defeating an invading Viking army in the battle of Stamford Bridge, English King Harold Godwinson succumbed to the invasion of William of Normandy in 1066 in the Battle of Hastings. There will be an emphasis on using both archaeological and written evidence from the period.


  • Face-to-Face


  • Nicholas J. Higham and Martin J. Ryan. The Anglo-Saxon World (Yale University Press: 2013)


  • Why the Romans gave up on Britain
  • An examination of the end of the Roman rule and the situation Britain was in as a result
  • The Angles, Saxons and Jutes - who they were and where they came from
  • The landscape of Britain as a result of invasion- was it really an invasion or would 'infiltration' be a better term?
  • Monasticism: the important role of monasteries as guardians of learning and in charting the changes that were taking place in Britain
  • Anglo-Saxon England versus the Vikings - just how Viking did Britain become?
  • The emergence of Scotland
  • Alfred the Great and his successors- who really was the first king of all England?
  • 1066 - The pivotal year in the history of Britain

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