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acknowledged their supremacy, but the death of Offa, King of Mercia, in 796, marked the decline of Mercian power. Four years later Egbert, King of Wessex, who had been deprived of his kingdom and driven into exile by Offa, returned to Britain, and was restored to his throne by the West Saxon people (Collier, 800; Green, 802). He signalized his return by a march into Cornwall, the purpose of which was the subjugation of this remnant of the British in the southwest. This accomplished, he turned his attention to the Mercians, who had advanced into the heart of Wiltshire, and defeated them at Ellandum (modern Allington or Wilton), in 825,8 after which Kent, Essex, Northumbria, and East Anglia submitted to his sword; then, for the first time, the whole English race was united under one king.


Dr. O. F. Emerson, quoting Kluge's "History of English Speech, says that Kluge "sums up the whole as it relates to settlement in these words: 'The Jutes settled Kent, the Isle of Wight, and the neighboring parts of Hampshire. The Saxons occupied the banks of the Thames and the remaining portion of England southward. The rest of England was possessed by the Angles.'

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The facts relating to the settlement of England, as hereinbefore shown, may be summarized as follows:


Reputed Landing of Hengest and Horsa..


The Kingdom of KENT, founded by the Jutes under

Hengest ..


The Kingdom of SUSSEX (embracing Sussex and Sur-
rey) founded by the South Saxons under Ella .. 491

Green's "A History of the English People," p. 65.
"History of the English Language," p. 42.

10 "Geschichte der englischen Sprache."

The Kingdom of WESSEX (embracing Hants, Wilts, Dorset, and Devon), founded by the West Saxons under Cerdic

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The Kingdom of EAST SAXONY (embracing Essex and
Middlesex), founded by the East Saxons under





The Kingdom of BERNICIA (called also NORTHUMBRIA)
was founded by the Angles under Ida ..
The Kingdom of DEIRA, founded by the Angles under
Ella ..

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The Kingdom of EAST ANGLIA (embracing Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridge), founded by the East Angles under Uffa

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The Kingdom of MERCIA (embracing the Midland counties), founded by the Angles under Cridda BERNICIA and DEIRA (the eastern shore of Britain, from the Humber to the Forth), finally united


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The foregoing has been written to familiarize the reader with the distribution over Britain of the tribes whose language formed the nucleus of our own-the Anglo-Saxon tongue. Marsh" tells us that, while we have no historical proof by which we can identify the Anglo-Saxon language, and the people who spoke it, with any dialect and nation of Continental Europe, we have linguistic evidence of a commingling of nations in the body of intruders, yet that there is no proof that Anglo-Saxon was ever spoken anywhere but on the soil of Great Britain. Therefore, he explains that Anglo-Saxon was a new speech resulting from the fusion of many elements rather than a transplantation of the Heliand and other remains of Old Saxon.

Originally the Germanic tribes that inhabited Britain were known by various names, according to the region from which they came. Angles, Saxons, and Jutes were in the

11 "Lectures on English Language," by George P. Marsh, p. 35.

majority, but the terms "Angle" and "English" were not used to designate them until later. Ethelbert, King of Kent, styled himself and his people as Angles. Dr. Freeman12 claims that the term "Anglo-Saxon" is a mere contraction of the phrase "Angles and Saxons, but other authorities,13 who preceded him, assert that the term was used to distinguish the Saxons of England from the Saxons of the Continent. The preponderance of authority is in favor of the latter explanation, for in English we have the forms Angul-Seaxna and Ongol-Saxna, while in Latin we have Angul-Saxones and Angli-Saxones. If the Old English "Angel eyn," or, as it is sometimes written, "ongol eyn," renders "English kin" as it is commonly transcribed, it is evident that "Angul-Seaxe," or "OngolSaxe," must be transcribed into "English Saxons." Yet Freeman's explanation, if supported by the language, would be more satisfactory, especially when the term AngloSaxon was applied to the ruler of the land-the King of the Angles of the North and of the Saxons of the South. The term "Anglo-Saxon" is not found in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle," which refers to the five languages in use in Britain as "English, British, Scotch, Pictish, and Latin," nor is it in the "Latin Chronicle of the Anglo-Saxon Kings" by Ethelward (Fabius Quaestor Ethelwerdus), a work which consists mainly of a condensation of Bede's "Ecclesiastical History" and the "Anglo-Saxon Chron


The people ruled by Edgar and Harold called themselves "English kin." King Alfred, although only King of the

12 Edward Augustus Freeman, "History of the Norman Conquest." 13 William Camden's "Britannia, or a Chronological Description of England, Scotland, and Ireland," and John Mitchell Kemble, "Remains Concerning Britain."

West Saxons, is referred to in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" as "King of all the English kin except the part that was under the wield of the Danes."

In the languages of the world the English tongue may be classified as belonging to the West Teutonic branch of the Teutonic sub-family in the Indo-European division. It is regarded as belonging to the Low Germanic group of the Gothic languages. "What is now called the German language, therefore, though of the same Gothic stock, belongs to a different branch from our own. We are only distantly related to the Germans proper, or the race among whom the language and literature now known as the German have originated and grown up. We are, at least in respect of language, more nearly akin to the Dutch and the Flemings than we are to the Germans. It may even be doubted if the English language ought not to be regarded as having more of a Scandinavian than of a purely Germanic character-as, in other words, more nearly resembling the Danish or Swedish than the modern German. The invading bands by whom it was originally brought over to Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries were in all probability drawn in great part from the Scandinavian countries. At a later date, too, the population of England was directly recruited from Denmark, and the other regions around the Baltic to a large extent. From about the middle of the ninth century the population of all the eastern and northern parts of the country was as much Danish as English. And soon after the beginning of the eleventh century the sovereignty was acquired by the Danes. ''14

14 G. L. Craik, "English Literature and Language," Vol. I, p. 49.


English: Its Growth

Of all the languages of the earth English, in its vocabulary, is the most heterogeneous. Almost every nation has contributed to it until words from the Hebrew, Celtic, Latin, Greek, Saxon, Danish, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, German, Arabic, Persian, Chinese, Japanese, Hindu, Maori, Hawaiian, Russian, Turkish, and even American-Indian may be found in one great agglomeration in the English dictionary.

In the history of the language and its literature there are four periods:

(1) The first, commonly spoken of as the Anglo-Saxon period, and more recently sometimes termed Old English or Oldest English, dates from the earliest Teutonic speech in England, A.D. 450 to A.D. 1150. This was the period of full inflection.

(2) The second, designated as the Early Middle English, during which French words in large numbers. were introduced into the language. This period extended from A.D. 1150 to A.D. 1350, which should be divided into two separate periods (a) 1150 to 1250, during which the inflections were broken up; and (b) 1250 to 1350, which marked the introduction of French words.

(3) The third, or Chaucerian Period, better known as the Old English of literature, now commonly called the Late Middle English, during which the Saxon and Norman and

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