This book has been written as a series of simple questions and concise answers, in the form of an FAQ document. The inspiration for the book comes from the many occasions when the author was asked questions such as "Did they have fire?" or "Didn't they all just wear skins?" or "Did they really have metal?" Perhaps the inability to distinguish between Anglo-Saxons and Palaeolithic cave-dwellers stems from the fact that the Anglo-Saxons are almost invisible in our modern educational time-line - the salient points are 'Romans', 'Vikings', 'Normans', 'Tudors' and 'Victorians' and everything else melds into a generic groups of fur-wearing, club-wielding savages.
More serious - and much harder to answer in a few words - are questions such as "How do you know what Old English sounded like?" or "Couldn't they have kept worshipping their heathen gods away from the church, so it would never have been recorded?" or "What makes you think they had sails on their ships?" These are intelligent questions about which many books and articles have been written, and the answers are perhaps still not accepted as definitive by all.
In these pages you will find an attempt to answer some of those awkward questions you want to ask
- or would rather someone else asked.
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8th century Alcuin Alfred Alfred's Anglian Anglo Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Anglo-Saxon England Anglo-Saxon kingdoms Anglo-Saxon period Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon areas Athelstan Battle of Maldon Bayeux Tapestry Bede Bede's World Beowulf Britain British Britons brooches building burial buried called Celtic Christian church clothing coins common D.M. Wilson Danelaw Danes Danish decorated dress Dyke early Anglo-Saxon East Anglia eastern evidence example excavation favoured feasting female Franks Casket Germanic grave grave-goods heathen helmet important inhabitants Kent Kingship in Anglo-Saxon known land language later Latin manuscripts mediaeval Mercia metal military modern noble Norman northern Europe Northumbria OE name Offa of Mercia Offa's Dyke Old English original perhaps pit-house Pollington pre-Christian Prittlewell probably records religious Roman royal runes sail Scandinavian ship southern spear Suffolk survive Sutton Hoo Sutton Hoo Mound sword texts tradition verse Viking village warriors weapons wearing Welsh Wessex West Saxon West Stow women wooden word