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Tres cyulae. Portrait des Saxons en navigateurs

Abstract : This paper aims to overview the nautical details in all major insular written sources mentioning the aduentus Saxonum, from Gildas’ De Excidio Britanniae in the sixth century down to Geoffrey of Monmouth in the twelfth century, including Bede, the Historia Brittonum, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and its Latin adaptations, and early Anglo-Norman Latin historians. All of those sources agree on the fact that the Saxons arrived in several waves, beginning with the arrival of “three long ships”: the ancestors of all Southern English dynasties are said to have arrived in a number of ships. It seems that, alongside Gildas’ version (interpolated or not) of the events, there existed local narratives of origin in Kent and the neighbouring kingdoms. All came to be confronted and modified around 700 in Kent and Wessex, opening the way for Bede’s and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’s harmonizing accounts. As time went on, the number of aduentus and the number of ships increased in the sources, their nautical vocabulary became more complex and varied, culminating in Geoffrey’s intricate and widely exaggerated narrative.
Keywords : Anglo-Saxon England
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Submitted on : Saturday, November 16, 2019 - 2:30:08 PM
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Alban Gautier. Tres cyulae. Portrait des Saxons en navigateurs. Alban Gautier; Michelle Szkilnik; Marc Rolland. Arthur, la mer et la guerre, 26, Classiques Garnier, pp.47-66, 2017, Rencontres - Civilisation médiévale. ⟨hal-02186787⟩



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