Wednesday, July 19, 2006

'Apartheid' put AngloSaxons on the woad to supremacy
"The Anglo-Saxons who conquered England in the fifth century set up a system of apartheid that enabled them to master and outbreed the native British majority, according to gene research published on Wednesday. In less than 15 generations, more than half of the population in England had the genes of the invaders, investigators say."
[ . . . ]
The Anglo-Saxons -- Germanic tribes who lived in present-day Germany, northern Holland and Denmark -- invaded Britain in 450 AD after the fall of the Roman empire. They conquered England but were unable to penetrate far into the Celtic fringes of what are now Wales and Scotland. They coincidentally prompted an exodus of Britons to what is now Brittany, France.

The population of England at that time was probably around two million while the number of Anglo-Saxons was minute: the lowest estimate puts the number of migrants at less than than 10,000 some 200 years after the invasion, although others put it at more than 100,000.

How could such a tiny minority have ruled a country so emphatically? How could it skirt assimilation with the native British majority and impose a language, laws, economy and culture whose stamp is visible today?

The answer, suggest Thomas and colleagues: an "apartheid-like social structure" that enshrined Anglo-Saxons as the master and the native Britons (called "Welshmen", from the Germanic word for slave) as the servants.


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