The years between the collapse of the Roman government in Britain in the early years of the fifth century and the arrival of St Augustine at the end of the sixth were a period of significant change.
During that time, the physical character of the people and their language and institutions were completely altered .
While this likely indicates a heavy proportion of Saxons in the early raids and settlement, many other tribes were involved.
Significantly, Britain came to be called England after the Angles rather than Saxony .
Where he does discuss historical events, Gildas should be treated as telling the truth as he understands it.
The people he was writing for would be aware of the events he was describing and it would have defeated his purpose to distort the truth.
Primary literary sources FOLLOWING PAGES: Mercia's British Alliance RULERS OF BRITAIN: Cantware West Saxons Thames Valley Saxons Lindisware Caer Celemion Caer Gwinntguic British Church EXTERNAL LINK: British Museum Anglo-Saxons A Saxon shield from the early settlement period Both British and English literary sources describing the arrival of the Germanic tribes in the fifth century are available as well as sources from outside the country.
The majority of these sources are distant in time and space from the events they are describing and therefore need to be treated carefully.
‘The Shambles’ is sometimes used as a general term for the maze of twisting, narrow lanes which make York so charming.
At its heart is the lane actually called the Shambles, arguably the best preserved medieval street in the world.
The pavements are raised either side of the cobbled street to form a channel where the butchers would wash away their offal and blood twice a week.
In some sections of the Shambles it is possible to touch both sides of the street with your arms outstretched.
From internal evidence, most sources place Gildas' birth forty-four years after a battle at Mount Badon which is generally dated around AD 500 .