Eras and Their Highlights

The Middle Ages

Who were the Saxons?

Saxons were a Germanic people who in the second century lived in southern Jutland, in the area of present-day Denmark and northwestern Germany. During the next two centuries the Saxons raided the coastal areas of the North Sea. By about 400, they had reached northern Gaul, the ancient country that occupied the area west and south of the Rhine River, west of the Alps, and north of the Pyrenees Mountains (roughly modern-day France, Belgium, Luxembourg, part of Germany, and part of the Netherlands). By about 450, as Roman rule was declining, the Saxons had reached England, where they merged with the Angles and began setting up Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. The Anglo-Saxons dominated England until it was conquered by Danish Vikings (under the leadership of Canute) in 1016.


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