History made immediate
Australian author Michael Kramer earned degrees in architecture and engineering and now adds the Arts to his arsenal. Michael served in the Australian Army during the Vietnam War in 1968-1969. He has published three books – FULL CIRCLE FOR MICK based on the Vietnam War and its aftermath, ANGLO-SAXON INVASION, and FOR THE LOVE OF ARMIN, the last two examine ancient history with an emphasis on the Roman conquests.
Michael is a fine researcher and in his Introduction he shares some little known facts – ‘After A.D. 449, the original homeland of the Engel Tribe (Angle tribe) was left totally deserted because the entire tribe had gone to Britain as a mass migration, which also left several of their longships which were at various stages of construction behind. It is thought that the difference between the Engel longship and the Danish Viking ones may have been that the Engels used a keel plank, whereas the Viking longship which may have appeared more than 110 years later, had a 'T’ shaped keel which gave it better performance in rough weather. What was the reason the Germanic tribes may have gone to Britain? The actual reason is lost in time, but it may have been that the Saxons could not expand toward the west and south west towards the Rhine because the Franks were there. There was pressure coming from Wends who were also living in the Jutland peninsular at the time and the Danes who also needed to expand. Once the Engels left, so did many of the Kimbern and Saxons, this made the entire Jutland peninsular depopulated, a fact not missed by the Danes who moved in and made use of the deserted country-side. Centuries later, the Germans would take back most of the Jutland peninsular. All three Germanic tribes settled in Britain, with the Engels calling where they settled “Engel-land".
In his usual manner of relating the history of ancient peoples Michael spikes our imagination by including all the incidents and facts that today seem more like fairytales or Marvel comics. Not that he jests; he simply writes this fine history of the Anglo Saxon invasion by the Romans in a way that makes it entertaining as well as instructive.
The synopsis distills the facts – ‘In 449 A.D., The call for help from the king of Britons, called Vortigern was answered by the Germanic tribes of Engels (Angles), kimbern and Saxons. all three tribes operated autonomously, but always under the banner of the Saxons with whom the other had amalgamated. The Saxons were therefore dominant among them. they did as vortigern wanted and stopped the raiding by Picks and Scots. After these successes against the enemies of the Britons, the Germanic tribes bought in their women and families and in due course took over much of the British Islands. in time, these Germanic tribes became the English people.’
Fine writing, well considered research, and a sense of immediacy make this a fine history book. Where will Michael take us next?
Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.