There is a blank period in my mind when it comes to northern Europe and England between the fall of Rome and the rise of the Vikings, eight hundred years later. Eight hundred years is a long time to know nothing about.
This is what reading this account of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes of Britain was great for.
Here is an excerpt:
"Such,' he said,'O King, seems to me the present life of men on earth, in comparison with that time which to us is uncertain, as if when on a winter's night you sit feasting with your ealdormen and thegnsö a single sparrow should fly swiftly into the hall, and coming in at one door, instantly fly out through another. In that time in which it is indoors it is indeed not touched by the fury of the winter, and yet, this smallest space of calmness being passed almost in a flash, from winter going into winter again, it is lost to your eyes. Somewhat like this appears the life of man; but of what follows or what went before, we are utterly ignorant.”
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