Saxon, Anglo-Saxon, Frisian, Jutes

Historical Overview Section

The Saxons or Saxon people were a confederation of Old Germanic tribes. In 569, some Saxons accompanied the Gepid or Early Lombard Lombards into Italy under the leadership of Alboin and settled there. In 572, they raided Gaul as far as Stablo near Riez. Divided, they were easily defeated by Gallo-Roman General Mummolus. When the Saxons regrouped, a peace treaty was negotiated whereby the Italian Saxons were allowed to settle with their families in Austrasia. Gathering their families and belongings in Italy, they returned to Gaul in two groups in 573. One group proceeded by way of Nice and another via Embrun, joining up at Avignon, where they plundered the territory and were consequently stopped from crossing the Rhone by Mummolus. They were forced to pay compensation for the loot they had hauled off on their travels before they could enter Austrasia. Some Saxons already lived in Gaul at that time.

A Saxon king named Eadwacer conquered Angers in 463 only to be dislodged by Childeric I and the Merovingian Frankish, allies of the Foederate Roman Empire. It is possible that Saxon settlement of Great Britain began only in response to expanding Frankish control of the Channel coast. A Saxon unit of laeti had been settled at Bayeux — the Saxones Baiocassenses — since the time of the Notitia Dignitatum. These Saxons became subjects of Clovis I late in the fifth century.

The Saxons of Bayeux comprised a standing army and were often called upon to serve alongside the local levy of their region in Merovingian Frankish military campaigns. They were ineffective against Waroch in this capacity in 579. In 589, the Saxons wore their hair in the fashion of the Breton Allies? at the orders of Fredegund and fought with them as allies against Guntram. Beginning in 626, the Saxons of the Bessin were used by Dagobert I for his campaigns against the Basques.

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