Welcome to the discussion forum of Ða Engliscan Gesiðas for all matters relating to the history, language and culture of Anglo-Saxon England. I hope it will provide a useful source of information, stimulate research, and be of real help. Ða Engliscan Gesiðas (The English Companions) maintains a strictly neutral line on all modern and current political and religious matters and it does not follow any particular interpretation of history. Transgression of this Rule will not be tolerated. Any posts which are perceived as breaking this Rule will be deleted with immediate effect without explanation.

Recent Posts

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General Discussion / Re: Sale of Anglo Saxon coins
« Last post by Phyllis on May 16, 2021, 03:19:42 PM »

Must check the piggy bank...
General Discussion / Re: The Wælcyrig
« Last post by Phyllis on May 16, 2021, 03:18:57 PM »
Fab, thanks
General Discussion / Sale of Anglo Saxon coins
« Last post by Blackdragon on May 16, 2021, 01:06:40 PM »
Sale of Anglo Saxon coins - they are getting more expensive
Anglo-Saxon coin collector's trove of 576 items sells for £856,000 (msn.com)
General Discussion / Re: The Wælcyrig
« Last post by Blackdragon on May 16, 2021, 01:05:36 PM »
No problem Phyllis
General Discussion / Re: The Wælcyrig
« Last post by Phyllis on May 15, 2021, 10:53:28 AM »
Thanks Blackdragon

Would you mind if I posted the YouTube link on the Facebook page for our readers?
General Discussion / The Chessell Down Brooch
« Last post by Phyllis on May 15, 2021, 10:44:57 AM »
Continuing my series of posts from the Companions' Facebook page, here is the most popular post from the past week looking at the wonderful Chessell Down Brooch.

Today we are going to try to do some decoding. We are looking at the Chessell Down Brooch, a silver-gilt and niello square-headed brooch found at Chessell Down on the Isle of Wight in 1855. It was in the grave of a woman from the 5th-6th century together with two stamped pendants, a pair of tweezers, an iron knife and a waist buckle.

The style of decoration reflects a Scandinavian influence. The brooch is divided into a number of sections. The rectangular head plate has two crouching animals, back to back, in the border, with scrolling metalwork down the sides in Roman style. The inner panel is divided in two by a human face, with a complex image on each side of two hybrid animal bodies with human heads. These are so stylised they are very hard to make out!

Next is a plain section leading down to the foot-plate. Again there are more animals, their open jaws ending in smaller heads and curving around another human face. The necks curve on down to frame the central panel. On either side are two lobes with a human face in each. Again the border continues down on each side with back to back creatures leading down to a disc at the terminal. 

In the central panel is a bearded face with a cap or hair ending in bird heads pointing outwards.

All of the images are intricate and hard to decipher – at least to most of us! But we can pick out some probable messages from among the extraordinary richness and complexity.

We can see, for instance, that the brooch is expensive. The materials are luxurious and, combined with the craftsmanship required to create it, the brooch reflects the prestige and status of the owner.

Undoubtedly the form of decoration would have carried meaning about social and probably religious relationships and membership of specific groups or affiliations.

It is also likely the images reflect stories and traditions known to the wearer and those with whom they came into contact. The brooch was probably also intended to provide the wearer with protection and good fortune. The central bearded face, for example, may well represent Woden with ravens. The other images may also represent creatures and characters from legend, perhaps intended to ward off evil or to imbue strength, courage, wealth or success in battle. The borders frame each segment into its own story or message.

General Discussion / Re: Anglo Saxon date for Cerne Abbas giant
« Last post by Eanflaed on May 12, 2021, 11:26:50 PM »
And right under the nose of an abbey  ;D
General Discussion / Re: The Wælcyrig
« Last post by Blackdragon on May 12, 2021, 12:32:38 PM »
If you are interested in the topic I wrote a book about them (including AS material)
 "Valkyries,  selectors of heroes: their roles  within Viking & Anglo Saxon  mythology and beliefs."[/size](Gruff, 2016) Available via Amazon £15 orb £4.56 Kindle - many colour illustrations
[/size]You can also see the free YouTube film version of my talk on the subject at
General Discussion / Anglo Saxon date for Cerne Abbas giant
« Last post by Blackdragon on May 12, 2021, 12:26:30 PM »
National Trust archaeologists surprised by likely age of Cerne Abbas Giant | National Trust

Oh dear, so those naughty late period Anglo Saxons supposedly converted to Christianity in the 600s were still Pagan 300 years later. Perish the thought! >:(
General Discussion / Re: The Wælcyrig
« Last post by peter on May 04, 2021, 06:14:37 PM »
Vinca Script from South/Central Europe is often referred to as Danube Script and is thought to be Neolithic or earlier. The script seems to be a forerunner of runes. I still nine-rune or nine rune-stick cast which is quite a fun relaxation, it really isn't for telling fortunes but more for personal insights or contemplation.
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