History ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-14-2021


The period following Rome’s administrative withdrawal from Britain (c. 410 CE) has sparked intense debate for centuries, spawning a variety of theories concerning ethnic identity and the nature of cultural exchange on the island. Presently, the very nature of the term “Anglo-Saxon” itself is at the center of these discussions. This thesis examines historical, archaeological, and genetic evidence to cast a light on who constituted the people of Britain during this migration period through to the time of Alfred, and to what extent creolization might have played out. Ultimately, the evidence from this period suggests that ethnic identities cannot reasonably be assigned to the people of Britain until perhaps the time of Bede, and more certainly by the time of Alfred the Great. Recent studies also demonstrate that there was a larger degree of continuity from the Roman period and earlier than has often been believed.

Level of Degree


Degree Name


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Doctor Timothy Graham

Second Committee Member

Doctor Sarah Davis-Secord

Third Committee Member

Doctor Michael Ryan



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History Commons