First ancient DNA results from pre-Roman Celtic and Anglo-Saxon England


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The study on ancient DNA from Iron Age and Early Medieval Britain was published yesterday:

PDF text of the study:

Supplementary text:

Some of their conclusions (this is quite consistent with the previous study on modern DNA from March 2015):

"(...) By analyzing the distribution of shared rare variants across ancient and modern individuals, we find that today’s British are more similar to the Iron Age individuals than to most of the Anglo-Saxon individuals, and estimate that the contemporary East English population derives 30% of its ancestry from Anglo-Saxon [and Danish - see below*] migrations, with a lower fraction in Wales and Scotland. We gain further insight with a new method, rarecoal, which fits a demographic model to the distribution of shared rare variants across a large number ofsamples, enabling fine scale analysis of subtle genetic differencesand yielding explicit estimates of population sizes and split times. Using rarecoal we find that the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxon samplesare closest to modern Danish and Dutch populations, while the Iron Age samples share ancestors with multiple Northern European populations including Britain. (...)"

Direct evidence of mixing between newcomers and locals was discovered in aDNA from Anglo-Saxon period:


And here their estimates on modern populations (they did not select probands based on birthplaces of grandparents, though - which is what authors of the study from March 2015 on modern British population did; they chose only people with all 4 grandparents born in the same area each):

*[and Danish - see below]

According to this study, Anglo-Saxons were most genetically similar to modern Danish and modern Dutch people.

So I suppose that it is impossible to distinguish Anglo-Saxon ancestry from Medieval Danish ancestry (see Danish settlement in "Danelaw").

Therefore this figure of 30% for East England is not all Anglo-Saxon, but includes also "Danelaw" Danish ancestry.
*[and Danish - see below]

According to this study, Anglo-Saxons were most genetically similar to modern Danish and modern Dutch people.

So I suppose that it is impossible to distinguish Anglo-Saxon ancestry from Medieval Danish ancestry (see Danish settlement in "Danelaw").

Therefore this figure of 30% for East England is not all Anglo-Saxon, but includes also "Danelaw" Danish ancestry.

everyone knows the Angles and saxons and jutes all have affinity with the danish and the jutland and holstein lands.

The frisians are old-germanic race next to these along the coast.

There was no anglo-saxons in Britain at the beginning of the iron-age
Don't forget Doggerlands people who got separated by the rising sea.
"Average for 2 skeletons from pre-Roman Celtic period from Hinxton:

North_Sea 37.83
Atlantic 29.63
Baltic 10.16
Eastern_Euro 9.21
West_Mediterranean 6.55
West_Asian 4.44
East_Mediterranean 0
Red_Sea 0.7
South_Asian 0.95
Southeast_Asian 0.02
Siberian 0.06
Amerindian 0
Oceanian 0
Northeast_African 0.15
Sub-Saharan 0.255

Average for 3 skeletons from the Anglo-Saxon period from Hinxton:

North_Sea 41.37
Atlantic 28.59
Baltic 8.85
Eastern_Euro 9.48
West_Mediterranean 6.16
West_Asian 3.23
East_Mediterranean 0.3
Red_Sea 0.28
South_Asian 0.36
Southeast_Asian 0.23
Siberian 0
Amerindian 0.03
Oceanian 0.13
Northeast_African 0.27
Sub-Saharan 0.68

Modern times, average for a sample of English people from Kent:

North_Sea 35.52
Atlantic 29.86
Baltic 9.89
Eastern_Euro 8.36
West_Mediterranean 8.77
West_Asian 3.35
East_Mediterranean 2.5
Red_Sea 0.33
South_Asian 0.58
Southeast_Asian 0.03
Siberian 0.05
Amerindian 0.35
Oceanian 0.31
Northeast_African 0.06
Sub-Saharan 0.03"

Going by the admixture results you posted, there was an increase of about 6 points in total West Med/East Med roughly speaking? West Asian actually stayed the same. I hardly think they need to break into a round of the Marseillaise or anything. :)
Interesting, exiting!
I have some doubt concerning Wales and Scotland (what geographic sample?), but I don't know how they worked - the comparisons based upon modern Spanish and Dutch or Danish population biased the question I think; Celts of ancient times (the elite) were different from Anglo-Saxons and others, but had a good part of aDNA in common with them; they gave this common part to their descendants in Wales and Scotland.
The use of Spanish population would tend, I think, to put Welsh and Scot people closer to Ebglish people, even eastern. I know crossings occurred during the centuries but...
I stay a bit sceptical about these %s of 'anglo-saxon' in the 3 modern populations (or, as said by someones, the 'germanic' %), even if the hyerarchy is respected.

interesting historically: the difference of richness in the tombs and the surprising position of a supposed Celt, in the earlier times of A-S settlements, compared to the less rich tombs of apprently A-S newcomers:
It could be the confirmation that Britton chiefs took Anglo-saxons as mercenaries at first time: first "professional" or "occupational" immigration! (Vortigern, Rome Empire enemy against other Brittons, opened the door of the sheepfold to the wolves! (LOL). Brittons loved war, even fratricid war!!! It's why they lost the ultime battles).
the crossings between both populations was demonstrated by metrics surveys of some A-S settlements, according to Coon, were the females were of different stock than the males: for the most, A-S males and Britton females in some cemetaries, these females showing if I'm right, some remnants of the "dutch-german BB" (Round Barrows) imput .
just a quick and maybe naive reaction of mine at first reading of your posts.
the increase in "southern" aDNA is very light as said by Angela, and we have to remind that there was in sepultures a "blind" part of the pre-Neolithic and Neolithic populations which seemingly had been partly pushed into economically bad regions. And one of the denser Long Barrows (mediterranean impulse?) regions was in West-central England, in the borders with Wales (maybe an explanation of the Silures aspects). THese ancient populations had not been completely genetically assimilated by the Celts. The today British population - more level by internal migrations - shows by force a bit more southern aDNA than the ancient Celtic and Germanic populations of the Isles. the regional differences were surely stronger around the 5° Cy than now, with sometimes very sharp cuts. No need of too numerous newer migrations from South to explain this.
Going by the admixture results you posted, there was an increase of about 6 points in total West Med/East Med roughly speaking?

I'm glad the raw data for those new ancient genomes are publicly available. So hopefully we'll see whether some of them have those West Med/East Med components.
^ That Mediterranean imput could also come from all those post-1066 immigrations, but also from continental immigration in Roman times.

There certainly was not only Celtic-speaking but also some Latin-speaking population in lowland Britain, especially in towns and in rural villas:

MOESAN said:
interesting historically: the difference of richness in the tombs and the surprising position of a supposed Celt, in the earlier times of A-S settlements, compared to the less rich tombs of apprently A-S newcomers:
It could be the confirmation that Britton chiefs took Anglo-saxons as mercenaries at first time: first "professional" or "occupational" immigration! (Vortigern, Rome Empire enemy against other Brittons, opened the door of the sheepfold to the wolves! (LOL). Brittons loved war, even fratricid war!!! It's why they lost the ultime battles).

Those poor Anglo-Saxons is an evidence that it was also a large-scale family-based migration, not just warrior elite. They came because Roman Britain attracted immigrants from less civilized regions, and because British soil had better conditions for cattle farming than Denmark:

I am sure that interactions between newcomers and locals were complex, just like it was the case in Noricum (which is a good proxy for England, because before the Roman conquest Noricum was also inhabited by Celtic-speakers, and after the Roman collapse it also became Germanic-speaking) - as this great article about the transition from Roman to Germanic rule in one part of Noricum (now in Austria and Bavaria) explains:

3. Political Changes in Noricum Ripense in the Second Half of the Fifth Century

3.1 The Period Before 476

In the period before 476, that is before Odovacar deposed the last Western emperor and ruled Italy as king, Noricum Ripense was apparently still an integral part of the Roman Empire. As stated in Chapter 20 of the Vita Severini, the garrisons of the towns along the Danube from Quintanis to Asturis were paid troops, supported by public funds, ie taxation revenue; their pay apparently was sent from Italy, the administrative centre.

However, Roman military power along that section of the border was apparently far less than it had been at the beginning of the Fifth Century. The impression given by the Vita Severini is that very little remained of the forces described in the Notitia Dignitatum, representing the situation around 400. The only regular forces described in the Vita are a small contingent under a tribune at Favianis, the main town of Noricum Ripense, and a “numerus” at Batavis just inside Raetia Secunda. The unit at Favianis was apparently too small and weak to pursue bandits, according to the Vita.

There may have been other units that Eugippius simply did not mention since they played no role in the life of Severinus, and it is possible that he exaggerated the weakness of the temporal power represented by the military in oder to magnify the spiritual power of Severinus as the salvation of the people of the province. For example, at the beginning of Chapter 20 it is stated that when the Roman Empire was still in existence, ie until 476, there were soldiers in many towns guarding the border defences supported by public money; the implication is that the border garrisons were still there during the period immediately after the arrival of Severinus.

Nevertheless, Roman power was now too weak to prevent the capture and destruction of Asturis as described in Chapter 1 of the Vita; that was probably the work of Ostrogoths from Pannonia Prima, which had been occupied by that tribe after the collapse of the Hun hegemony in 453. Bands of Ostrogoths could also raid the environs of Favianis with comparative impunity and capture people and cattle, as related in Chapter 4 of the Vita.

Eugippius does not mention the Danube fleet, although navigation on the river was common according to the Vita Severini, so it may be supposed that it was no longer in existence. Furthermore, the border fortifications were apparently in a state of disrepair; the Burgum one mile from Favianis to which Severinus is described as withdrawing for hermetic isolation in Chapter 4 was probably the ruin of a watchtower.

Defence of the frontier seems to have devolved to some extent onto the Rugi, a Germanic people which had entered into an alliance with Rome after gaining its independence following the collapse of Hun power. The Rugi settled north of the Danube, that is just beyond the border of the Empire, where they had a protective function. The residence of their kings seems to have been near the northern bank of the river, not far from the modern Krems, opposite Favianis. The Rugi seem to have stayed largely on their own side of the river, since Severinus is represented as crossing over from Favianis to meet them.

It seems to have been the power of the Rugi that prevented the Ostrogoths from moving westward in force from their base in Pannonia Prima, apart from isolated groups. In the period before 476, Asturis was the only town of Noricum Ripense that was actually conquered and destroyed by the Ostrogoths; other incursions were only raids to seize plunder outside the protection of the fortified towns. There was much friction between the Rugi and the related Ostrogoths. In 468, the leaders of the Ostrogoths felt strong enough to deny the Rugian king, Flaccitheus, passage through Noricum Mediterraneum to Italy, as related in Chapter 5 of the Vita Severini. In 469, Flaccitheus, together with other Germanic tribes, engaged in a war against the Ostrogoths, but he and his allies were defeated near the river Bolia. The power of the Rugi was temporarily weakened, and Rugians were occasionally kidnapped by Ostrogoths, as described in Chapter 5. However, a few years later, the Ostrogoths left Pannonia and went partly westwards, partly (with their main force) southwards, where they settled again in the province of Moesia. En route, they besieged Tiburnia, the capital of Noricum Mediterraneum, in 473, as described in Chapter 17. (As part of the peace settlement ending the siege, the Ostrogoths forced the citizens of Tiburnia to hand over a collection of clothing intended as charity for the people under the care of Severinus, thus indicating how poor the barbarians were).

One of the tribes that had fought against the Ostrogoths was the Sciri. After their defeat, a number of them went to Italy as mercenaries, among them the young Odovacar. Chapter 7 describes how, passing through Noricum Ripense, he visited Severinus and received his blessing.

After the departure of the Ostrogoths, the pressure on the Rugi and on the people of Noricum Ripense was relieved. The Vita Severini depicts largely good relations between the Rugi and the Romans of the province and a degree of stability and order, attributed by Eugippius to the reverence in which Severinus was held by Flaccitheus and later by his son Feletheus or Feva, who succeeded him in about 475. The Rugi played the role of protectors of the Romani against the less civilised Germanic tribes, the Alamanni, Heruli and Thoringi, who appear in the Vita Severini purely as plunderers. Part of the reason for that role was that, while those tribes were still pagan, the Rugians had become Christian, perhaps through missionaries from the Goths. However, they had adopted the Arian form of Christianity, which could be a source of conflict with the Catholic Romans of Noricum as much as a bond. It appears that Severinus was able to play down the religious conflict, and it may be that Eugippius, reflecting the conditions of his own time, exaggerated the conflict between Catholic Romans and Arian Rugians.

The Rugians were not uncivilised, although their civilisation was less developed than that of the Roman province. The royal family must have spoken Latin, since there is no mention of an interpreter in the many conversations between them and Severinus. By contrast, the negotiations with the Alamannic king Gibuld related in Chapter 19 were through an intermediary who may have been an Arian cleric. The relatively high material culture of the Rugian noble class is represented by the presence at the royal residence of barbarian goldsmiths who in strict and hard custody work for the crown-treasure, as described in Chapter 8.

Despite the alliance and generally good relations, the Rugi could be hard masters, in the manner of a military class ruling over a civilian population protected by them. Chapter 8 relates how hard conditions were imposed on the Romans, including sending numbers of them across the Danube to work as servants, and how there were attempts to force conversion to Arianism. Eugippius attributes those negative features of Rugian rule entirely to the “wicked” Queen Giso, wife of Feletheus, but that might not represent the true situation. It is entirely likely that the Rugians as a whole sought to exploit their position as military defenders of the Roman frontier to improve their standard of living by extorting labour services from the civilian population. They may also have extorted food supplies; in Chapter 17 it is stated that the people suffer a lack of food under the harsh rule of the barbarians. It is possible that the picture of their harsh rule refers more to the period after 476, when the Rugians seem to have been left as the sole rulers of the province.

Another indication that the barbarian allies of the Romans could be a burden as well as a help to the population of the province occurs in Chapters 1 and 2, with the description of the expulsion of the barbarian garrison of Comagenis. The garrison was there under a treaty or “foedus”, and held the town under strict occupation, controlling entry and exit. Presumably these particular barbarians were not Rugi, as their role is described in a totally negative way in the Vita Severini, in contrast to the depiction of good relations with the Rugi, and they were probably Ostrogoths. However, it appears that the garrison was under the command of Roman officers who held the keys to the town-gates and obviously granted Severinus free access.

By contrast with the military structure, the civilian administration, both at the provincial and town level, had apparently disappeared. The role of the civilian governors appears to have been taken over by the Church authorities. For example, it is Paulinus, the bishop of Noricum Mediterraneum, stationed at Tiburnia, who, as related in Chapter 25 receives letters of warning from Severinus about an invasion of the Alamanni in 473 and sends instructions to the forts of the diocese. Severinus himself is described as exercising some sort of temporal authority in addition to his religious mission, negotiating with the Rugian kings and organising the support of the poorer sections of the civilian population through the imposition of tithes.

At this point it is useful to speculate on what exactly the mission of Severinus was. The “memorandum” says nothing about his background or origin, except to say that he came from the East. In the letter from Eugippius to Paschasius, the question of the origin of Severinus is discussed. It is stated there that one Primenius, a noble priest of Italy who had taken refuge in Noricum after Odovacar’s seizure of power, had asked Severinus from which province he had come, but Severinus replied that such earthly considerations were of no importance, and the only important thing was that God had ordered him to come to the people in their hour of need. Eugippius further states that Severinus was a pure Latin as shown by his speech, had earlier in his life gone to a desert in the East to follow the life of a hermit, and later, compelled by divine revelation, had gone to the towns of Noricum Ripense which were afflicted by frequent raids of the barbarians.

Those hints have led to suggestions that the mission of Severinus was secular as well as religious, that in his earlier life he had been a person from the upper class with some experience of administration, probably in the upper Danube region, that he had experienced a religious and conversion and gone to live in the desert, and had been recalled to Noricum in order to take over the leadership of the people in the absence of a functioning civilian administration. It is also suggested that he had connections to the family of Orestes, the father of the last Western Emperor Romulus Augustulus, which originated from Poetovio in the southeast of Noricum, and that Orestes might have been instrumental in bringing Severinus back to the province.

Such suggestions are pure speculation and cannot be proved one way or the other. It obvious from the incidents described in the Vita that Severinus did play a temporal role as well as the spiritual role of preaching to the people. His role as the founder and organiser of monasteries in Noricum was both spiritual and temporal, since the monasteries are shown as performing administrative functions. It is possible that Eugippius, writing from a monastic point of view, chose to attribute the success of Severinus as an administrator and as a protector against the enemies of Rome purely to divine intervention resulting from the spiritual weapons of prayer and penance, and ignored secular elements in the actions of Severinus, such as political and administrative experience and possibly military ability.

With regard to the economic situation at the time, the Vita Severini paints the picture of a mainly agricultural society, in which town life and the specialised economic activities associated with the town have largely disappeared. Although towns still exist, they are essentially walled fortresses, places of refuge to which the people go with their goods and their cattle when there is an incursion by the enemy. The inhabitants of the towns are depicted as the owners of fields outside, and appear to be primarily peasants who sometimes live in the towns.

For example, Chapter 10 describes Maurus, janitor of the basilica of the monastery of Favianis, going outside the town with another man to pick fruit, presumably in an orchard belonging to the monastery. Chapter 12 describes the people of Cucullis as owning fields that are threatened by locusts. Chapter 14 tells how a woman of Iuvao, healed by Severinus, goes out to work in the fields with her own hands in accordance with the custom of the province (indicating that readers in more developed Italy might think it strange that a town-dweller would do agricultural work). Chapter 22 has all the inhabitants of Batavis outside the town working at the harvest, leaving only a garrison of 40 men. In Chapter 30, the people of Lauriacum bring their cattle within the walls so that they will not be seized by the enemy.

Despite the essentially agrarian nature of the economy of the province, it was not entirely self-sufficient, and still depended to some extent on trade. Food was brought from the province of Raetia Secunda by boats travelling down the River Inn to the Danube and down to Favianis, as related in Chapter 3. Oil was also imported, although later its importation became more difficult. There was also significant trade between Romans and Rugians. The latter held weekly markets on their side of the Danube, which were frequented by the Romans as a matter of course.

In winter, when the Danube was frozen, the ice was crossed by cartloads of goods; at other times, cross-river traffic was by boats. The Danube was the main artery of the country for the conveyance of both goods and passengers, eg the bringing of food to Favianis already referred to, and the journey of Severinus by boat from Boiotro to Favianis, a journey of 149 Roman miles. The attraction of the Rugian markets is demonstrated by the request of the people of Boiotro that Severinus should obtain for them permission to trade from King Feva, as related in Chapter 22.

Connections with Italy were still fairly good, as shown by the regular exchange of letters, for example between Severinus and the Lady Barbaria. Holy relics, eg of the Milanese martyrs Gervasius and Protasius and of St John the Baptist were sent to Severinus; although Eugippius describes the arrival of the relics in miraculous terms, it is likely that they were sent by the Church authorities in Italy by arrangement with Severinus, in order to maintain the authority of the Church in the embattled border province of Noricum Ripense.

Connections were also good between Noricum Ripense and Noricum Mediterraneum, as shown by the correspondence between Severinus and the heads of the Church in the latter province, and the regular despatch of tithes and material aid from Noricum Mediterraneum to Severinus.

The people of Noricum Ripense, as described in the Vita Severini, seem to have been mostly free peasants with small to medium landholdings. A large proportion of them seems to have been impoverished, since the Vita constantly refers to “the poor” and hunger is described as a major problem. Severinus is described as instituting a system of social support, based on the tithe, which he seems to have been the first to introduce in the West. The monasteries played the main part in performing that charitable work, and thus became an important social institution. The charitable activities of Severinus reduced social tensions and increased the solidarity of the population.

3.2 The Period After 476

The main feature of the period after 476 is the complete breakdown of the military organisation and the defence of the border due to the cessation of financial support from the central government in Italy after the seizure of power by Odovacar. That removed the barrier to incursions by barbarian enemies, the most dangerous now being the Alamanni coming from the West. Whereas before 476, apart from the capture of Asturis, the barbarian menace had been limited to raids for the purpose of capturing food and prisoners for ransom, now the Germanic tribes were able to conquer towns and take entire populations captive, eventually leading to the Roman withdrawal from Noricum Ripense.

The crucial evidence occurs in Chapter 20 of the Vita Severini, where it is stated: “At the time when the Roman Empire was still in existence, the soldiers of many towns were supported by public money for their watch along the wall. When this arrangement ceased, the military formations were dissolved and, at the same time, the wall was allowed to break down. The garrison of Batavis, however, still held out”. The passage goes on to describe how some members of the garrison then set off for Italy to fetch the last payment of salary, but were ambushed and killed by barbarians on the way.

The implication is that Odovacar, after deposing Romulus Augustulus and taking power in Italy, ceased sending pay to the soldiers on the Danube frontier, perhaps because he wanted to consolidate his resources in order to defend his position in Italy. The episode described in the Vita Severini may actually have been more general; the garrisons in a number of towns may have sought their pay, and then simply disbanded when they were unable to obtain it. It appears that some of the Roman soldiers then took service with the Rugian king; chapter 44 mentions a soldier called Avitianus, a Roman judging by his name, who is in the service of Ferderuchus and sent by him to seize holy objects from the monastery of Severinus.

There are other indications in the Vita Severini that suggest that Odovacar’s writ did not run in Noricum Ripense. For example, the area seems to have become a refuge for supporters of the father of Romulus Augustulus, Orestes, who was killed by Odovacar. One of those refugees was the priest Primenius from Italy, of whom it is said in the Letter of Eugippius to Paschasius that he sought the protection of Severinus for fear of the murderers of Orestes. If the speculation that Severinus had a connection to the family of Orestes in Poetovio is correct, that would explain why partisans of Orestes took refuge in Noricum Ripense, where Severinus apparently exercised some sort of temporal authority.

However, that does not mean that there was hostility between Odovacar and Severinus. Chapter 32 relates how Odovacar wrote to Severinus offering him a choice of petition, and Severinus requested that he pardon a certain Ambrosius, apparently another refugee. Furthermore, that same chapter describes some nobles praising Odovacar in the presence of Severinus, indicating that Odovacar had supporters among the ruling class of Noricum Ripense. It was probably just that Odovacar simply did not have the resources to provide for the defence of the province, and left it to its own devices.

The main threat now came from the Alamanni; Chapter 19 speaks of their frequent invasions in the region of Batavis. At first, Severinus had some influence over that people; in the same chapter it is stated that their king, Gibuldus, honoured and loved Severinus, and could be intimidated by him into refraining from further attacks on Roman territory and into releasing all the Roman prisoners held by his people.

However, that influence does not seem to have lasted long, since the Alamanni and/or other barbarians soon began to attack Batavis again, as related in Chapter 22, where a small force under Hunumundus captures the town while the inhabitants are out in the fields working on the harvest. From then on, the Vita does not show Severinus exerting any influence over the barbarians, but rather prophesying destruction and urging the population to retreat downstream progressively.

Although according to Eugippius the influence wielded by Severinus over Gibuldus is purely spiritual, it may that in fact it was the temporal power of Rome that stood behind Severinus that was decisive in deterring attacks by the Alamanni. When that power evaporated due to the dissolution of the military as related in Chapter 20, the ability of Severinus to influence the barbarians seems to have disappeared also. A number of episodes show that the barbarians were not intimidated by the spiritual power of the clergy; Chapter 22 shows the barbarians of Hunumundus pursuing a priest into the baptistery of Batavis and killing him there, Chapter 24 describes the Heruli making a sudden attack on Ioviaco and crucifying a priest. Needless to say, Eugippius describes those priests as evil men who had disobeyed Severinus and thereby, in his hagiographical view, had lost the sort of spiritual power that Severinus possessed.

The course of events shows a progressive abandonment of the towns to the barbarians and a retreat downstream. First Quintanis is abandoned, as related in Chapter 27, and the inhabitants flee to Batavis; then Batavis is also abandoned, at the urging of Severinus, and most of the people move to Lauriacum. Chapter 31 describes how Lauriacum was then abandoned, and the population moved to the area around Favianis, under Rugian protection. Finally, in 488, the town population was evacuated to Italy. The whole process of the collapse of Roman control and occupation of the province of Noricum Ripense therefore took place over a period of 12 years.

However, as the Vita Severini shows, the retreat of the town population downstream was not entirely voluntary. Chapter 22 shows the inhabitants of Batavis and Boiotro, led by a priest, defying Severinus when tells them that it is useless to seek to continue to trade since the town will soon be abandoned, and ordering him out; the capture of the town by Hunumundus is portrayed as a punishment for disobedience. Chapter 24 describes some of the people of Ioviaco disobeying the order of Severinus to leave that place, and suffering the punishment of being taken prisoner by the Heruli. Chapter 27 shows some of the people of Batavis refusing to leave their native soil, and being killed or taken prisoner by the Thoringi.

The reluctance of part of the people to leave their places of abode as ordered by Severinus, who appears to be acting as a temporal rather than a spiritual leader, is probably to be explained by the custom that when free persons abandoned their own lands and were resettled on lands belonging to other owners, they lost their freedom and became “coloni”, or a sort of serf bound to the owners of the land. Some of the people, most probably the poorer peasants who had less to lose, preferred to remain and take their chances with the barbarians, whose purpose was not extermination but the acquisition of land together with a population to work it.

The operation of the above-mentioned custom is most clearly indicated in Chapter 31, which describes Feletheus, king of the Rugi, coming to Lauriacum with his army for the purpose of evacuating the population and resettling them in territory under his control, including the city of Favianis. The people of Lauriacum are upset by that, and ask Severinus to intercede with the king on their behalf. At first sight, that reaction seems strange, since after all the aim of Feletheus, as he explicitly states, is to give them refuge from the barbarian attacks to which Lauriacum has been subjected. However, their dismay is understandable when it is realised that the proposed resettlement in towns subject to the Rugi would entail their becoming serfs of the Rugian king. In the event, Severinus negotiates an agreement whereby the Romans in his care are resettled in the towns of the Rugi but retain their personal freedom, living as equals with the Rugi rather than as their subjects.

The dissolution of the regular Roman army after 476 meant that the inhabitants of Noricum Ripense were thrown back on their own resources for defence against the invading Alamanni, Thoringi and Heruli. New military units must have been formed, consisting of remnants of the dissolved army and new recruits from among the Roman population. The Vita Severini (Chapter 27) shows the people of Batavis forming an armed force that went into battle against the besieging Alamanni and defeating them. Chapter 30 shows the townspeople of Lauriacum sending out scouts to detect the approach of the enemy, and also defending their walls and scaring off an attacking force.

The disappearance of a military power controlled from Italy, and the devolution of the civil power onto religious leaders such as Severinus, led to a change in the relationship between the Rugians and the Roman population of Noricum Ripense. Formerly, the Rugians had been allies of the Empire, and had more or less stayed on the northern bank of the Danube as a forward defence force, although the Vita Severini shows that they had close commercial ties with the Roman population on the south bank. After 476, king Feletheus seems to have taken advantage of the power vacuum to extend his power to the south bank, establishing a sort of protectorate over the Roman population and reducing them to the status of tribute-paying subjects.

Chapter 31 states that a number of towns of Noricum Ripense, including Favianis, now paid tribute to Feletheus. Chapter 42 states that Favianis had been given to Ferderuchus, the brother of Feletheus, apparently as a fief in some sort of quasi-feudal arrangement. Rugian control seems to have extended as far west as Lauriacum, but did not include that town, since its inhabitants did not want to migrate into Rugian territory.

The rule of the Rugian royal family over the remaining Roman towns can be described as an incipient feudalism, with the actual administration being carried out in their name by Roman officials. In Chapter 44, for example, there is a reference to a steward of Ferderuchus who is ordered to seize the holy objects from the monastery of Severinus after the latter’s death; his refusal to do so suggests that he was a Roman and a Catholic. As previously stated, remnants of the Roman army entered the service of the Rugian kings, which was not unusual in the various Germanic kingdoms formed on former Roman territory with a Roman population. The Romans native to the area of Rugian control had to pay tribute to their overlords, but apparently did not lose their personal freedom; even the refugees moving into the area retained their freedom under the deal negotiated by Severinus, and were not treated as captives.

After about 480, the centre of gravity of Roman civilisation in Noricum Ripense became concentrated into the area under Rugian control, that is Favianis and its environs. The connection with Noricum Mediterraneum remained intact, since at the time of the death of Severinus his monastery at Favianis contained stores of clothes and other goods for distribution to the poor; as related elsewhere in the Vita, these goods had been brought across the Tauern Alps from Noricum Mediterraneum.

After the death of Severinus in 482, the situation of the Roman population began to deteriorate, and some Rugian magnates began to act in an arrogant manner, treating the Romans as a conquered people who could be plundered at will. Chapter 44 describes the plundering of the monastery at Favianis by Ferderuchus; Eugippius expresses the thoroughness of the looting by writing, sarcastically, that Ferderuchus did not take the walls as he was unable to ship them across the Danube.

It appears that there were two factions at the Rugian court, in so far as the treatment of the Roman population was concerned. King Feletheus appears as a relative moderate, who treated the Romans with a light hand, and was prepared to resettle the incoming refugees on conditions of equality. On the other hand, there was a radical group led by Queen Giso and Ferderuchus, which was more hostile to the Romans, sought to exploit them and reduce them to servitude, and also seems to have been motivated as Arians by a hostility to the Catholic Church.

The Rugian protectorate lasted for little of a decade, and was extinguished by the two military expeditions of Odovacar in 487 and 488. Eugippius gives as Odovacar’s reason for this expedition the murder of Ferderuchus by Feva’s son, Fredericus. That is improbable, and contradicted by the chronology of the events; according to the Vita, the murder of Ferderuchus occurred within a month of the death of Severinus in 482, whereas the first expedition by Odovacar took place in 487.

Odovacar’s invasion was not a punitive expedition, but rather a result of the political intrigues of the time. Odovacar had never been recognised as king of Italy by the Eastern Emperor in Constantinople, Zeno (474-491), who took the position that on the deposition of Romulus Augustulus the separation of the Empire had ended and authority over all the territory of the Western Emperors reverted to him. Odovacar was accepted by Zeno only as regent (patricius), administering Italy in the name of the Emperor. When Odovacar began to prepare an invasion of Dalmatia, Zeno sought to divert him by inciting Feletheus to invade Italy. That was prevented by Odoacar’s attack in 487. During a battle on the Danube, Feva and Giso were captured (Chapter 44 of the Vita); they were sent to Italy and later put to death. Fredericus escaped, but soon returned to the Rugian country. In 488, Odovacar sent his brother Hunwulf (called Onoulfus in the Vita) to the Danube with a large army to finish off Fredericus, who was again defeated and fled to the headquarters of the Ostrogoth king, Theoderic, at Novae in Moesia (as stated previously, the mother of Fridericus, Giso, was probably a member of the Ostrogothic royal family).

Zeno then incited Theoderic to invade Italy and overthrow Odovacar, which occurred between 489 and 493. Theoderic may also have been motivated by a plea for revenge from his kinsman Fredericus. The intention of the Eastern Emperor was that Theoderic, after destroying the power of Odovacar, should administer Italy as his representative, but Theoderic set up an independent kingdom that lasted until its overthrow by Justinian more than 40 years later.

The Rugi were largely destroyed in Odovacar’s two invasions. Their remnants joined the Ostrogoths and took part in the invasion of Italy under Theoderic. They were settled in Italy as a group separate from the Ostrogoths, and disappear from history after the reconquest by Justinian. The emigration of the Rugi left a vacuum that was filled by the expanding power of the Heruli, which finally ended Roman rule in Noricum Ripense.

It was in this period that the evacuation to Italy of the Roman population of Noricum Ripense took place, as described in the Vita Severini. According to chapter 44, Onoulfus, at the time of the second expedition in 488, acting on the instructions of Odovacar his brother, ordered all the Romans to emigrate to Italy. The evacuation was led by Count Pierius, obviously a high Roman military and political official in Odovacar’s service.

Eugippius represents the evacuation as the salvation of the Roman population, akin to the exodus of the Israelites from their Egyptian bondage. But the historical truth may be somewhat different. The attitude of the Roman population in the war between Odovacar and Feletheus is unknown, but it is possible that it sympathised with the Rugians, at least in part. Chapter 32 has Severinus predicting the end of the reign of Odovacar, which may indicate the existence of opposition to that king; on the other hand, the prediction is given in response to the praising of Odovacar by a group of nobles, which seems to indicate support for him by part of the ruling class. It is also possible that Odovacar distrusted the Roman population of Noricum Ripense since it had had good relations with Feletheus, and Roman soldiers had served in the Rugian army. Furthermore, Odovacar was now effectively at war with the Emperor Zeno, with whom the Romans of Noricum Ripense could be expected to sympathise.

It is therefore possible that the evacuation of the Roman population was not so much a salvation as a punishment. If Odovacar distrusted the Romans because of their closeness to the Rugians, who had become allies of the Emperor Zeno, he may have wanted to bring them to Italy where they could be kept under control. The wording in the Vita is significant in that it indicates compulsion; Onoulfus “ordered” the Romans to emigrate (“universos iussit ad Italiam migrare Romanos”), they were “compelled” to leave by Pierius (“universi per comitem Pierium compellerentur exire”). Whatever the reason for the evacuation, it signalled the end of the Roman presence on the upper Danube.

3.3 The Period After 488

Eugippius gives the impression that all the population of the province (“omnes incolae”) left in the course of the evacuation. However, he states that the order was given to the “Romans”, and it is possible that that term included only the landowners, the merchants, the clergy, the monks, the few remaining officials and others whose livelihood depended on Roman rule. The tradition of Severinus preserved by his monks, in which he is presented as predicting the evacuation several times, indicates that the monks in particular were supporters of the emigration. It is possible that a large part of the emigrants consisted of those who had previously fled to the area of Rugian control from the upstream towns abandoned earlier, and who did not have firm roots in the country.

Accordingly, it is likely that a part of the population, in particular the poorer peasants, chose to stay behind on their land and put up with their new masters. A certain continuity of habitation is demonstrated by archaeological finds and by the persistence of place-names such as Quintanis-Kuenzing, Batavis-Passau, Lentia-Linz, Lauriacum-Lorch, Cucullis-Kuchl. Continuity of habitation is particularly evident in Raetia and Noricum west of the Enns; Lauriacum seems to have held out, despite the statement in Chapter 31 of the Vita that its population was all evacuated to Rugian territory. Likewise, the population west of Lauriacum that had not participated in the flight downriver remained under Alamannic rule.

In Noricum Ripense east of the Enns, that is in the territory controlled by the Rugians, continuity of habitation is less apparent. There the towns seem to have been completely abandoned, but not so the countryside. The results of archaeology therefore bear out the account of an evacuation of the eastern part of Noricum Ripense.

West of the Enns there was also cultural continuity. Until the Middle Ages the Romance-speaking population retained Christianity, Roman legal concepts, and certain elements in music and painting. Salzburg and Passau are thought to have still had a Romance-speaking population in the eighth century, from which the composers of early charters were drawn. The fact that the name “Norici” was used in reference to the Bavarians indicates the survival of a substantial Romance population in that area.
This brand new study on Anglo-Saxons says:

"Interestingly the wealthiest grave, with a large cruciform brooch, belonged to the individual of native British [Romano-Briton] ancestry (O4), and the individual without grave goods was one of the two genetically foreign [Anglo-Saxon] ones (O2), an observation consistent with isotope analysis at West Heslerton which suggests that new [Anglo-Saxon] immigrants were frequently poorer."

And in case of Noricum, there is also evidence that large part of Germanic immigrants (Ostrogoths in this case) were poor.

An excerpt from the article posted above:

"However, a few years later, the Ostrogoths left Pannonia and went partly westwards, partly (with their main force) southwards, where they settled again in the province of Moesia. En route, they besieged Tiburnia, the capital of Noricum Mediterraneum, in 473, as described in Chapter 17. (As part of the peace settlement ending the siege, the Ostrogoths forced the citizens of Tiburnia to hand over a collection of clothing intended as charity for the people under the care of Severinus, thus indicating how poor the barbarians [Ostrogoths] were)."

Using a proxy from modern times, we can say that Germanic migrations was like a modern combination of ISIS Caliphate-like conquest (a proxy for the "invasion" part), with family-based immigration of poor 3rd world Muslims to more civilized places. Because definitely Anglo-Saxon migration to Britain had signs of a violent conquest, causing the destruction of Roman civilization there (i.e. what ISIS is doing nowadays in Syria and the Levant), but definitely it also had signs of a massive family-based immigration of mostly poor people, hoping for better living conditions.

Sorry for using such comparisons, but I think they are more accurate than all of that 19th century nationalistic-racial romanticisation.

People also imagine Anglo-Saxons as some kind of iron-clad warriors wearing sophisticateds helmets (Sutton Hoo) and armours, etc.

However, the truth is that such things were extremely rare in those Germanic societies, and they were mostly imitations of Roman products. There are only four (yes: 4) Dark Age helmets found in England: Benty Grange which is made of cow horn, Sutton Hoo, which is very high status, Coppergate in York and another found during a construction project. No Spangenhelm, the most common type in Europe during this period, has been found in Britain and no helm produced in that period has been found in Wales.

Moreover, places where iron could be worked are scant in Wales. There is much better evidence in England. There is probably some truth in the Welsh texts which tell of some Britons from times of Anglo-Saxon invasion, wearing rusty old helmets, probably still from the Roman period. Not only Britons were wearing rusty post-Roman old helmets. Sutton Hoo from England and the Vendel helmets from Scandinavia were developments of earlier Roman cavalry helmets. If some Germanic guys served as mercenaries or foederati in the Roman army (as long as it still existed), they later tried to copy/imitate Roman solutions after returning back home.

The "Dark Ages" in during few centuries after the collapse of Rome is not a myth, but a reality. In Britain there was a considerable collapse in civilizational level after the end of Roman rule. Check for example this article by Bryan Ward-Perkins:

As we face an uncertain and worrying New Year, we can at least console ourselves with the fact that we are not living 1,600 years ago, and about to begin the year 410. In this year Rome was sacked, and the empire gave up trying to defend Britain. While this marks the glorious beginnings of “English history”, as Anglo-Saxon barbarians began their inexorable conquest of lowland Britain, it was also the start of a recession that puts all recent crises in the shade.

The economic indicators for fifth-century Britain are scanty, and derive exclusively from archaeology, but they are consistent and extremely bleak. Under the Roman empire, the province had benefited from the use of a sophisticated coinage in three metals – gold, silver and copper – lubricating the economy with a guaranteed and abundant medium of exchange. In the first decade of the fifth century new coins ceased to reach Britain from the imperial mints on the continent, and while some attempts were made to produce local substitutes, these efforts were soon abandoned. For about 300 years, from around AD 420, Britain’s economy functioned without coin.

Core manufacturing declined in a similar way. There was some continuity of production of the high-class metalwork needed by a warrior aristocracy to mark its wealth and status; but at the level of purely functional products there was startling change, all of it for the worse. Roman Britain had enjoyed an abundance of simple iron goods, documented by the many hob-nail boots and coffin-nails found in Roman cemeteries. These, like the coinage, disappeared early in the fifth century, as too did the industries that had produced abundant attractive and functional wheel-turned pottery. From the early fifth century, and for about 250 years, the potter’s wheel – that most basic tool, which enables thin-walled and smoothly finished vessels to be made in bulk – disappeared altogether from Britain. The only pots remaining were shaped by hand, and fired, not in kilns as in Roman times, but in open ‘clamps’ (a smart word for a pile of pots in a bonfire).

We do not know for certain what all this meant for population numbers in the countryside, because from the fifth to the eighth century people had so few goods that they are remarkably difficult to find in the archaeological record; but we do know its effect on urban populations. Roman Britain had a dense network of towns, ranging from larger settlements, like London and Cirencester, which also served an administrative function, to small commercial centres that had grown up along the roads and waterways. By 450 all of these had disappeared, or were well on the way to extinction. Canterbury, the only town in Britain that has established a good claim to continuous settlement from Roman times to the present, impresses us much more for the ephemeral nature of its fifth to seventh-century huts than for their truly urban character. Again it was only in the eighth century, with the (re)emergence of trading towns such as London and Saxon Southampton, that urban life returned to Britain.

For two or three hundred years, beginning at the start of the fifth century, the economy of Britain reverted to levels not experienced since well before the Roman invasion of AD 43. The most startling features of the fifth-century crash are its suddenness and its scale. We might not be surprised if, on leaving the empire, Britain had reverted to an economy similar to that which it had enjoyed in the immediately pre-Roman Iron Age. But southern Britain just before the Roman invasion was a considerably more sophisticated place economically than Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries: it had a native silver coinage; pottery industries that produced wheel-turned vessels and sold them widely; and even the beginnings of settlements recognisable as towns. Nothing of the kind existed in the fifth and sixth centuries; and it was only really in the eighth century that the British economy crawled back to the levels it had already reached before Emperor Claudius’s invasion. It is impossible to say with any confidence when Britain finally returned to levels of economic complexity comparable to those of the highest point of Roman times, but it might be as late as around the year 1000 or 1100. If so, the post-Roman recession lasted for 600-700 years.

We can take some cheer from this sad story – so far our own problems pale into insignificance. But Schadenfreude is never a very satisfying emotion, and in this case it would be decidedly misplaced. The reason the Romano-British economy collapsed so dramatically should give us pause for thought. Almost certainly the suddenness and the catastrophic scale of the crash were caused by the levels of sophistication and specialisation reached by the economy in Roman times. The Romano-British population had grown used to buying their pottery, nails, and other basic goods from specialist producers, based often many miles away, and these producers in their turn relied on widespread markets to sustain their specialised production. When insecurity came in the fifth century, this impressive house of cards collapsed, leaving a population without the goods they wanted and without the skills and infrastructure needed to produce them locally. It took centuries to reconstruct networks of specialisation and exchange comparable to those of the Roman period.

The more complex an economy is, the more fragile it is, and the more cataclysmic its disintegration can be. Our economy is, of course, in a different league of complexity to that of Roman Britain. Our pottery and metal goods are likely to have been made, not many miles away, but on the other side of the globe, while our main medium of exchange is electronic, and sometimes based on smoke and mirrors. If our economy ever truly collapses, the consequences will make fifth-century Britain seem like a picnic.

And here is what Philip Rahtz wrote about Anglo-Saxon settlement area near West Heslerton:

"No links could be found between the late Roman pottery and the Anglian that followed - nothing ‘sub-Roman’; the general impression is still of a social and economic collapse in the latest 4th-early 5th century, with a parallel collapse of Crambeck and other pottery industries."

But in other sites there is evidence that Anglo-Saxons did absorb and employ some of Romano-Britons artisans.
I find the comparison to ISIS tasteless and flat out incorrect.

Why so? Didn't they also commit crimes? Didn't they also plunder cities? Didn't they also destroy monuments?

Your feelings are probably due to subjective sentiments and romanticization.

When Mujahideens fought against the Soviets just like America wanted, they were "good, noble warriors". When pretty much the very same people or their children and grandchildren now fight against Americans in a war which has been fought for 15 years by now, they are "evil, vile terrorists". When barbarians are "our ancestors", they are the good guys. When they are strangers and foreigners, they turn to be the bad guys. Of course a factor of distance in time is also important. Genghis Khan is not hated as much as Hitler and Stalin, even though he killed a similar percent of global population. People don't care about those genocides (for example the slaughter of civilians of Baghdad in 1258) by Genghis Khan, because it was such a long time ago, as well as for some other reasons.

Well, it's true that global standards were different at that time than today.
Germanic tribes of Pannonia and Noricum were pushed into Italy by the Huns/Avars, and the area was settled by Slavs from 600 to 800. After the Frankish conquest, Bavarians, Swabians and Saxons were imported to repopulate those areas.
Germanic tribes of Pannonia and Noricum were pushed into Italy by the Huns/Avars, and the area was settled by Slavs from 600 to 800. After the Frankish conquest, Bavarians, Swabians and Saxons were imported to repopulate those areas.

You mean eastern germanic tribes where pushed into Italy.

Bavarians then occupied Austria and replaced lombards, Rugii and any slavs.
Austria still speak a bavarian dialect to this day.

Swabians replaced the eastern germanic tribes in north-east italy later on ( early middle-ages)
The only Swabians in Italy are the Walser in the North West. There were zero Lombards and Rugii in Pannonia by the time of the Frankish conquest.

The Bavarians first settled in Italy during the Lombard migration. Actually the most famous Lombard dinasty was of Bavarian origin.

The Franks mostly replaced them as the ruling elite, excluding for Benevento, where the Lombards/Bavarians accepted the Frankish rule without fighting.

"In 1882 Professor Arturo Galanti had ventured the figure of 100,000 German inhabitants in the foothills from Piedmont to Friuli (excluding the Trentino Alto Adige-South Tyrol not yet part of Italy), a number that is in no way justified by the alleged sporadic immigration of medieval settlers and miners, but assumed a more ancient presence. In the years 1180 to 1318 at least 28 of 36 mayors of Conegliano were of German origin. According to historian Andrea Gloria in "sculdascia" of Montagnana (from the Old High German skuld "debt" and heyssen "impose") and its surrounding towns half of the population was of German origin, confirmed by ancient documents of the churches that were written in old high German. The inhabitans of Vicenza until the fifteenth century called themselves "cymbriaci viri" and called Cymbria the city of Vicenza. It was the Council of Trent (1545-1563), strongly influenced by the Jesuits, who gave a moral blow to the Germanic languages in northern Italy banning functions in German to stem the expansion of Lutheran heresy."

-Gualtiero Ciola
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Sile said:
Bavarians then occupied Austria and replaced lombards, Rugii and any slavs.

East Tyrol in Austria can be divided into two regions - northern with presence of Slavic toponyms, and southern with presence of Romance toponyms. Germanic toponyms are present throughout the entire province, but Romance and Slavic toponyms are only limited to respectively southern and northern parts:

"East Tyrol was divided into two regions of former Romance (Puster, Gail, and Villgraten valley; region A) and Slavic (Isel, lower Drau, Defereggen, Virgen, and Kals valley; region B) main settlement (Fig. 2)."

Interestingly, areas of East Tyrol with Romance toponyms correlate with certain Y-DNA haplogroups among inhabitants, and areas with Slavic toponyms correlate with other haplogroups:

"E-M78, R-M17 and R-S116* Y chromosomes were exclusively found in region B [Slavic] whereas samples assigned to R-M412/S167*, R-U106/S21, and R-U152/S28 reached higher frequencies in region A [Romance] (Fig. 3, Table S7). When attributing the samples to the fathers' and grandfathers' places of birth/residence, as reported by the participants, practically identical patterns were obtained for most of the haplogroups (Fig. 3). Y chromosomes belonging to haplogroups G-P15, I-M253, and J-M304 showed much lower regionalization in their frequencies (Fig. 3) at all three generation levels."

So not only R-M17, but also E-M78 and S-116* correlate with Slavic toponyms in East Tyrol.

Interestingly, two samples of Medieval Slavic Y-DNA from the island of Usedom from the 2010 study by Janine Freder, include one R1a1a1g (M458) and one E1b1b (M215) - .


"Haplogroup R-M412/S167* was found at low frequencies in the combined East Tyrolean sample. However, the R-M412/S167* chromosomes were sorted by the subdivision of the study area and reached in region A levels of ~14% whereas their frequency in region B was well below the 5% threshold. At the probands and fathers level of analysis region A [Romance] featured approximately fourfold higher frequencies of these chromosomes than region B [Slavic]. This ratio changed to about nine when placing the samples at the grandfathers' places of birth/residence. These contrasts remained statistically significant after correcting for multiple comparisons [22] at the fathers and grandfathers analysis level."


"Haplogroup R-M17 [R1a] was completely absent in the East Tyrolean sub-sample from region A [formerly Romance area], but made up to 16% in region B [formerly Slavic area]. This result remained practically unchanged when assigning the probands to their respective fathers' or grandfathers' places of birth/residence (Fig. 3)."

Red color shows areas with concentrations of Slavic toponyms in region B, green areas have no Slavic placenames:



I think that there is also a correlation between percent of toponyms of Slavic origin among all placenames and percent of certain haplogroups among inhabitants of those places in North-Eastern Germany.

For example in the region around Greifswald percent of Slavic toponyms is only 11,88% versus 88,12% Germanic toponyms, and percent of R1a among inhabitants is lower than in areas with higher percent of Slavic toponyms (for instance, in the city of Greifswald only 19,2% of males have R1a, while in the city of Rostock 32,4% have R1a - and area around Rostock has indeed a much higher frequency of Slavic toponyms than area around Greifswald).

Y-DNA patterns near Rostock and Greifswald cited above are from Kayser 2005; Immel 2005; Roding 2007.

Proportions of Slavic to Germanic placenames (toponyms) in several areas of North-East Germany:

area around Greifswald - 11,88% / 88,12%
area around Grimmen - 36,58% / 63,42%
area around Franzburg - 32,51% / 67,49%
the island of Rügen - 79,21% / 20,79%


Out of those four places, Rügen has the highest % of Slavic toponyms. I would expect a lot of R1a there. In various parts of the islands of Rügen and Usedom, Slavic toponyms range from 75% to 88% of the total.

The Slavic origin of Usedom's population indicated by toponymy, is confirmed by archaeology and anthropology:

The archaeologically based assumption of a mainly Slavic population cannot be rejected with anthropological means.

A map showing Slavic placenames in that region (they are not evenly distributed throughout the land):


Slavic placenames (blue, yellow, red and green points) in North-Eastern Bavaria (so called Bavaria Slavica):


Slavic placenames in Austria (high concentration around Graz, in which % of R1a reaches 42,9%):


The particular "ethnic type" of Slavs who inhabited Austria before its Germanization, were the Slovenes.

This map illustrates the Early Medieval extent of ethnic Slovene settlement, compared to modern borders of Slovenia:

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Coming back to Britain - percent of carriers of MC1R red hair mutations by country:

It's strange that parts of Tyrol have no slavic toponyms because Friuli south of it, is filled up with them.

An incomplete list of Slavic toponyms.



Officially Slavs were "pushed" into Friul by the German (Bavarian) colonization of Austria.
Thanks Tomenable

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