When discussing the past, we need to consider the potential bias. History requires selection, re-ordering, interpretation, and expositions of events, meaning no version can show objective ‘truth’. They always convey a narrative that tries to make sense of the past. Historical truths can and do exist, but the way they are presented is, by definition, subjective. For example, saying Bede wrote “Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum” is a historical truth. However, claiming that he wrote a definitive history of the English church and people is more subjective.

Trying to trace direct lineages from past to present is dangerous, especially when trying to justify a privilege. Tragic examples are the historical manipulations during the 20th century of Romans, Germans, Aryans, Lombards, Anglo-Saxons and Gaul’s, to try and prove nationalistic ideals. This unfounded technique is based on the false assumption that the ‘character’ of a group is a result of genetic inheritance.

This simplistic view ignores centuries of migration, trade, war, and socioeconomic change.

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