Animation showing the ancestors’ provenance of the people inhabiting Britain in the 8th century CE according to Bede’s “Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum” (I,1).
Image elaborated from Google Earth.

Bede separates the inhabitants of Britain into 5 groups based on their languages. These languages were: Anglorum, Brettonum, Scottorum, Pictorum, and Latinorum. He also states that all groups used Latin as a shared language.

He explains that the Brittones were the first inhabitants of Britain. At some point, the Picti from Schythia settled in the northern part of the island, followed by the Scottorum from Hibernia (Ireland).

Bede writes that during the mid-5th century CE the king of the Brittones asked the Angli, Saxones and Iuti to come to Britain and help fight the king’s enemies (the Picti and Scottorum). After this, he says each group occupied different parts of the island.

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