During Georg Friederich Händel’s visit to Italy, much was made of his being from Saxony; in particular, the Venetians greeted the 1709 performance of his opera Agrippina with the cry Viva il caro Sassone, “Long live the beloved Saxon!”
All mentions of the Saxons during the 4th and early 5th centuries referred to pirates and warlords in Gaul and Britain, rather than to a specific tribe or inhabitants of a specific area. In order to defend against Saxon raiders, the Romans created a military district called the Litus Saxonicum (“Saxon Coast”) on both sides of the English Channel. In 441/442, Saxons are mentioned for the first time as inhabitants of Britain, when an unknown Gaulish historian wrote: “Britain falls under the rule of the Saxons”.
FEATURED in Celtic Realm – July 2011