171 – The Welshcast Part Seven

When we left off last time, we were talking about how we have a limited understanding of this area of history due to a combination of scarce resources and the victorians building a mythology of englishness. We also covered the early middle ages and the turn that was occurring in Southern Britain in the 6th century, where the Anglo Saxons (especially the West Saxons) had rebounded from their early losses and now were defeating the Britons in battle and steadily advancing towards the Severn.

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  1. Listening to the episode, which is good as always :)

    Just a note, on a point that may be interesting to discuss. I’d say it’s not so much that “the sticking point wasn’t ethnicity but rather it was religion” — more that religion _was_ essentially a defining element of ethnicity. Possibly to the point of being the _main_ defining element.

    The idea of religion as a personal, spiritual issue is modern (as well as Western) in origin, and even today is not universal. For most of the history of humanity, in most places, religion and ethnicity are/were hard to set apart.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. I’ve never seen anything stating that, but it’s always possible that I have missed a source (there are a lot of them). Do you have any scholarly articles that you can point me to supporting your contention that religion was the defining element of ethnicity?

      1. Ah! I’m afraid not. I’m rather omnivorous and I don’t remember my sources… of which, as you say, there are a lot :) But on the other hand, I don’t think the notion of religion as a (not “the”) defining element of ethnicity is at all controversial.

        I don’t know that I’ve read it in any specific source, actually — I may, or I may not. It simply looks to me as a fact, something that I see reflected again and again, in different places and times, when I look at history (or listen to history podcasts!) or at different cultures in the contemporary world.

        Sorry about the lack of references! If I come across something useful/interesting on the subject, I’ll let you know.

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