I recently found an interesting (albeit long-winded) article that discusses the Germanization of post-Roman Britain. It doesn’t go into many details of the German invasion, but does discuss possible mechanisms by which the culture and religion of the population were changed within a century. The mechanisms that Khan discusses are “elite emulation” and “population replacement”. He then explores examples where those mechanisms didn’t occur as expected.
After a wide-ranging discussion that jumps between Turkish history, the assimilation of African blacks in colonial America, the Islamicization of North Africa and the Middle East, and even the Iberian / Italian conquest of South America, the author returns to the subject of Anglo-Saxon England for the last half of the article. He suggests the German invaders may have been a very organized warrior society, of whom some of which may have served under Theodoric the Ostrogoth before his power collapsed in 6th century Italy. He also suggests that the warrior invaders probably brought women with them, because this would have cemented German culture and paganism in a way that intermarriage with indigene women would not. Khan writes that the change seen in Britain occurred much faster than in other regions, implying that the invasion was swift, thorough, and widespread throughout much of Britain.
- “Celts to Anglo-Saxons, in light of updated assumptions“, Razib Khan, Discover Blogs, 2011-06-23