Medieval HistoriographyFurther information: kings of the Angles
Bede states that the Anglii, before coming to Great Britain, dwelt in a land called Angulus, "which lies between the province of the Jutes and the Saxons, and remains unpopulated to this day." Similar evidence is given by the Historia Brittonum. King Alfred the Great and the chronicler Æthelweard identified this place with the district that is now called Angeln, in the province of Schleswig (Slesvig) (though it may then have been of greater extent), and this identification agrees with the indications given by Bede.
In the Norwegian seafarer Ohthere of Hålogaland's account of a two-day voyage from the Oslo fjord to Schleswig, he reported the lands on his starboard bow, and Alfred appended the note "on these islands dwelt the Engle before they came hither". Confirmation is afforded by English and Danish traditions relating to two kings named Wermund and Offa of Angel, from whom the Mercian royal family claimed descent and whose exploits are connected with Angeln, Schleswig, and Rendsburg. Danish tradition has preserved record of two governors of Schleswig, father and son, in their service, Frowinus (Freawine) and Wigo (Wig), from whom the royal family of Wessex claimed descent. During the 5th century, the Anglii invaded Great Britain, after which time their name does not recur on the continent except in the title of Suevi Angili.
The Angles are the subject of a legend about Pope Gregory I, who happened to see a group of Angle children from Deira for sale as slaves in the Roman market. As the story would later be told by the Anglo-Saxon monk and historian Bede, Gregory was struck by the unusual appearance of the slaves and asked about their background. When told they were called "Anglii" (Angles), he replied with a Latin pun that translates well into English: “Bene, nam et angelicam habent faciem, et tales angelorum in caelis decet esse coheredes” ("It is well, for they have an angelic face, and such people ought to be co-heirs of the angels in heaven"). Supposedly, this encounter inspired the Pope to launch a mission to bring Christianity to their countrymen.
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