Pegwell Bay is a shallow inlet in the English Channel coast astride the estuary of the River Stour north of Sandwich bay, between Ramsgate and Sandwich in Kent. Part of the bay is a reserve, with seashore habitats including mudflats and salt marsh with migrating waders. The public can access the reserve via Pegwell Bay Country Park. Pegwell Bay in 1858 is recorded in a landscape painting by William Dyce, now in the Tate Gallery, Pegwell Bay. In the 19th Century a pleasure pier was built in an effort to establish a resort to rival nearby Ramsgate. This was not a success however, and was dismantled before the end of the century, out of 53 crewmen only the navigator, Peter Jensen, was a professional seaman. Historic conditions were observed but with the addition of a Sextant. The Hugin was offered as a gift to Ramsgate and Broadstairs by the Daily Mail in order for it to be preserved for centuries, the ship underwent extensive restoration in 2004–5. Nearby Ebbsfleet is the site of the landing of the first Christian mission to southern England, St.
Augustine, in 597 AD, commemorated by St Augustines Cross. The Bay has extreme tides, similar to those of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia and these are used as plot points in Dennis Wheatleys 1938 thriller, Contraband. The attached map of Kent in the shows two of the heroes in difficulties at Pegwell Bay. At the north east corner of the bay are the remains of Hoverlloyds cross-channel hoverport and passenger carrying hovercraft were operated here from 1969 until 1982
The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen. An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Copper-tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC. Worldwide, the Bronze Age generally followed the Neolithic period, with the Chalcolithic serving as a transition, although the Iron Age generally followed the Bronze Age, in some areas, the Iron Age intruded directly on the Neolithic. Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing, according to archaeological evidence, cultures in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed the earliest viable writing systems.
The overall period is characterized by use of bronze, though the place and time of the introduction. Human-made tin bronze technology requires set production techniques, tin must be mined and smelted separately, added to molten copper to make bronze alloy. The Bronze Age was a time of use of metals. The dating of the foil has been disputed, the Bronze Age in the ancient Near East began with the rise of Sumer in the 4th millennium BC. Societies in the region laid the foundations for astronomy and mathematics, the usual tripartite division into an Early and Late Bronze Age is not used. Instead, a division based on art-historical and historical characteristics is more common. The cities of the Ancient Near East housed several tens of thousands of people, ur in the Middle Bronze Age and Babylon in the Late Bronze Age similarly had large populations. The earliest mention of Babylonia appears on a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 23rd century BC, the Amorite dynasty established the city-state of Babylon in the 19th century BC.
Over 100 years later, it took over the other city-states. Babylonia adopted the written Semitic Akkadian language for official use, by that time, the Sumerian language was no longer spoken, but was still in religious use. Elam was an ancient civilization located to the east of Mesopotamia, in the Old Elamite period, Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered in Anshan, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. Its culture played a role in the Gutian Empire and especially during the Achaemenid dynasty that succeeded it
Vortigern, spelled Vortiger and Vortigen, was possibly a 5th-century warlord in Britain, known perhaps as a king of the Britons. His existence is contested, and information about him is obscure and he may have been the superbus tyrannus said to have invited Hengist and Horsa to aid him in fighting the Picts and the Scots. However, they revolted, killing his son in the process and it is said that he took refuge in North Wales, and that his grave was in Dyfed or the Llŷn Peninsula. He is cited at the beginning of the genealogy of the early Kings of Powys, the 6th century historian Gildas wrote De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae in the first decades of the 6th century. In Chapter 23, he tells how all the councillors, together with that proud usurper made the mistake of inviting the fierce and impious Saxons to settle in Britain. According to Gildas, apparently, a group came at first and was settled on the eastern side of the island. This small group invited more of their countrymen to join them, eventually the Saxons demanded that their monthly allotments be increased and, when their demands were eventually refused, broke their treaty and plundered the lands of the Romano-British.
It is not clear whether Gildas used the name Vortigern, most editions published presently omit the name. A, refers to Uortigerno, and Mommsens MS, Gildas adds several small details that suggest either he or his source received at least part of the story from the Anglo-Saxons. The first is when he describes the size of the party of Saxons. This may be the earliest recovered word of English, both of these details are unlikely to have been invented by a Roman or Celtic source. Gildas never addresses Vortigern as the king of Britain and he is termed an usurper, but not solely responsible for inviting the Saxons. To the contrary, he is portrayed as being aided by or aiding a Council, Gildas does not consider Vortigern as bad, he just qualifies him as unlucky and lacking judgement, which is understandable, as these mercenaries proved to be faithless. Modern scholars have debated the various details of Gildas story and it is not known whether private individuals imitated this practice. It is not known whether Gildas reference to the side of the island refers to Kent.
Apparently, even the close to Gildas in time struggled with the gaps in his account. The first extant text considering Gildas account is Bede, writing in the early- to mid-8th century, the Vertigernus form may reflect an earlier Celtic source or a lost version of Gildas. Bede gives names in the Historia to the leaders of the Saxons and Horsa, specifically identifying their tribes as the Saxons, another significant detail that Bede adds to Gildas account is calling Vortigern the king of the British people
Gaius Julius Caesar, known as Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician and notable author of Latin prose. He played a role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic. In 60 BC, Caesar and Pompey formed an alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate. Caesars victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC, extended Romes territory to the English Channel, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the Channel and the Rhine, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, with the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused the order, and instead marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, leaving his province, Civil war resulted, and Caesars victory in the war put him in an unrivalled position of power and influence.
After assuming control of government, Caesar began a programme of social and governmental reforms and he centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed dictator in perpetuity, giving him additional authority. But the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March 44 BC, a new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never fully restored. Caesars adopted heir Octavian, known as Augustus, rose to power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, and the era of the Roman Empire began, much of Caesars life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are major sources, Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history. Caesar was born into a family, the gens Julia.
The cognomen Caesar originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor who was born by Caesarean section. The Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations, that the first Caesar had a head of hair, that he had bright grey eyes. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name, despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not especially politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesars father, called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia and his mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesars childhood, in 85 BC, Caesars father died suddenly, so Caesar was the head of the family at 16
Minster-in-Thanet, known as Minster, is a village and civil parish in the Thanet District of Kent, England. The village is situated to the west of Ramsgate and to the north east of Canterbury, it lies just south west of Kent International Airport, Minster is the ancient capital of Thanet. At the 2011 Census the hamlet of Ebbsfleet was included, the name comes from the Latin monasterium and denotes the historical presence of an abbey or monastery. Archaeology has shown a Bronze Age settlement at Minster-in-Thanet, the area became part of the Roman Empire under the emperor Claudius which four centuries was ceded to the Saxons around 450AD. Minster itself originally started as a settlement in 670 AD. The buildings are used as nunneries today. The first abbey in the village was founded by St. Domneva, the tradition is that Domneva was granted as much land as a hind could run over in a day, the hind remains the village emblem, see Thanet. The abbey was extinguished by Viking raiding, the next abbess after St.
Mildred was St Edburga daughter of King Centwine of the West Saxons. The third known abbess was Sigeburh, who was active around 762 AD and is known from the Secgan hagiography, in 761AD Offa, king of the Mercians, granted Sigeburh a toll-exemption which king Æthelbald had previously granted to Abbess Mildrith. Again in about 763 AD Eadberht II, king of Kent and it has been stated that in gaining these privileges, she may have been taking advantage of Æthelbalds political weakness. Vikings attacked the area in 850 AD. The parish church of St. Mary-the-Virgin is largely Norman but with significant traces of earlier work, the nave is impressive with five bays, and the crossing has an ancient chalk block vaulting. The chancel is Early English with flying buttresses intended to halt the very obvious spread of the upper walls, there is a fine set of misericords reliably dated around 1400. A doorway in the turret opens out some two metres above the present roof line, the church was used by both the brethren of the second abbey, a dependency of St.
Augustines Abbey in Canterbury, and as a parish church. Socket holes in the piers of the crossing suggest that, as well as a screen, there was a further screen dividing nave and crossing. This abbey surrendered during the dissolution in 1534, Minster Abbey is a house incorporating remains of the Anglo-Saxon abbey and alleged to be the oldest continuously inhabited house in England. It now houses the third religious community, a priory of Roman Catholic Benedictine sisters that is a daughter community of Eichstätt in Bavaria. It was settled in 1937 by refugees fleeing Nazi Germany and continues to flourish as an international community, the Priory has the care of a relic of St. Mildred that had been in the care of a church in Deventer in the Netherlands since the Reformation
The North Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean located between Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and France. An epeiric sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the ocean through the English Channel in the south and it is more than 970 kilometres long and 580 kilometres wide, with an area of around 570,000 square kilometres. The North Sea has long been the site of important European shipping lanes as well as a major fishery, the North Sea was the centre of the Vikings rise. Subsequently, the Hanseatic League, the Netherlands, and the British each sought to dominate the North Sea and thus the access to the markets, as Germanys only outlet to the ocean, the North Sea continued to be strategically important through both World Wars. The coast of the North Sea presents a diversity of geological and geographical features, in the north, deep fjords and sheer cliffs mark the Norwegian and Scottish coastlines, whereas in the south it consists primarily of sandy beaches and wide mudflats.
Due to the population, heavy industrialization, and intense use of the sea and area surrounding it. In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean, in the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively. In the north it is bordered by the Shetland Islands, and connects with the Norwegian Sea, the North Sea is more than 970 kilometres long and 580 kilometres wide, with an area of 570,000 square kilometres and a volume of 54,000 cubic kilometres. Around the edges of the North Sea are sizeable islands and archipelagos, including Shetland, the North Sea receives freshwater from a number of European continental watersheds, as well as the British Isles. A large part of the European drainage basin empties into the North Sea including water from the Baltic Sea, the largest and most important rivers flowing into the North Sea are the Elbe and the Rhine – Meuse watershed.
Around 185 million people live in the catchment area of the rivers discharging into the North Sea encompassing some highly industrialized areas, for the most part, the sea lies on the European continental shelf with a mean depth of 90 metres. The only exception is the Norwegian trench, which extends parallel to the Norwegian shoreline from Oslo to a north of Bergen. It is between 20 and 30 kilometres wide and has a depth of 725 metres. The Dogger Bank, a vast moraine, or accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris and this feature has produced the finest fishing location of the North Sea. The Long Forties and the Broad Fourteens are large areas with uniform depth in fathoms. These great banks and others make the North Sea particularly hazardous to navigate, the Devils Hole lies 200 miles east of Dundee, Scotland. The feature is a series of trenches between 20 and 30 kilometres long,1 and 2 kilometres wide and up to 230 metres deep. Other areas which are less deep are Cleaver Bank, Fisher Bank, the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the North Sea as follows, On the Southwest
Isle of Sheppey
The Isle of Sheppey is an island off the northern coast of Kent, England in the Thames Estuary, some 46 miles to the east of London. It has an area of 36 square miles, the island forms part of the local government district of Swale. Todays island was known as the Isles of Sheppey which were Sheppey itself, the Isle of Harty to the south east. Over time the channels between the isles have silted up to make one continuous island, like much of north Kent, is largely formed from London Clay and is a plentiful source of fossils. The Mount near Minster rises to 250 feet above sea level and is the highest point on the island, the rest of Sheppey is low-lying and the southern part of the island is marshy land criss-crossed by inlets and drains. Sheppey is separated from the mainland by a called the Swale. Three ferries have operated between the mainland and the isle, one to the west, called the Kings Ferry, one at Elmley, and another, giving access from Faversham, All had long histories, particularly the last.
None operate today, the Harty Ferry ceased operation at the start of the First World War and that at Harty is below the Ferry House Inn, while seeing the one at Elmley requires a walk of about a mile and a half from the RSPB car park. Additionally the South Eastern Railway operated a passenger ferry to Sheerness from Port Victoria railway terminus on the Grain Peninsula for some years. Several ferry services to Southend have tried but proved short-lived. An attempt to start a small hovercraft service between the Harty Ferry Inn and Oare Creek near Faversham in 1970 by the landlord, Ben Fowler. A number of ferry services have operated from the Isle of Sheppey. A large ferry terminal was built by the London and Dover Railway at Queenborough Pier in 1876 and operated a service to Flushing in the Netherlands. These services ceased during the First World War but it was used for military traffic. The port there was closed and dismantled in the 1930s, a passenger and lorry ferry operated to Vlissingen from Sheerness through the 1980s and 1990s, but there has been no ferry service of any kind in recent years.
The Kingsferry Bridge was first built in 1860, thus eliminating the need for ferries, over time, there have been four bridges built over the Swale at this point. It had a central span raised between two towers and road traffic were able to use it, as with the next two bridges. 6 November 1906, The South Eastern and Chatham Railway replaced the first bridge with one having a rolling lift design and it was originally worked by hand, but by electricity
Saint Columba was an Irish abbot and missionary credited with spreading Christianity in what is today Scotland at the start of the Hiberno-Scottish mission. He founded the important abbey on Iona, which became a dominant religious and he is the Patron Saint of Derry. He was highly regarded by both the Gaels of Dál Riata and the Picts, and is remembered today as a Christian saint, Columba studied under some of Irelands most prominent church figures and founded several monasteries in the country. He remained active in Irish politics, though he spent most of the remainder of his life in Scotland, three surviving early medieval Latin hymns may be attributed to him. Columba was born to Fedlimid and Eithne of the Cenel Conaill in Gartan, near Lough Gartan, in modern County Donegal, on his fathers side, he was great-great-grandson of Niall of the Nine Hostages, an Irish high king of the 5th century. He was baptised in Temple-Douglas, in the County Donegal parish of Conwal, by his teacher and foster-uncle Saint Crunathan.
When sufficiently advanced in letters he entered the school of Movilla, at Newtownards. He was about twenty, and a deacon when, having completed his training at Movilla, he travelled southwards into Leinster, on leaving him, Columba entered the monastery of Clonard, governed at that time by Finnian, noted for sanctity and learning. Here he imbibed the traditions of the Welsh Church, for Finnian had been trained in the schools of St. David, in early Christian Ireland the druidic tradition collapsed due to the spread of the new Christian faith. The study of Latin learning and Christian theology in monasteries flourished, Columba became a pupil at the monastic school at Clonard Abbey, situated on the River Boyne in modern County Meath. During the sixth century, some of the most significant names in the history of Irish Christianity studied at the Clonard monastery and it is said that the average number of scholars under instruction at Clonard was 3,000. Columba was one of students of St. Finnian who became known as the Twelve Apostles of Ireland.
He became a monk and eventually was ordained a priest, another preceptor of Columba was St. Mobhi, whose monastery at Glasnevin was frequented by such famous men as St. Canice, St. Comgall, and St. Ciaran. A pestilence which devastated Ireland in 544 caused the dispersion of Mobhis disciples, and Columba returned to Ulster and he was a striking figure of great stature and powerful build, with a loud, melodious voice which could be heard from one hilltop to another. The following years were marked by the foundation of important monasteries, County Londonderry, County Offaly, County Meath. While at Derry it is said that he planned a pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem, thence he brought a copy of those gospels that had lain on the bosom of St. Martin for the space of 100 years. This relic was deposited in Derry, tradition asserts that, sometime around 560, he became involved in a quarrel with Saint Finnian of Movilla Abbey over a psalter. Columba copied the manuscript at the scriptorium under Saint Finnian, intending to keep the copy, Saint Finnian disputed his right to keep the copy
The Hebrides comprise a widespread and diverse archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland. There are two groups, the Inner and Outer Hebrides. This diversity is reflected in the given to the islands. The Hebrides are the source of much of Scottish Gaelic literature, today the economy of the islands is dependent on crofting, tourism, the oil industry, and renewable energy. The Hebrides have lower biodiversity than mainland Britain, but there is a significant presence of seals, the Hebrides have a diverse geology ranging in age from Precambrian strata that are amongst the oldest rocks in Europe to Paleogene igneous intrusions. The Hebrides can be divided into two groups, separated from one another by the Minch to the north and the Sea of the Hebrides to the south. The Inner Hebrides lie closer to mainland Scotland and include Islay, Skye, Raasay, there are 36 inhabited islands in this group. The Outer Hebrides are a chain of more than 100 islands, there are 15 inhabited islands in this archipelago.
The main islands include Barra, Berneray, Lewis, North Uist, South Uist, in total, the islands have an area of approximately 7,200 square kilometres and a population of 44,759. A complication is that there are descriptions of the scope of the Hebrides. The Collins Encyclopedia of Scotland describes the Inner Hebrides as lying east of the Minch, there are various islands that lie in the sea lochs such as Eilean Bàn and Eilean Donan that might not ordinarily be described as Hebridean, but no formal definitions exist. In the past, the Outer Hebrides were often referred to as the Long Isle, they are known as the Western Isles, although this phrase can be used to refer to the Hebrides in general. The Hebrides have a temperate climate that is remarkably mild and steady for such a northerly latitude. In the Outer Hebrides the average temperature for the year is 6 °C in January and 14 °C in summer, the average annual rainfall in Lewis is 1,100 millimetres and sunshine hours range from 1,100 –1,200 per annum.
The summer days are long, and May to August is the driest period. The Hebrides were settled during the Mesolithic era around 6500 BC or earlier, after the conditions improved enough to sustain human settlement. Occupation at a site on Rùm is dated to 8590 ±95 uncorrected radiocarbon years BP, there are many examples of structures from the Neolithic period, the finest example being the standing stones at Callanish, dating to the 3rd millennium BC. Cladh Hallan, a Bronze Age settlement on South Uist is the site in the UK where prehistoric mummies have been found
Isidore of Seville
He was influential in the inner circle of Sisebut, Visigothic king of Hispania. Like Leander, he played a prominent role in the Councils of Toledo, the Visigothic legislation that resulted from these councils influenced the beginnings of representative government. His fame after his death was based on his Etymologiae, an encyclopedia which assembled extracts of many books from classical antiquity that would have otherwise been lost. Isidore was probably born in Cartagena, Spain, a former Carthaginian colony, to Severianus, both Severianus and Theodora belonged to notable Hispano-Roman families of high social rank. His parents were members of a family who were instrumental in the political-religious manoeuvring that converted the Visigothic kings from Arianism to Catholicism. A younger brother, Saint Fulgentius of Cartagena, served as the Bishop of Astigi at the start of the new reign of the Catholic King Reccared and his sister, Saint Florentina, served God as a nun and allegedly ruled over forty convents and one thousand consecrated religious.
This claim seems unlikely, given the few functioning monastic institutions in Iberia during her lifetime, Isidore received his elementary education in the Cathedral school of Seville. In this institution, the first of its kind in Iberia, a body of learned men including Archbishop Saint Leander of Seville taught the trivium and quadrivium, Saint Isidore applied himself to study diligently enough that he quickly mastered Latin, and acquired some Greek, and Hebrew. Two centuries of Gothic control of Iberia incrementally suppressed the ancient institutions, classic learning, the associated culture entered a period of long-term decline. The ruling Visigoths nevertheless showed some respect for the trappings of Roman culture. Arianism meanwhile took deep root among the Visigoths as the form of Christianity that they received, scholars may debate whether Isidore ever personally embraced monastic life or affiliated with any religious order, but he undoubtedly esteemed the monks highly. After the death of Saint Leander of Seville on 13 March 600 or 601, on his elevation to the episcopate, he immediately constituted himself as protector of monks.
He used all available religious resources toward this end and succeeded, Isidore practically eradicated the heresy of Arianism and completely stifled the new heresy of Acephali at its very outset. Archbishop Isidore strengthened religious discipline throughout his See, Archbishop Isidore used resources of education to counteract increasingly influential Gothic barbarism throughout his episcopal jurisdiction. His quickening spirit animated the educational movement centered on Seville, Saint Isidore introduced Aristotle to his countrymen long before the Arabs studied Greek philosophy extensively. In 619, Saint Isidore of Seville pronounced anathema against any ecclesiastic who in any way should molest the monasteries, through the enlightened statecraft of his two brothers, the Councils of Seville and Toledo emanated Visigothic legislation which influenced the beginnings of representative government. The Acts of the Council fully set forth the nature of Christ, countering the conceptions of Gregory, based on a few surviving canons found in the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, Saint Isidore is known to have presided over an additional provincial council around 624.
The council dealt with a conflict over the see of Ecija, and wrongfully stripped bishop Martianus of his see and it addressed a concern over Jews who had been forced to convert to Christianity by Sisebut failing to present their children for baptism
The term is commonly extended in modern English and other vernaculars to the inhabitants of Viking home communities during what has become known as the Viking Age. Facilitated by advanced seafaring skills, and characterised by the longship, Viking activities at times extended into the Mediterranean littoral, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. A romanticized picture of Vikings as noble savages began to emerge in the 18th century, current popular representations of the Vikings are typically based on cultural clichés and stereotypes, complicating modern appreciation of the Viking legacy. One etymology derives víking from the feminine vík, meaning creek, various theories have been offered that the word viking may be derived from the name of the historical Norwegian district of Viken, meaning a person from Viken. According to this theory, the word simply described persons from this area, there are a few major problems with this theory. People from the Viken area were not called Viking in Old Norse manuscripts, in addition, that explanation could only explain the masculine and ignore the feminine, which is a serious problem because the masculine is easily derived from the feminine but hardly vice versa.
The form occurs as a name on some Swedish rune stones. There is little indication of any negative connotation in the term before the end of the Viking Age and this is found in the Proto-Nordic verb *wikan, ‘to turn’, similar to Old Icelandic víkja ‘to move, to turn’, with well-attested nautical usages. In that case, the idea behind it seems to be that the rower moves aside for the rested rower on the thwart when he relieves him. A víkingr would originally have been a participant on a sea journey characterized by the shifting of rowers, in that case, the word Viking was not originally connected to Scandinavian seafarers but assumed this meaning when the Scandinavians begun to dominate the seas. In Old English, the word wicing appears first in the Anglo-Saxon poem, Widsith, in Old English, and in the history of the archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen written by Adam of Bremen in about 1070, the term generally referred to Scandinavian pirates or raiders. As in the Old Norse usages, the term is not employed as a name for any people or culture in general, the word does not occur in any preserved Middle English texts.
The Vikings were known as Ascomanni ashmen by the Germans for the ash wood of their boats, Lochlannach by the Gaels, the modern day name for Sweden in several neighbouring countries is possibly derived from rōþs-, Ruotsi in Finnish and Rootsi in Estonian. The Slavs and the Byzantines called them Varangians, Scandinavian bodyguards of the Byzantine emperors were known as the Varangian Guard. The Franks normally called them Northmen or Danes, while for the English they were known as Danes or heathen. It is used in distinction from Anglo-Saxon, similar terms exist for other areas, such as Hiberno-Norse for Ireland and Scotland. The period from the earliest recorded raids in the 790s until the Norman conquest of England in 1066 is commonly known as the Viking Age of Scandinavian history, Vikings used the Norwegian Sea and Baltic Sea for sea routes to the south. The Normans were descended from Vikings who were given feudal overlordship of areas in northern France—the Duchy of Normandy—in the 10th century, in that respect, descendants of the Vikings continued to have an influence in northern Europe
The English Channel, called simply the Channel, is the body of water that separates southern England from northern France, and links the southern part of the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. It is about 560 km long and varies in width from 240 km at its widest to 33.3 km in the Strait of Dover and it is the smallest of the shallow seas around the continental shelf of Europe, covering an area of some 75,000 km2. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the English Channel as follows, a line joining Isle Vierge to Lands End. The southwestern limit of the North Sea, the IHO defines the southwestern limit of the North Sea as a line joining the Walde Lighthouse and Leathercoat Point. The Walde Lighthouse is 6 km east of Calais, and Leathercoat Point is at the end of St Margarets Bay. The Strait of Dover, at the Channels eastern end, is its narrowest point and it is relatively shallow, with an average depth of about 120 m at its widest part, reducing to a depth of about 45 m between Dover and Calais.
Eastwards from there the adjoining North Sea reduces to about 26 m in the Broad Fourteens where it lies over the watershed of the land bridge between East Anglia and the Low Countries. It reaches a depth of 180 m in the submerged valley of Hurds Deep,48 km west-northwest of Guernsey. The eastern region along the French coast between Cherbourg and the mouth of the Seine river at Le Havre is frequently referred to as the Bay of the Seine. There are several islands in the Channel, the most notable being the Isle of Wight off the English coast. The coastline, particularly on the French shore, is indented, several small islands close to the coastline, including Chausey. The Cotentin Peninsula in France juts out into the Channel, whilst on the English side there is a parallel channel known as the Solent between the Isle of Wight and the mainland. The Celtic Sea is to the west of the Channel, the time difference of about six hours between high water at the eastern and western limits of the Channel is indicative of the tidal range being amplified further by resonance.
It was never defined as a border and the names were more or less descriptive. It was not considered as the property of a nation, before the development of the modern nations, British scholars very often referred to it as Gaulish and the French one as British or English. The name English Channel has been used since the early 18th century. In modern Dutch, however, it is known as Het Kanaal, later, it has been known as the British Channel or the British Sea having been called the Oceanus Britannicus by the 2nd-century geographer Ptolemy. The same name is used on an Italian map of about 1450, the Anglo-Saxon texts often call it Sūð-sǣ as opposed to Norð-sǣ