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A Handbook of the English Language by Latham

In England Vitae called also Jutae


s.

11. The answer to this will be given after another fact has been considered.

Precisely the same confusion between the sounds of w, j, g, io, eae, u, and i, which occurs with the so-called _Jutes_ of the Isle of Wight, occurs with the Jutlanders of the peninsula of Jutland. The common forms are _Jutland_, _Jute_, _Jutones_, and _Jutenses_, but they are not the only ones. In A.D. 952, we find "Dania cismarina quam _Vitland_ incolae appellant."--"Annales Saxonici."[13]

s. 12. Putting these facts together I adopt the evidence of Asser as to the _Gwithware_ being British, and consider them as simple _Vecti-colae_, or inhabitants of the Isle of _Wight_. They are also the _Vectuarii_ of Beda, the _Wihtware_ of the Saxon Chronicle, and the _Wihtsaetan_ of Alfred.

The Jutes of Hampshire--i.e., the "Jutarum natio--posita contra ipsam insulam Vectam," and the _Jutnacyn_, I consider to have been the same; except that they had left the Isle of Wight to settle on the opposite coast; probably flying before their German conquerors, in which case they would be the _exules_ of Asser.

The statement of Beda, so opposed to that of Asser, I explain by supposing that it arose out of an inaccurate inference drawn from the similarity of the names of the Isle of Wight and the peninsula of Jutland, since we have seen that in both cases, there was a similar confusion

between the syllables Jut- and Vit-. This is an error into which even a careful writer might fall. That Beda had no authentic historical accounts of the conquest of Britain, we know from his own statements in the Preface to his Ecclesiastical History,[14] and that he partially tried to make up for the want of them by inference is exceedingly likely. If so, what would be more natural than for him to conclude that Jutes as well as Angles helped to subdue the country. The fact itself was probable; besides which he saw at one and the same time, in England _Vitae_ (called also _Jutae_), in immediate contact with _Saxons_,[26] and on the continent _Jutae_ (called also _Vitae_) in the neighborhood of Angles[27] and Saxons. Is it surprising that he should connect them?

s. 13. If the inhabitants of the Isle of Wight were really _Jutes_ from _Jutland_, it is strange that there should be no traces of the difference which existed, then as now, between them and the proper Anglo-Saxons--a difference which was neither inconsiderable nor of a fleeting nature.

The present Jutlanders are not Germans but Danes, and the Jutes of the time of Beda were most probably the same. Those of the 11th century were _certainly_ so, "Primi ad ostium Baltici Sinus in australi ripa versus nos _Dani, quos Juthas appellant_, usque ad Sliam lacum habitant." Adamus Bremensis,[15] "De Situ Daniae" c. 221. Also, "Et prima pars Daniae, quae Jutland dicitur, ad Egdoram[28] in Boream longitudine pretenditur ... in eum angulum qui Windila dicitur, ubi Jutland finem habet," c. 208.

At the time of Beda they must, according to the received traditions, have been nearly 300 years in possession of the Isle of Wight, a locality as favourable for the preservation of their peculiar manners and customs as any in Great Britain, and a locality wherein we have no evidence of their ever having been disturbed. Nevertheless, neither trace nor shadow of a trace, either in early or modern times, has ever been discovered of their separate nationality and language; a fact which stands in remarkable contrast with the very numerous traces which the Danes of the 9th and 10th century left behind them as evidence of their occupancy.


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