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The Saxons were one of many barbarian Germanic tribes that occupied Europe north of the borders of the Roman Empire. While the bulk of the Saxons remained on the European continent, an army of Saxon warriors and some of their dependents conquered and settled in what had been Roman Britain (today's England) in the 4th and 5th centuries AD.

The Saxons' most likely original settlement is accepted to have been Northern Albingia, a territory roughly that of present day Holstein. This general region additionally incorporated the plausible country of the Angles. Saxons, alongside the Angles and other mainland Germanic tribes, took part in the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain amid and after the fifth century. The Romano-Celtic indigenous peoples tended to describe all of the barbarian newcomers as Saxons. It is obscure how many Saxons actually settled in , however evaluates for the aggregate number of Anglo-Saxon "pioneers" are around 200,000. Despite the linguistic change, English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish ancestry is overwhelmingly that of a the founding Celtiberian population. People in the British Isles may speak a Germanic language heavily influenced by French and Latin, but they are genetically Celtic. Their closest genetic relatives are the people living in Galicia in northern Spain.

The pagan Saxons who remained on the continent were subjected to a general slaughter by the Latin Christian Frankish King Charles the Great or Charlemagne. he settled some of the survivors east of the Elbe as part of a general struggle against the pagan Slavs.

In the Middle Ages, Saxons blended with and had solid impacts upon the dialects and societies of the North Germanic, Baltic people groups, Finnic people groups, Polabian Slavs and Pomeranian West Slavic individuals.