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A tale of Wade: The Anglo-Saxon origin myth in an East Saxon setting

Phillip Heath-Coleman

 In the past Walter Map’s tale of Gado, included in his De Nugis Curialium, written towards the end of the twelfth century, has been merely regarded as a Medieval Latin version of a pre-conquest lay concerning the exploits of the Germanic hero Wade. However, if we look past the fantastic elements which surround him we are left with what appears to be an East Saxon version of the English settlement myth most familiar in the Kentish form involving Hengist and Vortigern, which itself seems to have been adopted from a common Germanic theme.

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