This map of Britain concentrates on the British
territories and kingdoms which were established during the fourth
and fifth centuries, as the Saxons and Angles began their settlement
of the east coast.
It provides an overview of all the territories
known or estimated to have existed under Romano-British control,
but not all of them existed at the same time, or in the same form
as shown here.
Many territories in the south-east appear to have
been slow to assume any independent status, and were very short-lived,
while others in the west had shifting borders and a sketchy history
that suggests a gradual shift from Roman-style administration to
At this stage modern England did not exist (the name
derives from Engle-land, in use from no earlier than the mid-sixth
century to describe the 'land of the Angles'); neither did Wales (a
Saxon name which is generally taken to mean 'foreigner' or 'stranger'
but which is more probably a mangled form of the original name for Celts).
Scotland was either known as Caledonia (the Roman
version of a tribal name), or Pictland after the name (seemingly
coined by the Romans) for the majority of its Celtic population. The
Irish Scotti tribe, the Dal Riada, were only just beginning to migrate
onto the western coast of Pictland, around Argyll.
Most of the kingdoms shown have some historical basis
but some, especially those in the south and east of what later became
England, are less definite. Their borders remain mostly or entirely
conjectural, and the existence of some of them is based on fragmentary
evidence. The historical validity of each kingdom (where there is doubt)
is mentioned in its king list text.