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The Saxons (Latin: Saxones, Old English: Seaxe, Old Saxon: Sahson, Low German: Sassen) were a medieval confederation of Germanic tribes on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein. This area overlapped the area of the Angles, a tribe with which they were frequently closely linked.
Saxons participated in the Germanic settlement of Britain during and after the fifth century. It is unknown how many migrated from the continent to Britain, though estimates for the total number of Anglo-Saxon settlers are around two hundred thousand. Since the eighteenth century, many modern Saxon Germans have settled in regions around the world, especially in North America, Australia, South Africa, Southern Brazil and in areas of the former Soviet Union, where some communities still maintain parts of their cultural and linguistic heritage along with other Germans.
Because of international Hanseatic trading routes and contingent migration during the Middle Ages, Saxons mixed with and had strong influences upon the languages and cultures of the Scandinavian and Baltic peoples, and also upon the Polabian Slavs and Pomeranian West Slavic peoples.
The pre-Christian settlement of the Saxon people originally covered an area a little more to the north-west, with parts of the southern Jutland Peninsula, Old Saxony and the area south of the Frisians, north of the Rhine, and east of the Utrecht Hill Ridge of the modern Netherlands. During the fifth century A.D., the Saxons were part of the people migrating to the Romano-British province of Britannia. One of the other tribes was the Germanic Angles, whose name, taken together with that of the Saxons led to the formation of the modern term, Anglo-Saxons.