Bede completed his book Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People) in around 731. Thus the term for English people (Latin: gens Anglorum; Anglo-Saxon: Anglecynn) was in use by then to distinguish Germanic groups in Britain from those on the continent (Old Saxony in Northern Germany).[a] The term 'Anglo-Saxon' came in practice in the 8th century (probably by Paul the Deacon) to distinguish English Saxons from continental Saxons (Ealdseaxe, 'old' Saxons).
The historian James Campbell suggested that it was not until the late Anglo-Saxon period that England could be described as a nation state. It is certain that the concept of "Englishness" only developed very slowly.