The anglo saxon period and the middle ages introduction to the literary period
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The Anglo-Saxon Period and the Middle Ages Introduction to the Literary Period. Feature Menu. Fast Facts Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy Key Concept: The Normans Invade Britain Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society Your Turn. The Anglo-Saxon Period and the Middle Ages Fast Facts.

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The anglo saxon period and the middle ages introduction to the literary period
The Anglo-Saxon Period and the Middle AgesIntroduction to the Literary Period

Feature Menu

Fast Facts

Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy

Key Concept: The Normans Invade Britain

Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society

Your Turn


The anglo saxon period and the middle ages fast facts
The Anglo-Saxon Period and the Middle Ages Fast Facts

Historical Highlights

  • The Romans invade Britain in 55 B.C. and create a four-hundred-year period of political stability.

  • King Alfred and his descendants unite Anglo-Saxon England in the late ninth century.

  • William the Conqueror defeats the Anglo-Saxons in 1066 and introduces feudalism to Britain.


The anglo saxon period and the middle ages fast facts1
The Anglo-Saxon Period and the Middle Ages Fast Facts

Literary Highlights

  • The brooding fatalism of pagan Anglo-Saxon culture gives the first British epic, Beowulf, its melancholy tone and stress on earthly heroism.

  • The bards ensure stories have an important position in early British culture.

  • Christian monks copy ancient manuscripts, preserving classical and Anglo-Saxon texts.

  • Chivalry gives rise to a new form of literature, the romance.

[End of Section]


Key concept the anglo saxon legacy
Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy

History of the Times

  • After the legions of Rome conquered the Celts, Roman armies kept Britain free from invaders.

  • Troubles at home forced Rome to evacuate its soldiers in A.D. 409, opening Britain to invasion.


Key concept the anglo saxon legacy1
Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy

History of the Times

  • Angle and Saxon clans impose warrior culture on the island for six centuries.

  • Until ninth century, Britain is subject to constant invasions and battles.

  • King Alfred unites Anglo-Saxons against the invading Danes.

  • The spread of Christianity helps unify the Anglo-Saxons.


Key concept the anglo saxon legacy2
Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy

Literature of the Times

  • Anglo-Saxon literature is rooted in oral tradition.

  • Poetry, like fighting, hunting, and farming, had great significance.

  • Bards relied on sound devices and repeated phrases to remember their tales.

  • Old English epic poem Beowulf combines Germanic heroism and Anglo-Saxon fatalism.


Key concept the anglo saxon legacy3
Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy

Literature of the Times

  • English emerges as a written language.

  • Christian monks copy ancient manuscripts, preserving classical and Anglo-Saxon texts.

  • Historical poems in Anglo-Saxon Chronicle detail events of early English history.


Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy

Comprehension Check

What event led to the Anglo-Saxon invasion of the British provinces?

[End of Section]


Key concept the normans invade britain
Key Concept: The Normans Invade Britain

History of the Times

  • In the Norman invasion of 1066, William the Conqueror defeats the Anglo-Saxons.

  • To squash revolts, William divided the land among his loyal barons and built castles around the country.

  • By establishing a social structure called feudalism, William created a hierarchy of rulers under one lord and a network of thousands of knights sworn to serve him.


Key concept the normans invade britain1
Key Concept: The Normans Invade Britain

Literature of the Times

  • Old English disappears from laws and literature after William makes French the language of the state.

  • Reflecting the chasm between the British masses and the Norman rulers, literature was usually written in Latin or Norman French after 1066.

  • Bibles and gospels created in monasteries were celebrated for their brilliant illuminated manuscripts, all created by hand.


Key Concept: The Normans Invade Britain

Comprehension Check

How was William the Conqueror able to form such a powerful army following his victory in 1066?

[End of Section]


Key concept life in medieval society
Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society

History of the Times

  • Medieval society was dependent on strictly defined social classes—nobility, knights, priests, merchants, and peasants.

  • The contributions of each group affected how well villages and towns prospered.

  • Villages, built around castles, were the fundamental center of medieval society.

  • Social mobility was nearly impossible in the Middle Ages. Social rank remained fixed.


Key concept life in medieval society1
Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society

Literature of the Times

  • Some medieval writers began to use the vernacular, or language of the people.

  • Works written in English, such as ballads and romances, helped to define England’s identity.

  • A new literary form—the romance—becomes popular, reflecting the concepts of courtly love and chivalry.

  • Scholarly works from monasteries and universities reflect society’s interest in moral instruction and morality plays.


Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society

Comprehension Check

Describe the trends in English literature during the Middle Ages. Were they reflective of life at the time?

[End of Section]


The Anglo-Saxon Period and the Middle AgesIntroduction to the Literary Period

Your Turn

Copy the Academic Vocabulary list into a notebook.

Try to use the words as you outline the main ideas of the selections in the collection that follows.

concept status

diverse attribute

emphasis

[End of Section]



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