ANGLO-SAXON LITERATURE. THE NORMAN CONQUEST. THE PRE-RENAISSANCE PERIOD IN ENGLAND. Lecture 3 Трякина Светлана Анатольевна, ГОУ СОШ №1232, Москва. The development of written literary tradition in European literature is closely connected with the spread of Christian religion.
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Трякина Светлана Анатольевна,
ГОУ СОШ №1232, Москва
It became the official religion of Rome in 306 and was brought to all Roman colonies, including Britain.
Together with their religion early Christians brought the Latin language, the official language of the Church all over Europe.
They were pagans, and most of British Christians were either put to death or driven away to Wales and Ireland. That is why the stories of Christian martyrs and saints were typical of the literature of that time.
They landed in Kent and built their first church in Canterbury.
Latin words entered the language of the Anglo-Saxons because the religious books were all in Latin.
The monasteries became centres of education and learning. Poets and writers imitated Latin books about the early Christians and saints. The names of old English poets were Caedmon ( the 7th century) and Cynewulf ( the 8th century).
the Venerable Bede ( 673 – 735)who wrote “The Ecclesiastical History of the English People)
the English king Alfred the Great (871 – 901) who wrote “The Anglo- Saxon Chronicle”.
After the death of Alfred the Great fighting with the Danes began again. Some of them settled in Scotland and Ireland, others sailed across the English Channel and settled in France,in Normandy. That’s why they are called the Normans.
In 1066 William, Duke of Normandy ( William the Conqueror) defeated the English at Hastings, and the English became an oppressed nation. The Norman- French language was spoken by the ruling class and at court. But common people spoke the Anglo- Saxon dialects.
Latin ( was used in monasteries and churches),
French ( was the official language of the state),
Anglo- Saxon ( was spoken by common people).
A fully developed university had 4 faculties:
Theology ( the study of religious books),Canon Law ( church laws), Medicine, Art.
At the faculty of Arts the students studied Latin Grammar, Rhetoric ( expressive speaking), Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy and Music.
Oxford University was founded in 1168
Cambridge University was founded in 1209
The medieval poets came from France with the conquerors and brought tales in verse and lyrical poems about brave and gallant knights and beautiful ladies. They were sung to the accompaniment of musical instruments, such as a lute. The name of this genre is romance.
They were collected and arranged in a series of stories in prose by Sir Thomas Malory in the 15th century.
There are 21 books in this epic.
Fables were short stories with animals for characters and having a moral.
Fabliaux were funny metrical poems, full of indecent jokes, about cunning humbugs, silly old merchants and their unfaithful wives.
The literature of the town did not idealize characters as romances did.
In the first part of the 14 jokes, about cunning humbugs, silly old merchants and their unfaithful wives. th century the Normans made London their residence and the capital of the country. The London dialect gradually became the foundation of the national language.
At that time there appeared poor priests who wandered from village to village and talked to the people. They protested against rich bishops and churchmen who were ignorant and could not teach people anything.
Such poor priests were the poet William Langland (1332 – 1400)
and John Wycliff (1320 – 1384) who translated part of the Bible into English.
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