Anglo saxons
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Anglo Saxons. History. Anglo-Saxons Angles and Saxons invaded Britain from Germany, took over a large part of the country Descendants of earlier “vikings” and other warrior/seafaring societies. King Alfred

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Anglo Saxons

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Anglo Saxons


History

  • Anglo-Saxons

    • Angles and Saxons invaded Britain from Germany, took over a large part of the country

    • Descendants of earlier “vikings” and other warrior/seafaring societies.

  • King Alfred

    • Danes invaded from the north and the Anglo-Saxons unified under King Alfred to stop them


How do we know about the Anglo Saxons?

http://www.suttonhoo.org/


Treasure at Sutton Hoo


Culture and Beliefs

  • Terms:

    • Scop: an Old English term for poet. Functioned as both an entertainer and as an historian.

    • Heroic Ideal: Anglo-Saxon culture was governed by the ideals of bravery, loyalty and generosity.


Culture and Beliefs:Revenge and Kinship

  • Importance of Family

    • A person’s family (and by extension the tribe/clan) was protection

    • Any injury/death must be avenged by the kinsmen

    • Wer-gild (man gold): it was acceptable to pay the family in atonement for death or injury


Culture and Beliefs:Honor and Glory

  • Honor:

    • People were judged by their actions

    • To be respected and remembered was the goal of everyone’s life

  • Glory:

    • Wyrd: “destiny” or “fate” Anglo-Saxons did not really believe in an afterlife

    • The goal was to be remembered after death, in songs and stories of his great deeds


Daily Life


Housing

Houses were simple structures made of wood. Thatched roofs and windows were rare.


The leader (chieftain / eorl) would often have a large hall in the center of the village


Families would be responsible for growing/raising their own food.


They were farmers, but also hunted and fished.

Women would often tend the field alongside the men.


  • Each village was very self sufficient

  • Everything that was used in the village was most likely made in the village

  • People would often become specialized and barter goods and services


  • Goods would be made from locally available materials.

  • This comb was hand made from bone.


Anglo-Saxon society was social.


Socializing would take place in a central hall—it would often be large enough for the whole village to be able to go inside.


Clothing: simple and locally made


Culture and Beliefs:“Comitatus”

  • Comitatus:

    • A small band of warriors led by a chieftain (or king)

    • The warriors would defend their leader to the death; no warrior should outlive the king/chief

    • In turn, the chief would reward them generously and share the spoils of war with them


Combat tended to be brutal and short. Shields played a key role in protecting the warriors.


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