The anglo saxon period 449 1066
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HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 449-1066. The Anglo-Saxon Period (449-1066). By providing an overview of the major historical events of the Anglo-Saxon Period, the students are permitted to interpret the possible influences of historical contexts on literary works.

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The Anglo-Saxon Period (449-1066)

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The anglo saxon period 449 1066

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

449-1066

The Anglo-Saxon Period (449-1066)

By providing an overview of the major historical events of the Anglo-Saxon Period, the students are permitted to interpret the possible influences of historical contexts on literary works.


Western civilization and western thought

Western Civilization and Western Thought

  • Grew out of three ancient civilizations:

    • Greeks – individual truth

    • Romans – the state

    • Hebrews – God above all


Each culture prevailed at different times

Each culture prevailed at different times.

  • Medieval period = Hebrew concept

    (God above all)

  • Renaissance = Greek concept

    (Individual truth)

  • 18th/19th/20th Centuries = Roman concept

    (State above all)


England before the anglo saxons

England Before the Anglo-Saxons

Stonehenge


England before the anglo saxons1

England Before the Anglo-Saxons

  • Built between 3000 and 1500 BC

  • Was it a temple?

  • Celtic speakers arrived in England in about 900 BC


England before the anglo saxons the celts 900 bc

England Before the Anglo-SaxonsThe Celts – 900 BC

  • There were 3 groups

    - The first group called themselves the Britons, and they inhabited what is now Britain.


England before the anglo saxons the celts 900 bc1

England Before the Anglo-SaxonsThe Celts – 900 BC

  • There were 3 groups

    - The first group called themselves the Britons, and they inhabited what is now Britain.

    - The second group were the Picts, and they settled in present day Scotland.


England before the anglo saxons the celts 900 bc2

England Before the Anglo-SaxonsThe Celts – 900 BC

  • There were 3 groups

    - The first group called themselves the Britons, and they inhabited what is now Britain.

    - The second group were the Picts, and they settled in present day Scotland.

    - The third group were the Gaels, and they settled in present day Ireland.


England before the anglo saxons the celts 900 bc3

England Before the Anglo-SaxonsThe Celts – 900 BC

  • Celtic groups spoke their own languages, and these languages and cultures live on in modern times. Celtic languages are still the official languages of such countries as Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Brittany even to this day.


England before the anglo saxons the celts 900 bc4

England Before the Anglo-SaxonsThe Celts – 900 BC

  • Celtic groups spoke their own languages, and these languages and cultures live on in modern times. Celtic languages are still the official languages of such countries as Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Brittany even to this day.

  • These were thriving cultures by most standards of the day. They lived in closely tied clans. They were skilled in agriculture and metalwork and traded with their neighbors throughout the British Isles.


England before the anglo saxons the celts 900 bc5

England Before the Anglo-SaxonsThe Celts – 900 BC

  • Their leaders were often Druids, who were priests; however, the druids served also as judges and counselors


England before the anglo saxons the celts 900 bc6

England Before the Anglo-SaxonsThe Celts – 900 BC

  • Their leaders were often Druids, who were priests; however, the druids served also as judges and counselors

  • The Celtic clans had a long oral tradition of literature and learning which was preserved by The Druids. They preserved the people’s myths and legends by reciting long, heroic poems.


England before the anglo saxons the celts 900 bc7

England Before the Anglo-SaxonsThe Celts – 900 BC

  • Their leaders were often Druids, who were priests; however, the druids served also as judges and counselors

  • The Celtic clans had a long oral tradition of literature and learning which was preserved by The Druids. They preserved the people’s myths and legends by reciting long, heroic poems.

  • Celtic tales – Old King Cole and King Lear


England before the anglo saxons the romans 55 bc 407 ad

England Before the Anglo-SaxonsThe Romans: (55 BC – 407 AD)

  • The next group to invade England was the Romans.


England before the anglo saxons the romans 55 bc 407 ad1

England Before the Anglo-SaxonsThe Romans: (55 BC – 407 AD)

  • The next group to invade England was the Romans.

  • They ruled for some 300 years.


England before the anglo saxons the romans 55 bc 407 ad2

England Before the Anglo-SaxonsThe Romans: (55 BC – 407 AD)

  • The next group to invade England was the Romans.

  • They ruled for some 300 years.

  • They established roads and towns that served the island for centuries.


England before the anglo saxons the romans 55 bc 407 ad3

England Before the Anglo-SaxonsThe Romans: (55 BC – 407 AD)

  • The next group to invade England was the Romans.

  • They ruled for some 300 years.

  • They established roads and towns that served the island for centuries.

  • They brought Christianity to the British Isles (England)


England before the anglo saxons the romans 55 bc 407 ad4

England Before the Anglo-SaxonsThe Romans: (55 BC – 407 AD)

  • Their rule ended because Italy and Rome were under attack from northern invaders. Basically, the troops were called home.


England before the anglo saxons the romans 55 bc 407 ad5

England Before the Anglo-SaxonsThe Romans: (55 BC – 407 AD)

  • Their rule ended because Italy and Rome was under attack from northern invaders. Basically, the troops were called home.

  • The last troops left in 407 AD, and the stage was set for the Anglos and the Saxons to invade.


The anglo saxons 449 1066

The Anglo-Saxons: (449 – 1066)

  • The invasion by the Anglo-Saxons of modern day England began in 449 AD, but actually takes place over several decades


The anglo saxons 449 10661

The Anglo-Saxons: (449 – 1066)

  • The invasion by the Anglo-Saxons of modern day England began in 449 AD, but actually takes place over several decades

  • There were three major groups: the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes.


The anglo saxons 449 10662

The Anglo-Saxons: (449 – 1066)

  • The Britons- perhaps led by a commander named Arthur- fought a series of legendary battles in a effort to stop the invasion.


The anglo saxons 449 10663

The Anglo-Saxons: (449 – 1066)

  • The Britons- perhaps led by a commander named Arthur- fought a series of legendary battles in a effort to stop the invasion.

  • These efforts failed however and the Germanic Anglo-Saxon tribes organized themselves into a confederation of seven kingdoms call the Heptarchy.


The anglo saxons 449 10664

The Anglo-Saxons: (449 – 1066)

  • In the early history of the Heptarchy, the Angles were dominate.


The anglo saxons 449 10665

The Anglo-Saxons: (449 – 1066)

  • In the early history of the Heptarchy, the Angles were dominate.

  • Their settlement or kingdom became known as Angle-land or England, and its people came to be called English.


The anglo saxons 449 10666

The Anglo-Saxons: (449 – 1066)

  • In the early history of the Heptarchy, the Angles were dominate.

  • Their settlement or kingdom became known as Angle-land or England, and its people came to be called English.

  • Because there were several different groups that began the invasion of Briton in 449, modern scholars employ the term Anglo-Saxon to refer to the people and culture of this period in English history.


The anglo saxons 449 10667

The Anglo-Saxons: (449 – 1066)

  • Like all cultures, the Anglo-Saxons changed over time


The anglo saxons 449 10668

The Anglo-Saxons: (449 – 1066)

  • Like all cultures, the Anglo-Saxons changed over time

  • Early on, they were seafaring wanderers whose lives were bleak, violent, and short


The anglo saxons 449 10669

The Anglo-Saxons: (449 – 1066)

  • As they settled in their new land, however, the Anglo-Saxons became an agricultural people


The anglo saxons 449 106610

The Anglo-Saxons: (449 – 1066)

  • As they settled in their new land, however, the Anglo-Saxons became an agricultural people

  • Less violent, more secure, more civilized


The anglo saxons 449 106611

The Anglo-Saxons: (449 – 1066)

  • As they settled in their new land, however, the Anglo-Saxons became an agricultural people

  • Less violent, more secure, more civilized

  • One of the most important civilizing forces was the Christianity they began accepting late in the sixth century (500-599 AD)


The anglo saxons 449 1066 the danish invasions

The Anglo-Saxons (449-1066)The Danish Invasions

  • In the 790s a new group of invaders - the Danes, also know as the Vikings, began to devastate the flourishing culture


The anglo saxons 449 1066 the danish invasions1

The Anglo-Saxons (449-1066)The Danish Invasions

  • In the 790s a new group of invaders - the Danes, also know as the Vikings, began to devastate the flourishing culture

  • English king Alfred the Great was able to resist the first invasion. He was a strong proponent of learning and education. He oversaw the writing of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle which recorded early English life.


The anglo saxons 449 1066 the danish invasions2

The Anglo-Saxons (449-1066)The Danish Invasions

  • In the 790s a new group of invaders - the Danes, also know as the Vikings, began to devastate the flourishing culture

  • English king Alfred the Great was able to resist the first invasion. He was a strong proponent of learning and education. He oversaw the writing of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle which recorded early English life.

  • He could not hold off subsequent invasions, however, and was forced to agree to a truce


The anglo saxons 449 1066 the norman conquest

The Anglo-Saxons (449-1066)The Norman Conquest

  • By 1042, the Danes were out of power, and Edward the Confessor was on the throne.

  • Edward died in 1066, and that year found the Normans overpower the Anglo-Saxons. This was their last defeat.


The anglo saxons 449 1066 hierarchy

The Anglo-Saxons (449-1066): Hierarchy

1. King = he was expected to be generous to his loyal subjects

2. Earls/Thanes/Free Warriors = claimed kinship to founder of tries. They were expected to be LOYAL.

  • The Witan = they were the King’s council – the King made the final decisions


The anglo saxons 449 1066 hierarchy1

The Anglo-Saxons (449-1066): Hierarchy

3. Freemen/Genlats = independent landowners

4. Churls = boundmen who trace ancestry to former captives of tribe; did the hard labor; worked for Earls; could move up to “freemen” with possessions & special royal favor


The anglo saxons 449 1066 hierarchy2

The Anglo-Saxons (449-1066): Hierarchy

5. Slaves/Thralls

**Women were a subclass. They were viewed as only important for domestic duties.


The anglo saxons 449 106612

The Anglo-Saxons (449-1066)

  • What did they eat?


The anglo saxons 449 106613

The Anglo-Saxons (449-1066)

  • What did they eat?

  • Along with their meal they would often have mead. Mead is a drink made by fermenting honey.


The anglo saxons 449 106614

The Anglo-Saxons (449-1066)

  • What did they eat?

  • Along with their meal they would often have mead. Mead is a drink made by fermenting honey.

  • What was their religion?


The anglo saxons 449 106615

The Anglo-Saxons (449-1066)

  • What did they eat?

  • Along with their meal they would often have mead. Mead is a drink made by fermenting honey.

  • What was their religion?

  • They came to Britain with their own pagan beliefs.


The anglo saxons 449 106616

The Anglo-Saxons (449-1066)

  • What did they eat?

  • Along with their meal they would often have mead. Mead is a drink made by fermenting honey.

  • What was their religion?

  • They came to Britain with their own pagan beliefs.

  • They had a firm belief in fate (wyrd).


The anglo saxons 449 106617

The Anglo-Saxons (449-1066)

  • What did they eat?

  • Along with their meal they would often have mead. Mead is a drink made by fermenting honey.

  • What was their religion?

  • They came to Britain with their own pagan beliefs.

  • They had a firm belief in fate (wyrd).

  • The Church brought education and a written literature; monks often worked as scribes, recording and duplicating written work by hand.


Anglo saxons what did they admire in their warriors

Anglo-Saxons = What did they admire in their warriors

  • Good sportsmanship

  • Endurance

  • Loyalty to king

  • Athletic prowess

  • Bravery

  • Respect for each other

  • Action and fighting


The anglo saxons religion

The Anglo-Saxons = Religion

  • They came to Britain with their own pagan beliefs.

  • They had a firm belief in fate (wyrd).

  • They worshiped ancient Germanic gods like Tui, god of war and the sky; Woden, chief of the gods; and Fria, Woden’s wife and goddess of the home.

  • Sound familiar?


Tiu woden and fria today

Tiu, Woden, and Fria today

  • Tuesday

  • Wednesday

  • Friday

  • Where do we get the rest of our week’s names?


Something to consider

Something to consider…

  • According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, safety and shelter must be firmly established before more thoughtful ideas can take root. (A person cannot “skip” levels.) Therefore, religion was not important to the Anglo-Saxons until their primary needs were met.


The anglo saxons religion1

The Anglo-Saxons = Religion

  • Christianity had been introduced by the Romans, and the Celts were converted.

  • Irish monks helped establish a strong Christian hold on the island.

  • Scots were converted easily, and many monasteries were built in Scotland.


The anglo saxons religion2

The Anglo-Saxons = Religion

  • Roman cleric Saint Augustine arrives in 597.

  • Saint Augustine was able to convert King Ethelbert of Kent; this led to the kingdom being converted.


The anglo saxons religion3

The Anglo-Saxons = Religion

  • The Church promoted peace, and that helped unite the English people.

  • The Church also brought education and a written literature.

  • Monks often worked as scribes, recording and duplicating written work by hand.


The anglo saxons 449 106618

The Anglo-Saxons (449-1066)

  • Venerable Bede (673-735) = “The Father of English History”

  • He wrote A History of the English Church and People – the clearest account of early Anglo-Saxon times.


It is better never to begin a good work than having begun it to stop

It is better never to begin a good work than, having begun it, to stop.

Bede, A History of the English Church and People


Anglo saxon literature

Anglo-Saxon Literature

  • Spread by scops who recited long epic poems. These poems were either heroic or literary.

  • The verses were easy to memorize for many reasons

  • 1 – They were lyrical.

  • 2 – They had mid-line pauses, or caesuras.

  • 3 – They had alliterations, repeated sounds.


Characteristics of anglo saxon poetry

Characteristics of Anglo-Saxon Poetry

  • Caesuras – pause in a line

  • Alliteration joins the 2 parts of the line

  • Kennings – metaphorical phrases – This is where they had their “stock epithet,” a work of phrase characterizing a person or thing.


Reading poetry in general

Reading Poetry – in general

  • Don’t stop at the end of a line, stop at the punctuation mark. The end of the line has to do with the “beat” of the line; it has nothing to do with the “meaning” of the line. Reading to the punctuation mark is called enjambment.


Anglo saxon literature1

Anglo-Saxon Literature

  • Only about 30,000 lines of Anglo-Saxon verse still exist. These lines are either heroic (recount achievement of a warrior) or elegiac (sorrowful laments) poetry.

  • Alfred the Great is credited for changing the course of British literature because he started having things written in English. (That would be Old English to us.)


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