ENGLISH Literature. Early Literature. Historical background of earliest England .
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About seven hundred years BC. Celtic tribes came to Britain but not all of them stopped there, from one of the earliest Celtics groups the language of Ireland has taken its name Gaelic and from a later group “the Brythons” the island came to be called Britain.
Meanwhiletherehadbeen a verydifferentkind of invasion , thiswasthecoming of ChristianitytoBritain. Probably a RomanlegionthathadserveduinJerusalemwastranferredtobritain and theyhadbecomeChristians and spread news of Christianity . Withthewithdrawal of theRomans and theinvasion of BritainbytheSaxons; Christianitywascompletelystampedout, except in suchremotedistrics as Wales.
ChristianityarrivedtoIreland and was so firmelyestablishedthatitpersistedthereevenwhenitnearlydissapepeared in England.
A fiercetribe of sea- faringmenfromNorway and Denmarkbegantoattack and stealalongthesouth and eastcoasts. TheseDanesor VIKINGS begantosettledown in north- easternEnglandbut Alfred, King of English in thesouth, and hissoldiersheldthem back.
Many of the earliest Celtic poems center about Cuchulain, and these stories may have taken shape as early as the first century.
Cúchulainnisthe central character. He wasthegreatest of theKnights of the Red Branch,thewarriorsloyaltoConor (ConchobarmacNessa), whowasreputedlyking of theUlaids of northeastIreland at aboutthebeginning of the 1st centurybc. CúChulainn, born as Setanta, the son of thegodLug (Lugh) of the Long Arm and Dechtire, thesister of Conor, was of greatsize and masculinebeauty and won distinctionforhisexploitswhilestill a child.
Beowulf, a great hero.
Hrothgar, king of the Danes.
Unferth, Danish warrior
Wiglaf, beowulf’s nephew
Hygelac, king of the Geats and Beowulf’s uncle.
Grendel, man- monster, descendant of Cain.