Anglo saxon period the dark ages
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Anglo Saxon Period The “Dark Ages” PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Anglo Saxon Period The “Dark Ages”. 449-1066. Perceptions of “Dark Ages”. Ignorance Confusion Barbarism Violence. Advancements. Today we know that this perception is inaccurate There were advancements in arts, crafts, jewelry and even language

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Anglo Saxon Period The “Dark Ages”

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Anglo Saxon PeriodThe “Dark Ages”


Perceptions of “Dark Ages”

  • Ignorance

  • Confusion

  • Barbarism

  • Violence


  • Today we know that this perception is inaccurate

  • There were advancements in arts, crafts, jewelry and even language

  • Much of our language comes from them, the names of several Anglo Saxon gods are our week days (Woden= Wednesday)

  • Up until the year 410 Romans occupied England

  • When Rome was invaded all forces were withdrawn to protect Rome

  • This left England open to attacks by Jutes, Angles and Saxons

  • In the year 449- The Jutes invaded England from Jutland (Denmark)

  • They were followed by the Angles and then the Saxons

  • These groups were both Germanic tribes

  • Once settled they set up many small kingdoms

  • After some time, there were constant invasions by Vikings

  • This group was from the Danish peninsula, Sweden and Norway

Anglo Saxon Culture

  • There were great story tellers or wandering poets called Scops, Troubadours, Minstrels or Gleemen

Anglo Saxon Culture

  • The wandering poets sang songs and told stories of great heroes and battles

  • They were accompanied by a lute (the equivalent of an acoustic guitar)

  • People went to the Mead Halls for feasts held in honor of battles, and to hear the wandering poets

Famous Anglo Saxons

  • Edward the Confessor

  • King Ethelberht

  • The Venerable Bede

  • Alfred the Great- He recorded history in English and founded Public Schools

Literature of Anglo Saxons

  • Riddles

  • Poems

  • Church Literature as they become Christianized

Features of literature

  • Alliteration- the repetition of a consonant sound (sally sells seashells at the seashore)

  • Internal rhyme (While I nodded nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping)

  • External rhyme

Epic Poem

  • Pagan and Christian ideas

  • Wyrd (fate)

  • Combination of a mythical and historical figure

  • Traditions of a people

  • Noble deeds of a super hero

  • Universal Theme- Good vs. Evil

Epic poems

  • Unending fight of man against a hostile environment

  • A brave leader saving a people from great peril

  • Journey

  • Kenning- descriptive word or phrase used to replace a noun (ex: wave cutter for boat)

  • Many of these characteristics still apply to today’s epics


  • The most famous epic from the Anglo Saxon Period

  • Oral tradition passed by word of mouth

  • It was first written down in 1000

  • Composed in Old English, perhaps as an elegy to a 7th Century king

  • The manuscript appears to have two different authors


  • 1731- suffered irreparable fire damage

  • 1837- first translation to modern English

  • Inspired Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead

Qualities of an Epic Hero

  • Champion of freedom and justice

  • Courageous

  • Super human strength

  • Unfailing loyalty

  • Devotion to duty

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