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Introduction to the Anglo Saxons (449-1066 A.D.). There were 7 groups of peoples who invaded and settled in Great Britain throughout its history:. Iberians (Spain) Celts (indigenous people from British Isles) Romans (Italy)) Angles (Germany) Saxons ( northern Germany & the Netherlands)

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Introduction to the Anglo Saxons (449-1066 A.D.)

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Introduction to the anglo saxons 449 1066 a d

Introduction to the Anglo Saxons(449-1066 A.D.)

There were 7 groups of peoples who invaded and settled in great britain throughout its history

There were 7 groups of peoples who invaded and settled in Great Britain throughout its history:

  • Iberians (Spain)

  • Celts (indigenous people from British Isles)

  • Romans (Italy))

  • Angles (Germany)

  • Saxons ( northern Germany & the Netherlands)

  • Vikings (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark)

  • Normans (northern France)

The spirit of the celts

The Spirit of the Celts

  • When Greek travelers visited modern Great Britain in the 4 B.C., the group of warriors they found there were called…

    • Celts

    • Brythons - Britons

The spirit of the celts1

The Spirit of the Celts

  • The Celts followed a religion known as

    Animism or “spirit”

    - They saw spirits in all natural things

    --ponds, trees,

    fire, & thunder

  • These spirits controlled all aspects of existence & had to be constantly


The spirit of the celts2

The Spirit of the Celts

  • Celtic priests were called Druids

    • Intermediaries between the gods & people

    • Druids memorized the history of their people & the secrets of their faith

  • Ritualistic dances and human sacrifices were also used.

The spirit of the celts3

The Spirit of the Celts

  • Some think a strange, stone-like structure on the Salisbury Plain known as Stonehenge was used by the Druids for religious rites.

  • Some say it is an ancient clock.

The celtic heroes and heroines

The Celtic Heroes and Heroines

  • Sir Thomas Malory was greatly influenced by the legends of Celtic heroes

    • Example: Le Morte D’arthur – based on a Celtic warrior named Arthur

  • Celtic legends are full of strong women

    • Example: Queen Maeve of Connacht


      --Legends include fantastic animals, incredible adventures, and magic.



  • Fierce female tribal warrior who rose up against the invading Romans but was ultimately defeated.

    • Boudicawas a striking looking woman. - "She was very tall, the glance of her eye most fierce; her voice harsh. A great mass of the reddest hair fell down to her hips. Her appearance was terrifying." - Definitely a lady to be noticed!

    • The Roman governor killed her husband and publicly flogged and her in addition to her daughters being raped by Roman slaves!

    • Other Iceni chiefs suffered in a like manner and their families were treated like slaves.

    • Not surprisingly these outrages provoked the Iceni, Trinobantes and other tribes to rebel against the Romans- Boadicea led that rebellion

Celtic warriors

Celtic Warriors

  • Used a blue dye known as woad to give them such a terrifying appearance in battle.

  • They were very tall and athletically built

  • Fought naked

  • Carried long spears

  • Used a fierce battle cry to intimidate their opponents

  • Fought to show how brave they were, not to gain land or riches

The romans the great administrators

The Romans: The Great Administrators

  • Julius Caesar led the invasion of Briton in 55 B.C.

  • Introduced two architectural additions to Briton

    • Roads

  • Defensive wall – Hadrian’s Wall

    • Approximately 70 mile long wall was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian to keep the 'barbarian' Picts from Scotland out of Roman Britain.

The romans the great administrators1

The Romans: The Great Administrators

  • Christianity became a unifying force in Britain which caused the “old ways” of the Celts to vanish

  • Romans evacuated Britain in 409 A.D., without leaving a central government there

    • Britain became a country of separate clans or tribes

    • This made Britain so weak after the Roman invasion that it was susceptible to pagan invasions.

The anglo saxons sweep ashore

The Anglo-Saxons Sweep Ashore

  • In the middle of the 5th century Britain was attacked by

  • Angles (Germany)

  • Saxons (northern Germany & Netherlands)

  • Jutes (Denmark)

    -Anglo-Saxon became the dominant

    language after these invasions

  • The new name of Britain after these invasions

    • Engla land or England

The anglo saxons sweep ashore1

The Anglo-Saxons Sweep Ashore

  • The Celts retreated to Wales as a result of the invasions from the north

  • Arthur – a Welsh chieftain – developed in legend as Britain’s “once and future king”

    • Name of novel about Arthur’s life by T.H. White

Unifying forces alfred the great and christianity

Unifying Forces: Alfred the Great and Christianity

  • King Alfred of Wessex was the Anglo-Saxon king who led his people to victory against the invading Danes & established England as one nation.

Unifying forces alfred the great and christianity1

Unifying Forces: Alfred the Great and Christianity

They used established pagan holidays to partner with Christian holidays to make the conversion easier.

  • The Irish and continental missionaries were responsible for converting the Anglo-Saxon people to Christianity.

Unifying forces alfred the great and christianity2

Unifying Forces: Alfred the Great and Christianity

  • Three things Christianity provided for the Anglo-Saxon people:

    • A common faith

    • A common system of morality/ right conduct

    • A connection to England and Europe

Unifying forces alfred the great and christianity3

Unifying Forces: Alfred the Great and Christianity

  • William, Duke of Normandy, defeated the Danes in Britain in 1066 – Battle of Hastings

    • Also known as William the Conqueror

What does anglo saxon mean

What Does Anglo-Saxon Mean?

  • Anglo Saxon society developed from kinship groups led by a strong chief

  • People farmed, maintained local government, and created fine crafts especially metalwork.

  • Christianity eventually replaced old warrior religion, linking England & continental Europe.

  • Monasteries were centers fro learning & preserved works from the older, oral tradition.

  • English – not just the Church’s Latin- gained respect a as a written language.

Anglo saxon life as described by the findings at sutton hoo

Anglo-Saxon Life as Described by the findings at Sutton Hoo

  • Warfare was a dominant influence on daily life

  • Law and order was the responsibility of the leader of a group- family, clan, tribe, or kingdom.

  • Fame and survival only came from loyalty to the leader (comitatus)

  • Loyalty grew out of a need to protect the group from the enemy

Role of women in anglo saxon culture

Role of Women in Anglo-Saxon Culture

  • They had rights

    • Could inherit & own property.

    • Christian women could join religious communities (convents) & even became powerful abbesses.

Anglo saxon religion gods for warriors

Anglo-Saxon Religion: Gods for Warriors

  • Warrior god

  • Dark

  • Fatalistic

  • Believed the greatest honor was to die in battle and go to Valhalla – warrior heaven

  • Important virtues- bravery, loyalty, generosity, & friendship

Anglo saxon religion gods for warriors1

Anglo-Saxon Religion:Gods for Warriors

  • Odin (pronounced Woden) was the most important Norse god

  • He represented death, poetry, and magic

  • Thor or Thunor was the god of thunder

    • His symbols- hammer and swastika

Anglo saxon religion gods for warriors2

Anglo-Saxon Religion:Gods for Warriors

  • Dragon (firedrake)– Significant figure in Anglo-Saxon mythology personifies “death the devourer”

    • Guards the greave mound of warriors’ ashes and treasure

The bards singing of gods and heroes

The Bards: Singing of Gods and Heroes

  • Scops or bards told stories of Anglo-Saxon history and heroes through

    oral tradition – memorizing stories &

    passing them along by word of mouth

  • Scops were very important in Anglo-Saxon culture

  • The only thing that could help an Anglo-Saxon’s memory live on after death was to have his story retold in poetry.

A light from ireland

A Light from Ireland

  • Patricus (Patrick) was the man responsible for converting all of Celtic Ireland to Christianity in 432 A.D.

    • Taught pagans the concept of the Trinity using a shamrock (3-leaf clover)

      • Three petals or leaves but one plant

        • God, the Father

        • God, the Son

        • God, the Holy Spirit

  • Known to us as Saint Patrick

A light from ireland1

A Light from Ireland

  • Golden Age in Ireland-

    • Irish monks founded monasteries that became sanctuaries for learning for refugees

    • Monasteries served as centers for learning during the time period

The christian monasteries the ink froze

The Christian Monasteries:The Ink Froze

  • Scriptorium: A writing room used to copy manuscripts by hand

  • Monks wrote in Latin, the language of the Catholic Church

    • as a result, it became the language of serious study in England

The rise of the english language

The Rise of the English Language

  • King Alfred had a c chronical written of England’s history from its earliest days until 1154 A.D.

    • Anglo Saxon Chronicle

    • As a result, English began to gain respect as a language of culture

    • Only then did the Old English stories & poetry preserved by the monks come to be recognized as great works of literature.

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