Early Britain A HISTORY OF INVASIONS
THE CELTS • First appeared in britain around the year 700 b.C. • Originated from the north-west of Germany • Sophisticated culture
THE CELTS • Highly advanced weapon-making skills • Production of elaborated shaped metal jewellery • Pagan culture (worshipped the elements: the sun, the moon, the rivers, the trees…) • Belief in the immortality of the soul • Druids , celtic priests, filled the roles of judge, doctor, diviner, or foreteller of fortune, mystic and scholar
Stonehenge • South –west england • Ancient temple and, probably, astronomical observatory • Built in three phases over 2,000 years • Some scientists believe it was built as a very precise instrument to measure and predict astronomical alignments and eclipses • Site of pilgrimage for various groups OF New Age travellers who wish to revive ancient rites
ROMAN BRITAIN 43 a. D. – 410 a.d.
The romans built roads, fortifications, baths, amphitheatres and towns where they settled. Later the romanized britons themselves became the provincial administrators of roman laws and taxes.
THE ROMAN CONQUEST • 55 b.c. Julius Caesar’s invasion of britain • 43 a.d. Under Emperor claudius conquest of britain • The advance was stopped by the caledonians – the scottish people • Emperor hadrian built the wall to keep them out of roman britain • Christianity was introduced under the late Roman empire • 410 Emperor Honorius left britain
THE ANGLO SAXONS • Arrived when the romans left the country (5 th century) • Germanic tribes – angles, saxons and jutes • Destroyed many romano-british towns • The celtic britons tried to resist • End of 6th century: kent, sussex, essex, east anglia, northumbria, mercia and wessex • Reintroduced pagan values • Gods of germanic and scandinavian origins
THE ANGLO - SAXONS • Most of them were illiterate • Used runes – runic alphabet- instead of latin letters • 597 augustine – to re-establish christianity in britain • First archbishop of canterbury
THE ANGLO- SAXON CULTURE • Most of them were farmers in search for richer lands • Many were also deep-sea fishermen • Family groups , clans • Exalted physical courage, loyalty to the clan and personal freedom • Had a highly developed sense of beauty • Made fine ornaments • Enjoyed feasting and drinking
ANGLO-SAXON LITERATURE • Oral tradition • The bard or “scop” recited to entertain the noblemen • Chronicles, histories, myths and legends • Two modes: the epic and the elegiac • The greatest anglo-saxon epic poem: beowulf • Old english (700 – 1100)
THE VIKINGS • attacked the anglo-saxons from denmark and norway • Eventually managed to occupy large parts of northumbria mercia and east anglia • Forced the Anglo – saxons to unite to defend their lands • The anglo – saxon King alfred the great got their lands back and united england under one crown for the first time • The anglo-saxon chronicle
THE NORMAN CONQUEST • 1066 the battle of hastings • The normans defeated king harold’s army and invaded england led by william , duke of normandy (william the conqueror) • They spoke french • Introduced the feudal system • Built castles and fortresses • Clashes with anglo-saxons noblemen • Middle english (1100 – 1450)