England The evolution of a country & its language
Influences on Early Britain • Celts: the indigenous peoples (ancestors of the Irish, Scots, Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons • The Romans • Anglo Saxons • The Norse
Celts • Halstatt culture—7-6th century B.C. • La Tiene culture—5th century B.C. (55 & 54 B.C. = Caeasar’s invasionAND, there were people there before them!
Celtic Art • VERY ancient Celts (@500 B.C.) • Swirling designs • Heavy signifigance on the number three • Detail of armor implies a warrior aristocracy.
The Celts • Used make-up to look more warlike. • Oral culture • Loose society (many small tribes)
The original “naked white people” Often painted themselves with chalk before going into battle Sometimes fought naked The original “naked blue people” Often painted themselves with woad Sometimes fought naked Savage people of lower Scotland Celts vs. Picts
The Celts • Loved feasts: mead drinking, lots of meat (esp. pork)—often noisy and sometimes dangerous! • Built forts on strategic high grounds surrounded by ditches (Motte and Bailey castles)
Ancient Celtic Religion • Druids:wise men, healers, teachers, musicians • Keepers of knowledge who memorized all teachings—ORAL CULTURE • Believed that their souls did not die, but passed to another body.
Cultural Note • Some believe that a druidic figure may be the inspiration for MERLIN in the Arthur legends. • Merlin dictating his poems, as illustrated in a French book from the 13th century
Human Sacrifice • Tacitus, the Roman author, writes about burning people alive in man-shaped wicker figuresCautionary note: Writing horrible things about one’s enemies helps one’s cause.
Stone Circles & Chalk Hills • Found all over Britain • Used in religious ceremonies
Celtic Art and Music • Motifs of nature, human figures are symbolic and abstract • Heavily laden with circles, squares, and triangles. • Celtic art survives in decorated MSS, metalwork, and stone crosses.
Celtic Language • Survives in Irish, Gaelic, Welsh languages(Where the Saxons did not conquer) • Very few words survive except in place names • Others mostly topographicEX. avon-river, combe=valley, torr=rock outcropping • Ancor=anchorite=hermit
Welsh Language • Roman alphabet with different sound values & consonant doubling (ll, ff, ww, dd) • Gwynnedd = Guyneth • Siobhan = Shevan
Queen Boudicca (Boadicea) c. 61 A. D. • Celtic warrior queen • Led fight against Romans after they flogged & raped her and her daughters • Tacitus & other Romans write about her
A description from the Romans: Their aspect is terrifying...They are very tall in stature, with rippling muscles under clear white skin. Their hair is blond, but not naturally so: they bleach it, to this day, artificially, washing it in lime and combing it back from their foreheads. They look like wood-demons, their hair thick and shaggy like a horse's mane. . . . [M]ost content themselves with the weapons nature gave them: they go naked into battle...Weird, discordant horns were sounded, [they shouted in chorus with their] deep and harsh voices, they beat their swords rythmically against their shields.
Arturius • Legendary Celtic war chieftain who led his people to a victory over the Saxons at the Battle of Badon Hill (early 500’s A.D.) • May be start of King Arthur legends
Celtic Religion--Pantheism • Pagans who worshiped gods of nature—over 400 different gods! They believed the spirits were everywhere and in everything. • Believed that natural disasters, disease, famine, etc. were caused because the gods were angry.
Celtic Religion--Pantheism • Worshiped in nature—woods, bogs, mouths of rivers, stone circles, chalk mounds. • Main gods: earth mother (fertility), horned gods, tribal father • Annual sacrifice of a human in the stead of the horned god to shed his blood on the land to ensure fertility.
The Romans • The Greek author Pytheas called them the "Pretanic Isles" which derived from the inhabitants name for them, Pritani. • RomansCalled the Celts BritonsCalled the island “Brittania”@45 B.C. through 449 A.D.THIS IS LONGER THAN THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN SETTLED BY EUROPEANS!
The Romans • The Romans never made it to the Northern part of the island – the Picts and Scots were too fierce. • They built Hadrian’s wall to keep these warrior tribes out. It still stands today.
The Romans • The Romans integrated their own culture with Celtic culture. • They often intermarried with the Celts and Celts could become citizens.
Bath • Originally a shrine to Aquae Sulis, a water goddess • Considered a Holy Place by the Celts • Became a popular resort in the 17th & 18th century
Romano-Celtic Religion • Mithras was the sun god. • On December 25th, the Romanized Celts celebrated Mithras’s victory in the battle against the night.
The Romans • The Romans left to defend the homeland from invading Germanic tribes. • This left the Celts defenseless against the Picts and Scots attacking from the North and West.
Vortigern’s Invitation @449 A.D. • King Vortigern sent for help from the Anglo-Saxon tribes across the sea. • They came to help, liked the climate, and stayed. • The Anglo-Saxons subjugated the native Celts.
The Saxons • Angles • Saxons • Jutes
Anglo-Saxons • Land became known as Angla-land • Which, of course, became England
Anglo-Saxons • ½ of all English words have AS origins • Responsible for the British traits of MelancholyNostalgiaLove of RitualStoicism
Anglo-Saxons • Known for—FeastsTelling long-heroic talesFascination with the sea
The Germania – Cultural Connections Baritus: • Battle chant to kindle courage by terrifying their foes. • “a unison of valour”
Anglo-Saxon belief system: • Importance of physical and moral courage • Loyalty above all • Power of fate—”wyrd”Believed that you could not control what happened to you. The measure of a man was HOW he responded to his destiny.