Formation of the english people
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Formation of the English People. Pre-Celtic. Paleolithic. Attached to continent. Inhabited by stunted Paleolithic man. Neolithic. Centuries passed. England is an island. Swarthy-complexioned Neolithic man. Celts Two Main Branches. Goidels (Gaels). Found in the west and in the north.

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Pre celtic

  • Paleolithic.

    • Attached to continent.

    • Inhabited by stunted Paleolithic man.

  • Neolithic.

    • Centuries passed.

    • England is an island.

    • Swarthy-complexioned Neolithic man.

Celts two main branches
CeltsTwo Main Branches

  • Goidels (Gaels).

    • Found in the west and in the north.

    • Influenced by aboriginal tribes.

    • Survive in Ireland and Scotland.

  • Brythons ( Britons or Cymri).

    • Southeast.

    • Survive in Wales and Cornwall.

Celts religion


  • Hierarchy of pagan gods like the Greeks and the Romans.

  • Many local gods.

  • Human sacrifice.

  • Transmigration of souls.

  • Sanctified the oak.

Celts english literature
CeltsEnglish Literature

  • Contributed fewer than a dozen words to the language.

    • Bin(basket), dun (color), Avon, and Kent.

  • The lais – lyrics or short verse romances.

  • Mabinogion – compilation of Welch tales.

Roman conquest
Roman Conquest

  • B.C. 55-54 two invasions by Julius Caesar.

  • A.D. 43-48  invasion by Aulus Plautius under Claudius.

    • South of Avon.

    • Several successful governors.

  • A.D. 401-410 Romans gradually left to protect Rome. Honorius renounced Rome’s control over Britain.

Roman english literature
RomanEnglish Literature

  • Small number of Latin words.

    • E.G. Mile, street and the suffix –caster, -chester, and –wich, or –wick.

  • Contributed very little to the literature.

Anglo saxon conquest invasions
Anglo-Saxon ConquestInvasions

  • A.D. 449  withdraw of the Romans left the Celts prey to barbarians.

    • Jutes, Saxons, and Angles (three Teutonic tribes) invaded. The latter two recognized the helplessness of the Britons and took possession of surrounding land.

    • Celts were absorbed exterminated or driven to the north and the west.

Anglo saxon conquest language
Anglo-Saxon ConquestLanguage

  • At first called Englisc.

    • Derived from the Angles, mixed with the Norman or Saxon, and finally Anglo-Saxon.

    • Low-German, west-Germanic, indo-European language. (Old Frisian or low German nearest relatives.).

Anglo saxon conquest language1
Anglo-Saxon ConquestLanguage

  • Four dialects.

    • Kentish counties of Kent (Jute).

    • West Saxon remaining areas around the Thames.

    • Mercian or midlandbetween the Thames and Humber.

    • Northumbrian  north of Humber into Scotland.

Anglo saxon conquest language2
Anglo-Saxon ConquestLanguage

  • N.B. While most of the literature is derived from west Saxon, the most important dialect is Mercian the dialect from which modern English is derived.

Anglo saxon conquest religion polytheism
Anglo-Saxon ConquestReligion {Polytheism}

  • Chief gods include Woden, Thor, Loki, Tiw (or Tiu).

    • Some names remain in days of the week: e.g. Tuesday (Tiu’s day), Wednesday (Woden’s day), Thursday (Thor’s day).

  • Dread goddesses Wyrd and Fate  Shakespeare’s “Weird Sisters.”

Anglo saxon conquest advent of christianity
Anglo-Saxon ConquestAdvent of Christianity

  • Christianity introduced by the Romans was almost completely wiped out. Carried to Ireland (St. Patrick c. 432 – 461) A number of later missionaries including Aiden (North Anglican, and (sent by Pope Gregory) Augustine (Kent and Canterbury).

Anglo saxon conquest advent of christianity1
Anglo-Saxon ConquestAdvent of Christianity

  • Celtic and Roman versions of Christianity differed. Synod of Whitby(664) sided with the Romans and England was under papal control until Henry VIII.

  • Re-introduction of Christianity played a large role in the language and literature not only buy introducing ecclesiastical terms but by joining England with a richer culture providing haven for literary compositions as well as the copying of manuscripts.

Anglo saxon conquest english literature
Anglo-Saxon ConquestEnglish Literature

  • Vital contribution to the language.

  • Vocabulary pertains to the everyday function of man.

  • Essential to sentence construction.

  • Vital contribution to literature.

Anglo saxon characteristics
Anglo-Saxon Characteristics

  • Stern, barbarous life. Subjected by nature to rude turmoil.

  • Mixture of savagery, sentiment, and nobility.

  • Religious feeling; fatalism and instinct.

  • Responsiveness to nature. Love of the sea.

Anglo saxon characteristics1
Anglo-Saxon Characteristics

  • Common sense, power of endurance, and seriousness of thought as opposed to elfish mockery, ironic introspection, emotional temperament, bold imagination, sensitive nature, rainbow fancy, and violent but mercurial feelings of the Celts.

    N.B. The Anglo-Saxons, the Celts, and the Normans combine to create the three branches of British Literature.

Anglo saxon ideals
Anglo-Saxon Ideals

  • Love of glory is the ruling motivation of every noble life.

  • Allegiance to lord or king is the social virtue most extolled.

  • Reverence for womanhood.

  • Love of personal freedom.(did not conflict with the fidelity to thane or lord – even unto death).

Anglo saxon ideals1
Anglo-Saxon Ideals

  • Open-handed hospitality to thane or lord.

  • Honoring of truth.

  • Repression of sentiment.

Graveney boat
Graveney Boat

  • The sea.

    • Water-street, swan-road, and whale-path.

  • The Ship.

    • Foamy-neck floater, wave-skimmer, and sea-stallion.