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The Anglo-Saxons

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  1. The Anglo-Saxons 449-1066

  2. The British Legacy • The British had a major influence on America • Government • Emphasizing personal rights and freedom • Literature • Language • The British was influenced by many others • Iberians • Celts • Romans • Angles • Saxons • Vikings • Normans

  3. The Spirit of the Celts • Celts • Among the Celts were a group called the Brythons or the Britons • Name later became the adopted name of England –Britain • Language • Dominant in Britain until the 5th century A.D.

  4. The Spirit of the Celts • Religion • Animism: Latin for “spirit” • Everything contained a spirit; trees, plants, animals, weather, fire, etc. • Druids • Existed since the 3rd century B.C. • Served as communication between the gods and the people • Name means “knowing the oak tree”

  5. Stonehenge

  6. Stonehenge • 3100-1100 B.C. • Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire • Stones origins are from southwestern Wales, 240 miles away • Each stone weighs 4 tons • Purpose and Creation is unknown

  7. Stonehenge • Possible Answers • Religious Gatherings • Observation of astronomical events • A place of healing • A place of sacrifices (human possibly!) • Or…..

  8. Stonehenge • ALIENS!!!

  9. The Celtic Heroes and Heroines: A Magical World • Celtic Mythology • King Arthur • The true embodiment of British values • Unlike Anglo-Saxon stories, Celtic stories contained • Female Oriented Tales • Queen Maeve of Connacht • Usually end in happiness • Full of fantasy, animals, love affairs, and adventures

  10. The Romans: The Great Administrators • Between Julius Caesar in 55B.C. and Emperor Claudius around 155 B.C. the Celts were conquered. • Christianity later became a unifying force as the old Celtic religion began to vanish.

  11. The Romans: The Great Administrators • To Prevent More Invasions • Armies • Roads • Hadrian’s Wall • 73 mile wall that linked the North Sea and the Atlantic

  12. The Romans: The Great Administrators • In 409 A.D. there was trouble brewing back in Italy and the Romans left. • Everything was left behind except a central government • This left Britain vulnerable and open to numerous invasions.

  13. The Anglo-Saxons Sweep Ashore • Mid 5th century the Angles and Saxons from Germany and the Jutes from Denmark invaded Britain. • The old Britons were driven out and the language of the Anglo-Saxons became the dominant language • Eventually Britain's new name was adapted • Engla land = England

  14. The Anglo-Saxons Sweep Ashore

  15. Unifying Forces: Alfred the Great and Christianity • King Alfred of Wessex (reigned 871-899) • Led the Anglo-Saxons against the invading Danes

  16. Map After King Alfred

  17. Unifying Forces:Alfred the Great and Christianity • Christianity • Irish and Continental missionaries converted the Anglo-Saxon kings, whose subjects converted also • Unity formed with a common faith and common system of morality • Linked England to Europe • There was a constant fight to protect that unity from the Danes

  18. Unifying Forces: Alfred the Great and Christianity • The Wessex kings • The battle against the Danes was carried on by Alfred’s successors • Ethelfleda (Alfred’s eldest daughter) • Brilliant military leader and strategist • Edward • By the middle of the tenth century the Wessex kings had become the kings of all England

  19. Anglo-Saxon Life: The Warm Hall, the Cold World • Sutton Hoo • Discovered in 1939 in Sutton Hoo or present day Suffolk England • An enormous ship grave • There is no trace of who was buried in the ship • The body probably dissolved • Also contained gold, silver, and bronze

  20. Ship Burial

  21. Anglo-Saxon Life: The Warm Hall, the Cold World • Among the ship burial was 20 earthen burial mounds • Cremation graves • A boy and his horse • A woman • Execution burials

  22. Anglo-Saxon Life: The Warm Hall, the Cold World • The Anglo-Saxon Life • Warfare was the most important aspect of their lives

  23. Anglo-Saxon Life: The Warm Hall, the Cold World • Anglo-Saxon Women • Inherited and held property • Could join an abbey • Upper class women • Would supervise the weaving and dyeing of clothes, slaughter of livestock, and the brewing of mead

  24. Anglo-Saxon life: The Warm Hall, the Cold World • Fame and the success, was measured in gifts from the leader • A loyal and communal clan • Loyalty grew out of a need to protect the group from enemies • Community was arranged around a warm, fire-lit chieftain’s hall

  25. The Anglo-Saxon Religion: Gods for Warriors • Odin • Norse god; god of death, poetry, and magic • Where we get “Wednesday” from “Woden Day” • Helped humans communicate with spirits and was associated with burial rites ecstatic trances

  26. The Anglo-Saxon Religion: Gods for Warriors • Thunor (Thor) • Norse god of Thunder and lightening • Sign was the hammer and possibly the twisted cross • Thursday (“Thor”day)

  27. The Angle-Saxon Religion:Gods for Warriors • The Dragon • The protector of treasure; embodiment of evil and death • Associated with the Danes because of the shape of their ship • A personification of “death the devourer” and the guardian of the grave mound

  28. The Bards: Singing of Gods and Heroes • Communal halls served as a place for storytellers • Bards or scops: skilled storytellers • Sang of gods and heroes • Were considered as important as warriors

  29. Hope in Immortal Verse • Although most Anglo-Saxon literature contained a elegiac strain the bards gave their listeners hope. • A literary work written in a elegiac strain has a mournful, lamenting tone • Poets and bards provided one element of hope • The possibility that heroic deed might be enshrined in the society’s memory

  30. A Light from Ireland • Ireland was not overrun by the Anglo-Saxons • In 432 the Celtic Ireland was converted to Christianity by a Romanized Briton named Patricius (Patrick)

  31. A Light from Ireland • Saint Patrick • Seized by Irish slave traders as a teenager • Escaped and became a bishop and returned to convert his captors • Explained the holy trinity (father, son, holy ghost) by the Shamrock

  32. A Light from Ireland • From 432-750 Ireland experienced a golden age • Sanctuaries were founded by Irish monks

  33. The Christian Monasteries: The Ink Froze • Christianity also provided hope • Monasteries served as centers of learning and helped preserve the oral tradition of the ancient people • Preserved Latin and Greek classics

  34. The Christian Monasteries: The Ink Froze • Monks copied manuscripts by hand • Monks wrote in covered walkways called cloisters, these were open to the court • Winters would freeze the ink but still monks would write • Vellum: sheepskin “paper”

  35. The Rise of the English Language • Anglo-Saxon Chronicle • Instituted by King Alfred • A lengthy running history of England that covered the earliest days and continued until 1154 • The first important prose work in English • Written in Old English

  36. 1066 – The Norman Invasion • William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066. • Called the Norman Conquest is considered one of the pivotal events in world history