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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: Iberians (Spain ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: 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
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • satisfied.

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

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
  • Sir Thomas Malory was greatly influenced by the
    legends of Celtic heroes
  • Example Le Morte Darthur based on a Celtic
    warrior named Arthur
  • Celtic legends are full of strong women
  • Example Queen Maeve of Connacht
  • Boadicea
  • --Legends include fantastic animals, incredible
    adventures, and magic.

  • Fierce female tribal warrior who rose up against
    the invading Romans but was ultimately defeated.
  • Boudica was 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
  • 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
  • Fought to show how brave they were, not to gain
    land or riches

The Romans The Great Administrators
  • Julius Caesar led the invasion of Briton in 55
  • Introduced two architectural additions to Briton
  • Roads
  • Defensive wall Hadrians 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 Administrators
  • Christianity became a unifying force in Britain
    which caused the old ways of the Celts to
  • Romans evacuated Britain in 409 A.D., without
    leaving a central government there
  • Britain became a country of separate clans or
  • This made Britain so weak after the Roman
    invasion that it was susceptible to pagan

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 Ashore
  • The Celts retreated to Wales as a result of the
    invasions from the north
  • Arthur a Welsh chieftain developed in legend
    as Britains once and future king
  • Name of novel about Arthurs life by T.H. White

Unifying Forces Alfred the Great and
  • King Alfred of Wessex was the Anglo-Saxon king
    who led his people to victory against the
    invading Danes established England as one

Unifying Forces Alfred the Great and
  • The Irish and continental missionaries were
    responsible for converting the Anglo-Saxon people
    to Christianity.
  • They used established pagan holidays to partner
    with Christian holidays to make the conversion

Unifying Forces Alfred the Great and
  • 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
  • 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?
  • 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 Churchs Latin- gained
    respect a as a written language.

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
  • 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
  • They had rights
  • Could inherit own property.
  • Christian women could join religious communities
    (convents) even became powerful abbesses.

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,

Anglo-Saxon ReligionGods 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 ReligionGods for Warriors
  • Dragon (firedrake) Significant figure in
    Anglo-Saxon mythology personifies death the
  • Guards the greave mound of warriors ashes and

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-Saxons
    memory live on after death was to have his story
    retold in poetry.

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 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 MonasteriesThe 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
  • King Alfred had a c chronical written of
    Englands 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.