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The Anglo-Saxon Period (prehistory


The Anglo-Saxon Period (prehistory 1066 A.D.) Iberians (pre-Celtic peoples) (up to the 7th century B.C.) Celts (up to the 4th century B.C.) Roman Occupation (55B ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Anglo-Saxon Period (prehistory

The Anglo-Saxon Period (prehistory 1066 A.D.)
  • Iberians (pre-Celtic peoples) (up to the 7th
    century B.C.)
  • Celts (up to the 4th century B.C.)
  • Roman Occupation (55B.C. - 410 A.D.)
  • Anglo-Saxon Period (410-787 A.D.)
  • Viking Invasions (787-1066 A.D.)
  • Norman Conquest Battle of Hastings (1066)

Pre-Celtic Britain
  • Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain, built by the
    Iberians (pre-Celtic people)

  • Built in the early Bronze Age
  • between 2200 and 1300 B.C.
  • Old English hengen - something hung up -
    horizontal stones
  • Structure
  • Half-circle of upright stones with other stone
    lying on the top of them Altar Stone inside
  • Function
  • Maybe used as astronomical observatory

Pre-celtic Britain
  • Bronze Age and Iron Age
  • Metals were gradually introduced
  • The first wooden huts appeared
  • Long wooden warships and primitive fortifications
    were built
  • Agriculture began

The Celts
  • 1st wave Gaels (7th century B.C.)
  • From Northern Europe
  • Settled in the North
  • 2nd wave Britons (4th century B.C.)
  • Settled in the South-West and West
  • Origin of the term Britain

The Celts
  • Skilled at working iron
  • Lived on fishing, hunting and agriculture
  • Pagan religion
  • Worshipped natural elements (sun, moon, rivers,
    trees, ...)
  • Water considered a holy element which generated
  • Social structure
  • Druids administred religion, justice and education

The Roman Conquest
  • Hadrian's Wall (built in about 121 A.D. by
    Hadrian to defend Roman Britain from the Picts
    and the Scots living in the North)

The Roman Conquest
  • Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 55B.C.
  • Aim obtaining tributes and slaves
  • Claudius conquered Britain in 43 A.D.
  • Scotland was not subdued
  • Hadrian erected a wall in about 121 A.D. from
    Solway to the mouth of the Tyne
  • 409 A.D. Honorius withdrew his soldiers from
    Britain to defend Rome against Barbarian attacks

The Romans
  • The Romans introduced
  • their civilisation (e.g. Christianity)
  • Saint Patrick established Christianity in Wales
    and Ireland in the 5th century
  • their language
  • The Romans built
  • Towns (e.g. commercial centre of London)
  • Senate, magistrates, market square, town hall
  • Roads (e.g. paved roads)
  • Public bath system (e.g. Bath)

The Anglo-Saxon Period (410-787)
The Anglo-Saxons
  • The Romanised Celts fought alone vs Germanic
    tribes (the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes)
    from across the North Sea
  • England the land of the Angles
  • Occupation
  • Farmers looking for richer lands
  • Deep-sea fishermen
  • Society
  • Organised in family groups called clans
  • Loyalty main value
  • Exalted physical courage and enjoyed feasting

The Anglo-Saxons
  • - Women in Anglo-Saxon society
  • - property rights
  • - allowed in judicial proceedings
  • - Anglo-Saxon literature
  • - oral literature (legends, adventures, etc.)
  • - music and singing
  • - scop (ministrel)

Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy
  • Seven kingdoms
  • Northumbria
  • Kent
  • Essex
  • Sussex
  • Wessex
  • East-Anglia
  • Mercia

The Anglo-Saxons
  • Anglo-Saxons belonged to Pagan religions
  • At the end of the 6th century Pope Gregory I The
    Great sent a monk, Augustine (597), to bring
    Christianity back to England
  • Augustine became the 1st Archibishop of
  • Monastries became important centres of
  • Communal life
  • Culture

The Viking invasions
  • Origin Norway and Denmark
  • Vikings and Danes started invading Britain in 787
    (end of the 8th century)
  • 855 Danes conquered Northumbria, Mercia and
    East Anglia Danelaw
  • Wessex resisted thanks to Alfred the Great of
    Wessex (871-899)
  • Defeated the Danes, reorganised the army, built a
    fleet and established fortified centres

The Danes/Vikings
  • - meaning of the name Vikings
  • collective noun for Norse (Norwegians, Danes and
  • sea voyage people faring by sea for commerce
    and war
  • - occupation
  • farmers and cattle herders
  • shipbuilders
  • seamen
  • skilled at working wood, metal and whalebone
  • - society
  • king, chieftains, freemen (land owners)

The Danes/Vikings
  • - religion
  • - polytheism (major and minor gods)
  • Odin (Wednesday), Thor (Thursday), Freya (Friday)
  • - converted to Christianity in late 10th century
  • - cultural and literary background
  • Runic inscriptions
  • Oral tradition
  • Epic poems (Eddas)
  • Stories (Sagas)
  • Bards or skalds (minstrels)

Alfred the Great of Wessex
  • Gave importance to religion
  • Called scholars to translate books into English
  • Promoted the writing of a history of England
    The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
  • Illuminated manuscripts (10th century)
  • decorated pages, several pictures
  • Use of English as a common language sense of
    political and social unity
  • all English boys of free birth should go to
    school to learn English

More Viking invasions
  • Raids continued until a Viking king, Canute,
    became king of England
  • Canute was succeeded by Edward the Confessor
  • Bulding of Westminster Abbey
  • example of Anglo-Saxon architecture of the 11th

The Norman Invasion
  • In 1066, the Anglo-Saxon king Harold II was
    defeated by William, Duke of Normandy at Hastings
  • William was crowned king in Westminster Abbey on
    Christmas day of the same year
  • Introduction of
  • French language
  • French traditions
  • Feudalism

Feudal society
  • King owner of all land
  • Vassals they held land and gave the king goods
    and services (military service)
  • Chief of vassals barons
  • Knights (military service in exchange for land)
  • Villeins (attached to the land on which they were
  • Serfs (almost slaves)