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Anglo-Saxon Period 449-1066


Anglo-Saxon Period 449-1066 ... The legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table come from the Celtic myths The Romans Julius Caesar defeated the Celts ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Anglo-Saxon Period 449-1066

Anglo-Saxon Period 449-1066
England/Great Britain/United Kingdom
  • Island that includes England, Scotland and Wales
  • Known today as the United Kingdom of Great
  • Invading peoples included the Iberians, Celts,
    Romans, Angles, Saxons. Jutes, Vikings, and
  • from around 449-1066

The migrations of the invading peoples into
England during the Anglo-Saxon period

The Celts
  • 4th century- Celtic people called Britons
    invaded England
  • Tall, blonde warriors women had equal rights as
  • Religion based on animism (spirits live in trees,
    rivers, rocks, etc)
  • Druid priests acted as intermediaries between the
    people and gods
  • Believed in the Great Mother Goddess who
    associated with nature

  • Celtic priests (druids) were said to have built
    Stonehenge (a bunch of heavy stones placed in a
  • Ceremonies celebrating the rites of the sun,
    moon, and astronomical events took place here
  • A mystery on how this monument was created
  • Stonehenge is one of the Wonders of the Modern

  • Druid translates as knowing the oak tree
    because these priests performed religious
    ceremonies in oak groves
  • The oak tree and the mistletoe were sacred to the
    Celtic priests
  • The custom of kissing under the mistletoe comes
    from the Celtic traditition
  • Druid priests were also responsible for educating
    the young

Celtic Mythology Legend
  • Celtic mythology influenced the literature of
  • These myths and legends are full of male and
    female heroes unlike the male dominated
    Anglo-Saxon literature schools normally teach.
  • The legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the
    Round Table come from the Celtic myths

The Romans
  • Julius Caesar defeated the Celts (Britons) in 55
  • The Romans occupied this area for 4 centuries
  • They built
  • roads that connected cities
  • a defensive wall (Hadrians Wall)
  • public baths
  • They promoted literacy and education
  • Their most important contribution was Christianity

Public Baths Hadrians Wall
Angles, Saxons, and Jutes
  • Invaders from Germany (Angles and Saxons) and
    Denmark (Jutes) came in the 5th century
  • The name England comes from the Angle words
    Engla Land
  • The tribes and cities were not unified and they
    fought each other frequently
  • King Alfred the Great unified the tribes,
    established Christianity as the dominant
    religion, and had the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
    written to record their history

Anglo-Saxon Culture/Life
  • Dominated by warfare and battle
  • Loyal to your family, tribe and leader (chief)
  • Comitatus loyalty between leader and thane
    (warrior) in order to survive
  • People lived in close family communities for
    protection kept animals/livestock inside living
  • Main responsibility of the leader protect your
    people and maintain law and order
  • Success and fame was measured in battle and by
    gifts the leader presented to you
  • Courage and strength more important than
    intelligence or a long life

Anglo-Saxon Culture/Life
  • Socialized in mead halls (a centralized building)
    where feasts, storytelling, and celebrations
    occurred mead halls were neutral locations no
    one would attack another tribe while in this
    communal hall
  • Mead is a fermented alcoholic beverage mixed with
  • Bard/scop (storyteller, songwriter, singer) who
    spread the fame of warriors from battle
  • Bards/scops regarded on equal status with
    warriors because they ensured the fame of the
    individual or tribe by recording and retelling
  • Storytelling and singing took place in the mead
    hall celebrations

Anglo-Saxon Religion/Beliefs
  • Did not believe in an afterlife or heaven you
    earned immortality through your actions which
    were sung by the bards/scops
  • Mainly concerned with ethics (sense of right and
  • Viewed life fatalistically (life is hard and
  • Wyrd means fate-your destiny is set in stone,
    cannot be changed this belief made Anglo-Saxon
    warriors fierce and dangerous
  • Wergild means man price-payment for the death
    of another person, payback or revenge for a
    wrong done
  • The dragon is a symbol of evil and death
    associated with guarding treasure
  • Norse gods WodenWednesday and ThorThursday

Sutton Hoo Ship
  • In 1939 in Suffolk, England an enormous wooden
    ship (1300 years old) with vast amounts of
    treasure was discovered by archaeologists
  • This ship was the grave of an important king or
    warrior, as was the custom of Anglo-Saxon to bury
    the dead with important objects
  • Decorated vessels in gold, silver and bronze were
    discovered along with battle armor and weapons,
    musical instruments, money and other interesting
  • This discovery provided a glimpse into the life
    and customs of the Anglo-Saxons

Sutton Hoo
Beowulf The Epic
  • The first great work of English national
  • The protagonists name if Beowulf which means
  • Beowulf is a Geat from Sweden who goes to
    Daneland (Denmark) to help King Hrothgar defeat
    an evil monster, Grendel
  • The epic is short only 3,200 lines (epics are
    usually around 15,000 lines)
  • Composed in Old English around 700 to 750 in
  • The setting of the story is older from the early
    6th century
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