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Anglo-Saxons: 449-1066


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Title: Anglo-Saxons: 449-1066

Anglo-Saxons 449-1066
  • Roman occupation 55B.C to A.D 409.
  • Came with Julius Caesar-stayed 400 years.
  • Created a government
  • Built defensive walls
  • Built roads.
  • When they left they took their
    government-England open to invasion

Anglo-Saxon invasion
  • Angles and Saxon (Germany/Dutch) took
    over-imposed language and warrior culture.
  • Brought loyalty to communities
  • Saw religion as grim
  • Storytellers (scopes) important
  • Scopes told the history through songs
  • Divided into clans until King Alfred the Great of
    Wessex in the ninteth century.

Spread of Christianity
  • Christianity introduces to Britain during Roman
  • 5th century became dominate religion
  • By 7th century Paganism almost extinct

William the Conqueror
  • Crossed English Channel in 1066
  • Defeated Anglo-Saxon armies (Battle of Hastings)
  • Ended Anglo-Saxon culture in England.

The British Legacy
  • British gradually create political system of (by
    the people for the people)
  • US would not be what it is today without British
    Common law, government and language.
  • Great Britain invaded/settled many times
  • Each invader formed formed what Britain is today

The Spirit of the Celts
  • Celts-tall blonde warrior , Brythons,Britons.
  • Britian came from the words Brythons,and Britons.
  • Animism-Latin word for spirit.
  • Priests (druids) acted as intermediates for Gods
    an people.
  • Britons have long hair, shaved bodies, and dye
    their bodies for a more terrifying appearance in

The Celtic Heroes/Heroines
  • Sir Thomas Malory gathered legends together and
    made the Le Morte dArthur-which was about a king
    who became the embodiment if British Values
  • Celtic legends are full of strong women such as
    Queen Maeve of Connacht
  • Celtic tales let magic and imagination rule

Anglo-Saxons Sweep Ashore
  • The attack came forth the north during the
    cluration of the 5th century
  • The invaders consisted of Angles and Saxons tribe
  • They settled the greater part of Britain and from
    there took the name of Engla Land.
  • The celts were newcomers to England but it wasnt
    easy for them, so they moved to wales.

A light from Ireland
  • In 432 the whole Celtic Ireland was converted to
    Christianity by a Romanized Britain named Patrick
  • 432 to 750 Ireland experienced a Golden Age
  • Irish monks founded monasteries that became
    sanctuaries of learning for refugee scholars from
    Europe and England

Anglo-Saxon Life
  • 1939 in Suffolk, England an enormous ship grave
    was discovered.
  • Which represents the burial of a Great King or
    noble warrior.
  • Reminded them of King Beowulfs grave.

The Romans
  • Caesar invades Britain in 55 B.C.
  • Conquers Celts
  • Provided a military for Anglo-Saxons
  • Built roads (still used today) and defensive wall
    (73 miles long)
  • Christianity becomes unifying force
  • Celts religion to vanish
  • Romans evacuated from Britain in A.D. 409
  • Left everything behind but a central government

Anglo-Saxon Life Contd
  • Fame and success was gained from loyalty to the
  • Beowulf gained his respect by defeating the
    monster who tried to kill King Hrothgar

Social Influences
  • Based on warfare
  • Women Rights after Norman Conquest in 1066
  • Morgengifu (morning gift) of money and land
  • Women had personal control over gift
  • Women abbesses controlled large double-houses
  • Hild most famous abbesses

Anglo-Saxon Religion
  • Each god had a purpose
  • Were more concerned with ethics than with
  • Warrior gods/like mythology
  • From Germany
  • Earthy virtues of bravery, loyalty, generosity,
    and friendship.

The Bards
  • Cummunal Hall- provided shelter for Scopes to
    tell stories.
  • Scopes-was also called Bards or story tellers.
  • Sang of Gods and heroes.

Hope in Immortal Verse
  • For non-Christian A-S only fame and commemoration
    in poetry provide defense against death
  • Anglo Saxton lit. contains work in same
    elegiac,( mournful, strain)

The Christian Monasteries
  • Monasteries served as center of learning
  • Preserved literature such as Beowulf
  • Monks assigned to monastery copied manuscripts
    by hand
  • Scriptoriums writing room) had makeshift walls.

The rise of the English Language
  • Latin was only language in England till King
  • Alfred instituted Anglo Saxon chronicle,
    covered earliest days until 1154

Fast Facts
  • King Alfred of Wessex unite Anglo-Saxons in
    England, late ninth century
  • Scopes (poets) old stories in early British
  • Christian monks copy ancient manuscripts

Major Works-Beowulf
  • archetype-good vs. evil
  • Main characters Beowulf-Hero
  • Next

Click on the title to play the trailer.
from Beowulf
Characteristics of an Epic
An epic, a long narrative poem that traces the
adventures of a great hero, has the power to
transport you to another time and place.
Beowulf takes you to the Anglo-Saxon period and
the land of the Danes and the Geats, where a
mighty warrior battles fantastic monsters.
Characteristics of an Epic
As you read the poem, note some of the following
characteristics of epic poetry
  • The hero is a legendary figure
  • who performs deeds requiring
  • incredible courage and strength.
  • The hero embodies character
  • traits that reflect lofty ideals.

Characteristics of an Epic
  • The poet uses formal diction and
  • a serious tone.

Good vs. Evil
  • The poem reflect timeless
  • values and universal themes.

Reading Old English Poetry
Old English poetry is marked by a strong rhythm
that is easy to chant or sing.
Here are some of the techniques used in an Old
English poem
  • alliteration, or the repetition of
  • consonant sounds at the beginning
  • of words, which helps unify the lines

So mankinds enemy continued his crimes
Reading Old English Poetry
  • caesura, or a pause dividing each line,
  • with each part having two accented
  • syllables to help maintain the rhythm of
  • the lines

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
He took what he wanted, // all the treasures
Reading Old English Poetry
  • kenning, a metaphorical compound
  • word or phrase substituted for a noun
  • or name, which enhances meaning
  • for example, mankinds enemy used
  • in place of Grendel

As you read Beowulf, note examples of these
techniques and consider their effect on rhythm
and meaning in the poem.
affliction gorge infamous lair livid loathsome pur
ge talon
The vocabulary words in the box on the right help
convey the monstrous forces Beowulf faces in the
epic. Choose a word from the list that has the
same definition as each numbered item.
1. claw
2. burden
3. notorious
4. cram
affliction n. a force that oppresses or causes
gorge v. to stuff with food glut
infamous adj. having a very bad reputation
lair n. the den or resting place of a wild animal
livid adj. discolored from being bruised
loathsome adj. disgusting
purge v. to cleanse or rid of something
talon n. a claw
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