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The Anglo-Saxon Period

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Title: The Anglo-Saxon Period


1
The Anglo-Saxon Period
  • A.D. 499-1066

2
Early Britain
  • Great Britain has been invaded and settled
    several times throughout the course of history by
    the following groups
  • the Iberians
  • the Celts
  • the Romans
  • the Angles and the Saxons
  • the Vikings
  • the Normans

3
The Celts (c. 800-600 B.C.)
  • The Celts were farmers and hunters who honored
    their priestly class the Druids.
  • Totemistic and animistic
  • Belief in an otherworld
  • or an afterlife
  • Polytheistic
  • Gods were deities of
    particular skills
  • Goddesses were deities of things pertaining to
    nature

4
Celts Continued
  • The Druids Knowing the Oak Tree
  • Celtic priests
  • Teachers, sacrificers,
    judges, and lore-keepers
  • Rituals took place in forests
  • Did not record their learning in writing
  • Evidence of human sacrifice in Gaul, Ireland, and
    Britain
  • Much of what we know about the Celts has been
    muddied by the period of intermingling with
    Romans.

5
Celtic Writing
  • Celtic mythology is full of strong women
  • Celtic stories end happily
  • Full of fantastic animals, passionate love
    affairs, and fabulous adventures, Celtic myths
    take you to enchanted lands ruled by magic and
    imagination.
  • Sir Thomas Malory wrote
    about the Celtic warrior

    named Arthur to produce
    Le Morte
    DArthur.

6
The Romans(c. 55 B.C.)
  • Julius Caesar invaded in 55 B.C and Claudius
    returned about 100 years later.
  • During the Roman rule, Christianity began to take
    hold and the old Celtic religion began to vanish.
  • Occupation by the Romans resulted in a central
    form of government and a military presence.

7
Roman Contributions
  • The Romans built a network of roads (some still
    used today) and a great defensive wall, known as
    Hadrians Wall, some seventy-three miles long.
  • Romans introduced cities, roads, and written
    scholarship

8
Trouble in Paradise
  • The Romans evacuated their troops from Britain by
    A.D. 409
  • Left Britain with a system of roads, walls,
    villas, and great public baths
  • Britain is left without a centralized government
    and
    without a strong
    army to
    defend
    itself.

9
England without the Romans
  • Without Roman control, Britain was a country of
    separate clans.
  • The result was weakness
  • Island was ripe for invasions by non-Christian
    peoples from the Germanic regions of Continental
    Europe.

10
The Anglo-Saxons
  • Possible reasons why they came
  • their land often flooded and it was difficult to
    grow crops, so they were looking for new places
    to settle down and farm.
  • Some sources say that Saxon warriors were invited
    to come to England.

11
Who They Were
  • Anglo Saxon means
  • war smith.
  • Invaded Britain from
  • the Scandinavian
  • countries
  • The Anglo-Saxons took
  • control of most of Britain
  • Divided the country into kingdoms, each with its
    own royal family.
  • As the Angles slowly interact with the Celts,
    their language, Angle-ish (English) begins to
    blend with the language of the Celts to form Old
    English.

12
The Land They Ruled
  • By around 600 A.D. there were five main
    Anglo-Saxon kingdoms
  • Northumbria
  • Mercia
  • Wessex
  • Kent
  • Anglia

13
How They Lived
  • Anglo-Saxon settlements consisted of just two or
    three families and a few buildings
  • Life was highly organized in tribal fashion
  • Ruled by a king chosen by a counsel of elders
    known as witon.
  • Most people in Anglo-Saxon society were either
    freemen or slaves.
  • Richer freemen were known as 'thanes'.

14
Punishment in Society
  • The Anglo-Saxons didn't have prisons. People were
    often punished with fines.
  • For minor crimes, a nose or a hand might be cut
    off.
  • If a person killed someone they had to pay money
    to the dead person's relatives.
  • This was called a 'wergild'.

15
The Hereafter
  • The early Anglo-Saxons were pagans and believed
    in many gods.
  • When people died they were either cremated and
    put in a pottery urn or buried with their
    belongings.
  • It was believed that the dead would need their
    belongings in their next life.

16
So Where Did They Go?
  • In the 8th and 9th centuries the Vikings began to
    come to Britain
  • Anglo-Saxon accounts describe terrible Viking
    raids
  • Massacres
  • churches destroyed, animals and precious objects
    stolen.
  • By the end of the 870s, the Vikings occupied most
    of eastern England.
  • Their territory was called the Danelaw

17
The Struggle for Land
  • By 878 the Vikings had conquered all of England
    except Wessex.
  • Wessex remained Anglo-Saxon and was ruled by King
    Alfred of Wessex
  • Gradually, the areas of England under Viking rule
    were re-conquered by Alfred's descendants.

18
Old English
  • Old English was chiefly an oral language
  • Anglo-Saxon scribes, however, kept written
    records in scripts learned from Celtic
    missionaries.
  • Viking (Norse) words are used in everyday English
    (i.e. kick, law, sister, sky, window).
  • Words concerning religion and learning were
    borrowed from Latin (i.e. school, candle, altar,
    paper, circle)

19
The Beginning of the End
  • The Anglo-Saxon period came to an end in 1066
  • Duke William of Normandy came to England and
    defeated Harold, the Earl of Wessex, in the
    Battle of Hastings.
  • This was the beginning of the Norman period in
    English history

20
Focus Question 1
  • What are some traits that are indicative of
    Anglo-Saxon poetry? What do these poems reveal
    about the people?
  • Elegiac
  • Isolation
  • Describe the values honor, bravery, treasure
  • Harsh lifestyle
  • Caesura
  • Non-rhyming

21
Focus Question 2
  • What can be said about the Druids?
  • A knowing the Oak Tree, teachers, sacrificers,
    lore-keepers, priests, and judges

22
Focus Question 3
  • What can you say about Celtic stories?
  • A full of strong women, animals, happy endings,
    enchanted lands, magic, love, imagination, origin
    for the King Arthur stories

23
Focus Question 4
  • What did the Romans contribute to Britain?
  • A cities, roads, walls, Christianity, writing,
    central government, a military presence

24
Focus Question 5
  • What are 3 facts that you can share about the
    Anglo-Saxons?
  • A
  • War smith,
  • came from Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden,
  • divided England into separate kingdoms,
  • may have been invited to England,
  • may have come for better land,
  • Pagan, cremated bodies, afterlife

25
Focus Question 6
  • What can you say about the Vikings?
  • A
  • Scandinavian
  • raided villages
  • massacred people
  • territory was called the Danelaw
  • controlled all but Wessex
  • defeated by King Alfred of Wessex

26
Focus Question 7
  • What can be said about Old English?
  • A
  • Came from Old English (Celtic language and
    Germanic languages)
  • Viking words are still used
  • Latin words still used
  • Old English comes from the Angle and Celtic
    languages
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