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The Anglo-Saxons

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The Anglo-Saxons 449-1066 AD – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Anglo-Saxons


1
The Anglo-Saxons
  • 449-1066 AD

2
Historical Information
3
Information on the pieces we will read in this
unit
4
The Romans
  • In 55 BC, the Romans led by Julius Caesar invade
    Britain.
  • The Romans introduce the English to
  • Cities - Christianity
  • roads were built - Written scholarship
  • Due to trouble in Rome, the Romans leave and the
    country is weakened

5
The English
  • Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisinas invade
    Britain in 449.
  • This event marks the beginning of the Anglo-Saxon
    period.
  • King Alfred of Wessex leads and unifies the
    people against invading Danes (Vikings).

6
End of the Period
  • The witan (similar to modern Parliament) crowns
    Harold king - William fights to be king
  • England remains a unified nation until William,
    the Duke of Normandy, (William the Conqueror)
    conquers Britain in 1066.
  • The Battle of Hastings marks the end of the
    Anglo-Saxon period.

7
The Anglo-Saxons
  • Skilled in agriculture and metal work
  • Traded overseas
  • Had an oral tradition of literature and learning.
    A preliterate society (runic alphabet)
  • Tribal Society with three classes

8
Anglo-Saxon Life
  • People farmed, maintained local governments and
    crafted metal work.
  • English language gains respect as a written
    language.

9
  • Tended to live close to their animals in single
    family homesteads, surrounding a communal court
    or a chieftains hall.
  • Entertained by Bards or Scops (musical poets).

10
Language and Literature
11
Literature Language
  • Literature reflected co-existence of Christian
    and pagan worldviews.
  • Epic poetry is the dominant genre.
  • Roman-built Monasteries become learning centers
    and preserved works passed on through the oral
    tradition.

12
  • Literary works usually address moral, religious
    or ethical concerns.
  • Heroic acts of courage and strength.
  • Strong dependence on kennings and alliteration.
  • Roman alphabet replaces runic alphabet - more
    works written down.

13
  • Exeter book contains The Seafarer, The Wifes
    Lament and over 90 riddles

14
Epic Poems
  • A long narrative poem that relates the great
    deeds of a larger-than-life hero who embodies the
    values of a particular society.
  • Setting is vast.
  • Supernatural events.
  • Universal theme of good vs evil.

15
Epic Hero
  • Undertakes quests to achieve something of
    tremendous value to themselves or their society.
  • Has superior physical strength.
  • Is supremely ethical.
  • Usually defeats some monster or being of evil.

16
Beowulf
  • First great work of English literature.
  • Oral art
  • Short for an epic - approximately 3,200 lines.
  • Christian influence in the piece tells us it was
    most likely written down by a monk.
  • Written in Old English, circa 700-750 AD.

17
Iliad
  • Written by Homer in 8th century BC
  • Background information for the Odyssey.
  • The Iliad takes place in the tenth and final year
    of the Trojan War.
  • The Greeks attacked Troy to avenge an insult
    suffered by the king of Sparta, Menelaus. His
    wife had ran off with a young prince of Troy,
    Paris.

18
Anglo-Saxon Riddles
  • Intellectual exercises that were meant to
    entertain
  • Usually described common object or aspect of
    common life
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