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The Anglo-Saxon Period

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British Legends The Anglo-Saxon Period 449-1066 Theme: Heroes and Heroism – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Anglo-Saxon Period


1
The Anglo-Saxon Period
British Legends
  • 449-1066
  • Theme Heroes and Heroism

2
Fold your paper so you have 4 boxes
3
Using these boxes, tell the story of the 3 little
pigs you can write or illustrate the story, but
include as many details as possible in the time
allotted.
Where is the pigs father/mother?
Where did they get materials?
4
OkaySo what?
  1. Oral HistoryLessons and entertainment
  2. British folktale
  3. Anglo Saxon time period

5
Where did the Anglo-Saxons come from?
  • Between 800 and 600 B.C., two groups of Celts
    from southern Europe invaded the British Isles.
  • Brythons (now spelled Britons) settled on the
    largest Island, Britain.
  • Gaels, settled on the second largest island,
    known to us as Ireland.

6
Similarities/Differences
  • Stone Age weapons
  • Celts settled onto the largest island of Britain
  • Gaels settled onto the second largest island of
    Ireland
  • Different languages but related within the Celtic
    family. Similarities of grammar, sound,
    structure, and vocabulary.

7
The Celts
  • farmers and hunters
  • organized themselves into clans
  • clans had fearsome loyalty to chieftains
  • looked to priests, known as Druids, to settle
    their disputes

8
Clans
  • Tight knit with loyalty to their chief. Look to
    Druids (group of priests) to settle arguments.
  • They presided over religious rituals and also
    memorized and recited long, heroic poems. This
    preserved the myths of the past.

9
Celtic Druids
  • Believed to have begun literature.

.
10
Where did the Anglo-Saxons come from?
  • Roman conquest of Britain AD 43
  • Britain annexed as a province in the Roman Empire
  • Difficult to control such a large piece of land
  • Brought Christianity to Britain around AD 300
  • Pagan vs. Christian themes throughout never
    fully indoctrinated at this time
  • The last Romans left around 407 A.D.
  • Needed to defend against rebelling European
    countries England left to its own devices

11
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12
Celtic Druids
Literature began not with books, but with spoken
verse. Purpose was to pass along history and
values to a population that mostly could not
write or read. The reciting of poems often
occurred on ceremonial occasions, such as the
celebration of a military victory.
13
Roman Empire
14
Roman Gatehouse in Britain Arbeia
15
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16
Entertainment in words by Minstrels, Gleemen,
Scops supposedly recited with harp.
Caesura-mid-line pause Alliteration-repetition of
consonant sound Kenning-phrase replaces concrete
noun Four-beat line Stock Epithets-adj. that
point out special traits of particular
person Reversal of word order
17
Spoken word
  • Heroic poetry-recounting of the achievements of
    warriors involved in battle
  • Elegaic poetry-sorrowful laments that mourn the
    death of loved ones
  • Created the RUNES
  • www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/write-your-name-in-r
    unes.html

18
Roman invasion
  • Romans conquered Britain in 55 BC and again
    sporadically over the following years.
  • Left behind CampsCastras

19
Castras
  • Looking at your map
  • Lancaster
  • Winchester
  • Normally located on the main roadway, also
    something left behind by the Romans.
  • CASTRAScaster, chester, ceister.
  • Later formed into towns.

20
Where did the Anglo-Saxons come from? Also known
as the DARK AGES
  • 449AD 3 Germanic tribes (Angles, Saxons, and
    Jutes) invade.
  • Destruction of Roman influence, including
    Christianity
  • New land Angle-land
  • - small tribal kingdoms
  • - no written language
  • - supported themselves through farming and
    hunting

21
Anglo Saxon King and Warrior early 7th century
22
An Anglo-Saxon Hall
23
An Anglo-Saxon Farmstead
Remember the 3 little pigs
West Stow reconstructed village
24
Sutton Hoo
  • Burial site discovered in 1939
  • Important links to Anglo-Saxon world and Beowulf
  • Remains of a boat were discovered and large
    burial chamber containing numerous artifacts
  • Artifacts suggest a distinctly Christian element
    intermingled with pagan ritual.

25
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26
  • Transferred their tribal units.
  • Tribes were ruled by witans, council of elders.
  • Still of pagan beliefgrim look at life.
  • Every human life was in the hands of Fate.
    Whatever was meant to happen, was already
    planned. No human can determine his or her path.
  • Eventually, worshipped Germanic gods
  • Tiu-god of war and sky
  • Woden-chief of gods
  • Fria-Wodens wife and goddess of home
  • weekdays

27
The Reemergence of Christianity
  • 596AD attempt to convert Anglo- Saxons to
    Christianity
  • 597AD Saint Augustine
  • converted King Ethelbert of Kent to Christianity.
  • set up a monastery in Canterbury in Kent.
  • 650AD most of England is Christian some hold on
    to previous beliefs
  • The church provided counsel to quarreling rulers
    in efforts to unify the English people.
  • At this time, the British Isles were not unified
    and included separate kingdoms with separate
    rulers. They fought continuously over the
    fertile, green land

28
Constant Conflict
  • 9th Century
  • Norway invaded Northumbria (Anglo-Saxon kingdom
    in northern and central England), Scotland,
    Wales, and Ireland.
  • The Danes of Denmark targeted eastern and
    southern England
  • Destroyed manuscripts
  • Burned and plundered homes

Remember the 3 little pigs
29
Alfred the Great King of Wessex 871-899
  • 866resisted Danish intrusion and earned the
    great title
  • Saxons acknowledged Danish rule in East and North
  • Danes respected Saxon rule in South
  • End of 10th CenturyDanes want to widen Danelaw
  • Forced Saxons to select Danish Kings
  • 1042Kingship returned to Alfred the Greats
    descendent Edward
  • Edward the Confessor died in 1066. His death led
    to the end of the Anglo-Saxon Period.

30
Literature of Anglo-Saxon Times
  • 2 major influences
  • 1) Germanic Traditions of the Anglo-Saxons
  • 2) Christian Traditions of the Roman Church
  • Denmark, Germany, Sweden

Remember the 3 little pigs
31
1) Germanic Traditions of the Anglo-Saxons
  • Germanic language
  • Mixture of various Germanic dialects Old
    English
  • Old English (often looks like a foreign
    language)

32
Page of Beowulf manuscript in Old English
Listen to me!
Monks worked as scribes, recording and
duplicating manuscripts, by hand. At first only
in Latin, the language of the church. Venerable
Bede, Father of English History, was a master
of thorough research, tracking of information by
studying earlier documents and interviewing
people. Wrote A History of the English Church
and People.
33
Heroic Ideals Dominate
  • Warrior culture
  • Poems and stories depict a society like the
    Anglo-Saxons
  • Military and tribal loyalties
  • Bravery of warriors
  • Generosity of rulers
  • Oral tradition
  • Songs and stories often sung and told about
    the valiant struggles of heroic warriors
  • More than just entertainment provided a model
    for living and a form of immortality they could
    aspire to
  • Note all of these provided the foundation for
    early written literature in Old English

34
Anglo-Saxon Literature cont.
  • Anglo-Saxon poetry falls mainly into two
    categories
  • Heroic poetry recounts the achievements of
    warriors
  • Elegiac poetry laments the deaths of loved ones
    and the loss of the past
  • Beowulf is the most famous example of heroic
    poetry.

35
The Beowulf Poet
  • Christian reflects established tradition
  • Allusions to the Old Testament
  • Beowulf is a Redeemer who is sent by God to save
    man from sin
  • Christ archetype Correspondences between
    Beowulfs death and the death of Christ
  • The price of salvation is life itself

36
Epic
  • Beowulf Unknown author
  • The national epic of England (first work to be
    composed in English)
  • A long heroic poem, about a great legendary
    warrior renowned for his courage, strength, and
    dignity.

37
Epic Elements
  • Most epics are serious in tone and lofty in
    style, a technique meant to convey the importance
    of the events. Long speeches by the characters
    suggest an impressive formality.
  • Use of kennings

38
Epic Elements
Epic Element Definition As seen in
Epic Hero  
Quest  
Valorous deeds  
Divine intervention  
Great events  
Epic Element Definition As seen in
Epic Hero  the central character of an epic. This character is a larger-than-life figure, typically of noble or semi-divine birth, who pits his courage, skill, and virtue against opposing, often evil, forces.   
Quest a long, dangerous journey or mission undertaken by the epic hero. The quest is the heros opportunity to prove his heroism and win honor and undying renown.  
Valorous deeds  long, dangerous journey or mission undertaken by the epic hero. The quest is the heros opportunity to prove his heroism and win honor and undying renown.  
Divine intervention  In many epics, the hero receives help from a god or another supernatural force who takes an interest in his quest.  
Great events  Important events from the history or mythology of a nation or culture often provide the backdrop for the epic narrative.      
39
Heroic Values in Beowulf
  • Relationship between king and his warriors
  • The king rewards his warriors with gifts
  • If a kinsman is slain, obligation to kill the
    slayer or obtain payment (wergeld) in
    compensation

40
Conflict Christian Values and Heroic Values
  • This tension is at the heart of the poem
  • Pagan history and myth are made to point to a
    Christian moral
  • Beowulf is poised between two value systems

41
The Epic Hero
A man of high social status whose fate affects
the destiny of his people
  • Defeats his enemies using
  • Physical strength
  • Skill as a warrior
  • Nobility of character
  • Quick wits
  • Is not modest boasting is a ritual
  • Embodies the ideals and values of his people
  • Is eager for fame
  • Because the Germanic tribes believed death was
    inevitable, warriors sought fame to preserve the
    memory of their deeds after death

42
Epic Hero Cycle
Element Example Example
The main character is a hero, who is often possessed of super natural abilities or qualities (STATUS QUO) The main character is a hero, who is often possessed of super natural abilities or qualities (STATUS QUO)
The hero is charged with a quest (call to Adventure) The hero is charged with a quest (call to Adventure)
Crossing the Threshold Moving from the known to the unknown (DEPARTURE) Crossing the Threshold Moving from the known to the unknown (DEPARTURE)
The hero is tested, often to prove the worthiness of himself and his quest PHYSICAL, MENTAL, EMOTIONAL (TRIALS) The hero is tested, often to prove the worthiness of himself and his quest PHYSICAL, MENTAL, EMOTIONAL (TRIALS)
The presence of numerous mythical beings, magical and helpful animals, and/or human helpers and companions The presence of numerous mythical beings, magical and helpful animals, and/or human helpers and companions
The heros travels take him to a supernatural world, often one that normal human beings are barred from entering The heros travels take him to a supernatural world, often one that normal human beings are barred from entering
The cycle must reach a low point where the hero nearly gives up his quest or appears defeated (APPROACH, CRISIS) The cycle must reach a low point where the hero nearly gives up his quest or appears defeated (APPROACH, CRISIS)
A resurrection (TREASURE) A resurrection (TREASURE)
Achieving the goal or the boon (RESULT) Achieving the goal or the boon (RESULT)
Restitution. Often this takes the form of the hero regaining his rightful place on the throne. Return to the ordinary world (RETURN/NEW LIFE) Restitution. Often this takes the form of the hero regaining his rightful place on the throne. Return to the ordinary world (RETURN/NEW LIFE)
Applying the boon (RESULUTION/STATUS QUO) Applying the boon (RESULUTION/STATUS QUO)
43
Are Modern Super Heroes Epic?
  • Using the profile provided to your group and your
    own prior knowledge fill out the epic hero cycle
    chart for the super hero, then answer the
    question at the bottom of the page using the
    chart to back up your opinion.

44
HELP! I need somebody!
  • Think of a time when you helped someone in need
    or someone helped you OR a time when you did NOT
    render help and wish you had. Give a brief
    summary of the incident then answer the following
    analysis questions
  • What was your/their motivation (why was help
    rendered?)?
  • What was the result?
  • What would have happened if help was not
    rendered?
  • Did anyone else offer help? Why/why not?
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