Anglo-Saxon society developed from kinship groups led by a strong chief.
The people also farmed, maintained local governments, and created fine crafts, especially metalwork.
Christianity eventually replaced the old warrior religion (Celtic animism), linking England to Continental Europe.
Monasteries brought learning and literacy and preserved works from the older oral tradition.
English – not just the Church’s Latin – gained respects as a written language. (Old English) IMP CAES FL CONSTANTINO MAXIMO P F AVGVSTO S P Q R QVOD INSTINCTV DIVINITATIS MENTIS MAGNITVDINE CVM EXERCITV SVO IAM DE TYRANNO QVAM DE OMNI EIVS FACTIONE VNO TEMPORE IVSTIS REMPVBLICAM VLTVS EST ARMIS ARCVM TRIVMPHIS INSIGNEM DICAVIT
Iberians – native peoples – came across the Iberian peninsula.
Celts (pronounced kelt) – brought a strong warrior mythology and the religion of animism from the Latin word for spirit. Druids, Celtic priests, believed that spirits or gods controlled aspects of existence and served as intermediaries between humans and spirits. Druids lead ritual dances and possibly human sacrifice at locations like Stonehenge in Southern England. Celtic stories tell of strong warriors and strong women. A belief in MAGIC is an important aspect of this society – celtic myths involve enchanted lands where magic and imagination rule.
Romans – begins with an invasion led by Julius Caesar in 55 B.C. The Romans defeat the Celts and bring Christianity which would become a unifying force and gradually took hold under the leadership of European missionaries. Due to trouble in the Roman empire, the Romans begin to leave Great Britain around 409 A.D. They leave roads, walls, villas, and great public baths. However, they leave NO CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS and the kinship groups are separate and vulnerable.
Anglo/Saxons – the Angles and the Saxons from Germany and Jutes from Denmark, as well as Vikings from Scandinavia cross the North Sea and invade and conquer these weakened groups. They bring their language and a new name “Engla Land”. Some just scavenge the land – others invade and settle leaving a permanent influence on society The Celts – left with a weakened sense of community – none the less put up resistance and the beginning of the legend of King Arthur is born
Normans – the Normans invade under the leadership of William of Normandy in 1066 and bring an end to the Anglo/Saxon period.
Religion: Combination of Celtic animism, Norse religion, and Christianity – this is a time of constant religious and cultural transition Male-Dominated Warriors (fighters) and Bards(scholars) were equally respected. Warriors were valued for their ability to protect and defend the people. Bards (also called SCOPS)were revered for their ability to tell the tales of the people and to create immortality through words.
King Alfred of Wessex (r. 871-899) – also known as Alfred the Great. Unites the smaller kinship groups against the Danes and Viking invasions. Commissions the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle a running history of England. Christianity gains in strength and unifies not only people in England, but also connects England to the rest of Europe.
Edward the Conqueror, an Anglo/Saxon king, dies childless. Two men both claim the throne. Harold of England and William of Normandy. William of Normandy defeats Harold at the Battle of Hastings in October of 1066 earning him the name William the Conqueror. The Anglo/Saxon age is replaced by a ruling government of Normans.