6The Spread of Christianity Around A.D. 400Christian monks settle in BritainChristianity and Anglo-Saxon culture co-existBy A.D. 699British pagan religions replaced by ChristianityQUESTIONSThe main text of the Lindisfarne Gospels (7th century) is written in Latin, the designs are influenced by Celtic art, and the marginal notes are written in Anglo-Saxon (Old English). What does that tell us about early Christianity? [Possible response: The spread of Christianity encouraged cross-cultural exchange.]BACKGROUNDIreland began a golden age during the 5th century. Unlike England, Ireland was not overrun by invaders. Then, in 432, the whole of Celtic Ireland was converted to Christianity by a Romanized Briton named Patricius (Patrick). From 432 to 750, while Europe and England sank into constant warfare, Ireland experienced a golden age.Monasteries in England served as centers of learning just as they would in the Middle Ages. The monks preserved not only the Greek classics but also some of the great works of popular literature such as Beowulf, which was first written down around A.D Due to the Christian elements in the epic, scholars believe the poet who wrote down the version of Beowulf we have today was a monk.
7The Danish InvasionDue to rising population and limited farmland, many Scandinavians (the Norse and the Danes) took to the seas—the Vikings.In 800, Danish raiders attacked Britain.The Norse settled in Northumbria, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.The Danes targeted eastern and southern England.
8Viking Raids Sacked and plundered monasteries Stole sacred religious objectsBurned entire communitiesMurdered villagersHalted the growth of learningBy the middle of the ninth century, most of England had fallen. The Vikings called their territory Danelaw.
10unifies Anglo-Saxons against the Danes. A.D. 878 KingAlfredtheGreatunifies Anglo-Saxons against the Danes. A.D. 878
11The Norman Invasion William of Normandy crosses the English Channel 1066William of Normandy crosses the English ChannelWilliam defeats Anglo-Saxon armyFrench replaces English as the language of the ruling classQUESTIONS:In what country is Normandy located? [France]How did the Norman Invasion (also called the Conquest) affect the English language? [Many English words are of French origin.]BACKGROUNDKing Harold Godwinson was the last Anglo-Saxon king of England.Although tapestry usually involves the weaving of thread, this tapestry is actually an embroidered band of linen, 231 feet long and 19 ½ inches wide. Of particular value to historians are the details of battle tactics and equipment depicted in the work.The Norman Invasion,Bayeux Tapestry
12Living Quarters—Mead Halls A reconstructed Anglo-Saxon home located in West Stow in Sussex, EnglandMead Hallcenter of lifesleeping quartersdining areameeting place
13The ScopsThe communal hall offered shelter and a place for council meetings.The communal hall was also a place for storytellers or bards (scops) who shared (orally) the stories of the Anglo-Saxons and their gods and heroes.The Anglo-Saxons valued storytelling as equal to fighting, hunting, and farming.A line of Anglo-Saxon or Old English poetry is characterized by four main stresses and is divided in half by a pause (caesura [si-zhoor-uh]).
14Sutton Hoo Cemetery located in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England Discovered in 1939Burial ship of an Anglo-Saxon kingBurial site contained 41 items of solid gold and 37 gold coins
157th century helmetReconstructed from hundreds of corroded iron fragments
16Characteristics of the Anglo-Saxons Hard fighters and bold sea warriorsAdmired physical strength, bravery, loyalty, fairness, and honestyGreat love of personal freedomBoastful, reckless, cruel, and bloodthirstyEnjoyed conflict, swimming matches, horse races, banqueting, drinking mead, singing songs, and storytellingAlso flyting, a conflict of wits between two warriors where each praises his own deeds and belittles the other’s
17Anglo-Saxon Beliefs Pagan, polytheistic Very pessimistic view of life (due to the ever-present dangers of death by accident or warfare)Human life in the hands of fate (wyrd)Did not believe in an afterlifeImmortality only earned through heroic actionsSharp contrast to the Christian belief in an individual’s free will
18Anglo-Saxon Beliefs (con’t) The early Anglo-Saxons worshipped ancient Germanic or Norse gods:Odin/Woden: chief of the gods, god of death, poetry, and magicFria: Woden’s wife and goddess of the homeTiu: the god of war and the skyThunor/Thor: god of thunder and lighteningFrijz/Frigga: queen of the heavensThe names of these gods survive today in our words Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and FridayThe dragon: personification of evil and death and the protector of treasure (the grave mound); also associated with the Vikings
20Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms Map from C. Warren Hollister, The Making of England, p. 64
21Video: English~A Living Language &Anglo-Saxon Riddles
22The Beowulf LegendBeowulf is an epic, a long, heroic poem, about a great pagan warrior renowned for his courage, strength, and dignity.Story isn’t about the English—it’s about the Danes and the Geats. So what’s it doing in England?Beowulf is the national epic of England, because it is was the first such work composed in the English language.The poem presents the values of a warrior society, dignity, bravery, and prowess in battle.
23Characteristics of Invaders Ancestral Tribes of Clans
24Anglo-Saxon BroochAnglo-Saxon pendant probably made in the 7th century ADfound in garden soil at Sacriston, County Durham.made of solid gold with a goldwire or filigree decoration.
26King Offa’s Dyke approximately 170 miles long running north and south continuous wall except for river crossingsbuilt in the late 8th century
27Construction Earth Embankment No fancy stonework No garrisoned posts 12 foot wide ditch on Welsh sideHeight ranges from 10 to 60 feet
28Monument to PowerPerhaps this dyke was a defense against raiders from Wales.Perhaps it served as a permanent boundary between Mercia and Wales.Perhaps it was a boundary monument to remind the Welsh of King Offa’s power and control.
29Anglo-Saxon Cross Shaft Location: St. Peter Advincula Church, Glebe Street, StokeRe-erected on its modern base in 1935, the fragment of 10th Century Anglo-Saxon stone cross shaft had been used as a door lintel in the church until its discovery by a gravedigger in 1876.The square sectioned top of the cylindrical shaft has a different decorative motif on each face. However part of the side key pattern has been cut away, probably to allow its use as the church's door lintel.S
30AcknowledgementsAnglo-Saxon England. 27 June 2004 <http://www.gettysburg.edu/academics/english/britain/anglo-saxon/anglo_home.html>.Regia-Angloplum. “Arms and Armour-Part 8-Shields.” 27 June 2004Map of Gradual Takeover of England by Anglo-Saxons. 27 June 2004Durnham County Council. 27 JuneThe British Museum: Education Department. 27 JuneKing Arthur and the Anglo-Saxon Wars. 27 JuneThe Arador Library. 28 JuneThe Potteries Museum: Art Gallery. 27 June 2004Pfordresher, John, Gladys V. Veidemanis, and Helen McDonnell, eds. England in Literature. Glenview: Scott, Foresman, 1989.