Presentation on theme: "British Literature I Billings Career Center I. Origin of earliest inhabitants is unknown A) Iberia B) Stonehenge II. Celts 800-600 B.C. A) Two groups-"— Presentation transcript:
I. Origin of earliest inhabitants is unknown A) Iberia B) Stonehenge II. Celts 800-600 B.C. A) Two groups- different language, but related 1) Brythons-- England 2) Gaels-- Ireland a) both were farmers and hunters b) clan structure 1) loyalty to chieftain 2) Druids=priests/historians/storytellers
III. Romans A) First Roman invasion led by Julius Caesar 1) @ 56-55 B.C. 2) Just an exploration B) Second invasion under Emperor Claudius 1) @ 55-54 B.C. 2) Brought Christianity a) Latin= written historical records and vocabulary b) castra =camp-->caster, cester, chester, Winchester, Lancaster 3) Developed a system of roads and baths 4) Reigned for 300 years until 409 A.D.;left due to barbaric invasions in Italy
IV Anglo-Saxons Conquest, 449-1066 A.D. A) Country now called Angles-land =England B) Three major groups of people--Angles, Saxons, Jutes 1)Came from Scandinavian countries and northern Europe 2) Fought for territory rather than plunder 3) Brythons resisted a)Arcturus= first accounts of King Arther b)Twelve battles against Anglo-Saxons
4) Tribal units A) King - chieftain, leader, warrior--elected by witan or council of elders B) Witan- council of elders C) Peaceweaver- united the tribes through marriage
Tribal Units continue... a) Earls- hereditary class of warlords who owed their position to the king. b) Freeman-were allowed to own their own land; this class includes thanes and barons who were granted their status as a reward for military service. c) Serfs or Churls- bonded servants who worked the land in return for military protection. d) Slaves or Thralls- usually military prisoners (POW's) or people being punished.
5) Beliefs: Germanic gods a) Woden (Chief of the gods, god of poetry, ale brewing, runic charms)--> Wednesday b) Fria (Woden’s wife Goddess of sex, fertility, war, and wealth))--> Friday c) Tiu (God of war and sky)--> Tuesday d) Thunor (Scandinavian Thor, a son of Woden, god of physical strength and thunder) -> Thursday
Beliefs (continued) b) WYRD=FATE; Grim view of life: things are going to happen to you and there’s nothing you can do about it. ---Good Wyrd ---Bad Wyrd
6) Combined languages became Old English (Germanic: Latin, French, German) a) runes=early Germanic alphabet b) mostly oral tradition
C) Brythons fled to Ireland and Wales 1) Took Christian beliefs with them 2) Roman Catholic church had to contact Irish/Welch monks to redevelop religious practices after barbarian era D) Saint Augustine, a Roman cleric, brought Christianity to Anglo-Saxons in 597 A.D. 1) Christian monks recorded Anglo-Saxon oral history. a)Beowulf b)The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles 2) Bede (673-735 A.D.) wrote Ecclesiastical History of the English Peoples -1st history of the English peoples; written in Latin.
V. First Danish Invasion -8th and 9th Centuries (700 to 899 A.D.) A) Vikings 1) Norse invaded Ireland, NW England and Scotland. 2) Danes invaded SE England a) Plundered and fought for territory b) Danelaw-territory occupied by Danes law=Danish for legal c) Anglo-Saxon laws 1) right to trial by a jury of ones peers 2) principle of innocent until proven guilty
B.Alfred the Great (Anglo-Saxon King) 1)Made truce with Danes; Anglo-Saxons could live in Wessex. 2) Translated Beowulf, Bede, etc., into Anglo-Saxon or vernacular English=Old English. 3) Used Old English for legal codes and in public schools.
VI Second Danish Invasion--10th Century A) Forced Saxon witan to elect a Danish King. B) Edward the Confessor 1042-1066 1) A descendant of Alfred the Great, elected Saxon king. 2) Mother was a Norman and he was raised and educated in Normandy (France today). C) William of Normandy 1066 1) Cousin of Edward the Confessor and King of Normandy. 2) Battle of Hastings 1066
-independent, aggressive, strong, equal Peace weavers (Shield Maidens) -greatest job -major advisor to King -dispenser of rewards and mead -married to unite tribes -marriage was a sacred bond Anglo-Saxon Women
BEOWULF Written in Old English sometime before the tenth century A.D., describes the adventures of a great Scandinavian warrior of the sixth century. A Rich fabric of fact and fancy, -Beowulf- is the oldest surviving epic in British literature. Beowulf exists in only one manuscript. This copy survived both the wholesale destruction of religious artifacts during the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII and a disastrous fire which destroyed the library of Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1571-1631). The poem still bears the scars of the fire, visible at the upper left corner of the photograph. The Beowulf manuscript is now housed in the British Library, London.
Characters in Beowulf Grendel- A powerful swamp monster; descendant of the offspring of Cain. Danes- Germanic tribe who settled in Jutland peninsula now known as Denmark. Hrothgar- King of the Danes (also known as Healfdane's son. Herot- Hrothgar's famous mead hall. Geats-: Germanic tribe settled in what is now known as Sweden. Beowulf- Geat warrior (also known as Higlac's follower- Higlac was king of the Geats).