Presentation on theme: "History and Timeline of English From the Celtic Roots to the Beginning of the Renaissance."— Presentation transcript:
History and Timeline of English From the Celtic Roots to the Beginning of the Renaissance
History and Timeline of English 5000-55 BCE http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/a ncient/secrets-stonehenge.html 2000 BCE Barbaric Tribes of Britain: Stonehenge People Celtic tribes from Europe, arrived speaking Indo-European languages. The Celts built Maiden Castle at Dorset. They were not the fierce barbarians Caesar later made them out to be, but fairly sophisticated tribal peoples who through the centuries, challenged even Rome. They had written language, although they did not write down their religious beliefs. They honed artistic skills in metallurgy, and had a social structure that included a caste of intellectual-spiritualists: the Druids.
55 – 54 BCE Cymbeline, a wonderful underrated Romance by Shakespeare, is about a legendary Celtic king of the British Isle.* Because the Celts were so feared, Julius Caesar went to Briton twice, to make a name for himself by conquering it. He left a written account to promote his valor, although he was not too successful. He was put off by fierce, blue- faced people who had armor, exquisite swords, chain mail, horses and chariots. He finally attained promise of a tribute from chieftains, and left, naming the place, “Britannia.” History and Timeline of English
Emperor Claudius took up where Caesar, and more recently, Caligula, left off. He so feared the Britons, and their Druid priests, that he actually brought in elephants to establish the Roman colony at Colchester! History and Timeline of English 43 BCE
The Romans later, under Nero, met fierce resistance by Iceni tribes, united under Queen Boudicca. When she went to meet with Roman patricians to protest the enslavement of her people, the Romans flogged her and raped her daughters. Under Boudicca, the Iceni, along with other tribes, untied to sack the established Roman towns of Colchester and Lincoln, and burned the newly established Londinium, a trading port, to the ground. History and Timeline of English 60 CE
History and Timeline of English 200 – 383 CE Eventually Rome takes over. This is the flowering of Londinium. A totally great place! It’s the BOMB! Lincoln, Rochester and Bath (Aquae Sulis) are also Roman cities that were incredibly advanced in technology and architecture. The Romans introduced: walled cities, roads, glass, tile, trading, central heating, upholstery, schools, money, knives and spoons, lamp oil and candlesticks, mirrors, make up, perfume, jewelry, pens and ink, paper, pottery and games.
They also brought: wine, carpets, spices, olive oil, sculpture, and sophistication in the arts, philosophy, engineering, literacy, government, commerce and medicine. The Romans, of course, spoke Latin, which was not the language of the people: The people spoke Celtic and the Anglo, Saxon and Jute languages of the army, which were composed of mostly Germanic tribes. History and Timeline of English 200 – 383 CE
The Roman army was the most advanced army in the world. Aside from the technological developments, they developed advancements in medicine: commonly used surgical staples were developed by Roman doctors. History and Timeline of English 200 – 383 CE
Hadrian’s Wall, built initially to protect Roman Britain from invasions by Picts and Scots, was overrun repeatedly by these tribes. The Romans empire collapsed and the Romans officially left England in 383. By 450, Rome’s presence is over. For 200 years, the cities were left to go fallow, and the remaining inhabitants to fend for themselves. The Anglos, Saxons, and Jutes came to live in Briton. These were friends and relations of the Roman soldiers, who were not speaking Latin. History and Timeline of English 383 – 600
Exquisitely crafted Anglo Saxon runes depict the Norse character Weland the Smithy, referenced in Beowulf (450-455) on Franks Casket (also called the Auzon casket) at the British Museum. The casket is created of whale bone and depicts scenes from the Bible, as well as from Norse, Roman and Celtic myths -- and also depicts the historical uprising of Jews against Romans. These new immigrants assimilated nicely into the cultural blend: Germanic descendants of former Roman soldiers, Britain-born Romans, Gauls, and Celts who had not fled to the hinterlands of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. This was the beginning of what is commonly called “The Dark Ages”, which in reality is not entirely devoid of culture, as we shall see when we read poetry created during this time. Even in the ruins of fallen Rome, there is eloquent expression of the human spirit. History and Timeline of English 383 – 600
The Lady of Shallot, by John Waterhouse 1888 The Romantic Era is named in reference to medieval romance stories, which are largely stories of knights and quests. This painting is based on a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809-1892. The poem is loosely based on Arthurian stories from the Middle Ages. While the Dark Ages is the setting of Arthurian romances, these are actually composed in Medieval times, depicting a far-away place where Britain was populated by fairies, gnomes, witches, warlocks and other pagan denizens, representing the pre- Christian world in which Christian Arthur battles. The Venerable Bede* (St. Bede) in 731 wrote a history of Britain during this time, with no mention of a King Arthur. The first mention of Arthur as a warrior, not king, was in a text written by another writer, Nennis of Wales, about 150 years later. The legendary Arthur remains a mythical figure. However, there is some truth in the transference of faith from pagan to Christianity during the Dark Ages that these stories depict. History and Timeline of English 383 – 600
St. Patrick, who started off his life as a Roman slave, converted many to Christianity in Ireland during the 5 th century. But for the most part, Christianity was very late to come to Britain.* Pope Gregory responded to the dearth of Christianity in England by sending a bishop, Augustine to Canterbury in 597. Canterbury Cathedral dates back to this time. Aethelberht, King of Kent converted to Christianity, but many other regional kings resisted. Some tribes emigrated to France, and settled in what is now Brittany, where Arthurian romance was also popular. History and Timeline of English 383 – 600
The language we call Old English or Anglo-Saxon emerged from the meld of different Germanic language roots. Latin, which derives from a different root language, was retained in Church and legal documents, but it never was the language of the people, and is not a significant part of Anglo- Saxon. The Celtic languages had largely emigrated, with the Celtic people to the outskirts of the islands, chased there by the Romans long ago. History and Timeline of English 600-1066
Gaelic (Irish), Scottish Gaelic and Welsh are descendants of the indigenous Celtic language. Beowulf was composed between 600 and 700 CE and then written down sometime after 900 CE. The manuscript for this poem dates back to the year 1000 or so. It, and a great body of other poems written in Anglo Saxon, are testament to the literary power of the language. Another famous poem The Seafarer, is pictured here in the Exeter Book, a compilation of Anglo-Saxon poetry.* The Dark Ages were certainly not a time lacking intellectual or artistic endeavors. History and Timeline of English 600-1066
Check out the following reading of the Lord’s Prayer in Anglo Saxon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= UQVyol7N1Jo Anglo-Saxon was the language used in the court and in commerce for the emerging kingdom of England. During the later part of the so- called “Dark Ages,” there was a revival of culture and strengthening of country: Intellectuals and philosophers abounded. In part this openness was a result of the relative late arrival of orthodox Christianity to control knowledge, and the persistence of individual pagan kingships. History and Timeline of English 600 – 1066
This was also the time of the Norse invasions. Vikings, seeking more land and a better climate, invaded many European countries. They were brutal conquerors and demanded tribute from the kingdoms they invaded, but they also settled and assimilated.* Danish kings ruled in England during this time: Sweyn Forkbeard in 1013 and his son Cnut in 1016 – both delaying and paradoxically inspiring the spread of Christianity. Cnut’s sons Harold Harefoot and Harthacnut were also English monarchs. * History and Timeline of English 600 – 1066
The Viking raids continued from the end of the first millennium (800) until about the year 1200. The climate in Europe and the North Atlantic experienced a warming trend, making the Vikings’ fantastic voyages to the New World possible, and instead of raiding Europe, they settled in Greenland and Newfoundland. However, a mini ice age between 1350 and 1850, made travel more difficult and left these new settlements isolated, making contact with the colonies impossible. No one knows for sure if the Norse inhabitants of these regions were killed by indigenous people, died on their own, or went native.
History and Timeline of English 600 – 1066 The Vikings left an imprint in English, especially in areas of the country where they settled. In our language, we recognize the days Thursday and Friday as named for Thor and Freya, an important god and goddess in the Norse religion. Other familiar words: Lax = salmon Daela = dale Fylgja = follower Berserks = “bear shirt” / Fierce warriors Orm = worm; snake Valkyrie = warrior woman (“Choosers of the dead”) Bjorn = bear Ulf = wolf Saga = long story
In Europe, the 9 th century was the time of Charlemagne. England was largely spared his “convert or kill” method to strengthen the Holy Roman Empire, and the Celtic and Germanic religions were spared as well for the moment. Alfred the Great inherited the throne of the kingdom of Wessex in 871. He unified most of England into one country, and was known as “King of the Angles and Saxons”. His grandson, Aethelstan, was considered the first English king when he conquered Northumbria. History and Timeline of English 600 – 1066
Alfred, a true polymath whose court was a center of intellectual activity and whose country thrived, promoted law and education. He had Bede’s History translated from Latin into Old English. He also commissioned the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, annals listing events in English history from the departure of the Romans. This too was written in the vernacular. These depictions of a joint history established a sense of national identity and codified a national language for a united country. * This building of a national ethos continued later with the historical credo constructed by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regnum Britanniae, written in the early 12 th century.** History and Timeline of English 600 – 1066
Image from the famous Bayeux Tapestry, depicting the Battle of Hastings. In 991, Edward the Confessor became king and converted many subjects to Christianity. Edward died, and Harold, his brother-in-law, fought and won a victory against an invasion of Vikings, but… He was then promptly killed at the Battle of Hastings. The Normans had invaded! History and Timeline of English 600 – 1066
Image from the famous Bayeux Tapestry, depicting the Battle of Hastings The French, under William the Conqueror, brought their language, and returned Latin in the roots of French to English. The Saxon barons were robbed of their property and displaced. The French brought in their own merchants, artisans, and servants – and of course, their own wine…necessitating communication among the native speakers and the French servants for commerce. History and Timeline of English 1066 – 1476
Their invasion displaces the Anglo Saxon aristocracy, and causes the strife that later results in the Magna Carta, 1215. (And terrific stories of Richard I, King John and Robin Hood ! We’ll get to them…) French and Latin become the language of the court, and many Norman kings cannot speak English. It isn’t until the end of the Plantagenet kings that English is spoken, but by now it is no longer Anglo-Saxon. History and Timeline of English 1066 – 1476
English begins to change as it melds with French, especially as the lower classes find ways to communicate with one another. Changes in language begin with what linguists call “pidgin” – we might call it “Franglish”. The macaronic communication then evolved into a creole, formally called Anglo-Norman. This language was spoken among the merchants and servants of the Norman aristocracy. It became the language of commerce, literature and poetry as well. By the second century of the new millennium, it evolved to what we call Middle English. With a blend of Germanic, Norse and Romance language roots, English today has the richest vocabulary in Europe. Middle English, and Middle French, became the languages of many of the Arthur Legends, as troubadours carried stories back and forth across the Channel.
Hall, J.R. Clark. A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. Fourth Edition. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2004. 296. Print. We note the division in our language between high diction of the conquering French and the relatively low diction of the conquered Anglo Saxon. For example, compare “bovine” to “cow” or “defecation” to the good old Anglo-Saxon word “scitte”. * While the French conquest left its mark in the English language, the political division between France and England was bloody, and took much longer to resolve in a dispute that is called The 100 Years War. History and Timeline of English 1066 – 1476
The Normans in England over time became more “English,” and the Plantagenet kings were beginning to look at themselves not only as outright kings of England, but lawful rulers of France. Henry II,who ruled much of France through his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine, also wanted independence from the rule of Church ecclesiastic courts. He ordered his archbishop, Thomas à Becket, to argue his case in Rome. Thomas refused, and on Christmas Eve in 1170, Thomas was murdered by four of Henry’s knights in Canterbury Cathedral.* History and Timeline of English 1066 – 1476
Famous 19 th century statue of Richard I in front of Parliament in London. England, partly to establish its sovereignty, sent troops to fight the Crusades led by Richard the Lionheart in the same year,* In 1215, after his death, Richard’s brother, King John was forced to sign The Magna Carta, giving more rights to Saxon barons. In 1258, John’s son, Henry III was made to sign the Provisions of Oxford, and Parliament was officially established. There was a brief period when the barons ruled under Simon de Montfort. The power of the people at home may have fed into a sense of nationalism. England and France continue to fight. History and Timeline of English 1066 – 1476
The 100 Years War* was fought fiercely between 1337 and 1453 over the rights of English kings, and set part of the backdrop for Chaucer. It was likely that the king he served, Edward III was the first Plantagenet king to speak English from birth. Eventually, in 1362, during Chaucer’s time, the courts of England changed the official language from French, to Middle English. It became the language of scholars and poets, with Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales leading the way. History and Timeline of English 1066 – 1476
In 1476, William Caxton set up a printing press in London. This codified the language of England, and “corrected” the grammar and spelling of dialects from around the country, resulting in what is known as “the great vowel shift”. We’ll examine this change as you study Middle English and wrangle with recitation in it. Eventually, Modern English emerged from this codification. The language of Shakespeare and all the English Renaissance, is by all accounts considered Modern English. History and Timeline of English 1066 – 1476
Example of Old English, from Beowulf 1.Đā cōm of mōre under mist-hleoþum 2.Grendel gongan, Godes yrre bær, 3.mynte se mān-scaða manna cynnes 4.summe besyrwan in sele þām hēan. 5.Wōd under wolcnum, tō þæs þe hē wīn-reced, 6.Gold-sele gumena gearwost wissse, 7.fættum fāhne. Ne wæs þæt forma sīð 8.þæt he Hrōþgāres hām gesōhte. 9.Næfre hē on aldor–dagum ær nē siþð an 10.heardran hæle heal-ðegnas fand. 11.Cōm þā tō recede rinc sīðian 12.drēamum bedæled. Duru sōna onarn 13.fўr-bendum fæst syþðan hē hire folmum gehrān: 14.onbræd þā bealo-hўdig, ðā hē gebolgen wæs, 15.recedes mūþan. Raþe æfter þon 16.on fāgne flōr fēond treddode, 17.ēode yrre-mōd; him of ēagum stōd 18.ligge gelīcost lēoht unfæger. (Heaney 48.710-726)
Example of Middle English, from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales 1.Whan that Aprill with his shoures sote 2.The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote, 3.And bathed every veyne in swich licour 4.Of which vertu engendred is the flour; 5.Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth 6.Inspired hath in every holt and heeth 7.The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne 8.Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne, 9.And smale fowles maken melodye, 10.That slepen al the night with open ye 11.(So priketh hem Nature in hir corages): 12.Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages.
Second Witch: I’ll give thee a wind. First Witch: Thou’rt kind. Third Witch: And I another. First Witch: I myself have all the other, And the very ports they blow, All the quarters that they know I’th’shipman’s card. I’ll drain him dry as hay; Sleep shall neither night nor day Hang upon his penthouse lid; He shall live a man forbid. Weary sev’n-nights, nine times nine, Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine; Though his bark cannot be lost, Yet it shall be tempest-tossed. Example of Modern English, from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, 1.3.11-25.
Example of Old English, from Beowulf 1.Sigon þa to slæpe. Sum sare angeald 2.æfen-ræste, swa him ful oft gelalmp 3.siþðan gold-sele Grendel warode, 4.unriht æfnde, oþþæt ende becwom, 5.swylt æfter synnum. þæt gesyne wearþ, 6.wid-cup werum, þætte wrecend þa gyt 7.lifde æfter laþum, lange þrage, 8.æfter guð-ceare. Grendles modor, 9.ides, aglæc-wif yrmþe gemunde, 10.se þe wæter-egesan wunian scolde, 11.cealde streamas, siþðan Cain wearð 12.to ecg-banan angan breþer, 13.fæderen-mæge; he þa fag gewat, 14.morþre gemearcod, man-dream fleon, 15.westen warode. þanon woc fela 16.geosceaft-gasta; wæs þæra Grendel sum 17.heoro-wearh hetelic, se æt Heorote fand 18.wæccendne wer wiges bidan.Pg. 88 in Heaney’s Translation