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The Anglo-Saxon Period—Guided Notes

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1 The Anglo-Saxon Period—Guided Notes

2 Anglo-Saxon England (449-1066)
The two main classes of the Anglo-Saxon society are known as: The Earls: the ruling class; must show blood relationship to the founder of the tribe Churls: Bondsmen, agricultural lives

3 The Warrior Very highly revered and respected; the most important of human relationships was the relationship between the warrior and his lord. When a warrior vowed his loyalty to his lord, he was not a servant but a voluntary companion. The warrior took pride in defending his lord and fighting in his wars. In return, the lord was expected to take care of his warrior and richly reward them for their valor.

4 Wergild “Man-Price”; if only one of his kinsmen had been slain, a man had the special duty of either killing the slayer or getting the payment of the wergild. Each rank of society was evaluated at a definite price which had to be paid by the killer to avoid his own death, even if the killing had been accidental. This concept of revenge caused never ending feuds.

5 Women/ Scops Women played mostly a domestic role
Scop: a bard, the entertainer; told legends about the great heroes of the past (epics)

6 Epic Epic: A long narrative poem in which the action, characters, and language are presented in a majestic style A setting in a remote time and place A simple plot A theme involving universal human problems Deals with supernatural forces Epic Hero: A towering hero of great stature who possesses a superhuman strength of body, character and mind.

7 The Anglo-Saxon Period (449-1066)
Great Britain/England has been invaded and settled many times by the: Iberians Celts Romans Angles Saxons Vikings Normans

8 The Celts the Celts were also known as the Britons
Animism: a form of religion in which spirits are found everywhere and control existence Druids: priests that acted as intermediaries between gods and the people Stonehenge: believed to be used by the Druids for religious rites

9 The Celts Animism Stonehenge Druid (Droo-ids)

10 The Romans The Britons/Celts were finally conquered by the legions of Rome led by Julius Caesar in 55 BC.

11 The Romans The Romans introduced the following to the Britons:
Armies and organization that prevented further serious invasions Roads Walls Christianity which began to take hold under missionaries Public baths The Romans left by the year 409 AD

12 The Anglo-Saxons The Angles and Saxons came from Germany
The Jutes came from Denmark The Celts retreated into Wales, but put up a good fight One of the heroic Celtic leaders was a Welsh called Arthur who developed into legend as Britain’s “once and future king” The country was divided initially after Anglo-Saxon take-over

13 The Anglo-Saxons England became a unified nation when King Alfred of Wessex, also known as “Alfred the Great”, led the Anglo-Saxons against the invading Danes. Irish and Continental missionaries converted the Anglo-Saxon kings and their subjects to Christianity, which provided common faith and a common system of morality and conduct The Anglo-Saxons and the Danes were defeated in 1066 by William Duke of Normandy and his invading force of Normans from Northwestern France.

14 Anglo-Saxon Life and Culture
The treasures of Sutton Hoo, a wooden ship grave, were discovered in 1939. They had been buried in the earth for 13 hundred years with a great king -The treasures indicate that the Anglo-Saxons were not barbarians

15 Anglo-Saxon Life and Culture
In Anglo-Saxon life, warfare was the order of the day Fame and Success, even survival, were gained only through loyalty to the leader/chieftain and success was measured by gifts from the leader.

16 Anglo-Saxon Living Arrangements
Single-family wooden homes surround a communal court or chieftain’s hall. The cluster of homes was protected by a wooden stockade fence This system provided a sense of security between the leader and followers

17 Anglo-Saxon Gods Woden (Woo-den): God of death, poetry and magic
Thunor: God of thunder and lightening

18 Other Information The fiery dragon was seen as both a personification of death and evil and the guardian of the grave mounds where warrior’s ashes and treasure lay Scops: storytellers or bards

19 Ireland Unlike England and the rest of Europe, Ireland was not overrun by invaders; instead, it experienced a golden age In 432, Celtic Ireland was converted to Christianity by Patricius, a Romanized Britain Irish monks founded monasteries for refugee scholars from Europe and England Monastaries served as centers of learning by preserving Latin and Greek classics Old English began to gain respect; prior to this, Latin was the only language of serious study

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