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THE ANGLO- SAXON PERIOD 449-1066 AD. The Anglo-Saxon Period 449-1066 AD The island we now call Britain was home to the Celtic people. In 449, they were.

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Presentation on theme: "THE ANGLO- SAXON PERIOD 449-1066 AD. The Anglo-Saxon Period 449-1066 AD The island we now call Britain was home to the Celtic people. In 449, they were."— Presentation transcript:


2 The Anglo-Saxon Period 449-1066 AD The island we now call Britain was home to the Celtic people. In 449, they were being invaded by Scottish and Irish tribes and could not fight them off.

3 The Celts asked for help from the Angles, Saxons, and the Jutes(from Denmark), who were Germanic tribes. Instead of helping, they invaded and took over the island for themselves, and called it “Angle-land.” Angles Saxons Jutes Celts So, English history and literature begins in 449 AD.

4 English Language During this time, the English language was growing. The Celtic language merged with the Anglo-Saxon language.  Some words added by A-S: to, and, for, man, wife, child, drink, eat, sleep, T, W, R, F.  When Christian missionaries started coming to England around 600 AD, they brought words such as: altar, monk, preach, school, anthem, rule, candle, offer, hymn  From 787-1000 AD, Vikings came to the island with words such as: lift, take, give, live, husband, sky, trust, rotten  When the Normans invaded and conquered the Anglo-Saxons, they brought 10,000 words like: action, adventure, marriage, power, vision, rage, honest

5 Christianity of the A-S In 596, missionaries came & attempted to convert them to Christianity. By 650, most A-S were Christians in name anyway-even though they still held on to some of their pagan traditions.

6 More Invasions Danish invasions: during the 700 and 800s, the Danes and the Normans began attacking the island of Britain and almost won until Alfred the Great, a Saxon, fought back and won the country back-and there was peace-for a while

7 End of the Anglo-Saxon Period When Alfred’s grandson Edward died in 1066, there was an argument over the throne. The Duke of Normandy claimed the throne, but the English chose Harold II. The Duke retaliated by attacking and defeating the A-S at the Battle of Hastings. So, the A-S period ended in 1066 when the Normans won the Battle of Hastings and the Duke- William the Conqueror was the new King.

8 Social Order Based on warrior bonds-they bonded together under a strong leader. Heroic groups; rural and tribal Core of culture was comitatus relationship-warrior bond for each other and their leader. Tribes engaged in blood feuding constantly. WER GELD= “man price,” absolute obligation to avenge a fellow warrior’s death (like gangs). Loyalty: fight to death to protect and/or avenge; obligation to King and warrior. After battles, there was a strict payment of treasure. Chief selected for loyalty, generosity, strength, and courage.

9 All {social} events began and ended at Mead Hall  Mead: Fermented beverages made from honey (Think of beer made from honey) The hall was built by the local lord or king for the entertainment of the Thanes  Thanes: warriors and soldiers loyal to the local lord or king Anglo Saxons & Mead Hall

10 Vocabulary Mead-an alcoholic beverage wyrd-fate; the inevitable Elegy-a poem of mourning

11 Anglo-Saxon Literature All literature was oral (spoken), not written, because there was no real written language yet. Literature & history was passed down by scops, people in each tribe who composed stories and songs about the tribe and its heroes. The stories were passed down from generation to generation. He told the stories every night after supper.

12 Why were the scops important? Anglo-Saxon harp warriors gained immortality through songs The literature of the Anglo-Saxons was handed down orally by scops who sang in the lords’ mead halls, where warriors gathered to celebrate the events of the day. These scops, like the Greek poets before them, remembered their stories by using accentual meter and many stock phrases called kennings.

13 Beowulf Was composed around 700 AD Author was unknown- it is known the poet was a Christian, aristocrat, & professional (by language) Poet composed it in his head & performed it. Poem was not written down for about 250 years.

14 Epic Poem, Hero An epic poem-long narrative poem about a national hero who has the virtues and qualities his society values. Epic poems are fiction with some fact put in. Epic Hero- courageous, resourceful, loyal, generous, willing to avenge wrongs, gentle, brave, strong, loves beauty, has deep feelings, able to express feelings.

15 Characteristics of an Epic Major characters deliver long, formal speeches. The hero performs courageous, sometimes superhuman deeds. The poem includes universal themes such as good/evil and life/death. The setting is vast in scope, often involving more than one nation. The hero, generally male, is of noble birth or high position. Hero characteristics reflect important ideals of his society. The plot is complicated by supernatural beings or events and may involve a long and dangerous journey to a foreign land.

16 Is the first great work of English national literature. Is the epic story of the hero Beowulf, who fights the demonic monster Grendel. B eowulf Beowulf Introducing the Epic

17 Places Scholars think Herot might have been built on the coast of Zealand, in Denmark. Scandinavia Britain Beowulf Introducing the Epic Takes place in Denmark & Sweden (not England)

18 Beowulf Introducing the Epic Beowulf: nephew of Higlac, king of the Geats. Hrothgar: king of the Danes. Wiglaf: a Geat warrior, one of Beowulf’s select band and the only one to help him in his final fight with the dragon. People

19 Beowulf Introducing the Epic Grendel: man-eating monster who lives at the bottom of a foul mere, or mountain lake. Monsters Grendel’s mother: water-witch who seeks revenge. Dragon: giant fire-breathing serpent whom Beowulf fights in Part Two of the epic.

20 Places Herot: the golden guest hall built by King Hrothgar where warriors gathered to celebrate. [End of Section] Beowulf Introducing the Epic

21 What is a Hero? Do you know a real life hero? What do you think this story is going to be about?

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