Anglo-Saxon Period (A.D. 449) Angles & Saxons, from Germany, and Jutes (Denmark) invade and impose their language & warrior culture on Britain. (1066) William the Conqueror defeats the Anglo- Saxon armies at the Battle of Hastings Britain = home to several Celtic tribes (named for one, the Brythons) Christianity blends with Anglo-Saxon heathenism Animism: “spirit” or “god” – rivers, trees, stones, ponds, fire, thunder, etc. Druids: “priests” – intermediaries between the gods and the people
Anglo-Saxon Society Kinship groups were led by a strong warrior chief Law & order were the responsibility of the leader of a group Fame, success, and survival were gained through loyalty to the leader Success was measured in gifts from the leader People farmed, established local governments, & produced fine craftwork It was imperative to protect the group from the enemy- infested wilderness. Anglo-Saxons lived close to animals in single-family homesteads—wooden buildings that surrounded a communal court or chieftain’s hall. English emerged as a written language.
Anglo-Saxon Religion Offered no hope of an afterlife (fate = “wryd”) Religion was dark and fatalistic—A/S believed all roads lead to death DRAGON = significant figure believed to be the protector of treasure Concerned with ethics rather than mysticism—valued earthly virtues of bravery, loyalty, generosity, and friendship Similar to what we call Norse mythology
Anglo-Saxon Bards Bard=a poet, or any person who recites or sings epic poems Called scops (“shopes”) Strummed a harp as they sang Sang of heroic deeds Were often warriors Why were the scops important? A/S did not believe in an afterlife Warriors gained immortality through songs
Daily Life in the Middle Ages Government: Feudalism Transportation: walking or using animals Superstitions: werewolves and bogeymen Houses/villages were made of wood and mud Livestock lived in houses with people True money did not exist Short lifespan: Men – 30-50 yrs. Women – less than 30 yrs.
Daily Life in the Middle Ages Shortage of people for work = children worked alongside adults People who did not marry/have children paid taxes Constant famine, rotten flour, vitamin deficiencies caused: Sickness and disease: Abscesses, cankers, tumors, eczema, erysipelas Blindness, goiter, paralysis, bone malformation
“Life in 999: A Grim Struggle” Read the article on pgs. 30-31 of the textbook Answer the following on a sheet of paper: What was life like in 999? What problems did people face? What types of superstitions did they have? What fears did they have? What metaphor does the author use to sum up the millennial period in Europe?