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Introduction to the Anglo Saxons (449-1066 A.D.).

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to the Anglo Saxons (449-1066 A.D.)."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to the Anglo Saxons ( A.D.)

2 There were 7 groups of peoples who invaded and settled in Great Britain throughout its history: Iberians (Spain) Celts (indigenous people from British Isles) Romans (Italy)) Angles (Germany) Saxons ( northern Germany & the Netherlands) Vikings (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark) Normans (northern France)

3 The Spirit of the Celts When Greek travelers visited modern Great Britain in the 4 B.C., the group of warriors they found there were called… –Celts –Brythons - Britons

4 The Spirit of the Celts The Celts followed a religion known as Animism or “spirit” - They saw spirits in all natural things --ponds, trees, fire, & thunder These spirits controlled all aspects of existence & had to be constantly satisfied.

5 The Spirit of the Celts Celtic priests were called Druids –Intermediaries between the gods & people –Druids memorized the history of their people & the secrets of their faith Ritualistic dances and human sacrifices were also used.

6 The Spirit of the Celts Some think a strange, stone-like structure on the Salisbury Plain known as Stonehenge was used by the Druids for religious rites. Some say it is an ancient clock.

7 The Celtic Heroes and Heroines Celtic legends are full of strong women –Example: Queen Maeve of Connacht Boadicea --Legends include fantastic animals, incredible adventures, and magic. Sir Thomas Malory was greatly influenced by the legends of Celtic heroes –Example: Le Morte D’arthur – based on a Celtic warrior named Arthur

8 Boadicea Fierce female tribal warrior who rose up against the invading Romans but was ultimately defeated. –Boudica was a striking looking woman. - "She was very tall, the glance of her eye most fierce; her voice harsh. A great mass of the reddest hair fell down to her hips. Her appearance was terrifying." - Definitely a lady to be noticed! –The Roman governor killed her husband and publicly flogged and her in addition to her daughters being raped by Roman slaves! –Other Iceni chiefs suffered in a like manner and their families were treated like slaves. –Not surprisingly these outrages provoked the Iceni, Trinobantes and other tribes to rebel against the Romans- Boadicea led that rebellion

9 Celtic Warriors Used a blue dye known as woad to give them such a terrifying appearance in battle. They were very tall and athletically built Fought naked Carried long spears Used a fierce battle cry to intimidate their opponents Fought to show how brave they were, not to gain land or riches

10 The Romans: The Great Administrators Julius Caesar led the invasion of Briton in 55 B.C. Introduced two architectural additions to Briton –Roads –Defensive wall – Hadrian’s Wall Approximately 70 mile long wall was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian to keep the 'barbarian' Picts from Scotland out of Roman Britain.

11 The Romans: The Great Administrators Christianity became a unifying force in Britain which caused the “old ways” of the Celts to vanish Romans evacuated Britain in 409 A.D., without leaving a central government there –Britain became a country of separate clans or tribes –This made Britain so weak after the Roman invasion that it was susceptible to pagan invasions.

12 The Anglo-Saxons Sweep Ashore In the middle of the 5 th century Britain was attacked by Angles (Germany) Saxons (northern Germany & Netherlands) Jutes (Denmark) -Anglo-Saxon became the dominant language after these invasions The new name of Britain after these invasions –Engla land or England

13 The Anglo-Saxons Sweep Ashore The Celts retreated to Wales as a result of the invasions from the north Arthur – a Welsh chieftain – developed in legend as Britain’s “once and future king” –Name of novel about Arthur’s life by T.H. White

14 Unifying Forces: Alfred the Great and Christianity King Alfred of Wessex was the Anglo-Saxon king who led his people to victory against the invading Danes & established England as one nation.

15 Unifying Forces: Alfred the Great and Christianity They used established pagan holidays to partner with Christian holidays to make the conversion easier. The Irish and continental missionaries were responsible for converting the Anglo-Saxon people to Christianity.

16 Unifying Forces: Alfred the Great and Christianity Three things Christianity provided for the Anglo-Saxon people: –A common faith –A common system of morality/ right conduct –A connection to England and Europe

17 Unifying Forces: Alfred the Great and Christianity William, Duke of Normandy, defeated the Danes in Britain in 1066 – Battle of Hastings –Also known as William the Conqueror

18 What Does Anglo-Saxon Mean? Anglo Saxon society developed from kinship groups led by a strong chief People farmed, maintained local government, and created fine crafts especially metalwork. Christianity eventually replaced old warrior religion, linking England & continental Europe. Monasteries were centers fro learning & preserved works from the older, oral tradition. English – not just the Church’s Latin- gained respect a as a written language.

19 Anglo-Saxon Life as Described by the findings at Sutton Hoo Warfare was a dominant influence on daily life Law and order was the responsibility of the leader of a group- family, clan, tribe, or kingdom. Fame and survival only came from loyalty to the leader (comitatus) Loyalty grew out of a need to protect the group from the enemy

20 Role of Women in Anglo-Saxon Culture They had rights –Could inherit & own property. –Christian women could join religious communities (convents) & even became powerful abbesses.

21 Anglo-Saxon Religion: Gods for Warriors Warrior god Dark Fatalistic Believed the greatest honor was to die in battle and go to Valhalla – warrior heaven Important virtues- bravery, loyalty, generosity, & friendship

22 Anglo-Saxon Religion: Gods for Warriors Odin (pronounced Woden) was the most important Norse god He represented death, poetry, and magic Thor or Thunor was the god of thunder –His symbols- hammer and swastika

23 Anglo-Saxon Religion: Gods for Warriors Dragon (firedrake)– Significant figure in Anglo-Saxon mythology personifies “death the devourer” –Guards the greave mound of warriors’ ashes and treasure

24 The Bards: Singing of Gods and Heroes Scops or bards told stories of Anglo- Saxon history and heroes through oral tradition – memorizing stories & passing them along by word of mouth Scops were very important in Anglo- Saxon culture The only thing that could help an Anglo-Saxon’s memory live on after death was to have his story retold in poetry.

25 A Light from Ireland Patricus (Patrick) was the man responsible for converting all of Celtic Ireland to Christianity in 432 A.D. –Taught pagans the concept of the Trinity using a shamrock (3-leaf clover) Three petals or leaves but one plant –God, the Father –God, the Son –God, the Holy Spirit Known to us as Saint Patrick

26 A Light from Ireland Golden Age in Ireland- –Irish monks founded monasteries that became sanctuaries for learning for refugees –Monasteries served as centers for learning during the time period

27 The Christian Monasteries: The Ink Froze Scriptorium: A writing room used to copy manuscripts by hand Monks wrote in Latin, the language of the Catholic Church –as a result, it became the language of serious study in England

28 The Rise of the English Language King Alfred had a c chronical written of England’s history from its earliest days until 1154 A.D. –Anglo Saxon Chronicle –As a result, English began to gain respect as a language of culture –Only then did the Old English stories & poetry preserved by the monks come to be recognized as great works of literature.


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