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The Anglo-Saxons 449 - 1066 Anglo-Saxon England was born of warfare, remained forever a military society, and came to its end in battle. ~J.R. Lander.

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Presentation on theme: "The Anglo-Saxons 449 - 1066 Anglo-Saxon England was born of warfare, remained forever a military society, and came to its end in battle. ~J.R. Lander."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Anglo-Saxons Anglo-Saxon England was born of warfare, remained forever a military society, and came to its end in battle. ~J.R. Lander

2 2 The earliest settlers in England were called Iberians because it is thought they originally came from the Iberian Peninsula (the peninsula of present-day Portugal and Spain). The earliest settlers in England were called Iberians because it is thought they originally came from the Iberian Peninsula (the peninsula of present-day Portugal and Spain).

3 3 The Celtic World From about 700 BC, the Celts dominated most of what is now western and central Europe. From about 700 BC, the Celts dominated most of what is now western and central Europe. Skilled artisans, they introduced the use of iron to the rest of Europe. Skilled artisans, they introduced the use of iron to the rest of Europe. They also had a highly developed religion, mythology, and legal system that specified individual rights. They also had a highly developed religion, mythology, and legal system that specified individual rights. The Celts were also adept at curing hams, keeping bees, and making wooden barrels. The Celts were also adept at curing hams, keeping bees, and making wooden barrels. Their language was dominant in Britain until around the 5 th Century AD. Welsh, Scots Gaelic, and Irish are forms of the Celtic language that may still be heard in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland today. Their language was dominant in Britain until around the 5 th Century AD. Welsh, Scots Gaelic, and Irish are forms of the Celtic language that may still be heard in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland today.

4 4 In the 4 th C, Greek travelers visited what is now Great Britain, they found an island settled by tall blond warriors who called themselves Celts. In the 4 th C, Greek travelers visited what is now Great Britain, they found an island settled by tall blond warriors who called themselves Celts. Animism was the Celtic religion. The Celts saw spirits everywhere—in rivers, trees, stones, ponds, fire, and thunder. Animism was the Celtic religion. The Celts saw spirits everywhere—in rivers, trees, stones, ponds, fire, and thunder. The spirits or gods controlled all aspects of existence. The spirits or gods controlled all aspects of existence. Druid priests were the intermediaries between the gods and the people. The priests sometimes performed human sacrifices to satisfy the gods. Druid priests were the intermediaries between the gods and the people. The priests sometimes performed human sacrifices to satisfy the gods.

5 5 Celtic mythology has influenced English and Irish writers to this day. Celtic mythology has influenced English and Irish writers to this day. 15 th C writer Sir Thomas Mallory wrote Le Morte Darthur while in jail. 15 th C writer Sir Thomas Mallory wrote Le Morte Darthur while in jail. 20 th C poet William Butler Yeats used the Celtic myths in his poetry and plays. 20 th C poet William Butler Yeats used the Celtic myths in his poetry and plays. Celtic stories are full of strong women, fantastic animals, passionate love affairs, and fabulous adventures. Celtic stories are full of strong women, fantastic animals, passionate love affairs, and fabulous adventures. Celtic myths take you to enchanted lands where magic and the imagination rule. Celtic myths take you to enchanted lands where magic and the imagination rule.

6 6 Enter the Romans 55 BC Caesar led an invasion 55 BC Caesar led an invasion Britons finally conquered by the Roman legions 100 years after Caesar’s invasion. Britons finally conquered by the Roman legions 100 years after Caesar’s invasion. The Romans built roads, bridges, and a great defensive wall (Hadrian’s Wall). The Romans built roads, bridges, and a great defensive wall (Hadrian’s Wall). Christianity gradually took hold due to the European missionaries. Celtic religion began to vanish. Christianity gradually took hold due to the European missionaries. Celtic religion began to vanish. AD 409 – Romans pull out leaving the isle vulnerable for invasion AD 409 – Romans pull out leaving the isle vulnerable for invasion

7 7 The Anglo-Saxons Sweep Ashore Angles, Saxons, & Jutes invade from the continent Angles, Saxons, & Jutes invade from the continent Celts put up a strong fight for the land; retreated to Wales were today traces of their culture & language can be found Celts put up a strong fight for the land; retreated to Wales were today traces of their culture & language can be found Under the A/S, the land was called Engla land (England) – from the Angles Under the A/S, the land was called Engla land (England) – from the Angles

8 8 King Alfred of Wessex (aka Alfred the Great) Led the A/S against the invading Danes – one of the fierce Viking peoples who crossed the cold North Sea Led the A/S against the invading Danes – one of the fierce Viking peoples who crossed the cold North Sea Danes plundered & destroyed everything in their path Danes plundered & destroyed everything in their path Danes eventually settled in the northern part of England Danes eventually settled in the northern part of England Due to Alfred’s victory over the Danes, England became in any true sense a nation. Due to Alfred’s victory over the Danes, England became in any true sense a nation. The reemergence of Christianity gave the A/S a common faith & common system of morality & right conduct The reemergence of Christianity gave the A/S a common faith & common system of morality & right conduct

9 9 Christianity gave the A/S a link to Europe Christianity gave the A/S a link to Europe Under Christianity and Alfred, A/S fought to protect their people, their culture, & their church from the ravages of the Danes. Under Christianity and Alfred, A/S fought to protect their people, their culture, & their church from the ravages of the Danes.

10 10 Anglo-Saxon Life A/S were an agricultural, semi-nomadic people. A/S were an agricultural, semi-nomadic people. They had a two-class society: the earls or thanes, who ruled and who were related to the tribe’s founder; and the churls, bondservants whose ancestors had been captured by the tribe. They had a two-class society: the earls or thanes, who ruled and who were related to the tribe’s founder; and the churls, bondservants whose ancestors had been captured by the tribe. The churls provided the hard labor The churls provided the hard labor They were bound to the earl’s service unless they could earn possessions & special royal favor to become freemen (independent landowners) They were bound to the earl’s service unless they could earn possessions & special royal favor to become freemen (independent landowners)

11 11 A woman received honor & power only as a queen, as a wife of a powerful earl, or as a churchwoman. A woman received honor & power only as a queen, as a wife of a powerful earl, or as a churchwoman. A/S society had strict laws and a sense of obligation to others. A/S society had strict laws and a sense of obligation to others. An absolute ruler and might warrior; the A/S king consulted with the witan (“wise men”), an assembly of respected earls. An absolute ruler and might warrior; the A/S king consulted with the witan (“wise men”), an assembly of respected earls. The chieftain & his followers were bound till death. If the lord was killed, his warriors had to avenge his death or die beside him. The chieftain & his followers were bound till death. If the lord was killed, his warriors had to avenge his death or die beside him.

12 12 Anglo-Saxon Religion The old A/S religion with its warrior gods persisted. The old A/S religion with its warrior gods persisted. It was a dark, fatalistic religion that the Angles & Saxons brought with them from Germany, & it had much in common with Norse mythology. It was a dark, fatalistic religion that the Angles & Saxons brought with them from Germany, & it had much in common with Norse mythology. To A/S the dragon was the living embodiment of evil and death. It was associated with the fierce Vikings (Danes) who sailed boats with prows carved in the shapes of dragons’ heads and fangs. To A/S the dragon was the living embodiment of evil and death. It was associated with the fierce Vikings (Danes) who sailed boats with prows carved in the shapes of dragons’ heads and fangs. A/S religion was more concerned with ethics than mysticism. A/S religion was more concerned with ethics than mysticism.

13 13 The Bards (Scops) A/S considered creating poetry as important as fighting, hunting, farming, or loving. A/S considered creating poetry as important as fighting, hunting, farming, or loving. A/S scops kept the history of the tribe A/S scops kept the history of the tribe Scops performed orally from memory the literature in the mead hall Scops performed orally from memory the literature in the mead hall Used rhythms to help them remember Used rhythms to help them remember Warriors hoped their heroics & deeds would be kept & handed down by the scops. Warriors hoped their heroics & deeds would be kept & handed down by the scops.

14 14 The Christian Monasteries Centers of learning Centers of learning Monks recorded not only the Greek & Latin classics but popular stories, also. Monks recorded not only the Greek & Latin classics but popular stories, also. Some monks spent their days laboriously copying manuscripts (printing was 800 years away) Some monks spent their days laboriously copying manuscripts (printing was 800 years away)

15 15 Alfred the Great Patron of learning who furthered the education of his people – invited scholars to his court; he translated scholarly works Patron of learning who furthered the education of his people – invited scholars to his court; he translated scholarly works

16 16 Stonehenge Built in three stages Built in three stages A gathering & ceremonial place A gathering & ceremonial place Huge blue stones found only in Wales – 240 miles away from the site Huge blue stones found only in Wales – 240 miles away from the site Some stones weigh up to 4 tons Some stones weigh up to 4 tons Scholars do know that the arrangement of the slabs indicates the timing of important astronomical events such as the summer solstice. Scholars do know that the arrangement of the slabs indicates the timing of important astronomical events such as the summer solstice.

17 17 Bede the Venerable Monk & scholar Monk & scholar Man most responsible for our knowledge of England before the 8 th C Man most responsible for our knowledge of England before the 8 th C Wrote – Ecclesiastical History to show how the Church brought unity to England, ending an era of violence & barbarism Wrote – Ecclesiastical History to show how the Church brought unity to England, ending an era of violence & barbarism

18 18 Anglo-Saxon Chronicle A history of England from the beginning of the Christian era until the middle of the 12 th C A history of England from the beginning of the Christian era until the middle of the 12 th C 1 st important prose work in English 1 st important prose work in English Kept by unknown monks Kept by unknown monks Tells of weak kings, greedy abbots, proud barons, & recorded natural events Tells of weak kings, greedy abbots, proud barons, & recorded natural events

19 19 Saint Augustine Converted the King of Kent in AD 597 Converted the King of Kent in AD 597 Founded the cathedral at Canterbury, & became the 1 st archbishop of Canterbury Founded the cathedral at Canterbury, & became the 1 st archbishop of Canterbury His mission was not completely successful because the old pagan A/S religion persisted. His mission was not completely successful because the old pagan A/S religion persisted.

20 20 Whitby Abbey Founded by the Abbess Hild for monks & nuns Founded by the Abbess Hild for monks & nuns Hild accumulated an immense library Hild accumulated an immense library Was the chief school of learning Was the chief school of learning 867 destroyed by the Danes 867 destroyed by the Danes The Benedictine monks reestablished the abbey & its ruins can still be seen today The Benedictine monks reestablished the abbey & its ruins can still be seen today

21 21 Sutton Hoo Site discovered in 1939 by archaeologists Site discovered in 1939 by archaeologists Enormous ship-grave with a vast treasure trove Enormous ship-grave with a vast treasure trove Extraordinary find for history, art, & archaeology Extraordinary find for history, art, & archaeology Find suggests that England was influenced by Scandinavia even before the Viking attacks began Find suggests that England was influenced by Scandinavia even before the Viking attacks began

22 22 Study Skills Practice - Organizing Ideas The Epic Warrior (Use your notes and text pp 12 & 13) I. Warrior society A. Tribal organization 1. Warrior families 1. Warrior familiesa.b. 2. Comitatus - 2. Comitatus - B. Values and beliefs 1. Bravery 1. Bravery 2. Treasure 2. Treasure 3. Loyalty 3. Loyalty II. Oral literature


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