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Medieval England In the Age Of Alfred And the Norman Conquest.

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Presentation on theme: "Medieval England In the Age Of Alfred And the Norman Conquest."— Presentation transcript:

1 Medieval England In the Age Of Alfred And the Norman Conquest

2 Medieval England The Viking attacks took on a different meaning and severity than on the European Continent. The Vikings actually conquered a number of Anglo- Saxon Kingdoms; Established themselves as Rulers, created large settlements in eastern and northern England; Even staged a second wave of raids more violent and dangerous then the first wave(if that is possible).

3 Medieval England There are two visible trends in Anglo-Saxon history: Cultural and political. Culturally, the Monks especially Bede, the Abbott of Jarrow, and Alcuin of York were leading intellectuals of the day; We know of famous masterpieces of art in the form of Biblical illustrations, and intellectual written knowledge because of these Anglo-Saxons; Lindisfarne Gospels.

4 Medieval England Politically—we have the rise of the Kingdom of Mercia; important because it was the first unified control of the Anglo-Saxon society; This control or unification took several forms: Exact a tribute, forced unimpeded travel, and establish Mercia’s independence from other Anglo-Saxon principalities. Most famous King of Mercia was Offa.

5 Medieval England King Offa very unique; Considered equal to Charlemagne in power; Maintained close ties with the continent especially Charlemagne; Ruled from 757 to 796 AD; built huge earthen dyke to keep out the Celts

6 Medieval England As the second wave of Viking raids intensified, this time the Viking armies settled forming permanent Danish villages; Also succeeded in destroying several Anglo-Saxon kingdoms; They would kill the Anglo- Saxon King and establish a Dane on the throne

7 Medieval England It appeared the Danes would conquer all of England; King Alfred of Wessex stood tall and stopped the Danish infiltration; He was Alfred the Great, but so was most everyone with a title, Constantine the Great, Alexander the Great, Gregory the Great, Charles the Great etc...

8 Medieval England However, Alfred was Great; 870AD Danes captured Mercia; then attacked Wessex; Aethelred and brother Alfred defeated the Danes; Danes regrouped drove Alfred into hiding; Alfred regrouped and beat the Danes rather severely, so bad that the Dane King accepted Christianity—ended Danish threat; divided England into two distinct zones

9 Danelaw and Wessex North and east of England was known as Danelaw—under the control of Danish Kings; Zone two was Kingdom of Wessex; Anglo-Saxons there accepted Alfred’s rule, better then the Danes; Alfred seemed the only person capable of defeating the Vikings

10 Alfred the Great To prepare for the probable Viking counter attack, Alfred fortified towns on the periphery and internally in his Kingdom; Vikings never could penetrate enough to defeat Alfred; He was also an intellectual, translated Latin books into English; promoted intellectual reform, hired scholars for his court; only literate English King until Henry VIII--

11 Medieval England After Alfred’s death, subsequent Kings determined to rid England of all Danish influence; This mean genocide against all Danish settlements; The issue was that everybody was fighting everybody

12 Medieval England The Danes focused their time and energy on England; The Norwegians focused on Ireland; The Anglo-Saxons had to focus on the Danes and the Celts; The Norwegians tended to attack anyone in their way, even Danes if they refused to give ground. In the end the Anglo-Saxon rulers succeeded.

13 Medieval England Succeeded just in time for a second wave of fierce Viking attacks at the end of the 10 th century; Worse because they only focused on England; Norwegians and Danes allied—so larger more organized army; Anglo-Saxons forced to pay the Danegeld as did the Carolingian Rulers.

14 Medieval England Anglo-Saxon King Aethelred decided to pay the tribute, but he also formed an alliance with the Normans (a Viking heritage people) He married the Duke of Normandy’s daughter—this would enormous consequences later on; He also decided to massacre all Danish inhabitants left in England.

15 Medieval England The alliance worked; the massacre backfired; It upset the Danes and the Norwegians; Re assaulted England driving the Anglo-Saxon Kings to Normandy into exile; They would return later, but only long enough to defeat the Norwegians and lose to the Normans.

16 Consequences of Viking Raids Recall the first wave united England under the House of Wessex to fend off the Vikings and Danish influence; The second wave created an environment that drove the Anglo-Saxon kings out of England making England part of the Scandinavian Empire; Of course it opened the door for the Norman invasion about 50yrs later.

17 Anglo-Saxon Return The Dane empire fell apart rather quickly, the Anglo- Saxons returned quite peacefully; Anglo-Saxons however, had a very good run compared to other Barbarians; the Ostrogoths and Vandals never got out of the 6 th century; The Visigoths made it to the 8 th century before being conquered by the Empire of Islam— The Franks, well they never were subdued—they alone remained on the Continent—Anglo-Saxons also were in their final days.

18 William the Bastard 1066 Saxon King died with no heirs; King Harald Hardrata of Norway claimed rightful heir to the English throne; Duke of Normandy, William the Bastard also claimed the English Throne; Both had legitimate reasons— England prepared for attacks from both Norway and Normandy …

19 William the Bastard King Harold self- appointed king of the Anglo-Saxons prepared for war; Because of bad weather across the Channel, the Duke of Normandy was delayed; Norwegian King Harald arrived first-he was defeated buy the Anglo- Saxons; very costly victory, Stamford Bridge

20 William the Conqueror Harald had hoped to beat the Saxons then prepare against William; Unfortunately for King Harold of the Saxons, he was very much weakened and logistically not up to a fight with William; At the battle of Hastings, Harold almost won anyway until an arrow pierced his eye; William won the day.

21 Norman Conquest William the Bastard traded his name in for a more appropriate moniker—the Conqueror; Normans descendants of Scandinavia, but no longer Pagan and French is their mother tongue; very much Christian; created a more Continental look for England—no longer looking toward Scandinavia; Would constantly become embroiled in European issues.

22 Norman Conquest One huge influence aside from political and social issues, but language; No longer would the Anglo-Saxon language be spoken—Old English dies out; Middle English heavily influenced with French would come on the scene; And eventually the Queen’s English and American English we know today.

23 Conclusion Paradoxically, the Viking raids of the 7 th, 8 th and 9 th centuries created the atmosphere for the final collapse and ending of the Carolingian European rule; In England it created a unified England and the second wave of attacks during the 10 th century created a truly unified and powerful England under the control of the ex-Viking Normans. In a full circle, we have re-established the Anglican rule in England and America—of course with some Ottonian, Frankish, and Scandinavian flavors …


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