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A general overview so you can better understand Sir Gawain and Chaucer.

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Presentation on theme: "A general overview so you can better understand Sir Gawain and Chaucer."— Presentation transcript:

1 A general overview so you can better understand Sir Gawain and Chaucer

2   55 BCE: Julius Caesar invades Britain  By 77 AD Roman conquest of Britain is complete  122 AD – in response to raids from the north, Emperor Hadrian builds a wall across northern England The beginning

3   From A.D. Roman Empire  Raiders from the north – Goths, Visigoths, and Vandals  410 A.D. Rome sacked, citizens slaughtered, temples looted – official end of Pax Romana  Empire broke apart  Western section decayed into warring kingdoms  Eastern section became the Byzantine Empire  Much more unified – Constantinople becomes the largest, wealthiest city in the world The fall of Rome

4   Britain under attack by various tribes from the north, east  Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Danes (Vikings)  Tribes attacked and then settled, prompting a migration from modern day Scandinavia and Germany to Britain  Constant battling between groups leads to creation of kingships (think Beowulf )  Time marked by violence Arrival of the invaders

5  Britain, C. 540 A.D.

6   314 A.D. – arrival of Christian Church in Britain  597 A.D. – St. Augustine arrives in Britain  Sent by Pope Gregory to convert pagan British who have melded Christianity with their Celtic gods  Establishes major seats for the church in Canterbury, York  Effectively overpowers the Celtic church  Creation of monasteries – way to keep teachings of church, place of knowledge Role of the Church

7   7 th to 8 th centuries – rise and fall of many kingdoms  Kent, Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex  Aethelbold (726-57) first to call himself King of Britain – kingdom much of southern England  Kingdoms brought rule, law, structure  Established rules for interacting with the church The many kingdoms

8  Britain, C. 800 A.D.

9   870 A.D. – King of Wessex (southern England)  Successfully defends area from raids by Vikings  Vikings not interested in settling – just looted, killed and left  Developed treaties with surrounding kingdoms which helped secure large area  Reclaimed London from Danish control  Helped create political unity throughout England  Laws of his kingdom, first basis for British laws  Ruled against the custom of blood feuds – “wirgild”  Increased the role of church, tried to restore education Alfred the Great

10   Alfred dies in 899 A.D. – left kingdom to son Edward  Continued his father’s work  Established the dominance of the West Saxon kingdom  Opposite to northern England – under control of Danes and part of Scandinavian empire  York – Viking city run by Eric Bloodaxe Rise of Wessex

11   Norman invasion part of political battle between King Edward the Confessor and Harold, Duke of Wessex  Edward promised his crown to William of Normandy  Upon his death, Harold seized control  William invades – defeats Harold at the Battle of Hastings  Crowned on Dec. 25, 1066 A.D A.D.

12   William the Conqueror brought Norman rule to England, now linked with France, not Scandinavia  Replaced old Anglo-Saxon ruling families with Norman  Destroyed/overpowered old kingdoms  Required allegiance in form of set number of knights from each area  Created new social class  Doomsday Book – full accounting of who, what was in southern England for taxation, tything purposes  Brought language, culture to England (very behind in cultural development) Norman rule

13   William dies in 1087 A.D.  Decedents William II and Henry I struggle to keep the kingdom together, face insurrection  Stephen, nephew of Henry I looses control of kingdom to Geoffrey the Fair and his wife Matilda  Begins the Plantagenet line  Their son Henry II married Eleanor of Aquitaine  England gains more control of France, becomes one of the most powerful leaders in Europe  Creation of common law, replacing some of the old Anglo-Saxon feudal laws  Growth in economy, trade in England, spurred by First Crusade  Henry responsible for death of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury in ongoing dispute over power, influence of church Turnover I

14   Henry II dies in 1189 A.D. after failing to stop son Richard from seizing the throne, aided by his mother, Eleanor  Richard the Lionheart captured while on crusade in the Holy Land  Ransomed and then taken prisoner again in Germany  Raised taxes, created many new taxes to pay for crusade, ransoms Turnover II

15   John I, Richard’s brother, takes over in 1199 A.D.  Almost looses control of whole kingdom  Creates income tax, continues harsh taxing rules left by his brother  Battle with barons leads to signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 A.D.  John dies in 1216 and is first English monarch to be buried in England A +: The Magna Carta

16   Henry III ( )  Completion of Westminster Abby  Creation of Parliament  Edward I ( )  Conquest of Wales, peace with Scotland Other + developments

17   Edward II ( )  Abandons the throne to his young son  Alienated his wife as homosexual, she took refuge in France, raised forces against him  Edward III ( )  Began 100 Years War with France  1348 A.D. – arrival of Black Death in England  50 percent of population dead by 1350  Did oversee a growth in Parliament Turnover III

18   Richard II ( )  Took throne at age of 10  Betrayed by nobles and deposed by Henry Bolingbroke, a nobleman  Henry IV ( )  Encountered serious legitimacy issues as usurped the throne Turnover IV

19   Henry V ( )  Successfully expanded English territory back into France, made English empire greater  Henry VI ( )  Battled Joan of Arc over French lands occupied by England  Beginning of French nationalism  Beginning of War of the Roses  Civil war among the aristocracy  House of York (white rose) led by Richard of York  House of Lancaster (red rose) led by King Henry  War lasts for 30 years – destroys aristocracy  Ends at Battle of Tewkesbury, Edward (York’s son) defeats Henry  Henry executed at Tower of London Turnover V

20   Edward IV ( )  Brings relative peace to England  Richard III ( )  Brother of Edward  Leads coup against his nephews for throne  Has two young boys killed  Challenged by nobles  Killed at the Battle on Bosworth Field  Defeated by Henry Tudor, married to Elizabeth York, Edward’s daughter  Tudor’s assentation to throne marks end of mediaeval period – last king to gain throne through combat Turnover VI


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