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The Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Periods

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Presentation on theme: "The Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Periods"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Periods
The Middle Ages British Literature Taken from The Longman Anthology of British Literature and *The Language of Literature

2 The Celts Geological signs indicate that Paleolithic man arrived some 50,000 years before the ice cap severed Britain from the continent Approx. 400 BC - The first British people were Celtic people (inhabitors of the British Isles and northern France, also called Brittany)

3 The Celts The Celts that settled in Ireland formed a distinct culture and eventually colonized in parts of Scotland the Picts, a pre-Celtic people, also lived there

4 The Invasions Approx. 1st through 5th centuries – Romans occupied Briton (Constantine’s conversion to Christianity in the 4th century brought Christianity to Briton) The Picts and Scots were never “Romanized”

5 The Romans* Introduced cities, fine paved roads, written scholarship, and eventually Christianity. The “Romanized” Britons became dependent on the Roman military for protection.

6 The Invasions Early fifth century: Roman armies abandoned Britain to defend the city of Rome, and Britain became the target of invasion. The Picts and the Scots began to harass the “Briton” Celts

7 The Invasions Approx 6th and 7th centuries - the Britons invited German allies, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes from Europe, to come to their aid The Angles, Saxons, and Jutes eventually also become oppressors The Britons resisted (possibly under the leader that later became known as Arthur)

8 Anglo-Saxons Many of the Briton Celts retreated westward (Wales)
In southern and central Britain, Celtic culture all but disappeared. Angles and Saxons intermarried and became the Anglo-Saxons

9 Anglo-Saxons* Anglo-Saxons eventually began calling themselves the British (after the Britons they originally displaced) and even took on the Celtic hero Arthur as their own. The Angles were dominant in the early history of the Heptarch; therefore, the area of Germanic settlement became known as Angle-land , or England, and the people became known as the English.

10 Anglo-Saxons* Scholars use the term Anglo-Saxon to refer to this time period in British History.

11 Growth of Christianity*
Despite the collapse of Roman power, Christianity never completely died out in British Isles. In 597, A Roman Missionary, Augustine, established a monastery at Canterbury. By 690 most of Britain was Christian.

12 The Vikings Late 9th century – the Vikings invade (Danish)

13 The Norman Conquest 1066, William the Conqueror of Normandy (France) invades when the Anglo-Saxon king Edward dies and his successor, King Harold, is disputed Normans (North Men) were originally Vikings that settled in France that eventually accepted French ways William’s introduction of French practices started the Medieval (middle) period in England

14 The Normans: feudalism
The Normans established the feudal system: The king kept a fourth of the land, gave a fourth to the church, and parceled the rest out to his barons* A nobleman (fief) held land from the king and owed the king military and judicial services (including providing knights) The knights held land from the fief (their lord) and owed him military service and other duties Serfs (Anglo-Saxons) lived on the land belonging to the knight, took care of it, and owed him agricultural produce and rent (some of which the knight then in turn owed this fief); they were bound to the land on which they were born

15 The Normans: culture The cultural impact of the Normans was great
The with the Norman conquest also came a strong influence of the intellectual current and the arts of Europe along with frequent travel back and forth Aristocratic women were educated (at convents), became the focus of much literature, and were central to social rituals like courtly love

16 Celtic Roman Danish German French

17 Henry II & Becket The Normans also believe that the church and its law should be separate from secular power, causing conflicts between monarchs that wanted to control the clergy Becket was Henry II best friend and fellow rabble-rouser Henry II decided to name Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury so than he could have influence over the church Becket took his new position very seriously and strove to follow God’s will (causing many great conflicts with Henry) Henry II had Becket killed in 1170 at the altar of Canterbury Cathedral Becket was quickly canonized (made a saint) and Canterbury became the destination of a regular religious pilgrimage

18 William’s Descendants*
Eleanor of Aquitaine, former French Queen and wife of Henry II, brought ideals of chivalry, code of honor, knightly behavior, and encouraged holy quests Henry II’s 2 sons: Richard I (the lionhearted) fought the Crusades in France, where English possessions were threatened. John—the villain in many Robin Hood legends– plotted against Richard I.

19 John becomes King* In 1215 John I was forced to sign the Magna Carta (Great Charter) which limited royal authority by granting more power to the barons. Under Edward I, the House of Commons (commoners) were included in parliament.

20 Return of English The Normans and Anglo-Saxons began to intermarry, and by the 13th century, English was the official language of discourse

21 The Hundred Year’s War*
War between England and France continued off and on for more than a century… during which England experienced many domestic crises Black Death Peasant’s Revolt Richard II forced to abdicate

22 The Hundred Year’s War*
These things led to the conflict between the house of York (white rose) and the house of Lancaster (red rose) for the claim of the throne: War of the Roses. In 1485 Lancaster’s Henry Tudor killed York’s king Richard III, ending the war… becoming King Henry VII, marking the end of the Middle Ages in England.

23 The Plague Between 1348 and 1375, the Black Death (plague) struck 4 times and killed nearly half of the population

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