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The Anglo-Saxons

Week 4: The Romans, the Anglo-Saxons and Christianity

Sanja Ignjatovic

on 30 October 2014

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Transcript of The Anglo-Saxons

The Romans and

The Arrival of the Anglo-Saxon Tribes

Hadrian's Wall
Erected in 2nd century AD after Agricola's inspection of the Scottish Highlands

Why did the Romans build the wall?
The First Wave of Christianity
Celts and Romans

First advocates
Paul and Peter
, Christ's disciples, executed by the Romans on
67 AD

Love transcends death
(Remember, by that time death was a finality)

Parallels to matriarchal paganism!

Celtic pantheon
assimilated the
of the previous inhabitants, but the Anglo-Saxons' entirely
patriarchal culture
, their
heroic world-view
, was accompanied by a different
The Roman Invasion
Julius Caesar 55 and 54BC - a failure
Lasted for 4 centuries
Pax Romana
Safety, order and peace
Emperor Claudius
43 AD - the beginning of the invasion

The Celts and their resistance

The Iceni and
the legend of Boadicea
around 61AD

Tribal wars on the Isles
The Celto-Iberian Heritage
Much like the Celts pushed the Iberians to the fringes of the British Isles, so the Romans forced the Celts to migrate from today's England to more remote parts of the Isles.

Remember the ethnic types?
Cornwall, Devon, Wales, Scotland
and Ireland
The Anglo-Saxons
A new language
New culture, customs, gods
Fierce warriors, but tenacious farmers
The Myths of Dissociation
Marduk kills Tiamat
Theseus kills Minotaur
Beowulf kills Grendel
The fifth century Germanic raids and the civil wars with the Roman Empire

Angles, Saxons and Jutes
The Roman habits as well as
the Celto-Roman hybrid culture disappeared
with the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons

The English Language:
A cultural mixture
of Germanic dialects
and the Nordic lexis,
but also...
druidic practice
depended upon
memorized and orally transmitted history.


(6th C) and
Venerable Bede
(8th C)
Latin and the Written Word
The Heroic Code
Hierarchical social stratification

Familial bonds substituted by

The basis for
Nature and
its manifestations
must be defeated

once deified
now demonized
Welsh Christianity
Celtic folklore, tribal culture and early teachings of Christ

Monasteries as cultural and religious centres

The Pelagius - St. Augustine Controversy
5th century AD

Moral sense
free will
and the
doctrine of
Original Sin

The perfectibility
of the human soul
Irish Christianity
official religion in 325 AD
under Emperor Constantine

432 AD in Ireland - St. Patrick (miracles)

Patriarchal Christian principle fused with pagan worship of nature (the color green)

The 'centre' is no longer Rome
Irish Christianity
- based in
(a monastery)
- Founded by
St. Columba
in 563 AD

Scottish Christianity
- based in
- the mission of
in 634 AD

of the Great Goddess cults and the early Christian teachings

Pope Gregory
sends missionaries to establish a centre for the spread of Roman Catholicism
two sources of Christianity
for the Anglo-Saxon England:

Rome (
) and Ireland (

The Pelagius - St. Augustine Controversy
The early kingdoms and conversions
The stronger the church, the more important it was for the kings to establish a bond with them - this resulted in hereditary rule, and was the basis for the crusades, etc.
Further Reading
(Optional, but do try)

8, 11, and 17
British Studies
Anthology I
Full transcript