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Historical Context of the Anglo-Saxon Period
Transcript of Historical Context of the Anglo-Saxon Period
Prior to Anglo-Saxon
Arrival of the
Roman withdrawal from Britain
At about 700 BCE, Britain was settled by the various Celtic tribes who were referred to, as a whole, "Britons."
There was a written Celtic language, but transfer of culture was mainly through bards and poets.
The names of many places in Great Britain today are derived from the Celtic language.
Towns of London, and York
The Britons were animists, who believed in many superstitions, they created structures such as Stonehenge.
Initial expedition was in 55 B.C. lead by Julius Caesar. He won a series of battles, and the Romans established some control in Britain.
A second invasion was led by Claudius in 43 AD in which the Romans created a permanant colony.
Effects of Roman Occupation?
Introduction of Christianity
Introduction of the Latin Language
Erecting of physical structures (buildings, roads)
Because of attacks by barbaric peoples against the Roman Empire, Roman troops stationed in Britain begin leaving at about 388 AD.
Romans experienced internal struggles in Britain because they were never able to fully suppress the native rebels.
By 410 AD all Romans had left Britain
What the Romans left behind
Romans introduced Latin which had a profound impact on English society.
Many stories and poems were orally transmitted, but later written down in Latin.
Much of the English Language today has Latin origins such as the words:
Computer- from computare-means to calculate
Library- from liber-means book
Christianity was introduced to the people of Britain in about 312 AD, when Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion for the entire Roman Empire
The Christian Church also used Latin, which continued to spread the language.
Infrastructure and Architecture
Romans leave behind much of their empire in Britain creating a foundation for new kingdoms to form.
Many roads, walls and forts from the period of Roman Occupation still survive today.
Britons were being attacked by Germanic people of the East ( Jutes, Saxons, and Angles). These people were from Northern Germany or South Denmark.
These invaders were generally called the "Saxons" by their neighbors.
Generally refered to themselves as "Angli" or "English"
These Germanic people continued to migrate, and by 500 AD most had settled
First Viking (Danes) raid begins in 793, and Danes continue to raid England for many more years.
Angle and Saxon
Kingdoms were not very unified
Viking raids begin
More unified kingdoms develop
Vikings were from modern day Denmark and Norway
At first Viking were a ruthless group of people who raided and pillaged towns
Many eventually convert to Christianity and settle
Effects of Vikings
Viking dialects had a significant influence on the English language
English borrowed many words from the Viking dialects
During the rule of of the Danes, Edward the Confessor, the last king of the Anglo-Saxons, lived in exile in Normandy
During his time in Normandy, Edward promised the English throne to Duke William of Normandy.
King Edward dies in the January of 1066, and a struggle for power follows, but William of Normandy has intentions on taking the throne that was promised to him.
In the Norman Invasion of England, William of Normandy defeats the Anglo Saxons in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. This event marks the end of the Anglo-Saxon Period.