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Viking Values

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Cassandra White

on 12 January 2015

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Transcript of Viking Values

Viking Values
Groups from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) invade Britian
2000 B.C.
Celts (from different parts of Europe) invade Britian
600 B.C.
Christian influence
Ruled Britain for around 400 years
55 B.C.
Anglo-Saxons from modern Germany infiltrate Britain.
Old-English language
Greatest influence on England
Angle-land = England
410 A.D.
793 A.D.
from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark begin invasions
takes place in Denmark and Sweden
are from Sweden
are from Denmark
Tribal culture
Each tribe had its own king
Walled farms & wood-hut villages
Bronze & iron tools
Grew crops
Warred with each other often
Unstable and violent life
Old English
Beowulf = Bee Wolf = Bear
The oldest surviving epic written in English
The Epic
An epic is a long, narrative poem that recounts the adventures of a hero

The Odyssey
Characteristics of the Epic - The Hero
High social status
Often great historical or legendary importance
Actions determine the fate of the people
Nation or civilization
Courageous, sometimes superhuman deeds are performed that reflect values of the era
The hero and sometimes other characters deliver long, formal speeches
Brief History of Great Britain
Britain is made up of many different types of people.
The island suffered a series of invasions for the first 1100 years of its
Each group of invaders left reminders of their presence

Other Epic Characteristics
Large scale setting
Often involves a long and dangerous journey through more than one nation
The poem uses:
- Exaggeration for effect
Formal diction
Serious tone
Poetic language
Universal themes
Good and evil
Life and death
Roman Empire takes over Britain
Beowulf is a blend of historical events and Nordic legend
The epic was traditionally told orally, but in the year
1000 A.D.
a manuscript was written, which preserved the poem.

is the oldest surviving work of Northern European Literature.
The first page of the
Rescued from destruction several times, the manuscript is now housed in the British Library, London
A story based on actual historical events (e.g. King Arthur)
Sometimes classified as a romance
Tale that can involve noble heroes, love, daring deeds, and supernatural events
A traditional story concerning supernatural beings or events
Explanation of processes or phenomena (e.g. lunar eclipse)
Both science and a religion for many
A form of literature and entertainment
Literary Devices
- repetition of sounds at the beginning of nearby words
(ex: When I do
ount the
lock that
ells the
- an implied comparison between two unlike entities (ex: Time lies...)
- metaphoric compound words in place of simple nouns
(ex: sea = whale road, sun = candle of heaven)
- an implied or indirect reference to a person, event, thing, or part of another text; often Biblical or mythological
- a natural pause or break in the middle of a line of poetry
There is a fish that quivers in the pool
itself a shadow but its shadow, clear.
Kennings: Two Word Metaphors
Sea = Whale road
Sun = Heaven's candle
Sutton Hoo
An ancient burial ground
Medieval scholars, in an attempt to preserve Anglo-Saxon poetry, painstakingly prepared and recopied manuscripts by hand. These scholars were usually monks in a monastery or in a nobleman's court.
Scops were traveling minstrels who entertained audiences with presentations of long narrative poems.
Few people of the time could read or write.
Anglo-Saxon literature was generally composed and passed down in the oral tradition.
Scops recited poems in a chanting voice, often accompanied by a harp.
These tales were a means of preserving tribal history and praising the deeds of heroes.
Prologue to Beowulf
Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagum,
þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum,

monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah,
egsode eorlas. Syððan ærest wearð
feasceaft funden, he þæs frofre gebad,
weox under wolcnum, weorðmyndum þah,
oðþæt him æghwylc þara ymbsittendra

ofer hronrade hyran scolde,
gomban gyldan. þæt wæs god cyning!
Ðæm eafera wæs æfter cenned,
geong in geardum, þone god sende
folce to frofre; fyrenðearfe ongeat
Early Writings
Infrequently used writing system called
Germanic alphabet (runic alphabet)
Used mainly for inscriptions on monuments and important brief records

A-Hrunting We Will Go
Among the Germanic tribes, high quality swords were greatly prized and handed down from father to son. These ancestral weapons were so important that they were often given names, like Unferth's sword Hrunting.
Sword and scepter found at Sutton Hoo
Meading-House or Mead-Hall
Mead is a sweet, alcoholic beverage made from honey
The name
(often spelled
) is Old English for "hart" or "stag" (male deer), an animal often associated with royal authority.
With This Ring
In Germanic ceremonies in which a follower swore his allegiance to his lord or king in return for that lord or king's protection, the lord or king typically bestowed a golden ring on the follower to symbolize the bond. The king is sometimes referred to as their "ring-giver."
Anglo-Saxon Ideals and Values
Physical Strength/Swordsmanship
Love of glory
Pride in one's accomplishments
Stoic acceptance of fate
Reverence of ancestry
Fairness, justice and honor
Responsibility of leader/king for his people
Desire to serve humanity
What qualities of Beowulf makes the story endure and appeal to audiences through the centuries?
Beowulf and Grendel
Thor, God of Thunder
Legendary Warrior
Fun Fact:
The Vikings told stories of a place called Midgard, or Middle Earth. A place inhabited by giants, elves, and dwarves. Sound familiar?
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