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Anglo-Saxon Background

Information on Anglo-Saxon period for Junior English.

Cathy Stelling

on 7 October 2013

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Transcript of Anglo-Saxon Background

Early invaders were seafaring warriors
Lives were bleak, violent and short
Admiration for warriors

Early= Pagan
Later = Christianity (influence from Roman leftovers)

Anglo-Saxon culture
King Alfred of Wessex (871-899)
United the country against the invading Danes (Vikings)
-Unified religion (Christianity) = major factor
Alfred’s descendents rule until 1066
-The Norman invasion
Who was Alfred the Great?
Who were the Anglo-Saxons?
European invaders
-Angles and Saxons from Germany
-Jutes from Denmark
Drove out the old Britons (Celts)
-Resistance from Celtic leader Arthur, pushed back to Wales
Anglo-Saxon language becomes dominant
-Engla land -> England
(from the Angles!)
Here come the Saxons!
Various tribes:
The Britons (Great Britain!)
The Picts (Scotland)
The Gaels (Ireland)
Animism (spirit-worship)
Druids (Stonehenge)
Strong women
Oral Tradition:
Celtic myths: full of magic
-King Arthur!
(We’ll come to him later)
Who were The Celts?
Invasion by Julius Caesar in 55 BC
-100 years later, the Celts
are finally conquered

Built a vast system of roads
and introduced cities
Written language
Hadrian’s Wall
Christianity took hold
What impact did the Romans have?
Britain: An Island of Invaders
approx 450-1066
The Anglo Saxons
Pulled out in 409, leaving a vacuum of power...
Tribal society- ruled by warrior kings
Thanes: fighting men oath-bound to the king

Faithfulness rewarded
Defeat punished
Endless blood feuds
What was Anglo-Saxon life like?
The Chieftain and his followers were bound to each other until death.
If the lord was killed, his warriors had to
his death

beside him.
Cont: What was Anglo-Saxon life like?
Common living
-The Meadhall: where people gathered, ate, slept, and were entertained

How was Christianity crucial?
Brought contact with the outside world
Unified small "kingdoms" (tribes) by teaching compassion and cooperation

The Anglo-Saxons also influenced Christian culture (ornamentation)
Scops: singing poets
-more than entertainment
-preserved a record of achievements and history
Concerned with ethics and earthly virtues
Most important Anglo-Saxon values:
Full transcript