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Anglo-Saxon Background

Information on Anglo-Saxon period for Junior English.
by

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

Religion
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)
Religion:
Animism (spirit-worship)
Druids (Stonehenge)
Strong women
Oral Tradition:
Story-telling
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
4)Anglo-Saxons
1)Iberians
2)Celts
3)Romans
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
avenge
his death
or

die
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
Writing!

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