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Anglo-Saxon Period


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Anglo-Saxon Period

  1. 1. • A term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD. • The term is also used for the language now called Old English, spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in much of what is now England and some of south-eastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century. . The Anglo-Saxons were good warriors, most of the time they won the battle they fight, they controlled most of England.
  2. 2. Early Anglo-Saxon Life • The next invaders of Britain were the Anglo-Saxons next to romans: primarily the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. • These invaders were all Germanic tribes
  3. 3. Dispersal of the Britons • After the Romans left, the Britons (who were here before the Romans and lived under their rule in relative peace) were unable to protect themselves against their new invaders. • To flee the Anglo-Saxons, the Britons fled to other parts of the island: Cornwall, Wales, and some went to Ireland.
  4. 4. • To collect stones to build their huts on • To use the better soil to grow crops • Lands were often flooded • The land was warmer • To have theprecious objects and gold • The rivers gave easy routes in land
  5. 5. • The Anglo Saxons took control of most of England although they never conquered Scotland , Wales and Cornwall. • They settled in England in places near to rivers or the sea, which could be easily reached by boat.
  6. 6. Anglo-Saxon Society • Created highly organized tribal units (kingdoms) • Tribes were ruled by a king chosen by a council of elders (witan) or a leader elected by physical prowess and achievements. • Many Roman buildings did become ruins though, because no one bothered or knew how to repair them.
  7. 7. Slaves did have some minimal rights - including the possibility of earning money and eventually buying their freedom. thane
  8. 8. How did Anglo-Saxons lived? • In their own lands, most Anglo- Saxons were farmers. They lived in family groups in villages, not cities. Since they lived close to the sea and big rivers, many Anglo-Saxons were sailors too. They built wooden ships with oars and sails, for trade and to settle in new lands. . .
  9. 9. Towns & villages they settled down. • The first Anglo Saxon villages were often named after their chieftain (leader of village).
  10. 10. Lived close to their animals (to protect animals and provide warmth) Lived in single-family homes surrounding a communal hall and protected by a wooden stockade fence
  11. 11. FUN FACTS It took about 18 trees to provide enough wood to build a Saxon house.
  12. 12. Characteristics of the Anglo-Saxons • Fighters and warriors • Admired physical strength, bravery, loyalty, fairness, and honesty • Great love of personal freedom • Boastful, willing to be cruel • Enjoyed conflict, swimming matches, horse races, banqueting, drinking mead, singing songs, and storytelling • Also flyting, a conflict of wits between two warriors where each praises his own deeds and belittles the other’s
  13. 13. -Men were usually about 180 cm tall and women were usually about 168 cm. -Most Saxon men were big and strong and they were also very active everyday. -Saxon’s teeth have lots of plaque on them, so this usually shows they didn't own toothbrushes. Their teeth were really known as been very yellow and horrible. - Conical handles for little brushes have been found in the graves of Saxon women. These might have been used for putting on make-up, like eye shadow or blusher. -Combs made of bone were often found in women's graves. This shows they kept their hair neat and tidy.
  14. 14. • Some women had metal clasps at the wrists to fasten the sleeves of a simple blouse. Other women had worn short-sleeves. • They used to wear brooches at the shoulders pinned two sides of a tubular dress together. • Lots of beads were often found across the chest. Strings of beads were very pretty. They were usually made of brightly coloured glass. Saxon women had other useful items hanging from a belt around the waist. The belts rotted away, but buckles survived. Simple blouse brooches dress Metal clasps belt
  15. 15. Role of Women • The wife of an earl or thane supervised weaving and dyeing of clothes, the slaughter of livestock, the making of bread, beekeeping, and the brewing of mead (fermented honey). • They would work alongside men in the fields • Women inherited and held property. • Married women retained control over their property.
  16. 16. - Apart from a skeleton, there was usually only a buckle. The belt had rotted away. They sometimes find weaponds too. - Men used to wear tunics. - Old Saxon bodies have been dug up in bogs. Bogs were very wet. - Saxon’s men used to wear baggy trousers and 'bandages' wound round their legs. - Saxon men also used to wear cloaks. belt knife shield tunic
  17. 17. Weapons • The most feared Anglo-Saxon weapon was a battle axe, but the most precious weapon was a sword. It took hours of work by a smith to craft a sword. He softened iron in a red-hot fire, twisted iron rods together and hammered the sword into shape.
  18. 18. The Warrior Code • The king had a small bodyguard of brave warriors who would die to defend him. The 'warrior-code' of the Anglo-Saxons taught that a warrior must fight and die for his leader, if he had to. • An Anglo-Saxon poem called The Battle of Maldon tells the story of a battle in Essex in 991, between English and invading Vikings. The English leader allowed the Vikings to cross from their camp for a 'fair fight'. The English lost, but the poem still praises their heroism.
  19. 19. Sutton Hoo • In the 7th century AD, a King – it was surely no less – received a magnificent burial at Sutton Hoo, in East Anglia. A ship was hauled up from the river, a burial chamber was erected in the middle of it, and a stupendous collection of magnificent objects – gold and silver brooches and dishes, the sword of state, drinking horns and a lyre – was set in the burial chamber.
  20. 20. • The helmet has become a symbol of the Sutton Hoo burial; yet it survived as a mass of small pieces, and was only reconstructed after years of painstaking work in the British Museum Laboratory. • Here we see a photo of the excavations in 1939, with the excavators uncovering the chamber built at the middle of the ship, and Mrs Pretty, the landowner and sponsor of the excavations, sitting with her friends in the background.
  21. 21. Glory • Immortality only earned through heroic actions – The goal was to be remembered after death, in songs and stories of his great deeds
  22. 22. Early Anglo-Saxons Beliefs • In Roman Britain, many people had been Christians. The early Anglo-Saxons were pagans. Much like theVikings of Scandinavia, they believed in many gods. The king of the Anglo-Saxon gods, for example, was Woden - a German version of the Scandinavian god Odin. From his name comes our day of the week Wednesday or 'Woden's day'. Other gods were Thunor, god of thunder; Frige, goddess of love; and Tiw, god of war. • Anglo-Saxons were superstitious. They believed in lucky charms. They thought 'magic' rhymes, potions, stones or jewels would protect them from evil spirits or sickness.
  23. 23. Anglo-Saxon Beliefs (con’t) • Pagan/Polytheistic • The early Anglo-Saxons worshipped ancient Germanic or Norse gods: • Odin/Woden: chief of the gods, god of death, poetry, and magic • Fria: Woden’s wife and goddess of the home • Tiu: the god of war and the sky • Thunor/Thor: god of thunder and lightening • Frijz/Frigga: queen of the heavens • The names of these gods survive today in our words Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
  24. 24. The Scops (pronounced sh(oh)p) • The communal hall offered shelter and a place for council meetings. • The communal hall was also a place for storytellers or bards (scops) who shared (orally) the stories of the Anglo- Saxons and their gods and heroes. • The Anglo-Saxons valued storytelling as equal to fighting, hunting, and farming.
  25. 25. Types of Anglo-Saxon Verse Scops often recited: • Heroic Poetry: recounts the achievements of warriors involved in great battles • Elegiac Poetry: sorrowful laments that mourn the deaths of loved ones and the loss of the past
  26. 26. Grave goods • Items buried with bodies - Archaeologists can learn a lot from old burial sites. • When Anglo-Saxons died, their bodies were either cremated or buried in a grave. Belongings buried with the dead person, for use in the next life, provide evidence of the jobs people did. • Men's graves include knives and spears, which suggests hunting, fighting and farming. • Women's graves include tools used for sewing and weaving - showing that women made cloth and clothing. • The grave of a king, like the ship-burial at Sutton Hoo, was filled with treasures, weapons and armour. • One child's grave in Essex had the bones of a dog in it, perhaps a pet. -BBC
  27. 27. The Coming of Christianity • In 432, the whole of Celtic Ireland was converted by Patrick, a Romanized Briton. • In 563, a group of Irish monks led by a soldier and abbot named Columba established a monastery on the island of Iona off the West coast of Scotland. • Later, the Roman church began to send missionaries throughout Europe. • In 597, Saint Augustine converted the King of England and establish a monastery at Canterbury. • By 650, most of England was Christian in name, if not in fact.
  28. 28. Christianity and Literature • The church brought education and written literature to England. • Monks established churches, monasteries, and libraries. • Monks recorded and duplicated illuminated manuscripts, at first only written in Latin. • Oral literature was transcribed into written form. • Monks preserved not only Latin and Greek classics but also popular literature (Beowulf).
  29. 29. • The children, collectively called the SCHOLA were taught by monks. It was the role of the priest to educate his flock. • Students wrote the days passage onto a wax tablet from dictation and committed it to memory • Writing was not always part of the curriculum. The curriculum therefore was religious in content and functional. • In “song schools” where the basics were taught, students then learned singing Anglo-saxons had two alphabets the ROMAN and RUNIC.
  30. 30. Anglo-Saxon Manuscript
  31. 31. The Danish Invasion • Due to rising population and limited farmland, many Scandinavians (the Norse and the Danes) took to the seas—the Vikings. • In 800, Danish raiders attacked Britain. • The Norse settled in Northumbria, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. • The Danes targeted eastern and southern England.
  32. 32. Restored Viking Vessels
  33. 33. Viking Raids: “From the Fury of the Northmen, O Lord, Deliver Us” • Sacked and plundered monasteries • Stole sacred religious objects • Burned entire communities • Murdered villagers • Halted the growth of learning By the middle of the ninth century, most of England had fallen. The Vikings called their territory Danelaw.
  34. 34. Alfred the Great • Only the Saxon kingdom of Wessex managed to fight the Danes to a standstill. • In 871, Alfred ascended to the Wessex throne. • Alfred resisted further Danish encroachment. • A 886 truce formally divided England: the Danish ruled the east and north; the Saxons ruled the south. • Alfred translated the Bede’s History and other works from Latin into English to make them more accessible, as well as instituted the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a history of England from the earliest days through 1154.
  35. 35. Danish Contributions • Built their Danelaw communities as military fortresses and trading centers • Generated growth of English towns • Expanded English vocabulary as Norse words crept into the language • For example, law is Danish, and its use reflects the Danes’ interest in legal procedures.
  36. 36. The Norman Conquest • Toward the end of the tenth century, the Danes increased attempts to recapture and widen Danelaw and eventually forced the witan to select a series of Danish kings. • In 1042, the throne returned to a descendant of Alfred, King Edward the Confessor, a Christian. • Edward’s association with the Normans weakened Saxon power. • Upon his death in 1066, Edward was succeeded by Harold. • William of Normandy challenged Harold’s right to the throne and defeated Harold in the Battle of Hastings. • William was crowned King on December 25, 1066.
  37. 37. History of English Literature • English Literature, literature produced in England, from the introduction of Old English by the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century to the present. The works of those Irish and Scottish authors who are closely identified with English life and letters are also considered part of English literature • this period extends from about 450 to 1066, the year of the Norman-French conquest of England. The Germanic tribes from Europe who overran England in the 5th century, after the Roman withdrawal, brought with them the Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, language, which is the basis of Modern English. They brought also a specific poetic tradition, the formal character of which remained surprisingly constant until the termination of their rule by the Norman-French invaders six centuries later.
  38. 38. Anglo-Saxon Literary Elements • Alliteration - the repetition of initial sounds of words • “She sells seashells by the sea shore” • From Beowulf: • 839 ferdon folc-togan feorran ond nean • 839 chieftains came from far and near
  39. 39. Kenning • A metaphorical phrase or compound word used to name a person, place, thing, or event indirectly. • A kenning enhances the literal meaning of words. A kenning gives the listener an idea of how the words connect to an idea or concept that is richer and more emotionally complex. • Typically gives an image
  40. 40. Kenning • A metaphorical phrase or compound word used to name a person, place, thing, or event indirectly. • A kenning enhances the literal meaning of words. A kenning gives the listener an idea of how the words connect to an idea or concept that is richer and more emotionally complex. • Typically gives an image
  41. 41. A. Poetry • Much of Old English poetry was probably intended to be chanted, with harp accompaniment, by the Anglo-Saxon scop, or bard. • . Almost all this poetry is composed without rhyme, in a characteristic line, or verse, of four stressed syllables alternating with an indeterminate number of unstressed ones. • . Another unfamiliar but equally striking feature in the formal character of Old English poetry is structural alliteration, or the use of syllables beginning with similar sounds in two or three of the stresses in each line.
  42. 42. B. Prose • Prose in Old English is represented by a large number of religious works. The imposing scholarship of monasteries in northern England in the late 7th century reached its peak in the Latin work Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People, 731) by Bede. • This was a significant work of largely Platonic philosophy easily adaptable to Christian thought, and it has had great influence on English literature.
  43. 43. A merchant and later a writer who set up the first printing press in England in 1476. A few years earlier Caxton had visited Cologne where he acquired his knowledge in the technique of printing and returned to England via Belgium to apply this new art. He established his base at Westminster and during his career as publisher produced more than 90 editions of well-known and lesser known authors. Among the former are Chaucer (Canterbury tales), Gower (Confessio amantis), Malory (Morte d’Arthur). Caxton himself prepared some translations of works in Latin and French. He is also famous for the prefaces which he wrote to his editions and which are revealing documents of literary attitudes in late 15th century England.
  44. 44. (c. 1330-1408) An English poet of courtly love who is remembered as the author of the Confessio Amantis, a collection of exemplary tales (from both classical and medieval sources) about courtly and Christian love. To judge by the language of this work, Gower was from Kent.
  45. 45. (848–899). Alfred was King of the West Saxons, and conquerer of the Vikings. He brought scholars and writers to his court in Winchester, which became the center of a renaissance in English letters. Alfred is thought to have translated the first fifty Psalms as well as three prose works (one of which, Boethius' The Consolation of Philosophy, also contains poems). He or his circle translated Bede's Historia, including Caedmon's Hymn.
  46. 46. Caedmon was the first poet to produce vivid Christian verses in the Anglo-Saxon tongue. Unfortunately, only a few of his lines survive. He died around 680. The people of England remembered him as a saint. His feast is on this day, February 11. in the seventh century he was the author of several Anglo- Saxon poems based upon biblical narratives.
  47. 47. (673–735). Saint Bede was a monk of the twin monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow in north-eastern England. He was famous in his lifetime as one of the most brilliant writers of Europe. Bede was made a doctor of the Chruch in the nineteenth century. Bede translated the Bible into English and wrote poems in Old English. We have a short poem called "Bede's Death Song" and a longer poem (which may not be by Bede) called "Doomsday."
  48. 48. is the conventional title of an Old English epic poem consisting of 3182alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature to the fact that it is the oldest surviving epic poem of Old English and also the earliest vernacular English literature. The full poem survives in the manuscript known as the Nowell Codex, located in the British Library. Written in England, its composition by an anonymous Anglo- Saxon poet The poem was eventually published in 1815. Thorkelin was also the first scholar to make a full translation of the poem.