3. F2012 Culture in Post Roman Britain religion, dress


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The development of religion in the British Isles, particularly Wales and Ireland and the Irish influence. Identifying Saxon cemeteries from burial goods.

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  • The contrasting low density and physical separation of ecclesiastical and secular sites in Cornwall possibly indicate a more hierarchical power structure. The wider dispersal of authority manifest in the high density of ecclesiastical sites and nominally Christian settlement in early medieval Ireland may have led to a more thoroughly Christianised and confident society. Thus
  • S7ome scholars have argued from the exclusively monastic provenance of the early manuscripts of indi- genous learning that the filid and brehon contented themselves with their traditional oral methods, and thattheirworkswerewritten down by converted members of the class, who combined the profession osfmonkand poet or judge.28On theotherhand,the early literature and laws were clearly influencedby Latin grammar,butscarcelyat all by Christianityt ;heir authors were educated,yettolerantof pagan traditiontso an extent which must have been be- yond even themostsecularizedIrish clericonastery.We do, ofcourse,knowofliteratelaymenbeforeAlfred.Apartfromthefamouscasesoftheseventh-centurkyings,SigebertofEastAngliaandAldfrithofNorthumbriae,ducatedrespectivelyin Gaul and Ireland,wehear,asinIreland,ofnoblemen'sonsentrustedtem- porarilytomonasteriesat Ripon and York.40But thatthesewereexceptionalcases is stronglyarguedbyAlfred'sown experienceBreton in roman system 790; earliest Irish in glosses in 8th century; Some time after the arrival of Augustine’s mission, perhaps in 602 or 603, Æthelberht issued a set of laws, in ninety sections.[33][40] These laws are considered the earliest surviving code composed in any of the Germanic countries,[21] and almost certainly were one of the very first documents written down in Anglo-Saxon, as literacy would have arrived in England with Augustine’s mission.
  • Meanwhile, from the metal-working area near the church came a fragment of an incised slate board datable to around 750.The adeptus stone. Image: © Headland Archaeology LtdOn one side was a curvilinear cross-motif, set beside an ogham alphabet; on the other were two lines of almost identical Latin text, identifiable as a line of octosyllabicHiberno-Latin verse: adeptus sanctum praemium, ‘having reached the holy reward’. This is a unique survival, a line of verse from a hymn that formed part of the Antiphonary of Bangor, a late 7th-century liturgical commonplace book and clearly one that was on the ‘Inchmarnock curriculum’. The same stone also gives us our first evidence for the informal, non-monumental use of ogham alongside Latin, and provides evidence of training and instruction in both.
  • Irish contact w Mediterranean
  • The inscription reads: TE DOMINVM / LAVDAMVS / LATINVS / ANNORVM / XXXV ET / FILIA SVA / ANNIV / ICSINUM / FECERVNT / NEPVS / BARROVA / DIThis translates as: We praise you, the Lord! Latinus, descendant of Barravados, aged 35, and his daughter, aged 4, made a sign here. About LatinusLatinus is the first Christian in Scotland whose name we know, and his stone is clear evidence of the existence of a group of Christians at Whithorn as early as AD 450. They lived on the edge of what had been the Roman empire, which had collapsed and withdrawn from the other side of the Solway Firth only a generation or so earlier. By this time Christianity was one of the official religions of the empire. The fifth century missionary St Patrick also came from Romano-British stock, possibly the son of a Christianised Roman soldier or official. Although well-known as the patron saint of Ireland, he was born and raised in the Cumbria/Galloway area. The stone as a symbolThe memorial is Romano-British in style and Latinus has a Roman name, although his ancestor has a local Celtic name. There are traces of the Christian ‘chi-rho’ symbol above the lettering, which might be the ‘sign’ referred to in the inscription. This symbol is carved in the early, six-armed Constantinian form, indicating the stone’s early date and its close connections to the Roman world. This stone was later reused as a building block in the medieval cathedral, and was rediscovered around 1890.
  • They were erected around AD 500 to mark the graves of priests serving a Christian community close to Kirkmadrine. The oldest stone is a massive slab of local sandstone. At its head is a carving of a "Chi-Rho". Below is a Latin inscription commemorating two of Kirkmadrine's first bishops, Viventius and Mavorius. The second stone is inscribed Florentius, another of Kirkmadrine's priests. The third stone is simply inscribed INITIVM ET FINIS - "The Beginning and the End"
  • 'rich' areas appear to have a smaller proportion of weapon burials than the 'poorer’ regions.the maximum of the absolute weapon burial frequencies, late in the first half of the sixth century, falls into Myres’ phase IV, the post-Badon phase of "reaction and British recovery” (Myres 1969, 64) for which far fewer battles are recorded than for the phases before and afterSpears occur in most weaponburials, shields in slightly less than half of them, swords in only oneout of ten. Seax, axe and arrow are all well below 10% each. Thesefigures contrast with the frequencies of weapon types in Frankishand Alamannic graves (Table 3) where swords accompanied betweena quarter and half of all weapon burials (Steuer 1968). Moresignificantly, they also differ from the frequencies of weapon types incontemporary Saxon inhumations in Northern Germany (Table 3)where seaxes and arrows were found with about half of all burials,but shields with only one fifth of them
  • Evidence from grave
  • ound/Acquired PorthDafarch (all objects)
(Europe,UnitedKingdom,Wales,Gwynedd,Anglesey,PorthDafarch) 5th CLeaded bronze penannular brooch. Cast hoop, round in cross-section with decorative ribbing alternating between closely packed lines and more widely spaced sections. Small flat terminals each have a plain rounded lozenge with knobs at the corners, the whole derived from a simplified and stylised animal snout with ears, the mouth swallowing the hoop. The pinhead is a barrel-moulded rectangle wrapped around the hoop, with a decorative x by the join. The shank is dished, either by design or through wear.
Width: 69 millimetres (hoop)
Length: 15.3 millimetres (term)
Length: 77 millimetres (pin)
Curator's comments
Youngs 1989a
This is a simple zoomorphic brooch of a type ancestral to the large ornate form, such as that from Ballinderry 2 (National Museums of Ireland, Dublin no. E6:422). The proportionally large diameter of the thin hoop and the short length of the pin are early features. The marked curvature of the pin is seen on a number of contemporary brooches and may be deliberate. Brooches of this type have been found in Wales and the west of England in Saxon graves and in the north of Britain as well as in Ireland (Savory 1956, Fowler 1963, 101-5, Longley, D. 1975. ‘Hanging-Bowls, Penannular Brooches and the Anglo-Saxon Connection’, BAR, BS 22, Oxford, 8-9). Some of the British brooches have simple enamel inlay on small terminals, but the zoomorphic form was developed and widely produced in sixth- and seventh-century Ireland (for example, National Museums of Ireland no. 1945:311, Kilkea Castle Collection). It is possible that this brooch along with similar examples was made in the west midlands.

Date given as 5th-6th century AD.
  • Equal-arm brooch, copper alloy with non-ferrous coating. Relief-cast with S-scrolls within arms, animal heads projecting from bars and bow and an egg motif along bow. Faintly beaded outer borders around upper and lower arms. Decorating the longer arm is a pair of double S-scrolls with spiky offshoots and pellets; on the lower arm is a pair of S-scrolls with leaf-shaped terminal and spiky offshoot and pellets. An animal head with neck, ear, and open mouth projects from each arm, and another head which is simpler and thicker, from each side of the bow. The bow is decorated with a row of ring-and-dot punchmarks at each end (three at the bottom and four on the top), and an egg motif in the middle with three vertical bars at the top. Two lateral and integral copper alloy lugs with remains of iron pin, spring and axis bar with a copper alloy applied pin catch, which could be a mend.

Length: 5.7 centimetres
Height: 3.2 centimetres
  • Anglo-Frisian, AD 450-500
From Undley Common near Lakenheath, Suffolk, EnglandInscribed with the oldest Anglo-Saxon runesThis early and unique bracteate was a stray find made by a farmer in Suffolk. The figural images were adapted from a Late Roman Urbs Roma coin of a type issued by Constantine the Great between AD 330 and 335. The coins have a helmeted head of the emperor on the obverse and Romulus and Remus being suckled by a wolf on the reverse, which the maker of this bracteate has conflated. Such coins were widely circulated and the artist must have copied an heirloom.Above the two images is a double spiral followed by a runic inscription that can be transcribed as 'gæ go gæ – mægæmedu'. Recent research proposes that the these may be read as 'howling she-wolf' (a reference to the wolf image) and 'reward to a relative'. The runes are Anglo-Frisian and it is likely that the bracteate was made in Schleswig-Holstein or southern Scandinavia and brought to England by an Anglian settler. Short runic inscriptions such as this are typical of the use and extent of writing in the pre-literate Germanic societies. In early Anglo-Saxon England, even after the introduction of the Roman alphabet, runes continued to be used on a popular level for magical and amuletic inscriptions, as well as for sophisticated riddles.M. Axboe, 'The Scandinavian gold bracteates', ActaArchaeologica, 52 (1982)J. Hines and B. Odemstedt, 'The Undleybracteate and its runic inscription', StudienzurSachsenforschungen, 6 (1987), pp. 73-94S.E. West, 'Gold bracteate from Undley, Suffolk', FrühmittelalterlicheStudien, 17 (1983)
  • 3. F2012 Culture in Post Roman Britain religion, dress

    1. 1. Cultures of Post-Roman Britain Roman, British, Irish, ‘Anglo-Saxon’ Housing Language Religion Dress Burial
    2. 2. Literacy• Latin church generally discouraged vernacular• Byzantine church encouraged vernacular• Irish traditions – Fosterage – Learned class – Aristocratic children in monastic schools – Early use of vernacular• Anglo-Saxon macho opposition to learning?• Alfred
    3. 3. Education – Ogham and Roman Inchmarnock ~750adeptus sanctum praemium, ‘having reached the holy reward’.
    4. 4. Proposed Evolution of Written Language
    5. 5. Christianity in Britain and Ireland St Cuileáins bell shrine
    6. 6. Popular Christianity in Roman Britain Barkway Water Newton
    7. 7. Pelagianism in Britain• Pelagianism, a belief labeled a heresy, denied original sin• In 429 British bishops invite Germanus and Lupus to Britain to debate with Pelagians• Germanus returns in 445 (military or religious purpose?)
    8. 8. Ireland I - St. Palladius• Perhaps the Palladius who recommended the mission of St. Germanus• Sent to Ireland in 431 to preach to Christians in Ireland
    9. 9. Pre-Patrician Ireland
    10. 10. Ireland II - St. Patrick• Confessions• Letter to Coroticus
    11. 11. Disciples of St. Patrick• Irish monasticism – Based on desert monasticism of St. Antony of Egypt – Move to isolated places – outside the kingdoms – Voluntary exile – Scotland; western Britain
    12. 12. Disciples and Successors of St. Patrick• St. Kentigern (Mungo) –Strathclyde (d. 612)• St. Columba - Iona
    13. 13. Scotland - St. Ninian (Uinniau)• Disciple of St. Martin of Tours?• Apostle to southern Picts c. 400• Monastery at Whithorn (Candida Casa)
    14. 14. Christian Sites North Britain
    15. 15. WhithornEvidence for 6th C. church
    16. 16. WhithornLatinusTe DomineLaudamus…
    17. 17. „Celtic‟ Stones BêdhKirkmadrine Morgan Morganwg
    18. 18. St. Columba• Born in Donegal c. 521 (Colum Cille)• Active in Dal Riata (Irish Scotland)• Founded Iona c. 560• Iona becomes the nucleus for Christianity in Northumbria
    19. 19. Christian Sites – Northern BritainIona Antonine Wall Hadrian‟s Wall
    20. 20. Cathach of Columba
    21. 21. Penitentials• Codification of penalties• Perhaps based on secular law• Possibility of repeat offenses• Finnian of Clonard (c. 550) → Columbanus• Gildas
    22. 22. Irish Church – Continental Influence• Columbanus – Return to Continent• Monasticism• Manuscript production
    23. 23. Columbanus• Born Ireland c, 540• 583 Annegray• 590 Luxeuil• 610 Exiled• 613 St. Gall, Switz.• 614 Bobbio, Italy• 615 Death
    24. 24. Christianity in Wales• Samson 485-565 Welsh born; missionary to Brittany• St Brynach – Nevern (6th cent.)• David, 520-588 Patron Saint Llan Burial enclosure  Cemetery w. church  Church  Town w. church
    25. 25. Christian SitesSouthern Britain 500 CE
    26. 26. Evidence for Saxon Presence• Cemeteries – Grave goods; Anglo-Saxon pottery • Weapons in male graves – Burials (where present) – N-S alignment – [Christian burials – E-W alignment]• Rune inscriptions (rare)• Sunken buildings• Jewelry
    27. 27. Evidence for Saxon Development• Increasingly elaborate sets of grave goods• Concentration of grave goods• Adoption of Saxon culture by native Britons
    28. 28. „Saxon‟ Cemeteries – pre 575
    29. 29. Evidence for Early Settlements- rune inscriptions
    30. 30. Evidence for Early Settlements- tunic styles
    31. 31. Brooches-Roman Influence Penannular Quoit
    32. 32. 1. 2. 3. Fastening a penannular brooch1. With the ring of the pin upside down, push the pin of the brooch through the fabric, picking up a couple of layers.2. Flip the ring portion of the brooch over, so that the open ends are aligned with the end of the pin.3. Bring the end of the pin through the gap and above the terminals, then rotate the ring until the end of the pin moves past the terminals,
    33. 33. Brooches - Regionalism
    34. 34. Brooches-Kent520-550 c. 630
    35. 35. Anglian Wrist ClaspCruciform,Lincolnshire
    36. 36. Equal Arm BroochMucking, Essex Weser-Elbe region
    37. 37. Frankish ArtifactsDarenth Bowl, Dartford Riseley Beads
    38. 38. Bracteate, Undley Common near Lakenheath, Suffolk 450-500 “Howling She-Wolf”
    39. 39. Saxon Advent - Summary• Peoples from a number of areas – Differences in local culture in England – Not always distinguishable – Includes, besides Anglo-Saxons, Frisians and Franks – Styles adopted by natives?• Exposure to Roman culture, literacy, Christianity• Continued contact with the Continent
    40. 40. Britain 500 CE