Anglo-Saxon Period

Anglo-Saxon Period

Anglo-Saxon Period 450-1066 Great Britain (British Literature) England Scotland Wales United Kingdom also includes North Ireland

Invaders to Britain

Iberians Celts Romans Angles Saxons Normans What do we get from England

English Common Law Language Literature Culture

Celts Celts and Their Religion Animism Druids Stonehenge Mother Goddess Harmony is controlled

by MG and Great Father Romans: Great Administrators From Julius Caesar (55 BC) to Emperor Claudius (1st Century AD) Organization that protected Britain several hundred years Pushed war-like tribes to the north and west

CHRISTIANITYEuropean Missionaries 410 AD: Problems in Rome and they just left (an infrastructure but no central government) When the Romans left Angles Saxons Jutes

King Arthur to King Alfred Invaders after Romans abandoned Britain: Angles and Saxons (Germany) Jutes (peninsula of Jutland in Denmark) Great Struggles Celts: King Arthur (retreated to Wales)

Anglo-Saxon England Independent Principalities King Alfred 871-899 Led against Danes UNIFIED ENGLAND Anglo-Saxon Religion

German origins Norse/Scandinavian mythology Diety: Thunor --ThorThursday Mother was god Earth Took many forms Childbearing and homemaking Norse godOdin:

Overcame death to learn of great mysteries god of death, poetry, and magic assists humans communicate with spirits Woden--Wednesday Ethics

Main concern with Anglo-Saxon religion Virtues of: Bravery Loyalty

Generosity Friendship The Danes (from Denmark) Vikings (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark) 8th and 9th century NE & Central England

Danish Law now in place Danegeld- payment in exchange for peace William, Duke of Normandy Forced the AngloSaxons out in 1066 Battle of Hastings

October 14, 1066 Reemergence of Christianity Christianity declined when the Romans left Irish and Continental Missionaries St. Augustine converted King Ethelbert of Kent

Not Immediately or Permanently Successful Ex: King Readwald of East Anglia Sutton Hoo Richest burial site ever discovered in Britain,

an Anglo-Saxon ship containing the treasure of one of the earliest English Kings Rdwald, King of East Anglia. Rich in Anglo-Saxon and Christian treasures. Life in Anglo-Saxon England

VIPs Venerable Bede King Alfred

The Beowulf poet Caedmon Law and Order Warfare was common occurrence Leaders in any group were responsible for safety

Family Clan Tribe Kingdom Fame, Success, and Survival

were obtained through LOYALTY to the leaders Beowulf Defeats monsters who attack King Hrothgar Loyal Dependence Bards and Poets in Anglo-Saxon England

Communal Hall Offered shelter Public meetings Entertainment Bards (scops) were skilled story tellers Considered very manly Accompanied by a

harp Narratives Poems were many times improvisational Traditional heroic tales People under the threat of war, disease, old age Stress the transience of life connected with the cold and darkness of winter

Elegiac strainmournful Bards gave hope that heroic deeds would be remembered in the collective memory Monasteries and Anglo-Saxon Lit. Centers of faith and learning Provided cultural and spiritual influence

Monks probably wrote down the bards tales Tales: Old English Learning: Latin Venerable Bede 673-735 Greatest Latin writer in Anglo-Saxon England

Ecclesiastical History of the English People 731 First major source of early English history Old English Poetics Sung or recited aloud Harp provided a regular rhythm Old English poets are more concerned with time rather than number of syllables

Beowulf has 4 primary stresses in each line Uses alliteration frequently Alliterative poetry Poetics, contd. Caesurarhythmical pause in the middle of a line Kenningdescriptive compound words Ex: sea-stallions to mean ships

Ready made formulas to describe certain events: greeting a stranger, voyaging on the seas, eating a feast, receiving riches

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