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The Anglo-Saxons - Marlington Local

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The Anglo-Saxons
449-1066
English 12 Honors
Mr. Raber
Geography #1:
GREAT BRITIAN,
or simply Britain,
is an island comprising
1. England
2. Scotland
3. Wales.
Geography #2:
The modern
nation known as the
UNITED KINGDOM
(The entire light brown region)
includes:
1. Great Britain
2. Northern Ireland,
3. Several smaller islands.
Geography #3:
Collectively,
this group of large
and small islands is
also known as the
BRITISH ISLES.
Invaders/Settlers:
The island of Great Britain has been invaded
and settled by numerous groups of people:
Iberians
Celts
Romans
Angles, Saxons, and Jutes
(Anglo-Saxons)
Danes/Vikings
Normans
The Iberians
пѓј The earliest settlers in Britain were
called IBERIANS because it is
thought they originally came from
the Iberian Peninsula.
*this is the
peninsula
of present-day
Portugal
and
Spain
The Celts (K)
пѓј Among the Celts was a group called the
BRYTHONS…sometimes called
Britons.
Brython
flag
пѓјTheir name was later adopted for the land
name as BRITAIN.
The Celts
пѓјThe religion of the Celts was a
form of ANIMISM
ANIMISM = the Latin word for “Spirit”
ANIMISM = belief in the existence of spirits
separable from bodies
The Celts
пѓјThe Celts saw SPIRITS
everywhere, and these spirits,
or gods, controlled all aspects
of existence.
The Celts
пѓјThe Celts believed these
spirits/gods had to be
constantly satisfied…
sometimes this even made
human sacrifice necessary :(
The Celts
пѓјPriests, called DRUIDS, acted
as intermediaries between the
gods and the people.
Some think Stonehenge was
used by the Druids for certain
religious functions
Celtic Myths
пѓј The Celtic myths influenced many British and
Irish writers such as
Sir Thomas Malory and William Butler Yeats.
пѓјThese myths were unlike later Anglo-Saxon
stories in various ways.
- For example, unlike the male-dominated Anglo-Saxon
stories, the Celtic legends are full of strong women.
The Romans
пѓјBeginning in 55 B.C., under the
leadership of Julius Caesar, the
Romans began to invade.
Julius
Caesar
The Romans
пѓјNearly 100 years later, under Emperor
Claudius, the Celts were finally
conquered.
Emperor
Claudius
The Romans
пѓјThe Romans provided the armies and
organization that prevented further
serious invasions of Britain for several
hundred years.
The Romans
were strong
and SMART!
Thus…
пѓјMr. Raber must be a Roman
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are needed to see this picture.
The Romans
пѓјThey built a network of roads
(some still used today)
** They also built a defensive wall 73 miles long
The Romans
пѓј During Roman rule, CHRISTIANITY
took hold under the leadership of European
missionaries.
пѓј Christianity later became a UNIFYING
force among the people.
пѓј The old Celtic religion began to vanish.
The Roman Downfall
пѓјDespite the strong leadership and
government of the Romans, due to
�troubles at home,’ they evacuated
all of their troupes out of Britain
by A.D. 409.
Romans
The Separated Britain
пѓјWithout Roman control, Britain
was a country full of separate
clans.
Unity was gone
The Weak Britain
пѓјThe resulting weakness made the
island prime for a series of
SUCCESSFUL INVASIONS by
non-Christian peoples from the
Germanic regions of continental
Europe.
WEAK
THE INVADERS
пѓјThe ANGLES and SAXONS from
Germany and JUTES from Denmark
invaded across the North Sea.
пѓјThey drove out the old Britons and
settled the greater part of Britain.
CHANGE
пѓјThe LANGUAGE of the Anglo-Saxons
became the dominant language
пѓјThe Angles also changed the name of the
land from Britain to….
Engla land… and eventually ENGLAND
Anglo-Saxon England
пѓјWas not any more unified than Celtic
Britain had been until King Alfred of
Wessex, ALFRED THE GREAT, led
the Anglo-Saxons against the invading
DANES, one of the Viking invaders
from the cold North.
Viking
Invaders
Alfred
the
Great
The Danes
пѓјEventually, the Danes, plundering
and destroying anything in their
path…
пѓјTook over and settled in parts of
northeast and central England
Christianity = Unity
пѓј It is possible even King Alfred would
not have been able to unify the AngloSaxons without the
REEMERGENCE
OF
CHRISTIANITY
Christianity
пѓј
1)
Christianity provided:
a COMMON FAITH
2) COMMON
SYSTEM
OF MORALITY
and PROPER CONDUCT.
Christianity
• Christianity also LINKED England to
Europe.
• “Under Christianity and Alfred, the
Anglo-Saxons fought to protect their
people, their culture, and their church
from the ravages of the Danes.”
Later…
пѓјBoth the Anglo-Saxons and the Danes
were DEFEATED in 1066 by William,
duke of Normandy (The NORMANS).
Battle
of
Hastings
Transition…
OK…so we know the succession of
differing peoples/groups leading up to,
and after, the Anglo-Saxons:
Iberians
Celts
Romans
Angles, Saxons, and Jutes
(Anglo-Saxons)
Danes/Vikings
Normans
Now…
Let us focus our attention back on the
ANGLO-SAXONS since that is the time
period we are studying, and the time
period that Beowulf was often recited
in.
Different
depictions
of Beowulf
Side Note:
пѓјThe new Beowulf movie is not exactly
the same as the epic we will be
reading…
Sorry guys…no Angelina Jolie
Sorry girls…no bulging abs
Censor
Box
Censor
Box
Sutton Hoo &
The Anglo-Saxons
• In 1939 a treasure laden ship-grave was
found in Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, England
• This Sutton Hoo treasure ship is said to
have been buried for 1300 yrs.
QuickTimeв„ў and a
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Helmet
Ship Dig
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Thus…
• The treasures of Sutton Hoo’s ship
showed that the Anglo-Saxons were
NOT barbarians
Sutton Hoo
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Ship Treasures
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Anglo-Saxon Life
• Even though the treasures proved them
not barbarians…
• The Anglo-Saxons did not lead a life of
luxury
• Nor were their lives dominated by
learning or the arts
Anglo-Saxon Life
• Instead, WARFARE was the order of the
day
• As displayed in Beowulf, for the AngloSaxons, law and order were the
responsibility of the leader of any given
group
• Groups: Family, Clan, Tribe, or Kingdom
Anglo-Saxon Life
• Fame and success, even survival,
were gained only through loyalty to
the leader
• Success was measured in gifts from
the leader
• This WILL be seen in Beowulf
Anglo-Saxon Life
• This pattern of loyal dependency was
basic to Anglo-Saxon life
• Such loyalty grew out of a need to
protect the group from the terrors of an
enemy infested wilderness… (Grendel)
• A wilderness that became particularly
frightening during the long, bonechilling nights of winter
Anglo-Saxon Life
• Anglo-Saxons tended to live…
• close to their animals in single-family
homesteads
• these homesteads were wooden buildings that
surrounded a communal court or warm, firelit chieftain’s hall.
• This cluster of buildings was protected by a
wooden stockade fence
Anglo-Saxon Life
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Reconstructed AngloSaxon Buildings
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Anglo-Saxon Life
• This arrangement, which WILL be seen
in Beowulf, contributed to a sense of
security and to the close relationship
between leader and followers
• It also encouraged community
discussion and rule by consensus
More on Religion #1
• Despite the influence of Christianity, some of
the old Anglo-Saxon religion, with its
warrior gods, persisted
• The Anglo-Saxon religion that remained was
a dark, fatalistic religion, that had been
brought from Germany and is believed to
have much in common with Norse or
Scandinavian mythology
More on Religion #2
• Norse Gods:
• Odin: the god of death, poetry, and magic
• The Anglo-Saxon name for Odin
was “Woden” (Woden’s day=Wednesday)
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Odin/Woden
More on Religion #3
• Norse Gods:
• Thunor: the god of thunder and lightning
• The Anglo-Saxon name for Thunor
was “Thor” (Thor’s day=Thursday)
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Thunor/Thor
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Also…
• Another significant figure in AngloSaxon mythology is the dragon
• The dragon is the personification of
“death and devourer”
• The dragon is also the guardian of
the grave mound in which a
warrior’s ashes and treasure lay
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Overall…
• The Anglo-Saxon religion seems to
have been more concerned with ethics
than mysticism
• More specifically, they were concerned
with the earthly virtues of bravery,
loyalty, generosity, and friendship
The Singing of Gods
and Heroes
• Not only did the Anglo-Saxon
communal hall
provide a place
for shelter
and council
meetings…
• But also, it provided spaces for
storytellers and their audiences
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The Singing of Gods and
Heroes
• These skilled storytellers/bards (such as
the storytellers in Homeric Greece more than
1,000 years earlier) sang of gods and
heroes
• The Anglo-Saxons called these
storytellers scops
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The Singing of Gods and
Heroes
• These scops were held in the
same
superiority as warriors
• The Anglo-Saxons felt creating poetry
was as important as fighting,
hunting, farming, or loving
Death & Poetry
• For the non-Christian Anglo-Saxon, life is
hard, ends only in death, and there is no
hope of an afterlife
• Thus, only fame, and its commemoration
in poetry could provide a defense against
death and a sense of lasting immortality.
• Hence, why bards were considered so
important
Also…
• Unlike England and the rest of Europe in
the 5th century…
• Ireland was not overrun by Germanic
invaders
• Then, in 432, the whole of Celtic Ireland
was converted to Christianity
Ireland Continued…
• From 432-750 while England sank into
constant warefare, confusion, and
ignorance…
• Ireland experienced a golden
age
• Winston Churchill stated that is was in Ireland
“burned and gleamed
through the darkness”
that Christianity
Ireland Continued…
• Christian Irish monks founded monasteries that
became sanctuaries of learning for refugee scholars
from Europe and England
• These monasteries existed right alongside the
older Anglo-Saxon religion
Remember, printing was still
800 yrs. away in England
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The Link…
• In fact, the Christian monks in the
monasteries preserved not only the
Latin and Greek classics but also
some of the great Anglo-Saxon
literature/ stories, such as
Beowulf, that were being told by
the scops
The Rise of the English
Language
• Latin alone remained the language of
serious study in England until the time
of King Alfred
• Alfred instituted the Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle
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Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
• This was a lengthy running history
of England
• Partly because of King Alfred’s efforts,
English began to gain respect as a
language of culture
• Thus, the chronicle displayed some
use of English/Old English (Old
English: The language Beowulf was composed in)
Finally…
Any
Questions?
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