Formation of the English People

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Transcript Formation of the English People

Formation of the English People
• Paleolithic.
– Attached to continent.
– Inhabited by stunted Paleolithic
• Neolithic.
– Centuries passed.
– England is an island.
– Swarthy-complexioned Neolithic
Two Main Branches
• Goidels (Gaels).
– Found in the west and in the north.
– Influenced by aboriginal tribes.
– Survive in Ireland and Scotland.
• Brythons ( Britons or Cymri).
– Southeast.
– Survive in Wales and Cornwall.
Hierarchy of pagan gods like the Greeks and
the Romans.
Many local gods.
Human sacrifice.
Transmigration of souls.
Sanctified the oak.
English Literature
• Contributed fewer than a dozen words to the
– Bin(basket), dun (color), Avon, and Kent.
• The lais – lyrics or short verse romances.
• Mabinogion – compilation of Welch tales.
• B.C. 55-54 two invasions by Julius Caesar.
• A.D. 43-48  invasion by Aulus Plautius under
– South of Avon.
– Several successful governors.
• A.D. 401-410 Romans gradually left to protect
Rome. Honorius renounced Rome’s control over
English Literature
• Small number of Latin words.
– E.G. Mile, street and the suffix –caster, -chester,
and –wich, or –wick.
• Contributed very little to the literature.
Anglo-Saxon Conquest
• A.D. 449  withdraw of the Romans left
the Celts prey to barbarians.
– Jutes, Saxons, and Angles (three Teutonic
tribes) invaded. The latter two recognized the
helplessness of the Britons and took possession
of surrounding land.
– Celts were absorbed exterminated or driven to
the north and the west.
Anglo-Saxon Conquest
• At first called Englisc.
– Derived from the Angles, mixed with the
Norman or Saxon, and finally Anglo-Saxon.
– Low-German, west-Germanic, indo-European
language. (Old Frisian or low German nearest
Anglo-Saxon Conquest
• Four dialects.
– Kentish  counties of Kent
– West Saxon  remaining areas
around the Thames.
– Mercian or midland
between the Thames and
– Northumbrian  north of
Humber into Scotland.
Anglo-Saxon Conquest
• N.B. While most of the
literature is derived from
west Saxon, the most
important dialect is
Mercian the dialect from
which modern English is
Anglo-Saxon Conquest
Religion {Polytheism}
• Chief gods include Woden,
Thor, Loki, Tiw (or Tiu).
– Some names remain in days of
the week: e.g. Tuesday (Tiu’s
day), Wednesday (Woden’s
day), Thursday (Thor’s day).
• Dread goddesses Wyrd and
Fate  Shakespeare’s
“Weird Sisters.”
Anglo-Saxon Conquest
Advent of Christianity
• Christianity introduced by the Romans was
almost completely wiped out. Carried to
Ireland (St. Patrick c. 432 – 461) A number
of later missionaries including Aiden (North
Anglican, and (sent by Pope Gregory)
Augustine (Kent and Canterbury).
Anglo-Saxon Conquest
Advent of Christianity
• Celtic and Roman versions of Christianity
differed. Synod of Whitby(664) sided with the
Romans and England was under papal control
until Henry VIII.
• Re-introduction of Christianity played a large role
in the language and literature not only buy
introducing ecclesiastical terms but by joining
England with a richer culture providing haven for
literary compositions as well as the copying of
Anglo-Saxon Conquest
English Literature
• Vital contribution to the
• Vocabulary pertains to the
everyday function of man.
• Essential to sentence
• Vital contribution to
Anglo-Saxon Characteristics
• Stern, barbarous life. Subjected by nature to
rude turmoil.
• Mixture of savagery, sentiment, and
• Religious feeling; fatalism and instinct.
• Responsiveness to nature. Love of the sea.
Anglo-Saxon Characteristics
• Common sense, power of endurance, and
seriousness of thought as opposed to elfish
mockery, ironic introspection, emotional
temperament, bold imagination, sensitive nature,
rainbow fancy, and violent but mercurial feelings
of the Celts.
N.B. The Anglo-Saxons, the Celts, and the Normans
combine to create the three branches of British
Anglo-Saxon Ideals
• Love of glory is the ruling motivation of
every noble life.
• Allegiance to lord or king is the social
virtue most extolled.
• Reverence for womanhood.
• Love of personal freedom.(did not conflict
with the fidelity to thane or lord – even unto
Anglo-Saxon Ideals
• Open-handed
hospitality to thane
or lord.
• Honoring of truth.
• Repression of
• The sea.
– Water-street,
swan-road, and
• The Ship.
– Foamy-neck
floater, waveskimmer, and
Graveney Boat