The Anglo-Saxons 449-1066

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Transcript The Anglo-Saxons 449-1066

And sometimes a proud old soldier
Who had heard songs of the ancient heroes
And could sing them all through, story after story
Would weave a net of words
The Anglo-Saxons
Songs of Ancient Heroes
Essential Question:
How do we define heroes today?
Timeline Questions
Look at the timeline on pages 2-3 and be prepared to
discuss the following questions:
1. What four groups of people invaded Britain in the
Anglo-Saxon time period?
2. What effects might a series of invasions—one every
three hundred to five hundred years—have on
3. What else sticks out to you?
Political and Social
Roman Occupation
Anglo-Saxon Invasion
Were first invited guests that were asked to help fight battles, and then never left
Known for their tight-knit communities and loyalty to religion
Big influence on British warrior culture
The Spread of Christianity
British Isles, most of Europe, Asia Minor, Middle East, and North Africa (Italy, France,
Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Armenia, parts of southern
Russia, western Romania, Greece, Turkey, Persia, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia,
Algeria, Morocco)
Romans claim they only fought “just wars’—meaning they were provoked
Romans withdrew completely and left Britain with no government, subject to invasion
Introduced by Romans
Became major religion in seventh century
The Norman Invasion
William the Conqueror (duke of Normandy) claimed his cousin, King Edward, promised him
the throne when he died
Ended the Anglo-Saxon culture in Britain
• Read pages 6-17 and think about the following
1. What specifically did America inherit from Britain?
(political system, law, language)
2. What was the influence of Christianity on Britain?
3. What was the heroic ideal of the Anglo-Saxons?
British Legacy
• Great Britain: England,
Scotland, Wales
• For and by the people
• Parliamentary government
• Emphasis on personal rights
and freedoms
• Invaded many times, British
culture is built on all of
The Celts
• Tall, blonde warriors who
lived on an island and were
discovered by the Greeks
(included the Britons)
• Practiced animism (saw
spirits every where)
• Priests were called Druids
• Spirits had to be constantly
satisfied and controlled all
• Stonehenge
• Skilled artisans—iron
Celtic Mythology
• King Arthur (Sir Thomas
• Full of strong women—tall
and fierce (Queen Maeve)
• Fantastic animals
• Love affairs
• Adventure
• Enchanted lands and magic
The Romans
• Invasion led by Julius Caesar
and Claudius– Celts were
• Provided armies
• Built roads and defensive
wall, villas, and public baths
• Christianity became prevalent
• Had troubles at home so they
they pulled out of Great
Britain and left no
The Anglo-Saxons Sweep Ashore
• Came from Germanic
region (Angles and Saxons
from Germany, Jutes from
• Language became dominant
• Named the land Engla
• Celts put up a fight, but
retreated to Wales
Alfred the Great
• King Alfred of Wessex
• Led Anglo-Saxons against
invading Danes
• Helped unite Anglo-Saxons
with Christianity—common
faith, common system
• Christianity helped connect
England to Europe (world
The Anglo-Saxon Lifestyle
• Not barbarians
• Didn’t lead luxurious lives, didn’t
focus on the arts or education
• Loyalty to the leader was
important—success was
measured in gifts from the leader
• Women inherited property, in
order to marry a woman a man
had to offer a gift to his future
• They lived close to their animals
in single-family homes—wooden
buildings that surrounded a
communal court and had a fence
Anglo-Saxon Religion
• Dark, fatalistic religion—
Norse or Scandinavian
• Odin—god of death, poetry,
and magic, had a somber
outlook on life
• Thumor—same as Thor, god
of thunder and lightning
• Dragon—protector of a
• Concerned with the earthly
virtues of bravery, loyalty,
generosity, and friendship
The Bards
• Skilled storytellers—sang of
gods and heroes
• Communal hall provided a
space for meetings and
• Called scops
• The bards were just as
important as fighters, hunters,
and farmers
• Used harps
• Sang tales of war, disease,
and old age
• Since it was isolated it was
not overrun by Germanic
• Converted to Christianity
• While England sank in 432750, Ireland had a Golden
The English Language
• Latin was the language of
study until ing Alfred
• Due to the Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle, English began to
gain respect as a language
and culture