Beowulf and the Anglo Saxons

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Transcript Beowulf and the Anglo Saxons

Beowulf and the Anglo Saxons

It’s An Island!

• • • • The sea is really important to British culture as well as the idea of sea power. (Navy, Trade) Really temperate climate England itself is the best farm land.

England is isolated from mainland Europe.


• British history is the history of a series of invasions from mainland Europe. Each successive wave brought advancement in technology and culture.

We know relatively little about the Stone Age inhabitants of Britain. Stone Age people means that they used mostly stone tools, had some farming, and lived in small settlements. One of the big mysteries is Stonehenge. What is it for? (astronomical clock? Showing off prominence? They got bored? )

Neolithic People

The Celts

• • • • • 7 th Century BCE Came from mainland Europe.

Brought iron weapons and tools.

Celt is a language group that covers many different tribes Later, were pushed into Ireland, Scotland, and Wales by the Anglo-Saxons

The Romans

• • • • 50BCE to 400CE Built roads, towns, and more.

Mostly, only the rich adopted Roman customs.

The Celts became Christian.

But then Rome fell…

• • • The Celts went back to acting like Celts.

Everybody else in Europe went back to pillaging and warring. 400-ish CE

In come the Anglo-Saxons!

• • • • 450-ish CE Came from Germany, Denmark-ish First they came as pirates, then mercenaries, then colonists.

King Vortigen, a Celt, hired them to protect him from other warring Celtic kingdoms, but instead they took over.

England= Angle-land

• • This is the start of England as we know it.

This is the start of English as a language. The Angles brought a version of early German with them, what we call Old English.

Anglo-Saxon England

• • • • The Angles established various kingdoms and became Christian.

The first united English king isn’t until 900’s.

They pushed the Celts into Scotland, Ireland, Wales They also had to deal with the new invaders, Vikings from Scandinavia!

• • •

Anglo-Saxon Culture

Warriors were heavily admired. “Kings” ruled small communities and ruled over warriors (Thanes). They gave gifts to earn loyalty. The next king was not the old king’s son He was the coolest warrior and agreed upon by the people.

Anglo-Saxon Culture

• • Non-warriors were roughly equal and worked together to farm, craft, cook.

Center of village is Meadhall, where everyone eats and hangs out.

Stages of the English Language

• • • • Old English- Pretty Much German- 450 1066ish Middle English- Add In Some French- 1066 1500ish Early Modern- Shakespeare’s English 1500ish to 1800ish Modern- What We Speak- 1800ish to now

Beowulf Lit Terms

• • • • • • Epic: long story (narrative) poem about a hero Verse: Poetry, in lines and stanzas Kenning: two(ish)-word renaming of something (boob tube, idiot box, cancer stick) Caesura: stopping punctuation in the middle of a line, a period or big dash!

Alliteration: two or more words in a row that start with the same letter or sound Theme: The main ideas of a literary work, not just the plot