The Anglo-Saxons. The Anglo-Saxons Who lived there? Britons: The original inhabitants of Britain. They were a Celtic people who were conquered by the

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  • Slide 1
  • The Anglo-Saxons
  • Slide 2
  • The Anglo-Saxons Who lived there? Britons: The original inhabitants of Britain. They were a Celtic people who were conquered by the Romans early in the 1 st century & became part of the Roman Empire. Evidence: places ending in caster or chester (Latin word for camp= castra) Around 410 (5 th C.) Roman legions were needed at home for protection, so the people of Britain fell prey to raiding & looting from neighbors.
  • Slide 3
  • In 449, the Jutes from the great North German plain crossed North Sea into Britain & settled in what is now Kent. The Angles & Saxons followed the Jutes; they conquered the Britons, who after fighting back, were relegated to the mountains and moors. When these Germanic tribes came, they brought, in oral form, poetic tales about the historic past. During last two centuries of A-S period, the Anglo-Saxons were compelled to organize themselves to resist further invasions from Vikings (or Norsemen) whom they called Danes. King Alfred of Wessex (871- 899) was able to unite his people and push the Danes into Northeastern England. Alfred supported literary endeavors & restored cities; he was a scholar. The Anglo-Saxons 449- 1066
  • Slide 4
  • What were the Anglo-Saxons like? They called the area they lived in Angleland until 1066. What does that sound like? They valued courage, loyalty, courtesy & generosity. They shared a common language, a heroic ideal & set of traditional heroes. Loyalty to the leader & the tribe was essential. Everything was thought to be determined by an impersonal, irresistible fate, or Wyrd. Considering their clan and warfare- oriented behavior, Anglo-Saxon society was somewhat developed and many people liked to hold democratic-style meetings where people could express their feelings and thoughts. Anglo-Saxon assembly was called, literally, a thing. They had a highly developed feeling for beauty.
  • Slide 5
  • How did they speak? The history of the English language can be traced back to a language called Indo-European which was spoken six or seven thousand years ago by tribes living in Europe/western Asia. Groups broke up and migrated across Europe, and India, and once separated began to form their own variations on the language such as Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and Germanic. Latin evolved into Italian, French, and Spanish. Germanic evolved into German, Dutch, Swedish, and English.
  • Slide 6
  • The Anglo-Saxons A.D. 449-1066 How did they speak? The language spoken by the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes was the ancestor to common-day English. These tribes brought with them their own alphabet, called runes, which was carved onto wood and stone. Because most literature and records were passed orally, most of what we know of this Old English is based on manuscripts that were written fairly late in Anglo-Saxon history by monks using the Latin alphabet to write English.
  • Slide 7
  • The Anglo-Saxons A.D. 449-1066 What did they believe? Christianity came to Britain as early as A.D. 314 when a Bishop of London attended the church council at Arles in France. Missionaries from the European continent strengthened Christianity in Britain. Saint Augustine was the most famous missionary who came in 597 and established a monastery at Canterbury, becoming the first Archbishop there. The Archbishops of Canterbury were considered the highest ecclesiastical authority in Britain or Primates of England.
  • Slide 8
  • The Anglo-Saxons A.D. 449-1066 How did Christianity affect literature? 664 AD: The synod at Whitby Abbey, a famous monastery for men and women under the leadership of Abbess Hilda. Abbess Hilda also directed Caedmon, the first English religious poet. This synod united the English church with Roman Christianity. The church began to draw the island kingdoms together; it encouraged ties, intellectual and commercial, with the rest of Europe.
  • Slide 9
  • The Anglo-Saxons A.D. 449-1066 Anglo-Saxon Literature Anglo-Saxon poetry was oral. Anglo-Saxon poetry was frequently sung, accompanied by a harp. Poets recited well-known poems from memory and sometimes created new ones. The professional poet or scop was like a bard and he had a very important job because he was the village memory and historian. He remembered the important heroes, kings, battles, and folklore of the tribe. Poetic devices like a strong beat and alliteration were necessary to remember the poems.
  • Slide 10
  • The Anglo-Saxons A.D. 449-1066 Two Important Poetic Traditions Heroic Tradition (Ex: Beowulf) Elegiac Tradition: mourns the passing of earlier, better times. (Ex: The Seafarer) Appears that poems which survived were ones which appealed to the monks who committed them to writing. They wrote in Latin, the language of the Church. Riddles light and witty; Anglo- Saxons considered them an intellectual exercise. Many found in Exeter Book, one of few surviving manuscripts of Old English poetry.
  • Slide 11
  • What is Beowulf? English Literature begins with Beowulf. Beowulf is one of the most important single remaining poems from the Anglo-Saxon period. It is Englands heroic epic. It is the first English work about a monster!
  • Slide 12
  • What is Beowulf? Beowulf shapes and interprets materials connected with the tribes from northern Europe, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. Was probably composed sometime in the 8 th century. Oldest existing manuscript is from around 1000. Story is based on earlier tales that were passed down from generation to generation orally. Has its origin in an earlier pagan era; however the author of the written version seems to be a Christian. The language of this version is Old English.
  • Slide 13
  • What is Beowulf? It is a tale of a hero who is the leader of his people. The general tone of it is somber, and deals much with the idea of Wyrd or fate and its vision of evil in the world. The action is extraordinary and the hero is larger than life. Begins during a banquet given by the Danish king, Hrothgar in a new mead- hall called Herot (which means heart). It is a place for boasting about victories & is also a place of community. It is the symbol of the loyalty and interdependence of the lord and his faithful warriors. This communal interdependence is called commitatus. Despite the peace inside Herot, Grendel, the monster, lurks outside. Fate has something terrible in store for the Danes.
  • Slide 14
  • Kenning is a literary device used in Beowulf and other Old English texts. Kenning is a way of using a different combination of words instead of the ordinary noun. A kenning is a metaphorical phrase or compound word used instead of the name of a person, place or thing. Ex. The word ship could be called sea-steed. Grendel is called the shepherd of evil. Kennings

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