The Anglo Saxon Period and the Middle Ages: Fast Facts and Historical Highlights
This article provides readers with an overview of key concepts and milestones from the Anglo Saxon period and Middle Ages in Britain, including the Norman invasion, King Alfred's reign, and the introduction of feudalism.
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1. The Anglo-Saxon Period and the Middle Ages Introduction to the Literary Period Fast Facts Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy Key Concept: The Normans Invade Britain Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society Your Turn Feature Menu
2. Historical Highlights King Alfred and his descendants unite Anglo- Saxon England in the late ninth century. The Romans invade Britain in 55 B.C. and create a four-hundred-year period of political stability. William the Conqueror defeats the Anglo-Saxons in 1066 and introduces feudalism to Britain. The Anglo-Saxon Period and the Middle Ages Fast Facts
3. Literary Highlights The bards ensure stories have an important position in early British culture. The brooding fatalism of pagan Anglo-Saxon culture gives the first British epic, Beowulf, its melancholy tone and stress on earthly heroism. Christian monks copy ancient manuscripts, preserving classical and Anglo-Saxon texts. [End of Section] The Anglo-Saxon Period and the Middle Ages Fast Facts Chivalry gives rise to a new form of literature, the romance.
4. History of the Times Troubles at home forced Rome to evacuate its soldiers in A.D. 409, opening Britain to invasion . After the legions of Rome conquered the Celts , Roman armies kept Britain free from invaders. Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy
5. 55 B.C. Hadrians Wall Romans evacuate their troops. Central government breaks down. Julius Caesar invades Britain. Celts defeated by Claudius. A.D. 43 Romans build walls, villas, baths, roads. Roman ruins Britain left vulnerable to attack. A.D. 409 Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy
6. Celtic religion a form of animism. Stonehenge Druids were Celtic priests. Britain named for one Celtic tribethe Brythons. Britain home to several Celtic tribes. Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy Celts in Britainbefore fourth century A.D.
7. A.D. 449 Angles, Saxons, and Jutes sweep ashore from Germany. The invaders push the Celts into the far west of Britain. Angles Saxons Jutes Celts Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy
8. Until ninth century, Britain is subject to constant invasions and battles. King Alfred unites Anglo-Saxons against the invading Danes. Angle and Saxon clans impose warrior culture on the island for six centuries. History of the Times The spread of Christianity helps unify the Anglo-Saxons. Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy
9. Anglo-Saxon Society Kinship groups led by strong warrior chief. Constant threat of war bonded local clans through harsh living conditions. People farmed, established local governments, and produced fine craftwork. Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy English emerged as a written language.
10. Invasion of the Danes The Danes were one of the fierce Viking peoples who crossed the North Sea in their dragon-prowed boats, plundering and destroying everything in their path. Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy
11. 8th9th centuries Vikings called Danes invade Britain. 878 King Alfred unifies the Anglo and Saxon clans against the Danes. 871 Alfred of Wessex is king of England. England becomes a nation. King Sweyn and his Danish troops arrive in England, from a manuscript (c. 14 th century) Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy
12. Christianity and Anglo- Saxon culture co-exist. Christian monks settle in Britain. Christianity replaces British pagan religions. Around A.D. 400 By A.D. 699 Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy Christianitys hope of an afterlife becomes more appealing than Anglo-Saxon religion .
13. Anglo-Saxon religion offered no hope of an afterlife valued earthly virtues of bravery, loyalty, generosity, and friendship was similar to what we call Norse mythology Thunor Thor Woden Odin Weekday Anglo-Saxon god Norse god Wednesday Thursday Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy Norse god Thor
14. Poetry, like fighting, hunting, and farming, had great significance. Literature of the Times Old English epic poem Beowulf combines Germanic heroism and Anglo-Saxon fatalism. Anglo-Saxon literature is rooted in oral tradition. Bards relied on sound devices and repeated phrases to remember their tales. Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy
15. Anglo-Saxons did not believe in an afterlife. Warriors gained fame and immortality through songs. Why were the scops important? The Anglo-Saxon bards also called scops Anglo-Saxon harp strummed harp as they sang sang of heroic deeds were often warriors Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy
16. Christian monks copy ancient manuscripts, preserving classical and Anglo-Saxon texts. Literature of the Times English emerges as a written language. Historical poems in Anglo- Saxon Chronicle detail events of early English history. Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy
17. The Book of Kells In 760 A.D. monks began creating The Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of Latin Gospels. This page reflects the opening words of St. Matthews Gospel. Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy
18. Comprehension Check What event led to the Anglo-Saxon invasion of the British provinces? [End of Section] Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy
19. By establishing a social structure called feudalism , William created a hierarchy of rulers under one lord and a network of thousands of knights sworn to serve him. History of the Times To squash revolts, William divided the land among his loyal barons and built castles around the country. In the Norman invasion of 1066, William the Conqueror defeats the Anglo-Saxons. Key Concept: The Normans Invade Britain
20. a duke from Normandy, France, claimed the English throne had been promised to him William the Conqueror crosses the English Channel with a huge army defeats King Harold and the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Hastings Key Concept: The Normans Invade Britain
21. The Normans Change England land divided among Williams followers from Normandy more contact with European civilization French replaces English as language of the ruling class Normans add law and order to Anglo-Saxons democratic and artistic achievements Key Concept: The Normans Invade Britain
22. Feudalism social, economic, and military system based on a religious concept of rank King Lords powerful landowners Vassals did work or military service for feudal lords in exchange for land Serfs servants to lords and vassals, bound to their masters land some vassals appointed by king in return for loyalty lords (powerful vassals) appoint their own vassals Key Concept: The Normans Invade Britain
23. Knights in Shining Armor provided military service to lords often the sons of nobles began training at an early age wore very heavy armor into battle followed a code of chivalry Key Concept: The Normans Invade Britain
24. Bibles and gospels created in monasteries were celebrated for their brilliant illuminated manuscripts, all created by hand. Literature of the Times Reflecting the chasm between the British masses and the Norman rulers, literature was usually written in Latin or Norman French after 1066. Old English disappears from laws and literature after William makes French the language of the state. Key Concept: The Normans Invade Britain
25. Comprehension Check How was William the Conqueror able to form such a powerful army following his victory in 1066? [End of Section] Key Concept: The Normans Invade Britain
26. History of the Times The contributions of each group affected how well villages and towns prospered. Medieval society was dependent on strictly defined social classesnobility, knights, priests, merchants, and peasants . Villages, built around castles, were the fundamental center of medieval society. Social mobility was nearly impossible in the Middle Ages. Social rank remained fixed. Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society
27. The Middle Ages This illustration from the Golf Book of Hours shows peasants taking a break from their work in the fields. The bulk of society consisted of laborers. Peasants owned their land; serfs did not. Serfs were little more than slaves to their overlords. Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society
28. most merchants and artisans lived in villages townspeoples tastes influence arts, ballads, plays, and so on Growth of Cities and Towns merchant classpeople earn their own money Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society villagers viewed themselves as having more freedom for art
29. Regardless of how hard a merchant worked or how much money an artisan earned, social status was fixed. Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society Social Status A familys only hope was to apprentice a son to a higher vocation or marry up a daughter to a husband from a higher class.
30. Works written in English, such as ballads and romances, helped to define Englands identity. Some medieval writers began to use the vernacular, or language of the people. Literature of the Times A new literary formthe romance becomes popular, reflecting the concepts of courtly love and chivalry . Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society Scholarly works from monasteries and universities reflect societys interest in moral instruction and morality plays.
31. The Romance new genre of literature inspired by legends of chivalrous knights hero goes on quest to conquer evil enemy includes stories of distant, idealized courtly love hero often has magical help Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society Malorys Le Morte dArthur (from a 14 th c manuscript)
32. Courtly Love The knight glorified the lady in words adored the lady and was inspired by her The lady was set above her admirer remained pure and out of reach Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society
33. how to resist the urge to run away if captured Code of Chivalry A code of conduct that covered whom to defend knights lord, the king, and the Christian faith how to treat a lady courtly love how to help others Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society
34. Comprehension Check Describe the trends in English literature during the Middle Ages. Were they reflective of life at the time? [End of Section] Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society
35. Your Turn Copy the Academic Vocabulary list into a notebook. [End of Section] Try to use the words as you outline the main ideas of the selections in the collection that follows. concept status diverse attribute emphasis The Anglo-Saxon Period and the Middle Ages Introduction to the Literary Period
36. The End