449-1485

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449-1485
The
Middle
Ages
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Time of enormous upheaval and change in
England.
Some of most famous and infamous kings in
the history of England.
Disastrous wars, both internal and external
Foreign invasions
Reconsolidation and emergence of England as
an important nation.

During the middle
ages, England moved
slowly from the oral
tradition of scops and
gleemen of the AngloSaxon period, to
Geoffrey Chaucer, the
“father of English
literature”, to the
printed word.
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Little is known about
the Britons, the early
Celtic people that
inhabited Britain.
The were part of the
Roman Empire from the
first century A.D.
When Romans returned
home in 410 the people
of Britain were left
unprotected and fell
prey to looting and
raiding from neighbors
on the Continent.
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The Jutes were the first
group from the great
North Germanic Plain
to invade in southeastern Britain.
The Angles and Saxons
followed the Jutes,
pushing the Britons into
Wales.
The legendary King
Arthur may have been
the leader of the Celtic
people driven into
Wales.
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The invading Germanic
tribes brought with
them a language which
is the ancestor of
present-day English,
which we call Old
English or Anglo-Saxon.
Anglo-Saxon England
lasted until 1066 when
the Duke of Normandy
invaded the country.
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During the AngloSaxon period,
England was divided
into several smaller
kingdoms.
Towards the end of
this period, the
kingdoms, under
King Alfred of
Wessex, united to
fight the Normans in
1066.

Although there was
much in-fighting
among the kingdoms,
they shared a
common language
and a heroic ideal and
set of traditional
heroes.
Outstanding courage
 Loyalty to one’s
leader and tribe
 Fierce personal valor

An impersonal, irresistible fate determined most of
life, but heroic and human will and courage
allowed individuals to control their own response
to fate and thus to win fame and become models
for others to follow.
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Kingdom
Clan or Tribe
Family unit
Held meetings in
which people could
openly express what
they thought or felt.
Early democracy
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Hardy and brave
Highly developed
feeling for beauty
Created beautiful
jewelry of exquisite
design and
workmanship
Vigorous minds
Europeans sent to
England to learn
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Certain names of days
of the week are
derived from the
Anglo-Saxon gods;
Tuesday, from Tiw,
the god of war.
Law
Conduct
Language
Literature
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Christianity came early
to Britain in A.D. 314.
Spread by missionaries
from the Continent
(Europe)
In 597, Saint Augustine
came and established a
monastery at
Canterbury, becoming
the first Archbishop of
Canturbuy.
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Anglo-Saxon poetry
was an oral art
Poems were sung,
frequently accompanied
by a harp
Poets, or scops, recited
well-known poems
from memory and were
known as the historians
of their tribes
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Anglo-Saxon poetry’s
two most important
traditions were that it
was
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Heroic
Elegiac, which
mourns the passing
of earlier, better times
Christian beliefs were
added gradually
replacing pagan ones
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Monks were the ones who
eventually committed the
oral poetry to writing.
The rhyme in English
verse may be attributed to
the rhyme in Latin church
hymns which were what
the monks first wrote.
In the late 900s, King
Alfred the Great became
the patron of scholars and
educators and began the
trend of writing in English
rather than Latin.
Alfred the great founded
the first English “public
schools”
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