British Literature I Billings Career Center

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Ancient English Societies. British Literature I Billings Career Center. Early British History. I. Origin of earliest inhabitants is unknown A) Iberia B) Stonehenge II. Celts 800-600 B.C. A) Two groups- different language, but related 1) Brythons-- England
Ancient English SocietiesBritish Literature IBillings Career CenterEarly British History
  • I. Origin of earliest inhabitants is unknown
  • A) Iberia
  • B) Stonehenge
  • II. Celts 800-600 B.C.
  • A) Two groups- different language, but related
  • 1) Brythons-- England
  • 2) Gaels-- Ireland
  • a) both were farmers and hunters
  • b) clan structure
  • 1) loyalty to chieftain
  • 2) Druids=priests/historians/storytellers
  • III. Romans
  • A) First Roman invasion
  • led by Julius Caesar
  • 1) @ 56-55 B.C.
  • 2) Just an exploration
  • B) Second invasion under Emperor Claudius
  • 1) @ 55-54 B.C.
  • 2) Brought Christianity
  • a) Latin= written historical records and vocabulary
  • b) castra =camp-->caster, cester, chester,
  • Winchester, Lancaster
  • 3) Developed a system of roads and baths
  • 4) Reigned for 300 years until 409 A.D.;left due to barbaric invasions in Italy
  • IV Anglo-Saxons Conquest, 449-1066 A.D.
  • A) Country now called Angles-land =England
  • B) Three major groups of people--Angles,
  • Saxons, Jutes
  • 1)Came from Scandinavian countries and
  • northern Europe
  • 2) Fought for territory rather than plunder
  • 3) Brythons resisted
  • a)Arcturus= first accounts of King Arther
  • b)Twelve battles against Anglo-Saxons
  • 4)Tribal units
  • A) King-chieftain, leader, warrior--elected by witan or council of elders
  • B) Witan- council of elders
  • C) Peaceweaver- united the tribes through marriage
  • Tribal Units continue. . .a) Earls- hereditary class of warlords who owed their position to the king.b) Freeman-were allowed to own their own land; this class includes thanes and barons who were granted their status as a reward for military service.c) Serfs or Churls- bonded servants who worked the land in return for military protection.d) Slaves or Thralls- usually military prisoners (POW's) or people being punished.5) Beliefs: Germanic gods
  • a) Woden (Chief of the gods, god of
  • poetry, ale brewing, runic charms)-->
  • Wednesday
  • b) Fria (Woden’s wife Goddess of sex,
  • fertility, war, and wealth))--> Friday
  • c) Tiu (God of war and sky)--> Tuesday
  • d) Thunor (Scandinavian Thor, a son of
  • Woden, god of physical strength and thunder)
  • -> Thursday
  • Beliefs (continued)
  • b) WYRD=FATE; Grim view of life: things are going to happen to you and there’s nothing you can do about it.
  • ---Good Wyrd
  • ---Bad Wyrd
  • 6) Combined languages became Old English (Germanic: Latin, French, German)
  • a) runes=early Germanic alphabet
  • b) mostly oral tradition
  • C) Brythons fled to Ireland and Wales
  • 1) Took Christian beliefs with them
  • 2) Roman Catholic church had to contact Irish/Welch monks to redevelop religious practices after barbarian era
  • D) Saint Augustine, a Roman cleric, brought Christianity to Anglo-Saxons in 597 A.D.
  • 1) Christian monks recorded Anglo-Saxon oral history.
  • a)Beowulf
  • b)The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles
  • 2) Bede (673-735 A.D.) wrote Ecclesiastical History of the English Peoples -1st history of the English peoples; written in Latin.
  • V. First Danish Invasion -8th and 9th Centuries (700 to 899 A.D.)
  • A) Vikings
  • 1) Norse invaded Ireland,
  • NW England and Scotland.
  • 2) Danes invaded SE England
  • a) Plundered and fought for territory
  • b) Danelaw-territory occupied by Danes
  • law=Danish for legal
  • c) Anglo-Saxon laws
  • 1) right to trial by a jury of ones peers
  • 2) principle of innocent until proven guilty
  • B.Alfred the Great (Anglo-Saxon King)
  • 1)Made truce with Danes; Anglo-Saxons could live in Wessex.
  • 2) Translated Beowulf, Bede, etc., into Anglo-Saxon or vernacular English=Old English.
  • 3) Used Old English for legal codes and in public schools.
  • VI Second Danish Invasion--10th Century
  • A) Forced Saxon witan to elect a Danish King.
  • B) Edward the Confessor 1042-1066
  • 1) A descendant of Alfred the Great, elected
  • Saxon king.
  • 2) Mother was a Norman and he was raised
  • and educated in Normandy (France today).
  • C) William of Normandy 1066
  • 1) Cousin of Edward the Confessor and
  • King of Normandy.
  • 2) Battle of Hastings 1066
  • WilliamThe ConquerorNormandyAnglo-Saxon Women
  • -independent, aggressive, strong, equal
  • Peace weavers (Shield Maidens)
  • -greatest job
  • -major advisor to King
  • -dispenser of rewards and mead
  • -married to unite tribes
  • -marriage was a sacred bond
  • Peace weaverAnglo-Saxon Women
  • Scops - sang songs which made the warriors eternal and legendary
  • Warriors -Valkyries 1/2 women, 1/2 warrior - Aethelflaed
  • -Grendel's mother
  • -Bodicca
  • Owned land
  • Beowulf\Boudicca.docBEOWULFWritten in Old English sometime before the tenth century A.D., describes the adventures of a great Scandinavian warrior of the sixth century.
  • A Rich fabric of fact and fancy, -Beowulf- is the oldest surviving epic in British literature.
  • Beowulf exists in only one manuscript. This copy survived both the wholesale destruction of religious artifacts during the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII and a disastrous fire which destroyed the library of Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1571-1631).
  • The poem still bears the scars of the fire, visible at the upper left corner of the photograph. The Beowulf manuscript is now housed in the British Library, London.
  • Characters in Beowulf
  • Grendel- A powerful swamp monster; descendant of the offspring of Cain.
  • Danes- Germanic tribe who settled in Jutland peninsula now known as Denmark.
  • Hrothgar- King of the Danes (also known as Healfdane's son.
  • Herot- Hrothgar's famous mead hall.
  • Geats-: Germanic tribe settled in what is now known as Sweden.
  • Beowulf- Geat warrior (also known as Higlac's follower- Higlac was king of the Geats).
  • Beowulf’s VoyageBeowulfBeowulf meets GrendelBeowulfStock phrases (Appositives)
  • Grendel
  • - the brutish demon- the hellish fiend- this gruesome creature- notorious prowler of the borderland- ranger of the moors- this cursed creature
  • Queen Wealhtheow- gold glittering- consort of Hrothgar- gracious queen- ring decked queen- royal in spirit- courtly consort- queen to her ruler- fair queenBeowulf as KingMeadhall (Heorot, Hart)Setting-A mead hall in Denmark
  • Core of Existence
  • Sanctuary in desolate country
  • Community Center
  • Boast of achievements
  • Receive rewards
  • Scop sang praise to Creator
  • DragonDeath of Beowulf
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