The Anglo-Saxons 449-1066 A. D.. Welcome to the Anglo-Saxon Time Period! This is truly the beginning of recorded British Literature. The Anglo-Saxons

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  • The Anglo-Saxons 449-1066 A. D.

  • Welcome to the Anglo-SaxonTime Period!This is truly the beginning of recorded British Literature.The Anglo-Saxons were fierce, pagan warriors who invaded Britain and took over Celtic Land.

    800-600BC Celts invade(Britons and Gaels)55BC Julius Caesar - Roman presences begins400AD Briton tribes push out the last Romans400AD and on Anglo-Saxon invasions begin

  • Warrior TribesThe four Germanic tribes which make upthe Anglo-Saxons are:

    1) Angles2) Saxons3) Jutes4) Frisians

  • Anglo-Saxon ReligionThe Anglo-Saxons were polytheistic and believed that their fate was controlled by the gods.Example of gods include Tui, Woden, and Fria.

    Picture courtesy of The Sutton Hoo Room

  • However, when Christianity was introduced to the Anglo-Saxonsby the Romans, it softened them overtime.(about mid-fifth century) Anglo-Saxon Religion

  • St. Augustine The gradual emergence of Christianity among the Anglo-Saxons was also due to the work of Irish and Continental missionariesThe most important was probably St. Augustine.

  • St. Augustines Achievements *Converted King Ethelbert of Kent A.D. 597. *Founded Canterbury. *Became the first archbishop of Canterbury.

  • Anglo-Saxon ChroniclesThe Anglo-SaxonChronicles is an important historical document of the Anglo-Saxon people. Photo used with permission History Magazine

  • Anglo-Saxon RunesRunes are an alphabetic script used by the Anglo-Saxons. Image Courtesy of The Runic Journey

  • OLD ENGLISHOld English is the term we use to describe the language spoken by the Anglo-Saxon people. English is a Germanic language, so Old English sounds more German than English to our ears.


  • Epic PoemA long narrative poem developed orally.Celebrates the deeds of a legendary or heroic figure.Captures the cultural and religious values of the people.Hero larger than life

  • Literary TechniquesKenning two word poetic renaming of people, places and thingsCaesura rhythmic breaks in the middle of lines, where the reciter could pause for breath.Alliteration the repetition of initial consonant sounds in accented syllables

  • Anglo Saxon Warrior Characteristic1. Followers/warriors pledge service to a lord or leader. The home is directly tied to the leader, not theland on which they live.2. The lord or leader provides treasures of gold, weapons, jewels, and celebrations in the mead hall as reward for service to his warriors/followers.3.The Anglo Saxon warrior values bravery, courage, and prowess in battle.

  • characteristics

    4.The most honorable death is death in battle. It is to be celebrated.5.Original Anglo-Saxons believed that fate controlled their lives and accepted the outcome as inevitable. 6.After the Christian influence, the literature displayed a mixed belief of pagan influence (fate) and Gods control over all aspects of life.7.Often retold battles in the form of songs sang by scops.

  • Characteristics of BeowulfAristocratic poem concerned with kings and kingship.Strength and courage are basic virtues for both the followed and the follower.Glorification of war, death, and fameHighly value bravery, fame, prowess

  • It was composed in a pagan era, but was full of Christian influence.No specific date.Monks recorded it.Beowulf, hero, fights three menaces Grendel, Grendels mother, and a dragon

    Beowulf Continued