Christianization of Britain
Arthur the Great of Wessex defeats Viking Invaders led by Guthrum the Old
Kingdom of England vs Kingdom France
Killed between 1/3 and 1/2 of the population of England. Many of the clergy who lived in communal areas were killed. The clergy spoke and wrote in Latin and French. This made room for peasants to climb the social chain by trading and charging higher prices for their services and goods. The peasants spoke only English, therefore wealthy people had to adopt the language in order to trade etc.
Written in Anglo-Saxon in Exeter Book 960-990
Probably spoken beforehand as early as c.600 during Augustine's mission to England. Written in traditional OE poem format it recounts the thoughts of an old man at the end of his life. He recalls his glory days as a warrior but is reminded of the loss he feels. He is then comforted in his salvation through God. A possible allegory for the past pagan worries and the promise of salvation brought by Christianity.
Herdsman, lay-brother and contemporary of Bede at Whitby Abbey at the time of St Hilda. He was once ignorant of the art of song however after a visitation from an angel in a dream he became a zealous monk with a gift for song and poetry. He wrote his poems in OE. Caedmon's Hymn is one of the earliest examples of OE poetry alongside the dream of the Rood found on the Ruthwell Cross and the inscriptions on Frank's Casket.
Produced by a monk called Eadfrith, Bishop of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John written in Latin and ornately decorated with illustrations. In 970 an Anglo-Saxon translation was put in red in between the Latin written in black. This is the oldest surviving version of the gospels in any form of English
Anglo-Saxon, first half of the 8th century AD
Scenes from Roman, Jewish, Christian and Germanic tradition
When it came to light in the nineteenth century, this magnificent rectangular casket was being used as a family workbox at Auzon, France. Some time during its mysterious history it was dismantled and one end panel was separated from the rest of the box. This piece was bequeathed to the Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence, and is represented here by a cast. The remaining panels were presented to the British Museum by one of its greatest benefactors, Sir Augustus Franks, after whom the casket is named. It is also known as the Auzon casket.
The box is made of whale's bone, richly carved on the sides and lid in high relief with a range of scenes with accompanying text in both the runic and Roman alphabets and in both Old English and Latin. Silver fittings attached to the casket, a handle, locks and hinges, were removed at some time in its history leaving scars which mark their original positions. The non-decorated part of the lid almost certainly replaces a carved piece, and part of the plain base is also missing.
The front is divided into two scenes: the left is derived from the Germanic legend of Weland the Smith, while the right depicts the Adoration of the Magi, when the three wise men visited the newborn Christ, labelled 'mægi' in runes.
The left-hand end shows the founders of Rome identified in the accompanying text as Romulus and Remus, from the legend of twin brothers brought up by a wolf. The back shows the capture of Jerusalem in AD 70 by the Roman Emperor Titus. This scene has an inscription in mixed languages and scripts.
The right-hand end, here a cast, is difficult to interpret, but recalls a lost Germanic legend with a text partly in encoded runes. This appears to describe a person called Hos sitting upon the 'sorrow-mound'. The decorated panel in the lid shows another Germanic story about a hero named Ægili who is shown defending a fortification from armed raiders.
Surprisingly, the main runic inscription on the front does not refer to the scene it surrounds. It is a riddle in Old English relating to the origin of the casket. It can be translated as 'The fish beat up the seas on to the mountainous cliff; the King of terror became sad when he swam onto the shingle.' This is then answered with the solution 'Whale's bone.' It tells us that the casket was made from the bone of a beached whale.
The style of the carving, and dialect of the inscriptions, show that the casket was made in northern England, probably in a monastery, and possibly for a learned patron. Made at a time when Christianity had not long been established in England, it reflects a strong interest in how the pagan Germanic past might relate to Christ's message, and to the histories of Rome and Jerusalem. How and when the casket arrived in France is unknown, although by the thirteenth century it seems to have been at the important shrine of St Julian at Brioude in the Auvergne.
dates are circa.
The Ruthwell Cross is a symbol of the Angles' control of this area, but also of their Christian faith and cultural contacts. The cross stands 5.2 metres tall and is beautifully carved with sophisticated imagery. It was probably erected in the reigns of King Aldfrith or Osred around 700AD, and it would have originally stood outside an Anglian church on the site.
Latin inscriptions around the carvings tell the story of what is pictured on the cross, although this was probably for the use of monks - the only people who would have had a Latin education.
A second set of inscriptions are carved in runes, used by Germanic peoples like the Angles and Vikings. These are fragmentary quotations from one of oldest of Old English poems ever written: ‘The Dream of the Rood’ - where ‘rood’ means cross, as in Holyrood in Edinburgh.
The runes may have been for those with no knowledge of Latin, but who possibly knew the poem by heart. They tell the story of the Crucifixion from the perspective of the Cross. It mixes bloody warrior imagery, of a kind the Angles would have appreciated, with an understanding of Christ’s suffering.
‘Dream of the Rood’, c700 AD
‘God almighty stripped himself,
when he wished to climb the Cross
bold before all men.
to bow (I dare not,
but had to stand firm.)
I held high the great King,
heaven’s Lord. I dare not bend.
Men mocked us both together. I was slick with blood
sprung from the Man’s side…)
Christ was on the Cross.
But then quick ones came from afar,
nobles, all together. I beheld it all.
I bowed (to warrior hands.)
Wounded with spears,
they laid him, limb weary. At his body’s head they stood.
They that looked to (heaven’s Lord…)
It was designed as a preaching cross: using the carvings as a picture book for the ‘humble’. The on the broad faces of the cross are carved scenes that illustrate Christ’s divinity, the Holy Trinity and the four Evangelists who wrote the gospels - Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.
Begin date is circa.
Commissioned by King Alfred the Great of Wessex
Song that came from the peasants of the land. One of the earliest pieces of English that is still recognisable today. No French words. 'Summer', 'Come', 'Sow', 'Seed' (Frisian) 'Spring' (Anglo-Saxon: Beowulf). Showed that French had not filtered down to the peasants of the land, compare to the Troubadour songs
Period thought to be when poem was written
Wanted all people to be able to read the scripture. The right of every-man, cleric or layman to examine the bible for themselves. Translate from Latin to English. Taken place in Oxford. Handwritten copies made by secret transcribers who would copy and pass on. Visually similar to the Lindisfarne Gospel
First print in English (Canterbury Tales)
King of Wessex
House of Wessex
House of Knytlinga (Denmark)
House of Wessex (restored)
House of Knytlinga (restored)
House of Wessex (restored... again) Saxon Restoration
House of Normandy
House of Blois (Normandy)
Daughter of Henry I
House of Plantagenet: spoke fluent Latin and French but no English. French and Latin even further entrenched as language of the court, however the language of the streets was still English. As they proceeded through the Strand "Long live the King and Queen" were chanted in both English and Latin.
House of Lancaster
First King since Harold in 1066 to speak English
Decreed that the Signet office should write in English. The signet office wrote personal letters on behalf of the Monarch.
House of York (first reign)
House of Lancaster (restored)
House of York (restored)
House of Tudor