34 Facts About Anglo-Saxon


Anglo-Saxon identity arose from interaction between incoming groups from several Germanic tribes, both amongst themselves, and with indigenous Britons.

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The early Anglo-Saxon period includes the creation of an English nation, with many of the aspects that survive today, including regional government of shires and hundreds.

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Term Anglo-Saxon began to be used in the 8th century to distinguish "Germanic" groups in Britain from those on the continent .

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Early Anglo-Saxon period covers the history of medieval Britain that starts from the end of Roman rule.

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Harke and Michael Wood estimate that the British population in the area that eventually became Anglo-Saxon England was around one million by the start of the fifth century; however, what happened to the Britons has been debated.

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However, a ceorl, who was the lowest ranking freeman in early Anglo-Saxon society, was not a peasant but an arms-owning male with the support of a kindred, access to law and the wergild; situated at the apex of an extended household working at least one hide of land.

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Anglo-Saxon had been the prior of a monastery in Rome when Pope Gregory the Great chose him in 595 to lead the Gregorian mission to Britain to Christianise the Kingdom of Kent from their native Anglo-Saxon paganism.

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Anglo-Saxon had been at the monastery in Iona when Oswald asked to be sent a mission to Christianise the Kingdom of Northumbria from their native Anglo-Saxon paganism.

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Anglo-Saxon was joined the following year by his colleague Hadrian, a Latin-speaking African by origin and former abbot of a monastery in Campania .

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Anglo-Saxon's work showed that scholars in England, at the very edge of Europe, could be as learned and sophisticated as any writers in Europe.

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Anglo-Saxon monasticism developed the unusual institution of the "double monastery", a house of monks and a house of nuns, living next to each other, sharing a church but never mixing, and living separate lives of celibacy.

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Wealth of the monasteries and the success of Anglo-Saxon society attracted the attention of people from mainland Europe, mostly Danes and Norwegians.

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Anglo-Saxon established a chain of fortresses across the south of England, reorganised the army, "so that always half its men were at home, and half out on service, except for those men who were to garrison the burhs", and in 896 ordered a new type of craft to be built which could oppose the Viking longships in shallow coastal waters.

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Anglo-Saxon was uncompromising in his insistence on respect for the law.

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Many Anglo-Saxon people needed to learn Norman French to communicate with their rulers, but it is clear that among themselves they kept speaking Old English, which meant that England was in an interesting tri-lingual situation: Anglo-Saxon for the common people, Latin for the Church, and Norman French for the administrators, the nobility, and the law courts.

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Research has shown that a form of Anglo-Saxon was still being spoken, and not merely among uneducated peasants, into the thirteenth century in the West Midlands.

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Larger narrative, seen in the history of Anglo-Saxon England, is the continued mixing and integration of various disparate elements into one Anglo-Saxon people.

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Development of Anglo-Saxon kingship is little understood, but the model proposed by York considered the development of kingdoms and writing down of the oral law-codes to be linked to a progression towards leaders providing mund and receiving recognition.

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Only five Anglo-Saxon kingdoms are known to have survived to 800, and several British kingdoms in the west of the country had disappeared as well.

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Anglo-Saxon England finds ways to synthesize the religion of the Church with the existing "northern" customs and practices.

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Women in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms appear to have enjoyed considerable independence, whether as abbesses of the great 'double monasteries' of monks and nuns founded during the seventh and eighth centuries, as major land-holders recorded in Domesday Book, or as ordinary members of society.

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The tower of Barnack hearkens to the West Saxon reconquest in the early 10th century, when decorative features that were to be characteristic of Late Anglo-Saxon architecture were already developed, such as narrow raised bands of stone to surround archways and to articulate wall surfaces, as at Barton-upon-Humber and Earls Barton.

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The majority of churches that have been described as Anglo-Saxon fall into the period between the late 10th century and the early 12th century.

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Early Anglo-Saxon art is seen mostly in decorated jewellery, like brooches, buckles, beads and wrist-clasps, some of outstanding quality.

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Anglo-Saxon society was decidedly patriarchal, but women were in some ways better off than they would be in later times.

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Anglo-Saxon system put an emphasis upon compromise and arbitration: litigating parties were enjoined to settle their differences if possible.

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Rather than being organized around rhyme, the poetic line in Anglo-Saxon is organised around alliteration, the repetition of stressed sounds; any repeated stressed sound, vowel or consonant, could be used.

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Anglo-Saxon lines are made up of two half-lines divided by a breath-pause or caesura.

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Anglo-Saxon clergy continued to write in Latin, the language of Bede's works, monastic chronicles, and theological writing, although Bede's biographer records that he was familiar with Old English poetry and gives a five line lyric which he either wrote or liked to quote – the sense is unclear.

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The crystal beads which appear on bead strings in the pagan Anglo-Saxon period seems to have gone through various changes in meaning in the Christian period, which Gale Owen-Crocker suggests was linked to symbolism of the Virgin Mary, and hence to intercession.

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Anglo-Saxon is still used as a term for the original Old English-derived vocabulary within the modern English language, in contrast to vocabulary derived from Old Norse and French.

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Term Anglo-Saxon is sometimes used to refer to peoples descended or associated in some way with the English ethnic group, but there is no universal definition for the term.

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Term Anglo-Saxon is becoming increasingly controversial among some scholars, especially those in America, for its modern politicised nature and adoption by the far-right.

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The term Anglo-Saxon can be used in a variety of contexts, often to identify the English-speaking world's distinctive language, culture, technology, wealth, markets, economy, and legal systems.

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