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  • Jan. 10, 2014
  • 29652 Words
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 Old English 449-1066
Middle English (1066-1485)
Modern English (1485 (ascension of Henry VII to the English throne) to the present day)

THE ANGLOSAXON INVASION. Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 55 BC (The Celts were living in Britain and offered stiff resistance). In 43 AD the Roman conquest was concluded under Emperor Claudius, but the Romans did not reach the North. Early in the 5th century the evacuation of the Romans was completed. Bede talks about the invasion of Angles, Saxons & Jutes, that took place around AD 449. They came originally to help one of the kings & then decided to stay.

ANGLO-SAXON LITERARY CULTURE. A long oral tradition developed when the Germanic tribes still inhabited the European continent. Early German poetry was composed & recited by the scop. At court feasts the scop would sing the deeds of real or legendary heroes. These illustrious figures were part of the legacy which the Anglo-Saxon invaders brought with them to England. With the conversion of England to Christianity things became different. THE COMING OF CHRISTIANITY. English history begins in the year 597: the Roman & Irish Missionaries taught the English how to write. The Missionaries brought with them parchment (the skin of an animal prepared for writing on), pen & ink & the custom of writing literary compositions down & also the roman alphabet. The English of heathen times knew how to write, they brought from the continent a runic alphabet of 24 letters, & they added others later. No English poem has been preserved in runic inscription (too expensive). It is impossible to overestimate the importance of the coming of Christianity to England. The new religion brought Mediterranean civilization to the island. Monasteries at Canterbury, York & Jarrow were internationally esteemed for their Latin & Greek...