Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Homecoming Monday!

Notes from reading (p. 2-19, 47):
  • We have gained democracy and personal rights/freedoms through the Anglo-Saxon ideals
  • People who have invaded/settled the island of Great Britain.
    • Iberians (ancient)
    • Celts
      • The first settlers of Great Britain
      • Among them were a group called Brythons (and from this we get "Britain")
      • Animism--everything has a spirit
      • Priests (Druids)--the link between people and the spirits
      • Women are powerful (Hoorah!)
      • Celtic stories are very different from the later Anglo-Saxon tales
    • Romans
      • Conquered Britain under Claudius
      • Built roads and a great defensive road 73 miles long
      • IN A.D. 409 they evacuated their troops from Britain leaving roads, walls, villas, and great public baths, but no central government.
      • Introduced Christianity
    • Angles and Saxon
      • From Germany and Denmark
      • English language became dominant (from this we get Engla land, or "England")
      • England did not gain any more political unification. The country was divided into several principalities with their own "kings".
      • Unified under the Christian church
      • King Alfred of Wessex (Alfred the Great) brought many of these changes to England
      • Women had rights--they weren't "property" to their husbands. Christianity allowed for many opportunities as well (becoming powerful abbesses).
      • Life was dominated by the need to protect the clan and home against enemies. Loyalty was essential!
      • Creating poetry was as important as fighting, hunting, farming, or loving. Bards (storytellers) sang of gods and heroes.
      • Christian Monasteries were strongholds of the religion. They also preserved literature (ex. Beowulf)
      • Religion much in common with Norse/Scandinavian mythology. Despite the growth of Christianity, Anglo-Saxon religion remained strong.
        • Odin was the most important (god of death, poetry, and magic)
        • Thor--god of thunder and lightning (we get the swastika from his symbol)
    • Vikings
    • Normans
  • Invasions/settling helped this area to become diverse in ideas and culture
  • This story is to England what Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are to ancient Greece

People, Monsters, and Places:
  • Beowulf-a Geat, son of Edgetho and nephew of Higlac, king of the Geats. Higlac is both Beowulf's feudal lord and his uncle.
  • Brecca-chief of the Brondings, a tribe, and Beowulf's friend.
  • Grendel-a man eating monster who lives at the bottom of a foul mere, or a mountain lake. His name might mean "storm" or "to bellow".
  • Herot-golden guest-hall built by King Hrothgar.
  • Hrothgar-king of the Danes, built the Herot.
  • Unferth-one of Hrothgar's courtiers, reputed to be a skilled warrior. His sword, called Hrunting, is used by Beowulf in a later battle.
  • Welthow-Hrothgar's wife, queen of the Danes.
  • Wiglaf-a Geat warrior. He is the only one to help Beowulf in his final battle against a dragon.

  • Take notes (if you didn't finish in class)
  • Make sure you come in for your essay conference! (On an off hour Ms. Smith has! Not your off hour! Per Ms. Smith)
  • Anna and Shelli are bringing donuts on Wednesday!

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