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History of The Anglo Saxons

The Anglo-Saxon period began in 449 A.D. This period began the invasion and migration of the island of Britain by the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. These groups that invaded the Roman Empire, now Great Britain, brought their own traditions, language, and religion. Many historical events during this period greatly influenced literary events. Battles and crusades were an integral part of the daily life. The religious and royalty rulers were held in high esteem. Literature depicted these events and devotions. Literary inventions evolved due to the popularity and need to reach many people with the teachings and entertainment of literature.

Epic poetry became an important form for recording legends. Many of these legends had been handed down by word of mouth for hundreds of years or written on scrolls. The inventions of vellum books and a printing method from the Chinese increased the availability of reading material. Epic poetry also gave the Anglo-Saxons an outlet for their many years of oppression. Beowulf, first recorded in c. 700, was one of the first great works of the English literature. This epic glorified the quests of a hero. Creating poetry about heroes was as important as fighting, hunting, and farming.

Narrative stories of adventure, crusades, and knightly love grew in importance from the 900’s through the 1200’s. Chivalry and feudalism dominated this period and literature reflected this domination. The Celtic stories of King Arthur and his Knights became popular. People have been singing war songs in his honor for probably more than 1,500 years. King Arthur was a war leader in post-Roman Britain He fought against the invasion of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, c. 449.

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