Thanks for your hard work today. I’m posting that brief powerpoint we looked at today but I’ll also give some brief highlights below:
450 AD – Before this Britain is mostly pagan with a little bit of Christianity sprinkled around. Then the Anglo-Saxons invaded, bringing in more Norse/Viking culture and Old English . We’re not going to read anything from this time period in class.
597 AD: Christianity arrives and the English king converts. Christianity mixes with pagan rituals (Christmas trees! Bunnies!) and Latin gets mixed in with the language of the land. Stories still had many Norse/Viking themes though, like that idea of Jesus being more like a warrior hero than the passive martyr we know him as today.
1066 AD: The Normans — former Vikings/Norse who had moved down to France — invade, and make Britain even more Christian. Most importantly they brought the French language with them, which mixed with Old English to create Middle English. Most writing in this period was religious, but at least they got women involved as characters, unlike before.
1400s — 1600s AD — Christianity fractures, writing improves and the invention of the printing press means Middle English becomes more standardized, which created a simpler language known as Early Modern English (which is what Shakespeare wrote in).
I’ll end there because this is the time period we’ll be exploring for the first couple of months. If you want the rest of the notes from today, the powerpoint is attached below.