Unit 1 * From Legend to History A.D. 449 -1485

Unit 1 – From Legend to History
A.D. 449 -1485
The Old English and Medieval Periods
Look at the timeline page 4…
• When did the Vikings attack a site in Britain?
• When did the Normans conquer England?
• What two dramatic events occurred in Britain
in the 1330s and 1340s?
Names and Terms to Know
• Look up these terms and define them for an
upcoming quiz:
Celts and Anglo-Saxons Alfred the Great
Norman Conquest
Magna Carta
William, Duke of Normandy Gutenberg
Feudal System
Historical Background
• Between 800 and 600 B.C. two groups of Celts
invaded the British Isles.
• The Celts were farmers and hunters.
• Rome invaded and ruled for 300 years, and
then the Anglo-Saxons came in from what is
now Germany.
• What does this tell you about the English
Danish Invasion
• The Vikings carried their piracy to the British
• They sacked and plundered monasteries,
destroyed manuscripts, and stole sacred
religious objects.
• In 871, King Alfred the Great rose to power.
• He became a national hero by formally
dividing the Saxons and the Danish.
The Norman Conquest
• William, the Duke of Normandy had family
ties to descendants of Alfred.
• He suppressed Anglo-Saxon nobility and
confiscated their lands.
• The Normans rebuilt England along feudal
• Feudalism involves the exchange of property
for personal service.
• Serfs – Knights – Baron – King
The Magna Carta
• Richard I spent funds fighting overseas.
• King John tried to raise money by taxing the
barons but they were unhappy.
• The king promised not to tax land without first
meeting with the barons
• Restrictions on royal power = beginning of
constitutional government
Literature of the Period
• Beowulf
Story of great legendary warrior renowned
for his courage, strength, and dignity. No
known author but clearly defines warrior
society ideals.
Medieval Drama – plays of old dealt with biblical
themes. Morality plays arose at this time.
Emerging National Identity
Geoffrey Chaucer – Middle English
The Canterbury Tales
Pilgrims on a journey to the shrine of a martyr.
22 tales
Romances, Lyrics, and Ballads
• “The Death of Arthur”
• Robin Hood

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