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Лекции по истории Англии - файл Anglo-Saxonos.doc


Лекции по истории Англии
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Anglo-Saxons


1)The age of settlement;

2)The seventh century;

3)The Mercian .


1) The sources for the Vth and VIth centuries are so few, that they can be listed here, and so

unsatisfacroty that their false must be clearly stated. One the one hand is the archaeological evidence that mainly objects from graves in pagan centres. This evidence can’t lie, but the questions which it answers are strictly limited. On the other hand is a small group of texts and fragments. Of these, the only substantial contemporary work is “The Ruin of Britain”, a tract written in 540s by a British monk named Gildas. And his purpose was to denounce the evils of his days in the most violent possible language. Another monk, who lived at that time, was the Venerable Bede, a monk in a Northumbrian Monastery of Jarrow completed his great “(Ecclesiastical) History of the English People” in 731. And this book overshadows all other sources for the VIIth and the early VIIIth centuries. And although the invasion period was removed from Bede’s one day he provided some surprisingly well-powerded scraps of tradition. The only other noted sources are fragments of chronicals preserved in later compilations. They are: a few poems and a passing references written by continential writers. Of a very different kind are the late Saxon’s alb[стихарь в церкви] known collectively as the Anglo-Saxon Chronical, which gives a year by year summery of events in the southern English kingdoms.

As (it) was said before, the year 449 when the Jutes landed in Kent – it was the beginning of the Anglo-Saxon Conquest. So, what were the people like? Obviously they were far(th)er less civilised than the Romans, but yet they had their own institutions, which proved astonishly tough. And the strongest social bounds were the Claims of Kinship and the Claims of Lordship. Kin groups were close knit in the whole land and they remained so close in England as well. The families and dependants of one man may sometimes have formed their own settlement units; and they shared their resources.

The influence of such extended kinships on the character of the settlement is shown by the numerous place names ending with –ing[folk or family], -ingham[farm of the family] and ington[settlement]. For example, Hastings means the people of Hasta;Reading” means the people of Reader; Walkingham means the farm of walker people and so on.

The society at that time developed, but family loyalties remained vital and it remained so for about 2 centuries. Safety lay in knowing that relatives would avenge one’s death and to neglect such thing which meant untiding shame, so they would stand for their own relatives. Sometimes they had Heriditary kings, but in battles they were led by elected chiefs. So during the period of war the military chiefs were elected.

Clearly, loyalty to lord might sometimes conflict with loyalty to kin. In the interest of good order and their own authority later kin(g)s tended to promote lordship, because for them of course it was more important to be loyal to lords than to be loyal to kin.

Their principal gods were those of later North Mythology. And they were: Tig, Wodin(of war) and Thor(of thunder). They are remembered in the day names. And they were: Tig is Tuesday, Wodin is Wednesday and Thor is Thursday[Freya or Frei(of peace) – Friday]. As well as in a few late names: Tuesley (and it is present day or modern day - Surrey), Wednesbury. Their religion doesn’t look so different from that of dependent Britons under Roman rule. (The Celts were pagans in the most cases). And Bede says that the Saxons were led by two brothers and these two brothers were named Hengist and Horsa. They founded the Kingdom of Kent.

Meanwhile the chronical notes the arrival of other warriors on the south coast. The semi-legendary ancestors of later kings. They are Aelle in Sussex in 477, another king is Serdic and Sineric in Wessex in 495. One figure from these years who is definetely familiar to you is, of course, King Arthur. Unfortunately, he had only the most shadowy claims to historical reality. The two or three possible fragments of genior tradition were written down centuries later. And mostly what we know about King Arthur are through the legends. And the legends had gathered around this name, and they surrounded by romantic inventions. And the most important thing is that the legends started to appear in the twelfth century onwards. So the legends appeared much later than the king probably lived. We can only say that there seemed to have been memories of the British war leader, who was called Arthur. Possibly there was such a chieftain or overking, the last man to unite the former Roman province before the Roman province collapsed into a patchwork of British and Anglo-Saxons state. So this person probably tried to unite all the states.

The hardest task is to estimate British survival in the regions which were firmly Anglo-Saxon by 600. From(throughout) the facts that England in 1086 probably contained less than half its late Roman population, and that even this was aftergrowth(up to grow) during the Xth and XIth centuries, it is clear that depopulation in the Vth and VIth centuries was indeed a tragical one. It was drastic. Many fleds westwards or elsewhere to Britanny and epidemic desease may have played its part as well.

The early Anglo-Saxons were a non-urban people to the contrast to the Romans. The Roman

towns occupied focal points in the road system and their walls were strong. So the Roman towns were good places for chieftains to make their headquarters and some towns may never quite have lost their local administrative functions. But this(dis)balance, of course, amount to urban life. The Roman towns were not totally abandoned, but as towns, as Roman towns and as towns in general, they simpy died.


2) The first impression of Early-seventh-century-England is that it was devived in large kingdoms: Wessex, Sussex, the most important was Kent, East Anglia, Essex, Mercia, including the Middle Ages, and Northumbria (comprised Benisia & Deira & a little later in the VIIth century –Linsey). There were also an unknown number of smaller people(s) lying between the big kingdoms or they were absorbed within them. Some like the Madan setter of the Welsh border had its own kings who were gradually subordinated as the sub-kings of greater rulers. There may be or there may have been many others. For exampe, the mension(-??) above Surrey had a sub-king and his name was F(Th)ruithold and he lived in the 670s. And it is quite possibe that his ancestors had been rulers of an independent kingdom.

There are also occasional hints of local separatism and resentment against the bigger powers. Bede says that in 643 a monastery in ^ Linsey refused to receive the Northumbrian King Oswald’s (corps). Since although they knew he was an absolutely holy man, but he came from another province. So the smaller counties, the smaller powers were much better for the country of that times.

It is possible that in 600s English kings could be counted in dozens. The first form in Bede’s list are the following kings: Aelle of Sussex; Sirlene of Wessex; AEthelberht of Kent and Redwood of East Anglia bring us to the 620s. In 615 Redwald took an army through Mercia and defeated the Northumbrians on their own territory. The Vth and VIth were both Nothumbrian rulers: Edwin (616-632), and, of course, Oswald (633-642). And these two kings are Bede’s heroes, his models of victorious Christian kinships. Northumbrian extension westwards led Mercia to make common cords with the Welsh. And in 632 Kedwallen who was a chriatian British king of Guinet and Pendan, a pagan Anglo-Saxon king of Mercia now a short lead victory over Nothumbria. But the following year Osweld recovered power and Kedwallen was killed. The Welsh people continued to support Penda and in 642 Osweld was flamed at Oswardtry cont(p)aining far from home. In 655 Penda was defeated and killed by another Northumbrian king Oswee. And Oswee was Bede’s seventh overking, who enjoyed great influence over the other kingdoms.

Nonetheless the rising sun was, of course, the Kingdom of Mercia. The Mercian ability soon expelled Oswee and chose Penda’s son Wolfwear as their king. In the world of VIIth century politics it was possible to gain great power, but it was very hard to keep it long. Why? One reason is that power and conquest depended on military forces, and forces were attracted by gift-giving; and gift-giving in its turn depended on wealth; and wealth in its turn was gained by power and conquest.

From its beginning English society included a military aristocracy probably with some kind of territorial base. But in the early centuries the king’s followers were tight less to their estate than to the king himself. So the aristocracy was expected to accompany the king to witness the public actions, to live in the king’s hall and if necessary to fight and to die for the king. Aristocratic life was strongly communal, the Great Hall as the place of good cheer is a powerful image of Anlgo-Saxons writing. The company in the Royal or Noble Hall provided the audience for literature, which actually mirrored the age. Heroic lace recited by professional bards. The surviving fragments include one major impact and that is Beowolf. It is irrelatively late and sophisticated work perhaps written for a clerical audience. It lays before us the heroic pagan world of the VIIth century aristocracy transmuted by Christianity, but not implaced. Its hero Beowolf is an exile who takes service with Hothga – king of the Danes. A generous giver of treasure and splendid weapons, Hothga attracts to his court noble warriors, who make him powerful. But the political world of the poem is violent and unstable: a king, who loses support, will quickly perish and his kingdom will perish with him. Beowolf fights with monsters and dragons, inhabitants of a pre-Сhristioned(tian) mental world. When he is killed, his followers lay him with rich treasures in a mount overlooking the sea. How many parts actually does the Beowolf have? 2!

But there was more to early Anglo-Saxon society than warfare, savage and loyalty. In some ways it was a suprisingly orderly world. The institutions made the English state so exceptionally strong in The Middle Ages, actually what happened in The Middle Ages, had root in the VIIth century. The efficiency of local government was one important reason, why new overlords could estabish power so quickly. By the Xth century English counties were devided for legal and administrative purposes into territories called “hundreds”. In some at least of the early kingdoms hundreds were formed out of largest districts – great blocks from 50 to 100 square miles, which apparantely existed in mid VIIth century. At the heart of each early district was a royal menhouse or tun, run by a local official, but visited by the king at more or less frequent intervals. Each modern county contained several such sites, some given a way by place names, such as for example Kingston, others less obvious. It was the central places, nor(th) towns or even villages, which were the main local forsee of early and mid-Saxon society.

The scattered inhabitants of the district looked for law and government to the king’s Great Hall with its surrounding buildings. Here too people payed their dues and other public burden. Land was devided into hides. Each area needed to support a treat-peasant cultivator and his family, and often an actual farm unit. Hides were grouped into multiplies of twenty or more, which owed obligations of a specialised king. The king’s deputy at the centre might receive renders of grain from some groups of hides: of culfs, of pauls or others and of money from other people game.

Thus the early administrative districts were organised for explatations as well as for juditions. A system of economically specialised balance suited the underdeveloped country side with its sharp geographical contrasts and large areas of uncleared common land. So it is not surprising, that when mid-Saxon kings granted away blocks of land this early manors opened(often) preserved the internal structure of the district from which they were followed. Hands: the multiplied estate, the federation of distinct villas, Roman villas or townships linked to one manor centre, which was filled very important in many parts of England in the XIIth and XIIIth centuries.

This organisation of land also suited a peasant population which was unstructured and relatively small. The most prominent figure in the early sources is a free peasant farmer typically cultivating 1 hide of land. Of course, it doesn’t mean that all VIIth and VIIIth century farmers were so free that they had no lord to save the king. The origin of the manor as a private unit is very obscure, but some historians place it near the very beginnings of the English society. The medieval devision of the states into demesan(and demesan is exploited directly by the lord) and peasant land is recorded by the late 7th century. And much of the men power or demesans was provided by slaves. So we must underline and stress it here that the 7th century society was a slavery one.

Archaeologists suggest that most farms sets in mid Saxon England were either isolated or in legal clusters[группа] and even the nuclear settlements. They lack any sign of orderly streets, grink and plot bouldaries familiar from later village topography. Into these very traditional society of kings, warriors and farmers there came in 597 an alien influence (The Christian Church). The convertion of the English was initiated by Pope Gregory the Great, who according to tradition had seen English youths in Rome and pronounced them not Angles, but Angels. Gregory knew that king Aethelbert of Kent had a Christian Frenkish Queen. Thus it was to Kent that he sent the first mission and it was headed by a Roman monk named Augustin. Aethelbert hesisates at first, soon converted and Augustin founded a Monastery of Canterbury. Misjudging the survival of Roman and British life Gregory had planned archbishops based in London and York. But political realities were aknowledged in 601, when Augustin was enthroned as first Archbishop of Cantebury. Initially success seemed rapid. In 604 ///// was founded at Rochester. The East Saxons were converted and a cathedral dedicated to St. Paul was built for them in London.

Meanwhile several monasteries were built in Kent. Their churches closely model of Roman’s fortified(fortify). Surprisingly it wasn’t the Gregorian mission which was most successful, but the primitive isolated Celtic church. The Christians of Jales and Cornwall probably had some influence on the English. But Augustin, who was a rather proud humolous man, attended(upstanded) the Welsh bishops and no cooperation resulted. The mission, which achieved so much among the northern English, came rather from Ireland to Scotland and then to Northumbria. Thanx to St. Patric and his followers Ireland was largerly Christian by the early 6th century. Monasteries multiplied so much so that the whole Irish Church came to be organised among monastery life. The typical Irish missionary was the wandering bishop owing obedience to a community at home. The simple wandering life of the Irish Bishops and monks brought them in touch with the people at large territories. By 616 only the men of Sussex and the Isle of Wight(White) remained pagan, and soon they too were converted into Christianity.

The main striking point between the Celtic Church and Roman Church was an issue, which now seems absolutely trival: on what day should Easter be celebrated? In their long isolation the Celts had adopted computations which dipute from those used at Rome. When the two churches came into contact the result could be inconvenient. At the Northumbrian court the Irish Train King Oswee sometimes celebrated Easter while his Celtish Trained wife was still observing land. So even among one family there was a conflict.

And the year 664 at the Senat of Witby King Oswee of Northumbria came down in favour of the Roman party. And this was the turning point. The church through all the English kingdoms could now become a united force under one primacy. Nonetheless the Church was basted withv problems in 616. There were far too few bishops and some were ingalantly concentrated. Other bishops died in a plague in 664. But in 669 the Pope sent a new Archbishop, a native of Asia Manor, named Theodor. This surprising candidate was chosen, because others had refused. Theodor was a term administrator and he ruled on the territory of the British Isles for 30 years. And he rationalised the d…sent structure. Bishops with anvalid orders were disciplined, and due these authorities were annual. A Senat helped ///// in 673 establish the first basic canons for church government. Theodor’s reign was a golden age for monasteries. In some ways the most important ones were Wear//// and Jarrow, founded by Benedict Bidculf, a Norhumbrian nobleman, who turned into a monk. Kings helped the church to grow and the church also enhanced the statues of kings.

The grandsons of pagan war leaders were coming to see themselves as gods’ appointed deputies. A few generations later the crowning of a new king became something very like an Episcopal Constignation. With Christianity too came, of course, literacy. Kings could revise and formulate tribal custom to resemble the legislation of the civilised world. Aethelbert of Kent, said Bede, made his laws according to the custom of the Romans. Aethelbert’s cote and the later 7th century ///// from Kent and Wessex suggest a mixture of local tradition with some borrowings from the continent. It was important and it was becoming important for laws to uphold justice and direct the internal affairs of their kingdoms not only and simply winning battles, but justice comes probably into the first consideration. Even the VIIth century cotes with their long list of fines and penalties suggest an impressive range of royal authority. Also with the first Engish churches we start to glimpse the 1st English towns. And possibly VIth century rulers had set up their headquarters in the Roman towns and ports, certainly VIIth and VIIIth century rulers favoured these towns as sites for cathedrals and ministeries. Cantebury, York, Winchester and Worchester cathedrals were all built within Roman detensive.

And in 695 the 1st Bishop of Wessex was given the Roman port as Dorchester-on-Thames. Royal Halls and churches built on abandoned ruins are not in themselves towns. Nonetheless the most highly organised communities of the age were surely the cathedrals and ministers. Craftsmen, tradesmen, servants and basets, all the dictatives to their rulers. It is no coincidence that the 1st hints of Reawakening urban life are assosiated with mainly churches both, in Roman towns and on the more numerous sites with no pre-English origins.








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