The Medieval Period (Old English and Middle English)

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  • The Medieval Period (Old English and Middle English)
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  • When the Roman legions arrived, they found the land inhabited by Britons. Today, the Britons are known as the Celts Stonehenge no written language The Britons were absorbed into Roman society Latin is spoken Romans withdraw as the Empire crumbles, leaving the Britons behind
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  • group of pagan people from Northern Europe begin a series of invasions Anglo-Saxons (Angles, Saxons, Jutes) bring Germanic languages still have their language Wednesdayday of Woden, father of the gods Thursdayday of Thor, god of war Woden--father of the gods
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  • By 600, Anglo-Saxons conquer the Britons language becomes more Germanic still retains some Latin The Anglo-Saxons two urgings--war and wandering become part of the oral tradition Beowulf is an example of an Anglo-Saxon hero tale Beowulf battles Grendels mother
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  • By 700, Christian missionaries arrive to convert the pagans Latin (the language of the Church) returns King Alfred the Britons become organized first true king of the Britons period of prosperity King Alfred brings an age of prosperity
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  • In 1066, the Normans (French speaking people from Normandy), led by William the Conqueror attack and defeat the Britains (a blend of the Britons and Anglo- Saxons) at the Battle of Hastings the 3rd language is introduced-- French French culture and French literature arrives
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  • Latin clergy (church, schools) French nobility (court, castle) English commoners The White Tower in London part of Williams legacy Chartres Cathedral
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  • The idea of estates, or orders, was encouraged during the Age, but this ordering was breaking down. Clergy Latin chiefly spoken, those who pray, purpose was to save everyones soul Nobles French chiefly spoken, those who fight, purpose was to protectallow for all to work in peaceand provide justice Commoners English spoken, those who work, purpose was to feed and clothe all above them
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  • The economic system of much of the Middle Ages (800-1100) Commoners (peasants) lived on a feudal manor. The lord of the manor gave his vassals (the peasants) land to farm. In return, the vassals received protection from roving bandits. Yet they were taxed and had to surrender a portion of their crops to the lord. it was better to be a lord than a vassal! Feudalism is important as it created ties of obedience and fostered a sense of loyalty between the vassals and their lord. A tenant (vassal) renews his oath of fealty to his lord
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  • A product of feudalism, chivalry was an idealized system of manners and morals Restricted to nobility The Medieval knight was bound to the chivalric code to be loyal to God his lord his lady Chivalric ideals include... benevolence brotherly love politeness Sir Gawain is an example
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  • Provided guidance through well known precepts.. Seven Deadly Sins Pride Greed Wrath Envy Gluttony Sloth Lust
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  • The idea of Fortune and her wheel was one of the most pervasive ideas throughout the Middle Ages. On the wheel are depicted four figures: one at the top, one at the bottom, one rising, and one falling.
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  • It served to remind of the temporality of earthly things. The Wheel helps understand the medieval mind, and it can help remind us that the important things in life come from within, that hard work has its own merits. An award, an office, a title--these are not the things that make for greatness.
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  • Imagine a sphere that encloses another that holds another that holds yet anotherand continues into heaven It is a commonly held myth that people of the Medieval period thought the Earth was flatFALSE! It was round, but at the center of the universe! So what! Well, the people of the Medieval period loved order! Remember the Three Estates, the Seven Deadly Sinsa place for everyone and everyone in that place. Watch for this order to begin to be displaced
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  • spreads along trade routes kills much of the population the plague outbreaks occur through the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance Paradoxically, the Plague provides for continued growth in cities Afterwards, hundreds of new jobs available Many debts died off with creditors also contributed to societys culture
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  • I thought this was an English class!
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  • Nobility enjoyed medieval romances Clergy enjoyed allegories, Bible stories, and plays Commoners enjoyed ballads
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  • Latin was the language of the Roman Catholic Church, which dominated Europe The Church was the only source of education Thus, Latin was a common language for Medieval writings.
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  • A notable amount of medieval literature is anonymous. Medieval authors often tended to re-tell and embellish stories they heard or read rather than invent new stories.
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  • Catholic clerics were the intellectual center of society in the Middle Ages, and it is their literature that was produced in the greatest quantity.
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  • Heroism from both Germanic and Christian traditions, sometimes mingled Beowulf Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Presentations of idealized behavior literature as moral lesson loyalty to king chivalry use of kennings (especially in Beowulf) A figurative, usually compound expression used in place of a name or noun. Example, storm of swords is a kenning for battle.
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  • Most popular form of literature during 12 th 15 th centuries Based on feudal ideals of chivalry King Arthur was a common subject Chivalrous knights often fought for and protected women Magic was an important element Loyalty was important Supernatural
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  • Has adventure Set in remote times and places Heroes seldom admit failure Featured kings, damsels in distress, knights, and castles Emphasized rank and social position Presents hero engaged in pure adventure Love is a major plot element Features spontaneous, unmotivated fighting
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  • This relationship was modeled on the feudal relationship between a knight and his liege lord. 0 The knight serves his courtly lady with the same obedience and loyalty which he owes to his liege lord. She is in complete control; he owes her obedience and submission
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  • The knight's love for the lady inspires him to do great deeds, in order to be worthy of her love or to win her favor.
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