Anglo-Saxon England

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Heptarchy - Wikipedia

The decision at Whitby made possible a form of organization better fitted for permanent needs than the looser system of the Celtic church. This high standard arose from a combination of influences: that from Ireland , which had escaped the decay caused elsewhere by the barbarian invasions, and that from the Mediterranean, which reached England mainly through Archbishop Theodore and his companion, the abbot Adrian.

Under Theodore and Adrian, Canterbury became a famous school, and men trained there took their learning to other parts of England. One of these men was Aldhelm , who had been a pupil of Maildubh the Irish founder of Malmesbury ; under Aldhelm, Malmesbury became an influential centre of learning. Before long a liberal education could be had at such other West Saxon monasteries as Nursling and Wimborne.


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The finest centre of scholarship was Northumbria. There Celtic and classical influences met: missionaries brought books from Ireland, and many Englishmen went to Ireland to study.

Other Northumbrians went abroad, especially to Rome; among them was Benedict Biscop. Benedict returned from Rome with Theodore — , spent some time in Canterbury, and then brought the learning acquired there to Northumbria.

The Anglo Saxon Invasion - History of Britain (BBC Documentary)

He founded the monasteries at Wearmouth and Jarrow , where Bede spent his life. Benedict and Ceolfrith , abbot of Jarrow, brought books from the Continent and assembled the fine library that was available to Bede.

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English History/Anglo-Saxon England

Bede c. Nonetheless, even though he was outstanding, he did not work in isolation. Moreover, in this period religious poetry was composed in the diction and technique of the older secular poetry in the vernacular. Beowulf , considered the greatest Old English poem, is sometimes assigned to this age, but the dating is uncertain. Art flourished, with a combination of native elements and influences from Ireland and the Mediterranean.

Anglo-Saxon England

The Hiberno-Saxon or Anglo-Irish style of manuscript illumination was evolved, its greatest example—the Lindisfarne Gospels—also showing classical influence. Masons from Gaul and Rome built stone churches. In Northumbria stone monuments with figure sculpture and vine-scroll patterns were set up. Churches were equipped with precious objects—some from abroad, some of native manufacture even in heathen times the English had been skilled metalworkers.

Manuscripts and works of art were taken abroad to churches founded by the English missions, and these churches, in turn, became centres of production. The great Sutton Hoo ship burial, discovered in at the burial site of the East Anglian royal house and perhaps the cenotaph of the bretwalda Raedwald d. United Kingdom. Article Media.

Timeline of Anglo-Saxon England

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Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website for our visitors. Pollen data will reveal the changing impact of cereal farming on the medieval landscape and will be used to produce the first national model of early medieval land use.


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Patterns emerging from these bioarchaeological data will then be compared with the evidence from excavated farms to explore the inter-relationship between arable production, stock management and settlement forms. A suite of over radiocarbon dates on charred cereals, bones and pollen cores will make it possible to locate the origins and spread of open fields in time and space.

A village set within a preserved open field system, with surviving ridge-and-furrow.

The social system

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