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The Celts

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700 BC – 43 AD


• They were tall and muscular, had fair skin and hair, and blue eyes

• Women were almost equal to men

• They could lead men in battle

• They built hill forts on top of hills surrounded by ditches filled with water


• They worked iron

• They were farmers, hunters, fishermen

• They introduced the iron plough

• They divided the field into long narrow strips


• They worshipped the natural elements: the sun, the moon, trees and rivers

• The druids were their priests

• They held religious rites in the woods, not in temples

• They believed that water was a holy element = source of life, door to the next world; in immortality; in the transmigration of the soul from one person to another; that life after death was spent in caves, hills or lakes



• They weren’t cruel and they tried to to govern the country with Celts. In this way Celts could administer the province

Why did the romans invade Britain?

They were attracted by

• the rich agriculture of the south, the tin and lead in the west

• availability of slaves

• Britain’s strategic position as an offshore base

What did they bring?

• They built paved roads to move troops and goods

• Towns developed as administrative and trading centres

What did they do there?

• They built Hadrian’s wall between Scotland and England in 122 AD

• They created Romans town called Chester (for example Manchester), from Castrum (a Latin word). In these towns they introduced baths.

• They created the settlement of Londinium on the Thames, the most important town

• They brought Latin and Christianity

• They withdrew their legions in 409 AD to defend Rome against Barbarian raiders


5th century the Angles and the Saxons from Germany and Scandinavia

Who are they?

• The Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes came from the North Sea regions of Northern Europe

• They settled south of Hadrian’s wall, they destroyed the Romans’ towns because they were warriors

• They were looking for farming land because they were fishermen and farmers

• They gave the larger part of Britain its name: England (the land of Angles)


• They were organised in family groups or clans

• The most important value was loyalty to family and lord

• They exalted the physical courage in battle

• The centre of communal life was the hall, they liked fests and drinking

• They formed seven kingdom known as the Heptarchy

• The kingdom of Wessex became the most important in 829


• In 597 Pope Gregory I sent a bishop, Augustine, to bring Christianity back to England

• Canterbury Cathedral was founded in 602. Augustine was the first Archbishop of Canterbury

• Monasteries became important cultural centres where monks lived and wrote manuscripts

• The first monastery was founded in Lindisfarne in 635

ALFRED THE GREAT, king of Wessex

What did he do?

• He defeated the Danish commander Guthrum in the battle of Edington in 878

• He reorganized the army of wessex;

• He planned a navy with long ships;

• He established his capital at Winchester;

• He had Latin texts translated into Anglo-Saxon and commissioned the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles

• Alfred the Great died in 899


• His son Edward and then his grandson ATHELSTAN succeeded to the throne


• He created a kingdom by establishing the idea of royal authority, law and coinage in 927

• The Viking invasion of 1015 marked the beginning of the collapse of Anglo-Saxon England

• The last Anglo-Saxon king was Harold, Earl of Wessex


9th the Vikings arrived from Denmark and Norway

Who are they?

• The Vikings, called “Danes” by the English, were seafarers

• In 793 they attacked the monastery of Lindisfarne

• By the 9th century they occupied England


• They established the Danelaw: a code of Danish laws (and the part of England administred in northern and eastern England) and the Danegeld. It established that people had to pay the protection with money

• Their language blended with that of the local population: name places ending in –thorpe,



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