Anglo-Saxons was the name given to the descendants of the German people that came to Britain between the late year of 4th and 7th centuries. These people came with different motives. Some of them came as armies while others came as attackers. Therefore, each and every one of those people who came to Britain came from different backgrounds. According to Bede, the German people included the Saxons the Jutes, the Angles, however, their composition was not very clear and they may also have included other groups like the Frisians, and the Franks.
The culture of the Anglo-Saxon
During Anglo-Saxon period, there were some laws that were used to govern the smooth running of the community which was under the influence of Roman law. They chopped off the hands and noses of people who committed crimes. Money was also paid and death was sentenced to some.
Anglo-Saxon buildings were normally made of timber and masonry was not used except in foundations. The Anglo-Saxons build their towns near their centers of agriculture, near rivers or other sites that were serving as ports in the area.
There was art in Anglo-Saxon. One most common example of the art is the coins which has other thousands examples of such. There was metal work in the Anglo-Saxon, ivory making, stone carving, enamel was also used.
The languages spoken in the Anglo-Saxon period varied from different kings. In the period of Alfred the great, old English was spoken (Tolkien, p.127). Old English continued to be the language used in England until after the Norman Conquest. In this time, the language changed to Middle English.
Some of the old literature works include the works like the epic poetry, sermons, the bible, translations, legal works, riddles, chronicles and other literature works. The most common and famous literature work is the poem Beowulf.
Originally, the Anglo-Saxons practiced a belief system that was of Germanic paganism, and therefore was related to the Old Norse religion. The coming on Christianity slowly replaced the indigenous religion. The Celtic Christianity was introduced in Northumbria and Mercia while the Synod of Whitby chose the roman Christianity.
As new Christianity came, the people were supposed to chose between the Roman Catholic and the new Christianity (Abrams, p.19). This brought some problems because the community became divided as each chose their preferable religion.
- The Viking raids took place because the Anglo-Saxons were divided and could not easily protect their community.
- When there was invasion, the losing team was killed and its leaders captured as slaves.
What we can learn from the Anglo-Saxon world
These are many things that we can learn from the way the Anglo-Saxons lived.
These can be summarized as follows:
- They dealt with crimes wisely and quickly. Our countries should learn this and cut the long durations they take to solve crimes.
- They were not ashamed of what they did for living or where they lived, that's why they used these for their names. We should also be the same.
- They believed in life after death. We should also believe this as it gives us hope.
- Life is a struggle, Bede struggled and made it big, this means each and every one of us has a potential to be whoever we chose to be.
The Beowulf poem describes how the hero rescues and wins different battles. As a hero, one has to possess different qualities and traits. The following are the qualities: - the hero has to be very strong, intelligent, confident, determined, persevere and brave.
In our modern life, I would pick Oprah Winfrey as the hero. The woman who has rose from grass to grace, and who is not afraid of anything. She is also always helping the less fortunate.
The Anglo-Saxon world looked at life in different ways. There is so much that we can learn from them and can help us becomes better people. The fact that they all came from different places but lived together as families should help us live together with other people like brother and sisters.