Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 51

DARK AGES

476 – 1000 AD
DARK AGES
After the decline of the Roman Empire.
A period of «darkness» as regards cultural advances in
general.
Little is known about this period, due to the lack of
written records.
THE «DARKNESS»
The term was taken by later onlookers and historians.
Future historians used the term “dark” simply to denote the fact that little was
known about this period.
Paucity of written history.
This idea of “darkness” was used to express frustration with the lack of Latin
literature or other cultural achievements during this time.
While the term dark ages is no longer widely used, it may best be described as
Early Middle Ages.
THE STATE OF THE CHURCH
A time of religious struggle, mostly between:

Roman Catholics,
Orthodox Catholics, and

Muslims.
THE STATE OF THE CHURCH
Orthodox Christians regarded this time as a period of Catholic corruption; they
repudiated the ways of the Catholic Church with its papal doctrines and hierarchy. Pure
Christianity.
THE STATE OF THE CHURCH
Catholics viewed this period as a harmonious, productive religious era.
THE STATE OF THE CHURCH
Muslim conquests  prevailed until the time of the Crusades. Conflict
between Christianity and Islam remains until this day.
FAITH VS. ENLIGHTENMENT
FAITH People sought after God; some through the staid rituals
of the Catholic Church, others in more Orthodox forms of worship.
ENLIGHTENMENT  Intellectuals view religion as a type of
“darkness.” Those who followed religious beliefs lied to themselves,
creating a false reality. Dominated by emotions, not fact.
Religion was seen as contrary to rationality and reason, thus the
move towards enlightenment -- a move away from “darkness.”
INVASIONS
DURING THE
DARK AGES
THE SAXONS
SAXONS
The Saxons were a group of Germanic tribes first mentioned as living near the North
Sea coast of what is now Germany, in the late Roman Empire.
Saxons, along with Angles, Frisians and Jutes, invaded or migrated to the island of
Great Britain (Britannia) around the time of the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.
The Saxons (and other tribes) first entered Britain en masse as part of an agreement to
protect the Britons from the incursions of the Picts, Gaels and others.
Some historians argue that the takeover of southern Great Britain by the Anglo-
Saxons was peaceful, some others describe events as a forced takeover by armed attack.
SAXON REALMS
1.East Saxons: created the Kingdom of Essex.
2.Middle Saxons: created the province of Middlesex

3.South Saxons: led by Aelle, created the Kingdom of


Sussex
4.West Saxons: created the Kingdom of Wessex
SAXONS’ KINGDOMS
SOCIAL STRUCTURE
No king.

Ealdormen or Satrapa – in charge in times of war – equal in times of peace.

Regnum Saxonum: divided into 3 provinces (Westphalia, Eastphalia and


Galia) – each one divided into smaller cities (Gaue).
3 social classes – Nobiles, ingenui and serviles (Latin names).

System based on dues and taxes - later replaced by feudalism (based on


labor, personal relationships and oaths).
LAW
Lex Saxonum  A set of regulations containing the
traditional customs and statues of the pagan Saxons and the
laws of the Frankish Empire.
Annual Council  make important decisions: judgement on
outstanding cases, confirm current laws, war or peace.
All social classes participated  12 from each Gaue.
RELIGION
Pagans  worshiped lots of gods (family, growing crops, love, healing, fertility, wisdom,
weather, war, and so on).
Days of the week 
Monandæg ( Moon's day - the day of the moon ),
Tiwesdæg ( Tiw's-day - the day of the Scandinavian sky god Tiw,Tiu or Tig),
Wodnesdæg ( Woden's day - the day of the god Woden (Othin) ),
Ðunresdæg ( Thor's Day - the day of the god Ðunor or Thunor ),
Frigedæg ( Freyja's day - the day of the goddess Freyja or Frigg, wife to Woden),
Sæternesdæg ( Saturn's day - the day of the Roman god Saturn, whose festival "Saturnalia," with its
exchange of gifts, has been incorporated into our celebration of Christmas.),
Sunnandæg ( Sun's day - the day of the sun ).
FROM PAGANISM TO…
7th Century The Pope in Rome sent a missionary to England to persuade
the Anglo-Saxons to become Christians (Augustine ). He converted the first
King of Kent, and his people.
Agustine was allowed to build the first Christian church there.

Christianity spread all over Britain.

Pagan temples were converted into Christian ones and the same happened
with pagan celebrations.
Some were willingly converted – some were forced into baptism.
THE VIKINGS
THE VIKINGS
«Viking»  from Old Norse, meaning «pirate raider» (attacker).
Also called «Norsemen».
They came from Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
Fishermen and farmers. Just a few worked as travellers and
traders.
Some sailed to distant lands to trade or to look for better lands to
farm. Some others, as invaders to raid and attack the local people.
VIKINGS INVASION

A process of 200 years.

1st recorded attack  789 AD

Other attacks  793 AD y 865 AD  Danish Vikings took over England,


which was under the reign of King Alfred (Saxon), who couln’t defeat them
until 878 AD.
Norwegian Vikings attacked Scotland. Also settled in parts of Wales.

The begun to trade, got married and became part of the people.
ALFRED THE GREAT
The youngest son of the Saxon King of Wessex, Æthelwulf. Alfred reigned after the
succession of his 3 older brothers. Alfred spent several years dealing with Viking invasions.
After a decisive victory in the Battle of Eddington in 878 Alfred made an agreement with
the Vikings, creating the Danelaw (parts of England where the laws of the Danes held sway
and dominated those of the Saxons) in the North of England.
Alfred is recognized for having defended his kingdom against the Vikings – he became
the dominant ruler in England.
Only 2 English monarchs have been given the epithet “the Great”: Alfred and the
Scandinavian Cnut the Great.
ALFRED

Alfred was a learned and merciful man of a gracious and level-headed nature.

He learnt Latin in his 30s.

He cared about education, proposing that primary education be conducted in


English rather than Latin.
Improved his kingdom’s legal system.

Improved the realm’s military structure and defenses.

Improved his people’s quality of life in general.


ALFRED

Statue of Alfred the Great in


Winchester, unveiled during the
millenary commemoration of
Alfred's death.

In 2002 Alfred was ranked


number 14 in the BBC's poll of
the 100 Greatest Britons.
DARK AGES LITERATURE
Different manuscripts
DARK AGES LITERATURE

The term employs traditional light-versus-


darkness imagery to contrast the era's
"darkness" (lack of records) with earlier
and later periods of "light" (abundance of
records).
OLD ENGLISH
Brought to England by the Anglo-Saxons, Old English is the earliest
historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern
and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages.
After the Normand Conquest, Old English gradually developed into
Middle English.
Purely Germanic, very difficult to understand without study.

Much more inflected (like German) than Modern English.


SAXONS’ ORAL TRADITION

The Saxons stories and poems were transmitted


orally from one generation to the next. The stories
were often about warriors and adventures and they
would also play music as they told their stories to
others.
OLD ENGLISH

"ofer hron rade", translated as


"over the whale's road (sea)"
BEOWULF
BEOWULF

By the time the story of Beowulf was


composed by an unknown Anglo-Saxon
poet around 700 AD, much of its material
had been in circulation in oral narrative for
many years.
BEOWULF
Beowulf is an Old English epic poem, that may be the oldest surviving
long poem in Old English and is commonly cited as one of the most
important works of Old English literature.
It might have been produced between 975 and 1025, but the exact date is
unknown.
The author was an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet, referred to by scholars
as the "Beowulf poet".
BEOWULF
The manuscript has no title in the original manuscript, but has become
known by the name of the story's protagonist.
The first original print was in 1815.
First known epic stories written in a native European language other than
Latin.
Written in Old English, which was heavily Germanic and little influenced
by French (Normands) and Spanish.
THE STORY OF BEOWULF
The poem is set in Scandinavia. Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, comes to the
aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes (a Germanic tribe), whose mead hall
(his tent) in Heorot has been under attack by a monster known as Grendel.
After Beowulf slays him, Grendel's mother attacks the hall and is then also
defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland (Götaland in modern
Sweden) and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has
passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After
his death, his attendants cremate his body and erect a tower on a headland in
his memory.
THE BEOWULF MANUSCRIPT
MORE IN DETAIL…
TRANSLATION…
Beowulf (Old English version) Beowulf (modern English translation)
 
Hwæt. We Gardena in geardagum, LO, praise of the prowess of people-kings
þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon, of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon. we have heard, and what honor the athelings
Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum, won!
monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah, Oft Scyld the Scefing from squadroned foes,
egsode eorlas. Syððan ærest wearð from many a tribe, the mead-bench tore,
feasceaft funden, he þæs frofre gebad, awing the earls. Since erst he lay
weox under wolcnum, weorðmyndum þah, friendless, a foundling, fate repaid him:
oðþæt him æghwylc þara ymbsittendra for he waxed under welkin, in wealth he throve,
ofer hronrade hyran scolde, till before him the folk, both far and near,
gomban gyldan. þæt wæs god cyning. who house by the whale-path, heard his
ðæm eafera wæs æfter cenned, mandate,
geong in geardum, þone god sende gave him gifts: a good king he!
folce to frofre; fyrenðearfe ongeat To him an heir was afterward born,
þe hie ær drugon aldorlease a son in his halls, whom heaven sent
lange hwile. Him þæs liffrea, to favor the folk, feeling their woe
wuldres wealdend, woroldare forgeaf; that erst they had lacked an earl for leader
Beowulf wæs breme blæd wide sprang, so long a while; the Lord endowed him,
Scyldes eafera Scedelandum in. the Wielder of Wonder, with world’s renown.
Swa sceal geong guma gode gewyrcean, Famed was this Beowulf: far flew the boast of
fromum feohgiftum on fæder bearme, him,
þæt hine on ylde eft gewunigen son of Scyld, in the Scandian lands.
wilgesiþas, þonne wig cume, So becomes it a youth to quit him well
leode gelæsten; lofdædum sceal with his father’s friends, by fee and gift,
in mægþa gehwære man geþeon. that to aid him, aged, in after days,
ANGLO-SAXON CHRONICLE
ANGLO-SAXON CHRONICLE

It is a collection of concise historical records in Old English


chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons.
The original manuscript of the Chronicle was created late in the 9th
century, probably in Wessex, during the reign of Alfred the Great.
Multiple copies were made of that one original and then distributed to
monasteries across England, where they were independently updated.
ANGLO-SAXON CHRONICLE

Almost all of the material in the Chronicle is stated by year. The earliest are
dated at 60 BC (Caesar’s invasions).
The Chronicle is not objective: there are occasions when the scribes who
wrote it omitted events or told one-sided versions of stories.
However, the Chronicle is the single most important historical source for
the period in England between the departure of the Romans and the decades
following the Norman Conquest.
THE CHRONICLE TODAY

9 surviving manuscripts.
7 of them and some partial manuscripts reside in the
British Library.
2 manuscripts are in the Bodleian Library at Oxford
and the Parker Library of Corpus Christi College,
Cambridge.
MEDIEVAL LITERATURE

William Langland, John Wiclif,


and Geoffrey Chaucer in England,
and Bishop Barbour in Scotland.
JOHN WYCLIFFE
( W I C L E F, W Y C L I F F O W I C K L I F F E )

His rendering of the New


Testament was the
foundation of all
subsequent English
versions of the Scriptures.
JOHN WYCLIFFE

1320S – 1384

Scholastic philosopher, theologian, Biblical translator, reformer, priest, and a


seminary professor at the University of Oxford.
Against the Roman Catholic priesthood during the 14th century and is
considered an important predecessor to Protestantism.
He attacked the privileged status of the clergy.

He then attacked the luxury and pomp of local parishes and their ceremonies.
WYCLIFF
His most important work was the translation of the Holy Bible
from Latin into Vernacular English (Middle English), in 1982.
This translation is known as «Wycliffe’s Bible».
Wycliffe Bible texts are the most common manuscript literature
in Middle English.
More than 250 manuscripts of the Wycliffe Bible survive.

One copy sold at auction in 2016 for US$1,692,500.


WILLIAM LANGLAND

1332-1386. He is the presumed


author of a work of Middle
English Alliterative verse
generally known as “Piers
Plowman” (mostly religious
themes).
GEOFFREY CHAUCER
1343-1400. The first master "maker" in the
English tongue, for nearly two hundred years.
While the others wrote in dialects, he set the
standard of English as a literary language. All
men who attempted to write poetry were his
disciples.

Author, philosopher, and astronomer, as well as


a bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat.
CHAUCER

His most well-known work of art is a collection of 24 stories written


in Middle English between 1387 and 1400.

These tales are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group


of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from London to
Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Beckett at Canterbury
Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn
at Southwark on their return.
CHAUCER

THE BOOK OF THE DUCHESS


THE HOUSE OF FAME
THE LEGEND OF GOOD WOMEN
TROILUS AND CRISEYDE
CHAUCER

He is seen as crucial in legitimizing the


literary use of the Middle English
vernacular at a time when the dominant
literary languages in England were still
French and Latin.

Оценить