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HIST 0400 Anglo-Saxon England

This course covers the period from end of Roman Britain in early fifth century, to the Norman Conquest of 1066. For much of this era the written sources are slim (if intriguing and hugely suggestive), and in recent years a great deal has been learnt from reading them with archaeology and material culture. Notions of England and Englishness, as a cultural and political entity, developed from a series of social, economic and religious factors.  Notable among these were the conversion to Christianity, and the impact of Scandinavian raiding and settlement.

 Sample Topics

  • Catastrophe, Collapse, Continuity: the End of Roman Britain
  • Converting the English: Bede and history
  • Splitting Skulls and Heroic Drinking? Kingship and Hegemony
  • The Viking Impact
  • Alfred: Wisdom, Resistance and Greatness
  • Making England: the Triumph of Wessex?
  • Reforming the Church
  • The Last Century of England?

 

Introductory Reading

  • Beowulf  (many translations)
  • Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People. (many translations)
  • Asser, Life of King Alfred – the best translation is in Keynes, S., & Lapidge, M. (trans.), Alfred the Great. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983
CMRS has made Oxford my second home and Medieval Studies a lifelong love
Although I attended the CMRS for a short time, my relationship with the people that I met there has only deepened over the years. My experience with t...
Michael D. McCartney, Autumn Semester 2003 & Summer 2005, Moravian College