The Anglo-Saxon Period and the Middle Ages Introduction to the Literary Period Feature Menu Fast Facts Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy Key Concept: The Normans Invade Britain Key Concept: Life in Medieval Society Your Turn Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy History of the Times • After the legions of Rome conquered the Celts, Roman armies kept Britain free from invaders. • Troubles at home forced Rome to evacuate its soldiers in A.D. 409, opening Britain to invasion. Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy History of the Times • Angle and Saxon clans impose warrior culture on the island for six centuries. • Until ninth century, Britain is subject to constant invasions and battles. • King Alfred unites Anglo-Saxons against the invading Danes. • The spread of Christianity helps unify the Anglo-Saxons. Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy Literature of the Times • Anglo-Saxon literature is rooted in oral tradition. • Poetry, like fighting, hunting, and farming, had great significance. • Bards relied on sound devices and repeated phrases to remember their tales. • Old English epic poem Beowulf combines Germanic heroism and Anglo-Saxon fatalism. Key Concept: The Anglo-Saxon Legacy Literature of the Times • English emerges as a written language. • Christian monks copy ancient manuscripts, preserving classical and Anglo-Saxon texts. • Historical poems in Anglo- Saxon Chronicle detail events of early English history.