Unit Seven History of English English is a West Germanic language that originated from the Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain by Germanic invaders from various parts of what is now northwest Germany and the Netherlands. Initially, Old English was a diverse group of dialects, reflecting the varied origins of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms of England. One of these dialects, Late West Saxon, eventually came to dominate. The original Old English language was then influenced by two further waves of invasion: the first by speakers of the Scandinavian branch of the Germanic language family, who conquered and colonized parts of Britain in the 8th and 9th centuries; the second by the Normans in the 11th century, who spoke Old Norman and ultimately developed an English variety of this called Anglo-Norman. These two invasions caused English to become "mixed" to some degree. Cohabitation with the Scandinavians resulted in a significant grammatical simplification and lexical enrichment of the Anglo-Frisian core of English; the later Norman occupation led to the grafting onto that Germanic core of a more elaborate layer of words from the Romance languages (Latin-based languages). This Norman influence entered English largely through the courts and government. Thus, English developed into a "borrowing" language of great flexibility, resulting in an enormous and varied vocabulary. Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a family (or phylum) of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia, and historically also predominant in Anatolia and Central Asia. With written attestations appearing since the Bronze Age, in the form of the Anatolian languages and Mycenaean Greek, the Indo-European family is significant to the field of historical linguistics as possessing the longest recorded history after the Afroasiatic family. Indo-European languages are spoken by almost three billion native speakers, the largest number for any recognized language family. Of the top 20 contemporary languages in terms of native speakers according to SIL Ethnologue, twelve are Indo-European: Spanish, English, Hindi, Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, German, Marathi, French, Italian, Punjabi, and Urdu, accounting for over 1.7 billion native speakers. Renaissance （附视频） David, by Michelangelo Galileo with His Telescope Copernicus' heliocentric Monalisa by Leonardo da Vinci The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence affected literature, philosophy, art, politics, science, religion, and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, and searched for realism and human emotion in art. Renaissance thinkers sought out in Europe's monastic libraries and the crumbling Byzantine Empire the literary, historical, and oratorical texts of antiquity, typically written in Latin or ancient Greek, many of which had fallen into obscurity. It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the Renaissance of the 12th century, who had focused on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences, philosophy and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts. Renaissance humanists did not reject Christianity; quite the contrary, many of the Renaissance's greatest works were devoted to it, and the Church patronized many works of Renaissance art. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion that was reflected in many other areas of cultural life. In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from Byzantium to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity. This new engagement with Greek Christian works, and particularly the return to the original Greek of the New Testament promoted by humanists Lorenzo Valla and Erasmus, would help pave the way for the Protestant Reformation. Julius Caesar (附视频) Julius Caesar Assassination of Julius Caesar Caesar was the first to print his own bust on a Roman minted coin Gaius Julius Cæsar/Caesar (13 July 100 BC–15 March 44 BC) was a Roman military and political leader. He played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. As a politician, Caesar made use of popularist tactics. During the late 60s and into the 50s BC, he formed political alliances that led to the so-called First Triumvirate, an extra-legal arrangement with Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great) that was to dominate Roman politics for several years. Their factional attempts to amass power for themselves were opposed within the Roman Senate by the optimates, among them Marcus Porcius Cato and Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, with the sometime support of Marcus Tullius Cicero. Caesar's conquest of Gaul extended the Roman world to the North Sea, and in 55 BC he also conducted the first Roman invasion of Britain. These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse Pompey's, while the death of Crassus contributed to increasing political tensions between the two triumviral survivors. Political realignments in Rome finally led to a stand-off between Caesar and Pompey, the latter having taken up the cause of the Senate. With the order that sent his legions across the Rubicon, Caesar began a civil war in 49 BC from which he emerged as the unrivaled leader of the Roman world. Viking The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse (Scandinavian) explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, and settled in wide areas of Europe and the North Atlantic islands from the late eighth to the mid-eleventh century. These Norsemen used their famed longships to travel as far east as Constantinople and the Volga River in Russia, and as far west as Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland, and as far south as Al Andalus. This period of Viking expansion – known as the Viking Age—forms a major part of the medieval history of Scandinavia, Britain, Ireland and the rest of Europe in general. Norman Norman Architecture ancient roman art The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of mostly Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock. Their identity emerged initially in the first half of the tenth century, and gradually evolved over succeeding centuries until they disappeared as an ethnic group in the early thirteenth century. The name "Normans" derives from "Northmen" or "Norsemen", after the Vikings from Scandinavia who founded Normandy. William Caxton William Caxton (ca. 1415~1422 – ca. March 1492) was an English Merchant, diplomat, writer and printer. As far as is known, he was the first English person to work as a printer and the first to introduce a printing press into England. He was also the first English retailer of printed books (his London contemporaries were all Dutch, German or French). Norse The official language of Norway. Old Norse was the Germanic language of Norway and its colonies down to the 14th century. It is the ancestor of the Scandinavian languages and is most clearly preserved in the saga literature of Iceland.
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