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					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

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

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.

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 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).

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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