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					History and Timeline
     of English
From the Celtic Roots to the
Beginning of the Renaissance
   History and Timeline of English
• 5000-55 BCE      • Barbaric Tribes of Britain:
                   • Stonehenge People
                   • Druids Priests of the Celts,
                     practice human sacrifice.
                   • Celts build Maiden Castle
                     at Dorset. They are
                     farmers, not warriors, but
                     had chain maille. No
                     written language
• 300 BCE          • Invasion of La Tene
                     peoples from Europe
                   • Indo-European Language
   History and Timeline of English
• 55 – 54 BCE      • Julius Caesar himself goes to
                     Briton himself, twice, to
                     conquer it, and leaves a written
                     account of this expedition. He
                     is not too successful. He is put
                     off by fierce, blue-faced people
                     who have not only swords and
                     armor, but horses and chariots
                     as well. He finally attains a
                     promise of a tribute from
                     chieftains, and leaves, naming
                     the place, “Britannia.”
   History and Timeline of English
• 43 CE            • Emperor Claudius
                     takes up where Caesar,
                     and more recently,
                     Caligula, left off. He
                     so feared the Britons,
                     and their Druid priests,
                     that he actually
                     brought in elephants to
                     establish the Roman
                     colony at Colchester!
  History and Timeline of English
• 60 CE           • The Romans later, under
                    Nero, meet fierce
                    resistance by Iceni tribes,
                    united under Queen
                    Boudicca. The Romans
                    flog her and her daughters
                    are raped.
                  • The Iceni sack established
                    Roman towns of
                    Colchester and Lincoln,
                    and newly established
                    Londinium, a trading port,
                    is burned to the ground.
  History and Timeline of English
• 200 CE          • Eventually Rome
                    takes over.
                  • Flowering of
                    Londinium. A totally
                    great place! It’s the
                    BOMB! Bath (Aquae
                    Sulis) is also
                    incredibly advanced in
                    technology and
                    architecture.
   History and Timeline of English
• 200 CE           • The Romans introduced:
                     walled cities, roads, glass,
                     tile, trading, central
                     heating, upholstery,
                     schools, money, knives
                     and spoons, lamp oil and
                     candlesticks, mirrors,
                     make up, perfume,
                     jewelry, pens and ink,
                     paper, pottery and games.
   History and Timeline of English
• 200 CE           • They also brought: wine,
                     carpets, spices, olive oil,
                     sculpture, and written
                     language: The Romans,
                     of course, spoke Latin.
                     The people spoke Celtic
                     language, and the
                     languages of the army,
                     mostly Germanic tribes.
   History and Timeline of English
• 200 CE           • The Roman army was the
                     most advanced army in the
                     world. Aside from the
                     technological
                     developments, they
                     developed advancements
                     in medicine: commonly
                     used surgical staples were
                     developed by Roman
                     doctors.
   History and Timeline of English
• 383-450          • Hadrian’s Wall overrun.
                     By 450, Rome’s presence
                     is over. For 200 years, the
                     cities were left to go
                     fallow, and the inhabitants
                     to fend for themselves.
• 450-600          • The Anglos, Saxons, and
                     Jutes come to live in
                     Briton. These were
                     friends and relations of the
                     Roman soldiers, who were
                     mostly NOT Latin.
   History and Timeline of English
• 450-600          • These new immigrants
                     bring with them a
                     Germanic language.
                     They assimilate nicely
                     into the cultural blend:
                     Mostly Germanic
                     descendants of former
                     Roman soldiers;
                     Britonized Romans;
                     Gauls, Celts…
   History and Timeline of English
• 450-600          • This is the time of the
                     Arthur Legends! There is
                     no unified Briton as of
                     yet…but the Arthur stories
                     portray such a place.
                   • Cadbury Castle - Camelot
                   • The Venerable Bede (St.
                     Bede) records memorable
                     battles, mentions King
                     Arthur, who is a mythical
                     figure.
   History and Timeline of English
• 450-600          • St. Patrick is in Ireland,
                     but for the most part,
                     Christianity is very late to
                     come to Britain.*
• 597
                   • Ethelbert, King of Kent is
                     converted to Christianity.
                   • Some tribes emigrate to
                     France, and settle in what
                     is now Brittany…
                   • Old English poetry refers
                     to events of this time
                     period.
   History and Timeline of English
• 600-1066         • Old English as a language
                     emerges from the meld of
                     different Germanic
                     language roots. Latin is
                     retained in Church and
                     legal documents, but it
                     never was the language of
                     the people.
                   • The Celtic languages have
                     largely emigrated, with the
                     Celtic people to the
                     outskirts of the islands,
                     chased there by the
                     Romans long ago.
   History and Timeline of English
• 600-1066         • Gaelic (Irish), Scottish
                     Gaelic and Welsh are
                     descendants of this
                     language.
                   • Beowulf is composed
                     (between 600 and 700 CE)
                     and then written down
                     (sometime after 900 CE).
                     It is the oldest written
                     work still in existence in a
                     European language. It is
                     written in Old English.
   History and Timeline of English
• 600-1066         • The language is used in
                     the court and in commerce
                     for the emerging
                     kingdoms of Great Britain.
                   • This is also the time of the
                     Norse invasions. Vikings,
                     seeking more land and a
                     better climate, invade
                     many European countries.
                     They demand tribute from
                     the kingdoms they invade,
                     but they also settle, and
                     are good at assimilation.*
 History and Timeline of English
• The Viking raids continue from the end of the first
  millennium (800) until about the year 1200. The climate in
  Europe and the North Atlantic experiences a bit of a
  warming trend, making the Vikings’ fantastic voyages to
  the New World possible, and instead of raiding England,
  they settle in Greenland and Newfoundland. However, a
  mini ice age between 1350 and 1850, will clamp down on
  these new settlements, making contact with the colonies
  impossible. No one knows for sure if the Norse
  inhabitants of these regions were killed by indigenous
  people, died on their own, or went native.
    History and Timeline of English
    The Vikings leave an imprint in English, especially in areas of the
    country where they settled. Today, we recognize the days Thursday
    and Friday as named for Thor and Freya, an important god and
    goddess in the Norse religion. Other familiar words:

•   Lax = salmon
•   Daela = dale
•   Fylgja = follower
•   Berserks = “bear shirt” / Fierce warriors
•   Orm = worm; snake
•   Valkyrie = warrior woman (“Choosers of the dead”)
•   Bjorn = bear
•   Ulf = wolf
•   Saga = long story
   History and Timeline of English
• 600-1066         • A Dane becomes a king of
                     the emerging country of
                     England, in 1016.
                   • During these so-called
                     “Dark Ages,” there is a
                     revival of culture, and
                     strengthening of country:
                     Intellectuals and
                     philosophers abound.
   History and Timeline of English
• 800              • Time of Charlemagne.
                     England is largely spared
                     his “convert or kill”
                     method to strengthen the
                     Holy Roman Empire.
                   • Egbert: First overlord of
• 829                all England.
• 871              • Alfred the Great: Unifies
                     all English kings into one
                     country.
   History and Timeline of English
• 871              • Alfred translates Bede’s
                     History into Old English:
                     Britons are the chosen
                     race, descendants of
                     Joseph of Arimathea.*
                     The stories of Arthur
                     provide historical credo
                     for the emerging nation.
                     Battle of Maldon: Vikings
                     slaughter the Britons.
• 991-1016         • Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:
                     Early Old English prose
                     history.
   History and Timeline of English
• 991-1016         • Edward the Confessor
                     comes to the throne, and
                     converts many subjects to
                     Christianity.
                   • Edward dies, and Harold,
                     his brother-in-law, fights
                     and beats an invasion of
                     Vikings, but…
• 1066             • He is then promptly killed
                     at the Battle of Hastings.
                     The Normans have
                     invaded!
   History and Timeline of English
• 1066-1476        • The French, under
                     William the Conqueror,
                     bring their language, and
                     return Latin to England.
                   • The Saxon barons are
                     robbed of their property.
                     The French even bring in
                     their own merchants,
                     artisans, and servants!
                     (And of course, their own
                     wine…)
   History and Timeline of English
• 1066-1476        • Their invasion displaces the
                     Anglo-Saxon aristocracy, and
                     causes the strife that results in
                     the Magna Carta, 1215. (And
                     terrific Robin Hood stories,
                     too!)*
                   • French becomes the language of
                     the court, and many Norman
                     kings cannot speak English! It
                     isn’t until the end of the
                     Plantagenet kings that a kind of
                     English is spoken.
   History and Timeline of English
• 1066-1476        • This language difference
                     is still evident today,
                     where many of the old
                     Saxon words are
                     considered part of low
                     diction, while many of the
                     French/Latin words are
                     high diction.
                   • The language melds. A
                     kind of pidgin “Franglish”
                     is spoken among the
                     merchants and servants of
                     the Norman aristocracy.
   History and Timeline of English
• 1066-1476        • This macaronic
                     communication evolves
                     from pidgin to creole, and
                     eventually becomes the
                     Middle English of
                     Chaucer.
                   • Middle English, and
                     Middle French, become
                     the languages of many of
                     the Arthur Legends, as
                     troubadours carry the
                     stories back and forth
                     across the Channel.
   History and Timeline of English
• 1066-1476        • The Normans in England,
                     however, are becoming more
                     “English,” and the Plantagenet
                     kings are beginning to look at
                     themselves as outright kings of
                     England, separate from France
                   • In the case of Henry II, who
• 1170
                     conquers much of France, the
                     kings also want independence
                     from the rule of the Church. A
                     dispute arises that results in the
                     death of Thomas à Becket in the
                     Canterbury Cathedral.
   History and Timeline of English
• 1170             • England, as herself, sends
                     troops to fight the Crusades led
                     by Richard the Lionhearted.
• 1215             • The Magna Carta gives more
                     rights to the Saxon barons, and
                     Richard’s brother, King John
                     (see Robin Hood stories) is
                     forced to sign it.
                   • Henry III is made to sign the
• 1258               Provisions of Oxford, and
                     Parliament is officially
                     established. There is a brief
                     period when the barons rule
                     under Simon de Montfort.
   History and Timeline of English
• 1337-1453                             • The 100 Years’ War is fought
                                          fiercely over the rights of
 (Some scholars take the beginning        English kings, and sets the
  of the War back as far as the time      background for Chaucer’s
  of Edward I, 1272-1307. He’s the        works. It is likely that Edward
  old king in the film, Braveheart. )     III was the first Plantagenet
                                          king to speak English from
                                          birth.
• 1362                                  • Eventually, during Chaucer’s
                                          time, the courts of England
                                          change the official language
                                          from French, to Middle English.
                                          It becomes the language of
                                          scholars and poets, with
                                          Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
                                          leading the way.
   History and Timeline of English
• 1476             • William Caxton set up a
                     printing press in London.
                     This codifies the language
                     of England, and “corrects”
                     the grammar and spelling
                     of dialects from around
                     the country. Eventually,
                     Modern English emerges
                     from this codification.
                   • The language of the
                     English Renaissance, is by
                     all accounts, Modern
                     English.
        Example of Old English, from
                 Beowulf
1.    Sigon þa to slæpe. Sum sare angeald
2.    æfen-ræste,      swa him ful oft gelalmp
3.    siþðan gold-sele Grendel warode,
4.    unriht æfnde, oþþæt ende becwom,
5.    swylt æfter synnum. þæt gesyne wearþ,
6.    wid-cup werum,      þætte wrecend þa gyt
7.    lifde æfter laþum, lange þrage,
8.    æfter guð-ceare. Grendles modor,
9.    ides, aglæc-wif    yrmþe gemunde,
10.   se þe wæter-egesan wunian scolde,
11.   cealde streamas,    siþðan Cain wearð
12.   to ecg-banan angan breþer,
13.   fæderen-mæge;      he þa fag gewat,
14.   morþre gemearcod, man-dream fleon,
15.   westen warode.     þanon woc fela
16.   geosceaft-gasta; wæs þæra Grendel sum
17.   heoro-wearh hetelic, se æt Heorote fand
18.   wæccendne wer wiges bidan.                 Pg. 88 in Heaney’s Translation
            Example of Old English, from
                     Beowulf
1.        Đā cōm of mōre under mist-hleoþum
2.        Grendel gongan, Godes yrre bær,
3.        mynte se mān-scaða manna cynnes
4.        summe besyrwan in sele þām hēan.
5.        Wōd under wolcnum, tō þæs þe hē wīn-reced,
6.        Gold-sele gumena gearwost wissse,
7.        fættum fāhne. Ne wæs þæt forma sīð
8.        þæt he Hrōþgāres hām gesōhte.
9.        Næfre hē on aldor–dagum ær nē siþð an
10.       heardran hæle heal-ðegnas fand.
11.       Cōm þā tō recede rinc sīðian
12.       drēamum bedæled. Duru sōna onarn
13.       fўr-bendum fæst syþðan hē hire folmum gehrān:
14.       onbræd þā bealo-hўdig, ðā hē gebolgen wæs,
15.       recedes mūþan. Raþe æfter þon
16.       on fāgne flōr fēond treddode,
17.       ēode yrre-mōd; him of ēagum stōd
18.       ligge gelīcost lēoht unfæger.

(Heaney 48.710-726)
  Example of Middle English, from
    Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
1.    Whan that Aprill with his shoures sote
2.    The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
3.    And bathed every veyne in swich licour
4.    Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
5.    Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
6.    Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
7.    The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
8.    Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
9.    And smale fowles maken melodye,
10.   That slepen al the night with open ye
11.   (So priketh hem Nature in hir corages):
12.   Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages.
Example of Modern English, from
Shakespeare’s Macbeth, 1.3.11-25.
Second Witch:   I’ll give thee a wind.
First Witch:    Thou’rt kind.
Third Witch:    And I another.
First Witch:    I myself have all the other,
                And the very ports they blow,
                All the quarters that they know
                I’th’shipman’s card.
                I’ll drain him dry as hay;
                Sleep shall neither night nor day
                Hang upon his penthouse lid;
                He shall live a man forbid.
                Weary sev’n-nights, nine times nine,
                Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine;
                Though his bark cannot be lost,
                Yet it shall be tempest-tossed.

				
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