Anglo Saxon Culture Essay Introduction

Anglo Saxon Society Essay

Anglo Saxon Society During the Anglo Saxon period, life consisted of fierce battles along with strong loyalty to tribes and rulers; therefore, Anglo Saxon culture varies in many ways from modern culture. When the Saxons first moved to England, they were pagans. They worshiped gods and goddesses of nature; not to gain religious eminence, but in hopes of the gods helping them obtain something in the material world (Anglo Saxon Period 1). The Anglo Saxons were later introduced to Christianity when St. Augustine arrived and converted King Elthelbert. This conversion brought unity along with education and written literature to England. Most Anglo Saxon Literature shows characteristics of both Christian and Pagan beliefs, which shows the impact of Christianity into Saxon society (Ross 1).

The Anglo Saxon society consisted of several social classes, ranging from earls to thralls. The earls were ruling warlords who devoted their lives to the king. Next were the freemen, who were not royalty, but were allowed to own land. Then came the churls, who were bonded slaves and finally the thralls, who were born into slavery. Slavery was a large enterprise during the Anglo Saxon period, and much depended on this involuntary servitude. In Anglo Saxon society, ties to kin and rulers were most important. These ties along with the belief that a family members death must always be revenged explains why Anglo Saxon life was so impetuous. The Saxons certainly did not have much leisure time because of all the fighting, but when they did games such as dice and chess were popular. Riddles, horse racing, and hunting were other leisure activities Saxons welcomed (Ross 2).

Anglo Saxon dress did not differ much from that of Camelot dress. Men usually wore robes or tunics tied at the waist along with hose and light soled shoes. Women wore robes that reached to their feet with great embellishments and exotic dye covering the robes to show wealth and royalty. Stone amulets and pretentious rings were worn for good luck as well as to show wealth (Ross 2).

The Anglo Saxon weapons were not very advanced when compared to the Danes chain mail, helmets, and the two sided battle-ax. The Saxon...

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The Anglo-Saxon Age: A Very Short Introduction

John Blair


The Anglo-Saxon Age: A Very Short Introduction covers the era from the emergence of the earliest English settlements around the year ad 450 to the Norman victory in 1066 providing a brief introduction to the political, social, religious, and cultural history of Anglo-Saxon Britain. The Anglo-Saxon age lasted for 600 years. This period encompassed an age that shaped England's landscape and culture in profound and long-lasting ways. Anglo-Saxon Britain was a fragmented, non-urban, warrior society: a multi-ethnic community. This gradually changed over time as the early medieval cultures united to give shape to the Britain that was to come.

Keywords: Alfred the Great, Anglo-Saxon, Britain, Domesday Book, East Anglia, Essex, Gwynedd, house, Theodore of Tarsus, Wessex, William I

Bibliographic Information

Oxford University Press
Print Publication Date:
Aug 2000
Print ISBN-13:
Published online:
Sep 2013

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