Everyday Life of an Anglo-Saxon Barbarian

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Anglo-Saxons barbarians though they were always depicted that way. In most of England, the Anglo-Saxons lived with their animals in single-family homes, wooden buildings that were surrounded by a commercial court or a warm fire-lit chieftain’s hall. The Anglo-Saxons consisted of small units, each focused on the central figure of the king. Fame and success, and even survival were gained only through loyalty to the king, especially during war, and success was measured in gifts from the leader. The effectiveness of the king’s reign depended on his ability to inspire personal loyalty and thus keep the tribe unified. The Anglo-Saxons had many morals and values that influenced their life immensely such as bravery, camaraderie, loyalty and heroism.
The king was the leader during warfare, the legislator and guide in time of peace. The article entitled, “Values in Anglo-Saxon Society,” the authors describe the kings role during this time period,“He was chosen partly because of heredity but also because of his potential for fulfilling the ideal.” His chief noblemen were blood relations—usually both his legitimate and illegitimate uncles, sons, nephews and cousins, this body of men were his retainers or thanes. In their articles “Anglo-Saxon Society” the authors describe the benefits to serving as a thane “He showed his approval and gratitude to his retainers or thanes by giving them gifts from his store of treasure or from the hoard of an enemy.” His wife was likely to be the daughter of a neighboring king as their marriage being partly a treaty of friendship between tribes. The remainder of the tribe consisted of the churls, who were freeman and slaves captured in battle, there was no middle class. The epic poet was a vital functionary of ...

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...onquer others and pushed them further to victory.

Works Cited

Elements of Literature: Essentials of British Literature and World Literature. Orlando, FL. 2007 print
Harlan, Judith A. V. and Kathleen McCoy “Anglo-Saxon Society”. English Literature to 1785. HarperCollins Publishers, 1992. 5. Student Resources in Context. Web. 8 Oct. 2013.
Harlan, Judith A.V., and Kathleen McCoy “Values in Anglo-Saxon Society” English literature to 1785. HarperCollins Publishers, 1992. 6+. Student Resources in Context Web. 8 Oct. 2013.
Harlan, Judith A.V., and Kathleen McCoy. “Anglo-Saxon image of heroism”. English Literature to 1785. HarperCollins Publishers, 1992. 13+. Student Resource in Context. Web. 25 Oct. 2013.
Harlan, Judith A.V., Kathleen McCoy. “Beowulf.’. “English Literature to 1785. HarperCollins Publishers, 1992. 10+. Student Resource in Context. Web. 25 Oct. 2013
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