Old English Essay

1981 Words8 Pages
Old English is the beautiful and complex ancestor of one if the most powerful languages in human history. Its formation from a series of complex and impressive military conquests and cultural growth spurts has given birth to the most widespread language in the world. Born from war, poetry, and knowledge, Old English's intricate grammar, history, and formation has left an undeniably important mark on its modern descendant, Modern English. The timeline for Old English stretches from its first appearances in the mid-fifth century until the eleventh century when it had been phased out by Middle English and other dialects. One of the unique aspects of the language was its contact with multiple military, ethnic, and political invasions which occurred with nearly every major political entity on Europe. The result was a sponge-like language, quick to adopt ideas and words while still retaining its own cultural identity and flare. The focus of the history of Old English is centered on modern England and the various countries on the British Isles, though a vast and ambiguous territory called Germania and the Viking empires of Scandinavia are also crucial factors. From these regions, the formation of Old English and the relation to Modern English becomes more obvious and explained. If one had to envision the formation of Old English, it could be described as an arena locked in an endless tournament; Britain was a bloodbath in its early stages of civilization. The history begins with various Celtic tribes inhabiting the British Isles. These tribes were undergoing a constant political mitosis, constantly dividing and fighting amongst each other. However in reality these tribes were ethnically and culturally alike, so historian... ... middle of paper ... ...nce that would reconstruct the language to the point that scholars recognize the end of Old English with this invasion. It was the Invasion of the Normans, Vikings in Northern France that ultimately brought about Middle English, declaring Old English to be archaic. Through invasion after invasion, the British Isles experienced influence from across Europe over centuries. Beginning from a cluster of defenseless tribes followed by the iron empire of Rome and the sequence of Germanic invasion, Old English and consequently Modern English are a unique mix of languages, born from bloodshed and intense political blending. Although no single kingdom ever truly conquered the mighty British Isles, the language that emerged from the turbulent times became a monument to the struggles of the land and has certainly etched its achievements in stone for all of humanity to see.
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