Religious Influences Of Anglo-Saxon Literature

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There are many different types of work that were produced by the Anglo-Saxon people. Anglo-Saxons were the first people in England to have a language that was a mixture of French and old English. “Men cut down trees to clear land for ploughing and to sow crops. Farmers used oxen to pull ploughs up and down long strip fields. Children with dogs herded cattle and sheep. They also kept a lookout for wolves - which still lived in Britain at this time” (Who Were the Anglo-Saxons?). The people had very simple lives with no literature and a commitment to the Church. The stories that were told to the Anglo-Saxon people had many different beliefs in them. The religious influences of Anglo-Saxon literature include Christianity, Paganism, and the culture…show more content…
The Anglo-Saxon people were a mixture of Germanic and French cultures who took over England. “Any member of the Germanic peoples who, from the 5th century Ce to the time of the Norman Conquest 1066, inhabited and ruled territories that are today part of England and Wales” (Britannica, Encyclopedia). This was clash of cultures where people spoke different languages and had a different way of life. Anglo-Saxon people had many different monarchies but, this was the first to have a heavy Christian influence. “Ethelbert, king of Kent (reigned c.560-616), who married Bertha, the Christian daughter of the king of Paris, and who became the first English king to be converted to Christianity (St Augustine 's mission from the Pope Britain in 597 during Ethelbert’s reign prompted thousands of such conversions)”("Anglo-Saxons."). This was the first time that you started to see mass conversions from Paganism to Christianity which led to more stories containing Christian elements. They included multiple things into their literature which reflected their culture and customs. In the story Beowulf says, "Often, for undaunted courage, fate spares the man it has not already marked"(Heaney 113).This represents the value of courage and bravery in the Anglo-Saxon culture which was a major…show more content…
These are elements in their literature that influenced an early settlement that shaped England. The literature of the Anglo-Saxons had a major role in how literature was written. The influence of religions such as Paganism and Christianity were huge on the elements of how their stories were written. ”About 400 Anglo-Saxon texts survive from this era, including many beautiful poems, telling tales of wild battles and heroic journeys. The oldest surviving text of Old English literature is “Cædmon 's Hymn”, which was composed between 658 and 680, and the longest was the ongoing “Anglo-Saxon Chronicle”. But by far the best known is the long epic poem “Beowulf” (The History of English - Old English). The Anglo-Saxons were the first people of England to have literature and a common language. Their literature had combined Paganism and Christianity elements to influence today’s
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