Old English Period Essay

1106 Words Aug 3rd, 2012 5 Pages
Old English (450-1100 AD)

Old English was the language the invading Germanic Tribes spoke in Britain. Old English did not sound or look like English today. Nevertheless, about half of the most commonly used words in Modern English were derived from Old English words. Some example of words taken from Old English are be, strong and water. Old English was popular until around 1100. When the Romans withdrew from England in the early 5th century, they left a political vacuum. The Celts of the south were attacked by tribes from the north and with no more hope asked help from others. There are moments like this at other points in the history of the British Isles. Thus in the case of Ireland, help was sought by Irish chieftains from
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This did not take place (at least to any great extent) in the manner one might imagine, i.e. from the north, or indeed from Ireland. Early Irish saints like St.Columba weren’t allowed in their influence to Ireland and Scotland. It is true that Aidan was sent to Northumbria and was included in founding the monastery at Lindisfarne (634), but the activities of Saint Augustine who was dispatched by Gregory I (540-604, the author of the Cura Pastoralis ‘Pastoral Care’ an early devotional work) to christianise England antedated those of Aidan by a full generation. He arrived with a group of missionaries in 597 in Kent and convinced the then king Ethelbert to be baptised. The mission proceeded well for Augustine and in 601 he was made Archbishop of Canterbury, this leading to the official establishment of the christin church in England. The pre-Viking atmosphere was favourable in England to ecclesiastical scholarship and in the 7th and 8th centuries many scholars and teachers of note are to be found, such as Aldhelm (640-709) and of course Bede (673-735) who was the greatest representative of the Benedictine monastery of Jarrow. He wrote many works of general scientific interest and is the first English church historian. The most notable scholar after Bede is Alcuin (735-804) who favored contacts with the continent and helped to prevent the English church of the time from becoming isolated.

Old English, sometimes called Anglo-Saxon, was the language

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