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Chapter I - The Anglo-Saxon period

Part I
Anglo-saxon, or Old English belongs to the low German family of languages, of which Dutch is
the most representative in the modern laguages.
The Anglo-Saxon tribes :
- the Saxons - dwelling near the mouth of Elbe
- the Angles - inhabiting the southwest part of Denmark
- the Jutes - extending north of the Angles into modern Jutland
Their early poetry give glimpses of little tribal or family settlements, bounded on one side by
wild moors and dense forests where dwelt monstrous creatures of mist and darkness, and on teh
other by the stormy northen oceans.
They had two passions: war and wandering; they've found satisfaction in the life of the sea
without caring about penetrating far inland.
The sea-faring life, full of danger and change was the fruitful source of early poetry.
The poetry which has come down to us from this early period has been worked over by later
hand and given a Christian coloring. From other sources we know that they had other beliefs,
they had some primitive gods. They had Woden, which was the father of the later dynasty of
gods and patron of seers and travellers, Thor, the god of thunder, and Frea, the mother of gods
and giver of fruitfulness. These are commemorated in our names for the days of the week:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Two classes of singers were recognized in that period:
-the gleeman (gleoman) - this type of singer did not create his own songs but chanted what he
learned from others
-the scop - this type is the poet proper, who took the crude materials of histrory and legend and
shaped them into songs.
The most important poem of the period is "Beowulf", along with "Deor's Lament" and "Widsith".
"Beowulf" has over three thousand lines in lenght. This poem is about a hero how fight for the
King of West-Danes, Hrothgar, with Grendel, a monstrous creature who troubled the King,
destroying Heorot. After the hero kills the creature and becomes famous for his deed, he fights

the literature did not developed that much but the teaching schools appeard. Spain and all along the British island. He replayed that he has no ideea how to sing. and the future beholds it’s suprises. a young and sensitive write whom transcends from a wild esthetics to a religious. Caedmon had no special gift until he became old and had a dream in which God appeard and told him to sing. The word had spread and quickly he had to paraphrase into songs the whole Old Testament. Pirate tribes. By that time. had been subjugated and Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were build. their future island-home was being made into a province of the Roman-Empire. one from Rome and one from Ireland. After Caedmon. yet. Baeda. . Exodus. The God. weakened by those civilised years along romans and the increasing numer of the invaders. That era was almost gone. and a part of Daniel. The celtic spirit. The morning.came every spring on the celtic domain. The population spread in France. Beowulf dies. all the efforts in making a vital native literature were fruitless. The fact that the language was changing and apparentely the spirit of literature was dead. and what to sing. the new poet that arises is Cynewulf. a Celtic leader appears. who is looking for revenge. King Arthur – the one that influenced that much the inspiration in literature.the Saxons. soft one. After he loses one hand in the fight and becomes an old respectable king. The Christian teaching came into England in two streams. He is well-known for Andreas and The Pheonix. Caedmon was the first poet of Christian England. so fancy and spiritual. He is well known for the Genesis.with the mother of Grendel. Part II After this whole period of time.because meanwhile he becomes one. the Angles and the Jutes. Caedmon wrote everything that he sang in the dream. was quickly shut down by the invaders which populated the island. laborious scholar” whom wrote lots of book. The truth is that they needed new blood to refresh the literature spirit and come to a new kind of poetry. known as “Venerable Bede” was a “gentle. Now. A fire-dragon is the one that brings the end of the hero by starting a fight and at the end of it. but the most relevant one is “ Ecclesiasticle History of the English People”. and so he became the first poet of the Christian England by turning the biblical narrative into songs. and the population. But there were the Celtic population which refuses to go and accept – from “curiousity and quickness of sympathy” – the roman population. told him to sing a part from the Bible. a new intruder appears in his life.

group 5 (Charles Scribner’s Sons. New York. MOODY ROBERT M.A HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE WILLIAM V. 1906) . group 3 Chapter III : Oprea Simona. group 3 Chapter II : Manta Alexandru Augustin. LOVETT Summary: Chapter I : Matei Andreea. group 3 Chapter V : Simion Stefan Teodor. group 4 Chapter IV : Mihaila Oana Mihaela.