British Middle Ages

365 words | 2 page(s)

Many Germanic tribes attacked Britain in the fifth century, filling the void left when the Romans withdrew from there shortly beforehand. The Angles were perhaps the most prominent tribe that attacked, with the Jutes, from a place called Jutland, also playing a major role in these attacks. Likewise, the Frisians, who came from the islands of the North Sea, invaded parts of North and Central Britain. The Saxons also came, and they were from what is probably now North Germany.

The Celts, who had inhabited the country prior to the Germanic invasions, were put into a difficult position. Some were killed, as battles raged between Celts and tribes, and between Germanic tribes themselves. Many Celts also migrated to Brittany, escaping the new invaders and establishing a new home in the Northwest of what is now France.

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Christianity was pushed to the margins to some extent during this time. Many of the Germanic tribes practiced forms of Paganism. Likewise, without the influence of the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church lost its stronghold. Likewise, the attacks helped to bring about organizational problems for the Celts, who also had a very strong church during this time. All of this brought a rise to paganism in Britain. As Christianity began to come back a few hundred years later, the Book of Kells, which was produced in Ireland and Britain, played a major role.

Lindisfarne in Northumbria was the first monastery to be raided by Vikings in 793. Raids continued for about a decade, as Vikings from the North attacked the east coast of Great Britain. The Vikings often raided small, isolated communities, which had great wealth, but because they were intended for monks to live in seclusion, were not armed. This had a major cultural influence on the country.

Alfred the Great advocated that people should be educated according to the English language, which helped with its spread and helped the language become so prominent in the region. He also made contributions to the law, by instituting a domboc, or lengthy legal code. One of the primary contributions to Anglo-Saxon law was the concept that all men must keep their word. In essence, this is the foundation of contract law.

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