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Chapter 2

The Origins of a Nation (5000BC-1066)


I.Arrival and settlement of the Celts 克尔特人的到来和定居

Celts were practiced famers. The drained much of marshlands and built houses of wood.They wre ironworkers, too. Their languages, the Celts languages, are the basis of the language which is still used by some people in Scotland and Wales. Their religion was Druidism 


1 The Celts began to arrive Britain about 700 BC.


2The Celts came to Britain in three main waves.


The first wave were the Gaels-came about 600 BC.


The second wave were the Brythons-came about 400 BC.


The third wave were the Belgae-came about 150 BC.


II. Roman Invasion 罗马征服

Between 55 and 54 B.C., Julius Casesar invaded British twice. But it was only nominal conquest for 96 years. The real conquest began in 43 A.D. and lasted for almost 350 years.


The Romans never did succeed in subduing all of Britain. One of the greatest achievements of the Roman Empire was its system of roads. The influence of Roman thought survived in Britain only through the Church. Romanization was not successful in other areas like language and culture.


III. The Anglo-Saxons (446-871) 盎格鲁—撒克逊人

1. Basis of Modern English race: the Anglo-Saxons.


In the mid-5th century a new wave of invaders, Jutes, Saxons, and Angles came to Britain. They were three Teutonic tribes.


①The Jutes, who fished and farmed in Jutland, came to Britain first. A Jutish chief became the King of Kent in 449.

②Then the Saxons, users of the short-sword from northern Germany, established their kingdom in Essex, Sussex and Wessex from the end of the 5th century to the beginning of the 6th century.

③In the second half of the 6th century, the Angles, who also came from northern Germany and were to give their name to the English people, settled in East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria. These seven principal kingdoms of Kent, Essex, Sussex, Wessex, East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria have been given the name of Heptarchy.



2.The early Anglo-Saxons converted to Christianity.


The Anglo-Saxons brought their own Teutonic religion to Britain. Christianity soon disappeared, except among the Celts of Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. In 597, Pope Gregory I sent St. Augustine, the Prior of St. Andrew's Monastery in Rome, to England to convert the heathen (异教的) English to Christianity. In 597 St. Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury. He was remarkably successful in converting the king and the nobility, but the conversion of the common people was largely due to the missionary activities of the monks in the north.


3.The Early Anglo-Saxons make the contributions to the English state.(formation of the English nation)


The Anglo-Saxons laid the foundations of the English state. Firstly, they

①divided the country into shires (which the Normans later called counties), with shire courts and shire reeves, or sheriffs, responsible for administering law. Secondly, they devised the narrow-strip, three-field

②farming system which continued to the 18th century. Thirdly, they also

③established the manorial system(庄园制). Finally, they

④created the Witan(council or meeting of the wisemen)to advise the king, the basis of the Privy Council which still exists today.


IV.Viking and Danish invasions 北欧海盗和丹麦人的入侵

1.The invaders were the Norwegians and the Danes. They attacked various parts of England from the end of the 8th century. They became a serious problem in the 9th century, especially between 835 and 878. They even managed to capture York, an important center of Christianity in 867. By the middle of 9th century, the Viking and the Danes were posing a threat to the Saxon kingdom of Wessex.


2.King Alfred (849-899) and his contributions


Alfred was a king of Wessex. He defeated the Danes and reached a friendly agreement with them in 879. The Danes gained control of the north and east, while he ruled the rest. He also converted some leading Danes into Christians.

He ①founded a strong fleet and is known as " the father of the British navy".

He ②reorganized the Saxon army, making it more efficient.

He ③translated a Latin book into English.

He also ④established schools and

⑤formulated a legal system. All this earns him the title "Alfred the Great."



2012-01-10 11:06 编辑:Day_Day_Up1990