The Roman historian Tacitus, writing around 98 AD, gives us a picture of
Germanic culture around the turn of the millenium -- his Germania
may not be entirely reliable, but it is a good place to start. An English
translation is available under Tacitus:
Germania in Paul Halsall's Internet
According to the Venerable Bede, the Germanic invaders and settlers
who began to arrive in 5th century Britain included Angles, Saxons, Jutes,
and Danes. The monk Gildas, writing in the first half of the 6th century,
provides a nearly contemporary account of their coming. Excerpts from a
translation of Gildas' de Excidio Britanniae are available in the
Internet Medieval Sourcebook, under Gildas:
The Ruin of Britain.
For a useful summary of key events, see Britannia Internet Magazine's
Timeline of British
History. For printed resources, see Simon Keynes' Anglo-Saxon
History: A Select Bibliography.
To put it all in context, Matthew White has drawn us a map
of Anglo-Saxon England.
The claims and dates offered by early writer such as Tacitus, Gildas and
Bede must be evaluated in the light of evidence from the archeological
record. The Council for British
Archaeology has links to a Web version of British
Archaeology is also on the Web, with a synopsis of the latest discoveries
in medieval archeology. Some specific sites:
For more links, try UK
Archaeology on the Internet, and ArchNet, under Europe.
Coins provide tangible
links to the past. The Early
British Coinage page shows some coins from my own collection (photographed
and/or scanned), from Celtic Britain to Anglo-Saxon England.
Kings and Saints
A list of rulers and the dates of their reigns is available on the Royal
Geneological Data page (select 'Monarchs
of England'). See also Gail Dedrick's Guide
to the Monarchs of England and Great Britain. Read Britannia Internet
Kings and Biographies
of Kings and Legends.
The Viking invasions had an enormous impact on England and the English
language. For information about the Sea-men, visit the excellent World
of the Vikings site or the Viking
Home Page in Sweden. At the Jorvik
Viking Center in York, you can view a facial
reconstruction of a 10th century woman.
The Battle of Maldon: maps and photos at The
Battle of Maldon 991 AD. See under Texts
& Translations for the poem and a translation.
Sights and sites
If only we could visit Anglo-Saxon England! Now you can -- virtually. The
Regia Anglorum society
has constructed an Anglo-Saxon estate, Wichamstow.
The site includes useful information about everyday life in Anglo-Saxon
another living history society, has a page on The
Clothing and Appearance of the Pagan Anglo-Saxons.
The next-best thing is modern England. If that's not convenient, there
are many English Web sites with historical information and photographs.
Have a look at a picture of Bath
Abbey and the Roman Baths, which are thought to be the inspiration
for the Old English Poem known as The Ruin. In Kingston (on the
outskirts of London) you can see the
Coronation Stone, 'Traditionally the stone on which seven Saxon kings
were crowned ..'. The Wantage (Oxfordshire) home page features a statue
of King Alfred.
See also historical information and photographs on the pages for:
For other sites that may have relevant information, browse the CityNet
pages for the United
Early Medieval Time
Today in Old
English: the current date/time, with explanatory notes
the Bayeaux Tapestry show the end of the Anglo-Saxon period. Don't
leave without a visit to the Battle
of Hastings Homepage!
to Old English Pages. Questions, comments, additions?
Send to Cathy Ball: firstname.lastname@example.org
[Last updated June 15, 1997]
Copyright © 1996, 1997 Catherine N. Ball