Anglo-Saxon England was early
medieval England, existing from the 5th to the 11th centuries from the end of
Roman Britain until the
Norman conquest in 1066. It consisted of various
Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 927 when it was united as the
Kingdom of England by King
Æthelstan (r. 927–939). It became part of the short-lived
North Sea Empire of
Cnut the Great, a
personal union between England,
Norway in the 11th century.
The Anglo-Saxons were the members of
Germanic-speaking groups who
migrated to the southern half of the island of
Great Britain from nearby
northwestern Europe. Anglo-Saxon history thus begins during the period of
sub-Roman Britain following the end of
Roman control, and traces the establishment of
Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the 5th and 6th centuries (conventionally identified as
seven main kingdoms:
Christianisation during the 7th century, the threat of
Viking invasions and
Danish settlers, the gradual
unification of England under the
Wessex hegemony during the 9th and 10th centuries, and ending with the
Norman conquest of England by
William the Conqueror in 1066.
Anglo-Saxon identity survived beyond the Norman conquest, came to be known as
Norman rule, and through social and cultural integration with Celts, Danes and Normans became the modern
English people. (
Bald's Leechbook is an
Old English medical text that was probably compiled in the 9th century, possibly under the influence of
Alfred the Great's educational reforms.
It takes its name from a
colophon at the end of the second book, which begins Bald habet hunc librum Cild quem conscribere iussit, meaning "Bald owns this book which he ordered Cild to compile." (
Did you know?
- ...that in Anglo-Saxon England, pregnant women were warned against eating food that was too salty or too sweet, or other fatty foods, and were also cautioned not to drink strong alcohol or travel on horseback?
- ...that the ship-burial at
Snape is the only one in England that can be compared to the example at
- ...that the name
Taplow of the
burial mound at Taplow, comes from
Old English Tæppas hláw ('Tæppa's mound'), so that the name of the man buried in the mound would seem to have been Tæppa?
- ...that the Ordinance Concerning the Dunsaete, which gave procedures for dealing with disputes between the English and the Welsh of
Archenfield, stated that the English should only cross into the Welsh side, and vice versa, in the presence of an appointed man who had to make sure that the foreigner was safely escorted back to the crossing point?
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The Anglo-Saxon runes (also Anglo-Frisian), also known as futhorc (or fuþorc) were used probably from the 5th century.
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