Condensed Roman-British and
Anglo Saxon Timeline
One way to begin understanding Anglo-Saxon and
Medieval English literature -- as well as what it means to both speak or be
"English" is remember that the ancient "pre-historical" occupants of the Britain
were Celtic and Druidic, and then to think about the three or four principle
invasions and occupations of Britain. Each subsequent invasion and
occupation layers and mixes an additional culture atop and with those that
Similar Info in Map
A graphic representation of influences by language here.
1) The Roman Occupation 43 - 410 AD
55 BCE Julius Caesar raids England
43 AD Emperor Claudius occupies England
c. 400 Seeds of Roman Christianity replacing native Druidism
c. 450-476 Collapse of Western Roman
Empire: the Romans withdraw from Britain (and the rest of Europe) and leave a power vacuum.
Side Note: The Greek speaking,
Eastern Roman Empire thrives as the
until Constantinople falls to Muslim Ottoman Turks in 1453.
a) Germanic Anglo-Saxon Occupation and Introduction of Christianity 400-600
c. 400 Germanic peoples (Anglo
Saxon) settle in Britain
407 Last Roman troops leave Britain with Constantine III
c. 500-15 Possible timeframe for Danish events that occur in
c. 515-75 Possible timeframe for Swedish events that occur in
Augustine of Canterbury arrives from Rome to convert the English to
731 Bede completes his Ecclesiastical History
b) Scandinavian/ Viking Occupation
793 Vikings attack Lindisfarne
869 Vikings defeat and kill Edmund, king of East Anglia
(solidify control of Eastern England)
c. 1000 Viking Leif Ericson discovers
Side Note: Mohammed
(570 - 632)
writes Koran. Islamic religion, culture and "empire" spreads and
thrives throughout Middle East, Arabia, and Africa. Muslim "Moors"
occupy Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain): c.712-1492. During
these so called European "Dark Ages" Greek and Roman learning is kept alive
by first Byzantine and then this Islamic culture.
3) Norman (North Germanic-French)
Conquest/Occupation of Britain
Charlemagne, beginnings of new European feudal, Christian order
(brought to Britain via Normans (see below)
1066 Norman Invasion, under
Conqueror. End of Anglo Saxon Era and dominance;
beginning of Norman or "French" occupation (which essentially
lasts until 1453).
A Graphic Representation of Influences: