Letteratura inglese

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Untitled In 55 b.C.
Cesars's legions crossed the Channel and started the colonisation of the Island. The roman conquest of Britain was completed under the Emperor Claudius. To defend their possessions in Britain the Romans built a huge wall called Hadrian's Wall. The roman presence can be traced in the foundation of major cities: Londinium, Manchester, Winchester. The Britons The Romans gave the name Britannia to their new province on the name of its original inhabitans, the Britons. Pre-Celtic People in Britain had built a civilisation of which the best known monument is Stonemenge. The celtic tribes adapted themselves in roman civilisation and became christians after the conversion of the Emperor Costantine.
The earliest british written records are a few inscriptions from pre-roman times known as runes. The roman presence in Britain protected it against saxons pirates but after the withdrawal of the Romans, northern tribes invaded Britain and settled there. The Angles, Saxons and Jutes came down on Britain from northern Germany and Jutland on the authority of a statemont by the venerable Bede the first historian of the English church and people. The Britons initially fought against the Anglo Saxons, then they retreated to the inner parts of Wales. Their fight producted stories around a legendary leader called King Arthur. The germanic element The new invaders all shared a common germanic heritage. They believed in independence rather then grouping into bigger confederations and this explains why for centuries England was divided between several different kingdoms. The kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia and Wessex did rise to a dominant position The warlike ideal implied that the king had to do all the things that were essential to that society better than anyone else. He had to be loyalty, brave, generous and warrior. He had to be willing to risk his life as often as was needed because it was considered the supreme honour. The rules had to prove themselves better the common people, especially in battle . It was also a male dominated society. Germanic society was totally ruled by men. A king's glorious life had to be sung by a poet or bard, to be remembered and make an impact on future generations. The poetic genre for the depiction of eroic lives and deeds was the epic. The Vikings entered in the country after the anglo-saxons invasion. When they were later defeated by king Alfred the great they ritired to the North and East Midlands. Christianity was an element of stability for the country and the effects on british culture were very important. The new religion already present in some parts of the island had an enormous effect on cultural life in general and on literature. The conversion to Christianity implied familiarity with the written word, the Bible. This obviously contrasted with the mainly oral culture of the Anglo-Saxons. The old English language The history of the language spoken and written in England is divided into three periods: Ol