The Anglo-Saxon Civilization Outline
Thesis- The Anglo-Saxons had much culture, many important historical figures, a great political system, and a powerful military.

I. The Anglo-Saxons had many major historical figures including kings, saints, and scholars.

A. Alfred the Great was the king of Wessex (and later all of England) who stopped multiple Danish invasions while he was king.

B. Bede the Venerable is most famous for publishing the Ecclesiastical History of England which tells the origins of the Anglo-Saxons.

C. Canute Sweynson was the first Danish king of the Anglo-Saxons and had created a small empire.

D. Offa was a Mercian king who ruled for eighty years.

E. Edgar ruled for only three years yet he instituted many important reforms.

F. Edward the Confessor ruled all of England and became a saint because he was very religious.

G. Harold II was the last Saxon king and ruled for less than one year before William the Conqueror invaded.

H. Edward the Elder was Alfred’s son and successor, and he killed many of the Danes that had taken residence in England.

I. Eadred was the king of England from 946 to 955 and he completed the assimilation of the land in England controlled by the Danes and the land in England controlled by the Anglo-Saxons.

J. Edmund was the son of Edward the Elder, and continued the process of taking English land back from the Danes that his father had started and Eadred had ended.

K. Ethelred II (also known as Ethelred the Unready) had become king at the age of twelve and under his rule the Danes took much English land.

L. Alcuin was an Anglo-Saxon scholar who helped revive learning in early medieval England.

M. St. Dunstan was the Bishop of Worchester and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

N. St. Cuthbert was called the “Wonder- Worker of England”.

II. The Anglo-Saxons had a very developed culture which included religion, the arts, and architecture.

A. Originally the Anglo-Saxons were pagan but in the 6th and 7th centuries the Anglo-Saxons converted to Christianity.

B. The Anglo-Saxon civilization had much art which changed throughout the centuries and had some literature which was mostly poetry.

C. Historians know much about their architecture style even though few original examples of their architecture because many of the remaining examples have been renovated.

D. The Anglo-Saxons had council meetings known as witenagemots were held to decide things that affected everyone’s life.


E. Most of their clothes were made from natural products and were light for hot days working in the churches and workshops.

F. Anglo-Saxon education mainly revolved around the church and religion.


III. Political Systems- Each town a slightly varied political system even though there was a king who ruled over the whole country.

A. Anglo-Saxon government involved many ranks and nobles.

B. There were two main social classes in early medieval England.

C. The Anglo-Saxons had many powerful rulers.

D. They didn’t have many laws in the Anglo-Saxon times, but there were many rules that had to be followed.


IIII. Military- Even though the Anglo-Saxons had a very developed culture they also depended on their military.

A. The Anglo-Saxons had multiple armies of the years which included the armies and a navy.

B. The Anglo-Saxons fought many battles most of which were against the Danes.

C. Anglo-Saxon weapons have changed over the years but most of the time they were knifes or swords.

D. The Anglo-Saxon civilization and military declined at the Battle of Hastings where the Normans invaded and defeated the Anglo-Saxon army.