Medieval Period

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* The Medieval Period * The Norman Conquest of England · 878 - Alfred the Great defeated the Danes and restricted them to the north of England.

· Danes invaded northern France, setting in an area known to be Normandy.

· 1066 "“ Battle of Hastings; English king, Edwards the Confessor died. His cousin, Duke William of Normandy claimed with some justification that Edward had promised the English throne to him · Normans adopted the French language and developed a sophisticated culture.

· Fiefdoms "“ estates Anglo-Saxon Literature · After the Norman Conquest about 200 years after the English became a lower-class language in England. The language of the court, of the noble classes, and of almost all the non-Latin literature was Norman French.

· Most non-Latin literature was produced in England between 1066 and roughly 1260.

· This literature tended to be quite practical, keeping with the no nonsense character of the Norman people.

· Much consists of religious tracts and other works meant more for education than for entertainment. (Romances and fabliaux) · Marie de France is an excellent example of a writer of narrative poems and songs "“ lais.

· Important literary improvement introduced to England by the Normans was poetry written in rhymed stanzas.

· 1202 "“ by the end of the century, English was again the primary language of both the lower and upper class.

The Organization of Medieval Society · Feudalism "“ system brought by William the Conqueror by which Europe was ruled throughout the Middle Ages.

· In feudal states, all the people and their lands belonged to the king who would give large territories of land to the members of nobility better known as barrons who were forced in exchange to be loyal to the king.

· Peasants, villains, and/or serfs...