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Задание 1. Прочитайте лекцию и составьте краткий конспект на русском языке.

Prehistory

Two thousand years ago there was an Iron Age Celtic culture throughout the British Isles. It seems that the Celts, who had been arriving from Europe from the eighth century BC onwards, intermingled with the peoples who were already there. We know that religious sites that had been built long before the arrival of the Celts continued to he used in the Celtic period.

For people in Britain today, the chief significance of the prehistoric period (for which no written records exist) is its sense of mystery.

The Roman period (43—410)

The Roman province of Britannia covered most of present-day England and Wales. The Romans imposed their own way of life and culture, making use of the existing Celtic aristocracy to govern and encouraging this ruling class to adopt Roman dress and the Roman language (Latin). It was during this time that a Celtic tribe called the Scots migrated from Ireland to Scotland, where they became allies of the Picts (another Celtic tribe) and opponents of the Romans. This division of the Celts into those who experienced direct Roman rule (the Britons in England and Wales) and those who did not (the Gaels in Ireland and Scotland) may help to explain the development of two distinct branches of the Celtic group of languages.

The remarkable thing about the Romans is that, despite their long occupation of Britain, they left very little behind. Moreover, most of their villas, baths and temples, their impressive network of roads, and the cities they founded, including Londinium (London), were soon destroyed. Almost the only lasting reminder of their presence are place-names like Chester, Lancaster and Gloucester, which include variants of the Roman word castra (a military camp).

The Germanic invasions (410—1066)

One reason why Roman Britannia disappeared so quickly is probably that its influence was largely confined to the towns. In the country side, where most people lived, farming methods had remained unchanged and Celtic speech continued to be dominant.

The Roman occupation had been a matter of colonial control rather than large-scale settlement. But, during the fifth century, a number of tribes from the north-western European mainland invaded and settled in large numbers. Two of these tribes were the Angles and the Saxons. These Anglo-Saxons soon had the south-east of the country in their grasp. In the west of the country their advance was temporarily halted by an army of (Celtic) Britons under the command of the legendary King Arthur. Nevertheless, by the end of the sixth century, they and their way of life predominated in nearly all of England and in parts of southern Scotland. The Celtic Britons were either Saxonized or driven westwards, where their culture and language survived in south-west Scotland, Wales and Cornwall.

The Anglo-Saxons had little use for towns and cities. But they had a great effect on the countryside, where they introduced new farming methods and founded the thousands of self-sufficient villages which formed the basis of English society for the next thousand or so years.



Britain experienced another wave of Germanic invasions in the eighth century. These invaders, known as Vikings, Norsemen or Danes, came from Scandinavia. In the ninth century they conquered and settled the extreme north and west of Scotland, and also some coastal regions of Ireland. Their conquest of England was halted when were defeated by King Alfred of the Saxon kingdom of Wessex. This resulted in an agreement which divided England between Wessex, in the south and west, and the ‘Danelaw’ in the north and east.

However, the cultural differences between Anglo-Saxons and Danes were comparatively small. They led roughly the same way of life and spoke two varieties of the same Germanic tongue (which combined to form the basis of modern English). These similarities made political unification easier, and by the end of the tenth century England was one kingdom with a Germanic culture throughout.

 


Date: 2016-03-03; view: 200


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