• The word Anglo-Saxon is used as a collective name for those Teutonic settlers who after dispossessing the Celtic inhabitants of Britain in the middle of the fifth century, remain the masters of the country until a new order of things was created in 1066 by the coming of the Normans.
  • The transition of the Anglo-Saxons from paganism to Christianity took place gradually, over the course of the 7th century.
  • Christianity began in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms around AD 597.
  • Christianity was influenced by Celtic Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church. It replaced Anglo-Saxon Polytheism.
    • Although both churches had the same intentions when introducing Christianity in the Anglo-Saxon period, there were several differences between the two. The Celtic Church was ascetic, fervent, based on monastic life, and loosely organized. The Roman Catholic Church was very conscious of structure, discipline, and moderation.
  • The church was a very important force in society. It was the only true thing tying together the two Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
  • Churches were almost the only form of education. Under Alfred the Great, church schools were encouraged.
  • Churches also played political roles in society with church officials advising the king.
  • The Saxons of the fifth century were better known and more widely spread, occupying the present Westphalia, Hanover and Brunswick.
  • The monk comes before the secular priest.
    • Monks of that particular time traveled by foot to the surrounding countryside to preach and convert villages. This new spreading of the word was nothing like what previous monks had done; monks used to be confined to a closed monastic community. By traveling on foot, more monks were able to convert Englishmen to Christianity.

This is a typical Saxon alter.
This is a typical Saxon alter.