|Anglo-Saxon Scavenger Hunt
In order to prepare for our reading of Beowulf, you will complete a research scavenger hunt about Anglo-Saxon culture and history. Match each word with its question. Use credible resources like the Alabama Virtual Library, especially the History Reference Center and Encyclopedia Britannica School Edition. Do NOT use Google or Wikipedia.
A. Aethelbert B. Alfred the Great C. Offa D. bretwalda E. witan
1. Who is “referred to in Beowulf and other Anglo-Saxon heroic poetry [who] was not the king of Mercia, but a king of the Angles on the Continent, probably at the end of the 4th century”?
2. What is the term for the council of the Anglo-Saxon kings in and of England; its essential duty was to advise the king on all matters on which he chose to ask its opinion”?
3Who was the “king of Wessex (871–899), a Saxon kingdom in southwestern England” who “prevented England from falling to the Danes and promoted learning and literacy”?
4. Who became the first Christian king in Anglo-Saxon England after being converted by St. Augustine of Canterbury?
5. Which is an Anglo-Saxon term that refers to “any of several Anglo-Saxon kings said to have had overlordship of kingdoms beyond their own” ?
II. Warriors and Weapons
F. thane G. feud H. wergild
6. What is the term for the “the amount of compensation paid by a person committing an offense to the injured party or, in case of death, to his family”? “In certain instances part of [it] was paid to the king and to the lord—these having lost, respectively, a subject and a vassal.”
7. Which is a term used “in English history before the Norman Conquest (1066)” to refer to “a free retainer or lord, corresponding in its various grades to the post-Conquest baron and knight”?
8. What is the term for “a continuing state of conflict between two groups within a society (typically kinship groups) characterized by violence, usually killings and counterkillings”?
I. coerl J. comitatus
9. What is the term for “the free peasant who formed the basis of society in Anglo-Saxon England” and whose “free status was marked by his right to bear arms, his attendance at local courts, and his payment of dues directly to the king”? “His wergild . . . was valued at 200 shillings.”
10. What is the term for a bond between a leader and his followers who “were willing to fight to the death for their leader; it was a disgrace for them to survive him”?
K. scop L. mead
11. What is the Anglo-Saxon “drink of kings and thanes, an “alcoholic beverage fermented from honey and water”?
12. What is the term for “an Anglo-Saxon minstrel, usually attached to a particular royal court”? “In addition to being an entertainer who composed and performed his own works, [he] served as a kind of historian and preserver of the oral tradition of the Germanic peoples.”
V. Religion (pagan and Christian)
M. King Edwin N. Wyrd O. Thunor (or Thor) P. Cain and Abel
Q. Tiw (or Tyr) R. Paulinus S. Woden T. Frigg
13. Who was “in Germanic religion and mythology, the supreme god . . . widely known as a god of war, but . . . important also as a god of learning, of poetry, and of magic”? Wednesday is named for this figure.
14. Who was an “ancient Germanic god . . . originally a highly revered sky god . . . later worshiped as a god of war and of athletic events”? Tuesday is named for this figure.
15. Who was a “deity common to all the early Germanic peoples, a great warrior represented as a red-bearded, middle-aged man of enormous strength, an implacable foe to the harmful race of giants but benevolent toward mankind”? “His figure was generally secondary to that of the god Odin,” and Thursday was named for him.
16. Who was “in Norse mythology, the wife of Odin and mother of Balder”? “She was a promoter of marriage and of fertility. In Icelandic stories, she tried to save her son's life but failed. Some myths depict her as the weeping and loving mother, while others stress her loose morals.” Friday is named for this figure.)
17. What is the Anglo-Saxon term for “fate”?
18. Who was an “Italian missionary who converted Northumbria to Christianity”? He “escorted the daughter of King Aethelberht (Ethelbert) of Kent to the Northumbrian king Edwin. [He] converted and baptized Edwin (627), who made him first bishop of York, after which [his] missions spread throughout Northumbria.”
19. Who was “Anglo-Saxon king of Northumbria from 616 to 633”? He was the most powerful English ruler of his day and the first Christian king of Northumbria.
20. Who is the Biblical character who was the “eldest son of Adam and Eve, a tiller of the soil,” who “in jealousy . . . killed his brother and became a fugitive”? “God punished [him] by sending him into exile but marked him with a sign as a warning to others, promising that [he] would be avenged if he were killed.”
VI. Art and Culture
U. Caedmon V. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle W. Cynewulf
X. runes Y. illuminated manuscripts Z. Venerable Bede
21. Who was the “first Old English Christian poet, whose fragmentary hymn to the creation remains a symbol of the adaptation of the aristocratic-heroic Anglo-Saxon verse tradition to the expression of Christian themes”?
22. Who was an “Old English religious poet of Northumbria or Mercia” with “four poems . . . ascribed to him on the evidence of his signatures in runes in the text of each of these poems”?
23. What are “ancient characters used in Teutonic, Anglo-Saxon, and Scandinavian inscriptions”?
24. What is a “handwritten book that has been decorated with gold or silver, brilliant colours, or elaborate designs or miniature pictures”?
25. What is a “chronological account of events in Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, a compilation of seven surviving interrelated manuscript records that is the primary source for the early history of England . . . The narrative was first assembled in the reign of King Alfred”?
26. What was an “Anglo-Saxon theologian, historian, and chronologist, best known today for his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (“Ecclesiastical History of the English People”), a source vital to the history of the conversion to Christianity of the Anglo-Saxon tribes”?
AA. Saxons BB. Vikings CC.Jutes
DD. Hengist and Horsa EE. Angles FF. Battle of Hastings
GG. William the Conqueror HH. Norman Conquest
27. Who were “two brothers who, according to tradition, led the Jutish invasion of Britain and founded the kingdom of Kent”? “They are said to have been invited by Vortigern in 449 to help the Britons defend themselves against the Picts and Scots to the north, to have settled in Kent, and to have fought a battle with Vortigern, in which [one] was killed (c.455). The names may all be mythical. . .”
28. Who were “Scandinavian seafaring warriors who raided and colonized wide areas of Europe from the 9th to the 11th century and whose disruptive influence profoundly affected European history”?
29. Who were “a Germanic people, which, together with the Jutes, Saxons, and probably the Frisians, invaded England in the 5th century AD.”? This group “gave their name to England.”
30. Who was the “duke of Normandy from 1035 and king of England from 1066, one of the greatest soldiers and rulers of the Middle Ages”? “He made himself the mightiest noble in France and then changed the course of England's history by his conquest of that country.”
31. Who were “a Germanic people who in ancient times lived in the area of modern Schleswig and along the Baltic coast”?
32. What was the “battle that ended in the defeat of Harold II of England by William, duke of Normandy, and established the Normans as the rulers of England”?
33. Who were “a Germanic people who, with the Angles and Saxons, invaded Britain in the 5th century AD.”? They “have no recorded history on the European continent, but there is considerable evidence that their home was in the Scandinavian area (probably Jutland) and that those who did not migrate were later absorbed by the Danes. According to the Venerable Bede, [they] settled in Kent, the Isle of Wight, and parts of Hampshire.”
34. What was “the military conquest of England by William, duke of Normandy, primarily effected by his decisive victory at the Battle of Hastings (Oct. 14, 1066) and resulting ultimately in profound political, administrative, and social changes in the British Isles”?
VIII. Monsters and Other Beings
II. goblin JJ. ogre KK. troll
LL. Norse mythology’s giants MM. Valkyries NN. draugr (draugar)
OO. ketta (not available in History Reference Center or Britannica School Edition)
35. “Norse myths echo a culture that valued courage, freedom, and honor and expected its warriors to do battle in defense of their tribe. The myths commonly pit one tribe-like group, the gods, who represent order, against another group . . . who represent chaos.” What group represents chaos?
36. Who were, in Norse mythology, “Odin's maidservants”?. As such, they choose who will die in battle and which of the dead are worthy enough to ride to Valhalla (or Valhall), the hall of slain warriors. There, under the leadership of Odin, they will live an ideal warrior life, feasting and fighting for eternity.”
37. What is a Scandinavian ghost or undead creature believed to have not received proper burial? They were believed to have supernatural strength and to guard treasures in the graves of the dead.
38. Who is the “mother of the dead man, ‘who has long claws and is in consequence described as a (she-cat), and is even more formidable than her monstrous son"? (Nora K. Chadwick, "The Monsters and Beowulf," in The Anglo-Saxons: Studies in Some Aspects of their History and Culture Presented to Bruce Dickens, ed. Peter Clemoes. London, Bowes and Bowes, 1959, p. 178)
39. What is “in early Scandinavian folklore, [a] giant, monstrous being, sometimes possessing magic powers”? “Hostile to men, [they] lived in castles and haunted the surrounding districts after dark”
40. What is “in Western folklore, a wandering sprite that is usually mischievous but often malicious”? [They] supposedly live in grottoes but attach themselves to households . . . the term derives from the Greek kobalos (“rogue”).”
41. What is “a hideous giant represented in fairy tales and folklore as feeding on human beings”?