Roman influence on Britain

The way of life introduced by the Romans gradually fell into decay when they had withdrawn their legions. The Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings had some traits in common: their society was organised in family groups, and the strongest social bonds were loyalty to the family, to the local lord and to the king. Faithfulness and the keeping of oaths had primary importance on their society. An important institution was the 'Witan', a Council formed by respectable men who were the king's advisers. In the course of the time the Witan developed into an official institution which could make laws. Some see the Witan as a primitive, early form of Parliament.
The majority of the Romans worshipped their own gods, the same as the Greeks. Some Romans, however, were Christians, and it was through their presence that Christianity was first introduced into England. With the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons, who were pagans, Christianity almost disappeared , but it was brought back by the monk Augustine, who was sent by Pope Gregory the Great in 597 to convert the population.

The conversation to Christianity had great relevance. On the one hand it contributed to the development of learning, because many monasteries were founded between the 7th and 8th centuries, and they were traditionally centres study and culture. On the other hand the numerous churches and cathedrals attracted tradesmen and craftsmen, thus helping local trade but most important of all re-awakening urban life and leading to the birth of English towns.

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