History of Britain

Celtic times

The first people who came to the the British Isles were the Celts who arrived from Europe from the 8th century B.C. onwards. They built religious sites. For people in Britain today, the chief significance of the prehistoric period is its sense of mystery. In south-western England, two well-known examples were built: Silbury Hill and Stonehenge. We know very little about these practices. Stonehenge was built between 3050 and 2300 BC. It is the most known mysterious archaeological site in the world.

The Roman period

Other people who came to Britain were the Romans. They called the land Britanium. In 55 B.C., the Roman general, Julius, landed in Britain with an expeditionary force. He won a battle and left. Then he became the Roman Caesar.

The Romans built an impressive network of roads and founded many cities like Londinium, Chester, Chichester, Leicester, Manchester, Winchester, and others. They were built as military camps around which towns started to appear. The names of these towns are derived from Latin word “castra,” which means a military camp.

The Roman province of Britannia covered most of today’s England and Wales. During this time a Celtic tribe called the Scots migrated from Ireland to Scotland, where they became allies of a Celtic tribe, the Picts, and opponents of the Romans.

Germanic times

During the fifth century, a number of tribes from the north-western European mainland invaded England and settled in large numbers. Three of these tribes were the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes. In the west of the country, their advance was temporarily halted by an army of Britons under the command of the legendary King Arthur.

The Anglo-Saxons had little use for towns and cities. They had a great effect on the countryside, where they introduced new farming methods and founded thousands of self-sufficient villages.

The Anglo-Saxons were pagan when they came to Britain. Christianity spread throughout Britain from two different directions during the sixth and seventh centuries.

The Norman period

Britain experienced another wave of Germanic invasions in the 8th century. These invaders were known as the Vikings, the Norsemen, or the Danes; and they came from Scandinavia. In the ninth century, they conquered and settled the extreme north and west of Scotland. Their conquest of England was halted when they 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 Danelaw (in the north and east).

Přidal: Darinka 5. 6. 2010
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