Article

Pre-Conquest England

Robin Fleming

in Medieval Studies

ISBN: 9780195396584
Published online June 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396584-0011
Pre-Conquest England

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)
  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy
  • Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400)
  • Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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Before 1990, historians of Anglo-Saxon England generally concerned themselves with the descendants of Germanic peoples who settled in lowland Britain from the early 5th century until the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. In the last two decades, however, scholars have extended their period of inquiry back into the 4th century—that is, to the period before Rome’s fall—which allows them to better calibrate levels of continuity and change between the ancient and early medieval periods. Historians of Anglo-Saxon England are increasingly interested in how English identity came to be formed in this period, and they have become more curious about the role native British people played in the creation of Anglo-Saxon England, as well as in how England’s neighbors helped the English define their differentness. Scholars in the field also accept as a given that we must study developments in England in the context of developments in other parts of the British Isles, Ireland, and the Continent. The focus on high politics and the church continues to dominate study in the field, but a number of scholars in recent years have also investigated crucial economic transformations, including the remaking of the landscape and the development of trade and urban communities. Work is also being done on farming and the peasantry, consumption and the powers, networks, and alliances of landholders in England. Many multiauthored volumes––either companion volumes or books on specific individuals or topics––appear in this bibliography. It is important to understand the role that such volumes play in this field: they allow scholars from different disciplines to contribute to focused discussions on pressing historiographical problems and are highly recommended for undergraduate and graduate students as well as for scholars working in the field.

Article.  12221 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy ; Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400) ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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