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HIST 2005 A Full Lecture Note for the semester, Very Useful


Department
History
Course Code
HIST 2005
Professor
Matt Bellamy

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HIST 2005 A, History of England During the Middle Ages, John G. Bellamy
September 9
Housekeeping
Book doesn't cover to the last 100 years of the course material, can find some books to cover the
material in the library.
Every 3 weeks a document gets looked at, probably need that book.
OttawaU has a good selection of English history books at their library, usually in stock.
Office hours are 10-11 Wednesday, Friday mornings.
Exam 40% of total, short essay format. Identifying primary documents. Like Western Civ.
No December exam, cumulative quiz based on the notes in January. Good notes and your fine.
Essay due dates: October 21, February 17. Short essays are better in his books, shoot for 2000 words
instead of 2500.
Use office hours to sound out the prof on your essay ideas, after an outline and before a draft.
Guy gives a day or so extension for a good excuse.

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September 14
Essay:
Come and talk to the prof for advice about sourcing for essay, can give advice.
Roman Britain is relatively secure until the 350s, germanic raiders start harassing the east coast
By 400 the romans are thinking fuck this shit, de-man the walls, start pulling out of britain
in 410 britain's 3 legions pulled out
roman empire collapsed bc its economics couldn't be sustained expenses outweighed revenue
(despite heavy taxation)
invading germans, pushed west by the huns, didn't help either
germanic tribes enter into roman empire for the first time in 375, visigoths into greece. more germans
cross the rhine in 407
(all this 5th century stuff is a bit speculative, based on chronicles - comes from histories written
centuries after the fact; Welshman Nennius [800] and Geoffrey of Monmouth [1140])
britain does ok without the romans until about 430s; st. germanus - a retired roman general turned
priest - comes in 430 to quell some british heresy, finds the island very peaceful
sometime in the 440s everything goes down the shitter when the Saxons show up, led by Hengest
Monmouth gives some good stories about the 5th century tho:
- Hengest was hired by a king named Vortigern to fight as a mercenaries against the northern Picts
- Vortigern pays off these mercs with land and more keep coming
- Vortigern then married Hengest's daughter in exchange for half his kingdom
- Vortigern's son quarrelled with the Saxons and, at a peace conference supposedly attended by all the
nobility from both sides, the Saxons pull a fast one and murder everyone
the britons found a new leader, possibly from brittany, and deal the Saxons a massive defeat at the
Battle of Mount Badon in 490 - 500; the Saxons fought on foot and the Briton's, supposedly led by
Arthur, smashed them in a hammer-anvil manoeuvre with cavalry. The Saxons retreat for a time, but
make a resurgence later in the 6th century (around 550) and drive the Britons into the west (Wales,
Cornwall)

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September 16
- a key german ideal was that of earning glory (and glorious death) in battle, to be remembered
- many young germans would try and attach themselves to famous warlords and go fighting
- however, if your leader was killed it was your duty to stay on the battlefield until his death was
avenged
do this by killing a bunch of enemy or die trying
- have a feast before battle (boast abt who youll kill, committing urself to heroic deeds) and then
afterward (boast about who you did kill and lament your dead)
Beowulf:
- 3500 odd lines long, only the one copy (version) around
- reckon that the story was written down around 900
- the geats, beowulf's tribe/band of warriors
- beowulf comes from somewhere in sweden, he then journeys to denmark to aid king hrothgar, who's
mead hall has been attacked repeatedly by a giant humanoid-monster, the grendel
- hrothgar's best, most able warriors are powerless against these attacks on the heart of denmark
the ppl are repeatedly taken in the night and butchered/eaten
- this goes on for ten years
- beowulf hears abt this and he figures this is his chance at fame and legend
- beowulf is given a magical sword, hrunting
- beowulf kills grendel by ripping its arm off
- umpteen pages of partying
- then the grendel's mother shows up, kills a bunch of ppl
- she lives at the bottom of a deep, deep lake that boils and is filled with horrible monsters
- no biggy tho, hes beowulf; they fight a long time, he finds a new magic sword (his penis, according to
the movie), then kills her
- beowulf goes home and becomes king of the geats
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