Date of Award

Spring 1990

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

J. S. Hamilton

Committee Member

Norman H. Pollock

Committee Member

Douglas Greene

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H47P75


Prior to the Norman Conquest English Society was different in many ways. To understand these differences one must look at the various influences that over eight centuries combined to create Saxon England. This study examines how Saxon English society was created from the contributions of the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, church, and Vikings.

Contemporary authors such as Bede and Gildas, and supporting archeological evidence indicate that the invaders and Christian missionaries had a significant impact on the native population of medieval Britain. Evidence suggests that the Romano-Britons were either killed or put to flight by the Anglo-Saxon settlers, the church first converted the population and then established itself firmly through land grants, and that the Vikings settled, often forcibly, among the English population. The Anglo-Saxon and Viking invasions, combined with the influence of the Roman and Celtic Churches, provided the cultural stimuli to mold the Saxon English character prior to the Norman conquest.


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