Lecture: Roman Britain II – Anglo-Saxon I

My professor keeps showing us this same picture of a Roman-built villa in Britain. It’s kind of strange actually.

Eventually, the people of Britain were like: “we’re paying a lot of taxes to Rome, are we getting our money’s worth?” then they started to say things like: “Maybe we should stop paying taxes and start using that money to defend ourselves.” Some dude named Carausius started leading the Brits. That made the Romans angry. Electus killed Carausius and started leading Britain, but he was dumb and got Britain recaptured by the Constantius.

In 306, Constantine was appointed Agustus. This provoked a civil war in which Constantine came out on top. Constantine restored peace and converted the Roman Empire to Christianity (which included Britain).

In the 400s Rome was under attack a lot, so they needed more troops in Rome. They took these troops from Britain. Britain is basically free at this point, there’s no empire, no taxes, no governmental structure… wait… you need that. There was a lot of chaos which made it easy for the Anglo-Saxons to conquer. The Anglo-Saxons destroyed all traces of Roman culture except for the roads and towns.

Also in the 400s, St. Patrick was hanging around on the west coast of Britain and was captured by Irish pirates and made to be a slave. He then proceeded to convert his captors to Christianity. After that, he basically converted everyone in Ireland. It was there that Christianity survived while the Roman culture was being wiped from the Earth.

A number of illiterate people during this time made it difficult to keep accurate records of what happened.


At this point in the lecture, I got up to use the restroom which took far too long because it’s impossible to navigate that building. Whoever designed the humanities building at UW Madison should go die.


Anglo-Saxons were cool with killing each other over matters of land. They thought that was completely justified. War was a big part of their culture. Kings would give the generals a ton of land for serving under them. At some point, the Anglo-Saxons became Christians. Christianity brought literacy back to Britain. Literacy brought law codes: social no-nos that were written down.

Christianity was brought to the Anglo-Saxons by an interesting story that I’m not convinced is completely true. Slavery was everywhere and sometimes, slaves were brought to Rome from Britain. Apparently, the pope was walking through the slave market one day and saw some slaves and thought they looked nice because they had blonde hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. He was like: “those people should be Christian.” Someone told him that they were from Britain, so the pope sent missionaries to Britain to convert the Anglo-Saxons.


That was the end of the lecture. My professor said that we’d be learning more about the Anglo-Saxons next time.

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