Posts tagged Anglo-Saxon History (46)
Nos 1 to 10
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Charles Villiers Stanford
Extracts from Literature
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
The Six Leaps of Faith
The eighth-century English bishop and poet Cynewulf explores a prophecy from the Song of Solomon.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)

WHEN first he leapt, he lighted on a woman, an untouched maid; and human form he took there (though without sin) that he might be Comforter to all that dwell on earth.

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No. 1
2 two-part story
Richard Jones
Lives of the Saints
The Vision of St Fursey
Fursey was a 7th-century Irish monk whose visions of the afterlife made a great impression on St Bede.

AN elder in the monastery of St Paul in Jarrow, so Bede tells us, once met a man who knew St Fursey, the Irishman who established a monastery in East Anglia in the 630s, and was famous for his visions.

Bede learnt how back in Ireland, Fursey had fallen ill and had a near-death experience in which he was led as if to heaven’s gate.

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No. 2
Anonymous (English)
Christmastide
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
His Bright Nativity
Northumbrian poet Cynewulf wonders at the mystery of the Bethlehem manger, where all the light of heaven was shining.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)

O EÄRENDEL! Brightest messenger sent to men of middle-earth, radiance of the Sun, steadfast and true, outshining the stars, ceaselessly lighting from thyself the ebb and flow of all things!

Shine thy bright Sun upon us, come thyself and light us, who have sat in darkness, in gloom of endless night, these long years, wrapped in sin, enduring the dark shadow of death.

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No. 3
2 two-part story
Johann Baptist Cramer and Francesco Geminiani
Mediaeval History
Edward the Exile
Two young English princes were banished to the court of Yaroslav the Wise, and one returned to claim the crown.

IN 1016, the Danish King Cnut the Great took the English crown from Edmund Ironside, son of Ethelred the Unready, at the Battle of Assandun. Edmund’s two infant sons, Edmund and Edward, were banished to Sweden; Cnut’s plan was to have them assassinated, but the boys were smuggled to safety at the court of Stephen I of Hungary.

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No. 4
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Anglo-Saxon History
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
The Bishop and the Chatterbox
One week into a Lenten retreat with the Bishop of Hexham, a boy’s miserable life is turned right around.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

DURING the Lenten fast, Bishop John and a few monks used to retire to a cottage in woodland across the Tyne, beside a graveyard dedicated to St Michael the Archangel. One year, John persuaded a young lad to stay with them whose head was all scabs and scales and sorry wisps of hair, and who had never been able to speak a word.

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No. 5
2 two-part story
Charles Villiers Stanford
Lives of the Saints
The Restoration of the Icons
By the early eighth century, sacred art was thriving in newly-Christian England, but in the East seeds of doubt and confusion had been sown.

WHEN St Augustine preached Christianity to King Ethelbert of Kent in 597, he carried a silver cross and a painted icon of Christ. A century later, icons were putting a human face to the spoken word up in Bede’s Northumbria, from church walls to the pages of the Lindisfarne Gospels.

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No. 6
2 two-part story
Georgy Vasilyevich Sviridov and Matthew Locke
Lives of the Saints
‘Filioque’
It started as an honest mistake, became a diplomatic standoff, and brought down an Empire.

IN 587, a provincial Synod in Toledo recited the Creed approved by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, and declared that the Holy Spirit proceeds ‘from the Father and the Son’. Apparently, the bishops quite genuinely thought this was the Creed as used in the East, for they repeated Chalcedon’s declaration that the Creed must never be altered.

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No. 7
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
The Synod of Hatfield
Pope Agatho reached out to the English church to help him make his case at an important Council in the Imperial capital.

IN 680, Pope Agatho asked Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Rome, and declare that beside his divine will, Christ has a will like any other man’s. To heal a two-hundred-year-old breach with churches in Egypt and Syria, the Imperial authorities in Constantinople were teaching that he does not, and brooking no dissent.

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No. 8
2 two-part story
George Frideric Handel
Anglo-Saxon History
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
The Arts of Fair Rowena
Charles Dickens believed that Britain’s Saxon invaders gained power by force of arms – but not by weapons.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

THEY sent a letter to Rome entreating help — which they called the Groans of the Britons; and in which they said, ‘The barbarians chase us into the sea, the sea throws us back upon the barbarians, and we have only the hard choice left us of perishing by the sword, or perishing by the waves.’

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No. 9
George Frideric Handel
Bible and Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
Birds of Paradise
Northumbrian poet Cynewulf paints a word-picture of heaven and the seraph-band that swoops and soars before the throne.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)

WHEREFORE the kindred of the Seraphim, quick to act, strengthened to authority, steadfast in the truth, rise up amidst the angel host in worship; how excellently the tireless throng sings! far and near reaches their voice, sonorous in its slow beauty.

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No. 10
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Polywords (185)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
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Added on Thursday February 15th, 2018
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
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Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
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Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
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Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
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A word search game with a dash of strategy.

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From our Archive
A Roman commander facing court martial took refuge in politics, and for ten years London was an imperial capital.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Oliver was elected as the unwilling spokesman for all the hungry children.
A succession of religious leaders came to Kiev, hoping to win the wild barbarian Prince to their cause.
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)
The great British public leaves a German tourist speechless during a county match at the Oval in London.
By Ann Radcliffe
(1764-1823)
Monsieur St Aubert falls seriously ill on a walking tour with his daughter Emily, and before the end asks an unexpected favour.

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Polyword ‘Trail’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘rim’ (4 letters), and ‘the Roman name for Chester’ (4 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FELL and finish with PONY.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.