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Anglo-Saxon - Page Text Content

FC: By: Tania | Anglo-Saxon Women

1: ER | Anglo Saxon Women

2: Anglo Saxon Women | Religion | The polytheistic religion of the Anglo-Saxons was practised for a comparatively brief period in England, from the invasion in the mid 5th century and throughout the 6th and 7th centuries, before gradually blending into folklore as a result of Christianization.

3: Christianity

4: Anglo-Saxon Marriages

5: Unlike marriages of today, Anglo-Saxon marriages and "home life" were just as public and their business lives. Therefore, everyone in the community knew each other's affairs. If there were problems within the marriage, the people of the community took it upon themselves to help settle the problems. But, more importantly, the community did their best to prevent unhappy and/or arranged marriages from taking place, because it wasn't just the problem of the husband and wife, but the problem of the entire community.

6: 6th century | Women's Rights Within Marriage | While there were arranged marriages in Anglo-Saxon times (especially within those of the upper classes,) most marriage contracts were made clear that who a woman was marrying was chosen by herself, as to a kinsman choosing for her. The Law of Cnut stated: "neither a widow nor a maiden is to be forced to marry a man whom she herself dislikes, nor to be given for money, unless he chooses to give anything of his own free will."

7: 6th Century | law also specified that if a womans husband died before they had any children, she was entitled to one-third of his land

8: Shoes would generally be round-toed, flat soled and reach to the ankle or just below. Probably sandals of the Iron Age and late Roman type were still being used, although enclosed shoes of one piece construction seem to make their first appearance in this period. Shoes were stitched or laced together with leather thongs, not nailed as with some Roman examples. Shoes would be of leather or rawhide. There are many words for footwear, some of which seem to describe a particular type, but it is now unclear exactly which words represent which type of footwear. These words include scoh ('shoe', a low ankle-boot, shoe or slipper), swiftlere (a rawhide shoe), hemming, rifeling, the bag-like socc and a thonged sandal called a crinc (perhaps similar to the open topped Iron Age footwear). As far as we know these shoe types could be worn by either sex. | Footware

10: GUESTS | Clothing | We cannot be sure exactly what an Anglo-Saxon woman would have worn, but we can make a guess based on objects found in graves, from drawings in Anglo-Saxon books and images on objects. Anglo-Saxon women wore long under-dresses probably made of linen. On top of this they wore over-dresses made of wool and held together by pairs of brooches at the shoulder. They wore belts at the waist from which hung their knife and pouch. Women wore jewelery, especially if they were very wealthy or important. Like the men, they also wore leather shoes.

12: Women's Work | The most common womens work was connected with cloth - weaving, spinning and the making of clothes and other textile products were all traditionally female occupations.

14: Pregnancies

15: Anglo Axon Women had a high mortality rate because of the dangers of pregnancies, miscarriages and childbirth - lack of iron has also been suggested to as one reason. Examination of skeletal remains has revealed that common ailments included earache, toothache, headache, shingles, wounds, burns, and pain in the joints.

17: Anglo Saxon Siblings | Anglo-Saxon siblings — girls as well as boys — were more equal in terms of status. The age of majority was usually either ten or twelve, when a child could legally take charge of inherited property, or be held responsible for a crime. It was common for children to be fostered, either in other households or in monasteries, perhaps as a means of extending the circle of protection beyond the kin group. Laws also make provision for orphaned children and foundlings.

18: Life Expectancy | Life was more dangerous in Anglo-Saxon England than in modern times; and in addition to the hazards of war, feud, and capital punishment, Anglo-Saxons could be at risk from famine and epidemics, as well as from a range of endemic diseases including degenerative arthritis, leprosy and tuberculosis. Life expectancy appears, from archaeological evidence, to have been in the thirties, and infant mortality was high. Nevertheless, it was possible for children to survive to adulthood despite severe disabilities.

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  • By: Tania E.
  • Joined: over 9 years ago
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  • Title: Anglo-Saxon
  • about the 6th century
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  • Published: over 9 years ago